Sie sind auf Seite 1von 24

PRESIDENCY Members of the Court as Chairman and

1.
AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, JR. Members thereof, contravenes Section 12,
versus Article VIII of the Constitution, which prohibits
JOINT COMMITTEE OF CONGRESS TO CANVASS THE the designation of Members of the Supreme
VOTES FOR PRESIDENT & VICE PRESIDENT IN THE MAY
10 2004 ELECTIONS
Court and of other Courts established by law to
any agency performing quasi-judicial or
Facts: administrative functions.
By a petition for prohibition, Senator Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr.
seeks a judgment declaring null and void the continued
existence of the Joint Committee of Congress to determine the
authenticity and due execution of the certificates of canvass and
The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG)
preliminarily canvass the votes cast for Presidential and Vice commented that the petition was unspecified
Presidential candidates in the May 10 2004 elections following and without statutory basis and that the liberal
the adjournment of Congress on June 11 2004.
approach in its preparation is a violation of the
The petition corollarily prays for the issuance of a writ of well-known rules of practice and pleading in
prohibition directing the Joint Committee to cease and desist this jurisdiction.
from conducting any further proceedings pursuant to the Rules
of the Joint Public Session of Congress on Canvassing.

Issue:
Issue:
Whether or not legislative procedure, precedent or practice as
borne out by the rules of both Houses of Congress supports
Pimentel’s arguments against the existence and proceedings of 1. Whether or not Section 4, Article VII of the
the Joint Committee of Congress after the adjournment of Constitution does not provide for the creation
Congress. of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.
Held: 2. Whether or not the PET violates Section 12,
NO. Pimentel’s claim that his arguments are buttressed by Article VIII of the Constitution.
“legislative procedure, precedent or practice as borne out by the
rules of both Houses of Congress” is directly contradicted by
Section 42 of Rule XIV of the Rules adopted by the Senate, of Discussion:
which he is an incumbent member.

Moreover, the precedents set by the 1992 and 1998 Presidential A plain reading of Article VII, Section 4,
Elections do not support the move to stop the ongoing paragraph 7, readily reveals a grant of authority
canvassing by the Joint Committee. Thus, during the 1992
Presidential elections, both Houses of Congress adjourned on to the Supreme Court sitting en banc. In the
25 May 1992. Thereafter, on 22 June 1992, the Eight Congress same vein, although the method by which the
convened in joint public session as the National Board of Supreme Court exercises this authority is not
Canvassers, and on even date proclaimed Fidel V. Ramos and
Joseph Ejercito Estrada as President and Vice President, specified in the provision, the grant of power
respectively. does not contain any limitation on the Supreme
Court’s exercise thereof. The Supreme Court’s
method of deciding presidential and vice-
presidential election contests, through the PET,
2. Macalintal vs. Presidential Electoral Tribunal is actually a derivative of the exercise of the
G.R. No. 191618, November 23, 2010 prerogative conferred by the constitutional
provision.
Petitioner: Atty. Romulo B. Macalintal
Respondents: Presidential Electoral Tribunal
The conferment of full authority to the
Supreme Court, as a PET, is equivalent to the
Facts: full authority conferred upon the electoral
tribunals of the Senate and the House of
Atty. Macalintal filed a petition that Representatives, i.e., the Senate Electoral
question the constitutionality of the Tribunal (SET) and the House of
Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) as an Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET).
illegal and unauthorized progency of Sec. 4,
Article VII of the Constitution. Petitioner still claims that the PET exercises
quasi-judicial power and, thus, its members
The petitioner highlighted the Supreme violate the proscription in Section 12, Article
Court’s decision in the case of Buac vs. VIII of the Constitution, which reads:
COMELEC which declared that contests
involving the President and the Vice-President SEC. 12. The Members of the Supreme Court
fell within the exclusive original jurisdiction of and of other courts established by law shall
the PET, in the exercise of quasi-judicial power. not be designated to any agency performing
On this point, petitioner reiterated that the quasi-judicial or administrative functions.
constitution of PET, with the designation of the

1
The traditional grant of judicial power is presidential election disputes, it performs what
found in Section 1, Article VIII of the is essentially a judicial power.
Constitution which provides that the power
“shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in
The present Constitution has allocated to the
such lower courts as may be established by
Supreme Court, in conjunction with latter’s
law.” Consistent with our presidential system
exercise of judicial power inherent in all courts,
of government, the function of “dealing with
the task of deciding presidential and vice-
the settlement of disputes, controversies or
presidential election contests, with full
conflicts involving rights, duties or
authority in the exercise thereof. The power
prerogatives that are legally demandable and
wielded by PET is a derivative of the plenary
enforceable” is apportioned to courts of justice.
judicial power allocated to courts of law,
With the advent of the 1987 Constitution,
expressly provided in the Constitution.
judicial power was expanded to include “the
duty of the courts of justice to settle actual
controversies involving rights which are The PET is not simply an agency to which
legally demandable and enforceable, and to Members of the Court were designated. As
determine whether or not there has been a intended by the framers of the Constitution, the
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or PET is to be an independent institution, but not
excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch separate, from the judicial department, i.e., the
or instrumentality of the Government.” The Supreme Court.
power was expanded, but it remained
absolute.
Held:

The set up embodied in the Constitution and


statutes characterize the resolution of electoral The petition was dismissed.
contests as essentially an exercise of judicial
power.

At the barangay and municipal levels, original 2.1 Macalintal v. Presidential Electoral Tribunal
and exclusive jurisdiction over election contests G.R. No. 191618 June 7, 2011
is vested in the municipal or metropolitan trial Nachura, J.
courts and the regional trial courts,
Issue:
respectively.
whether or not Section 4, Article VII of the
At the higher levels — city, provincial, and Constitution does not provide for the creation of the
Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET); whether or not
regional, as well as congressional and the PET violates Section 12, Article VIII of the
senatorial — exclusive and original jurisdiction Constitution
is lodged in the COMELEC and in the House of
Representatives and Senate Electoral Held:
Tribunals, which are not, strictly and literally
speaking, courts of law. Although not courts of A plain reading of Article VII, Section 4,
law, they are, nonetheless, empowered to paragraph 7, readily reveals a grant of authority to the
Supreme Court sitting en banc. In the same vein,
resolve election contests which involve, in although the method by which the Supreme Court
essence, an exercise of judicial power, because exercises this authority is not specified in the provision,
of the explicit constitutional empowerment the grant of power does not contain any limitation on
found in Section 2(2), Article IX-C (for the the Supreme Court’s exercise thereof. The Supreme
COMELEC) and Section 17, Article VI (for the Court’s method of deciding presidential and vice-
Senate and House Electoral Tribunals) of the presidential election contests, through the PET, is
Constitution. Besides, when the COMELEC, the actually a derivative of the exercise of the prerogative
conferred by the aforequoted constitutional provision.
HRET, and the SET decide election contests,
Thus, the subsequent directive in the provision for the
their decisions are still subject to judicial Supreme Court to “promulgate its rules for the
review — via a petition for certiorari filed by purpose.”
the proper party — if there is a showing that the
decision was rendered with grave abuse of The conferment of full authority to the Supreme
discretion tantamount to lack or excess of Court, as a PET, is equivalent to the full authority
jurisdiction. conferred upon the electoral tribunals of the Senate
and the House of Representatives, i.e., the Senate
Electoral Tribunal (SET) and the House of
It is also beyond cavil that when the Supreme Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET)
Court, as PET, resolves a presidential or vice-
2
Next, petitioner still claims that the PET exercises wielded by PET is a derivative of the plenary judicial
quasi-judicial power and, thus, its members violate the power allocated to courts of law, expressly provided in
proscription in Section 12, Article VIII of the the Constitution.
Constitution, which reads:
Note:
SEC. 12. The Members of the Supreme Court and of
other courts established by law shall not be designated The PET is not simply an agency to which
to any agency performing quasi-judicial or Members of the Court were designated. Once again,
administrative functions. the PET, as intended by the framers of the Constitution,
is to be an institutionindependent, but not separate,
The traditional grant of judicial power is found from the judicial department, i.e., the Supreme Court.
in Section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution which
provides that the power “shall be vested in one 3. CLINTON v. JONES
Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be
established by law.” Consistent with our presidential
system of government, the function of “dealing with the CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES
settlement of disputes, controversies or conflicts COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE EIGHTH
involving rights, duties or prerogatives that are legally CIRCUIT
demandable and enforceable” is apportioned to courts
of justice. With the advent of the 1987 Constitution, No. 95-1853. Argued January 13, 1997-Decided
judicial power was expanded to include “the duty of the May 27,1997
courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving
rights which are legally demandable and enforceable,
and to determine whether or not there has been a Respondent sued under 42 U. S. C. §§ 1983 and
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess 1985 and Arkansas law to recover damages from
of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or petitioner, the current President of the United States,
instrumentality of the Government.” The power was alleging, inter alia, that while he was Governor of
expanded, but it remained absolute. Arkansas, petitioner made "abhorrent" sexual
advances to her, and that her rejection of those
The set up embodied in the Constitution and
advances led to punishment by her supervisors in
statutes characterizes the resolution of electoral
contests as essentially an exercise of judicial the state job she held at the time. Petitioner
power. promptly advised the Federal District Court that he
would file a motion to dismiss on Presidential
At the barangay and municipal levels, original immunity grounds, and requested that all other
and exclusive jurisdiction over election contests is pleadings and motions be deferred until the
vested in the municipal or metropolitan trial courts and immunity issue was resolved. Mter the court
the regional trial courts, respectively.
granted that request, petitioner filed a motion to
At the higher levels — city, provincial, and dismiss without prejudice and to toll any applicable
regional, as well as congressional and senatorial — statutes of limitation during his Presidency. The
exclusive and original jurisdiction is lodged in the District Judge denied dismissal on immunity
COMELEC and in the House of Representatives and grounds and ruled that discovery could go forward,
Senate Electoral Tribunals,which are not, strictly and but ordered any trial stayed until petitioner's
literally speaking, courts of law. Although not courts
Presidency ended. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the
of law, they are, nonetheless, empowered to resolve
election contests which involve, in essence, an dismissal denial, but reversed the trial postponement
exercise of judicial power, because of the explicit as the "functional equivalent" of a grant of
constitutional empowerment found in Section 2(2), temporary immunity to which petitioner was not
Article IX-C (for the COMELEC) and Section 17, Article constitutionally entitled. The court explained that
VI (for the Senate and House Electoral Tribunals) of the the President, like other officials, is subject to the
Constitution. Besides, when the COMELEC, the same laws that apply to all citizens, that no case had
HRET, and the SET decide election contests, their
been found in which an official was granted
decisions are still subject to judicial review — via a
petition for certiorari filed by the proper party — if there immunity from suit for his unofficial acts, and that
is a showing that the decision was rendered with grave the rationale for official immunity is inapposite
abuse of discretion tantamount to lack or excess of where only personal, private conduct by a President
jurisdiction. is at issue. The court also rejected the argument that,
unless immunity is available, the threat of judicial
It is also beyond cavil that when the Supreme interference with the Executive Branch would
Court, as PET, resolves a presidential or vice-
violate separation of powers.
presidential election contest, it performs what is
essentially a judicial power.
Held:
The present Constitution has allocated to the
Supreme Court, in conjunction with latter’s exercise of 1. This Court need not address two important
judicial power inherent in all courts, the task of deciding constitutional issues not encompassed within the
presidential and vice-presidential election contests,
questions presented by the certiorari petition: (1)
with full authority in the exercise thereof. The power
whether a claim comparable to petitioner's assertion
3
of immunity might succeed in a state tribunal, and suits against sitting Presidents for their private
(2) whether a court may compel the President's actions, or in the relatively narrow compass of the
attendance at any specific time or place. Pp. 689- issues raised in this particular case. Of greater
692. significance, it is settled that the Judiciary may
severely burden the Executive Branch by reviewing
2. Deferral of this litigation until petitioner's the legality of the President's official conduct, see,
Presidency ends is not constitutionally required. e. g., Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343
Pp.692-710. U. S. 579, and may direct appropriate process to the
President himself, see, e. g., United States v. Nixon,
(a) Petitioner's principal submission-that in all but 418 U. S. 683. It must follow that the federal courts
the most exceptional cases, the Constitution affords have power to determine the legality of the
the President temporary immunity from civil President's unofficial conduct. The reasons for
damages litigation arising out of events that rejecting a categorical rule requiring federal courts
occurred before he took office-cannot be sustained to stay private actions during the President's term
on the basis of precedent. The principal rationale for apply as well to a rule that would, in petitioner's
affording Presidents immunity from damages words, require a stay "in all but the most
actions based on their official acts-i. e., to enable exceptional cases." Pp.697-706.
them to perform their designated functions
effectively without fear that a particular decision (c) Contrary to the Eighth Circuit's ruling, the
may give rise to personal liability, see, e. g., Nixon District Court's stay order was not the "functional
v. Fitzgerald, 457 U. S. 731, 749, 752, and n. 32- equivalent" of an unconstitutional grant of
provides no support for an immunity for unofficial temporary immunity. Rather, the District Court has
conduct. Moreover, immunities for acts clearly broad discretion to stay proceedings as an incident
within official capacity are grounded in the nature to its power to control its own docket. See, e. g.,
of the function performed, not the identity of the Landis v. North American Co., 299 U. S. 248, 254.
actor who performed it. Forrester v. White, 484 U. Moreover, the potential burdens on the President
S. 219, 229. The Court is also unpersuaded by posed by this litigation are appropriate matters for
petitioner's historical evidence, which sheds little that court to evaluate in its management of the case,
light on the question at issue, and is largely and the high respect owed the Presidency is a matter
canceled by conflicting evidence that is itself that should inform the conduct of the entire
consistent with both the doctrine of Presidential proceeding. Nevertheless, the District Court's stay
immunity as set forth in Fitzgerald, and rejection of decision was an abuse of discretion because it took
the immunity claim in this case. Pp. 692-697. no account of the importance of respondent's
interest in bringing the case to trial, and because it
(b) The separation-of-powers doctrine does not was premature in that there was nothing in the
require federal courts to stay all private actions record to enable a judge to assess whether
against the President until he leaves office. Even postponement of trial after the completion of
accepting the unique importance of the Presidency discovery would be warranted. Pp.706-708.
in the constitutional scheme, it does not follow that
that doctrine would be violated by allowing this (d) The Court is not persuaded of the seriousness of
action to proceed. The doctrine provides a self- the alleged risks that this decision will generate a
executing safeguard against the encroachment or large volume of politically motivated harassing and
aggrandizement of one of the three coequal frivolous litigation and that national security
branches of Government at the expense of another. concerns might prevent the President from
Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U. S. 1, 122. But in this case explaining a legitimate need for a continuance, and
there is no suggestion that the Federal Judiciary is has confidence in the ability of federal judges to
being asked to perform any function that might in deal with both concerns. If Congress deems it
some way be described as "executive." Respondent appropriate to afford the President stronger
is merely asking the courts to exercise their core protection, it may respond with legislation.
Article III jurisdiction to decide cases and
controversies, and, whatever the outcome, there is
no possibility that the decision here will curtail the
scope of the Executive Branch's official powers.
The Court rejects petitioner's contention that this 4. G.R. NO. 183871
case-as well as the potential additional litigation that Rubrico vs. Arroyo
an affirmance of the Eighth Circuit's judgment
might spawn-may place unacceptable burdens on February 18, 2010
the President that will hamper the performance of
his official duties. That assertion finds little support
either in history, as evidenced by the paucity of FACTS:
4
Rubrico, in her petition, said she was abducted on April 3, enforced disappearance of Lourdes and the threats and
2007 by armed men belonging to the 301st Air Intelligence harassment that followed.
and Security Squadron, based at the Philippine Air Force
Field Station at Fernando Air Base in Lipa City, Batangas.
During her detention, the petitioner added, her daughters 5. RODRIGUEZ VS. ARROYO
Mary Joy Rubrico Carbonel and Jean Rubrico Apruebo were
harassed by Senior Insp. Arsenio Gomez and that there were
also armed men following them. The petitioners prayed that FACTS: Noriel Rodriguez (petitioner) is a member
a writ of amparo be issued, ordering the individual of Alyansa Dagiti Mannalon Iti Cagayan, a peasant
organization affiliated with Kilusang Magbubukid
respondents to desist from performing any threatening act
ng Pilipinas (KMP).
against the security of the petitioners and for the Office of
the Ombudsman (OMB) to immediately file an information
Under the Oplan Bantay Laya, the military tagged
for kidnapping qualified with the aggravating circumstance
KMP members as an enemy of the state, making its
of gender of the offended party. It also prayed for damages members an easy target of extra-judicial killings and
and for respondents to produce documents submitted to any enforced disappearances.
of them on the case of Lourdes.

The respondents then filed a joint return on the writ On September 6, 2009, Rodriguez just alighted from
a tricycle driven by Hermie Antonio Carlos in Brgy.
specifically denying the material inculpatory averments
Tapel, Cagayan, when 4 men forcibly took him and
against them. Respondents interposed the defense that the forced him to get inside a car where more men in
President may not be sued during her incumbency. civilian clothing were waiting (1 was holding a .45
caliber pistol).
Petitioners pleaded back to be allowed to present evidence ex
The men started punching Rodriguez inside the car,
parte against the President, et al. and forced him to confess that he is a member of the
By a separate resolution, the CA dropped the President as New People’s Army (NPA). Rodriguez remained
silent until they reached a military camp belonging to
respondent in the case .
the 17th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.

Rodriguez was then subjected to beatings and torture


ISSUE:
by members of the Philippine Army. Members of the
WHETHER OR NOT the [CA] committed reversible error army wanted him to admit that he is an NPA member
in dismissing [their] Petition and dropping President Gloria and then pinpoint other NPA members and camp
locations. Since Rodriguez cannot answer, he is
Macapagal Arroyo as party respondent.
repeatedly beaten and tortured. Rodriguez was also
HELD: coerced to sign several documents to declare that he
is a surenderree.
The presidential immunity from suit remains preserved
under our system of government, albeit not expressly On September 17, 2009, Rodriguez’s mother and
reserved in the present constitution. Addressing a concern of brother came to see him (accompanied by members
his co-members in the 1986 Constitutional Commission on of the CHR – Pasicolan, Cruz and Callagan). They
the absence of an express provision on the matter, Fr. insisted to take Rodriguez home with them to Manila.
Joaquin Bernas, S.J. observed that it was already understood
in jurisprudence that the President may not be sued during Rodriguez arrived in Manila on September 18.
his or her tenure. Callagan and 2 military members went inside their
house and took pictures for around 30 minutes
Settled is the doctrine that the President, during his tenure of despite Rodriguez’s effort to stop them.
office or actual incumbency, may not be sued in any civil or
criminal case, and there is no need to provide for it in the On November 3, Rodriguez and his girlfriend notices
Constitution or law. It will degrade the dignity of the high that several suspicious-looking men are following
office of the President, the Head of State, if he can be them on the streets, jeepney and MRT.
dragged into court litigations while serving as such.
REPORT THIS AD

The Court also affirmed the dismissal of the amparo case On December 7, Rodriguez filed a Petition for the
against other respondents for failure of the petition to allege Writ of Amparo and Petition for the Writ of Habeas
Data with Prayers for Protection Orders, Inspection
ultimate facts as to make out a case against that body for the
of Place, and Production of Documents and Personal
Properties dated 2 December 2009.
5
The petition was filed against former President The tenure represents the term during which the
Arroyo, Gen. Ibrado, PDG. Versoza, Lt. Gen. Bangit, incumbent actually holds office. The tenure may be
Major General (Maj. Gen.) Nestor Z. Ochoa, shorter than the term for reasons within or beyond the
P/CSupt. Tolentino, P/SSupt. Santos, Col. De Vera, power of the incumbent. The intent of the framers of
1st Lt. Matutina, Calog, George Palacpac, Cruz, the 1987 Constitution is to limit the president’s
Pasicolan and Callagan. immunity from suits during their tenure (and not
term).
Respondents contend that Rodriguez is a double
agent, and had been working as their “It is clear that former President Arroyo cannot use
informant/infiltrator in the fight against NPA rebels. the presidential immunity from suit to shield herself
from judicial scrutiny that would assess whether,
Then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, through within the context of amparo proceedings, she was
the solicitor-general, insisted on her immunity from responsible or accountable for the abduction of
suits (by virtue of her position as president). Rodriguez.”

Supreme Court granted the writs after finding that the (2) Yes. The doctrine of command responsibility
petition sufficiently alleged the abduction and torture may be used to determine whether respondents are
of Rodriguez by members of the Philippine Army. accountable for and have the duty to address the
SC directed the Court of Appeals to hear the petition. abduction of Rodriguez in order to enable the courts
to devise remedial measures to protect his rights.
CA ruled in favor of Rodriguez and found Ibrado,
Versoza, Bangit, Ochoa, Tolentino, Santos, De Vera Proceedings under the Rule on the Writ of Amparo
and Matutina liable for his abduction and torture. As do not determine criminal, civil or administrative
to Calog and Palacpac, the case was dismissed for liability, but this should not abate the applicability of
lack of merit. On President Arroyo, the case was the doctrine of command responsibility.
dismissed on account of her immunity from suits.
“In the context of amparo proceedings, responsibility
ISSUE: may refer to the participation of the respondents, by
action or omission, in enforced disappearance.
Accountability, on the other hand, may attach to
1. WON President Arroyo should be dropped as respondents who are imputed with knowledge
a respondent by virtue of her presidential relating to the enforced disappearance and who carry
immunity from suit the burden of disclosure; or those who carry, but have
2. WON the doctrine of command failed to discharge, the burden of extraordinary
responsibility can be used in writs of amparo diligence in the investigation of the enforced
and habeas data cases. disappearance.”
HELD:
“Despite maintaining former President Arroyo in the
(1) CA’s rationale does not stand anymore since the list of respondents in G.R. No. 191805, and allowing
presidential immunity from suits only applies during the application of the command responsibility
her incumbency. “Incumbent Presidents are immune doctrine to amparo and habeas data proceedings,
from suit or from being brought to court during the Rodriguez failed to prove through substantial
period of their incumbency and tenure but not evidence that former President Arroyo was
beyond.” responsible or accountable for the violation of his
rights to life, liberty and property. He likewise failed
“A non-sitting President does not enjoy immunity to prove through substantial evidence the
from suit, even for acts committed during the latter’s accountability or responsibility of respondents Maj.
tenure. We emphasize our ruling therein that courts Gen. Ochoa, Cruz, Pasicolan and Callagan.”
should look with disfavor upon the presidential
privilege of immunity, especially when it impedes SC affirmed the decision of the CA, but with
the search for truth or impairs the vindication of a modifications. The case is dismissed with respect to
right.” respondents former President Gloria Macapagal-
Arroyo, P/CSupt. Ameto G. Tolentino, and P/SSupt.
Term vs Tenure: The term means the time during Jude W. Santos, Calog, George Palacpac, Antonio
which the officer may claim to hold the office as of Cruz, Aldwin Pasicolan and Vicent Callagan for lack
right, and fixes the interval after which the several of merit.
incumbents shall succeed one another.

6
6. G.R. No. 184740 February 11, 2010 A moot and academic case is one that ceases to present a
DENNIS A. B. FUNA, Petitioner, vs. EXECUTIVE justiciable controversy by virtue of supervening events, so that
SECRETARY EDUARDO R. ERMITA, Office of the a declaration thereon would be of no practical use or value.
President, SEC. LEANDRO R. MENDOZA, in his official Generally, courts decline jurisdiction over such case or
capacity as Secretary of the Department of Transportation dismiss it on ground of mootness. But even in cases where
and Communications, USEC. MARIA ELENA H. supervening events had made the cases moot, this Court did
BAUTISTA, in her official capacities as Undersecretary of not hesitate to resolve the legal or constitutional issues raised
the Department of Transportation and Communications to formulate controlling principles to guide the bench, bar, and
and as Officer-in-Charge of the Maritime Industry public. In the present case, the mootness of the petition does
Authority (MARINA), Respondents. not bar its resolution.
DECISION Resolution of the present controversy hinges on the correct
VILLARAMA, JR., J.: application of Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution,
Facts: which provides:
This is a petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus Sec. 13. The President, Vice-President, the Members of the
under Rule 65 with prayer for the issuance of a temporary Cabinet, and their deputies or assistants shall not, unless
restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction, to otherwise provided in this Constitution, hold any other
declare as unconstitutional the designation of respondent office or employment during their tenure. They shall not,
Undersecretary Maria Elena H. Bautista as Officer-in- during said tenure, directly or indirectly practice any other
Charge (OIC) of the Maritime Industry Authority profession, participate in any business, or be financially
(MARINA). interested in any contract with, or in any franchise, or special
On October 4, 2006, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo privilege granted by the Government or any subdivision,
appointed respondent Maria Elena H. Bautista (Bautista) as agency, or instrumentality thereof, including government-
Undersecretary of the Department of Transportation and owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries. They
Communications (DOTC). shall strictly avoid conflict of interest in the conduct of their
On September 1, 2008, following the resignation of then office.
MARINA Administrator Vicente T. Suazo, Jr., Bautista was The spouse and relatives by consanguinity or affinity within
designated as Officer-in-Charge (OIC), Office of the the fourth civil degree of the President shall not, during his
Administrator, MARINA, in concurrent capacity as tenure, be appointed as Members of the Constitutional
DOTC Undersecretary. Commissions, or the Office of the Ombudsman, or as
On October 21, 2008, Dennis A. B. Funa in his capacity as Secretaries, Undersecretaries, chairmen or heads of bureaus or
taxpayer, concerned citizen and lawyer, filed the instant offices, including government-owned or controlled
petition challenging the constitutionality of Bautista’s corporations and their subsidiaries.
appointment/designation, which is proscribed by the On the other hand, Section 7, paragraph (2), Article IX-B
prohibition on the President, Vice-President, the Members of reads:
the Cabinet, and their deputies and assistants to hold any other Sec. 7. x x x
office or employment. Unless otherwise allowed by law or the primary functions of
On January 5, 2009, during the pendency of this petition, his position, no appointive official shall hold any other office
Bautista was appointed Administrator of the MARINA and or employment in the Government or any subdivision, agency
she assumed her duties and responsibilities as such on or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or
February 2, 2009. controlled corporations or their subsidiaries.
Petitioner argues that Bautista’s concurrent positions as DOTC Noting that the prohibition imposed on the President and his
Undersecretary and MARINA OIC is in violation of Section official family is all-embracing, the disqualification was held
13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution . to be absolute, as the holding of "any other office" is not
On the other hand, the respondents argue that the requisites of qualified by the phrase "in the Government" unlike in
a judicial inquiry are not present in this case. In fact, there no Section 13, Article VI prohibiting Senators and Members
longer exists an actual controversy that needs to be resolved in of the House of Representatives from holding "any other
view of the appointment of respondent Bautista as MARINA office or employment in the Government"; and when
Administrator effective February 2, 2009 and the compared with other officials and employees such as members
relinquishment of her post as DOTC Undersecretary for of the armed forces and civil service employees, we concluded
Maritime Transport, which rendered the present petition moot thus:
and academic. Petitioner’s prayer for a temporary restraining These sweeping, all-embracing prohibitions imposed on the
order or writ of preliminary injunction is likewise moot and President and his official family, which prohibitions are not
academic since, with this supervening event, there is nothing similarly imposed on other public officials or employees
left to enjoin. such as the Members of Congress, members of the civil
Issue: Whether or not the designation of respondent Bautista service in general and members of the armed forces, are proof
as OIC of MARINA, concurrent with the position of DOTC of the intent of the 1987 Constitution to treat the President
Undersecretary for Maritime Transport to which she had been and his official family as a class by itself and to impose
appointed, violated the constitutional proscription against dual upon said class stricter prohibitions.
or multiple offices for Cabinet Members and their deputies Thus, while all other appointive officials in the civil service
and assistants. are allowed to hold other office or employment in the
Held: government during their tenure when such is allowed by law
The petition is meritorious. or by the primary functions of their positions, members of the
Petitioner having alleged a grave violation of the constitutional Cabinet, their deputies and assistants may do so only when
prohibition against Members of the Cabinet, their deputies and expressly authorized by the Constitution itself. In other words,
assistants holding two (2) or more positions in government, Section 7, Article IX-B is meant to lay down the general
the fact that he filed this suit as a concerned citizen rule applicable to all elective and appointive public
sufficiently confers him with standing to sue for redress of officials and employees, while Section 13, Article VII is
such illegal act by public officials. meant to be the exception applicable only to the President,

7
the Vice-President, Members of the Cabinet, their deputies 7. ENNIS A.B. FUNA, Petitioner, v
and assistants.
Since the evident purpose of the framers of the 1987
. ACTING SECRETARY OF
Constitution is to impose a stricter prohibition on the JUSTICE ALBERTO C. AGRA
President, Vice-President, members of the Cabinet, their
deputies and assistants with respect to holding multiple offices
or employment in the government during their tenure, the
exception to this prohibition must be read with equal severity. FACTS: The petitioner alleges that on March
On its face, the language of Section 13, Article VII is 1, 2010, President Gloria M. Macapagal-Arroyo
prohibitory so that it must be understood as intended to be a appointed Agra as the Acting Secretary of
positive and unequivocal negation of the privilege of holding Justice following the resignation of Secretary
multiple government offices or employment. Verily, wherever Agnes VST Devanadera in order to vie for a
the language used in the constitution is prohibitory, it is to be congressional seat in Quezon Province; that on
understood as intended to be a positive and unequivocal
March 5, 2010, President Arroyo designated
negation. The phrase "unless otherwise provided in this
Constitution" must be given a literal interpretation to
Agra as the Acting Solicitor General in a
refer only to those particular instances cited in the concurrent capacity;that on April 7, 2010, the
Constitution itself, to wit: the Vice-President being petitioner, in his capacity as a taxpayer, a
appointed as a member of the Cabinet under Section 3, concerned citizen and a lawyer, commenced
par. (2), Article VII; or acting as President in those this suit to challenge the constitutionality of
instances provided under Section 7, pars. (2) and (3), Agra concurrent appointments or designations,
Article VII; and, the Secretary of Justice being ex-officio claiming it to be prohibited under Section 13,
member of the Judicial and Bar Council by virtue of
Section 8 (1), Article VIII.
Article VII of the 1987 Constitution; that during
Respondent Bautista being then the appointed Undersecretary the pendency of the suit, President Benigno S.
of DOTC, she was thus covered by the stricter prohibition Aquino III appointed Atty. Jose Anselmo I.
under Section 13, Article VII and consequently she cannot Cadiz as the Solicitor General; and that Cadiz
invoke the exception provided in Section 7, paragraph 2, assumed as the Solicitor General and
Article IX-B where holding another office is allowed by law commenced his duties as such on August 5,
or the primary functions of the position. Neither was she 2010.
designated OIC of MARINA in an ex-officio capacity, which
is the exception recognized in Civil Liberties Union.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The designation of Agra renders a different version of the
respondent Ma. Elena H. Bautista as Officer-in-Charge, Office antecedents. He represents that on January 12,
of the Administrator, Maritime Industry Authority, in a 2010, he was then the Government Corporate
concurrent capacity with her position as DOTC Counsel when President Arroyo designated him
Undersecretary for Maritime Transport, is hereby declared as the Acting Solicitor General in place of
UNCONSTITUTIONAL for being violative of Section 13, Solicitor General Devanadera who had been
Article VII of the 1987 Constitution and therefore, NULL and
appointed as the Secretary of Justice;that on
VOID.
Note: March 5, 2010, President Arroyo designated
Appointment may be defined as the selection, by the him also as the Acting Secretary of Justice vice
authority vested with the power, of an individual who is to Secretary Devanadera who had meanwhile
exercise the functions of a given office. When completed, tendered her resignation in order to run for
usually with its confirmation, the appointment results in Congress representing a district in Quezon
security of tenure for the person chosen unless he is Province in the May 2010 elections; that he
replaceable at pleasure because of the nature of his office. then relinquished his position as the
Designation, on the other hand, connotes merely the
imposition by law of additional duties on an incumbent
Government Corporate Counsel; and that
official, as where, in the case before us, the Secretary of pending the appointment of his successor, Agra
Tourism is designated Chairman of the Board of Directors of continued to perform his duties as the Acting
the Philippine Tourism Authority, or where, under the Solicitor General.
Constitution, three Justices of the Supreme Court are
designated by the Chief Justice to sit in the Electoral Tribunal Notwithstanding the conflict in the versions of
of the Senate or the House of Representatives. It is said that the parties, the fact that Agra has admitted to
appointment is essentially executive while designation is
holding the two offices concurrently in acting
legislative in nature.
Designation may also be loosely defined as an appointment capacities is settled, which is sufficient for
because it likewise involves the naming of a particular purposes of resolving the constitutional
person to a specified public office. That is the common question that petitioner raises herein.
understanding of the term. However, where the person is
merely designated and not appointed, the implication is The appointments being hereby challenged
that he shall hold the office only in a temporary capacity were in acting or temporary capacities. Still, the
and may be replaced at will by the appointing authority. In
petitioner submits that the prohibition under
this sense, the designation is considered only an acting or
temporary appointment, which does not confer security of
Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution
tenure on the person named. does not distinguish between an appointment
or designation of a Member of the Cabinet in
an acting or temporary capacity, on the one
8
hand, and one in a permanent capacity, on the members of the Cabinet, their deputies and
other hand; and that Acting Secretaries, being assistants with respect to holding multiple
nonetheless Members of the Cabinet, are not offices or employment in the government
exempt from the constitutional ban. He during their tenure, the exception to this
emphasizes that the position of the Solicitor prohibition must be read with equal severity.
General is not an ex officio position in relation On its face, the language of Section 13, Article
to the position of the Secretary of Justice, VII is prohibitory so that it must be understood
considering that the Office of the Solicitor as intended to be a positive and unequivocal
General (OSG) is an independent and negation of the privilege of holding multiple
autonomous office attached to the Department government offices or employment. Verily,
of Justice (DOJ). He insists that the fact that wherever the language used in the constitution
Agra was extended an appointment as the is prohibitory, it is to be understood as
Acting Solicitor General shows that he did not intended to be a positive and unequivocal
occupy that office in an ex officio capacity negation. The phrase "unless otherwise
because an ex officio position does not require provided in this Constitution" must be given a
any further warrant or appointment. literal interpretation to refer only to those
particular instances cited in the Constitution
Respondents contend, in contrast, that Agra itself, to wit: the Vice-President being
concurrent designations as the Acting Secretary appointed as a member of the Cabinet under
of Justice and Acting Solicitor General were Section 3, par. (2), Article VII; or acting as
only in a temporary capacity, the only effect of President in those instances provided under
which was to confer additional duties to him. Section 7, pars. (2)and (3), Article VII; and, the
Thus, as the Acting Solicitor General and Secretary of Justice being ex-officio
Acting Secretary of Justice, Agra was not member of the Judicial and Bar Council by
"holding" both offices in the strict virtue of Section 8 (1), Article VIII.
constitutional sense. They argue that an Being designated as the Acting Secretary of
appointment, to be covered by the Justice concurrently with his position of
constitutional prohibition, must be regular and Acting Solicitor General, therefore, Agra
permanent, instead of a mere designation. was undoubtedly covered by Section 13, Article
VII, supra, whose text and spirit were too clear
Respondents further contend that, even on the to be differently read. Hence, Agra could not
assumption that Agra concurrent designation validly hold any other office or
constituted "holding of multiple offices," his employment during his tenure as the Acting
continued service as the Acting Solicitor Solicitor General, because the Constitution has
General was akin to a hold-over; that upon not otherwise so provided.
Agra designation as the Acting Secretary of
Justice, his term as the Acting Solicitor General It was of no moment that Agra
expired in view of the constitutional designation was in an acting or
prohibition against holding of multiple offices temporary capacity. The text of Section
by the Members of the Cabinet; that under the 13,supra, plainly indicates that the intent of the
principle of hold-over, Agra continued his Framers of the Constitution was to impose a
service as the Acting Solicitor General "until his stricter prohibition on the President and the
successor is elected and qualified" to "prevent a Members of his Cabinet in so far as holding
hiatus in the government pending the time other offices or employments in the
when a successor may be chosen and inducted Government or in government-owned or
into office;" and that during his continued government controlled-corporations was
service as the Acting Solicitor General, he did concerned. In this regard,to hold an office
not receive any salaries and emoluments from means to possess or to occupy the office, or to
the OSG after becoming the Acting Secretary of be in possession and administration of the
Justice on March 5, 2010. office, which implies nothing less than the
actual discharge of the functions and duties of
ISSUE: Did the designation of Agra as the office. Indeed, in the language of Section 13
the Acting Secretary of Justice, itself, supra, the Constitution makes no
concurrently with his position of Acting reference to the nature of the appointment or
Solicitor General, violate the designation. The prohibition against dual or
constitutional prohibition against dual multiple offices being held by one official must
or multiple offices? be construed as to apply to all appointments or
designations, whether permanent or
HELD: The evident purpose of the framers of temporary, for it is without question that the
the 1987 Constitution is to impose a stricter avowed objective of Section 13, supra, is to
prohibition on the President, Vice-President, prevent the concentration of powers in the
9
Executive Department officials. To construe
differently is to "open the veritable floodgates The magnitude of the scope of work of the
of circumvention of an important Solicitor General, if added to the equally
constitutional disqualification of officials in the demanding tasks of the Secretary of Justice, is
Executive Department and of limitations on the obviously too much for any one official to bear.
President power of appointment in the guise of Apart from the sure peril of political
temporary designations of Cabinet Members, pressure, the concurrent holding of the two
undersecretaries and assistant secretaries as positions, even if they are not entirely
officers-in-charge of government agencies, incompatible, may affect sound government
instrumentalities, or government-owned or operations and the proper performance of
controlled corporations." duties. GRANTED.

According to Public Interest Center, Inc. v.


Elma, the only two exceptions against the 8. Pimentel vs Ermita GR No 164978 13
holding of multiple offices are: (1) those October 2005
provided for under the Constitution, such
as Section 3, Article VII, authorizing the Vice
President to become a member of the Cabinet; Facts: Gloria Arroyo issued appointments as
and (2) posts occupied by Executive officials acting secretary to Arthur Yap (Agriculture),
specified in Section 13, Article VII without
Alberto Romulo (Foreign Affairs), Raul Gonzales
additional compensation in ex officio
capacities as provided by law and as required (Justice), Florencio Abad (Education), Avelino
by the primary functions of the officials offices. Cruz Jr (National Defence), Rene Villa (Agrarian
In this regard, the decision in Public Interest
Reform), Joseph Durano (Tourism) and Michael
Center, Inc. v. Elma adverted to the resolution
issued on August 1, 1991 in Civil Liberties Defensor (Environment and Natural Resources)
Union v. The Executive Secretary, whereby the on 23 August 2004 except Yap on 15 August
Court held that the phrase "the Members of the
2004. The respondents took their oaths and
Cabinet, and their deputies or assistants" found
in Section 13, supra, referred only to the heads assumed duties. The Congress commenced
of the various executive departments, their regular session on 26 July 2004 and Senators
undersecretaries and assistant secretaries, and Aquilino Pimintel, Edgardo Angara, Juan Ponce
did not extend to other public officials given
the rank of Secretary, Undersecretary or Enrile, Luisa Estrada, Jinggoy Estrada, Panfilo
Assistant Secretary. LAcson, Alfredo Lim, Jamby Madrigal and Sergio
Osmena III filed petition for certiorari and
It is equally remarkable, therefore, that Agra
designation as the Acting Secretary of Justice prohibition against respondents. The Senators
was not in an ex officio capacity, by which he contended that pursuant to Section 10 (2) Book
would have been validly authorized to IV of EO 292 the undersecretary shall be
concurrently hold the two positions due to the
holding of one office being the consequence of designated as acting secretary in case of
holding the other. Being included in the stricter vacancy. Also, petitioners assert that while
prohibition embodied in Section 13, supra, Congress is in session there can be no
Agra cannot liberally apply in his favor the
appointments without first obtaining consent
broad exceptions provided in Section 7,
paragraph 2, Article IX-B of the Constitution to from Commission on Appointments. When
justify his designation as Acting Secretary of Congress adjourned on 22 September 2004,
Justice concurrently with his designation as
Gloria Arroyo issued ad interim appointments to
Acting Solicitor General, or vice versa.
the same respondents.
To underscore the obvious, it is not sufficient Issue: Whether or not the President may appoint
for Agra to show that his holding of the other
in an acting secretaries without the consent of th
office was "allowed by law or the primary
functions of his position." To claim the Commission on Elections while Congress is in
exemption of his concurrent designations from session.
the coverage of the stricter prohibition under
Decision: Petition for certiorari and prohibition
Section 13, supra, he needed to establish herein
that his concurrent designation was expressly were dismissed. Due to the appointment of Gloria
allowed by the Constitution. But, alas, he did Arroyo to the respondents as ad interim
not do so.
immediately after the recess of the Congress, the
10
petition has become moot. However as an
Congress, through a law, cannot impose on the
President the obligation to appoint automatically the
exemption to the rule of mootness, courts will undersecretary as her temporary alter ego. An alter
decide a question otherwise moot if it is capable ego, whether temporary or permanent, holds a position
of great trust and confidence. Congress, in the guise
of repetition yet evading review.
of... prescribing qualifications to an office, cannot
impose on the President who her alter ego should be.
Issues: The office of a department secretary may become
The petition questions the constitutionality of vacant while Congress is in session. Since a
President Arroyo's appointment of respondents as department secretary is the alter ego of the President,
acting secretaries without the consent of the the acting appointee to the office must necessarily
Commission on Appointments while Congress is in have the President's confidence. Thus, by the very
session. nature of the office... of a department secretary, the
President must appoint in an acting capacity a person
Ruling: of her choice even while Congress is in session. That
The petition has no merit. person may or may not be the permanent appointee,
but practical reasons may make it expedient that the
On the Mootness of the Petition acting appointee will also be the... permanent
appointee.
The Solicitor General argues that the petition is moot
because President Arroyo had extended to respondents The law expressly allows the President to make such
ad interim appointments on 23 September 2004 acting appointment. Section 17, Chapter 5, Title I,
immediately after the recess of Congress. Book III of EO 292 states that "[t]he President may
temporarily designate an officer already in the
On the Nature of the Power to Appoint government service or any other competent person to
The power to appoint is essentially executive in perform the... functions of an office in the executive
nature, and the legislature may not interfere with the branch." Thus, the President may even appoint in an
exercise of this executive power except in those acting capacity a person not yet in the government
instances when the Constitution expressly allows it to service, as long as the President deems that person
interfere.[6] Limitations on the executive power... to competent.
appoint are construed strictly against the Petitioners forget that Congress is not the only source
legislature.[7] The scope of the legislature's of law. "Law" refers to the
interference in the executive's power to appoint is
limited to the power to prescribe the qualifications to Constitution, statutes or acts of Congress, municipal
an appointive office. Congress cannot appoint a ordinances, implementing rules issued pursuant to
person... to an office in the guise of prescribing law, and judicial decisions.[17]
qualifications to that office. Neither may Congress
impose on the President the duty to appoint any Finally, petitioners claim that the issuance of
appointments in an acting capacity is susceptible to
particular person to an office.[8]
abuse. Petitioners fail to consider that acting
On Petitioners' Standing appointments cannot exceed one year as expressly
provided in Section 17(3), Chapter 5, Title I, Book III
Thus, on the impairment of the prerogatives of of EO 292. The law has... incorporated this safeguard
members of the Commission on Appointments, only to prevent abuses, like the use of acting appointments
Senators Enrile, Lacson, Angara, Ejercito-Estrada, and as a way to circumvent confirmation by the
Osmeña have standing in the present petition. This is Commission on Appointments.
in contrast to Senators Pimentel, Estrada, Lim, and
Madrigal, who, though... vigilant in protecting their WHEREFORE, we DISMISS the present petition for
perceived prerogatives as members of Congress, certiorari and prohibition.
possess no standing in the present petition.
Principles:
The Constitutionality of President Arroyo's Issuance...
of Appointments to Respondents as Acting Secretaries Ad-interim appointments must be distinguished from
appointments in an acting capacity. Both of them are
The essence of an appointment in an acting capacity is effective upon acceptance. But ad-interim
its temporary nature. It is a stop-gap measure intended appointments are extended only during a recess of
to fill an office for a limited time until the Congress, whereas acting appointments may be
appointment of a permanent occupant to the extended any time there is... a vacancy. Moreover ad-
office.[16] In case of vacancy in an office occupied interim appointments are submitted to the
by... an alter ego of the President, such as the office of Commission on Appointments for confirmation or
a department secretary, the President must necessarily rejection; acting appointments are not submitted to the
appoint an alter ego of her choice as acting secretary Commission on Appointments. Acting appointments
before the permanent appointee of her choice could are a way of temporarily filling important offices but,
assume office. if... abused, they can also be a way of circumventing
11
the need for confirmation by the Commission on 3. For the 18th Sandiganbayan Associate Justice:
Appointments.
1. BAGUIO, CELSO O. - 5 votes 2. DE
GUZMAN-ALVAREZ, MA. TERESA E. - 5
9.PHILIP A. AGUINALDO v. HIS votes 3. FERNANDEZ, BERNELITO R.- 5
EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT BENIGNO votes 4. PANGANIBAN, ELVIRA DE
SIMEON C. AQUINO III, GR No. 224302, 2016- CASTRO - 5 votes 5. SAGUN, FERNANDO
11-29 JR. T.- 5 votes 6. TRESPESES, ZALDY V.- 5
votes
Facts:
On June 11, 1978, then President Ferdinand E. Marcos 4. For the 19th Sandiganbayan Associate Justice:
(Marcos) issued Presidential Decree No. 1486,
creating a special court called the Sandiganbayan, 1. GUANZON, FRANCES V. - 6 votes 2.
composed of a Presiding Judge and eight Associate MACARAIG-GUILLEN, MARISSA - 6
Judges to be appointed by the President, which shall votes 3. CRUZ, REYNALDO P.- 5 votes 4.
have jurisdiction over criminal and civil cases PAUIG, VILMA T. - 5 votes 5. RAMOS,
involving graft and corrupt practices and such other RENAN E.- 5 votes 6. ROXAS, RUBEN
offenses committed by public officers and employees, REYNALDO G.- 5 votes
including those in government owned or controlled
corporations.[3] A few months later, on December 10, 5. For the 20th Sandiganbayan Associate Justice:
1978, President Marcos also issued Presidential
Decree No. 1606,[4] which elevated the rank of the 1. MIRANDA, KARL B. - 6 votes 2. ATAL-
members of the Sandiganbayan from Judges to PAÑO, PERPETUA - 5 votes 3. BUNYI-
Justices, co-equal in rank with the Justices of the MEDINA, THELMA- 5 votes 4. CORTEZ,
Court of Appeals; and provided that the LUISITO G. - 5 votes 5. FIEL-MACARAIG,
Sandiganbayan shall sit in three divisions of three GERALDINE C.- 5 votes 6. QUIMPO-SALE,
Justices each.[5] Republic Act No. 7975[6] was ANGELENE MARY W.- 5 votes 7.
approved into law on March 30, 1995 and it increased JACINTO, BAYANI H.- 4 votes
the composition of the Sandiganbayan from nine to
fifteen Justices who would sit in five divisions of three 6. For the 21st Sandiganbayan Associate Justice:
members each. Republic Act No. 10660,[7] recently
enacted on April 16, 2015, created two more divisions 1. JORGE-WAGAN, WILHELMINA B. - 6
of the Sandiganbayan with three Justices each, thereby votes 2. ECONG, GERALDINE FAITH A. - 5
resulting in six vacant positions.On July 20, 2015, the votes 3. ROMERO-MAGLAYA, ROSANNA
Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) published in the FE- 5 votes 4. ZURAEK, MERIANTHE
Philippine Star and Philippine Daily Inquirer and PACITA M. - 5 votes 5. ALAMEDA, ELMO
posted on the JBC website an announcement calling M.- 4 votes 6. FERNANDEZ-BERNARDO,
for applications or recommendations for the six newly VICTORIA C.- 4 votes 7. MUSNGI,
created positions of Associate Justice of the MICHAEL FREDERICK L.- 4 votes
Sandiganbayan.[8] After screening and selection of
applicants, the JBC submitted to President Aquino six President Aquino issued on January 20, 2015 the
shortlists contained in six separate letters, all dated appointment papers for the six new Sandiganbayan
October 26, 2015,... nominations for the vacancy for Associate Justices, namely: (1) respondent Musngi;
the SIXTEENTH ASSOCIATE JUSTICE of the (2) Justice Reynaldo P. Cruz (R. Cruz); (3) respondent
SANDIGANBAYAN, with their respective votes: Econg; (4) Justice Maria Theresa V. Mendoza-Arcega
(Mendoza-Arcega); (5) Justice Karl B. Miranda
1. AGUINALDO, PHILIP A. - 5 votes 2. (Miranda); and (6) Justice Zaldy V. Trespeses
ALHAMBRA, REYNALDO A. - 5 votes 3. (Trespeses). The appointment papers were transmitted
CRUZ, DANILO S. - 5 votes 4. POZON, on January 25, 2016 to the six new Sandiganbayan
BENJAMIN T. - 5 votes 5. SANDOVAL, Associate Justices, who took their oaths of office on
DANILO S. - 5 votes 6. TIMBANG, the same day all at the Supreme Court Dignitaries
SALVADOR JR. - 5 votes Lounge. Respondent Econg, with Justices Mendoza-
Arcega and Trespeses, took their oaths of office
For the 17th Sandiganbayan Associate Justice: before Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P.
A. Sereno (Sereno); while respondent Musngi, with
1. CORPUS-MAÑALAC, MARYANN E. - 6 Justices R. Cruz and Miranda, took their oaths of
votes 2. MENDOZA-ARCEGA, MARIA office before Supreme Court Associate Justice Francis
THERESA V. - 6 votes 3. QUIMBO, H. Jardeleza (Jardeleza).
RODOLFO NOEL S.- 6 votes 4. DIZON,
Arguments of the Petitioners
MA. ANTONIA EDITA CLARIDADES - 5
votes 5. SORIANO, ANDRES Petitioners observe the following infirmities in
BARTOLOME- 5 votes President Aquino's appointments:Michael Frederick L.
12
Musngi, nominated for the vacancy of the 21st nominees, only had an expectant right because their
Associate Justice, was appointed as the 16th Associate appointment to the Sandiganbayan would still be
Justice;Reynaldo P. Cruz, nominated for the vacancy dependent upon the President's discretionary
of the 19th Associate Justice, was appointed as the appointing power.
17th Associate Justice;Geraldine Faith A. Econg, also
nominated for the vacancy of the 21st Associate Third, petitioner IBP can only institute the certiorari
Justice, but was appointed as the 18th Associate and prohibition case, but not the action for quo
Justice;Maria Theresa V. Mendoza[-Arcega], warranto against respondents Musngi and Econg
nominated for the vacancy of the 17th Associate because it cannot comply with the direct injury
Justice, but was appointed as the 19th Associate requirement for the latter.
Justice;Zaldy V. Trespeses, nominated for the vacancy Yet, based on Topacio v. Ong,[22] a petition for
of the 18th Associate Justice, but was appointed as the certiorari or prohibition is a collateral attack on a
21st Associate Justice. public officer's title, which cannot be permitted. Title
Only the appointment of Karl B. Miranda as the 20th to a public office can only be contested directly in a
Associate Justice is in accordance with his quo warranto proceeding.
nomination.[18] Moreover, it is the JBC, not petitioner IBP, which has
Petitioners insist that President Aquino could only legal standing to file the present suit, as the dispute
choose one nominee from each of the six separate here is between the JBC and the OP. The fundamental
shortlists submitted by the JBC for each specific question in this case is "whether the JBC can corral
vacancy, and no other; and any appointment made in the discretion of the President to appoint, a core
deviation of this procedure is a violation of the constitutional prerogative, by designating qualified
Constitution. Hence, petitioners pray, among other nominees within specific, artificial numerical
reliefs, that the appointments of respondents Musngi categories and forcing the President to appoint in
and Econg, who belonged to the same shortlist for the accordance with those artificial numerical categories."
position of 21st Associate Justice, be declared null and The Court, though, is barred from deciding said
void for these were made in violation of Article VIII, question because the JBC is not a party herein.
Section 9 of the 1987 Constitution. Fourth, petitioners have erroneously included Jorge-
Arguments of the Respondents Wagan, Romero Maglaya, Zuraek, Alameda, and
Fernandez-Bernardo (Jorge-Wagan, et al.) as
The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), on behalf unwilling co-petitioners in the Petition at bar.
of the Office of the President (OP), filed a
Comment,[19] seeking the dismissal of the Petition on And fifth, petitioners disregarded the hierarchy of
procedural and substantive grounds.On matters of courts by directly filing the instant Petition for Quo
procedure, the OSG argues, as follows: warranto and Certiorari and Prohibition before this
Court
First, President Aquino should be dropped as a
respondent m the instant case on the ground of his The OSG next addresses the substantive issu
immunity from suit. The OSG submits that the core argument of
Second, petitioners Aguinaldo, et al. cannot institute petitioners stems from their erroneous premise that
an action for quo warranto because usurpation of there are existing numerical positions in the
public office, position, or franchise is a public wrong, Sandiganbayan: the 1st being the Presiding Justice,
and not a private injury. Hence, only the State can file and the succeeding 2nd to the 21st being the Associate
such an action through the Solicitor General or public Justices. It is the assertion of the OSG that the
prosecutor, under Sections 2 and 3, Rule 66[20] of the Sandiganbayan is composed of a Presiding Justice and
Rules of Court. As an exception, an individual may 20 Associate Justices, without any numerical
commence an action for quo warranto in accordance designations. Presidential Decree No. 1606 and its
with Section 5, Rule 66[21] of the Rules of Court if amendments do not mention vacancies for the
he/she claims entitlement to a public office or positions of "2nd Associate Justice," "3rd Associate
position. However, for said individual's action for quo Justice," etc. There are no such items in the Judiciary
warranto to prosper, he/she must prove that he/she because such numerical designations are only used to
suffered a direct injury as a result of the usurpation of refer to the seniority or order of precedence of
public office or position; and that he/she has a clear Associate Justices in collegiate courts such as the
right, and not merely a preferential right, to the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Court of Tax
contested office or position. Herein petitioners Appeals, and Sandiganbayan.
Aguinaldo, et al. have failed to show that they are The OSG further contends that the power to determine
entitled to the positions now being held by the order of precedence of the Associate Justices of
respondents Musngi and Econg, as the inclusion of the Sandiganbayan is reposed in the President, as part
petitioners Aguinaldo, et al. in the shortlist for the of his constitutional power to appoint. Citing Section
16th Sandiganbayan Associate Justice had only given 1, third paragraph of Presidential Decree No. 1606[23]
them the possibility, not the certainty, of appointment and Rule II, Section 1 of the Revised Internal Rules of
to the Sandiganbayan. Petitioners Aguinaldo, et al., as the Sandiganbayan,[24] the OSG explains that the
13
order of precedence of the Associate Justices of the that there were no measurable standards or parameters
Sandiganbayan shall be according to the order of their for dividing the 37 nominees into the six groups. The
appointments, that is, according to the dates of their clustering of nominees was not based on the number
respective commissions, or, when two or more of votes the nominees had garnered. The nominees
commissions bear the same date, according to the were not evenly distributed among the six groups, i.e.,
order in which their commissions had been issued by there were five nominees for 17th Sandiganbayan
the President. It is the averment of the OSG that the Associate Justice; six nominees for 16th, 18th, and
constitutional power of the JBC to recommend 19th Sandiganbayan Associate Justices; and seven
nominees for appointment to the Judiciary does not nominees for the 20th and 21st Sandiganbayan
include the power to determine their seniority. Associate Justices.
The OSG interprets Article VIII, Section 9 of the 1987 The OSG then refers to several examples
Constitution differently from petitioners. According to demonstrating that the previous practice of the JBC
the OSG, said provision neither requires nor allows was to submit only one shortlist for several vacancies
the JBC to cluster nominees for every vacancy in the in a collegiate court.
Judiciary; it only mandates that for every vacancy, the
JBC shall present at least three nominees, among Respondent Econg believes that the present Petition is
whom the President shall appoint a member of the really for quo warranto because it seeks to declare null
Judiciary. As a result, if there are six vacancies for and void the respective appointments of respondents
Sandiganbayan Associate Justice, the JBC shall Musngi and Econg. Respondent Econg, however,
present, for the President's consideration, at least 18 asseverates that petitioners Aguinaldo, et al. have no
nominees for said vacancies. In the case at bar, the clear, unquestionable franchise to the Office of
JBC submitted 37 nominees for the six vacancies in Associate Justice of the Sandiganbayan simply
the Sandiganbayan; and from said pool of 37 because they had been included in the shortlist
nominees, the President appointed the six submitted for the President's consideration.
Sandiganbayan Associate Justices, in faithful Nomination is not equivalent to appointment and the
compliance with the Constitution. removal of respondents Musngi and Econg will not
automatically grant petitioners Aguinaldo, et al. the
It is also the position of the OSG that the President has right to the Office of Associate Justice of the
the absolute discretion to determine who is best suited Sandiganbayan.
for appointment among all the qualified nominees.
The very narrow reading of Article VIII, Section 9 of On November 26, 2016, the JBC belatedly filed a
the 1987 Constitution proposed by petitioners Motion for Intervention in the Petition at bar, or more
unreasonably restricts the President's choices to only a than six months from the filing of the herein Petition
few nominees even when the JBC recognized 37 on May 17, 2016 and after Chief Justice Sereno, the
nominees qualified for the position of Sandiganbayan Chairperson of the JBC herself, administered the oath
Associate Justice. of office of respondent Econg, whose appointment is
now being questioned for having been done in
The OSG additionally points out that the JBC made a disregard of the clustering of nominees by the JBC.
categorical finding that respondents Musngi and
Econg were "suitably best" for appointment as Article VIII, Section 9 of the 1987 Constitution
Sandiganbayan Associate Justice. The functions of the provides that "[t]he Members of the Supreme Court
16th Sandiganbayan Associate Justice are no different and judges of lower courts shall be appointed by the
from those of the 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, or 21st President from a list of at least three nominees
Sandiganbayan Associate Justice. prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council for every
vacancy."
Furthermore, the OSG alleges that it is highly unjust
to remove respondents Musngi and Econg from their Issues:
current positions on the sole ground that the nominees The Petition presents for resolution of the Court the
were divided into six groups. The JBC announced "the issue of whether President Aquino violated Article
opening/reopening, for application or VIII, Section 9 of the 1987 Constitution and gravely
recommendation" of "[s]ix (6) newly-created positions abused his discretionary power to appoint members of
of Associate Justice of the Sandiganbayan." the Judiciary when he disregarded the clustering by
Respondents Musngi and Econg applied for the the JBC of the nominees for each specific vacant
vacancy of "Associate Justice of the Sandiganbayan." position of Sandiganbayan Associate Justice.
In its announcements for interview, the JBC stated
that it would be interviewing applicants for "six (6) Ruling:
newly created positions of Associate Justice of the The Court takes cognizance of the present Petition
Sandiganbayan." It was only on October 26, 2015, the despite several procedural infirmities given the
date of submission of the shortlists, when the transcendental importance of the constitutional issue
nominees had been clustered into six groups. The raised herein.
OSG notes that there are no JBC rules on the division
of nominees in cases where there are several vacancies RULE 66Quo WarrantoSec. 1. Action by Government
in a collegiate court. In this case, the OSG observes against individuals. - An action for the usurpation of a

14
public office, position or franchise may be disqualification on the part of respondents Musngi and
commenced by a verified petition brought in the name Econg, but the act of President Aquino in appointing
of the Republic of the Philippines against:(a) A person respondents Musngi and Econg as Sandiganbayan
who usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or Associate Justices without regard for the clustering of
exercises a public office, position or franchise;(b) A nominees into six separate shortlists by the JBC,
public officer who does or suffers an act which, by the which allegedly violated the Constitution and
provision of law, constitutes a ground for the constituted grave abuse of discretion amounting to
forfeiture of his office; or(c) An association which lack or excess of jurisdiction.
acts as a corporation within the Philippines without
being legally incorporated or without lawful authority Even so, the Court finds it proper to drop President
so to act Aquino as respondent taking into account that when
this Petition was filed on May 17, 2016, he was still
Sec. 5. When an individual may commence such an then the incumbent President who enjoyed immunity
action. - A person claiming to be entitled to a public from suit. The presidential immunity from suit
office or position usurped or unlawfully held or remains preserved in the system of government of this
exercised by another may bring an action therefor in country, even though not expressly reserved in the
his own name. 1987 Constitution.
for a quo warranto petition to be successful, the While neither petitioners Aguinaldo, et al. nor
private person suing must show a clear right to the petitioner IBP have legal standing to file a petition for
contested office. In fact, not even a mere preferential quo warranto, they have legal standing to institute a
right to be appointed thereto can lend a modicum of petition for certiorari.The clustering of nominees by
legal ground to proceed with the action. the JBC, which the President, for justifiable reasons,
did not follow, could have caused all nominees direct
Petitioners Aguinaldo, et al., as nominees for the 16th injury, thus, vesting them with personal and
Saridiganbayan Associate Justice, did not have a clear substantial interest, as the clustering limited their
right to said position, and therefore not proper parties opportunity to be considered for appointment to only
to a quo warranto proceeding. Being included in the one of the six vacant positions for Sandiganbayan
list of nominees had given them only the possibility, Associate Justice instead of all the six vacant positions
but not the certainty, of being appointed to the to which the JBC found them as qualified for
position, given the discretionary power of the appointment. This is the far-reaching adverse
President in making judicial appointments. consequence to petitioners Aguinaldo, et al. that they
Nevertheless, the Court takes in consideration the fact have missed. More importantly, for a complete
that the present Petition is also for Certiorari and resolution of this Petition, the Court must inevitably
Prohibition under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of address the issue of the validity of the clustering of
Court, which alleges that President Aquino violated nominees by the JBC for simultaneous vacancies in
Article VIII, Section 9 of the 1987 Constitution and collegiate courts, insofar as it seriously impacts on the
committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to constitutional power of the President to appoint
lack or excess of jurisdiction in his appointment of members of the Judiciary, which will be explained
respondents Musngi and Econg as Sandiganbayan below.
Associate Justices. One of the fundamental purposes of the IBP is to
The Court recognized in Jardeleza v. Sereno improve the administration of justice.[40] As the
(Jardeleza Decision)[32] that a "petition for certiorari association of all lawyers in the country, petitioner
is a proper remedy to question the act of any branch or IBP has an interest in ensuring the validity of the
instrumentality of the government on the ground of appointments to the Judiciary.
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess Given that the constitutional issue in the Petition at
of jurisdiction by any branch or instrumentality of the bar is of transcendental importance and of public
government, even if the latter does not exercise interest, and for the above mentioned reasons, the
judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial functions."In Court shall accord petitioners the legal standing to
opposing the instant Petition for Certiorari and sue.
Prohibition, the OSG cites Topacio in which the Court
declares that title to a public office may not be The instant Petition fundamentally challenges
contested except directly, by quo warranto President Aquino's appointment of respondents
proceedings; and it cannot be assailed collaterally, Musngi and Econg as the 16th and 18th
such as by certiorari and prohibition. Sandiganbayan Associate Justices. Petitioners contend
that only one of them should have been appointed as
However, Topacio is not on all fours with the instant both of them were included in one cluster of nominees
case. In Topacio, the writs of certiorari and prohibition for the 21st Sandiganbayan Associate Justice.
were sought against Sandiganbayan Associate Justice
Gregory S. Ong on the ground that he lacked the Petitioners do not have the absolute and unrestrained
qualification of Filipino citizenship for said position. freedom of choice of the court to which an application
In contrast, the present Petition for Certiorari and for certiorari will be directed. Indeed, referral to the
Prohibition puts under scrutiny, not any Supreme Court as the court of last resort will simply

15
be empty rhetoric if party-litigants are able to flout only means that the President cannot appoint an
judicial hierarchy at will. The Court reserves the direct individual who is not nominated by the JBC.
invocation of its jurisdiction only when there are
special and important reasons clearly and especially It should be stressed that the power to recommend of
set out in the petition that would justify the same. the JBC cannot be used to restrict or limit the
President's power to appoint as the latter's prerogative
Inasmuch as the Petition at bar involves a to choose someone whom he/she considers worth
constitutional question of transcendental importance appointing to the vacancy in the Judiciary is still
and of first impression and demanded by the broader paramount. As long as in the end, the President
interest of justice, the Court, in the exercise of its appoints someone nominated by the JBC, the
discretion, resolves to exercise primary jurisdiction appointment is valid.
over the same.
Moreover, in the case at bar, there were six
Acceptance is indispensable to complete an simultaneous vacancies for the position of
appointment. Assuming office and taking the oath Sandiganbayan Associate Justice, and the JBC cannot,
amount to acceptance of the appointment. An oath of by clustering of the nominees, designate a numerical
office is a qualifying requirement for a public office, a order of seniority of the prospective appointees. The
prerequisite to the full investiture of the office. Sandiganbayan, a collegiate court, is composed of a
Presiding Justice and 20 Associate Justices divided
The Court reiterates that there can be no valid into seven divisions, with three members each. The
objection to its discretion to waive one or some numerical order of the seniority or order of preference
procedural requirements if only to remove any of the 20 Associate Justices is determined pursuant to
impediment to address and resolve the constitutional law by the date and order of their commission or
question of transcendental importance raised in this appointment by the President.
Petition, the same having farreaching implications
insofar as the administration of justice is concemed. This is clear under Section 1, paragraph 3 of
Presidential Decree No. 1606, which reads:Sec. 1.
President Aquino did not violate the Constitution or Sandiganbayan; composition; qualifications; tenure;
commit grave abuse of discretion in disregarding the removal and compensation. - x x xx x x xThe
clustering of nominees into six separate shortlists for Presiding Justice shall be so designated in his
the six vacancies for Sandiganbayan Associate Justice. commission and the other Justices shall have
The appointment process for the Judiciary seems precedence according to the dates of their respective
simple enough if there is only one vacancy to consider commissions, or, when the commissions of two or
at a time. The power of the President to appoint more of them shall bear the same date, according to
members of the Judiciary is beyond question, subject the order in which their commissions have been issued
to the limitation that the President can only appoint by the President.
from a list of at least three nominees submitted by the Consistent with the foregoing, Rule II, Section 1(b) of
JBC for every vacancy. However, the controversy in the Revised Internal Rules of the Sandiganbayan
this case arose because by virtue of Republic Act No. similarly provides:Sec. 1. Composition of the Court
10660, creating two new divisions of the and Rule on Precedence.-x x x x(b) Rule on
Sandiganbayan with three members each, there were Precedence - The Presiding Justice shall enjoy
six simultaneous vacancies for Associate Justice of precedence over the other members of the
said collegiate court; and that the JBC submitted six Sandiganbayan in all official functions. The Associate
separate shortlists for the vacancies for the 16th to the Justices shall have precedence according to the order
21st Sandiganbayan Associate Justices. of their appointments.
The primordial question then for resolution of the Apropos herein is the following ruling of the Court in
Court is whether President Aquino, under the Re: Seniority Among the Four (4) Most Recent
circumstances, was limited to appoint only from the Appointments to the Position of Associate Justices of
nominees in the shortlist submitted by the JBC for the Court of Appeals,[50] which involved the Court of
each specific vacancy. Appeals, another collegiate court:
The Court answers in the negative. In other words, the earlier the date of the commission
The JBC was created under the 1987 Constitution of an appointee, the more senior he/she is over the
with the principal function of recommending other subsequent appointees. It is only when the
appointees to the Judiciary.[47] It is a body, appointments of two or more appointees bear the same
representative of all the stakeholders in the judicial date that the order of issuance of the appointments by
appointment process, intended to rid the process of the President becomes material.
appointments to the Judiciary of the evils of political Evidently, based on law, rules, and jurisprudence, the
pressure and partisan activities. numerical order of the Sandiganbayan Associate
It is apparent from the aforequoted CONCOM Justices cannot be determined until their actual
deliberations that nomination by the JBC shall be a appointment by the President.
qualification for appointment to the Judiciary, but this

16
It bears to point out that part of the President's power Justices Bienvenido L. Reyes and Estela M. Perlas-
to appoint members of a collegiate court, such as the Bernabe.
Sandiganbayan, is the power to determine the
seniority or order of preference of such newly There is no explanation for the shift in practice by the
appointed members by controlling the date and order JBC, which impaired the power of the President to
of issuance of said members' appointment or appoint under the 1987 Constitution and his statutory
commission papers. authority to determine seniority in a collegiate court.
The clustering by the JBC of the qualified nominees
There is also a legal ground why the simultaneous for the six vacancies for Sandiganbayan Associate
vacant positions of Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Justice appears to have been done arbitrarily, there
should not each be assigned a specific number by the being no clear basis, standards, or guidelines for the
JBC. The Sandiganbayan Associate Justice positions same. The number of nominees was not even equally
were created without any distinction as to rank in distributed among the clusters.In view of the
seniority or order of preference in the collegiate court. foregoing, President Aquino validly exercised his
The President appoints his choice nominee to the post discretionary power to appoint members of the
of Sandiganbayan Associate Justice, but not to a Judiciary when he disregarded the clustering of
Sandiganbayan Associate Justice position with an nominees into six separate shortlists for the vacancies
identified rank, which is automatically determined by for the 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st
the order of issuance of appointment by the President. Sandiganbayan Associate Justices.
The appointment does not specifically pertain to the
16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, or 21st Sandiganbayan President Aquino merely maintained the well-
Associate Justice, because the Sandiganbayan established practice, consistent with the paramount
Associate Justice's ranking is temporary and changes Presidential constitutional prerogative, to appoint the
every time a vacancy occurs in said collegiate court. six new Sandiganbayan Associate Justices from the 37
qualified nominees, as if embodied in one JBC list.
Furthermore, the JBC, in sorting the qualified
nominees into six clusters, one for every vacancy, The ruling of the Court in this case shall similarly
could influence the appointment process beyond its apply to the situation wherein there are closely
constitutional mandate of recommending qualified successive vacancies in a collegiate court, to which
nominees to the President. Clustering impinges upon the President shall make appointments on the same
the President's power of appointment, as well as occasion, regardless of whether the JBC carried out
restricts the chances for appointment of the qualified combined or separate application process/es for the
nominees, because (1) the President's option for every vacancies. The President is not bound by the
vacancy is limited to the five to seven nominees in the clustering of nominees by the JBC and may consider
cluster; and (2) once the President has appointed from as one the separate shortlists of nominees concurrently
one cluster, then he is proscribed from considering the submitted by the JBC.
other nominees in the same cluster for the other The Court denies the Motion for Intervention of the
vacancies. The said limitations are utterly without JBC in this Petition.
legal basis and in contravention of the President's
appointing power. The JBC avers in its Motion for Intervention that it
has a legal interest in the Petition at bar and its
Additionally, in 1995, when Republic Act No. 7975 intervention will not unduly delay or prejudice the
increased the divisions in the Sandiganbayan from adjudication of the rights of the original parties in the
three to five, which similarly created six simultaneous case.
vacant positions of Sandiganbayan Associate Justice,
the JBC, with then Supreme Court Chief Justice The Court is unconvinced.The instant Petition was
Andres R. Narvasa as Chairman, submitted a single filed before this Court on May 17, 2016, yet, the JBC
list of nominees from which former President Fidel V. filed its Motion for Intervention only on November
Ramos subsequently chose his six appointees. 26, 2016, more than six months later, and even
praying for an additional 30-day period from notice to
nce more, on November 23, 2009, the JBC, then submit its complaint-in-intervention. Therefore,
headed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato S. allowing the intervention will undoubtedly delay the
Puno (Puno), submitted to former President Gloria resolution of the case; and further delay in the
Macapagal-Arroyo (Macapagal-Arroyo) a single list resolution of this case will only perpetuate the doubts
of nominees for two vacant positions of Supreme on the legitimacy of the appointments of respondents
Court Associate Justice, from which President Musngi and Econg as Sandiganbayan Associate
Macapagal-Arroyo ultimately appointed Associate Justices, to the detriment of said court, in particular,
Justices Jose P. Perez and Jose C. Mendoza. and the entire justice system, in general. What is more,
And, as mentioned by the OSG, the JBC, during the unless promptly resolved by the Court, the instant case
Chairmanship of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato is capable of repetition given the forthcoming
C. Corona, submitted to President Aquino on June 21, vacancies in collegiate courts, particularly, the
2011 just one list of nominees for two vacant positions Supreme Court.
of Supreme Court Associate Justice, from which
President Aquino eventually appointed Associate
17
There are several other new rules and practices candidates for vacancies in the Court, together with an
adopted by the JBC which the Court takes cognizance executive summary of the evaluation and assessment
of as a separate administrative matter. of each candidate by the JBC and all relevant
documents concerning the candidates, for the
he Court takes cognizance of several other matters incumbent Justices' consideration, but stopped doing
covered by the new rules and practices adopted by the so ever since Chief Justice Sereno became the
JBC.Item No. 1: The Court takes judicial notice of the Chairperson of the JBC. Although the JBC was not
fact that the JBC promulgated on September 20, 2016 bound by the list of recommendees of the Court, the
JBC No. 2016-1, "The Revised Rules of the Judicial JBC at least took the list under advisement. The
and Bar Council" (Revised JBC Rules), to take effect deletion of the foregoing provision from the Revised
on October 24, 2016. Notably, the Revised JBC Rules JBC Rules formally institutionalizes Chief Justice
explicitly states among its Whereas Sereno's unilateral decision to abandon a well-
clauses:WHEREAS, the President of the Philippines established rule, procedure, and practice observed by
may appoint only one from the list of at least three the Court, and completely precludes the incumbent
nominees for every vacancy officially transmitted by Supreme Court Justices from expressing their views
the Council to the Office of the President on the qualifications of the applicants to the vacancies
This is an obvious attempt by the JBC to in the Supreme Court.
institutionalize through the Revised JBC Rules its The Court calls attention to the fact that the JBC, in
newly-introduced practice of clustering nominees for JBC-009 and the Revised JBC Rules, invites the
simultaneous vacancies in collegiate courts. The public to give any comment or opposition against the
timing likewise is disturbing as the instant case is applicants to the Judiciary.
pending resolution by this Court and with existing and
upcoming vacancies in several collegiate courts, i.e., Yet, Chief Justice Sereno, without consulting the
the Sandiganbayan, the Court of Appeals, and even Court en banc, has done away with the settled practice
this Court. As the Court has categorically declared of seeking the views of the incumbent Justices on the
herein, the clustering by the JBC of nominees for applicants to the vacant positions in the Supreme
simultaneous vacancies in collegiate courts constitute Court.
undue limitation on and impairment of the power of
the President to appoint members of the Judiciary To recall, Chief Justice Sereno had previously
under the 1987 Constitution. It also deprives qualified disregarded Rule 8, Section 1 of JBC-009, during the
nominees equal opportunity to be considered for all nomination process for the vacancy of Supreme Court
vacancies, not just a specific one. Incorporating such Associate Justice following the retirement of
Whereas clause into the Revised JBC Rules will not Associate Justice Roberto A. Abad
serve to legitimize an unconstitutional and unfair The Supreme Court Justices were also not given the
practice. Accordingly, such Whereas clause shall not opportunity to know the applicants to the succeeding
bind the President pursuant to the pronouncements of vacant position in the Court (to which Associate
the Court in the present Petition. Justice Alfredo Benjamin S. Caguioa was eventually
tem No. 2: The same Revised JBC Rules deleted a appointed) as Rule 8, Section 1 of JBC-009 was again
significant part of JBC-009, the former JBC Rules, not followed.
specifically, Rule 8, Section 1, which provided:Sec. 1. Item No. 3: The JBC currently has no incumbent
Due weight and regard to the recommendees of the Supreme Court Associate Justice as consultant. By
Supreme Court. - In every case involving an practice, since the creation of the JBC, the two (2)
appointment to a seat in the Supreme Court, the most senior Supreme Court Associate Justices had
Council shall give due weight and regard to the acted as consultants of the JBC. From 1987 until
recommendees of the Supreme Court. For this 2016, the following Associate Justices of this Court,
purpose, the Council shall submit to the Court a list of during their incumbency, served as JBC consultants
candidates for any vacancy in the Court with an
executive summary of its evaluation and assessment Without notice, warning, or explanation to the
of each of them, together with all relevant records Supreme Court En Banc, Chief Justice Sereno recently
concerning the candidates from whom the Court may unceremoniously relieved Supreme Court Associate
base the selection of its recommendees. Justices Presbiterio J. Velasco, Jr. and Teresita J.
Leonardo De Castro as JBC consultants, and in their
The deletion of this provision will likewise stead, the Chief Justice appointed retired Chief
institutionalize the elimination by Chief Justice Justices Hilario G. Davide, Jr., Artemio V.
Sereno of the voting by the Supreme Court Justices on Panganiban, and Reynato S. Puno as JBC consultants.
who among the applicants to the Supreme Court they The experience and wisdom of the three retired Chief
believe are most deserving.Through Rule 8, Section 1 Justices are undisputed. However, practicality and
of JBC-009, the JBC had accorded through the years prudence also dictate that incumbent Associate
due weight and regard to the recommendees of the Justices of the Court should be retained as JBC
Supreme Court for the vacancies in said Court. The consultants since their interest in the Judiciary is real,
JBC had consistently complied with said rule and actual, and direct.
furnished the Court in prior years with the list of

18
These changes in settled rules and practices recently In the exercise of its power of supervision over the
adopted by the JBC under Chief Justice Sereno are JBC, the Court shall take up the aforementioned Item
disconcerting. There appears to be a systematic move Nos. 2 and 3 as a separate administrative matter and
by the JBC, under Chief Justice Sereno to arrogate to direct the JBC to file its comment on the
itself more power and influence than it is actually same.WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Court
granted by the Constitution and this Court, and at the DISMISSES the instant Petition for Quo Warranto
same time, to ease out the Court from any legitimate and Certiorari and Prohibition for lack of merit. The
participation in the nomination process for vacancies Court DECLARES the clustering of nominees by the
in the Judiciary, specifically, in the Supreme Court. Judicial and Bar Council UNCONSTITUTIONAL,
This behooves the Court, through the exercise of its and the appointments of respondents Associate
power of supervision over the JBC, to take a closer Justices Michael Frederick L. Musngi and Geraldine
look into the new rules and practices of the JBC and Faith A. Econg, together with the four other newly-
ensure that these are in accord with the 1987 appointed Associate Justices of the Sandiganbayan, as
Constitution, the pertinent laws, and the governmental VALID. The Court further DENIES the Motion for
policies of transparency and accountability in the Intervention of the Judicial and Bar Council in the
nomination process for vacancies in the Judiciary. present Petition, but ORDERS the Clerk of Court En
Banc to docket as a separate administrative matter the
Article VIII, Section 8 of the 1987 Constitution gives new rules and practices of the Judicial and Bar
the JBC the principal function of "recommending Council which the Court took cognizance of in the
appointees to the Judiciary," but it also explicitly preceding discussion as Item No.2: the deletion or
states that the JBC shall be "under the supervision of non-inclusion in JBC No. 2016-1, or the Revised
the Court" and that "[i]t may exercise such other Rules of the Judicial and Bar Council, of Rule 8,
functions and duties as the Supreme Court may assign Section 1 of JBC-009; and Item No. 3: the removal of
to it." incumbent Senior Associate Justices of the Supreme
The Court also provided the following definition of Court as consultants of the Judicial and Bar Council,
supervision in the Jardeleza Decision[59]:As a referred to in pages 35 to 40 of this Decision. The
meaningful guidepost, jurisprudence provides the Court finally DIRECTS the Judicial and Bar Council
definition and scope of supervision. It is the power of to file its comment on said Item Nos. 2 and 3 within
oversight, or the authority to see that subordinate thirty (30) days from notice.
officers perform their duties. It ensures that the laws
and the rules governing the conduct of a government
entity are observed and complied with. Supervising
officials see to it that rules are followed, but they
themselves do not lay down such rules, nor do they 10. Rufino vs Endriga
have the discretion to modify or replace them. If the G.R. No. 139554
rules are not observed, they may order the work done July 21, 2006
or redone, but only to conform to such rules. They
FACTS:
may not prescribe their own manner of execution of
the act. They have no discretion on this matter except On 25 June 1966, then President Ferdinand E.
to see to it that the rules are followed. Marcos issued Executive Order No. 30 (EO 30) creating
the Cultural Center of the Philippines as a trust governed
"Supervision" is differentiated from "control,"
by a Board of Trustees of seven members to preserve
thus:Supervisory power, when contrasted with control,
is the power of mere oversight over an inferior body; and promote Philippine culture.
it does not include any restraining authority over such On 5 October 1972, or soon after the declaration
body. Officers in control lay down the rules in the of Martial Law, President Marcos issued PD 15, the
doing of an act. If they are not followed, it is CCP’s charter, which converted the CCP under EO 30
discretionary on his part to order the act undone or re- into a non-municipal public corporation free from the
done by his subordinate or he may even decide to do it “pressure or influence of politics.” PD 15 increased the
himself. Supervision does not cover such authority.
members of CCP’s Board from seven to nine
Supervising officers merely sees to it that the rules are
trustees. Later, Executive Order No. 1058, issued on 10
followed, but he himself does not lay down such rules,
nor does he have the discretion to modify or replace October 1985, increased further the trustees to 11.
them. If the rules are not observed, he may order the
work done or re-done to conform to the prescribed After the People Power Revolution in 1986, then
rules. He cannot prescribe his own manner for the President Corazon C. Aquino asked for the courtesy
doing of the act.[60] (Citations omitted.) resignations of the then incumbent CCP trustees and
The Court had recognized that "[s]upervision is not a appointed new trustees to the Board. Eventually, during
meaningless thing. It is an active power. It is certainly the term of President Fidel V. Ramos, the CCP Board
not without limitation, but it at least implies authority included Endriga, Lagdameo,
to inquire into facts and conditions in order to render Sison, Potenciano, Fernandez, Lenora A. Cabili
the power real and effective." (“Cabili”), and Manuel T. Mañosa (“Mañosa”).

19
On 14 May 1999, the Court of Appeals granted
On 22 December 1998, then President Joseph E. the quo warranto petition. The Court of Appeals declared
Estrada appointed seven new trustees to the CCP Board the Endriga group lawfully entitled to hold office as CCP
for a term of four years to replace the Endriga group as trustees. On the other hand, the appellate court’s
well as two other incumbent trustees. The seven new Decision ousted the Rufino group from the CCP Board.
trustees were:
In their motion for reconsideration, the Rufino
1. Armita B. Rufino - President, vice Baltazar group asserted that the law could only delegate to the
N. Endriga CCP Board the power to appoint officers lower in rank
than the trustees of the Board. The law may not validly
2. Zenaida R. Tantoco - Member, vice Doreen Fernandez confer on the CCP trustees the authority to appoint or
elect their fellow trustees, for the latter would be officers
of equal rank and not of lower rank. Section 6(b) of
PD 15 authorizing the CCP trustees to elect their fellow
trustees should be declared unconstitutional being
repugnant to Section 16, Article VII of the 1987
o Constitution allowing the appointment only of “officers
lower in rank” than the appointing power.

On 3 August 1999, the Court of Appeals denied


7. Freddie Garcia - Member, vice Irma Ponce-Enrile the Rufino group’s motion for reconsideration. The Court
Potenciano of Appeals also denied the Endriga group’s motion for
immediate execution of the 14 May 1999 Decision.

Except for Tantoco, the Rufino Hence, the instant consolidated petitions.
group took their respective oaths of office and
assumed the performance of their duties in early January
1999. ISSUE:

On 6 January 1999, the Endriga group filed a Whether or not Sec. 6 (b) of PD 15 is
petition for quo warranto before this Court questioning constitutional and CCP trustees have the authority to
President Estrada’s appointment of seven new appoint and elect their fellow trustees when there is
members to the CCP Board. The Endriga group alleged vacancy.
that under Section 6(b) of PD 15, vacancies in the CCP
Board “shall be filled by election by a vote of a majority of
the trustees held at the next regular meeting x x x.” In
case “only one trustee survive[s], the vacancies shall be RULING:
filled by the surviving trustee acting in consultation with
the ranking officers of the [CCP].” The Endriga group NO. The SC ruled that Sec. 6 (b) and (c) of PD
claimed that it is only when the CCP Board is entirely 15 as amended which authorizes the remaining trustees
vacant may the President of the Philippines fill such to fill by election vacancies in the Board of Trustees of
vacancies, acting in consultation with the ranking officers CCP is unconstitutional.
of the CCP. Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15, which authorizes
the trustees of the CCP Board to fill vacancies in the
The Endriga group asserted that when former Board, runs afoul with the President’s power of control
President Estrada appointed the Rufino group, only one under Section 17, Article VII of the 1987
seat was vacant due to the expiration of Mañosa’s Constitution. The intent of Section 6(b) and (c) of PD 15
term. The CCP Board then had 10 incumbent trustees. is to insulate the CCP from political influence and
The Endriga group refused to accept that the pressure, specifically from the President. Section 6(b) and
CCP was under the supervision and control of the (c) of PD 15 makes the CCP a self-perpetuating entity,
President. The Endriga group cited Section 3 of PD 15, virtually outside the control of the President. Such a
which states that the CCP “shall enjoy autonomy of policy public office or board cannot legally exist under the 1987
and operation x x x.” Constitution.

20
Section 3 of PD 15, as amended, states that the immediately before the next presidential elections and up to
CCP “shall enjoy autonomy of policy and operation x x the end of the term of the outgoing president does not apply to
x.” This provision does not free the CCP from the vacancies in the Supreme Court.
President’s control, for if it does, then it would be
unconstitutional. This provision may give the CCP Board Velicaria-Garafil vs. Office of the
12.
a free hand in initiating and formulating policies and
President
undertaking activities, but ultimately these policies and
activities are all subject to the President’s power of
control. The present consolidated cases involve four petitions: G.R.
No. 203372 with Atty. Cheloy E. Velicaria-Garafil (Atty.
Velicaria-Garafil), who was appointed State Solicitor II at the
The CCP is part of the Executive branch. No law Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), as petitioner; G.R. No.
can cut off the President’s control over the CCP in the 206290 with Atty. Dindo G. Venturanza (Atty. Venturanza),
guise of insulating the CCP from the President’s who was appointed Prosecutor IV (City Prosecutor) of Quezon
City, as petitioner; G.R. No. 209138 with Irma A. Villanueva
influence. By stating that the “President shall have (Villanueva), who was appointed Administrator for Visayas of
control of all the executive x x x offices,” the 1987 the Board of Administrators of the Cooperative Development
Constitution empowers the President not only to Authority (CDA), and Francisca B. Rosquita (Rosquita), who
was appointed Commissioner of the National Commission of
influence but even to control all offices in the Executive Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), as petitioners; and G.R. No.
branch, including the CCP. Control is far greater than, 212030 with Atty. Eddie U. Tamondong (Atty. Tamondong),
and subsumes, influence. who was appointed member of the Board of Directors of the
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), as petitioner. All
petitions question the constitutionality of Executive Order No.
2 (EO 2) for being inconsistent with Section 15, Article VII of
the 1987 Constitution.
11. DE CASTRO VS. JBC
Prior to the conduct of the May 2010 elections, then President
G.R. No. 191002 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (President Macapagal-Arroyo)
April 20, 2010 issued more than 800 appointments to various positions in
FACTS: several government offices.
This is a Motion for Reconsideration on the March 17, 2010
decision of the Court. The said decision directs the Judicial The ban on midnight appointments in Section 15, Article VII
and Bar Council to resume its proceedings for the nomination of the 1987 Constitution reads:
of candidates to fill the vacancy created by the compulsory
retirement of Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno by May 17, 2010, Two months immediately before the next presidential
and to prepare the short list of nominees and submit it to the elections and up to the end of his term, a President or Acting
President shall not make appointments, except temporary
incumbent President. Movants argue that the disputed
appointments to executive positions when continued vacancies
constitutional provision, Art. VII, Sec. 15 and Art. VIII, Sec. therein will prejudice public service or endanger public safety.
4(1), clearly intended the ban on midnight appointments to
cover the members of the Judiciary, and they contended that
Thus, for purposes of the 2010 elections, 10 March 2010 was
the principle of stare decisis is controlling, and insisted that the cutoff date for valid appointments and the next day, 11
the Court erred in disobeying or abandoning the Valenzuela March 2010, was the start of the ban on midnight
ruling. appointments. Section 15, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution
recognizes as an exception to the ban on midnight
ISSUE (Section 4): appointments only "temporary appointments to executive
Did the Constitutional Commission extend to the Judiciary the positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice
ban on presidential appointments during the period stated in public service or endanger public safety."
None of the petitioners claim that their appointments fall
Sec. 15,
under this exception.
Article VII?
RULING:
The Constitutional Commission did not extend to the Judiciary On 30 June 2010, President Benigno S. Aquino III (President
Aquino) took his oath of office as President of the Republic of
the ban on presidential appointments during the period stated the Philippines. On 30 July 2010, President Aquino issued EO
in Sec. 15, Art. VII. The deliberations that the dissent of 2 recalling, withdrawing, and revoking appointments issued by
Justice Carpio Morales quoted from the records of the President Macapagal-Arroyo which violated the constitutional
ban on midnight appointments.
Constitutional Commission did not concern either Sec. 15,
Art. VII or Sec. 4(1), Art. VIII, but only Sec. 13, Art. VII, a
provision on nepotism. Election ban on appointments does not Issue:
(1) whether petitioners' appointments violate Section 15,
extend to the Supreme Court. The Court upheld its March 17,
Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, and
2010 decision ruling that the prohibition under Art. VII, Sec. (2) whether EO 2 is constitutional.
15 of the Constitution against presidential appointments
21
Held: 13. Manalang-Demigillo vs Trade and Investment
Development Corporation of the Philippines
G.R. No. 168613 March 5, 2013
The following elements should always concur in the making
of a valid (which should be understood as both complete and
Facts: On February 12, 1998, the Philippine Export and
effective) appointment:
Foreign Loan Guarantee was renamed Trade and Investment
Development Corporation of the Philippines (TIDCORP)
pursuant to Republic Act No. 8494 entitled An Act Further
(1) authority to appoint and evidence of the exercise of the
Amending Presidential Decree No. 1080, As Amended, by
authority;
Reorganizing And Renaming the Philippine Export and Foreign
Loan Guarantee Corporation, Expanding Its Primary Purpose,
The President's exercise of his power to appoint officials is
and for Other Purposes. Republic Act No. 8494 reorganized the
provided for in the Constitution and laws. Discretion is an
structure of TIDCORP. The issuance of appointments in
integral part in the exercise of the power of appointment.
accordance with the reorganization ensued. Petitioner Rosario
Considering that appointment calls for a selection, the
Manalang-Demigillo (Demigillo) was appointed as Senior Vice
appointing power necessarily exercises a discretion.
President (PG 15) with permanent status, and was assigned to
the Legal and Corporate Services Department (LCSD) of
The power to appoint is, in essence, discretionary. The
TIDCORP. Petitioner was evaluated and given a ‘poor’ rating
appointing power has the right of choice which he may
for two consecutive evaluations due to her unimproved
exercise freely according to his judgment, deciding for himself
performance resulting to her name being dropped from the rolls
who is best qualified among those who have the necessary
of TIDCORP.
qualifications and eligibilities.

(2) transmittal of the appointment paper and evidence of the Issue: Whether or not the reorganization is valid resulting to
transmittal; Demigillo’s reassignment valid.

It is not enough that the President signs the appointment paper.


Held: Yes. Under the circumstances, when the members of the
There should be evidence that the President intended the
Board of Directors effected the assailed 2002 reorganization,
appointment paper to be issued. It could happen that an
they were acting as the responsible members of the Board of
appointment paper may be dated and signed by the President
Directors of TIDCORP constituted pursuant to Presidential
months before the appointment ban, but never left his locked
Decree No. 1080, as amended by Republic Act No. 8494, not
drawer for the entirety of his term. Release of the appointment
as the alter egos of the President. We cannot stretch the
paper through the MRO is an unequivocal act that signifies the
application of a doctrine that already delegates an enormous
President's intent of its issuance.
amount of power. Also, it is settled that the delegation of power
is not to be lightly inferred.
For purposes of verification of the appointment paper's
existence and authenticity, the appointment paper must bear The result of the lengthy consultations and close coordination
the security marks (i.e., handwritten signature of the President, was the comprehensive reorganization plan that included a new
bar code, etc.) and must be accompanied by a transmittal letter organizational structure, position classification and staffing
from the MRO. pattern, qualification standards, rules and regulations to
implement the reorganization, separation incentive packages
(3) a vacant position at the time of appointment; and and timetable of implementation. Undoubtedly, TIDCORP
effected the reorganization within legal bounds and in response
Petitioners have failed to raise any valid ground for the Court to the perceived need to make the agency more attuned to the
to declare EO 2, or any part of it, unconstitutional. changing times.
Consequently, EO 2 remains valid and constitutional.
Having found the 2002 reorganization to be valid and made
(4) receipt of the appointment paper and acceptance of the
pursuant to Republic Act No. 8494, we declare that there are no
appointment by the appointee who possesses all the
legal and practical bases for reinstating Demigillo to her former
qualifications and none of the disqualifications.
position as Senior Vice President in the LCSD. To be sure, the
reorganization plan abolished the LCSD, and put in place a
setup completely different from the previous one, including a
Acceptance is indispensable to complete an appointment.
new staffing pattern in which Demigillo would be heading the
Assuming office and taking the oath amount to acceptance of
RCMSS, still as a Senior Vice President of TIDCORP. With
the appointment. An oath of office is a qualifying requirement
that abolition, reinstating her as Senior Vice President in the
for a public office, a prerequisite to the full investiture of the
LCSD became legally and physically impossible.
office.

Demigillo’s contention that she was specifically appointed to


Petitioners have failed to show compliance with all four the position of Senior Vice President in the LCSD was bereft of
elements of a valid appointment. They cannot prove with factual basis. The records indicate that her permanent
certainty that their appointment papers were transmitted before appointment pertained only to the position of Senior Vice
the appointment ban took effect. On the other hand, petitioners President. Her appointment did not indicate at all that she was
admit that they took their oaths of office during the to hold that specific post in the LCSD. Hence, her re-assignment
appointment ban. to the RCMSS was by no means a diminution in rank and status
considering that she maintained the same rank of Senior Vice
President with an accompanying increase in pay grade.
Petitioners have failed to raise any valid ground for the Court
to declare EO 2, or any part of it, unconstitutional.
The assignment to the RCMSS did not also violate Demigillo’s
Consequently, EO 2 remains valid and constitutional.
security of tenure as protected by Republic Act No. 6656. We
have already upheld reassignments In the Civil Service
22
resulting from valid reorganizations. Nor could she claim that Issues:
her reassignment was invalid because it caused the reduction in
her rank, status or salary. On the contrary, she was reappointed
as Senior Vice President, a position that was even upgraded like 1. Whether or not R.A. No. 9337 has violated the
all the other similar positions to Pay Grade 16, Step 4, Level II. provisions in Article VI, Section 24, and Article VI,
In every sense, the position to which she was reappointed under
the 2002 reorganization was comparable with, if not similar to
Section 26 (2) of the Constitution.
her previous position. 2. Whether or not there was an undue delegation of
legislative power in violation of Article VI Sec 28 Par
14. ABAKADA GURO PARTY LIST VS EXECUTIVE 1 and 2 of the Constitution.
SECRETARY
3. Whether or not there was a violation of the due process
G.R. No. 168056 September 1, 2005 and equal protection under Article III Sec. 1 of the
ABAKADA GURO PARTY LIST (Formerly AASJAS) Constitution.
OFFICERS SAMSON S. ALCANTARA and ED
VINCENT S. ALBANO, Petitioners,
vs.
THE HONORABLE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY Discussions:
EDUARDO ERMITA; HONORABLE SECRETARY OF
THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE CESAR PURISIMA; 1. Basing from the ruling of Tolentino case, it is not the
and HONORABLE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL
REVENUE GUILLERMO PARAYNO, JR., Respondent. law, but the revenue bill which is required by the
Constitution to “originate exclusively” in the House of
Facts: Representatives, but Senate has the power not only to
propose amendments, but also to propose its own
Petitioners ABAKADA GURO Party List challenged the
constitutionality of R.A. No. 9337 particularly Sections 4, 5 version even with respect to bills which are required by
and 6, amending Sections 106, 107 and 108, respectively, the Constitution to originate in the House. the
of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC). These
Constitution simply means is that the initiative for
questioned provisions contain a uniform proviso
authorizing the President, upon recommendation of the filing revenue, tariff or tax bills, bills authorizing an
Secretary of Finance, to raise the VAT rate to 12%, increase of the public debt, private bills and bills of
effective January 1, 2006, after any of the following
conditions have been satisfied, to wit: local application must come from the House of
Representatives on the theory that, elected as they are
. . . That the President, upon the recommendation of the
Secretary of Finance, shall, effective January 1, 2006, raise from the districts, the members of the House can be
the rate of value-added tax to twelve percent (12%), after expected to be more sensitive to the local needs and
any of the following conditions has been satisfied: problems. On the other hand, the senators, who are
(i) Value-added tax collection as a percentage of Gross elected at large, are expected to approach the same
Domestic Product (GDP) of the previous year exceeds two problems from the national perspective. Both views are
and four-fifth percent (2 4/5%); or
thereby made to bear on the enactment of such laws.
(ii) National government deficit as a percentage of GDP of
2. In testing whether a statute constitutes an undue
the previous year exceeds one and one-half percent (1 ½%).
delegation of legislative power or not, it is usual to
Petitioners argue that the law is unconstitutional, as it
inquire whether the statute was complete in all its
constitutes abandonment by Congress of its exclusive
authority to fix the rate of taxes under Article VI, Section terms and provisions when it left the hands of the
28(2) of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. They further legislature so that nothing was left to the judgment of
argue that VAT is a tax levied on the sale or exchange of
goods and services and cannot be included within the any other appointee or delegate of the legislature.
purview of tariffs under the exemption delegation since this 3. The equal protection clause under the Constitution
refers to customs duties, tolls or tribute payable upon means that “no person or class of persons shall be
merchandise to the government and usually imposed on
imported/exported goods. They also said that the President deprived of the same protection of laws which is
has powers to cause, influence or create the conditions enjoyed by other persons or other classes in the same
provided by law to bring about the conditions precedent. place and in like circumstances.”
Moreover, they allege that no guiding standards are made
by law as to how the Secretary of Finance will make the
recommendation. They claim, nonetheless, that any
recommendation of the Secretary of Finance can easily be Rulings:
brushed aside by the President since the former is a mere
alter ego of the latter, such that, ultimately, it is the 1. R.A. No. 9337 has not violated the provisions. The
President who decides whether to impose the increased tax
revenue bill exclusively originated in the House of
rate or not.
Representatives, the Senate was acting within its
constitutional power to introduce amendments to the
23
House bill when it included provisions in Senate Bill
No. 1950 amending corporate income taxes,
percentage, excise and franchise taxes. Verily, Article
VI, Section 24 of the Constitution does not contain any
prohibition or limitation on the extent of the
amendments that may be introduced by the Senate to
the House revenue bill.
2. There is no undue delegation of legislative power but
only of the discretion as to the execution of a law. This
is constitutionally permissible. Congress does not
abdicate its functions or unduly delegate power when it
describes what job must be done, who must do it, and
what is the scope of his authority; in our complex
economy that is frequently the only way in which the
legislative process can go forward.
3. Supreme Court held no decision on this matter. The
power of the State to make reasonable and natural
classifications for the purposes of taxation has long
been established. Whether it relates to the subject of
taxation, the kind of property, the rates to be levied, or
the amounts to be raised, the methods of assessment,
valuation and collection, the State’s power is entitled
to presumption of validity. As a rule, the judiciary will
not interfere with such power absent a clear showing of
unreasonableness, discrimination, or arbitrariness.

24