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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC

G.R. No. 127255 August 14, 1997
JOKER P. ARROYO, EDCEL C. LAGMAN, JOHN HENRY R. OSMEA, !G"ER#O E. #AADA,
AND RONALDO ". $AMORA, petitioner,
vs.
JOSE DE %ENEC!A, RA&L DA$A, RODOL'O AL"ANO, #HE E(EC&#!%E SECRE#ARY, #HE
SECRE#ARY O' '!NANCE, AND #HE COMM!SS!ONER O' !N#ERNAL RE%EN&E, respondents.

MENDO$A, J.:
This is a petition for certiorari and/or prohibition challenging the validit of Republic Act No. !"#$,
%hich a&ends certain provisions of the National 'nternal Revenue Code b i&posing so(called )sin
ta*es) +actuall specific ta*es, on the &anufacture and sale of beer and cigarettes.
Petitioners are &e&bers of the -ouse of Representatives. The brought this suit against respondents
.ose de /enecia, 0pea1er of the -ouse of Representatives, 2eput 0pea1er Raul 2a3a, Ma4orit
5eader Rodolfo Albano, the E*ecutive 0ecretar, the 0ecretar of 6inance, and the Co&&issioner of
'nternal Revenue, charging violation of the rules of the -ouse %hich petitioners clai& are
)constitutionall &andated) so that their violation is tanta&ount to a violation of the Constitution.
The la% originated in the -ouse of Representatives as -. No. 789!. This bill %as approved on third
reading on 0epte&ber 8", 899: and trans&itted on 0epte&ber 8:, 899: to the 0enate %hich
approved it %ith certain a&end&ents on third reading on Nove&ber 87, 899:. A bica&eral conference
co&&ittee %as for&ed to reconcile the disagreeing provisions of the -ouse and 0enate versions of
the bill.
The bica&eral conference co&&ittee sub&itted its report to the -ouse at ! a.&. on Nove&ber "8,
899:. At 88;#! a.&., after a recess, Rep. E*e<uiel .avier, chair&an of the Co&&ittee on =as and
Means, proceeded to deliver his sponsorship speech, after %hich he %as interpellate. Rep. Rogelio
0ar&iento %as first to interpellate. -e %as interrupted %hen Rep. Arroo &oved to ad4ourn for lac1 of
<uoru&. Rep. Antonio Cuenco ob4ected to the &otion and as1ed for a head count. After a roll call, the
Chair +2eput 0pea1er Raul 2a3a, declared the presence of a <uoru&.
1
Rep. Arroo appealed the
ruling of the Chair, but his &otion %as defeated %hen put to a vote. The interpellation of the sponsor
thereafter proceeded.
Petitioner Rep. .o1er Arroo registered to interpellate. -e %as fourth in the order, follo%ing Rep.
Rogelio 0ar&iento, Rep. Edcel C. 5ag&an and Rep. Enri<ue >arcia. 'n the course of his
interpellation, Rep. Arroo announced that he %as going to raise a <uestion on the <uoru&, although
until the end of his interpellation he never did. =hat happened thereafter is sho%n in the follo%ing
transcript of the session on Nove&ber "8, 899: of the -ouse of Representatives, as published b
Congress in the ne%spaper issues of 2ece&ber ? and :, 899:;
MR. A5BAN@. MR. 0pea1er, ' &ove that %e no% approved and ratif the conference co&&ittee report.
T-E 2EPATB 0PEACER +Mr. 2a3a,. An ob4ection to the &otionD
MR. ARR@B@. =hat is that, Mr. 0pea1erD
T-E 2EPATB 0PEACER +Mr. 2a3a,. There being none, approved.
+>avel,
MR. ARR@B@. No, no, no, %ait a &inute, Mr. 0pea1er, ' stood up. ' %ant to 1no% %hat is the <uestion that the
Chair as1ed the distinguished sponsor.
T-E 2EPATB 0PEACER +Mr. 2a3a,. The session is suspended for one &inute.
+'t %as E;$8 p.&.,
+E;#$ p.&., the session %as resu&ed,
T-E 2EPATB 0PEACER +Mr. 2a3a,. The session is resu&ed.
MR. A5BAN@. Mr. 0pea1er, ' &ove to ad4ourn until four oFcloc1, =ednesda, ne*t %ee1.
T-E 2EPATB 0PEACER +Mr. 2a3a,. The session is ad4ourned until four oFcloc1, =ednesda, ne*t %ee1.
+'t %as E;#$ p.&.,
@n the sa&e da, the bill %as signed b the 0pea1er of the -ouse of Representatives and the
President of the 0enate and certified b the respective secretaries of both -ouses of Congress as
having been finall passed b the -ouse of Representatives and b the 0enate on Nove&ber "8,
899:. The enrolled bill %as signed into la% b President 6idel /. Ra&os on Nove&ber "", 899:.
Petitioners clai& that there are actuall four different version of the transcript of this portion of Rep.
ArrooFs interpellation; +8, the transcript of audio(sound recording of the proceedings in the session
hall i&&ediatel after the session ad4ourned at E;#$ p.&. on Nove&ber "8, 899:, %hich petitioner
Rep. Edcel C. 5ag&an obtained fro& he operators of the sound sste&G +", the transcript of the
proceedings fro& E;$$ p.&. to E;#$ p.&. of Nove&ber "8, 899:, as certified b the Chief of the
Transcription 2ivision on Nove&ber "8, 899:, also obtained b Rep. 5ag&anG +E, the transcript of the
proceedings fro& E;$$ p.&. to E;#$ p.&. of Nove&ber "8, 899: as certified b the Chief of the
Transcription 2ivision on Nove&ber "!, 899:, also obtained b Rep. 5ag&anG and +#, the published
version above<uoted. According to petitioners, the four versions differ on three points, to %it; +8, in the
audio(sound recording the %ord )approved,) %hich appears on line 8E in the three other versions,
cannot be heardG +", in the transcript certified on Nove&ber "8, 899: the %orld )no) on line 87
appears onl once, %hile in the other versions it is repeated three ti&esG and +E, the published version
does not contain the sentence )+B,ou better prepare for a <uoru& because ' %ill raise the <uestion of
the <uoru&,) %hich appears in the other versions.
PetitionersF allegations are vehe&entl denied b respondents. -o%ever, there is no need to discuss
this point as petitioners have announced that, in order to e*pedite the resolution of this petition, the
ad&it, %ithout conceding, the correctness of the transcripts relied upon b the respondents.
Petitioners agree that for purposes of this proceeding the %ord )approved) appears in the transcripts.
@nl the proceedings of the -ouse of Representatives on the conference co&&ittee report on -. No.
789! are in <uestion. PetitionersF principal argu&ent is that R.A. No. !"#$ is null and void because it
%as passed in violation of the rules of the -ouseG that these rules e&bod the )constitutional
&andate) in Art. /', H8:+E, that )each -ouse &a deter&ine the rules of its proceedings) and that,
conse<uentl, violation of the -ouse rules is a violation of the Constitution itself. The contend that
the certification of 0pea1er 2e /enecia that the la% %as properl passed is false and spurious.
More specificall, petitioners charge that +8, in violation of Rule /''', HE? and Rule I/'', H8$E of the
rules of the -ouse,
2
the Chair, in sub&itting the conference co&&ittee report to the -ouse, did not
call for the ears or nays, but si&pl as1ed for its approval b &otion in order to prevent petitioner
Arroo fro& <uestioning the presence of a <uoru&G +", in violation of Rule I'I, H88",
)
the Chair
deliberatel ignored Rep. ArrooFs <uestion, )=hat is that . . . Mr. 0pea1erD) and did not repeat Rep.
AlbanoFs &otion to approve or ratifG +E, in violation of Rule I/', H97,
4
the Chair refused to recogni3e
Rep. Arroo and instead proceeded to act on Rep. AlbanoFs &otion and after%ard declared the report
approvedG and +#, in violation of Rule II, HH8"8(8"", Rule II', H8"E, and Rule I/''', H8$9,
5
the
Chair suspended the session %ithout first ruling on Rep. ArrooFs <uestion %hich, it is alleged, is a
point of order or a privileged &otion. 't is argued that Rep. ArrooFs <uer should have been resolved
upon the resu&ption of the session on Nove&ber "!, 899:, because the parlia&entar situation at
the ti&e of the ad4ourn&ent re&ained upon the resu&ption of the session.
Petitioners also charge that the session %as hastil ad4ourned at E;#$ p.&. on Nove&ber "8, 899:
and the bill certified b 0pea1er .ose 2e /enecia to prevent petitioner Rep. Arroo fro& for&all
challenging the e*istence of a <uoru& and as1ing for a reconsideration.
Petitioners urge the Court not to feel bound b the certification of the 0pea1er of the -ouse that the
la% had been properl passed, considering the CourtFs po%er under Art. /''', H8 to pass on clai&s of
grave abuse of discretion b the other depart&ents of the govern&ent, and the as1 for a
ree*a&ination of Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance,
*
%hich affir&ed the conclusiveness of an enrolled
bill, in vie% of the changed &e&bership of the Court.
The 0olicitor >eneral filed a co&&ent in behalf of all respondents. 'n addition, respondent 2e
/enecia filed a supple&ental co&&ent. RespondentsF defense is anchored on the principle of
separation of po%ers and the enrolled bill doctrine. The argue that the Court is not the proper foru&
for the enforce&ent of the rules of the -ouse and that there is no 4ustification for reconsidering the
enrolled bill doctrine. Although the Constitution provides in Art. /', H8:+E, for the adoption b each
-ouse of its rules of proceedings, enforce&ent of the rules cannot be sought in the courts e*cept
insofar as the i&ple&ent constitutional re<uire&ents such as that relating to three readings on
separate das before a bill &a be passed. At all events, respondents contend that, in passing the bill
%hich beca&e R.A. No. !"#$, the rules of the -ouse, as %ell as parlia&entar precedents for
approval of conference co&&ittee reports on &ere &otion, %ere faithfull observed.
'n his supple&ental co&&ent, respondent 2e /enecia denies that his certification of -. No. 789! is
false and spurious and contends that under the 4ournal entr rule, the 4udicial in<uir sought b the
petitioners is barred. 'ndeed, .ournal No. E9 of the -ouse of Representatives, covering the sessions
of Nove&ber "$ and "8, 899:, sho%s that )@n Motion of Mr. Albano, there being no ob4ection, the
Bod approved the Conference Co&&ittee Report on -ouse Bill No. 789!.)
7
This .ournal %as
approved on 2ece&ber ", 899: over the lone ob4ection of petitioner Rep. 5ag&an.
+
After considering the argu&ents of the parties, the Court finds no ground for holding that Congress
co&&itted a grave abuse of discretion in enacting R.A. No. !"#$. This case is therefore dis&issed.
First. 't is clear fro& the foregoing facts that %hat is alleged to have been violated in the enact&ent of
R.A. No. !"#$ are &erel internal rules of procedure of the -ouse rather than constitutional
re<uire&ents for the enact&ent of a la%, i.e., Art. /', HH":("7. Petitioners do not clai& that there %as
no <uoru& but onl that, b so&e &aneuver allegedl in violation of the rules of the -ouse, Rep.
Arroo %as effectivel prevented fro& <uestioning the presence of a <uoru&.
Petitioners contend that the -ouse rules %ere adopted pursuant to the constitutional provision that
)each -ouse &a deter&ine the rules of its proceedings)
9
and that for this reason the are 4udiciall
enforceable. To begin %ith, this contention stands the principle on its head. 'n the decided cases,
1,

the constitutional provision that )each -ouse &a deter&ine the rules of its proceedings) %as invo1ed
b parties, although not successfull, precisel to support clai&s of autono& of the legislative branch
to conduct its business free fro& interference b courts. -ere petitioners cite the provision for the
opposite purpose of invo1ing 4udicial revie%.
But the cases, both here and abroad, in varing for&s of e*pression, all den to the courts the po%er
to in<uire into allegations that, in enacting a la%, a -ouse of Congress failed to co&pl %ith its o%n
rules, in the absence of sho%ing that there %as a violation of a constitutional provision or the rights of
private individuals. 'n Osmea v. Pendatun,
11
it %as held; )At an rate, courts have declared that Fthe
rules adopted b deliberative bodies are sub4ect to revocation, &odification or %aiver at the pleasure
of the bod adopting the&.F And it has been said that FParlia&entar rules are &erel procedural, and
%ith their observance, the courts have no concern. The &a be %aived or disregarded b the
legislative bod.F Conse<uentl, F&ere failure to confor& to parlia&entar usage %ill not invalidate the
action +ta1en b a deliberative bod, %hen the re<uisite nu&ber of &e&bers have agreed to a
particular &easure.F)
'n United States v. Ballin, Joseph & Co.,
12
the rules %as stated thus; )The Constitution e&po%ers
each house to deter&ine its rules of proceedings. 't &a not b its rules ignore constitutional
restraints or violate funda&ental rights, and there should be a reasonable relation bet%een the &ode
or &ethod of proceeding established b the rule and the result %hich is sought to be attained. But
%ithin these li&itations all &atters of &ethod are open to the deter&ination of the -ouse, and it is no
i&peach&ent of the rule to sa that so&e other %a %ould be better, &ore accurate, or even &ore
4ust. 't is no ob4ection to the validit of a rule that a different one has been prescribed and in force for
a length of ti&e. The poer to ma!e rules is not one hich once e"ercised is e"hausted. #t is a
continuous poer, alays su$%ect to $e e"ercised $y the &ouse, and ithin the limitations su''ested,
a$solute and $eyond the challen'e of any other $ody or tri$unal.(
'n Craford v. )ilchrist,
1)
it %as held; )The provision that each -ouse shall deter&ine the rules of its
proceedings does not restrict the po%er given to a &ere for&ulation of standing rules, or to the
proceedings of the bod in ordinar legislative &attersG but in the absence of constitutional restraints,
and %hen e*ercised b a &a4orit of a constitutional <uoru&, such authority e"tends to a
determination of the propriety and effect of any action as it is ta!en $y the $ody as it proceeds in the
e"ercise of any poer, in the transaction of any $usiness, or in the performance of any duty conferred
upon it $y the Constitution.)
'n State e" rel. City *oan & Savin's Co. v. +oore,
14
the 0upre&e Court of @hio stated; )The provision
for reconsideration is no part of the Constitution and is therefore entirel %ithin the control of the
>eneral Asse&bl. &avin' made the rule, it should $e re'arded, $ut a failure to re'ard it is not the
su$%ect,matter of %udicial in-uiry. 't has been decided b the courts of last resort of &an states, and
also b the Anited 0tates 0upre&e Court, that a le'islative act ill not $e declared invalid for
noncompliance ith rules.)
'n State v. Savin's Ban!,
15
the 0upre&e Court of Errors of Connecticut declared itself as follo%s;
)The Constitution declares that each house shall deter&ine the rules of its o%n proceedings and shall
have all po%ers necessar for a branch of the 5egislature of a free and independent state. Rules of
proceedings are the servants of the -ouse and sub4ect to its authorit. This authority may $e a$used,
$ut hen the &ouse has acted in a matter clearly ithin its poer, it ould $e an unarranted
invasion of the independence of the le'islative department for the court to set aside such action as
void $ecause it may thin! that the &ouse has misconstrued or departed from its on rules of
procedure.)
'n +c.onald v. State,
1*
the =isconsin 0upre&e Court held; )=hen it appears that an act %as so
passed, no in<uir %ill be per&itted to ascertain %hether the t%o houses have or have not co&plied
strictl %ith their o%n rules in their procedure upon the bill, inter&ediate its introduction and final
passage. The presu&ption is conclusive that the have done so. =e thin1 no court has ever declared
an act of the le'islature void for non,compliance ith the rules of procedure made $y itself , or the
respective branches thereof, and %hich it or the &a change or suspend at %ill. 'f there are an such
ad4udications, %e decline to follo% the&.)
Schei/er v. Territory
17
is illustrative of the rule in these cases. The 8!9E 0tatutes of @1laho&a
provided for three readings on separate das before a bill &a be passed b each house of the
legislature, %ith the proviso that in case of an e&ergenc the house concerned &a, b t%o(thirds
vote, suspend the operation of the rule. Plaintiff %as convicted in the district court of violation of a la%
punishing ga&bling. -e appealed contending that the ga&bling statute %as not properl passed b
the legislature because the suspension of the rule on three readings had not been approved b the
re<uisite t%o(thirds vote. 2is&issing this contention, the 0tate 0upre&e Court of @1laho&a held;
=e have no constitutional provision re<uiring that the legislature should read a bill in an particular &anner. 't
&a, then, read or deliberate upon a bill as it sees fit. either in accordance %ith its o%n rules, or in violation
thereof, or %ithout &a1ing an rules. The provision of section 87 referred to is &erel a statutor provision for the
direction of the legislature in its action upon proposed &easures. 't receives its entire force fro& legislative
sanction, and it e*ists onl at legislative pleasure. The failure of the legislature to properl %eigh and consider an
act, its passage through the legislature in a hast &anner, &ight be reasons for the governor %ithholding his
signature theretoG but this alone, even though it is sho%n to be a violation of a rule %hich the legislature had &ade
to govern its o%n proceedings, could be no reason for the courtFs refusing its enforce&ent after it %as actuall
passed b a &a4orit of each branch of the legislature, and dul signed b the governor. The courts cannot
declare an act of the le'islature void on account of noncompliance ith rules of procedure made $y itself to
'overn its deli$erations. Mc2onald v. 0tate, !$ =is. #$7, ?$ N.=. 8!?G 'n re Ran, !$ =is. #8#, ?$ N.=. 8!7G
0tate v. Bro%n, EE 0.C. 8?8, 88 0.E. :#8G Rail%a Co. v. >ill, ?# Ar1. 8$8, 8? 0.=. 8!.
=e conclude this surve %ith the useful su&&ar of the rulings b for&er Chief .ustice 6ernando,
co&&enting on the po%er of each -ouse of Congress to deter&ine its rules of proceedings. -e
%rote;
Rules are hardl per&anent in character. The prevailing vie% is that the are sub4ect to revocation, &odification or
%aiver at the pleasure of the bod adopting the& as the are pri&aril procedural. Courts ordinar have no
concern %ith their observance. The &a be %aived or disregarded b the legislative bod. Conse<uentl, &ere
failure to confor& to the& does not have the effect of nullifing the act ta1en if the re<uisite nu&ber of &e&bers
have agreed to a particular &easure. The above principle is sub4ect, ho%ever, to this <ualification. =here the
construction to be given to a rule affects person other than &e&bers of the legislative bod the <uestion
presented is necessaril 4udicial in character. Even its validit is open to <uestion in a case %here private rights
are involved.
1+
'n this case no rights of private individuals are involved but onl those of a &e&ber %ho, instead of
see1ing redress in the -ouse, chose to transfer the dispute to this Court. =e have no &ore po%er to
loo1 into the internal proceedings of a -ouse than &e&bers of that -ouse have to loo1 over our
shoulders, as long as no violation of constitutional provisions is sho%n.
Petitioners &ust reali3e that each of the three depart&ents of our govern&ent has its separate
sphere %hich the others &a not invade %ithout upsetting the delicate balance on %hich our
constitutional order rests. 2ue regard for the %or1ing of our sste& of govern&ent, &ore than &ere
co&it, co&pels reluctance on our part to enter upon an in<uir into an alleged violation of the rules of
the -ouse. =e &ust accordingl decline the invitation to e*ercise our po%er.
Second. Petitioners, <uoting for&er Chief .ustice Roberto ConcepcionFs sponsorship in the
Constitutional Co&&ission, contend that under Art. /''', H8, )nothing involving abuse of discretion Jb
the other branches of the govern&entK a&ounting to lac1 or e*cess of 4urisdiction is beond 4udicial
revie%.)
19
'&plicit in this state&ent of the for&er Chief .ustice, ho%ever, is an ac1no%ledg&ent that
the 4urisdiction of this Court is sub4ect to the case and controvers re<uire&ent of Art. /'''. H? and,
therefore, to the re<uire&ent of a 4usticiable controvers before courts can ad4udicate constitutional
<uestions such as those %hich arise in the field of foreign relations. 6or %hile Art. /''', H8 has
broadened the scope of 4udicial in<uir into areas nor&all left to the political depart&ents to decide,
such as those relating to national securit,
2,
it has not altogether done a%a %ith political <uestions
such as those %hich arise in the field of foreign relations. As %e have alread held, under Art. /''', H8,
this CourtFs function
is &erel JtoK chec1 hether or not the 'overnmental $ranch or a'ency has 'one $eyond the constitutional limits
of its %urisdiction, not that it erred or has a different vie. 'n the absence of a sho%ing . . . JofK grave abuse of
discretion a&ounting to lac1 of 4urisdiction, there is no occasion for the Court to e*ercise its corrective po%er. . . .
't has no po%er to loo1 into %hat it thin1s is apparent error.
21
'f, then, the established rule is that courts cannot declare an act of the legislature void on account
&erel of nonco&pliance %ith rules of procedure &ade b itself, it follo%s that such a case does not
present a situation in %hich a branch of the govern&ent has )gone beond the constitutional li&its of
its 4urisdiction) so as to call for the e*ercise of our Art. /'''. H8 po%er.
Third. Petitioners clai& that the passage of the la% in the -ouse %as )railroaded.) The clai& that
Rep. Arroo %as still &a1ing a <uer to the Chair %hen the latter declared Rep. AlbanoFs &otion
approved.
=hat happened is that, after Rep. ArrooFs interpellation of the sponsor of the co&&ittee report,
Ma4orit 5eader Rodolfo Albano &oved for the approval and ratification of the conference co&&ittee
report. The Chair called out for ob4ections to the &otion. Then the Chair declared; )There being none,
approved.) At the sa&e ti&e the Chair %as saing this, ho%ever, Rep. Arroo %as as1ing, )=hat is
that . . . Mr. 0pea1erD) The Chair and Rep. Arroo %ere tal1ing si&ultaneousl. Thus, although Rep.
Arroo subse<uentl ob4ected to the Ma4orit 5eaderFs &otion, the approval of the conference
co&&ittee report had b then alread been declared b the Chair, s&boli3ed b its banging of the
gavel.
Petitioners argue that, in accordance %ith the rules of the -ouse, Rep. AlbanoFs &otion for the
approval of the conference co&&ittee report should have been stated b the Chair and later the
individual votes of the &e&bers should have been ta1en. The sa that the &ethod used in this case
is a legislatorFs night&are because it suggests unani&it %hen the fact %as that one or so&e
legislators opposed the report.
No rule of the -ouse of Representative has been cited %hich specificall re<uires that in case such
as this involving approval of a conference co&&ittee report, the Chair &ust restate the &otion and
conduct a viva voce or no&inal voting. @n the other hand, as the 0olicitor >eneral has pointed out,
the &anner in %hich the conference co&&ittee report on -. No. 789! %as approval %as b no &eans
a uni<ue one. 't has basis in legislative practice. 't %as the %a the conference co&&ittee report on
the bills %hich beca&e the 5ocal >overn&ent Code of 8998 and the conference co&&ittee report on
the bills a&ending the Tariff and Custo&s Code %ere approved.
'n 89?7, the practice %as <uestioned as being contrar to the rules of the -ouse. The point %as
ans%ered b Ma4orit 5eader Arturo M. Tolentino and his ans%er beca&e the ruling of the Chair Mr.
Tolentino said;
Mr. T@5ENT'N@. The fact that nobod ob4ects &eans a unani&ous action of the -ouse. 'nsofar as the &atter of
procedure is concerned, this has been a precedent since ' ca&e here seven ears ago, and it has been the
procedure in this -ouse that if so&ebod ob4ects, then a debate follo%s and after the debate, then the voting
co&es in.
*** *** ***
Mr. 0pea1er, a point of order %as raised b the gentle&an fro& 5ete, and ' %onder %hat his attitude is nor on his
point of order. ' should 4ust li1e to state that ' believe that %e have had a substantial co&pliance %ith the Rules.
The Rule invo1ed is not one that refers to statutor or constitutional re<uire&ent, and a substantial co&pliance, to
& &ind, is sufficient. =hen the Chair announces the vote b saing )'s there an ob4ectionD) and nobod
ob4ects, then the Chair announces )The bill is approved on second reading.) 'f there %as an doubt as to the vote,
an &otion to divide %ould have been proper. 0o, if that &otion is not presented, %e assu&e that the -ouse
approves the &easure. 0o ' believe there is substantial co&pliance here, and if anbod %ants a division of the
-ouse he can al%as as1 for it, and the Chair can announce ho% &an are in favor and ho% &an are against.
22
'ndeed, it is no i&peach&ent of the &ethod to sa that so&e other %a %ould be better, &ore
accurate and even &ore 4ust.
2)
The advantages or disadvantages, the %isdo& or foll of a &ethod do
not present an &atter for 4udicial consideration.
24
'n the %ords of the A.0. Circuit Court of Appeals,
)this Court cannot provide a second opinion on %hat is the best procedure. Not%ithstanding the
deference and estee& that is properl tendered to individual congressional actors, our deference and
estee& for the institution as a %hole and for the constitutional co&&and that the institution be allo%ed
to &anage its o%n affairs precludes us fro& even atte&pting a diagnosis of the proble&.)
25
Nor does the Constitution re<uire that the yeas and the nays of
the Me&bers be ta1en ever ti&e a -ouse has to vote, e*cept onl in the follo%ing instancesG upon
the last and third readings of a bill,
2*
at the re<uest of one(fifth of the Me&bers present,
27
and in
repassing a bill over the veto of the President.
2+
'ndeed, considering the fact that in the approval of
the original bill the votes of the &e&bers b yeas and nays had alread been ta1en, it %ould have
been sheer tediu& to repeat the process.
Petitioners clai& that the %ere prevented fro& see1ing reconsideration allegedl as a result of the
precipitate suspension and subse<uent ad4ourn&ent of the session.
29
't %ould appear, ho%ever, that
the session %as suspended to allo% the parties to settle the proble&, because %hen it resu&ed at
E;#$ p.&. on that da Rep. Arroo did not sa anthing an&ore. =hile it is true that the Ma4orit
5eader &oved for ad4ourn&ent until # p.&. of =ednesda of the follo%ing %ee1, Rep. Arroo could at
least have ob4ected if there %as anthing he %anted to sa. The fact, ho%ever, is that he did not. The
.ournal of Nove&ber "8, 899: of the -ouse sho%s.
A2.@ARNMENT @6 0E00'@N
@n &otion of Mr. Albano, there being no o$%ection, the Chair declared the session ad4ourned until four oFcloc1 in
the afternoon of =ednesda, Nove&ber "7, 899:.
't %as E;#$ p.&. Thursda, Nove&ber "8, 899:. +e&phasis added,
This .ournal %as approved on 2ece&ber E, 899:. Again, no one ob4ected to its approval e*cept Rep.
5ag&an.
't is thus apparent that petitionersF predica&ent %as largel of their o%n &a1ing. 'nstead of sub&itting
the proper &otions for the -ouse to act upon, petitioners insisted on the pendenc of Rep. ArrooFs
<uestion as an obstacle to the passage of the bill. But Rep. ArrooFs <uestion %as not, in for& or
substance, a point of order or a <uestion of privilege entitled to precedence.
),
And even if Rep.
ArrooFs <uestion %ere so, Rep. AlbanoFs &otion to ad4ourn %ould have precedence and %ould have
put an end to an further consideration of the <uestion.
)1
>iven this fact, it is difficult to see ho% it can plausibl be contended that in signing the bill %hich
beca&e R.A. No. !"#$, respondent 0pea1er of the -ouse be acted %ith grave abuse of his
discretion. 'ndeed, the phrase )grave abuse of discretion a&ounting to lac1 or e*cess of 4urisdiction)
has a settled &eaning in the 4urisprudence of procedure. 't &eans such capricious and %hi&sical
e*ercise of 4udg&ent b a tribunal e*ercising 4udicial or <uasi 4udicial po%er as to a&ount to lac1 of
po%er. As Chief .ustice Concepcion hi&self said in e*plaining this provision, the po%er granted to the
courts b Art. /'''. H8 e*tends to cases %here )a branch of the govern&ent or an of its officials has
acted %ithout 4urisdiction or in e*cess of 4urisdiction, or so capriciousl as to constitute an abuse of
discretion a&ounting to e*cess of 4urisdiction.)
)2
-ere, the &atter co&plained of concerns a &atter of internal procedure of the -ouse %ith %hich the
Court should not he concerned. To repeat, the clai& is not that there %as no <uoru& but onl that
Rep. Arroo %as effectivel prevented fro& <uestioning the presence of a <uoru&. Rep. ArrooFs
earlier &otion to ad4ourn for lac1 of <uoru& had alread been defeated, as the roll call established the
e*istence of a <uoru&. The <uestion of <uoru& cannot be raised repeatedl L especiall %hen the
<uoru& is obviousl present L for the purpose of delaing the business of the -ouse.
))
Rep. Arroo
%aived his ob4ection b his continued interpellation of the sponsor for in so doing he in effect
ac1no%ledged the presence of a <uoru&.
)4
At an rate it is note%orth that of the 888 &e&bers of the -ouse earlier found to be present on
Nove&ber "8, 899:, onl the five, i.e., petitioners in this case, are <uestioning the &anner b %hich
the conference co&&ittee report on -. No. 789! %as approved on that da. No one, e*cept Rep.
Arroo, appears to have ob4ected to the &anner b %hich the report %as approved. Rep. .ohn -enr
@s&eMa did not participate in the bica&eral conference co&&ittee proceedings.
)5
Rep. 5ag&an and
Rep. Na&ora ob4ected to the report
)*
but not to the &anner it %as approvedG %hile it is said that, if
voting had been conducted. Rep. TaMada %ould have voted in favor of the conference co&&ittee
report.
)7
Fourth. Ander the enrolled bill doctrine, the signing of -. No. 789! b the 0pea1er of the -ouse and
the President of the 0enate and the certification b the secretaries of both -ouses of Congress that it
%as passed on Nove&ber "8, 899: are conclusive of its due enact&ent. Much energ and learning is
devoted in the separate opinion of .ustice Puno, 4oined b .ustice 2avide, to disputing this doctrine.
To be sure, there is no clai& either here or in the decision in the E/AT cases JTolentino v. 0ecretar of
6inanceK that the enrolled bill e&bodies a conclusive presu&ption. 'n one case
)+
%e )%ent behind) an
enrolled bill and consulted the .ournal to deter&ine %hether certain provisions of a statute had been
approved b the 0enate.
But, %here as here there is no evidence to the contrar, this Court %ill respect the certification of the
presiding officers of both -ouses that a bill has been dul passed. Ander this rule, this Court has
refused to deter&ine clai&s that the three(fourths vote needed to pass a proposed a&end&ent to the
Constitution had not been obtained, because )a dul authenticated bill or resolution i&ports absolute
verif and is binding on the courts.)
)9
This Court <uoted fro& 0i'more on 1vidence the follo%ing
e*cerpt %hich e&bodies good, if old(fashioned, de&ocratic theor;
The truth is that &an have been carried a%a %ith the righteous desire to chec1 at an cost the &isdoings of
5egislatures. The have set such store b the .udiciar for this purpose that the have al&ost &ade the& a
second and higher 5egislature. But the ai& in the %rong direction. 'nstead of trusting a faithful .udiciar to chec1
an inefficient 5egislature, the should turn to i&prove the 5egislature. The sensible solution is not to patch and
&end casual errors b as1ing the .udiciar to violate legal principle and to do i&possibilities %ith the ConstitutionG
but to represent ourselves %ith co&petent, careful, and honest legislators, the %or1 of %hose hands on the
statute(roll &a co&e to reflect credit upon the na&e of popular govern&ent.
4,
This Court has refused to even loo1 into allegations that the enrolled bill sent to the President
contained provisions %hich had been )surreptitiousl) inserted in the conference co&&ittee;
J=Khere allegations that the constitutional procedures for the passage of bills have not been observed have no
&ore basis than another allegation that the Conference Co&&ittee )surreptitiousl) inserted provisions into a bill
%hich it had prepared, %e should decline the invitation to go behind the enrolled cop of the bill. To disregard the
)enrolled bill) rule in such cases %ould be to disregard the respect due the other t%o depart&ents of our
govern&ent.
41
't has refused to loo1 into charges that an a&end&ent %as &ade upon the last reading of a bill in
violation of Art. /'. H":+", of the Constitution that )upon the last reading of a bill, no a&end&ent shall
be allo%ed.)
42
'n other cases,
4)
this Court has denied clai&s that the tenor of a bill %as other%ise than as certified
b the presiding officers of both -ouses of Congress.
The enrolled bill doctrine, as a rule of evidence, is %ell established. 't is cited %ith approval b te*t
%riters here and abroad.
44
The enrolled bill rule rests on the follo%ing considerations;
. . . As the President has no authorit to approve a bill not passed b Congress, an enrolled Act in the custod of
the 0ecretar of 0tate, and having the official attestations of the 0pea1er of the -ouse of Representatives, of the
President of the 0enate, and of the President of the Anited 0tates, carries, on its face, a sole&n assurance b the
legislative and e*ecutive depart&ents of the govern&ent, charged, respectivel, %ith the dut of enacting and
e*ecuting the la%s, that it %as passed b Congress. The respect due to coe<ual and independent depart&ents
re<uires the 4udicial depart&ent to act upon that assurance, and to accept, as having passed Congress, all bills
authenticated in the &anner statedG leaving the court to deter&ine, %hen the <uestion properl arises, %hether the
Act, so authenticated, is in confor&it %ith the Constitution.
45
To overrule the doctrine no%, as the dissent urges, is to repudiate the &assive teaching of our cases
and overthro% an established rule of evidence.
'ndeed, petitioners have advanced no argu&ent to %arrant a departure fro& the rule, e*cept to sa
that, %ith a change in the &e&bership of the Court, the three ne% &e&bers &a be assu&ed to have
an open &ind on the <uestion of the enrolled bill rule Actuall, not three but four +Cru3, 6eliciano,
Bidin, and Ouiason, JJ., have departed fro& the Court since our decision in the E/AT cases and their
places have since been ta1en b four ne% &e&bers +6rancisco, -er&osisi&a, Panganiban, and
Torres, JJ., Petitioners are thus si&pl ban1ing on the change in the &e&bership of the Court.
Moreover, as alread noted, the due enact&ent of the la% in <uestion is confir&ed b the .ournal of
the -ouse of Nove&ber "8, 899: %hich sho%s that the conference co&&ittee report on -. No. 789!,
%hich beca&e R.A. No. !7#$, %as approved on that da. The 1eeping of the .ournal is re<uired b
the Constitution, Art. /', H8:+#, provides;
Each -ouse shall 1eep a .ournal of its proceedings, and fro& ti&e to ti&e publish the sa&e, e*cepting such parts
as &a, in its 4udg&ent, affect national securitG and the yeas and nays on an <uestion shall, at the re<uest of
one(fifth of the Me&bers present, be entered in the .ournal.
Each -ouse shall also 1eep a Record of its proceedings.
The .ournal is regarded as conclusive %ith respect to &atters that are re<uired b the Constitution to
be recorded therein.
4*
=ith respect to other &atters, in the absence of evidence to the contrar, the
.ournals have also been accorded conclusive effect. Thus, in United States v. Pons,
47
this Court
spo1e of the i&peratives of public polic for regarding the .ournals as )public &e&orials of the &ost
per&anent character,) thus; )The should be public, because all are re<uired to confor& to the&G the
should be per&anent, that rights ac<uired toda upon the faith of %hat has been declared to be la%
shall not be destroed to&orro%, or at so&e re&ote period of ti&e, b facts resting onl in the
&e&or of individuals.) As alread noted, the bill %hich beca&e R.A. No. !"#$ is sho%n in the
.ournal. -ence its due enact&ent has been dul proven.
't %ould be an un%arranted invasion of the prerogative of a coe<ual depart&ent for this Court either
to set aside a legislative action as void because the Court thin1s the -ouse has disregarded its o%n
rules of procedure, or to allo% those defeated in the political arena to see1 a re&atch in the 4udicial
foru& %hen petitioners can find their re&ed in that depart&ent itself. The Court has not been
invested %ith a roving co&&ission to in<uire into co&plaints, real or i&agined, of legislative
s1ulldugger. 't %ould be acting in e*cess of its po%er and %ould itself be guilt of grave abuse of its
discretion %ere it to do so. The suggestion &ade in a case
4+
&a instead appropriatel be &ade
here; petitioners can see1 the enact&ent of a ne% la% or the repeal or a&end&ent of R.A. No. !"#$.
'n the absence of anthing to the contrar, the Court &ust assu&e that Congress or an -ouse
thereof acted in the good faith belief that its conduct %as per&itted b its rules, and deference rather
than disrespect is due the 4udg&ent of that bod.
49
=-ERE6@RE, the petition for certiorari and prohibition is 2'0M'00E2.
0@ @R2ERE2.
2arvasa, C3J3, Padilla, +elo, 4apunan, Francisco and &ermosisima, Jr3, JJ3, concur3
5e'alado, J3, concurs in the result3
Bellosillo and Pan'ani$an, JJ3, too! no part3
Torres, Jr3, J3, is on leave3



S-./0/t- O.121o2s

%!#&G, J., concurring;
=hen the 89!7 Constitution has e&bodied, in its circu&scription of 4udicial po%er under
0ection 8, Article /''', of the Constitution, the deter&ination of %hether or not there is 'rave
a$use of discretion on the part of any $ranch or instrumentality of 'overnment, the 0upre&e
Court, upon %hich that great burden has been i&posed, could not have been thought of as
li1e%ise being thereb tas1ed %ith the a%eso&e responsibilit of overseeing the entire
bureaucrac. The ter& grave abuse of discretion has long been understood in our
4urisprudence as, and confined to, a capricious and %hi&sical or despotic e*ercise of 4udg&ent
as amountin' to lac! or e"cess of %urisdiction.
' see nothing of that sort in the case at bar. Absent a clear case of grave abuse of discretion,
li1e the patent disregard of a Constitutional proscription, ' %ould respect the 4udg&ent of
Congress under %hose province the specific responsibilit falls and the authorit to act is
vested. To do other%ise %ould be an un%arranted intrusion into the internal affairs of a co(
e<ual, independent and coordinate branch of govern&ent. At no ti&e, it %ould see& to &e,
has it been intended b the fra&ers of the funda&ental la% to cause a substantial deviation, let
alone departure, fro& the ti&e(honored and accepted principle of separation, but balanced,
po%ers of the three branches of govern&ent. There is, of course, a basic variant bet%een the
old rule and the ne% Charter on the understanding of the ter& )4udicial po%er.) No%, the Court
is under &andate to assu&e 4urisdiction over, and to underta1e 4udicial in<uir into, %hat &a
even be dee&ed to be political <uestions provided, ho%ever, that grave abuse of discretion L
the sole test of 4usticiabilit on purel political issues L is sho%n to have attended the
contested act.
All ta1en, ' &ost hu&bl reiterate & separate opinion in Tolentino vs. Secretary of Finance
and co&panion cases +>.R. No. 88?#??, etc., "E? 0CRA :E$, and vote to den the instant
petition.
ROMERO, J., separate opinion;
'n filing this separate opinion for the dis&issal of the instant petition, ' a& not bac1trac1ing
fro& the dissent %hich ' e*pressed in Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance.
1
' a& so&e%hat
bothered that if ' do not elaborate, the vote %hich ' cast toda &ight be %rongl construed as
an i&plied abandon&ent of, and inconsistent %ith, & fir& stance in Tolentino.
The land&ar1 case of Tolentino, 4ust li1e the one under consideration, involved a si&ilar
challenge to the constitutionalit of a significant ta* &easure na&el, Republic Act No. 778:,
other%ise 1no%n as the E*panded /alue(Added Ta* +E/AT, 5a%. There, a nu&ber of issues,
both substantive and procedural, %ere posed b petitioners, each of %hich %as discussed b
the &a4orit opinion of Mr. .ustice /icente /. Mendo3a %ho, incidentall, is also the ponente of
instant decision. At an rate, it is %orth noting that ' did not entirel disagree %ith each and
ever argu&ent of the opinion, &ost especiall those touching upon substantive issues. M
&ain ob4ection in Tolentino, it %ill be recalled, focused instead on %hat ' perceived %as a
substantial breach and disregard b the 5egislature of vital constitutional re<uire&ents
ordaining the procedures to be follo%ed in the passage of a bill %hich, in & opinion, the
&a4orit see&ed to have cavalierl put to rest b hiding under the cloa1 of the enrolled bill
theor
2
and the precept that the Court is not the proper foru& for the enforce&ent of internal
legislative rules allegedl violated.
)
To &e, the position then ta1en b the &a4orit e*hibited
blind adherence to other%ise sound principles of la% %hich did not, ho%ever, fit the facts as
presented before the Court. -ence, ' ob4ected, not so &uch because ' found these principles
un%ise or obsolete, but rather because the %ere applied, or &isapplied, to a case %hich '
believe did not call for their application.
=hen ' differed fro& the &a4orit opinion %hich applied the enrolled bill theor, ' %as ver
careful to e&phasi3e that reliance thereon is not to be discontinued but that its application
&ust be li&ited to &inor &atters relating &ore to for& and factual issues %hich do not
&ateriall alter the essence and substance of the la% itself. Thus;
As applied to the instant petition, the issue posed is %hether or not the procedural irregularities that
attended the passage of -ouse Bill No. 88897 and 0enate Bill No. 8:E$, outside of the reading and
printing re<uire&ents %hich %ere e*e&pted b the Presidential certification, &a no longer be i&pugned,
having been )saved) b the conclusiveness on us of the enrolled bill. # see no co'ent reason hy e
cannot continue to place reliance on the enrolled $ill, $ut only ith respect to matters pertainin' to the
procedure folloed in the enactment of $ills in Con'ress and their su$se-uent en'rossment, printin'
errors, omission of ords and phrases and similar relatively minor matters relatin' more to form and
factual issues hich do not materially alter the essence and su$stance of the la itself .
Certainl, courts cannot clai& greater abilit to 4udge procedural legiti&ac, since constitutional rules on
legislative procedure are easil &astered. Procedural disputes are over facts L %hether or not the bill
had enough votes, or three readings, or %hatever L not over the &eaning of the constitution. 5egislators,
as ee%itnesses, are in a better position than a court to rule on the facts. The argu&ent is also &ade that
legislatures %ould be offended if courts e*a&ined legislative procedure.
Such a rationale, hoever, cannot conceiva$ly apply to su$stantive chan'es in a $ill introduced toards
the end of its tortuous trip throu'h Con'ress, catchin' $oth le'islators and the pu$lic unaares and
alterin' the same $eyond reco'nition even $y its sponsors.
This issue ' %ish to address forth%ith.
4
As regards the principle that the Court is not the proper foru& for the enforce&ent of internal
legislative rules, both the &a4orit and ' %ere actuall of one &ind such that ' %as <uic1 to
<ualif the e*tent of the CourtFs revie% po%er in respect of internal procedures in this %ise;
' %ish to consider this issue in light of Article /''', 0ec. 8 of the Constitution %hich provides that )+4,udicial
po%er includes the dut of the courts of 4ustice . . . to deter&ine %hether or not there has been a grave
abuse of discretion a&ounting to lac1 or e*cess of 4urisdiction on the part of an branch or instru&entalit
of the >overn&ent.) =e are also guided b the principle that a court &a interfere %ith the internal
procedures of its coordinate branch only to uphold the Constitution.
5
' differed, ho%ever, fro& the &a4orit insofar as that principle %as applied. 'n this respect, '
sho%ed that the introduction of several provisions in the Bica&eral Conference Co&&ittee
Report did not onl violate the pertinent -ouse and 0enate Rules defining the li&ited po%er of
the conference co&&ittee but that the Constitutional proscription against an a&end&ent
upon the last reading of a bill %as li1e%ise breached. -ence, in vie% of these lapses, ' thought
that 4udicial revie% %ould have been proper in order to uphold the Constitution. This the
&a4orit, ho%ever, disregarded invo1ing the sa&e principle %hich should have 4ustified the
Court in <uestioning the actuations of the legislative branch.
At this 4uncture, ' %ish to reiterate & continuing adherence to the aforesaid reasons ' cited in
the Tolentino dissent. At the sa&e ti&e, ' reali3e that the argu&ents ' raised in & dissent
%ould not hold true in the instant petition.
6or one thing, unli1e in Tolentino, the rules of the -ouse of Representatives allegedl violated
b respondents in the instant petition are purel internal rules designed for the orderl conduct
of the -ouseFs business. The have no direct or reasonable ne*us to the re<uire&ents and
proscriptions of the Constitution in the passage of a bill %hich %ould other%ise %arrant the
CourtFs intervention. 5i1e%ise, the petitioners are not in an %a co&plaining that substantial
alterations have been introduced in Republic Act No. !"#$. The thrust of petitionersF argu&ents
in attac1ing the validit of the la% is &erel %ith respect to the fact that Rep. .o1er Arroo %as
effectivel prevented fro& invo1ing the <uestion of <uoru& and not that the substance thereof
offends constitutional standards. This being the case, ' do not no% feel called upon to invo1e
& previous argu&ent that the enrolled bill theor should not be conclusive as regards
)substantive changes in a bill introduced to%ards the end of its tortuous trip through
Congress,) %hen it is palpabl un%arranted under the circu&stances of instant petition.
P&NO, J., concurring and dissenting;
' concur in the result. ' do appreciate the fine legal dis<uisition of Mr. .ustice Mendo3a to 4ustif
the dis&issal of the case at bar. Nevertheless, ' have to e*press & vie%s on the alleged non(
4usticiabilit of the issue posed b the petitioner as %ell as the applicabilit of the archaic enroll
bill doctrine in light of %hat ' perceive as ne% %rin1les in our la% brought about b the 89!7
Constitution and the %inds of changing ti&e.
'
=ith due respect, ' do not agree that the issues posed b the petitioner are non(4usticiable. Nor
do ' agree that %e %ill triviali3e the principle of separation of po%er if %e assu&e 4urisdiction
over the case at bar. Even in the Anited 0tates, the principle of separation of po%er is no
longer an i&pregnable i&pedi&ent against the interposition of 4udicial po%er on cases
involving breach of rules of procedure b legislators.
Rightl, the ponencia uses the 6786 case of US v. Ballin,
1
as a %indo% to vie% the issues
before the Court. 't is in Ballin %here the A0 0upre&e Court first defined the boundaries of the
po%er of the 4udiciar to revie% congressional rules.
2
't held;
*** *** ***
The Constitution, in the sa&e section, provides, that )each house &a deter&ine the rules of its
proceedings.) 't appears that in pursuance of this authorit the -ouse had, prior to that da, passed this
as one of its rules;
Rule I/
E. @n the de&and of an &e&ber, or at the suggestion of the 0pea1er, the na&es of &e&bers sufficient
to &a1e a <uoru& in the hall of the -ouse %ho do not vote shall be noted b the cler1 and recorded in the
4ournal, and reported to the 0pea1er %ith the na&es of the &e&bers voting, and be counted and
announced in deter&ining the presence of a <uoru& to do business. +-ouse .ournal, "E$, 6eb. 8#, 8!9$,
The action ta1en %as in direct co&pliance %ith this rule. The <uestion, therefore, is as to the validity of
this rule, and not %hat &ethods the 0pea1er &a of his o%n &otion resort to for deter&ining the presence
of a <uoru&, nor %hat &atters the 0pea1er or cler1 &a of their o%n volition place upon the 4ournal.
Neither do the advantages or disadvantages, the %isdo& or foll, of such a rule present an &atters for
4udicial consideration. 0ith the courts the -uestion is only one of poer. The Constitution empoers each
house to determine its rules of proceedin's. #t may not $y its rules i'nore constitutional restraints or
violate fundamental ri'hts, and there should $e a reasona$le relation $eteen the mode or method of
proceedin's esta$lished $y the rule and the result hich is sou'ht to $e attained. But %ithin these
li&itations all matters of method are open to the deter&ination of the -ouse, and it is no i&peach&ent of
the rule to sa that so&e other %a %ould be better, &ore accurate, or even &ore 4ust. 't is no ob4ection to
the validit of a rule that a different one has been prescribed and in force for a length of ti&e. The po%er
to &a1e rules is not one %hich once e*ercised is e*hausted. 't is a continuous po%er, al%as sub4ect to
be e*ercised b the -ouse, and %ithin the li&itations suggested, absolute and beond the challenge of
an other bod or tribunal.
Ballin, clearl confir&ed the 4urisdiction of courts to pass upon the validit of congressional
rules, i.e., %hether the are constitutional. Rule I/ %as e*a&ined b the Court and it %as
found to satisf the test; +8, that it did not ignore an constitutional restraintG +", it did not
violate an funda&ental rightG and +E, its &ethod has a reasonable relationship %ith the result
sought to be attained. B e*a&ining Rule I/, the Court did not allo% its 4urisdiction to be
defeated b the &ere invocation of the principle of separation of po%ers.
Ballin %as follo%ed in 689: b the case of US v. Smith.
)
'n Smith, the meanin' of sections E
and # of Rule III/''' of the A0 0enate %as in issue, vi/;
*** *** ***
E. =hen a no&ination is confir&ed or re4ected, an 0enator voting in the &a4orit &a &ove for a
reconsideration on the sa&e da on %hich the vote %as ta1en, or on either of the ne*t t%o das of actual
e*ecutive session of the 0enateG but if a notification of the confir&ation or re4ection of a no&ination shall
have been sent to the President before the e*piration of the ti&e %ithin %hich a &otion to reconsider &a
be &ade, the &otion to reconsider shall be acco&panied b a &otion to re<uest the President to return
such notification to the 0enate. An &otion to reconsider the vote on a no&ination &a be laid on the
table %ithout pre4udice to the no&ination, and shall be a final disposition of such &otion.
#. No&inations confir&ed or re4ected b the 0enate shall not be returned b the 0ecretar to the
President until the e*piration of the ti&e li&ited for &a1ing a &otion to reconsider the sa&e, or %hile a
&otion to reconsider is pending, unless other%ise ordered b the 0enate.
't appears that the no&ination of Mr. 0&ith as &e&ber of the 6ederal Po%er Co&&ission has
been confir&ed b the A0 0enate. The resolution of confir&ation %as sent to the A0 President
%ho then signed the appoint&ent of Mr. 0&ith. The 0enate, ho%ever, reconsidered the
confir&ation of Mr. 0&ith and re<uested the President to return its resolution of confir&ation.
The President refused. A petition for <uo %arranto %as filed against Mr. 0&ith. The Court,
spea1ing thru Mr. .ustice Brandeis, assumed %urisdiction over the dispute reling on Ballin. 't
e*ercised 4urisdiction although )the <uestion pri&aril at issue relates to the construction of the
applicable rules, not to their constitutionalit.) Si'nificantly, the Court re%ected the Senate
interpretation of its on rules even hile it held that it must $e accorded the most sympathetic
consideration.
*** *** ***
0i*th. To place upon the standing rules of the 0enate a construction different fro& that adopted b the
0enate itself %hen the present case %as under debate is a serious and delicate e*ercise of 4udicial po%er.
The Constitution co&&its to the 0enate the po%er to &a1e its o%n rulesG and it is not the function of the
Court to sa that another rule %ould be better. A rule designed to ensure due deliberation in the
perfor&ance of the vital function of advising and consenting to no&inations for public office, &oreover,
should receive fro& the Court the &ost s&pathetic consideration. But the reasons, above stated, against
the 0enateFs construction see& to us co&pelling. =e are confir&ed in the vie% %e have ta1en b the fact,
since the atte&pted reconsideration of 0&ithFs confir&ation, the 0enate itself see&s unifor&l to have
treated the ordering of i&&ediate notification to the President as tanta&ount to authori3ing hi& to
proceed to perfect the appoint&ent.
Smith, of course, involves the right of a third person and its ruling falls %ithin the test spelled
out in Ballin.
Smith %as follo%ed b the 68;7 case of Christoffel v. United States.
4
Christoffel testified
before the Co&&ittee on Education and 5abor of the -ouse of Representatives. -e denied he
%as a co&&unist and %as charged %ith per4ur in the regular court. -e adduced evidence
during the trial that the co&&ittee had no <uoru& %hen the per4urious state&ent %as given.
Nonetheless, he %as convicted in vie% of the 4udgeFs charge to the &e&bers of the 4ur that to
find Christoffel guilt, the had to find beond a reasonable doubt that L
*** *** ***
. . . the defendant Christoffel appeared before a <uoru& of at least thirteen &e&bers of the said
Co&&ittee, and that )at least that nu&ber &ust have been actuall and phsicall present . . . 'f such a
Co&&ittee so &et, that is, if thirteen &e&bers did &eet at the beginning of the afternoon session of
March 8, 89#7, and thereafter during the progress of the hearing so&e of the& left te&poraril or
other%ise and no <uestion %as raised as to the lac1 of a <uoru&, then the fact that the &a4orit did not
re&ain there %ould not affect, for the purposes of this case, the e*istence of that Co&&ittee as a
co&petent tribunal provided that before the oath %as ad&inistered and before the testi&on of the
defendant %as given there %ere present as &an as 8E &e&bers of that Co&&ittee at the beginning of
the afternoon session . . . .
Christoffel ob4ected to the charge on the ground that it allo%ed the 4ur to assu&e there %as a
continuous <uoru& si&pl because it %as present at the start of the &eeting of the Co&&ittee.
Ander the -ouse rules, a <uoru& once established is presu&ed to continue until the lac1 of
<uoru& is raised. <'ain, the court assumed %urisdiction over the case. A &a4orit of the Court,
%ith Mr. .ustice Murph, as ponente, defined the issue as )%hat rules the -ouse had
established and hether they have $een folloed.) 't held;
*** *** ***
Congressional practice in the transaction of ordinar legislative business is of course none of our concern,
and b the sa&e to1en the considerations %hich &a lead Congress as a &atter of legislative practice to
treat as valid the conduct of its co&&ittees do not control the issue before us. The <uestion is neither
%hat rules Congress &a establish for its o%n governance, nor %hether presu&ptions of continuit &a
protect the validit of its legislative conduct. The -uestion is rather hat rules the &ouse has esta$lished
and hether they have $een folloed. 't of course has the po%er to define %hat tribunal is co&petent to
e*act testi&on and the conditions that establish its co&petenc to do so. The heart of this case is that b
the charge that %as given it the 4ur %as allo%ed to assu&e that the conditions of co&petenc %ere
satisfied even though the basis in fact %as not established and in face of a possible finding that the facts
contradicted the assu&ption.
=e are &easuring a conviction of cri&e b the statute %hich defined it. As a conse<uence of this
conviction, petitioner %as sentenced to i&prison&ent for a ter& of fro& t%o to si* ears. An essential part
of a procedure %hich can be said fairl to inflict such a punish&ent is that all the ele&ents of the cri&e
charged shall be proved beond a reasonable doubt. An ele&ent of the cri&e charged in the instant
indict&ent is the presence of a co&petent tribunal, and the trial court properl so instructed the 4ur. The
-ouse insists that to be such a tribunal a co&&ittee &ust consist of a <uoru&, and %e agree %ith the trial
courtFs charge that to convict, the 4ur had to be satisfied beond a reasonable doubt that there %ere
)actuall and phsicall present) a &a4orit of the co&&ittee.
Then to charge, ho%ever, that such re<uire&ent is satisfied b a finding that there %as a &a4orit present
t%o or three hours before the defendant offered his testi&on, in the face of evidence indicatin' the
contrary, is to rule as a &atter of la% that a <uoru& need not be present %hen the offense is co&&itted.
This not onl see&s to us contrar to the rules and practice of the Congress but denies petitioner a
funda&ental right. That right is that he be convicted of cri&e onl on proof of all the ele&ents of the cri&e
charged against hi&. A tribunal that is not co&petent is no tribunal, and it is unthin1able that such a bod
can be the instru&ent of cri&inal conviction.
The &inorit co&plained that the )-ouse has adopted the rule and practice that a <uoru&
once established is presu&ed to continue unless and until a point of no <uoru& is raised. By
this decision, the Court, in effect, invalidates that rule . . . .) The &inorit vie% co&&anded onl
the vote of three +E, 4ustices.
The A0 0upre&e Court pursued the sa&e line in 68=9 in deciding the case of >ellin v. United
States.
5
>ellin %as indicted on five counts of %illfull refusing to ans%er <uestions put to hi&
b a sub(co&&ittee of the -ouse Co&&ittee on An(A&erican Activities. -e %as convicted b
the 2istrict Court of conte&pt of Congress on four counts. The conviction %as affir&ed b the
Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. @n certiorari, he assailed his conviction on the 'round that
the Committee ille'ally denied his re-uest to $e heard in e"ecutive session. &e alle'ed there
as a violation of Committee 5ule #? hich provides that )if a &a4orit of the Co&&ittee or
sub(co&&ittee, dul appointed as provided b the rules of the -ouse of Representatives,
believes that the interrogation of a %itness in a public hearing &ight endanger national securit
or un4ustl in4ure his reputation, or the reputation of other individuals, the Co&&ittee shall
interrogate such %itness in an e*ecutive session for the purpose of deter&ining the necessit
or ad&issibilit of conducting such interrogation thereafter in a public hearing.) in a ?(#
decision, the Court, spea1ing thru Mr. Chief .ustice =arren, held;
*** *** ***
>ellin should $e permitted the same opportunity for %udicial revie %hen he discovers at trial that his rights
have been violated. This is especially so hen the Committee@s practice leads itnesses to misplaced
reliance upon its rules. =hen reading a cop of the Co&&itteeFs rules, %hich &ust be distributed to ever
%itness under Rule I/'', the %itnessF reasonable e*pectation is that the Co&&ittee actuall does %hat it
purports to do, adhere to its o%n rules. To foreclose a defense based upon those rules, si&pl because
the %itness %as deceived b the Co&&itteeFs appearance of regularit, is not fair. The Co&&ittee
prepared the ground%or1 for prosecution in BellinFs case &eticulousl. #t is not too e"actin' to re-uire that
the Committee $e e-ually meticulous in o$eyin' its on rules.
't additionall bears stressing that in the Anited 0tates, the 4udiciar has pruned the )political
thic1et.) 'n the bench&ar1 case of Ba!er v. Carr,
*
the A0 0upre&e Court assu&ed 4urisdiction
to hear a petition for re(apportion&ent of the Tennessee legislature ruling that )the political
<uestion doctrine, a tool for &aintenance of govern&ent order, %ill not be so applied as to
pro&ote onl disorder) and that )the courts cannot re4ect as Fno la% suit,F a bona fide
controvers as to %hether so&e action deno&inated FpoliticalF e*ceeds constitutional authorit.)
'n the Philippine settin', there is a more compellin' reason for courts to categoricall re4ect the
political <uestion defense %hen its interposition %ill cover up abuse of po%er. 6or section 8,
Article /''' of our Constitution %as intentionally cobbled to e&po%er courts ). . . to deter&ine
%hether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion a&ounting to lac1 or e*cess of
4urisdiction on the part of an branch or instru&entalit of the govern&ent.) This po%er is ne%
and %as not granted to our courts in the 89E? and 897" Constitutions. 't %as not also *ero*ed
fro& the A0 Constitution or an foreign state constitution. The C@NC@M granted this
enor&ous po%er to our courts in vie% of our e*perience under &artial la% %here abusive
e*ercises of state po%er %ere shielded fro& 4udicial scrutin b the &isuse of the political
<uestion doctrine. 5ed b the e&inent for&er Chief .ustice Roberto Concepcion, the
C@NC@M e*panded and sharpened the chec1ing po%ers of the 4udiciar vis,a,vis the
E*ecutive and the 5egislative depart&ents of govern&ent. 'n cases involving the procla&ation
of &artial la% and suspension of the privilege of habeas corpus, it is no% beond dubiet that
the govern&ent can no longer invo1e the political <uestion defense. 0ection 8! of Article /''
completely eliminated this defense %hen it provided;
*** *** ***
The 0upre&e Court &a revie%, in an appropriate proceeding filed b an citi3en, the sufficienc of the
factual basis of the procla&ation of &artial la% or the suspension of the privilege of the %rit or the
e*tension thereof, and &ust pro&ulgate its decision thereon %ithin thirt das fro& its filing.
A state of &artial la% does not suspend the operation of the Constitution, nor supplant the functioning of
the civil courts or legislative asse&blies, nor authori3e the confer&ent of 4urisdiction on &ilitar courts and
agencies over civilians %here civil courts are able to function, nor auto&aticall suspend the privilege of
the %rit.
The C@NC@M did not onl outla% the use of the political <uestion defense in national securit
cases. To a great degree, it diminished its use as a shield to protect other abuses of
govern&ent b allo%ing courts to penetrate the shield %ith the ne% po%er to revie% acts of an
branch or instru&entalit of the govern&ent ). . . to deter&ine %hether or not there has been a
grave abuse of discretion a&ounting to lac1 or e*cess of 4urisdiction.) 'n Tolentino v. Secretary
of Finance,
7
' posited the follo%ing postulates;
*** *** ***
0ec. 8. The 4udicial po%er shall be vested in one 0upre&e Court and in such lo%er courts as &a be
established b la%.
.udicial po%er includes the dut of the courts of 4ustice to settle actual controversies involving rights %hich
are legall de&andable and enforceable, and to deter&ine %hether or not there has been a grave abuse
of discretion a&ounting to lac1 or e*cess of 4urisdiction on the part of an branch or instru&entalit of the
>overn&ent.
6or&er Chief .ustice Roberto R. Concepcion, the sponsor of this provision in the Constitutional
Co&&ission e*plained the sense and the reach of 4udicial po%er as follo%s;
*** *** ***
. . . 'n other %ords, the 4udiciar is the final arbiter on the <uestion of %hether or not a
branch of govern&ent or an of its officials has acted %ithout 4urisdiction or in e*cess of
4urisdiction, or so capriciousl as to constitute an abuse of discretion a&ounting to e*cess
of 4urisdiction. This is not onl a 4udicial po%er but a dut to pass 4udg&ent on &atters of
this nature.
This is the bac1ground of paragraph " of 0ection 8, %hich &eans that the courts cannot
hereafter evade the dut to settle &atters of this nature, b clai&ing that such &atters
constitute political <uestion.
The Constitution cannot be an clearer. =hat it granted to this Court is not a &ere po%er %hich it can
decline to e*ercise. Precisel to deter this disinclination, the Constitution i&posed it as a dut of this Court
to stri1e do%n an act of a branch or instru&entalit of govern&ent or an of its officials done %ith grave
abuse of discretion a&ounting to lac1 or e*cess of 4urisdiction. Rightl or %rongl, the Constitution has
elongated the chec1ing po%ers of this Court against the other branches of govern&ent despite their &ore
de&ocratic character, the President and the legislators being elected b the people.
't is, ho%ever, theori3ed that this provision is nothing ne%. ' beg to disagree for the vie% &isses the
significant changes &ade in our constitutional canvass to cure the legal deficiencies %e discovered during
&artial la%. @ne of the areas radicall changed b the fra&ers of the 89!7 Constitution is the i&balance
of po%er bet%een and a&ong the three great branches of our govern&ent L the E*ecutive, the
5egislative and the .udiciar. To upgrade the po%ers of the .udiciar, the Constitutional Co&&ission
strengthened so&e &ore the independence of courts. Thus, it further protected the securit of tenure of
the &e&bers of the .udiciar b providing )No la% shall be passed reorgani3ing the .udiciar %hen it
under&ines the securit of tenure of its Me&bers.) 't also guaranteed fiscal autono& to the .udiciar.
More, it depoliticali3ed appoint&ents in the 4udiciar b creating the .udicial and Bar Council %hich %as
tas1ed %ith screening the list of prospective appointees to the 4udiciar. The po%er of confir&ing
appoint&ents to the 4udiciar %as also ta1en a%a fro& Congress. The President %as li1e%ise given a
specific ti&e to fill up vacancies in the 4udiciar L ninet +9$, das fro& the occurrence of the vacanc in
case of the 0upre&e Court and ninet +9$, das fro& the sub&ission of the list of reco&&endees b the
.udicial and Bar Council in case of vacancies in the lo%er courts. To further insulate appoint&ents in the
4udiciar fro& the virus of politics, the 0upre&e Court %as given the po%er to )appoint all officials and
e&ploees of the .udiciar in accordance %ith the Civil 0ervice 5a%.) And to &a1e the separation of the
4udiciar fro& the other branches of govern&ent &ore %atertight, it prohibited &e&bers of the 4udiciar to
be ). . . designated to an agenc perfor&ing <uasi 4udicial or ad&inistrative functions.) =hile the
Constitution strengthened the sine%s of the 0upre&e Court, it reduced the po%ers of the t%o other
branches of govern&ent, especiall the E*ecutive. Notable of the po%ers of the President clipped b the
Constitution is his po%er to suspend the %rit of ha$eas corpus and to proclai& &artial la%. The e*ercise
of this po%er is no% sub4ect to revocation b Congress. 5i1e%ise, the sufficienc of the factual basis for
the e*ercise of said po%er &a be revie%ed b this Court in an appropriate proceeding filed b an
citi3en.
The provision defining 4udicial po%er as including the )dut of the courts of 4ustice . . . to deter&ine
%hether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion a&ounting to lac1 or e*cess of 4urisdiction on
the part of an branch or instru&entalit of the >overn&ent) constitutes the capstone of the efforts of the
Constitutional Co&&ission to upgrade the po%ers of this court vis,a,vis the other branches of
govern&ent. This provision
%as dictated b our e*perience under &artial la% %hich taught us that a stronger and &ore independent
4udiciar is needed to abort abuses in govern&ent. . . .
*** *** ***
'n su&, ' sub&it that in i&posing to this Court the dut to annul acts of govern&ent co&&itted %ith grave
abuse of discretion, the ne% Constitution transfor&ed this Court fro& passivit to activis&. This
transfor&ation, dictated b our distinct e*perience as a nation, is not &erel evolutionar but
revolutionar. Ander the 89E? and 897E Constitutions, this Court approached constitutional violations b
initiall deter&ining %hat it cannot doG under the 89!7 Constitution, there is a shift in stress L this Court is
&andated to approach constitutional violations not b finding out %hat it should not do but %hat it &ust
do. The Court &ust discharge this sole&n dut b not resuscitating a past that petrifies the present.
' urge & brethren in the Court to give due and serious consideration to this ne% constitutional
provision as the case at bar once &ore calls us to define the para&eters of our po%er to
revie% violations of the rules of the -ouse. =e %ill not be true to our trust as the last bul%ar1
against govern&ent abuses if %e refuse to e*ercise this ne% po%er or if %e %ield it %ith
ti&idit. To be sure, it is this e*ceeding ti&idit to unsheath the 4udicial s%ord that has
increasingl e&boldened other branches of govern&ent to denigrate, if not def, orders of our
courts. 'n Tolentino,
+
' endorsed the vie% of for&er 0enator 0alonga that this novel provision
stretching the latitude of 4udicial po%er is distinctl 6ilipino and its interpretation should not be
depreciated b undue reliance on inapplicable foreign 4urisprudence. 'n resolving the case at
bar, the lessons of our o%n histor should provide us the light and not the e*perience of
foreigners.
''
Again %ith due respect, ' dissent fro& the &a4orit insofar as it relied on the enrolled bill
doctrine to 4ustif the dis&issal of the petition at bar.
An enrolled bill is one %hich has been dul introduced, finall enacted b both -ouses, signed
b the proper officers of each -ouse and approved b the President.
9
't is a declaration b the
t%o -ouses, through their presiding officers, to the President that a bill, thus attested, has
received in due the sanction of the legislative branch of the govern&ent, and that it is delivered
to hi& in obedience to the constitutional re<uire&ent that all bills %hich pass Congress shall be
presented to hi&.
The enrolled bill ori'inated in 1n'land %here there is no %ritten Constitution controlling the
legislative branch of the govern&ent, and the acts of Parlia&ent, being regarded in their nature
as 4udicial L as e&anating fro& the highest tribunal in the land L are placed on the sa&e
footing and regarded %ith the sa&e veneration as the 4udg&ent of the courts %hich cannot be
collaterall attac1ed.
1,
'n England, the conclusiveness of the bill %as pre&ised on the rationale
that )an ad of parlia&ent thus &ade is the e*ercise of the highest authorit that this 1ingdo&
ac1no%ledges upon earth. And it cannot be altered, a&ended, dispensed %ith, suspended or
repealed, but in the sa&e for&s and b the sa&e authorit of parlia&entG for it is a &a*i& in
la% that it re<uires the sa&e strength to dissolve as to create an obligation.
11
@ver the ears, the enrolled bill theor has undergone i&portant &utations. 0o&e 4urisdictions
have adopted the modified entry or affirmative contradiction rule. Ander this rule, the
presumption in favor of the enrolled bill is not conclusive. The rule concedes validit to the
enrolled bill unless there affirmatively appears in the %ournals of the le'islature a state&ent that
there has not been co&pliance %ith one or &ore of the constitutional re<uire&ents.
12
@ther
4urisdictions have adopted the 1"trinsic 1vidence 5ule %hich holds that an enrolled bill is onl
prima facie evidence that it has been regularl enacted. The prima facie presu&ption,
ho%ever, can be destroed b clear, satisfactor and convincing evidence that the
constitutional re<uire&ents in enacting a la% have been violated. 6or this purpose, %ournals
and other e"trinsic evidence are allo%ed to be received.
1)
0o&e li&it the use of e*trinsic
evidence to issues of fraud or &ista1es.
14
These variants developed after a re(e*a&ination of the rationale of the enrolled bill. The
modern rationale for the enrolled bill theor %as spelled out in Field v. Clar!,
15
vi/.;
*** *** ***
The signing b the 0pea1er of the -ouse of Representatives, and, b the President of the 0enate, in open
session, of an enrolled bill, is an official attestation b the t%o houses of such bill as one that has passed
Congress. 't is a declaration b the t%o -ouses, through their presiding officers, to the President, that a
bill, thus attested, has received, in due for&, the sanction of the legislative branch of the govern&ent, and
that it is delivered to hi& in obedience to the constitutional re<uire&ent that all bills %hich pass Congress
shall be presented to hi&. And %hen a bill, thus attested, receives his approval, and is deposited in the
public archives, its authentication as a bill that has passed Congress should be dee&ed co&plete and
uni&peachable. As the President has no authorit to approve a bill not passed b Congress, an enrolled
Act in the custod of the 0ecretar of 0tate, and having the official attestations of the 0pea1er of the
-ouse of Representatives, of the President of the 0enate, and of the President of the Anited 0tates,
carries, on its face, a sole&n assurance b the legislative and e*ecutive depart&ents of the govern&ent,
charged, respectivel, %ith the dut of enacting and e*ecuting the la%s, that it %as passed b Congress.
The respect due to coe-ual and independent departments re-uires the %udicial department to act upon
the assurance, and to accept, as havin' passed Con'ress, all $ills authenticated in the manner statedG
leaving the courts to deter&ine, %hen the <uestion properl arises, %hether the Act, so authenticated, is
in confor&it %ith the Constitution.
The principle of separation of po%ers is thus the principal prop of the enrolled bill doctrine. The
doctrine is also 4ustified as a rule of convenience. 0upposedl, it avoids difficult <uestions of
evidence.
1*
't is also believed that it %ill prevent the filing of too &an cases %hich %ill cast a
cloud of uncertaint on la%s passed b the legislature. As e*plained in E* Pacte =ren
17
)if the
validit of ever act published as la% is to be tested b e*a&ining its histor, as sho%n b the
4ournals of the t%o houses of the legislature, there %ill be an a&ount of litigation, difficult, and
painful uncertaint appalling in its conte&plation, and &ultipling a hundredfold the alleged
uncertaint of the la%.) The conclusiveness of the enrolled bill is also 4ustified on the ground
that 4ournals and other e*trinsic evidence are conducive to &ista1e, if not fraud.
These 4ustifications for the enrolled bill theor have been re4ected in various 4urisdictions in the
Anited 0tates. 'n his 2issenting @pinion in Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance, and its
co&panion cases,
1+
Mr. .ustice Regalado cited so&e of the leading A&erican cases %hich
discussed the reasons for the %ithering, if not de&ise of the enrolled bill theor, vi/;
*** *** ***
Even in the land of its source, the so(called conclusive presu&ption of validit originall attributed to that
doctrine has long been revisited and <ualified, if not altogether re4ected. @n the co&petenc of 4udicial
in<uir, it has been held that )+u,nder the )enrolled bill rule) b %hich an enrolled bill is sole e*positor of
its contents and conclusive evidence of its e*istence and valid enact&ent, it is nevertheless co&petent for
courts to in<uire as to %hat prere<uisites are fi*ed b the Constitution of %hich 4ournals of respective
houses of 5egislature are re<uired to furnish the evidence.
'n fact, in )ynn vs. &ardee, etc., et al., the 0upre&e Court of 6lorida declared
+8, 0hile the presumption is that the enrolled $ill, as si'ned $y the le'islative offices and filed ith the
secretary of state, is the $ill as it passed, yet this presumption is not conclusive, and hen it is shon
from the le'islative %ournals that a $ill thou'h en'rossed and enrolled, and si'ned $y the le'islative
officers, contains provisions that have not passed $oth houses, such provisions ill $e held spurious and
not a part of the la. As %as said b Mr. .ustice Coc1rell in the case of 0ade vs. <tlantic *um$er Co., ?8
6la. :"!, te*t :EE, #8 0o. 7", 7E;
This Court is fir&l co&&itted to the holding that %hen the 4ournals spea1 the control,
and against such proof the enrolled bill is not conclusive.
More enlightening and apropos to the present controvers is the decision pro&ulgated on Ma 8E, 89!$
b the 0upre&e Court of Centuc1 in . & 0 <uto Supply, et al. vs. .epartment of 5evenue, et al.,
pertinent e*cerpts %herefro& are e*tensivel reproduced hereunder.
. . . 'n arriving at our decision %e &ust, perforce, reconsider the validit of a long line of decisions of this
court %hich created and nurtured the so(called )enrolled bill) doctrine.
*** *** ***
J8K 0ection #: of the Centuc1 Constitution sets out certain procedures that the legislature &ust follo%
before a bill can be considered for final passage. . . .
*** *** ***
. . . Ander the enrolled bill doctrine as it no% e*ists in Centuc1, a court &a not loo1 behind such a bill,
enrolled and certified b the appropriate officers, to deter&ine if there are an defects.
*** *** ***
. . . 'n 5affert, passage of the la% in <uestion violated this provision, et the bill %as properl enrolled and
approved b the governor. 'n declining to loo1 behind the la% to deter&ine the propriet of its enact&ent,
the court enunciated three reasons for adopting the enrolled bill rule. First, the court %as reluctant to
scrutini3e the processes of the legislature, an e<ual branch of govern&ent. Second, reasons of
convenience prevailed, %hich discouraged re<uiring the legislature to preserve its records and anticipated
considerable co&ple* litigation if the court ruled other%ise. Third, the court ac1no%ledged the poor
record(1eeping abilities of the >eneral Asse&bl and e*pressed a preference for accepting the final bill as
enrolled, rather than opening up the records of the legislature. . . .
*** *** ***
No%here has the rule been adopted %ithout reason, or as a result of 4udicial %hi&. There are four
historical $ases for the doctrine. +8, An enrolled bill %as a )record) and, as such, %as not sub4ect to attac1
at co&&on la%. +", 0ince the legislature is one of the three branches of govern&ent, the courts, being
coe<ual, &ust indulge in ever presu&ption that legislative acts are valid. +E, =hen the rule %as originall
for&ulated, record(1eeping of the legislatures %as so inade<uate that a balancing of e<uities re<uired that
the final act, the enrolled bill, be given efficac. +#, There %ere theories of convenience as e*pressed b
the Centuc1 court in 5affert.
The rule is not unani&ous in the several states, ho%ever and it has not been %ithout its critics. 6ro& an
e*a&ination of cases and treaties, %e can su&&ari3e the criticis& as follo%s; +8, Artificial presu&ptions,
especiall conclusive ones, are not favored. +", 0uch a rule fre<uentl +as in the present case, produces
results %hich do not accord %ith facts or constitutional provisions. +E, The rule is conducive to fraud,
forger, corruption and other %rongdoings. +#, Modern auto&atic and electronic record(1eeping devices
no% used b legislatures re&ove one of the original reasons for the rule. +?, The rule disregards the
pri&ar obligation of the courts to see1 the truth and to provide a re&ed for a %rong co&&itted b an
branch of govern&ent. 'n light of these considerations, %e are convinced that the ti&e has co&e to re(
e*a&ine the enrolled bill doctrine.
J"K This court is not un&indful of the ad&onition of the doctrine of stare decisis. The &a*i& is )0tare
decisis et non <uieta &overe,) %hich si&pl suggests that %e stand b precedents and to disturb settled
points of la%. Bet, this rule is not infle*ible, nor is it of such a nature as to re<uire perpetuation of error or
logic. As %e stated in .aniel@s <dm@r v. &oofnel, "!7 C !E#, 8?? 0.=."d #:9, #78(7" +89#8,.
The force of the rule depends upon the nature of the <uestion to be decided and the
e*tent of the disturbance of rights and practices %hich a change in the interpretation of
the la% or the course of 4udicial opinions &a create. Cogent considerations are %hether
there is clear error and urgent reasons )for neither 4ustice nor %isdo& re<uires a court to
go fro& one doubtful rule to another,) and %hether or not the evils of the principle that
has been follo%ed %ill be &ore in4urious than can possibl result fro& a change.
Certainl, %hen a theor supporting a rule of la% is not grounded on facts, or upon sound logic, or is
un4ust, or has been discredited b actual e*perience, it should be discarded, and %ith it the rule it
supports.
JEK 't is clear to us that the &a4or pre&ise of the 5affert decision, the poor record(1eeping of the
legislature, has disappeared. Modern e<uip&ent and technolog are the rule in record(1eeping b our
>eneral Asse&bl. Tape recorders, electric tpe%riters, duplicating &achines, recording e<uip&ent,
printing presses, co&puters, electronic voting &achines, and the li1e re&ove all doubts and fears as to
the abilit of the >eneral Asse&bl to 1eep accurate and readil accessible records.
't is also apparent that the )convenience) rule is not appropriate in todaFs &odern and developing 4udicial
philosoph. The fact that the nu&ber and co&ple*it of la%suits &a increase is not persuasive if one is
&indful that the overriding purpose of our 4udicial sste& is to discover the truth and see that 4ustice is
done. The e*istence of difficulties and co&ple*ities should not deter this pursuit and %e re4ect an
doctrine or presu&ption that so provides.
5astl, %e address the pre&ise that the e<ualit of the various branches of govern&ent re<uires that %e
shut our ees to constitutional failing and other errors of our copartners in govern&ent. =e si&pl do not
agree. 0ection ": of the Centuc1 Constitution provides that an la% contrar to the constitution is )void.)
The proper e*ercise of 4udicial authorit re<uires us to recogni3e an la% %hich is unconstitutional and to
declare it void. =ithout elaborating the point, %e believe that under section ""! of the Centuc1
Constitution it is our obligation to )support . . . the Constitution of the co&&on%ealth.) =e are s%orn to
see that violations of the constitution L b an person, corporation, state agenc or branch or
govern&ent L are brought to light and corrected. To countenance an artificial rule of la that silences our
voices hen confronted ith violations of our constitution is not accepta$le to this court.
=e believe that a &ore reasonable rule is the one %hich Professor 0utherland describes as the )e*trinsic
evidence.) . . . . Ander this approach there is a prima facie presu&ption that an enrolled bill is valid, but
such presu&ption &a be overco&e b clear, satisfactor and convincing evidence establishing that
constitutional re<uire&ents have not been &et.
=e therefore overrule *afferty v. &uffman and all other cases follo%ing the so(called enrolled bill doctrine,
to the e*tent that there is no longer a conclusive presu&ption that an enrolled bill is valid. . . .
Clearl, the enrolled bill doctrine no longer en4os its once unassailable respectabilit in Anited
0tates. 0utherland reveals that starting in the 89#$Fs,
). . . the tendenc see&s to be to%ard the abandon&ent of the conclusive presu&ption rule
and the adoption of the third rule leaving onl a prima facie presu&ption of validit %hich &a
be attac1ed b an authoritative source of infor&ation.)
19
't is high ti&e %e re,e"amine our preference for the enrolled bill doctrine. 't %as in the 68;A
case of +a$ana' v. *ope/ ?ito,
2,
that this Court, %ith three +E, 4ustices dissenting, first
e&braced the rule that a dul authenticated bill or resolution i&ports a$solute verity and is
$indin' on the courts. 'n 68=9, %e fir&ed up this ruling in Casco Philippine Chemical Co. v.
)imene/,
21
thus;
*** *** ***
-ence, )urea for&aldehde) is clearl a finished product %hich is patentl distinct and different fro&
)urea) and )for&aldehde,) as separate articles used in the &anufacture of the snthetic resin 1no%n as
)urea for&aldehde.) Petitioner contends, ho%ever, that the bill approved in Congress contained the
copulative con4unction )and) bet%een the ter& )urea) and )for&aldehde,) and that the &e&bers of
Congress intended to e*e&pt )urea) and )for&aldehde) separatel as essential ele&ents in the
&anufacture of the snthetic resin glue called )urea for&aldehde,) not the latter as a finished product,
citing in support of this vie% the state&ents &ade on the floor of the 0enate, during the consideration of
the bill before said -ouse, b &e&bers thereof. But said individual state&ents do not necessaril reflect
the vie% of the 0enate. Much less do the indicate the intent of the -ouse of Representatives +see 0ong
Ciat Chocolate 6actor vs. Central Ban1, ?# @ff >a3. :8?G Maor Motors 'nc. vs. Acting Co&&issioner of
'nternal Revenue, 5(8?$$$ JMarch "9, 89:8KG Manila .oc1e Club, 'nc. vs. >a&es and A&use&ent Board,
5(8"7"7 J6ebruar 89, 89:$K,. 6urther&ore, it is %ell settled that enrolled bill L %hich uses the ter& )urea
for&aldehde) instead of )urea and for&aldehde) L conclusive upon the courts as regards the tenor of
the &easure passed b Congress and approved b the President +Pri&icias vs. Paredes, :8 Phil. 88!,
8"$G Mabanag vs. 5ope3 /ito, 7! Phil. 8G Macias vs. Co&&. on Elections, 5(8!:!#, 0ept. 8#, 89:8,. 'f
there has been an &ista1e in the printing of the bill before it %as certified b the officers of Congress and
approved b the E*ecutive L on %hich %e cannot speculate %ithout 4eopardi3ing the principle of
separation of po%ers and under&ining one of the cornerstones of our de&ocratic sste& L the re&ed is
b a&end&ent or curative legislation, not b 4udicial decree.
'n the 68=8 case of +orales v. Su$ido,
22
%e reiterated our fidelit to the enrolled bill doctrine,
vi/;
. . . . =e cannot go behind the enrolled Act to discover %hat reall happened. The respect due to the other
branches of the >overn&ent de&ands that %e act upon the faith and credit of %hat the officers of the said
branches attest to as the official acts of their respective depart&ents. @ther%ise %e %ould be cast in the
unenviable and un%anted role of a sleuth tring to deter&ine %hat actuall did happen in the labrinth of
la%(&a1ing, %ith conse<uent i&pair&ent of the integrit of the legislative process. The investigation %hich
the petitioner %ould li1e this Court to &a1e can be better done in Congress. After all, -ouse cleaning L
the i&&ediate and i&perative need for %hich see&s to be suggested b the petitioner L can best be
effected b the occupants thereof. E*pressed else%ise, this is a &atter %orth of the attention not of an
@liver =endell -ol&es but of a 0herloc1 -ol&es.
0ignificantl, ho%ever, Morales diluted the conclusiveness rule of the enrolled bill doctrine. The
ponencia stressed;
B %hat %e have essaed above e are not of course to $e understood as holdin' that in all cases the
%ournals must yield to the enrolled $ill. To $e sure there are certain matters hich the Constitution
e"pressly re-uires must $e entered on the %ournal of each house. To %hat e*tent the validit of a
legislative act &a be affected b a failure to have such &atters entered on the 4ournal, is a <uestion
%hich %e do not no% decide. <ll e hold is that ith respect to matters not e"pressly re-uired to $e
entered on the %ournal, the enrolled $ill prevails in the event of any discrepancy.
'n the 68A; case of <stor'a v. ?ille'as,
2)
%e further diluted the enrolled bill doctrine %hen %e
refused to appl it after the 0enate President declared his signature on the bill as invalid. =e
ruled;
*** *** ***
PetitionerFs argu&ent that the attestation of the presiding offices of Congress is conclusive proof of a billFs
due enact&ent, re<uired, it is said, b the respect due to a co(e<ual depart&ent of the govern&ent, is
neutrali3ed in this case b the fact that the 0enate President declared his signature on the bill to be
invalid and issued a subse<uent clarification that the invalidation for his signature &eant that the bill he
had signed had never been approved b the 0enate. @bviousl this declaration should be accorded even
greater respect than the attestation it invalidated, %hich it did for a reason that is undisputed in fact and
indisputable in logic.
As far as Congress itself is concerned, there is nothing sacrosanct in the certification &ade b the
presiding officers. 't is &erel a &ode of authentication. The la%(&a1ing process in Congress ends %hen
the bill is approved b both -ouses, and the certification does not add to the validit of the bill or cure an
defect alread present upon its passage. 'n other %ords it is the approval b Congress and not the
signatures of the presiding officers that is essential. Thus the +89E?, Constitution sas that )JeKver bill
passed b the Congress shall, before it beco&es la%, be presented to the President.) 'n Bron vs.
+orris, supra, the 0upre&e Court of Missouri, interpreting a si&ilar provision in the 0tate Constitution,
said that the sa&e )&a1es it clear that the indispensable step is the final passage and it follo%s that if a
bill, other%ise full enacted as a la%, is not attested b the presiding officer, the proof that it has Fpassed
both housesF %ill satisf the constitutional re<uire&ent.
Petitioner agrees that the attestation in the bill is not &andator but argues that the disclai&er thereof b
the 0enate President, granting it to have been validl &ade, %ould onl &ean that there %as no
attestation at all, but %ould not affect the validit of the statute. -ence, it is pointed out, Republic Act No.
#$:? %ould re&ain valid and binding. This argu&ent begs the issue. 't %ould li&it the courtFs in<uir to the
presence or absence of the attestation and to the effect of its absence upon the validit of the statute. The
in<uir, ho%ever, goes farther. Absent such attestation as a result of the disclai&er, and conse<uentl
there being no enrolled bill to spea1 of, %hat evidence is there to deter&ine %hether or not the bill had
been dul enacted. 'n such a case the entries in the 4ournal should be consulted.
The 4ournal of the proceedings of each -ouse of Congress is no ordinar record. The Constitution
re<uires it. =hile it is true that the 4ournal is not authenticated and is sub4ect to the ris1 of &isprinting and
other errors, the point is irrelevant in this case. This Court is &erel as1ed to in<uire %hether the te*t of
-ouse Bill No. 9":: signed b the Chief E*ecutive %as the sa&e te*t passed b both -ouses of
Congress. Ander the specific facts and circu&stances of this case, this Court can do this and resort to the
0enate 4ournal for the purpose. The 4ournal discloses that substantial and length a&end&ents %ere
introduced on the floor and approved b the 0enate but %ere not incorporated in the printed te*t sent to
the President and signed b hi&. This Court is not as1ed to incorporate such a&end&ents into the
alleged la%, %hich ad&ittedl is a ris1 underta1ing, but to declare that the bill %as not dul enacted and
therefore did not beco&e la%. This =e do, as indeed both the President of the 0enate and the Chief
E*ecutive did, %hen the %ithdre% their signatures therein. 'n the face of the &anifest error co&&itted
and subse<uentl rectified b the President of the 0enate and b the Chief E*ecutive, for this Court to
perpetuate that error b disregarding such rectification and holding that the erroneous bill has beco&e la%
%ould be to sacrifice truth to fiction and bring about &ischievous conse<uences not intended b the la%(
&a1ing bod.
'n 6889, the enrolled bill doctrine %as again used as a secondary rationale in the case of
Philippine Jud'es <ssociation v. Prado,
24
'n this case, the 4udges clai&ed that the pertinent
part of section E? of R.A. No. 7E?# repealing the fran1ing privilege of the 4udiciar appeared
onl in the Conference Co&&ittee Report. 'n re4ecting this contention, this Court ruled;
=hile it is true that a conference co&&ittee is the &echanis& for co&pro&ising differences bet%een the
0enate and the -ouse, it is not li&ited in its 4urisdiction to this <uestion. 'ts broader function is described
thus;
A conference co&&ittee &a deal generall %ith the sub4ect &atter or it &a be li&ited to
resolving the precise differences bet%een the t%o houses. Even %here the conference
co&&ittee is not b rule li&ited in its 4urisdiction, legislative custo& severel li&its the
freedo& %ith %hich ne% sub4ect &atter can be inserted into the conference bill. But
occasionall a conference co&&ittee produces une*pected results, results beond its
&andate. These e*cursions occur even %here the rules i&pose strict li&itations on
conference co&&ittee 4urisdiction. This is s&pto&atic of the authoritarian po%er of
conference co&&ittee +2avies, 5egislative 5a% and Process; 'n a Nutshell, 89!: Ed., p.
!8,.
't is a &atter of record that the Conference Co&&ittee Report on the bill in <uestion %as returned to and
dul approved b both the 0enate and the -ouse of Representatives. Thereafter, the bill %as enrolled
%ith its certification b 0enate President Neptali A. >on3ales and 0pea1er Ra&on /. Mitra of the -ouse
of Representatives as having been dul passed b both -ouses of Congress. 't %as then presented to
and approved b President Cora3on C. A<uino on April E, 899".
Ander the doctrine of separation of po%ers, the Court &a not in<uire beond the certification of the
approval of a bill fro& the presiding officers of Congress. Casco Philippine Chemical Co. v. )imene/ laid
do%n the rule that the enrolled bill is conclusive upon the .udiciar +e*cept in &atters that have to be
entered in the 4ournals li1e the eas and nas on the final reading of the bill,. The 4ournals are the&selves
also binding on the 0upre&e Court, as %e held in the old +but stills valid, case of U.S. vs. Pens, %here %e
e*plained the reason thus;
To in<uire into the veracit of the 4ournals of the Philippine legislature %hen the are, as
%e have said, clear and e*plicit, %ould be to violate both the letter and spirit of the
organic la%s b %hich the Philippine >overn&ent %as brought into e*istence, to invade a
coordinate and independent depart&ent of the >overn&ent, and to interfere %ith the
legiti&ate po%ers and functions of the 5egislature.
Appling these principles, %e shall decline to loo1 into the petitionersF charges that an a&end&ent %as
&ade upon the last reading of the bill that eventuall beca&e R.A. No. 7E?# and that copies thereof in its
final for& %ere not distributed a&ong the &e&bers of each -ouse. Both the enrolled bill and the
legislative 4ournals certif that the &easure %as dul enacted i.e., in accordance %ith the Article /', 0ec.
":+", of the Constitution. =e are bound b such official assurances fro& a coordinate depart&ent of the
govern&ent, to %hich %e o%e, at the ver least, a beco&ing courtes.
6inall in 688; ca&e the case of Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance, et al and its co&panion
cases.
25
'nvolved in the case %as the constitutionalit of R.A. No. 778:, other%ise 1no%n as
the E*panded /alue Added Ta* 5a%. The &a4orit
2*
partl relied on the enrolled bill doctrine in
dis&issing challenges to the constitutionalit of R.A. No. 778:. 't held;
*** *** ***
6ourth. =hatever doubts there &a be as to the formal validity of Republic Act No. 778: &ust be resolved
in its favor. Our cases manifest firm adherence to the rule that an enrolled copy of a $ill is conclusive not
only of its provisions $ut also of its due enactment. Not even clai&s that a proposed constitutional
a&end&ent %as invalid because the re<uisite votes for its approval had not been obtained or that certain
provisions of a statute had been )s&uggled) in the printing of the bill have &oved or persuaded us to loo1
behind the proceedings of a coe<ual branch of the govern&ent. There is no reason no% to depart fro&
this rule.
2o claim is here made that the (enrolled $ill( rule is a$solute. 'n fact in one case %e )%ent behind) an
enrolled bill and consulted the .ournal to deter&ine %hether certain provisions of a statute had been
approved b the 0enate in vie% of the fad that the President of the 0enate hi&self, %ho had signed the
enrolled bill, ad&itted a &ista1e and %ithdre% his signature, so that in effect there %as no longer an
enrolled bill to consider.
But %here allegations that the constitutional procedures for the passage of bills have not been observed
have no &ore basis than another allegation that the Conference Co&&ittee )surreptitiousl) inserted
provisions into a bill %hich it had prepared, %e should decline the invitation to go behind the enrolled cop
of the bill. To disregard the )enrolled bill) rule in such cases %ould be to disregard the respect due the
other t%o depart&ents of our govern&ent.
These cases sho% that %e have not blindl accepted the conclusiveness of the enrolled bill.
Even in Tolentino, Mr. .ustice Mendo3a %as cautious enough to hold that )no clai& is here
&ade that the enrolled bill is absolute.) ' respectfull sub&it that it is no% ti&e for the Court to
&a1e a definitive pronounce&ent that %e no longer give our un<ualified support to the enrolled
bill doctrine. There are co&pelling reasons for this suggested change in stance. 6or one, the
enrolled bill is appropriate onl in England %here it originated because in England there is no
%ritten Constitution and the Parlia&ent is supre&e. 6or another, &an of the courts in the
Anited 0tates have bro1en a%a fro& the rigidit and unrealis& of the enrolled bill in light of
conte&porar develop&ents in la%&a1ing.
27
And &ore i&portant, our uncritical adherence to
the enrolled bill is inconsistent %ith our Constitution, la%s and rules. 'n +a$ana',
2+
%e relied
on section E8E of the @ld Code of Civil Procedure as a&ended b Act No. ""8$ as a principal
reason in e&bracing the enrolled bill. This section, ho%ever has long been repealed b our
Rules of Court. A half glance at our Rules %ill sho% that its section on conclusive presu&ption
does not carr the conclusive presu&ption %e give to an enrolled bill. But this is not all. The
conclusiveness of an enrolled $ill hich all too often results in the suppression of truth cannot
be 4ustified under the 89!7 Constitution. The Prea&ble of our Constitution de&ands that %e
live not onl under a rule of la but also under a re'ime of truth. @ur Constitution also adopted
a national polic
29
re<uiring full public disclosure of all state transactions involving public
interest. An rule %hich %ill defeat this policy on transparency ought to be disfavored. And to
i&ple&ent these policies, this Court %as given the po%er to pr open and to stri1e do%n an
act of an branch or instru&entalit of govern&ent if it a&ounts to grave abuse of discretion
a&ounting to lac1 or e*cess of 4urisdiction. #t is time to $ury the enrolled $ill for its fiction of
conclusiveness shuts off truth in many liti'ations. 0e cannot dispense %ustice $ased on fiction
for the search for %ustice is the search for truth. # su$mit that 'ivin' an enrolled $ill a mere
prima facie presumption of correctness ill facilitate our tas! of dispensin' %ustice $ased on
truth.
'''
'n su&, ' respectfull sub&it that the Court has 4urisdiction over the petition at bar and that
issues posed b petitioner are 4usticiable. Nonetheless, ' do not find an grave abuse of
discretion co&&itted b the public respondents to 4ustif granting said petition. As the ponencia
points out, the petition &erel involves the co&plaint that petitioner %as prevented fro& raising
the <uestion of <uoru&. The petition does not concern violation of an rule &andated b the
Constitution. Nor does it involve the right of a non(&e&ber of the -ouse %hich re<uires
constitutional protection. The rules on ho% to <uestion the e*istence of a <uoru& are
procedural in character. The are &alleable b nature for the %ere drafted to help the -ouse
enact la%s. As %ell stated, these rules are servants, not &asters of the -ouse. Their
observance or non(observance is a &atter of 4udg&ent call on the part of our legislators and it
is not the business of the Court to reverse this 4udg&ent %hen untainted b grave abuse of
discretion a&ounting to lac1 or e*cess of 4urisdiction.
.avide, Jr3, J3, concurs3

S-./0/t- O.121o2s
%!#&G, J., concurring;
=hen the 89!7 Constitution has e&bodied, in its circu&scription of 4udicial po%er under
0ection 8, Article /''', of the Constitution, the deter&ination of %hether or not there is 'rave
a$use of discretion on the part of any $ranch or instrumentality of 'overnment, the 0upre&e
Court, upon %hich that great burden has been i&posed, could not have been thought of as
li1e%ise being thereb tas1ed %ith the a%eso&e responsibilit of overseeing the entire
bureaucrac. The ter& grave abuse of discretion has long been understood in our
4urisprudence as, and confined to, a capricious and %hi&sical or despotic e*ercise of 4udg&ent
as amountin' to lac! or e"cess of %urisdiction.
' see nothing of that sort in the case at bar. Absent a clear case of grave abuse of discretion,
li1e the patent disregard of a Constitutional proscription, ' %ould respect the 4udg&ent of
Congress under %hose province the specific responsibilit falls and the authorit to act is
vested. To do other%ise %ould be an un%arranted intrusion into the internal affairs of a co(
e<ual, independent and coordinate branch of govern&ent. At no ti&e, it %ould see& to &e,
has it been intended b the fra&ers of the funda&ental la% to cause a substantial deviation, let
alone departure, fro& the ti&e(honored and accepted principle of separation, but balanced,
po%ers of the three branches of govern&ent. There is, of course, a basic variant bet%een the
old rule and the ne% Charter on the understanding of the ter& )4udicial po%er.) No%, the Court
is under &andate to assu&e 4urisdiction over, and to underta1e 4udicial in<uir into, %hat &a
even be dee&ed to be political <uestions provided, ho%ever, that grave abuse of discretion L
the sole test of 4usticiabilit on purel political issues L is sho%n to have attended the
contested act.
All ta1en, ' &ost hu&bl reiterate & separate opinion in Tolentino vs. Secretary of Finance
and co&panion cases +>.R. No. 88?#??, etc., "E? 0CRA :E$, and vote to den the instant
petition.
ROMERO, J., separate opinion;
'n filing this separate opinion for the dis&issal of the instant petition, ' a& not bac1trac1ing
fro& the dissent %hich ' e*pressed in Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance.
1
' a& so&e%hat
bothered that if ' do not elaborate, the vote %hich ' cast toda &ight be %rongl construed as
an i&plied abandon&ent of, and inconsistent %ith, & fir& stance in Tolentino.
The land&ar1 case of Tolentino, 4ust li1e the one under consideration, involved a si&ilar
challenge to the constitutionalit of a significant ta* &easure na&el, Republic Act No. 778:,
other%ise 1no%n as the E*panded /alue(Added Ta* +E/AT, 5a%. There, a nu&ber of issues,
both substantive and procedural, %ere posed b petitioners, each of %hich %as discussed b
the &a4orit opinion of Mr. .ustice /icente /. Mendo3a %ho, incidentall, is also the ponente of
instant decision. At an rate, it is %orth noting that ' did not entirel disagree %ith each and
ever argu&ent of the opinion, &ost especiall those touching upon substantive issues. M
&ain ob4ection in Tolentino, it %ill be recalled, focused instead on %hat ' perceived %as a
substantial breach and disregard b the 5egislature of vital constitutional re<uire&ents
ordaining the procedures to be follo%ed in the passage of a bill %hich, in & opinion, the
&a4orit see&ed to have cavalierl put to rest b hiding under the cloa1 of the enrolled bill
theor
2
and the precept that the Court is not the proper foru& for the enforce&ent of internal
legislative rules allegedl violated.
)
To &e, the position then ta1en b the &a4orit e*hibited
blind adherence to other%ise sound principles of la% %hich did not, ho%ever, fit the facts as
presented before the Court. -ence, ' ob4ected, not so &uch because ' found these principles
un%ise or obsolete, but rather because the %ere applied, or &isapplied, to a case %hich '
believe did not call for their application.
=hen ' differed fro& the &a4orit opinion %hich applied the enrolled bill theor, ' %as ver
careful to e&phasi3e that reliance thereon is not to be discontinued but that its application
&ust be li&ited to &inor &atters relating &ore to for& and factual issues %hich do not
&ateriall alter the essence and substance of the la% itself. Thus;
As applied to the instant petition, the issue posed is %hether or not the procedural irregularities that
attended the passage of -ouse Bill No. 88897 and 0enate Bill No. 8:E$, outside of the reading and
printing re<uire&ents %hich %ere e*e&pted b the Presidential certification, &a no longer be i&pugned,
having been )saved) b the conclusiveness on us of the enrolled bill. # see no co'ent reason hy e
cannot continue to place reliance on the enrolled $ill, $ut only ith respect to matters pertainin' to the
procedure folloed in the enactment of $ills in Con'ress and their su$se-uent en'rossment, printin'
errors, omission of ords and phrases and similar relatively minor matters relatin' more to form and
factual issues hich do not materially alter the essence and su$stance of the la itself .
Certainl, courts cannot clai& greater abilit to 4udge procedural legiti&ac, since constitutional rules on
legislative procedure are easil &astered. Procedural disputes are over facts L %hether or not the bill
had enough votes, or three readings, or %hatever L not over the &eaning of the constitution. 5egislators,
as ee%itnesses, are in a better position than a court to rule on the facts. The argu&ent is also &ade that
legislatures %ould be offended if courts e*a&ined legislative procedure.
Such a rationale, hoever, cannot conceiva$ly apply to su$stantive chan'es in a $ill introduced toards
the end of its tortuous trip throu'h Con'ress, catchin' $oth le'islators and the pu$lic unaares and
alterin' the same $eyond reco'nition even $y its sponsors.
This issue ' %ish to address forth%ith.
4
As regards the principle that the Court is not the proper foru& for the enforce&ent of internal
legislative rules, both the &a4orit and ' %ere actuall of one &ind such that ' %as <uic1 to
<ualif the e*tent of the CourtFs revie% po%er in respect of internal procedures in this %ise;
' %ish to consider this issue in light of Article /''', 0ec. 8 of the Constitution %hich provides that )+4,udicial
po%er includes the dut of the courts of 4ustice . . . to deter&ine %hether or not there has been a grave
abuse of discretion a&ounting to lac1 or e*cess of 4urisdiction on the part of an branch or instru&entalit
of the >overn&ent.) =e are also guided b the principle that a court &a interfere %ith the internal
procedures of its coordinate branch only to uphold the Constitution.
5
' differed, ho%ever, fro& the &a4orit insofar as that principle %as applied. 'n this respect, '
sho%ed that the introduction of several provisions in the Bica&eral Conference Co&&ittee
Report did not onl violate the pertinent -ouse and 0enate Rules defining the li&ited po%er of
the conference co&&ittee but that the Constitutional proscription against an a&end&ent
upon the last reading of a bill %as li1e%ise breached. -ence, in vie% of these lapses, ' thought
that 4udicial revie% %ould have been proper in order to uphold the Constitution. This the
&a4orit, ho%ever, disregarded invo1ing the sa&e principle %hich should have 4ustified the
Court in <uestioning the actuations of the legislative branch.
At this 4uncture, ' %ish to reiterate & continuing adherence to the aforesaid reasons ' cited in
the Tolentino dissent. At the sa&e ti&e, ' reali3e that the argu&ents ' raised in & dissent
%ould not hold true in the instant petition.
6or one thing, unli1e in Tolentino, the rules of the -ouse of Representatives allegedl violated
b respondents in the instant petition are purel internal rules designed for the orderl conduct
of the -ouseFs business. The have no direct or reasonable ne*us to the re<uire&ents and
proscriptions of the Constitution in the passage of a bill %hich %ould other%ise %arrant the
CourtFs intervention. 5i1e%ise, the petitioners are not in an %a co&plaining that substantial
alterations have been introduced in Republic Act No. !"#$. The thrust of petitionersF argu&ents
in attac1ing the validit of the la% is &erel %ith respect to the fact that Rep. .o1er Arroo %as
effectivel prevented fro& invo1ing the <uestion of <uoru& and not that the substance thereof
offends constitutional standards. This being the case, ' do not no% feel called upon to invo1e
& previous argu&ent that the enrolled bill theor should not be conclusive as regards
)substantive changes in a bill introduced to%ards the end of its tortuous trip through
Congress,) %hen it is palpabl un%arranted under the circu&stances of instant petition.
P&NO, J., concurring and dissenting;
' concur in the result. ' do appreciate the fine legal dis<uisition of Mr. .ustice Mendo3a to 4ustif
the dis&issal of the case at bar. Nevertheless, ' have to e*press & vie%s on the alleged non(
4usticiabilit of the issue posed b the petitioner as %ell as the applicabilit of the archaic enroll
bill doctrine in light of %hat ' perceive as ne% %rin1les in our la% brought about b the 89!7
Constitution and the %inds of changing ti&e.
'
=ith due respect, ' do not agree that the issues posed b the petitioner are non(4usticiable. Nor
do ' agree that %e %ill triviali3e the principle of separation of po%er if %e assu&e 4urisdiction
over the case at bar. Even in the Anited 0tates, the principle of separation of po%er is no
longer an i&pregnable i&pedi&ent against the interposition of 4udicial po%er on cases
involving breach of rules of procedure b legislators.
Rightl, the ponencia uses the 6786 case of US v. Ballin,
1
as a %indo% to vie% the issues
before the Court. 't is in Ballin %here the A0 0upre&e Court first defined the boundaries of the
po%er of the 4udiciar to revie% congressional rules.
2
't held;
*** *** ***
The Constitution, in the sa&e section, provides, that )each house &a deter&ine the rules of its
proceedings.) 't appears that in pursuance of this authorit the -ouse had, prior to that da, passed this
as one of its rules;
Rule I/
E. @n the de&and of an &e&ber, or at the suggestion of the 0pea1er, the na&es of &e&bers sufficient
to &a1e a <uoru& in the hall of the -ouse %ho do not vote shall be noted b the cler1 and recorded in the
4ournal, and reported to the 0pea1er %ith the na&es of the &e&bers voting, and be counted and
announced in deter&ining the presence of a <uoru& to do business. +-ouse .ournal, "E$, 6eb. 8#, 8!9$,
The action ta1en %as in direct co&pliance %ith this rule. The <uestion, therefore, is as to the validity of
this rule, and not %hat &ethods the 0pea1er &a of his o%n &otion resort to for deter&ining the presence
of a <uoru&, nor %hat &atters the 0pea1er or cler1 &a of their o%n volition place upon the 4ournal.
Neither do the advantages or disadvantages, the %isdo& or foll, of such a rule present an &atters for
4udicial consideration. 0ith the courts the -uestion is only one of poer. The Constitution empoers each
house to determine its rules of proceedin's. #t may not $y its rules i'nore constitutional restraints or
violate fundamental ri'hts, and there should $e a reasona$le relation $eteen the mode or method of
proceedin's esta$lished $y the rule and the result hich is sou'ht to $e attained. But %ithin these
li&itations all matters of method are open to the deter&ination of the -ouse, and it is no i&peach&ent of
the rule to sa that so&e other %a %ould be better, &ore accurate, or even &ore 4ust. 't is no ob4ection to
the validit of a rule that a different one has been prescribed and in force for a length of ti&e. The po%er
to &a1e rules is not one %hich once e*ercised is e*hausted. 't is a continuous po%er, al%as sub4ect to
be e*ercised b the -ouse, and %ithin the li&itations suggested, absolute and beond the challenge of
an other bod or tribunal.
Ballin, clearl confir&ed the 4urisdiction of courts to pass upon the validit of congressional
rules, i.e., %hether the are constitutional. Rule I/ %as e*a&ined b the Court and it %as
found to satisf the test; +8, that it did not ignore an constitutional restraintG +", it did not
violate an funda&ental rightG and +E, its &ethod has a reasonable relationship %ith the result
sought to be attained. B e*a&ining Rule I/, the Court did not allo% its 4urisdiction to be
defeated b the &ere invocation of the principle of separation of po%ers.
Ballin %as follo%ed in 689: b the case of US v. Smith.
)
'n Smith, the meanin' of sections E
and # of Rule III/''' of the A0 0enate %as in issue, vi/;
*** *** ***
E. =hen a no&ination is confir&ed or re4ected, an 0enator voting in the &a4orit &a &ove for a
reconsideration on the sa&e da on %hich the vote %as ta1en, or on either of the ne*t t%o das of actual
e*ecutive session of the 0enateG but if a notification of the confir&ation or re4ection of a no&ination shall
have been sent to the President before the e*piration of the ti&e %ithin %hich a &otion to reconsider &a
be &ade, the &otion to reconsider shall be acco&panied b a &otion to re<uest the President to return
such notification to the 0enate. An &otion to reconsider the vote on a no&ination &a be laid on the
table %ithout pre4udice to the no&ination, and shall be a final disposition of such &otion.
#. No&inations confir&ed or re4ected b the 0enate shall not be returned b the 0ecretar to the
President until the e*piration of the ti&e li&ited for &a1ing a &otion to reconsider the sa&e, or %hile a
&otion to reconsider is pending, unless other%ise ordered b the 0enate.
't appears that the no&ination of Mr. 0&ith as &e&ber of the 6ederal Po%er Co&&ission has
been confir&ed b the A0 0enate. The resolution of confir&ation %as sent to the A0 President
%ho then signed the appoint&ent of Mr. 0&ith. The 0enate, ho%ever, reconsidered the
confir&ation of Mr. 0&ith and re<uested the President to return its resolution of confir&ation.
The President refused. A petition for <uo %arranto %as filed against Mr. 0&ith. The Court,
spea1ing thru Mr. .ustice Brandeis, assumed %urisdiction over the dispute reling on Ballin. 't
e*ercised 4urisdiction although )the <uestion pri&aril at issue relates to the construction of the
applicable rules, not to their constitutionalit.) Si'nificantly, the Court re%ected the Senate
interpretation of its on rules even hile it held that it must $e accorded the most sympathetic
consideration.
*** *** ***
0i*th. To place upon the standing rules of the 0enate a construction different fro& that adopted b the
0enate itself %hen the present case %as under debate is a serious and delicate e*ercise of 4udicial po%er.
The Constitution co&&its to the 0enate the po%er to &a1e its o%n rulesG and it is not the function of the
Court to sa that another rule %ould be better. A rule designed to ensure due deliberation in the
perfor&ance of the vital function of advising and consenting to no&inations for public office, &oreover,
should receive fro& the Court the &ost s&pathetic consideration. But the reasons, above stated, against
the 0enateFs construction see& to us co&pelling. =e are confir&ed in the vie% %e have ta1en b the fact,
since the atte&pted reconsideration of 0&ithFs confir&ation, the 0enate itself see&s unifor&l to have
treated the ordering of i&&ediate notification to the President as tanta&ount to authori3ing hi& to
proceed to perfect the appoint&ent.
Smith, of course, involves the right of a third person and its ruling falls %ithin the test spelled
out in Ballin.
Smith %as follo%ed b the 68;7 case of Christoffel v. United States.
4
Christoffel testified
before the Co&&ittee on Education and 5abor of the -ouse of Representatives. -e denied he
%as a co&&unist and %as charged %ith per4ur in the regular court. -e adduced evidence
during the trial that the co&&ittee had no <uoru& %hen the per4urious state&ent %as given.
Nonetheless, he %as convicted in vie% of the 4udgeFs charge to the &e&bers of the 4ur that to
find Christoffel guilt, the had to find beond a reasonable doubt that L
*** *** ***
. . . the defendant Christoffel appeared before a <uoru& of at least thirteen &e&bers of the said
Co&&ittee, and that )at least that nu&ber &ust have been actuall and phsicall present . . . 'f such a
Co&&ittee so &et, that is, if thirteen &e&bers did &eet at the beginning of the afternoon session of
March 8, 89#7, and thereafter during the progress of the hearing so&e of the& left te&poraril or
other%ise and no <uestion %as raised as to the lac1 of a <uoru&, then the fact that the &a4orit did not
re&ain there %ould not affect, for the purposes of this case, the e*istence of that Co&&ittee as a
co&petent tribunal provided that before the oath %as ad&inistered and before the testi&on of the
defendant %as given there %ere present as &an as 8E &e&bers of that Co&&ittee at the beginning of
the afternoon session . . . .
Christoffel ob4ected to the charge on the ground that it allo%ed the 4ur to assu&e there %as a
continuous <uoru& si&pl because it %as present at the start of the &eeting of the Co&&ittee.
Ander the -ouse rules, a <uoru& once established is presu&ed to continue until the lac1 of
<uoru& is raised. <'ain, the court assumed %urisdiction over the case. A &a4orit of the Court,
%ith Mr. .ustice Murph, as ponente, defined the issue as )%hat rules the -ouse had
established and hether they have $een folloed.) 't held;
*** *** ***
Congressional practice in the transaction of ordinar legislative business is of course none of our concern,
and b the sa&e to1en the considerations %hich &a lead Congress as a &atter of legislative practice to
treat as valid the conduct of its co&&ittees do not control the issue before us. The <uestion is neither
%hat rules Congress &a establish for its o%n governance, nor %hether presu&ptions of continuit &a
protect the validit of its legislative conduct. The -uestion is rather hat rules the &ouse has esta$lished
and hether they have $een folloed. 't of course has the po%er to define %hat tribunal is co&petent to
e*act testi&on and the conditions that establish its co&petenc to do so. The heart of this case is that b
the charge that %as given it the 4ur %as allo%ed to assu&e that the conditions of co&petenc %ere
satisfied even though the basis in fact %as not established and in face of a possible finding that the facts
contradicted the assu&ption.
=e are &easuring a conviction of cri&e b the statute %hich defined it. As a conse<uence of this
conviction, petitioner %as sentenced to i&prison&ent for a ter& of fro& t%o to si* ears. An essential part
of a procedure %hich can be said fairl to inflict such a punish&ent is that all the ele&ents of the cri&e
charged shall be proved beond a reasonable doubt. An ele&ent of the cri&e charged in the instant
indict&ent is the presence of a co&petent tribunal, and the trial court properl so instructed the 4ur. The
-ouse insists that to be such a tribunal a co&&ittee &ust consist of a <uoru&, and %e agree %ith the trial
courtFs charge that to convict, the 4ur had to be satisfied beond a reasonable doubt that there %ere
)actuall and phsicall present) a &a4orit of the co&&ittee.
Then to charge, ho%ever, that such re<uire&ent is satisfied b a finding that there %as a &a4orit present
t%o or three hours before the defendant offered his testi&on, in the face of evidence indicatin' the
contrary, is to rule as a &atter of la% that a <uoru& need not be present %hen the offense is co&&itted.
This not onl see&s to us contrar to the rules and practice of the Congress but denies petitioner a
funda&ental right. That right is that he be convicted of cri&e onl on proof of all the ele&ents of the cri&e
charged against hi&. A tribunal that is not co&petent is no tribunal, and it is unthin1able that such a bod
can be the instru&ent of cri&inal conviction.
The &inorit co&plained that the )-ouse has adopted the rule and practice that a <uoru&
once established is presu&ed to continue unless and until a point of no <uoru& is raised. By
this decision, the Court, in effect, invalidates that rule . . . .) The &inorit vie% co&&anded onl
the vote of three +E, 4ustices.
The A0 0upre&e Court pursued the sa&e line in 68=9 in deciding the case of >ellin v. United
States.
5
>ellin %as indicted on five counts of %illfull refusing to ans%er <uestions put to hi&
b a sub(co&&ittee of the -ouse Co&&ittee on An(A&erican Activities. -e %as convicted b
the 2istrict Court of conte&pt of Congress on four counts. The conviction %as affir&ed b the
Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. @n certiorari, he assailed his conviction on the 'round that
the Committee ille'ally denied his re-uest to $e heard in e"ecutive session. &e alle'ed there
as a violation of Committee 5ule #? hich provides that )if a &a4orit of the Co&&ittee or
sub(co&&ittee, dul appointed as provided b the rules of the -ouse of Representatives,
believes that the interrogation of a %itness in a public hearing &ight endanger national securit
or un4ustl in4ure his reputation, or the reputation of other individuals, the Co&&ittee shall
interrogate such %itness in an e*ecutive session for the purpose of deter&ining the necessit
or ad&issibilit of conducting such interrogation thereafter in a public hearing.) in a ?(#
decision, the Court, spea1ing thru Mr. Chief .ustice =arren, held;
*** *** ***
>ellin should $e permitted the same opportunity for %udicial revie %hen he discovers at trial that his rights
have been violated. This is especially so hen the Committee@s practice leads itnesses to misplaced
reliance upon its rules. =hen reading a cop of the Co&&itteeFs rules, %hich &ust be distributed to ever
%itness under Rule I/'', the %itnessF reasonable e*pectation is that the Co&&ittee actuall does %hat it
purports to do, adhere to its o%n rules. To foreclose a defense based upon those rules, si&pl because
the %itness %as deceived b the Co&&itteeFs appearance of regularit, is not fair. The Co&&ittee
prepared the ground%or1 for prosecution in BellinFs case &eticulousl. #t is not too e"actin' to re-uire that
the Committee $e e-ually meticulous in o$eyin' its on rules.
't additionall bears stressing that in the Anited 0tates, the 4udiciar has pruned the )political
thic1et.) 'n the bench&ar1 case of Ba!er v. Carr,
*
the A0 0upre&e Court assu&ed 4urisdiction
to hear a petition for re(apportion&ent of the Tennessee legislature ruling that )the political
<uestion doctrine, a tool for &aintenance of govern&ent order, %ill not be so applied as to
pro&ote onl disorder) and that )the courts cannot re4ect as Fno la% suit,F a bona fide
controvers as to %hether so&e action deno&inated FpoliticalF e*ceeds constitutional authorit.)
'n the Philippine settin', there is a more compellin' reason for courts to categoricall re4ect the
political <uestion defense %hen its interposition %ill cover up abuse of po%er. 6or section 8,
Article /''' of our Constitution %as intentionally cobbled to e&po%er courts ). . . to deter&ine
%hether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion a&ounting to lac1 or e*cess of
4urisdiction on the part of an branch or instru&entalit of the govern&ent.) This po%er is ne%
and %as not granted to our courts in the 89E? and 897" Constitutions. 't %as not also *ero*ed
fro& the A0 Constitution or an foreign state constitution. The C@NC@M granted this
enor&ous po%er to our courts in vie% of our e*perience under &artial la% %here abusive
e*ercises of state po%er %ere shielded fro& 4udicial scrutin b the &isuse of the political
<uestion doctrine. 5ed b the e&inent for&er Chief .ustice Roberto Concepcion, the
C@NC@M e*panded and sharpened the chec1ing po%ers of the 4udiciar vis,a,vis the
E*ecutive and the 5egislative depart&ents of govern&ent. 'n cases involving the procla&ation
of &artial la% and suspension of the privilege of habeas corpus, it is no% beond dubiet that
the govern&ent can no longer invo1e the political <uestion defense. 0ection 8! of Article /''
completely eliminated this defense %hen it provided;
*** *** ***
The 0upre&e Court &a revie%, in an appropriate proceeding filed b an citi3en, the sufficienc of the
factual basis of the procla&ation of &artial la% or the suspension of the privilege of the %rit or the
e*tension thereof, and &ust pro&ulgate its decision thereon %ithin thirt das fro& its filing.
A state of &artial la% does not suspend the operation of the Constitution, nor supplant the functioning of
the civil courts or legislative asse&blies, nor authori3e the confer&ent of 4urisdiction on &ilitar courts and
agencies over civilians %here civil courts are able to function, nor auto&aticall suspend the privilege of
the %rit.
The C@NC@M did not onl outla% the use of the political <uestion defense in national securit
cases. To a great degree, it diminished its use as a shield to protect other abuses of
govern&ent b allo%ing courts to penetrate the shield %ith the ne% po%er to revie% acts of an
branch or instru&entalit of the govern&ent ). . . to deter&ine %hether or not there has been a
grave abuse of discretion a&ounting to lac1 or e*cess of 4urisdiction.) 'n Tolentino v. Secretary
of Finance,
7
' posited the follo%ing postulates;
*** *** ***
0ec. 8. The 4udicial po%er shall be vested in one 0upre&e Court and in such lo%er courts as &a be
established b la%.
.udicial po%er includes the dut of the courts of 4ustice to settle actual controversies involving rights %hich
are legall de&andable and enforceable, and to deter&ine %hether or not there has been a grave abuse
of discretion a&ounting to lac1 or e*cess of 4urisdiction on the part of an branch or instru&entalit of the
>overn&ent.
6or&er Chief .ustice Roberto R. Concepcion, the sponsor of this provision in the Constitutional
Co&&ission e*plained the sense and the reach of 4udicial po%er as follo%s;
*** *** ***
. . . 'n other %ords, the 4udiciar is the final arbiter on the <uestion of %hether or not a
branch of govern&ent or an of its officials has acted %ithout 4urisdiction or in e*cess of
4urisdiction, or so capriciousl as to constitute an abuse of discretion a&ounting to e*cess
of 4urisdiction. This is not onl a 4udicial po%er but a dut to pass 4udg&ent on &atters of
this nature.
This is the bac1ground of paragraph " of 0ection 8, %hich &eans that the courts cannot
hereafter evade the dut to settle &atters of this nature, b clai&ing that such &atters
constitute political <uestion.
The Constitution cannot be an clearer. =hat it granted to this Court is not a &ere po%er %hich it can
decline to e*ercise. Precisel to deter this disinclination, the Constitution i&posed it as a dut of this Court
to stri1e do%n an act of a branch or instru&entalit of govern&ent or an of its officials done %ith grave
abuse of discretion a&ounting to lac1 or e*cess of 4urisdiction. Rightl or %rongl, the Constitution has
elongated the chec1ing po%ers of this Court against the other branches of govern&ent despite their &ore
de&ocratic character, the President and the legislators being elected b the people.
't is, ho%ever, theori3ed that this provision is nothing ne%. ' beg to disagree for the vie% &isses the
significant changes &ade in our constitutional canvass to cure the legal deficiencies %e discovered during
&artial la%. @ne of the areas radicall changed b the fra&ers of the 89!7 Constitution is the i&balance
of po%er bet%een and a&ong the three great branches of our govern&ent L the E*ecutive, the
5egislative and the .udiciar. To upgrade the po%ers of the .udiciar, the Constitutional Co&&ission
strengthened so&e &ore the independence of courts. Thus, it further protected the securit of tenure of
the &e&bers of the .udiciar b providing )No la% shall be passed reorgani3ing the .udiciar %hen it
under&ines the securit of tenure of its Me&bers.) 't also guaranteed fiscal autono& to the .udiciar.
More, it depoliticali3ed appoint&ents in the 4udiciar b creating the .udicial and Bar Council %hich %as
tas1ed %ith screening the list of prospective appointees to the 4udiciar. The po%er of confir&ing
appoint&ents to the 4udiciar %as also ta1en a%a fro& Congress. The President %as li1e%ise given a
specific ti&e to fill up vacancies in the 4udiciar L ninet +9$, das fro& the occurrence of the vacanc in
case of the 0upre&e Court and ninet +9$, das fro& the sub&ission of the list of reco&&endees b the
.udicial and Bar Council in case of vacancies in the lo%er courts. To further insulate appoint&ents in the
4udiciar fro& the virus of politics, the 0upre&e Court %as given the po%er to )appoint all officials and
e&ploees of the .udiciar in accordance %ith the Civil 0ervice 5a%.) And to &a1e the separation of the
4udiciar fro& the other branches of govern&ent &ore %atertight, it prohibited &e&bers of the 4udiciar to
be ). . . designated to an agenc perfor&ing <uasi 4udicial or ad&inistrative functions.) =hile the
Constitution strengthened the sine%s of the 0upre&e Court, it reduced the po%ers of the t%o other
branches of govern&ent, especiall the E*ecutive. Notable of the po%ers of the President clipped b the
Constitution is his po%er to suspend the %rit of ha$eas corpus and to proclai& &artial la%. The e*ercise
of this po%er is no% sub4ect to revocation b Congress. 5i1e%ise, the sufficienc of the factual basis for
the e*ercise of said po%er &a be revie%ed b this Court in an appropriate proceeding filed b an
citi3en.
The provision defining 4udicial po%er as including the )dut of the courts of 4ustice . . . to deter&ine
%hether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion a&ounting to lac1 or e*cess of 4urisdiction on
the part of an branch or instru&entalit of the >overn&ent) constitutes the capstone of the efforts of the
Constitutional Co&&ission to upgrade the po%ers of this court vis,a,vis the other branches of
govern&ent. This provision
%as dictated b our e*perience under &artial la% %hich taught us that a stronger and &ore independent
4udiciar is needed to abort abuses in govern&ent. . . .
*** *** ***
'n su&, ' sub&it that in i&posing to this Court the dut to annul acts of govern&ent co&&itted %ith grave
abuse of discretion, the ne% Constitution transfor&ed this Court fro& passivit to activis&. This
transfor&ation, dictated b our distinct e*perience as a nation, is not &erel evolutionar but
revolutionar. Ander the 89E? and 897E Constitutions, this Court approached constitutional violations b
initiall deter&ining %hat it cannot doG under the 89!7 Constitution, there is a shift in stress L this Court is
&andated to approach constitutional violations not b finding out %hat it should not do but %hat it &ust
do. The Court &ust discharge this sole&n dut b not resuscitating a past that petrifies the present.
' urge & brethren in the Court to give due and serious consideration to this ne% constitutional
provision as the case at bar once &ore calls us to define the para&eters of our po%er to
revie% violations of the rules of the -ouse. =e %ill not be true to our trust as the last bul%ar1
against govern&ent abuses if %e refuse to e*ercise this ne% po%er or if %e %ield it %ith
ti&idit. To be sure, it is this e*ceeding ti&idit to unsheath the 4udicial s%ord that has
increasingl e&boldened other branches of govern&ent to denigrate, if not def, orders of our
courts. 'n Tolentino,
+
' endorsed the vie% of for&er 0enator 0alonga that this novel provision
stretching the latitude of 4udicial po%er is distinctl 6ilipino and its interpretation should not be
depreciated b undue reliance on inapplicable foreign 4urisprudence. 'n resolving the case at
bar, the lessons of our o%n histor should provide us the light and not the e*perience of
foreigners.
''
Again %ith due respect, ' dissent fro& the &a4orit insofar as it relied on the enrolled bill
doctrine to 4ustif the dis&issal of the petition at bar.
An enrolled bill is one %hich has been dul introduced, finall enacted b both -ouses, signed
b the proper officers of each -ouse and approved b the President.
9
't is a declaration b the
t%o -ouses, through their presiding officers, to the President that a bill, thus attested, has
received in due the sanction of the legislative branch of the govern&ent, and that it is delivered
to hi& in obedience to the constitutional re<uire&ent that all bills %hich pass Congress shall be
presented to hi&.
The enrolled bill ori'inated in 1n'land %here there is no %ritten Constitution controlling the
legislative branch of the govern&ent, and the acts of Parlia&ent, being regarded in their nature
as 4udicial L as e&anating fro& the highest tribunal in the land L are placed on the sa&e
footing and regarded %ith the sa&e veneration as the 4udg&ent of the courts %hich cannot be
collaterall attac1ed.
1,
'n England, the conclusiveness of the bill %as pre&ised on the rationale
that )an ad of parlia&ent thus &ade is the e*ercise of the highest authorit that this 1ingdo&
ac1no%ledges upon earth. And it cannot be altered, a&ended, dispensed %ith, suspended or
repealed, but in the sa&e for&s and b the sa&e authorit of parlia&entG for it is a &a*i& in
la% that it re<uires the sa&e strength to dissolve as to create an obligation.
11
@ver the ears, the enrolled bill theor has undergone i&portant &utations. 0o&e 4urisdictions
have adopted the modified entry or affirmative contradiction rule. Ander this rule, the
presumption in favor of the enrolled bill is not conclusive. The rule concedes validit to the
enrolled bill unless there affirmatively appears in the %ournals of the le'islature a state&ent that
there has not been co&pliance %ith one or &ore of the constitutional re<uire&ents.
12
@ther
4urisdictions have adopted the 1"trinsic 1vidence 5ule %hich holds that an enrolled bill is onl
prima facie evidence that it has been regularl enacted. The prima facie presu&ption,
ho%ever, can be destroed b clear, satisfactor and convincing evidence that the
constitutional re<uire&ents in enacting a la% have been violated. 6or this purpose, %ournals
and other e"trinsic evidence are allo%ed to be received.
1)
0o&e li&it the use of e*trinsic
evidence to issues of fraud or &ista1es.
14
These variants developed after a re(e*a&ination of the rationale of the enrolled bill. The
modern rationale for the enrolled bill theor %as spelled out in Field v. Clar!,
15
vi/.;
*** *** ***
The signing b the 0pea1er of the -ouse of Representatives, and, b the President of the 0enate, in open
session, of an enrolled bill, is an official attestation b the t%o houses of such bill as one that has passed
Congress. 't is a declaration b the t%o -ouses, through their presiding officers, to the President, that a
bill, thus attested, has received, in due for&, the sanction of the legislative branch of the govern&ent, and
that it is delivered to hi& in obedience to the constitutional re<uire&ent that all bills %hich pass Congress
shall be presented to hi&. And %hen a bill, thus attested, receives his approval, and is deposited in the
public archives, its authentication as a bill that has passed Congress should be dee&ed co&plete and
uni&peachable. As the President has no authorit to approve a bill not passed b Congress, an enrolled
Act in the custod of the 0ecretar of 0tate, and having the official attestations of the 0pea1er of the
-ouse of Representatives, of the President of the 0enate, and of the President of the Anited 0tates,
carries, on its face, a sole&n assurance b the legislative and e*ecutive depart&ents of the govern&ent,
charged, respectivel, %ith the dut of enacting and e*ecuting the la%s, that it %as passed b Congress.
The respect due to coe-ual and independent departments re-uires the %udicial department to act upon
the assurance, and to accept, as havin' passed Con'ress, all $ills authenticated in the manner statedG
leaving the courts to deter&ine, %hen the <uestion properl arises, %hether the Act, so authenticated, is
in confor&it %ith the Constitution.
The principle of separation of po%ers is thus the principal prop of the enrolled bill doctrine. The
doctrine is also 4ustified as a rule of convenience. 0upposedl, it avoids difficult <uestions of
evidence.
1*
't is also believed that it %ill prevent the filing of too &an cases %hich %ill cast a
cloud of uncertaint on la%s passed b the legislature. As e*plained in E* Pacte =ren
17
)if the
validit of ever act published as la% is to be tested b e*a&ining its histor, as sho%n b the
4ournals of the t%o houses of the legislature, there %ill be an a&ount of litigation, difficult, and
painful uncertaint appalling in its conte&plation, and &ultipling a hundredfold the alleged
uncertaint of the la%.) The conclusiveness of the enrolled bill is also 4ustified on the ground
that 4ournals and other e*trinsic evidence are conducive to &ista1e, if not fraud.
These 4ustifications for the enrolled bill theor have been re4ected in various 4urisdictions in the
Anited 0tates. 'n his 2issenting @pinion in Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance, and its
co&panion cases,
1+
Mr. .ustice Regalado cited so&e of the leading A&erican cases %hich
discussed the reasons for the %ithering, if not de&ise of the enrolled bill theor, vi/;
*** *** ***
Even in the land of its source, the so(called conclusive presu&ption of validit originall attributed to that
doctrine has long been revisited and <ualified, if not altogether re4ected. @n the co&petenc of 4udicial
in<uir, it has been held that )+u,nder the )enrolled bill rule) b %hich an enrolled bill is sole e*positor of
its contents and conclusive evidence of its e*istence and valid enact&ent, it is nevertheless co&petent for
courts to in<uire as to %hat prere<uisites are fi*ed b the Constitution of %hich 4ournals of respective
houses of 5egislature are re<uired to furnish the evidence.
'n fact, in )ynn vs. &ardee, etc., et al., the 0upre&e Court of 6lorida declared
+8, 0hile the presumption is that the enrolled $ill, as si'ned $y the le'islative offices and filed ith the
secretary of state, is the $ill as it passed, yet this presumption is not conclusive, and hen it is shon
from the le'islative %ournals that a $ill thou'h en'rossed and enrolled, and si'ned $y the le'islative
officers, contains provisions that have not passed $oth houses, such provisions ill $e held spurious and
not a part of the la. As %as said b Mr. .ustice Coc1rell in the case of 0ade vs. <tlantic *um$er Co., ?8
6la. :"!, te*t :EE, #8 0o. 7", 7E;
This Court is fir&l co&&itted to the holding that %hen the 4ournals spea1 the control,
and against such proof the enrolled bill is not conclusive.
More enlightening and apropos to the present controvers is the decision pro&ulgated on Ma 8E, 89!$
b the 0upre&e Court of Centuc1 in . & 0 <uto Supply, et al. vs. .epartment of 5evenue, et al.,
pertinent e*cerpts %herefro& are e*tensivel reproduced hereunder.
. . . 'n arriving at our decision %e &ust, perforce, reconsider the validit of a long line of decisions of this
court %hich created and nurtured the so(called )enrolled bill) doctrine.
*** *** ***
J8K 0ection #: of the Centuc1 Constitution sets out certain procedures that the legislature &ust follo%
before a bill can be considered for final passage. . . .
*** *** ***
. . . Ander the enrolled bill doctrine as it no% e*ists in Centuc1, a court &a not loo1 behind such a bill,
enrolled and certified b the appropriate officers, to deter&ine if there are an defects.
*** *** ***
. . . 'n 5affert, passage of the la% in <uestion violated this provision, et the bill %as properl enrolled and
approved b the governor. 'n declining to loo1 behind the la% to deter&ine the propriet of its enact&ent,
the court enunciated three reasons for adopting the enrolled bill rule. First, the court %as reluctant to
scrutini3e the processes of the legislature, an e<ual branch of govern&ent. Second, reasons of
convenience prevailed, %hich discouraged re<uiring the legislature to preserve its records and anticipated
considerable co&ple* litigation if the court ruled other%ise. Third, the court ac1no%ledged the poor
record(1eeping abilities of the >eneral Asse&bl and e*pressed a preference for accepting the final bill as
enrolled, rather than opening up the records of the legislature. . . .
*** *** ***
No%here has the rule been adopted %ithout reason, or as a result of 4udicial %hi&. There are four
historical $ases for the doctrine. +8, An enrolled bill %as a )record) and, as such, %as not sub4ect to attac1
at co&&on la%. +", 0ince the legislature is one of the three branches of govern&ent, the courts, being
coe<ual, &ust indulge in ever presu&ption that legislative acts are valid. +E, =hen the rule %as originall
for&ulated, record(1eeping of the legislatures %as so inade<uate that a balancing of e<uities re<uired that
the final act, the enrolled bill, be given efficac. +#, There %ere theories of convenience as e*pressed b
the Centuc1 court in 5affert.
The rule is not unani&ous in the several states, ho%ever and it has not been %ithout its critics. 6ro& an
e*a&ination of cases and treaties, %e can su&&ari3e the criticis& as follo%s; +8, Artificial presu&ptions,
especiall conclusive ones, are not favored. +", 0uch a rule fre<uentl +as in the present case, produces
results %hich do not accord %ith facts or constitutional provisions. +E, The rule is conducive to fraud,
forger, corruption and other %rongdoings. +#, Modern auto&atic and electronic record(1eeping devices
no% used b legislatures re&ove one of the original reasons for the rule. +?, The rule disregards the
pri&ar obligation of the courts to see1 the truth and to provide a re&ed for a %rong co&&itted b an
branch of govern&ent. 'n light of these considerations, %e are convinced that the ti&e has co&e to re(
e*a&ine the enrolled bill doctrine.
J"K This court is not un&indful of the ad&onition of the doctrine of stare decisis. The &a*i& is )0tare
decisis et non <uieta &overe,) %hich si&pl suggests that %e stand b precedents and to disturb settled
points of la%. Bet, this rule is not infle*ible, nor is it of such a nature as to re<uire perpetuation of error or
logic. As %e stated in .aniel@s <dm@r v. &oofnel, "!7 C !E#, 8?? 0.=."d #:9, #78(7" +89#8,.
The force of the rule depends upon the nature of the <uestion to be decided and the
e*tent of the disturbance of rights and practices %hich a change in the interpretation of
the la% or the course of 4udicial opinions &a create. Cogent considerations are %hether
there is clear error and urgent reasons )for neither 4ustice nor %isdo& re<uires a court to
go fro& one doubtful rule to another,) and %hether or not the evils of the principle that
has been follo%ed %ill be &ore in4urious than can possibl result fro& a change.
Certainl, %hen a theor supporting a rule of la% is not grounded on facts, or upon sound logic, or is
un4ust, or has been discredited b actual e*perience, it should be discarded, and %ith it the rule it
supports.
JEK 't is clear to us that the &a4or pre&ise of the 5affert decision, the poor record(1eeping of the
legislature, has disappeared. Modern e<uip&ent and technolog are the rule in record(1eeping b our
>eneral Asse&bl. Tape recorders, electric tpe%riters, duplicating &achines, recording e<uip&ent,
printing presses, co&puters, electronic voting &achines, and the li1e re&ove all doubts and fears as to
the abilit of the >eneral Asse&bl to 1eep accurate and readil accessible records.
't is also apparent that the )convenience) rule is not appropriate in todaFs &odern and developing 4udicial
philosoph. The fact that the nu&ber and co&ple*it of la%suits &a increase is not persuasive if one is
&indful that the overriding purpose of our 4udicial sste& is to discover the truth and see that 4ustice is
done. The e*istence of difficulties and co&ple*ities should not deter this pursuit and %e re4ect an
doctrine or presu&ption that so provides.
5astl, %e address the pre&ise that the e<ualit of the various branches of govern&ent re<uires that %e
shut our ees to constitutional failing and other errors of our copartners in govern&ent. =e si&pl do not
agree. 0ection ": of the Centuc1 Constitution provides that an la% contrar to the constitution is )void.)
The proper e*ercise of 4udicial authorit re<uires us to recogni3e an la% %hich is unconstitutional and to
declare it void. =ithout elaborating the point, %e believe that under section ""! of the Centuc1
Constitution it is our obligation to )support . . . the Constitution of the co&&on%ealth.) =e are s%orn to
see that violations of the constitution L b an person, corporation, state agenc or branch or
govern&ent L are brought to light and corrected. To countenance an artificial rule of la that silences our
voices hen confronted ith violations of our constitution is not accepta$le to this court.
=e believe that a &ore reasonable rule is the one %hich Professor 0utherland describes as the )e*trinsic
evidence.) . . . . Ander this approach there is a prima facie presu&ption that an enrolled bill is valid, but
such presu&ption &a be overco&e b clear, satisfactor and convincing evidence establishing that
constitutional re<uire&ents have not been &et.
=e therefore overrule *afferty v. &uffman and all other cases follo%ing the so(called enrolled bill doctrine,
to the e*tent that there is no longer a conclusive presu&ption that an enrolled bill is valid. . . .
Clearl, the enrolled bill doctrine no longer en4os its once unassailable respectabilit in Anited
0tates. 0utherland reveals that starting in the 89#$Fs,
). . . the tendenc see&s to be to%ard the abandon&ent of the conclusive presu&ption rule
and the adoption of the third rule leaving onl a prima facie presu&ption of validit %hich &a
be attac1ed b an authoritative source of infor&ation.)
19
't is high ti&e %e re,e"amine our preference for the enrolled bill doctrine. 't %as in the 68;A
case of +a$ana' v. *ope/ ?ito,
2,
that this Court, %ith three +E, 4ustices dissenting, first
e&braced the rule that a dul authenticated bill or resolution i&ports a$solute verity and is
$indin' on the courts. 'n 68=9, %e fir&ed up this ruling in Casco Philippine Chemical Co. v.
)imene/,
21
thus;
*** *** ***
-ence, )urea for&aldehde) is clearl a finished product %hich is patentl distinct and different fro&
)urea) and )for&aldehde,) as separate articles used in the &anufacture of the snthetic resin 1no%n as
)urea for&aldehde.) Petitioner contends, ho%ever, that the bill approved in Congress contained the
copulative con4unction )and) bet%een the ter& )urea) and )for&aldehde,) and that the &e&bers of
Congress intended to e*e&pt )urea) and )for&aldehde) separatel as essential ele&ents in the
&anufacture of the snthetic resin glue called )urea for&aldehde,) not the latter as a finished product,
citing in support of this vie% the state&ents &ade on the floor of the 0enate, during the consideration of
the bill before said -ouse, b &e&bers thereof. But said individual state&ents do not necessaril reflect
the vie% of the 0enate. Much less do the indicate the intent of the -ouse of Representatives +see 0ong
Ciat Chocolate 6actor vs. Central Ban1, ?# @ff >a3. :8?G Maor Motors 'nc. vs. Acting Co&&issioner of
'nternal Revenue, 5(8?$$$ JMarch "9, 89:8KG Manila .oc1e Club, 'nc. vs. >a&es and A&use&ent Board,
5(8"7"7 J6ebruar 89, 89:$K,. 6urther&ore, it is %ell settled that enrolled bill L %hich uses the ter& )urea
for&aldehde) instead of )urea and for&aldehde) L conclusive upon the courts as regards the tenor of
the &easure passed b Congress and approved b the President +Pri&icias vs. Paredes, :8 Phil. 88!,
8"$G Mabanag vs. 5ope3 /ito, 7! Phil. 8G Macias vs. Co&&. on Elections, 5(8!:!#, 0ept. 8#, 89:8,. 'f
there has been an &ista1e in the printing of the bill before it %as certified b the officers of Congress and
approved b the E*ecutive L on %hich %e cannot speculate %ithout 4eopardi3ing the principle of
separation of po%ers and under&ining one of the cornerstones of our de&ocratic sste& L the re&ed is
b a&end&ent or curative legislation, not b 4udicial decree.
'n the 68=8 case of +orales v. Su$ido,
22
%e reiterated our fidelit to the enrolled bill doctrine,
vi/;
. . . . =e cannot go behind the enrolled Act to discover %hat reall happened. The respect due to the other
branches of the >overn&ent de&ands that %e act upon the faith and credit of %hat the officers of the said
branches attest to as the official acts of their respective depart&ents. @ther%ise %e %ould be cast in the
unenviable and un%anted role of a sleuth tring to deter&ine %hat actuall did happen in the labrinth of
la%(&a1ing, %ith conse<uent i&pair&ent of the integrit of the legislative process. The investigation %hich
the petitioner %ould li1e this Court to &a1e can be better done in Congress. After all, -ouse cleaning L
the i&&ediate and i&perative need for %hich see&s to be suggested b the petitioner L can best be
effected b the occupants thereof. E*pressed else%ise, this is a &atter %orth of the attention not of an
@liver =endell -ol&es but of a 0herloc1 -ol&es.
0ignificantl, ho%ever, Morales diluted the conclusiveness rule of the enrolled bill doctrine. The
ponencia stressed;
B %hat %e have essaed above e are not of course to $e understood as holdin' that in all cases the
%ournals must yield to the enrolled $ill. To $e sure there are certain matters hich the Constitution
e"pressly re-uires must $e entered on the %ournal of each house. To %hat e*tent the validit of a
legislative act &a be affected b a failure to have such &atters entered on the 4ournal, is a <uestion
%hich %e do not no% decide. <ll e hold is that ith respect to matters not e"pressly re-uired to $e
entered on the %ournal, the enrolled $ill prevails in the event of any discrepancy.
'n the 68A; case of <stor'a v. ?ille'as,
2)
%e further diluted the enrolled bill doctrine %hen %e
refused to appl it after the 0enate President declared his signature on the bill as invalid. =e
ruled;
*** *** ***
PetitionerFs argu&ent that the attestation of the presiding offices of Congress is conclusive proof of a billFs
due enact&ent, re<uired, it is said, b the respect due to a co(e<ual depart&ent of the govern&ent, is
neutrali3ed in this case b the fact that the 0enate President declared his signature on the bill to be
invalid and issued a subse<uent clarification that the invalidation for his signature &eant that the bill he
had signed had never been approved b the 0enate. @bviousl this declaration should be accorded even
greater respect than the attestation it invalidated, %hich it did for a reason that is undisputed in fact and
indisputable in logic.
As far as Congress itself is concerned, there is nothing sacrosanct in the certification &ade b the
presiding officers. 't is &erel a &ode of authentication. The la%(&a1ing process in Congress ends %hen
the bill is approved b both -ouses, and the certification does not add to the validit of the bill or cure an
defect alread present upon its passage. 'n other %ords it is the approval b Congress and not the
signatures of the presiding officers that is essential. Thus the +89E?, Constitution sas that )JeKver bill
passed b the Congress shall, before it beco&es la%, be presented to the President.) 'n Bron vs.
+orris, supra, the 0upre&e Court of Missouri, interpreting a si&ilar provision in the 0tate Constitution,
said that the sa&e )&a1es it clear that the indispensable step is the final passage and it follo%s that if a
bill, other%ise full enacted as a la%, is not attested b the presiding officer, the proof that it has Fpassed
both housesF %ill satisf the constitutional re<uire&ent.
Petitioner agrees that the attestation in the bill is not &andator but argues that the disclai&er thereof b
the 0enate President, granting it to have been validl &ade, %ould onl &ean that there %as no
attestation at all, but %ould not affect the validit of the statute. -ence, it is pointed out, Republic Act No.
#$:? %ould re&ain valid and binding. This argu&ent begs the issue. 't %ould li&it the courtFs in<uir to the
presence or absence of the attestation and to the effect of its absence upon the validit of the statute. The
in<uir, ho%ever, goes farther. Absent such attestation as a result of the disclai&er, and conse<uentl
there being no enrolled bill to spea1 of, %hat evidence is there to deter&ine %hether or not the bill had
been dul enacted. 'n such a case the entries in the 4ournal should be consulted.
The 4ournal of the proceedings of each -ouse of Congress is no ordinar record. The Constitution
re<uires it. =hile it is true that the 4ournal is not authenticated and is sub4ect to the ris1 of &isprinting and
other errors, the point is irrelevant in this case. This Court is &erel as1ed to in<uire %hether the te*t of
-ouse Bill No. 9":: signed b the Chief E*ecutive %as the sa&e te*t passed b both -ouses of
Congress. Ander the specific facts and circu&stances of this case, this Court can do this and resort to the
0enate 4ournal for the purpose. The 4ournal discloses that substantial and length a&end&ents %ere
introduced on the floor and approved b the 0enate but %ere not incorporated in the printed te*t sent to
the President and signed b hi&. This Court is not as1ed to incorporate such a&end&ents into the
alleged la%, %hich ad&ittedl is a ris1 underta1ing, but to declare that the bill %as not dul enacted and
therefore did not beco&e la%. This =e do, as indeed both the President of the 0enate and the Chief
E*ecutive did, %hen the %ithdre% their signatures therein. 'n the face of the &anifest error co&&itted
and subse<uentl rectified b the President of the 0enate and b the Chief E*ecutive, for this Court to
perpetuate that error b disregarding such rectification and holding that the erroneous bill has beco&e la%
%ould be to sacrifice truth to fiction and bring about &ischievous conse<uences not intended b the la%(
&a1ing bod.
'n 6889, the enrolled bill doctrine %as again used as a secondary rationale in the case of
Philippine Jud'es <ssociation v. Prado,
24
'n this case, the 4udges clai&ed that the pertinent
part of section E? of R.A. No. 7E?# repealing the fran1ing privilege of the 4udiciar appeared
onl in the Conference Co&&ittee Report. 'n re4ecting this contention, this Court ruled;
=hile it is true that a conference co&&ittee is the &echanis& for co&pro&ising differences bet%een the
0enate and the -ouse, it is not li&ited in its 4urisdiction to this <uestion. 'ts broader function is described
thus;
A conference co&&ittee &a deal generall %ith the sub4ect &atter or it &a be li&ited to
resolving the precise differences bet%een the t%o houses. Even %here the conference
co&&ittee is not b rule li&ited in its 4urisdiction, legislative custo& severel li&its the
freedo& %ith %hich ne% sub4ect &atter can be inserted into the conference bill. But
occasionall a conference co&&ittee produces une*pected results, results beond its
&andate. These e*cursions occur even %here the rules i&pose strict li&itations on
conference co&&ittee 4urisdiction. This is s&pto&atic of the authoritarian po%er of
conference co&&ittee +2avies, 5egislative 5a% and Process; 'n a Nutshell, 89!: Ed., p.
!8,.
't is a &atter of record that the Conference Co&&ittee Report on the bill in <uestion %as returned to and
dul approved b both the 0enate and the -ouse of Representatives. Thereafter, the bill %as enrolled
%ith its certification b 0enate President Neptali A. >on3ales and 0pea1er Ra&on /. Mitra of the -ouse
of Representatives as having been dul passed b both -ouses of Congress. 't %as then presented to
and approved b President Cora3on C. A<uino on April E, 899".
Ander the doctrine of separation of po%ers, the Court &a not in<uire beond the certification of the
approval of a bill fro& the presiding officers of Congress. Casco Philippine Chemical Co. v. )imene/ laid
do%n the rule that the enrolled bill is conclusive upon the .udiciar +e*cept in &atters that have to be
entered in the 4ournals li1e the eas and nas on the final reading of the bill,. The 4ournals are the&selves
also binding on the 0upre&e Court, as %e held in the old +but stills valid, case of U.S. vs. Pens, %here %e
e*plained the reason thus;
To in<uire into the veracit of the 4ournals of the Philippine legislature %hen the are, as
%e have said, clear and e*plicit, %ould be to violate both the letter and spirit of the
organic la%s b %hich the Philippine >overn&ent %as brought into e*istence, to invade a
coordinate and independent depart&ent of the >overn&ent, and to interfere %ith the
legiti&ate po%ers and functions of the 5egislature.
Appling these principles, %e shall decline to loo1 into the petitionersF charges that an a&end&ent %as
&ade upon the last reading of the bill that eventuall beca&e R.A. No. 7E?# and that copies thereof in its
final for& %ere not distributed a&ong the &e&bers of each -ouse. Both the enrolled bill and the
legislative 4ournals certif that the &easure %as dul enacted i.e., in accordance %ith the Article /', 0ec.
":+", of the Constitution. =e are bound b such official assurances fro& a coordinate depart&ent of the
govern&ent, to %hich %e o%e, at the ver least, a beco&ing courtes.
6inall in 688; ca&e the case of Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance, et al and its co&panion
cases.
25
'nvolved in the case %as the constitutionalit of R.A. No. 778:, other%ise 1no%n as
the E*panded /alue Added Ta* 5a%. The &a4orit
2*
partl relied on the enrolled bill doctrine in
dis&issing challenges to the constitutionalit of R.A. No. 778:. 't held;
*** *** ***
6ourth. =hatever doubts there &a be as to the formal validity of Republic Act No. 778: &ust be resolved
in its favor. Our cases manifest firm adherence to the rule that an enrolled copy of a $ill is conclusive not
only of its provisions $ut also of its due enactment. Not even clai&s that a proposed constitutional
a&end&ent %as invalid because the re<uisite votes for its approval had not been obtained or that certain
provisions of a statute had been )s&uggled) in the printing of the bill have &oved or persuaded us to loo1
behind the proceedings of a coe<ual branch of the govern&ent. There is no reason no% to depart fro&
this rule.
2o claim is here made that the (enrolled $ill( rule is a$solute. 'n fact in one case %e )%ent behind) an
enrolled bill and consulted the .ournal to deter&ine %hether certain provisions of a statute had been
approved b the 0enate in vie% of the fad that the President of the 0enate hi&self, %ho had signed the
enrolled bill, ad&itted a &ista1e and %ithdre% his signature, so that in effect there %as no longer an
enrolled bill to consider.
But %here allegations that the constitutional procedures for the passage of bills have not been observed
have no &ore basis than another allegation that the Conference Co&&ittee )surreptitiousl) inserted
provisions into a bill %hich it had prepared, %e should decline the invitation to go behind the enrolled cop
of the bill. To disregard the )enrolled bill) rule in such cases %ould be to disregard the respect due the
other t%o depart&ents of our govern&ent.
These cases sho% that %e have not blindl accepted the conclusiveness of the enrolled bill.
Even in Tolentino, Mr. .ustice Mendo3a %as cautious enough to hold that )no clai& is here
&ade that the enrolled bill is absolute.) ' respectfull sub&it that it is no% ti&e for the Court to
&a1e a definitive pronounce&ent that %e no longer give our un<ualified support to the enrolled
bill doctrine. There are co&pelling reasons for this suggested change in stance. 6or one, the
enrolled bill is appropriate onl in England %here it originated because in England there is no
%ritten Constitution and the Parlia&ent is supre&e. 6or another, &an of the courts in the
Anited 0tates have bro1en a%a fro& the rigidit and unrealis& of the enrolled bill in light of
conte&porar develop&ents in la%&a1ing.
27
And &ore i&portant, our uncritical adherence to
the enrolled bill is inconsistent %ith our Constitution, la%s and rules. 'n +a$ana',
2+
%e relied
on section E8E of the @ld Code of Civil Procedure as a&ended b Act No. ""8$ as a principal
reason in e&bracing the enrolled bill. This section, ho%ever has long been repealed b our
Rules of Court. A half glance at our Rules %ill sho% that its section on conclusive presu&ption
does not carr the conclusive presu&ption %e give to an enrolled bill. But this is not all. The
conclusiveness of an enrolled $ill hich all too often results in the suppression of truth cannot
be 4ustified under the 89!7 Constitution. The Prea&ble of our Constitution de&ands that %e
live not onl under a rule of la but also under a re'ime of truth. @ur Constitution also adopted
a national polic
29
re<uiring full public disclosure of all state transactions involving public
interest. An rule %hich %ill defeat this policy on transparency ought to be disfavored. And to
i&ple&ent these policies, this Court %as given the po%er to pr open and to stri1e do%n an
act of an branch or instru&entalit of govern&ent if it a&ounts to grave abuse of discretion
a&ounting to lac1 or e*cess of 4urisdiction. #t is time to $ury the enrolled $ill for its fiction of
conclusiveness shuts off truth in many liti'ations. 0e cannot dispense %ustice $ased on fiction
for the search for %ustice is the search for truth. # su$mit that 'ivin' an enrolled $ill a mere
prima facie presumption of correctness ill facilitate our tas! of dispensin' %ustice $ased on
truth.
'''
'n su&, ' respectfull sub&it that the Court has 4urisdiction over the petition at bar and that
issues posed b petitioner are 4usticiable. Nonetheless, ' do not find an grave abuse of
discretion co&&itted b the public respondents to 4ustif granting said petition. As the ponencia
points out, the petition &erel involves the co&plaint that petitioner %as prevented fro& raising
the <uestion of <uoru&. The petition does not concern violation of an rule &andated b the
Constitution. Nor does it involve the right of a non(&e&ber of the -ouse %hich re<uires
constitutional protection. The rules on ho% to <uestion the e*istence of a <uoru& are
procedural in character. The are &alleable b nature for the %ere drafted to help the -ouse
enact la%s. As %ell stated, these rules are servants, not &asters of the -ouse. Their
observance or non(observance is a &atter of 4udg&ent call on the part of our legislators and it
is not the business of the Court to reverse this 4udg&ent %hen untainted b grave abuse of
discretion a&ounting to lac1 or e*cess of 4urisdiction.
.avide, Jr3, J3, concurs3
'oot2ot-s
8 .@ARNA5 No. E9, pp. ::, :!G 5ollo, pp. "8$, "8"; Transcript of Nove&ber "8, 899: session, pp. E9(?"G
5ollo, pp. E:!(E!8G Petition, p. : par. 8$G 5ollo, p. !.
" Rule /''', HE?. /oting. L Ever &e&ber present in the session shall vote on ever <uestion put unless
he inhibits hi&self on account of personal pecuniar interest therein.
Rule I/'', H8$E. Manner of /oting. L The 0pea1er shall rise to put a <uestion saing )As &an as are in
favor of +as the <uestion &a be,, sa Ae) and, after the affir&ative vote is counted, )As &an as are
opposed, sa Na. . . .)
E Rule I'I, H88". Reading and =ithdra%al of Motions. L The 0pea1er shall state the &otion or, if in
%riting shall cause it to be read b the 0ecretar >eneral before being debated. A &otion &a be
%ithdra%n an ti&e before its approval.
# Rule I/', H97. Recognition of Me&ber. L =hen t%o or &ore &e&bers rise at the sa&e ti&e, the
0pea1er shall recogni3e the Me&ber %ho is to spea1 first.
? Rule II, H8"8. 2efinition. L Ouestions of privilege are those affecting the duties, conduct, rights,
privileges, dignit, integrit or reputation of the -ouse or of its &e&bers, collectivel or individuall.
H8"". Precedence. L 0ub4ect to the ten(&inute rule, <uestions of privilege shall have precedence over all
other <uestion, e*cept a &otion to ad4ourn and a point of order.
Rule II', H8"E. 2efinition and Precedence. L A privileged &otion pertains to a sub4ect &atter %hich,
under the rules, ta1es precedence over others.
The order of precedence of privileged &otions is deter&ined in each case b the rules.
Rule I/''', H8$9. =ho Ma /oteG ProcedureG E*ceptions. L =hen a bill, report or &otion is adopted or
lost a &e&ber %ho voted %ith the &a4orit &a &ove for its reconsideration on the sa&e or succeeding
session da. The &otion shall ta1e precedence over all other <uestions e*cept a &otion to ad4ourn a
<uestion of privilege, and a point of order.
: "E? 0CRA :E$ +899#,.
7 5ollo, p. ""!.
! #d., p. ""9.
9 Art. /', H8:+E,.
8$ E.g., Anited 0tates v. Ballin, .oseph P Co., 8## A.0. 8, E: 5.E2. E"8 +8!:",G E**on Corp. v. 6TC, ?!9
6. "d ?!" +897!,G Murra v. Buchanan, :7# 6. "d 8# +89!",G Met3enbau& v. 6ederal Energ Regulator
Co&Fn. :7? 6. "d 8"!" +89!",. See also @s&eMa v. Pendatun, 8$9 Phil. !:E +89:$,.
88 8$9 Phil. at !7$(78. See also E/AT cases JTolentino v. 0ecretar of 6inanceK, "E? 0CRA :E$.
8" 8## A.0. at ?, E: 5.Ed. at E"#("? +e&phasis added,.
8E :# 6la. #8G ?9 0o. 9:E, 9:! +898", +e&phasis added,.
8# 8"# @hio 0t. "?:, 877 N.E. 98$, 988 +89E8, +e&phasis added,.
8? 79 Conn. 8#8, :# Atl. ?, 9(8$ +89$:, +e&phasis added,.
8: !$ =is. #$7, ?$ N.=. 8!?, 8!: +8!98 , +e&phasis added,.
87 ? @1l. "97, #7 Pac. 8$9# +8!97, +e&phasis added,.
8! ENR'OAE M. 6ERNAN2@, C@N0T'TAT'@N @6 T-E P-'5'PP'NE0 ANN@TATE2 8!!(8!9 +8977,G
Pacete v. 0ecretar of the Co&&ission on Appoint&ents, #$ 0CRA ?! +8978,.
89 Petition, p. "?, <uoting the sponsorship speech of for&er Chief .ustice Roberto Concepcion, chair&an
of the Co&&ittee on .udiciar of the Constitutional Co&&ission, in 8 REC@R20 @6 T-E
C@N0T'TAT'@NA5 C@MM'00'@N #E: +0ession of .ul 8$, 89!:,.
"$ >on3ales v. Macaraig, 898 0CRA #?" +899$,G See Marcos v. Manglapus, 877 0CRA ::!, :9? +89!9,G
5ansang v. >arcia, #" 0CRA ##! +8978,.
"8 Co. v. Electoral Tribunal of the -ouse of Representatives, 899 0CRA :9", 7$8 +8998,G 5la&as v.
@rbos, "$" 0CRA !#9, !?7 +8998,G 5ansang v. >arcia, #" 0CRA at #!$(#!8 +e&phasis added,.
"" # C@N>. REC. #8E(#8# +6eb. 8?, 89?7,.
"E Anited 0tates v. Ballin , .oseph P Co., 8## A.0. at ?, E: 5.Ed. at E"#("?G 0tate v. 5e%is, 8!: 0.E. :"?,
:E$ +89E:,.
"# Anited 0tates v. 0&ith, "!: A.0. :, 7: 5.Ed. 9?# +89E8,.
"? >regg v. Barrett, 778 6. "d ?E9, ?#9 +89!?,.
": Art. /', H":+",.
"7 #d., H8:+#,.
"! #d., H"7+8,.
"9 #d., p. 87G id., p. 89.
E$ 'N@CENC'@ PARE.A, RA5E0 @6 T-E -@A0E @6 REPRE0ENTAT'/E0 C@MMENTE2 AN2
ANN@TATE2 EE8 +89:E,G REBNA52@ 6A.AR2@, PR'NC'P5E0 @6 PAR5'AMENTARB PR@CE2ARE
8?7(8?!, 87"(87E +89:E,.
E8 Rule I'I, H8E.
E" ' REC@R20 @6 T-E C@N0T'TAT'@NA5 C@MM'00'@N #E: +0ession of .ul 8$, 89!:,.
EE A5'CE 0TAR>'0, 0TAN2AR2 C@2E @6 PAR5'AMENTARB PR@CE2ARE, 87 +89?$,.
E# PAA5 MA0@N, MANAA5 @6 5E>'05AT'/E PR@CE2ARE EE? +89?E,.
E? Conference Co&&ittee Report, 5ollo, p. E:G Petition, p. 8#G 5ollo, p. 8:.
E: #$id.
E7 Petition, p. 8#G 5ollo. p. 8:.
E! Astorga v. /illegas, ?: 0CRA 78# +897#,.
E9 Mabanag v. 5ope3 /ito, 7! Phil. 8, 8" +89#7,.
#$ #d. at 87, <uoting # .@-N ='>M@RE TREAT'0E @N T-E 5A= @N E/'2ENCE H8E?$ at 7$" +89#$,.
This e*cerpt is preserved in the Chadbourne edition of this locus classicus. See # ='>M@RE @N
E/'2ENCE H8E?$ at !E# +.a&es Chadbourne, ed. 897",.
#8 E/AT cases JTolentino v. 0ecretar of 6inanceK, "E? 0CRA at :7", Cf. Morales v. 0ubido, "7 0CRA
8E8 +89:9,.
#" Philippine .udges AssFn v. Prado, ""7 0CRA 7$E, 78$ +899E,G Morales v. 0ubido, "7 0CRA 8E8.
#E Casco Philippine Che&ical Co., 'nc. v. >i&ene3, 7 0CRA E#7 +89:E,G Resins, 'nc. v. Auditor >eneral,
"? 0CRA 7?# +89:!,.
## # ='>M@RE @N E/'2ENCE H8E?$ +.a&es -. Chadbourne, ed. 897",G : MANAE5 /. M@RAN,
C@MMENT0 @N T-E RA5E0 @6 C@ART 88? +89!$,G 7 /'CENTE .. 6RANC'0C@, T-E RE/'0E2
RA5E0 @6 C@ART +Pt. '', #?# +897E,.
#? Marshall 6ield P Co. v. Clar1, 8#E A.0. :#9, :7", E: 5.Ed. "#9, E$E +8!98,.
#: The follo%ing are re<uired to be entered on the .ournal; +8, The eas and nas on the third and final
reading of a bill +Art. /', H":+",,G +", the eas and nas on an <uestion, at the re<uest of one(fifth of the
&e&bers present +#d., H8:+#,,G +E, the eas and nas upon repassing a bill over the PresidentFs veto +#d.,
H"7+8,G and +#, the PresidentFs ob4ection to a bill %hich he has vetoed. +#d.,
#7 E# Phil. 7"9, 7E? +898:,, <uoting 0tate e* rel. -erron v. 0&ith, ## @hio E#! +8!!:,.
#! >regg v. Barrett, 778 6."d ?"9.
#9 Met3enbau& v. 6ederal Energ Regulator Co&Fn. :7? 6."d 8"!".
R@MER@, .., concurring;
8 "E? 0CRA :E$.
" #d., at p. :7"; )6ourth. =hatever doubts there &a be as to the for&al validit of Republic Act No. 778:
&ust be resolved in its favor. @ur cases &anifest fir& adherence to the rule that an enrolled cop of a bill
is conclusive not onl of its provisions but also of its due enact&ent. Not even clai&s that a proposed
constitutional a&end&ent %as invalid because the re<uisite votes for its approval had not been obtained
or that certain provisions of a state had been )s&uggled) in the printing of the bill have &oved or
persuaded us to loo1 behind the proceedings of a coe<ual branch of the govern&ent. There is no reason
no% to depart fro& this rule.
No clai& is here &ade that the )enrolled bill) rule is absolute. 'n fact in one case %e )%ent behind) an
enrolled bill and consulted the .ournal to deter&ine %hether certain provisions of a statute had been
approved b the 0enate in vie% of the fact that the President of the 0enate hi&self, %ho had signed the
enrolled bill, ad&itted a &ista1e and %ithdre% his signature, so that in effect there %as no longer an
enrolled bill to consider.
But %here allegations that the constitutional procedures for the passage of bills have not been observed
have no &ore basis than another allegation that the Conference Co&&ittee )surreptitiousl) inserted
provisions into a bill %hich it had prepared, %e should decline the invitation to go behind the enrolled cop
of the bill. To disregard the )enrolled bill) rule in such cases %ould be to disregard the respect due the
other t%o depart&ents of our govern&ent.)
E #d., at p. :7?; )Moreover, this Court is not the proper foru& for the enforce&ent of these internal Rules.
To the contrar, as %e have alread ruled, )parlia&entar rules are &erel procedural and %ith their
observance the courts have no concern.) @ur concern is %ith the procedural re<uire&ents of the
Constitution for the enact&ent of la%s. As far as these re<uire&ents are concerned, %e are satisfied that
the have been faithfull observed in these cases.)
# #d., pp. 77!(779G e&phasis supplied.
? #d., p. 7!$G e&phasis suppliedG co&pare to note E, supra.
PAN@, .., concurring and dissenting;
8 8## A0 8 +8!98,.
" The case involved the validit of a la% %hich allegedl %as passed in violation of -ouse Rule I/ %hich
provided that &e&bers present in the cha&ber but not voting %ould be )counted and announced in
deter&ining the presence of a <uoru& to do business.)
E "!: A0 : +89E",.
# EE! A0 !9 +89#!,.
? E7# A0 8$9 +89:E,.
: E:9 A0 8!: +89:",G see also Bond vs. 6lod, E!? A0 88: +89::,.
7 "E? 0CRA :E$.
! Supra.
9 Blac1Fs 5a% 2ictionar, #th Rev. ed., p. :"#.
8$ Price v. Moundsville, :# A&. 0t. Rep. !7!, !79G #E =. /irginia ?"E J8!97K.
88 Carr v. Co1e, #7 A&. 0t. Rep. !$8, !$E J8!9?KG see also Note on e* rel. Reed v. .ones, "E 5.R.A. "88
J8!9EK. The rule of conclusiveness is si&ilar to the co&&on la% rule of the inviolabilit of the 0heriffFs
return. The 0heriff is considered as an officer of the Cing 4ust as a parlia&entar act is dee&ed as a regal
act and no official can dispute the CingFs %ord. 2allas, 0utherland 0tatutes and 0tatutor Construction,
/ol. 8, #th ed., pp. #$!(#8! +897",.
8" 0utherland, op cit., p. #8$.
8E 0utherland, /ol. ', 0ection 8#$? +Erd ed., 89#E,.
8# See e.g., Mogilner v. Metropolitan Plan Co&&unication, "E: 'nd. "9!, 8#$ N.E. "d ""$ J89?7K.
8? Op. cit, footnote No. ".
8: ?$ A&. .ur. 0tatutes, 0. 8?$ +89E!, # .. =ig&ore Evidence, 0. 8E?$ +Erd ed. 89#$,.
87 :E Miss ?8" +8!!:,.
8! Op cit, pp. 7"9(7E" +899#,.
89 0utherland, op. cit., pp. ""#(""?.
"$ 7! Phil. 8 +89#7,.
"8 7 0CRA E7#.
"" "7 0CRA 8E8, 8E#(8E?.
"E ?: 0CRA 78#.
"# ""7 0CRA 7$E.
"? Supra.
": .ustices Cru3, Regalado, 2avide, .r., Ro&ero, Bellosillo and Puno dissented.
"7 See %riterFs dissenting opinion in Tolentino, supra, p. !8!.
"! Op cit.
"9 0ection "! of Article '' of the Constitution.