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Tañada vs.

Tuvera 136 SCRA 27 (April 24, 1985) 146 SCRA 446 (December 29,
1986) The very first clause of Section 1 of CA 638 reads: there shall be published in
the Official Gazette…. The word “shall” therein imposes upon respondent
officials an imperative duty. That duty must be enforced if the constitutional
right of the people to be informed on matter of public concern is to be given
136 SCRA 27 (April 24, 1985)
substance and validity.

The publication of presidential issuances of public nature or of general
applicability is a requirement of due process. It is a rule of law that before a
Invoking the right of the people to be informed on matters of public concern as
person may be bound by law, he must first be officially and specifically
well as the principle that laws to be valid and enforceable must be published in
informed of its contents. The Court declared that presidential issuances of
the Official Gazette, petitioners filed for writ of mandamus to compel
general application which have not been published have no force and effect.
respondent public officials to publish and/or cause to publish various
presidential decrees, letters of instructions, general orders, proclamations,
executive orders, letters of implementations and administrative orders.
The Solicitor General, representing the respondents, moved for the dismissal of
the case, contending that petitioners have no legal personality to bring the
146 SCRA 446 (December 29, 1986)
instant petition.
This is a motion for reconsideration of the decision promulgated on April 24,
Whether or not publication in the Official Gazette is required before any law or
1985. Respondent argued that while publication was necessary as a rule, it was
statute becomes valid and enforceable.
not so when it was “otherwise” as when the decrees themselves declared that
they were to become effective immediately upon their approval.
Art. 2 of the Civil Code does not preclude the requirement of publication in the
Official Gazette, even if the law itself provides for the date of its effectivity. The
1. Whether or not a distinction be made between laws of general applicability
clear object of this provision is to give the general public adequate notice of the
and laws which are not as to their publication;
various laws which are to regulate their actions and conduct as citizens.
2. Whether or not a publication shall be made in publications of general
Without such notice and publication, there would be no basis for the
application of the maxim ignoratia legis nominem excusat. It would be the
height of injustive to punish or otherwise burden a citizen for the transgression
of a law which he had no notice whatsoever, not even a constructive one.
The clause “unless it is otherwise provided” refers to the date of effectivity and and give proper notice to the people. The furtive law is like a scabbarded saber
not to the requirement of publication itself, which cannot in any event be that cannot faint, parry or cut unless the naked blade is drawn.
omitted. This clause does not mean that the legislature may make the law
effective immediately upon approval, or in any other date, without its previous
publication. BIRAOGO VS PTC

“Laws” should refer to all laws and not only to those of general application, for G.R. No. 192935 December 7, 2010
strictly speaking, all laws relate to the people in general albeit there are some LOUIS “BAROK” C. BIRAOGO
that do not apply to them directly. A law without any bearing on the public vs.
would be invalid as an intrusion of privacy or as class legislation or as an ultra THE PHILIPPINE TRUTH COMMISSION OF 2010
vires act of the legislature. To be valid, the law must invariably affect the public
x – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -x
interest eve if it might be directly applicable only to one individual, or some of
G.R. No. 193036
the people only, and not to the public as a whole.
All statutes, including those of local application and private laws, shall be
published as a condition for their effectivity, which shall begin 15 days after
publication unless a different effectivity date is fixed by the legislature.

Publication must be in full or it is no publication at all, since its purpose is to FACTS:

inform the public of the content of the law.
Pres. Aquino signed E. O. No. 1 establishing Philippine Truth Commission of
Article 2 of the Civil Code provides that publication of laws must be made in the 2010 (PTC) dated July 30, 2010.
Official Gazette, and not elsewhere, as a requirement for their effectivity. The PTC is a mere ad hoc body formed under the Office of the President with the
Supreme Court is not called upon to rule upon the wisdom of a law or to repeal primary task to investigate reports of graft and corruption committed by third-
or modify it if it finds it impractical. level public officers and employees, their co-principals, accomplices and
accessories during the previous administration, and to submit its finding and
The publication must be made forthwith, or at least as soon as possible. recommendations to the President, Congress and the Ombudsman. PTC has all
the powers of an investigative body. But it is not a quasi-judicial body as it
J. Cruz: cannot adjudicate, arbitrate, resolve, settle, or render awards in disputes
between contending parties. All it can do is gather, collect and assess evidence
Laws must come out in the open in the clear light of the sun instead of skulking of graft and corruption and make recommendations. It may have subpoena
in the shadows with their dark, deep secrets. Mysterious pronouncements and powers but it has no power to cite people in contempt, much less order their
rumored rules cannot be recognized as binding unless their existence and arrest. Although it is a fact-finding body, it cannot determine from such facts if
contents are confirmed by a valid publication intended to make full disclosure probable cause exists as to warrant the filing of an information in our courts of
Petitioners asked the Court to declare it unconstitutional and to enjoin the PTC 3] The Truth Commission does not duplicate or supersede the functions of the
from performing its functions. They argued that: Ombudsman and the DOJ, because it is a fact-finding body and not a quasi-
judicial body and its functions do not duplicate, supplant or erode the latter’s
(a) E.O. No. 1 violates separation of powers as it arrogates the power of the
Congress to create a public office and appropriate funds for its operation.
4] The Truth Commission does not violate the equal protection clause because
(b) The provision of Book III, Chapter 10, Section 31 of the Administrative Code
it was validly created for laudable purposes.
of 1987 cannot legitimize E.O. No. 1 because the delegated authority of the
President to structurally reorganize the Office of the President to achieve ISSUES:
economy, simplicity and efficiency does not include the power to create an
1. WON the petitioners have legal standing to file the petitions and question E.
entirely new public office which was hitherto inexistent like the “Truth
O. No. 1;
2. WON E. O. No. 1 violates the principle of separation of powers by usurping
(c) E.O. No. 1 illegally amended the Constitution and statutes when it vested the powers of Congress to create and to appropriate funds for public offices,
the “Truth Commission” with quasi-judicial powers duplicating, if not agencies and commissions;
superseding, those of the Office of the Ombudsman created under the 1987 3. WON E. O. No. 1 supplants the powers of the Ombudsman and the DOJ;
Constitution and the DOJ created under the Administrative Code of 1987. 4. WON E. O. No. 1 violates the equal protection clause.

(d) E.O. No. 1 violates the equal protection clause as it selectively targets for RULING:
investigation and prosecution officials and personnel of the previous The power of judicial review is subject to limitations, to wit: (1) there must be
administration as if corruption is their peculiar species even as it excludes those an actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power; (2) the
of the other administrations, past and present, who may be indictable. person challenging the act must have the standing to question the validity of
the subject act or issuance; otherwise stated, he must have a personal and
Respondents, through OSG, questioned the legal standing of petitioners and
substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct
argued that:
injury as a result of its enforcement; (3) the question of constitutionality must
1] E.O. No. 1 does not arrogate the powers of Congress because the President’s be raised at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the issue of constitutionality must
executive power and power of control necessarily include the inherent power be the very lis mota of the case.
to conduct investigations to ensure that laws are faithfully executed and that,
1. The petition primarily invokes usurpation of the power of the Congress as a
in any event, the Constitution, Revised Administrative Code of 1987, PD No.
body to which they belong as members. To the extent the powers of Congress
141616 (as amended), R.A. No. 9970 and settled jurisprudence, authorize the
are impaired, so is the power of each member thereof, since his office confers a
President to create or form such bodies.
right to participate in the exercise of the powers of that institution.
2] E.O. No. 1 does not usurp the power of Congress to appropriate funds
Legislators have a legal standing to see to it that the prerogative, powers and
because there is no appropriation but a mere allocation of funds already
privileges vested by the Constitution in their office remain inviolate. Thus, they
appropriated by Congress.
are allowed to question the validity of any official action which, to their mind,
infringes on their prerogatives as legislators.
With regard to Biraogo, he has not shown that he sustained, or is in danger of 2. There will be no appropriation but only an allotment or allocations of
sustaining, any personal and direct injury attributable to the implementation of existing funds already appropriated. There is no usurpation on the part of the
E. O. No. 1. Executive of the power of Congress to appropriate funds. There is no need to
specify the amount to be earmarked for the operation of the commission
Locus standi is “a right of appearance in a court of justice on a given question.”
because, whatever funds the Congress has provided for the Office of the
In private suits, standing is governed by the “real-parties-in interest” rule. It
President will be the very source of the funds for the commission. The amount
provides that “every action must be prosecuted or defended in the name of the
that would be allocated to the PTC shall be subject to existing auditing rules
real party in interest.” Real-party-in interest is “the party who stands to be
and regulations so there is no impropriety in the funding.
benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit or the party entitled to the
avails of the suit.” 3. PTC will not supplant the Ombudsman or the DOJ or erode their respective
powers. If at all, the investigative function of the commission will complement
Difficulty of determining locus standi arises in public suits. Here, the plaintiff
those of the two offices. The function of determining probable cause for the
who asserts a “public right” in assailing an allegedly illegal official action, does
filing of the appropriate complaints before the courts remains to be with the
so as a representative of the general public. He has to show that he is entitled
DOJ and the Ombudsman. PTC’s power to investigate is limited to obtaining
to seek judicial protection. He has to make out a sufficient interest in the
facts so that it can advise and guide the President in the performance of his
vindication of the public order and the securing of relief as a “citizen” or
duties relative to the execution and enforcement of the laws of the land.
4. Court finds difficulty in upholding the constitutionality of Executive Order
The person who impugns the validity of a statute must have “a personal and
No. 1 in view of its apparent transgression of the equal protection clause
substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain direct
enshrined in Section 1, Article III (Bill of Rights) of the 1987 Constitution.
injury as a result.” The Court, however, finds reason in Biraogo’s assertion that
the petition covers matters of transcendental importance to justify the exercise Equal protection requires that all persons or things similarly situated should be
of jurisdiction by the Court. There are constitutional issues in the petition which treated alike, both as to rights conferred and responsibilities imposed. It
deserve the attention of this Court in view of their seriousness, novelty and requires public bodies and institutions to treat similarly situated individuals in a
weight as precedents similar manner. The purpose of the equal protection clause is to secure every
person within a state’s jurisdiction against intentional and arbitrary
The Executive is given much leeway in ensuring that our laws are faithfully
discrimination, whether occasioned by the express terms of a statue or by its
executed. The powers of the President are not limited to those specific powers
improper execution through the state’s duly constituted authorities.
under the Constitution. One of the recognized powers of the President granted
pursuant to this constitutionally-mandated duty is the power to create ad hoc There must be equality among equals as determined according to a valid
committees. This flows from the obvious need to ascertain facts and determine classification. Equal protection clause permits classification. Such classification,
if laws have been faithfully executed. The purpose of allowing ad hoc however, to be valid must pass the test of reasonableness. The test has four
investigating bodies to exist is to allow an inquiry into matters which the requisites: (1) The classification rests on substantial distinctions; (2) It is
President is entitled to know so that he can be properly advised and guided in germane to the purpose of the law; (3) It is not limited to existing conditions
the performance of his duties relative to the execution and enforcement of the only; and (4) It applies equally to all members of the same class.
laws of the land.
The classification will be regarded as invalid if all the members of the class are G.R. No. 159796 July 17, 2007
not similarly treated, both as to rights conferred and obligations imposed. ROMEO P. GEROCHI, KATULONG NG BAYAN (KB) and ENVIRONMENTALIST
Executive Order No. 1 should be struck down as violative of the equal
protection clause. The clear mandate of truth commission is to investigate and
find out the truth concerning the reported cases of graft and corruption during
the previous administration only. The intent to single out the previous
administration is plain, patent and manifest.
Arroyo administration is but just a member of a class, that is, a class of past (PECO),respondents.
administrations. It is not a class of its own. Not to include past administrations
similarly situated constitutes arbitrariness which the equal protection clause
cannot sanction. Such discriminating differentiation clearly reverberates to On June 8, 2001 Congress enacted RA 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Act
label the commission as a vehicle for vindictiveness and selective retribution. of 2001. Petitioners Romeo P. Gerochi and company assail the validity of
Superficial differences do not make for a valid classification. Section 34 of the EPIRA Law for being an undue delegation of the power of
taxation. Section 34 provides for the imposition of a “Universal Charge” to all
The PTC must not exclude the other past administrations. The PTC must, at
electricity end users after a period of (1) one year after the effectively of the
least, have the authority to investigate all past administrations.
EPIRA Law. The universal charge to be collected would serve as payment for
The Constitution is the fundamental and paramount law of the nation to which government debts, missionary electrification, equalization of taxes and
all other laws must conform and in accordance with which all private rights royalties applied to renewable energy and imported energy, environmental
determined and all public authority administered. Laws that do not conform to charge and for a charge to account for all forms of cross subsidies for a period
the Constitution should be stricken down for being unconstitutional. not exceeding three years. The universal charge shall be collected by the ERC
on a monthly basis from all end users and will then be managed by the PSALM
WHEREFORE, the petitions are GRANTED. Executive Order No. 1 is hereby Corp. through the creation of a special trust fund.
declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL insofar as it is violative of the equal protection
clause of the Constitution. ISSUE:

Whether or not there is an undue delegation of the power to tax on the part of
the ERC


No, the universal charge as provided for in section 34 is not a tax but an
exaction of the regulatory power (police power) of the state. The universal
charge under section 34 is incidental to the regulatory duties of the ERC, hence
the provision assailed is not for generation of revenue and therefore it cannot
be considered as tax, but an execution of the states police power thru their sovereign capacity to answer. Their ratification of the same had shown
regulation. such acquiescence.

Moreover, the amount collected is not made certain by the ERC, but by the
legislative parameters provided for in the law (RA 9136) itself, it therefore
Miriam Defensor Santiago et al vs COMELEC
cannot be understood as a rule solely coming from the ERC. The ERC in this
case is only a specialized administrative agency which is tasked of executing a March/June 1997
subordinate legislation issued by congress; which before execution must pass
both the completeness test and the sufficiency of standard test. The court in Amendment to the Constitution
appreciating Section 34 of RA 9136 in its entirety finds the said law and the
On 6 Dec 1996, Atty. Jesus S. Delfin filed with COMELEC a “Petition to Amend
assailed portions free from any constitutional defect and thus deemed
the Constitution to Lift Term Limits of elective Officials by People’s Initiative”
complete and sufficient in form.
The COMELEC then, upon its approval, a.) set the time and dates for signature
gathering all over the country, b.) caused the necessary publication of the said
petition in papers of general circulation, and c.) instructed local election
Josue Javellana vs Executive Secretary registrars to assist petitioners and volunteers in establishing signing stations.
On 18 Dec 1996, MD Santiago et al filed a special civil action for prohibition
50 SCRA 30 – Political law – Constitutional Law – Political Question – Validity of
against the Delfin Petition. Santiago argues that 1.) the constitutional provision
the 1973 Constitution – Restriction to Judicial Power
on people’s initiative to amend the constitution can only be implemented by
In 1973, Marcos ordered the immediate implementation of the new 1973 law to be passed by Congress and no such law has yet been passed by
Constitution. Javellana, a Filipino and a registered voter sought to enjoin the Congress, 2.) RA 6735 indeed provides for three systems of initiative
Exec Sec and other cabinet secretaries from implementing the said namely, initiative on the Constitution, on statues and on local legislation. The
constitution. Javellana averred that the said constitution is void because the two latter forms of initiative were specifically provided for in Subtitles II and III
same was initiated by the president. He argued that the President is w/o power thereof but no provisions were specifically made for initiatives on the
to proclaim the ratification by the Filipino people of the proposed constitution. Constitution. This omission indicates that the matter of people’s initiative to
Further, the election held to ratify such constitution is not a free election there amend the Constitution was left to some future law – as pointed out by former
being intimidation and fraud. Senator Arturo Tolentino.

ISSUE: Whether or not the SC must give due course to the petition. ISSUE: Whether or not RA 6735 was intended to include initiative on
amendments to the constitution and if so whether the act, as worded,
HELD: The SC ruled that they cannot rule upon the case at bar. Majority of the
adequately covers such initiative.
SC justices expressed the view that they were concluded by the ascertainment
made by the president of the Philippines, in the exercise of his political HELD: RA 6735 is intended to include the system of initiative on amendments
prerogatives. Further, there being no competent evidence to show such fraud to the constitution but is unfortunately inadequate to cover that system. Sec 2
and intimidation during the election, it is to be assumed that the people had of Article 17 of the Constitution provides: “Amendments to this constitution
acquiesced in or accepted the 1973 Constitution. The question of the validity of may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a
the 1973 Constitution is a political question which was left to the people in petition of at least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters,
of which every legislative district must be represented by at least there per
centum of the registered voters therein. . . The Congress shall provide for the
implementation of the exercise of this right” This provision is obviously not self-
executory as it needs an enabling law to be passed by Congress. Joaquin
Bernas, a member of the 1986 Con-Con stated “without implementing
legislation Section 2, Art 17 cannot operate. Thus, although this mode of Whether or Not the Lambino Group’s initiative petition complies with Section
amending the constitution is a mode of amendment which bypasses 2, Article XVII of the Constitution on amendments to the Constitution through a
Congressional action in the last analysis is still dependent on Congressional people’s initiative.
action.” Bluntly stated, the right of the people to directly propose
amendments to the Constitution through the system of inititative would
remain entombed in the cold niche of the constitution until Congress provides Whether or Not this Court should revisit its ruling in Santiago declaring RA 6735
for its implementation. The people cannot exercise such right, though “incomplete, inadequate or wanting in essential terms and conditions” to
constitutionally guaranteed, if Congress for whatever reason does not provide implement the initiative clause on proposals to amend the Constitution.
for its implementation.

Whether or Not the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in denying

due course to the Lambino Group’s petition.
Lambino Vs. Comelec

G.R. No. 174153

Held: According to the SC the Lambino group failed to comply with the basic
Oct. 25 2006 requirements for conducting a people’s initiative. The Court held that the
COMELEC did not grave abuse of discretion on dismissing the Lambino
Facts: Petitioners (Lambino group) commenced gathering signatures for an
initiative petition to change the 1987 constitution, they filed a petition with the
COMELEC to hold a plebiscite that will ratify their initiative petition under RA 1. The Initiative Petition Does Not Comply with Section 2, Article XVII of the
6735. Lambino group alleged that the petition had the support of 6M Constitution on Direct Proposal by the People
individuals fulfilling what was provided by art 17 of the constitution. Their
petition changes the 1987 constitution by modifying sections 1-7 of Art 6 and
sections 1-4 of Art 7 and by adding Art 18. the proposed changes will shift the The petitioners failed to show the court that the initiative signer must be
present bicameral- presidential form of government to unicameral- informed at the time of the signing of the nature and effect, failure to do so is
parliamentary. COMELEC denied the petition due to lack of enabling law “deceptive and misleading” which renders the initiative void.
governing initiative petitions and invoked the Santiago Vs. Comelec ruling that
RA 6735 is inadequate to implement the initiative petitions.
2. The Initiative Violates Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution Disallowing
Revision through Initiatives

The framers of the constitution intended a clear distinction between

“amendment” and “revision, it is intended that the third mode of stated in sec
2 art 17 of the constitution may propose only amendments to the constitution.
Merging of the legislative and the executive is a radical change, therefore a
constitutes a revision.

3. A Revisit of Santiago v. COMELEC is Not Necessary

Even assuming that RA 6735 is valid, it will not change the result because the
present petition violated Sec 2 Art 17 to be a valid initiative, must first comply
with the constitution before complying with RA 6735