Sie sind auf Seite 1von 234



A. Constitution: effectivity, definition, nature and concepts

De Leon v. Esguerra (1987)

De Leon, whose term as Barangay Captain was to expire on June 7, 1988, was replaced as Captain by Governor Esguerra under the Freedom Constitution, which granted the Governor the power to appoint successors to local government posts until Feb. 25, 1987. However, the Supreme Court held that the power no longer existed upon effectivity of the 1987 Constitution. In turn, the 1987 Constitution became effective on Feb. 2, 1987, when the plebiscite was held, and not when the results were announced.

1. Interpretation of the Constitution

Francisco v. House of Representatives (2003)

Francisco challenged the filing of a Second Impeachment Complaint within the same year against SC Chief Justice Davide, Jr., on the ground that it was barred by Art. XI, Section 3 (5) of the Constitution. The Supreme Court upheld the dismissal, and gave the following rules for the interpretation of the Constitution:

1) Verba legiswhenever possible, the words used in the Constitution must be given their ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed.

2) Ratio legis et animathe words of the Constitution should be interpreted in accordance with the intent of the framers.


Ut magis valeat quam pereatthe Constitution has to be interpreted as a whole.

2. Definition of State (to be related with PIL discussion)

CIR v. Campos Rueda (1971)

Campos Rueda died in Tangier, Morocco, an international zone in North Africa. The CIR assessed her estate for deficiency taxes. Rueda’s defense was a tax treaty between Tangiers and the Philippines. The Supreme Court held that Tangier was a state, defining such as “a politically organized sovereign community independent of outside control bound by penalties of nationhood, legally supreme within its territory, acting through a government functioning under a regime of law. The stress is on its being a nation, its people occupying a definite territory, politically organized, exercising by means of its government its sovereign will over the individuals within it and maintaining its separate international personality.”


B. Parts

C. Amendments and revisions

In General (Art. XVII):

By Congress as Constituent Assembly

Gonzales v. Comelec (1967)

In June 1967, Republic Act 4913 was passed. This law provided for the COMELEC to hold a plebiscite for the proposed amendments to the Constitution. It was provided in the said law that the plebiscite shall be held on the same day that the general national elections shall be held. Gonzales challenged the propriety of the act.

The SC upheld RA 4913. Congress has legislative power which is plenary in nature but the power to amend the Constitution is not included. The power to amend is within the constituent power of the people. The Congress possesses constituent power as it is a delegation of the people of their constituent power.

By Constitutional Convention

Imbong v. Comelec (1970)

The 1971 Constitutional Convention Act was enacted by Congress acting as a legislative body. Imbong challenged its constitutionality. The SC upheld the act. The power to enact the implementing details of the Constitutional Convention -- as opposed to the exclusive authority of Congress as a Constituent Assembly to call for the ConCon -- is within the competency of Congress exercising its comprehensive legislative power, as long as the statutory details do not clash with any specific provision in the Constitution. Congress continued to exercise its legislative powers even if it was already the Constituent Assembly and it did not abandon its legislative duties.

By People’s Initiative

Santiago v. Comelec (1997)

Republic Act No. 6735 provided for the system of initiative and referendum for local legislation and national statutes, without providing for initiative for the amendment of the Constitution. A petition was filed to amend the constitution regarding term limits. However, the SC held that the constitutional provision on people's initiatives under the 1987 Constitution (Article XVII § 2) required implementing legislation to be executory. R.A. 6735 lacked the implementing rules for people's initiatives and such lack could not be cured by Comelec providing rules. Congress also could not delegate its legislative authority to Comelec, so Comelec could not validly promulgate rules on the matter as it was not empowered to do so under law.


Lambino v. Comelec (2006)

Completeness on its face

Lambino made a petition to amend the 1987 Constitution via people’s initiative. However, his petition did not include the full text of the proposed amendments. The SC ruled that the initiative did not meet the requirements of the Constitution. An amendment is “directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition” only if the people sign a petition that contains the full text of the proposed amendments. To do otherwise would be deceptive and misleading and would render the initiative void, since there should be both direct proposal and authorship by the person affixing their signature to the petition.

Submission of Proposed Amendments Must be made as a whole. No piecemeal submission allowed.

Tolentino v. Comelec (1971)

The 1971 Constitutional Convention ordered the holding of a plebiscite for the ratification of the proposed amendment to lower the voting age without submitting the other amendments to the

Constitution for ratification. The SC held this to be unconstitutional

Constitution’s provision on amendments is clear on the matter of how many “elections” may be held to ratify any amendments proposed by a constituent assembly or constitutional convention: one. It is important that the parts of the Constitution must have harmony as an integrated whole. In order for a plebiscite for the ratification of amendments to be validly held, it must provide voters not only sufficient time but means for said voter to intelligently appraise the nature of the amendment per se as well as its relation to other parts of the Constitution with which it forms a whole.

The language of the 1973

D. Self-executing and non-self-executing provisions

1. Self-Executing

2. Non-Self-executing

E. General provisions



A. National territory

1. Archipelagic doctrine

B. State immunity

C. General principles and state policies

2. Sovereignty of the People and Republicanism

3. Adherence to International Law

4. Supremacy of Civilian Authority

5. Government as protector of People & People as Defenders of the State

6. Separation of Church and State

7. Independent foreign policy and a nuclear-free Philippines

8. A just and dynamic social order

9. Social justice

Calalang v. Williams (1940)

An ordinance was passed preventing animal-drawn vehicles from passing through certain thoroughfares. Calalang challenged the ordinance. The Supreme Court held that it was a valid exercise of police power, in the interests of social justice.

Defining Social Justice, it is neither communism, nor despotism, nor atomism, nor anarchy, but the humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic forces by the state so that justice in its rational and objectively secular conception may at least be approximated. It is the promotion of the welfare of all the people, the adoption by the government of measure calculated to insure economic stability of all the competent elements of society, through the maintenance of a proper economic and social equilibrium in the interrelations of the member of the community, constitutionally, through adoption of measures legally justifiable, or extra-constitutionally, through the exercise of powers underlying the existence of all governments. It is founded upon the recognition of the necessity of interdependence among diverse units of a society and of the protection that should be equally and evenly extended to all groups as a combined force in our social and economic life consistent with the fundamental and paramount objective of the state of promoting the health, comfort and quiet of all persons, and of bringing about the greatest good to the greatest number.

Labor Agrarian and natural resources reform

Urban land reform and housing



Oposa v. Factoran (1993)

Oposa, et al. filed a petition to prevent further logging licenses from being issued. The Supreme Court, recognizing the intergenerational equity of the petitioners as the basis of their standing, held that the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is explicitly provided in Art. II § 16 of the Constitution. While it is found under the Declaration of Principles and State Policies, not Bill of Rights, but it is not any less important than any civil and political rights enumerated in the latter. It concerns nothing less than self- preservation and self-perpetuation and is assumed to exist from the inception of mankind. Thus, those provisions are self-executing.


People’s organizations

Respect for human dignity and human rights



Science and technology

Arts and culture

The family

D. Separation of powers

E. Checks and balances

F. Delegation of powers

G. Forms of government

1. De jure v. De Facto

2. Presidential v. Parliamentary

3. Unitary v. Federal



Who may exercise legislative powers Congress Delegation To local governments To the People through initiative and referendum To the President under martial law rule or in a revolutionary government.

Sanidad v. Comelec (1976)

President Marcos, in exercise of his emergency powers, proposed amendments to the Constitution and proposals to set up the machinery and procedures required for the ratification of his proposals by the people. Pablo and Pablito Sanidad challenged the validity of the amendments, as the power to amend is legislative. The SC upheld the amendments, because the governmental powers in a crisis government are more or less concentrated in the President. The presidential exercise of legislative powers in time of martial law is a valid act. This is not to say that the President has converted his office into a constituent assembly normally constituted by the legislature. Rather, with the interim National Assembly not convened and only the Presidency and the Supreme Court in operation, the urges of absolute necessity render it imperative upon the President to act as agent for and in behalf of the people to propose amendments to the Constitution. The Supreme Court possesses no capacity to propose constitutional amendments.

Although the President has nothing to do with the proposition or adoption of amendments to the constitution, it is permissible to grant more powers to the President in times of emergency in the interest of restoring normalcy.

Congress The Senate Composition, Qualifications, and Term of Office

Dimaporo v. Mitra (1991)

Dimaporo, while serving as Representative of Lanao del Sur, filed a COC for the post of ARMM Governor. He lost the latter election, and despite making known his desire to continue as Representative, was not able to return to that office. The Supreme Court did not allow him to take office as Representative again. It differentiated a term, i.e. the period an official may serve as provided for by law from tenure, i.e. the period that an official actually serves. The Constitution protects the term, not the tenure. By filing the certificate of candidacy, Dimaporo shortened his tenure. Thus, there is no violation of the Constitution when he was prevented from re-assuming his post. A term of office prescribed by the Constitution may not be extended or shortened by law, but the period during which an officer actually serves (tenure) may be affected by circumstances within or beyond the power of the officer.


The House of Representatives

Aquino v. COMELEC (1995)

Agapito Aquino filed a certificate of candidacy for the position of Representative of the 2 nd district of Makati. However, it was shown that he had been a resident of Concepcion, Tarlac, for the previous 52 years. Ruling that Aquino was not a resident of Makati for the 1 year period required in the Constitution, The Supreme Court held that the residence requirement in Constitution connotes domicile. Domicile is the place “where a party actually or constructively has his permanent home,” where he, no matter where he may be found at any given time, intends to return and remain. A person may have several residences but just one domicile. An intention to return is established by determining (1) whether there was abandonment of domicile of origin, and (2) whether there was establishment of permanent residence in the district










RA 9371, which provided for apportionment of lone district of City of Cagayan de Oro was assailed on constitutional grounds, on the ground that it is not re-apportionment legislation but that it involves the division and conversion of an LGU. The Supreme Court held that RA 9371 is simply a reapportionment legislation passed in accordance with the authority granted to Congress under Article VI, section 5(4). Reapportionment is the realignment or change in legislative districts brought about by changes in population and mandated by the constitutional requirement of equality of representation.








Constitutional Provision

Article VI, Sec. 5


Article X, Sec. 10


Determination of the number of representatives which a state, country or other subdivision may send to a legislative body






modification of an LGU’s

corporate existence and territorial coverage


Legislation providing for apportionment

criteria established in Local Government Code







population of at least 250, 000 shall have one representative.”




majority of the votes

cast in a plebiscite in



political units






No legal personality

Political subdivision


Can discharge gov’t functions


Has political and economic effects on



Has own IRA; can





The Party List System


The Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency (BANAT), a party-list candidate, questioned the proclamation of party-list representatives released by the COMELEC, as well as the formula being used. BANAT’s claims were that the 2% threshold is invalid, and that the 20% allotment to party-list representatives is a mandatory requirement, not merely a ceiling.

On the other hand, BAYAN MUNA, another party-list candidate, questions the validity of the 3 seat rule (Section 11a of RA 7941). It also raised the issue of whether or not major political parties are allowed to participate in the party-list elections or is the said elections limited to sectoral parties. The Supreme Court, granting the positions, laid down the following guidelines:

The Philippine-style party-list election has at least four inviolable parameters:

1. The 20% allocation---the combined number of all party-list congressmen shall not exceed 20% of the total membership of the House of Representatives, including those elected under the party-list.

2. The 2% threshold---only those parties garnering a minimum of 2% of the total valid votes cast for the party-list system are “qualified” to have a seat in the House of Representatives.

3. The three-seat limit--- each qualified party, regardless of the number of votes it actually obtained, is entitled to a maximum of three seats; that is, one qualifying and two additional seats.

4. Proportional representation---the additional seats which a qualified party is entitled to shall be computed “in proportion to their total number of votes.”

How to Allot Slots to Party List Representatives:


Following the Constitution, the total number of seats allocated to party list is in reference to the seats for representatives of legislative districts. The combined number of all party-list congressmen shall not exceed 20% of the total membership of the House of Representatives, including those elected under the party-list. This ceiling is provided in Article VI, Sec. 5(2).

2 nd level of analysis: Allocation of Seats for Party List Representatives

The allocation of party list seats was left to the wisdom of Legislature. Congress enacted RA 7941 (Party List System Act).

Sec. 11, RA 7941:

1. Parties should be ranked from highest to lowest based on the number of votes garnered.

2. Parties receiving at least 2% of the total votes cast shall be entitled to one seat.

3 rd level of analysis: Allocation of Additional Seats

The Court departs from the Veterans procedure in allocating additional seats. 2% threshold in 2 nd round of allocation is declared unconstitutional. The 2% threshold set by Veterans in the 2 nd round of allocation of seats prevents filling of the seats allocated for party list. The number of additional seats to be allocated is

[Maximum number of seats for party list] -[guaranteed seats].

In allocating additional seats, even the parties who did not garner 2% could be entitled to additional seats.

Procedure in second round of seat allocation:

1. Correct formula in determining the number of additional seats:

[Number of votes received/total number of votes] x Remaining available seats



Seat is assigned to each of the parties next in rank until all available seats are completely distributed. 3-seat cap is applied to determine to determine the number of seats each qualified party-list candidate is entitled.

Participation of major political parties in Party list elections

Neither the Constitution nor RA 7941 prohibits major political parties from participating in the party-list system. But, by a vote of 8-7, Court decides to continue with the ruling in Veterans, disallowing major political parties from participating in the party list election.

NOTE: But in Atong Paglaum the Court laid down new guidelines on the participation of major political parties as follows:



1. Three different groups may participate in the party-list system: (a) national parties or organizations, (b) regional parties or organizations, and (c) sectoral parties or organizations.

2. National parties or organizations do not need to organize along sectoral lines and do not need to represent any “marginalized and underrepresented” sector.

3. Political parties can participate in party-list elections provided they register under the party-list system and do not field candidates in legislative district elections. A political party that field candidates in legislative district elections can participate in party-list elections only through its sectoral wing.

4. Sectoral parties or organizations may either be “marginalized and underrepresented” or lacking in “well-defined political constituencies.”

5. A majority of the members of sectoral parties or organizations that represent the “marginalized and underrepresented” must belong to the “marginalized and underrepresented” sector they represent.

6. National, regional and sectoral parties or organizations shall not be disqualified if some of their nominees are disqualified, provided that they have at least one nominee who remains qualified.

Legislative Privileges, Inhibitions and Disqualifications


Philconsa v. Mathay (1966)

Philconsa challenged the appropriation of salaries of the members of Congress set out in the GAA for 1965-1966, which had been increased the year before (1964). The controversy came because the Senators who took part in the approval of the law would be in office until 1969. The SC agreed with Philconsa. The “term” mentioned in the provision refers to the term of the Congress as a whole. Members of Congress who approved the increase will not have the salary increase.

Freedom from Arrest Article VI, Sec. 11 While Congress is in session (Art. VI, Sec. 15)

Martinez v. Morfe (1972)

An information was filed against Martinez for falsification of public documents, and 2 informations Bautista for violations of the Revised Election Code. As members of the Constitutional Convention, they invoked the protection of the Constitution against search and arrest against members of Congress.


However, the SC held that Martinez and Bautista were not covered by the privilege. Parliamentary immunity granted to the members of the legislature and the Constitutional Convention was never meant

to shield them from criminal liability, only to protect them from possible harassment. Any privileges

extended to the legislature should not harm the State. Immunity from arrest does not cover any prosecution for treason, felony and breach of peace. Here, petitioners are charged with felonies; hence, the immunity does not apply to them.

Speech and Debate

Jimenez v. Cabangbang (1966)

Cabangbang was a member of the House of Representatives and Chairman of its Committee on National Defense. He caused the publication of an open letter addressed to the Philippines, alleging that there were plans to hold a coup d’état. Jimenez then filed a case against Cabangbang for damages due to the Cabangbang’s libellous statements. In response, Cabangbang invoked the parliamentary immunity from suit.

The SC held that he was not entitled to the privileges. The expression "speeches or debates herein" in Art.

VI § 15 (1935 Constitution) only refers to utterances made by Congressmen in the performance of their

official functions, such as speeches (sponsorship, interpellation, privilege uttered in Committees or to Congress in plenary session), statements and votes cast while Congress is in session, as well as bills introduced in Congress. It also includes other acts performed by the same either in or out of Congressional premises while in the official discharge of their duty when they performed the acts. It does not include acts not connected with the discharge of their office.


Disqualifications and Other Prohibitions

a. From holding any other office or employment in Government during term without forfeiting seat

b. From appointment to any office which may have been created or its emoluments increased during his term

c. From personally appearing as counsel

d. From financial interest in any contract with, or in any franchise granted by the government during his term

e. From intervening in any matter before any office of the Government for his pecuniary benefit or where he may be called upon to act on account of his office


f. Duty to Disclose

g. Full disclosure of financial and business interests

h. Notify the House of potential conflict of interest from proposed legislation of which they are authors

Flores v. Drilon (1993)

The Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992 that allowed the Mayor of Olongapo City to be appointed as Chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority was challenged on the ground that it violated the constitutional proscription against appointment or designation of elective officials to other government posts.

The SC agreed and declared the provisions unconstitutional. Art. IX-B § 7 of the Constitution expresses the policy against concentrating several public positions in one person, so that a public official may serve full-time with dedication and efficiency. While the provision allows appointive officials to hold multiple offices within limits, par. 1 for elective officials is more stringent in not allowing exceptions unless the Constitution itself says so. While the ineligibility of an elective official for appointment remains throughout his tenure/incumbency, the official may resign first from his elective post to cast off the constitutionally-attached disqualifications. The respondent does not automatically forfeit his elective office when he is appointed to another position.

Quorum and Voting Majorities

Avelino v. Cuenco (1949)

Senator Tañada invoked his right to speak on the Senate floor to formulate charges against then Senate President Avelino. However, Avelino and his camp employed dilatory and delaying tactics to forestall Tañada from delivering his piece. Avelino’s camp then moved to adjourn the session due to the disorder.


Avelino banged his gavel and he hurriedly left his chair and he was immediately followed by his followers.

The remaining members voted to continue the session in order not to paralyze the functions of the Senate. Later, Arranz yielded to Sanidad’s Resolution (No. 68) that Cuenco be elected as the Senate President. This was unanimously approved and was even recognized by the President of the Philippines the following day. Cuenco took his oath of office thereafter. Avelino then filed a quo warranto proceeding before the SC to declare him as the rightful Senate President.

On the issue of quorum, the SC held that as there were 23 senators considered to be in session that time (including Soto, excluding Confesor), twelve senators constitute a majority of the Senate of twenty three senators. When the Constitution declares that a majority of “each House” shall constitute a quorum, “the House” does not mean “all” the members. Even a majority of all the members constitute “the House”. There is a difference between a majority of “all the members of the House” and a majority of “the House”, the latter requiring less number than the first. Therefore an absolute majority (12) of all the members of the Senate less one (23), constitutes constitutional majority of the Senate for the purpose of a quorum. Furthermore, even if the twelve did not constitute a quorum, they could have ordered the arrest of one, at least, of the absent members; if one had been so arrested, there would be no doubt about Quorum then, and Senator Cuenco would have been elected just the same inasmuch as there would be eleven for Cuenco, one against and one abstained

Discipline of Members

Osme ñ a Jr. v. Pendatun, et al. (1960)

Congressman Osmeña Jr made a privilege speech entitled, “A Message to Garcia,” in which he accused Garcia of corruption. A Special Committee was formed through House Resolution 59, to investigate and discipline Osmeña. Osmeña asked for the annulment of the resolution on the ground of infringement upon his parliamentary immunity through a petition for declaratory relief.

The SC denied his petition. The rules adopted by deliberative bodies are subject to revocation, modification, or waiver at the pleasure of the body adopting them. Parliamentary rules are merely procedural, and with their observance, the courts have no concern. They may be waived or disregarded by the legislative body.

Arroyo v. De Venecia (1997)

A petition was filed challenging the validity of RA 8240, which amends certain provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code. Arroyo et al., all members of the HOR, claimed that there was a violation of the rules of the House which petitioners claim are constitutionally-mandated so that their violation is tantamount to a violation of the Constitution. They claimed that the passage of the bill was railroaded.


The SC ruled that it did not have the power to inquire into allegations that Congress failed to comply with its own rules while enacting a law when no constitutional provision or rights of private individuals were violated. Within the limits of constitutional restraints, fundamental rights and a reasonable relation between the means of proceeding and the intended results, all matters of methods for internal procedures are open to the determination of the House and cannot be subject to judicial inquiry. There was no grave abuse of discretion, only a matter of internal procedure.

Garcillano v. House Committees (2008)

A legislative inquiry was carried out regarding the “Hello Garci” tapes in relation to election fraud. The propriety of the legislative inquiry was challenged based on the non-publication of the Senate rules of procedure in accordance with Art. VI § 21.

The SC struck down the proceedings for lack of publication of the rules. It would be an injustice if a citizen is burdened with violating a law or rule he did not get notice of. It consists of “publication either in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines” (Civil Code Art. 2) and the law shall only take effect 15 days after said publication. Publication via the Internet alone is considered invalid since the provisions state that the rules must be published in the OG or in a newspaper. According to RA 8792, an electronic document serves as the functional equivalent of a written document for evidentiary purposes. Thus, it does not make the Internet a medium for publishing laws, rules, and regulations.

The rules must also be republished by the Senate after every expiry of the term of 12 Senators as it is a continuing body independent of the Senate before it, and its own rules state that they expire after every Senate.

Santiago v. Sandiganbayan (2001)

Defensor-Santiago was preventively suspended by the SB for 90 days in accordance with RA 3019. She assailed the SB’s authority to do so, claiming contravention of Art. VI, Sec. 16(3) which provides for suspension only for 60 days max.

The SC held that the SB had the authority to suspend Santiago. Suspension in Art VI, Sec. 16(3) is different from preventive suspension under RA 3019, Sec. 13. Preventive suspension is not a penalty and thus is not a suspension under the purview of the Constitution.

De Venecia v. Sandiganbayan (2002)

De Venecia, as House Speaker, was cited in contempt of court for not implementing the preventive suspension by Sandiganbayan against one of the House Members. While the Supreme Court held the case moot and academic, since the term of the member expired while the case was pending, further differences between Art. VI, Sec. 16(3) and RA 3019, Sec. 13 were discussed, to wit:

o Art. VI, Sec. 16(3):


House-imposed sanction

Penalty for disorderly behavior to enforce discipline, maintain order in proceedings or vindicate honor and integrity

o RA 3019, Sec. 13:

Prevent accused from influencing witnesses

Prevent tampering with documentary evidence

Prevent committing further crimes while in office Sessions Regular Sessions Special Session Restrictions Adjournment for more than 3 days As to venue Emergency Sessions Vacancy in Pres/ VPres office Ability of President to discharge powers and duties of office Presidential proclamation of martial law or suspension of habeas corpus

Electoral Tribunals and the Commission on Appointments

Powers of Congress

White Light v. City of Manila (2009)

The City of Manila issued an ordinance disallowing the operation of motels as well as offering quick-time rates. White Light as well as various other motels challenged the constitutionality of the ordinance.

The Supreme Court struck down the ordinance for being unconstitutional.

Police power, while incapable of an exact definition, has been purposely veiled in general terms to underscore its comprehensiveness to meet all exigencies and provide enough room for an efficient and flexible response as the conditions warrant. Police power is based upon the concept of necessity of the State and its corresponding right to protect itself and its people.

Agustin v. Edu (1979)

LOI 229 was issued by Pres. Marcos, recommending the enactment of local legislation for the installation of road safety signs and devices. Upon constitutional challenge, the SC held there was no unlawful delegation of police power.

To avoid the taint of unlawful delegation of police power, there must be a standard which implies at the very least that the legislature itself determines matters of principle and lays down the fundamental policy. The standard lays down the legislative policy, marks its limits, maps out boundaries, and specifies


the public agency to apply it. With this standard, the executive or administrative agency designated to carry out the legislative policy may promulgate supplemental rules and regulations. General Plenary Powers Legislative Power Substantive Limitations Express Substantive Limitations Bill of Rights Appropriations Taxation (infra) Public Money in a Special fund Increase of appellate jurisdiction of the SC without its advice and concurrence Granting title of royalty or nobility Implied Substantive Limitations Delegation of legislative powers Criterion of valid delegation

Abakada Guro v. Exec. Sec. (2005)

The grant of stand-by authority to the President to increase the VAT under certain circumstances was challenged for being undue delegation of legislative power, as VAT was not mentioned in Art VI, Sec 28. The SC held that there was no undue delegation.

Congress did not give President the power to exercise discretion in making a law, only the power to ascertain the facts necessary to exercise the law. The criteria for valid delegation are that:

Law is complete in itself, setting forth therein the policy to be executed, carried out or implemented by the delegate

Law fixes a standard, the limits of which are determinate and determinable to which the delegate must conform in the performance of his functions

Undue delegation of legislative power

Pelaez v. Auditor General (1965)

By virtue of several PDs, 33 municipalities were created. Pelaez challenged the constitutionality of their creation. The SC agreed with him, ruling that while the power to fix common boundaries of adjoining municipalities to avoid or settle conflicts of jurisdiction may be administrative in nature, the authority to create municipal corporations is essentially legislative in nature.

The questioned statutes did not meet the requirements for a valid delegation of power to fix details in enforcing a law. They neither enunciated a policy to be implemented by the President nor gave a


sufficiently precise standard to avoid the violation. The phrase “as the public welfare may require” is so overbroad that it rests in the President a virtually unfettered discretion that is tantamount to a delegation of legislative power. For the President to create municipalities will be for him to exercise the power of control over local government units denied to him by the Constitution. Proper delegation by express authority of the constitution Delegation to the president to fix tariffs, rates, etc.

Garcia v. Executive Secretary (1992) EO 475 (reducing the rate of additional duty on all imported articles from 9% to 5% according to their value, except for crude oil and other oil products which continue to have a 9% additional duty) and E.O. 478 (which laid a special duty on imported crude oil and oil products) were constitutionally challenged.

The SC upheld the validity of the EOs. Under Art. VI § 24 of the Constitution, the enactment of appropriation revenue and tariff bills is within the province of the legislative and not the executive branch. Art. VI § 28(2) allows Congress to authorize the President to fix within specific limits, among others, tariff rates and other duties. There is explicit constitutional permission to allow the E.O.s to be issued. The Tariff and Customs Code also laid down sufficiently determinate benefits for the valid delegation of legislative power.

Delegation to the President in times of war or national emergency Delegation to Local government Delegation of power to carry out defined policy to prescribe standards

Rafael v. Embroidery Board (1967)

RA 3137 (creating an embroidery and apparel control and inspection board and providing for a special assessment to be levied upon all entities engaged in an amount to be fixed by the Board) was constitutionally challenged for being an undue delegation of legislative power.

The SC upheld the law. Article XVI § 4 (2) sets a reasonable basis under which the special assessment may be imposed. The true distinction between delegation of power to legislate and conferring of authority as to the execution of the law is that the former involves a discretion as to what the law shall be, while in the latter, the authority as to its execution has to be exercised under and in pursuance of the law.

Osmeña v. Orbos (1993)

PD 1956, which empowered the Energy Regulatory Board (ERB) to approve the increase of fuel prices or impose additional amounts on petroleum products which proceeds shall accrue to the Oil Price Stabilization Fund (OPSF). The OPSF was established to reimburse ailing oil companies in the event of sudden price increases. The decree was challenged on the ground of undue delegation of legislative powers to the ERB.


The SC upheld the PD. The provision conferring authority upon the ERB to impose additional amounts on petrol products provides a sufficient standard by which the authority must be exercised. The standard to which the delegate of legislative authority has to conform may be implied from the policy and purpose of the act, not only spelled out specifically. The challenged law sets forth a determinable standard that governs the exercise of power granted to the ERB. Promulgation of Internal Rules and Regulations Prohibition Against Passage of Irrepealable Laws Procedural Limitations (see part on Legislative process for more detail) Oversight


Congressional Scrutiny


Congressional Investigation


Legislative Supervision

Arnault v. Nazareno (1950)

Question Hour (Art. VI, Sec. 22) Legislative Investigations

A legislative inquiry into the acquisition by the Philippine Government of the Buenavista and Tambobong estates was undertaken. During the Senate investigation, one witness, Arnault, refused to reveal the identity of the representative of the vendor to whom he delivered money, at the same time invoking his constitutional right against self-incrimination. The Senate adopted a resolution holding Arnault in contempt and ordered him imprisoned in the custody of the Sergeant-at-Arms and imprisoned. Arnault petitioned for a writ of Habeas Corpus.

The SC did not issue the writ. Once an inquiry is admitted or established to be within the jurisdiction of the legislative body to make, the investigating committee has the power to require a witness to answer any question pertinent to that inquiry, subject to his constitutional right against self-incrimination.

The question subject of the refusal for which the petitioner was held in contempt by the Senate is pertinent to the matter under inquiry. It is not necessary for the legislative to show that every question addressed to a witness is material to any proposed legislation, but it is required that each question be pertinent to the matter under inquiry. If the subject of investigation before the Committee is within legitimate legislative inquiry and the proposed testimony of the witness relates to the subject, obedience to the process may be enforced by the Committee by imprisonment. The power to hold a non-member of Congress in contempt is a power necessary to enable Congress to perform its function without obstruction. Therefore, the Court finds no sound reason to limit such power which has already been recognized as an appropriate auxiliary power of Congress.


Bengzon v. Senate Blue Ribbon Committee (1991)

A Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Investigation was commenced regarding Kokoy Romualdez’ participation in various corporations put up by the Marcoses. The investigation was started based on a privileged speech delivered by Sen. Enrile. Bengzon, called as a witness, challenged the propriety of the investigation. The SC ruled that the investigation did not have a valid legislative purpose. Investigations must be in aid of legislation in accordance with duly published rules of procedure and must respect the rights of the persons appearing in or affected by the inquiries. Senator Enrile’s privilege speech that prompted the committee investigation contained no suggestion of contemplated legislation, only a call to look into a possible violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. The call seems to fall under the jurisdiction of the courts rather than the legislature, such as the case filed with the Sandiganbayan. For the Committee to probe and inquire into the same justiciable controversy already before the Sandiganbayan would be an encroachment into the exclusive domain of the court.

Senate v. Executive Secretary (2006)

In 2005, scandals involving anomalous transactions about the North Rail Project as well as the Garci tapes surfaced, prompting the Senate to conduct public hearings to investigate the said anomalies. The investigating Senate committee issued invitations to certain department heads and military officials to speak before the committee as resource persons. Subsequently, GMA issued EO 464 which took effect immediately. EO 464 prohibited Department heads, Senior officials of executive departments who in the judgment of the department heads are covered by the executive privilege. EO 464 was challenged for contravening the power of inquiry vested in Congress.

The SC held that it did. Executive privilege is based on the constitutional doctrine of separation of powers and is one of the exemptions to the power of legislative inquiry. It exempts the executive from disclosing information to the public, Congress and the courts. To determine the validity of a claim of privilege, the question that must be asked is not only if the requested information falls within one of the traditional privileges, but also if that privilege should be honored in a given procedural setting. Presumption inclines heavily against executive secrecy and in favor of disclosure.

(Question hour vs. legislative inquiry)

On the validity of § 1 of E.O. 464 (which applies specifically to heads of executive departments): the required prior consent is grounded on Art. VI § 22 or what is known as question hour. ConCom records show that it was considered distinct from inquiries in aid of legislation. In question hour, attendance is meant to be discretionary. In aid of legislation, attendance is compulsory. In the absence of a mandatory question period, it becomes a greater imperative to enforce Congress’ right to executive information in the performance of its legislative function. When Congress exercises its power of inquiry, department heads can only exempt themselves by a valid claim of inquiry. The only officials exempt are the President on whom the executive power is vested and members of the Supreme Court on whom the judicial power


is vested as a collegial body as co-equal branches of government. For § 1, the requirement for Presidential consent is limited only to appearances of department heads in the question hour but not in inquiries in aid of legislation unless a valid claim of privilege is made by the President or Executive Secretary.

Although some executive officials hold information covered by “executive privilege”, there can be no implied claim of executive privilege thereby exempting some officials from attending inquiries in aid of legislation. Congress has a right to know the reasons behind the claim of executive privilege before an official would be exempt from the investigation.

Act as Board of Canvassers for Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Call special election for President and Vice-President Revoke or extend suspension of privilege of writ of habeas corpus and declaration of martial law Approve presidential amnesties Confirm certain appointments Cf. Commission on Appointments (Art. VI, Sec. 18) Concur in treaties (Senate)

Bayan v. Zamora (2000)

The VFA was challenged on the ground of Art. XVIII § 25 on military bases in the Philippines.

The presence of U.S. Armed Forces in the Philippines pursuant to the VFA is allowed under Art. XVIII § 25 for 2 reasons:

1. The VFA was duly concurred in by the Philippine Senate and has been recognized as a treaty by the U.S.

since it was attested and duly certified by a U.S. government representative. That it was not submitted for advice and consent of the U.S. Senate does not detract from its status as a binding international agreement/treaty recognized by the U.S. since it is a matter of internal U.S. law, where the U.S. submits to its Senate policymaking agreements for advice or consent, while those that further implement these policymaking agreements are merely submitted to Congress within 60 days of ratification.

2. Joint R.P.-U.S. military exercises fall under the provisions of the earlier R.P.-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty

of 1951 that was signed and duly ratified with both countries’ senates concurring; the VFA is simply an implementing agreement to the main Military Defense Treaty, so it was not necessary to submit it to the U.S. Senate, but only to its Congress. This is why the U.S. certified it as a binding international agreement

(treaty) that substantially complies with Art. XVIII § 25.


Declaration of war and declaration of emergency powers Be judge of president’s physical fitness (16)Power of impeachment

(17)Amendment or revision of the Constitution (supra)

6. The legislative process

Requirement as to bills As to title Embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof.

Lidasan v. Comelec (1967)

R.A. 4790 (An Act Creating the Municipality of Dianaton in the Province of Lanao del Sur) was challenged for falling short of the constitutional requirement that bills shall embrace 1 subject that must be expressed in the title.

The SC ruled that the Act was unconstitutional. The Constitution has 2 limitations for bills: 1) Congress can not conglomerate under 1 statute heteregeneous subjects, and, 2) The title of the bill must be couched in language sufficient to notify legislators and the public of the import of the single title. Complying with the second directive is imperative since the Constitution does not require Congress to read a bill’s entire text during deliberations. For H.B. 1247/R.A. 4790, only its title was read from its introduction to its final approval in the House.

The test of the sufficiency of a title a bill is whether or not it is misleading. If the language is so uncertain that an average person reading it is not informed of its purpose, or if it is misleading by referring to one subject when another is embraced in the act or by omitting any indication of its real subject/scope, it is misleading. It is not required that the title use language of such precision that it fully catalogues all its contents and minute details, but that it serves its constitutional purpose of informing all interested persons of the nature, scope and consequences of the proposed law and its operation.

Power of taxation and requirement as to tax laws

Lutz v. Araneta (1955)

Commonwealth Act 567 Section provided for an increase of the existing tax on the manufacture of sugar on a graduated basis, while section 3 levied on owners or persons in control of lands devoted to cultivating sugar cane and ceded to others for a consideration a tax equivalent to the difference between the value of the consideration collected and the amount representing 12% of the assessed value of the land. The Act was challenged on constitutional grounds.


The SC upheld the Act. Commonwealth Act 567 was not purely an exercise of taxing power but was an exercise of the police power, since tax was levied with a regulatory purpose, to provide means for rehabilitating and stabilizing the threatened sugar industry. It is rational that the tax be taken from those who will benefit when it is spent. It is inherent in the power to tax that a state is free to choose who to tax.

Tan v. Del Rosario (1994)

Petitioners challenged the constitutionality of RA 7496 (Simplified Net Income Taxation Scheme)

amending certain provisions of the NIRC and RR No. 2-936 promulgated by respondent pursuant to RA


The SC upheld the RA. The contention that RA 7496 goes against the constitutional requirement that taxation be uniform and equitable ignores that such a system of income taxation where single proprietorship and professionals be taxed differently from corporations and partnership had long been the prevailing rule. Uniformity of taxation merely required that all subjects of objects of taxation similarly situated were to be treated alike both in privileges and liabilities and did not discount classification as long as:

the standards are substantial making real differences;

the categorization is germane to achieve legislative purpose;

the law applies, ceteris paribus, to both present and future conditions; and

the classification applies equally to the same class.

Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court (infra, under Judiciary)

First Lepanto Ceramics v. CA (1994)

The Omnibus Investments Code gave the SC appellate jurisdiction over BOI decisions. The SC issued a circular giving the CA that jurisdiction, on the ground that its appellate jurisdiction could not be increased without its concurrence.

After the 1987 Constitution took effect, Congress was now barred from increasing Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction without its concurrence. This was done in order to give the Court a measure of control over the cases placed under its appellate jurisdiction. The indiscriminate enactment of legislation enlarging the Court’s appellate jurisdiction could unnecessarily burden the Court and undermine its essential function of expounding the law in profound national aspect.

D. Legislative veto



Qualifications, Election, Term and Oath Privileges, inhibitions, and disqualifications Presidential Immunity

In Re: Bermudez (1986)

Bermudez filed a petition for declaratory relief on whether the provisions of the Freedom Constitution referred to the incumbent President or the previously-elected president.

The Supreme Court dismissed the action, holding first that it referred to the incumbent president, and secondly that a suit cannot be brought against the incumbent President. The petition for declaratory relief was essentially a suit against President Aquino, and Bermudez had no standing to file it.

Soliven v. Makasiar (1988)

Soliven was sued by Pres. Aquino for libel. Soliven alleged that because the President is immune from suit, neither can she file a suit.

The SC disagreed. The immunity may be invoked ONLY by the holder of the office. Nothing prevents the President (and only the President) from waiving the privilege and submitting to court's jurisdiction.

Clinton v. Jones (1997)

Pres. Clinton was charged with sexual harassment by Paula Jones for acts done while he was Governor of Arkansas. The SC held that the sitting president can be involved in a lawsuit during his tenure for actions not related to his official duties as President, and before his term commenced.

Presidential Privileges

Neri v. Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (2008)

Neri, along with other officers, was invited to testify before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee regarding the NBN-ZTE project. However, when probed further on what they discussed about the NBN Project, Neri refused to answer, invoking “executive privilege”. In particular, he refused to answer the questions on (a) whether or not President Arroyo followed up the NBN Project, (b) whether or not she directed him to prioritize it, and (c) whether or not she directed him to approve. He later refused to attend the other hearings and Ermita sent a letter to the SBRC averring that the communications between GMA and Neri is privileged and that the jurisprudence laid down in Senate v. Ermita be applied. The SBRC cited Neri for contempt.

The SC upheld the invocation of privilege. The oversight function of Congress may be facilitated by compulsory process only to the extent that it is performed in pursuit of legislation.


The communications elicited by the three (3) questions are covered by the presidential communications privilege.

1st, the communications relate to a “quintessential and non-delegable power” of the President, i.e. the power to enter into an executive agreement with other countries. This authority of the President to enter into executive agreements without the concurrence of the Legislature has traditionally been recognized in Philippine jurisprudence.

2nd, the communications are “received” by a close advisor of the President. Under the “operational proximity” test, petitioner can be considered a close advisor, being a member of President Arroyo’s Cabinet. And,

3rd, there is no adequate showing of a compelling need that would justify the limitation of the privilege and of the unavailability of the information elsewhere by an appropriate investigating authority.

Aside from these, other executive privileges include:

1. Deliberative process privilege

2. Military or State Secrets

3. Identity of government informers in some circumstances

4. Information related to pending investigations

5. Foreign relations

AKBAYAN v. Aquino (2008)

AKBAYAN and the other petitioners filed a petition asking for the government to release the records of the negotiations leading up to the JPEPA.

The SC denied the petition. While there was indeed a right to information on matters of public concern, this was only on a case by case basis. The validity of executive privilege depends on ground invoked to justify it and context in which it is made. The privileged status of a privileged document rests not on the need to protect national security but on the obvious realization that officials will not communicate candidly among themselves if people will find out what they talk about anyway. Here, the negotiations of the JPEPA falls under the diplomatic negotiations privilege.

Prohibition from holding other appointments Exceptions to prohibition from holding another office

CLU v. Executive Secretary, supra. (1991)

Dela Cruz v. COA (2001)

The payment of salaries to ex-officio members of the NHA Board who were in the Cabinet, or their alternates, was denied by the COA. The propriety of that COA decision was challenged.


The SC upheld the decision. However, while it was correct to rule that the payment of compensation was not allowed, the prohibition against multiple offices was not interpreted to apply to posts of executive officials in an ex-officio capacity as provided by law as required by the primary function of their office and without additional compensation. The term ex-officio referred to authority derived from official character, not merely conferred upon the individual character but rather annexed to the official position. However, since the position is an actual and legal part of the principal office, it followed that the official concerned had no right to receive additional compensation for services in the same position since the services were already paid for by the compensation attached to the principal office.

Powers and Functions of the President Executive Power Power to execute laws

Ople v. Torres (1998)

AO 308 was issued, adopting a national computerized identification system. Ople challenged the AO’s constitutionality.

The SC struck down the AO. Executive power to enforce and administer the laws into practical separation is vested in the President. As Chief Executive, the President is also granted administrative power over bureaus and offices under his control to enable him to discharge his duties effectively. Administrative power is concerned with the work applying policies and enforcing orders as determined by proper constitutional organs. However, the administrative order should be issued in relation to specific aspects in the administrative operation of the government. It should not impair citizen’s rights and privileges or impose a duty on them, and must not substitute for general policy-making that Congress enact as laws.

Power of Appointment In general

Sarmiento v. Mison (1987)

Mison was appointed as the Commissioner of the Bureau of Customs and Carague as the Secretary of the Department of Budget, without the confirmation of the Commission on Appointments. Sarmiento assailed the appointments as unconstitutional by reason of its not having been confirmed by CoA.

The SC upheld the appointment. Positions to be filled by the President by appointment are divided into 4 groups:

1) heads of executive department, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, officers of the armed forces from the rank of colonel or naval captain and other officers whose appointments are vested in him in the Constitution,



4) officers lower in rank whose appointments the Congress may by law vest in the President alone. Only the first group is appointed with the consent of the Commission on Appointments. The Customs commissioner was not one of those within the first group.

those whom the President may be authorized by law to appoint, &

Manalo v. Sistoza (1999)

Sistoza questioned the constitutionality and legality of the appointments by former Pres. Corazon Aquino of senior officers of the PNP, who were promoted to the rank of Chief Superintendent and Director without their appointments submitted to the Commission on Appointments for confirmation.

The SC upheld the appointments. Congress cannot by law expand the power of confirmation of the CA and require confirmation of appointments to other positions not within the Constitution. The PNP is separate from the AFP. It is different from and independent of the AFP. Its military ranks are not similar to the AFP, thus directors and chief superintendents of the PNP do not fall under the first category of presidential appointees requiring CA confirmation

b. Commission on Appointments confirmation

c. Midnight Appointments

d. Power of removal

Power of Control and Supervision

a. Doctrine of Qualified Political Agency

b. Control over Executive departments and offices

Lacson-Magallanes Co. v. Paño (1967)

Magallanes was permitted to use and occupy a land used for pasture in Davao; he later ceded his rights to LMC of which he is a co-owner. Paño asserted his claim over the same piece of land. The Director of Lands denied Paño’s request. The Secretary of Agriculture likewise denied his petition hence it was elevated to the Office of the President. Executive Secretary Pajo ruled in favor of Paño. LMC challenged the decision of the Executive Secretary as an undue delegation of power.

The SC did not agree. The President's duty to execute the law is of constitutional origin. So, too, is his control of all executive departments. Thus it is, that department heads are men of his confidence. Implicit is his authority to go over, confirm, modify or reverse the action taken by his department secretaries. In this context, it may not be said that the President cannot rule on the correctness of a decision of a department secretary. Parenthetically, it may be stated that the right to appeal to the President reposes upon the President's power of control over the executive departments. And control simply means “the power of an officer to alter or modify or nullify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former for that of the latter.”


The Chief Executive may delegate to his Executive Secretary acts which the Constitution does not command that he perform in person. The President is not expected to perform in person all the multifarious executive and administrative functions. The office of the Executive Secretary is an auxiliary unit which assists the President.

Buklod ng Manggagawang EIIB v. Executive Secretary (2000)

President Corazon Aquino created the Economic Intelligence and Investigation Bureau (EIIB) to primarily conduct anti-smuggling operations in areas outside the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Customs. In the year 2000, President Estrada issued an order deactivating the EIIB. He subsequently ordered the employees of EIIB to be separated from the service. Thereafter, he created the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Task Force “Aduana”, which EIIB employees claim to be essentially the same as EIIB. The employees of EIIB, through the Buklod ng Kawaning EIIB, invoked the Supreme Court’s power of judicial review in questioning the said orders. EIIB employees maintained that the President has no power to abolish a public office, as that is a power solely lodged in the legislature; and that the abolition violates their constitutional right to security of tenure.

The SC upheld the reorganization. As a general rule, the power to abolish an office is lodged with the legislative. However, the President’s power of control may justify his deactivating the functions of a particular office or certain laws may grant him the broad continuing authority to carry out reorganization measures for reasons of economy and productivity.

c. Supervision of Local Governments and Autonomous Regions

Pimentel v. Aguirre (2000)

President Ramos issued AO 372 The Adoption of Economy Measures in Government for FY 1998, which required LGUs to reduce their expenditures by 25% for their authorized regular appropriations of non- personal services. Subsequently, President Estrada issued AO 43, amending Section 4 of AO 372 reducing to 5% the amount of the internal revenues allotment (IRA) to be withheld from the LGUs. The constitutionality of the directive to withhold 10% of this IRA is challenged for being in contravention of Section 286 of the Local Government Code and of Section 6, Article X of the Constitution, providing the automatic release of its share in the national income revenue.

The SC upheld Section 1, which directed the LGUs to reduce expenditures, as being part of the President’s supervision over local government. Supervision is meant to oversee, while control meant to power to alter what a subordinate has done and substitute one’s judgment. The Chief Executive wields no more authority than that of checking whether local government were performing their duties as provided by Constitution and statutes. But LGUs continue to be agents of the national government.


However, Section 4, which withheld 5% of the IRA from LGUs was struck down for being unconstitutional. It is a basic feature of local government autonomy that their share of the IRA should be automatically released.

Military Powers

IBP v. Zamora (2000)

Invoking his powers as Commander-in-Chief under Art. VII, Sec. 18 of the Constitution, President Estrada, in verbal directive, directed the AFP Chief of Staff and PNP Chief to coordinate with each other for the proper deployment and campaign for a temporary period only. The IBP questioned the validity of the deployment and utilization of the Marines to assist the PNP in law enforcement.

The SC upheld deployment of the Marines. Calling out armed forces is discretionary power solely vested in the President’s wisdom but the matter may be reviewed by the Court to see whether or not there was grave abuse of discretion

Here, the deployment of the Marines in this case constitutes permissible use of military assets for civilian law enforcement. The participation of the Marines in the conduct of joint visibility patrols is appropriately circumscribed. It is their responsibility to direct and manage the deployment of the Marines. It is, likewise, their duty to provide the necessary equipment to the Marines and render logistical support to these soldiers. In view of the foregoing, it cannot be properly argued that military authority is supreme over civilian authority. Moreover, the deployment of the Marines to assist the PNP does not unmake the civilian character of the police force. Neither does it amount to an “insidious incursion” of the military in the task of law enforcement in violation of Article XVI, Sec. 5(4) of the Constitution.

Lansang v. Garcia (1971)

Two hand grenades were thrown at a Liberal Party caucus in 1971, killing 8. Pres. Marcos issued PP 889 which suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. Marcos urged that there is a need to curtail the growth of Maoist groups. Subsequently, Lansang et al. were invited by the PC headed by Garcia for interrogation and investigation. Lansang et al. questioned the validity of the suspension of the privilege of the writ averring that the suspension does not meet the constitutional requisites

The SC found that there was valid basis for the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. The requirements for such a suspension are:

1. Invasion, insurrection or rebellion or imminent danger thereof

2. Public safety requires the suspension.

Here, the existence of the New People's Army is proof of rebellion regardless of how small it is. The absence of any other incident after the bombing is not proof of lack of rebellion.


Sanlakas v. Executive Secretary (2004)

On July 27, 2003, the Oakwood mutiny took place. Pres. Arroyo issued Proclamation No. 47 declaring a "state of rebellion" & General Order No. 4 directing AFP & PNP to suppress the rebellion. By that evening, soldiers agreed to return to barracks. GMA, however, did not immediately lift the declaration of a state of rebellion, only doing so on August 1, 2003 thru Proclamation No. 435.

The SC upheld the declaration of a state of rebellion. Actual invasion/rebellion and requirement of public safety are not required for calling out the armed forces. Nothing prohibits President from declaring a state of rebellion; it springs from powers as Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief. Finally, calling out of the armed forces is not the same as a declaration of martial law.

Gudani v. Senga (2006)

The Senate invited Gen. Gudani and Lt. Col. Balutan to clarify allegations of 2004 election fraud and the surfacing of the “Hello Garci” tapes. PGMA issued EO 464 enjoining officials of the executive department including the military establishment from appearing in any legislative inquiry without her consent. AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Senga issued a Memorandum, prohibiting Gen. Gudani, Col. Balutan et al. from appearing before the Senate Committee without Presidential approval. However, the two appeared before the Senate in spite the fact that a directive has been given to them. As a result, the two were relieved of their assignments for allegedly violating the Articles of War and the time honoured principle of the “Chain of Command.” Gen. Senga ordered them to be subjected to Court Martial proceedings for willfully violating an order of a superior officer.

The SC upheld EO 464. The President as Commander-in-Chief has absolute authority over persons and actions of the members of the armed forces. Significant concessions to personal freedoms are expected in the military. Preventing military officers from testifying before Congress springs from Commander-in- Chief powers, not executive privilege.

David v. Arroyo (2006)

As a result of the events of EDSA II, President Arroyo issued PP 1017, declaring a state of national emergency, invoking Article VII, Sec. 18 of the 1987 Constitution. On the same day, she also issued General Order No. 5 directing the AFP and PNP to immediately carry out appropriate actions to suppress and prevent the lawless violence by invoking Article II, Sec. 4 of the same, citing elements of the extreme left and right being in alliance to bring down the President. A week later, the President lifted PP1017 via


Randy David and the petitioners assail that various rights stated in Article III of the 1987 Constitution have been violated, thus the case at hand.

In relation to the validity of the declaration of a state of national emergency, the SC ruled that as there is no law defining “acts of terrorism,” it is President Arroyo alone, under General Order No. 5 who has the discretion to determine what acts constitute terrorism, without restrictions. Thus, the due process clause has been violated and that portion of General Order No. 5 is unconstitutional.


Pardoning Power

a. Nature and limitations

b. Forms of Executive Clemency Diplomatic Powers

a. Contracting and guaranteeing foreign loans

b. Deportation of undesirable aliens

Residual Powers

Marcos v. Manglapus (1989)

Imelda Marcos wanted to return home from Hawaii. Her return was prevented by Pres. Aquino. She invoked her rights to travel and abode.

The SC upheld the decision to prevent her from returning to the Philippines as an exercise of the President’s residual powers. Whatever power inherent in the government that is neither legislative nor judicial has to be executive. The President's residual power is for protecting people's general welfare, preserving and defending the Constitution, protecting the peace, attending to day-to-day problems. Even the Resolution proposed in the House urging the President to allow Marcos to return shows recognition of this power. Residual powers are implicit in and correlative to the paramount duty to safeguard and protect general welfare.

Powers relating to appropriation Measures Delegated powers Veto power

C. Rules on Succession

a. Constructive Resignation

b. The Vice President

c. Right of Succession and Membership in Cabinet

Estrada v. Desierto (2001)

After the events of EDSA II, whereby President Estrada left Malacañang and Gloria Arroyo was sworn in as President, Estrada filed a petition for prohibition to enjoin the Ombudsman from proceeding with any cases against him and to declare him to still be the incumbent president.


The SC denied the petition, holding that Estrada had constructively resigned, because both elements of resignation were present, namely:

1. Intent

2. Acts of relinquishment (calling for snap election in which Estrada would not be a candidate, listening to Pimentel's advice for resignation, negotiation for peaceful and orderly transfer of power, declaring his intent to leave without anything about reassuming the presidency, etc.)

As for prosecution of cases against him, resignation or retirement is not a bar to prosecution. Neither was there a pending impeachment case when he resigned; if this were a bar to a criminal prosecution, then he would be perpetually immune. Finally, Congress has already recognized Arroyo as the new President, and so the decision can no longer be reviewed by the Court.



Concepts Judicial Power.

Ynot v. IAC (1987)

EO 626-A banned the killing and intra-province transport of carabao and carabeef. Ynot was caught in violation of EO 626-A as he was transporting 6 carabaos. He went to trial court seeking to declare EO 626-A unconstitutional. The Trial Court ruled that they cannot answer questions of constitutionality.

However, the SC ruled that it could. All courts in the hierarchy can exercise both judicial power and judicial review, subject to later review by the SC (Sec. 5 (2) (a))

Judicial Review a. Definition, nature, principles

Marbury v. Madison (1803)

As outgoing President, John Adams, appointed judges, including Marbury, to positions as justices of the peace, in Marbury’s case in the District of Columbia,, with the concurrence of the Senate. However, the commissions were never served upon the offices, so Marbury was never able to carry out his duties. He appealed to the SC for a writ of mandamus to compel State Secretary James Madison to appoint him as a judge.

1. Marbury has a right to the commission. Presidential commission has three stages --- nomination, appointment, and commission. When the President signs the commission, it creates a vested right.

2. Marbury has a relief for his right. Because withholding the commission would be violative of the vested right, there must be a remedy.

3. The most appropriate relief in this case is a writ of mandamus. According to the Constitution, the SC can only have appellate jurisdiction over writs of mandamus. However, the law that Adams signed gave the Supreme Court original jurisdiction. Therefore, there was a dispute over which one should be followed. The Constitution is the paramount law, and it is the judiciary that decides questions of constitutionality. It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what is law. Using this reasoning, the court held that it was the Constitution that must prevail, and so they could not award the writ of mandamus.


1. Requisites of judicial review

a. Actual case or controversy

David v. Macapagal-Arroyo, supra.


An actual case or controversy involves a conflict of legal right, and opposite legal claims susceptible of judicial resolution. It is "definite and concrete, touching the legal relations of parties having adverse legal interest"; a real and substantial controversy admitting of specific relief.


A moot and academic case is one that ceases to present a justiciable controversy by virtue of supervening events, so that a declaration thereon would be of no practical use or value. Generally, courts decline jurisdiction over such case or dismiss it on ground of mootness.


Ripeness entails that something had by then been accomplished or performed by either branch before a court may come into the picture. The questioned acts should have already been carried out


Exception to the mootness rule: Court will decide cases, otherwise moot and academic, if:

first, there is a grave violation of the Constitution;

second, the exceptional character of the situation and the paramount public interest is involved;

third, when constitutional issue raised requires formulation of controlling principles to guide the bench, the bar, and the public;

fourth, the case is capable of repetition yet evading review. Operative fact doctrine Moot Questions

Gonzales v. Narvasa (2000)

Ramon Gonzales, in his capacity as a citizen and taxpayer, assails the constitutionality of the creation of the Preparatory Commission on Constitutional Reform (PCCR) and of the positions of presidential consultants, advisers and assistants. The PCCR was created by Pres. Estrada by virtue of EO 43 in order to study and recommend proposed amendments and/or revisions to the Constitution, and the manner of implementing them.

The SC held that the petition was moot and academic. As the questioned commission had been dissolved, it was impossible to grant the relief prayed for by the petitioner. The Court could no longer enjoin a body that no longer existed from acting. Any ruling regarding the matter would simply be in the nature of an advisory opinion and definitely beyond the permissible scope of judicial power.

Political Question Doctrine


Avelino v. Cuenco, supra, under Internal Government of Congress: Quorum

The court did not have jurisdiction over the petition. Due to the separation of powers, the political nature of the controversy and the Constitution giving the Senate the power to elect its own President, the judiciary cannot interfere with or take over the matter. The remedy lies with the Senate and not with the Court.

Miranda v. Aguirre (1999)

RA 7720 effected the conversion of the municipality of Santiago, Isabela, into an independent component city. RA 7720 was approved by the people of Santiago in a plebiscite. In 1998, RA 8528 amended RA No. 7720 to the effect that the City of Santiago was downgraded from an independent component city to a component city. Miranda, et al., assail the constitutionality of RA No. 8528 for the lack of provision to submit the law for the approval of the people of Santiago in a proper plebiscite. On the threshold issue of whether or not the case involved a political question, the Court upheld its jurisdiction. Questions of whether laws passed by Congress complied with the requirements of the constitution posed a question only the Court could decide.

A political question connotes a question of policy and referred to those questions which under the constitution were


to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity or


in regard to which full discretionary authority had been delegated to the legislative/executive branch of government.

Political questions are concerned with issues on the wisdom and not legality of a particular measure. Additionally, a political question has no standards by which its legality or constitutionality could be determined. A purely justiciable issue implied a given right, legally demandable and enforceable, an act or omission violative of such right and a remedy granted and sanctioned by law for said breach of right.

Safeguards of Judicial Independence

a. Fiscal autonomy Art. VIII, Sec. 3













previous year


Appropriations will be automatically and regularly released.


b. Report on the judiciary Art. VIII, Sec. 16

c. Automatic release of appropriation for the judiciary Art. VIII, Sec. 3


Judicial Restraint

Appointments to the Judiciary

Supreme Court En banc and division cases Procedural Rule-making Administrative Supervision over Lower Courts

Maceda v. Vasquez (1993)

Bonifacio Maceda falsified his certificate of service saying he had submitted the decisions for all his civil and criminal cases, when he had not submitted anything. His clerk reported him to the Ombudsman.

The Court ruled that the Ombudsman had no jurisdiction over the matter. Judges are liable under the Supreme Court, not the Ombudsman. Only the SC can oversee judgescompliance with the law and take proper administrative action.

In re Demetria (2001)

Judge Demetria had been trying to intercede on behalf of drug queen Yu Yuk Lai. The Supreme Court ruled that the evidence against Demetria proved her guilty. However, it is up to the SC to implement the proper administrative actions.

Original and Appellate Jurisdiction


Constitutional Safeguards to Ensure Independence of Commissions

Macalintal v. COMELEC (2003)

The constitutionality of RA 9189 (The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003) was challenged. The controversial provisions were:


Sec 5: allowed immigrants to register by executing affidavit expressing intent to return

Constitutional. Does not violate Art. V, Sec. 1 (Residency Rule). Rather, it enfranchises Filipinos abroad domiciled in the Philippines.


Sec 18.5: empowered COMELEC to proclaim winning candidates

Unconstitutional. Violates Art. VII, Sec. 4; winning candidates for President and VP are to be proclaimed by Congress.


Sec 25: allowed Congress, through oversight committee, to review, revise, amend and approve IRR of COMELEC.


Unconstitutional. Violates Art. IX-A, Sec. 1, on COMELEC independence. Congress may not intrude into the jurisdiction of the COMELEC by exercising supervisory powers.

Brillantes v. Yorac (1990)

Yorac, as Associate COMELEC Chairman, was appointed by the President as Chairman of the COMELEC. Brillantes challenged Yorac’s appointment for being contrary to Article IX-C, Sec. 1(2) of 1987 Constitution, where "(I)n no case shall any Member (of the Commission on Elections) be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity."

The SC agreed. The appointment was unconstitutional. Article IX-A, Sec. 1 provides for the independence of ConCom from the executive department.

Powers and Functions of Each Commission

Prohibited Offices and Interests

Flores v. Drilon, supra.

i. Standardization of pay and ban on double compensation

ii. Ban on partisan political activities

iii. Removal or suspension only for a cause

iv. Right to self-organization

v. Right to strike: Government employees, including members of the CSC, do not have the right to strike.

Jurisdiction of each Constitutional Commission

Tan v. COMELEC (2003)

Tan was designated by COMELEC as Vice-Chairman of the City Board of Canvassers in Davao for the May 1992 synchronized national and local elections conformably with provisions of Section 20 (a) of Republic Act 6646 and Section 221 (b) of the Omnibus Election Code. Manuel Garcia was proclaimed Congressman of 2 nd Dist. Davao.

Alterado filed a number of cases questioning the validity of the proclamation, including an administrative charge against the Board of Canvassers and Tan for “Misconduct, Neglect of Duty, Gross Incompetence, and Acts Inimical to the Service”, before the COMELEC.

On petition for review, the SC upheld the COMELEC’s jurisdiction over the administrative case. COMELEC’s authority under Article IX, Sec. 2(6-8) of 1987 Constitution is all-encompassing when it comes to election matters. The administrative case is related to the performance of his duties as Election canvasser, not as a City Prosecutor. COMELEC’s mandate includes the authority to exercise direct and


immediate suspension and control over national and local officials or employees, including members of any national and local law enforcement agency and instrumentality of the government, required by law to perform duties relative to the conduct of elections.

Daza v. Singson (1989)

The Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) was reorganized resulting in a political realignment in the lower house. LDP also changed its representation in the Commission on Appointments. They withdrew the seat occupied by Daza (LDP member) and gave it to the new LDP member. Thereafter the chamber elected a new set of representatives in the CoA which consisted of the original members except Daza who was replaced by Singson. Daza questioned such replacement on the ground that the LDP’s reorganization was not permanent and stable.

The SC disagreed. The LDP has been existing for more than one year and its members include the Philippine President, and its internal disagreements are expected in any political organization in a democracy. The test that the party must survive a general congressional election was never laid down in jurisprudence. The Court ruled in favor of the authority of the House to change its representation in the CoA to reflect at any time the permanent changes and not merely temporary alliances or factional divisions without severance of loyalties/formal disaffiliation that may transpire in the political alignments of its members.

Guingona v. Gonzales (1992)

After the 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 fulfil the requirement that each party must have a 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 result of the computation under that formula was that 7.5 members for LDP, 2.5 members for NPC, 1.5 members for LAKAS-NUCD, and 0.5 member for LP- PDP-LABAN would be part of the COA. Romulo, as the majority floor leader, nominated 8 senators from their party; he rounded 7.5 up to 8; and decided that Taňada from LP-PDP-LABAN should represent the same party in the CoA. Guingona, a member of LAKAS-NUCD, opposed the said compromise. He alleged that the compromise is against proportional representation.

The SC agreed that the proposed membership was unconstitutional. The proposed scheme does not comply with the requirement that 12 senators be elected on the basis of proportional representation of the political parties in the Senate; to disturb the resulting fractional membership of political parties in the CoA by adding together 2 halves to make a whole is a breach of the rule on proportional representation since it gave the LDP an added member by utilizing the fractional membership of the minority political party, which is deprived of ½ representation.

Instead, the correct rule is that in Coseteng v. Mitraa political party must have at least 2 senators in the Senate to have a CoA representative.


Review of final orders, resolutions and decisions

2. In the exercise of quasi-judicial functions

3. In the exercise of administrative functions


A. Fundamental powers of the state (police power, eminent domain, taxation)

1. Concept, application and limits

2. Requisites for valid exercise

3. Similarities and differences

Due process v. eminent domain

Churchill v. Rafferty (1915) Act 2339 authorized the CIR to remove any sign or billboard that is offensive to the sight or otherwise a nuisance, and collect an annual tax of P4 per sqm. The SC upheld the provisions because what was being regulated was the use of public thoroughfares, and the police power measure validly protected the comfort and convenience of the public, particularly the prevention of nuisance due to billboards which were offensive to the sight. Thus, what was involved here was not taking that would require just compensation, but regulation in accordance with due process.

U.S. v. Toribio (1905) Toribio was charged for violation of Act no. 1147, because he had a carabao slaughtered for human consumption. He claimed that the act constituted taking without just compensation. The court held that it was not taking for public use in the concept of eminent domain, but rather taking in the exercise of the State’s police power.




Private acts and the Bill of Rights


Due process the rights to life, liberty & property


Relativity of due process


Procedural and substantive due process


Banco Español-Filipino v. Palanca (1918) Engracio Palanca was indebted to El Banco and he had his parcel of land as security for his debt. Palanca left for China and never returned until he died. As Palanca was a non-resident, El Banco had to notify Engracio about the suit for the foreclosure of his property by publication. The lower court eventually allowed Banco to execute upon the property. 7 years later, Vicente surfaced on behalf of Engracio as his administrator to petition for the annulment of the ruling. Vicente averred that there had been no due process as Engracio never received the summons. The SC ruled against Palanca, holding that the requisites for judicial due process had been met. The requisites are:

1. There must be an impartial court or tribunal clothed with judicial power to hear and decide the matter before it

2. Jurisdiction must be lawfully acquired over the person of the defendant or over the property subject of the proceedings.


4. Judgment must be rendered only after lawful hearing.

Ang Tibay v. CIR (1940) Ang Tibay laid off workers belonging to the NLU. NLU protested this alleged unfair labor practice to the CIR, which ruled in its favor despite the lack of evidence. The SC in the instant case remanded the case to the CIR for a new trial, finding that the NLU may have been deprived of some primary rights when it tried

to prove its case before the CIR. This case is considered to have codified the 7 elements of Administrative Due Process, namely:

1. Hearing

2. Tribunal must have considered evidence presented.

3. Decision must find support in evidence.

4. Evidence must be substantial.

5. Decision must be rendered based on evidence presented at the hearing.

6. Administrative agency must act on its own opinion on the law and facts of the controversy, and

7. The decision must be made in such a manner that the parties know the issues involved and the reasons behind the decision made.

De Bisschop v. Galang (1963) Bisschop, an American citizen was allowed to stay in the Philippines for 3 years, until August 1, 1959. His application for extension of stay was decided by the Board of Commissioners, which ordered him to depart within 5 days. No decision was promulgated. The CFI ordered Commissioner Galang to desist and refrain from arresting and deporting Bisschop, until proper and legal proceedings are conducted by the Board in connection with his application for extension of stay. The SC overturned the CFI. A day in court is not a matter of right in administrative proceedings. In certain administrative proceedings, the right to notice and hearing are not essential to due process of law.

David v. Aquilizan (1979) David had a large parcel of land in Polomolok, Cotabato, which he left in the care of Felomeno and Ricardo Jugar. David later withdrew the land from the brothers and has not allowed them to return. Justice Aquilizan handled the case filed by the brothers against David. He rendered a decision in favor of the brothers without any hearing. J Aquilizan admitted that there was indeed no hearing conducted but he said the decision has already become final and executory as the period for appeal has already lapsed. The SC ruled in favor of David. A decision rendered without a hearing is null and void and may be attacked directly or collaterally. The decision is null and void for want of due process. And it has been held that a final and executory judgment may be set aside with a view to the renewal of the litigation when the judgment is void for lack of due process of law. In legal contemplation, it is as if no judgment has been rendered at all.

Tañada v. Tuvera, supra. There can be no finding of a violation of a law if the law has not been published, as that would be violative of procedural due process.

People v. Pomar (1924) An act was enacted by Congress, providing that employers should grant pregnant female employees maternity leave. Pomar allowed his employee to take a vacation for her delivery but refused to pay her the wages during such period. The SC held the pertinent provisions of the Act unconstitutional for infringing on one’s right to contract.


The constitution of the Philippine Islands guarantees to every citizen his liberty and one of his liberties is the liberty to contract. The law would deprive Pomar and all other entities employing women of the said liberty, without due process of law.

Rubi v. Provincial Board of Mindoro (1919) Rubi filed a petition for habeas corpus after he and the rest of the Mangyans of Mindoro were relocated by the Government. The SC did not grant the petition. It held that the relocation of non-Christians was a valid exercise of the police power.

NDC and AGRIX v. Phil. Veterans (1990) PVB attempted to foreclose a mortgage of Agrix, but the latter company invoked PD1717, rehabilitating Agrix and declaring all its obligations cancelled and its mortgages extinguished. The SC struck down the PD. There was not a sufficient public interest involved. The cancellation of the obligations was violative of due process, because it extinguished property rights and impaired contracts.

Balacuit v. CFI, 163 SCRA 182 (2 Bernas 41) C2 (1988) The Municipal Board of Butuan City issued Ordinance 640 to address the complaint of parents that it is too financially burdensome for them to pay the full admission price for their children. The Ordinance provided that admission tickets for movies, public exhibitions, games, contests, and other performances, should be sold at half the price for children between 7 and 12 years of age. Violators would be penalized with imprisonment and/or a fine. The SC ruled that Ordinance 640 is an invalid exercise of police power and, as a consequence, it violates the due process clause of the constitution. A valid exercise of police power requires that it should be for (a.) the public’s interest, (b.) the means employed should be reasonable and it should not be oppressive. Here, the court did not find a tangible link between the ordinance and the promotion of public health, security, morals, or welfare. Furthermore, the means employed were judged to be unfair since they

unjustly prejudice the affected businesses by restraining their right to trade and even violating their right

to enter into contracts.

Agustin v. Edu, supra. The proposed measure to compel each vehicle to supply reflective safety devise is a valid exercise of police power, it having been issued in order to protect public safety.

Ople v. Torres, supra. The proposed national ID system violates the right to privacy of each individual, as it does not safeguard the information therein contained.

White Light Corporation v. City of Manila, supra. The prohibition against quick-time stays in hotels is unconstitutional, being violative of due process and

the right to privacy. While upholding morals is a valid state purpose, there are other purposes for renting

a hotel for less than 5 hours. As an unreasonable means towards a valid end, the ordinance is unconstitutional and void.

3. Constitutional and statutory due process

4. Hierarchy of rights

PBMEA v. PBM (1993) The Philippine Blooming Mills Employees’ Organization carried out a mass demonstration at Malacañang on March 4, 1969 in protest against alleged abuses of the Pasig police department, against the wishes of


the PBM management. PBMEO was found guilty of bargaining in bad faith and its officers were ordered to be dismissed. The SC did not agree. The demonstration was not a strike; it was an exercise of their rights to “engage in

mutual aid or protection." Thus, the company’s action constituted as

interference to their right to engage in concerted activity. While it is true that PBM’s right to property

concerted activities for

was infringe, such rights must be weighed against the human rights of the workers. In the hierarchy of rights, human rights outweigh mere property rights.

5. Judicial standards of review

6. Void-for-vagueness doctrine

D. Equal protection

People v. Vera (1937) Cu Unjieng applied for probation after being convicted by the trial court in Manila. Judge Tuason of the Manila CFI directed the appeal to the Insular Probation Office (IPO). The IPO denied the application. However, Judge Vera upon another request by Cu Unjieng allowed the petition to be set for hearing. The City Prosecutor countered alleging that Vera has no power to place Cu Unjieng under probation because it is in violation of Sec. 11 of Act No. 4221 which granted provincial boards the power to provide a system of probation to convicted persons. Nowhere in the law is it stated that the law is applicable to a city like Manila. The SC struck down the law for being unconstitutional. The provincial boards are given absolute discretion which is violative of the Constitution and the doctrine of the nondelegability of power. Further, it is a violation of equal protection provided for in the Constitution. The challenged section of Act No. 4221 means that only provinces that can provide appropriation for a probation officer may have a system of probation within their locality. This would mean that convicts in provinces where no probation officer is instituted may not avail of their right to probation.

Ormoc Sugar Company, Inc. v. Treasurer of Ormoc City (1968) The Municipal Board of Ormoc City passed Ordinance No. 4 imposing “on any and all productions of centrifugal sugar milled at the Ormoc Sugar Company, Inc., in Ormoc City a municipal tax equivalent to one per centum (1%) per export sale to USA and other foreign countries.” Payments for said tax were made, under protest, by Ormoc Sugar Company, Inc. The company filed before the CFI of Leyte a complaint against the City of Ormoc as well as its Treasurer, Municipal Board and Mayor alleging that the ordinance is unconstitutional for being violative of the equal protection clause and the rule of uniformity of taxation. The SC ruled that the ordinance was unconstitutional. The equal protection clause applies only to persons or things identically situated and does not bar a reasonable classification of the subject of legislation, subject to the Cayat requisites. A perusal of the requisites shows that the questioned ordinance does not meet them, for it taxes only centrifugal sugar produced and exported by the Ormoc Sugar Company, Inc. and none other. The taxing ordinance should not be singular and exclusive as to exclude any subsequently established sugar central for the coverage of the tax.

People v. Cayat (1939)

Cayat was fined for possessing A-1-1 gin in contravention of the statute prohibiting non-Christian tribes from possessing liquors aside from native wines and liquors. He challenged the statute on the ground of violation of equal protection. The SC held Act constitutional, as there was a valid distinction. This case laid down the classic requisites for reasonable classification, namely

1. It must rest on substantial distinctions which make real differences,


3. It must not be limited to existing conditions only, and

4. It must apply equally to all members of the same class.

International School Alliance v. Quisumbing (2000)

A group of local hired teachers working at the International School of Manila claim that the fact that they

are paid less than their foreign hired counterparts violates equal protection. The SC agreed, not on the ground that local hires and foreign hires should be treated similarly, in fact holding that the foreign hired

teachers were part of a different bargaining unit, but because it upheld the principle of “equal pay for equal work” as enshrined in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

1. Concept

2. Requisites for valid classification

3. Standards of judicial review

a) Rational Basis Test

b) Strict Scrutiny Test

c) Intermediate Scrutiny Test

E. Searches and seizures

People v. Malmstedt (1991) Malmstedt (defendant) entered the Philippines in 1988. In 7 May 1989, defendant went to Baguio and the following day, went to Sagada and stayed there for 2 days. The NARCOM set up checkpoints near Sagada. Information was received that a Caucasian coming from Sagada had in his possession prohibited drugs. Malmstedt’s bus was stopped and NARCOM members conducted inspection. CIC Galutan noticed a bulge on defendant’s waist and suspecting that it was a gun, he asked for defendant’s passport and other documents but the latter failed to comply. Thereupon, Galutan ordered defendant to bring out whatever

it was that was bulging on his waist. It turned out to be a pouch bag, which contained 4 suspicious-

looking objects wrapped in brown packing tape. The wrapped object contained hashish, a derivative of marijuana. Malmstedy was thus convicted for a violation of Dangerous Drug Act of 1972. The SC upheld the search

and the conviction. There was sufficient probable cause for said officers to believe that accused was then and there committing a crime, arising from a) persistent reports of drugs being transported from Sagada,

b) information that a Caucasian coming from Sagada on that day had drugs, and c) there was a bulge on

the waist of defendant and he failed to present his passport. Malmstedt, at the time of the arrest, was actually in possession of illegal drugs, and thus caught in flagrante delicto. As there was a valid warrantless arrest, there was a lawful search even without a search warrant.

People v. CFI (1980) One week before February 9, 1974, an undisclosed informer told RASAC (Regional Anti-Smuggling Action Center) that dutiable (taxable) goods will be transported from Angeles to Manila in a Blue Dodge car. As a result of the information thus gathered, 4,441 wristwatches and 1,075 bracelets of assorted brands were found in the car. Eventually, Hope and Medina were found guilty of smuggling. On appeal, the SC upheld the warrantless search. The Tariff and Customs Code grants persons duly commissioned to do warrantless searches if there is reason to suspect that the code being violated (i.e. suspecting the existence of smuggled items). The fact that the search was made of a moving vehicle justified the finding of probable cause all the more.

Roan v. Gonzales (1986) Roan claimed to have been a victim of an illegal search and seizure conducted by military authorities, evidence acquired thereby being used as evidence in his case for illegal possession of firearms. While a


warrant was issued, none of the articles in the warrant were found. Rather, a Colt Magnum and 18 live bullets were found, which are now the bases of the charges against Roan. The warrant was void for absence of examination of the applicant. Even consent to the search cannot cure the invalidity of the warrant. As a result, the evidence gathered thereby is inadmissible. The plain view rule does not apply here. The weapon did not just appear. It was searched for by the authorities.

Valmonte v. Villa (1989) On 20 January 1987, the National Capital Region District Command (NCRDC) was activated pursuant to Letter of Instruction (LOI) 02/87 of the Philippine General Headquarters, AFP. As part of its duty to maintain peace and order, the NCRDC installed checkpoints in various parts of Valenzuela, Metro Manila. Valmonte et al. sought the declaration of checkpoints in Valenzuela, Metro Manila and elsewhere as unconstitutional. The SC upheld the LOI. Not all searches and seizures are prohibited. Those which are reasonable are not forbidden. A reasonable search is not to be determined by any fixed formula but is to be resolved according to the facts of each case. The setting up of the questioned checkpoints in Valenzuela may be considered as a security measure to enable the NCRDC to pursue its mission of establishing effective territorial defense and maintaining peace and order for the benefit of the public. Between the inherent right of the state to protect its existence and promote public welfare and an individual's right against a warrantless search which is however reasonably conducted, the former should prevail.

Aniag v. COMELEC (1994) In preparation for the 1992 national elections, COMELEC issued a resolution ordering a gun ban and the summary disqualification of candidates found to be engaged in gunrunning, using/transporting firearms, etc. Due to this, petitioner was asked by the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Reps to surrender the firearms issued to him by such office. Petitioner ordered his driver, Arellano, to deliver the firearms to the Batasan Complex. However, the PNP already set up a check-point about 20 meters from the Batasan entry. The car was searched, the firearms seized and Arellano was detained (but later released for his meritorious sworn explanation. Petitioner Congressman then went to the Office of the City Prosecutor to explain that the driver was just returning the firearms and that Arellano was neither a bodyguard/security officer. However, COMELEC still ordered the filing of Information against petitioner and his driver. The SC ruled that the search and seizure was invalid. It may be valid even if not authorized by authority, provided that the “search conducted at police or military checkpoints which we declared are not illegal per se, and stressed that the warrantless search is not violative of the Constitution for as long as the vehicle is neither searched nor its occupants subjected to a body search, and the inspection of the vehicle is merely limited to a visual search.” Also, a warrantless search could only be resorted to if the officers have probable cause to believe BEFORE the search that either 1) the motorist was an offender or that 2) the evidence related to the crime will be found in the vehicle searched.



Guazon v. De Villa (1990) Guazon and the other petitioners claimed to be victims of “saturation drives” held by the military and police. The SC held that the saturation drives were unconstitutional, for having infringed on the right of the people against unreasonable searches and seizures. 2. Warrant requirement a) Requisites


PICOP v. Asuncion (1999) A raid was conducted on the PICOP compound, pursuant to a search warrant for that purpose. The raid yielded several illegally possessed firearms, and resulted in the conviction of various officers of PICOP for possession of illegal firearms. However, the SC found the issuance of the search warrant invalid, because the judge did not personally examine the complainant and other deponents, and the policeman who testified during the hearing had no personal knowledge that there were illegal firearms, and the warrants failed to describe the place to be searched with particularity.

3. Warrantless searches

Manalili v. CA (1997) Manalili was charged with Illegal Possession of marijuana. He was arrested after being stopped and frisked, because he had reddish eyes and was walking in a swaying manner. He was convicted. Ruling on the validity of his arrest due to “stop-and-frisk,” the SC upheld the arrest. When dealing with a rapidly unfolding and potentially criminal situation where there is no time to secure an arrest or a search warrant, policemen should employ limited, flexible responses like "stop-and-frisk" which are graduated in relation to the amount of information they possess, the lawmen being ever vigilant to respect and not to violate or to treat cavalierly the citizen's constitutional rights against unreasonable arrest, search and seizure.

People v. Marti (1991) Marti was convicted of possession of marijuana. The marijuana had been found by the proprietor of a shipping company where he attempted to have 4 packages of marijuana delivered abroad. The proprietor opened the packages, leading Marti to challenge the search as illegal. However, the SC upheld the conviction. The bill of rights, particularly the prohibition against warrantless searches does not bind parties other than the government.

Stonehill v. Diokno (1967) 42 search warrants were issued, ordering police officers to search for documents, articles, etc, which

could be used to violate the laws. The evidence found via the searches led to convictions for violations of Custom Laws, Tax Laws, and the Revised Penal Codes. The SC ruled that the warrants, being general warrants, were void.

4. Warrantless arrests

Umil v. Ramos (1990) The petitioners were arrested for various offenses without warrants. They all filed petitions for habeas corpus. The SC denied the petitions. All the petitioners were arrested for continuing offenses like rebellion or inciting to sedition. Thus, an arrest of an NPA member while being treated for injuries at hospital was valid even without a warrant, as the offense of rebellion continued to be committed. The arrest was thus in flagrante delicto.

People v. Chua Ho San (1999) Chua Ho San was convicted of possession of shabu. He was arrested after landing on the shore in a motorboat. Upon landing, he fled the scene until the police caught him. He was searched and a bag containing 28.7 kg of shabu was found on his person. The SC acquitted Chua, ruling that while a valid warrantless search may follow as a consequence of a valid warrantless arrest, here, the warrantless arrest, not being based on probable cause that an offense was committed, was void. As a result, the search and seizure was also void, and the bag of shabu was inadmissible as evidence.


People v. Aminnudin (1988) The PC officers received a tip from an informant that Aminnudin was bound for Iloilo onboard MV WILCOM 9 carrying marijuana. Aminnudin was searched and arrested after disembarking from the vessel. The PC officers found 3 kilos of marijuana in his bag. He was charged and found guilty of illegally transporting marijuana by the CFI of Iloilo. The decision was appealed to the SC. The SC ruled that there was no valid search and arrest so the evidence against him was inadmissible. He was acquitted.

People v. Burgos (1986) Ruben Burgos was convicted by the Davao del Sur RTC for Illegal Possession of Firearms in Furtherance of Subversion. He was arrested while plowing his field. The Philippine Constabulary did not have a warrant. They based their operation on the sole testimony of Cesar Masamlok who allegedly was coerced by accused to join the NPA using his gun. The SC ruled that the arrest and subsequent search was illegal

because it did not fall under the warrantless arrests covered by Rule 113, Sec. 6. Personal knowledge on the part of the arresting officer is important. Applying the Stonehill doctrine, the evidence was inadmissible. Burgos was thus acquitted.


Administrative arrests


Drug, alcohol and blood tests


Privacy of communications and correspondence


Private and public communications


Intrusion, when allowed


Writ of habeas data


Freedom of expression

1. Concept and scope

People v. Nabong (1932) Nabong gave a speech to a gathering of communists, saying that they should overthrow the government, establish their own government of the poor and that they should use whips on the Constabulary men, whom he accused of being corrupt. The SC ruled that Nabong’s language advocated an overthrow of the government through violent means, and was therefore seditious.

National Press Club v. COMELEC (1992) Three cases were filed, in the hopes of rendering void Section 11 of the RA 6646 or the Electoral Reforms Act, which prohibits the sale or donation of print, space and air time "for campaign or other political purposes," except to the Commission on Elections, on the ground of violation of the freedom of the press. The SC held that since the said section does not restrict news reporting by the mass media companies, nor does it reach commentaries and opinions of broadcasters and writers, the petition must be dismissed. The controversial provision has not gone outside the permissible bounds of supervision or regulation of media operations during election periods, which is granted to the COMELEC by the Constitution under Art. IX-C.

Adiong v. COMELEC (1992) COMELEC Resolution No. 2347 was promulgated providing that campaign materials (stickers, printed materials, decals, leaflets etc.) may be posted only in authorized posting areas, as well as prohibiting the display of election propaganda in any place including mobile or stationary private/public places, except those in the allowable areas. The SC declared the resolution void on the ground that the prohibition of posting of stickers and other materials on an individual’s property does not only deprive the said individual from the use of his property (since the owner is not allowed to place campaign materials on his property) but also


deprives him of his right to free speech and information, since posting/placing such material or property expresses his political views or the candidates he believes in.

US v. Bustos (1918) In the latter part of 1915, numerous citizens of the Province of Pampanga assembled, then prepared and signed a petition to the Executive Secretary, and five individuals signed affidavits, charging the justice of the peace of Macabebe and Masantol, Pampanga, with malfeasance in office and asking for his removal. The complainants charged that the justice of the peace solicited bribe money in consideration of favorable decisions. Criminal action was filed against the petitioners, charging that portions of the petition presented to the Executive Secretary were libelous. The SC acquitted Bustos et al. Express malice was not proved by the prosecution. Good faith surrounded the action of the petitioners. Their ends and motives were justifiable. The guaranties of a free speech and a free press include the right to criticize judicial conduct. The administration of the law is a matter of vital public concern. Whether the law is wisely or badly enforced is, therefore, a fit subject for proper comment. If the people cannot criticize a justice of the peace or a judge the same as any other public officer, public opinion will be effectively muzzled.

In Re: Jurado (1995) Emil Jurado is a columnist-lawyer who wrote several articles about improper transactions in the judiciary. CJ Narvasa issued an administrative order creating an ad hoc committee to investigate corruption in the judiciary. Jurado was one of those invited to appear before the committee and to testify as to his knowledge as he had a lot to say about the topic in his columns. He refused. Some of the subjects of his writings also wrote to the SC saying that what he wrote were lies and asked the Court to take appropriate action.

Doctrine: False reports about a public official or other person are not shielded from sanction by the cardinal right to free speech enshrined in the Constitution. Even the most liberal view of free speech has never countenanced the publication of falsehoods, specially the persistent and unmitigated dissemination of patent lies.

a) Prior restraint (censorship)

Franciso Chavez v. Secretary Raul Gonzalez (2008) After the 2004 National Elections, a controversy came out after cassette tapes that allegedly recorded conversations involving PGMA and Garcillano went on air. Given that such conversations were being aired all over broadcast media, Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye and the NTC, on separate occasions, issued warnings against broadcast companies to stop airing such information. Chavez asked that such warnings be declared null and void for violating freedom of speech, expression, and the press. The Court agreed with the petitioner given that the warnings, which were content-based restrictions, failed to pass the strict scrutiny standard and the clear and present danger test. The evidence of the respondents fell short of satisfying such standards required.

People v. Perez (1923) Perez, the municipal secretary of Pilar, Sorsogon, met with Ludovice, and during their discussion said “The Filipinos, like myself, must use bolos for cutting off Wood's head for having recommended a bad thing for the Filipinos, for he has killed our independence." Leonard Wood was the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands. He was convicted of sedition. The SC upheld the conviction. A seditious attack on the Governor-General is an attack on the rights of the Filipino people and on American sovereignty. Perez’s words were seditious. Criticism, no matter how


severe, on the Executive, the Legislature, and the Judiciary, is within the range of liberty of speech, but when the intention and effect of the act is seditious, the constitutional guaranties of freedom of speech and press and of assembly and petition must yield to punitive measures designed to maintain the prestige of constituted authority, the supremacy of the Constitution and the laws, and the existence of the State.

Eastern Broadcasting v. Dans (1985) Radio station DYRE, owned by Eastern Broadcasting, filed a petition to compel the respondents to reopen

the station after it was summarily closed on grounds of national security. It was allegedly closed on the charge that it was used to incite sedition. No hearing was held and no proof was submitted to establish the factual basis for closure. While the case became moot and academic upon the withdrawal of EBC, the SC issued certain guidelines for similar circumstances:

1. The seven requisites of administrative proceedings in Ang Tibay v. CIR should be followed before a broadcast station is closed or its operations curtailed.

2. While there is no controlling and precise definition of due process, it furnishes an unavoidable standard to which government action must conform in order that any deprivation of life, liberty, or property, in each appropriate case, may be valid.

3. Media is entitled to the broad protection of freedom of speech and expression clause. The test for limitations on freedom of expression is the “clear and present danger rule” – that words are used in such circumstances and are of such nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that the lawmaker has a right to prevent.

4. Broadcasting has to be licensed. The freedom of television and radio broadcasting is somewhat lesser in scope than print media. This is because (1) broadcast media is more pervasive, and (2) easily accessible to children. Because of its pervasiveness, the impact of inflammatory or offensive speech on people would be difficult to monitor or predict. “Unlike readers of the printed work, the radio (and television) audience has lesser opportunity to cogitate, analyze, and reject the utterance.

5. The clear and present danger test must take the particular circumstance of broadcast media into account. There has to be a balance between the government’s right to be protected against broadcasts which incite listeners to overthrow it, and the people’s right to be informed.

6. The freedom to comment on public affairs is essential to the vitality of a representative democracy.

7. Broadcast stations deserve the special protection given to all forms of media by the due process and freedom of expression clauses of the Constitution. (Sec. 1 and Sec. 4, Art. III).

SWS v. COMELEC (2001) SWS and Kamahalan Publishing seek to enjoin COMELEC from enforcing Sec. 5.4 of RA 9006 (Fair Election Act) which prohibits the publishing of election surveys 15 days before the election of national

candidates and 7 days before the election of local candidates. The petitioners wish to publish surveys covering the entire election period and argue that the resolution violates their right to free speech and expression. The SC held that the resolution is invalid as because (1) it imposes a prior restraint on the freedom of expression, (2) it is a direct and total suppression of a category of expression even though such suppression is only for a limited period, and that (3) the governmental interest sought to be promoted can be achieved by means other than suppression of freedom of expression.

b) Subsequent punishment

2. Content-based and content-neutral regulations

a) Tests

b) Applications


Osme ñ a v. COMELEC (1998) This is a petition for prohibition, seeking a reexamination of the validity of §11(b) of RA No. 6646, which prohibits mass media from selling or giving free of charge print space or airtime for campaign or other political purposes, except to the COMELEC. Petitioners are candidates for public office in the upcoming elections, who contend that the events after NPC v. Comelec have shown undesirable effects because the ban on political ads has failed to level the playing field and has worked against poor candidates. The SC ruled that RA 6646 is a valid exercise of the power of the state to regulate media of communication to ensure equal opportunity. It merely regulates the time, place and manner of advertising of political ads and it does not abridge freedom of speech and of the press.

Policarpio v. Manila Times (1962) Policarpio, executive secretary of the UNESCO National Commission, was charged with malversation of public funds and estafa through falsification of public documents. The Manila Times ran a story exaggerating the charges against her. The Manila Times claimed immunity because of the freedom of the press. The SC ruled that damages should be awarded to Policarpio. The freedom of speech and press immunity presuppose that the derogatory information they publish are both true and fair and made in good faith, without comments or remarks.

Ayer Productions v. Judge Capulong (1990) Ayer Productions wanted to make a film about the EDSA Revolution titled “The Four-Day Revolution.” Sen. Enrile did not want to appear in the movie and sought to have the continued production enjoined. The SC did not grant the injunction. The subject matter of the film is of public interest. Even the right of privacy must yield to the freedom of expression, notwithstanding the fact that the film was made primarily for profit.

Gonzalez v. Kalaw Katigbak (1985) Gonzalez, on behalf of Malaya Films, assails the Board’s classification of their production Kapit sa Patalim as “For Adults Only” and its resolution to issue a permit only if the petitioner makes certain changes and deletions. It was held that the Board did not commit any grave abuse of discretion because its resolution was supported by the fact that a number of scenes in the movie are not fit for public viewing. Hence the Court restated the test to determine obscenity: Whether to the average person, applying contemporary community standards, the dominant theme of the material taken as a whole appeals to prurient interest.

Pita v. CA (1989) Pursuant to an Anti-Smut Campaign initiated by the Mayor of the City of Manila, magazines, publications and other reading materials, including Pita’s “Pinoy Playboy” magazines, believed to be obscene, pornographic and indecent were confiscated and burned in public. Pita thus filed a case for injunction to enjoin the City Mayor and his agents from confiscating plaintiff’s magazines or from preventing the sale or circulation thereof claiming that the magazine is a decent, artistic and educational magazine which is not per se obscene, and that the publication is protected by the Constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and of the press. The SC dismissed the petition. Freedom of the press is not without restraint as the state has the right to protect society from pornographic literature that is offensive to public morals, as indeed we have laws punishing the author, publishers and sellers of obscene publications. Using the Kottinger rule, the test of obscenity is "whether the tendency of the matter charged as obscene, is to deprave or corrupt those whose minds are open to such immoral influences and into whose hands a publication or other article charged as being obscene may fall." Another is whether it shocks the ordinary and common sense of men as an indecency. Ultimately "whether a picture is obscene or indecent must depend upon the


circumstances of the case and that the question is to be decided by the "judgment of the aggregate sense of the community reached by it."

3. Facial challenges and the overbreadth doctrine

4. Tests

5. State regulation of different types of mass media

6. Commercial speech

7. Private vs. government speech

8. Heckler’s veto

H. Freedom of religion

1. Non-establishment clause

Aglipay v. Ruiz (1937) Gregorio Aglipay, the Supreme Head of the Philippine Independent Church, filed for a writ of prohibition against Juan Ruiz, Director of Posts, to stop him from selling postage stamps which commemorated the 33rd International Eucharistic Congress organized by the Catholic Church in Manila. Petitioner alleges

that this violates the Constitutional provision prohibiting the use of public money for the benefit of any religious denomination. The Court denied the petition. The Director of Posts acted by virtue of Act No.

4052 which appropriated 60,000 pesos for the cost of printing of stamps with new designs. The stamps

themselves featured a map of the Philippines. The government’s goal was to promote the Philippines. There was no religious goal. The proceeds of the sale of the stamps also went to the government and not to any church.

Centeno v. Villalon-Pornillos (1994) The officers of a civic organizationSamahang Katandaan ng Nayon ng Tikaylaunched a fund drive to renovate the chapel of Bgy Tikay in Malolos, Bulacan. Chairman Martin Centeno and Vicente Yco approached Judge Adoracion G. Angeles and solicited P1500 from her. This was done without a license from the DSWD. Angeles filed a complaint, and because of that, an information was filed against Centeno, Yco, and Religio Evaristo for violating Presidential Decree 1564, or the Solicitation Permit Law. On the infringement of religious freedoms, the SC discussed the dual nature of legislation on the subject of religion. On the one hand, it prevents the compulsion by law of the acceptance of any creed. On the other, it protects the free exercise of any chosen form of religion. Thus, there are two constitutional freedoms regarding religionthe freedom to believe and the freedom to act on the basis of one’s belief. While the former is absolute, the latter can be subject to regulation for the protection of society. In this case, the state may protect the public from fraudulent solicitation by requiring those who solicit to establish identity and authority to solicit. Even though the regulation resulting from such a policy may infringe religious acts, it is not invalid because the general regulation protecting citizens from unjust solicitation is not open to any constitutional objection.

Victoriano v. Elizalde Rope Workers’ Union (1974) Victoriano is a member of Iglesia ni Cristo who is an employee at the Elizalde Rope Factory, and a member of the Elizalde Rope Workers’ Union. The company and the union are in a closed shop agreement where all employees must be a member of the collective bargaining union in order to maintain

employment. RA 3350 was passed which states that CBAs shall no longer cover members of any religious sects which prohibit affiliation in any labor organization. The union assails the constitutionality of RA

3350 because it infringes on the right of association, impairs contracts and discriminates in favor of such

members of religious sects. The Court upheld the constitutionality of RA 3350 because (1) the Union misread the law, which actually does not prohibit association, but only reinforces a person’s right to refrain from association, (2) the right to religion is superior over contractual rights, and (3) the


government may pass laws in pursuit of a valid secular cause even though this may be beneficial to some religions.

American Bible Society v. City of Manila (1957) American Bible Society (ABS) is a nonstock, nonprofit, religious missionary corporation distributing and selling bibles/gospel portions in the Philippines. ABS was informed that it has to comply with Ordinance No. 3000 (obtain a mayor’s permit) and Ordinance No. 2529 (pay municipal license fee for the period covering 1945 to 1953 and amounting to 5, 821.45). ABS paid in protest and filed a case to declare said Ordinances void and to seek a refund. Trial court dismissed case. SC ruled that Ordinance 3000 is valid as it merely requires a mayor’s permit. Ordinance 2529 is also valid but cannot be made to apply to ABS because such license fee constitutes a restraint in the free exercise of religion. The constitutional guaranty of the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship carries with it the right to disseminate religious information. Any restraint of such right could only be justified like other restraints of freedom of expression on the grounds that there is clear and present danger of any substantive evil, which the State has the right to prevent.

Ebralinag v. Division Superintendent (1993) Petitioners in this consolidated petition are high school and elementary students from Cebu who were expelled for not participating in the flag ceremony of their schools. They are represented by their parents. As Jehovah’s Witnesses, they consider the flag as an idol which, according to their religion, should not be worshipped. They believe that the flag ceremony is a form of worship which is prohibited by their religion. Respondents counter by invoking RA 1265, Department Order 8 and the ruling of Gerona v. Secretary of Education which upheld that all students should participate in the flag ceremony. The Court reversed the Gerona ruling and ruled in favor of the petitioners. Expelling them based on their religious beliefs would be a curtailment of their right to religious profession and worship and their right to free education.

Iglesia Ni Cristo v. CA (1996) The Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) operates a TV program titled “Ang Iglesia ni Cristo.” The Board of Review for Motion Pictures and Television classified such program as rated X, being not fit for public viewing as it offends and constitutes an attack against other religions. The SC held that INC is protected by Art. III, Sec. 4 of the Constitution. The Board failed to show any imminent or grave danger that would be brought about by the telecast of the show. Also, the show itself is not an attack against, but rather a criticism of, other religions. Such ground (i.e., criticism) is not a valid ground in order to prohibit the broadcasting of the show. SC also affirmed MTRCB’s power to regulate these types of television programs citing the 1921 case of Sotto v Ruiz regarding the Director of Post’s power to check as to whether or not publications are of a libelous character.

German v. Barangan (1985) German et al. converged at JP Laurel Street in Manila to hear mass at the St. Jude Chapel, which is near Malacañang. Respondents Barangan and Lariosa blocked them, saying that (1) their actions show that they are not there to hear mass, but to stage a demonstration, and (2) the security of President Marcos is of utmost concern. Petitioners filed a case, saying that Barangan and Lariosa impaired their constitutional freedom to exercise religion. The SC held that this freedom is not absolute. Good faith is required to validly exercise this freedom, and the facts show that the petitioners are not exercising good faith. Also, if the freedom clashes with a social or national interest, which in this case is the safety of the President, then the former must yield to the latter. Hence, the petition was dismissed.



Concept and basis


Acts permitted and not permitted by the clause




Free exercise clause




Clear and Present Danger Test


Compelling State Interest Test


Conscientious Objector Test

I. Liberty of abode and freedom of movement

Villavicencio v. Lukban (1919) Justo Lukban, as Manila City's Mayor, together with Anton Hohmann, the city's Chief of Police, took custody of about 170 women at the night of October 25 without their consent and knowledge and shipped them to Davao where they were signed as laborers. Said women are inmates of the houses of prostitution situated in Gardenia Street, in the district of Sampaloc. Villavicencio thus filed a petition for habeas corpus.

The SC granted the petition, reasoning that public officials, within the reach of process, may not be permitted to restrain a fellow citizen of her liberty by forcing her to change her domicile and to avow the act with impunity in the courts, while the person who has lost her birthright of liberty has no effective recourse.

Lorenzo v. Dir. of Health (1927) In accordance with the Revised Administrative Code, Lorenzo was confined for having leprosy. He filed a petition for habeas corpus alleging that his right to abode and freedom of movement was infringed. The SC denied the petition. The Director of Health was empowered to order lepers’ confinement in order to secure public health.

1. Limitations

2. Right to travel

Rubi v. Provincial Board, supra. The right to travel can validly be suspended in the valid exercise of police power.

Manotoc v. CA (1986) Ricardo Manotoc Jr. was not allowed to depart for the States pending a case filed with the SEC. He was later charged with estafa and was allowed by the Court to post bail. Even though released on bail, he was not allowed to leave the country. He thus filed a petition for certiorari seeking to annul the prior orders and the SEC communication request denying his leave to travel abroad, alleging that his right to travel had been violated. The SC held that it had not. The court has power to prohibit persons admitted to bail from leaving the country because this is a necessary consequence of the nature and function of a bail bond. The condition imposed upon petitioner to make himself available at all times whenever the court requires his presence operates as a valid restriction on his constitutional right to travel. a) Watch-list and hold departure orders 3. Return to one’s country


Marcos v. Manglapus, supra. The right to return to one’s country is separate from the right to travel and to abode. As such, it may be suspended by the President in the exercise of residual powers.

J. Right to information

1. Limitations

Valmonte v. Belmonte, supra. While the people have the right to information, including court records, and they may access the said records, they cannot compel judicial officers or custodians of official records to prepare lists, abstracts, summaries and the like in their desire to acquire information on matters of public concern

2. Publication of laws and regulations

Tañada v. Tuvera, supra.

3. Access to court records

Baldora v. Dimaano (1976)

In a verified letter-complaint, the Municipal Secretary of Taal, Batangas, charged Municipal Judge Rodolfo

B. Dimaano with abuse of authority in refusing to allow employees of the Municipal Mayor to examine the

criminal docket records of the Municipal Court to secure data in connection with their contemplated report on the peace and order conditions of the said municipality. The Court ruled that Judge Dimaano (respondent) did not act arbitrarily since he allowed the complainant to open and view the docket books

of the respondent under certain conditions and under his command and supervision. It has not been shown that the rules and conditions imposed by the respondent were unreasonable.

4. Right to information relative to:

a) Government contract negotiations

b) Diplomatic negotiations

Akbayan v. Aquino, supra. The right to information does not include the records of diplomatic negotiations.

K. Right of association

People v. Ferrer (1972) Hon. Judge Simeon Ferrer is the Tarlac trial court judge that declared RA 1700 or the Anti-Subversive Act of 1957 a bill of attainder. The Anti Subversive Act of 1957 outlawed the CPP and similar associations penalizing membership therein, and for other purposes. It defined the Communist Party as an organized conspiracy to overthrow the Government, not only by force and violence but also by deceit, subversion and other illegal means. It declared that the CPP is a clear and present danger to the security of the


The SC upheld the Anti-Subversion Act of 1957. A bill of attainder is solely a legislative act. It punishes without the benefit of the trial. It is the substitution of judicial determination with a legislative determination of guilt. In order for a statute be measured as a bill of attainder, the following requisites


must be present: 1.) The statute specifies persons, groups, 2.) the statute is applied retroactively and reach past conduct. (A bill of attainder relatively is also an ex post facto law.) In the case at bar, the statute simply declares the CPP as an organized conspiracy for the overthrow of the Government for purposes of the Act. The Act applies not only to the CPP but also to other organizations having the same purpose and their successors. The Act’s focus is on the conduct not the person. Membership of these organizations to be unlawful, must be shown to have been acquired with the intent to further the goals of the organization by overt acts. Thus it is the element of membership with knowledge that is punishable. Further, the statute is prospective in nature.

PBM Employees v. PBM, supra. A demonstration against the abuses of police is protected as an exercise of the right to peaceably assemble to petition the government for redress of grievances.

JBL Reyes v. Bagatsing (1983) JBL Reyes, in behalf of the members of the Anti-Bases Coalition, sought a permit to rally from Luneta Park until the front gate of the US embassy. Manila Mayor Bagatsing denied the petition. The mayor claimed that there had been intelligence reports that indicated that the rally would be infiltrated by lawless elements. He thus issued City Ordinance No. 7295 to prohibit the staging of rallies within a 500-meter radius of the US embassy. The SC struck down the ordinance. While under international law, the receiving state is tasked with the protection of foreign diplomats from any lawless element, and while the Vienna Convention is a restatement of the generally accepted principles of international law, the same cannot prevail over the Constitutional rights to free speech and to peaceably assemble.

L. Eminent domain

People v. Fajardo (1958) Fajardo was convicted for violating an ordinance which penalized the construction of a building that destroys the view of the public plaza. The SC struck down the ordinance, ruling that it is unreasonable and oppressive, in that it operates to permanently deprive appellants of the right to use their own property; thus, it oversteps the bounds of police power, and amounts to a taking of appellant’s property without just compensation.

Republic v. PLDT (1969) The BOT is a government arm engaged in the operation of telecommunication services in the country by utilizing such facilities as may be available in the area. After its creation, the BOT set up its own Government Telephone System (GTS) by renting the trunk lines of PLDT. BOT entered into an agreement with RCA Communications (a telecommunications company in the US with a domestic station in the Philippines), associate of PLDT, for joint overseas telephone service whereby BOT would convey overseas calls received by RCA to local residents. PLDT complained to the BOT that it violated their agreement since the trunk lines were used not only for the use of government offices but even to serve the general public in competition with the business of PLDT. When plaintiff failed to reply, PLDT disconnected the lines rented by plaintiff. The plaintiff commenced suit against PLDT to execute a contract for the use of the facilities of PLDT's telephones system under such conditions as the court may consider reasonable. The SC held that: The state, may, in the interest of national welfare, transfer utilities to public ownership upon payment of just compensation; there is no reason why the state may not require a public utility to render services in the general interest provided just compensation is paid.


Republic v. Castellvi (1974) The Republic of the Philippines (Philippine Air Force) leased the property of respondent Castellvi near Basa airbase on a yearly basis. In 1956, the respondent decided to terminate the lease contract and asked the petitioner to vacate the place. The petitioner did not comply, so the respondent filed an ejectment suit against petitioner. The respondent however filed expropriation proceedings warranting the dismissal of the ejectment suit. For the other respondent Gozun, her land was also being expropriated but there was no prior lease agreement with petitioner unlike in the case of Castellvi. The SC said that the prices in 1959 will apply since in 1947, they did not possess the property with a permanent characteristic seeing that they were just leasing on a yearly basis. Their possession did not also deprive the owner of the benefits of the land since they were paying rent. It was only in 1959 when they filed the expropriation proceedings that they gained possession with a permanent character when the lower court granted them such possession. The price of Php 10.00 however was quite high taking in consideration that the said properties could be sold on a range of Php 2.50 4.00 per sq meters and the fact that the value of the peso went down. The proper price is now at Php5.00 per square meters. This case is doctrinal for giving the elements of a compensable taking, to wit:

1. The expropriator must enter a private property

2. For more than a momentary period

3. Under warrant or color of legal authority

4. The property must be devoted to a public use or otherwise informally appropriated or injuriously affected

5. The owner must be ousted of all beneficial enjoyment of the property.

De Knecht v. Bautista (1980) Aquino, as the Minister of Public Highways, made a plan for the extension of EDSA. The original plan was that the extension would cut through Cuneta Avenue. He changed this plan to a new one, wherein the extension would cut through Fernando Rein and Del Pan Streets. Petitioner De Knecht is a resident that will be affected by the new plan. She went to Pasay CFI to file a case, in order to enjoin Aquino and the Republic from going through with the new plan. Respondent Judge Bautista issued a writ of possession in favor of the Republic. The SC set aside the writ. To justify its decision, the SC used the recommendations of the Human Settlements Commission as basis. The Commission said that although the original plan was more expensive, it was a better choice, taking into consideration the progress and development of the country.

Republic v. De Knecht (1990) Republic wanted to extend EDSA to Roxas Boulevard and also construct an outfall for flood waters. Along the planned extension route is De Knecht’s property. De Knecht does not want to sell her property. De Knecht filed a case titled De Knecht v Bautista which she won in 1980. The Court cited the social impact factor making expropriation of the land arbitrary. In 1983, the Batasang Pambansa passed BP340 expropriating the said property. The lower court granted petitioner’s (Republic) plea of denying the motion to dismiss expropriation proceeding citing said law. The SC affirmed said ruling stating that since residents have already moved, the social impact factor which was the basis in De Knecht v. Bautista has already disappeared, making the expropriation proceedings no longer arbitrary. The court also said that expropriation proceedings may be undertaken by the petitioner not only by voluntary negotiation with the land owner but also by taking appropriate court action or by legislation. 1. Concept 2. Expansive concept of “public use”


Association of Small Landowners v. Sec. of Agrarian Reform (1989) These are consolidated cases which involve common legal issues, including serious challenges to the constitutionality of the several measures such as P.D. No. 27, E.O. No. 228, Presidential Proclamation No. 131, E.O. No. 229, and R.A. No. 6657.

The SC ruled that agrarian reform under the Constitution is an exercise of the power of eminent domain. There are traditional distinctions between the police power and the power of eminent domain that logically preclude the application of both powers at the same time on the same subject. Property condemned under the police power is noxious or intended for a noxious purpose, such as a building on the verge of collapse, which should be demolished for the public safety, or obscene materials, which should be destroyed in the interest of public morals. The confiscation of such property is not compensable, unlike the taking of property under the power of expropriation, which requires the payment of just compensation to the owner. To the extent that the measures under challenge merely prescribe retention limits for landowners, there is an exercise of the police power for the regulation of private property in accordance with the Constitution. But where, to carry out such regulation, it becomes necessary to deprive such owners of whatever lands they may own in excess of the maximum area allowed, there is definitely a taking under the power of eminent domain for which payment of just compensation is imperative. The taking contemplated is not a mere limitation of the use of the land. What is required is the surrender of the title to and the physical possession of the said excess and all beneficial rights accruing to the owner in favor of the farmer-beneficiary. This is definitely an exercise not of the police power but of the power of eminent domain

Sumulong v. Guerrero (1987) NHA filed an expropriation complaint for petitioners’ land, which was granted by Buenaventura. Petitioners said that “socialized housing” was not “public use,” and that PD 1224, the law which the NHA used, was unconstitutional. The SC held that the expanded notion of public use, supported by Constitutional provisions on social justice and land reform, include the concept of socialized housing. They also held that eminent domain cannot be restricted just because the property is small. Individual interests must be subordinated to state or public interest. However, SC said that just compensation must take into account all factors, and the NHA’s valuations did not take into account individual factors. Also, to deny petitioners the opportunity to challenge the correctness of the valuations of just compensation is a denial of due process. The SC remanded the case back to the court of origin in order to determine the proper compensation.

City Government v. Judge Ericta (1983) Quezon City enacted an ordinance entitled “An ordinance regulating the establishment, maintenance and operation of private memorial type cemetery or burial ground within the jurisdiction of Quezon City and providing penalties for the violation thereof”. The law basically provides that at least six (6) percent of the total area of the memorial park cemetery shall be set aside for charity burial of deceased persons who are paupers and have been residents of Quezon City for at least 5 years prior to their death, to be determined by competent City Authorities. QC justified the law by invoking police power. The SC held the law as an invalid exercise of police power. There is no reasonable relation between the setting aside of at least six (6) percent of the total area of all private cemeteries for charity burial grounds of deceased paupers and the promotion of health, morals, good order, safety, or the general welfare of the people. The ordinance is actually a taking without compensation of a certain area from a private cemetery to benefit paupers who are charges of the municipal corporation. Instead of building or maintaining a public cemetery for this purpose, the city passes the burden to private cemeteries.

3. Just compensation


EPZA v. Dulay (1989) The case concerns the land where the Mactan Export Processing Zone Authority in Cebu (EPZA) was to be constructed. San Antonio Development Corporation (SADC) claimed that the lands were expropriated to the government without them reaching the agreement as to the compensation. Respondent Judge Dulay then issued an order for the appointment of the commissioners to determine just compensation. It was later found out that the payment of the government to SADC would be P15 per square meter, which was objected to by the latter contending that under PD 1533, the basis of just compensation shall be fair and according to the fair market value declared by the owner of the property sought to be expropriated, or by the assessor, whichever is lower. The SC ruled that the mode of determination of just compensation in PD 1533 is unconstitutional. The method of ascertaining just compensation constitutes impermissible encroachment on judicial prerogative. It tends to render the courts inutile in a matter which, under the Constitution, is reserved to them for financial determination. The valuation in the decree may only serve as guiding principle or one of the factors in determining just compensation, but it may not substitute the courts’ own judgment as to what amount should be awarded and how to arrive at such amount. The determination of just compensation is a judicial function. The executive department or the legislature may make the initial determination but when a party claims a violation of the guarantee in the Bill of Rights that the private property may not be taken for public use without just compensation, no statute, decree, or executive order can mandate that its own determination shall prevail over the court’s findings.

Reyes v. NHA (2003) The NHA expropriated the Reyes’ land, for the purpose of relocating squatters from Metro Manila. However, it instead planned to build low cost housing units. Reyes thus challenged the expropriation, claiming that the judgment of expropriation was forfeited when the NHA used the land for another purpose.

The SC ruled that Reyes could not insist on a restrictive view of the eminent domain provision of the Constitution by contending that the contract for low cost housing is a deviation from the stated public use. It is now settled doctrine that the concept of public use is no longer limited to traditional purposes. The term "public use" has now been held to be synonymous with "public interest," "public benefit," "public welfare," and "public convenience." Thus, whatever may be beneficially employed for the general welfare satisfies the requirement of public use." In addition, the expropriation of private land for slum clearance and urban development is for a public purpose even if the developed area is later sold to private homeowners, commercials firms, entertainment and service companies, and other private concerns. The Constitution itself allows the State to undertake, for the common good and in cooperation with the private sector, a continuing program of urban land reform and housing which will make at affordable cost decent housing and basic services to underprivileged and homeless citizens in urban centers and resettlement areas. The expropriation of private property for the purpose of socialized housing for the marginalized sector is in furtherance of social justice.

a) Determination

Ansaldo v. CA (1990) Ansaldo’s land was taken by the Department of Public Works, Transportation and Communication. Twenty-six years later, Ansaldo asked to be compensated for the taking. The SC held that the determination of the value should be determined at the time of taking, not at the time of the filing of the suit.

b) Effect of delay



Abandonment of intended use and right of repurchase


Miscellaneous application


Contract clause

Rutter v. Esteban (1953) Esteban bought 2 pieces of land on Aug. 20, 1941. He was able to pay the first 2 installments, but was not able to pay the next 2 installments, leading Rutter to file a suit to recover a sum of money. Esteban claimed that the enforcement of the payment was barred by RA 342, Sec. 2 of which provides that all debts and obligations contracted before Dec. 8, 1941 shall not be due and demandable for 8 years after settlement of the war damage claim of the debtor by the Philippine War Damage Commission. The next section provided that if Sec. 2 was made void and unenforceable, then the moratoriums would be revived and continue. The SC struck down the RA and the related moratorium for impairing contracts. The determination of the constitutionality of the moratorium statute is the determination of a period for the suspension of the remedy. Further, laws altering contracts impair the obligation thereof when they are unreasonable in light of the circumstances. Finally, impairment should only refer to the remedy and not to a substantive


Here, the RA, in effect, gives 12 years before creditors could enforce their obligations. This is

unreasonable and oppressive under the circumstances.

Ortigas v. Bel-Air (1991) Jupiter Street was reclassified into a commercial zone from its former designation as a residential zone. Presley, who leases the property owned by the Almendrases in Jupiter street, operates a pandesal store in that address. Bel-Air Village Association asked them to shut it down pursuant to their agreement annotated in the TCT that the property would be used for residential purposes only. The SC, pursuant to its ruling in the Sangalang case, held that although the contract is binding between the parties, this may be impaired by a lawful exercise of police powerin this case, the reclassification of Jupiter into a commercial zone.

Ortigas v. Feati (1979) Ortigas sold two lots in a subdivision along EDSA to Emma Chavez. These lots were supposed to only be used for residential purposes, and this stipulation was annotated on the TCT. Chavez sold the lots to Feati, who wanted to use the lots for commercial purposes. Their basis was Mandaluyong Municipal Council’s Resolution 27, classifying that area as commercial/industrial. The SC said that the non- impairment clause must be balanced with the proper exercise of police power, and that the stipulations should be subordinate to the resolution. If the exercise of police power is done properly, the individual interests must be subordinate to the general welfare.


Contemporary application of the contract clause


Legal assistance and free access to courts


Rights of suspects








Rights of the accused


Estrada v. Sandiganbayan (2001) Former President Joseph Estrada was charged with plunder under RA 7080, the Plunder Law. He challenged the provision that “For purposes of establishing the crime of plunder, it shall not be necessary to prove each and every criminal act done by the accused in furtherance of the scheme or conspiracy to amass, accumulate or acquire ill-gotten wealth, it being sufficient to establish beyond reasonable doubt a pattern of overt or criminal acts indicative of the overall unlawful scheme or conspiracy.” The SC held that, while not every act needs to be proven beyond reasonable doubt, there is no violation of criminal due process, as it must still be proven that there is an unlawful scheme or conspiracy beyond reasonable doubt.

US v. Ling Su Fan (1910) Ling Su Fan was convicted of exporting Philippine silver coins, pursuant to Act 1411. Ling Su Fan challenged the said act for being violative of due process. The SC upheld the Act, laying down the ff. requirements for due process of statutes:

First: That there shall be a law prescribed in harmony with the general powers of the legislative department of the Government; Second: That this law shall be reasonable in its operation; Third: That it shall be enforced according to the regular methods of procedure prescribed; and Fourth: That it shall be applicable alike to all the citizens of the state or to all of a class.

2. Bail

3. Presumption of innocence

4. Right to be heard

5. Assistance of counsel

People v. Espiritu (1999) Espiritu made an extra-judicial confession, assisted by Atty. Mangallay, whom he did not retain personally, but who was retained by his uncle. He thus challenged the validity of the confession. The SC upheld the confession. The right to counsel does not mean that the accused must personally hire his own counsel. The constitutional requirement is satisfied when a counsel is engaged by anyone acting on behalf of the person under investigation, or appointed by the court upon petition of the said person or by someone on his behalf.

People v. Continente (2000) The trial court convicted the accused of murder. Among the evidence the trial court relied upon were the confessions of the accused. The accused argued that their confession were inadmissible in evidence, since they were not informed of their constitutional right. The written statements contained an explanation that the investigation dealt with the participation of the accused who chose not to give any statement to the investigator and a warning that any statement obtained from the accused might be used against them in court. They contained advice that the accused might engage the service of a lawyer of their own choice and that if they could not afford the service of a lawyer, they would be provided with one for free. Despite the manifestation of the accused that they intended to give their statements, the investigator requested two lawyers to act as counsel for the accused. The lawyers conferred with the accused before their investigation. The accused were informed of their constitutional rights in the presence of their counsel. The confessions are thus admissible in evidence.


People v. Obrero (2000) At Obrero’s custodial investigation, he was assigned a lawyer who was the station commander of another precinct. The SC held that his right to counsel was infringed upon, as the said lawyer could not be considered independent.

6. Right to be informed

Pecho v. People (1996) Pecho was convicted of attempted estafa through falsification of official and commercial documents. The decision was assailed on the ground that the accused may not be convicted of that crime because the information was for a violation of RA 3019. He thus alleged violation of his right to be informed of this charge against him in the filing of the information. The SC upheld the conviction. The objectives of the right of the accused to be informed of the nature and cause of the crime of which he is charged are as follows:

1. To furnish the accused with such a description of the charge against him as will enable him to make his defense;

2. To avail himself of his conviction or acquittal for protection against a further prosecution for the same cause; and

3. To inform the court of the facts alleged, so that it may decide whether they are sufficient in law to support a conviction, if one should be had.

In order that this requirement may be satisfied, facts must be stated, not conclusions of law. The complaint must contain a specific allegation of every fact and circumstance necessary to constitute the crime. What determines the real nature and cause of accusation against an accused is the actual recital of facts stated in the information or complaint and not the caption or preamble of the information or complaint nor the specification of the provision of law alleged to have been violated, they being conclusions of law. It follows then that an accused may be convicted of a crime which although not the one charged, is necessarily included in the latter. It has been shown that the information filed in court is considered as charging for two offenses, which the counsel of the accused failed to object to. Therefore he can be convicted for both or either of the charges.

7. Right to speedy, impartial and public trial

8. Right of confrontation

9. Compulsory process

10. Trials in absentia

Q. Writ of habeas corpus

Lansang v. Garcia, supra.

The suspension of the writ of habeas corpus has 2 requisites:

1. Invasion, insurrection or rebellion or imminent danger thereof

2. Public safety requires the suspension.

Here, the existence of the New People's Army is proof of rebellion regardless of how small it is. The absence of any other incident after the bombing is not proof of lack of rebellion.


R. Writs of amparo, habeas data, and kalikasan

S. Self-incrimination clause

Chavez v. CA (1968) Chavez was convicted of qualified theft of a motor vehicle. During the trial, Fiscal Grecia asked Chavez to be the first witness. Counsel for the accused opposed. Fiscal Grecia contends that the accused (Chavez) will only be an ordinary witness and not a state witness. Counsel for the accused averred that it will only incriminate his client. The testimony was permitted. The SC ruled that Chavez was forced to testify to incriminate himself, in full breach of his constitutional right to remain silent. It could not be said that he waived his right for he did not volunteer to take the stand and in his own defense; he did not offer himself as a witness.

Beltran v. Samson and Jose (1929) Beltran, as a defendant for the crime of falsification, refused to write a sample of his handwriting as

ordered by the respondent Judge, claiming a violation of his constitutional right against self-incrimination because such examination would give the prosecution evidence against him, which the latter should have procured in the first place. He also argued that such an act will make him furnish evidence against


The SC agreed, ruling that writing is something more than moving the body, or the hands, or the fingers; writing is not a purely mechanical act, because it requires the application of intelligence and attention and in the case at bar, writing means that Beltran is to furnish a means to determine whether or not he is the falsifier, as the petition of the respondent fiscal clearly states. For purposes of the constitutional privilege, there is a similarity between one who is compelled to produce a document, and one who is

compelled to furnish a specimen of his handwriting, for in both cases, the witness is required to furnish evidence against himself.

Bengzon v. Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, supra.

The right against self-incrimination may be invoked by other witnesses only as questions are asked of


Galman v. Pamaran (1985) Galman was made to testify before the Agrava board following the assassination of Ninoy Aquino. He invoked his right against self-incrimination. The SC held that it applied even in non-criminal proceedings, as the word “criminal” had been deleted from the Constitutional provision.

Villaflor v. Summers (1920) In a criminal case before the CFI of Manila, Villaflor was charged with adultery. Upon petition by the fiscal, the court ordered Villaflor to submit her body to the examination of one or two competent doctors to determine if she was pregnant or not. Villaflor refused, claiming that it amounted to self-incrimination. The SC disagreed. The Court laid down the rule that the constitutional guaranty that no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, is limited to a prohibition against compulsory testimonial self-incrimination. The corollary to the proposition is that, on a proper showing and under an order of the trial court, an ocular inspection of the body of the accused is permissible. The proviso is that torture or force shall be avoided.

1. Scope and coverage


a) Foreign laws




Immunity statutes


Involuntary servitude and political prisoners

US v. Pompeya (1915) An ordinance was passed, in accordance with Act 1309, requiring every able-bodied male resident of the municipality of Iloilo to render service on patrol duty. Pompeya was convicted for refusing to render such service. The SC upheld Act 1309 and the ordinance, holding that the power exercised under the provisions of Act No. 1309 falls within the police power of the state and that the state was fully authorized and justified in conferring the same upon the municipalities of the Philippine Islands and that, therefore, the provisions of the said Act are constitutional and not in violation nor in derogation of the rights of the persons affected thereby, in accordance with the time-honored obligation of the individual to assist in the protection of the peace and good order of his community.

U. Excessive fines and cruel and inhuman punishments

People v. Echegaray (1996) and Echegaray v. Sec. of Justice (1999) Echegaray was sentenced to death. The imposition of the death penalty was challenged on the ground that it constituted cruel and unusual punishment. The SC ruled that the imposition of the death penalty, per se, is not cruel and unusual punishment. The cruelty against which the Constitution protects a convicted man is cruelty inherent in the method of punishment, not the necessary suffering involved in any method employed to extinguish life humanely.

People v. Dionisio (1968) Dionisio was fined for taking bets on a horse race without authority. He complained that the imposition of the fine was excessive, and constituted cruel and unusual punishment. Neither fines nor imprisonment constitute in themselves cruel and unusual punishment, for the Constitutional structure has been interpreted as referring to penalties that are inhumane and barbarous, or shocking to the conscience and fines or imprisonment are definitely not in this category. Nor does mere severity constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

V. Non-imprisonment for debts

Lozano v. Martinez (1986) The constitutionality of BP 22 was challenged, as it was alleged that it violated the constitutional prohibition against imprisonment for non-payment of debts. The SC upheld the law, ruling that the law punishes the act of issuing unfunded checks, not the non-payment of the debts which they represent.

Serafin v. Lindayag (1975) Serafin failed to pay a simple indebtedness of P1500. Thus, a case was filed against her, which was admitted by the court. Serafin filed a case against respondent Judge for not dismissing the case and for issuing a warrant of arrest, as the debt she owed falls on the category of a simple indebtedness, since


elements of estafa are not present. Furthermore, she contended that no person should be imprisoned for non-payment of a loan of a sum of money. The court held that the judge committed grave abuse of discretion. Serafin did not commit any offense as her debt is considered a simple loan granted by her friends to her. Under the Constitution she is protected from imprisonment.

W. Double jeopardy

1. Requisites

People v. Obsania (1968) Obsania was charged with Robbery with Rape before the Municipal Court of Balungao. His counsel moved for the dismissal of the charge for failure to allege lewd designs in the information. Said motion was granted. From this order of dismissal, the prosecution appealed. The SC held that there was no double jeopardy in this case. In order that the accused may invoke double jeopardy, the following requisites must have obtained in the original prosecution

a) valid complaint,

b) competent court,

c) the defendant had pleaded to the charge,

d) defendant was acquitted or convicted or the case against him was dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent.

Here, the converted dismissal was ordered by the Trial Court judge upon the defendant's motion to dismiss. The “doctrine of double jeopardy” does not apply when the case is dismissed with the express consent of the defendant. The dismissal will not be a bar to another prosecution for the same offense because his action in having the case is dismissed constitutes a waiver of his constitutional right or privilege for the reason that he thereby prevents the Court from proceeding to the trial on the merits and rendering a judgment of conviction against him.

People v. Relova (1987) The People of the Philippines seeks to set aside the orders of Respondent Judge Hon. Relova quashing an information for theft filed against Mr. Opulencia on the ground of double jeopardy and denying the petitioner’s motion for reconsideration. Opulencia was charged under a Batangas ordinance for installing illegal electric wiring devices. The case was dismissed. Two months later, he was charged for theft of electricity under the Revised Penal Code. The Court dismissed the complaint on the ground of double jeopardy. The SC held that double jeopardy had attached in this case. The Bill of Rights gives two instances or kinds of double jeopardy. The first would be that “No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense and the second sentence states that “If an act is punishable by a law or an ordinance, the conviction or acquittal shall bar to another prosecution for the same act.” In the case at bar, it was evident that the charges filed against Mr. Opulencia will fall on the second kind or definition of double jeopardy wherein it contemplates double jeopardy of punishment for the same act. It further explains that even if the offenses charged are not the same, owing to the fact that the first charge constitutes a violation of an ordinance and the second charge was a violation against the Revised Penal Code, the fact that the two charges sprung from one and the same act of conviction or acquittal under either the law or the ordinance shall bar a prosecution under the other, thus making it against the logic of double jeopardy.

2. Motions for reconsideration and appeals


X. Ex post facto laws and bills of attainder

Republic v. Fernandez (1956) Fernandez was assessed war profits taxes. He challenged the tax for being an ex post facto law. However, the SC ruled that the constitutional prohibition against ex post facto laws does not apply to tax statutes.

People v. Ferrer, supra. The Anti-Subversive Act is not a bill of attainder. It was prospective in application, and does not single out persons, but conduct.




A. Who Are Filipino Citizens

B. Modes of Acquiring Citizenship

C. Naturalization and Denaturalization

D. Dual Citizenship and Dual Allegiance

E. Loss and Re-Acquisition of Philippine Citizenship

Coquilla v. Comelec (2002)

Coquilla was born of Filipino parents in Oras, Eastern Samar, where he grew up and resided. In 1965, he joined the US Navy and was subsequently naturalized as a US citizen. On November 10, 2000, he took his oath as a citizen of the Philippines subsequently after his application for repatriation was approved. On November 21, 2000, he applied for registration as a voter of Butunga, Oras, Eastern Samar. On February 27, 2001, he filed his COC stating therein that he has been a resident of Oras, Eastern Samar for 2 years.

This led Alvarez, incumbent mayor of Oras who was running for re-election, to seek the cancellation of the COC on the ground that the latter had resided in Oras for only about 6 months since when he took his oath as a citizen of the Philippines.

The Supreme Court ruled that Coquilla was still an alien. A person loses Philippine citizenship and domicile of origin by becoming a U.S. citizen after enlisting in the U.S. Navy, as residence in the U.S. is a requirement for naturalization as a U.S. citizen. This results in the abandonment of domicile in the Philippines. The person may only be said to have been domiciled in the Philippines again once he repatriates or by an act of Congress, but the period before this act of reacquisition will not count in the residency requirement for elected officials. His status during that period is one of an alien who has obtained an immigrant visa and has waived his status as a non-resident.



A. General Principles

Pangasinan Transportation Co. v. The Public Service Commission (1940)

Petitioner, in questioning an unfavourable decision of the PSC, raised the issue that Section 1 of the Commonwealth Act No. 454 which granted PSC its powers is not a valid delegation of legislative power.


The theory of the separation of powers is designed by its originators to secure action and at the same time to forestall overaction which necessarily results from undue concentration of powers, and thereby obtain efficiency and prevent disposition. However, the maxim of delegatus non potest delegari or delegate potestas non potest delegari is apparent in the development of the principle of separation of powers. With the growing complexity of modern life, the multiplication of the subjects of governmental regulation, and the increased difficulty of administering the laws, there is a constantly growing tendency toward the delegation of greater powers by the legislature and toward the approval of the practice by the court.

Manila Electric Company v. Pasay Transportation Company, Inc. et al. (1932)

In question is the validity of Section 11 of Act No. 1446 which provided that members of the Supreme Court shall sit as a board of arbitrators in cases where any franchise or right of way is granted to any person or corporation other than an original grantee.

The members of the Supreme Court cannot sit as a board of arbitrators to resolve disputes between public utilities. The issue is not whether or not there has been a delegation of legislative authority to a court but rather whether or not the members of the Supreme Court have the legal right to sit as a board of arbitrators and act in such capacity.

The Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands represents one of the three divisions of power in our government. It is judicial power and judicial power only which is exercised by the Supreme Court. Just as the Supreme Court, as the guardian of constitutional rights, should not sanction usurpations by any other department of the government, so should it as strictly confine its own sphere of influence to the powers expressly or by implication conferred on it by the Organic Act. The Supreme Court and its members should not and cannot be required to exercise any power or to perform any trust or to assume any duty not pertaining to or connected with the administering of judicial functions.

Noblejas v. Teehankee (1968)

Commissioner of Land Registration Noblejas asserted that the Secretary of Justice has no disciplinary powers over him as RA No. 1151 entitled the Commissioner of Land Registration to the same compensation, emoluments and privileges as those of a Judge of Court of First Instance and thus, he may only be investigated by the Supreme Court.

To adopt Noblejas’ theory would mean placing upon the Supreme Court the duty of investigating and disciplining all these officials, whose functions are plainly executive, and the consequent curtailment by mere implication from the Legislative grant, of the President's power to discipline and remove administrative officials who are presidential appointees, and which the Constitution expressly placed under the President's supervision and control. There is no inherent power in the Executive or Legislature to charge the judiciary with administrative functions except when reasonably incidental to the fulfillment of judicial duties.

The court was brought into being by the judiciary article of the Constitution, is invested with judicial power only and can have no jurisdiction except over cases and controversies falling within the classes enumerated in that article. It cannot give decisions which are merely advisory; nor can it exercise or participate in the exercise of functions which are essentially legislative or administrative.


In re Rodolfo Manzano (1988)

RTC Judge Manzano was designated as a member of the Ilocos Norte Provincial Committee on Justice created pursuant to Presidential Executive Order No. 856. He sought the Supreme Court’s permission to accept the appointment.

The Provincial/City Committees on Justice perform administrative functions. Administrative functions are those which involve the regulation and control over the conduct and affairs of individuals for their own welfare and the promulgation of rules and regulations to better carry out the policy of the legislature or such as are devolved upon the administrative agency by the organic law of its existence.

Under the Constitution, the members of the Supreme Court and other courts established by law shall not be designated to any agency performing quasi-judicial or administrative functions.



1. Quasi-legislative (rule-making) powers

Non-delegation doctrine

Compania General de Tabacos de Filipinas v. Board of Public Utility Commissioners (1916)

Pursuant to Act No. 2307, the Board required Compania to present annually a detailed report of finances and operations of such vessels as are operated by it as a common carrier within the Philippines, in the form and containing the matters prescribed by the Board.

Act No. 2307 constitutes an undue delegation of legislative power as Legislature seems simply to have authorized the Board to require what it wants, thereby delegating to the latter all its powers over a given subject matter in a manner almost absolute. A law must be complete, in all its terms and provisions, when it leaves the legislative branch of the government, and nothing must be left to the judgement of the delegate, so that, in its form and substance, it is a law in all its details, in presenti, but which may be left to take effect in future, if necessary, upon the ascertainment of any prescribed fact or event.

People v. Vera (1937)

The constitutionality of Act No. 4221 is being assailed for the reason that it unduly delegates legislative power in that the provincial boards were given the power to decide whether the law would be effective within their territory or not.

The efficiency of an act as a declaration of legislative will must come from Congress although the ascertainment of the contingency upon which the act shall take effect may be left to such agencies as it may designate.

Pelaez v. Auditor General (1965)

The President, purporting to act pursuant to Section 68 of the Revised Administrative Code, issued several Executive Orders creating 33 municipalities. Section 68 was assailed to be an undue delegation of legislative power.


The authority to create municipal corporations is essentially legislative in nature. Congress may delegate to another branch of the government the power to fill in the details of the execution of the law. For such to be valid, the law must be complete in itself and it must fix a standard to which such delegate must conform in the performance of his duties.

Edu v. Ericta (1970)

The Reflector Law and the administrative order issued to implement it were assailed as an undue delegation of legislative power.

To determine whether or not there is an undue delegation of legislative power, the inquiry must be directed to the scope and definiteness of the measure enacted. The legislature does not abdicate its functions when it describes what job must be done, who is to do it, and what the scope of his authority is. To avoid the taint of unlawful delegation, there must be a standard, which implies at the very least that the legislature itself determined matters of principle and lay down fundamental policy.

Free Telephone Workers Union v. Minister of Labor and Employment (1981)

FTWU alleged that the delegation to the Minister of Labor and Employment the power and discretion to assume jurisdiction and/or certify strikes for compulsory arbitration to the NLRC constitutes an undue delegation of legislative power.

The regulations made to implement a legislative policy should be germane to the purpose of the law and the regulation should not be in contradiction with it, but conforms to the standards that the law prescribes. The strict non-delegation rule enunciated in People vs. Vera may be considered too rigid and inflexible, especially for the social and economic legislation needed by the times.

PHILCOMSAT v. Alcuaz (1989)

NTC which was granted by EO 19 with the jurisdiction, control and regulation over PHILCOMSAT reduced PHILCOMSAT’s rates by 15%.

In the delegation of rate-fixing power of the legislature, the only standard which the legislature is required to prescribe for the guidance of the administrative authority is that the rate be reasonable and just. EO 546 which created the NTC limited it by the requirements of public safety, public interest, reasonable feasibility and reasonable rates, which conjointly more than satisfy the requirements of a valid delegation of legislative power.

Chiongbian v. Orbos (1995)

RA 6735 gave the President the power to merge the regions that did not opt to join the ARMM. Thus, through an Executive Order, the President reorganized the cities and the provinces which did not opt to join the ARMM, into new regions. The law was assailed to be an undue delegation of legislative power because it does not provide a standard for the exercise of any power delegated.

A legislative standard need not be express. It may simply be gathered or implied, and may be embodied in other statutes on the same subject as that of the challenged legislation. The standard for the power to


merge existing regions is also to be found in RA 5345 giving the President the power to reorganize the Executive department “to promote simplicity, economy, and efficiency” in the government.

ABAKADA v. Ermita (2005)

A proviso in the VAT Reform Act states 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%” is at issue on the ground that it constitutes undue delegation of legislative powers to the President.

The proviso is constitutional. There is only a delegation of ascertainment of facts upon which enforcement/administration of the 12% increase is contingent. While the power to tax cannot be delegated to executive agencies, details as to the enforcement/administration of an exercise of such power may be left to them, including the power to determine the existence of facts on which its operation depends.

Permissible delegation

a. Ascertainment of fact

Lovina v. Moreno (1963)

RA 2056 was assailed to be unconstitutional because it invests the Secretary of Public Works and Communications with sweeping, unrestrained, final, and unappealable authority to pass upon the issues of whether a river or stream is public and navigable, whether a dam encroaches upon such waters and is constitutive as a public nuisance, and whether the law applies to the state of facts.

RA 2056 does not constitute an unlawful delegation of judicial power to the Secretary of Public Works. The mere fact that an officer is required by law to inquire into the existence of certain facts and to apply the law thereto in order to determine what his official conduct shall be and the fact that these acts may affect private rights do not constitute an exercise of judicial powers.

b. Filling in of details

Alegre v. Collector of Customs (1920)

Act 3263 which created and empowered the Fiber Standardization Board to determine the official grades of Philippine fibers, and which imposed a limit on exports of fibers without certification by the Fiber Standardization Board was assailed to be unconstitutional on the ground that it was an invalid delegation of legislative power.

The power delegated to the board was merely to enforce the intent and purpose of the law. The legislature itself could not grade, inspect, and bale the hemp, and so the Fiber Standardization Board was properly vested with the administrative power to do so and embody the purpose and intent of the law.


Limits on Rule-Making Power

Olsen & Co. v. Aldanese (1922)

Collector of Internal Revenue issued AO 35 pursuant to the rule-making power granted it Act 2613 and required that cigars for export be long-filler as such was the product of Cagayan, Isabela and Nueva Vizcaya.

The authority of the Collector to make any rules and regulations must be founded upon some legislative act, and that they must follow and be within the purview of the act.

Syman v. Jacinto (1953)

A memorandum order issued by the Insular Collector of Customs provided that seizure cases, whether

appealed or not, are subject to review by the Insular Collector; that such decisions and their supporting papers should be submitted to his office; and that pending action by him on such decisions, final disposal

of the goods shall not be made.

The Memorandum Order is invalid for failing to comply with Section 551 of the Revised Administrative Code that forms and regulations must be approved by the Department Head and published in the Official Gazette or otherwise publicly promulgated to become effective.

People v. Maceren (1977)

5 accused used an electrocuting device to catch fish through electric current and were charged with having violated the Fisheries Administration Order No. 84-1.

The Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources exceeded his authority in issuing the AO. The Fisheries Law does not expressly prohibit electro-fishing. Rule-making power must be confined to details for regulating the mode or proceeding to carry into effect the law as it had been enacted. The legislature cannot delegate the power to declare what shall constitute a crime and how its hall be punished, which is a power vested exclusively in it.

Toledo v. CSC (1991)

Toledo was appointed to a position in COMELEC when he was 57 years old. However, Section 22, Rule III

of the Civil Service on Personnel Action and Policies (CSRPAP) prohibits the appointment of persons 57

years old or above into the government service without prior approval by the CSC.

The statute creating the CSC contained no provision limiting persons in the public service by age. This prohibition was purely a creation of the CSC and thus cannot be valid, having no basis in the law which it was meant to implement. The administrative rules must be germane to the purpose of the law which it was meant to implement.

Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. CA (1995)

ROH’s request to avail of the one-time tax amnesty granted by EO 41 was denied since Revenue Memorandum Order No. 4-87 implementing the EO construed the amnesty coverage to include only assessments issued by the BIR after the promulgation of the EO.


Issuances must remain consistent with the law. EO 41 was very explicit, requiring nothing more than a simple application of its provisions.

Land Bank of the Philippines v. CA (1995)

DAR issued an administrative order permitting the opening of trust accounts or the earmarking of a sum by the LBP, in lieu of depositing in cash or LBP bonds in an accessible bank designated by DAR the compensation for the land taken under RA 6657.

Section 16(e) of RA 6657 explicitly provided that the deposit must be made in cash or through LBP bonds. Compensation cannot be made through earmarking or the establishment of a trust fund. The power of administrative agencies is confined to implementing the law or putting it into effect. Corollary to this, administrative regulations cannot extend the law and amend a legislative enactment. Settled is the rule that administrative regulations must be in the harmony with the provisions of the law.

GMCR v. Bell Telecommunications (1997)

NTC is a collegiate body, requiring a majority vote out of the three members of the commission in order to validly decide a case. Corollarily, pronouncements issued solely by the Chairman/Commissioner are contrary to law. Administrative regulations derive their validity from the statute that they were intended to implement. They must not restrict, expand, diminish, supplant or modify the law.

Association of Philippine Coconut Desiccators v. Philippine Coconut Authority (1998)

PCA issued a resolution declaring that it is withdrawing from all regulation of the coconut processing industry in that its regulation would only be limited to monitoring. PCA was charged to carry out the State’s policy to promote the rapid integrated development and growth of the coconut and palm oil industry. PCA’s resolution disregards such legislative purpose. Any change in the policy must be made by the legislative department of the government. It is beyond the power of an administrative agency to dismantle it.

Ople v. Torres (1998)

Administrative Order 308 (Adoption of a National Computerized Identification Reference System) is null and void for being unconstitutional as it does not merely implement the legislative policy of the Administrative Code but establishes a computerized reference system which requires a delicate adjustment of various contending state policies. An administrative order may not unilaterally impose a new legislative policy.

Philippine Bank of Communications v. CIR ( 1999)

Memorandum circulars are in the nature of administrative rulings, and while given great weight, are not conclusive and may in fact be ignored if they are erroneous. The State cannot be estopped by the mistakes or errors of its officials or agents.


China Banking Co. v. Board of Trustees of HDMF (1999)

The rules and regulations which are the product of a delegated power to create new or additional legal provisions that have the effect of law should be within the scope of the statutory authority granted by the legislature to the administrative agency. The power cannot be extended to amending or expanding the statutory requirements or to embrace matters not covered by the statute.

Publication and effectivity

People v. Que Po Lay

Que Po Lay was convicted under the penal provision of Central Bank Circular No. 20 for failing to sell foreign exchange a day after he acquired it.

The law was published only after the act was committed. Circulars which prescribe a penalty for its violation should be published before becoming effective for the people to be officially informed. Before the public may be bound by its contents, especially its penal provisions, a law, regulation or circular must be published and the people officially and specifically informed of said contents and penalties.

Tañada v. Tuvera (1980)

All laws must be published in full, except issuances which are internal in nature, letters of instruction concerning guidelines to be followed by subordinates, or municipal ordinances (covered by LGC). Article 2 of the Civil Code requires publication to be made in the Official Gazette and the clause “unless otherwise provided,” refers to the date of effectivity, not the requirement of publication. Publication is indispensable, and to omit it would offend due process, denying public knowledge of the laws. Section 6 of Article III of the 1987 Constitution recognizes “the right of the people to information on matters of public concern” which applies especially to legislative enactments.

Philippine Association of Service Exporters, Inc. v. Torres (1992)

DOLE issued DO 16 temporarily suspending the recruitment by private employment agencies of Filipino domestic helpers bound for HK and the POEA issued Memorandum Circular Nos. 30 and 37 in relation to said DO. These issuances were alleged to have not met the publication requirement as they were not filed with the Office of the National Administrative Register (ONAR).

The issuances are invalid for lack of publication as required in Art. 2 Civil Code (Official Gazette), Art. 5 Labor Code (circulars published in newspapers of general circulation), and Section 3(1) and 4, Chapter 2, Book VII of the Administrative Code (filing with UP Law Center). Administrative rules and regulations must be published if their purpose is to enforce or implement existing law pursuant to a valid delegation.

Republic v. Express Telecom Co. (2002)

The 1993 Revised Rules of the NTC were not published in a newspaper of general circulation, thus, they did not take effect. Even though the 1993 Rules were filed with the UP Law Center, in accordance with Section 3, Chapter 2, Book VII of the Administrative Code, the same is not the operative act that gives rules valid force and effect since the bulletin of codified rules by the ONAR is furnished only to the Office of the President, Congress, all appellate courts, the National Library, and other public officers or agencies


specified by Congress. Publication in the Official Gazette or newspaper of general circulation is required before laws can take effect.

Republic v. Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation (2008)

Although the circulars were issued before the 1987 Administrative Code was enacted, such circulars were not exempt from the publication requirement because the Administrative Code required that existing rules must be registered within 3 months from the date of the Administrative Code’s effectivity. Publication is indispensable in order that all statutes, including administrative rules intended to enforce or implement existing laws, may have binding force and effect. Such requirements were put in place as safeguards against abuses on the part of the lawmakers and as guarantees to the constitutional right to due process and to information on matters of public concern.

Board of Trustees of GSIS v. Velasco (2011)

The assailed resolutions pertain only to internal rules to regulate GSIS personnel, thus, there was no need to comply with the publication or filing requirements. According to the UP Law Center’s guidelines, “interpretative regulations, and those merely internal in nature, that is, regulating only the personnel of the administrative agency and not the public” need not be filed with the center.

Interpretative Rules

Hilado v. Collector (1956)

While the Collector had the authority under the NIRC to issue circulars as an interpretation or interpretative regulation of the code, the Secretary of Finance is empowered to revoke, repeal, or abrogate the acts or previous rulings if such were based on an incorrect construction of a statute. There are no vested rights to be taken from a wrong interpretation of the law. An administrative officer cannot change a law enacted by Congress.

Victorias Co. vs. Social Security Commission (1962)

Rules and regulations issued by an administrative agency are binding on courts so long as the procedure fixed for its promulgation is followed and its scope is within the statutory authority granted by the legislature, even if the courts are not in agreement with its innate wisdom. On the other hand, administrative interpretation of the law is at best merely advisory, for it is the courts that finally determine what the law means.

Peralta v. CSC (1992)

When an administrative agency or executive agency renders an opinion or issues a statement of policy, it merely interprets a pre-existing law; and the administrative interpretation of the law is at best advisory, for it is the courts that finally determine what the law means. Administrative construction is not necessarily binding upon the courts. However, action of an administrative agency may be disturbed or set aside by the judicial department if there is an error of law, or abuse of power or lack of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion clearly conflicting with either the letter or the spirit of a legislative enactment.


Examples of Rule-making in various agencies

Bureau of Forestry

Director of Forestry v. Munoz

Piadeco’s Spanish title cannot be used to register under Forestry Administrative Order No. 12-2. This AO has the force and effect of law, it was promulgated pursuant to Section 1817 of the Administrative Code which empowered the Bureau of Forestry “to issue regulations deemed expedient or necessary to secure the protection and conservation of the public forests in such manner as to insure a continued supply of valuable timber and other forest products for the future, and regulating the use and occupancy of the forests and forest reserves, to the same end.” When Congress authorized the promulgation of administrative rules and regulations to implement laws, all that is required is that it be germane to the purpose of the law and that it conforms to the standards set by the same.

Board of Examiners of Nurses

Sand v. Abad Santos Educational Institution (1974)

Article VIII, Rule 69, Section 5 of the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Examiners for Nurses provided for periodic inspection of nursing schools, and barred graduates of such schools that do not comply with the minimum requirements and standards from admission to the nurses’ examination or registration as a nurse.

The rule is valid and applicable to all nursing schools. Statutory authority exists for the Board to conduct periodic inspections of nursing schools in order to discharge its supervisory and regulatory functions vested in it under the Philippine Nursing Act.

Philippine Patent Office

American Tobacco v. Director of Patents (1975)

Rule 168 of the Revised Rules of Practice before the Philippine Patent Office in trademark cases allowing the Director of Patents to delegate the hearing of proceedings to other officers, with the proviso that all judgements must be prepared by the Director, is assailed because the law states that the Director must hear all cases.

The rule is valid. The power conferred upon an administrative agency to which the administration of a statute is entrusted to issue such regulations and orders as may be deemed necessary or proper in order to carry out its purposes and provisions may be an adequate source of authority to delegate a particular function, unless by express provision of the act or by implication it has been withheld.

The rule that requires an administrative officer to exercise his own judgment and discretion does not preclude him from utilizing the aid of subordinates to investigate and report to him the facts, on the basis of which the officer makes his decision.


Philippine Overseas Employment Administration

Conference of Maritime Manning Agencies, Inc. v. POEA

POEA issuances are being assailed as invalid because POEA allegedly has no authority to fix rates affecting death and workmen’s compensation of Filipino seamen working in ocean-going vessels.

Legislative discretion as to the substantive contents of the law cannot be delegated. What can be delegated through is the discretion to determine how the law may be enforced. Congress may constitutionally delegate the authority to promulgate rules and regulations to implement a given legislation and effectuate its policies because the legislature may find it impracticable, if not impossible,

to anticipate situations that may be met in carrying the law into effect.

Movie and Television Review and Classification Board

Soriano v. Laguardia

MTRCB suspended the show of Ang Dating Daan because the host made offensive remarks against a person from another sect. The power of the MTRCB to regulate and supervise the exhibition of TV

programs carries with it or necessarily implies the authority to take effective punitive action for violation

of the law sought to be enforced.

2. Quasi-Judicial (adjudicatory) functions

Power to issue subpoena, declare contempt

Evangelista v. Jarencio (1975)

Manalastas was subpoenaed by the PARGO in connection with investigations regarding corrupt transactions in the Manila city government. Under its enabling law, the PARGO enjoys the authority to issue subpoenas in its conduct of fact-finding investigations. This power is not limited to PARGO’s exercise of quasi-judicial or adjudicatory functions. Investigations are useful for all administrative functions, not only for rule making, adjudication, and licensing, but also for prosecuting, for supervising and directing, for determining general policy, for recommending, legislation, and for purposes no more specific than illuminating obscure areas to find out what, if anything, should be done.

A subpoena meets the requirements for enforcement if the inquiry is: (1) within the authority of the

agency; (2) the demand is not too indefinite; (3) the information is reasonably relevant.

Guevara v. COMELEC (1958)

Comelec ordered Guevara to show cause why he should not be punished for contempt for having published an article which allegedly tended to influence the Comelec in the adjudication of a controversy regarding contracts to manufacture ballot boxes. Comelec has no power or authority to submit Guevarra to contempt proceedings if its purpose is to discipline him because of the publication of the article. In proceeding on the preparation of ballot boxes, it only discharged a ministerial duty; it did not exercise any judicial function. Such being the case, it could not exercise the power to punish for contempt as


postulated in the law, for such power is inherently judicial in nature. Its exercise by administrative bodies has been invariably limited to making effective the power to elicit testimony. The exercise of that power by an administrative body in furtherance of its administrative function has been held invalid.

Catura v. CIR (1971)

CIR, in connection with a complaint filed for unauthorized disbursement of union funds, issued an order requiring and directing the petitioners who were union officers, “to deliver and deposit to the Court “all the said Association's book of accounts, bank accounts, pass books, union funds, receipts, vouchers and other documents related to the finances of the said labor union at the hearing of this petition x x x”. The Court recognized the power of the administrative agency to issue subpoenas even if there was no explicit statutory grant because it was necessary to assure the effective administration of the statute involved.

Tolentino v. Inciong (1979)

NLRC Chairman Inciong issued subpoenas requiring Tolentino and CFI Judge de los Angeles to appear before NLRC to explain why they should not be held in contempt for trying to use “old society tactics” to prevent union election duly ordered by the NLRC under PD 21.

The subpoenas were beyond Inciong’s power to issue. The concern of Inciong that the objectives of the law should be attained did not warrant his exercise of a power which was not conferred. The competence "to hold any person in contempt for refusal to comply” certainly cannot extend to a judge of the court of first instance.

Warrants of arrest, administrative searches

Qua Chee Gan v. Deportation Board (1963)

Deportation Board issued warrants of arrest against Qua Chee Gan and 6 others, all aliens, who were charged with the unauthorized purchase/remittance of U.S. dollars, as well as attempted bribery of a Central Bank official and a U.S. Air Force captain to evade prosecution.

The President’s power to investigate may be delegated, so the Board may conduct the investigation as the authorized agent of the President. But it was not clear whether the President’s authority carries with it the power to order the arrest of the alien complained of. Assuming that the President possesses such a power, he cannot validly delegate it because the discretion of whether a warrant of arrest shall issue or not is personal to the one upon whom the authority devolves. Official functions requiring the exercise of discretion and judgment may not be delegated.

Vivo v. Montesa (1968)

Immigration issued warrants of arrest against 7 persons for the purpose of bringing them before the Commissioner to show cause why they should not be deported for fraudulently entering the country.

The issuance of the warrants of arrest by the Immigration Commissioner and the arrest pursuant to such administrative warrant are in conflict with Bill of Rights as warrants may only be issued by a judge. The arrest of a foreigner necessary to carry into effect the power of deportation is valid only when there is already an order of deportation. To carry out the order of deportation, the President obviously has the


power to order the arrest of the deportee. But, certainly, during the investigation, it is not indispensable that the alien be arrested.

Santos v. Commissioner (1976)

Santos was arrested by virtue of warrant of arrest issued by the Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration while his deportation case was pending. The Qua Chee Gan ruling was applied. The Commissioner cannot issue a warrant of arrest for purposes of investigation. But the Commissioner can issue it if there already was a deportation order.

Harvey v. Defensor-Santiago (1988)

Petitioners were charged for committing acts of “pedophilia.” A warrant of arrest was issued by the judge and they were apprehended. They however questioned the authority of the Commissioner of Immigration and Deportation to arrest and detain them.

Deportation proceedings are administrative in character and never construed as a punishment but a preventive measure. It is summary and nature and therefore, it need not be conducted strictly in accordance with ordinary court proceedings. What is essential is that there be a specific charge against the alien intended to be arrested and deported. A fair hearing must also be conducted with assistance of a counsel if desired. The charge must be substantiated by competent evidence, hearsay evidence may even be admitted.

Lucien Tran Van Nghia v. Liwag (1989)

Lucien, a French national was arrested without a warrant. He contended that the Commissioner of Immigration and Deportation had no power, authority, or jurisdiction to cause his arrest because it was made in violation of Art. III, Sec. 2 of the 1987 Constitution.

Although the requirement of probable cause to be determined by a Judge does not extend to deportation proceedings, there should still be a specific charge against the alien intended to be arrested and deported; a fair hearing should be conducted with the assistance of counsel, if desired; and the charge should be substantiated by competent evidence.

Salazar v. Achacoso (1990)

Petitioner was charged with illegal recruitment. Law enforcers went to her residence where it was discovered that she was operating a dance studio. Documents and other personal property were seized.

The warrant was not issued by a judge, but by the Secretary of Labor; and, assuming that the Secretary of Labor is authorized to issue warrants, the same is invalid for being “general”.

Board of Commissioners (CID) v. De la Rosa (1991)

28 years after Gatchalian was admitted as a Filipino citizen, the Board of Commissioners issued a mission order/ warrant of arrest against him so he could be investigated for violating the Immigration Act.


The Board cannot issue warrants of arrest for investigative purposes. In implementing the Immigration Act, the Commissioner of Immigration could issue warrants of arrest only after the Board determined the existence of the ground for deportation as charged against the alien.

Imposition of Fines and Penalties

Civil Aeronautics Board v. PAL (1975)

PAL’s flight from Tuguegarao to Manila made a flagstop in Baguio City to pick up 20 passengers who could not be accommodated in its regular flight. This was done without the prior approval of the Civil Aeronautics Board. The CAB issued a resolution imposing a fine.

CAB was fully authorized by law [R.A. 776 Civil Aeronautics Act] to impose fines in the nature of civil or administrative penalties for violation of its rules and regulations, but not to impose fines in the nature of criminal penalty, which can only be done by courts of justice.

Scoty’s Dept. Store v. Micaller (1956)

Scoty’s Dept. Store was found by the CIR to have committed unfair labor practice and ordered to reinstate Micaller, pay backwages and pay a fine.

CIR could not impose fines or other penal sanctions because it did not have jurisdiction over criminal cases, as giving it such jurisdiction would be in contravention of the due process clause of the Constitution.

RCPI v. Board of Communications (1977)

Diego Morales and Pacifico Innocencio separately filed complaints against RCPI before the Board of Communications (BOC) alleging that RCPI is liable to them for damages for its failure to deliver certain telegrams meant to inform them of the deaths of their close relatives. The BOC imposed a fine on RCPI pursuant to Sec. 21 of the Public Service Act.

RCPI cannot be made to pay the said fine because a fine can only be imposed on a public service that violates the terms and conditions of any certificate or any order, decision or regulation of the Commission. If the Morales and Inocencio suffered injury allegedly due to RCPI’s contractual breach, their recourse should have been in the courts.

Perez v. LPG Refillers (2006)

A circular issued by the DOE implementing BP33 which provided penalties for enumerated acts therein was being assailed for not being in conformity with the law it seeks to implement.

Circular is valid. B.P. Blg. 33, as amended, defines what constitute punishable acts involving petroleum products and sets the minimum and maximum limits for the corresponding penalties. The Circular merely implements the said law, albeit it is silent on the maximum pecuniary penalty for refillers, marketers, and dealers.


Public Hearing Committee v. SM Prime (2010)

LLDA inspected the wastewater of SM City Manila and found that in did not conform with the effluent standards imposed by law. LLDA imposed a fine of P1,000 a day.

LLDA had the authority to impose fines and penalties since the law clothed the LLDA not only with the express powers granted to it, but also those which are implied or incidental but, nonetheless, are necessary or essential for the full and proper implementation of its purposes and functions.

Administrative Procedure

Due Process

While administrative agencies may be said to be free from the rigidity of certain procedural requirements, this does not mean that they can entirely disregard the fundamental and essential requirements of due process.

Ang Tibay v. Court of Industrial Relations (1950)

Ang Tibay laid off workers belonging to the NLU. NLU protested this alleged unfair labor practice.

Even though the CIR may be said to be free from rigidity of certain procedural requirements does not mean that it can, in justiciable cases coming before it, entirely ignore or disregard the fundamental and essential requirements of due process in trials and investigations of an administrative character. There are cardinal primary rights which must be respected even in proceedings of this character:

(1) The right to a hearing, which includes the right to present one’s cause and submit evidence in support thereof; (2) The tribunal must consider the evidence presented; (3) There must be something to support a finding or conclusion; (4) The evidence supporting the decision must be substantial; (5) The decision must be based on the evidence presented at the hearing, or at least contained in the record and disclosed to the parties affected. (6) The tribunal or body or any of its judges must act on its own independent consideration of the law and facts of the controversy, and not simply accept the views of the subordinate; (7) The Board or body should, in all controversial questions, render its decision in such manner that the parties to the proceeding can know the various issues involved, and the reason for the decision rendered.

Asprec v. Itchon (1966)

Petitioner claims denial of due process because he was not present during the hearings. Despite the quasi-judicial nature of the administrative agency, the Board was right to proceed notwithstanding petitioner’s absence during the proceedings. He had opportunity to defend himself, which he waived when he or his counsel did not appear during the last day of hearing.


Vinta Maritime Co., Inc. v. NLRC (1998)

In a case for illegal dismissal, POEA rendered a decision without conducting a full-blown trial. Vinta

alleged that is was deprived of due process because no trial was done. While administrative agencies must observe due process, such does not require a trial. Due process in administrative proceedings only requires that the parties are given the opportunity to be heard. Due process is satisfied if the parties are given the opportunity to submit position papers.

Bachrach Motor Co. v. CIR (1978)

Bachrach’s lone witness, Kaplin, after his testimony, later went abroad, rendering the RTEA unable to cross-examine him. CIR struck Kaplin’s testimony off the records and dismissed Bachrach’s petition. The right of a party to confront and cross-examine opposing witnesses in a judicial litigation, be it criminal or civil in nature, or in proceedings before administrative tribunals with quasi-judicial powers, is fundamental right which is part of due process.

U.P. Board of Regents v. CA (1999)

Arokiaswamy was charged with plagiarism but the disciplinary proceedings against her were not finalized until after she had received her Ph.D. After a showing of overwhelming evidence of intellectual dishonesty, the UP Board of Regents resolved to withdraw her degree.

She was afforded due process which in administrative proceedings is essentially the opportunity to explain one's side of a controversy or a chance to seek reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. UP has a constitutional right to academic freedom which included its determination of whom it can confer the honor and distinction of being its graduates. If such conferment was obtained through fraud, it has the right to revoke or withdraw it.

Zambales Chromite Mining Co. v. CA (1979)

The Director of Mines dismissed petitioner’s petition to mining claims. While the case was on appeal at the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, said director became its Secretary and dismissed petitioner’s appeal. Petitioner was denied due process. The director acted with grave abuse of discretion.

He should have inhibited and asked the Undersecretary to decide on the appeal, otherwise it would be a

biased review. A decision cannot be reviewed on appeal by the same officer who decided it a quo.

Rivera v. CSC and Landbank of the Philippines (1995)

The reviewing officer must be other than the officer whose decision is under review. Otherwise, there could be no different view or there would be no real review of the case. Such would be a denial of due process.

Pefianco v. Moral (2000)

A respondent in an administrative case is NOT entitled to be informed of the findings and

recommendations of any investigating committee created to inquire into charges filed against him. He is

entitled only to the administrative decision based on substantial evidence made of record, and a reasonable opportunity to meet the charges and the evidence presented against her during the hearings of the investigation committee.


Napolcom National Appellate Board and PNP v. Bernabe (2000)

Due process as a constitutional precept does not always and in all situations require a trial-type proceeding. Due process is satisfied when a person is notified of the charge against him and given an opportunity to explain or defend himself. The essence of due process is simply to be heard, or as applied to administrative proceedings, an opportunity to explain one's side, or an opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of.

Respondent was given notice of the complaints/charges against him and an opportunity to answer. He submitted an affidavit answering point by point the charges against him. He even appealed from the decision of the PNP Chief dismissing him from the police service to the National Appellate Board, and submitted a memorandum. Consequently, he was given more than adequate opportunity to explain his side.

Shoppes Manila v. NLRC (2004)

Shoppes alleged that the Labor Arbiter committed grave abuse of discretion for deciding the case without conducting a hearing. Formal hearing is not mandatory and is dependent on the discretion of the labor arbiter. Under Sec. 5, Rule V of New Rules of Procedure of the NLRC, the LA has the authority to determine whether or not there is a necessity to conduct formal hearings. It is discretionary and is something that the parties cannot demand as a matter of right. The requirements of due process are satisfied when the parties are given the opportunity to submit the respective position papers.

Autencio v. Manara (2005)

Autencio was charged with dishonesty and misconduct in office for changing the payroll of employees. She was informed of the charges, gave her Answer, presented affidavits and was assisted by counsel in a pre-hearing conference. After she was found guilty, she appealed to the Civil Service Commission and claimed that she was tricked into waiving her right to present evidence and thus she was not afforded due process

In administrative cases, a fair and reasonable opportunity to explain one’s side suffices to meet the requirements of due process. A formal or trial-type hearing is not always necessary. For the purpose of ascertaining the truth, an investigation will be conducted, during which technical rules applicable to judicial proceedings need not always be adhered to. And where the party has the opportunity to appeal or seek reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of, defects in procedural due process may be cured.

Samalio v. CA (2005)

The due process requirement is satisfied where parties are afforded fair and reasonable opportunity to explain their side of the controversy at hand. In line with jurisprudence, denial of due process cannot be successfully invoked by a party who has had the opportunity to be heard on his motion for reconsideration, which Samalio admits he had filed with the BID and the CSC.

Domingo v. Rayala (2008)

In administrative proceedings, procedural due process has been recognized to include the following


a. The right to actual or constructive notice of the institution of proceedings which may affect a

respondent’s legal rights; b. A real opportunity to be heard personally or with the assistance of counsel, to present witnesses and

evidence in one’s favor, and to defend one’s rights;

c. A tribunal vested with competent jurisdiction and so constituted as to afford a person charged administratively a reasonable guarantee of honesty as well as impartiality; and

d. A finding by said tribunal which is supported by substantial evidence submitted for consideration

during the hearing or contained in the records, or made known to the parties affected.

A.Z. Arnaiz Realty, Inc. v. Office of the President (2010)

Due process does not always require a trial-type proceeding. Litigants may be heard through pleadings, written explanations, position papers, memoranda or oral arguments. The standard of due process that must be met in administrative tribunals allows a certain degree of latitude as long as fairness is not ignored. The essence of due process is simply an opportunity to be heard, or, as applied to administrative proceedings, an opportunity to explain one's side or an opportunity to seek for a reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. Any seeming defect in its observance is cured by the filing of an MR.

Gannapao v. CSC (2011)

The essence of due process is simply an opportunity to be heard or, as applied to administrative proceedings, an opportunity to explain one's side or an opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. In the application of the principle of due process, what is sought to be safeguarded is not lack of previous notice but the denial of the opportunity to be heard. As long as a party was given the opportunity to defend his interests in due course, he was not denied due process. In this case, petitioner availed of all legal remedies available to him and was allowed to present evidence to defend himself, thus there was no denial of due process.

Notice and Hearing

When required

National Development Corp. v. Collector (1963) When required by law

Pursuant to a charge of violation of the Tariff and Customs Act, C.F. Sharp & Company, was imposed a fine. Its request that the case be set for investigation and hearing was denied by the Collector of Customs. Collector committed grave abuse of discretion in imposing the fine without the benefit of an investigation or hearing, as requested. Under the Tariff and Customs Code, in order that an imported article or merchandise may be considered a cargo that should be manifested, it must first be so established, because there are other effects that a vessel may carry that are excluded from the requirement of the law. And even if customs authorities have claimed that an article or merchandise is NOT within the exception, it does not automatically make the vessel liable. It is still necessary that the vessel, its owner, or its operator be given a chance to show otherwise

Bautista v. Workmen’s Compensation Commission (1979) When making quasi-judicial decisions

Bautista’s claim was dismissed by the Department of Labor’s Workmen’s Compensation Commission due to his and his counsel’s repeated non-appearance at 3 scheduled hearings of the case. Bautista was deprived of due process by the hearing officer. It was proven that he and his counsel were not duly


notifiedeither they were not notified at all, or they received notice too late, only after the scheduled dates of hearing. The Commission’s rules require giving of reasonable notice of hearing to each party interested, which is done by serving upon him, personally or by registered mail, a copy of the notice, either at his last known post office address or through his counsel. The purpose is to ensure observance and protection of an interested party’s right to a hearing. The actions of the hearing officer and the Commission are a foul blow to the Constitution’s social justice clause and injunction for the State to afford full protection to labor. The government, especially labor agencies, has an obligation to give meaning and substance to these constitutional guarantees in favor of the working man.

Equitable Banking Corp. v. NLRC (1997) When terminating employment

Sadac, VP of Equitable Bank’s Legal Department was accused of abusive conduct, inefficiency, ineffectiveness, mismanagement and decisiveness. Bank Chairman sent him a memo stating that instead of conducting a formal hearing, the bank would instead wait for his voluntary resignation. Sadac filed a complaint for illegal dismissal. He was denied due process. Bank ignored the procedural requirements for terminating employment (notice apprising the employee of the particular acts or omissions for which his dismissal is sought, and another notice informing the employee of the employer’s decision to dismiss him). The essence of due process in administrative proceedings is an opportunity to explain one’s side. But meetings in the nature of consultation or conferences are NOT valid substitutes for the proper observance of notice and hearing.

Felix Uy v. CoA (2000) When making quasi-judicial decisions

The COA’s finding of bad faith, and thus personal liability on Governor Paredes’ part, was based solely on the MSPB’s decision, which did not meet the quantum of proof necessary to overcome the presumption of good faith. The COA’s power to decide administrative cases involving expenditure of public funds involves the quasi-judicial aspect of government audit, which means that proceedings before it must comply with the fundamental requirements of procedural due process. These were not complied with, since Governor Paredes was never made a party to nor served a notice of the proceedings before the COA. It would be unfair for the COA to hold him personally liable for petitioners’ claims, amounting to millions of pesos, without giving him an opportunity to be heard and to present evidence in his defence.

When not required

Suntay v. People (1957) When the basis for making the quasi-judicial decision is clear

A verified complaint was filed against Suntay for taking Alicia Nubla, a 16-year old minor, from her school with lewd design and having carnal knowledge of her. Suntay applied for and was granted a passport by the DFA, and he left for the U.S. shortly after. DFA Secretary Garcia instructed the Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. to cancel Suntay’s passport and compel him to return to the Philippines. Suntay sought to enjoin Secretary Garcia from cancelling his passport without previous hearing.

Due process does not necessarily mean or require a hearing. Hearing would have been proper and necessary if the reason for withdrawal or cancellation of Suntay’s passport were unclear and doubtful. But when discretion is exercised by an officer (Secretary Garcia) vested with it upon an undisputed fact (the filing of a charge of seduction against Suntay), hearing may be dispensed with as a prerequisite to action (cancellation of Suntay’s passport).


Bisschop v. Galang (1963) When deciding applications for extension of stay of aliens

Bisschop, an American citizen, applied for extension of stay in the Philippines. Commissioner Galang advised Bisschop that his application had been denied by the Board of Commissioners and that he should depart within 5 days. Bisschop’s counsel requested a copy of the Board’s decision, but was told that in such cases, for reasons of practicability and expediency, no formal decision was promulgated.

First, Commissioners of Immigration are not required to conduct formal hearings on applications for extension of stay of aliens. Since the law is silent as to the procedure in such cases, courts have no jurisdiction to review the purely administrative practice of immigration authorities of not granting formal hearings therein. A day in court is NOT a matter of right in administrative proceedings. In certain administrative proceedings, the right to notice and hearing are not essential to due process of law. Commissioner Galang’s letter advising Bisschop to depart in 5 days was a mere formality and far from final. The requirement to leave before the start of deportation proceedings is only an advice to the party that unless he departs voluntarily, the State will be compelled to take steps for his expulsion. Second, Commissioners of Immigration are NOT required to promulgate written decisions in cases involving extension of stay of aliens. There is nothing in immigration laws which require the Board to render written decisions in such cases.

Pollution Adjudication Board v. CA (1991) When public interest so requires

Pollution Adjudication Board issued an ex parte Order directing Solar Textile Finishing Corporation to cease and desist from utilizing its wastewater pollution source installations, which were discharging untreated wastewater directly into a canal leading to the adjacent Tullahan-Tinejeros River.

Ex parte cease and desist orders are permitted by law and regulations in certain situations, wherein the ordinary requirements of procedural due process must yield to the necessities of protecting vital public interests through the exercise of police power. In the case at bar, the ex parte Order was proper because stopping the continuous discharge of pollutive wastes into Philippine waters should not wait until protracted litigation over the correctness of such orders has run its full course. Industrial establishments are not constitutionally entitled to reduce their costs/expenses and increase their profits by putting the public interest at risk by disregarding the requirements of anti-pollution statutory and regulatory provisions. Solar may contest the correctness of the ex parte order in a public hearing before the Board, where it would have the opportunity to controvert the basis of such order. That such an opportunity is subsequently available is really all that is required by the due process clause of the Constitution in situations like the case at bar.

Form and Promulgation of Judgment

Indias v. Phil. Iron Mines (1957)

Indias filed a complaint for unfair labor practice against Phil. Iron Mines. Hearings were conducted by a hearing examiner, after which, the examiner rendered his report stating that the charge was unsubstantiated by evidence, and recommended its dismissal. The Court of Industrial Relations issued and order dismissing the complaint saying “After a perusal of the record of the case, the Court finds no sufficient justification for modifying said recommendation, findings and conclusions, and, consequently, this case is hereby dismissed.” Indias challenges the order saying that it made without stating the facts and law in support of the order.


While the order does not make its own discussion of the evidence or its own findings of fact, such is not necessary if the court is satisfied with the report of its examiner which already contains a full discussion of the evidence and the findings of fact. The situation would be different if the court disagrees with the report, in which case it should state the reasons for its disagreement. When the CIR refers a case to a commissioner for investigation, report, and recommendation, and at such investigation the parties were given an opportunity to be heard, the requirement of due process is satisfied.

Serrano v. PSC (1968)

The Public Service Commission (PSC) made a joint decision passing on the claim of 99 applicants for certificates of public convenience to operate a taxicab service. It granted certificates to 60 applicants, as listed in the decision. With regard to the remaining applicants, the decision stated "the applications not included in the list of those granted are either [dismissed] for lack of interest or failure to prosecute or [denied] for failure to qualify". Serrano challenged the PSC decision on the ground that the decision does not clearly state the facts as to each case regarding the qualification and financial ability of the applicant and the other factors constituting the criterion used as basis in granting the application.

The Constitutional provision which mandates that “a decision must clearly and distinctly state the facts and the law on which it is based” only applies to courts and not to administrative agencies. However, the non-inclusion of the administrative tribunal within the scope of the Constitutional provision does not warrant the summary disposition of Serrano's application. In Ang Tibay, it was held that an administrative tribunal must not disregard the requirement of due process, and that as a matter of due process, the administrative tribunal must render its decision in such a manner that the parties to the proceeding can know the various issues involved, and the reasons for the decisions rendered.

Solid Homes v. Laserna (2008)

Laserna filed a complaint against Solid Homes for delivery of title and execution of deed of sale before the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB). HLURB arbiter rendered a decision which was appealed to the HLURB Board and subsequently to the Office of the President. The Office of the President, in its decision, merely adopted by reference the findings of the Board.

The Constitutional mandate that “no decision shall be rendered by any court without expressing therein clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based” does not preclude the validity of memorandum decisions which adopt by reference the findings of fact and conclusions of law contained in decisions of inferior tribunals. In Francisco vs. Permskul, the Court laid down the conditions to make a memorandum decision valid:

1) it should actually embody the findings of fact and conclusions of law of the lower court in an annex attached to and made an indispensable part of the decision; and


it is resorted to only in cases where the facts are in the main accepted by both parties and easily determinable by the judge and there are no doctrinal complications involved that will require an extended discussion of the laws involved.

The Constitutional mandate need not apply to decisions rendered in administrative proceedings, as in this case; it applies only to decisions rendered in judicial proceedings. The rights of parties in administrative proceedings are not violated as long as the constitutional requirement of due process has been satisfied as laid down in Ang Tibay. There is no requirement that the decision must express clearly


and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based. For as long as the administrative decision is grounded on evidence, and expressed in a manner that sufficiently informs the parties of the factual and legal bases of the decision, the due process requirement is satisfied.

Department of Health v. Camposano (2005)

An administrative charge was filed against Camposano, et al., employees of the DOH, for Dishonesty and Grave Misconduct in connection with an alleged anomalous purchase of certain medicines. PCAGC issued

a resolution finding Camposano, et al. guilty, and recommending their dismissal. Relying on the recommendation by the PCAGC, the DOH Secretary, issued an order dismissing Camposano, et al.

PCAGC does not have the power to impose any administrative sanctions directly; its authority is limited to conducting investigations, and preparing findings and recommendations. The power to impose sanctions belonged to the disciplining authority, which is the DOH Secretary, who had to observe due process prior to imposing penalties. The Secretary's decision in this case, did not comply with the 6th requisite stated in the Ang Tibay case. The actual exercise of the disciplining authority’s prerogative requires a prior independent consideration of the law and the facts. Failure to comply with results in an invalid decision. The disciplining authority should not merely and solely rely on an investigator’s recommendation, but must personally weigh and assess the evidence gathered.

American Tobacco v. Director of Patents (1975)

Petitioners challenge the validity of the amendment of Rule 168 of the Rules of Practice before the Philippine Patent Office, which authorized the Director of Patents to designate any ranking official of the office to hear inter partes proceedings, because under the law, the Director of Patents must personally hear and decide the cases.

The power conferred upon an administrative agency to issue such regulations as may be deemed necessary in order to carry out its purposes is an adequate source of authority to delegate a particular

function, unless it is withheld by express provisions of the law. It could hardly be expected, in view of the magnitude of the Director's responsibility, to require him to hear personally each and every case pending

in his office. While the power to decide resides solely in the administrative agency or officer vested by

law, this does not preclude a delegation of the power to hold a hearing on the basis of which the decision

of the administrative agency or officer will be made. It is sufficient that the judgment an discretion finally

exercised are those of the officer authorized by law.

Albert v. Gangan (2001)

It is a basic tenet of due process that the decision of a government agency must state the facts and the law on which the decision is based. COA’s decision merely stated conclusions of law while facts and circumstance regarding the disallowance were missing, inaccurate, or incomplete. There has to be factual basis why the expenditure is alleged to be fraudulent or why was there a misrepresentation.

Arocha v. Vivo (1967)

When the BOC first acted on the case of Gatchalian, its members acted independently, as shown by the

different dates they have expressed their votes. They did not actually meet to discuss, and vote on the case. Individual action by members of a board plainly renders nugatory the purpose of its constitution as

a Board. The powers and duties of boards and commissions may not be exercised by the individual


members separately. Their acts are official only when done by the members convened in session, upon a concurrence of at least a majority and with at least a quorum present.

Neria v. Commissioner of Immigration (1968)

“Promulgation” means "the delivery of the decision to the Clerk of Court for filing and publication". Based on the Immigration Rules and Regulations, promulgation takes place even before the decision is written, and a copy is served on the alien. The date of promulgation is the date when the BSI voted and resolved to admit an alien, and this date can be ascertained from the minutes of the proceedings of the BSI.

Realty Exchange Venture Corp. v. Sendino (1994)

Sendino filed a complaint for specific performance and damages against REVI with the Office of Appeals, Adjudication and Legal Affairs (OAALA) of the HLURB. HLURB rendered judgment in favor of Sendino. REVI contended, among others, that the decision cannot stand because it was not rendered by the Board of Commissioners en banc.

The Board is specifically mandated by its governing law to “adopt rules of procedure for the conduct of its business and perform such functions necessary for the effective accomplishment of its above mentioned functions."There is nothing in the provisions of the EOs defining the powers and duties of the Board which denies or withholds the power to delegate adjudicatory functions to divisions for the purpose of effectively carrying out its administrative responsibilities and quasi-judicial powers.


Go Tek v. Deportation Board (1977)

Go Tek was arrested during a raid of a suspected guerilla unit. Fake dollar checks were also found in his possession, causing him to be charged with illegal possession and use of false treasury or bank notes and other instruments of credit under Art. 168, RPC. A case for his deportation proceeded simultaneously before the Deportation Board.

Deportation Board had jurisdiction to investigate Go Tek despite the fact that he has yet to be convicted of the criminal charge against him and despite the fact that his alleged acts do not fall under the enumeration of the grounds for deportation in Sec. 37 of the Immigration Law. Under the law, deportation may be effected either by order of the President after his or his agents’ due investigation or upon the warrant of the Commissioner of Immigration or his designated officer after the Board of Commissionersdetermination of the existence of a ground for deportation. Section 69 does not enumerate grounds for deportation. It merely provides that the Deportation Board is authorized to conduct investigations on possibly deportable aliens and forward its recommendations to the President. The Chief Executive is the sole and exclusive judge of the existence of facts which warrant the deportation of aliens. An executive order of deportation is not dependent on a prior judicial conviction. Conviction or acquittal of a criminal charge does not constitute res judicata in the deportation proceedings.


Guy v. Ignacio (2010)

Atty. Ignacio filed a complaint for blacklisting and deportation against two sisters on the basis that they were Canadian citizens illegally working in the Philippines. They refused to comply with a subpoena causing them to be charged with violating the Philippine Immigration Act.

The general rule is that courts will not determine a controversy involving a question which is within the jurisdiction of the administrative tribunal, where the question demands the exercise of sound administrative discretion requiring special knowledge, experience and services in determining technical and intricate matters of fact. However, this case falls under one of the exceptions to the rule, namely:

where the claim of citizenship is so substantial that there is reasonable ground to believe that the claim is correct. When the evidence submitted by a respondent is conclusive of his citizenship, the right to immediate review should be recognized and courts should promptly enjoin the deportation proceedings.

Go v. Ramos (2009)

The Board of Commissioners of the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation reversed an earlier decision of an Associate Commissioner which dismissed a complaint against Go for being an illegal and undesirable alien. Pursuant to this reversal, a charge sheet was filed against Go for violating the Immigration Act. Thus, Go filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition before the RTC questioning the jurisdiction of the Board to continue the deportation proceedings.

The Board had the authority to hear and determine the deportation case against a deportee and in the process determine also the question of citizenship raised by him. The exception where judicial determination was allowed was when the courts themselves believe that there was a substantial claim of citizenship, and the evidence submitted was conclusive of such citizenship. The courts could in these cases review and even enjoin the proceedings. The Board’s jurisdiction was not divested by mere claim of citizenship. Of course, the Board’s decision was not final, but subject to judicial review. Here, the facts were not such that the Court was convinced that the Board’s jurisdiction should be ousted.

De la Fuente v. De Veyra (1983)

The Philippine Coast Guard caught a vessel unloading cargo to small watercrafts. The captain of the vessel was not able to present the appropriate documents for the cargo so he and his crew were arrested for smuggling. The Customs of Sual-Dagupan issued a warrant of seizure and detention.

The exclusive jurisdiction over seizure and forfeiture cases vested in the Collector of Customs precludes a CFI from assuming cognizance over such cases. Congress conferred jurisdiction over seizure and forfeiture cases to the customs authorities. The law affords the Collector of Customs sufficient latitude in determining whether or not a certain article is subject to seizure or forfeiture and his decision on the matter is appealable to the Commissioner of Customs and then to the Court of Tax Appeals, not to the CFI, which may not interfere with the Commissioner’s decisions. There may only be further judicial review in appropriate cases via a certiorari proceeding.

Cariño v. Commission on Human Rights (1991)

800 public school teachers undertook concerted mass actions on account of the failure of public authorities to heed their grievances. A return-to-work order was issued but they continued the mass actions. As a result, the teachers were administratively charged and preventively suspended. After an


investigation, they were dismissed. The DECS Secretary affirmed the dismissal. The teachers submitted sworn statements to the CHR impugning their dismissal.

The CHR has no power to exercise adjudicatory power. The most that can be conceded to the CHR, under the Constitution is the power to investigate “all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights.” However, fact-finding is not adjudication, and cannot be likened to the judicial function of a court of justice, or even a quasi-judicial agency or official. Hence, merely having the power to investigate, the CHR should not try and resolve the matter involving the public school teachers’ alleged dismissal without due process. The issues involved in the controversy are clearly within the original jurisdiction of the Secretary of Education as provided for by the Civil Service Law and also within the appellate jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission.

Simon v. CHR (1994)

A “Demolition Notice” was sent to the North EDSA Vendors Association, Inc. from the Office of the Quezon City Mayor. The squatters-vendors filed a letter-complaint with the CHR asking the latter to enjoin the QC Mayor from pushing through with the demolition, which the CHR did.

The Court reiterated its ruling in Cariño v. CHR that it is only the first of the CHR’s constitutionally enumerated powers that bears resemblance with adjudication - but that resemblance does not equate to adjudication. It was not the intention of the Constitutional Commission to make the CHR a quasi-judicial body.

Laguna Lake Development Authority v. CA (1994)

The Caloocan City Government was operating a dumpsite which was polluting the nearby creek/tributary of the Marilao River. The LLDA issued a cease and desist order against it. On the other hand, the RTC of Caloocan issued a cease and desist order against the LLDA. The controversy was brought before the CA, which held that the LLDA has no power and authority to issue a cease and desist order enjoining the operation of the dumpsite.

As a general rule, the adjudication of pollution cases pertains to the Pollution Adjudication Board, except in cases where a special law provides for another forum. The LLDA, is specifically mandated under RA 4850 to carry out the national policy of promoting and accelerating the development and balanced

growth of the Laguna Lake area and the surrounding provinces with due regard for “

undue ecological disturbances, deterioration and pollution.” Under such a broad grant of power, the LLDA’s jurisdiction was correctly invoked in this case. The LLDA must also be deemed to possess the power to issue cease and desist orders. While it is true that it was not expressly conferred such a power, its enabling laws granted it the power "to make, alter or modify orders requiring the discontinuance of pollution".

the prevention of

Union Bank v. HLURB (1992)

A condominium buyer purchased a unit without knowing that the whole condominium project had been mortgaged to Union Bank. The mortgage was foreclosed and the property was sold to Far East Bank at public auction. The buyer filed a complaint for annulment of Far East’s title to the unit. Union Bank and Far East Bank alleged that the HLURB had no jurisdiction.


HLURB has jurisdiction. The relevant laws in this case include: PD 957, which gave the NHA exclusive jurisdiction to regulate the real estate trade and business; PD 1344, which gave the NHA the exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide cases involving unsound real estate business practices; and EO 648, which transferred the above-mentioned functions to the Human Settlements Regulatory Commission (later became the HLURB). The jurisdiction of the HLURB to regulate the real estate trade is broad enough to include jurisdiction over complaints for specific performance of the sale, or annulment of the mortgage, of a condominium unit .

Mateo v. CA (1995)

Several Morong Water District (MOWAD) employees filed a complaint against their general manager Edgar Sta. Maria. The MOWAD board members conducted an investigation and placed Edgar under preventive suspension. Eventually, Edgar was dismissed causing him to file a special civil action for quo warranto and mandamus before the RTC.

The RTC does not have jurisdiction. MOWAD is a quasi-public corporation created pursuant to PD 198. The SC has previously held that employees of GOCC’s with original charters, such as MOWAD, fall under the jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission. Under PD 807, EO 292 and Memorandum Circular No. 44 (1990) of the CSC, the party aggrieved by an action of the government involving termination of services may appeal to the Commission within 15 days of the action. Thereafter, the final resolution of the CSC may be appealed to the CA. The Civil Service Commission under the Constitution is the single arbiter of all contests relating to the civil service. Thus, RTCs have no jurisdiction to entertain cases involving dismissal of officers and employees covered by the Civil Service Law.

PAL v. Civil Aeronautics Board (1997)

Grandair applied for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) with the CAB and requested for a Temporary Operating Permit (TOP). PAL opposed the application alleging that the CAB had no jurisdiction to hear the application since Grandair did not have a franchise to operate from Congress. CAB denied the opposition and approved the issuance of the TOP.

The CAB has jurisdiction. The CAB is expressly authorized under RA 776 to issue a TOP or a CPCN “upon its own initiative.” Nothing in the said law negates the power to issue the said permit before the completion of the applicant’s evidence and that of the oppositor’s in the main petition. There is also nothing in the law or the Constitution which indicates that a legislative franchise is an indispensable requirement for an entity to operate as a domestic air transport operator. Although the Constitution recognizes Congress' control over any franchise, certificate or authority to operate a public utility, Congress has seen it fit to delegate this function to government agencies, specialized particularly in their respective areas of public service. A reading of RA 776 reveals the clear intent of Congress to delegate the authority to regulate the issuance of a license to operate domestic air transport services to the CAB.

Eristingcol v. CA (1999)

Eristingcol was building a house in Urdaneta Village but the homeowners’ association meted a P400,000 penalty against her for violating certain provisions in the associations Construction Rules and Regulations. Eristingcol filed a complaint for declaration of nullity of these rules before the RTC but the Association alleged that RTC does not have jurisdiction over the complaint.


The RTC does not have jurisdiction. A scrutiny of Eristingcol’s allegations reveals that the nature of the controversy only superficially delves into the validity of the Construction Rules. The crux of the complaint is actually the association’s supposed arbitrary implementation of the Construction Rules against her. EO 535, which created the HIGC, transferred to it the regulatory and administrative functions over homeowners’ associations originally vested with the SEC. Upon the enactment of RA 8763, the powers and functions of the HIGC with respect to homeowners’ associations were again transferred - this time to the HLURB. Thus, based on the allegations of the complaint, it is the HLURB - not the RTC - which has jurisdiction over this case.

Deltaventures Resources, Inc. v. Cabato (2000)

Deltaventures filed a complaint for injunction with the RTC reiterating the same allegations in a third party claim in a case pending before the NLRC. RTC held that it cannot issue an injunction against the NLRC and that the NLRC retains the authority over all proceedings in relation to the execution of its decisions.

Deltaventures should have filed its third party claim before the LA. The NLRC’s Manual on Execution of Judgment provides the mechanism for a third-party claimant to assert his claim over a property levied by a sheriff on account of a labor judgment. The broad powers granted to the Labor Arbiter and the NLRC under the Labor Code should be deemed to vest in them jurisdiction over incidents arising from, in connection with or relating to labor disputes, to the exclusion of other courts. Moreover, the Labor Code explicitly prohibits the issuance of any injunction or restraining order in any case involving labor disputes by any court or other entity.

Cooperative Development Authority v. Dolefil (2002)

The Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) received several complaints from certain members of the Dolefil Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative, Inc. (DARBCI) alleging mismanagement and/or misappropriation of funds by the then incumbent officers and members of the board of directors of DARBCI (respondents). Before the respondents could file an answer, the CDA ordered the funds of DARBCI to be frozen prompting the respondents to file a petition for certiorari before the RTC primarily questioning CDA’s jurisdiction to resolve the complaints.

Sec. 3 of RA 6939 enumerates the powers, functions and responsibilities of the CDA. It can be gleaned from this provision that the authority of the CDA is to discharge purely administrative functions. Nowhere in the law is CDA expressly granted the authority to adjudicate cooperative disputes. A review of the deliberations by both chambers of Congress prior to the enactment of RA 6939 shows that the intent of the legislature was not to vest quasi-judicial authority upon CDA. Thus, the CDA is devoid of any quasi-judicial authority to adjudicate intra-cooperative disputes and more particularly disputes as regards the election of the members of the Board of Directors and officers of cooperatives.

De Jesus v. COA (2003)

An auditing team from the Commission on Audit (COA) audited the accounts of the Catbalogan Water District (CWD) and discovered that members of CWD's board granted themselves certain benefits. The COA issued notices disallowing the payment of the allowances and bonuses granted to the members of the board, on the ground that the payments run counter to PD 198, or the Provincial Water Utilities Act. The members of the board question the jurisdiction of COA to disallow the payments.


The Constitution mandates the COA to audit all government agencies, including government-owned and controlled corporations. A water district is a government-owned and controlled corporation with a special charter since it is created pursuant to PD 198. Thus, CWD is subject to the jurisdiction of COA. COA did not usurp the functions of the LWUA. To hold otherwise would lead to a situation where the board of an administrative agency, by the mere act of issuing a resolution, can put to naught the broad and extensive powers granted to the COA by the Constitution.

CSC v. Alfonso (2009)