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Constitutional Law 1

RAUL L. LAMBINO, et al vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS (COMELEC)


GR No. 174153, 25 October 2006, 505 SCRA 160
FACTS:
A group led by Raul L. Lambino asked the Commission on Elections (COMELEC)
to hold a plebiscite to ratify the petition under Section 5 (b) and (c) and Section 7 of
Republic Act (RA) 6735. Lambino claimed his group has the support of 6,327,902
individuals constituting at least 12% of all registered voters with each legislative district
represented by at least 3% of all registered voters. They petitioned to modify Sections 1
to 7 of Article VI (Legislative Department) and Sections 1 to 4 of Article VII (Executive
Department) from present Bicameral Presidential to Unicameral Parliamentary
form of government.
The COMELEC denied their petition for lack of enabling law governing the
initiative petitions to amend the Constitution.
ISSUES:
(1) Whether the Lambino group petition complies with Section 2 of Article XVII
of the Constitution through a Peoples Initiative.
(2) Whether a peoples initiative petition can propose an amendment or revision
to the constitution.
HELD:
(1) No. The Lambino Group petition does not comply with Section 2 of Article
XVII of the Constitution through a peoples initiative since the petition does
not indicate the full text of the proposed changes to the constitution. The
signatory must be informed at the time of the signing the nature and effects of
the proposal. Otherwise, such proposal is deceptive and misleading, thereby
rendering the initiative void. The deliberations of the Constitutional
Commission explicitly reveal that the framers intended that the people must
first see the full text of the proposed amendments before they sign,
and that the people must sign on a petition containing such full
text. (Underscoring and emphasis supplied)
(2)NO. The process of peoples initiative is only limited to
an
amendment of the Constitution, and not a revision. The change from a
bicameralpresidential to a unicameral-parliamentary form of
government is indeed a revision, as it seeks to overhaul the entire
constitutional structure, affecting two (2) of the three (3) branches of
government the executive and the legislative. (Underscoring and emphasis
supplied)