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Pangilinan vs Maglaya

225 SCRA 511 (1993)


Cruz, J.:

Petitioner Teodoro B. Pangilinan, an Executive Director of LTO, was detailed to Manila


International Airport Authority as an Assistant General Manager for 9 months.

Upon his return to LTO, he was designated as Resident Ombudsman in addition to his regular
duties. he discovered, among other anomalies, irregularities in the purchase of motor vehicle
license plates. The license plates ordered does not meet the standards as required by P.D. 98
and B.P. 43. He says he brought this matter to the attention of Asst. Secretary Manuel Sabalza
DOTC and later of Secretary Pete Prado. Neither of them took any action.

The petitioner then called a press conference expose what he had discovered. In addition to
that, announced his intention to file graft charges against Prado, Sabalza and Undersecretary
Jose Valdecañas both of DOTC

The following day, he was relieved from his postition and was replaced with Guillermo Maglaya
as a officer-in-charge. However, the petitioner continued receiving his salary (although his
allowances were withheld) until December 31, 1991. When he asked why his pay had been
discontinued, he was informed by Asst. Secretary Juan V. Borra, Jr. that Maglaya had already
been designated as Acting Executive Director of the LTO.

In this petition, Pangilinan prays for reinstatement on the ground that no charge has been filed
or proved against him to justify his removal.

The petitioner complains that he has been removed from office without due process and just
cause in disregard of his constitutional security of tenure. Worse, his removal was made in bad
faith, immediately after his expose of certain anomalies in which superiors were involved.

Issue: Whether or not Teodoro Pangilinan’s removal from office is valid and constitutional.

Ruling: Yes. Petitioners removal is constitutional. Sec. 5(1) of P.D. 807 provides that
membership in the career executive service requires: (1) that the official must be included in the
register of career executive eligibles; and (2) that the official must have been appointed to an
appropriate class in the Career Executive Service.

In the absence of appropriate eligible person and it becomes necessary in the public interest to
fill a vacancy, a temporary appointment, shall be issued to a person who meets all the
requirements for the position to which he is being appointed except the appropriate civil service
eligibility Provided that such temporary appointment shall not exceed twelve months, but the
appointee may be replaced sooner if a qualified civil service eligible becomes available.

Pangilinan therefore was only an acting appointee because he is not a career executive service
official which is a requisite qualification for the position. Hence, he could not be, and was not
extended a permanent appointment. as such, he could not claim security of tenure. This Court
has repeatedly held that this guarantee is available only to permanent appointees. The fact that
Pangilinan was qualified for his initial appointment as agent in the NBI does not mean he was
qualified for all other positions he might later occupy in the civil service.
Furthermore, gray and the other cases cited by the petitioner was not applicable since the
involved were permanent appointees who had security of tenure and were summarily relieved
which is not the same case as the petitioner in this matter. The Court has therefore dismissed
the petition.

Oposa vs Factoran
G.R. No. 101083, July 30, 1993
DAVIDE, JR., J.:

Facts: a case was filed against the Secretary of DENR, seeking to have him cancel all the
timber license agreements (TLAs) in the country and to cease and desist from accepting and
approving more timber license agreements.

The said petitioners are 44 children, through their parents, claiming that they bring the case in
the name of “their generation as well as those generations yet unborn.” Aiming to stop
deforestation invoking their right to a healthy environment pursuant to Sections 15 and 16 of
Article II of the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines.

Moreover, Petitioners maintain that the granting of the TLAs, which they claim was done with
grave abuse of discretion by granting TLAs to cover more areas for logging than what is
available, violated their right to a balanced and healthful ecology; hence, the full protection
thereof requires that no further TLAs should be renewed or granted.

Respondent, on the other hand, filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that the complaint had
no cause of action against him and that it raises a political question.

The case was dismissed in the lower court, invoking the law on non-impairment of contracts,
hence, it was brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari.

Issues: Whether or not petitioners have a cause of action

Rulings: Yes. The Supreme Court in granting the petition ruled that the children had the legal
standing to file the case based on the concept of “intergenerational responsibility” Also, the
Court said, the law on non-impairment of contracts must give way to the exercise of the police
power of the state in the interest of public welfare.

The right to a balanced and healthful ecology is solemnly incorporated in the fundamental law.
Section 16, Article II of the 1987 Constitution explicitly provides:

Sec. 16.The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful
ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.

The said right implies the judicious management of the country’s forests. This right is also the
mandate of the government through DENR. Section 2 of the same title provides that: A denial or
violation of that right by the other who has the correlative duty or obligation to respect or protect
the same gives rise to a cause of action. All licenses may thus be revoked or rescinded by
executive action.
Angara vs Comelec

On September 17, 1935, Jose A. Angara, and the respondents, Pedro Ynsua, Miguel
Castillo and Dionisio Mayor, were candidates voted for the position of member of the
National Assembly for the first district of the Province of Tayabas. On October 7, 1935,
petitioner was proclaimed as member-elect of the National Assembly for the said
district, for having received the most number of votes. Petitioner then took his oath of
office on Nov 15th.

On Dec 3, the National Assembly passed Resolution No 8 which which declared with
finality the victory of Angara.

On Dec 8, Pedro Ynsua filed a "Motion of Protest" against the election of the Angara
praying the nullification of election of Angara and that he, Ynsua, be declared the
elected member of the Nat'l Assembly instead.

Electoral Commission passed a resolution in Dec 9th as the last day for the filing of the
protests against the election, returns and qualifications of the members of the National
Assembly.

On Dec 20, Angara filed a motion to dismiss the protest on the grounds that the petition
was made out of the prescribed period. Ynsua calims that there was no constitutional or
legal provision which stated that members of the NA cannot be contested after
confirmation of the NA. The Elec. Commission denied Angara's petition.

Petitioner then files a protest to the Supreme Court questioning ELECOM’s jurisdiction
over the case. Petitioner argues that ELECOM could only regulate proceedings, and
that only SC has jurisdiction upon the fundamental questions since it is an interpretation
of the constitution.

Issue: Whether or not Supreme court has jurisdiction over the case than ELECOM

Whether or not it has acted within its jurisdiction.

Ruling: Yes. The SC has jurisdiction over the ELECOM. Separation of powers granted
by Constitution check and balances to maintain coordination among the branches.
When a conflict arises between the boundaries of powers and functions of each branch,
the Judiciary has the power to review and resolve these conflicts through Judicial
Review. This however is limited to actual cases and controversies. that judicial
supremacy is but the power of judicial review in actual and appropriate cases and
controversies, and is the power and duty to see that no one branch or agency of the
government transcends the Constitution, which is the source of all authority.

Yes. ELECOM is a quasi-judicial body which is granted the powers to be the sole judge
of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of members of the
National Assembly. The present constitution granted it with all the powers exercised
including the regulation of the rules and procedures of election protests by the
legislature relating to the said function of ELECOM. It is held, therefore, that the
Electoral Commission was acting within the legitimate exercise of its constitutional
prerogative in assuming to take cognizance of the election protest filed by Ynsua.

SOCIAL JUSTICE SOCIETY VS DANGEROUS DRUGS BOARD

In December 2003, COMELEC issued Resolution No. 6486, which prescribes the
mandatory drug testing of candidates for public office in connection with the May 10, 2004
synchronized national and local elections. Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., a senator and a
candidate, claims that the constitution only prescribes a maximum 5 qualifications only in
order to be a candidate for, elected to, and be a member of the Senate. He further
contends that the added qualification-that all candidates for senator must first be certified
as drug free-is unconstitutional as there is no provision in the Constitution authorizing the
Congress or COMELEC to expand the qualification requirements of candidates for
senator.
Petitioner filed a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition under Rule 65 seeking to nullify
Sec. 36 of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No. 6486 for being unconstitutional in that
they impose a qualification for candidates for senators in addition to those already
provided for in the 1987 Constitution and to enjoin the COMELEC from implementing
Resolution No. 6486.
Issue: Whether or not Sec 36 of RA 9165 is constitutional.
Ruling: No. Sec. 36 of RA 9165 is unconstitutional.
The Constitution is the basic law to which all laws must conform. Under it, no act shall be
valid if it conflicts with the Constitution. In the discharge of their defined functions, the
three departments of government have no choice but to yield obedience to the commands
of the Constitution. Whatever limits it imposes must be observed.
Section 3 provides that: No person shall be a Senator unless he is a natural-born citizen
of the Philippines, and, on the day of the election, is at least thirty-five years of age, able
to read and write, a registered voter, and a resident of the Philippines for not less than
two years immediately preceding the day of the election.
The mandatory drug testing, issued under Resolution 6486 and Sec 36 of RA 9165
enlarges the qualification requirements enumerated in the Sec. 3, Art. VI of the
Constitution. COMELEC cannot, in the guise of enforcing and administering election laws
or promulgating rules and regulations to implement such rules in addition to what the
Constitution prescribes. If Congress cannot require a candidate for senator to meet such
additional qualification, the COMELEC, to be sure, is also without such power. The right
of a citizen in the democratic process of election should not be defeated by unwarranted
impositions of requirement not otherwise specified in the Constitution.
AMELITO R. MUTUC vs. COMELEC
FACTS:

Petitioner AMELITO R. MUTUC was a candidate for delegate to the Constitutional Convention. He
filed a special civil action against the respondent COMELEC when the latter informed him through a
telegram that his certificate of candidacy was given due course but he was prohibited from using
jingles in his mobile units equipped with sound systems and loud speakers.

According to petitioner, this violated his constitutional right to freedom of speech. Petitioner therefore
filed a case against Commission on elections seeking a writ of prohibition and at the same time
praying for a preliminary injunction.

COMELEC justified its prohibition on the premise that the Constitutional Convention act provided
that it is unlawful for the candidates “to purchase, produce, request or distribute sample ballots, or
electoral propaganda gadgets such as pens, lighters, fans (of whatever nature), flashlights, athletic
goods or materials, wallets, bandanas, shirts, hats, matches, cigarettes, and the like, whether of
domestic or foreign origin.”

COMELEC furthermore contended that the jingle or the recorded or taped voice of the singer used
by petitioner was a tangible propaganda material and was, under the above statute, subject to
confiscation.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the usage of the jingle by the petitioner form part of the prohibition instituted by the
COMELEC

HELD:

No. By virtue of Ejusdem Generis, general words following any enumeration must be of the same
class as those specifically referred to. COMELEC contended that the ban makes unlawful the
distribution of electoral propaganda gadgets, mention being made of pens, lighters, fans, flashlights,
athletic goods or materials, wallets, bandanas, shirts, hats, matches, and cigarettes, and concluding
with the words “and the like.” For COMELEC, the last three words sufficed to justify such an order.
The Supreme Court did not agree. It is quite apparent that what was contemplated in the said law
violated by Mutuc was the distribution of gadgets of the kind referred to as a means of inducement to
obtain a favorable vote for the candidate responsible for its distribution. It does not include campaign
jingles for they are not gadgets as contemplated by the law.

2. No. This is a curtailment of Freedom of Expression. The Constitution prohibits the abridgment of
the freedom of speech.

GARCIA VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY


211 SCRA 219 July 3, 1992
Feliciano, J.:
Facts: On 27 November 1990, President Corazon Aquino issued Executive Order No. 438
which imposed, in addition to any other duties, taxes and charges imposed by law on all articles
imported into the Philippines, an additional duty of 5% ad valorem. This additional duty was
imposed across the board on all imported articles imported into the Philippines. This additional
duty was subsequently increased to 9% ad valorem by the promulgation of Executive Order No.
443.

On the same year, executive Order No. 475 was issued by the President reducing the rate of
additional duty on all imported articles to 5% ad valorem, except in the cases of crude oil and
other oil products which continued to be subject to the additional duty of 9% ad valorem.

CONGRESSMAN ENRIQUE T. GARCIA Filed for petition for certiorari, prohibition and
mandamus to review the decision of the Executive Secretary alleging the unconstitutionality of
EO 474 and 478 since the Constitution provides that all revenue measures must originate from
the House of Representatives and the Tariff and Customs Code authorized the president to
increase the tariff duties only to protect local industries but not to raise additional revenue for the
government as per Section 24 of Article VI of the Constitution

Issue:
TOLENTINO v. COMELECE
41 SCRA 702 | October 16, 1971
BARREDO, J.

After election of delegates held on November 10, 1970, the Convention held its
inaugural session on June 1, 1971. In the morning of September 28, 1970, the
Convention approved Organic Resolution No. 1 which amends Section 1 of Article v of
the constitution to lower the voting age from 21 to 18 years old.

On September 30, 1971, COMELEC resolved to inform the Constitutional Convention


that it will hold the plebiscite together with the senatorial elections on November 8,
1971.

Tolentino et al filed a petition for prohibition to restrain respondent COMELEC from undertaking
to hold a plebiscite on November 8,1971 for the ratification of Organic Resolution No. 1 by
declaring the said resolution to be without the force and effect of law for being violative of the
Philippine Constitution. The same was granted by the Supreme Court.

Issue: Whether or not holding of a plebiscite for the ratification of the amendments stated in
Organic Resolution No. 1 of the 1971 Constitutional Convention is a violation of the Philippine
Constitution

Ruling: No. All the amendments to be proposed by the same Convention must be submitted to
the people in a single "election" or plebiscite. In order that a plebiscite for the ratification of a
Constitutional amendment 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 amendment per se but as well as
its relation to the other parts of the Constitution with which it has to form a harmonious whole.
We hold that the plebiscite being called for the purpose of submitting the same for ratification of
the people on November 8, 1971 is not authorized by Section 1 of Article XV of the Constitution,
hence all acts of the Convention and the respondent COMELEC in that direction are null and
void. lt says distinctly that either Congress sitting as a constituent assembly or a convention
called for the purpose “may propose amendments to this Constitution,”. The same provision
also as definitely provides that “such amendments shall be valid as part of this Constitution
when approved by a majority of the votes cast at an election at which the amendments are
submitted to the people for their ratification,” thus leaving no room for doubt as to how many
“elections” or plebiscites may be held to ratify any amendment or amendments proposed by the
same constituent assembly of Congress or convention, and the provision unequivocally says
“an election” which means only one

Petition is granted. Organic Resolution No. 1 and the implementing acts and resolutions of the
Convention, insofar as they provide for the holding of a plebiscite on 08 November 1971, as well
as the resolution of the respondent COMELEC complying therewith are declared null and void.
SCHNECKENBURGER v MORAN
G.R. No. L-44896
July 31, 1936

ABAD SANTOS, J.:

FACTS:
The petitioner was duly accredited honorary consul of Uruguay at Manila, Philippine Islands. He
was subsequently charged in the Court of First Instance of Manila with the crime of falsification
of a private document. He objected to the jurisdiction of the court on the ground that both under
the Constitution of the US and the Constitution of the Philippines the court below had no
jurisdiction to try him.

His objection having been overruled, he filed this petition for a writ of prohibition with a view to
preventing the Court of First Instance of Manila from taking cognizance of the criminal action
filed against him.

Furthermore, the petition counsel for the petitioner contend that CFI of Manila is without
jurisdiction to try the case filed against the petitioner for the reason that under Article III, section
2, of the Constitution of the US, the Supreme Court of the US has original jurisdiction in all
cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls, and such jurisdiction
excludes the courts of the Philippines; and that even under the Constitution of the Philippines
original jurisdiction over cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls, is
conferred exclusively.

ISSUE:

Whether or not that the Court of First Instance of Manila has jurisdiction over the petitioner and
not the SC as provided in the constitution .

HELD: YES. the original jurisdiction possessed and exercised by the Supreme Court of the
Philippine Islands at the time of the adoption of the Constitution was NOT exclusive.

The Constitution of the United States provides that the Supreme Court shall have "original
jurisdiction" in all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls. In
construing this constitutional provision, the Supreme Court of the United States held that the
"original jurisdiction thus conferred upon the Supreme Court by the Constitution was not
exclusive jurisdiction, and that such grant of original

The laws in force in the Philippines prior to the inauguration of the Commonwealth conferred
upon the Courts of the First Instance original jurisdiction in all criminal cases to which a penalty
of more than six months' imprisonment or a fine exceeding one hundred dollars might be
imposed. (Act No. 136, sec. 56.) Such jurisdiction included the trial of criminal actions brought
against consuls for, as we have already indicated, consuls, not being entitled to the privileges
and immunities of ambassadors or ministers, are subject to the laws and regulations of the
country where they reside jurisdiction did not prevent Congress from conferring original
jurisdiction in cases affecting consuls on the subordinate courts of the Union.
ICMC VS CALLEJA
FACTS:

International Catholic Migration Commission, an accredited refugee processing center in


Morong Bataan, is a non-profit agency involved in international humanitarian and voluntary
work. It is duly registered with the United Nations Economic and Social Council and enjoys
Consultative status II. It has the activities parallel to those of the International Committee for
Migration and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

On July 14, 1986, Trade Union of the Philippines and Allied Services filed with the then Ministry
of Labor and Employment a Petition for Certification Election among the rank and file members
employed by the ICMC. The latter opposed the petition on the ground that it enjoys diplomatic
immunity.

On Februaury 5, 1987 Med – Arbiter Anastacio L. Bactin sustained ICMC and dismissed the
petition of TUPAS for lack of jurisdiction.

On appeal, The Director of the Bureau of Labor Relations reversed the Med – Arbiter’s Decision
and ordered the immediate conduct of a certification election.

This case present Petition for Certiorari with Preliminary Injunction assailing the Bureau of Labor
Relations Order.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the grant of diplomatic immunities to ICMC extends to Philippine labor laws.

HELD:

YES. It is a recognized principle of international law and under our system of separation of
powers that diplomatic immunity is essentially a political question and courts should refuse to
look beyond a determination by the executive branch of the government, and where the plea of
diplomatic immunity is recognized and affirmed by the executive branch of the government as in
the case at bar.

Article II of the Memorandum of Agreement between the Philippine Government and ICMC
provides that ICMC shall have a status “similar to that of a specialized agency

Furthermore, Article III, Section 4. The specialized agencies, their property and assets,
wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall enjoy immunity from every form of legal
process except in so far as in any particular case they have expressly waived their immunity. It
is, however, understood that no waiver of immunity shall extend to any measure of execution.

It is then the duty of the courts to accept the claim of immunity upon appropriate suggestion by
the principal law officer of the government or other officer acting under his direction. Hence, in
adherence to the settled principle that courts may not so exercise their jurisdiction . . . as to
embarrass the executive arm of the government in conducting foreign relations, it is accepted
doctrine that in such cases the judicial department of the Philippine government follows the
action of the political branch and will not embarrass the latter by assuming an antagonistic
jurisdiction.

Luelco vs Mangaser

petitioner seeks to annul the decision dated January 13, 1989 and the order dated February 10,
1989 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of San Fernando, La Union in Civil Case No. 4182 and
to declare Presidential Decree No. 269 as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1645
unconstitutional.

Barcelon vs Thompson

Fats:
The said applicant is detained and restrained of his liberty at the town of Batangas, in the Province
of Batangas, Philippine Islands. The person who detained and restrained the said applicant of his
liberty is John Doe Thompson, captain of the Philippines Constabulary, acting under and in
pursuance of the orders of David J. Baker, Jr., colonel of the Philippines Constabulary.

The petitioners assailed that the detention and restraint of the said applicant is not under or by virtue
of any process issued legitimately by any court.

Petitioners pray that a writ of habeas corpus be issued to the release of Felix Barcelon

Issues: Whether or not the judicial department of the Government may investigate the facts upon
which the legislative and executive branches of the Government acted in providing for the
suspension of the privilege of the writ of habes corpus in the province of Cavite and BAtangas

Held: NO. It is the duty of the legislative branch of the Government to make such laws and
regulations as will effectually conserve peace and good order and protect the lives and property of
the citizens of the State. It is the duty of the Governor-General to take such steps as he deems wise
and necessary for the purpose of enforcing such laws. Therefore, he may be tied until the very
object of the rebels or insurrects or invaders has been accomplished

The conclusion set forth in the said resolution and the said executive order, as to the fact that
there existed in the Provinces of Cavite and Batangas open insurrection against the constituted
authorities, was a conclusion entirely within the discretion of the legislative and executive
branches of the Government, after an investigation of the facts.

The doctrine that whenever the Constitution or a statute gives a discretionary power to any
person, to be exercised by him upon his own opinion of certain facts, such person is to be
considered the sole and exclusive judge of the existence of those facts has been recognized in
this case. The authority to suspend the privilege of writ of habeas corpus is exclusively vested in
the legislative and executive branches of the government and their decision is final and
conclusive upon the Judicial Department and upon all persons. Therefore, the application for the
writ of habeas corpus is denied.
Montenegro vs. Castaňeda
G.R. No. L-4221, August 30, 1952

Montenegro’s son was arrested by military agents In October 1950. Three days after the arrest, PP
210 was proclaimed suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.

Montenegro then filed before the court to have his son be set free for his arrest was w/o cause and
that the said PP should not be applied retroactively to his son for it would then constitute a violation
of the constitutional prohibition against bill of attainders. Montenegro then filed a petition for the writ
of habeas corpus demanding the detainers to bring his son’s body and explain his detention.

Castaňeda further argued that the court has no judicial authority over the matter invoking the PPand
the previous ruling in Barcelon vs Baker.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Montenegro’s petition should be granted.

HELD:
As ruled by the SC in the Barcelon case, Montenegro’s petition is likewise denied. The constitutional
authority of the President to suspend in case of imminent danger of invasion, insurrection or
rebellion under Article 7 may not correctly be placed in doubt

Avelino vs. Cuenco


GR L-2821, 4 March 1949

FACTS:
The petitioners, Senator Jose Avelino, in a quo warranto proceeding, asked the court to declare him
the rightful Senate President and oust the respondent, Mariano CUenco.
In a session of the Senate, Tanadas request to deliver a speech in order to formulate charges
against then Senate President Avelino was approved. With the leadership of the Senate President
followed by his supporters, they deliberately tried to delay and prevent Tanada from delivering his
speech. The SP with his supporters employed delaying tactics, the tried to adjourn the session then
walked out. Only 12 Senators were left in the hall.
The members of the senate left continued the session and Senator Cuenco was appointed as the
Acting President of the Senate and was recognized the next day by the President of the Philippines.

ISSUES:
Whether or not the court has jurisdiction of the case.

HELD: The Supreme Court dismissed the petition on the grounds that it involved a political question.
In view of the separation of powers, the judiciary should not interfere nor take over a political nature
of the controversy and the constitutional grant to the Senate of the power to elect its own president
because in doing so, the court will be against the doctrine of separation of powers.
Mabanag vs Lopez Vito
G.R. No. L-1123

3 of the plaintiff senators were suspended by the Senate shortly while the 8 of the plaintiff
representatives had not been allowed to sit in the lower House, except to take part on the
election of Speaker, both on account of alleged irregularities on their election.

As a consequence the petitioners did not take part in the passage of questioned resolution nor
was their membership reckoned within the computation of the necessary three-fourths vote
which is required in proposing an amendment to the Constititution. If these members had been
counted, the affirmative votes in favor of the proposed amendment would had been short of the
necessary three-fourths vote in either branch of Congress.

Petitioners filed or the prohibition of the furtherance of the said resolution amending the
constitution. Respondents argued that the SC cannot take cognizance of the case because the
Court is bound by the conclusiveness of the enrolled bill or resolution.

Issue:
Whether or not the Court can take cognizance of the issue at bar

Held:

No. The political questions are not within the province of the judiciary except to the extent that
power to deal with such questions has been conferred upon the courts by express
constitutionality or statutory provision. If ratification of an amendment is a political question, a
proposal which leads to ratification has to be a political question. The two steps complement
each other in a scheme intended to achieve a single objective. It is to be noted that the
amendatory process as provided in section 1 of Article XV of the Philippine Constitution
“consists of (only) two distinct parts: proposal and ratification.” There is no logic in attaching
political character to one and withholding that character from the other. Proposal to amend the
Constitution is highly political function performed by Congress in its sovereign legislative
capacity and committed to its charge by the Constitution itself. The exercise of this power is
even independent of any intervention by the Chief Executive. If on grounds of expediency
scrupulous attention of the judiciary be needed to safeguard public interest, there is less reason
for judiciary inquiry into the validity of a proposal than into that of ratification.
Gonzales vs COMELEC

FACTS:

In June 1967, Republic Act 4913 was passed. This law provided for the COMELEC to hold a
plebiscite for the proposed amendments to the Constitution.

It was provided in the said law that the plebiscite shall be held on the same day that the general
national elections shall be held (November 14, 1967). This was questioned by Ramon Gonzales
and other concerned groups as they argued that this was unlawful as there would be no proper
submission of the proposals to the people who would be more interested in the issues involved
in the general election rather than in the issues involving the plebiscite.

Gonzales also questioned the validity of the procedure adopted by Congress when they came
up with their proposals to amend the Constitution (RA 4913). In this regard, the COMELEC and
other respondents interposed the defense that said act of Congress cannot be reviewed by the
courts because it is a political question.

ISSUE:

I. Whether or not the act of Congress in proposing amendments is a political question.

II. Whether or not a plebiscite may be held simultaneously with a general election.

HELD:

I. No. The issue is a justiciable question. It must be noted that the power to amend as well as
the power to propose amendments to the Constitution is not included in the general grant of
legislative powers to Congress. Such powers are not constitutionally granted to Congress. On
the contrary, such powers are inherent to the people as repository of sovereignty in a republican
state. That being, when Congress makes amendments or proposes amendments, it is not
actually doing so as Congress; but rather, it is sitting as a constituent assembly. Such act is not
a legislative act. Since it is not a legislative act, it is reviewable by the Supreme Court. The
Supreme Court has the final say whether or not such act of the constituent assembly is within
constitutional limitations.

II. Yes. There is no prohibition to the effect that a plebiscite must only be held on a special
election. SC held that there is nothing in this provision of the [1935] Constitution to indicate that
the election therein referred to is a special, not a general election. The circumstance that the
previous amendment to the Constitution had been submitted to the people for ratification in
special elections merely shows that Congress deemed it best to do so under the circumstances
then obtaining. It does not negate its authority to submit proposed amendments for ratification in
general elections.