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Pointers in Political Law

By Professor Victoria V. Loanzon

With the assistance of Atty. Clemente L. Reyes IV
PART I: The Velasco Cases
Sec. Romulo et. al.)
Nature of Executive Agreement
Question: Was the Non-Surrender Agreement validly contracted between the Philippines and
the United States of America considering that Philippines signed the Rome Statute?
Answer: Yes, the agreement was validly contracted between the Philippines and the United
States of America. At the time the petition was filed the Senate has not ratified the Rome
Statute and the same is therefore considered an executive agreement. The President, as head
of state and government, is the sole organ and authority in the external affairs of the country.
The Constitution vests in the President the power to enter into international agreements,
subject, in appropriate cases, to the required concurrence votes of the Senate.
An act of the executive branch with a foreign government must be afforded great respect.
This authority of the President to enter into executive agreements without the concurrence of
legislators is provided by the inviolable doctrine of separation of powers among the
legislative, executive and judicial branches of the government. Thus, absent any clear
contravention of the law, the courts should exercise utmost caution in declaring any executive
agreement invalid.
Customary Practice in Public International Law
Question: In Public International Law, will Exchange of Notes be a valid basis to conclude
an agreement between two independent states?
Answer: Yes. An exchange of notes falls into the category of inter-governmental
agreements, which is an internationally accepted form of international agreement.
Hence, the Non-Surrender Bilateral Agreement between the Philippines and the
U.S. in the exchange note is a recognized mode of concluding a legally binding
international written contract among nations.
Under international law, there is no difference between treaties and executive
agreements in terms of their binding effects on the contracting states concerned, as
long as the negotiating functionaries have remained within their powers. On the
domestic sphere, an AGREEMENT cannot be held valid if it violates the
Question: Does the Philippines adhere to the doctrine of incorporation in its dealings with
other independent states?
Answer: Yes, the Doctrine of Incorporation is enshrined under Section 2, Article II of the
Constitution wherein the Philippines adopts the generally accepted principles of international
law as part of the law of the land. The country also adheres to the policy of peace,
cooperation, and amity with all nations.
Question: Being a signatory to the Rome Statute, will the Philippines substantially impair
the value of the governments undertaking on jurisdictional conflict of the domestic courts
and the International Criminal Court under the Non-Surrender Bilateral Agreement with the
U.S. government?
Answer: No. The Philippines will not violate its obligations under of the provisions of the
Rome Statute because the principle of complementarity underpins the creation of the
International Criminal Court (ICC). Jurisdiction of the ICC is to be complementary to
national criminal jurisdictions.
Of particular note is the application of the principle of ne bis in idem under par. 3 of Art. 20,
Rome Statute, which again underscores the primacy of the jurisdiction of a state vis--vis that
of the ICC. As far as relevant, the provision states that no person who has been tried by
another court for conduct x x x [constituting crimes within its jurisdiction] shall be tried by
the [International Criminal] Court with respect to the same conduct. (elements of double
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Distinction between State Party and State Signatory

Question: At the inception of the case, the Philippine Senate has not ratified the Rome
Statute. Is there any distinction between the obligation of a state party and a state signatory
under the facts of the case?
Answer: Yes. There is a distinction. At the time of the filing of the case, the Philippines is
only a signatory to the Rome Statute and not a State-Party for lack of ratification by the
Senate. Thus, it is only obliged to refrain from acts which would defeat the object and
purpose of the Rome Statute. Any argument obliging the Philippines to follow any provision
in the treaty would be premature. (doctrine of transformation)
Question: With the ratification of the Rome Statute by the Senate, discuss the obligation of
the Philippines as a state party?
Answer: Under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, a signatory state is only
obliged to refrain from acts which would defeat the object and purpose of a treaty; whereas a
State-Party, on the other hand, is legally obliged to follow all the provisions of a treaty in
good faith. Arts. 27, 86, 89 and 90 are only legally binding upon State-Parties, not
signatories. (principle of pacta sund servanda)
Question: Can an administrative agency pursuant to its charter formulate rules to implement
the mandated objectives of the agency?
Answer: Yes, under the doctrine of delegation of powers, administrative agencies have the
authority to promulgate issuances provided they conform with the congressional act vesting
in them such power. To bind third parties, the promulgated rules must be published. (Tanada
v. Tuvera, factors to consider when one is a publication of general circulation)
The administrative agency must likewise comply with the twin tests of valid delegation, to
1. Completeness Test; and
2. Sufficient Standard Test
Question: Can SMLI assail the decision of the BCDA to ignore its submitted proposal under
its Competitive Challenge despite compliance with the rules for the disposal of the property
in question?
Answer: Yes. SMLI has the right to a completed competitive challenge pursuant to the
NEDA Joint Venture Guidelines and the Certification issued by the BCDA.
Under the Administrative Code of 1987, acts of the President providing for rules of a general
or permanent character in implementation or execution of constitutional or statutory powers
shall be promulgated in Executive Orders. The NEDA Joint Venture Guidelines and the
Competitive Challenge are incorporated in presidential issuances and officers of NEDA and
BCDA were likewise authorized by the President to undertake steps to carry out the tasks.
Question: Can SMLI invoke the application of the alter ego doctrine when the BCDA
recommended to the Office of the President that the SMLI submitted bid proposal under
BCDAs Competitive Challenge be totally ignored?
Answer : Yes. In this particular case the executive power to issue rules and regulations on
procurement has been delegated to the Presidents alter egos, partcularly to NEDA and
BCDA. BCDA can no longer renege on submitted proposal of SMLI under its Competitive
Challenge. By allowing SMLI, to submit voluntary and unconditional proposal to
improve the original offer, BCDA is now precluded from changing the rules it earlier
promulgated. SMLI was led to believe that BCDA has been duly authorized to act on behalf
of the Office of the President.
Question: Is the Ombudsman empowered to investigate, conduct the prosecution and
implement disciplinary actions against public officers?
Answer: Yes. The provisions of R.A.No. 6770 granting investigative, prosecutorial and
disciplinary powers to the Ombudsman are constitutional. The Office of the Ombudsman is a
creature of the Constitution. The framers of the 1987 Constitution intended the office to be
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strong and effective, with sufficient bite and muscle to enable it to carry out its mandate as
protector of the people against the inept, abusive, and corrupt public officers in the
Question: Was there a valid delegation of power under R.A. No. 6770 provisos granting
investigative, prosecutorial and disciplinary powers to the Ombudsman?
Answer: Yes. It is the 1987 Constitution no less which granted and allowed the grant by
Congress of sweeping prosecutorial, investigatory, and disciplinary powers to the
Ombudsman. The framers of the Constitution, however, left it to Congress to invest the office
with more broad powers to enforce its own action.
Thus, R.A. No. 6770 was enacted empowering, under Sec. 15(1) thereof, the Ombudsman to
take over, at any stage, from any investigatory agency of government, the investigation of
cases of which the Ombudsman has primary jurisdiction.
N.B. The Ombudsman may delegate to DOJ the prosecution of cases involving
public officers.
Read Ombudsman v. C.A. and Mayor Binay on the abandonment of the Aguinaldo
Doctrine which allowed condonation of acts of elective public officers.
STATE PRINCIPLES AND POLICIES (MMDA v. Concerned Residents of Manila
Question: Do the pertinent provisions of the Environment Code (P.D. No. 1152) relate only
to the cleaning of specific pollution incidents and do not cover cleaning of pollution
(effluence) in general?
Answer: No. The policy statements and the provisions of P.D. No. 1152 do not in any manner
limit the states responsibility for incidents related to clean-up. In fact, the right to a balanced
and healthful ecology need not even be written in the Constitution for it is assumed, like
other civil and political rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, to exist from the inception of
mankind and it is an issue of transcendental importance with intergenerational implications.
(Relate to Oposa v. Factoran and Resident Marine Mammals of Tanon Straits v. DENR Sec.
Even assuming the absence of a categorical legal provision specifically prodding
petitioners to clean up the bay, they and the men and women representing them
cannot escape their obligation to future generations of Filipinos to keep the waters of
the Manila Bay clean and clear as humanly as possible. Anything less would be a
betrayal of the trust reposed in them. (Refer to Article XI Public Accountability:
Public Office is a public trust.)
Question: Can the task of cleaning up of the Manila be compelled by mandamus?
Answer: Yes. While the implementation of the MMDAs mandated tasks may entail a
decision-making process, the enforcement of the law or the very act of doing what the law
exacts to be done is ministerial in nature and may be compelled by mandamus.
The MMDAs duty in this regard is spelled out in Sec. 3(c) of R.A. No. 7924 creating
the MMDA which states that solid waste disposal and management which include
formulation and implementation of policies, standards, programs and projects for
proper and sanitary waste disposal.
It shall likewise include the establishment and operation of sanitary land fill and
related facilities and the implementation of other alternative programs intended to
reduce, reuse and recycle solid waste. The MMDAs duty in the area of solid waste
disposal, as may be noted, is set forth not only in the Environment Code (P.D. No.
1152) and R.A. No. 9003, but in its own charter as well (R.A. 7924).
The enforcement of the law or the very act of doing what the law exacts to be
done is ministerial in nature and may be compelled by mandamus. Sec. 3(c) of
R.A. No. 7924 creating the MMDA charged it with the task of solid waste
disposal and management.
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Question: Whether Sec. 36(g) of R.A. No. 9165 and COMELEC Res. No. 6486 are
unconstitutional for imposing an additional qualification for candidates for senator?
Answer: Yes. The assailed provision of R.A. No. 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No. 6486
are unconstitutional. It is basic that if a law or an administrative rule violates any norm of the
Constitution, that issuance is null and void and has no effect. Sec.3 of Art.VI of the
Constitution provides that: No person shall be a senator unless he is natural-born citizen of
the Philippines, and on the day of the election, is at least 35 years of age, able to read and
write, a registered voter, and a resident of the Philippines for not less than two years
immediately preceding the day of the election. Drug testing is not one of the constitutional
requirements to become a senator.
Thus, COMELEC cannot, in the guise of enforcing and administering election laws or
promulgating rules and regulations to implement Sec. 36(g), validly impose qualifications on
candidates for senator in addition to what the Constitution prescribes. Sec. 36(g) cannot be
imposed by Congress and if it cannot require a candidate for senator to meet such additional
qualification, the COMELEC, to be sure, is also without such power.
The right of a citizen in the democratic process of election should not be defeated by
unwarranted impositions of requirement not otherwise specified in the Constitution. Sec.
36(g) of R.A. No. 9165 effectively enlarges the qualification requirements enumerated in the
Sec. 3, Art. VI of the Constitution.
Question: Are paragraphs (c), (d), (f), and (g) of Sec. 36 of R.A. No. 9165 unconstitutional
on the grounds of violation of right against unreasonable searches and right to privacy?
Answer: Paragraphs (c), (d), and (g) of Sec. 36 of R.A. No. 9165 are constitutional . Firstly,
on the grounds of right against unreasonable searches , it should be highlighted that what the
Sec. 2 of Article II of the Constitution, requires a reasonable showing of probable cause to
be personally determined by the judge. The factor considered here is the nature of privacy
interest upon drug testing.
The factor considered in the assailed provisions is the nature of privacy interest upon drug
testing. There could be no unconstitutionality to the search (in this case the random drug
testing) because as it might be deemed mandatory, it is randomly done, thus not specifying
the people subjected to be tested, the place and the schedule. Plus, the testing would be
conducted by trained professionals in controlled locations of Department of Health to ensure
the trustworthiness of results and to safeguard against tampering of the results and accurate
chain of custody.
(Please take note of the purpose of chain of custody; requisites)
Question: Whether P.D. No. 961 and P.D. No. 1468 are unconstitutional for declaring the
funds which the Philippine Coconut Authority has been authorized to collect are funds which
can be used to purchase shares of stocks for private individuals?
Answer: Yes, both presidential decrees are unconstitutional. The mandate of the assailed
presidential decrees are unconstitutional. The coconut levy funds are in the nature of taxes
and can only be used for public purpose. Consequently, they cannot be used to purchase
shares of stocks to be given for free to private individuals.
Take note of the purpose of imposing taxes and the constitutional provisions related to
enactment of laws on taxes:
The coco levy funds were exactions with the end goal of developing the entire coconut
industry, to hold therefore, even by law, that the revenues received from the imposition of the
coconut levies be used purely for private purposes to be owned by private individuals in their
private capacity and for their benefit, would contravene the rationale behind the imposition of
taxes or levies.
Furthermore, Article VI, Section 29 (3) provides that all money collected on any tax levied
for a special purpose shall be treated as a special fund and paid out for such purpose only.
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The conversion of public funds into private assets was illegally allowed, in fact mandated, by
the assailed presidential issuances. Clearly therefore, the pertinent provisions of P.D. Nos.
755, 961 and 1468 are unconstitutional for violating Section 29 (3) of Article VI of the
In this context, the distribution by Philippine Coconut Authority of the United Coconut
Planters Bank shares purchased by means of the coconut levy fund a special fund of the
government to the coconut farmers, is therefore void.
Article VI, Section 29 (3) provides that all money collected on any tax levied for a special
purpose shall be treated as a special fund and paid out for such purpose only.
The conversion of public funds into private assets was illegally allowed under the pertinent
provisions of P.D. Nos. 755, 961 and 1468. These provisions are unconstitutional for
violating Article VI, Section 29 (3) of the Constitution.
Question: Did the COMELEC gravely abuse its discretion when it denied petitioners prayer
for their additional seats in the House of Representatives under the party-list system?
Answer: Yes, COMELECs application simplified formula or of Ang Bagong Bayani and
Bayan Muna is incorrect. The simplified formula having already been abandoned, the
COMELEC should have used and adhered to the Veterans formula.
The only basis given by the law is that a party receiving at least 2% of the total votes shall be
entitled to one seat. Proportionally, if the first party were to receive twice the number of votes
of the second party, it should be entitled to twice the latters number of seats and so on.
The next step is to solve for the number of additional seats that the other qualified parties are
entitled to, based on proportional representation. There should be no rounding off to the
nearest whole number.
Question: Is petitioner CIBAC after obtaining a result of 0.82304986 entitled to an additional
Answer: No. Applying the Veterans formula in petitioners case, the Court reached the
conclusion that CIBAC is not entitled to an additional seat. Since petitioner CIBAC got a
result of 0.82304986 only, which is less than one, then it did not obtain or reach a whole
number. Petitioner has not convinced us to deviate from the Courts ruling in Veterans that in
order to be entitled to one additional seat, an exact whole number is necessary. Clearly,
petitioner is not entitled to an additional seat.
Question: Did the Court of Appeals commit irreversible error when it dropped President as
respondent in the instant case?
Answer: No. The presidential immunity from suit remains preserved under the countrys
system of government, albeit not expressly reserved in the present constitution. The President
may not be sued during his or her tenure.
Settled is the doctrine that the President, during his tenure of office or actual incumbency,
may not be sued in any civil or criminal case, and there is no need to provide for it in the
Constitution or law. It will degrade the dignity of the high office of the President, the Head of
State, if he can be dragged into court litigations while serving as such. Furthermore, it is
important that he be freed from any form of harassment, hindrance or distraction to enable
him to fully attend to the performance of his official duties and functions.


Question: Is the legal contention of the Oppositor-intervenors tenable?
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Answer: NO. The conversion may be viewed as a sound business strategy to preserve and
conserve the value of the governments interests in CIIF SMC shares. The choice to convert
the SMC common shares into Preferred Shares is a prerogative of the executive branch which
hold these sequestered shares.
Question: May the court look into the prerogative of the executive branch in the disposition
of the SMC shares representing the interest of the government in San Miguel Corporation?
Answer: It is the executive branch, either pursuant to the residual power of the President or
by force of her enumerated powers under the laws, that has control over all matters pertaining
to the disposition of government property or, in this case, sequestered assets under the
administration of the PCGG.
Surely, such control is neither legislative nor judicial. Well settled is the rule that the courts
cannot inquire into the wisdom of an executive act but must respect the decision of the
executive department, absent a clear showing of grave abuse of discretion.
The conversion may be viewed as a sound business strategy to preserve and conserve the
value of the governments interests in CIIF SMC shares.
Question: Will the action of an administrative agency like the Presidential Agrarian Reform
Commissionan over the Stock Distribution Plan covering the shares of Hacienda Land, Inc.
be covered the operative fact doctrine?
Answer: Yes. The Court maintained its stance that the operative fact doctrine is applicable in
this. The doctrine is not limited only to invalid or unconstitutional laws but also applies to
decisions made by the President or the administrative agencies that have the force and effect
of laws. Prior to the nullification or recall of said decisions, they may have produced acts and
consequences that must be respected. It is on this score that the operative fact doctrine should
be applied to acts and consequences that resulted from the implementation of the PARC
Resolution approving the SDP of HLI.
The implementation of the PARC Resolution approving the SDP of HLI enjoys the full
respect accorded to a law. The farmer-tenants as members of a juridical entity were allowed
to retain the benefits and home lots they received under the stock distribution scheme, they
were also given the option to choose for themselves whether they want to remain as
stockholders of HLI or not.
Question: Can beneficiaries of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program cover juridical
Answer: Yes. The farmers and regular farm workers have a right TO OWN DIRECTLY OR
COLLECTIVELY THE LANDS THEY TILL. The basic law allows two (2) modes of land
distribution direct and indirect ownership. Direct transfer to individual farmers is the most
commonly used method by DAR and widely accepted. Indirect transfer through collective
ownership of the agricultural land is the alternative to direct ownership of agricultural land
by individual farmers. Article XIII Sec. 4 expressly authorizes collective ownership by
Jinggoy Estrada)
Question: Can one invoke the sub judice rule to enjoin the conduct of a congressional
Answer: No. The sub judice rule restricts comments and disclosures pertaining to judicial
proceedings to avoid prejudging the issue, influencing the court, or obstructing the
administration of justice. In this case, the subject matter of the senate inquiry is no longer sub
judice for the reason that the Court has denied with finality the motion for reconsideration of
its decision filed by Chavez.
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Even assuming that Chavez v. NHA is still pending final adjudication by the Court, still, such
circumstance would not bar the continuance of the committee investigation. Suffice it to state
that the Senate Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation provide that the
filing or pendency of any prosecution or administrative action should not stop or abate any
inquiry to carry out a legislative purpose.
Question: Is there a distinction between a congressional inquiry and a judicial proceeding?
Answer: Yes. A legislative investigation in aid of legislation and court proceedings has
different purposes. On one hand, courts conduct hearings or like adjudicative procedures to
settle, through the application of a law, actual controversies arising between adverse litigants
and involving demandable rights.
Upon the other hand, inquiries in aid of legislation are, inter alia, undertaken as tools to
enable the legislative body to gather information and, thus, legislate wisely and effectively;
and to determine whether there is a need to improve existing laws or enact new or remedial
legislation, albeit the inquiry need not result in any potential legislation.
Question: Did the award to Smartmatic-TIM Corporation automation contract constitute
abandonment the constitutional mandate that the COMELEC shall be responsible for
election law enforcement?
Answer: No. The COMELEC did not violate its constitutional mandate when it awarded
the contract to Smartmatic.
Smarmatic-TIM joint venture is merely a service provider and lessor of goods and services to
the COMELEC, which shall have exclusive supervision and control of the electoral process.
There is a continuity and back-up plan that is in place and there is also an overall back up
strategy and options to address even the worst case scenario of all the machines breaking
Source Code review can be conducted to ensure that the COMELECs constitutional mandate
to ensure the integrity and sanctity of the election is adequately protected.
Question: Can a decision of a Division of COMELEC reach its finality?
Answer: YES. A decision of the COMELEC division can attain finality. Sec. 3, Article IX-C
of the Constitution bestows on the COMELEC divisions the authority to decide election
cases. Their decisions are capable of attaining finality, without need of any affirmative or
confirmatory action on the part of the COMELEC en banc.
While the Constitution requires that the motions for reconsideration be resolved by the
COMELEC en banc, it likewise requires that four votes must be reached for it to render a
valid ruling to grant the motion for reconsideration of private respondents. Hence, when the
private respondents failed to get the four-vote requirement on their motion for
reconsideration, their motion is defeated.
(Funa v. Villar)
Question: Was the appointment of Villar valid?
Answer: Yes. Villars appointment is valid. Villars appointment is not prohibited under the
Constitution. The Constitutional provision provides: The Chairman and Commissioners [on
Audit] shall be appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on
Appointments for a term of seven years without reappointment.
Of those first appointed, the Chairman shall hold office for seven years, one commissioner
for five years, and the other commissioner for three years, without reappointment.
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Appointment to any vacancy shall be only for the unexpired portion of the term of the
Question: Is promotional appointment in any of the Constitutional Commissions valid?
Answer: No. The provision, on its face, does not prohibit a promotional appointment from
commissioner to chairman as long as the commissioner has not served the full term of seven
years, further qualified by the third sentence of Sec. 1(2), Article IX (D) that the appointment
to any vacancy shall be only for the unexpired portion of the term of the predecessor.
Question: What rule will apply to promotional appointment in a constitutional commission?
Answer: The promotional appointment to the position of Chairman must conform to the
rotational plan or the staggering of terms in the commission membership such that the
aggregate of the service of the Commissioner in said position and the term to which he will
be appointed to the position of Chairman must not exceed seven years so as not to disrupt the
rotational system in the commission prescribed by Sec. 1(2), Art. IX(D).
Question: Was Abundo precluded to enjoy his seat as Mayor for having served for three
consecutive terms?
Answer: No. Abundos term was interrupted due to the earlier election contest between him
and Torres. The almost two-year period during which Abundos opponent actually served as
Mayor is and ought to be considered an involuntary interruption of Abundos continuity of
service. An involuntary interrupted term, cannot, in the context of the disqualification rule, be
considered as one term for purposes of counting the three-term threshold.
In Socrates v. COMELEC(G.R. No. 154512, 2002), the principle behind the three-term limit
rule covers only consecutive terms and that what the Constitution prohibits is a consecutive
fourth term.
After the election where he could have sought his fourth term but prevented to do so by
reason of the prohibition. An interruption usually occurs when the official does not seek a
fourth term, immediately following the third.
Question: Can Congress delegate the power to grant franchise to administrative agencies?
Answer: Yes. The TRB was granted sufficient power to grant a qualified person or entity
with authority to operate the toll facility/system. By explicit provisions of various laws, the
TRB was given power to grant administrative franchise for toll facility projects. The limiting
thrust of Article 12, Section 11 of the Constitution on the grant of franchise or other forms of
authorization to operate public utilities may, in context, be stated as follows: (a) the grant
shall be made only in favor of qualified Filipino citizens or corporations; (b) Congress can
impair the obligation of franchises, as contracts; and (c) no such authorization shall be
exclusive or exceed fifty years.
Question: Were the Toll Regulatory Boards grant of concession to private parties valid?
Answer: Yes. Under the 1987 Constitution, Congress has an explicit authority to grant a
public utility franchise. However, it may validly delegate its legislative authority, under the
power of subordinate legislation, to issue franchises of certain public utilities to authorized
administrative agencies. TRB has been authorized by Congress to exercise this power.
Question: Will a provision of law imposing a mandatory drug test on the accused violate his
right to privacy and right to self-incrimination?
Answer: Yes, paragraph (f) of Sec. 36 of R.A. No. 9165 is unconstitutional. SC finds no
valid justification for mandatory drug testing for persons accused of crimes. The operative
concepts in the mandatory drug testing are "randomness" and "suspicion less." In the case of
persons charged with a crime before the prosecutor's office, a mandatory drug testing can
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never be random or suspicion less. The ideas of randomness and being suspicion less are
antithetical to their being made defendants in a criminal complaint.
REASON; Accused are not randomly picked; neither are they beyond suspicion. When
persons suspected of committing a crime are charged, they are singled out and are
impleaded against their will. The persons thus charged, by the bare fact of being haled
before the prosecutor's office and peaceably submitting themselves to drug testing, if
that be the case, do not necessarily consent to the procedure, let alone waive their
right to privacy.
To impose mandatory drug testing on the accused is a blatant attempt to harness a
medical test as a tool for criminal prosecution, contrary to the stated objectives of RA
9165. Drug testing in this case would violate a persons' right to privacy guaranteed
under Sec. 2, Art. III of the Constitution. Worse still, the accused persons are veritably
forced to incriminate themselves.
Question: Was the downgrading of the salary grade of Go proper considering his promotion
which required a greater responsibility?
Answer: No. Go has established a clear, equitable vested right to the emoluments of his
position as Attorney VI, SG-26. And being an incumbent to that position, he has, at the very
least, an equitable right to receive the corresponding salary and emoluments attached
thereto. The summary demotion to a lower salary grade, with the corresponding decrease in
salary and emoluments after he has occupied his current rank and position, goes against his
right to continue enjoying the benefits accorded the position and which his predecessors must
have been receiving. (Take note that this matter was decided on equitable grounds.)
Go was denied due process. His right to a higher position and corresponding salary pay grade
has ripened into a vested right, of which he could be deprived only by due process of law, but
which we believe he was denied through the summary reallocation.
Go was neither apprised nor given the opportunity to contest the reallocation before the same
was unjustly implemented.
GOVERNMENTS (League Cities of Philippines v. COMELEC)
Question: Were all the 16 cityhood bills validly enacted without violating nthe equal
protection clause considering that there was no clear distinction in the upgrading of status of
municipalities into cities?
Answer: Yes, all the 16 city hood bills were validly enacted. The equal protection clause
does not preclude the state from recognizing and acting upon factual differences between
individuals and classes. It recognizes that inherent in the right to legislate is the right to
classify, necessarily implying that the equality guaranteed is not violated by a legislation
based on reasonable classification.
Classification, to be reasonable, must (1) rest on substantial distinctions; (2) be
germane to the purpose of the law; (3) not be limited to existing conditions only; and
(4) apply equally to all members of the same class. The Court finds that all these
requisites have been met by the laws challenged as arbitrary and discriminatory under
the equal protection clause.
Question: Did the 16 cityhood bills violate the new requirement of P100M income for a
municipality to be upgraded into a city?
Answer: No. Looking at the circumstances behind the enactment of R.A. No. 9009 which
amended the Local Government Code, it was the intention of Congress that municipalities
covered by the cityhood laws to be exempt from the PhP100 million income criterion.
The exemption accorded the 16 municipalities is based on the fact that each had
pending cityhood bills long before the enactment of RA 9009 that substantially
distinguish them from other municipalities aiming for cityhood. To impose on them
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the much higher income requirement after what they have gone through would appear
to be indeed unfair.
Question: Did the respondents violate the right to privacy of the concerned students?
Answer: No. As applied, even assuming that the photos in issue are visible only to the
sanctioned students Facebook friends, STC did not violate the minors right to privacy, as it
was the minors Facebook friends who showed the pictures to Tigol. Respondents were mere
recipients of what were posted. They did not resort to any unlawful means of gathering the
information as it was voluntarily given to them by persons who had legitimate access to the
said posts.
Question: Are petitioners entitled to issuance of the Writ of Habeas Data for alleged
violation of the right of informational privacy of the concerned students?
Answer: No. Respondent STC is not in the business of information gathering.
The right to informational privacy is the right of individuals to control information
about themselves. Considering that the default setting for Facebook posts is "Public,"
it can be surmised that the photographs in question were viewable to everyone on
Facebook, absent any proof that petitioners children positively limited the disclosure
of the photograph. If such were the case, they cannot invoke the protection attached to
the right to informational privacy.
The ensuing pronouncement in US v. Gines-Perez is most instructive: A person who
places a photograph on the Internet precisely intends to forsake and renounce all
privacy rights to such imagery, particularly under circumstances such as here, where
the defendant did not employ protective measures or devices that would have
controlled access to the Web page or the photograph itself.
Question: Was the action of respondent Laguardia issuing the 20-day suspension on
Petitioners program tantamount to abridgement of the freedom of speech and expression and
an impermissible prior restraint?
Answer: No. The Court rules that the government's interest to protect and promote the
interests and welfare of the children adequately buttresses the reasonable curtailment and
valid restraint on petitioner's prayer to continue as program host of Ang Dating Daan during
the suspension period.
Petitioner's offensive and obscene language uttered in a television broadcast, without
doubt, was easily accessible to the children. His statements could have exposed
children to language that is unacceptable in everyday use. As such, the welfare of
children and the States mandate to protect and care for them, as parens patriae,
constitute a substantial and compelling government interest in regulating petitioners
utterances in TV broadcast as provided in PD 1986.
REASON: There can be no quibbling that the remarks in question petitioner uttered on
prime-time television are blatantly indecent if not outright obscene. It is the kind of
speech that PD 1986 proscribes necessitating the exercise by MTRCB of statutory
disciplinary powers.
It is the kind of speech that the State has the inherent prerogative, nay duty, to
regulate and prevent should such action served and further compelling state interests.
One who utters indecent, insulting, or offensive words on television when
unsuspecting children are in the audience is, in the graphic language and vulgar
Question: Were the words uttered by Petitioner Soriano protected by the free exercise of
religious speech?
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Answer: No. There is nothing in petitioner's statements subject of the complaints expressing
any particular religious belief, nothing furthering his avowed evangelical mission. The fact
that he came out with his statements in a televised bible exposition program does not
automatically accord them the character of a religious discourse.
Plain and simple insults directed at another person cannot be elevated to the status of
religious speech. Even petitioners attempts to place his words in context show that he was
moved by anger and the need to seek retribution, not by any religious conviction. His claim,
assuming its veracity, that some INC ministers distorted his statements respecting amounts
Ang Dating Daan owed to a TV station does not convert the foul language used in retaliation
as religious speech.
Questions: Was the claim of the Ouanos and Inocians barred by the Statute of Frauds
considering that the agreement to reconvey the litigated parcels of land was made verbally by
the government and lot owners?
Answer: The claim of the Petitioners was not barred by Statute of Frauds.. Equity and
justice demand the reconveyance by MCIAA of the litigated lands in question to the Ouanos
and Inocians. In the same token, justice and fair play also dictate that the Ouanos and Inocian
return to MCIAA what they received as just compensation for the expropriation of their
respective properties plus legal interest to be computed from default, which in this case
should run from the time MCIAA complies with the reconveyance obligation. (PLEASE
Question: Do they have the right to repurchase their properties pursuant to the verbal
agreement with the governments negotiating team assuring them of its reacquisition should
the respondent agencies abandon the intended public purpose?
Answer: MICAA is under obligation to reconvey the expropriated properties to the
Petitioners. The taking of a private land in expropriation proceedings is always conditioned
on its continued devotion to its public purpose. As a necessary corollary, once the purpose is
terminated or peremptorily abandoned, then the former owner, if he so desires, may seek its
reversion, subject of course to the return, at the very least, of the just compensation received.
(Barangay Sindalan v. Magtoto III)
Question: Can a barangay exercise the power of eminent domain?
Answer: Yes. Being a political subdivision under Article X of the Constitution, it can
exercise the power of eminent. (The ruling in Moday v. Court of Appeals will help you
appreciate this principle.)
Question: Was public purpose met by the barangay when it sought to expropriate the
property of Spouses Sindalan?
Answer: No. The facts of the case reveal that the intended use of respondents lot is confined
solely to the Davsan II Subdivision residents and is not for the general public. Worse, the
expropriation will actually benefit the subdivisions owner who will be able to circumvent his
commitment to provide road access to the subdivision in conjunction with his development
permit and license to sell from the HLURB, and also be relieved of spending his own funds
for a right-of-way. The power of eminent domain can only be exercised for public use and
with just compensation. Taking an individuals private property is a deprivation which can
only be justified by a higher good which is public use and can only be counterbalanced by
just compensation. Without these safeguards, the taking of property would not only be
unlawful, immoral, and null and void, but would also constitute a gross and condemnable
transgression of an individuals basic right to property as well.
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Question: When is just compensation pegged, is at the time of taking or at time judgment is
Answer: Just compensation for the property should be based at the time it was taken from the
owner and appropriated by the government. The time of taking does not only mean the
time when the landowner was deprived of the use of his property, or when the title was issued
to the Republic or the beneficiaries.
Question: Is there taking under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program when its
beneficiaries are private individuals?
Answer: Yes. Taking in eminent domain cases also occurs when agricultural lands
voluntarily offered by a landowner are approved for CARP coverage. The power of eminent
domain has been broadened through the years as government implements various programs
to improve the living conditions of the people. Taking can now also be done in meeting the
housing needs of informal settlers under the Community Mortgagage Program of the
Question: Did PARC have the power to recall or revoke HLIs SDP without violating the
non-impairment of contract clause?
Answer: Yes, PARC has the power to revoke the Stock Distribution Option of the farm
workers of HLI. Under Sec. 31 of RA 6657, as implemented by DAO 10, the authority to
approve the plan for stock distribution of the corporate landowner belongs to PARC.
However, contrary to petitioner HLIs posture, PARC also has the power to revoke the SDP
which it previously approved. Such power or authority is deemed possessed by PARC under
the principle of necessary implication, to deny PARC such revocatory power would reduce it
into a toothless agency of CARP, because the very same agency tasked to ensure compliance
by the corporate landowner with the approved SDP would be without authority to impose
sanctions for non-compliance with it.
A law authorizing interference, when appropriate, in the contractual relations between
and among parties is deemed read into the contract and its implementation cannot
successfully be resisted by force of the non-impairment guarantee.
Question: What is the guarantee of the non-impairment clause under the Constitution?
Answer: Impairment obtains if a subsequent law changes the terms of a contract between the
parties, imposes new conditions, dispenses with those agreed upon or withdraws existing
remedies for the enforcement of the rights of the parties. Necessarily, the constitutional
proscription would not apply to laws already in effect at the time of the contract execution.
Question: Was MIAA barred from entering into negotiated contracts after the expiration of
the service contracts of OMSI and TCSI within the context of the public bidding
Answer: Yes. The contention of MIAA and Gana that the exceptions to the public bidding
rule in Sec. 1 of E.O. No. 301 cover both contracts for public services and for supplies,
material and equipment is not tenable. Their reliance on Sec. 1(e) of E.O. No. 301 for the
award of a service contract for janitorial and maintenance services without public bidding is
The general rule is that all government contracts must be subject to bidding. The matter of
negotiated bidding is restricted only in specific cases. In this particular case, the transaction
should undergo public bidding.
The Court said:
Executive Order No. 301 explicitly permits negotiated contracts in
particular identified instances. In its preamble, it adverted to the then existing set-up of a
centralized administrative system . . . for reviewing and approving negotiated
contracts . . ., and to the unsatisfactory character thereof in that such centralized
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administrative system is not at all facilitative particularly in emergency situations,

characterized as it is by red tape and too much delay in the processing and final approval of
the required transaction or activity; hence, the need to decentralize the processing and final
approval of negotiated contracts . . . It then laid down, in its Section 1, guidelines for
negotiated contracts thenceforth to be followed. While affirming the general policy that
contracts shall not be entered into or renewed without public bidding.
Question: Did Tabasa validly reacquire Philippine citizenship under RA 8171 and thus
cannot be summarily deported for his being an undocumented alien?
Answer: No. The only persons entitled to repatriation under RA 8171 are the following:
a.) Filipino women who lost their Philippine citizenship by marriage to aliens; and
b.) Natural-born Filipinos including their minor children who lost their Philippine
citizenship on account of political or economic necessity.
Tabasa does not fall in either category.
Question: What is the liability of a stenographer who engages in lending money during
office hours but fails to transcribe her stenographic notes within the prescribed period?
Answer: The stenographer is liable for gross neglect of duty.
Quoting Absin v. Montalla, the Court held: The failure to submit the TSNs within the period
prescribed under Administrative Circular No. 24-90 constitutes gross neglect of duty. Gross
neglect of duty is classified as a grave offense and punishable by dismissal even if for the
first offense pursuant to Section 52(A)(2) of Rule IV of the Uniform Rules on Administrative
Cases in the Civil Service.
As a stenographer, he should realize that the performance of his duty is essential to the
prompt and proper administration of justice, and his inaction hampers the administration of
justice and erodes public faith in the judiciary. Public office is a public trust, and he has
without a doubt violated this trust by his failure to execute his duty as a court stenographer.
Question: What standards must COMELEC observe in appreciating evidence in an electoral
Answer: The Court summarized the standards to be observed in an election contest
predicated on the theory that the election returns do not accurately reflect the will of the
voters due to alleged irregularities in the appreciation and counting of ballots. These guiding
standards are:
(1) The ballots cannot be used to overturn the official count as reflected in the election
returns unless it is first shown affirmatively that the ballots have been preserved with a
(2) The burden of proving that the integrity of the ballots has been preserved in such a
manner is on the protestant;
(3) Where a mode of preserving the ballots is enjoined by law, proof must be made of
such substantial compliance with the requirements of that mode as would provide
assurance that the ballots have been kept inviolate notwithstanding slight deviations from
the precise mode of achieving that end;
(4) It is only when the protestant has shown substantial compliance with the provisions of
law on the preservation of ballots that the burden of proving actual tampering or
likelihood thereof shifts to the protestee; and
(5) Only if it appears to the satisfaction of the Court that the integrity of the ballots has
been preserved should it adopt the result as shown by the recount and not as reflected in
the election returns. In the same case, the Court referred to various provisions in the
Omnibus Election Code providing for the safe-keeping and preservation of the ballots,
more specifically Sections 160, 217, 219, and 220 of the Code.
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Question: Did the MCTC correctly appreciate the five (5) protested ballots as votes for
Bataller, resulting into a tie between the contenders?
Answer: No. Only three ballots should have been credited to Bataller. After a scrutiny of the
five (5) contested ballots subject of Batallas instant position, the Court ruled that three (3)
ballots marked as Exhibits A, E, and G were properly appreciated and credited in favor of
Bataller under the neighborhood rule and intent rule. On the other hand, the ballots marked as
Exhibits B and C are stray ballots.
Question: What is the intent rule in appreciating ballots in an election contest?
Answer: The intent rule is well settled in this jurisdiction that in the appreciation of the
ballot, the objective should be to ascertain and carry into effect the intention of the voter, if it
could be determined with reasonable certainty. Hence, the intention of the voter to vote for a
particular candidate must be unequivocal from the face of a ballot. A ballot in question
should be liberally appreciated to effectuate the choice of the voters.
Question: What is the neighborhood rule in the appreciation of ballots in an election
Answer: The neighborhood rule is a settled rule stating that where the name of a candidate is
not written in the proper space in the ballot, but is preceded by the name of the office for
which he is a candidate, the vote should be counted as valid for said candidate. Such rule is
usually applied in consonance with the intent rule which stems from the principle that in the
appreciation of the ballot, the object should be to ascertain and carry into effect the intention
of the voter, if it could be determined with reasonable certainty.
Question: When is the reckoning date to ensure the timely filing of an election protest?
Answer: The reckoning date for the timely filing of an election protest is counted from the
date of the proclamation of the winner. Jurisprudence have established that the rule
prescribing the 10-day reglamentary period is mandatory and jurisdictional, and that the
filing of an election protest beyond the period deprives the court of jurisdiction over the
protest. Violation of this rule should neither be taken lightly nor brushed aside as a mere
procedural lapse that can be overlooked. The rule is not a mere technicality but an essential
requirement, the non-compliance of which would oust the court of jurisdiction over the case.
Question: Is the injunction order of a specially-constituted COMELEC Division valid?
Answer: Yes. Contrary to petitioners claim, it cannot be said that the First Division and the
Special First Division are two distinct bodies and that there has been consequent transfers of
the case between the two. Strictly speaking, the COMELEC did not create a separate
Division but merely and temporarily filled in the vacancies in both of its Divisions. The
additional term "special," in this case, merely indicates that the commissioners sitting therein
may only be doing so in a temporary capacity or via substitution.
Question: Did the COMELEC abuse its discretion when it dismissed Hipes appeal
questioning the MBOC ruling?
Answer: No. Even if the Court would entertain petitioner Hipes appeal from the decision of
the MBOC on the questioned election returns, the Court still rules in favor of respondent
Vicencio. The COMELEC, after a judicious evaluation of the documents on record, upheld
the findings of the MBOC to exclude the subject election returns on the basis of the affidavits
of the members of the Board of Election Inspectors
The rule that factual findings of administrative bodies will not be disturbed by courts of
justice except when there is absolutely no evidence or no substantial evidence in support of
such findings should be applied with greater force when it concerns the COMELEC, as the
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framers of the Constitution intended to place the COMELEC created and explicitly made
independent by the Constitution itself on a level higher than statutory administrative organs.
Question: When does the HRET acquire jurisdiction over an election protest?
Answer: Once a winning candidate has been proclaimed, taken his oath, and assumed office
as a Member of the House of Representatives, COMELECs jurisdiction over election
relating to the election, returns, and qualifications ends, and the HRETs own jurisdiction
Question: Does the local government unit have the power to classify agricultural land to nonagricultural land?
Answer: Yes. It is undeniable that the local government has the power to reclassify
agricultural into non-agricultural lands. Pursuant to Sec. 3 of RA 2264, amending the Local
Government Code, municipal and/or city councils are empowered to adopt zoning and
subdivision ordinances or regulations in consultation with the National Planning
Commission. In this case, since the subject property had been reclassified as
residential/commercial land with the enactment of City Ordinance No. 1313 in 1975, it can
no longer be considered as an "agricultural land, and is therefore outside the coverage of the
agrarian reform program
(Aquino v. Municipality of Malay, Aklan)
Question: Can the Mayor order the demolition of the hotel for operating without a business
Answer: Yes. In the exercise of police power and the general welfare clause, property rights
of individuals may be subjected to restraints and burdens in order to fulfill the objectives of
the government.
The LGC authorizes LGUs, acting through their local chief executives, to issue demolition
orders. Sec. 444 (b) (3) (vi) of the LGC empowers the mayor to order the closure and
removal of illegally constructed establishments for failing to secure the necessary permits.
Therefore, the Mayor can order the demolition.
(Please take time to review nuisance per se and when the court intervention is necessary
to remove the alleged nuisance.)
Question: Is the Mayor vested with quasi-judicial power when he ordered the demolition of
illegal structures without any court order?
Answer: Yes. While a city mayor is an executive official, the matter of issuing demolition
notices or orders is not a ministerial one.
In determining whether or not a structure is illegal or it should be demolished, property rights
are involved thereby needing notices and opportunity to be heard as provided for in the
constitutionally guaranteed right of due process. In pursuit of these functions, the city mayor
has to exercise quasi-judicial powers.
Therefore, he can order the demolition of the illegal structure of Aquino.

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Question: In the plebiscite for the conversion of Cabanatuan City should the same be limited
only to the registered voters of the city or should it include all the registered voters of Nueva
Answer: The qualified registered voters of the entire province of Nueva Ecija must
participate in the plebiscite called for the conversion of Cabanatuan City from a component
city into an Highly Urbanized City.
Question: Did the NEA Board have the power to reorganize NEA to a point of declaring all
its plantilla positions vacant?
Answer: Yes. Under of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the EPIRA Law, all NEA
employees shall be considered legally terminated with the implementation of a reorganization
program pursuant to a law enacted by Congress.
Petitioners argue that the power granted unto the NEA Board to organize or reorganize does
not include the power to terminate employees but only to reduce NEAs manpower
complement. Such contention is erroneous.
PART II: Concepts, Principles and Landmark Decisions
I. The Philippine Constitution
A.1.What is the accepted definition of a constitution?
A constitution is the body of rules and maxims in accordance with which the power of
sovereignty are habitually exercised. (Cooley)
A.2.What are the purposes of a constitution?
A constitution provides for a framework of government; identifies basic structures of
government and assign their respective powers and duties; and establishes principles upon
which the government is founded and its relationship to its constituents.
A. 3. What is the nature of the Philippine Constitution?
Nicolas v. Romulo, 578 SCRA: The 1987 Constitution just like the 1935 Constitution is rigid.
Both Constitutions require the ratification of the Senate of any treaty executed by the
President but Executive Agreements need not be ratified. Supplemental instruments or
agreements which seek to implement a treaty need not be ratified.
A.4. How should the Constitution be interpreted?
Francisco v. House of Representatives (2003): The Court gave the following rules in the
interpretation of the Constitution:
Verba legis: whenever possible, the words in the Constitution must be given their ordinary
meaning except when technical terms are employed.
Ratio legis et anima: the words in the Constitution should be interpreted in accordance with
the intent of the framers.
Ut magis valeat quam pereat: the Constitution must be interpreted as a whole.
A.5.What is the concept of the supremacy of the Constitution?
In Manila Prince Hotel v. Government Service Insurance System, the Court held:
A constitution is a system of fundamental laws for the governance and administration of a
nation. It is supreme, imperious, absolute and unalterable except by the authority from which
it emanates. It has been defined as the fundamental and paramount law of the nation. It
prescribes the permanent framework of a system of government, assigns to the different
departments their respective powers and duties, and establishes certain fixed principles on
which government is founded. The fundamental conception in other words is that it is a
supreme law to which all other laws must conform and in accordance with which all private
rights must be determined and all public authority administered. Under the doctrine of
constitutional supremacy, if a law or contract violates any norm of the constitution that
law or contract whether promulgated by the legislative or by the executive branch or
entered into by private persons for private purposes is null and void and without any
16 | P a g e

force and effect. Thus, since the Constitution is the fundamental, paramount and supreme
law of the nation, it is deemed written in every statute and contract.
B. What are the three basic parts of the 1987 Constitution?
The 1987 Constitution has the following parts:
Constitution of Liberty: Bill of Rights
Constitution of Government: Government Organization and Functions
Constitution of Sovereignty: Method of Amendment
C. Amending the Constitution
C.1. A majority of the incumbent members of the Senate and the House of
Representatives want to introduce changes in the Constitution. What are the available
options by which the Philippine Constitution can be amended?
Answer: Under Section 1, ArtXVII, the following methods may be employed to amend
the Constitution:
a. By Congress as a constituent assembly upon a vote of of all its members. The
constituent assembly may introduce revisions to the constitution.
Gonzales v. COMELEC (1967): The congress has legislative power which is plenary in
nature but the power to amend the Constitution is not included. It is within the constituent
power of the people which has been duly delegated to Congress when it convenes itself as a
constituent assembly. Congress continues to exercise its legislative body even it has already
been convened as a constituent assembly.
b. Constitutional Convention, Art. XVII, Sec. 3: By 2/3 vote of all members of Congress call
a constitutional convention or by a majority vote of all its members, submit to the electorate
the question of calling such convention. The constitutional convention may likewise
introduce revisions to the constitution.
Imbong v. COMELEC (1970): The Court upheld the power of Congress to enact the
implementing details of the constitutional convention provided the same do not clash with
any specific provision of the Constitution sought to be amended.
c. By Peoples Initiative
C.2 Disgruntled by the persistent scheme of the members of Congress to insert pork
barrel funds in the General Appropriations Act, a number of civic minded citizens
rallied the electorate to introduce amendment to the Constitution to address this
concern. What is appropriate method to introduce such amendment?
Answer: The people through initiative, Art. XVII, Sec. 2: Upon petition of at least 12% of
the total number of registered voters, of which every district must be represented by at least
3% of the voters therein. This may only be done once every 5 years (Sec. 2, Art. XVII).
C.3. How are amendments and revisions to the Constitution ratified?
Answer: In case of amendments proposed by Congress or a Convention, Art. XVII, Sec.
4, paragraph 1: Ratification by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite conducted by
COMELEC which shall be held not earlier than 60 days nor 90 days after the approval of the
amendment or revision.
In case of amendments proposed through initiative, Art. XVII, Sec. 4, paragraph 2:
Ratification by a majority of votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not later than 60
days nor later than 90 days after certification by COMELEC of the sufficiency of the

C.4. Is judicial review available in the amending process?

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Answer: Yes. Lambino v. COMELEC, 505 SCRA 160: The S.C. may exercise judicial
review over any matter relative to the process of amending or revising the Constitution.
Revision of the Constitution cannot be carried out through Peoples Initiative.
C.5. Can Congress enact a law which will allow the shift of the government to
Answer: No. A shift to federalism will require a constitutional amendment and not
simply by act of congress. In a federal state, the political subdivisions enjoy some degree
of independence from the national government and certain powers have to be shared.
At present, the Philippines has a presidential form of government where the local
government units is the extension of the national government.
D.1. Can the newly-elected President propose to change the countrys name, national
anthem and government seal?
Answer: Yes. The countrys name, national anthem and government seal may be changed by
law provided the same is submitted to the people for ratification (Art. XVI, Sec. 2).
D.2. May the President be held liable for the death of police officers in an encounter
with the National Peoples Army under the principle of command responsibility?
Answer: No. The principle of command responsibility/ chain of command will only apply
when the President acts as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (Art.
XVI, Sec. 4, Art. XVI, Sec. 5, Art. XVIII, Sec. 24). The Philippine National Police is not part
of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. (Rubrico v. Arroyo, G.R. 183871, 18 February 2010,
613 SCRA 233.)
D.3. In view of the growth of cable television industry in the country, some foreignowned broadcast media would like to engage business in the Philippines and register
under Philippine laws with the hope that it can compete with local companies. Is this
legally possible?
Answer: No. The Constitution provides that ownership and management of mass media
shall be 100% Filipino owned (Art. XVI, Sec. 11(1)).
D.4. Adorable Advertising Company is a company owned by Mexican nationals. Can it
be allowed to engage in advertising business in the Philippines?
Answer: No. The Constitution provides that ownership of advertising companies shall be
70% Filipino owned (Art. XVI, Sec. 11(1), Art. XVIII, Sec. 23).
II. General Considerations
A.1.What are the relevant laws which define the Philippine territory?
Answer: Article I, 1987 Constitution defines the National Territory of the Philippines. The
following subsequent treaties and laws define the national territory as well:
Treaty limits: Treaty of Paris, Art. III
Treaty between Spain and U.S. concluded at Washington on November 7, 1900 and
that between U.S. and Great Britain on January 2, 1930
Method of determining baselines under R.A. No. 3046, June 17, 1961, R.A.
No.5446, September 8, 1968; and R.A. No. 9522( Philippine Archipelagic Baselines
Law) , March 10, 2009, using the straight line approach
Other territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction
P.D. No. 1596, June 11, 1978
Two Hundred-Mile Exclusive Economic Zone under P.D. No. 1599, June 11, 1978
A.2. What are the remedies available to state parties of UNCLOS in case of conflicts?
Answer: A state signatory of UNCLOS may avail of the following remedies:
Article 279: Pacific settlement between the two conflicting states
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Article 280: Voluntary arbitration

Article 286: Compulsory arbitration
A.3. As a signatory of UNCLOS, may the Philippines seek legal relief on its claim as a
coastal state against another signatory to the agreement?
Answer: Yes. The Philippines filed an arbitration case-The Republic of the Philippines v.
The Peoples Republic of China-to challenge Chinas nine-dash line claim in the South
China Sea.
On October 29, 2015, the Permanent Court of Arbitration has ruled that it has jurisdiction on
the Philippines case questioning the legality of Chinas enormous claims in the South China
The Philippines case is anchored on the 1982 convention which allows coastal states the
right to manage, explore and exploit areas within its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic
It also tackles the status of certain maritime features in the South China Sea (which the
Philippines calls the West Philippine Sea) and the maritime entitlements they are capable of
generating, and the lawfulness of certain actions by China in the South China Sea that are
alleged by the Philippines to violate the UNCLOS.
The Philippines said Chinas assertion of having indisputable and historical claims that
extends beyond what is allowed by the UNCLOS infringes on the countrys maritime
jurisdiction and prevents it from exercising its right under the convention.
A.4. What are the significant pronouncements of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in
its July 12, 2016 ruling?
Answer: The PCA "concluded that, as between the Philippines and China, there was no legal
basis for China to claim historic rights to resources, in excess of the rights provided for by
the Convention, within the sea areas falling within the '9-dash line.' Answer: The tribunal
said that "all of the high-tide features in the Spratly Islands (including, for example, Itu Aba,
Thitu, West York Island, Spratly Island, North-East Cay, South-West Cay) are legally "rocks"
that do not generate an exclusive economic zone or continental shelf.")
A.5. What are some of the maritime zones of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Seas,
April 30, 1982 which are pertinent to the Philippine government?
The following provisions of UNCLOS are relevant to the Philippine government:
Internal waters of the Philippines consist of waters around, between and connecting the
islands of the Philippine Archipelago, regardless of their breadth and dimensions, including
the waters in bays, rivers and lakes. No right of innocent passage for foreign vessels exists in
the case of internal waters. (Harris, Cases and Materials on International Law, 5 th ed., 1998,
p. 407).
Under UNCLOS, however, warships enjoy a right of innocent passage when a portion of
the territorial water of the coastal state is used for international navigation.
Article 42(2) of UNCLOS provides that there shall be no suspension of innocent passage
through straits used for international navigation. The right of the coastal state to suspend the
same requires that the coastal nation must publish the same and without any publication, it
cannot insist to suspend the use of such body of water. A claim that suspension of innocent
passage is necessary for national security may be cited by the coastal state. Upon the other
hand, if a war ship delayed its right of innocence, the same may justified under Article 18(2)
of UNCLOS if the delay was caused by rendering assistance to persons or ship in distress.
Contiguous zone is the zone contiguous to the territorial sea and extends up to twelve
nautical miles from the territorial sea and over which the coastal state may exercise control
necessary to prevent infringement of its customs, fiscal, immigration or sanitary laws and
regulations within the territory or territorial sea. (Article 33 of UNCLOS)
Exclusive Economic Zone is the zone extending up to 200 nautical miles from the baselines
of a state over which the coastal state has sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring
and exploiting, conserving and managing its natural resources, whether living or nonliving, of the waters super adjacent to the seabed and of the seabed and subsoil and with
regard to other activities for the economic exploitation and exploration of the zone. (Articles
56 and 57, UNCLOS)
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Flag state means a ship has the nationality of the flag of the state it flies, but there must be a
genuine link between the state and the ship. (Article 91, UNCLOS)
Flag of convenience refers to a state with which a vessel is registered for various reasons
such as low or non-existent taxation or low-operating costs although the ship has no genuine
link with that state. (Harris, ibid. p.425)
A.6. What are the other corollary rights states may enjoy under UNCLOS?
Answer: It is the right to exercise freedom of navigation and overflight solely for the
purpose of continuous and expeditious transit through the straits used for international
navigation, i.e., between two areas of the high seas or between two exclusive economic
All ships and aircraft enjoy the right of transit passage.
The requirement of continuous and expeditious transit does not preclude passage
through the strait for the purpose of entering, leaving or returning from a State
bordering the strait, subject to the conditions of entry to that State. (MagallA.ona,
2005; Article 38[2], UNCLOS)
A.7. Distinguish between innocent and transit passage under UNCLOS.
Answer: Innocent passage is for travel within territorial waters while transit passage is
for any zone.
Innocent passage applies only to ships while transit passage applies to aircrafts as well.
In transit passage, military vessels are also allowed which are not allowed in innocent
A.8. Is the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity considered a political subdivision and therefore
a part of the Philippine territory?
No. Consolidated Petitions: Province of Cotabato v. G.R.P., G.R. No. 208566, October 14,
2008. The Bangsamoro Juridical Entity is not a political subdivision within the
contemplation of the Constitution. It is more in the nature of an associative state under
public international law and it can eventually gain statehood. The Court held that no
province, city, or municipality, not even the ARMM, is recognized under our laws as having
an associative relationship with the national government. Indeed, the concept implies powers
that go beyond anything ever granted by the Constitution to any local or regional
government. It also implies the recognition of the associated entity as a state. The
Constitution, however, does not contemplate any state in this jurisdiction other than the
Philippine State, much less does it provide for a transitory status that aims to prepare any part
of Philippine territory for independence.
D.1.What is state immunity?
State immunity is a shield which the state enjoys and may claim in the event a suit is
filed against it.
D.2. Can a private party make a government entity liable on a contract which that
private party executed with another private party?
No. Under the principle that the state cannot be sued without its consent, a third party cannot
hold a government entity liable. The government entity is a stranger to the contract.
Dept. of Agriculture v. NLRC, 227 SCRA: The state cannot be sued without its consent. The
assets of the government cannot be held liable for liabilities of a private person. Such assets
cannot be subject to levy and garnishment for to allow such actions would impair
government operations and delay delivery of vital public services.
D.3. Can a local government unit excuse itself from paying the balance of just
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Yujuico. Atienza, 472 SCRA 463. The City of Manila cannot be excused from paying the
property owner the balance of just compensation because it was the city which initiated the
expropriation proceedings.
Please note that the rule on torts committed by special agents under the Civil Code, Art.
2180 (Consent to be sued includes actions for tort this is an express consent to be sued)
Teotico v. City of Manila: The City of Manila was held liable under the provision of the Civil
Code which mandates it to maintain and ensure the safety of the public in all public places
like roads (even national roads) in its territorial jurisdiction.
By law, GOCCs have the right to sue and be sued.
Government is not immune from suit due to implied consent: When the Government enters
into business contracts; and when it would be inequitable for the Government to claim
D.4. Can a government counsel be personally held for damages through a counterclaim
while defending the interest of the state?
No. Chavez v. Sandiganbayan, 193 SCRA 282: A public officer may not be held liable for
the counterclaim by one of the accused when he performs his duties in good faith.
D.5. May private individuals bring a suit against a warship of the United States of
America for its grounding, salvaging and post-salvaging operations which cause and
continue to cause environmental damage to the marine resources of the Philippines in
violation of environmental laws of the country?
Bishop Arigo et al v. Scott H. Swift et al: The Court held that the liberalization of standing
first enunciated in Oposa, insofar as it refers to minors and generations yet unborn, is now
enshrined in the Rules which allows the filing of a citizen suit in environmental cases. The
provision on citizen suits in the Rules collapses the traditional rule on personal and direct
interest, on the principle that humans are stewards of nature.
The Court reiterated its ruling in the case of Minucher v. Court of Appeals, we further
expounded on the immunity of foreign states from the jurisdiction of local courts, as follows:
The precept that a State cannot be sued in the courts of a foreign state is a long-standing
rule of customary international law then closely identified with the personal immunity of a
foreign sovereign from suit and, with the emergence of democratic states, made to attach not
just to the person of the head of state, or his representative, but also distinctly to the state
itself in its sovereign capacity. If the acts giving rise to a suit are those of a foreign
government done by its foreign agent, although not necessarily a diplomatic personage,
but acting in his official capacity, the complaint could be barred by the immunity of the
foreign sovereign from suit without its consent. Suing a representative of a state is
believed to be, in effect, suing the state itself. The proscription is not accorded for the benefit
of an individual but for the State, in whose service he is, under the maxim - par in parem,
non habet imperium that all states are sovereign equals and cannot assert jurisdiction over
one another. The implication, in broad terms, is that if the judgment against an official would
require the state itself to perform an affirmative act to satisfy the award, such as the
appropriation of the amount needed to pay the damages decreed against him, the suit must be
regarded as being against the state itself, although it has not been formally
impleaded.(Emphasis supplied.)
E.1. John Williams is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces participating the Balikatan
exercises under the Visiting Forces Agreement. Peeved by the attitude of Pedro Reyes, a
Filipino waiter, in a local bar in Olongapo City, he hit him and Reyes fell on the ground
which accidentally caused his death. Can John Williams be criminally held under
Philippine laws?
Answer: Yes. In Nicolas v. Romulo, Daniel Smith was tried and convicted of rape under the
Revised Penal Code. As held in BAYAN (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan) v. Exec. Sec.
Zamora, the VFA was duly concurred in by the Philippine Senate and has been recognized as
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a treaty by the United States as attested and certified by the duly authorized representative of
the United States government.
The VFA is an agreement which defines the treatment of United States troops and personnel
visiting the Philippines to promote common security interests between the US and the
Philippines in the region. It provides for the guidelines to govern such visits of military
personnel, and further defines the rights of the United States and the Philippine government
in the matter of criminal jurisdiction, movement of vessel and aircraft, importation and
exportation of equipment, materials and supplies.
E.2. Two consular officers of China were fatally shot in a restaurant in Cebu City. The
two assailants were also identified as consular officers of China as well. May the two
assailants be held liable under the provisions of the Revised Penal Code of the
Answer: Considering the victims are also members of the diplomatic corps of China, the
government of China may invoke diplomatic immunity from the domestic laws of the
receiving state. The sending state may take custody of the two assailants and it will be
responsible for their repatriation and eventual prosecution under the sending states domestic
E.3. If an ambassador of a foreign country is found liable under Philippine laws, which
court has jurisdiction over the case?
Answer: The Supreme Court shall exercise original jurisdiction over cases affecting
ambassadors. (Sec.5 (1), Art. VIII)
E.4. Only independent states may become subjects of public international law.
Characterize an independent state.
Answer: The existence of a state is a function of recognition in a community of nations. The
Court said that a state is required in line with Pound's formulation that it be a politically
organized sovereign community independent of outside control bound by penalties of
nationhood, legally supreme within its territory, acting through a government functioning
under a regime of law. (Elements: people, territory, government and sovereignty). Collector
of Internal Revenue v. Campos Rueda, 42 SCRA 23 (1971) Collector of Internal Revenue
v. Campos Rueda, 42 SCRA 23 (1971): Collector of Internal Revenue v. Campos Rueda, 42
SCRA 23 (1971)
C.5. May citizens belatedly ask that treaty provisions be reviewed since the same
overlooked the damages they sustained?
Answer:No. Relations between nations may be jus gentium (governed by the law of nations)
and jus inter gentis (agreement between nations).
Vinuya v. Executive Secretary (G.R. No. 162230, April 25, 2010 and August 13, 2014: The Supreme
Court adopted ICJs ruling in Barcelona Traction that within the limits prescribed by international
law, a State may exercise diplomatic protection by whatever means and to whatever extent it
thinks fit, for it is its own right that the State is asserting. Should the natural or legal person on
whose behalf it is acting consider that their rights are not adequately protected, they have no
remedy in international law. The Court concluded that the State is the sole judge to decide
whether its protection will be granted, to what extent it is granted, and when will it cease.
Since the Constitution has entrusted to the Executive Department the conduct of foreign
relations for the Philippines. Whether or not to espouse petitioners' claim against the
Government of Japan is left to the exclusive determination and judgment of the Executive
Department. The Court cannot interfere with or question the wisdom of the conduct of
foreign relations by the Executive Department. The Court held that a mandatory injunction
will not lie since it requires the performance of a particular act. Hence, it is an extreme
remedy to be granted only if the following requisites are attendant, namely:
(a) The applicant has a clear and unmistakable right, that is, a right in esse;
(b) There is a material and substantial invasion of such right; and
(c) There is an urgent need for the writ to prevent irreparable injury to the applicant;
and no other ordinary, speedy, and adequate remedy exists to prevent the infliction of
irreparable injury.

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Power of expanded judicial review:

On the issue of withdrawal of MOA by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines:
In the exercise of its power of judicial review, the Court rendered judgement on the MOAD
despite the fact that the same has become moot and academic. It said that: For a court to
exercise its power of adjudication, there must be an actual case or controversy one which
involves a conflict of legal rights, an assertion of opposite legal claims susceptible of judicial
resolution; the case must not be moot or academic or based on extra-legal or other similar
considerations not cognizable by a court of justice. A case becomes moot and academic
when its purpose has become stale. An action is considered moot when it no longer
presents a justiciable controversy because the issues involved have become academic or
dead or when the matter in dispute has already been resolved and hence, one is not entitled
to judicial intervention unless the issue is likely to be raised again between the
parties. Simply stated, there is nothing for the court to resolve as the determination thereof
has been overtaken by subsequent events xxx
In David v. Macapagal-Arroyo(2006), this Court held that the moot and academic principle
not being a magical formula that automatically dissuades courts in resolving a case, it will
decide cases, otherwise moot and academic, if it finds that (a) there is a grave violation of
the Constitution;[ (b) the situation is of exceptional character and paramount public interest
is involved; (c) the constitutional issue raised requires formulation of controlling principles
to guide the bench, the bar, and the public; and (d) the case is capable of repetition yet
evading review.
The Supreme Court justified the review in the MOA AD case using the third exception.
What are the three distinct legal disciplines in international law?
Answer: Three distinct legal disciplines in international law: public international law
(treaty law, law of the seas, international criminal law, human rights law, international
humanitarian law, law on war); conflict of laws (question of which entity would have
jurisdiction; and what law will be applied in the issues to be resolved); and supranational
law (regional agreements which may render inapplicable domestic law if it conflicts with the
supernational legal system).
Please take note that in this instance, the Supreme Court is a trier of facts. The same
provision also allows the Court to receive evidence over petitions for certiorari,
prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto and habeas corpus.
Petitions for issuance of the writs of amparo, habeas data and Kalikasan also
necessitate reception of evidence before the Court.
The Court is also a trier of facts when a suit is filed to determine the factual basis of the
declaration of martial law and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus and must
decide the same within a period of 30 days from the date of filing which is an exception
to the general rule that it has 24 months to decide on cases. (Sec. 18, Art. VII)
The Court en banc also receives evidence when it convenes the Presidential Electoral
Tribunal. (Sec.4, Art. VII)
What will be the effect on an action filed before the Supreme Court if the Court did not
meet the required majority vote?
Answer: The Court said it in this wise: As the votes were equally divided (7 to 7) and the
necessary majority was not obtained, the case was redeliberated upon. However, after
redeliberation, the voting remained the same. Accordingly, pursuant to Rule 56, Section 7 of
the Rules of Civil Procedure, the petition is DISMISSED.
Therefore, the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act remains in effect. The rights of the indigenous
peoples remain protected. Equally, the state shall continue to enjoy the right to govern and
the right to own properties and may regulate the exploitation, development and utilization of
its natural resources as it may deem fit in exercise of the general welfare clause. (Isagani
Cruz v. Sec. of DENR, G. R. No. 135385, December 6, 2000)
May a taxpayer file a suit to compel Congress to enact a law making the use of
marijuana for medical reasons legal?
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Answer: No. The writ of mandamus will not lie because this violates the principle of
separation of powers. It is discretionary on the part of Congress to consider bills which its
judgment will serve the public. Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to
settle actual controversies involving rights that are legally demandable and enforceable, and
to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of government. (Sec.1, Art.
VII). There is no legally demandable right to compel Congress to make such law.
May the tarsiers of Loboc, Bohol bring an action in court to nullify a service contract
signed by the President?
Answer: Answer: No, in Resident marine mammals of Tanon Strait joined in and represented
herein by human beings Gloria Estenzo Ramos and Rose-Liza Eisma-Osorio, in their capacity
as legal guardians and as responsible stewards of God's creations v. Secretary Angelo Reyes et
al (G.R. No. 180771, April 21, 2015), the Court allowed the resident mammals of Tanon Strait as
petitioners provided that the action is brought in the nature of a citizen suit with natural

persons acting as their legal guardians and as friends for being stewards of creation. Under
the Rules of Procedure in Environmental Cases. A citizen suit is encouraged for the
protection of the environment. This provision liberalizes standing for all cases filed enforcing
environmental laws and collapses the traditional rule on personal and direct interest, on
the principle that humans are stewards of nature. The terminology of the text reflects the
doctrine first enunciated in Oposa v. Factoran, insofar as it refers to minors and generations
yet unborn.
In the action filed by the stewards of the Bohol tarsiers, can the respondents claim that
their approval of service contracts, which require presidential approval, amounts to
approval of the president under the doctrine of qualified political agency?
Answer: No. The Court reiterated its ruling in Joson v. Torres. In this case, the Court
explained the concept of the alter ego principle or the doctrine of qualified political agency
and its limit in this wise: Under this doctrine, which recognizes the establishment of a single
executive, all executive and administrative organizations are adjuncts of the Executive
Department, the heads of the various executive departments are assistants and agents of the
Chief Executive, and, except in cases where the Chief Executive is required by the
Constitution or law to act in person or the exigencies of the situation demand that he act
personally, the multifarious executive and administrative functions of the Chief Executive
are performed by and through the executive departments, and the acts of the Secretaries of
such departments, performed and promulgated in the regular course of business, are, unless
disapproved or reprobated by the Chief Executive presumptively the acts of the Chief
The Court further reiterated: As this Court has held in La Bugal, our Constitution requires
that the President himself be the signatory of service agreements with foreign-owned
corporations involving the exploration, development, and utilization of our minerals,
petroleum, and other mineral oils. This power cannot be taken lightly. xxx it must be shown
that the government agency or subordinate official has been authorized by the President to
enter into such service contract for the government. Otherwise, it should be at least shown
that the President subsequently approved of such contract explicitly. None of these
circumstances is evident in the case at bar.
The President granted Mr. Estrada pardon. Mr. Estrada was elected Mayor of Manila.
Alicia, a registered voter of Manila questioned the grant of pardon alleging the text of
the pardon appears to be conditional and therefore, Mr. Estrada is not qualified to hold
the post of Mayor. Is the position of the registered voter tenable?
Answer: No. The 1987 Constitution, specifically Section 19 of Article VII and Section 5 of
Article IX-C, provides that the President of the Philippines possesses the power to grant
pardons, along with other acts of executive clemency, to wit: Section 19. Except in cases of
impeachment, or as otherwise provided in this Constitution, the President may grant
reprieves, commutations, and pardons, and remit fines and forfeitures, after conviction by
final judgment. There can be no other conclusion but to say that the pardon granted to Mr.
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Estrada was absolute in the absence of a clear, unequivocal and concrete factual basis upon
which to anchor or support the Presidential intent to grant a limited pardon. He was granted
an absolute pardon that fully restored all his civil and political rights, which naturally
includes the right to seek public elective office, the focal point of this controversy. The
wording of the pardon extended to former Mr. Estrada is complete, unambiguous, and
Please note that the only instances in which the President may not extend pardon remain to
be in: (1) impeachment cases; (2) cases that have not yet resulted in a final conviction; and
(3) cases involving violations of election laws, rules and regulations in which there was no
favorable recommendation coming from the COMELEC. Congress cannot in any way
delimit the pardoning powers of the President. Grant of amnesty requires the consent of
May a former Filipino citizen without perfecting his repatriation seek to be elected into
public office?
Answer: No. Frivaldo v. COMELEC, 257 SCRA 727: The right to govern by virtue of a
mandate from the people is not absolute. The Court held that the will of the people as
expressed through the ballot cannot cure the vice of ineligibility, especially if they mistakenly
believed, as in this case, that the candidate was qualified. Obviously, this rule requires strict
application when the deficiency is lack of citizenship. If a person seeks to serve in the
Republic of the Philippines, he must owe his total loyalty to this country only, abjuring and
renouncing all fealty and fidelity to any other state.
Macquiling v. COMELEC, July 2, 2013: A candidate for a political position who
repatriated himself as a Filipino citizen but who continues to use his American passport is
deemed not qualified to run for an elective position. The passport is indicative of ones
What is the rule on a claim of Philippine citizenship?
Answer: A person claiming Philippine citizenship has the burden of proof to establish such
claim. In the case of In re: Vicente Ching, the Court held that Philippine citizenship can
never be treated like a commodity that can be claimed when needed and suppressed when
convenient. One who is privileged to elect Philippine citizenship has only an inchoate right to
such citizenship. As such, he should avail of the right with fervor, enthusiasm and
Assume a situation where there is a seeming conflict as to availment of rights of a
Filipino citizen under an international agreement and a Philippine law, which would
prevail, the domestic law or the international agreement?
Answer: Speaking through Justice Melo, the Court said that the individual citizen is but a
speck of particle or molecule vis--vis the vast and overwhelming powers of government. His
only guarantee against oppression and tyranny are his fundamental liberties under the Bill of
Rights which shield him in times of need. In dismissing the petition, the Court upheld a
citizen's basic due process rights against the government's ironclad duties under a treaty.
The constitutional issue in the case at bar does not even call for "justice outside legality,"
since private respondent's due process rights, although not guaranteed by statute or by
treaty, are protected by constitutional guarantees. It chose not to favor the strict construction
over guarantees against the deprivation of liberty because that would not be in keeping with
the principles of democracy enshrined in the Constitution. (Secretary of Justice v. Judge
Lantion, 343 SCRA 377)

Can the President of the Philippines declare a state of war?

Answer: No. The Constitution provides that only Congress may declare the existence of a
state of war. *Note that Congress cannot even declare a state of war but can only recognize
its existence under the Constitution Please relate with the renunciation of war as an
instrument of national policy.
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The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy: In the field of public
international law, the law of war has two dimensions: justifications to engage in war(jus ad
bellum) and the limits to acceptable wartime conduct (jus in bello or International
humanitarian law). As a humanitarian concern, the laws of war address declarations of war,
acceptance of surrender and the treatment of prisoners of war; military necessity (use of an
attack or action intended to help the military objective and use of proportional and excessive
force to endanger civilians(, along with distinction (careful assessment as to who are
combatants and the civilians) and proportionality( the legal use of force whereby belligerents
must make sure that harm caused to civilians or civilian property is not excessive in relation
to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated attack anticipated by an attack on
military objective; and the prohibition of certain weapons that may cause unnecessary
The laws of war should mitigate the consequences of war by:
Shielding both combatants and non-combatants from unnecessary suffering;
Ensuring that certain fundamental human rights of persons who fall into the hands of the
enemy, particularly prisoners of war, the wounded and sick, and civilians, are protected; and
endeavoring that peace is restored.
The Philippine Constitution has several provisions on respect for human dignity and
human rights (Art. II, Sec. 11, Art. III, Sections 17-19, and Art. XVI, Sec. 5(2)). Is the
Philippine government a signatory to any international agreement on human rights?
Answer:Yes. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a declaration
adopted by the United Nations General Assembly as an offshoot of the aftermath of World
War II. The International Bill of Human Rights consists of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and
the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional Protocols. In a
strict sense, the Declaration is not treaty but it has been considered as a constitutive
document for the purpose of defining fundamental freedoms and human rights.
A number of Filipinos are considered economic migrants. What efforts has the
government done to ensure the protection of Overseas Filipino Workers?
Answer:The Philippines is a signatory to the International Convention on the Protection of
the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. This instrument is
multilateral treaty governing the protection of migrant workers and families. Concluded on
18 December 1990, the Convention entered into force on 1 July 2003 after the threshold of
20 ratifying States was reached in March 2003. The Committee on Migrant Workers (CMW)
monitors implementation of the convention, and is one of the seven UN-linked human rights
treaty bodies.
What other rights do Overseas Filipino Workers enjoy?
Answer:In Nicolas-Lewis v. COMELEC, the Court held that the holding of the 2004
elections had, as the OSG pointed out, indeed rendered the petition moot and academic, but
insofar only as petitioners participation in such political exercise is concerned. The broader
and transcendental issue tendered or subsumed in the petition, i.e., the propriety of allowing
duals to participate and vote as absentee voter in future elections, however, remains
unresolved. Observing the petitioners and the COMELECs respective formulations of the
issues, the same may be reduced into the question of whether or not petitioners and others
who might have meanwhile retained and/or reacquired Philippine citizenship pursuant to
R.A. 9225 may vote as absentee voter under R.A. 9189.The Court resolved the poser in the
affirmative. The Court held that those who retain or reacquire Philippine citizenship under
Republic Act No. 9225, the Citizenship Retention and ReAcquisition Act of 2003, may
exercise the right to vote under the system of absentee voting in Republic Act No. 9189, the
Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003 pursuant to Sec 2 of Article V of the Constitution
which mandates that Congress shall provide a system for absentee voting by qualified
Filipinos abroad.
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The Constitution has enshrined the family as a basic autonomous social institution
under Sections 12 and 13, Art. II and Art. XV- The Family. May Congress intrude into
this basic social institution?
Answer:The Court has recognized that under Art. 52 of the Civil Code, marriage is not a
mere contract but an inviolable social institution.
Imbong v. Ochoa (April 8, 2014): The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the RH
Bill as a valid exercise of police power.
Issue on Right to Privacy: Section 23(a) (2) (i) of the RH Law intrudes into martial
privacy and autonomy and goes against the constitutional safeguards for the family as
the basic social institution. Particularly, Section 3, Article XV of the Constitution mandates
the State to defend: (a) the right of spouses to found a family in accordance with their
religious convictions and the demands of responsible parenthood and (b) the right of families
or family associations to participate in the planning and implementation of policies and
programs that affect them. The RH Law cannot infringe upon this mutual decision-making,
and endanger the institutions of marriage and the family.
Issue on violation of Freedom of Religion: The provision which obliges a hospital or
medical practitioner to immediately refer a person seeking health care and services under the
law to another accessible healthcare provider despite their conscientious objections based on
religious or ethical beliefs violate the religious belief and conviction of a conscientious
objector. They are contrary to Section 29(2), Article VI of the Constitution or the Free
Exercise Clause, whose basis is the respect for the inviolability of the human conscience.
Issue on violation of Equal Protection Clause: Excluding public health officers from being
conscientious objectors (under Sec. 5.24 of the IRR) also violates the equal protection clause.
There is no perceptible distinction between public health officers and their private
counterparts. In addition, the freedom to believe is intrinsic in every individual and the
protection of this freedom remains even if he/she is employed in the government.
Issue on Right of the State to impose Penalties: Using the compelling state interest test,
there is no compelling state interest to limit the free exercise of conscientious objectors.
There is no immediate danger to the life or health of an individual in the perceived
scenario. While penalties may be imposed by law to ensure compliance to it,
a constitutionally-protected right must prevail over the effective implementation of the
One of the salient features of the Constitution is the recognition of the autonomy of local
governments under Section 25 and Art. X. What are the political subdivisions under
Section1 of Article X?
Answer: The political subdivisions are: provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays as
well as the autonomous regions of ARMM and CAR.
What are the mandatory requirements to create a local government unit?
Answer: The factors to be considered in the creation of local government unit are: (PILA)
1. Population to be authenticated by the National Statistics Office (now Philippine Statistics
Authority); population must be actual and certification can only be issued by the Chief
Statistician (Aldaba v. COMELEC, 2010);
2. Income: Average of two-year of the local government unit to be certified by the
Department of Finance. Note that all treasurers of all local government units are
appointed by the Secretary of Finance.
The share of the local government in the IRA is included in the computation of income.
(Alvarez v. Guingona, 1996)
3. Land Area: Area must be contiguous except for provinces comprising of islands. The land
area must be authenticated by the Land Management Bureau of the DENR. (Navarro v.
Ermita, 2011), where the Court ruled in favor of the constitutionality of Dinagat as a
province despite the fact that it did not meet the prescribed 2,000 square meter area. It is
impossible to achieve the minimum area requirement since the province of Dinagat is
composed of islands and cannot be contiguous.

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Rule on creation of local government units and additional congressional districts: a

plebiscite is required in the creation of local government units but not in the creation of
additional congressional districts.
Sema v. COMELEC: The ARMM Legislative Assembly cannot create provinces and the
grant of such power under the ARMM Organic Act is deemed unconstitutional. It is not a
valid delegation of power. The creation of local government units in provinces, cities,
municipalities, and other political subdivision is a congressional/legislative prerogative while
the creation of barangays shall be done by local ordinances in cities and provinces (for
component cities and municipalities) through the Sangguniang Panglungsod and
Sangguniang Panlalawigan as the case may be.
League of Cities of the Philippines v. COMELEC (2010). In upholding the legality of the
creation of additional 16 cities, the Court held that Congress may apply the revised
requirements in a new law during the pendency of the approval of all the bills creating such
new local government units.
How are boundary disputes among local government units resolved?
Answer: Jurisdiction of boundary disputes:
1. Regional trial courts exercise original jurisdiction over boundary disputes in involving a
MUNICIPALITY and an independent component city.
2. Sangguniang Panlalawigan exercises original jurisdiction over boundary disputes
involving two municipalities of the same province.
3. Joint Sangguniang Panlalawigan exercises original jurisdiction over boundary disputes
involving two municipalities of the different provinces.
4. Sangguniang Panlungsod exercises original jurisdiction over boundary disputes involving
two barangays of the same city.
5. Joint Sangguniang Panlungsod exercises original jurisdiction over boundary disputes
involving two barangays of two different cities.
6. The regional trial court exercises APPELLATE jurisdiction over boundary disputes among
local government units.
May a barangay order the closure of streets in a private subdivision?
Answer: Yes. In the case of Sun Valley Homeowners Assn., Inc. v. Sanggguniang
Barangay of Sun Valley (July 2011), Petitioner wants the Court to recognize the rights and
interests of the residents of Sun Valley Subdivision but it miserably failed to establish the legal basis,
such as its ownership of the subject roads . Section 21 of the Local Government Code requires

the passage of an ordinance by a local government unit to effect the opening of a local road.
The Court held that the subject provision can have no applicability to the instant case since
the subdivision road lots sought to be opened to decongest traffic in the area - namely
Rosemallow and Aster Streets - have already been donated by the Sun Valley Subdivision to,
and the titles thereto already issued in the name of, the City Government of Paranaque since
the year 1964. The Court also noted that the action of the Petitioner was premature for failure
to exhaust administrative remedies because the issues presented before which could have
been resolved by the Mayors office.
Barangay Sindalan, San Fernando, Pampanga v. C.A. (2007): The Court also held that no
public funds may be used to construct an access road which would benefit solely the
residents of a newly-developed subdivision.
City of Manila v. Chinese Community (1919): A local government may not takeover a
property for expansion of a public street when such property (cemetery) already serves a
public purpose.
MMDA v. Bel-Air Village Homeowners Assn., Inc.: MMDA cannot require the opening of
certain streets inside a private subdivision since it cannot make an ordinance because it has
no rule-making powers. The opening of a street is a way of regulating use of property.
Therefore, MMDA cannot also validly exercise police power.
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Sanggalang v. IAC (176 SCRA 716): Through the enactment of an ordinance which has
reclassified Jupiter St., Bel Air Village, the local government may allow the use of former
residential lots along the street for commercial purposes.
Albon v. Mayor Fernando: No public funds may be spent for the upgrading of private
subdivision roads unless they are turned over to the local government unit.
May a local government unit reclassify the use of land which would violate the
provisions of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law?
Answer:The local government has authority to reclassify lands but not when such
reclassification violates the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law. The exception to this
general rule is when the local government unit had already reclassified the subject land
before the effectivity of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law.
Buklod ng Magbubukid sa Lupaing Ramos, Inc. v. E.MM. Ramos, Inc. (2011): The
ordinance reclassifying the land in question shall prevail over the opposition of the Petitioner.
The Court held Section 3(c), Chapter I of the CARL further narrows down the definition of
agricultural land that is subject to CARP to "land devoted to agricultural activity as defined
The CARL took effect on June 15, 1988. To be exempt from the CARP, the subject property
should have already been reclassified as residential prior to said date. The ordinance was
enacted prior to the effectivity of CARL.
Davao New Town Development Corp. v. Spouses Espino et al (2013): The Court held that
the subject property had been reclassified as non-agricultural prior to June 15, 1988; hence, they are
no longer covered by R.A. No. 6657.

May a zoning ordinance prevail over a restriction in the Transfer Certificate of Title
which the Ayala Alabang Homeowners Association seeks to impose on the property
Answer: No. The annotation at the back of TCT No. 149166 covering the subject property
provides: PE-222/T-134042 - RESTRICTIONS - The property cannot be subdivided for a
period of fifty (50) years from the date of sale. The property shall be used exclusively for
the establishment and maintenance thereon of a preparatory (nursery and
kindergarten) school which may include such installations as an office for school
administration, playground and garage for school vehicles. x x.
The Court held that the above restriction limits the use of the subject property for preparatory
(nursery and kindergarten) school, without regard to the number of classrooms. The Court
affirmed the judgement of the Court of Appeals which ordered the Petitioner to cease and
desist from the operation of the Learning Child School beyond nursery and kindergarten
classes with a maximum of two classrooms with the MODIFICATION that (1) the twoclassroom restriction is deleted, and (2) the current students of the School of the Holy Cross,
the Learning Child School's grade school department, be allowed to finish their elementary
studies in said school up to their graduation in their Grade 7. The enrollment of new students
to the grade school shall no longer be permitted.
On the issue of estoppel. The Court held that the Petitioner cannot invoke estoppel on
the part of the respondents. It said: Estoppel by deed is "a bar which precludes one party
from asserting as against the other party and his privies any right or title in derogation of the
deed, or from denying the truth of any material facts asserted in it. It said that estoppel has
been characterized as harsh or odious, and not favored in law. When misapplied, estoppel
becomes a most effective weapon to establish an injustice, inasmuch as it shuts a man's
mouth from speaking the truth and debars the truth in a particular case. Estoppel cannot be
sustained by mere argument or doubtful inference; it must be clearly proved in all its
essential elements by clear, convincing and satisfactory evidence. x x x.
What is social justice?
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Answer: Calalang v. Williams, 70 Phil. 726 (1940). In this case the Court defined social
justice in this wise: Social justice is "neither communism, nor despotism, nor atomism, nor
anarchy," but the humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic forces by
the State so that justice in its rational and objectively secular conception may at least be
approximated. Social justice means the promotion of the welfare of all the people, the
adoption by the Government of measures calculated to insure economic stability of all the
competent elements of society, through the maintenance of a proper economic and social
equilibrium in the interrelations of the members of the community, constitutionally, through
the adoption of measures legally justifiable, or extra-constitutionally, through the exercise of
powers underlying the existence of all governments on the time-honored principle of salus
populi est suprema lex.
Note: The precept of social justice is interlinked with the exercise of police power. In the same
case, the Court further said that: Social justice, therefore, must be founded on the recognition
of the necessity of interdependence among divers and diverse units of a society and of the
protection that should be equally and evenly extended to all groups as a combined force in our
social and economic life, consistent with the fundamental and paramount objective of the state
of promoting the health, comfort, and quiet of all persons, and of bringing about the greatest
good to the greatest number.

Answer: What powers may academic institutions exercise to ensure the right to quality
education under Sections 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of Article XIV?
Vivares and Suzara v. St. Theresas College-Cebu City: The writ of habeas data will not lie since the
respondent school is not in the business of collecting data. The Court upheld the right of the school
not to allow its students to graduate for violating the standing policy of the school on wearing
immodest apparel and having their photographs posted in social media.
Miriam College v. CA, 348SCRA 215: The school has the power to suspend students for use of vulgar
language in the schools official organ. The Court upheld the right of a school to prescribe rules
governing discipline of students.
University of San Agustin v. CA 270 SCRA 761: The Court held that their students are governed by
the rules set forth in the student handbook. The failure of students to meet the academic standards set
in the Student Handbook is a ground for disciplinary action.
Ateneo v. Capulong 222 SCRA 643. The Court upheld the authority of the school to suspend students
who were alleged to have participated in a hazing activity which resulted to the death of one of its
students. In this case, the Court took the occasion to say that it is the national government that shall
provide the overall policy on education to meet national goals. The discipline of students pursuing
legal career is a matter which exacts rigid scrutiny.
May a proclaimed candidate in a congressional seat ask the Court to enjoin the election protest
filed against him before the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal?
Answer:No. This violates the doctrine of separation of powers. The doctrine of separation of
powers is a principle of government under which three separate branches of government are
empowered to carry out functions without interference or encroachment from another branch.
Angara v. Electoral Tribunal, 63 Phil. 139, 158 (1936): The Court cannot interfere with an
independent body like the Electoral Tribunal under the principle of separation of powers. It is
premature for the Court to exercise its power of judicial review until after the tribunal has terminated
its proceedings.

How principle is violated: interference and assumption to another branchs functions

often referred to as encroachment
When can the House of Representative Electoral Tribunal take jurisdiction over an election
Answer: The HRET may take cognizance of any matter raised by a losing candidate related to
the election, returns and qualifications (ERQ) as soon as the COMELEC proclaims the winning
candidate and the latter shall have taken his oath as a member of the House of Representatives.
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Please take note of the following rulings on the three electoral tribunals enshrined in the

Reyes v. COMELEC and Tan, G.R. No. 207264, June 25, 2013: To be considered a member
of Congress, there must be concurrence of the following requisites: a valid proclamation; a
proper oath; and assumption to duty. Absent any of the foregoing, the COMELEC retains
jurisdiction over said contest.
Duenas v. HRET, 593 SCRA 3166: HRET has the competence to examine questioned
ballots; a resolution signed by the majority of the members is sufficient.
Vinzons-Chato v. HRET and Panotes, G.R. No. 199149, January 22, 2013: digital images
are functional equivalent of the paper ballots
Martinez v. HRET, G.R. No. 189034, January 11, 2010: nuisance candidates; mockery of
election process
Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET): composed of 3 Justices of the Supreme Court to be
designated by the Chief Justice and 6 members of the Senate based on proportional
representation; the Senior Justice acts as the Chairman.
House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET): composed of 3 Justices of the
Supreme Court to be designated by the Chief Justice and 6 members of the House of
Representatives based on proportional representation; the Senior Justice acts as the
Jurisdiction of Electoral Contests before the SET and the HRET: All matters pertaining
to the election, returns and qualifications of a member, including issues involving
citizenship and appreciation of ballots.
Pimentel v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 178413, March 13, 2008: Once COMELEC has
proclaimed the winner, it loses jurisdiction on all issues involving the election, returns and
qualifications of a member of the Senate; the losing party must file the protest before the
Legarda v. de Castro: Petitioner can no longer pursue her election protest because she run
for the Senate during the pendency of the case and after having been proclaimed winner in
the senatorial race, she took her oath. To allow her to pursue the case will result to
absurdity. She cannot be Vice President (executive branch) and be Senator (legislative
branch) at the same time. This will result into incompatibility of offices.
Note: As members of the PET, the justices of the Supreme Court are triers of facts and law
and parties may seek relief to the Supreme Court if they are not satisfied with the findings
of the SET.
If members of the Senate and party list members of the House of Representatives are
proclaimed by the COMELEC, what body undertakes the canvass of votes and proclamation of
the President and the Vice President?

Answer: Congress acts as the Board of Canvassers in presidential election.

Pimentel v. Joint Committee of Congress, G.R. No. 163783, June 22, 2004. The Congress is
a continuing body and must fulfil its constitutional mandate to conduct the presidential
canvass of votes even it if is in recess. The Senate shall convene in joint session during any
voluntary or compulsory recess to canvass the votes for President and Vice-President not
later than thirty days after the day of the elections in accordance with Section 4, Article VII
of the Constitution.
Lopez v. Senate, G.R. No. 163556, June 8, 2004: Senate is a continuing body only on this
matter and committee hearings and not to consider bills.
Can a losing candidate as kagawad of a barangay file an election protest?
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Answer:Yes. The Municipal Trial Courts have jurisdiction over election contests involving
elective positions at the barangay level. A party not satisfied with the ruling of the trial court,
may file an appeal before the COMELEC. A division of the COMELEC is assigned to review
the appeal. If parties are not satisfied with the ruling of the Division, they can file an appeal
before COMELEC en banc and parties may ask the Supreme Court en banc to review the
decision of the COMELEC en banc.
Please note that all decisions of the Civil Service Commission, the Commission on
Elections and the Commission on Audit may be reviewed by the Supreme Court en
The newly-elected directors of the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) requested the
Commission of Audit to conduct an audit of the accounts of the organization. A former director
sought to enjoin the conduct of the audit. Will the objection of the former director of the PNRC

Answer:No. The BSP is a public corporation or a government agency or instrumentality

with juridical personality which does not fall within the Constitutional prohibition in
Art. XII, Section 16. Not all corporations, which are not government owned or
controlled, are ipso facto to be considered private corporations as there exists another
distinct class of corporations or chartered institutions which are otherwise known as
public corporations. Thesecorporations are treated by law as agencies or
instrumentalities of the government which are not subject to the tests of ownership or
control and economic viability but to different criteria relating to their public
purposes/interests or constitutional policies and objectives and their administrative
relationship to the government or any of its departments or offices. (BOY SCOUTS
OF THE PHILIPPINES v. COA (G.R. No. 177131, 2011))
Can a public officer claim reimbursement for medical expenses and other travelling
Answer:No. COA may disallow expenses which do not pass the public purpose test
(claims for executive check-up, basic monthly allowances, reimbursement for gasoline
allowance, etc.)
Any disbursement of public funds, which includes payment of salaries and benefits to
government employees and officials, must (a) be authorized by law, and (b) serve a public
purpose. As understood in the traditional sense, public purpose or public use means any
purpose or use directly available to the general public as a matter of right. The public
servant has the burden to proof to establish that use of public funds is related to the
discharge of his official functions. (RAMON R. YAP v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT (G.R.
No. 158562, 2010).
Twelve new positions were created by a local government but no ordinance was enacted
to fund the newly-created positions. Subsequently, the Mayor sought approval of an
ordinance which would allow the persons occupying the newly-appointed positions to
draw their salaries. A taxpayer filed an action against the Mayor before the Office of the
Ombudsman. Will the case prosper?
Answer:No. Whatever defect there may have been in the approval of unappropriated
positions was cured subsequently by the creation of said position and the revalidation of
respondents appointment. That appointment was ultimately approved by the Civil Service
Commission thus giving it finality. The Court reiterated that elementary is the rule that the
findings of fact of the Office of the Ombudsman are conclusive when supported by
substantial evidence and are accorded due respect and weight, especially when they are
affirmed by the CA. It is only when there is grave abuse of discretion by the Ombudsman
that a review of factual findings may aptly be made. . (TOLENTINO v. Mayor LOYOLA et.
al. (G.R. No. 153809, 2011).
No. 189028, January 16, 2013). There is grave abuse of discretion when an act is:
1) done contrary to the Constitution, the law or jurisprudence or
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2) executed whimsically, capriciously or arbitrarily, out of malice, ill will or personal bias.
Congress enacted the General Appropriations Act (GAA) which included a provision
allowing the President to distribute a lump sum amount to all members of the legislative
branch. The GAA allowed the President to prescribe the criteria for the distribution of
such amounts needed by the members of Congress. Special requirements were allowed
at the congressional district level. May Pedro Reyes and other taxpayers question the
constitutionality of the subject provision of the GAA?
Answer:Yes. The provision violates the principle of checks and balances. This principle in
constitutional law where there is a system-based regulation that allows one branch to limit
actions of another branch in keeping with the doctrine of separation of powers.
Consolidated Petitions: Belgica et. al. v. Executive Secretary et. al., G.R.No. 208566,
Alcantara et. al. v. Drilon et. al. G.R. No. 208493, and Nepomuceno et. al. v. Pres. Aquino
et. al., G.R. No.209251, Nov. 19, 2013: The Court resolved issues related to procedural
matters and substantive matters.
Procedural Matters:
Is the case subject to judicial review? Yes, there is a question raised on the constitutionality
of the provision of PDAF in the General Appropriations Act. This is a justiciable issue.
Do the petitioners have legal standing to sue? Yes, as taxpayers there are qualified to raise
the issue of the constitutionality of PDAF. As taxpayers they stand to suffer material injury
because the funds covered under the General Appropriations Act come from revenues
collected from taxpayers.
Substantial Matters:
Is there a violation of the principle of separation of powers? Yes, the executive branch
encroached upon the power of the legislative branch when it determined how the PDAF will
be distributed. The legislative branch also exercised the power of implementation when it
identified priority projects in their jurisdiction.
Is there a violation of the principle of checks and balances in the implementation of the
projects under PDAF? Yes, it deprives the President of his item veto power under the constitution
Section 27(2), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution because the appropriations are general (lump sum)
instead of being itemized.

Is there violation of the principle of non-delegability of legislative power? Yes, the

legislative branch allowed the executive branch to define the parameters as to how the
PDAF can be availed of by the members of Congress. The Department of Budget and
Management provided for a menu where the funds may be spent.
Is there a violation of the constitutional provision on political dynasty? While portions of
the PDAF were meant to enhance the continued stay in power of incumbent politicians, the
constitutional provision prohibiting political dynasty, the same is not self-executing. To date,
Congress has not enacted a law to put the provision into effect. Thus, there is no violation of
the constitutional provision.
Is there a violation of the principle of local autonomy? Yes, when the incumbent members of
Congress dictated which projects would be implemented at the local level without the
participation of the local government units, it violated the essence of local autonomy under
Article X of the Constitution.
Congress enacted a law which created the Fair Competition Commission (FCC)
under the supervision of the Secretary of Finance. Without awaiting the appointments
of the Chairman and the four Associate Commissioners of the FCC, the Secretary of
Finance published the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the FCC. Is the act of the
Secretary of Finance proper?
Answer: No. The act of the Secretary of Finance violated the principle of separation of
powers. He should have first allowed the President to appoint all the five members of FCC.
Two tests of valid delegation: Completeness test and sufficient standard test
How law-making power is delegated: suppletory rule-making (filling in details to ensure
enforcement of the law) and contingent rule-making (ascertaining the facts to bring the
law into operation)
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The President reorganized the Office of the Press Secretary. In the process some of the
employees were given new assignments. The affected employees questioned the
reorganization arguing that it violated their security of tenure. Is the legal argument of
the affected employees tenable?
Answer:No. The Court held: It having been duly established that the President has the
authority to carry out reorganization in any branch or agency of the executive department,
what is then left for us to resolve is whether or not the reorganization is valid. In this
jurisdiction, reorganizations have been regarded as valid provided they are pursued in good
faith. Reorganization is carried out in good faith if it is for the purpose of economy or to
make bureaucracy more efficient. Pertinently, Republic Act No. 6656 provides for the
circumstances which may be considered as evidence of bad faith in the removal of civil
service employees made as a result of reorganization, to wit: (a) where there is a significant
increase in the number of positions in the new staffing pattern of the department or agency
concerned; (b) where an office is abolished and another performing substantially the same
functions is created; (c) where incumbents are replaced by those less qualified in terms of
status of appointment, performance and merit; (d) where there is a classification of offices in
the department or agency concerned and the reclassified offices perform substantially the
same functions as the original offices, and (e) where the removal violates the order of
separation. (EIIB v. Zamora (July 10, 2001))
The local government of Manila enacted an ordinance which granted ABC Corporation
to operate a jai alai in the City of Manila. The newly-elected Mayor refused to grant a
business permit to ABC Corporation on the ground that the ordinance cannot prevail
over a Presidential Decree which required that the grant of franchise to operate jai alai
is invested in the Games and Amusement Board. ABC Corporation asked the Manila
RTC to issue a writ of mandamus ordering the newly-elected Mayor to issue the
business permit to ABC Corporation. As judge, will you issue the writ?
Answer: No.: Former Chief Justice Puno in his Dissenting Opinion in this 1995 case said
that the exercise of police power is not without limit. He said that while it is the prerogative
of the State to promote the general welfare of the people thru the use of police power ; on
the opposite end is the right of an entity to have its property protected against unreasonable
impairment by the State. Courts accord the State wide latitude in the exercise of its police
power to bring about the greatest good of the greatest number. But when its purpose is
putrefied by private interest, the use of police power becomes a farce and must be struck
down just as every arbitrary exercise of government power should be stamped out. (Lim v.
Pacquing, 240 SCRA 649)
When exercise of police power may be questioned
Answer: Where is there is no explicit grant of power, a government agency cannot exercise
police power. The Court said: Clearly, the MMDA is not a political unit of government.
The power delegated to the MMDA is that given to the Metro Manila Council to promulgate
administrative rules and regulations in the implementation of the MMDAs functions. There
is no grant of authority to enact ordinances and regulations for the general welfare of the
inhabitants of the metropolis.-p
The municipality of Teresa, Rizal enacted an ordinance which sought the expropriation
of a property upon which it will build an evacuation center as part of its Disaster
Preparedness Program. The Sangguniang Panlalawigan disapproved the ordinance.
May the municipality still exercise the power of eminent domain?
Answer: Yes. The exercise of the power of eminent domain is a power delegated by
Congress to political subdivisions.
Moday v. C. A. 268 SCRA 586: The Court reiterated the limitations on the power of eminent
domain are that the use must be public, compensation must be made and due process of law
must be observed. The Supreme Court, taking cognizance of such issues as the adequacy of
compensation, necessity of the taking and the public use character or the purpose of the
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taking, has ruled that the necessity of exercising eminent domain must be genuine and of a
public character. Government may not capriciously choose what private property should be
Land Bank of the Philippines v. Yatco Agricultural Enterprises, G.R. No. 172551,
January 15, 2014.The determination of just compensation is fundamentally a judicial
function. In the exercise of the Courts essentially judicial function of determining just
compensation, the RTC-SACs are not granted unlimited discretion and must consider and
apply the enumerated factors in R.A. No. 6657 and the DAR formula (in AO 5-98) that reflect
these factors. Courts may, in the exercise of their discretion, relax the formulas application
to fit the factual situations before them. They must, however, clearly explain the reason for
any deviation from the factors and formula that the law and the rules have provided.
The time of taking refers to that time when the State deprived the landowner of the use
and benefit of his property, as when the State acquires title to the property or as of the filing
of the complaint, per Section 4, Rule 67 of the Rules of Court.
Iloilo City initiated expropriation proceedings against Spouses Espinosa. During the
pendency of the case, the city government and the property owner agreed to settle the
case through a compromise agreement. The Court approved the compromise agreement
between the parties. Before fully paying for the property, the city government
questioned the compromise agreement arguing that it was not the court which fixed the
just compensation. Is the argument of the city government valid?
Answer: No. A compromise agreement is valid since it has the effect of a ruling on the merit.
The city government is also precluded to question such ruling of the trial court because it
voluntary submitted itself to the jurisdiction of the court. (City of Manila v. Alegar
Corporation et. al. June 25, 2012)
Public Purpose
Housing for the poor: Ortega v. City of Cebu, 602 SCRA 601 (2009)
Taking for a cultural/historical purpose: Manosca v C.A., G.R. No. 106440, January 29, 1996
Taking is not justified when a similar facility within the vicinity already serves the same
purpose: Masikip v. Pasig City, 497 SCRA 391(2006)
Just Compensation
Principal criterion to determine just compensation will be the character and use of the land at
the time of taking: Tinio et al. v. NAPOCOR, G.R. 160923, January 24, 2011
Compensation based on R.A. 6657 is required in the determination of just compensation if
the property is covered by CARP: LBP v. Ferrer et al., G.R. No. 172230, February 2, 2011
Recognition of Fair Market Value will form part of the basis of just compensation: EPZA v.
Estate of Salud Jimenez, et al., G.R. No. 188995, August 24, 2011
Interest rate on just compensation is 6% per annum: Apo Fruits Corp. et al. v LBP, G.R. No.
164, October 12, 2010
If government does not use the property for an unreasonable period of time for the public
purpose it acquired the property, the property owner can ask for reconveyance of the same.
If there is unreasonable delay (5 years) of payment of just compensation, the property owner
can ask for possession of property until just compensation is fully settled. (Ouano v. MICAA)
An American company sought to avail of benefits under a tax treaty between the
Philippines and the Federal Government of Germany. The Commissioner of Internal
Revenue did not allow it to enjoy such benefits. The American company refused to pay
the assessment of the BIR and instituted an action before the Court of Tax Appeals. As
justice of the CTA, how will rule on the case?
Answer: I will rule in favor of the BIR and deny the petition of the American Company.
Being a stranger to the treaty, it cannot avail of the benefits of the tax treaty between the
government of the Philippines and Germany.
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Com. of Internal Revenue v. S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc., 309 SCRA 87. In negotiating tax
treaties, the underlying rationale for reducing the tax rate is that the Philippines will give up a
part of the tax in the expectation that the tax given up for this particular investment is not taxed by
the other country. In order to eliminate double taxation, a tax treaty resorts to several methods. First,
it sets out the respective rights to tax of the state of source or situs and of the state of residence with
regard to certain classes of income or capital. The second method for the elimination of double
taxation applies whenever the state of source is given a full or limited right to tax together with the
state of residence. In this case, the treaties make it incumbent upon the state of residence to allow
relief in order to avoid double taxation.

Power of Taxation: rule on taxation: must be uniform and equitable; Congress to evolve a
progressive system of taxation- The Constitution does not really prohibit the imposition of indirect
taxes which, like the VAT, are regressive. What it simply provides is that Congress shall " evolve a
progressive system of taxation." The constitutional provision has been interpreted to mean simply that
"direct taxes are . . . to be preferred [and] as much as possible, indirect taxes should be minimized."
(Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance, 1995).
Q. Aahon Party List sought to be accredited as a party list. The members of Aahon are males
and females which have different sexual preferences. The COMELEC denied their
accreditation based on biblical passages. Is the denial of COMELEC proper?
Answer: No. Ang Ladlad v. COMELEC, G. R. No, 190852, April 8, 2010: Accreditation is

done solely by COMELEC. The Court said that under the countrys system of laws, every
group has the right to promote its agenda and attempt to persuade society of the validity of its
position through normal democratic means. It is in the public square that deeply held
convictions and differing opinions should be distilled and deliberated upon. The OSG argues
that since there has been neither prior restraint nor subsequent punishment imposed on Ang
Ladlad, and its members have not been deprived of their right to voluntarily associate, then
there has been no restriction on their cha or association. The Court said that the moral
objection offered by the COMELEC was not a limitation imposed by law. Thus it held:
To the extent, therefore, that the petitioner has been precluded, because of COMELECs
action, from publicly expressing its views as a political party and participating on an equal
basis in the political process with other equally-qualified party-list candidates, we find that
there has, indeed, been a transgression of petitioners fundamental rights.
Other rulings on party list system:
BANAT V. COMELEC, 592 SCRA 294: The Constitution provides that Congress shall not
have more than 250 members unless Congress provides otherwise and out of the total
number of incumbent members not more than 20% shall come from the party list. Of the
party list members, each party list shall be entitled to a maximum of three seats.
Paglaum v. COMELEC, 694 SCRA 477 (2013): sectoral representation need not be limited
to the poor or marginalized group; extent of national membership; performance in party list
election process
PGBI v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 190529, April 29, 2010. The COMELEC has the power to
delist a party list on two grounds under Section6 (8) of R.A. 7941.
Magdalo v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 190793, June 19, 2012. The registration of political
parties does not involve administrative liability as it is only limited to the evaluation of
qualifications for registration
A group of public school teachers instituted an action before the Supreme Court to
question the veracity of the entries to the congressional journal regarding the passage of
the law on grant of additional allowances of public school teachers for poll duty in the
forthcoming May 2016 elections. They alleged that the law signed the President
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reflected a lesser amount that what has been reported in the media. Will the action of
the public school teachers prosper?
Answer: No The courts may not go behind the legislative journals to contradict their
veracity. (U.S. v. Pons, 34 Phil., 729-735 (1916))
Journal Entry Rule vs. Enrolled Bill Theory
Morales v. Subido, 27 SCRA 131 (1969): An omission at the time of enactment, whether
careless or calculated, cannot be judicially supplied however much later wisdom may
recomment the inclusion.
Astorga v. Villegas, 56 SCRA 714 (1974): The Court held that that the enrolled bill theory
is based mainly on "the respect due to coequal and independent departments," which
requires the judicial department "to accept, as having passed Congress, all bills
authenticated in the manner stated." Thus it has also been stated in other cases that if the
attestation is absent and the same is not required for the validity of a statute, the courts may
resort to the journals and other records of Congress for proof of its due enactment.
What are the three functions of judicial review?
Answer: The functions of Judicial Review are: Checking looks into possible abuses of
each branch of government; review of decisions of lower courts; Legitimizing looks into
constitutionality of laws and its application; and Symbolic looks into issues although they
have become moot and academic.
Under normal circumstances, S.C. will not disturb the findings of facts of
administrative tribunals and the trial courts. However, S.C. may review findings of facts
the lower courts under recognized exceptions: when the conclusion is a finding grounded
entirely on speculation, surmises or conjectures; when inference made is manifestly
mistaken, absurd or impossible; where there is abuse of discretion; when judgment is based
on misapprehension of facts, when the findings of facts are conflicting; when the Court of
Appeals, in making its findings, went beyond the issues of the case and the same is contrary
to those of the trial court; when findings of fact are conclusions without citation of specific
evidence on which they are based; when the facts set forth in the petition as well as in the
petitioners main and reply briefs are not disputed by the respondents; and when the findings
of fact of the C.A. are premised on supposed absence of evidence and contradicted by
evidence on record.
General Rule: All courts can exercise judicial review
Effect of Declaration of Unconstitutionality
Under Civil Code, Art. 7, Statute is void when declared unconstitutional
Statute is not always void but may produce legal effects
b) Moot Questions
General Rule: A matter is moot if further legal proceedings with regard to it can have no
effect, or events have placed it beyond the reach of the law. Normally, courts will defer to
acting on a matter that has become moot and academic.
Exception: Where matters of transcendental importance arise, the Court render a resolution to
give guideposts to the bench and bar if a similar matter should arise in the future.
Concept of expanded power of judicial review: resolve matters of transcendental
importance/ address matters which have been rendered moot and academic
c) Political Question Doctrine
Baker v. Carr: What is the political question doctrine: "Prominent on the surface of any
(1) a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a coordinate
(2) or a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it;
(3) or the impossibility of deciding without an initial policy determination of a kind clearly
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(4) or the impossibility of a court's undertaking independent resolution without expressing
(5) or an unusual need for unquestioning adherence to a political decision already made;
(6) or the potentiality of embarrassment from multifarious pronouncements by various
departments on one question.
The political question doctrine could be read narrowly or more broadly. Read narrowly,
the political question doctrine should be invoked only when the issue presented to the
Court is one that "has been textually committed to another branch of government." That
is, if the framers of the Constitution made clear their intention that the judiciary not
resolve a particular question of constitutional interpretation, that determination must
be respected.
More broadly, the political question doctrine might be invoked when there is a lack of
judicially manageable standards to decide the case on the merits, when judicial
intervention might show insufficient respect for other branches of government, or when a
judicial decision might threaten the integrity of the judicial branch. (Baker v. Carr,
Marcos et al. v. Manglapus et al. G.R. No. 88211 September 15, 1989: When political
questions are involved, the Constitution limits the determination to whether or not there has
been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of
the official whose action is being questioned. If grave abuse is not established, the Court will
not substitute its judgment for that of the official concerned and decide a matter which by its
nature or by law is for the latter alone to decide.
A newly-elected member of the Senate proposed a tax measure which would effectively
reduce the tax impositions on salaried employees. Is the proposal valid?
Answer: No. Demetria v. Alba, G. R. No. L-45129, March 6, 1987. All appropriations bill
must emanate from the House of Representatives and the executive branch has no power to
transfer one budget for another purpose for which it was originally intended.
Tax laws (Art. VI, Sec. 28, Art. XIV, Sec. 4(3)). All tax, tariff and other revenue bills must
originate in the House of Representatives but the Senate may introduce amendments.
Demetria v. Alba, G.R. No. L-45129, March 6, 1987: no cross border transfer of funds; all
appropriations bill must emanate from the House of Representatives and the executive branch
has no power to transfer one budget for another purpose for which it was originally intended.
Belgica v. Ochoa, G.R. No. 208493, November 19, 2013: limitations on the power to enact
appropriation bills
YMCA v. Collector of Internal Revenue, 33 Phil. 217(1916): taxpayer has burden of proof
to claim tax exemption
Quezon City v. ABS-CBN, G.R. No. 166408, Oct. 6, 2008: LGUs have power to collect
local franchise tax
Del Mar v. PAGCOR, 346 SCRA 484 (2000): only Congress has the power to grant
Tanada v. Tuvera, 136 SCRA 27(1985): effectivity of laws; mandatory publication;
characteristics of publication of general circulation
Two members of the House of Representatives figured in a brawl during the heated
deliberation on the passage of the bill legalizing marijuana. The incident was a subject
of media coverage. Delfin Rosario, a taxpayer, asked the Ethics Committee of the House
of Representatives to discipline two members of Congress. Will his action prosper?
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Answer: Yes. Each house may determine the rules of proceedings, punish its Members for
disorderly behavior, and with the concurrence of two-thirds of all its members, suspend or
expel a member.
A penalty of suspension, when imposed, shall not exceed sixty days.
May the President restrict the attendance of the members of the Cabinet in
congressional hearings?
Answer: No. This will violate the principle of checks and balances.
Senate of the Philippines v. Ermita, 488 SCRA 1: The President cannot clip the powers of
the legislative branch by restricting the attendance of officers and other officials of the
executive branch from appearing in congressional hearings in the exercise of the
constitutionally-mandated power to conduct inquiries.(referring to Section 21 of Art. VII)
Neri v. Senate Committees. The executive branch may invoke executive privilege in matters
covered by a legislative hearing and may even decline attendance or responding to queries if
the same is not carried out in aid of legislation.
May the House of Representatives consider simultaneously several complaints for
inclusion in the Articles of Impeachment?
Answer: Yes. Gutierrez v. House of Representatives, G. R. No. Feb. 15, 2011. Congress
may look into separate complaints against an impeachable officer and consider the inclusion
of matters raised therein in the adoption of the Articles of Impeachment to be forwarded to
the Senate as the impeachment tribunal. The Court has repeatedly held that: Impeachment
is the most difficult and cumbersome mode of removing a public officer from office. It is, by
nature, a sui generis politico-legal process that signals the need for a judicious and careful
handling as shown by the process required to initiate the proceeding; the one-year limitation
or bar for its initiation; the limited grounds for impeachment; the defined instrumentality
given the power to try impeachment cases; and the number of votes required for a finding of
guilt. (Francisco v. House of Representatives, on one year rule)
Votes in impeachment proceedings
A majority vote of the members of the Committee on Justice of HOR is
necessary for consideration of its report in a plenary session. (Sec. 3(2), Art. XI)
A vote of at least 1/3 of all members of the HOR is necessary to either affirm a
favorable resolution with the Articles of Impeachment or override its contrary
A verified complaint or resolution of impeachment filed by 1/3 of all members of
the HOR shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment.
Two thirds vote of all members of the Senate is necessary to convict the
impeached public officer.
Gutierrez v. HOR, Feb. 15, 2011: consideration of two complaints as basis
Francisco v. HOR, 415 SCRA 44: initiation of a complaint for impeachment
Chief Justice Corona v. Senate of the Philippines et al., G.R. No.200242, July 17,
2012: The power of judicial review includes the power of review justiciable issues
in impeachment proceedings.
Considering that the positions of the Deputy Ombudsman and the Special Prosecutor
are provided in the Constitution. May the President relying solely on his judgment
remove them from office?
Answer:Yes. Gonzales III v. Office of the President at al/ Bareras Sulit v. Ochoa et al
(2014).The Court held that the Office of the President has the power to discipline and even
dismiss the overall deputy Ombudsman and the other deputies provided under the
Constitution as well as the Special Prosecutor. The Court said that the Ombudsman is vested
with broad investigative and disciplinary powers. These powers include the scrutiny of all
acts of malfeasance, misfeasance, and nonfeasance of all public officials, including Members
of the Cabinet and key Executive officers, during their tenure. Under Section 12, Article XI
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of the 1987 Constitution, the Office of the Ombudsman is envisioned to be the protector of
the people against the inept, abusive, and corrupt in the government, to function
essentially as a complaints and action bureau. This constitutional vision of a Philippine
Ombudsman practically intends to make the Ombudsman an authority to directly check and
guard against the ills, abuses, and excesses of the bureaucracy. As the Ombudsman is
expected to be an activist watchman, the Court has upheld its actions, although not
squarely falling under the broad powers granted it by the Constitution and by R.A. No. 6770,
if these actions are reasonably in line with its official function and consistent with the law
and the Constitution.
A Supreme Court Associate Justice will retire on February 14, 2016. May the
Presidentappoint his replacement when an election ban is in effect?
Answer:Yes. Midnight appointments: The outgoing President must refrain from filling
vacancies to give the new President opportunity to consider names in the light of his new
policies especially so when he ran on a platform approved by the electorate.( Art. VII,
De Castro v. JBC, G.R. No. 191002, March 17, 2010: This case questioned the power of the
President to appoint the Chief Justice during the prohibitive period. The S.C. held that the
appointment of the members of the judiciary is not covered by the prohibition on midnight
Power of Removal: For appointees who serve at the pleasure of the President, they may
also be removed if there is loss of trust and confidence in them. Other public servants may be
removed for cause provided for by law.
May the representative of the Committee of Justice of the Senate and the House of
Representatives simultaneously represent the Congress in the Judicial and Bar
Answer: No. Chavez v. JBC: The Congress is entitled only to one representative in the JBC
and not one for each from the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Recent rulings related to the JBC:
Villanueva v. JBC (2015): A first level trial court must await a 5-year period before he can
be promoted as RTC judge. The Court sustained the power of the JBC to prescribe rules in
the screening of qualified candidates to the judiciary to ensure that only men of proven
competence, integrity, probity and independence will be appointed to the bench.
Jardeleza vs. Chief Justice Sereno and JBC (2015): Having been denied due process,
Jardeleza should be included in the list of nominees to be appointed as justice of the Supreme
Court. An issue about his integrity was raised in the selection process but Jardeleza was never
given the opportunity to be heard to overturn the allegation against him.
With the recently SAF 44 incident, a newly-elected member of the House of
Representatives proposed that Congress amend the Philippine National Police to
include for confirmation the Chief PNP by the Commission on Appointments. Is the
proposal valid?
Answer: No. Article VII, Section 16 of the 1987 Constitution reads: "The President shall
nominate and, with the consent of the Commission on Appointments, appoint the heads of the
executive departments, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, or officers of the
armed forces from the rank of colonel or naval captain, and other officers whose
appointments are vested in him in this Constitution. He shall also appoint all other officers of
the Government whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by law, and those whom
he may be authorized by law to appoint. The Congress may, by law, vest the appointment of
other officers lower in rank in the President alone, in the courts, or in the heads of
departments, agencies, commissions, or boards.
Sarmiento v. Mison, 156 SCRA 549 (1987): Appointment of Bureau of Customs
Commissioner does not need confirmation of the Commission on Appointments.
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Tatad v. Commission on Appointments, G.R. No. 183171, August 11, 2008: With the
resignation of the nominee, there is no longer an actually justiciable controversy.
Gregorio, a police officer, was charged for violation of the VAWC law and an
administrative complaint was likewise filed against him before the Peoples Law
Enforcement Board. Can Gregorio move for the dismissal of the criminal case against
him due to the pendency of his administrative complaint before the PLEB?
Answer: No. In administrative proceedings, procedural due process has been recognized to
include the following: (1) the right to actual or constructive notice of the institution of
proceedings which may affect a respondents legal rights; (2) a real opportunity to be heard
personally or with the assistance of counsel, to present witnesses and evidence in ones favor,
and to defend ones rights; (3) a tribunal vested with competent jurisdiction and so
constituted as to afford a person charged administratively a reasonable guarantee of honesty
as well as impartiality; and (4) a finding by said tribunal which is supported by substantial
evidence submitted for consideration during the hearing or contained in the records or made
known to the parties affected. (Acuzar v. Jarolan and Apresa PLEB, G.R. No. 177878, April
7, 2010)
Lolita is a flight attendant who has exceeded the prescribed weight of the airline
company. Despite repeated warnings, she failed to meet the prescribed weight and was
accordingly dismissed by the airline company. She filed an action before the NLRC for
illegal dismissal because she was denied the equal protection of the law. Will the action
Answer: No. The claim of denial of the equal protection clause may only be invoked against
the state.( Ysaregui v. NLRC and PAL)
Garcia v. Hon. Drilon et al., G.R. No. 179267, June 25, 2013. R.A. 9262 does not violate the
equal protection clause for the following reasons: the classification rests on substantial
distinctions; the classification is germane to the purpose of the law; and the classification is
not limited to existing conditions only and apply equally to all members.
Biraogo v. The Philippine Truth Commission of 2010 et al., G.R.Nos.192935 and 193036,
December 7, 2010: E.O. is unconstitutional for singling out President Arroyos
administration only.
Prevailing standard used: Deferential or Rational Basis Scrutiny which establishes a
rational connection to serve legitimate state interest.
Middle Tier or Intermediate Scrutiny: Challenged classification serves important an
important state interest.
Strict Judicial Scrutiny: Burden is on the state to prove that classification achieves a
compelling state interest.
As counsel of a complainant, how will ensure that you can obtain a valid search
Answer: The Supreme Court has consistently held that the validity of the issuance of a
search warrant rests upon the following factors: (1) it must be issued upon probable cause;
(2) the probable cause must be determined by the judge himself and not by the applicant or
any other person; (3) in the determination of probable cause, the judge must examine, under
oath or affirmation, the complainant and such witnesses as the latter may produce; and (4)
the warrant issued must particularly describe the place to be searched and persons and
things to be seized. (HPS Software and Communication Corp. and Yap v. PLDT, et al., G.R.
No. 170217, 170694, December 10, 2012)
People v. Belocura, G.R. No. 173474, August 29, 2012: The credibility of the evidence of the
corpus delicti in a prosecution for illegal possession of marij11ana under Republic Act No.
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6425, as amended, depends on the integrity of the chain of custody of the marijuana from the
time of its seizure until the time of its presentation as evidence in court. Short of that, the
accused is entitled to an acquittal because the State fails to establish the guilt of the accused
beyond reasonable doubt.
CHAIN OF CUSTODY DOCTRINE: People v. Ronaldo de Guzman, G.R. No. 186498,
March 26, 2010: The law enforcers have the duty to preserve the chain of custody over the
seized drugs. This guaranty of integrity of evidence to be used against the accused goes to
the very heart of his fundamental rights.
Confiscation of seized items despite acquittal under P.D. 969: Nogales v. People, G.R.
191080, November 21, 2011
PROBABLE CAUSE: HPS Software and Communication Corp. and Yap v. PLDT, et al.,
G.R. No. 170217, 170694, December 10, 2012: Probable cause, as a condition for the
issuance of a search warrant, is such reasons supported by facts and circumstances as will
warrant a cautious man to believe that his action and the means taken in prosecuting it are
legally just and proper. It requires facts and circumstances that would lead a reasonably
prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and that the objects sought in
connection with that offense are in the place to be searched.
LOSS OF PROTECTION OF RIGHT: Sales v. People, G.R. No. 191023, February 6,
2013: The search of the contents of petitioners short pants pockets being a valid search
pursuant to routine airport security procedure, the illegal substance (marijuana) seized from
him was therefore admissible in evidence. Petitioners reluctance to show the contents of his
short pants pocket after the friskers hand felt the rolled papers containing marijuana, and
his nervous demeanor aroused the suspicion of the arresting officers that he was indeed
carrying an item or material subject to confiscation by the said authorities.
Yao v. People: personal knowledge is mandatory in issuance of a warrant and not reliable
While serving the search warrant, the law enforcers sensed that more unclicensed
firearms were kept in the locked cabinets. They forced open the cabinets and true
enough several high powered firearms were seized but were not covered by the
warrant. Can the accused move for the exclusion of the seizure of the firearms not
covered by the search warrant?
Answer: Yes. People v. Nunez: the seizure of items not particularly described in the search
warrant for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972 must be returned to the
accused unless they are illegal and will be destroyed by the state.
UNILAB v. Isip: Plain view doctrine will not apply when the following cannot be
proved: prior intrusion must be legal; officer must discover the incriminating
evidence inadvertently; and the object must be immediately apparent.
Exceptions: search incident to a lawful arrest (in flagrante delicto, hot pursuit and
escaped prisoners), search of moving vehicles, plain view doctrine and airport
searches; and all circumstances set forth in the Rules in Criminal Procedure.
Cite instances when the freedom of movement may be restricted.
Gudani v. Senga: the power of the President as Commander in Chief was sustained in
restraining officers from testifying before the Senate.
Fr. Roberto P. Reyes v. Gonzalez: Writ of Amparo will not lie to overcome a Hold Departure
Order. The Writ of Amparo was intended to address the intractable problem of
extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.
OCA v. Judge Ignacio B. Macarine, A.M. No. MTJ-10-1770, July 18, 2012. The Court may
impose travel restrictions on judges.
Marcos v. Sandiganbayan: humanitarian a persons right to travel is subject to the usual
constraints imposed by the very necessity of safeguarding the system of justice. In such
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cases, whether the accused should be permitted to leave the jurisdiction for reasons is a
matter of the courts sound discretion.
Other relevant rulings on: Freedom of Abode and Freedom of Movement: the right to
choose ones domicile; right to travel.
Marcos v. COMELEC: the surviving spouse has the right to choose her residence other than
the conjugal home.
Aquino v. COMELEC: a lease contract is not conclusive proof of length of residence to meet
the requirements to run for public office.
Villavicencio v. Lukban: the Mayors order that some 170 individuals be put in custody and
be dispatched to Davao City for work is a valid subject of a writ of habeas corpus. Freedom
of abode is guaranteed for ours is a government of laws and not of men.
Are professors of law claim that their allegations against a justice of the Supreme Court
for plagiarism protected by free speech?
Answer: No. The Court has held that the right to criticize the courts and judicial officers
must be balanced against the equally primordial concern that the independence of the
Judiciary be protected from due influence or interference. In cases where the critics are
not only citizens but members of the Bar, jurisprudence has repeatedly affirmed the
authority of this Court to discipline lawyers whose statements regarding the courts and
fellow lawyers, whether judicial or extrajudicial, have exceeded the limits of fair
comment and common decency. The accusatory and vilifying nature of certain portions
of the Statement exceeded the limits of fair comment and cannot be deemed as protected
SUPREME COURT (A.M. No. 10-10-4- SC, 2010))
THE DIOCESE OF BACOLOD v. COMELEC (G.R. No. 205728, January 21, 2015)
In upholding the Petition, the Court relied on a the definition of the right as elucidated
by a prominent political theorist T]he theory of freedom of expression involves more than a technique for arriving at
better social judgments through democratic procedures. It comprehends a vision of
society, a faith and a whole way of life. The theory grew out of an age that was
awakened and invigorated by the idea of new society in which man's mind was free,
his fate determined by his own powers of reason, and his prospects of creating a
rational and enlightened civilization virtually unlimited. It is put forward as a
prescription for attaining a creative, progressive, exciting and intellectually robust
community. It contemplates a mode of life that, through encouraging toleration,
skepticism, reason and initiative, will allow man to realize his full potentialities. It
spurns the alternative of a society that is tyrannical, conformist, irrational and


OBrien Test on Content-Neutral Restrictions: Social Weather Station v. COMELEC, 357
SCRA 504 (2001) (simple public disclosure of survey results)
Miller Test on Indecent Speech:Soriano v. Laguardia, 587 SCRA 79 (safeguard community
values and morals)
Roth Test on Obscenity: Gonzales v. Kalaw- Katigbak, 137 SCRA 717 (Movie
Clear and Present Danger Test (Do not use the Dangerous Tendency Test)
A limitation on the freedom of expression may be justified only by a danger of
such substantive character that the state has a right to prevent. Unlike in the "dangerous
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tendency" doctrine, the danger must not only be clear but also present. "Present" refers to the
time element; the danger must not only be probable but very likely to be inevitable. The evil
sought to be avoided must be so substantive as to justify a clamp over one's mouth or a
restraint of a writing instrument.
May a person who voluntarily surrendered invoke the Miranda rights?
Answer: When will Miranda Rights apply
1. One must be in the custody of law enforcers;
2. One must be under investigation for a commission of an offense; and
3. The information sought is testimonial in nature.
Ho Wai Ping v. People, G.R. No. 176229, October 19, 2011: Infraction of the rights of an
accused during custodial investigation or the so-called Miranda Rights render inadmissible
only the extrajudicial confession or admission made during such investigation. "The
admissibility of other evidence, provided they are relevant to the issue and is not otherwise
excluded by law or rules, is not affected even if obtained or taken in the course of custodial
What is transactional immunity?
Answer: Government may enter into an agreement to grant immunity provided grantee will
become a state witness. Disini v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 180564, June 22, 2010:
Transactional Immunity - two kinds of statutory criminal immunity available to a witness:
transactional immunity and the use-and-derivative-use immunity. Transactional immunity is
broader in the scope of its protection. By its grant, a witness can no longer be prosecuted for
any offense whatsoever arising out of the act or transaction to which the testimony relates. In
contrast, by the grant of use-and-derivative-use immunity, a witness is only assured that his
or her particular testimony and evidence derived from it will not be used against him or her
in a subsequent prosecution. (Tanchanco v. Sandiganbayan, 476 SCRA 202, 2005)
If one has been convicted for violation of an ordinance, may be held accountable again
under a national law?
Answer: No. Requisites of Double Jeopardy (Ivler v. San Pedro, G.R. No. 172716,
November 17, 2010):
1. Identity of the elements of the crime committed as set forth in the
2. Accused has entered his plea.
3. Prosecution and the defense have presented evidence.
4. The court has ruled on the merits.
5. The decision has become final and executory.
People v. Dante Tan G.R. No. 167526, July 26, 2010: In People v. Sandiganbayan, the
Supreme Court explained the general rule that the grant of a demurrer to evidence operates as
an acquittal and is, thus, final and unappealable. The demurrer to evidence in criminal cases
is "filed after the prosecution had rested its case," and when the same is granted, it calls "for
an appreciation of the evidence adduced by the prosecution and its sufficiency to warrant
conviction beyond reasonable doubt, resulting in a dismissal of the case on the merits,
tantamount to an acquittal of the accused.
Bangayan, Jr., v. Bangayan, G.R. No. 172777, October 19, 2011: It is well-settled that in
criminal cases where the offended party is the State, the interest of the private complainant or
the private offended party is limited to the civil liability. Thus, in the prosecution of the
offense, the complainant's role is limited to that of a witness for the prosecution. If a criminal
case is dismissed by the trial court or if there is an acquittal, only the OSG, and not the
44 | P a g e

private offended party, has the authority to question the order granting the demurrer to
evidence in a criminal case.
It has been consistently held that in criminal cases, the acquittal of the accused or the
dismissal of the case against him can only be appealed by the Solicitor General, acting on
behalf of the State. The private complainant or the offended party may question such
acquittal or dismissal only insofar as the civil liability of the accused is concerned.
The exception where the acquittal may be questioned based on denial of the State's right to
due process can be found in Galman v. Sandiganbayan (1986)
Exception, when invoked: Lejano v. People, G.R. Nos. 176389 and 176864, January 18,
2011: To reconsider a judgment of acquittal places the accused twice in jeopardy of
being punished for the crime of which he has already been absolved. There is reason for
this provision of the Constitution. In criminal cases, the full power of the State is ranged
against the accused.
Can a person accused of plunder be entitled to bail?
AND PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, the Court granted Senator Enrile the right to
bail. The Court elucidated that purpose of bail is to guarantee the appearance of the
accused at the trial, or whenever so required by the trial court. The amount of bail should
be high enough to assure the presence of the accused when so required, but it should be
no higher than is reasonably calculated to fulfill this purpose. Thus, bail acts as a
reconciling mechanism to accommodate both the accuseds interest in his provisional
liberty before or during the trial, and the societys interest in assuring the accuseds
presence at trial. It further said that in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be
presumed innocent until the contrary is proved. The presumption of innocence is rooted
in the guarantee of due process, and is safeguarded by the constitutional right to be
released on bail and further binds the court to wait until after trial to impose any
punishment on the accused.
The Court is further mindful of the Philippines responsibility in the international community
arising from the national commitment under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to:
x x x uphold the fundamental human rights as well as value the worth and dignity of every
person. This commitment is enshrined in Section II, Article II of our Constitution which
provides: The State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for
human rights. The Philippines, therefore, has the responsibility of protecting and
promoting the right of every person to liberty and due process, ensuring that those
detained or arrested can participate in the proceedings before a court, to enable it to
decide without delay on the legality of the detention and order their release if justified.
In other words, the Philippine authorities are under obligation to make available to
every person under detention such remedies which safeguard their fundamental right to
liberty. These remedies include the right to be admitted to bail.

Can a local government unit impose annual garbage fee?

Answer: No. It violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution and the provisions of
the LGC that an ordinance must be equitable and based as far as practicable on the taxpayers
ability to pay, and not unjust, excessive, oppressive, confiscatory.bThe collection of garbage
is a basic public service which local governments are mandated to undertake. (Ferrer v.
Mayor Herbert Baustista, 2015)
Can a local government impose socialized housing fee?
Answer: Yes. Clearly, the Socialized Housing Tax charged by the Quezon City Government
is a tax which is within its power to impose. Aside from the specific authority vested by
Section 43 of the UDHA, cities are allowed to exercise such other powers and discharge such
other functions and responsibilities as are necessary, appropriate, or incidental to efficient
and effective provision of the basic services and facilities which include, among others,
programs and projects for low-cost housing and other mass dwellings. The collections made
accrue to its socialized housing programs and projects. The tax is not a pure exercise of
45 | P a g e

taxing power or merely to raise revenue; it is levied with a regulatory purpose. The levy is
primarily in the exercise of the police power for the general welfare of the entire city. It is
greatly imbued with public interest. Removing slum areas in Quezon City is not only
beneficial to the underprivileged and homeless constituents but advantageous to the real
property owners as well. The situation will improve the value of the their property
investments, fully enjoying the same in view of an orderly, secure, and safe community, and
will enhance the quality of life of the poor, making them law-abiding constituents and better
consumers of business products. (Ferrer v. Mayor Herbert Bautista, 2015)
What are the requirements to consider an ordinance valid?
Answer: It should also conform to the following requirements: (1) not contrary to the
Constitution or any statute; (2) not unfair or oppressive; (3) not partial or discriminatory; (4)
not prohibit but may regulate trade; (5) general and consistent with public policy; and (6) not
What are the tests for the validity of an ordinance?
Answer: As jurisprudence indicates, the tests are divided into the formal (i.e., whether the
ordinance was enacted within the corporate powers of the LGU and whether it was passed in
accordance with the procedure prescribed by law); and
the substantive (i.e., involving inherent merit, like the conformity of the ordinance with the
limitations under the Constitution and the statutes, as well as with the requirements of
fairness and reason, and its consistency with public policy).Ch
Can a barangay chairman issue a Barangay Protection Order?
Answer: Yes. A protection order is an order issued by the court to prevent further acts of
violence against women and their children, their family or household members, and to grant
other necessary relief. Its purpose is to safeguard the offended parties from further harm,
minimize any disruption in their daily life and facilitate the opportunity and ability to regain
control of their life. The protection orders issued by the court may be a Temporary Protection
Order (TPO) or a Permanent Protection Order (PPO), while a protection order that may be
issued by the barangay shall be known as a Barangay Protection Order.
Can a retired officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines may required by court order to
give a portion of his retirement benefits to his spouse after the issuance of a Permanent
Protection Order by the trial court for violation of R.A No.9262 (VAWC Law)?
Answer: Yes. Section 8(g) of R.A. No. 9262 used the general term "employer," which
includes in its coverage the military institution. Where the law does not distinguish, courts
should not distinguish. Thus, Section 8(g) applies to all employers, whether private or
government. It bears stressing that Section 8(g) providing for spousal and child support, is a
support enforcement legislation. The relief provided in Section 8(g) thus fulfills the objective of
restoring the dignity of women who are victims of domestic violence and provide them continued
protection against threats to their personal safety and security.

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