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Chapter 8: The Legislative


and Membership;
GR. L-18684 (Sept. 14, 1961) (Constitutional Law
Apportionment, Proportional Representation)
Petitioners assailed the constitutionality of a law
(Republic Act 3040) that apportions representative districts in
this country on the ground that it is unconstitutional and void
because it apportioned districts without regard to the number
of inhabitants of the several provinces. Respondents aver
they were merely complying with their duties under the
statute, which they presume and allege to be constitutional.
ISSUE: Whether or not an apportionment law that is
disproportion in representation is unconstitutional.
Yes, a law giving provinces with less number of
inhabitants more representative districts than those with
bigger population is invalid because it violates the principle
of proportional representation prescribed by the Constitution.
Such law is arbitrary and capricious and against the vital
principle of equality.


1.Two petitions assailing certain provisions of RA No. 7854
(An Act Converting the Municipality of Makati Into a Highly
Urbanized City) as unconstitutional.2.GR No. 118577 involves
a petition for prohibition and declaratory relief, and assailing
the statute as unconstitutional on the following grounds:
a.Section 2 did not properly identify the land area or
territorial jurisdiction of Makati by metes and bounds, with
technical descriptions, in violation of Section 10, Article X of
the Constitution, in relation to Sections 7 and 450 of the
Local Government Code .b.Section 51 attempts to alter or
restart the three-consecutive term limit for local elective
officials, in violation of Section 8, Article X of the Constitution
and Section 7, Article VI of the Constitution.c. Section
52:i.Increased the legislative district of Makati only by special
law (the Charter) violates the constitutional provision
requiring a general reapportionment law to be passed by
Congress within three years following the return of every
census ii. The increase in legislative district was not
expressed in the bill title iii.The addition of another legislative
district in Makati is not in accordance with Section 5 (3),
Article VI of the Constitution the population of Makati is
450,0003.GR No. 118627 involves a petition which assails
Section 52 as unconstitutional on the same grounds as a fore
ISSUE: Whether or not the questioned provisions are
HELD: Yes. Petitions dismissed.
a.D: The importance of drawing with precise strokes the
territorial boundaries of a local government unit cannot be
overemphasized. The boundaries must be clear for they
define the limits of the territorial jurisdiction of a local
government unit. It can legitimately exercise powers of
government only within the limits of its territorial jurisdiction.

Petitioners have not demonstrated that the delineation of the

land area of the proposed City of Makati will cause confusion
as to its boundaries.
D: The existence of a boundary dispute does not per se
present an insurmountable difficulty which will prevent
Congress from defining with reasonable certitude the
territorial jurisdiction of a local government unit.
Congress maintained the existing boundaries of the proposed
City of Makati.
b. D: The requirements before a litigant can challenge the
constitutionality of a law are: (1) there must be an actual
case or controversy; (2) the question of constitutionality must
be raised by the proper party; (3) the constitutional question
must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity; and (4)
the decision on the constitutional question must be
necessary to the determination of the case itself.
The petition is premised on the occurrence of many
contingent events (i.e. Mayor Binay will run again,
etc.)Petitioners merely posed a hypothetical issues.
Petitioners (residents of Taguig) are not also the proper
parties to raise this abstract issue.
c. D: Reapportionment of legislative districts may be made
through a special law, such as in the charter of a new city.
The Constitution clearly provides that Congress shall be
composed of not more than 250 members, unless otherwise
fixed by law. As thus worded, the Constitution did not
preclude Congress from increasing its membership by
passing a law, other than a general reapportionment law.
This is exactly what the Congress did in enacting RA No. 7854
and providing for an increase in Makatis legislative district.
D: The policy of the Court favors a liberal construction of the
one title one subject rule so as not to impede legislation.
The Constitution does not command that the title of a law
should exactly mirror, fully index, or completely catalogue all
its details. Hence, it should be sufficient compliance if the
title expresses the general subject and all the provisions are
germane to such general subject.
D: Said section provides, inter alia, that a city with a
population of at least 250,000 shall have at least one
representative. Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the

Constitution provides that a city whose population has

increased to more than 250,000 shall be entitled to at least
one congressional representative.
Although Makati has a population of 450,000, its legislative
district may still be increased since It has met the minimum
population requirement of 250,000.
Tobias vs. Abalos, G.R. No. L-114783, Dec. 8, 1994
As to the contention that the assailed law violates the
present limit on the number of representatives as set forth in
the Constitution, a reading of the applicable provision, Art. VI,
Sec. 5(1), as aforequoted, shows that the present limit of 250
members is not absolute. The Constitution clearly provides
that the House of Representatives shall be composed of not
more than 250 members, unless otherwise provided by law.
The inescapable import of the latter clause is that the
present composition of Congress may be increased, if
Congress itself so mandates through a legislative enactment.
Therefore, the increase in congressional representation
mandated by RA 7675 is not unconstitutional.
As to the contention that Sec. 49 of RA 7675 in effect
preempts the right of Congress to reapportion legislative
districts, the said argument borders on the absurd since
petitioners overlook the glaring fact that it was Congress
itself which drafted, deliberated upon and enacted the
assailed law, including Sec. 49 thereof. Congress cannot
possibly preempt itself on a right which pertains to itself.
Petitioners contend that the people of San Juan should
have been made to participate in the plebiscite on RA 7675
as the same involved a change in their legislative district.
The contention is bereft of merit since the principal subject
involved in the plebiscite was the conversion of Mandaluyong
into a highly urbanized city. The matter of separate district
representation was only ancillary thereto. Thus, the

inhabitants of San Juan were properly excluded from the said

plebiscite as they had nothing to do with the change of status
of neighboring Mandaluyong.
Similarly, petitioners additional argument that the
subject law has resulted in gerrymandering, which is the
practice of creating legislative districts to favor a particular
candidate or party, is not worthy of credence. As correctly
observed by the Solicitor General, it should be noted that
Rep. Ronaldo Zamora, the author of the assailed law, is the
incumbent representative of the former San
Juan/Mandaluyong district, having consistently won in both
localities. By dividing San Juan/Mandaluyong, Rep. Zamoras
constituency has in fact been diminished, which development
could hardly be considered as favorable to him.
Party-list System: Inviolable parameters to determine the
winners; Computation


term and contestsqualifications; residence

Romualdez-Marcos vs. COMELEC

248 SCRA 300
Imelda, a little over 8 years old, in or about 1938,
established her domicile in Tacloban, Leyte where she studied
and graduated high school in the Holy Infant Academy from
1938 to 1949. She then pursued her college degree,
education, in St. Pauls College now Divine Word University
also in Tacloban. Subsequently, she taught in Leyte Chinese
School still in Tacloban. She went to manila during 1952 to
work with her cousin, the late speaker Daniel Romualdez in
his office in the House of Representatives. In 1954, she
married late President Ferdinand Marcos when he was still a
Congressman of Ilocos Norte and was registered there as a
voter. When Pres. Marcos was elected as Senator in 1959,
they lived together in San Juan, Rizal where she registered as
a voter. In 1965, when Marcos won presidency, they lived in
Malacanang Palace and registered as a voter in San Miguel
Manila. She served as member of the Batasang Pambansa
and Governor of Metro Manila during 1978.
Imelda Romualdez-Marcos was running for the position
of Representative of the First District of Leyte for the 1995
Elections. Cirilo Roy Montejo, the incumbent Representative
of the First District of Leyte and also a candidate for the same
position, filed a Petition for Cancellation and

Disqualification" with the Commission on Elections alleging

that petitioner did not meet the constitutional requirement
for residency. The petitioner, in an honest misrepresentation,
wrote seven months under residency, which she sought to
rectify by adding the words "since childhood" in her
Amended/Corrected Certificate of Candidacy filed on March
29, 1995 and that "she has always maintained Tacloban City
as her domicile or residence. She arrived at the seven
months residency due to the fact that she became a resident
of the Municipality of Tolosa in said months.
ISSUE: Whether petitioner has satisfied the 1year residency
requirement to be eligible in running as representative of the
First District of Leyte.
Residence is used synonymously with domicile for
election purposes. The court are in favor of a conclusion
supporting petitoners claim of legal residence or domicile in
the First District of Leyte despite her own declaration of 7
months residency in the district for the following reasons:
1. A minor follows domicile of her parents. Tacloban
became Imeldas domicile of origin by operation of law
when her father brought them to Leyte;
2. Domicile of origin is only lost when there is actual
removal or change of domicile, a bona fide intention of
abandoning the former residence and establishing a
new one, and acts which correspond with the purpose.
In the absence and concurrence of all these, domicile
of origin should be deemed to continue.
3. A wife does not automatically gain the husbands
domicile because the term residence in Civil Law
does not mean the same thing in Political Law. When
Imelda married late President Marcos in 1954, she kept

her domicile of origin and merely gained a new home

and not domicilium necessarium.
4. Assuming that Imelda gained a new domicile after
her marriage and acquired right to choose a new one
only after the death of Pres. Marcos, her actions upon
returning to the country clearly indicated that she
chose Tacloban, her domicile of origin, as her domicile
of choice. To add, petitioner even obtained her
residence certificate in 1992 in Tacloban, Leyte while
living in her brothers house, an act, which supports
the domiciliary intention clearly manifested. She even
kept close ties by establishing residences in Tacloban,
celebrating her birthdays and other important
WHEREFORE, having determined that petitioner
possesses the necessary residence qualifications to run for a
seat in the House of Representatives in the First District of
Leyte, the COMELEC's questioned Resolutions dated April 24,
May 7, May 11, and May 25, 1995 are hereby SET ASIDE.
Respondent COMELEC is hereby directed to order the
Provincial Board of Canvassers to proclaim petitioner as the
duly elected Representative of the First District of Leyte.


(248 SCRA 400)
Agapito A. Aquino files his Certificate of Candidacy for the
position of Representative for the new Second Legislative
District of Makati. (Note: he stated his residency period as 0
years and 10months)
Move Makati and Mateo Bedon (LAKAS-NUCD-UMDP) files
petition to disqualify Aquino for lacking residence
COMELEC dismissed petition to disqualify

Move Makati and Mateo files a motion for reconsideration.

On the election Aquino wins with 38,547 votes over his
opponent, Agusto Syjuco, with 35,910votes.
COMELEC grants motion for reconsideration declaring Aquino
as ineligible and thus disqualified as a candidate and
determine the winner from the remaining legible candidates.
ISSUE: WON Aquino is legible to run for the said position
WON Declaring the winner from the remaining legible
candidates is constitutional
NO to both issues.
Sec 6 Art VI of the Constitution provides that a
candidate must be a resident of the district he is representing
for at least one year before the elections. Aquino has always
been a resident of Conception, Tarlac prior to the elections.
Although he leased a condominium unit within the district he
will be representing, mere leasing instead of buying the unit
is not evident of a strong intention to establish a domicile.
Declaring the person who garnered the second highest
number of votes as the winner because the choice of the
majority is disqualified is against the sovereign will of the


and privilegesfreedom from arrest; privilege of

speech and debate
PHILCONSA v. Gimenez
G.R. No. 113105 August 19, 1994
Regala, J.
(PHILCONSA) assails the validity of RA 3836 insofar as the
same allows retirement gratuity and commutation of vacation
and sick leave to Senators and Representatives, and to the
elective officials of both Houses (of Congress). The provision
on retirement gratuity is an attempt to circumvent the
Constitutional ban on increase of salaries of the members of
Congress during their term of office, contrary to the
provisions of Article VI, Section 14 of the Constitution. The
same provision constitutes selfish class legislation because
it allows members and officers of Congress to retire after
twelve (12) years of service and gives them a gratuity
equivalent to one year salary for every four years of service,
which is not refundable in case of reinstatement or reelection of the retiree, while all other officers and employees
of the government can retire only after at least twenty (20)
years of service and are given a gratuity which is only
equivalent to one month salary for every year of service,
which, in any case, cannot exceed 24 months. The provision
on vacation and sick leave, commutable at the highest rate
received, insofar as members of Congress are concerned, is
another attempt of the legislator to further increase their
compensation in violation of the Constitution.

The Solicitor General counter-argued alleging that the

grant of retirement or pension benefits under Republic Act
No. 3836 to the officers objected to by the petitioner does
not constitute forbidden compensation within the meaning
of Section 14 of Article VI of the Philippine Constitution. The
law in question does not constitute class legislation. The
payment of commutable vacation and sick leave benefits
under the said Act is merely in the nature of a basis for
computing the gratuity due each retiring member and,
therefore, is not an indirect scheme to increase their salary.

whether Republic Act 3836 violates Section 14,
Article VI, of the Constitution which reads as follows:
The senators and the Members of the House of
Representatives shall, unless otherwise provided by
law, receive an annual compensation of seven
thousand two hundred pesos each, including per diems
and other emoluments or allowances, and exclusive
only of travelling expenses to and from their respective
districts in the case of Members of the House of
Representative and to and from their places of
residence in the case of Senators, when attending
sessions of the Congress. No increase in said
compensation shall take effect until after the
expiration of the full term of all the Members of the
Senate and of the House of Representatives approving
such increase. Until otherwise provided by law, the
President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House
of Representatives shall each receive an annual
compensation of sixteen thousand pesos.
Yes. When the Constitutional Convention first
determined the compensation for the Members of Congress,

the amount fixed by it was only P5,000.00 per annum but it

embodies a special proviso which reads as follows: No
increase in said compensation shall take effect until after the
expiration of the full term of all the members of the National
Assembly elected subsequent to approval of such increase.
In other words, under the original constitutional provision
regarding the power of the National Assembly to increase the
salaries of its members, no increase would take effect until
after the expiration of the full term of the members of the
Assembly elected subsequent to the approval of such
The Constitutional provision in the aforementioned
Section 14, Article VI, includes in the term compensation
other emoluments. This is the pivotal point on this
fundamental question as to whether the retirement benefit as
provided for in Republic Act 3836 fall within the purview of
the term other emoluments.
Emolument is defined as the profit arising from office
or employment; that which is received as compensation for
services or which is annexed to the possession of an office,
as salary, fees and perquisites.
It is evident that retirement benefit is a form or
another species of emolument, because it is a part of
compensation for services of one possessing any office.
Republic Act 3836 provides for an increase in the
emoluments of Senators and Members of the House of
Representatives, to take effect upon the approval of said Act,
which was on June 22, 1963. Retirement benefits were
immediately available thereunder, without awaiting the
expiration of the full term of all the Members of the Senate
and the House of Representatives approving such increase.
Such provision clearly runs counter to the prohibition in
Article VI, Section 14 of the Constitution. RA 3836 is therefore


In a privilege speech entitled: A message to Garcia,
Osmena made allegations of bribery against the Garcia
administration. House Resolution no. 59 followed the creation
of a special committee to investigate the allegedly
groundless charges made by Osmena against the Garcia
administration. House Resolution no. 175 found Osmena
guilty of serious disorderly behavior and thereby suspending
him for 15months.
ISSUES: WON his suspension was constitutional
HELD: Court has no Jurisdiction. Dismissed
Osmena contends that the Constitution gave him
complete parliamentary immunity in his privilege speech.
Although the purpose of parliamentary immunity is to
guarantee the legislator complete freedom of expression
without being made responsible in criminal or civil actions, it
does NOT protect him from responsibility before the
legislative body whenever his words or conducts are
disorderly or unbecoming of a member thereof. The question
of whether Osmenas speech constitutes disorderly conduct
is for the House to judge. The matter depends mainly on
factual circumstances of which the house knows best. On the
question of jurisdiction, the case should be dismissed for
being moot or academic. Because n opreliminary injunction
was issued, the special committee performed its task,
reported to the house and the latter approved the suspension


The speech and utterances must constitute legislative
action- that is actions that are done in relation with the duties
of a Member of the Congress.
Respondent was a member of the House who wrote an
open letter to the President of the Philippines, and caused

this to be published in several newspapers of general

circulation. The contents of the letter were mainly to inform
the president of the so-called three operational plans under
serious study of some officers of the AFP and aided by some
civilians. It also describes these plans as an insidious plan or
a massive political build-up of then Secretary of Defense
Vargas. It also details the various means that has already
been mopped out to ensure the success of these operational
plans. The letter also suggested that the planners already
have in their control several officers of the AFP, included are
the petitioners. It was mentioned however in the letter that
those mentioned above as already in control of the planners
may be unwillingly be only tools of the plan which they may
have absolutely no knowledge. An ordinary civil action for
damages was instituted by petitioners against respondent for
the publication of an allegedly libelous letter. The trial court
dismissed this complaint.
1.) Whether or not the letter was privileged communication?
2.)Whether or not the letter could be considered libelous?
No. It is not privileged communication. Although the
Constitution provides for any member of Congress not to be
questioned for any speech or debate therein, in the halls of
Congress or elsewhere, this publication doesnt fall into this
category. The said expression refers to utterances made by
legislators in the performance of their functions, while
Congress is in session. In the case a quo, the letter was made
while Congress was presumably not in session. Furthermore,
he caused the letter to be published in newspapers of
general circulation, thus ipso facto he wasnt performing his
official duty either as a member of Congress or any officer of
any committee. No. The fact that the letter suggested that
the plaintiffs may be unwilling tools of the plan without
having knowledge thereof already in a way exculpate the
responsibility of the plaintiffs in the said plans if ever they
have any part in the same. This is not derogatory to the
petitioners to entitle them to damages, especially that the

planners of the operational plans were already clearly



The accused was a member of the lower House when
he was convicted of rape. He was confined in the
National Penitentiary while his appeal was pending. He
was re-elected. He argued that he should be allowed to
attend legislative sessions and committee hearings; because
his confinement was depriving the electorate of his district of
their voice in Congress and that he has a duty to attend the
sessions in Congress.
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner should be allowed to attend
sessions in Congress?
No. Election to high government offices doesnt free
the accused from the common restraints of general law. The
constitution provides that a member of the House of
Representative is privileged from arrest only if the offense is
punishable by not more than 6 years of imprisonment. The
accused has not given any reason why he should be
exempted from the operation of this provision. Section 11,
Article 6 of the Constitution states that a the members of
Congress cannot compel absent members to attend sessions
especially if the reason if a legitimate one. Confinement of a
congressman charged with a crime punishable by more than
6 years of imprisonment has constitutional foundations.
Allowing the accused to attend congressional sessions and
committee meetings will virtually make him a free man.
When the voters of his district reelected him, they had full
awareness of the limitation of his freedom of action. The
accused is only one of the members of the House of
Representatives. Congress continues to function despite the
absence of one or a few of its members. The issue in this
case boils down to the question of equal protection. Election
to the position isnt reasonable classification in criminal law
Instant motion is denied.

D.Disqualifications and Disabilities-

Incompatible vs Forbidden Offices; duty to

disclose in conflicts of interests; sec 12
and 13 Art VI, sec 14 Art VI
On May 14, 1979, an election for the Directors of
the International Pipe Industries Corporation was held.
Petitioner Puyat was among those elected. On May 25,
1979, the other group of directors, led by Acero,
instituted a proceeding questioning the said election
on the ground that the votes were not properly
counted. Thereafter, Justice Estanislao Fernandez, then
a member of Interim Batasang Pambansa,entered his
appearance as counsel for Acero to which Puyat
objected due to Constitutional Gorunds which provides
SEC 11. ART VIII No Member of the Batasang
Pambansa shall appear as counsel . or before any
administrative body.
Neither shall he, directly, or indirectly be
interested financially in any contract with, or in any
franchise or special privilege granted by the
Government, or any subdivision, agency, or
instrumentality thereof, including any governmentowned or controlled corporation during his term of
office. He shall not accept employment to intervene in
any cause or matter where he may be called on
account of his office.
Assemblyman Esatnislao Fernandez did not
continue his appearance as counsel but instead filed a

Motion for Intervention. SEC granted the motion on

account that Fernandez had 10 shares on the
corporation. Thereafter, the Court en banc issued a
temporary restraining order enjoining SEC from
allowing the participation as intervener of
Assemblyman Fernandez. Solicitor General supported
the allowing of the intervention. Hence this petition.
ISSUE: Whether or not Assemblyman Fernandez, may
intervene in the SEC Case without violating the
HELD: The Order granting Fernandez to intervene in
SEC Case is reversed and set aside.
Fernandez acquired a mere 10 shares out of
262, 843 shares. He acquired said shares after the
institution of the contested election, after the suit has
been filed and a day before he filed a motion to
intervene. Realizing that the objection of petitioner
Puyat as valid, Fernadez decided, instead, to intervene
on the ground of legal interest in the matter under
litigation. Under those facts and circumstances, the
Court found that there has been an indirect
appearance as counsel before and administrative body
and it is a circumvention of the Constitutional
prohibition. The intervention was an afterthought to
enable him to appear actively in the proceedings in
some other capacity. A ruling upholding the
intervention would make the Constitutional provision
ineffective. All an Assemblyman need to do, if he
wants to influence an administrative body is to acquire
a minimal participation in the interest of the client and
then intervene in the proceedings. That which the
Constitution directly prohibits may not be done in
indirection which is intended to accomplish the objects
specifically or impliedly prohibited. In brief, the Court
held that the intervention of Assemblyman in SEC case
falls within the ambit of the prohibition contained in
Section 11.Art. VIII of the Constitution.

the case at bar, CFI Cebu acted as a court of general original

jurisdiction since the case filed by Villegas was not elevated
from any lower court. It is then clearly resolved that this CFI
Villegas vs Legaspi

in the case at bar is a court without appellate jurisdiction.

Political Law Appearance in Court by a Congressman

Legaspi then has violated a constitutional provision and is


hereby barred to appear as counsel before the said court of

On 27 Sept 1979, Villegas filed a complaint for

annulment of bank checks and damages against spouses
Vera Cruz et al before the Court of First Instance Cebu. The
Vera Cruz spouses filed their answer to the complaint and







assemblyman and a member of the Batasang Pambansa.

Villegas then challenged the representation made by Legaspi
as counsel for the spouses on the ground that it is
unconstitutional; as pointed out by Villegas no member of
the Batasang Pambansa shall appear as counsel before any
court without appellate jurisdiction. The presiding Judge
however overruled Villegas challenged and proceeded with
the trial. Judge said that Courts of First Instance have
appellate jurisdiction. Villegas appealed the decision.

first instance.
Adaza vs Pacana
Singularity of Office/Position
Adaza was elected governor of the province of Misamis
Oriental in the January 30, 1980 elections. He took his oath of
office and started discharging his duties as provincial
governor on March 3, 1980. Pacana was elected vicegovernor for same province in the same elections. Under the
law, their respective terms of office would expire on March 3,
1986. On March 27, 1984, Pacana filed his certificate of
candidacy for the May 14, 1984 BP elections; petitioner
Adaza followed suit on April 27, 1984. In the ensuing








ISSUE: Whether or not CFIs are appellate courts resolving

candidates, while Pacana lost. Adaza took his oath of office as

this is essential in determining if Legaspi indeed violated a

Mambabatas Pambansa on July 19, 1984 and since then he

constitutional provision?

has discharged the functions of said office. On July 23, 1984,


Pacana took his oath of office as governor of Misamis Oriental

CFIs have dual personalities. They can be courts of

before President Marcos, and started to perform the duties of

general original jurisdiction (courts of origin) or appellate

governor on July 25, 1984. Claiming to be the lawful occupant

courts depending on the case that they took cognizance of. In

of the governors office, Adaza has brought this petition to

exclude Pacana therefrom. He argues that he was elected to

He cannot complain of any restrictions which public policy

said office for a term of six years, that he remains to be the

may dictate on his holding of more than one office. Adaza

governor of the province until his term expires on March 3,

further contends that when Pacana filed his candidacy for the

1986 as provided by law, and that within the context of the

Batasan he became a private citizen because he vacated his

parliamentary system, as in France, Great Britain and New

office. Pacana, as a mere private citizen, had no right to

Zealand, a local elective official can hold the position to

assume the governorship left vacant by petitioners election

which he had been elected and simultaneously be an elected

to the BP. This is not tenable and it runs afoul against BP. 697,

member of Parliament.

the law governing the election of members of the BP on May

ISSUE: Whether or not Adaza can serve as a member of the

Batasan and as a governor of the province simultaneously.
Whether or not a vice governor who ran for Congress and lost
can assume his original position and as such can, by virtue of
succession, take the vacated seat of the governor.

A member of the National Assembly

[now Batasan Pambansa] shall not hold any other

office or employment in the government or any

barangay officials shall, upon filing a certificate of candidacy,

be considered on forced leave of absence from office.
Indubitably, respondent falls within the coverage of this
of candidacy for the 1984 BP election he was a member of

Section 10, Article VIII of the 1973 Constitution provides as


governors, mayors, members of the various sangguniang or

provision, considering that at the time he filed his certificate


Section 10.

14, 1984, Section 13[2] of which specifically provides that







corporations, during his tenure, except that of prime

minister or member of the cabinet . . .
The Philippine Constitution is clear and unambiguous.
Hence Adaza cannot invoke common law practices abroad.

the Sangguniang Panlalawigan as provided in Sections 204

and 205 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 337, otherwise known as
the Local Government Code.

transmitted on September 16, 1996 to the Senate which

approved it with certain amendments on third reading on
November 17, 1996. A bicameral conference committee was
formed to reconcile the disagreeing provisions of the House
and Senate versions of the bill. The bicameral conference
committee submitted its report to the House at 8 a.m. on
November 21, 1996. At11:48 a.m., after a recess, Rep.
Exequiel Javier, chairman of the Committee on Ways and
Means, proceeded to deliver his sponsorship speech, after
which he was interpellated. Rep. Rogelio Sarmien to was first
to interpellate. He was interrupted when Rep. Arroyo moved
to adjourn for lack of quorum. Rep.Antonio Cuenco objected
to the motion and asked for a head count. After a roll call, the
Chair (DeputySpeaker Raul Daza) declared the presence of a
The interpellation of the sponsor thereafter proceeded.
In the course of his interpellation, Rep. Arroyo announced
that he was going to raise a question on the quorum,
although until the end of his interpellation he never did. What
happened thereafter is shown in the following transcript of
the session on November 21, 1996 of the House of
Representatives, as published by Congress in the newspaper
issues of December 5 and 6, 1996:MR. ALBANO. Mr. Speaker,
I move that we now approve and ratify the conference
committee report.

E.Internal Government- officers; quorum;

sessions; discipline of members; journal

Republic Act No. 8240, which amends certain
provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code by imposing
so-called sin taxes (actually specific taxes) on the
manufacture and sale of beer and cigarettes, originated in
the House of Representatives as H. No. 7198. This bill was
approved on third reading on September 12, 1996 and

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr. Daza). Any objection to the

motion? MR. ARROYO. What is that, Mr. Speaker?THE DEPUTY
SPEAKER (Mr. Daza). There being none, approved.(Gavel)MR.
ARROYO. No, no, no, wait a minute, Mr. Speaker, I stood up. I
want to know what is the question that the Chair asked the
distinguished sponsor. THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr. Daza).
There was a motion by the Majority Leader for approval of the
report, and the Chair called for the motion.MR. ARROYO.
Objection, I stood up, so I wanted to object. THE DEPUTY
SPEAKER (Mr. Daza). The session is suspended for one
minute.(It was 3:01 p.m.)(3:40 p.m., the session was
resumed)THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr. Daza). The session is
resumed.MR. ALBANO. Mr. Speaker, I move to adjourn until
four oclock, Wednesday, next week. THE DEPUTY SPEAKER
(Mr. Daza). The session is adjourned until four oclock,

Wednesday, next week. On that same day, the bill was

signed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and
the President of the Senate and certified by the respective
secretaries of both Houses of Congress as having been finally
passed by the House of Representatives and by the Senate
on November 21, 1996. The enrolled bill was signed into law
by President Fidel V. Ramos on November 22, 1996.
Petitioners filed a petition for certiorari and/or challenging the
validity of RA 8240.
Whether or not RA 8240 was passed in violation of rules of
the House which will therefore be a violation of the
Constitution. Whether or not the Supreme Court has the
power to look into the internal proceeding of the House.
It is clear from the foregoing facts that what is alleged
to have been violated in the enactment of R.A. No.8240 are
merely internal rules of procedure of the House rather than
constitutional requirements for the enactment of a law.
Petitioners claim that Rep. Arroyo was still making a query to
the Chair when the latter declared Rep. Albanos motion
approved. But what happened is that, after Rep. Arroyos
interpellation of the sponsor of the committee report,
Majority Leader Rodolfo Albano moved for the approval and
ratification of the conference committee report. The Chair
called out for objections to the motion. Then the Chair
declared: There being none, approved. At the same time
the Chair was saying this, however, Rep. Arroyo was asking,
What is that . . . Mr. Speaker? The Chair and Rep. Arroyo
were talking simultaneously. Thus, although Rep. Arroyo
subsequently objected to the Majority Leaders motion, the
approval of the conference committee report had by then
already been declared by the Chair, symbolized by its
banging of the gavel. Verily, the fact that nobody objects
means a unanimous action of the House making the passage
of the bill to a law in accordance with the law. The
Constitution does not require that the yeas and nays of the
Members be taken every time a House has to vote, except
only in the following instances: upon the last and third
readings of the bill. Therefore, no violation of the Constitution
was shown. In this case no rights of private individuals are

involved but only those of a member who, instead of seeking

redress in the House, chose to transfer the dispute to the
Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has no more power to
look into the internal proceedings of a House than members
of that House as long as no violation of the Constitutional
violation is shown.
Petition of quo warran to. Petitioner, Jose Avelino, asks
the court to declare him the rightful senate president and
oust the respondent, Mariano Jesus Cuenco.
Feb 18, 1949; the request of senator Lorenzo Tanada to
speak on the floor on Feb 21, 1949 was granted to formulate
charges against the then senate president Avelino. On the
day that Tanada was supposed to speak on the floor, Avelino
delayed his appearance, did not immediately openthe
session, and read slowly the resolution of senator Sanidad
and Tanada. When the session finally started, Sanidad moved
that the roll call be dispensed with but senator Tirona,
Avelinos follower, opposed the motion because of the plan of
Avelinos group to delay the session to prevent Tanada from
delivering his privilege speech. Suddenly, a disorderly
conduct broke out in the senate gallery. Senator Pablo David,
Avelinos follower, moved for adjournment of session perhaps
consistent with their ploy to prevent Tanadas privilege
speech. Sanidad opposed the motion and moved that it be
submitted to a vote. Suddenly, Avelino banged the gavel,
abandonedthe chair, and walked out of the session hall
followed by senator Francisco, Torres, Magalona,Clarin, David,
and Tirona. Cuenco was designated to chair the session.
Tanada was finally able to deliver his privilege speech.
Sanidads resolution no. 68 was read and approved. Tanada
yielded the chair to senate president pro-tempore Arranz.
Then, Sanidad introduced resolution no. 67 entitled
Resolution declaring vacant the position of the president of
the senate and designating the honorable Mariano Jesus
Cuenco acting president of the senate. Resolution no. 67
was approved.

ISSUES: Does the court have jurisdiction over the subject

matter? If it has, were resolutions nos. 68 and 67 validly
DECISION: Petition dismissed. Court has no jurisdiction over
the subject matter.
The court does not have any jurisdiction in view of the
separation of powers and the constitutional grant to the
senate of the power to elect its own president. The selection
of the presiding officer affects only the senators themselves
who are at liberty at any time to choose their officers,
change, or reinstate them. The petition to put back the
petitioner to preside is only acceptable if the majority of the
senators want to, such remedy lies in the senate session hall
and not in the supreme court.
Assuming that the court has jurisdiction, the session left by
Avelino and presided by Arranz was a continuation of the
session. Thus, the departure of the minority senators does
not prevent the remaining majority senators from passing a
resolution that met with their unanimous endorsement.

RATIO: Osmena contends that the Constitution gave him

complete parliamentary immunity in his privilege speech.
Although the purpose of parliamentary immunity is to
guarantee the legislator complete freedom of expression
without being made responsible in criminal or civil actions, it
does NOT protect him from responsibility before the
legislative body whenever his words or conducts are
disorderly or unbecoming of a member thereof. The question
of whether Osmenas speech constitutes disorderly conduct
is for the House to judge. The matter depends mainly on
factual circumstances of which the house knows best. On the
question of jurisdiction, the case should be dismissed for
being moot or academic. Because n opreliminary injunction
was issued, the special committee performed its task,
reported to the house and the latter approved the suspension

Mabanag vs Lopez Vito

Political Law Amendment to the Constitution
In a privilege speech entitled: A message to Garcia,
Osmena made allegations of bribery against the Garcia
administration. House Resolution no. 59 followed the creation
of a special committee to investigate the allegedly
groundless charges made by Osmena against the Garcia
administration. House Resolution no. 175 found Osmena
guilty of serious disorderly behavior and thereby suspending
him for 15months.
ISSUES: WON his suspension was constitutional
HELD: Court has no Jurisdiction. Dismissed

Petitioners include 3 senators and 8 representatives.
The three senators were suspended by senate due to election
irregularities. The 8 representatives were not allowed to take
their seat in the lower House except in the election of the
House Speaker. They argued that some senators and House
Reps were not considered in determining the required vote
(of each house) in order to pass the Resolution (proposing







considered as an **enrolled bill by then. At the same time,

the votes were already entered into the Journals of the

that of ratification. On the other hand, as far as looking into

respective House. As a result, the Resolution was passed but

the Journals is concerned, even if both the journals and an

it could have been otherwise were they allowed to vote.

authenticated copy of the Act had been presented, the

Petitioners pray that the said resolution be prevented.

disposal of the issue by the Court on the basis of the journals

Respondents argue that the same can no longer be

does not imply rejection of the enrollment theory, for, as

prevented as entered in the Journals. The Journal of each

already stated, the due enactment of a law may be proved in

house is conclusive to the courts.

either of the two ways specified in section 313 of Act No. 190

*this is in contrast to Art 15 of the Constitution as well

ISSUE: Whether or not the Court can take cognizance of the
issue at bar.
If ratification of an amendment is a political question,
a proposal which leads to ratification has to be a political
question. The two steps complement each other in a scheme
intended to achieve a single objective. It is to be noted that
the amendatory process as provided in section I of Article XV
of the Philippine Constitution consists of (only) two distinct
parts: proposal and ratification. There is no logic in attaching
political character to one and withholding that character from
the other. Proposal to amend the Constitution is a highly
political function performed by the Congress in its sovereign
legislative capacity and committed to its charge by the
Constitution itself. The exercise of this power is even in
dependent of any intervention by the Chief Executive. If on
grounds of expediency scrupulous attention of the judiciary

as amended. This Court found in the journals no signs of

irregularity in the passage of the law and did not bother itself
with considering the effects of an authenticated copy if one
had been introduced. It did not do what the opponents of the
rule of conclusiveness advocate, namely, look into the
journals behind the enrolled copy in order to determine the
correctness of the latter, and rule such copy out if the two,
the journals and the copy, be found in conflict with each
other. No discrepancy appears to have been noted between
the two documents and the court did not say or so much as
give to understand that if discrepancy existed it would give
greater weight to the journals, disregarding the explicit
provision that duly certified copies shall be conclusive proof
of the provisions of such Acts and of the due enactment
**Enrolled Bill that which has been duly introduced, finally
passed by both houses, signed by the proper officers of each,
approved by the president and filed by the secretary of state.

be needed to safeguard public interest, there is less reason

for judicial inquiry into the validity of a proposal then into

Philippine Judges Association Versus Prado

Direct Filing
Republic Act 7354 was passed into law stirring
commotions from the Judiciary. Under its Sec 35 as
implemented by Philippine Postal Corporation through its
Circular No.92-28. The franking privelege of the Supreme
Court, COA, RTCs, MTC, MTCC, and other government offices
were withdrawn from them.
In addition, the petitioners raised the issue of
constitutionality and the methods adopted prior it becoming
a law.
Issues; WON RA 7354 is unconstitutional.
- Violative of Art VI Sec 26(1) which says '"Every bill passed
by the Congress shall embrace only one subject which shall
be expressed in the title thereof."
- Violative of Art VI Sec 26(2) which says 'No bill passed by
either House shall become a law unless it has
passed three readings on separate days, and
printed copies thereof in its final form have been distributed
to its Members three days before its passage, except when
the President certifies to the necessity of its immediate
enactment to meet a public calamity or emergency. Upon the
last reading of a bill, no amendment thereto shall be allowed,
and the vote thereon
shall be taken immediately thereafter, and the yeas and nays
entered in the Journal.
- Violative of the Equal protection clause
The Supreme Court sustained as to the violation of Art VI
Sec 26(1) ruling further that it's adoption is within the terms
prescribed by law saying that the title of the bill is not
required to be an index to the body of the act, or to be as
comprehensive as to cover every single detail of the

However, Sec 35 was ruled out to be in violation of the equal

protection clause. The distinction made by the law is
superficial. It is not based on substantial distinctions that
make real differences between the Judiciary and the grantees
of the franking privilege.
Therefore, RA 7354 is declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

Secondly, although the Senate has, under the

Constitution, the exclusive power to choose the Senators who
shall form part of the Senate Electoral Tribunal, the
fundamental law has prescribed the manner in which the
authority shall be exercised. As the author of a very
enlightening study on judicial self-limitation has aptly put it:

F.Electoral tribunals and the Commision on

[G.R. No. L-10520 | February 28, 1957]
Senate chose respondents Senators Mariano J. Cuenco
and Francisco A. Delgado as members of the same Electoral
Tribunal. Respondents allege that: (a) this Court is without
power, authority of jurisdiction to direct or control the action
of the Senate in choosing the members of the Electoral
Tribunal; and (b) that the petition states no cause of action,
because "petitioner Taada has exhausted his right to
nominate after he nominated himself and refused to
nominate two (2) more Senators."
We cannot agree with the conclusion drawn by
respondents from the foregoing facts. To begin with, unlike
the cases of Alejandrino vs. Quezon (46 Phil., 83) and Vera
vs. Avelino (77 Phil., 192)-relied upon by the respondents this
is not an action against the Senate, and it does not seek to
compel the latter, either directly or indirectly, to allow the
petitioners to perform their duties as members of said House.
Although the Constitution provides that the Senate shall
choose six (6) Senators to be members of the Senate
Electoral Tribunal, the latter is part neither of Congress nor of
the Senate.

"The courts are called upon to say, on the one hand, by

whom certain powers shall be exercised, and on the other
hand, to determine whether the powers possessed have
been validly exercised. In performing the latter function,
they do not encroach upon the powers of a coordinate
branch of the, government, since the determination of the
validity of an act is not the same, thing as the
performance of the act. In the one case we are seeking to
ascertain upon whom devolves the duty of the particular
service. In the other case we are merely seeking to
determine whether the Constitution has been violated by
anything done or attented by either an executive official
or the legislative."
Again, under the Constitution, "the legislative power" is
vested exclusively in the Congress of the Philippines. Yet, this
does not detract from the power of the courts to pass upon
the constitutionality of acts of Congress. And, since judicial
power includes the authority to inquire into the legality of
statutes enacted by the two Houses of Congress, and
approved by the Executive, there can be no reason why the
validity of an act of one of said Houses, like that of any other
branch of the Government, may not be determined in the
proper actions.
In fact, whenever the conflicting claims of the parties to a
litigation cannot properly be settled without inquiring into the
validity of an act of Congress or of either House thereof, the
courts have, not only jurisdiction to pass upon said issue, but,
also, the duty to do so, which cannot be evaded without
violating the fundamental law and paving the way to its
eventual destruction.

As already adverted to, the objection to our jurisdiction

hinges on the question whether the issue before us is
political or not.

been applied in a way to deny or transgress on the

constitutional or statutory rights .." (16 C.J.S., 439; emphasis

In short, the term "political question" connotes, in legal

parlance, what it means in ordinary parlance, namely, a
question of policy. In other words, in the language of Corpus
Juris Secundum (supra), it refers to "those questions which,
under the Constitution, are to be decided by the people in
their sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full
discretionary authority has been delegated to the Legislature
or executive branch of the Government." It is concerned with
issues dependent upon the wisdom, not legality, of a
particular measure.

It is, therefore, our opinion that we have, not only

jurisdiction, but, also, the duty, to consider and determine
the principal issue raised by the parties herein.

Such is not the nature of the question for determination in

the present case. Here, we are called upon to decide whether
the election of Senators Cuenco and Delgado, by the Senate,
as members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal, upon
nomination by Senator Primicias-a member and spokesman
of the party having the largest number of votes in the
Senate-on behalf of its Committee on Rules, contravenes the
constitutional mandate that said members of the Senate
Electoral Tribunal shall be chosen "upon nomination .. of the
party having the second largest number of votes" in the
Senate, and hence, is null and void. This is not a political
question. The Senate is not clothed with "full discretionary
authority" in the choice of members of the Senate Electoral
Tribunal. The exercise of its power thereon is subject to
constitutional limitations which are claimed to be mandatory
in nature. It is clearly within the legitimate prove of the
judicial department to pass upon the validity the proceedings
in connection therewith.

"The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each

have an Electoral Tribunal which shall be the sole judge of
all contests relating to the election, returns, and
qualifications of their respective Members. Each Electoral
Tribunal shall be composed of nine Members, three of
whom shall be Justices of the Supreme Court to be
designated by the Chief Justice, and the remaining six
shall be Members of the Senate or of the House of
Representatives, as the case may be, who shall be chosen
by each House, three upon nomination of the party
having the largest number of votes and three of the party
having the second largest number of votes therein. The
Senior Justice in each Electoral Tribunal shall be its

Whether an election of public officers has been in

accordance with law is for the judiciary. Moreover, where the
legislative department has by statute prescribed election
procedure in a given situation, the judiciary may determine
whether a particular election has been in conformity with
such statute, and, particularly, whether such statute has

Is the election of Senators Cuenco and Delgado, by the

Senate, as members of the Electoral Tribunal, valid and
Section 11 of Article VI of the 1935 Constitution, reads:

Petitioners maintain that said nomination and election of

Senators Cuenco and Delgado-who belong to the Nacionalista
Party-as members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal, are null
and void and have been made without power or color of
authority, for, after the nomination by said party, and the
election by the Senate, of Senators Laurel, Lopez and
Primicias, as members of said Tribunal, the other Senators,
who shall be members thereof, must necessarily be
nominated by the party having the second largest number of
votes in the Senate, and such party is, admittedly, the

Citizens Party, to which Senator Taada belongs and which he

Respondents allege, however, that the constitutional
mandate to the effect that "each Electoral Tribunal shall be
compose of nine (9) members," six (6) of whom "shall be
members of the Senate or of the House of Representatives,
as the case may be", is mandatory; that when-after the
nomination of three (3) Senators by the majority party, and
their election by the Senate, as members of the Senate
Electoral Tribunal-Senator Taada nominated himself only, on
behalf of the minority party, he thereby "waived his right to
no two more Senators;" that, when Senator Primicias
nominated Senators Cuenco and Delgado, and these
respondents were chosen by the Senate, as members of the
Senate Electoral Tribunal, Said Senator Primicias and the
Senate merely complied with the aforementioned provision of
the fundamental law, relative to the number of members of
the Senate Electoral Tribunal; and, that, accordingly, Senators
Cuenco and Delgado are de jure members of said body, and
the appointment of their co-respondents, Alfredo Cruz,
Catalina Cayetano, Manuel Serapio and Placido Reyes is valid
and lawful.
What has been said above, relative to the conditions
antecedent to, and concomitant with, the adoption of section
11 of Article VI of the Constitution, reveals clearly that its
framers intended to prevent the majority party from
controlling the Electoral Tribunals, and that the structure
thereof is founded upon the equilibrium between the majority
and the minority parties therein, with the Justices of the
Supreme Court, who are members of said Tribunals, holding
the resulting balance of power. The procedure prescribed in
said provision for the selection of members of the Electoral
Tribunals is vital to the role they are called upon to play. it
constitutes the essence of said Tribunals. Hence, compliance
with said procedure is mandatory, and acts performed in
violation thereof are null and void.

It is true that the application of the foregoing criterion

would limit the membership of the Senate Electoral Tribunal,
in the case at bar, to seven (7), instead of nine (9), members;
but, it is conceded that the present composition of the
Senate was not foreseen by the framers of our Constitution.
Furthermore, the spirit of the law prevails over its letter,
and the solution herein adopted maintains the spirit of the
Constitution, for partisan considerations can not be decisive
in a tribunal consisting of three (3) Justices of the Supreme
Court, three (3) members nominated by the majority party
and either one (1) or two (2) members nominated by the
party having the second largest number of votes in the
House concerned.
Upon the other hand, what would be the result of
respondents' contention if upheld? Owing to the fact that the
Citizens Party has only one member in the Upper House,
Senator Taada felt he should nominate, for the Senate
Electoral Tribunal, only said member of the Citizens Party. The
same is, thus, numerically handicapped, vis-a-vis the majority
party, in said Tribunal. Obviously, Senator Taada did not
nominate other two Senators, because, otherwise, he would
worsen the already disadvantageous position, therein, of the
Citizens Party.
Indeed, by the aforementioned nomination and election of
Senators Cuenco and Delgado, if the same were sanctioned,
the Nacionalista Party would have five (5) members in the
Senate Electoral Tribunal, as against one (1) member of the
Citizens Party and three members of the Supreme Court. With
the absolute majority thereby attained by the majority party
in said Tribunal, the philosophy underlying the same would be
entirely upset. The equilibrium between the political parties
therein would be destroyed. What is worst, the decisive
moderating role of the Justices of the Supreme Court would
be wiped out, and, in lieu thereof, the door would be thrown
wide open for the predominance of political considerations in
the determination of election protests pending before said

Tribunal, which is precisely what the

Constitution earnestly strove to forestall.




In view of the foregoing, we hold that the Senate may not

elect, as members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal, those
Senators who have not been nominated by the political
parties specified in the Constitution; that the party having
the largest number of votes in the Senate may nominate not
more than three (3) members thereof to said Electoral
Tribunal; that the party having the second largest number of
votes in the Senate has the exclusive right to nominate the
other three (3) Senators who shall sit as members in the
Electoral Tribunal; that neither these three (3) Senators, nor
any of them, may be nominated by a person or party other
than the one having the second largest number of votes in
the Senate or its representative therein; that the Committee
on Rules for the Senate has no standing to validly make such
nomination and that the nomination of Senators Cuenco and
Delgado by Senator Primicias, and the election of said
respondents by the Senate, as members of said Tribunal, are
null and void ab initio.
As regards respondents Alfredo Cruz, Catalina Cayetano,
Manuel Serapio and Placido Reyes, we are not prepared to
hold, however, that their appointments were null and void.
Although recommended by Senators Cuenco and Delgado,
who are not lawful members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal,
they were appointed by its Chairman, presumably, with the
consent of the majority of the de jure members of said body
14 or, pursuant to the Rules thereof. At any rate, as held in
Suanes vs. Chief Accountant (supra), the election of its
personnel is an internal matter falling within the jurisdiction
and control of said body, and there is every reason to believe
that it will, hereafter take appropriate measures, in relation to
the four (4) respondents abovementioned, conformably with
the spirit of the Constitution and of, the decision in the case
at bar.
Wherefore, judgment is hereby rendered declaring that,
respondents Senators Mariano Jesus Cuenco and Francisco A.

Delgado have not been duly elected as Members of the

Senate Electoral Tribunal, that they are not entitled to act as
such and that they should be, as they are hereby, enjoined
from exercising the powers and duties of Members of said
Electoral Tribunal and from acting in such capacity in
connection with Senate Electoral Case No. 4 thereof. With the
qualification stated above, the petition is dismissed, as
regards respondents Alfredo Cruz, Catalina Cayetano, Manuel
Serapio and Placido Reyes.

Cunanan vs Tan
Petitioner sought to nullify the ad interim appointment
of Jorge Tan Jr as acting Deputy Administrator of the
Reforestation Administration. Cunanan was formerly
appointed in the same position but was later on rejected by
the Commision of Appointment prompting the President to
replace him with Jorge Tan Jr immediately without his
Filing the quo warranto proceeding to the Supreme
Court, Cunanan questions the validity of the convened
Commission of Appointments citing irregularities as to the
numbers of members comprising the same.
Issue: WON the appointment of Jorge Tan Jr is valid.
With the reorganization of the Commission of
Appointment, it was ruled that such is a power vested in the
Congress as they deem it proper taking into consideration
the proportionate numbers of the members of the
Commission of Appointment members as to their political
affiliations. However, with their reorganization, this affected a
third party's right which they rejected as its result. To correct
this, the Supreme Court declared the reinstatement of the
petitioner and ordered respondent to vacate and turn over
the office in contention.


Article VI, Section 17 of the Constitution states that the
Electoral Tribunal shall be composed of nine Members, three
of whom shall be Justices of the Supreme Court...and the
remaining six shall be Members of the Senate or the HOR, as
the case may be. On October 9, 1987, Petitioners filed
before the respondent Tribunal an election contest docketed
as SET Case No. 002-87 against 22 candidates of the LABAN
coalition who were proclaimed senators-elect in the May 11,
1987 congressional elections. The respondent tribunals was
at the time composed of three (3) Justices of the Supreme
Court and six (6)senators. On November 17, the petitioner
filed with the respondent Tribunal a Motion for
Disqualification or Inhibition of the Senators-Members thereof
from the hearing and resolution of the above case on the
ground that all of them are interested parties, and
respondents. This mass disqualification, in effect, would leave
only the three Justices to serve as Members of the Electoral
Tribunal. The Motion was denied and hence, this petition for
ARGUMENTS: Petitioners argue that considerations of public
policy and norms of fair play and due process require the
mass disqualification. Further, necessity dictates that an
amendment of the Tribunals Rules of procedure permitting
the contest to be decided by only three Members is a
practicable and unconstitutionally unobjectable solution.
ISSUE: Whether or not a Senate Electoral Tribunal composed
of only three (3) Justices of the SC is a valid Electoral Tribunal
under the Constitution
HELD: NO. The suggested device is unfeasible and
repugnant to the Constitution.
Looking into the wording and intent of Section 17 of
Article VI of the Constitution, it is clear that in creating a
Tribunal composed by Justices of the Supreme Court and
Members of the Senate, both judicial and legislative

components commonly share the duty and authority of all

contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of
Senators. The fact that the proportion of Senators to Justices
in the prescribed membership of the SET is 2 to 1 an
unmistakable indication that the legislative component
cannot be totally excluded from participation in the resolution
of senatorial election contests, without doing violence to the
spirit and intent of the Constitution. The proposed mass
disqualification, if sanctioned and ordered, would leave the
tribunal no alternative but to abandon a duty that no other
court or body can perform, but which it cannot lawfully
discharge if shorn of the participation of its entire
membership of senators. The framers of the Constitution
could not have been unaware of the possibility of an election
contest that would involve all 24 Senators-elect, six of whom
would inevitably have to sit in judgment thereon. Yet the
Constitution provides no scheme or mode for settling such
unusual situations. Litigants in such situations must simply
place their trust and hopes of vindication in the fairness and
sense of justice of the Members of the Tribunal. Refrain from
participation must be distinguished from complete absence.
Indeed, an individual Member of the Tribunal may recues
himself from participating in the resolution of a case where
he sincerely feels that his biases would stand in the way of
an objective and impartial judgment. But a Tribunal cannot
legally function as such absent its entire membership of
Senators or Justices.
Petitioner and private respondent were among the
candidates for Representative of the first district of
Pampanga in the May 11, 1987 elections. During the
canvassing of the votes, respondent objected to the inclusion
of certain election returns and brought the case to the
COMELEC. On May 19, The COMELEC ordered the suspension
of the proclamation of the winning candidate, yet on May 27,
petitioner was proclaimed the winner. Respondent filed two
petitions: a) to nullify the proclamation and b) prevent
petitioner from taking office. However, the COMELEC did not

act on the petitions. On June 30, petitioner assumed office.

On September 15, the COMELEC nullified the proclamation.
The Supreme Court set aside the revocation on January 25,
1988.On January 28, Respondent received a copy of the
Courts decision and consequently filed an election protest
with the HRET on February 8.
ARGUMENTS: In moving to dismiss private respondents
protest on the ground that it was filed late, petitioner cited
Sec.250 of the Omnibus Election Code: A sworn petition
contesting the election of any Member of the Batasang
Pambansa...shall be filed...within ten (10) days after the
proclamation of the results of the election
Using the above rule, Petitioner argued that respondent had
only until February 6 to file a protest. Since the protest was
filed on February 8, the HRET did not acquire jurisdiction over
it. However, the HRET argued that petitioner was able to file
the protest on time, citing Sec. 9 of the HRET rules: Election
contests arising from the 1987 Congressional elections shall
be filed... within fifteen (15)days from the effectivity of these
rules on November 22, 1987 where the proclamation has
been made prior to the effectivity of these Rules, otherwise,
the same may be filed within fifteen (15)days from the date
of proclamation. Using the above rule, the HRET argued that
respondent has up February 11 to file a protest. Since it was
filed on February 8, the HRET ruled it was within the
prescribed period and thus, had jurisdiction over the matter.
1. Whether or not the HRET has jurisdiction over the protest
2. Whether or not the Supreme Court may conduct a Judicial
Review of decisions/final resolutions of the HRET
1. YES. The HRET has jurisdiction over the protest, as it was
filed within the period prescribed by Sec. 9 of the HRET Rules.
2. NO, except for cases requiring the exercise of the Courts
extraordinary jurisdiction.

REASONS: Inapplicability of Sec. 250 of the Omnibus

Election Code to the case at bar:
Under the 1973Constitution, Section 250 of the
Omnibus Election Code applies to petitions filed before the
COMELEC contesting the election of any Member of the
Batasang Pambansa or any regional, provincial or city official.
Under the 1987 Constitution, it has ceased to be effective.
First, the Batasang Pambansa ha salready been abolished
and legislative power is now vested in a bicameral Congress.
Second, the Constitution vests exclusive jurisdiction over all
contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of
the Members of the HOR and the Senate in their respective
Electoral Tribunals.
Exclusive character of the Electoral Tribunals Power:
The power of the HRET, as the sole judge of all
contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of
the Members of the House of Representatives, to promulgate
rules and regulations relative to matters within its
jurisdiction, including the period for filing election protests
before it, is beyond dispute. The use of the word sole
emphasizes the exclusive character of the jurisdiction
conferred. It is intended to be as complete and unimpaired as
if it had remained originally in the legislature. Its rule-making
power necessarily flows from the general power granted it by
the Constitution. It is a settled rule of construction that where
a general power is conferred is conferred or duly enjoined,
every particular power necessary for the exercise of the one
or the performance of the other is also conferred. Following
this principle, the HRET, in order to fully exercise its
constitutional function may implement its own rules
concerning the filing of electoral protests. A short review of
our constitutional history reveals that, except under the 1973
Constitution, the power to judge all contests relating to the
election, returns and qualifications of the members of the
legislative branch has been exclusively granted to the
legislative body itself. In the 1935 Constitution, this power
was lodged to an independent, impartial and non-partisan
body attached to the legislature and specially created for
that singular purpose. Under the 1973 Constitution, this
delineation between the power of the Executive and the
Legislature was blurred when jurisdiction over electoral

contests was vested in the COMELEC, an agency with general

jurisdiction over the conduct of election for all elective
national and local officials. The 1987 constitution vested this
jurisdiction back to the respective Electoral Tribunals of the
Senate and House of Representatives.
Scope of the Supreme Court over decisions made by the
So long as the Constitution grants the HRET the power
to be the sole judge of all contests related to the election,
returns and qualifications of its Members, any final action
taken by the HRET on a matter within its jurisdiction shall as
a rule, not be reviewed by the Court. Its corrective power
extends only to decisions and resolutions constituting a grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction
by the Electoral Tribunals.
Daza versus Singson
Tribunal and its Composition
The Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) was
reorganized resulting to a political realignment in the lower
house. LDP also changed its representation in the
Commission on Appointments. They withdrew the seat
occupied by Daza (LDP member) and gave it to the new LDP
member. Thereafter the chamber elected a new set of
representatives in the CoA which consisted of the original
members except Daza who was replaced by Singson. Daza
questioned such replacement.
ISSUE: Whether or not a change resulting from a political
realignment validly changes the composition of the
Commission on Appointments.
As provided in the constitution, there should be a
Commission on Appointments consisting of twelve Senators
and twelve members of the House of Representatives elected
by each House respectively on the basis of proportional
representation of the political parties therein, this
necessarily connotes the authority of each house of Congress
to see to it that the requirement is duly complied with.
Therefore, it may take appropriate measures, not only upon

the initial organization of the Commission but also

subsequently thereto NOT the court.
Coseteng Versus Mitra
Congressional elections of May 11, 1987 resulted in
representatives from diverse political parties Petitioner Anna
Dominique Coseteng was the only candidate elected under
the banner of KAIBA.
A year later, the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino or
LDP was organized as a political party. As 158 out of 202
members of the House of Representatives formally affiliated
with the LDP, the House committees, including the House
representation in the Commission on Appointments, had to
be reorganized. Petitioner Coseteng then wrote a letter to
Speaker Ramon Mitra requesting that as representative of
KAIBA, she be appointed as a member of the Commission on
Appointments and House Electoral Tribunal.
On December 5, 1988, the House of Representatives,
revised the House majority membership in the Commission
on Appointments to conform with the new political
alignments by replacing Rep. Raul A. Daza, LP, with Rep. Luis
C. Singson, LDP, however, Congressman Ablan, KBL, was
retained as the 12th member representing the House
On February 1, 1989, Coseteng and her party, filed this
Petition for Extraordinary Legal Writs praying that the
Supreme Court declare as null and void the election of
respondent Ablan, Verano-Yap, Romero, Cuenco, Mercado,
Bandon, Cabochan, Imperial, Lobregat, Beltran, Locsin, and
Singson, as members of the Commission on Appointments, to
enjoin them from acting as such and to enjoin also the other
respondents from recognizing them as members of the
Commission on Appointments on the theory that their
election to that Commission violated the constitutional
mandate of proportional representation
1. WON the question raised is political.
2. WON the members of the House in the Commission on
Appointments were chosen on the basis of proportional

representation from the political parties therein as provided

in Section 18, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. Holding/
1. No, it is not. The political question issue was settled in
Daza vs. Singson, where this Court ruled that the legality,
and not the wisdom, of the manner of filling the Commission
on Appointments as prescribed by the Constitution is
justiciable, and, even if the question were political in nature,
it would still come within our powers of review under the
expanded jurisdiction conferred upon us by Article VIII,
Section 1, of the Constitution, which includes the authority to
determine whether grave abuse of discretion amounting to
excess or lack of jurisdiction has been committed by any
branch or instrumentality of the government.
2. Yes, petition is dismissed for lack of merit. Section 18,
Article VI of the 1987 Constitution reads: Sec. 18. There
shall be a Commission on Appointments consisting of the
President of the Senate, as ex oficio Chairman, twelve
Senators, and twelve Members of the House of
Representatives elected by each House on the basis of
proportional representation from the political parties and
parties or organizations registered under the party-list
system represented therein. The chairman of the Commission
shall not vote, except in case of a tie. The Commission shall
act on all appointments submitted to it within thirty session
days of the Congress from their submission. The commission
shall rule by a majority vote of all the Members. (Art. VI, 1987
Constitution.) The composition of the House membership in
the Commission on Appointments was based on proportional
representation of the political parties in the House. There are
160 members of the LDP in the House. They represent 79%
of the House membership (which may be rounded out to
80%). Eighty percent (80%) of 12 members in the
Commission on Appointments would equal 9.6 members,
which may be rounded out to ten (10) members from the
LDP. The remaining two seats were apportioned to the LP
(respondent Lorna Verano-Yap) as the next largest party in
the Coalesced Majority and the KBL (respondent Roque
Ablan) as the principal opposition party in the House. There is
no doubt that this apportionment of the House membership
in the Commission on Appointments was done on the basis

of proportional representation of the political parties therein.

There is no merit in the petitioners contention that the
House members in the Commission on Appointments should
have been nominated and elected by their respective
political parties. The petition itself shows that they were
nominated by their respective floor leaders in the House.
They were elected by the House (not by their party) as
provided in Section 18, Article VI of the Constitution. The
validity of their election to the Commission on Appointmentseleven (11) from the Coalesced Majority and one from the
minority-is unassailable.
Section 21&22
Teofisto Guingona vs Neptali Gonzales
HRETs Composition Rounding Of
After the May 11, 1992 elections, the senate was
composed of 15 LDP senators, 5 NPC senators, 3 LAKASNUCD senators, and 1 LP-PDP-LABAN senator. To suffice the
requirement that each house must have 12 representatives
in the CoA, the parties agreed to use the traditional formula:
(No. of Senators of a political party) x 12 seats) Total No. of
Senators elected. The results of such a formula would
produce 7.5 members for LDP, 2.5 members for NPC, 1.5
members for LAKAS-NUCD, and 0.5 member for LP-PDPLABAN. Romulo, as the majority floor leader, nominated 8
senators from their party because he rounded off 7.5 to 8
and that Taada from LP-PDP-LABAN should represent the
same party to the CoA. This is also pursuant to the
proposition compromise by Sen Tolentino who proposed that
the elected members of the CoA should consist of eight LDP,







Guingona, a member of LAKAS-NUCD, opposed the said

every 2 duly elected senators-members in the CoA. Where


there are more than 2 parties in Senate, a party which has

He alleged that the compromise is against

proportional representation.

only one member senator cannot constitutionally claim a

ISSUE: Whether or not rounding off is allowed in determining

a partys representation in the CoA.

seat. In order to resolve such, the parties may coalesce with
















affiliations with the other party.

It is a fact accepted by all such parties that each of
them is entitled to a fractional membership on the basis of
the rule on proportional representation of each of the political
parties. A literal interpretation of Section 18 of Article VI of
the Constitution leads to no other manner of application. The
problem is what to do with the fraction of .5 or 1/2 to which
each of the parties is entitled. The LDP majority in the Senate






membership of one senator by adding one half or .5 to 7.5 to

be able to elect Romulo. In so doing one other partys
fractional membership was correspondingly reduced leaving







Appointments to less than their proportional representation

in the Senate. This is clearly a violation of Section 18 because
it is no longer in compliance with its mandate that
membership in the Commission be based on the proportional
representation of the political parties. The election of Senator
Romulo gave more representation to the LDP and reduced
the representation of one political party

either the LAKAS

NUCD or the NPC. A party should have at least 1 seat for


Marciano Pineda of the Laban ng Demokratikong
Pilipino (LDP) and Dr. Ermigidio Bondoc of the Nacionalista
Party were rivals in the congressional elections held on May
11, 1987. Pineda was the proclaimed winner, but Bondoc filed
a protest before the House of Representatives Electoral
Tribunal(HRET). The said tribunal is composed of nine (9)
members, 3 of whom are Justices of the Supreme Court, and
the remaining six (6) are members of the House of
Representatives chosen on the basis of proportional
representation from political parties and party list. A decision
has been reached by the HRET where Bondoc won over by
Pineda; thus the LDP members in the tribunal insisted on a
reappreciation of votes and recount of ballots delaying the
finalization of the decision at least four months.
Thereexamination resulted in increase of Bondocs lead over
Pineda from 23 to 107 votes. It shall be noted that
Congressman Camasura, a member LDP, voted with the
Supreme Court Justices to proclaim Bondoc the winner of the
contest; hence, HRET issued a Notice of Promulgation No. 25
declaring Bondoc as the winner. Subsequently, Congressman
Cojuanco informed Camasura and Bautista that the LDP

expelled them from the party on the ground of betrayal to

the cause and objectives, and loyalty to LDP. Thereafter,
Cojuanco informed the House Speaker Mitra of the ouster of
the said Congressmen and their decision to withdraw the
nomination and rescind the election of Camasura to the
HRET. The Tribunal issued a Resolution canceling the previous
decision on the ground that without the vote of Congressman
Camasura, who was relieved from the Tribunal, the decision
lacks the concurrence of five members as required by Sec. 24
of the Rules of Tribunal, and therefore, cannot be validly
promulgated. A Petition for certiorari, prohibition and
mandamus was filed by Bondoc seeking the following
reliefs:1.) to annul the decision of HRET to withdraw the
nomination of Camasura to the HRET.;2.) issue a writ of
prohibition restraining whoever may be designated in place
of Camasura from assuming, ossupying, and discharging
functions as a member of the HRET,;3.)writ of mandamus
ordering Camasura to return and discharge his functions as a
member of the HRET; In his answer, Pineda asserts that the
Congress being the sole authority that nominates and elects
the members of the HRET; hence, it has the power to remove
any of them whenever the ratio in representation of the
political parties materially changed.
ISSUE: Whether of not the House of Representatives, at the
request of the dominant party, change the partys
representation in the House Representatives Electoral
Tribunal to thwart the promulgation of a decision freely
reached by the said tribunal in an election contest pending
DECISION: SC ruled in favor of Bondoc.
RATIO: (Read Section 17, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution)
The tribunal was created to function as a non partisan
court although two-thirds of its members are politicians. The
purpose of the constitutional convention creating the
Electoral Tribunal was to provide an independent and
impartial tribunal for the determination of contests to
legislative office, devoid of partisan consideration and to
transfer to that tribunal all powers in matter pertaining to
contested election of its members. The Tribunal is a body
separate from and independent from the legislature.

Resolution of House of Representatives violates the

independence of HRET.
The Resolution of House of Representatives removing
Congressman Camasura from the HRET for disloyalty to LDP,
because he cast a vote in favor of Nacionalista party, is a
clear impairment of the constitutional prerogative of the
HRET to be the sole judge of the election contest between
Pineda and Bondoc. To sanction such interference would
reduce the HRET as a mere tool for the advancement of a
party in power.
Disloyalty to party is not a valid cause for termination of
membership in the HRET
As judges, the members of the tribunal must be nonpartisan. They must discharge their functions with complete
detachment, impartiality, and independenceeven
independence from political party to which they belong. In
expelling Camasura from HRET for that ground, the HRET
committed grave abuse of discretion, an injustice, and a
violation of the Constitution. Such resolution is therefore null
and void.
Expulsion of Congressman Camasura violates his right to
security of tenure.
Members of the HRET, as judges, are entitled to
security of tenure, just as members of judiciary enjoy security
of tenure under our Constitution (Sec 2.,Art VIII, 1987
Constitution). Membership in the HRET may not be
terminated except for just cause, such as, expiration of the
members congressional term of office, death, permanent
disability, resignation from political party which he
represents, formal affiliation with another political party, and
removal for other valid cause. A member may not be
expelled by the House of Representatives for party disloyalty
short of proof that he has formally affiliated with another
political group. The records shows that Camasura has not
formally affiliated with another political group; thus, his
termination from HRET was not for valid cause, hence, it
violated his right to security of tenure.
Angara versus Electoral Commission

In the elections of Sept. 17, 1935, petitioner Jose A.

Angara and the respondents Pedro Ynsua, Miguel Castillo,
and Dionisio Mayor were candidates voted for the position of
members of the National Assembly for the first district of
Tayabas. On Oct. 7, 1935, the provincial board of canvassers
proclaimed Angara as member-elect of the National Assembly
and on Nov. 15, 1935, he took his oath of office.
On Dec. 3, 1935, the National Assembly passed
Resolution No. 8, which in effect, fixed the last date to file
election protests. On Dec. 8, 1935, Ynsua filed before the
Electoral Commission a "Motion of Protest" against Angara
and praying, among other things, that Ynsua be
named/declared elected Member of the National Assembly or
that the election of said position be nullified. On Dec. 9,
1935, the Electoral Commission adopted a resolution (No. 6)
stating that last day for filing of protests is on Dec. 9.
Angara contended that the Constitution confers
exclusive jurisdiction upon the Electoral Commission solely as
regards the merits of contested elections to the National
Assembly and the Supreme Court therefore has no
jurisdiction to hear the case.
(1) Whether or not the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over
the Electoral Commission and the subject matter of the
controversy upon the foregoing related facts, and in the
(2) Whether or not the said Electoral Commission acted
without or in excess of its jurisdiction in assuming to take
cognizance of the protest filed against the election of the
herein petitioner notwithstanding the previous confirmation
of such election by resolution of the National Assembly
RULING: On the issue of jurisdiction of the Supreme Court
The separation of powers is a fundamental principle of
a system of government. It obtains not through a single
provision but by actual division in our Constitution that each
department of the government has exclusive cognizance of
matters within its jurisdiction, and is supreme within its own
sphere. But it does not follow from that fact that the three
powers are to be kept separate and that the Constitution
intended them to be absolutely restrained and independent

of each other. The Constitution has provided for an elaborate

system of checks and balances to secure coordination in the
workings of the various departments of the government.
In case of conflict, the judicial department is the only
constitutional organ which can be called upon to determine
the proper allocation of powers between the several
departments and among the integral and constituent units
As any human production, our Constitution
is of course lacking perfection and perfectibility, but as much
as it was within the power of our people, acting through their
delegates to so provide, that instrument which is the
expression of their sovereignty however limited, has
established a republican government intended to operate
and function as a harmonious whole, under a system of
checks and balances and subject to the specific limitations
and restrictions provided in the said instrument.
The Constitution itself has provided for the
instrumentality of the judiciary as the rational way. When the
judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries, it
does not assert any superiority over the other departments;
it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the
legislature, but only asserts the solemn and sacred obligation
assigned to it by the Constitution to determine conflicting
claims of authority under the Constitution and to establish for
the parties in an actual controversy the rights which that
instrument secures and guarantees to them. This is in truth
all that is involved in what is termed "judicial supremacy"
which properly is the power of judicial review under the
Even then, this power of judicial review is limited to
actual cases and controversies to be exercised after full
opportunity of argument by the parties and limited further to
the constitutional question raised or the very lis mota
presented. Courts accord the presumption of constitutionality
to legislative enactments, not only because the legislature is
presumed to abide by the Constitution, but also because the
judiciary in the determination of actual cases and
controversies must respect the wisdom and justice of the
people as expressed through their representatives in the
executive and legislative departments of government.

In the case at bar, here is then presented an actual

controversy involving as it does a conflict of a grave
constitutional nature between the National Assembly on the
one hand and the Electoral Commission on the other.
Although the Electoral Commission may not be interfered
with, when and while acting within the limits of its authority,
it does not follow that it is beyond the reach of the
constitutional mechanism adopted by the people and that it
is not subject to constitutional restrictions. The Electoral
Commission is not a separate department of the government,
and even if it were, conflicting claims of authority under the
fundamental law between departmental powers and agencies
of the government are necessarily determined by the
judiciary in justiciable and appropriate cases.
The court has jurisdiction over the Electoral
Commission and the subject matter of the present
controversy for the purpose of determining the character,
scope, and extent of the constitutional grant to the Electoral
Commission as "the sole judge of all contests relating to the
election, returns, and qualifications of the members of the
National Assembly."
On the issue of jurisdiction of the Electoral Commission
The creation of the Electoral Commission was designed
to remedy certain errors of which the framers of our
Constitution were cognizant. The purpose was to transfer in
its totality all the powers previously exercised by the
legislature in matters pertaining to contested elections of its
members, to an independent and impartial tribunal.
The Electoral Commission is a constitutional creation,
invested with the necessary authority in the performance and
exercise of the limited and specific function assigned to it by
the Constitution. Although it is not a power in our tripartite
scheme of government, it is, to all intents and purposes,
when acting within the limits of its authority, an independent
The grant of power to the Electoral Commission to
judge all contests relating to the election, returns, and
qualifications of members of the National Assembly, is
intended to be as complete and unimpaired as if it had
remained originally in the legislature. The express lodging of
that power in the Electoral Commission is an implied denial in

the exercise of that power by the National Assembly. And

thus, it is as effective a restriction upon the legislative power
as an express prohibition in the Constitution.
The creation of the Electoral Commission carried with
it ex necessitate rei the power regulative in character to limit
the time within which protests instructed to its cognizance
should be filed. Therefore, the incidental power to
promulgate such rules necessary for the proper exercise of its
exclusive power to judge all contests relating to the election,
returns, and qualifications of members of the National
Assembly, must be deemed by necessary implication to have
been lodged also in the Electoral Commission.
It appears that on Dec. 9, 1935, the Electoral
Commission met for the first time and approved a resolution
fixing said date as the last day for the filing of election
protests. When, therefore, the National Assembly passed its
resolution of Dec. 3, 1935, confirming the election of the
petitioner to the National Assembly, the Electoral
Commission had not yet met; neither does it appear that said
body had actually been organized.
While there might have been good reason for the
legislative practice of confirmation of the election of
members of the legislature at the time the power to decide
election contests was still lodged in the legislature,
confirmation alone by the legislature cannot be construed as
depriving the Electoral Commission of the authority
incidental to its constitutional power to be "the sole judge of
all contests...", to fix the time for the filing of said election
The Electoral Commission is acting within the
legitimate exercise of its constitutional prerogative in
assuming to take cognizance of the protest filed by the
respondent, Pedro Ynsua against he election of the herein
petitioner, Jose A. Angara, and that the resolution of the
National Assembly on Dec. 3, 1935, cannot in any manner toll
the time for filing protest against the election, returns, and
qualifications of the members of the National Assembly, nor
prevent the filing of protests within such time as the rules of
the Electoral Commission might prescribe.

RA 6715 Section 13
Concepcion-Bautista vs. Salonga, 172 SCRA 160 (1989)

Provides that the Chairman and Commissioners of the NLRC shall be

appointed by the President upon the confirmation of CA.




Bautista was appointed by President Aquino, from an ad interim

appointment, as the Chairperson of the CHR. She took her oath and1. Confirmation from CA is only required when the appointee
assumed the duties and responsibilities of the position. Herinvolved in the first group, including those officers whose
appointment was questioned by the CA because she was appointedappointments are expressly vested by the constitution itself in the
without having the CA confirm her nomination.
President (i.e. sectoral reps to Congress and members of the CSC,
Contention c/o Bautista
2. Confirmation is not required when the President appoints other
CA does not have the jurisdiction to question her appointment.
government officers whose appointments are not otherwise
provided for by law or those officers whom he may be authorized by
Held & Ratio
law to appoint
The position of Chairman of the Commission on Human
Rights is not among the positions mentioned in the first group of
presidential appointees, as enumerated in Article 7, Section 16,3. Confirmation is not required in the appointment of those from
appointments to which are to be made with the confirmation of theinferior offices, because it shall be construed as those officers
CA. The appointment of the Chairman of the CHR is not specificallywhose appointments are not otherwise provided for by law
provided in the constitution itself, unlike the Chairpersons and
members of the COMELEC, CSC, and COA, whose appointments are
expressly vested by the constitution in the President, with the
consent of the CA. The President shall validly appoint the Chairman
of the CHR, without the confirmation of the CA, pursuant to the
abovementioned constitutional provision.
Calderon vs. Carale, G.R. No. 91636, April 23, 1992
WON Congress may, by law, require confirmation by the CA of
Fast facts
appointments extended by the President to government officers
President Aquino appointed the Chairman and Commissioners of theadditional to those expressly mentioned in Article 7, Section 16 fo
NLRC representing the public workers and employers sectors. It wasthe Constitution whose appointments require confirmation from the
stated that the appointees may qualify and assume the duties andCA
responsibilities of their appointed seats.

Contention c/o pet

Section 13 of RA 6715 must mandatorily be complied with.

Held & Ratio:
As to the constitutionality of the appointments. The President is
within her authority to appoint the Chairman and Commissioners of
the NLRC without the prior confirmation of the CA. The
aforementioned officials are not included in the first group of
appointees, as clearly explained in Mison. As to the constitutionality
of RA 6715. Unconstitutional. It amends legislation by adding to the
first group provided in Article 7, Section 16, additional officers which
it requires to be appointed by the President upon the confirmation
of the CA. It appears that the legislature is not happy with the
lessened role of the CA in the appointment process, as compared to
the 1935 Constitution.

G.Powers and Functions:

3.Constituent powers: Legislatice

inquiries(sec. 21); appropriation
Bengzon Versus Blue Ribbon Committee
Petition for prohibition to review the decision of the Senate
Blue Ribbon Committee. Granted.

On 30 July 1987, the Republic of the Philippines,
represented by the Presidential Commission on Good
Governance (PCGG), filed a complaint with Sandiganbayan
against the petitioners of this case. PCGG allege, among
others, that: defendants (petitioners therein) Benjamin
Kokoy Romualdez and Juliette. Gomez Romualdez, alleged
cronies of former President Marcos and First Lady Imelda
Romualdez Marcos, engaged in schemes and stratagems to
unjustly enrich themselves at the expense of the Filipino
people. Among these stratagems are (1) obtained control of
some big business enterprises such as MERALCO, Pilipinas
Shell, and PCI Bank, (2) manipulated the formation of
Erectors Holding Inc, to appear viable and borrow more
capital, reaching a total of more that P2 billion, (3)
collaborated with lawyers (petitioners therein) of the Bengzon
Law Offices in concealing funds and properties, in
maneuvering the purported sale of interests in certain
corporations, in misusing the Meralco Pension Fund worth
P25 million, and in cleverly hiding behind the veil of
corporate entity. On 13 September 1988, Sen. Juan Ponce
Enrile delivered a speech before the Senate on the alleged
take-over of SolOil Incorporated by Ricardo Lopa (who died
during the pendency of this case) and called upon the senate
to look into possible violation of the Anti Graft and Corrupt
Practices Act or RA 3019. The Senate Committee on
Accountability of Public Officers or Blue Ribbon Committee
(SBRC) started its investigation through a hearing on 23 May
1989, but Lopa and Bengzon declined to testify. The SBRC
rejected petitioner Bengzons plea and voted to pursue its
investigation. Petitioner claims that the SBRC, in requiring
their attendance and testimony, acted in excess of its
jurisdiction and legislative purpose. Hence this petition.
1. WON the court has jurisdiction over this case.
2. WON the SBRCs inquiry has a valid legislative purpose.
3. WON the sale or disposition of the Romualdez corporations
is a purely private transaction which is beyond the power of
the SBRC to inquire into.
4. WON the inquiry violates the petitioners right to due

1. YES. As the court held in Angara vs. Electoral Commission,
the Constitution provided for an elaborate system of checks
and balances to secure coordination in the workings of the
departments of the government, and it is the judiciary that
was vested of the powers to determine the scope, nature and
extent of such powers.
2. NO. The speech of Sen. Enrile contained no suggestion on
contemplated legislation; he merely called upon the Senate
to look into a possible violation of Sec. 5 of RA 3019. The
purpose of the inquiry to be conducted by respondent SBRC
was to find out WON the relatives of President Aquino,
particularly Ricardo Lopa, had violated the law in connection
with the alleged sale of the 36/39 corporations of Kokoy
Romualdez to the Lopa Group. There appears, therefore, no
intended legislation involved. The inquiry also is not
conducted pursuant to Senate Resolution No. 2123 (SR
2123), as the committee alleges. The inquiry under SR 2123
is to look into the charges against PCGG filed by stockholders
of Oriental Petroleum in connection with the implementation
of Section 26 Article XVIII of the Constitution.
3. YES. Mr. Lopa and the petitioners are not connected with
the government and did their acts as private citizens, hence
such a case of alleged graft and corruption is within the
jurisdiction, not of the SBRC, but of the courts.
Sandiganbayan already took jurisdiction of this issue before
the SBRC did. The inquiry of the respondent committee into
the same justiciable controversy already before the
Sandiganbayan would be an encroachment of into the
exclusive domain of judicial jurisdiction.
4. NO. The Constitution provides the right of an accused of a
crime to remain silent; this extends also to respondents in
administrative investigation but only if they partake of the
nature of a criminal proceeding. This is not so in this case.
BUT since the court already held that the inquiry is not in aid
of legislation, the petitioners therein cannot be compelled to

Petitioners, who filed petition for prohibition with
prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction questioning the
constitutionality of the first paragraph of Section 44 of
Presidential Decree No. 1177 as concerned citizens of the
Philippines, as members of the National Assembly/Batasan
Pambansa representing their millions of constituents, as
parties with general interest common to all the people of the
Philippines, and as taxpayers whose vital interest may be
affected. Said paragraph 1 of Section 44 provides:
The President shall have the authority to transfer any
fund, appropriated for the different departments,
bureaus, offices and general agencies of the Executive
Department, which are included in the General
Appropriations Act, to any program, project or activity
of any department, bureau, office included in the
General Appropriations Act or approved after its
Petitioners claim that it is in violation of Section 16[5], Article
VIII of the 1973 Constitution.
Whether or not the first paragraph of Section 44 of
Presidential Decree No. 1177 is in violation of Section16[5],
Article VIII of the 1973 Constitution.
Whether or not the Judiciary may encroach with the
exercise of functions of the legislative and executive
(1)The first paragraph of Section 44 of Presidential Decree
No. 1177 is in violation of Section 16[5], Article VIII of the
1973 Constitution. Section 16[5], Article VIII of the 1973
Constitution provides:
No law shall be passed authorizing any transfer of
appropriations, however, the President, the Prime
Minister, the Speaker, the Chief Justice of the Supreme
Court, and the heads of constitutional commissions
may bylaw be authorized to augment any item in the
general appropriations law for their respective offices
from savings in other items of their respective

Section 16 authorizes the President to augment any

item in the general appropriations law for their respective
offices; however, first paragraph of Section 44 of Presidential
Decree No. 1177 unduly over-extends the privilege granted
under said Section 16[5]. It empowers the President to
indiscriminately transfer funds from one departments,
bureaus, offices and general agencies of the Executive
Department to any program, project or activity of any
department, bureau, office included in the General
Appropriations Act or approved after its enactment. Indeed,
such provision in question is null and void.
(2)The law provides the doctrine of Separation of Powers as
well as Checks and Balances to ensure that no abuse of
power shall take place. Therefore, where the legislature or
the executive branch is acting within the limits of its
authority, the judiciary cannot and ought not to interfere with
the former. But where the legislature or the executive acts
beyond the scope of its constitutional powers, it becomes the
duty of the judiciary to declare what the other branches of
the government had assumed to do, as void

GUINGONA v. CARAGUE, G.R. No. 94571 April 22, 1991

This is a case of first impression whereby petitioners question
the constitutionality of the automatic appropriation for debt
service in the 1990 budget.
The said automatic appropriation for debt service is
authorized by P.D. No. 81, entitled "Amending Certain
Provisions of Republic Act Numbered Four Thousand Eight
Hundred Sixty, as Amended (Re: Foreign Borrowing Act)," by
P.D. No. 1177, entitled "Revising the Budget Process in Order
to Institutionalize the Budgetary Innovations of the New
Society," and by P.D. No. 1967, entitled "An Act
Strengthening the Guarantee and Payment Positions of the
Republic of the Philippines on Its Contingent Liabilities Arising
out of Relent and Guaranteed Loan by Appropriating Funds

For The Purpose.

The petitioner seek the declaration of the unconstitutionality
of P.D. No. 81, Sections 31 of P.D. 1177, and P.D. No. 1967.
The petition also seeks to restrain the disbursement for debt
service under the 1990 budget pursuant to said decrees.
Petitioners argue that the said automatic appropriations
under the aforesaid decrees of then President Marcos
became functus oficio when he was ousted in February,
1986; that upon the expiration of the one-man legislature in
the person of President Marcos, the legislative power was
restored to Congress on February 2, 1987 when the
Constitution was ratified by the people; that there is a need
for a new legislation by Congress providing for automatic
appropriation, but Congress, up to the present, has not
approved any such law; and thus the said P86.8 Billion
automatic appropriation in the 1990 budget is an
administrative act that rests on no law, and thus, it cannot be
Moreover, petitioners contend that assuming arguendo that
P.D. No. 81, P.D. No. 1177 and P.D. No. 1967 did not expire
with the ouster of President Marcos, after the adoption of the
1987 Constitution, the said decrees are inoperative under
Section 3, Article XVIII which provides
Sec. 3. All existing laws, decrees, executive orders,
proclamations, letters of instructions, and other executive
issuances not inconsistent with this Constitution shall remain
operative until amended, repealed, or revoked." (Emphasis
They then point out that since the said decrees are
inconsistent with Section 24, Article VI of the Constitution,
Sec. 24. All appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bills
authorizing increase of the public debt, bills of local
application, and private bills shall originate exclusively in the
House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or
concur with amendments. (Emphasis supplied.) Whereby bills
have to be approved by the President, then a law must be
passed by Congress to authorize said automatic
appropriation. Further, petitioners state said decrees violate
Section 29(l) of Article VI of the Constitution which provides

as follows
Sec. 29(l). No money shall be paid out of the Treasury except
in pursuance of an appropriation made by law.
They assert that there must be definiteness, certainty and
exactness in an appropriation; otherwise it is an undue
delegation of legislative power to the President who
determines in advance the amount appropriated for the debt
service. 12
RULING: The Court is not persuaded.
Section 3, Article XVIII of the Constitution recognizes that "All
existing laws, decrees, executive orders, proclamations,
letters of instructions and other executive issuances not
inconsistent with the Constitution shall remain operative until
amended, repealed or revoked."
This transitory provision of the Constitution has precisely
been adopted by its framers to preserve the social order so
that legislation by the then President Marcos may be
recognized. Such laws are to remain in force and effect
unless they are inconsistent with the Constitution or, are
otherwise amended, repealed or revoked.
The Court, therefore, finds that R.A. No. 4860, as amended by
P.D. No. 81, Section 31 of P.D. 1177 and P.D. No. 1967
constitute lawful authorizations or appropriations, unless they
are repealed or otherwise amended by Congress. The
Executive was thus merely complying with the duty to
implement the same.


Buenavista Estate Original owner: San Juan de Dios
Hospital Jan 1, 1939 to Jan 1, 1964Philippine Govt has the
option to purchase this property for Php3,000,000 within this
period if the Philippine Govt will not purchase this property,
it will be disposed in court on June 21,1944But if Philippine
Govt will opt to purchase the said property, they'll pay the
owner the sum of Php3,000,000June 29, 1946San Juan de
Dios Hospital sold the property to Ernest Burt for Php

5,000,000 who made adown payment of Php 10,000 and

agreed to pay Php 500,000 within one year and the
remainder in annual installments of Php 500,000 each Failure
to make any of said payments would cause the forfeiture of
his down payment of Php10,000 and would entitle the
Hospital to rescind the sale to him. Latter part of October,
1949Philippine Government, through the Rural Progress
Administration bought Buenavista Estate for Php 4,500,000.
Php 1,000,000 was paid to Burt through his attorney- in- fact
in the Philippines, the Assoc. Estates Inc. represented by Jean
Tambobong Estate Original owner:
Philippine Trust Company May 14, 1946Philippine Trust
Company sold this to Burt for Php 1,200,000, who paid Php
10,000 and promised to pay Php 90,000 within 9 months and
the balance of Php 1,100,000 in 10successive annual
installments of Php 110,000 each Feb. 14, 19479 month
period expired without Burt's having paid the said or any
other amount then or afterwards Sept. 4, 1947Philippine Trust
Company sold, conveyed, and delivered the estate to RURAL
PROGRESSADMINISTRATION by an absolute dead of sale in
consideration of the sum of Php 750,000February 5,
1948Rural Progress Administration made a notarial demand
upon Bert for the resolution and cancellation of his contract
of purchase with the Philippine Trust Company due to his
failure to pay the installment of Php 90,000 within the period
of 9 months CFI of Rizal ordered the cancellation of Burts
certificate of title and the issuance of a new one in the name
of the Rural Progress Administration. Latter part of October,
1949the Philippine Government, through the Rural Progress
Administration bought Tambobong Estate for the sum of Php
500,000, which was all paid to Burt through his other
attorney- in-fact, the North Manila Development Co., Inc.,
also represented by Jean L. Arnault for the TAMBOBONG
October 29, 1949: 2 checks payable to Burt aggregating Php
1,500,000 were delivered to Arnault.
That same day, Arnault opened a new account in
Burts name with the Philippine National Bank where he
deposited the two checks aggregating Php 1,500,000

On the same occasion, he drew on the same account 2

checks One check for Php 500,000, which he transferred to
the account of the Associated Agencies, Inc.
Another check for Php440,000 payable to cash, which he
himself cashed.
It was the desire of the Senate to determine the ultimate
recipient of the sum of Php440,000
Feb 27, 1950, Senate adopted its Resolution No. 8 to
investigate the Buenavista and the Tambobong Estate Deals.
A special committee was created by the said resolution to
work on the investigation
Arnault refused/ dont want to mention who was the ultimate
recipient of the sum of Php440,000 because
His answer might be used against him. Also, he said
that it is his constitutional right torefuse to incriminate
himself. According to him, such question violates his right as
a citizen to have privacy in his dealings with other people.
I dont remember the name; he was a representative of
Burt I am not sure; I dont remember the name
Without securing a receipt, he turned over the Php440,
000 to a certain person, are presentative of Burt, in
compliance with Burts verbal instruction made in 1946;that,
as far as he know, that certain person had nothing to do with
the negations for the settlement of the Buenavista and
Tambobong cases; that he had seen that person several
times before he gave him the money on Oct. 29, 1949, and
that since then he had seen him again 2 or 3 items. The last
time being in Dec,1949, in Manila; that the person was a
male, 39-40 years old, bet. 52- 56.Senate deliberated and
hereby committed the petitioner to the custody of the
Sergeant- at- Armsand imprisoned until he shall have
purged the contempt by revealing to the Senate or to the
aforesaid Special Committee the name of the person to
whom he gave the Php 440,000.
1.The Senate has no power to punish Arnault for contempt
for refusing to reveal the name of the person to whom he
gave the Php 440,000, because such information is
immaterial to, and will not serve, any intended or purported
legislation and his refusal to answer the question has not

embarrassed, obstructed, or impeded the legislative

process.2.Senate lacks authority to commit him for contempt
for a term beyond its period of legislative session, which
ended on May 18, 19503.Petitioner invokes the privilege
against self- incrimination.
HELD: The petition must be denied.
RATIO:[for issue #1]
Subject of the inquiry was the questionable
expenditure of the Government of Php 5,000,000 of public
funds. Thus, its been decided that its within the jurisdiction
of the Senate.
Power of the Court is limited to determining whether
the legislative body has jurisdiction to institute the inquiry/
Once an inquiry is established to be within the
jurisdiction of a legislative body to make, we think 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.
Also, once the jurisdiction is conceded, the SC cannot
control the exercise of that jurisdiction or the use of
Congressional discretion
Inquiry should be within the jurisdiction, material/
necessary for the exercise of a power vested by the Congress
and every question which the investigator is empowered to
coerce a witness to answer must be material or pertinent to
the subject of the inquiry
The materiality of the question must be determined by its
direct relation to the subject of the inquiry
The ruling of the Senate on the materiality of the information
sought from the witness is presumed to be correct.
The investigation had not been completed, because
due to the contumacy of the witness, his committee had not
yet determined the parties responsible for the anomalous
transaction as required by Resolution no. 8
The bills recommended by this committee had not
been approved by the House and might not be approved
pending the completion of the investigation.

Those bills were not necessarily all the measures that

Congress might deem it necessary to pass after the
investigation is finished
This atmosphere of suspicion must be dissipated, and
it can only be done if appropriate steps are taken by the
Senate to compel Arnault to stop pretending that he cannot
remember the name of the person to whom he gave the
Php440,000 and answer the questions which will definitely
establish the identity of that person
[for issue #2]
Court finds no sound reason to limit the power of a
legislative body to punish for contempt to the end of every
session and not to the end of the last session terminating the
existence of that body. Exercising the power to punish for
contempt is enables the legislative body to perform its
constitutional function without impediment or obstruction.
Legislative functions may be and in practice are
performed during recess by duly constituted committee
charged with the duty of performing investigations or
conducting hearing relative to any proposed legislation. To
deny such committees the power of inquiry with process to
enforce it would be to defeat the very purpose for which that
power is recognized in the legislative body as an essential
and appropriate auxiliary to its legislative function.
There is no limit as to time to the Senates power to
punish for contempt in cases where that power may
constitutionally be exerted as in the present case.
By refusing to answer the questions, the witness has
obstructed the performance by the Senateof its legislative
function, and the Senate has the power to remove the
obstruction by compelling the witness to answer the
questions thru restraint of his liberty until he shall have
answered them.
This power subsists as long as the Senate, which is a
continuing body, persists in performing the particular
legislative function involved.
Also, its an absurd, unnecessary and vexatious
procedure if we are to hold that the power to punish for
contempt terminates upon the adjournment of the session,
the Senate would have to resume the investigation at the

next and succeeding sessions and repeat the contempt

proceedings against the witness until the investigation is
[for issue # 3]
The ground upon which the witness claim is based is too
shaky, infirm, and slippery to afford him safety.
His insistent claim before the bar of the Senate that if
he should reveal the name he would incriminate himself,
necessarily implied that he knew the name. Its also
unbelievable that he gave Php440,000 to a person unknown
to him
Since according to the witness himself, the transaction
was legal, and that he gave the Php440,000 to a
representative of Burt in compliance with the latters verbal
instruction, court cant find a basis upon which to sustain his
claim that to reveal the name of that person might in
criminate him.
Testimony which is obviously false or evasive is
equivalent to a refusal to testify and is punishable as
contempt assuming that a refusal to testify would be so
It is the witnesss clear duty as a citizen to give frank,
sincere and truthful testimony before acompetent authority.
The state has the right to exact fulfillment of a citizens
obligation; consistent of course with isright under the
Abra Valley College Versus Aquino
Petitioner Abra Valley College is an educational
corporation and institution of higher learning duly
incorporated with the SEC in 1948. On 6 July 1972, the
Municipal and Provincial treasurers (Gaspar Bosque and
Armin Cariaga, respectively) and issued a Notice of Seizure
upon the petitioner for the college lot and building (OCT Q83) for the satisfaction of said taxes thereon. The treasurers
served upon the petitioner a Notice of Sale on 8 July 1972,
the sale being held on the same day. Dr. Paterno Millare, then

municipal mayor of Bangued, Abra, offered the highest bid of

P 6,000 on public auction involving the sale of the college lot
and building. The certificate of sale was correspondingly
issued to him.
The petitioner filed a complaint on 10 July 1972 in the
court a quo to annul and declare void the Notice of Seizure
and the Notice of Sale of its lot and building located at
Bangued, Abra, for non-payment of real estate taxes and
penalties amounting to P5,140.31. On 12 April 1973, the
parties entered into a stipulation of facts adopted and
embodied by the trial court in its questioned decision. The
trial court ruled for the government, holding that the second
floor of the building is being used by the director for
residential purposes and that the ground floor used and
rented by Northern Marketing Corporation, a commercial
establishment, and thus the property is not being used
exclusively for educational purposes. Instead of perfecting
an appeal, petitioner availed of the instant petition for review
on certiorari with prayer for preliminary injunction before the
Supreme Court, by filing said petition on 17 August 1974.
The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the CFI
Abra (Branch I) subject to the modification that half of the
assessed tax be returned to the petitioner. The modification
is derived from the fact that the ground floor is being used
for commercial purposes (leased) and the second floor being
used as incidental to education (residence of the director).
Issue: Should there be tax exemption?
Interpretation of the phrase used exclusively for
educational purposes
Section 22, paragraph 3, Article VI, of the then 1935
Philippine Constitution, expressly grants exemption from
realty taxes for Cemeteries, churches and parsonages or
convents appurtenant thereto, and all lands, buildings, and
improvements used exclusively for religious, charitable or
educational purposes. This constitution is relative to Section
54, paragraph c, Commonwealth Act 470 as amended by RA
409 (Assessment Law). An institution used exclusively for
religious, charitable and educational purposes, and as such, it
is entitled to be exempted from taxation; notwithstanding
that it keeps a lodging and a boarding house and maintains a
restaurant for its members (YMCA case). A lot which is not

used for commercial purposes but serves solely as a sort of

lodging place, also qualifies for exemption because this
constitutes incidental use in religious functions (Bishop of
Nueva Segovia case).
Exemption in favor of property used exclusively for
charitable or educational purposes is not limited to property
actually indispensable there for but extends to facilities
which are incidental to and reasonably necessary for the
accomplishment of said purposes (Herrera v. Quezon City
Board of Assessment Appeals). While the Court allows a more
liberal and non-restrictive interpretation of the phrase
exclusively used for educational purposes, reasonable
emphasis has always been made that exemption extends to
facilities which are incidental to and reasonably necessary for
the accomplishment of the main purposes. The use of the
school building or lot for commercial purposes is neither
contemplated by law, nor by jurisprudence. In the case at
bar, the lease of the first floor of the building to the Northern
Marketing Corporation cannot by any stretch of the
imagination be considered incidental to the purpose of

H. The legislative process- title of the bill;

origination; procedure for enactment;
approval of bills; constitution rules on
general appropriations sec 25, ART VI
Lidasan v Comelec
G.R. No. L-28089

October 25, 1967

Sanchez, J.:

Lidasan, a resident and taxpayer of the detached portion of

Parang, Cotabato, and a qualified voter for the 1967 elections
assails the constitutionality of RA 4790 and petitioned that
Comelec's resolutions implementing the same for electoral
purposes be nullified. Under RA 4790, 12 barrios in two
municipalities in the province of Cotabato are transferred to
the province of Lanao del Sur. This brought about a change in
the boundaries of the two provinces.


Barrios Togaig and Madalum are within the municipality

of Buldon in the Province of Cotabato, and that Bayanga,
Langkong, Sarakan, Kat-bo, Digakapan, Magabo, Tabangao,
Tiongko, Colodan and Kabamakawan are parts and parcel of
another municipality, the municipality of Parang, also in
the Province of Cotabato and not of Lanao del Sur.

3. Apprised of this development, the Office of the President,

recommended to Comelec that the operation of the statute
be suspended until "clarified by correcting legislation."
4. Comelec, by resolution declared that the statute should be
implemented unless declared unconstitutional by the
Supreme Court.

ISSUE: Whether or not RA 4790, which is entitled "An Act

Creating the Municipality of Dianaton in the Province of Lanao
del Sur", but which includes barrios located in another
province Cotabato is unconstitutional for embracing more
than one subject in the title
YES. RA 4790 is null and void
1. The constitutional provision contains dual limitations upon
legislative power. First. Congress is to refrain from
conglomeration, under one statute, of heterogeneous
subjects. Second. The title of the bill is to be couched in a
language sufficient to notify the legislators and the public
and those concerned of the import of the single subject
thereof. Of relevance here is the second directive. The
subject of the statute must be "expressed in the title" of the
bill. This constitutional requirement "breathes the spirit of
command." Compliance is imperative, given the fact that the
Constitution does not exact of Congress the obligation to
read during its deliberations the entire text of the bill. In fact,
in the case of House Bill 1247, which became RA 4790, only
its title was read from its introduction to its final approval in
the House where the bill, being of local application,
2. The Constitution does not require Congress to employ in the
title of an enactment, language of such precision as to mirror,
fully index or catalogue all the contents and the minute
details therein. It suffices if the title should serve the purpose
of the constitutional demand that it inform the legislators, the
persons interested in the subject of the bill, and the public, of
the nature, scope and consequences of the proposed law and
its operation. And this, to lead them to inquire into the body
of the bill, study and discuss the same, take appropriate
action thereon, and, thus, prevent surprise or fraud upon the

3. The test of the sufficiency of a title is whether or not it is

misleading; and, which technical accuracy is not essential,
and the subject need not be stated in express terms where it
is clearly inferable from the details set forth, a title which is
so uncertain that the average person reading it would not be
informed of the purpose of the enactment or put on inquiry
as to its contents, or which is misleading, either in referring
to or indicating one subject where another or different one is
really embraced in the act, or in omitting any expression or
indication of the real subject or scope of the act, is bad.
4. The title "An Act Creating the Municipality of Dianaton, in
the Province of Lanao del Sur" projects the impression that
only the province of Lanao del Sur is affected by the creation
of Dianaton. Not the slightest intimation is there that
communities in the adjacent province of Cotabato are
incorporated in this new Lanao del Sur town. The phrase "in
the Province of Lanao del Sur," read without subtlety or
contortion, makes the title misleading, deceptive. For, the
known fact is that the legislation has a two-pronged purpose
combined in one statute: (1) it creates the municipality of
Dianaton purportedly from twenty-one barrios in the towns of
Butig and Balabagan, both in the province of Lanao del Sur;
and (2) it also dismembers two municipalities in Cotabato, a
province different from Lanao del Sur.

Finally, the title did not inform the members of Congress the
full impact of the law. One, it did not apprise the people in
the towns of Buldon and Parang in Cotabato and in the
province of Cotabato itself that part of their territory is being
taken away from their towns and province and added to the
adjacent Province of Lanao del Sur. Two, it kept the public in
the dark as to what towns and provinces were actually
affected by the bill.


208; G.R. No. L-75697; 18 Jun 1987]
Petitioner's attack on the constitutionality of the DECREE
rests on the following grounds:
1. Section 10 thereof, which imposes a tax of 30% on the
gross receipts payable to the local government is a RIDER
and the same is not germane to the subject matter thereof;
2. The tax imposed is harsh, confiscatory, oppressive and/or
in unlawful restraint of trade in violation of the due process
clause of the Constitution;
3. There is no factual nor legal basis for the exercise by the
President of the vast powers conferred upon him by
Amendment No. 6;
4. There is undue delegation of power and authority;
5. The Decree is an ex-post facto law; and
6. There is over regulation of the video industry as if it were a
nuisance, which it is not.
We shall consider the foregoing objections in seriatim.
1. The Constitutional requirement that "every bill shall
embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in the
title thereof" 1 is sufficiently complied with if the title be
comprehensive enough to include the general purpose which
a statute seeks to achieve. It is not necessary that the title
express each and every end that the statute wishes to
accomplish. The requirement is satisfied if all the parts of the
statute are related, and are germane to the subject matter
expressed in the title, or as long as they are not inconsistent
with or foreign to the general subject and title. 2 An act
having a single general subject, indicated in the title, may
contain any number of provisions, no matter how diverse
they may be, so long as they are not inconsistent with or
foreign to the general subject, and may be considered in
furtherance of such subject by providing for the method and

means of carrying out the general object." 3 The rule also is

that the constitutional requirement as to the title of a bill
should not be so narrowly construed as to cripple or impede
the power of legislation. 4 It should be given practical rather
than technical construction. 5
Tested by the foregoing criteria, petitioner's contention that
the tax provision of the DECREE is a rider is without merit.
That section reads, inter alia:
Section 10. Tax on Sale, Lease or Disposition of Videograms.
Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the
province shall collect a tax of thirty percent (30%) of the
purchase price or rental rate, as the case may be, for every
sale, lease or disposition of a videogram containing a
reproduction of any motion picture or audiovisual program.
Fifty percent (50%) of the proceeds of the tax collected shall
accrue to the province, and the other fifty percent (50%)
shall acrrued to the municipality where the tax is collected;
PROVIDED, That in Metropolitan Manila, the tax shall be
shared equally by the City/Municipality and the Metropolitan
Manila Commission.
xxx xxx xxx
The foregoing provision is allied and germane to, and is
reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of, the general
object of the DECREE, which is the regulation of the video
industry through the Videogram Regulatory Board as
expressed in its title. The tax provision is not inconsistent
with, nor foreign to that general subject and title. As a tool
for regulation 6 it is simply one of the regulatory and control
mechanisms scattered throughout the DECREE. The express
purpose of the DECREE to include taxation of the video
industry in order to regulate and rationalize the heretofore
uncontrolled distribution of videograms is evident from
Preambles 2 and 5, supra. Those preambles explain the
motives of the lawmaker in presenting the measure. The title
of the DECREE, which is the creation of the Videogram
Regulatory Board, is comprehensive enough to include the
purposes expressed in its Preamble and reasonably covers all
its provisions. It is unnecessary to express all those
objectives in the title or that the latter be an index to the
body of the DECREE.
2. Petitioner also submits that the thirty percent (30%) tax

imposed is harsh and oppressive, confiscatory, and in

restraint of trade. However, it is beyond serious question that
a tax does not cease to be valid merely because it regulates,
discourages, or even definitely deters the activities taxed. 8
The power to impose taxes is one so unlimited in force and so
searching in extent, that the courts scarcely venture to
declare that it is subject to any restrictions whatever, except
such as rest in the discretion of the authority which exercises
it. 9 In imposing a tax, the legislature acts upon its
constituents. This is, in general, a sufficient security against
erroneous and oppressive taxation.
The tax imposed by the DECREE is not only a regulatory but
also a revenue measure prompted by the realization that
earnings of videogram establishments of around P600 million
per annum have not been subjected to tax, thereby depriving
the Government of an additional source of revenue. It is an
end-user tax, imposed on retailers for every videogram they
make available for public viewing. It is similar to the 30%
amusement tax imposed or borne by the movie industry
which the theater-owners pay to the government, but which
is passed on to the entire cost of the admission ticket, thus
shifting the tax burden on the buying or the viewing public. It
is a tax that is imposed uniformly on all videogram
The levy of the 30% tax is for a public purpose. It was
imposed primarily to answer the need for regulating the
video industry, particularly because of the rampant film
piracy, the flagrant violation of intellectual property rights,
and the proliferation of pornographic video tapes. And while
it was also an objective of the DECREE to protect the movie
industry, the tax remains a valid imposition.
The public purpose of a tax may legally exist even if the
motive which impelled the legislature to impose the tax was
to favor one industry over another. 11
It is inherent in the power to tax that a state be free to select
the subjects of taxation, and it has been repeatedly held that
"inequities which result from a singling out of one particular
class for taxation or exemption infringe no constitutional
limitation". 12 Taxation has been made the implement of the
state's police power. 13

At bottom, the rate of tax is a matter better addressed to the

taxing legislature.
3. Petitioner argues that there was no legal nor factual basis
for the promulgation of the DECREE by the former President
under Amendment No. 6 of the 1973 Constitution providing
that "whenever in the judgment of the President ... , there
exists a grave emergency or a threat or imminence thereof,
or whenever the interim Batasang Pambansa or the regular
National Assembly fails or is unable to act adequately on any
matter for any reason that in his judgment requires
immediate action, he may, in order to meet the exigency,
issue the necessary decrees, orders, or letters of instructions,
which shall form part of the law of the land."
In refutation, the Intervenors and the Solicitor General's
Office aver that the 8th "whereas" clause sufficiently
summarizes the justification in that grave emergencies
corroding the moral values of the people and betraying the
national economic recovery program necessitated bold
emergency measures to be adopted with dispatch. Whatever
the reasons "in the judgment" of the then President,
considering that the issue of the validity of the exercise of
legislative power under the said Amendment still pends
resolution in several other cases, we reserve resolution of the
question raised at the proper time.
4. Neither can it be successfully argued that the DECREE
contains an undue delegation of legislative power. The grant
in Section 11 of the DECREE of authority to the BOARD to
"solicit the direct assistance of other agencies and units of
the government and deputize, for a fixed and limited period,
the heads or personnel of such agencies and units to perform
enforcement functions for the Board" is not a delegation of
the power to legislate but merely a conferment of authority
or discretion as to its execution, enforcement, and
implementation. "The true distinction is between the
delegation of power to make the law, which necessarily
involves a discretion as to what it shall be, and conferring
authority or discretion as to its execution to be exercised
under and in pursuance of the law. The first cannot be done;
to the latter, no valid objection can be made." 14 Besides, in

the very language of the decree, the authority of the BOARD

to solicit such assistance is for a "fixed and limited period"
with the deputized agencies concerned being "subject to the
direction and control of the BOARD." That the grant of such
authority might be the source of graft and corruption would
not stigmatize the DECREE as unconstitutional. Should the
eventuality occur, the aggrieved parties will not be without
adequate remedy in law.
5. The DECREE is not violative of the ex post facto principle.
An ex post facto law is, among other categories, one which
"alters the legal rules of evidence, and authorizes conviction
upon less or different testimony than the law required at the
time of the commission of the offense." It is petitioner's
position that Section 15 of the DECREE in providing that:
All videogram establishments in the Philippines are hereby
given a period of forty-five (45) days after the effectivity of
this Decree within which to register with and secure a permit
from the BOARD to engage in the videogram business and to
register with the BOARD all their inventories of videograms,
including videotapes, discs, cassettes or other technical
improvements or variations thereof, before they could be
sold, leased, or otherwise disposed of. Thereafter any
videogram found in the possession of any person engaged in
the videogram business without the required proof of
registration by the BOARD, shall be prima facie evidence of
violation of the Decree, whether the possession of such
videogram be for private showing and/or public exhibition.
raises immediately a prima facie evidence of violation of the
DECREE when the required proof of registration of any
videogram cannot be presented and thus partakes of the
nature of an ex post facto law.
The argument is untenable. As this Court held in the recent
case of Vallarta vs. Court of Appeals, et al.
... it is now well settled that "there is no constitutional
objection to the passage of a law providing that the
presumption of innocence may be overcome by a contrary
presumption founded upon the experience of human
conduct, and enacting what evidence shall be sufficient to

overcome such presumption of innocence" (People vs.

Mingoa 92 Phil. 856 [1953] at 858-59, citing 1 COOLEY, A
And the "legislature may enact that when certain facts have
been proved that they shall be prima facie evidence of the
existence of the guilt of the accused and shift the burden of
proof provided there be a rational connection between the
facts proved and the ultimate facts presumed so that the
inference of the one from proof of the others is not
unreasonable and arbitrary because of lack of connection
between the two in common experience".
Applied to the challenged provision, there is no question that
there is a rational connection between the fact proved, which
is non-registration, and the ultimate fact presumed which is
violation of the DECREE, besides the fact that the prima facie
presumption of violation of the DECREE attaches only after a
forty-five-day period counted from its effectivity and is,
therefore, neither retrospective in character.
6. We do not share petitioner's fears that the video industry
is being over-regulated and being eased out of existence as if
it were a nuisance. Being a relatively new industry, the need
for its regulation was apparent. While the underlying
objective of the DECREE is to protect the moribund movie
industry, there is no question that public welfare is at bottom
of its enactment, considering "the unfair competition posed
by rampant film piracy; the erosion of the moral fiber of the
viewing public brought about by the availability of
unclassified and unreviewed video tapes containing
pornographic films and films with brutally violent sequences;
and losses in government revenues due to the drop in
theatrical attendance, not to mention the fact that the
activities of video establishments are virtually untaxed since
mere payment of Mayor's permit and municipal license fees
are required to engage in business.
The enactment of the Decree since April 10, 1986 has not
brought about the "demise" of the video industry. On the
contrary, video establishments are seen to have proliferated
in many places notwithstanding the 30% tax imposed.
In the last analysis, what petitioner basically questions is the

necessity, wisdom and expediency of the DECREE. These

considerations, however, are primarily and exclusively a
matter of legislative concern.
Only congressional power or competence, not the wisdom of
the action taken, may be the basis for declaring a statute
invalid. This is as it ought to be. The principle of separation of
powers has in the main wisely allocated the respective
authority of each department and confined its jurisdiction to
such a sphere. There would then be intrusion not allowable
under the Constitution if on a matter left to the discretion of a
coordinate branch, the judiciary would substitute its own. If
there be adherence to the rule of law, as there ought to be,
the last offender should be courts of justice, to which rightly
litigants submit their controversy precisely to maintain
unimpaired the supremacy of legal norms and prescriptions.
The attack on the validity of the challenged provision likewise
insofar as there may be objections, even if valid and cogent
on its wisdom cannot be sustained. 18
In fine, petitioner has not overcome the presumption of
validity which attaches to a challenged statute. We find no
clear violation of the Constitution which would justify us in
pronouncing Presidential Decree No. 1987 as unconstitutional
and void.
WHEREFORE, the instant Petition is hereby dismissed.
Chiongbian v Orbos (Executive Secretary)
1995, J. Mendoza
This suit challenges the validity of:
-Sec. 13, Art. 29 of RA No. 6734 (the Organic Act for
the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao)
-Executive Order No. 429 (Providing for the
Reorganization of Administrative Regions in Mindanao
1.Pursuant to Sec. 18, Art X of the Constitution,
Congress passed RA No. 6734
2.RA No. 6734 called for a plebiscite to be held in the
following provinces: Basilan, Cotabato, Davao del Sur,
Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao,

Palawan, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, TawiTawi, Zamboanga del Norte, and Zamboanga del Sur;
and the following cities: Cotabato, Dapitan, Dipolog,
General Santos, Iligan, Marawi, Pagadian, Puerto
Prinsesa, and Zamboanga
3.Four provinces voted in favor of creating an
autonomous region: Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu,
4.The cities and provinces not voting in favor of the
Autonomous Region were under Art XIX, Sec. 13 of the
RA 6734:
That only provinces and cities voting favorably
in plebiscites shall be included in the ARMM. The
provinces and cities which in the plebiscite do
not vote for inclusion in the Autonomous Region
shall remain in the existing administrative
regions. Provided, however, that the President
may, by administrative determination, merge
the existing regions.
5.With this provision, President Aquino issued
Executive Order No. 429, Providing for
theReorganization of the Administrative Regions in
6.Petitioners, members of the Congress, wrote to
Corazon Aquino, contending that theres:
oNo law authorizing the President to pick certain
provinces and cities to be restructured to new
administrative regions
oSome of the provinces and cities in the regions did
not even take part in the plebiscite
oThe transfer of provinces is an alteration of existing
governmental units or reorganization. The authority to
merge doesnt include the authority to reorganize.
1.The inauguration of the New Administrative Region
IX went ahead.

2.Congress brought the suit for prohibition and

certiorari; petitioner Jaldon brough a suit as resident of
Zamboanga City, taxpayer and citizen of the Republic.
1.Section 29 of RA 6734 is unconstitutional because it
unduly delegates legislative power to the President by
authorizing him to merge existing region and provides
no standard for the exercise of the power delegated;
2.The power granted is not expressed in the title of the
Respondent Solicitor General:
1.The exercise of power is traditionally lodged in the
President (Abbas v Comelec) and as a mere incident of
his power of general supervision over local
governments and control of executive departments,
bureaus, and offices (Art X, Sec. 16 and Art VII, Sec. 17
of Constitution)
2.There is no undue delegation of power but only a
grant of power to fill up or provide the details of the
legislation, bec Congress did not have the facility to
provide for them.
3.The grant to the President to merge existing regions
is fairly embraced in the title of the RA No. 6734,
because it is germane to it. Power extends to all
regions in Mindanao as necessitated by the
establishment of the autonomous region.
4.PD 1416, as amended by PD 1772, provides that the
President shall have the continuing authority to
reorganize the National Government, guided by the
framework of more effective planning implementation,
greater decentralization, etc. The President may create
abolish, consolidate units of the National Government.

1.WON the power to merge administrative regions is
legislative or executive in character (and whether Sec.
23 of Art. 29 is invalid because it contains no standard
to guide the Presidents discretion)
2.WON the power given is fairly expressed in the title
of the statute
3.WON the power granted authorizes the
reorganization even of regions and provinces that did
not take part in the plebiscite
4.WON the power granted includes the power to
transfer the regional center of Region XI from
Zamboanga to Pagadian
1.Nature of administrative regions and the purpose of
their creations:
oRA 5435 authorizing the President, with the help of
a Commission on Reorganization to reorganize the
different executive departments, bureaus, etc.
oReorganization Commission submitted an Integrated
Reorganization Plan which divided the country into 11
regions (1969)
oPD No. 1 the Reorganization Plan was approved and
made part of the law of the land (1972)
oPD No. 773 divided Region IX into two grpups
oPD No. 1555 transfer of regional center of Region IX
from Jolo to Zamboanga
The Creation and subsequent reorganization of
administrative regions have been by the President
pursuant to the authority granted to him b the law. The
choice of President is logical because the division
intended to facilitate the administration of executive
departments and local governments. It has been
traditionally lodged in the President.

By conferring the President the power to merge

exising regions, Congress merely followed a pattern
set in previous legislation. There is no abdication by
Congress of its legislative power in conferring on the
President the power to merge administrative regions.
Sufficient standard by which President is to be guided
in the exercise of power
oStandard can be gathered or implied
oStandard can be found in the same policy underlying
grant of power to the President in RA No. 5435 of the
power to reorganize the Executive Department: to
promote simplicity, economy, efficiency, in the
government to enable it to pursue its programs
consisted with the national goals for accelerated social
and economic development.
1.The constitutional requirement that every bill shall
be passed by the Congress shall embrace only one
subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof
has always been given a practical rather than a
technical construction. The title is not required to be
an index of the content of the bill. It is sufficient if the
title expresses the general subject and all the
provisions are germane to the subject, such as the
reorganization of the remaining administrative regions.
2.There is a qualification in Sec 13, Art XIX, which
states that the President may by administrative
determination merge the existing regions. While nonassenting provinces are to remain in their regions, they
may nevertheless be regrouped into contiguous
provinces forming other regions as the exigency of the
administration may require.
The regrouping is done only on paper and is no more
than a redefinition or redrawing of the lines separating

administrative regions for the purpose of facilitating

the administrative supervision of LGUs and insuring
efficient delivery of services. There is no transfer of
local governments. It is not even analogous to
redistricting or to the division or merger of local
3.The reorganization of administrative regions is based
on relevant criteria (EO 429):
oContiguity of graphical features
oTransportation and communication facilities
oCultural and language groupings
oLand area and population
oExisting regional centers
oSocio-economic development programs
oNumber of provinces and cities
The change of regional center from Pampanga to
Pagadian is based on the power of the President (by
virtue of the Executive Order) . The transfer is
addressed to the wisdom, not the legality of the
President. The Court cannot interfere.
Arturo Tolentino vs Secretary of Finance
Political Law Origination of Revenue Bills EVAT
Amendment by Substitution
Tolentino et al is questioning the constitutionality of RA
7716 otherwise known as the Expanded Value Added Tax
(EVAT) Law. Tolentino averred that this revenue bill did not
exclusively originate from the House of Representatives as
required by Section 24, Article 6 of the Constitution. Even
though RA 7716 originated as HB 11197 and that it passed

the 3 readings in the HoR, the same did not complete the 3

Tanada vs. Tuvera, 136 SCRA 27 (1985)

readings in Senate for after the 1 st reading it was referred to


the Senate Ways & Means Committee thereafter Senate

Invoking the peoples right to be informed on matters

of public concern, a right recognized in Section 6, Article IV of
the 1973 constitution, petitioners seek a writ of mandamus to
compel respondent public officials to publish, and/or cause
the publication in the Official Gazette, of various presidential
decrees, letters of instructions, general orders,
proclamations, executive orders, letter of implementation
and administrative orders. The respondents would have this
case dismissed on the ground that petitioners have no legal
personality to bring this petition. Petitioners maintain that
since the subject of the petition concerns a public right and
its object is to compel public duty, they need not show any
specific interest. Respondents further contend that
publication in the OG is not a sine qua non requirement for
the effectivity of laws where the laws themselves provide for
their own effectivity dates.

passed its own version known as Senate Bill 1630. Tolentino

averred that what Senate could have done is amend HB
11197 by striking out its text and substituting it w/ the text of
SB 1630 in that way the bill remains a House Bill and the
Senate version just becomes the text (only the text) of the
HB. Tolentino and co-petitioner Roco [however] even signed
the said Senate Bill.
ISSUE: Whether or not EVAT originated in the HoR.
By a 9-6 vote, the SC rejected the challenge, holding
that such consolidation was consistent with the power of the
Senate to propose or concur with amendments to the version
originated in the HoR. What the Constitution simply means,
according to the 9 justices, is that the initiative must come
from the HoR. Note also that there were several instances
before where Senate passed its own version rather than
having the HoR version as far as revenue and other such bills
are concerned. This practice of amendment by substitution
has always been accepted. The proposition of Tolentino
concerns a mere matter of form. There is no showing that it
would make a significant difference if Senate were to adopt
his over what has been done.

Whether or not publication in the Official Gazatte is an
indispensable requirement for the effectivity of the PDs, LOIs,
general orders, EOs, etc. where the laws themselves provide
their own effectivity dates.
Yes. It is the peoples right to be informed on matters
of public concern and corollarily access to official records,
and to documents and papers pertaining to official acts,
or decisions, shall be afforded the citizens subject to such
limitation as may be provided by law (Sec. 6 Art. IV, 1973
Constitution). Laws, to be valid and enforceable, must be

published in the OG or otherwise effectively promulgated.

The fact that a PD or LOI states its date of effectivity does not
preclude their publication in the OG as they constitute
important legislative acts. The publication of presidential
issuances of public nature or of general applicability is a
requirement of due process. Before a person may be bound
by law, he must first be officially informed of its contents.
Important Point:
It illustrates how decrees and issuances issued by one
manMarcosare in fact laws of general application and
provide for penalties. The constitution afforded Marcos both
executive and legislative powers. The generality of law (Civil
Code, Art. 14) will never work without constructive notice.
The ruling of this case provides the publication constitutes
the necessary constructive notice and is thus the cure for
ignorance as an excuse. Ignorance will not even mitigate the

EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 200 June 18, 1987


WHEREAS, Article 2 of the Civil Code partly provides that
"laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the
completion of their publication in the Official Gazette, unless
it is otherwise provided . . .;"
WHEREAS, the requirement that for laws to be effective only
a publication thereof in the Official Gazette will suffice has
entailed some problems, a point recognized by the Supreme
Court in Taada. et al. vs. Tuvera, et al. (G.R. No. 63915,
December 29, 1986) when it observed that "[t]here is much
to be said of the view that the publication need not be made
in the Official Gazette, considering its erratic release and
limited readership";
WHEREAS, it was likewise observed that "[u]ndoubtedly,
newspapers of general circulation could better perform the
function of communicating the laws to the people as such
periodicals are more easily available, have a wider
readership, and come out regularly"; and
WHEREAS, in view of the foregoing premises Article 2 of the
Civil Code should accordingly be amended so the laws to be
effective must be published either in the Official Gazette or in
a newspaper of general circulation in the country;
Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the
Constitution, do hereby order:
Sec. 1. Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the
completion of their publication either in the Official Gazette
or in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines,
unless it is otherwise provided.
Sec. 2. Article 2 of Republic Act No. 386, otherwise known as
the "Civil Code of the Philippines," and all other laws
inconsistent with this Executive Order are hereby repealed or
modified accordingly.
Sec. 3. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately
after its publication in the Official Gazette.
Done in the City of Manila, this 18th day of June, in the year
of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and eighty-seven.