Você está na página 1de 1

SECTION 1.

THE LEGISLATIVE POWER SHALL BE VESTED IN THE CONGRESS OF THE PHILIPPINES WHICH
SHALL CONSIST OF A SENATE AND A HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT
RESERVED TO THE PEOPLE BY THE PROVISION ON INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM.
SANTIAGO VS COMELEC (270 SCRA 106)
Amendment to the Constitution RA 6735
FACTS:
On 6 Dec 1996, Atty. Jesus S. Delfin filed with COMELEC a Petition to Amend the Constitution to
Lift Term Limits of elective Officials by Peoples Initiative The COMELEC then, upon its approval, a.) set the
time and dates for signature gathering all over the country, b.) caused the necessary publication of the said
petition in papers of general circulation, and c.) instructed local election registrars to assist petitioners and
volunteers in establishing signing stations. On 18 Dec 1996, MD Santiago et al filed a special civil action for
prohibition against the Delfin Petition. Santiago argues that 1.)the constitutional provision on peoples
initiative to amend the constitution can only be implemented by law to be passed by Congress and no such
law has yet been passed by Congress, 2.) RA 6735 indeed provides for three systems of initiative
namely, initiative on the Constitution, on statues and on local legislation. The two latter forms of initiative
were specifically provided for in Subtitles II and III thereof but no provisions were specifically made for
initiatives on the Constitution. This omission indicates that the matter of peoples initiative to amend the
Constitution was left to some future law as pointed out by former Senator Arturo Tolentino.
ISSUE:
Whether or not RA 6735 was intended to include initiative on amendments to the constitution and if
so whether the act, as worded, adequately covers such initiative.
HELD:
RA 6735 is intended to include the system of initiative on amendments to the constitution but is
unfortunately inadequate to cover that system. Sec 2 of Article 17 of the Constitution provides: Amendments
to this constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at
least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be
represented by at least there per centum of the registered voters therein. . . The Congress shall provide for
the implementation of the exercise of this right This provision is obviously not self-executory as it needs an
enabling law to be passed byCongress. Joaquin Bernas, a member of the 1986 Con-Con stated without
implementing legislation Section 2, Art 17 cannot operate. Thus, although this mode of amending the
constitution is a mode of amendment which bypasses Congressional action in the last analysis is still
dependent on Congressional action. Bluntly stated, the right of the people to directly propose amendments
to the Constitution through the system of inititative would remain entombed in the cold niche of the
constitution until Congress provides for its implementation. The people cannot exercise such right, though
constitutionally guaranteed, if Congress for whatever reason does not provide for its implementation.
***Note that this ruling has been reversed on November 20, 2006 when ten justices of the SC ruled that RA
6735 is adequate enough to enable such initiative. HOWEVER, this was a mere minute resolution which
reads in part:
Ten (10) Members of the Court reiterate their position, as shown by their various opinions already given
when the Decision herein was promulgated, that Republic Act No. 6735 is sufficient and adequate to amend
the Constitution thru a peoples initiative.