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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman 1 G.R. No. 164195. December 4,

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G.R. No. 164195. December 4, 2009 materially affected the standing of the aggrieved candidate or
G.R. No. 164195. December 4, 2009
materially affected the standing of the aggrieved candidate
or candidates.
The taking of property under CARL is an exercise by the
State of the power of eminent domain. A basic limitation on
the State's power of eminent domain is the constitutional
directive that private property shall not be taken for public
use without just compensation. Just compensation refers to
the sum equivalent to the market value of the property,
broadly described to be the price fixed by the seller in open
market in the usual and ordinary course of legal action and
competition, or the fair value of the property as between
one who receives and one who desires to sell. It is fixed at
the time of the actual taking by the State.
Thus, if property is taken for public use before compensation
Clearly, Section 243, supra, limits a pre-proclamation
controversy to the questions enumerated therein. The
enumeration is restrictive and exclusive. Resultantly, the
petition for a pre-proclamation controversy must fail in the
absence of any clear showing or proof that the election
returns canvassed are incomplete or contain material
defects (Section 234, Omnibus Election Code); or appear to
have been tampered with, falsified or prepared under
duress (Section 235, Omnibus Election Code); or contain
discrepancies in the votes credited to any candidate, the
difference of which affects the result of the election
(Section 236, Omnibus Election Code).
deposited with the court having jurisdiction over the case,
the final compensation must include interests on its just
value, to be computed from the time the property is taken
up to the time when compensation is actually paid or
deposited with the court.
is
G.R. No. 181869. October 2, 2009
A
pre-proclamation controversy, according to Section 1,
To be noted, too, is that in a pre-proclamation controversy,
the COMELEC is restricted to an examination of the election
returns and is without jurisdiction to go beyond or behind
the election returns and to investigate election irregularities.
For as long as the election returns appear to be authentic
and duly accomplished on their faces, the Board of
Canvassers cannot look beyond or behind the election
returns in order to verify allegations of irregularities in the
casting or counting of votes.
Article XX of the Omnibus Election Code, refers to:
any question pertaining to or affecting the proceedings
G.R. No. 181869. October 2, 2009
of
the board of canvassers which may be raised by any
candidate or by any registered political party or coalition of
parties before the board or directly with the Commission,
or any matter raised under Sections 233, 234, 235 and 236
in
relation to the preparation, transmission, receipt,
custody and appreciation of the election returns.
The doctrine of statistical improbability was first
pronounced in Lagumbay v. Commission on Elections , in
which the Court upheld the power and duty of the
COMELEC to reject the returns of about 50 precincts
affecting the elections of Senators, because their results
were "contrary to all statistical probabilities", thus:
Not every question bearing on or arising from the elections
may constitute a ground for a pre-proclamation
controversy. Section 243 of the Omnibus Election C o d e
enumerates the scope of a pre-proclamation controversy,
as follows:
Sec. 243. Issue that may be raised in pre-proclamation
controversy. — The following shall be proper issues that
may be raised in a pre-proclamation controversy:
(a)
Illegal composition or proceedings of the board of
canvassers;
(b)
The canvassed election returns are incomplete, contain
It appearing therein that — contrary to all statistical
probabilities — in the first set, in each precinct the number
of registered voters equalled the number of ballots and the
number of votes reportedly cast and tallied for each and
every candidate of the Liberal Party, the party in power;
whereas, all the candidates of the Nacionalista Party got
exactly zero; and in the second set, — again contrary to all
statistical probabilities — all the reported votes were for
candidates of the Liberal Party, all of whom were credited
with exactly the same number of votes in each precinct,
ranging from 240 in one precinct to 650 in another
precinct; whereas, all the candidates of the Nacionalista
Party were given exactly zero in all said precincts.
material defects, appear to be tampered with or falsified, or
contain discrepancies in the same returns or in other
authentic copies thereof as mentioned in Sections 233, 234,
235, and 236 of this Code;
(c)
The election returns were prepared under duress,
threats, coercion, or intimidation, or they are obviously
manufactured or not authentic; and
(d)
When substitute or fraudulent returns in controverted
Under Lagumbay , therefore, the doctrine of statistical
improbability is applied only where the unique uniformity of
tally of all the votes cast in favor of all the candidates
belonging to one party and the systematic blanking of all the
candidates of all the opposing parties appear in the election
return. The doctrine has no application where there is
neither uniformity of tallies nor systematic blanking of the
candidates of one party. Thus, the bare fact that a candidate
for public office received no votes in one or two precincts,
polling places were canvassed, the results of which

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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman 2 standing alone and without more,

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standing alone and without more, cannot adequately support a finding that the subject election returns
standing alone and without more, cannot adequately
support a finding that the subject election returns are
statistically improbable. Verily, a zero vote for a particular
candidate in the election returns is but one strand in the web
of circumstantial evidence that the electoral returns were
prepared under duress, force and intimidation.
Court held that the person who would assail the validity of a
statute must have "a personal and substantial interest in the
case such that he has sustained, or will sustain direct injury
as
a result."
Yet, the Court has also held that the requirement of locus
standi, being a mere procedural technicality, can be waived
by
the Court in the exercise of its discretion. For instance, in
A.M. No. 08-19-SB-J. August 24, 2010
1949, in Araneta v. Dinglasan, the Court liberalized the
approach when the cases had "transcendental importance."
Some notable controversies whose petitioners did not pass
the direct injury test were allowed to be treated in the same
Although a speedy determination of an action or proceeding
way as in Araneta v. Dinglasan.
implies a speedy trial, it should be borne in mind that speed
not the chief objective of a trial. Careful and deliberate
consideration for the administration of justice is more
important than a race to end the trial.
is
In
the 1975 decision in Aquino v. Commission on Elections,
this Court decided to resolve the issues raised by the petition
due to their "far-reaching implications," even if the
petitioner had no personality to file the suit. The liberal
A
genuine respect for the rights of all parties, thoughtful
consideration before ruling on important questions, and a
zealous regard for the just administration of law are some of
the qualities of a good trial judge, which are more important
than a reputation for hasty disposal of cases.
approach of Aquino v. Commission on Elections has been
adopted in several notable cases, permitting ordinary
citizens, legislators, and civic organizations to bring their
suits involving the constitutionality or validity of laws,
regulations, and rulings.
G.R. No. 191002. March 17, 2010
G.R. No. 191002. March 17, 2010
Black defines locus standi as "a right of appearance in a court
The assertion of a public right as a predicate for challenging
of
justice on a given question." In public or constitutional
a
supposedly illegal or unconstitutional executive or
litigations, the Court is often burdened with the
determination of the locus standi of the petitioners due to
the ever-present need to regulate the invocation of the
intervention of the Court to correct any official action or
policy in order to avoid obstructing the efficient functioning
legislative action rests on the theory that the petitioner
represents the public in general. Although such petitioner
may not be as adversely affected by the action complained
against as are others, it is enough that he sufficiently
demonstrates in his petition that he is entitled to protection
of
public officials and offices involved in public service. It is
or
relief from the Court in the vindication of a public right.
required, therefore, that the petitioner must have a personal
stake in the outcome of the controversy.
Quite often, as here, the petitioner in a public action sues as
a
citizen or taxpayer to gain locus standi. That is not
surprising, for even if the issue may appear to concern only
G.R. No. 191002. March 17, 2010
the public in general, such capacities nonetheless equip the
petitioner with adequate interest to sue.
Accordingly, it has been held that the interest of a person
assailing the constitutionality of a statute must be direct and
personal. He must be able to show, not only that the law or
any government act is invalid, but also that he sustained or
In
matter of mere public right, however
the people are
the real parties
It is at least the right, if not the duty, of
every citizen to interfere and see that a public offence be
properly pursued and punished, and that a public grievance
is
in imminent danger of sustaining some direct injury as a
be
remedied. With respect to taxpayer's suits, the right of a
result of its enforcement, and not merely that he suffers
thereby in some indefinite way. It must appear that the
person complaining has been or is about to be denied some
right or privilege to which he is lawfully entitled or that he is
about to be subjected to some burdens or penalties by
citizen and a taxpayer to maintain an action in courts to
restrain the unlawful use of public funds to his injury cannot
be
denied.
reason of the statute or act complained of.
G.R. No. 191002. March 17, 2010
We hold that the petitions set forth an actual case or
G.R. No. 191002. March 17, 2010
controversy that is ripe for judicial determination. The reality
is
that the JBC already commenced the proceedings for the
is true that as early as in 1937, in People v. Vera, the Court
adopted the direct injury test for determining whether a
petitioner in a public action had locus standi. There, the
It
selection of the nominees to be included in a short list to be
submitted to the President for consideration of which of

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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman 3 them will succeed Chief Justice

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them will succeed Chief Justice Puno as the next Chief Justice. Although the position is
them will succeed Chief Justice Puno as the next Chief
Justice. Although the position is not yet vacant, the fact that
the JBC began the process of nomination pursuant to its
rules and practices, although it has yet to decide whether to
submit the list of nominees to the incumbent outgoing
President or to the next President, makes the situation ripe
for judicial determination, because the next steps are the
public interview of the candidates, the preparation of the
short list of candidates, and the "interview of constitutional
experts, as may be needed."
who has duly led a certificate of candidacy and has been
voted for in the preceding elections.
A special civil action for quo warranto refers to questions of
disloyalty to the State, or of ineligibility of the winning
candidate. The objective of the action is to unseat the
ineligible person from the office, but not to install the
petitioner in his place. Any voter may initiate the action,
which is, strictly speaking, not a contest where the parties
strive for supremacy because the petitioner will not be
seated even if the respondent may be unseated.
G.R. No. 191002. March 17, 2010
G.R. No. 157917
Two constitutional provisions are seemingly in conflict.
The first, Section 15, Article VII (Executive Department),
provides:
Section 15. Two months immediately before the next
presidential elections and up to the end of his term, a
President or Acting President shall not make appointments,
except temporary appointments to executive positions
when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public
service or endanger public safety.
The other, Section 4 (1), Article VIII (Judicial Department),
states:
Section 4. (1). The Supreme Court shall be composed of a
Chief Justice and fourteen Associate Justices. It may sit en
banc or in its discretion, in division of three, five, or seven
Members. Any vacancy shall be filled within ninety days from
the occurrence thereof.
"Public use" is the same as "use by the public". The essential
feature of the public use is not confined to privileged
individuals, but is open to the indefinite public. It is this
indefinite or unrestricted quality that gives it its public
character. In determining whether a use is public, we must
look not only to the character of the business to be done, but
also to the proposed mode of doing it. If the use is merely
optional with the owners, or the public benefit is merely
incidental, it is not a public use, authorizing the exercise of
the jurisdiction of the public utility commission. There must
be, in general, a right which the law compels the owner to
give to the general public. It is not enough that the general
prosperity of the public is promoted. Public use is not
synonymous with public interest. The true criterion by which
to judge the character of the use is whether the public may
enjoy it by right or only by permission.
G.R. No. 160453
Had the framers intended to extend the prohibition
contained in Section 15, Article VII to the appointment of
Members of the Supreme Court, they could have explicitly
done so. They could not have ignored the meticulous
ordering of the provisions. They would have easily and surely
written the prohibition made explicit in Section 15, Article VII
as being equally applicable to the appointment of Members
of the Supreme Court in Article VIII itself, most likely in
Section 4 (1), Article VIII. That such specification was not
done only reveals that the prohibition against the President
or Acting President making appointments within two months
before the next presidential elections and up to the end of
the President's or Acting President's term does not refer to
the Members of the Supreme Court.
Indeed, under the Regalian doctrine, all lands not otherwise
appearing to be clearly within private ownership are
presumed to belong to the State. No public land can be
acquired by private persons without any grant, express or
implied, from the Government. It is indispensable, therefore,
that there is a showing of a title from the State. Occupation
of public land in the concept of owner, no matter how long,
cannot ripen into ownership and be registered as a title.
G.R. No. 164457
The Bill of Rights guarantees some rights to every person
accused of a crime, among them the right to be informed of
the nature and cause of the accusation, viz:
G.R. Nos. 179431-32. June 22, 2010
An election protest proposes to oust the winning candidate
from office. It is strictly a contest between the defeated and
the winning candidates, based on the grounds of electoral
frauds and irregularities, to determine who between them
has actually obtained the majority of the legal votes cast and
is entitled to hold the office. It can only be led by a candidate
Section 14. (1) No person shall be held to answer for a
criminal offense without due process of law.
(2) In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be
presumed innocent until the contrary is proved, and shall
enjoy the right to be heard by himself and counsel, to be
informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against
him, to have a speedy, impartial, and public trial, to meet the

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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman 4 witnesses face to face, and

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witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witnesses
witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process to
secure the attendance of witnesses and the production of
evidence in his behalf. However, after arraignment, trial may
proceed notwithstanding the absence of the accused
provided that he has been duly notified and his failure to
appear is unjustifiable.
G.R. No. 173474
G.R. No. 171182
Even so, the right against warrantless arrest, and the right
against warrantless search and seizure are not absolute.
There are circumstances in which the arrest, or search and
seizure, although warrantless, are nonetheless valid or
reasonable. Among the circumstances are those mentioned
in Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court, which lists
down when a warrantless arrest may be lawfully made by a
peace officer or a private person, namely:
(a)
When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has
The universal rule that where the State gives its consent to
be sued by private parties either by general or special law, it
may limit claimant s a tio "o ly up to the o pletio of
proceedings anterior to the stage of execution" and that the
power of the Courts ends when the judgment is rendered,
since government funds and properties may not be seized
under writs of execution or garnishment to satisfy such
judgments, is based on obvious considerations of public
policy. Disbursements of public funds must be covered by
the corresponding appropriation as required by law. The
functions and public services rendered by the State cannot
be allowed to be paralyzed or disrupted by the diversion of
public funds from their legitimate and specific objects, as
appropriated by law.
committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to
commit an offense;
(b)
When an offense has in fact just been committed, and
he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the
person to be arrested has committed it; and
(c)
When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has
escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is
serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his
case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred
from one confinement to another.
On the other hand, the constitutional proscription against
warrantless searches and seizures admits of the following
exceptions, namely:
(a)
warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest
recognized under Section 13, Rule 126 of the Rules of
G.R. No. 173474
Court;
(b)
seizure of evidence under plain view;
No arrest, search and seizure can be made without a valid
warrant issued by a competent judicial authority. So sacred
are the right of personal security and privacy and the right
from unreasonable searches and seizures that no less than
the Constitution ordains in Section 2 of its Article III, viz:
(c)
search of a moving vehicle;
(d)
consented warrantless search;
(e)
customs search;
(f)
stop-and-frisk situations (Terry search); and
(g)
exigent and emergency circumstances.
Section 2. The right of the people to be secure in their
persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable
searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any
purpose, shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or
warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to
be determined personally by the judge after examination
under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the
witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the
place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
In these exceptional situations, the necessity for a search
warrant is dispensed with.
G.R. No. 173474
G.R. No. 173474
In flagrante delicto means in the very act of committing the
crime. To be caught in flagrante delicto necessarily implies
the positive identification of the culprit by an eyewitness or
eyewitnesses. Such identification is a direct evidence of
culpability, because it "proves the fact in dispute without
the aid of any inference or presumption.
The consequence of a violation of the guarantees against a
violation of personal security and privacy and against
unreasonable searches and seizures is the exclusion of the
evidence thereby obtained. This rule of exclusion is set
down in Section 3(2), Article III of the Constitution, to wit:
G.R. No. 176343
Section 3. xxx
(2) Any evidence obtained in violation of this or the
preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in
any proceeding.
The preventive suspension of civil service employees
charged with dishonesty, oppression or grave misconduct, or
neglect of duty is authorized by the Civil Service Law. It
cannot, therefore, be considered "unjustified," even if later
the charges are dismissed so as to justify the payment of
salaries to the employee concerned. It is one of those
sacrifices which holding a public office requires for the public
good xxx.

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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman 5 G.R. No. 176343 The Revised

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G.R. No. 176343 The Revised Administrative Code of 1987 (RAC) embodies the major structural, functional
G.R. No. 176343
The Revised Administrative Code of 1987 (RAC) embodies
the major structural, functional and procedural principles
and rules of governance of government agencies and
constitutional bodies like the CSC. Section 1, Chapter 1,
Subtitle A, Title I, Book V, of the RAC states that the CSC is
the central personnel agency of the government. Section 51
and Section 52, Chapter 6, Subtitle A, Title I, Book V of the
RAC respectively contain the rule on preventive suspension
of a civil service officer or employee pending investigation,
and the duration of the preventive suspension, viz:
Section 17. Determination of Just Compensation. – In
determining just compensation, the cost of acquisition of
the land, the current value of like properties, its nature,
actual use and income, the sworn valuation by the owner,
the tax declarations, and the assessment made by
government assessors shall be considered. The social and
economic benefits contributed by the farmers and the
farmworkers and by the Government to the property as
well as the nonpayment of taxes or loans secured from any
government financing institution on the said land shall be
considered as additional factors to determine its valuation.
The Congress has thereby required that any determination
Section 51. Preventive Suspension. – The proper disciplining
authority may preventively suspend any subordinate officer
or employee under his authority pending an investigation, if
the charge against such officer or employee involves
dishonesty, oppression or grave misconduct, or neglect in
the performance of duty, or if there are reasons to believe
that the respondent is guilty of charges which would
warrant his removal from the service.
of just compensation should consider the following factors,
namely:
(a)
the cost of the acquisition of the land;
(b)
the current value of like properties;
(c)
the nature, actual use and income of the land; (d) the
sworn valuation by the owner;
(e)
the tax declarations;
(f)
the assessment made by government assessors;
(g)
the social and economic benefits contributed to the
Section 52. Lifting of Preventive Suspension Pending
Administrative Investigation. – When the administrative
case against the officer or employee under preventive
suspension is not finally decided by the disciplining
authority within the period of ninety (90) days after the
date of suspension of the respondent who is not a
presidential appointee, the respondent shall be
automatically reinstated in the service: Provided, That
when the delay in the disposition of the case is due to the
fault, negligence or petition of the respondent, the period
of delay shall not be counted in computing the period of
suspension herein provided.
property by the farmers and farmworkers and by the
Government; and
(h)
the fact of the non-payment of any taxes or loans secured
from any government financing institution on the land.
G.R. No. 177780
G.R. No. 176343
Before an order of preventive suspension pending an
investigation may validly issue, only two prerequisites need
be shown, namely:
(1) that the proper disciplining authority has served a formal
charge to the affected officer or employee; and
(2) that the charge involves either dishonesty, oppression,
grave misconduct, neglect in the performance of duty, or if
there are reasons to believe that the respondent is guilty of
the charges which would warrant her removal from the
service. Proof showing that the subordinate officer or
employee may unduly influence the witnesses against her or
may tamper the documentary evidence on file in her office
is not among the prerequisites.
Under the doctrine of separation of powers, the courts have
no right to directly decide matters over which full
discretionary authority has been delegated to the Executive
Branch of the Government, or to substitute their own
judgments for that of the Executive Branch, represented in
this case by the Department of Justice. The settled policy is
that the courts will not interfere with the executive
determination of probable cause for the purpose of filing an
information, in the absence of grave abuse of discretion.
That abuse of discretion must be so patent and gross as to
amount to an evasion of a positive duty or a virtual refusal to
perform a duty enjoined by law or to act at all in
contemplation of law, such as where the power is exercised
in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion or
hostility.
G.R. No. 196355
Section 10(c), Rule 2 of the Rules in A.M. No. 10-4-1-SC
pertinently provides as follows:
G.R. No. 176692
Section 10. Contents of the protest or petition.—
xxxx
c. An election protest shall also state:
Section 17 of Republic Act No. 6657 has defined the
parameters for the determination of the just compensation,
viz:
(i) that the protestant was a candidate who had duly filed a
certificate of candidacy and had been voted for the same
office;
(ii)
the total number of precincts in the municipality;

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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman 6 (iii) the protested precincts and

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(iii) the protested precincts and votes of the parties in the G.R. No. 196804 protested
(iii)
the protested precincts and votes of the parties in the
G.R. No. 196804
protested precincts per the Statement of Votes by Precinct
or, if the votes of the parties are not specified, an
explanation why the votes are not specified; and
(iv)
a detailed specification of the acts or omissions
complained of showing the electoral frauds, anomalies or
irregularities in the protested precincts.
There are two remedies available to prevent a candidate
from running in an electoral race. One is through a petition
for disqualification and the other through a petition to deny
due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy. The
Court differentiated the two remedies, thuswise:
G.R. No. 196804
The filing of a CoC within the period provided by law is a
mandatory requirement for any person to be considered a
candidate in a national or local election. This is clear from
Section 73 of the Omnibus Election Code, to wit:
Section 73. Certificate of candidacy — No person shall be
eligible for any elective public office unless he files a sworn
certificate of candidacy within the period fixed herein.
x x x A petition for disqualification, on the one hand, can be
premised on Section 12 or 68 of the Omnibus Election
Code, or Section 40 of the Local Government Code. On the
other hand, a petition to deny due course to or cancel a
CoC can only be grounded on a statement of a material
representation in the said certificate that is false. The
petitions also have different effects. While a person who is
disqualified under Section 68 is merely prohibited to
continue as a candidate, the person whose certificate is
cancelled or denied due course under Section 78 is not
treated as a candidate at all, as if he/she never filed a CoC.
Section 74 of the Omnibus Election Code specifies the
contents of a COC, viz:
G.R. No. 196804
Section 74. Contents of certificate of candidacy.—The
certificate of candidacy shall state that the person filing it is
announcing his candidacy for the office stated therein and
that he is eligible for said office; if for Member of the
Batasang Pambansa, the province, including its component
cities, highly urbanized city or district or sector which he
seeks to represent; the political party to which he belongs;
civil status; his date of birth; residence; his post office
address for all election purposes; his profession or
occupation; that he will support and defend the
Constitution of the Philippines and will maintain true faith
and allegiance thereto; that he will obey the laws, legal
orders, and decrees promulgated by the duly constituted
authorities; that he is not a permanent resident or
immigrant to a foreign country; that the obligation imposed
by his oath is assumed voluntarily, without mental
reservation or purpose of evasion; and that the facts stated
in the certificate of candidacy are true to the best of his
knowledge. x x x
Inasmuch as the grounds for disqualification under Section
68 of the Omnibus Election Code (i.e., prohibited acts of
a didates, a d the fa t of a a didate s pe a e t
residency in another country when that fact affects the
residency requirement of a candidate) are separate and
distinct from the grounds for the cancellation of or denying
due course to a COC (i.e., nuisance candidates under
Section 69 of the Omnibus Election Code; and material
misrepresentation under Section 78 of the Omnibus
Election Code), the Court has recognized that the following
circumstances may result from the granting of the
petitions, to wit:
(1) A candidate may not be qualified to run for election but
may have filed a valid CoC;
(2) A candidate may not be qualified and at the same time
may not have filed a valid CoC; and
(3) A candidate may be qualified but his CoC may be denied
due course or cancelled.
G.R. No. 196804
G.R. No. 196804
The evident purposes of the requirement for the filing of
CoCs and in fixing the time limit for filing them are, namely:
(a)
to enable the voters to know, at least 60 days prior to
In the event that a candidate is disqualified to run for a
public office, or dies, or withdraws his CoC before the
elections, Section 77 of the Omnibus Election Code
provides the option of substitution, to wit:
the regular election, the candidates from among whom
they are to make the choice; and
(b)
to avoid confusion and inconvenience in the tabulation of
the votes cast. If the law does not confine to the duly-
registered candidates the choice by the voters, there may be
as many persons voted for as there are voters, and votes may
be cast even for unknown or fictitious persons as a mark to
identify the votes in favor of a candidate for another office
in the same election.
Section 77. Candidates in case of death, disqualification or
withdrawal. — If after the last day for the filing of
certificates of candidacy, an official candidate of a
registered or accredited political party dies, withdraws or is
disqualified for any cause, only a person belonging to, and
certified by, the same political party may file a certificate of
candidacy to replace the candidate who died, withdrew or
was disqualified. The substitute candidate nominated by
the political party concerned may file his certificate of
candidacy for the office affected in accordance with the

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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman 7 preceding sections not later than

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7

preceding sections not later than mid-day of the day of the election. If the death,
preceding sections not later than mid-day of the day of the
election. If the death, withdrawal or disqualification should
occur between the day before the election and mid-day of
election day, said certificate may be filed with any board of
election inspectors in the political subdivision where he is a
candidate, or, in the case of candidates to be voted for by
the entire electorate of the country, with the Commission.
G.R. No. 196804
The law expressly declares that a candidate disqualified by
final judgment before an election cannot be voted for, and
votes cast for him shall not be counted. This is a mandatory
provision of law. Section 6 of Republic Act No. 6646, The
Electoral Reforms Law of 1987, states:
Nonetheless, whether the ground for substitution is death,
withdrawal or disqualification of a candidate, Section 77 of
the Omnibus Election Code unequivocally states that only
an official candidate of a registered or accredited party may
be substituted.
G.R. No. 196804
Considering that a cancelled CoC does not give rise to a
valid candidacy, there can be no valid substitution of the
candidate under Section 77 of the Omnibus Election Code.
It should be clear, too, that a candidate who does not file a
valid CoC may not be validly substituted, because a person
without a valid CoC is not considered a candidate in much
the same way as any person who has not filed a CoC is not
at all a candidate.
Sec. 6. Effect of Disqualification Case.— Any candidate who
has been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall
not be voted for, and the votes cast for him shall not be
counted. If for any reason a candidate is not declared by final
judgment before an election to be disqualified and he is
voted for and receives the winning number of votes in such
election, the Court or Commission shall continue with the
trial and hearing of the action, inquiry, or protest and, upon
motion of the complainant or any intervenor, may during the
pendency thereof order the suspension of the proclamation
of such candidate whenever the evidence of his guilt is
strong.
G.R. No. 196804
Likewise, a candidate who has not withdrawn his CoC in
accordance with Section 73 of the Omnibus Election Code
may not be substituted. A withdrawal of candidacy can only
give effect to a substitution if the substitute candidate
submits prior to the election a sworn CoC as required by
Section 73 of the Omnibus Election Code.
The only time that a second placer is allowed to take the
place of a disqualified winning candidate is when two
requisites concur, namely:
(a)
the candidate who obtained the highest number of votes
is
disqualified; and
(b)
the electorate was fully aware in fact and in law of that
a didate s dis ualifi atio as to i g su h a a e ess
within the realm of notoriety but the electorate still cast the
plurality of the votes in favor of the ineligible candidate.
G.R. No. 196804
Article X, Section 8 of the 1987 Constitution provides:
Section 8. The term of office of elective local officials,
except barangay officials, which shall be determined by law,
shall be three years and no such official shall serve for more
than three consecutive terms. Voluntary renunciation of
the office for any length of time shall not be considered as
an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full
term for which he was elected.
Under this sole exception, the electorate may be said to have
waived the validity and efficacy of their votes by notoriously
misapplying their franchise or throwing away their votes, in
which case the eligible candidate with the second highest
number of votes may be deemed elected. But the exception
did not apply in favor of CCC simply because the second
element was absent. The electorate of the City were not the
least a a e of the fa t of BBB s i eligi ility as the su stitute.
A.M. OCA IPI No. 02-1321-P
Section 43 of the Local Government Code reiterates the
constitutional three-term limit for all elective local officials,
to wit:
A
finding of dishonesty against an employee in the Civil
Service carries with it the penalty of dismissal. Under Rule IV
Section 43. Term of Office. – (a) x x x
(b) No local elective official shall serve for more than three
(3) consecutive terms in the same position. Voluntary
renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be
considered as an interruption in the continuity of service for
the full term for which the elective official concerned was
elected.
Section 52 (A) (1) of the Revised Uniform Rules on
Administrative Cases in the Civil Service Rules (Revised
Uniform Rules), dishonesty is classified as a grave offense
that is already punishable by dismissal from the service even
at
the first offense.

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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman 8 G.R. No. 159110 G.R. No.

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8

G.R. No. 159110 G.R. No. 154083 Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution, which ordains:
G.R. No. 159110
G.R. No. 154083
Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution, which ordains:
Republic Act No. 6770 (The Ombudsman Act of 1989)
clearly provides, viz:
Section 21. Official Subject to Disciplinary Authority;
Exceptions. — The Office of the Ombudsman shall have
disciplinary authority over all elective and appointive officials
of the Government and its subdivisions, instrumentalities
and agencies, including Members of the Cabinet, local
government, government-owned or controlled corporations
and their subsidiaries, except over officials who may be
removed only by impeachment or over Members of
Congress, and the Judiciary.
Section 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or
property without due process of law, nor shall any person
be denied the equal protection of the laws.
The guaranty of due process of law is a constitutional
safeguard against any arbitrariness on the part of the
Government, whether committed by the Legislature, the
Executive, or the Judiciary. It is a protection essential to
every inhabitant of the country.
G.R. No. 159110
G.R. No. 159110
Tests of a valid ordinance thusly:
Procedural due process, as the phrase implies, refers to the
procedures that the government must follow before it
deprives a person of life, liberty, or property. Classic
procedural due process issues are concerned with that kind
of notice and what form of hearing the government must
provide when it takes a particular action.
The tests of a valid ordinance are well established. A long
line of decisions has held that for an ordinance to be valid,
it must not only be within the corporate powers of the local
government unit to enact and must be passed according to
the procedure prescribed by law, it must also conform to
the following substantive requirements:
Substantive due process, as that phrase connotes, asks
whether the government has an adequate reason for taking
a
ay a pe so s life, liberty, or property. In other words,
substantive due process looks to whether there is sufficient
justifi atio fo the go e e t s a tio .
(1) must not contravene the Constitution or any statute;
(2) must not be unfair or oppressive;
(3) must not be partial or discriminatory;
(4) must not prohibit but may regulate trade;
(5) must be general and consistent with public policy; and
(6) must not be unreasonable.
G.R. No. 159110
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).
The police power granted to local government units must
always be exercised with utmost observance of the rights of
the people to due process and equal protection of the law.
Such power cannot be exercised whimsically, arbitrarily or
despotically as its exercise is subject to a qualification,
limitation or restriction demanded by the respect and regard
due to the prescription of the fundamental law, particularly
those forming part of the Bill of Rights. Individual rights, it
bears emphasis, may be adversely affected only to the
extent that may fairly be required by the legitimate demands
of public interest or public welfare. Due process requires the
intrinsic validity of the law in interfering with the rights of the
person to his life, liberty and property.
G.R. No. 159110
Police power is lodged primarily in the National Legislature.
It cannot be exercised by any group or body of individuals
not possessing legislative power. The National Legislature,
however, may delegate this power to the President and
administrative boards as well as the lawmaking bodies of
municipal corporations or local government units. Once
delegated, the agents can exercise only such legislative
powers as are conferred on them by the national lawmaking
body.
G.R. No. 159110
Notice and hearing are the essential requirements of
procedural due process. Yet, there are many instances
under our laws in which the absence of one or both of such
requirements is not necessarily a denial or deprivation of
due process. Among the instances are the cancellation of
the passport of a person being sought for the commission
of a crime, the preventive suspension of a civil servant
facing administrative charges, the distraint of properties to
answer for tax delinquencies, the padlocking of restaurants
found to be unsanitary or of theaters showing obscene

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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman 9 movies, and the abatement of

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9

movies, and the abatement of nuisance per se. Add to them the arrest of a
movies, and the abatement of nuisance per se. Add to them
the arrest of a person in flagrante delicto.
confidence"
and
"are
subject
to
the
direction
of
the
President."
The la pi g of the petitio e s ehi les pu sua t to
Ordinance No. 1664 (and of the vehicles of others similarly
situated) was of the same character as the aforecited
established exceptions dispensing with notice and hearing.
As already said, the immobilization of illegally parked
vehicles by clamping the tires was necessary because the
transgressors were not around at the time of apprehension.
Under such circumstance, notice and hearing would be
superfluous. Nor should the lack of a trial-type hearing prior
to the clamping constitute a breach of procedural due
process, forgiving the transgressors the chance to reverse
the apprehensions through a timely protest could equally
satisfy the need for a hearing. In other words, the prior
intervention of a court of law was not indispensable to
ensure a compliance with the guaranty of due process.
To reiterate, the clamping of the illegally parked vehicles was
G.R. No. 168613
a
fair and reasonable way to enforce the ordinance against
its transgressors; otherwise, the transgressors would evade
liability by simply driving away.
The doctrine of qualified political agency essentially
postulates that the heads of the various executive
departments are the alter egos of the President, and, thus,
the actions taken by such heads in the performance of their
official duties are deemed the acts of the President unless
the President himself should disapprove such acts. This
doctrine is in recognition of the fact that in our presidential
form of government, all executive organizations are adjuncts
of a single Chief Executive; that the heads of the Executive
Departments are assistants and agents of the Chief
Executive; and that the multiple executive functions of the
President as the Chief Executive are performed through the
Executive Departments. The doctrine has been adopted here
out of practical necessity, considering that the President
cannot be expected to personally perform the multifarious
functions of the executive office.
G.R. No. 168613
G.R. No. 168613
The doctrine of qualified political agency is also known as
the alter ego doctrine.
Under the presidential type of government which we have
adopted and considering the departmental organization
established and continued in force by paragraph 1, section
12, Article VII, of our Constitution, 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 the 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 Executive.
But the doctrine of qualified political agency could not be
extended to the acts of the Board of Directors of TIDCORP
despite some of its members being themselves the
appointees of the President to the Cabinet.
Under Section 10 of Presidential Decree No. 1080, as
further amended by Section 6 of Republic Act No. 8494,
there are five ex officio members who are Cabinet
Members, three from the private sector who were elected
by the ex officio members of the Board. Such Cabinet
members sat on the Board of Directors ex officio, or by
reason of their office or function, not because of their
direct appointment to the Board by the President.
Evidently, it was the law, not the President, that sat them in
the Board.
When the members of the Board of Directors effected the
assailed reorganization, they were acting as the responsible
members of the Board constituted pursuant to Presidential
Decree No. 1080, as amended by Republic Act No. 8494, not
as the alter egos of the President.
G.R. No. 168613
G.R. No. 179987
The first section of Article VII of the Constitution, dealing
with the Executive Department, begins with the enunciation
of the principle that "The executive power shall be vested in
a
President of the Philippines." This means that the President
of the Philippines is the Executive of the Government of the
Philippines, and no other. The heads of the executive
departments occupy political positions and hold office in an
ad iso y apa ity, a d, "should e of the P eside t s oso
All lands not appearing to be clearly under private ownership
are presumed to belong to the State. Also, public lands
remain part of the inalienable land of the public domain
unless the State is shown to have reclassified or alienated
them to private persons.

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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman 10 G.R. No. 179987 The 1987

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10

G.R. No. 179987 The 1987 Constitution adopted the classification under the 1935 Constitution into agricultural,
G.R. No. 179987
The 1987 Constitution adopted the classification under the
1935 Constitution into agricultural, forest or timber, and
mineral, but added national parks. Agricultural lands may be
further classified by law according to the uses to which they
may be devoted. The identification of lands according to
their legal classification is done exclusively by and through a
positive act of the Executive Department.
If a public land is classified as no longer intended for public
use or for the development of national wealth by declaration
of Congress or the President, thereby converting such land
into patrimonial or private land of the State, the applicable
provision concerning disposition and registration is no longer
Section 48(b) of the Public Land Act but the Civil Code, in
conjunction with Section 14(2) of the Property Registration
Decree. As such, prescription can now run against the State.
G.R. No. 179987
G.R. No. 179987
Under Section 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution, only
agricultural lands of the public domain may be alienated; all
other natural resources may not be.
To sum up, we now observe the following rules relative to
the disposition of public land or lands of the public domain,
namely:
(1)
As a general rule and pursuant to the Regalian Doctrine,
G.R. No. 179987
Alienable and disposable lands of the State fall into two
categories, to wit:
all lands of the public domain belong to the State and are
inalienable. Lands that are not clearly under private
ownership are also presumed to belong to the State and,
therefore, may not be alienated or disposed;
(a)
patrimonial lands of the State, or those classified as
(2) The following are excepted from the general rule, to wit:
lands of private ownership under Article 425 of the Civil
(a) Agricultural lands of the public domain are rendered
Code, without limitation; and
(b)
lands of the public domain, or the public lands as
provided by the Constitution, but with the limitation that
alienable and disposable through any of the exclusive
modes enumerated under Section 11 of the Public Land
Act. If the mode is judicial confirmation of imperfect title
under Section 48(b) of the Public Land Act, the agricultural
the lands must only be agricultural.
land subject of the application needs only to be classified as
alienable and disposable as of the time of the application,
Consequently, lands classified as forest or timber, mineral,
or national parks are not susceptible of alienation or
disposition unless they are reclassified as agricultural. A
positive act of the Government is necessary to enable such
reclassification, and the exclusive prerogative to classify
public lands under existing laws is vested in the Executive
Department, not in the courts.
o ided the appli a t s possessio a d o upatio of the
land dated back to June 12, 1945, or earlier. Thereby, a
conclusive presumption that the applicant has performed
all the conditions essential to a government grant arises,
and the applicant becomes the owner of the land by virtue
p
of an imperfect or incomplete title. By legal fiction, the land
has already ceased to be part of the public domain and has
become private property.
(b)
Lands of the public domain subsequently classified or
G.R. No. 179987
If, however, public land will be classified as neither
agricultural, forest or timber, mineral or national park, or
when public land is no longer intended for public service or
for the development of the national wealth, thereby
effectively removing the land from the ambit of public
dominion, a declaration of such conversion must be made in
the form of a law duly enacted by Congress or by a
Presidential proclamation in cases where the President is
duly authorized by law to that effect. Thus, until the
Executive Department exercises its prerogative to classify or
reclassify lands, or until Congress or the President declares
that the State no longer intends the land to be used for
public service or for the development of national wealth, the
Regalian Doctrine is applicable.
declared as no longer intended for public use or for the
development of national wealth are removed from the
sphere of public dominion and are considered converted
into patrimonial lands or lands of private ownership that
may be alienated or disposed through any of the modes of
acquiring ownership under the Civil Code. If the mode of
acquisition is prescription, whether ordinary or
extraordinary, proof that the land has been already
converted to private ownership prior to the requisite
acquisitive prescriptive period is a condition sine qua non in
observance of the law (Article 1113, Civil Code) that
property of the State not patrimonial in character shall not
be the object of prescription.
G.R. No. 188056
G.R. No. 179987
Administrative regulations enacted by administrative
agencies to implement and interpret the law which they are
entrusted to enforce have the force of law and are entitled

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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman 11 to respect. Such rules and

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11

to respect. Such rules and regulations partake of the nature of a statute and are
to respect. Such rules and regulations partake of the nature
of a statute and are just as binding as if they have been
written in the statute itself. As such, they have the force
and effect of law and enjoy the presumption of
constitutionality and legality until they are set aside with
finality in an appropriate case by a competent court.
involving a subject of transcendental import, has waived, or
relaxed, thus allowing non-traditional plaintiffs, such as
concerned citizens, taxpayers, voters or legislators, to sue in
the public interest, albeit they may not have been personally
injured by the operation of a law or any other government
act.
To overcome this strong presumption of validity of the
questioned issuances, it became incumbent upon
petitioners to prove their unconstitutionality and invalidity,
either by showing that the Administrative Code of 1987 did
not authorize the Secretary of Justice to issue DO No. 182,
or by demonstrating that DO No. 182 exceeded the bounds
of the Administrative Code of 1987 and other pertinent
laws.
G.R. No. 191644
The Court laid out the bare minimum norm before the so-
called "non-traditional suitors" may be extended standing to
sue, thusly:
1.) For taxpayers, there must be a claim of illegal
disbursement of public funds or that the tax measure is
unconstitutional;
G.R. No. 188056
2.) For voters, there must be a showing of obvious interest
in
the validity of the election law in question;
The equal protection clause of the Constitution does not
require the universal application of the laws to all persons or
things without distinction; what it requires is simply equality
among equals as determined according to a valid
classification. Hence, the Court has affirmed that if a law
neither burdens a fundamental right nor targets a suspect
class, the classification stands as long as it bears a rational
relationship to some legitimate government end.
3.) For concerned citizens, there must be a showing that the
issues raised are of transcendental importance which must
be settled early; and
4.) For legislators, there must be a claim that the official
action complained of infringes their prerogatives as
legislators.
G.R. No. 191644
This case before us is of transcendental importance, since it
obviously has "far-reaching implications," and there is a need
to promulgate rules that will guide the bench, bar, and the
public in future analogous cases. We, thus, assume a liberal
stance and allow petitioner to institute the instant petition.
The power of judicial review is subject to limitations, to wit:
(1) there must be an actual case or controversy calling for
the exercise of judicial power;
(2) the person challenging the act must have the standing
to assail the validity of the subject act or issuance, that is,
he must have a personal and substantial interest in the case
such that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a
result of its enforcement;
(3) the question of constitutionality must be raised at the
earliest opportunity; and
(4) the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of
the case.
G.R. No. 191644
A
moot and academic case is one that ceases to present a
justiciable controversy by virtue of supervening events, so
that a declaration thereon would be of no practical use or
value.
Verily, the Court did not desist from resolving an issue that
a
supervening event meanwhile rendered moot and
academic if any of the following recognized exceptions
obtained, namely:
G.R. No. 191644
To have legal standing, therefore, a suitor must show that
he has sustained or will sustain a "direct injury" as a result
of a government action, or have a "material interest" in the
issue affected by the challenged official act. However, the
Court has time and again acted liberally on the locus
standi requirements and has accorded certain individuals,
not otherwise directly injured, or with material interest
affected, by a Government act, standing to sue provided a
constitutional issue of critical significance is at stake.
(1) there was a grave violation of the Constitution;
(2) the case involved a situation of exceptional character
and was of paramount public interest;
(3) the constitutional issue raised required the formulation
of controlling principles to guide the Bench, the Bar and the
public; and
(4) the case was capable of repetition, yet evading review.
G.R. No. 191644
Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, viz:
The rule on locus standi
is after
all a mere procedural
technicality in relation to which the Court, in a catena of cases
Section 13. The President, Vice-President, the Members of
the Cabinet, and their deputies or assistants shall not,

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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman 12 unless otherwise provided in this

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unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, hold any other office or employment during their tenure.
unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, hold any
other office or employment during their tenure. They shall
not, during said tenure, directly or indirectly practice any
other profession, participate in any business, or be
financially interested in any contract with, or in any
franchise, or special privilege granted by the Government
or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof,
including government-owned or controlled corporations or
their subsidiaries. They shall strictly avoid conflict of
interest in the conduct of their office.
of the accused are officials occupying the following
positions in the government whether in a permanent,
acting or interim capacity, at the time of the commission of
the offense:
(1)
Officials of the executive branch occupying the positions
of regional director and higher, otherwise classified as
G
ade 27 a d highe , of the Co pe satio a d Positio
Classification Act of 1989(Republic Act No. 6758),
specifically including:
X
X X
(5)
All other national and local officials classified as Grade
A
relevant and complementing provision is Section 7,
paragraph (2), Article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution, to wit:
Section 7. x x x
Unless otherwise allowed by law or the primary functions of
his position, no appointive official shall hold any other
office or employment in the Government or any
subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including
government-owned or controlled corporations or their
subsidiaries.
27 a d highe u de the Co pe satio a d Position
Classification Act of 1989. b. Other offenses or felonies
whether simple or complexed with other crimes committed
by the public officials and employees mentioned in
subsection a of this section in relation to their office. (Bold
emphasis supplied)
In
cases where none of the accused are occupying positions
o espo di g to sala y g ade 27 o highe , as p es i ed
in
the said Republic Act No. 6758, or military or PNP officers
Thus, while all other appointive officials in the civil service
are allowed to hold other office or employment in the
government during their tenure when such is allowed by
law or by the primary functions of their positions, members
mentioned above, exclusive original jurisdiction thereof
shall be vested in the proper regional trial court,
metropolitan trial court, municipal trial court and municipal
circuit trial court, as the case may be, pursuant to their
respective jurisdiction as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg.
129, as amended.
of
the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants may do so only
when expressly authorized by the Constitution itself. In
other words, Section 7, Article IX-B is meant to lay down the
general rule applicable to all elective and appointive public
officials and employees, while Section 13, Article VII is meant
x x x x
In
case private individuals are charged as co-principals,
to be the exception applicable only to the President, the
Vice-President, Members of the Cabinet, their deputies and
assistants.
The phrase "unless otherwise provided in this Constitution"
must be given a literal interpretation to refer only to those
particular instances cited in the Constitution itself, to wit: the
Vice-President being appointed as a member of the Cabinet
under Section 3, par. (2), Article VII; or acting as President in
those instances provided under Section 7, pars. (2) and (3),
Article VII; and, the Secretary of Justice being ex-
officio member of the Judicial and Bar Council by virtue of
Section 8 (1), Article VIII.
accomplices or accessories with the public officers or
employees, including those employed in government-
owned or controlled corporations, they shall be tried jointly
with said public officers and employees in the proper courts
which shall exercise exclusive jurisdiction over them. x x x x
A.M. No. 2008-23-SC
Conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service is also
classified as a grave offense under Section 22(t) of the
Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of Executive Order
No. 292 and other pertinent Civil Service laws.
G.R. Nos. 169823-24
Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1606 was the law that
established the Sandiganbayan and defined its jurisdiction.
The law was amended by R.A. No. 7975 and R.A. No. 8249.
Under Section 4 of R.A. No. 8249, the Sandiganbayan was
vested with original and exclusive jurisdiction over all cases
involving:
The Civil Service laws and rules contain no description of
what specific acts constitute the grave offense of conduct
prejudicial to the best interest of the service. However,
jurisprudence has been instructive, with the Court having
considered the following acts or omissions as constitutive
of conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service,
namely:
(a)
misappropriation of public funds;
(b)
abandonment of office;
(c)
failure to report back to work without prior notice;
a. Violations of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended,
otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices
Act, Republic Act No.1379, and Chapter II, Section 2, Title
VII, Book II of the Revised Penal Code, where one or more
(d)
failure to keep public records and property safe;
(e)
making false entries in public documents; and
(f) falsification of court orders.

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COMPILED BY ATTY. R.A.L. CASABAR

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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman 13 A.M. No. 2010-21-SC As a

Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman

13

A.M. No. 2010-21-SC As a public servant, therefore, Lopez knew only too well that she
A.M. No. 2010-21-SC
As a public servant, therefore, Lopez knew only too well
that she was expected at all times to exhibit the highest
sense of honesty and integrity. No less that the Constitution
itself impresses this expectation in Section 1 of its Article XI,
to wit:
establishment for its own and private purposes, as in the
case at bar, and without the intervention of police
authorities, the right against unreasonable search and
seizure cannot be invoked for only the act of private
individual, not the law enforcers, is involved. In sum, the
protection against unreasonable searches and seizures
cannot be extended to acts committed by private individuals
so as to bring it within the ambit of alleged unlawful intrusion
by the government.
Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees
must at all times, be accountable to the people, serve them
with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency,
act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives."
G.R. No. 163767
G.R. No. 160689
Section 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution, provides: "All
lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal,
petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of potential
energy, fisheries, forests or timber, wildlife, flora and fauna,
and other natural resources are owned by the State. x x x."
Section 2, Article III of the 1987 Constitution, the clause
guaranteeing the right of every individual against
unreasonable searches and seizures, viz:
G.R. No. 191672
Section 2. The right of the people to be secure in their
persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable
searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any
purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or
warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to
be determined personally by the judge after examination
under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the
witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the
place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.
Each of the Constitutional Commissions conducts its own
proceedings under the applicable laws and its own rules
and in the exercise of its own discretion. Its decisions,
orders and rulings are subject only to review on certiorari
by the Court as provided by Section 7, Article IX-A of the
1987
Constitution.
G.R. No. 191672
G.R. No. 160689
Article 32 (9) of the Civil Code pertinently provides:
To safeguard the independence of these Commissions, the
1987
Constitution, among others, imposes under Section 2,
Article 32. Any public officer or employee, or any private
individual, who directly or indirectly obstructs, defeats,
violates or in any manner impedes or impairs any of the
following rights and liberties of another person shall be
liable to the latter for damages:
Article IX-A of the Constitution certain inhibitions and
disqualifications upon the Chairmen and members to
strengthen their integrity, to wit:
(a)
Holding any other office or employment during their
tenure;
(b)
Engaging in the practice of any profession;
x
x x x
(c)
Engaging in the active management or control of any
9 The ight to e se u ed i o e s pe so , house, pape s,
and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures;
business which in any way may be affected by the functions
of his office; and
x
x x x.
(d)
Being financially interested, directly or indirectly, in any
contract with, or in any franchise or privilege granted by the
G.R. No. 160689
Government, any of its subdivisions, agencies or
instrumentalities, including government-owned or –
controlled corporations or their subsidiaries.
The constitutional guaranty against unlawful searches and
seizures is intended as a restraint against the Government
and its agents tasked with law enforcement. It is to be
invoked only to ensure freedom from arbitrary and
unreasonable exercise of State power. The Court has made
this clear in its pronouncements:
G.R. No. 191672
Section 7, paragraph (2), Article IX-B reads:
Section 7. x x x
If the search is made upon the request of law enforcers, a
warrant must generally be first secured if it is to pass the test
of constitutionality. However, if the search is made at the
behest or initiative of the proprietor of a private
Unless otherwise allowed by law or the primary functions of
his position, no appointive official shall hold any other
office or employment in the Government or any

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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman 14 subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof,

Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman

14

subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations or their
subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including
government-owned or controlled corporations or their
subsidiaries.
Thus, while all other appointive officials in the civil service
are allowed to hold other office or employment in the
government during their tenure when such is allowed by
law orby the primary functions of their positions, members
of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants may do so only
when expressly authorized by the Constitution itself. In
other words, Section 7, Article IX-B is meant to lay down
the general rule applicable to all elective and appointive
public officials and employees, while Section 13, Article VII
is meant to be the exception applicable only to the
President, the Vice-President, Members of the Cabinet,
their deputies and assistants.
disallowed by the concept of an ex officio position by virtue
of its clear contravention of the proscription set by Section
2, Article IX-A of the 1987 Constitution. This situation goes
against the principle behind an ex officio position, and must,
therefore, be held unconstitutional.
G.R. No. 191672
Every government office, entity, or agency must fall under
the Executive, Legislative, or Judicial branches, or must
belong to one of the independent constitutional bodies,
ormust be a quasi-judicial body or local government unit.
Otherwise, such government office, entity, or agency has
no legal and constitutional basis for its existence.
ARTICLE VII EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT
Section 13. The President, Vice-President, the Members of
the Cabinet, and their deputies or assistants shall not,
unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, hold any
other office or employment during their tenure. x x x
Being an appointive public official who does not occupy a
Cabinet position (i.e., President, the Vice-President,
Members of the Cabinet, their deputies and assistants), the
CSC Commissioner was thus covered by the general rule
enunciated under Section 7, paragraph (2), Article IX-B. He
can hold any other office or employment in the Government
during his tenure if such holding is allowed by law or by the
primary functions of his position.
The CCP does not fall under the Legislative or Judicial
branches of government. The CCP is also not one of the
independent constitutional bodies. Neither is the CCP a
quasi-judicial body nor a local government unit. Thus, the
CCP must fall under the Executive branch. Under the
Revised Administrative Code of 1987, any agency "not
placed by law or order creating them under any specific
department" falls "under the Office of the President."
Since the President exercises control over "all the executive
departments, bureaus, and offices," the President
necessarily exercises control over the CCP which is an office
in the Executive branch. In mandating that the President
"shall have control of all executive
offices," x x x Section
17, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution does not exempt any
executive office — oneperforming executive functions
outside of the independent constitutional bodies — from the
G.R. No. 191672
eside t s po e of o t ol. There is no dispute that the
CCP performs executive, and not legislative, judicial, or
quasi-judicial functions.
P
The term ex officio means "from office; by virtue of office."
It refers to an "authority derived from official character
merely, not expressly conferred upon the individual
character, but rather annexed to the official position." Ex
officio likewise denotes an "act done in an official
character, or as a consequence of office, and without any
other appointment or authority other than that conferred
by the office." An ex officio member of a board is one who
is a member by virtue of his title to a certain office, and
without further warrant or appointment.
G.R. No. 191672
The GSIS, PHILHEALTH, ECC and HDMF are vested by their
respective charters with various powers and functions to
carry out the purposes for which they were created. All of
these powers and functions, whether personnel-related or
not, are carried out and exercised by the respective Boards
of the GSIS, PHILHEALTH, ECC and HDMF. Hence, when the
CSC Chairman sits as a member of the governing Boards of
the GSIS, PHILHEALTH, ECC and HDMF, he may exercise
these powers and functions, which are not anymore derived
from his position as CSC Chairman. The Court also notes that
Du ue s desig atio as e e of the go e i g Boa ds of
the GSIS, PHILHEALTH, ECC and HDMF entitles him to receive
per diem, a form of additional compensation that is
The P eside t s po e of o t ol applies to the a ts o
decisions of all officers in the Executive branch. This is true
whether such officers are appointed by the President or by
heads of departments, agencies, commissions, or boards.
The power of control means the power to revise or reverse
the acts or decisions of a subordinate officer involving the
exercise of discretion.
In short, the President sits at the apex of the Executive
branch, and exercises "control of all the executive
departments, bureaus, and offices." There can be no
instance under the Constitution where an officer of the
Executive branch is outside the control of the President. The
Executive branch is unitary since there is only one President
vested with executive power exercising control over the
entire Executive branch. Any office in the Executive branch
that is not under the control of the President is a lost
command whose existence is without any legal or
constitutional basis.

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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman 15 G.R. No. 191672 As an

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15

G.R. No. 191672 As an exception to the foregoing provisions, a new employee may be
G.R. No. 191672
As an exception to the foregoing provisions, a new
employee may be appointed in case of urgent need:
A
de jure officer is one who is deemed, in all respects, legally
appointed and qualified and whose term of office has not
expired. A de facto officer is one who derives his
appointment from one having colorable authority to
appoint, if the office is an appointive office, and whose
appointment is valid on its face. He may also be one who is
in possession of an office, and is discharging its duties under
color of authority, by which is meant authority derived from
Provided, however, That notice of the appointment shall be
given to the Commission within three days from the date of
the appointment. Any appointment or hiring in violation of
this provision shall be null and void.
(2)
Any government official who promotes, or gives any
increase of salary or remuneration or privilege to any
government official or employee, including those in
government-owned or controlled corporations.
an appointment, however irregular or informal, so that the
incumbent is not a mere volunteer.
(h)
Transfer of officers and employees in the civil service. -
Any public official who makes or causes any transfer or
G.R. No. 191672
detail whatever of any officer or employee in the civil
service including public school teachers, within the election
period except upon prior approval of the Commission. x x x
x
In cases where there is no de jure, officer, a de facto officer,
who, in good faith has had possession of the office and has
discharged the duties pertaining thereto, is legally entitled
to the emoluments of the office, and may in an appropriate
action recover the salary, fees and other compensations
attached to the office. This doctrine is, undoubtedly,
supported on equitable grounds since it seems unjust that
the public should benefit by the services of an officer de
facto and then be freed from all liability to pay any one for
such services. Any per diem, allowances or other
emoluments received by the respondents by virtue of actual
services rendered in the questioned positions may therefore
be retained by them. Consequently, the acts of the de facto
officer are just as valid for all purposes as those of a de jure
officer, in so far as the public or third persons who are
interested therein are concerned.
(x) Suspension of elective provincial, city, municipal or
barangay officer. - The provisions of law to the contrary
notwithstanding during the election period, any public
official who suspends, without prior approval of the
Commission, any elective provincial, city, municipal or
barangay officer, unless said suspension will be for purposes
of applying the Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act in
relation to the suspension and removal of elective officials;
in which case the provisions of this section shall be
inapplicable.
G.R. No. 209287 July 1, 2014
Section 29(1), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution, "[n]o
money shall be paid out of the Treasury except in pursuance
of an appropriation made by law."
G.R. No. 199139
G.R. No. 209287 July 1, 2014
Section 261(g), (h) and (x) of the Omnibus Election Code
Sec. 261. Prohibited Acts. - The following shall be guilty of
an election offense:
The transfer of appropriated funds, to be valid under
Section 25(5) of the 1987 Constitution, must be made upon
a concurrence of the following requisites, namely:
x
x x x
(1)
There is a law authorizing the President, the President of
the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives,
(g) Appointment of new employees, creation of new
position, promotion, or giving salary increases. - During the
period of forty-five days before a regular election and thirty
days before a special election, (1) any head, official or
appointing officer of a government office, agency or
instrumentality, whether national or local, including
government-owned or controlled corporations, who
appoints or hires any new employee, whether provisional,
temporary or casual, or creates and fills any new position,
except upon prior authority of the Commission. The
Commission shall not grant the authority sought unless, it is
satisfied that the position to be filled is essential to the
proper functioning of the office or agency concerned, and
that the position shall not be filled in a manner that may
influence the election.
the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the heads of
the Constitutional Commissions to transfer funds within
their respective offices;
(2)
The funds to be transferred are savings generated from
the appropriations for their respective offices; and
(3)
The purpose of the transfer is to augment an item in the
general appropriations law for their respective offices.
G.R. No. 209287 July 1, 2014
Savings refer to portions or balances of any programmed
appropriation in this Act free from any obligation or
encumbrance which are: (i) still available after the
completion or final discontinuance or abandonment of the

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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman 16 work, activity or purpose for

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16

work, activity or purpose for which the appropriation is authorized; (ii) from appropriations balances arising
work, activity or purpose for which the appropriation is
authorized; (ii) from appropriations balances arising from
unpaid compensation and related costs pertaining to vacant
positions and leaves of absence without pay; and (iii) from
appropriations balances realized from the implementation
of measures resulting in improved systems and efficiencies
and thus enabled agencies to meet and deliver the required
or planned targets, programs and services approved in this
Act at a lesser cost.
The doctrine of operative fact recognizes the existence of
the law or executive act prior to the determination of its
unconstitutionality as an operative fact that produced
consequences that cannot always be erased, ignored or
disregarded. In short, it nullifies the void law or executive act
but sustains its effects. It provides an exception to the
general rule that a void or unconstitutional law produces no
effect. But its use must be subjected to great scrutiny and
circumspection, and it cannot be invoked to validate an
unconstitutional law or executive act, but is resorted to only
as
a matter of equity and fair play. It applies only to cases
G.R. No. 209287 July 1, 2014
Cross-border augmentations from savings were prohibited
by the Constitution
By providing that the President, the President of the
Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the Heads of the
Constitutional Commissions may be authorized to augment
any item in the GAA "for their respective offices," Section
25(5), supra, has delineated borders between their offices,
such that funds appropriated for one office are prohibited
from crossing over to another office even in the guise of
augmentation of a deficient item or items. Thus, we call
such transfers of funds cross-border transfers or cross-
border augmentations.
where extraordinary circumstances exist, and only when the
extraordinary circumstances have met the stringent
conditions that will permit its application.
G.R. No. 171672
To be sure, the phrase "respective offices" used in Section
25(5), supra, refers to the entire Executive, with respect to
the President; the Senate, with respect to the Senate
President; the House of Representatives, with respect to the
Speaker; the Judiciary, with respect to the Chief Justice; the
Constitutional Commissions, with respect to their respective
Chairpersons.
The right against self-incrimination, when applied to a
criminal trial, is contained in this terse injunction - no person
shall be compelled to be a witness against himself. In other
words, he may not be required to take the witness stand. He
can sit mute throughout the proceedings. His right to
counsel is expressed in the same laconic style: he shall enjoy
the right to be heard by himself and counsel. This means
inversely that the criminal prosecution cannot proceed
without having a counsel by his side. These are the
traditional rights of the accused in a criminal case.
G.R. No. 171672
It
is when custodial investigation is underway that the
certain procedural safeguards takes over - the person must
be warned prior to any questioning that he has the right to
remain silent, that anything he says can be used against him
Article 7 of the Civil Code provides:
in
a court of law, that he has the right to the presence of an
Article 7. Laws are repealed only by subsequent ones, and
their violation or non-observance shall not be excused by
disuse, or custom or practice to the contrary.
attorney, and that if he cannot afford an attorney one will be
appointed for him prior to any questioning.
When the courts declared a law to be inconsistent with the
Constitution, the former shall be void and the latter shall
govern.
G.R. No. 207105
A
valid CoC arises upon the timely filing of a person's
Administrative or executive acts, orders and regulations shall
be valid only when they are not contrary to the laws or the
Constitution.
declaration of his intention to run for public office and his
affirmation that he possesses the eligibility for the position
he seeks to assume. The valid CoC renders the person
making the declaration a valid or official candidate.
G.R. No. 209287 July 1, 2014
G.R. No. 207105
A legislative or executive act that is declared void for being
unconstitutional cannot give rise to any right or obligation.
However, the generality of the rule makes us ponder
whether rigidly applying the rule may at times be
impracticable or wasteful.
There are two remedies available under existing laws to
prevent a candidate from running in an electoral race. One
is
by petition for disqualification, and the other by petition
to
deny due course to or to cancel his certificate of
candidacy.

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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman 17 Section 78 of the Omnibus

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17

Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code states: Section 1 of Article XII of the
Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code states:
Section 1 of Article XII of the Constitution reads as follows:
Section 78. Petition to deny due course to or cancel a
certificate of candidacy. - A verified petition seeking to deny
due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy may be
filed by the person exclusively on the ground that any
material representation contained therein as required
under Section 74 hereof is false. The petition may be filed
at
any time not later than twenty-five days from the time of
the filing of the certificate of candidacy and shall be
decided, after due notice and hearing, not later than fifteen
days before the election.cralawlawlibrary
The denial of due course to or the cancellation of the CoC
under Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code involves a
finding not only that a person lacked a qualification for the
office he is vying for but also that such he made a material
representation in the CoC that was false.
G.R. No. 207105
Section 40(d) of the Local Government Code, viz.:
"Section 1. All agricultural, timber, and mineral lands of the
public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and other
mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, and other natural
resources of the Philippines belong to the State, and their
disposition, exploitation, development, or utilization shall be
limited to citizens of the Philippines, or to corporations or
associations at least sixty per centum of the capital of which
is owned by such citizens, subject to any existing right, grant,
lease, or concession at the time of the inauguration of the
Government established under this Constitution. Natural
resources, with the exception of public agricultural land,
shall not be alienated, and no license, concession, or lease
for the exploitation, development, or utilization of any of the
natural resources shall be granted for a period exceeding
twenty-five years, renewable for another twenty-five years,
except as to water rights for irrigation, water supply,
fisheries, or industrial uses other than the development of
water power, in which cases beneficial use may be the
measure and the limit of the grant."
Section 40. Disqualifications. - The following persons arc
disqualified from running for any elective local position:
G.R. No. 209287 February 3, 2015
x
x x x
(d) Those with dual citizenship;
x
x x x (Emphasis supplied)
A
candidate is ineligible if he is disqualified to be elected to
office, and he is disqualified if he lacks any of the
qualifications for elective office. Even if it made no finding
Section 25(5), Article VI of the Constitution and the principles
of separation of power and equal protection. Hence, the
matter is still entirely within the Cou t s o pete e, a d its
determination does not pertain to Congress to the exclusion
of the Court. Indeed, the interpretation of the General
Appropriations Act (GAA) and its definition of savings is a
foremost judicial function. This is because the power of
judicial review vested in the Court is exclusive.
that the petitioner had deliberately attempted to mislead or
to misinform as to warrant the cancellation of his CoC, the
COMELEC could still declare him disqualified for not meeting
the requisite eligibility under the Local Government Code.
G.R. No. 209287 February 3, 2015
G.R. No. 207942
The due process clause prohibits the annihilation of vested
ights. A state ay ot i pai ested ights y legislati e
enactment, by the enactment or by the subsequent repeal
of a municipal ordinance, or by a change in the constitution
of the State, except in a legitimate exercise of the police
po e . It has ee o se ed that, ge e ally, the te
"vested right" expresses the concept of present fixed
interest, which in right reason and natural justice should be
protected against arbitrary State action, or an innately just
an imperative right which an enlightened free society,
sensitive to inherent and irrefragable individual rights,
cannot deny.
Under our system of constitutional government, the
Legislative department is assigned the power to make and
enact laws. The Executive department is charged with the
execution of carrying out of the provisions of said laws. But
the interpretation and application of said laws belong
exclusively to the Judicial department. And this authority to
interpret and apply the laws extends to the Constitution.
Before the courts can determine whether a law is
constitutional or not, it will have to interpret and ascertain
the meaning not only of said law, but also of the pertinent
portion of the Constitution in order to decide whether there
is a conflict between the two, because if there is, then the
law will have to give way and has to be declared invalid and
unconstitutional.
G.R. No. 165223
G.R. No. 207942

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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman 18 The two types of preventive

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18

The two types of preventive suspension of civil service employees charged with offenses punishable by
The two types of preventive suspension of civil service
employees charged with offenses punishable by removal or
suspension, to wit:
diplomatic secrets, information affecting national security,
and information on investigations of crimes by law
enforcement agencies before the prosecution of the
accused."
(1) preventive suspension pending investigation; and
(2) preventive suspension pending appeal if the penalty
imposed by the disciplining authority is suspension or
dismissal and, after review, the respondent is exonerated.
G.R. No. 175210
G.R. No. 175210
Two requisites must concur before the right to information
may be compelled by writ of mandamus. Firstly, the
information sought must be in relation to matters of public
concern or public interest. And, secondly, it must not be
exempt by law from the operation of the constitutional
guarantee.
The constitutional guarantee to information "does not open
every door to any and all information." It is limited to matters
of public concern, and is subject to such limitations as may
be provided by law. Likewise, the State's policy of full public
disclosure is restricted to transactions involving public
interest, and is further subject to reasonable conditions
prescribed by law.
G.R. No. 175210
G.R. No. 175210
Two requisites must concur before the right to information
may be compelled by writ of mandamus. Firstly, the
information sought must be in relation to matters of public
concern or public interest. And, secondly, it must not be
exempt by law from the operation of the constitutional
guarantee.
As to the first requisite, there is no rigid test in determining
whether or not a particular information is of public concern
or public interest. Both terms cover a wide-range of issues
that the public may want to be familiar with either because
the issues have a direct effect on them or because the
issues "naturally arouse the interest of an ordinary citizen."
As such, whether or not the information sought is of public
interest or public concern is left to the proper
determination of the courts on a case to case basis.
Executive privilege is properly invoked in relation to specific
categories of information, not to categories of persons. As
such, the fact that some members of the committee were
not part of the President's Cabinet was of no moment. What
should determine whether or not information was within the
ambit of the exception from the people's right to access to
information was not the composition of the body, but the
nature of the information sought to be accessed. A different
holding would only result to the unwanted situation wherein
any concerned citizen, like the petitioner, invoking the right
to information on a matter of public concern and the State's
policy of full public disclosure, could demand information
from any government agency under all conditions whenever
he felt aggrieved by the decision or recommendation of the
latter.
G.R. No. 189185
The second requisite is that the information requested
must not be excluded by law from the constitutional
guarantee. In that regard, the Court has already declared
that the constitutional guarantee of the people's right to
information does not cover national security matters and
intelligence information, trade secrets and banking
transactions and criminal matters. Equally excluded from
coverage of the constitutional guarantee are diplomatic
correspondence, closed-door Cabinet meeting and
executive sessions of either house of Congress, as well as
the internal deliberations of the Supreme Court.
To be considered as a valid police power measure, an
ordinance must pass a two-pronged test: the formal (i.e.,
whether the ordinance is enacted within the corporate
powers of the local government unit, and whether it is
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).
G.R. No. 189185
The right to information does not extend to matters
acknowledged as "privileged information under the
separation of powers," which include "Presidential
conversations, correspondences, or discussions during
closed-door Cabinet meetings." Likewise exempted from the
right to information are "information on military and
The corporate powers of the local government unit confer
the basic authority to enact legislation that may interfere
with personal liberty, property, lawful businesses and
occupations in order to promote the general welfare. Such
legislative powers spring from the delegation thereof by

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Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman 19 Congress through either the Local

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19

Congress through either the Local Government Code or a special law. The General Welfare Clause
Congress through either the Local Government Code or a
special law. The General Welfare Clause in Section 16 of
the Local Government Code embodies the legislative grant
that enables the local government unit to effectively
accomplish and carry out the declared objects of its creation,
and to promote and maintain local autonomy.
In order to declare it as a valid piece of local legislation, it
must also comply with the following substantive
requirements, namely:
G.R. No. 189185
(1) it must not contravene the Constitution or any statute;
(2) it must be fair, not oppressive;
(3) it must not be partial or discriminatory;
(4) it must not prohibit but may regulate trade;
(5) it must be general and consistent with public policy; and
(6) it must not be unreasonable.
General legislative power refers to the power delegated by
Congress to the local legislative body, or the Sangguniang
Panlungsod in the case of a City, to enable the local
legislative body to enact ordinances and make regulations.
This power is limited in that the enacted ordinances must not
be repugnant to law, and the power must be exercised to
effectuate and discharge the powers and duties legally
conferred to the local legislative body. The police power
proper, on the other hand, authorizes the local government
unit to enact ordinances necessary and proper for the health
and safety, prosperity, morals, peace, good order, comfort,
and convenience of the local government unit and its
constituents, and for the protection of their property.
G.R. No. 189185
Equal treatment neither requires universal application of
laws to all persons or things without distinction, nor intends
to prohibit legislation by limiting the object to which it is
directed or by the territory in which it is to operate.
The guaranty of equal protection envisions equality among
equals determined according to a valid classification. If the
groupings are characterized by substantial distinctions that
make real differences, one class may be treated and
regulated differently from another.
In other words, a valid classification must be:
G.R. No. 189185
Section 458 of the Local Government Code explicitly vests
the local government unit with the authority to enact
legislation .aimed at promoting the general welfare, viz.:
(1) based on substantial distinctions;
(2) germane to the purposes of the law;
(3) not limited to existing conditions only; and
(4) equally applicable to all members of the class.
Section 458. Powers, Duties, Functions and Compensation. —
(a) The sangguniang panlungsod, as the legislative body of
the city, shall enact ordinances, approve resolutions and
appropriate funds for the general welfare of the city and its
inhabitants pursuant to Section 16 of this Code and in the
proper exercise of the corporate powers of the city as
provided for under Section 22 of this Code. x x x
G.R. No. 189185
The reasonability of a distinction and sufficiency of the
justification given by the Government for its conduct is
gauged by using the means-end test.
This test requires analysis of:
G.R. No. 189185
The constitutional right to health and maintaining
environmental integrity are privileges that do not only
advance the interests of a group of individuals. The benefits
of protecting human health and the environment transcend
geographical locations and even generations. This is the
essence of Sections 15 and 16, Article II of the Constitution.
In Oposa v. Factoran, Jr. we declared that the right to a
balanced and healthful ecology under Section 16 is an issue
of transcendental importance with intergenerational
implications.
(1) the interests of the public that generally require its
exercise, as distinguished from those of a particular class;
and
(2) the means employed that are reasonably necessary for
the accomplishment of the purpose and are not unduly
oppressive upon individuals.
G.R. No. 189185
To determine the propriety of the classification, courts
resort to three levels of scrutiny, viz: the rational scrutiny,
intermediate scrutiny and strict scrutiny.
G.R. No. 189185
The rational basis scrutiny (also known as the rational
relation test or rational basis test) demands that the
classification reasonably relate to the legislative purpose.
The rational basis test often applies in cases involving

“To have knowledge, you must first have reverence for the Lord.” (Proverbs 1:7)

COMPILED BY ATTY. R.A.L. CASABAR

RESEARCHED BY J. MANINGDING

Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman 20 economics or social welfare, or

Ponencia by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, 2017 Bar Chairman

20

economics or social welfare, or to any other case not involving a suspect class. G.R.
economics or social welfare, or to any other case not
involving a suspect class.
G.R. No. 201607
When the classification puts a quasi-suspect class at a
disadvantage, it will be treated under intermediate or
heightened review. Classifications based on gender or
illegitimacy receives intermediate scrutiny. To survive
intermediate scrutiny, the law must not only further an
important governmental interest and be substantially
related to that interest, but the justification for the
classification must be genuine and must not depend on
broad generalizations.
The regular court has jurisdiction if the case can be decided
under the general laws, such as when the case is for the
recovery of private debts, or for the recovery of damages
due to slanderous remarks of the employer, or for malicious
prosecution of the employees. The mere fact that the parties
are members of the Civil Service should not remove the
controversy from the general jurisdiction of the courts of
justice and place them under the special jurisdiction of the
CSC.
The strict scrutiny review applies when a legislative
classification impermissibly interferes with the exercise of a
fundamental right or operates to the peculiar class
disadvantage of a suspect class. The Government carries the
burden to prove that the classification is necessary to
achieve a compelling state interest, and that it is the least
restrictive means to protect such interest.
G.R. No. 211937
The Constitution has made the COA "the guardian of public
funds, vesting it with broad powers over all accounts
pertaining to government revenue and expenditures and the
uses of public funds and property, including the exclusive
authority to define the scope of its audit and examination,
establish the techniques and methods for such review, and
promulgate accounting and auditing rules and regulations."
G.R. No. 189185
G.R. No. 227155
The ordinance suffers from being "underinclusive" because
the classification does not include all individuals tainted with
the same mischief that the law seeks to eliminate. A
classification that is drastically underinclusive with respect to
the purpose or end appears as an irrational means to the
legislative end because it poorly serves the intended purpose
of the law.
Section 19(1), Article III of the 1987 Constitution, which
pertinently provides:
Section 19. (1) Excessive fines shall not be imposed, nor
cruel, degrading or inhuman punishment inflicted. x x x .
G.R. No. 189185
Aside from its being underinclusive, the assailed ordinance
also tends to be "overinclusive" because its impending
implementation will affect groups that have no relation to
the accomplishment of the legislative purpose. Its
implementation will unnecessarily impose a burden on a
wider range of individuals than those included in the
intended class based on the purpose of the law.
We have already settled that the constitutional proscription
under the Bill of Rights extends only to situations of
extreme corporeal or psychological punishment that strips
the individual of his humanity. The proscription is aimed
more at the form or character of the punishment rather
than at its severity.
G.R. No. 201607
Disciplinary cases and cases involving personnel actions
affecting employees in the Civil Service, like appointment or
separation from the service, are within the exclusive
jurisdiction of the CSC. Indeed, the Constitution vests in the
CSC the jurisdiction over all employees of the Government,
including all its branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities, and
agencies, as well as government-owned or controlled
corporations with original charters.
Moreover, that Congress has deemed fit to impose the
penalty of perpetual disqualification on candidates who
repeatedly failed to file their SOCEs cannot be the subject of
judicial inquiry. Congress has the absolute discretion to
penalize by law with perpetual disqualification from holding
public office in addition to administrative fines the seekers
of public office who fail more than once to file their SOCEs.
Such penalty is intended to underscore the need to file the
SOCE as another means of ensuring the sanctity of the
electoral process.

“To have knowledge, you must first have reverence for the Lord.” (Proverbs 1:7)

COMPILED BY ATTY. R.A.L. CASABAR

RESEARCHED BY J. MANINGDING