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But did not the people also express their will when they instituted the above-mentioned
safeguards in the Constitution? This shows that the Constitution did not intend to leave the
matter of impeachment to the sole discretion of Congress. Instead, it provided for certain welldefined limits, or in the language of Baker v. Carr,57"judicially discoverable standards" for
determining the validity of the exercise of such discretion, through the power of judicial
No, because there is no other valid statute to give color of authority to its creation when EO
386 was subsequently declared as unconstitutional.
The color of authority requisite to the organization of a de facto municipal corporation may be:
1. A valid law enacted by the legislature.
2. An unconstitutional law, valid on its face, which has either (a) been upheld for a time by the
courts or (b) not yet been declared void; provided that a warrant for its creation can be found
in some other valid law or in the recognition of its potential existence by the general laws or
constitution of the state.
In the case at bar, there is no other law that could give color of authority to the validity of the
existence of the municpality of Balabagan when EO 386 was later on invalidated. Hence, such
municipality is not a de factor corporation.
The section refers to cases that are decided and matters that are resolved, applying reddendo
singula singulis. It equally applies to other provisions where cases and matters are referred to.
This means: only cases are referred to the Court en banc for decision whenver the required
number of votes is not obtained. However, an MR is a matter, so if there is a tie in the voting
(i.e. required # of votes not obtained), the decision stays, and the MR is lost.
The issue was previously discussed in Maceda v Vasquez: the administrative case in the SC
should come first prior to the criminal complaint.
RA 6770 grants the Ombudsman jurisdiction over the criminal aspects, while the Constitution
grants the SC jurisdiction over the administrative aspects. With respect to the administrative
aspect of the case, the Ombudsman has to first refer the case to the SC for proper
determination given its administrative supervision power (especially as the fight was over
court furniture). Why? Judicial independence.

The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases or litigation in court. It embraces the
preparation of pleadings and other papers incident to actions and special proceedings, the
management of such actions and proceedings on behalf of clients, and other works where the
work done involves the determination of the trained legal mind of the legal effect of facts and
conditions (PLA vs. Agrava.) The records of the 1986 constitutional commission show that the
interpretation of the term practice of law was liberal as to consider lawyers employed in the
Commission of Audit as engaged in the practice of law provided that they use their legal
knowledge or talent in their respective work. The court also cited an article in the January 11,
1989 issue of the Business Star, that lawyers nowadays have their own specialized fields such
as tax lawyers, prosecutors, etc., that because of the demands of their specialization, lawyers
engage in other works or functions to meet them. These days, for example, most corporation
lawyers are involved in management policy formulation. Therefore, Monsod, who passed the
bar in 1960, worked with the World Bank Group from 1963-1970, then worked for an
investment bank till 1986, became member of the CONCOM in 1986, and also became a
member of the Davide Commission in 1990, can be considered to have been engaged in the
practice of law as lawyer-economist, lawyer-manager, lawyer-entrepreneur, etc.
The current practice of JBC in admitting two members of the Congress to perform the
functions of the JBC is violative of the 1987 Constitution. As such, it is unconstitutional.
One of the primary and basic rules in statutory construction is that where the words of a statute
are clear, plain, and free from ambiguity, it must be given its literal meaning and applied
without attempted interpretation. It is a well-settled principle of constitutional construction
that the language employed in the Constitution must be given their ordinary meaning except
where technical terms are employed. As such, it can be clearly and unambiguously discerned
from Paragraph 1, Section 8, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution that in the phrase, a
representative of Congress, the use of the singular letter a preceding representative of
Congress is unequivocal and leaves no room for any other construction. It is indicative of
what the members of the Constitutional Commission had in mind, that is, Congress may
designate only one (1) representative to the JBC. Had it been the intention that more than one
(1) representative from the legislature would sit in the JBC, the Framers could have, in no
uncertain terms, so provided.
Moreover, under the maxim noscitur a sociis, where a particular word or phrase is ambiguous
in itself or is equally susceptible of various meanings, its correct construction may be made
clear and specific by considering the company of words in which it is founded or with which it
is associated. Every meaning to be given to each word or phrase must be ascertained from the
context of the body of the statute since a word or phrase in a statute is always used in
association with other words or phrases and its meaning may be modified or restricted by the
latter. Applying the foregoing principle to this case, it becomes apparent that the word
Congress used in Article VIII, Section 8(1) of the Constitution is used in its generic sense.
No particular allusion whatsoever is made on whether the Senate or the House of
Representatives is being referred to, but that, in either case, only a singular representative may
be allowed to sit in the JBC
Considering that the language of the subject constitutional provision is plain and
unambiguous, there is no need to resort extrinsic aids such as records of the Constitutional

Commission. Nevertheless, even if the Court should proceed to look into the minds of the
members of the Constitutional Commission, it is undeniable from the records thereof that it
was intended that the JBC be composed of seven (7) members only. The underlying reason
leads the Court to conclude that a single vote may not be divided into half (1/2), between two
representatives of Congress, or among any of the sitting members of the JBC for that matter.

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

With the respondents contention that each representative should be admitted from the
Congress and House of Representatives, the Supreme Court, after the perusal of the records of
Constitutional Commission, held that Congress, in the context of JBC representation, should
be considered as one body. While it is true that there are still differences between the two
houses and that an inter-play between the two houses is necessary in the realization of the
legislative powers conferred to them by the Constitution, the same cannot be applied in the
case of JBC representation because no liaison between the two houses exists in the workings
of the JBC. No mechanism is required between the Senate and the House of Representatives in
the screening and nomination of judicial officers. Hence, the term Congress must be taken to
mean the entire legislative department.

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

The framers of Constitution, in creating JBC, hoped that the private sector and the three
branches of government would have an active role and equal voice in the selection of the
members of the Judiciary. Therefore, to allow the Legislature to have more quantitative
influence in the JBC by having more than one voice speak, whether with one full vote or onehalf (1/2) a vote each, would negate the principle of equality among the three branches of
government which is enshrined in the Constitution.
It is clear, therefore, that the Constitution mandates that the JBC be composed of seven (7)
members only. Thus, any inclusion of another member, whether with one whole vote or half
(1/2) of it, goes against that mandate. Section 8(1), Article VIII of the Constitution, providing
Congress with an equal voice with other members of the JBC in recommending appointees to
the Judiciary is explicit. Any circumvention of the constitutional mandate should not be
countenanced for the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. The Constitution is the basic
and paramount law to which all other laws must conform and to which all persons, including
the highest officials of the land, must defer. Constitutional doctrines must remain steadfast no
matter what may be the tides of time. It cannot be simply made to sway and accommodate the
call of situations and much more tailor itself to the whims and caprices of the government and
the people who run it.


Notwithstanding its finding of unconstitutionality in the current composition of the JBC, all its
prior official actions are nonetheless valid. In the interest of fair play under the doctrine of
operative facts, actions previous to the declaration of unconstitutionality are legally
recognized. They are not nullified.
The very text of the present Sec. 11, Art. VIII of the Constitution clearly shows that there are
actually two situations envisaged therein. The first clause which states that the SC en banc
shall have the power to discipline judges of lower courts, is a declaration of the grant of that
disciplinary power to, and the determination of the procedure in the exercise thereof by, the
Court en banc. It was not therein intended that all administrative disciplinary cases should be
heard and decided by the whole Court since it would result in an absurdity.

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


This is considered violative of Art. VIII, Sec. 12, a prohibition against designation to any
agency performing QJA or administrative functions. Basis; Separation of powers and need for
judicial autonomy.
Dissents: Shouldn't be interpreted so strictly; at best, look alongside QJA. "the executive
machinery of government and the performance by that machinery of governmental acts. It
refers to the management actions, determinations, and orders of executive officials as they
administer the laws and try to make government effective. There is an element of positive
action, of supervision or control." Given that this committee only seeks to make
recommendations (a mere study group), it does not seem to involve an administrative task that
would compromise the judge's independence.
Appeals from QJAs are provided in the Rules of Court, in Rule 43. Rule 45 is reserved to
appeals within the integrated judicial system. This applies even to the Ombudsman in spite of
it being a constitutionally-mandated body. Rule 65 is inapplicable since it involves only
jurisdictional questions.
The effect is RA 6770 cannot authorize an appeal via Rule 45 from decisions of the
Ombudsman as it increases the appellate jurisdiction of the Court without its permission (this
is shown in its legislative history). There has to be a reason for the CA (via Rule 43) to take
cognizance of the appeals (final appeal is to the SC, but we have to respect the hierarchy of
No vested rights are affected by this declaration as what is affected is merely procedure-- the
right to appeal is still there, it just so happens that the process is different now.