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THE CONSTITUTION OF THE PHILIPPINES

De Leon vs. Esguerra [G.R. No. 78059, August 31, 1987] p.2
Manila Prince Hotel vs. GSIS [G.R. No. 122156, Feb. 3, 1997] p.13
Francisco vs. House of Representatives [G.R. No. 160261, Nov 10,
2003] p.42
Gonzales vs. COMELEC [G.R. No. L-28196, November 9, 1967] p.68
Imbong vs. COMELEC [G.R. No. L-32432, September 11, 1970] p.80
Occena vs. COMELEC [G.R. No. 56350, April 2, 1981] p.91
Tolentino vs. COMELEC [G.R. No. L-34150, October 16, 1971] p.95
Sanidad vs. COMELEC [G.R. No. L-44640, October 12, 1976] p.109
Province of Cotabato vs. The Govt. of the RP Peace Panel on
Ancestral Domain [G.R. No. 183591, October 14, 2008] p.143
Santiago vs. COMELEC [G.R. No. 127325, March 19, 1997] p.167
Lambino vs. COMELEC [G.R. No. 174153, October 25, 2006] p.194

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Pasig, Metro Manila, March 23, 1987.
G.R. No. 78059 August 31, 1987 Before us now, petitioners pray that the subject Memoranda of February 8, 1987 be declared
ALFREDO M. DE LEON, ANGEL S. SALAMAT, MARIO C. STA. ANA, JOSE C. TOLENTINO, null and void and that respondents be prohibited from taking over their positions of
ROGELIO J. DE LA ROSA and JOSE M. RESURRECCION, petitioners, Barangay Captain and Barangay Councilmen, respectively. Petitioners maintain that
vs. pursuant to Section 3 of the Barangay Election Act of 1982 (BP Blg. 222), their terms of office
HON. BENJAMIN B. ESGUERRA, in his capacity as OIC Governor of the Province of Rizal, "shall be six (6) years which shall commence on June 7, 1982 and shall continue until their
HON. ROMEO C. DE LEON, in his capacity as OIC Mayor of the Municipality of Taytay, Rizal, successors shall have elected and shall have qualified," or up to June 7, 1988. It is also their
FLORENTINO G. MAGNO, REMIGIO M. TIGAS, RICARDO Z. LACANIENTA, TEODORO V. position that with the ratification of the 1987 Constitution, respondent OIC Governor no
MEDINA, ROSENDO S. PAZ, and TERESITA L. TOLENTINO, respondents. longer has the authority to replace them and to designate their successors.
On the other hand, respondents rely on Section 2, Article III of the Provisional Constitution,
MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.: promulgated on March 25, 1986, which provided:
An original action for Prohibition instituted by petitioners seeking to enjoin respondents SECTION 2. All elective and appointive officials and employees under the 1973 Constitution
from replacing them from their respective positions as Barangay Captain and Barangay shall continue in office until otherwise provided by proclamation or executive order or upon
Councilmen of Barangay Dolores, Municipality of Taytay, Province of Rizal. the designation or appointment and qualification of their successors, if such appointment is
As required by the Court, respondents submitted their Comment on the Petition, and made within a period of one year from February 25,1986.
petitioner's their Reply to respondents' Comment. By reason of the foregoing provision, respondents contend that the terms of office of
In the Barangay elections held on May 17, 1982, petitioner Alfredo M. De Leon was elected elective and appointive officials were abolished and that petitioners continued in office by
Barangay Captain and the other petitioners Angel S. Salamat, Mario C. Sta. Ana, Jose C. virtue of the aforequoted provision and not because their term of six years had not yet
Tolentino, Rogelio J. de la Rosa and Jose M. Resurreccion, as Barangay Councilmen of expired; and that the provision in the Barangay Election Act fixing the term of office of
Barangay Dolores, Taytay, Rizal under Batas Pambansa Blg. 222, otherwise known as the Barangay officials to six (6) years must be deemed to have been repealed for being
Barangay Election Act of 1982. inconsistent with the aforequoted provision of the Provisional Constitution.
On February 9, 1987, petitioner Alfredo M, de Leon received a Memorandum antedated Examining the said provision, there should be no question that petitioners, as elective
December 1, 1986 but signed by respondent OIC Governor Benjamin Esguerra on February officials under the 1973 Constitution, may continue in office but should vacate their positions
8, 1987 designating respondent Florentino G. Magno as Barangay Captain of Barangay upon the occurrence of any of the events mentioned. 1
Dolores, Taytay, Rizal. The designation made by the OIC Governor was "by authority of the Since the promulgation of the Provisional Constitution, there has been no proclamation or
Minister of Local Government." executive order terminating the term of elective Barangay officials. Thus, the issue for
Also on February 8, 1987, respondent OIC Governor signed a Memorandum, antedated resolution is whether or not the designation of respondents to replace petitioners was validly
December 1, 1986 designating respondents Remigio M. Tigas, Ricardo Z. Lacanienta Teodoro made during the one-year period which ended on February 25, 1987.
V. Medina, Roberto S. Paz and Teresita L. Tolentino as members of the Barangay Council of Considering the candid Affidavit of respondent OIC Governor, we hold that February 8, 1977,
the same Barangay and Municipality. should be considered as the effective date of replacement and not December 1,1986 to
That the Memoranda had been antedated is evidenced by the Affidavit of respondent OIC which it was ante dated, in keeping with the dictates of justice.
Governor, the pertinent portions of which read: But while February 8, 1987 is ostensibly still within the one-year deadline, the aforequoted
xxx xxx xxx provision in the Provisional Constitution must be deemed to have been overtaken by Section
That I am the OIC Governor of Rizal having been appointed as such on March 20, 1986; 27, Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution reading.
That as being OIC Governor of the Province of Rizal and in the performance of my duties SECTION 27. This Constitution shall take effect immediately upon its ratification by a majority
thereof, I among others, have signed as I did sign the unnumbered memorandum ordering of the votes cast in a plebiscite held for the purpose and shall supersede all previous
the replacement of all the barangay officials of all the barangay(s) in the Municipality of Constitutions.
Taytay, Rizal; The 1987 Constitution was ratified in a plebiscite on February 2, 1987. By that date,
That the above cited memorandum dated December 1, 1986 was signed by me personally therefore, the Provisional Constitution must be deemed to have been superseded. Having
on February 8,1987; become inoperative, respondent OIC Governor could no longer rely on Section 2, Article III,
That said memorandum was further deciminated (sic) to all concerned the following day, thereof to designate respondents to the elective positions occupied by petitioners.
February 9. 1987. Petitioners must now be held to have acquired security of tenure specially considering that
FURTHER AFFIANT SAYETH NONE. the Barangay Election Act of 1982 declares it "a policy of the State to guarantee and promote

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the autonomy of the barangays to ensure their fullest development as self-reliant "overwhelming" contrary view that the Constitution "will be effective on the very day of the
communities.2 Similarly, the 1987 Constitution ensures the autonomy of local governments plebiscite."
and of political subdivisions of which the barangays form a part, 3 and limits the President's The record of the proceedings and debates of the Constitutional Commission fully supports
power to "general supervision" over local governments. 4 Relevantly, Section 8, Article X of the Court's judgment. It shows that the clear, unequivocal and express intent of the
the same 1987 Constitution further provides in part: Constitutional Conunission in unanimously approving (by thirty-five votes in favor and none
Sec. 8. The term of office of elective local officials, except barangay officials, which shall be against) the aforequoted Section 27 of Transitory Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution was
determined by law, shall be three years ... that "the act of ratification is the act of voting by the people. So that is the date of the
Until the term of office of barangay officials has been determined by law, therefore, the term ratification" and that "the canvass thereafter [of the votes] is merely the mathematical
of office of six (6) years provided for in the Barangay Election Act of 1982 5 should still govern. confirmation of what was done during the date of the plebiscite and the proclamation of the
Contrary to the stand of respondents, we find nothing inconsistent between the term of six President is merely the official confirmatory declaration of an act which was actually done
(6) years for elective Barangay officials and the 1987 Constitution, and the same should, by the Filipino people in adopting the Constitution when they cast their votes on the date of
therefore, be considered as still operative, pursuant to Section 3, Article XVIII of the 1987 the plebiscite."
Constitution, reading: The record of the deliberations and the voting is reproduced hereinbelow: 1
Sec. 3. All existing laws, decrees, executive orders, proclamations letters of instructions, and MR. MAAMBONG. Madam President, may we now put to a vote the original formulation of
other executive issuances not inconsistent, with this Constitution shall remain operative until the committee as indicated in Section 12, unless there are other commissioners who would
amended, repealed or revoked. like to present amendments.
WHEREFORE, (1) The Memoranda issued by respondent OIC Governor on February 8, 1987 MR. DAVIDE. Madam President.
designating respondents as the Barangay Captain and Barangay Councilmen, respectively, of THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Davide is recognized.
Barangay Dolores, Taytay, Rizal, are both declared to be of no legal force and effect; and (2) MR. DAVIDE. May I propose the following amendments.
the Writ of Prohibition is granted enjoining respondents perpetually from proceeding with On line 2, delete the words "its ratification" and in lieu thereof insert the following-. "THE
the ouster/take-over of petitioners' positions subject of this Petition. Without costs. PROCLAMATION BY THE PRESIDENT THAT IT HAS BEEN RATIFIED." And on the last line, after
SO ORDERED. "constitutions," add the following: "AND THEIR AMENDMENTS."
Yap, Fernan, Narvasa, Gutierrez, Jr., Paras, Feliciano, Gancayco, Padilla, Bidin and Cortes, JJ., MR. MAAMBONG. Just a moment, Madam President. If Commissioner Davide is going to
concur. propose an additional sentence, the committee would suggest that we take up first his
amendment to the first sentence as originally formulated. We are now ready to comment
on that proposed amendment.
Separate Opinions The proposed amendment would be to delete the words "its ratification and in lieu thereof
insert the words "THE PROCLAMATION BY THE PRESIDENT THAT IT HAS BEEN RATIFIED." And
TEEHANKEE, CJ., concurring: the second amendment would be: After the word "constitutions," add the words" AND THEIR
The main issue resolved in the judgment at bar is whether the 1987 Constitution took effect AMENDMENTS,"
on February 2, 1987, the date that the plebiscite for its ratification was held or whether it The committee accepts the first proposed amendment. However, we regret that we cannot
took effect on February 11, 1987, the date its ratification was proclaimed per Proclamation accept the second proposed amendment after the word "constitutions" because the
No. 58 of the President of the Philippines, Corazon C. Aquino. committee feels that when we talk of all previous Constitutions, necessarily it includes "AND
The Court's decision, with the lone dissent of Mr. Justice Sarmiento, holds that by virtue of THEIR AMENDMENTS."
the provision of Article XVIII, Section 27 of the 1987 Constitution that it "shall take effect MR. DAVIDE. With that explanation, l will not insist on the second. But, Madam President,
immediately upon its ratification by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite held for the may I request that I be allowed to read the second amendment so the Commission would be
purpose," the 1987 Constitution took effect on February 2, 1987, the date of its ratification able to appreciate the change in the first.
in the plebiscite held on that same date. MR. MAAMBONG. Yes, Madam President, we can now do that.
The thrust of the dissent is that the Constitution should be deemed to "take effect on the MR. DAVIDE. The second sentence will read: "THE PROCLAMATION SHALL BE MADE WITHIN
date its ratification shall have been ascertained and not at the time the people cast their FIVE DAYS FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION OF THE CANVASS BY THE COMMISSION ON
votes to approve or reject it." This view was actually proposed at the Constitutional ELECTIONS OF THE RESULTS OF SUCH PLEBISCITE."
Commission deliberations, but was withdrawn by its proponent in the face of the MR. MAAMBONG. Madam President, after conferring with our chairman, the committee
feels that the second proposed amendment in the form of a new sentence would not be

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exactly necessary and the committee feels that it would be too much for us to impose a time would be, in clear terms, the date when the Constitution is supposed to be ratified or not
frame on the President to make the proclamation. As we would recall, Madam President, in ratified, as the case may be?
the approved Article on the Executive, there is a provision which says that the President shall FR. BERNAS. The date would be the casting of the ballots. if the President were to say that
make certain that all laws shall be faithfully complied. When we approve this first sentence, the plebiscite would be held, for instance, on January 19, 1987, then the date for the
and it says that there will be a proclamation by the President that the Constitution has been effectivity of the new Constitution would be January 19, 1987.
ratified, the President will naturally comply with the law in accordance with the provisions MR. MAAMBONG. In other words, it would not depend on the actual issuance of the results
in the Article on the Executive which we have cited. It would be too much to impose on the by the Commission on Elections which will be doing the canvass? That is immaterial Madam
President a time frame within which she will make that declaration. It would be assumed President
that the President would immediately do that after the results shall have been canvassed by FR. BERNAS. It would not, Madam President, because "ratification" is the act of saying "yes"
the COMELEC. is done when one casts his ballot.
Therefore, the committee regrets that it cannot accept the second sentence which the MR. MAAMBONG. So it is the date of the plebiscite itself, Madam President?
Gentleman is proposing, Madam President. FR. BERNAS. Yes, Madam President.
MR. DAVIDE. I am prepared to withdraw the same on the assumption that there will be an MR. MAAMBONG. With that statement of Commissioner Bernas, we would like to know from
immediate proclamation of the results by the President. the proponent, Commissioner Davide, if he is insisting on his amendment.
MR. MAAMBONG. With that understanding, Madam President. MR. DAVIDE. Madam President, I am insisting on the amendment because I cannot subscribe
MR. DAVIDE. I will not insist on the second sentence. to the view of Commissioner Bernas, that the date of the ratification is reckoned from the
FR. BERNAS. Madam President. date of the casting of the ballots. That cannot be the date of reckoning because it is a
THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Bernas is recognized. plebiscite all over the country. We do not split the moment of casting by each of the voters.
FR. BERNAS. I would ask the committee to reconsider its acceptance of the amendment Actually and technically speaking, it would be all right if it would be upon the announcement
which makes the effectivity of the new Constitution dependent upon the proclamation of of the results of the canvass conducted by the COMELEC or the results of the plebiscite held
the President. The effectivity of the Constitution should commence on the date of the all over the country. But it is necessary that there be a body which will make the formal
ratification, not on the date of the proclamation of the President. What is confusing, I think, announcement of the results of the plebiscite. So it is either the President or the COMELEC
is what happened in 1976 when the amendments of 1976 were ratified. In that particular itself upon the completion of the canvass of the results of the plebiscite, and I opted for the
case, the reason the amendments of 1976 were effective upon the proclamation of the President.
President was that the draft presented to the people said that the amendment will be xxx xxx xxx
effective upon the proclamation made by the President. I have a suspicion that was put in MR. NOLLEDO. Madam President.
there precisely to give the President some kind of leeway on whether to announce the THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Nolledo is recognized.
ratification or not. Therefore, we should not make this dependent on the action of the MR. NOLLEDO. Thank you, Madam President. I beg to disagree with Commissioner Davide. I
President since this will be a manifestation of the act of the people to be done under the support the stand of Commissioner Bernas because it is really the date of the casting of the
supervision of the COMELEC and it should be the COMELEC who should make the "yes" votes that is the date of the ratification of the Constitution The announcement merely
announcement that, in fact, the votes show that the Constitution was ratified and there confirms the ratification even if the results are released two or three days after. I think it is
should be no need to wait for any proclamation on the part of the President. a fundamental principle in political law, even in civil law, because an announcement is a mere
MR. MAAMBONG. Would the Gentleman answer a few clarificatory questions? confirmation The act of ratification is the act of voting by the people. So that is the date of
FR. BERNAS. Willingly, Madam President. the ratification. If there should be any need for presidential proclamation, that proclamation
MR. MAAMBONG. The Gentleman will agree that a date has to be fixed as to exactly when will merely confirm the act of ratification.
the Constitution is supposed to be ratified. Thank you, Madam President.
FR. BERNAS. I would say that the ratification of the Constitution is on the date the votes were THE PRESIDENT. Does Commissioner Regalado want to contribute?
supposed to have been cast. MR. REGALADO. Madam President, I was precisely going to state the same support for
MR. MAAMBONG. Let us go to the mechanics of the whole thing, Madam President. We Commissioner Bernas, because the canvass thereafter is merely the mathematical
present the Constitution to a plebiscite, the people exercise their right to vote, then the confirmation of what was done during the date of the plebiscite and the proclamation of the
votes are canvassed by the Commission on Elections. If we delete the suggested amendment President is merely the official confirmatory declaration of an act which was actually done
which says: "THE PROCLAMATION BY THE PRESIDENT THAT IT HAS BEEN RATIFIED," what by the Filipino people in adopting the Constitution when they cast their votes on the date of
the plebiscite.

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MR. LERUM. Madam President, may I be recognized. Thank you,
THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Lerum is recognized. THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Concepcion is recognized.
MR. LERUM. I am in favor of the Davide amendment because we have to fix a date for the MR. CONCEPCION. Thank you, Madam President.
effectivity of the Constitution. Suppose the announcement is delayed by, say, 10 days or a Whoever makes the announcement as to the result of the plebiscite, be it the COMELEC or
month, what happens to the obligations and rights that accrue upon the approval of the the President, would announce that a majority of the votes cast on a given date was in favor
Constitution? So I think we must have a definite date. I am, therefore, in favor of the Davide of the Constitution. And that is the date when the Constitution takes effect, apart from the
amendment. fact that the provision on the drafting or amendment of the Constitution provides that a
MR. MAAMBONG. Madam President. constitution becomes effective upon ratification by a majority of the votes cast, although I
THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Maambong is recognized. would not say from the very beginning of the date of election because as of that time it is
MR. MAAMBONG. With the theory of the Commissioner, would there be a necessity for the impossible to determine whether there is a majority. At the end of the day of election or
Commission on Elections to declare the results of the canvass? plebiscite, the determination is made as of that time-the majority of the votes cast in a
FR. BERNAS. There would be because it is the Commission on Elections which makes the plebiscite held on such and such a date. So that is the time when the new Constitution will be
official announcement of the results. considered ratified and, therefore, effective.
MR. MAAMBONG. My next question which is the final one is: After the Commision on THE PRESIDENT. May we now hear Vice-President Padilla.
Elections has declared the results of the canvass, will there be a necessity for the President MR. PADILLA. Madam President, I am against the proposed amendment of Commissioner
to make a proclamation of the results of the canvass as submitted by the Commission on Davide and I support the view of Commissioner Bernas and the others because the
Elections? ratification of the Constitution is on the date the people, by a majority vote, have cast their
FR. BERNAS. I would say there would be no necessity, Madam President. votes in favor of the Constitution. Even in civil law, if there is a contract, say, between an
MR. MAAMBONG. In other words, the President may or may not make the proclamation agent and a third person and that contract is confirmed or ratified by the principal, the
whether the Constitution has been ratified or not. validity does not begin on the date of ratification but it retroacts from the date the contract
FR. BERNAS. I would say that the proclamation made by the President would be immaterial was executed.
because under the law, the administration of all election laws is under an independent Therefore, the date of the Constitution as ratified should retroact to the date that the people
Commission on Elections. It is the Commission on Elections which announces the results. have cast their affirmative votes in favor of the Constitution.
MR. MAAMBONG. But nevertheless, the President may make the proclamation. MR. MAAMBONG. Madam President.
FR. BERNAS. Yes, the President may. And if what he says contradicts what the Commission THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Maambong is recognized
on Elections says, it would have no effect. I would only add that when we say that the date MR. MAAMBONG. We will now ask once more Commissioner Davide if he is insisting on his
of effectivity is on the day of the casting of the votes, what we mean is that the Constitution amendment
takes effect on every single minute and every single second of that day, because the Civil MR. DAVIDE. In view of the explanation and overwhelming tyranny of the opinion that it will
Code says a day has 24 hours.So that even if the votes are cast in the morning, the be effective on the very day of the plebiscite, I am withdrawing my amendment on the
Constitution is really effective from the previous midnight. assumption that any of the following bodies the Office of the President or the COMELEC will
So that when we adopted the new rule on citizenship, the children of Filipino mothers or make the formal announcement of the results.
anybody born on the date of effectivity of the 1973 Constitution, which is January 17, 1973, MR. RAMA. Madam President, we are now ready to vote on the original provision as stated
are natural-born citizens, no matter what time of day or night. by the committee.
MR. MAAMBONG. Could we, therefore, safely say that whatever date is the publication of MR. MAAMBONG. The committee will read again the formulation indicated in the original
the results of the canvass by the COMELEC retroacts to the date of the plebiscite? committee report as Section 12.
FR. BERNAS. Yes, Madam President. This Constitution shall take effect immediately upon its ratification by a majority of the votes
MR. MAAMBONG. I thank the Commissioner. cast in a plebiscite called for the purpose and shall supersede all previous Constitutions.
MR. GUINGONA. Madam President. We ask for a vote, Madam President.
THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Guingona is recognized. VOTING
MR. GUINGONA. Mention was made about the need for having a definite date. I think it is THE PRESIDENT. As many as are in favor, please raise their hand. (Several Members raised
precisely the proposal of Commissioner Bernas which speaks of the date (of ratification that their hands.)
would have a definite date, because there would be no definite date if we depend upon the As many as are against, please raise their hand. (No Member raised his hand.)
canvassing by the COMELEC. The results show 35 votes in favor and none against; Section 12 is approved. 2

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The Court next holds as a consequence of its declaration at bar that the Constitution took new Constitution was ratified. I yield to that better view and agree with
effect on the date of its ratification in the plebiscite held on February 2, 1987, that: (1) the her ponencia completely.
Provisional Constitution promulgated on March 25, 1986 must be deemed to have been SARMIENTO, J., Dissenting.
superseded by the 1987 Constitution on the same date February 2, 1987 and (2) by and after With due respect to the majority I register this dissent.
said date, February 2, 1987, absent any saying clause to the contrary in the Transitory Article While I agree that the one-year deadline prescribed by Section 2, Article III of the Provisional
of the Constitution, respondent OIC Governor could no longer exercise the power to replace Constitution with respect to the tenure of government functionaries, as follows:
petitioners in their positions as Barangay Captain and Councilmen. Hence, the attempted SECTION 2. All elective and appointive officials and employees under the 1973 Constitution
replacement of petitioners by respondent OIC Governor's designation on February 8, 1987 shall continue in office until otherwise provided by proclamation or executive order or upon
of their successors could no longer produce any legal force and effect. While the Provisional the designation or appointment and qualification of their successors, if such appointment is
Constitution provided for a one-year period expiring on March 25, 1987 within which the made within a period of one year from February 25, 1986.
power of replacement could be exercised, this period was shortened by the ratification and was cut short by the ratification of the 1987 Constitution, I entertain serious doubts whether
effectivity on February 2, 1987 of the Constitution. Had the intention of the framers of the or not that cut-off period began on February 2, 1987, the date of the plebiscite held to
Constitution been otherwise, they would have so provided for in the Transitory Article, as approve the new Charter. To my mind the 1987 constitution took effect on February 11,
indeed they provided for multifarious transitory provisions in twenty six sections of Article 1987, the date the same was proclaimed ratified pursuant to Proclamation No. 58 of the
XVIII, e.g. extension of the six-year term of the incumbent President and Vice-President to President of the Philippines, and not February 2, 1987, plebiscite day.
noon of June 30, 1992 for purposes of synchronization of elections, the continued exercise I rely, first and foremost, on the language of the 1987 Charter itself, thus:
of legislative powers by the incumbent President until the convening of the first Congress, Sec. 27. This Constitution shag take effect immediately upon its ratification by a majority of
etc. the votes cast in a plebiscite held for the purpose and shall supersede all previous
A final note of clarification, as to the statement in the dissent that "the appointments of Constitutions.
some seven Court of Appeals Justices, 71 provincial fiscals and 55 city fiscals reported It is my reading of this provision that the Constitution takes effect on the date its ratification
extended (by) the President on February 2, 1987 . . . could be open to serious questions," in shall have been ascertained, and not at the time the people cast their votes to approve or
view of the provisions of Sections 8 (1) and 9, Article VIII of the Constitution which require reject it. For it cannot be logically said that Constitution was ratified during such a plebiscite,
prior endorsement thereof by the Judicial and Bar Council created under the Constitution. It when the will of the people as of that time, had not, and could not have been, vet
should be stated for the record that the reported date of the appointments, February 2, determined.
1987, is incorrect. The official records of the Court show that the appointments of the seven Other than that, pragmatic considerations compel me to take the view.
Court of Appeals Justices were transmitted to this Court on February 1, 1987 and they were I have no doubt that between February 2, and February 11, 1987 the government performed
all appointed on or before January 31, 1987.3 (Similarly, the records of the Department of acts that would have been valid under the Provisional Constitution but would otherwise have
Justice likewise show that the appointment papers of the last batch of provincial and city been void under the 1987 Charter. I recall, in particular, the appointments of some seven
fiscals signed by the President in completion of the reorganization of the prosecution service Court of Appeals Justices, 71 provincial fiscals, and 55 city fiscals the President reportedly
were made on January 31, 1987 and transmitted to the Department on February 1, 1987.) It extended on February 2, 1987. 1 Under Sections 8 (1) and 9, Article VIII, of the l987
is also a matter of record that since February 2, 1987, no appointments to the Judiciary have Constitution, as follows:
been extended by the President, pending the constitution of the Judicial and Bar Council, xxx xxx xxx
indicating that the Chief Executive has likewise considered February 2, 1987 as the effective Sec. 8. (I)A Judicial and Bar Council is hereby created under the supervision of the Supreme
date of the Constitution, as now expressly declared by the Court. Court composed of the Chief Justice as ex officio Chairman, the Secretary of Justice, and a
CRUZ, J., concurring. representative of the Congress as ex oficio Members, a representative of the Integrated Bar,
In her quiet and restrained manner, Justice Herrera is able to prove her point with more a professor of law, a retired Member of the Supreme Court, and a representative of the
telling effect than the tones of thunder. She has written another persuasive opinion, and I private sector.
am delighted to concur. I note that it in effect affirms my dissents in the De la Serna, Zamora, xxx xxx xxx
Duquing and Bayas cases, where I submitted that the local OICs may no longer be summarily Sec. 9. The Members of the Supreme Court and judges of lower courts shall be appointed by
replaced, having acquired security of tenure under the new Constitution. Our difference is the President from a list of at least three nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council
that whereas I would make that right commence on February 25, 1987, after the deadline for every vacancy, Such appointments need no confirmation.
set by the Freedom Constitution, Justice Herrera would opt for February 2, 1987, when the xxx xxx xxx
such appointments could be open to serious questions.

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Since 1973, moreover, we have invariably reckoned the effectivity of the Constitution as well On the other hand, Batas Pambansa Blg. 122, "An Act to Submit to the Filipino People, for
as the amendments thereto from the date it is proclaimed ratified. Ratification or Rejection, the Amendment to the Constitution of the Philippines, Proposed
In Magtoto v. Manguera, 2 we held that the 1973 Constitution became in force and effect on by the Batasang Pambansa, Sitting as a Constituent Assembly, in its Resolutions Numbered
January 17, 1973, the date Proclamation No. 1102, "Announcing the Ratification by the Three, Two, and One, and to Appropriate Funds Therefore," provides, as follows:
Filipino People of the Constitution Proposed by the 1971 Constitutional Convention," was SEC. 7. The Commission on Elections, sitting en banc, shad canvass and proclaim the result
issued, although Mr. Justice, now Chief Justice, Teehankee would push its effectivity date of the plebiscite using the certificates submitted to it, duly authenticated and certified by
further to April 17, 1973, the date our decision in Javellana v. Executive Secretary, 3 became the Board of Canvassers of each province or city.
final. And this was so notwithstanding Section 16, Article XVII, of the 1973 Constitution, thus: We have, finally, Proclamation No. 2332, "Proclaiming the Ratification in the Plebiscite of
SEC. 16. This Constitution shall take effect immediately upon its ratification by a majority of January 27, 1984, of the Amendments to the Constitution Embodied in Batasang Pambansa
the votes cast in a plebiscite called for the purpose and, except as herein provided, shall Resolutions Nos. 104, 105, 110, 111, 112 and 113." It states that the amendments:
supersede the Constitution of nineteen-hundred and thirty- five and all amendments ....are therefore effective and in full force and effect as of the date of this Proclamation.
thereto. It carries out Resolution no. 104 itself (as well as Resolutions Nos. 110 and 112 and Section
On October 27, 1976, then President Marcos promulgated Proclamation no. 1595, 9, Batas Blg. 643), which states, that:
proclaiming the ratification of the 1976 amendments submitted in the plebiscite of October The proposed amendments shall take effect on the date the President of the Philippines shall
16- 17, 1976. The Proclamation states, inter alia, that. proclaim that they have been ratified by a majority of the votes cast in the plebiscite held for
By virtue-of the powers vested in me by law, I hereby proclaim all the amendments the purpose, but not later than three months from the approval of the amendments.
embodied in this certificate as duly ratified by the Filipino people in the referendum- albeit Resolutions Nos. 105, 111, and 113 provide, that:
plebiscite held Oct. 16-17, 1976 and are therefore effective and in full force and effect as of These amendments shall be valid as a part of the Constitution when approved by a majority
this date. of the votes cast in an election/plebiscite at which it is submitted to the people for their
It shall be noted that under Amendment No. 9 of the said 1976 amendments. ratification pursuant to Section 2 of Article XVI of the Constitution, as amended.
These amendments shall take effect after the incumbent President shall have proclaimed That a Constitution or amendments thereto take effect upon proclamation of their
that they have been ratified by a majority of the votes cast in the referendum-plebiscite. ratification and not at the time of the plebiscite is a view that is not peculiar to the Marcos
On April 1, 1980, the then Chief Executive issued Proclamation no. 1959, "Proclaiming the era.
Ratification by the Filipino People of the Amendments of Section 7, Article X of the The Resolution of Both Houses (of Congress) in Joint Session on the March 11, 1947 plebiscite
Constitution" (lengthening the terms of office of judges and justices). The Proclamation called pursuant to Republic Act No. 73 and the Resolution of Both Houses (of Congress)
provides: adopted on September 18, 1946, was adopted on April 9,1947. The April 9, 1947 Resolution
[t]he above-quoted amendment has been duly ratified by a majority of the votes cast in the makes no mention of a retroactive application.
plebiscite held, together with the election for local officials, on January 30, 1980, and that Accordingly, when the incumbent President (Mrs. Corazon C. Aquino) proclaimed on
said amendment is hereby declared to take effect immediately. February 11, 1987, at Malacanang Palace:
It shall be noted that under Resolution No. 21, dated December 18, 1979, the proposed ... that the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines adopted by the Constitutional
amendment shall take effect on the date the incumbent President/Prime Minister shall Commission of 1986, including the Ordinance appended thereto, has been duly ratified by
proclaim its ratification. the Filipino people and is therefore effective and in full force and effect. 4
On April 7, 1981, Proclamation No. 2077 was issued "Proclaiming the Ratification in the the 1987 Constitution, in point of fact, came into force and effect, I hold that it took effect
Plebiscite of April 7, 1981 of the Amendments to the Constitution Embodied in Batas at no other time.
Pambansa Blg. 122 and Declaring Them Therefore Effective and in Full Force and Effect." The I submit that our ruling in Ponsica v. Ignalaga 5 in which we declared, in passing, that the
Proclamation, in declaring the said amendments duly approved, further declared them new Charter was ratified on February 2, 1987, does not in any way weaken this dissent. As I
"[e]ffective and in full force and in effect as of the date of this Proclamation," It shall be stated, the remark was said in passing-we did not resolve the case on account of a categorical
noted, in this connection, that under Resolutions Nos. I and 2 of the Batasang Pambansa, holding that the 1987 Constitution came to life on February 2, 1987. In any event, if we did,
Third Regular Session, Sitting as a Constituent Assembly, which parented these amendments, I now call for its re-examination.
the same: I am therefore of the opinion, consistent with the views expressed above, that the
. . .shall become valid as part of the Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes challenged dismissals done on February 8, 1987 were valid, the 1987 Constitution not being
cast in a plebiscite to be held pursuant to Section 2, Article XVI of the Constitution. then as yet in force.

7
The proposed amendment would be to delete the words "its ratification and in lieu thereof
Separate Opinions insert the words "THE PROCLAMATION BY THE PRESIDENT THAT IT HAS BEEN RATIFIED." And
TEEHANKEE, CJ., concurring: the second amendment would be: After the word "constitutions," add the words" AND THEIR
The main issue resolved in the judgment at bar is whether the 1987 Constitution took effect AMENDMENTS,"
on February 2, 1987, the date that the plebiscite for its ratification was held or whether it The committee accepts the first proposed amendment. However, we regret that we cannot
took effect on February 11, 1987, the date its ratification was proclaimed per Proclamation accept the second proposed amendment after the word "constitutions" because the
No. 58 of the President of the Philippines, Corazon C. Aquino. committee feels that when we talk of all previous Constitutions, necessarily it includes "AND
The Court's decision, with the lone dissent of Mr. Justice Sarmiento, holds that by virtue of THEIR AMENDMENTS."
the provision of Article XVIII, Section 27 of the 1987 Constitution that it "shall take effect MR. DAVIDE. With that explanation, l will not insist on the second. But, Madam President,
immediately upon its ratification by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite held for the may I request that I be allowed to read the second amendment so the Commission would be
purpose," the 1987 Constitution took effect on February 2, 1987, the date of its ratification able to appreciate the change in the first.
in the plebiscite held on that same date. MR. MAAMBONG. Yes, Madam President, we can now do that.
The thrust of the dissent is that the Constitution should be deemed to "take effect on the MR. DAVIDE. The second sentence will read: "THE PROCLAMATION SHALL BE MADE WITHIN
date its ratification shall have been ascertained and not at the time the people cast their FIVE DAYS FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION OF THE CANVASS BY THE COMMISSION ON
votes to approve or reject it." This view was actually proposed at the Constitutional ELECTIONS OF THE RESULTS OF SUCH PLEBISCITE."
Commission deliberations, but was withdrawn by its proponent in the face of the MR. MAAMBONG. Madam President, after conferring with our chairman, the committee
"overwhelming" contrary view that the Constitution "will be effective on the very day of the feels that the second proposed amendment in the form of a new sentence would not be
plebiscite." exactly necessary and the committee feels that it would be too much for us to impose a time
The record of the proceedings and debates of the Constitutional Commission fully supports frame on the President to make the proclamation. As we would recall, Madam President, in
the Court's judgment. It shows that the clear, unequivocal and express intent of the the approved Article on the Executive, there is a provision which says that the President shall
Constitutional Conunission in unanimously approving (by thirty-five votes in favor and none make certain that all laws shall be faithfully complied. When we approve this first sentence,
against) the aforequoted Section 27 of Transitory Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution was and it says that there will be a proclamation by the President that the Constitution has been
that "the act of ratification is the act of voting by the people. So that is the date of the ratified, the President will naturally comply with the law in accordance with the provisions
ratification" and that "the canvass thereafter [of the votes] is merely the mathematical in the Article on the Executive which we have cited. It would be too much to impose on the
confirmation of what was done during the date of the plebiscite and the proclamation of the President a time frame within which she will make that declaration. It would be assumed
President is merely the official confirmatory declaration of an act which was actually done that the President would immediately do that after the results shall have been canvassed by
by the Filipino people in adopting the Constitution when they cast their votes on the date of the COMELEC.
the plebiscite." Therefore, the committee regrets that it cannot accept the second sentence which the
The record of the deliberations and the voting is reproduced hereinbelow: 1 Gentleman is proposing, Madam President.
MR. MAAMBONG. Madam President, may we now put to a vote the original formulation of MR. DAVIDE. I am prepared to withdraw the same on the assumption that there will be an
the committee as indicated in Section 12, unless there are other commissioners who would immediate proclamation of the results by the President.
like to present amendments. MR. MAAMBONG. With that understanding, Madam President.
MR. DAVIDE. Madam President. MR. DAVIDE. I will not insist on the second sentence.
THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Davide is recognized. FR. BERNAS. Madam President.
MR. DAVIDE. May I propose the following amendments. THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Bernas is recognized.
On line 2, delete the words "its ratification" and in lieu thereof insert the following-. "THE FR. BERNAS. I would ask the committee to reconsider its acceptance of the amendment
PROCLAMATION BY THE PRESIDENT THAT IT HAS BEEN RATIFIED." And on the last line, after which makes the effectivity of the new Constitution dependent upon the proclamation of
"constitutions," add the following: "AND THEIR AMENDMENTS." the President. The effectivity of the Constitution should commence on the date of the
MR. MAAMBONG. Just a moment, Madam President. If Commissioner Davide is going to ratification, not on the date of the proclamation of the President. What is confusing, I think,
propose an additional sentence, the committee would suggest that we take up first his is what happened in 1976 when the amendments of 1976 were ratified. In that particular
amendment to the first sentence as originally formulated. We are now ready to comment case, the reason the amendments of 1976 were effective upon the proclamation of the
on that proposed amendment. President was that the draft presented to the people said that the amendment will be
effective upon the proclamation made by the President. I have a suspicion that was put in

8
there precisely to give the President some kind of leeway on whether to announce the MR. NOLLEDO. Thank you, Madam President. I beg to disagree with Commissioner Davide. I
ratification or not. Therefore, we should not make this dependent on the action of the support the stand of Commissioner Bernas because it is really the date of the casting of the
President since this will be a manifestation of the act of the people to be done under the "yes" votes that is the date of the ratification of the Constitution The announcement merely
supervision of the COMELEC and it should be the COMELEC who should make the confirms the ratification even if the results are released two or three days after. I think it is
announcement that, in fact, the votes show that the Constitution was ratified and there a fundamental principle in political law, even in civil law, because an announcement is a mere
should be no need to wait for any proclamation on the part of the President. confirmation The act of ratification is the act of voting by the people. So that is the date of
MR. MAAMBONG. Would the Gentleman answer a few clarificatory questions? the ratification. If there should be any need for presidential proclamation, that proclamation
FR. BERNAS. Willingly, Madam President. will merely confirm the act of ratification.
MR. MAAMBONG. The Gentleman will agree that a date has to be fixed as to exactly when Thank you, Madam President.
the Constitution is supposed to be ratified. THE PRESIDENT. Does Commissioner Regalado want to contribute?
FR. BERNAS. I would say that the ratification of the Constitution is on the date the votes were MR. REGALADO. Madam President, I was precisely going to state the same support for
supposed to have been cast. Commissioner Bernas, because the canvass thereafter is merely the mathematical
MR. MAAMBONG. Let us go to the mechanics of the whole thing, Madam President. We confirmation of what was done during the date of the plebiscite and the proclamation of the
present the Constitution to a plebiscite, the people exercise their right to vote, then the President is merely the official confirmatory declaration of an act which was actually done
votes are canvassed by the Commission on Elections. If we delete the suggested amendment by the Filipino people in adopting the Constitution when they cast their votes on the date of
which says: "THE PROCLAMATION BY THE PRESIDENT THAT IT HAS BEEN RATIFIED," what the plebiscite.
would be, in clear terms, the date when the Constitution is supposed to be ratified or not MR. LERUM. Madam President, may I be recognized.
ratified, as the case may be? THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Lerum is recognized.
FR. BERNAS. The date would be the casting of the ballots. if the President were to say that MR. LERUM. I am in favor of the Davide amendment because we have to fix a date for the
the plebiscite would be held, for instance, on January 19, 1987, then the date for the effectivity of the Constitution. Suppose the announcement is delayed by, say, 10 days or a
effectivity of the new Constitution would be January 19, 1987. month, what happens to the obligations and rights that accrue upon the approval of the
MR. MAAMBONG. In other words, it would not depend on the actual issuance of the results Constitution? So I think we must have a definite date. I am, therefore, in favor of the Davide
by the Commission on Elections which will be doing the canvass? That is immaterial Madam amendment.
President MR. MAAMBONG. Madam President.
FR. BERNAS. It would not, Madam President, because "ratification" is the act of saying "yes" THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Maambong is recognized.
is done when one casts his ballot. MR. MAAMBONG. With the theory of the Commissioner, would there be a necessity for the
MR. MAAMBONG. So it is the date of the plebiscite itself, Madam President? Commission on Elections to declare the results of the canvass?
FR. BERNAS. Yes, Madam President. FR. BERNAS. There would be because it is the Commission on Elections which makes the
MR. MAAMBONG. With that statement of Commissioner Bernas, we would like to know from official announcement of the results.
the proponent, Commissioner Davide, if he is insisting on his amendment. MR. MAAMBONG. My next question which is the final one is: After the Commision on
MR. DAVIDE. Madam President, I am insisting on the amendment because I cannot subscribe Elections has declared the results of the canvass, will there be a necessity for the President
to the view of Commissioner Bernas, that the date of the ratification is reckoned from the to make a proclamation of the results of the canvass as submitted by the Commission on
date of the casting of the ballots. That cannot be the date of reckoning because it is a Elections?
plebiscite all over the country. We do not split the moment of casting by each of the voters. FR. BERNAS. I would say there would be no necessity, Madam President.
Actually and technically speaking, it would be all right if it would be upon the announcement MR. MAAMBONG. In other words, the President may or may not make the proclamation
of the results of the canvass conducted by the COMELEC or the results of the plebiscite held whether the Constitution has been ratified or not.
all over the country. But it is necessary that there be a body which will make the formal FR. BERNAS. I would say that the proclamation made by the President would be immaterial
announcement of the results of the plebiscite. So it is either the President or the COMELEC because under the law, the administration of all election laws is under an independent
itself upon the completion of the canvass of the results of the plebiscite, and I opted for the Commission on Elections. It is the Commission on Elections which announces the results.
President. MR. MAAMBONG. But nevertheless, the President may make the proclamation.
xxx xxx xxx FR. BERNAS. Yes, the President may. And if what he says contradicts what the Commission
MR. NOLLEDO. Madam President. on Elections says, it would have no effect. I would only add that when we say that the date
THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Nolledo is recognized. of effectivity is on the day of the casting of the votes, what we mean is that the Constitution

9
takes effect on every single minute and every single second of that day, because the Civil MR. DAVIDE. In view of the explanation and overwhelming tyranny of the opinion that it will
Code says a day has 24 hours. be effective on the very day of the plebiscite, I am withdrawing my amendment on the
So that even if the votes are cast in the morning, the Constitution is really effective from the assumption that any of the following bodies the Office of the President or the COMELEC will
previous midnight. So that when we adopted the new rule on citizenship, the children of make the formal announcement of the results.
Filipino mothers or anybody born on the date of effectivity of the 1973 Constitution, which MR. RAMA. Madam President, we are now ready to vote on the original provision as stated
is January 17, 1973, are natural-born citizens, no matter what time of day or night. by the committee.
MR. MAAMBONG. Could we, therefore, safely say that whatever date is the publication of MR. MAAMBONG. The committee will read again the formulation indicated in the original
the results of the canvass by the COMELEC retroacts to the date of the plebiscite? committee report as Section 12.
FR. BERNAS. Yes, Madam President. This Constitution shall take effect immediately upon its ratification by a majority of the votes
MR. MAAMBONG. I thank the Commissioner. cast in a plebiscite called for the purpose and shall supersede all previous Constitutions.
MR. GUINGONA. Madam President. We ask for a vote, Madam President.
THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Guingona is recognized. VOTING
MR. GUINGONA. Mention was made about the need for having a definite date. I think it is THE PRESIDENT. As many as are in favor, please raise their hand. (Several Members raised
precisely the proposal of Commissioner Bernas which speaks of the date (of ratification that their hands.)
would have a definite date, because there would be no definite date if we depend upon the As many as are against, please raise their hand. (No Member raised his hand.)
canvassing by the COMELEC. The results show 35 votes in favor and none against; Section 12 is approved. 2
Thank you, The Court next holds as a consequence of its declaration at bar that the Constitution took
THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Concepcion is recognized. effect on the date of its ratification in the plebiscite held on February 2, 1987, that: (1) the
MR. CONCEPCION. Thank you, Madam President. Provisional Constitution promulgated on March 25, 1986 must be deemed to have been
Whoever makes the announcement as to the result of the plebiscite, be it the COMELEC or superseded by the 1987 Constitution on the same date February 2, 1987 and (2) by and after
the President, would announce that a majority of the votes cast on a given date was in favor said date, February 2, 1987, absent any saying clause to the contrary in the Transitory Article
of the Constitution. And that is the date when the Constitution takes effect, apart from the of the Constitution, respondent OIC Governor could no longer exercise the power to replace
fact that the provision on the drafting or amendment of the Constitution provides that a petitioners in their positions as Barangay Captain and Councilmen. Hence, the attempted
constitution becomes effective upon ratification by a majority of the votes cast, although I replacement of petitioners by respondent OIC Governor's designation on February 8, 1987
would not say from the very beginning of the date of election because as of that time it is of their successors could no longer produce any legal force and effect. While the Provisional
impossible to determine whether there is a majority. At the end of the day of election or Constitution provided for a one-year period expiring on March 25, 1987 within which the
plebiscite, the determination is made as of that time-the majority of the votes cast in a power of replacement could be exercised, this period was shortened by the ratification and
plebiscite held on such and such a date. So that is the time when the new Constitution will be effectivity on February 2, 1987 of the Constitution. Had the intention of the framers of the
considered ratified and, therefore, effective. Constitution been otherwise, they would have so provided for in the Transitory Article, as
THE PRESIDENT. May we now hear Vice-President Padilla. indeed they provided for multifarious transitory provisions in twenty six sections of Article
MR. PADILLA. Madam President, I am against the proposed amendment of Commissioner XVIII, e.g. extension of the six-year term of the incumbent President and Vice-President to
Davide and I support the view of Commissioner Bernas and the others because the noon of June 30, 1992 for purposes of synchronization of elections, the continued exercise
ratification of the Constitution is on the date the people, by a majority vote, have cast their of legislative powers by the incumbent President until the convening of the first Congress,
votes in favor of the Constitution. Even in civil law, if there is a contract, say, between an etc.
agent and a third person and that contract is confirmed or ratified by the principal, the A final note of clarification, as to the statement in the dissent that "the appointments of
validity does not begin on the date of ratification but it retroacts from the date the contract some seven Court of Appeals Justices, 71 provincial fiscals and 55 city fiscals reported
was executed. extended (by) the President on February 2, 1987 . . . could be open to serious questions," in
Therefore, the date of the Constitution as ratified should retroact to the date that the people view of the provisions of Sections 8 (1) and 9, Article VIII of the Constitution which require
have cast their affirmative votes in favor of the Constitution. prior endorsement thereof by the Judicial and Bar Council created under the Constitution. It
MR. MAAMBONG. Madam President. should be stated for the record that the reported date of the appointments, February 2,
THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Maambong is recognized 1987, is incorrect. The official records of the Court show that the appointments of the seven
MR. MAAMBONG. We will now ask once more Commissioner Davide if he is insisting on his Court of Appeals Justices were transmitted to this Court on February 1, 1987 and they were
amendment all appointed on or before January 31, 1987.3 (Similarly, the records of the Department of

10
Justice likewise show that the appointment papers of the last batch of provincial and city been void under the 1987 Charter. I recall, in particular, the appointments of some seven
fiscals signed by the President in completion of the reorganization of the prosecution service Court of Appeals Justices, 71 provincial fiscals, and 55 city fiscals the President reportedly
were made on January 31, 1987 and transmitted to the Department on February 1, 1987.) It extended on February 2, 1987. 1 Under Sections 8 (1) and 9, Article VIII, of the l987
is also a matter of record that since February 2, 1987, no appointments to the Judiciary have Constitution, as follows:
been extended by the President, pending the constitution of the Judicial and Bar Council, xxx xxx xxx
indicating that the Chief Executive has likewise considered February 2, 1987 as the effective Sec. 8. (I)A Judicial and Bar Council is hereby created under the supervision of the Supreme
date of the Constitution, as now expressly declared by the Court. Court composed of the Chief Justice as ex officio Chairman, the Secretary of Justice, and a
CRUZ, J., concurring. representative of the Congress as ex oficio Members, a representative of the Integrated Bar,
In her quiet and restrained manner, Justice Herrera is able to prove her point with more a professor of law, a retired Member of the Supreme Court, and a representative of the
telling effect than the tones of thunder. She has written another persuasive opinion, and I private sector.
am delighted to concur. I note that it in effect affirms my dissents in the De la Serna, Zamora, xxx xxx xxx
Duquing and Bayas cases, where I submitted that the local OICs may no longer be summarily 2Sec. 9. The Members of the Supreme Court and judges of lower courts shall be appointed
replaced, having acquired security of tenure under the new Constitution. Our difference is by the President from a list of at least three nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar
that whereas I would make that right commence on February 25, 1987, after the deadline Council for every vacancy, Such appointments need no confirmation.
set by the Freedom Constitution, Justice Herrera would opt for February 2, 1987, when the xxx xxx xxx
new Constitution was ratified. I yield to that better view and agree with such appointments could be open to serious questions.
her ponencia completely. Since 1973, moreover, we have invariably reckoned the effectivity of the Constitution as well
as the amendments thereto from the date it is proclaimed ratified.
SARMIENTO, J., Dissenting. In Magtoto v. Manguera, 2 we held that the 1973 Constitution became in force and effect on
With due respect to the majority I register this dissent. January 17, 1973, the date Proclamation No. 1102, "Announcing the Ratification by the
While I agree that the one-year deadline prescribed by Section 2, Article III of the Provisional Filipino People of the Constitution Proposed by the 1971 Constitutional Convention," was
Constitution with respect to the tenure of government functionaries, as follows: issued, although Mr. Justice, now Chief Justice, Teehankee would push its effectivity date
SECTION 2. All elective and appointive officials and employees under the 1973 Constitution further to April 17, 1973, the date our decision in Javellana v. Executive Secretary, 3 became
shall continue in office until otherwise provided by proclamation or executive order or upon final. And this was so notwithstanding Section 16, Article XVII, of the 1973 Constitution, thus:
the designation or appointment and qualification of their successors, if such appointment is SEC. 16. This Constitution shall take effect immediately upon its ratification by a majority of
made within a period of one year from February 25, 1986. the votes cast in a plebiscite called for the purpose and, except as herein provided, shall
was cut short by the ratification of the 1987 Constitution, I entertain serious doubts whether supersede the Constitution of nineteen-hundred and thirty- five and all amendments
or not that cut-off period began on February 2, 1987, the date of the plebiscite held to thereto.
approve the new Charter. To my mind the 1987 constitution took effect on February 11, On October 27, 1976, then President Marcos promulgated Proclamation no. 1595,
1987, the date the same was proclaimed ratified pursuant to Proclamation No. 58 of the proclaiming the ratification of the 1976 amendments submitted in the plebiscite of October
President of the Philippines, and not February 2, 1987, plebiscite day. 16- 17, 1976. The Proclamation states, inter alia, that.
I rely, first and foremost, on the language of the 1987 Charter itself, thus: By virtue-of the powers vested in me by law, I hereby proclaim all the amendments
Sec. 27. This Constitution shag take effect immediately upon its ratification by a majority of embodied in this certificate as duly ratified by the Filipino people in the referendum —
the votes cast in a plebiscite held for the purpose and shall supersede all previous plebiscite held Oct. 16-17, 1976 and are therefore effective and in full force and effect as of
Constitutions. this date.
It is my reading of this provision that the Constitution takes effect on the date its ratification It shall be noted that under Amendment No. 9 of the said 1976 amendments.
shall have been ascertained, and not at the time the people cast their votes to approve or These amendments shall take effect after the incumbent President shall have proclaimed
reject it. For it cannot be logically said that Constitution was ratified during such a plebiscite, that they have been ratified by a majority of the votes cast in the referendum-plebiscite.
when the will of the people as of that time, had not, and could not have been, vet On April 1, 1980, the then Chief Executive issued Proclamation no. 1959, "Proclaiming the
determined. Ratification by the Filipino People of the Amendments of Section 7, Article X of the
Other than that, pragmatic considerations compel me to take the view. Constitution" (lengthening the terms of office of judges and justices). The Proclamation
I have no doubt that between February 2, and February 11, 1987 the government performed provides:
acts that would have been valid under the Provisional Constitution but would otherwise have

11
[t]he above-quoted amendment has been duly ratified by a majority of the votes cast in the makes no mention of a retroactive application. Accordingly, when the incumbent President
plebiscite held, together with the election for local officials, on January 30, 1980, and that (Mrs. Corazon C. Aquino) proclaimed on February 11, 1987, at Malacanang Palace:
said amendment is hereby declared to take effect immediately. ... that the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines adopted by the Constitutional
It shall be noted that under Resolution No. 21, dated December 18, 1979, the proposed Commission of 1986, including the Ordinance appended thereto, has been duly ratified by
amendment shall take effect on the date the incumbent President/Prime Minister shall the Filipino people and is therefore effective and in full force and effect. 4
proclaim its ratification. the 1987 Constitution, in point of fact, came into force and effect, I hold that it took effect
On April 7, 1981, Proclamation No. 2077 was issued "Proclaiming the Ratification in the at no other time.
Plebiscite of April 7, 1981 of the Amendments to the Constitution Embodied in Batas I submit that our ruling in Ponsica v. Ignalaga 5 in which we declared, in passing, that the
Pambansa Blg. 122 and Declaring Them Therefore Effective and in Full Force and Effect." The new Charter was ratified on February 2, 1987, does not in any way weaken this dissent. As I
Proclamation, in declaring the said amendments duly approved, further declared them stated, the remark was said in passing-we did not resolve the case on account of a categorical
"[e]ffective and in full force and in effect as of the date of this Proclamation," It shall be holding that the 1987 Constitution came to life on February 2, 1987. In any event, if we did,
noted, in this connection, that under Resolutions Nos. I and 2 of the Batasang Pambansa, I now call for its re-examination.
Third Regular Session, Sitting as a Constituent Assembly, which parented these amendments, I am therefore of the opinion, consistent with the views expressed above, that the
the same: challenged dismissals done on February 8, 1987 were valid, the 1987 Constitution not being
... shall become valid as part of the Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes then as yet in force.
cast in a plebiscite to be held pursuant to Section 2, Article XVI of the Constitution.
On the other hand, Batas Pambansa Blg. 122, "An Act to Submit to the Filipino People, for Footnotes
Ratification or Rejection, the Amendment to the Constitution of the Philippines, Proposed 1. Topacio, Jr. vs. Pimentel G.R. No. 73770, April 10, 1986.
by the Batasang Pambansa, Sitting as a Constituent Assembly, in its Resolutions Numbered 2. Section 2, BP Blg. 222.
Three, Two, and One, and to Appropriate Funds Therefore," provides, as follows: 3. Article 11, Section 25 and Article X, Sections 1, 2, 14, among others.
SEC. 7. The Commission on Elections, sitting en banc, shad canvass and proclaim the result 4. Article X, Section 4.
of the plebiscite using the certificates submitted to it, duly authenticated and certified by 5. Section 3, BP Blg. 222.
the Board of Canvassers of each province or city. Teehankee, C.J., concurring:
We have, finally, Proclamation No. 2332, "Proclaiming the Ratification in the Plebiscite of 1. Volume Five, Record of the Constitutional Commission Proceedings and Debates,
January 27, 1984, of the Amendments to the Constitution Embodied in Batasang Pambansa pages 620-623; emphasis supplied.
Resolutions Nos. 104, 105, 110, 111, 112 and 113." It states that the amendments: 2. The entire draft Constitution was approved on October 12, 1986 forty forty-five
....are therefore effective and in full force and effect as of the date of this Proclamation. votes in favor and two against.
It carries out Resolution no. 104 itself (as well as Resolutions Nos. 110 and 112 and Section 3. The seven Court of Appeals Justices referred to are Justices Alfredo L. Benipayo,
9, Batas Blg. 643), which states, that: Minerva G. Reyes, Magdangal B. Elma, Cecilio PE, Jesus Elbinias, Nicolas Lapena Jr.
The proposed amendments shall take effect on the date the President of the Philippines shall and Justo P. Torres, Jr., and their appointments bear various dates from January 9,
proclaim that they have been ratified by a majority of the votes cast in the plebiscite held for 1987 to January 31, 1987.
the purpose, but not later than three months from the approval of the amendments. Sarmiento, J., dissenting:
albeit Resolutions Nos. 105, 111, and 113 provide, that: 1. Manila Bulletin, Feb. 3, 1987, p. 1, cols. 6-7 Philippine Daily Inquirer, Feb. 3,1987,
These amendments shall be valid as a part of the Constitution when approved by a majority p. 1, cot 1; Malaya, Feb. 3, 1987, p. 1, col. 1.
of the votes cast in an election/plebiscite at which it is submitted to the people for their 2. Nos. 3720102 March 3, 1975, 63 SCRA 4 (1975).
ratification pursuant to Section 2 of Article XVI of the Constitution, as amended. 3. Nos. L-36142, March 31, 1973, 50 SCRA 30 (1973).
That a Constitution or amendments thereto take effect upon proclamation of their 4. Proclamation No. 58 (1987).
ratification and not at the time of the plebiscite is a view that is not peculiar to the Marcos 5. G.R. No. 72301.
era.
The Resolution of Both Houses (of Congress) in Joint Session on the March 11, 1947 plebiscite
called pursuant to Republic Act No. 73 and the Resolution of Both Houses (of Congress)
adopted on September 18, 1946, was adopted on April 9,1947. The April 9, 1947 Resolution

12
G.R. No. 122156 February 3, 1997 Pending the declaration of Renong Berhad as the winning bidder/strategic partner and the
MANILA PRINCE HOTEL petitioner, execution of the necessary contracts, petitioner in a letter to respondent GSIS dated 28
vs. September 1995 matched the bid price of P44.00 per share tendered by Renong Berhad. 4 In
GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM, MANILA HOTEL CORPORATION, COMMITTEE a subsequent letter dated 10 October 1995 petitioner sent a manager's check issued by
ON PRIVATIZATION and OFFICE OF THE GOVERNMENT CORPORATE Philtrust Bank for Thirty-three Million Pesos (P33.000.000.00) as Bid Security to match the
COUNSEL, respondents. bid of the Malaysian Group, Messrs. Renong Berhad . . .5 which respondent GSIS refused to
accept.
BELLOSILLO, J.: On 17 October 1995, perhaps apprehensive that respondent GSIS has disregarded the tender
The FiIipino First Policy enshrined in the 1987 Constitution, i.e., in the grant of rights, of the matching bid and that the sale of 51% of the MHC may be hastened by respondent
privileges, and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony, the State shall GSIS and consummated with Renong Berhad, petitioner came to this Court on prohibition
give preference to qualified Filipinos,1 is in oked by petitioner in its bid to acquire 51% of the and mandamus. On 18 October 1995 the Court issued a temporary restraining order
shares of the Manila Hotel Corporation (MHC) which owns the historic Manila Hotel. enjoining respondents from perfecting and consummating the sale to the Malaysian firm.
Opposing, respondents maintain that the provision is not self-executing but requires an On 10 September 1996 the instant case was accepted by the Court En Banc after it was
implementing legislation for its enforcement. Corollarily, they ask whether the 51% shares referred to it by the First Division. The case was then set for oral arguments with former
form part of the national economy and patrimony covered by the protective mantle of the Chief Justice Enrique M. Fernando and Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J., as amici curiae.
Constitution. In the main, petitioner invokes Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII, of the 1987 Constitution and
The controversy arose when respondent Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), submits that the Manila Hotel has been identified with the Filipino nation and has practically
pursuant to the privatization program of the Philippine Government under Proclamation No. become a historical monument which reflects the vibrancy of Philippine heritage and
50 dated 8 December 1986, decided to sell through public bidding 30% to 51% of the issued culture. It is a proud legacy of an earlier generation of Filipinos who believed in the nobility
and outstanding shares of respondent MHC. The winning bidder, or the eventual "strategic and sacredness of independence and its power and capacity to release the full potential of
partner," is to provide management expertise and/or an international marketing/reservation the Filipino people. To all intents and purposes, it has become a part of the national
system, and financial support to strengthen the profitability and performance of the Manila patrimony.6 Petitioner also argues that since 51% of the shares of the MHC carries with it the
Hotel.2 In a close bidding held on 18 September 1995 only two (2) bidders participated: ownership of the business of the hotel which is owned by respondent GSIS, a government-
petitioner Manila Prince Hotel Corporation, a Filipino corporation, which offered to buy 51% owned and controlled corporation, the hotel business of respondent GSIS being a part of the
of the MHC or 15,300,000 shares at P41.58 per share, and Renong Berhad, a Malaysian firm, tourism industry is unquestionably a part of the national economy. Thus, any transaction
with ITT-Sheraton as its hotel operator, which bid for the same number of shares at P44.00 involving 51% of the shares of stock of the MHC is clearly covered by the term national
per share, or P2.42 more than the bid of petitioner. economy, to which Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII, 1987 Constitution, applies.7
Pertinent provisions of the bidding rules prepared by respondent GSIS state — It is also the thesis of petitioner that since Manila Hotel is part of the national patrimony and
I. EXECUTION OF THE NECESSARY CONTRACTS WITH GSIS/MHC — its business also unquestionably part of the national economy petitioner should be preferred
1. The Highest Bidder must comply with the conditions set forth below by October 23, 1995 after it has matched the bid offer of the Malaysian firm. For the bidding rules mandate that if
(reset to November 3, 1995) or the Highest Bidder will lose the right to purchase the Block for any reason, the Highest Bidder cannot be awarded the Block of Shares, GSIS may offer
of Shares and GSIS will instead offer the Block of Shares to the other Qualified Bidders: this to the other Qualified Bidders that have validly submitted bids provided that these
a. The Highest Bidder must negotiate and execute with the GSIS/MHC the Management Qualified Bidders are willing to match the highest bid in terms of price per share.8
Contract, International Marketing/Reservation System Contract or other type of contract Respondents except. They maintain that: First, Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII, of the 1987
specified by the Highest Bidder in its strategic plan for the Manila Hotel. . . . Constitution is merely a statement of principle and policy since it is not a self-executing
b. The Highest Bidder must execute the Stock Purchase and Sale Agreement with GSIS . . . . provision and requires implementing legislation(s) . . . Thus, for the said provision to Operate,
K. DECLARATION OF THE WINNING BIDDER/STRATEGIC PARTNER — there must be existing laws "to lay down conditions under which business may be done."9
The Highest Bidder will be declared the Winning Bidder/Strategic Partner after the following Second, granting that this provision is self-executing, Manila Hotel does not fall under the
conditions are met: term national patrimony which only refers to lands of the public domain, waters, minerals,
a. Execution of the necessary contracts with GSIS/MHC not later than October 23, 1995 coal, petroleum and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries, forests or
(reset to November 3, 1995); and timber, wildlife, flora and fauna and all marine wealth in its territorial sea, and exclusive
b. Requisite approvals from the GSIS/MHC and COP (Committee on Privatization)/OGCC marine zone as cited in the first and second paragraphs of Sec. 2, Art. XII, 1987 Constitution.
(Office of the Government Corporate Counsel) are obtained.3 According to respondents, while petitioner speaks of the guests who have slept in the hotel

13
and the events that have transpired therein which make the hotel historic, these alone do the governmental machinery and securing certain fundamental and inalienable rights of
not make the hotel fall under the patrimony of the nation. What is more, the mandate of the citizens. 12 A provision which lays down a general principle, such as those found in Art. II of
Constitution is addressed to the State, not to respondent GSIS which possesses a personality the 1987 Constitution, is usually not self-executing. But a provision which is complete in itself
of its own separate and distinct from the Philippines as a State. and becomes operative without the aid of supplementary or enabling legislation, or that
Third, granting that the Manila Hotel forms part of the national patrimony, the constitutional which supplies sufficient rule by means of which the right it grants may be enjoyed or
provision invoked is still inapplicable since what is being sold is only 51% of the outstanding protected, is self-executing. Thus a constitutional provision is self-executing if the nature and
shares of the corporation, not the hotel building nor the land upon which the building stands. extent of the right conferred and the liability imposed are fixed by the constitution itself, so
Certainly, 51% of the equity of the MHC cannot be considered part of the national patrimony. that they can be determined by an examination and construction of its terms, and there is
Moreover, if the disposition of the shares of the MHC is really contrary to the Constitution, no language indicating that the subject is referred to the legislature for action. 13
petitioner should have questioned it right from the beginning and not after it had lost in the As against constitutions of the past, modern constitutions have been generally drafted upon
bidding. a different principle and have often become in effect extensive codes of laws intended to
Fourth, the reliance by petitioner on par. V., subpar. J. 1., of the bidding rules which provides operate directly upon the people in a manner similar to that of statutory enactments, and
that if for any reason, the Highest Bidder cannot be awarded the Block of Shares, GSIS may the function of constitutional conventions has evolved into one more like that of a legislative
offer this to the other Qualified Bidders that have validly submitted bids provided that these body. Hence, unless it is expressly provided that a legislative act is necessary to enforce a
Qualified Bidders are willing to match the highest bid in terms of price per share, is misplaced. constitutional mandate, the presumption now is that all provisions of the constitution are
Respondents postulate that the privilege of submitting a matching bid has not yet arisen self-executing If the constitutional provisions are treated as requiring legislation instead of
since it only takes place if for any reason, the Highest Bidder cannot be awarded the Block of self-executing, the legislature would have the power to ignore and practically nullify the
Shares. Thus the submission by petitioner of a matching bid is premature since Renong mandate of the fundamental law.14 This can be cataclysmic. That is why the prevailing view
Berhad could still very well be awarded the block of shares and the condition giving rise to is, as it has always been, that —
the exercise of the privilege to submit a matching bid had not yet taken place. . . . in case of doubt, the Constitution should be considered self-executing rather than non-
Finally, the prayer for prohibition grounded on grave abuse of discretion should fail since self-executing . . . . Unless the contrary is clearly intended, the provisions of the Constitution
respondent GSIS did not exercise its discretion in a capricious, whimsical manner, and if ever should be considered self-executing, as a contrary rule would give the legislature discretion
it did abuse its discretion it was not so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a to determine when, or whether, they shall be effective. These provisions would be
positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law. Similarly, the petition subordinated to the will of the lawmaking body, which could make them entirely
for mandamus should fail as petitioner has no clear legal right to what it demands and meaningless by simply refusing to pass the needed implementing statute. 15
respondents do not have an imperative duty to perform the act required of them by Respondents argue that Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII, of the 1987 Constitution is clearly not
petitioner. self-executing, as they quote from discussions on the floor of the 1986 Constitutional
We now resolve. A constitution is a system of fundamental laws for the governance and Commission —
administration of a nation. It is supreme, imperious, absolute and unalterable except by the MR. RODRIGO. Madam President, I am asking this question as the Chairman of the
authority from which it emanates. It has been defined as the fundamental and paramount Committee on Style. If the wording of "PREFERENCE" is given to QUALIFIED FILIPINOS," can
law of the nation. 10 It prescribes the permanent framework of a system of government, it be understood as a preference to qualified Filipinos vis-a-vis Filipinos who are not
assigns to the different departments their respective powers and duties, and establishes qualified. So, why do we not make it clear? To qualified Filipinos as against aliens?
certain fixed principles on which government is founded. The fundamental conception in THE PRESIDENT. What is the question of Commissioner Rodrigo? Is it to remove the word
other words is that it is a supreme law to which all other laws must conform and in "QUALIFIED?".
accordance with which all private rights must be determined and all public authority MR. RODRIGO. No, no, but say definitely "TO QUALIFIED FILIPINOS" as against whom? As
administered. 11 Under the doctrine of constitutional supremacy, if a law or contract violates against aliens or over aliens?
any norm of the constitution that law or contract whether promulgated by the legislative or MR. NOLLEDO. Madam President, I think that is understood. We use the word "QUALIFIED"
by the executive branch or entered into by private persons for private purposes is null and because the existing laws or prospective laws will always lay down conditions under which
void and without any force and effect. Thus, since the Constitution is the fundamental, business may be done. For example, qualifications on the setting up of other financial
paramount and supreme law of the nation, it is deemed written in every statute and contract. structures, et cetera (emphasis supplied by respondents)
Admittedly, some constitutions are merely declarations of policies and principles. Their MR. RODRIGO. It is just a matter of style.
provisions command the legislature to enact laws and carry out the purposes of the framers MR. NOLLEDO Yes, 16
who merely establish an outline of government providing for the different departments of

14
Quite apparently, Sec. 10, second par., of Art XII is couched in such a way as not to make it legislation. The very terms of the provisions manifest that they are only principles upon
appear that it is non-self-executing but simply for purposes of style. But, certainly, the which the legislations must be based. Res ipsa loquitur.
legislature is not precluded from enacting other further laws to enforce the constitutional On the other hand, Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII of the of the 1987 Constitution is a
provision so long as the contemplated statute squares with the Constitution. Minor details mandatory, positive command which is complete in itself and which needs no further
may be left to the legislature without impairing the self-executing nature of constitutional guidelines or implementing laws or rules for its enforcement. From its very words the
provisions. provision does not require any legislation to put it in operation. It is per se judicially
In self-executing constitutional provisions, the legislature may still enact legislation to enforceable When our Constitution mandates that [i]n the grant of rights, privileges, and
facilitate the exercise of powers directly granted by the constitution, further the operation concessions covering national economy and patrimony, the State shall give preference to
of such a provision, prescribe a practice to be used for its enforcement, provide a convenient qualified Filipinos, it means just that — qualified Filipinos shall be preferred. And when our
remedy for the protection of the rights secured or the determination thereof, or place Constitution declares that a right exists in certain specified circumstances an action may be
reasonable safeguards around the exercise of the right. The mere fact that legislation may maintained to enforce such right notwithstanding the absence of any legislation on the
supplement and add to or prescribe a penalty for the violation of a self-executing subject; consequently, if there is no statute especially enacted to enforce such constitutional
constitutional provision does not render such a provision ineffective in the absence of such right, such right enforces itself by its own inherent potency and puissance, and from which
legislation. The omission from a constitution of any express provision for a remedy for all legislations must take their bearings. Where there is a right there is a remedy. Ubi jus ibi
enforcing a right or liability is not necessarily an indication that it was not intended to be remedium.
self-executing. The rule is that a self-executing provision of the constitution does not As regards our national patrimony, a member of the 1986 Constitutional
necessarily exhaust legislative power on the subject, but any legislation must be in harmony Commission 34 explains —
with the constitution, further the exercise of constitutional right and make it more The patrimony of the Nation that should be conserved and developed refers not only to out
available. 17 Subsequent legislation however does not necessarily mean that the subject rich natural resources but also to the cultural heritage of out race. It also refers to our
constitutional provision is not, by itself, fully enforceable. intelligence in arts, sciences and letters. Therefore, we should develop not only our lands,
Respondents also argue that the non-self-executing nature of Sec. 10, second par., of Art. XII forests, mines and other natural resources but also the mental ability or faculty of our
is implied from the tenor of the first and third paragraphs of the same section which people.
undoubtedly are not self-executing. 18 The argument is flawed. If the first and third We agree. In its plain and ordinary meaning, the term patrimony pertains to
paragraphs are not self-executing because Congress is still to enact measures to encourage heritage. 35 When the Constitution speaks of national patrimony, it refers not only to the
the formation and operation of enterprises fully owned by Filipinos, as in the first paragraph, natural resources of the Philippines, as the Constitution could have very well used the
and the State still needs legislation to regulate and exercise authority over foreign term natural resources, but also to the cultural heritage of the Filipinos.
investments within its national jurisdiction, as in the third paragraph, then a fortiori, by the Manila Hotel has become a landmark — a living testimonial of Philippine heritage. While it
same logic, the second paragraph can only be self-executing as it does not by its language was restrictively an American hotel when it first opened in 1912, it immediately evolved to
require any legislation in order to give preference to qualified Filipinos in the grant of rights, be truly Filipino, Formerly a concourse for the elite, it has since then become the venue of
privileges and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony. A constitutional various significant events which have shaped Philippine history. It was called the Cultural
provision may be self-executing in one part and non-self-executing in another. 19 Center of the 1930's. It was the site of the festivities during the inauguration of the Philippine
Even the cases cited by respondents holding that certain constitutional provisions are merely Commonwealth. Dubbed as the Official Guest House of the Philippine Government. it plays
statements of principles and policies, which are basically not self-executing and only placed host to dignitaries and official visitors who are accorded the traditional Philippine
in the Constitution as moral incentives to legislation, not as judicially enforceable rights — hospitality. 36
are simply not in point. Basco v. Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corporation 20 speaks The history of the hotel has been chronicled in the book The Manila Hotel: The Heart and
of constitutional provisions on personal dignity, 21 the sanctity of family life, 22 the vital role Memory of a City. 37During World War II the hotel was converted by the Japanese Military
of the youth in nation-building 23 the promotion of social justice, 24 and the values of Administration into a military headquarters. When the American forces returned to
education. 25 Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance 26 refers to the constitutional provisions on recapture Manila the hotel was selected by the Japanese together with Intramuros as the
social justice and human rights 27 and on education. 28 Lastly, Kilosbayan, two (2) places fro their final stand. Thereafter, in the 1950's and 1960's, the hotel became
Inc. v. Morato cites provisions on the promotion of general welfare, 30 the sanctity of
29 the center of political activities, playing host to almost every political convention. In 1970
family life, 31 the vital role of the youth in nation-building 32 and the promotion of total the hotel reopened after a renovation and reaped numerous international recognitions, an
human liberation and development. 33A reading of these provisions indeed clearly shows acknowledgment of the Filipino talent and ingenuity. In 1986 the hotel was the site of a
that they are not judicially enforceable constitutional rights but merely guidelines for

15
failed coup d' etat where an aspirant for vice-president was "proclaimed" President of the MR. FOZ. Madam President, I would like to request Commissioner Nolledo to please restate
Philippine Republic. his amendment so that I can ask a question.
For more than eight (8) decades Manila Hotel has bore mute witness to the triumphs and MR. NOLLEDO. "IN THE GRANT OF RIGHTS, PRIVILEGES AND CONCESSIONS COVERING THE
failures, loves and frustrations of the Filipinos; its existence is impressed with public interest; NATIONAL ECONOMY AND PATRIMONY, THE STATE SHALL GIVE PREFERENCE TO QUALIFIED
its own historicity associated with our struggle for sovereignty, independence and FILIPINOS."
nationhood. Verily, Manila Hotel has become part of our national economy and patrimony. MR FOZ. In connection with that amendment, if a foreign enterprise is qualified and a Filipino
For sure, 51% of the equity of the MHC comes within the purview of the constitutional enterprise is also qualified, will the Filipino enterprise still be given a preference?
shelter for it comprises the majority and controlling stock, so that anyone who acquires or MR. NOLLEDO. Obviously.
owns the 51% will have actual control and management of the hotel. In this instance, 51% MR. FOZ. If the foreigner is more qualified in some aspects than the Filipino enterprise, will
of the MHC cannot be disassociated from the hotel and the land on which the hotel edifice the Filipino still be preferred?
stands. Consequently, we cannot sustain respondents' claim that the Filipino First MR. NOLLEDO. The answer is "yes."
Policy provision is not applicable since what is being sold is only 51% of the outstanding MR. FOZ. Thank you, 41
shares of the corporation, not the Hotel building nor the land upon which the building Expounding further on the Filipino First Policy provision Commissioner Nolledo continues —
stands. 38 MR. NOLLEDO. Yes, Madam President. Instead of "MUST," it will be "SHALL — THE STATE
The argument is pure sophistry. The term qualified Filipinos as used in Our Constitution also SHALL GlVE PREFERENCE TO QUALIFIED FILIPINOS. This embodies the so-called "Filipino
includes corporations at least 60% of which is owned by Filipinos. This is very clear from the First" policy. That means that Filipinos should be given preference in the grant of
proceedings of the 1986 Constitutional Commission concessions, privileges and rights covering the national patrimony. 42
THE PRESIDENT. Commissioner Davide is recognized. The exchange of views in the sessions of the Constitutional Commission regarding the
MR. DAVIDE. I would like to introduce an amendment to the Nolledo amendment. And the subject provision was still further clarified by Commissioner Nolledo 43 —
amendment would consist in substituting the words "QUALIFIED FILIPINOS" with the Paragraph 2 of Section 10 explicitly mandates the "Pro-Filipino" bias in all economic
following: "CITIZENS OF THE PHILIPPINES OR CORPORATIONS OR ASSOCIATIONS WHOSE concerns. It is better known as the FILIPINO FIRST Policy . . . This provision was never found
CAPITAL OR CONTROLLING STOCK IS WHOLLY OWNED BY SUCH CITIZENS. in previous Constitutions . . . .
xxx xxx xxx The term "qualified Filipinos" simply means that preference shall be given to those citizens
MR. MONSOD. Madam President, apparently the proponent is agreeable, but we have to who can make a viable contribution to the common good, because of credible competence
raise a question. Suppose it is a corporation that is 80-percent Filipino, do we not give it and efficiency. It certainly does NOT mandate the pampering and preferential treatment to
preference? Filipino citizens or organizations that are incompetent or inefficient, since such an
MR. DAVIDE. The Nolledo amendment would refer to an individual Filipino. What about a indiscriminate preference would be counter productive and inimical to the common good.
corporation wholly owned by Filipino citizens? In the granting of economic rights, privileges, and concessions, when a choice has to be made
MR. MONSOD. At least 60 percent, Madam President. between a "qualified foreigner" end a "qualified Filipino," the latter shall be chosen over the
MR. DAVIDE. Is that the intention? former."
MR. MONSOD. Yes, because, in fact, we would be limiting it if we say that the preference Lastly, the word qualified is also determinable. Petitioner was so considered by respondent
should only be 100-percent Filipino. GSIS and selected as one of the qualified bidders. It was pre-qualified by respondent GSIS in
MR: DAVIDE. I want to get that meaning clear because "QUALIFIED FILIPINOS" may refer only accordance with its own guidelines so that the sole inference here is that petitioner has been
to individuals and not to juridical personalities or entities. found to be possessed of proven management expertise in the hotel industry, or it has
MR. MONSOD. We agree, Madam President. 39 significant equity ownership in another hotel company, or it has an overall management and
xxx xxx xxx marketing proficiency to successfully operate the Manila Hotel. 44
MR. RODRIGO. Before we vote, may I request that the amendment be read again. The penchant to try to whittle away the mandate of the Constitution by arguing that the
MR. NOLLEDO. The amendment will read: "IN THE GRANT OF RIGHTS, PRIVILEGES AND subject provision is not self-executory and requires implementing legislation is quite
CONCESSIONS COVERING THE NATIONAL ECONOMY AND PATRIMONY, THE STATE SHALL disturbing. The attempt to violate a clear constitutional provision — by the government itself
GIVE PREFERENCE TO QUALIFIED FILIPINOS." And the word "Filipinos" here, as intended by — is only too distressing. To adopt such a line of reasoning is to renounce the duty to ensure
the proponents, will include not only individual Filipinos but also Filipino-controlled entities faithfulness to the Constitution. For, even some of the provisions of the Constitution which
or entities fully-controlled by Filipinos. 40 evidently need implementing legislation have juridical life of their own and can be the source
The phrase preference to qualified Filipinos was explained thus — of a judicial remedy. We cannot simply afford the government a defense that arises out of

16
the failure to enact further enabling, implementing or guiding legislation. In fine, the bidding rules be nullified for being violative of the Constitution. It is a basic principle in
discourse of Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J., on constitutional government is apt — constitutional law that all laws and contracts must conform with the fundamental law of the
The executive department has a constitutional duty to implement laws, including the land. Those which violate the Constitution lose their reason for being.
Constitution, even before Congress acts — provided that there are discoverable legal Paragraph V. J. 1 of the bidding rules provides that [if] for any reason the Highest Bidder
standards for executive action. When the executive acts, it must be guided by its own cannot be awarded the Block of Shares, GSIS may offer this to other Qualified Bidders that
understanding of the constitutional command and of applicable laws. The responsibility for have validly submitted bids provided that these Qualified Bidders are willing to match the
reading and understanding the Constitution and the laws is not the sole prerogative of highest bid in terms of price per
Congress. If it were, the executive would have to ask Congress, or perhaps the Court, for an share. 47 Certainly, the constitutional mandate itself is reason enough not to award the block
interpretation every time the executive is confronted by a constitutional command. That is of shares immediately to the foreign bidder notwithstanding its submission of a higher, or
not how constitutional government operates. 45 even the highest, bid. In fact, we cannot conceive of a stronger reason than the constitutional
Respondents further argue that the constitutional provision is addressed to the State, not to injunction itself.
respondent GSIS which by itself possesses a separate and distinct personality. This argument In the instant case, where a foreign firm submits the highest bid in a public bidding
again is at best specious. It is undisputed that the sale of 51% of the MHC could only be concerning the grant of rights, privileges and concessions covering the national economy and
carried out with the prior approval of the State acting through respondent Committee on patrimony, thereby exceeding the bid of a Filipino, there is no question that the Filipino will
Privatization. As correctly pointed out by Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J., this fact alone makes the have to be allowed to match the bid of the foreign entity. And if the Filipino matches the bid
sale of the assets of respondents GSIS and MHC a "state action." In constitutional of a foreign firm the award should go to the Filipino. It must be so if we are to give life and
jurisprudence, the acts of persons distinct from the government are considered "state meaning to the Filipino First Policy provision of the 1987 Constitution. For, while this may
action" covered by the Constitution (1) when the activity it engages in is a "public neither be expressly stated nor contemplated in the bidding rules, the constitutional fiat is,
function;" (2) when the government is so significantly involved with the private actor as to omnipresent to be simply disregarded. To ignore it would be to sanction a perilous skirting
make the government responsible for his action; and, (3) when the government has of the basic law.
approved or authorized the action. It is evident that the act of respondent GSIS in selling 51% This Court does not discount the apprehension that this policy may discourage foreign
of its share in respondent MHC comes under the second and third categories of "state investors. But the Constitution and laws of the Philippines are understood to be always open
action." Without doubt therefore the transaction. although entered into by respondent GSIS, to public scrutiny. These are given factors which investors must consider when venturing
is in fact a transaction of the State and therefore subject to the constitutional command. 46 into business in a foreign jurisdiction. Any person therefore desiring to do business in the
When the Constitution addresses the State it refers not only to the people but also to the Philippines or with any of its agencies or instrumentalities is presumed to know his rights
government as elements of the State. After all, government is composed of three (3) and obligations under the Constitution and the laws of the forum.
divisions of power — legislative, executive and judicial. Accordingly, a constitutional The argument of respondents that petitioner is now estopped from questioning the sale to
mandate directed to the State is correspondingly directed to the three(3) branches of Renong Berhad since petitioner was well aware from the beginning that a foreigner could
government. It is undeniable that in this case the subject constitutional injunction is participate in the bidding is meritless. Undoubtedly, Filipinos and foreigners alike were
addressed among others to the Executive Department and respondent GSIS, a government invited to the bidding. But foreigners may be awarded the sale only if no Filipino qualifies, or
instrumentality deriving its authority from the State. if the qualified Filipino fails to match the highest bid tendered by the foreign entity. In the
It should be stressed that while the Malaysian firm offered the higher bid it is not yet the case before us, while petitioner was already preferred at the inception of the bidding
winning bidder. The bidding rules expressly provide that the highest bidder shall only be because of the constitutional mandate, petitioner had not yet matched the bid offered by
declared the winning bidder after it has negotiated and executed the necessary contracts, Renong Berhad. Thus it did not have the right or personality then to compel respondent GSIS
and secured the requisite approvals. Since the "Filipino First Policy provision of the to accept its earlier bid. Rightly, only after it had matched the bid of the foreign firm and the
Constitution bestows preference on qualified Filipinos the mere tending of the highest bid is apparent disregard by respondent GSIS of petitioner's matching bid did the latter have a
not an assurance that the highest bidder will be declared the winning bidder. Resultantly, cause of action.
respondents are not bound to make the award yet, nor are they under obligation to enter Besides, there is no time frame for invoking the constitutional safeguard unless perhaps the
into one with the highest bidder. For in choosing the awardee respondents are mandated to award has been finally made. To insist on selling the Manila Hotel to foreigners when there
abide by the dictates of the 1987 Constitution the provisions of which are presumed to be is a Filipino group willing to match the bid of the foreign group is to insist that government
known to all the bidders and other interested parties. be treated as any other ordinary market player, and bound by its mistakes or gross errors of
Adhering to the doctrine of constitutional supremacy, the subject constitutional provision is, judgment, regardless of the consequences to the Filipino people. The miscomprehension of
as it should be, impliedly written in the bidding rules issued by respondent GSIS, lest the the Constitution is regrettable. Thus we would rather remedy the indiscretion while there is

17
still an opportunity to do so than let the government develop the habit of forgetting that the government authority emanates. In nationalism, the happiness and welfare of the people
Constitution lays down the basic conditions and parameters for its actions. must be the goal. The nation-state can have no higher purpose. Any interpretation of any
Since petitioner has already matched the bid price tendered by Renong Berhad pursuant to constitutional provision must adhere to such basic concept. Protection of foreign
the bidding rules, respondent GSIS is left with no alternative but to award to petitioner the investments, while laudible, is merely a policy. It cannot override the demands of
block of shares of MHC and to execute the necessary agreements and documents to effect nationalism. 50
the sale in accordance not only with the bidding guidelines and procedures but with the The Manila Hotel or, for that matter, 51% of the MHC, is not just any commodity to be sold
Constitution as well. The refusal of respondent GSIS to execute the corresponding to the highest bidder solely for the sake of privatization. We are not talking about an ordinary
documents with petitioner as provided in the bidding rules after the latter has matched the piece of property in a commercial district. We are talking about a historic relic that has
bid of the Malaysian firm clearly constitutes grave abuse of discretion. hosted many of the most important events in the short history of the Philippines as a nation.
The Filipino First Policy is a product of Philippine nationalism. It is embodied in the 1987 We are talking about a hotel where heads of states would prefer to be housed as a strong
Constitution not merely to be used as a guideline for future legislation but primarily to be manifestation of their desire to cloak the dignity of the highest state function to their official
enforced; so must it be enforced. This Court as the ultimate guardian of the Constitution will visits to the Philippines. Thus the Manila Hotel has played and continues to play a significant
never shun, under any reasonable circumstance, the duty of upholding the majesty of the role as an authentic repository of twentieth century Philippine history and culture. In this
Constitution which it is tasked to defend. It is worth emphasizing that it is not the intention sense, it has become truly a reflection of the Filipino soul — a place with a history of
of this Court to impede and diminish, much less undermine, the influx of foreign grandeur; a most historical setting that has played a part in the shaping of a country. 51
investments. Far from it, the Court encourages and welcomes more business opportunities This Court cannot extract rhyme nor reason from the determined efforts of respondents to
but avowedly sanctions the preference for Filipinos whenever such preference is ordained sell the historical landmark — this Grand Old Dame of hotels in Asia — to a total stranger.
by the Constitution. The position of the Court on this matter could have not been more For, indeed, the conveyance of this epic exponent of the Filipino psyche to alien hands
appropriately articulated by Chief Justice Narvasa — cannot be less than mephistophelian for it is, in whatever manner viewed, a veritable
As scrupulously as it has tried to observe that it is not its function to substitute its judgment alienation of a nation's soul for some pieces of foreign silver. And so we ask: What advantage,
for that of the legislature or the executive about the wisdom and feasibility of legislation which cannot be equally drawn from a qualified Filipino, can be gained by the Filipinos Manila
economic in nature, the Supreme Court has not been spared criticism for decisions perceived Hotel — and all that it stands for — is sold to a non-Filipino? How much of national pride will
as obstacles to economic progress and development . . . in connection with a temporary vanish if the nation's cultural heritage is entrusted to a foreign entity? On the other hand,
injunction issued by the Court's First Division against the sale of the Manila Hotel to a how much dignity will be preserved and realized if the national patrimony is safekept in the
Malaysian Firm and its partner, certain statements were published in a major daily to the hands of a qualified, zealous and well-meaning Filipino? This is the plain and simple meaning
effect that injunction "again demonstrates that the Philippine legal system can be a major of the Filipino First Policy provision of the Philippine Constitution. And this Court, heeding
obstacle to doing business here. the clarion call of the Constitution and accepting the duty of being the elderly watchman of
Let it be stated for the record once again that while it is no business of the Court to intervene the nation, will continue to respect and protect the sanctity of the Constitution.
in contracts of the kind referred to or set itself up as the judge of whether they are viable or WHEREFORE, respondents GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM, MANILA HOTEL
attainable, it is its bounden duty to make sure that they do not violate the Constitution or CORPORATION, COMMITTEE ON PRIVATIZATION and OFFICE OF THE GOVERNMENT
the laws, or are not adopted or implemented with grave abuse of discretion amounting to CORPORATE COUNSEL are directed to CEASE and DESIST from selling 51% of the shares of
lack or excess of jurisdiction. It will never shirk that duty, no matter how buffeted by winds the Manila Hotel Corporation to RENONG BERHAD, and to ACCEPT the matching bid of
of unfair and ill-informed criticism. 48 petitioner MANILA PRINCE HOTEL CORPORATION to purchase the subject 51% of the shares
Privatization of a business asset for purposes of enhancing its business viability and of the Manila Hotel Corporation at P44.00 per share and thereafter to execute the necessary
preventing further losses, regardless of the character of the asset, should not take clearances and to do such other acts and deeds as may be necessary for purpose.
precedence over non-material values. A commercial, nay even a budgetary, objective should SO ORDERED.
not be pursued at the expense of national pride and dignity. For the Constitution enshrines Regalado, Davide, Jr., Romero, Kapunan, Francisco and Hermosisima, Jr., JJ., concur.
higher and nobler non-material values. Indeed, the Court will always defer to the
Constitution in the proper governance of a free society; after all, there is nothing so
sacrosanct in any economic policy as to draw itself beyond judicial review when the Separate Opinions
Constitution is involved. 49
Nationalism is inherent, in the very concept of the Philippines being a democratic and PADILLA, J., concurring:
republican state, with sovereignty residing in the Filipino people and from whom all

18
I concur with the ponencia of Mr. Justice Bellosillo. At the same time, I would like to expound affect the very "heart of the existing order." In the field of public bidding in the acquisition
a bit more on the concept of national patrimony as including within its scope and meaning of things that pertain to the national patrimony, preference to qualified Filipinos must allow
institutions such as the Manila Hotel. a qualified Filipino to match or equal the higher bid of a non-Filipino; the preference shall
It is argued by petitioner that the Manila Hotel comes under "national patrimony" over which not operate only when the bids of the qualified Filipino and the non-Filipino are equal in
qualified Filipinos have the preference, in ownership and operation. The Constitutional which case, the award should undisputedly be made to the qualified Filipino. The
provision on point states: Constitutional preference should give the qualified Filipino an opportunity to match or equal
xxx xxx xxx the higher bid of the non-Filipino bidder if the preference of the qualified Filipino bidder is
In the grant of rights, privileges, and concessions covering the national economy and to be significant at all.
patrimony, the State shall Give preference to qualified Filipinos.1 It is true that in this present age of globalization of attitude towards foreign investments in
Petitioner's argument, I believe, is well taken. Under the 1987 Constitution, "national our country, stress is on the elimination of barriers to foreign trade and investment in the
patrimony" consists of the natural resources provided by Almighty God (Preamble) in our country. While government agencies, including the courts should re-condition their thinking
territory (Article I) consisting of land, sea, and air.2study of the 1935 Constitution, where the to such a trend, and make it easy and even attractive for foreign investors to come to our
concept of "national patrimony" originated, would show that its framers decided to adopt shores, yet we should not preclude ourselves from reserving to us Filipinos certain areas
the even more comprehensive expression "Patrimony of the Nation" in the belief that the where our national identity, culture and heritage are involved. In the hotel industry, for
phrase encircles a concept embracing not only their natural resources of the country but instance, foreign investors have established themselves creditably, such as in the Shangri-La,
practically everything that belongs to the Filipino people, the tangible and the material as the Nikko, the Peninsula, and Mandarin Hotels. This should not stop us from retaining 51%
well as the intangible and the spiritual assets and possessions of the people. It is to be noted of the capital stock of the Manila Hotel Corporation in the hands of Filipinos. This would be
that the framers did not stop with conservation. They knew that conservation alone does in keeping with the intent of the Filipino people to preserve our national patrimony, including
not spell progress; and that this may be achieved only through development as a correlative our historical and cultural heritage in the hands of Filipinos.
factor to assure to the people not only the exclusive ownership, but also the exclusive VITUG, J., concurring:
benefits of their national patrimony).3 I agree with Mr. Justice Josue N. Bellosillo on his clear-cut statements, shared by Mr. Justice
Moreover, the concept of national patrimony has been viewed as referring not only to our Reynato S. Puno in a well written separate (dissenting) opinion, that:
rich natural resources but also to the cultural heritage of our First, the provision in our fundamental law which provides that "(I)n the grant of rights,
race.4 privileges, and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony, the State shall
There is no doubt in my mind that the Manila Hotel is very much a part of our national give preference to qualified Filipinos"1 is self-executory. The provision verily does not need,
patrimony and, as such, deserves constitutional protection as to who shall own it and benefit although it can obviously be amplified or regulated by, an enabling law or a set of rules.
from its operation. This institution has played an important role in our nation's history, Second, the term "patrimony" does not merely refer to the country's natural resources but
having been the venue of many a historical event, and serving as it did, and as it does, as the also to its cultural heritage. A "historical landmark," to use the words of Mr. Justice Justo P.
Philippine Guest House for visiting foreign heads of state, dignitaries, celebrities, and Torres, Jr., Manila Hotel has now indeed become part of Philippine heritage.
others.5 Third, the act of the Government Service Insurance System ("GSIS"), a government entity
It is therefore our duty to protect and preserve it for future generations of Filipinos. As which derives its authority from the State, in selling 51% of its share in MHC should be
President Manuel L. Quezon once said, we must exploit the natural resources of our country, considered an act of the State subject to the Constitutional mandate.
but we should do so with. an eye to the welfare of the future generations. In other words, On the pivotal issue of the degree of "preference to qualified Filipinos," I find it somewhat
the leaders of today are the trustees of the patrimony of our race. To preserve our national difficult to take the same path traversed by the forceful reasoning of Justice Puno. In the
patrimony and reserve it for Filipinos was the intent of the distinguished gentlemen who first particular case before us, the only meaningful preference, it seems, would really be to allow
framed our Constitution. Thus, in debating the need for nationalization of our lands and the qualified Filipino to match the foreign bid for, as a particular matter, I cannot see any bid
natural resources, one expounded that we should "put more teeth into our laws, and; not that literally calls for millions of dollars to be at par (to the last cent) with another. The
make the nationalization of our lands and natural resources a subject of ordinary legislation magnitude of the magnitude of the bids is such that it becomes hardly possible for the
but of constitutional enactment"6 To quote further: "Let not our children be mere tenants competing bids to stand exactly "equal" which alone, under the dissenting view, could trigger
and trespassers in their own country. Let us preserve and bequeath to them what is rightfully the right of preference.
theirs, free from all foreign liens and encumbrances".7 It is most unfortunate that Renong Berhad has not been spared this great disappointment, a
Now, a word on preference. In my view "preference to qualified Filipinos", to be meaningful, letdown that it did not deserve, by a simple and timely advise of the proper rules of bidding
must refer not only to things that are peripheral, collateral, or tangential. It must touch and along with the peculiar constitutional implications of the proposed transaction. It is also

19
regrettable that the Court at time is seen, to instead, be the refuge for bureaucratic There need be no fear that thus preferring Filipinos would either invite foreign retaliation or
inadequate which create the perception that it even takes on non-justiciable controversies. deprive the country of the benefit of foreign capital or know-how. We are dealing here not
All told, I am constrained to vote for granting the petition. with common trades of common means of livelihood which are open to aliens in our
MENDOZA, J., concurring in the judgment: midst, 11 but with the sale of government property, which is like the grant of government
I take the view that in the context of the present controversy the only way to enforce the largess of benefits and concessions covering the national economy" and therefore no one
constitutional mandate that "[i]n the grant of rights, privileges and concessions covering the should begrudge us if we give preferential treatment to our citizens. That at any rate is the
national patrimony the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos" 1 is to allow command of the Constitution. For the Manila Hotel is a business owned by the Government.
petitioner Philippine corporation to equal the bid of the Malaysian firm Renong Berhad for It is being privatized. Privatization should result in the relinquishment of the business in favor
the purchase of the controlling shares of stocks in the Manila Hotel Corporation. Indeed, it of private individuals and groups who are Filipino citizens, not in favor of aliens.
is the only way a qualified Filipino of Philippine corporation can be given preference in the Nor should there be any doubt that by awarding the shares of stocks to petitioner we would
enjoyment of a right, privilege or concession given by the State, by favoring it over a foreign be trading competence and capability for nationalism. Both petitioner and the Malaysian
national corporation. firm are qualified, having hurdled the prequalification process. 12 It is only the result of the
Under the rules on public bidding of the Government Service and Insurance System, if public bidding that is sought to be modified by enabling petitioner to up its bid to equal the
petitioner and the Malaysian firm had offered the same price per share, "priority [would be highest bid.
given] to the bidder seeking the larger ownership interest in MHC,"2 so that petitioner bid Nor, finally, is there any basis for the suggestion that to allow a Filipino bidder to match the
for more shares, it would be preferred to the Malaysian corporation for that reason and not highest bid of an alien could encourage speculation, since all that a Filipino entity would then
because it is a Philippine corporation. Consequently, it is only in cases like the present one, do would be not to make a bid or make only a token one and, after it is known that a foreign
where an alien corporation is the highest bidder, that preferential treatment of the bidder has submitted the highest bid, make an offer matching that of the foreign firm. This
Philippine corporation is mandated not by declaring it winner but by allowing it "to match is not possible under the rules on public bidding of the GSIS. Under these rules there is a
the highest bid in terms of price per share" before it is awarded the shares of stocks. 3 That, minimum bid required (P36.87 per share for a range of 9 to 15 million shares). 13 Bids below
to me, is what "preference to qualified Filipinos" means in the context of this case — by the minimum will not be considered. On the other hand, if the Filipino entity, after passing
favoring Filipinos whenever they are at a disadvantage vis-a-vis foreigners. the prequalification process, does not submit a bid, he will not be allowed to match the
This was the meaning given in Co Chiong v. Cuaderno4 to a 1947 statute giving "preference highest bid of the foreign firm because this is a privilege allowed only to those who have
to Filipino citizens in the lease of public market stalls."5 This Court upheld the cancellation of "validly submitted bids." 14 The suggestion is, to say the least, fanciful and has no basis in
existing leases covering market stalls occupied by persons who were not Filipinos and the fact.
award thereafter of the stalls to qualified Filipino vendors as ordered by the Department of For the foregoing reasons, I vote to grant the petition.
Finance. Similarly, in Vda. de Salgado v. De la Fuente,6 this Court sustained the validity of a TORRES, JR., J., separate opinion:
municipal ordinance passed pursuant to the statute (R.A. No. 37), terminating existing leases Constancy in law is not an attribute of a judicious mind. I say this as we are not confronted
of public market stalls and granting preference to Filipino citizens in the issuance of new in the case at bar with legal and constitutional issues — and yet I am driven so to speak on
licenses for the occupancy of the stalls. In Chua Lao v. Raymundo,7 the preference granted the side of history. The reason perhaps is due to the belief that in the words of Justice Oliver
under the statute was held to apply to cases in which Filipino vendors sought the same stalls Wendell Holmes, Jr., a "page of history is worth a volume of logic."
occupied by alien vendors in the public markets even if there were available other stalls as I will, however, attempt to share my thoughts on whether the Manila Hotel has a historical
good as those occupied by aliens. "The law, apparently, is applicable whenever there is a and cultural aspect within the meaning of the constitution and thus, forming part of the
conflict of interest between Filipino applicants and aliens for lease of stalls in public markets, "patrimony of the nation".
in which situation the right to preference immediately arises."8 Section 10, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution provides:
Our legislation on the matter thus antedated by a quarter of a century efforts began only in xxx xxx xxx
the 1970s in America to realize the promise of equality, through affirmative action and In the grant of rights, privileges, and concessions covering the national economy and
reverse discrimination programs designed to remedy past discrimination against colored patrimony, the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos.
people in such areas as employment, contracting and licensing.9 Indeed, in vital areas of our The State shall regulate and exercise authority over foreign investments within its national
national economy, there are situations in which the only way to place Filipinos in control of goals and priorities.
the national economy as contemplated in the Constitution 10 is to give them preferential The foregoing provisions should be read in conjunction with Article II of the same
treatment where they can at least stand on equal footing with aliens. Constitution pertaining to "Declaration of Principles and State Policies" which ordain —

20
The State shall develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively by As a historical landmark in this "Pearl of the Orient Seas", it has its enviable tradition which,
Filipinos. (Sec. 19). in the words of the philosopher Salvador de Madarriaga tradition is "more of a river than a
Interestingly, the matter of giving preference to "qualified Filipinos" was one of the highlights stone, it keeps flowing, and one must view the flowing , and one must view the flow of both
in the 1987 Constitution Commission proceedings thus: directions. If you look towards the hill from which the river flows, you see tradition in the
xxx xxx xxx form of forceful currents that push the river or people towards the future, and if you look
MR. NOLLEDO. The Amendment will read: "IN THE GRANT OF RIGHTS, PRIVILEGES AND the other way, you progress."
CONCESSIONS COVERING THE NATIONAL ECONOMY AND PATRIMONY, THE STATE SHALL Indeed, tradition and progress are the same, for progress depends on the kind of tradition.
GIVE PREFERENCE TO QUALIFIED FILIPINOS". And the word "Filipinos" here, as intended by Let us not jettison the tradition of the Manila Hotel and thereby repeat our colonial history.
the proponents, will include not only individual Filipinos but also Filipino-Controlled entities I grant, of course the men of the law can see the same subject in different lights.
fully controlled by Filipinos (Vol. III, Records of the Constitutional Commission, p. 608). I remember, however, a Spanish proverb which says — "He is always right who suspects that
MR. MONSOD. We also wanted to add, as Commissioner Villegas said, this committee and he makes mistakes". On this note, I say that if I have to make a mistake, I would rather err
this body already approved what is known as the Filipino First policy which was suggested upholding the belief that the Filipino be first under his Constitution and in his own land.
by Commissioner de Castro. So that it is now in our Constitution (Vol. IV, Records of the I vote GRANT the petition.
Constitutional Commission, p. 225).
Commissioner Jose Nolledo explaining the provision adverted to above, said: PUNO, J., dissenting:
MR. NOLLEDO. In the grant of rights, privileges and concessions covering the national This is a. petition for prohibition and mandamus filed by the Manila Prince Hotel
economy and patrimony, the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos. Corporation, a domestic corporation, to stop the Government Service Insurance System
MR. FOZ. In connection with that amendment, if a foreign enterprise is qualified and the (GSIS) from selling the controlling shares of the Manila Hotel Corporation to a foreign
Filipinos enterprise is also qualified, will the Filipino enterprise still be given a preference? corporation. Allegedly, the sale violates the second paragraph of section 10, Article XII of the
MR. NOLLEDO. Obviously. Constitution.
MR. FOZ. If the foreigner is more qualified in some aspects than the Filipino enterprise, will Respondent GSIS is a government-owned and controlled corporation. It is the sole owner of
the Filipino still be preferred:? the Manila Hotel which it operates through its subsidiary, the Manila Hotel Corporation.
MR. NOLLEDO. The answer is "yes". (Vol. III, p. 616, Records of the Constitutional Manila Hotel was included in the privatization program of the government. In 1995, GSIS
Commission). proposed to sell to interested buyers 30% to 51% of its shares, ranging from 9,000,000 to
The nationalistic provisions of the 1987 Constitution reflect the history and spirit of the 15,300,000 shares, in the Manila Hotel Corporation. After the absence of bids at the first
Malolos Constitution of 1898, the 1935 Constitution and the 1973 Constitutions. That we public bidding, the block of shares offered for sale was increased from a maximum of 30% to
have no reneged on this nationalist policy is articulated in one of the earliest case, this Court 51%. Also, the winning bidder, or the eventual "strategic partner" of the GSIS was required
said — to "provide management expertise and/or an international marketing/reservation system,
The nationalistic tendency is manifested in various provisions of the Constitution. . . . It and financial support to strengthen the profitability and performance of the Manila
cannot therefore be said that a law imbued with the same purpose and spirit underlying Hotel"1 The proposal was approved by respondent Committee on Privatization.
many of the provisions of the Constitution is unreasonable, invalid or unconstitutional In July 1995, a conference was held where prequalification documents and the bidding rules
(Ichong, et al. vs. Hernandez, et al., 101 Phil. 1155). were furnished interested parties. Petitioner Manila Prince Hotel, a domestic corporation,
I subscribe to the view that history, culture, heritage, and traditions are not legislated and is and Renong Berhad, Malaysian firm with ITT Sheraton as operator, prequalified.2
the product of events, customs, usages and practices. It is actually a product of growth and The bidding rules and procedures entitled "Guidelines and Procedures: Second
acceptance by the collective mores of a race. It is the spirit and soul of a people. Prequalification and Public Bidding of the MHC Privatization" provide:
The Manila Hotel is part of our history, culture and heritage. Every inch of the Manila Hotel I INTRODUCTION AND HIGHLIGHTS
is witness to historic events (too numerous to mention) which shaped our history for almost DETERMINING THE WINNING BIDDER/STRATEGIC PARTNER
84 years. The party that accomplishes the steps set forth below will be declared the Winning
As I intimated earlier, it is not my position in this opinion, to examine the single instances of Bidder/Strategic Partner and will be awarded the Block of Shares:
the legal largese which have given rise to this controversy. As I believe that has been First — Pass the prequalification process;
exhaustively discussed in the ponencia. Suffice it to say at this point that the history of the Second — Submit the highest bid on a price per share basis for the Block of Shares;
Manila Hotel should not be placed in the auction block of a purely business transaction, Third — Negotiate and execute the necessary contracts with GSIS/MHC not later than
where profits subverts the cherished historical values of our people. October 23, 1995;

21
xxx xxx xxx 3. The decision of the PBAC with respect to the results of the PBAC evaluation will be final.
IV GUIDELINES FOR PREQUALIFICATION 4. The Applicant shall be evaluated according to the criteria set forth below:
A. PARTIES WHO MAP APPLY FOR PREQUALIFICATION a. Business management expertise, track record, and experience
The Winning Bidder/Strategic Partner will be expected to provide management expertise b. Financial capability.
and/or an international marketing reservation system, and financial support to strengthen c. Feasibility and acceptability of the proposed strategic plan for the Manila Hotel
the profitability and performance of The Manila Hotel. In this context, the GSIS is inviting to 5. The PBAC will shortlist such number of Applicants as it may deem appropriate.
the prequalification process any local and/or foreign corporation, consortium/joint venture 6. The parties that prequalified in the first MHC public bidding — ITT Sheraton, Marriot
or juridical entity with at least one of the following qualifications: International Inc., Renaissance Hotels International Inc., consortium of RCBC Capital/Ritz
a. Proven management .expertise in the hotel industry; or Carlton — may participate in the Public Bidding without having to undergo the
b. Significant equity ownership (i.e. board representation) in another hotel company; or prequalification process again.
c. Overall management and marketing expertise to successfully operate the Manila Hotel. G. SHORTLIST OF QUALIFIED BIDDERS
Parties interested in bidding for MHC should be able to provide access to the requisite 1. A notice of prequalification results containing the shortlist of Qualified Bidders will be
management expertise and/or international marketing/reservation system for The Manila posted at the Registration Office at the date specified in Section III.
Hotel. 2. In the case of a Consortium/Joint Venture, the withdrawal by member whose qualification
xxx xxx xxx was a material consideration for being included in the shortlist is ground for disqualification
D. PREQUALIFICATION DOCUMENTS of the Applicant.
xxx xxx xxx V. GUIDELINES FOR THE PUBLIC BIDDING
E. APPLICATION PROCEDURE A. PARTIES WHO MAY PARTICIPATE IN THE PUBLIC BIDDING
1. DOCUMENTS AVAILABLE AT THE REGISTRATION OFFICE All parties in the shortlist of Qualified Bidders will be eligible to participate in the Public
The prequalification documents can be secured at the Registration Office between 9:00 AM Bidding.
to 4:00 PM during working days within the period specified in Section III. Each set of B. BLOCK OF SHARES
documents consists of the following: A range of Nine Million (9,000,000) to Fifteen Million Three Hundred Thousand (15,300,000)
a. Guidelines and Procedures: Second Prequalification and Public Bidding of the MHC shares of stock representing Thirty Percent to Fifty-One Percent (30%-51%) of the issued and
Privatization outstanding shares of MHC, will be offered in the Public Bidding by the GSIS. The Qualified
b. Confidential Information Memorandum: The Manila Hotel Corporation Bidders will have the Option of determining the number of shares within the range to bid
c. Letter of Invitation. to the Prequalification and Bidding Conference for. The range is intended to attract bidders with different preferences and objectives for
xxx xxx xxx the operation and management of The Manila Hotel.
4. PREQUALIFICATION AND BIDDING CONFERENCE C. MINIMUM BID REQUIRED ON A PRICE PER SHARE BASIS
A prequalification and bidding conference will be held at The Manila Hotel on the date 1. Bids will be evaluated on a price per share basis. The minimum bid required on a price per
specified in Section III to allow the Applicant to seek clarifications and further information share basis for the Block of Shares is Thirty-Six Pesos and Sixty-Seven Centavos (P36.67).
regarding the guidelines and procedures. Only those who purchased the prequalification 2. Bids should be in the Philippine currency payable to the GSIS.
documents will be allowed in this conference. Attendance to this conference is strongly 3. Bids submitted with an equivalent price per share below the minimum required will not
advised, although the Applicant will not be penalized if it does not attend. considered.
5. SUBMISSION OF PREQUALIFICATION DOCUMENTS D. TRANSFER COSTS
The applicant should submit 5 sets of the prequalification documents (1 original set plus 4 xxx xxx xxx
copies) at the Registration Office between 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM during working days within E. OFFICIAL BID FORM
the period specified in Section III. 1. Bids must be contained in the prescribed Official Bid Form, a copy of which is attached as
F. PREQUALIFICATION PROCESS Annex IV. The Official Bid Form must be properly accomplished in all details; improper
1. The Applicant will be evaluated by the PBAC with the assistance of the TEC based on the accomplishment may be a sufficient basis for disqualification.
Information Package and other information available to the PBAC. 2. During the Public Bidding, the Qualified Bidder will submit the Official Bid Form, which will
2. If the Applicant is a Consortium/Joint Venture, the evaluation will consider the overall indicate the offered purchase price, in a sealed envelope marked "OFFICIAL BID."
qualifications of the group, taking into account the contribution of each member to the F. SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS
venture.

22
During the Public Bidding, the following documents should be submitted along with the bid New GSIS Headquarters Building
in a separate envelop marked "SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS": Financial Center, Reclamation Area
1. WRITTEN AUTHORITY TO BID (UNDER OATH). Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, Metro Manila.
If the Qualified Bidder is a corporation, the representative of the Qualified Bidder should 2. The Secretariat of the PBAC will be stationed at the Public Bidding to accept any and all
submit a Board resolution which adequately authorizes such representative to bid for and in bids and supporting requirements. Representatives from the Commission on Audit and COP
behalf of the corporation with full authority to perform such acts necessary or requisite to will be invited to witness the proceedings.
bind the Qualified Bidder. 3. The Qualified Bidder should submit its bid using the Official Bid Form. The accomplished
If the Qualified Bidder is a Consortium/Joint Venture, each member of the Consortium/Joint Official Bid Form should be submitted in a sealed envelope marked "OFFICIAL BID."
venture should submit a Board resolution authorizing one of its members and such 4. The Qualified Bidder should submit the following documents in another sealed envelope
member's representative to make the bid on behalf of the group with full authority to marked "SUPPORTING BID DOCUMENTS"
perform such acts necessary or requisite to bind the Qualified Bidder. a. Written Authority Bid
2. BID SECURITY b. Bid Security
a. The Qualified Bidder should deposit Thirty-Three Million Pesos (P33,000,00), in Philippine 5. The two sealed envelopes marked "OFFICIAL BID" and "SUPPORTING BID DOCUMENTS"
currency as Bid Security in the form of: must be submitted simultaneously to the Secretariat between 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM,
i. Manager's check or unconditional demand draft payable to the "Government Service Philippine Standard Time, on the date of the Public Bidding. No bid shall be accepted after
Insurance System" and issued by a reputable banking institution duly licensed to do business the closing time. Opened or tampered bids shall not be accepted.
in the Philippines and acceptable to GSIS; or 6. The Secretariat will log and record the actual time of submission of the two sealed
ii. Standby-by letter of credit issued by a reputable banking institution acceptable to the GSIS. envelopes. The actual time of submission will also be indicated by the Secretariat on the face
b. The GSIS will reject a bid if: of the two envelopes.
i. The bid does not have Bid Security; or 7. After Step No. 6, the two sealed envelopes will be dropped in the corresponding bid boxes
ii. The Bid Security accompanying the bid is for less than the required amount. provided for the purpose. These boxes will be in full view of the invited public.
c. If the Bid Security is in the form of a manager's check or unconditional demand draft, the H. OPENING AND READING OF BIDS
interest earned on the Bid Security will be for the account of GSIS. 1. After the closing time of 2:00 PM on the date of the Public Bidding, the PBAC will open all
d. If the Qualified Bidder becomes the winning Bidder/Strategic Partner, the Bid Security will sealed envelopes marked "SUPPORTING BID DOCUMENTS" for screening, evaluation and
be applied as the downpayment on the Qualified Bidder's offered purchase price. acceptance. Those who submitted incomplete/insufficient documents or document/s which
e. The Bid Security of the Qualified Bidder will be returned immediately after the Public is/are not substantially in the form required by PBAC will be disqualified. The envelope
Bidding if the Qualified Bidder is not declared the Highest Bidder. containing their Official Bid Form will be immediately returned to the disqualified bidders.
f. The Bid Security will be returned by October 23, 1995 if the Highest Bidder is unable to 2. The sealed envelopes marked "OFFICIAL BID" will be opened at 3:00 PM. The name of the
negotiate and execute with GSIS/MHC the Management Contract, International bidder and the amount of its bid price will be read publicly as the envelopes are opened.
Marketing/Reservation System Contract or other types of contract specified by the Highest 3. Immediately following the reading of the bids, the PBAC will formally announce the highest
Bidder in its strategic plan for The Manila Hotel. bid and the Highest Bidder.
g. The Bid Security of the Highest Bidder will be forfeited in favor of GSIS if the Highest Bidder, 4. The highest bid will be, determined on a price per share basis. In the event of a tie wherein
after negotiating and executing the Management Contract, International two or more bids have the same equivalent price per share, priority will be given to the
Marketing/Reservation System Contract specified by the Highest Bidder or other types of bidder seeking the larger ownership interest in MHC.
contract in its strategic plan for The Manila Hotel, fails or refuses to: 5. The Public Bidding will be declared a failed bidding in case:
i. Execute the Stock Purchase and Sale Agreement with GSIS not later than October 23, 1995; a. No single bid is submitted within the prescribed period; or
or b. There is only one (1) bid that is submitted and acceptable to the PBAC.
ii. Pay the full amount of the offered purchase price not later than October 23, 1995; or I. EXECUTION OF THE NECESSARY CONTRACTS WITH GSIS/MHC
iii. Consummate the sale of the Block of Shares for any other reason. 1. The Highest Bidder must comply with the conditions set forth below by October 23, 1995
G. SUBMISSION OF BIDS or the Highest Bidder will lose the right to purchase the Block of Shares and GSIS will instead
1. The Public Bidding will be held on September 7, 1995 at the following location: offer the Block of Shares to the other Qualified Bidders:
a. The Highest Bidder must negotiate and execute with GSIS/MHC the Management
Contract, International Marketing Reservation System Contract or other type of contract

23
specified by the Highest Bidder in its strategic plan for The Manila Hotel. If the Highest Bidder 1. The GSIS unconditionally reserves the right to reject any or all applications, waive any
is intending to provide only financial support to The Manila Hotel, a separate institution may formality therein, or accept such application as maybe considered most advantageous to the
enter into the aforementioned contract/s with GSIS/MHC. GSIS. The GSIS similarly reserves the right to require the submission of any additional
b. The Highest Bidder must execute the Stock Purchase and Sale Agreement with GSIS, a information from the Applicant as the PBAC may deem necessary.
copy of which will be distributed to each of the Qualified Bidder after the prequalification 2. The GSIS further reserves the right to call off the Public Bidding prior to acceptance of the
process is completed. bids and call for a new public bidding under amended rules, and without any liability
2. In the event that the Highest Bidder chooses a Management Contract for The Manila whatsoever to any or all the Qualified Bidders, except the obligation to return the Bid
Hotel, the maximum levels for the management fee structure that GSIS/MHC are prepared Security.
to accept in the Management Contract are as follows: 3. The GSIS reserves the right to reset the date of the prequalification/bidding conference,
a. Basic management fee: Maximum of 2.5% of gross revenues.(1) the deadline for the submission of the prequalification documents, the date of the Public
b. Incentive fee: Maximum of 8.0% of gross operating profit(1) after deducting undistributed Bidding or other pertinent activities at least three (3) calendar days prior to the respective
overhead expenses and the basic management fee. deadlines/target dates.
c. Fixed component of the international marketing/reservation system fee: Maximum of 4. The GSIS sells only whatever rights, interest and participation it has on the Block of Shares.
2.0% of gross room revenues.(1) The Applicant should indicate in its Information Package if 5. All documents and materials submitted by the Qualified Bidders, except the Bid Security,
it is wishes to charge this fee. may be returned upon request.
Note (1): As defined in the uniform system of account for hotels. 6. The decision of the PBAC/GSIS on the results of the Public Bidding is final. The Qualified
The GSIS/MHC have indicated above the acceptable parameters for the hotel management Bidders, by participating in the Public Bidding, are deemed to have agreed to accept and
fees to facilitate the negotiations with the Highest Bidder for the Management Contract after abide by these results.
the Public Bidding. 7. The GSIS will be held free and harmless form any liability, suit or allegation arising out of
A Qualified Bidder envisioning a Management Contract for The Manila Hotel should the Public Bidding by the Qualified Bidders who have participated in the Public Bidding.3
determine whether or not the management fee structure above is acceptable before The second public bidding was held on September 18, 1995. Petitioner bidded P41.00 per
submitting their prequalification documents to GSIS. share for 15,300,000 shares and Renong Berhad bidded P44.00 per share also for 15,300,000
J. BLOCK SALE TO THE OTHER QUALIFIED BIDDERS shares. The GSIS declared Renong Berhad the highest bidder and immediately returned
1. If for any reason, the Highest Bidder cannot be awarded the Block of Shares, GSIS may petitioner's bid security.
offer this to the other Qualified Bidders that have validly submitted bids provided that these On September 28, 1995, ten days after the bidding, petitioner wrote to GSIS offering to
Qualified are willing to match the highest bid in terms of price per share. match the bid price of Renong Berhad. It requested that the award be made to itself citing
2. The order of priority among the interested Qualified Bidders will be in accordance wit the the second paragraph of Section 10, Article XII of the Constitution. It sent a manager's check
equivalent price per share of their respective bids in their public Bidding, i.e., first and second for thirty-three million pesos (P33,000,000.00) as bid security.
priority will be given to the Qualified Bidders that submitted the second and third highest Respondent GSIS, then in the process of negotiating with Renong Berhad the terms and
bids on the price per share basis, respectively, and so on. conditions of the contract and technical agreements in the operation of the hotel, refused
K. DECLARATION OF THE WINNING BIDDER/STRATEGIC PARTNER to entertain petitioner's request.
The Highest Bidder will be declared the Winning Bidder/Strategic Partner after the following Hence, petitioner filed the present petition. We issued a temporary restraining order on
conditions are met: October 18, 1995.
a. Execution of the necessary contract with GSIS/MHC not later than October 23, 1995; and Petitioner anchors its plea on the second paragraph of Article XII, Section 10 of the
b. Requisite approvals from the GSIS/MHC and COP/OGCC are obtained. Constitution4 on the "National Economy and Patrimony" which provides:
I. FULL PAYMENT FOR THE BLOCK OF SHARES xxx xxx xxx
1. Upon execution of the necessary contracts with GSIS/MHC, the Winning Bidder/Strategic In the grant of rights, privileges, and concessions covering the national economy and
Partner must fully pay, not later than October 23, 1995, the offered purchase price for the patrimony, the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos.
Block of Shares after deducting the Bid Security applied as downpayment. xxx xxx xxx
2. All payments should be made in the form of a Manager's Check or unconditional Demand The vital issues can be summed up as follows:
Draft, payable to the "Government Service Insurance System," issued by a reputable banking (1) Whether section 10, paragraph 2 of Article XII of the Constitution is a self-executing
institution licensed to do business in the Philippines and acceptable to GSIS. provision and does not need implementing legislation to carry it into effect;
M. GENERAL CONDITIONS

24
(2) Assuming section 10 paragraph 2 of Article XII is self-executing whether the controlling to the discretion of Congress though they provide the framework for legislation 23 to
shares of the Manila Hotel Corporation form part of our patrimony as a nation; effectuate their policy content. 24
(3) Whether GSIS is included in the term "State," hence, mandated to implement section 10, Guided by this map of settled jurisprudence, we now consider whether Section 10, Article
paragraph 2 of Article XII of the Constitution; XII of the 1987 Constitution is self-executing or not. It reads:
(4) Assuming GSIS is part of the State, whether it failed to give preference to petitioner, a Sec. 10. The Congress shall, upon recommendation of the economic and planning agency,
qualified Filipino corporation, over and above Renong Berhad, a foreign corporation, in the when the national interest dictates, reserve to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations
sale of the controlling shares of the Manila Hotel Corporation; or associations at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens, or such
(5) Whether petitioner is estopped from questioning the sale of the shares to Renong higher percentage as Congress may prescribe, certain areas of investments. The Congress
Berhad, a foreign corporation. shall enact measures that will encourage the formation and operation of enterprises whose
Anent the first issue, it is now familiar learning that a Constitution provides the guiding capital is wholly owned by Filipinos.
policies and principles upon which is built the substantial foundation and general framework In the grant of rights, privileges, and concessions covering the national economy and
of the law and government.5 As a rule, its provisions are deemed self-executing and can be patrimony, the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos.
enforced without further legislative action.6 Some of its provisions, however, can be The State shall regulate and exercise authority over foreign investments within its national
implemented only through appropriate laws enacted by the Legislature, hence not self- jurisdiction and in accordance with its national goals and priorities.
executing. The first paragraph directs Congress to reserve certain areas of investments in the
To determine whether a particular provision of a Constitution is self-executing is a hard row country 25 to Filipino citizens or to corporations sixty per
to hoe. The key lies on the intent of the framers of the fundamental law oftentimes cent 26 of whose capital stock is owned by Filipinos. It further commands Congress to enact
submerged in its language. A searching inquiry should be made to find out if the provision is laws that will encourage the formation and operation of one hundred percent Filipino-
intended as a present enactment, complete in itself as a definitive law, or if it needs future owned enterprises. In checkered contrast, the second paragraph orders the entire State to
legislation for completion and enforcement.7 The inquiry demands a micro-analysis of the give preference to qualified Filipinos in the grant of rights and privileges covering the
text and the context of the provision in question.8 national economy and patrimony. The third paragraph also directs the State to regulate
Courts as a rule consider the provisions of the Constitution as self-executing,9 rather than as foreign investments in line with our national goals and well-set priorities.
requiring future legislation for their enforcement. 10 The reason is not difficult to discern. For The first paragraph of Section 10 is not self-executing. By its express text, there is a
if they are not treated as self-executing, the mandate of the fundamental law ratified by the categorical command for Congress to enact laws restricting foreign ownership in certain
sovereign people can be easily ignored and nullified by Congress. 11 Suffused with wisdom of areas of investments in the country and to encourage the formation and operation of wholly-
the ages is the unyielding rule that legislative actions may give breath to constitutional rights owned Filipino enterprises. The right granted by the provision is clearly still in esse. Congress
but congressional in action should not suffocate them. 12 has to breathe life to the right by means of legislation. Parenthetically, this paragraph was
Thus, we have treated as self-executing the provisions in the Bill of Rights on arrests, plucked from section 3, Article XIV of the 1973 Constitution. 27 The provision in the 1973
searches and seizures, 13 the rights of a person under custodial investigation, 14 the rights of Constitution affirmed our ruling in the landmark case of Lao Ichong v. Hernandez, 28where
an accused, 15 and the privilege against self-incrimination, 16 It is recognize a that legislation we upheld the discretionary authority of Congress to Filipinize certain areas of
is unnecessary to enable courts to effectuate constitutional provisions guaranteeing the investments. 29 By reenacting the 1973 provision, the first paragraph of section 10 affirmed
fundamental rights of life, liberty and the protection of property. 17 The same treatment is the power of Congress to nationalize certain areas of investments in favor of Filipinos.
accorded to constitutional provisions forbidding the taking or damaging of property for The second and third paragraphs of Section 10 are different. They are directed to the State
public use without just compensation.18 and not to Congress alone which is but one of the three great branches of our government.
Contrariwise, case law lays down the rule that a constitutional provision is not self-executing Their coverage is also broader for they cover "the national economy and patrimony" and
where it merely announces a policy and its language empowers the Legislature to prescribe "foreign investments within [the] national jurisdiction" and not merely "certain areas of
the means by which the policy shall be carried into effect. 19 Accordingly, we have held that investments." Beyond debate, they cannot be read as granting Congress the exclusive power
the provisions in Article II of our Constitution entitled "Declaration of Principles and State to implement by law the policy of giving preference to qualified Filipinos in the conferral of
Policies" should generally be construed as mere statements of principles of the State. 20 We rights and privileges covering our national economy and patrimony. Their language does not
have also ruled that some provisions of Article XIII on "Social Justice and Human suggest that any of the State agency or instrumentality has the privilege to hedge or to refuse
Rights," 21 and Article XIV on "Education Science and Technology, Arts, Culture end its implementation for any reason whatsoever. Their duty to implement is unconditional and
Sports" 22 cannot be the basis of judicially enforceable rights. Their enforcement is addressed it is now. The second and the third paragraphs of Section 10, Article XII are thus self-
executing.

25
This submission is strengthened by Article II of the Constitution entitled "Declaration of government employees and the government. 33 The funds are held in trust for a distinct
Principles and State Policies." Its Section 19 provides that "[T]he State shall develop a self- purpose which cannot be disposed of indifferently. 34 They are to be used to finance the
reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos." It engrafts the retirement, disability and life insurance benefits of the employees and the administrative
all-important Filipino First policy in our fundamental law and by the use of the mandatory and operational expenses of the GSIS, 35Excess funds, however, are allowed to be invested
word "shall," directs its enforcement by the whole State without any pause or a half- pause in business and other ventures for the benefit of the employees.36 It is thus contended that
in time. the GSIS investment in the Manila Hotel Corporation is a simple business venture, hence, an
The second issue is whether the sale of a majority of the stocks of the Manila Hotel act beyond the contemplation of section 10, paragraph 2 of Article XII of the Constitution.
Corporation involves the disposition of part of our national patrimony. The records of the The submission is unimpressive. The GSIS is not a pure private corporation. It is essentially a
Constitutional Commission show that the Commissioners entertained the same view as to public corporation created by Congress and granted an original charter to serve a public
its meaning. According to Commissioner Nolledo, "patrimony" refers not only to our rich purpose. It is subject to the jurisdictions of the Civil Service Commission 37 and the
natural resources but also to the cultural heritage of our race. 30 By this yardstick, the sale of Commission on Audit. 38 As state-owned and controlled corporation, it is skin-bound to
Manila Hotel falls within the coverage of the constitutional provision giving preferential adhere to the policies spelled out in the general welfare of the people. One of these policies
treatment to qualified Filipinos in the grant of rights involving our national patrimony. The is the Filipino First policy which the people elevated as a constitutional command.
unique value of the Manila Hotel to our history and culture cannot be viewed with a myopic The fourth issue demands that we look at the content of phrase "qualified Filipinos" and
eye. The value of the hotel goes beyond pesos and centavos. As chronicled by Beth Day their "preferential right." The Constitution desisted from defining their contents. This is as it
Romulo, 31 the hotel first opened on July 4, 1912 as a first-class hotel built by the American ought to be for a Constitution only lays down flexible policies and principles which can bent
Insular Government for Americans living in, or passing through, Manila while traveling to the to meet today's manifest needs and tomorrow's unmanifested demands. Only a constitution
Orient. Indigenous materials and Filipino craftsmanship were utilized in its construction, For strung with elasticity can grow as a living constitution.
sometime, it was exclusively used by American and Caucasian travelers and served as the Thus, during the deliberations in the Constitutional Commission, Commissioner Nolledo to
"official guesthouse" of the American Insular Government for visiting foreign dignitaries. define the phrase brushed aside a suggestion to define the phrase "qualified Filipinos." He
Filipinos began coming to the Hotel as guests during the Commonwealth period. When the explained that present and prospective "laws" will take care of the problem of its
Japanese occupied Manila, it served as military headquarters and lodging for the highest- interpretation, viz:
ranking officers from Tokyo. It was at the Hotel and the Intramuros that the Japanese made xxx xxx xxx
their last stand during the Liberation of Manila. After the war, the Hotel again served foreign THE PRESIDENT. What is the suggestion of Commissioner Rodrigo? Is it to remove the word
guests and Filipinos alike. Presidents and kings, premiers and potentates, as well as "QUALIFIED?"
glamorous international film and sports celebrities were housed in the Hotel. It was also the MR. RODRIGO. No, no, but say definitely "TO QUALIFIED FILIPINOS" as against whom? As
situs of international conventions and conferences. In the local scene, it was the venue of against aliens over aliens?
historic meetings, parties and conventions of political parties. The Hotel has reaped and MR. NOLLEDO. Madam President, I think that is understood. We use the word "QUALIFIED"
continues reaping numerous recognitions and awards from international hotel and travel because the existing laws or the prospective laws will always lay down conditions under
award-giving bodies, a fitting acknowledgment of Filipino talent and ingenuity. These are which business map be done, for example, qualifications on capital, qualifications on the
judicially cognizable facts which cannot be bent by a biased mind. setting up of other financial structures, et cetera.
The Hotel may not, as yet, have been declared a national cultural treasure pursuant to MR. RODRIGO. It is just a matter of style.
Republic Act No. 4846 but that does not exclude it from our national patrimony. Republic MR. NOLLEDO Yes.
Act No. 4846, "The Cultural Properties Preservation and Protection Act," merely provides a MR. RODRIGO. If we say, "PREFERENCE TO QUALIFIED FILIPINOS," it can be understood as
procedure whereby a particular cultural property may be classified a "national cultural giving preference to qualified Filipinos as against Filipinos who are not qualified.
treasure" or an "important cultural property. 32 Approved on June 18, 1966 and amended by MR. NOLLEDO. Madam President, that was the intention of the proponents. The committee
P.D. 374 in 1974, the law is limited in its reach and cannot be read as the exclusive law has accepted the amendment.
implementing section 10, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution. To be sure, the law does not xxx xxx xxx
equate cultural treasure and cultural property as synonymous to the phrase "patrimony of As previously discussed, the constitutional command to enforce the Filipino First policy is
the nation." addressed to the State and not to Congress alone. Hence, the word "laws" should not be
The third issue is whether the constitutional command to the State includes the respondent understood as limited to legislations but all state actions which include applicable rules and
GSIS. A look at its charter will reveal that GSIS is a government-owned and controlled regulations adopted by agencies and instrumentalities of the State in the exercise of their
corporation that administers funds that come from the monthly contributions of rule-making power. In the case at bar, the bidding rules and regulations set forth the

26
standards to measure the qualifications of bidders Filipinos and foreigners alike. It is not It is with deep regret that I cannot subscribe to the view that petitioner has a right to match
seriously disputed that petitioner qualified to bid as did Renong Berhad. 39 the bid of Renong Berhad. Petitioner's submission must be supported by the rules but even
Thus, we come to the critical issue of the degree of preference which GSIS should have if we examine the rules inside-out .thousand times, they can not justify the claimed right.
accorded petitioner, a qualified Filipino, over Renong Berhad, a foreigner, in the purchase of Under the rules, the right to match the highest bid arises only "if for any reason, the highest
the controlling shares of the Manila Hotel. Petitioner claims that after losing the bid, this bidder cannot be awarded block of shares . . ." No reason has arisen that will prevent the
right of preference gives it a second chance to match the highest bid of Renong Berhad. award to Renong Berhad. It qualified as bidder. It complied with the procedure of bidding. It
With due respect, I cannot sustain petitioner's submission. I prescind from the premise that tendered the highest bid. It was declared as the highest bidder by the GSIS and the rules say
the second paragraph of section 10, Article XII of the Constitution is pro-Pilipino but not anti- this decision is final. It deserves the award as a matter of right for the rules clearly did not
alien. It is pro-Filipino for it gives preference to Filipinos. It is not, however, anti-alien per give to the petitioner as a qualified Filipino privilege to match the higher bid of a foreigner.
se for it does not absolutely bar aliens in the grant of rights, privileges and concessions What the rules did not grant, petitioner cannot demand. Our symphaties may be with
covering the national economy and patrimony. Indeed, in the absence of qualified Filipinos, petitioner but the court has no power to extend the latitude and longtitude of the right of
the State is not prohibited from granting these rights, privileges and concessions to preference as defined by the rules. The parameters of the right of preference depend on
foreigners if the act will promote the weal of the nation. galaxy of facts and factors whose determination belongs to the province of the policy-making
In implementing the policy articulated in section 10, Article XII of the Constitution, the stellar branches and agencies of the State. We are duty-bound to respect that determination even
task of our State policy-makers is to maintain a creative tension between two desiderata — if we differ with the wisdom of their judgment. The right they grant may be little but we must
first, the need to develop our economy and patrimony with the help of foreigners if uphold the grant for as long as the right of preference is not denied. It is only when a State
necessary, and, second, the need to keep our economy controlled by Filipinos. Rightfully, the action amounts to a denial of the right that the Court can come in and strike down the denial
framers of the Constitution did not define the degree of the right of preference to be given as unconstitutional.
to qualified Filipinos. They knew that for the right to serve the general welfare, it must have Finally, I submit that petitioner is estopped from assailing the winning bid of Renong Berhad.
a malleable content that can be adjusted by our policy-makers to meet the changing needs Petitioner was aware of the rules and regulations of the bidding. It knew that the rules and
of our people. In fine, the right of preference of qualified Filipinos is to be determined by regulations do not provide that a qualified Filipino bidder can match the winning bid
degree as time dictates and circumstances warrant. The lesser the need for alien assistance, submitting an inferior bid. It knew that the bid was open to foreigners and that foreigners
the greater the degree of the right of preference can be given to Filipinos and vice verse. qualified even during the first bidding. Petitioner cannot be allowed to repudiate the rules
Again, it should be stressed that the right and the duty to determine the degree of this which it agreed to respect. It cannot be allowed to obey the rules when it wins and disregard
privilege at any given time is addressed to the entire State. While under our constitutional them when it loses. If sustained, petitioners' stance will wreak havoc on he essence of
scheme, the right primarily belongs to Congress as the lawmaking department of our bidding. Our laws, rules and regulations require highest bidding to raise as much funds as
government, other branches of government, and all their agencies and instrumentalities, possible for the government to maximize its capacity to deliver essential services to our
share the power to enforce this state policy. Within the limits of their authority, they can act people. This is a duty that must be discharged by Filipinos and foreigners participating in a
or promulgate rules and regulations defining the degree of this right of preference in cases bidding contest and the rules are carefully written to attain this objective. Among others,
where they have to make grants involving the national economy and judicial duty. On the bidders are prequalified to insure their financial capability. The bidding is secret and the bids
other hand, our duty is to strike down acts of the state that violate the policy. are sealed to prevent collusion among the parties. This objective will be undermined if we
To date, Congress has not enacted a law defining the degree of the preferential right. grant petitioner that privilege to know the winning bid and a chance to match it. For plainly,
Consequently, we must turn to the rules and regulations of on respondents Committee a second chance to bid will encourage a bidder not to strive to give the highest bid in the
Privatization and GSIS to determine the degree of preference that petitioner is entitled to as first bidding.
a qualified Filipino in the subject sale. A tearless look at the rules and regulations will show We support the Filipino First policy without any reservation. The visionary nationalist Don
that they are silent on the degree of preferential right to be accorded qualified Filipino Claro M. Recto has warned us that the greatest tragedy that can befall a Filipino is to be an
bidder. Despite their silence, however, they cannot be read to mean that they do not grant alien in his own land. The Constitution has embodied Recto's counsel as a state policy. But
any degree of preference to petitioner for paragraph 2, section 10, Article XII of the while the Filipino First policy requires that we incline to a Filipino, it does not demand that
Constitution is deemed part of said rules and regulations. Pursuant to legal hermeneutics we wrong an alien. Our policy makers can write laws and rules giving favored treatment to
which demand that we interpret rules to save them from unconstitutionality, I submit that the Filipino but we are not free to be unfair to a foreigner after writing the laws and the
the right of preference of petitioner arises only if it tied the bid of Benong Berhad. In that rules. After the laws are written, they must be obeyed as written, by Filipinos and foreigners
instance, all things stand equal, and bidder, as a qualified Pilipino bidder, should be alike. The equal protection clause of the Constitution protects all against unfairness. We can
preferred. be pro-Filipino without unfairness to foreigner.

27
I vote to dismiss the petition. It is argued by petitioner that the Manila Hotel comes under "national patrimony" over which
Narvasa, C.J., and Melo, J., concur. qualified Filipinos have the preference, in ownership and operation. The Constitutional
provision on point states:
PANGANIBAN, J., dissenting: xxx xxx xxx
I regret I cannot join the majority. To the incisive Dissenting Opinion of Mr. Justice Reynato In the grant of rights, privileges, and concessions covering the national economy and
S. Puno, may I just add patrimony, the State shall Give preference to qualified Filipinos.1
1. The majority contends the Constitution should be interpreted to mean that, after a bidding Petitioner's argument, I believe, is well taken. Under the 1987 Constitution, "national
process is concluded, the losing Filipino bidder should be given the right to equal the highest patrimony" consists of the natural resources provided by Almighty God (Preamble) in our
foreign bid, and thus to win. However, the Constitution [Sec. 10 (2), Art. XII] simply states territory (Article I) consisting of land, sea, and air.2study of the 1935 Constitution, where the
that "in the grant of rights . . . covering the national economy and patrimony, the State shall concept of "national patrimony" originated, would show that its framers decided to adopt
give preference to qualified Filipinos." The majority concedes that there is no law defining the even more comprehensive expression "Patrimony of the Nation" in the belief that the
the extent or degree of such preference. Specifically, no statute empowers a losing Filipino phrase encircles a concept embracing not only their natural resources of the country but
bidder to increase his bid and equal that of the winning foreigner. In the absence of such practically everything that belongs to the Filipino people, the tangible and the material as
empowering law, the majority's strained interpretation, I respectfully submit constitutes well as the intangible and the spiritual assets and possessions of the people. It is to be noted
unadulterated judicial legislation, which makes bidding a ridiculous sham where no Filipino that the framers did not stop with conservation. They knew that conservation alone does
can lose and where no foreigner can win. Only in the Philippines!. not spell progress; and that this may be achieved only through development as a correlative
2. Aside from being prohibited by the Constitution, such judicial is short-sighted and, viewed factor to assure to the people not only the exclusive ownership, but also the exclusive
properly, gravely prejudicial to long-term Filipino interest. It encourages other countries — benefits of their national patrimony).3
in the guise of reverse comity or worse, unabashed retaliation — to discriminate against us Moreover, the concept of national patrimony has been viewed as referring not only to our
in their own jurisdictions by authorizing their own nationals to similarly equal and defeat the rich natural resources but also to the cultural heritage of our
higher bids of Filipino enterprises solely, while on the other hand, allowing similar bids of race.4
other foreigners to remain unchallenged by their nationals. The majority's thesis will thus There is no doubt in my mind that the Manila Hotel is very much a part of our national
marginalize Filipinos as pariahs in the global marketplace with absolute no chance of winning patrimony and, as such, deserves constitutional protection as to who shall own it and benefit
any bidding outside our country. Even authoritarian regimes and hermit kingdoms have long from its operation. This institution has played an important role in our nation's history,
ago found out unfairness, greed and isolation are self-defeating and in the long-term, self- having been the venue of many a historical event, and serving as it did, and as it does, as the
destructing. Philippine Guest House for visiting foreign heads of state, dignitaries, celebrities, and
The moral lesson here is simple: Do not do unto other what you dont want other to do unto others.5
you. It is therefore our duty to protect and preserve it for future generations of Filipinos. As
3. In the absence of a law specifying the degree or extent of the "Filipino First" policy of the President Manuel L. Quezon once said, we must exploit the natural resources of our country,
Constitution, the constitutional preference for the "qualified Filipinos" may be allowed only but we should do so with. an eye to the welfare of the future generations. In other words,
where all the bids are equal. In this manner, we put the Filipino ahead without self- the leaders of today are the trustees of the patrimony of our race. To preserve our national
destructing him and without being unfair to the foreigner. patrimony and reserve it for Filipinos was the intent of the distinguished gentlemen who first
In short, the Constitution mandates a victory for the qualified Filipino only when the scores framed our Constitution. Thus, in debating the need for nationalization of our lands and
are tied. But not when the ballgame is over and the foreigner clearly posted the highest natural resources, one expounded that we should "put more teeth into our laws, and; not
score. make the nationalization of our lands and natural resources a subject of ordinary legislation
but of constitutional enactment"6 To quote further: "Let not our children be mere tenants
Separate Opinions and trespassers in their own country. Let us preserve and bequeath to them what is rightfully
PADILLA, J., concurring: theirs, free from all foreign liens and encumbrances".7
I concur with the ponencia of Mr. Justice Bellosillo. At the same time, I would like to expound Now, a word on preference. In my view "preference to qualified Filipinos", to be meaningful,
a bit more on the concept of national patrimony as including within its scope and meaning must refer not only to things that are peripheral, collateral, or tangential. It must touch and
institutions such as the Manila Hotel. affect the very "heart of the existing order." In the field of public bidding in the acquisition
of things that pertain to the national patrimony, preference to qualified Filipinos must allow
a qualified Filipino to match or equal the higher bid of a non-Filipino; the preference shall

28
not operate only when the bids of the qualified Filipino and the non-Filipino are equal in MENDOZA, J., concurring in the judgment:
which case, the award should undisputedly be made to the qualified Filipino. The I take the view that in the context of the present controversy the only way to enforce the
Constitutional preference should give the qualified Filipino an opportunity to match or equal constitutional mandate that "[i]n the grant of rights, privileges and concessions covering the
the higher bid of the non-Filipino bidder if the preference of the qualified Filipino bidder is national patrimony the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos" 1 is to allow
to be significant at all. petitioner Philippine corporation to equal the bid of the Malaysian firm Renong Berhad for
It is true that in this present age of globalization of attitude towards foreign investments in the purchase of the controlling shares of stocks in the Manila Hotel Corporation. Indeed, it
our country, stress is on the elimination of barriers to foreign trade and investment in the is the only way a qualified Filipino of Philippine corporation can be given preference in the
country. While government agencies, including the courts should re-condition their thinking enjoyment of a right, privilege or concession given by the State, by favoring it over a foreign
to such a trend, and make it easy and even attractive for foreign investors to come to our national corporation.
shores, yet we should not preclude ourselves from reserving to us Filipinos certain areas Under the rules on public bidding of the Government Service and Insurance System, if
where our national identity, culture and heritage are involved. In the hotel industry, for petitioner and the Malaysian firm had offered the same price per share, "priority [would be
instance, foreign investors have established themselves creditably, such as in the Shangri-La, given] to the bidder seeking the larger ownership interest in MHC,"2 so that petitioner bid
the Nikko, the Peninsula, and Mandarin Hotels. This should not stop us from retaining 51% for more shares, it would be preferred to the Malaysian corporation for that reason and not
of the capital stock of the Manila Hotel Corporation in the hands of Filipinos. This would be because it is a Philippine corporation. Consequently, it is only in cases like the present one,
in keeping with the intent of the Filipino people to preserve our national patrimony, including where an alien corporation is the highest bidder, that preferential treatment of the
our historical and cultural heritage in the hands of Filipinos. Philippine corporation is mandated not by declaring it winner but by allowing it "to match
VITUG, J., concurring: the highest bid in terms of price per share" before it is awarded the shares of stocks.3 That,
I agree with Mr. Justice Josue N. Bellosillo on his clear-cut statements, shared by Mr. Justice to me, is what "preference to qualified Filipinos" means in the context of this case — by
Reynato S. Puno in a well written separate (dissenting) opinion, that: favoring Filipinos whenever they are at a disadvantage vis-a-vis foreigners.
First, the provision in our fundamental law which provides that "(I)n the grant of rights, This was the meaning given in Co Chiong v. Cuaderno4 to a 1947 statute giving "preference
privileges, and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony, the State shall to Filipino citizens in the lease of public market stalls."5 This Court upheld the cancellation of
give preference to qualified Filipinos"1 is self-executory. The provision verily does not need, existing leases covering market stalls occupied by persons who were not Filipinos and the
although it can obviously be amplified or regulated by, an enabling law or a set of rules. award thereafter of the stalls to qualified Filipino vendors as ordered by the Department of
Second, the term "patrimony" does not merely refer to the country's natural resources but Finance. Similarly, in Vda. de Salgado v. De la Fuente,6 this Court sustained the validity of a
also to its cultural heritage. A "historical landmark," to use the words of Mr. Justice Justo P. municipal ordinance passed pursuant to the statute (R.A. No. 37), terminating existing leases
Torres, Jr., Manila Hotel has now indeed become part of Philippine heritage. of public market stalls and granting preference to Filipino citizens in the issuance of new
Third, the act of the Government Service Insurance System ("GSIS"), a government entity licenses for the occupancy of the stalls. In Chua Lao v. Raymundo,7 the preference granted
which derives its authority from the State, in selling 51% of its share in MHC should be under the statute was held to apply to cases in which Filipino vendors sought the same stalls
considered an act of the State subject to the Constitutional mandate. occupied by alien vendors in the public markets even if there were available other stalls as
On the pivotal issue of the degree of "preference to qualified Filipinos," I find it somewhat good as those occupied by aliens. "The law, apparently, is applicable whenever there is a
difficult to take the same path traversed by the forceful reasoning of Justice Puno. In the conflict of interest between Filipino applicants and aliens for lease of stalls in public markets,
particular case before us, the only meaningful preference, it seems, would really be to allow in which situation the right to preference immediately arises."8
the qualified Filipino to match the foreign bid for, as a particular matter, I cannot see any bid Our legislation on the matter thus antedated by a quarter of a century efforts began only in
that literally calls for millions of dollars to be at par (to the last cent) with another. The the 1970s in America to realize the promise of equality, through affirmative action and
magnitude of the magnitude of the bids is such that it becomes hardly possible for the reverse discrimination programs designed to remedy past discrimination against colored
competing bids to stand exactly "equal" which alone, under the dissenting view, could trigger people in such areas as employment, contracting and licensing.9 Indeed, in vital areas of our
the right of preference. national economy, there are situations in which the only way to place Filipinos in control of
It is most unfortunate that Renong Berhad has not been spared this great disappointment, a the national economy as contemplated in the Constitution 10 is to give them preferential
letdown that it did not deserve, by a simple and timely advise of the proper rules of bidding treatment where they can at least stand on equal footing with aliens.
along with the peculiar constitutional implications of the proposed transaction. It is also There need be no fear that thus preferring Filipinos would either invite foreign retaliation or
regrettable that the Court at time is seen, to instead, be the refuge for bureaucratic deprive the country of the benefit of foreign capital or know-how. We are dealing here not
inadequate which create the perception that it even takes on non-justiciable controversies. with common trades of common means of livelihood which are open to aliens in our
All told, I am constrained to vote for granting the petition. midst, 11 but with the sale of government property, which is like the grant of government

29
largess of benefits and concessions covering the national economy" and therefore no one MR. NOLLEDO. The Amendment will read: "IN THE GRANT OF RIGHTS, PRIVILEGES AND
should begrudge us if we give preferential treatment to our citizens. That at any rate is the CONCESSIONS COVERING THE NATIONAL ECONOMY AND PATRIMONY, THE STATE SHALL
command of the Constitution. For the Manila Hotel is a business owned by the Government. GIVE PREFERENCE TO QUALIFIED FILIPINOS". And the word "Filipinos" here, as intended by
It is being privatized. Privatization should result in the relinquishment of the business in favor the proponents, will include not only individual Filipinos but also Filipino-Controlled entities
of private individuals and groups who are Filipino citizens, not in favor of aliens. fully controlled by Filipinos (Vol. III, Records of the Constitutional Commission, p. 608).
Nor should there be any doubt that by awarding the shares of stocks to petitioner we would MR. MONSOD. We also wanted to add, as Commissioner Villegas said, this committee and
be trading competence and capability for nationalism. Both petitioner and the Malaysian this body already approved what is known as the Filipino First policy which was suggested
firm are qualified, having hurdled the prequalification process. 12 It is only the result of the by Commissioner de Castro. So that it is now in our Constitution (Vol. IV, Records of the
public bidding that is sought to be modified by enabling petitioner to up its bid to equal the Constitutional Commission, p. 225).
highest bid. Commissioner Jose Nolledo explaining the provision adverted to above, said:
Nor, finally, is there any basis for the suggestion that to allow a Filipino bidder to match the MR. NOLLEDO. In the grant of rights, privileges and concessions covering the national
highest bid of an alien could encourage speculation, since all that a Filipino entity would then economy and patrimony, the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos.
do would be not to make a bid or make only a token one and, after it is known that a foreign MR. FOZ. In connection with that amendment, if a foreign enterprise is qualified and the
bidder has submitted the highest bid, make an offer matching that of the foreign firm. This Filipinos enterprise is also qualified, will the Filipino enterprise still be given a preference?
is not possible under the rules on public bidding of the GSIS. Under these rules there is a MR. NOLLEDO. Obviously.
minimum bid required (P36.87 per share for a range of 9 to 15 million shares). 13 Bids below MR. FOZ. If the foreigner is more qualified in some aspects than the Filipino enterprise, will
the minimum will not be considered. On the other hand, if the Filipino entity, after passing the Filipino still be preferred:?
the prequalification process, does not submit a bid, he will not be allowed to match the MR. NOLLEDO. The answer is "yes". (Vol. III, p. 616, Records of the Constitutional
highest bid of the foreign firm because this is a privilege allowed only to those who have Commission).
"validly submitted bids." 14 The suggestion is, to say the least, fanciful and has no basis in The nationalistic provisions of the 1987 Constitution reflect the history and spirit of the
fact. Malolos Constitution of 1898, the 1935 Constitution and the 1973 Constitutions. That we
For the foregoing reasons, I vote to grant the petition. have no reneged on this nationalist policy is articulated in one of the earliest case, this Court
TORRES, JR., J., separate opinion: said —
Constancy in law is not an attribute of a judicious mind. I say this as we are not confronted The nationalistic tendency is manifested in various provisions of the Constitution. . . . It
in the case at bar with legal and constitutional issues — and yet I am driven so to speak on cannot therefore be said that a law imbued with the same purpose and spirit underlying
the side of history. The reason perhaps is due to the belief that in the words of Justice Oliver many of the provisions of the Constitution is unreasonable, invalid or unconstitutional
Wendell Holmes, Jr., a "page of history is worth a volume of logic." (Ichong, et al. vs. Hernandez, et al., 101 Phil. 1155).
I will, however, attempt to share my thoughts on whether the Manila Hotel has a historical I subscribe to the view that history, culture, heritage, and traditions are not legislated and is
and cultural aspect within the meaning of the constitution and thus, forming part of the the product of events, customs, usages and practices. It is actually a product of growth and
"patrimony of the nation". acceptance by the collective mores of a race. It is the spirit and soul of a people.
Section 10, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution provides: The Manila Hotel is part of our history, culture and heritage. Every inch of the Manila Hotel
xxx xxx xxx is witness to historic events (too numerous to mention) which shaped our history for almost
In the grant of rights, privileges, and concessions covering the national economy and 84 years.
patrimony, the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos. As I intimated earlier, it is not my position in this opinion, to examine the single instances of
The State shall regulate and exercise authority over foreign investments within its national the legal largese which have given rise to this controversy. As I believe that has been
goals and priorities. exhaustively discussed in the ponencia. Suffice it to say at this point that the history of the
The foregoing provisions should be read in conjunction with Article II of the same Manila Hotel should not be placed in the auction block of a purely business transaction,
Constitution pertaining to "Declaration of Principles and State Policies" which ordain — where profits subverts the cherished historical values of our people.
The State shall develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively by As a historical landmark in this "Pearl of the Orient Seas", it has its enviable tradition which,
Filipinos. (Sec. 19). in the words of the philosopher Salvador de Madarriaga tradition is "more of a river than a
Interestingly, the matter of giving preference to "qualified Filipinos" was one of the highlights stone, it keeps flowing, and one must view the flowing , and one must view the flow of both
in the 1987 Constitution Commission proceedings thus: directions. If you look towards the hill from which the river flows, you see tradition in the
xxx xxx xxx

30
form of forceful currents that push the river or people towards the future, and if you look The Winning Bidder/Strategic Partner will be expected to provide management expertise
the other way, you progress." and/or an international marketing reservation system, and financial support to strengthen
Indeed, tradition and progress are the same, for progress depends on the kind of tradition. the profitability and performance of The Manila Hotel. In this context, the GSIS is inviting to
Let us not jettison the tradition of the Manila Hotel and thereby repeat our colonial history. the prequalification process any local and/or foreign corporation, consortium/joint venture
I grant, of course the men of the law can see the same subject in different lights. or juridical entity with at least one of the following qualifications:
I remember, however, a Spanish proverb which says — "He is always right who suspects that a. Proven management .expertise in the hotel industry; or
he makes mistakes". On this note, I say that if I have to make a mistake, I would rather err b. Significant equity ownership (i.e. board representation) in another hotel company; or
upholding the belief that the Filipino be first under his Constitution and in his own land. c. Overall management and marketing expertise to successfully operate the Manila Hotel.
I vote GRANT the petition. Parties interested in bidding for MHC should be able to provide access to the requisite
management expertise and/or international marketing/reservation system for The Manila
PUNO, J., dissenting: Hotel.
This is a. petition for prohibition and mandamus filed by the Manila Prince Hotel xxx xxx xxx
Corporation, a domestic corporation, to stop the Government Service Insurance System D. PREQUALIFICATION DOCUMENTS
(GSIS) from selling the controlling shares of the Manila Hotel Corporation to a foreign xxx xxx xxx
corporation. Allegedly, the sale violates the second paragraph of section 10, Article XII of the E. APPLICATION PROCEDURE
Constitution. 1. DOCUMENTS AVAILABLE AT THE REGISTRATION OFFICE
Respondent GSIS is a government-owned and controlled corporation. It is the sole owner of The prequalification documents can be secured at the Registration Office between 9:00 AM
the Manila Hotel which it operates through its subsidiary, the Manila Hotel Corporation. to 4:00 PM during working days within the period specified in Section III. Each set of
Manila Hotel was included in the privatization program of the government. In 1995, GSIS documents consists of the following:
proposed to sell to interested buyers 30% to 51% of its shares, ranging from 9,000,000 to a. Guidelines and Procedures: Second Prequalification and Public Bidding of the MHC
15,300,000 shares, in the Manila Hotel Corporation. After the absence of bids at the first Privatization
public bidding, the block of shares offered for sale was increased from a maximum of 30% to b. Confidential Information Memorandum: The Manila Hotel Corporation
51%. Also, the winning bidder, or the eventual "strategic partner" of the GSIS was required c. Letter of Invitation. to the Prequalification and Bidding Conference
to "provide management expertise and/or an international marketing/reservation system, xxx xxx xxx
and financial support to strengthen the profitability and performance of the Manila 4. PREQUALIFICATION AND BIDDING CONFERENCE
Hotel"1 The proposal was approved by respondent Committee on Privatization. A prequalification and bidding conference will be held at The Manila Hotel on the date
In July 1995, a conference was held where prequalification documents and the bidding rules specified in Section III to allow the Applicant to seek clarifications and further information
were furnished interested parties. Petitioner Manila Prince Hotel, a domestic corporation, regarding the guidelines and procedures. Only those who purchased the prequalification
and Renong Berhad, Malaysian firm with ITT Sheraton as operator, prequalified.2 documents will be allowed in this conference. Attendance to this conference is strongly
The bidding rules and procedures entitled "Guidelines and Procedures: Second advised, although the Applicant will not be penalized if it does not attend.
Prequalification and Public Bidding of the MHC Privatization" provide: 5. SUBMISSION OF PREQUALIFICATION DOCUMENTS
I INTRODUCTION AND HIGHLIGHTS The applicant should submit 5 sets of the prequalification documents (1 original set plus 4
DETERMINING THE WINNING BIDDER/STRATEGIC PARTNER copies) at the Registration Office between 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM during working days within
The party that accomplishes the steps set forth below will be declared the Winning the period specified in Section III.
Bidder/Strategic Partner and will be awarded the Block of Shares: F. PREQUALIFICATION PROCESS
First — Pass the prequalification process; 1. The Applicant will be evaluated by the PBAC with the assistance of the TEC based on the
Second — Submit the highest bid on a price per share basis for the Block of Shares; Information Package and other information available to the PBAC.
Third — Negotiate and execute the necessary contracts with GSIS/MHC not later than 2. If the Applicant is a Consortium/Joint Venture, the evaluation will consider the overall
October 23, 1995; qualifications of the group, taking into account the contribution of each member to the
xxx xxx xxx venture.
IV GUIDELINES FOR PREQUALIFICATION 3. The decision of the PBAC with respect to the results of the PBAC evaluation will be final.
A. PARTIES WHO MAP APPLY FOR PREQUALIFICATION 4. The Applicant shall be evaluated according to the criteria set forth below:
a. Business management expertise, track record, and experience

31
b. Financial capability. If the Qualified Bidder is a corporation, the representative of the Qualified Bidder should
c. Feasibility and acceptability of the proposed strategic plan for the Manila Hotel submit a Board resolution which adequately authorizes such representative to bid for and in
5. The PBAC will shortlist such number of Applicants as it may deem appropriate. behalf of the corporation with full authority to perform such acts necessary or requisite to
6. The parties that prequalified in the first MHC public bidding — ITT Sheraton, Marriot bind the Qualified Bidder.
International Inc., Renaissance Hotels International Inc., consortium of RCBC Capital/Ritz If the Qualified Bidder is a Consortium/Joint Venture, each member of the Consortium/Joint
Carlton — may participate in the Public Bidding without having to undergo the venture should submit a Board resolution authorizing one of its members and such
prequalification process again. member's representative to make the bid on behalf of the group with full authority to
G. SHORTLIST OF QUALIFIED BIDDERS perform such acts necessary or requisite to bind the Qualified Bidder.
1. A notice of prequalification results containing the shortlist of Qualified Bidders will be 2. BID SECURITY
posted at the Registration Office at the date specified in Section III. a. The Qualified Bidder should deposit Thirty-Three Million Pesos (P33,000,00), in Philippine
2. In the case of a Consortium/Joint Venture, the withdrawal by member whose qualification currency as Bid Security in the form of:
was a material consideration for being included in the shortlist is ground for disqualification i. Manager's check or unconditional demand draft payable to the "Government Service
of the Applicant. Insurance System" and issued by a reputable banking institution duly licensed to do business
V. GUIDELINES FOR THE PUBLIC BIDDING in the Philippines and acceptable to GSIS; or
A. PARTIES WHO MAY PARTICIPATE IN THE PUBLIC BIDDING ii. Standby-by letter of credit issued by a reputable banking institution acceptable to the GSIS.
All parties in the shortlist of Qualified Bidders will be eligible to participate in the Public b. The GSIS will reject a bid if:
Bidding. i. The bid does not have Bid Security; or
B. BLOCK OF SHARES ii. The Bid Security accompanying the bid is for less than the required amount.
A range of Nine Million (9,000,000) to Fifteen Million Three Hundred Thousand (15,300,000) c. If the Bid Security is in the form of a manager's check or unconditional demand draft, the
shares of stock representing Thirty Percent to Fifty-One Percent (30%-51%) of the issued and interest earned on the Bid Security will be for the account of GSIS.
outstanding shares of MHC, will be offered in the Public Bidding by the GSIS. The Qualified d. If the Qualified Bidder becomes the winning Bidder/Strategic Partner, the Bid Security will
Bidders will have the Option of determining the number of shares within the range to bid be applied as the downpayment on the Qualified Bidder's offered purchase price.
for. The range is intended to attract bidders with different preferences and objectives for e. The Bid Security of the Qualified Bidder will be returned immediately after the Public
the operation and management of The Manila Hotel. Bidding if the Qualified Bidder is not declared the Highest Bidder.
C. MINIMUM BID REQUIRED ON A PRICE PER SHARE BASIS f. The Bid Security will be returned by October 23, 1995 if the Highest Bidder is unable to
1. Bids will be evaluated on a price per share basis. The minimum bid required on a price per negotiate and execute with GSIS/MHC the Management Contract, International
share basis for the Block of Shares is Thirty-Six Pesos and Sixty-Seven Centavos (P36.67). Marketing/Reservation System Contract or other types of contract specified by the Highest
2. Bids should be in the Philippine currency payable to the GSIS. Bidder in its strategic plan for The Manila Hotel.
3. Bids submitted with an equivalent price per share below the minimum required will not g. The Bid Security of the Highest Bidder will be forfeited in favor of GSIS if the Highest Bidder,
considered. after negotiating and executing the Management Contract, International
D. TRANSFER COSTS Marketing/Reservation System Contract specified by the Highest Bidder or other types of
xxx xxx xxx contract in its strategic plan for The Manila Hotel, fails or refuses to:
E. OFFICIAL BID FORM i. Execute the Stock Purchase and Sale Agreement with GSIS not later than October 23, 1995;
1. Bids must be contained in the prescribed Official Bid Form, a copy of which is attached as or
Annex IV. The Official Bid Form must be properly accomplished in all details; improper ii. Pay the full amount of the offered purchase price not later than October 23, 1995; or
accomplishment may be a sufficient basis for disqualification. iii. Consummate the sale of the Block of Shares for any other reason.
2. During the Public Bidding, the Qualified Bidder will submit the Official Bid Form, which will G. SUBMISSION OF BIDS
indicate the offered purchase price, in a sealed envelope marked "OFFICIAL BID." 1. The Public Bidding will be held on September 7, 1995 at the following location:
F. SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS New GSIS Headquarters Building
During the Public Bidding, the following documents should be submitted along with the bid Financial Center, Reclamation Area
in a separate envelop marked "SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS": Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, Metro Manila.
1. WRITTEN AUTHORITY TO BID (UNDER OATH).

32
2. The Secretariat of the PBAC will be stationed at the Public Bidding to accept any and all b. The Highest Bidder must execute the Stock Purchase and Sale Agreement with GSIS, a
bids and supporting requirements. Representatives from the Commission on Audit and COP copy of which will be distributed to each of the Qualified Bidder after the prequalification
will be invited to witness the proceedings. process is completed.
3. The Qualified Bidder should submit its bid using the Official Bid Form. The accomplished 2. In the event that the Highest Bidder chooses a Management Contract for The Manila
Official Bid Form should be submitted in a sealed envelope marked "OFFICIAL BID." Hotel, the maximum levels for the management fee structure that GSIS/MHC are prepared
4. The Qualified Bidder should submit the following documents in another sealed envelope to accept in the Management Contract are as follows:
marked "SUPPORTING BID DOCUMENTS" a. Basic management fee: Maximum of 2.5% of gross revenues.(1)
a. Written Authority Bid b. Incentive fee: Maximum of 8.0% of gross operating profit(1) after deducting undistributed
b. Bid Security overhead expenses and the basic management fee.
5. The two sealed envelopes marked "OFFICIAL BID" and "SUPPORTING BID DOCUMENTS" c. Fixed component of the international marketing/reservation system fee: Maximum of
must be submitted simultaneously to the Secretariat between 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM, 2.0% of gross room revenues.(1) The Applicant should indicate in its Information Package if
Philippine Standard Time, on the date of the Public Bidding. No bid shall be accepted after it is wishes to charge this fee.
the closing time. Opened or tampered bids shall not be accepted. Note (1): As defined in the uniform system of account for hotels.
6. The Secretariat will log and record the actual time of submission of the two sealed The GSIS/MHC have indicated above the acceptable parameters for the hotel management
envelopes. The actual time of submission will also be indicated by the Secretariat on the face fees to facilitate the negotiations with the Highest Bidder for the Management Contract after
of the two envelopes. the Public Bidding.
7. After Step No. 6, the two sealed envelopes will be dropped in the corresponding bid boxes A Qualified Bidder envisioning a Management Contract for The Manila Hotel should
provided for the purpose. These boxes will be in full view of the invited public. determine whether or not the management fee structure above is acceptable before
H. OPENING AND READING OF BIDS submitting their prequalification documents to GSIS.
1. After the closing time of 2:00 PM on the date of the Public Bidding, the PBAC will open all J. BLOCK SALE TO THE OTHER QUALIFIED BIDDERS
sealed envelopes marked "SUPPORTING BID DOCUMENTS" for screening, evaluation and 1. If for any reason, the Highest Bidder cannot be awarded the Block of Shares, GSIS may
acceptance. Those who submitted incomplete/insufficient documents or document/s which offer this to the other Qualified Bidders that have validly submitted bids provided that these
is/are not substantially in the form required by PBAC will be disqualified. The envelope Qualified are willing to match the highest bid in terms of price per share.
containing their Official Bid Form will be immediately returned to the disqualified bidders. 2. The order of priority among the interested Qualified Bidders will be in accordance wit the
2. The sealed envelopes marked "OFFICIAL BID" will be opened at 3:00 PM. The name of the equivalent price per share of their respective bids in their public Bidding, i.e., first and second
bidder and the amount of its bid price will be read publicly as the envelopes are opened. priority will be given to the Qualified Bidders that submitted the second and third highest
3. Immediately following the reading of the bids, the PBAC will formally announce the highest bids on the price per share basis, respectively, and so on.
bid and the Highest Bidder. K. DECLARATION OF THE WINNING BIDDER/STRATEGIC PARTNER
4. The highest bid will be, determined on a price per share basis. In the event of a tie wherein The Highest Bidder will be declared the Winning Bidder/Strategic Partner after the following
two or more bids have the same equivalent price per share, priority will be given to the conditions are met:
bidder seeking the larger ownership interest in MHC. a. Execution of the necessary contract with GSIS/MHC not later than October 23, 1995; and
5. The Public Bidding will be declared a failed bidding in case: b. Requisite approvals from the GSIS/MHC and COP/OGCC are obtained.
a. No single bid is submitted within the prescribed period; or I. FULL PAYMENT FOR THE BLOCK OF SHARES
b. There is only one (1) bid that is submitted and acceptable to the PBAC. 1. Upon execution of the necessary contracts with GSIS/MHC, the Winning Bidder/Strategic
I. EXECUTION OF THE NECESSARY CONTRACTS WITH GSIS/MHC Partner must fully pay, not later than October 23, 1995, the offered purchase price for the
1. The Highest Bidder must comply with the conditions set forth below by October 23, 1995 Block of Shares after deducting the Bid Security applied as downpayment.
or the Highest Bidder will lose the right to purchase the Block of Shares and GSIS will instead 2. All payments should be made in the form of a Manager's Check or unconditional Demand
offer the Block of Shares to the other Qualified Bidders: Draft, payable to the "Government Service Insurance System," issued by a reputable banking
a. The Highest Bidder must negotiate and execute with GSIS/MHC the Management institution licensed to do business in the Philippines and acceptable to GSIS.
Contract, International Marketing Reservation System Contract or other type of contract M. GENERAL CONDITIONS
specified by the Highest Bidder in its strategic plan for The Manila Hotel. If the Highest Bidder 1. The GSIS unconditionally reserves the right to reject any or all applications, waive any
is intending to provide only financial support to The Manila Hotel, a separate institution may formality therein, or accept such application as maybe considered most advantageous to the
enter into the aforementioned contract/s with GSIS/MHC.

33
GSIS. The GSIS similarly reserves the right to require the submission of any additional (3) Whether GSIS is included in the term "State," hence, mandated to implement section 10,
information from the Applicant as the PBAC may deem necessary. paragraph 2 of Article XII of the Constitution;
2. The GSIS further reserves the right to call off the Public Bidding prior to acceptance of the (4) Assuming GSIS is part of the State, whether it failed to give preference to petitioner, a
bids and call for a new public bidding under amended rules, and without any liability qualified Filipino corporation, over and above Renong Berhad, a foreign corporation, in the
whatsoever to any or all the Qualified Bidders, except the obligation to return the Bid sale of the controlling shares of the Manila Hotel Corporation;
Security. (5) Whether petitioner is estopped from questioning the sale of the shares to Renong
3. The GSIS reserves the right to reset the date of the prequalification/bidding conference, Berhad, a foreign corporation.
the deadline for the submission of the prequalification documents, the date of the Public Anent the first issue, it is now familiar learning that a Constitution provides the guiding
Bidding or other pertinent activities at least three (3) calendar days prior to the respective policies and principles upon which is built the substantial foundation and general framework
deadlines/target dates. of the law and government.5 As a rule, its provisions are deemed self-executing and can be
4. The GSIS sells only whatever rights, interest and participation it has on the Block of Shares. enforced without further legislative action.6 Some of its provisions, however, can be
5. All documents and materials submitted by the Qualified Bidders, except the Bid Security, implemented only through appropriate laws enacted by the Legislature, hence not self-
may be returned upon request. executing.
6. The decision of the PBAC/GSIS on the results of the Public Bidding is final. The Qualified To determine whether a particular provision of a Constitution is self-executing is a hard row
Bidders, by participating in the Public Bidding, are deemed to have agreed to accept and to hoe. The key lies on the intent of the framers of the fundamental law oftentimes
abide by these results. submerged in its language. A searching inquiry should be made to find out if the provision is
7. The GSIS will be held free and harmless form any liability, suit or allegation arising out of intended as a present enactment, complete in itself as a definitive law, or if it needs future
the Public Bidding by the Qualified Bidders who have participated in the Public Bidding.3 legislation for completion and enforcement.7 The inquiry demands a micro-analysis of the
The second public bidding was held on September 18, 1995. Petitioner bidded P41.00 per text and the context of the provision in question.8
share for 15,300,000 shares and Renong Berhad bidded P44.00 per share also for 15,300,000 Courts as a rule consider the provisions of the Constitution as self-executing,9 rather than as
shares. The GSIS declared Renong Berhad the highest bidder and immediately returned requiring future legislation for their enforcement. 10 The reason is not difficult to discern. For
petitioner's bid security. if they are not treated as self-executing, the mandate of the fundamental law ratified by the
On September 28, 1995, ten days after the bidding, petitioner wrote to GSIS offering to sovereign people can be easily ignored and nullified by Congress. 11 Suffused with wisdom of
match the bid price of Renong Berhad. It requested that the award be made to itself citing the ages is the unyielding rule that legislative actions may give breath to constitutional rights
the second paragraph of Section 10, Article XII of the Constitution. It sent a manager's check but congressional in action should not suffocate them. 12
for thirty-three million pesos (P33,000,000.00) as bid security. Thus, we have treated as self-executing the provisions in the Bill of Rights on arrests,
Respondent GSIS, then in the process of negotiating with Renong Berhad the terms and searches and seizures, 13 the rights of a person under custodial investigation, 14 the rights of
conditions of the contract and technical agreements in the operation of the hotel, refused an accused, 15 and the privilege against self-incrimination, 16 It is recognize a that legislation
to entertain petitioner's request. is unnecessary to enable courts to effectuate constitutional provisions guaranteeing the
Hence, petitioner filed the present petition. We issued a temporary restraining order on fundamental rights of life, liberty and the protection of property. 17 The same treatment is
October 18, 1995. accorded to constitutional provisions forbidding the taking or damaging of property for
Petitioner anchors its plea on the second paragraph of Article XII, Section 10 of the public use without just compensation.18
Constitution4 on the "National Economy and Patrimony" which provides: Contrariwise, case law lays down the rule that a constitutional provision is not self-executing
xxx xxx xxx where it merely announces a policy and its language empowers the Legislature to prescribe
In the grant of rights, privileges, and concessions covering the national economy and the means by which the policy shall be carried into effect. 19 Accordingly, we have held that
patrimony, the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos. the provisions in Article II of our Constitution entitled "Declaration of Principles and State
xxx xxx xxx Policies" should generally be construed as mere statements of principles of the State. 20 We
The vital issues can be summed up as follows: have also ruled that some provisions of Article XIII on "Social Justice and Human
(1) Whether section 10, paragraph 2 of Article XII of the Constitution is a self-executing Rights," 21 and Article XIV on "Education Science and Technology, Arts, Culture end
provision and does not need implementing legislation to carry it into effect; Sports" 22 cannot be the basis of judicially enforceable rights. Their enforcement is addressed
(2) Assuming section 10 paragraph 2 of Article XII is self-executing whether the controlling to the discretion of Congress though they provide the framework for legislation 23 to
shares of the Manila Hotel Corporation form part of our patrimony as a nation; effectuate their policy content. 24

34
Guided by this map of settled jurisprudence, we now consider whether Section 10, Article reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos." It engrafts the
XII of the 1987 Constitution is self-executing or not. It reads: all-important Filipino First policy in our fundamental law and by the use of the mandatory
Sec. 10. The Congress shall, upon recommendation of the economic and planning agency, word "shall," directs its enforcement by the whole State without any pause or a half- pause
when the national interest dictates, reserve to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations in time.
or associations at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens, or such The second issue is whether the sale of a majority of the stocks of the Manila Hotel
higher percentage as Congress may prescribe, certain areas of investments. The Congress Corporation involves the disposition of part of our national patrimony. The records of the
shall enact measures that will encourage the formation and operation of enterprises whose Constitutional Commission show that the Commissioners entertained the same view as to
capital is wholly owned by Filipinos. its meaning. According to Commissioner Nolledo, "patrimony" refers not only to our rich
In the grant of rights, privileges, and concessions covering the national economy and natural resources but also to the cultural heritage of our race. 30 By this yardstick, the sale of
patrimony, the State shall give preference to qualified Filipinos. Manila Hotel falls within the coverage of the constitutional provision giving preferential
The State shall regulate and exercise authority over foreign investments within its national treatment to qualified Filipinos in the grant of rights involving our national patrimony. The
jurisdiction and in accordance with its national goals and priorities. unique value of the Manila Hotel to our history and culture cannot be viewed with a myopic
The first paragraph directs Congress to reserve certain areas of investments in the eye. The value of the hotel goes beyond pesos and centavos. As chronicled by Beth Day
country 25 to Filipino citizens or to corporations sixty per Romulo, 31 the hotel first opened on July 4, 1912 as a first-class hotel built by the American
cent 26 of whose capital stock is owned by Filipinos. It further commands Congress to enact Insular Government for Americans living in, or passing through, Manila while traveling to the
laws that will encourage the formation and operation of one hundred percent Filipino- Orient. Indigenous materials and Filipino craftsmanship were utilized in its construction, For
owned enterprises. In checkered contrast, the second paragraph orders the entire State to sometime, it was exclusively used by American and Caucasian travelers and served as the
give preference to qualified Filipinos in the grant of rights and privileges covering the "official guesthouse" of the American Insular Government for visiting foreign dignitaries.
national economy and patrimony. The third paragraph also directs the State to regulate Filipinos began coming to the Hotel as guests during the Commonwealth period. When the
foreign investments in line with our national goals and well-set priorities. Japanese occupied Manila, it served as military headquarters and lodging for the highest-
The first paragraph of Section 10 is not self-executing. By its express text, there is a ranking officers from Tokyo. It was at the Hotel and the Intramuros that the Japanese made
categorical command for Congress to enact laws restricting foreign ownership in certain their last stand during the Liberation of Manila. After the war, the Hotel again served foreign
areas of investments in the country and to encourage the formation and operation of wholly- guests and Filipinos alike. Presidents and kings, premiers and potentates, as well as
owned Filipino enterprises. The right granted by the provision is clearly still in esse. Congress glamorous international film and sports celebrities were housed in the Hotel. It was also the
has to breathe life to the right by means of legislation. Parenthetically, this paragraph was situs of international conventions and conferences. In the local scene, it was the venue of
plucked from section 3, Article XIV of the 1973 Constitution. 27 The provision in the 1973 historic meetings, parties and conventions of political parties. The Hotel has reaped and
Constitution affirmed our ruling in the landmark case of Lao Ichong v. Hernandez, 28where continues reaping numerous recognitions and awards from international hotel and travel
we upheld the discretionary authority of Congress to Filipinize certain areas of award-giving bodies, a fitting acknowledgment of Filipino talent and ingenuity. These are
investments. 29 By reenacting the 1973 provision, the first paragraph of section 10 affirmed judicially cognizable facts which cannot be bent by a biased mind.
the power of Congress to nationalize certain areas of investments in favor of Filipinos. The Hotel may not, as yet, have been declared a national cultural treasure pursuant to
The second and third paragraphs of Section 10 are different. They are directed to the State Republic Act No. 4846 but that does not exclude it from our national patrimony. Republic
and not to Congress alone which is but one of the three great branches of our government. Act No. 4846, "The Cultural Properties Preservation and Protection Act," merely provides a
Their coverage is also broader for they cover "the national economy and patrimony" and procedure whereby a particular cultural property may be classified a "national cultural
"foreign investments within [the] national jurisdiction" and not merely "certain areas of treasure" or an "important cultural property. 32 Approved on June 18, 1966 and amended by
investments." Beyond debate, they cannot be read as granting Congress the exclusive power P.D. 374 in 1974, the law is limited in its reach and cannot be read as the exclusive law
to implement by law the policy of giving preference to qualified Filipinos in the conferral of implementing section 10, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution. To be sure, the law does not
rights and privileges covering our national economy and patrimony. Their language does not equate cultural treasure and cultural property as synonymous to the phrase "patrimony of
suggest that any of the State agency or instrumentality has the privilege to hedge or to refuse the nation."
its implementation for any reason whatsoever. Their duty to implement is unconditional and The third issue is whether the constitutional command to the State includes the respondent
it is now. The second and the third paragraphs of Section 10, Article XII are thus self- GSIS. A look at its charter will reveal that GSIS is a government-owned and controlled
executing. corporation that administers funds that come from the monthly contributions of
This submission is strengthened by Article II of the Constitution entitled "Declaration of government employees and the government. 33 The funds are held in trust for a distinct
Principles and State Policies." Its Section 19 provides that "[T]he State shall develop a self- purpose which cannot be disposed of indifferently. 34 They are to be used to finance the

35
retirement, disability and life insurance benefits of the employees and the administrative Thus, we come to the critical issue of the degree of preference which GSIS should have
and operational expenses of the GSIS, 35Excess funds, however, are allowed to be invested accorded petitioner, a qualified Filipino, over Renong Berhad, a foreigner, in the purchase of
in business and other ventures for the benefit of the employees. 36 It is thus contended that the controlling shares of the Manila Hotel. Petitioner claims that after losing the bid, this
the GSIS investment in the Manila Hotel Corporation is a simple business venture, hence, an right of preference gives it a second chance to match the highest bid of Renong Berhad.
act beyond the contemplation of section 10, paragraph 2 of Article XII of the Constitution. With due respect, I cannot sustain petitioner's submission. I prescind from the premise that
The submission is unimpressive. The GSIS is not a pure private corporation. It is essentially a the second paragraph of section 10, Article XII of the Constitution is pro-Pilipino but not anti-
public corporation created by Congress and granted an original charter to serve a public alien. It is pro-Filipino for it gives preference to Filipinos. It is not, however, anti-alien per
purpose. It is subject to the jurisdictions of the Civil Service Commission 37 and the se for it does not absolutely bar aliens in the grant of rights, privileges and concessions
Commission on Audit. 38 As state-owned and controlled corporation, it is skin-bound to covering the national economy and patrimony. Indeed, in the absence of qualified Filipinos,
adhere to the policies spelled out in the general welfare of the people. One of these policies the State is not prohibited from granting these rights, privileges and concessions to
is the Filipino First policy which the people elevated as a constitutional command. foreigners if the act will promote the weal of the nation.
The fourth issue demands that we look at the content of phrase "qualified Filipinos" and In implementing the policy articulated in section 10, Article XII of the Constitution, the stellar
their "preferential right." The Constitution desisted from defining their contents. This is as it task of our State policy-makers is to maintain a creative tension between two desiderata —
ought to be for a Constitution only lays down flexible policies and principles which can bent first, the need to develop our economy and patrimony with the help of foreigners if
to meet today's manifest needs and tomorrow's unmanifested demands. Only a constitution necessary, and, second, the need to keep our economy controlled by Filipinos. Rightfully, the
strung with elasticity can grow as a living constitution. framers of the Constitution did not define the degree of the right of preference to be given
Thus, during the deliberations in the Constitutional Commission, Commissioner Nolledo to to qualified Filipinos. They knew that for the right to serve the general welfare, it must have
define the phrase brushed aside a suggestion to define the phrase "qualified Filipinos." He a malleable content that can be adjusted by our policy-makers to meet the changing needs
explained that present and prospective "laws" will take care of the problem of its of our people. In fine, the right of preference of qualified Filipinos is to be determined by
interpretation, viz: degree as time dictates and circumstances warrant. The lesser the need for alien assistance,
xxx xxx xxx the greater the degree of the right of preference can be given to Filipinos and vice verse.
THE PRESIDENT. What is the suggestion of Commissioner Rodrigo? Is it to remove the word Again, it should be stressed that the right and the duty to determine the degree of this
"QUALIFIED?" privilege at any given time is addressed to the entire State. While under our constitutional
MR. RODRIGO. No, no, but say definitely "TO QUALIFIED FILIPINOS" as against whom? As scheme, the right primarily belongs to Congress as the lawmaking department of our
against aliens over aliens? government, other branches of government, and all their agencies and instrumentalities,
MR. NOLLEDO. Madam President, I think that is understood. We use the word "QUALIFIED" share the power to enforce this state policy. Within the limits of their authority, they can act
because the existing laws or the prospective laws will always lay down conditions under or promulgate rules and regulations defining the degree of this right of preference in cases
which business map be done, for example, qualifications on capital, qualifications on the where they have to make grants involving the national economy and judicial duty. On the
setting up of other financial structures, et cetera. other hand, our duty is to strike down acts of the state that violate the policy.
MR. RODRIGO. It is just a matter of style. To date, Congress has not enacted a law defining the degree of the preferential right.
MR. NOLLEDO Yes. Consequently, we must turn to the rules and regulations of on respondents Committee
MR. RODRIGO. If we say, "PREFERENCE TO QUALIFIED FILIPINOS," it can be understood as Privatization and GSIS to determine the degree of preference that petitioner is entitled to as
giving preference to qualified Filipinos as against Filipinos who are not qualified. a qualified Filipino in the subject sale. A tearless look at the rules and regulations will show
MR. NOLLEDO. Madam President, that was the intention of the proponents. The committee that they are silent on the degree of preferential right to be accorded qualified Filipino
has accepted the amendment. bidder. Despite their silence, however, they cannot be read to mean that they do not grant
xxx xxx xxx any degree of preference to petitioner for paragraph 2, section 10, Article XII of the
As previously discussed, the constitutional command to enforce the Filipino First policy is Constitution is deemed part of said rules and regulations. Pursuant to legal hermeneutics
addressed to the State and not to Congress alone. Hence, the word "laws" should not be which demand that we interpret rules to save them from unconstitutionality, I submit that
understood as limited to legislations but all state actions which include applicable rules and the right of preference of petitioner arises only if it tied the bid of Benong Berhad. In that
regulations adopted by agencies and instrumentalities of the State in the exercise of their instance, all things stand equal, and bidder, as a qualified Pilipino bidder, should be
rule-making power. In the case at bar, the bidding rules and regulations set forth the preferred.
standards to measure the qualifications of bidders Filipinos and foreigners alike. It is not It is with deep regret that I cannot subscribe to the view that petitioner has a right to match
seriously disputed that petitioner qualified to bid as did Renong Berhad. 39 the bid of Renong Berhad. Petitioner's submission must be supported by the rules but even

36
if we examine the rules inside-out .thousand times, they can not justify the claimed right.
Under the rules, the right to match the highest bid arises only "if for any reason, the highest
bidder cannot be awarded block of shares . . ." No reason has arisen that will prevent the PANGANIBAN, J., dissenting:
award to Renong Berhad. It qualified as bidder. It complied with the procedure of bidding. It I regret I cannot join the majority. To the incisive Dissenting Opinion of Mr. Justice Reynato
tendered the highest bid. It was declared as the highest bidder by the GSIS and the rules say S. Puno, may I just add
this decision is final. It deserves the award as a matter of right for the rules clearly did not 1. The majority contends the Constitution should be interpreted to mean that, after a bidding
give to the petitioner as a qualified Filipino privilege to match the higher bid of a foreigner. process is concluded, the losing Filipino bidder should be given the right to equal the highest
What the rules did not grant, petitioner cannot demand. Our symphaties may be with foreign bid, and thus to win. However, the Constitution [Sec. 10 (2), Art. XII] simply states
petitioner but the court has no power to extend the latitude and longtitude of the right of that "in the grant of rights . . . covering the national economy and patrimony, the State shall
preference as defined by the rules. The parameters of the right of preference depend on give preference to qualified Filipinos." The majority concedes that there is no law defining
galaxy of facts and factors whose determination belongs to the province of the policy-making the extent or degree of such preference. Specifically, no statute empowers a losing Filipino
branches and agencies of the State. We are duty-bound to respect that determination even bidder to increase his bid and equal that of the winning foreigner. In the absence of such
if we differ with the wisdom of their judgment. The right they grant may be little but we must empowering law, the majority's strained interpretation, I respectfully submit constitutes
uphold the grant for as long as the right of preference is not denied. It is only when a State unadulterated judicial legislation, which makes bidding a ridiculous sham where no Filipino
action amounts to a denial of the right that the Court can come in and strike down the denial can lose and where no foreigner can win. Only in the Philippines!.
as unconstitutional. 2. Aside from being prohibited by the Constitution, such judicial is short-sighted and, viewed
Finally, I submit that petitioner is estopped from assailing the winning bid of Renong Berhad. properly, gravely prejudicial to long-term Filipino interest. It encourages other countries —
Petitioner was aware of the rules and regulations of the bidding. It knew that the rules and in the guise of reverse comity or worse, unabashed retaliation — to discriminate against us
regulations do not provide that a qualified Filipino bidder can match the winning bid in their own jurisdictions by authorizing their own nationals to similarly equal and defeat the
submitting an inferior bid. It knew that the bid was open to foreigners and that foreigners higher bids of Filipino enterprises solely, while on the other hand, allowing similar bids of
qualified even during the first bidding. Petitioner cannot be allowed to repudiate the rules other foreigners to remain unchallenged by their nationals. The majority's thesis will thus
which it agreed to respect. It cannot be allowed to obey the rules when it wins and disregard marginalize Filipinos as pariahs in the global marketplace with absolute no chance of winning
them when it loses. If sustained, petitioners' stance will wreak havoc on he essence of any bidding outside our country. Even authoritarian regimes and hermit kingdoms have long
bidding. Our laws, rules and regulations require highest bidding to raise as much funds as ago found out unfairness, greed and isolation are self-defeating and in the long-term, self-
possible for the government to maximize its capacity to deliver essential services to our destructing.
people. This is a duty that must be discharged by Filipinos and foreigners participating in a The moral lesson here is simple: Do not do unto other what you dont want other to do unto
bidding contest and the rules are carefully written to attain this objective. Among others, you.
bidders are prequalified to insure their financial capability. The bidding is secret and the bids 3. In the absence of a law specifying the degree or extent of the "Filipino First" policy of the
are sealed to prevent collusion among the parties. This objective will be undermined if we Constitution, the constitutional preference for the "qualified Filipinos" may be allowed only
grant petitioner that privilege to know the winning bid and a chance to match it. For plainly, where all the bids are equal. In this manner, we put the Filipino ahead without self-
a second chance to bid will encourage a bidder not to strive to give the highest bid in the destructing him and without being unfair to the foreigner.
first bidding. In short, the Constitution mandates a victory for the qualified Filipino only when the scores
We support the Filipino First policy without any reservation. The visionary nationalist Don are tied. But not when the ballgame is over and the foreigner clearly posted the highest
Claro M. Recto has warned us that the greatest tragedy that can befall a Filipino is to be an score.
alien in his own land. The Constitution has embodied Recto's counsel as a state policy. But
while the Filipino First policy requires that we incline to a Filipino, it does not demand that Footnotes
we wrong an alien. Our policy makers can write laws and rules giving favored treatment to 1 See Sec. 10, par. 2, Art. XII, 1987 Constitution
the Filipino but we are not free to be unfair to a foreigner after writing the laws and the 2 Par I. Introduction and Highlights; Guidelines and Procedures: Second Prequailifications and
rules. After the laws are written, they must be obeyed as written, by Filipinos and foreigners Public Bidding of the MHC Privatization; Annex "A," Consolidated Reply to Comments of
alike. The equal protection clause of the Constitution protects all against unfairness. We can Respondents; Rollo, p. 142.
be pro-Filipino without unfairness to foreigner. 3 Par. V. Guidelines for the Public Bidding, id., pp. 153-154.
I vote to dismiss the petition. 4 Annex "A," Petition for Prohibition and Mandamus with Temporary Restraining
Narvasa, C.J., and Melo, J., concur. Order; Rollo, pp. 13-14.

37
5 Annex "B," Petition for Prohibition and Mandamus with Temporary Restraining Order; id., people to human dignity, reduce social, economic and political inequalities, and remove
p. 15. cultural inequities by equitably diffusing wealth and political power for the common good.
6 Petition for Prohibition and Mandamus with Temporary Restraining Order, pp. 5-6; id., pp. To this end, the State shall regulate the acquisition, ownership, use, and disposition of
6-7. property and its increments.
7 Consolidated Reply to Comments of Respondents, p. 17; id., p. 133. Sec. 2, Art. XIII, provides that [t]he promotion of social justice shall include the commitment
8 Par. V.J. 1, Guidelines for Public Bidding, Guidelines and Procedures: second to create economic opportunities based on freedom of initiative and self-reliance.
Prequalifications and Public Bidding of the MHC Privatization, Annex "A," Consolidated Reply 25 Sec. 2, Art. XIV (Education, Science and Technology, Arts, Culture, and Sports), provides
to Comments of Respondents; id., p. 154. that [t]he State shall:
9 Respondents' Joint Comment with Urgent Motion to Lift Temporary Restraining Order, p. (1) Establish, maintain, and support a complete, adequate, and integrated system of
9; Rollo, p. 44. education relevant to the needs of the people and society;
10 Marbury v. Madison, 5, U.S. 138 (1803). (2) Establish and maintain a system of free public education in the elementary and high
11 Am Jur. 606. school levels. Without limiting the natural right of parents to rear their children, elementary
12 16 Am Jur. 2d 281. education is compulsory for all children of school age;
13 Id., p. 282. (3) Establish and maintain a system of scholarship grants, student loan programs, subsidies,
14 See Note 12. and other incentives which shall be available to deserving students in both public and private
15 Cruz, Isagani A., Constitutional Law, 1993 ed., pp. 8-10. schools, especially to the underprivileged.
16 Record of the Constitutional Commission, Vol. 3, 22 August 1986, p. 608. (4) Encourage non-formal, informal, and indegenous learning, independent, and out-of-
17 16 Am Jur 2d 283-284. school study programs particularly those that respond to community needs; and
18 Sec. 10, first par., reads: The Congress shall, upon recommendation of the economic and (5) Provide adult citizens, the disabled, and out-of-school youth with training in civics,
planning agency, when the national interest dictates, reserve to citizens of the Philippines or vocational efficiency, and other skills.
to corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such 26 G.R. 115455, 25 August 1994, 235 SCRA 630.
citizens, or such higher percentage as Congress may prescribe, certain areas of investments. 27 See Note 25.
The Congress shall enact measures that will encourage the formation and operation of 28 Sec. 1 Art. XIV, provides that [t]he State shall protect and promote the right of all citizens
enterprises whose capital is wholly owned by Filipinos. to quality education at all levels of education and shall take appropriate steps to make such
Sec. 10, third par., reads: The State shall regulate and exercise authority over foreign education accessible to all.
investments within its national jurisdiction and in accordance with its national goals and 29 G.R. No. 118910, 17 July 1995.
priorities. 30 Sec. 5 Art. II (Declaration of Principles and State Policies), provides that [t]he maintenance
19 State ex rel. Miller v. O'Malley, 342 Mo. 641, 117 SW2d 319. of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty, and property, and the promotion of the
20 G.R. No. 91649, 14 May 1991, 197 SCRA 52. general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of
21 Sec. 11, Art. II (Declaration of Principles and State Policies), provides that [t]he State democracy.
values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights. 31 See Note 23.
22 Sec. 12, Art. II, provides that [t]he State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall 32 See Note 24.
protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally 33 Sec. 17, Art II, provides that [t]he State shall give priority to education, science and
protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The natural and technology, arts, culture, and sports to foster patriotism and nationalism, accelerate social
primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the progress, and promote total human liberation and development.
development of moral character shall receive the support of the government. 34 Nolledo, Jose N., The New Constitution of the Philippines Annotated, 1990 ed., p. 72.
23 Sec. 13, Art. II, provides that [t]he State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation- 35 Webster's Third New International Dictionary, 1986 ed., p. 1656.
building and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social 36 The guest list of the Manila Hotel includes Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the Duke of Windsor,
well-being. It shall inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their President Richard Nixon of U.S.A., Emperor Akihito of Japan, President Dwight Eisenhower
involvement in public and civic affairs. of U.S.A, President Nguyen Van Thieu of Vietnam, President Park Chung Hee of Korea, Prime
24 Sec. 1, Art. XIII (Social Justice and Human Rights), provides that [t]he Congress shall give Minister Richard Holt of Australia, Prime Minister Keith Holyoake of New Zealand, President
highest priority to the enactment of measures that protect and enhance the right of all the Lyndon Johnson of U.S.A., President Jose Lopez Portillo of Mexico, Princess Margaret of
England, Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser of Australia, Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone of

38
Japan, Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau of Canada, President Raul Alfonsin of Argentina, 6 Laurel, Proceedings of the Philippine Constitutional Convention (1934-1935), p. 507.
President Felipe Gonzalez of Spain, Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita of Japan, Prime 7 Id., p. 562.
Minister Hussain Muhammad Ershad of Bangladesh, Prime Minister Bob Hawke of Australia, VITUG, J., concurring:
Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone of Japan, Premier Li Peng of China, Sultan Hassanal 1 Second par. Section 10, Art. XII, 1987 Constitution.
Bolkiah of Brunei, President Ramaswani Venkataraman of India, Prime Minister Go Chok MENDOZA, J., concurring:
Tong of Singapore, Prime Minister Enrique Silva Cimma of Chile, Princess Chulaborn and 1 Art. XII, §10, second paragraph.
Mahacharri Sirindhorn of Thailand, Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama of Japan, Sultan 2 GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES: SECOND PREQUALIFICATION AND PUBLIC BIDDING OF THE
Azlan Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong of Malaysia, President Kim President Young Sam of MHC PRIVATIZATION (hereafter referred to as GUIDELINES), Part. V, par. H(4)..
Korea, Princess Infanta Elena of Spain, President William Clinton of U.S.A., Prime Minister 3 Id.
Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia, King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain, President 4 83 Phil. 242 (1949).
Carlos Saul Menem of Argentina, Prime Ministers Chatichai Choonvan and Prem 5 R.A. No. 37, §1.
Tinsulanonda of Thailand, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan, President Vaclav Havel 6 87 Phil. 343 (1950).
of Czech Republic, Gen. Norman Schwarzcopf of U.S.A, President Ernesto Perez Balladares of 7 104 Phil. 302 (1958).
Panama, Prime Minister Adolfas Slezevicius of Lithuania, President Akbar Hashemi 8 Id, at 309.
Rafsanjani of Iran, President Frei Ruiz Tagle of Chile, President Le Duc Anh of Vietnam, and 9 For an excellent analysis of American cases on reverse discrimination in these
Prime Minister Julius Chan of Papua New Guinea, see Memorandum for Petitioner, pp. 16- areas, see GERALD GUNTHER, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 780-819 (1991).
19. 10 Art. II, §19: "The State shall develop a self-reliant and independent national
37 Authored by Beth Day Romulo. economy effectively controlled by Filipinos." (Emphasis added)
38 See Note 9, pp. 15-16; Rollo, pp. 50-51. 11 See Villegas v. Hiu Chiung Tsai Pao Ho, 86 SCRA 270 (1978) (invalidating an ordinance
39 Record of the Constitutional Commission. Vol. 3, 22 August 1986. p. 607. imposing a flat fee of P500 on aliens for the privilege of earning a livelihood).
40 Id., p. 612. 12 Petitioner passed the criteria set forth in the GUIDELINES, Part IV, par. F(4), of the GSIS,
41 Id., p. 616. relating to the following:
42 Id., p. 606. a. Business management expertise, tract record, and experience
43 Nolledo, J.N., The New Constitution of the Philippines Annotated, 1990 ed., pp. 930-931. b. Financial capability
44 Bidders were required to have at least one of the these qualifications to be able to c. Feasibility and acceptability of the proposed strategic plan for the Manila Hotel.
participate in the bidding process; see Note 2. 13 GUIDELINES, Part V, par. (1)(3), in relation to Part. I.
45 Memorandum of Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J., p. 6. 14 Id., Part V, par. V (1).
46 Id., pp. 3-4. PUNO, J., dissenting:
47 See Note 8. 1. Introduction and Highlights, Guidelines and Procedures: Second Prequalification
48 Keynote Address at the ASEAN Regional Symposium of Enforcement of Industrial Property and Public Bidding of the MHC Privatization, Annex "A" to Petitioner's
Rights held 23 October 1995 at New World Hotel, Makati City. Consolidated Reply to Comments of Respondents, Rollo, p. 142.
49 Speech of Senior Associate Justice Teodoro R. Padilla at the Induction of Officers and 2. The four bidders who previously prequalified for the first bidding, namely, ITT
Directors of the PHILCONSA for 1996 held 16 January 1996 at the Sky-Top, Hotel Sheraton, Marriot International, Inc., Renaissance Hotel International, Inc., and the
Intercontinental, Makati City. consortium of RCBC and the Ritz Carlton, were deemed prequalified for the second
50 Memorandum of Authorities submitted by former Chief Justice Enrique M. Fernando, p. bidding.
5. 3. Annex "A" to the Consolidated Reply to Comments of Respondents, Rollo, pp. 140-
51 8 March 1996 issue of Philippine Daily Inquirer, p. B13. 155.
PADILLA, J., concurring: 4. Former Chief Justice Enrique Fernando and Commissioner Joaquin Bernas were
1 Article XII, Section 10, par. 2, 1987 Constitution. invited by the Court as amicus curiae to shed light on its meaning.
2 Padilla, The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, Volume III, p. 89. 5. Lopez v. de los Reyes, 55 Phil. 170, 190 [1930].
3 Sinco, Philippine Political Law, 11th ed, p. 112. 6. 16 Am Jur 2d, Constitutional Law, Sec. 139 p. 510 [1979 ed. ]; 6 R.C.L. Sec. 52 p. 57
4 Nolledo, The New Constitution of the Philippines, Announced, 1990 ed., p. 72. [1915]; see also Willis v. St. Paul Sanitation Co. 48 Minn. 140, 50 N.W. 1110, 31
5 Memorandum for Petitioner, p. 1.

39
A.J.R. 626, 16 L.R.A. 281 [1892]; State ex rel. Schneider v. Kennedy, 587 P. 2d 844, 23. Kilosbayan v. Morato, supra, at 564.
225 Kan [1978]. 24. Basco v. Phil. Amusements and Gaming Corporation, supra, at 68.
7. Willis v. St. Paul Sanitation, supra, at 1110-1111; see also Cooley, A Treatise on 25. Congress had previously passed the Retail Trade Act (R.A. 1180); the Private
Constitutional Limitations 167, vol. 1 [1927]. Security Agency Act (R.A. 5487; the law on engaging in the rice and corn industry
8. 16 C.J.S., Constitutional Law, Sec. 48, p. 100. (R.A. 3018, P.D. 194), etc.
9. Cooley, supra, at 171; 6 R.C.L. Sec. 53, pp. 57-58; Brice v. McDow, 116 S.C. 324, 108 26. Or such higher percentage as Congress may prescribe.
S.E. 84, 87 [1921]; see also Gonzales, Philippine Constitutional Law p. 26 [1969]. 27. Article XIV, section 3 of the 1973 Constitution reads:
10. 16 C.J.S., Constitutional Law, Sec. 48, p. 101. "Sec. 3. The Batasang Pambansa shall, upon recommendation of the National
11. Way v. Barney, 116 Minn. 285, 133 N.W. 801, 804 38 L.R.A. (N.S.) 648, Ann. Cas. Economic and Development Authority, reserve to citizens of the Philippines or to
1913 A, 719 [1911]; Brice v. McDow, supra, at 87; Morgan v. Board of Supervisors, corporations or associations wholly owned by such citizens, certain traditional
67 Ariz. 133, 192 P. 2d 236, 241 [1948]; Gonzales, supra.. areas of investments when the national interest so dictates,"
12. Ninth Decennial Digest Part I, Constitutional Law, (Key No. 28), p. 1638. 28. 101 Phil. 1155 [1957].
13. Article III, Section 2; see Webb v. de Leon, 247 SCRA 652 [1995]; People v. Saycon, 29. See Bernas, The Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines 450, vol. II [1988].
236 SCRA 325 (1994]; Allado v. Diokno, 232 SCRA 192 (1994]; Burgos v. Chief of The Lao Ichong case upheld the Filipinization of the retail trade and implied that
Staff, 133 SCRA 800 [1984]; Yee Sue Kuy v. Almeda, 70 Phil. 141 [1940]; Pasion Vda. particular areas of business may be Filipinized without doing violence to the equal
de Garcia v. Locsin, 65 Phil. 689 [1938]; and a host of other cases. protection clause of the Constitution.
14. Article III, Section 12, pars. 1 to 3; People v. Alicando, 251 SCRA 293 [1995]; People 30. Nolledo The New Constitution of the Philippines, Annotated, 1990 ed., p. 72. The
v. Bandula 232 SCRA 566 [1994]; People v. Nito 228 SCRA 442 [1993]; People v. word "patrimony" first appeared in the preamble of the 1935 Constitution and was
Duero, 104 SCRA 379 [1981]; People v. Galit, 135 SCRA 465 [1985]; and a host of understood to cover everything that belongs to the Filipino people, the tangible
other cases. and the material as well as the intangible and the spiritual assets and possessions
15. Article III, Section 14; People v. Digno, 250 SCRA 237 [1995]; People v. Godoy, 250 of the nation (Sinco, Philippine Political Law, Principles and Concepts [1962 ed.], p.
SCRA 676 [1995]; People v. Colcol 219 SCRA [1993]; Borja v. Mendoza, 77 SCRA 422 112; Speech of Delegate of Conrado Benitez defending the draft preamble of the
[1977]; People v. Dramayo, 42 SCRA 59 [1971]; and a host of other cases. 1935 Constitution in Laurel, Proceedings of the Constitutional Convention, vol. III,
16. Galman v. Pamaran, 138 SCRA 274 [1985]; Chavez v. Court of Appeals 24 SCRA 663 p. 325 [1966]).
[1968]; People v. Otadura, 86 Phil. 244 [1950]; Bermudez v. Castillo, 64 Phil, 485 31. Commissioned by the Manila Hotel Corporation for the Diamond Jubilee
[1937]; and a host of other cases. celebration of the Hotel in 1987; see The Manila Hotel: The Heart and Memory of
17. Harley v. Schuylkill County, 476 F. Supp, 191, 195-196 [1979]; Erdman v. Mitchell, a City.any
207 Pa. St. 79, 56 Atl. 327, 99 A.S.R. 783 63 L.R.A. 534 [1903]; see Ninth Decennial 32. Section 7 of R.A. 4846 provides:
Digest Part I, Constitutional Law, (Key No. 28), pp. 1638-1639. Sec. 7. In the designation of a particular cultural property as a .national cultural
18. City of Chicago v. George F. Harding Collection, 217 N.E. 2d 381, 383, 70 Ill. App. treasure," the following procedure shall be observed:
2d 254 [1966]; People v. Buellton Dev. Co., 136 P. 2d 793, 796, 58 Cal. App. 2d 178 (a) Before the actual designation, the owner, if the property is privately
[1943]; Bordy v. State, 7 N.W. 2d 632, 635, 142 Neb. 714 [1943]; Cohen v. City of owned, shall be notified at least fifteen days prior to the intended
Chicago, 36 N.E. 2d 220, 224, 377 Ill 221 [1941]. designation, and he shall be invited to attend the deliberation and given
19. 16 Am Jur 2d, Constitutional Law, Sec. 143, p. 514; 16 C.J.S. Constitutional Law, a chance to be heard. Failure on the part of the owner to attend the
Sec. 48, p. 100; 6 R.C.L. Sec. 54, p. 59; see also State ex rel. Noe v. Knop La. App. deliberation shall not bar the panel to render its decision. Decision shall
190 So. 135, 142 [1939]; State ex rel. Walker v. Board of Comm'rs. for Educational be given by the panel within a week after its deliberation. In the event
Lands and Funds, 3 N.W. 2d 196, 200, 141 Neb. 172 [1942]; Maddox v. Hunt, 83 P. that the owner desires to seek reconsideration of the designation made
2d 553, 556, 83 Okl. 465 [1938]. by the panel, he may do so within thirty days from the date that the
20. Article II, Sections 11, 12 and 13 (Basco v. Phil. Amusements and Gaming decision has been rendered. If no request for reconsideration is filed
Corporation, 197 SCRA 52, 68 [1991]); Sections 5, 12, 13 and 17 (Kilosbayan, Inc. v. after this period, the designation is then considered final and executory.
Morato, 246 SCRA 540, 564 [1995]). Any request for reconsideration filed within thirty days and subsequently
21. Article XIII, Section 13 (Basco, supra). again denied by the panel, may be further appealed to another panel
22. Article XIV, Section 2 (Basco, supra). chairmanned by the Secretary of Education with two experts as

40
members appointed by the Secretary of Education. Their decision shall
final and binding.
(b) Within each kind or class of objects, only the rare and unique objects
may be designated as "National Cultural Treasures." The remainder, if
any shall be treated as cultural property.
xxx xxx xxx
33. P.D. 1146, Sec, 5; P.D, 1146, known as "The Revised Government Service Insurance
Act of 1977" amended Commonwealth Act No. 186, the "Government Service
Insurance Act" of 1936.
34. Beronilla v. Government Service Insurance System, 36 SCRA 44, 53 [1970]; Social
Security System Employees Association v. Soriano, 7 SCRA 1016, 1023 [1963].
35. Id., secs. 28 and 29.
36. Id., Sec. 30.
37. Constitution, Article IX (B), section 2 (1).
38. Constitution, Article IX (D), section 2 (1).
39. It is meet to note that our laws do not debar foreigners from engaging in the hotel
business. Republic Act No. 7042, entitled the "Foreign Investments Act of 1991"
was enacted by Congress to "attract, promote and welcome . . . foreign
investments . . . in activities which significantly contribute to national
industrialization and socio-economic development to the extent that foreign
investment is allowed by the Constitution and relevant laws." The law contains a
list, called the Negative List specifying areas of economic activity where foreign
participation is limited or prohibited. Areas of economic activity not included in
the Negative List are open to foreign participation up to one hundred per cent
(Sees. 6 and 7). Foreigners now own and run a great number of our five-star hotels.

41
G.R. No. 160261 November 10, 2003 intervention,
ERNESTO B. FRANCISCO, JR., petitioner, vs.
NAGMAMALASAKIT NA MGA MANANANGGOL NG MGA MANGGAGAWANG PILIPINO, JOSE G. DE VENECIA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
INC., ITS OFFICERS AND MEMBERS, petitioner-in-intervention, FRANKLIN M. DRILON, IN HIS CAPACITY AS PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE OF THE REPUBLIC
WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., petitioner-in- OF THE PHILIPPINES, GILBERT TEODORO, JR., FELIX WILLIAM FUENTEBELLA, JULIO
intervention, LEDESMA IV, HENRY LANOT, KIM BERNARDO-LOKIN, MARCELINO LIBANAN, EMMYLOU
vs. TALIÑO-SANTOS, DOUGLAS CAGAS, SHERWIN GATCHALIAN, LUIS BERSAMIN, JR., NERISSA
THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, REPRESENTED BY SPEAKER JOSE G. DE VENECIA, THE SOON-RUIZ, ERNESTO NIEVA, EDGAR ERICE, ISMAEL MATHAY, SAMUEL DANGWA,
SENATE, REPRESENTED BY SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN M. DRILON, REPRESENTATIVE ALFREDO MARAÑON, JR., CECILIA CARREON-JALOSJOS, AGAPITO AQUINO, FAUSTO
GILBERTO C. TEODORO, JR. AND REPRESENTATIVE FELIX WILLIAM B. SEACHON, JR., GEORGILU YUMUL-HERMIDA, JOSE CARLOS LACSON, MANUEL ORTEGA,
FUENTEBELLA, respondents. ULIRAN JUAQUIN, SORAYA JAAFAR, WILHELMINO SY-ALVARADO, CLAUDE BAUTISTA, DEL
JAIME N. SORIANO, respondent-in-Intervention, DE GUZMAN, ZENAIDA CRUZ-DUCUT, AUGUSTO BACULIO, FAUSTINO DY III, AUGUSTO
SENATOR AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, respondent-in-intervention. SYJUCO, ROZZANO RUFINO BIAZON, LEOVIGILDO BANAAG, ERIC SINGSON, JACINTO
x---------------------------------------------------------x PARAS, JOSE SOLIS, RENATO MATUBO, HERMINO TEVES, AMADO ESPINO, JR., EMILIO
G.R. No. 160262 November 10, 2003 MACIAS, ARTHUR PINGOY, JR., FRANCIS NEPOMUCENO, CONRADO ESTRELLA III, ELIAS
SEDFREY M. CANDELARIA, CARLOS P. MEDINA, JR. AND HENEDINA RAZON- BULUT, JR., JURDIN ROMUALDO, JUAN PABLO BONDOC, GENEROSO TULAGAN, PERPETUO
ABAD, petitioners, YLAGAN, MICHAEL DUAVIT, JOSEPH DURANO, JESLI LAPUS, CARLOS COJUANGCO,
ATTYS. ROMULO B. MACALINTAL AND PETE QUIRINO QUADRA, petitioners-in- GIORGIDI AGGABAO, FRANCIS ESCUDERRO, RENE VELARDE, CELSO LOBREGAT, ALIPIO
intervention, BADELLES, DIDAGEN DILANGALEN, ABRAHAM MITRA, JOSEPH SANTIAGO, DARLENE
WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., petitioner-in- ANTONIO-CUSTODIO, ALETA SUAREZ, RODOLF PLAZA, JV BAUTISTA, GREGORIO IPONG,
intervention, GILBERT REMULLA, ROLEX SUPLICO, CELIA LAYUS, JUAN MIGUEL ZUBIRI, BENASING
vs. MACARAMBON, JR., JOSEFINA JOSON, MARK COJUANGCO, MAURICIO DOMOGAN,
THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, THROUGH THE SPEAKER OR ACTING SPEAKER OR RONALDO ZAMORA, ANGELO MONTILLA, ROSELLER BARINAGA, JESNAR FALCON, REYLINA
PRESIDING OFFICER, SPEAKER JOSE G. DE VENECIA, REPRESENTATIVE GILBERTO G. NICOLAS, RODOLFO ALBANO, JOAQUIN CHIPECO, JR., AND RUY ELIAS LOPEZ, respondents,
TEODORO, JR., REPRESENTA-TIVE FELIX WILLIAM B. FUENTEBELLA, THE SENATE OF THE JAIME N. SORIANO, respondent-in-intervention,
PHILIPPINES, THROUGH ITS PRESIDENT, SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN M. SENATOR AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, respondent-in-intervention.
DRILON, respondents, x---------------------------------------------------------x
JAIME N. SORIANO, respondent-in-intervention, G.R. No. 160292 November 10, 2003
SENATOR AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, respondent-in-intervention. HERMINIO HARRY L. ROQUE, JR., JOEL RUIZ BUTUYAN, MA. CECILIA PAPA, NAPOLEON C.
x---------------------------------------------------------x REYES, ANTONIO H. ABAD, JR., ALFREDO C. LIGON, JOAN P. SERRANO AND GARY S.
G.R. No. 160263 November 10, 2003 MALLARI, petitioners,
ARTURO M. DE CASTRO AND SOLEDAD M. CAGAMPANG, petitioners, WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., petitioner-in-
WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., petitioners-in- intervention,
intervention, vs.
vs. HON. SPEAKER JOSE G. DE VENECIA, JR. AND ROBERTO P. NAZARENO, IN HIS CAPACITY AS
FRANKLIN M. DRILON, IN HIS CAPACITY AS SENATE PRESIDENT, AND JOSE G. DE VENECIA, SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND THE HOUSE OF
JR., IN HIS CAPACITY AS SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, respondents, REPRESENTATIVES,respondents,
JAIME N. SORIANO, respondent-in-intervention, JAIME N. SORIANO, respondent-in-intervention,
SENATOR AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, respondent-in-intervention. SENATOR AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, respondent-in-intervention.
x---------------------------------------------------------x x---------------------------------------------------------x
G.R. No. 160277 November 10, 2003 G.R. No. 160295 November 10, 2003
FRANCISCO I. CHAVEZ, petitioner, SALACNIB F. BATERINA AND DEPUTY SPEAKER RAUL M. GONZALES, petitioners,
WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., petitioner-in- WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., petitioner-in-

42
intervention, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTA-TIVES REPRESENTED BY THE 83 HONORABLE MEMBERS OF
THE HOUSE LED BY HON. REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAM FUENTEBELLA, respondents.
vs. x---------------------------------------------------------x
THE HOUSE OF REPRESEN-TATIVES, THROUGH THE SPEAKER OR ACTING SPEAKER OR G.R. No. 160343 November 10, 2003
PRESIDING OFFICER, SPEAKER JOSE G. DE VENECIA, REPRESENTATIVE GILBERTO G. INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner,
TEODORO, JR., REPRESENTATIVE FELIX WILLIAM B. FUENTEBELLA, THE SENATE OF THE vs.
PHILIPPINES, THROUGH ITS PRESIDENT, SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN M. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTA-TIVES, THROUGH THE SPEAKER OR ACTING SPEAKER OR
DRILON, respondents, PRESIDING OFFICER, SPEAKER JOSE G. DE VENECIA, REPRESENTATIVE GILBERTO G.
JAIME N. SORIANO, respondent-in-intervention, TEODORO, JR., REPRESENTATIVE FELIX WILLIAM B. FUENTEBELLA, THE SENATE OF THE
SENATOR AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, respondent-in-intervention. PHILIPPINES THROUGH ITS PRESIDENT, SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN M.
x---------------------------------------------------------x DRILON, respondents.
G.R. No. 160310 November 10, 2003 x---------------------------------------------------------x
LEONILO R. ALFONSO, PETER ALVAREZ, SAMUEL DOCTOR, MELVIN MATIBAG, RAMON G.R. No. 160360 November 10, 2003
MIQUIBAS, RODOLFO MAGSINO, EDUARDO MALASAGA, EDUARDO SARMIENTO, CLARO B. FLORES, petitioner,
EDGARDO NAOE, LEONARDO GARCIA, EDGARD SMITH, EMETERIO MENDIOLA, MARIO vs.
TOREJA, GUILLERMO CASTASUS, NELSON A. LOYOLA, WILFREDO BELLO, JR., RONNIE THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES THROUGH THE SPEAKER, AND THE SENATE OF THE
TOQUILLO, KATE ANN VITAL, ANGELITA Q. GUZMAN, MONICO PABLES, JR., JAIME PHILIPPINES, THROUGH THE SENATE PRESIDENT, respondents.
BOAQUINA, LITA A. AQUINO, MILA P. GABITO, JANETTE ARROYO, RIZALDY EMPIG, ERNA x---------------------------------------------------------x
LAHUZ, HOMER CALIBAG, DR. BING ARCE, SIMEON ARCE, JR., EL DELLE ARCE, WILLIE G.R. No. 160365 November 10, 2003
RIVERO, DANTE DIAZ, ALBERTO BUENAVISTA, FAUSTO BUENAVISTA, EMILY SENERIS, U.P. LAW ALUMNI CEBU FOUNDATION, INC., GOERING G.C. PADERANGA, DANILO V.
ANNA CLARISSA LOYOLA, SALVACION LOYOLA, RAINIER QUIROLGICO, JOSEPH LEANDRO ORTIZ, GLORIA C. ESTENZO-RAMOS, LIZA D. CORRO, LUIS V. DIORES, SR., BENJAMIN S.
LOYOLA, ANTONIO LIBREA, FILEMON SIBULO, MANUEL D. COMIA, JULITO U. SOON, RALLON, ROLANDO P. NONATO, DANTE T. RAMOS, ELSA R. DIVINAGRACIA, KAREN B.
VIRGILIO LUSTRE, AND NOEL ISORENA, MAU RESTRIVERA, MAX VILLAESTER, AND CAPARROS-ARQUILLANO, SYLVA G. AGUIRRE-PADERANGA, FOR THEMSELVES AND IN
EDILBERTO GALLOR, petitioners, BEHALF OF OTHER CITIZENS OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioners,
WORLD WAR II VETERANS LEGIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., petitioner-in- vs.
intervention, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTA-TIVES, SPEAKER JOSE G. DE VENECIA, THE SENATE OF THE
vs. PHILIPPINES, SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN DRILON, HOUSE REPRESENTATIVES FELIX
THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, REPRESENTED BY HON. SPEAKER JOSE C. DE VENECIA, FUENTEBELLA AND GILBERTO TEODORO, BY THEMSELVES AND AS REPRESENTATIVES OF
JR., THE SENATE, REPRESENTED BY HON. SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN DRILON, HON. THE GROUP OF MORE THAN 80 HOUSE REPRESENTATIVES WHO SIGNED AND FILED THE
FELIX FUENTEBELLA, ET AL., respondents. IMPEACHMENT COMPLAINT AGAINST SUPREME COURT CHIEF JUSTICE HILARIO G. DAVIDE,
x---------------------------------------------------------x JR. respondents.
G.R. No. 160318 November 10, 2003 x---------------------------------------------------------x
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, INC., CRISPIN T. REYES, petitioners, G.R. No. 160370 November 10, 2003
vs. FR. RANHILIO CALLANGAN AQUINO, petitioner,
HON. SPEAKER JOSE G. DE VENECIA, ALL MEMBERS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, HON. vs.
SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN M. DRILON, AND ALL MEMBERS, PHILIPPINE THE HONORABLE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, THE HONORABLE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE
SENATE, respondents. OF REPRESENTATIVES, respondents.
x---------------------------------------------------------x x---------------------------------------------------------x
G.R. No. 160342 November 10, 2003 G.R. No. 160376 November 10, 2003
ATTY. FERNANDO P.R. PERITO, IN HIS CAPACITY AS A MEMBER OF THE INTEGRATED BAR NILO A. MALANYAON, petitioner,
OF THE PHILIPPINES, MANILA III, AND ENGR. MAXIMO N. MENEZ JR., IN HIS CAPACITY AS vs.
A TAXPAYER AND MEMBER OF THE ENGINEERING PROFESSION, petitioners, HON. FELIX WILLIAM FUENTEBELLA AND GILBERT TEODORO, IN REPRESENTATION OF THE
vs. 86 SIGNATORIES OF THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST CHIEF JUSTICE HILARIO G.

43
DAVIDE, JR. AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, CONGRESS OF THE PHILIPPINES, branches of government of the nature, scope and extent of their respective constitutional
REPRESENTED BY ITS SPEAKER, HON. JOSE G. DE VENECIA, respondents. powers where the Constitution itself provides for the means and bases for its resolution.
x---------------------------------------------------------x Our nation's history is replete with vivid illustrations of the often frictional, at times
G.R. No. 160392 November 10, 2003 turbulent, dynamics of the relationship among these co-equal branches. This Court is
VENICIO S. FLORES AND HECTOR L. HOFILEÑA, petitioners, confronted with one such today involving the legislature and the judiciary which has drawn
vs. legal luminaries to chart antipodal courses and not a few of our countrymen to vent
THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, THROUGH SPEAKER JOSE G. DE VENECIA, AND THE cacophonous sentiments thereon.
SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES, THROUGH SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN There may indeed be some legitimacy to the characterization that the present controversy
DRILON, respondents. subject of the instant petitions – whether the filing of the second impeachment complaint
x---------------------------------------------------------x against Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. with the House of Representatives falls within the
G.R. No. 160397 November 10, 2003 one year bar provided in the Constitution, and whether the resolution thereof is a political
IN THE MATTER OF THE IMPEACHMENT COMPLAINT AGAINST CHIEF JUSTICE HILARIO G. question – has resulted in a political crisis. Perhaps even more truth to the view that it was
DAVIDE, JR., ATTY. DIOSCORO U. VALLEJOS, JR., petitioner. brought upon by a political crisis of conscience.
x---------------------------------------------------------x In any event, it is with the absolute certainty that our Constitution is sufficient to address all
G.R. No. 160403 November 10, 2003 the issues which this controversy spawns that this Court unequivocally pronounces, at the
PHILIPPINE BAR ASSOCIATION, petitioner, first instance, that the feared resort to extra-constitutional methods of resolving it is neither
vs. necessary nor legally permissible. Both its resolution and protection of the public interest lie
THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, THROUGH THE SPEAKER OR PRESIDING OFFICER, HON. in adherence to, not departure from, the Constitution.
JOSE G. DE VENECIA, REPRESENTATIVE GILBERTO G. TEODORO, JR., REPRESENTATIVE FELIX In passing over the complex issues arising from the controversy, this Court is ever mindful of
WILLIAM B. FUENTEBELA, THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES, THROUGH SENATE PRESIDENT, the essential truth that the inviolate doctrine of separation of powers among the legislative,
HON. FRANKLIN DRILON, respondents. executive or judicial branches of government by no means prescribes for absolute autonomy
x---------------------------------------------------------x in the discharge by each of that part of the governmental power assigned to it by the
G.R. No. 160405 November 10, 2003 sovereign people.
DEMOCRITO C. BARCENAS, PRESIDENT OF IBP, CEBU CITY CHAPTER, MANUEL M. At the same time, the corollary doctrine of checks and balances which has been carefully
MONZON, PRESIDING OF IBP, CEBU PROVINCE, VICTOR A. MAAMBONG, PROVINCIAL calibrated by the Constitution to temper the official acts of each of these three branches
BOARD MEMBER, ADELINO B. SITOY, DEAN OF THE COLLEG EOF LAW, UNIVERSITY OF must be given effect without destroying their indispensable co-equality.
CEBU, YOUNG LAWYERS ASSOCAITION OF CEBU, INC. [YLAC], REPRSEENTED BY ATTY. Taken together, these two fundamental doctrines of republican government, intended as
MANUEL LEGASPI, CONFEDERATION OF ACCREDITED MEDIATORS OF THE PHILIPPINES, they are to insure that governmental power is wielded only for the good of the people,
INC. [CAMP, INC], REPRESENTED BY RODERIC R. POCA, MANDAUE LAWYERS ASSOCIATION, mandate a relationship of interdependence and coordination among these branches where
[MANLAW], REPRESENTED BY FELIPE VELASQUEZ, FEDERACION INTERNACIONAL DE the delicate functions of enacting, interpreting and enforcing laws are harmonized to achieve
ABOGADAS [FIDA], REPRESENTED BY THELMA L. JORDAN, CARLOS G. CO, PRESIENT OF a unity of governance, guided only by what is in the greater interest and well-being of the
CEBU CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY AND CEBU LADY LAWYERS ASSOCIATION, people. Verily, salus populi est suprema lex.
INC. [CELLA, INC.], MARIBELLE NAVARRO AND BERNARDITO FLORIDO, PAST PRESIDENT
CEBU CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES, CEBU Article XI of our present 1987 Constitution provides:
CHAPTER, petitioners,
vs. ARTICLE XI
THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTA-TIVES, REPRESENTED BY REP. JOSE G. DE VENECIA, AS HOUSE
SPEAKER AND THE SENATE, REPRESENTED BY SENATOR FRANKLIN DRILON, AS SENATE Accountability of Public Officers
PRESIDENT, respondents.
CARPIO MORALES, J.: SECTION 1. Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must at all times be
There can be no constitutional crisis arising from a conflict, no matter how passionate and accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and
seemingly irreconcilable it may appear to be, over the determination by the independent efficiency, act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives.

44
SECTION 2. The President, the Vice-President, the Members of the Supreme Court, the
Members of the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman may be removed from 11TH CONGRESS RULES 12TH CONGRESS NEW RULES
office, on impeachment for, and conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution,
treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust. All other RULE II RULE V
public officers and employees may be removed from office as provided by law, but not by INITIATING IMPEACHMENT BAR AGAINST INITIATION OF
impeachment. Section 2. Mode of Initiating IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS
Impeachment. – Impeachment shall be AGAINST THE SAME OFFICIAL
SECTION 3. (1) The House of Representatives shall have the exclusive power to initiate all initiated only by a verified complaint for Section 16. – Impeachment
cases of impeachment. impeachment filed by any Member of the Proceedings Deemed Initiated. – In
(2) A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by any Member of the House of House of Representatives or by any citizen cases where a Member of the House
Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof, upon a resolution of endorsement by any files a verified complaint of
which shall be included in the Order of Business within ten session days, and referred to the Member thereof or by a verified complaint impeachment or a citizen files a verified
proper Committee within three session days thereafter. The Committee, after hearing, and or resolution of impeachment filed by at complaint that is endorsed by a Member
by a majority vote of all its Members, shall submit its report to the House within sixty session least one-third (1/3) of all the Members of of the House through a resolution of
days from such referral, together with the corresponding resolution. The resolution shall be the House. endorsement against an impeachable
calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from receipt thereof. officer, impeachment proceedings
(3) A vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be necessary either to against such official are deemed
affirm a favorable resolution with the Articles of Impeachment of the Committee, or override initiated on the day the Committee on
its contrary resolution. The vote of each Member shall be recorded. Justice finds that the verified complaint
(4) In case the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by at least one-third and/or resolution against such official,
of all the Members of the House, the same shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment, and as the case may be, is sufficient in
trial by the Senate shall forthwith proceed. substance, or on the date the House
(5) No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once votes to overturn or affirm the finding of
within a period of one year. the said Committee that the verified
(6) The Senate shall have the sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment. When complaint and/or resolution, as the case
sitting for that purpose, the Senators shall be on oath or affirmation. When the President of may be, is not sufficient in substance.
the Philippines is on trial, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall preside, but shall not In cases where a verified complaint or a
vote. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of all the Members resolution of impeachment is filed or
of the Senate. endorsed, as the case may be, by at least
(7) Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than removal from office and one-third (1/3) of the Members of the
disqualification to hold any office under the Republic of the Philippines, but the party House, impeachment proceedings are
convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to prosecution, trial, and punishment deemed initiated at the time of the
according to law. filing of such verified complaint or
(8) The Congress shall promulgate its rules on impeachment to effectively carry out the resolution of impeachment with the
purpose of this section. (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Secretary General.

Following the above-quoted Section 8 of Article XI of the Constitution, the 12th Congress of
the House of Representatives adopted and approved the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment RULE V Section 17. Bar Against Initiation Of
Proceedings (House Impeachment Rules) on November 28, 2001, superseding the previous BAR AGAINST IMPEACHMENT Impeachment Proceedings. – Within a
House Impeachment Rules1 approved by the 11th Congress. The relevant distinctions Section 14. Scope of Bar. – No period of one (1) year from the date
between these two Congresses' House Impeachment Rules are shown in the following impeachment proceedings shall be impeachment proceedings are deemed
tabulation: initiated against the same official more initiated as provided in Section 16
than once within the period of one (1) year. hereof, no impeachment proceedings,

45
In G.R. No. 160261, petitioner Atty. Ernesto B. Francisco, Jr., alleging that he has a duty as a
as such, can be initiated against the member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines to use all available legal remedies to stop
same official. (Italics in the original; an unconstitutional impeachment, that the issues raised in his petition for Certiorari,
emphasis and underscoring supplied) Prohibition and Mandamus are of transcendental importance, and that he "himself was a
On July 22, 2002, the House of Representatives adopted a Resolution, 2 sponsored by victim of the capricious and arbitrary changes in the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment
Representative Felix William D. Fuentebella, which directed the Committee on Justice "to Proceedings introduced by the 12th Congress,"14 posits that his right to bring an
conduct an investigation, in aid of legislation, on the manner of disbursements and impeachment complaint against then Ombudsman Aniano Desierto had been violated due
expenditures by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Judiciary Development Fund to the capricious and arbitrary changes in the House Impeachment Rules adopted and
(JDF)."3 approved on November 28, 2001 by the House of Representatives and prays that (1) Rule V,
On June 2, 2003, former President Joseph E. Estrada filed an impeachment complaint 4 (first Sections 16 and 17 and Rule III, Sections 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 thereof be declared unconstitutional;
impeachment complaint) against Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide Jr. and seven Associate (2) this Court issue a writ of mandamus directing respondents House of Representatives et.
Justices5 of this Court for "culpable violation of the Constitution, betrayal of the public trust al. to comply with Article IX, Section 3 (2), (3) and (5) of the Constitution, to return the second
and other high crimes."6 The complaint was endorsed by Representatives Rolex T. Suplico, impeachment complaint and/or strike it off the records of the House of Representatives, and
Ronaldo B. Zamora and Didagen Piang Dilangalen,7 and was referred to the House to promulgate rules which are consistent with the Constitution; and (3) this Court
Committee on Justice on August 5, 20038 in accordance with Section 3(2) of Article XI of the permanently enjoin respondent House of Representatives from proceeding with the second
Constitution which reads: impeachment complaint.
Section 3(2) A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by any Member of the House In G.R. No. 160262, petitioners Sedfrey M. Candelaria, et. al., as citizens and taxpayers,
of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member alleging that the issues of the case are of transcendental importance, pray, in their petition
thereof, which shall be included in the Order of Business within ten session days, and for Certiorari/Prohibition, the issuance of a writ "perpetually" prohibiting respondent House
referred to the proper Committee within three session days thereafter. The Committee, of Representatives from filing any Articles of Impeachment against the Chief Justice with the
after hearing, and by a majority vote of all its Members, shall submit its report to the House Senate; and for the issuance of a writ "perpetually" prohibiting respondents Senate and
within sixty session days from such referral, together with the corresponding resolution. The Senate President Franklin Drilon from accepting any Articles of Impeachment against the
resolution shall be calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from Chief Justice or, in the event that the Senate has accepted the same, from proceeding with
receipt thereof. the impeachment trial.
The House Committee on Justice ruled on October 13, 2003 that the first impeachment In G.R. No. 160263, petitioners Arturo M. de Castro and Soledad Cagampang, as citizens,
complaint was "sufficient in form,"9 but voted to dismiss the same on October 22, 2003 for taxpayers, lawyers and members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, alleging that their
being insufficient in substance.10 To date, the Committee Report to this effect has not yet petition for Prohibition involves public interest as it involves the use of public funds
been sent to the House in plenary in accordance with the said Section 3(2) of Article XI of the necessary to conduct the impeachment trial on the second impeachment complaint, pray
Constitution. for the issuance of a writ of prohibition enjoining Congress from conducting further
Four months and three weeks since the filing on June 2, 2003 of the first complaint or on proceedings on said second impeachment complaint.
October 23, 2003, a day after the House Committee on Justice voted to dismiss it, the second In G.R. No. 160277, petitioner Francisco I. Chavez, alleging that this Court has recognized
impeachment complaint11 was filed with the Secretary General of the House12 by that he has locus standi to bring petitions of this nature in the cases of Chavez v.
Representatives Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. (First District, Tarlac) and Felix William B. PCGG15 and Chavez v. PEA-Amari Coastal Bay Development Corporation,16 prays in his
Fuentebella (Third District, Camarines Sur) against Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., petition for Injunction that the second impeachment complaint be declared
founded on the alleged results of the legislative inquiry initiated by above-mentioned House unconstitutional.
Resolution. This second impeachment complaint was accompanied by a "Resolution of In G.R. No. 160292, petitioners Atty. Harry L. Roque, et. al., as taxpayers and members of
Endorsement/Impeachment" signed by at least one-third (1/3) of all the Members of the the legal profession, pray in their petition for Prohibition for an order prohibiting respondent
House of Representatives.13 House of Representatives from drafting, adopting, approving and transmitting to the Senate
Thus arose the instant petitions against the House of Representatives, et. al., most of which the second impeachment complaint, and respondents De Venecia and Nazareno from
petitions contend that the filing of the second impeachment complaint is unconstitutional transmitting the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate.
as it violates the provision of Section 5 of Article XI of the Constitution that "[n]o In G.R. No. 160295, petitioners Representatives Salacnib F. Baterina and Deputy Speaker
impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within Raul M. Gonzalez, alleging that, as members of the House of Representatives, they have a
a period of one year." legal interest in ensuring that only constitutional impeachment proceedings are initiated,

46
pray in their petition for Certiorari/Prohibition that the second impeachment complaint and of Representatives from transmitting the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate and the
any act proceeding therefrom be declared null and void. Senate from receiving the same or giving the impeachment complaint due course.
In G.R. No. 160310, petitioners Leonilo R. Alfonso et al., claiming that they have a right to be In G.R. No. 160376, petitioner Nilo A. Malanyaon, as a taxpayer, alleges in his petition for
protected against all forms of senseless spending of taxpayers' money and that they have an Prohibition that respondents Fuentebella and Teodoro at the time they filed the second
obligation to protect the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice, and the integrity of the Judiciary, impeachment complaint, were "absolutely without any legal power to do so, as they acted
allege in their petition for Certiorari and Prohibition that it is instituted as "a class suit" and without jurisdiction as far as the Articles of Impeachment assail the alleged abuse of powers
pray that (1) the House Resolution endorsing the second impeachment complaint as well as of the Chief Justice to disburse the (JDF)."
all issuances emanating therefrom be declared null and void; and (2) this Court enjoin the In G.R. No. 160392, petitioners Attorneys Venicio S. Flores and Hector L. Hofileña, alleging
Senate and the Senate President from taking cognizance of, hearing, trying and deciding the that as professors of law they have an abiding interest in the subject matter of their petition
second impeachment complaint, and issue a writ of prohibition commanding the Senate, its for Certiorari and Prohibition as it pertains to a constitutional issue "which they are trying to
prosecutors and agents to desist from conducting any proceedings or to act on the inculcate in the minds of their students," pray that the House of Representatives be enjoined
impeachment complaint. from endorsing and the Senate from trying the Articles of Impeachment and that the second
In G.R. No. 160318, petitioner Public Interest Center, Inc., whose members are citizens and impeachment complaint be declared null and void.
taxpayers, and its co-petitioner Crispin T. Reyes, a citizen, taxpayer and a member of the In G.R. No. 160397, petitioner Atty. Dioscoro Vallejos, Jr., without alleging his locus standi,
Philippine Bar, both allege in their petition, which does not state what its nature is, that the but alleging that the second impeachment complaint is founded on the issue of whether or
filing of the second impeachment complaint involves paramount public interest and pray not the Judicial Development Fund (JDF) was spent in accordance with law and that the
that Sections 16 and 17 of the House Impeachment Rules and the second impeachment House of Representatives does not have exclusive jurisdiction in the examination and audit
complaint/Articles of Impeachment be declared null and void. thereof, prays in his petition "To Declare Complaint Null and Void for Lack of Cause of Action
In G.R. No. 160342, petitioner Atty. Fernando P. R. Perito, as a citizen and a member of the and Jurisdiction" that the second impeachment complaint be declared null and void.
Philippine Bar Association and of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and petitioner Engr. In G.R. No. 160403, petitioner Philippine Bar Association, alleging that the issues raised in
Maximo N. Menez, Jr., as a taxpayer, pray in their petition for the issuance of a Temporary the filing of the second impeachment complaint involve matters of transcendental
Restraining Order and Permanent Injunction to enjoin the House of Representatives from importance, prays in its petition for Certiorari/Prohibition that (1) the second impeachment
proceeding with the second impeachment complaint. complaint and all proceedings arising therefrom be declared null and void; (2) respondent
In G.R. No. 160343, petitioner Integrated Bar of the Philippines, alleging that it is mandated House of Representatives be prohibited from transmitting the Articles of Impeachment to
by the Code of Professional Responsibility to uphold the Constitution, prays in its petition for the Senate; and (3) respondent Senate be prohibited from accepting the Articles of
Certiorari and Prohibition that Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V and Sections 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 of Rule Impeachment and from conducting any proceedings thereon.
III of the House Impeachment Rules be declared unconstitutional and that the House of In G.R. No. 160405, petitioners Democrit C. Barcenas et. al., as citizens and taxpayers, pray
Representatives be permanently enjoined from proceeding with the second impeachment in their petition for Certiorari/Prohibition that (1) the second impeachment complaint as well
complaint. as the resolution of endorsement and impeachment by the respondent House of
In G.R. No. 160360, petitioner-taxpayer Atty. Claro Flores prays in his petition for Certiorari Representatives be declared null and void and (2) respondents Senate and Senate President
and Prohibition that the House Impeachment Rules be declared unconstitutional. Franklin Drilon be prohibited from accepting any Articles of Impeachment against the Chief
In G.R. No. 160365, petitioners U.P. Law Alumni Cebu Foundation Inc., et. al., in their petition Justice or, in the event that they have accepted the same, that they be prohibited from
for Prohibition and Injunction which they claim is a class suit filed in behalf of all citizens, proceeding with the impeachment trial.
citing Oposa v. Factoran17 which was filed in behalf of succeeding generations of Filipinos, Petitions bearing docket numbers G.R. Nos. 160261, 160262 and 160263, the first three of
pray for the issuance of a writ prohibiting respondents House of Representatives and the the eighteen which were filed before this Court,18 prayed for the issuance of a Temporary
Senate from conducting further proceedings on the second impeachment complaint and Restraining Order and/or preliminary injunction to prevent the House of Representatives
that this Court declare as unconstitutional the second impeachment complaint and the acts from transmitting the Articles of Impeachment arising from the second impeachment
of respondent House of Representatives in interfering with the fiscal matters of the Judiciary. complaint to the Senate. Petition bearing docket number G.R. No. 160261 likewise prayed
In G.R. No. 160370, petitioner-taxpayer Father Ranhilio Callangan Aquino, alleging that the for the declaration of the November 28, 2001 House Impeachment Rules as null and void for
issues in his petition for Prohibition are of national and transcendental significance and that being unconstitutional.
as an official of the Philippine Judicial Academy, he has a direct and substantial interest in Petitions bearing docket numbers G.R. Nos. 160277, 160292 and 160295, which were filed
the unhampered operation of the Supreme Court and its officials in discharging their duties on October 28, 2003, sought similar relief. In addition, petition bearing docket number G.R.
in accordance with the Constitution, prays for the issuance of a writ prohibiting the House No. 160292 alleged that House Resolution No. 260 (calling for a legislative inquiry into the

47
administration by the Chief Justice of the JDF) infringes on the constitutional doctrine of On October 30, 2003, Atty. Jaime Soriano filed a "Petition for Leave to Intervene" in G.R. Nos.
separation of powers and is a direct violation of the constitutional principle of fiscal 160261, 160262, 160263, 160277, 160292, and 160295, questioning the status
autonomy of the judiciary. quo Resolution issued by this Court on October 28, 2003 on the ground that it would
On October 28, 2003, during the plenary session of the House of Representatives, a motion unnecessarily put Congress and this Court in a "constitutional deadlock" and praying for the
was put forth that the second impeachment complaint be formally transmitted to the dismissal of all the petitions as the matter in question is not yet ripe for judicial
Senate, but it was not carried because the House of Representatives adjourned for lack of determination.
quorum,19 and as reflected above, to date, the Articles of Impeachment have yet to be On November 3, 2003, Attorneys Romulo B. Macalintal and Pete Quirino Quadra filed in G.R.
forwarded to the Senate. No. 160262 a "Motion for Leave of Court to Intervene and to Admit the Herein Incorporated
Before acting on the petitions with prayers for temporary restraining order and/or writ of Petition in Intervention."
preliminary injunction which were filed on or before October 28, 2003, Justices Puno and On November 4, 2003, Nagmamalasakit na mga Manananggol ng mga Manggagawang
Vitug offered to recuse themselves, but the Court rejected their offer. Justice Panganiban Pilipino, Inc. filed a Motion for Intervention in G.R. No. 160261. On November 5, 2003, World
inhibited himself, but the Court directed him to participate. War II Veterans Legionnaires of the Philippines, Inc. also filed a "Petition-in-Intervention with
Without necessarily giving the petitions due course, this Court in its Resolution of October Leave to Intervene" in G.R. Nos. 160261, 160262, 160263, 160277, 160292, 160295, and
28, 2003, resolved to (a) consolidate the petitions; (b) require respondent House of 160310.
Representatives and the Senate, as well as the Solicitor General, to comment on the petitions The motions for intervention were granted and both Senator Pimentel's Comment and
not later than 4:30 p.m. of November 3, 2003; (c) set the petitions for oral arguments on Attorneys Macalintal and Quadra's Petition in Intervention were admitted.
November 5, 2003, at 10:00 a.m.; and (d) appointed distinguished legal experts as amici On November 5-6, 2003, this Court heard the views of the amici curiae and the arguments
curiae.20 In addition, this Court called on petitioners and respondents to maintain the status of petitioners, intervenors Senator Pimentel and Attorney Makalintal, and Solicitor General
quo, enjoining all the parties and others acting for and in their behalf to refrain from Alfredo Benipayo on the principal issues outlined in an Advisory issued by this Court on
committing acts that would render the petitions moot. November 3, 2003, to wit:
Also on October 28, 2003, when respondent House of Representatives through Speaker Jose Whether the certiorari jurisdiction of the Supreme Court may be invoked; who can invoke it;
C. De Venecia, Jr. and/or its co-respondents, by way of special appearance, submitted a on what issues and at what time; and whether it should be exercised by this Court at this
Manifestation asserting that this Court has no jurisdiction to hear, much less prohibit or time.
enjoin the House of Representatives, which is an independent and co-equal branch of In discussing these issues, the following may be taken up:
government under the Constitution, from the performance of its constitutionally mandated a) locus standi of petitioners;
duty to initiate impeachment cases. On even date, Senator Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr., in his b) ripeness(prematurity; mootness);
own behalf, filed a Motion to Intervene (Ex Abudante Cautela)21 and Comment, praying that c) political question/justiciability;
"the consolidated petitions be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction of the Court over the issues d) House's "exclusive" power to initiate all cases of impeachment;
affecting the impeachment proceedings and that the sole power, authority and jurisdiction e) Senate's "sole" power to try and decide all cases of impeachment;
of the Senate as the impeachment court to try and decide impeachment cases, including the f) constitutionality of the House Rules on Impeachment vis-a-vis Section 3(5) of Article XI of
one where the Chief Justice is the respondent, be recognized and upheld pursuant to the the Constitution; and
provisions of Article XI of the Constitution."22 g) judicial restraint (Italics in the original)
Acting on the other petitions which were subsequently filed, this Court resolved to (a) In resolving the intricate conflux of preliminary and substantive issues arising from the
consolidate them with the earlier consolidated petitions; (b) require respondents to file their instant petitions as well as the myriad arguments and opinions presented for and against the
comment not later than 4:30 p.m. of November 3, 2003; and (c) include them for oral grant of the reliefs prayed for, this Court has sifted and determined them to be as follows:
arguments on November 5, 2003. (1) the threshold and novel issue of whether or not the power of judicial review extends to
On October 29, 2003, the Senate of the Philippines, through Senate President Franklin M. those arising from impeachment proceedings; (2) whether or not the essential pre-requisites
Drilon, filed a Manifestation stating that insofar as it is concerned, the petitions are plainly for the exercise of the power of judicial review have been fulfilled; and (3) the substantive
premature and have no basis in law or in fact, adding that as of the time of the filing of the issues yet remaining. These matters shall now be discussed in seriatim.
petitions, no justiciable issue was presented before it since (1) its constitutional duty to Judicial Review
constitute itself as an impeachment court commences only upon its receipt of the Articles of As reflected above, petitioners plead for this Court to exercise the power of judicial review
Impeachment, which it had not, and (2) the principal issues raised by the petitions pertain to determine the validity of the second impeachment complaint.
exclusively to the proceedings in the House of Representatives.

48
This Court's power of judicial review is conferred on the judicial branch of the government actual controversy the rights which that instrument secures and guarantees to them. This
in Section 1, Article VIII of our present 1987 Constitution: is in truth all that is involved in what is termed "judicial supremacy" which properly is the
SECTION 1. The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts power of judicial review under the Constitution. Even then, this power of judicial review is
as may be established by law. limited to actual cases and controversies to be exercised after full opportunity of argument
Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies by the parties, and limited further to the constitutional question raised or the very lis
involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether mota presented. Any attempt at abstraction could only lead to dialectics and barren legal
or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction questions and to sterile conclusions unrelated to actualities. Narrowed as its function is in
on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government. (Emphasis supplied) this manner, the judiciary does not pass upon questions of wisdom, justice or expediency of
Such power of judicial review was early on exhaustively expounded upon by Justice Jose P. legislation. More than that, courts accord the presumption of constitutionality to legislative
Laurel in the definitive 1936 case of Angara v. Electoral Commission23 after the effectivity of enactments, not only because the legislature is presumed to abide by the Constitution but
the 1935 Constitution whose provisions, unlike the present Constitution, did not contain the also because the judiciary in the determination of actual cases and controversies must reflect
present provision in Article VIII, Section 1, par. 2 on what judicial power includes. Thus, the wisdom and justice of the people as expressed through their representatives in the
Justice Laurel discoursed: executive and legislative departments of the government.24 (Italics in the original; emphasis
x x x In times of social disquietude or political excitement, the great landmarks of the and underscoring supplied)
Constitution are apt to be forgotten or marred, if not entirely obliterated. In cases of conflict, As pointed out by Justice Laurel, this "moderating power" to "determine the proper
the judicial department is the only constitutional organ which can be called upon allocation of powers" of the different branches of government and "to direct the course of
to determine the proper allocation of powers between the several departments and government along constitutional channels" is inherent in all courts25 as a necessary
among the integral or constituent units thereof. consequence of the judicial power itself, which is "the power of the court to settle actual
As any human production, our Constitution is of course lacking perfection and perfectibility, controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable."26
but as much as it was within the power of our people, acting through their delegates to so Thus, even in the United States where the power of judicial review is not explicitly conferred
provide, that instrument which is the expression of their sovereignty however limited, has upon the courts by its Constitution, such power has "been set at rest by popular
established a republican government intended to operate and function as a harmonious acquiescence for a period of more than one and a half centuries." To be sure, it was in the
whole, under a system of checks and balances, and subject to specific limitations and 1803 leading case of Marbury v. Madison27 that the power of judicial review was first
restrictions provided in the said instrument. The Constitution sets forth in no uncertain articulated by Chief Justice Marshall, to wit:
language the restrictions and limitations upon governmental powers and agencies. If these It is also not entirely unworthy of observation, that in declaring what shall be the supreme
restrictions and limitations are transcended it would be inconceivable if the Constitution law of the land, the constitution itself is first mentioned; and not the laws of the United
had not provided for a mechanism by which to direct the course of government along States generally, but those only which shall be made in pursuance of the constitution, have
constitutional channels,for then the distribution of powers would be mere verbiage, the bill that rank.
of rights mere expressions of sentiment, and the principles of good government mere Thus, the particular phraseology of the constitution of the United States confirms and
political apothegms. Certainly, the limitations and restrictions embodied in our Constitution strengthens the principle, supposed to be essential to all written constitutions, that a law
are real as they should be in any living constitution. In the United States where no express repugnant to the constitution is void; and that courts, as well as other departments, are
constitutional grant is found in their constitution, the possession of this moderating power bound by that instrument.28(Italics in the original; emphasis supplied)
of the courts, not to speak of its historical origin and development there, has been set at rest In our own jurisdiction, as early as 1902, decades before its express grant in the 1935
by popular acquiescence for a period of more than one and a half centuries. In our case, this Constitution, the power of judicial review was exercised by our courts to invalidate
moderating power is granted, if not expressly, by clear implication from section 2 of article constitutionally infirm acts.29 And as pointed out by noted political law professor and former
VIII of our Constitution. Supreme Court Justice Vicente V. Mendoza,30 the executive and legislative branches of our
The Constitution is a definition of the powers of government. Who is to determine the government in fact effectively acknowledged this power of judicial review in Article 7 of the
nature, scope and extent of such powers? The Constitution itself has provided for the Civil Code, to wit:
instrumentality of the judiciary as the rational way. And when the judiciary mediates to Article 7. Laws are repealed only by subsequent ones, and their violation or non-observance
allocate constitutional boundaries, it does not assert any superiority over the other shall not be excused by disuse, or custom or practice to the contrary.
departments; it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature, but only When the courts declare a law to be inconsistent with the Constitution, the former shall
asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to determine be void and the latter shall govern.
conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and to establish for the parties in an

49
Administrative or executive acts, orders and regulations shall be valid only when they are a number of cases against the government, which then had no legal defense at all, the
not contrary to the laws or the Constitution. (Emphasis supplied) solicitor general set up the defense of political questions and got away with it. As a
As indicated in Angara v. Electoral Commission,31 judicial review is indeed an integral consequence, certain principles concerning particularly the writ of habeas corpus, that is,
component of the delicate system of checks and balances which, together with the corollary the authority of courts to order the release of political detainees, and other matters related
principle of separation of powers, forms the bedrock of our republican form of government to the operation and effect of martial law failed because the government set up the defense
and insures that its vast powers are utilized only for the benefit of the people for which it of political question. And the Supreme Court said: "Well, since it is political, we have no
serves. authority to pass upon it." The Committee on the Judiciary feels that this was not a proper
The separation of powers is a fundamental principle in our system of government. It solution of the questions involved. It did not merely request an encroachment upon the
obtains not through express provision but by actual division in our Constitution. Each rights of the people, but it, in effect, encouraged further violations thereof during the
department of the government has exclusive cognizance of matters within its jurisdiction, martial law regime. x x x
and is supreme within its own sphere. But it does not follow from the fact that the three xxx
powers are to be kept separate and distinct that the Constitution intended them to be Briefly stated, courts of justice determine the limits of power of the agencies and offices
absolutely unrestrained and independent of each other. The Constitution has provided for of the government as well as those of its officers. In other words, the judiciary is the final
an elaborate system of checks and balances to secure coordination in the workings of the arbiter on the question whether or not a branch of government or any of its officials has
various departments of the government. x x x And the judiciary in turn, with the Supreme acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction, or so capriciously as to constitute an
Court as the final arbiter, effectively checks the other departments in the exercise of its abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction or lack of jurisdiction. This is not
power to determine the law, and hence to declare executive and legislative acts void if only a judicial power but a duty to pass judgment on matters of this nature.
violative of the Constitution.32 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) This is the background of paragraph 2 of Section 1, which means that the courts cannot
In the scholarly estimation of former Supreme Court Justice Florentino Feliciano, "x x x hereafter evade the duty to settle matters of this nature, by claiming that such matters
judicial review is essential for the maintenance and enforcement of the separation of powers constitute a political question.35 (Italics in the original; emphasis and underscoring supplied)
and the balancing of powers among the three great departments of government through the To determine the merits of the issues raised in the instant petitions, this Court must
definition and maintenance of the boundaries of authority and control between them."33 To necessarily turn to the Constitution itself which employs the well-settled principles of
him, "[j]udicial review is the chief, indeed the only, medium of participation – or instrument constitutional construction.
of intervention – of the judiciary in that balancing operation."34 First, verba legis, that is, wherever possible, the words used in the Constitution must be given
To ensure the potency of the power of judicial review to curb grave abuse of discretion by their ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed. Thus, in J.M. Tuason &
"any branch or instrumentalities of government," the afore-quoted Section 1, Article VIII of Co., Inc. v. Land Tenure Administration,36 this Court, speaking through Chief Justice Enrique
the Constitution engraves, for the first time into its history, into block letter law the so-called Fernando, declared:
"expanded certiorari jurisdiction" of this Court, the nature of and rationale for which are We look to the language of the document itself in our search for its meaning. We do not
mirrored in the following excerpt from the sponsorship speech of its proponent, former Chief of course stop there, but that is where we begin. It is to be assumed that the words in
Justice Constitutional Commissioner Roberto Concepcion: which constitutional provisions are couched express the objective sought to be attained.
xxx They are to be given their ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed
The first section starts with a sentence copied from former Constitutions. It says: in which case the significance thus attached to them prevails. As the Constitution is not
The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be primarily a lawyer's document, it being essential for the rule of law to obtain that it should
established by law. ever be present in the people's consciousness, its language as much as possible should be
I suppose nobody can question it. understood in the sense they have in common use. What it says according to the text of the
The next provision is new in our constitutional law. I will read it first and explain. provision to be construed compels acceptance and negates the power of the courts to alter
Judicial power includes the duty of courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving it, based on the postulate that the framers and the people mean what they say. Thus these
rights which are legally demandable and enforceable and to determine whether or not there are the cases where the need for construction is reduced to a minimum. 37 (Emphasis and
has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part underscoring supplied)
or instrumentality of the government. Second, where there is ambiguity, ratio legis est anima. The words of the Constitution should
Fellow Members of this Commission, this is actually a product of our experience during be interpreted in accordance with the intent of its framers. And so did this Court apply this
martial law. As a matter of fact, it has some antecedents in the past, but the role of the principle in Civil Liberties Union v. Executive Secretary38 in this wise:
judiciary during the deposed regime was marred considerably by the circumstance that in

50
A foolproof yardstick in constitutional construction is the intention underlying the provision are powerless to vary the terms of the Constitution when the meaning is clear. Debates in
under consideration. Thus, it has been held that the Court in construing a Constitution should the constitutional convention "are of value as showing the views of the individual members,
bear in mind the object sought to be accomplished by its adoption, and the evils, if any, and as indicating the reasons for their votes, but they give us no light as to the views of the
sought to be prevented or remedied. A doubtful provision will be examined in the light of large majority who did not talk, much less of the mass of our fellow citizens whose votes at
the history of the times, and the condition and circumstances under which the Constitution the polls gave that instrument the force of fundamental law. We think it safer to construe
was framed. The object is to ascertain the reason which induced the framers of the the constitution from what appears upon its face." The proper interpretation therefore
Constitution to enact the particular provision and the purpose sought to be accomplished depends more on how it was understood by the people adopting it than in the framers's
thereby, in order to construe the whole as to make the words consonant to that reason understanding thereof.46 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)
and calculated to effect that purpose.39 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) It is in the context of the foregoing backdrop of constitutional refinement and jurisprudential
As it did in Nitafan v. Commissioner on Internal Revenue40 where, speaking through Madame application of the power of judicial review that respondents Speaker De Venecia, et. al. and
Justice Amuerfina A. Melencio-Herrera, it declared: intervenor Senator Pimentel raise the novel argument that the Constitution has excluded
x x x The ascertainment of that intent is but in keeping with the fundamental principle of impeachment proceedings from the coverage of judicial review.
constitutional construction that the intent of the framers of the organic law and of the Briefly stated, it is the position of respondents Speaker De Venecia et. al. that impeachment
people adopting it should be given effect. The primary task in constitutional construction is is a political action which cannot assume a judicial character. Hence, any question, issue or
to ascertain and thereafter assure the realization of the purpose of the framers and of the incident arising at any stage of the impeachment proceeding is beyond the reach of judicial
people in the adoption of the Constitution. It may also be safely assumed that the people review.47
in ratifying the Constitution were guided mainly by the explanation offered by the For his part, intervenor Senator Pimentel contends that the Senate's "sole power to
framers.41 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) try" impeachment cases48 (1) entirely excludes the application of judicial review over it; and
Finally, ut magis valeat quam pereat. The Constitution is to be interpreted as a whole. Thus, (2) necessarily includes the Senate's power to determine constitutional questions relative to
in Chiongbian v. De Leon,42 this Court, through Chief Justice Manuel Moran declared: impeachment proceedings.49
x x x [T]he members of the Constitutional Convention could not have dedicated a provision In furthering their arguments on the proposition that impeachment proceedings are outside
of our Constitution merely for the benefit of one person without considering that it could the scope of judicial review, respondents Speaker De Venecia, et. al. and intervenor Senator
also affect others.When they adopted subsection 2, they permitted, if not willed, that said Pimentel rely heavily on American authorities, principally the majority opinion in the case
provision should function to the full extent of its substance and its terms, not by itself of Nixon v. United States.50 Thus, they contend that the exercise of judicial review over
alone, but in conjunction with all other provisions of that great document.43 (Emphasis and impeachment proceedings is inappropriate since it runs counter to the framers' decision to
underscoring supplied) allocate to different fora the powers to try impeachments and to try crimes; it disturbs the
Likewise, still in Civil Liberties Union v. Executive Secretary,44 this Court affirmed that: system of checks and balances, under which impeachment is the only legislative check on
It is a well-established rule in constitutional construction that no one provision of the the judiciary; and it would create a lack of finality and difficulty in fashioning
Constitution is to be separated from all the others, to be considered alone, but that all the relief.51 Respondents likewise point to deliberations on the US Constitution to show the
provisions bearing upon a particular subject are to be brought into view and to be so intent to isolate judicial power of review in cases of impeachment.
interpreted as to effectuate the great purposes of the instrument. Sections bearing on a Respondents' and intervenors' reliance upon American jurisprudence, the American
particular subject should be considered and interpreted together as to effectuate the Constitution and American authorities cannot be credited to support the proposition that
whole purpose of the Constitution and one section is not to be allowed to defeat another, the Senate's "sole power to try and decide impeachment cases," as provided for under Art.
if by any reasonable construction, the two can be made to stand together. XI, Sec. 3(6) of the Constitution, is a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of
In other words, the court must harmonize them, if practicable, and must lean in favor of a all issues pertaining to impeachment to the legislature, to the total exclusion of the power
construction which will render every word operative, rather than one which may make the of judicial review to check and restrain any grave abuse of the impeachment process. Nor
words idle and nugatory.45 (Emphasis supplied) can it reasonably support the interpretation that it necessarily confers upon the Senate the
If, however, the plain meaning of the word is not found to be clear, resort to other aids is inherently judicial power to determine constitutional questions incident to impeachment
available. In still the same case of Civil Liberties Union v. Executive Secretary, this Court proceedings.
expounded: Said American jurisprudence and authorities, much less the American Constitution, are of
While it is permissible in this jurisdiction to consult the debates and proceedings of the dubious application for these are no longer controlling within our jurisdiction and have only
constitutional convention in order to arrive at the reason and purpose of the resulting limited persuasive merit insofar as Philippine constitutional law is concerned. As held in the
Constitution, resort thereto may be had only when other guides fail as said proceedings case of Garcia vs. COMELEC,52 "[i]n resolving constitutional disputes, [this Court] should not

51
be beguiled by foreign jurisprudence some of which are hardly applicable because they have alleged to have infringed the Constitution, it becomes not only the right but in fact the duty
been dictated by different constitutional settings and needs." 53 Indeed, although the of the judiciary to settle the dispute. In Bondoc v. Pineda,62 this Court declared null and void
Philippine Constitution can trace its origins to that of the United States, their paths of a resolution of the House of Representatives withdrawing the nomination, and rescinding
development have long since diverged. In the colorful words of Father Bernas, "[w]e have the election, of a congressman as a member of the House Electoral Tribunal for being
cut the umbilical cord." violative of Section 17, Article VI of the Constitution. In Coseteng v. Mitra,63 it held that the
The major difference between the judicial power of the Philippine Supreme Court and that resolution of whether the House representation in the Commission on Appointments was
of the U.S. Supreme Court is that while the power of judicial review is only impliedly granted based on proportional representation of the political parties as provided in Section 18,
to the U.S. Supreme Court and is discretionary in nature, that granted to the Philippine Article VI of the Constitution is subject to judicial review. In Daza v. Singson,64 it held that the
Supreme Court and lower courts, as expressly provided for in the Constitution, is not just a act of the House of Representatives in removing the petitioner from the Commission on
power but also a duty, and it was given an expanded definition to include the power to Appointments is subject to judicial review. In Tanada v. Cuenco,65 it held that although under
correct any grave abuse of discretion on the part of any government branch or the Constitution, the legislative power is vested exclusively in Congress, this does not detract
instrumentality. from the power of the courts to pass upon the constitutionality of acts of Congress. In Angara
There are also glaring distinctions between the U.S. Constitution and the Philippine v. Electoral Commission,66 it ruled that confirmation by the National Assembly of the election
Constitution with respect to the power of the House of Representatives over impeachment of any member, irrespective of whether his election is contested, is not essential before such
proceedings. While the U.S. Constitution bestows sole power of impeachment to the House member-elect may discharge the duties and enjoy the privileges of a member of the National
of Representatives without limitation,54 our Constitution, though vesting in the House of Assembly.
Representatives the exclusive power to initiate impeachment cases,55 provides for several Finally, there exists no constitutional basis for the contention that the exercise of judicial
limitations to the exercise of such power as embodied in Section 3(2), (3), (4) and (5), Article review over impeachment proceedings would upset the system of checks and balances.
XI thereof. These limitations include the manner of filing, required vote to impeach, and the Verily, the Constitution is to be interpreted as a whole and "one section is not to be allowed
one year bar on the impeachment of one and the same official. to defeat another."67 Both are integral components of the calibrated system of
Respondents are also of the view that judicial review of impeachments undermines their independence and interdependence that insures that no branch of government act beyond
finality and may also lead to conflicts between Congress and the judiciary. Thus, they call the powers assigned to it by the Constitution.
upon this Court to exercise judicial statesmanship on the principle that "whenever possible, Essential Requisites for Judicial Review
the Court should defer to the judgment of the people expressed legislatively, recognizing full As clearly stated in Angara v. Electoral Commission, the courts' power of judicial review, like
well the perils of judicial willfulness and pride."56 almost all powers conferred by the Constitution, is subject to several limitations, namely: (1)
But did not the people also express their will when they instituted the above-mentioned an actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power; (2) the person
safeguards in the Constitution? This shows that the Constitution did not intend to leave the challenging the act must have "standing" to challenge; he must have a personal and
matter of impeachment to the sole discretion of Congress. Instead, it provided for certain substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a
well-defined limits, or in the language of Baker v. Carr,57"judicially discoverable standards" result of its enforcement; (3) the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest
for determining the validity of the exercise of such discretion, through the power of judicial possible opportunity; and (4) the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the
review. case.
The cases of Romulo v. Yniguez58 and Alejandrino v. Quezon,59 cited by respondents in x x x Even then, this power of judicial review is limited to actual cases and controversies to
support of the argument that the impeachment power is beyond the scope of judicial review, be exercised after full opportunity of argument by the parties, and limited further to the
are not in point. These cases concern the denial of petitions for writs of mandamus to compel constitutional question raised or the very lis mota presented. Any attempt at abstraction
the legislature to perform non-ministerial acts, and do not concern the exercise of the power could only lead to dialectics and barren legal questions and to sterile conclusions unrelated
of judicial review. to actualities. Narrowed as its function is in this manner, the judiciary does not pass upon
There is indeed a plethora of cases in which this Court exercised the power of judicial review questions of wisdom, justice or expediency of legislation. More than that, courts accord the
over congressional action. Thus, in Santiago v. Guingona, Jr.,60 this Court ruled that it is well presumption of constitutionality to legislative enactments, not only because the legislature
within the power and jurisdiction of the Court to inquire whether the Senate or its officials is presumed to abide by the Constitution but also because the judiciary in the determination
committed a violation of the Constitution or grave abuse of discretion in the exercise of their of actual cases and controversies must reflect the wisdom and justice of the people as
functions and prerogatives. In Tanada v. Angara,61 in seeking to nullify an act of the expressed through their representatives in the executive and legislative departments of the
Philippine Senate on the ground that it contravened the Constitution, it held that the petition government.68 (Italics in the original)
raises a justiciable controversy and that when an action of the legislative branch is seriously Standing

52
Locus standi or legal standing or has been defined as a personal and substantial interest in On the other hand, the question as to "real party in interest" is whether he is "the party who
the case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the would be benefited or injured by the judgment, or the 'party entitled to the avails of the
governmental act that is being challenged. The gist of the question of standing is whether a suit.'"76 (Citations omitted)
party alleges such personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that While rights personal to the Chief Justice may have been injured by the alleged
concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court unconstitutional acts of the House of Representatives, none of the petitioners before us
depends for illumination of difficult constitutional questions.69 asserts a violation of the personal rights of the Chief Justice. On the contrary, they invariably
Intervenor Soriano, in praying for the dismissal of the petitions, contends that petitioners do invoke the vindication of their own rights – as taxpayers; members of Congress; citizens,
not have standing since only the Chief Justice has sustained and will sustain direct personal individually or in a class suit; and members of the bar and of the legal profession – which
injury. Amicus curiae former Justice Minister and Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza similarly were supposedly violated by the alleged unconstitutional acts of the House of
contends. Representatives.
Upon the other hand, the Solicitor General asserts that petitioners have standing since this In a long line of cases, however, concerned citizens, taxpayers and legislators when specific
Court had, in the past, accorded standing to taxpayers, voters, concerned citizens, legislators requirements have been met have been given standing by this Court.
in cases involving paramount public interest70 and transcendental importance,71 and that When suing as a citizen, the interest of the petitioner assailing the constitutionality of a
procedural matters are subordinate to the need to determine whether or not the other statute must be direct and personal. He must be able to show, not only that the law or any
branches of the government have kept themselves within the limits of the Constitution and government act is invalid, but also that he sustained or is in imminent danger of sustaining
the laws and that they have not abused the discretion given to them.72 Amicus curiae Dean some direct injury as a result of its enforcement, and not merely that he suffers thereby in
Raul Pangalangan of the U.P. College of Law is of the same opinion, citing transcendental some indefinite way. It must appear that the person complaining has been or is about to be
importance and the well-entrenched rule exception that, when the real party in interest is denied some right or privilege to which he is lawfully entitled or that he is about to be
unable to vindicate his rights by seeking the same remedies, as in the case of the Chief Justice subjected to some burdens or penalties by reason of the statute or act complained of. 77 In
who, for ethical reasons, cannot himself invoke the jurisdiction of this Court, the courts will fine, when the proceeding involves the assertion of a public right, 78 the mere fact that he is
grant petitioners standing. a citizen satisfies the requirement of personal interest.
There is, however, a difference between the rule on real-party-in-interest and the rule on In the case of a taxpayer, he is allowed to sue where there is a claim that public funds are
standing, for the former is a concept of civil procedure73 while the latter has constitutional illegally disbursed, or that public money is being deflected to any improper purpose, or that
underpinnings.74 In view of the arguments set forth regarding standing, it behooves the there is a wastage of public funds through the enforcement of an invalid or unconstitutional
Court to reiterate the ruling in Kilosbayan, Inc. v. Morato75 to clarify what is meant by locus law.79 Before he can invoke the power of judicial review, however, he must specifically prove
standi and to distinguish it from real party-in-interest. that he has sufficient interest in preventing the illegal expenditure of money raised by
The difference between the rule on standing and real party in interest has been noted by taxation and that he would sustain a direct injury as a result of the enforcement of the
authorities thus: "It is important to note . . . that standing because of its constitutional and questioned statute or contract. It is not sufficient that he has merely a general interest
public policy underpinnings, is very different from questions relating to whether a particular common to all members of the public.80
plaintiff is the real party in interest or has capacity to sue. Although all three requirements At all events, courts are vested with discretion as to whether or not a taxpayer's suit should
are directed towards ensuring that only certain parties can maintain an action, standing be entertained.81 This Court opts to grant standing to most of the petitioners, given their
restrictions require a partial consideration of the merits, as well as broader policy concerns allegation that any impending transmittal to the Senate of the Articles of Impeachment and
relating to the proper role of the judiciary in certain areas. the ensuing trial of the Chief Justice will necessarily involve the expenditure of public funds.
Standing is a special concern in constitutional law because in some cases suits are brought As for a legislator, he is allowed to sue to question the validity of any official action which he
not by parties who have been personally injured by the operation of a law or by official action claims infringes his prerogatives as a legislator.82 Indeed, a member of the House of
taken, but by concerned citizens, taxpayers or voters who actually sue in the public interest. Representatives has standing to maintain inviolate the prerogatives, powers and privileges
Hence the question in standing is whether such parties have "alleged such a personal stake vested by the Constitution in his office.83
in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens While an association has legal personality to represent its members,84 especially when it is
the presentation of issues upon which the court so largely depends for illumination of composed of substantial taxpayers and the outcome will affect their vital interests,85 the
difficult constitutional questions." mere invocation by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines or any member of the legal
xxx profession of the duty to preserve the rule of law and nothing more, although undoubtedly
true, does not suffice to clothe it with standing. Its interest is too general. It is shared by
other groups and the whole citizenry. However, a reading of the petitions shows that it has

53
advanced constitutional issues which deserve the attention of this Court in view of their alleging that "they will suffer if this insidious scheme of the minority members of the House
seriousness, novelty and weight as precedents.86 It, therefore, behooves this Court to relax of Representatives is successful," this Court found the requisites for intervention had been
the rules on standing and to resolve the issues presented by it. complied with.
In the same vein, when dealing with class suits filed in behalf of all citizens, persons Alleging that the issues raised in the petitions in G.R. Nos. 160261, 160262, 160263, 160277,
intervening must be sufficiently numerous to fully protect the interests of all concerned87 to 160292, 160295, and 160310 were of transcendental importance, World War II Veterans
enable the court to deal properly with all interests involved in the suit,88 for a judgment in a Legionnaires of the Philippines, Inc. filed a "Petition-in-Intervention with Leave to Intervene"
class suit, whether favorable or unfavorable to the class, is, under the res judicata principle, to raise the additional issue of whether or not the second impeachment complaint against
binding on all members of the class whether or not they were before the court. 89 Where it the Chief Justice is valid and based on any of the grounds prescribed by the Constitution.
clearly appears that not all interests can be sufficiently represented as shown by the Finding that Nagmamalasakit na mga Manananggol ng mga Manggagawang Pilipino, Inc., et
divergent issues raised in the numerous petitions before this Court, G.R. No. 160365 as a al. and World War II Veterans Legionnaires of the Philippines, Inc. possess a legal interest in
class suit ought to fail. Since petitioners additionallyallege standing as citizens and taxpayers, the matter in litigation the respective motions to intervene were hereby granted.
however, their petition will stand. Senator Aquilino Pimentel, on the other hand, sought to intervene for the limited purpose
The Philippine Bar Association, in G.R. No. 160403, invokes the sole ground of transcendental of making of record and arguing a point of view that differs with Senate President Drilon's.
importance, while Atty. Dioscoro U. Vallejos, in G.R. No. 160397, is mum on his standing. He alleges that submitting to this Court's jurisdiction as the Senate President does will
There being no doctrinal definition of transcendental importance, the following instructive undermine the independence of the Senate which will sit as an impeachment court once the
determinants formulated by former Supreme Court Justice Florentino P. Feliciano are Articles of Impeachment are transmitted to it from the House of Representatives. Clearly,
instructive: (1) the character of the funds or other assets involved in the case; (2) the Senator Pimentel possesses a legal interest in the matter in litigation, he being a member of
presence of a clear case of disregard of a constitutional or statutory prohibition by the public Congress against which the herein petitions are directed. For this reason, and to fully
respondent agency or instrumentality of the government; and (3) the lack of any other party ventilate all substantial issues relating to the matter at hand, his Motion to Intervene was
with a more direct and specific interest in raising the questions being raised.90 Applying these granted and he was, as earlier stated, allowed to argue.
determinants, this Court is satisfied that the issues raised herein are indeed of Lastly, as to Jaime N. Soriano's motion to intervene, the same must be denied for, while he
transcendental importance. asserts an interest as a taxpayer, he failed to meet the standing requirement for bringing
In not a few cases, this Court has in fact adopted a liberal attitude on the locus standi of a taxpayer's suits as set forth in Dumlao v. Comelec,93 to wit:
petitioner where the petitioner is able to craft an issue of transcendental significance to the x x x While, concededly, the elections to be held involve the expenditure of public moneys,
people, as when the issues raised are of paramount importance to the public. 91 Such nowhere in their Petition do said petitioners allege that their tax money is "being extracted
liberality does not, however, mean that the requirement that a party should have an interest and spent in violation of specific constitutional protection against abuses of legislative
in the matter is totally eliminated. A party must, at the very least, still plead the existence of power," or that there is a misapplication of such funds by respondent COMELEC, or that
such interest, it not being one of which courts can take judicial notice. In petitioner Vallejos' public money is being deflected to any improper purpose. Neither do petitioners seek to
case, he failed to allege any interest in the case. He does not thus have standing. restrain respondent from wasting public funds through the enforcement of an invalid or
With respect to the motions for intervention, Rule 19, Section 2 of the Rules of Court requires unconstitutional law.94 (Citations omitted)
an intervenor to possess a legal interest in the matter in litigation, or in the success of either In praying for the dismissal of the petitions, Soriano failed even to allege that the act of
of the parties, or an interest against both, or is so situated as to be adversely affected by a petitioners will result in illegal disbursement of public funds or in public money being
distribution or other disposition of property in the custody of the court or of an officer deflected to any improper purpose. Additionally, his mere interest as a member of the Bar
thereof. While intervention is not a matter of right, it may be permitted by the courts when does not suffice to clothe him with standing.
the applicant shows facts which satisfy the requirements of the law authorizing Ripeness and Prematurity
intervention.92 In Tan v. Macapagal,95 this Court, through Chief Justice Fernando, held that for a case to be
In Intervenors Attorneys Romulo Macalintal and Pete Quirino Quadra's case, they seek to considered ripe for adjudication, "it is a prerequisite that something had by then been
join petitioners Candelaria, et. al. in G.R. No. 160262. Since, save for one additional issue, accomplished or performed by either branch before a court may come into the
they raise the same issues and the same standing, and no objection on the part of petitioners picture."96 Only then may the courts pass on the validity of what was done, if and when the
Candelaria, et. al. has been interposed, this Court as earlier stated, granted the Motion for latter is challenged in an appropriate legal proceeding.
Leave of Court to Intervene and Petition-in-Intervention. The instant petitions raise in the main the issue of the validity of the filing of the second
Nagmamalasakit na mga Manananggol ng mga Manggagawang Pilipino, Inc., et. al. sought impeachment complaint against the Chief Justice in accordance with the House
to join petitioner Francisco in G.R. No. 160261. Invoking their right as citizens to intervene, Impeachment Rules adopted by the 12th Congress, the constitutionality of which is

54
questioned. The questioned acts having been carried out, i.e., the second impeachment political questions. In some cases, this Court hid behind the cover of the political question
complaint had been filed with the House of Representatives and the 2001 Rules have already doctrine and refused to exercise its power of judicial review.100 In other cases, however,
been already promulgated and enforced, the prerequisite that the alleged unconstitutional despite the seeming political nature of the therein issues involved, this Court assumed
act should be accomplished and performed before suit, as Tan v. Macapagal holds, has been jurisdiction whenever it found constitutionally imposed limits on powers or functions
complied with. conferred upon political bodies.101 Even in the landmark 1988 case of Javellana v. Executive
Related to the issue of ripeness is the question of whether the instant petitions are Secretary102 which raised the issue of whether the 1973 Constitution was ratified, hence, in
premature. Amicus curiae former Senate President Jovito R. Salonga opines that there may force, this Court shunted the political question doctrine and took cognizance thereof.
be no urgent need for this Court to render a decision at this time, it being the final arbiter Ratification by the people of a Constitution is a political question, it being a question decided
on questions of constitutionality anyway. He thus recommends that all remedies in the by the people in their sovereign capacity.
House and Senate should first be exhausted. The frequency with which this Court invoked the political question doctrine to refuse to take
Taking a similar stand is Dean Raul Pangalangan of the U.P. College of Law who suggests to jurisdiction over certain cases during the Marcos regime motivated Chief Justice Concepcion,
this Court to take judicial notice of on-going attempts to encourage signatories to the second when he became a Constitutional Commissioner, to clarify this Court's power of judicial
impeachment complaint to withdraw their signatures and opines that the House review and its application on issues involving political questions, viz:
Impeachment Rules provide for an opportunity for members to raise constitutional MR. CONCEPCION. Thank you, Mr. Presiding Officer.
questions themselves when the Articles of Impeachment are presented on a motion to I will speak on the judiciary. Practically, everybody has made, I suppose, the usual comment
transmit to the same to the Senate. The dean maintains that even assuming that the Articles that the judiciary is the weakest among the three major branches of the service. Since the
are transmitted to the Senate, the Chief Justice can raise the issue of their constitutional legislature holds the purse and the executive the sword, the judiciary has nothing with which
infirmity by way of a motion to dismiss. to enforce its decisions or commands except the power of reason and appeal to conscience
The dean's position does not persuade. First, the withdrawal by the Representatives of their which, after all, reflects the will of God, and is the most powerful of all other powers without
signatures would not, by itself, cure the House Impeachment Rules of their constitutional exception. x x x And so, with the body's indulgence, I will proceed to read the provisions
infirmity. Neither would such a withdrawal, by itself, obliterate the questioned second drafted by the Committee on the Judiciary.
impeachment complaint since it would only place it under the ambit of Sections 3(2) and (3) The first section starts with a sentence copied from former Constitutions. It says:
of Article XI of the Constitution97 and, therefore, petitioners would continue to suffer their The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be
injuries. established by law.
Second and most importantly, the futility of seeking remedies from either or both Houses of I suppose nobody can question it.
Congress before coming to this Court is shown by the fact that, as previously discussed, The next provision is new in our constitutional law. I will read it first and explain.
neither the House of Representatives nor the Senate is clothed with the power to rule with Judicial power includes the duty of courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving
definitiveness on the issue of constitutionality, whether concerning impeachment rights which are legally demandable and enforceable and to determine whether or not there
proceedings or otherwise, as said power is exclusively vested in the judiciary by the earlier has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part
quoted Section I, Article VIII of the Constitution. Remedy cannot be sought from a body or instrumentality of the government.
which is bereft of power to grant it. Fellow Members of this Commission, this is actually a product of our experience during
Justiciability martial law. As a matter of fact, it has some antecedents in the past, but the role of the
In the leading case of Tanada v. Cuenco,98 Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion defined the term judiciary during the deposed regime was marred considerably by the circumstance that in
"political question," viz: a number of cases against the government, which then had no legal defense at all, the
[T]he term "political question" connotes, in legal parlance, what it means in ordinary solicitor general set up the defense of political questions and got away with it. As a
parlance, namely, a question of policy. In other words, in the language of Corpus Juris consequence, certain principles concerning particularly the writ of habeas corpus, that is,
Secundum, it refers to "those questions which, under the Constitution, are to be decided by the authority of courts to order the release of political detainees, and other matters
the people in their sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary authority has related to the operation and effect of martial law failed because the government set up
been delegated to the Legislature or executive branch of the Government." It is concerned the defense of political question. And the Supreme Court said: "Well, since it is political, we
with issues dependent upon the wisdom, not legality, of a particular measure.99(Italics in the have no authority to pass upon it." The Committee on the Judiciary feels that this was not
original) a proper solution of the questions involved. It did not merely request an encroachment
Prior to the 1973 Constitution, without consistency and seemingly without any rhyme or upon the rights of the people, but it, in effect, encouraged further violations thereof during
reason, this Court vacillated on its stance of taking cognizance of cases which involved the martial law regime. I am sure the members of the Bar are familiar with this situation.

55
But for the benefit of the Members of the Commission who are not lawyers, allow me to xxx
explain. I will start with a decision of the Supreme Court in 1973 on the case of Javellana vs. The government said that in a referendum held from January 10 to January 15, the vast
the Secretary of Justice, if I am not mistaken. Martial law was announced on September 22, majority ratified the draft of the Constitution. Note that all members of the Supreme Court
although the proclamation was dated September 21. The obvious reason for the delay in its were residents of Manila, but none of them had been notified of any referendum in their
publication was that the administration had apprehended and detained prominent respective places of residence, much less did they participate in the alleged referendum.
newsmen on September 21. So that when martial law was announced on September 22, the None of them saw any referendum proceeding.
media hardly published anything about it. In fact, the media could not publish any story not In the Philippines, even local gossips spread like wild fire. So, a majority of the members of
only because our main writers were already incarcerated, but also because those who the Court felt that there had been no referendum.
succeeded them in their jobs were under mortal threat of being the object of wrath of the Second, a referendum cannot substitute for a plebiscite. There is a big difference between
ruling party. The 1971 Constitutional Convention had begun on June 1, 1971 and by a referendum and a plebiscite. But another group of justices upheld the defense that the
September 21 or 22 had not finished the Constitution; it had barely agreed in the issue was a political question. Whereupon, they dismissed the case. This is not the only
fundamentals of the Constitution. I forgot to say that upon the proclamation of martial law, major case in which the plea of "political question" was set up. There have been a number
some delegates to that 1971 Constitutional Convention, dozens of them, were picked up. of other cases in the past.
One of them was our very own colleague, Commissioner Calderon. So, the unfinished draft x x x The defense of the political question was rejected because the issue was clearly
of the Constitution was taken over by representatives of Malacañang. In 17 days, they justiciable.
finished what the delegates to the 1971 Constitutional Convention had been unable to xxx
accomplish for about 14 months. The draft of the 1973 Constitution was presented to the x x x When your Committee on the Judiciary began to perform its functions, it faced the
President around December 1, 1972, whereupon the President issued a decree calling a following questions: What is judicial power? What is a political question?
plebiscite which suspended the operation of some provisions in the martial law decree which The Supreme Court, like all other courts, has one main function: to settle actual controversies
prohibited discussions, much less public discussions of certain matters of public concern. The involving conflicts of rights which are demandable and enforceable. There are rights which
purpose was presumably to allow a free discussion on the draft of the Constitution on which are guaranteed by law but cannot be enforced by a judiciary party. In a decided case, a
a plebiscite was to be held sometime in January 1973. If I may use a word famous by our husband complained that his wife was unwilling to perform her duties as a wife. The Court
colleague, Commissioner Ople, during the interregnum, however, the draft of the said: "We can tell your wife what her duties as such are and that she is bound to comply with
Constitution was analyzed and criticized with such a telling effect that Malacañang felt the them, but we cannot force her physically to discharge her main marital duty to her husband.
danger of its approval. So, the President suspended indefinitely the holding of the plebiscite There are some rights guaranteed by law, but they are so personal that to enforce them by
and announced that he would consult the people in a referendum to be held from January actual compulsion would be highly derogatory to human dignity."
10 to January 15. But the questions to be submitted in the referendum were not announced This is why the first part of the second paragraph of Section I provides that:
until the eve of its scheduled beginning, under the supposed supervision not of the Judicial power includes the duty of courts to settle actual controversies involving rights which
Commission on Elections, but of what was then designated as "citizens assemblies or are legally demandable or enforceable . . .
barangays." Thus the barangays came into existence. The questions to be propounded were The courts, therefore, cannot entertain, much less decide, hypothetical questions. In a
released with proposed answers thereto, suggesting that it was unnecessary to hold a presidential system of government, the Supreme Court has, also another important
plebiscite because the answers given in the referendum should be regarded as the votes cast function. The powers of government are generally considered divided into three branches:
in the plebiscite. Thereupon, a motion was filed with the Supreme Court praying that the the Legislative, the Executive and the Judiciary. Each one is supreme within its own sphere
holding of the referendum be suspended. When the motion was being heard before the and independent of the others. Because of that supremacy power to determine whether
Supreme Court, the Minister of Justice delivered to the Court a proclamation of the President a given law is valid or not is vested in courts of justice.
declaring that the new Constitution was already in force because the overwhelming majority Briefly stated, courts of justice determine the limits of power of the agencies and offices
of the votes cast in the referendum favored the Constitution. Immediately after the of the government as well as those of its officers. In other words, the judiciary is the final
departure of the Minister of Justice, I proceeded to the session room where the case was arbiter on the question whether or not a branch of government or any of its officials has
being heard. I then informed the Court and the parties the presidential proclamation acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction, or so capriciously as to constitute an
declaring that the 1973 Constitution had been ratified by the people and is now in force. abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction or lack of jurisdiction. This is not
A number of other cases were filed to declare the presidential proclamation null and void. only a judicial power but a duty to pass judgment on matters of this nature.
The main defense put up by the government was that the issue was a political question and
that the court had no jurisdiction to entertain the case.

56
This is the background of paragraph 2 of Section 1, which means that the courts cannot are two species of political questions: (1) "truly political questions" and (2) those which "are
hereafter evade the duty to settle matters of this nature, by claiming that such matters not truly political questions."
constitute a political question. Truly political questions are thus beyond judicial review, the reason for respect of the
I have made these extended remarks to the end that the Commissioners may have an initial doctrine of separation of powers to be maintained. On the other hand, by virtue of Section
food for thought on the subject of the judiciary.103 (Italics in the original; emphasis supplied) 1, Article VIII of the Constitution, courts can review questions which are not truly political in
During the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission, Chief Justice Concepcion further nature.
clarified the concept of judicial power, thus: As pointed out by amicus curiae former dean Pacifico Agabin of the UP College of Law, this
MR. NOLLEDO. The Gentleman used the term "judicial power" but judicial power is not Court has in fact in a number of cases taken jurisdiction over questions which are not truly
vested in the Supreme Court alone but also in other lower courts as may be created by political following the effectivity of the present Constitution.
law. In Marcos v. Manglapus,105 this Court, speaking through Madame Justice Irene Cortes, held:
MR. CONCEPCION. Yes. The present Constitution limits resort to the political question doctrine and broadens the
MR. NOLLEDO. And so, is this only an example? scope of judicial inquiry into areas which the Court, under previous constitutions, would have
MR. CONCEPCION. No, I know this is not. The Gentleman seems to identify political normally left to the political departments to decide.106 x x x
questions with jurisdictional questions. But there is a difference. In Bengzon v. Senate Blue Ribbon Committee,107 through Justice Teodoro Padilla, this Court
MR. NOLLEDO. Because of the expression "judicial power"? declared:
MR. CONCEPCION. No. Judicial power, as I said, refers to ordinary cases but where there is The "allocation of constitutional boundaries" is a task that this Court must perform under
a question as to whether the government had authority or had abused its authority to the the Constitution. Moreover, as held in a recent case, "(t)he political question doctrine
extent of lacking jurisdiction or excess of jurisdiction, that is not a political question. neither interposes an obstacle to judicial determination of the rival claims. The jurisdiction
Therefore, the court has the duty to decide. to delimit constitutional boundaries has been given to this Court. It cannot abdicate that
xxx obligation mandated by the 1987 Constitution, although said provision by no means does
FR. BERNAS. Ultimately, therefore, it will always have to be decided by the Supreme Court away with the applicability of the principle in appropriate cases." 108 (Emphasis and
according to the new numerical need for votes. underscoring supplied)
On another point, is it the intention of Section 1 to do away with the political question And in Daza v. Singson,109 speaking through Justice Isagani Cruz, this Court ruled:
doctrine? In the case now before us, the jurisdictional objection becomes even less tenable and
MR. CONCEPCION. No. decisive. The reason is that, even if we were to assume that the issue presented before us
FR. BERNAS. It is not. was political in nature, we would still not be precluded from resolving it under
MR. CONCEPCION. No, because whenever there is an abuse of discretion, amounting to a the expanded jurisdiction conferred upon us that now covers, in proper cases, even the
lack of jurisdiction. . . political question.110 x x x (Emphasis and underscoring supplied.)
FR. BERNAS. So, I am satisfied with the answer that it is not intended to do away with the Section 1, Article VIII, of the Court does not define what are justiciable political questions
political question doctrine. and non-justiciable political questions, however. Identification of these two species of
MR. CONCEPCION. No, certainly not. political questions may be problematic. There has been no clear standard. The American case
When this provision was originally drafted, it sought to define what is judicial power. But of Baker v. Carr111 attempts to provide some:
the Gentleman will notice it says, "judicial power includes" and the reason being that the x x x Prominent on the surface of any case held to involve a political question is found
definition that we might make may not cover all possible areas. a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a coordinate political
FR. BERNAS. So, this is not an attempt to solve the problems arising from the political department; or a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it;
question doctrine. or the impossibility of deciding without an initial policy determination of a kind clearly for
MR. CONCEPCION. It definitely does not eliminate the fact that truly political questions are non-judicial discretion; or the impossibility of a court's undertaking independent resolution
beyond the pale of judicial power.104 (Emphasis supplied) without expressing lack of the respect due coordinate branches of government; or an
From the foregoing record of the proceedings of the 1986 Constitutional Commission, it is unusual need for questioning adherence to a political decision already made; or
clear that judicial power is not only a power; it is also a duty, a duty which cannot be the potentiality of embarrassment from multifarious pronouncements by various
abdicated by the mere specter of this creature called the political question doctrine. Chief departments on one question.112(Underscoring supplied)
Justice Concepcion hastened to clarify, however, that Section 1, Article VIII was not intended Of these standards, the more reliable have been the first three: (1) a textually demonstrable
to do away with "truly political questions." From this clarification it is gathered that there constitutional commitment of the issue to a coordinate political department; (2) the lack of

57
judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it; and (3) the impossibility of It is a well-settled maxim of adjudication that an issue assailing the constitutionality of a
deciding without an initial policy determination of a kind clearly for non-judicial discretion. governmental act should be avoided whenever possible. Thus, in the case of Sotto v.
These standards are not separate and distinct concepts but are interrelated to each in that Commission on Elections,115 this Court held:
the presence of one strengthens the conclusion that the others are also present. x x x It is a well-established rule that a court should not pass upon a constitutional question
The problem in applying the foregoing standards is that the American concept of judicial and decide a law to be unconstitutional or invalid, unless such question is raised by the
review is radically different from our current concept, for Section 1, Article VIII of the parties and that when it is raised, if the record also presents some other ground upon which
Constitution provides our courts with far less discretion in determining whether they should the court may rest its judgment, that course will be adopted and the constitutional
pass upon a constitutional issue. question will be left for consideration until a case arises in which a decision upon such
In our jurisdiction, the determination of a truly political question from a non-justiciable question will be unavoidable.116 [Emphasis and underscoring supplied]
political question lies in the answer to the question of whether there are constitutionally The same principle was applied in Luz Farms v. Secretary of Agrarian Reform,117 where this
imposed limits on powers or functions conferred upon political bodies. If there are, then our Court invalidated Sections 13 and 32 of Republic Act No. 6657 for being confiscatory and
courts are duty-bound to examine whether the branch or instrumentality of the government violative of due process, to wit:
properly acted within such limits. This Court shall thus now apply this standard to the present It has been established that this Court will assume jurisdiction over a constitutional
controversy. question only if it is shown that the essential requisites of a judicial inquiry into such a
These petitions raise five substantial issues: question are first satisfied. Thus, there must be an actual case or controversy involving a
I. Whether the offenses alleged in the Second impeachment complaint constitute valid conflict of legal rights susceptible of judicial determination, the constitutional question must
impeachable offenses under the Constitution. have been opportunely raised by the proper party, and the resolution of the question is
II. Whether the second impeachment complaint was filed in accordance with Section 3(4), unavoidably necessary to the decision of the case itself.118 [Emphasis supplied]
Article XI of the Constitution. Succinctly put, courts will not touch the issue of constitutionality unless it is truly
III. Whether the legislative inquiry by the House Committee on Justice into the Judicial unavoidable and is the very lis mota or crux of the controversy.
Development Fund is an unconstitutional infringement of the constitutionally mandated As noted earlier, the instant consolidated petitions, while all seeking the invalidity of the
fiscal autonomy of the judiciary. second impeachment complaint, collectively raise several constitutional issues upon which
IV. Whether Sections 15 and 16 of Rule V of the Rules on Impeachment adopted by the 12th the outcome of this controversy could possibly be made to rest. In determining whether one,
Congress are unconstitutional for violating the provisions of Section 3, Article XI of the some or all of the remaining substantial issues should be passed upon, this Court is guided
Constitution. by the related cannon of adjudication that "the court should not form a rule of constitutional
V. Whether the second impeachment complaint is barred under Section 3(5) of Article XI of law broader than is required by the precise facts to which it is applied."119
the Constitution. In G.R. No. 160310, petitioners Leonilo R. Alfonso, et al. argue that, among other reasons,
The first issue goes into the merits of the second impeachment complaint over which this the second impeachment complaint is invalid since it directly resulted from a
Court has no jurisdiction. More importantly, any discussion of this issue would require this Resolution120 calling for a legislative inquiry into the JDF, which Resolution and legislative
Court to make a determination of what constitutes an impeachable offense. Such a inquiry petitioners claim to likewise be unconstitutional for being: (a) a violation of the rules
determination is a purely political question which the Constitution has left to the sound and jurisprudence on investigations in aid of legislation; (b) an open breach of the doctrine
discretion of the legislation. Such an intent is clear from the deliberations of the of separation of powers; (c) a violation of the constitutionally mandated fiscal autonomy of
Constitutional Commission.113 the judiciary; and (d) an assault on the independence of the judiciary.121
Although Section 2 of Article XI of the Constitution enumerates six grounds for Without going into the merits of petitioners Alfonso, et. al.'s claims, it is the studied opinion
impeachment, two of these, namely, other high crimes and betrayal of public trust, elude a of this Court that the issue of the constitutionality of the said Resolution and resulting
precise definition. In fact, an examination of the records of the 1986 Constitutional legislative inquiry is too far removed from the issue of the validity of the second
Commission shows that the framers could find no better way to approximate the boundaries impeachment complaint. Moreover, the resolution of said issue would, in the Court's
of betrayal of public trust and other high crimes than by alluding to both positive and opinion, require it to form a rule of constitutional law touching on the separate and distinct
negative examples of both, without arriving at their clear cut definition or even a standard matter of legislative inquiries in general, which would thus be broader than is required by
therefor.114 Clearly, the issue calls upon this court to decide a non-justiciable political the facts of these consolidated cases. This opinion is further strengthened by the fact that
question which is beyond the scope of its judicial power under Section 1, Article VIII. said petitioners have raised other grounds in support of their petition which would not be
Lis Mota adversely affected by the Court's ruling.

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En passant, this Court notes that a standard for the conduct of legislative inquiries has within sixty session days from such referral, together with the corresponding resolution. The
already been enunciated by this Court in Bengzon, Jr. v. Senate Blue Ribbon Commttee,122 viz: resolution shall be calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from
The 1987 Constitution expressly recognizes the power of both houses of Congress to conduct receipt thereof.
inquiries in aid of legislation. Thus, Section 21, Article VI thereof provides: Intervenors' foregoing position is echoed by Justice Maambong who opined that for Section
The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may conduct 3 (4), Article XI of the Constitution to apply, there should be 76 or more representatives who
inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure. The signed and verified the second impeachment complaint as complainants, signed and verified
rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected. the signatories to a resolution of impeachment. Justice Maambong likewise asserted that
The power of both houses of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation is not, the Resolution of Endorsement/Impeachment signed by at least one-third of the members
therefore absolute or unlimited. Its exercise is circumscribed by the afore-quoted provision of the House of Representatives as endorsers is not the resolution of impeachment
of the Constitution. Thus, as provided therein, the investigation must be "in aid of legislation contemplated by the Constitution, such resolution of endorsement being necessary only
in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure" and that "the rights of persons from at least one Member whenever a citizen files a verified impeachment complaint.
appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected." It follows then that the right While the foregoing issue, as argued by intervenors Macalintal and Quadra, does indeed limit
rights of persons under the Bill of Rights must be respected, including the right to due the scope of the constitutional issues to the provisions on impeachment, more compelling
process and the right not be compelled to testify against one's self.123 considerations militate against its adoption as the lis mota or crux of the present
In G.R. No. 160262, intervenors Romulo B. Macalintal and Pete Quirino Quadra, while joining controversy. Chief among this is the fact that only Attorneys Macalintal and Quadra,
the original petition of petitioners Candelaria, et. al., introduce the new argument that since intervenors in G.R. No. 160262, have raised this issue as a ground for invalidating the second
the second impeachment complaint was verified and filed only by Representatives Gilberto impeachment complaint. Thus, to adopt this additional ground as the basis for deciding the
Teodoro, Jr. and Felix William Fuentebella, the same does not fall under the provisions of instant consolidated petitions would not only render for naught the efforts of the original
Section 3 (4), Article XI of the Constitution which reads: petitioners in G.R. No. 160262, but the efforts presented by the other petitioners as well.
Section 3(4) In case the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by at least Again, the decision to discard the resolution of this issue as unnecessary for the
one-third of all the Members of the House, the same shall constitute the Articles of determination of the instant cases is made easier by the fact that said intervenors Macalintal
Impeachment, and trial by the Senate shall forthwith proceed. and Quadra have joined in the petition of Candelaria, et. al., adopting the latter's arguments
They assert that while at least 81 members of the House of Representatives signed a and issues as their own. Consequently, they are not unduly prejudiced by this Court's
Resolution of Endorsement/Impeachment, the same did not satisfy the requisites for the decision.
application of the afore-mentioned section in that the "verified complaint or resolution of In sum, this Court holds that the two remaining issues, inextricably linked as they are,
impeachment" was not filed "by at least one-third of all the Members of the House." With constitute the very lis mota of the instant controversy: (1) whether Sections 15 and 16 of
the exception of Representatives Teodoro and Fuentebella, the signatories to said Rule V of the House Impeachment Rules adopted by the 12th Congress are unconstitutional
Resolution are alleged to have verified the same merely as a "Resolution of Endorsement." for violating the provisions of Section 3, Article XI of the Constitution; and (2) whether, as a
Intervenors point to the "Verification" of the Resolution of Endorsement which states that: result thereof, the second impeachment complaint is barred under Section 3(5) of Article XI
"We are the proponents/sponsors of the Resolution of Endorsement of the abovementioned of the Constitution.
Complaint of Representatives Gilberto Teodoro and Felix William B. Fuentebella x x x"124 Judicial Restraint
Intervenors Macalintal and Quadra further claim that what the Constitution requires in order Senator Pimentel urges this Court to exercise judicial restraint on the ground that the Senate,
for said second impeachment complaint to automatically become the Articles of sitting as an impeachment court, has the sole power to try and decide all cases of
Impeachment and for trial in the Senate to begin "forthwith," is that the verified complaint impeachment. Again, this Court reiterates that the power of judicial review includes the
be "filed," not merely endorsed, by at least one-third of the Members of the House of power of review over justiciable issues in impeachment proceedings.
Representatives. Not having complied with this requirement, they concede that the second On the other hand, respondents Speaker De Venecia et. al. argue that "[t]here is a moral
impeachment complaint should have been calendared and referred to the House Committee compulsion for the Court to not assume jurisdiction over the impeachment because all the
on Justice under Section 3(2), Article XI of the Constitution, viz: Members thereof are subject to impeachment."125But this argument is very much like saying
Section 3(2) A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by any Member of the House the Legislature has a moral compulsion not to pass laws with penalty clauses because
of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member Members of the House of Representatives are subject to them.
thereof, which shall be included in the Order of Business within ten session days, and The exercise of judicial restraint over justiciable issues is not an option before this Court.
referred to the proper Committee within three session days thereafter. The Committee, Adjudication may not be declined, because this Court is not legally disqualified. Nor can
after hearing, and by a majority vote of all its Members, shall submit its report to the House jurisdiction be renounced as there is no other tribunal to which the controversy may be

59
referred."126 Otherwise, this Court would be shirking from its duty vested under Art. VIII, Sec. Tribunal. Every Member of the Tribunal may, as his conscience dictates, refrain from
1(2) of the Constitution. More than being clothed with authority thus, this Court is duty- participating in the resolution of a case where he sincerely feels that his personal interests
bound to take cognizance of the instant petitions.127 In the august words of amicus or biases would stand in the way of an objective and impartial judgment. What we are merely
curiae Father Bernas, "jurisdiction is not just a power; it is a solemn duty which may not be saying is that in the light of the Constitution, the Senate Electoral Tribunal cannot legally
renounced. To renounce it, even if it is vexatious, would be a dereliction of duty." function as such, absent its entire membership of Senators and that no amendment of its
Even in cases where it is an interested party, the Court under our system of government Rules can confer on the three Justices-Members alone the power of valid adjudication of a
cannot inhibit itself and must rule upon the challenge because no other office has the senatorial election contest.
authority to do so.128 On the occasion that this Court had been an interested party to the More recently in the case of Estrada v. Desierto,132 it was held that:
controversy before it, it has acted upon the matter "not with officiousness but in the Moreover, to disqualify any of the members of the Court, particularly a majority of them, is
discharge of an unavoidable duty and, as always, with detachment and fairness." 129 After all, nothing short of pro tanto depriving the Court itself of its jurisdiction as established by the
"by [his] appointment to the office, the public has laid on [a member of the judiciary] their fundamental law. Disqualification of a judge is a deprivation of his judicial power. And if that
confidence that [he] is mentally and morally fit to pass upon the merits of their varied judge is the one designated by the Constitution to exercise the jurisdiction of his court, as is
contentions. For this reason, they expect [him] to be fearless in [his] pursuit to render justice, the case with the Justices of this Court, the deprivation of his or their judicial power is
to be unafraid to displease any person, interest or power and to be equipped with a moral equivalent to the deprivation of the judicial power of the court itself. It affects the very heart
fiber strong enough to resist the temptations lurking in [his] office."130 of judicial independence. The proposed mass disqualification, if sanctioned and ordered,
The duty to exercise the power of adjudication regardless of interest had already been would leave the Court no alternative but to abandon a duty which it cannot lawfully
settled in the case of Abbas v. Senate Electoral Tribunal.131 In that case, the petitioners filed discharge if shorn of the participation of its entire membership of Justices. 133 (Italics in the
with the respondent Senate Electoral Tribunal a Motion for Disqualification or Inhibition of original)
the Senators-Members thereof from the hearing and resolution of SET Case No. 002-87 on Besides, there are specific safeguards already laid down by the Court when it exercises its
the ground that all of them were interested parties to said case as respondents therein. This power of judicial review.
would have reduced the Tribunal's membership to only its three Justices-Members whose In Demetria v. Alba,134 this Court, through Justice Marcelo Fernan cited the "seven pillars" of
disqualification was not sought, leaving them to decide the matter. This Court held: limitations of the power of judicial review, enunciated by US Supreme Court Justice Brandeis
Where, as here, a situation is created which precludes the substitution of any Senator sitting in Ashwander v. TVA135 as follows:
in the Tribunal by any of his other colleagues in the Senate without inviting the same 1. The Court will not pass upon the constitutionality of legislation in a friendly, non-adversary
objections to the substitute's competence, the proposed mass disqualification, if sanctioned proceeding, declining because to decide such questions 'is legitimate only in the last resort,
and ordered, would leave the Tribunal no alternative but to abandon a duty that no other and as a necessity in the determination of real, earnest and vital controversy between
court or body can perform, but which it cannot lawfully discharge if shorn of the participation individuals. It never was the thought that, by means of a friendly suit, a party beaten in the
of its entire membership of Senators. legislature could transfer to the courts an inquiry as to the constitutionality of the legislative
To our mind, this is the overriding consideration — that the Tribunal be not prevented from act.'
discharging a duty which it alone has the power to perform, the performance of which is in 2. The Court will not 'anticipate a question of constitutional law in advance of the necessity
the highest public interest as evidenced by its being expressly imposed by no less than the of deciding it.' . . . 'It is not the habit of the Court to decide questions of a constitutional
fundamental law. nature unless absolutely necessary to a decision of the case.'
It is aptly noted in the first of the questioned Resolutions that the framers of the Constitution 3. The Court will not 'formulate a rule of constitutional law broader than is required by the
could not have been unaware of the possibility of an election contest that would involve all precise facts to which it is to be applied.'
Senators—elect, six of whom would inevitably have to sit in judgment thereon. Indeed, such 4. The Court will not pass upon a constitutional question although properly presented by the
possibility might surface again in the wake of the 1992 elections when once more, but for record, if there is also present some other ground upon which the case may be disposed of.
the last time, all 24 seats in the Senate will be at stake. Yet the Constitution provides no This rule has found most varied application. Thus, if a case can be decided on either of two
scheme or mode for settling such unusual situations or for the substitution of Senators grounds, one involving a constitutional question, the other a question of statutory
designated to the Tribunal whose disqualification may be sought. Litigants in such situations construction or general law, the Court will decide only the latter. Appeals from the highest
must simply place their trust and hopes of vindication in the fairness and sense of justice of court of a state challenging its decision of a question under the Federal Constitution are
the Members of the Tribunal. Justices and Senators, singly and collectively. frequently dismissed because the judgment can be sustained on an independent state
Let us not be misunderstood as saying that no Senator-Member of the Senate Electoral ground.
Tribunal may inhibit or disqualify himself from sitting in judgment on any case before said

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5. The Court will not pass upon the validity of a statute upon complaint of one who fails to Court to refrain from upholding the Constitution in all impeachment cases. Justices cannot
show that he is injured by its operation. Among the many applications of this rule, none is abandon their constitutional duties just because their action may start, if not precipitate, a
more striking than the denial of the right of challenge to one who lacks a personal or property crisis.
right. Thus, the challenge by a public official interested only in the performance of his official Justice Feliciano warned against the dangers when this Court refuses to act.
duty will not be entertained . . . In Fairchild v. Hughes, the Court affirmed the dismissal of a x x x Frequently, the fight over a controversial legislative or executive act is not regarded as
suit brought by a citizen who sought to have the Nineteenth Amendment declared settled until the Supreme Court has passed upon the constitutionality of the act involved,
unconstitutional. In Massachusetts v. Mellon, the challenge of the federal Maternity Act was the judgment has not only juridical effects but also political consequences. Those political
not entertained although made by the Commonwealth on behalf of all its citizens. consequences may follow even where the Court fails to grant the petitioner's prayer to
6. The Court will not pass upon the constitutionality of a statute at the instance of one who nullify an act for lack of the necessary number of votes. Frequently, failure to act explicitly,
has availed himself of its benefits. one way or the other, itself constitutes a decision for the respondent and validation, or at
7. When the validity of an act of the Congress is drawn in question, and even if a serious least quasi-validation, follows." 138
doubt of constitutionality is raised, it is a cardinal principle that this Court will first ascertain Thus, in Javellana v. Executive Secretary139 where this Court was split and "in the end there
whether a construction of the statute is fairly possible by which the question may be avoided were not enough votes either to grant the petitions, or to sustain respondent's
(citations omitted). claims,"140 the pre-existing constitutional order was disrupted which paved the way for the
The foregoing "pillars" of limitation of judicial review, summarized in Ashwander v. TVA from establishment of the martial law regime.
different decisions of the United States Supreme Court, can be encapsulated into the Such an argument by respondents and intervenor also presumes that the coordinate
following categories: branches of the government would behave in a lawless manner and not do their duty under
1. that there be absolute necessity of deciding a case the law to uphold the Constitution and obey the laws of the land. Yet there is no reason to
2. that rules of constitutional law shall be formulated only as required by the facts of the believe that any of the branches of government will behave in a precipitate manner and risk
case social upheaval, violence, chaos and anarchy by encouraging disrespect for the fundamental
3. that judgment may not be sustained on some other ground law of the land.
4. that there be actual injury sustained by the party by reason of the operation of the statute Substituting the word public officers for judges, this Court is well guided by the doctrine
5. that the parties are not in estoppel in People v. Veneracion, to wit:141
6. that the Court upholds the presumption of constitutionality. Obedience to the rule of law forms the bedrock of our system of justice. If [public officers],
As stated previously, parallel guidelines have been adopted by this Court in the exercise of under the guise of religious or political beliefs were allowed to roam unrestricted beyond
judicial review: boundaries within which they are required by law to exercise the duties of their office, then
1. actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power law becomes meaningless. A government of laws, not of men excludes the exercise of broad
2. the person challenging the act must have "standing" to challenge; he must have a personal discretionary powers by those acting under its authority. Under this system, [public officers]
and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury are guided by the Rule of Law, and ought "to protect and enforce it without fear or favor,"
as a result of its enforcement resist encroachments by governments, political parties, or even the interference of their own
3. the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity personal beliefs.142
4. the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case.136 Constitutionality of the Rules of Procedure
Respondents Speaker de Venecia, et. al. raise another argument for judicial restraint the for Impeachment Proceedings
possibility that "judicial review of impeachments might also lead to embarrassing conflicts adopted by the 12th Congress
between the Congress and the [J]udiciary." They stress the need to avoid the appearance of Respondent House of Representatives, through Speaker De Venecia, argues that Sections 16
impropriety or conflicts of interest in judicial hearings, and the scenario that it would be and 17 of Rule V of the House Impeachment Rules do not violate Section 3 (5) of Article XI of
confusing and humiliating and risk serious political instability at home and abroad if the our present Constitution, contending that the term "initiate" does not mean "to file;" that
judiciary countermanded the vote of Congress to remove an impeachable Section 3 (1) is clear in that it is the House of Representatives, as a collective body, which has
official.137 Intervenor Soriano echoes this argument by alleging that failure of this Court to the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment; that initiate could not possibly
enforce its Resolution against Congress would result in the diminution of its judicial authority mean "to file" because filing can, as Section 3 (2), Article XI of the Constitution provides, only
and erode public confidence and faith in the judiciary. be accomplished in 3 ways, to wit: (1) by a verified complaint for impeachment by any
Such an argument, however, is specious, to say the least. As correctly stated by the Solicitor member of the House of Representatives; or (2) by any citizen upon a resolution of
General, the possibility of the occurrence of a constitutional crisis is not a reason for this endorsement by any member; or (3) by at least 1/3 of all the members of the House.

61
Respondent House of Representatives concludes that the one year bar prohibiting the the First Batasang Pambansa. For the information of the Committee, the resolution covers
initiation of impeachment proceedings against the same officials could not have been several steps in the impeachment proceedings starting with initiation, action of the
violated as the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Davide and seven Associate Speaker committee action, calendaring of report, voting on the report, transmittal referral
Justices had not been initiated as the House of Representatives, acting as the collective body, to the Senate, trial and judgment by the Senate.
has yet to act on it. xxx
The resolution of this issue thus hinges on the interpretation of the term "initiate." Resort to MR. MAAMBONG. Mr. Presiding Officer, I am not moving for a reconsideration of the
statutory construction is, therefore, in order. approval of the amendment submitted by Commissioner Regalado, but I will just make of
That the sponsor of the provision of Section 3(5) of the Constitution, Commissioner Florenz record my thinking that we do not really initiate the filing of the Articles of Impeachment on
Regalado, who eventually became an Associate Justice of this Court, agreed on the meaning the floor. The procedure, as I have pointed out earlier, was that the initiation starts with
of "initiate" as "to file," as proffered and explained by Constitutional Commissioner the filing of the complaint. And what is actually done on the floor is that the committee
Maambong during the Constitutional Commission proceedings, which he (Commissioner resolution containing the Articles of Impeachment is the one approved by the body.
Regalado) as amicus curiae affirmed during the oral arguments on the instant petitions held As the phraseology now runs, which may be corrected by the Committee on Style, it appears
on November 5, 2003 at which he added that the act of "initiating" included the act of taking that the initiation starts on the floor. If we only have time, I could cite examples in the case
initial action on the complaint, dissipates any doubt that indeed the word "initiate" as it twice of the impeachment proceedings of President Richard Nixon wherein the Committee on the
appears in Article XI (3) and (5) of the Constitution means to file the complaint and take initial Judiciary submitted the recommendation, the resolution, and the Articles of Impeachment
action on it. to the body, and it was the body who approved the resolution. It is not the body which
"Initiate" of course is understood by ordinary men to mean, as dictionaries do, to begin, to initiates it. It only approves or disapproves the resolution. So, on that score, probably the
commence, or set going. As Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Committee on Style could help in rearranging these words because we have to be very
Language concisely puts it, it means "to perform or facilitate the first action," which jibes technical about this. I have been bringing with me The Rules of the House of
with Justice Regalado's position, and that of Father Bernas, who elucidated during the oral Representatives of the U.S. Congress. The Senate Rules are with me. The proceedings on the
arguments of the instant petitions on November 5, 2003 in this wise: case of Richard Nixon are with me. I have submitted my proposal, but the Committee has
Briefly then, an impeachment proceeding is not a single act. It is a comlexus of acts consisting already decided. Nevertheless, I just want to indicate this on record.
of a beginning, a middle and an end. The end is the transmittal of the articles of impeachment xxx
to the Senate. The middle consists of those deliberative moments leading to the formulation MR. MAAMBONG. I would just like to move for a reconsideration of the approval of Section
of the articles of impeachment. The beginning or the initiation is the filing of the complaint 3 (3). My reconsideration will not at all affect the substance, but it is only in keeping with the
and its referral to the Committee on Justice. exact formulation of the Rules of the House of Representatives of the United States
Finally, it should be noted that the House Rule relied upon by Representatives Cojuangco regarding impeachment.
and Fuentebella says that impeachment is "deemed initiated" when the Justice Committee I am proposing, Madam President, without doing damage to any of this provision, that on
votes in favor of impeachment or when the House reverses a contrary vote of the page 2, Section 3 (3), from lines 17 to 18, we delete the words which read: "to initiate
Committee. Note that the Rule does not say "impeachment proceedings" are initiated but impeachment proceedings" and the comma (,) and insert on line 19 after the word
rather are "deemed initiated." The language is recognition that initiation happened earlier, "resolution" the phrase WITH THE ARTICLES, and then capitalize the letter "i" in
but by legal fiction there is an attempt to postpone it to a time after actual initiation. "impeachment" and replace the word "by" with OF, so that the whole section will now read:
(Emphasis and underscoring supplied) "A vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be necessary either to
As stated earlier, one of the means of interpreting the Constitution is looking into the intent affirm a resolution WITH THE ARTICLES of Impeachment OF the Committee or to override its
of the law. Fortunately, the intent of the framers of the 1987 Constitution can be pried from contrary resolution. The vote of each Member shall be recorded."
its records: I already mentioned earlier yesterday that the initiation, as far as the House of
MR. MAAMBONG. With reference to Section 3, regarding the procedure and the substantive Representatives of the United States is concerned, really starts from the filing of the verified
provisions on impeachment, I understand there have been many proposals and, I think, complaint and every resolution to impeach always carries with it the Articles of
these would need some time for Committee action. Impeachment. As a matter of fact, the words "Articles of Impeachment" are mentioned on
However, I would just like to indicate that I submitted to the Committee a resolution on line 25 in the case of the direct filing of a verified compliant of one-third of all the Members
impeachment proceedings, copies of which have been furnished the Members of this body. of the House. I will mention again, Madam President, that my amendment will not vary the
This is borne out of my experience as a member of the Committee on Justice, Human Rights substance in any way. It is only in keeping with the uniform procedure of the House of
and Good Government which took charge of the last impeachment resolution filed before

62
Representatives of the United States Congress. Thank you, Madam President.143 (Italics in the members. If at least one third of all the Members upholds the complaint, Articles of
the original; emphasis and udnerscoring supplied) Impeachment are prepared and transmitted to the Senate. It is at this point that the House
This amendment proposed by Commissioner Maambong was clarified and accepted by the "initiates an impeachment case." It is at this point that an impeachable public official is
Committee on the Accountability of Public Officers.144 successfully impeached. That is, he or she is successfully charged with an impeachment
It is thus clear that the framers intended "initiation" to start with the filing of the complaint. "case" before the Senate as impeachment court.
In his amicus curiae brief, Commissioner Maambong explained that "the obvious reason in Father Bernas further explains: The "impeachment proceeding" is not initiated when the
deleting the phrase "to initiate impeachment proceedings" as contained in the text of the complaint is transmitted to the Senate for trial because that is the end of the House
provision of Section 3 (3) was to settle and make it understood once and for all that the proceeding and the beginning of another proceeding, namely the trial. Neither is the
initiation of impeachment proceedings starts with the filing of the complaint, and the vote "impeachment proceeding" initiated when the House deliberates on the resolution passed
of one-third of the House in a resolution of impeachment does not initiate the impeachment on to it by the Committee, because something prior to that has already been done. The
proceedings which was already initiated by the filing of a verified complaint under Section action of the House is already a further step in the proceeding, not its initiation or beginning.
3, paragraph (2), Article XI of the Constitution."145 Rather, the proceeding is initiated or begins, when a verified complaint is filed and referred
Amicus curiae Constitutional Commissioner Regalado is of the same view as is Father Bernas, to the Committee on Justice for action. This is the initiating step which triggers the series of
who was also a member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission, that the word "initiate" as steps that follow.
used in Article XI, Section 3(5) means to file, both adding, however, that the filing must be The framers of the Constitution also understood initiation in its ordinary meaning. Thus
accompanied by an action to set the complaint moving. when a proposal reached the floor proposing that "A vote of at least one-third of all the
During the oral arguments before this Court, Father Bernas clarified that the word "initiate," Members of the House shall be necessary… to initiate impeachment proceedings," this was
appearing in the constitutional provision on impeachment, viz: met by a proposal to delete the line on the ground that the vote of the House does not
Section 3 (1) The House of Representatives shall have the exclusive power to initiate all cases initiate impeachment proceeding but rather the filing of a complaint does.146 Thus the line
of impeachment. was deleted and is not found in the present Constitution.
xxx Father Bernas concludes that when Section 3 (5) says, "No impeachment proceeding shall be
(5) No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year," it means that
within a period of one year, (Emphasis supplied) no second verified complaint may be accepted and referred to the Committee on Justice for
refers to two objects, "impeachment case" and "impeachment proceeding." action. By his explanation, this interpretation is founded on the common understanding of
Father Bernas explains that in these two provisions, the common verb is "to initiate." The the meaning of "to initiate" which means to begin. He reminds that the Constitution is
object in the first sentence is "impeachment case." The object in the second sentence is ratified by the people, both ordinary and sophisticated, as they understand it; and that
"impeachment proceeding." Following the principle of reddendo singuala sinuilis, the term ordinary people read ordinary meaning into ordinary words and not abstruse meaning, they
"cases" must be distinguished from the term "proceedings." An impeachment case is the ratify words as they understand it and not as sophisticated lawyers confuse it.
legal controversy that must be decided by the Senate. Above-quoted first provision provides To the argument that only the House of Representatives as a body can initiate impeachment
that the House, by a vote of one-third of all its members, can bring a case to the Senate. It is proceedings because Section 3 (1) says "The House of Representatives shall have the
in that sense that the House has "exclusive power" to initiate all cases of impeachment. No exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment," This is a misreading of said provision
other body can do it. However, before a decision is made to initiate a case in the Senate, a and is contrary to the principle of reddendo singula singulis by equating "impeachment
"proceeding" must be followed to arrive at a conclusion. A proceeding must be "initiated." cases" with "impeachment proceeding."
To initiate, which comes from the Latin word initium, means to begin. On the other hand, From the records of the Constitutional Commission, to the amicus curiae briefs of two
proceeding is a progressive noun. It has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It takes place not former Constitutional Commissioners, it is without a doubt that the term "to initiate" refers
in the Senate but in the House and consists of several steps: (1) there is the filing of a verified to the filing of the impeachment complaint coupled with Congress' taking initial action of
complaint either by a Member of the House of Representatives or by a private citizen said complaint.
endorsed by a Member of the House of the Representatives; (2) there is the processing of Having concluded that the initiation takes place by the act of filing and referral or
this complaint by the proper Committee which may either reject the complaint or uphold it; endorsement of the impeachment complaint to the House Committee on Justice or, by the
(3) whether the resolution of the Committee rejects or upholds the complaint, the resolution filing by at least one-third of the members of the House of Representatives with the
must be forwarded to the House for further processing; and (4) there is the processing of Secretary General of the House, the meaning of Section 3 (5) of Article XI becomes clear.
the same complaint by the House of Representatives which either affirms a favorable Once an impeachment complaint has been initiated, another impeachment complaint may
resolution of the Committee or overrides a contrary resolution by a vote of one-third of all not be filed against the same official within a one year period.

63
Under Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V of the House Impeachment Rules, impeachment (3) A vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be necessary to either
proceedings are deemed initiated (1) if there is a finding by the House Committee on Justice affirm a favorable resolution with the Articles of Impeachment of the Committee, or override
that the verified complaint and/or resolution is sufficient in substance, or (2) once the House its contrary resolution. The vote of each Member shall be recorded.
itself affirms or overturns the finding of the Committee on Justice that the verified complaint (4) In case the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by at least one-third
and/or resolution is not sufficient in substance or (3) by the filing or endorsement before the of all the Members of the House, the same shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment, and
Secretary-General of the House of Representatives of a verified complaint or a resolution of trial by the Senate shall forthwith proceed.
impeachment by at least 1/3 of the members of the House. These rules clearly contravene (5) No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once
Section 3 (5) of Article XI since the rules give the term "initiate" a meaning different meaning within a period of one year.
from filing and referral. It is basic that all rules must not contravene the Constitution which is the fundamental law.
In his amicus curiae brief, Justice Hugo Gutierrez posits that this Court could not use If as alleged Congress had absolute rule making power, then it would by necessary
contemporaneous construction as an aid in the interpretation of Sec.3 (5) of Article XI, implication have the power to alter or amend the meaning of the Constitution without need
citing Vera v. Avelino147 wherein this Court stated that "their personal opinions (referring to of referendum.
Justices who were delegates to the Constitution Convention) on the matter at issue In Osmeña v. Pendatun,149 this Court held that it is within the province of either House of
expressed during this Court's our deliberations stand on a different footing from the properly Congress to interpret its rules and that it was the best judge of what constituted "disorderly
recorded utterances of debates and proceedings." Further citing said case, he states that this behavior" of its members. However, in Paceta v. Secretary of the Commission on
Court likened the former members of the Constitutional Convention to actors who are so Appointments,150 Justice (later Chief Justice) Enrique Fernando, speaking for this Court and
absorbed in their emotional roles that intelligent spectators may know more about the real quoting Justice Brandeis in United States v. Smith,151 declared that where the construction
meaning because of the latter's balanced perspectives and disinterestedness.148 to be given to a rule affects persons other than members of the Legislature, the question
Justice Gutierrez's statements have no application in the present petitions. There are at becomes judicial in nature. In Arroyo v. De Venecia,152 quoting United States v. Ballin, Joseph
present only two members of this Court who participated in the 1986 Constitutional & Co.,153 Justice Vicente Mendoza, speaking for this Court, held that while the Constitution
Commission – Chief Justice Davide and Justice Adolf Azcuna. Chief Justice Davide has not empowers each house to determine its rules of proceedings, it may not by its rules ignore
taken part in these proceedings for obvious reasons. Moreover, this Court has not simply constitutional restraints or violate fundamental rights, and further that there should be a
relied on the personal opinions now given by members of the Constitutional Commission, reasonable relation between the mode or method of proceeding established by the rule and
but has examined the records of the deliberations and proceedings thereof. the result which is sought to be attained. It is only within these limitations that all matters
Respondent House of Representatives counters that under Section 3 (8) of Article XI, it is of method are open to the determination of the Legislature. In the same case of Arroyo v.
clear and unequivocal that it and only it has the power to make and interpret its rules De Venecia, Justice Reynato S. Puno, in his Concurring and Dissenting Opinion, was even
governing impeachment. Its argument is premised on the assumption that Congress more emphatic as he stressed that in the Philippine setting there is even more reason for
has absolute power to promulgate its rules. This assumption, however, is misplaced. courts to inquire into the validity of the Rules of Congress, viz:
Section 3 (8) of Article XI provides that "The Congress shall promulgate its rules on With due respect, I do not agree that the issues posed by the petitioner are non-justiciable.
impeachment to effectively carry out the purpose of this section." Clearly, its power to Nor do I agree that we will trivialize the principle of separation of power if we assume
promulgate its rules on impeachment is limited by the phrase "to effectively carry out the jurisdiction over he case at bar. Even in the United States, the principle of separation of
purpose of this section." Hence, these rules cannot contravene the very purpose of the power is no longer an impregnable impediment against the interposition of judicial power
Constitution which said rules were intended to effectively carry out. Moreover, Section 3 of on cases involving breach of rules of procedure by legislators.
Article XI clearly provides for other specific limitations on its power to make rules, viz: Rightly, the ponencia uses the 1891 case of US v Ballin (144 US 1) as a window to view the
Section 3. (1) x x x issues before the Court. It is in Ballin where the US Supreme Court first defined the
(2) A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by any Member of the House of boundaries of the power of the judiciary to review congressional rules. It held:
Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof, "x x x
which shall be included in the Order of Business within ten session days, and referred to the "The Constitution, in the same section, provides, that each house may determine the rules
proper Committee within three session days thereafter. The Committee, after hearing, and of its proceedings." It appears that in pursuance of this authority the House had, prior to that
by a majority vote of all its Members, shall submit its report to the House within sixty session day, passed this as one of its rules:
days from such referral, together with the corresponding resolution. The resolution shall be Rule XV
calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from receipt thereof. 3. On the demand of any member, or at the suggestion of the Speaker, the names of
members sufficient to make a quorum in the hall of the House who do not vote shall be

64
noted by the clerk and recorded in the journal, and reported to the Speaker with the names imposed it as a duty of this Court to strike down any act of a branch or instrumentality of
of the members voting, and be counted and announced in determining the presence of a government or any of its officials done with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack
quorum to do business. (House Journal, 230, Feb. 14, 1890) or excess of jurisdiction. Rightly or wrongly, the Constitution has elongated the checking
The action taken was in direct compliance with this rule. The question, therefore, is as to powers of this Court against the other branches of government despite their more democratic
the validity of this rule, and not what methods the Speaker may of his own motion resort to character, the President and the legislators being elected by the people.156
for determining the presence of a quorum, nor what matters the Speaker or clerk may of xxx
their own volition place upon the journal. Neither do the advantages or disadvantages, the The provision defining judicial power as including the 'duty of the courts of justice. . . to
wisdom or folly, of such a rule present any matters for judicial consideration. With the courts determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
the question is only one of power. The Constitution empowers each house to determine its excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government'
rules of proceedings. It may not by its rules ignore constitutional restraints or violate constitutes the capstone of the efforts of the Constitutional Commission to upgrade the
fundamental rights, and there should be a reasonable relation between the mode or powers of this court vis-à-vis the other branches of government. This provision was dictated
method of proceedings established by the rule and the result which is sought to be by our experience under martial law which taught us that a stronger and more independent
attained. But within these limitations all matters of method are open to the determination judiciary is needed to abort abuses in government. x x x
of the House, and it is no impeachment of the rule to say that some other way would be xxx
better, more accurate, or even more just. It is no objection to the validity of a rule that a In sum, I submit that in imposing to this Court the duty to annul acts of government
different one has been prescribed and in force for a length of time. The power to make rules committed with grave abuse of discretion, the new Constitution transformed this Court from
is not one which once exercised is exhausted. It is a continuous power, always subject to be passivity to activism. This transformation, dictated by our distinct experience as nation, is
exercised by the House, and within the limitations suggested, absolute and beyond the not merely evolutionary but revolutionary.Under the 1935 and the 1973 Constitutions, this
challenge of any other body or tribunal." Court approached constitutional violations by initially determining what it cannot do; under
Ballin, clearly confirmed the jurisdiction of courts to pass upon the validity of the 1987 Constitution, there is a shift in stress – this Court is mandated to approach
congressional rules, i.e, whether they are constitutional. Rule XV was examined by the constitutional violations not by finding out what it should not do but what it must do. The
Court and it was found to satisfy the test: (1) that it did not ignore any constitutional Court must discharge this solemn duty by not resuscitating a past that petrifies the present.
restraint; (2) it did not violate any fundamental right; and (3) its method had a reasonable I urge my brethren in the Court to give due and serious consideration to this new
relationship with the result sought to be attained. By examining Rule XV, the Court did not constitutional provision as the case at bar once more calls us to define the parameters of our
allow its jurisdiction to be defeated by the mere invocation of the principle of separation of power to review violations of the rules of the House. We will not be true to our trust as the
powers.154 last bulwark against government abuses if we refuse to exercise this new power or if we
xxx wield it with timidity. To be sure, it is this exceeding timidity to unsheathe the judicial
In the Philippine setting, there is a more compelling reason for courts to categorically sword that has increasingly emboldened other branches of government to denigrate, if not
reject the political question defense when its interposition will cover up abuse of power. defy, orders of our courts. In Tolentino, I endorsed the view of former Senator Salonga that
For section 1, Article VIII of our Constitution was intentionally cobbled to empower courts this novel provision stretching the latitude of judicial power is distinctly Filipino and its
"x x x to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting interpretation should not be depreciated by undue reliance on inapplicable foreign
to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the jurisprudence. In resolving the case at bar, the lessons of our own history should provide us
government." This power is new and was not granted to our courts in the 1935 and 1972 the light and not the experience of foreigners.157 (Italics in the original emphasis and
Constitutions. It was not also xeroxed from the US Constitution or any foreign state underscoring supplied)
constitution. The CONCOM granted this enormous power to our courts in view of our Thus, the ruling in Osmena v. Pendatun is not applicable to the instant petitions. Here, the
experience under martial law where abusive exercises of state power were shielded from third parties alleging the violation of private rights and the Constitution are involved.
judicial scrutiny by the misuse of the political question doctrine. Led by the eminent former Neither may respondent House of Representatives' rely on Nixon v. US158 as basis for arguing
Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion, the CONCOM expanded and sharpened the checking that this Court may not decide on the constitutionality of Sections 16 and 17 of the House
powers of the judiciary vis-à-vis the Executive and the Legislative departments of Impeachment Rules. As already observed, the U.S. Federal Constitution simply provides that
government.155 "the House of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment." It adds nothing
xxx more. It gives no clue whatsoever as to how this "sole power" is to be exercised. No limitation
The Constitution cannot be any clearer. What it granted to this Court is not a mere power whatsoever is given. Thus, the US Supreme Court concluded that there was a textually
which it can decline to exercise. Precisely to deter this disinclination, the Constitution demonstrable constitutional commitment of a constitutional power to the House of

65
Representatives. This reasoning does not hold with regard to impeachment power of the petitions were knocking so to speak at the doorsteps of this Court, the same clamor for non-
Philippine House of Representatives since our Constitution, as earlier enumerated, furnishes interference was made through what are now the arguments of "lack of jurisdiction," "non-
several provisions articulating how that "exclusive power" is to be exercised. justiciability," and "judicial self-restraint" aimed at halting the Court from any move that may
The provisions of Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V of the House Impeachment Rules which state have a bearing on the impeachment proceedings.
that impeachment proceedings are deemed initiated (1) if there is a finding by the House This Court did not heed the call to adopt a hands-off stance as far as the question of the
Committee on Justice that the verified complaint and/or resolution is sufficient in substance, constitutionality of initiating the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Davide is
or (2) once the House itself affirms or overturns the finding of the Committee on Justice that concerned. To reiterate what has been already explained, the Court found the existence in
the verified complaint and/or resolution is not sufficient in substance or (3) by the filing or full of all the requisite conditions for its exercise of its constitutionally vested power and duty
endorsement before the Secretary-General of the House of Representatives of a verified of judicial review over an issue whose resolution precisely called for the construction or
complaint or a resolution of impeachment by at least 1/3 of the members of the House thus interpretation of a provision of the fundamental law of the land. What lies in here is an issue
clearly contravene Section 3 (5) of Article XI as they give the term "initiate" a meaning of a genuine constitutional material which only this Court can properly and competently
different from "filing." address and adjudicate in accordance with the clear-cut allocation of powers under our
Validity of the Second Impeachment Complaint system of government. Face-to-face thus with a matter or problem that squarely falls under
Having concluded that the initiation takes place by the act of filing of the impeachment the Court's jurisdiction, no other course of action can be had but for it to pass upon that
complaint and referral to the House Committee on Justice, the initial action taken thereon, problem head on.
the meaning of Section 3 (5) of Article XI becomes clear. Once an impeachment complaint The claim, therefore, that this Court by judicially entangling itself with the process of
has been initiated in the foregoing manner, another may not be filed against the same official impeachment has effectively set up a regime of judicial supremacy, is patently without basis
within a one year period following Article XI, Section 3(5) of the Constitution. in fact and in law.
In fine, considering that the first impeachment complaint, was filed by former President This Court in the present petitions subjected to judicial scrutiny and resolved on the merits
Estrada against Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., along with seven associate justices of this only the main issue of whether the impeachment proceedings initiated against the Chief
Court, on June 2, 2003 and referred to the House Committee on Justice on August 5, 2003, Justice transgressed the constitutionally imposed one-year time bar rule. Beyond this, it did
the second impeachment complaint filed by Representatives Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. and not go about assuming jurisdiction where it had none, nor indiscriminately turn justiciable
Felix William Fuentebella against the Chief Justice on October 23, 2003 violates the issues out of decidedly political questions. Because it is not at all the business of this Court
constitutional prohibition against the initiation of impeachment proceedings against the to assert judicial dominance over the other two great branches of the government. Rather,
same impeachable officer within a one-year period. the raison d'etre of the judiciary is to complement the discharge by the executive and
Conclusion legislative of their own powers to bring about ultimately the beneficent effects of having
If there is anything constant about this country, it is that there is always a phenomenon that founded and ordered our society upon the rule of law.
takes the center stage of our individual and collective consciousness as a people with our It is suggested that by our taking cognizance of the issue of constitutionality of the
characteristic flair for human drama, conflict or tragedy. Of course this is not to demean the impeachment proceedings against the Chief Justice, the members of this Court have actually
seriousness of the controversy over the Davide impeachment. For many of us, the past two closed ranks to protect a brethren. That the members' interests in ruling on said issue is as
weeks have proven to be an exasperating, mentally and emotionally exhausting experience. much at stake as is that of the Chief Justice. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Both sides have fought bitterly a dialectical struggle to articulate what they respectively The institution that is the Supreme Court together with all other courts has long held and
believe to be the correct position or view on the issues involved. Passions had ran high as been entrusted with the judicial power to resolve conflicting legal rights regardless of the
demonstrators, whether for or against the impeachment of the Chief Justice, took to the personalities involved in the suits or actions. This Court has dispensed justice over the course
streets armed with their familiar slogans and chants to air their voice on the matter. Various of time, unaffected by whomsoever stood to benefit or suffer therefrom, unfraid by
sectors of society - from the business, retired military, to the academe and denominations whatever imputations or speculations could be made to it, so long as it rendered judgment
of faith – offered suggestions for a return to a state of normalcy in the official relations of according to the law and the facts. Why can it not now be trusted to wield judicial power in
the governmental branches affected to obviate any perceived resulting instability upon areas these petitions just because it is the highest ranking magistrate who is involved when it is an
of national life. incontrovertible fact that the fundamental issue is not him but the validity of a government
Through all these and as early as the time when the Articles of Impeachment had been branch's official act as tested by the limits set by the Constitution? Of course, there are rules
constituted, this Court was specifically asked, told, urged and argued to take no action of any on the inhibition of any member of the judiciary from taking part in a case in specified
kind and form with respect to the prosecution by the House of Representatives of the instances. But to disqualify this entire institution now from the suit at bar is to regard the
impeachment complaint against the subject respondent public official. When the present

66
Supreme Court as likely incapable of impartiality when one of its members is a party to a
case, which is simply a non sequitur.
No one is above the law or the Constitution. This is a basic precept in any legal system which
recognizes equality of all men before the law as essential to the law's moral authority and
that of its agents to secure respect for and obedience to its commands. Perhaps, there is no
other government branch or instrumentality that is most zealous in protecting that principle
of legal equality other than the Supreme Court which has discerned its real meaning and
ramifications through its application to numerous cases especially of the high-profile kind in
the annals of jurisprudence. The Chief Justice is not above the law and neither is any other
member of this Court. But just because he is the Chief Justice does not imply that he gets to
have less in law than anybody else. The law is solicitous of every individual's rights
irrespective of his station in life.
The Filipino nation and its democratic institutions have no doubt been put to test once again
by this impeachment case against Chief Justice Hilario Davide. Accordingly, this Court has
resorted to no other than the Constitution in search for a solution to what many feared
would ripen to a crisis in government. But though it is indeed immensely a blessing for this
Court to have found answers in our bedrock of legal principles, it is equally important that it
went through this crucible of a democratic process, if only to discover that it can resolve
differences without the use of force and aggression upon each other.
WHEREFORE, Sections 16 and 17 of Rule V of the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment
Proceedings which were approved by the House of Representatives on November 28, 2001
are unconstitutional. Consequently, the second impeachment complaint against Chief
Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr. which was filed by Representatives Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. and
Felix William B. Fuentebella with the Office of the Secretary General of the House of
Representatives on October 23, 2003 is barred under paragraph 5, section 3 of Article XI of
the Constitution.
SO ORDERED.
Bellosillo and Tinga, JJ., see separate opinion.
Puno, and Ynares-Santiago, J., see concurring and dissenting opinion.
Vitug, Panganiban, Sandoval-Gutierrez and Callejo, Sr., JJ., see separate concurring opinion.
Quisumbing, J., concurring separate opinion received.
Carpio, J., concur.
Austria-Martinez, J., concur in the majority opinion and in the separate opinion of J. Vitug.
Corona, J., will write a separate concurring opinion.
Azcuna, J., concur in the separate opinion.

67
G.R. No. L-28196 November 9, 1967 Subsequently, Congress passed a bill, which, upon approval by the President, on June 17,
RAMON A. GONZALES, petitioner, 1967, became Republic Act No. 4913, providing that the amendments to the Constitution
vs. proposed in the aforementioned Resolutions No. 1 and 3 be submitted, for approval by the
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, DIRECTOR OF PRINTING and AUDITOR people, at the general elections which shall be held on November 14, 1967.
GENERAL, respondents. The petition in L-28196 was filed on October 21, 1967. At the hearing thereof, on October
G.R. No. L-28224 November 9, 1967 28, 1967, the Solicitor General appeared on behalf of respondents. Moreover, Atty. Juan T.
PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION ASSOCIATION (PHILCONSA), petitioner, David and counsel for the Philippine Constitution Association — hereinafter referred to as
vs. the PHILCONSA — were allowed to argue as amici curiae. Said counsel for the PHILCONSA,
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, respondent. Dr. Salvador Araneta, likewise prayed that the decision in this case be deferred until after a
No. 28196: substantially identical case brought by said organization before the Commission on
Ramon A. Gonzales for and in his own behalf as petitioner. Elections,1 which was expected to decide it any time, and whose decision would, in all
Juan T. David as amicus curiae probability, be appealed to this Court — had been submitted thereto for final determination,
Office of the Solicitor General for respondents. for a joint decision on the identical issues raised in both cases. In fact, on October 31, 1967,
No. 28224: the PHILCONSA filed with this Court the petition in G. R. No. L-28224, for review
Salvador Araneta for petitioner. by certiorari of the resolution of the Commission on Elections2 dismissing the petition
Office of the Solicitor General for respondent. therein. The two (2) cases were deemed submitted for decision on November 8, 1967, upon
CONCEPCION, C.J.: the filing of the answer of respondent, the memorandum of the petitioner and the reply
G. R. No. L-28196 is an original action for prohibition, with preliminary injunction. memorandum of respondent in L-28224.
Petitioner therein prays for judgment: Ramon A. Gonzales, the petitioner in L-28196, is admittedly a Filipino citizen, a taxpayer, and
1) Restraining: (a) the Commission on Elections from enforcing Republic Act No. 4913, or a voter. He claims to have instituted case L-28196 as a class unit, for and in behalf of all
from performing any act that will result in the holding of the plebiscite for the ratification of citizens, taxpayers, and voters similarly situated. Although respondents and the Solicitor
the constitutional amendments proposed in Joint Resolutions Nos. 1 and 3 of the two Houses General have filed an answer denying the truth of this allegation, upon the ground that they
of Congress of the Philippines, approved on March 16, 1967; (b) the Director of Printing from have no knowledge or information to form a belief as to the truth thereof, such denial would
printing ballots, pursuant to said Act and Resolutions; and (c) the Auditor General from appear to be a perfunctory one. In fact, at the hearing of case L-28196, the Solicitor General
passing in audit any disbursement from the appropriation of funds made in said Republic Act expressed himself in favor of a judicial determination of the merits of the issued raised in
No. 4913; and said case.
2) declaring said Act unconstitutional and void. The PHILCONSA, petitioner in L-28224, is admittedly a corporation duly organized and
The main facts are not disputed. On March 16, 1967, the Senate and the House of existing under the laws of the Philippines, and a civic, non-profit and non-partisan
Representatives passed the following resolutions: organization the objective of which is to uphold the rule of law in the Philippines and to
1. R. B. H. (Resolution of Both Houses) No. 1, proposing that Section 5, Article VI, of the defend its Constitution against erosions or onslaughts from whatever source. Despite his
Constitution of the Philippines, be amended so as to increase the membership of the House aforementioned statement in L-28196, in his answer in L-28224 the Solicitor General
of Representatives from a maximum of 120, as provided in the present Constitution, to a maintains that this Court has no jurisdiction over the subject-matter of L-28224, upon the
maximum of 180, to be apportioned among the several provinces as nearly as may be ground that the same is "merely political" as held in Mabanag vs. Lopez Vito.3 Senator Arturo
according to the number of their respective inhabitants, although each province shall have, M. Tolentino, who appeared before the Commission on Elections and filed an opposition to
at least, one (1) member; the PHILCONSA petition therein, was allowed to appear before this Court and objected to
2. R. B. H. No. 2, calling a convention to propose amendments to said Constitution, the said petition upon the ground: a) that the Court has no jurisdiction either to grant the relief
convention to be composed of two (2) elective delegates from each representative district, sought in the petition, or to pass upon the legality of the composition of the House of
to be "elected in the general elections to be held on the second Tuesday of November, Representatives; b) that the petition, if granted, would, in effect, render in operational the
1971;" and legislative department; and c) that "the failure of Congress to enact a valid reapportionment
3. R. B. H. No. 3, proposing that Section 16, Article VI, of the same Constitution, be amended law . . . does not have the legal effect of rendering illegal the House of Representatives
so as to authorize Senators and members of the House of Representatives to become elected thereafter, nor of rendering its acts null and void."
delegates to the aforementioned constitutional convention, without forfeiting their JURISDICTION
respective seats in Congress.

68
As early as Angara vs. Electoral Commission,4 this Court — speaking through one of the In short, the issue whether or not a Resolution of Congress — acting as a constituent
leading members of the Constitutional Convention and a respected professor of assembly — violates the Constitution essentially justiciable, not political, and, hence, subject
Constitutional Law, Dr. Jose P. Laurel — declared that "the judicial department is the only to judicial review, and, to the extent that this view may be inconsistent with the stand taken
constitutional organ which can be called upon to determine the proper allocation of powers in Mabanag vs. Lopez Vito,16 the latter should be deemed modified accordingly. The
between the several departments and among the integral or constituent units thereof." It is Members of the Court are unanimous on this point.
true that in Mabanag vs. Lopez Vito,5 this Court characterizing the issue submitted thereto THE MERITS
as a political one, declined to pass upon the question whether or not a given number of votes Section 1 of Article XV of the Constitution, as amended, reads:
cast in Congress in favor of a proposed amendment to the Constitution — which was being The Congress in joint session assembled by a vote of three-fourths of all the Members of the
submitted to the people for ratification — satisfied the three-fourths vote requirement of Senate and of the House of Representatives voting separately, may propose amendments to
the fundamental law. The force of this precedent has been weakened, however, by Suanes this Constitution or call a convention for that purpose. Such amendments shall be valid as
vs. Chief Accountant of the Senate,6 Avelino vs. Cuenco,7 Tañada vs. Cuenco,8 and Macias vs. part of this Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election at
Commission on Elections.9In the first, we held that the officers and employees of the Senate which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification.
Electoral Tribunal are under its supervision and control, not of that of the Senate President, Pursuant to this provision, amendments to the Constitution may be proposed, either by
as claimed by the latter; in the second, this Court proceeded to determine the number of Congress, or by a convention called by Congress for that purpose. In either case, the vote of
Senators necessary for a quorum in the Senate; in the third, we nullified the election, by "three-fourths of all the members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives voting
Senators belonging to the party having the largest number of votes in said chamber, separately" is necessary. And, "such amendments shall be valid as part of" the "Constitution
purporting to act on behalf of the party having the second largest number of votes therein, when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are
of two (2) Senators belonging to the first party, as members, for the second party, of the, submitted to the people for their ratification."
Senate Electoral Tribunal; and in the fourth, we declared unconstitutional an act of Congress In the cases at bar, it is conceded that the R. B. H. Nos. 1 and 3 have been approved by a vote
purporting to apportion the representative districts for the House of Representatives, upon of three-fourths of all the members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives voting
the ground that the apportionment had not been made as may be possible according to the separately. This, notwithstanding, it is urged that said resolutions are null and void because:
number of inhabitants of each province. Thus we rejected the theory, advanced in these four 1. The Members of Congress, which approved the proposed amendments, as well as the
(4) cases, that the issues therein raised were political questions the determination of which resolution calling a convention to propose amendments, are, at best, de facto Congressmen;
is beyond judicial review. 2. Congress may adopt either one of two alternatives propose — amendments or call a
Indeed, the power to amend the Constitution or to propose amendments thereto is not convention therefore but may not avail of both — that is to say, propose
included in the general grant of legislative powers to Congress.10 It is part of the inherent amendment and call a convention — at the same time;
powers of the people — as the repository of sovereignty in a republican state, such as 3. The election, in which proposals for amendment to the Constitution shall be submitted for
ours11 — to make, and, hence, to amend their own Fundamental Law. Congress may propose ratification, must be a special election, not a general election, in which officers of the
amendments to the Constitution merely because the same explicitly grants such national and local governments — such as the elections scheduled to be held on November
power.12 Hence, when exercising the same, it is said that Senators and Members of the 14, 1967 — will be chosen; and
House of Representatives act, not as members of Congress, but as component elements of 4. The spirit of the Constitution demands that the election, in which proposals for
a constituent assembly. When acting as such, the members of Congress derive their authority amendment shall be submitted to the people for ratification, must be held under such
from the Constitution, unlike the people, when performing the same function,13 for their conditions — which, allegedly, do not exist — as to give the people a reasonable opportunity
authority does not emanate from the Constitution — they are the very source of all powers to have a fair grasp of the nature and implications of said amendments.
of government, including the Constitution itself . Legality of Congress and Legal Status of the Congressmen
Since, when proposing, as a constituent assembly, amendments to the Constitution, the The first objection is based upon Section 5, Article VI, of the Constitution, which provides:
members of Congress derive their authority from the Fundamental Law, it follows, The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than one hundred and twenty
necessarily, that they do not have the final say on whether or not their acts are within or Members who shall be apportioned among the several provinces as nearly as may be
beyond constitutional limits. Otherwise, they could brush aside and set the same at naught, according to the number of their respective inhabitants, but each province shall have at least
contrary to the basic tenet that ours is a government of laws, not of men, and to the rigid one Member. The Congress shall by law make an apportionment within three years after the
nature of our Constitution. Such rigidity is stressed by the fact that, the Constitution return of every enumeration, and not otherwise. Until such apportionment shall have been
expressly confers upon the Supreme Court,14 the power to declare a treaty made, the House of Representatives shall have the same number of Members as that fixed
unconstitutional,15 despite the eminently political character of treaty-making power. by law for the National Assembly, who shall be elected by the qualified electors from the

69
present Assembly districts. Each representative district shall comprise, as far as practicable, original Constitution regarding the apportionment of the districts for representatives, must
contiguous and compact territory. have known that the three-year period therefor would expire after the elections scheduled
It is urged that the last enumeration or census took place in 1960; that, no apportionment to be held and actually held in 1941.
having been made within three (3) years thereafter, the Congress of the Philippines and/or Thus, the events contemporaneous with the framing and ratification of the original
the election of its Members became illegal; that Congress and its Members, likewise, became Constitution in 1935 and of the amendment thereof in 1940 strongly indicate that the
a de facto Congress and/or de facto congressmen, respectively; and that, consequently, the provision concerning said apportionment and the effect of the failure to make it were
disputed Resolutions, proposing amendments to the Constitution, as well as Republic Act expected to be applied to conditions obtaining after the elections in 1935 and 1938, and
No. 4913, are null and void. even after subsequent elections.
It is not true, however, that Congress has not made an apportionment within three years Then again, since the report of the Director of the Census on the last enumeration was
after the enumeration or census made in 1960. It did actually pass a bill, which became submitted to the President on November 30, 1960, it follows that the three-year period to
Republic Act No. 3040,17 purporting to make said apportionment. This Act was, however, make the apportionment did not expire until 1963, or after the Presidential elections in
declared unconstitutional, upon the ground that the apportionment therein undertaken had 1961. There can be no question, therefore, that the Senate and the House of Representatives
not been made according to the number of inhabitants of the different provinces of the organized or constituted on December 30, 1961, were de jure bodies, and that the Members
Philippines.18 thereof were de jure officers. Pursuant to the theory of petitioners herein, upon expiration
Moreover, we are unable to agree with the theory that, in view of the failure of Congress to of said period of three years, or late in 1963, Congress became illegal and its Members, or at
make a valid apportionment within the period stated in the Constitution, Congress became least, those of the House of Representatives, became illegal holder of their respective offices,
an "unconstitutional Congress" and that, in consequence thereof, the Members of its House and were de facto officers.
of Representatives are de facto officers. The major premise of this process of reasoning is Petitioners do not allege that the expiration of said three-year period without a
that the constitutional provision on "apportionment within three years after the return of reapportionment, had the effect of abrogating or repealing the legal provision creating
every enumeration, and not otherwise," is mandatory. The fact that Congress is under legal Congress, or, at least, the House of Representatives, and are not aware of any rule or
obligation to make said apportionment does not justify, however, the conclusion that failure principle of law that would warrant such conclusion. Neither do they allege that the term of
to comply with such obligation rendered Congress illegal or unconstitutional, or that its office of the members of said House automatically expired or that they ipso facto forfeited
Members have become de facto officers. their seats in Congress, upon the lapse of said period for reapportionment. In fact, neither
It is conceded that, since the adoption of the Constitution in 1935, Congress has not made a our political law, nor our law on public officers, in particular, supports the view that failure
valid apportionment as required in said fundamental law. The effect of this omission has to discharge a mandatory duty, whatever it may be, would automatically result in the
been envisioned in the Constitution, pursuant to which: forfeiture of an office, in the absence of a statute to this effect.
. . . Until such apportionment shall have been made, the House of Representatives shall have Similarly, it would seem obvious that the provision of our Election Law relative to the election
the same number of Members as that fixed by law for the National Assembly, who shall be of Members of Congress in 1965 were not repealed in consequence of the failure of said
elected by the qualified electors from the present Assembly districts. . . . . body to make an apportionment within three (3) years after the census of 1960. Inasmuch
The provision does not support the view that, upon the expiration of the period to make the as the general elections in 1965 were presumably held in conformity with said Election Law,
apportionment, a Congress which fails to make it is dissolved or becomes illegal. On the and the legal provisions creating Congress — with a House of Representatives composed of
contrary, it implies necessarily that Congress shall continue to function with the members elected by qualified voters of representative districts as they existed at the time of
representative districts existing at the time of the expiration of said period. said elections — remained in force, we can not see how said Members of the House of
It is argued that the above-quoted provision refers only to the elections held in 1935. This Representatives can be regarded as de facto officers owing to the failure of their
theory assumes that an apportionment had to be made necessarily before the first elections predecessors in office to make a reapportionment within the period aforementioned.
to be held after the inauguration of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, or in 1938.19 The Upon the other hand, the Constitution authorizes the impeachment of the President, the
assumption, is, however, unwarranted, for there had been no enumeration in 1935, and Vice-President, the Justices of the Supreme Court and the Auditor General for, inter alia,
nobody could foretell when it would be made. Those who drafted and adopted the culpable violation of the Constitution,20 the enforcement of which is, not only their
Constitution in 1935 could be certain, therefore, that the three-year period, after the earliest mandatory duty, but also, their main function. This provision indicates that, despite the
possible enumeration, would expire after the elections in 1938. violation of such mandatory duty, the title to their respective offices remains unimpaired,
What is more, considering that several provisions of the Constitution, particularly those on until dismissal or ouster pursuant to a judgment of conviction rendered in accordance with
the legislative department, were amended in 1940, by establishing a bicameral Congress, Article IX of the Constitution. In short, the loss of office or the extinction of title thereto is
those who drafted and adopted said amendment, incorporating therein the provision of the not automatic.

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Even if we assumed, however, that the present Members of Congress are merely de to the Constitution, in general. In other words, the subject-matter of R. B. H. No. 2 is different
facto officers, it would not follow that the contested resolutions and Republic Act No. 4913 from that of R B. H. Nos. 1 and 3. Moreover, the amendments proposed under R. B. H. Nos.
are null and void. In fact, the main reasons for the existence of the de facto doctrine is that 1 and 3, will be submitted for ratification several years before those that may be proposed
public interest demands that acts of persons holding, under color of title, an office created by the constitutional convention called in R. B. H. No. 2. Again, although the three (3)
by a valid statute be, likewise, deemed valid insofar as the public — as distinguished from resolutions were passed on the same date, they were taken up and put to a vote separately,
the officer in question — is concerned.21 Indeed, otherwise, those dealing with officers and or one after the other. In other words, they were not passed at the same time.
employees of the Government would be entitled to demand from them satisfactory proof of In any event, we do not find, either in the Constitution, or in the history thereof anything
their title to the positions they hold, before dealing with them, or before recognizing their that would negate the authority of different Congresses to approve the contested
authority or obeying their commands, even if they should act within the limits of the Resolutions, or of the same Congress to pass the same in, different sessions or different days
authority vested in their respective offices, positions or employments.22 One can imagine of the same congressional session. And, neither has any plausible reason been advanced to
this great inconvenience, hardships and evils that would result in the absence of the de justify the denial of authority to adopt said resolutions on the same day.
facto doctrine. Counsel ask: Since Congress has decided to call a constitutional convention to propose
As a consequence, the title of a de facto officer cannot be assailed collaterally.23 It may not amendments, why not let the whole thing be submitted to said convention, instead of,
be contested except directly, by quo warranto proceedings. Neither may the validity of his likewise, proposing some specific amendments, to be submitted for ratification before said
acts be questioned upon the ground that he is merely a de facto officer.24 And the reasons convention is held? The force of this argument must be conceded. but the same impugns
are obvious: (1) it would be an indirect inquiry into the title to the office; and (2) the acts of the wisdom of the action taken by Congress, not its authority to take it. One seeming
a de facto officer, if within the competence of his office, are valid, insofar as the public is purpose thereof to permit Members of Congress to run for election as delegates to the
concerned. constitutional convention and participate in the proceedings therein, without forfeiting their
It is argued that the foregoing rules do not apply to the cases at bar because the acts therein seats in Congress. Whether or not this should be done is a political question, not subject to
involved have not been completed and petitioners herein are not third parties. This pretense review by the courts of justice.
is untenable. It is inconsistent with Tayko vs. Capistrano.25 In that case, one of the parties to On this question there is no disagreement among the members of the Court.
a suit being heard before Judge Capistrano objected to his continuing to hear the case, for May Constitutional Amendments Be Submitted for Ratification in a General Election?
the reason that, meanwhile, he had reached the age of retirement. This Court held that the Article XV of the Constitution provides:
objection could not be entertained, because the Judge was at least, a de facto Judge, whose . . . The Congress in joint session assembled, by a vote of three-fourths of all the Members
title can not be assailed collaterally. It should be noted that Tayko was not a third party of the Senate and of the House of Representatives voting separately, may propose
insofar as the Judge was concerned. Tayko was one of the parties in the aforementioned amendments to this Constitution or call a contention for that purpose. Such amendments
suit. Moreover, Judge Capistrano had not, as yet, finished hearing the case, much less shall be valid as part of this Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an
rendered decision therein. No rights had vested in favor of the parties, in consequence of election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification.
the acts of said Judge. Yet, Tayko's objection was overruled. Needless to say, insofar as There is in this provision nothing to indicate that the "election" therein referred to is a
Congress is concerned, its acts, as regards the Resolutions herein contested and Republic Act "special," not a general, election. The circumstance that three previous amendments to the
No. 4913, are complete. Congress has nothing else to do in connection therewith. Constitution had been submitted to the people for ratification in special elections merely
The Court is, also, unanimous in holding that the objection under consideration is untenable. shows that Congress deemed it best to do so under the circumstances then obtaining. It does
Available Alternatives to Congress not negate its authority to submit proposed amendments for ratification in general elections.
Atty. Juan T. David, as amicus curiae, maintains that Congress may either propose It would be better, from the viewpoint of a thorough discussion of the proposed
amendments to the Constitution or call a convention for that purpose, but it can not do both, amendments, that the same be submitted to the people's approval independently of the
at the same time. This theory is based upon the fact that the two (2) alternatives are election of public officials. And there is no denying the fact that an adequate appraisal of the
connected in the Constitution by the disjunctive "or." Such basis is, however, a weak one, in merits and demerits proposed amendments is likely to be overshadowed by the great
the absence of other circumstances — and none has brought to our attention — supporting attention usually commanded by the choice of personalities involved in general elections,
the conclusion drawn by the amicus curiae. In fact, the term "or" has, oftentimes, been held particularly when provincial and municipal officials are to be chosen. But, then, these
to mean "and," or vice-versa, when the spirit or context of the law warrants it.26 considerations are addressed to the wisdom of holding a plebiscite simultaneously with the
It is, also, noteworthy that R. B. H. Nos. 1 and 3 propose amendments to the constitutional election of public officer. They do not deny the authority of Congress to choose either
provision on Congress, to be submitted to the people for ratification on November 14, 1967, alternative, as implied in the term "election" used, without qualification, in the abovequoted
whereas R. B. H. No. 2 calls for a convention in 1971, to consider proposals for amendment provision of the Constitution. Such authority becomes even more patent when we consider:

71
(1) that the term "election," normally refers to the choice or selection of candidates to public (6) that the contested Resolutions "shall be printed in full" on the back of the ballots which
office by popular vote; and (2) that the word used in Article V of the Constitution, concerning shall be used on November 14, 1967.
the grant of suffrage to women is, not "election," but "plebiscite." We are not prepared to say that the foregoing measures are palpably inadequate to comply
Petitioners maintain that the term "election," as used in Section 1 of Art. XV of the with the constitutional requirement that proposals for amendment be "submitted to the
Constitution, should be construed as meaning a special election. Some members of the people for their ratification," and that said measures are manifestly insufficient, from a
Court even feel that said term ("election") refers to a "plebiscite," without any "election," constitutional viewpoint, to inform the people of the amendment sought to be made.
general or special, of public officers. They opine that constitutional amendments are, in These were substantially the same means availed of to inform the people of the subject
general, if not always, of such important, if not transcendental and vital nature as to demand submitted to them for ratification, from the original Constitution down to the Parity
that the attention of the people be focused exclusively on the subject-matter thereof, so Amendment. Thus, referring to the original Constitution, Section 1 of Act No. 4200, provides:
that their votes thereon may reflect no more than their intelligent, impartial and considered Said Constitution, with the Ordinance appended thereto, shall be published in the Official
view on the merits of the proposed amendments, unimpaired, or, at least, undiluted by Gazette, in English and in Spanish, for three consecutive issues at least fifteen days prior to
extraneous, if not insidious factors, let alone the partisan political considerations that are said election, and a printed copy of said Constitution, with the Ordinance appended thereto,
likely to affect the selection of elective officials. shall be posted in a conspicuous place in each municipal and provincial government office
This, certainly, is a situation to be hoped for. It is a goal the attainment of which should be building and in each polling place not later than the twenty-second day of April, nineteen
promoted. The ideal conditions are, however, one thing. The question whether the hundred and thirty-five, and shall remain posted therein continually until after the
Constitution forbids the submission of proposals for amendment to the people except under termination of the election. At least ten copies of the Constitution with the Ordinance
such conditions, is another thing. Much as the writer and those who concur in this opinion appended thereto, in English and in Spanish, shall be kept at each polling place available for
admire the contrary view, they find themselves unable to subscribe thereto without, in examination by the qualified electors during election day. Whenever practicable, copies in
effect, reading into the Constitution what they believe is not written thereon and can not the principal local dialects as may be determined by the Secretary of the Interior shall also
fairly be deduced from the letter thereof, since the spirit of the law should not be a matter be kept in each polling place.
of sheer speculation. The provision concerning woman's suffrage is Section 1 of Commonwealth Act No. 34,
The majority view — although the votes in favor thereof are insufficient to declare Republic reading:
Act No. 4913 unconstitutional — as ably set forth in the opinion penned by Mr. Justice Said Article V of the Constitution shall be published in the Official Gazette, in English and in
Sanchez, is, however, otherwise. Spanish, for three consecutive issues at least fifteen days prior to said election, and the said
Would the Submission now of the Contested Amendments to the People Violate the Spirit of Article V shall be posted in a conspicuous place in each municipal and provincial office
the Constitution? building and in each polling place not later than the twenty-second day of April, nineteen
It should be noted that the contested Resolutions were approved on March 16, 1967, so and thirty-seven, and shall remain posted therein continually until after the termination of
that, by November 14, 1967, our citizenry shall have had practically eight (8) months to be the plebiscite. At least ten copies of said Article V of the Constitution, in English and in
informed on the amendments in question. Then again, Section 2 of Republic Act No. 4913 Spanish, shall be kept at each polling place available for examination by the qualified electors
provides: during the plebiscite. Whenever practicable, copies in the principal native languages, as may
(1) that "the amendments shall be published in three consecutive issues of the Official be determined by the Secretary of the Interior, shall also be kept in each polling place.
Gazette, at least twenty days prior to the election;" Similarly, Section 2, Commonwealth Act No. 517, referring to the 1940 amendments, is of
(2) that "a printed copy of the proposed amendments shall be posted in a conspicuous place the following tenor:
in every municipality, city and provincial office building and in every polling place not later The said amendments shall be published in English and Spanish in three consecutive issues
than October 14, 1967," and that said copy "shall remain posted therein until after the of the Official Gazette at least twenty days prior to the election. A printed copy thereof shall
election;" be posted in a conspicuous place in every municipal, city, and provincial government office
(3) that "at least five copies of said amendment shall be kept in each polling place, to be building and in every polling place not later than May eighteen, nineteen hundred and forty,
made available for examination by the qualified electors during election day;" and shall remain posted therein until after the election. At least ten copies of said
(4) that "when practicable, copies in the principal native languages, as may be determined amendments shall be kept in each polling place to be made available for examination by the
by the Commission on Elections, shall be kept in each polling place;" qualified electors during election day. When practicable, copies in the principal native
(5) that "the Commission on Elections shall make available copies of said amendments in languages, as may be determined by the Secretary of the Interior, shall also be kept therein.
English, Spanish and, whenever practicable, in the principal native languages, for free As regards the Parity Amendment, Section 2 of Republic Act No. 73 is to the effect that:
distributing:" and

72
The said amendment shall be published in English and Spanish in three consecutive issues of in public places, the copies kept in the polling places and the text of contested resolutions,
the Official Gazette at least twenty days prior to the election. A printed copy thereof shall be as printed in full on the back of the ballots they will use.
posted in a conspicuous place in every municipal, city, and provincial government office It is, likewise, conceivable that as many people, if not more, may fail to realize or envisage
building and in every polling place not later than February eleven, nineteen hundred and the effect of R. B. H. No. 3 upon the work of the Constitutional Convention or upon the future
forty-seven, and shall remain posted therein until after the election. At least, ten copies of of our Republic. But, then, nobody can foretell such effect with certainty. From our
the said amendment shall be kept in each polling place to be made available for examination viewpoint, the provisions of Article XV of the Constitution are satisfied so long as the
by the qualified electors during election day. When practicable, copies in the principal native electorate knows that R. B. H. No. 3 permits Congressmen to retain their seats as legislators,
languages, as may be determined by the Commission on Elections, shall also be kept in each even if they should run for and assume the functions of delegates to the Convention.
polling place. We are impressed by the factors considered by our distinguished and esteemed brethren,
The main difference between the present situation and that obtaining in connection with who opine otherwise, but, we feel that such factors affect the wisdom of Republic Act No.
the former proposals does not arise from the law enacted therefor. The difference springs 4913 and that of R. B. H. Nos. 1 and 3, not the authority of Congress to approve the same.
from the circumstance that the major political parties had taken sides on previous The system of checks and balances underlying the judicial power to strike down acts of the
amendments to the Constitution — except, perhaps, the woman's suffrage — and, Executive or of Congress transcending the confines set forth in the fundamental laws is not
consequently, debated thereon at some length before the plebiscite took place. Upon the in derogation of the principle of separation of powers, pursuant to which each department
other hand, said political parties have not seemingly made an issue on the amendments now is supreme within its own sphere. The determination of the conditions under which the
being contested and have, accordingly, refrained from discussing the same in the current proposed amendments shall be submitted to the people is concededly a matter which falls
political campaign. Such debates or polemics as may have taken place — on a rather limited within the legislative sphere. We do not believe it has been satisfactorily shown that
scale — on the latest proposals for amendment, have been due principally to the initiative Congress has exceeded the limits thereof in enacting Republic Act No. 4913. Presumably, it
of a few civic organizations and some militant members of our citizenry who have voiced could have done something better to enlighten the people on the subject-matter thereof.
their opinion thereon. A legislation cannot, however, be nullified by reason of the failure of But, then, no law is perfect. No product of human endeavor is beyond improvement.
certain sectors of the community to discuss it sufficiently. Its constitutionality or Otherwise, no legislation would be constitutional and valid. Six (6) Members of this Court
unconstitutionality depends upon no other factors than those existing at the time of the believe, however, said Act and R. B. H. Nos. 1 and 3 violate the spirit of the Constitution.
enactment thereof, unaffected by the acts or omissions of law enforcing agencies, Inasmuch as there are less than eight (8) votes in favor of declaring Republic Act 4913 and R.
particularly those that take place subsequently to the passage or approval of the law. B. H. Nos. 1 and 3 unconstitutional and invalid, the petitions in these two (2) cases must be,
Referring particularly to the contested proposals for amendment, the sufficiency or as they are hereby, dismiss and the writs therein prayed for denied, without special
insufficiency, from a constitutional angle, of the submission thereof for ratification to the pronouncement as to costs. It is so ordered.
people on November 14, 1967, depends — in the view of those who concur in this opinion, Makalintal and Bengzon, J.P., JJ., concur.
and who, insofar as this phase of the case, constitute the minority — upon whether the Fernando, J., concurs fully with the above opinion, adding a few words on the question of
provisions of Republic Act No. 4913 are such as to fairly apprise the people of the gist, the jurisdiction.
main idea or the substance of said proposals, which is — under R. B. H. No. 1 — the increase
of the maximum number of seats in the House of Representatives, from 120 to 180, and —
under R. B. H. No. 3 — the authority given to the members of Congress to run for delegates Separate Opinions
to the Constitutional Convention and, if elected thereto, to discharge the duties of such MAKALINTAL, J., concurring:
delegates, without forfeiting their seats in Congress. We — who constitute the minority — I concur in the foregoing opinion of the Chief Justice. I would make some additional
believe that Republic Act No. 4913 satisfies such requirement and that said Act is, observations in connection with my concurrence. Sections 2 and 4 of Republic Act No. 4913
accordingly, constitutional. provide:
A considerable portion of the people may not know how over 160 of the proposed maximum Sec. 2. The amendments shall be published in three consecutive issues of the Official Gazette
of representative districts are actually apportioned by R. B. H. No. 1 among the provinces in at least twenty days prior to the election. A printed copy thereof shall be posted in a
the Philippines. It is not improbable, however, that they are not interested in the details of conspicuous place in every municipality, city and provincial office building and in every
the apportionment, or that a careful reading thereof may tend in their simple minds, to polling place not later than October fourteen, nineteen hundred and sixty-seven, and shall
impair a clear vision thereof. Upon the other hand, those who are more sophisticated, may remain posted therein until after the election. At least five copies of the said amendments
enlighten themselves sufficiently by reading the copies of the proposed amendments posted shall be kept in each polling place to be made available for examination by the qualified
electors during election day. When practicable, copies in the principal native languages, as

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may be determined by the Commission on Elections, shall be kept in each polling place. The to another. The question is susceptible of as many views as there are viewers; and I do not
Commission on Elections shall make available copies of each amendments in English, Spanish think this Court would be justified in saying that its own view on the matter is the correct
and, whenever practicable, in the principal native languages, for free distribution. one, to the exclusion of the opinions of others.
xxx xxx xxx On the other hand, I reject the argument that the ratification must necessarily be in a special
Sec. 4. The ballots which shall be used in the election for the approval of said amendments election or plebiscite called for that purpose alone. While such procedure is highly to be
shall be printed in English and Pilipino and shall be in the size and form prescribed by the preferred, the Constitution speaks simply of "an election at which the amendments are
Commission on Elections: Provided, however, That at the back of said ballot there shall be submitted to the people for their ratification," and I do not subscribe to the restrictive
printed in full Resolutions of both Houses of Congress Numbered One and Three, both interpretation that the petitioners would place on this provision, namely, that it means only
adopted on March sixteen, nineteen hundred and sixty-seven, proposing the a special election.
amendments: Provided, further, That the questionnaire appearing on the face of the ballot
shall be as follows:
Are you in favor of the proposed amendment to Section five of Article VI of our Constitution BENGZON, J.P., J., concurring:
printed at the back of this ballot? It is the glory of our institutions that they are founded upon law, that no one can exercise
Are you in favor of the proposed amendment to section sixteen of Article VI of our any authority over the rights and interests of others except pursuant to and in the manner
Constitution printed at the back of this ballot? authorized by law.1 Based upon this principle, petitioners Ramon A. Gonzales and Philippine
To vote for the approval of the proposed amendments, the voter shall write the word "yes" Constitution Association (PHILCONSA) come to this Court in separate petitions.
or its equivalent in Pilipino or in the local dialect in the blank space after each question; to Petitioner Gonzales, as taxpayer, voter and citizen, and allegedly in representation thru class
vote for the rejection thereof, he shall write the word "No" or its equivalent in Pilipino or in suit of all citizens of this country, filed this suit for prohibition with preliminary injunction to
the local dialect. restrain the Commission on Elections, Director of Printing and Auditor General from
I believe that intrinsically, that is, considered in itself and without reference to extraneous implementing and/or complying with Republic Act 4913, assailing said law as
factors and circumstances, the manner prescribed in the aforesaid provisions is sufficient for unconstitutional.
the purpose of having the proposed amendments submitted to the people for their Petitioner PHILCONSA, as a civic, non-profit and non-partisan corporation, assails the
ratification, as enjoined in Section 1, Article XV of the Constitution. I am at a loss to say what constitutionality not only of Republic Act 4913 but also of Resolutions of Both Houses Nos. 1
else should have been required by the Act to make it adhere more closely to the and 3 of March 16, 1967.
constitutional requirement. Certainly it would have been out of place to provide, for Republic Act 4913, effective June 17, 1967, is an Act submitting to the Filipino people for
instance, that government officials and employees should go out and explain the approval the amendments to the Constitution of the Philippines proposed by the Congress
amendments to the people, or that they should be the subject of any particular means or of the Philippines in Resolutions of Both Houses Numbered 1 and 3, adopted on March 16,
form of public discussion. 1967. Said Republic Act fixes the date and manner of the election at which the aforesaid
The objection of some members of the Court to Republic Act No. 4913 seems to me proposed amendments shall be voted upon by the people, and appropriates funds for said
predicated on the fact that there are so many other issues at stake in the coming general election. Resolutions of Both Houses Nos. 1 and 3 propose two amendments to the
election that the attention of the electorate, cannot be entirely focused on the proposed Constitution: the first, to amend Sec. 5, Art. VI, by increasing the maximum membership of
amendments, such that there is a failure to properly submit them for ratification within the the House of Representatives from 120 to 180, apportioning 160 of said 180 seats and
intendment of the Constitution. If that is so, then the defect is not intrinsic in the law but in eliminating the provision that Congress shall by law make an apportionment within three
its implementation. The same manner of submitting the proposed amendments to the years after the return of every enumeration; the second, to amend Sec. 16, Art. VI, by
people for ratification may, in a different setting, be sufficient for the purpose. Yet I cannot allowing Senators and Representatives to be delegates to a constitutional convention
conceive that the constitutionality or unconstitutionality of a law may be made to depend without forfeiting their seats.
willy-nilly on factors not inherent in its provisions. For a law to be struck down as Since both petitions relate to the proposed amendments, they are considered together
unconstitutional it must be so by reason of some irreconcilable conflict between it and the herein.
Constitution. Otherwise a law may be either valid or invalid, according to circumstances not Specifically and briefly, petitioner Gonzales' objections are as follows: (1) Republic Act 4913
found in its provisions, such as the zeal with which they are carried out. To such a thesis I violates Sec. 1, Art. XV of the Constitution, in submitting the proposed amendments to the
cannot agree. The criterion would be too broad and relative, and dependent upon individual Constitution, to the people for approval, at the general election of 1967 instead of at a
opinions that at best are subjective. What one may regard as sufficient compliance with the special election solely for that purpose; (2) Republic Act 4913 violates Sec. 1, Art. XV of the
requirement of submission to the people, within the context of the same law, may not be so Constitution, since it was not passed with the 3/4 vote in joint session required when

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Congress proposes amendments to the Constitution, said Republic Act being a step in or part shall be valid as part of this Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an
of the process of proposing amendments to the Constitution; and (3) Republic Act 4913 election to which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification.
violates the due process clause of the Constitution (Sec. 1, Subsec. 1, Art. III), in not requiring Does Republic Act 4913 propose amendments to the Constitution? If by the term "propose
that the substance of the proposed amendments be stated on the face of the ballot or amendment" is meant to determine WHAT said amendment shall be, then Republic Act 4913
otherwise rendering clear the import of the proposed amendments, such as by stating the does not; Resolutions of Both Houses 1 and 3 already did that. If, on the other hand, it means,
provisions before and after said amendments, instead of printing at the back of the ballot or also means, to provide for how, when, and by what means the amendments shall
only the proposed amendments. be submitted to the people for approval, then it does.
Since observance of Constitutional provisions on the procedure for amending the A careful reading of Sec. 1, Art. XV shows that the first sense. is the one intended. Said
Constitution is concerned, the issue is cognizable by this Court under its powers to review an Section has two sentences: in the first, it requires the 3/4 voting in joint session, for Congress
Act of Congress to determine its conformity to the fundamental law. For though the to "propose amendments". And then in the second sentence, it provides that "such
Constitution leaves Congress free to propose whatever Constitutional amendment it deems amendments . . . shall be submitted to the people for their ratification". This clearly indicates
fit, so that the substance or content of said proposed amendment is a matter of policy and that by the term "propose amendments" in the first sentence is meant to frame the
wisdom and thus a political question, the Constitution nevertheless imposes requisites as to substance or the content or the WHAT-element of the amendments; for it is this and this
the manner or procedure of proposing such amendments, e.g., the three-fourths vote alone that is submitted to the people for their ratification. The details of when the election
requirement. Said procedure or manner, therefore, from being left to the discretion of shall be held for approval or rejection of the proposed amendments, or the manner of
Congress, as a matter of policy and wisdom, is fixed by the Constitution. And to that extent, holding it, are not submitted for ratification to form part of the Constitution. Stated
all questions bearing on whether Congress in proposing amendments followed the differently, the plain language of Section 1, Art. XV, shows that the act of proposing
procedure required by the Constitution, is perforce justiciable, it not being a matter of policy amendments is distinct from — albeit related to — that of submitting the amendments to
or wisdom. the people for their ratification; and that the 3/4 voting requirement applies only to the first
Turning then to petitioner Gonzales' first objection, Sec. 1, Art. XV clearly does not bear him step, not to the second one.
on the point. It nowhere requires that the ratification be thru an election solely for that It follows that the submission of proposed amendments can be done thru an ordinary statute
purpose. It only requires that it be at "an election at which the amendments are submitted passed by Congress. The Constitution does not expressly state by whom the submission shall
to the people for their ratification." To join it with an election for candidates to public office, be undertaken; the rule is that a power not lodged elsewhere under the Constitution is
that is, to make it concurrent with such election, does not render it any less an election at deemed to reside with the legislative body, under the doctrine of residuary powers. Congress
which the proposed amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification. To therefore validly enacted Republic Act 4913 to fix the details of the date and manner of
prohibition being found in the plain terms of the Constitution, none should be inferred. Had submitting the proposed amendments to the people for their ratification. Since it does not
the framers of requiring Constitution thought of requiring a special election for the purpose "propose amendments" in the sense referred to by Sec. 1, Art. XV of the Constitution, but
only of the proposed amendments, they could have said so, by qualifying the phrase with merely provides for how and when the amendments, already proposed, are going to be
some word such as "special" or "solely" or "exclusively". They did not. voted upon, the same does not need the 3/4 vote in joint session required in Sec. 1, Art. XV
It is not herein decided that such concurrence of election is wise, or that it would not have of the Constitution. Furthermore, Republic Act 4913 is an appropriation measure. Sec. 6
been better to provide for a separate election exclusively for the ratification of the proposed thereof appropriates P1,000,000 for carrying out its provisions. Sec. 18, Art. VI of the
amendments. The point however is that such separate and exclusive election, even if it may Constitution states that "All appropriation . . . bills shall originate exclusively in the House of
be better or wiser, which again, is not for this Court to decide, is not included in the Representatives". Republic Act 4913, therefore, could not have been validly adopted in a
procedure required by the Constitution to amend the same. The function of the Judiciary is joint session, reinforcing the view that Sec. 1, Art. XV does not apply to such a measure
"not to pass upon questions of wisdom, justice or expediency of legislation". 2 It is limited to providing for the holding of the election to ratify the proposed amendments, which must
determining whether the action taken by the Legislative Department has violated the perforce appropriate funds for its purpose.
Constitution or not. On this score, I am of the opinion that it has not. Petitioner Gonzales contends, thirdly, that Republic Act 4913 offends against substantive
Petitioner Gonzales' second point is that Republic Act 4913 is deficient for not having been due process. An examination of the provisions of the law shows no violation of the due
passed by Congress in joint session by 3/4 vote. process clause of the Constitution. The publication in the Official Gazette at least 20 days
Sec. 1, Art. XV of the Constitution provides: before the election, the posting of notices in public buildings not later than October 14, 1967,
Sec. 1. The Congress in joint session assembled, by a vote of three-fourths of all the members to remain posted until after the elections, the placing of copies of the proposed amendments
of the Senate and of the House of Representatives voting separately, may propose in the polling places, aside from printing the same at the back of the ballot, provide sufficient
amendments to this Constitution or call a convention for that purpose. Such amendments opportunity to the voters to cast an intelligent vote on the proposal. Due process refers only

75
to providing fair opportunity; it does not guarantee that the opportunity given will in fact be Constitution itself provides for its continuance in such case, rendering legal and de
availed of; that is the look-out of the voter and the responsibility of the citizen. As long as jure the status quo.
fair and reasonable opportunity to be informed is given, and it is, the due process clause is For the above reasons, I vote to uphold the constitutionality of Republic Act 4913, and fully
not infringed. concur with the opinion of the Chief Justice.
Non-printing of the provisions to be amended as they now stand, and the printing of the full
proposed amendments at the back of the ballot instead of the substance thereof at the face
of the ballot, do not deprive the voter of fair opportunity to be informed. The present FERNANDO, J., concurring:
wording of the Constitution is not being veiled or suppressed from him; he is conclusively At the outset, we are faced with a question of jurisdiction. The opinion prepared by the Chief
presumed to know them and they are available should he want to check on what he is Justice discusses the matter with a fullness that erases doubts and misgivings and clarifies
conclusively presumed to know. Should the voters choose to remain ignorant of the present the applicable principles. A few words may however be added.
Constitution, the fault does not lie with Congress. For opportunity to familiarize oneself with We start from the premise that only where it can be shown that the question is to be solved
the Constitution as it stands has been available thru all these years. Perhaps it would have by public opinion or where the matter has been left by the Constitution to the sole discretion
been more convenient for the voters if the present wording of the provisions were also to of any of the political branches, as was so clearly stated by the then Justice Concepcion
be printed on the ballot. The same however is a matter of policy. As long as the method in Tañada v. Cuenco,1 may this Court avoid passing on the issue before it. Whatever may be
adopted provides sufficiently reasonable chance to intelligently vote on the amendments, said about the present question, it is hard to speak with certitude considering Article XV, that
and I think it does in this case, it is not constitutionally defective. Congress may be entrusted with the full and uncontrolled discretion on the procedure
Petitioner Gonzales' other arguments touch on the merits or wisdom of the proposed leading to proposals for an amendment of the Constitution.
amendments. These are for the people in their sovereign capacity to decide, not for this It may be said however that in Mabanag v. Lopez Vito,2 this Court through Justice Tuason
Court. followed Coleman v. Miller,3 in its holding that certain aspects of the amending process may
Two arguments were further advanced: first, that Congress cannot both call a convention be considered political. His opinion quoted with approval the view of Justice Black, to which
and propose amendments; second, that the present Congress is a de facto one, since no three other members of the United States Supreme Court agreed, that the process itself is
apportionment law was adopted within three years from the last census of 1960, so that the political in its entirety, "from submission until an amendment becomes part of the
Representatives elected in 1961 are de facto officers only. Not being de jure, they cannot Constitution, and is not subject to judicial guidance, control or interference at any point." In
propose amendments, it is argued. a sense that would solve the matter neatly. The judiciary would be spared the at times
As to the first point, Sec. 1 of Art. XV states that Congress "may propose amendments or call arduous and in every case soul-searching process of determining whether the procedure for
a convention for that purpose". The term "or", however, is frequently used as having the amendments required by the Constitution has been followed.
same meaning as "and" particularly in permissive, affirmative sentences so that the At the same time, without impugning the motives of Congress, which cannot be judicially
interpretation of the word "or" as "and" in the Constitution in such use will not change its inquired into at any rate, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that a failure to observe the
meaning (Vicksburg S. & P. R. Co. v. Goodenough, 32 So. 404, 411, 108 La, 442). And it should requirements of Article XV would occur. In the event that judicial intervention is sought, to
be pointed out that the resolutions proposing amendments (R.B.H. Nos. 1 and 3) are rely automatically on the theory of political question to avoid passing on such a matter of
different from that calling for a convention (R.B.H. No. 2). Surely, if Congress deems it better delicacy might under certain circumstances be considered, and rightly so, as nothing less
or wise to amend the Constitution before a convention called for is elected, it should not be than judicial abdication or surrender.
fettered from doing so. For our purposes in this case, suffice it to note that the Constitution What appears regrettable is that a major opinion of an esteemed jurist, the late Justice
does not prohibit it from doing so. Tuason, would no longer be controlling. There is comfort in the thought that the view that
As to the second argument, it is also true that Sec. 5 of Art. VI of the Constitution provides then prevailed was itself a product of the times. It could very well be that considering the
in part that "The Congress shall by law make an apportionment within three years after the circumstances existing in 1947 as well as the particular amendment sought to be
return of every enumeration, and not otherwise". It however further states in the next incorporated in the Constitution, the parity rights ordinance, the better part of wisdom in
sentence: "Until such apportionment shall have been made, the House of Representatives view of the grave economic situation then confronting the country would be to avoid the
shall have the same number of Members as that fixed by law for the National Assembly, who existence of any obstacle to its being submitted for ratification. Moreover, the Republic
shall be elected by the qualified electors from the present assembly districts." The failure of being less than a year old, American Supreme Court opinions on constitutional questions
Congress, therefore, to pass a valid redistricting law since the time the above provision was were-invariably accorded uncritical acceptance. Thus the approach followed by Justice
adopted, does not render the present districting illegal or unconstitutional. For the Tuason is not difficult to understand. It may be said that there is less propensity now, which

76
is all to the good, for this Court to accord that much deference to constitutional views coming to the people in the general elections soon to be held on November 14, 1967, upon the
from the quarter. provisions of Section 1, Republic Act 4913, which reads:
Nor is this mode of viewing the opinion of Justice Tuason to do injustice to his memory. For The amendments to the Constitution of the Philippines proposed by the Congress of the
as he stated in another major opinion in Araneta v. Dinglasan,4 in ascertaining the meaning Philippines in Resolutions of both Houses Numbered One and Three, both adopted on March
to be given the Emergency Powers Act,5 one should not ignore what would ensue if a sixteen, nineteen hundred and sixty- seven, shall be submitted to the people for approval at
particular mode of construction were followed. As he so emphatically stated, "We test a rule the general election which shall be held on November fourteen, nineteen hundred and sixty-
by its results." seven, in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
The consequences of a judicial veto on the then proposed amendment on the economic Republic Act 4913 projects the basic angle of the problem thrust upon us — the manner in
survival of the country, an erroneous appraisal it turned out later, constituted an effective which the amendments proposed by Congress just adverted to be brought to the people's
argument for its submission. Why not then consider the question political and let the people attention.
decide? That assumption could have been indulged in. It could very well be the inarticulate First, to the controlling constitutional precept. In order that proposed amendments to the
major premise. For many it did bear the stamp of judicial statesmanship. Constitution may become effective, Section 1, Article XV thereof commands that such
The opinion of Chief Justice Concepcion renders crystal-clear why as of this date and in the amendments must be "approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election at which
foreseeable future judicial inquiry to assure the utmost compliance with the constitutional amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification."2 The accent is on two words
requirement would be a more appropriate response. complementing each other, namely, "submitted" and "ratification."
1. We are forced to take a long hard look at the core of the problem facing us. And this,
because the amendments submitted are transcendental and encompassing. The ceiling of
SANCHEZ, J., in separate opinion: the number of Congressmen is sought to be elevated from 120 to 180 members; and
Right at the outset, the writer expresses his deep appreciation to Mr. Justice Calixto O. Senators and Congressmen may run in constitutional conventions without forfeiting their
Zaldivar and Mr. Justice Fred Ruiz Castro for their invaluable contribution to the substance seats. These certainly affect the people as a whole. The increase in the number of
and form of the opinion which follows. Congressmen has its proportional increase in the people's tax burdens. They may not look at
Directly under attack in this, a petition for prohibition, is the constitutionality of Republic Act this with favor, what with the constitutional provision (Section 5, Article VI) that Congress
4913, approved on June 17, 1967. This Act seeks to implement Resolutions 1 and 3 adopted "shall by law make an apportionment", without the necessity of disturbing the present
by the Senate and the House of Representatives on March 16, 1967 with the end in view of constitutionally provided number of Congressmen. People in Quezon City, for instance, may
amending vital portions of the Constitution. balk at the specific apportionment of the 160 seats set forth in Resolution No. 1, and ask for
Since the problem here presented has its roots in the resolutions aforesaid of both houses a Congressman of their own, on the theory of equal representation. And then, people may
of Congress, it may just as well be that we recite in brief the salient features thereof. question the propriety of permitting the increased 180 Congressmen from taking part in the
Resolution No. 1 increases the membership of the House of Representatives from 120 to 180 forthcoming constitutional convention and future conventions for fear that they may
members, and immediately apportions 160 seats. A companion resolution is Resolution No. dominate its proceedings. They may entertain the belief that, if at all, increase in the number
3 which permits Senators and Congressmen — without forfeiting their seats in Congress — of Congressmen should be a proper topic for deliberation in a constitutional convention
to be members of the Constitutional Convention1 to be convened, as provided in another which, anyway, will soon take place. They probably would ask: Why the hurry? These
resolution — Resolution No. 2. Parenthetically, two of these proposed amendments to the ponderables require the people's close scrutiny.
Constitution (Resolutions I and 3) are to be submitted to the people for their ratification next 2. With these as backdrop, we perforce go into the philosophy behind the constitutional
November 14, 1967. Resolution No. 2 just adverted to calls for a constitutional convention directive that constitutional amendments be submitted to the people for their ratification.
also to propose amendments to the Constitution. The delegates thereto are to be elected on A constitutional amendment is not a temporary expedient. Unlike a statute which may suffer
the second Tuesday of November 1970; the convention to sit on June 1, 1971; and the amendments three or more times in the same year, it is intended to stand the test of time.
amendments proposed by the convention to be submitted to the people thereafter for their It is an expression of the people's sovereign will.
ratification. And so, our approach to the problem of the mechanics of submission for ratification of
Of importance now are the proposed amendments increasing the number of members of amendments is that reasoning on the basis of the spirit of the Constitution is just as important
the House of representatives under Resolution No. 1, and that in Resolution No. 3 which as reasoning by a strict adherence to the phraseology thereof. We underscore this, because
gives Senators and Congressmen the right to sit as members of the constitutional convention it is within the realm of possibility that a Constitution maybe overhauled. Supposing three-
to be convened on June 1, 1971. Because, these are the two amendments to be submitted fourths of the Constitution is to be amended. Or, the proposal is to eliminate the all
important; Bill of Rights in its entirety. We believe it to be beyond debate that in some such

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situations the amendments ought to call for a constitutional convention rather than a We examine Republic Act 4913, approved on June 17, 1967 — the statute that submits to
legislative proposal. And yet, nothing there is in the books or in the Constitution itself. which the people the constitutional amendments proposed by Congress in Resolutions 1 and 3.
would require such amendments to be adopted by a constitutional convention. And then, Section 2 of the Act provides the manner of propagation of the nature of the amendments
too, the spirit of the supreme enactment, we are sure, forbids that proposals therefor be throughout the country. There are five parts in said Section 2, viz:
initiated by Congress and thereafter presented to the people for their ratification. (1) The amendment shall be published in three consecutive issues of the Official Gazette at
In the context just adverted to, we take the view that the words "submitted to the people least twenty days prior to the election.
for their ratification", if construed in the light of the nature of the Constitution — a (2) A printed copy thereof shall be posted in a conspicuous place in every municipality, city
fundamental charter that is legislation direct from the people, an — expression of their and provincial office building and in every polling place not later than October fourteen,
sovereign will — is that it can only be amended by the people expressing themselves nineteen hundred and sixty-seven, and shall remain posted therein until after the election.
according to the procedure ordained by the Constitution. Therefore, amendments must be (3) At least five copies of the said amendments shall be kept in each polling place to be made
fairly laid before the people for their blessing or spurning. The people are not to be mere available for examination by the qualified electors during election day.
rubber stamps. They are not to vote blindly. They must be afforded ample opportunity to (4) When practicable, copies in the principal native languages, as may be determined by the
mull over the original provisions compare them with the proposed amendments, and try to Commission on Elections, shall be kept in each polling place.
reach a conclusion as the dictates of their conscience suggest, free from the incubus of (5) The Commission on Elections shall make available copies of said amendments in English,
extraneous or possibly in insidious influences. We believe, the word "submitted" can only Spanish and, whenever practicable, in the principal native languages, for free distribution.
mean that the government, within its maximum capabilities, should strain every effort to A question that comes to mind is whether the procedure for dissemination of information
inform very citizen of the provisions to be amended, and the proposed amendments and the regarding the amendments effectively brings the matter to the people. A dissection of the
meaning, nature and effects thereof. By this, we are not to be understood as saying that, if mechanics yields disturbing thoughts. First, the Official Gazette is not widely read. It does
one citizen or 100 citizens or 1,000 citizens cannot be reached, then there is no submission not reach the barrios. And even if it reaches the barrios, is it available to all? And if it is, would
within the meaning of the word as intended by the framers of the Constitution. What the all under stand English? Second, it should be conceded that many citizens, especially those
Constitution in effect directs is that the government, in submitting an amendment for in the outlying barrios, do not go to municipal, city and/or provincial office buildings, except
ratification, should put every instrumentality or agency within its structural framework to on special occasions like paying taxes or responding to court summonses. And if they do, will
enlighten the people, educate them with respect to their act of ratification or rejection. For, they notice the printed amendments posted on the bulletin board? And if they do notice,
as we have earlier stated, one thing is submission and another is ratification. There must be such copy again is in English (sample submitted to this Court by the Solicitor General) for,
fair submission, intelligent, consent or rejection. If with all these safeguards the people still anyway, the statute does not require that it be in any other language or dialect. Third, it
approve the amendment no matter how prejudicial it is to them, then so be it. For, the would not help any if at least five copies are kept in the polling place for examination by
people decree their own fate. qualified electors during election day. As petitioner puts it, voting time is not study time. And
Aptly had it been said: then, who can enter the polling place, except those who are about to vote? Fourth, copies
. . . The great men who builded the structure of our state in this respect had the mental vision in the principal native languages shall be kept in each polling place. But this is not, as Section
of a good Constitution voiced by Judge Cooley, who has said "A good Constitution should 2 itself implies, in the nature of a command because such copies shall be kept therein only
beyond the reach of temporary excitement and popular caprice or passion. It is needed for "when practicable" and "as may be determined by the Commission on Elections." Even if it
stability and steadiness; it must yield to the thought of the people; not to the whim of the be said that these are available before election, a citizen may not intrude into the school
people, or the thought evolved the excitement or hot blood, but the sober second thought, building where the polling places are usually located without disturbing the school classes
which alone, if the government is to be safe, can be allowed efficiency. . . . Changes in being held there. Fifth, it is true that the Comelec is directed to make available copies of such
government are to be feared unless the benefit is certain. As Montaign says: "All great amendments in English, Spanish or whenever practicable, in the principal native languages,
mutations shake and disorder a state. Good does not necessarily succeed evil; another evil for free distribution. However, Comelec is not required to actively distribute them to the
may succeed and a worse." Am. Law Rev. 1889, p. 3113 people. This is significant as to people in the provinces, especially those in the far-flung
3. Tersely put, the issue before us funnels down to this proposition: If the people are not barrios who are completely unmindful of the discussions that go on now and then in the
sufficiently informed of the amendments to be voted upon, to conscientiously deliberate cities and centers of population on the merits and demerits of the amendments. Rather,
thereon, to express their will in a genuine manner can it be said that in accordance with the Comelec, in this case, is but a passive agency which may hold copies available, but which
constitutional mandate, "the amendments are submitted to the people for their copies may notbe distributed at all. Finally, it is of common knowledge that Comelec has
ratification?" Our answer is "No". more than its hands full in these pre-election days. They cannot possibly make extensive
distribution.

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Voters will soon go to the polls to say "yes" or "no". But even the official sample ballot I concur in the result with the opinion penned by Mr. Justice Sanchez. To approve a mere
submitted to this Court would show that only the amendments are printed at the back. And proposal to amend the Constitution requires (Art. XV) a three-fourths (3/4) vote of all the
this, in pursuance to Republic Act 4913 itself. members of each legislative chamber, the highest majority ever demanded by the
Surely enough, the voters do not have the benefit of proper notice of the proposed fundamental charter, one higher even than that required in order to declare war (Sec. 24,
amendments thru dissemination by publication in extenso. People do not have at hand the Article VI), with all its dire consequences. If such an overwhelming majority, that was
necessary data on which to base their stand on the merits and demerits of said amendments. evidently exacted in order to impress upon all and sundry the seriousness of every
We, therefore, hold that there is no proper submission of the proposed constitutional constitutional amendment, is asked for a proposal to amend the Constitution, I find it
amendments within the meaning and intendment of Section 1, Article XV of the Constitution. impossible to believe that it was ever intended by its framers that such amendment should
4. Contemporary history is witness to the fact that during the present election campaign the be submitted and ratified by just "a majority of the votes cast at an election at which the
focus is on the election of candidates. The constitutional amendments are crowded out. amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification", if the concentration of the
Candidates on the homestretch, and their leaders as well as the voters, gear their undivided people's attention thereon to be diverted by other extraneous issues, such as the choice of
efforts to the election of officials; the constitutional amendments cut no ice with them. The local and national officials. The framers of the Constitution, aware of the fundamental
truth is that even in the ballot itself, the space accorded to the casting of "yes" or "no" vote character thereof, and of the need of giving it as much stability as is practicable, could have
would give one the impression that the constitutional amendments are but a bootstrap to only meant that any amendments thereto should be debated, considered and voted upon at
the electoral ballot. Worse still, the fortunes of many elective officials, on the national and an election wherein the people could devote undivided attention to the subject. That this was
local levels, are inextricably intertwined with the results of the votes on the plebiscite. In a the intention and the spirit of the provision is corroborated in the case of all other
clash between votes for a candidate and conscience on the merits and demerits of the constitutional amendments in the past, that were submitted to and approved in special
constitutional amendments, we are quite certain that it is the latter that will be dented. elections exclusively devoted to the issue whether the legislature's amendatory proposals
5. That proper submission of amendments to the people to enable them to equally ratify should be ratified or not.
them properly is the meat of the constitutional requirement, is reflected in the sequence of Dizon, Angeles, Zaldivar and Castro, JJ., concur.
uniform past practices. The Constitution had been amended thrice — in 1939, 1940 and
1947. In each case, the amendments were embodied in resolutions adopted by the
Legislature, which thereafter fixed the dates at which the proposed amendments were to be
ratified or rejected. These plebiscites have been referred to either as an "election" or
"general election". At no time, however, was the vote for the amendments of the
Constitution held simultaneously with the election officials, national or local. Even with
regard to the 1947 parity amendment; the record shows that the sole issue was the 1947
parity amendment; and the special elections simultaneously held in only three provinces,
Iloilo, Pangasinan and Bukidnon, were merely incidental thereto.
In the end we say that the people are the last ramparts that guard against indiscriminate
changes in the Constitution that is theirs. Is it too much to ask that reasonable guarantee be
made that in the matter of the alterations of the law of the land, their true voice be heard?
The answer perhaps is best expressed in the following thoughts: "It must be remembered
that the Constitution is the people's enactment. No proposed change can become effective
unless they will it so through the compelling force of need of it and desire for it."4
For the reasons given, our vote is that Republic Act 4913 must be stricken down as in
violation of the Constitution.
Zaldivar and Castro, JJ., concur.
Reyes, J.B.L., Dizon and Angeles, JJ., concur in the result.

REYES, J.B.L., J., concurring:

79
G.R. No. L-32432 September 11, 1970 relating to the specific apportionment of delegates, election of delegates to, and the holding
MANUEL B. IMBONG, petitioner, of, the Constitutional Convention shall be embodied in an implementing legislation:
vs. Provided, that it shall not be inconsistent with the provisions of this Resolution."2
JAIME FERRER, as Chairman of the Comelec, LINO M. PATAJO and CESAR MILAFLOR, as On August 24, 1970, Congress, acting as a legislative body, enacted Republic Act No. 6132,
members thereof, respondents. implementing Resolutions Nos. 2 and 4, and expressly repealing R.A. No.
G.R. No. L-32443 September 11, 1970 4914.3
IN THE MATTER OF A PETITION FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENT REGARDING THE VALIDITY Petitioner Raul M. Gonzales assails the validity of the entire law as well as the particular
OF R.A. No. 6132, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION ACT OF provisions embodied in Sections 2, 4, 5, and par. 1 of 8(a). Petitioner Manuel B. Imbong
1970. RAUL M. GONZALES, petitioner, impugns the constitutionality of only par. I of Sec. 8(a) of said R.A. No. 6132 practically on
vs. the same grounds advanced by petitioner Gonzales.
COMELEC, respondent. I
Manuel B. Imbong in his own behalf. The validity of Sec. 4 of R.A. No. 6132, which considers, all public officers and employees,
Raul M. Gonzales in his own behalf. whether elective or appointive, including members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,
Office of the Solicitor General Felix Q. Antonio, Acting Assistant Solicitor General Ricardo L. as well as officers and employees of corporations or enterprises of the government, as
Pronove, Jr., and Solicitors Raul I. Goco, Bernardo P. Pardo, Rosalio A. de Leon, Vicente A. resigned from the date of the filing of their certificates of candidacy, was recently sustained
Torres and Guillermo C. Nakar for respondents. by this Court, on the grounds, inter alia, that the same is merely an application of and in
Lorenzo Tañada, Arturo Tolentino, Jovito Salonga and Emmanuel Pelaez as amici curiae. consonance with the prohibition in Sec. 2 of Art. XII of the Constitution and that it does not
constitute a denial of due process or of the equal protection of the law. Likewise, the
MAKASIAR, J.: constitutionality of paragraph 2 of Sec. 8(a) of R.A. No. 6132 was upheld.4
These two separate but related petitions for declaratory relief were filed pursuant to Sec. 19 II
of R.A. No. 6132 by petitioners Manuel B. Imbong and Raul M. Gonzales, both members of Without first considering the validity of its specific provisions, we sustain the
the Bar, taxpayers and interested in running as candidates for delegates to the Constitutional constitutionality of the enactment of R.A. No. 6132 by Congress acting as a legislative body
Convention. Both impugn the constitutionality of R.A. No. 6132, claiming during the oral in the exercise of its broad law-making authority, and not as a Constituent Assembly, because
argument that it prejudices their rights as such candidates. After the Solicitor General had —
filed answers in behalf the respondents, hearings were held at which the petitioners and the 1. Congress, when acting as a Constituent Assembly pursuant to Art. XV of the Constitution,
amici curiae, namely Senator Lorenzo Tañada, Senator Arturo Tolentino, Senator Jovito has full and plenary authority to propose Constitutional amendments or to call a convention
Salonga, and Senator Emmanuel Pelaez argued orally. for the purpose, by a three-fourths vote of each House in joint session assembled but voting
It will be recalled that on March 16, 1967, Congress, acting as a Constituent Assembly separately. Resolutions Nos. 2 and 4 calling for a constitutional convention were passed by
pursuant to Art. XV of the Constitution, passed Resolution No. 2 which among others called the required three-fourths vote.
for a Constitutional Convention to propose constitutional amendments to be composed of 2. The grant to Congress as a Constituent Assembly of such plenary authority to call a
two delegates from each representative district who shall have the same qualifications as constitutional convention includes, by virtue of the doctrine of necessary implication, all
those of Congressmen, to be elected on the second Tuesday of November, 1970 in other powers essential to the effective exercise of the principal power granted, such as the
accordance with the Revised Election Code. power to fix the qualifications, number, apportionment, and compensation of the delegates
After the adoption of said Res. No. 2 in 1967 but before the November elections of that year, as well as appropriation of funds to meet the expenses for the election of delegates and for
Congress, acting as a legislative body, enacted Republic Act No. 4914 implementing the the operation of the Constitutional Convention itself, as well as all other implementing
aforesaid Resolution No. 2 and practically restating in toto the provisions of said Resolution details indispensable to a fruitful convention. Resolutions Nos. 2 and 4 already embody the
No. 2. above-mentioned details, except the appropriation of funds.
On June 17, 1969, Congress, also acting as a Constituent Assembly, passed Resolution No. 4 3. While the authority to call a constitutional convention is vested by the present
amending the aforesaid Resolution No. 2 of March 16, 1967 by providing that the convention Constitution solely and exclusively in Congress acting as a Constituent Assembly, the power
"shall be composed of 320 delegates apportioned among the existing representative districts to enact the implementing details, which are now contained in Resolutions Nos. 2 and 4 as
according to the number of their respective inhabitants: Provided, that a representative well as in R.A. No. 6132, does not exclusively pertain to Congress acting as a Constituent
district shall be entitled to at least two delegates, who shall have the same qualifications as Assembly. Such implementing details are matters within the competence of Congress in the
those required of members of the House of Representatives,"1 "and that any other details exercise of its comprehensive legislative power, which power encompasses all matters not

80
expressly or by necessary implication withdrawn or removed by the Constitution from the to the provisions of the joint Resolution of both Houses No. 2, as amended. Upon your
ambit of legislative action. And as lone as such statutory details do not clash with any specific request at the session of the Senate-House Conference Committee meeting last night, we
provision of the constitution, they are valid. are submitting herewith the results of the computation on the basis of the above-stated
4. Consequently, when Congress, acting as a Constituent Assembly, omits to provide for such method."
implementing details after calling a constitutional convention, Congress, acting as a Even if such latest census were a preliminary census, the same could still be a valid basis for
legislative body, can enact the necessary implementing legislation to fill in the gaps, which such apportionment.6The fact that the lone and small congressional district of Batanes, may
authority is expressly recognized in Sec. 8 of Res No. 2 as amended by Res. No. 4. be over-represented, because it is allotted two delegates by R.A. No. 6132 despite the fact
5. The fact that a bill providing for such implementing details may be vetoed by the President that it has a population very much less than several other congressional districts, each of
is no argument against conceding such power in Congress as a legislative body nor present which is also allotted only two delegates, and therefore under-represented, vis-a-vis Batanes
any difficulty; for it is not irremediable as Congress can override the Presidential veto or alone, does not vitiate the apportionment as not effecting proportional representation.
Congress can reconvene as a Constituent Assembly and adopt a resolution prescribing the Absolute proportional apportionment is not required and is not possible when based on the
required implementing details. number of inhabitants, for the population census cannot be accurate nor complete,
III dependent as it is on the diligence of the census takers, aggravated by the constant
Petitioner Raul M. Gonzales asserts that Sec. 2 on the apportionment of delegates is not in movement of population, as well as daily death and birth. It is enough that the basis
accordance with proportional representation and therefore violates the Constitution and the employed is reasonable and the resulting apportionment is substantially proportional.
intent of the law itself, without pinpointing any specific provision of the Constitution with Resolution No. 4 fixed a minimum of two delegates for a congressional district.
which it collides. While there may be other formulas for a reasonable apportionment considering the
Unlike in the apportionment of representative districts, the Constitution does not expressly evidence submitted to Congress by the Bureau of Census and Statistics, we are not prepared
or impliedly require such apportionment of delegates to the convention on the basis of to rule that the computation formula adopted by, Congress for proportional representation
population in each congressional district. Congress, sitting as a Constituent Assembly, may as, directed in Res. No. 4 is unreasonable and that the apportionment provided in R.A. No.
constitutionally allocate one delegate for, each congressional district or for each province, 6132 does not constitute a substantially proportional representation.
for reasons of economy and to avoid having an unwieldy convention. If the framers of the In the Macias case, relied on by petitioner Gonzales, the apportionment law, which was
present Constitution wanted the apportionment of delegates to the convention to be based nullified as unconstitutional, granted more representatives to a province with less
on the number of inhabitants in each representative district, they would have done so in so population than the provinces with more inhabitants. Such is not the case here, where under
many words as they did in relation to the apportionment of the representative districts.5 Sec. 2 of R.A. No. 6132 Batanes is allotted only two delegates, which number is equal to the
The apportionment provided for in Sec. 2 of R.A. No. 6132 cannot possibly conflict with its number of delegates accorded other provinces with more population. The present petitions
own intent expressed therein; for it merely obeyed and implemented the intent of Congress therefore do not present facts which fit the mould of the doctrine in the case of Macias et
acting as a Constituent Assembly expressed in Sec. 1 of Res. No. 4, which provides that the al. vs. Comelec, supra.
320 delegates should be apportioned among the existing representative districts according The impossibility of absolute proportional representation is recognized by the Constitution
to the number of their respective inhabitants, but fixing a minimum of at least two delegates itself when it directs that the apportionment of congressional districts among the various
for a representative district. The presumption is that the factual predicate, the latest provinces shall be "as nearly as may be according to their respective inhabitants, but each
available official population census, for such apportionment was presented to Congress, province shall have at least one member" (Sec. 5, Art. VI, Phil. Const., emphasis supplied).
which, accordingly employed a formula for the necessary computation to effect the desired The employment of the phrase "as nearly as may be according to their respective
proportional representation. inhabitants" emphasizes the fact that the human mind can only approximate a reasonable
The records of the proceedings on Senate Bill No. 77 sponsored by Senator Pelaez which is apportionment but cannot effect an absolutely proportional representation with
now R.A. No. 6132, submitted to this Tribunal by the amici curiae, show that it based its mathematical precision or exactitude.
apportionment of the delegates on the 1970 official preliminary population census taken by IV
the Bureau of Census and Statistics from May 6 to June 30, 1976; and that Congress adopted Sec. 5 of R.A. 6132 is attacked on the ground that it is an undue deprivation of liberty without
the formula to effect a reasonable apportionment of delegates. The Director of the Bureau due process of law and denies the equal protection of the laws. Said Sec. 5 disqualifies any
of Census and Statistics himself, in a letter to Senator Pelaez dated July 30, 1970, stated that elected delegate from running "for any public office in any election" or from assuming "any
"on the basis of the preliminary count of the population, we have computed the distribution appointive office or position in any branch of the government government until after the
of delegates to the Constitutional Convention based on Senate Bill 77 (p. 2 lines 5 to 32 and final adjournment of the Constitutional Convention."
p. 3 line 12) which is a fair and an equitable method of distributing the delegates pursuant

81
That the citizen does not have any inherent nor natural right to a public office, is axiomatic statutes, constitutional amendments cannot be changed in one or two years. No other public
under our constitutional system. The State through its Constitution or legislative body, can officer possesses such a power, not even the members of Congress unless they themselves,
create an office and define the qualifications and disqualifications therefor as well as impose propose constitutional amendments when acting as a Constituent Assembly pursuant to Art.
inhibitions on a public officer. Consequently, only those with qualifications and who do not XV of the Constitution. The classification, therefore, is neither whimsical nor repugnant to
fall under any constitutional or statutory inhibition can be validly elected or appointed to a the sense of justice of the community.
public office. The obvious reason for the questioned inhibition, is to immunize the delegates As heretofore intimated, the inhibition is relevant to the object of the law, which is to insure
from the perverting influence of self-interest, party interest or vested interest and to insure that the proposed amendments are meaningful to the masses of our people and not
that he dedicates all his time to performing solely in the interest of the nation his high and designed for the enhancement of selfishness, greed, corruption, or injustice.
well nigh sacred function of formulating the supreme law of the land, which may endure for Lastly, the disqualification applies to all the delegates to the convention who will be elected
generations and which cannot easily be changed like an ordinary statute. With the on the second Tuesday of November, 1970.
disqualification embodied in Sec. 5, the delegate will not utilize his position as a bargaining V
leverage for concessions in the form of an elective or appointive office as long as the Paragraph 1, Sec. 8(a) of R.A. No. 6132 is impugned by both petitioners as violative of the
convention has not finally adjourned. The appointing authority may, by his appointing constitutional guarantees of due process, equal protection of the laws, freedom of
power, entice votes for his own proposals. Not love for self, but love for country must always expressions, freedom of assembly and freedom of association.
motivate his actuations as delegate; otherwise the several provisions of the new Constitution This Court ruled last year that the guarantees of due process, equal protection of the laws,
may only satisfy individual or special interests, subversive of the welfare of the general peaceful assembly, free expression, and the right of association are neither absolute nor
citizenry. It should be stressed that the disqualification is not permanent but only temporary illimitable rights; they are always subject to the pervasive and dormant police power of the
only to continue until the final adjournment of the convention which may not extend beyond State and may be lawfully abridged to serve appropriate and important public interests. 8
one year. The convention that framed the present Constitution finished its task in In said Gonzalez vs. Comelec case the Court applied the clear and present danger test to
approximately seven months — from July 30, 1934 to February 8, 1935. determine whether a statute which trenches upon the aforesaid Constitutional guarantees,
As admitted by petitioner Gonzales, this inhibition finds analogy in the constitutional is a legitimate exercise of police power.9
provision prohibiting a member of Congress, during the time for which he was elected, from Paragraph 1 of Sec. 8(a), R.A. No. 6132 prohibits:
being appointed to any civil office which may have been created or the emolument whereof 1. any candidate for delegate to the convention
shall have been increased while he was a member of the Congress. (Sec. 16, Art. VI, Phil. (a) from representing, or
Constitution.) (b) allowing himself to be represented as being a candidate of any political party or any other
As observed by the Solicitor General in his Answer, the overriding objective of the challenged organization; and
disqualification, temporary in nature, is to compel the elected delegates to serve in full their 2. any political party, political group, political committee, civic, religious, professional or
term as such and to devote all their time to the convention, pursuant to their representation other organizations or organized group of whatever nature from
and commitment to the people; otherwise, his seat in the convention will be vacant and his (a) intervening in the nomination of any such candidate or in the filing of his certificate, or
constituents will be deprived of a voice in the convention. The inhibition is likewise "designed (b) from giving aid or support directly or indirectly, material or otherwise, favorable to or
to prevent popular political figures from controlling elections or positions. Also it is a brake against his campaign for election.
on the appointing power, to curtail the latter's desire to 'raid' the convention of "talents" or The ban against all political parties or organized groups of whatever nature contained in par.
attempt to control the convention." (p. 10, Answer in L-32443.) 1 of Sec. 8(a), is confined to party or organization support or assistance, whether material,
Thus the challenged disqualification prescribed in Sec. 5 of R.A. No. 6132 is a valid limitation moral, emotional or otherwise. The very Sec. 8(a) in its provisos permits the candidate to
on the right to public office pursuant to state police power as it is reasonable and not utilize in his campaign the help of the members of his family within the fourth civil degree of
arbitrary. consanguinity or affinity, and a campaign staff composed of not more than one for every ten
The discrimination under Sec. 5 against delegates to the Constitutional Convention is precincts in his district. It allows the full exercise of his freedom of expression and his right
likewise constitutional; for it is based on a substantial distinction which makes for real to peaceful assembly, because he cannot be denied any permit to hold a public meeting on
differences, is germane to the purposes of the law, and applies to all members of the same the pretext that the provision of said section may or will be violated. The right of a member
class.7 The function of a delegate is more far-reaching and its effect more enduring than that of any political party or association to support him or oppose his opponent is preserved as
of any ordinary legislator or any other public officer. A delegate shapes the fundamental law long as such member acts individually. The very party or organization to which he may belong
of the land which delineates the essential nature of the government, its basic organization or which may be in sympathy with his cause or program of reforms, is guaranteed the right
and powers, defines the liberties of the people, and controls all other laws. Unlike ordinary

82
to disseminate information about, or to arouse public interest in, or to advocate for The debasement of the electoral process as a substantive evil exists today and is one of the
constitutional reforms, programs, policies or constitutional proposals for amendments. major compelling interests that moved Congress into prescribing the total ban contained in
It is therefore patent that the restriction contained in Sec. 8(a) is so narrow that the basic par. 1 of Sec. 8(a) of R.A. No. 6132, to justify such ban. In the said Gonzales vs. Comelec case,
constitutional rights themselves remain substantially intact and inviolate. And it is therefore this Court gave "due recognition to the legislative concern to cleanse, and if possible, render
a valid infringement of the aforesaid constitutional guarantees invoked by petitioners. spotless, the electoral process," 14 impressed as it was by the explanation made by the
In the aforesaid case of Gonzales vs. Comelec, supra, this Court unanimously sustained the author of R.A. No. 4880, Sen. Lorenzo Tañada, who appeared as amicus curiae, "that such
validity of the limitation on the period for nomination of candidates in Sec. 50-A of R.A. No. provisions were deemed by the legislative body to be part and parcel of the necessary and
4880, thus: appropriate response not merely to a clear and present danger but to the actual existence
The prohibition of too early nomination of candidates presents a question that is not too of a grave and substantive evil of excessive partisanship, dishonesty and corruption as well
formidable in character. According to the act: "It shall be unlawful for any political party, as violence that of late has marred election campaigns and partisan political activities in this
political committee, or political group to nominate candidates for any elective public office country. He did invite our attention likewise to the well-settled doctrine that in the choice of
voted for at large earlier than one hundred and fifty days immediately preceding an election, remedies for an admitted malady requiring governmental action, on the legislature primarily
and for any other elective public office earlier than ninety days immediately preceding an rests the responsibility. Nor should the cure prescribed by it, unless clearly repugnant to
election. fundamental rights, be ignored or disregarded." 15
The right of association is affected. Political parties have less freedom as to the time during But aside from the clear and imminent danger of the debasement of the electoral process,
which they may nominate candidates; the curtailment is not such, however, as to render as conceded by Senator Pelaez, the basic motivation, according to Senate Majority Floor
meaningless such a basic right. Their scope of legitimate activities, save this one, is not Leader Senator Arturo Tolentino, the sponsor of the Puyat-Tolentino amendment embodied
unduly narrowed. Neither is there infringement of their freedom to assemble. They can do in par. 1 of Sec. 8(a) of R.A. No. 6132, is to assure the candidates equal protection of the laws
so, but not for such a purpose. We sustain its validity. We do so unanimously. 10 by according them equality of chances. 16 The primary purpose of the prohibition then is also
In said Gonzales vs. Comelec case, this Court likewise held that the period for the conduct of to avert the clear and present danger of another substantive evil, the denial of the equal
an election campaign or partisan political activity may be limited without offending the protection of the laws. The candidates must depend on their individual merits and not on
aforementioned constitutional guarantees as the same is designed also to prevent a "clear the support of political parties or organizations. Senator Tolentino and Senator Salonga
and present danger of a substantive evil, the debasement of the electoral process." 11 emphasized that under this provision, the poor candidate has an even chance as against the
Even if the partisan activity consists of (a) forming organizations, associations, clubs, rich candidate. We are not prepared to disagree with them, because such a conclusion,
committees or other group of persons for the purpose of soliciting votes and/or undertaking predicated as it is on empirical logic, finds support in our recent political history and
any campaign or propaganda for or against a party or candidate; (b) holding political experience. Both Senators stressed that the independent candidate who wins in the election
conventions, caucuses, conferences, meetings, rallies, parades or other similar assemblies against a candidate of the major political parties, is a rare phenomenon in this country and
for the purpose of soliciting votes and/or undertaking any campaign or propaganda for or the victory of an independent candidate mainly rests on his ability to match the resources,
against any candidate or party; and (c) giving, soliciting, or receiving contributions for financial and otherwise, of the political parties or organizations supporting his opponent.
election campaign either directly or indirectly, (Sec. 50-B, pars. (a), (b), and (c), R.A. 4880), This position is further strengthened by the principle that the guarantee of social justice
the abridgment was still affirmed as constitutional by six members of this Court, which could under Sec. V, Art. II of the Constitution, includes the guarantee of equal opportunity, equality
not "ignore ... the legislative declaration that its enactment was in response to a serious of political rights, and equality before the law enunciated by Mr. Justice Tuazon in the case
substantive evil affecting the electoral process, not merely in danger of happening, but Guido vs. Rural Progress Administration. 17
actually in existence, and likely to continue unless curbed or remedied. To assert otherwise While it may be true that a party's support of a candidate is not wrong per se it is equally
would be to close one's eyes to the reality of the situation." 12; true that Congress in the exercise of its broad law-making authority can declare certain acts
Likewise, because four members dissented, this Court in said case of Gonzales vs. Comelec, as mala prohibita when justified by the exigencies of the times. One such act is the party or
supra, failed to muster the required eight votes to declare as unconstitutional the limitation organization support proscribed in Sec. 8(a),which ban is a valid limitation on the freedom
on the period for (a) making speeches, announcements or commentaries or holding of association as well as expression, for the reasons aforestated.
interviews for or against the election of any party or candidate for public office; (b) publishing Senator Tolentino emphasized that "equality of chances may be better attained by banning
or distributing campaign literature or materials; and (e) directly or indirectly soliciting votes all organization support." 18
and/or undertaking any campaign or propaganda for or against any candidate or party The questioned par. 1 of Sec. 8 (a) likewise can easily pass the balancing-of-interest test. 19
specified in Sec. 50-B, pars. (c), (d) & (e) of R.A. 4880. 13 In the apt words of the Solicitor General:

83
It is to be noted that right now the nation is on the threshold of rewriting its Constitution in Party in Iloilo to support petitioner Gonzales and two others as their candidates for the
a hopeful endeavor to find a solution to the grave economic, social and political problems convention, which organized support is nullified by the questioned ban, Senator Ganzon
besetting the country. Instead of directly proposing the amendments Congress has chosen stressed that "without the group moving and working in joint collective effort" they cannot
to call a Constitutional Convention which shall have the task of fashioning a document that "exercise effective control and supervision over our
shall embody the aspirations and ideals of the people. Because what is to be amended is the leaders — the Women's League, the area commanders, etc."; but with their joining with the
fundamental law of the land, it is indispensable that the Constitutional Convention be LP's they "could have presented a solid front with very bright chances of capturing all seats."
composed of delegates truly representative of the people's will. Public welfare demands that The civic associations other than political parties cannot with reason insist that they should
the delegates should speak for the entire nation, and their voices be not those of a particular be exempted from the ban; because then by such exemption they would be free to utilize
segment of the citizenry, or of a particular class or group of people, be they religious, the facilities of the campaign machineries which they are denying to the political parties.
political, civic or professional in character. Senator Pelaez, Chairman of the Senate Whenever all organization engages in a political activity, as in this campaign for election of
Committee on Codes and Constitutional Amendments, eloquently stated that "the function delegates to the Constitutional Convention, to that extent it partakes of the nature of a
of a constitution is not to represent anyone in interest or set of interests, not to favor one political organization. This, despite the fact that the Constitution and by laws of such civic,
group at the expense or disadvantage of the candidates — but to encompass all the interests religious, or professional associations usually prohibit the association from engaging in
that exist within our society and to blend them into one harmonious and balanced whole. partisan political activity or supporting any candidate for an elective office. Hence, they must
For the constitutional system means, not the predominance of interests, but the harmonious likewise respect the ban.
balancing thereof." The freedom of association also implies the liberty not to associate or join with others or join
So that the purpose for calling the Constitutional Convention will not be deflated or any existing organization. A person may run independently on his own merits without need
frustrated, it is necessary that the delegatee thereto be independent, beholden to no one of catering to a political party or any other association for support. And he, as much as the
but to God, country and conscience. candidate whose candidacy does not evoke sympathy from any political party or organized
xxx xxx xxx group, must be afforded equal chances. As emphasized by Senators Tolentino and Salonga,
The evil therefore, which the law seeks to prevent lies in the election of delegates who, this ban is to assure equal chances to a candidate with talent and imbued with patriotism as
because they have been chosen with the aid and resources of organizations, cannot be well as nobility of purpose, so that the country can utilize their services if elected.
expected to be sufficiently representative of the people. Such delegates could very well be Impressed as We are by the eloquent and masterly exposition of Senator Tañada for the
the spokesmen of narrow political, religious or economic interest and not of the great invalidation of par. 1 of Sec. 8(a) of R.A. No. 6132, demonstrating once again his deep
majority of the people. 20 concern for the preservation of our civil liberties enshrined in the Bill of Rights, We are not
We likewise concur with the Solicitor General that the equal protection of the laws is not persuaded to entertain the belief that the challenged ban transcends the limits of
unduly subverted in par. I of Sec. 8(a); because it does not create any hostile discrimination constitutional invasion of such cherished immunities.
against any party or group nor does it confer undue favor or privilege on an individual as WHEREFORE, the prayers in both petitions are hereby denied and R.A. No. 6132 including
heretofore stated. The discrimination applies to all organizations, whether political parties Secs. 2, 4, 5, and 8(a), paragraph 1, thereof, cannot be declared unconstitutional. Without
or social, civic, religious, or professional associations. The ban is germane to the objectives costs.
of the law, which are to avert the debasement of the electoral process, and to attain real Reyes, J.B.L., Dizon and Castro, JJ., concur.
equality of chances among individual candidates and thereby make real the guarantee of Makalintal, J., concurs in the result.
equal protection of the laws. Teehankee, J., is on leave.
The political parties and the other organized groups have built-in advantages because of
their machinery and other facilities, which, the individual candidate who is without any Separate Opinions
organization support, does not have. The fact that the other civic of religious organizations
cannot have a campaign machinery as efficient as that of a political party, does not vary the FERNANDO, J., concurring and dissenting:
situation; because it still has that much built-in advantage as against the individual candidate The opinion of Justice Makasiar speaking for the Court, comprehensive in scope, persuasive
without similar support. Moreover, these civic religious and professional organization may in character and lucid in expression, has much to recommend it. On the whole, I concur. I
band together to support common candidates, who advocates the reforms that these find difficulty, however, in accepting the conclusion that there is no basis for the challenge
organizations champion and believe are imperative. This is admitted by petitioner Gonzales hurled against the validity of this provision: "No candidate for delegate to the Convention
thru the letter of Senator Ganzon dated August 17, 1970 attached to his petition as Annex shall represent or allow himself to be represented as being a candidate of any political party
"D", wherein the Senator stated that his own "Timawa" group had agreed with the Liberal or any other organization, and no political party, political group, political committee, civic,

84
religious, professional, or other organization or organized group of whatever nature shall "impair or abridge the freedom of civic, political, religious, professional, trade organizations
intervene in the nomination of any such candidate or in the filing of his certificate of or organized groups of whatever nature to disseminate information about, or arouse public
candidacy or give aid or support directly or indirectly, material or otherwise, favorable to or interest in, the forthcoming Constitutional Convention, or to advocate constitutional
against his campaign for election: ..."1 It is with regret then that I dissent from that portion reforms, programs, policies or proposals for amendment of the present Constitution, and no
of the decision. prohibition contained herein shall limit or curtail the right of their members, as long as they
1. I find it difficult to reconcile the decision reached insofar as the aforesaid ban on political act individually, to support or oppose any candidate for delegate to the Constitutional
parties and civic, professional and other organizations is concerned with the explicit Convention."8 It is regrettable that such an explicit recognition of what cannot be forbidden
provision that the freedom to form associations or societies for purposes not contrary to law consistently with the constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression and freedom of
shall not be abridged.2 The right of an individual to join others of a like persuasion to pursue association falls short of according full respect to what is thus commanded, by the
common objectives and to engage in activities is embraced within if not actually encouraged fundamental law, as they are precluded by the very same Act from giving aid or support
by the regime of liberty ordained by the Constitution. This particular freedom has an precisely to the very individuals who can carry out whatever constitutional reforms,
indigenous cast, its origin being traceable to the Malolos Constitution. programs, policies or proposals for amendment they might advocate. As thus viewed, the
In the United States, in the absence of an explicit provision of such character, it is the view conviction I entertain as to its lack of validity is further strengthened and fortified.
of Justice Douglas, in a 1963 article, that it is primarily the First Amendment of her 3. It would be a different matter, of course, if there is a clear and present danger of a
Constitution, which safeguards freedom of speech and of the press, of assembly and of substantive evil that would justify a limitation on such cherished freedoms. Reference has
petition "that provides [associations] with the protection they need if they are to remain been made to Gonzales v. Commission on Elections.9 As repression is permissible only when
viable and continue to contribute to our Free Society."3 Such is indeed the case, for five years the danger of substantive evil is present is explained by Justice Branders thus: ... the evil
earlier the American Supreme Court had already declared: "It is beyond debate that freedom apprehended is to imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion.
to engage in association for the advancement of beliefs and ideas is an inseparable aspect of If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by
the "liberty" [embraced in] freedom of speech."4 the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.
Not long after, in 1965, Justice Douglas as; spokesman for the American Supreme Court could For him the apprehended evil must be "relatively serious." For "[prohibition] of free speech
elaborate further on the scope of the right of association as including "the right to express and assembly is a measure so stringent that it would be inappropriate as the means for
one's attitudes or philosophies by membership in a group or by affiliation with it or by other averting a relatively trivial harm to society." Justice Black would go further. He would require
lawful means, Association in that context is a form of expression of opinion; and while it is that the substantive evil be "extremely serious." Only thus may there be a realization of the
not extremely included in the First Amendment its existence is necessary in making the ideal envisioned by Cardozo: "There shall be no compromise of the freedom to think one's
express guarantees fully meaningful."5 Thus is further vitalized freedom of expression which, thoughts and speak them, except at those extreme borders where thought merges into
for Justice Laurel, is at once the instrument" and the guarantee and the bright consummate action." It received its original formulation from Holmes. Thus: "The question in every case
flower of all liberty"6 and, for Justice Cardozo, "the matrix, the indispensable condition of is whether the words used in such circumstances are of such a nature as to create a clear
nearly every other form of freedom."7 and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right
2. It is in the light of the above fundamental postulates that I find merit in the plea of to prevent. It is a question of proximity and degree." " 10 The majority of the Court would
petitioners to annul the challenged provision. There is much to be said for the point find the existence of a clear and present danger of debasing the electoral process. With due
emphatically stressed by Senator Lorenzo M. Tañada, as amicus curiae, to the effect that respect, I find myself unable to share such a view.
there is nothing unlawful in a candidate for delegate to the Convention representing or The assumption would, appear to be that there is a clear and present danger of a grave
allowing himself to be represented as such of any political party or any other organization as substantive evil of partisanship running riot unless political parties are thus restrained. There
well as of such political party, political group, political committee, civic, religious, would be a sacrifice then of the national interest involved. The Convention might not be able
professional or other organization or organized group intervening in his nomination, in the to live up to the high hopes entertained for an improvement of the fundamental law. It would
filing of his certificate of candidacy, or giving aid or support, directly or indirectly, material appear though that what prompted such a ban is to assure that the present majority party
or otherwise, favorable to or against his campaign for election as such delegate. I find the would not continue to play its dominant role in the political life of the nation. The thought is
conclusion inescapabe therefore, that what the constitutional provisions in question allow, entertained that otherwise, we will not have a Convention truly responsive to the needs of
more specifically the right to form associations, is prohibited. The infirmity of the ban is thus the hour and of the future insofar as they may be anticipated.
apparent on its face. To my mind, this is to lose sight of the fact that in the national elections of 1946, 1953, 1961
There is, to my mind, another avenue of approach that leads to the same conclusion. The and 1965, the presidency was won by the opposition candidate. Moreover, in national
final proviso in the same section of the Act forbids any construction that would in any wise elections for senators alone, that of 1951, to mention only one instance, saw a complete

85
sweep of the field by the then minority party. It would be unjustifiable, so I am led to believe the ban as thus worded as not lacking in effectivity insofar as civic, religious, professional or
to assume that inevitably the prevailing dominant political party would continue its other organizations or organized group is concerned, but not necessarily so in the case of
ascendancy in the coming Convention. political party, political group or political committee. There is the commendable admission
Then, too, the result of the plebiscite in the two proposed amendments in 1967 indicate by Senator Tolentino, appearing as amicus curiae, that the political leaders of stature, in their
unmistakably that the people can, if so minded, make their wishes prevail. There is thus no individual capacity, could continue to assert their influence. It could very well happen, then,
assurance that the mere identification with party labels would automatically insure the in not a few cases, assuming the strength of political parties, that a candidate thus favored
success of a candidacy. Even if it be assumed that to guard against the evils of party spirit is sure of emerging the victor. What is thus sought to be accomplished to guard against the
carried to excess, such a ban is called for, still no such danger is presented by allowing civil, evil of party spirit prevailing could very well be doomed to futility. The high hopes
professional or any other organization or organized group of whatever nature to field its own entertained by the articulate and vocal groups of young people, intellectuals and workers,
candidates or give aid or support, directly or indirectly material or otherwise, to anyone may not be realized. The result would be that this unorthodox and novel provision could
running for the Convention. From such a source, no such misgivings or apprehension need assume the character of a tease, an illusion like a munificent bequest in a pauper's will.
arise. Nor it the fear that organizations could hastily be assembled or put up to camouflage If such an appraisal is not unjustifiably tinged with pessimism, then, to my mind, a radical
their true colors as satellites of the political parties be valid. The electorate can see through approach to a problem possibly tainted with constitutional infirmity cannot hurdle the
such schemes and can emphatically register its reaction. There is, moreover, the further judicial test as to its validity. It is one thing to encourage a fresh and untried solution to a
safeguard that whatever work the Convention may propose is ultimately subject to popular problem of gravity when the probability of its success may be assumed. It is an entirely
ratification. different matter to cut down the exercise of what otherwise are undeniable constitutional
For me then the danger of a substantive evil is neither clear nor present. What causes me rights, when as in this case, the outcome might belie expectations. Considering the well-
grave concern is that to guard against such undesirable eventuality, which may not even settled principle that even though the governmental process be legitimate and substantial,
come to pass, a flagrant disregard of what the Constitution ordains is minimized. A desirable they cannot be pursued by means that broadly stifle fundamental personal liberties, if the
end cannot be coerced by unconstitutional means. end can be narrowly achieved, I am far from being persuaded that to preclude political
4. It is not easy to yield assent to the proposition that on a matter so essentially political as parties or other groups or associations from lending aid and support to the candidates of
the amendment or revision of an existing Constitution, political parties or political groups men in whom they can repose their trust is consistent with the constitutional rights of
are to be denied the opportunity of launching the candidacy of their choice. Well has it been freedom of association and freedom of expression. Here, the danger of overbreadth, so clear
said by Chief Justice Hughes: "The greater the importance of safeguarding the community and manifest as to be offensive to constitutional standards, magnified by the probability that
from incitements to the overthrow of our institutions by force and violence, the more the result would be the failure and not success of the statutory scheme, cautions against the
imperative is the need to preserve inviolate the constitutional rights of free speech, free affixing of the imprimatur of judicial approval to the challenged provision.
press and free assembly in order to maintain the opportunity for free political discussion, to 5. Necessarily then, from this mode of viewing the matter, it would follow that the holding
the end that government may be responsive to the will of the people and that changes, if of this Court in Gonzales v. Comelec 12 does not compel the conclusion reached by the
desired, may be obtained by peaceful means. Therein lies the security of the Republic, the majority sustaining the validity of this challenged provision. What survived the test of
very foundation of constitutional government." 11 It is to carry this essential process one step constitutional validity in that case, with the Court unanimous in its opinion, is the prohibition
farther to recognize and to implement the right of every political party or group to select the for any political party, political committee or political group to nominate candidates for any
candidates who, by their election, could translate into actuality their hopes for the elective public office voted for at large earlier than 150 days immediately preceding election
fundamental law that the times demand. Moreover, is it not in keeping with the rights to and for any other public office earlier than 90 days immediately preceding such election. 13 A
intellectual freedom so sedulously safeguarded by the Constitution to remove all obstacles corollary to the above limitation, the provision making it unlawful for any person, whether
to organized civic groups making their influence felt in the task of constitution framing, the or not a voter or candidate, or for any group or association of persons, whether or not a
result of which has momentuous implications for the nation? What is decisive of this aspect political party or political committee, to engage in an election campaign or partisan political
of the matter is not the character of the association or organized group as such but the activity except during the above periods successfully hurdled, the constitutional test,
essentially political activity thus carried out. although the restrictions as to the making of speeches, announcements or commentaries or
This is not to deny the wide latitude as to the choice of means vested in Congress to attain a holding interviews for or against the election of any party or candidate for public office or
desirable goal. Nor can it be successfully argued that the judiciary should display reluctance the publishing or distributing of campaign literature or materials or the solicitation or
in extending sympathy and understanding to such legislative determination. This is merely undertaking any campaign or propaganda for or against any candidate or party, directly or
to stress that however worthwhile the objective, the Constitution must still be paid indirectly, survived by the narrow margin of one vote, four members of this Court unable to
deference. Moreover, it may not be altogether unrealistic to consider the practical effects of discern any constitutional infirmity as against the free speech guarantee, thus resulting in

86
failing to muster the necessary two-thirds majority for a declaration of invalidity. Insofar as the elaborate provisions of Republic Act 6132 regarding methods of campaign nor its other
election campaign or partisan political activity would limit or restrict the formation, of provisions intended to minimize the participation of political parties in the electorate
organizations, associations, clubs, committees or other groups of persons for the purpose of processes of voting, counting of the votes and canvassing of the results can overcome the
soliciting votes or undertaking any campaign or propaganda for or against a party or advantages of candidates more or less connected with political parties, particularly the major
candidate or, the giving, soliciting, or receiving a contribution for election campaign and established ones, as long as the right to form other associations and the right of these
purposes, either directly or indirectly as well as the holding of political conventions, associations to campaign for their candidates are denied considering particularly the
caucuses, conferences, meetings, rallies, parades or other similar assemblies, with a similar shortness of the time that is left between now and election day.
and in view, only five members of this Court, a minority thereof voted, for their The issues involved in the coming elections are grave and fundamental ones that are bound
unconstitutionality. What emerges clearly, then, is that definite acts short of preventing the to affect the lives, rights and liberties of all the people of this country most effectively,
political parties from the choice of their candidates and thereafter working for them in effect pervasively and permanently. The only insurance of the people against political parties which
were considered by this Court as not violative of the constitutional freedoms of speech, of may be inclined towards the Establishment and the status quo is to organize themselves to
press, of assembly and of association. gain much needed strength and effectivity. To deny them this right is to stifle the people's
The challenged provision in these two petitions, however, goes much farther. Political parties only opportunity for change.
or any other organization or organized group are precluded from selecting and supporting It is axiomatic that issues, no matter how valid, if not related to particular candidates in an
candidates for delegates to the Constitutional Convention. To my mind, this is to enter a organized way, similarly as in the use of platforms by political parties, cannot have any
forbidden domain, Congress trespassing on a field hitherto rightfully assumed to be within chance of support and final adoption. Both men and issues are important, but unrelated to
the sphere of liberty. Thus, I am unable to conclude that our previous decision in Gonzales each other, each of them alone is insignificant, and the only way to relate them is by
v. Commission on Elections which already was indicative of the cautious and hesitant judicial organization. Precisely because the issues in this election of candidates are of paramount
approach to lending its approval to what otherwise are invasions of vital constitutional importance second to none, it is imperative that all of the freedoms enshrined in the
safeguards to freedoms of belief, of expression, and of association lends support to the constitution should have the ampliest recognition for those who are minded to actively
decision reached by the majority insofar as this challenged provision is concerned. battle for them and any attempt to curtail them would endanger the very purposes for which
Hence my inability to subscribe in its entirety to the opinion of the Court. I am authorized to a new constitutional convention has been conceived.
state that the Chief Justice is in agreement with the views herein expressed. Consistently with my separate opinion in the case of Gonzales and Cabigao vs. Comelec, G.R.
Concepcion, C.J., Villamor and Zaldivar, JJ., concur. No. L-27833, April 18, 1969 and for the reasons therein stated, I maintain that the right of
BARREDO, J., concurring and dissenting: suffrage which is the cornerstone of any democracy like ours is meaningless when the right
Without prejudice to a more extended opinion, I vote, in concurrence with the majority, to to campaign in any election therein is unreasonably and unnecessarily curtailed, restrained
sustain the validity of the provisions of Republic Act 6132 impugned by petitioners in these or hampered, as is being done under the statute in dispute.
cases, except Section 4 and the portion of Section 8(a) referring to political parties. As It is, of course, understood that this opinion is based on my considered view, contrary to that
regards Section 4, I reiterate my separate opinion in the cases of Subido and others. (G.R. of the majority, that as Section 8(a) stands and taking into account its genesis, the ban
Nos. L-32436 and L-32439) With respect to Section 8(a), I hold that the considerations which against political parties is separable from that against other associations within the
take the restraint on the freedoms of association, assembly and speech involved in the ban contemplation of Section 21 of the Act which expressly refers to the separability of the
on political parties to nominate and support their own candidates, reasonable and within application thereof to any "persons, groups or circumstances."
the limits of the Constitution do not obtain when it comes to civic or non-political I reserve my right to expand this explanation of my vote in the next few days.
organizations. As I see it, the said ban, insofar as civic or non-political organizations are
concerned, is a deceptive device to preserve the built-in advantages of political parties while
at the same time crippling completely the other kinds of associations. The only way to # Separate Opinions
accomplish the purported objective of the law of equalizing the forces that will campaign in FERNANDO, J., concurring and dissenting:
behalf of the candidates to the constitutional convention is to maintain said ban only as The opinion of Justice Makasiar speaking for the Court, comprehensive in scope, persuasive
against political parties, for after all, only the activities and manners of operation of these in character and lucid in expression, has much to recommend it. On the whole, I concur. I
parties and/or some of their members have made necessary the imposition thereof. Under find difficulty, however, in accepting the conclusion that there is no basis for the challenge
the resulting set up embodied in the provision in question, the individual candidates who hurled against the validity of this provision: "No candidate for delegate to the Convention
have never had any political party connections or very little of it would be at an obvious shall represent or allow himself to be represented as being a candidate of any political party
disadvantage unless they are allowed to seek and use the aid of civic organizations. Neither or any other organization, and no political party, political group, political committee, civic,

87
religious, professional, or other organization or organized group of whatever nature shall "impair or abridge the freedom of civic, political, religious, professional, trade organizations
intervene in the nomination of any such candidate or in the filing of his certificate of or organized groups of whatever nature to disseminate information about, or arouse public
candidacy or give aid or support directly or indirectly, material or otherwise, favorable to or interest in, the forthcoming Constitutional Convention, or to advocate constitutional
against his campaign for election: ..."1 It is with regret then that I dissent from that portion reforms, programs, policies or proposals for amendment of the present Constitution, and no
of the decision. prohibition contained herein shall limit or curtail the right of their members, as long as they
1. I find it difficult to reconcile the decision reached insofar as the aforesaid ban on political act individually, to support or oppose any candidate for delegate to the Constitutional
parties and civic, professional and other organizations is concerned with the explicit Convention."8 It is regrettable that such an explicit recognition of what cannot be forbidden
provision that the freedom to form associations or societies for purposes not contrary to law consistently with the constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression and freedom of
shall not be abridged.2 The right of an individual to join others of a like persuasion to pursue association falls short of according full respect to what is thus commanded, by the
common objectives and to engage in activities is embraced within if not actually encouraged fundamental law, as they are precluded by the very same Act from giving aid or support
by the regime of liberty ordained by the Constitution. This particular freedom has an precisely to the very individuals who can carry out whatever constitutional reforms,
indigenous cast, its origin being traceable to the Malolos Constitution. programs, policies or proposals for amendment they might advocate. As thus viewed, the
In the United States, in the absence of an explicit provision of such character, it is the view conviction I entertain as to its lack of validity is further strengthened and fortified.
of Justice Douglas, in a 1963 article, that it is primarily the First Amendment of her 3. It would be a different matter, of course, if there is a clear and present danger of a
Constitution, which safeguards freedom of speech and of the press, of assembly and of substantive evil that would justify a limitation on such cherished freedoms. Reference has
petition "that provides [associations] with the protection they need if they are to remain been made to Gonzales v. Commission on Elections.9 As repression is permissible only when
viable and continue to contribute to our Free Society."3 Such is indeed the case, for five years the danger of substantive evil is present is explained by Justice Branders thus: ... the evil
earlier the American Supreme Court had already declared: "It is beyond debate that freedom apprehended is to imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion.
to engage in association for the advancement of beliefs and ideas is an inseparable aspect of If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by
the "liberty" [embraced in] freedom of speech."4 the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.
Not long after, in 1965, Justice Douglas as; spokesman for the American Supreme Court could For him the apprehended evil must be "relatively serious." For "[prohibition] of free speech
elaborate further on the scope of the right of association as including "the right to express and assembly is a measure so stringent that it would be inappropriate as the means for
one's attitudes or philosophies by membership in a group or by affiliation with it or by other averting a relatively trivial harm to society." Justice Black would go further. He would require
lawful means, Association in that context is a form of expression of opinion; and while it is that the substantive evil be "extremely serious." Only thus may there be a realization of the
not extremely included in the First Amendment its existence is necessary in making the ideal envisioned by Cardozo: "There shall be no compromise of the freedom to think one's
express guarantees fully meaningful."5 Thus is further vitalized freedom of expression which, thoughts and speak them, except at those extreme borders where thought merges into
for Justice Laurel, is at once the instrument" and the guarantee and the bright consummate action." It received its original formulation from Holmes. Thus: "The question in every case
flower of all liberty"6 and, for Justice Cardozo, "the matrix, the indispensable condition of is whether the words used in such circumstances are of such a nature as to create a clear
nearly every other form of freedom."7 and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right
2. It is in the light of the above fundamental postulates that I find merit in the plea of to prevent. It is a question of proximity and degree." " 10 The majority of the Court would
petitioners to annul the challenged provision. There is much to be said for the point find the existence of a clear and present danger of debasing the electoral process. With due
emphatically stressed by Senator Lorenzo M. Tañada, as amicus curiae, to the effect that respect, I find myself unable to share such a view.
there is nothing unlawful in a candidate for delegate to the Convention representing or The assumption would, appear to be that there is a clear and present danger of a grave
allowing himself to be represented as such of any political party or any other organization as substantive evil of partisanship running riot unless political parties are thus restrained. There
well as of such political party, political group, political committee, civic, religious, would be a sacrifice then of the national interest involved. The Convention might not be able
professional or other organization or organized group intervening in his nomination, in the to live up to the high hopes entertained for an improvement of the fundamental law. It would
filing of his certificate of candidacy, or giving aid or support, directly or indirectly, material appear though that what prompted such a ban is to assure that the present majority party
or otherwise, favorable to or against his campaign for election as such delegate. I find the would not continue to play its dominant role in the political life of the nation. The thought is
conclusion inescapabe therefore, that what the constitutional provisions in question allow, entertained that otherwise, we will not have a Convention truly responsive to the needs of
more specifically the right to form associations, is prohibited. The infirmity of the ban is thus the hour and of the future insofar as they may be anticipated.
apparent on its face. To my mind, this is to lose sight of the fact that in the national elections of 1946, 1953, 1961
There is, to my mind, another avenue of approach that leads to the same conclusion. The and 1965, the presidency was won by the opposition candidate. Moreover, in national
final proviso in the same section of the Act forbids any construction that would in any wise elections for senators alone, that of 1951, to mention only one instance, saw a complete

88
sweep of the field by the then minority party. It would be unjustifiable, so I am led to believe the ban as thus worded as not lacking in effectivity insofar as civic, religious, professional or
to assume that inevitably the prevailing dominant political party would continue its other organizations or organized group is concerned, but not necessarily so in the case of
ascendancy in the coming Convention. political party, political group or political committee. There is the commendable admission
Then, too, the result of the plebiscite in the two proposed amendments in 1967 indicate by Senator Tolentino, appearing as amicus curiae, that the political leaders of stature, in their
unmistakably that the people can, if so minded, make their wishes prevail. There is thus no individual capacity, could continue to assert their influence. It could very well happen, then,
assurance that the mere identification with party labels would automatically insure the in not a few cases, assuming the strength of political parties, that a candidate thus favored
success of a candidacy. Even if it be assumed that to guard against the evils of party spirit is sure of emerging the victor. What is thus sought to be accomplished to guard against the
carried to excess, such a ban is called for, still no such danger is presented by allowing civil, evil of party spirit prevailing could very well be doomed to futility. The high hopes
professional or any other organization or organized group of whatever nature to field its own entertained by the articulate and vocal groups of young people, intellectuals and workers,
candidates or give aid or support, directly or indirectly material or otherwise, to anyone may not be realized. The result would be that this unorthodox and novel provision could
running for the Convention. From such a source, no such misgivings or apprehension need assume the character of a tease, an illusion like a munificent bequest in a pauper's will.
arise. Nor it the fear that organizations could hastily be assembled or put up to camouflage If such an appraisal is not unjustifiably tinged with pessimism, then, to my mind, a radical
their true colors as satellites of the political parties be valid. The electorate can see through approach to a problem possibly tainted with constitutional infirmity cannot hurdle the
such schemes and can emphatically register its reaction. There is, moreover, the further judicial test as to its validity. It is one thing to encourage a fresh and untried solution to a
safeguard that whatever work the Convention may propose is ultimately subject to popular problem of gravity when the probability of its success may be assumed. It is an entirely
ratification. different matter to cut down the exercise of what otherwise are undeniable constitutional
For me then the danger of a substantive evil is neither clear nor present. What causes me rights, when as in this case, the outcome might belie expectations. Considering the well-
grave concern is that to guard against such undesirable eventuality, which may not even settled principle that even though the governmental process be legitimate and substantial,
come to pass, a flagrant disregard of what the Constitution ordains is minimized. A desirable they cannot be pursued by means that broadly stifle fundamental personal liberties, if the
end cannot be coerced by unconstitutional means. end can be narrowly achieved, I am far from being persuaded that to preclude political
4. It is not easy to yield assent to the proposition that on a matter so essentially political as parties or other groups or associations from lending aid and support to the candidates of
the amendment or revision of an existing Constitution, political parties or political groups men in whom they can repose their trust is consistent with the constitutional rights of
are to be denied the opportunity of launching the candidacy of their choice. Well has it been freedom of association and freedom of expression. Here, the danger of overbreadth, so clear
said by Chief Justice Hughes: "The greater the importance of safeguarding the community and manifest as to be offensive to constitutional standards, magnified by the probability that
from incitements to the overthrow of our institutions by force and violence, the more the result would be the failure and not success of the statutory scheme, cautions against the
imperative is the need to preserve inviolate the constitutional rights of free speech, free affixing of the imprimatur of judicial approval to the challenged provision.
press and free assembly in order to maintain the opportunity for free political discussion, to 5. Necessarily then, from this mode of viewing the matter, it would follow that the holding
the end that government may be responsive to the will of the people and that changes, if of this Court in Gonzales v. Comelec 12 does not compel the conclusion reached by the
desired, may be obtained by peaceful means. Therein lies the security of the Republic, the majority sustaining the validity of this challenged provision. What survived the test of
very foundation of constitutional government." 11 It is to carry this essential process one step constitutional validity in that case, with the Court unanimous in its opinion, is the prohibition
farther to recognize and to implement the right of every political party or group to select the for any political party, political committee or political group to nominate candidates for any
candidates who, by their election, could translate into actuality their hopes for the elective public office voted for at large earlier than 150 days immediately preceding election
fundamental law that the times demand. Moreover, is it not in keeping with the rights to and for any other public office earlier than 90 days immediately preceding such election. 13 A
intellectual freedom so sedulously safeguarded by the Constitution to remove all obstacles corollary to the above limitation, the provision making it unlawful for any person, whether
to organized civic groups making their influence felt in the task of constitution framing, the or not a voter or candidate, or for any group or association of persons, whether or not a
result of which has momentuous implications for the nation? What is decisive of this aspect political party or political committee, to engage in an election campaign or partisan political
of the matter is not the character of the association or organized group as such but the activity except during the above periods successfully hurdled, the constitutional test,
essentially political activity thus carried out. although the restrictions as to the making of speeches, announcements or commentaries or
This is not to deny the wide latitude as to the choice of means vested in Congress to attain a holding interviews for or against the election of any party or candidate for public office or
desirable goal. Nor can it be successfully argued that the judiciary should display reluctance the publishing or distributing of campaign literature or materials or the solicitation or
in extending sympathy and understanding to such legislative determination. This is merely undertaking any campaign or propaganda for or against any candidate or party, directly or
to stress that however worthwhile the objective, the Constitution must still be paid indirectly, survived by the narrow margin of one vote, four members of this Court unable to
deference. Moreover, it may not be altogether unrealistic to consider the practical effects of discern any constitutional infirmity as against the free speech guarantee, thus resulting in

89
failing to muster the necessary two-thirds majority for a declaration of invalidity. Insofar as the elaborate provisions of Republic Act 6132 regarding methods of campaign nor its other
election campaign or partisan political activity would limit or restrict the formation, of provisions intended to minimize the participation of political parties in the electorate
organizations, associations, clubs, committees or other groups of persons for the purpose of processes of voting, counting of the votes and canvassing of the results can overcome the
soliciting votes or undertaking any campaign or propaganda for or against a party or advantages of candidates more or less connected with political parties, particularly the major
candidate or, the giving, soliciting, or receiving a contribution for election campaign and established ones, as long as the right to form other associations and the right of these
purposes, either directly or indirectly as well as the holding of political conventions, associations to campaign for their candidates are denied considering particularly the
caucuses, conferences, meetings, rallies, parades or other similar assemblies, with a similar shortness of the time that is left between now and election day.
and in view, only five members of this Court, a minority thereof voted, for their The issues involved in the coming elections are grave and fundamental ones that are bound
unconstitutionality. What emerges clearly, then, is that definite acts short of preventing the to affect the lives, rights and liberties of all the people of this country most effectively,
political parties from the choice of their candidates and thereafter working for them in effect pervasively and permanently. The only insurance of the people against political parties which
were considered by this Court as not violative of the constitutional freedoms of speech, of may be inclined towards the Establishment and the status quo is to organize themselves to
press, of assembly and of association. gain much needed strength and effectivity. To deny them this right is to stifle the people's
The challenged provision in these two petitions, however, goes much farther. Political parties only opportunity for change.
or any other organization or organized group are precluded from selecting and supporting It is axiomatic that issues, no matter how valid, if not related to particular candidates in an
candidates for delegates to the Constitutional Convention. To my mind, this is to enter a organized way, similarly as in the use of platforms by political parties, cannot have any
forbidden domain, Congress trespassing on a field hitherto rightfully assumed to be within chance of support and final adoption. Both men and issues are important, but unrelated to
the sphere of liberty. Thus, I am unable to conclude that our previous decision in Gonzales each other, each of them alone is insignificant, and the only way to relate them is by
v. Commission on Elections which already was indicative of the cautious and hesitant judicial organization. Precisely because the issues in this election of candidates are of paramount
approach to lending its approval to what otherwise are invasions of vital constitutional importance second to none, it is imperative that all of the freedoms enshrined in the
safeguards to freedoms of belief, of expression, and of association lends support to the constitution should have the ampliest recognition for those who are minded to actively
decision reached by the majority insofar as this challenged provision is concerned. battle for them and any attempt to curtail them would endanger the very purposes for which
Hence my inability to subscribe in its entirety to the opinion of the Court. I am authorized to a new constitutional convention has been conceived.
state that the Chief Justice is in agreement with the views herein expressed. Consistently with my separate opinion in the case of Gonzales and Cabigao vs. Comelec, G.R.
Concepcion, C.J., Villamor and Zaldivar, JJ., concur. No. L-27833, April 18, 1969 and for the reasons therein stated, I maintain that the right of
BARREDO, J., concurring and dissenting: suffrage which is the cornerstone of any democracy like ours is meaningless when the right
Without prejudice to a more extended opinion, I vote, in concurrence with the majority, to to campaign in any election therein is unreasonably and unnecessarily curtailed, restrained
sustain the validity of the provisions of Republic Act 6132 impugned by petitioners in these or hampered, as is being done under the statute in dispute.
cases, except Section 4 and the portion of Section 8(a) referring to political parties. As It is, of course, understood that this opinion is based on my considered view, contrary to that
regards Section 4, I reiterate my separate opinion in the cases of Subido and others. (G.R. of the majority, that as Section 8(a) stands and taking into account its genesis, the ban
Nos. L-32436 and L-32439) With respect to Section 8(a), I hold that the considerations which against political parties is separable from that against other associations within the
take the restraint on the freedoms of association, assembly and speech involved in the ban contemplation of Section 21 of the Act which expressly refers to the separability of the
on political parties to nominate and support their own candidates, reasonable and within application thereof to any "persons, groups or circumstances."
the limits of the Constitution do not obtain when it comes to civic or non-political I reserve my right to expand this explanation of my vote in the next few days.
organizations. As I see it, the said ban, insofar as civic or non-political organizations are
concerned, is a deceptive device to preserve the built-in advantages of political parties while
at the same time crippling completely the other kinds of associations. The only way to
accomplish the purported objective of the law of equalizing the forces that will campaign in
behalf of the candidates to the constitutional convention is to maintain said ban only as
against political parties, for after all, only the activities and manners of operation of these
parties and/or some of their members have made necessary the imposition thereof. Under
the resulting set up embodied in the provision in question, the individual candidates who
have never had any political party connections or very little of it would be at an obvious
disadvantage unless they are allowed to seek and use the aid of civic organizations. Neither

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G.R. No. L-56350 April 2, 1981 Thereafter, as a matter of law, all doubts were resolved. The 1973 Constitution is the
SAMUEL C. OCCENA, petitioner, fundamental law. It is as simple as that. What cannot be too strongly stressed is that the
vs. function of judicial review has both a positive and a negative aspect. As was so convincingly
THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, THE COMMISSION ON AUDIT, THE NATIONAL demonstrated by Professors Black 10 and Murphy, 11 the Supreme Court can check as well as
TREASURER, THE DIRECTOR OF PRINTING, respondents. legitimate. In declaring what the law is, it may not only nullify the acts of coordinate branches
but may also sustain their validity. In the latter case, there is an affirmation that what was
G.R. No. L-56404 April 2, 1981 done cannot be stigmatized as constitutionally deficient. The mere dismissal of a suit of this
RAMON A. GONZALES, MANUEL B. IMBONG, JO AUREA MARCOS-IMBONG, RAY ALLAN T. character suffices. That is the meaning of the concluding statement in Javellana. Since then,
DRILON, NELSON B. MALANA and GIL M. TABIOS, petitioners, this Court has invariably applied the present Constitution. The latest case in point is People
vs. v. Sola, 12 promulgated barely two weeks ago. During the first year alone of the effectivity of
THE NATIONAL TREASURER and the COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, respondents. the present Constitution, at least ten cases may be cited. 13
2. We come to the crucial issue, the power of the Interim Batasang Pambansa to propose
FERNANDO, C.J.: amendments and how it may be exercised. More specifically as to the latter, the extent of
The challenge in these two prohibition proceedings against the validity of three Batasang the changes that may be introduced, the number of votes necessary for the validity of a
Pambansa Resolutions 1proposing constitutional amendments, goes further than merely proposal, and the standard required for a proper submission. As was stated earlier,
assailing their alleged constitutional infirmity. Petitioners Samuel Occena and Ramon A. petitioners were unable to demonstrate that the challenged resolutions are tainted by
Gonzales, both members of the Philippine Bar and former delegates to the 1971 unconstitutionality.
Constitutional Convention that framed the present Constitution, are suing as taxpayers. The (1) The existence of the power of the Interim Batasang Pambansa is indubitable. The
rather unorthodox aspect of these petitions is the assertion that the 1973 Constitution is not applicable provision in the 1976 Amendments is quite explicit. Insofar as pertinent it reads
the fundamental law, the Javellana 2 ruling to the contrary notwithstanding. To put it at its thus: "The Interim Batasang Pambansa shall have the same powers and its Members shall
mildest, such an approach has the arresting charm of novelty – but nothing else. It is in fact have the same functions, responsibilities, rights, privileges, and disqualifications as
self defeating, for if such were indeed the case, petitioners have come to the wrong forum. the interim National Assembly and the regular National Assembly and the Members
We sit as a Court duty-bound to uphold and apply that Constitution. To contend otherwise thereof." 14One of such powers is precisely that of proposing amendments. The 1973
as was done here would be, quite clearly, an exercise in futility. Nor are the arguments of Constitution in its Transitory Provisions vested the Interim National Assembly with the
petitioners cast in the traditional form of constitutional litigation any more persuasive. For power to propose amendments upon special call by the Prime Minister by a vote of the
reasons to be set forth, we dismiss the petitions. majority of its members to be ratified in accordance with the Article on
The suits for prohibition were filed respectively on March 6 3 and March 12, 1981. 4 On Amendments. 15When, therefore, the Interim Batasang Pambansa, upon the call of the
March 10 and 13 respectively, respondents were required to answer each within ten days President and Prime Minister Ferdinand E. Marcos, met as a constituent body it acted by
from notice. 5 There was a comment on the part of the respondents. Thereafter, both cases virtue Of such impotence Its authority to do so is clearly beyond doubt. It could and did
were set for hearing and were duly argued on March 26 by petitioners and Solicitor General propose the amendments embodied in the resolutions now being assailed. It may be
Estelito P. Mendoza for respondents. With the submission of pertinent data in amplification observed parenthetically that as far as petitioner Occena is Concerned, the question of the
of the oral argument, the cases were deemed submitted for decision. authority of the Interim Batasang Pambansa to propose amendments is not new. In Occena
It is the ruling of the Court, as set forth at the outset, that the petitions must be dismissed. v. Commission on Elections, 16 filed by the same petitioner, decided on January 28, 1980, such
1. It is much too late in the day to deny the force and applicability of the 1973 Constitution. a question was involved although not directly passed upon. To quote from the opinion of the
In the dispositive portion of Javellana v. The Executive Secretary, 6 dismissing petitions for Court penned by Justice Antonio in that case: "Considering that the proposed amendment
prohibition and mandamus to declare invalid its ratification, this Court stated that it did so of Section 7 of Article X of the Constitution extending the retirement of members of the
by a vote of six 7 to four. 8 It then concluded: "This being the vote of the majority, there is no Supreme Court and judges of inferior courts from sixty-five (65) to seventy (70) years is but
further judicial obstacle to the new Constitution being considered in force and effect." 9 Such a restoration of the age of retirement provided in the 1935 Constitution and has been
a statement served a useful purpose. It could even be said that there was a need for it. It intensively and extensively discussed at the Interim Batasang Pambansa, as well as through
served to clear the atmosphere. It made manifest that, as of January 17, 1973, the present the mass media, it cannot, therefore, be said that our people are unaware of the advantages
Constitution came into force and effect. With such a pronouncement by the Supreme Court and disadvantages of the proposed amendment." 17
and with the recognition of the cardinal postulate that what the Supreme Court says is not (2) Petitioners would urge upon us the proposition that the amendments proposed are so
only entitled to respect but must also be obeyed, a factor for instability was removed. extensive in character that they go far beyond the limits of the authority conferred on the

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Interim Batasang Pambansa as Successor of the Interim National Assembly. For them, what the date of the plebiscite is set for April 7, 1981. It is thus within the 90-day period provided
was done was to revise and not to amend. It suffices to quote from the opinion of Justice by the Constitution. Thus any argument to the contrary is unavailing. As for the people being
Makasiar, speaking for the Court, in Del Rosario v. Commission on Elections 18 to dispose of adequately informed, it cannot be denied that this time, as in the cited 1980 Occena opinion
this contention. Thus: "3. And whether the Constitutional Convention will only propose of Justice Antonio, where the amendment restored to seventy the retirement age of
amendments to the Constitution or entirely overhaul the present Constitution and propose members of the judiciary, the proposed amendments have "been intensively and extensively
an entirely new Constitution based on an Ideology foreign to the democratic system, is of no discussed at the Interim Batasang Pambansa, as well as through the mass media, [ so that ]
moment; because the same will be submitted to the people for ratification. Once ratified by it cannot, therefore, be said that our people are unaware of the advantages and
the sovereign people, there can be no debate about the validity of the new Constitution. 4. disadvantages of the proposed amendment [ s ]." 22
The fact that the present Constitution may be revised and replaced with a new one ... is no WHEREFORE, the petitions are dismissed for lack of merit. No costs.
argument against the validity of the law because 'amendment' includes the 'revision' or total Barredo, Makasiar, Aquino Concepcion, Jr., Fernandez, Guerrero, De Castro and Melencio-
overhaul of the entire Constitution. At any rate, whether the Constitution is merely amended Herrera, JJ., concur.
in part or revised or totally changed would become immaterial the moment the same is Abad Santos, J., is on leave.
ratified by the sovereign people." 19 There is here the adoption of the principle so well-
known in American decisions as well as legal texts that a constituent body can propose
anything but conclude nothing. 20 We are not disposed to deviate from such a principle not Separate Opinions
only sound in theory but also advantageous in practice.
(3) That leaves only the questions of the vote necessary to propose amendments as well as TEEHANKEE, J., dissenting:
the standard for proper submission. Again, petitioners have not made out a case that calls I vote to give due course to the petitions at bar and to grant the application for a temporary
for a judgment in their favor. The language of the Constitution supplies the answer to the restraining order enjoining the plebiscite scheduled for April 7, 1981.
above questions. The Interim Batasang Pambansa, sitting as a constituent body, can propose 1. Consistently with my dissenting opinion in Sanidad vs. Comelec 1 on the invalidity of the
amendments. In that capacity, only a majority vote is needed. It would be an indefensible October 1976 amendments proposals to the 1973 Constitution for not having been proposed
proposition to assert that the three-fourth votes required when it sits as a legislative body nor adopted in accordance with the mandatory provisions thereof, as restated by me
applies as well when it has been convened as the agency through which amendments could in Hidalgo vs. Marcos 2 and De la Llana vs. Comelec 3 , questioning the validity of the
be proposed. That is not a requirement as far as a constitutional convention is concerned. It December 17, 1977 referendum – exercise as to the continuance in office as incumbent
is not a requirement either when, as in this case, the Interim Batasang Pambansa exercises President and to be Prime Minister after the organization of the Interim Batasang Pambansa
its constituent power to propose amendments. Moreover, even on the assumption that the as provided for in Amendment No. 3 of the 1976 Amendments, I am constrained to dissent
requirement of three- fourth votes applies, such extraordinary majority was obtained. It is from the majority decision of dismissal of the petitions.
not disputed that Resolution No. 1 proposing an amendment allowing a natural-born citizen I had held in Sanidad that the transcendental constituent power to propose and approve
of the Philippines naturalized in a foreign country to own a limited area of land for residential amendments to the Constitution as well as to set up the machinery and prescribe the
purposes was approved by the vote of 122 to 5; Resolution No. 2 dealing with the Presidency, procedure for the ratification of the amendments proposals has been withheld by the
the Prime Minister and the Cabinet, and the National Assembly by a vote of 147 to 5 with 1 Constitution from the President (Prime Minister) as sole repository of executive power and
abstention; and Resolution No. 3 on the amendment to the Article on the Commission on that so long as the regular National Assembly provided for in Article VIII of the Constitution
Elections by a vote of 148 to 2 with 1 abstention. Where then is the alleged infirmity? As to had not come to existence and the proposals for constitutional amendments were now
the requisite standard for a proper submission, the question may be viewed not only from deemed necessary to be discussed and adopted for submittal to the people, strict adherence
the standpoint of the period that must elapse before the holding of the plebiscite but also with the mandatory requirements of the amending process as provided in the Constitution
from the standpoint of such amendments having been called to the attention of the people must be complied with. This means, under the prevailing doctrine of Tolentino vs.
so that it could not plausibly be maintained that they were properly informed as to the Comelec 4 that the proposed amendments to be valid must come from the constitutional
proposed changes. As to the period, the Constitution indicates the way the matter should be agency vested with the constituent power to do so, i.e. in the Interim National Assembly
resolved. There is no ambiguity to the applicable provision: "Any amendment to, or revision provided in the Transitory Article XVII which would then have to be convened and not from
of, this Constitution shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite the executive power as vested in the President (Prime Minister) from whom such constituent
which shall be held not later than three months after the approval of such amendment or power has been withheld.
revision." 21 The three resolutions were approved by the Interim Batasang Pambansa sitting 2. As restated by me in the 1977 case of Hidalgo, under the controlling doctrine of Tolentino,
as a constituent assembly on February 5 and 27, 1981. In the Batasang Pambansa Blg. 22, the October 1976 constitutional amendments which created the Interim Batasang Pambansa

92
in lieu of the Interim National Assembly were invalid since as ruled by the Court therein, Justice Sanchez therein ended the passage with an apt citation that "... The great men who
constitutional provisions on amendments "dealing with the procedure or manner of builded the structure of our state in this respect had the mental vision of a good Constitution
amending the fundamental law are binding upon the Convention and the other departments voiced by Judge Cooley, who has said 'A good Constitution should be beyond the reach of
of the government (and) are no less binding upon the people" and "the very Idea of temporary excitement and popular caprice or passion. It is needed for stability and
deparcing from the fundamental law is anachronistic in the realm of constitutionalism and steadiness; it must yield to the thought of the people; not to the whim of the people, or the
repugnant to the essence of the rule of law." The proposed amendments at bar having been thought evolved in excitement, or hot blood, but the sober second thought, which alone if
adopted by the Interim Batasang Pambansa as the fruit of the invalid October, 1976 the government is to be safe, can be allowed efficacy ... Changes in government are to be
amendments must necessarily suffer from the same Congenital infirmity. feard unless benefit is certain.' As Montaign says: 'All great mutation shake and disorder a
3. Prescinding from the foregoing and assuming the validity of the proposed amendments, I state. Good does not necessarily succeed evil; another evil may succeed and a worse."'
reiterate my stand in Sanidad that the doctrine of fair and proper submission firs enunciated
by a simple majority of six Justices (of an eleven member Court prior to the 1973 Constitution
which increased the official composition of the Court to fifteen) in Gonzales vs. Separate Opinions
Comelec 5 and subsequently officially adopted by the required constitutional two-thirds TEEHANKEE, J., dissenting:
majority vote of the Court (of eight votes, then) in Tolentino is fully applicable in the case at I vote to give due course to the petitions at bar and to grant the application for a temporary
bar. The three resolutions proposing complex, complicated and radical amendments of our restraining order enjoining the plebiscite scheduled for April 7, 1981.
very structure of government were considered and approved by the Interim Batasang 1. Consistently with my dissenting opinion in Sanidad vs. Comelec 1 on the invalidity of the
Pambansa sitting as a constituent assembly on February 27, 1981. It set the date of the October 1976 amendments proposals to the 1973 Constitution for not having been proposed
plebiscite for thirty-nine days later on April 7, 1981 which is totally inadequate and far short nor adopted in accordance with the mandatory provisions thereof, as restated by me
of the ninety-day period fixed by the Constitution for submittal to the people to "sufficiently in Hidalgo vs. Marcos 2 and De la Llana vs. Comelec 3 , questioning the validity of the
inform them of the amendments to be voted upon, to conscientiously deliberate thereon December 17, 1977 referendum – exercise as to the continuance in office as incumbent
and to express their will in a genuine manner." 6 President and to be Prime Minister after the organization of the Interim Batasang Pambansa
4. "The minimum requirements that must be met in order that there can be a proper as provided for in Amendment No. 3 of the 1976 Amendments, I am constrained to dissent
submission to the people of a proposed constitutional amendment" as stated by retired from the majority decision of dismissal of the petitions.
Justice Conrado V. Sanchez in his separate opinion in Gonzales bears repeating as follows: I had held in Sanidad that the transcendental constituent power to propose and approve
"... we take the view that the words 'submitted to the people for their ratification,' if amendments to the Constitution as well as to set up the machinery and prescribe the
construed in the light of the nature of the Constitution – a fundamental charter that is procedure for the ratification of the amendments proposals has been withheld by the
legislation direct from the people, an expression of their sovereign will – is that it can only Constitution from the President (Prime Minister) as sole repository of executive power and
be amended by the people expressing themselves according to the procedure ordained by that so long as the regular National Assembly provided for in Article VIII of the Constitution
the Constitution. Therefore, amendments must be fairly laid before the people for their had not come to existence and the proposals for constitutional amendments were now
blessing or spurning. The people are not to be mere rubber stamps. They are not to vote deemed necessary to be discussed and adopted for submittal to the people, strict adherence
blindly. They must be afforded ample opportunity to mull over the original provisions, with the mandatory requirements of the amending process as provided in the Constitution
compare them with the proposed amendments, and try to reach a conclusion as the dictates must be complied with. This means, under the prevailing doctrine of Tolentino vs.
of their conscience suggest, free from the incubus of extraneous or possibly insidious Comelec 4 that the proposed amendments to be valid must come from the constitutional
influences. We believe the word 'submitted' can only mean that the government, within its agency vested with the constituent power to do so, i.e. in the Interim National Assembly
maximum capabilities, should strain every short to inform every citizen of the provisions to provided in the Transitory Article XVII which would then have to be convened and not from
be amended, and the proposed amendments and the meaning, nature and effects thereof. the executive power as vested in the President (Prime Minister) from whom such constituent
... What the Constitution in effect directs is that the government, in submitting an power has been withheld.
amendment for ratification, should put every instrumentality or agency within its structural 2. As restated by me in the 1977 case of Hidalgo, under the controlling doctrine of Tolentino,
framework to enlighten the people, educate them with respect to their act of ratification or the October 1976 constitutional amendments which created the Interim Batasang Pambansa
rejection. For, as we have earlier stated, one thing is submission and another is ratification. in lieu of the Interim National Assembly were invalid since as ruled by the Court therein,
There must be fair submission, intelligent consent or rejection. If with all these safeguards constitutional provisions on amendments "dealing with the procedure or manner of
the people still approve the amendments no matter how prejudicial it is to them, then so be amending the fundamental law are binding upon the Convention and the other departments
it. For the people decree their own fate." of the government (and) are no less binding upon the people" and "the very Idea of

93
deparcing from the fundamental law is anachronistic in the realm of constitutionalism and steadiness; it must yield to the thought of the people; not to the whim of the people, or the
repugnant to the essence of the rule of law." The proposed amendments at bar having been thought evolved in excitement, or hot blood, but the sober second thought, which alone if
adopted by the Interim Batasang Pambansa as the fruit of the invalid October, 1976 the government is to be safe, can be allowed efficacy ... Changes in government are to be
amendments must necessarily suffer from the same Congenital infirmity. feard unless benefit is certain.' As Montaign says: 'All great mutation shake and disorder a
3. Prescinding from the foregoing and assuming the validity of the proposed amendments, I state. Good does not necessarily succeed evil; another evil may succeed and a worse."'
reiterate my stand in Sanidad that the doctrine of fair and proper submission firs enunciated
by a simple majority of six Justices (of an eleven member Court prior to the 1973 Constitution
which increased the official composition of the Court to fifteen) in Gonzales vs.
Comelec 5 and subsequently officially adopted by the required constitutional two-thirds
majority vote of the Court (of eight votes, then) in Tolentino is fully applicable in the case at
bar. The three resolutions proposing complex, complicated and radical amendments of our
very structure of government were considered and approved by the Interim Batasang
Pambansa sitting as a constituent assembly on February 27, 1981. It set the date of the
plebiscite for thirty-nine days later on April 7, 1981 which is totally inadequate and far short
of the ninety-day period fixed by the Constitution for submittal to the people to "sufficiently
inform them of the amendments to be voted upon, to conscientiously deliberate thereon
and to express their will in a genuine manner." 6
4. "The minimum requirements that must be met in order that there can be a proper
submission to the people of a proposed constitutional amendment" as stated by retired
Justice Conrado V. Sanchez in his separate opinion in Gonzales bears repeating as follows:
"... we take the view that the words 'submitted to the people for their ratification,' if
construed in the light of the nature of the Constitution – a fundamental charter that is
legislation direct from the people, an expression of their sovereign will – is that it can only
be amended by the people expressing themselves according to the procedure ordained by
the Constitution. Therefore, amendments must be fairly laid before the people for their
blessing or spurning. The people are not to be mere rubber stamps. They are not to vote
blindly. They must be afforded ample opportunity to mull over the original provisions,
compare them with the proposed amendments, and try to reach a conclusion as the dictates
of their conscience suggest, free from the incubus of extraneous or possibly insidious
influences. We believe the word 'submitted' can only mean that the government, within its
maximum capabilities, should strain every short to inform every citizen of the provisions to
be amended, and the proposed amendments and the meaning, nature and effects thereof.
... What the Constitution in effect directs is that the government, in submitting an
amendment for ratification, should put every instrumentality or agency within its structural
framework to enlighten the people, educate them with respect to their act of ratification or
rejection. For, as we have earlier stated, one thing is submission and another is ratification.
There must be fair submission, intelligent consent or rejection. If with all these safeguards
the people still approve the amendments no matter how prejudicial it is to them, then so be
it. For the people decree their own fate."
Justice Sanchez therein ended the passage with an apt citation that "... The great men who
builded the structure of our state in this respect had the mental vision of a good Constitution
voiced by Judge Cooley, who has said 'A good Constitution should be beyond the reach of
temporary excitement and popular caprice or passion. It is needed for stability and

94
G.R. No. L-34150 October 16, 1971 Y. Feria, Leonardo Siguion Reyna, Victor Ortega and Juan B. Borra, all distinguished lawyers
ARTURO M. TOLENTINO, petitioner, in their own right, have been allowed to intervene jointly. The Court feels that with such an
vs. array of brilliant and dedicated counsel, all interests involved should be duly and amply
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, and THE CHIEF ACCOUNTANT, THE AUDITOR, and THE represented and protected. At any rate, notwithstanding that their corresponding motions
DISBURSING OFFICER OF THE 1971 CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, respondents, RAUL S. for leave to intervene or to appear as amicus curiae 1 have been denied, the pleadings filed
MANGLAPUS, JESUS G. BARRERA, PABLO S. TRILLANA III, VICTOR DE LA SERNA, MARCELO by the other delegates and some private parties, the latter in representation of their minor
B. FERNAN, JOSE Y. FERIA, LEONARDO SIGUION REYNA, VICTOR F. ORTEGA, and JUAN V. children allegedly to be affected by the result of this case with the records and the Court
BORRA, Intervenors. acknowledges that they have not been without value as materials in the extensive study that
Arturo M. Tolentino in his own behalf. has been undertaken in this case.
Ramon A. Gonzales for respondents Chief Accountant and Auditor of the 1971 Constitutional The background facts are beyond dispute. The Constitutional Convention of 1971 came into
Convention. being by virtue of two resolutions of the Congress of the Philippines approved in its capacity
Emmanuel Pelaez, Jorge M. Juco and Tomas L. Echivarre for respondent Disbursing Officer of as a constituent assembly convened for the purpose of calling a convention to propose
the 1971 Constitutional Convention. amendments to the Constitution namely, Resolutions 2 and 4 of the joint sessions of
Intervenors in their own behalf. Congress held on March 16, 1967 and June 17, 1969 respectively. The delegates to the said
Convention were all elected under and by virtue of said resolutions and the implementing
BARREDO, J.: legislation thereof, Republic Act 6132. The pertinent portions of Resolution No 2 read as
Petition for prohibition principally to restrain the respondent Commission on Elections "from follows:
undertaking to hold a plebiscite on November 8, 1971," at which the proposed constitutional SECTION 1. There is hereby called a convention to propose amendments to the Constitution
amendment "reducing the voting age" in Section 1 of Article V of the Constitution of the of the Philippines, to be composed of two elective Delegates from each representative
Philippines to eighteen years "shall be, submitted" for ratification by the people pursuant to district who shall have the same qualifications as those required of Members of the House
Organic Resolution No. 1 of the Constitutional Convention of 1971, and the subsequent of Representatives.
implementing resolutions, by declaring said resolutions to be without the force and effect of xxx xxx xxx
law in so far as they direct the holding of such plebiscite and by also declaring the acts of the SECTION 7. The amendments proposed by the Convention shall be valid and considered part
respondent Commission (COMELEC) performed and to be done by it in obedience to the of the Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast in an election at which
aforesaid Convention resolutions to be null and void, for being violative of the Constitution they are submitted to the people for their ratification pursuant to Article XV of the
of the Philippines. Constitution.
As a preliminary step, since the petition named as respondent only the COMELEC, the Count Resolution No. 4 merely modified the number of delegates to represent the different cities
required that copies thereof be served on the Solicitor General and the Constitutional and provinces fixed originally in Resolution No 2.
Convention, through its President, for such action as they may deem proper to take. In due After the election of the delegates held on November 10, 1970, the Convention held its
time, respondent COMELEC filed its answer joining issues with petitioner. To further put inaugural session on June 1, 1971. Its preliminary labors of election of officers, organization
things in proper order, and considering that the fiscal officers of the Convention are of committees and other preparatory works over, as its first formal proposal to amend the
indispensable parties in a proceeding of this nature, since the acts sought to be enjoined Constitution, its session which began on September 27, 1971, or more accurately, at about
involve the expenditure of funds appropriated by law for the Convention, the Court also 3:30 in the morning of September 28, 1971, the Convention approved Organic Resolution
ordered that the Disbursing Officer, Chief Accountant and Auditor of the Convention be No. 1 reading thus: .
made respondents. After the petition was so amended, the first appeared thru Senator CC ORGANIC RESOLUTION NO. 1
Emmanuel Pelaez and the last two thru Delegate Ramon Gonzales. All said respondents, thru A RESOLUTION AMENDING SECTION ONE OF ARTICLE V OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE
counsel, resist petitioner's action. PHILIPPINES SO AS TO LOWER THE VOTING AGE TO 18
For reasons of orderliness and to avoid unnecessary duplication of arguments and even BE IT RESOLVED as it is hereby resolved by the 1971 Constitutional Convention:
possible confusion, and considering that with the principal parties being duly represented by Section 1. Section One of Article V of the Constitution of the Philippines is amended to as
able counsel, their interests would be adequately protected already, the Court had to limit follows:
the number of intervenors from the ranks of the delegates to the Convention who, more or Section 1. Suffrage may be exercised by (male) citizens of the Philippines not otherwise
less, have legal interest in the success of the respondents, and so, only Delegates Raul S. disqualified by law, who are (twenty-one) EIGHTEEN years or over and are able to read and
Manglapus, Jesus G. Barrera, Pablo S. Trillana III, Victor de la Serna, Marcelo B. Fernan, Jose

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write, and who shall have resided in the Philippines for one year and in the municipality This Committee issued implementing guidelines which were approved by the President who
wherein they propose to vote for at least six months preceding the election. then transmitted them to the Commission on Elections.
Section 2. This amendment shall be valid as part of the Constitution of the Philippines when The Committee on Plebiscite and Ratification filed a report on the progress of the
approved by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite to coincide with the local elections in implementation of the plebiscite in the afternoon of October 7,1971, enclosing copies of the
November 1971. order, resolution and letters of transmittal above referred to (Copy of the report is hereto
Section 3. This partial amendment, which refers only to the age qualification for the exercise attached as Annex 8-Memorandum).
of suffrage shall be without prejudice to other amendments that will be proposed in the RECESS RESOLUTION
future by the 1971 Constitutional Convention on other portions of the amended Section or In its plenary session in the evening of October 7, 1971, the Convention approved a
on other portions of the entire Constitution. resolution authored by Delegate Antonio Olmedo of Davao Oriental, calling for a recess of
Section 4. The Convention hereby authorizes the use of the sum of P75,000.00 from its the Convention from November 1, 1971 to November 9, 1971 to permit the delegates to
savings or from its unexpended funds for the expense of the advanced plebiscite; provided, campaign for the ratification of Organic Resolution No. 1. (Copies of the resolution and the
however that should there be no savings or unexpended sums, the Delegates waive P250.00 transcript of debate thereon are hereto attached as Annexes 9 and 9-A Memorandum,
each or the equivalent of 2-1/2 days per diem. respectively).
By a letter dated September 28, 1971, President Diosdado Macapagal, called upon RESOLUTION CONFIRMING IMPLEMENTATION
respondent Comelec "to help the Convention implement (the above) resolution." The said On October 12, 1971, the Convention passed Resolution No. 24 submitted by Delegate Jose
letter reads: Ozamiz confirming the authority of the President of the Convention to implement Organic
September 28, 1971 Resolution No. 1, including the creation of the Ad Hoc Committee ratifying all acts performed
The Commission on Elections Manila in connection with said implementation.
Thru the Chairman Upon these facts, the main thrust of the petition is that Organic Resolution No. 1 and the
Gentlemen: other implementing resolutions thereof subsequently approved by the Convention have no
Last night the Constitutional Convention passed Resolution No. 1 quoted as follows: force and effect as laws in so far as they provide for the holding of a plebiscite co-incident
xxx xxx xxx with the elections of eight senators and all city, provincial and municipal officials to be held
(see above) on November 8, 1971, hence all of Comelec's acts in obedience thereof and tending to carry
Pursuant to the provision of Section 14, Republic Act No. 6132 otherwise known as the out the holding of the plebiscite directed by said resolutions are null and void, on the ground
Constitutional Convention Act of 1971, may we call upon you to help the Convention that the calling and holding of such a plebiscite is, by the Constitution, a power lodged
implement this resolution: exclusively in Congress, as a legislative body, and may not be exercised by the Convention,
Sincerely, and that, under Section 1, Article XV of the Constitution, the proposed amendment in
(Sgd.) DIOSDADO P. MACAPAGAL question cannot be presented to the people for ratification separately from each and all of
DIOSDADO P. MACAPAGAL the other amendments to be drafted and proposed by the Convention. On the other hand,
President respondents and intervenors posit that the power to provide for, fix the date and lay down
On September 30, 1971, COMELEC "RESOLVED to inform the Constitutional Convention that the details of the plebiscite for the ratification of any amendment the Convention may deem
it will hold the plebiscite on condition that: proper to propose is within the authority of the Convention as a necessary consequence and
(a) The Constitutional Convention will undertake the printing of separate official ballots, part of its power to propose amendments and that this power includes that of submitting
election returns and tally sheets for the use of said plebiscite at its expense; such amendments either individually or jointly at such time and manner as the Convention
(b) The Constitutional Convention will adopt its own security measures for the printing and may direct in discretion. The Court's delicate task now is to decide which of these two poses
shipment of said ballots and election forms; and is really in accord with the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
(c) Said official ballots and election forms will be delivered to the Commission in time so that As a preliminary and prejudicial matter, the intervenors raise the question of jurisdiction.
they could be distributed at the same time that the Commission will distribute its official and They contend that the issue before Us is a political question and that the Convention being
sample ballots to be used in the elections on November 8, 1971. legislative body of the highest order is sovereign, and as such, its acts impugned by petitioner
What happened afterwards may best be stated by quoting from intervenors' Governors' are beyond the control of the Congress and the courts. In this connection, it is to be noted
statement of the genesis of the above proposal: that none of the respondent has joined intervenors in this posture. In fact, respondents Chief
The President of the Convention also issued an order forming an Ad Hoc Committee to Accountant and Auditor of the convention expressly concede the jurisdiction of this Court in
implement the Resolution. their answer acknowledging that the issue herein is a justifiable one.

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Strangely, intervenors cite in support of this contention portions of the decision of this Court the Philippines) — to make, and, hence, to amend their own Fundamental Law. Congress
in the case of Gonzales v. Comelec, 21 SCRA 774, wherein the members of the Court, despite may propose amendments to the Constitution merely because the same explicitly grants
their being divided in their opinions as to the other matters therein involved, were precisely such power. (Section 1, Art. XV, Constitution of the Philippines) Hence, when exercising the
unanimous in upholding its jurisdiction. Obviously, distinguished counsel have either failed same, it is said that Senators and members of the House of Representatives act, not as
to grasp the full impact of the portions of Our decision they have quoted or would misapply members of Congress, but as component elements of a constituent assembly. When acting
them by taking them out of context. as such, the members of Congress derive their authority from the Constitution, unlike the
There should be no more doubt as to the position of this Court regarding its jurisdiction vis- people, when performing the same function, (Of amending the Constitution) for their
a-vis the constitutionality of the acts of the Congress, acting as a constituent assembly, and, authority does not emanate from the Constitution — they are the very source of all powers
for that matter, those of a constitutional convention called for the purpose of proposing of government including the Constitution itself.
amendments to the Constitution, which concededly is at par with the former. A simple Since, when proposing, as a constituent assembly, amendments to the Constitution, the
reading of Our ruling in that very case of Gonzales relied upon by intervenors should dispel members of Congress derive their authority from the Fundamental Law, it follows,
any lingering misgivings as regards that point. Succinctly but comprehensively, Chief Justice necessarily, that they do not have the final say on whether or not their acts are within or
Concepcion held for the Court thus: . beyond constitutional limits. Otherwise, they could brush aside and set the same at naught,
As early as Angara vs. Electoral Commission (63 Phil. 139, 157), this Court — speaking contrary to the basic tenet that ours is a government of laws, not of men, and to the rigid
through one of the leading members of the Constitutional Convention and a respected nature of our Constitution. Such rigidity is stressed by the fact that the Constitution expressly
professor of Constitutional Law, Dr. Jose P. Laurel — declared that "the judicial department confers upon the Supreme Court, (And, inferentially, to lower courts.) the power to declare
is the only constitutional organ which can be called upon to determine the proper allocation a treaty unconstitutional. (Sec. 2(1), Art. VIII of the Constitution), despite the eminently
of powers between the several departments and among the integral or constituent units political character of treaty-making power.
thereof." In short, the issue whether or not a Resolution of Congress — acting as a constituent
It is true that in Mabanag v. Lopez Vito (supra), this Court characterizing the issue submitted assembly — violates the Constitution is essentially justiciable not political, and, hence,
thereto as a political one declined to pass upon the question whether or not a given number subject to judicial review, and, to the extent that this view may be inconsistent with the
of votes cast in Congress in favor of a proposed amendment to the Constitution — which stand taken in Mabanag v. Lopez Vito, (supra) the latter should be deemed modified
was being submitted to the people for ratification — satisfied the three-fourths vote accordingly. The Members of the Court are unanimous on this point.
requirement of the fundamental law. The force of this precedent has been weakened, No one can rightly claim that within the domain of its legitimate authority, the Convention
however, by Suanes v. Chief Accountant of the Senate (81 Phil. 818), Avelino v. Cuenco, (L- is not supreme. Nowhere in his petition and in his oral argument and memoranda does
2851, March 4 & 14, 1949), Tañada v. Cuenco, (L-10520, Feb. 28, 1957) and Macias v. petitioner point otherwise. Actually, what respondents and intervenors are seemingly
Commission on Elections, (L-18684, Sept. 14, 1961). In the first we held that the officers and reluctant to admit is that the Constitutional Convention of 1971, as any other convention of
employees of the Senate Electoral Tribunal are under its supervision and control, not of that the same nature, owes its existence and derives all its authority and power from the existing
of the Senate President, as claimed by the latter; in the second, this Court proceeded to Constitution of the Philippines. This Convention has not been called by the people directly
determine the number of Senators necessary for quorum in the Senate; in the third, we as in the case of a revolutionary convention which drafts the first Constitution of an entirely
nullified the election, by Senators belonging to the party having the largest number of votes new government born of either a war of liberation from a mother country or of a revolution
in said chamber, purporting to act, on behalf of the party having the second largest number against an existing government or of a bloodless seizure of power a la coup d'etat. As to such
of votes therein of two (2) Senators belonging to the first party, as members, for the second kind of conventions, it is absolutely true that the convention is completely without restrain
party, of the Senate Electoral Tribunal; and in the fourth, we declared unconstitutional an and omnipotent all wise, and it is as to such conventions that the remarks of Delegate
act of Congress purporting to apportion the representatives districts for the House of Manuel Roxas of the Constitutional Convention of 1934 quoted by Senator Pelaez refer. No
Representatives, upon the ground that the apportionment had not been made as may be amount of rationalization can belie the fact that the current convention came into being only
possible according to the number of inhabitants of each province. Thus we rejected the because it was called by a resolution of a joint session of Congress acting as a constituent
theory, advanced in these four (4) cases that the issues therein raised were political assembly by authority of Section 1, Article XV of the present Constitution which provides:
questions the determination of which is beyond judicial review. ARTICLE XV — AMENDMENTS
Indeed, the power to amend the Constitution or to propose amendments thereto is not SECTION 1. The Congress in joint session assembled, by a vote of three-fourths of all the
included in the general grant of legislative powers to Congress (Section 1, Art. VI, Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives voting separately, may propose
Constitution of the Philippines). It is part of the inherent powers of the people — as the amendments to this Constitution or call a convention for the purpose. Such amendments
repository sovereignty in a republican state, such as ours (Section 1, Art. 11, Constitution of

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shall be valid as part of this Constitution when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an determine the proper allocation of powers between the several departments and among the
election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification. integral or constituent units thereof.
True it is that once convened, this Convention became endowed with extra ordinary powers As any human production our Constitution is of course lacking perfection and perfectibility,
generally beyond the control of any department of the existing government, but the but as much as it was within the power of our people, acting through their delegates to so
compass of such powers can be co-extensive only with the purpose for which the convention provide, that instrument which is the expression of their sovereignty however limited, has
was called and as it may propose cannot have any effect as part of the Constitution until the established a republican government intended to operate and function as a harmonious
same are duly ratified by the people, it necessarily follows that the acts of convention, its whole, under a system of check and balances and subject to specific limitations and
officers and members are not immune from attack on constitutional grounds. The present restrictions provided in the said instrument. The Constitution sets forth in no uncertain
Constitution is in full force and effect in its entirety and in everyone of its parts the existence language the restrictions and limitations upon governmental powers and agencies. If these
of the Convention notwithstanding, and operates even within the walls of that assembly. restrictions and limitations are transcended it would be inconceivable if the Constitution had
While it is indubitable that in its internal operation and the performance of its task to not provided for a mechanism by which to direct the course of government along
propose amendments to the Constitution it is not subject to any degree of restraint or constitutional channels, for then the distribution of powers would be mere verbiage, the bill
control by any other authority than itself, it is equally beyond cavil that neither the of rights mere expressions of sentiment and the principles of good government mere
Convention nor any of its officers or members can rightfully deprive any person of life, liberty political apothegms. Certainly the limitations and restrictions embodied in our Constitution
or property without due process of law, deny to anyone in this country the equal protection are real as they should be in any living Constitution. In the United States where no express
of the laws or the freedom of speech and of the press in disregard of the Bill of Rights of the constitutional grant is found in their constitution, the possession of this moderating power
existing Constitution. Nor, for that matter, can such Convention validly pass any resolution of the courts, not to speak of its historical origin and development there, has been set at rest
providing for the taking of private property without just compensation or for the imposition by popular acquiescence for a period of more than one and half centuries. In our case, this
or exacting of any tax, impost or assessment, or declare war or call the Congress to a special moderating power is granted, if not expressly, by clear implication from section 2 of Article
session, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, pardon a convict or render VIII of our Constitution.
judgment in a controversy between private individuals or between such individuals and the The Constitution is a definition of the powers or government. Who is to determine the
state, in violation of the distribution of powers in the Constitution. nature, scope and extent of such powers? The Constitution itself has provided for the
It being manifest that there are powers which the Convention may not and cannot validly instrumentality of the judiciary as the rational way. And when the judiciary mediates to
assert, much less exercise, in the light of the existing Constitution, the simple question arises, allocate constitutional boundaries, it does not assert any superiority over the other
should an act of the Convention be assailed by a citizen as being among those not granted departments; it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature, but only
to or inherent in it, according to the existing Constitution, who can decide whether such a asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to determine
contention is correct or not? It is of the very essence of the rule of law that somehow conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and to establish for the parties in an
somewhere the Power and duty to resolve such a grave constitutional question must be actual controversy the rights which that instrument secures and guarantees to them. This is
lodged on some authority, or we would have to confess that the integrated system of in truth all that is involved in what is termed "judicial supremacy" which properly is the
government established by our founding fathers contains a wide vacuum no intelligent man power of judicial review under the Constitution. Even then, this power of judicial review is
could ignore, which is naturally unworthy of their learning, experience and craftsmanship in limited to actual cases and controversies to be exercised after full opportunity of argument
constitution-making. by the parties, and limited further to the constitutional question raised or the very lis
We need not go far in search for the answer to the query We have posed. The very decision mota presented. Any attempt at abstraction could only lead to dialectics and barren legal
of Chief Justice Concepcion in Gonzales, so much invoked by intervenors, reiterates and questions and to strike conclusions unrelated to actualities. Narrowed as its functions is in
reinforces the irrefutable logic and wealth of principle in the opinion written for a unanimous this manner the judiciary does not pass upon questions of wisdom, justice or expediency of
Court by Justice Laurel in Angara vs. Electoral Commission, 63 Phil., 134, reading: legislation. More than that, courts accord the presumption of constitutionality to legislative
... (I)n the main, the Constitution has blocked out with deft strokes and in bold lines, enactments, not only because the legislature is presumed to abide by the Constitution but
allotment of power to the executive, the legislative and the judicial departments of the also because the judiciary in the determination of actual cases and controversies must reflect
government. The overlapping and interlacing of functions and duties between the several the wisdom and justice of the people as expressed through their representatives in the
departments, however, sometimes makes it hard to say where the one leaves off and the executive and legislative departments of the government.
other begins. In times of social disquietude or political excitement, the great landmark of the But much as we might postulate on the internal checks of power provided in our
Constitution are apt to be forgotten or marred, if not entirely obliterated. In cases of conflict, Constitution, it ought not the less to be remembered that, in the language of James Madison,
the judicial department is the only constitutional organ which can be called upon to the system itself is not "the chief palladium of constitutional liberty ... the people who are

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authors of this blessing must also be its guardians ... their eyes must be ever ready to mark, former Austrian Constitution contained a similar declaration. In countries whose
their voices to pronounce ... aggression on the authority of their Constitution." In the last constitution are silent in this respect, courts have assumed this power. This is true in Norway,
and ultimate analysis then, must the success of our government in the unfolding years to Greece, Australia and South Africa. Whereas, in Czechoslovakia (arts. 2 and 3, Preliminary
come be tested in the crucible of Filipino minds and hearts than in consultation rooms and Law to Constitutional Charter of the Czechoslavak, Republic, February 29, 1920) and Spain
court chambers. (arts. 121-123, Title IX, Constitution of the Republic of 1931) especial constitutional courts
In the case at bar, the National Assembly has by resolution (No. 8) of December 3, 1935, are established to pass upon the validity of ordinary laws. In our case, the nature of the
confirmed the election of the herein petitioner to the said body. On the other hand, the present controversy shows the necessity of a final constitutional arbiter to determine the
Electoral Commission has by resolution adopted on December 9, 1935, fixed said date as the conflict of authority between two agencies created by the Constitution. Were we to decline
last day for the filing of protests against the election, returns and qualifications of members to take cognizance of the controversy, who will determine the conflict? And if the conflict
of the National Assembly; notwithstanding the previous confirmations made by the National were left undecided and undetermined, would not a void be thus created in our
Assembly as aforesaid. If, as contended by the petitioner, the resolution of the National constitutional system which may in the long run prove destructive of the entire framework?
Assembly has the effect of cutting off the power of the Electoral Commission to entertain To ask these questions is to answer them. Natura vacuum abhorret, so must we avoid
protests against the election, returns and qualifications of members of the National exhaustion in our constitutional system. Upon principle, reason, and authority, we are clearly
Assembly, submitted after December 3, 1935 then the resolution of the Electoral of the opinion that upon the admitted facts of the present case, this court has jurisdiction
Commission of December 9, 1935, is mere surplusage and had no effect. But, if, as contended over the Electoral Commission and the subject matter of the present controversy for the
by the respondents, the Electoral Commission has the sole power of regulating its purpose of determining the character, scope and extent of the constitutional grant to the
proceedings to the exclusion of the National Assembly, then the resolution of December 9, Electoral Commission as "the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and
1935, by which the Electoral Commission fixed said date as the last day for filing protests qualifications of the members of the National Assembly." .
against the election, returns and qualifications of members of the National Assembly, should As the Chief Justice has made it clear in Gonzales, like Justice Laurel did in Angara, these
be upheld. postulates just quoted do not apply only to conflicts of authority between the three existing
Here is then presented an actual controversy involving as it does a conflict of a grave regular departments of the government but to all such conflicts between and among these
constitutional nature between the National Assembly on the one hand and the Electoral departments, or, between any of them, on the one hand, and any other constitutionally
Commission on the other. From the very nature of the republican government established created independent body, like the electoral tribunals in Congress, the Comelec and the
in our country in the light of American experience and of our own, upon the judicial Constituent assemblies constituted by the House of Congress, on the other. We see no
department is thrown the solemn and inescapable obligation of interpreting the Constitution reason of logic or principle whatsoever, and none has been convincingly shown to Us by any
and defining constitutional boundaries. The Electoral Commission as we shall have occasion of the respondents and intervenors, why the same ruling should not apply to the present
to refer hereafter, is a constitutional organ, created for a specific purpose, namely, to Convention, even if it is an assembly of delegate elected directly by the people, since at best,
determine all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of the members of as already demonstrated, it has been convened by authority of and under the terms of the
the National Assembly. Although the Electoral Commission may not be interfered with, when present Constitution..
and while acting within the limits of its authority, it does not follow that it is beyond the Accordingly, We are left with no alternative but to uphold the jurisdiction of the Court over
reach of the constitutional mechanism adopted by the people and that it is not subject to the present case. It goes without saying that We do this not because the Court is superior to
constitutional restriction. The Electoral Commission is not a separate department of the the Convention or that the Convention is subject to the control of the Court, but simply
government, and even if it were, conflicting claims of authority under the fundamental law because both the Convention and the Court are subject to the Constitution and the rule of
between departmental powers and agencies of the government are necessarily determined law, and "upon principle, reason and authority," per Justice Laurel, supra, it is within the
by the judiciary in justiciable and appropriate cases. Discarding the English type and other power as it is the solemn duty of the Court, under the existing Constitution to resolve the
European types of constitutional government, the framers of our Constitution adopted the issues in which petitioner, respondents and intervenors have joined in this case.
American type where the written constitution is interpreted and given effect by the judicial II
department. In some countries which have declined to follow the American example, The issue of jurisdiction thus resolved, We come to the crux of the petition. Is it within the
provisions have been inserted in their constitutions prohibiting the courts from exercising powers of the Constitutional Convention of 1971 to order, on its own fiat, the holding of a
the power to interpret the fundamental law. This is taken as a recognition of what otherwise plebiscite for the ratification of the proposed amendment reducing to eighteen years the
would be the rule that in the absence of direct prohibition, courts are bound to assume what age for the exercise of suffrage under Section 1 of Article V of the Constitution proposed in
is logically their function. For instance, the Constitution of Poland of 1921 expressly provides the Convention's Organic Resolution No. 1 in the manner and form provided for in said
that courts shall have no power to examine the validity of statutes (art. 81, Chap. IV). The resolution and the subsequent implementing acts and resolution of the Convention?

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At the threshold, the environmental circumstances of this case demand the most accurate they really want are law and order, peace and orderliness, even in the pursuit of what they
and unequivocal statement of the real issue which the Court is called upon to resolve. strongly and urgently feel must be done to change the present order of things in this Republic
Petitioner has very clearly stated that he is not against the constitutional extension of the of ours. It would be tragic and contrary to the plain compulsion of these perspectives, if the
right of suffrage to the eighteen-year-olds, as a matter of fact, he has advocated or Court were to allow itself in deciding this case to be carried astray by considerations other
sponsored in Congress such a proposal, and that, in truth, the herein petition is not intended than the imperatives of the rule of law and of the applicable provisions of the Constitution.
by him to prevent that the proposed amendment here involved be submitted to the people Needless to say, in a larger measure than when it binds other departments of the
for ratification, his only purpose in filing the petition being to comply with his sworn duty to government or any other official or entity, the Constitution imposes upon the Court the
prevent, Whenever he can, any violation of the Constitution of the Philippines even if it is sacred duty to give meaning and vigor to the Constitution, by interpreting and construing its
committed in the course of or in connection with the most laudable undertaking. Indeed, as provisions in appropriate cases with the proper parties, and by striking down any act violative
the Court sees it, the specific question raised in this case is limited solely and only to the thereof. Here, as in all other cases, We are resolved to discharge that duty.
point of whether or not it is within the power of the Convention to call for a plebiscite for During these twice when most anyone feels very strongly the urgent need for constitutional
the ratification by the people of the constitutional amendment proposed in the abovequoted reforms, to the point of being convinced that meaningful change is the only alternative to a
Organic Resolution No. 1, in the manner and form provided in said resolution as well as in violent revolution, this Court would be the last to put any obstruction or impediment to the
the subject question implementing actions and resolution of the Convention and its officers, work of the Constitutional Convention. If there are respectable sectors opining that it has
at this juncture of its proceedings, when as it is a matter of common knowledge and judicial not been called to supplant the existing Constitution in its entirety, since its enabling
notice, it is not set to adjourn sine die, and is, in fact, still in the preliminary stages of provision, Article XV, from which the Convention itself draws life expressly speaks only of
considering other reforms or amendments affecting other parts of the existing Constitution; amendments which shall form part of it, which opinion is not without persuasive force both
and, indeed, Organic Resolution No. 1 itself expressly provides, that the amendment therein in principle and in logic, the seemingly prevailing view is that only the collective judgment of
proposed "shall be without prejudice to other amendments that will be proposed in the its members as to what is warranted by the present condition of things, as they see it, can
future by the 1971 Constitutional Convention on other portions of the amended section or limit the extent of the constitutional innovations the Convention may propose, hence the
on other portions of the entire Constitution." In other words, nothing that the Court may say complete substitution of the existing constitution is not beyond the ambit of the
or do, in this case should be understood as reflecting, in any degree or means the individual Convention's authority. Desirable as it may be to resolve, this grave divergence of views, the
or collective stand of the members of the Court on the fundamental issue of whether or not Court does not consider this case to be properly the one in which it should discharge its
the eighteen-year-olds should be allowed to vote, simply because that issue is not before Us constitutional duty in such premises. The issues raised by petitioner, even those among them
now. There should be no doubt in the mind of anyone that, once the Court finds it in which respondents and intervenors have joined in an apparent wish to have them squarely
constitutionally permissible, it will not hesitate to do its part so that the said proposed passed upon by the Court do not necessarily impose upon Us the imperative obligation to
amendment may be presented to the people for their approval or rejection. express Our views thereon. The Court considers it to be of the utmost importance that the
Withal, the Court rests securely in the conviction that the fire and enthusiasm of the youth Convention should be untrammelled and unrestrained in the performance of its
have not blinded them to the absolute necessity, under the fundamental principles of constitutionally as signed mission in the manner and form it may conceive best, and so the
democracy to which the Filipino people is committed, of adhering always to the rule of law. Court may step in to clear up doubts as to the boundaries set down by the Constitution only
Surely, their idealism, sincerity and purity of purpose cannot permit any other line of conduct when and to the specific extent only that it would be necessary to do so to avoid a
or approach in respect of the problem before Us. The Constitutional Convention of 1971 constitutional crisis or a clearly demonstrable violation of the existing Charter. Withal, it is a
itself was born, in a great measure, because of the pressure brought to bear upon the very familiar principle of constitutional law that constitutional questions are to be resolved
Congress of the Philippines by various elements of the people, the youth in particular, in by the Supreme Court only when there is no alternative but to do it, and this rule is founded
their incessant search for a peaceful and orderly means of bringing about meaningful precisely on the principle of respect that the Court must accord to the acts of the other
changes in the structure and bases of the existing social and governmental institutions, coordinate departments of the government, and certainly, the Constitutional Convention
including the provisions of the fundamental law related to the well-being and economic stands almost in a unique footing in that regard.
security of the underprivileged classes of our people as well as those concerning the In our discussion of the issue of jurisdiction, We have already made it clear that the
preservation and protection of our natural resources and the national patrimony, as an Convention came into being by a call of a joint session of Congress pursuant to Section I of
alternative to violent and chaotic ways of achieving such lofty ideals. In brief, leaving aside Article XV of the Constitution, already quoted earlier in this opinion. We reiterate also that
the excesses of enthusiasm which at times have justifiably or unjustifiably marred the as to matters not related to its internal operation and the performance of its assigned
demonstrations in the streets, plazas and campuses, the youth of the Philippines, in general, mission to propose amendments to the Constitution, the Convention and its officers and
like the rest of the people, do not want confusion and disorder, anarchy and violence; what members are all subject to all the provisions of the existing Constitution. Now We hold that

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even as to its latter task of proposing amendments to the Constitution, it is subject to the The ultimate question, therefore boils down to this: Is there any limitation or condition in
provisions of Section I of Article XV. This must be so, because it is plain to Us that the framers Section 1 of Article XV of the Constitution which is violated by the act of the Convention of
of the Constitution took care that the process of amending the same should not be calling for a plebiscite on the sole amendment contained in Organic Resolution No. 1? The
undertaken with the same ease and facility in changing an ordinary legislation. Constitution Court holds that there is, and it is the condition and limitation that all the amendments to
making is the most valued power, second to none, of the people in a constitutional be proposed by the same Convention must be submitted to the people in a single "election"
democracy such as the one our founding fathers have chosen for this nation, and which we or plebiscite. It being indisputable that the amendment now proposed to be submitted to a
of the succeeding generations generally cherish. And because the Constitution affects the plebiscite is only the first amendment the Convention propose We hold that the plebiscite
lives, fortunes, future and every other conceivable aspect of the lives of all the people within being called for the purpose of submitting the same for ratification of the people on
the country and those subject to its sovereignty, every degree of care is taken in preparing November 8, 1971 is not authorized by Section 1 of Article XV of the Constitution, hence all
and drafting it. A constitution worthy of the people for which it is intended must not be acts of the Convention and the respondent Comelec in that direction are null and void.
prepared in haste without adequate deliberation and study. It is obvious that We have arrived at this conclusion for the following reasons:
correspondingly, any amendment of the Constitution is of no less importance than the whole 1. The language of the constitutional provision aforequoted is sufficiently clear. lt says
Constitution itself, and perforce must be conceived and prepared with as much care and distinctly that either Congress sitting as a constituent assembly or a convention called for
deliberation. From the very nature of things, the drafters of an original constitution, as the purpose "may propose amendments to this Constitution," thus placing no limit as to the
already observed earlier, operate without any limitations, restraints or inhibitions save those number of amendments that Congress or the Convention may propose. The same provision
that they may impose upon themselves. This is not necessarily true of subsequent also as definitely provides that "such amendments shall be valid as part of this Constitution
conventions called to amend the original constitution. Generally, the framers of the latter when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are
see to it that their handiwork is not lightly treated and as easily mutilated or changed, not submitted to the people for their ratification," thus leaving no room for doubt as to how
only for reasons purely personal but more importantly, because written constitutions are many "elections" or plebiscites may be held to ratify any amendment or amendments
supposed to be designed so as to last for some time, if not for ages, or for, at least, as long proposed by the same constituent assembly of Congress or convention, and the provision
as they can be adopted to the needs and exigencies of the people, hence, they must be unequivocably says "an election" which means only one.
insulated against precipitate and hasty actions motivated by more or less passing political (2) Very little reflection is needed for anyone to realize the wisdom and appropriateness of
moods or fancies. Thus, as a rule, the original constitutions carry with them limitations and this provision. As already stated, amending the Constitution is as serious and important an
conditions, more or less stringent, made so by the people themselves, in regard to the undertaking as constitution making itself. Indeed, any amendment of the Constitution is as
process of their amendment. And when such limitations or conditions are so incorporated in important as the whole of it if only because the Constitution has to be an integrated and
the original constitution, it does not lie in the delegates of any subsequent convention to harmonious instrument, if it is to be viable as the framework of the government it
claim that they may ignore and disregard such conditions because they are as powerful and establishes, on the one hand, and adequately formidable and reliable as the succinct but
omnipotent as their original counterparts. comprehensive articulation of the rights, liberties, ideology, social ideals, and national and
Nothing of what is here said is to be understood as curtailing in any degree the number and nationalistic policies and aspirations of the people, on the other. lt is inconceivable how a
nature and the scope and extent of the amendments the Convention may deem proper to constitution worthy of any country or people can have any part which is out of tune with its
propose. Nor does the Court propose to pass on the issue extensively and brilliantly other parts..
discussed by the parties as to whether or not the power or duty to call a plebiscite for the A constitution is the work of the people thru its drafters assembled by them for the purpose.
ratification of the amendments to be proposed by the Convention is exclusively legislative Once the original constitution is approved, the part that the people play in its amendment
and as such may be exercised only by the Congress or whether the said power can be becomes harder, for when a whole constitution is submitted to them, more or less they can
exercised concurrently by the Convention with the Congress. In the view the Court takes of assumed its harmony as an integrated whole, and they can either accept or reject it in its
present case, it does not perceive absolute necessity to resolve that question, grave and entirety. At the very least, they can examine it before casting their vote and determine for
important as it may be. Truth to tell, the lack of unanimity or even of a consensus among the themselves from a study of the whole document the merits and demerits of all or any of its
members of the Court in respect to this issue creates the need for more study and parts and of the document as a whole. And so also, when an amendment is submitted to
deliberation, and as time is of the essence in this case, for obvious reasons, November 8, them that is to form part of the existing constitution, in like fashion they can study with
1971, the date set by the Convention for the plebiscite it is calling, being nigh, We will refrain deliberation the proposed amendment in relation to the whole existing constitution and or
from making any pronouncement or expressing Our views on this question until a more any of its parts and thereby arrive at an intelligent judgment as to its acceptability.
appropriate case comes to Us. After all, the basis of this decision is as important and decisive This cannot happen in the case of the amendment in question. Prescinding already from the
as any can be. fact that under Section 3 of the questioned resolution, it is evident that no fixed frame of

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reference is provided the voter, as to what finally will be concomitant qualifications that will for the questioned plebiscite before it has finished, and separately from, the whole draft of
be required by the final draft of the constitution to be formulated by the Convention of a the constitution it has been called to formulate, the Convention's Organic Resolution No. 1
voter to be able to enjoy the right of suffrage, there are other considerations which make it and all subsequent acts of the Convention implementing the same violate the condition in
impossible to vote intelligently on the proposed amendment, although it may already be Section 1, Article XV that there should only be one "election" or plebiscite for the ratification
observed that under Section 3, if a voter would favor the reduction of the voting age to of all the amendments the Convention may propose. We are not denying any right of the
eighteen under conditions he feels are needed under the circumstances, and he does not people to vote on the proposed amendment; We are only holding that under Section 1,
see those conditions in the ballot nor is there any possible indication whether they will ever Article XV of the Constitution, the same should be submitted to them not separately from
be or not, because Congress has reserved those for future action, what kind of judgment can but together with all the other amendments to be proposed by this present Convention.
he render on the proposal? IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petition herein is granted. Organic Resolution No. 1 of
But the situation actually before Us is even worse. No one knows what changes in the the Constitutional Convention of 1971 and the implementing acts and resolutions of the
fundamental principles of the constitution the Convention will be minded to approve. To be Convention, insofar as they provide for the holding of a plebiscite on November 8, 1971, as
more specific, we do not have any means of foreseeing whether the right to vote would be well as the resolution of the respondent Comelec complying therewith (RR Resolution No.
of any significant value at all. Who can say whether or not later on the Convention may 695) are hereby declared null and void. The respondents Comelec, Disbursing Officer, Chief
decide to provide for varying types of voters for each level of the political units it may divide Accountant and Auditor of the Constitutional Convention are hereby enjoined from taking
the country into. The root of the difficulty in other words, lies in that the Convention is any action in compliance with the said organic resolution. In view of the peculiar
precisely on the verge of introducing substantial changes, if not radical ones, in almost every circumstances of this case, the Court declares this decision immediately executory. No costs.
part and aspect of the existing social and political order enshrined in the present Concepcion, C.J., Teehankee, Villamor and Makasiar, JJ., concur.
Constitution. How can a voter in the proposed plebiscite intelligently determine the effect
of the reduction of the voting age upon the different institutions which the Convention may
establish and of which presently he is not given any idea?
We are certain no one can deny that in order that a plebiscite for the ratification of an Separate Opinions
amendment to the Constitution may be validly held, it must provide the voter not only
sufficient time but ample basis for an intelligent appraisal of the nature of the MAKALINTAL, J., reserves his vote —
amendment per se as well as its relation to the other parts of the Constitution with which it I reserve my vote. The resolution in question is voted down by a sufficient majority of the
has to form a harmonious whole. In the context of the present state of things, where the Court on just one ground, which to be sure achieves the result from the legal and
Convention has hardly started considering the merits of hundreds, if not thousands, of constitutional viewpoint. I entertain grave doubts as to the validity of the premises
proposals to amend the existing Constitution, to present to the people any single proposal postulated and conclusions reached in support of the dispositive portion of the decision.
or a few of them cannot comply with this requirement. We are of the opinion that the However, considering the urgent nature of this case, the lack of time to set down at length
present Constitution does not contemplate in Section 1 of Article XV a plebiscite or "election" my opinion on the particular issue upon which the decision is made to rest, and the fact that
wherein the people are in the dark as to frame of reference they can base their judgment a dissent on the said issue would necessarily be inconclusive unless the other issues raised
on. We reject the rationalization that the present Constitution is a possible frame of in the petition are also considered and ruled upon — a task that would be premature and
reference, for the simple reason that intervenors themselves are stating that the sole pointless at this time — I limit myself to this reservation.
purpose of the proposed amendment is to enable the eighteen year olds to take part in the REYES, J.B.L., ZALDIVAR, CASTRO and MAKASIAR, JJ., concurring:
election for the ratification of the Constitution to be drafted by the Convention. In brief, We concur in the main opinion penned by Mr. Justice Barredo in his usual inimitable,
under the proposed plebiscite, there can be, in the language of Justice Sanchez, speaking for forthright and vigorous style. Like him, we do not express our individual views on
the six members of the Court in Gonzales, supra, "no proper submission". the wisdom of the proposed constitutional amendment, which is not in issue here because
III it is a matter that properly and exclusively addresses itself to the collective judgment of the
The Court has no desire at all to hamper and hamstring the noble work of the Constitutional people.
Convention. Much less does the Court want to pass judgment on the merits of the proposal We must, however, articulate two additional objections of constitutional dimension which,
to allow these eighteen years old to vote. But like the Convention, the Court has its own although they would seem to be superfluous because of the reach of the basic constitutional
duties to the people under the Constitution which is to decide in appropriate cases with infirmity discussed in extenso in the main opinion, nevertheless appear to us to be just as
appropriate parties Whether or not the mandates of the fundamental law are being fundamental in character and scope.
complied with. In the best light God has given Us, we are of the conviction that in providing

102
Assuming that the Constitutional Convention has power to propose piecemeal amendments year old as mature as the 21-year old so that there is no need of an educational qualification
and submit each separately to the people for ratification, we are nonetheless persuaded that to entitle him to vote? In this age of permissiveness and dissent, can the 18-year old be relied
(1) that there is no proper submission of title proposed amendment in question within the upon to vote with judiciousness when the 21-year old, in the past elections, has not
meaning and intendment of Section 1 of Article XV of the Constitution, and (2) that the performed so well? If the proposed amendment is voted down by the people, will the
forthcoming election is not the proper election envisioned by the same provision of the Constitutional Convention insist on the said amendment? Why is there an unseemly haste
Constitution. on the part of the Constitutional Convention in having this particular proposed amendment
Mr. Justice C. V. Sanchez, in his dissent in Gonzales vs. Commission on ratified at this particular time? Do some of the members of the Convention have future
Elections1 and Philippine Constitution Association vs. Commission on Elections,2 expounded political plans which they want to begin to subserve by the approval this year of this
his view, with which we essentially agree, on the minimum requirements that must be met amendment? If this amendment is approved, does it thereby mean that the 18-year old
in order that there can be a proper submission to the people of a proposed constitutional should now also shoulder the moral and legal responsibilities of the 21-year old? Will he be
amendment. This is what he said: required to render compulsory military service under the colors? Will the age of contractual
... amendments must be fairly laid before the people for their blessing or spurning. The consent be reduced to 18 years? If I vote against this amendment, will I not be unfair to my
people are not to be mere rubber stamps. They are not to vote blindly. They must be own child who will be 18 years old, come 1973? .
afforded ample opportunity to mull over the original provisions, compare them with the The above are just samplings from here, there and everywhere — from a domain (of
proposed amendments, and try to reach a conclusion as the dictates of their conscience searching questions) the bounds of which are not immediately ascertainable. Surely, many
suggest, free from the incubus of extraneous or possibly insidious influences. We believe the more questions can be added to the already long litany. And the answers cannot be had
word "submitted" can only mean that the government, within its maximum capabilities, except as the questions are debated fully, pondered upon purposefully, and accorded
should strain every effort to inform citizen of the provisions to be amended, and the undivided attention.
proposed amendments and the meaning, nature and effects thereof. By this, we are not to Scanning the contemporary scene, we say that the people are not, and by election time will
be understood as saying that, if one citizen or 100 citizens or 1,000 citizens cannot be not be, sufficiently informed of the meaning, nature and effects of the proposed
reached, then there is no submission within the meaning of the word as intended by the constitutional amendment. They have not been afforded ample time to deliberate thereon
framers of the Constitution. What the Constitution in effect directs is that the government, conscientiously. They have been and are effectively distracted from a full and dispassionate
in submitting an amendment for ratification, should put every instrumentality or agency consideration of the merits and demerits of the proposed amendment by their traditional
within its structural framework to enlighten the people, educate them with respect to their pervasive involvement in local elections and politics. They cannot thus weigh in tranquility
act of ratification or rejection. For we have earlier stated, one thing is submission and the need for and the wisdom of the proposed amendment.
another is ratification. There must be fair submission, intelligent consent or rejection." . Upon the above disquisition, it is our considered view that the intendment of the words, "at
The second constitutional objection was given expression by one of the writers of this an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification,"
concurring opinion, in the following words: embodied in Section 1 of Article XV of the Constitution, has not been met.
I find it impossible to believe that it was ever intended by its framers that such amendment FERNANDO, J., concurring and dissenting:
should be submitted and ratified by just "a majority of the votes cast at an election at which There is much to be said for the opinion of the Court penned by Justice Barredo,
the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification", if the concentration of characterized by clarity and vigor, its manifestation of fealty to the rule of law couched in
the people's attention thereon is to be diverted by other extraneous issues, such as the eloquent language, that commands assent. As the Constitution occupies the topmost rank
choice of local and national officials. The framers of the Constitution, aware of the in the hierarchy of legal norms, Congress and Constitutional Convention alike, no less than
fundamental character thereof, and of the need of giving it as much stability as is practicable, this Court, must bow to its supremacy. Thereby constitutionalism asserts itself. With the
could have only meant that any amendments thereto should be debated, considered and view I entertain of what is allowable, if not indeed required by the Constitution, my
voted upon an election wherein the people could devote undivided attention to the subject.4 conformity does not extend as far as the acceptance of the conclusion reached. The question
True it is that the question posed by the proposed amendment, "Do you or do you not want presented is indeed novel, not being controlled by constitutional prescription, definite and
the 18-year old to be allowed to vote?," would seem to be uncomplicated and innocuous. certain. Under the circumstances, with the express recognition in the Constitution of the
But it is one of life's verities that things which appear to be simple may turn out not to be so powers of the Constitutional Convention to propose amendments, I cannot discern any
simple after all. objection to the validity of its action there being no legal impediment that would call for its
A number of doubts or misgivings could conceivably and logically assail the average voter. nullification. Such an approach all the more commends itself to me considering that what
Why should the voting age be lowered at all, in the first place? Why should the new voting was sought to be done is to refer the matter to the people in whom, according to our
age be precisely 18 years, and not 19 or 20? And why not 17? Or even 16 or 15? Is the 18-

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Constitution, sovereignty resides. It is in that sense that, with due respect, I find myself succinct statement of the appropriate principle that should govern the relationship between
unable to join my brethren. a constitutional convention and a legislative body under American law is that found in
I. It is understandable then why the decisive issue posed could not be resolved by reliance Orfield's work. Thus: "The earliest view seems to have been that a convention was absolute.
on, implicit in the petition and the answer of intervenors, such concepts as legislative control The convention was sovereign and subject to no restraint. On the other hand, Jameson,
of the constitutional convention referred to by petitioner on the one hand or, on the other, whose views have been most frequently cited in decisions, viewed a convention as a body
the theory of conventional sovereignty favored by intervenors. It is gratifying to note that with strictly limited powers, and subject to the restrictions imposed on it by the legislative
during the oral argument of petitioner and counsel for respondents and intervenors, there call. A third and intermediate view is that urged by Dodd — that a convention, though not
apparently was a retreat from such extreme position, all parties, as should be the case, sovereign, is a body independent of the legislature; it is bound by the existing constitution,
expressly avowing the primacy of the Constitution, the applicable provision of which as but not by the acts of the legislature, as to the extent of its constituent power. This view has
interpreted by this Court, should be controlling on both Congress and the Convention. It become increasingly prevalent in the state decisions."4
cannot be denied though that in at least one American state, that is Pennsylvania, there were 2. It is to the Constitution, and to the Constitution alone then, as so vigorously stressed in
decisions announcing the doctrine that the powers to be exercised by a constitutional the opinion of the Court, that any limitation on the power the Constitutional, Convention
convention are dependent on a legislative grant, in the absence of any authority conferred must find its source. I turn to its Article XV. It reads: "The Congress in joint session assembled,
directly by the fundamental law. The result is a convention that is subordinate to the by a vote of three fourths of all the Members of the Senate and of the House of
lawmaking body. Its field of competence is circumscribed. It has to look to the latter for the Representatives voting separately, may propose amendments to this Constitution or call a
delimitation of its permissible scope of activity. It is thus made subordinate to the legislature. convention for that purpose. Such amendments shall be valid as part of this Constitution
Nowhere has such a view been more vigorously expressed than in the Pennsylvania case of when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are
Wood's Appeal.1 Its holding though finds no support under our constitutional provision. submitted to the people for their ratification."
It does not thereby follow that while free from legislative control, a constitutional Clearly, insofar as amendments, including revision, are concerned, there are two steps,
convention may lay claim to an attribute sovereign in character. The Constitution is quite proposal and thereafter ratification. Thus as to the former, two constituent bodies are
explicit that it is to the people, and to the people alone, in whom sovereignty resides. 2 Such provided for, the Congress of the Philippines in the mode therein provided, and a
a prerogative is therefore withheld from a convention. It is an agency entrusted with the constitutional convention that may be called into being. Once assembled, a constitutional
responsibility of high import and significance it is true; it is denied unlimited legal convention, like the Congress of the Philippines, possesses in all its plenitude the constituent
competence though. That is what sovereignty connotes. It has to yield to the superior force power. Inasmuch as Congress may determine what amendments it would have the people
of the Constitution. There can then be no basis for the exaggerated pretension that it is ratify and thereafter take all the steps necessary so that the approval or disapproval of the
an alter ego of the people. It is to be admitted that there are some American state decisions, electorate may be obtained, the convention likewise, to my mind, should be deemed
the most notable of which is Sproule v. Fredericks,3 a Mississippi case, that dates back to possessed of all the necessary authority to assure that whatever amendments it seeks to
1892, that yield a different conclusion. The doctrine therein announced cannot bind us. Our introduce would be submitted to the people at an election called for that purpose. It would
Constitution makes clear that the power of a constitutional convention is not sovereign. It is appear to me that to view the convention as being denied a prerogative which is not withheld
appropriately termed constituent, limited as it is to the purpose of drafting a constitution or from Congress as a constituent body would be to place it in an inferior category. Such a
proposing revision or amendments to one in existence, subject in either case to popular proposition I do not find acceptable. Congress and constitutional convention are agencies
approval. for submitting proposals under the fundamental law. A power granted to one should not be
The view that commends itself for acceptance is that legislature and constitutional denied the other. No justification for such a drastic differentiation either in theory or practice
convention, alike recognized by the Constitution, are coordinate, there being no superiority exists.
of one over the other. Insofar as the constituent power of proposing amendments to the Such a conclusion has for me the added reinforcement that to require ordinary legislation
Constitution is concerned, a constitutional convention enjoys a wide sphere of autonomy before the convention could be enabled to have its proposals voted on by the people would
consistently with the Constitution which can be the only source of valid restriction on its be to place a power in the legislative and executive branches that could, whether by act or
competence. It is true it is to the legislative body that the call to a convention must proceed, omission, result in the frustration of the amending process. I am the first to admit that such
but once convened, it cannot in any wise be interfered with, much less controlled by likelihood is remote, but if such a risk even if minimal could be avoided, it should be, unless
Congress. A contrary conclusion would impair its usefulness for the delicate, and paramount the compelling force of an applicable constitutional provision requires otherwise.
task assigned to it. A convention then is to be looked upon as if it were one of the three Considering that a constitutional convention is not precluded from imposing additional
coordinate departments which under the principle of separation of powers is supreme restrictions on the powers of either the executive or legislative branches, or, for that matter,
within its field and has exclusive cognizance of matters properly subject to its jurisdiction. A the judiciary, it would appear to be the better policy to interpret Article XV in such a way

104
that would not sanction such restraint on the authority that must be recognized as vested in 4. The constitutional Convention having acted within the scope of its authority, an action to
a constitutional convention. There is nothing in such a view that to my mind would collide restrain or prohibit respondent Commission on Elections from conducting the plebiscite does
with a reasonable interpretation of Article XV. It certainly is one way by which freed from not lie. It should not be lost sight of that the Commission on Elections in thus being charged
pernicious abstractions, it would be easier to accommodate a constitution to the needs of with such a duty does not act in its capacity as the constitutional agency to take charge of all
an unfolding future. That is to facilitate its being responsive to the challenge that time laws relative to the conduct of election. That is a purely executive function vested in it under
inevitably brings in its wake. Article X of the Constitution.5 It is not precluded from assisting the Constitutional Convention
From such an approach then, I am irresistibly led to the conclusion that the challenged if pursuant to its competence to amend the fundamental law it seeks, as in this case, to
resolution was well within the power of the convention. That would be to brush aside the submit a proposal, even if admittedly tentative, to the electorate to ascertain its verdict. At
web of unreality spun from a too-restrictive mode of appraising the legitimate scope of its any rate, it may be implied that under the 1971 Constitutional Convention Act, it is not to
competence. That would be, for me, to give added vigor and life to the conferment of turn a deaf ear to a summons from the Convention to aid it in the legitimate discharge of its
authority vested in it, attended by such grave and awesome responsibility. functions.6
3. It becomes pertinent to inquire then whether the last sentence of Article XV providing that The aforesaid considerations, such as they are, but which for me have a force that I mind
such amendment shall be valid when submitted and thereafter approved by the majority of myself unable to overcome, leave me no alternative but to dissent from my brethren, with
the votes cast by the people at an election is a bar to the proposed submission. It is the due acknowledgement of course that from their basic premises, the conclusion arrived at by
conclusion arrived at by my brethren that there is to be only one election and that therefore them cannot be characterized as in any wise bereft of a persuasive quality of a high order.
the petition must be sustained as only when the convention has finished its work should all
amendments proposed be submitted for ratification. That is not for me, and I say this with
respect, the appropriate interpretation. It is true that the Constitution uses the word Separate Opinions
"election" in the singular, but that is not decisive. No undue reliance should be accorded MAKALINTAL, J., reserves his vote —
rules of grammar; they do not exert a compelling force in constitutional interpretation. I reserve my vote. The resolution in question is voted down by a sufficient majority of the
Meaning is to be sought not from specific language in the singular but from the mosaic of Court on just one ground, which to be sure achieves the result from the legal and
significance derived from the total context. It could be, if it were not thus, self-defeating. constitutional viewpoint. I entertain grave doubts as to the validity of the premises
Such a mode of construction does not commend itself. The words used in the Constitution postulated and conclusions reached in support of the dispositive portion of the decision.
are not inert; they derive vitality from the obvious purposes at which they are aimed. However, considering the urgent nature of this case, the lack of time to set down at length
Petitioner's stress on linguistic refinement, while not implausible does not, for me, carry the my opinion on the particular issue upon which the decision is made to rest, and the fact that
day. a dissent on the said issue would necessarily be inconclusive unless the other issues raised
It was likewise argued by petitioner that the proposed amendment is provisional and in the petition are also considered and ruled upon — a task that would be premature and
therefore is not such as was contemplated in this article. I do not find such contention pointless at this time — I limit myself to this reservation.
convincing. The fact that the Constitutional Convention did seek to consult the wishes of the REYES, J.B.L., ZALDIVAR, CASTRO and MAKASIAR, JJ., concurring:
people by the proposed submission of a tentative amendatory provision is an argument for We concur in the main opinion penned by Mr. Justice Barredo in his usual inimitable,
its validity. It might be said of course that until impressed with finality, an amendment is not forthright and vigorous style. Like him, we do not express our individual views on
to be passed upon by the electorate. There is plausibility in such a view. A literal reading of the wisdom of the proposed constitutional amendment, which is not in issue here because
the Constitution would support it. The spirit that informs it though would not, for me, be it is a matter that properly and exclusively addresses itself to the collective judgment of the
satisfied. From its silence I deduce the inference that there is no repugnancy to the people.
fundamental law when the Constitutional Convention ascertains the popular will. In that We must, however, articulate two additional objections of constitutional dimension which,
sense, the Constitution, to follow the phraseology of Thomas Reed Powel, is not silently although they would seem to be superfluous because of the reach of the basic constitutional
silent but silently vocal. What I deem the more important consideration is that while a public infirmity discussed in extenso in the main opinion, nevertheless appear to us to be just as
official, as an agent, has to locate his source of authority in either Constitution or statute, fundamental in character and scope.
the people, as the principal, can only be limited in the exercise of their sovereign powers by Assuming that the Constitutional Convention has power to propose piecemeal amendments
the express terms of the Constitution. A concept to the contrary would to my way of thinking and submit each separately to the people for ratification, we are nonetheless persuaded that
be inconsistent with the fundamental principle that it is in the people, and the people alone, (1) that there is no proper submission of title proposed amendment in question within the
that sovereignty resides. meaning and intendment of Section 1 of Article XV of the Constitution, and (2) that the

105
forthcoming election is not the proper election envisioned by the same provision of the Constitutional Convention insist on the said amendment? Why is there an unseemly haste
Constitution. on the part of the Constitutional Convention in having this particular proposed amendment
Mr. Justice C. V. Sanchez, in his dissent in Gonzales vs. Commission on ratified at this particular time? Do some of the members of the Convention have future
Elections1 and Philippine Constitution Association vs. Commission on Elections,2 expounded political plans which they want to begin to subserve by the approval this year of this
his view, with which we essentially agree, on the minimum requirements that must be met amendment? If this amendment is approved, does it thereby mean that the 18-year old
in order that there can be a proper submission to the people of a proposed constitutional should now also shoulder the moral and legal responsibilities of the 21-year old? Will he be
amendment. This is what he said: required to render compulsory military service under the colors? Will the age of contractual
... amendments must be fairly laid before the people for their blessing or spurning. The consent be reduced to 18 years? If I vote against this amendment, will I not be unfair to my
people are not to be mere rubber stamps. They are not to vote blindly. They must be own child who will be 18 years old, come 1973? .
afforded ample opportunity to mull over the original provisions, compare them with the The above are just samplings from here, there and everywhere — from a domain (of
proposed amendments, and try to reach a conclusion as the dictates of their conscience searching questions) the bounds of which are not immediately ascertainable. Surely, many
suggest, free from the incubus of extraneous or possibly insidious influences. We believe the more questions can be added to the already long litany. And the answers cannot be had
word "submitted" can only mean that the government, within its maximum capabilities, except as the questions are debated fully, pondered upon purposefully, and accorded
should strain every effort to inform citizen of the provisions to be amended, and the undivided attention.
proposed amendments and the meaning, nature and effects thereof. By this, we are not to Scanning the contemporary scene, we say that the people are not, and by election time will
be understood as saying that, if one citizen or 100 citizens or 1,000 citizens cannot be not be, sufficiently informed of the meaning, nature and effects of the proposed
reached, then there is no submission within the meaning of the word as intended by the constitutional amendment. They have not been afforded ample time to deliberate thereon
framers of the Constitution. What the Constitution in effect directs is that the government, conscientiously. They have been and are effectively distracted from a full and dispassionate
in submitting an amendment for ratification, should put every instrumentality or agency consideration of the merits and demerits of the proposed amendment by their traditional
within its structural framework to enlighten the people, educate them with respect to their pervasive involvement in local elections and politics. They cannot thus weigh in tranquility
act of ratification or rejection. For we have earlier stated, one thing is submission and the need for and the wisdom of the proposed amendment.
another is ratification. There must be fair submission, intelligent consent or rejection." . Upon the above disquisition, it is our considered view that the intendment of the words, "at
The second constitutional objection was given expression by one of the writers of this an election at which the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification,"
concurring opinion, in the following words: embodied in Section 1 of Article XV of the Constitution, has not been met.
I find it impossible to believe that it was ever intended by its framers that such amendment FERNANDO, J., concurring and dissenting:
should be submitted and ratified by just "a majority of the votes cast at an election at which There is much to be said for the opinion of the Court penned by Justice Barredo,
the amendments are submitted to the people for their ratification", if the concentration of characterized by clarity and vigor, its manifestation of fealty to the rule of law couched in
the people's attention thereon is to be diverted by other extraneous issues, such as the eloquent language, that commands assent. As the Constitution occupies the topmost rank
choice of local and national officials. The framers of the Constitution, aware of the in the hierarchy of legal norms, Congress and Constitutional Convention alike, no less than
fundamental character thereof, and of the need of giving it as much stability as is practicable, this Court, must bow to its supremacy. Thereby constitutionalism asserts itself. With the
could have only meant that any amendments thereto should be debated, considered and view I entertain of what is allowable, if not indeed required by the Constitution, my
voted upon an election wherein the people could devote undivided attention to the subject.4 conformity does not extend as far as the acceptance of the conclusion reached. The question
True it is that the question posed by the proposed amendment, "Do you or do you not want presented is indeed novel, not being controlled by constitutional prescription, definite and
the 18-year old to be allowed to vote?," would seem to be uncomplicated and innocuous. certain. Under the circumstances, with the express recognition in the Constitution of the
But it is one of life's verities that things which appear to be simple may turn out not to be so powers of the Constitutional Convention to propose amendments, I cannot discern any
simple after all. objection to the validity of its action there being no legal impediment that would call for its
A number of doubts or misgivings could conceivably and logically assail the average voter. nullification. Such an approach all the more commends itself to me considering that what
Why should the voting age be lowered at all, in the first place? Why should the new voting was sought to be done is to refer the matter to the people in whom, according to our
age be precisely 18 years, and not 19 or 20? And why not 17? Or even 16 or 15? Is the 18- Constitution, sovereignty resides. It is in that sense that, with due respect, I find myself
year old as mature as the 21-year old so that there is no need of an educational qualification unable to join my brethren.
to entitle him to vote? In this age of permissiveness and dissent, can the 18-year old be relied I. It is understandable then why the decisive issue posed could not be resolved by reliance
upon to vote with judiciousness when the 21-year old, in the past elections, has not on, implicit in the petition and the answer of intervenors, such concepts as legislative control
performed so well? If the proposed amendment is voted down by the people, will the of the constitutional convention referred to by petitioner on the one hand or, on the other,

106
the theory of conventional sovereignty favored by intervenors. It is gratifying to note that with strictly limited powers, and subject to the restrictions imposed on it by the legislative
during the oral argument of petitioner and counsel for respondents and intervenors, there call. A third and intermediate view is that urged by Dodd — that a convention, though not
apparently was a retreat from such extreme position, all parties, as should be the case, sovereign, is a body independent of the legislature; it is bound by the existing constitution,
expressly avowing the primacy of the Constitution, the applicable provision of which as but not by the acts of the legislature, as to the extent of its constituent power. This view has
interpreted by this Court, should be controlling on both Congress and the Convention. It become increasingly prevalent in the state decisions."4
cannot be denied though that in at least one American state, that is Pennsylvania, there were 2. It is to the Constitution, and to the Constitution alone then, as so vigorously stressed in
decisions announcing the doctrine that the powers to be exercised by a constitutional the opinion of the Court, that any limitation on the power the Constitutional, Convention
convention are dependent on a legislative grant, in the absence of any authority conferred must find its source. I turn to its Article XV. It reads: "The Congress in joint session assembled,
directly by the fundamental law. The result is a convention that is subordinate to the by a vote of three fourths of all the Members of the Senate and of the House of
lawmaking body. Its field of competence is circumscribed. It has to look to the latter for the Representatives voting separately, may propose amendments to this Constitution or call a
delimitation of its permissible scope of activity. It is thus made subordinate to the legislature. convention for that purpose. Such amendments shall be valid as part of this Constitution
Nowhere has such a view been more vigorously expressed than in the Pennsylvania case of when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are
Wood's Appeal.1 Its holding though finds no support under our constitutional provision. submitted to the people for their ratification."
It does not thereby follow that while free from legislative control, a constitutional Clearly, insofar as amendments, including revision, are concerned, there are two steps,
convention may lay claim to an attribute sovereign in character. The Constitution is quite proposal and thereafter ratification. Thus as to the former, two constituent bodies are
explicit that it is to the people, and to the people alone, in whom sovereignty resides. 2 Such provided for, the Congress of the Philippines in the mode therein provided, and a
a prerogative is therefore withheld from a convention. It is an agency entrusted with the constitutional convention that may be called into being. Once assembled, a constitutional
responsibility of high import and significance it is true; it is denied unlimited legal convention, like the Congress of the Philippines, possesses in all its plenitude the constituent
competence though. That is what sovereignty connotes. It has to yield to the superior force power. Inasmuch as Congress may determine what amendments it would have the people
of the Constitution. There can then be no basis for the exaggerated pretension that it is ratify and thereafter take all the steps necessary so that the approval or disapproval of the
an alter ego of the people. It is to be admitted that there are some American state decisions, electorate may be obtained, the convention likewise, to my mind, should be deemed
the most notable of which is Sproule v. Fredericks,3 a Mississippi case, that dates back to possessed of all the necessary authority to assure that whatever amendments it seeks to
1892, that yield a different conclusion. The doctrine therein announced cannot bind us. Our introduce would be submitted to the people at an election called for that purpose. It would
Constitution makes clear that the power of a constitutional convention is not sovereign. It is appear to me that to view the convention as being denied a prerogative which is not withheld
appropriately termed constituent, limited as it is to the purpose of drafting a constitution or from Congress as a constituent body would be to place it in an inferior category. Such a
proposing revision or amendments to one in existence, subject in either case to popular proposition I do not find acceptable. Congress and constitutional convention are agencies
approval. for submitting proposals under the fundamental law. A power granted to one should not be
The view that commends itself for acceptance is that legislature and constitutional denied the other. No justification for such a drastic differentiation either in theory or practice
convention, alike recognized by the Constitution, are coordinate, there being no superiority exists.
of one over the other. Insofar as the constituent power of proposing amendments to the Such a conclusion has for me the added reinforcement that to require ordinary legislation
Constitution is concerned, a constitutional convention enjoys a wide sphere of autonomy before the convention could be enabled to have its proposals voted on by the people would
consistently with the Constitution which can be the only source of valid restriction on its be to place a power in the legislative and executive branches that could, whether by act or
competence. It is true it is to the legislative body that the call to a convention must proceed, omission, result in the frustration of the amending process. I am the first to admit that such
but once convened, it cannot in any wise be interfered with, much less controlled by likelihood is remote, but if such a risk even if minimal could be avoided, it should be, unless
Congress. A contrary conclusion would impair its usefulness for the delicate, and paramount the compelling force of an applicable constitutional provision requires otherwise.
task assigned to it. A convention then is to be looked upon as if it were one of the three Considering that a constitutional convention is not precluded from imposing additional
coordinate departments which under the principle of separation of powers is supreme restrictions on the powers of either the executive or legislative branches, or, for that matter,
within its field and has exclusive cognizance of matters properly subject to its jurisdiction. A the judiciary, it would appear to be the better policy to interpret Article XV in such a way
succinct statement of the appropriate principle that should govern the relationship between that would not sanction such restraint on the authority that must be recognized as vested in
a constitutional convention and a legislative body under American law is that found in a constitutional convention. There is nothing in such a view that to my mind would collide
Orfield's work. Thus: "The earliest view seems to have been that a convention was absolute. with a reasonable interpretation of Article XV. It certainly is one way by which freed from
The convention was sovereign and subject to no restraint. On the other hand, Jameson, pernicious abstractions, it would be easier to accommodate a constitution to the needs of
whose views have been most frequently cited in decisions, viewed a convention as a body

107
an unfolding future. That is to facilitate its being responsive to the challenge that time Article X of the Constitution.5 It is not precluded from assisting the Constitutional Convention
inevitably brings in its wake. if pursuant to its competence to amend the fundamental law it seeks, as in this case, to
From such an approach then, I am irresistibly led to the conclusion that the challenged submit a proposal, even if admittedly tentative, to the electorate to ascertain its verdict. At
resolution was well within the power of the convention. That would be to brush aside the any rate, it may be implied that under the 1971 Constitutional Convention Act, it is not to
web of unreality spun from a too-restrictive mode of appraising the legitimate scope of its turn a deaf ear to a summons from the Convention to aid it in the legitimate discharge of its
competence. That would be, for me, to give added vigor and life to the conferment of functions.6
authority vested in it, attended by such grave and awesome responsibility. The aforesaid considerations, such as they are, but which for me have a force that I mind
3. It becomes pertinent to inquire then whether the last sentence of Article XV providing that myself unable to overcome, leave me no alternative but to dissent from my brethren, with
such amendment shall be valid when submitted and thereafter approved by the majority of due acknowledgement of course that from their basic premises, the conclusion arrived at by
the votes cast by the people at an election is a bar to the proposed submission. It is the them cannot be characterized as in any wise bereft of a persuasive quality of a high order.
conclusion arrived at by my brethren that there is to be only one election and that therefore
the petition must be sustained as only when the convention has finished its work should all
amendments proposed be submitted for ratification. That is not for me, and I say this with
respect, the appropriate interpretation. It is true that the Constitution uses the word
"election" in the singular, but that is not decisive. No undue reliance should be accorded
rules of grammar; they do not exert a compelling force in constitutional interpretation.
Meaning is to be sought not from specific language in the singular but from the mosaic of
significance derived from the total context. It could be, if it were not thus, self-defeating.
Such a mode of construction does not commend itself. The words used in the Constitution
are not inert; they derive vitality from the obvious purposes at which they are aimed.
Petitioner's stress on linguistic refinement, while not implausible does not, for me, carry the
day.
It was likewise argued by petitioner that the proposed amendment is provisional and
therefore is not such as was contemplated in this article. I do not find such contention
convincing. The fact that the Constitutional Convention did seek to consult the wishes of the
people by the proposed submission of a tentative amendatory provision is an argument for
its validity. It might be said of course that until impressed with finality, an amendment is not
to be passed upon by the electorate. There is plausibility in such a view. A literal reading of
the Constitution would support it. The spirit that informs it though would not, for me, be
satisfied. From its silence I deduce the inference that there is no repugnancy to the
fundamental law when the Constitutional Convention ascertains the popular will. In that
sense, the Constitution, to follow the phraseology of Thomas Reed Powel, is not silently
silent but silently vocal. What I deem the more important consideration is that while a public
official, as an agent, has to locate his source of authority in either Constitution or statute,
the people, as the principal, can only be limited in the exercise of their sovereign powers by
the express terms of the Constitution. A concept to the contrary would to my way of thinking
be inconsistent with the fundamental principle that it is in the people, and the people alone,
that sovereignty resides.
4. The constitutional Convention having acted within the scope of its authority, an action to
restrain or prohibit respondent Commission on Elections from conducting the plebiscite does
not lie. It should not be lost sight of that the Commission on Elections in thus being charged
with such a duty does not act in its capacity as the constitutional agency to take charge of all
laws relative to the conduct of election. That is a purely executive function vested in it under

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G.R. No. L-44640 October 12, 1976 PROPOSED AMENDMENTS:
PABLO C. SANIDAD and PABLITO V. SANIDAD, petitioner, 1. There shall be, in lieu of the interim National Assembly, an interim Batasang Pambansa.
vs. Members of the interim Batasang Pambansa which shall not be more than 120, unless
HONORABLE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and HONORABLE NATIONAL otherwise provided by law, shall include the incumbent President of the Philippines,
TREASURER, respondents. representatives elected from the different regions of the nation, those who shall not be less
G.R. No. L-44684. October 12,1976 than eighteen years of age elected by their respective sectors, and those chosen by the
VICENTE M. GUZMAN, petitioner, incumbent President from the members of the Cabinet. Regional representatives shall be
vs. apportioned among the regions in accordance with the number of their respective
COMMISSION ELECTIONS, respondent. inhabitants and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio while the sectors shall be
G.R. No. L-44714. October 12,1976 determined by law. The number of representatives from each region or sector and the,
RAUL M. GONZALES, RAUL T. GONZALES, JR., and ALFREDO SALAPANTAN, petitioners, manner of their election shall be prescribed and regulated by law.
vs. 2. The interim Batasang Pambansa shall have the same powers and its members shall have
HONORABLE COMMISSION ON SELECTIONS and HONORABLE NATIONAL the same functions, responsibilities, rights, privileges, and disqualifications as the interim
TREASURER, respondents. National Assembly and the regular National Assembly and the members thereof. However,
MARTIN, J,: it shall not exercise the power provided in Article VIII, Section 14(l) of the Constitution.
The capital question raised in these prohibition suits with preliminary injunction relates to 3. The incumbent President of the Philippines shall, within 30 days from the election and
the power of the incumbent President of the Philippines to propose amendments to the selection of the members, convene the interim Batasang Pambansa and preside over its
present Constitution in the absence of the interim National Assembly which has not been sessions until the Speaker shall have been elected. The incumbent President of the
convened. Philippines shall be the Prime Minister and he shall continue to exercise all his powers even
On September 2, 1976, President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 991 after the interim Batasang Pambansa is organized and ready to discharge its functions and
calling for a national referendum on October 16, 1976 for the Citizens Assemblies likewise he shall continue to exercise his powers and prerogatives under the nineteen
("barangays") to resolve, among other things, the issues of martial law, the I . assembly, its hundred and thirty five. Constitution and the powers vested in the President and the Prime
replacement, the powers of such replacement, the period of its existence, the length of the Minister under this Constitution.
period for tile exercise by the President of his present powers.1 4. The President (Prime Minister) and his Cabinet shall exercise all the powers and functions,
Twenty days after or on September 22, 1976, the President issued another related decree, and discharge the responsibilities of the regular President (Prime Minister) and his Cabinet,
Presidential Decree No. 1031, amending the previous Presidential Decree No. 991, by and shall be subject only to such disqualifications as the President (Prime Minister) may
declaring the provisions of presidential Decree No. 229 providing for the manner of voting prescribe. The President (Prime Minister) if he so desires may appoint a Deputy Prime
and canvass of votes in "barangays" (Citizens Assemblies) applicable to the national Minister or as many Deputy Prime Ministers as he may deem necessary.
referendum-plebiscite of October 16, 1976. Quite relevantly, Presidential Decree No. 1031 5. The incumbent President shall continue to exercise legislative powers until martial law
repealed Section 4, of Presidential Decree No. 991, the full text of which (Section 4) is quoted shall have been lifted.
in the footnote below.2 6. Whenever in the judgment of the President (Prime Minister), there exists a grave
On the same date of September 22, 1976, the President issued Presidential Decree No. 1033, emergency or a threat or imminence thereof, or whenever the interim Batasang Pambansa
stating the questions to be submitted to the people in the referendum-plebiscite on October or the regular National Assembly fails or is unable to act adequately on any matter for any
16, 1976. The Decree recites in its "whereas" clauses that the people's continued opposition reason that in his judgment requires immediate action, he may, in order to meet the
to the convening of the National Assembly evinces their desire to have such body abolished exigency, issue the necessary decrees, orders or letters of instructions, which shall form part
and replaced thru a constitutional amendment, providing for a legislative body, which will of the law of the land.
be submitted directly to the people in the referendum-plebiscite of October 16. 7. The barangays and sanggunians shall continue as presently constituted but their functions,
The questions ask, to wit: powers, and composition may be altered by law.
(1) Do you want martial law to be continued? Referenda conducted thru the barangays and under the Supervision of the Commission on
(2) Whether or not you want martial law to be continued, do you approve the following Elections may be called at any time the government deems it necessary to ascertain the will
amendments to the Constitution? For the purpose of the second question, the referendum of the people regarding any important matter whether of national or local interest.
shall have the effect of a plebiscite within the contemplation of Section 2 of Article XVI of 8. All provisions of this Constitution not inconsistent with any of these amendments shall
the Constitution. continue in full force and effect.

109
9. These amendments shall take effect after the incumbent President shall have proclaimed of a stature Presidential Decrees are of such nature-may be contested by one who will
that they have been ratified by I majority of the votes cast in the referendum-plebiscite." sustain a direct injuries as a in result of its enforcement. At the instance of taxpayers, laws
The Commission on Elections was vested with the exclusive supervision and control of the providing for the disbursement of public funds may be enjoined, upon the theory that the
October 1976 National Referendum-Plebiscite. expenditure of public funds by an officer of the State for the purpose of executing an
On September 27, 1976, PABLO C. SANIDAD and PABLITO V. SANIDAD, father and son, unconstitutional act constitutes a misapplication of such funds. 4 The breadth of Presidential
commenced L-44640 for Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction seeking to enjoin the Decree No. 991 carries all appropriation of Five Million Pesos for the effective
Commission on Elections from holding and conducting the Referendum Plebiscite on implementation of its purposes. 5 Presidential Decree No. 1031 appropriates the sum of
October 16; to declare without force and effect Presidential Decree Nos. 991 and 1033, Eight Million Pesos to carry out its provisions. 6 The interest of the aforenamed petitioners
insofar as they propose amendments to the Constitution, as well as Presidential Decree No. as taxpayers in the lawful expenditure of these amounts of public money sufficiently clothes
1031, insofar as it directs the Commission on Elections to supervise, control, hold, and them with that personality to litigate the validity of the Decrees appropriating said funds.
conduct the Referendum-Plebiscite scheduled on October 16, 1976. Moreover, as regards taxpayer's suits, this Court enjoys that open discretion to entertain the
Petitioners contend that under the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions there is no grant to the same or not. 7 For the present case, We deem it sound to exercise that discretion
incumbent President to exercise the constituent power to propose amendments to the new affirmatively so that the authority upon which the disputed Decrees are predicated may be
Constitution. As a consequence, the Referendum-Plebiscite on October 16 has no inquired into.
constitutional or legal basis. 2. The Solicitor General would consider the question at bar as a pure political one, lying
On October 5, 1976, the Solicitor General filed the comment for respondent Commission on outside the domain of judicial review. We disagree. The amending process both as to
Elections, The Solicitor General principally maintains that petitioners have no standing to proposal and ratification, raises a judicial question. 8This is especially true in cases where
sue; the issue raised is political in nature, beyond judicial cognizance of this Court; at this the power of the Presidency to initiate the of normally exercised by the legislature, is
state of the transition period, only the incumbent President has the authority to exercise seriously doubted. Under the terms of the 1973 Constitution, the power to propose
constituent power; the referendum-plebiscite is a step towards normalization. amendments o the constitution resides in the interim National Assembly in the period of
On September 30, 1976, another action for Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction, docketed transition (See. 15, Transitory provisions). After that period, and the regular National
as L-44684, was instituted by VICENTE M. GUZMAN, a delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Assembly in its active session, the power to propose amendments becomes ipso facto the
Convention, asserting that the power to propose amendments to, or revision of the prerogative of the regular National Assembly (Sec. 1, pars. 1 and 2 of Art. XVI, 1973
Constitution during the transition period is expressly conferred on the interim National constitution). The normal course has not been followed. Rather than calling the National
Assembly under Section 16, Article XVII of the Constitution.3 Assembly to constitute itself into a constituent assembly the incumbent President undertook
Still another petition for Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction was filed on October 5, 1976 the proposal of amendments and submitted the proposed amendments thru Presidential
by RAUL M. GONZALES, his son RAUL, JR., and ALFREDO SALAPANTAN, docketed as L- 44714, Decree 1033 to the people in a Referendum-Plebiscite on October 16. Unavoidably, the
to restrain the implementation of Presidential Decrees relative to the forthcoming regularity regularity of the procedure for amendments, written in lambent words in the very
Referendum-Plebiscite of October 16. Constitution sought to be amended, raises a contestable issue. The implementing
These last petitioners argue that even granting him legislative powers under Martial Law, Presidential Decree Nos. 991, 1031, and 1033, which commonly purport to have the force
the incumbent President cannot act as a constituent assembly to propose amendments to and effect of legislation are assailed as invalid, thus the issue of the validity of said Decrees
the Constitution; a referendum-plebiscite is untenable under the Constitutions of 1935 and is plainly a justiciable one, within the competence of this Court to pass upon. Section 2 (2),
1973; the submission of the proposed amendments in such a short period of time for Article X of the new Constitution provides: "All cases involving the constitutionality of a
deliberation renders the plebiscite a nullity; to lift Martial Law, the President need not treaty, executive agreement, or law may shall be heard and decided by the Supreme Court
consult the people via referendum; and allowing 15-.year olds to vote would amount to an en banc and no treaty, executive agreement, or law may be declared unconstitutional
amendment of the Constitution, which confines the right of suffrage to those citizens of the without the concurrence of at least ten Members. ..." The Supreme Court has the last word
Philippines 18 years of age and above. in the construction not only of treaties and statutes, but also of the Constitution itself The
We find the petitions in the three entitled cases to be devoid of merit. amending, like all other powers organized in the Constitution, is in form a delegated and
I hence a limited power, so that the Supreme Court is vested with that authorities to
Justiciability of question raised. determine whether that power has been discharged within its limits.
1. As a preliminary resolution, We rule that the petitioners in L-44640 (Pablo C. Sanidad and Political questions are neatly associated with the wisdom, of the legality of a particular act.
Pablito V. Sanidad) possess locus standi to challenge the constitutional premise of Where the vortex of the controversy refers to the legality or validity of the contested act,
Presidential Decree Nos. 991, 1031, and 1033. It is now an ancient rule that the valid source that matter is definitely justiciable or non-political. What is in the heels of the Court is not

110
the wisdom of the act of the incumbent President in proposing amendments to the and refused to apply. For the same reason, We did not apply and expressly modified, in
Constitution, but his constitutional authority to perform such act or to assume the power of Gonzales vs. Commission on Elections, the political-question theory adopted in Mabanag vs.
a constituent assembly. Whether the amending process confers on the President that power Lopez Vito." 13 The return to Barcelon vs. Baker and Mabanag vs. Lopez Vito, urged by the
to propose amendments is therefore a downright justiciable question. Should the contrary Solicitor General, was decisively refused by the Court. Chief Justice Concepcion continued:
be found, the actuation of the President would merely be a brutum fulmen. If the "The reasons adduced in support thereof are, however, substantially the same as those given
Constitution provides how it may be amended, the judiciary as the interpreter of that in support on the political question theory advanced in said habeas corpus and plebiscite
Constitution, can declare whether the procedure followed or the authority assumed was cases, which were carefully considered by this Court and found by it to be legally unsound
valid or not.10 and constitutionally untenable. As a consequence. Our decisions in the aforementioned
We cannot accept the view of the Solicitor General, in pursuing his theory of non- habeas corpus cases partakes of the nature and effect of a stare decisis which gained added
justiciability, that the question of the President's authority to propose amendments and the weight by its virtual reiteration."
regularity of the procedure adopted for submission of the proposal to the people ultimately II
lie in the judgment of the A clear Descartes fallacy of vicious circle. Is it not that the people The amending process as laid out
themselves, by their sovereign act, provided for the authority and procedure for the in the new Constitution.
amending process when they ratified the present Constitution in 1973? Whether, therefore, 1. Article XVI of the 1973 Constitution on Amendments ordains:
the constitutional provision has been followed or not is the proper subject of inquiry, not by SECTION 1. (1) Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution may be proposed by the
the people themselves of course who exercise no power of judicial but by the Supreme Court National Assembly upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members, or by a constitutional
in whom the people themselves vested that power, a power which includes the competence convention. (2) The National Assembly may, by a vote of two-thirds of all its Members, call a
to determine whether the constitutional norms for amendments have been observed or not. constitutional convention or, by a majority vote of all its Members, submit the question of
And, this inquiry must be done a prior not a posterior i.e., before the submission to and calling such a convention to the electorate in an election.
ratification by the people. SECTION 2. Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution shall be valid when ratified
Indeed, the precedents evolved by the Court or, prior constitutional cases underline the by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not later than three months
preference of the Court's majority to treat such issue of Presidential role in the amending after the approval of such amendment or revision.
process as one of non-political impression. In the Plebiscite Cases, 11 the contention of the In the present period of transition, the interim National Assembly instituted in the Transitory
Solicitor General that the issue on the legality of Presidential Decree No. 73 "submitting to Provisions is conferred with that amending power. Section 15 of the Transitory Provisions
the Pilipino people (on January 15, 1973) for ratification or rejection the Constitution of the reads:
Republic of the Philippines proposed by the 1971 Constitutional Convention and SECTION 15. The interim National Assembly, upon special call by the interim Prime Minister,
appropriating fund s therefore "is a political one, was rejected and the Court unanimously may, by a majority vote of all its Members, propose amendments to this Constitution. Such
considered the issue as justiciable in nature. Subsequently in the Ratification amendments shall take effect when ratified in accordance with Article Sixteen hereof.
Cases12 involving the issue of whether or not the validity of Presidential Proclamation No. There are, therefore, two periods contemplated in the constitutional life of the nation, i.e.,
1102. announcing the Ratification by the Filipino people of the constitution proposed by the period of normalcy and period of transition. In times of normally, the amending process may
1971 Constitutional Convention," partakes of the nature of a political question, the be initiated by the proposals of the (1) regular National Assembly upon a vote of three-
affirmative stand of' the Solicitor General was dismissed, the Court ruled that the question fourths of all its members; or (2) by a Constitutional Convention called by a vote of two-
raised is justiciable. Chief Justice Concepcion, expressing the majority view, said, Thus, in the thirds of all the Members of the National Assembly. However the calling of a Constitutional
aforementioned plebiscite cases, We rejected the theory of the respondents therein that the Convention may be submitted to the electorate in an election voted upon by a majority vote
question whether Presidential Decree No. 73 calling a plebiscite to be held on January 15, of all the members of the National Assembly. In times of transition, amendments may be
1973, for the ratification or rejection of the proposed new Constitution, was valid or not, was proposed by a majority vote of all the Members of the National Assembly upon special call
not a proper subject of judicial inquiry because, they claimed, it partook of a political nature, by the interim Prime Minister,.
and We unanimously declared that the issue was a justiciable one. With Identical unanimity. 2. This Court in Aquino v. COMELEC," had already settled that the incumbent President is
We overruled the respondent's contention in the 1971 habeas corpus cases, questioning Our vested with that prerogative of discretion as to when he shall initially convene the interim
authority to determine the constitutional sufficiency of the factual bases of the Presidential National Assembly. Speaking for the majority opinion in that case, Justice Makasiar said: "The
proclamation suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus on August 21, 1971, Constitutional Convention intended to leave to the President the determination of the time
despite the opposite view taken by this Court in Barcelon vs. Baker and Montenegro vs. when he shall initially convene the interim National Assembly, consistent with the prevailing
Castaneda, insofar as it adhered to the former case, which view We, accordingly, abandoned conditions of peace and order in the country." Concurring, Justice Fernandez, himself a

111
member of that Constitutional Convention, revealed: "(W)hen the Delegates to the of tyranny.' In normal times the separation of powers forms a distinct obstruction to
Constitutional Convention voted on the Transitory Provisions, they were aware of the fact arbitrary governmental action. By this same token, in abnormal times it may form an
that under the same, the incumbent President was given the discretion as to when he could insurmountable barrier to a decisive emergency action in behalf of the state and its
convene the interim National Assembly; it was so stated plainly by the sponsor, Delegate independent existence. There are moments in the life of any government when all powers
Yaneza; as a matter of fact, the proposal that it be convened 'immediately', made by must work together in unanimity of purpose and action, even if this means the temporary
Delegate Pimentel (V) was rejected. The President's decision to defer the convening of the union of executive, legislative, and judicial power in the hands of one man. The more
interim National Assembly soon found support from the people themselves. In the plebiscite complete the separation of powers in a constitutional system, the more difficult and yet the
of January 10-15, 1973, at which the ratification of the 1973 Constitution was submitted, the more necessary will be their fusion in time of crisis. This is evident in a comparison of the
people voted against the convening of the interim National Assembly. In the referendum of crisis potentialities of the cabinet and presidential systems of government. In the former the
July 24, 1973, the Citizens Assemblies ("bagangays") reiterated their sovereign will to all-important harmony of legislature and executive is taken for granted; in the latter it is
withhold the convening of the interim National Assembly. Again, in the referendum of neither guaranteed nor to be to confidently expected. As a result, cabinet is more easily
February 27, 1975, the proposed question of whether the interim National Assembly shall established and more trustworthy than presidential dictatorship. The power of the state in
be initially convened was eliminated, because some of the members of Congress and crisis must not only be concentrated and expanded; it must also be freed from the normal
delegates of the Constitutional Convention, who were deemed automatically members of system of constitutional and legal limitations. 21 John Locke, on the other hand, claims for
the I interim National Assembly, were against its inclusion since in that referendum of the executive in its own right a broad discretion capable even of setting aside the ordinary
January, 1973, the people had already resolved against it. laws in the meeting of special exigencies for which the legislative power had not
3. In sensu strictiore, when the legislative arm of the state undertakes the proposals of provided. 22 The rationale behind such broad emergency powers of the Executive is the
amendment to a Constitution, that body is not in the usual function of lawmaking. lt is not release of the government from "the paralysis of constitutional restrains" so that the crisis
legislating when engaged in the amending process.16 Rather, it is exercising a peculiar power may be ended and normal times restored.
bestowed upon it by the fundamental charter itself. In the Philippines, that power is provided 2. The presidential exercise of legislative powers in time of martial law is now a conceded
for in Article XVI of the 1973 Constitution (for the regular National Assembly) or in Section valid at. That sun clear authority of the President is saddled on Section 3 (pars. 1 and 2) of
15 of the Transitory Provisions (for the National Assembly). While ordinarily it is the business the Transitory Provisions, thus:23
of the legislating body to legislate for the nation by virtue of constitutional conferment The incumbent President of the Philippines shall initially convene the interim National
amending of the Constitution is not legislative in character. In political science a distinction Assembly and shall preside over its sessions until the interim Speaker shall have been
is made between constitutional content of an organic character and that of a legislative elected. He shall continue to exercise his powers and prerogatives under the nineteen
character'. The distinction, however, is one of policy, not of law. 17 Such being the case, hundred and thirty-five Constitution and the powers vested in the President and the Prime
approval of the President of any proposed amendment is a misnomer 18 The prerogative of Minister under this Constitution until the calls upon the interim National Assembly to elect
the President to approve or disapprove applies only to the ordinary cases of legislation. The the interim President and the interim Prime Minister, who shall then exercise their
President has nothing to do with proposition or adoption of amendments to the respective powers vested by this Constitution.
Constitution. 19 All proclamations, orders, decrees, instructions, and acts promulgated, issued, or done by
III the incumbent President shall be part of the law of the land, and shall remain valid, binding,
Concentration of Powers and effective even after lifting of martial law or the ratification of this Constitution, unless
in the President during modified, revoked, or superseded by subsequent proclamations, orders, decrees,
crisis government. instructions, or other acts of the incumbent President, or unless expressly and explicitly
1. In general, the governmental powers in crisis government the Philippines is a crisis modified or repealed by the regular National Assembly.
government today are more or less concentrated in the President. 20 According to Rossiter, "It is unthinkable," said Justice Fernandez, a 1971 Constitutional Convention delegate, "that
"(t)he concentration of government power in a democracy faced by an emergency is a the Constitutional Convention, while giving to the President the discretion when to call the
corrective to the crisis inefficiencies inherent in the doctrine of the separation of powers. In interim National Assembly to session, and knowing that it may not be convened soon, would
most free states it has generally been regarded as imperative that the total power of the create a vacuum in the exercise of legislative powers. Otherwise, with no one to exercise the
government be parceled out among three mutually independent branches executive, lawmaking powers, there would be paralyzation of the entire governmental
legislature, and judiciary. It is believed to be destructive of constitutionalism if any one machinery." 24 Paraphrasing Rossiter, this is an extremely important factor in any
branch should exercise any two or more types of power, and certainly a total disregard of constitutional dictatorship which extends over a period of time. The separation of executive
the separation of powers is, as Madison wrote in the Federalist, No. 47, 'the very definition and legislature ordained in the Constitution presents a distinct obstruction to efficient crisis

112
government. The steady increase in executive power is not too much a cause for as the representing 42,000 barangays, about the same number of Kabataang Barangay
steady increase in the magnitude and complexity of the problems the President has been organizations, Sanggunians in 1,458 municipalities, 72 provinces, 3 sub-provinces, and 60
called upon by the Filipino people to solve in their behalf, which involve rebellion, cities had informed the President that the prevailing sentiment of the people is for the
subversion, secession, recession, inflation, and economic crisis-a crisis greater than war. In abolition of the interim National Assembly. Other issues concerned the lifting of martial law
short, while conventional constitutional law just confines the President's power as and amendments to the Constitution .27 The national organizations of Sangguniang Bayan
Commander-in-Chief to the direction of the operation of the national forces, yet the facts of presently proposed to settle the issues of martial law, the interim Assembly, its replacement,
our political, social, and economic disturbances had convincingly shown that in meeting the the period of its existence, the length of the period for the exercise by the President of its
same, indefinite power should be attributed to tile President to take emergency measures 25 present powers in a referendum to be held on October 16 .28 The Batasang Bayan (legislative
IV council) created under Presidential Decree 995 of September 10, 1976, composed of 19
Authority of the incumbent cabinet members, 9 officials with cabinet rank, 91 members of the Lupong Tagapagpaganap
President t to propose (executive committee) of the Katipunan ng mga Sangguniang Bayan voted in session to
amendments to the Constitution. submit directly to the people in a plebiscite on October 16, the previously quoted proposed
1. As earlier pointed out, the power to legislate is constitutionally consigned to the interim amendments to the Constitution, including the issue of martial law .29 Similarly, the
National Assembly during the transition period. However, the initial convening of that "barangays" and the "sanggunians" endorsed to the President the submission of the
Assembly is a matter fully addressed to the judgment of the incumbent President. And, in proposed amendments to the people on October 16. All the foregoing led the President to
the exercise of that judgment, the President opted to defer convening of that body in utter initiate the proposal of amendments to the Constitution and the subsequent issuance of
recognition of the people's preference. Likewise, in the period of transition, the power to Presidential Decree No, 1033 on September 22, 1976 submitting the questions (proposed
propose amendments to the Constitution lies in the interim National Assembly upon special amendments) to the people in the National Referendum-Plebiscite on October 16.
call by the President (See. 15 of the Transitory Provisions). Again, harking to the dictates of V
the sovereign will, the President decided not to call the interim National Assembly. Would it The People is Sovereign
then be within the bounds of the Constitution and of law for the President to assume that 1. Unlike in a federal state, the location of sovereignty in a unitary state is easily seen. In the
constituent power of the interim Assembly vis-a-vis his assumption of that body's legislative Philippines, a republican and unitary state, sovereignty "resides in the people and all
functions? The answer is yes. If the President has been legitimately discharging the legislative government authority emanates from them .30 In its fourth meaning, Savigny would treat
functions of the interim Assembly, there is no reason why he cannot validly discharge the people as "that particular organized assembly of individuals in which, according to the
function of that Assembly to propose amendments to the Constitution, which is but adjunct, Constitution, the highest power exists." 31 This is the concept of popular sovereignty. It
although peculiar, to its gross legislative power. This, of course, is not to say that the means that the constitutional legislator, namely the people, is sovereign 32 In consequence,
President has converted his office into a constituent assembly of that nature normally the people may thus write into the Constitution their convictions on any subject they choose
constituted by the legislature. Rather, with the interim National Assembly not convened and in the absence of express constitutional prohibition. 33 This is because, as Holmes said, the
only the Presidency and the S