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Section 1

Miriam Defensor Santiago et al vs COMELEC


March/June 1997
Amendment to the Constitution
On 6 Dec 1996, Atty. Jesus S. Delfin filed with COMELEC a
Petition to Amend the Constitution to Lift Term Limits of
elective Officials by Peoples Initiative The COMELEC then,
upon its approval, a.) set the time and dates for signature
gathering all over the country, b.)caused the necessary
publication of the said petition in papers of general circulation,
and c.) instructed local election registrars to assist petitioners
and volunteers in establishing signing stations. On 18 Dec
1996, MD Santiago et al filed a special civil action for
prohibition against the Delfin Petition. Santiago argues
that 1.) the constitutional provision on peoples initiative to
amend the constitution can only be implemented by law to be
passed by Congress and no such law has yet been passed by
Congress, 2.) RA 6735 indeed provides for three systems of
initiative namely, initiative on the Constitution, on statues and
on local legislation. The two latter forms of initiative were
specifically provided for in Subtitles II and III thereof but no
provisions were specifically made for initiatives on the

Constitution. This omission indicates that the matter of


peoples initiative to amend the Constitution was left to some
future law as pointed out by former Senator Arturo Tolentino.
ISSUE: Whether or not RA 6735 was intended to include
initiative on amendments to the constitution and if so whether
the act, as worded, adequately covers such initiative.
HELD: RA 6735 is intended to include the system of initiative
on amendments to the constitution but is unfortunately
inadequate to cover that system. Sec 2 of Article 17 of the
Constitution provides: Amendments to this constitution may
likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative
upon a petition of at least twelve per centum of the total
number of registered voters, of which every legislative district
must be represented by at least there per centum of the
registered voters therein. . . The Congress shall provide for the
implementation of the exercise of this right This provision is
obviously not self-executory as it needs an enabling law to be
passed by Congress. Joaquin Bernas, a member of the 1986
Con-Con stated without implementing legislation Section 2,
Art 17 cannot operate. Thus, although this mode of amending
the constitution is a mode of amendment which bypasses
Congressional action in the last analysis is still dependent on
Congressional action. Bluntly stated, the right of the people
to directly propose amendments to the Constitution through the

system of inititative would remain entombed in the cold niche


of the constitution until Congress provides for its
implementation. The people cannot exercise such right, though
constitutionally guaranteed, if Congress for whatever reason
does not provide for its implementation.

Urbanized City to be known as the City of Mandaluyong,


Mandaluyong and San Juan belonged to only one legislative
district. A plebiscite was held for the people of Mandaluyong
whether or not they approved of the said conversion. The
plebiscite was only 14.41% of the said conversion.
Nevertheless, 18,621 voted yes whereas 7, 911 voted no.

***Note that this ruling has been reversed on November 20,


2006 when ten justices of the SC ruled that RA 6735 is
adequate enough to enable such initiative. HOWEVER, this
was a mere minute resolution which reads in part:

ISSUE:
Whether or not the ratification of RA7675 was unconstitutional

Ten (10) Members of the Court reiterate their position, as


shown by their various opinions already given when the
Decision herein was promulgated, that Republic Act No. 6735
is sufficient and adequate to amend the Constitution thru a
peoples initiative.

citing Article VI, Sections 5(1), 4 and 26(1)


HELD/RULING:

Section 5

For the purposes of discussion, lets breakdown all of the

Case Digest: Tobias v. Abalos

claimed violations to the 1987 Constitution.

FACTS:
Section 26(1). Every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace
Prior to Republic Act No., 7675 also known as An Act
Converting the Municipality of Mandaluyong into a Highly

only one subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof.

The creation of a separate congressional district for

Representatives may be increased, if mandated via a legislative

Mandaluyong is not a subject separate and distinct from the

enactment. Therefore, the increase in congressional

subject of its conversion. Moreover, a liberal construction of

representation is not unconstitutional.

the one-title-one-subject rule has been liberally adopted by


the court as to not impede legislation (Lidasan v. Comelec).

Sec. 5(4). Within three years following the return of every


census, the Congress shall make a reapportionment of

Sec. 5(1). The House of Representatives shall be composed of

legislative districts based on the standard provided in this

not more than two hundred and fifty members, unless

section.

otherwise fixed by law, who shall be elected from legislative


districts apportioned among the provinces, cities, and the

The argument on the violation of the above provision is absurd

Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of

since it was the Congress itself which drafted, deliberated upon

their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and

and enacted the assailed law.

progressive ratio, and those who, as provided by law, shall be


elected through a party list system of registered national,

The petition is thereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. SO

regional and sectoral parties or organizations.

ORDERED.

The Constitution clearly provides that the House of

Mariano v COMELEC

Representatives shall be composed of not more than 250

G.R. No. 118577 March 7, 1995, 242 SCRA 211

members,unless otherwise provided by law. The emphasis

FACTS:
This is a petition for prohibition and declaratory relief filed by

on the latter clause indicates that the number of the House of

petitioners Juanito Mariano, Jr., Ligaya S. Bautista, Teresita


Tibay, Camilo Santos, Frankie Cruz, Ricardo Pascual, Teresita
Abang, Valentina Pitalvero, Rufino Caldoza, Florante Alba,
and Perfecto Alba. Of the petitioners, only Mariano, Jr., is a
resident of Makati. The others are residents of Ibayo Ususan,
Taguig, Metro Manila. Suing as taxpayers, they assail sections
2, 51, and 52 of Republic Act No. 7854 as unconstitutional.
ISSUE:
Whether or not there is an actual case or controversy to
challenge the constitutionality of one of the questioned sections
of R.A. No. 7854.
HELD:
The requirements before a litigant can challenge the
constitutionality of a law are well delineated. They are: 1) there
must be an actual case or controversy; (2) the question of
constitutionality must be raised by the proper party; (3)
the constitutional question must be raised at the earliest
possible opportunity; and (4) the decision on
the constitutional question must be necessary to the
determination of the case itself.
Petitioners have far from complied with these requirements.
The petition is premised on the occurrence of many contingent
events, i.e., that Mayor Binay will run again in this coming
mayoralty elections; that he would be re-elected in said
elections; and that he would seek re-election for the same
position in the 1998 elections. Considering that these
contingencies may or may not happen, petitioners merely pose
a hypothetical issue which has yet to ripen to an actual case or

controversy. Petitioners who are residents of Taguig (except


Mariano) are not also the proper partiesto raise this abstract
issue. Worse, they hoist this futuristic issue in a petition for
declaratory relief over which this Court has no jurisdiction.
Montejo vs. COMELEC G.R. No. 118702, March 16, 1995

Facts: The province of Leyte is composed of 5 legislative


districts. Biliran, located in the third district of Leyte, was
made its sub-province by virtue of RA 2141. When Biliran
was converted into a regular province, 8 municipalities of the
third district composed the new province. As a consequence,
the composition of the third district was reduced to
5 municipalities. To remedy the resulting inequality in
the distribution of inhabitants, voters and municipalities in
Leyte, the COMELEC promulgated Resolution No. 2736
where it transferred the municipality of Capoocan of the
second district and the municipality of Palompon of
the fourth district to the third district of Leyte.

Issue: Whether or not the COMELEC has the power to


transfer municipalitiesfrom one legislative district to another
legislative district

reapportion. The Court held that COMELEC committed grave


abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction when it
Held: The COMELEC relies on the Ordinance appended to the

promulgated a resolution transferring

1987 Constitution as the source of its power of redistricting

the municipality of Capoocan of the second district and

which is traditionally regarded as part of the power to make

themunicipality of Palompon of the fourth district to the third

laws. But based on the deliberations of the Constitutional

district of Leyte.

Commission, it denied to the COMELEC the major power of


legislative apportionment as it itself exercised the
power. Section 2 of the Ordinance only empowered the
COMELEC to make minor adjustments of the reapportionment
made. Consistent with the limit of its power to make minor
adjustments, Sec. 3 of the Ordinance did not also give the
COMELEC any authority to transfer municipalities from one
legislative district to another district.
It may well be that the conversion of Biliran from a subprovince to a regular province brought about an imbalance in
the distribution of voters and inhabitants in the 5 legislative
districts of Leyte. But the issue involves a problem of
reapportionment of legislative districts and petitioners remedy
lies with Congress. Section 5(4), Art. VI of the
Constitution categorically gives Congress the power to

Veterans Federation Party v. COMELEC [G.R. No. 136781.


October 6, 2000]
Veterans Federation Party v. COMELEC
[G.R. No. 136781. October 6, 2000]
Facts:
COMELEC proclaimed 14 party-list representatives from 13
parties which obtained at least 2% of the total number of votes
cast for the party-list system as members of the House of
Representatives. Upon petition for respondents, who were
party-list organizations, it proclaimed 38 additional party-list
representatives although they obtained less than 2% of the total
number of votes cast for the party-list system on the ground
that under the Constitution, it is mandatory that at least 20% of
the members of the House of Representatives come from the
party-list representatives.
Issue:
Is the twenty percent allocation for party-list representatives
mentioned in Section 5 (2), Article VI of the Constitution,
mandatory or is it merely a ceiling? In other words, should the

twenty percent allocation for party-list solons be filled up


completely and all the time?
Held:
It is not mandatory. It merely provides a ceiling for the partylist seats in the House of Representatives. The Constitution
vested Congress with the broad power to define and prescribe
the mechanics of the party-list system of representatives. In the
exercise of its constitutional prerogative, Congress deemed it
necessary to require parties participating in the system to
obtain at least 2% of the total votes cast for the party list
system to be entitled to a party-list seat. Congress wanted to
ensure that only those parties having a sufficient number of
constituents deserving of representation are actually
represented in Congress.
FORMULA FOR
determination of total number of party-list representatives
= #district representatives/.80 x .20
additional representatives of first party = # of votes of first
party/ # of votes of party list system
additional seats for concerned party = # of votes of concerned
party/ # votes of first party x additional seats for concerned
party
Issue:

Are the two percent threshold requirement and the three-seat


limit provided in Section 11 (b) of RA 7941 constitutional?

Held:
Yes. In imposing a two percent threshold, Congress wanted to
ensure that only those parties, organizations and coalitions
having a sufficient number of constituents deserving of
representation are actually represented in Congress. This intent
can be gleaned from the deliberations on the proposed bill. The
two percent threshold is consistent not only with the intent of
the framers of the Constitution and the law, but with the very
essence of "representation." Under a republican or
representative state, all government authority emanates from
the people, but is exercised by representatives chosen by them.
But to have meaningful representation, the elected persons
must have the mandate of a sufficient number of people.
Otherwise, in a legislature that features the party-list system,
the result might be the proliferation of small groups which are
incapable of contributing significant legislation, and which
might even pose a threat to the stability of Congress. Thus,
even legislative districts are apportioned according to "the
number of their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a
uniform and progressive ratio" to ensure meaningful local
representation.
Issue:
How should the additional seats of a qualified party be
determined?

Held:
Step One. There is no dispute among the petitioners, the public
and the private respondents, as well as the members of this
Court that the initial step is to rank all the participating parties,
organizations and coalitions from the highest to the lowest
based on the number of votes they each received. Then the
ratio for each party is computed by dividing its votes by the
total votes cast for all the parties participating in the system.
All parties with at least two percent of the total votes are
guaranteed one seat each. Only these parties shall be
considered in the computation of additional seats. The party
receiving the highest number of votes shall thenceforth be
referred to as the first party.
Step Two. The next step is to determine the number of seats the
first party is entitled to, in order to be able to compute that for
the other parties. Since the distribution is based on proportional
representation, the number of seats to be allotted to the other
parties cannot possibly exceed that to which the first party is
entitled by virtue of its obtaining the most number of votes.
Step Three The next step is to solve for the number of
additional seats that the other qualified parties are entitled to,
based on proportional representation.
G.R. No. 147589

June 26, 2001

BAYAN MUNA vs. Comelec


Facts
Petitioners challenged the Comelecs Omnibus Resolution No.
3785, which approved the participation of 154 organizations
and parties, including those herein impleaded, in the 2001
party-list elections. Petitioners sought the disqualification of
private respondents, arguing mainly that the party-list system
was intended to benefit the marginalized and underrepresented;
not the mainstream political parties, the non-marginalized or
overrepresented. Unsatisfied with the pace by which Comelec
acted on their petition, petitioners elevated the issue to the
Supreme Court.
Issue:
1. Whether or not petitioners recourse to the Court was
proper.
2. Whether or not political parties may participate in the
party list elections.
3. Whether or not the Comelec committed grave abuse of
discretion in promulgating Omnibus Resolution No. 3785.
Ruling:

ANG BAGONG BAYANI vs. Comelec

1. The Court may take cognizance of an issue notwithstanding

x---------------------------------------------------------x

the availability of other remedies "where the issue raised is one

G.R. No. 147613 June 26, 2001

purely of law, where public interest is involved, and in case of

urgency." The facts attendant to the case rendered it justiciable.


2. Political parties even the major ones -- may participate in
the party-list elections subject to the requirements laid down in
the Constitution and RA 7941, which is the statutory law
pertinent to the Party List System.
Under the Constitution and RA 7941, private respondents
cannot be disqualified from the party-list elections, merely on
the ground that they are political parties. Section 5, Article VI
of the Constitution provides that members of the House of
Representatives may "be elected through a party-list system of
registered national, regional, and sectoral parties or
organizations . It is however, incumbent upon the Comelec to
determine proportional representation of the marginalized and
underrepresented, the criteria for participation, in relation to
the cause of the party list applicants so as to avoid desecration
of the noble purpose of the party-list system.
3. The Court acknowledged that to determine the propriety of
the inclusion of respondents in the Omnibus Resolution No.
3785, a study of the factual allegations was necessary which
was beyond the pale of the Court. The Court not being a trier of
facts.

However, seeing that the Comelec failed to appreciate fully the


clear policy of the law and the Constitution, the Court decided
to set some guidelines culled from the law and the
Constitution, to assist the Comelec in its work. The Court
ordered that the petition be remanded in the Comelec to
determine compliance by the party lists.
Section 6
ROMUALDEZ-MARCOS v COMELEC
FACTS:
The petitioner, Imelda Romualdez-Marcos, applied as a
candidate to contest elections to the House of Representatives
in the district of Leyte. The incumbent representative of the
constituency of Leyte, Cirilo Roy Montejo (a candidate for the
same position) applied
to Commission on Elections [COMELEC] to have Imelda
Romualdez-Marcoss application rejected on the grounds that it
did not meet the constitutional requirement for residency. The
constitutional requirement for residency for election purposes
stated that in order to contest a position, the candidate must
have resided in the location for which they are standing for a

period of one year or more. The purpose of the provision was


to prevent the possibility of strangers or newcomers who were
unacquainted with the needs of a community standing for
office. In her original application form, Imelda RomualdezMarcos had stated that she had resided in Leyte for seven
months. In response to the complaint fled by Cirilo Roy
Montejo she amended the time of residency in her application
from seven months to since childhood. She claimed that the
entry of the word seven in her original Certifcate of
Candidacy was the result of an honest misinterpretation,
which she now sought to rectify. She further stated that she had
always maintained Tacloban (in the district of Leyte) as her
domicile or residence. COMELEC, after considering the
petition of Cirilo Roy Montejo to have the candidacy of Imelda
Romualdez-Marcos rejected, found the claim meritorious and
refused the petitioners original application for candidacy and
her amended version. COMELEC rejected the petitioners
application for candidacy on the basis that her conduct revealed
that she did not intend to make Tacloban her domicile, that she
had registered as a voter in different places, and on several
occasions had declared that she was a resident of Manila.
COMELEC stated that although she spent her school days in
Tacloban she had abandoned residency when she chose to stay
and reside in other places. Imelda Romualdez-Marcos

subsequently appealed to the Supreme Court requesting a


declaration that she had been a resident, for election purposes,
of the First District of Leyte for a period of one year at the time
she applied to contest the 1995 elections.
She argued that the meaning of residency in the Constitution,
which designated the requirements for candidacy for election
purposes, was that of domicile. She argued that she had
domicile in Leyte because that was her place of original
domicile and she had not acted to replace that domicile with
another. She also argued that her marriage and changes of
residency alongside her husband when he changed residency
did not result in a change in her place of domicile. In support of
that argument she claimed that section 69 of the Family Code
1988, which gives a husband and wife the right to jointly fix
the family domicile, illustrates the intent of the Philippines
Parliament to recognize the rights of women. She claimed
therefore that since she had domicile in Leyte she
automatically fulfilled the requirements for a one-year
residency for election purposes.
The respondents argued the meaning of residency in Article
110 of the Civil Code 1950 was the meaning that should be
applied to the constitutional requirement for a one-year

1.

residency prior to qualifying for candidacy for the elections.


Imelda Romualdez-Marcos, they argued, had changed her
residency to that of her husband upon her marriage and at the
same time automatically gained her husbands domicile. After
returning to Leyte she had resided there for only seven months
and she therefore did not satisfy the one year requirement for
candidacy.

a bona fide intention of abandoning the former place of


residence and establishing a new one;

HELD:

The Court held that the meaning of residence in Article 110


of the Civil Code, which states that the husband shall fix the
residence of the family, is different therefore to the meaning
of residence in the Constitution. The term residence may have
one meaning in civil law (as under the Civil Code) and another
different meaning in political law as represented in the election
requirements identified in the Constitution. Residency is
satisfied under the Civil Code if a person establishes that they
intend to leave a place when the purpose for which they have
taken up their abode ends. The purpose of residency might be
for pleasure, business, or health and a person may have
different residences in various places. However, residency in
the Constitution as opposed to the Civil Code means domicile
and therefore the key issue is to determine the domicile of the
petitioner, Imelda Romualdez-Marcos. The Court held that

The majority of the Supreme Court (eight judges in favor, four


against) held that Imelda Romualdez-Marcos was a resident of
the First District of Leyte for election purposes, and therefore
possessed the necessary residence qualifications to run in Leyte
as a candidate for a seat in the House of Representatives. The
Court held that the term residence in the context of
qualifying for certain elected positions is synonymous with the
term domicile. Domicile denotes a fixed permanent residence
to which one intends to return after an absence. A person can
only have a single domicile, although they can abandon one
domicile in favor of another. To successfully change domicile,
one must demonstrate three (3) requirements:
an actual removal or an actual change of domicile;

and one must act in accordance with that intent.


Only with clear and positive evidence that all three
requirements have been met will the residence of origin be lost,
otherwise residency will be deemed to continue.

Article 110 does not create a presumption that a wife


automatically gains a husbands domicile upon marriage. When
the petitioner was married to then Congressman Marcos in
1954, she was obliged by virtue of Article 110 of the Civil
Code to follow her husbands actual place of residence as fixed
by him. The right of the husband to fix the residence was in
harmony with the intention of the law to strengthen and unify
the family. It recognised the fact that the husband and wife
bring into the marriage different domiciles and if the husband
has to stay in or transfer to any one of their residences, the wife
should necessarily be with him in order that they may live
together. However, the term residence in Article 110 of the
Civil Code does not mean domicile and therefore it cannot be
correctly argued that petitioner lost her domicile as a result of
her marriage to the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos in 1952.
The Court also held that it would be illogical for the Court to
assume that a wife cannot regain her original domicile upon the
death of her husband, if she has not positively selected a new
one during the subsistence of the marriage itself.
The Court held that the new Family Code, which was
introduced to replace the Civil Code, confirmed the petitioners
argument that marriage does not automatically change a wifes
domicile to that of her husband. The Family Code replaced the

term residence (used in the Civil Code) with the term


domicile. Article 69 of the Family Code gives a husband and
wife the right to jointly fix the family domicile. The provision
recognised revolutionary changes in the concept of womens
rights in the intervening years by making the choice of
domicile a product of mutual agreement between the spouses.
The provision recognised the right of women to choose their
own domicile and removed the automatic transfer of a
husbands domicile to his wife.
Aquino vs. COMELEC G.R. No. 120265, September 18, 1995
Facts: Petitioner Agapito Aquino filed his certificate of
candidacy for the position of Representative for the Second
District of Makati City. Private respondents Move Makati, a
duly registered political party, and Mateo Bedon, Chairman of
LAKAS-NUCD-UMDP of Brgy. Cembo, Makati City, filed a
petition to disqualify petitioner on the ground that the latter
lacked the residence qualification as a candidate for
congressman which, under Sec. 6, Art. VI of the Constitution,
should be for a period not less than 1 year immediately
preceding the elections.

The intention not to establish a permanent home in Makati City


Issue: Whether or not the petitioner lacked the residence

is evident in his leasing a condominium unit instead of buying

qualification as a candidate for congressman as mandated by

one. While a lease contract may be indicative of petitioners

Sec. 6, Art. VI of the Constitution

intention to reside in Makati City, it does not engender the kind


of permanency required to prove abandonment of ones
original domicile.

Held: In order that petitioner could qualify as a candidate for


Representative of the Second District of Makati City, he must

Petitioners assertion that he has transferred his domicile from

prove that he has established not just residence but domicile of

Tarlac to Makati is a bare assertion which is hardly supported

choice.

by the facts. To successfully effect a change of domicile,


petitioner must prove an actual removal or an actual change of

Petitioner, in his certificate of candidacy for the 1992 elections,

domicile; a bona fide intention of abandoning the former place

indicated not only that he was a resident of San Jose,

of residence and establishing a new one and definite acts

Concepcion, Tarlac in 1992 but that he was a resident of the

which correspond with the purpose. In the absence of clear and

same for 52 years immediately preceding that elections. At that

positive proof, the domicile of origin should be deemed to

time, his certificate indicated that he was also a registered voter

continue.

of the same district. His birth certificate places Concepcion,


Tarlac as the birthplace of his parents. What stands

Section 7

consistently clear and unassailable is that his domicile of origin

Dimaporo v. Mitra
FACTS:
Dimaporo was elected as a representative for the second
legislative district of Lanao del Sur during the 1987
congressional elections.

of record up to the time of filing of his most recent certificate


of candidacy for the 1995 elections was Concepcion, Tarlac.

Dimaporo filed a certificate of candidacy for the position of


governor of ARMM. Secretary and Speaker of the House
excluded the name of Dimaporo from the Roll of Members of
HR Under Art IX of Sec 67 of the Omnibus Election Code.
Dimaporo lost the election wrote a letter intending to resume
performing his duties and functions as an elected member of
the Congress. Unfortunately, he was not able to regain his seat
in the Congress. Dimaporo contended that he did not lose his
seat as a Congressman because Art. IX Sec. 67 of BP 881 is not
operative in the present constitution, and therefore not
applicable to the members of Congress.
Grounds may be termed to be shortened:
1. Holding any officer or employment in the government or ant
subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof.
2. Expulsion as a disciplinary action for a disorderly behavior
3. Disqualification as determined by a resolution of the
electoral tribunal in an election contest
4. Voluntary renunciation of office
ISSUE: W/N Dimaporo can still be considered as a member of
Congress even after he has filed for another government
position
HELD: No.
In the constitution there is a new chapter on the accountability
of public officers. In the 1935 Constitution, it was provided
that public office is a public trust. Public officers should serve
with the highest degree of responsibility and integrity. If you
allow a Batasan or a governor or a mayor who has mandated to
serve for 6 years to file for an office other than the one he was

elected to, then that clearly shows that he did not intend to
serve the mandate of the people which was placed upon him
and therefore he should be considered ipso facto resigned. The
filling of a certificate shall be considered as an overt act or
abandoning or relinquishing his mandate to the people and he
should therefore resign if he want to seek another position
which he feels he could be of better service.
Section 11
Nicanor Jimenez vs Bartolome Cabangbang
17 SCRA 876 Political Law Freedom of Speech and
Debate
Bartolome Cabangbang was a member of the House of
Representatives and Chairman of its Committee on National
Defense. In November 1958, Cabangbang caused the
publication of an open letter addressed to the Philippines. Said
letter alleged that there have been allegedly three operational
plans under serious study by some ambitious AFP officers, with
the aid of some civilian political strategists. That such
strategists have had collusions with communists and that the
Secretary of Defense, Jesus Vargas, was planning a coup dtat
to place him as the president. The planners allegedly have
Nicanor Jimenez, among others, under their guise and that
Jimenez et al may or may not be aware that they are being used
as a tool to meet such an end. The letter was said to have been

published in newspapers of general circulation. Jimenez then


filed a case against Cabangbang to collect a sum of damages
against Cabangbang alleging that Cabangbangs statement is
libelous. Cabangbang petitioned for the case to be dismissed
because he said that as a member of the lower house, he is
immune from suit and that he is covered by the privileged
communication rule and that the said letter is not even libelous.
ISSUE: Whether or not the open letter is covered by privilege
communication endowed to members of Congress.
HELD: No. Article VI, Section 15 of the Constitution provides
The Senators and Members of the House of Representatives
shall in all cases except treason, felony, and breach of the
peace. Be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the
sessions of the Congress, and in going to and returning from
the same; and for any speech or debate therein, they shall not
be questioned in any other place.
The publication of the said letter is not covered by said
expression which refers to utterances made by Congressmen in
the performance of their official functions, such as speeches
delivered, statements made, or votes cast in the halls of
Congress, while the same is in session as well as bills
introduced in Congress, whether the same is in session or not,
and other acts performed by Congressmen, either in Congress
or outside the premises housing its offices, in the official

discharge of their duties as members of Congress and of


Congressional Committees duly authorized to perform its
functions as such at the time of the performance of the acts in
question. Congress was not in session when the letter was
published and at the same time he, himself, caused the
publication of the said letter. It is obvious that, in thus causing
the communication to be so published, he was not performing
his official duty, either as a member of Congress or as officer
of any Committee thereof. Hence, contrary to the finding made
by the lower court the said communication is not absolutely
privileged.
Sergio Osmea, Jr. vs Salipada Pendatun
109 Phil. 863 Political Law The Legislative Department
Parliamentary Immunity
In June 1960, Congressman Sergio Osmea, Jr. delivered a
speech entitled A Message to Garcia. In the said speech, he
disparaged then President Carlos Garcia and his administration.
Subsequently, House Resolution No. 59 was passed by the
lower house in order to investigate the charges made by
Osmea during his speech and that if his allegations were
found to be baseless and malicious, he may be subjected to
disciplinary actions by the lower house.

Osmea then questioned the validity of the said resolution


before the Supreme Court. Osmea avers that the resolution
violates his parliamentary immunity for speeches delivered in
Congress. Congressman Salipada Pendatun filed an answer
where he averred that the Supreme Court has not jurisdiction
over the matter and Congress has the power to discipline its
members.
ISSUE: Whether or not Osmeas immunity has been violated?
HELD: No. Section 15, Article VI of the 1935 Constitution
enshrines parliamentary immunity upon members of the
legislature which is a fundamental privilege cherished in every
parliament in a democratic world. It guarantees the legislator
complete freedom of expression without fear of being made
responsible in criminal or civil actions before the courts or any
other forum outside the Hall of Congress. However, it does not
protect him from responsibility before the legislative body
whenever his words and conduct are considered disorderly or
unbecoming of a member therein. Therefore, Osmeas petition
is dismissed.
Section 13

Zandueta v. Dela Costa


November 28, 1938 G.R. No. L-46267
NATURE
This is a quo warranto proceeding instituted by the Honorable
Francisco Zandueta against the Honorable Sixto de la Costa to
obtain from this court a judgment declaring the respondent to
be illegally occupying the office of Judge of the Fifth Branch
of the Court of First Instance of Manila, Fourth Judicial
District, ousting him from said office, and holding that the
petitioner is entitled to continue occupying the office in
question by placing him in possession thereof, with costs to
said respondent
FACTS
Prior to the promulgation of Commonwealth Act No.145, the
petitioner, the Honorable Francisco Zandueta was discharging
the office of judge of first instance, Ninth Judicial District,
comprising solely the City of Manila, and was presiding over
the Fifth Branch of the Court of First Instance of said city, by
virtue of an ad interim appointment issued by the President of
the Philippines in his favor on June 2, 1936, and confirmed by
the Commission on Appointments of the National AssemblyOn November 7, 1936, the date on which Commonwealth Act
No. 145, otherwise known as the Judicial Reorganization Law,
took effect, the petitioner received from the President of the
Commonwealth a new ad interim appointment as judge of first
instance, this time of the Fourth Judicial District, with authority
to preside over the Courts of First Instance of Manila and
Palawan-The National Assembly adjourned without its
Commission on Appointments having acted on said ad interim

appointment-Another ad interim appointment to the same


office was issued in favor of said petitioner, pursuant to which
he took a new oath-After his appointment and qualification as
judge of first instance of the Fourth Judicial District, the
petitioner, acting as executive judge, performed several
executive acts-On May 19, 1938, the Commission on
Appointments of the National Assembly disapproved the
aforesaid ad interim appointment of said petitioner-On August
1, 1938, the President of the Philippines appointed the herein
respondent, Honorable Sixto de la Costa, judge of first instance
of the Fourth Judicial District, with authority to preside over
the Fifth Branch of the Court of First Instance of Manila and
the Court of First Instance of Palawan, and his appointment
was approved by the Commission on Appointments
ISSUE
WON the petitioner may question the validity of
Commonwealth Act No. 145 to entitle him to repossess the
office occupied by him prior to the appointment issued in his
favor by virtue of the assailed statute
HELD

When a judge of first instance, presiding over a branch of a


Court of First Instance of a judicial district by virtue of a legal
and valid appointment, accepts another appointment to preside
over the same branch of the same Court of First Instance, in
addition to another court of the same category, both of which
belong to a new judicial district formed by the addition of
another Court of First Instance to the old one, enters into the
discharge of the functions of his new office and receives the
corresponding salary, he abandons his old office and cannot
claim to repossess it or question the constitutionality of the law
by virtue of which his new appointment has been issued.

The rule of equity, sanctioned by jurisprudence, is that when a


public official voluntarily accepts an appointment to an office
newly created or reorganized by law, which new office is
incompatible with the one formerly occupied by him ,
qualifies for the discharge of the functions thereof by taking the
necessary oath, and enters into the performance of his duties by
executing acts inherent in said newly created or reorganized
office and receiving the corresponding salary, he will be
considered to have abandoned the office he was occupying by
virtue of his former appointment (46Corpus Juris, 947, sec.
55), and he cannot question the constitutionality of the law by
virtue of which he was last appointed (11 American
Jurisprudence, 166, par. 121;id., 767, par. 123). He is excepted
from said rule only when his non-acceptance of the new
appointment may affect public interest or when he is compelled
to accept it by reason of legal exigencies. In the case under
consideration, the petitioner was free to accept or not the ad
interim appointment issued by the President of the
Commonwealth in his favor, in accordance with said
Commonwealth Act No. 145. If the petitioner believed that
Commonwealth Act No.145 is unconstitutional, he should have
refused to accept the appointment offered him or, at least, he
should have accepted it with reservation, had he believed that
his duty of obedience to the laws compelled him to do so, and
afterwards resort to the power entrusted with the final
determination of the question whether a law is unconstitutional
or not.-The petitioner, being aware of his constitutional and
legal rights and obligations, by implied order of the law(art. 2,
Civil Code), accepted the office and entered into the
performance of the duties inherent therein, after taking the
necessary oath, thereby acting with full knowledge that if he

voluntarily accepted the office to which he was appointed, he


would later be stopped from questioning the validity of said
appointment by alleging that the law, by virtue of which his
appointment was issued, is unconstitutional. The petition for
quo warranto instituted is denied and the same is dismissed
with costs to the petitioner.
Section 14
Eugenio Puyat vs Sixto De Guzman, Jr.
113 SCRA 31 Political Law The Legislative Department
Appearance in Court
In May 1979, Eugenio Puyat and his group were elected as
directors of the International Pipe Industries. The election was
subsequently questioned by Eustaquio Acero (Puyats rival)
claiming that the votes were not properly counted hence he
filed aquo warranto case before the Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) on May 25, 1979. Prior to Aceros filing of
the case, Estanislao Fernandez, then a member of the Interim
Batasang Pambansa purchased ten shares of stock of IPI from a
member of Aceros group. And during a conference held by
SEC Commissioner Sixto de Guzman, Jr. (from May 25-31,
1979) to have the parties confer with each other, Estanislao
Fernandez entered his appearance as counsel for Acero. Puyat
objected as he argued that it is unconstitutional for an

assemblyman to appear as counsel (to anyone) before any


administrative body (such as the SEC). This being cleared,
Fernandez inhibited himself from appearing as counsel for
Acero. He instead filed an Urgent Motion for Intervention in
the said SEC case for him to intervene, not as a counsel, but as
a legal owner of IPI shares and as a person who has a legal
interest in the matter in litigation. The SEC Commissioner
granted the motion and in effect granting Fernandez leave to
intervene.
ISSUE: Whether or not Fernandez, acting as a stockholder of
IPI, can appear and intervene in the SEC case without violating
the constitutional provision that an assemblyman must not
appear as counsel in such courts or bodies?
HELD: No, Fernandez cannot appear before the SEC body
under the guise that he is not appearing as a counsel. Even
though he is a stockholder and that he has a legal interest in the
matter in litigation he is still barred from appearing. He bought
the stocks before the litigation took place. During the
conference he presented himself as counsel but because it is
clearly stated that he cannot do so under the constitution he
instead presented himself as a party of interest which is
clearly a workaround and is clearly an act after the fact. A mere
workaround to get himself involved in the litigation. What
could not be done directly could not likewise be done
indirectly.

NOTE: Under Section 14, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution:


No Senator or member of the House of Representatives may
personally appear as counsel before any court of justice or
before the Electoral Tribunals, or quasi-judicial and other
administrative bodies. Neither shall he, directly or indirectly,
be interested financially in any contract with, or in any
franchise or special privilege granted by the Government, or
any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including
any government-owned or controlled corporation, or its
subsidiary, during his term of office. He shall not intervene in
any matter before any office of the Government for his
pecuniary benefit or where he may be called upon to act on
account of his office.
Appearance of the legislator is now barred before all courts of
justice, regardless of rank, composition, or jurisdiction. The
disqualification also applies to the revived Electoral Tribunal
and to all administrative bodies, like the Securities and
Exchange Commission and the National Labor Relations
Commission. Courts martial and military tribunals, being
administrative agencies, are included.
Section 16
G.R. No. 134577, Nov. 18, 1998

who had voted for Sen. Fernan comprised the majority, while
only those who had voted for him, the losing nominee,
belonged to the minority. However, senators belonging to the
Lakas-NUCD-UMDP Party number 7 and, thus, also a
minority had chosen Sen. Guingona as the minority leader.
Thus, Petitioners filed this case for quo warranto.

While the Constitution mandates that the President of

the Senate must be elected by a number constituting more than


one half of all the members thereof, it does not provide that the
members who will not vote for him shall ipso facto constitute
the minority, who could thereby elect the minority leader. No
law or regulation states that the defeated candidate shall
automatically become the minority leader.
o
Constitution silent on the manner of selecting officers

ISSUE:
o

Whether or not there was an actual violation of the

Constitution in the selection of respondent as Senate


minority leader
Whether or not courts have the power to intervene

in Congress other than Senate President and House Speaker


o
Separation of powers: Courts may not intervene in the
internal affairs of legislature
o
Legislative rules, unlike statutory laws, are matters of
procedure and are subject to revocation, modification and
waiver by the body adopting them

in matters of legislative procedure


RULING:
The petition fails.
The meaning of majority vis-a-vis minority

FACTS:
During the election of officers in the Senate, Sen. Marcelo
Fernan and Sen. Tatad were both nominated to the position of
Senate President. By a vote of 20 to 2, Sen. Fernan was
declared the duly elected Senate President. Thereafter, Sen.
Tatad manifested that, with the agreement of Sen. Santiago,
allegedly the only other member of the minority, he was
assuming position of minority leader. He explained that those

The term majority has been judicially defined a number of


times. When referring to a certain number out of a total or
aggregate, it simply means the number greater than half or
more than half of any total. The plain and unambiguous words
of the subject constitutional clause simply mean that the Senate
President must obtain the votes of more than one half of all the
senators. Not by any construal does it thereby delineate who
comprise the majority, much less the minority, in the said

body. And there is no showing that the framers of our


Constitution had in mind other than the usual meanings of
these terms.

statutory provision prescribe which of the many minority


groups or the independents or a combination thereof has the
right to select the minority leader.

In effect, while the Constitution mandates that the President of


the Senate must be elected by a number constituting more than
one half of all the members thereof, it does not provide that the
members who will not vote for him shall ipso facto constitute
the minority, who could thereby elect the minority leader.
Verily, no law or regulation states that the defeated candidate
shall automatically become the minority leader.

Constitution silent on the manner of selecting officers in


Congress other than Senate President and House Speaker

xxx
Majority may also refer to the group, party, or faction with the
larger number of votes, not necessarily more than one half.
This is sometimes referred to as plurality. In contrast, minority
is a group, party, or faction with a smaller number of votes or
adherents than the majority. Between two unequal parts or
numbers comprising a whole or totality, the greater number
would obviously be the majority, while the lesser would be the
minority. But where there are more than two unequal
groupings, it is not as easy to say which is the minority entitled
to select the leader representing all the minorities. In a
government with a multi-party system such as in the
Philippines (as pointed out by petitioners themselves), there
could be several minority parties, one of which has to be
identified by the Comelec as the dominant minority party for
purposes of the general elections. In the prevailing composition
of the present Senate, members either belong to different
political parties or are independent. No constitutional or

While the Constitution is explicit on the manner of electing a


Senate President and a House Speaker, it is, however, dead
silent on the manner of selecting the other officers in both
chambers of Congress. All that the Charter says is that [e]ach
House shall choose such other officers as it may deem
necessary. To our mind, the method of choosing who will be
such other officers is merely a derivative of the exercise of the
prerogative conferred by the aforequoted constitutional
provision. Therefore, such method must be prescribed by the
Senate itself, not by this Court.
In this regard, the Constitution vests in each house of Congress
the power to determine the rules of its proceedings. xxx
Separation of powers: Courts may not intervene in the internal
affairs of legislature
Notably, the Rules of the Senate do not provide for the
positions of majority and minority leaders. Neither is there an
open clause providing specifically for such offices and
prescribing the manner of creating them or of choosing the
holders thereof. At any rate, such offices, by tradition and long
practice, are actually extant. But, in the absence of
constitutional or statutory guidelines or specific rules, this

Court is devoid of any basis upon which to determine the


legality of the acts of the Senate relative thereto. On grounds of
respect for the basic concept of separation of powers, courts
may not intervene in the internal affairs of the legislature; it is
not within the province of courts to direct Congress how to do
its work. Paraphrasing the words of Justice Florentino P.
Feliciano, this Court is of the opinion that where no specific,
operable norms and standards are shown to exist, then the
legislature must be given a real and effective opportunity to
fashion and promulgate as well as to implement them, before
the courts may intervene.
Legislative rules, unlike statutory laws, are matters of
procedure and are subject to revocation, modification and
waiver by the body adopting them
Needless to state, legislative rules, unlike statutory laws, do not
have the imprints of permanence and obligatoriness during
their effectivity. In fact, they are subject to revocation,
modification or waiver at the pleasure of the body adopting
them. Being merely matters of procedure, their observance are
of no concern to the courts, for said rules may be waived or
disregarded by the legislative body at will, upon the
concurrence of a majority.
In view of the foregoing, Congress verily has the power and
prerogative to provide for such officers as it may deem. And it
is certainly within its own jurisdiction and discretion to
prescribe the parameters for the exercise of this prerogative.
This Court has no authority to interfere and unilaterally intrude
into that exclusive realm, without running afoul of

constitutional principles that it is bound to protect and uphold


-- the very duty that justifies the Courts being. Constitutional
respect and a becoming regard for the sovereign acts of a
coequal branch prevents this Court from prying into the
internal workings of the Senate. To repeat, this Court will be
neither a tyrant nor a wimp; rather, it will remain steadfast and
judicious in upholding the rule and majesty of the law.
To accede, then, to the interpretation of petitioners would
practically amount to judicial legislation, a clear breach of the
constitutional doctrine of separation of powers. If for this
argument alone, the petition would easily fail.
Jose Avelino vs Mariano Cuenco
83 Phil. 17 Political Law The Legislative Department
Election of Members/Quorum/Adjournment/Minutes
On February 18, 1949, Senator Lorenzo Taada invoked his
right to speak on the senate floor to formulate charges against
the then Senate President Jose Avelino. He requested to do so
on the next session (Feb. 21, 1949). On the next session day
however, Avelino delayed the opening of the session for about
two hours. Upon insistent demand by Taada, Mariano Cuenco,
Prospero Sanidad and other Senators, Avelino was forced to
open session. He however, together with his allies initiated all
dilatory and delaying tactics to forestall Taada from delivering
his piece. Motions being raised by Taada et al were being

blocked by Avelino and his allies and they even ruled


Taada and Sanidad, among others, as being out of order.
Avelinos camp then moved to adjourn the session due to the
disorder. Sanidad however countered and they requested the
said adjournment to be placed in voting. Avelino just banged
his gavel and he hurriedly left his chair and he was
immediately followed by his followers. Senator Tomas Cabili
then stood up, and asked that it be made of record it was so
made that the deliberate abandonment of the Chair by the
Avelino, made it incumbent upon Senate President Pro-tempore
Melencio Arranz and the remaining members of the Senate to
continue the session in order not to paralyze the functions of
the Senate. Taada was subsequently recognized to deliver his
speech. Later, Arranz yielded to Sanidads Resolution (No. 68)
that Cuenco be elected as the Senate President. This was
unanimously approved and was even recognized by the
President of the Philippines the following day. Cuenco took
his oath of office thereafter. Avelino then filed aquo
warranto proceeding before the SC to declare him as the
rightful Senate President.
ISSUE: Whether or not the SC can take cognizance of the
case.
HELD: No. By a vote of 6 to 4, the SC held that they cannot
take cognizance of the case. This is in view of the separation of
powers, the political nature of the controversy and the

constitutional grant to the Senate of the power to elect its own


president, which power should not be interfered with, nor taken
over, by the judiciary. The SC should abstain in this case
because the selection of the presiding officer affects only the
Senators themselves who are at liberty at any time to choose
their officers, change or reinstate them. Anyway, if, as the
petition must imply to be acceptable, the majority of the
Senators want petitioner to preside, his remedy lies in the
Senate Session Hall not in the Supreme Court.
Supposed the SC can take cognizance of the case, what will
be the resolution?
There is unanimity in the view that the session under Senator
Arranz was a continuation of the morning session and that a
minority of ten senators (Avelino et al) may not, by leaving the
Hall, prevent the other (Cuenco et al) twelve senators from
passing a resolution that met with their unanimous
endorsement. The answer might be different had the resolution
been approved only by ten or less.
**Two senators were not present that time. Sen. Soto was in a
hospital while Sen. Confesor was in the USA.
Is the rump session (presided by Cuenco) a continuation of
the morning session (presided by Avelino)? Are there two
sessions in one day? Was there a quorum constituting such
session?

The second session is a continuation of the morning session as


evidenced by the minutes entered into the journal. There were
23 senators considered to be in session that time (including
Soto, excluding Confesor). Hence, twelve senators constitute a
majority of the Senate of twenty three senators. When the
Constitution declares that a majority of each House shall
constitute a quorum, the House does not mean all the
members. Even a majority of all the members constitute the
House. There is a difference between a majority of all the
members of the House and a majority of the House, the
latter requiring less number than the first. Therefore an
absolute majority (12) of all the members of the Senate less
one (23), constitutes constitutional majority of the Senate for
the purpose of a quorum. Furthermore, even if the twelve did
not constitute a quorum, they could have ordered the arrest of
one, at least, of the absent members; if one had been so
arrested, there would be no doubt Quorum then, and Senator
Cuenco would have been elected just the same inasmuch as
there would be eleven for Cuenco, one against and one
abstained.
MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION (filed by Avelino on
March 14, 1949)
Avelino and his group (11 senators in all) insist that the SC take
cognizance of the case and that they are willing to bind
themselves to the decision of the SC whether it be right or

wrong. Avelino contends that there is no constitutional quorum


when Cuenco was elected president. There are 24 senators in
all. Two are absentee senators; one being confined and the
other abroad but this does not change the number of senators
nor does it change the majority which if mathematically
construed is + 1; in this case 12 (half of 24) plus 1 or 13
NOT 12. There being only 12 senators when Cuenco was
elected unanimously there was no quorum.
The Supreme Court, by a vote of seven resolved to assume
jurisdiction over the case in the light of subsequent events
which justify its intervention. The Chief Justice agrees with the
result of the majoritys pronouncement on the quorum upon the
ground that, under the peculiar circumstances of the case, the
constitutional requirement in that regard has become a mere
formalism, it appearing from the evidence that any new session
with a quorum would result in Cuencos election as Senate
President, and that the Cuenco group, taking cue from the
dissenting opinions, has been trying to satisfy such formalism
by issuing compulsory processes against senators of the
Avelino group, but to no avail, because of the Avelinos
persistent efforts to block all avenues to constitutional
processes. For this reason, the SC believes that the Cuenco
group has done enough to satisfy the requirements of the
Constitution and that the majoritys ruling is in conformity with
substantial justice and with the requirements of public interest.

Therefore Cuenco has been legally elected as Senate President


and the petition is dismissed.
Justice Feria: (Concurring)
Art. 3 (4) Title VI of the Constitution of 1935 provided that
the majority of all the members of the National Assembly
constitute a quorum to do business and the fact that said
provision was amended in the Constitution of 1939, so as to
read a majority of each House shall constitute a quorum to do
business, shows the intention of the framers of the
Constitution to base the majority, not on the number fixed
or provided for in the Constitution, but on actual members
or incumbents, and this must be limited to actual members
who are not incapacitated to discharge their duties by
reason of death, incapacity, or absence from the jurisdiction
of the house or for other causes which make attendance of
the member concerned impossible, even through coercive
process which each house is empowered to issue to compel
its members to attend the session in order to constitute a
quorum. That the amendment was intentional or made for
some purpose, and not a mere oversight, or for considering the
use of the words of all the members as unnecessary, is
evidenced by the fact that Sec. 5 (5) Title VI of the original
Constitution which required concurrence of two-thirds of the
members of the National Assembly to expel a member was
amended by Sec. 10 (3) Article VI of the present Constitution,

so as to require the concurrence of two-thirds of all the


members of each House. Therefore, as Senator Confesor was
in the United States and absent from the jurisdiction of the
Senate, the actual members of the Senate at its session of
February 21, 1949, were twenty-three (23) and therefore 12
constituted a majority.
Sergio Osmea, Jr. vs Salipada Pendatun
109 Phil. 863 Political Law The Legislative Department
Parliamentary Immunity
In June 1960, Congressman Sergio Osmea, Jr. delivered a
speech entitled A Message to Garcia. In the said speech, he
disparaged then President Carlos Garcia and his administration.
Subsequently, House Resolution No. 59 was passed by the
lower house in order to investigate the charges made by
Osmea during his speech and that if his allegations were
found to be baseless and malicious, he may be subjected to
disciplinary actions by the lower house.
Osmea then questioned the validity of the said resolution
before the Supreme Court. Osmea avers that the resolution
violates his parliamentary immunity for speeches delivered in
Congress. Congressman Salipada Pendatun filed an answer
where he averred that the Supreme Court has not jurisdiction

over the matter and Congress has the power to discipline its
members.
ISSUE: Whether or not Osmeas immunity has been violated?
HELD: No. Section 15, Article VI of the 1935 Constitution
enshrines parliamentary immunity upon members of the
legislature which is a fundamental privilege cherished in every
parliament in a democratic world. It guarantees the legislator
complete freedom of expression without fear of being made
responsible in criminal or civil actions before the courts or any
other forum outside the Hall of Congress. However, it does not
protect him from responsibility before the legislative body
whenever his words and conduct are considered disorderly or
unbecoming of a member therein. Therefore, Osmeas petition
is dismissed.
Ceferino Paredes, Jr. vs Sandiganbayan
252 SCRA 641 Political Law The Legislative Department
Suspension of a Member of Congress RA 3019
In January 1990, Teofilo Gelacio, the then vice mayor of San
Francisco, Agusan del Sur filed a case against Ceferino
Paredes, Jr. (who was then the governor of the same province),
Atty. Generoso Sansaet (counsel of Paredes), and Mansueto
Honrada (a clerk of court). The three allegedly conspired to
falsify a copy of a Notice of Arraignment and of the Transcript

of Stenographic Notes. Gelacio claimed that, in fact, no


arraignment notice had ever been issued against him in a
criminal proceeding against him. Gelacio was able to produce a
certification from the judge handling the case himself that the
criminal case against him never reached the arraignment stage
because the prosecution was dismissed. Atty. Sansaet on his
part maintained that there was indeed a Notice of Arraignment
but he later retracted his testimonies. Paredes claimed that
Sansaet only changed his side because of political realignment.
Subsequently, the Office of the Ombudsman recommended that
Paredes et al be charged with Falsification of Public
Documents. Paredes appealed but was eventually denied by the
Sandiganbayan.
ISSUE: Whether or not Paredes, now a member of Congress,
may be suspended by order of the Sandiganbayan.
HELD: Yes. The Supreme Court affirmed the order of
suspension of Congressman Paredes by the Sandiganbayan,
despite his protestations on the encroachment by the court on
the prerogatives of congress. The SC ruled:
x x x. Petitioners invocation of Section 16 (3), Article VI of
the Constitution which deals with the power of each House of
Congress inter alia to punish its Members for disorderly
behavior, and suspend or expel a Member by a vote of twothirds of all its Members subject to the qualification that the

penalty of suspension, when imposed, should not exceed sixty


days is unavailing, as it appears to be quite distinct from the
suspension spoken of in Section 13 of RA 3019, which is not a
penalty but a preliminary, preventive measure, prescinding
from the fact that the latter is not being imposed on petitioner
for misbehavior as a Member of the House of
Representatives.
United States vs Juan Pons
34 Phil. 729 Political Law Journal Conclusiveness of the
Journals
Juan Pons and Gabino Beliso were trading partners. On April
5, 1914, the steamer Lopez y Lopez arrived in Manila from
Spain and it contained 25 barrels of wine. The said barrels of
wine were delivered to Beliso. Beliso subsequently delivered 5
barrels to Pons house. On the other hand, the customs
authorities noticed that the said 25 barrels listed as wine on
record were not delivered to any listed merchant (Beliso not
being one). And so the customs officers conducted an
investigation thereby discovering that the 25 barrels of wine
actually contained tins of opium. Since the act of trading and
dealing opium is against Act No. 2381, Pons and Beliso were
charged for illegally and fraudulently importing and
introducing such contraband material to the Philippines. Pons
appealed the sentence arguing that Act 2381 was approved

while the Philippine Commission (Congress) was not in


session. He said that his witnesses claim that the said law was
passed/approved on 01 March 1914 while the special session of
the Commission was adjourned at 12MN on February 28,
1914. Since this is the case, Act 2381 should be null and void.
ISSUE: Whether or not the SC must go beyond the recitals of
the Journals to determine if Act 2381 was indeed made a law
on February 28, 1914.
HELD: The SC looked into the Journals to ascertain the date
of adjournment but the SC refused to go beyond the recitals in
the legislative Journals. The said Journals are conclusive on the
Court and to inquire into the veracity of the journals of the
Philippine Legislature, when they are, as the SC have said,
clear and explicit, would be to violate both the letter and the
spirit of the organic laws by which the Philippine Government
was brought into existence, to invade a coordinate and
independent department of the Government, and to interfere
with the legitimate powers and functions of the Legislature.
Pons witnesses cannot be given due weight against the
conclusiveness of the Journals which is an act of the
legislature. The journals say that the Legislature adjourned at
12 midnight on February 28, 1914. This settles the question,
and the court did not err in declining to go beyond these
journals. The SC passed upon the conclusiveness of the
enrolled bill in this particular case.

Philippine Judges Association vs Pete Prado

227 SCRA 703 Political Law Constitutional Law Bill of


Rights Equal Protection Franking Privilege of the
Judiciary
Section 35 of Republic Act No. 7354 authorized the Philippine
Postal Corporation (PPC) to withdraw franking privileges from
certain government agencies. Franking privilege is a privilege
granted to certain agencies to make use of the Philippine postal
service free of charge.
In 1992, a study came about where it was determined that the
bulk of the expenditure of the postal service comes from the
judiciarys use of the postal service (issuance of court
processes). Hence, the postal service recommended that the
franking privilege be withdrawn from the judiciary. AS a result,
the PPC issued a circular withdrawing the said franking
privilege.
The Philippine Judges Association (PJA) assailed the circular
and questioned the validity of Section 35 of RA 7354. PJA
claimed that the said provision is violative of the equal
protection clause.

ISSUE: Whether or not the withdrawal of the franking


privilege from the judiciary is valid.
HELD: No. The Supreme Court ruled that there is a violation
of the equal protection clause. The judiciary needs the franking
privilege so badly as it is vital to its operation. Evident to that
need is the high expense allotted to the judiciarys franking
needs. The Postmaster cannot be sustained in contending that
the removal of the franking privilege from the judiciary is in
order to cut expenditure. This is untenable for if the Postmaster
would intend to cut expenditure by removing the franking
privilege of the judiciary, then they should have removed the
franking privilege all at once from all the other departments. If
the problem is the loss of revenues from the franking privilege,
the remedy is to withdraw it altogether from all agencies of the
government, including those who do not need it. The problem
is not solved by retaining it for some and withdrawing it from
others, especially where there is no substantial distinction
between those favored, which may or may not need it at all,
and the Judiciary, which definitely needs it. The problem is not
solved by violating the Constitution.
The equal protection clause does not require the universal
application of the laws on all persons or things without
distinction (it is true that the postmaster withdraw the franking
privileges from other agencies of the government but still, the

judiciary is different because its operation largely relies on the


mailing of court processes). This might in fact sometimes result
in unequal protection, as where, for example, a law prohibiting
mature books to all persons, regardless of age, would benefit
the morals of the youth but violate the liberty of adults. What
the clause requires is equality among equals as determined
according to a valid classification. By classification is meant
the grouping of persons or things similar to each other in
certain particulars and different from all others in these same
particulars.

of the rules of the House which petitioners claim are

In lumping the Judiciary with the other offices from which the
franking privilege has been withdrawn, Sec 35 has placed the
courts of justice in a category to which it does not belong. If it
recognizes the need of the President of the Philippines and the
members of Congress for the franking privilege, there is no
reason why it should not recognize a similar and in fact greater
need on the part of the Judiciary for such privilege.

interpellations, Rep. Arroyo made an interruption and moved to

Arroyo vs. De Venecia G.R. No. 127255, August 14, 1997

Chair declared: There being none, approved. At the same

constitutionally-mandated so that their violation is tantamount


to a violation of the Constitution.
The law originated in the House of Representatives. The Senate
approved it with certain amendments. A bicameral conference
committee was formed to reconcile the disagreeing provisions
of the House and Senate versions of the bill. The bicameral
committee submitted its report to the House. During the
adjourn for lack of quorum. But after a roll call, the Chair
declared the presence of a quorum. The interpellation then
proceeded. After Rep. Arroyos interpellation of the sponsor of
the committee report, Majority Leader Albano moved for the
approval and ratification of the conference committee report.
The Chair called out for objections to the motion. Then the
time the Chair was saying this, Rep. Arroyo was asking, What

Facts: A petition was filed challenging the validity of RA

is thatMr. Speaker? The Chair and Rep. Arroyo were

8240, which amends certain provisions of the

talking simultaneously. Thus, although Rep. Arroyo

National Internal Revenue Code. Petitioners, who are members

subsequently objected to the Majority Leaders motion, the

of the House of Representatives, charged that there is violation

approval of the conference committee report had by then

already been declared by the Chair.

measure. But this is subject to qualification. Where the


construction to be given to a rule affects person other than

On the same day, the bill was signed by the Speaker of

members of the legislative body, the question presented is

the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate

necessarily judicial in character. Even its validity is open to

and certified by the respective secretaries of both Houses of

question in a case where private rights are involved.

Congress. The enrolled bill was signed into law by President


Ramos.

In the case, no rights of private individuals are involved but


only those of a member who, instead of seeking redress in the
House, chose to transfer the dispute to the Court.

Issue: Whether or not RA 8240 is null and void because it was


passed in violation of the rules of the House

The matter complained of concerns a matter


of internal procedure of the House with which the Court should
not be concerned. The claim is not that there was no quorum

Held:

but only that Rep. Arroyo was effectively prevented from

Rules of each House of Congress are hardly permanent in

questioning the presence of a quorum. Rep.

character. They are subject to revocation, modification or

Arroyos earlier motion to adjourn for lack of quorum had

waiver at the pleasure of the body adopting them as they are

already been defeated, as the roll call established the existence

primarily procedural. Courts ordinarily have no concern with

of a quorum. The question of quorum cannot be raised

their observance. They may be waived or disregarded by the

repeatedly especially when the quorum is obviously present for

legislative body. Consequently, mere failure to conform to

the purpose of delaying the business of the House.

them does not have the effect of nullifying the act taken if the
requisite number of members has agreed to a particular

Section 17
Robles
v.
HRET
FACTS
Santos
were
Caloocan
City
Robles
was
1sPetitioner
elected
to
ttmotion
contest
w/
HRET
appreciation
of
Urgent
Recall/Disregard
Motion
his
Previous
Motion.
not
acted
by
2nto
dMotion
st
granted.
Robles
claimed
that
jurisdiction.
divested
HRET
of
ISSUE
grave
abuse
RULING
matter
remaining
respondent
tribunal,
case.
Itinstance
is
an
at
the
terminated.
Certainly,
theHRET,
the
withdrawal
otherwise
would
acquired.
Petition
is
Robles
dismissed.
v.
HRET
FACTS
Santos
were
Caloocan
City
Petitioner
Robles
was
1sMotion
elected
to upon
contest
w/
HRET
appreciation
ofof
Urgent
Recall/Disregard
Motion
his
Previous
Motion.
Motion
not
acted
upon
by
HRET,
2nto
dMotion
st
granted.
Robles
claimed
that11 the
the 11
jurisdiction.
motion
divested
HRET
of
ISSUE
grave
abuse
of
RULING
matter

the
remaining
respondent
tribunal,
case.
It
is
an
at
the
terminated.
Certainly,
the
withdrawal
otherwise
would
acquired.
is
dismissed.
Petition
FACTS
v.
HRET
Santos
were
Caloocan
City
Petitioner
Robles
was
elected
to upon
1sRobles
tmotion
contest
w/
HRET
appreciation
ofof
Urgent
Motion
Recall/Disregard
his
Previous
Motion.
2nto
Motion
acted
by
dMotion
granted.
Robles
claimed
that1 the 1
st
divested
HRET
of
ISSUE
jurisdiction.
grave
abuse
matter
RULING
the
remaining
respondent
tribunal,
case.
Itinstance
isnot
an
at
the
instance
terminated.
Certainly,
theHRET,
withdrawal
otherwise
would
acquired.
is
dismissed.
Petition
Jose Angara vs The Electoral Commission, Pedro Ynsua,
Miguel Castillo, and Dionisio Mayor
63 Phil. 139 Political Law Judicial Review Electoral
Commission
In the elections of Sept 17, 1935, Angara, and the respondents,
Pedro Ynsua et al. were candidates voted for the position of
member of the National Assembly for the first district of the
Province of Tayabas. On Oct 7, 1935, Angara was proclaimed
as member-elect of the NA for the said district. On November
15, 1935, he took his oath of office. On Dec 3, 1935, the NA in
session assembled, passed Resolution No. 8 confirming the
election of the members of the National Assembly against
whom no protest had thus far been filed. On Dec 8, 1935,
Ynsua, filed before the Electoral Commission a Motion of
Protest against the election of Angara. On Dec 9, 1935, the EC
adopted a resolution, par. 6 of which fixed said date as the last
day for the filing of protests against the election, returns and
qualifications of members of the NA, notwithstanding the
previous confirmation made by the NA. Angara filed a Motion
to Dismiss arguing that by virtue of the NA proclamation,
Ynsua can no longer protest. Ynsua argued back by claiming
that EC proclamation governs and that the EC can take
cognizance of the election protest and that the EC cannot be
subject to a writ of prohibition from the SC.

ISSUES: Whether or not the SC has jurisdiction over such


matter.
Whether or not EC acted without or in excess of jurisdiction in
taking cognizance of the election protest.
HELD: The SC ruled in favor of Angara. The SC emphasized
that in cases of conflict between the several departments and
among the agencies thereof, the judiciary, with the SC as the
final arbiter, is the only constitutional mechanism devised
finally to resolve the conflict and allocate constitutional
boundaries.
That judicial supremacy is but the power of judicial review in
actual and appropriate cases and controversies, and is the
power and duty to see that no one branch or agency of the
government transcends the Constitution, which is the source of
all authority.
That the Electoral Commission is an independent constitutional
creation with specific powers and functions to execute and
perform, closer for purposes of classification to the legislative
than to any of the other two departments of the government.
That the Electoral Commission is the sole judge of all contests
relating to the election, returns and qualifications of members
of the National Assembly.
63 Phil. 139 Political Law Separation of Powers

In the elections of Sept 17, 1935, Angara, and the respondents,


Pedro Ynsua et al. were candidates voted for the position of
member of the National Assembly for the first district of the
Province of Tayabas. On Oct 7, 1935, Angara was proclaimed
as member-elect of the NA for the said district. On November
15, 1935, he took his oath of office. On Dec 3, 1935, the NA in
session assembled, passed Resolution No. 8 confirming the
election of the members of the National Assembly against
whom no protest had thus far been filed. On Dec 8, 1935,
Ynsua, filed before the Electoral Commission a Motion of
Protest against the election of Angara. On Dec 9, 1935, the EC
adopted a resolution, par. 6 of which fixed said date as the last
day for the filing of protests against the election, returns and
qualifications of members of the NA, notwithstanding the
previous confirmation made by the NA. Angara filed a Motion
to Dismiss arguing that by virtue of the NA proclamation,
Ynsua can no longer protest. Ynsua argued back by claiming
that EC proclamation governs and that the EC can take
cognizance of the election protest and that the EC can not be
subject to a writ of prohibition from the SC.
ISSUES: Whether or not the SC has jurisdiction over such
matter.
Whether or not EC acted without or in excess of jurisdiction in
taking cognizance of the election protest.

HELD: (a). The government established by the Constitution


follows the theory of separation of powers of the legislative,
the executive and the judicial.
(b)
The system of checks and balances and the
overlapping of functions and duties often makes difficult the
delimitation of the powers granted.
(c)
That in cases of conflict between the several
departments and among the agencies thereof, the judiciary,
with the Supreme Court as the final arbiter, is the only
constitutional mechanism devised finally to resolve the conflict
and allocate constitutional boundaries.
(d)
That judicial supremacy is but the power of judicial
review in actual and appropriate cases and controversies, and is
the power and duty to see that no one branch or agency of the
government transcends the Constitution, which is the source of
all authority.
(e)
That the Electoral Commission is an independent
constitutional creation with specific powers and functions to
execute and perform, closer for purposes of classification to the
legislative than to any of the other two departments of the
government.
(f)
That the Electoral Commission is the sole judge of
all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of
members of the National Assembly.

(g)
That under the organic law prevailing before the
(1935) Constitution went into effect, each house of the
legislature was respectively the sole judge of the elections,
returns, and qualifications of their elective members.
(h)
That the (1935) Constitution has transferred all the
powers previously exercised by the legislature with respect to
contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of its
members, to the Electoral Commission.
(i)
That such transfer of power from the legislature to
the Electoral Commission was full, clear and complete, and
carried with it ex necesitate rei the implied power inter alia to
prescribe the rules and regulations as to the time and manner of
filing protests.
(j)
That the avowed purpose in creating the Electoral
Commission was to have an independent constitutional organ
pass upon all contests relating to the election, returns and
qualifications of members of the National Assembly, devoid of
partisan influence or consideration, which object would be
frustrated if the National Assembly were to retain the power to
prescribe rules and regulations regarding the manner of
conducting said contests.
(k)
That section 4 of article VI of the (1935) Constitution
repealed not only section 18 of the Jones Law making each
house of the Philippine Legislature respectively the sole judge

of the elections, returns and qualifications of its elective


members, but also section 478 of Act No. 3387 empowering
each house to prescribe by resolution the time and manner of
filing contests against the election of its members, the time and
manner of notifying the adverse party, and bond or bonds, to be
required, if any, and to fix the costs and expenses of contest.
(l)
That confirmation by the National Assembly of the
election of any member, irrespective of whether his election is
contested or not, is not essential before such member-elect may
discharge the duties and enjoy the privileges of a member of
the National Assembly.
(m)
That confirmation by the National Assembly of the
election of any member against whom no protest had been filed
prior to said confirmation, does not and cannot deprive the
Electoral Commission of its incidental power to prescribe the
time within which protest against the election of any member
of the National Assembly should be filed.
Carmelo Lazatin vs Commission on Elections (NOT SURE)
157 SCRA 337 Political law The Legislative Department
Electoral Tribunals HRETs Jurisdiction over Electoral
Protests
Carmelo Lazatin questioned the jurisdiction of the
(Commission on Elections) COMELEC to annul his

proclamation after he had taken his oath of office, assumed


office, and discharged the duties of Congressman of the 1st
District of Pampanga. Lazatin claims that the House of
Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) and not the
COMELEC is the sole judge of all election contests.
Francisco Buan, Jr., and Lorenzo Timbol (Lazatins
opposition), alleged that Lazatins petition had become moot
and academic because the assailed COMELEC Resolution had
already become final and executory when the SC issued a TRO
on October 6, 1987. In the COMMENT of the Sol-Gen, he
alleges that the petition should be given due course because the
proclamation was valid. The order issued by the COMELEC
directing the canvassing board to proclaim the winner if
warranted under Section 245 of the Omnibus Election Code,
was in effect a grant of authority by the COMELEC to the
canvassing board, to proclaim the winner. A Separate Comment
was filed by the COMELEC, alleging that the proclamation of
Lazatin was illegal and void because the board simply
corrected the returns contested by Lazatin without waiting for
the final resolutions of the petitions of candidates Timbol,
Buan, Jr., and Lazatin himself, against certain election returns.
ISSUE: Whether or not the issue should be placed under the
HRETs jurisdiction.

HELD: Yes. The SC in a Resolution dated November 17, 1987


resolved to give due course to the petition. The petition is
impressed with merit because Lazatin has been proclaimed
winner of the Congressional elections in the first district of
Pampanga, has taken his oath of office as such, and assumed
his duties as Congressman. The alleged invalidity of the
proclamation (which had been previously ordered by the
COMELEC itself) despite alleged irregularities in connection
therewith, and despite the pendency of the protests of the rival
candidates, is a matter that is also addressed, considering the
premises, to the sound judgment of the Electoral Tribunal.

Firdausi Abbas et al vs The Senate Electoral Tribunal


166 SCRA 651 Political Law The Legislative Department
Electoral Tribunals Inhibition in the Senate Electoral
Tribunal
In October 1987, Firdausi Abbas et al filed before the SET an
election contest against 22 candidates of the LABAN coalition
who were proclaimed senators-elect in the May
11 (1987) congressional elections by the COMELEC. The SET
was at the time composed of three (3) Justices of the Supreme
Court and six (6) Senators. Abbas later on filed for the
disqualification of the 6 senator members from partaking in the

said election protest on the ground that all of them are


interested parties to said case. Abbas argue that considerations
of public policy and the norms of fair play and due process
imperatively require the mass disqualification sought. To
accommodate the proposed disqualification, Abbas suggested
the following amendment: Tribunals Rules (Section 24) requiring the concurrence of five (5) members for the adoption
of resolutions of whatever nature - is a proviso that where
more than four (4) members are disqualified, the remaining
members shall constitute a quorum, if not less than three (3)
including one (1) Justice, and may adopt resolutions by
majority vote with no abstentions. Obviously tailored to fit the
situation created by the petition for disqualification, this would,
in the context of that situation, leave the resolution of the
contest to the only three Members who would remain, all
Justices of this Court, whose disqualification is not sought.
ISSUE: Whether or not Abbas proposal could be given due
weight.
HELD: The most fundamental objection to such proposal lies
in the plain terms and intent of the Constitution itself which, in
its Article VI, Section 17, creates the Senate Electoral Tribunal,
ordains its composition and defines its jurisdiction and powers.
Sec. 17. The Senate and the House of Representatives shall
each have an Electoral Tribunal which shall be the sole judge

of all contests relating to the election, returns, and


qualifications of their respective Members. Each Electoral
Tribunal shall be composed of nine Members, three of whom
shall be Justices of the Supreme Court to be designated by the
Chief Justice, and the remaining six shall be Members of the
Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case may be,
who shall be chosen on the basis of proportional
representation from the political parties and the parties or
organizations registered under the party-list system
represented therein. The senior Justice in the Electoral
Tribunal shall be its Chairman.

It is quite clear that in providing for a SET to be staffed by both


Justices of the SC and Members of the Senate, the Constitution
intended that both those judicial and legislative
components commonly share the duty and authority of
deciding all contests relating to the election, returns and
qualifications of Senators. The legislative component herein
cannot be totally excluded from participation in the resolution
of senatorial election contests, without doing violence to the
spirit and intent of the Constitution. It is not to be
misunderstood in saying that no Senator-Member of the SET
may inhibit or disqualify himself from sitting in judgment on
any case before said Tribunal. Every Member of the Tribunal
may, as his conscience dictates, refrain from participating in

the resolution of a case where he sincerely feels that his


personal interests or biases would stand in the way of an
objective and impartial judgment. What SC is saying is that in
the light of the Constitution, the SET cannot legally function as
such; absent its entire membership of Senators and that no
amendment of its Rules can confer on the three JusticesMembers alone the power of valid adjudication of a senatorial
election contest.

Emigdio Bondoc vs Marciano Pineda


201 SCRA 792 Political Law HRET Removal of a
Member
Separation of Powers
Emigdio Bondoc and Marciano Pineda were rivals for a
Congressional seat in the 4th District of Pampanga. Pineda was
a member of the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP).
While Bondoc was a member of the Nacionalista Party (NP).
Pineda won in that election. However, Bondoc contested the
result in the HRET (House of Representatives Electoral
Tribunal). Bondoc won in the protest and he was subsequently
declared as the winner by the HRET.
Meanwhile, one member of the HRET, Congressman Juanito
Camasura, Jr. who was a member of LDP confessed to Rep.

Jose Cojuangco (LDPs leader) that he voted for Bondoc even


though Bondoc was a member of the NP. He confessed that he
believed in his conscience that Bondoc truly won the election.
This resulted to Camasuras expulsion from the LDP. Pineda
then moved that they withdraw Camasura from the HRET.
They further prayed that a new election be held and that the
new LDP representative be appointed in the HRET. This new
representative will be voting for Pineda in the reopening of the
election contest. Camasura was then removed by HRETs
chairwoman Justice Ameurfina Herrera. Naturally, Bondoc
questioned such action before the Supreme Court (SC).
Pineda contends that the issue is already outside the
jurisdiction of the Supreme Court because Camasuras removal
is an official act of Congress and by virtue of the doctrine of
separation of powers, the judiciary may not interfere.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Supreme Court may inquire upon
the validity of the said act of the HRET without violating the
doctrine of separation of powers.
HELD: Yes. The SC can settle the controversy in the case at
bar without encroaching upon the function of the legislature
particularly a part thereof, HRET. The issue here is a judicial
question. It must be noted that what is being complained of is
the act of HRET not the act of Congress. In here, when
Camasura was rescinded by the tribunal, a decision has already

been made, members of the tribunal have already voted


regarding the electoral contest involving Pineda and Bondoc
wherein Bondoc won. The LDP cannot withdraw their
representative from the HRET after the tribunal has already
reached a decision. They cannot hold the same election since
the issue has already become moot and academic. LDP is
merely changing their representative to change the outcome of
the election. Camasura should be reinstated because his
removal was not due to a lawful or valid cause. Disloyalty to
party is not a valid cause for termination of membership in the
HRET. Expulsion of Camasura violates his right to security of
tenure.
**HRET is composed of 9 members. 3 members coming from
the SC. 5 coming from the majority party (LDP). And 1
coming from the minority.
Section 17, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution provides:
Sec. 17. The Senate and the House of Representatives shall
each have an Electoral Tribunal which shall be the sole judge
of all contests relating to the election, returns and
qualifications of their respective members. Each Electoral
Tribunal shall be composed of nine Members, three of whom
shall be Justices of the Supreme Court to be designated by the
Chief Justice, and the remaining six shall be members of the
Senate or House of Representatives, as the case may be, who

shall be chosen on the basis of proportional representation


from the political parties and the parties or organizations
registered under the party list system represented therein. The
senior Justice in the Electoral Tribunal shall be its Chairman.
Chavez vs Comelec Case Digest
FRANCISCO I. CHAVEZ vs. COMMISSION ON
ELECTIONS
211 SCRA 315
Facts: On May 5, 1992, this Court issued a Resolution in GR
No. 104704, disqualifying Melchor Chavez, private respondent
therein, from running for the Office of Senator in the May 11,
1992 elections. Petitioner filed an urgent motion with the
Comelec praying that it (1) disseminate through the fastest
available means this Courts Resolution dated May 5, 1992 to
all regional election directors, provincial election supervisors,
city and municipal election registrars, boards of election
inspectors, the six (6) accredited political parties and the
general public; and (2) order said election officials to delete the
name of Melchor Chavez as printed in the certified list of
candidates tally sheets, election returns and to count all votes
cast for the disqualified Melchor, Chavez in favor of Francisco
I. Chavez. On May 8, 1992, the Comelec issued Res. No. 921322 which resolved to delete the name of Melchor Chavez
from the list of qualified candidates. However, it failed to order
the crediting of all Chavez votes in favor of petitioner as well
as the cancellation of Melchor Chavez name in the list of
qualified candidates.

Issue: Whether or not the law allows pre-proclamation


controversy involving the election of the members of the
Senate.
Held: A simple reading of the petition would readily show that
petitioner has no cause of action, the controversy presented
being one in the nature of a pre-proclamation.
While the Commission has exclusive jurisdiction over preproclamation controversies involving local elective officials
(Sec. 242, Omnibus Election Code), nevertheless, preproclamation cases are not allowed in elections for President,
Vice-President, Senator and Member of the House of
Representatives. Sec. 15 of Republic Act 7166 provides: For
purposes of the elections for President, Vice-President, Senator
and Member of the House of Representatives, no preproclamation cases shall be allowed on matters relating to the
preparation, transmission, receipt, custody and appreciation of
the election returns or the certificate of canvass, as the case
may be. However, this does not preclude the authority of the
appropriate canvassing body motu propio or upon written
complaint of an interested person to correct manifest errors in
the certificate of canvass or election returns before it.
Section 18
Raul Daza vs Luis Singson
Tribunal and its Composition

The Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) was reorganized


resulting to a political realignment in the lower house. LDP
also changed its representation in the Commission on
Appointments. They withdrew the seat occupied by Daza (LDP
member) and gave it to the new LDP member. Thereafter the
chamber elected a new set of representatives in the CoA which
consisted of the original members except Daza who was
replaced by Singson. Daza questioned such replacement.
ISSUE: Whether or not a change resulting from a political
realignment validly changes the composition of the
Commission on Appointments.
HELD: As provided in the constitution, there should be a
Commission on Appointments consisting of twelve Senators
and twelve members of the House of Representatives elected
by each House respectively on the basis of proportional
representation of the political parties therein, this necessarily
connotes the authority of each house of Congress to see to it
that the requirement is duly complied with. Therefore, it may
take appropriate measures, not only upon the initial
organization of the Commission but also subsequently thereto
NOT the court.
COSETENG V MITRA

13MAR
G.R. No. 86649 | July 12, 1990 | J.
Facts:
Petitioner Anna Coseteng, the lone candidate elected to the
House of Representatives under KAIBA, wrote to Speaker
Ramon Mitra to appoint her as a member of the Commission
on Appointments (CA) and House Tribunal a request backed
by nine congressmen.
Previously, the House elected from the Coalesced Majority
parties 11 out 12 congressmen to the CA and later on, added
Roque Ablan, Jr. as the twelfth member, representing the
Coalesced Minority. Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP)
was also organized as a party, prompting the revision of the
House majority membership in CA due to political
realignments and the replacement of Rep. Daza (LP) with Rep.
Singson (LDP).
Congresswoman Anna Coseteng and her party KAIBA filed a
Petition for Extraordinary Legal Writs (considered as petition
for quo warranto and injunction) praying that the Court declare
the election of respondent Ablan, Singson and the rest of the
CA members null and void on the theory that their election
violated the constitutional mandate of proportional
representation because the New Majority (LDP) is entitled to

only 9 seats and members must be nominated and elected by


their parties. She further alleged that she is qualified to sit in
the CA because of the support of 9 other congressmen from the
Minority.
The respondent contends that the issue of CA reorganization
was a political question, hence outside the jurisdiction of the
Court, was in consonance with the proportional
representation clause in Art VI of the Constitution and that
petitioner was bound by the Majority decision since KAIBA
was part of the Coalesced Majority.
Issue:
W/N the members of the CA were chosen on basis of
proportional representation.
Held:
Yes. Petition was dismissed for lack of merit, not because
issue raised was a political question but because revision in
House representation in CA wasbased on proportional
representation.
The composition of the House membership shows that there
are 160 LDP members in the House, comprising 79% of the
House membership. This granted them a rounded-up 10 seats
in the CA and left the remaining two to LP and KBL as the next

largest parties. KAIBA, being a member of the Coalesced


Majority, is bound by the majority choices. Even if KAIBA
were an opposition party, its lone member Coseteng represents
less than 1% of the House membership and, hence, does not
entitle her a seat in the 12 House seats in CA.
Her endorsements from 9 other congressmen are
inconsequential because they are not members of her party and
they signed identical endorsements for her rival, Cong. VeranoYap.
There is no merit in petitioners contention that CA members
should have been nominated and elected by their parties
because of members were nominated by their floor leaders and
elected by the House.
Jurisdiction issue over political question was also settled
in Daza vs Singson in that the Constitution conferred the Court
with expanded jurisdiction to determine whether grave abuse of
discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction has been
committed by the other government branches.

v.
HRET
FACTS
Santos
were
Caloocan
City
Petitioner
Robles
was
1sRobles
elected
to upon
tmotion
contest
w/
HRET
appreciation
ofof
Urgent
Recall/Disregard
Motion
his
Previous
Motion.
Motion
acted
by
2nto
dMotion
st
granted.
Robles
claimed
that1 the 1
jurisdiction.
divested
HRET
of
ISSUE
grave
abuse
RULING
matter
remaining
respondent
tribunal,
case.
Itinstance
isnot
an
at
the
terminated.
Certainly,
theHRET,
the
withdrawal
otherwise
would
acquired.
Petition
is
dismissed.
Teofisto Guingona vs Neptali Gonzales
HRETs Composition Rounding Off

After the May 11, 1992 elections, the senate was composed of
15 LDP senators, 5 NPC senators, 3 LAKAS-NUCD senators,
and 1 LP-PDP-LABAN senator. To suffice the requirement that
each house must have 12 representatives in the CoA, the
parties agreed to use the traditional formula: (No. of Senators
of a political party) x 12 seats) Total No. of Senators elected.
The results of such a formula would produce 7.5 members for
LDP, 2.5 members for NPC, 1.5 members for LAKAS-NUCD,
and 0.5 member for LP-PDP-LABAN. Romulo, as the majority
floor leader, nominated 8 senators from their party because he
rounded off 7.5 to 8 and that Taada from LP-PDP-LABAN
should represent the same party to the CoA. This is also
pursuant to the proposition compromise by Sen Tolentino who
proposed that the elected members of the CoA should consist
of eight LDP, one LP-PDP-LABAN, two NPC and one
LAKAS-NUCD. Guingona, a member of LAKAS-NUCD,
opposed the said compromise. He alleged that the compromise
is against proportional representation.
ISSUE: Whether or not rounding off is allowed in determining
a partys representation in the CoA.
HELD: It is a fact accepted by all such parties that each of
them is entitled to a fractional membership on the basis of the
rule on proportional representation of each of the political
parties. A literal interpretation of Section 18 of Article VI of the
Constitution leads to no other manner of application. The

problem is what to do with the fraction of .5 or 1/2 to which


each of the parties is entitled. The LDP majority in the Senate
converted a fractional half membership into a whole
membership of one senator by adding one half or .5 to 7.5 to be
able to elect Romulo. In so doing one other partys fractional
membership was correspondingly reduced leaving the latters
representation in the Commission on Appointments to less than
their proportional representation in the Senate. This is clearly a
violation of Section 18 because it is no longer in compliance
with its mandate that membership in the Commission be based
on the proportional representation of the political parties. The
election of Senator Romulo gave more representation to the
LDP and reduced the representation of one political party
either the LAKAS NUCD or the NPC. A party should have at
least 1 seat for every 2 duly elected senators-members in the
CoA. Where there are more than 2 parties in Senate, a party
which has only one member senator cannot constitutionally
claim a seat. In order to resolve such, the parties may coalesce
with each other in order to come up with proportional
representation especially since one party may have affiliations
with the other party.
Section 21 22
Jose Bengzon, Jr. vs Senate Blue Ribbon Committee

203 SCRA 767 Political Law Constitutional Law The


Legislative Department Inquiry in Aid of Legislation When
not Allowed
It was alleged that Benjamin Kokoy Romualdez and his wife
together with the Marcoses unlawfully and unjustly enriched
themselves at the expense of the Filipino people. That they
obtained with the help of the Bengzon Law Office and Ricardo
Lopa Corys brother in law, among others, control over some
of the biggest business enterprises in the country including
MERALCO, PCI Bank, Shell Philippines and Benguet
Consolidated Mining Corporation.
Senator Juan Ponce Enrile subsequently delivered a privilege
speech alleging that Lopa took over various government owned
corporations which is in violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt
Practices Act. Contained in the speech is a motion to
investigate on the matter. The motion was referred to the
Committee on Accountability of Public Officers or the Blue
Ribbon Committee. After committee hearing, Lopa refused to
testify before the committee for it may unduly prejudice a
pending civil case against him. Bengzon likewise refused
invoking his right to due process. Lopa however sent a letter to
Enrile categorically denying his allegations and that his
allegations are baseless and malicious.

Enrile subsequently took advantage of the Senates privilege


hour upon which he insisted to have an inquiry regarding the
matter. The SBRC rejected Lopas and Bengzons plea.
Claiming that the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee is poised to
subpoena them and require their attendance and testimony in
proceedings before the Committee, in excess of its jurisdiction
and legislative purpose, in clear and blatant disregard of their
constitutional rights, and to their grave and irreparable damage,
prejudice and injury, and that there is no appeal nor any other
plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of
law, Bengzon et al filed a petition for prohibition with a prayer
for temporary restraining order and/or injunctive relief against
the SBRC.
ISSUE: Whether or not the inquiry sought by the SBRC be
granted.
HELD: No, the inquiry cannot be given due course. The
speech of Enrile contained no suggestion of contemplated
legislation; he merely called upon the Senate to look into a
possible violation of Sec. 5 of RA No. 3019, otherwise known
as The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. In other words,
the purpose of the inquiry to be conducted by the Blue Ribbon
Committee was to find out whether or not the relatives of Cory,
particularly Lopa, had violated the law in connection with the

alleged sale of the 36 or 39 corporations belonging to Kokoy to


the Lopa Group. There appears to be, therefore, no intended
legislation involved. Hence, the contemplated inquiry by the
SBRC is not really in aid of legislation because it is not
related to a purpose within the jurisdiction of Congress, since
the aim of the investigation is to find out whether or not the
relatives of the President or Mr. Ricardo Lopa had violated
Section 5 of RA No. 3019, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt
Practices Act, a matter that appears more within the province
of the courts rather than of the legislature. Besides, the Court
may take judicial notice that Mr. Ricardo Lopa died during the
pendency of this case.

Jean Arnault vs Nazareno


Inquiry in Aid of Legislation
This case arose from the legislative inquiry into the acquisition
by the Philippine Government of the Buenavista and
Tambobong estates sometime in 1949. Among the witnesses
called to be examined by the special committee created by a
Senate resolution was Jean L. Arnault, a lawyer who delivered
a partial of the purchase price to a representative of the vendor.
During the Senate investigation, Arnault refused to reveal the

identity of said representative, at the same time invoking his


constitutional right against self-incrimination. The Senate
adopted a resolution committing Arnault to the custody of the
Sergeant-at-Arms and imprisoned until he shall have purged
the contempt by revealing to the Senate . . . the name of the
person to whom he gave the P440,000, as well as answer other
pertinent questions in connection therewith. Arnault petitioned
for a writ of Habeas Corpus
ISSUE: Can the senate impose penalty against those who
refuse to answer its questions in a congressional hearing in aid
of legislation.
HELD: It is the inherent right of the Senate to impose penalty
in carrying out their duty to conduct inquiry in aid of
legislation. But it must be herein established that a witness who
refuses to answer a query by the Committee may be detained
during the term of the members imposing said penalty but the
detention should not be too long as to violate the witness right
to due process of law.
Senate of the Philippines vs Executive Secretary Ermita
95 SCRA 170 Political Law Constitutional Law
Legislative Branch Question Hour Constitutionality of E.O.
464

In 2005, scandals involving anomalous transactions about the


North Rail Project as well as the Garci tapes surfaced. This
prompted the Senate to conduct a public hearing to investigate
the said anomalies particularly the alleged overpricing in the
NRP. The investigating Senate committee issued invitations to
certain department heads and military officials to speak before
the committee as resource persons. Ermita submitted that he
and some of the department heads cannot attend the said
hearing due to pressing matters that need immediate attention.
AFP Chief of Staff Senga likewise sent a similar letter. Drilon,
the senate president, excepted the said requests for they were
sent belatedly and arrangements were already made and
scheduled. Subsequently, GMA issued EO 464 which took
effect immediately.
EO 464 basically prohibited Department heads, Senior officials
of executive departments who in the judgment of the
department heads are covered by the executive privilege;
Generals and flag officers of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines and such other officers who in the judgment of the
Chief of Staff are covered by the executive privilege;
Philippine National Police (PNP) officers with rank of chief
superintendent or higher and such other officers who in the
judgment of the Chief of the PNP are covered by the executive
privilege; Senior national security officials who in the
judgment of the National Security Adviser are covered by the

executive privilege; and Such other officers as may be


determined by the President, from appearing in such hearings
conducted by Congress without first securing the presidents
approval.
The department heads and the military officers who were
invited by the Senate committee then invoked EO 464 to
except themselves. Despite EO 464, the scheduled hearing
proceeded with only 2 military personnel attending. For
defying President Arroyos order barring military personnel
from testifying before legislative inquiries without her
approval, Brig. Gen. Gudani and Col. Balutan were relieved
from their military posts and were made to face court martial
proceedings. EO 464s constitutionality was assailed for it is
alleged that it infringes on the rights and duties of Congress to
conduct investigation in aid of legislation and conduct
oversight functions in the implementation of laws.
ISSUE: Whether or not EO 464 is constitutional.
HELD: The SC ruled that EO 464 is constitutional in part. To
determine the validity of the provisions of EO 464, the SC
sought to distinguish Section 21 from Section 22 of Art 6 of the
1987 Constitution. The Congress power of inquiry is expressly
recognized in Section 21 of Article VI of the Constitution.
Although there is no provision in the Constitution expressly

investing either House of Congress with power to make


investigations and exact testimony to the end that it may
exercise its legislative functions advisedly and effectively, such
power is so far incidental to the legislative function as to be
implied. In other words, the power of inquiry with process to
enforce it is an essential and appropriate auxiliary to the
legislative function. A legislative body cannot legislate wisely
or effectively in the absence of information respecting the
conditions which the legislation is intended to affect or change;
and where the legislative body does not itself possess the
requisite information which is not infrequently true
recourse must be had to others who do possess it.
Section 22 on the other hand provides for the Question Hour.
The Question Hour is closely related with the legislative
power, and it is precisely as a complement to or a supplement
of the Legislative Inquiry. The appearance of the members of
Cabinet would be very, very essential not only in the
application of check and balance but also, in effect, in aid of
legislation. Section 22 refers only to Question Hour, whereas,
Section 21 would refer specifically to inquiries in aid of
legislation, under which anybody for that matter, may be
summoned and if he refuses, he can be held in contempt of the
House. A distinction was thus made between inquiries in aid of
legislation and the question hour. While attendance was meant
to be discretionary in the question hour, it was compulsory in

inquiries in aid of legislation. Sections 21 and 22, therefore,


while closely related and complementary to each other, should
not be considered as pertaining to the same power of
Congress. One specifically relates to the power to conduct
inquiries in aid of legislation, the aim of which is to elicit
information that may be used for legislation, while the other
pertains to the power to conduct a question hour, the objective
of which is to obtain information in pursuit of Congress
oversight function. Ultimately, the power of Congress to
compel the appearance of executive officials under Section 21
and the lack of it under Section 22 find their basis in the
principle of separation of powers.
While the executive branch is a co-equal branch of the
legislature, it cannot frustrate the power of Congress to
legislate by refusing to comply with its demands for
information. When Congress exercises its power of inquiry,
the only way for department heads to exempt themselves
therefrom is by a valid claim of privilege. They are not exempt
by the mere fact that they are department heads. Only one
executive official may be exempted from this power the
President on whom executive power is vested, hence, beyond
the reach of Congress except through the power of
impeachment. It is based on her being the highest official of
the executive branch, and the due respect accorded to a coequal branch of government which is sanctioned by a long-

standing custom. The requirement then to secure presidential


consent under Section 1, limited as it is only to appearances in
the question hour, is valid on its face. For under Section 22,
Article VI of the Constitution, the appearance of department
heads in the question hour is discretionary on their part.
Section 1 cannot, however, be applied to appearances of
department heads in inquiries in aid of legislation. Congress is
not bound in such instances to respect the refusal of the
department head to appear in such inquiry, unless a valid claim
of privilege is subsequently made, either by the President
herself or by the Executive Secretary.
When Congress merely seeks to be informed on how
department heads are implementing the statutes which it has
issued, its right to such information is not as imperative as that
of the President to whom, as Chief Executive, such department
heads must give a report of their performance as a matter of
duty. In such instances, Section 22, in keeping with the
separation of powers, states that Congress may
only request their appearance. Nonetheless, when the inquiry in
which Congress requires their appearance is in aid of
legislation under Section 21, the appearance is mandatory for
the same reasons stated in Arnault.
Committee on Accountability of Public Officers

549 SCRA 77 Political Law Constitutional Law The


Legislative Department Inquiry in aid of legislation
Executive Privilege
Legislative (Sec 21) & Oversight (Sec 22) Powers

In April April 2007, DOTC entered into a contract with Zhong


Xing Telecommunications Equipment (ZTE) for the supply of
equipment and services for the National Broadband Network
(NBN) Project in the amount of $329,481,290.00
(approximately P16 Billion Pesos). The Project was to be
financed by the Peoples Republic of China. The Senate passed
various resolutions relative to the NBN deal. On the other
hand, Joe De Venecia issued a statement that several high
executive officials and power brokers were using their
influence to push the approval of the NBN Project by the
NEDA.
Neri, the head of NEDA, was then invited to testify before the
Senate Blue Ribbon. He appeared in one hearing wherein he
was interrogated for 11 hrs and during which he admitted that
Abalos of COMELEC tried to bribe him with P200M in
exchange for his approval of the NBN project. He further
narrated that he informed President Arroyo about the bribery

attempt and that she instructed him not to accept the bribe.
However, when probed further on what they discussed about
the NBN Project, Neri refused to answer, invoking executive
privilege. In particular, he refused to answer the questions on
(a) whether or not President Arroyo followed up the NBN
Project, (b) whether or not she directed him to prioritize it, and
(c) whether or not she directed him to approve. He later refused
to attend the other hearings and Ermita sent a letter to the
SBRC averring that the communications between GMA and
Neri is privileged and that the jurisprudence laid down
in Senate vs Ermita be applied. The SBRC cited Neri for
contempt.
ISSUE: Whether or not the three questions sought by the
SBRC to be answered falls under executive privilege.
HELD: The oversight function of Congress may be facilitated
by compulsory process only to the extent that it is performed in
pursuit of legislation.
The communications elicited by the three (3) questions are
covered by the presidential communications privilege.
1st, the communications relate to a quintessential and nondelegable power of the President, i.e. the power to enter into
an executive agreement with other countries. This authority of

the President to enter into executive agreements without the


concurrence of the Legislature has traditionally been
recognized in Philippine jurisprudence.
2nd, the communications are received by a close advisor of
the President. Under the operational proximity
test, petitioner can be considered a close advisor, being a
member of President Arroyos cabinet. And
3rd, there is no adequate showing of a compelling need that
would justify the limitation of the privilege and of
the unavailability of the information elsewhere by an
appropriate investigating authority.
Section 24
Arturo Tolentino vs Secretary of Finance
235 SCRA 630 (1994) 249 SCRA 635 (1995) Political Law
Origination of Revenue Bills EVAT Amendment by
Substitution
Arturo Tolentino et al are questioning the constitutionality of
RA 7716 otherwise known as the Expanded Value Added Tax
(EVAT) Law. Tolentino averred that this revenue bill did not
exclusively originate from the House of Representatives as

required by Section 24, Article 6 of the Constitution. Even


though RA 7716 originated as HB 11197 and that it passed the
3 readings in the HoR, the same did not complete the 3
readings in Senate for after the 1streading it was referred to the
Senate Ways & Means Committee thereafter Senate passed its
own version known as Senate Bill 1630. Tolentino averred that
what Senate could have done is amend HB 11197 by striking
out its text and substituting it with the text of SB 1630 in that
way the bill remains a House Bill and the Senate version just
becomes the text (only the text) of the HB. (Its
ironic however to note that Tolentino and co-petitioner Raul
Roco even signed the said Senate Bill.)
ISSUE: Whether or not the EVAT law is procedurally infirm.
HELD: No. By a 9-6 vote, the Supreme Court rejected the
challenge, holding that such consolidation was consistent with
the power of the Senate to propose or concur with amendments
to the version originated in the HoR. What the Constitution
simply means, according to the 9 justices, is that the initiative
must come from the HoR. Note also that there were several
instances before where Senate passed its own version rather
than having the HoR version as far as revenue and other such
bills are concerned. This practice of amendment by substitution
has always been accepted. The proposition of Tolentino
concerns a mere matter of form. There is no showing that it

would make a significant difference if Senate were to adopt his


over what has been done.

computation of the reported average income of


P20,974,581.97, the IRA was included which should not be.

Heherson Alvarez vs Teofisto Guingona, Jr.

ISSUES:

52 SCRA 695 Political Law Municipal Corporation LGU


Requirement Income Inclusion of IRAs
In April 1993, House Bill 8817 (An Act Converting the
Municipality of Santiago into an Independent Component City
to be known as the City of Santiago) was passed in the House
of Representatives.
In May 1993, a Senate Bill (SB 1243) of similar title and
content with that of HB 8817 was introduced in the Senate.
In January 1994, HB 8817 was transmitted to the Senate. In
February 1994, the Senate conducted a public hearing on SB
1243. In March 1994, the Senate Committee on Local
Government rolled out its recommendation for approval of HB
8817 as it was totally the same with SB 1243. Eventually, HB
8817 became a law (RA 7720).
Now Senator Heherson Alvarez et al are assailing the
constitutionality of the said law on the ground that the bill
creating the law did not originate from the lower house and that
City of Santiago was not able to comply with the income of at
least P20M per annum in order for it to be a city. That in the

1. Whether or not RA 7720 is invalid for not being originally


from the HOR.
2. Whether or not the IRA should be included in the
computation of an LGUs income.
HELD: 1. NO. The house bill was filed first before the senate
bill as the record shows. Further, the Senate held in abeyance
any hearing on the said SB while the HB was on its 1st, 2nd and
3rd reading in the HOR. The Senate only conducted its
1st hearing on the said SB one month after the HB was
transmitted to the Senate (in anticipation of the said HB as
well).
2. YES. The IRA should be added in the computation of an
LGUs average annual income as was done in the case at bar.
The IRAs are items of income because they form part of the
gross accretion of the funds of the local government unit. The
IRAs regularly and automatically accrue to the local treasury
without need of any further action on the part of the local
government unit. They thus constitute income which the local
government can invariably rely upon as the source of much
needed funds.

To reiterate, IRAs are a regular, recurring item of income; nil is


there a basis, too, to classify the same as a special fund or
transfer, since IRAs have a technical definition and meaning all
its own as used in the Local Government Code that
unequivocally makes it distinct from special funds or transfers
referred to when the Code speaks of funding support from the
national government, its instrumentalities and governmentowned-or-controlled corporations.
Section 25
Maria Carolina Araullo vs Benigno Aquino III
Political Law Constitutional Law Separation of Powers
Fund Realignment Constitutionality of the Disbursement
Acceleration Program
Power of the Purse Executive Impoundment
When President Benigno Aquino III took office, his
administration noticed the sluggish growth of the economy.
The World Bank advised that the economy needed a stimulus
plan. Budget Secretary Florencio Butch Abad then came up
with a program called the Disbursement Acceleration Program
(DAP).

The DAP was seen as a remedy to speed up the funding of


government projects. DAP enables the Executive to realign
funds from slow moving projects to priority projects instead of
waiting for next years appropriation. So what happens under
the DAP was that if a certain government project is being
undertaken slowly by a certain executive agency, the funds
allotted therefor will be withdrawn by the Executive. Once
withdrawn, these funds are declared as savings by the
Executive and said funds will then be re-allotted to other
priority projects. The DAP program did work to stimulate the
economy as economic growth was in fact reported and portion
of such growth was attributed to the DAP (as noted by the
Supreme Court).
Other sources of the DAP include the unprogrammed funds
from the General Appropriations Act (GAA). Unprogrammed
funds are standby appropriations made by Congress in the
GAA.
Meanwhile, in September 2013, Senator Jinggoy Estrada made
an expos claiming that he, and other Senators, received
Php50M from the President as an incentive for voting in favor
of the impeachment of then Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Secretary Abad claimed that the money was taken from the
DAP but was disbursed upon the request of the Senators.

This apparently opened a can of worms as it turns out that the


DAP does not only realign funds within the Executive. It turns
out that some non-Executive projects were also funded; to
name a few: Php1.5B for the CPLA (Cordillera Peoples
Liberation Army), Php1.8B for the MNLF (Moro National
Liberation Front), P700M for the Quezon Province, P50P100M for certain Senators each, P10B for Relocation
Projects, etc.

Issues:

This prompted Maria Carolina Araullo, Chairperson of


the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, and several other
concerned citizens to file various petitions with the Supreme
Court questioning the validity of the DAP. Among their
contentions was:

III. Whether or not the DAP realignments/transfers are


constitutional.

DAP is unconstitutional because it violates the constitutional


rule which provides that no money shall be paid out of the
Treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation made by
law.
Secretary Abad argued that the DAP is based on certain laws
particularly the GAA (savings and augmentation provisions
thereof), Sec. 25(5), Art. VI of the Constitution (power of the
President to augment), Secs. 38 and 49 of Executive Order 292
(power of the President to suspend expenditures and authority
to use savings, respectively).

I. Whether or not the DAP violates the principle no money


shall be paid out of the Treasury except in pursuance of an
appropriation made by law (Sec. 29(1), Art. VI, Constitution).
II. Whether or not the DAP realignments can be considered as
impoundments by the executive.

IV. Whether or not the sourcing of unprogrammed funds to the


DAP is constitutional.
V. Whether or not the Doctrine of Operative Fact is applicable.
HELD:
I. No, the DAP did not violate Section 29(1), Art. VI of the
Constitution. DAP was merely a program by the Executive and
is not a fund nor is it an appropriation. It is a program for
prioritizing government spending. As such, it did not violate
the Constitutional provision cited in Section 29(1), Art. VI of
the Constitution. In DAP no additional funds were withdrawn
from the Treasury otherwise, an appropriation made by law
would have been required. Funds, which were already

appropriated for by the GAA, were merely being realigned via


the DAP.
II. No, there is no executive impoundment in the DAP.
Impoundment of funds refers to the Presidents power to refuse
to spend appropriations or to retain or deduct appropriations for
whatever reason. Impoundment is actually prohibited by the
GAA unless there will be an unmanageable national
government budget deficit (which did not happen).
Nevertheless, theres no impoundment in the case at bar
because whats involved in the DAP was the transfer of funds.

the Executive, these projects are non-existent insofar as the


GAA is concerned because no funds were appropriated to them
in the GAA. Although some of these projects may be
legitimate, they are still non-existent under the GAA because
they were not provided for by the GAA. As such, transfer to
such projects is unconstitutional and is without legal basis.
On the issue of what are savings

III. No, the transfers made through the DAP were


unconstitutional. It is true that the President (and even the
heads of the other branches of the government) are allowed by
the Constitution to make realignment of funds, however, such
transfer or realignment should only be made within their
respective offices. Thus, no cross-border
transfers/augmentations may be allowed. But under the DAP,
this was violated because funds appropriated by the GAA for
the Executive were being transferred to the Legislative and
other non-Executive agencies.

These DAP transfers are not savings contrary to what was


being declared by the Executive. Under the definition of
savings in the GAA, savings only occur, among other
instances, when there is an excess in the funding of a certain
project once it is completed, finally discontinued, or finally
abandoned. The GAA does not refer to savings as funds
withdrawn from a slow moving project. Thus, since the
statutory definition of savings was not complied with under the
DAP, there is no basis at all for the transfers. Further, savings
should only be declared at the end of the fiscal year. But under
the DAP, funds are already being withdrawn from certain
projects in the middle of the year and then being declared as
savings by the Executive particularly by the DBM.

Further, transfers within their respective offices also


contemplate realignment of funds to an existing project in the
GAA. Under the DAP, even though some projects were within

IV. No. Unprogrammed funds from the GAA cannot be used as


money source for the DAP because under the law, such funds
may only be used if there is a certification from the National

Treasurer to the effect that the revenue collections have


exceeded the revenue targets. In this case, no such certification
was secured before unprogrammed funds were used.
V. Yes. The Doctrine of Operative Fact, which recognizes the
legal effects of an act prior to it being declared as
unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, is applicable. The DAP
has definitely helped stimulate the economy. It has funded
numerous projects. If the Executive is ordered to reverse all
actions under the DAP, then it may cause more harm than
good. The DAP effects can no longer be undone. The
beneficiaries of the DAP cannot be asked to return what they
received especially so that they relied on the validity of the
DAP. However, the Doctrine of Operative Fact may not be
applicable to the authors, implementers, and proponents of the
DAP if it is so found in the appropriate tribunals (civil,
criminal, or administrative) that they have not acted in good
faith.

This case is consolidated with G.R. No. 208493 and G.R. No.
209251.
The so-called pork barrel system has been around in the
Philippines since about 1922. Pork Barrel is commonly known
as the lump-sum, discretionary funds of the members of the
Congress. It underwent several legal designations from
Congressional Pork Barrel to the latest Priority
Development Assistance Fund or PDAF. The allocation for
the pork barrel is integrated in the annual General
Appropriations Act (GAA).
Since 2011, the allocation of the PDAF has been done in the
following manner:

Greco Belgica vs Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa

a. P70 million: for each member of the lower house; broken


down to P40 million for hard projects (infrastructure
projects like roads, buildings, schools, etc.), and P30 million
for soft projects (scholarship grants, medical assistance,
livelihood programs, IT development, etc.);

710 SCRA 1 Political Law Constitutional Law Local


Government Invalid Delegation

b. P200 million: for each senator; broken down to P100


million for hard projects, P100 million for soft projects;

Legislative Department Invalid Delegation of Legislative


Power

c. P200 million: for the Vice-President; broken down to P100


million for hard projects, P100 million for soft projects.

The PDAF articles in the GAA do provide for realignment of


funds whereby certain cabinet members may request for the
realignment of funds into their department provided that the
request for realignment is approved or concurred by the
legislator concerned.

conducted by the Commission on Audit and the results thereof


concurred with the exposes of Luy et al.
Motivated by the foregoing, Greco Belgica and several others,
filed various petitions before the Supreme Court questioning
the constitutionality of the pork barrel system.

Presidential Pork Barrel


ISSUES:
The president does have his own source of fund albeit not
included in the GAA. The so-called presidential pork barrel
comes from two sources: (a) the Malampaya Funds, from the
Malampaya Gas Project this has been around since 1976, and
(b) the Presidential Social Fund which is derived from the
earnings of PAGCOR this has been around since about 1983.

I. Whether or not the congressional pork barrel system is


constitutional.
II. Whether or not presidential pork barrel system is
constitutional.

Pork Barrel Scam Controversy

HELD:

Ever since, the pork barrel system has been besieged by


allegations of corruption. In July 2013, six whistle blowers,
headed by Benhur Luy, exposed that for the last decade, the
corruption in the pork barrel system had been facilitated by
Janet Lim Napoles. Napoles had been helping lawmakers in
funneling their pork barrel funds into about 20 bogus NGOs
(non-government organizations) which would make it appear
that government funds are being used in legit existing projects
but are in fact going to ghost projects. An audit was then

I. No, the congressional pork barrel system is unconstitutional.


It is unconstitutional because it violates the following
principles:
a. Separation of Powers
As a rule, the budgeting power lies in Congress. It regulates the
release of funds (power of the purse). The executive, on the
other hand, implements the laws this includes the GAA to
which the PDAF is a part of. Only the executive may

implement the law but under the pork barrel system, whats
happening was that, after the GAA, itself a law, was enacted,
the legislators themselves dictate as to which projects their
PDAF funds should be allocated to a clear act of
implementing the law they enacted a violation of the
principle of separation of powers. (Note in the older case
of PHILCONSA vs Enriquez, it was ruled that pork barrel, then
called as CDF or the Countrywide Development Fund, was
constitutional insofar as the legislators only recommend where
their pork barrel funds go).
This is also highlighted by the fact that in realigning the PDAF,
the executive will still have to get the concurrence of the
legislator concerned.
b. Non-delegation of Legislative Power
As a rule, the Constitution vests legislative power in Congress
alone. (The Constitution does grant the people legislative
power but only insofar as the processes of referendum and
initiative are concerned). That being, legislative power cannot
be delegated by Congress for it cannot delegate further that
which was delegated to it by the Constitution.
Exceptions to the rule are:

(i) delegated legislative power to local government units but


this shall involve purely local matters;
(ii) authority of the President to, by law, exercise powers
necessary and proper to carry out a declared national policy in
times of war or other national emergency, or fix within
specified limits, and subject to such limitations and restrictions
as Congress may impose, tariff rates, import and export quotas,
tonnage and wharf age dues, and other duties or imposts within
the framework of the national development program of the
Government.
In this case, the PDAF articles which allow the individual
legislator to identify the projects to which his PDAF money
should go to is a violation of the rule on non-delegation of
legislative power. The power to appropriate funds is solely
lodged in Congress (in the two houses comprising it)
collectively and not lodged in the individual members. Further,
nowhere in the exceptions does it state that the Congress can
delegate the power to the individual member of Congress.
c. Principle of Checks and Balances
One feature in the principle of checks and balances is the
power of the president to veto items in the GAA which he may
deem to be inappropriate. But this power is already being

undermined because of the fact that once the GAA is approved,


the legislator can now identify the project to which he will
appropriate his PDAF. Under such system, how can the
president veto the appropriation made by the legislator if the
appropriation is made after the approval of the GAA
again, Congress cannot choose a mode of budgeting which
effectively renders the constitutionally-given power of the
President useless.

II. Yes, the presidential pork barrel is valid.


The main issue raised by Belgica et al against the presidential
pork barrel is that it is unconstitutional because it violates
Section 29 (1), Article VI of the Constitution which provides:
No money shall be paid out of the Treasury except in
pursuance of an appropriation made by law.

d. Local Autonomy
As a rule, the local governments have the power to manage
their local affairs. Through their Local Development Councils
(LDCs), the LGUs can develop their own programs and
policies concerning their localities. But with the PDAF,
particularly on the part of the members of the house of
representatives, whats happening is that a congressman can
either bypass or duplicate a project by the LDC and later on
claim it as his own. This is an instance where the national
government (note, a congressman is a national officer) meddles
with the affairs of the local government and this is contrary to
the State policy embodied in the Constitution on local
autonomy. Its good if thats all that is happening under the
pork barrel system but worse, the PDAF becomes more of a
personal fund on the part of legislators.

Belgica et al emphasized that the presidential pork comes from


the earnings of the Malampaya and PAGCOR and not from any
appropriation from a particular legislation.
The Supreme Court disagrees as it ruled that PD 910, which
created the Malampaya Fund, as well as PD 1869 (as amended
by PD 1993), which amended PAGCORs charter, provided for
the appropriation, to wit:
(i) PD 910: Section 8 thereof provides that all fees, among
others, collected from certain energy-related ventures shall
form part of a special fund (the Malampaya Fund) which shall
be used to further finance energy resource development and for
other purposes which the President may direct;

(ii) PD 1869, as amended: Section 12 thereof provides that a


part of PAGCORs earnings shall be allocated to a General
Fund (the Presidential Social Fund) which shall be used in
government infrastructure projects.
These are sufficient laws which met the requirement of Section
29, Article VI of the Constitution. The appropriation
contemplated therein does not have to be a particular
appropriation as it can be a general appropriation as in the case
of PD 910 and PD 1869.
LAMP VS. SEC OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT

LEO LUIS MENDOZA, ANTONIO P. PAREDES,


AQUILINO PIMENTEL III, MARIO REYES,
EMMANUEL SANTOS, TERESITA SANTOS,
RUDEGELIO TACORDA, SECRETARY GEN.
ROLANDO ARZAGA, Board of Consultants, JUSTICE
ABRAHAM SARMIENTO, SEN. AQUILINO
PIMENTEL, JR., and BARTOLOME FERNANDEZ, JR.
vs.
THE SECRETARY OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT,

LAWYERS AGAINST MONOPOLY AND POVERTY

THE TREASURER OF THE PHILIPPINES, THE

(LAMP), represented by its Chairman and counsel,

COMMISSION ON AUDIT, and THE PRESIDENT OF

CEFERINO PADUA, Members, ALBERTO ABELEDA,

THE SENATE and the SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF

JR., ELEAZAR ANGELES, GREGELY FULTON

REPRESENTATIVES in representation of the Members of

ACOSTA, VICTOR AVECILLA, GALILEO BRION,

the Congress

ANATALIA BUENAVENTURA, EFREN CARAG, PEDRO

G.R. No. 164987, April 24, 2012

CASTILLO, NAPOLEON CORONADO, ROMEO


ECHAUZ, ALFREDO DE GUZMAN, ROGELIO
KARAGDAG, JR., MARIA LUZ ARZAGA-MENDOZA,

FACTS: For consideration of the Court is an original action for


certiorari assailing the constitutionality and legality of the
implementation of the Priority Development Assistance Fund

(PDAF) as provided for in Republic Act (R.A.) 9206 or the

constitutional sanction,8 and, therefore, impermissible and

General Appropriations Act for 2004 (GAA of 2004).

must be considered nothing less than malfeasance.

Petitioner Lawyers Against Monopoly and Poverty(LAMP), a

RESPONDENTS POSITION: the perceptions of LAMP on

group of lawyers who have banded together with a mission of

the implementation of PDAF must not be based on mere

dismantling all forms of political, economic or social

speculations circulated in the news media preaching the evils

monopoly in the country. According to LAMP, the above

of pork barrel.

provision is silent and, therefore, prohibits an automatic or


direct allocation of lump sums to individual senators and
congressmen for the funding of projects. It does not empower
individual Members of Congress to propose, select and identify
programs and projects to be funded out of PDAF.
For LAMP, this situation runs afoul against the principle of
separation of powers because in receiving and, thereafter,

ISSUES: 1) whether or not the mandatory requisites for the


exercise of judicial review are met in this case; and 2) whether
or not the implementation of PDAF by the Members of
Congress is unconstitutional and illegal.
HELD:
I.

spending funds for their chosen projects, the Members of


Congress in effect intrude into an executive function. Further,

A question is ripe for adjudication when the act being

the authority to propose and select projects does not pertain to

challenged has had a direct adverse effect on the individual

legislation. It is, in fact, a non-legislative function devoid of

challenging it. In this case, the petitioner contested the

implementation of an alleged unconstitutional statute, as

Lastly, the Court is of the view that the petition poses issues

citizens and taxpayers. The petition complains of illegal

impressed with paramount public interest. The ramification of

disbursement of public funds derived from taxation and this is

issues involving the unconstitutional spending of PDAF

sufficient reason to say that there indeed exists a definite,

deserves the consideration of the Court, warranting the

concrete, real or substantial controversy before the Court.

assumption of jurisdiction over the petition.

LOCUS STANDI: The gist of the question of standing is

II.

whether a party alleges such a personal stake in the outcome


of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which

The Court rules in the negative.

sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court so

In determining whether or not a statute is unconstitutional, the

largely depends for illumination of difficult constitutional

Court does not lose sight of the presumption of validity

questions. Here, the sufficient interest preventing the illegal

accorded to statutory acts of Congress. To justify the

expenditure of money raised by taxation required in taxpayers

nullification of the law or its implementation, there must be a

suits is established. Thus, in the claim that PDAF funds have

clear and unequivocal, not a doubtful, breach of the

been illegally disbursed and wasted through the enforcement of

Constitution. In case of doubt in the sufficiency of proof

an invalid or unconstitutional law, LAMP should be allowed to

establishing unconstitutionality, the Court must sustain

sue.

legislation because to invalidate [a law] based on x x x


baseless supposition is an affront to the wisdom not only of the

legislature that passed it but also of the executive which

Representatives to the DBM, which reviews and determines

approved it.

whether such list of projects submitted are consistent with the


guidelines and the priorities set by the Executive.33 This

The petition is miserably wanting in this regard. No convincing


proof was presented showing that, indeed, there were direct
releases of funds to the Members of Congress, who actually

demonstrates the power given to the President to execute


appropriation laws and therefore, to exercise the spending per
se of the budget.

spend them according to their sole discretion. Devoid of any


pertinent evidentiary support that illegal misuse of PDAF in the

As applied to this case, the petition is seriously wanting in

form of kickbacks has become a common exercise of

establishing that individual Members of Congress receive and

unscrupulous Members of Congress, the Court cannot indulge

thereafter spend funds out of PDAF. So long as there is no

the petitioners request for rejection of a law which is

showing of a direct participation of legislators in the actual

outwardly legal and capable of lawful enforcement.

spending of the budget, the constitutional boundaries between


the Executive and the Legislative in the budgetary process

PORK BARREL:
The Members of Congress are then requested by the President
to recommend projects and programs which may be funded
from the PDAF. The list submitted by the Members of
Congress is endorsed by the Speaker of the House of

remain intact.
_______________
NOTES:

POWER OF JUDICIAL REVIEW:

G.R. No. L-33713 July 30, 1975

(1) there must be an actual case or controversy calling for the


exercise of judicial power;
(2) (2) the person challenging the act must have the standing to

Facts:
The donation of the property to the government to make the

question the validity of the subject act or issuance; otherwise

property public does not cure the constitutional defect. The fact

stated, he must have a personal and substantial interest in the

that the law was passed when the said property was still a

case such that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as

private property cannot be ignored. In accordance with the

a result of its enforcement;

rule that the taxing power must be exercised for public

(3) (3) the question of constitutionality must be raised at the


earliest opportunity; and
(4) (4) the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota
of the case.

purposes only, money raised by taxation can be expanded only


for public purposes and not for the advantage of private
individuals. Inasmuch as the land on which the projected
feeder roads were to be constructed belonged then to Zulueta,
the result is that said appropriation sought a private purpose,
and, hence, was null and void.
Issue:

Garcia vs Mata Digest

Whether RA 1600 is valid. Does it contain rider in an


appropriation bill?

Garcia vs Mata

Held:

The incongruity and irrelevancy are already evident. Section


11 of RA 1600 fails to disclose the relevance to any
appropriation item. RA 1600 is an appropriation law for the
operation of government while Section 11 refers to a
fundamental governmental policy of calling to active duty and
the reversion of inactive statute of reserve officers in the AFP.
Hence it was A NON-APPROPRIATION ITEM INSERTED
IN AN APPROPRIATION MEASURE, in violation of the
constitutional prohibition against RIDERS to the general
appropriation act. It was indeed a new and completely
unrelated provision attached to the GAA.
It also violates the rule on one-bill, one subject. The subject to
be considered must be expressed in the title of the act. When an
act contains provisions which are clearly not embraced in the

Demetrio Demetria vs Manuel Alba


148 SCRA 208 Political Law Transfer of Funds Power
of the President to Realign Funds
Demetrio Demetria et al as taxpayers and members of the
Batasan Pambansa sought to prohibit Manuel Alba, then
Minister of the Budget, from disbursing funds pursuant to
Presidential Decree No. 1177 or the Budget Reform Decree of
1977. Demetria assailed the constitutionality of paragraph 1,
Section 44 of the said PD. This Section provides that:
The President shall have the authority to transfer any fund,
appropriated for the different departments, bureaus, offices
and agencies of the Executive Department, which are included
in the General Appropriations Act, to any program, project or
activity of any department, bureau, or office included in the
General Appropriations Act or approved after its enactment.

subject of the act, as expressed in the title, such provisions are


void, inoperative and without effect.

Demetria averred that this is unconstitutional for it violates the


1973 Constitution.

SECTION 11 is unconstitutional. Garcia cannot compel the

ISSUE: Whether or not Paragraph 1, Section 44, of PD 1177 is


constitutional.

AFP to reinstate him.

HELD: No. The Constitution provides that no law shall be


passed authorizing any transfer of appropriations, however, the
President, the Prime Minister, the Speaker, the Chief Justice of
the Supreme Court, and the heads of constitutional
commissions may by law be authorized to augment any item in
the general appropriations law for their respective offices from
savings in other items of their respective appropriations.
However, paragraph 1 of Section 44 of PD 1177 unduly
overextends the privilege granted under the Constitution. It
empowers the President to indiscriminately transfer funds from
one department, bureau, office or agency of the Executive
Department to any program, project or activity of any
department, bureau or office included in the General
Appropriations Act or approved after its enactment, without
regard as to whether or not the funds to be transferred are
actually savings in the item from which the same are to be
taken, or whether or not the transfer is for the purpose of
augmenting the item to which said transfer is to be made. It
does not only completely disregard the standards set in the
fundamental law, thereby amounting to an undue delegation of
legislative powers, but likewise goes beyond the tenor thereof.
Indeed, such constitutional infirmities render the provision in
question null and void.

But it should be noted, transfers of savings within one


department from one item to another in the GAA may be
allowed by law in the interest of expediency and efficiency.
There is no transfer from one department to another here.
PHILCONSA VS ENRIQUEZ
G.R. No. 113105 August 19 1994 [Article VI Section 25 Appropriations]
FACTS:
Petitioners assailed the validity of RA 7663 or General
Appropriations Act of 1994.
GAA contains a special provision that allows any members of
the Congress the REalignment of Allocation for Operational
Expenses, provided that the total of said allocation is not
exceeded.
Philconsa claims that only the Senate President and the
Speaker of the House of Representatives are the ones
authorized under the Constitution to realign savings, not the
individual members of Congress themselves.
President signed the law, but Vetoes certain provisions of the
law and imposed certain provisional conditions: that the AFP
Chief of Staff is authorized to use savings to augment the
pension funds under the Retirement and Separation Benefits of
the AFP.
ISSUE:

Whether or not RA 7663 is violative of Article VI, Section 25


(5) of 1987 Constitution.
RULING:
Yes. Only the Senate President and the Speaker of the House
are allowed to approve the realignment.
Furthermore, two conditions must be met: 1) the funds to be
realigned are actually savings, and 2) the transfer is for the
purpose of augmenting the items of expenditures to which said
transfer to be made.
As to the certain condition given to the AFP Chief of Staff, it is
violative of of Sections 25(5) and 29(1) of the Article VI of the
Constitution. The list of those who may be authorized to
transfer funds is exclusive. the AFP Chief of Staff may not be
given authority.
Section 26
Philippine Constitution Association, Inc. vs Pedro Gimenez
15 SCRA 479 Political Law Salaries of the Members of
Congress Other Emolument
Philippine Constitution Association, Inc (PHILCONSA) assails
the validity of Republic Act No. 3836 insofar as the same
allows retirement gratuity and commutation of vacation and

sick leave to Senators and Representatives. PHILCONSA now


seeks to enjoin Pedor Gimenez, the Auditor General, from
disbursing funds therefor.
According to PHILCONSA, the provision on retirement
gratuity is an attempt to circumvent the Constitutional ban on
increase of salaries of the members of Congress during their
term of office, contrary to the provisions of Article VI, Section
14 of the Constitution. The same provision constitutes selfish
class legislation because it allows members and officers of
Congress to retire after twelve (12) years of service and gives
them a gratuity equivalent to one year salary for every four
years of service, which is not refundable in case of
reinstatement or re-election of the retiree, while all other
officers and employees of the government can retire only after
at least twenty (20) years of service and are given a gratuity
which is only equivalent to one month salary for every year of
service, which, in any case, cannot exceed 24 months. The
provision on vacation and sick leave, commutable at the
highest rate received, insofar as members of Congress are
concerned, is another attempt of the legislator to further
increase their compensation in violation of the Constitution.
The Solicitor General, arguing for Congress, averred that the
grant of retirement or pension benefits under Republic Act No.
3836 to the officers does not constitute forbidden

compensation within the meaning of Section 14 of Article VI


of the Philippine Constitution. The law in question does not
constitute class legislation. The payment of commutable
vacation and sick leave benefits under the said Act is merely
in the nature of a basis for computing the gratuity due each
retiring member and, therefore, is not an indirect scheme to
increase their salary.
ISSUE: Whether or not RA 3836 is constitutional.
HELD: No, the said law is unconstitutional. Section 14, Article
VI, of the Constitution, provides:
When the Constitutional Convention first determined the
compensation for the Members of Congress, the amount fixed
by it was only P5,000.00 per annum but it embodies a special
proviso which reads as follows:
The senators and the Members of the House of Representatives
shall, unless otherwise provided by law, receive an annual
compensation of seven thousand two hundred pesos each,
including per diems and other emoluments or allowances, and
exclusive only of travelling expenses to and from their
respective district in the case of Members of the House of
Representatives and to and from their places of residence in
the case of Senators, when attending sessions of the Congress.

No increase in said compensation shall take effect until after


the expiration of the full term of all the Members of the Senate
and of the House of Representatives approving such increase.
Until otherwise provided by law, the President of the Senate
and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall each
receive an annual compensation of sixteen thousand pesos.
No increase in said compensation shall take effect until after
the expiration of the full term of all the members of the
National Assembly elected subsequent to approval of such
increase
In other words, under the original constitutional provision
regarding the power of the National Assembly to increase the
salaries of its members, no increase would take effect until
after the expiration of the full term of the members of the
Assembly elected subsequent to the approval of such increase.
The Constitutional provision in the aforementioned Section 14,
Article VI, includes in the term compensation other
emoluments.
Emolument is the profit arising from office or employment;
that which is received as compensation for services or which is
annexed to the possession of an office, as salary, fees and
perquisites.

It is evident that retirement benefit is a form or another species


of emolument, because it is a part of compensation for services
of one possessing any office.
RA 3836 provides for an increase in the emoluments of
Senators and Members of the House of Representatives, to take
effect upon the approval of said Act, which was on June 22,
1963. Retirement benefits were immediately available
thereunder, without awaiting the expiration of the full term of
all the Members of the Senate and the House of
Representatives approving such increase. Such provision
clearly runs counter to the prohibition in Article VI, Section 14
of the Constitution. RA 3836 is hereby declared
unconstitutional by the SC.

Valentin Tio vs Videogram Regulatory Board


151 SCRA 208 Political Law The Embrace of Only One
Subject by a Bill
Delegation of Power Delegation to Administrative Bodies
In 1985, Presidential Dedree No. 1987 entitled An Act
Creating the Videogram Regulatory Board was enacted which
gave broad powers to the VRB to regulate and supervise the

videogram industry. The said law sought to minimize the


economic effects of piracy. There was a need to regulate the
sale of videograms as it has adverse effects to the movie
industry. The proliferation of videograms has significantly
lessened the revenue being acquired from the movie industry,
and that such loss may be recovered if videograms are to be
taxed. Section 10 of the PD imposes a 30% tax on the gross
receipts payable to the LGUs.
In 1986, Valentin Tio assailed the said PD as he averred that it
is unconstitutional on the following grounds:
1. Section 10 thereof, which imposed the 30% tax on gross
receipts, is a rider and is not germane to the subject matter of
the law.
2. There is also undue delegation of legislative power to the
VRB, an administrative body, because the law allowed the
VRB to deputize, upon its discretion, other government
agencies to assist the VRB in enforcing the said PD.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Valentin Tios arguments are
correct.
HELD: No.

1. The Constitutional requirement that every bill shall


embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in the title
thereof is sufficiently complied with if the title be
comprehensive enough to include the general purpose which a
statute seeks to achieve. In the case at bar, the questioned
provision is allied and germane to, and is reasonably necessary
for the accomplishment of, the general object of the PD, which
is the regulation of the video industry through the VRB as
expressed in its title. The tax provision is not inconsistent with,
nor foreign to that general subject and title. As a tool for
regulation it is simply one of the regulatory and control
mechanisms scattered throughout the PD.
2. There is no undue delegation of legislative powers to the
VRB. VRB is not being tasked to legislate. What was conferred
to the VRB was the authority or discretion to seek assistance in
the execution, enforcement, and implementation of the
law. Besides, in the very language of the decree, the authority
of the BOARD to solicit such assistance is for a fixed and
limited period with the deputized agencies concerned being
subject to the direction and control of the [VRB].

Philippine Judges Association vs Pete Prado

227 SCRA 703 Political Law Constitutional Law Bill of


Rights Equal Protection Franking Privilege of the
Judiciary
Section 35 of Republic Act No. 7354 authorized the Philippine
Postal Corporation (PPC) to withdraw franking privileges from
certain government agencies. Franking privilege is a privilege
granted to certain agencies to make use of the Philippine postal
service free of charge.
In 1992, a study came about where it was determined that the
bulk of the expenditure of the postal service comes from the
judiciarys use of the postal service (issuance of court
processes). Hence, the postal service recommended that the
franking privilege be withdrawn from the judiciary. AS a result,
the PPC issued a circular withdrawing the said franking
privilege.
The Philippine Judges Association (PJA) assailed the circular
and questioned the validity of Section 35 of RA 7354. PJA
claimed that the said provision is violative of the equal
protection clause.

ISSUE: Whether or not the withdrawal of the franking


privilege from the judiciary is valid.
HELD: No. The Supreme Court ruled that there is a violation
of the equal protection clause. The judiciary needs the franking
privilege so badly as it is vital to its operation. Evident to that
need is the high expense allotted to the judiciarys franking
needs. The Postmaster cannot be sustained in contending that
the removal of the franking privilege from the judiciary is in
order to cut expenditure. This is untenable for if the Postmaster
would intend to cut expenditure by removing the franking
privilege of the judiciary, then they should have removed the
franking privilege all at once from all the other departments. If
the problem is the loss of revenues from the franking privilege,
the remedy is to withdraw it altogether from all agencies of the
government, including those who do not need it. The problem
is not solved by retaining it for some and withdrawing it from
others, especially where there is no substantial distinction
between those favored, which may or may not need it at all,
and the Judiciary, which definitely needs it. The problem is not
solved by violating the Constitution.
The equal protection clause does not require the universal
application of the laws on all persons or things without
distinction (it is true that the postmaster withdraw the franking
privileges from other agencies of the government but still, the

judiciary is different because its operation largely relies on the


mailing of court processes). This might in fact sometimes result
in unequal protection, as where, for example, a law prohibiting
mature books to all persons, regardless of age, would benefit
the morals of the youth but violate the liberty of adults. What
the clause requires is equality among equals as determined
according to a valid classification. By classification is meant
the grouping of persons or things similar to each other in
certain particulars and different from all others in these same
particulars.
In lumping the Judiciary with the other offices from which the
franking privilege has been withdrawn, Sec 35 has placed the
courts of justice in a category to which it does not belong. If it
recognizes the need of the President of the Philippines and the
members of Congress for the franking privilege, there is no
reason why it should not recognize a similar and in fact greater
need on the part of the Judiciary for such privilege.

Arturo Tolentino vs Secretary of Finance


235 SCRA 630 (1994) 249 SCRA 635 (1995) Political Law
Origination of Revenue Bills EVAT Amendment by
Substitution

Arturo Tolentino et al are questioning the constitutionality of


RA 7716 otherwise known as the Expanded Value Added Tax
(EVAT) Law. Tolentino averred that this revenue bill did not
exclusively originate from the House of Representatives as
required by Section 24, Article 6 of the Constitution. Even
though RA 7716 originated as HB 11197 and that it passed the
3 readings in the HoR, the same did not complete the 3
readings in Senate for after the 1streading it was referred to the
Senate Ways & Means Committee thereafter Senate passed its
own version known as Senate Bill 1630. Tolentino averred that
what Senate could have done is amend HB 11197 by striking
out its text and substituting it with the text of SB 1630 in that
way the bill remains a House Bill and the Senate version just
becomes the text (only the text) of the HB. (Its
ironic however to note that Tolentino and co-petitioner Raul
Roco even signed the said Senate Bill.)
ISSUE: Whether or not the EVAT law is procedurally infirm.
HELD: No. By a 9-6 vote, the Supreme Court rejected the
challenge, holding that such consolidation was consistent with
the power of the Senate to propose or concur with amendments
to the version originated in the HoR. What the Constitution
simply means, according to the 9 justices, is that the initiative
must come from the HoR. Note also that there were several
instances before where Senate passed its own version rather

than having the HoR version as far as revenue and other such
bills are concerned. This practice of amendment by substitution
has always been accepted. The proposition of Tolentino
concerns a mere matter of form. There is no showing that it
would make a significant difference if Senate were to adopt his
over what has been done.
Tan v. Del Rosario Digest
Tan v Del Rosario
Facts:
1. Two consolidated cases assail the validity of RA 7496 or the
Simplified Net Income Taxation Scheme ("SNIT"), which
amended certain provisions of the NIRC, as well as the Rules
and Regulations promulgated by public respondents pursuant
to said law.
2. Petitioners posit that RA 7496 is unconstitutional as it
allegedly violates the following provisions of the Constitution:
-Article VI, Section 26(1) Every bill passed by the Congress
shall embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in the
title thereof.

- Article VI, Section 28(1) The rule of taxation shall be


uniform and equitable. The Congress shall evolve a progressive
system of taxation.
- Article III, Section 1 No person shall be deprived of . . .
property without due process of law, nor shall any person be
denied the equal protection of the laws.
3. Petitioners contended that public respondents exceeded their
rule-making authority in applying SNIT to general professional
partnerships. Petitioner contends that the title of HB 34314,
progenitor of RA 7496, is deficient for being merely entitled,
"Simplified Net Income Taxation Scheme for the SelfEmployed and Professionals Engaged in the Practice of their
Profession" (Petition in G.R. No. 109289) when the full text of
the title actually reads,
'An Act Adopting the Simplified Net Income Taxation Scheme For
The Self-Employed and Professionals Engaged In The Practice
of Their Profession, Amending Sections 21 and 29 of the
National Internal Revenue Code,' as amended. Petitioners also
contend it violated due process.
5. The Solicitor General espouses the position taken by public
respondents.
6. The Court has given due course to both petitions.

ISSUE: Whether or not the tax law is unconstitutional for


violating due process
NO. The due process clause may correctly be invoked only
when there is a clear contravention of inherent or constitutional
limitations in the exercise of the tax power. No such
transgression is so evident in herein case.
1. Uniformity of taxation, like the concept of equal protection,
merely requires that all subjects or objects of taxation, similarly
situated, are to be treated alike both in privileges and liabilities.
Uniformity does not violate classification as long as: (1) the
standards that are used therefor are substantial and not
arbitrary, (2) the categorization is germane to achieve the
legislative purpose, (3) the law applies, all things being equal,
to both present and future conditions, and (4) the classification
applies equally well to all those belonging to the same class.
2. What is apparent from the amendatory law is the legislative
intent to increasingly shift the income tax system towards the
schedular approach in the income taxation of individual
taxpayers and to maintain, by and large, the present global

treatment on taxable corporations. The Court does not view this


classification to be arbitrary and inappropriate.
ISSUE 2: Whether or not public respondents exceeded their
authority in promulgating the RR

Prior to Republic Act No., 7675 also known as An Act


Converting the Municipality of Mandaluyong into a Highly
Urbanized City to be known as the City of Mandaluyong,
Mandaluyong and San Juan belonged to only one legislative
district. A plebiscite was held for the people of Mandaluyong

No. There is no evident intention of the law, either before or


after the amendatory legislation, to place in an unequal footing
or in significant variance the income tax treatment of
professionals who practice their respective professions
individually and of those who do it through a general
professional partnership.

whether or not they approved of the said conversion. The


plebiscite was only 14.41% of the said conversion.
Nevertheless, 18,621 voted yes whereas 7, 911 voted no.
ISSUE:

Case Digest: Tobias v. Abalos


FACTS:

Whether or not the ratification of RA7675 was unconstitutional


citing Article VI, Sections 5(1), 4 and 26(1)
HELD/RULING:
For the purposes of discussion, lets breakdown all of the
claimed violations to the 1987 Constitution.
Section 26(1). Every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace

only one subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof.

members,unless otherwise provided by law. The emphasis


on the latter clause indicates that the number of the House of

The creation of a separate congressional district for

Representatives may be increased, if mandated via a legislative

Mandaluyong is not a subject separate and distinct from the

enactment. Therefore, the increase in congressional

subject of its conversion. Moreover, a liberal construction of

representation is not unconstitutional.

the one-title-one-subject rule has been liberally adopted by


the court as to not impede legislation (Lidasan v. Comelec).

Sec. 5(4). Within three years following the return of every


census, the Congress shall make a reapportionment of

Sec. 5(1). The House of Representatives shall be composed of

legislative districts based on the standard provided in this

not more than two hundred and fifty members, unless

section.

otherwise fixed by law, who shall be elected from legislative


districts apportioned among the provinces, cities, and the

The argument on the violation of the above provision is absurd

Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of

since it was the Congress itself which drafted, deliberated upon

their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and

and enacted the assailed law.

progressive ratio, and those who, as provided by law, shall be


elected through a party list system of registered national,

The petition is thereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. SO

regional and sectoral parties or organizations.

ORDERED.

The Constitution clearly provides that the House of


Representatives shall be composed of not more than 250

Section 27

Arturo Tolentino vs Secretary of Finance


235 SCRA 630 (1994) 249 SCRA 635 (1995) Political Law
Origination of Revenue Bills EVAT Amendment by
Substitution
Arturo Tolentino et al are questioning the constitutionality of
RA 7716 otherwise known as the Expanded Value Added Tax
(EVAT) Law. Tolentino averred that this revenue bill did not
exclusively originate from the House of Representatives as
required by Section 24, Article 6 of the Constitution. Even
though RA 7716 originated as HB 11197 and that it passed the
3 readings in the HoR, the same did not complete the 3
readings in Senate for after the 1streading it was referred to the
Senate Ways & Means Committee thereafter Senate passed its
own version known as Senate Bill 1630. Tolentino averred that
what Senate could have done is amend HB 11197 by striking
out its text and substituting it with the text of SB 1630 in that
way the bill remains a House Bill and the Senate version just
becomes the text (only the text) of the HB. (Its
ironic however to note that Tolentino and co-petitioner Raul
Roco even signed the said Senate Bill.)
ISSUE: Whether or not the EVAT law is procedurally infirm.

HELD: No. By a 9-6 vote, the Supreme Court rejected the


challenge, holding that such consolidation was consistent with
the power of the Senate to propose or concur with amendments
to the version originated in the HoR. What the Constitution
simply means, according to the 9 justices, is that the initiative
must come from the HoR. Note also that there were several
instances before where Senate passed its own version rather
than having the HoR version as far as revenue and other such
bills are concerned. This practice of amendment by substitution
has always been accepted. The proposition of Tolentino
concerns a mere matter of form. There is no showing that it
would make a significant difference if Senate were to adopt his
over what has been done.
Neptali Gonzales vs Macaraig
Political Law Veto Power Inappropriate Provision in an
Appropriation Bill
Gonzales, together w/ 22 other senators, assailed the
constitutionality of Corys veto of Section 55 of the 1989
Appropriations Bill (Sec 55 FY 89, and subsequently of its
counterpart Section 16 of the 1990 Appropriations Bill (Sec 16
FY 90). Gonzalez averred the following: (1) the Presidents
line-veto power as regards appropriation bills is limited to
item/s and does not cover provision/s; therefore, she exceeded

her authority when she vetoed Section 55 (FY 89) and Section
16 (FY 90) which are provision; (2) when the President
objects to a provision of an appropriation bill, she cannot
exercise the item-veto power but should veto the entire bill; (3)
the item-veto power does not carry with it the power to strike
out conditions or restrictions for that would be legislation, in
violation of the doctrine of separation of powers; and (4) the
power of augmentation in Article VI, Section 25 [5] of the
1987 Constitution, has to be provided for by law and, therefore,
Congress is also vested with the prerogative to impose
restrictions on the exercise of that power.
ISSUE: Whether or not the President exceeded the item-veto
power accorded by the Constitution. Or differently put, has the
President the power to veto `provisions of an Appropriations
Bill.
HELD: SC ruled that Congress cannot include in a general
appropriations bill matters that should be more properly
enacted in separate legislation, and if it does that, the
inappropriate provisions inserted by it must be treated as
item, which can be vetoed by the President in the exercise of
his item-veto power. The SC went one step further and rules
that even assuming arguendo that provisions are beyond the
executive power to veto, and Section 55 (FY 89) and Section
16 (FY 90) were not provisions in the budgetary sense of the

term, they are inappropriate provisions that should be treated


as items for the purpose of the Presidents veto power.
Cesar Bengzon vs Franklin Drilon
208 SCRA 133 Political Law Veto Power of the President
In 1990, Congress sought to reenact some old laws (i.e.
Republic Act No. 1797) that were repealed during the time of
former President Ferdinand Marcos. These old laws provided
certain retirement benefits to retired judges, justices, and
members of the constitutional commissions. Congress felt a
need to restore these laws in order to standardize retirement
benefits among government officials. However, President
Corazon Aquino vetoed the bill (House Bill No. 16297) on the
ground that the law should not give preferential treatment to
certain or select government officials.
Meanwhile, a group of retired judges and justices filed a
petition with the Supreme Court asking the court to readjust
their pensions. They pointed out that RA 1797 was never
repealed (by P.D. No. 644) because the said PD was one of
those unpublished PDs which were subject of the case
of Taada v. Tuvera. Hence, the repealing law never existed
due to non publication and in effect, RA 1797 was never
repealed. The Supreme Court then readjusted their pensions.

Congress took notice of the readjustment and son in the


General Appropriations Bill (GAB) for 1992, Congress allotted
additional budget for pensions of retired justices. Congress
however did the allotment in the following manner: Congress
made an item entitled: General Fund Adjustment; included
therein are allotments to unavoidable obligations in different
brances of the government; among such obligations is the
allotment for the pensions of retired justices of the judiciary.
However, President Aquino again vetoed the said lines which
provided for the pensions of the retired justices in the
judiciary in the GAB. She explained that that portion of the
GAB is already deemed vetoed when she vetoed H.B. 16297.
This prompted Cesar Bengzon and several other retired judges
and justices to question the constitutionality of the veto made
by the President. The President was represented by then
Executive Secretary Franklin Drilon.
ISSUE: Whether or not the veto of the President on that
portion of the General Appropriations bill is constitutional.
HELD: No. The Justices of the Court have vested rights to the
accrued pension that is due to them in accordance to Republic
Act 1797 which was never repealed. The president has no
power to set aside and override the decision of the Supreme

Court neither does the president have the power to enact or


amend statutes promulgated by her predecessors much less to
the repeal of existing laws.
The Supreme Court also explained that the veto is
unconstitutional since the power of the president to disapprove
any item or items in the appropriations bill does not grant the
authority to veto part of an item and to approve the remaining
portion of said item. It appears that in the same item, the
Presidents vetoed some portion of it and retained the others.
This cannot be done. The rule is: the Executive must veto a bill
in its entirety or not at all; the Executive must veto an entire
line item in its entirety or not at all. In this case, the president
did not veto the entire line item of the general adjustment fund.
She merely vetoed the portion which pertained to the pensions
of the justices but did not veto the other items covering
obligations to the other departments of the government.
PHILCONSA VS ENRIQUEZ
G.R. No. 113105 August 19 1994 [Article VI Section 25 Appropriations]
FACTS:
Petitioners assailed the validity of RA 7663 or General
Appropriations Act of 1994.
GAA contains a special provision that allows any members of

the Congress the realignment of Allocation for Operational


Expenses, provided that the total of said allocation is not
exceeded.
Philconsa claims that only the Senate President and the
Speaker of the House of Representatives are the ones
authorized under the Constitution to realign savings, not the
individual members of Congress themselves.
President signed the law, but Vetoes certain provisions of the
law and imposed certain provisional conditions: that the AFP
Chief of Staff is authorized to use savings to augment the
pension funds under the Retirement and Separation Benefits of
the AFP.
ISSUE:
Whether or not RA 7663 is violation of Article VI, Section 25
(5) of 1987 Constitution.
RULING:
Yes. Only the Senate President and the Speaker of the House
are allowed to approve the realignment.
Furthermore, two conditions must be met: 1) the funds to be
realigned are actually savings, and 2) the transfer is for the
purpose of augmenting the items of expenditures to which said
transfer to be made.
As to the certain condition given to the AFP Chief of Staff, it is
in violation of Sections 25(5) and 29(1) of the Article VI of the
Constitution. The list of those who may be authorized to

transfer funds is exclusive. the AFP Chief of Staff may not be


given authority.
Section 28
Kapatiran ng mga Naglilingkod sa Pamahalaan v Tan
(1988)
Kapatiran ng mga Naglilingkod sa Pamahalaan v Tan GR No
81311 June 30, 1988
FACTS:
EO 372 was issued by the President of the Philippines which
amended the Revenue Code, adopting the value-added tax
(VAT) effective January 1, 1988. Four petitions assailed the
validity of the VAT Law from being beyond the President to
enact; for being oppressive, discriminatory, regressive and
violative of the due process and equal protection clauses,
among others, of the Constitution. The Integrated Customs
Brokers Association particularly contend that it unduly
discriminate against customs brokers (Section 103r) as the
amended provision of the Tax Code provides that service
performed in the exercise of profession or calling (except
custom brokers) subject to occupational tax under the Local
Tax Code and professional services performed by registered
general professional partnerships are exempt from VAT.
ISSUE:
Whether the E-VAT law is void for being discriminatory
against customs brokers

RULING:
No. The phrase except custom brokers is not meant to
discriminate against custom brokers but to avert a potential
conflict between Sections 102 and 103 of the Tax Code, as
amended. The distinction of the customs brokers from the other
professionals who are subject to occupation tax under the Local
Tax Code is based on material differences, in that the activities
of customs partake more of a business, rather than a profession
and were thus subjected to the percentage tax under Section
174 of the Tax Code prior to its amendment by EO 273. EO
273 abolished the percentage tax and replaced it with the VAT.
If the Association did not protest the classification of customs
brokers then, there is no reason why it should protest now.
Province of Abra vs Harold Hernando
107 SCRA 104 Political Law Exemption From Taxes The
Church
The Province of Abra sought to tax the properties of the Roman
Catholic Bishop, Inc. of Bangued. Judge Harold Hernando
dismissed the petition of Abra without hearing its side.
Hernando ruled that there is no question that the real
properties sought to be taxed by the Province of Abra are
properties of the respondent Roman Catholic Bishop of
Bangued, Inc. Likewise, there is no dispute that the properties
including their produce are actually, directly and exclusively

used by the Roman Catholic Bishop of Bangued, Inc. for


religious or charitable purposes.
ISSUE: Whether or not the properties of the church (in this
case) is exempt from taxes.
HELD: No, they are not tax exempt. It is true that the
Constitution provides that charitable institutions, mosques,
and non-profit cemeteries are required that for the exemption
of lands, buildings, and improvements, they should not only
be exclusively but also actually and directly used for
religious or charitable purposes. The exemption from taxation
is not favored and is never presumed, so that if granted it must
be strictly construed against the taxpayer. However, in this
case, there is no showing that the said properties are actually
and directly used for religious or charitable uses.
Abra Valley College vs Aquino (G.R. No. L-39086)
FACTS: Petitioner, an educational corporation and institution
of higher learning duly incorporated with the Securities and
Exchange Commission in 1948, filed a complaint to annul and
declare void the Notice of Seizure and the Notice of Sale of
its lot and building located at Bangued, Abra, for non-payment
of real estate taxes and penalties amounting to P5,140.31. Said

Notice of Seizure by respondents Municipal Treasurer and

Philippine Constitution, expressly grants exemption from realty

Provincial Treasurer, defendants below, was issued for the

taxes for cemeteries, churches and parsonages or convents

satisfaction of the said taxes thereon.

appurtenant thereto, and all lands, buildings, and improvements


used exclusively for religious, charitable or educational

The parties entered into a stipulation of facts adopted and

purposes. Reasonable emphasis has always been made that

embodied by the trial court in its questioned decision. The trial

the exemption extends to facilities which are incidental to and

court ruled for the government, holding that the second floor of

reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the main

the building is being used by the director for residential

purposes. The use of the school building or lot for commercial

purposes and that the ground floor used and rented by Northern

purposes is neither contemplated by law, nor by jurisprudence.

Marketing Corporation, a commercial establishment, and thus

In the case at bar, the lease of the first floor of the building to

the property is not being used exclusively for educational

the Northern Marketing Corporation cannot by any stretch of

purposes. Instead of perfecting an appeal, petitioner availed of

the imagination be considered incidental to the purpose of

the instant petition for review on certiorari with prayer for

education. The test of exemption from taxation is the use of the

preliminary injunction before the Supreme Court, by filing said

property for purposes mentioned in the Constitution.

petition on 17 August 1974.


The decision of the CFI Abra (Branch I) is affirmed subject to
ISSUE: Whether or not the lot and building are used

the modification that half of the assessed tax be returned to the

exclusively for educational purposes.

petitioner. The modification is derived from the fact that the


ground floor is being used for commercial purposes (leased)

HELD: Section 22, paragraph 3, Article VI, of the then 1935

and the second floor being used as incidental to education

(residence of the director).


Section 28
Wenceslao Pascual vs Secretary of Public Works and
Communications
110 Phil. 331 Political Law Appropriation For Private Use
Not Allowed
In 1953, Republic Act No. 920 was passed. This law
appropriated P85,000.00 for the construction, reconstruction,
repair, extension and improvement Pasig feeder road
terminals. Wenceslao Pascual, then governor of Rizal, assailed
the validity of the law. He claimed that the appropriation was
actually going to be used for private use for the terminals
sought to be improved were part of the Antonio Subdivision.
The said Subdivision is owned by Senator Jose Zulueta who
was a member of the same Senate that passed and approved the
same RA. Pascual claimed that Zulueta misrepresented in
Congress the fact that he owns those terminals and that his
property would be unlawfully enriched at the expense of the
taxpayers if the said RA would be upheld. Pascual then prayed
that the Secretary of Public Works and Communications be
restrained from releasing funds for such purpose. Zulueta, on

the other hand, perhaps as an afterthought, donated the said


property to the City of Pasig.
ISSUE: Whether or not the appropriation is valid.
HELD: No, the appropriation is void for being an
appropriation for a private purpose. The subsequent donation
of the property to the government to make the property public
does not cure the constitutional defect. The fact that the law
was passed when the said property was still a private property
cannot be ignored. In accordance with the rule that the taxing
power must be exercised for public purposes only, money
raised by taxation can be expanded only for public purposes
and not for the advantage of private individuals. Inasmuch as
the land on which the projected feeder roads were to be
constructed belonged then to Zulueta, the result is that said
appropriation sought a private purpose, and, hence, was null
and void.
Gregorio Aglipay vs Juan Ruiz
64 Phil. 201 Political Law Appropriation Religious Sect
Religious Freedom
The 33rd International Eucharistic Congress organized by the
Roman Catholic Church took place sometime in 1936. In

commemoration thereof. then Director of Posts, Juan Ruiz,


initiated the production of certain stamps the design of which
would have in their center a chalice, with grape and stalks of
wheat as border design. Eventually, the stamps were produced
and some were sold pursuant to Act No. 4052, which provides
for appropriation.

Director of Posts, with the approval of the Secretary of Public


Works and Communications, to dispose of the amount
appropriated in the manner indicated and as often as may be
deemed advantageous to the Government. The fact that the
fund is being used for such is only incidental to the function of
Director of Posts and under his discretion.

Gregorio Aglipay, the head of the Philippine Independent


Church, assailed the production and sale of such stamps.
Aglipay contends that the funding of said stamps
commemorative to a particular religious event is in violation of
Sec 13, Article 6 of the Philippine Constitution which prohibits
the appropriation or usage of public money for the use or
benefit of any church or denomination.

On religious freedom
The Supreme Court noted however that the elevating influence
of religion is recognized here as elsewhere. Evidence would be
our preamble where we implored the aid of divine providence
to establish an ideal government. If should also be further
noted that religious freedom as a constitutional mandate is not
an inhibition of profound reverence to religion.

ISSUE: Whether or not the production of the said stamps


violate the Constitution.
HELD: No. The sale of stamps is not in violation of the
Constitution. In fact, what was emphasized on the stamps was
not the religious event itself but rather the City of Manila as
being the seat of such event. Act No. 4052 on the other hand
did not appropriate any public money to a religious event. Act
No. 4052 appropriated the sum of P60,000.00 for the cost of
plates and printing of postage stamps with new designs and
other expenses incident thereto, and merely authorizes the

CASE DIGEST: Guingona, Jr. vs. Carague


G.R. No. 94571. April 22, 1991
FACTS:
The 1990 budget consists of P98.4 Billion in automatic
appropriation (with P86.8 Billion for debt service) and P155.3
Billion appropriated under RA 6831, otherwise known as the
General Approriations Act, or a total of P233.5 Billion, while
the appropriations for the DECS amount to

P27,017,813,000.00.
The said automatic appropriation for debt service is authorized
by PD No. 18, entitled Amending Certain Provisions of
Republic Act Numbered Four Thousand Eight Hundred Sixty,
as Amended (Re: Foreign Borrowing Act), by PD No. 1177,
entitled Revising the Budget Process in Order to
Institutionalize the Budgetary Innovations of the New Society,
and by PD No.1967, entitled An Act Strengthening the
Guarantee and Payment Positions of the Republic of the
Philippines on its Contingent Liabilities Arising out of Relent
and Guaranteed Loans by Appropriating Funds For The
Purpose.
The petitioners were questioning the constitutionality of the
automatic appropriation for debt service, it being higher than
the budget for education, therefore it is against Section 5(5),
Article XIV of the Constitution which mandates to assign the
highest budgetary priority to education.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the automatic appropriation for debt service is
unconstitutional; it being higher than the budget for education.
HELD:
No. While it is true that under Section 5(5), Article XIV of the
Constitution Congress is mandated to assign the highest
budgetary priority to education, it does not thereby follow that
the hands of Congress are so hamstrung as to deprive it the

power to respond to the imperatives of the national interest and


for the attainment of other state policies or objectives.
Congress is certainly not without any power, guided only by its
good judgment, to provide an appropriation, that can
reasonably service our enormous debtIt is not only a matter
of honor and to protect the credit standing of the country. More
especially, the very survival of our economy is at stake. Thus,
if in the process Congress appropriated an amount for debt
service bigger than the share allocated to education, the Court
finds and so holds that said appropriation cannot be thereby
assailed as unconstitutional
OSMEA vs. ORBOS
220 SCRA 703
GR No. 99886, March 31, 1993
" To avoid the taint of unlawful delegation of the power to tax,
there must be a standard which implies that the legislature
determines matter of principle and lays down fundamental
policy."
FACTS: Senator John Osmea assails the constitutionality of
paragraph 1c of PD 1956, as amended by EO 137, empowering
the Energy Regulatory Board (ERB) to approve the increase of
fuel prices or impose additional amounts on petroleum
products which proceeds shall accrue to the Oil Price
Stabilization Fund (OPSF) established for the reimbursement
to ailing oil companies in the event of sudden price increases.
The petitioner avers that the collection on oil products
establishments is an undue and invalid delegation of legislative

power to tax. Further, the petitioner points out that since a


'special fund' consists of monies collected through the taxing
power of a State, such amounts belong to the State, although
the use thereof is limited to the special purpose/objective for
which it was created. It thus appears that the challenge posed
by the petitioner is premised primarily on the view that the
powers granted to the ERB under P.D. 1956, as amended,
partake of the nature of the taxation power of the State.
ISSUE: Is there an undue delegation of the legislative power of
taxation?
HELD: None. It seems clear that while the funds collected may
be referred to as taxes, they are exacted in the exercise of the
police power of the State. Moreover, that the OPSF as a special
fund is plain from the special treatment given it by E.O. 137. It
is segregated from the general fund; and while it is placed in
what the law refers to as a "trust liability account," the fund
nonetheless remains subject to the scrutiny and review of the
COA. The Court is satisfied that these measures comply with
the constitutional description of a "special fund." With regard
to the alleged undue delegation of legislative power, the Court
finds that the provision conferring the authority upon the ERB
to impose additional amounts on petroleum products provides a
sufficient standard by which the authority must be exercised. In
addition to the general policy of the law to protect the local
consumer by stabilizing and subsidizing domestic pump rates,
P.D. 1956 expressly authorizes the ERB to impose additional
amounts to augment the resources of the Fund.
Section 30

Diaz v. CA
G.R. No. L-109698
Bellossillo, J.
Facts:
On 23 January 1991, Davao Light and Power
Company, Inc. (DLPC) filed with the Energy Regulatory Board
(ERB) an application for the approval of the sound value
appraisal of its property in service.
The Asian Appraisal Company valued the property
and equipment of DLPC as of 12 March 1990 at One Billion
One Hundred Forty One Million Seven Hundred Seventy Four
Thousand Pesos (P1,141,774,000.00).
On 6 December 1992, ERB approved the application
of DLPC after deducting Fourteen Million Eight Hundred
Thousand Pesos (P14,800,000.00) worth of property and
equipment which were not used by DLPC in its operation.
On 6 July 1992, petitioners filed a petition for review
on certiorari before the Supreme Court assailing the decision of
ERB on the ground of lack of jurisdiction and/or grave abuse
of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction.
In our resolution of 8 September 1992, the Supreme
Court referred the case for proper disposition to the Court of
Appeals which subsequently dismissed the petition on the
ground that (1) the filing of the petition for review with the

Supreme Court was a wrong mode of appeal, and (2) the


petition did not comply with the provisions of Supreme Court
Circular 1-88 in that (a) it did not state the date when the
petitioners received notice of the ERB decision, (b) it did not
state the date when the petitioners filed a motion for
reconsideration, and (c) it inconsistently alleged different dates
when petitioners supposedly received the denial of their motion
by ERB.
On 18 December 1992, petitioners filed a motion for
reconsideration contending that our resolution of 8 September
1992 was a directive for the Court of Appeals to disregard the
above circular.
In its resolution of 24 March 1993, the Court of Appeals denied
the motion for reconsideration for lack of merit.

Issue:
whether or not E.O. No. 172 is violative of Section
30, Article VI of the Constitution
Held:
Yes. Since Sec. 10 of E.O. No. 172 was enacted
without the advice and concurrence of the Supreme Court, this
provision never became effective, with the result that it cannot
be deemed to have amended the Judiciary Reorganization Act
of 1980. Consequently, the authority of the Court of Appeals to
decide cases from the Board of Energy, now ERB, remains.
Section 32