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ENBANC

[G.R.No.160261.November10,2003]

ERNESTO B. FRANCISCO, JR., petitioner, NAGMAMALASAKIT NA MGA MANANANGGOL NG MGA MANGGAGAWANG PILIPINO, INC., ITS OFFICERSANDMEMBERS,petitioner­in­intervention,WORLDWARII VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., petitioner­in­ intervention,vs.THEHOUSEOFREPRESENTATIVES,REPRESENTED BY SPEAKER JOSE G. DE VENECIA, THE SENATE, REPRESENTED BY SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN M. DRILON, REPRESENTATIVE GILBERTOC.TEODORO,JR.ANDREPRESENTATIVEFELIXWILLIAM B. FUENTEBELLA, respondents, JAIME N. SORIANO, respondent­in­ Intervention, SENATOR AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, respondent­in­ intervention.

[G.R.No.160262.November10,2003]

SEDFREY M. CANDELARIA, CARLOS P. MEDINA, JR. AND HENEDINA RAZON­ABAD, petitioners, ATTYS. ROMULO B. MACALINTAL AND PETE QUIRINO QUADRA, petitioners­in­intervention,WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., petitioner­in­ intervention,vs.THEHOUSEOFREPRESENTATIVES,THROUGHTHE SPEAKERORACTINGSPEAKERORPRESIDINGOFFICER,SPEAKER JOSE G. DE VENECIA, REPRESENTATIVE GILBERTO G. TEODORO, JR., REPRESENTATIVE FELIX WILLIAM B. FUENTEBELLA, THE SENATEOFTHEPHILIPPINES,THROUGHITSPRESIDENT,SENATE PRESIDENTFRANKLINM.DRILON,respondents,JAIMEN.SORIANO, respondent­in­intervention, SENATOR AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, respondent­in­intervention.

[G.R.No.160263.November10,2003]

ARTURO M. DE CASTRO AND SOLEDAD M. CAGAMPANG, petitioners,

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WORLDWARIIVETERANSLEGIONARIESOFTHEPHILIPPINES,INC., petitioners­in­intervention, vs. FRANKLIN M. DRILON, IN HIS CAPACITYASSENATEPRESIDENT,ANDJOSEG.DEVENECIA,JR.,

AS SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF

REPRESENTATIVES,respondents,JAIMEN.SORIANO,respondent­in­ intervention, SENATOR AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, respondent­in­ intervention.

IN

HIS

CAPACITY

[G.R.No.160277.November10,2003]

FRANCISCO I. CHAVEZ, petitioner, WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., petitioner­in­intervention, vs. JOSE G. DE VENECIA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, FRANKLIN M. DRILON, IN HIS CAPACITY AS PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, GILBERT TEODORO, JR., FELIX WILLIAM FUENTEBELLA, JULIO LEDESMA IV, HENRY LANOT, KIM BERNARDO­LOKIN, MARCELINO LIBANAN, EMMYLOU TALIO­ SANTOS, DOUGLAS CAGAS, SHERWIN GATCHALIAN, LUIS BERSAMIN, JR., NERISSA SOON­RUIZ, ERNESTO NIEVA, EDGAR ERICE, ISMAEL MATHAY, SAMUEL DANGWA, ALFREDO MARAON, JR., CECILIA CARREON­JALOSJOS, AGAPITO AQUINO, FAUSTO SEACHON, JR., GEORGILU YUMUL­HERMIDA, JOSE CARLOS LACSON, MANUEL ORTEGA, ULIRAN JUAQUIN, SORAYA JAAFAR, WILHELMINOSY­ALVARADO,CLAUDEBAUTISTA,DELDEGUZMAN, ZENAIDA CRUZ­DUCUT, AUGUSTO BACULIO, FAUSTINO DY III, AUGUSTO SYJUCO, ROZZANO RUFINO BIAZON, LEOVIGILDO BANAAG, ERIC SINGSON, JACINTO PARAS, JOSE SOLIS, RENATO MATUBO, HERMINO TEVES, AMADO ESPINO, JR., EMILIO MACIAS, ARTHUR PINGOY, JR., FRANCIS NEPOMUCENO, CONRADO ESTRELLAIII,ELIASBULUT,JR.,JURDINROMUALDO,JUANPABLO BONDOC, GENEROSO TULAGAN, PERPETUO YLAGAN, MICHAEL DUAVIT, JOSEPH DURANO, JESLI LAPUS, CARLOS COJUANGCO, GIORGIDI AGGABAO, FRANCIS ESCUDERRO, RENE VELARDE, CELSO LOBREGAT, ALIPIO BADELLES, DIDAGEN DILANGALEN, ABRAHAM MITRA, JOSEPH SANTIAGO, DARLENE ANTONIO­ CUSTODIO, ALETA SUAREZ, RODOLF PLAZA, JV BAUTISTA, GREGORIO IPONG, GILBERT REMULLA, ROLEX SUPLICO, CELIA LAYUS, JUAN MIGUEL ZUBIRI, BENASING MACARAMBON, JR.,

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JOSEFINA JOSON, MARK COJUANGCO, MAURICIO DOMOGAN, RONALDO ZAMORA, ANGELO MONTILLA, ROSELLER BARINAGA, JESNARFALCON,REYLINANICOLAS,RODOLFOALBANO,JOAQUIN CHIPECO, JR., AND RUY ELIAS LOPEZ, respondents, JAIME N. SORIANO, respondent­in­intervention, SENATOR AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL,respondent­in­intervention.

[G.R.No.160292.November10,2003]

HERMINIO HARRY L. ROQUE, JR., JOEL RUIZ BUTUYAN, MA. CECILIA PAPA,NAPOLEONC.REYES,ANTONIOH.ABAD,JR.,ALFREDOC. LIGON, JOAN P. SERRANO AND GARY S. MALLARI, petitioners, WORLDWARIIVETERANSLEGIONARIESOFTHEPHILIPPINES,INC., petitioner­in­intervention,vs.HON.SPEAKERJOSEG.DEVENECIA, JR.ANDROBERTOP.NAZARENO,INHISCAPACITYASSECRETARY GENERALOFTHEHOUSEOFREPRESENTATIVES,ANDTHEHOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, respondents, JAIME N. SORIANO, respondent­in­intervention, SENATOR AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, respondent­in­intervention.

[G.R.No.160295.November10,2003]

SALACNIB F. BATERINA AND DEPUTY SPEAKER RAUL M. GONZALES, petitioners, WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., petitioner­in­intervention, vs. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, THROUGH THE SPEAKER OR ACTING SPEAKERORPRESIDINGOFFICER,SPEAKERJOSEG.DEVENECIA, REPRESENTATIVEGILBERTOG.TEODORO,JR.,REPRESENTATIVE FELIX WILLIAM B. FUENTEBELLA, THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES, THROUGH ITS PRESIDENT, SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLINM.DRILON,respondents,JAIMEN.SORIANO,respondent­ in­intervention, SENATOR AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, respondent­in­ intervention.

[G.R.No.160310.November10,2003]

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LEONILO R. ALFONSO, PETER ALVAREZ, SAMUEL DOCTOR, MELVIN MATIBAG, RAMON MIQUIBAS, RODOLFO MAGSINO, EDUARDO MALASAGA, EDUARDO SARMIENTO, EDGARDO NAOE, LEONARDO GARCIA, EDGARD SMITH, EMETERIO MENDIOLA, MARIO TOREJA, GUILLERMO CASTASUS, NELSON A. LOYOLA, WILFREDO BELLO, JR., RONNIE TOQUILLO, KATE ANN VITAL, ANGELITA Q. GUZMAN, MONICOPABLES,JR.,JAIMEBOAQUINA,LITAA.AQUINO,MILAP. GABITO,JANETTEARROYO,RIZALDYEMPIG,ERNALAHUZ,HOMER CALIBAG, DR. BING ARCE, SIMEON ARCE, JR., EL DELLE ARCE, WILLIE RIVERO, DANTE DIAZ, ALBERTO BUENAVISTA, FAUSTO BUENAVISTA, EMILY SENERIS, ANNA CLARISSA LOYOLA, SALVACION LOYOLA, RAINIER QUIROLGICO, JOSEPH LEANDRO LOYOLA, ANTONIO LIBREA, FILEMON SIBULO, MANUEL D. COMIA, JULITO U. SOON, VIRGILIO LUSTRE, AND NOEL ISORENA, MAU RESTRIVERA, MAX VILLAESTER, AND EDILBERTO GALLOR, petitioners, WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., petitioner­in­intervention, vs. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,REPRESENTEDBYHON.SPEAKERJOSEC.DE VENECIA, JR., THE SENATE, REPRESENTED BY HON. SENATE PRESIDENTFRANKLINDRILON,HON.FELIXFUENTEBELLA,ETAL., respondents.

[G.R.No.160318.November10,2003]

PUBLICINTERESTCENTER,INC.,CRISPINT.REYES,petitioners,vs.HON. SPEAKER JOSE G. DE VENECIA, ALL MEMBERS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, HON. SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN M. DRILON,ANDALLMEMBERS,PHILIPPINESENATE,respondents.

[G.R.No.160342.November10,2003]

ATTY.FERNANDOP.R.PERITO,INHISCAPACITYASAMEMBEROFTHE INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES, MANILA III, AND ENGR. MAXIMO N. MENEZ JR., IN HIS CAPACITY AS A TAXPAYER AND MEMBER OF THE ENGINEERING PROFESSION, petitioners, vs. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES REPRESENTED BY THE 83 HONORABLE MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE LED BY HON.

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REPRESENTATIVEWILLIAMFUENTEBELLA,respondents.

[G.R.No.160343.November10,2003]

INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, THROUGH THE SPEAKER OR ACTING SPEAKERORPRESIDINGOFFICER,SPEAKERJOSEG.DEVENECIA, REPRESENTATIVEGILBERTOG.TEODORO,JR.,REPRESENTATIVE FELIXWILLIAMB.FUENTEBELLA,THESENATEOFTHEPHILIPPINES THROUGH ITS PRESIDENT, SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN M. DRILON,respondents.

[G.R.No.160360.November10,2003]

CLARO B. FLORES, petitioner, vs. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES THROUGHTHESPEAKER,ANDTHESENATEOFTHEPHILIPPINES, THROUGHTHESENATEPRESIDENT,respondents.

[G.R.No.160365.November10,2003]

U.P.LAWALUMNICEBUFOUNDATION,INC.,GOERINGG.C.PADERANGA, DANILO V. ORTIZ, GLORIA C. ESTENZO­RAMOS, LIZA D. CORRO, LUISV.DIORES,SR.,BENJAMINS.RALLON,ROLANDOP.NONATO, DANTET.RAMOS,ELSAR.DIVINAGRACIA,KARENB.CAPARROS­ ARQUILLANO,SYLVAG.AGUIRRE­PADERANGA,FORTHEMSELVES AND IN BEHALF OF OTHER CITIZENS OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioners, vs. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, SPEAKERJOSEG.DEVENECIA,THESENATEOFTHEPHILIPPINES, SENATEPRESIDENTFRANKLINDRILON,HOUSEREPRESENTATIVES FELIXFUENTEBELLAANDGILBERTOTEODORO,BYTHEMSELVES AND AS REPRESENTATIVES OF THE GROUP OF MORE THAN 80 HOUSE REPRESENTATIVES WHO SIGNED AND FILED THE IMPEACHMENT COMPLAINT AGAINST SUPREME COURT CHIEF JUSTICEHILARIOG.DAVIDE,JR.respondents.

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[G.R.No.160370.November10,2003]

FR. RANHILIO CALLANGAN AQUINO, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE PRESIDENTOFTHESENATE,THEHONORABLESPEAKEROFTHE HOUSEOFREPRESENTATIVES,respondents.

[G.R.No.160376.November10,2003]

NILOA.MALANYAON,petitioner,vs.HON.FELIXWILLIAMFUENTEBELLA AND GILBERT TEODORO, IN REPRESENTATION OF THE 86 SIGNATORIESOFTHEARTICLESOFIMPEACHMENTAGAINSTCHIEF JUSTICE HILARIO G. DAVIDE, JR. AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, CONGRESS OF THE PHILIPPINES, REPRESENTED BY ITS SPEAKER, HON. JOSE G. DE VENECIA, respondents.

[G.R.No.160392.November10,2003]

VENICIOS.FLORESANDHECTORL.HOFILEA,petitioners,vs.THEHOUSE OFREPRESENTATIVES,THROUGHSPEAKERJOSEG.DEVENECIA, AND THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES, THROUGH SENATE PRESIDENTFRANKLINDRILON,respondents.

[G.R.No.160397.November10,2003]

IN THE MATTER OF THE IMPEACHMENT COMPLAINT AGAINST CHIEF JUSTICEHILARIOG.DAVIDE,JR.,ATTY.DIOSCOROU.VALLEJOS, JR.,petitioner.

[G.R.No.160403.November10,2003]

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PHILIPPINE BAR ASSOCIATION, petitioner, vs. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, THROUGH THE SPEAKER OR PRESIDING OFFICER,HON.JOSEG.DEVENECIA,REPRESENTATIVEGILBERTO G. TEODORO, JR., REPRESENTATIVE FELIX WILLIAM B. FUENTEBELA, THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES, THROUGH SENATEPRESIDENT,HON.FRANKLINDRILON,respondents.

[G.R.No.160405.November10,2003]

DEMOCRITO C. BARCENAS, PRESIDENT OF IBP, CEBU CITY CHAPTER, MANUELM.MONZON,PRESIDINGOFIBP,CEBUPROVINCE,VICTOR A.MAAMBONG,PROVINCIALBOARDMEMBER,ADELINOB.SITOY, DEAN OF THE COLLEG EOF LAW, UNIVERSITY OF CEBU, YOUNG LAWYERSASSOCAITIONOFCEBU,INC.[YLAC],REPRSEENTEDBY ATTY. MANUEL LEGASPI, CONFEDERATION OF ACCREDITED MEDIATORSOFTHEPHILIPPINES,INC.[CAMP,INC],REPRESENTED BY RODERIC R. POCA, MANDAUE LAWYERS ASSOCIATION, [MANLAW], REPRESENTED BY FELIPE VELASQUEZ, FEDERACION INTERNACIONALDEABOGADAS[FIDA],REPRESENTEDBYTHELMA L. JORDAN, CARLOS G. CO, PRESIENT OF CEBU CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY AND CEBU LADY LAWYERS ASSOCIATION, INC. [CELLA, INC.], MARIBELLE NAVARRO AND BERNARDITO FLORIDO, PAST PRESIDENT CEBU CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES, CEBU CHAPTER, petitioners, vs. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, REPRESENTEDBYREP.JOSEG.DEVENECIA,ASHOUSESPEAKER ANDTHESENATE,REPRESENTEDBYSENATORFRANKLINDRILON, ASSENATEPRESIDENT,respondents.

CARPIO­MORALES,J.:

DECISION

Therecanbenoconstitutionalcrisisarisingfromaconflict,nomatterhowpassionateand seemingly irreconcilable it may appear to be, over the determination by the independent branches of government of the nature, scope and extent of their respective constitutional powerswheretheConstitutionitselfprovidesforthemeansandbasesforitsresolution.

Ournationshistoryisrepletewithvividillustrationsoftheoftenfrictional,attimesturbulent,

dynamicsoftherelationshipamongtheseco­equalbranches.ThisCourtisconfrontedwithone

suchtodayinvolvingthelegislatureandthejudiciarywhichhasdrawnlegalluminariestochart

antipodalcoursesandnotafewofourcountrymentoventcacophonoussentimentsthereon.

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Theremayindeedbesomelegitimacytothecharacterizationthatthepresentcontroversy

subjectoftheinstantpetitionswhetherthefilingofthesecondimpeachmentcomplaintagainst

ChiefJusticeHilarioG.Davide,Jr.withtheHouseofRepresentativesfallswithintheoneyear

barprovidedintheConstitution,andwhethertheresolutionthereofisapoliticalquestionhas

resultedinapoliticalcrisis.Perhapsevenmoretruthtotheviewthatitwasbroughtuponbya

politicalcrisisofconscience.

Inanyevent,itiswiththeabsolutecertaintythatourConstitutionissufficienttoaddressall theissueswhichthiscontroversyspawnsthatthisCourtunequivocallypronounces,atthefirst instance, that the feared resort to extra­constitutional methods of resolving it is neither necessarynorlegallypermissible.Bothitsresolutionandprotectionofthepublicinterestliein adherenceto,notdeparturefrom,theConstitution.

Inpassingoverthecomplexissuesarisingfromthecontroversy,thisCourtisevermindful

oftheessentialtruththattheinviolatedoctrineofseparationofpowersamongthelegislative,

executiveorjudicialbranchesofgovernmentbynomeansprescribesforabsoluteautonomyin

thedischargebyeachofthatpartofthegovernmentalpowerassignedtoitbythesovereign

people.

Atthesametime,thecorollarydoctrineofchecksandbalanceswhichhasbeencarefully

calibratedbytheConstitutiontotempertheofficialactsofeachofthesethreebranchesmust

begiveneffectwithoutdestroyingtheirindispensableco­equality.

Takentogether,thesetwofundamentaldoctrinesofrepublicangovernment,intendedas theyaretoinsurethatgovernmentalpoweriswieldedonlyforthegoodofthepeople,mandate arelationshipofinterdependenceandcoordinationamongthesebrancheswherethedelicate functions of enacting, interpreting and enforcing laws are harmonized to achieve a unity of governance,guidedonlybywhatisinthegreaterinterestandwell­beingofthepeople.Verily, saluspopuliestsupremalex.

ArticleXIofourpresent1987Constitutionprovides:

ARTICLEXI

ACCOUNTABILITYOFPUBLICOFFICERS

SECTION1.Publicofficeisapublictrust.Publicofficersandemployeesmustatalltimesbe

accountabletothepeople,servethemwithutmostresponsibility,integrity,loyalty,andefficiency,act

withpatriotismandjustice,andleadmodestlives.

SECTION2.ThePresident,theVice­President,theMembersoftheSupremeCourt,theMembersofthe

ConstitutionalCommissions,andtheOmbudsmanmayberemovedfromoffice,onimpeachmentfor,

andconvictionof,culpableviolationoftheConstitution,treason,bribery,graftandcorruption,otherhigh

crimes,orbetrayalofpublictrust.Allotherpublicofficersandemployeesmayberemovedfromoffice

asprovidedbylaw,butnotbyimpeachment.

SECTION3.(1)TheHouseofRepresentativesshallhavetheexclusivepowertoinitiateallcasesof

impeachment.

(2)AverifiedcomplaintforimpeachmentmaybefiledbyanyMemberoftheHouseofRepresentatives

orbyanycitizenuponaresolutionofendorsementbyanyMemberthereof,whichshallbeincludedin

theOrderofBusinesswithintensessiondays,andreferredtotheproperCommitteewithinthreesession

daysthereafter.TheCommittee,afterhearing,andbyamajorityvoteofallitsMembers,shallsubmitits

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reporttotheHousewithinsixtysessiondaysfromsuchreferral,togetherwiththecorresponding

resolution.TheresolutionshallbecalendaredforconsiderationbytheHousewithintensessiondays

fromreceiptthereof.

(3)Avoteofatleastone­thirdofalltheMembersoftheHouseshallbenecessaryeithertoaffirma

favorableresolutionwiththeArticlesofImpeachmentoftheCommittee,oroverrideitscontrary

resolution.ThevoteofeachMembershallberecorded.

(4)Incasetheverifiedcomplaintorresolutionofimpeachmentisfiledbyatleastone­thirdofallthe

MembersoftheHouse,thesameshallconstitutetheArticlesofImpeachment,andtrialbytheSenate

shallforthwithproceed.

(5)Noimpeachmentproceedingsshallbeinitiatedagainstthesameofficialmorethanoncewithina

periodofoneyear.

(6)TheSenateshallhavethesolepowertotryanddecideallcasesofimpeachment.Whensittingfor

thatpurpose,theSenatorsshallbeonoathoraffirmation.WhenthePresidentofthePhilippinesison

trial,theChiefJusticeoftheSupremeCourtshallpreside,butshallnotvote.Nopersonshallbe

convictedwithouttheconcurrenceoftwo­thirdsofalltheMembersoftheSenate.

(7)Judgmentincasesofimpeachmentshallnotextendfurtherthanremovalfromofficeand

disqualificationtoholdanyofficeundertheRepublicofthePhilippines,butthepartyconvictedshall

neverthelessbeliableandsubjecttoprosecution,trial,andpunishmentaccordingtolaw.

(8)TheCongressshallpromulgateitsrulesonimpeachmenttoeffectivelycarryoutthepurposeofthis

section.(Emphasisandunderscoringsupplied)

Followingtheabove­quotedSection8ofArticleXIoftheConstitution,the12 th Congressof theHouseofRepresentativesadoptedandapprovedtheRulesofProcedureinImpeachment

Proceedings(HouseImpeachmentRules)onNovember28,2001,supersedingtheprevious

House Impeachment Rules [1] approved by the 11 th Congress. The relevant distinctions between these two Congresses House Impeachment Rules are shown in the following tabulation:

11 TH CONGRESSRULES RULEII

INITIATINGIMPEACHMENT

Section 2. Mode of Initiating Impeachment. Impeachment shall be initiated only by a

12 TH CONGRESSNEWRULES RULEV

BARAGAINSTINITIATION

OFIMPEACHMENT

PROCEEDINGSAGAINST

THESAMEOFFICIAL

Section16.Impeachment

ProceedingsDeemed

Initiated.Incaseswherea

verified

complaint

for

MemberoftheHousefilesa

impeachment

filed

by

any

verifiedcomplaintof

Member of the House of

impeachmentoracitizen

filesaverifiedcomplaintthat

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Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member

isendorsedbyaMemberof

theHousethrougha

resolutionofendorsement

thereof

or

by

a

verified

againstanimpeachable

complaint

or resolution

of

officer,impeachment

impeachment filed by at least

one­third

MembersoftheHouse.

the

(1/3)

of

all

proceedingsagainstsuch

officialaredeemedinitiated

onthedaytheCommitteeon

Justicefindsthattheverified

complaintand/orresolution

againstsuchofficial,asthe

casemaybe,issufficientin

substance,oronthedatethe

Housevotestooverturnor

affirmthefindingofthesaid

Committeethattheverified

complaintand/orresolution,

asthecasemaybe,isnot

sufficientinsubstance.

Incaseswhereaverified complaintoraresolutionof impeachmentisfiledor endorsed,asthecasemaybe,

byatleastone­third(1/3)of

theMembersoftheHouse,

impeachmentproceedings

aredeemedinitiatedatthe

timeofthefilingofsuch

verifiedcomplaintor

resolutionofimpeachment

withtheSecretaryGeneral.

RULEV

BARAGAINST

IMPEACHMENT

Section14.ScopeofBar.No

impeachmentproceedingsshallbe initiatedagainstthesameofficial morethanoncewithintheperiod

ofone(1)year.

Section17.BarAgainst

InitiationOfImpeachment Proceedings.Withinaperiodof

one(1)yearfromthedate

impeachmentproceedingsare deemedinitiatedasprovidedin

Section16hereof,noimpeachment

proceedings,assuch,canbe

initiatedagainstthesameofficial.

(Italicsintheoriginal;emphasisand

underscoringsupplied)

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On July 22, 2002, the House of Representatives adopted a Resolution, [2] sponsoredby Representative Felix William D. Fuentebella, which directed the Committee on Justice to conduct an investigation, in aid of legislation, on the manner of disbursements and expendituresbytheChiefJusticeoftheSupremeCourtoftheJudiciaryDevelopmentFund (JDF). [3]

OnJune2,2003,formerPresidentJosephE.Estradafiledanimpeachmentcomplaint [4] (firstimpeachmentcomplaint)againstChiefJusticeHilarioG.DavideJr.andsevenAssociate Justices [5] ofthisCourtforculpableviolationoftheConstitution,betrayalofthepublictrustand other high crimes. [6] The complaint was endorsed by Representatives Rolex T. Suplico, Ronaldo B. Zamora and Didagen Piang Dilangalen, [7] and was referred to the House CommitteeonJusticeonAugust5,2003 [8] inaccordancewithSection3(2)ofArticleXIofthe Constitutionwhichreads:

Section3(2)AverifiedcomplaintforimpeachmentmaybefiledbyanyMemberoftheHouseof

RepresentativesorbyanycitizenuponaresolutionofendorsementbyanyMemberthereof,whichshall

beincludedintheOrderofBusinesswithintensessiondays,andreferredtotheproperCommittee

withinthreesessiondaysthereafter.TheCommittee,afterhearing,andbyamajorityvoteofallits

Members,shallsubmititsreporttotheHousewithinsixtysessiondaysfromsuchreferral,togetherwith

thecorrespondingresolution.TheresolutionshallbecalendaredforconsiderationbytheHousewithin

tensessiondaysfromreceiptthereof.

The House Committee on Justice ruled on October 13, 2003 that the first impeachment complaintwassufficientinform, [9] butvotedtodismissthesameonOctober22,2003forbeing insufficientinsubstance. [10] Todate,theCommitteeReporttothiseffecthasnotyetbeensent

totheHouseinplenaryinaccordancewiththesaidSection3(2)ofArticleXIoftheConstitution.

FourmonthsandthreeweekssincethefilingonJune2,2003ofthefirstcomplaintoron

October23,2003,adayaftertheHouseCommitteeonJusticevotedtodismissit,thesecond

impeachment complaint [11] was filed with the Secretary General of the House [12] by

RepresentativesGilbertoC.Teodoro,Jr.(FirstDistrict,Tarlac)andFelixWilliamB.Fuentebella (Third District, Camarines Sur) against Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., founded on the allegedresultsofthelegislativeinquiryinitiatedbyabove­mentionedHouseResolution.This

Resolution of

Endorsement/Impeachmentsignedbyatleastone­third(1/3)ofalltheMembersoftheHouse

ofRepresentatives. [13]

Thus arose the instant petitions against the House of Representatives, et. al., most of whichpetitionscontendthatthefilingofthesecondimpeachmentcomplaintisunconstitutional

asitviolatestheprovisionofSection5ofArticleXIoftheConstitutionthat[n]oimpeachment

proceedingsshallbeinitiatedagainstthesameofficialmorethanoncewithinaperiodofone

year.

InG.R.No.160261,petitionerAtty.ErnestoB.Francisco,Jr.,allegingthathehasadutyas

amemberoftheIntegratedBarofthePhilippinestouseallavailablelegalremediestostopan unconstitutionalimpeachment,thattheissuesraisedinhispetitionforCertiorari,Prohibition and Mandamus are of transcendental importance, and that he himself was a victim of the capricious and arbitrary changes in the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings introducedbythe12 th Congress, [14] posits that his right to bring an impeachment complaint against then Ombudsman Aniano Desierto had been violated due to the capricious and

arbitrarychangesintheHouseImpeachmentRulesadoptedandapprovedonNovember28,

second impeachment

complaint

was accompanied

by

a

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2001bytheHouseofRepresentativesandpraysthat(1)RuleV,Sections16and17andRule

III,Sections5,6,7,8,and9thereofbedeclaredunconstitutional;(2)thisCourtissueawritof

mandamusdirectingrespondentsHouseofRepresentativeset.al.tocomplywithArticleIX, Section 3 (2), (3) and (5) of the Constitution, to return the second impeachment complaint and/orstrikeitofftherecordsoftheHouseofRepresentatives,andtopromulgateruleswhich

areconsistentwiththeConstitution;and(3)thisCourtpermanentlyenjoinrespondentHouseof

Representativesfromproceedingwiththesecondimpeachmentcomplaint.

InG.R.No.160262,petitionersSedfreyM.Candelaria,et.al.,ascitizensandtaxpayers,

allegingthattheissuesofthecaseareoftranscendentalimportance,pray,intheirpetitionfor Certiorari/Prohibition, the issuance of a writ perpetually prohibiting respondent House of Representatives from filing any Articles of Impeachment against the Chief Justice with the Senate;andfortheissuanceofawritperpetuallyprohibitingrespondentsSenateandSenate PresidentFranklinDrilonfromacceptinganyArticlesofImpeachmentagainsttheChiefJustice or,intheeventthattheSenatehasacceptedthesame,fromproceedingwiththeimpeachment trial.

InG.R.No.160263,petitionersArturoM.deCastroandSoledadCagampang,ascitizens,

taxpayers,lawyersandmembersoftheIntegratedBarofthePhilippines,allegingthattheir

petitionforProhibitioninvolvespublicinterestasitinvolvestheuseofpublicfundsnecessaryto

conducttheimpeachmenttrialonthesecondimpeachmentcomplaint,prayfortheissuanceof

awritofprohibitionenjoiningCongressfromconductingfurtherproceedingsonsaidsecond

impeachmentcomplaint.

InG.R.No.160277,petitionerFranciscoI.Chavez,allegingthatthisCourthasrecognized

thathehaslocusstanditobringpetitionsofthisnatureinthecasesofChavezv.PCGG [15] and Chavez v. PEA­Amari Coastal Bay Development Corporation, [16] prays in his petition for Injunctionthatthesecondimpeachmentcomplaintbedeclaredunconstitutional.

InG.R.No.160292,petitionersAtty.HarryL.Roque,et.al.,astaxpayersandmembersof

the legal profession, pray in their petition for Prohibition for an order prohibiting respondent HouseofRepresentativesfromdrafting,adopting,approvingandtransmittingtotheSenatethe secondimpeachmentcomplaint,andrespondentsDeVeneciaandNazarenofromtransmitting theArticlesofImpeachmenttotheSenate.

InG.R.No.160295,petitionersRepresentativesSalacnibF.BaterinaandDeputySpeaker

RaulM.Gonzalez,allegingthat,asmembersoftheHouseofRepresentatives,theyhavea legalinterestinensuringthatonlyconstitutionalimpeachmentproceedingsareinitiated,prayin their petition for Certiorari/Prohibition that the second impeachment complaint and any act proceedingtherefrombedeclarednullandvoid.

InG.R.No.160310,petitionersLeoniloR.Alfonsoetal.,claimingthattheyhavearightto

beprotectedagainstallformsofsenselessspendingoftaxpayersmoneyandthattheyhavean obligationtoprotecttheSupremeCourt,theChiefJustice,andtheintegrityoftheJudiciary, allegeintheirpetitionforCertiorariandProhibitionthatitisinstitutedasaclasssuitandpray that (1) the House Resolution endorsing the second impeachment complaint as well as all

issuancesemanatingtherefrombedeclarednullandvoid;and(2)thisCourtenjointheSenate

andtheSenatePresidentfromtakingcognizanceof,hearing,tryinganddecidingthesecond

impeachmentcomplaint,andissueawritofprohibitioncommandingtheSenate,itsprosecutors

andagentstodesistfromconductinganyproceedingsortoactontheimpeachmentcomplaint.

InG.R.No.160318,petitionerPublicInterestCenter,Inc.,whosemembersarecitizens

andtaxpayers,anditsco­petitionerCrispinT.Reyes,acitizen,taxpayerandamemberofthe

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PhilippineBar,bothallegeintheirpetition,whichdoesnotstatewhatitsnatureis,thatthefiling of the second impeachment complaint involves paramount public interest and pray that Sections 16 and 17 of the House Impeachment Rules and the second impeachment complaint/ArticlesofImpeachmentbedeclarednullandvoid.

InG.R.No.160342,petitionerAtty.FernandoP.R.Perito,asacitizenandamemberof

thePhilippineBarAssociationandoftheIntegratedBarofthePhilippines,andpetitionerEngr. MaximoN.Menez,Jr.,asataxpayer,prayintheirpetitionfortheissuanceofaTemporary Restraining Order and Permanent Injunction to enjoin the House of Representatives from proceedingwiththesecondimpeachmentcomplaint.

InG.R.No.160343,petitionerIntegratedBarofthePhilippines,allegingthatitismandated

bytheCodeofProfessionalResponsibilitytoupholdtheConstitution,praysinitspetitionfor

CertiorariandProhibitionthatSections16and17ofRuleVandSections5,6,7,8,9ofRuleIII

of the House Impeachment Rules be declared unconstitutional and that the House of Representatives be permanently enjoined from proceeding with the second impeachment complaint.

InG.R.No.160360,petitioner­taxpayerAtty.ClaroFlorespraysinhispetitionforCertiorari

andProhibitionthattheHouseImpeachmentRulesbedeclaredunconstitutional.

InG.R. No. 160365, petitioners U.P. Law Alumni Cebu Foundation Inc., et. al., in their petition for Prohibition and Injunction which they claim is a class suit filed in behalf of all citizens,citingOposav.Factoran [17] which was filed in behalf of succeeding generations of Filipinos,prayfortheissuanceofawritprohibitingrespondentsHouseofRepresentativesand theSenatefromconductingfurtherproceedingsonthesecondimpeachmentcomplaintand thatthisCourtdeclareasunconstitutionalthesecondimpeachmentcomplaintandtheactsof respondentHouseofRepresentativesininterferingwiththefiscalmattersoftheJudiciary.

InG.R.No.160370,petitioner­taxpayerFatherRanhilioCallanganAquino,allegingthatthe

issuesinhispetitionforProhibitionareofnationalandtranscendentalsignificanceandthatas anofficialofthePhilippineJudicialAcademy,hehasadirectandsubstantialinterestinthe unhampered operation of the Supreme Court and its officials in discharging their duties in accordance with the Constitution, prays for the issuance of a writ prohibiting the House of RepresentativesfromtransmittingtheArticlesofImpeachmenttotheSenateandtheSenate fromreceivingthesameorgivingtheimpeachmentcomplaintduecourse.

InG.R.No.160376,petitionerNiloA.Malanyaon,asataxpayer,allegesinhispetitionfor

Prohibition that respondents Fuentebella and Teodoro at the time they filed the second impeachment complaint, were absolutely without any legal power to do so, as they acted withoutjurisdictionasfarastheArticlesofImpeachmentassailtheallegedabuseofpowersof theChiefJusticetodisbursethe(JDF).

InG.R.No.160392,petitionersAttorneysVenicioS.FloresandHectorL.Hofilea,alleging

thatasprofessorsoflawtheyhaveanabidinginterestinthesubjectmatteroftheirpetitionfor Certiorari and Prohibition as it pertains to a constitutional issue which they are trying to inculcateinthemindsoftheirstudents,praythattheHouseofRepresentativesbeenjoined fromendorsingandtheSenatefromtryingtheArticlesofImpeachmentandthatthesecond impeachmentcomplaintbedeclarednullandvoid.

InG.R.No.160397,petitionerAtty.DioscoroVallejos,Jr.,withoutalleginghislocusstandi,

butallegingthatthesecondimpeachmentcomplaintisfoundedontheissueofwhetherornot theJudicialDevelopmentFund(JDF)wasspentinaccordancewithlawandthattheHouseof Representatives does not have exclusive jurisdiction in the examination and audit thereof,

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prays in his petition To Declare Complaint Null and Void for Lack of Cause of Action and Jurisdictionthatthesecondimpeachmentcomplaintbedeclarednullandvoid.

InG.R.No.160403,petitionerPhilippineBarAssociation,allegingthattheissuesraisedin

thefilingofthesecondimpeachmentcomplaintinvolvemattersoftranscendentalimportance,

praysinitspetitionforCertiorari/Prohibitionthat(1)thesecondimpeachmentcomplaintandall

proceedings arising therefrom be declared null and void; (2) respondent House of RepresentativesbeprohibitedfromtransmittingtheArticlesofImpeachmenttotheSenate;and (3) respondent Senate be prohibited from accepting the Articles of Impeachment and from conductinganyproceedingsthereon.

InG.R.No.160405,petitionersDemocritC.Barcenaset.al.,ascitizensandtaxpayers,

prayintheirpetitionforCertiorari/Prohibitionthat(1)thesecondimpeachmentcomplaintas

well as the resolution of endorsement and impeachment by the respondent House of

Representativesbedeclarednullandvoidand(2)respondentsSenateandSenatePresident

Franklin Drilon be prohibited from accepting any Articles of Impeachment against the Chief Justice or, in the event that they have accepted the same, that they be prohibited from proceedingwiththeimpeachmenttrial.

PetitionsbearingdocketnumbersG.R.Nos.160261,160262and160263,thefirstthreeof

the eighteen which were filed before this Court, [18] prayed for the issuance of a Temporary RestrainingOrderand/orpreliminaryinjunctiontopreventtheHouseofRepresentativesfrom transmittingtheArticlesofImpeachmentarisingfromthesecondimpeachmentcomplainttothe

Senate.PetitionbearingdocketnumberG.R.No.160261likewiseprayedforthedeclarationof

theNovember28,2001HouseImpeachmentRulesasnullandvoidforbeingunconstitutional.

PetitionsbearingdocketnumbersG.R.Nos.160277,160292and160295,whichwerefiled

onOctober28,2003,soughtsimilarrelief.Inaddition,petitionbearingdocketnumberG.R.No.

160292 alleged that House Resolution No. 260 (calling for a legislative inquiry into the administration by the Chief Justice of the JDF) infringes on the constitutional doctrine of separationofpowersandisadirectviolationoftheconstitutionalprincipleoffiscalautonomyof thejudiciary.

On October 28, 2003, during the plenary session of the House of Representatives, a motionwasputforththatthesecondimpeachmentcomplaintbeformallytransmittedtothe Senate, but it was not carried because the House of Representatives adjourned for lack of quorum, [19] and as reflected above, to date, the Articles of Impeachment have yet to be forwardedtotheSenate.

Beforeactingonthepetitionswithprayersfortemporaryrestrainingorderand/orwritof

preliminaryinjunctionwhichwerefiledonorbeforeOctober28,2003,JusticesPunoandVitug

offeredtorecusethemselves,buttheCourtrejectedtheiroffer.JusticePanganibaninhibited

himself,buttheCourtdirectedhimtoparticipate.

Withoutnecessarilygivingthepetitionsduecourse,thisCourtinitsResolutionofOctober 28, 2003, resolved to (a) consolidate the petitions; (b) require respondent House of RepresentativesandtheSenate,aswellastheSolicitorGeneral,tocommentonthepetitions not later than 4:30 p.m. of November 3, 2003; (c) set the petitions for oral arguments on

November5,2003,at10:00a.m.;and(d)appointeddistinguishedlegalexpertsasamicicuriae.

[20] In addition, this Court called on petitioners and respondents to maintain the status quo, enjoiningallthepartiesandothersactingforandintheirbehalftorefrainfromcommittingacts thatwouldrenderthepetitionsmoot.

AlsoonOctober28,2003,whenrespondentHouseofRepresentativesthroughSpeaker

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JoseC.DeVenecia,Jr.and/oritsco­respondents,bywayofspecialappearance,submitteda ManifestationassertingthatthisCourthasnojurisdictiontohear,muchlessprohibitorenjoin theHouseofRepresentatives,whichisanindependentandco­equalbranchofgovernment undertheConstitution,fromtheperformanceofitsconstitutionallymandateddutytoinitiate impeachmentcases.Onevendate,SenatorAquilinoQ.Pimentel,Jr.,inhisownbehalf,fileda Motion to Intervene (Ex Abudante Cautela) [21] and Comment, praying that the consolidated petitions be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction of the Court over the issues affecting the impeachmentproceedingsandthatthesolepower,authorityandjurisdictionoftheSenateas the impeachment court to try and decide impeachment cases, including the one where the ChiefJusticeistherespondent,berecognizedandupheldpursuanttotheprovisionsofArticle XIoftheConstitution. [22]

Acting on the other petitions which were subsequently filed, this Court resolved to (a) consolidate them with the earlier consolidated petitions; (b) require respondents to file their

commentnotlaterthan4:30p.m.ofNovember3,2003;and(c)includethemfororalarguments

onNovember5,2003.

OnOctober29,2003,theSenateofthePhilippines,throughSenatePresidentFranklinM.

Drilon, filed a Manifestation stating that insofar as it is concerned, the petitions are plainly prematureandhavenobasisinlaworinfact,addingthatasofthetimeofthefilingofthe petitions, no justiciable issue was presented before it since (1) its constitutional duty to constituteitselfasanimpeachmentcourtcommencesonlyuponitsreceiptoftheArticlesof Impeachment, which it had not, and (2) the principal issues raised by the petitions pertain exclusivelytotheproceedingsintheHouseofRepresentatives.

OnOctober30,2003,Atty.JaimeSorianofiledaPetitionforLeavetoInterveneinG.R.

Nos. 160261, 160262, 160263, 160277, 160292, and 160295, questioning the status quo

ResolutionissuedbythisCourtonOctober28,2003onthegroundthatitwouldunnecessarily

putCongressandthisCourtinaconstitutionaldeadlockandprayingforthedismissalofallthe

petitionsasthematterinquestionisnotyetripeforjudicialdetermination.

OnNovember3,2003,AttorneysRomuloB.MacalintalandPeteQuirinoQuadrafiledin

G.R.No.160262aMotionforLeaveofCourttoInterveneandtoAdmittheHereinIncorporated

PetitioninIntervention.

OnNovember4,2003,Nagmamalasakit na mga Manananggol ng mga Manggagawang

Pilipino,Inc.filedaMotionforInterventioninG.R.No.160261.OnNovember5,2003,World

WarIIVeteransLegionnairesofthePhilippines,Inc.alsofiledaPetition­in­Interventionwith Leave to Intervene in G.R. Nos. 160261, 160262, 160263, 160277, 160292, 160295, and

160310.

The motions for intervention were granted and both Senator Pimentels Comment and AttorneysMacalintalandQuadrasPetitioninInterventionwereadmitted.

OnNovember5­6,2003,thisCourtheardtheviewsoftheamicicuriaeandthearguments

of petitioners, intervenors Senator Pimentel and Attorney Makalintal, and Solicitor General Alfredo Benipayo on the principal issues outlined in an Advisory issued by this Court on

November3,2003,towit:

WhetherthecertiorarijurisdictionoftheSupremeCourtmaybeinvoked;whocaninvokeit;onwhat

issuesandatwhattime;andwhetheritshouldbeexercisedbythisCourtatthistime.

Indiscussingtheseissues,thefollowingmaybetakenup:

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a)locusstandiofpetitioners;

b)ripeness(prematurity;mootness);

c)politicalquestion/justiciability;

d)Housesexclusivepowertoinitiateallcasesofimpeachment;

e)Senatessolepowertotryanddecideallcasesofimpeachment;

f)constitutionalityoftheHouseRulesonImpeachmentvis­a­visSection3(5)ofArticleXI

oftheConstitution;and

g)judicialrestraint(Italicsintheoriginal)

In resolving the intricate conflux of preliminary and substantive issues arising from the instantpetitionsaswellasthemyriadargumentsandopinionspresentedforandagainstthe

grantofthereliefsprayedfor,thisCourthassiftedanddeterminedthemtobeasfollows:(1)

thethresholdandnovelissueofwhetherornotthepowerofjudicialreviewextendstothose

arisingfromimpeachmentproceedings;(2)whetherornottheessentialpre­requisitesforthe

exerciseofthepowerofjudicialreviewhavebeenfulfilled;and(3)thesubstantiveissuesyet

remaining.Thesemattersshallnowbediscussedinseriatim.

JudicialReview

Asreflectedabove,petitionerspleadforthisCourttoexercisethepowerofjudicialreview

todeterminethevalidityofthesecondimpeachmentcomplaint.

ThisCourtspowerofjudicialreviewisconferredonthejudicialbranchofthegovernmentin

Section1,ArticleVIIIofourpresent1987Constitution:

SECTION1.ThejudicialpowershallbevestedinoneSupremeCourtandinsuchlowercourtsasmay

beestablishedbylaw.

Judicialpowerincludesthedutyofthecourtsofjusticetosettleactualcontroversiesinvolvingrights

whicharelegallydemandableandenforceable,andtodeterminewhetherornottherehasbeena

graveabuseofdiscretionamountingtolackorexcessofjurisdictiononthepartofanybranchor

instrumentalityofthegovernment.(Emphasissupplied)

SuchpowerofjudicialreviewwasearlyonexhaustivelyexpoundeduponbyJusticeJose P.Laurelinthedefinitive1936caseofAngarav.ElectoralCommission [23] aftertheeffectivityof the 1935 Constitution whose provisions, unlike the present Constitution, did not contain the

presentprovisioninArticleVIII,Section1,par.2onwhatjudicialpowerincludes.Thus,Justice

Laureldiscoursed:

xxxIntimesofsocialdisquietudeorpoliticalexcitement,thegreatlandmarksoftheConstitutionare

apttobeforgottenormarred,ifnotentirelyobliterated.Incasesofconflict,thejudicialdepartmentis

theonlyconstitutionalorganwhichcanbecalledupontodeterminetheproperallocationof

powersbetweentheseveraldepartmentsandamongtheintegralorconstituentunitsthereof.

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Asanyhumanproduction,ourConstitutionisofcourselackingperfectionandperfectibility,butasmuch asitwaswithinthepowerofourpeople,actingthroughtheirdelegatestosoprovide,thatinstrument whichistheexpressionoftheirsovereigntyhoweverlimited,hasestablishedarepublicangovernment intendedtooperateandfunctionasaharmoniouswhole,underasystemofchecksandbalances,and subjecttospecificlimitationsandrestrictionsprovidedinthesaidinstrument.TheConstitutionsets forthinnouncertainlanguagetherestrictionsandlimitationsupongovernmentalpowersand agencies.Iftheserestrictionsandlimitationsaretranscendeditwouldbeinconceivableifthe Constitutionhadnotprovidedforamechanismbywhichtodirectthecourseofgovernmentalong constitutionalchannels,forthenthedistributionofpowerswouldbemereverbiage,thebillofrights mereexpressionsofsentiment,andtheprinciplesofgoodgovernmentmerepoliticalapothegms. Certainly,thelimitationsandrestrictionsembodiedinourConstitutionarerealastheyshouldbeinany livingconstitution.IntheUnitedStateswherenoexpressconstitutionalgrantisfoundintheir constitution,thepossessionofthismoderatingpowerofthecourts,nottospeakofitshistoricalorigin anddevelopmentthere,hasbeensetatrestbypopularacquiescenceforaperiodofmorethanoneanda halfcenturies.Inourcase,thismoderatingpowerisgranted,ifnotexpressly,byclearimplication

fromsection2ofarticleVIIIofourConstitution.

TheConstitutionisadefinitionofthepowersofgovernment.Whoistodeterminethenature,scope andextentofsuchpowers?TheConstitutionitselfhasprovidedfortheinstrumentalityofthe judiciaryastherationalway.Andwhenthejudiciarymediatestoallocateconstitutional boundaries,itdoesnotassertanysuperiorityovertheotherdepartments;itdoesnotinrealitynullifyor invalidateanactofthelegislature,butonlyassertsthesolemnandsacredobligationassignedtoitby theConstitutiontodetermineconflictingclaimsofauthorityundertheConstitutionandto establishforthepartiesinanactualcontroversytherightswhichthatinstrumentsecuresand guaranteestothem.Thisisintruthallthatisinvolvedinwhatistermed"judicialsupremacy"which properlyisthepowerofjudicialreviewundertheConstitution.Eventhen,thispowerofjudicial reviewislimitedtoactualcasesandcontroversiestobeexercisedafterfullopportunityofargumentby theparties,andlimitedfurthertotheconstitutionalquestionraisedortheverylismotapresented.Any attemptatabstractioncouldonlyleadtodialecticsandbarrenlegalquestionsandtosterileconclusions unrelatedtoactualities.Narrowedasitsfunctionisinthismanner,thejudiciarydoesnotpassupon questionsofwisdom,justiceorexpediencyoflegislation.Morethanthat,courtsaccordthepresumption ofconstitutionalitytolegislativeenactments,notonlybecausethelegislatureispresumedtoabidebythe Constitutionbutalsobecausethejudiciaryinthedeterminationofactualcasesandcontroversiesmust reflectthewisdomandjusticeofthepeopleasexpressedthroughtheirrepresentativesintheexecutive andlegislativedepartmentsofthegovernment. [24] (Italicsintheoriginal;emphasisandunderscoring supplied)

AspointedoutbyJusticeLaurel,thismoderatingpowertodeterminetheproperallocation ofpowersofthedifferentbranchesofgovernmentandtodirectthecourseofgovernmentalong constitutionalchannelsisinherentinallcourts [25] asanecessaryconsequenceofthejudicial poweritself,whichisthepowerofthecourttosettleactualcontroversiesinvolvingrightswhich arelegallydemandableandenforceable. [26]

Thus,evenintheUnitedStateswherethepowerofjudicialreviewisnotexplicitlyconferred uponthecourtsbyitsConstitution,suchpowerhasbeensetatrestbypopularacquiescence

foraperiodofmorethanoneandahalfcenturies.Tobesure,itwasinthe1803leadingcase

ofMarburyv.Madison [27] thatthepowerofjudicialreviewwasfirstarticulatedbyChiefJustice Marshall,towit:

Itisalsonotentirelyunworthyofobservation,thatindeclaringwhatshallbethesupremelawofthe

land,theconstitutionitselfisfirstmentioned;andnotthelawsoftheUnitedStatesgenerally,butthose

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onlywhichshallbemadeinpursuanceoftheconstitution,havethatrank.

Thus,theparticularphraseologyoftheconstitutionoftheUnitedStatesconfirmsandstrengthensthe principle,supposedtobeessentialtoallwrittenconstitutions,thatalawrepugnanttothe constitutionisvoid;andthatcourts,aswellasotherdepartments,areboundbythatinstrument. [28] (Italicsintheoriginal;emphasissupplied)

In our own jurisdiction, as early as 1902, decades before its express grant in the 1935 Constitution, the power of judicial review was exercised by our courts to invalidate constitutionallyinfirmacts. [29] Andaspointedoutbynotedpoliticallawprofessorandformer SupremeCourtJusticeVicenteV.Mendoza, [30] theexecutiveandlegislativebranchesofour

governmentinfacteffectivelyacknowledgedthispowerofjudicialreviewinArticle7oftheCivil

Code,towit:

Article7.Lawsarerepealedonlybysubsequentones,andtheirviolationornon­observanceshallnotbe

excusedbydisuse,orcustomorpracticetothecontrary.

WhenthecourtsdeclarealawtobeinconsistentwiththeConstitution,theformershallbevoid

andthelattershallgovern.

Administrativeorexecutiveacts,ordersandregulationsshallbevalidonlywhentheyarenot

contrarytothelawsortheConstitution.(Emphasissupplied)

As indicated in Angara v. Electoral Commission, [31] judicial review is indeed an integral componentofthedelicatesystemofchecksandbalanceswhich,togetherwiththecorollary principleofseparationofpowers,formsthebedrockofourrepublicanformofgovernmentand insuresthatitsvastpowersareutilizedonlyforthebenefitofthepeopleforwhichitserves.

Theseparationofpowersisafundamentalprincipleinoursystemofgovernment.Itobtainsnot throughexpressprovisionbutbyactualdivisioninourConstitution.Eachdepartmentofthegovernment hasexclusivecognizanceofmatterswithinitsjurisdiction,andissupremewithinitsownsphere.Butit doesnotfollowfromthefactthatthethreepowersaretobekeptseparateanddistinctthatthe Constitutionintendedthemtobeabsolutelyunrestrainedandindependentofeachother.The Constitutionhasprovidedforanelaboratesystemofchecksandbalancestosecurecoordinationin theworkingsofthevariousdepartmentsofthegovernment.xxxAndthejudiciaryinturn,with theSupremeCourtasthefinalarbiter,effectivelycheckstheotherdepartmentsintheexerciseof itspowertodeterminethelaw,andhencetodeclareexecutiveandlegislativeactsvoidifviolative oftheConstitution. [32] (Emphasisandunderscoringsupplied)

In the scholarly estimation of former Supreme Court Justice Florentino Feliciano, x x x judicialreviewisessentialforthemaintenanceandenforcementoftheseparationofpowers andthebalancingofpowersamongthethreegreatdepartmentsofgovernmentthroughthe definitionandmaintenanceoftheboundariesofauthorityandcontrolbetweenthem. [33] Tohim, [j]udicial review is the chief, indeed the only, medium of participation or instrument of interventionofthejudiciaryinthatbalancingoperation. [34]

Toensurethepotencyofthepowerofjudicialreviewtocurbgraveabuseofdiscretionby

anybranchorinstrumentalitiesofgovernment,theafore­quotedSection1,ArticleVIIIof

theConstitutionengraves,forthefirsttimeintoitshistory,intoblockletterlawtheso­called expandedcertiorarijurisdictionofthisCourt,thenatureofandrationaleforwhicharemirrored in the following excerpt from the sponsorship speech of its proponent, former Chief Justice

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ConstitutionalCommissionerRobertoConcepcion:

xxx

ThefirstsectionstartswithasentencecopiedfromformerConstitutions.Itsays:

ThejudicialpowershallbevestedinoneSupremeCourtandinsuchlowercourtsasmaybeestablished

bylaw.

Isupposenobodycanquestionit.

Thenextprovisionisnewinourconstitutionallaw.Iwillreaditfirstandexplain.

Judicialpowerincludesthedutyofcourtsofjusticetosettleactualcontroversiesinvolvingrightswhich

arelegallydemandableandenforceableandtodeterminewhetherornottherehasbeenagraveabuseof

discretionamountingtolackorexcessofjurisdictiononthepartorinstrumentalityofthegovernment.

FellowMembersofthisCommission,thisisactuallyaproductofourexperienceduringmartiallaw.

Asamatteroffact,ithassomeantecedentsinthepast,buttheroleofthejudiciaryduringthedeposed

regimewasmarredconsiderablybythecircumstancethatinanumberofcasesagainstthe

government,whichthenhadnolegaldefenseatall,thesolicitorgeneralsetupthedefenseof

politicalquestionsandgotawaywithit.Asaconsequence,certainprinciplesconcerningparticularly

thewritofhabeascorpus,thatis,theauthorityofcourtstoorderthereleaseofpoliticaldetainees,and

othermattersrelatedtotheoperationandeffectofmartiallawfailedbecausethegovernmentsetupthe

defenseofpoliticalquestion.AndtheSupremeCourtsaid:Well,sinceitispolitical,wehaveno

authoritytopassuponit.TheCommitteeontheJudiciaryfeelsthatthiswasnotapropersolutionof

thequestionsinvolved.Itdidnotmerelyrequestanencroachmentupontherightsofthepeople,

butit,ineffect,encouragedfurtherviolationsthereofduringthemartiallawregime.xxx

xxx

Brieflystated,courtsofjusticedeterminethelimitsofpoweroftheagenciesandofficesofthe

governmentaswellasthoseofitsofficers.Inotherwords,thejudiciaryisthefinalarbiteronthe

questionwhetherornotabranchofgovernmentoranyofitsofficialshasactedwithout

jurisdictionorinexcessofjurisdiction,orsocapriciouslyastoconstituteanabuseofdiscretion

amountingtoexcessofjurisdictionorlackofjurisdiction.Thisisnotonlyajudicialpowerbuta

dutytopassjudgmentonmattersofthisnature.

Thisisthebackgroundofparagraph2ofSection1,whichmeansthatthecourtscannothereafter

evadethedutytosettlemattersofthisnature,byclaimingthatsuchmattersconstituteapolitical question. [35] (Italicsintheoriginal;emphasisandunderscoringsupplied)

To determine the merits of the issues raised in the instant petitions, this Court must necessarily turn to the Constitution itself which employs the well­settled principles of constitutionalconstruction.

First,verbalegis,thatis,whereverpossible,thewordsusedintheConstitutionmustbe giventheirordinarymeaningexceptwheretechnicaltermsareemployed.Thus,inJ.M.Tuason &Co.,Inc.v.LandTenureAdministration, [36] thisCourt,speakingthroughChiefJusticeEnrique Fernando,declared:

Welooktothelanguageofthedocumentitselfinoursearchforitsmeaning.Wedonotofcourse

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stopthere,butthatiswherewebegin.Itistobeassumedthatthewordsinwhichconstitutional provisionsarecouchedexpresstheobjectivesoughttobeattained.Theyaretobegiventheir ordinarymeaningexceptwheretechnicaltermsareemployedinwhichcasethesignificancethus attachedtothemprevails.AstheConstitutionisnotprimarilyalawyersdocument,itbeingessential fortheruleoflawtoobtainthatitshouldeverbepresentinthepeoplesconsciousness,itslanguageas muchaspossibleshouldbeunderstoodinthesensetheyhaveincommonuse.Whatitsaysaccording tothetextoftheprovisiontobeconstruedcompelsacceptanceandnegatesthepowerofthecourtsto alterit,basedonthepostulatethattheframersandthepeoplemeanwhattheysay.Thusthesearethe caseswheretheneedforconstructionisreducedtoaminimum. [37] (Emphasisandunderscoringsupplied)

Second, where there is ambiguity, ratio legis est anima. The words of the Constitution shouldbeinterpretedinaccordancewiththeintentofitsframers.AndsodidthisCourtapply thisprincipleinCivilLibertiesUnionv.ExecutiveSecretary [38] inthiswise:

Afoolproofyardstickinconstitutionalconstructionistheintentionunderlyingtheprovisionunder consideration.Thus,ithasbeenheldthattheCourtinconstruingaConstitutionshouldbearinmindthe objectsoughttobeaccomplishedbyitsadoption,andtheevils,ifany,soughttobepreventedor remedied.Adoubtfulprovisionwillbeexaminedinthelightofthehistoryofthetimes,andthe conditionandcircumstancesunderwhichtheConstitutionwasframed.Theobjectistoascertainthe reasonwhichinducedtheframersoftheConstitutiontoenacttheparticularprovisionandthe purposesoughttobeaccomplishedthereby,inordertoconstruethewholeastomakethewords consonanttothatreasonandcalculatedtoeffectthatpurpose. [39] (Emphasisandunderscoring suppliedsupplied)

As it did in Nitafan v. Commissioner on Internal Revenue [40] where, speaking through MadameJusticeAmuerfinaA.Melencio­Herrera,itdeclared:

xxxTheascertainmentofthatintentisbutinkeepingwiththefundamentalprincipleof constitutionalconstructionthattheintentoftheframersoftheorganiclawandofthepeople adoptingitshouldbegiveneffect.Theprimarytaskinconstitutionalconstructionistoascertainand thereafterassuretherealizationofthepurposeoftheframersandofthepeopleintheadoptionofthe Constitution.ItmayalsobesafelyassumedthatthepeopleinratifyingtheConstitutionwereguided mainlybytheexplanationofferedbytheframers. [41] (Emphasisandunderscoringsupplied)

Finally, ut magis valeat quam pereat. The Constitution is to be interpreted as a whole. Thus,inChiongbianv.DeLeon, [42] thisCourt,throughChiefJusticeManuelMorandeclared:

xxx[T]hemembersoftheConstitutionalConventioncouldnothavededicatedaprovisionofour Constitutionmerelyforthebenefitofonepersonwithoutconsideringthatitcouldalsoaffect

others.Whentheyadoptedsubsection2,theypermitted,ifnotwilled,thatsaidprovisionshould

functiontothefullextentofitssubstanceanditsterms,notbyitselfalone,butinconjunctionwith allotherprovisionsofthatgreatdocument. [43] (Emphasisandunderscoringsupplied)

Likewise,stillinCivilLibertiesUnionv.ExecutiveSecretary, [44] thisCourtaffirmedthat:

Itisawell­establishedruleinconstitutionalconstructionthatnooneprovisionoftheConstitution

istobeseparatedfromalltheothers,tobeconsideredalone,butthatalltheprovisionsbearing

uponaparticularsubjectaretobebroughtintoviewandtobesointerpretedastoeffectuatethe

greatpurposesoftheinstrument.Sectionsbearingonaparticularsubjectshouldbeconsidered

andinterpretedtogetherastoeffectuatethewholepurposeoftheConstitutionandonesectionis

nottobeallowedtodefeatanother,ifbyanyreasonableconstruction,thetwocanbemadeto

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standtogether.

Inotherwords,thecourtmustharmonizethem,ifpracticable,andmustleaninfavorofaconstruction whichwillrendereverywordoperative,ratherthanonewhichmaymakethewordsidleandnugatory. [45] (Emphasissupplied)

If,however,theplainmeaningofthewordisnotfoundtobeclear,resorttootheraidsis available. In still the same case of Civil Liberties Union v. Executive Secretary, this Court expounded:

Whileitispermissibleinthisjurisdictiontoconsultthedebatesandproceedingsoftheconstitutional conventioninordertoarriveatthereasonandpurposeoftheresultingConstitution,resorttheretomay behadonlywhenotherguidesfailassaidproceedingsarepowerlesstovarythetermsofthe Constitutionwhenthemeaningisclear.Debatesintheconstitutionalconvention"areofvalueas showingtheviewsoftheindividualmembers,andasindicatingthereasonsfortheirvotes,buttheygive usnolightastotheviewsofthelargemajoritywhodidnottalk,muchlessofthemassofourfellow citizenswhosevotesatthepollsgavethatinstrumenttheforceoffundamentallaw.Wethinkitsaferto construetheconstitutionfromwhatappearsuponitsface."Theproperinterpretationtherefore dependsmoreonhowitwasunderstoodbythepeopleadoptingitthanintheframers's understandingthereof. [46] (Emphasisandunderscoringsupplied)

Itisinthecontextoftheforegoingbackdropofconstitutionalrefinementandjurisprudential applicationofthepowerofjudicialreviewthatrespondentsSpeakerDeVenecia,et.al. and intervenor Senator Pimentel raise the novel argument that the Constitution has excluded impeachmentproceedingsfromthecoverageofjudicialreview.

Briefly stated, it is the position of respondents Speaker De Venecia et. al. that impeachment is a political action which cannot assume a judicial character. Hence, any question,issueorincidentarisingatanystageoftheimpeachmentproceedingisbeyondthe reachofjudicialreview. [47]

For his part, intervenor Senator Pimentel contends that the Senates sole power to try impeachmentcases [48] (1)entirelyexcludestheapplicationofjudicialreviewoverit;and(2) necessarily includes the Senates power to determine constitutional questions relative to impeachmentproceedings. [49]

Infurtheringtheirargumentsonthepropositionthatimpeachmentproceedingsareoutside thescopeofjudicialreview,respondentsSpeakerDeVenecia,et.al.andintervenorSenator PimentelrelyheavilyonAmericanauthorities,principallythemajorityopinioninthecaseof Nixon v. United States. [50] Thus, they contend that the exercise of judicial review over impeachment proceedings is inappropriate since it runs counter to the framers decision to allocate to different fora the powers to try impeachments and to try crimes; it disturbs the systemofchecksandbalances,underwhichimpeachmentistheonlylegislativecheckonthe judiciary;anditwouldcreatealackoffinalityanddifficultyinfashioningrelief. [51] Respondents likewisepointtodeliberationsontheUSConstitutiontoshowtheintenttoisolatejudicialpower ofreviewincasesofimpeachment.

Respondents and intervenors reliance upon American jurisprudence, the American ConstitutionandAmericanauthoritiescannotbecreditedtosupportthepropositionthatthe Senatessolepowertotryanddecideimpeachmentcases,asprovidedforunderArt.XI,Sec. 3(6) of the Constitution, is a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of all issues pertaining to impeachment to the legislature, to the total exclusion of the power of judicial

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review to check and restrain any grave abuse of the impeachment process. Nor can it reasonablysupporttheinterpretationthatitnecessarilyconfersupontheSenatetheinherently judicialpowertodetermineconstitutionalquestionsincidenttoimpeachmentproceedings.

SaidAmericanjurisprudenceandauthorities,muchlesstheAmericanConstitution,areof dubious application for these are no longer controlling within our jurisdiction and have only limitedpersuasivemeritinsofarasPhilippineconstitutionallawisconcerned.Asheldinthe caseofGarciavs.COMELEC, [52] [i]nresolvingconstitutionaldisputes,[thisCourt]shouldnotbe beguiledbyforeignjurisprudencesomeofwhicharehardlyapplicablebecausetheyhavebeen dictated by different constitutional settings and needs. [53] Indeed, although the Philippine ConstitutioncantraceitsoriginstothatoftheUnitedStates,theirpathsofdevelopmenthave longsincediverged.InthecolorfulwordsofFatherBernas,[w]ehavecuttheumbilicalcord.

ThemajordifferencebetweenthejudicialpowerofthePhilippineSupremeCourtandthat

oftheU.S.SupremeCourtisthatwhilethepowerofjudicialreviewisonlyimpliedlygrantedto

theU.S.SupremeCourtandisdiscretionaryinnature,thatgrantedtothePhilippineSupreme

Courtandlowercourts,asexpresslyprovidedforintheConstitution,isnotjustapowerbut

alsoaduty,anditwasgivenanexpandeddefinitiontoincludethepowertocorrectany

graveabuseofdiscretiononthepartofanygovernmentbranchorinstrumentality.

There are also glaring distinctions between the U.S. Constitution and the Philippine Constitution with respect to the power of the House of Representatives over impeachment proceedings.WhiletheU.S.ConstitutionbestowssolepowerofimpeachmenttotheHouseof Representatives without limitation, [54] our Constitution, though vesting in the House of Representatives the exclusive power to initiate impeachment cases, [55] provides for several

limitationstotheexerciseofsuchpowerasembodiedinSection3(2),(3),(4)and(5),ArticleXI

thereof.Theselimitationsincludethemanneroffiling,requiredvotetoimpeach,andtheone

yearbarontheimpeachmentofoneandthesameofficial.

Respondentsarealsooftheviewthatjudicialreviewofimpeachmentsunderminestheir finalityandmayalsoleadtoconflictsbetweenCongressandthejudiciary.Thus,theycallupon thisCourttoexercisejudicialstatesmanshipontheprinciplethatwheneverpossible,theCourt should defer to the judgment of the people expressed legislatively, recognizing full well the perilsofjudicialwillfulnessandpride. [56]

Butdidnotthepeoplealsoexpresstheirwillwhentheyinstitutedtheabove­mentioned safeguardsintheConstitution?ThisshowsthattheConstitutiondidnotintendtoleavethe matterofimpeachmenttothesolediscretionofCongress.Instead,itprovidedforcertainwell­ defined limits, or in the language of Baker v. Carr, [57] judicially discoverable standards for determiningthevalidityoftheexerciseofsuchdiscretion,throughthepowerofjudicialreview.

ThecasesofRomulov.Yniguez [58] andAlejandrinov.Quezon, [59] citedbyrespondentsin supportoftheargumentthattheimpeachmentpowerisbeyondthescopeofjudicialreview,are notinpoint.Thesecasesconcernthedenialofpetitionsforwritsofmandamustocompelthe legislaturetoperformnon­ministerialacts,anddonotconcerntheexerciseofthepowerof judicialreview.

There is indeed a plethora of cases in which this Court exercised the power of judicial reviewovercongressionalaction.Thus,inSantiagov.Guingona,Jr., [60] thisCourtruledthatit iswellwithinthepowerandjurisdictionoftheCourttoinquirewhethertheSenateoritsofficials committedaviolationoftheConstitutionorgraveabuseofdiscretionintheexerciseoftheir functionsandprerogatives.InTanadav.Angara, [61] inseekingtonullifyanactofthePhilippine Senate on the ground that it contravened the Constitution, it held that the petition raises a

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justiciablecontroversyandthatwhenanactionofthelegislativebranchisseriouslyallegedto haveinfringedtheConstitution,itbecomesnotonlytherightbutinfactthedutyofthejudiciary tosettlethedispute.InBondocv.Pineda, [62] thisCourtdeclarednullandvoidaresolutionof theHouseof Representativeswithdrawingthenomination, andrescindingtheelection, of a

congressmanasamemberoftheHouseElectoralTribunalforbeingviolativeofSection17,

ArticleVIoftheConstitution.InCosetengv.Mitra, [63] itheldthattheresolutionofwhetherthe House representation in the Commission on Appointments was based on proportional

representationofthepoliticalpartiesasprovidedinSection18,ArticleVIoftheConstitutionis

subject to judicial review. In Daza v. Singson, [64] it held that the act of the House of RepresentativesinremovingthepetitionerfromtheCommissiononAppointmentsissubjectto judicial review. In Tanada v. Cuenco, [65] it held that although under the Constitution, the legislativepowerisvestedexclusivelyinCongress,thisdoesnotdetractfromthepowerofthe courts to pass upon the constitutionality of acts of Congress. In Angara v. Electoral Commission, [66] it ruled that confirmation by the National Assembly of the election of any member,irrespectiveofwhetherhiselectioniscontested,isnotessentialbeforesuchmember­ electmaydischargethedutiesandenjoytheprivilegesofamemberoftheNationalAssembly.

Finally,thereexistsnoconstitutionalbasisforthecontentionthattheexerciseofjudicial reviewoverimpeachmentproceedingswouldupsetthesystemofchecksandbalances.Verily, theConstitutionistobeinterpretedasawholeandonesectionisnottobeallowedtodefeat another. [67] Both are integral components of the calibrated system of independence and interdependencethatinsuresthatnobranchofgovernmentactbeyondthepowersassignedto itbytheConstitution.

EssentialRequisitesforJudicialReview

AsclearlystatedinAngarav.ElectoralCommission,thecourtspowerofjudicialreview,

likealmostallpowersconferredbytheConstitution,issubjecttoseverallimitations,namely:(1)

an actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power; (2) the person challengingtheactmusthavestandingtochallenge;hemusthaveapersonalandsubstantial interestinthecasesuchthathehassustained,orwillsustain,directinjuryasaresultofits enforcement; (3) the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest possible

opportunity;and(4)theissueofconstitutionalitymustbetheverylismotaofthecase.

xxxEventhen,thispowerofjudicialreviewislimitedtoactualcasesandcontroversiestobeexercised afterfullopportunityofargumentbytheparties,andlimitedfurthertotheconstitutionalquestionraised ortheverylismotapresented.Anyattemptatabstractioncouldonlyleadtodialecticsandbarrenlegal questionsandtosterileconclusionsunrelatedtoactualities.Narrowedasitsfunctionisinthismanner, thejudiciarydoesnotpassuponquestionsofwisdom,justiceorexpediencyoflegislation.Morethan that,courtsaccordthepresumptionofconstitutionalitytolegislativeenactments,notonlybecausethe legislatureispresumedtoabidebytheConstitutionbutalsobecausethejudiciaryinthedeterminationof actualcasesandcontroversiesmustreflectthewisdomandjusticeofthepeopleasexpressedthrough theirrepresentativesintheexecutiveandlegislativedepartmentsofthegovernment. [68] (Italicsinthe original)

Standing

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Locusstandiorlegalstandingorhasbeendefinedasapersonalandsubstantialinterestin the case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the governmentalactthatisbeingchallenged.Thegistofthequestionofstandingiswhethera partyallegessuchpersonalstakeintheoutcomeofthecontroversyastoassurethatconcrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court depends for illuminationofdifficultconstitutionalquestions. [69]

IntervenorSoriano,inprayingforthedismissalofthepetitions,contendsthatpetitionersdo

nothavestandingsinceonlytheChiefJusticehassustainedandwillsustaindirectpersonal

injury.AmicuscuriaeformerJusticeMinisterandSolicitorGeneralEstelitoMendozasimilarly

contends.

Upontheotherhand,theSolicitorGeneralassertsthatpetitionershavestandingsincethis Courthad,inthepast,accordedstandingtotaxpayers,voters,concernedcitizens,legislatorsin cases involving paramount public interest [70] and transcendental importance, [71] and that proceduralmattersaresubordinatetotheneedtodeterminewhetherornottheotherbranches ofthegovernmenthavekeptthemselveswithinthelimitsoftheConstitutionandthelawsand that they have not abused the discretion given to them. [72] Amicus curiae Dean Raul Pangalangan of the U.P. College of Law is of the same opinion, citing transcendental importanceandthewell­entrenchedruleexceptionthat,whentherealpartyininterestisunable tovindicatehisrightsbyseekingthesameremedies,asinthecaseoftheChiefJusticewho, for ethical reasons, cannot himself invoke the jurisdiction of this Court, the courts will grant petitionersstanding.

Thereis,however,adifferencebetweentheruleonreal­party­in­interestandtheruleon standing, for the former is a concept of civil procedure [73] while the latter has constitutional underpinnings. [74] Inviewoftheargumentssetforthregardingstanding,itbehoovestheCourt toreiteratetherulinginKilosbayan,Inc.v.Morato [75] toclarifywhatismeantbylocusstandi andtodistinguishitfromrealparty­in­interest.

Thedifferencebetweentheruleonstandingandrealpartyininteresthasbeennotedbyauthoritiesthus:

Itisimportanttonote

verydifferentfromquestionsrelatingtowhetheraparticularplaintiffistherealpartyininterestorhas

capacitytosue.Althoughallthreerequirementsaredirectedtowardsensuringthatonlycertainparties

canmaintainanaction,standingrestrictionsrequireapartialconsiderationofthemerits,aswellas

broaderpolicyconcernsrelatingtotheproperroleofthejudiciaryincertainareas.

thatstandingbecauseofitsconstitutionalandpublicpolicyunderpinnings,is

Standingisaspecialconcerninconstitutionallawbecauseinsomecasessuitsarebroughtnotbyparties

whohavebeenpersonallyinjuredbytheoperationofalaworbyofficialactiontaken,butbyconcerned

citizens,taxpayersorvoterswhoactuallysueinthepublicinterest.Hencethequestioninstandingis

whethersuchpartieshaveallegedsuchapersonalstakeintheoutcomeofthecontroversyastoassure

thatconcreteadversenesswhichsharpensthepresentationofissuesuponwhichthecourtsolargely

dependsforilluminationofdifficultconstitutionalquestions.

xxx

Ontheotherhand,thequestionasto"realpartyininterest"iswhetherheisthepartywhowouldbe benefitedorinjuredbythejudgment,orthe'partyentitledtotheavailsofthesuit. [76] (Citationsomitted)

While rights personal to the Chief Justice may have been injured by the alleged unconstitutionalactsoftheHouseofRepresentatives,noneofthepetitionersbeforeusasserts aviolationofthepersonalrightsoftheChiefJustice.Onthecontrary,theyinvariablyinvokethe

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vindicationoftheirownrightsastaxpayers;membersofCongress;citizens,individuallyorina

classsuit;andmembersofthebarandofthelegalprofessionwhichweresupposedlyviolated

bytheallegedunconstitutionalactsoftheHouseofRepresentatives.

In a long line of cases, however, concerned citizens, taxpayers and legislators when specificrequirementshavebeenmethavebeengivenstandingbythisCourt.

Whensuingasacitizen, the interest of the petitioner assailing the constitutionality of a statutemustbedirectandpersonal.Hemustbeabletoshow,notonlythatthelaworany governmentactisinvalid,butalsothathesustainedorisinimminentdangerofsustaining somedirectinjuryasaresultofitsenforcement,andnotmerelythathesufferstherebyinsome indefiniteway.Itmustappearthatthepersoncomplaininghasbeenorisabouttobedenied somerightorprivilegetowhichheislawfullyentitledorthatheisabouttobesubjectedto someburdensorpenaltiesbyreasonofthestatuteoractcomplainedof. [77] Infine,whenthe proceedinginvolvestheassertionofapublicright, [78] themerefactthatheisacitizensatisfies therequirementofpersonalinterest.

Inthecaseofataxpayer,heisallowedtosuewherethereisaclaimthatpublicfundsare illegallydisbursed,orthatpublicmoneyisbeingdeflectedtoanyimproperpurpose,orthat thereisawastageofpublicfundsthroughtheenforcementofaninvalidorunconstitutionallaw. [79] Beforehecaninvokethepowerofjudicialreview,however,hemustspecificallyprovethat hehassufficientinterestinpreventingtheillegalexpenditureofmoneyraisedbytaxationand thathewouldsustainadirectinjuryasaresultoftheenforcementofthequestionedstatuteor contract.Itisnotsufficientthathehasmerelyageneralinterestcommontoallmembersofthe public. [80]

Atallevents,courtsarevestedwithdiscretionastowhetherornotataxpayer'ssuitshould be entertained. [81] This Court opts to grant standing to most of the petitioners, given their allegationthatanyimpendingtransmittaltotheSenateoftheArticlesofImpeachmentandthe ensuingtrialoftheChiefJusticewillnecessarilyinvolvetheexpenditureofpublicfunds.

Asforalegislator,heisallowedtosuetoquestionthevalidityofanyofficialactionwhich he claims infringes his prerogatives as a legislator. [82] Indeed, a member of the House of Representatives has standing to maintain inviolate the prerogatives, powers and privileges vestedbytheConstitutioninhisoffice. [83]

Whileanassociationhaslegalpersonalitytorepresentitsmembers, [84] especiallywhenitis composedofsubstantialtaxpayersandtheoutcomewillaffecttheirvitalinterests, [85] themere invocationbytheIntegratedBarofthePhilippinesoranymemberofthelegalprofessionofthe dutytopreservetheruleoflawandnothingmore,althoughundoubtedlytrue,doesnotsuffice toclotheitwithstanding.Itsinterestistoogeneral.Itissharedbyothergroupsandthewhole citizenry.However,areadingofthepetitionsshowsthatithasadvancedconstitutionalissues whichdeservetheattentionofthisCourtinviewoftheirseriousness,noveltyandweightas precedents. [86] It,therefore,behoovesthisCourttorelaxtherulesonstandingandtoresolve theissuespresentedbyit.

In the same vein, when dealing with class suits filed in behalf of all citizens, persons interveningmustbesufficientlynumeroustofullyprotecttheinterestsofallconcerned [87] to enablethecourttodealproperlywithallinterestsinvolvedinthesuit, [88] forajudgmentina classsuit,whetherfavorableorunfavorabletotheclass,is,undertheresjudicata principle, bindingonallmembersoftheclasswhetherornottheywerebeforethecourt. [89] Whereit clearlyappearsthatnotallinterestscanbesufficientlyrepresentedasshownbythedivergent

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issues raised in the numerous petitions before this Court, G.R. No. 160365 as a class suit oughttofail.Sincepetitionersadditionallyallegestandingascitizensandtaxpayers,however, theirpetitionwillstand.

The Philippine Bar Association, in G.R. No. 160403, invokes the sole ground of

transcendentalimportance,whileAtty.DioscoroU.Vallejos,inG.R.No.160397,ismumonhis

standing.

Therebeingnodoctrinaldefinitionoftranscendentalimportance,thefollowinginstructive determinants formulated by former Supreme Court Justice Florentino P. Feliciano are

instructive:(1)thecharacterofthefundsorotherassetsinvolvedinthecase;(2)thepresence

ofaclearcaseofdisregardofaconstitutionalorstatutoryprohibitionbythepublicrespondent

agencyorinstrumentalityofthegovernment;and(3)thelackofanyotherpartywithamore

direct and specific interest in raising the questions being raised. [90] Applying these determinants,thisCourtissatisfiedthattheissuesraisedhereinareindeedoftranscendental importance.

Innotafewcases,thisCourthasinfactadoptedaliberalattitudeonthelocusstandiofa petitionerwherethepetitionerisabletocraftanissueoftranscendentalsignificancetothe people,aswhentheissuesraisedareofparamountimportancetothepublic. [91] Suchliberality doesnot,however,meanthattherequirementthatapartyshouldhaveaninterestinthematter istotallyeliminated.Apartymust,attheveryleast,stillpleadtheexistenceofsuchinterest,it notbeingoneofwhichcourtscantakejudicialnotice.InpetitionerVallejoscase,hefailedto allegeanyinterestinthecase.Hedoesnotthushavestanding.

With respect to the motions for intervention, Rule 19, Section 2 of the Rules of Court requiresanintervenortopossessalegalinterestinthematterinlitigation,orinthesuccessof eitheroftheparties,oraninterestagainstboth,orissosituatedastobeadverselyaffectedby adistributionorotherdispositionofpropertyinthecustodyofthecourtorofanofficerthereof. Whileinterventionisnotamatterofright,itmaybepermittedbythecourtswhentheapplicant showsfactswhichsatisfytherequirementsofthelawauthorizingintervention. [92]

InIntervenorsAttorneysRomuloMacalintalandPeteQuirinoQuadrascase,theyseekto

joinpetitionersCandelaria,et.al.inG.R.No.160262.Since,saveforoneadditionalissue,they

raise the same issues and the same standing, and no objection on the part of petitioners Candelaria,et. al. has been interposed, this Court as earlier stated, granted the Motion for LeaveofCourttoInterveneandPetition­in­Intervention.

NagmamalasakitnamgaManananggolngmgaManggagawangPilipino,Inc.,et.al.sought tojoinpetitionerFranciscoinG.R.No.160261.Invoking their right as citizens to intervene, allegingthattheywillsufferifthisinsidiousschemeoftheminoritymembersoftheHouseof Representatives is successful, this Court found the requisites for intervention had been compliedwith.

Alleging that the issues raised in the petitions in G.R. Nos. 160261, 160262, 160263, 160277, 160292, 160295, and 160310 were of transcendental importance, World War II Veterans Legionnaires of the Philippines, Inc. filed a Petition­in­Intervention with Leave to Intervenetoraisetheadditionalissueofwhetherornotthesecondimpeachmentcomplaint against the Chief Justice is valid and based on any of the grounds prescribed by the Constitution.

FindingthatNagmamalasakitnamgaManananggolngmgaManggagawangPilipino,Inc.,

etal.andWorldWarIIVeteransLegionnairesofthePhilippines,Inc.possessalegalinterestin

thematterinlitigationtherespectivemotionstointervenewereherebygranted.

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SenatorAquilinoPimentel,ontheotherhand,soughttointerveneforthelimitedpurposeof makingofrecordandarguingapointofviewthatdifferswithSenatePresidentDrilons.He allegesthatsubmittingtothisCourtsjurisdictionastheSenatePresidentdoeswillundermine theindependenceoftheSenatewhichwillsitasanimpeachmentcourtoncetheArticlesof Impeachment are transmitted to it from the House of Representatives. Clearly, Senator Pimentelpossessesalegalinterestinthematterinlitigation,hebeingamemberofCongress against which the herein petitions are directed. For this reason, and to fully ventilate all substantialissuesrelatingtothematterathand,hisMotiontoIntervenewasgrantedandhe was,asearlierstated,allowedtoargue.

Lastly,astoJaimeN.Sorianosmotiontointervene,thesamemustbedeniedfor,whilehe asserts an interest as a taxpayer, he failed to meet the standing requirement for bringing taxpayerssuitsassetforthinDumlaov.Comelec, [93] towit:

xxxWhile,concededly,theelectionstobeheldinvolvetheexpenditureofpublicmoneys,nowherein theirPetitiondosaidpetitionersallegethattheirtaxmoneyisbeingextractedandspentinviolationof specificconstitutionalprotectionagainstabusesoflegislativepower,orthatthereisamisapplicationof suchfundsbyrespondentCOMELEC,orthatpublicmoneyisbeingdeflectedtoanyimproperpurpose. Neitherdopetitionersseektorestrainrespondentfromwastingpublicfundsthroughtheenforcementof aninvalidorunconstitutionallaw. [94] (Citationsomitted)

In praying for the dismissal of the petitions, Soriano failed even to allege that the act of petitionerswillresultinillegaldisbursementofpublicfundsorinpublicmoneybeingdeflected to any improper purpose. Additionally, his mere interest as a member of the Bar does not sufficetoclothehimwithstanding.

RipenessandPrematurity

InTanv.Macapagal, [95] thisCourt,throughChiefJusticeFernando,heldthatforacaseto be considered ripe for adjudication, it is a prerequisite that something had by then been accomplishedorperformedbyeitherbranchbeforeacourtmaycomeintothepicture. [96] Only thenmaythecourtspassonthevalidityofwhatwasdone,ifandwhenthelatterischallenged inanappropriatelegalproceeding.

Theinstantpetitionsraiseinthemaintheissueofthevalidityofthefilingofthesecond impeachmentcomplaintagainsttheChiefJusticeinaccordancewiththeHouseImpeachment Rules adopted by the 12 th Congress, the constitutionality of which is questioned. The questionedactshavingbeencarriedout,i.e.,thesecondimpeachmentcomplainthadbeen filed with the House of Representatives and the 2001 Rules have already been already promulgated and enforced, the prerequisite that the alleged unconstitutional act should be accomplishedandperformedbeforesuit,asTanv.Macapagalholds,hasbeencompliedwith.

Related to the issue of ripeness is the question of whether the instant petitions are premature.AmicuscuriaeformerSenatePresidentJovitoR.Salongaopinesthattheremaybe no urgent need for this Court to render a decision at this time, it being the final arbiter on questionsofconstitutionalityanyway.HethusrecommendsthatallremediesintheHouseand Senateshouldfirstbeexhausted.

TakingasimilarstandisDeanRaulPangalanganoftheU.P.CollegeofLawwhosuggests

tothisCourttotakejudicialnoticeofon­goingattemptstoencouragesignatoriestothesecond

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impeachmentcomplainttowithdrawtheirsignaturesandopinesthattheHouseImpeachment

Rulesprovideforanopportunityformemberstoraiseconstitutionalquestionsthemselveswhen

theArticlesofImpeachmentarepresentedonamotiontotransmittothesametotheSenate.

ThedeanmaintainsthatevenassumingthattheArticlesaretransmittedtotheSenate,the

ChiefJusticecanraisetheissueoftheirconstitutionalinfirmitybywayofamotiontodismiss.

Thedeanspositiondoesnotpersuade.First,thewithdrawalbytheRepresentativesoftheir signatures would not, by itself, cure the House Impeachment Rules of their constitutional infirmity. Neither would such a withdrawal, by itself, obliterate the questioned second

impeachmentcomplaintsinceitwouldonlyplaceitundertheambitofSections3(2)and(3)of

ArticleXIoftheConstitution [97] and,therefore,petitionerswouldcontinuetosuffertheirinjuries.

Secondandmostimportantly,thefutilityofseekingremediesfromeitherorbothHousesof CongressbeforecomingtothisCourtisshownbythefactthat,aspreviouslydiscussed,neither the House of Representatives nor the Senate is clothed with the power to rule with definitivenessontheissueofconstitutionality,whetherconcerningimpeachmentproceedings orotherwise,assaidpowerisexclusivelyvestedinthejudiciarybytheearlierquotedSectionI, ArticleVIIIoftheConstitution.Remedycannotbesoughtfromabodywhichisbereftofpower tograntit.

Justiciability

IntheleadingcaseofTanadav.Cuenco, [98] ChiefJusticeRobertoConcepciondefinedthe termpoliticalquestion,viz:

[T]hetermpoliticalquestionconnotes,inlegalparlance,whatitmeansinordinaryparlance,namely,a questionofpolicy.Inotherwords,inthelanguageofCorpusJurisSecundum,itreferstothosequestions which,undertheConstitution,aretobedecidedbythepeopleintheirsovereigncapacity,orinregardto whichfulldiscretionaryauthorityhasbeendelegatedtotheLegislatureorexecutivebranchofthe Government.Itisconcernedwithissuesdependentuponthewisdom,notlegality,ofaparticular measure. [99] (Italicsintheoriginal)

Priortothe1973Constitution,withoutconsistencyandseeminglywithoutanyrhymeor

reason,thisCourtvacillatedonitsstanceoftakingcognizanceofcaseswhichinvolvedpolitical questions.Insomecases,thisCourthidbehindthecoverofthepoliticalquestiondoctrineand refused to exercise its power of judicial review. [100] In other cases, however, despite the seeming political nature of the therein issues involved, this Court assumed jurisdiction wheneveritfoundconstitutionallyimposedlimitsonpowersorfunctionsconferreduponpolitical bodies. [101] Even in the landmark 1988 case of Javellana v. Executive Secretary [102] which raised the issue of whether the 1973 Constitution was ratified, hence, in force, this Court shuntedthepoliticalquestiondoctrineandtookcognizancethereof.Ratificationbythepeople of a Constitution is a political question, it being a question decided by the people in their sovereigncapacity.

ThefrequencywithwhichthisCourtinvokedthepoliticalquestiondoctrinetorefusetotake

jurisdictionovercertaincasesduringtheMarcosregimemotivatedChiefJusticeConcepcion,

whenhebecameaConstitutionalCommissioner,toclarifythisCourtspowerofjudicialreview

anditsapplicationonissuesinvolvingpoliticalquestions,viz:

MR.CONCEPCION.Thankyou,Mr.PresidingOfficer.

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Iwillspeakonthejudiciary.Practically,everybodyhasmade,Isuppose,theusualcommentthatthe

judiciaryistheweakestamongthethreemajorbranchesoftheservice.Sincethelegislatureholdsthe

purseandtheexecutivethesword,thejudiciaryhasnothingwithwhichtoenforceitsdecisionsor

commandsexceptthepowerofreasonandappealtoconsciencewhich,afterall,reflectsthewillofGod,

andisthemostpowerfulofallotherpowerswithoutexception.xxxAndso,withthebodysindulgence,

IwillproceedtoreadtheprovisionsdraftedbytheCommitteeontheJudiciary.

ThefirstsectionstartswithasentencecopiedfromformerConstitutions.Itsays:

ThejudicialpowershallbevestedinoneSupremeCourtandinsuchlowercourtsasmaybeestablished

bylaw.

Isupposenobodycanquestionit.

Thenextprovisionisnewinourconstitutionallaw.Iwillreaditfirstandexplain.

Judicialpowerincludesthedutyofcourtsofjusticetosettleactualcontroversiesinvolvingrightswhich

arelegallydemandableandenforceableandtodeterminewhetherornottherehasbeenagraveabuseof

discretionamountingtolackorexcessofjurisdictiononthepartorinstrumentalityofthegovernment.

FellowMembersofthisCommission,thisisactuallyaproductofourexperienceduringmartiallaw.As amatteroffact,ithassomeantecedentsinthepast,buttheroleofthejudiciaryduringthedeposed regimewasmarredconsiderablybythecircumstancethatinanumberofcasesagainstthe government,whichthenhadnolegaldefenseatall,thesolicitorgeneralsetupthedefenseof politicalquestionsandgotawaywithit.Asaconsequence,certainprinciplesconcerning particularlythewritofhabeascorpus,thatis,theauthorityofcourtstoorderthereleaseof politicaldetainees,andothermattersrelatedtotheoperationandeffectofmartiallawfailed becausethegovernmentsetupthedefenseofpoliticalquestion.AndtheSupremeCourtsaid:Well, sinceitispolitical,wehavenoauthoritytopassuponit.TheCommitteeontheJudiciaryfeelsthat thiswasnotapropersolutionofthequestionsinvolved.Itdidnotmerelyrequestanencroachment upontherightsofthepeople,butit,ineffect,encouragedfurtherviolationsthereofduringthe martiallawregime.IamsurethemembersoftheBararefamiliarwiththissituation.Butforthebenefit oftheMembersoftheCommissionwhoarenotlawyers,allowmetoexplain.Iwillstartwithadecision

oftheSupremeCourtin1973onthecaseofJavellanavs.theSecretaryofJustice,ifIamnotmistaken.

MartiallawwasannouncedonSeptember22,althoughtheproclamationwasdatedSeptember21.The

obviousreasonforthedelayinitspublicationwasthattheadministrationhadapprehendedanddetained

prominentnewsmenonSeptember21.SothatwhenmartiallawwasannouncedonSeptember22,the

mediahardlypublishedanythingaboutit.Infact,themediacouldnotpublishanystorynotonlybecause ourmainwriterswerealreadyincarcerated,butalsobecausethosewhosucceededthemintheirjobs

wereundermortalthreatofbeingtheobjectofwrathoftherulingparty.The1971Constitutional

ConventionhadbegunonJune1,1971andbySeptember21or22hadnotfinishedtheConstitution;it

hadbarelyagreedinthefundamentalsoftheConstitution.Iforgottosaythatupontheproclamationof

martiallaw,somedelegatestothat1971ConstitutionalConvention,dozensofthem,werepickedup.

Oneofthemwasourveryowncolleague,CommissionerCalderon.So,theunfinisheddraftofthe

ConstitutionwastakenoverbyrepresentativesofMalacaang.In17days,theyfinishedwhatthe

delegatestothe1971ConstitutionalConventionhadbeenunabletoaccomplishforabout14months.The

draftofthe1973ConstitutionwaspresentedtothePresidentaroundDecember1,1972,whereuponthe

Presidentissuedadecreecallingaplebiscitewhichsuspendedtheoperationofsomeprovisionsinthe martiallawdecreewhichprohibiteddiscussions,muchlesspublicdiscussionsofcertainmattersof publicconcern.ThepurposewaspresumablytoallowafreediscussiononthedraftoftheConstitution

onwhichaplebiscitewastobeheldsometimeinJanuary1973.IfImayuseawordfamousbyour

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colleague,CommissionerOple,duringtheinterregnum,however,thedraftoftheConstitutionwas analyzedandcriticizedwithsuchatellingeffectthatMalacaangfeltthedangerofitsapproval.So,the Presidentsuspendedindefinitelytheholdingoftheplebisciteandannouncedthathewouldconsultthe

peopleinareferendumtobeheldfromJanuary10toJanuary15.Butthequestionstobesubmittedinthe

referendumwerenotannounceduntiltheeveofitsscheduledbeginning,underthesupposedsupervision notoftheCommissiononElections,butofwhatwasthendesignatedascitizensassembliesor barangays.Thusthebarangayscameintoexistence.Thequestionstobepropoundedwerereleasedwith proposedanswersthereto,suggestingthatitwasunnecessarytoholdaplebiscitebecausetheanswers giveninthereferendumshouldberegardedasthevotescastintheplebiscite.Thereupon,amotionwas filedwiththeSupremeCourtprayingthattheholdingofthereferendumbesuspended.Whenthemotion wasbeingheardbeforetheSupremeCourt,theMinisterofJusticedeliveredtotheCourtaproclamation ofthePresidentdeclaringthatthenewConstitutionwasalreadyinforcebecausetheoverwhelming majorityofthevotescastinthereferendumfavoredtheConstitution.Immediatelyafterthedepartureof theMinisterofJustice,Iproceededtothesessionroomwherethecasewasbeingheard.Itheninformed

theCourtandthepartiesthepresidentialproclamationdeclaringthatthe1973Constitutionhadbeen

ratifiedbythepeopleandisnowinforce.

Anumberofothercaseswerefiledtodeclarethepresidentialproclamationnullandvoid.The

maindefenseputupbythegovernmentwasthattheissuewasapoliticalquestionandthatthe

courthadnojurisdictiontoentertainthecase.

xxx

ThegovernmentsaidthatinareferendumheldfromJanuary10toJanuary15,thevastmajorityratified

thedraftoftheConstitution.NotethatallmembersoftheSupremeCourtwereresidentsofManila,but

noneofthemhadbeennotifiedofanyreferendumintheirrespectiveplacesofresidence,muchlessdid

theyparticipateintheallegedreferendum.Noneofthemsawanyreferendumproceeding.

InthePhilippines,evenlocalgossipsspreadlikewildfire.So,amajorityofthemembersoftheCourt

feltthattherehadbeennoreferendum.

Second,areferendumcannotsubstituteforaplebiscite.Thereisabigdifferencebetweenareferendum

andaplebiscite.Butanothergroupofjusticesupheldthedefensethattheissuewasapolitical

question.Whereupon,theydismissedthecase.Thisisnottheonlymajorcaseinwhichthepleaof

politicalquestionwassetup.Therehavebeenanumberofothercasesinthepast.

xxxThedefenseofthepoliticalquestionwasrejectedbecausetheissuewasclearlyjusticiable.

xxx

xxxWhenyourCommitteeontheJudiciarybegantoperformitsfunctions,itfacedthefollowing

questions:Whatisjudicialpower?Whatisapoliticalquestion?

TheSupremeCourt,likeallothercourts,hasonemainfunction:tosettleactualcontroversiesinvolving

conflictsofrightswhicharedemandableandenforceable.Therearerightswhichareguaranteedbylaw

butcannotbeenforcedbyajudiciaryparty.Inadecidedcase,ahusbandcomplainedthathiswifewas

unwillingtoperformherdutiesasawife.TheCourtsaid:Wecantellyourwifewhatherdutiesassuch

areandthatsheisboundtocomplywiththem,butwecannotforceherphysicallytodischargehermain

maritaldutytoherhusband.Therearesomerightsguaranteedbylaw,buttheyaresopersonalthatto

enforcethembyactualcompulsionwouldbehighlyderogatorytohumandignity.

ThisiswhythefirstpartofthesecondparagraphofSectionIprovidesthat:

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Judicialpowerincludesthedutyofcourtstosettleactualcontroversiesinvolvingrightswhicharelegally

demandableorenforceable

Thecourts,therefore,cannotentertain,muchlessdecide,hypotheticalquestions.Inapresidential

systemofgovernment,theSupremeCourthas,alsoanotherimportantfunction.Thepowersof

governmentaregenerallyconsidereddividedintothreebranches:theLegislative,theExecutive

andtheJudiciary.Eachoneissupremewithinitsownsphereandindependentoftheothers.

Becauseofthatsupremacypowertodeterminewhetheragivenlawisvalidornotisvestedin

courtsofjustice.

Brieflystated,courtsofjusticedeterminethelimitsofpoweroftheagenciesandofficesofthe

governmentaswellasthoseofitsofficers.Inotherwords,thejudiciaryisthefinalarbiteronthe

questionwhetherornotabranchofgovernmentoranyofitsofficialshasactedwithout

jurisdictionorinexcessofjurisdiction,orsocapriciouslyastoconstituteanabuseofdiscretion

amountingtoexcessofjurisdictionorlackofjurisdiction.Thisisnotonlyajudicialpowerbuta

dutytopassjudgmentonmattersofthisnature.

Thisisthebackgroundofparagraph2ofSection1,whichmeansthatthecourtscannothereafter

evadethedutytosettlemattersofthisnature,byclaimingthatsuchmattersconstituteapolitical

question.

IhavemadetheseextendedremarkstotheendthattheCommissionersmayhaveaninitialfoodfor thoughtonthesubjectofthejudiciary. [103] (Italicsintheoriginal;emphasissupplied)

DuringthedeliberationsoftheConstitutionalCommission,ChiefJusticeConcepcionfurther

clarifiedtheconceptofjudicialpower,thus:

MR.NOLLEDO.TheGentlemanusedthetermjudicialpowerbutjudicialpowerisnotvestedin

theSupremeCourtalonebutalsoinotherlowercourtsasmaybecreatedbylaw.

MR.CONCEPCION.Yes.

MR.NOLLEDO.Andso,isthisonlyanexample?

MR.CONCEPCION.No,Iknowthisisnot.TheGentlemanseemstoidentifypoliticalquestions

withjurisdictionalquestions.Butthereisadifference.

MR.NOLLEDO.Becauseoftheexpressionjudicialpower?

MR.CONCEPCION.No.Judicialpower,asIsaid,referstoordinarycasesbutwherethereisa

questionastowhetherthegovernmenthadauthorityorhadabuseditsauthoritytotheextentof

lackingjurisdictionorexcessofjurisdiction,thatisnotapoliticalquestion.Therefore,thecourt

hasthedutytodecide.

xxx

FR.BERNAS.Ultimately,therefore,itwillalwayshavetobedecidedbytheSupremeCourtaccording

tothenewnumericalneedforvotes.

Onanotherpoint,isittheintentionofSection1todoawaywiththepoliticalquestiondoctrine?

MR.CONCEPCION.No.

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FR.BERNAS.Itisnot.

MR.CONCEPCION.No,becausewheneverthereisanabuseofdiscretion,amountingtoalackof

jurisdiction

FR.BERNAS.So,Iamsatisfiedwiththeanswerthatitisnotintendedtodoawaywiththe

politicalquestiondoctrine.

MR.CONCEPCION.No,certainlynot.

Whenthisprovisionwasoriginallydrafted,itsoughttodefinewhatisjudicialpower.Butthe

Gentlemanwillnoticeitsays,judicialpowerincludesandthereasonbeingthatthedefinitionthat

wemightmakemaynotcoverallpossibleareas.

FR.BERNAS.So,thisisnotanattempttosolvetheproblemsarisingfromthepoliticalquestion

doctrine.

MR.CONCEPCION.Itdefinitelydoesnoteliminatethefactthattrulypoliticalquestionsare beyondthepaleofjudicialpower. [104] (Emphasissupplied)

Fromtheforegoingrecordoftheproceedingsofthe1986ConstitutionalCommission,itis

clearthatjudicialpowerisnotonlyapower;itisalsoaduty,adutywhichcannotbeabdicated by the mere specter of this creature called the political question doctrine. Chief Justice

Concepcionhastenedtoclarify,however,thatSection1,ArticleVIIIwasnotintendedtodo

away with truly political questions. From this clarification it is gathered that there are two species of political questions: (1) truly political questions and (2) those which are not truly politicalquestions.

Truly political questions are thus beyond judicial review, the reason for respect of the

doctrineofseparationofpowerstobemaintained.Ontheotherhand,byvirtueofSection1,

ArticleVIIIoftheConstitution,courtscanreviewquestionswhicharenottrulypoliticalinnature.

AspointedoutbyamicuscuriaeformerdeanPacificoAgabinoftheUPCollegeofLaw,this

Courthasinfactinanumberofcasestakenjurisdictionoverquestionswhicharenottruly

politicalfollowingtheeffectivityofthepresentConstitution.

InMarcosv.Manglapus, [105] thisCourt,speakingthroughMadameJusticeIreneCortes, held:

ThepresentConstitutionlimitsresorttothepoliticalquestiondoctrineandbroadensthescopeofjudicial inquiryintoareaswhichtheCourt,underpreviousconstitutions,wouldhavenormallylefttothepolitical departmentstodecide. [106] xxx

InBengzon v. Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, [107] through Justice Teodoro Padilla, this Courtdeclared:

The"allocationofconstitutionalboundaries"isataskthatthisCourtmustperformunderthe Constitution.Moreover,asheldinarecentcase,(t)hepoliticalquestiondoctrineneitherinterposesan obstacletojudicialdeterminationoftherivalclaims.Thejurisdictiontodelimitconstitutional

boundarieshasbeengiventothisCourt.Itcannotabdicatethatobligationmandatedbythe1987

Constitution,althoughsaidprovisionbynomeansdoesawaywiththeapplicabilityoftheprinciple inappropriatecases. [108] (Emphasisandunderscoringsupplied)

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AndinDazav.Singson, [109] speakingthroughJusticeIsaganiCruz,thisCourtruled:

Inthecasenowbeforeus,thejurisdictionalobjectionbecomesevenlesstenableanddecisive.The reasonisthat,evenifweweretoassumethattheissuepresentedbeforeuswaspoliticalinnature,we wouldstillnotbeprecludedfromresolvingitundertheexpandedjurisdictionconferreduponusthat nowcovers,inpropercases,eventhepoliticalquestion. [110] xxx(Emphasisandunderscoringsupplied.)

Section1,ArticleVIII,oftheCourtdoesnotdefinewhatarejusticiablepoliticalquestions

andnon­justiciablepoliticalquestions,however.Identificationofthesetwospeciesofpolitical questionsmaybeproblematic.Therehasbeennoclearstandard.TheAmericancaseofBaker v.Carr [111] attemptstoprovidesome:

xxxProminentonthesurfaceofanycaseheldtoinvolveapoliticalquestionisfoundatextually demonstrableconstitutionalcommitmentoftheissuetoacoordinatepoliticaldepartment;oralackof judiciallydiscoverableandmanageablestandardsforresolvingit;ortheimpossibilityofdeciding withoutaninitialpolicydeterminationofakindclearlyfornon­judicialdiscretion;ortheimpossibilityof acourtsundertakingindependentresolutionwithoutexpressinglackoftherespectduecoordinate branchesofgovernment;oranunusualneedforquestioningadherencetoapoliticaldecisionalready made;orthepotentialityofembarrassmentfrommultifariouspronouncementsbyvariousdepartmentson onequestion. [112] (Underscoringsupplied)

Ofthesestandards,themorereliablehavebeenthefirstthree:(1)atextuallydemonstrable

constitutional commitment of the issue to a coordinate political department; (2) the lack of

judiciallydiscoverableandmanageablestandardsforresolvingit;and(3)theimpossibilityof

decidingwithoutaninitialpolicydeterminationofakindclearlyfornon­judicialdiscretion.These standards are not separate and distinct concepts but are interrelated to each in that the presenceofonestrengthenstheconclusionthattheothersarealsopresent.

TheprobleminapplyingtheforegoingstandardsisthattheAmericanconceptofjudicial review is radically different from our current concept, for Section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution provides our courts with far less discretion in determining whether they should passuponaconstitutionalissue.

In our jurisdiction, the determination of a truly political question from a non­justiciable political question lies in the answer to the question of whether there are constitutionally imposedlimitsonpowersorfunctionsconferreduponpoliticalbodies.Ifthereare,thenour courts are duty­bound to examine whether the branch or instrumentality of the government properlyactedwithinsuchlimits.ThisCourtshallthusnowapplythisstandardtothepresent controversy.

Thesepetitionsraisefivesubstantialissues:

I. Whether the offenses alleged in the Second impeachment complaint constitute valid impeachableoffensesundertheConstitution.

II.WhetherthesecondimpeachmentcomplaintwasfiledinaccordancewithSection3(4),Article

XIoftheConstitution.

III. Whether the legislative inquiry by the House Committee on Justice into the Judicial DevelopmentFundisanunconstitutionalinfringementoftheconstitutionallymandatedfiscal autonomyofthejudiciary.

IV.WhetherSections15and16ofRuleVoftheRulesonImpeachmentadoptedbythe12 th Congress are unconstitutional for violating the provisions of Section 3, Article XI of the Constitution.

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V.WhetherthesecondimpeachmentcomplaintisbarredunderSection3(5)ofArticleXIofthe

Constitution.

Thefirstissuegoesintothemeritsofthesecondimpeachmentcomplaintoverwhichthis Courthasnojurisdiction.Moreimportantly,anydiscussionofthisissuewouldrequirethisCourt tomakeadeterminationofwhatconstitutesanimpeachableoffense.Suchadeterminationisa purelypoliticalquestionwhichtheConstitutionhaslefttothesounddiscretionofthelegislation. SuchanintentisclearfromthedeliberationsoftheConstitutionalCommission. [113]

Although Section 2 of Article XI of the Constitution enumerates six grounds for impeachment, two of these, namely, other high crimes and betrayal of public trust, elude a

precisedefinition.Infact,anexaminationoftherecordsofthe1986ConstitutionalCommission

showsthattheframerscouldfindnobetterwaytoapproximatetheboundariesofbetrayalof publictrustandotherhighcrimesthanbyalludingtobothpositiveandnegativeexamplesof both,withoutarrivingattheirclearcutdefinitionorevenastandardtherefor. [114] Clearly, the issuecallsuponthiscourttodecideanon­justiciablepoliticalquestionwhichisbeyondthe

scopeofitsjudicialpowerunderSection1,ArticleVIII.

LisMota

Itisawell­settledmaximofadjudicationthatanissueassailingtheconstitutionalityofa governmental act should be avoided whenever possible. Thus, in the case of Sotto v. CommissiononElections, [115] thisCourtheld:

xxxItisawell­establishedrulethatacourtshouldnotpassuponaconstitutionalquestionanddecidea lawtobeunconstitutionalorinvalid,unlesssuchquestionisraisedbythepartiesandthatwhenitis raised,iftherecordalsopresentssomeothergrounduponwhichthecourtmayrestitsjudgment, thatcoursewillbeadoptedandtheconstitutionalquestionwillbeleftforconsiderationuntilacase arisesinwhichadecisionuponsuchquestionwillbeunavoidable. [116] [Emphasisandunderscoring supplied]

ThesameprinciplewasappliedinLuzFarmsv.SecretaryofAgrarianReform, [117] where

thisCourtinvalidatedSections13and32ofRepublicActNo.6657forbeingconfiscatoryand

violativeofdueprocess,towit:

IthasbeenestablishedthatthisCourtwillassumejurisdictionoveraconstitutionalquestiononlyif itisshownthattheessentialrequisitesofajudicialinquiryintosuchaquestionarefirstsatisfied. Thus,theremustbeanactualcaseorcontroversyinvolvingaconflictoflegalrightssusceptibleof judicialdetermination,theconstitutionalquestionmusthavebeenopportunelyraisedbytheproperparty, andtheresolutionofthequestionisunavoidablynecessarytothedecisionofthecaseitself. [118] [Emphasissupplied]

Succinctly put, courts will not touch the issue of constitutionality unless it is truly unavoidableandistheverylismotaorcruxofthecontroversy.

Asnotedearlier,theinstantconsolidatedpetitions,whileallseekingtheinvalidityofthe

secondimpeachmentcomplaint,collectivelyraiseseveralconstitutionalissuesuponwhichthe

outcomeofthiscontroversycouldpossiblybemadetorest.Indeterminingwhetherone,some

oralloftheremainingsubstantialissuesshouldbepassedupon,thisCourtisguidedbythe

relatedcannonofadjudicationthatthecourtshouldnotformaruleofconstitutionallawbroader

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thanisrequiredbytheprecisefactstowhichitisapplied. [119]

InG.R.No.160310,petitionersLeoniloR.Alfonso,etal.arguethat,amongotherreasons,

the second impeachment complaint is invalid since it directly resulted from a Resolution [120] callingforalegislativeinquiryintotheJDF,whichResolutionandlegislativeinquirypetitioners claimtolikewisebeunconstitutionalforbeing:(a)aviolationoftherulesandjurisprudenceon investigationsinaidoflegislation;(b)anopenbreachofthedoctrineofseparationofpowers; (c) a violation of the constitutionally mandated fiscal autonomy of the judiciary; and (d) an assaultontheindependenceofthejudiciary. [121]

WithoutgoingintothemeritsofpetitionersAlfonso,et.al.sclaims,itisthestudiedopinion

ofthisCourtthattheissueoftheconstitutionalityofthesaidResolutionandresultinglegislative

inquiryistoofarremovedfromtheissueofthevalidityofthesecondimpeachmentcomplaint.

Moreover,theresolutionofsaidissuewould,intheCourtsopinion,requireittoformaruleof

constitutionallawtouchingontheseparateanddistinctmatteroflegislativeinquiriesingeneral,

whichwouldthusbebroaderthanisrequiredbythefactsoftheseconsolidatedcases.This

opinionisfurtherstrengthenedbythefactthatsaidpetitionershaveraisedothergroundsin

supportoftheirpetitionwhichwouldnotbeadverselyaffectedbytheCourtsruling.

Enpassant, this Court notes that a standard for the conduct of legislative inquiries has alreadybeenenunciatedbythisCourtinBengzon,Jr.v.SenateBlueRibbonCommttee, [122] viz:

The1987ConstitutionexpresslyrecognizesthepowerofbothhousesofCongresstoconductinquiriesin

aidoflegislation.Thus,Section21,ArticleVIthereofprovides:

TheSenateortheHouseofRepresentativesoranyofitsrespectivecommitteesmayconductinquiriesin

aidoflegislationinaccordancewithitsdulypublishedrulesofprocedure.Therightsofpersons

appearinginoraffectedbysuchinquiriesshallberespected.

ThepowerofbothhousesofCongresstoconductinquiriesinaidoflegislationisnot,thereforeabsolute orunlimited.Itsexerciseiscircumscribedbytheafore­quotedprovisionoftheConstitution.Thus,as providedtherein,theinvestigationmustbeinaidoflegislationinaccordancewithitsdulypublished rulesofprocedureandthattherightsofpersonsappearinginoraffectedbysuchinquiriesshallbe respected.ItfollowsthenthattherightrightsofpersonsundertheBillofRightsmustberespected, includingtherighttodueprocessandtherightnotbecompelledtotestifyagainstonesself. [123]

In G.R. No. 160262, intervenors Romulo B. Macalintal and Pete Quirino Quadra, while joiningtheoriginalpetitionofpetitionersCandelaria,et.al.,introducethenewargumentthat since the second impeachment complaint was verified and filed only by Representatives GilbertoTeodoro,Jr.andFelixWilliamFuentebella,thesamedoesnotfallundertheprovisions

ofSection3(4),ArticleXIoftheConstitutionwhichreads:

Section3(4)Incasetheverifiedcomplaintorresolutionofimpeachmentisfiledbyatleastone­thirdof

alltheMembersoftheHouse,thesameshallconstitutetheArticlesofImpeachment,andtrialbythe

Senateshallforthwithproceed.

They assert that while at least 81 members of the House of Representatives signed a Resolution of Endorsement/Impeachment, the same did not satisfy the requisites for the application of the afore­mentioned section in that the verified complaint or resolution of impeachmentwasnotfiledbyatleastone­thirdofalltheMembersoftheHouse.With the exceptionofRepresentativesTeodoroandFuentebella,thesignatoriestosaidResolutionare

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allegedtohaveverifiedthesamemerelyasaResolutionofEndorsement.Intervenorspointto

theVerificationoftheResolutionofEndorsementwhichstatesthat:

Wearetheproponents/sponsorsoftheResolutionofEndorsementoftheabovementionedComplaintof RepresentativesGilbertoTeodoroandFelixWilliamB.Fuentebellaxxx [124]

IntervenorsMacalintalandQuadrafurtherclaimthatwhattheConstitutionrequiresinorder forsaidsecondimpeachmentcomplainttoautomaticallybecometheArticlesofImpeachment andfortrialintheSenatetobeginforthwith,isthattheverifiedcomplaintbefiled,notmerely endorsed,byatleastone­thirdoftheMembersoftheHouseofRepresentatives.Nothaving compliedwiththisrequirement,theyconcedethatthesecondimpeachmentcomplaintshould

havebeencalendaredandreferredtotheHouseCommitteeonJusticeunderSection3(2),

ArticleXIoftheConstitution,viz:

Section3(2)AverifiedcomplaintforimpeachmentmaybefiledbyanyMemberoftheHouseof

RepresentativesorbyanycitizenuponaresolutionofendorsementbyanyMemberthereof,whichshall

beincludedintheOrderofBusinesswithintensessiondays,andreferredtotheproperCommittee

withinthreesessiondaysthereafter.TheCommittee,afterhearing,andbyamajorityvoteofallits

Members,shallsubmititsreporttotheHousewithinsixtysessiondaysfromsuchreferral,togetherwith

thecorrespondingresolution.TheresolutionshallbecalendaredforconsiderationbytheHousewithin

tensessiondaysfromreceiptthereof.

IntervenorsforegoingpositionisechoedbyJusticeMaambongwhoopinedthatforSection

3(4),ArticleXIoftheConstitutiontoapply,thereshouldbe76ormorerepresentativeswho

signedandverifiedthesecondimpeachmentcomplaintascomplainants,signedandverified thesignatoriestoaresolutionofimpeachment.JusticeMaambonglikewiseassertedthatthe ResolutionofEndorsement/Impeachmentsignedbyatleastone­thirdofthemembersofthe HouseofRepresentativesasendorsersisnottheresolutionofimpeachmentcontemplatedby the Constitution, such resolution of endorsement being necessary only from at least one Memberwheneveracitizenfilesaverifiedimpeachmentcomplaint.

Whiletheforegoingissue,asarguedbyintervenorsMacalintalandQuadra,doesindeed limitthescopeoftheconstitutionalissuestotheprovisionsonimpeachment,morecompelling considerationsmilitateagainstitsadoptionasthelismotaorcruxofthepresentcontroversy. ChiefamongthisisthefactthatonlyAttorneysMacalintalandQuadra,intervenorsinG.R.No.

160262,haveraisedthisissueasagroundforinvalidatingthesecondimpeachmentcomplaint.

Thus,toadoptthisadditionalgroundasthebasisfordecidingtheinstantconsolidatedpetitions

wouldnotonlyrenderfornaughttheeffortsoftheoriginalpetitionersinG.R.No.160262,but

theeffortspresentedbytheotherpetitionersaswell.

Again, the decision to discard the resolution of this issue as unnecessary for the determinationoftheinstantcasesismadeeasierbythefactthatsaidintervenorsMacalintal andQuadrahavejoinedinthepetitionofCandelaria,et.al.,adoptingthelattersargumentsand issuesastheirown.Consequently,theyarenotundulyprejudicedbythisCourtsdecision.

In sum, this Court holds that the two remaining issues, inextricably linked as they are,

constitutetheverylismotaoftheinstantcontroversy:(1)whetherSections15and16ofRuleV

of the House Impeachment Rules adopted by the 12 th Congress are unconstitutional for

violatingtheprovisionsofSection3,ArticleXIoftheConstitution;and(2)whether,asaresult

thereof,thesecondimpeachmentcomplaintisbarredunderSection3(5)ofArticleXIofthe

Constitution.

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JudicialRestraint

Senator Pimentel urges this Court to exercise judicial restraint on the ground that the Senate,sittingasanimpeachmentcourt,hasthesolepowertotryanddecideallcasesof impeachment.Again,thisCourtreiteratesthatthepowerofjudicialreviewincludesthepower ofreviewoverjusticiableissuesinimpeachmentproceedings.

Ontheotherhand,respondentsSpeakerDeVeneciaet.al.arguethat[t]hereisamoral compulsion for the Court to not assume jurisdiction over the impeachment because all the Membersthereofaresubjecttoimpeachment. [125] Butthisargumentisverymuchlikesaying the Legislature has a moral compulsion not to pass laws with penalty clauses because MembersoftheHouseofRepresentativesaresubjecttothem.

TheexerciseofjudicialrestraintoverjusticiableissuesisnotanoptionbeforethisCourt. Adjudication may not be declined, because this Court is not legally disqualified. Nor can jurisdictionberenouncedasthereisnoothertribunaltowhichthecontroversymaybereferred. [126] Otherwise,thisCourtwouldbeshirkingfromitsdutyvestedunderArt.VIII,Sec.1(2)ofthe Constitution. More than being clothed with authority thus, this Court is duty­bound to take cognizanceoftheinstantpetitions. [127] IntheaugustwordsofamicuscuriaeFather Bernas, jurisdictionisnotjustapower;itisasolemndutywhichmaynotberenounced.Torenounceit, evenifitisvexatious,wouldbeaderelictionofduty.

Evenincaseswhereitisaninterestedparty,theCourtunderoursystemofgovernment cannotinhibititselfandmustruleuponthechallengebecausenootherofficehastheauthority todoso. [128] OntheoccasionthatthisCourthadbeenaninterestedpartytothecontroversy before it, it has acted upon the matter not with officiousness but in the discharge of an unavoidable duty and, as always, with detachment and fairness. [129] After all, by [his] appointmenttotheoffice,thepublichaslaidon[amemberofthejudiciary]theirconfidencethat [he] is mentally and morally fit to pass upon the merits of their varied contentions. For this reason, they expect [him] to be fearless in [his] pursuit to render justice, to be unafraid to displeaseanyperson,interestorpowerandtobeequippedwithamoralfiberstrongenoughto resistthetemptationslurkingin[his]office. [130]

The duty to exercise the power of adjudication regardless of interest had already been settledinthecaseofAbbasv.SenateElectoralTribunal. [131] Inthatcase,thepetitionersfiled withtherespondentSenateElectoralTribunalaMotionforDisqualificationorInhibitionofthe

Senators­MembersthereoffromthehearingandresolutionofSETCaseNo.002­87onthe

groundthatallofthemwereinterestedpartiestosaidcaseasrespondentstherein.Thiswould have reduced the Tribunals membership to only its three Justices­Members whose disqualificationwasnotsought,leavingthemtodecidethematter.ThisCourtheld:

Where,ashere,asituationiscreatedwhichprecludesthesubstitutionofanySenatorsittinginthe

TribunalbyanyofhisothercolleaguesintheSenatewithoutinvitingthesameobjectionstothe

substitute'scompetence,theproposedmassdisqualification,ifsanctionedandordered,wouldleavethe

Tribunalnoalternativebuttoabandonadutythatnoothercourtorbodycanperform,butwhichit

cannotlawfullydischargeifshornoftheparticipationofitsentiremembershipofSenators.

Toourmind,thisistheoverridingconsiderationthattheTribunalbenotpreventedfromdischarginga

dutywhichitalonehasthepowertoperform,theperformanceofwhichisinthehighestpublicinterest

asevidencedbyitsbeingexpresslyimposedbynolessthanthefundamentallaw.

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ItisaptlynotedinthefirstofthequestionedResolutionsthattheframersoftheConstitutioncouldnot havebeenunawareofthepossibilityofanelectioncontestthatwouldinvolveallSenatorselect,sixof whomwouldinevitablyhavetositinjudgmentthereon.Indeed,suchpossibilitymightsurfaceagainin

thewakeofthe1992electionswhenoncemore,butforthelasttime,all24seatsintheSenatewillbeat

stake.YettheConstitutionprovidesnoschemeormodeforsettlingsuchunusualsituationsorforthe

substitutionofSenatorsdesignatedtotheTribunalwhosedisqualificationmaybesought.Litigantsin

suchsituationsmustsimplyplacetheirtrustandhopesofvindicationinthefairnessandsenseofjustice

oftheMembersoftheTribunal.JusticesandSenators,singlyandcollectively.

LetusnotbemisunderstoodassayingthatnoSenator­MemberoftheSenateElectoralTribunalmay

inhibitordisqualifyhimselffromsittinginjudgmentonanycasebeforesaidTribunal.EveryMemberof

theTribunalmay,ashisconsciencedictates,refrainfromparticipatingintheresolutionofacasewhere

hesincerelyfeelsthathispersonalinterestsorbiaseswouldstandinthewayofanobjectiveand

impartialjudgment.WhatwearemerelysayingisthatinthelightoftheConstitution,theSenate

ElectoralTribunalcannotlegallyfunctionassuch,absentitsentiremembershipofSenatorsandthatno

amendmentofitsRulescanconferonthethreeJustices­Membersalonethepowerofvalidadjudication

ofasenatorialelectioncontest.

MorerecentlyinthecaseofEstradav.Desierto, [132] itwasheldthat:

Moreover,todisqualifyanyofthemembersoftheCourt,particularlyamajorityofthem,isnothingshort ofprotantodeprivingtheCourtitselfofitsjurisdictionasestablishedbythefundamentallaw. Disqualificationofajudgeisadeprivationofhisjudicialpower.Andifthatjudgeistheonedesignated bytheConstitutiontoexercisethejurisdictionofhiscourt,asisthecasewiththeJusticesofthisCourt, thedeprivationofhisortheirjudicialpowerisequivalenttothedeprivationofthejudicialpowerofthe courtitself.Itaffectstheveryheartofjudicialindependence.Theproposedmassdisqualification,if sanctionedandordered,wouldleavetheCourtnoalternativebuttoabandonadutywhichitcannot lawfullydischargeifshornoftheparticipationofitsentiremembershipofJustices. [133] (Italicsinthe original)

Besides,therearespecificsafeguardsalreadylaiddownbytheCourtwhenitexercisesits

powerofjudicialreview.

InDemetriav.Alba, [134] thisCourt,throughJusticeMarceloFernancitedthesevenpillarsof limitationsofthepowerofjudicialreview,enunciatedbyUSSupremeCourtJusticeBrandeisin Ashwanderv.TVA [135] asfollows:

1.TheCourtwillnotpassupontheconstitutionalityoflegislationinafriendly,non­adversary

proceeding,decliningbecausetodecidesuchquestionsislegitimateonlyinthelastresort,andasa

necessityinthedeterminationofreal,earnestandvitalcontroversybetweenindividuals.Itneverwasthe

thoughtthat,bymeansofafriendlysuit,apartybeateninthelegislaturecouldtransfertothecourtsan

inquiryastotheconstitutionalityofthelegislativeact.

2.TheCourtwillnotanticipateaquestionofconstitutionallawinadvanceofthenecessityofdecidingit.

ItisnotthehabitoftheCourttodecidequestionsofaconstitutionalnatureunlessabsolutely

necessarytoadecisionofthecase.

3.TheCourtwillnotformulatearuleofconstitutionallawbroaderthanisrequiredbytheprecisefactsto

whichitistobeapplied.

4.TheCourtwillnotpassuponaconstitutionalquestionalthoughproperlypresentedbytherecord,if

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thereisalsopresentsomeothergrounduponwhichthecasemaybedisposedof.Thisrulehasfound

mostvariedapplication.Thus,ifacasecanbedecidedoneitheroftwogrounds,oneinvolvinga

constitutionalquestion,theotheraquestionofstatutoryconstructionorgenerallaw,theCourtwill

decideonlythelatter.Appealsfromthehighestcourtofastatechallengingitsdecisionofaquestion

undertheFederalConstitutionarefrequentlydismissedbecausethejudgmentcanbesustainedonan

independentstateground.

5.TheCourtwillnotpassuponthevalidityofastatuteuponcomplaintofonewhofailstoshowthathe

isinjuredbyitsoperation.Amongthemanyapplicationsofthisrule,noneismorestrikingthanthe

denialoftherightofchallengetoonewholacksapersonalorpropertyright.Thus,thechallengebya

publicofficialinterestedonlyintheperformanceofhisofficialdutywillnotbeentertained

Fairchildv.Hughes,theCourtaffirmedthedismissalofasuitbroughtbyacitizenwhosoughttohave

theNineteenthAmendmentdeclaredunconstitutional.InMassachusettsv.Mellon,thechallengeofthe

federalMaternityActwasnotentertainedalthoughmadebytheCommonwealthonbehalfofallits

citizens.

In

6.TheCourtwillnotpassupontheconstitutionalityofastatuteattheinstanceofonewhohasavailed

himselfofitsbenefits.

7.WhenthevalidityofanactoftheCongressisdrawninquestion,andevenifaseriousdoubtof

constitutionalityisraised,itisacardinalprinciplethatthisCourtwillfirstascertainwhethera

constructionofthestatuteisfairlypossiblebywhichthequestionmaybeavoided(citationsomitted).

Theforegoingpillarsoflimitationofjudicialreview,summarizedinAshwanderv.TVAfrom

differentdecisionsoftheUnitedStatesSupremeCourt,canbeencapsulatedintothefollowing

categories:

1.thattherebeabsolutenecessityofdecidingacase

2.thatrulesofconstitutionallawshallbeformulatedonlyasrequiredbythefactsofthecase

3.thatjudgmentmaynotbesustainedonsomeotherground

4.thattherebeactualinjurysustainedbythepartybyreasonoftheoperationofthestatute

5.thatthepartiesarenotinestoppel

6.thattheCourtupholdsthepresumptionofconstitutionality.

Asstatedpreviously,parallelguidelineshavebeenadoptedbythisCourtintheexerciseof

judicialreview:

1.actualcaseorcontroversycallingfortheexerciseofjudicialpower

2.thepersonchallengingtheactmusthavestandingtochallenge;hemusthaveapersonaland

substantialinterestinthecasesuchthathehassustained,orwillsustain,directinjuryasa

resultofitsenforcement

3.thequestionofconstitutionalitymustberaisedattheearliestpossibleopportunity

4.theissueofconstitutionalitymustbetheverylismotaofthecase. [136]

RespondentsSpeakerdeVenecia,et.al.raiseanotherargumentforjudicialrestraintthe possibility that judicial review of impeachments might also lead to embarrassing conflicts betweentheCongressandthe[J]udiciary.Theystresstheneedtoavoidtheappearanceof impropriety or conflicts of interest in judicial hearings, and the scenario that it would be confusingandhumiliatingandriskseriouspoliticalinstabilityathomeandabroadifthejudiciary countermandedthevoteofCongresstoremoveanimpeachableofficial. [137] IntervenorSoriano

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echoes this argument by alleging that failure of this Court to enforce its Resolution against Congresswouldresultinthediminutionofitsjudicialauthorityanderodepublicconfidenceand faithinthejudiciary.

Such an argument, however, is specious, to say the least. As correctly stated by the SolicitorGeneral,thepossibilityoftheoccurrenceofaconstitutionalcrisisisnotareasonfor thisCourttorefrainfromupholdingtheConstitutioninallimpeachmentcases.Justicescannot abandontheirconstitutionaldutiesjustbecausetheiractionmaystart,ifnotprecipitate,acrisis.

JusticeFelicianowarnedagainstthedangerswhenthisCourtrefusestoact.

xxxFrequently,thefightoveracontroversiallegislativeorexecutiveactisnotregardedassettleduntil theSupremeCourthaspassedupontheconstitutionalityoftheactinvolved,thejudgmenthasnotonly juridicaleffectsbutalsopoliticalconsequences.Thosepoliticalconsequencesmayfollowevenwherethe Courtfailstograntthepetitionersprayertonullifyanactforlackofthenecessarynumberofvotes. Frequently,failuretoactexplicitly,onewayortheother,itselfconstitutesadecisionfortherespondent andvalidation,oratleastquasi­validation,follows. [138]

Thus,inJavellanav.ExecutiveSecretary [139] where this Court was split and in the end therewerenotenoughvoteseithertograntthepetitions,ortosustainrespondentsclaims, [140] thepre­existingconstitutionalorderwasdisruptedwhichpavedthewayfortheestablishmentof themartiallawregime.

Such an argument by respondents and intervenor also presumes that the coordinate branchesofthegovernmentwouldbehaveinalawlessmannerandnotdotheirdutyunderthe lawtoupholdtheConstitutionandobeythelawsoftheland.Yetthereisnoreasontobelieve thatanyofthebranchesofgovernmentwillbehaveinaprecipitatemannerandrisksocial upheaval,violence,chaosandanarchybyencouragingdisrespectforthefundamentallawof theland.

Substitutingthewordpublicofficersforjudges,thisCourtiswellguidedbythedoctrinein Peoplev.Veneracion,towit: [141]

Obediencetotheruleoflawformsthebedrockofoursystemofjustice.If[publicofficers],underthe guiseofreligiousorpoliticalbeliefswereallowedtoroamunrestrictedbeyondboundarieswithinwhich theyarerequiredbylawtoexercisethedutiesoftheiroffice,thenlawbecomesmeaningless.A governmentoflaws,notofmenexcludestheexerciseofbroaddiscretionarypowersbythoseacting underitsauthority.Underthissystem,[publicofficers]areguidedbytheRuleofLaw,andoughtto protectandenforceitwithoutfearorfavor,resistencroachmentsbygovernments,politicalparties,or eventheinterferenceoftheirownpersonalbeliefs. [142]

ConstitutionalityoftheRulesofProcedure forImpeachmentProceedings

adoptedbythe12thCongress

RespondentHouseofRepresentatives,throughSpeakerDeVenecia,arguesthatSections

16and17ofRuleVoftheHouseImpeachmentRulesdonotviolateSection3(5)ofArticleXI

ofourpresentConstitution,contendingthattheterminitiatedoesnotmeantofile;thatSection

3(1)isclearinthatitistheHouseofRepresentatives,asacollectivebody,whichhasthe

exclusivepowertoinitiateallcasesofimpeachment;thatinitiatecouldnotpossiblymeantofile

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because filing can, as Section 3 (2), Article XI of the Constitution provides, only be

accomplishedin3ways,towit:(1)byaverifiedcomplaintforimpeachmentbyanymemberof

theHouseofRepresentatives;or(2)byanycitizenuponaresolutionofendorsementbyany

member; or (3) by at least 1/3 of all the members of the House. Respondent House of Representatives concludes that the one year bar prohibiting the initiation of impeachment proceedings against the same officials could not have been violated as the impeachment complaintagainstChiefJusticeDavideandsevenAssociateJusticeshadnotbeeninitiatedas theHouseofRepresentatives,actingasthecollectivebody,hasyettoactonit.

Theresolutionofthisissuethushingesontheinterpretationoftheterminitiate.Resortto

statutoryconstructionis,therefore,inorder.

ThatthesponsoroftheprovisionofSection3(5)oftheConstitution,CommissionerFlorenz

Regalado,whoeventuallybecameanAssociateJusticeofthisCourt,agreedonthemeaningof initiateastofile,asprofferedandexplainedbyConstitutionalCommissionerMaambongduring the Constitutional Commission proceedings, which he (Commissioner Regalado) as amicus

curiaeaffirmedduringtheoralargumentsontheinstantpetitionsheldonNovember5,2003at

whichheaddedthattheactofinitiatingincludedtheactoftakinginitialactiononthecomplaint,

dissipatesanydoubtthatindeedthewordinitiateasittwiceappearsinArticleXI(3)and(5)of

theConstitutionmeanstofilethecomplaintandtakeinitialactiononit.

Initiateofcourseisunderstoodbyordinarymentomean,asdictionariesdo,tobegin,to commence, or set going. As Websters Third New International Dictionary of the English Languageconciselyputsit,itmeanstoperformorfacilitatethefirstaction,whichjibeswith Justice Regalados position, and that of Father Bernas, who elucidated during the oral

argumentsoftheinstantpetitionsonNovember5,2003inthiswise:

Brieflythen,animpeachmentproceedingisnotasingleact.Itisacomlexusofactsconsistingofa

beginning,amiddleandanend.TheendisthetransmittalofthearticlesofimpeachmenttotheSenate.

Themiddleconsistsofthosedeliberativemomentsleadingtotheformulationofthearticlesof

impeachment.Thebeginningortheinitiationisthefilingofthecomplaintanditsreferraltothe

CommitteeonJustice.

Finally,itshouldbenotedthattheHouseRulerelieduponbyRepresentativesCojuangcoand

FuentebellasaysthatimpeachmentisdeemedinitiatedwhentheJusticeCommitteevotesinfavorof

impeachmentorwhentheHousereversesacontraryvoteoftheCommittee.NotethattheRuledoesnot

sayimpeachmentproceedingsareinitiatedbutratheraredeemedinitiated.Thelanguageisrecognition

thatinitiationhappenedearlier,butbylegalfictionthereisanattempttopostponeittoatimeafteractual

initiation.(Emphasisandunderscoringsupplied)

Asstatedearlier,oneofthemeansofinterpretingtheConstitutionislookingintotheintent

ofthelaw.Fortunately,theintentoftheframersofthe1987Constitutioncanbepriedfromits

records:

MR.MAAMBONG.WithreferencetoSection3,regardingtheprocedureandthesubstantiveprovisions

onimpeachment,Iunderstandtherehavebeenmanyproposalsand,Ithink,thesewouldneedsometime

forCommitteeaction.

However,IwouldjustliketoindicatethatIsubmittedtotheCommitteearesolutiononimpeachment

proceedings,copiesofwhichhavebeenfurnishedtheMembersofthisbody.Thisisborneoutofmy

experienceasamemberoftheCommitteeonJustice,HumanRightsandGoodGovernmentwhichtook

chargeofthelastimpeachmentresolutionfiledbeforetheFirstBatasangPambansa.Forthe

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informationoftheCommittee,theresolutioncoversseveralstepsintheimpeachmentproceedings

startingwithinitiation,actionoftheSpeakercommitteeaction,calendaringofreport,votingon

thereport,transmittalreferraltotheSenate,trialandjudgmentbytheSenate.

xxx

MR.MAAMBONG.Mr.PresidingOfficer,Iamnotmovingforareconsiderationoftheapprovalofthe

amendmentsubmittedbyCommissionerRegalado,butIwilljustmakeofrecordmythinkingthatwedo

notreallyinitiatethefilingoftheArticlesofImpeachmentonthefloor.Theprocedure,asIhave

pointedoutearlier,wasthattheinitiationstartswiththefilingofthecomplaint.Andwhatis

actuallydoneontheflooristhatthecommitteeresolutioncontainingtheArticlesofImpeachment

istheoneapprovedbythebody.

Asthephraseologynowruns,whichmaybecorrectedbytheCommitteeonStyle,itappearsthatthe

initiationstartsonthefloor.Ifweonlyhavetime,Icouldciteexamplesinthecaseoftheimpeachment

proceedingsofPresidentRichardNixonwhereintheCommitteeontheJudiciarysubmittedthe

recommendation,theresolution,andtheArticlesofImpeachmenttothebody,anditwasthebodywho

approvedtheresolution.Itisnotthebodywhichinitiatesit.Itonlyapprovesordisapprovesthe

resolution.So,onthatscore,probablytheCommitteeonStylecouldhelpinrearrangingthesewords

becausewehavetobeverytechnicalaboutthis.IhavebeenbringingwithmeTheRulesoftheHouseof

RepresentativesoftheU.S.Congress.TheSenateRulesarewithme.Theproceedingsonthecaseof

RichardNixonarewithme.Ihavesubmittedmyproposal,buttheCommitteehasalreadydecided.

Nevertheless,Ijustwanttoindicatethisonrecord.

xxx

MR.MAAMBONG.IwouldjustliketomoveforareconsiderationoftheapprovalofSection3(3).My

reconsiderationwillnotatallaffectthesubstance,butitisonlyinkeepingwiththeexactformulationof

theRulesoftheHouseofRepresentativesoftheUnitedStatesregardingimpeachment.

Iamproposing,MadamPresident,withoutdoingdamagetoanyofthisprovision,thatonpage2,Section

3(3),fromlines17to18,wedeletethewordswhichread:toinitiateimpeachmentproceedingsand

thecomma(,)andinsertonline19afterthewordresolutionthephraseWITHTHEARTICLES,and

thencapitalizetheletteriinimpeachmentandreplacethewordbywithOF,sothatthewholesection

willnowread:Avoteofatleastone­thirdofalltheMembersoftheHouseshallbenecessaryeitherto

affirmaresolutionWITHTHEARTICLESofImpeachmentOFtheCommitteeortooverrideits

contraryresolution.ThevoteofeachMembershallberecorded.

Ialreadymentionedearlieryesterdaythattheinitiation,asfarastheHouseofRepresentativesofthe UnitedStatesisconcerned,reallystartsfromthefilingoftheverifiedcomplaintandeveryresolution toimpeachalwayscarrieswithittheArticlesofImpeachment.Asamatteroffact,thewordsArticlesof

Impeachmentarementionedonline25inthecaseofthedirectfilingofaverifiedcompliantofone­third

ofalltheMembersoftheHouse.Iwillmentionagain,MadamPresident,thatmyamendmentwillnot varythesubstanceinanyway.ItisonlyinkeepingwiththeuniformprocedureoftheHouseof RepresentativesoftheUnitedStatesCongress.Thankyou,MadamPresident. [143] (Italicsintheoriginal; emphasisandudnerscoringsupplied)

ThisamendmentproposedbyCommissionerMaambongwasclarifiedandacceptedbythe CommitteeontheAccountabilityofPublicOfficers. [144]

Itisthusclearthattheframersintendedinitiationtostartwiththefilingofthecomplaint.In

hisamicuscuriaebrief,CommissionerMaambongexplainedthattheobviousreasonindeleting

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thephrasetoinitiateimpeachmentproceedingsascontainedinthetextoftheprovisionof

Section3(3)wastosettleandmakeitunderstoodonceandforallthattheinitiationof

impeachmentproceedingsstartswiththefilingofthecomplaint,andthevoteofone­third oftheHouseinaresolutionofimpeachmentdoesnotinitiatetheimpeachmentproceedings which was already initiated by the filing of a verified complaint under Section 3, paragraph(2),ArticleXIoftheConstitution. [145]

Amicus curiae Constitutional Commissioner Regalado is of the same view as is Father

Bernas,whowasalsoamemberofthe1986ConstitutionalCommission,thatthewordinitiate

asusedinArticleXI,Section3(5)meanstofile,bothadding,however,thatthefilingmustbe

accompaniedbyanactiontosetthecomplaintmoving.

DuringtheoralargumentsbeforethisCourt,FatherBernasclarifiedthatthewordinitiate,

appearingintheconstitutionalprovisiononimpeachment,viz:

Section3(1)TheHouseofRepresentativesshallhavetheexclusivepowertoinitiateallcasesof

impeachment.

xxx

(5)Noimpeachmentproceedingsshallbeinitiatedagainstthesameofficialmorethanoncewithina

periodofoneyear,(Emphasissupplied)

referstotwoobjects,impeachmentcaseandimpeachmentproceeding.

FatherBernasexplainsthatinthesetwoprovisions,thecommonverbistoinitiate.The object in the first sentence is impeachment case. The object in the second sentence is impeachmentproceeding.Followingtheprincipleofreddendosingualasinuilis,thetermcases must be distinguished from the term proceedings. An impeachment case is the legal controversythatmustbedecidedbytheSenate.Above­quotedfirstprovisionprovidesthatthe House,byavoteofone­thirdofallitsmembers,canbringacasetotheSenate.Itisinthat sensethattheHousehasexclusivepowertoinitiateallcasesofimpeachment.Nootherbody candoit.However,beforeadecisionismadetoinitiateacaseintheSenate,aproceeding mustbefollowedtoarriveataconclusion.Aproceedingmustbeinitiated.Toinitiate,which comes from the Latin word initium, means to begin. On the other hand, proceeding is a progressivenoun.Ithasabeginning,amiddle,andanend.IttakesplacenotintheSenatebut

intheHouseandconsistsofseveralsteps:(1)thereisthefilingofaverifiedcomplainteitherby

aMemberoftheHouseofRepresentativesorbyaprivatecitizenendorsedbyaMemberofthe House of the Representatives; (2) there is the processing of this complaint by the proper

Committeewhichmayeitherrejectthecomplaintorupholdit;(3)whethertheresolutionofthe

Committeerejectsorupholdsthecomplaint,theresolutionmustbeforwardedtotheHousefor further processing; and (4) there is the processing of the same complaint by the House of Representativeswhicheither affirms a favorable resolution of the Committee or overrides a contraryresolutionbyavoteofone­thirdofallthemembers.If at least one third of all the Membersupholdsthecomplaint,ArticlesofImpeachmentarepreparedandtransmittedtothe Senate.ItisatthispointthattheHouseinitiatesanimpeachmentcase.Itisatthispointthatan impeachable public official is successfully impeached. That is, he or she is successfully chargedwithanimpeachmentcasebeforetheSenateasimpeachmentcourt.

Father Bernas further explains: The impeachment proceeding is not initiated when the complaintistransmittedtotheSenatefortrialbecausethatistheendoftheHouseproceeding and the beginning of another proceeding, namely the trial. Neither is the impeachment proceeding initiated when the House deliberates on the resolution passed on to it by the

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Committee,becausesomethingpriortothathasalreadybeendone.TheactionoftheHouseis

alreadyafurtherstepintheproceeding,notitsinitiationorbeginning.Rather,theproceedingis

initiatedorbegins,whenaverifiedcomplaintisfiledandreferredtotheCommitteeonJustice

foraction.Thisistheinitiatingstepwhichtriggerstheseriesofstepsthatfollow.

The framers of the Constitution also understood initiation in its ordinary meaning. Thus whenaproposalreachedthefloorproposingthatAvoteofatleastone­thirdofalltheMembers of the House shall be necessary to initiate impeachment proceedings, this was met by a proposal to delete the line on the ground that the vote of the House does not initiate impeachmentproceedingbutratherthefilingofacomplaintdoes. [146] Thusthelinewasdeleted andisnotfoundinthepresentConstitution.

FatherBernasconcludesthatwhenSection3(5)says,Noimpeachmentproceedingshall

beinitiatedagainstthesameofficialmorethanoncewithinaperiodofoneyear,itmeansthat nosecondverifiedcomplaintmaybeacceptedandreferredtotheCommitteeonJusticefor action.Byhisexplanation,thisinterpretationisfoundedonthecommonunderstandingofthe meaningoftoinitiatewhichmeanstobegin.HeremindsthattheConstitutionisratifiedbythe people,bothordinaryandsophisticated,astheyunderstandit;andthatordinarypeopleread ordinary meaning into ordinary words and not abstruse meaning, they ratify words as they understanditandnotassophisticatedlawyersconfuseit.

To the argument that only the House of Representatives as a body can initiate impeachment proceedings because Section 3 (1) says The House of Representatives shall havetheexclusivepowertoinitiateallcasesofimpeachment,Thisisamisreadingofsaid provisionandiscontrarytotheprincipleofreddendosingulasingulisbyequatingimpeachment caseswithimpeachmentproceeding.

From the records of the Constitutional Commission, to the amicus curiae briefs of two formerConstitutionalCommissioners,itiswithoutadoubtthatthetermtoinitiatereferstothe filing of the impeachment complaint coupled with Congress taking initial action of said complaint.

Having concluded that the initiation takes place by the act of filing and referral or endorsementoftheimpeachmentcomplainttotheHouseCommitteeonJusticeor,bythefiling by at least one­third of the members of the House of Representatives with the Secretary General of the House, the meaning of Section 3 (5) of Article XI becomes clear. Once an impeachmentcomplainthasbeeninitiated,anotherimpeachmentcomplaintmaynotbefiled againstthesameofficialwithinaoneyearperiod.

Under Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V of the House Impeachment Rules, impeachment

proceedingsaredeemedinitiated(1)ifthereisafindingbytheHouseCommitteeonJustice

thattheverifiedcomplaintand/orresolutionissufficientinsubstance,or(2)oncetheHouse

itselfaffirmsoroverturnsthefindingoftheCommitteeonJusticethattheverifiedcomplaint

and/orresolutionisnotsufficientinsubstanceor(3)bythefilingorendorsementbeforethe

Secretary­GeneraloftheHouseofRepresentativesofaverifiedcomplaintoraresolutionof impeachment by at least 1/3 of the members of the House.These rules clearly contravene

Section3(5)ofArticleXIsincetherulesgivetheterminitiateameaningdifferentmeaningfrom

filingandreferral.

In his amicus curiae brief, Justice Hugo Gutierrez posits that this Court could not use

contemporaneousconstructionasanaidintheinterpretationofSec.3(5)ofArticleXI,citing

Verav.Avelino [147] whereinthisCourtstatedthattheirpersonalopinions(referringtoJustices whoweredelegatestotheConstitutionConvention)onthematteratissueexpressedduring

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thisCourtsourdeliberationsstandonadifferentfootingfromtheproperlyrecordedutterances of debates and proceedings. Further citing said case, he states that this Court likened the former members of the Constitutional Convention to actors who are so absorbed in their emotionalrolesthatintelligentspectatorsmayknowmoreabouttherealmeaningbecauseof thelattersbalancedperspectivesanddisinterestedness. [148]

Justice Gutierrezs statements have no application in the present petitions.There are at

presentonlytwomembersofthisCourtwhoparticipatedinthe1986ConstitutionalCommission

Chief Justice Davide and Justice Adolf Azcuna. Chief Justice Davide has not taken part in these proceedings for obvious reasons. Moreover, this Court has not simply relied on the personalopinionsnowgivenbymembersoftheConstitutionalCommission,buthasexamined therecordsofthedeliberationsandproceedingsthereof.

RespondentHouseofRepresentativescountersthatunderSection3(8)ofArticleXI,itis

clearandunequivocalthatitandonlyithasthepowertomakeandinterpretitsrulesgoverning

impeachment.ItsargumentispremisedontheassumptionthatCongresshasabsolutepower

topromulgateitsrules.Thisassumption,however,ismisplaced.

Section 3 (8) of Article XI provides that The Congress shall promulgate its rules on impeachment to effectively carry out the purpose of this section. Clearly, its power to promulgate its rules on impeachment is limited by the phrase to effectively carry out the purpose of this section. Hence, these rules cannot contravene the very purpose of the Constitution which said rules were intended to effectively carry out. Moreover, Section 3 of ArticleXIclearlyprovidesforotherspecificlimitationsonitspowertomakerules,viz:

Section3.(1)xxx

(2)AverifiedcomplaintforimpeachmentmaybefiledbyanyMemberoftheHouseofRepresentatives

orbyanycitizenuponaresolutionofendorsementbyanyMemberthereof,whichshallbeincludedin

theOrderofBusinesswithintensessiondays,andreferredtotheproperCommitteewithinthreesession

daysthereafter.TheCommittee,afterhearing,andbyamajorityvoteofallitsMembers,shallsubmitits

reporttotheHousewithinsixtysessiondaysfromsuchreferral,togetherwiththecorresponding

resolution.TheresolutionshallbecalendaredforconsiderationbytheHousewithintensessiondays

fromreceiptthereof.

(3)Avoteofatleastone­thirdofalltheMembersoftheHouseshallbenecessarytoeitheraffirma

favorableresolutionwiththeArticlesofImpeachmentoftheCommittee,oroverrideitscontrary

resolution.ThevoteofeachMembershallberecorded.

(4)Incasetheverifiedcomplaintorresolutionofimpeachmentisfiledbyatleastone­thirdofallthe

MembersoftheHouse,thesameshallconstitutetheArticlesofImpeachment,andtrialbytheSenate

shallforthwithproceed.

(5)Noimpeachmentproceedingsshallbeinitiatedagainstthesameofficialmorethanoncewithina

periodofoneyear.

ItisbasicthatallrulesmustnotcontravenetheConstitutionwhichisthefundamentallaw.

IfasallegedCongresshadabsoluterulemakingpower,thenitwouldbynecessaryimplication

havethepowertoalteroramendthemeaningoftheConstitutionwithoutneedofreferendum.

InOsmeav.Pendatun, [149] thisCourtheldthatitiswithintheprovinceofeitherHouseof Congress to interpret its rules and that it was the best judge of what constituted disorderly behaviorofitsmembers.However,inPacetav.SecretaryoftheCommissiononAppointments,

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[150] Justice(laterChiefJustice)EnriqueFernando,speakingforthisCourtandquotingJustice BrandeisinUnitedStatesv.Smith, [151] declaredthatwheretheconstructiontobegiventoa ruleaffectspersonsotherthanmembersoftheLegislature,thequestionbecomesjudicialin nature.InArroyov.DeVenecia, [152] quotingUnitedStatesv.Ballin,Joseph&Co., [153] Justice Vicente Mendoza, speaking for this Court, held that while the Constitution empowers each house to determine its rules of proceedings, it may not by its rules ignore constitutional restraintsorviolatefundamentalrights,andfurtherthatthereshouldbeareasonablerelation betweenthemodeormethodofproceedingestablishedbytheruleandtheresultwhichis soughttobeattained.Itisonlywithintheselimitationsthatallmattersofmethodareopento the determination of the Legislature. In the same case of Arroyo v. De Venecia, Justice ReynatoS.Puno,inhisConcurringandDissentingOpinion,wasevenmoreemphaticashe stressedthatinthePhilippinesettingthereisevenmorereasonforcourtstoinquireintothe validityoftheRulesofCongress,viz:

Withduerespect,Idonotagreethattheissuesposedbythepetitionerarenon­justiciable.NordoI

agreethatwewilltrivializetheprincipleofseparationofpowerifweassumejurisdictionoverhe

caseatbar.EvenintheUnitedStates,theprincipleofseparationofpowerisnolongeranimpregnable

impedimentagainsttheinterpositionofjudicialpoweroncasesinvolvingbreachofrulesofprocedureby

legislators.

Rightly,theponenciausesthe1891caseofUSvBallin(144US1)asawindowtoviewtheissuesbefore

theCourt.ItisinBallinwheretheUSSupremeCourtfirstdefinedtheboundariesofthepowerofthe

judiciarytoreviewcongressionalrules.Itheld:

xxx

TheConstitution,inthesamesection,provides,thateachhousemaydeterminetherulesofits

proceedings.ItappearsthatinpursuanceofthisauthoritytheHousehad,priortothatday,passedthisas

oneofitsrules:

RuleXV

3.Onthedemandofanymember,oratthesuggestionoftheSpeaker,thenamesofmemberssufficient

tomakeaquoruminthehalloftheHousewhodonotvoteshallbenotedbytheclerkandrecordedinthe journal,andreportedtotheSpeakerwiththenamesofthemembersvoting,andbecountedand

announcedindeterminingthepresenceofaquorumtodobusiness.(HouseJournal,230,Feb.14,1890)

Theactiontakenwasindirectcompliancewiththisrule.Thequestion,therefore,isastothevalidityof

thisrule,andnotwhatmethodstheSpeakermayofhisownmotionresorttofordeterminingthe

presenceofaquorum,norwhatmatterstheSpeakerorclerkmayoftheirownvolitionplaceuponthe

journal.Neitherdotheadvantagesordisadvantages,thewisdomorfolly,ofsucharulepresentany

mattersforjudicialconsideration.Withthecourtsthequestionisonlyoneofpower.TheConstitution

empowerseachhousetodetermineitsrulesofproceedings.Itmaynotbyitsrulesignore

constitutionalrestraintsorviolatefundamentalrights,andthereshouldbeareasonablerelation

betweenthemodeormethodofproceedingsestablishedbytheruleandtheresultwhichissoughtto

beattained.Butwithintheselimitationsallmattersofmethodareopentothedeterminationofthe

House,anditisnoimpeachmentoftheruletosaythatsomeotherwaywouldbebetter,moreaccurate,

orevenmorejust.Itisnoobjectiontothevalidityofarulethatadifferentonehasbeenprescribedandin

forceforalengthoftime.Thepowertomakerulesisnotonewhichonceexercisedisexhausted.Itisa

continuouspower,alwayssubjecttobeexercisedbytheHouse,andwithinthelimitationssuggested,

absoluteandbeyondthechallengeofanyotherbodyortribunal.

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Ballin,clearlyconfirmedthejurisdictionofcourtstopassuponthevalidityofcongressionalrules, i.e,whethertheyareconstitutional.RuleXVwasexaminedbytheCourtanditwasfoundtosatisfythe

test:(1)thatitdidnotignoreanyconstitutionalrestraint;(2)itdidnotviolateanyfundamentalright;and

(3)itsmethodhadareasonablerelationshipwiththeresultsoughttobeattained.ByexaminingRule

XV,theCourtdidnotallowitsjurisdictiontobedefeatedbythemereinvocationoftheprinciple ofseparationofpowers. [154]

xxx

InthePhilippinesetting,thereisamorecompellingreasonforcourtstocategoricallyrejectthe

politicalquestiondefensewhenitsinterpositionwillcoverupabuseofpower.Forsection1,Article

VIIIofourConstitutionwasintentionallycobbledtoempowercourtsxxxtodeterminewhetheror nottherehasbeenagraveabuseofdiscretionamountingtolackorexcessofjurisdictiononthe partofanybranchorinstrumentalityofthegovernment.Thispowerisnewandwasnotgrantedto

ourcourtsinthe1935and1972Constitutions.ItwasnotalsoxeroxedfromtheUSConstitutionor

anyforeignstateconstitution.TheCONCOMgrantedthisenormouspowertoourcourtsinview ofourexperienceundermartiallawwhereabusiveexercisesofstatepowerwereshieldedfrom judicialscrutinybythemisuseofthepoliticalquestiondoctrine.LedbytheeminentformerChief JusticeRobertoConcepcion,theCONCOMexpandedandsharpenedthecheckingpowersofthe judiciaryvis­­vistheExecutiveandtheLegislativedepartmentsofgovernment. [155]

xxx

TheConstitutioncannotbeanyclearer.WhatitgrantedtothisCourtisnotamerepowerwhichitcan

declinetoexercise.Preciselytodeterthisdisinclination,theConstitutionimposeditasadutyofthis

Courttostrikedownanyactofabranchorinstrumentalityofgovernmentoranyofitsofficialsdone

withgraveabuseofdiscretionamountingtolackorexcessofjurisdiction.Rightlyorwrongly,the

ConstitutionhaselongatedthecheckingpowersofthisCourtagainsttheotherbranchesofgovernment

despitetheirmoredemocraticcharacter,thePresidentandthelegislatorsbeingelectedbythepeople.

[156]

xxx

Theprovisiondefiningjudicialpowerasincludingthedutyofthecourtsofjustice

whetherornottherehasbeenagraveabuseofdiscretionamountingtolackorexcessofjurisdictionon

thepartofanybranchorinstrumentalityoftheGovernmentconstitutesthecapstoneoftheeffortsofthe

ConstitutionalCommissiontoupgradethepowersofthiscourtvis­­vistheotherbranchesof

government.Thisprovisionwasdictatedbyourexperienceundermartiallawwhichtaughtusthata

strongerandmoreindependentjudiciaryisneededtoabortabusesingovernment.xxx

todetermine

xxx

Insum,IsubmitthatinimposingtothisCourtthedutytoannulactsofgovernmentcommittedwith graveabuseofdiscretion,thenewConstitutiontransformedthisCourtfrompassivitytoactivism.This transformation,dictatedbyourdistinctexperienceasnation,isnotmerelyevolutionarybut

revolutionary.Underthe1935andthe1973Constitutions,thisCourtapproachedconstitutional

violationsbyinitiallydeterminingwhatitcannotdo;underthe1987Constitution,thereisashiftin

stressthisCourtismandatedtoapproachconstitutionalviolationsnotbyfindingoutwhatitshould

notdobutwhatitmustdo.TheCourtmustdischargethissolemndutybynotresuscitatingapastthat

petrifiesthepresent.

IurgemybrethrenintheCourttogivedueandseriousconsiderationtothisnewconstitutionalprovision

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asthecaseatbaroncemorecallsustodefinetheparametersofourpowertoreviewviolationsofthe rulesoftheHouse.Wewillnotbetruetoourtrustasthelastbulwarkagainstgovernmentabusesif werefusetoexercisethisnewpowerorifwewielditwithtimidity.Tobesure,itisthisexceeding timiditytounsheathethejudicialswordthathasincreasinglyemboldenedotherbranchesof governmenttodenigrate,ifnotdefy,ordersofourcourts.InTolentino,Iendorsedtheviewofformer SenatorSalongathatthisnovelprovisionstretchingthelatitudeofjudicialpowerisdistinctlyFilipino anditsinterpretationshouldnotbedepreciatedbyunduerelianceoninapplicableforeignjurisprudence. Inresolvingthecaseatbar,thelessonsofourownhistoryshouldprovideusthelightandnotthe experienceofforeigners. [157] (Italicsintheoriginalemphasisandunderscoringsupplied)

Thus,therulinginOsmenav.Pendatunisnotapplicabletotheinstantpetitions.Here,the

thirdpartiesallegingtheviolationofprivaterightsandtheConstitutionareinvolved.

Neithermayrespondent Houseof RepresentativesrelyonNixon v. US [158] as basis for

arguingthatthisCourtmaynotdecideontheconstitutionalityofSections16and17ofthe

HouseImpeachmentRules.Asalreadyobserved,theU.S.FederalConstitutionsimplyprovides thattheHouseofRepresentativesshallhavethesolepowerofimpeachment.Itaddsnothing more.Itgivesnocluewhatsoeverastohowthissolepoweristobeexercised.Nolimitation whatsoever is given. Thus, the US Supreme Court concluded that there was a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of a constitutional power to the House of Representatives. This reasoning does not hold with regard to impeachment power of the PhilippineHouseofRepresentativessinceourConstitution,asearlierenumerated,furnishes severalprovisionsarticulatinghowthatexclusivepoweristobeexercised.

TheprovisionsofSections16and17ofRuleVoftheHouseImpeachmentRuleswhich

statethatimpeachmentproceedingsaredeemedinitiated(1)ifthereisafindingbytheHouse

CommitteeonJusticethattheverifiedcomplaintand/orresolutionissufficientinsubstance,or

(2)oncetheHouseitselfaffirmsoroverturnsthefindingoftheCommitteeonJusticethatthe

verified complaint and/or resolution is not sufficient in substance or (3) by the filing or endorsement before the Secretary­General of the House of Representatives of a verified

complaintoraresolutionofimpeachmentbyatleast1/3ofthemembersoftheHousethus

clearlycontraveneSection3(5)ofArticleXIastheygivetheterminitiateameaningdifferent

fromfiling.

ValidityoftheSecondImpeachmentComplaint

Having concluded that the initiation takes place by the act of filing of the impeachment complaintandreferraltotheHouseCommitteeonJustice,theinitialactiontakenthereon,the

meaningofSection3(5)ofArticleXIbecomesclear.Onceanimpeachmentcomplainthas

beeninitiatedintheforegoingmanner,anothermaynotbefiledagainstthesameofficialwithin

aoneyearperiodfollowingArticleXI,Section3(5)oftheConstitution.

In fine, considering that the first impeachment complaint, was filed by former President EstradaagainstChiefJusticeHilarioG.Davide,Jr.,alongwithsevenassociatejusticesofthis

Court,onJune2,2003andreferredtotheHouseCommitteeonJusticeonAugust5,2003,the

second impeachment complaint filed by Representatives Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. and Felix

WilliamFuentebellaagainsttheChiefJusticeonOctober23,2003violatestheconstitutional

prohibitionagainsttheinitiationofimpeachmentproceedingsagainstthesameimpeachable

officerwithinaone­yearperiod.

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Conclusion

Ifthereisanythingconstantaboutthiscountry,itisthatthereisalwaysaphenomenonthat takes the center stage of our individual and collective consciousness as a people with our characteristicflairforhumandrama,conflictortragedy.Ofcoursethisisnottodemeanthe seriousnessofthecontroversyovertheDavideimpeachment.Formanyofus,thepasttwo weekshaveproventobeanexasperating,mentallyandemotionallyexhaustingexperience. Bothsideshavefoughtbitterlyadialecticalstruggletoarticulatewhattheyrespectivelybelieve to be the correct position or view on the issues involved. Passions had ran high as demonstrators,whetherfororagainsttheimpeachmentoftheChiefJustice,tooktothestreets armedwiththeirfamiliarslogansandchantstoairtheirvoiceonthematter.Varioussectorsof society­fromthebusiness,retiredmilitary,totheacademeanddenominationsoffaithoffered suggestions for a return to a state of normalcy in the official relations of the governmental branchesaffectedtoobviateanyperceivedresultinginstabilityuponareasofnationallife.

ThroughalltheseandasearlyasthetimewhentheArticlesofImpeachmenthadbeen constituted,thisCourtwasspecificallyasked,told,urgedandarguedtotakenoactionofany kind and form with respect to the prosecution by the House of Representatives of the impeachment complaint against the subject respondent public official. When the present petitionswereknockingsotospeakatthedoorstepsofthisCourt,thesameclamorfornon­ interference was made through what are now the arguments of lack of jurisdiction, non­ justiciability,andjudicialself­restraintaimedathaltingtheCourtfromanymovethatmayhave abearingontheimpeachmentproceedings.

ThisCourtdidnotheedthecalltoadoptahands­offstanceasfarasthequestionofthe constitutionality of initiating the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Davide is concerned.Toreiteratewhathasbeenalreadyexplained,theCourtfoundtheexistenceinfull ofalltherequisiteconditionsforitsexerciseofitsconstitutionallyvestedpoweranddutyof judicial review over an issue whose resolution precisely called for the construction or interpretationofaprovisionofthefundamentallawoftheland.Whatliesinhereisanissueofa genuineconstitutionalmaterialwhichonlythisCourtcanproperlyandcompetentlyaddressand adjudicate in accordance with the clear­cut allocation of powers under our system of government.Face­to­facethuswithamatterorproblemthatsquarelyfallsundertheCourts jurisdiction,noothercourseofactioncanbehadbutforittopassuponthatproblemheadon.

The claim, therefore, that this Court by judicially entangling itself with the process of impeachmenthaseffectivelysetuparegimeofjudicialsupremacy,ispatentlywithoutbasisin factandinlaw.

ThisCourtinthepresentpetitionssubjectedtojudicialscrutinyandresolvedonthemerits onlythemainissueofwhethertheimpeachmentproceedingsinitiatedagainsttheChiefJustice transgressed the constitutionally imposed one­year time bar rule. Beyond this, it did not go aboutassumingjurisdictionwhereithadnone,norindiscriminatelyturnjusticiableissuesoutof decidedlypoliticalquestions.BecauseitisnotatallthebusinessofthisCourttoassertjudicial dominanceovertheothertwogreatbranchesofthegovernment.Rather,theraisondetreofthe judiciaryistocomplementthedischargebytheexecutiveandlegislativeoftheirownpowersto bringaboutultimatelythebeneficenteffectsofhavingfoundedandorderedoursocietyupon theruleoflaw.

It is suggested that by our taking cognizance of the issue of constitutionality of the impeachmentproceedingsagainsttheChiefJustice,themembersofthisCourthaveactually closedrankstoprotectabrethren.Thatthemembersinterestsinrulingonsaidissueisas

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muchatstakeasisthatoftheChiefJustice.Nothingcouldbefartherfromthetruth.

TheinstitutionthatistheSupremeCourttogetherwithallothercourtshaslongheldand been entrusted with the judicial power to resolve conflicting legal rights regardless of the personalitiesinvolvedinthesuitsoractions.ThisCourthasdispensedjusticeoverthecourse oftime,unaffectedbywhomsoeverstoodtobenefitorsuffertherefrom,unfraidbywhatever imputationsorspeculationscouldbemadetoit,solongasitrenderedjudgmentaccordingto thelawandthefacts.Whycanitnotnowbetrustedtowieldjudicialpowerinthesepetitions justbecauseitisthehighestrankingmagistratewhoisinvolvedwhenitisanincontrovertible factthatthefundamentalissueisnothimbutthevalidityofagovernmentbranchsofficialactas testedbythelimitssetbytheConstitution?Ofcourse,therearerulesontheinhibitionofany memberofthejudiciaryfromtakingpartinacaseinspecifiedinstances.Buttodisqualifythis entireinstitutionnowfromthesuitatbaristoregardtheSupremeCourtaslikelyincapableof impartialitywhenoneofitsmembersisapartytoacase,whichissimplyanonsequitur.

NooneisabovethelawortheConstitution.Thisisabasicpreceptinanylegalsystem whichrecognizesequalityofallmenbeforethelawasessentialtothelawsmoralauthorityand thatofitsagentstosecurerespectforandobediencetoitscommands.Perhaps,thereisno othergovernmentbranchorinstrumentalitythatismostzealousinprotectingthatprincipleof legal equality other than the Supreme Court which has discerned its real meaning and ramificationsthroughitsapplicationtonumerouscasesespeciallyofthehigh­profilekindinthe annals of jurisprudence. The Chief Justice is not above the law and neither is any other memberofthisCourt.ButjustbecauseheistheChiefJusticedoesnotimplythathegetsto havelessinlawthananybodyelse.Thelawissolicitousofeveryindividualsrightsirrespective ofhisstationinlife.

The Filipino nation and its democratic institutions have no doubt been put to test once againbythisimpeachmentcaseagainstChiefJusticeHilarioDavide.Accordingly,thisCourt hasresortedtonootherthantheConstitutioninsearchforasolutiontowhatmanyfeared wouldripentoacrisisingovernment.Butthoughitisindeedimmenselyablessingforthis Courttohavefoundanswersinourbedrockoflegalprinciples,itisequallyimportantthatit went through this crucible of a democratic process, if only to discover that it can resolve differenceswithouttheuseofforceandaggressionuponeachother.

WHEREFORE,Sections16and17ofRuleVoftheRulesofProcedureinImpeachment

ProceedingswhichwereapprovedbytheHouseofRepresentativesonNovember28,2001are

unconstitutional. Consequently, the second impeachment complaint against Chief Justice HilarioG.Davide,Jr.whichwasfiledbyRepresentativesGilbertoC.Teodoro,Jr.andFelix WilliamB.FuentebellawiththeOfficeoftheSecretaryGeneraloftheHouseofRepresentatives

onOctober23,2003isbarredunderparagraph5,section3ofArticleXIoftheConstitution.

SOORDERED.

Davide,Jr.,C.J.,nopart.

Bellosillo,J.,seeseparateopinion.

Puno,andYnares­Santiago,JJ.,seeconcurringanddissentingopinion.

Vitug,J.,pleaseseeseparateopinion(concurring).

Panganiban,andCallejo,Sr.,JJ.,seeseparateconcurringopinion.

Sandoval­Gutierrez,J.,seeseparateandconcurringopinion

Quisumbing,J.,concurringseparateopinionreceived.

Carpio,J.,concur.

Austria­Martinez,J.,concurinthemajorityopinionandintheseparateopinionofJustice

Vitug.

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Corona,J.,willwriteaseparateconcurringopinion.

Azcuna,J.,concurintheseparateopinion.

Tinga,J.,concur.Pleaseseeseparateopinion.

[1] Rollo,G.R.No.160261at180­182;AnnexH.

[2] PerSpecialAppearancewithManifestationofHouseSpeakerJoseC.DeVenecia,Jr.(Rollo,G.R.No.160261

at325­363)thepertinentHouseResolutionisHRNo.260,butnocopyofthesamewassubmittedbefore

thisCourt.

[3] Id.at329.CreatedthroughPDNo.1949(July18,1984),theJDFwasestablishedtohelpensureandguarantee theindependenceoftheJudiciaryasmandatedbytheConstitutionandpublicpolicyandrequiredbythe impartialadministrationofjusticebycreatingaspecialfundtoaugmenttheallowancesofthemembersand personneloftheJudiciaryandtofinancetheacquisition,maintenanceandrepairofofficeequipmentand facilities.

[4] Rollo,G.R.No.160261at120­139;AnnexE.

[5] Theinitial complaint impleadedonly Justices ArtemioV. Panganiban, JosueN. Bellosillo, ReynatoS. Puno, AntonioT.CarpioandRenatoC.Corona,andwaslateramendedtoincludeJusticesJoseC.Vitug,and LeonardoA.Quisumbing.

[6] Supranote4at123­124.

[7] Rollo,G.R.No.160403at48­53;AnnexA.

[9] Rollo,G.R.No.160262at8.

[10] Rollo,G.R.No.160295at11.

[11] Rollo,G.R.No.160262at43­84;AnnexB.

[12] Supranote2.

[13] Aperusaloftheattachmentssubmittedbythevariouspetitionersrevealsthefollowingsignatoriestothesecond impeachment complaint and the accompanying Resolution/Endorsement. 1. Gilbert Teodoro, Jr., NPC,

Tarlac(principalcomplainant)2.FelixFuentebella,NPC,CamarinesSur(secondprincipalcomplainant)3.

Julio Ledesma, IV, NPC, Negros Occidental 4. Henry Lanot, NPC, Lone District of Pasig City 5. Kim

Bernardo­Lokin,PartyList­CIBAC6.MarcelinoLibanan,NPC,LoneDistrictofEasternSamar,(Chairman,

House Committee on Justice) 7. Emmylou Talino­Santos, Independent, 1 st District, North Cotobato 8. DouglasRA.Cagas,NPC,1stDistrict,DavaodelSur9.SherwinGatchalian,NPC,1 st District,Valenzuela City10.LuisBersamin,Jr.,PDSP­PPC,LoneDistrictofAbra11.NerissaSoon­RuizAlayon,6 th District, Cebu12.ErnestoNieva,Lakas,1 st District,Manila13.EdgarR.Erice,Lakas,2 nd District,KalookanCity 14.IsmaelMathayIII,Independent,2 nd District,QuezonCity15.SamuelDangwa,Reporma,LoneDistrict of Benguet 16. AlfredoMaraon, Jr., NPC, 2 nd District, Negros Occidental 17. Cecilia Jalosjos­Carreon, Reporma, 1 st District, Zamboanga del Norte18. Agapito A. Aquino, LDP, 2 nd District, Makati City 19. FaustoL. Seachon, Jr., NPC, 3 rd District, Masbate20. Georgilu Yumul­Hermida, Pwersa ng Masa, 4 th District, Quezon21. JoseCarlos Lacson, Lakas, 3 rd District, Negros Occidental 22. Manuel C. Ortega, NPC,1 st District,LaUnion23.UliranJoaquin,NPC,1 st District,Laguna24.SorayaC.Jaafar,Lakas,Lone District of Tawi­Tawi 25. Wilhelmino Sy­Alvarado, Lakas, 1 st District, Bulacan 26. Claude P. Bautista, NPC,2 nd District,DavaoDelSur27.DelDeGuzman,Lakas,LoneDistrictofMarikinaCity28. Zeneida Cruz­Ducut, NPC, 2 nd District, Pampanga29. AugustoBaculio, Independent­LDP, 2 nd District, Misamis Oriental30.FaustinoDyIII,NPC­Lakas,3 rd District,Isabela31.AgustoBoboySyjuco,Lakas,2 nd District,

Iloilo32.RozzanoRufinoB.Biazon,LDP,LoneDistrictofMuntinlupaCity33.LeovigildoB.Banaag,NPC­

Lakas, 1 st District, Agusan del Norte34. Eric Singson, LP, 2 nd District, Ilocos Sur 35. Jacinto Paras,

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Lakas, 1 st District, Negros Oriental 36. Jose Solis, Independent, 2 nd District, Sorsogon 37. Renato B. Magtubo,PartyList­PartidongManggagawa38.HerminioG.Teves,Lakas,3 rd District,NegrosOriental39. Amado T. Espino, Jr., Lakas, 2 nd District, Pangasinan 40. Emilio Macias, NPC, 2 nd District, Negros Oriental41.ArthurY.Pingoy,Jr.,NPC,2 nd District,SouthCotobato42.FrancisNepomuceno,NPC,1 st District,Pampanga43.ConradoM.EstrellaIII,NPC,6 th District,Pangasinan44. Elias Bulut, Jr., NPC, LoneDistrictofApayao45.JurdinJesus M.Romualdo,NPC,LoneDistrictofCamiguin46. JuanPablo Bondoc, NPC, 4 th District, Pampanga 47. Generoso DC. Tulagan, NPC, 3 rd District, Pangasinan 48. PerpetuoYlagan,Lakas,LoneDistrictofRomblon49.MichaelDuavit,NPC,1 st District,Rizal50.Joseph AceH.Durano,NPC,5 th District,Cebu51.JesliLapus,NPC,3 rd District,Tarlac52.CarlosQ.Cojuangco, NPC, 4 th District, Negros Occidental 53. Georgidi B. Aggabao, NPC, 4 th District, Santiago, Isabela 54. Francis Escudero, NPC, 1 st District, Sorsogon 55. Rene M. Velarde, Party List­Buhay 56. Celso L. Lobregat,LDP,LoneDistrictofZamboangaCity57.AlipioCiriloV.Badelles,NPC,1 st District,Lanaodel Norte58. DidagenP. Dilangalen, PwersangMasa, LoneDistrict of Maguindanao59. AbrahamB. Mitra, LDP,2 nd District,Palawan60.JosephSantiago,NPC,LoneDistrictofCatanduanes61.DarleneAntonino­ Custodio,NPC,1 st DistrictofSouthCotobato&GeneralSantosCity62.AletaC.Suarez,LP,3 rd District,

Quezon63.RodolfoG.Plaza,NPC,LoneDistrictofAgusandelSur64.JVBautista,PartyList­Sanlakas

65.GregorioIpong,NPC,2 nd District,NorthCotabato66.GilbertC.Remulla,LDP,2 nd District,Cavite67. RolexT.Suplico,LDP,5 th District,Iloilo68.CeliaLayus,NPC,Cagayan69.JuanMiguelZubiri,Lakas,3 rd District, Bukidnon70. BenasingMacarambonJr,. NPC, 2 nd District, Lanaodel Sur71. Josefina Joson, NPC, Lone District of Nueva Ecija 72. Mark Cojuangco, NPC, 5 th District, Pangasinan 73. Mauricio

Domogan,Lakas,LoneDistrictofBaguioCity74.RonaldoB.Zamora,PwersangMasa,LoneDistrictof

SanJuan75.AngeloO.Montilla,NPC,LoneDistrictofSultanKudarat76.RosellerL.Barinaga,NPC,2 nd District, Zamboangadel Norte77. JesnarR. Falcon, NPC, 2 nd District, Surigaodel Sur78. Ruy Elias Lopez,NPC,3 rd District,DavaoCity.

[14] Rollo,G.R.No.160261at5.Petitionerhadpreviouslyfiledtwoseparateimpeachmentcomplaintsbeforethe HouseofRepresentativesagainstOmbudsmanAnianoDesierto.

[15] 299SCRA744(1998).InChavezv.PCGG,petitionerChavezarguedthatasataxpayerandacitizen,hehad thelegalpersonalitytofileapetitiondemandingthatthePCGGmakepublicanyandallnegotiationsand agreementspertainingtothePCGGstaskofrecoveringtheMarcosesill­gottenwealth.PetitionerChavez further argued that the matter of recovering the ill­gotten wealth of the Marcoses is an issue of

transcendentalimportancetothepublic.TheSupremeCourt,citingTaadav.Tuvera,136SCRA27(1985),

Legaspiv.CivilServiceCommission,150SCRA530(1987)andAlbanov.Reyes,175SCRA264(1989)

ruledthatpetitionerhadstanding.TheCourt,however,wentontoelaboratethatinanyevent,thequestion

onthestandingofpetitionerChavezwasrenderedmootbytheinterventionoftheJopsonswhoareamong

thelegitimateclaimantstotheMarcoswealth.

[16] 384SCRA152(2002).InChavez v. PEA­Amari Coastal Bay Development Corporation, whereinthepetition soughttocompelthePublicEstatesAuthority(PEA)todiscloseallfactsonitsthenon­goingnegotiations withAmariCoastalDevelopment Corporationtoreclaimportions of ManilaBay, theSupremeCourt said thatpetitionerChavezhadthestandingtobringataxpayerssuitbecausethepetitionsoughttocompelPEA tocomplywithitsconstitutionalduties.

[17] 224SCRA792(1993).

[18] SubsequentpetitionswerefiledbeforethisCourtseekingsimilarrelief.Otherthanthepetitions,thisCourtalso receivedMotionsforInterventionfromamongothers,Sen.AquilinoPimentel,Jr.,andSpecialAppearances byHouseSpeakerJoseC.deVenecia,Jr.,andSenatePresidentFranklinDrilon.

[19] Supranote2at10.

[20] JusticeFlorenzD.Regalado,FormerConstitutionalCommissionersJusticeRegaladoE.MaambongandFather JoaquinG. Bernas, SJ, JusticeHugoE. Gutierrez, Jr., FormerMinisterof JusticeandSolicitorGeneral EstelitoP.Mendoza,DeansPacificoAgabinandRaulC.Pangalangan,andFormerSenatePresidentJovito R.Salonga,.

[21] Rollo,G.R.No.160261at275­292.

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[22] Id.at292.

[23] 63Phil139(1936).

[24] Id.at157­159.

[25] VideAlejandrinov.Quezon,46Phil83(1924);Taadav.Cuenco, 103Phil1051(1957); Ynot v. Intermediate

AppellateCourt,148SCRA659,665(1987).

[26] CONST.,ar