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Vera vs. Avelino (G.R.



- The Commission on Elections submitted last May 1946 to the President and the Congress a report
regarding the national elections held in 1946. It stated that by reason of certain specified acts of
terrorism and violence in certain provinces, namely Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan and Tarlac,
the voting in said region did not reflect the accurate feedback of the local electorate.
- PDuring the session on May 25, 1946, a pendatum resolution was approved referring to the report
ordering that Jose O. Vera, Ramon Diokno and Jose E. Romero – who had been included among
the 16  candidates  for senator receiving the highest number of votes and as proclaimed by the
Commissions on Elections – shall not be sworn, nor seated, as members of the chamber, pending
the termination of the protest filed against their election.
- Petitioners then immediately instituted an action against their colleagues who instituted the reso-
lution, praying for its annulment and allowing them to occupy their seats and to exercise their
senatorial duties. Respondents assert the validity of the pendatum resolution.


- WON the Court had jurisdiction over the case

- WON the Senate has exceeded its powers
- WON it was respondents’ legally inescapable duty to permit petitioners to take their seats
- WON respondents can be called to account for their votes regarding the assailed resolution


- Due to the separation of powers, the Court has no actual jurisdiction over the case. It had
already established this in Alejandrino vs. Quezon. It is however alleged that the ruling in Angara
vs. Electoral Commission modified this doctrine; this is not true as the Court specifically cited
Alejandrino in Angara to justify their lack of jurisdiction over that case, as well as this one.
- The Senate did not exceed its powers. Independent of any constitutional or statutory
grant, it still has the power to inquire into the credentials of any member and that
member’s right to participate in its deliberations.
o The assignment of contests regarding elections to the Electoral Tribunal does not negate
this power.
- It may also be approached in the viewpoint of the Senate exercising its powers under Art. VI, Sec.
10 (3) of the 1935 Constitution to set its own rules for its proceedings, and it exercises this power
to promulgate orders to maintain its prestige and dignity. It could be said to have done this in this
case in order to make sure that these Senators really were elected properly.
- Section 12 of Commonwealth Act 725 provides that those who are elected are to come to Manila
and assume office, but it does not imply that the House could not deny admission in the
case of disqualification.
- The Constitution provides, under Art. VI, Sec. 15, that Senators and Congressmen cannot
be questioned in any other place for any speech or debate made in Congress. There-
fore, the Court cannot question or permit respondents to question the votes made regarding the
resolution before it.