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MACARIOLA vs. ASUNCION

FACTS:
Petitioners alleged that Judge Asuncion violated Art.14 of the Code of Commerce. The
cited provision prohibits public officers from engaging in business.
HELD: Judge Asuncion did not, or cannot, violate it since such provision is deemed
abrogated
Although the cited provision is incorporated in the Code of Commerce, it
however, partakes of the nature of a political law as it regulates the relationship
between the government and certain public officials and employees.
Political law has been defined as that branch of public law which deals with
the organization and operations of the governmental organs of the state and defines
the relations of the State with the inhabitants of its territory. Political law embraces
constitutional law, law of public officers and corporations, administrative law.
Specifically, Art.14 of the Code of Commerce partakes more of the nature of
administrative Law because it regulates the conduct of certain public officers and
employees with respect to engaging in business, hence, political in essence.
Note that the Code of Commerce took effect on 1888. Upon the transfer of
sovereignty from Spain to US and later from US to RP, Art.14 of the Code of
Commerce must be deemed to have been automatically abrogated because where
there is change of sovereignty, the political laws of the former sovereign,
whether compatible or not with those of the new sovereign, are
automatically abrogated, unless they are expressly reenacted by
affirmative act of the new sovereign.

LAWYERS LEAGUE vs. AQUINO


FACTS:
The legitimacy of the Aquino Govt is questioned on the ground that it was not
established pursuant to the 1973 Constitution.
HELD:
Petitioners had no personality to sue and petition states no cause of action.
RULING:
a.)Legitimacy of Aquino govt belongs to realm of politics where only the people of
the Philippines are the judge (not a justiciable matter)
b.) The people have made the judgment, accepting the Aquino govt w/c is in
effective control of the entire country.
c.) Aquino govt is not merely a de facto govt but in fact and law a de jure govt..
d.) Community of nations has recognized its legitimacy.
e.) All 11 members of SC have sworn to uphold the fundamental law of the Republic
under Aquino govt.
The legitimacy of the Aquino admimistration is not a justiciable matter but a political
one. It is political because it belongs to the realm of politics where only the people of
the Philippines are the judge.
The Aquino government is a de jure and a de facto government for the people have
made the judgment and have accepted the government of President Aquino which is
in effective control of the entire country.

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The community of nations has recognized the legitimacy of the present government
and all the 11 members of the Supreme Court have sworn to uphold the fundamental
law of the Republic under her government.

IN RE: SATURNINO V. BERMUDEZ


FACTS:
In a petition for declaratory relief impleading no respondents, petitioner, as a lawyer,
quotes the first paragraph of Section 5 (not Section 7 as erroneously stated) of Article
XVIII of the proposed 1986 Constitution, which provides in full as follows:
Sec. 5. The six-year term of the incumbent President and Vice-President elected in
the February 7, 1986 election is, for purposes of synchronization of elections, hereby
extended to noon of June 30, 1992.
The first regular elections for the President and Vice-President under this Constitution
shall be held on the second Monday of May, 1992.
Claiming that the said provision "is not clear" as to whom it refers, he then asks the
Court "to declare and answer the question of the construction and definiteness as to
who, among the present incumbent President Corazon Aquino and Vice-President
Salvador Laurel and the elected President Ferdinand E. Marcos and Vice-President
Arturo M. Tolentino being referred to under the said Section 7
ISSUE: WON the provision is ambiguous?
HELD: No
The petition is dismissed outright for lack of jurisdiction and for lack for cause of
action.
The petition furthermore states no cause of action. Petitioner's allegation of
ambiguity or vagueness of the aforequoted provision is manifestly gratuitous, it being
a matter of public record and common public knowledge that the Constitutional
Commission refers therein to incumbent President Corazon C. Aquino and Vice-
President Salvador H. Laurel, and to no other persons, and provides for the extension
of their term to noon of June 30, 1992 for purposes of synchronization of elections.
Hence, the second paragraph of the cited section provides for the holding on the
second Monday of May, 1992 of the first regular elections for the President and Vice-
President under said 1986 Constitution.
Petitioners have no personality to sue and their petitions state no cause of action. For
the legitimacy of the Aquino government is not a justiciable matter. It belongs to the
realm of politics where only the people of the Philippines are the judge. And the
people have made the judgment; they have accepted the government of President
Corazon C. Aquino which is in effective control of the entire country so that it is not
merely a de facto government but in fact and law a de jure government. Moreover,
the community of nations has recognized the legitimacy of tlie present government.
All the eleven members of this Court, as reorganized, have sworn to uphold the
fundamental law of the Republic under her government. (Lawyers League for a Better
Philippines, etc. vs. President Corazon C. Aquino, et al)
For the above-quoted reason, which are fully applicable to the petition at bar, mutatis
mutandis, there can be no question that President Corazon C. Aquino and Vice-
President Salvador H. Laurel are the incumbent and legitimate President and Vice-
President of the Republic of the Philippines.or the above-quoted reasons, which are
fully applicable to the petition at bar,

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LETTER OF ASSOCIATE JUSTICE REYNATO S. PUNO of the Court of Appeals
dated 14 November 1990.

FACTS:

The petitioner, Reynato S. Puno, was first appointed as Associate Justice of the Court
of Appeals on 1980. On 1983, the Court of Appeals was reogranized and became the
Intermediate Appellate Court pursuant to BP Blg. 129. On 1984, petitoner was
appointed to be Deputy Minister of Justice in the Ministry of Justice. Thus, he ceased
to be a member of the Judiciary. After February 1986 EDSA Revolution, there was a
reorganization of the entire government, including the Judiciary. A Screening
Committee for the reorganization of the Intermediate Appelate Court and lower
courts recommended the return of petitioner as Associate Justice of the new court of
Appeals and assigned him the rank of number 11 in the roster of appellate court
justices. When the appointments were signed by Pres. Aquino, petitioner's seniority
ranking changes from number 11 to 26.
Then, petitioner alleged that the change in seniority ranking was due to
"inadvertence" of the President, otherwise, it would run counter to the provisions of
Section 2 of E.O. No. 33.
Petitioner Justice Reynato S. Puno wrote a letter to the Court seeking the correction
of his seniority ranking in the Court of Appeals.
The Court en banc granted Justice Puno's request.
A motion for reconsideration was later filed by Associate Justices Campos Jr. and
Javellana who are affected by the ordered correction.
They alleged that petioner could not claim reappointment because the courts where
he had previously been appointed ceased to exist at the date of his last appointment.
ISSUE: WON the present Court of Appeals is merely a continuation of the old Court of
Appeals and Intermediate Appellate Court exisiting before the promulgation of E.O.
No. 33.
HELD: The Court held that the Court of Appeals and Intermediate Appellate Court
existing prior to E.O. No. 33 phased out as part of the legal system abolished by the
1987 Revolution. The Court of Appeals that was established under E.O. No. 33 is
considered as an entirely new court.
The present Court of Appeals is a new entity, different and distinct from the courts
existing before E.O. No. 33. It was created in the wake of the massive reorganization
launched by the revolutionary goverment of Corazon Aqwuino in the aftermath of the
people power in 1986.
Revolution is defined as "the complete overthrow of the established government in
any country or state by those who were previously subject to it." or "as suddent.
radical and fundamental change in the government or political system, usually
effected with violence or at least some acts of violence."

DE LEON vs. ESGUERRA

FACTS:
Petitioner Alfredo M. De Leon was elected Barangay Captain and the other petitioners
as Barangay Councilmen of Barangay Dolores, Taytay, Rizal. Petitioner received a
Memorandum signed by respondent OIC Governor Benjamin Esguerra designating

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respondent Florentino G. Magno as Barangay Captain of Barangay Dolores, Taytay,
Rizal. The designation made by the OIC Governor was "by authority of the Minister of
Local Government."
Respondent OIC Governor also signed a Memorandum designating other respondents
as members of the Barangay Council of the same Barangay and Municipality. So the
OIC governor in the memorandum ordered the replacement of all baranggay officials
of all the baranggays in the municipality of taytay rizal
Petitioners pray that the subject Memoranda be declared null and void and that
respondents be prohibited from taking over their positions of Barangay Captain and
Barangay Councilmen. Petitioners maintain that pursuant to Section 3 of the
Barangay Election Act of 1982 (BP Blg. 222), their terms of office "shall be six (6)
years which shall commence on June 7, 1982 and shall continue until their successors
shall have elected and shall have qualified," or up to June 7, 1988. That with the
ratification of the 1987 Constitution, respondent OIC Governor no longer has the
authority to replace them and to designate their successors.
Respondents rely on Section 2, Article III of the Provisional Constitution
SECTION 2. All elective and appointive officials and employees under the 1973
Constitution shall continue in office until otherwise provided by proclamation or
executive order or upon the designation or appointment and qualification of their
successors, if such appointment is made within a period of one year from February
25,1986.
Respondents contend that the terms of office of elective and appointive officials were
abolished and that petitioners continued in office by virtue of the aforequoted
provision and not because their term of six years had not yet expired; and that the
provision in the Barangay Election Act fixing the term of office of Barangay officials to
six (6) years must be deemed to have been repealed for being inconsistent with the
aforequoted provision of the Provisional Constitution. So elective officials under the
1973 Constitution may continue in office but should vacate their positions upon the
occurrence of any of the events mentioned.
Since the promulgation of the Provisional Constitution, there has been no
proclamation or executive order terminating the term of elective Barangay officials.
ISSUE: WON the designation of respondents to replace petitioners was validly made
during the one-year period which ended on February 25, 1987.
HELD: Considering the candid Affidavit of respondent OIC Governor, we hold that
February 8, 1977, should be considered as the effective date of replacement and not
December 1,1986 to which it was ante dated, in keeping with the dictates of justice.
But while February 8, 1987 is ostensibly still within the one-year deadline, the
aforequoted provision in the Provisional Constitution must be deemed to have been
overtaken by Section 27, Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution reading.
SECTION 27. This Constitution shall take effect immediately upon its ratification by a
majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite held for the purpose and shall supersede all
previous Constitutions.
The 1987 Constitution was ratified in a plebiscite on February 2, 1987. By that date
Provisional Constitution must be deemed to have been superseded. Having become
inoperative, respondent OIC Governor could no longer rely on Section 2, Article III,
thereof to designate respondents to the elective positions occupied by petitioners.
Until the term of office of barangay officials has been determined by law, therefore,
the term of office of six (6) years provided for in the Barangay Election Act of

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1982 5 should still govern. Contrary to the stand of respondents, we find nothing
inconsistent between the term of six (6) years for elective Barangay officials and the
1987 Constitution, and the same should, therefore, be considered as still operative.
Thus, Memoranda issued by respondent OIC Governor declared to be of no legal force
and effect

TANADA vs. TUVERA


FACTS:
Invoking the people's right to be informed on matters of public concern, a right
recognized in the Constitution, as well as the principle that laws to be valid and
enforceable must be published in the OG or otherwise effectively promulgated,
petitioners seek a writ of mandamus to compel respondent public officials to publish,
and/or cause the publication in the OG of various PDs, LOIs, general orders,
proclamations, EOs, letters of implementation and administrative orders.
Respondents contended that publication in the OG is not a sine qua non requirement
for the effectivity of laws where the laws themselves provide for their own effectivity
dates. It is thus submitted that since the presidential issuances in question contain
special provisions as to the date they are to take effect, publication in the OG is
indispensable for their effectivity. The point stressed is anchored on Art. 2 of NCC.
ISSUES: WON petitioners have legal standing? And WON various laws in question
should be published to be valid and enforceable?
HELD: The petitioners have legal standing. The SC has already decided in various
cases that a party has a cause of action when the question posed is one of public
right and the object is to procure the enforcement of a public duty.
The people are regarded as the real party in interest and need not show that he has
any legal or special interest in the result it being sufficient that he is a citizen and as
such interested in the execution of the laws.
The SC also ruled that laws should be published. The clear object of such is to give
the general public adequate notice of the various laws which are to regulate their
actions and conduct as citizens. Without such notice and publication there would be
no basis for the application of the maxim ignorantia legis non excusat. It would be
the height of injustice to punish or otherwise burden a citizen for the transgression of
a law of which he had no notice whatsoever, not even a constructive one.
The publication of all Presidential issuances pf a public nature or of general
applicability is mandated by law. PDs that provide for fines, forfeitures or penalties for
their violation or impose a burden such as tax and revenue measures fall within this
category. Other PDs which apply only to particular persosn or calss of persons such
as AOs and Eos need not be published on the assumption that they have been
circularized to all concerned.

MANILA PRINCE HOTEL vs. GSIS

FACTS:
The controversy arose when respondent GSIS decided to sell through public bidding
30% to 51% of the outstanding shares of Manila Hotel. Only two (2) bidders
participated: petitioner Manila Prince Hotel Corporation, a Filipino corporation, which
offered to buy 51% shares at P41.58/share, and a Malaysian firm, at P44.00/share.
Pending the declaration of the winning bidder, petitioner matched the bid price of

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P44.00 per share tendered by the Malaysian Firm which respondent GSIS refused to
accept. The petitioner posits that since Manila Hotel is part of the national patrimony,
petitioner should be preferred after it has matched the bid offer of the Malaysian firm
invoking Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII, of the 1987 Constitution.

ISSUE/S:
1. WON Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII, of the 1987 Constitution is a self-executing
provision
2. Granting that this provision is self-executing, WON Manila Hotel falls under the
term national patrimony.
3. Granting that the Manila Hotel forms part of the national patrimony, WON selling
mere 51% shares and not the land itself can be considered part of national
patrimony.
4. WON GSIS committed grave abuse of discretion.

RULING:
1. Yes. Sec. 10, second par., Art. XII of the of the 1987 Constitution is self-executing
which needs no further guidelines or implementing laws or rules for its enforcement.
It is per se judicially enforceable The Constitution mandates that qualified Filipinos
shall be preferred. And when our Constitution declares that a right exists in certain
specified circumstances an action may be maintained to enforce such right
notwithstanding the absence of any legislation on the subject. Where there is a right
there is a remedy. Ubi jus ibi remedium.

2. Yes. In its plain and ordinary meaning, the term patrimony pertains to
heritage. 35 When the Constitution speaks of national patrimony, it refers not only to
the natural resources of the Philippines, but also to the cultural heritage of the
Filipinos.

3. Yes. 51% of the equity of the MHC comes within the purview of the constitutional
shelter for it comprises the majority and controlling stock, so that anyone who
acquires or owns the 51% will have actual control and management of the hotel. In
this instance, 51% of the MHC cannot be disassociated from the hotel and the land on
which the hotel edifice stands.

4. Yes. Since petitioner has already matched the bid price tendered by the foreign
firm, respondent GSIS is left with no alternative but to award to petitioner the shares
of MHC in accordance not only with the bidding guidelines and procedures but with
the Constitution as well. The refusal of respondent GSIS to execute the corresponding
documents with petitioner after the latter has matched the bid of the Malaysian firm
clearly constitutes grave abuse of discretion.

Hence, GSIS(respondent) is ordered to accept the matching bid of


petitioner and execute the necessary clearances for the purchase of the
subject 51% MHC shares.

Reasoning: The Constitution is the fundamental, paramount and supreme law of the
nation, it is deemed written in every statute and contract.

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DOMINO vs. COMELEC

FACTS:
On 25 March 1998, DOMINO filed his certificate of candidacy for the position of
Representative of the Province of Sarangani indicating in his certificate that he had
resided in the constituency where he seeks to be elected for one (1) year and two (2)
months immediately preceding the election. On 6 May 1998, the COMELEC 2nd
Division promulgated a resolution declaring DOMINO disqualified as candidate for the
position of representative of Sarangani for lack of the one-year residence requirement
and likewise ordered the cancellation of his certificate of candidacy.

ISSUE/S:
1. WON a summary proceeding for the exclusion or inclusion of voters in the list of
voters declaring DOMINO a resident of the province of Sarangani and not of Quezon
City acquire the nature of res judicata.
2. WON DOMINO was a resident of the Province of Sarangani for at least one year
immediately preceding the election.
3. Whether the COMELEC or the HRET has jurisdiction over the present petition of
DOMINO.
4. WON, the candidate who received the next highest number of votes can be
proclaimed as the winning candidate in the light of DOMINOs disqualification?

RULING:
1.No. The contention of DOMINO that the decision in the exclusion proceedings
declaring him a resident of the Province of Sarangani and not of Quezon City is final
and conclusive upon the COMELEC cannot be sustained. It is not within the
competence of the trial court, in an exclusion proceeding, to declare the challenged
voter a resident of another municipality. The jurisdiction of the lower court over
exclusion cases is limited only to determining the right of voter to remain in the list of
voters or to declare that the challenged voter is not qualified to vote in the precinct in
which he is registered, specifying the ground of the voter's disqualification.

Finally, the application of the rule on res judicata is unavailing.For the decision to be
a basis for the dismissal by reason of res judicata, it is essential that there must be
between the first and the second action identity of parties, identity of subject matter
and identity of causes of action.

2. No. It is doctrinally settled that the term "residence," as used in the law prescribing
the qualifications for suffrage and for elective office, means the same thing as
"domicile," which imports not only an intention to reside in a fixed place but also
personal presence in that place, coupled with conduct indicative of such intention.

A person's "domicile" once established is considered to continue and will not be


deemed lost until a new one is established. 25 To successfully effect a change of
domicile one must demonstrate an actual removal or an actual change of domicile;
a bona fide intention of abandoning the former place of residence and establishing a

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new one and definite acts which correspond with the purpose. 26 In other words, there
must basically be animus manendi coupled with animus non revertendi.

3. The COMELEC, has jurisdiction over the present petition. The fact of obtaining the
highest number of votes in an election does not automatically vest the position in the
winning candidate. 41 A candidate must be proclaimed and must have taken his oath
of office before he can be considered a member of the House of Representatives.
Considering that DOMINO has not been proclaimed as Congressman-elect in the Lone
Congressional District of the Province of Sarangani he cannot be deemed a member
of the House of Representatives. Hence, it is the COMELEC and not the Electoral
Tribunal which has jurisdiction over the issue of his ineligibility as a candidate.

4. NO. The candidate who obtains the second highest number of votes may not be
proclaimed winner in case the winning candidate is disqualified. It would be
extremely repugnant to the basic concept of the constitutionally guaranteed right to
suffrage if a candidate who has not acquired the majority or plurality of votes is
proclaimed a winner and imposed as the representative of a constituency, the
majority of which have positively declared through their ballots that they do not
choose him.

A.M. No. 11-7-10-SC July 31, 2012


Re: COA Opinion on the Computation of the Appraised Value of the
Properties Purchased by the Retired Chief/Associate Justices of the
Supreme Court.
FACTS:
COA Opinion states that there was underpayment amounting to P221,021.50 resulted
when 5 retired SC justices purchased from the SC the personal properties assigned to
them during their incumbency in the Court. The COA attributed this underpayment to
the use by the Property Division of the SC of the wrong formula in computing the
appraisal value of the purchased vehicles. According to the COA, the Property
Division erroneously appraised the subject motor vehicles by applying Constitutional
Fiscal Autonomy Group (CFAG) Joint Resolution No. 35 and its guidelines, when it
should have applied the formula found in COA Memorandum No. 98-569-A.
ISSUE:
WHETHER OR NOT COA CAN IMPOSE ITS OWN COMPUTATION IN THE DISPOSAL OF
COURT PROPERTIES.
RULING: NO.
Separation of Powers
The separation of powers is a fundamental principle in our system of government. It
obtains not through express provision but by actual division in our Constitution. Each
department of the government has exclusive cognizance of matters within its
jurisdiction, and is supreme within its own sphere. But it does not follow from the fact
that the three powers are to be kept separate and distinct that the Constitution
intended them to be absolutely unrestrained and independent of each other. The
Constitution has provided for an elaborate system of checks and balances to secure
coordination in the workings of the various departments of the government. x x x And

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the judiciary in turn, with the Supreme Court as the final arbiter, effectively checks
the other departments in the exercise of its power to determine the law, and hence to
declare executive and legislative acts void if violative of the Constitution.
The concept of the independence of the three branches of government, on the other
hand, extends from the notion that the powers of government must be divided to
avoid concentration of these powers in any one branch; the division, it is hoped,
would avoid any single branch from lording its power over the other branches or the
citizenry. To achieve this purpose, the divided power must be wielded by co-equal
branches of government that are equally capable of independent action in exercising
their respective mandates; lack of independence would result in the inability of one
branch of government to check the arbitrary or self-interest assertions of another or
others. (Angara v. Electoral Commission)
Judicial Independence
Judicial independence encompasses the idea that individual judges can freely
exercise their mandate to resolve justiciable disputes, while the judicial branch, as a
whole, should work in the discharge of its constitutional functions free of restraints
and influence from the other branches, save only for those imposed by the
Constitution itself.
Thus, judicial independence can be broken down into two distinct concepts:
decisional independence and institutional independence. Decisional independence
"refers to a judges ability to render decisions free from political or popular influence
based solely on the individual facts and applicable law." On the other hand,
institutional independence "describes the separation of the judicial branch from the
executive and legislative branches of government." Simply put, institutional
independence refers to the "collective independence of the judiciary as a body."
Individual judicial independence focuses on each particular judge and seeks to insure
his or her ability to decide cases with autonomy within the constraints of the law. A
judge has this kind of independence when he can do his job without having to hear
or at least without having to take it seriously if he does hear criticisms of his
personal morality and fitness for judicial office. Institutional judicial independence
focuses on the independence of the judiciary as a branch of government and protects
judges as a class.
A truly independent judiciary is possible only when both concepts of independence
are preserved - wherein public confidence in the competence and integrity of the
judiciary is maintained, and the public accepts the legitimacy of judicial authority.
Fiscal Autonomy
One of the most important aspects of judicial independence is the constitutional
grant of fiscal autonomy.
The fiscal autonomy enjoyed by the Judiciary, the Constitutional Commissions, and
the Office of the Ombudsman contemplates a guarantee of full flexibility to allocate
and utilize their resources with the wisdom and dispatch that their needs require. It
recognizes the power and authority to levy, assess and collect fees, fix rates of
compensation not exceeding the highest rates authorized by law for compensation
and pay plans of the government and allocate and disburse such sums as may be
provided by law or prescribed by them in the course of the discharge of their
functions. (Bengzon v. Drilon)
Application to the Present Case

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The Judiciarys fiscal autonomy is realized through the actions of the Chief Justice, as
its head, and of the Supreme Court En Banc, in the exercise of administrative control
and supervision of the courts and its personnel. As the Court En Bancs Resolution in
A.M. No. 03-12-01 reflects, the fiscal autonomy of the Judiciary serves as the basis in
allowing the sale of the Judiciarys properties to retiring Justices of the Supreme Court
and the appellate courts.
In the context of the grant now in issue, the use of the formula provided in CFAG Joint
Resolution No. 35 is a part of the Courts exercise of its discretionary authority to
determine the manner the granted retirement privileges and benefits can be availed
of. Any kind of interference on how these retirement privileges and benefits are
exercised and availed of, not only violates the fiscal autonomy and independence of
the Judiciary, but also encroaches upon the constitutional duty and privilege of the
Chief Justice and the Supreme Court En Banc to manage the Judiciarys own affairs.

G.R. No. 164763 February 12, 2008


ZENON R. PEREZ vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES
FACTS:
PETITIONER Zenon R. Perez seeks a review of his conviction by the
Sandiganbayan for malversation of public funds under Article 217 of the Revised
Penal Code.
Petitioner argues that the penalty meted for the crime of malversation of public funds
"that have been replenished, remitted and/or returned" to the government is cruel
and therefore unconstitutional, "as government has not suffered any damage."
ISSUE:
WHETHER OR NOT THE LAW RELIED UPON IN CONVICTING THE PETITIONER AND THE
SENTENCE IMPOSED IS CRUEL AND THEREFORE VIOLATES SECTION 19 OF ARTICLE III
(BILL OF RIGHTS) OF THE CONSTITUTION.
RULING: NO. The argument is specious on two grounds.
First. What is punished by the crime of malversation is the act of a public officer
who, by reason of the duties of his office, is accountable for public funds or property,
shall appropriate the same, or shall take and misappropriate or shall consent, or
through abandonment or negligence shall permit any other person to take such
public funds or property, wholly or partially, or shall otherwise be guilty of the
misappropriation or malversation of such funds or property.
Payment or reimbursement is not a defense for exoneration in malversation; it may
only be considered as a mitigating circumstance. This is because damage is not an
element of malversation.
Second. There is strong presumption of constitutionality accorded to statutes.
It is established doctrine that a statute should be construed whenever possible in
harmony with, rather than in violation of, the Constitution. The presumption is that
the legislature intended to enact a valid, sensible and just law and one which
operates no further than may be necessary to effectuate the specific purpose of the
law. It is presumed that the legislature has acted within its constitutional powers. So,
it is the generally accepted rule that every statute, or regularly accepted act, is, or
will be, or should be, presumed to be valid and constitutional.
He who attacks the constitutionality of a law has the onus probandi to show why such
law is repugnant to the Constitution. Failing to overcome its presumption of

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constitutionality, a claim that a law is cruel, unusual, or inhuman, like the stance of
petitioner, must fail.

G.R. No. 171101 July 5, 2011 and


November 22, 2011 (on MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION)
HACIENDA LUISITA, vs. PARC.
FACTS:
The hacienda luisita was comprised of 6,443 hectares and owned by Compaia
General de Tabacos de Filipinas (Tabacalera). In 1957, Tabacalera sold the land to the
Tarlac Development Corporation (Tadeco) owned by the Cojuancos.
In 1980 martial law administration filed a suit before the RTC Manila against Tadeco
for it to surrender the hacienda to MAR (now DAR) so the land will be distributed to
farmers. Manila RTC ruled against Tadeco. Tadeco appealed to CA.
In 1988, OSG moved to withdraw the governments case against Tadeco, et al. Thus,
the CA dismissed the case. The dismissal action was, however, made subject to the
obtention by Tadeco of the PARCs approval of a stock distribution plan (SDP) that
must initially be implemented after such approval shall have been secured and the
case will be revived if any of the conditions is not duly complied with by the TADECO.
Markedly, Section 10 of EO 229 allows corporate landowners, as an alternative to the
actual land transfer scheme of CARP, to give qualified beneficiaries the right to
purchase shares of stocks of the corporation under a stock ownership arrangement
and/or land-to-share ratio.
Like EO 229, RA 6657, Sec. 31, also provides two (2) alternative modalities, i.e., land
or stock transfer, pursuant to either of which the corporate landowner can comply
with CARP, but subject to well-defined conditions and timeline requirements.
In 2003, two separate petitions reached the DAR. In the first, respondents Jose Julio
Suniga and Windsor Andaya, identifying themselves as head of the Supervisory
Group of HLI (Supervisory Group), and 60 other supervisors sought to revoke the
SDOA, alleging violations by HLI of the SDOAs terms. They prayed for a renegotiation
of the SDOA, or, in the alternative, its revocation.
Revocation and nullification of the SDOA and the distribution of the lands in the
hacienda were the call in the second petition. The Petition was ostensibly filed by
Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid ng Hacienda Luisita (AMBALA), where the
handwritten name of respondents Rene Galang as "Pangulo AMBALA" and Noel
Mallari as "Sec-Gen. AMBALA" appeared. As alleged, the petition was filed on behalf
of AMBALAs members purportedly composing about 80% of the 5,339 FWBs of
Hacienda Luisita.
On December 2, 2006, Noel Mallari, impleaded by HLI as respondent in his capacity
as "Sec-Gen. AMBALA," filed his Manifestation and stated that he has broken away
from AMBALA with other AMBALA ex-members and formed Farmworkers Agrarian
Reform Movement, Inc. (FARM). Should this shift in alliance deny him standing, Mallari
also prayed that FARM be allowed to intervene.
ISSUES:
I. WHETHER THE PETITIONERS THEREIN ARE THE REAL PARTIES-IN-INTEREST
TO FILE SAID PETITIONS.
RULING: YES.
Supervisory Group, AMBALA and their
respective leaders are real parties-in-interest

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The SDOA no less identifies "the SDP qualified beneficiaries" as "the farmworkers who
appear in the annual payroll, inclusive of the permanent and seasonal employees,
who are regularly or periodically employed by HLI." Galang, per HLIs own admission,
is employed by HLI, and is, thus, a qualified beneficiary of the SDP; he comes within
the definition of a real party-in-interest under Sec. 2, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court,
meaning, one who stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit or is
the party entitled to the avails of the suit.
The same holds true with respect to the Supervisory Group whose members were
admittedly employed by HLI and whose names and signatures even appeared in the
annex of the SDOA. Being qualified beneficiaries of the SDP, Suniga and the other 61
supervisors are certainly parties who would benefit or be prejudiced by the judgment
recalling the SDP or replacing it with some other modality to comply with RA 6657.
Even assuming that members of the Supervisory Group are not regular farmworkers,
but are in the category of "other farmworkers" mentioned in Sec. 4, Article XIII of the
Constitution, thus only entitled to a share of the fruits of the land, this does not
detract from the fact that they are still identified as being among the "SDP qualified
beneficiaries." As such, they are, thus, entitled to bring an action upon the SDP.
Further, under Sec. 50, paragraph 4 of RA 6657, farmer-leaders are expressly allowed
to represent themselves, their fellow farmers or their organizations in any
proceedings before the DAR. Clearly, the respective leaders of the Supervisory Group
and AMBALA are contextually real parties-in-interest allowed by law to file a petition
before the DAR or PARC.
II. WHETHER OR NOT SEC. 31 OF RA 6657 IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL
RULING: NO.
FARM asks for the invalidation of Sec. 31 of RA 6657, insofar as it affords the
corporation, as a mode of CARP compliance, to resort to stock distribution, an
arrangement which, to FARM, impairs the fundamental right of farmers and
farmworkers under Sec. 4, Art. XIII of the Constitution.
When the Court is called upon to exercise its power of judicial review over, and pass
upon the constitutionality of, acts of the executive or legislative departments, it does
so only when the following essential requirements are first met, to wit:
(1) there is an actual case or controversy;
(2) that the constitutional question is raised at the earliest possible opportunity by a
proper party or one with locus standi; and
(3) the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case.
Not all the foregoing requirements are satisfied in the case at bar.
Raised at the earliest possible opportunity
While there is indeed an actual case or controversy, intervenor FARM, has yet to
explain its failure to challenge the constitutionality of Sec. 31 of RA 6657, since as
early as November 21, 1989 when PARC approved the SDP of Hacienda Luisita or at
least within a reasonable time thereafter. FARM raised the constitutionality of Sec. 31
only on May 3, 2007 when it filed its Supplemental Comment with the Court. Thus, it
took FARM some 18 years from November 21, 1989 before it challenged the
constitutionality of Sec. 31 of RA 6657 which is quite too late in the day. The FARM
members slept on their rights and even accepted benefits from the SDP with nary a
complaint on the alleged unconstitutionality of Sec. 31 upon which the benefits were
derived. The Court cannot now be goaded into resolving a constitutional issue that
FARM failed to assail after the lapse of a long period of time and the occurrence of

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numerous events and activities which resulted from the application of an alleged
unconstitutional legal provision.
It has been emphasized in a number of cases that the question of constitutionality
will not be passed upon by the Court unless it is properly raised and presented in an
appropriate case at the first opportunity. FARM is, therefore, remiss in belatedly
questioning the constitutionality of Sec. 31 of RA 6657.
Very lis mota of the case
The lis mota aspect is not present, the constitutional issue tendered not being critical
to the resolution of the case. The unyielding rule has been to avoid, whenever
plausible, an issue assailing the constitutionality of a statute or governmental act. If
some other grounds exist by which judgment can be made without touching the
constitutionality of a law, such recourse is favored. Garcia v. Executive Secretary
explains why:
Lis Mota means that the Court will not pass upon a question of unconstitutionality,
although properly presented, if the case can be disposed of on some other ground,
such as the application of the statute or the general law. The petitioner must be able
to show that the case cannot be legally resolved unless the constitutional question
raised is determined. This requirement is based on the rule that every law has in its
favor the presumption of constitutionality; to justify its nullification, there must be a
clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution, and not one that is doubtful,
speculative, or argumentative.
The lis mota in this case, proceeding from the basic positions originally taken by
AMBALA (to which the FARM members previously belonged) and the Supervisory
Group, is the alleged non-compliance by HLI with the conditions of the SDP to support
a plea for its revocation. And before the Court, the lis mota is whether or not PARC
acted in grave abuse of discretion when it ordered the recall of the SDP for such non-
compliance and the fact that the SDP, as couched and implemented, offends certain
constitutional and statutory provisions. To be sure, any of these key issues may be
resolved without plunging into the constitutionality of Sec. 31 of RA 6657. Moreover,
looking deeply into the underlying petitions of AMBALA, et al., it is not the said
section per se that is invalid, but rather it is the alleged application of the said
provision in the SDP that is flawed.
Moot and Academic
Sec. 5 of RA 9700, amending Sec. 7 of RA 6657, has all but superseded Sec. 31 of RA
6657 vis--vis the stock distribution component of said Sec. 31. In its pertinent part,
Sec. 5 of RA 9700 provides: "That after June 30, 2009, the modes of acquisition
shall be limited to voluntary offer to sell and compulsory acquisition." Thus, for all
intents and purposes, the stock distribution scheme under Sec. 31 of RA 6657 is no
longer an available option under existing law. The question of whether or not it is
unconstitutional should be a moot issue.
It is true that the Court, in some cases, has proceeded to resolve constitutional issues
otherwise already moot and academic provided the following requisites are present:
First, there is a grave violation of the Constitution;
Second, the exceptional character of the situation and the paramount public interest
is involved;
Third, when the constitutional issue raised requires formulation of controlling
principles to guide the bench, the bar, and the public;
Fourth, the case is capable of repetition yet evading review.

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These requisites do not obtain in the case at bar.
III. WHETHER OR NOT THE OPERATIVE FACT DOCTRINE IS APPLICABLE.
RULING: YES.
Applicability of the Operative Fact Doctrine
While We affirm the revocation of the SDP on Hacienda Luisita subject of PARC
Resolution Nos. 2005-32-01 and 2006-34-01, the Court cannot close its eyes to
certain "operative facts" that had occurred in the interim. Pertinently, the "operative
fact" doctrine realizes that, in declaring a law or executive action null and void, or,
by extension, no longer without force and effect, undue harshness and resulting
unfairness must be avoided. This is as it should realistically be, since rights might
have accrued in favor of natural or juridical persons and obligations justly incurred in
the meantime. The actual existence of a statute or executive act is, prior to such a
determination, an operative fact and may have consequences which cannot justly be
ignored; the past cannot always be erased by a new judicial declaration.
(a) Operative Fact Doctrine Not Limited to Invalid or Unconstitutional Laws
Contrary to the stance of respondents, the operative fact doctrine does not only
apply to laws subsequently declared unconstitutional or unlawful, as it also applies to
executive acts subsequently declared as invalid as embodied in De Agbayani v. Court
of Appeals.
The Chicot doctrine advocates that, prior to the nullification of a statute, there is an
imperative necessity of taking into account its actual existence as an operative fact
negating the acceptance of "a principle of absolute retroactive invalidity." Whatever
was done while the legislative or the executive act was in operation should be duly
recognized and presumed to be valid in all respects.
Bearing in mind that PARC Resolution No. 89-12-2an executive actwas declared
invalid in the instant case, the operative fact doctrine is clearly applicable.
Nonetheless, the minority is of the persistent view that the applicability of the
operative fact doctrine should be limited to statutes and rules and regulations issued
by the executive department that are accorded the same status as that of a statute
or those which are quasi-legislative in nature that have the force and effect of law.
We disagree. While orders, rules and regulations issued by the President or the
executive branch have fixed definitions and meaning in the Administrative Code and
jurisprudence, the phrase "executive act" does not have such specific definition
under existing laws. It should be noted that in the cases cited by the minority,
nowhere can it be found that the term "executive act" is confined to the foregoing.
Contrarily, the term "executive act" is broad enough to encompass decisions of
administrative bodies and agencies under the executive department which are
subsequently revoked by the agency in question or nullified by the Court.
(b) The Operative Fact Doctrine as Recourse in Equity
Undeniably, the operative fact doctrine is a rule of equity. Remarkably, it is applied
only in the absence of statutory law and never in contravention of said law.
In the instant case, respondents argue that the operative fact doctrine should not be
applied since there is a positive law, particularly, Sec. 31 of RA 6657, which directs
the distribution of the land as a result of the revocation of the SDP. Pertinently, the
last paragraph of Sec. 31 of RA 6657 states:
If within two (2) years from the approval of this Act, the land or stock transfer
envisioned above is not made or realized or the plan for such stock distribution

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approved by the PARC within the same period, the agricultural land of the corporate
owners or corporation shall be subject to the compulsory coverage of this Act.
Markedly, the use of the word "or" under the last paragraph of Sec. 31 of RA 6657
connotes that the law gives the corporate landowner an "option" to avail of the stock
distribution option or to have the SDP approved within two (2) years from the
approval of RA 6657. This interpretation is consistent with the well-established
principle in statutory construction that "the word or is a disjunctive term signifying
disassociation and independence of one thing from the other things enumerated; it
should, as a rule, be construed in the sense in which it ordinarily implies, as a
disjunctive word."
In its elementary sense, "or", as used in a statute, is a disjunctive article
indicating an alternative. It often connects a series of words or propositions
indicating a choice of either. When "or" is used, the various members of the
enumeration are to be taken separately.
Given that HLI secured approval of its SDP in November 1989, well within the two-
year period reckoned from June 1988 when RA 6657 took effect, then HLI did not
violate the last paragraph of Sec. 31 of RA 6657. Pertinently, said provision does not
bar Us from applying the operative fact doctrine.

G. R. No. 180989 February 7, 2012


GUALBERTO J. DELA LLANA, vs.CHAIRPERSON.
FACTS:
With the normalization of the political system and the stabilization of government
operations, the COA saw it fit to issue Circular No. 89-299, the circular in issue,
which lifted the pre-audit of government transactions of national government
agencies (NGAs) and government-owned or -controlled corporations (GOCCs).
On 15 January 2008, petitioner filed this Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65. He
alleges that the pre-audit duty on the part of the COA cannot be lifted by a mere
circular, considering that pre-audit is a constitutional mandate enshrined in Section 2
of Article IX-D of the 1987 Constitution. He further claims that, because of the lack of
pre-audit by COA, serious irregularities in government transactions have been
committed, such as the P728-million fertilizer fund scam, irregularities in the P550-
million call center laboratory project of the Commission on Higher Education, and
many others.
ISSUE:
Whether or not petitioner has legal standing.
RULING: YES. This Petition has been filed as a taxpayers suit.
A taxpayer is deemed to have the standing to raise a constitutional issue when it is
established that public funds from taxation have been disbursed in alleged
contravention of the law or the Constitution. Petitioner claims that the issuance of
Circular No. 89-299 has led to the dissipation of public funds through numerous
irregularities in government financial transactions. These transactions have allegedly
been left unchecked by the lifting of the pre-audit performed by COA, which,
petitioner argues, is its Constitutional duty. Thus, petitioner has standing to file this
suit as a taxpayer, since he would be adversely affected by the illegal use of public
money.

G.R. No. 185053 February 15, 2012

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EUSTAQUIO CANDARI vs. ROLAND DONASCO
FACTS:
Respondents were members of the board of directors of Dolefil Agrarian Reform
Beneficiaries Cooperative, Incorporated (DARBCI). They were elected into office and
their terms should have ended on 12 July 2000. However, they continued to occupy
their positions in a holdover capacity.
On 23 November 2005, respondents instituted Civil Case in RTC of Polomolok, South
Cotabato to enjoin petitioners from holding a special general assembly (GA) and an
election of officers. Respondents alleged that the process by which the GA had been
called was not in accordance with Sec. 35 of Republic Act No. 6938, otherwise known
as the Cooperative Code of the Philippines.
The RTC issued a 72-hour TRO to restrain petitioners from holding the GA. Despite the
TRO, but without the participation of petitioners, 5,910 members or 78.68% of the
total membership of the cooperative went through with the GA and elected
petitioners in absentia as new members of the board.
During the 20 December 2008 meeting, the GA ratified the Amended Articles of
Cooperation and the Amended By-Laws of the cooperative. A Certificate of
Registration to that effect was issued by Cooperative Development Authority (CDA).
ISSUE:
Whether or not respondents still have a cause of action to file the case.
RULING: NO. There is no cause of action since the issue has already become moot.
In the present case, the GA has clearly expressed its intentions through the
subsequent amendment of DARBCIs Articles of Cooperation and By-Laws and
through the election of new officers.
For a court to exercise its power of adjudication, there must be an actual case or
controversy one which involves a conflict of legal rights, an assertion of opposite
legal claims susceptible of judicial resolution; the case must not be moot or academic
or based on extra-legal or other similar considerations not cognizable by a court of
justice. A case becomes moot and academic when its purpose has become stale,
such as the case before us.
The supervening events had rendered the case moot through the voluntary act of the
GA as the highest policy-making body of the cooperative to declare the contested
positions vacant and to elect a new set of officers. As a consequence, respondents no
longer had the personality or the cause of action to maintain the case against
petitioners herein.

G.R. No. 193978 February 28, 2012


JELBERT B. GALICTO, vs. H.E. PRESIDENT BENIGNO SIMEON C. AQUINO III
FACTS:
On July 26, 2010, Pres. Aquino made public in his first State of the Nation Address the
alleged excessive allowances, bonuses and other benefits of Officers and Members of
the Board of Directors of the Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System a
government owned and controlled corporation (GOCC) which has been unable to
meet its standing obligations.
The Senate Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises,
conducted an inquiry in aid of legislation on the reported excessive salaries,
allowances, and other benefits of GOCCs and government financial institutions (GFIs).

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Based on its findings, the Senate issued Senate Resolution No. 17 "urging the
President to order the immediate suspension of the unusually large and apparently
excessive allowances, bonuses, incentives and other perks of members of the
governing boards of GOCCs and GFIs.
Pres. Aquino, issued EO 7, which provided for the guiding principles and framework to
establish a fixed compensation and position classification system for GOCCs and
GFIs.
The petitioner claims that as a PhilHealth employee, he is affected by the
implementation of EO 7. To support his claim that he has locus standi the petitioner
contends that as an employee of PhilHealth, he "stands to be prejudiced by [EO] 7,
which suspends or imposes a moratorium on the grants of salary increases or new or
increased benefits to officers and employees of GOCC[s] and curtail[s] the
prerogative of those officers who are to fix and determine his compensation." The
petitioner also claims that he has standing as a member of the bar in good standing
who has an interest in ensuring that laws and orders of the Philippine government are
legally and validly issued and implemented.
Meanwhile, on June 6, 2011, Congress enacted Republic Act (R.A.) No. 10149,
otherwise known as the "GOCC Governance Act of 2011." Section 11 of RA 10149
expressly authorizes the President to fix the compensation framework of GOCCs and
GFIs.
ISSUE:
WHETHER OR NOT THE CASE SHOULD PROSPER.
RULING: NO.
I. Petitioner has no legal standing
"Locus standi or legal standing has been defined as a personal and substantial
interest in a case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a
result of the governmental act that is being challenged. The gist of the question on
standing is whether a party alleges such personal stake in the outcome of the
controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation
of issues upon which the court depends for illumination of difficult constitutional
questions." This requirement of standing relates to the constitutional mandate that
this Court settle only actual cases or controversies.25
Thus, as a general rule, a party is allowed to "raise a constitutional question" when
(1) he can show that he will personally suffer some actual or threatened injury
because of the allegedly illegal conduct of the government; (2) the injury is fairly
traceable to the challenged action; and (3) the injury is likely to be redressed by a
favorable action.
Jurisprudence defines interest as "material interest, an interest in issue and to be
affected by the decree, as distinguished from mere interest in the question involved,
or a mere incidental interest. By real interest is meant a present substantial interest,
as distinguished from a mere expectancy or a future, contingent, subordinate, or
consequential interest."
In the present case, the petitioner has no material interest in the outcome of the
case. The curtailment of future increases in his salaries and other benefits cannot but
be characterized as contingent events or expectancies. He has no vested rights to
salary increases and, therefore, the absence of such right deprives the petitioner of
legal standing to assail EO 7.

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Neither can the lack of locus standi be cured by the petitioners claim that he is
instituting the present petition as a member of the bar in good standing who has an
interest in ensuring that laws and orders of the Philippine government are legally and
validly issued. This supposed interest has been branded by the Court "as too general
an interest which is shared by other groups and by the whole citizenry."
While the petition raises vital constitutional and statutory questions concerning the
power of the President to fix the compensation packages of GOCCs and GFIs with
possible implications on their officials and employees, the same cannot "infuse" or
give the petitioner locus standi under the transcendental importance or paramount
public interest doctrine. In Velarde v. Social Justice Society, we held that even if the
Court could have exempted the case from the stringent locus standi requirement,
such heroic effort would be futile because the transcendental issue could not be
resolved any way, due to procedural infirmities and shortcomings, as in the present
case. In other words, giving due course to the present petition which is saddled with
formal and procedural infirmities, cannot but be an exercise in futility that does not
merit the Courts liberality.
II. The petition has been mooted by supervening events.
A moot case is "one that ceases to present a justiciable controversy by virtue of
supervening events, so that a declaration thereon would be of no practical use or
value." "An action is considered moot when it no longer presents a justiciable
controversy because the issues involved have become academic or dead, or when
the matter in dispute has already been resolved and hence, one is not entitled to
judicial intervention unless the issue is likely to be raised again between the parties x
x x. Simply stated, there is nothing for the x x x court to resolve as its determination
x x x has been overtaken by subsequent events."
This is the present situation here. Congress, thru R.A. No. 10149, has expressly
empowered the President to establish the compensation systems of GOCCs and GFIs.
For the Court to still rule upon the supposed unconstitutionality of EO 7 will merely be
an academic exercise. Any further discussion of the constitutionality of EO 7 serves
no useful purpose since such issue is moot in its face in light of the enactment of R.A.
No. 10149.

G.R. No. 164987 April 24, 2012


LAWYERS AGAINST MONOPOLY AND POVERTY (LAMP) vs. THE SECRETARY OF
BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT
FACTS:
Petitioner Lawyers Against Monopoly and Poverty (LAMP), a group of lawyers who
have banded together with a mission of dismantling all forms of political, economic or
social monopoly in the country, sought the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction
or temporary restraining order to enjoin respondent Secretary of DBM from making,
and releasing budgetary allocations to individual members of Congress as "pork
barrel" funds out of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). LAMP likewise
aimed to stop the National Treasurer and COA from enforcing the questioned
provision.
ISSUE:
WHETHER OR NOT THE MANDATORY REQUISITES FOR THE EXERCISE OF JUDICIAL
REVIEW ARE MET
RULING: YES.

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The power of judicial review is subject to limitations, to wit: (1) there must be an
actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power; (2) the person
challenging the act must have the standing to question the validity of the subject act
or issuance; otherwise stated, he must have a personal and substantial interest in the
case such that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its
enforcement; (3) the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest
opportunity; and (4) the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the
case.
An aspect of the "case-or-controversy" requirement is the requisite of "ripeness." In
our jurisdiction, the issue of ripeness is generally treated in terms of actual injury to
the plaintiff. Hence, a question is ripe for adjudication when the act being challenged
has had a direct adverse effect on the individual challenging it.
According to LAMP, the practice of direct allocation and release of funds to the
Members of Congress and the authority given to them to propose and select projects
is the core of the laws flawed execution resulting in a serious constitutional
transgression involving the expenditure of public funds. Undeniably, as taxpayers,
LAMP would somehow be adversely affected by this. A finding of unconstitutionality
would necessarily be tantamount to a misapplication of public funds which, in turn,
cause injury or hardship to taxpayers. This affords "ripeness" to the present
controversy.
Anent locus standi, "the rule is that the person who impugns the validity of a statute
must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained,
or will sustained, direct injury as a result of its enforcement. The gist of the question
of standing is whether a party alleges "such a personal stake in the outcome of the
controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation
of issues upon which the court so largely depends for illumination of difficult
constitutional questions." In public suits, the plaintiff, representing the general public,
asserts a "public right" in assailing an allegedly illegal official action. The plaintiff may
be a person who is affected no differently from any other person, and could be suing
as a "stranger," or as a "citizen" or "taxpayer." Thus, taxpayers have been allowed to
sue where there is a claim that public funds are illegally disbursed or that public
money is being deflected to any improper purpose, or that public funds are wasted
through the enforcement of an invalid or unconstitutional law. 21 Of greater import
than the damage caused by the illegal expenditure of public funds is the mortal
wound inflicted upon the fundamental law by the enforcement of an invalid statute.
Here, the sufficient interest preventing the illegal expenditure of money raised by
taxation required in taxpayers suits is established. Thus, in the claim that PDAF
funds have been illegally disbursed and wasted through the enforcement of an
invalid or unconstitutional law, LAMP should be allowed to sue.

FUNA VS. VILLAR 670 SCRA 570 (2012)


Facts: Villar was designated as Acting Chairman of COA from February 4, 2008 to
April 14, 2008 following the retirement of Chairman Carague. Villar was nominated
and appointed as Chairman of COA. He was to serve until February 2, 2011.
Funa challenges the constitutionality of the appointment of Villar as Chairman and
prays that the appointment be declared unconstitutional for violationg sec 1(2), Art
IX(D).

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Before the SC could resolve the petition, Villar vacated his position when Pres Aquino
III named Pulido-Tan as COA Chairman.
Issue: Whether or not the petition of Funa became moot and academic.
Held: Yes. A case is moot and academic when its purpose has become stale, or
when it ceases to present a justiciable controversy owing to the onset of supervening
events, so that a resolution of the case or a declaration on the issue would be of no
practical value or use. There is no actual substantial relief which a petitioner would
be entitled to, and which will anyway be negated by the dismissal of the basic
petition. As a general rule, it is not within the SCs charge and function to act upon
and decide a moot case, except if: 1. there is grave violation of the Constitution; 2.
the exceptional character of the situation and the paramount public interest is
involved; 3. when constitutional issue raised requires formulation of controlling
principles to guide the bench, the bar, and the public; 4. the case is capable of
repetition yet evading review.
The procedural requisites for the exercise of judicial review are: 1. there must be an
actual case or justiciable controversy before the court; 2. question before it must be
ripe for adjudication; 3. the person challenging the act must be a proper party; and 4.
the issue of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest opportunity and must be
the very lis mota of the case.
To have legal standing, a suitor must show that he has sustained or will sustain a
direct injury as a result of a government action or have a material interest in the
issue affected by the challenged official act. However, the Court has acted liberally
on the locus standi requirements and has accorded certain individuals not otherwise
directly injured or with material interest affected by a Government act standing to
sue provided a constitutional issue of critical significance is at stake. The rule on
locus standi is after all a mere procedural technicality.
The SC laid out the bare minimum norm before the so-called non-traditional suitors
may be extended standing to sue: 1. cases involve constitutional issues; 2. for
taxpayers, there must be claim of illegal disbursement of public funds or that the tax
measure is unconstitutional; 3. for voters, there must be a showing of obvious
interest in the validity of the election law in question; 4. for concerned citizens, there
must be a showing that the issues raised are of transcendental importance which
must be settled early; and 5. for legislators, there must be a claim that the official
action complained of infringes their prerogatives as legislators.
This case is of transcendental importance, since it has far-reaching implications and
there is a need to promulgate rules that will guide the bench, bar, and the public in
future analogous cases.
Note: The main issues in this case were the term of office of the commissioners,
rotational plan, etc.

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CAPALLA VS. VILLAR 673 SCRA 1 (2012)


Facts: Comelec and Smartmatic-TIM entered into a Contract of Lease with Option to
Purchase the PCOS, both software and hardware for an Automated Election System
for the May 10, 2010 Synchronized National and Local Elections (AES Contract).
Comelec was given until December 31, 2010 to exercise the option but opted not to
exercise the same except for the 920 units of PCOS machines. Comelec seriously
considered to exercise the option and so it was given until March 31, 2012, the
extended period to exercise the option to purchase.
According to Capalla, et al the extended option to purchase the PCOS, as well as the
AES Contract is contrary to law and the Constitution.
The SC already rendered a decision on June 13, 2012 dismissing the petitions of
Capalla, et al. This case is a motion for reconsideration of the SCs decision.
Issue: Whether or not Capalla, et al were correct.

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Held: No. Comelec was given until December 31, 2010 within which to exercise the
OTP. The option was, however, not exercised within said period. But the parties later
entered into an extension agreement giving the Comelec until March 31, 2012 within
which to exercise it. With the extension of the period, the Comelec validly exercised
the option and eventually entered into a contract of sale of the subject goods. The
extension of the option period, the subsequent exercise thereof, and the eventual
execution of the Deed of Sale became the subjects of the petitions challenging their
validity in light of the contractual stipulations of respondents and the provisions of RA
9184.
Based on the AES Contract, we sustained the parties right to amend the same by
extending the option period. Considering that the performance security had not been
released to Smartmatic-TIM, the contract was still effective which can still be
amended by the mutual agreement of the parties, such amendment being reduced in
writing. To be sure, the option contract is embodied in the AES Contract whereby the
Comelec was given the right to decide whether or not to buy the subject goods listed
therein under the terms and conditions also agreed upon by the parties.
In this case, the contract is still effective because the performance security has not
been released. Thus, not only the option and warranty provisions survive but the
entire contract as well.
For a previously bidded contract to be nullified, the amendment must be substantial
such that the other bidders were deprived of the terms and opportunities granted to
the winning bidder after it won the same and that it is prejudicial to public interest. In
our assailed decision, we found the amendment not substantial because no
additional right was made available to Smartmatic-TIM that was not previously
available to the other bidders; except for the extension of the option period, the
exercise of the option was still subject to same terms and conditions such as the
purchase price and the warranty provisions; and the amendment is more
advantageous to the Comelec and the public.
Hence, the determination of whether or not a modification or amendment of a
contract bidded out constitutes a substantial amendment rests on whether the
contract, when taken as a whole, would contain substantially different terms and
conditions that would have the effect of altering the technical and/or financial
proposals previously submitted by other bidders.
It must be pointed out that public biddings are held for the best protection of the
public and to give the public the best possible advantages by means of open
competition between the bidders, and to change them without complying with the
bidding requirement would be against public policy. What are prohibited are
modifications or amendments which give the winning bidder an edge or advantage
over the other bidders who took part in the bidding, or which make the signed
contract unfavorable to the government.
While movants may have apprehensions on the effect to government contracts of
allowing "advantage to the government" as justification for the absence of
competitive public bidding, it must be stressed that the same reasoning could only be
used under similar circumstances. The "advantage to the government," time and
budget constraints, the application of the rules on valid amendment of government
contracts, and the successful conduct of the May 2010 elections are among the
factors looked into in arriving at the conclusion that the assailed Resolutions issued

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by the Comelec and the agreement and deed entered into between the Comelec and
Smartmatic-TIM, are valid.

CHAVEZ VS. JBC 676 SCRA 579 (2012)


Facts: Art 8 sec 8 of the Constitution provides:
(1) A Judicial and Bar Council is hereby created under the supervision of the
SC composed of x x x a representative of the Congress x x x
In compliance therewith, Congress designated one representative to sit in the JBC to
act as one of the ex officio members. Perhaps in order to give equal opportunity to
both houses to sit in the exclusive body, the HR and the Senate would send alternate
representatives to the JBC. In other words, Congress had only 1 representative.
In 1994, the composition of the JBC was substantially altered. Instead of having only
7 members, an 8th member was added to the JBC as 2 representatives from Congress
began sitting in the JBC- 1 from HR and 1 from the Senate, with each having of a
vote.
Chavez filed a petition alleging that JBC shall have only 1 representative from
Congress as mandated by Art 8 sec 8 par 1 of the Constitution.
Issue: Whether or not the conditions sine qua non for the exercise of the power of
judicial review have been met in this case.
Held: Yes. Chavez seeks judicial intervention as a taxpayer, a concerned citizen and
a nominee to the position of Chief Justice of the SC. As a taxpayer, he invokes his
right to demand that the taxes he and the rest of the citizenry have been paying to
the government are spent for lawful purposes.
The SC disagrees with JBCs contention that Chavez lost his standing to sue because
he is not an official nominee for the post of Chief Justice. While it is true that a
personal stake on the case is imperative to have locus standi, this is not to say that

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only official nominees for the post of Chief Justice can come to the Court and question
the JBC composition for being unconstitutional. The JBC likewise screens and
nominates other members of the Judiciary. It is not limited to the nominations for the
highest magistrate in the land. More importantly, the legality of the very process of
nominations to the positions in the Judiciary is the nucleus of the controversy. The SC
considers this a constitutional issue that must be passed upon, lest a constitutional
process be plagued by misgivings, doubts and worse, mistrust. Hence, a citizen has a
right to bring this question to the Court, clothed with legal standing and at the same
time, armed with issues of transcendental importance to society.
With respect to the question of transcendental importance, it is not difficult to
perceive from the opposing arguments of the parties that the determinants
established in jurisprudence are attendant in this case: 1. The character of the funds
or other assets involved in the case; 2. The presence of a clear case of disregard of a
constitutional or statutory prohibition by the public respondent agency or
instrumentality of the government; and 3. The lack of any other party with a more
direct and specific interest in the questions being raised. The allegations of
constitutional violations in this case are not empty attacks on the wisdom of the
other brances of the government. The allegations are substantiated by facts, and
therefore, deserve an evaluation from the Court.

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IDEALS VS. PSALM 682 SCRA 602 (2012)


Facts: EPIRA (RA 9136) mandated PSALM to manage the orderly sale, disposition and
privatization of NPC generation assets, real estate and other disposable assets, and
Independent Power Producer contracts.
On May 5, 2010, and after a post-bid evaluation, PSALMs Board of Directors
approved and confirmed the issuance of a Notice of Award to the highest bidder,
Korea Water Resources for the sale of Angat Hydro-Electric Power including the Angat
Dam, Angat Reservoir and the outlying watershed areas.
IDEALS, et al contended that PSALM gravely abused its discretion when in conducting
the bid, it disregarded and violated the peoples right to information guaranteed
under the Constitution. It also alleged that PSALM violated the constitutional
provisions on the appropriation and utilization of water limiting water rights to Filipino
citizens and corporations which are at least 60% Filipino-owned.
PSALM prayed for the dismissal of the petition because it was rendered moot by the
issuance of a Notice of Award in favor of K-Water.
Issue: Whether or not the petition had been mooted by the issuance of the Notice of
Award to K-Water.
Held: No. Though petitioners had sought the immediate issuance of injunction
against the bidding commenced by PSALM-specifically enjoining it from proceeding to
the next step of issuing a notice of award to any of the bidders- they further prayed
that PSALM be permanently enjoined from disposing of AHEPP through privatization.
The petition was thus filed not only as a means of enforcing the States obligation to
protect the citizens right to water but also to bar a foreign corporation from
exploiting our water resources in violation of Art 12 sec 2 of the 1987 Constitution. If
the impending sale of the AHEPP to K-Water indeed violates the Constitution, it is the
duty of the Court to annul the contract award as well as its implementation.
Supervening events, whether intended or accidental, cannot prevent the Court from
rendering a decision if there is a grave violation of the Constitution.
Issue: Whether or not IDEALS, et al possess the requisite.
Held: Yes. Legal Standing or locus standi is a personal and substantial interest in the
case such that the party has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the
governmental act that is being challenged, alleging more than a generalized

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grievance. The gist of the question of standing is whether a party alleges such
personal stake in the outcome of the controversy to assure that concrete
adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court
depends for illumination of difficult constitutional questions. The SC has adopted a
liberal attitude on locus standi if the issue is of transcendental significance to the
people, as when it is of paramount importance to the public. When the proceeding
involves the assertion of a public right, the mere fact that the petitioner is a citizen
satisfies the requirement of personal interest.
Ensuring adequate water supply for domestic use is of paramount importance to the
public. That the continued availability of water in Metro Manila might be
compromised if PSALM proceeds with the privatization of the hydroelectric power
plant confers upon IDEALS et al such personal stake in the resolution of legal issues.
Moreover, if the petition is about the peoples right to information on matters of
public concern, any citizen can be the real party in interest. Requirement of personal
interest is satisfied by the mere fact that the petitioner is a citizen, and therefore,
part of the general public which possesses the right.

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ANNOTATION ON LOCUS STANDI 314 SCRA 641

In most cases filed to challenge the constitutional validity of any statute or order, the
issue as to whether the petitioners are the proper parties has been questioned. In
JOSE C. MIRANDA, ALFREDO S. DIRAGE, MANUEL H. AFIADO,
_______________

* Member, Board of Editorial Consultants, Supreme Court Reports Annotated (SCRA).


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Locus Standi of Parties in Actions for Judicial Review
MARIANO V. BABARAN and ANDRES R. CABUYADAO, Petitioners, vs. HON. ALEXANDER
AGUIRRE, in his capacity as Executive Secretary; HON. EPIMACO VELASCO, in his
capacity as Secretary of Local Government, HON. SALVADOR ENRIQUEZ, in his
capacity as Secretary of Budget, THE COMMISSION ON AUDIT, THE COMMISSION ON
ELECTIONS, HON. BENJAMIN G. DY, in his capacity as Governor of Isabela, THE
HONORABLE SANGGUNIANG PANLALAWIGAN OF ISABELA, ATTY. BALTAZAR PICIO, In
his capacity as provincial Administrator, and MR. ANTONIO CHUA, in his capacity as
Provincial treasurer, G.R. NO. 133064, dated SEPTEMBER 16, 1999, the Mayor of the
City of Santiago, the President of the Liga ng mga Barangay ng Santiago City and
three residents of Santiago City filed a petition for Writ of Revision assailing the
constitutionality of Republic Act No. 8028, converting the City of Santiago, Isabela
from an independent component city to a component city, the locus standi of the
petitioners was questioned. The Court in said case held that it is now an ancient rule
that the constitutionality of law can be challenged by one who sustained a direct
injury as a result of the endorsement.
Annotations have been made on similar issues in the Supreme Court Reports
Annotated (SCRA) such as Constitutionality of Statute or Action Must be Raised by
Proper Party (Taxpayers Suit) in 15 SCRA 497-501, Judicial Deference to Political
Questions in 21 SCRA 822-837, The Plebiscite CasesPolitical or Justiciable Issues in
49 SCRA 180-193, Judicial Review of the Effectivity of a New Constitution and the
Political Doctrine in 50 SCRA 393-413, and Political or Justiciable Question in 59 SCRA
652-673. The issues raised in said cases are justiciability, standing, mootness,
ripeness and political questions. This annotation will dwell on the rule of locus standi
of the petitioners in filing cases questioning the constitutional validity of statutes or
executive orders.
1. Locus Standi Defined
Locus standi generally means a place to stand. It refers to the standing of a person to
file a case. (Ballantine Law Dic-
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tionary, p.771). It is a place to stand; a standing in law or a suit. (Sanidad vs.
COMELEC, 73 SCRA 333 [1976]).
2. Early U.S. Doctrines on Judicial Review
The principle of judicial review which originated in the United States restricted the
filing of cases by individuals to challenge the constitutional validity of a statute. Early
U.S. court decisions formulated the conditions needed to adjudicate a case especially
with respect to the challenge of the validity of a statute. Decisions generally limited
access by litigants to shield judges from cases that threaten their independence and
institutional effectiveness. They also try to avoid trying cases that involve politically
sensitive issues.
Chief Justice Marshall suggested that the boundaries for judicial action were quite
fixed: It is most true that this Court will not take jurisdiction if it should not: but it is
equally true, that it must take jurisdiction if it should. (Cohens v. Virginia, 6 Wheat.
264, 404 [1821]). What the Court should or should not accept is largely a matter of
judicial discretion. Reflecting on his work at the Supreme Court, Justice Brandeis
confided: The most important thing we do is not doing. (Alexander M. Bickel, The
Unpublished Opinions of Mr. Justice Brandeis 17 [1957]). The deliberate withholding
of judicial power often reflects the fact that courts lack ballot-box legitimacy.
Although couched in technical jargon, jurisdictional requirements raise fundamental
questions of democratic theory. (cited in Fisher, American Constitutional Law, p. 96
[1990]).
Judges invoked some rules to preserve public support and to avoid conflicts with
other branches of the government, and provide flexibility of action for judiciary. The
doctrines used to pursue those goals include justiciability, standing, mootness,
ripeness, political questions, and prudential considerations, all of which help protect
an unelected and unrepresentative judiciary. Although efforts are made to distinguish
these doctrines, inevitably they overlap. As noted by the Supreme Court: The
standing question thus bears close affinity to
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questions of ripenesswhether the harm asserted has matured sufficiently to
warrant judicial interventionand of mootnesswhether the occasion for judicial
intervention persists. (Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 499 n. 10 [1975]). (Fisher, Ibid.)
3. The Issue of Adverseness
To resolve a legal claim, courts need to know that parties have been adversely
affected. Abstract or hypothetical questions, removed from a concrete factual setting,
prevent courts from reaching an informed judgment. The words cases and
controversies limit the federal courts to questions presented in an adversary
context and in a form historically viewed as capable of resolution through the judicial
process. (Flast v. Cohen, 392 U.S. 95 [1968])
American courts occasionally consider a case even when both parties agree on the
issue. In United States vs. Lovett, 328 U.S. 303 (1946), the Justice Department

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agreed with the plaintiff that a provision in a congressional statute was
unconstitutional. To protect its interests, Congress passed legislation to create a
special counsel. Functioning officially as amicus curiae, the counsel in effect served
as counsel for the United States to assure adverseness. (328 U.S. 303, 304 [1946]). In
other cases the courts have appointed a special counsel to satisfy the requirement
for a genuinely adversary proceeding. (Granville-Smith v. Granville-Smith, 349 U.S.
1,4 [1955]). (Fisher, Op. Cit., p. 97)
In affirming the judgment of the Ninth Circuit Court, the Supreme Court also refused
to regard the case as a friendly, non-adversary, proceeding between Chadha and
the INS. As the Court noted, it would be a curious result if, in the administration of
justice, a person could be denied access to the courts because the Attorney General
of the United States agreed with the legal arguments asserted by the individual.
From the moment of Congress formal intervention as amicus, adverseness was
beyond doubt. Even prior to intervention
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there was adequate Art. III adverseness. (INS vs. Chadha, 462 U.S. 919 [1983])
4. Standing to Sue
To satisfy the requirement of a case or controversy, parties bringing an action must
have standing to sue. Generalizations about standing to sue, Justice Douglas said
with customary bluntness, are largely worthless as such. (Data Processing Service
v. Camp, 397 U.S. 150 [1970]). After the Supreme Court announced that the
requirements of standing are met if a taxpayer has the requisite personal stake in
the outcome of his suit, Justice Harlan chided the Court: This does not, of course,
resolve the standing problem; it merely restates it. (Flast v. Cohen, 392 U.S.
121[1968]) (dissenting opinion).
To demonstrate standing, parties must show injury to a legally protected interest, an
injury that is rather than abstract or hypothetical. (OShea v. Littleton, 414 U.S. 488,
494 [1974]). Injuries may be economic or non-economic. (Data Processing Service v.
Camp, 397 U.S. 154 [1970]). They may be actual or threatened. Injuries may afflict
organizations as well as persons. (Havens v. Realty Corp. v. Coleman, 455 U.S. 363,
379 n. 19 [1982]; Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 511[1978]). A threatened injury can be
close cousin to the hypothetical. Five members of the Supreme Court in 1973 held
that allegations of injury were sufficient to establish standing. Proof of actual injury
was not necessary. On the other hand, actual injury may be inadequate to establish
standing if the Court wishes to defer to the states. (City of Los Angeles v. Lyons, 461
U.S. 95 [1983]). (Cited in Fisher, op. cit., p. 100).
5. Individuals StandingA Judge-Made Rule
Individuals, functioning in the role of private attorneys general, may have standing as
representatives of the public interest. (Scenic Hudson Preservation Conf. v. FPC,
354 F. 2d 608, 615-616 [1965]). This principle sometimes permits one
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Locus Standi of Parties in Actions for Judicial Review
party to assert the rights of third parties (jus tertii). Federal courts are reluctant to
resolve a controversy on the basis of the rights of third persons who are not parties to
the litigation. There are two reasons. First, the courts should not adjudicate such
rights unnecessarily, and it may be that in fact the holders of those rights either do
not wish them, or will be able to enjoy them regardless of whether the in-court
litigant is successful or not . . . . Second, the third parties themselves usually will be
the best proponents of their own rights. The courts depend on effective advocacy,
and therefore should prefer to construe legal rights only when the most effective
advocates of those rights are before them. (Singleton v. Wulff, 428 U.S. 106, 113-114
[1976]).
Although standing is basically a judge-made rule, courts recognize that Congress can,
by statute, confer standing upon an individual or a group, and courts may defer to
Congress on such matters. However, such statutory phrases as phrases as any
person aggrieved or adversely affected allow the courts broad discretion in
interpreting what Congress means by standing. Furthermore, Congress cannot
compel the courts to grant standing. Furthermore, Congress cannot compel the
courts to grant standing for a suit that, in the opinion of judges, lacks the necessary
ingredients of a case or controversy. Congressional efforts to confer standing are
limited by the judiciarys exclusive responsibility to determine Article III requirements.
6. Taxpayers Suit
The U.S. Supreme Court at first denied in 1923, the right of taxpayers to challenge
the validity of a statute. (Frothingham vs. Mellon, 262 U.S. 447 [1923]). The Court
reasoned that the taxpayers interest as comparatively minute and indeterminable.
There must be a direct injury to evoke standing. The decision was based on a court
policy as it will mean more cases for the court to tackle. The decision was criticized
as such a doctrine would put the government in the position of conceding that a
taxpayer lacked standing even if
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Congress engaged in such palpably unconstitutional conduct as providing funds for
the construction of churches for particular sects. The Court decided to liberalize the
rule on standing but at the cost of creating substantial doctrinal confusion. It claimed
that standing focuses on the party, not the issue when standing is placed in issue
in a case, the question is whether the person whose standing is challenged is a
proper party to request an adjudication of a particular issue and not whether the
issue is justiciable. It was feared that by lowering the barrier for standing, the
Supreme Court not only encouraged more lawsuits but invited collisions with other
branches of government. In a later case, Justice Powell warned that a relaxed
standing policy would expand judicial power: It seems to be inescapable that
allowing unrestricted taxpayer or citizen standing would significantly alter the
allocation of power at the national level, with a shift away from a democratic form of
government. (United States v. Richardson, 418 U.S. 166, 188 [1974]) (concurring
opinion). (Fisher, op. cit., pp. 102-103)
7. Locus Standi of a Group

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In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court also denied standing to an environmental group that
wanted to prevent construction of a ski resort in a national park. The Court was
deeply split with four Justices arrayed against three. (Sierra Club v. Morton, 404 U.S.
727 [1972]). In that same year, it refused to decide whether the Armys surveillance
of domestic activities constituted a chilling effect on First Amendment liberties. A
majority of five Justices, with four dissenting, held that there was insufficient
evidence of a direct injury to present a case for resolution in the courts.
PHILIPPINE COURT DECISIONS
a. General Rule on Judicial Review
Since 1937, in People vs. Vera, 65 Phil. 56 (1937), reiterated in Luz Farms vs.
Secretary of the Department of Agrarian
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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
Locus Standi of Parties in Actions for Judicial Review
Reform, 192 SCRA 51 (1990) and Dumlao vs. COMELEC, 95 SCRA 392 (1980), the
Philippine Supreme Court ruled that when issues of constitutionality are raised, the
Court can exercise its power of judicial review only if the following requisites are
compresent: (1) the existence of an actual and appropriate case; (2) a personal and
substantial interest of the party raising the constitutional question; (3) the exercise of
judicial review is pleaded at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the constitutional
question is the lis mota of the case. (PHILCONSA vs. Enriquez, 235 SCRA 506 [1994]).
b. Early Decisions of the Philippine Supreme Court Also Restricted the Rule on Locus
Standi
In 1945, the Philippine Supreme Court in Custodio vs. President of Senate, 42 O.G.
1243 (1945) held that a person who questions the validity of a statute or law must
show that he has sustained, or is in immediate danger of sustaining some direct
injury as a result of its enforcement. This rule was reiterated in Manila Race Horse
Training Association vs. De la Fuente, 88 Phil. 60 (1951).
In People vs. Vera, 65 Phil. 56 (1937), the Court ruled that there must be a showing
that the petitioners interests are or about to be adversely affected by the
enforcement of the ordinance in question. Unless a person is injuriously affected in
any of his constitutional rights by the operation of a statute or ordinance, he has no
standing.
In Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association vs. City Mayor of Manila, 20
SCRA 849 (1967), the Court held that the invocation of petitioner as motel operators
of their alleged right to being free from reasonable search and seizure need not be
taken seriously.
c. The Relaxed Rule on Locus Standi
In Rodriguez contra El Tesoro de Filipinas, 84 Phil. 368 (1949), the Court ruled that if a
taxpayer cannot attack the validity of the executive order in question or a law
requiring
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the expenditure of public money, no one under our laws could question the validity of
such laws or executive orders.
In Joya vs. PCGG, 225 SCRA 568 (1993), petitioners having failed to show that they
were the owners of the artwork, it was held that they were not to proper parties to
enjoin the PCGG from proceeding with the auction sale of old masters paintings and
antique silverware seized from Malacaang and the Metropolitan Museum alleged to
be part of the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses.
In Gonzales vs. Hechanova, et al., 9 SCRA 230 (1963), the petitioner, as a rice planter
with a riceland of substantial proportion and as taxpayer affected by the purchase of
the commodity effected with public funds mainly raised by taxation, is entitled to a
chance to sell to the Government the rice it seeks to buy abroad and has sufficient
personality and interest to seek judicial assistance with a view to restraining what he
believes to be an attempt to unlawfully disburse said funds.
d. Taxpayers Suit
A partys standing before the Court is a procedural technicality which it may, in the
exercise of its discretion, set aside in view of the importance of the issues raised. In
the landmark Emergency Powers Cases (Araneta vs. Dinglasan, 84 Phil. 368 [1949];
Rodriguez vs. Gella, 92 Phil. 603 [1953]), the Court said that because the
transcendental importance to the public of these cases demands that they be settled
promptly and definitely, it brushes aside technicalities of procedure. (Kilosbayan, Inc.
vs. Guingona, Jr., 232 SCRA 111 [1994]).
Objections to taxpayers suits for lack of sufficient personality standing or interest
are, however, in the main procedural matters. Considering the importance to the
public of the cases at bar, and in keeping with the Courts duty, under the 1987
Constitution, to determine whether or not the other branches of government have
kept themselves within the limits of the Constitution and the laws and that they have
not abused the discretion given to them, the Court has brushed aside technicalities of
procedure and has taken cognizance of
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these petitions. (Kilosbayan, Inc. vs. Guingona, Jr., 232 SCRA 111 [1994]).
Taxpayer-Plaintiff must sufficiently show that he would be benefited or injured by the
judgment or entitled to the avails of the suit as a real party interest. Before he can
invoke the power of judicial review, he must specifically prove that he has sufficient
interest in preventing the illegal expenditure of money raised by taxation and that he
will sustain a direct injury as a result of the enforcement of the questioned statute or
contract. It is not sufficient that he has merely a general interest common to all
members of the public. (Bugnay Construction and Development Corp. vs. Laron, 176
SCRA 243 [1989]).
However, in Kilosbayan vs. Morato, 246 SCRA 540 (1995), the Court ruled that
petitioners do not possess the legal capacity to institute the action for the annulment
of the Equipment Lease Agreement (ELA) because they are without a present
substantial interest as distinguished from mere expectancy, or future, contingent,
subordinate or consequential interest. The phrase substantial present interest
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under substantive law, to recover if the evidence is sufficient, or that he has legal
title to defend and the defendant will be protected in payment to or recovery from
him.
Having failed to show that they are the legal owners of the artworks or that the
valued pieces have become publicly owned, petitioners do not possess any clear
legal right whatsoever to question their alleged unauthorized disposition. Joya vs.
PCGG, 225 SCRA 571 [1993]). In Kilusang Mayo Uno Labor Center vs. Garcia, Jr., 239
SCRA 386 (1994), the Court held that the petitioner KMU has the standing to sue.
Petitioner, whose members had suffered and continue to suffer grave and irreparable
injury and damage from the implementation of the questioned memoranda, circulars
and/or orders, has shown that it has a clear legal right that was violated and
continues to be violated with the enforcement of the challenged memoranda,
circulars and/or orders. KMU mem-
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bers, who avail of the use of buses, trains and jeepneys everyday, are directly
affected by the burdensome cost of arbitrary increase in passenger fares. They are
part of the millions of commuters who compromise the riding public. Certainly, their
rights must be protected, not neglected nor ignored. Assuming arguendo that
petitioner is not possessed of the standing to sue, the Court is ready to brush aside
the barren procedural infirmity and recognize the legal standing of the petitioner in
view of the transcendental importance of the issues raised. And this act of liberality is
not without judicial precedent. As early as the Emergency Powers Cases, this Court
had exercised its discretion and waived the requirement of proper party. (KMU Labor
Center vs. Garcia, Jr., 239 SCRA 386 [1994]).
e. Locus Standi of Associations or Groups
When associations or groups of individuals are composed of substantial taxpayers,
and the outcome will affect their vital interests, they are allowed to file suit. The
petitioner, the Philippine Constitution Association, is a non-profit, civic organization
composed of several leaders from all walks of life whose main objective is to uphold
the principles of the Constitution. As taxpayers, petitioner may bring an action to
restrain officials from wasting public funds through the enforcement of an invalid or
unconstitutional law. (PHILCONSA vs. Enriquez, 235 SCRA 506 [1994]). A similar
ruling was made in Iloilo Palay and Corn Planters Assn. vs. Feliciano, 13 SCRA 377
(1965).
f. Locus Standi of Public Officials as Petitioners
The Governor of the Province of Rizal, representing the most populated political
subdivisions, whose taxpayers bear a substantial portion of the burden of taxation in
the Philippines justify the action. (Pascual vs. The Secretary of Public Works and
Communications, 110 Phil. 331 [1960]).
In Pelaez vs. Auditor General, 15 SCRA 569 (1965), Emmanuel Pelaez, as Vice
President of the Philippines and a
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SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
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taxpayer, filed a case to question the validity of some Executive Orders.
In Morfe vs. Mutuc, 22 SCRA 424 (1962), the Court ruled that any public official
claiming to be adversely affected by a statute enacted under the police power of the
state to promote morality in public service and thereby limited in scope to officialdom
may rely on the due process clause to annul such statute or any portion thereof.
Since the police power extends to regulatory action affecting persons in public or
private life, then anyone with an alleged grievance can invoke the protection of due
process or liberty as long as such requirement is observed. To the extent then that
the questioned section of the statute compels public officials to do a certain act,
there is an infringement on their liberty. However, under the Constitution, such a
restriction is allowable as long as due process is observed.
g. The People of the Philippines as Petitioner
The People of the Philippines represented by the Solicitor General can be a proper
party to challenge the constitutionality of a statute (The Government of P.I. vs.
Springer, 50 Phil. 259 [1927]). The People of the Philippines have a substantial
interest in contesting the constitutional validity of a law. Of a greater import than
the damage caused by the illegal expenditure of public funds is the moral wound
inflicted upon the fundamental law by the enforcement of an invalid statute. Hence,
the well-settled rule that the state can challenge the validity of its own laws. (People
vs. Vera, 65 Phil. 66).
h. Locus Standi of Members of Congress
The legal standing of the Senate, as an institution, was recognized in Gonzales vs.
Macaraig, Jr., 191 SCRA 452 (1990). In said case, 23 Senators, comprising the entire
membership of the Upper House of Congress, filed a petition to nullify the
presidential veto of Section 55 of the GAA of 1989.
The Court then ruled that a member of the Senate, and of the House of
Representatives for that matter, has the legal
653

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653
Locus Standi of Parties in Actions for Judicial Review
standing question the validity of a presidential veto or a condition imposed on an
item in an appropriation bill. (Id. at p. 519).
Where there is a constitutional question to resolve, a senator has usually been
considered as possessed of the requisite preconditions to bring a suit. (Tan vs.
Macapagal, 43 SCRA 677 [1972]).
However, in Bagatsing vs. Committee on Privatization, 246 SCRA 334 (1995), the
Court held that the absence of a claim that the contract in question violated the
rights of petitioners or impermissibly intruded into the domain of the Legislature,
petitioners have no legal standing to institute the instant action in their capacity as
members of Congress.
In Ople vs. Torres, 293 SCRA 141 (1998), the standing of petitioner Senator Blas Ople
was questioned. The Court said that petitioner Ople, a distinguished member of our
Senate, is possessed of the requisite standing to bring suit raising the issue that the
issuance of A.O. No. 308 is a usurpation of legislative power. As taxpayer and

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member of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), a petitioner can also
impugn the legality of the misalignment of public funds and the misuse of GSIS funds
to implement A.O. No. 308. (Ople vs. Torres, 293 SCRA 141 [1998]).
i. Free Access to Courts
A means of providing guarantee to the constitutional provision of free access to
courts (Art. II, sec. 11, Philippine Constitution), any person is allowed to question the
validity of a law under the principle of taxpayers suit. However, a citizen will be
allowed to raise a constitutional question only when he can show that he has
personally suffered some actual or threatened injury as a result of the allegedly
illegal conduct of the government; the injury is fairly traceable to the challenged
action, and the injury is likely to be redressed by a favorable action.
(Telecommunications and Broadcast Attorneys of the Philippines, Inc. vs. Commission
on Elections, 289 SCRA 337 [1998]).
654

654
SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
Locus Standi of Parties in Actions for Judicial Review
Much less do they have an interest as taxpayers since this case does not involve the
exercise by Congress of its taxing or spending power. (Telecommunications and
Broadcast Attorneys of the Philippines, Inc. vs. Commission on Elections, 289 SCRA
337 [1998]).
The mere fact that TELEBAP is composed of lawyers in the broadcast industry does
not entitle them to bring this suit in their name as representatives of affected
companies. (Telecommunications and Broadcast Attorneys of the Philippines, Inc. vs.
Commission on Elections, 289 SCRA 337 [1998]).
o0o [Locus Standi of Parties in Actions for Judicial Review, 314 SCRA
641(1999)]

ANNOTATION ON LOCUS STANDI 548 SCRA 519

1.Introduction
Locus Standi means a place to standa standing in law or suit. (Sanidad vs.
COMELEC, 95 SCRA 358 [1976])
A review of recent decisions show that the Supreme Court has been liberal in
recognizing the Locus Standi of persons or entities who file actions questioning the
validity of a law or actions of the government issuances. In Planters Producers, Inc.
vs. Fertiphil Corporation, 548 SCRA 485 (2008):
_______________

* Member, Board of Editorial Consultants, Supreme Court Reports Annotated (SCRA).


520

520
SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

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The Trend of Liberal Recognition of the Locus Standi of Litigants
Petitioner PPI and private respondent Fertiphil are private corporations incorporated
under Philippine laws. They are both engaged in the importation and distribution of
fertilizers, pesticides and agricultural chemicals.
On June 3, 1985, then President Ferdinand Marcos, exercising his legislative powers,
issued LOI No. 1465 which provided, among others, for the imposition of a capital
recovery component (CRC) on the domestic sale of all grades of fertilizers in the
Philippines. The LOI provides:
3.The Administrator of the Fertilizer Pesticide Authority to include in its fertilizer
pricing formula a capital contribution component of not less than P10 per bag. This
capital contribution shall be collected until adequate capital is raised to make PPI
viable. Such capital contribution shall be applied by FPA to all domestic sales of
fertilizers in the Philippines.
Pursuant to the LOI, Fertiphil paid P10 for every bag of fertilizer it sold in the domestic
market to the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA). FPA then remitted the amount
collected to the Far East Bank and Trust Company, the depositary bank of PPI.
Fertiphil paid P6,689,144 to FPA from July 8, 1985 to January 24, 1986.
After the 1986 Edsa Revolution, FPA voluntarily stopped the imposition of the P10
levy. With the return of democracy, Fertiphil demanded from PPI a refund of the
amounts it paid under LOI No. 1465, but PPI refused to accede to the demand.
Fertiphil filed a complaint for collection and damages against FPA and PPI with the
RTC in Makati. It questioned the constitutionality of LOI No. 1465 for being unjust,
unreasonable, oppressive, invalid and an unlawful imposition that amounted to a
denial of due process of law. Fertiphil alleged that the LOI solely favored PPI, a
privately owned corpora-
521

VOL. 548,
521
The Trend of Liberal Recognition of the Locus Standi of Litigants
tion, which used the proceeds to maintain its monopoly of the fertilizer industry.
In its Answer, FPA, through the Solicitor General, countered that the issuance of LOI
No. 1465 was a valid exercise of the police power of the State in ensuring the stability
of the fertilizer industry in the country. It also averred that Fertiphil did not sustain
any damage from the LOI because the burden imposed by the levy fell on the
ultimate consumer, not the seller.
The Supreme Court said that the mere fact of payment of the levy imposed by Letter
of Instruction 1465 is sufficient to acquire locus standi:
Whether or not the complaint for collection is characterized as a private or public
suit, Fertiphil has locus standi to file it. Fertiphil suffered a direct injury from the
enforcement of LOI No. 1465. It was required, and it did pay, the P10 levy imposed for
every bag of fertilizer sold on the domestic market. It may be true that Fertiphil has
passed some or all of the levy to the ultimate consumer, but that does not disqualify
it from attacking the constitutionality of the LOI or from seeking a refund. As seller, it
bore the ultimate burden of paying the levy. It faced the possibility of severe
sanctions for failure to pay the levy. The fact of payment is sufficient injury to
Fertiphil. Moreover, Fertiphil suffered harm from the enforcement of the LOI because
it was compelled to factor in its product the levy. The levy certainly rendered the

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fertilizer products of Fertiphil and other domestic sellers much more expensive. The
harm to their business consists not only in fewer clients because of the increased
price, but also in adopting alternative corporate strategies to meet the demands of
LOI No. 1465. Fertiphil and other fertilizer sellers may have shouldered all or part of
the levy just to be competitive in the market. The harm occasioned on the business
of Fertiphil is sufficient injury for purposes of locus standi.
522

522
SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
The Trend of Liberal Recognition of the Locus Standi of Litigants
Ruling that the imposition of the P10 CRC was an exercise of the States inherent
power of taxation, the RTC invalidated the levy for violating the basic principle that
taxes can only be levied for public purpose.
The decision of the Regional Trial Court was affirmed by the Court of Appeals with
some modification. Hence, this petition for review on certiorari.
2.Meaning and Nature of Locus Standi
A party who suffered direct injury has a locus standi to challenge the validity of a law.
Rule 3, Sec. 2 of the Rules of Civil Procedure reads:
Locus standi is defined as a right of appearance in a court of justice on a given
question. In private suits, standing is governed by the real-parties-in interest rule
as contained in Section 2, Rule 3 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended. It
provides that every action must be prosecuted or defended in the name of the real
party in interest. Accordingly, the real-party-in-interest is the party who stands to
be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit or the party entitled to the avails
of the suit. Succinctly put, the plaintiffs standing is based on his own right to the
relief sought. (David vs. Macapagal-Arroyo, 489 SCRA 160 [2006])
The Liberal trend is to allow citizens affected to file suits as interested parties. A real
party-in-interest is the party who stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in
the suit, or the party entitled to the avails of the suit. Unless otherwise authorized by
law or these Rules, every action must be prosecuted or defended in the name of the
real party-in-interest.
The difficulty of determining locus standi arises in public suits. Here, the plaintiff
who asserts a public right in assailing an allegedly illegal official action, does so as
a repre-
523

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The Trend of Liberal Recognition of the Locus Standi of Litigants
sentative of the general public. He may be a person who is affected no differently
from any other person. He could be suing as a stranger, or in the category of a
citizen, or taxpayer. In either case, he has to adequately show that he is entitled
to seek judicial protection. In other words, he has to make out a sufficient interest in
the vindication of the public order and the securing of relief as a citizen or
taxpayer. (David vs. Macapagal-Arroyo, 489 SCRA 160 [2006])
3.Difficulty of Determining Locus Standi

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The difficulty in determining locus standi arises in public. The petitioner asserts a
public right.
Case law in most jurisdictions now allows both citizen and taxpayer standing in
public actions. The distinction was first laid down in Beauchamp v. Silk, where it was
held that the plaintiff in a taxpayers suit is in a different category from the plaintiff in
a citizens suit. In the former, the plaintiff is affected by the expenditure of public
funds, while in the latter, he is but the mere instrument of the public concern. As held
by the New York Supreme Court in People ex rel Case v. Collins: In matter of mere
public right, however . . . the people are the real parties . . . It is at least the right, if
not the duty, of every citizen to interfere and see that a public offence be properly
pursued and punished, and that a public grievance be remedied. With respect to
taxpayers suits, Terr v. Jordan held that the right of a citizen and a taxpayer to
maintain an action in courts to restrain the unlawful use of public funds to his injury
cannot be denied. (David vs. Macapagal-Arroyo, 489 SCRA 160 [2006])
However, to prevent just about any person from seeking judicial interference in any
official policy or act with which he disagreed with, and thus hinders the activities of
governmental agencies engaged in public service, the United States Supreme Court
laid down the more stringent direct injury
524

524
SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
The Trend of Liberal Recognition of the Locus Standi of Litigants
test in Ex Parte Levitt, later reaffirmed in Tileston v. Ullman. The same Court ruled
that for a private individual to invoke the judicial power to determine the validity of
an executive or legislative action, he must show that he has sustained a direct injury
as a result of that action, and it is not sufficient that he has a general interest
common to all members of the public. (Id.)
4.Locus Standi of petitioner in cases of mandamus
To be given due course, a petition for mandamus must have been instituted by a
party aggrieved by the alleged inaction of any tribunal, corporation, board or person
which unlawfully excludes said party from the enjoyment of a legal right. The Court
will exercise its power of judicial review only if the case is brought before it by a party
who has the legal standing to raise the constitutional or legal questions. Legal
standing means a personal and substantial interest in the case such that the party
has sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of the government act that is
being challenged. (Pimentel, Jr. vs. Office of the Executive Secretary, 462 SCRA 622
[2005])
Legal standing or locus standi is a partys personal and substantial interest in such a
case that he has sustained or will sustain a direct injury as a result of the
governmental act that is being challenged. The term interest means a material
interest, an interest in issue affected by the decree, as distinguished from mere
interest in the question involved, or a mere incidental interest. (Jumamil vs. Cafe, 470
SCRA 475 [2005])
5.Locus Standi of Government Officials
The gist of the question of standing is whether a party has alleged such a personal
stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness
which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court so largely

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525
The Trend of Liberal Recognition of the Locus Standi of Litigants
depends for illumination of difficult constitutional questions. (Province of Batangas
vs. Romulo, 429 SCRA 736 [2004])
In relation to the claim of a member of Congress to intervene, invoking his
prerogative as legislator to curtail the disbursement without appropriation of public
funds to compensate Philippine International Air Terminals Co., Inc. (PIATCO), as well
as that as a taxpayer, it should be noted that the amount which the Court directed to
be paid by the Government to Philippine International Air Terminals Co., Inc. (PIATCO),
was derived from money deposited by Manila International Airport Authority, an
agency which enjoys corporate autonomy and possesses a legal personality separate
and distinct from those of the National Government and agencies thereof whose
budgets have to be approved by Congress. (Republic vs. Gingoyon, 481 SCRA 457
[2006])
A national political party likewise meets the standing requirement, provided that it
has obtained three seats in the House of Representatives in a national elections,
which entitles it to participate in the legislative process. (Senate of the Philippines vs.
Ermita, 488 SCRA 1 [2006])
Locus standi is defined as a right of appearance in a court of justice on a given
question. (David vs. Macapagal-Arroyo, 489 SCRA 160 [2006]; Baltazar vs.
Ombudsman, 510 SCRA 74 [2006])
Being a mere procedural technicality, the requirement of locus standi may be waived
by the Court in the exercise of its discretion, such as in cases of transcendental
importance, or where the issues raised have far-reaching implications. (Baltazar
vs. Ombudsman, 510 SCRA 74 [2006])
When the issue concerns a public right, it is sufficient that the petitioner is a citizen
and has an interest in the execution of the laws. (Baltazar vs. Ombudsman, 510 SCRA
74 [2006])
A citizen can raise a constitutional question only when (1) he can show that he has
personally suffered some actual or threatened injury because of the allegedly illegal
conduct of
526

526
SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
The Trend of Liberal Recognition of the Locus Standi of Litigants
the government; (2) the injury is fairly traceable to the challenged action; and (3) a
favorable action will likely redress the injury. (Francisco, Jr. vs. Fernando, 507 SCRA
173 [2006])
A party invoking the transcendental importance exception to the standing
requirement must show, among others, the presence of a clear disregard of a
constitutional or statutory prohibition. (Francisco, Jr. vs. Fernando, 507 SCRA 173
[2006])
This is one of the right cases where the Supreme Court held a liberal recognition of
the locus standi of a private citizen.

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CONCLUSION
The tendency of the Court in broadcasting the concept of locus standi is in
consonance with the constitutional principle of free access to courts.
Article III, Section 11 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution reads:
Free access to the courts and quasi-judicial bodies and adequate legal assistance
shall not be denied to any person by reason of poverty.
This is only fitting as the courts of justice should be as available to the pauper as to
the affluent in the protection of their respective rights. Assuring him that the courts
will protect him but only if he is able to afford the prohibitive cost of litigation is like
spreading a Barmecide feast before the hapless indigent. It is at best a cruel
deception, at worst a cynical oppression of the impoverished suitor. (Cruz,
Constitutional Law, p. 371)
The aforesaid constitutional provision is implemented by several rules in the Rules of
Court liberal to court procedure to enable citizens free easy access to courts.
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The Trend of Liberal Recognition of the Locus Standi of Litigants
Only recently, Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno addressed in a forum vowed to further
introduce reform to comply with the constitutional principle of free access to courts.

JAVIER VS. COMELEC 144 SCRA 194 (1986)


Facts: Javier and Pacificador were candidates in Antique for the Batasang Pambansa
in the May 1984 elections. On May 13, 1984, the eve of the elections, the bitter
contest between the two came to a head when several followers of the Javier were
ambushed and killed, allegedly by the latter's men.
Owing to what he claimed were attempts to railroad Pacificadors proclamation, Javier
went to the Commission on Elections to question the canvass of the election returns.
His complaints were dismissed and the Pacificadors was proclaimed winner by the
Second Division of the said body. Javier thereupon came to this Court, arguing that
the proclamation was void because made only by a division and not by the
Commission on Elections en banc as required by the Constitution. Meanwhile, on the
strength of his proclamation, Pacificador took his oath as a member of the Batasang
Pambansa.
The case was still being considered by this Court when on February 11, 1986, Javier
was gunned down in cold blood and in broad daylight.

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The Solicitor General moved to dismiss the petition on the ground of supervening
events. Batas Pambansa was abolished causing the disappearance of the office in
dispute between Javier and Pacificador.
Issue: Whether or not the petition should be dismissed because it was already moot
and academic.
Held: No. The abolition of the Batasang Pambansa and the disappearance of the
office in dispute could be a convenient justification for dismissing this case. But there
are larger issues involved that must be resolved now, once and for all, not only to
dispel the legal ambiguities here raised.
The Supreme Court is not only the highest arbiter of legal questions but also the
conscience of the government. The citizen comes to us in quest of law but we must
also give him justice. The two are not always the same. There are times when we
cannot grant the latter because the issue has been settled and decision is no longer
possible according to the law. But there are also times when although the dispute has
disappeared, as in this case, it nevertheless cries out to be resolved. Justice demands
that we act then, not only for the vindication of the outraged right, though gone, but
also for the guidance of and as a restraint upon the future.
Terrorism was a special feature in Antique, as demonstrated by the killings previously
mentioned. Opposition leaders were in constant peril of their lives even as their
supporters were gripped with fear of violence at the hands of the party in power.
What made the situation deplorable was the apparently indifferent attitude of the
Commission on Elections toward the anomalies being committed. It is a matter of
record that the petitioner complained against the terroristic acts of his opponents. All
the electoral body did was refer the matter to the Armed Forces without taking a
more active step as befitted its constitutional role as the guardian of free, orderly and
honest elections.
Public confidence in the Commission on Elections was practically nil because of its
transparent bias in favor of the administration. This prejudice left many opposition
candidates without recourse except only to this Court.

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ABS-CBN VS. COMELEC 323 SCRA 811 (2000)


Facts: Comelec issued Resolution No. 98-1419 issuing a restraining order to stop
ABS-CBN or any other groups, its agents or representatives from conducting such exit
survey.
The Resolution was issued by the Comelec allegedly upon information that ABS-CBN
has prepared a project, with PR groups, to conduct radio-TV coverage of the elections
and to make an exit survey of the vote during the elections for national officials
particularly for President and Vice President. The electoral body believed that such
project might conflict with the official Comelec count, as well as the unofficial quick
count of the National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel). It also noted that it had
not authorized or deputized Petitioner ABS-CBN to undertake the exit survey.
ABS-CBN filed a petition before the SC arguing that Comelec acted with grave abuse
of discretion in issuing such resolution.
The solicitor general contends that the petition is moot and academic, because the
May 11, 1998 election has already been held and done with. Allegedly, there is no
longer any actual controversy.
Issue: Whether or not the petition was already moot and academic.
Held: No. The issue is not totally moot. While the assailed Resolution referred
specifically to the May 11, 1998 election, its implications on the people's fundamental
freedom of expression transcend the past election. The holding of periodic elections
is a basic feature of our democratic government. By its very nature, exit polling is

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tied up with elections. To set aside the resolution of the issue now will only postpone
a task that could well crop up again in future elections.
The SC has the duty to formulate guiding and controlling constitutional principles,
precepts, doctrines, or rules. It has the symbolic function of educating bench and bar
on the extent of protection given by constitutional guarantees. Since the fundamental
freedoms of speech and of the press are being invoked here, we have resolved to
settle, for the guidance of posterity, whether they likewise protect the holding of exit
polls and the dissemination of data derived therefrom.
ABS-CBN does not have to exhaust available remedies such as filing of motion of
reconsideration before the Comelec. The SC has ruled in the past that this procedural
requirement may be glossed over to prevent a miscarriage of justice, when the issue
involves the principle of social justice or the protection of labor, when the decision or
resolution sought to be set aside is a nullity, or when the need for relief is extremely
urgent and certiorari is the only adequate and speedy remedy available.
The instant Petition assails a Resolution issued by the Comelec en banc on April 21,
1998, only twenty (20) days before the election itself. Besides, the petitioner got hold
of a copy thereof only on May 4, 1998. Under the circumstances, there was hardly
enough opportunity to move for a reconsideration and to obtain a swift resolution in
time or the May 11, 1998 elections. Moreover, not only is time of the essence; the
Petition involves transcendental constitutional issues. Direct resort to this Court
through a special civil action for certiorari is therefore justified.

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CENTRAL BANK VS. BSP 446 SCRA 229 (2001)


Facts: Almost eight years after the effectivity of R.A. No. 7653, Central Bank (now
BSP) Employees Association, Inc., filed a petition for prohibition against BSP and the
Executive Secretary of the Office of the President, to restrain respondents from
further implementing the last proviso in Section 15(c), Article II of R.A. No. 7653, on
the ground that it is unconstitutional:
Provided, however, That compensation and wage structure of employees whose
positions fall under salary grade 19 and below shall be in accordance with the rates
prescribed under Republic Act No. 6758 (Salary Standardization Law).
It is contended that this classification is "a classic case of class legislation," allegedly
not based on substantial distinctions which make real differences, but solely on the
SG of the BSP personnel's position. Petitioner also claims that it is not germane to the
purposes of Section 15(c), Article II of R.A. No. 7653, the most important of which is
to establish professionalism and excellence at all levels in the BSP.
Issue: Whether or not Section 15(c), Art 2 of RA 7653 is unconstitutional.
Held: Yes. In the case at bar, the challenged proviso operates on the basis of the
salary grade or officer-employee status. It is akin to a distinction based on economic
class and status, with the higher grades as recipients of a benefit specifically
withheld from the lower grades. The implications are quite disturbing: BSP rank-and-
file employees are paid the strictly regimented rates of the SSL while employees
higher in rank - possessing higher and better education and opportunities for career
advancement - are given higher compensation packages to entice them to stay.
Considering that majority, if not all, the rank-and-file employees consist of people
whose status and rank in life are less and limited, especially in terms of job
marketability, it is they - and not the officers - who have the real economic and
financial need for the adjustment This is in accord with the policy of the Constitution
"to free the people from poverty, provide adequate social services, extend to them a
decent standard of living, and improve the quality of life for all." Any act of Congress

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that runs counter to this constitutional desideratum deserves strict scrutiny by this
Court before it can pass muster.
To be sure, the BSP rank-and-file employees merit greater concern from this Court.
They represent the more impotent rank-and-file government employees who, unlike
employees in the private sector, have no specific right to organize as a collective
bargaining unit and negotiate for better terms and conditions of employment, nor the
power to hold a strike to protest unfair labor practices. Not only are they impotent as
a labor unit, but their efficacy to lobby in Congress is almost nil as R.A. No. 7653
effectively isolated them from the other GFI rank-and-file in compensation. Indeed,
they have waited for many years for the legislature to act. They cannot be asked to
wait some more for discrimination cannot be given any waiting time. Unless the
equal protection clause of the Constitution is a mere platitude, it is the Court's duty
to save them from reasonless discrimination.
Issue: Whether or not the SC acted with propriety in making void the provisions.
Held: Yes. Under most circumstances, the Court will exercise judicial restraint in
deciding questions of constitutionality, recognizing the broad discretion given to
Congress in exercising its legislative power. Judicial scrutiny would be based on the
"rational basis" test, and the legislative discretion would be given deferential
treatment.
But if the challenge to the statute is premised on the denial of a fundamental right, or
the perpetuation of prejudice against persons favored by the Constitution with special
protection, judicial scrutiny ought to be more strict. This is true whether the actor
committing the unconstitutional act is a private person or the government itself or
one of its instrumentalities. Oppressive acts will be struck down regardless of the
character or nature of the actor.
Accordingly, when the grant of power is qualified, conditional or subject to limitations,
the issue on whether or not the prescribed qualifications or conditions have been
met, or the limitations respected, is justiciable or non-political, the crux of the
problem being one of legality or validity of the contested act, not its wisdom. What is
more, the judicial inquiry into such issue and the settlement thereof are the main
functions of courts of justice and the system of checks and balances, one of its basic
predicates. As a consequence, We have neither the authority nor the discretion to
decline passing upon said issue, but are under the ineluctable obligation - made
particularly more exacting and peremptory by our oath, as members of the highest
Court of the land, to support and defend the Constitution - to settle it.

DE AGBAYANI VS PNB
1971

Facts:
Plaintiff-appellee Agbayani obtained a loan in the amount of P450.00 from defendant-
appellant PNB dated July 19, 1939, maturing on July 19, 1944, secured by real estate
mortgage. In 1945, Executive Order No. 32 was issued by then President Osmea
suspending the enforcement of payment of all debts and other monetary obligations

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payable by war sufferers. In 1948, the moratorium legislation continuing the
executive order was enacted as Republic Act No. 342. Thereafter, a were declared
unconstitutional in July 26, 1948.

As of November 27, 1959, the balance due on said loan was in the amount of
P1,294.00. As early as July 13 of the same year, defendant-appellant instituted extra-
judicial foreclosure on the mortgaged property for the recovery of the balance of the
loan remaining unpaid. Plaintiff-appellee countered with his suit against defendant-
appellant on August 10, 1959, her main allegation being that the mortgage sought to
be foreclosed had long prescribed, fifteen years having elapsed from the date of
maturity, July19, 1944.
HELD:
Prior to the declaration of nullity of a challenged legislative or executive act, it must
be enforced and had to be complied with. It is entitled to obedience and respect until
after the judiciary, in an appropriate case, declares its invalidity. Parties may have
acted under it and may have changed their positions. What could be more fitting
than that in a subsequent litigation regard be had to what has been done while such
legislative or executive act was in operation and presumed to be valid in all respects.
It is now accepted as a doctrine that prior to its being nullified, its existence as a fact
must be reckoned with. This is merely to reflect awareness that precisely because the
judiciary is the governmental organ which has the final say on whether or not a
legislative or executive measure is valid, a period of time may have elapsed before it
can exercise the power of judicial review that may lead to a declaration of nullity. It
would be to deprive the law of its quality of fairness and justice then, if there be no
recognition of what had transpired prior to such adjudication. Therefore, during the
eight-year period that Executive Order No. 32 and Republic Act No. 342 were in force,
prescription did not run.
In the case at bar, there is no need to deal with the effects of declaration of
unconstitutionality of EO and RA because when extra-judicial foreclosure proceedings
were started by appellant Bank, the time consumed is six days short of fifteen years.
Obviously then, when resort was had extra-judicially to the foreclosure of the
mortgage obligation, there was time to spare before prescription could be availed of
as a defense.

ALDOVINO VS ALUNAN III


(1994)

Facts:
Herein petitioners and intervenors seek reinstatement and payment of back wages.
Section 29 of Executive Order No. 120, which took effect upon its approval on 30
January 1987,reorganizing the then Ministry of Tourism, provides that incumbents
whose positions are not included in the new position structure and staffing pattern or

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who are not reappointed are deemed separated from the service. Pursuant thereto,
the then Ministry of Tourism (MOT, now Department of Tourism, DOT) issued three
various office orders and memoranda declaring all positions thereat vacant, and
effecting the separation of many of its employees.
All office orders and memoranda issued pursuant to E.O. 120 were subsequently
declared null and void by the Supreme Court.
Held:
An unconstitutional act is not a law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; it
affords no protection; it creates no office; it is, in legal contemplation, inoperative, as
if it had not been passed. It is therefore stricken from the statute books and
considered never to have existed at all. Not only the parties but all persons are
bound by the declaration of unconstitutionality which means that no one may
thereafter invoke it nor may the courts be permitted to apply it in subsequent cases.
It is, in other words, a total nullity.
Plainly, it was as if petitioners and intervenors were never served their termination
orders and, consequently, were never separated from the service, The fact that they
were not able to assume office and exercise their duties is attributable to the
continuing refusal of public respondents to take them in unless they first obtained
court orders, perhaps, for government budgetary and accounting purposes. Under
the circumstances, the more prudent thing that public respondents could have done
upon receipt of the decision in Mandani, if they were earnest in making amends and
restoring petitioners and intervenors to their positions, was to inform the latter of the
nullification of their termination orders and to return to work and resume their
functions. After all, many of them were supposed to be waiting for instructions from
the DOT because in their termination orders it promised to directly contact them
by17telephone, telegram or written notice as soon as funds for their separation
would be available.
The petition is granted. Petitioners are ordered to be reinstated immediately to their
former positions without loss of seniority rights and with back salaries, provided
however, that no supervening event which would otherwise disqualify them from
such reinstatement. Provided, further, that whatever benefits they may have
received from the Government by reason of their termination shall be reimbursed
through reasonable salary deductions.
BROKENSHIRE VS. MINISTER OF LABOR
February 7, 1990

On the matter of the constitutionality of the Wage Orders, only the court can declare
a law or order unconstitutional and until so declared by the court, the Office of the
Regional Director is duly bound to enforce the law or order.

Facts:

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Respondents (Employees) filed a complaint against petitioner (Brokenshire Hospital)
with the Regional office of DOLE for non-compliance of Wage Order No.5 and Wage
Order No.6 with respect to living allowance.

In its answer, petitioner raised the affirmative defense of Unconstitutionality of Wage


Orders No. 5 and No. 6. The Regional Director resolved the matter in favor of the
respondents stating that "only the court can declare a law or order unconstitutional
and until so declared by the court, the Office of the Regional Director is duly bound to
enforce the law or order."

Petitioner appealed the case before the Minister of Labor which was subsequently
dismissed for lack of merit. Thereafter, petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration
which was likewise denied by the Minister of Labor. Hence, the instant petition for
review on certiorari.

Ruling:
"x x x Petitioner's contention that the constitutionality of Wage Order Nos. 5 and 6
should be passed upon by the National Labor Relations Commission, lacks merit. The
Supreme Court is vested by the Constitution with the power to ultimately declare a
law unconstitutional. Without such declaration, the assailed legislation remains
operative and can be the source of rights and duties.

The Regional Director is plainly, without authority to declare an order or law


unconstitutional and his duty is merely to enforce the law which stands valid, unless
otherwise declared by this Tribunal to be unconstitutional. The Court declared the
assailed Wage Orders constitutional, there being no provision of the 1973
Constitution (or even of both the Freedom Constitution and the 1987 Constitution)
violated by said Wage Orders, which Orders are without doubt for the benefit of
labor."

COCOFED VS REPUBLIC
January 24, 2012

Facts:
Petitioners assert that the refusal of the Sandiganbayan to recognize their vested
rights allegedly created under the coconut levy laws, constitutes taking of private
property without due process of law. They contended that to accord retroactive
application to a declaration of unconstitutionality would be unfair inasmuch as such
approach would penalize the farmers who merely obeyed then valid laws.

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Ruling:
As a general rule, an unconstitutional act is not a law; it confers no rights; it imposes
no duties; it affords no protection; it creates no office; it is inoperative as if it has not
been passed at all.

The doctrine of operative fact, as an exception to the general rule, only applies as a
matter of equity and fair play. It nullifies the effects of an unconstitutional law by
recognizing that the existence of a statute prior to a determination of
unconstitutionality is an operative fact and may have consequences which cannot
always be ignored.

The doctrine is applicable when a declaration of unconstitutionality will impose an


undue burden on those who have relied on the invalid law.

The Operative Fact Doctrine will not be applied as an exception when to rule
otherwise would be iniquitous and would send a wrong signal that an act may be
justified when based on an unconstitutional provision of law.

In the case at bar, the Court rules that the dictates of justice, fairness and equity do
not support the claim of the alleged farmer-owners that their ownership of the UCPB
shares should be respected due to the following:

1. The farmers or claimants do not have any legal right to own the UCPB shares
distributed to them.
2. To grant the said shares to petitioners would be iniquitous and prejudicial to
the remaining farmers who have not received the same.
3. Due to operational problems, the intended beneficiaries of the shares were
not able to receive what was due them.
4. The coconut farmers who sold copra did not get the receipts for the payment
of the coconut levy.
From the foregoing, it is highly inappropriate to apply the operative fact doctrine to
the UCPB shares. Public funds, which were supposedly given utmost safeguard, were
haphazardly distributed to private individuals based on statutory provisions that are
found to be constitutionally infirm on not only one but on a variety of grounds.
Clearly, applying the Operative Fact Doctrine would not only be iniquitous but would
also serve injustice to the Government, to the coconut industry, and to the people,
who, whether willingly or unwillingly, contributed to the public funds, and therefore
expect that their Government would take utmost care of them and that they would
be used no less, than for public purpose.

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FLORES VS. DRILON
June 22, 1993

Facts:
Petitioners, as taxpayers, question the constitutionality of Sec. 13, par. (d), of R.A.
7227, otherwise known as the "Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992,"
under which respondent Mayor Richard J. Gordon of Olongapo City was appointed
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).
The proviso reads -
(d) Chairman administrator The President shall appoint a professional manager as
administrator of the Subic Authority with a compensation to be determined by the
Board subject to the approval of the Secretary of Budget, who shall be the ex oficio
chairman of the Board and who shall serve as the chief executive officer of the Subic
Authority: Provided, however, That for the first year of its operations from the
effectivity of this Act, the mayor of the City of Olongapo shall be appointed as the
chairman and chief executive officer of the Subic Authority.
Held:
Sec. 7 of Art. IX-B of the Constitution provides:
No elective official shall be eligible for appointment or designation in any capacity to
any public office or position during his tenure . . .
As incumbent elective official, respondent Gordon is ineligible for appointment to the
position of Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive of SBMA; hence, his
appointment thereto pursuant to a legislative act that contravenes the Constitution
cannot be sustained. He however remains Mayor of Olongapo City. His acts as SBMA
official are not necessarily null and void. He may be considered a de facto officer,
"one whose acts, though not those of a lawful officer, the law, upon principles of
policy and justice, will hold valid so far as they involve the interest of the public and
third persons.
Where the duties of the office were exercised, under color of a known election or
appointment, void because the officer was not eligible, or because there was a want
of power in the electing or appointing body, or by reason of some defect or
irregularity in its exercise, such ineligibility, want of power or defect being unknown
to the public, under color of an election, or appointment or pursuant to a public
unconstitutional law, shall valid before the same is adjudged to be such.
The proviso under R.A. 7227, which states that for the first year of its operations
from the effectivity of this Act, the Mayor of the City of Olongapo shall be appointed
as the chairman and chief executive officer of the Subic Authority, is declared
unconstitutional. Consequently, the appointment pursuant thereto of the Mayor of
Olongapo City, respondent Richard J. Gordon, is INVALID, hence NULL and VOID.
However, all per diems, allowances and other emoluments received by respondent
Gordon, if any, as such Chairman and Chief Executive Officer may be retained by
him, and all acts otherwise legitimate done by him in the exercise of his authority as
officer de facto of SBMA are hereby UPHELD.

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HACIENDA LUISITA INC. (HLI) V. PRESIDENTIAL AGRARIAN REFORM COUNCIL


November 22, 2011

The Operative Fact Doctrine is not limited only to invalid or unconstitutional law but
also to decisions made by the president or the administrative agencies that have the
force and effect of laws, especially if the said decisions produced acts and
consequences that must be respected.

Facts:
On July 5, 2011, the Supreme Court en banc voted unanimously (11-0) to
DISMISS/DENY the petition filed by HLI and AFFIRM with MODIFICATIONS the
resolutions of the PARC revoking HLIs Stock Distribution Plan (SDP) and placing the
subject lands in Hacienda Luisita under compulsory coverage of the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) of the government.

The Court however did not order outright land distribution. Voting 6-5, the Court
noted that there are operative facts that occurred in the interim and which the Court
cannot validly ignore. Thus, the Court declared that the revocation of the SDP must,
by application of the operative fact principle, give way to the right of the original
6,296 qualified farmworkers-beneficiaries (FWBs) to choose whether they want to
remain as HLI stockholders or [choose actual land distribution]. It thus ordered the
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to immediately schedule meetings with the
said 6,296 FWBs and explain to them the effects, consequences and legal or practical
implications of their choice, after which the FWBs will be asked to manifest, in secret
voting, their choices in the ballot, signing their signatures or placing their
thumbmarks, as the case may be, over their printed names.

The parties thereafter filed their respective motions for reconsideration of the
Court decision.

Ruling:
The Court maintained its stance that the operative fact doctrine is applicable in this
case since, contrary to the suggestion of the minority, the doctrine is not limited only
to invalid or unconstitutional laws but also applies to decisions made by the President
or the administrative agencies that have the force and effect of laws. Prior to the
nullification or recall of said decisions, they may have produced acts and
consequences that must be respected. It is on this score that the operative fact
doctrine should be applied to acts and consequences that resulted from the
implementation of the PARC Resolution approving the SDP of HLI. The majority

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stressed that the application of the operative fact doctrine by the Court in its July 5,
2011 decision was in fact favorable to the FWBs because not only were they allowed
to retain the benefits and homelots they received under the stock distribution
scheme, they were also given the option to choose for themselves whether they want
to remain as stockholders of HLI or not.

ONGSUCO VS. MALONES


October 27, 2009

Facts:
Petitioners are stall holders at the Municipal Public Market, which had just been newly
renovated. Respondent (Municipal Mayor) through a letter gave petitioners five days
notice for a meeting concerning the municipal market. One of the things discussed
was the imposition of a "goodwill fee" to pay for the loan made by the municipality
for the renovation.
Municipal Ordinance No. 98-01 was later approved by the Sangguniang Bayan which
imposed the goodwill fee and which authorized the respondent to enter into lease
contracts over the said public market. Less than a year later, respondent wrote a
letter to petitioners informing them that they were occupying stalls in the newly
renovated municipal public market without any lease contract. As a consequence of
which, the stalls were considered vacant and open for qualified and interested
applicants. This prompted petitioners, together with other similarly situated stall
holders at the municipal Public Market, to file before the RTC a Petition for
Prohibition/Mandamus, with Prayer for Issuance of Temporary Restraining Order
and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction, against respondent.
Petitioners prayed that respondent be enjoined from imposing the goodwill fees
pending the determination of the reasonableness thereof, and from barring
petitioners from occupying the stalls at the municipal public market. One of the main
issues being raised by petitioners is the validity of the Ordinance.
Held:
It is a well established rule that questions on the constitutionality or legality of tax
ordinances or revenue measures must be raised first in an Administrative case with
the Secretary of Justice before the courts judicial power can be sought following the
Doctrine of Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies.
However, where the issue raised is a purely legal question, then it is well within the
competence and the jurisdiction of the court and not the administrative agency.
Resolving questions of law, which involve the interpretation and application of laws,
constitutes essentially an exercise of judicial power that is exclusively allocated to
the Supreme Court and such lower courts the Legislature may establish.
The sole issue petitioners raised before the RTC is whether Municipal Ordinance No.
98-01 was valid and enforceable despite the absence, prior to its enactment, of a
public hearing held in accordance with Article 276 of the Implementing Rules and

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Regulations of the Local Government Code. This is undoubtedly a pure question of
law, within the competence and jurisdiction of the RTC to resolve.
XXX (c) No tax ordinance or revenue measure shall be enacted or approved in the
absence of a public hearing duly conducted in the manner provided under this
Article.
In the case at bar, notice to the petitioners were made only five days before said
public hearing. This contravenes Article 277(b)(3) of the Implementing Rules and
Regulations of the Local Government Code which requires that the public hearing be
held no less than ten days from the time the notices were sent out, posted, or
published.

YNOT VS IAC
1987

Facts:
Executive Order No. 626-A prohibited the transportation of carabaos and carabeef
from one province to another. The carabaos of petitioner were confiscated for
violation of Executive Order No. 626-A while he was transporting them from Masbate
to Iloilo. Petitioner challenged the constitutionality of Executive Order No. 626-A. The
government argued that Executive Order No. 626-A was issued in the exercise of
police power to conserve the carabaos that were still fit for farm work or breeding.
Held:
All Courts can exercise judicial review
This Court has declared that while lower courts should observe a becoming modesty
in examining constitutional questions, they are nonetheless not prevented from
resolving the same whenever warranted, subject only to review by the highest
tribunal. We have jurisdiction under the Constitution to "review, revise, reverse,
modify or affirm on appeal or certiorari, as the law or rules of court may provide,
"final judgments and orders of lower courts in, among others, all cases involving the
constitutionality of certain measures. This simply means that the resolution of such
cases may be made in the first instance by these lower courts.
Other issues:
Police power
The challenged measure is an invalid exercise of police power, because it is not
reasonably necessary for the purpose of the law and is unduly oppressive. It is
difficult to see how prohibiting the transfer of carabaos from one province to another
can prevent their indiscriminate killing. Retaining the carabaos in one province will
not prevent their slaughter there. Prohibiting the transfer of carabeef, after the
slaughter of the carabaos, will not prevent their slaughter either.

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Due process
Due process is violated because the owner of the property confiscated is denied the
right to be heard in his defense and is immediately condemned and punished.

Separation of powers
The conferment on the administrative authorities of the power to adjudge the guilt of
the supposed offender is a clear encroachment on judicial functions and militates
against the doctrine of separation of powers.

For these reasons, we hereby declare Executive Order No. 626-A unconstitutional.

QUA CHEE GAN VS. DEPORTATION BOARD (1963)


FACTS: Petitioners were charged before the Deportation Board, with having
purchased U.S. dollars without the necessary license from the Central Bank of the
Philippines, and of having clandestinely remitted the same to Hongkong. Petitioners,
Qua Chee Gan, Chua Lim Pao alias Jose Chua, and Basilio King, with having
attempted to bribe officers of the Philippine and United States in order to evade
prosecution for said unauthorized purchase of U.S. dollars. A warrant for the arrest of
said aliens was issued by the presiding member of the Deportation Board. Upon filing
a bond, they were provisionally set at liberty. When their motion to dismiss was
denied, they filed for a petition for habeas corpus and/or prohibition. After filing a
bond, a writ of preliminary injunction was issued by the lower court, restraining the
respondent Deportation Board from hearing Deportation charges against petitioners,
pending final termination of the habeas corpus and/or prohibition proceedings.
ISSUE: whether deportation board, as an agent of the President, has jurisdiction over
the charges
Held: Under the present and existing laws, deportation of an undesirable alien may
be effected in two ways: by order of the President, after due investigation, pursuant
to Section 69 of the Revised Administrative Code, and by the Commissioner of
Immigration, upon recommendation by the Board of Commissioners, under Section
37 of Commonwealth Act No. 613. This case constitute economic sabotage which is a
ground for deportation. The President may order the deportation of these petitioners
if after investigation they are shown to have committed the act charged. This power
of investigation may be delegated pursuant to Section 69 of the Revised
Administrative Code.
Issue: whether the board had authority to order their arrest as
HELD: No. Section 69 of the Revised Administrative Code, upon whose authority the
President's power to deport is predicated, does not provide for the exercise of the
power to arrest. The right of an individual to be secure in his person is guaranteed by
the Constitution in the following language:.

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3. The right of the People to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and
effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no
warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, to be determined by the judge after
examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may
produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or
things to be seized." (Sec 1, Art. III, Bill of Rights, Philippine Constitution).
Unquestionably, the exercise of the power to order the arrest of an individual
demands the exercise of discretion by the one issuing the same, to determine
whether under specific circumstances, the curtailment of the liberty of such person is
warranted. This is guaranteed in the Constitution and the statute. EO 398 which
authorizes the board to issue warrant for the arrests of alien and detain him during
investigation unless he files a bond for provisional release is illegal. An implied grant
of power, considering that no express authority was granted by the law on the matter
under discussion, that would serve the curtailment or limitation on the fundamental
right of a person, such as his security to life and liberty, must be viewed with caution,
if we are to give meaning to the guarantee contained in the Constitution. If this is so,
then guarantee a delegation of that implied power, nebulous as it is, must be
rejected as inimical to the liberty of the people. The guarantees of human rights and
freedom can not be made to rest precariously on such a shaky foundation.
As a consequence, the order of arrest issued by the respondent Deportation
Board is declared null and void and the bonds filed pursuant to such order of arrest,
decreed cancelled.

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TECSON VS. COMELEC ( 2004)


FACTS: In 2003, Ronald Allan Kelly Poe, also known as Fernando Poe, Jr. (hereinafter
"FPJ"), filed his COC for the position of President of the Republic of the Philippines. In
his certificate of candidacy, FPJ, representing himself to be a natural-born citizen of
the Philippines, stated his name to be "Fernando Jr.," or "Ronald Allan" Poe, his date
of birth to be 20 August 1939 and his place of birth to be Manila.
Victorino X. Fornier, filed a petition to disqualify FPJ and to deny due course or to
cancel his certificate of candidacy upon the thesis that FPJ made a material
misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy by claiming to be a natural-born
Filipino citizen when in truth, according to Fornier, his parents were foreigners; his
mother, Bessie Kelley Poe, was an American, and his father, Allan Poe, was a Spanish
national, being the son of Lorenzo Pou, a Spanish subject. Granting, petitioner
asseverated, that Allan F. Poe was a Filipino citizen, he could not have transmitted his
Filipino citizenship to FPJ, the latter being an illegitimate child of an alien
mother. Petitioner based the allegation of the illegitimate birth of respondent on two
assertions - first, Allan F. Poe contracted a prior marriage to a certain Paulita Gomez
before his marriage to Bessie Kelley and, second, even if no such prior marriage had
existed, Allan F. Poe, married Bessie Kelly only a year after the birth of respondent.
ISSUES: Whether FPJ is a natural born citizen; Whether he made a material
misrepresentation in his COC;
HELD: FPJs direct ascendant is his paternal grandfather Lorenzo Pou whose death
certificate identified him to be Filipino, a resident of San Carlos, Pangasinan. Any
conclusion on the Filipino citizenship of Lorenzo Pou could only be drawn from the
presumption that having died in 1954 at 84 years old, Lorenzo would have been born
sometime in the year 1870, when the Philippines was under Spanish rule, and that
San Carlos, Pangasinan, his place of residence upon his death in 1954, in the absence
of any other evidence, could have well been his place of residence before death, such
that Lorenzo Pou would have benefited from the en masse Filipinization that the
Philippine Bill had effected in 1902. That citizenship (of Lorenzo Pou), if acquired,
would thereby extend to his son, Allan F. Poe (date of birth: May 17, 1915), father of
respondent FPJ.
The marriage certificate of Allan F. Poe and Bessie Kelley reflected the date of their
marriage to be on 16 September 1940. In the same certificate, Allan F. Poe was
stated to be twenty-five years old, unmarried, and a Filipino citizen, and Bessie Kelley
to be twenty-two years old, unmarried, and an American citizen. The birth certificate
of FPJ, would disclose that he was born on 20 August 1939 to Allan F. Poe, a Filipino,
twenty-four years old, married to Bessie Kelly, an American citizen, twenty-one years
old and married. The 1935 Constitution, during which regime respondent FPJ has
seen first light, confers citizenship to all persons whose fathers are Filipino citizens
regardless of whether such children are legitimate or illegitimate. The 1935
Constitution is applicable to determine FPJs citizenship. The applicable provision is:

Section 1, Article III, 1935 Constitution. The following are citizens of the Philippines
-
(1) Those who are citizens of the Philippine Islands at the time of the adoption of
this Constitution

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(2) Those born in the Philippines Islands of foreign parents who, before the
adoption of this Constitution, had been elected to public office in the Philippine
Islands.
(3) Those whose fathers are citizens of the Philippines.
(4) Those whose mothers are citizens of the Philippines and upon reaching the age
of majority, elect Philippine citizenship.
(5) Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.

The totality of the evidence may not establish conclusively that respondent FPJ is a
natural-born citizen of the Philippines, the evidence on hand still would preponderate
in his favor enough to hold that he cannot be held guilty of having made a material
misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy in violation of Section 78, in relation
to Section 74, of the Omnibus Election Code. Petitioner has utterly failed to
substantiate his case before the Court, notwithstanding the ample opportunity given
to the parties to present their position and evidence, and to prove whether or not
there has been material misrepresentation, which, as so ruled in Romualdez-Marcos
vs. COMELEC,]must not only be material, but also deliberate and willful.
GO, SR VS. RAMOS (2009)
FACTS: These petitions stemmed from the complaint-affidavit for deportation initiated
by Luis T. Ramos before the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (now Bureau of
Immigration) against Jimmy T. Go alleging that the latter is an illegal and undesirable
alien. To prove his contention, Luis argued that birth certificate of Jimmy was
tampered, which indicated Jimmys citizenship as "FChinese." Luis argued that
although it appears from Jimmys birth certificate that his parents, Carlos and Rosario
Tan, are Filipinos, the document seems to be tampered since all the other entries
were typewritten except the entry on his citizenship which was handwritten as
FChinese.
Jimmy alleged that his father Carlos, who was the son of a Chinese father and Filipina
mother, elected Philippine citizenship in accordance with Article IV, Section 1(4) of
the 1935 Constitution and CA 625. Jimmy added that he had even voted in the 1952
and 1955 elections. He denied that his father arrived in the Philippines as an
undocumented alien, alleging that his father has no record of arrival in this country
as alleged in the complaint-affidavit precisely because his father was born and raised
in the Philippines, and in fact, speaks fluent Ilonggo and Tagalog. As to erroneous
entry, he attributed it to the employees of the LCR.
ISSUE: whether Jimmy is a Filipino citizen = NO
HELD: Jimmy claims that he is a Filipino because Carlos, his father, is allegedly a
citizen. Since his citizenship hinges on that of his fathers, it becomes necessary to
pass upon the citizenship of the latter. However, neither the Philippine Bill of
1902 nor the Jones Law of 1916 make Carlos a citizen of the Philippines. His bare
claim that his father, Go Yin An, was a resident of the Philippines at the time of the
passage of the said laws, without any supporting evidence whatsoever will not
suffice. It is a settled rule that only legitimate children follow the citizenship of the
father and that illegitimate children are under the parental authority of the mother
and follow her nationality. Moreover, we have also ruled that an illegitimate child of a
Filipina need not perform any act to confer upon him all the rights and privileges
attached to citizens of the Philippines; he automatically becomes a citizen

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himself. However, it is our considered view that absent any evidence proving that
Carlos is indeed an illegitimate son of a Filipina, the aforestated established rule
could not be applied to him.
As to the question of whether the election of Philippine citizenship conferred on
Carlos Filipino citizenship, we find that the appellate court correctly found that it did
not. The 1935 Constitution and CA 625 did not prescribe a time period within which
the election of Philippine citizenship should be made. The 1935 Charter only provides
that the election should be made "upon reaching the age of majority." The age of
majority then commenced upon reaching 21 years. The proper period for electing
Philippine citizenship was within "reasonable time (within 3 years)" after attaining the
age of majority. It is true that we said that the 3-year period for electing Philippine
citizenship may be extended as when the person has always regarded himself as a
Filipino. Be that as it may, it is our considered view that not a single circumstance
was sufficiently shown meriting the extension of the 3-year period. The fact that
Carlos exercised his right of suffrage in 1952 and 1955 does not demonstrate such
belief, considering that the acts were done after he elected Philippine citizenship. On
the other hand, the mere fact that he was able to vote does not validate his irregular
election of Philippine citizenship. At most, his registration as a voter indicates his
desire to exercise a right appertaining exclusively to Filipino citizens but does not
alter his real citizenship, which, in this jurisdiction, is determined by blood (jus
sanguinis). The exercise of the rights and privileges granted only to Filipinos is not
conclusive proof of citizenship, because a person may misrepresent himself to be a
Filipino and thus enjoy the rights and privileges of citizens of this country. It is
incumbent upon one who claims Philippine citizenship to prove to the satisfaction of
the court that he is really a Filipino. No presumption can be indulged in favor of the
claimant of Philippine citizenship, and any doubt regarding citizenship must be
resolved in favor of the state.
As to the application of the doctrine of jus soli (citizenship by place of birth): The
doctrine was never extended to the Philippines. It was for a time the prevailing rule in
the acquisition of ones citizenship but it was abandoned in the case of Tan Chong v.
Secretary of Labor. Since then, said doctrine only benefited those who were
individually declared to be citizens of the Philippines by a final court decision on the
mistaken application of jus soli.

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GONZALES VS. PENNISI (2010)

FACTS: Michael Alfio Pennisi was born on 13 March 1975 in Queensland,


Australia to Alfio Pennisi, an Australian national, and Anita T. Quintos, allegedly a
Filipino citizen. In March 1999, respondent filed a petition for recognition as Filipino
citizen before the Bureau of Immigration (BI). BI issued him a Recognition Order
which was affirmed by DOJ Secretary on March 3, 2000. Pursuant to such order, he
was recognition as a citizen of the Philippines pursuant to Article III, Sec. 1(2) of the
1973 Constitution and makes him entitled to all the rights and privileges appurtenant
thereto. Thereafter, respondent was drafted and played for the Red Bull, a
professional basketball team in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

In 2004, DOJ issued a resolution revoking Pennisis certificate of recognition and


directed BI to begin summary deportation proceedings against respondent pursuant
to a recommendation by Senate to review recognition orders of Fil-foreign PBA
players. Trial court subsequently issued a Summary Deportation Order against him.
Respondent filed a petition for review, with an application for temporary restraining
order and preliminary injunction, before the Court of Appeals. CA ruled in favor of
Pennisi.

ISSUE: whether Pennisi is a Filipino citizen

HELD: Yes. The issuance of certificate of recognition to respondent has not attained
finality. Res judicata may be applied in cases of citizenship only if the following
concur: (1) A persons citizenship must be raised as a material issue in a controversy
where said person is a party; (2)The solicitor general or his authorized representative
took active part in the resolution thereof; and (3)The finding or citizenship is affirmed
by this court.

Pennisi was able to present the birth certificate of his Filipino mother, Anita Tomeda
Quintos and a certification issued by the LCR Of San Antonio, Nueva Ecija stating that
Quintos was born on 14 august 1949 of Filipino parents in Panabingan, San Antonio,
Nueva Ecija; and certified true copy of the Letter Dated 14 July 1999 Of The
Australian Department Of Immigration And Multicultural Affairs, Stating That As Of 14
July 1999, Quintos Has Not Been Granted Australian Citizenship. These documents
have more probative value and must prevail over the statements of Barangay
Officials of Nueva Ecija that no Quintos and Tomedas have resided in the said
barangay and such family names do not exist in census or master list of voters.
Documents consisting of entries in public records made in the performance of a duty
by a public officer are prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein. The Quintoses
and Tomedas were not included in the census, such as they could have been mere
transients in the place. As for their absence in the masters list of voters, they could
have failed to register themselves as voters. The late registration of Quintos birth
(made 10 years after her birth) does not indicate fraud because it was not issued at
anytime near the filing of respondents petition for recognition as Filipino citizen.
Finally, the Australian Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs itself
attested that as of 14 July 1999, Quintos has not been granted Australian citizenship.

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Respondent submitted a certified true copy of Quintos Australian Certificate of
Registration of Alien, indicating her nationality as Filipino. These pieces of evidence
should prevail over the affidavits submitted by Barangay officials.

VILANDO VS. HRET (2011)

FACTS: In 2007 elections, Limkaichong filed her COC for the position of
Representative of the First District of Negros Oriental. She won over the other
contender, Olivia Paras. Meanwhile, petitions involving either the disqualification
questioning her citizenship against her were filed before the Commission on Elections
(COMELEC) which reached the Court. Comelec ruled against Limkaichong. On April 1,
2009, the Court granted the aforesaid petition of Limkaichong, reversed the Joint
Resolution of the Comelec and directed the petitioners to seek relief before the HRET
by way of a petition for Quo Warranto.

On April 21, 2009 and May 27, 2009, petitioner Renald F. Vilando (Vilando), as
taxpayer; and Jacinto Paras, as registered voter of the congressional district
concerned, filed separate petitions for Quo Warranto against Limkaichong before the
HRET. These petitions were consolidated by the HRET as they both challenged the
eligibility of one and the same respondent. Petitioners asserted that Limkaichong
was a Chinese citizen and ineligible for the office she was elected and proclaimed.
They alleged that she was born to a father (Julio Sy), whose naturalization had not
attained finality, and to a mother who acquired the Chinese citizenship of Julio Sy
from the time of her marriage to the latter. On March 24, 2010, the HRET dismissed
both petitions and declared Limkaichong not disqualified as Member of the House of
Representatives.

ISSUE: whether Limkaichong is a Filipino citizen

HELD: Yes. Limkaichong was born in Dumaguete City on November 9, 1959. The
governing law is the citizenship provision under Section 1(3), Article IV of the 1935
Constitution. Limkaichongs father was conferred the status as a naturalized Filipino,
it follows that she is a Filipino citizen born to a Filipino father. It matters not whether
the father acquired citizenship by birth or by naturalization. Therefore, following the
line of transmission through the father under the 1935 Constitution, the respondent
has satisfactorily complied with the requirement for candidacy and for holding office,
as she is a natural-born Filipino citizen.

Even on the assumption that the naturalization proceedings and the subsequent
issuance of certificate of naturalization were invalid, Limkaichong can still be
considered a natural-born Filipino citizen having been born to a Filipino mother and
having impliedly elected Filipino citizenship when she reached majority age under
paragraph 4, Section 1, Article IV of the 1935 Constitution. Having failed to prove that
Anesia Sy lost her Philippine citizenship, respondent can be considered a natural born
citizen of the Philippines, having been born to a mother who was a natural-born
Filipina at the time of marriage, and because respondent was able to elect citizenship
informally when she reached majority age. Respondent participated in the barangay

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elections as a young voter in 1976, accomplished voters affidavit as of 1984, and ran
as a candidate and was elected as Mayor of La Libertad, Negros Oriental in 2004.
These are positive acts of election of Philippine citizenship. The case of In re:
Florencio Mallare, elucidates how election of citizenship is manifested in actions
indubitably showing a definite choice. We note that respondent had informally
elected citizenship after January 17, 1973 during which time the 1973 Constitution
considered as citizens of the Philippines all those who elect citizenship in accordance
with the 1935 Constitution. The 1987 Constitution provisions, i.e., Section 1(3),
Article [IV] and Section 2, Article [IV] were enacted to correct the anomalous situation
where one born of a Filipino father and an alien mother was automatically accorded
the status of a natural-born citizen, while one born of a Filipino mother and an alien
father would still have to elect Philippine citizenship yet if so elected, was not
conferred natural-born status. It was the intention of the framers of the 1987
Constitution to treat equally those born before the 1973 Constitution and who elected
Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority either before or after the
effectivity of the 1973 Constitution. Thus, those who would elect Philippine
citizenship under par. 3, Section 1, Article [IV] of the 1987 Constitution are now,
under Section 2, Article [IV] thereof also natural-born Filipinos.

Holding an Alian Cert of Reg. by Limkaichongs mother was not tantamount to a


repudiation of her original citizenship. Neither did it result in an acquisition of alien
citizenship. For renunciation to effectively result in the loss of citizenship, the same
must be express. Such express renunciation is lacking in this case. Accordingly,
Limkaichongs mother, being a Filipino citizen, can transmit her citizenship to her
daughter.

b. Election of Philippine Citizenship

IN RE: CHING 316 SCRA 1 (1999)


Under Article IV, Section 1(3) of the 1935 Constitution, the citizenship of a legitimate
child born of a Filipino mother and an alien father followed the citizenship of the
father, unless, upon reaching the age of majority, the child elected Philippine
citizenship.
C.A. No. 625 which was enacted pursuant to Section 1(3), Article IV of the 1935
Constitution, prescribes the procedure that should be followed in order to made a
valid election of Philippine citizenship. Under Section 1 thereof, legitimate children
born of Filipino mothers may elect Philippine citizenship by expressing such intention
"in a statement to be signed and sworn to by the party concerned before any officer
authorized to administer oaths, and shall be filed with the nearest civil registry. The
said party shall accompany the aforesaid statement with the oath of allegiance to the
Constitution and the Government of the Philippines."

FACTS: Vicente Ching, born August 11, 1964, was a legitimate son of a Chinese
father and a Filipino mother. He took the 1998 Bar Exams and passed but he was not
allowed to take his oath because of the questionable status of his citizenship. It was
only on 15 June 1999, at thirty-five (35) years old or over fourteen (14) years after he
had reached the age of majority, when he complied with the requirements of C.A. No.
625. In the Manifestation he filed together with his Affidavit of Election and his Oath

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of Allegiance, he stated the fact of his continuous and uninterrupted stay in the
Philippines and his being a certified public accountant, a registered voter and a
former elected public official.

ISSUE: Can a legitimate child born under the 1935 Constitution of a Filipino
mother and an alien father validly elect Philippine citizenship fourteen (14)
years after he has reached the age of majority?

RULING: NO.
The 1935 Constitution and C.A. No. 625 did not prescribe a time period within which
the election of Philippine citizenship should be made. The 1935 Charter only provides
that the election should be made "upon reaching the age of majority." The age of
majority then commenced upon reaching twenty-one (21) years. In the opinions of
the Secretary of Justice on cases involving the validity of election of Philippine
citizenship, this dilemma was resolved by basing the time period on the decisions of
this Court prior to the effectivity of the 1935 Constitution. In these decisions, the
proper period for electing Philippine citizenship was, in turn, based on the
pronouncements of the Department of State of the US Government to the effect that
the election should be made within a "reasonable time" after attaining the age of
majority. The phrase reasonable time" has been interpreted to mean that the
election should be made within three (3) years from reaching the age of majority
However, the SC held in Cuenco vs. Secretary of Justice that the three (3) year period
is not an inflexible rule. But it cautioned that the extension of the option to elect
Philippine citizenship is not indefinite. Election in this case was only made over 7
years after reaching the age of majority and the court did not consider it to have
been made within a reasonable time.
Based on the interpretation of the phrase upon reaching the age of majority,"
Ching's election was clearly beyond, by any reasonable yardstick, the allowable
period within which to exercise the privilege.

ISSUE: Would the special circumstances invoked by Ching be sufficient to


vest in him Philippine citizenship

RULING: NO as the law specifically lays down the requirements for acquisition of
Philippine citizenship by election.
Ching cannot take cannot find refuge in the case of In re: Florencio Mallare where the
court considered the exercise of the right of suffrage sufficient to show his preference
for Philippine citizenship. The facts and circumstances obtaining therein are very
different from those in the present case, thus, negating its applicability. First,
Esteban Mallare was born before the effectivity of the 1935 Constitution and the
enactment of C.A. No. 625. Hence, the requirements and procedures prescribed
under the 1935 Constitution and C.A. No. 625 for electing Philippine citizenship would
not be applicable to him. Second, the ruling in Mallare was an obiter since, as
correctly pointed out by the OSG, it was not necessary for Esteban Mallare to elect
Philippine citizenship because he was already a Filipino, he being a natural child of a
Filipino mother.

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Moreover, Ching has offered no reason why he delayed his election of Philippine
citizenship. The prescribed procedure in electing Philippine citizenship is certainly
not a tedious and painstaking process. All that is required of the elector is to execute
an affidavit of election of Philippine citizenship and thereafter, file the same with the
nearest civil registry. Ching's unreasonable and unexplained delay in making his
election cannot be simply glossed over.
Philippine citizenship can never be treated like a commodity that can be claimed
when needed and suppressed when convenient. One who is privileged to elect
Philippine citizenship has only an inchoate right to such citizenship. As such, he
should avail of the right with fervor, enthusiasm and promptitude. Sadly, in this case,
Ching slept on his opportunity to elect Philippine citizenship and, as a result, this
golden privilege slipped away from his grasp.

REPUBLIC VS LIM 419 SCRA 123 (2004)

FACTS: Chule Y. Lim, born October 29, 1954, filed a petition for correction of entries
under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court alleging that: 1) her surname YU was
misspelled as Yo, 2) her nationality was entered as Chinese when it should have
been Filipino considering that her father and mother never got married. Only her
deceased father was Chinese, while her mother is Filipina and 3) it was erroneously
indicated in her birth certificate that she was a legitimate child when she should have
been described as illegitimate considering that her parents were never married.
Placida Anto, respondents mother, testified that she is a Filipino citizen as her
parents were both Filipinos from Camiguin. She added that she and her daughters
father were never married because the latter had a prior subsisting marriage
contracted in China. Also, respondent presented a certification attested by officials of
the local civil registries of Iligan City and Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte that there is no
record of marriage between Placida Anto and Yu Dio To from 1948 to the present.
The trial court granted the petition and ordered the correction. The Republic
assailed the decision stating that the respondent did not comply with the
constitutional requirements of electing Filipino citizenship when she reached the age
of majority citing Article IV, Section 1(3) of the 1935 Constitution and Section 1 of
Commonwealth Act No. 625.

ISSUE: WON the CA erred in ordering the correction of citizenship

RULING: No. The constitutional and statutory requirements of electing Filipino


citizenship cited apply only to legitimate children. These do not apply in the
case of respondent who was concededly an illegitimate child, considering that her
Chinese father and Filipino mother were never married. As such, she was not
required to comply with said constitutional and statutory requirements to become a
Filipino citizen. By being an illegitimate child of a Filipino mother, respondent
automatically became a Filipino upon birth. Stated differently, she is a Filipino since
birth without having to elect Filipino citizenship when she reached the age of
majority.

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This notwithstanding, the records show that respondent elected Filipino
citizenship when she reached the age of majority. She registered as a voter in
Misamis Oriental when she was 18 years old. The exercise of the right of suffrage
and the participation in election exercises constitute a positive act of election of
Philippine citizenship

MA VS FERNANDEZ 625 SCRA 566 (2010)

ISSUE: Should children born under the 1935 Constitution of a Filipino


mother and an alien father, who executed an affidavit of election of
Philippine citizenship and took their oath of allegiance to the government
upon reaching the age of majority, but who failed to immediately file the
documents of election with the nearest civil registry, be considered foreign
nationals subject to deportation as undocumented aliens for failure to
obtain alien certificates of registration?

FACTS: Petitioners are children of a Taiwanese father and a Filipino mother all of
whom were born under the 1935 Philippine Constitution. They were all raised in the
Philippines and have resided in this country for almost sixty (60) years; they spent
their whole lives, studied and received their primary and secondary education in the
country; they do not speak nor understand the Chinese language, have not set foot in
Taiwan, and do not know any relative of their father; they have not even traveled
abroad; and they have already raised their respective families in the Philippines
During their age of minority, they secured from the Bureau of Immigration their Alien
Certificates of Registration (ACRs).
Immediately upon reaching the age of twenty-one, they claimed Philippine citizenship
in accordance with Section 1(4), Article IV, of the 1935 Constitution. Thus, on 15
August 1969, Felix, Jr. executed his affidavit of election of Philippine citizenship and
took his oath of allegiance. On 14 January 1972, Balgamelo did the same. In 1978,
Valeriano took his oath of allegiance.
Having taken their oath of allegiance as Philippine citizens, petitioners, however,
failed to have the necessary documents registered in the civil registry as required
under Section 1 of CA 625 (An Act Providing the Manner in which the Option to Elect
Philippine Citizenship shall be Declared by a Person whose Mother is a Filipino
Citizen). It was only on 27 July 2005 or more than thirty (30) years after they elected
Philippine citizenship that Balgamelo and Felix, Jr. did so.

RULING:
The statutory formalities of electing Philippine citizenship are: (1) a statement of
election under oath; (2) an oath of allegiance to the Constitution and Government of
the Philippines; and (3) registration of the statement of election and of the oath with
the nearest civil registry.
Where the election of citizenship has in fact been done and documented within the
constitutional and statutory timeframe, the registration of the documents of
election beyond the frame should be allowed if in the meanwhile positive
acts of citizenship have publicly, consistently, and continuously been done .
The actual exercise of Philippine citizenship, for over half a century by the herein

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petitioners, is actual notice to the Philippine public which is equivalent to formal
registration of the election of Philippine citizenship.
In general, registration refers to any entry made in the books of the registry,
including both registration in its ordinary and strict sense, and cancellation,
annotation, and even the marginal notes. In strict acceptation, it pertains to the entry
made in the registry which records solemnly and permanently the right of ownership
and other real rights. Simply stated, registration is made for the purpose of
notification
Registration, then, is the confirmation of the existence of a fact. In the instant case,
registration is the confirmation of election as such election. It is not the
registration of the act of election, although a valid requirement under
Commonwealth Act No. 625, that will confer Philippine citizenship on the
petitioners. It is only a means of confirming the fact that citizenship has
been claimed.
Notably, the petitioners timely took their oath of allegiance to the
Philippines. This was a serious undertaking. It was commitment and fidelity to
the state coupled with a pledge "to renounce absolutely and forever all allegiance" to
any other state. This was unqualified acceptance of their identity as a Filipino and the
complete disavowal of any other nationality.
Having a Filipino mother is permanent. It is the basis of the right of the
petitioners to elect Philippine citizenship. Petitioners elected Philippine citizenship in
form and substance. The failure to register the election in the civil registry
should not defeat the election and resultingly negate the permanent fact
that they have a Filipino mother. The lacking requirements may still be
complied with subject to the imposition of appropriate administrative
penalties, if any. The documents they submitted supporting their allegations that
they have already registered with the civil registry, although belatedly, should be
examined for validation purposes by the appropriate agency, in this case, the Bureau
of Immigration. Other requirements embodied in the administrative orders and other
issuances of the Bureau of Immigration and the Department of Justice shall be
complied with within a reasonable time.

VILANDO VS HRET 656 SCRA 17 (2011)

FACTS: Petitioners filed petition for Quo Warranto against Limkaichong before the
HRET challenged her eligibility. Petitioners asserted that Limkaichong was a Chinese
citizen and ineligible for the office she was elected and proclaimed. They alleged that
she was born to a father (Julio Sy), whose naturalization had not attained finality, and
to a mother who acquired the Chinese citizenship of Julio Sy from the time of her
marriage to the latter. Also, they invoked the jurisdiction of the HRET for a
determination of Limkaichongs citizenship, which necessarily included an inquiry into
the validity of the naturalization certificate of Julio Sy.
For her defense, Limkaichong maintained that she is a natural-born Filipino
citizen. She averred that the acquisition of Philippine citizenship by her father was
regular and in order and had already attained the status of res judicata. Further, she
claimed that the validity of such citizenship could not be assailed through a collateral
attack.
HRET dismissed the petition and petitioners sought reconsideration.

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ISSUE: 1. WON the Quo Warranto petition operate as a collateral attack on


the citizenship of Limkaichongs father

RULING:
Vilando seeks to disqualify Limkaichong on the ground that she is a Chinese citizen.
To prove his point, he makes reference to the alleged nullity of the grant of
naturalization of Limkaichongs father which, however, is not allowed as it would
constitute a collateral attack on the citizenship of the father. In our jurisdiction, an
attack on a person's citizenship may only be done through a direct action
for its nullity. The proper proceeding to assail the citizenship of Limkaichongs
father should be in accordance with Section 18 of Commonwealth Act No. 473.
Under law and jurisprudence, it is the State, through its representatives designated
by statute, that may question the illegally or invalidly procured certificate of
naturalization in the appropriate denaturalization proceedings. It is plainly not a
matter that may be raised by private persons in an election case involving the
naturalized citizens descendant.

ISSUE: 2. WON as an incident in determining the eligibility of Limkaichong,


the HRET, having the plenary, absolute and exclusive jurisdiction to
determine her qualifications, can pass upon the efficacy of the certificate of
naturalization.

RULING: Such power of the HRET, no matter how complete and exclusive,
does not carry with it the authority to delve into the legality of the
judgment of naturalization in the pursuit of disqualifying Limkaichong. To rule
otherwise would operate as a collateral attack on the citizenship of the father which,
as already stated, is not permissible.
The HRET, therefore, correctly relied on the presumption of validity of the July
9, 1957 and September 21, 1959 Orders of the Court of First Instance (CFI) Negros
Oriental, which granted the petition and declared Julio Sy a naturalized Filipino absent
any evidence to the contrary.

ISSUE: 3. WON Limkaichong can derive Philippine citizenship from her


mother at the time of her birth, where her mother is already not a Filipino
citizen as a result of her marriage to her father as provided under Sec 1(7)
of CA No. 63 in relation to Art 2(1) Chapter II of the Chinese Revised
Nationality Law of February 5, 1959

RULING: Vilando was not able to offer in evidence a duly certified true copy of the
alleged Chinese Revised Law of Nationality to prove that Limkaichongs mother
indeed lost her Philippine citizenship.
Also, an application for an alien certificate of registration (ACR) is not an indubitable
proof of forfeiture of Philippine citizenship. . It bears no indication of basis for foreign
citizenship, nor proof of change to foreign citizenship. It certifies that a person named
therein has applied for registration and fingerprinting and that such person was
issued a certificate of registration under the Alien Registration Act of 1950 or other
special law. It is only evidence of registration.

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Thus, obtaining an ACR by Limkaichongs mother was not tantamount to a
repudiation of her original citizenship. Neither did it result in an acquisition of alien
citizenship. In a string of decisions, this Court has consistently held that an
application for, and the holding of, an alien certificate of registration is not an act
constituting renunciation of Philippine citizenship. For renunciation to effectively
result in the loss of citizenship, the same must be express. Such express renunciation
is lacking in this case. Accordingly, Limkaichongs mother, being a Filipino citizen, can
transmit her citizenship to her daughter.

Limkaichong was born in Dumaguete City on November 9, 1959. The governing law is
the citizenship provision of the 1935 Constitution, the pertinent portion thereof,
reads: Article IV
Section 1. The following are citizens of the Philippines:
xxx
(3) Those whose fathers are citizens of the Philippines.
(4) Those whose mothers are citizens of the Philippines and, upon reaching the age of
majority, elect Philippine citizenship.
xxx
With Limkaichongs father having been conferred the status as a naturalized Filipino,
it follows that she is a Filipino citizen born to a Filipino father.

Respondent Limkaichong falls under the category of those persons whose fathers are
citizens of the Philippines. (Section 1(3), Article IV, 1935 Constitution) It matters not
whether the father acquired citizenship by birth or by naturalization. Therefore,
following the line of transmission through the father under the 1935 Constitution, the
respondent has satisfactorily complied with the requirement for candidacy and for
holding office, as she is a natural-born Filipino citizen.

Even on the assumption that the naturalization proceedings and the subsequent
issuance of certificate of naturalization were invalid, Limkaichong can still be
considered a natural-born Filipino citizen having been born to a Filipino mother and
having impliedly elected Filipino citizenship when she reached majority age. The
HRET is, thus, correct in declaring that Limkaichong is a natural-born Filipino citizen

REPUBLIC VS SAGUN 666 SCRA 321 (2012)

FACTS: Nora Sagun, born on August 8, 1959 in Baguio City, is the legitimate child of
a Chinese father and a Filipino mother. She did not elect Philippine citizenship upon
reaching the age of majority. In 1992, at the age of 33 and after getting married to
Alex Sagun, she executed an Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines.
Said document was notarized by Atty. Cristeta Leung on December 17, 1992, but was
not recorded and registered with the Local Civil Registrar of Baguio City.
Sometime in September 2005, respondent applied for a Philippine passport. Her
application was denied due to the citizenship of her father and there being no
annotation on her birth certificate that she has elected Philippine citizenship.
Consequently, she sought a judicial declaration of her election of Philippine
citizenship and prayed that the Local Civil Registrar of Baguio City be ordered to

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annotate the same on her birth certificate. The petition was granted by the trial
court.

ISSUE: 1. Whether or not an action or proceeding for judicial declaration of


Philippine citizenship is procedurally and jurisdictionally permissible

RULING: This Court has consistently ruled that there is no proceeding


established by law, or the Rules for the judicial declaration of the
citizenship of an individual. There is no specific legislation authorizing the
institution of a judicial proceeding to declare that a given person is part of our
citizenry. This was our ruling in Yung Uan Chu v. Republic citing the early case of Tan
v. Republic of the Philippines, where we clearly stated:
Under our laws, there can be no action or proceeding for the judicial declaration of
the citizenship of an individual. Courts of justice exist for settlement of justiciable
controversies, which imply a given right, legally demandable and enforceable, an act
or omission violative of said right, and a remedy, granted or sanctioned by law, for
said breach of right. As an incident only of the adjudication of the rights of the
parties to a controversy, the court may pass upon, and make a pronouncement
relative to their status. Otherwise, such a pronouncement is beyond judicial power. x
xx
Clearly, it was erroneous for the trial court to make a specific declaration of
respondents Filipino citizenship as such pronouncement was not within the courts
competence.

ISSUE: 2. Whether respondent is required under the law to make an


election and if so, whether she has complied with the procedural
requirements in the election of the Philippine citizenship

RULING: Being a legitimate child, respondents citizenship followed that of


her father who is Chinese, unless upon reaching the age of majority, she
elects Philippine citizenship. It is a settled rule that only legitimate children
follow the citizenship of the father and that illegitimate children are under the
parental authority of the mother and follow her nationality. An illegitimate child of
Filipina need not perform any act to confer upon him all the rights and privileges
attached to citizens of the Philippines; he automatically becomes a citizen himself.
But in the case of respondent, for her to be considered a Filipino citizen, she must
have validly elected Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority.
The statutory formalities of electing Philippine citizenship are: (1) a statement of
election under oath; (2) an oath of allegiance to the Constitution and Government of
the Philippines; and (3) registration of the statement of election and of the oath with
the nearest civil registry.
Furthermore, no election of Philippine citizenship shall be accepted for
registration under C.A. No. 625 unless the party exercising the right of election has
complied with the requirements of the Alien Registration Act of 1950. In other
words, he should first be required to register as an alien. Pertinently, the person
electing Philippine citizenship is required to file a petition with the Commission of
Immigration and Deportation (now Bureau of Immigration) for the cancellation of his
alien certificate of registration based on his aforesaid election of Philippine citizenship

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and said Office will initially decide, based on the evidence presented the validity or
invalidity of said election. Afterwards, the same is elevated to the Ministry (now
Department) of Justice for final determination and review.
It should be stressed that there is no specific statutory or procedural rule which
authorizes the direct filing of a petition for declaration of election of Philippine
citizenship before the courts. The special proceeding provided under Section 2, Rule
108 of the Rules of Court on Cancellation or Correction of Entries in the Civil Registry,
merely allows any interested party to file an action for cancellation or correction of
entry in the civil registry, i.e., election, loss and recovery of citizenship, which is not
the relief prayed for by the respondent.
Be that as it may, even if we set aside this procedural infirmity, still the trial courts
conclusion that respondent duly elected Philippine citizenship is erroneous since the
records undisputably show that respondent failed to comply with the legal
requirements for a valid election. Specifically, respondent had not
executed a sworn statement of her election of Philippine citizenship. The
only documentary evidence submitted by respondent in support of her claim of
alleged election was her oath of allegiance, executed 12 years after she reached the
age of majority, which was unregistered.
As aptly pointed out by the petitioner, even assuming arguendo that
respondents oath of allegiance suffices, its execution was not within a
reasonable time after respondent attained the age of majority and was not
registered with the nearest civil registry as required under Section 1 of C.A.
No. 625. The phrase reasonable time has been interpreted to mean that the
election should be made generally within three (3) years from reaching the age of
majority. Moreover, there was no satisfactory explanation proffered by respondent
for the delay and the failure to register with the nearest local civil registry.
Based on the foregoing circumstances, respondent clearly failed to comply with the
procedural requirements for a valid and effective election of Philippine citizenship.
Respondent cannot assert that the exercise of suffrage and the participation in
election exercises constitutes a positive act of election of Philippine citizenship since
the law specifically lays down the requirements for acquisition of citizenship by
election. The mere exercise of suffrage, continuous and uninterrupted stay in the
Philippines, and other similar acts showing exercise of Philippine citizenship cannot
take the place of election of Philippine citizenship.

5. Denaturalization

CO VS CIVIL REGISTER 423 SCRA 420 (2004)

FACTS: Hubert Tan Co born on March 23, 1974 and his sister, Arlene Tan Co, born on
May 19, 1975. In their respective certificates of birth, it is stated that their parents Co
Boon Peng and Lourdes Vihong K. Tan are Chinese citizens.
Thereafter, Co Boon Peng filed an application for his naturalization as a citizen of the
Philippines with the Special Committee on Naturalization under Letter of Instruction
(LOI) No. 270. His application was granted and he was conferred Philippine citizenship
under Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1055. The Chairman of the Committee issued on
February 15, 1977 Certificate of Naturalization No. 020778 in his favor. Thus, on
February 15, 1977, Co Boon Peng took his oath as a Philippine citizen. In the

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meantime, Hubert and Arlene Co finished college and earned their respective
degrees in architecture and accountancy in Philippine schools.
On August 27, 1998, they filed with the Regional Trial Court of Manila a petition under
Rule 108 of the Rules of Court for correction of entries in their certificates of birth.
They alleged that : Upon granting of Philippine citizenship by naturalization to Co
Boon Peng in 1977, [the] petitioners who were born in the Philippines and still minors
at that time became Filipino citizens through the derivative mode of naturalization.
Our Naturalization Law, specifically Section 15 of Commonwealth Act No. 473, as
amended by Commonwealth Act No. 535 provides that: "Minor children of persons
naturalized under this law who have been born in the Philippines shall be considered
citizens thereof;"
The court a quo issued an order dismissing the petition outright on the ground that
the petition was insufficient, solely because the petitioners father Co Boon Peng
applied for naturalization under LOI No. 270 and was conferred Philippine citizenship
by naturalization under PD No. 1055 and not under Commonwealth Act (CA) No. 473)

ISSUE: Whether or not LOI No. 270 and CA No. 47are statutes in pari
materia which should be read together so that petitioners can claim the
benefit of derivative mode of naturalization under CA 473
RULING: LOI No. 270 and CA No. 473 are laws governing the naturalization of
qualified aliens residing in the Philippines. While they provide for different
procedures, CA No. 473 governs naturalization by judicial decree while LOI No. 270
governs naturalization by presidential decree; both statutes have the same purpose
and objective: to enable aliens permanently residing in the Philippines, who, having
demonstrated and developed love for and loyalty to the Philippines, as well as affinity
to the culture, tradition and ideals of the Filipino people, and contributed to the
economic, social and cultural development of our country, to be integrated into the
national fabric by being granted Filipino citizenship. Under the LOI, the procedure for
the acquisition of citizenship by naturalization is more expeditious, less cumbersome
and less expensive. The sooner qualified aliens are naturalized, the faster they are
able to integrate themselves into the national fabric, and are thus able to contribute
to the cultural, social and political well- being of the country and its people.
Clearly, LOI No. 270 and CA No. 473 are, as the petitioners correctly posit, statutes in
pari materia. Absent any express repeal of Section 15 of CA No. 473 in LOI
No. 270, the said provision should be read into the latter law as an integral
part thereof, not being inconsistent with its purpose. Thus, Section 15 of CA
No. 473,9 which extends the grant of Philippine citizenship to the minor
children of those naturalized thereunder, should be similarly applied to the
minor children of those naturalized under LOI No. 270, like the petitioners
in this case.
It is not enough that the petitioners adduce in evidence the certificate of
naturalization of their father, Co Boon Peng, and of his oath of allegiance to
the Republic of the Philippines, to entitle them to Philippine citizenship. They are
likewise mandated to prove the following material allegations in their petition: (a)
that they are the legitimate children of Co Boon Peng; (b) that they were
born in the Philippines; and, (c) that they were still minors when Co Boon
Peng was naturalized as a Filipino citizen;

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REPUBLIC VS ONG 673 SCRA 485 (2012)


Naturalization proceedings are imbued with the highest public interest. Naturalization
laws are strictly construed in the governments favor and against the applicant. The
applicant carries the burden of proving his full compliance with the requirements of
law.

FACTS: The Republic faulted the trial court for granting Ongs petition for
naturalization despite his failure to prove that he possesses a known lucrative trade,
profession or lawful occupation as required under Section 2, fourth paragraph of the
Revised Naturalization Law.

ISSUE: Whether respondent Ong has proved that he has some known
lucrative trade, profession or lawful occupation in accordance with Section
2, fourth paragraph of the Revised Naturalization Law.

RULING: Based on jurisprudence, the qualification of some known lucrative trade,


profession, or lawful occupation means not only that the person having the
employment gets enough for his ordinary necessities in life. It must be
shown that the employment gives one an income such that there is an
appreciable margin of his income over his expenses as to be able to provide
for an adequate support in the event of unemployment, sickness, or
disability to work and thus avoid ones becoming the object of charity or a
public charge. His income should permit him and the members of his family to
live with reasonable comfort, in accordance with the prevailing standard of living, and
consistently with the demands of human dignity, at this stage of our civilization.

Moreover, it has been held that in determining the existence of a lucrative


income, the courts should consider only the applicants income; his or her spouses
income should not be included in the assessment. The spouses additional
income is immaterial for under the law the petitioner should be the one to
possess some known lucrative trade, profession or lawful occupation to
qualify him to become a Filipino citizen. Lastly, the Court has consistently held
that the applicants qualifications must be determined as of the time of the filing of
his petition.

The Court finds the appellate courts decision erroneous. First, it should not have
included the spouses income in its assessment of Ongs lucrative income. Second, it
failed to consider the following circumstances which have a bearing on Ongs
expenses vis--vis his income: (a) that Ong does not own real property; (b) that his
proven average gross annual income around the time of his application, which was
only P106,000.00, had to provide for the education of his four minor children; and (c)
that Ongs children were all studying in exclusive private schools in Cebu City. Third,
the CA did not explain how it arrived at the conclusion that Ongs income had an
appreciable margin over his known expenses.

Clearly, therefore, respondent Ong failed to prove that he possesses the qualification
of a known lucrative trade provided in Section 2, fourth paragraph, of

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the Revised Naturalization Law

Loss and Reacquisition of Citizenship

AASJS VS DATUMANONG 523 SCRA 108 (2007)


FACTS: Petitioner prays that a writ of prohibition be issued to stop respondent from
implementing Republic Act No. 9225, entitled "An Act Making the Citizenship of
Philippine Citizens Who Acquire Foreign Citizenship Permanent, Amending for the
Purpose Commonwealth Act No. 63, As Amended, and for Other Purposes." Petitioner
avers that Rep. Act No. 9225 is unconstitutional as it violates Section 5, Article IV of
the 1987 Constitution that states, "Dual allegiance of citizens is inimical to the
national interest and shall be dealt with by law."

ISSUE: By recognizing & allowing dual allegiance, is RA 9225 unconstitutional?

RULING: No. Section 5, Article IV of the Constitution is a declaration of a policy and it


is not a self-executing provision. The legislature still has to enact the law on dual
allegiance. In Sections 2 and 3 of Rep. Act No. 9225, the framers were not concerned
with dual citizenship per se, but with the status of naturalized citizens who maintain
their allegiance to their countries of origin even after their naturalization. Congress
was given a mandate to draft a law that would set specific parameters of what really
constitutes dual allegiance.Until this is done, it would be premature for the judicial
department, including this Court, to rule on issues pertaining to dual allegiance.

JOSE B. AZNAR vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS


Facts:
On November 19, 1987, private respondent Emilio "Lito" Osmea filed his certificate
of candidacy with the COMELEC for the position of Provincial Governor of Cebu
Province in the January 18, 1988 local elections.
On January 22, 1988, the Cebu PDP-Laban Provincial Council, as represented by
petitioner Jose B. Aznar in his capacity as its incumbent Provincial Chairman, filed
with the COMELEC a petition for the disqualification of private respondent on the
ground that he is allegedly not a Filipino citizen, being a citizen of the United States
of America.
On January 27, 1988, petitioner filed a Formal Manifestation submitting a Certificate
issued by the then Immigration and Deportation Commissioner Miriam Defensor
Santiago certifying that private respondent is an American and is a holder of Alien
Certificate of Registration and Immigrant Certificate of Residence, issued at Manila on
March 27 and 28, 1958.The petitioner also filed a Supplemental Urgent Ex-
Parte Motion for the Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order to temporarily enjoin
the Cebu Provincial Board of Canvassers from tabulating/canvassing the votes cast in
favor of private respondent and proclaiming him until the final resolution of the main
petition.
Private respondent, on the other hand, maintained that he is a Filipino citizen,
alleging: that he is the legitimate child of Dr. Emilio D. Osmea, a Filipino and son of
the late President Sergio Osmea, Sr.; that he is a holder of a valid and subsisting
Philippine Passport No. 0855103 issued on March 25, 1987; that he has been
continuously residing in the Philippines since birth and has not gone out of the

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country for more than six months; and that he has been a registered voter in the
Philippines since 1965.
Issue: W/N private Respondent (Lito Osmea) is a Filipino citizen
Ruling: Yes.
Petitioner's contention that private respondent is not a Filipino citizen and, therefore,
disqualified from running for and being elected to the office of Provincial Governor of
Cebu, is not supported by substantial and convincing evidence.
In the proceedings before the COMELEC, the petitioner failed to present direct proof
that private respondent had lost his Filipino citizenship by any of the modes provided
for under C.A. No. 63. Among others, these are: (1) by naturalization in a foreign
country; (2) by express renunciation of citizenship; and (3) by subscribing to an oath
of allegiance to support the Constitution or laws of a foreign country. From the
evidence, it is clear that private respondent Osmea did not lose his Philippine
citizenship by any of the three mentioned hereinabove or by any other mode of
losing Philippine citizenship.
In concluding that private respondent had been naturalized as a citizen of the United
States of America, the petitioner merely relied on the fact that private respondent
was issued alien certificate of registration and was given clearance and permit to re-
enter the Philippines by the Commission on Immigration and Deportation. Petitioner
assumed that because of the foregoing, the respondent is an American and "being an
American", private respondent "must have taken and sworn to the Oath of Allegiance
required by the U.S. Naturalization Laws.
Philippine courts are only allowed to determine who are Filipino citizens and who are
not. Whether or not a person is considered an American under the laws of the United
States does not concern Us here.By virtue of his being the son of a Filipino father, the
presumption that private respondent is a Filipino remains. It was incumbent upon the
petitioner to prove that private respondent had lost his Philippine citizenship. As
earlier stated, however, the petitioner failed to positively establish this fact.
The cases of Juan Gallanosa Frivaldo v. COMELEC et al, (G.R. No. 87193, June 21,
1989) and Ramon L. Labo v. COMELEC et al (G.R. No. 86564, August 1, 1989) are not
applicable to the case at bar.
In the Frivaldo case, evidence shows that he was naturalized as a citizen of the
United States in 1983 per certification from the United States District Court, Northern
District of California, as duly authenticated by Vice Consul Amado P. Cortez of the
Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
Frivaldo expressly admitted in his answer that he was naturalized in the United States
but claimed that he was forced to embrace American citizenship to protect himself
from the persecution of the Marcos government. The Court, however, found this
suggestion of involuntariness unacceptable, pointing out that there were many other
Filipinos in the United States similarly situated as Frivaldo who did not find it
necessary to abandon their status as Filipinos.
In the instant case, private respondent vehemently denies having taken the oath of
allegiance of the United States He is a holder of a valid and subsisting Philippine
passport and has continuously participated in the electoral process in this country
since 1963 up to the present, both as a voter and as a candidate .Thus, private
respondent remains a Filipino and the loss of his Philippine citizenship cannot be
presumed.

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De Guzman vs Comelec

Facts:

Petitioner De Guzman and private respondent Angelina DG. Dela Cruz were
candidates for vice-mayor of Guimba, Nueva Ecija in the May 14, 2007 elections. On
April 3, 2007, private respondent filed against petitioner a petition for disqualification
docketed as SPA No. 07-211, alleging that petitioner is not a citizen of the Philippines,
but an immigrant and resident of the United States of America.

In his answer, petitioner admitted that he was a naturalized


American. However, on January 25, 2006, he applied for dual citizenship under
Republic Act No. 9225 (R.A. No. 9225), otherwise known as the Citizenship Retention
and Re-Acquisition Act of 2003.[5] Upon approval of his application, he took his oath
of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines on September 6, 2006. He argued
that, having re-acquired Philippine citizenship, he is entitled to exercise full civil and
political rights. As such, he is qualified to run as vice-mayor of Guimba, Nueva Ecija.

Issue: whether petitioner is disqualified from running for vice-mayor of Guimba,


Nueva Ecija in the May 14, 2007 elections for having failed to renounce his American
citizenship in accordance with R.A. No. 9225.

Ruling: We find that petitioner is disqualified from running for public office in view of
his failure to renounce his American citizenship.

R.A. No. 9225 was enacted to allow re-acquisition and retention of Philippine
citizenship for: 1) natural-born citizens who have lost their Philippine citizenship by
reason of their naturalization as citizens of a foreign country; and 2) natural-born
citizens of the Philippines who, after the effectivity of the law, become citizens of a
foreign country. The law provides that they are deemed to have re-acquired or
retained their Philippine citizenship upon taking the oath of allegiance. [14]

Petitioner falls under the first category, being a natural-born citizen who lost his
Philippine citizenship upon his naturalization as an American citizen. In the instant
case, there is no question that petitioner re-acquired his Philippine citizenship after
taking the oath of allegiance on September 6, 2006. However, it must be
emphasized that R.A. No. 9225 imposes an additional requirement on those who wish
to seek elective public office, as follows:

Section 5. Civil and Political Rights and Liabilities. Those who retain or re-acquire
Philippine Citizenship under this Act shall enjoy full civil and political rights and be
subject to all attendant liabilities and responsibilities under existing laws of
the Philippines and the following conditions:

xxxx

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(2) Those seeking elective public office in the Philippines shall meet the
qualifications for holding such public office as required by the Constitution and
existing laws and, at the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy, make a
personal and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship before
any public officer authorized to administer an oath.

Hence, Section 5(2) of Republic Act No. 9225 compels natural-born


Filipinos, who have been naturalized as citizens of a foreign country, but
who reacquired or retained their Philippine citizenship (1) to take the oath
of allegiance under Section 3 of Republic Act No. 9225, and (2) for those
seeking elective public offices in the Philippines, to additionally execute
apersonal and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship before an
authorized public officer prior or simultaneous to the filing of their certificates of
candidacy, to qualify as candidates in Philippine elections.

GERALDINE GAW GUY and GRACE GUY CHEU, Petitioners,


vs.
ALVIN AGUSTIN T. IGNACIO, Respondent.
Facts:
The father of petitioners Geraldine Gaw Guy and Grace Guy Cheu became a
naturalized7 Filipino citizen sometime in 1959. The said petitioners, being minors at
that time, were also recognized 8 as Filipino citizens.
Respondent Atty. Alvin Agustin T. Ignacio, filed a Complaint 9 dated March 5, 2004 for
blacklisting and deportation against petitioners Geraldine and Grace before the
Bureau of Immigration (BI) on the basis that the latter two are Canadian citizens who
are illegally working in the Philippines, petitioners having been issued Canadian
passports.
Acting upon the Complaint, respondent Maricel U. Salcedo, Special Prosecutor,
Special Task Force of the BI Commissioner, directed the petitioners, through the
issuance of a subpoenae,10 to appear before her and to bring pertinent documents
relative to their current immigration status, to which the petitioners objected by filing
with the Special Task Force of the BI Commissioner a Comment/Opposition with
Motion Ad Cautelam to Quash Re: Subpoena 11 dated 30 April 2004 (Duces Tecum/Ad
Testificandum), which was eventually denied by respondent Salcedo in an
Order12 dated May 14, 2004.
Issue: W/N judicial intervention is allowed amidst deportation proceedings.
Ruling:
Yes.Basically, petitioners argue that the doctrine of primary jurisdiction, relied upon
by the CA in its decision, does not apply in the present case because it falls under an
exception. Citing Board of Commissioners (CID) v. Dela Rosa, petitioners assert that
immediate judicial intervention in deportation proceedings is allowed where the claim
of citizenship is so substantial that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the
claim is correct. In connection therewith, petitioners assail the applicability
of Dwikarna v. Domingo in the present case, which the CA relied upon in ruling
against the same petitioners.

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In BOC v. Dela Rosa, it is required that before judicial intervention is sought, the claim
of citizenship of a respondent in a deportation proceeding must be so substantial that
there are reasonable grounds to believe that such claim is correct. In the said case,
the proof adduced by the respondent therein was so substantial and conclusive as to
his citizenship that it warranted a judicial intervention.
In the present case, there is a substantial or conclusive evidence that petitioners are
Filipino citizens. Without necessarily judging the case on its merits, as to whether
petitioners had lost their Filipino citizenship by having a Canadian passport, the fact
still remains, through the evidence adduced and undisputed by the respondents, that
they are naturalized Filipinos, unless proven otherwise.
However, this Court cannot pass upon the issue of petitioners' citizenship as this was
not raised as an issue. The issue in this petition is on the matter of jurisdiction, and
as discussed above, the trial court has jurisdiction to pass upon the issue whether
petitioners have abandoned their Filipino citizenship or have acquired dual citizenship
within the confines of the law.

Jacot vs Dal
Facts:
Petitioner was a natural born citizen of the Philippines, who became a naturalized
citizen of the US on 13 December 1989. 3
Petitioner sought to reacquire his Philippine citizenship under Republic Act No. 9225,
otherwise known as the Citizenship Retention and Re-Acquisition Act. He filed a
request for the administration of his Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of the
Philippines with the Philippine Consulate General (PCG) of Los Angeles, California. The
Los Angeles PCG issued on 19 June 2006 an Order of Approval 4 of petitioners
request, and on the same day, petitioner took his Oath of Allegiance to the Republic
of the Philippines before Vice Consul Edward C. Yulo. 5 On 27 September 2006, the
Bureau of Immigration issued Identification Certificate No. 06-12019 recognizing
petitioner as a citizen of the Philippines. 6
Six months after, on 26 March 2007, petitioner filed his Certificate of Candidacy for
the Position of Vice-Mayor of the Municipality of Catarman, Camiguin. 7
On 2 May 2007, respondent Rogen T. Dal filed a Petition for Disqualification 8 before
the COMELEC Provincial Office in Camiguin against petitioner, arguing that the latter
failed to renounce his US citizenship, as required under Section 5(2) of Republic Act
No. 9225.
In the meantime, the 14 May 2007 National and Local Elections were held. Petitioner
garnered the highest number of votes for the position of Vice Mayor.
Issue:
whether petitioner is disqualified from running as a candidate in the 14 May 2007
local elections for his failure to make a personal and sworn renunciation of his US
citizenship.
Ruling:
This Court finds that petitioner should indeed be disqualified.
Contrary to the assertions made by petitioner, his oath of allegiance to the Republic
of the Philippines made before the Los Angeles PCG and his Certificate of Candidacy
do not substantially comply with the requirement of a personal and sworn
renunciation of foreign citizenship because these are distinct requirements to be
complied with for different purposes.

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Section 5(2) of Republic Act No. 9225 compels natural-born Filipinos, who
have been naturalized as citizens of a foreign country, but who reacquired
or retained their Philippine citizenship (1) to take the oath of allegiance
under Section 3 of Republic Act No. 9225, and (2) for those seeking elective
public offices in the Philippines, to additionally execute a personal and sworn
renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship before an authorized public officer
prior or simultaneous to the filing of their certificates of candidacy, to qualify as
candidates in Philippine elections.
Clearly Section 5(2) of Republic Act No. 9225 (on the making of a personal and sworn
renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship) requires of the Filipinos availing
themselves of the benefits under the said Act to accomplish an undertaking other
than that which they have presumably complied with under Section 3 thereof (oath of
allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines).:

EUSEBIO EUGENIO K. LOPEZ,


Vs.

COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS

A Filipino-American or any dual citizen cannot run for any elective public
position in the Philippines unless he or she personally swears to a
renunciation of all foreign citizenship at the time of filing the certificate of
candidacy.

Facts:

Petitioner Eusebio Eugenio K. Lopez was a candidate for the position of Chairman
of Barangay Bagacay, San Dionisio, Iloilo City in the synchronized Barangay and
Sangguniang Kabataan Elections held on October 29, 2007.On October 25, 2007,
respondent Tessie P. Villanueva filed a petition before the Provincial Election
Supervisor of the Province of Iloilo, praying for the disqualification of petitioner on the
ground that he is an American citizen, hence, ineligible from running for any public
office. In his Answer, petitioner argued that he is a dual citizen, a Filipino and at the
same time an American, by virtue of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9225, otherwise known
as the Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003. He returned to
thePhilippines and resided in Barangay Bagacay. Thus, he said, he possessed all the
qualifications to run for Barangay Chairman. After the votes for Barangay Chairman
were canvassed, petitioner emerged as the winner.

Issue: W/N the petitioner is eligible to run as Barangay Captain.

Ruling:No. Petitioner was born a Filipino but he deliberately sought American


citizenship and renounced his Filipino citizenship. He later on became a dual citizen
by re-acquiring Filipino citizenship.

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R.A. No. 9225 expressly provides for the conditions before those who re-acquired
Filipino citizenship may run for a public office in the Philippines. Section 5 of the said
law states:

Section 5. Civil and Political Rights and Liabilities. Those who retain or re-acquire
Philippine citizenship under this Act shall enjoy full civil and political rights and be
subject to all attendant liabilities and responsibilities under existing laws of
the Philippines and the following conditions:

xxxx

(2) Those seeking elective public office in the Philippines shall meet the qualification
for holding such public office as required by the Constitution and existing laws and, at
the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy, make a personal and sworn
renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship before any public officer authorized to
administer an oath. (Emphasis added)

Petitioner re-acquired his Filipino citizenship under the cited law. This new law
explicitly provides that should one seek elective public office, he should first make a
personal and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship before any public
officer authorized to administer an oath.
Petitioner failed to comply with this requirement.

Republic vs Dela Rosa


Facts:
Raul Lee(Petitioner) was the official candidate of the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino
(LDP) for the position of governor of the Province of Sorsogon in the May 1992
elections. Private respondent (Frivaldo) was the official candidate of the Lakas-
National Union of Christian Democrats (Lakas-NUCD) for the same position.
Private respondent was proclaimed winner on May 22, 1992.
On June 1, petitioner filed a petition with the COMELEC to annul the proclamation of
private respondent as Governor-elect of the Province of Sorsogon on the grounds: (1)
that the proceedings and composition of the Provincial Board of Canvassers were not
in accordance with law; (2) that private respondent is an alien, whose grant of
Philippine citizenship is being questioned by the State in G.R. No. 104654; and (3)
that private respondent is not a duly registered voter. Petitioner further prayed that
the votes case in favor of private respondent be considered as stray votes, and that
he, on the basis of the remaining valid votes cast, be proclaimed winner.
Petitioner further claims that the grant of Filipino citizenship to private respondent is
not yet conclusive because the case is still on appeal before us.
Issue: W/N PR is eligible to run for Governor.
Ruling: No.Private respondent, having opted to reacquire Philippine citizenship thru
naturalization under the Revised Naturalization Law, is duty bound to follow the
procedure prescribed by the said law. It is not for an applicant to decide for himself
and to select the requirements which he believes, even sincerely, are applicable to
his case and discard those which he believes are inconvenient or merely of nuisance
value. The law does not distinguish between an applicant who was formerly a Filipino
citizen and one who was never such a citizen. It does not provide a special procedure

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for the reacquisition of Philippine citizenship by former Filipino citizens akin to the
repatriation of a woman who had lost her Philippine citizenship by reason of her
marriage to an alien.
Under Section 9 of the said law, both the petition for naturalization and the order
setting it for hearing must be published once a week for three consecutive weeks in
the Official Gazette and a newspaper of general circulation. Compliance therewith is
jurisdictional (Po Yi Bo v. Republic, 205 SCRA 400 [1992]). Moreover, the publication
and posting of the petition and the order must be in its full test for the court to
acquire jurisdiction (Sy v. Republic, 55 SCRA 724 [1974]).
The petition for naturalization lacks several allegations required by Sections 2 and 6
of the Revised Naturalization Law, particularly: (1) that the petitioner is of good moral
character; (2) that he resided continuously in the Philippines for at least ten years;
(3) that he is able to speak and write English and any one of the principal dialects; (4)
that he will reside continuously in the Philippines from the date of the filing of the
petition until his admission to Philippine citizenship; and (5) that he has filed a
declaration of intention or if he is excused from said filing, the justification therefor.
The absence of such allegations is fatal to the petition (Po Yi Bi v. Republic, 205 SCRA
400 [1992]).
Likewise, the petition is not supported by the affidavit of at least two credible persons
who vouched for the good moral character of private respondent as required by
Section 7 of the Revised Naturalization Law. Private respondent also failed to attach a
copy of his certificate of arrival to the petition as required by Section 7 of the said
law.
A decision in a petition for naturalization becomes final only after 30 days from its
promulgation and, insofar as the Solicitor General is concerned, that period is
counted from the date of his receipt of the copy of the decision (Republic v. Court of
First Instance of Albay, 60 SCRA 195 [1974]).
Section 1 of R.A. No. 530 provides that no decision granting citizenship in
naturalization proceedings shall be executory until after two years from its
promulgation in order to be able to observe if: (1) the applicant has left the country;
(2) the applicant has dedicated himself continuously to a lawful calling or profession;
(3) the applicant has not been convicted of any offense or violation of government
promulgated rules; and (4) the applicant has committed any act prejudicial to the
interest of the country or contrary to government announced policies.

Sobejana Condon vs Comelec


Facts:
The petitioner is a natural-born Filipino citizen having been born of Filipino parents on
August 8, 1944. On December 13, 1984, she became a naturalized Australian citizen
owing to her marriage to a certain Kevin Thomas Condon.
On December 2, 2005, she filed an application to re-acquire Philippine citizenship
before the Philippine Embassy in Canberra, Australia pursuant to Section 3 of R.A. No.
9225 otherwise known as the "Citizenship Retention and Re-Acquisition Act of
2003."5 The application was approved and the petitioner took her oath of allegiance
to the Republic of the Philippines on December 5, 2005.
On September 18, 2006, the petitioner filed an unsworn Declaration of Renunciation
of Australian Citizenshipbefore the Department of Immigration and Indigenous

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Affairs, Canberra, Australia, which in turn issued the Order dated September 27, 2006
certifying that she has ceased to be an Australian citizen.6
The petitioner ran for Mayor in her hometown of Caba, La Union in the 2007
elections. She lost in her bid. She again sought elective office during the May 10,
2010 elections this time for the position of Vice-Mayor. She obtained the highest
numbers of votes and was proclaimed as the winning candidate. She took her oath of
office on May 13, 2010.
Soon thereafter, private respondents Robelito V. Picar, Wilma P. Pagaduan 7 and Luis
M. Bautista,8 (private respondents) all registered voters of Caba, La Union, filed
separate petitions for quo warranto questioning the petitioners eligibility before the
RTC. The petitions similarly sought the petitioners disqualification from holding her
elective post on the ground that she is a dual citizen and that she failed to execute
a "personal and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship before any
public officer authorized to administer an oath" as imposed by Section 5(2) of R.A.
No. 9225.
The Petitioners Arguments
The petitioner contends that since she ceased to be an Australian citizen on
September 27, 2006, she no longer held dual citizenship and was only a Filipino
citizen when she filed her certificate of candidacy as early as the 2007 elections.
Hence, the "personal and sworn renunciation of foreign citizenship" imposed by
Section 5(2) of R.A. No. 9225 to dual citizens seeking elective office does not apply to
her.
Issue
For purposes of determining the petitioners eligibility to run for public office, whether
the "sworn renunciation of foreign citizenship" in Section 5(2) of R.A. No. 9225 is a
mere pro-forma requirement.

Ruling:
Petitioner is disqualified from running for elective office for failure to
renounce her Australian
citizenship in accordance with Section 5(2) of R.A. No. 9225.
R.A. No. 9225 allows the retention and re-acquisition of Filipino citizenship for natural-
born citizens who have lost their Philippine citizenship 18 by taking an oath of
allegiance to the Republic, thus:
Sec. 5. Civil and Political Rights and Liabilities. Those who retain or re-acquire
Philippine citizenship under this Act shall enjoy full civil and political rights and be
subject to all attendant liabilities and responsibilities under existing laws of the
Philippines and the following conditions:
xxx---xxxxx
(2) Those seeking elective public office in the Philippines shall meet the qualification
for holding such public office as required by the Constitution and existing laws and, at
the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy, make a personal and sworn
renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship before any public officer authorized to
administer an oath;
xxxx--xxxxx
The language of Section 5(2) is free from any ambiguity. In Lopez v. COMELEC,21 we
declared its categorical and single meaning: a Filipino American or any dual citizen
cannot run for any elective public position in the Philippines unless he or she

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personally swears to a renunciation of all foreign citizenship at the time of filing the
certificate of candidacy. We also expounded on the form of the renunciation and held
that to be valid, the renunciation must be contained in an affidavit duly executed
before an officer of the law who is authorized to administer an oath stating in clear
and unequivocal terms that affiant is renouncing all foreign citizenship.
The law categorically requires persons seeking elective public office, who either
retained their Philippine citizenship or those who reacquired it, to make a personal
and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship before a public officer
authorized to administer an oath simultaneous with or before the filing of the
certificate of candidacy.
Hence, Section 5(2) of Republic Act No. 9225 compels natural-born Filipinos, who
have been naturalized as citizens of a foreign country, but who reacquired or retained
their Philippine citizenship (1) to take the oath of allegiance under Section 3 of
Republic Act No. 9225, and (2) for those seeking elective public offices in the
Philippines, to additionally execute a personal and sworn renunciation of any and all
foreign citizenship before an authorized public officer prior or simultaneous to the
filing of their certificates of candidacy, to qualify as candidates in Philippine elections.
Clearly Section 5(2) of Republic Act No. 9225 (on the making of a personal and sworn
renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship) requires of the Filipinos availing
themselves of the benefits under the said Act to accomplish an undertaking other
than that which they have presumably complied with under Section 3 thereof (oath of
allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines). This is made clear in the discussion of
the Bicameral Conference Committee on Disagreeing Provisions of House Bill No.
4720 and Senate Bill No. 2130 held on 18 August 2003 (precursors of Republic Act
No. 9225),

Willie Yu vs Santiago
Facts:
The present controversy originated with a petition for habeas corpus filed with the
Court on 4 July 1988 seeking the release from detention of herein petitioner. 1 After
manifestation and motion of the Solicitor General of his decision to refrain from filing
a return of the writ on behalf of the CID, respondent Commissioner thru counsel filed
the return. 2 Counsel for the parties were heard in oral argument on 20 July 1988. The
parties were allowed to submit marked exhibits, and to file memoranda. 3 An internal
resolution of 7 November 1988 referred the case to the Court en banc. In its 10
November 1988 resolution, denying the petition for habeas corpus, the Court
disposed of the pending issues of (1) jurisdiction of the CID over a naturalized Filipino
citizen and (2) validity of warrantless arrest and detention of the same person.
Petitioner's own compliance reveals that he was originally issued a Portuguese
passport in 1971, valid for five (5) years and renewed for the same period upon
presentment before the proper Portuguese consular officer. Despite his naturalization
as a Philippine citizen on 10 February 1978, on 21 July 1981, petitioner applied for
and was issued Portuguese Passport No. 35/81 serial N. 1517410 by the Consular
Section of the Portuguese Embassy in Tokyo. Said Consular Office certifies that his
Portuguese passport expired on 20 July 1986. While still a citizen of the Philippines
who had renounced, upon his naturalization, "absolutely and forever all allegiance
and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty" and pledged to
"maintain true faith and allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines," he declared

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his nationality as Portuguese in commercial documents he signed, specifically, the
Companies registry of Tai Shun Estate Ltd. filed in Hongkong sometime in April 1980.
Issue:
W/N Petitioner is a Filipino citizen
Ruling: No. To the mind of the Court, the foregoing acts considered
together constitute an express renunciation of petitioner's Philippine citizenship
acquired through naturalization. In Board of Immigration Commissioners us, Go
Gallano, express renunciation was held to mean a renunciation that is made known
distinctly and explicitly and not left to inference or implication. Petitioner, with full
knowledge, and legal capacity, after having renounced Portuguese citizenship upon
naturalization as a Philippine citizen resumed or reacquired his prior status as a
Portuguese citizen, applied for a renewal of his Portuguese passport and represented
himself as such in official documents even after he had become a naturalized
Philippine citizen. Such resumption or reacquisition of Portuguese citizenship is
grossly inconsistent with his maintenance of Philippine citizenship.
This Court issued the aforementioned TRO pending hearings with the Board of Special
Inquiry, CID. However, pleadings submitted before this Court after the issuance of
said TRO have unequivocally shown that petitioner has expressly renounced his
Philippine citizenship. The material facts are not only established by the pleadings
they are not disputed by petitioner. A rehearing on this point with the CID would be
unnecessary and superfluous. Denial, if any, of due process was obviated when
petitioner was given by the Court the opportunity to show proof of continued
Philippine citizenship, but he has failed.
Philippine citizenship, it must be stressed, is not a commodity or were to be displayed
when required and suppressed when convenient. This then resolves adverse to the
petitioner his motion for clarification and other motions mentioned in the second
paragraph, page 3 of this Decision.

Vilando vs HRET August 23, 2011


Limkaichong ran as a representative in the 1st District of Negros Oriental. Because of
this, her opponent, Paras and some other concerned citizens filed disqualification
cases against Limkaichong. They alleged that Limkaichong was not a natural born
citizen of the Philippines because when she was born her father was still a Chinese
and that her mother, lost her Filipino citizenship by virtue of her marriage to
Limkaichongs father. After election, notwithstanding their proclamation disqualifying
Limkaichong, the COMELEC issued a proclamation announcing Limkaichong as the
winner of the recently conducted elections. This is in compliance with Resolution
No. 8062 adopting the policy-guidelines of not suspending the proclamation of
winning candidates with pending disqualification cases which shall be without
prejudice to the continuation of the hearing and resolution of the involved cases.
Paras countered the proclamation and she filed a petition before the COMELEC.

Held: The proclamation of Limkaichong was valid. Limkaichong timely filed with the
COMELEC En Banc her motion for reconsideration as well as for the lifting of the
incorporated directive suspending her proclamation. The filing of the motion for
reconsideration effectively suspended the execution of the COMELECs Joint
Resolution. Since the execution of the Joint Resolution was suspended, there was no

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impediment to the valid proclamation of Limkaichong as the winner pursuant to
Section 2, Rule 19 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure.

The HRET must exercise jurisdiction after Limkaichongs proclamation. The SC has
invariably held that once a winning candidate has been proclaimed, taken his oath,
and assumed office as a Member of the House of Representatives the COMELECs
jurisdiction over election contests relating to his election, returns, and qualifications
ends, and the HRETs own jurisdiction begins.

Records disclose that Limkaichong was born in Dumaguete City on November 9,


1959. The governing law is the citizenship provision of the 1935 Constitution. The
HRET, therefore, correctly relied on the presumption of validity of the July 9, 1957 and
September 21, 1959 Orders of the Court of First Instance (CFI) Negros Oriental, which
granted the petition and declared Julio Sy a naturalized Filipino absent any evidence
to the contrary. Respondent Limkaichong falls under the category of those persons
whose fathers are citizens of the Philippines. (Section 1(3), Article IV, 1935
Constitution) It matters not whether the father acquired citizenship by birth or by
naturalization.

Respondent had previously participated in the barangay elections, accomplished


voter's affidavit as of 1984, and was elected as Mayor. These are positive acts of
election of Philippine citizenship. The case of In re: Florencio Mallare, elucidates how
election of citizenship is manifested in actions indubitably showing a definite choice.

Sobejana-Condon vs Comelec (2012)


Sobejano-Condon was a natural-born Filipino citizen on August 8, 1944 but became a
naturalized Australian citizen due to her marriage to one Kevin Thomas Condon on
December 13, 1984. On December 2, 2005, she filed an application to re-acquire
Philippine citizenship before the Philippine Embassy in Canberra, Australia pursuant
to Sec. 3 of RA 9225, which was approved and she took her oath of allegiance to the
Republic on December 5, 2005.
On September 18, 2006, petitioner filed an unsworn Declaration of Renunciation of
Australian Citizenship before the Department of Immigration and Indigenous Affairs,
Canberra, Australia, which in turn issued the order dated September 27, 2006
certifying that she has ceased to be an Australian citizen.
The Court held that petitioner Sobejana-Condon was disqualified from running for
elective office for failure to renounce her Australian citizenship under oath contrary to
the exact mandate of Sec. 5(2) that the renunciation of foreign citizenship must be
sworn before an officer authorized to administer oath.
The language of the provision is plain and unambiguous. It expresses a single,
definite, and sensible meaning and must thus be read literally. The foreign citizenship
must be formally rejected through an affidavit duly sworn before an officer authorized
to administer oath, the Court held.
The Court further held that the petitioners act of running for public office does not
suffice to serve as an effective renunciation of her Australian citizenship. While the
Court has previously declared that the filing by a person with dual citizenship of a
certificate of candidate is already considered a renunciation of foreign citizenship,
such ruling was already adjudged superseded by the enactment of RA 9255 on

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August 29, 2003 which provides for the additional condition of a personal and sworn
renunciation of foreign citizenship.

Reacquisition or Repatriation
Republic vs dela Rosa (1994)
Frivaldo opted to reacquire Filipino citizenship thru naturalization under the Revised
Naturalization Law is duty bound to follow the procedure prescribed in the said law.
The proceedings of the trial court was marred by the following irregularities: (1) the
hearing of the petition was set ahead of the scheduled date of hearing, without a
publication of the order advancing the date of hearing, and the petition itself; (2) the
petition was heard within six months from the last publication of the petition; (3)
petitioner was allowed to take his oath of allegiance before the finality of the
judgment; and (4) petitioner took his oath of allegiance without observing the two-
year waiting period.
A decision in a petition for naturalization becomes final only after 30 days from its
promulgation and, insofar as the Solicitor General is concerned, that period is
counted from the date of his receipt of the copy of the decision (Republic v. Court of
First Instance of Albay, 60 SCRA 195 [1974]).
Section 1 of R.A. No. 530 provides that no decision granting citizenship in
naturalization proceedings shall be executory until after two years from its
promulgation in order to be able to observe if: (1) the applicant has left the country;
(2) the applicant has dedicated himself continuously to a lawful calling or profession;
(3) the applicant has not been convicted of any offense or violation of government
promulgated rules; and (4) the applicant has committed any act prejudicial to the
interest of the country or contrary to government announced policies.
Even discounting the provisions of R.A. No. 530, the courts cannot implement any
decision granting the petition for naturalization before its finality.

Valles vs Comelec (2000)


Rosalind Ybasco Lopez was born in Australia to a Filipino father and an Australian
mother. Australia follows jus soli. She ran for governor. Opponent filed petition to
disqualify her on the ground of dual citizenship.

Dual citizenship as a disqualification refers to citizens with dual allegiance. The fact
that she has dual citizenship does not automatically disqualify her from running for
public office. Filing a certificate of candidacy suffices to renounce foreign citizenship
because in the certificate, the candidate declares himself to be a Filipino citizen and
that he will support the Philippine Constitution. Such declaration operates as an
effective renunciation of foreign citizenship.
In order that citizenship may be lost by renunciation, such renunciation must be
express. The mere fact that respondent was a holder of an Australian passport and
has an alien certificate of registration are not acts constituting express renunciation.

Bengzon III vs HRET (2001)

Teodoro Cruz was a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. He was born in San
Clemente, Tarlac, on April 27, 1960, of Filipino parents. The fundamental law then
applicable was the 1935 Constitution. On November 5, 1985, however, respondent

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Cruz enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and without the consent of the
Republic of the Philippines, took an oath of allegiance to the United States. As a
Consequence, he lost his Filipino citizenship for under Commonwealth Act No. 63,
section 1(4), a Filipino citizen may lose his citizenship by, among other, "rendering
service to or accepting commission in the armed forces of a foreign country. He was
naturalized in US in 1990. On March 17, 1994, respondent Cruz reacquired his
Philippine citizenship through repatriation under Republic Act No. 2630. He ran for
and was elected as the Representative of the Second District of Pangasinan in the
May 11, 1998 elections. He won over petitioner Antonio Bengson III, who was then
running for reelection.

WON Cruz is a natural born citizen of the Philippines in view of the constitutional
requirement that "no person shall be a Member of the House of Representative
unless he is a natural-born citizen.

Cruz is a natural born citizen of the Philippines. As distinguished from the lengthy
process of naturalization, repatriation simply consists of the taking of an oath of
allegiance to the Republic of the Philippine and registering said oath in the Local Civil
Registry of the place where the person concerned resides or last resided. This means
that a naturalized Filipino who lost his citizenship will be restored to his prior status
as a naturalized Filipino citizen. On the other hand, if he was originally a natural-born
citizen before he lost his Philippine citizenship, he will be restored to his former status
as a natural-born Filipino.

Angat vs Republic (1999)


Gerardo Angat was a natural born citizen of the Philippines. He lost his citizenship by
naturalization in the United States of America. In 1991, he returned to the Philippines.
On March 11, 1996, he filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Marikina City a
petition to regain his status as a citizen of the Philippines. On September 20, 1996,
upon motion of the petitioner, he was allowed to take the Oath of Allegiance to the
Republic of the Philippines which was scheduled on October 3, 1996. On October 4,
1996, the trial judge issued an Order declaring the petitioner as repatriated and a
citizen of the Republic of the Philippines pursuant to Republic Act No. 8171.
On March 19, 1997, the OSG filed a Motion asserting that the petition itself should
have been dismissed by the court a quo for lack of jurisdiction because the proper
forum was the Special Committee on Naturalization consistent with Administrative
Order No. 285.
The Court ruled that when petitioner filed his petition on March 11, 1996, the Special
Committee on Naturalization constituted pursuant to LOI No. 270 under P.D. No. 725
was in place. Administrative Order 285, promulgated on August 22, 1996 relative to
R.A. No. 8171, in effect, was merely then a confirmatory issuance. The Office of the
Solicitor General was right in maintaining that Angats petition should have been filed
with the Committee, aforesaid, and not with the RTC which had no jurisdiction
thereover. The courts order of October 4, 1996 was thereby null and void, and it did
not acquire finality nor could be a source of right on the part of petitioner.
Note, the petition in Case No. N-96-03-MK was one for repatriation, and it was thus
incorrect for petitioner to initially invoke Republic Act No. 965 and R.A. No. 2630 since
these laws could only apply to persons who had lost their citizenship by rendering

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service to, or accepting commission in, the armed forces of an allied foreign country
or the armed forces of the United States of America, a factual matter not alleged in
the petition. Parenthetically, under these statutes, the person desiring to re-acquire
Philippine citizenship would not even be required to file a petition in court, and all
that he had to do was to take an oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines
and to register that fact with the civil registry in the place of his residence or where
he had last resided in the Philippines.

Alterajos vs Comelec (2004)

Ciceron P. Altarejos, a candidate for mayor in the Municipality of San Jacinto, Masbate
in the May 10, 2004 national and local elections was petitioned by the respondents to
be disqualified or cancel his certificate of candidacy on the ground that he is not a
Filipino citizen and made a false representation in his certificate of candidacy that he
was not a permanent resident of or immigrant to a foreign country.
Altejaros took his oath of allegiance as a repatriated Filipino on Dec. 17, 1997 before
the special Committee on Naturalization. However no copy of his oath was registered
in the proper civil registry and the Bureau of immigration until Feb. 18, 2004.
The registration of the Certificate of Repatriation in the proper civil registry and the
Bureau of Immigration is a prerequisite in effecting the repatriation of a citizen. In the
case at bar, petitioner completed all the requirements of repatriation only after he
filed his certificate of candidacy for a mayoralty position but before the elections.
Petitioners repatriation retroacted to the date he filed his application and was,
therefore, qualified to run for a mayoralty position in the government in the May 10,
2004 elections.

Tabasa vs CA (2006)
When petitioner was seven years old, his father, Rodolfo Tabasa, became a
naturalized citizen of the United States. By derivative naturalization (citizenship
derived from that of another as from a person who holds citizenship by virtue of
naturalization), petitioner also acquired American citizenship. Petitioner theorizes
that he could be repatriated under RA 8171 because he is a child of a natural-born
Filipino, and that he lost his Philippine citizenship by derivative naturalization when
he was still a minor.
The only persons entitled to repatriation under RA 8171 are the following: a. Filipino
women who lost their Philippine citizenship by marriage to aliens; and b. Natural-born
Filipinos including their minor children who lost their Philippine citizenship on account
of political or economic necessity. Petitioner overlooks the fact that the privilege of
repatriation under RA 8171 is available only to natural-born Filipinos who lost their
citizenship on account of political or economic necessity, and to the minor children of
said natural-born Filipinos.
Tabasa lost his citizenship by operation of law and not due to political and economic
exigencies. It was his father who could have been motivated by political and
economic reasons in deciding to apply for naturalization.

MERCADO vs. MANZANO


307 SCRA 630

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Facts:

Petitioner Ernesto S. Mercado and private respondent Eduardo B. Manzano were


candidates for vice mayor of the City of Makati in the May 11, 1998 elections. The
other one was Gabriel V. Daza III. The results of the election were as follows:
Eduardo B. Manzano 103,853
Ernesto S. Mercado 100,894
Gabriel V. Daza III 54,275 1
The proclamation of private respondent was suspended in view of a pending petition
for disqualification filed by a certain Ernesto Mamaril who alleged that private
respondent was not a citizen of the Philippines but of the United States.
Issue: Whether or not private respondent is qualified to hold the office of vice mayor
of Makati City.

Ruling:

Yes, he is qualified. To begin with, dual citizenship is different from dual allegiance.
The former arises when, as a result of the concurrent application of the different laws
of two or more states, a person is simultaneously considered a national by the said
states. For instance, such a situation may arise when a person whose parents are
citizens of a state which adheres to the principle of jus sanguinis is born in a state
which follows the doctrine of jus soli. Such a person, ipso facto and without any
voluntary act on his part, is concurrently considered a citizen of both states.
Dual allegiance, on the other hand, refers to the situation in which a person
simultaneously owes, by some positive act, loyalty to two or more states. While dual
citizenship is involuntary, dual allegiance is the result of an individual's volition.
By declaring in his certificate of candidacy that he is a Filipino citizen; that he is not a
permanent resident or immigrant of another country; that he will defend and support
the Constitution of the Philippines and bear true faith and allegiance thereto and that
he does so without mental reservation, private respondent has, as far as the laws of
this country are concerned, effectively repudiated his American citizenship and
anything which he may have said before as a dual citizen.
On the other hand, private respondent's oath of allegiance to the Philippines, when
considered with the fact that he has spent his youth and adulthood, received his
education, practiced his profession as an artist, and taken part in past elections in
this country, leaves no doubt of his election of Philippine citizenship.
His declarations will be taken upon the faith that he will fulfill his undertaking made
under oath. Should he betray that trust, there are enough sanctions for declaring the
loss of his Philippine citizenship through expatriation in appropriate proceedings.

REPUBLIC vs. VILLASOR (54 SCRA 83)


Facts:
The Republic of the Philippines in this certiorari and prohibition proceeding challenges
the validity of an order issued by respondent Judge Guillermo P. Villasor, then of the
Court of First Instance of Cebu, Branch I, declaring a decision final and executory and
of an alias writ of execution directed against the funds of the Armed Forces of the

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Philippines subsequently issued in pursuance thereof, the alleged ground being
excess of jurisdiction, or at the very least, grave abuse of discretion.
Issues:
1. Whether or not the State is immune from suit.
2. Whether or not the writ of execution directed against the funds of the AFP was
validly issued.
Ruling:
1. It is a fundamental postulate of constitutionalism flowing from the juristic
concept of sovereignty that the state as well as its government is immune from suit
unless it gives its consent. It is readily understandable why it must be so. In the
classic formulation of Holmes: "A sovereign is exempt from suit, not because of any
formal conception or obsolete theory, but on the logical and practical ground that
there can be no legal right as against the authority that makes the law on which the
right depends."
Sociological jurisprudence supplies an answer not dissimilar. So it was indicated in a
recent decision, Providence Washington Insurance Co. v. Republic of the Philippines,
with its affirmation that "a continued adherence to the doctrine of non-suability is not
to be deplored for as against the inconvenience that may be caused private parties,
the loss of governmental efficiency and the obstacle to the performance of its
multifarious functions are far greater if such a fundamental principle were abandoned
and the availability of judicial remedy were not thus restricted. With the well known
propensity on the part of our people to go to court, at the least provocation, the loss
of time and energy required to defend against law suits, in the absence of such a
basic principle that constitutes such an effective obstacle, could very well be
imagined."
2. No, it was not validly issued. A corollary, both dictated by logic and sound
sense from a basic concept is that public funds cannot be the object of a garnishment
proceeding even if the consent to be sued had been previously granted and the state
liability adjudged. The universal rule that where the State gives its consent to be
sued by private parties either by general or special law, it may limit claimant's action
'only up to the completion of proceedings anterior to the stage of execution' and that
the power of the Courts ends when the judgment is rendered, since government
funds and properties may not be seized under writs of execution or garnishment to
satisfy such judgments, is based on obvious considerations of public policy.
Disbursements of public funds must be covered by the corresponding appropriation
as required by law. The functions and public services rendered by the State cannot be
allowed to be paralyzed or disrupted by the diversion of public funds from their
legitimate and specific objects, as appropriated by law. A rule which has never been
seriously questioned, is that money in the hands of public officers, although it may be
due government employees, is not liable to the creditors of these employees in the
process of garnishment. One reason is, that the State, by virtue of its sovereignty,
may not be sued in its own courts except by express authorization by the Legislature,
and to subject its officers to garnishment would be to permit indirectly what is
prohibited directly. Another reason is that moneys sought to be garnished, as long as
they remain in the hands of the disbursing officer of the Government, belong to the
latter, although the defendant in garnishment may be entitled to a specific portion
thereof. And still another reason which covers both of the foregoing is that every
consideration of public policy forbids it."

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PROFESSIONAL VIDEO vs. TESDA (591 SCRA 83)


Facts:
TESDAs Pre-Qualification Bids Award Committee (PBAC) conducted two (2) public
biddings on June 25, 1999 and July 22, 1999 for the printing and encoding of PVC
cards. A failure of bidding resulted in both instances since only two (2) bidders
PROVI and Sirex Phils. Corp. submitted proposals.
Due to the failed bidding, the PBAC recommended that TESDA enter into a negotiated
contract with PROVI. On December 29, 1999, TESDA and PROVI signed and executed
a Contract Agreement for the provision of goods and services in the printing and
encoding of PVC cards. On August 24, 2000, the two parties executed an Addendum
to the Contract Agreement Project whose terms bound PROVI to deliver one hundred
percent (100%) of the specified supplies to TESDA.
On July 11, 2001, PROVI filed with the RTC a complaint for sum of money with
damages against TESDA. PROVI additionally prayed for the issuance of a writ of
preliminary attachment/garnishment against TESDA.
Issues:
1. Whether TESDA, as an agency of the State, can be sued without its consent.
2. Whether or not the writ of attachment against TESDA and its funds, to cover
PROVIs claim against TESDA, is valid.

Ruling:
1. No. TESDA is an instrumentality of the government undertaking governmental
functions.
R.A. No. 7796 created the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority or
TESDA under the declared "policy of the State to provide relevant, accessible, high
quality and efficient technical education and skills development in support of the
development of high quality Filipino middle-level manpower responsive to and in
accordance with Philippine development goals and priorities."
Under constitutional and statutory terms, we do not believe that the role and status
of TESDA can seriously be contested: it is an unincorporated instrumentality of the
government, directly attached to the DOLE through the participation of the Secretary
of Labor as its Chairman, for the performance of governmental functions i.e., the
handling of formal and non-formal education and training, and skills development. As
an unincorporated instrumentality operating under a specific charter, it is equipped
with both express and implied powers, and all State immunities fully apply to it.
2. The writ of attachment against TESDA and its funds was not valid. TESDAs
funds are public in character, hence exempt from attachment or garnishment.
Even assuming that TESDA entered into a proprietary contract with PROVI and
thereby gave its implied consent to be sued, TESDAs funds are still public in nature
and, thus, cannot be the valid subject of a writ of garnishment or attachment. Under
Section 33 of the TESDA Act, the TESDA budget for the implementation of the Act
shall be included in the annual General Appropriation Act; hence, TESDA funds, being
sourced from the Treasury, are moneys belonging to the government, or any of its
departments, in the hands of public officials.

HEIRS OF MATEO PIDACAN vs. ATO (629 SCRA 451)

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Facts:
In 1935, spouses Mateo Pidacan and Romana Bigo, predecessors-in-interest of
petitioners-heirs namely, Pacita Pidacan Vda. de Zubiri and Adela Pidacan Vda. de
Robles, acquired a parcel of land with an area of about 22 hectares, situated in San
Jose, Occidental Mindoro. Thereafter, Original Certificate of Title No. 2204 was issued
in favor of said spouses.
However, in 1948, respondent Air Transportation Office (ATO) used a portion of the
property as an airport. In 1974, the ATO constructed a perimeter fence and a new
terminal building on the property. It also lengthened, widened, and cemented the
airport's runway. Petitioners demanded from ATO the payment of the value of the
property as well as the rentals for the use thereof but ATO refused. Eventually in
1988, OCT No. 2204 was cancelled and Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-7160 was
issued in favor of petitioners. Despite this development, ATO still refused to pay
petitioners.
Issue: Whether or not the Principle of State Immunity finds application in this case.
Ruling:
No, it does not apply. Under these circumstances, respondent may not validly invoke
the constitutional doctrine of non-suability of the state, otherwise known as the Royal
Prerogative of Dishonesty and conveniently hide under the state's cloak of
invincibility against suit, considering that this principle yields to certain settled
exceptions. True enough, the rule, in any case, is not absolute for it does not say that
the state may not be sued under any circumstance.
To be sure, this Court as the staunch guardian of the citizens' rights and welfare
cannot sanction an injustice so patent on its face, and allow itself to be an instrument
in the perpetration thereof. Justice and equity sternly demand that the State's cloak
of invincibility against suit be shred in this particular instance, and that petitioners-
contractors be duly compensated on the basis of quantum meruit for
construction done on the public works housing project.
It is almost trite to say that execution is the fruit and the end of the suit and is the life
of the law. A judgment, if left unexecuted, would be nothing but an empty victory for
the prevailing party. Litigation must end sometime and somewhere. An effective and
efficient administration of justice requires that, once a judgment has become final,
the winning party be not deprived of the fruits of the verdict. Courts must, therefore,
guard against any scheme calculated to bring about that result. Constituted as they
are to put an end to controversies, courts should frown upon any attempt to prolong
them. Petitioners have been deprived of the beneficial use and enjoyment of their
property for a considerable length of time. Now that they prevailed before this Court,
it would be highly unjust and inequitable under the particular circumstances that
payment of just compensation be withheld from them. We, therefore, write finis to
this litigation.

ATO vs. RAMOS (644 SCRA 36)


Facts:
Spouses David and Elisea Ramos discovered that a portion of their land registered
under Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-58894 of the Baguio City land records with an
area of 985 square meters, more or less, was being used as part of the runway and
running shoulder of the Loakan Airport being operated by petitioner Air
Transportation Office (ATO). On August 11, 1995, the respondents agreed after

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negotiations to convey the affected portion by deed of sale to the ATO in
consideration of the amount of P778,150.00. However, the ATO failed to pay despite
repeated verbal and written demands.
Thus, on April 29, 1998, the respondents filed an action for collection against the ATO
and some of its officials in the RTC. In their answer, the ATO and its co-defendants
invoked as an affirmative defense the issuance of Proclamation No. 1358, whereby
President Marcos had reserved certain parcels of land that included the respondents
affected portion for use of the Loakan Airport. They asserted that the RTC had no
jurisdiction to entertain the action without the States consent considering that the
deed of sale had been entered into in the performance of governmental functions.
Issue: Whether the ATO could be sued without the States consent.
Ruling:
Yes, the ATO can be sued. Not all government entities, whether corporate or non-
corporate, are immune from suits. Immunity from suits is determined by the
character of the objects for which the entity was organized.
Suits against State agencies with relation to matters in which they have assumed to
act in private or non-governmental capacity, and various suits against certain
corporations created by the state for public purposes, but to engage in matters
partaking more of the nature of ordinary business rather than functions of a
governmental or political character, are not regarded as suits against the state. The
latter is true, although the state may own stock or property of such a corporation for
by engaging in business operations through a corporation, the state divests itself so
far of its sovereign character, and by implication consents to suits against the
corporation.
The CA thereby correctly appreciated the juridical character of the ATO as an agency
of the Government not performing a purely governmental or sovereign function, but
was instead involved in the management and maintenance of the Loakan Airport, an
activity that was not the exclusive prerogative of the State in its sovereign capacity.
Hence, the ATO had no claim to the States immunity from suit.
We further observe the doctrine of sovereign immunity cannot be successfully
invoked to defeat a valid claim for compensation arising from the taking without just
compensation and without the proper expropriation proceedings being first resorted
to of the plaintiffs property.
Lastly, the issue of whether or not the ATO could be sued without the States consent
has been rendered moot by the passage of Republic Act No. 9497, otherwise known
as the Civil Aviation Authority Act of 2008. With the CAAP having legally succeeded
the ATO pursuant to R.A. No. 9497, the obligations that the ATO had incurred by
virtue of the deed of sale with the Ramos spouses might now be enforced against the
CAAP.

CHINA NATIONAL vs. SANTAMARIA (665 SCRA 189)


Facts:
On 14 September 2002, petitioner China National Machinery & Equipment Corp.
(Group) (CNMEG), represented by its chairperson, Ren Hongbin, entered into a
Memorandum of Understanding with the North Luzon Railways Corporation
(Northrail), represented by its president, Jose L. Cortes, Jr. for the conduct of a
feasibility study on a possible railway line from Manila to San Fernando, La Union (the
Northrail Project).

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On 30 August 2003, the Export Import Bank of China (EXIM Bank) and the
Department of Finance of the Philippines (DOF) entered into a Memorandum of
Understanding (Aug 30 MOU), wherein China agreed to extend Preferential Buyers
Credit to the Philippine government to finance the Northrail Project. The Chinese
government designated EXIM Bank as the lender, while the Philippine government
named the DOF as the borrower. Under the Aug 30 MOU, EXIM Bank agreed to extend
an amount not exceeding USD 400,000,000 in favor of the DOF, payable in 20 years,
with a 5-year grace period, and at the rate of 3% per annum.
On 13 February 2006, respondents filed a Complaint for Annulment of Contract and
Injunction against CNMEG, the Office of the Executive Secretary, the DOF, the
Department of Budget and Management, the National Economic Development
Authority and Northrail. Respondents alleged that the Contract Agreement and
the Loan Agreement were void for being contrary to (a) the Constitution;
(b) Republic Act No. 9184, otherwise known as the Government
Procurement Reform Act; (c) Presidential Decree No. 1445, otherwise
known as the Government Auditing Code; and (d) Executive Order No. 292,
otherwise known as the Administrative Code.
Issue: Whether CNMEG is entitled to immunity, precluding it from being sued before
a local court.
Ruling:

There are two conflicting concepts of sovereign immunity, each widely held
and firmly established. Since the Philippines adheres to the restrictive theory, it is
crucial to ascertain the legal nature of the act involved whether the entity claiming
immunity performs governmental, as opposed to proprietary, functions. The
restrictive application of State immunity is proper only when the proceedings arise
out of commercial transactions of the foreign sovereign, its commercial activities or
economic affairs. Stated differently, a State may be said to have descended to the
level of an individual and can thus be deemed to have tacitly given its consent to be
sued only when it enters into business contracts. It does not apply where the contract
relates to the exercise of its sovereign functions.
A thorough examination of the basic facts of the case would show that CNMEG is
engaged in a proprietary activity. The parties executed the Contract Agreement for
the purpose of constructing the Luzon Railways. Despite petitioners claim that the
EXIM Bank extended financial assistance to Northrail because the bank was
mandated by the Chinese government, and not because of any motivation to do
business in the Philippines, it is clear from the foregoing provisions that the Northrail
Project was a purely commercial transaction.
It is readily apparent that CNMEG cannot claim immunity from suit, even if it
contends that it performs governmental functions. Its designation as the Primary
Contractor does not automatically grant it immunity, just as the term "implementing
agency" has no precise definition for purposes of ascertaining whether GTZ was
immune from suit. Although CNMEG claims to be a government-owned corporation, it
failed to adduce evidence that it has not consented to be sued under Chinese law.
Thus, following this Courts ruling in Deutsche Gesellschaft, in the absence of
evidence to the contrary, CNMEG is to be presumed to be a government-owned and
-controlled corporation without an original charter. As a result, it has the capacity to
sue and be sued under Section 36 of the Corporation Code.

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HEIRS OF GAMBOA vs. TEVES (682 SCRA 397)


Facts:
This resolves the motions for reconsideration of the 28 June 2011 Decision filed by (1)
the Philippine Stock Exchange's President, (2) Manuel V. Pangilinan, (3) Napoleon L.
Nazareno ,and (4) the Securities and Exchange Commission (collectively, movants).
Movants contend that the term "capital" in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution
has long been settled and defined to refer to the total outstanding shares of stock,
whether voting or non-voting. In fact, movants claim that the SEC, which is the
administrative agency tasked to enforce the 60-40 ownership requirement in favor of
Filipino citizens in the Constitution and various statutes, has consistently adopted this
particular definition in its numerous opinions. Movants point out that with the 28 June
2011 Decision, the Court in effect introduced a "new" definition or "midstream
redefinition"9 of the term "capital" in Section 11, Article XII of the Constitution.
Issue: How should the term capital be construed?
Ruling:
Pursuant to the express mandate of Section 11, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution,
Congress enacted Republic Act No. 7042 or the Foreign Investments Act of 1991
(FIA), as amended, which defined a "Philippine national" as follows:
SEC. 3. Definitions. - As used in this Act:
The term "Philippine national" shall mean a citizen of the Philippines; or a domestic
partnership or association wholly owned by citizens of the Philippines; or a
corporation organized under the laws of the Philippines of which at least
sixty percent (60%) of the capital stock outstanding and entitled to vote is
owned and held by citizens of the Philippines; or a corporation organized
abroad and registered as doing business in the Philippines under the Corporation
Code of which one hundred percent (100%) of the capital stock outstanding and
entitled to vote is wholly owned by Filipinos or a trustee of funds for pension or other
employee retirement or separation benefits, where the trustee is a Philippine national
and at least sixty percent (60%) of the fund will accrue to the benefit of Philippine
nationals: Provided, That where a corporation and its non-Filipino stockholders own
stocks in a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registered enterprise, at least
sixty percent (60%) of the capital stock outstanding and entitled to vote of each of
both corporations must be owned and held by citizens of the Philippines and at least
sixty percent (60%) of the members of the Board of Directors of each of both
corporations must be citizens of the Philippines, in order that the corporation, shall be
considered a "Philippine national."
Thus, the FIA clearly and unequivocally defines a "Philippine national" as a
Philippine citizen, or a domestic corporation at least "60% of the capital stock
outstanding and entitled to vote" is owned by Philippine citizens.
The Constitution expressly declares as State policy the development of an economy
"effectively controlled" by Filipinos. Consistent with such State policy, the
Constitution explicitly reserves the ownership and operation of public utilities to
Philippine nationals, who are defined in the Foreign Investments Act of 1991 as
Filipino citizens, or corporations or associations at least 60 percent of whose capital
with voting rights belongs to Filipinos. The FIAs implementing rules explain that
"for stocks to be deemed owned and held by Philippine citizens or Philippine
nationals, mere legal title is not enough to meet the required Filipino equity. Full

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beneficial ownership of the stocks, coupled with appropriate voting rights
is essential." In effect, the FIA clarifies, reiterates and confirms the interpretation
that the term "capital" in Section 11, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution refers to
shares with voting rights, as well as with full beneficial ownership. This is
precisely because the right to vote in the election of directors, coupled with full
beneficial ownership of stocks, translates to effective control of a corporation.
Any other construction of the term "capital" in Section 11, Article XII of the
Constitution contravenes the letter and intent of the Constitution. Any other meaning
of the term "capital" openly invites alien domination of economic activities reserved
exclusively to Philippine nationals. Therefore, respondents interpretation will
ultimately result in handing over effective control of our national economy to
foreigners in patent violation of the Constitution, making Filipinos second-class
citizens in their own country.
Note: The FIA is the basic law governing foreign investments in the Philippines,
irrespective of the nature of business and area of investment. It spells out the
procedures by which non-Philippine nationals can invest in the Philippines.

c. Consent to be sued
How consent is given.
Veterans vs CA (1992)
Facts: VMPSI was operating as a security agency. By virtue of the provisions of RA
5487, the Private Security Agency Law, the then Pt. Chief Lt. Fidel Ramos issued
Rules and Regulations requiring that all private security agencies/company security
forces must register as members of any PADPAO Chapter organized within the Region
where their main offices are located. On May 12, 1086, a Memorandum Argreement
was executed by PADPAO and the PC Chief, which fixed the minimum monthly
contract rate per guard for 8 hours of security service per day at P2,255.00 within
Metro Manila and P2,215.00 outside. On June 29, 1987, Odin Security Agency filed a
complaint with PADPAO accusing VMPSI of cut-throat competition. PADPAO found
VMPSI guilty and recommended its expulsion from PADPAO and cancellation of its
license to operate a security agency. The PC-SUSIA (Phil. Constabulary Supervisory
Unit for Security and Investigation Agencies) made similar findings.
When VMPSI requested the issuance of a clearance/certificate of membership,
PADPAO refused to issue one. VMPSI wrote to the PC Chief on March 10 1988 but as
the latter did not reply and VMPSIs license was expiring in March 31, VMPSI filed a
civil case in the RTC against the PC Chief and PC-SUSIA. The RTC issued a restraining
order enjoining the defendants from committing acts that would result in the
cancellation or non-renewal of VMPSIs license. The PC Chief and PC-SUSIA moved to
dismiss on the ground, inter alia, that the case is against the State which had not
given its consent thereto. On June 10, 1988, the RTC issued a writ of preliminary
injunction restraining the defendants from cancelling or denying renewal of VMPSIs
license, until further orders from the court. On August 11, 1989, the CA granted the
petition for certiorari filed by the defendants, ordering the RTC to dismiss the
complaint against the PC Chief and PC-SUSIA for lack of jurisdiction. Hence, this
petition for review.
Issues: W/N VMPSIs complaint against the PC Chief and PC-SUSIA is a suit against
the state without its consent.
How is consent given?

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Ruling: The petition for review is denied and the judgment appealed form is
affirmed. The complaint is a suit against the state without its consent. The PC Chief
and the PC-SUSIA being instrumentalities of the national government exercising a
primary governmental function of regulation the organization and operation of
private detective, watchmen, or security guard agencies, said official and agency
may not be sued without the Governments consent. The consent of the State to be
sued must emanate from statutory authority, hence, from a legislative act, not from a
mere memorandum. In the instant case, the Memorandum of Agreement entered into
by the PC Chief and the PADPAO did not constitute an implied consent by the State to
be sued; it was intended to professionalize the industry and to standardize the
salaries of security guards as well as the current rates of security services, clearly a
governmental function. The execution of said agreement is incidental to the purpose
of RA 5487, as amended, which is to regulate the organization and operation of
private detective watchmen or security guard agencies. The correct test for the
application of state immunity is not the conclusion of the contract by the State by the
legal nature of the act.

DA vs NLRC (1993)
Facts: The Department of Agriculture (herein petitioner) and Sultan Security Agency
entered into a contract on 01 April 1989 for security services to be provided by the
latter to the said governmental entity. On 13 September 1990, several guards of the
Sultan Security Agency filed a complaint for underpayment of wages, non-payment of
13th month pay, uniform allowances, night shift differential pay, holiday pay and
overtime pay, as well as for damages, before the Regional Arbitration Branch X of
Cagayan de Oro City against the Department of Agriculture and Sultan Security
Agency. The Executive Labor Arbiter rendered a decision on 31 May finding herein
petitioner and jointly and severally liable with Sultan Security Agency for the
payment of money claims, aggregating P266,483.91, of the complainant security
guards. On 18 July 1991, the Labor Arbiter issued a writ of execution. Commanding
the City Sheriff to enforce and execute the judgment against the property of the two
respondents.

A petition for injunction, prohibition and mandamus, with prayer for preliminary writ
of injunction was filed by the petitioner with the National Labor Relations Commission
(NLRC), Cagayan de Oro, alleging, inter alia, that the writ issued was effected without
the Labor Arbiter having duly acquired jurisdiction over the petitioner, and that,
therefore, the decision of the Labor Arbiter was null and void and all actions pursuant
thereto should be deemed equally invalid and of no legal, effect. The petitioner also
pointed out that the attachment or seizure of its property would hamper and
jeopardize petitioner's governmental functions to the prejudice of the public good.

Petitioner charges the NLRC with grave abuse of discretion for refusing to quash the
writ of execution. The petitioner faults the NLRC for assuming jurisdiction over a
money claim against the Department, which, it claims, falls under the exclusive
jurisdiction of the Commission on Audit. More importantly, the petitioner asserts, the
NLRC has disregarded the cardinal rule on the non-suability of the State.

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The private respondents, on the other hand, argue that the petitioner has impliedly
waived its immunity from suit by concluding a service contract with Sultan Security
Agency.

Issue: 1. W/N the DA can be sued.


2. W/N the writ of execution was valid.

Ruling: 1. Yes. The basic postulate enshrined in the constitution that "(t)he State
may not be sued without its consent," reflects nothing less than a recognition of the
sovereign character of the State and an express affirmation of the unwritten rule
effectively insulating it from the jurisdiction of courts. True, the doctrine, not too
infrequently, is derisively called "the royal prerogative of dishonesty" because it
grants the state the prerogative to defeat any legitimate claim against it by simply
invoking its non-suability.
The rule, in any case, is not really absolute for it does not say that the state
may not be sued under any circumstances. On the contrary, as correctly phrased, the
doctrine only conveys, "the state may not be sued without its consent;" its clear
import then is that the State may at times be sued. The States' consent may be
given expressly or impliedly. Express consent may be made through a general
law or a special law. In this jurisdiction, the general law waiving the immunity of the
state from suit is found in Act No. 3083, where the Philippine government "consents
and submits to be sued upon any money claims involving liability arising from
contract, express or implied, which could serve as a basis of civil action between
private parties." Implied consent, on the other hand, is conceded when the State
itself commences litigation, thus opening itself to a counterclaim or when it enters
into a contract. In this situation, the government is deemed to have descended to the
level of the other contracting party and to have divested itself of its sovereign
immunity. This rule, relied upon by the NLRC and the private respondents, is
not, however, without qualification. Not all contracts entered into by the
government operate as a waiver of its non-suability; distinction must still be made
between one which is executed in the exercise of its sovereign function and another
which is done in its proprietary capacity.

In the instant case, the Department of Agriculture has not pretended to have
assumed a capacity apart from its being a governmental entity when it entered into
the questioned contract; nor that it could have, in fact, performed any act proprietary
in character.

But, be that as it may, the claims of private respondents, i.e. for underpayment of
wages, holiday pay, overtime pay and similar other items, arising from the Contract
for Service, clearly constitute money claims. Act No. 3083, aforecited, gives the
consent of the State to be "sued upon any moneyed claim involving liability arising
from contract, express or implied.

2. No. Pursuant to Commonwealth Act ("C.A.") No. 327, as amended by Presidential


Decree ("P.D.") No. 1145, the money claim first be brought to the Commission
on Audit. The Labor code, in relation to Act No. 3083, provides the legal basis for the
State liability but the prosecution, enforcement or satisfaction thereof must still be

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pursued in accordance with the rules and procedures laid down in C.A. No. 327, as
amended by P.D. 1445. When the state gives its consent to be sued, it does thereby
necessarily consent to unrestrained execution against it. tersely put, when the State
waives its immunity, all it does, in effect, is to give the other party an opportunity to
prove, if it can, that the State has a liability.

In Republic vs. Villasor this Court, in nullifying the issuance of an alias writ of
execution directed against the funds of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to satisfy
a final and executory judgment, has explained, thus
The universal rule that where the State gives its consent to be sued by private
parties either by general or special law, it may limit the claimant's action "only up to
the completion of proceedings anterior to the stage of execution" and that the power
of the Courts ends when the judgment is rendered, since government funds and
properties may not be seized under writs or execution or garnishment to satisfy such
judgments, is based on obvious considerations of public policy. Disbursements of
public funds must be covered by the correspondent appropriation as required by law.
The functions and public services rendered by the State cannot be allowed to be
paralyzed or disrupted by the diversion of public funds from their legitimate and
specific objects, as appropriated by law.

1. Express Consent
a. Money claims arising from contract

SAYSON vs SINGSON (1973)


Facts: Singson was the sole proprietor of Singkier Motor Service. In January 1967, the
Office of the District Engineer requisitioned various spare parts for the repair of a D-8
bulldozer. After a public bidding was conducted on May 5, the Committee on Awards
accepted the bid of Singkier Motors for the sum of P43,530. On May 16, the Secretary
of Public Works and Communications sent a letter-order to Singkier requesting it to
immediately deliver the items listed therein. In due course, Voucher No. 07806
reached the hands of Highway Auditor Sayson for preaudit. Sayson approved it for
the payment of P34,824, with the retention of P8,706. On June 9, 1967, the Voucher
was paid to Singson in the amount of P34,824. However, it would appear that when
the Voucher and supporting papers reached the General Auditing Office (GAO), a
canvass was made of the spare parts among the suppliers in Manila. Quotations were
submitted at P2529.64 only, which was P40,000 less than the price of Singkier. In
view of the overpricing, the GAO took up the matter with the Secretary of Public
Works. The Secretary then held the district engineer responsible for overpricing and
charges for malversation were filed against the latter and the civil engineer involved.
It was the failure of the Highways Auditor that led to the filing of the mandamus suit
below, with respondent Singson being adjudged as entitled to collect the balance of
P8,700, the contract in question having been upheld. Hence, this appeal by certiorari.

Issue: What is the proper remedy to enforce collection of money claim against the
Government arising from contract? Will mandamus apply?

Ruling: Mandamus us not the remedy to enforce the collection of such claim against
the State but an ordinary action for specific performance. Actually, the suit disguised

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as one for mandamus to compel the Auditors to approve the vouchers for payment, is
a suit against the State, which cannot prosper or be entertained by the Court except
with the consent of the State. In other words, respondent Singson should have filed
his claims against the State may be filed. It is true that once consent is secured, an
action may be filed. There is nothing to prevent the State, however, in such statutory
grant, to require that certain administrative proceedings be had and exhausted. Also,
the proper forum in the judicial hierarchy can be specified if thereafter on appeal
would be taken by the party aggrieved. Here, there was no ruling of the Auditor
General. Even had there been such, the Court to which the matter should have been
elevated is this Tribunal; the lower court could not legally act on the matter. What
transpired was anything but that. It is quite obvious then that it does not have the
imprint of validity.

b. Incorporation of Government Owned and /or Controlled Corporations

NHA vs HEIRS of GUIVELONDO


Facts: On February 23, 1999, petitioner National Housing Authority filed with the
Regional Trial Court of Cebu City Complaint for eminent domain against Associacion
Benevola de Cebu, Engracia Urot and the Heirs of Isidro Guivelondo. On November
12, 1999, the Heirs of Isidro Guivelondo, respondents herein, filed a Manifestation
stating that they were waiving their objections to petitioners power to expropriate
their properties. On August 7, 2000, the trial court rendered Partial Judgment
adopting the recommendation of the Commissioners and fixing the just
compensation of the lands of respondent Heirs of Isidro Guivelondo at P11,200.00 per
square meter. Petitioner NHA filed two motions for reconsideration. One of which
assailed the amount of just compensation. The lower court denied such motion.
Subsequently, respondent Heirs filed a Motion for Execution, which was granted on
November 22, 2000. Prior to the aforesaid denial of the Motion for Reconsideration,
petitioner filed with the trial court a Motion to Dismiss Civil Case No. CEB-23386,
complaint for eminent domain, alleging that the implementation of its socialized
housing project was rendered impossible by the unconscionable value of the land
sought to be expropriated, which the intended beneficiaries cannot afford. The
Motion was denied on September 17, 2001, on the ground that the Partial Judgment
had already become final and executory and there was no just and equitable reason
to warrant the dismissal of the case. On May 27, 2002, respondent sheriff served on
the Landbank of the Philippines a Notice of Third Garnishment against the deposits,
moneys and interests of petitioner therein. Subsequently, respondent sheriff levied
on funds and personal properties of petitioner. Hence, the matter before the SC.
Issues: 1. W/N the State can be compelled and coerced by the courts to exercise or
continue with the exercise of its inherent power of eminent domain.
2. W/N writs of execution and garnishment may be issued against the State in
an expropriation wherein the exercise of the power of eminent domain will not serve
public use or purpose.
Ruling: 1. Notably, the foregoing cases refer to the dismissal of an action for
eminent domain at the instance of the plaintiff during the pendency of the case. The
rule is different where the case had been decided and the judgment had already
become final and executory. Expropriation proceedings consists of two stages: first,
condemnation of the property after it is determined that its acquisition will be for a

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public purpose or public use and, second, the determination of just compensation to
be paid for the taking of private property to be made by the court with the assistance
of not more than three commissioners. The outcome of the first phase of
expropriation proceedings, which is either an order of expropriation or an order of
dismissal, is final since it finally disposes of the case. On the other hand, the second
phase ends with an order fixing the amount of just compensation. Both orders, being
final, are appealable. Once the first order becomes final and no appeal thereto is
taken, the authority to expropriate and its public use can no longer be questioned.
In the case at bar, petitioner did not appeal the Order of the trial court dated
December 10, 1999, which declared that it has a lawful right to expropriate the
properties of respondent Heirs of Isidro Guivelondo. Hence, the Order became final
and may no longer be subject to review or reversal in any court.
Petitioner, in essence, contends that there are just and equitable grounds to allow
dismissal or discontinuance of the expropriation proceedings. The argument is
tenuous. Socialized housing has been recognized as public use for purposes of
exercising the power of eminent domain. The public purpose of the socialized housing
project is not in any way diminished by the amount of just compensation that the
court has fixed. Respondent landowners had already been prejudiced by the
expropriation case. Petitioner cannot be permitted to institute condemnation
proceedings against respondents only to abandon it later when it finds the amount of
just compensation unacceptable.
2. Generally, funds and properties of the government cannot be the object of
garnishment proceedings even if the consent to be sued had been previously granted
and the state liability adjudged. However, if the funds belong to a public corporation
or a government-owned or controlled corporation which is clothed with a personality
of its own, separate and distinct from that of the government, then its funds are not
exempt from garnishment. This is so because when the government enters into
commercial business, it abandons its sovereign capacity and is to be treated like any
other corporation. In the case of petitioner NHA, the matter of whether its funds and
properties are exempt from garnishment has already been resolved squarely against
its predecessor, the Peoples Homesite and Housing Corporation (PHHC). Hence, it is
clear that the funds of petitioner NHA are not exempt from garnishment or
execution. Petitioners prayer for injunctive relief to restrain respondent Sheriff
Pascual Abordo from enforcing the Notice of Levy and Garnishment against its funds
and properties must, therefore, be denied.

2. Implied Consent
a. Government enters into business contracts

PTA vs PGDEI (2012)


Facts: PTA, an agency of the Department of Tourism, whose main function is to
bolster and promote tourism, entered into a contract with Atlantic Erectors,
Inc. (AEI) for the construction of the Intramuros Golf Course Expansion Projects. Since
AEI was incapable of constructing the golf course aspect of the project, it entered into
a sub-contract agreement with PHILGOLF, a duly organized domestic corporation, to
build the golf course. The sub-contract agreement also provides that PHILGOLF shall
submit its progress billings directly to PTA and, in turn, PTA shall directly pay
PHILGOLF.

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PHILGOLF filed a collection suit against PTA plus interest, for the construction of the
golf course. PTA failed to answer the complaint. Hence, the RTC rendered a judgment
of default.
Issue: W/N PTA is immune from the suit.
Ruling: PTA erred in invoking state immunity simply because it is a government
entity. The application of state immunity is proper only when the proceedings arise
out of sovereign transactions and not in cases of commercial activities or economic
affairs. The State, in entering into a business contract, descends to the level of an
individual and is deemed to have tacitly given its consent to be sued. Since
the Intramuros Golf Course Expansion Projects partakes of a proprietary character
entered into between PTA and PHILGOLF, PTA cannot avoid its financial liability by
merely invoking immunity from suit.

b. Inequitable claim to immunity

EPG CONSTRUCTION vs VIGILAR (2001)


Facts: In 1983, the Ministry of Human Settlement, through the BLISS Development
Corporation, initiated a housing project. The Ministry of Public Works and Highways
forged individual contracts with herein petitioners EPG Construction Co., Ciper
Electrical and Engineering, Septa Construction Co., Phil. Plumbing Co., Home
Construction Inc., World Builders Inc., Glass World Inc., Performance Builders
Development Co. and De Leon Araneta Construction Co., for the construction of the
housing units.
After complying with the terms of said contracts, and by reason of the verbal
request and assurance of then DPWH Undersecretary Aber Canlas that additional
funds would be available and forthcoming, petitioners agreed to undertake and
perform additional constructions [4] for the completion of the housing units, despite
the absence of appropriations and written contracts to cover subsequent expenses
for the additional constructions. Petitioners then received payment for the
construction work duly covered by the individual written contracts, thereby leaving
an unpaid balance of P5,918,315.63, which amount represents the expenses for the
additional constructions for the completion of the existing housing units. On 14
November 1988, petitioners sent a demand letter to the DPWH Secretary. The money
claims were then referred to COA which returned the same to the DPWH Auditor for
auditorial action. On the basis of the Inspection Report of the Auditors Technical
Staff, the DPWH Auditor interposed no objection to the payment of the money claims
subject to whatever action the COA may adopt.
The COA returned the documents to the DPWH, stating that funds should first
be made available before COA could pass upon and act on the money claims. Then
DPWH Secretary Jose De Jesus requested the Secretary of Budget and Management
to release public funds for the payment of petitioners money claims. P5,819,316.00
was then released for the payment of petitioners money claims.
In a letter dated 26 August 1996, respondent DPWH Secretary Gregorio Vigilar
denied the subject money claims prompting herein petitioners to file before the
Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, , a Petition for Mandamus praying that herein
respondent be ordered to pay.
Issue: 1. W/N petitioners-contractors have the right to be compensated for a public
works housing project.

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2. W/N DPWH is immune from suit.
Ruling: 1. YES. Respondents posits that the existence of appropriations and
availability of funds as certified to and verified by the proper accounting officials are
conditions sine qua non for the execution of government contracts. According to
respondent, sans showing of certificate of availability of funds, the implied contracts
are considered fatally defective and considered inexistent and void ab initio.
Respondent concludes that inasmuch as the additional work done was pursued in
violation of the mandatory provisions of the laws concerning contracts involving
expenditure of public funds and in excess of the public officials contracting authority,
the same is not binding on the government and impose no liability therefor.
We find the instant petition laden with merit and uphold, in the interest of
substantial justice, petitioners-contractors right to be compensated for the
"additional constructions" on the public works housing project, applying
the principle of quantum meruit. The peculiar circumstances present in the
instant case buttress petitioners claim for compensation for the additional
constructions, despite the illegality and void nature of the implied contracts forged
between the DPWH and petitioners-contractors. On this matter, it bears stressing that
the illegality of the subject contracts proceeds from an express declaration or
prohibition by law, and not from any intrinsic illegality.
To our mind, it would be the apex of injustice and highly inequitable for us to
defeat petitioners-contractors right to be duly compensated for actual work
performed and services rendered, where both the government and the public have,
for years, received and accepted benefits from said housing project and reaped the
fruits of petitioners-contractors honest toil and labor.
2. NO. Incidentally, respondent likewise argues that the State may not be sued
in the instant case, invoking the constitutional doctrine of Non-suability of the
State,[17] otherwise known as the Royal Prerogative of Dishonesty. Respondents
argument is misplaced inasmuch as the Principle of State Immunity finds no
application in the case before us. Under these circumstances, respondent may not
validly invoke the Royal Prerogative of Dishonesty and conveniently hide under
the States cloak of invincibility against suit, considering that this principle yields to
certain settled exceptions. True enough, the rule, in any case, is not absolute for it
does not say that the state may not be sued under any circumstance. the doctrine
of governmental immunity from suit cannot serve as an instrument for perpetrating
an injustice on a citizen. It is just as important, if not more so, that there be fidelity
to legal norms on the part of officialdom if the rule of law were to be maintained.
To be sure, this Court as the staunch guardian of the citizens rights and
welfare cannot sanction an injustice so patent on its face, and allow itself to be an
instrument in the perpetration thereof. Justice and equity sternly demand that the
States cloak of invincibility against suit be shred in this particular instance, and that
petitionerscontractors be duly compensated on the basis of quantum meruit for
construction done on the public works housing project.

REPUBLIC vs UNIMEX (2007)


Facts: Respondent Unimex Micro-Electronics GmBH (Unimex) shipped a 40-foot
container and 171 cartons of Atari game computer cartridges, duplicators,
expanders, remote controllers, parts and accessories to Handyware Phils., Inc. After
the shipment arrived in the Port of Manila on July 9, 1985, the Bureau of Customs

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(BOC) agents discovered that it did not tally with the description appearing on the
cargo manifest. As a result, BOC instituted seizure proceedings against Handyware
and later issued a warrant of seizure and detention against the shipment. The
Collector of Customs issued a default order against Handyware for failing to appear.
The Collector then forfeited the goods in favor of the government.
Respondent filed a petition for review against petitioner Commissioner of Customs
(BOC Commissioner) in the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA). The CTA reversed the
forfeiture decree and ordered the release of the subject shipment to respondent
subject to the payment of customs duties. The CTA decision became final and
executor. Unfortunately, however, respondents counsel failed to secure a writ of
execution to enforce the CTA decision. Respondent filed in the CTA a petition for the
revival of its June 15, 1992 decision. It prayed for the immediate release by BOC of
its shipment or, in the alternative, payment of the shipments value plus damages.
BOC informed the court that the subject shipment could no longer be found at its
warehouses. The CTA declared that its June 15, 1992 decision could no longer be
executed due to the loss of respondents shipment so it ordered the BOC
Commissioner to pay respondent the commercial value of the goods based on the
prevailing exchange rate at the time of their importation. The dispositive portion of
the decision read: xxx payment shall be taken from the sale or sales of the goods or
properties seized or forfeited by the Bureau of Customs. BOC appealed. The CA held
that the BOC Commissioner was liable for the value of the subject shipment as the
same was lost while in its custody.
Issue: 1. W/N the state is liable for the loss.
2. W/N government funds can be charged with respondents claim without a
corresponding appropriation.
Ruling: 1. Yes and yes. Petitioner argues that a money judgment or any charge
against the government requires a corresponding appropriation and cannot be
decreed by mere judicial order. Although it may be gainsaid that the satisfaction of
respondents demand will ultimately fall on the government, and that, under the
political doctrine of state immunity, it cannot be held liable for governmental acts
(jus imperii), we still hold that petitioner cannot escape its liability. The circumstances
of this case warrant its exclusion from the purview of the state immunity doctrine.
The Court cannot turn a blind eye to BOCs ineptitude and gross negligence in
the safekeeping of respondents goods.
The situation does not allow us to reject respondents claim on the mere
invocation of the doctrine of state immunity. Succinctly, the doctrine must be fairly
observed and the State should not avail itself of this prerogative to take undue
advantage of parties that may have legitimate claims against it. Justice and equity
now demand that the States cloak of invincibility against suit and liability be
shredded.
Accordingly, we agree with the lower courts directive that, upon payment of
the necessary customs duties by respondent, petitioners payment shall be taken
from the sale or sales of goods or properties seized or forfeited by the
Bureau of Customs.(no appropriation needed)
c. Government initiates a complaint. Open to counterclaim.

FROILAN vs PAN (1950)

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Facts: On February 3, 1951, Froilan filed a complaint against Pan Oriental Shipping
Co., alleging that: Foilan purchased from the Shipping Commission the vessel FS-197
for P200T, paying P50T down and agreeing to pauy the balance in installments; that,
Foroilan mortgaged said vessel in favor of the Shipping Commission to secure the
pauyment of the balance; for failure to pay the installments, the Shipping
Commission took possession of the vessel and cancelled the contract of sale; that
Shipping Commission chartered and delivered the vessel to Part Oriental; that Foilan
appealed to the President and the Cabinet restored him to his rights under the
original contract of sale with the Shipping Commission; that Pan Orental refused to
deliver the vessel to Froilan; Froilan prayed that a writ of replevin be issued for the
seizure of said vessel and that he be adjudged to have the rightful possession
thereof. The lower court issued the writ of replevin and Pan Oriental was divested of
its possession of the vessel. On November 10, 1951, the Government of the Republic
of the Philippines filed a complaint-in-intervention alleging that: Froilan failed to pay
to the Shipping Commission; that Pan Oriental refused to deliver the vessel to Froilan;
Froilan prayed that a writ of replevin be issued for the seizure of said vessel and that
he be adjudicated to have the rightful possession thereof. The lower court issued the
writ of replevin and Pan Oriental was divested of its possession of the vessel. On
March 21, 1951, the latter filed its answer denying the right of Froilan to the
possession of said vessel.
On November 10, 1951, the government filed a complaint-in-intervention alleging
that: Froilan failed to pay to the Shipping Commission the balance due on the
purchase price of the vessel; the Intervenor was entitled to the possession of the
vessel either under the terms of the original contract or in order that it may cause the
extrajudicial sale thereof under the Chattel Mortgage Law. Intervenor prayed that
Froilan be ordered to deliver the vessel to the Board of Liquidators.
On Novemeber 29, 1951, Pan Oriental filed an Answer to the complainant-in-
intervention alleging that: The Republic was obligated to deliver the vessel to it vy
virtue of a contract of bareboat charter with option to purchase executed on June 16,
1949 by the Republic in favor of Pan Oriental; that Pan Oriental had made necessary
and useful expenses on the vessel and claimed the right of retention; that Pan
Oriental prayed that, if the Republic succeeded in obtaining possession of said vessel,
the Republic must comply with its obligation of delivering to the former or causing its
delivery by recovering it from Froilan. The Republic filed a motion to dismiss the
counterclaim of Pan Oriental on the ground that its purpose was to compel the
government to deliver the vessel to Pan Oriental in the event that the government
recovers the vessel from Froilan. It was also alleged that moven was not subject to
the jurisdiction of the court in connection with the counterclaim. The lower court
granted the motion and dismissed the counterclaim. It is from this order that Pan
Oriental filed the present appeal.

Issue: W/N the lower court erred in dismissing the counterclaim on the ground that
the state is immune from suit.

Ruling: This is untenable because by filing its complaint-in-intervention, the


Government in effect waived its right of non-suability. Hence, the appealed order is
reversed and set aside and the case remanded to the lower court for further
proceedings. The immunity of the State from suits does not deprive it of the right to

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sue private parties in its own courts. The State as plaintiff may avail itself of the
different forms of actions open to private litigants. In short, by taking the initiative in
an action against a private party, the state surrenders its privileged position and
comes down to the level of the defendant. The latter automatically acquires, within
certain limits, the right to set up whatever claims and other defenses he might have
against the State.

REPUBLIC vs SANDIGANBAYAN (2006)


Facts: Civil Case No. 0034 entitled Republic of the Philippines, plaintiff, v. Roberto S.
Benedicto, et al., defendants, is a complaint for reconveyance, reversion, accounting,
reconstitution and damages. The case is one of several suits involving ill-gotten or
unexplained wealth that petitioner Republic, through the PCGG, filed with the
Sandiganbayan against private respondent Roberto S. Benedicto.
PCGG issued writs placing under sequestration all business enterprises,
entities and other properties, real and personal, owned or registered in the name of
private respondent Benedicto, or of corporations in which he appeared to have
controlling or majority interest. Among the properties thus sequestered and taken
over by PCGG fiscal agents were the 227 shares in NOGCCI owned by private
respondent Benedicto and registered in his name or under the names of corporations
he owned or controlled.
Following the sequestration process, PCGG representatives sat as members of
the Board of Directors of NOGCCI. As sequestrator of the 227 shares of stock in
question, PCGG did not pay the corresponding monthly membership due thereon
totalingP2,959,471.00. On account thereof, the 227 sequestered shares were
declared delinquent to be disposed of in an auction sale. PCGG filed a complaint for
injunction with the Regional Trial Court. The complaint, however, was dismissed,
paving the way for the auction sale for the delinquent 227 shares of stock. On August
5, 1989, an auction sale was conducted.
On November 3, 1990, petitioner Republic and private
respondent Benedicto entered into a Compromise Agreement in Civil Case No.
0034. The agreement contained a general release
clause whereunder petitioner Republic agreed and bound itself to lift the
sequestration on the 227 NOGCCI shares, among other Benedictos
properties, petitioner Republic acknowledging that it was within private
respondent Benedictos capacity to acquire the same shares out of his income from
business and the exercise of his profession.
The Sandiganbayan approved the Compromise Agreement and accordingly
rendered judgment in accordance with its terms and subsequently ordered the return
of the sequestered shares or in default thereof, to pay their value which can be
deducted from the Republics cash share in the Compromise Agreement.
Owing to PCGGs failure to comply with the above directive, Benedicto filed
in Civil Case No. 0034 a Motion for Compliance.
PCGG filed a motion for reconsideration which the SB denied. Hence, this
recourse before the SC.
Issue: W/N the PCGG is liable? Can it invoke immunity from suit?
Ruling: PCGG itself does not dispute its being considered as a receiver insofar as the
sequestered 227 NOGCCI shares of stock are concerned. PCGG also acknowledges
that as such receiver, one of its functions is to pay outstanding debts pertaining to

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the sequestered entity or property, in this case the 227 NOGCCI shares in question. It
contends, however, that membership dues owing to a golf club cannot be considered
as an outstanding debt for which PCGG, as receiver, must pay. Petitioner Republic,
through the PCGG, invokes state immunity from suit. But, as private
respondent Benedicto correctly countered, the PCGG fails to take stock of one of the
exceptions to the state immunity principle, i.e., when the government itself is the
suitor, as in Civil Case No. 0034.
Where, as here, the State itself is no less the plaintiff in the
main case, immunity from suit cannot be effectively invoked. For, as jurisprudence
teaches, when the State, through its duly
authorized officers, takes the initiative in a suit against a private party, it
thereby descends to the level of a private individual and thus opens itself to
whatever counterclaims or defenses the latter may have against
it. Petitioner Republics act of filing its complaint in Civil Case No. 0034 constitutes a
waiver of its immunity from suit. Being itself the plaintiff in that
case, petitioner Republic cannot set up its immunity against private
respondent Benedictos prayers in the same case.
In fact, by entering into a Compromise Agreement with private respondent Benedicto,
petitioner Republic thereby stripped itself of its immunity from suit and placed itself
in the same level of its adversary. When the State enters into contract, through its
officers or agents, in furtherance of a legitimate aim and purpose and pursuant to
constitutional legislative authority, whereby mutual or reciprocal benefits accrue and
rights and obligations arise therefrom, the State may be sued even without its
express consent, precisely because by entering into a contract the sovereign
descends to the level of the citizen. Its consent to be sued is implied from the very
act of entering into such contract, breach of which on its part gives the corresponding
right to the other party to the agreement.

3. Scope of Consent
a. Under Act No. 3083
G.R. No. L-30098 February 18, 1970

THE COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC HIGHWAYS vs. HON. LOURDES P. SAN DIEGO


FACTS: On 1940, the Government of the Philippines filed a complaint for eminent
domain for the expropriation of a parcel of land belonging to N. T. Hashim, needed to
construct a public road, now known as Epifanio de los Santos Avenue.
The parties thereafter worked out a compromise agreement, respondent estate
having proposed on April 28, 1966, the total amount of P209,076.00, equivalent to
the land's total assessed value, which was confirmed, ratified and approved in
November, 1966 by the Commissioner of Public Highways and the Secretary of Public
Works and Communications
On the same date, October 14, 1968, respondent Garcia, as special sheriff, forthwith
served a Notice of Garnishment, on respondent Philippine National Bank, notifying
said bank that levy was thereby made upon funds of petitioners Bureau of Public
Highways and the Auditor General on deposit, with the bank to cover the judgment of
P209,076.00 in favor of respondent estate.
ISSUE: w/n the government funds maybe garnished to satisfy a money claim arising
from an expropriation proceeding?

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HELD: NO. the Court holds that respondent Court's two questioned orders are null
and void on the fundamental ground that government funds are not subject to
execution or garnishment.
As early as 1919, the Court has pointed out that although the Government, as
plaintiff in expropriation proceedings, submits itself to the jurisdiction of the Court
and thereby waives its immunity from suit, the judgment that is thus rendered
requiring its payment of the award determined as just compensation for the
condemned property as a condition precedent to the transfer to the title thereto in its
favor, cannot be realized upon execution. The Court there added that it is incumbent
upon the legislature to appropriate any additional amount, over and above the
provisional deposit, that may be necessary to pay the award determined in the
judgment, since the Government cannot keep the land and dishonor the judgment.
The universal rule that where the State gives its consent to be sued by private parties
either by general or special law, it may limit claimant's action "only up to the
completion of proceedings anterior to the stage of execution" and that the power of
the Courts ends when the judgment is rendered, since government funds and
properties may not be seized under writs of execution or garnishment to satisfy such
judgments, is based on obvious considerations of public policy. Disbursements of
Public funds must be covered by the corresponding appropriation as required by law.
The functions and public services rendered by the State cannot be allowed to be
paralyzed or disrupted by the diversion of public funds from their legitimate and
specific objects, as appropriated by law.
This doctrine was again stressed by. the Court in Republic vs. Palacio, setting aside
as null and void the order of garnishment issued by the sheriff pursuant to the lower
Court's writ of execution on funds of the Pump Irrigation Trust Fund in the account of
the Government's Irrigation Service Unit with the Philippine National Bank. The Court
emphasized then and re-emphasizes now that judgments against the State or its
agencies and instrumentalities in cases where the State has consented to be sued,
operate merely to liquidate and establish the plaintiff's claim; such judgments may
not be enforced by writs of execution or garnishment and it is for the legislature to
provide for their payment through the corresponding appropriation, as indicated in
Act 3083.

. Under a Charter
G.R. No. L-32667 January 31, 1978
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK vs. COURT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATION
FACTS: What was sought to be garnished was the money of the People's Homesite
and Housing Corporation deposited at petitioner's branch in Quezon City, to satisfy a
decision of respondent Court which had become final and executory. 1 A writ of
execution in favor of private respondent Gabriel V. Manansala had previously been
issued. 2 He was the counsel of the prevailing party, the United Homesite Employees
and Laborers Association, in the aforementioned case. The validity of the order
assailed is challenged on the ground that the funds subject of the garnishment "may
be public in character."
ISSUE: w/n the funds of People's Homesite and Housing Corporation (a government
owned entity) may be garnished?

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HELD: YES. The premise that the funds could be spoken of as public in character may
be accepted in the sense that the People's Homesite and Housing Corporation was a
government-owned entity. It does not follow though that they were exempt from
garnishment. National Shipyard and Steel Corporation v. court of Industrial Relations
is squarely in point. As was explicitly stated in the opinion of the then Justice, later
Chief Justice, Concepcion: "The allegation to the effect that the funds of the NASSCO
are public funds of the government, and that, as such, the same may not be
garnished, attached or levied upon, is untenable for, as a government owned and
controlled corporation. The NASSCO has a personality of its own, distinct and
separate from that of the Government. It has pursuant to Section 2 of Executive
Order No. 356, dated October 23, 1950 ..., pursuant to which the NASSCO has been
established 'all the powers of a corporation under the Corporation Law ...'
Accordingly, it may sue and be sued and may be subjected to court processes just
like any other corporation (Section 13, Act No. 1459), as amended.
In a 1941 decision, Manila Hotel Employees Association v. Manila Hotel Company, this
Court, through Justice Ozaeta, held: "On the other hand, it is well settled that when
the government enters into commercial business, it abandons its sovereign capacity
and is to be treated like any other corporation. By engaging in a particular business
thru the instrumentality of a corporation, the governmnent divests itself pro hac vice
of its sovereign character, so as to render the corporation subject to the rules of law
governing private corporations."
The invocation of Republic v. Palacio, as well as Commissioner of Public Highways v.
San Diego, did not help the cause of petitioner at all The decisions are not
applicable. The funds appertained to a governmental office, not to a government-
owned or controlled corporation with a separate juridical personality. In neither case
therefore was there an entity with the capacity to sue and be sued, the funds of
which could thereafter be held liable to execution and garnishment in the event of an
adverse judgment.
Both the Palacio and the Commissioner of Public Highways decisions, insofar as they
reiterate the doctrine that one of the coronaries of the fundamental concept of non-
suability is that governmental funds are immune from garnishment, refer to Merritt v.
Insular Government, a 1916 decisio. Since then such a principle has been followed
with undeviating rigidity, the latest case in point being Republic v. Villasor,
promulgated in 1973. It is an entirely different matter if, according to Justice Sanchez
in Ramos v. Court of Industrial Relations, the office or entity is "possessed of a
separate and distinct corporate existence." Then it can sue and be sued. Thereafter,
its funds may be levied upon or garnished. That is what happened in this case.

c. Execution
[ G.R. No. 113191. September 18, 1996
DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS
COMMISSION
FACTS: On 27 January 1993, private respondent initiated NLRC-NCR Case No. 00-01-
0690-93 for his alleged illegal dismissal by ADB and the latter's violation of the
"labor-only" contracting law. Forthwith, the ADB and the DFA notified respondent
Labor Arbiter that the ADB, as well as its President and Officers, were covered by an
immunity from legal process except for borrowings, guaranties or the sale of

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securities pursuant to Article 50(1) and Article 55 of the Agreement Establishing the
Asian Development Bank.
The Labor Arbiter took cognizance of the complaint on the impression that the ADB
had waived its diplomatic immunity from suit. The ADB did not appeal the decision..
Petitioner was later constrained to make an application for a restraining order and/or
writ of preliminary injunction following the issuance, on 16 March 1994, by the Labor
Arbiter of a writ of execution.
ISSUE: w/n the writ of execution is enforceable against ADB?
HELD: No. Article 50(1) of the Charter provides:
"The Bank shall enjoy immunity from every form of legal process, except in cases
arising out of or in connection with the exercise of its powers to borrow money, to
guarantee obligations, or to buy and sell or underwrite the sale of securities.
The above stipulations of both the Charter and Headquarters Agreement should be
able, nay well enough, to establish that, except in the specified cases of borrowing
and guarantee operations, as well as the purchase, sale and underwriting of
securities, the ADB enjoys immunity from legal process of every form. The Banks
officers, on their part, enjoy immunity in respect of all acts performed by them in
their official capacity. The Charter and the Headquarters Agreement granting these
immunities and privileges are treaty covenants and commitments voluntarily
assumed by the Philippine government which must be respected.
"It is a recognized principle of international law and under our system of separation of
powers that diplomatic immunity is essentially a political question and courts should
refuse to look beyond a determination by the executive branch of the government,
and where the plea of diplomatic immunity is recognized and affirmed by the
executive branch of the government x x x it is then the duty of the courts to accept
the claim of immunity upon appropriate suggestion by the principal law officer of the
government, x x x or other officer acting under his direction. Hence, in adherence to
the settled principle that courts may not so exercise their jurisdiction x x x as to
embarrass the executive arm of the government in conducting foreign relations, it is
accepted doctrine that `in such cases the judicial department of government follows
the action of the political branch and will not embarrass the latter by assuming an
antagonistic jurisdiction.'
Being an international organization that has been extended a diplomatic status, the
ADB is independent of the municipal law.
"One of the basic immunities of an international organization is immunity from local
jurisdiction, i.e., that it is immune from the legal writs and processes issued by the
tribunals of the country where it is found. (See Jenks, Id., pp. 37-44). The obvious
reason for this is that the subjection of such an organization to the authority of the
local courts would afford a convenient medium thru which the host government may
interfere in their operations or even influence or control its policies and decisions of
the organization; besides, such subjection to local jurisdiction would impair the
capacity of such body to discharge its responsibilities impartially on behalf of its
member-states
"The Supreme Court has long settled the matter of diplomatic immunities. In WHO vs.
Aquino, SCRA 48, it ruled that courts should respect diplomatic immunities of foreign
officials recognized by the Philippine government. Such decision by the Supreme
Court forms part of the law of the land.

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REPUBLIC v. NLRC 263 SCRA 290 (1996)


FaCTS: The full ownership of PNEI was transferred to its creditor, the National
Investment Development Corporation ("NIDC"), a subsidiary of the Philippine National
Bank ("PNB"), following the latter's foreclosure of PNEI assets. PNEI was one among
several companies placed under sequestration by the Presidential Commission on
Good Government ("PCGG") shortly after the historic 1986 events in EDSA. The
sequestration order was lifted to give way to the sale of PNEI by the Asset
Privatization Trust (APT) which, in the meanwhile, had taken over the management of
the company. The continuing deterioration of its financial condition prompted PNEI to
lodge a Petition for Suspension of Payments with the Securities and Exchange
Commission ("SEC"), a move calculated to prevent further dissipation of PNEI's assets
and to make PNEI a viable source of income for the government.
The management committee, which was created to handle the business operations of
PNEI, presented a report to the SEC that recommended, in a move to best serve the
interest of all parties concerned (creditors, employees of PNEI and the government),
the sale of the company through privatization in accordance with the rules of the APT.
As a cost saving measure, the management committee also recommended to the
SEC the retrenchment of some 500 employees of PNEI. The retrenchment was carried
out.
The filing of various labor complaints against PNEI was the immediate result where
PNEI lost against the employees. By virtue of the writ of execution, various pieces of
property of PNEI were levied upon and sold at public auction. Meanwhile, APT filed an
Urgent Ex-Parte Motion to Quash Execution. By then, the proceeds of the sale of
some property had amounted to P1,200,000.00. The amount was deposited with the
NLRC pending resolution of APT's motion. On the other hand, the employees filed a
Motion for Intervention before Labor Arbiter Aquino claiming interest over the same
property of PNEI because of the union's own monetary claim against the latter.
Proceeds from the sale though were not enough to cover these claims, together with
the claims of the creditors.

Issue: Whether or not APT can be sued to be held liable to the obligation of PNEI

HELD Proclamation No. 50, creating APT which has been mandated to "take title to
and possession of, conserve, provisionally manage and dispose of assets" that have
been identified for privatization or disposition, clearly provides that said
instrumentality, among other things, can "sue and be sued." This provision
indubitably shows that APT can be haled to court. Nonetheless, we have likewise
since explained that suability does not necessarily mean liability on the part of the
particular instrumentality or agency of the government. The liability of APT under
this particular arrangement should be co-extensive with the amount of assets taken
over from the privatized firm.

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. JUDGE VICENTE A. HIDALGO


FACTS: On 02 June 1999, Tarcila Laperal Mendoza filed an action for the annulment
or declaration of nullity of the title and deed of sale, reconveyance and/or recovery of
ownership and possession of a four thousand nine hundred twenty-four-square meter

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(4,924.60 sq. m. to be exact) property against the Republic of the Philippines (in
whose name the title to the property was transferred and registered. The property in
question is located at 1440 Arlegui Street, San Miguel, Manila.
On 27 August 2003, Judge Hidalgo rendered a decision in favor of plaintiff Mendoza. A
certificate of finality[8] of judgment was issued by the Branch Clerk of Court, Atty.
Michael B. Robles, on 27 November 2003. On 10 December 2003, respondent issued
an order[9] directing the issuance of a writ of execution. On 07 January 2004, Sheriff
Cachero further directed the National Treasurer to cause payment of
P1,942,576,312.45, thus:
ISSUE: w/n the writ of execution can be enforced against the state? NO
-w/n the state can be held liable for attorneys fees? - NO
HELD: In the present case, respondent Judge patently committed two inexcusable
procedural errors the pronouncement of costs against the government and the
subsequent issuance of the writ of execution, in violation of settled rules and
jurisprudence.
In the decision dated 27 August 2003, respondent Judge declared the Republic liable
for payment of attorneys fees and cost of suit, pertinent portion of which reads: 7.
Ordering the defendant Republic of the Philippines to pay the plaintiff attorneys fee,
in an amount equivalent to FIFTEEN (15%) PER CENT of the amount due to the
plaintiff.
In declaring the government answerable to the attorneys fees of the plaintiff
and other costs of the suit, the respondent utterly disregarded the well-established
rule that costs of suit are not recoverable against the government (Section 1, Rule
142, Rules of Court). As early as 15 November 1918, we ruled in the case of Hong
Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation v. Rafferty that no costs shall be allowed
against the government of the Philippine Islands where the government is the
unsuccessful party. This was reiterated in the case of Philippines Veterans Affairs
Office v. Anover and The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office v. Tamayo, when we ruled
that court costs are not recoverable from a government agency.
It is settled that when the State gives its consent to be sued, it does not
thereby necessarily consent to an unrestrained execution against it. Tersely put,
when the State waives its immunity, all it does, in effect, is to give the other party an
opportunity to prove, if it can, that the state has a liability. In Republic v. Villasor this
Court, in nullifying the issuance of an alias writ of execution directed against the
funds of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to satisfy a final and executory
judgment, has explained, thus . . . The universal rule that where the State gives its
consent to be sued by private parties either by general or special law, it may limit
claimants action only up to the completion of proceedings anterior to the stage of
execution and that the power of the Courts ends when the judgment is rendered,
since government funds and properties may not be seized under writs of execution or
garnishment to satisfy such judgments, is based on obvious considerations of public
policy. Disbursements of public funds must be covered by the correspondent
appropriation as required by law. The functions and public services rendered by the
State cannot be allowed to paralyzed or disrupted by the diversion of public funds
from their legitimate and specific objects, as appropriated by law.

4. Suability vs Liability

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E. MERRITT vs. GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS
FACTS: The plaintiff, riding on a motorcycle and collided with the General Hospital
ambulance. As a consequence of the loss the plaintiff suffered in the efficiency of his
work as a contractor, and he had to give up a contract he had for the construction of
the Uy Chaco building."
The court find that the amount of damages sustained by the plaintiff, without any
fault on his part, is P18,075.
Act No. 2457, effective February 3, 1915, reads:
An Act authorizing E. Merritt to bring suit against the Government of the Philippine
Islands and authorizing the Attorney-General of said Islands to appear in said suit.
The plaintiff was authorized to bring this action against the Government "in order to
fix the responsibility for the collision between his motorcycle and the ambulance of
the General Hospital and to determine the amount of the damages, if any, to which
Mr. E. Merritt is entitled on account of said collision, . . . ." These were the two
questions submitted to the court for determination.
ISSUE: Does the Act authorize us to hold that the Government is legally liable for
that amount?
HELD: No.
By consenting to be sued a state simply waives its immunity from suit. It does not
thereby concede its liability to plaintiff, or create any cause of action in his favor, or
extend its liability to any cause not previously recognized. It merely gives a remedy
to enforce a preexisting liability and submits itself to the jurisdiction of the court,
subject to its right to interpose any lawful defense.
Plaintiff claims that by the enactment of this law the legislature admitted liability on
the part of the state for the acts of its officers, and that the suit now stands just as it
would stand between private parties. It is difficult to see how the act does, or was
intended to do, more than remove the state's immunity from suit. It simply gives
authority to commence suit for the purpose of settling plaintiff's controversies with
the estate. Nowhere in the act is there a whisper or suggestion that the court or
courts in the disposition of the suit shall depart from well established principles of
law, or that the amount of damages is the only question to be settled. The act
opened the door of the court to the plaintiff. It did not pass upon the question of
liability, but left the suit just where it would be in the absence of the state's immunity
from suit.
It being quite clear that Act No. 2457 does not operate to extend the Government's
liability to any cause not previously recognized.
That the responsibility of the state is limited by article 1903 to the case wherein it
acts through a special agent (and a special agent, in the sense in which these words
are employed, is one who receives a definite and fixed order or commission, foreign
to the exercise of the duties of his office if he is a special official) so that in
representation of the state and being bound to act as an agent thereof, he executes
the trust confided to him. This concept does not apply to any executive agent who is
an employee of the acting administration and who on his own responsibility performs
the functions which are inherent in and naturally pertain to his office and which are
regulated by law and the regulations." (Supreme Court of Spain, May 18, 1904; 98 Jur.
Civ., 389, 390.)
It is, therefore, evidence that the State (the Government of the Philippine Islands) is
only liable, according to the above quoted decisions of the Supreme Court of Spain,

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for the acts of its agents, officers and employees when they act as special agents
within the meaning of paragraph 5 of article 1903, supra, and that the chauffeur of
the ambulance of the General Hospital was not such an agent.
Whether the Government intends to make itself legally liable for the amount of
damages above set forth, which the plaintiff has sustained by reason of the negligent
acts of one of its employees, by legislative enactment and by appropriating sufficient
funds therefor, we are not called upon to determine. This matter rests solely with the
Legislature and not with the courts.

MUN. OF SAN FERNANDO, LA UNION v. FIRME


195 SCRA 692 (1991)

FACTS: Petitioner Municipality of San Fernando is a municipal corporation existing


under and in accordance with the laws of the Republic of the Philippines. Respondent
Judge Firme is impleaded in his official capacity as the Presiding Judge of the CH.
Private respondents are heirs of the deceased Laureano Banina, Sr. and plaintiffs in
the civil case before the aforesaid Court. On Dec. 16, 1965, a collision occurred
involving a passenger jeepney driven by Balagot and owned by the Estate of
Nieveras, a gravel and sand truck driven by Nianandog and owned by Velasquez and
a dump truck of the Municipality of San Fen-tando and driven by Bislig. Due to the
impact, several passengers of the jeepney including Laureano Banina, Sr. died and 4
others suffered physical injuries. On Dec. 11, 1966, private respondents instituted a
complaint for damages against the Estate of Nieveras and Balagot, owl-ter and
driver, respectively, of the passenger jeepney. However, the aforesaid defendants
filed a Third Party Complaint against the petitioner and the driver of the dump truck
of petitioner. Private respondents amended the complaint wherein the petitioner and
its regular employee, -Bishg, were impleaded as defendants. Petitioner invoked,
among others, non-suability of the State.
On Oct. 10, 1979, the trial court rendered a decision in favor of the plaintiffs (private
respondents) ordering defendants Municipality of San Fernando and Bislig to pay
jointly and severally the plaintiffs for funeral expenses, actual damages, attorney's
fees and costs of the suit, dismissing the complaint against the Estate of Nieveras
and Balagot. In an order dated Nov. 7, 1979, the respondent Judge Firme denied the
motion for reconsideration filed by the petitioner. Hence this petition. (Respondent
Judge failed to resolve the issue of non-suability of the state in the guise of the
municipality.)
ISSUE: Whether or not the Municipality of San Fernando is liable for quasi-delict
committed by its regular employee?
HELD: We arrive at the conclusion that the Municipality cannot be held liable for the
torts committed by its regular employee, who was then engaged in the discharge of
governmental functions. Hence, the death of the passenger imposed on the
Municipality no duty to pay monetary compensation. Accordingly, the petition is
granted.
It has already been remarked that municipal corporations are suable because their
charters grant them the competence to sue and be sued. Nevertheless, they are
generally not liable for torts committed by them in the discharge of governmental
functions and can be held answerable only if it can be shown that they were acting in
a proprietary capacity. In permitting such entities to be sued, the State merely gives

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the claimant the right to show that the defendant was not acting in its governmental
capacity when the injury was committed or that the case comes under the exceptions
recognized by law. Failing this, the claimant cannot recover.
In the case at bar, the driver of the dump truck of the Municipality insist that "he was
on his way to the Naguilian River to get a load of sand and gravel for the repair of
San Fernando's municipal streets." In the absence of any evidence to the contrary,
the regularity of the performance of official duty is presumed. We rule that the driver
of the dump truck was performing duties or tasks pertaining to his office.

THE MUNICIPALITY OF HAGONOY, BULACAN VS. HON. SIMEON P. DUMDUM,


JR
G.R. No. 168289
FACTS: The case stems from a Complaint filed by herein private respondent Emily
Rose Go Ko Lim Chao against herein petitioners, the Municipality of Hagonoy, Bulacan
and its chief executive, Felix V. Ople (Ople) for collection of a sum of money and
damages. It was alleged that sometime in the middle of the year 2000, respondent,
doing business as KD Surplus and as such engaged in buying and selling surplus
trucks, heavy equipment, machinery, spare parts and related supplies, was contacted
by petitioner Ople. Respondent had entered into an agreement with petitioner
municipality through Ople for the delivery of motor vehicles, which supposedly were
needed to carry out certain developmental undertakings in the municipality.
However, despite having made several deliveries, Ople allegedly did not heed
respondents claim for payment.
ISSUE: W/N the municipality maybe held liable? YES.
HELD: The general rule spelled out in Section 3, Article XVI of the Constitution is that
the state and its political subdivisions may not be sued without their consent.
Otherwise put, they are open to suit but only when they consent to it. Consent is
implied when the government enters into a business contract, as it then descends to
the level of the other contracting party; or it may be embodied in a general or special
law[34] such as that found in Book I, Title I, Chapter 2, Section 22 of the Local
Government Code of 1991, which vests local government units with certain corporate
powers one of them is the power to sue and be sued.
Be that as it may, a difference lies between suability and liability. As held in City of
Caloocan v. Allarde,[35] where the suability of the state is conceded and by which
liability is ascertained judicially, the state is at liberty to determine for itself whether
to satisfy the judgment or not. Execution may not issue upon such judgment,
because statutes waiving non-suability do not authorize the seizure of property to
satisfy judgments recovered from the action. These statutes only convey an
implication that the legislature will recognize such judgment as final and make
provisions for its full satisfaction. Thus, where consent to be sued is given by general
or special law, the implication thereof is limited only to the resultant verdict on the
action before execution of the judgment.[36]
The universal rule that where the State gives its consent to be sued by private parties
either by general or special law, it may limit claimants action only up to the
completion of proceedings anterior to the stage of execution and that the power of
the Courts ends when the judgment is rendered, since government funds and
properties may not be seized under writs of execution or garnishment to satisfy such

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judgments, is based on obvious considerations of public policy. Disbursements of
public funds must be covered by the corresponding appropriations as required by law.
The functions and public services rendered by the State cannot be allowed to be
paralyzed or disrupted by the diversion of public funds from their legitimate and
specific objects. x x x

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Various Categories of Diplomatic Immunity From Local Jurisdiction
ANNOTATION
VARIOUS CATEGORIES OF DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY FROM LOCAL JURISDICTION
By
JORGE R. COQUIA*
________________

1.Introduction, p. 699
2.Historical Background of Diplomatic Immunity, p. 700
3.The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic and Consular Relations, p. 702
4.Absolute and Relative Immunity, p. 702
5.Theory of Absolute Immunity, p. 703
6.Immunities of Diplomatic Agents, p. 704
7.Immunities of Consuls, p. 704
8.Honorary Consuls, p. 705
9.Immunity of Officials Representing a Sovereign State, p. 706
10.Immunity of Officials of International Organizations, p. 708
11.Immuntiy of Intergovernmental International Organizations, p. 709
12.Immunity of Non-Governmental International Organizations, p. 710
13.The Doctrine of Restrictive Immunity, p. 712
14.Immunity of Ad Hoc Diplomats, p. 714
15.The Proper Procedure in the Jeffrey Liang Case, p. 714
1. Introduction
The concept of diplomatic immunity or exemption of individuals from local jurisdiction
originally started from the immunity of diplomatic envoys such as ambassadors,
minis-
________________

* Member, Supreme Court Reports Annotated (SCRA).


700

700
SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
Various Categories of Diplomatic Immunity From Local Jurisdiction
ters, our counselors representing their countries abroad. Heads of states or sovereign
rulers traveling abroad enjoy inviolability from local jurisdiction. As international
relations developed with the formation of the family of nations, the concept of
immunity persons from local jurisdiction has very much broadened. Immunity has
extended to consuls, ad hoc diplomats, international organizations and their officers.

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International law now recognizes a system of granting immunity from local
jurisdiction not only intergovernmental organizations but also international non-
governmental organizations and their officials.

The nature of diplomatic immunity granted to officials of intergovernment


organizations was the issue in JEFFREY LIANG (HUEFENG), Petitioner, versus PEOPLE
OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent, G.R. No. 125865, promulgated on January 28, 2000
now under annotation.

The petitioner in said case, an employee of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), an
intergovernmental banking organization who allegedly committed a crime of oral
defamation invoked immunity from suit, citing a provision of the Headquarters
Agreement between the Philippine government and the ADB, that: Officers and staff
of the Bank including for the purpose of this Article experts and consultants
performing missions for the Bank shall enjoy the following privileges and immunities:
(a) immunity from legal process with respect to acts performed by them in their
official capacity except when the Bank waives the immunity.
2. Historical Background of Diplomatic Immunity
Diplomatic immunity with the law on diplomatic relations among States was
developed much earlier than all other aspects of international law. Even before the
emergence of Greek civilization, the records of ancient China, India and Egypt
showed practices observing respect for emissaries and recognizing the sacred
character of their office. Although no
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permanent embassies were established, the Greeks and the Romans sent and
received envoys who were accorded respect and personal inviolability. By then,
traces of the principle of exterritoriality as now understood in modern international
law had already been recognized. (Grotius, Book II, ch. XVII on Right to Legation,
trans. by FCG Kelsley, Carnegie Endorsement for International Peace, Oxford, 1925).

Up to the fall of Roman Empire, ambassadors were regarded only as personal


representatives of the kings or princes. With the development of the Italian states in
the fourteenth century, embassies took on a more formal character, especially in the
case of the representatives of the Holy See to the various secular courts. By the
fifteenth century, resident embassies were established and some form of diplomatic
procedure developed. Eventually, questions of precedence and inviolability of envoys
arose, which resulted in serious disputes among States. (De Vattel, Book IV, ch. V-IX
[1773] Law of Nations).
By custom and tradition antedating all other rules of international law, the diplomatic
agents sent by one state to another have been regarded as possessing a peculiarly
sacred character, in consequence of which they have been accorded special
privileges and immunities. The ancient Greeks regarded an attack upon the person of
an ambassador as an offense of the gravest nature. The writers of ancient Rome were

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unanimous in considering an injury to envoys as deliberate infraction of the jus
gentium. Grotius wrote in 1625 that there were two points with regard to
ambassadors which are everywhere recognized as prescribed by the law of nations,
first that they be admitted, and then that they be not violated. The basis upon which
this personal immunity rested was generally found in the principle that the
ambassador personified the state or sovereign he represented. From this principle
developed not only the custom of according special protection to the person of the
ambassador but also a comprehensive exemption from the local jurisdiction. In
explanation of the privileges and immunities thus granted, writers worked out the
fiction of exterritoriality, which held that the ambas-
702

702
SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
Various Categories of Diplomatic Immunity From Local Jurisdiction
sador and his suite, together with his residence and the surrounding property, were
legally outside the territory of the state. This fiction obtained for a time of foothold in
international law and served the useful purpose, on one hand, of explaining the
actual immunities granted to foreign representatives and, on the other hand, of
emphasizing the sovereignty and equality of the several states. It was, however,
open to the disadvantage not only of being a fiction but of permitting inferences
more comprehensive than the position of the ambassador called for. The conception
is abandoned in the Vienna Convention; which offers no theoretical basis for the
privileges and immunities it grants. (Fenwick, Charles G., International Law, Appleton-
Century Co., Inc., New York [1965]).

3. The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic and Consular Relations


The law on diplomatic intercourse in general as now codified in the 1961 Vienna
Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Likewise the law in consular immunities and
privileges are provided with the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
4. Absolute and Relative Immunity
Immunity from the exercise of local jurisdiction may be generally classified as
absolute or relative. According to the classical, or absolute, theory of sovereign
immunity, a foreign sovereign could not, without his consent, be made a defendant in
the courts of another sovereign. But according to a newer and restrictive theory of
sovereign immunity, such exemption has been recognized only with respect to
sovereign or public acts of state and not necessarily with respect to its so-called
private acts.
Long ago, the principle of sovereign immunity embraced both the government of a
foreign sovereign (state immunity) and the individual head of the state in question
(personal
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immunity). Today the two forms of immunity are quite distinct and have to be
discussed separately.

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5. Theory of Absolute Immunity
Regardless of whether an individual is constitutionally the actual head of a state or
only its nominal head, he or she enjoys complete immunity from suit in the territory
of another state. This principle applies equally to crowned heads of state and elected
heads of state. And whatever the sovereign may do in the territory of another state,
he is immune from all prosecution, civil or criminal. This principle was applied in
Mighell v. Sultan of Johore, Queens Bench Division (1894) 1 Q. B. 149. The Sultan of
Johore, a young man visiting England was sued by a woman for breach of promise to
marry. Although the Sultan was not exactly a head of a state, the English Court
dismissed the case on the ground that the Sultan of Johore is immune from suit. The
Court held that (1) certification of the status of a foreign sovereign by means of an
official communication from an adviser of the British sovereign binds English courts
and is to be accepted as conclusive as far as those courts are concerned, and (2) the
relationship existing between Great Britain and the Sultanate of Johore was based on
a treaty of protection by which the Sultan was to enjoy the protection of Great Britain,
engaging, on his part, not to enter into treaties with any foreign states. In the opinion
of the court, the agreement by the sultan not to enter into treaties with other Power
does not seem. . . to be abnegation of his right to enter into such treaties, but only a
condition upon which the protection stipulated for is to be given. If the sultan
disregards it, the consequences may be the loss of that protection, or possibly other
difficulties with this country; but I do not think that there is anything in the treaty
which qualifies or disproves the statement in the letter that the Sultan of Johore is an
independent sovereign.
Similarly, the Gaekwar of Baroda, named as correspondent in the divorce suit of
Statham v. Statham and the Gaekwar of Barosa, (Great Britain, Probate Court, 1912,
p. 12, cited in
704

704
SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
Various Categories of Diplomatic Immunity From Local Jurisdiction
Glahn, Law Among Nations, p. 138) was declared by a British court to be immune
from suit because of his position as sovereign of an independent state in India.
A foreign sovereign or head of state not only enjoys personal immunity from suit but
also cannot be named as a party defendant to a suit brought against him in his
official capacity as the representative of his state. This was brought out clearly in the
case of De Haber v. Queen of Portugal, (Great Britain, Court of Queens Bench, 1851,
17 Q. B., 196) in which a British court dismissed on grounds of immunity of a suit for
money allegedly wrongfully paid to the government of Portugal.
6. Immunities of Diplomatic Agents
The 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomats Relations exempts the heads of diplomatic
missions, such as acting ambassadors or nuncios, or internuncios and charges
daffaires from the exercise of local jurisdiction. The diplomatic representatives enjoy
personal inviolability. They are exempted from exercise of jurisdiction of the receiving
state. Even if they commit an offense they may not be arrested. The remedy of the
local state is to consider him a persona non grata and will be asked to leave the
country. Should he refuse to leave the country he will be treated as an ordinary
individual and the local laws can be applied on him.

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7. Immunities of Consuls
Consuls do not belong to the class of diplomatic agents. They look mainly on the
commercial interests of their own states and perform non-political matter such as
issuing passports and visas taking deportees and verification of documents.
Generally, they are not clothed with diplomatic privilege.
However, 1963 Vienna Convention of Consular Relations grants the privileges and
immunities in so far as they are performing their curricular duties. Consuls do not
enjoy im-
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munity from local jurisdiction from private or commercial transactions not connected
with the consular duties. This rule was followed in Schneckenburger v. Moran, 63 Phil.
249 (1936). The consul of Uruguay in Manila invoked the immunity from criminal
prosecution for falsification of private documents. The Supreme Court ruled that the
crime committed was not in the performance of his consular duties hence, he cannot
claim immunity from suit.
8. Honorary Consuls
By agreement among states honorary consuls are appointed to perform limited
curricular duties. They may be citizens of the receiving state and are non-career
consuls of a special category distinguished from career consuls. Various national
criteria define honorary consuls as persons who are not regularly salaried. They may
not be nationals of the sending state, and can engage in private gainful occupation,
and permitted to perform only certain limited functions. In view of the wide use of
honorary consuls, the Vienna Convention deals in detail with their status. (See Chap.
III, Arts. 58-68.) The drafters of the Convention refrained from defining honorary
consuls and merely attempted to codify the existing practice of strictly limiting their
immunities to a minimum level necessary for the proper exercise of official consular
functions, for example, freedom of communication, immunity from local jurisdiction
with reference to official acts. Other immunities are limited so as to prohibit the
granting of special benefits to honorary consuls acting in private capacities. For
example, consular archives of a consular post headed by an honorary consul are
inviolable provided that private and official documents are separated; tax exemption
extends only to renumeration received from the sending state for the exercise of
consular functions. Consular employees at a post headed by an honorary consul and
members of the honorary consuls family are granted none of the privileges provided
in the Convention.
706

706
SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
Various Categories of Diplomatic Immunity From Local Jurisdiction
9. Immunity of Officials Representing a Sovereign State
The traditional absolute theory of immunity exempted a state in every way from the
jurisdiction of other countries: its government could not be sued abroad without its
consent; its public property could not be attached; its public vessels could not be

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arrested, boarded, or sued; nor could any property or real state owned by the state
be taxed or attached in whatever country it might be located.
Under the doctrine of immunity of the State from suit even officers representing the
sovereign state are exempted from local jurisdiction. This principle was followed in
the Philippines in several cases at the time the US Military Bases were present in the
country.
One of the earliest decisions on this subject was Syquia vs. Almeda Lopez, 84 Phil.
312 (1949). The US military commander was sued to restore the apartment buildings
they owned and leased plus rentals. The Supreme Court in dismissing the case held
that the real party in interest as defendant in the original case is the United States of
America. The lessee in each of the three lease agreements was the United States of
America and the lease agreements themselves were executed in her name by her
officials acting as her agents. The consideration of rentals was always paid by the US
Government not only because, as already stated, the contracts of lease were entered
into by such Government but also because the premises were used by officers of her
armed forces during the war and immediately after the termination of hostilities.

The Supreme Court held that the courts of the Philippines including the Municipal
Court of Manila have no jurisdiction over the present case for unlawful detainer. The
question of lack of jurisdiction was raised and interposed at the very beginning of the
action. The US Government has not given its consent to the filing of this suit which is
essentially against her, though not in name. Moreover, this is not only a case of a
citizen filing a suit against his own Government without the latters consent but it is
of a citizen filing an action against a
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foreign government without said governments consent, which renders more obvious
the lack of jurisdiction of the courts of his country.
In an earlier case (Raquiza v. Bradford, 75 Phil. 50 [1945]), the Supreme Court
declared that it is well settled that a foreign army, permitted to march through a
friendly country or to be stationed in it, by permission of its government or sovereign,
is exempt from the civil and criminal jurisdiction of the place.
In Marvel Building Corporation v. Philippine War Damage Commission, 87 Phil. 328
(1950), the respondent, a United States agency established to compensate damages
suffered by the Philippines during World War II, was held as falling within the above
doctrine as the suit against it would eventually be a charge against or financial
liability of the United States Government because x x x, the Commission has no funds
of its own for the purpose of paying money judgments.
In Philippine Alien Property Administration v. Castelo, 89 Phil. 568 (1951), a suit
against the Alien Property Custodian and the Attorney General of the United States
involving vested property under the Trading with the Enemy Act was a suit against
the US. Similar rulings were held in Parreo v. Mc Grannery, 92 Phil. 791 (1953) and
Johnson v. Turner, 94 Phil. 807 (1954), Miquiabas v. Commanding General, 282 C
1948).

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In Baer v. Tizon, 57 SCRA 1 (1974) a suit filed against the US Naval Base Commander
in Subic Bay was dismissed under the doctrine of immunity from suit without its
consent.
In US v. Ruiz, 136 SCRA 482 (1985) the suit filed against the US Naval Base
Commander for breach of contract was likewise dismissed on the doctrine of state
immunity state immunity from suit.
In US v. Ceballos, 182 SCRA 644 (1990), the US Air Force Officer who was sued for
conducting buy bust operations, to prevent the distribution, and possession of
prohibited drugs in the US military base was considered as an official function. As US
government officials they are immune from suit.
708

708
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Likewise in US v. Alarcon, 182 SCRA 646 (1990) the suit filed against the US military
officials for damages due to injuries suffered by complainants who were bitten by
their dogs was dismissed as the suit was in effect against US government. The
complainants were committing theft of government property within the military base.
In 1994, the Supreme Court in Holy See, The v. Rosario, Jr., 238 SCRA 524 (1994)
reiterated the settled jurisprudence that the Vatican as a state represented by the
Holy See may not be sued. The Republic of the Philippines has accorded the Holy See
the status of a foreign sovereign. The Holy See, through its ambassador, the Papal
Nuncio, has had diplomatic representations with the Philippine government since
1957.
10. Immunity of Officials of International Organiza tions
Historically, the present law on international immunities of international organization
started from the experience of the International Labor Organization and League of
Nations and eventually the United Nations and its agencies.
The immunities enjoyed by the United Nations includes immunity for United Nations
assets, wherever located, from any legal process; immunity of all United Nations
premises from search, requisition, expropriation, confiscation, and any other sort of
interference; immunity of archives; complete freedom from all financial controls,
moratoriums, or other monetary regulations; freedom to hold funds in any desired
currency or metal; freedom to transfer funds; an absolute exemption of all assets and
revenue from all direct taxes; exemption from all customs duties as well as from any
foreign trade prohibitions on goods needed for the official use of the organization; a
guarantee of most favored diplomatic treatment as far as rates, priorities, and so on,
connected with all media of communications, are concerned; exemption from all
forms of censorship; the right to use codes; and the privilege of transporting
correspondence by courier or otherwise under
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the full complement of customary diplomatic immunities (Glahn, Law of Nations, p.
154.) Officers in UN agencies also enjoy immunities from local jurisdiction. When

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engaged in their official functions, judges of the International Court of Justice enjoy
diplomatic privileges and immunities.
Similarly, the representatives of the European Economic Community and the
European Atomic Energy (EURATOM) possess customary diplomatic privileges and
immunities in the States where they are located.
Special diplomatic missions are usually sent to States the purpose of which are
specified by mutual consent between the sending and receiving States. Members of
these special missions normally enjoy privileges in international law, except in
respect of personal actions, or professional or commercial activities. They enjoy civil
and criminal immunities, and are exempted from customs duties and inspections.
In World Health Organization v. Aquino, 48 SCRA 242 (1972), the Supreme Court
sustained the position of the Department of Foreign Affairs that the WHO official was
entitled to all the privileges and immunities of diplomatic envoys and order the
quashing of the search warrant on him issued by a lower court. The Supreme Court
said in said case that the executive branch of the Philippine Government has
expressly recognized that the petitioner Verstuyft is entitled to diplomatic immunity,
pursuant to the provisions of the Host Agreement. The Department of Foreign Affairs
formally advised respondent judge of the Philippine Governments official position
that accordingly, Dr. Verstuyft cannot be the subject of a Philippine court summons
without violating an obligation in international law of the Philippine Government.
11. Immunity of Intergovernmental International Organizations
The growth of intergovernmental international organizations dedicated to specific
universal endeavors such as health, agriculture, science, technology and
environment has broadened the concept of international immunities. The reason
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behind the grant of privileges and immunities to international rights organizations, its
officials and functionaries, is to secure them legal and practical independence in the
performance of their duties. (Jenks, International Immunities, London [1961])
The Philippine Supreme Court has ruled on this type of immunity. In Southeast Asian
Fisheries Development CenterAquaculture Department (SEAFDEC-AOD) v. National
Labor Organization, 206 SCRA 289 (1992). The Court in said case held that the
SEAFDEC, being an international organization enjoys functional independence and
freedom from control of the state in whose territory it is located.
In Lasco v. United Nations Revolving Fund for Natural Resources Exploration, 241
SCRA 681 (1995), the Court ruled that the United Nations Revolving Funds for Natural
Resources Exploration, which is a special fund and subsidiary organ of the United
Nations enjoyed immunity from suit. The United Nations Revolving Funds is involved
in a joint project of the Philippine Government and the United Nations for exploration
work in Dinagat Island. The Labor Arbiter of the Department of Labor has no
jurisdiction to try the case involving labor disputes.
12. Immunity of Non-Governmental International Organizations
The principle of immunity from said suit has been extended even to non-
governmental international organizations which are performing meritorious services
to assist countries in the promotion of health, protection of environment, and

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development of natural resources. By agreement with the government, non-
governmental international organizations which volunteer are exempted from local
jurisdiction in order to give them freedom in the performance of their activities.
In response to the plight of Vietnamese refugees an agreement was forged in 1981
between the Philippine Government and the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees whereby an operating center processing Indo-Chinese refu-
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gees for eventual resettlement to other countries was to be established in the
Philippines. The International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC), a non-profit
international humanitarian agency incorporated in New York, was accredited by the
Philippine Government to operate the refugee center in the Philippines. Duly
organized under the United Nations Economic and Social Council where it enjoys
consultative status, category II in the U.N., the ICMC was granted status as
specialized agency with corresponding diplomatic privileges accorded by the
Philippine Government.
In view of a certification election of employees union of the ICMC issued by the
Director of Bureau of Labor Relations of the Philippine Government, the ICMC filed a
petition for certiorari with the Philippine Supreme Court invoking its status as
recognized agency with corresponding diplomatic privileges and immunities. The
Department of Foreign Affairs through its Legal Adviser intervened in the case on the
ground that as the highest executive department with authority and competence to
act on matters involving diplomatic immunity and privileges, it has legal interest in
the outcome of the case. The Supreme Court sustained the intervention of the Legal
Adviser of the Department of Foreign Affairs that the certification election of laborers
and employees union violated the diplomatic immunity of the ICMC as an
international organization. The court reiterated the principle in WHO vs. Aquino, 48
SCRA 242 [1972], that the determination of diplomatic immunity is essentially a
political question which is conclusive on courts. (International Catholic Migration
Commission v. Calleja, 190 SCRA 130 [1990]).
The Philippine Supreme Court made a similar ruling in the case of International Rice
Research Institute, Inc., a Ford and Rockefeller Foundation-supported international
organization, with the principal objective of conducting research on rice production.
The Supreme Court sustained a ruling of the Secretary of Labor that an application of
the Philippine Labor Law on the employees and the laborers violated the immunities
and privileges of IRRI as a recognized international or-
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ganization. (Kapisanan ng mga Manggagawa at TAC sa IRRI v. International Rice
Institute, 190 SCRA 130 [1990]).
13. The Doctrine of Restrictive Immunity
The privileges and immunities of diplomatic officials are not altogether unlimited.

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The theory of restrictive immunity was raised for the first time in the Philippines in US
v. Ruiz, 136 SCRA 487 (1985). In the dissenting opinion of Justice Makasiar, he
averred that the US Naval Commander of Subic Bay should not hide himself behind
the cloak of immunity since when he entered into contracts with private individuals,
he went down to the level of a private. Justice Abad Santos, writing that the majority
opinion of the case, however, ruled that the US Naval Commander was entering into
a contract which involved public and sovereign function of the US government which
is the maintenance of naval facilities for the use of the US Navy.
Since 1952, US Government has followed the policy of recognizing the restrictive
immunity of a State. Through a letter of Jack B. Tate, then acting legal adviser to the
Department of State, to the Acting Attorney General, a policy was laid down that,
thenceforth, private activities of foreign sovereigns would be denied immunity in
American courts. Several United States court decisions followed the new policy
(Bishop, New United States Policy Limiting Sovereign Immunity, 47 American Journal
of International La, 93 [1953]).
The United States Congress enacted into law the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of
1976 which took effect on January 19, 1977. Said law codifies the re strictive theory
of sovereign immunity by limiting the latter to public acts and excluding all
commercial or private acts. It also laid down the procedure to be followed in filing a
case against a foreign State. The decision of vesting sovereign immunity is
exclusively with the courts, thereby eliminating political questions in the Department
of State.
The principle of restrictive immunity was applied by the Supreme Court in US v.
Guinto, 182 SCRA 644 (1990). In said
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case, the private respondent sued the US Air Force stationed in Clark Air Base in
connection with the bidding for contract for barbering services. The Supreme Court
held that barbershops subject of the concessions granted by the State Government
are commercial enterprises. They are not agencies of the United States Armed Forces
nor are their facilities demandable as a matter of right by the American servicemen.
These establishments provide for the grooming needs of their customers and offer
not only the basic haircut and shave (as required in most military organizations) but
such similar indulgences, all for a fee. Interestingly, one of the concessionaires,
private respondent Valencia, was even sent abroad to improve his tonsorial business,
presumably for the benefit of his customers. No less significantly, if not more so, all
the barbershop concessionaires are, under the terms of their contracts, required to
remit to the United States government fixed commissions in consideration of the
exclusive concessions granted to them in their respective areas.
This being the case, the petitioners cannot plead any immunity from the complaint
filed by the private respondents in the court below. The contracts in question being
decidedly commercial, the conclusion reached in the United States of America v. Ruiz
case cannot be applied here.
In US v. Rodrigo, 182 SCRA 644 (1990), the court also ruled that the US Air Force
operating the open mess complex at Camp John Hay is a business enterprise opened

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3
to the public and that the principle of immunity of suit will not apply. The business
was proprietary in character. Such services are not extended to the American
servicemen for free as a prerequisite of membership in the Armed Forces of the
United States. Neither does it appear that they are exclusively offered to these
servicemen; on the contrary, it is well known that they are available to the general
public as well, including the tourists in Baguio City, many of whom make it a point to
visit John Hay for this reason. All persons availing themselves of this facility pay for
the privilege like all other customers as in ordinary restaurants. Although the prices
are concededly reasonable and relatively low, such services are
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undoubtedly operated for profit, as a commercial and not a governmental activity.
The consequence of this finding is that the petitioners cannot invoke the doctrine of
state immunity to justify the dismissal of the damage suit against them by Genove.
For that matter, not even the United States government itself can claim such
immunity. The reason is that by entering into the employment contract with Genove
in the discharge of its proprietary functions, it impliedly divested itself of its
sovereign immunity from suit.
14. Immunity of Ad Hoc Diplomats
Members of official missions and delegates traveling abroad to attend international
conference are accorded diplomatic immunity while in the performance of their
official functions. The principle of restrictive immunity applies to them, however, for
acts not directly connected with their official duties.
15. The Proper Procedure in the Jeffrey Liang Case
In the case under annotation, the proper procedure was for the municipal court to
inquire whether the petitioner had committed the crime in connection with the
performance of his official duties as an officer of the Asian Development Bank. Sec.
45 (a) of the Headquarters agreement between the Government of the Philippines
and the Asian Development Bank states that the immunity applies to the
performance of their duties in their official capacities.
The immunity of Jeffrey Liang was not absolute. The principle of restrictive immunity
applies to him. The municipal judge in outrightly dismissing the case on the ground of
immunity of the petitioner from local jurisdiction was not proper. It will be different if
the person enjoyed full diplomatic immunity as what happened in the case of WHO
vs. Aquino, 48 SCRA 243 (1972) the official was a U.N. officer with full diplomatic
immunity. Thus, the certifications of
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Secretary of Foreign Affairs that the WHO officials enjoyed diplomatic immunity are
conclusive on the courts. It was a political act of the executive which should be
respected by the court.

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For that matter, had there been a preliminary investigation as averred by the
petitioner, the case should not have reached the Supreme Court. The preliminary
investigation could have clarified whether the petitioner committed oral defamation
in connection with his official duties as an ADB official.
o0o

Sabili v COMELEC, Librea [G.R. No. 193261. April 24, 2012.]


Doctrine
There is nothing wrong in an individual changing residences so he could run
for an elective post, for as long as he is able to prove with reasonable
certainty that he has effected a change of residence for election law
purposes for the period required by law.
Facts
Meynard Sabili ran as Mayor in Lipa City, Batangas for the May 2010 elections. He
stated in his COC that he had been a resident of Pinagtong-ulan, Lipa City for 2 years,
8 months. According to him, he was previously a resident of Brgy. Sico, San Juan,
Batangas but he changed his residence to Lipa City thereafter.
Librea contested the truth of the contents of Sabilis COC and prayed for its
cancellation. He alleged that Sabili made material misrepresentations of fact in his
COC and also failed to comply with the one-year residency requirement since he
falsely declared under oath therein that he had already been a resident of
Pinagtong-ulan, Lipa City.
COMELEC disqualified Sabili and cancelled his COC. Sabili filed an MR. Pending its
resolution, he won the 2010 elections as Lipa City Mayor. However, his MR was
denied. So, he filed this petition before the SC. The SC issued a Status Quo Ante
Order.
Issues/Held
1. Librea presented as proof tax declarations proving that the Lipa City property
of Sabili was owned by Sabilis common-law wife. Librea claims that the same
should have been owned by Sabili as positive proof of intent to change actual
residence. Is Librea correct?
Held: No. Property ownership is not among the qualifications required of candidates
for local election. Rather, it is a candidate's residence in a locality through actual
residence in whatever capacity. In another case, the SC even sustained a candidates
claim of residency even if he was a mere lessee of an apartment in the same
province where he ran for governor. Also, in Mitra v. COMELEC, the SC ruled that a
candidate's sparsely furnished, leased room on the mezzanine of a feedmill could be
considered as his residence for the purpose of complying with the residency
requirement.
We have long held that it is not required that a candidate should have his
own house in order to establish his residence or domicile in a place. It is
enough that he should live in the locality, even in a rented house or that of

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a friend or relative. What is of central concern then is that petitioner
identified and established a place in Lipa City where he intended to live in
and return to for an indefinite period of time.
2. Librea presented a Certification from the DepEd, Lipa City Division, indicating
that Sabilis children do not appear on the list of graduates of Lipa City. Is this
material?
Held: No. The issue at hand is Sabilis residence, not the educational record of his
family.
It must be stressed that the children, like the wife, do not dictate the family domicile.
Even in the context of marriage, the family domicile is jointly decided by both
husband and wife. In addition, we note that the transfer to Lipa City occurred in 2007,
when Sabilis children were already well into college and could very well have chosen
to study elsewhere than in Lipa City.
3. Sabili purportedly did not maintain any business in Lipa City, nor did he own
any property there. Is this material?
Held: No. Again, property ownership (and similarly, business interest) in the locality
where one intends to run for local elective post is not a requirement of the
Constitution.
4. Librea had several affidavits of Lipa City residents claiming that he was rarely
seen by them. Is this material?
No. Even assuming the truth of the allegation in the Affidavits that Sabili was "rarely
seen" in the area, this does not preclude the possibility of his residence therein. In a
case, it was held that the averments of certain barangay health workers that they
failed to see a particular candidate whenever they made rounds of the locality of
which he was supposed to be a resident is of no moment. It is possible that the
candidate was out of the house to attend to his own business at the time. The law
does not require a person to be in his home twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7)
days a week, to fulfill the residency requirement.
5. Sabili offered several income tax returns proving that he resided in Lipa City.
This was not considered by COMELEC. Are the ITRs material?
Held: Yes. Under the NIRC, ITRs may be filed either in the place where a person
resides or where his principal place of business is located. The fact that Sabili was
filing his ITRs in Lipa City notwithstanding that he had no business therein showed
that he had actively elected to establish his residence in that city.
A simple perusal of the Income Tax Returns and Revenue Official Receipts for 2007
and 2008 shows that Sabili invariably declares his residence to be Pinagtong-ulan,
Lipa City, rather than San Juan, Batangas.
6. Sabili also presented a Barangay Captain's Certification proving that he had
been residing in Brgy. Pinagtong-ulan since 2007. This was not considered by
the COMELEC. Is this material?
Held: Yes. The Barangay Secretary is required by the Local Government Code to
"keep an updated record of all inhabitants of the barangay. It is the business of a

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punong barangay to know who the residents are in his own barangay. Finally, the
Barangay Captain's exercise of powers and duties concomitant to his position
requires him to be privy to these records kept by the Barangay Secretary.
7. Whether Sabili had complied with the one-year residency requirement for local
elective officials?
Held: YES. Thus, Sabili has not misrepresented his residence at Pinagtong-ulan, Lipa
City and the duration thereof.
It is clear that collectively, the pieces of evidence offered by Sabili tend to sufficiently
establish his residence in Pinagtong-ulan, Lipa City.
His actual physical presence in Lipa City is established not only by the presence of a
place (Pinagtong-ulan house and lot) he can actually live in, but also the affidavits of
various persons in Pinagtong-ulan, and the Certification of its barangay captain. His
substantial and real interest in establishing his domicile of choice in Lipa City is also
sufficiently shown not only by the acquisition of additional property in the area and
the transfer of his voter registration, but also his participation in the community's
socio-civic and religious life, as well as his declaration in his ITR that he is a resident
thereof.
In view of this Court's finding that petitioner has not misrepresented his residence at
Pinagtong-ulan.
Aldovino v COMELEC, Asilo [G.R. No. 184836. December 23, 2009.]
Doctrine
Preventive suspension should not be considered an interruption that allows an
elective official's stay in office beyond three terms. A preventive suspension cannot
simply be an interruption of a term because the suspended official continues to stay
in office. He is merely barred from exercising the functions and prerogatives of the
office within the suspension period.
Facts
Asilo was elected councilor of Lucena City for three consecutive terms: 1998-2001,
2001-2004, and 2004-2007. In September 2005, during his 2004-2007 term, the
Sandiganbayan preventively suspended him for 90 days in relation with a criminal
case he then faced. The SC subsequently lifted the Sandiganbayan's suspension
order; hence, he resumed performing the functions of his office and finished his term.
In the 2007 election, Asilo filed his certificate of candidacy for the same position.
Aldovino et al. sought to deny due course to Asilo's COC or to cancel it on the ground
that he had been elected and had served for three terms; his candidacy for a fourth
term therefore violated the three-term limit rule. This was denied by the COMELEC
and eventually by the COMELEC en banc on MR.
Issue
Is the preventive suspension of an elected public official an interruption of his term
of office for purposes of the three-term limit rule under Section 8, Article X of the
Constitution and Section 43 (b) of Republic Act No. 7160 (RA 7160, or the Local
Government Code)?

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Held
1. NO. Asilo, therefore, is disqualified. The "interruption" of a term exempting an
elective official from the three-term limit rule is one that involves no less than
the involuntary LOSS OF TITLE to office. The elective official must have
involuntarily left his office for a length of time, however short, for an
effective interruption to occur.
Thus, temporary inability or disqualification to exercise the functions of an elective
post, even if involuntary, should not be considered an effective interruption of
a term because it does not involve the loss of title to office or at least an
effective break from holding office; the office holder, while retaining title, is
simply barred from exercising the functions of his office for a reason
provided by law.
An interruption occurs when the term is broken because the office holder lost the
right to hold on to his office, and cannot be equated with the failure to render service.
The latter occurs during an office holder's term when he retains title to the office but
cannot exercise his functions for reasons established by law.
Preventive suspension is a remedial measure that operates under closely-controlled
conditions and gives a premium to the protection of the service rather than to the
interests of the individual office holder. Even then, protection of the service goes only
as far as a temporary prohibition on the exercise of the functions of the official's
office; the official is reinstated to the exercise of his position as soon as the
preventive suspension is lifted. Thus, while a temporary incapacity in the exercise of
power results, no position is vacated when a public official is preventively suspended.
This was what exactly happened to Asilo.
2. As worded, Section 8, Article X of the Constitution fixes the term of a local
elective office and limits an elective official's stay in office to no more than
three consecutive terms.
The word "term" in a legal sense means a fixed and definite period of time
which the law describes that an officer may hold an office. The term of office
is the period during which an office may be held. Upon expiration of the officer's term
his rights, duties and authority as a public officer must ipso facto cease. The most
and natural frequent method by which a public officer ceases to be such is by the
expiration of the terms for which he was elected or appointed.
A voluntary renunciation of office "shall not be considered as an interruption in the
continuity of his service for the full term for which he was elected."
3. There are two requisites for the application of the disqualification:
a. That the official concerned has been elected for three consecutive terms in
the same local government post; and
b. That he has fully served three consecutive terms.
In Lonzanida v. COMELEC, the disqualification was not applied because Lonzanida
vacated his post not by voluntary renunciation but in compliance with the legal
process of writ of execution issued by the COMELEC. Such involuntary severance
from office is an interruption of continuity of service.

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In Adormeo v. COMELEC, the disqualification was not applied because the official
in this case lost in the elections for his third term but was able to succeed to the
same office by reason of a recall election. Thus, for nearly two years, the official was
a private citizen; hence, the continuity of his mayorship was disrupted by his defeat
in the election for the third term.
In Socrates v COMELEC, the disqualification was not applied because the
candidate, who had fully served his three terms, DID NOT run for the same office in a
REGULAR ELECTION. He filed his COC DURING A RECALL ELECTION against the
incumbent.
In Montebon v. COMELEC, the disqualification was not applied where the
candidate, a councilor, succeeded the office of vice-Mayor. Thus, when he ran as
councilor for the fourth term, this was allowed by the SC, ruling that that an
interruption had intervened so that he could again run as councilor. In this case,
the elective official vacated the office of councilor and assumed the higher post of
vice-mayor by operation of law. Thus, for a time he ceased to be councilor an
interruption that effectively placed him outside the ambit of the three-term limit rule.
Ruby Talaga v COMELEC (2012) [G.R. No. 196804. October 9, 2012.]
Doctrine
The existence of a valid COC is a condition sine qua non for a valid substitution.
Facts
Ramon Talaga filed his COC for the 2010 Mayoralty elections in Lucena City. His
opponent, Castillo filed a Petition to Deny Due Course to or Cancel Certificate of
Candidacy of Ramon Y. Talaga, Jr. contesting the validity of Ramons COC in view of
the fact that he had already served 3 terms as city mayor.
Ramon claimed that when he was preventively suspended by the Sandiganbayan
during his previous terms, his term of office was interrupted. But when Aldovino v
COMELEC (supra) was promulgated, he filed a Manifestation with Motion to Resolve
where he expressly recognized his disqualification to run as Mayor. The
COMELEC disqualified him as a candidate but did not expressly cancel his COC. This
decision became final and executory.
6 days prior to the elections (the OEC requires the filing of COCs 60 days prior the
elections), Barbara Ruby, Ramons wife, filed her own CoC for Mayor of Lucena City in
substitution of Ramon. On election day, the name of Ramon remained printed on
the ballots. The votes cast in his favor were counted in favor of Barbara Ruby as his
substitute. Barbara won against Castillo.
Castillo filed a Petition for Annulment of Proclamation with the COMELEC alleging
that Barbara Ruby could not substitute Ramon because his CoC had been
cancelled and denied due course; and Barbara Ruby could not be
considered a candidate because the COMELEC En Banc had approved her
substitution three days after the elections; hence, the votes cast for Ramon
should be considered stray.
Barbara countered that the COMELEC En Banc did not deny due course to or
cancel Ramon's COC, despite a declaration of his disqualification, because there

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was no finding that he had committed misrepresentation, the ground for the denial of
due course to or cancellation of his COC.
Issue/Held
1. Was Ramons COC cancelled?
Yes. The declaration of Ramon's disqualification rendered his COC invalid. The denial
of due course to or the cancellation of the CoC under Section 78 involves a finding
not only that a person lacks a qualification but also that he made a material
representation that is false.
Considering that a cancelled CoC does not give rise to a valid candidacy, there can
be no valid substitution of the candidate under Section 77 of the Omnibus Election
Code. It should be clear, too, that a candidate who does not file a valid CoC may not
be validly substituted, because a person without a valid CoC is not considered a
candidate in much the same way as any person who has not filed a CoC is not at all a
candidate.
OEC Section 78 vs OEC Section 68
It is underscored, however, that a Section 78 petition should not be interchanged or
confused with a Section 68 petition. The remedies under the two sections are
different, for they are based on different grounds, and can result in different
eventualities. A person who is disqualified under Section 68 is prohibited to continue
as a candidate, but a person whose CoC is cancelled or denied due course under
Section 78 is not considered as a candidate at all because his status is that
of a person who has not filed a CoC. Miranda v. Abaya has clarified that a
candidate who is disqualified under Section 68 can be validly substituted
pursuant to Section 77 because he remains a candidate until disqualified;
but a person whose CoC has been denied due course or cancelled under
Section 78 cannot be substituted because he is not considered a candidate.
2. Was there a valid substitution in this case?
No. The existence of a valid CoC is a condition sine qua non for a valid substitution.
Ramon was absolutely precluded from asserting an eligibility to run as Mayor of
Lucena City for the fourth consecutive term. Resultantly, his CoC was invalid and
ineffectual ab initio for containing the incurable defect consisting in his false
declaration of his eligibility to run.
Ramon himself specifically admitted his ineligibility when he filed his Manifestation
with Motion to Resolve. That sufficed to render his CoC invalid, considering that for all
intents and purposes the COMELEC's declaration of his disqualification had the effect
of announcing that he was no candidate at all. We stress that a non-candidate
like Ramon had no right to pass on to his substitute.
The concept of a substitute presupposes the existence of the person to be
substituted, for how can a person take the place of somebody who does not exist or
who never was.
All told, a disqualified candidate may only be substituted if he had a valid certificate
of candidacy in the first place because, if the disqualified candidate did not have a

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valid and seasonably filed certificate of candidacy, he is and was not a candidate at
all. If a person was not a candidate, he cannot be substituted under Section 77 of the
Code. Besides, if we were to allow the so-called "substitute" to file a "new" and
"original" certificate of candidacy beyond the period for the filing thereof, it would be
a crystalline case of unequal protection of the law, an act abhorred by our
Constitution.
QUINTO and TOLENTINO, JR. vs. COMELEC. [G.R. No. 189698. December 1,
2009.]1
Doctrine in the 2 Quinto cases
An appointive official who files his COC is deemed automatically resigned,
while an elective official is not deemed automatically resigned.
Facts
Pursuant to its constitutional mandate to enforce and administer election laws,
COMELEC issued Resolution No. 8678, the Guidelines on the Filing of Certificates of
Candidacy (CoC) and Nomination of Official Candidates of Registered Political Parties
in Connection with the May 10, 2010 National and Local Elections. Sections 4 and 5 of
Resolution No. 8678 provide:
SEC. 4. Effects of Filing Certificates of Candidacy.a) Any person holding a public
appointive office or position including active members of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines, and other officers and employees in government-owned or controlled
corporations, shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon the
filing of his certificate of candidacy.
b) Any person holding an elective office or position shall not be considered
resigned upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy for the same or any
other elective office or position.
Alarmed that they will be deemed ipso facto resigned from their offices the moment
they file their CoCs, petitioners Eleazar P. Quinto and Gerino A. Tolentino, Jr., who hold
appointive positions in the government and who intend to run in the coming
elections, filed the instant petition for prohibition and certiorari, seeking the
declaration of the afore-quoted Section 4(a) of Resolution No. 8678 as null and void.
Petitioners also contend that Section 13 of R.A. No. 9369, the basis of the
assailed COMELEC resolution, contains two conflicting provisions. These must be
harmonized or reconciled to give effect to both and to arrive at a declaration that
they are not ipso facto resigned from their positions upon the filing of their CoCs.
Issue
Whether the second proviso in the third paragraph of Section 13 of R.A. No. 9369 and
Section 4(a) of COMELEC Resolution No. 8678 are violative of the equal protection
clause.
Held
Yes. In considering persons holding appointive positions as ipso facto resigned from
their posts upon the filing of their CoCs, but not considering as resigned all other civil
1
http://kerstidawn.blogspot.com/

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servants, specifically the elective ones, the law unduly discriminates against the first
class. The fact alone that there is substantial distinction between those who hold
appointive positions and those occupying elective posts, does not justify such
differential treatment.
In order that there can be valid classification so that a discriminatory governmental
act may pass the constitutional norm of equal protection, it is necessary that the four
(4) requisites of valid classification be complied with, namely:
(1) It must be based upon substantial distinctions;
(2) It must be germane to the purposes of the law;
(3) It must not be limited to existing conditions only; and
(4) It must apply equally to all members of the class.
The first requirement means that there must be real and substantial differences
between the classes treated differently. As illustrated in the fairly recent Mirasol v.
Department of Public Works and Highways, a real and substantial distinction exists
between a motorcycle and other motor vehicles sufficient to justify its classification
among those prohibited from plying the toll ways. Not all motorized vehicles are
created equala two-wheeled vehicle is less stable and more easily overturned than
a four-wheel vehicle.
Nevertheless, the classification would still be invalid if it does not comply with the
second requirementif it is not germane to the purpose of the law.
The third requirement means that the classification must be enforced not only for the
present but as long as the problem sought to be corrected continues to exist. And,
under the last requirement, the classification would be regarded as invalid if all the
members of the class are not treated similarly, both as to rights conferred and
obligations imposed.
Applying the four requisites to the instant case, the Court finds that the differential
treatment of persons holding appointive offices as opposed to those holding elective
ones is not germane to the purposes of the law.
The obvious reason for the challenged provision is to prevent the use of a
governmental position to promote ones candidacy, or even to wield a dangerous or
coercive influence on the electorate. The measure is further aimed at promoting the
efficiency, integrity, and discipline of the public service by eliminating the danger
that the discharge of official duty would be motivated by political considerations
rather than the welfare of the public. The restriction is also justified by the
proposition that the entry of civil servants to the electoral arena, while still in office,
could result in neglect or inefficiency in the performance of duty because they would
be attending to their campaign rather than to their office work.
If we accept these as the underlying objectives of the law, then the assailed provision
cannot be constitutionally rescued on the ground of valid classification. Glaringly
absent is the requisite that the classification must be germane to the purposes of the
law. Indeed, whether one holds an appointive office or an elective one, the evils
sought to be prevented by the measure remain. For example, the Executive
Secretary, or any Member of the Cabinet for that matter, could wield the same

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influence as the Vice-President who at the same time is appointed to a Cabinet post
(in the recent past, elected Vice-Presidents were appointed to take charge of national
housing, social welfare development, interior and local government, and foreign
affairs). With the fact that they both head executive offices, there is no valid
justification to treat them differently when both file their CoCs for the elections.
Under the present state of our law, the Vice-President, in the example, running this
time, let us say, for President, retains his position during the entire election period
and can still use the resources of his office to support his campaign.
As to the danger of neglect, inefficiency or partisanship in the discharge of the
functions of his appointive office, the inverse could be just as true and compelling.
The public officer who files his certificate of candidacy would be driven by a greater
impetus for excellent performance to show his fitness for the position aspired for.
There is thus no valid justification to treat appointive officials differently from the
elective ones. The classification simply fails to meet the test that it should be
germane to the purposes of the law. The measure encapsulated in the second proviso
of the third paragraph of Section 13 of R.A. No. 9369 and in Section 66 of the OEC
violates the equal protection clause.
ELEAZAR P. QUINTO and GERINO A. TOLENTINO, JR. vs. COMELEC. (MOTION
FOR RECONSIDERATION.) [G.R. No. 189698. February 22, 2010.]
Facts
This is a motion for reconsideration filed by the Commission on Elections. The latter
moved to question an earlier decision of the Supreme Court declaring the second
proviso in the third paragraph of Section 13 of R.A. No. 9369, the basis of the
COMELEC resolution, and Section 4(a) of COMELEC Resolution No. 8678
unconstitutional. The resolution provides that, Any person holding a public
appointive office or position including active members of the Armed Forces
of the Philippines, and other officers and employees in government-owned
or controlled corporations, shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his
office upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy.
RA 9369 provides that:
For this purpose, the Commission shall set the deadline for the filing of certificate of
candidacy/petition of registration/manifestation to participate in the election. Any
person who files his certificate of candidacy within this period shall only be
considered as a candidate at the start of the campaign period for which he filed his
certificate of candidacy: Provided, That, unlawful acts or omissions applicable to a
candidate shall take effect only upon the start of the aforesaid campaign period:
Provided, finally, That any person holding a public appointive office or
position, including active members of the armed forces, and officers and
employees in government-owned or controlled corporations, shall be
considered ipso facto resigned from his/her office and must vacate the
same at the start of the day of the filing of his/her certificate of candidacy.
Issue

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Whether the second proviso in the third paragraph of Section 13 of R.A. No. 9369 and
Section 4(a) of COMELEC Resolution No. 8678 are violative of the equal protection
clause and therefore unconstitutional.
Held
No. To start with, the equal protection clause does not require the universal
application of the laws to all persons or things without distinction. What it simply
requires is equality among equals as determined according to a valid classification.
The test developed by jurisprudence here and yonder is that of reasonableness,
which has four requisites:
(1) The classification rests on substantial distinctions;
(2) It is germane to the purposes of the law;
(3) It is not limited to existing conditions only; and
(4) It applies equally to all members of the same class.
Our assailed Decision readily acknowledged that these deemed-resigned provisions
satisfy the first, third and fourth requisites of reasonableness. It, however, proffers
the dubious conclusion that the differential treatment of appointive officials vis--vis
elected officials is not germane to the purpose of the law, because "whether one
holds an appointive office or an elective one, the evils sought to be prevented by the
measure remain."
In the instant case, is there a rational justification for excluding elected officials from
the operation of the deemed resigned provisions? There is.
An election is the embodiment of the popular will, perhaps the purest expression of
the sovereign power of the people. It involves the choice or selection of candidates to
public office by popular vote. Considering that elected officials are put in office by
their constituents for a definite term, it may justifiably be said that they were
excluded from the ambit of the deemed resigned provisions in utmost respect for the
mandate of the sovereign will. In other words, complete deference is accorded to the
will of the electorate that they be served by such officials until the end of the term for
which they were elected. In contrast, there is no such expectation insofar as
appointed officials are concerned.
The dichotomized treatment of appointive and elective officials is therefore germane
to the purposes of the law. For the law was made not merely to preserve the
integrity, efficiency, and discipline of the public service; the Legislature, whose
wisdom is outside the rubric of judicial scrutiny, also thought it wise to balance this
with the competing, yet equally compelling, interest of deferring to the sovereign will.
Thus, the Court declares as NOT UNCONSTITUTIONAL (1) Section 4(a) of COMELEC
Resolution No. 8678, (2) the second proviso in the third paragraph of Section 13 of
Republic Act No. 9369, and (3) Section 66 of the Omnibus Election Code.
Mitra v COMELEC (2010) [G.R. No. 191938. July 2, 2010.]
Mitra was the incumbent Representative of the Second District of Palawan. He was
elected Representative as a domiciliary of Puerto Princesa City, and represented the
legislative district for 3 terms immediately before the 2010 elections.

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On March 20, 2009, with the intention of running for the position of Governor, Mitra
applied for the transfer of his Voter's Registration Record from Brgy. Sta. Monica,
Puerto Princesa City, to Brgy. Isaub, Municipality of Aborlan, Province of Palawan. He
subsequently filed his COC for the position of Governor of Palawan as a resident of
Aborlan.
His opponents filed a petition to deny due course or to cancel Mitra's COC. They
argued that Mitra remains a resident of Puerto Princesa City who has not yet
established residence in Aborlan. They claimed that his residence at the Maligaya
Feedmill as a mere lessee is not indicative of his intention to stay in Aborlan. Thus, he
duly misrepresented in his COC that he resides in Aborlan warranting the
denial/cancellation of his COC.
The COMELEC granted the petition. It found that Mitra has not established his
domicile in Abrolan since he dwelled in a room in Maligaya Feedmill, a small,
sparsely furnished room that is evidently unlived in, located at the second floor of a
structure that appears to be a factory or a warehouse; the residence appears hastily
set-up, cold, and utterly devoid of any indication of Mitra's personality such as old
family photographs and memorabilia collected through the years. What the supposed
residence lacks, in COMELECs perception, are the loving attention and details
inherent in every home to make it one's residence; perhaps, at most, this small room
could have served as Mitra's resting area whenever he visited the locality, but
nothing more than this.
Issue
Are the grounds relied upon by COMELEC to deny due course/cancel Mitras COC
valid?
Held
No. Such assessment, in our view, based on the interior design and furnishings of a
dwelling as shown by and examined only through photographs, is far from
reasonable; the COMELEC thereby determined the fitness of a dwelling as a person's
residence based solely on very personal and subjective assessment standards
when the law is replete with standards that can be used. Where a dwelling
qualifies as a residence i.e., the dwelling where a person permanently intends to
return to and to remain his or her capacity or inclination to decorate the place, or
the lack of it, is immaterial.
Examined further, the COMELEC's reasoning is not only intensely subjective but also
flimsy, to the point of grave abuse of discretion when compared with the surrounding
indicators showing that Mitra has indeed been physically present in Aborlan for the
required period with every intent to settle there. Specifically, it was lost on the
COMELEC majority that Mitra made definite, although incremental transfer moves, as
shown by the undisputed business interests he has established in Aborlan in 2008; by
the lease of a dwelling where he established his base; by the purchase of a lot for his
permanent home; by his transfer of registration as a voter in March 2009; and by the
construction of a house all viewed against the backdrop of a bachelor Representative
who spent most of his working hours in Manila, who had a whole congressional
district to take care of, and who was establishing at the same time his significant
presence in the whole Province of Palawan.

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From these perspectives, we cannot but conclude that the COMELEC's approach
i.e., the application of subjective non-legal standards and the gross misappreciation
of the evidence is tainted with grave abuse of discretion, as the COMELEC used
wrong considerations and grossly misread the evidence in arriving at its conclusion.
In using subjective standards, the COMELEC committed an act not otherwise within
the contemplation of law on an evidentiary point that served as a major basis for its
conclusion in the case.
Asistio v Hon. Aguirre, Echiverri (2010) [G.R. No. 191124. April 27, 2010.]
Facts
Echiverri filed against Asistio a Petition for Exclusion of Voter from the Permanent List
of Voters of Caloocan City. He alleged that Asistio is not a resident of Caloocan City,
specifically not of 123 Interior P. Zamora St., Barangay 15, Caloocan City. Echiverri
found out that Asistio's address is non-existent. Judge Aguirre ordered the exclusion
of Asistio.
Issue
Whether Asistio should be excluded from the permanent list of voters of of Caloocan
City for failure to comply with the residency required by law.
Held
Under Section 117 of The Omnibus Election Code and 9 of The Voters Registration Act
of 1996 or R.A. 8189, the residency requirement of a voter is at least one (1) year
residence in the Philippines and at least six (6) months in the place where the person
proposes or intends to vote.
"Residence," as used in the law prescribing the qualifications for suffrage and for
elective office, is doctrinally settled to mean "domicile," importing not only an
intention to reside in a fixed place but also personal presence in that place, coupled
with conduct indicative of such intention inferable from a person's acts, activities,
and utterances. "Domicile" denotes a fixed permanent residence where, when absent
for business or pleasure, or for like reasons, one intends to return. Three rules must
be borne in mind, namely: (1) that a person must have a residence or domicile
somewhere; (2) once established, it remains until a new one is acquired; and (3) that
a person can have but one residence or domicile at a time.
Domicile is not easily lost. To successfully effect a transfer thereof, one must
demonstrate: (1) an actual removal or change of domicile; (2) a bona fide intention of
abandoning the former place of residence and establishing a new one; and (3) acts
which correspond with that purpose. There must be animus manendi coupled with
animus non revertendi. The purpose to remain in or at the domicile of choice must be
for an indefinite period of time; the change of residence must be voluntary; and the
residence at the place chosen for the new domicile must be actual.
Asistio has always been a resident of Caloocan City since his birth or for more than 72
years. His family is known to be among the prominent political families in Caloocan
City. In fact, Asistio served in public office as Caloocan City Second District
representative in the House of Representatives, having been elected as such in the
1992, 1995, 1998, and 2004 elections. In 2007, he also sought election as City Mayor.

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In all of these occasions, Asistio cast his vote in the same city. Taking these
circumstances into consideration, gauged in the light of the doctrines above
enunciated, it cannot be denied that Asistio has qualified, and continues to qualify, as
a voter of Caloocan City. There is no showing that he has established domicile
elsewhere, or that he had consciously and voluntarily abandoned his residence in
Caloocan City. He should, therefore, remain in the list of permanent registered voters
of Precinct No. 1811A, Barangay 15, Caloocan City.
That Asistio allegedly indicated in his Certificate of Candidacy for Mayor, both for the
2007 and 2010 elections, a non-existent or false address, or that he could not be
physically found in the address he indicated when he registered as a voter, should
not operate to exclude him as a voter of Caloocan City. These purported
misrepresentations in Asistio's COC, if true, might serve as basis for an
election offense under the Omnibus Election Code (OEC), 38 or an action to
deny due course to the COC. But to our mind, they do not serve as proof that
Asistio has abandoned his domicile in Caloocan City.
Sema v COMELEC [G.R. No. 177597. July 16, 2008.] 2
Facts
On August 28, 2006, the ARMM Regional Assembly, exercising its power to create
provinces under Sec.19, Art.VI of RA 9054, enacted Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act
No. 201 (MMA Act 201) creating the province of Shariff Kabunsuan in the first district
of Maguindanao. The voters of Maguindanao ratified Shariff Kabunsuans creation in a
plebiscite held on October 29, 2006.
On February 6, 2007, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Cotabato City passed
Resolution No. 3999 requesting the COMELEC to clarify the status of Cotabato City in
view of the conversion of the First District of Maguindanao into a regular province
under MMA Act 201.
In an answer to Cotabato Citys query, the COMELEC issued Resolution No. 07-0407
maintaining the status quo with Cotabato City as part of Shariff Kabunsuan in the
First Legislative District of Maguindanao.
However, in preparation for the May 14, 2007 elections, the COMELEC promulgated
Resolution No. 7845 stating that Maguindanaos first legislative district is composed
only of Cotabato City because of the enactment of MMA Act No. 201. On May 10,
2007, the COMELEC issued Resolution No. 7902 amending Resolution No. 07-0407 by
renaming the legislative district in question as Shariff Kabunsan Province with
Cotabato City.
Sema, who was a candidate for Representative of Shariff Kabunsuan with Cotabato
City prayed for the nullification of Resolution No. 7902 and the exclusion from the
canvassing of votes cast in Cotabato for that office. Sema contended that Shariff
Kabunsuan is entitled to one representative in Congress under Sec. 5(3), Art. VI of the
Constitution and Sec.3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution.
Issues/Held

2
http://lexislove.wordpress.com/tag/sema-vs-comelec/

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1. Whether Sec. 19, Art. VI of RA 9054 delegating to the ARMM Regional
Assembly the power to create provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays
is constitutional.
Sec.19, Art.VI of RA 9054 is UNCONSTITUTIONAL, insofar as it grants to the ARMM
Regional Assembly the power to create provinces and cities,for being contrary to Sec.
5 of Art.VI and Sec.20 of Art. X of the Constitution, as well as Sec.3 of the Ordinance
appended to the Constitution.
The creation of LGUs is governed by Sec.10, Art.X of the Constitution:
No province, city, municipality, or barangay may be created, divided, merged,
abolished or its boundary substantially altered except in accordance with the criteria
established in the local government code (LGC) and subject to approval by a majority
of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political units directly affected.
Thus, the creation of any LGU must comply with 3 conditions: First, the creation of an
LGU must follow the criteria fixed in the LGC. Second, such creation must not conflict
with any provision of the Constitution. Third, there must be a plebiscite in the political
units affected.
There is neither an express prohibition nor an express grant of authority in
the Constitution for Congress to delegate to regional/legislative bodies the
power to create LGUs.However, under its plenary powers, Congress can delegate
to local legislative bodies the power to create LGUs subject to reasonable standards
and provided no conflict arises with any provisions of the Constitution. In fact, the
delegation to regional legislative bodies of the power to create municipalities and
barangays is constitutional, provided the criteria established in the LGC and the
plebiscite requirement in Sec. 10, Art. X of the Constitution is complied.
However, the creation of provinces is another matter. Under the LGC, only x x x an
Act of Congress can create provinces, cities, or municipalities.
According to, Sec. 5 (3), Art.VI of the Constitution:
Each City with a population of at least 250,000, or each province, shall have at least
1 representative in the House of Representatives.
Similarly, Sec. 3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution provides,
Any province that may hereafter be created, or any city whose population may
hereafter increase to more than 250,000 shall be entitled in the immediately
following election to at least 1 Member.
Thus, only Congress can create provinces and cities because the creation of
provinces and cities necessarily includes the creation of legislative
districts, a power only Congress can exercise under Sec. 5, Art.VI of the
Constitution and Sec.3 of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution.
2. Whether a province created under Sec. 19, Art.VI of RA 9054 is entitled to one
representative in the House of Representatives without need of a national law
creating a legislative district for such province.
No. Legislative Districts are created or reapportioned only by an act of Congress.
Under the Constitution, the power to increase the allowable membership in the House

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of Representatives, and to apportion legislative districts, is vested exclusively in
Congress.
Sec. 5 (1), Art.VI of the Constitution vests Congress the power to increase the
allowable membership in the House of Representatives. Sec. 5 (4) empowers
Congress to reapportion legislative districts. The power to reapportion legislative
districts necessarily includes the power to create legislative districts out of
existing ones. Congress exercises these powers through a law the Congress itself
enacts, not through a law enacted by regional/local legislative bodies. The power of
redistricting xxx is traditionally regarded as part of the power (of Congress) to make
laws, and is thus vested exclusively in (it) [Montejo v. COMELEC, 242 SCRA 415
(1995)].
An inferior legislative body cannot change the membership of the superior
legislative body which created it. Congress is a national legislature, and any
changes in its membership through the creation of legislative districts must be
embodied in national law.
The power to create or reapportion legislative districts cannot be delegated
by Congress but must be exercised by Congress itself. Even the ARMM
Regional Assembly recognizes this.
The ARMM cannot create a province without a legislative district because
the Constitution mandates that every province shall have a legislative
district.
But this can never be legally possible because the creation of legislative districts is
vested solely in Congress.
Moreover, the ARMM Regional Assembly cannot enact a law creating a national office
because Sec. 20, Art.X of the Constitution expressly provides that the legislative
powers of regional assemblies are limited only within its territorial jurisdiction.
(Nothing in Sec. 20, Art.X of the Constitution authorizes autonomous regions to
create/apportion legislative districts for Congress.)
It is axiomatic that organic acts of autonomous regions cannot prevail over
the Constitution. Since the ARMM Regional Assembly has no legislative power to
enact laws relating to national elections, it cannot create a legislative district whose
representative is elected in national elections.
At most, what ARMM can create are barangays not cities and provinces. Thus, MMA
Act 201 enacted by the ARMM Regional Assembly, creating the Province of Shariff
Kabunsuan, is void.
Aldaba v COMELEC [G.R. No. 188078. January 25, 2010.]
Doctrine
A city that has attained a population of 250,000 is entitled to a legislative district
only in the immediately following election. Thus, a city must first attain the
250,000 population, and thereafter, in the immediately following election, such city
shall have a district representative.
Facts

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Before 1 May 2009, Bulacan was represented in Congress through four legislative
districts. The First Legislative District comprised of the city of Malolos and several
municipalities. On 1 May 2009, RA 9591 was passed, amending Malolos' City Charter,
by creating a separate legislative district for the city.
The population of Malolos City on 1 May 2009 is a contested fact but there is no
dispute that the law was based on an undated certification issued by a Regional
Director (Miranda) of the NSO that "the projected population of the Municipality of
Malolos will be 254,030 by the year 2010.
Petitioners contended that RA 9591 is unconstitutional for failing to meet the
minimum population threshold of 250,000 for a city to merit additional representation
in Congress as provided under Section 5 (3), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution.
Issues/Held
1. Whether RA 9591 is unconstitutional.
RA 9591 is unconstitutional for being violative of Section 5 (3), Article VI of the 1987
Constitution.
The Constitution requires that for a city to have a legislative district, the city must
have "a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand." The only issue here is
whether the City of Malolos has a population of at least 250,000, whether actual or
projected, for the purpose of creating a legislative district for the City of Malolos in
time for the 10 May 2010 elections.
The Certification of Regional Director Miranda, which is based on demographic
projections, is without legal effect because Miranda has no basis and no authority to
issue the Certification. The Certification is also void on its face because based on its
own growth rate assumption, the population of Malolos will be less than 250,000 in
the year 2010. A city whose population has increased to 250,000 is entitled to have a
legislative district only in the "immediately following election" after the
attainment of the 250,000 population.
Certifications on demographic projections can be issued only if such projections are
declared official by the National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB). Certifications
based on demographic projections can be issued only by the NSO Administrator or his
designated certifying officer. Intercensal population projections must be as of the
middle of every year.
The Certification of Regional Director Miranda also does not state that the
demographic projections he certified have been declared official by the National
Statistics Coordination Board as required under the law. . The Certification, which
states that the population of Malolos "will be 254,030 by the year 2010," violates
the requirement that intercensal demographic projections shall be "as of
the middle of every year."
Moreover, the Certification states that "the total population of Malolos, Bulacan as of
May 1, 2000 is 175,291." The Certification also states that the population growth rate
of Malolos is 3.78% per year between 1995 and 2000. Based on a growth rate of
3.78% per year, the population of Malolos of 175,291 in 2000 will grow to only
241,550 in 2010.

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There is no showing in the present case that the City of Malolos has attained or will
attain a population of 250,000, whether actual or projected, before the 10 May 2010
elections.
2. Whether Congress' choice of means (e.g. reliance on an NSO certification,
among others) to comply with the population requirement in the creation of a
legislative district is non-justiciable.
The issue is justiciable. The resolution of such questions falls within the checking
function of this Court under the 1987 Constitution to determine whether there has
been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the
part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government.
Even under the 1935 Constitution, this Court had already ruled, "The overwhelming
weight of authority is that district apportionment laws are subject to review by the
courts." Compliance with constitutional standards on the creation of legislative
districts is important because the "aim of legislative apportionment is 'to equalize
population and voting power among districts.'"
Aldaba v COMELEC [G.R. No. 188078. March 15, 2010.] Motion for
Reconsideration
In this case, COMELEC reasserts its ground that Congress' reliance on the
Certification of Alberto N. Miranda (Miranda), Region III Director, National Statistics
Office (NSO), projecting Malolos City's population in 2010, is non-justiciable.
Held
It will not do for the COMELEC to insist that the reliability and authoritativeness of the
population indicators Congress used in enacting RA 9591 are non-justiciable. If laws
creating legislative districts are unquestionably within the ambit of this Court's
judicial review power, 5 then there is more reason to hold justiciable subsidiary
questions impacting on their constitutionality, such as their compliance with a
specific constitutional limitation under Section 5 (3), Article VI of the 1987
Constitution that only cities with at least 250,000 constituents are entitled to
representation in Congress. To fulfill this obligation, the Court, of necessity, must
inquire into the authoritativeness and reliability of the population indicators Congress
used to comply with the constitutional limitation.
Navarro v Ermita [G.R. No. 180050. February 10, 2010.]
Facts
In a May 12, 2010 Resolution, the Supreme Court struck down R.A. 9355 as
unconstitutional when it created the Dinagat Islands province in violation of Section
10, Article X of the Constitution in relation to Sec. 461 of the LGC. In this MR, the
petitioners contend that the province of the Dinagat Islands is exempted from the
requirement of territorial contiguity, when the intended province consists of two or
more islands. In the same vein, this includes the exemption from the application of
the minimum land area requirement.
The constitutional provision on the creation of a province in Section 10, Article X of
the Constitution states:

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SEC. 10. No province, city, municipality, or barangay may be created, divided,
merged, abolished, or its boundary substantially altered, except in accordance with
the criteria established in the local government code and subject to approval by a
majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political units directly affected.
Pursuant to the Constitution, the Local Government Code of 1991 prescribed the
criteria for the creation of a province, thus:
SEC. 461. Requisites for Creation. (a) A province may be created if it has an
average annual income, as certified by the Department of Finance, of not less than
Twenty million pesos (P20,000,000.00) based on 1991 constant prices and either of
the following requisites:
(i) a contiguous territory of at least two thousand (2,000) square
kilometers, as certified by the Lands Management Bureau; or
(ii) a population of not less than two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) inhabitants as
certified by the National Statistics Office:
Provided, That, the creation thereof shall not reduce the land area, population, and
income of the original unit or units at the time of said creation to less than the
minimum requirements prescribed herein.
(b) The territory need not be contiguous if it comprises two (2) or more
islands or is separated by a chartered city or cities which do not contribute
to the income of the province.
Issue
Is the creation of Dinagat Islands as a separate province constitutional?
Held
YES. The SC reversed its May 12, 2010 Resolution.
Under the law, the territory need not be contiguous if it comprises two (2) or more
islands or is separated by a chartered city or cities that do not contribute to the
income of the province.
It must be pointed out that when the local government unit to be created consists of
one (1) or more islands, it is exempt from the land area requirement as expressly
provided in Section 442 and Section 450 of the LGC if the local government unit to be
created is a municipality or a component city, respectively. This exemption is
absent in the enumeration of the requisites for the creation of a province under
Section 461 of the LGC, although it is expressly stated under Article 9(2) of the LGC-
IRR.
There appears neither rhyme nor reason why this exemption should apply
to cities and municipalities, but not to provinces. In fact, considering the
physical configuration of the Philippine archipelago, there is a greater likelihood
that islands or group of islands would form part of the land area of a newly-
created province than in most cities or municipalities. It is, therefore, logical to
infer that the genuine legislative policy decision was expressed in Section 442 (for
municipalities) and Section 450 (for component cities) of the LGC, but was
inadvertently omitted in Section 461 (for provinces). Thus, when the exemption was

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expressly provided in Article 9(2) of the LGC-IRR, the inclusion was intended to
correct the congressional oversight in Section 461 of the LGC and to reflect the true
legislative intent. It would, then, be in order for the Court to uphold the validity of
Article 9(2) of the LGC-IRR.
Moreover, the earlier decisions show a very restrictive construction which could
trench on the equal protection clause, as it actually defeats the purpose of local
autonomy and decentralization as enshrined in the Constitution. Hence, the land
area requirement should be read together with territorial contiguity.
Aquino III, Robredo v COMELEC [G.R. No. 189793. April 7, 2010.]
Doctrine
Section 5 (3) of the Constitution requires a 250,000 minimum population only for a
city to be entitled to a representative, but the same population requirement does not
apply to a province.
Facts
Petitioners pray that RA 9716 be declared unconstitutional. The law created an
additional legislative district for the Province of Camarines Sur by reconfiguring the
existing first and second legislative districts of the province.
Petitioners contend that the reapportionment introduced by RA 9716, violates the
explicit constitutional standard that requires a minimum population of 250,000 for
the creation of a legislative district. They claim that the reconfiguration by RA 9716 of
the first and second districts of Camarines Sur is unconstitutional, because the
proposed first district will end up with a population of less than 250,000 or only
176,383.
Section 5 (3), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution provides:
x x x (3) Each legislative district shall comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous,
compact, and adjacent territory. Each city with a population of at least two
hundred fifty thousand, or each province, shall have at least one
representative. x x x
Petitioners posit that the 250,000 figure appearing in the provision is the minimum
population requirement for the creation of a legislative district. They theorize that,
save in the case of a newly created province, each legislative district created by
Congress must be supported by a minimum population of at least 250,000 in order to
be valid.
Under this view, existing legislative districts may be reapportioned and severed to
form new districts, provided each resulting district will represent a population of at
least 250,000. On the other hand, if the reapportionment would result in the creation
of a legislative seat representing a populace of less than 250,000 inhabitants, the
reapportionment must be stricken down as invalid for non-compliance with the
minimum population requirement.
Issue
Whether a population of 250,000 is an indispensable constitutional requirement for
the creation of a new legislative district in a province.

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Held
No. There is no specific provision in the Constitution that fixes a 250,000 minimum
population that must compose a legislative district.
The second sentence of Section 5 (3), Article VI of the Constitution, succinctly
provides: "Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand, or each
province, shall have at least one representative."
The provision draws a plain and clear distinction between the entitlement of a city to
a district on one hand, and the entitlement of a province to a district on the other.
For while a province is entitled to at least a representative, with nothing mentioned
about population, a city must first meet a population minimum of 250,000 in order to
be similarly entitled.
The use by the subject provision of a comma to separate the phrase "each city with a
population of at least two hundred fifty thousand" from the phrase "or each province"
point to no other conclusion than that the 250,000 minimum population is
ONLY REQUIRED FOR A CITY, but NOT FOR A PROVINCE.
Plainly read, Section 5 (3) of the Constitution requires a 250,000 minimum
population only for a city to be entitled to a representative, but not so for a
province.
We do not say that in the reapportionment of the first and second legislative districts
of Camarines Sur, the number of inhabitants in the resulting additional district should
not be considered. Our ruling is that population is not the only factor but is
just one of several other factors in the composition of the additional
district. Such settlement is in accord with both the text of the Constitution and the
spirit of the letter, so very clearly given form in the Constitutional debates on the
exact issue presented by this petition.

BANAT VS. COMELEC


FACTS:
On 27 June 2002, BANAT filed a Petition to Proclaim the Full Number of Party-List
Representatives Provided by the Constitution, docketed as NBC No. 07-041 (PL)
before the NBC. BANAT filed its petition because "the Chairman and the Members of
the COMELEC have recently been quoted in the national papers that the COMELEC is
duty bound to and shall implement the Veterans ruling, that is, would apply the
Panganiban formula in allocating party-list seats."
Veterans explaining the First Party Rule:

Formula for Determining


Additional Seats for the First Party

Now, how do we determine the number of seats the first party is entitled
to? The only basis given by the law is that a party receiving at least two percent of
the total votes shall be entitled to one seat. Proportionally, if the first party were to
receive twice the number of votes of the second party, it should be entitled to twice
the latters number of seats and so on. The formula, therefore, for computing the
number of seats to which the first party is entitled is as follows:

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Number of votes
of first party Proportion of votes of
-------------------- = first party relative to
Total votes for total votes for party-list
system
party -list system

Note that the above formula will be applicable only in determining the number of
additional seats the first party is entitled to. It cannot be used to determine the
number of additional seats of the other qualified parties.
Formula for Additional
Seats of Other Qualified Parties

Step Three The next step is to solve for the number of additional seats that
the other qualified parties are entitled to, based on proportional representation. The
formula is encompassed by the following complex fraction:

No. of votes of
concerned party
------------------
Total no. of votes
Additional seats for party-list system No. of
additional
for concerned = ----------------------- x seats allocated to
party No. of votes of the first
party
first party
--------------
Total no. of votes
for party list system

In simplified form, it is written as follows:

No. of votes of
Additional seats concerned
party No. of additional
for concerned = ------------------ x seats allocated to
party No. of votes of the first
party
first party

xxx

Incidentally, if the first party is not entitled to any additional seat, then the
ratio of the number of votes for the other party to that for the first one is multiplied
by zero. The end result would be zero additional seat for each of the other qualified
parties as well.

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BANAT filed a petition for certiorari and mandamus assailing the ruling in NBC
Resolution No. 07-88. BANAT did not file a motion for reconsideration of NBC
Resolution No. 07-88.
On 9 July 2007, Bayan Muna, Abono, and A Teacher asked the COMELEC,
acting as NBC, to reconsider its decision to use the Veterans formula as stated
in its NBC Resolution No. 07-60 because the Veterans formula is violative of
the Constitution and of Republic Act No. 7941 (R.A. No. 7941). On the same
day, the COMELEC denied reconsideration during the proceedings of the NBC.
ISSUE:
Considering the allegations in the petitions and the comments of the parties in these
cases, we defined the following issues in our advisory for the oral arguments set on
22 April 2008:
1. Is the twenty percent allocation for party-list representatives in Section 5(2),
Article VI of the Constitution mandatory or merely a ceiling?
2. Is the three-seat limit in Section 11(b) of RA 7941 constitutional?
3. Is the two percent threshold prescribed in Section 11(b) of RA 7941 to qualify
for one seat constitutional?
4. How shall the party-list representative seats be allocated?
5. Does the Constitution prohibit the major political parties from participating in
the party-list elections? If not, can the major political parties be barred from
participating in the party-list elections?

HELD:
WHEREFORE we PARTIALLY GRANT the petition. We SET ASIDE the Resolution of
the COMELEC dated 3 August 2007 in NBC No. 07-041 (PL) as well as the Resolution
dated 9 July 2007 in NBC No. 07-60. We declare unconstitutional the two percent
threshold in the distribution of additional party-list seats.

RATIO:
1 & 2. Neither the Constitution nor R.A. No. 7941 mandates the filling-up of the
entire 20% allocation of party-list representatives found in the Constitution.
However, we cannot allow the continued existence of a provision in the law which
will systematically prevent the constitutionally allocated 20% party-list
representatives from being filled. The three-seat cap, as a limitation to the number of
seats that a qualified party-list organization may occupy, remains a valid statutory
device that prevents any party from dominating the party-list elections.

3. We rule that, in computing the allocation of additional seats, the continued


operation of the two percent threshold for the distribution of the additional seats as
found in the second clause of Section 11(b) of R.A. No. 7941 is unconstitutional.
This Court finds that the two percent threshold makes it mathematically
impossible to achieve the maximum number of available party list
seats when the number of available party list seats exceeds 50. The continued
operation of the two percent threshold in the distribution of the additional seats
frustrates the attainment of the permissive ceiling.

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4. In declaring the two percent threshold unconstitutional, we do not limit
our allocation of additional seats to the two-percenters. The percentage of votes
garnered by each party-list candidate is arrived at by dividing the number of votes
garnered by each party by 15,950,900, the total number of votes cast for party-list
candidates. There are two steps in the second round of seat allocation. First, the
percentage is multiplied by the remaining available seats, 38, which is the difference
between the 55 maximum seats reserved under the Party-List System and the 17
guaranteed seats of the two-percenters. The whole integer of the product of the
percentage and of the remaining available seats corresponds to a partys share in the
remaining available seats. Second, we assign one party-list seat to each of the
parties next in rank until all available seats are completely distributed. We distributed
all of the remaining 38 seats in the second round of seat allocation. Finally, we apply
the three-seat cap to determine the number of seats each qualified party-list
candidate is entitled.

5. Neither the Constitution nor R.A. No. 7941 prohibits major political
parties from participating in the party-list system. On the contrary, the
framers of the Constitution clearly intended the major political parties to participate
in party-list elections through their sectoral wings. In fact, the members of the
Constitutional Commission voted down, 19-22, any permanent sectoral seats, and in
the alternative the reservation of the party-list system to the sectoral groups. In
defining a "party" that participates in party-list elections as either "a political party or
a sectoral party," R.A. No. 7941 also clearly intended that major political parties will
participate in the party-list elections. Excluding the major political parties in party-list
elections is manifestly against the Constitution, the intent of the Constitutional
Commission, and R.A. No. 7941. This Court cannot engage in socio-political
engineering and judicially legislate the exclusion of major political parties from the
party-list elections in patent violation of the Constitution and the law.

ABAYON PALPARAN VS THE HRET

FACTS:
Abayon and Palparan were the duly nominated party list representatives of AAngat
Tayo and Bantay respectively. A quo warranto case was filed before the HRET
assailing the jurisdiction of HRET over the Party list.. and its representatives.. HRET
dismissed the proceeding but upheld the jurisdiction over the nominated
representatives who now seeks certiorari before the SC.

ISSUE:
W/N HRET has jurisdiction over the question of qualifivcations of petitioners.

HELD: Affirmative.

The HRET dismissed the petitions for quo warranto filed with it insofar as they sought
the disqualifications of Aangat Tayo andBa nt a y. Since petitioners Abayon and
Palparan were not elected into office but were chosen by their respective
organizations under their internal rules, the HRET has no jurisdiction to inquire into
and adjudicate their qualifications as nominees.

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Although it is the party-list organization that is voted for in the elections, it is not the
organization that sits as and becomes a member of the House of Representatives.
Section 5, Article VI of the
Constitution, identifies who the members of that House are representatives of
districts and party list.

Once elected, both the district representatives and the party-list representatives are
treated in like manner. The Party-List System Act itself recognizes party-list nominees
as members of the House of Representatives, a party-list representative is in every
sense an elected member of the House of Representatives.

Although the vote cast in a party-list election is a vote for a party, such vote, in the
end, would be a vote for its nominees, who, in appropriate cases, would eventually sit
in the House of Representatives. Both the Constitution and the Party-List System
Act set the qualifications and grounds for disqualification of party-list nominees.
Section 9 of R.A. 7941, echoing the Constitution.

It is for the HRET to interpret the meaning of this particular qualification of a


nominee the need for him or her to be a bona fide member or a representative of
his party-list organization in the context of the facts
that characterize petitioners Abayon and Palparans relation to Aangat Tayoa nd
Bantay, respectively, and the marginalized and underrepresented interests that they
presumably embody.

By analogy with the cases of district representatives, once the party or organization
of the party-list nominee has been proclaimed and the nominee has taken his oath
and assumed office as member of the House of Representatives, the COMELECs
jurisdiction over election contests relating to his qualifications ends and the HRETs
own jurisdiction begins.

The Court holds that respondent HRET did not gravely abuse its discretion when it
dismissed the petitions for quo warranto against Aangat Tayo party-list and Bantay
party-list but upheld its jurisdiction over the question of the qualifications of
petitioners Abayon and Palparan

ANG LADLAD VS. COMELEC

FACTS:

Petitioner is a national organization which represents the lesbians, gays,


bisexuals, and trans-genders. It filed a petition for accreditation as a party-list
organization to public respondent. However, due to moral grounds, the latter

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denied the said petition. To buttress their denial, COMELEC cited certain
biblical and quranic passages in their decision. It also stated that since their
ways are immoral and contrary to public policy, they are considered
nuissance. In fact, their acts are even punishable under the Revised Penal
Code in its Article 201.

A motion for reconsideration being denied, Petitioner filed this instant Petition
on Certiorari under Rule 65 of the ROC.

Ang Ladlad argued that the denial of accreditation, insofar as it justified the
exclusion by using religious dogma, violated the constitutional guarantees
against the establishment of religion. Petitioner also claimed that the Assailed
Resolutions contravened its constitutional rights to privacy, freedom of speech
and assembly, and equal protection of laws, as well as constituted violations
of the Philippines international obligations against discrimination based on
sexual orientation.

In its Comment, the COMELEC reiterated that petitioner does not have a
concrete and genuine national political agenda to benefit the nation and that
the petition was validly dismissed on moral grounds. It also argued for the first
time that the LGBT sector is not among the sectors enumerated by the
Constitution and RA 7941, and that petitioner made untruthful statements in
its petition when it alleged its national existence contrary to actual verification
reports by COMELECs field personnel.

ISSUE:
WON Respondent violated the Non-establishment clause of the Constitution;
WON Respondent erred in denying Petitioners application on moral and legal
grounds.

HELD:

Respondent mistakenly opines that our ruling in Ang Bagong Bayani stands for
the proposition that only those sectors specifically enumerated in the law or
related to said sectors (labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous
cultural communities, elderly, handicapped, women, youth, veterans,
overseas workers, and professionals) may be registered under the party-list
system. As we explicitly ruled in Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party v.
Commission on Elections, the enumeration of marginalized and under-
represented sectors is not exclusive. The crucial element is not whether a
sector is specifically enumerated, but whether a particular organization
complies with the requirements of the Constitution and RA 7941.

Our Constitution provides in Article III, Section 5 that [n]o law shall be made
respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise
thereof. At bottom, what our non-establishment clause calls for is
government neutrality in religious matters. Clearly, governmental reliance

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on religious justification is inconsistent with this policy of neutrality. We thus
find that it was grave violation of the non-establishment clause for the
COMELEC to utilize the Bible and the Koran to justify the exclusion of Ang
Ladlad. Be it noted that government action must have a secular purpose.

Respondent has failed to explain what societal ills are sought to be prevented,
or why special protection is required for the youth. Neither has the COMELEC
condescended to justify its position that petitioners admission into the party-
list system would be so harmful as to irreparably damage the moral fabric of
society.

We also find the COMELECs reference to purported violations of our penal and
civil laws flimsy, at best; disingenuous, at worst. Article 694 of the Civil Code
defines a nuisance as any act, omission, establishment, condition of
property, or anything else which shocks, defies, or disregards decency or
morality, the remedies for which are a prosecution under the Revised Penal
Code or any local ordinance, a civil action, or abatement without judicial
proceedings. A violation of Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code, on the other
hand, requires proof beyond reasonable doubt to support a criminal
conviction. It hardly needs to be emphasized that mere allegation of violation
of laws is not proof, and a mere blanket invocation of public morals cannot
replace the institution of civil or criminal proceedings and a judicial
determination of liability or culpability.

As such, we hold that moral disapproval, without more, is not a sufficient


governmental interest to justify exclusion of homosexuals from participation in
the party-list system. The denial of Ang Ladlads registration on purely moral
grounds amounts more to a statement of dislike and disapproval of
homosexuals, rather than a tool to further any substantial public interest.

LUIS K. LOKIN, JR., as the second nominee of CITIZENS BATTLE AGAINST


CORRUPTION (CIBAC) vs COMELEC and the House of Representatives
(2010)

FACTS:
The Citizens Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) was one of the organized
groups duly registered under the party-list system of representation that
manifested their intent to participate in the May 14, 2007 synchronized
national and local elections. Together with its manifestation of intent to
participate, CIBAC, through its president, Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva,
submitted a list of five nominees from which its representatives would be
chosen should CIBAC obtain the required number of qualifying votes. The
nominees, in the order that their names appeared in the certificate of
nomination dated March 29, 2007, were: (1) Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva; (2)
herein petitioner Luis K. Lokin, Jr.; (3) Cinchona C. Cruz-Gonzales; (4) Sherwin
Tugna; and (5) Emil L. Galang.

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Prior to the elections, however, CIBAC, still through Villanueva, filed a
certificate of nomination, substitution and amendment of the list of nominees
dated May 7, 2007, whereby it withdrew the nominations of Lokin, Tugna and
Galang and substituted Armi Jane R. Borje as one of the nominees. The
amended list of nominees of CIBAC thus included: (1) Villanueva, (2) Cruz-
Gonzales, and (3) Borje.
On June 26, 2007, CIBAC, supposedly through its counsel, filed with the
COMELEC en banc sitting as the National Board of Canvassers a motion
seeking the proclamation of Lokin as its second nominee. The right of CIBAC
to a second seat as well as the right of Lokin to be thus proclaimed were
purportedly based on Party-List Canvass Report No. 26, which showed CIBAC
to have garnered a grand total of 744,674 votes. Using all relevant formulas,
the motion asserted that CIBAC was clearly entitled to a second seat and
Lokin to a proclamation.
The motion was opposed by Villanueva and Cruz-Gonzales.
Notwithstanding Villanuevas filing of the certificate of nomination,
substitution and amendment of the list of nominees and the petitions of more
than 81% of CIBAC members, the COMELEC failed to act on the matter,
prompting Villanueva to file a petition to confirm the certificate of nomination,
substitution and amendment of the list of nominees of CIBAC on June 28,
2007.
On July 6, 2007, the COMELEC issued Resolution No. 8219, whereby it resolved
to set the matter pertaining to the validity of the withdrawal of the
nominations of Lokin, Tugna and Galang and the substitution of Borje for
proper disposition and hearing. The case was docketed as E.M. No. 07-054.
With the formal declaration that CIBAC was entitled to an additional seat,
Ricardo de los Santos, purportedly as secretary general of CIBAC, informed
Roberto P. Nazareno, Secretary General of the House of Representatives, of
the promulgation of NBC Resolution No. 07-72 and requested that Lokin be
formally sworn in by Speaker Jose de Venecia, Jr. to enable him to assume
office. Nazareno replied, however, that the request of Delos Santos could not
be granted because COMELEC Law Director Alioden D. Dalaig had notified him
of the pendency of E.M. 07-054.
The COMELEC approved the withdrawal of nomination of Atty. Luis Lokin.
Hence, this present petition.
ISSUE:
Whether or not Section 13 of Resolution No. 7804 is unconstitutional and
violates the Party-List System Act.
RULING:
Section 13 of Resolution No. 7804 states:
o Section 13. Substitution of nominees. A party-list nominee may be
substituted only when he dies, or his nomination is withdrawn by the
party, or he becomes incapacitated to continue as such, or he
withdraws his acceptance to a nomination. In any of these cases, the
name of the substitute nominee shall be placed last in the list of
nominees.
No substitution shall be allowed by reason of withdrawal after the polls.

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Unlike Section 8 of R.A. No. 7941, the foregoing regulation provides four
instances, the fourth being when the "nomination is withdrawn by the party."
Lokin insists that the COMELEC gravely abused its discretion in expanding to
four the three statutory grounds for substituting a nominee.
We agree with Lokin.
The COMELEC, despite its role as the implementing arm of the Government in
the enforcement and administration of all laws and regulations relative to the
conduct of an election, has neither the authority nor the license to expand,
extend, or add anything to the law it seeks to implement thereby. The IRRs the
COMELEC issues for that purpose should always accord with the law to be
implemented, and should not override, supplant, or modify the law. It is basic
that the IRRs should remain consistent with the law they intend to carry out.
Indeed, administrative IRRs adopted by a particular department of the
Government under legislative authority must be in harmony with the
provisions of the law, and should be for the sole purpose of carrying the laws
general provisions into effect. The law itself cannot be expanded by such IRRs,
because an administrative agency cannot amend an act of Congress.
The COMELEC explains that Section 13 of Resolution No. 7804 has added
nothing to Section 8 of R.A. No. 7941, because it has merely reworded and
rephrased the statutory provisions phraseology.
The explanation does not persuade.
To reword means to alter the wording of or to restate in other words;
to rephrase is to phrase anew or in a new form. Both terms signify that the
meaning of the original word or phrase is not altered.
However, the COMELEC did not merely reword or rephrase the text of Section
8 of R.A. No. 7941, because it established an entirely new ground not found in
the text of the provision. The new ground granted to the party-list
organization the unilateral right to withdraw its nomination already submitted
to the COMELEC, which Section 8 of R.A. No. 7941 did not allow to be done.
Considering that Section 13 of the Resolution No. 7804 to the extent that it
allows the party-list organization to withdraw its nomination already submitted
to the COMELEC was invalid, CIBACs withdrawal of its nomination of Lokin
ang the others and its substitution of them with new nominees were also
invalid and ineffectual. It is clear enough that any substitution of Lokin and the
others could only be for any grounds expressly stated in section 8 of RA 7941.
Section 13 of Resolution No. 7804 invalid and of no effect to the extent that it
authorizes a party-list organization to withdraw its nomination of a nominee
once it has submitted to the COMELEC.

LUIS K. LOKIN, JR. and TERESITA F. PLANAS vs COMELEC, CIBAC PARTY LIST
represented by VIRGINIA S. JOSE SHERWIN N. TUGNA, and CINCHONA CRUZ-
GONZALES (2012)

FACTS:
On 5 July 2010, the COMELEC First Division issued a Resolution expunging the
Certificate of Nomination which included herein petitioners as representatives

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of the party-list group known as Citizens Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC).
The COMELEC en banc affirmed the said Resolution, prompting Luis Lokin, Jr.
and Teresita F. Planas to file the present Petition for Certiorari. Petitioners
allege grave abuse of discretion on the part of the COMELEC in issuing both
Resolutions, praying that they be recognized as the legitimate nominees of
CIBAC party-list, and that petitioner Lokin, Jr. be proclaimed as the CIBAC
party-list representative to the House of Representatives.
Respondent CIBAC party-list is a multi-sectoral party registered under Republic
Act No. (R.A.) 7941, otherwise known as the Party- List System Act. As stated
in its constitution and bylaws, the platform of CIBAC is to fight graft and
corruption and to promote ethical conduct in the countrys public
service. Under the leadership of the National Council, its highest policymaking
and governing body, the party participated in the 2001, 2004, and 2007
elections.
On 20 November 2009, two different entities, both purporting to represent
CIBAC, submitted to the COMELEC a "Manifestation of Intent to Participate in
the Party-List System of Representation in the May 10, 2010 Elections." The
first Manifestation was signed by a certain Pia B. Derla, who claimed to be the
partys acting secretary-general. At 1:30 p.m. of the same day, another
Manifestation was submitted by herein respondents Cinchona Cruz-Gonzales
and Virginia Jose as the partys vice-president and secretary-general,
respectively.
On 15 January 2010, the COMELEC issued Resolution No. 8744 giving due
course to CIBACs Manifestation, "WITHOUT PREJUDICE TO the determination
which of the two factions of the registered party-list/coalitions/sectoral
organizations which filed two (2) manifestations of intent to participate is the
official representative of said party-list/coalitions/sectoral organizations xxx."
On 19 January 2010, respondents, led by President and Chairperson
Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva, submitted the Certificate of Nomination of CIBAC
to the COMELEC Law Department. The nomination was certified by Villanueva
and Virginia S. Jose. On 26 March 2010, Pia Derla submitted a second
Certificate of Nomination, which included petitioners Luis Lokin, Jr. and Teresita
Planas as party-list nominees. Derla affixed to the certification her signature
as "acting secretary-general" of CIBAC.
Claiming that the
nomination of petitioners Lokin, Jr. and Planas was unauthorized, respondents
filed with the COMELEC a "Petition to Expunge From The Records And/Or For
Disqualification," seeking to nullify the Certificate filed by Derla. Respondents
contended that Derla had misrepresented herself as "acting secretary-
general," when she was not even a member of CIBAC; that the Certificate of
Nomination and other documents she submitted were unauthorized by the
party and therefore invalid; and that it was Villanueva who was duly
authorized to file the Certificate of Nomination on its behalf.
COMELEC granted the Petition, ordered the Certificate filed by Derla to be
expunged from the records, and declared respondents faction as the true
nominees of CIBAC.
ISSUE:

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Whether the COMELEC erred in granting the Petition for Disqualification and
recognizing respondents as the properly authorized nominees of CIBAC party-
list.
RULING:
By virtue of the mandate of the Party-List Law vesting the COMELEC with
jurisdiction over the nomination of party-list representatives and prescribing
the qualifications of each nominee, the COMELEC promulgated its "Rules on
Disqualification Cases Against Nominees of Party-List Groups/ Organizations
Participating in the 10 May 2010 Automated National and Local Elections."
Adopting the same qualifications of party-list nominees listed above, Section 6
of these Rules also required that:
The party-list group and the nominees must submit documentary evidence in
consonance with the Constitution, R.A. 7941 and other laws to duly prove that
the nominees truly belong to the marginalized and underrepresented sector/s,
the sectoral party, organization, political party or coalition they seek to
represent.
A careful perusal of the records readily shows that Pia B. Derla, who has
signed and submitted, as the purported Acting Secretary General of CIBAC,
the Certificates of Nomination of Respondents, has no authority to do so.
Despite Respondents repeated claim that Ms. Derla is a member and officer
of CIBAC, they have not presented any proof in support of the same. We are at
a loss as to the manner by which Ms. Derla has assumed the post, and We see
nothing but Respondents claims and writings/certifications by Ms. Derla
herself that point to that alleged fact. Surely, We cannot rely on these
submissions, as they are the very definition of self-serving declarations.
Pia Derla, who is not even a member of CIBAC, is thus a virtual stranger to the
party-list, and clearly not qualified to attest to petitioners as CIBAC nominees,
or certify their nomination to the COMELEC. Petitioners cannot use their
registration with the SEC as a substitute for the evidentiary requirement to
show that the nominees, including Derla, are bona fide members of the party.
Petitioners Planas and Lokin, Jr. have not even presented evidence proving the
affiliation of the so-called Board of Trustees to the CIBAC Sectoral Party that is
registered with COMELEC.
WHEREFORE , finding no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the
COMELEC in issuing the assailed Resolutions, the instant Petition is
DISMISSED. This Court AFFIRMS the judgment of the COMELEC expunging
from its records the Certificate of Nomination filed on 26 March 2010 by Pia B.
Derla. The nominees, as listed in the Certificate of Nomination filed on 19
January 2010 by Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva, President and Chairman of
Citizens Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) Party List, are recognized as the
legitimate nominees of the said party.

MILAGROS E. AMORES vs HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL


TRIBUNAL and EMMANUEL JOEL J. VILLANUEVA

FACTS:

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Petitioner alleged that, among other things, private respondent assumed
office without a formal proclamation issued by the Commission on Elections
(COMELEC); he was disqualified to be a nominee of the youth sector of CIBAC
since, at the time of the filing of his certificates of nomination and acceptance,
he was already 31 years old or beyond the age limit of 30 pursuant to Section
9 of Republic Act (RA) No. 7941, otherwise known as the Party-List System Act;
and his change of affiliation from CIBACs youth sector to its overseas Filipino
workers and their families sector was not effected at least six months prior to
the May 14, 2007 elections so as to be qualified to represent the new sector
under Section 15 of RA No. 7941.
ISSUE:
WON Mr. Villanuevas assumption of office is legal.
RULING:
the Court shall first discuss the age requirement for youth sector nominees
under Section 9 of RA No. 7941 reading:
Section 9. Qualifications of Party-List Nominees. No person shall be nominated
as party-list representative unless he is a natural-born citizen of the
Philippines, a registered voter, a resident of the Philippines for a period of not
less than one (1)year immediately preceding the day of the election, able to
read and write, a bona fide member of the party or organization which he
seeks to represent for at least ninety (90) days preceding the day of the
election, and is at least twenty-five (25) years of age on the day of the
election.
In case of a nominee of the youth sector, he must at least be twenty-five (25)
but not more than thirty (30) years of age on the day of the election. Any
youth sectoral representative who attains the age of thirty (30) during his
term shall be allowed to continue in office until the expiration of his term.
As the law states in unequivocal terms that a nominee of the youth
sector must at least be twenty-five (25) but not more than thirty (30) years of
age on the day of the election, so it must be that a candidate who is more
than 30 on election day is not qualified to be a youth sector nominee. Since
this mandate is contained in RA No. 7941, the Party-List System Act, it covers
ALL youth sector nominees vying for party-list representative seats.
As petitioner points out, RA No. 7941 was enacted only in March, 1995. There
is thus no reason to apply Section 9 thereof only to youth sector nominees
nominated during the first three congressional terms after the ratification of
the Constitution in 1987. Under this interpretation, the last elections where
Section 9 applied were held in May, 1995 or two months after the law was
enacted. This is certainly not sound legislative intent, and could not have been
the objective of RA No. 7941.
Respecting Section 15 of RA No. 7941, the Court fails to find even an iota of
textual support for public respondents ratiocination that the provision did not
apply to private respondents shift of affiliation from CIBACs youth sector to
its overseas Filipino workers and their families sector as there was no resultant
change in party-list affiliation. Section 15 reads:
Section 15. Change of Affiliation; Effect. Any elected party-list representative
who changes his political party or sectoral affiliation during his term of office

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shall forfeit his seat: Provided, That if he changes his political party or sectoral
affiliationwithin six (6) months before an election, he shall not be eligible for
nomination as party-list representative under his new party or organization.
(emphasis and underscoring supplied.)
What is clear is that the wording of Section 15 covers changes in both political
party and sectoral affiliation. And the latter may occur within the same party
since multi-sectoral party-list organizations are qualified to participate in the
Philippine party-list system. Hence, a nominee who changes his sectoral
affiliation within the same party will only be eligible for nomination under the
new sectoral affiliation if the change has been effected at least six months
before the elections. Again, since the statute is clear and free from ambiguity,
it must be given its literal meaning and applied without attempted
interpretation. This is the plain meaning rule or verba legis, as expressed in
the maxim index animi sermo or speech is the index of intention.
It is, therefore, beyond cavil that Sections 9 and 15 of RA No. 7941 apply to
private respondent.
The Court finds that private respondent was not qualified to be a nominee of
either the youth sector or the overseas Filipino workers and their families
sector in the May, 2007 elections.
The records disclose that private respondent was already more than 30 years
of age in May, 2007, it being stipulated that he was born in August,
1975. Moreover, he did not change his sectoral affiliation at least six months
before May, 2007, public respondent itself having found that he shifted to
CIBACs overseas Filipino workers and their families sector only on March 17,
2007.
That private respondent is the first nominee of CIBAC, whose victory was later
upheld, is of no moment. A party-list organizations ranking of its nominees is
a mere indication of preference, their qualifications according to law are a
different matter.

RONALDO LAYUG vs COMELEC, MARIANO VELARDE (alias BROTHER MIKE)


and BUHAY PARTY-LIST

FACTS:
On March 31, 2010, petitioner Rolando D. Layug (Layug), in his capacity as a
taxpayer and concerned citizen, filed pro se a Petition to Disqualify (SPA No.
10-016 [DCN]) Buhay Party-List from participating in the May 10, 2010
elections, and Brother Mike from being its nominee. He argued that Buhay
Party-List is a mere extension of the El Shaddai, which is a religious sect. As
such, it is disqualified from being a party-list under Section 5, Paragraph 2,
Article VI of the 1987 Constitution 4, as well as Section 6, Paragraph 1 of
Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7941, otherwise known as the Party-List System
Act. Neither does Brother Mike, who is allegedly a billionaire real estate
businessman and the spiritual leader of El Shaddai, qualify as one who
belongs to the marginalized and underrepresented sector xxx, as required of
party-list nominees under Section 6 (7) of COMELEC Resolution No. 8807, the
Rules on Disqualification Cases Against Nominees of Party-List

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Groups/Organizations Participating in the May 10, 2010 Automated National
and Local Elections.
In their Answer thereto, Buhay Party-List and Brother Mike claimed that Buhay
Party-List is not a religious sect but a political party possessing all the
qualifications of a party-list. It is composed of groups for the elderly, the
women, the youth, the handicapped, as well as the professionals, and Brother
Mike belongs to the marginalized and underrepresented elderly group. They
likewise argued that nominees from a political party such as Buhay Party-List
need not even come from the marginalized and underrepresented sector.
On June 15, 2010, the COMELEC Second Division issued a Resolution denying
the petition for lack of substantial evidence.
As a consequence of such entry, the COMELEC En Banc, sitting as the National
Board of Canvassers for Party-List, promulgated on July 30, 2010 NBC
Resolution No. 10-034 proclaiming Buhay Party-List as a winner entitled to two
(2) seats in the House of Representatives. Being the fifth nominee, however,
Brother Mike was not proclaimed as the representative of Buhay Party-List.
ISSUE:
WON the HRET has jurisdiction over the present petition.
RULING:
The Court not the HRET has jurisdiction over the present petition.
Section 17, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution provides that the House of
Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) shall be the sole judge of all
contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of its Members.
Section 5 (1) of the same Article identifies who the "members" of the House
are:
o Sec. 5. (1). The House of Representatives shall be composed of not
more than two hundred and fifty members, unless otherwise fixed by
law,who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among
the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance
with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a
uniform and progressive ratio, and those who, as provided by law, shall
be elected through a party list system of registered national, regional,
and sectoral parties or organizations.
Clearly, the members of the House of Representatives are of two kinds: (1)
members who shall be elected from legislative districts; and (2) those who
shall be elected through a party-list system of registered national, regional,
and sectoral parties or organizations. 1 In this case, Buhay Party-List was
entitled to two seats in the House that went to its first two nominees, Mariano
Michael DM. Velarde, Jr. and William Irwin C. Tieng. On the other hand, Brother
Mike, being the fifth nominee, did not get a seat and thus had not become a
member of the House of Representatives. Indubitably, the HRET has no
jurisdiction over the issue of Brother Mike's qualifications
Neither does the HRET have jurisdiction over the qualifications of Buhay Party-
List, as it is vested by law, specifically, the Party-List System Act, upon the
COMELEC. Section 6 of said Act states that the COMELEC may motu proprio
or upon verified complaint of any interested party, remove or cancel, after due
notice and hearing, the registration of any national, regional or sectoral party,

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organization or coalition xxx. Accordingly, in the case of Abayon vs.
HRET, We ruled that the HRET did not gravely abuse its discretion when it
dismissed the petitions for quo warranto against Aangat Tayo party-list
and Bantay party-list insofar as they sought the disqualifications of said party-
lists.

ATONG PAGLAUM, INC. VS. COMMISSION ON ELECTION AND OTHER CASES


(G.R. NO. 203766 ETC., 02 APRIL 2013, CARPIO, J.)
(pasensya na...pertinga taasa man uyy)
Facts:
These cases constitute 54 Petitions for Certiorari and Petitions for Certiorari and
Prohibition filed by 52 party-list groups and organizations assailing the Resolutions
issued by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) disqualifying them from
participating in the 13 May 2013 party-list elections, either by denial of their petitions
for registration under the party-list system, or cancellation of their registration and
accreditation as party-list organizations.
Pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act No. 7941 (R.A. No. 7941) and COMELEC
Resolution Nos. 9366 and 9531, approximately 280 groups and organizations
registered and manifested their desire to participate in the 13 May 2013 party-list
elections.
In a Resolution dated 5 December 2012, the COMELEC En Banc affirmed the
COMELEC Second Divisions resolution to grant Partido ng Bayan ng Bidas (PBB)
registration and accreditation as a political party in the National Capital Region.
However, PBB was denied participation in the 13 May 2013 party-list elections
because PBB does not represent any "marginalized and underrepresented" sector;
PBB failed to apply for registration as a party-list group; and PBB failed to establish its
track record as an organization that seeks to uplift the lives of the "marginalized and
underrepresented."
These 13 petitioners (ASIN, Manila Teachers, ALA-EH, 1AAAP, AKIN, AAB, AI, ALONA,
ALAM, KALIKASAN, GUARDJAN, PPP, and PBB) were not able to secure a mandatory
injunction from this Court. The COMELEC, on 7 January 2013 issued Resolution No.
9604, and excluded the names of these 13 petitioners in the printing of the official
ballot for the 13 May 2013 party-list elections.
Pursuant to paragraph 2 of Resolution No. 9513, the COMELEC En Banc scheduled
summary evidentiary hearings to determine whether the groups and organizations
that filed manifestations of intent to participate in the 13 May 2013 party-list
elections have continually complied with the requirements of R.A. No. 7941 and Ang
Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party v. COMELEC (Ang Bagong Bayani). The COMELEC
disqualified the 39 groups and organizations from participating in the 13 May 2013
party-list elections:
These 39 petitioners (AKB, Atong Paglaum, ARAL, ARC, UNIMAD, 1BRO-PGBI,
1GANAP/GUARDIANS, A BLESSED Party-List, 1-CARE, APEC, AT, ARARO, AGRI, AKMA-
PTM, KAP, AKO-BAHAY, BANTAY, PACYAW, PASANG MASDA, KAKUSA, AG, ANAD,
GREENFORCE, FIRM 24-K, ALIM, AAMA, SMART, ABP, BAYANI, AANI, A-IPRA, COCOFED,
ABANG LINGKOD, ABROAD, BINHI, BUTIL, 1st KABAGIS, 1-UTAK, SENIOR CITIZENS)
were able to secure a mandatory injunction from this Court, directing the COMELEC to
include the names of these 39 petitioners in the printing of the official ballot for the
13 May 2013 party-list elections.

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Issue:
1. Whether the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to
lack or excess of jurisdiction in disqualifying petitioners from participating in
the 13 May 2013 party-list elections, either by denial of their new petitions for
registration under the party-list system, or by cancellation of their existing
registration and accreditation as party-list organizations
2. Whether the criteria for participating in the party-list system laid down in Ang
Bagong Bayani and Barangay Association for National Advancement and
Transparency v. Commission on Elections49 (BANAT) should be applied by the
COMELEC in the coming 13 May 2013 party-list elections.
Ruling:
We hold that the COMELEC did not commit grave abuse of discretion in following
prevailing decisions of this Court in disqualifying petitioners from participating in the
coming 13 May 2013 party-list elections. However, since the Court adopts in this
Decision new parameters in the qualification of national, regional, and sectoral
parties under the party-list system, thereby abandoning the rulings in the decisions
applied by the COMELEC in disqualifying petitioners, we remand to the COMELEC all
the present petitions for the COMELEC to determine who are qualified to register
under the partylist system, and to participate in the coming 13 May 2013 party-list
elections, under the new parameters prescribed in this Decision.
The objective of the party list system under the 1987 constitution is to
democratize political power by giving political parties that cannot win in
legislative district elections a chance to win seats in the house of
representatives.
The 1987 Constitution provides the basis for the party-list system ofrepresentation.
Simply put, the party-list system is intended to democratize political power by giving
political parties that cannot win in legislative district elections a chance to win seats
in the House of Representatives.50 The voter elects two representatives in the House
of Representatives: one for his or her legislative district, and another for his or her
party-list group or organization of choice.
Both sectoral and well as non-sectoral parties are included in the party list
system.
Indisputably, the framers of the 1987 Constitution intended the party-listsystem to
include not only sectoral parties but also non-sectoral parties. The framers intended
the sectoral parties to constitute a part, but not the entirety, of the party-list system.
As explained by Commissioner Wilfredo Villacorta, political parties can
participate in the party-list system [F]or as long as they field candidates
who come from the different marginalized sectors that we shall designate
in this Constitution.53
Thus, in the end, the proposal to give permanent reserved seats to certain sectors
was outvoted. Instead, the reservation of seats to sectoral representatives was only
allowed for the first three consecutive terms.
There can be no doubt whatsoever that the framers of the 1987 Constitution
expressly rejected the proposal to make the party-list system exclusively for sectoral
parties only, and that they clearly intended the party-list system to include both
sectoral and non-sectoral parties.
The common denominator between sectoral and non-sectoral parties is that they
cannot expect to win in legislative district elections but they can garner, in

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nationwide elections, at least the same number of votes that winning candidates can
garner in legislative district elections. The party-list system will be the entry point to
membership in the House of Representatives for both these non-traditional parties
that could not compete in legislative district elections.
Thus, the party-list system is composed of three different groups: (1) national
parties or organizations; (2) regional parties or organizations; and (3) sectoral parties
or organizations. National and regional parties or organizations are different from
sectoral parties or organizations. National and regional parties or organizations need
not be organized along sectoral lines and need not represent any particular sector.
What is the proof that the party list system is not exclusively for sectoral parties?
Section 5(2), article VI of the 1987 constitution which mandates that, during the first
three consecutive terms of congress after the ratification of the 1987 constitution,
one-half of the seats allocated to party-list representatives shall be filled, as
provided by law, by selection or election from the labor, peasant, urban poor,
indigenous cultural communities, women, youth, and such other sectors as may be
provided by law, except the religious sector.
Moreover, Section 5(2), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution mandates that, during the
first three consecutive terms of Congress after the ratification of the 1987
Constitution, one-half of the seats allocated to party-list representatives shall be
filled, as provided by law, by selection or election from the labor, peasant, urban
poor, indigenous cultural communities, women, youth, and such other sectors as may
be provided by law, except the religious sector. This provision clearly shows again
that the party-list system is not exclusively for sectoral parties for two obvious
reasons.
First, the other one-half of the seats allocated to party-list representatives would
naturally be open to non-sectoral party-list representatives, clearly negating the idea
that the party-list system is exclusively for sectoral parties representing the
marginalized and underrepresented. Second, the reservation of one-half of the
party-list seats to sectoral parties applies only for the first three consecutive terms
after the ratification of this Constitution, clearly making the party-list system fully
open after the end of the first three congressional terms. This means that, after this
period, there will be no seats reserved for any class or type of party that qualifies
under the three groups constituting the party-list system.
Hence, the clear intent, express wording, and party-list structure ordained
in Section 5(1) and (2), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution cannot be
disputed: the party-list system is not for sectoral parties only, but also for
non-sectoral parties.
Political party refers to an organized group of citizens advocating an
ideology or platform, principles and policies for the general conduct of
government.
A sectoral party refers to an organized group of citizens belonging to any of
the sectors enumerated in section 5 hereof whose principal advocacy
pertains to the special interest and concerns of their sector.
Section 3(a) of R.A. No. 7941 defines a party as either a political party or a
sectoral party or a coalition of parties. Clearly, a political party is different from a
sectoral party. Section 3(c) of R.A. No. 7941 further provides that a political party
refers to an organized group of citizens advocating an

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ideology or platform, principles and policies for the general conduct of
government. On the other hand, Section 3(d) of R.A. No. 7941 provides that a
sectoral party refers to an organized group of citizens belonging to any of the
sectors enumerated in Section 5 hereof whose principal advocacy pertains to
the special interest and concerns of their sector. R.A. No. 7941 provides
different definitions for a political and a sectoral party. Obviously, they are separate
and distinct from each other.
R.A. No. 7941 does not require national and regional parties or
organizations to represent the marginalized and underrepresented
sectors. To require all national and regional parties under the party-list system to
represent the marginalized and underrepresented is to deprive and exclude, by
judicial fiat, ideology-based and cause-oriented parties from the party-list system.
How will these ideology-based and cause-oriented parties, who cannot win in
legislative district elections, participate in the electoral process if they are excluded
from the party-list system? To exclude them from the partylist system is to prevent
them from joining the parliamentary struggle, leaving as their only option the armed
struggle. To exclude them from the party-list system is, apart from being obviously
senseless, patently contrary to the clear intent and express wording of the 1987
Constitution and R.A. No. 7941. Under the party-list system, an ideology-based or
cause-oriented political party is clearly different from a sectoral party. A political
party need not be organized as a sectoral party and need not represent any
particular sector. There is no requirement in R.A. No. 7941 that a national or regional
political party must represent a marginalized and underrepresented sector. It is
sufficient that the political party consists of citizens who advocate the same ideology
or platform, or the same governance principles and policies, regardless of their
economic status as citizens.
Section 5 of R.A. No. 7941 states that the sectors shall include labor, peasant,
fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, elderly, handicapped,
women, youth, veterans, overseas workers, and professionals.56 The sectors
mentioned in Section 5 are not all necessarily marginalized and underrepresented.
For sure, professionals are not by definition marginalized and underrepresented,
not even the elderly, women, and the youth. However, professionals, the elderly,
women, and the youth may lack well-defined political constituencies, and can thus
organize themselves into sectoral parties in advocacy of the special interests
andconcerns of their respective sectors.
Section 6 of R.A. No. 7941 provides another compelling reason for holding that the
law does not require national or regional parties, as well as certain sectoral parties in
Section 5 of R.A. No. 7941, to represent the marginalized and underrepresented.
Section 6 provides the grounds for the COMELEC to refuse or cancel the registration
of parties or organizations after due notice and hearing.
On the contrary, to even interpret that all the sectors mentioned in Section 5 are
marginalized and underrepresented would lead to absurdities.
The phrase marginalized and underrepresented should refer only to the sectors in
section 5 that are, by their nature, economically marginalized and
underrepresented.
These sectors are: labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous cultural
communities, handicapped, veterans, overseas workers, and other similar sectors.

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For these sectors, a majority of the members of the sectoral party must
belong to the marginalized and underrepresented.
The nominees of the sectoral party either must belong to the sector, or
must have a track record of advocacy for the sector represented. Belonging
to the marginalized and underrepresented sector does not mean one must wallow
in poverty, destitution or infirmity. It is sufficient that one, or his or her sector, is
below the middle class. More specifically, the economically marginalized and
underrepresented are those who fall in the low income group as classified by the
National Statistical Coordination Board.58
How about sectoral parties of professionals, the elderly, women and the youth, do
they need to be marginalized?
No. They belong to ideology-based and cause oriented parties. Allowing them to run
as party list will give give small ideology-based and cause-oriented parties who lack
well-defined political constituencies a chance to win seats in the house of
representatives.
The recognition that national and regional parties, as well as sectoral parties of
professionals, the elderly, women and the youth, need not be marginalized and
underrepresented will allow small ideology-based and cause-oriented parties who
lack well-defined political constituencies a chance to win seats in the House of
Representatives. On the other hand, limiting to the marginalized and
underrepresented the sectoral parties for labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor,
indigenous cultural communities, handicapped, veterans, overseas workers, and
other sectors that by their nature are economically at the margins of society, will give
the marginalized and underrepresented an opportunity to likewise win seats in the
House of Representatives. This interpretation will harmonize the 1987 Constitution
and R.A. No. 7941 and will give rise to a multi-party system where those
marginalized and underrepresented, both in economic and ideological status,
will have the opportunity to send their own members to the House of
Representatives.
Political parties can participate in the party-list elections through their
sectoral wings. They cannot directly participate because they neither lack
well defined political constituencies nor represent marginalized and
undderpresented sectors.
The major political parties are those that field candidates in the legislative district
elections. Major political parties cannot participate in the party-list elections since
they neither lack well-defined political constituencies nor represent marginalized
and underrepresented sectors. Thus, the national or regional parties under
the party-list system are necessarily those that do not belong to major
political parties. This automatically reserves the national and regional parties under
the party-list system to those who lack well-defined political constituencies, giving
them the opportunity to have members in the House of Representatives.
Political parties are allowed to participate in the party list elections through their
sectoral wings in order to encourage them to work assiduously in extending their
constituencies to the marginalized and underrepresented and to those who lack
well-defined political constituencies.
The 1987 Constitution and R.A. No. 7941 allow major political parties to participate in
party-list elections so as to encourage them to work assiduously in extending their
constituencies to the marginalized and underrepresented and to those who lack

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well-defined political constituencies. The participation of major political parties in
party-list elections must be geared towards the entry, as members of the House of
Representatives, of the marginalized and underrepresented and those who lack
well-defined political constituencies, giving them a voice in lawmaking.
Thus, to participate in party-list elections, a major political party that fields
candidates in the legislative district elections must organize a sectoral wing, like a
labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, professional, women or youth wing, that can
register under the party-list system.
The qualification of a party-list nominee
A party-list nominee must be a bona fide member of the party or organization which
he or she seeks to represent. In the case of sectoral parties, to be a bona fide
party-list nominee one must either belong to the sector represented, or
have a track record of advocacy for such sector.
THE NEW PARAMETERS TO BE FOLLOWED BY COMELEC
1. Three different groups may participate in the party-list system: (1) national
parties or organizations, (2) regional parties or organizations, and (3) sectoral
parties or organizations.
2. National parties or organizations and regional parties or organizations do not
need to organize along sectoral lines and do not need to represent any
marginalized and underrepresented sector.
3. Political parties can participate in party-list elections provided they register
under the party-list system and do not field candidates in legislative district
elections. A political party, whether major or not, that fields candidates in
legislative district elections can participate in partylist elections only through
its sectoral wing that can separately register under the party-list system. The
sectoral wing is by itself an independent sectoral party, and is linked to a
political party through a coalition.
4. Sectoral parties or organizations may either be marginalized and
underrepresented or lacking in well-defined political constituencies. It is
enough that their principal advocacy pertains to the special interest and
concerns of their sector. The sectors that are marginalized and
underrepresented include labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous
cultural communities, handicapped, veterans, and overseas workers. The
sectors that lack well-defined political constituencies include professionals,
the elderly, women, and the youth.
5. A majority of the members of sectoral parties or organizations that represent
the marginalized and underrepresented must belong to the marginalized
and underrepresented sector they represent. Similarly, a majority of the
members of sectoral parties or organizations that lack well-defined political
constituencies must belong to the sector they represent. The nominees of
sectoral parties or organizations that represent the marginalized and
underrepresented, or that represent those who lack well-defined political
constituencies, either must belong to their respective sectors, or must have a
track record of advocacy for their respective sectors. The nominees of national
and regional parties or organizations must be bona-fide members of such
parties or organizations.

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6. National, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations shall not be
disqualified if some of their nominees are disqualified, provided that they have
at least one nominee who remains qualified.

ALDOVINO VS. COMELEC


Facts:
Is the preventive suspension of an elected public official an interruption of his term of
office for purposes of the three-term limit rule under Section 8, Article X of the
Constitution and Section 43(b) of Republic Act No. 7160 (RA 7160, or the Local
Government Code)?
The respondent Commission on Elections (COMELEC) ruled that preventive
suspension is an effective interruption because it renders the suspended public
official unable to provide complete service for the full term; thus, such term should
not be counted for the purpose of the three-term limit rule.
The present petition seeks to annul and set aside this COMELEC ruling for having
been issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction.
Wilfredo F. Asilo (Asilo) was elected councilor of Lucena City for three consecutive
terms: for the 1998-2001, 2001-2004, and 2004-2007 terms, respectively. In
September 2005 or during his 2004-2007 term of office, the Sandiganbayan
preventively suspended him for 90 days in relation with a criminal case he then
faced. This Court, however, subsequently lifted the Sandiganbayans suspension
order; hence, he resumed performing the functions of his office and finished his
term.
In the 2007 election, Asilo filed his certificate of candidacy for the same position. The
petitioners Simon B. Aldovino, Jr., Danilo B. Faller, and Ferdinand N. Talabong (the
petitioners) sought to deny due course to Asilos certificate of candidacy or to cancel
it on the ground that he had been elected and had served for three terms; his
candidacy for a fourth term therefore violated the three-term limit rule under Section
8, Article X of the Constitution and Section 43(b) of RA 7160.
The COMELECs Second Division ruled against the petitioners and in Asilos favour in
its Resolution of November 28, 2007. It reasoned out that the three-term limit rule did
not apply, as Asilo failed to render complete service for the 2004-2007 term because
of the suspension the Sandiganbayan had ordered.
Issue:
Whether preventive suspension of an elected local official is an interruption of the
three-term limit rule; and . Whether preventive suspension is considered involuntary
renunciation as contemplated in Section 43(b) of RA 7160
Held:
NEGATIVE. Petition is meritorious.
As worded, the constitutional provision fixes the term of a local elective office and
limits an elective officials stay in office to no more than three consecutive terms.
This is the first branch of the rule embodied in Section 8, Article X.
Significantly, this provision refers to a "term" as a period of time three years
during which an official has title to office and can serve
The word "term" in a legal sense means a fixed and definite period of time which the
law describes that an officer may hold an office., preventive suspension is not a
qualified interruption

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Lonzanida v. Commission on Elections7 presented the question of whether the
disqualification on the basis of the three-term limit applies if the election of the
public official (to be strictly accurate, the proclamation as winner of the public
official) for his supposedly third term had been declared invalid in a final and
executory judgment. We ruled that the two requisites for the application of the
disqualification (viz., 1. that the official concerned has been elected for three
consecutive terms in the same local government post; and 2. that he has fully served
three consecutive terms The petitioner vacated his post a few months before the
next mayoral elections, not by voluntary renunciation but in compliance with the
legal process of writ of execution issued by the COMELEC to that effect. Such
involuntary severance from office is an interruption of continuity of service and thus,
the petitioner did not fully serve the 1995-1998 mayoral term.(EXCEPTION)
"Interruption" of a term exempting an elective official from the three-term limit rule is
one that involves no less than the involuntary loss of title to office. The elective
official must have involuntarily left his office for a length of time, however short, for
an effective interruption to occur. This has to be the case if the thrust of Section 8,
Article X and its strict intent are to be faithfully served, i.e., to limit an elective
officials continuous stay in office to no more than three consecutive terms, using
"voluntary renunciation" as an example and standard of what does not constitute an
interruption.
Strict adherence to the intent of the three-term limit rule demands that preventive
suspension should not be considered an interruption that allows an elective officials
stay in office beyond three terms. A preventive suspension cannot simply be a term
interruption because the suspended official continues to stay in office although he is
barred from exercising the functions and prerogatives of the office within the
suspension period. The best indicator of the suspended officials continuity in office is
the absence of a permanent replacement and the lack of the authority to appoint one
since no vacancy exists.

TOLENTINO VS. COMELEC


Facts:
Following Senator Guingona's confirmation, the Senate on 8 February 2001 passed
Resolution No. 84 ("Resolution No. 84") certifying to the existence of a vacancy in the
Senate. Resolution No. 84 called on COMELEC to fill the vacancy through a special
election to be held simultaneously with the regular elections on 14 May 2001. Twelve
Senators, with a 6-year term each, were due to be elected in that election. 1
Resolution No. 84 further provided that the "Senatorial candidate garnering the 13th
highest number of votes shall serve only for the unexpired term of former Senator
Teofisto T. Guingona, Jr.," which ends on 30 June 2004.
On 5 June 2001, after COMELEC had canvassed the election results from all the
provinces but one (Lanao del Norte), COMELEC issued Resolution No. 01-005
provisionally proclaiming 13 candidates as the elected Senators. Resolution No. 01-
005 also provided that "the first twelve (12) Senators shall serve for a term of six (6)
years and the thirteenth (13th) Senator shall serve the unexpired term of three (3)
years of Senator Teofisto T. Guingona, Jr. who was appointed Vice-President."
Respondents Ralph Recto ("Recto") and Gregorio Honasan ("Honasan") ranked 12th
and 13th, respectively, in Resolution No. 01-005.

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Petitioners contend that COMELEC issued Resolution No. 01-005 without jurisdiction
because:
(1) it failed to notify the electorate of the position to be filled in the special election
as required under Section 2 of Republic Act No. 6645 ("R.A. No. 6645");
(2) it failed to require senatorial candidates to indicate in their certificates of
candidacy whether they seek election under the special or regular elections as
allegedly required under Section 73 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881; 5 and,
consequently,
(3) it failed to specify in the Voters Information Sheet the candidates seeking election
under the special or regular senatorial elections as purportedly required under
Section 4, paragraph 4 of Republic Act No. 6646 ("R.A. No. 6646").
In view of the issuance of Resolution No. 01-006, the Court required petitioners to file
an amended petition impleading Recto and Honasan as additional respondents.
Petitioners accordingly filed an amended petition in which they reiterated the
contentions raised in their original petition and, in addition, sought the nullification of
Resolution No. 01-006.
COMELEC and Honasan further raise preliminary issues on the mootness of the
petition and on petitioners' standing to litigate. Honasan also claims that the petition,
which seeks the nullity of his proclamation as Senator, is actually a quo warranto
petition and the Court should dismiss the same for lack of jurisdiction. For his part,
Recto, as the 12th ranking Senator, contends he is not a proper party to this case
because the petition only involves the validity of the proclamation of the 13th placer
in the 14 May 2001 senatorial elections.
Issues:
W/N a special election to fill a vacant three-year term Senate seat was validly held on
14 May 2001.

Held: WHEREFORE, we DISMISS the petition for lack of merit.


However, upon the suggestion of Senator Raul Roco ("Senator Roco"), the Senate
agreed to amend Resolution No. 84 by providing, as it now appears, that "the
senatorial candidate garnering the thirteenth (13th) highest number of votes shall
serve only for the unexpired term of former Senator Teofisto T. Guingona, Jr." Senator
Roco introduced the amendment to spare COMELEC and the candidates needless
expenditures and the voters further inconvenience.
The Commission on Elections is a constitutional body. It is intended to play a distinct
and important part in our scheme of government. In the discharge of its functions, it
should not be hampered with restrictions that would be fully warranted in the case of
a less responsible organization. The Commission may err, so may this Court also. It
should be allowed considerable latitude in devising means and methods that will
insure the accomplishment of the great objective for which it was created free,
orderly and honest elections. We may not agree fully with its choice of means, but
unless these are clearly illegal or constitute gross abuse of discretion, this court
should not interfere.
The calling of a special election, if necessary, and the giving of notice to the
electorate of necessary information regarding a special election, are central to an
informed exercise of the right of suffrage. While the circumstances attendant to the
present case have led us to conclude that COMELEC's failure to so call and give

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notice did not invalidate the special senatorial election held on 14 May 2001,
COMELEC should not take chances in future elections.
Under Section 9, Article VI of the Constitution, a special election may be called to fill
any vacancy in the Senate and the House of Representatives "in the manner
prescribed by law," thus: In case of vacancy in the Senate or in the House of
Representatives, a special election may be called to fill such vacancy in the manner
prescribed by law, but the Senator or Member of the House of Representatives thus
elected shall serve only for the unexpired term
A survey of COMELEC's resolutions relating to the conduct of the 14 May 2001
elections reveals that they contain nothing which would amount to a compliance,
either strict or substantial, with the requirements in Section 2 of R.A. No. 6645, as
amended. Thus, nowhere in its resolutions 24 or even in its press releases 25 did
COMELEC state that it would hold a special election for a single three-year term
Senate seat simultaneously with the regular elections on 14 May 2001. Nor did
COMELEC give formal notice that it would proclaim as winner the senatorial candidate
receiving the 13th highest number of votes in the special election.
The calling of an election, that is, the giving notice of the time and place of its
occurrence, whether made by the legislature directly or by the body with the duty to
give such call, is indispensable to the election's validity. In a general election, where
the law fixes the date of the election, the election is valid without any call by the
body charged to administer the election.
In a special election to fill a vacancy, the rule is that a statute that expressly provides
that an election to fill a vacancy shall be held at the next general elections fixes the
date at which the special election is to be held and operates as the call for that
election. Consequently, an election held at the time thus prescribed is not invalidated
by the fact that the body charged by law with the duty of calling the election failed to
do so. This is because the right and duty to hold the election emanate from the
statute and not from any call for the election by some authority and the law thus
charges voters with knowledge of the time and place of the election.
Section 2 of R.A. No. 6645, as amended. This makes mandatory the requirement in
Section 2 of R.A. No. 6645, as amended, for COMELEC to "call . . . a special election . .
. not earlier than 60 days nor longer than 90 days after the occurrence of the
vacancy" and give notice of the office to be filled. The COMELEC's failure to so call
and give notice will nullify any attempt to hold a special election to fill the vacancy.
More than 10 million voters cast their votes in favor of Honasan, the party who
stands most prejudiced by the instant petition. We simply cannot disenfranchise
those who voted for Honasan, in the absence of proof that COMELEC's omission
prejudiced voters in the exercise of their right of suffrage so as to negate the holding
of the special election.
Neither is there basis in petitioners' claim that the manner by which COMELEC
conducted the special senatorial election on 14 May 2001 is a nullity because
COMELEC failed to document separately the candidates and to canvass separately
the votes cast for the special election. No such requirements exist in our election
laws. What is mandatory under Section 2 of R.A. No. 6645 is that COMELEC "fix the
date of the election," if necessary, and "state, among others, the office or offices to
be voted for." Similarly, petitioners' reliance on Section 73 of B.P. Blg. 881 on the
filing of certificates of candidacy, and on Section 4(4) of R.A. No. 6646 on the printing
of election returns and tally sheets, to support their claim is misplaced. These

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provisions govern elections in general and in no way require separate documentation
of candidates or separate canvass of votes in a jointly held regular and special
elections.

PHILCONSA VS MATHAY
G.R. No. L-25554, October 4, 1966

FACTS: Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa), non-stock, non-profit


association, whose members are Filipino citizens and taxpayers has filed a suit
against the former Acting Auditor General of the Philippines and the Auditor of the
Congress of the Philippines seeking to permanently enjoin them from authorizing or
passing in audit the payment of the increased salaries authorized by RA 4134 to the
Speaker and members of the House of Representatives before December 30, 1969.

The 1965-1966 Budget implemented the increase in salary of the Speaker and
members of the House of Representatives set by RA 4134, approved just the
preceding year 1964. Petitioner contends that such implementation is violative of
Article VI, Sec. 14(now Sec. 10) of the Constitution which provides xxx No increase
in said compensation shall take effect until after the expiration of the full term of all
the Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives approving such,
increase. The reason given being that the term of the 8 senators elected in 1963,
and who took part in the approval of RA 4134, would have expired only on December
30, 1969; while the term of the members of the House who participated in the
approval of said Act expired on December 30, 1965.

ISSUE: Does Sec. 14(now Sec. 10) of the Constitution require that not only the term
of all the members of the House but also that of all the Senators who approved the
increase must have fully expired before the increase becomes effective?

RULING: In establishing what might be termed a waiting period before the increased
compensation for legislators becomes fully effective, the Constitutional provision
refers to all members of the Senate and the House of Representatives in the same
sentence, as a single unit, without distinction or separation between them. This
unitary treatment is emphasized by the fact that the provision speaks of the
expiration of the full term of the Senators and Representatives that approved the
measure, using the singular form and not the plural, thereby rendering more evident
the intent to consider both houses for the purpose as indivisible components of one
single Legislature. The use of the word term in the singular, when combined with
the following phrase all the members of the Senate and the House, underscores
that in the application of Art. VI, Sec. 14(now Sec. 10), the fundamental consideration
is that the terms of office of all members of the Legislature that enacted the measure
must have expired before the increase in compensation can become operative.

The Court agreed with petitioner that the increased compensation provided by RA
4134 is not operative until December 30, 1969, when the full term of all members of
the Senate and House that approved it will have expired.

LIGOT VS MATHAY

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G.R. No. L-34676 (April 30, 1974)
56 SCRA 823

FACTS: Petitioner LIGOT served as a member of the House of Representatives of the


Congress of the Philippines for three consecutive four-year terms covering a twelve-
year span from December 30, 1957 to December 30, 1969.

During his second term in office (1961-1965), Republic Act No. 4134 "fixing the
salaries of constitutional officials and certain other officials of the national
government" was enacted into law and under section 7 thereof took effect on July 1,
1964. The salaries of members of Congress (senators and congressman) were
increased under said Act from P7,200.00 to P32,000.00 per annum, but the Act
expressly provided that said increases "shall take effect in accordance with the
provisions of the Constitution."

Petitioner was re-elected to a third term (December 30, 1965 to December 30, 1969)
but was held not entitled to the salary increase of P32,000.00 during such third term
by virtue of this Court's unanimous decision in Philconsa vs. Mathay "that the
increased compensation provided by Republic Act No. 4134 is not
operative until December 30, 1969 when the full term of all members of the Senate
and House that approved it on June 20, 1964 will have expired" by virtue of the
constitutional mandate in Section 14, Article VI of the 1935 Constitution which
provides that "No increase in said compensation shall take effect until after the
expiration of the full term of all the members of the Senate and of the House of
Representatives approving such increase."

Petitioner lost his bid for a consecutive fourth term in the 1969 elections and his term
having expired on December 30, 1969, filed a claim for retirement under Act 186,
section 12 (c) as amended by R.A 4968 which provided for retirement gratuity of any
official or employee, appointive or elective, with a total of at least twenty years of
service, the last three years of which are continuous on the basis therein provided "in
case of employees based on the highest rate received and in case of elected officials
on the rates of pay as provided by law."

On May 8, 1970, the House of Representatives issued a treasury warrant in the sum
of P122,429.86 in petitioner's favor as his retirement gratuity, using the increased
salary of P32,000.00 per annum. Respondent Velasco as Congress Auditor did not
sign the warrant.

On July 22, 1970, respondent auditor Velasco formally requested petitioner to return
the warrant and its supporting papers for a recomputation of his retirement claim.
Petitioner's request for reconsideration was denied in due course. Hence the present
petition for review by way of appeal.

ISSUE: Whether or not petitioners claim for retirement gratuity be computed on the
basis of the increased salary of P32,000.00 per annum for members of Congress.

RULING: No. Ligots contention is untenable for the following reasons:

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1. Since the salary increase to P32,000.00 per annum for members of Congress under
Republic Act 4134 could be operative only from December 30, 1969 for incoming
members of Congress when the full term of all members of Congress (House and
Senate) that approved the increase (such as petitioner) will have expired, by virtue of
the constitutional mandate of Article VI, section 14 of the 1935 Constitution, it is self-
evident that the "rate of pay as provided by law" for members of Congress retiring on
December 30, 1969 such as petitioner must necessarily be P7,200.00 per annum, the
compensation they received "as provided by law" and the Constitution during their
term of office.

2. To grant retirement gratuity to members of Congress whose terms expired on


December 30, 1969 computed on the basis of an increased salary of P32,000.00 per
annum would be to pay them prohibited emoluments which in effect increase the
salary beyond that which they were permitted by the Constitution to receive during
their incumbency. As stressed by the Auditor General in his decision in the similar
case of petitioner's colleague, ex-Congressman Singson, "(S)uch a scheme would
contravene the Constitution for it would lead to the same prohibited result by
enabling administrative authorities to do indirectly what can not be done directly."

3. Petitioner's contention that since the increased salary of P32,000.00 per annum
was already operative when his retirement took effect on December 30, 1969 cannot
be sustained as far as he and other members of Congress similarly situated whose
term of office ended on December 30, 1969 are concerned for the simple reason that
a retirement gratuity or benefit is a form of compensation.

PEOPLE VS JALOSLOS
324 SCRA 689

FACTS: Romeo G. Jalosjos is a full-fledged member of Congress who is now confined


at the national penitentiary while his conviction for statutory rape on two counts and
acts of lasciviousness on six counts is pending appeal. The accused-appellant filed
this motion (Motion To Be Allowed To Discharge Mandate As Member of House of
Representatives) asking that he be allowed to fully discharge the duties of a
Congressman, including attendance at legislative sessions and committee meetings
despite his having been convicted in the first instance of a non-bailable offense.

The primary argument of the movant is the "mandate of sovereign will. He states that
the sovereign electorate of the First District of Zamboanga del Norte chose him as
their representative in Congress. Having been re-elected by his constituents, he has
the duty to perform the functions of a Congressman. He calls this a covenant with his
constituents made possible by the intervention of the State. He adds that it cannot
be defeated by insuperable procedural restraints arising from pending criminal cases.

Jalosjos also invoked the doctrine of condonation citing Aguinaldo v. Santos.

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Jalosjos further argues that on several occasions, the Regional Trial Court of Makati
granted several motions to temporarily leave his cell at the Makati City Jail, for official
or medical reasons.

Jalosjos avers that his constituents in the First District of Zamboanga del Norte want
their voices to be heard and that since he is treated as bona fide member of the
House of Representatives, the latter urges a co-equal branch of government to
respect his mandate.

ISSUE: Does membership in Congress exempt an accused from statutes and rules
which apply to validly incarcerated persons in general?

RULING: No. True, election is the expression of the sovereign power of the people. In
the exercise of suffrage, a free people expects to achieve the continuity of
government and the perpetuation of its benefits. However, inspite of its importance,
the privileges and rights arising from having been elected may be enlarged or
restricted by law.

The privilege of immunity from arrest has always been granted in a restrictive sense.

The immunity from arrest or detention of Senators and members of the House of
Representatives arises from a provision of the Constitution. The provision granting an
exemption as a special privilege cannot be extended beyond the ordinary meaning of
its terms. It may not be extended by intendment, implication or equitable
considerations.

Section 11, Article VI, of the 1987 Constitution provides A Senator or Member of the
House of Representatives shall, in all offenses punishable by not more than six years
imprisonment, be privileged from arrest while the Congress is in session. xxx

The accused-appellant has not given any reason why he should be exempted from
the operation of Section 11, Article VI of the Constitution. The members of Congress
cannot compel absent members to attend sessions if the reason for the absence is a
legitimate one. The confinement of a Congressman charged with a crime punishable
by imprisonment of more than six months is not merely authorized by law, it has
constitutional foundations.

Aguinaldo doctrine does not apply to criminal cases.

Neither can he rely on Aguinaldo doctrine. The Aguinaldo case involves the
administrative removal of a public officer for acts done prior to his present term of
office. It does not apply to imprisonment arising from the enforcement of criminal
law. Moreover, in the same way that preventive suspension is not removal,
confinement pending appeal is not removal. He remains a congressman unless
expelled by Congress or, otherwise, disqualified.

Emergency or compelling temporary leaves from imprisonment are allowed to all


prisoners.

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There is no showing that the above privileges are peculiar to him or to a member of
Congress. Emergency or compelling temporary leaves from imprisonment are allowed
to all prisoners, at the discretion of the authorities or upon court orders.

To allow accused-appellant to attend congressional sessions and committee meetings


will virtually make him a free man.

When the voters of his district elected the accused-appellant to Congress, they did so
with full awareness of the limitations on his freedom of action. They did so with the
knowledge that he could achieve only such legislative results which he could
accomplish within the confines of prison. To give a more drastic illustration, if voters
elect a person with full knowledge that he is suffering from a terminal illness, they do
so knowing that at any time, he may no longer serve his full term in office.

To allow accused-appellant to attend congressional sessions and committee meetings


for 5 days or more in a week will virtually make him a free man with all the privileges
appurtenant to his position. Such an aberrant situation not only elevates accused-
appellants status to that of a special class, it also would be a mockery of the
purposes of the correction system.

In the ultimate analysis, the issue before us boils down to a question of


constitutional equal protection.

The Constitution guarantees: "x x x nor shall any person be denied the equal
protection of laws." This simply means that all persons similarly situated shall be
treated alike both in rights enjoyed and responsibilities imposed. The organs of
government may not show any undue favoritism or hostility to any person. Neither
partiality nor prejudice shall be displayed.

Does being an elective official result in a substantial distinction that allows different
treatment? Is being a Congressman a substantial differentiation which removes the
accused-appellant as a prisoner from the same class as all persons validly confined
under law?

The performance of legitimate and even essential duties by public officers has never
been an excuse to free a person validly in prison.

The Court cannot validate badges of inequality. The necessities imposed by public
welfare may justify exercise of government authority to regulate even if thereby
certain groups may plausibly assert that their interests are disregarded.

We, therefore, find that election to the position of Congressman is not a reasonable
classification in criminal law enforcement. The functions and duties of the office are
not substantial distinctions which lift him from the class of prisoners interrupted in
their freedom and restricted in liberty of movement. Lawful arrest and confinement
are germane to the purposes of the law and apply to all those belonging to the same
class.

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TRILLANES VS PIMENTEL
G.R. No. 179817
556 SCRA 471 (June 27, 2008)

FACTS: On July 27, 2003, a group of more than 300 heavily armed soldiers led by
junior officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) stormed into the Oakwood
Premier Apartments in Makati City and publicly demanded the resignation of the
President and key national officials.

Later that day, President Arroyo issued Proclamation No. 427 and General Order No. 4
declaring a state of rebellion and calling out the Armed Forces to suppress the
rebellion. A series of negotiations quelled the teeming tension and eventually
resolved the impasse with the surrender of the militant soldiers that evening.

In the aftermath of this eventful episode dubbed as the "Oakwood Incident,"


petitioner Antonio F. Trillanes IV was charged, along with his comrades, with coup
detat defined under Article 134-A of the Revised Penal Code before the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) of Makati.

Close to four years later, Trillanes has remained in detention, threw his hat in the
political arena and won a seat in the Senate with a six-year term commencing at
noon on June 30, 2007.

Before the commencement of his term, Trillanes filed an "Omnibus Motion for Leave
of Court to be Allowed to Attend Senate Sessions and Related Requests" Among his
requests were: (a) To be allowed to go to the Senate to attend all official functions of
the Senate xxx (d) To be allowed to give interviews and to air his comments,
reactions and/or opinions to the press, (e) With prior notice to the Honorable Court
and to the accused and his custodians, to be allowed to receive, on Tuesdays and
Fridays, reporters and other members of the media who may wish to interview him.
xxx
(NB: letters (b), (c), (f) were withdrawn upon his MR when the court denied this
Omnibus Motion)

Trial court denied all the requests in the Omnibus Motion. Petitioner moved for
reconsideration. The trial court just the same denied the motion. Hence, the present
petition for certiorari.

ISSUES: (1) Whether or not Trillanes case is different from that of the Jalosjos case.
(2) Whether or not Trillanes election as senator provides legal justification to allow
him to work and serve his mandate as senator.
(3) Whether or not there are enough precedents that allows for a liberal treatment of
detention prisoners who are held without bail as in the case of Former Pres. Estrada &
Former ARMM Gov. Misuari.

HELD: The petition is bereft of merit.

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No distinction between Trillanes case and that of Jalosjos case.

Trillanes in attempting to strike a distinction between his case against Jaloslos argues
that the latter was already convicted albeit his conviction was pending appeal,
whereas he is a mere detention prisoner. He asserts that he continues to enjoy civil
and political rights since the presumption of innocence is still in his favor.

The distinctions cited by petitioner were not elemental in the pronouncement in


Jalosjos that election to Congress is not a reasonable classification in criminal law
enforcement as the functions and duties of the office are not substantial distinctions
which lift one from the class of prisoners interrupted in their freedom and restricted
in liberty of movement.

The Constitution provides: All persons, except those charged with offenses
punishable by reclusion perpetua when evidence of guilt is strong, shall, before
conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, or be released on recognizance as may
be provided by law. The Rules also state that no person charged with a capital
offense, or an offense punishable by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, shall be
admitted to bail when evidence of guilt is strong, regardless of the stage of the
criminal action. That the cited provisions apply equally to rape and coup dtat cases,
both being punishable by reclusion perpetua, is beyond cavil. Within the class of
offenses covered by the stated range of imposable penalties, there is clearly no
distinction as to the political complexion of or moral turpitude involved in the crime
charged.

In the present case, it is uncontroverted that petitioner's application for bail and for
release on recognizance was denied. The determination that the evidence of guilt is
strong, whether ascertained in a hearing of an application for bail or imported from a
trial court's judgment of conviction, justifies the detention of an accused as a valid
curtailment of his right to provisional liberty. This accentuates the proviso that the
denial of the right to bail in such cases is "regardless of the stage of the criminal
action."

Such justification for confinement with its underlying rationale of public self-defense
applies equally to detention prisoners like Trillanes or convicted prisoners-appellants
like Jalosjos. The Court in People v. Hon. Maceda said that all prisoners whether under
preventive detention or serving final sentence can not practice their profession nor
engage in any business or occupation, or hold office, elective or appointive, while in
detention. This is a necessary consequence of arrest and detention. The trial court
thus correctly concluded that the presumption of innocence does not carry with it the
full enjoyment of civil and political rights.

Trillanes election as Senator not a legislative justification to allow him to


serve his mandate.

The case against Trillanes is not administrative in nature. And there is no "prior term"
to speak of. SC categorically held that the doctrine of condonation does not apply to
criminal cases. Election, or more precisely, re-election to office, does not obliterate a

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criminal charge. Petitioner's electoral victory only signifies pertinently that when the
voters elected him to the Senate, "they did so with full awareness of the limitations
on his freedom of action [and] x x x with the knowledge that he could achieve only
such legislative results which he could accomplish within the confines of prison.

It is opportune to wipe out the lingering misimpression that the call of duty conferred
by the voice of the people is louder than the litany of lawful restraints articulated in
the Constitution and echoed by jurisprudence. The apparent discord may be
harmonized by the overarching tenet that the mandate of the people yields to the
Constitution which the people themselves ordained to govern all under the rule of
law. The performance of legitimate and even essential duties by public officers has
never been an excuse to free a person validly in prison. The duties imposed by the
"mandate of the people" are multifarious. The accused-appellant asserts that the
duty to legislate ranks highest in the hierarchy of government. The accused-appellant
is only one of 250 members of the House of Representatives, not to mention the 24
members of the Senate, charged with the duties of legislation. Congress continues to
function well in the physical absence of one or a few of its members. x x x Never has
the call of a particular duty lifted a prisoner into a different classification from those
others who are validly restrained by law.

Trillanes case fails to compare with the species of allowable leaves.

Petitioner pleads for the same liberal treatment accorded certain detention prisoners
who have also been charged with non-bailable offenses, like former President Joseph
Estrada and former Governor Nur Misuari who were allowed to attend "social
functions." He harps on an alleged violation of the equal protection clause.

Emergency or compelling temporary leaves from imprisonment are allowed to all


prisoners, at the discretion of the authorities or upon court orders. That this
discretion was gravely abused, petitioner failed to establish. In fact, the trial court
previously allowed petitioner to register as a voter in December 2006, file his
certificate of candidacy in February 2007, cast his vote on May 14, 2007, be
proclaimed as senator-elect, and take his oath of office on June 29, 2007. In a
seeming attempt to bind or twist the hands of the trial court lest it be accused of
taking a complete turn-around, petitioner largely banks on these prior grants to him
and insists on unending concessions and blanket authorizations.

JIMENEZ VS CABANGBANG
17 SCRA 876

FACTS: This is an ordinary civil action, originally instituted in the Court of First
Instance of Rizal, for the recovery, by plaintiffs Nicanor T. Jimenez, Carlos J. Albert and
Jose L. Lukban, of several sums of money, by way of damages for the publication of
an allegedly libelous letter of defendant Bartolome Cabangbang. Upon being
summoned, the latter moved to dismiss the complaint upon the ground that the
letter in question is not libelous, and that, even if were, said letter is a privileged
communication. This motion having been granted by the lower court, plaintiffs
interposed the present appeal from the corresponding order of dismissal.

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ISSUES: (1) whether the publication in question is a privileged communication; and,


if not,
(2) whether it is libelous or not.

RULING:

(1) No. The publication is not a privileged communication.

The first issue stems from the fact that, at the time of said publication, defendant
was a member of the House of Representatives and Chairman of its Committee on
National Defense, and that Article VI, Section 15 of the 1935 Constitution it states
that The Senators and Members of the House of Representatives shall in all cases
except treason, felony, and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during
their attendance at the sessions of the Congress, and in going to and returning from
the same; and for any speech or debate therein, they shall not be questioned in any
other place. The determination of the first issue depends on whether or not the
aforementioned publication falls within the purview of the phrase "speech or debate
therein.

The publication involved in this case does not belong to this category. According to
the complaint herein, it was an open letter to the President of the Philippines, dated
November 14, 1958, when Congress presumably was not in session, and defendant
caused said letter to be published in several newspapers of general circulation in the
Philippines, on or about said date. It is obvious that, in thus causing the
communication to be so published, he was not performing his official duty, either as a
member of Congress or as officer or any Committee thereof. Hence, contrary to the
finding made by His Honor, the trial Judge, said communication is not absolutely
privileged.

(2) Supreme Court are satisfied that the letter in question is not sufficient to support
plaintiffs' action for damages. Although the letter says that plaintiffs are under the
control of the unnamed persons therein alluded to as "planners", and that, having
been handpicked by Secretary Vargas and Gen. Arellano, plaintiffs "probably belong
to the Vargas-Arellano clique", it should be noted that defendant, likewise, added that
"it is of course possible" that plaintiffs "are unwitting tools of the plan of which they
may have absolutely no knowledge". In other words, the very document upon which
plaintiffs' action is based explicitly indicates that they might be absolutely
unaware of the alleged operational plans, and that they may be merely unwitting
tools of the planners. SC do not think that this statement is derogatory to the
plaintiffs, to the point of entitling them to recover damages, considering that they are
officers of our Armed Forces, that as such they are by law, under the control of the
Secretary of National Defense and the Chief of Staff, and that the letter in question
seems to suggest that the group therein described as "planners" include these two
(2) high ranking officers.

It is true that the complaint alleges that the open letter in question was written by
the defendant, knowing that it is false and with the intent to impeach plaintiffs'

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reputation, to expose them to public hatred, contempt, dishonor and ridicule, and to
alienate them from their associates, but these allegations are mere conclusions
which are inconsistent with the contents of said letter and can not prevail over the
same, it being the very basis of the complaint. Then too, when plaintiffs allege in
their complaint that said communication is false, they could not have possibly meant
that they were aware of the alleged plan to stage a coup d'etat or that they were
knowingly tools of the "planners". Again, the aforementioned passage in the
defendant's letter clearly implies that plaintiffs were not among the "planners" of
said coup d'etat, for, otherwise, they could not be "tools", much less, unwittingly on
their part, of said "planners".

OSMEA VS PENDATUN
G.R. No. L-17144, October 28, 1960
109 PHI 863

FACTS: Congressman Sergio Osmea, Jr., filed a verified petition for "declaratory
relief, certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction" against Congressman
Salapida K. Pendatun and fourteen other congressmen in their capacity as members
of the Special Committee created by House Resolution No. 59. He asked for
annulment of such Resolution on the ground of infringenment of his parliamentary
immunity.

HR 59 created a special committee to investigate the truth of the charges against the
President of the Philippines made by Honorable Sergio Osmea, Jr., in his privilege
speech of June 23, 1960. Said charges emanated from his one-hour privileged speech
entitled A Message to Garcia, which constituted a serious assault upon the dignity
of Garcia as the then President.

Congressman Osmea alleged; first, the Resolution violated his constitutional


absolute parliamentary immunity for speeches delivered in the House; second, his
words constituted no actionable conduct; and third, after his allegedly objectionable
speech and words, the House took up other business, and Rule XVII, sec. 7 of the
Rules of House provides that if other business has intervened after the member had
uttered obnoxious words in debate, he shall not be held to answer therefor nor be
subject to censure by the House.

The respondents challenged the jurisdiction of this Court to entertain the petition,
defended the power of Congress to discipline its members with suspension

ISSUES: (1) Whether or not Osmea parliamentary immunity was violated.


(2) Whether or not SC has jurisdiction to entertain this petition.

RULING:

(1) There was no violation of Osmeas parliamentary immunity.


(2) SC has no jurisdiction.

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Section 15, Article VI of our Constitution provides that "for any speech or debate" in
Congress, the Senators or Members of the House of Representative "shall not be
questioned in any other place. Furthermore, the Rules of the House recognize the
House's power to hold a member responsible "for words spoken in debate.

Our Constitution enshrines parliamentary immunity which is a fundamental privilege


cherished in every legislative assembly of the democratic world. As old as the English
Parliament, its purpose "is to enable and encourage a representative of the public to
discharge his public trust with firmness and success" for "it is indispensably
necessary that he should enjoy the fullest liberty of speech, and that he should be
protected from the resentment of every one, however powerful, to whom exercise of
that liberty may occasion offense." Such immunity has come to this country from the
practices of Parliamentary as construed and applied by the Congress of the United
States. Its extent and application remain no longer in doubt in so far as related to the
question before us. It guarantees the legislator complete freedom of expression
without fear of being made responsible in criminal or civil actions before the courts or
any other forum outside of the Congressional Hall. But is does not protect him from
responsibility before the legislative body itself whenever his words and conduct are
considered by the latter disorderly or unbecoming a member thereof.

On the question whether delivery of speeches attacking the Chief Executive


constitutes disorderly conduct for which Osmea may be discipline, many arguments
pro and con have been advanced. We believe, however, that the House is the
judge of what constitutes disorderly behaviour, not only because the
Constitution has conferred jurisdiction upon it, but also because the matter depends
mainly on factual circumstances of which the House knows best but which can not be
depicted in black and white for presentation to, and adjudication by the Courts. For
one thing, if this Court assumed the power to determine whether Osmea conduct
constituted disorderly behaviour, it would thereby have assumed appellate
jurisdiction, which the Constitution never intended to confer upon a coordinate
branch of the Government. The theory of separation of powers fastidiously observed
by this Court, demands in such situation a prudent refusal to interfere. Each
department, it has been said, had exclusive cognizance of matters within its
jurisdiction and is supreme within its own sphere.

LIBAN VS GORDON
G.R. No. 175352, July 15, 2009
593 SCRA 68

CASE: This is a petition to declare Senator Richard J. Gordon (respondent) as having


forfeited his seat in the Senate.

FACTS: Petitioners Dante V. Liban, Reynaldo M. Bernardo, and Salvador M. Viari


(petitioners) filed with this Court a Petition to Declare Richard J. Gordon as Having
Forfeited His Seat in the Senate. Petitioners are officers of the Board of Directors of
the Quezon City Red Cross Chapter while respondent is Chairman of the Philippine
National Red Cross (PNRC) Board of Governors.

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During respondents incumbency as a member of the Senate of the Philippines, he
was elected Chairman of the PNRC during the 23 February 2006 meeting of the PNRC
Board of Governors. Petitioners allege that by accepting the chairmanship of the
PNRC Board of Governors, respondent has ceased to be a member of the Senate as
provided in Section 13, Article VI of the Constitution, which reads:

SEC. 13. No Senator or Member of the House of Representatives may hold any other
office or employment in the Government, or any subdivision, agency, or
instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations or
their subsidiaries, during his term without forfeiting his seat. Neither shall he be
appointed to any office which may have been created or the emoluments thereof
increased during the term for which he was elected.

Petitioners cite Camporedondo v. NLRC, which held that the PNRC is a government-
owned or controlled corporation. Petitioners claim that in accepting and holding the
position of Chairman of the PNRC Board of Governors, respondent has automatically
forfeited his seat in the Senate, pursuant to Flores v. Drilon, which held that
incumbent national legislators lose their elective posts upon their appointment to
another government office.

Among others, Respondent asserts that petitioners have no standing to file this
petition which appears to be an action for quo warranto, since the petition alleges
that respondent committed an act which, by provision of law, constitutes a ground for
forfeiture of his public office and further insists that the PNRC is not a government-
owned or controlled corporation and that the prohibition under Section 13, Article VI
of the Constitution does not apply in the present case since volunteer service to the
PNRC is neither an office nor an employment.

ISSUES:

1. W/n petitioners have legal standing.

2. Whether the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) is a government- owned or


controlled corporation;

3. Whether Section 13, Article VI of the Philippine Constitution applies to the case of
respondent who is Chairman of the PNRC and at the same time a Member of the
Senate

RULING: We find the petition without merit.

(1) Petitioners Have No Standing to File this Petition.

A careful reading of the petition reveals that it is an action for quo warranto.

Petitioners are alleging that by accepting the position of Chairman of the PNRC Board
of Governors, respondent has automatically forfeited his seat in the Senate. In short,
petitioners filed an action for usurpation of public office against respondent, a public

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officer who allegedly committed an act which constitutes a ground for the forfeiture
of his public office. Clearly, such an action is for quo warranto, specifically under
Section 1(b), Rule 66 of the Rules of Court.

The person instituting quo warranto proceedings in his own behalf must claim and be
able to show that he is entitled to the office in dispute, otherwise the action may be
dismissed at any stage. In the present case, petitioners do not claim to be entitled to
the Senate office of respondent. Clearly, petitioners have no standing to file the
present petition.

Even if the Court disregards the infirmities of the petition and treats it as a
taxpayers suit, the petition would still fail on the merits.

(2) PNRC is a Private Organization Performing Public Functions

On 22 March 1947, President Manuel A. Roxas signed Republic Act No. 95, otherwise
known as the PNRC Charter. The PNRC is a non-profit, donor-funded, voluntary,
humanitarian organization, whose mission is to bring timely, effective, and
compassionate humanitarian assistance for the most vulnerable without
consideration of nationality, race, religion, gender, social status, or political affiliation.

The PNRC, as a member National Society of the Movement, has the duty to uphold
the Fundamental Principles and ideals of the Movement. In order to be recognized as
a National Society, the PNRC has to be autonomous and must operate in conformity
with the Fundamental Principles of the Movement.

The reason for this autonomy is fundamental. To be accepted by warring belligerents


as neutral workers during international or internal armed conflicts, the PNRC
volunteers must not be seen as belonging to any side of the armed conflict. In the
Philippines where there is a communist insurgency and a Muslim separatist rebellion,
the PNRC cannot be seen as government-owned or controlled, and neither can the
PNRC volunteers be identified as government personnel or as instruments of
government policy. Otherwise, the insurgents or separatists will treat PNRC
volunteers as enemies when the volunteers tend to the wounded in the battlefield or
the displaced civilians in conflict areas.

Thus, the PNRC must not only be, but must also be seen to be, autonomous, neutral
and independent in order to conduct its activities in accordance with the
Fundamental Principles. The PNRC must not appear to be an instrument or agency
that implements government policy; otherwise, it cannot merit the trust of all and
cannot effectively carry out its mission as a National Red Cross Society. It is
imperative that the PNRC must be autonomous, neutral, and independent in relation
to the State.

To ensure and maintain its autonomy, neutrality, and independence, the PNRC cannot
be owned or controlled by the government. Indeed, the Philippine government does
not own the PNRC. The PNRC does not have government assets and does not receive
any appropriation from the Philippine Congress.

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An overwhelming four-fifths majority of the PNRC Board are private sector individuals
elected to the PNRC Board by the private sector members of the PNRC. The PNRC
Board exercises all corporate powers of the PNRC. The PNRC is controlled by private
sector individuals. Decisions or actions of the PNRC Board are not reviewable by the
President. The President cannot reverse or modify the decisions or actions of the
PNRC Board. Neither can the President reverse or modify the decisions or actions of
the PNRC Chairman. It is the PNRC Board that can review, reverse or modify the
decisions or actions of the PNRC Chairman. This proves again that the office of the
PNRC Chairman is a private office, not a government office.

(3) The PNRC Charter is Violative of the Constitutional Proscription against the
Creation of Private Corporations by Special Law

The 1935 Constitution, as amended, was in force when the PNRC was created by
special charter on 22 March 1947. Section 7, Article XIV of the 1935 Constitution, as
amended, reads:

SEC. 7. The Congress shall not, except by general law, provide for the formation,
organization, or regulation of private corporations, unless such corporations are
owned or controlled by the Government or any subdivision or instrumentality thereof.

Congress cannot enact a law creating a private corporation with a special charter.
Such legislation would be unconstitutional. Private corporations may exist only under
a general law. If the corporation is private, it must necessarily exist under a general
law. Stated differently, only corporations created under a general law can qualify as
private corporations. Under existing laws, the general law is the Corporation Code,
except that the Cooperative Code governs the incorporation of cooperatives.

Although PNRC is created by a special charter, it cannot be considered


a government-owned or controlled corporation in the absence of the essential
elements of ownership and control by the government. In creating the PNRC as a
corporate entity, Congress was in fact creating a private corporation. However, the
constitutional prohibition against the creation of private corporations by special
charters provides no exception even for non-profit or charitable corporations.
Consequently, the PNRC Charter, insofar as it creates the PNRC as a private
corporation and grants it corporate powers, is void for being
unconstitutional. Thus, Sections 1, 2, 3, 4(a), 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 of the
PNRC Charter, as amended, are void.

In sum, we hold that the office of the PNRC Chairman is not a government office or
an office in a government-owned or controlled corporation for purposes of the
prohibition in Section 13, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. However, since the PNRC
Charter is void insofar as it creates the PNRC as a private corporation, the PNRC
should incorporate under the Corporation Code and register with the Securities and
Exchange Commission if it wants to be a private corporation.

LIBAN VS GORDON (MOTION FOR RECON)

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G. R. No. 175352, January 18, 2011
639 SCRA 703

CASE: Motion for Clarification and/or for Reconsideration filed on August 10, 2009 by
respondent Richard J. Gordon (respondent) of the Decision promulgated by this Court
on July 15, 2009 (the Decision), the Motion for Partial Reconsideration filed on August
27, 2009 by movant-intervenor Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), and the
latters Manifestation and Motion to Admit Attached Position Paper filed on December
23, 2009.

FACTS: The Court held that respondent did not forfeit his seat in the Senate when
he accepted the chairmanship of the PNRC Board of Governors, as the office of the
PNRC Chairman is not a government office or an office in a government-owned or
controlled corporation for purposes of the prohibition in Section 13, Article VI of the
1987 Constitution.[5] The Decision, however, further declared void the PNRC Charter
insofar as it creates the PNRC as a private corporation and consequently ruled that
the PNRC should incorporate under the Corporation Code and register with the
Securities and Exchange Commission if it wants to be a private corporation.

Respondent raises the following grounds: (1) as the issue of constitutionality of


Republic Act (R.A.) No. 95 was not raised by the parties, the Court went beyond the
case in deciding such issue; and (2) as the Court decided that Petitioners did not
have standing to file the instant Petition, the pronouncement of the Court on the
validity of R.A. No. 95 should be considered obiter.

Respondent argues that the validity of R.A. No. 95 was a non-issue; therefore, it was
unnecessary for the Court to decide on that question. Respondent cites Laurel v.
Garcia, wherein the Court said that it will not pass upon a constitutional question
although properly presented by the record if the case can be disposed of on some
other ground and goes on to claim that since this Court, in the Decision, disposed of
the petition on some other ground, i.e., lack of standing of petitioners, there was no
need for it to delve into the validity of R.A. No. 95, and the rest of the judgment
should be deemed obiter.

ISSUE: Whether to sustain the constitutionality of the PNRC Chapter.

RULING: As correctly pointed out in respondents Motion, the issue of


constitutionality of R.A. No. 95 was not raised by the parties, and was not among the
issues defined in the body of the Decision; thus, it was not the very lis mota of the
case.

This Court should not have declared void certain sections of R.A. No. 95, as amended
by Presidential Decree (P.D.) Nos. 1264 and 1643, the PNRC Charter. Instead, the
Court should have exercised judicial restraint on this matter, especially since there
was some other ground upon which the Court could have based its
judgment. Furthermore, the PNRC, the entity most adversely affected by this
declaration of unconstitutionality, which was not even originally a party to this case,
was being compelled, as a consequence of the Decision, to suddenly reorganize and

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incorporate under the Corporation Code, after more than sixty (60) years of existence
in this country.

Since its enactment, the PNRC Charter was amended several times, particularly on
June 11, 1953, August 16, 1971, December 15, 1977, and October 1, 1979, by virtue
of R.A. No. 855, R.A. No. 6373, P.D. No. 1264, and P.D. No. 1643, respectively. The
passage of several laws relating to the PNRCs corporate existence notwithstanding
the effectivity of the constitutional proscription on the creation of private
corporations by law, is a recognition that the PNRC is not strictly in the nature of a
private corporation contemplated by the aforesaid constitutional ban.

A closer look at the nature of the PNRC would show that there is none like it not just
in terms of structure, but also in terms of history, public service and official status
accorded to it by the State and the international community. There is merit in PNRCs
contention that its structure is sui generis.

PUYAT VS DE GUZMAN
G.R. No. L-51122, March 25, 1982
113 SCRA 31

CASE: This suit for certiorari and Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction is poised
against the Order of respondent Associate Commissioner of the Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC) granting Assemblyman Estanislao A. Fernandez leave to
intervene in SEC Case No. 1747.

FACTS: An election for the eleven Directors of the International Pipe Industries
Corporation (IPI) a private corporation, was held where Puyat and his group won.

The Acero Group instituted at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) quo
warranto proceedings, questioning the election. They claimed that the stockholders'
votes were not properly counted.

The Puyat Group claims that at conferences of the parties with respondent SEC
Commissioner de Guzman, Justice Estanislao A. Fernandez, then a member of the
Interim Batasang Pambansa, orally entered his appearance as counsel for respondent
Acero to which the Puyat Group objected on Constitutional grounds. Section 11,
Article VIII, of the 1973 Constitution, then in force, provided that no Assemblyman
could "appear as counsel before ... any administrative body", and SEC was an
administrative body. Incidentally, the same prohibition was maintained by the April 7,
1981 plebiscite. The cited Constitutional prohibition being clear, Assemblyman
Fernandez did not continue his appearance for respondent Acero.

When the SEC Case was called, it turned out that, May 15, Fernandez had purchased
from Augusto A. Morales ten (10) shares of stock of IPI for P200.00 upon request of
respondent Acero to qualify him to run for election as a Director. The deed of sale,
however, was notarized only on May 30 and was sought to be registered on said
date. The next day, May 31, the latter had filed an Urgent Motion for Intervention in

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the SEC Case as the owner of ten (10) IPI shares alleging legal interest in the matter
in litigation.

The SEC granted leave to intervene on the basis of Atty. Fernandez' ownership of the
said ten shares. It is this Order allowing intervention that precipitated the instant
petition for certiorari and Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction.

ISSUE: Whether or not Assemblyman Fernandez, as a then stockholder of IPI may


intervene in the SEC Case without violating Section 11, Article VIII of the 1973
Constitution.

Section 11. No Member of the National Assembly shall appear as counsel before any
court inferior to a court with appellate jurisdiction, before any court in any civil case
wherein the government, or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof is the
adverse party, or before any administrative body. Neither shall he, directly or
indirectly, be interested financially in any contract with, or in any franchise or special
privilege granted by, the government, or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality
thereof, including any government-owned or controlled corporation, during his term
of office. He shall not intervene in any matter before any office of the government for
his pecuniary benefit.

RULING: Ordinarily, by virtue of the Motion for Intervention, Assemblyman


Fernandez cannot be said to be appearing as counsel. Ostensibly, he is not appearing
on behalf of another, although he is joining the cause of the private respondents. His
appearance could theoretically be for the protection of his ownership of ten (10)
shares of IPI in respect of the matter in litigation and not for the protection of the
petitioners nor respondents who have their respective capable and respected
counsel.

However, certain salient circumstances militate against the intervention of


Assemblyman Fernandez in the SEC Case. He had acquired a mere P200.00 worth of
stock in IPI, representing ten shares out of 262,843 outstanding shares. He acquired
them "after the fact" that is, on May 30, after the contested election of Directors on
May 14, after the quo warranto suit had been filed on May 25 before SEC and one day
before the scheduled hearing of the case before the SEC on May 31, 1979. And what
is more, before he moved to intervene, he had signified his intention to appear as
counsel for respondent Eustaquio T. C. Acero, but which was objected to by
petitioners. Realizing, perhaps, the validity of the objection, he decided, instead, to
"intervene" on the ground of legal interest in the matter under litigation.

Under those facts and circumstances, we are constrained to find that there has been
an indirect "appearance as counsel before ... an administrative body" and, in our
opinion, that is a circumvention of the Constitutional prohibition. The "intervention"
was an afterthought to enable him to appear actively in the proceedings in some
other capacity. To believe the avowed purpose, that is, to enable him eventually to
vote and to be elected as Director in the event of an unfavorable outcome of the SEC
Case would be pure naivete. He would still appear as counsel indirectly.

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Election of Officers
Santiago vs Guingona 298 SCRA 756 (1998)
Facts:
During the election of officers of the Senate, Senator Santiago nominated Senator
Tatad as Senate President. Senator Ople, on the other hand, nominated Senator
Fernan for the same position. Senator Fernan was voted Senate President with a vote
of 20-2.
Senator Ople was voted president pro tempore while Senator Drilon was voted
majority leader.
Senator Tatad manifested that, as the only ones who voted for him were himself and
Senator Santiago, the two of them comprised the minority and that an agreement
was entered into between them that he will be the minority leader.
The Senate was grouped as follows:
10 members Laban ngMasang Pilipino (LAMP)
7 members Lakas-National Union of Christian Democrats-United
Muslim Democrats of the Philippines (Lakas-NUCD-UMDP)
1 member Liberal Party (LP)
1 member AksyonDemokrasya
1 member People's Reform Party (PRP)
1 member Gabay Bayan
2 members Independent

23 total number of senators (The last six members are all classified by petitioners
as "independent".)

According to Senator Flavier, the members of the Lakas NUCD-UMDP is also a


minority since there are only 7 members and that they had chosen Senator Guingona
as the minority leader. Senator Guingona was thereafter formally recognized by the
Senate President as the minority leader.

A petition for quo warranto was filed by Senators Tatad and Santiago alleging that
Senator Guingona had been usurping ,unlawfully holding and exercising the position
of Senate minority leader, a position that, according to them, rightfully belonged to
Senator Tatad.

Issue: Whether or not it was proper for the Senate President to recognize Senator
Guingona as the minority leader.

Held:
History would also show that the "majority" in either house of Congress has referred
to the political party to which the most number of lawmakers belonged, while the
"minority" normally referred to a party with a lesser number of members.
Let us go back to the definitions of the terms "majority" and "minority." Majority may
also refer to "the group, party, or faction with the larger number of votes," not
necessarily more than one half. This is sometimes referred to as plurality. In
contrast, minority is "a group, party, or faction with a smaller number of votes or
adherents than the majority." Between two unequal parts or numbers comprising a
whole or totality, the greater number would obviously be the majority while the lesser

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would be the minority. But where there are more than two unequal groupings, it is not
as easy to say which is the minority entitled to select the leader representing all the
minorities. In a government with a multi-party system such as in the Philippines (as
pointed out by petitioners themselves), there could be several minority parties, one
of which has to be indentified by the Comelec as the "dominant minority party" for
purposes of the general elections. In the prevailing composition of the present
Senate, members either belong to different political parties or are independent. No
constitutional or statutory provision prescribe which of the many minority groups or
the independents or a combination thereof has the right to select the minority leader.
While the Constitution is explicit on the manner of electing a Senate President and a
House Speaker, it is, however, dead silent on the manner of selecting the other
officers in both chambers of Congress. All that the Charter says is that "[e]ach House
shall choose such other officers as it may deem necessary." 43 To our mind,
the method of choosing who will be such other officers is merely a derivative of the
exercise of the prerogative conferred by the aforequoted constitutional provision.
Therefore, such method must be prescribed by the Senate itself, not by this Court.

The Rules of the Senate do not provide for the positions of majority and minority
leaders. Neither is there an open clause providing specifically for such offices and
prescribing the manner of creating them or of choosing the holders thereof, At any
rate, such offices, by tradition and long practice, are actually extant. But, in the
absence of constitutional or statutory guidelines or specific rules, this Court is devoid
of any basis upon which to determine the legality of the acts of the Senate relative
thereto. On grounds of respect for the basic concept of separation of powers, courts
may not intervene in the internal affairs of the legislature; it is not within the province
of courts to direct Congress how to do its work.

Legislative rules, unlike statutory laws, do not have the imprints of permanence and
obligatoriness during their effectivity. In fact, they "are subject to revocation,
modification or waiver at the pleasure of the body adopting them." Being merely
matters of procedure, their observance are of no concern to the courts, for said rules
may be waived or disregarded by the legislative body at will, upon the concurrence
of a majority.

Quorum

Avelino vs Cuenco 83 Phil 17 (1949)

Facts:
In the session of the Senate of February 18, 1949, Senator Lorenzo M. Taada
requested that his right to speak on the next session day, February 21, 1949, to
formulate charges against the then Senate President Jose Avelino be reserved. His
request was approved.
However, on the day of the session, the opening of the session was delayed. He was
not given the chance to speak despite his attempts to claim his right to speak. A
commotion broke outside the Senate gallery which prompted them to adjourn.
Nevertheless, Senator Tanada opposed the motion to adjourn. This led Senate
President Avelino and seven of his followers to leave and abandon the session. The

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remaining senators continued the session which was then chaired by the Senate
President Pro-Tempore.
Senator Taada, after being recognized by the Chair, was then finally able to deliver
his privilege speech. Thereafter Senator Sanidad read aloud the complete text of said
Resolution (No. 68), and submitted his motion for approval thereof and the same was
unanimously approved.
With Senate President Pro-tempore Arranz again occupying the Chair, after the
respondent had yielded it to him, Senator Sanidad introduced Resolution No. 67,
entitled "Resolution declaring vacant the position of the President of the Senate and
designated the Honorable Mariano Jesus Cuenco Acting President of the Senate." Put
to a vote, the said resolution was unanimously approved.
Senator Cuenco took the oath.
The next day the President of the Philippines recognized the respondent as acting
president of the Philippines Senate.
Note: Except for Senator Sotto who was confined in a hospital and Senator Confesor
who is in the United States, all the Senator were present. 22 Senators were present at
the opening of session.
Issue: Whether or not there was quorum?
Held:
The session under Senator Arranz was a continuation of the morning session and that
a minority of ten senators may not, by leaving the Hall, prevent the other twelve
senators from passing a resolution that met with their unanimous endorsement. The
answer might be different had the resolution been approved only by ten or less.
If the rump session was not a continuation of the morning session, was it validly
constituted? In other words, was there the majority required by the Constitution for
the transaction of the business of the Senate? Justice Paras, Feria, Pablo and Bengzon
say there was, firstly because the minute say so, secondly, because at the beginning
of such session there were at least fourteen senators including Senators Pendatun
and Lopez, and thirdly because in view of the absence from the country of Senator
Tomas Confesor twelve senators constitute a majority of the Senate of twenty three
senators. When the Constitution declares that a majority of "each House" shall
constitute a quorum, "the House does not mean "all" the members. Even a majority
of all the members constitute "the House". (Missouri Pac. vs. Kansas, 63 Law ed. [U.
S.], p. 239). There is a difference between a majority of "the House", the latter
requiring less number than the first. Therefore an absolute majority (12) of all the
members of the Senate less one (23), constitutes constitutional majority of the
Senate for the purpose of a quorum. Mr. Justice Pablo believes furthermore than even
if the twelve did not constitute a quorum, they could have ordered the arrest of one,
at least, of the absent members; if one had been so arrested, there would be no
doubt Quorum then, and Senator Cuenco would have been elected just the same
inasmuch as there would be eleven for Cuenco, one against and one abstained.
In fine, all the four justice agree that the Court being confronted with the practical
situation that of the twenty three senators who may participate in the Senate
deliberations in the days immediately after this decision, twelve senators will support
Senator Cuenco and, at most, eleven will side with Senator Avelino, it would be most
injudicious to declare the latter as the rightful President of the Senate, that office
being essentially one that depends exclusively upon the will of the majority of the
senators, the rule of the Senate about tenure of the President of that body being

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amenable at any time by that majority. And at any session hereafter held with
thirteen or more senators, in order to avoid all controversy arising from the
divergence of opinion here about quorum and for the benefit of all concerned,the said
twelve senators who approved the resolutions herein involved could ratify all their
acts and thereby place them beyond the shadow of a doubt.
Rules of Proceedings

Arroyo vs de Venecia 277 SCRA 258 (1997)

Facts:
A petition was filed challenging the validity of RA 8240, which amends certain
provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code. Petitioners, who are members of
the House of Representatives, charged that there is violation of the rules of
the House which petitioners claim are constitutionally-mandated so that their
violation is tantamount to a violation of the Constitution.

The law originated in the House of Representatives. The Senate approved it with
certain amendments. A bicameral conference committee was formed to reconcile the
disagreeing provisions of the House and Senate versions of the bill. The bicameral
committee submitted its report to the House. During the interpellations, Rep. Arroyo
made an interruption and moved to adjourn for lack of quorum. But after a roll call,
the Chair declared the presence of a quorum. The interpellation then proceeded.
After Rep. Arroyos interpellation of the sponsor of the committee report, Majority
Leader Albano moved for the approval and ratification of the conference committee
report. The Chair called out for objections to the motion. Then the Chair declared:
There being none, approved. At the same time the Chair was saying this, Rep.
Arroyo was asking, What is thatMr. Speaker? The Chair and Rep. Arroyo were
talking simultaneously. Thus, although Rep. Arroyo subsequently objected to the
Majority Leaders motion, the approval of the conference committee report had by
then already been declared by the Chair.

On the same day, the bill was signed by the Speaker of the House of
Representatives and the President of the Senate and certified by the respective
secretaries of both Houses of Congress. The enrolled bill wassigned into law by
President Ramos.

Issue: Whether or not RA 8240 is null and void because it was passed in violation of
the rules of the House

Held:
Rules of each House of Congress are hardly permanent in character. They are subject
to revocation, modification or waiver at the pleasure of the body adopting them as
they are primarily procedural. Courts ordinarily have no concern with
their observance. They may be waived or disregarded by the legislative body.
Consequently, mere failure to conform to them does not have the effect of nullifying
the act taken if the requisite number of members has agreed to a particular measure.
But this is subject to qualification. Where the construction to be given to a rule
affects person other than members of the legislative body, the question presented is

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necessarily judicial in character. Even its validity is open to question in a
case where private rights are involved.

In the case, no rights of private individuals are involved but only those of a member
who, instead of seeking redress in the House, chose to transfer the dispute to the
Court.
The matter complained of concerns a matter of internal procedure of the House with
which the Court should not be concerned. The claim is not that there was no quorum
but only that Rep. Arroyo was effectively prevented from questioning the presence of
a quorum. Rep. Arroyos earlier motion to adjourn for lack of quorum had already
been defeated, as the roll call established the existence of a quorum. The question of
quorum cannot be raised repeatedly especially when the quorum is
obviously present for the purpose of delaying the business of the House.

Garcillano vs HR Committee 575 SCRA 170 (2008)

Facts:
A few years ago, the Garci tapes (alleged conversation of GMA and Garcillano)
became the subject of Congressional hearings and joint investigation of different HR
Committees. The hearings were indefinitely suspended; however, the they decided
to submit reports based on the said recordings and the testimonies of the resource
persons.

Alarmed by these developments, petitioner Virgilio O. Garcillano (Garcillano) filed


with this Court a Petition for Prohibition and Injunction, with Prayer for Temporary
Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction 4docketed as G.R. No. 170338.
He prayed that the respondent House Committees be restrained from using these
tape recordings of the "illegally obtained" wiretapped conversations in their
committee reports and for any other purpose. He further implored that the said
recordings and any reference thereto be ordered stricken off the records of the
inquiry, and the respondent House Committees directed to desist from further using
the recordings in any of the House proceedings. 5
On September 6, 2007, petitioners Santiago Ranada and Oswaldo Agcaoili, retired
justices of the Court of Appeals, filed before this Court a Petition for Prohibition with
Prayer for the Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary
Injunction,10 docketed as G.R. No. 179275, seeking to bar the Senate from conducting
its scheduled legislative inquiry. They argued in the main that the intended legislative
inquiry violates R.A. No. 4200 and Section 3, Article III of the Constitution.
Held:
The Senate cannot be allowed to continue with the conduct of the questioned
legislative inquiry without duly published rules of procedure, in clear derogation of
the constitutional requirement.
Section 21, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution explicitly provides that "[t]he Senate or
the House of Representatives, or any of its respective committees may conduct
inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of
procedure." The requisite of publication of the rules is intended to satisfy the basic
requirements of due process. Publication is indeed imperative, for it will be the height
of injustice to punish or otherwise burden a citizen for the transgression of a law or

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rule of which he had no notice whatsoever, not even a constructive one. What
constitutes publication is set forth in Article 2 of the Civil Code, which provides that
"[l]aws shall take effect after 15 days following the completion of their publication
either in the Official Gazette, or in a newspaper of general circulation in the
Philippines."
The respondents in G.R. No. 179275 admit in their pleadings and even on oral
argument that the Senate Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation
had been published in newspapers of general circulation only in 1995 and in
2006.45 With respect to the present Senate of the 14 th Congress, however, of which
the term of half of its members commenced on June 30, 2007, no effort was
undertaken for the publication of these rules when they first opened their session.
Recently, the Court had occasion to rule on this very same question. In Neri v. Senate
Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations,46 we said:
Fourth, we find merit in the argument of the OSG that respondent Committees
likewise violated Section 21 of Article VI of the Constitution, requiring that the inquiry
be in accordance with the "duly published rules of procedure." We quote the
OSGs explanation:
The phrase "duly published rules of procedure" requires the Senate of every Congress
to publish its rules of procedure governing inquiries in aid of legislation because
every Senate is distinct from the one before it or after it. Since Senatorial elections
are held every three (3) years for one-half of the Senates membership, the
composition of the Senate also changes by the end of each term. Each Senate may
thus enact a different set of rules as it may deem fit. Not having published
its Rules of Procedure, the subject hearings in aid of legislation conducted
by the 14th Senate, are therefore, procedurally infirm.
Dela Paz vs Senate Committee 579 SCRA 521 (2009)
Facts:
On October 6, 2008, a Philippine delegation of eight (8) senior Philippine National
Police (PNP) officers arrived in Moscow, Russia to attend the 77th General Assembly
Session of the International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO)-INTERPOL in St.
Petersburg from October 6-10, 2008. With the delegation was Gen. Dela Paz, then
comptroller and special disbursing officer of the PNP. Gen. Dela Paz, however, was to
retire from the PNP on October 9, 2008.
On October 11, 2008, Gen. Dela Paz was apprehended by the local authorities at the
Moscow airport departure area for failure to declare in written form the 105,000 euros
[approximately P6,930,000.00] found in his luggage. In addition, he was also found to
have in his possession 45,000 euros (roughly equivalent to P2,970,000.00).
Petitioners were detained in Moscow for questioning. After a few days, Gen. Dela Paz
and the PNP delegation were allowed to return to the Philippines, but the Russian
government confiscated the euros.
On October 21, 2008, Gen. Dela Paz arrived in Manila, a few days after Mrs. Dela Paz.
Awaiting them were subpoenae earlier issued by respondent Committee for the
investigation it was to conduct on the Moscow incident on October 23, 2008.
On October 23, 2008, respondent Committee held its first hearing. Instead of
attending the hearing, petitioners filed with respondent Committee a pleading
denominated Challenge to Jurisdiction with Motion to Quash Subpoena. 2 Senator
Santiago emphatically defended respondent Committees jurisdiction and
commanded Balajadia to arrest petitioners.

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Issue: whether or not the respondent Committee has jurisdiction to investigate the
Moscow incident.
Held: Section 16(3), Article VI of the Philippine Constitution states:
"Each House shall determine the rules of its proceedings."
This provision has been traditionally construed as a grant of full discretionary
authority to the Houses of Congress in the formulation, adoption and promulgation of
its own rules. As such, the exercise of this power is generally exempt from judicial
supervision and interference, except on a clear showing of such arbitrary and
improvident use of the power as will constitute a denial of due process.
Paragraph 12, Section 13, Rule 10 of the Senate Rules provides:
12) Committee on Foreign Relations. Fifteen (15) members. All matters relating to
the relations of the Philippines with other nations generally; diplomatic and consular
services; the Association of Southeast Asian Nations; the United Nations Organization
and its agencies; multi-lateral organizations, all international agreements, obligations
and contracts; and overseas Filipinos.
A reading of the above provision unmistakably shows that the investigation of the
Moscow incident involving petitioners is well within the respondent Committees
jurisdiction.
Pursuant to paragraph 36, Section 13, Rule 10 of the Senate Rules, the Blue Ribbon
Committee may conduct investigations on all matters relating to malfeasance,
misfeasance and nonfeasance in office by officers and employees of the government,
its branches, agencies, subdivisions and instrumentalities, and on any matter of
public interest on its own initiative or brought to its attention by any of its members.
It is, thus, beyond cavil that the Blue Ribbon Committee can investigate Gen. Dela
Paz, a retired PNP general and member of the official PNP delegation to the INTERPOL
Conference in Russia, who had with him millions which may have been sourced from
public funds.
Subsequent to Senator Santiagos verbal command to Balajadia to arrest petitioners,
the Philippine Senate issued a formal written Order of arrest, signed by ten (10)
senators, with the Senate President himself approving it, in accordance with the
Senate Rules.
Discipline of Members
Alejandrino vs Quezon 46 Phil 63 (1924)
Senator Alejandrino, appointed by the Government General to represent the 12 th
Senatorial District, was deprived of all the prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments
of his office for the period of one year from the first of January, 1924. The resolution
was adopted by herein respondents.

Senator Alejandrino prayed before the court: (1) To issue a preliminary injunction
against the respondents enjoining them from executing the resolution; (2) to declare
the aforesaid resolution of the Senate null and void; and (3) as a consequence of the
foregoing, to issue a final writ of mandamus and injunction against the respondents
ordering them to recognize the rights of the petitioner to exercise his office as
Senator and that he enjoy all of his prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments, and
prohibiting them from preventing the petitioner from exercising the rights of his
office, and from carrying the order of suspension, into effect.

Issue: whether the court has jurisdiction over the matters prayed for by Alejandrino.

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Held:
the general rule of mandamus is that the writ will not lie from one branch of the
government to a coordinate branch, for the very obvious reason that neither is
inferior to the other. Mandamus will not lie against the legislative body, its members,
or its officers, to compel the performance of duties purely legislative in their
character which therefore pertain to their legislative, functions and over which they
have exclusive control. The courts cannot dictate action in this respect without a
gross usurpation of power. So it has been held that there where a member has been
expelled by the legislative body, the courts have no power, irrespective of whether
the expulsion was right or wrong, to issue a mandate to compel his reinstatement.

the Senate and the House of Representatives, respectively, is granted the power to
"punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds,
expel an elective member." (Organic Act, sec. 18.) Either House may thus punish an
appointive member for disorderly behavior. Neither House may expel an appointive
member for any reason. As to whether the power to "suspend" is then included in the
power to "punish," a power granted to the two Houses of the Legislature by the
Constitution, or in the power to "remove," a power granted to the Governor-General
by the Constitution, it would appear that neither is the correct hypothesis. The
Constitution has purposely withheld from the two Houses of the Legislature and the
Governor-General alike the power to suspend an appointive member of the
Legislature.

Conceding therefore that the power of the Senate to punish its members for
disorderly behavior does not authorize it to suspend on appointive member from the
exercise of his office for one year, conceding what has been so well stated by the
learned counsel for the petitioner, conceding all this and more, yet the writ prayed
for cannot issue, for the all-conclusive reason that the Supreme Court does not
possess the power of coercion to make the Philippine Senate take any particular
action. If it be said that this conclusion leaves the petitioner without a remedy, the
answer is that the judiciary is not the repository of all wisdom and all power. It would
hardly be becoming for the judiciary to assume the role of either a credulous
inquisitor, a querulous censor, or a jaunty knight, who passes down the halls of
legislation and of administration giving heed to those who have grievances against
the Legislature and the Chief Executive.

Osmena vs Pendatun 109 Phil 863 (1960)

Facts:

On July 14, 1960, Congressman Sergio Osmea, Jr., submitted to this Court a verified
petition for "declaratory relief, certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction"
against Congressman Salapida K. Pendatun and fourteen other congressmen in their
capacity as members of the Special Committee created by House Resolution No. 59.
He asked for annulment of such Resolution on the ground of infringement of his
parliamentary immunity; he also asked, principally, that said members of the special
committee be enjoined from proceeding in accordance with it, particularly the portion

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authorizing them to require him to substantiate his charges against the President
with the admonition that if he failed to do so, he must show cause why the House
should not punish him.
In support of his request, Congressman Osmea alleged; first, the Resolution violated
his constitutional absolute parliamentary immunity for speeches delivered in the
House; second, his words constituted no actionable conduct; and third, after his
allegedly objectionable speech and words, the House took up other business, and
Rule XVII, sec. 7 of the Rules of House provides that if other business has intervened
after the member had uttered obnoxious words in debate, he shall not be held to
answer therefor nor be subject to censure by the House.

Issue: whether or not the House has the authority to censure petitioner.

Held:
Section 15, Article VI of our Constitution provides that "for any speech or debate" in
Congress, the Senators or Members of the House of Representative "shall not be
questioned in any other place." This section was taken or is a copy of sec. 6, clause 1
of Art. 1 of the Constitution of the United States. In that country, the provision has
always been understood to mean that although exempt from prosecution or civil
actions for their words uttered in Congress, the members of Congress may,
nevertheless, be questioned in Congress itself. Observe that "they shall not be
questioned in any other place" than Congress.
Furthermore, the Rules of the House which petitioner himself has invoked (Rule XVII,
sec. 7), recognize the House's power to hold a member responsible "for words spoken
in debate. its purpose "is to enable and encourage a representative of the public to
discharge his public trust with firmness and success" for "it is indispensably
necessary that he should enjoy the fullest liberty of speech, and that he should be
protected from the resentment of every one, however powerful, to whom exercise of
that liberty may occasion offense."
Issue: whether the House may still bring action against him when it had taken up
other business after his speech.
Held:
Resolution No. 59 was unanimously approved by the House, and such approval
amounted to a suspension of the House Rules, which according to standard
parliamentary practice may done by unanimous consent. Parliamentary rules are
merely procedural, and with their observancem, the courts have no concern. They
may be waived or disregarded by the legislative body." Consequently, "mere failure
to conform to parliamentary usage will not invalidate the action (taken by a
deliberative body) when the requisited number of members have agreed to a
particular measure."
Issue: whether a speech attacking the Chief Executive constitutes disorderly conduct.
Held:
the House is the judge of what constitutes disorderly behaviour, not only because the
Constitution has conferred jurisdiction upon it, but also because the matter depends
mainly on factual circumstances of which the House knows best but which can not be
depicted in black and white for presentation to, and adjudication by the Courts. For
one thing, if this Court assumed the power to determine whether Osmea conduct
constituted disorderly behaviour, it would thereby have assumed appellate

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jurisdiction, which the Constitution never intended to confer upon a coordinate
branch of the Government. The theory of separation of powers fastidiously observed
by this Court, demands in such situation a prudent refusal to interfere. Each
department, it has been said, had exclusive cognizance of matters within its
jurisdiction and is supreme within its own sphere.

Santiago vs Sandiganbayan356 SCRA 636 (2001)


Facts:
Review of the act of Sandiganbayan in ordering the preventive suspension of
Senator Defensor-Santiago in connection with pending criminal cases filed
against her for her alleged violation of RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt
Practices Act).

Issue:
Authority of the Sandiganbayan to issue to decree a 90-day preventive
suspension of Senator Santiago from any government position.

Held:
It is the ministerial duty of the court to issue an order of suspension upon
determination of the validity of the information filed before it. Once the
information is found to be sufficient in form and substance, the court is bound
to issue an order of suspension as a matter of course, and there seems to be
no ifs and buts about it.
"SECTION 13. Suspension and loss of benefits. Any incumbent public officer
against whom any criminal prosecution under a valid information under this
Act or under Title 7, Book II of the Revised Penal Code or for any offense
involving fraud upon government or public funds or property whether as a
simple or as a complex offense and in whatever stage of execution and mode
of participation, is pending in court, shall be suspended from office. Should he
be convicted by final judgment, he shall lose all retirement or gratuity benefits
under any law, but if he is acquitted, he shall be entitled to reinstatement and
to the salaries and benefits which he failed to receive during suspension,
unless in the meantime administrative proceedings have been filed against
him.
"In the event that such convicted officer, who may have already been separated from
the service, has already received such benefits he shall be liable to restitute the
same to the Government. (As amended by BP Blg. 195, March 16, 1982)."
Section 13 of Republic Act No. 3019 does not state that the public officer
concerned must be suspended only in the office where he is alleged to have
committed the acts with which he has been charged. Thus, it has been held
that the use of the word "office" would indicate that it applies to any office
which the officer charged may be holding, and not only the particular office
under which he stands accused.
Nature of preventive suspension it is not a penalty because it is not imposed
in judicial proceedings. In fact, if acquitted, the official concerned shall be

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entitled to reinstatement and to salaries and benefits which he failed to
receive during suspension. (BayotvsSandiganbayan)
The Sandiganbayan merely adhered to the clear and unequivocal mandate of
the law, as well as the jurisprudence in which this Court has, more than once,
upheld Sandiganbayans authority to decree the suspension of public officials
and employees indicted before it.
Order of suspension prescribed by RA 3019 is distinct from the power of
Congress to discipline its own ranks under the Constitution which provides
that each
xxx house may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for
disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of its members, suspend
or expel a Member. A penalty of suspension, when imposed shall not exceed sixty
days.
The doctrine of separation of powers by itself may not be deemed to have
effectively excluded members of Congress from Republic Act No. 3019 nor
from its sanctions. The maxim simply recognizes each of the three co-equal
and independent, albeit coordinate, branches of the government the
Legislative, the Executive and the Judiciary has exclusive prerogatives and
cognizance within its own sphere of influence and effectively prevents one
branch from unduly intruding into the internal affairs of either branch.
RA 3019 does not exclude from its coverage the members of Congress and
that, therefore, the Sandiganbayan did not err in thus decreeing the assailed
preventive suspension order.

ARROYO VS DE VENECIA 277 SCRA 268 (1997)


- ENROLLED BILL DOCTRINE

Facts: Petitioners are members of the House of Representatives. They brought this
suit against respondents charging violation of the rules of the House which
petitioners claim are "constitutionally mandated" so that their violation is tantamount
to a violation of the Constitution.

In the course of his interpellation, Rep. Arroyo announced that he was going to raise a
question on the quorum, although until the end of his interpellation he never did.

On the same day, the bill was signed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives
and the President of the Senate and certified by the respective secretaries of both
Houses of Congress as having been finally passed by the House of Representatives
and by the Senate on November 21, 1996. The enrolled bill was signed into law by
President Fidel V. Ramos on November 22, 1996.

Issue: Whether R.A. No. 8240 is null and void because it was passed in violation of
the rules of the House;

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Whether the certification of Speaker De Venecia that the law was properly passed is
false and spurious;
Whether the Chair, in the process of submitting and certifying the law violated House
Rules; and
Whether a certiorari/prohibition will be granted.

Held: After considering the arguments of the parties, the Court finds no ground for
holding that Congress committed a grave abuse of discretion in enacting R.A. No.
8240. This case is therefore dismissed.

Ratio: To disregard the "enrolled bill" rule in such cases would be to disregard the
respect due the other two departments of our government. It would be an
unwarranted invasion of the prerogative of a coequal department for this Court either
to set aside a legislative action as void because the Court thinks the House has
disregarded its own rules of procedure, or to allow those defeated in the political
arena to seek a rematch in the judicial forum when petitioners can find their remedy
in that department itself. The Court has not been invested with a roving commission
to inquire into complaints, real or imagined, of legislative skullduggery. It would be
acting in excess of its power and would itself be guilty of grave abuse of its discretion
were it to do so. The suggestion made in a case may instead appropriately be made
here: petitioners can seek the enactment of a new law or the repeal or amendment of
R.A. No. 8240. In the absence of anything to the contrary, the Court must assume
that Congress or any House thereof acted in the good faith belief that its conduct was
permitted by its rules, and deference rather than disrespect is due the judgment of
that body.
Under the enrolled bill doctrine, the signing of H. No. 7198 by the Speaker of the
House and the President of the Senate and the certification by the secretaries of both
Houses of Congress that it was passed on November 21, 1996 are conclusive of its
due enactment.

This Court quoted from Wigmore on Evidence the following excerpt which embodies
good, if old-fashioned democratic theory: Instead of trusting a faithful Judiciary to
check an inefficient Legislature, they should turn to improve the Legislature. The
sensible solution is not to patch and mend casual errors by asking the Judiciary to
violate legal principle and to do impossibilities with the Constitution; but to represent
ourselves with competent, careful, and honest legislators, the work of whose hands
on the statute-roll may come to reflect credit upon the name of popular government.

FARINAS VS THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY 417 SCRA 503


-ENROLLED BILL DOCTRINE

A petition was filed seeking the Court to declare unconstitutional Section 14 of RA


9006 or The Act to Enhance the Holding of Free, Orderly, Honest, Peaceful and

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Credible Elections Through Fair Election Practices as it repealed Section 67 of the
Omnibus Election Code mandating the ipso jure resignation from public office of one
who filed his certificate of candidacy, except for President and Vice-President.
The petitioners assert that Rep. Act No. 9006 is null and void in its entirety as
irregularities attended its enactment into law. The law, not only Section 14 thereof,
should be declared null and void. Even Section 16 of the law which provides that
"[t]his Act shall take effect upon its approval" is a violation of the due process clause
of the Constitution, as well as jurisprudence, which require publication of the law
before it becomes effective.
Invoking the "enrolled bill" doctrine, the respondents refute the petitioners
allegations that "irregularities" attended the enactment of Rep. Act No. 9006. The
signatures of the Senate President and the Speaker of the House, appearing on the
bill and the certification signed by the respective Secretaries of both houses of
Congress, constitute proof beyond cavil that the bill was duly enacted into law.
The Enrolled Bill Doctrine
Is Applicable In this Case
Not content with their plea for the nullification of Section 14 of Rep. Act No. 9006, the
petitioners insist that the entire law should be nullified. They contend that
irregularities attended the passage of the said law particularly in the House of
Representatives catalogued thus:
xxx
The petitioners, thus, urge the Court to go behind the enrolled copy of the bill. The
Court is not persuaded. Under the "enrolled bill doctrine," the signing of a bill by the
Speaker of the House and the Senate President and the certification of the
Secretaries of both Houses of Congress that it was passed are conclusive of its due
enactment. A review of cases reveals the Courts consistent adherence to the rule.
The Court finds no reason to deviate from the salutary rule in this case where the
irregularities alleged by the petitioners mostly involved the internal rules of Congress,
e.g., creation of the 2nd or 3rd Bicameral Conference Committee by the House. This
Court is not the proper forum for the enforcement of these internal rules of Congress,
whether House or Senate. Parliamentary rules are merely procedural and with their
observance the courts have no concern. Whatever doubts there may be as to the
formal validity of Rep. Act No. 9006 must be resolved in its favor. The Court reiterates
its ruling in Arroyo v. De Venecia, viz.:
But the cases, both here and abroad, in varying forms of expression, all deny to the
courts the power to inquire into allegations that, in enacting a law, a House of
Congress failed to comply with its own rules, in the absence of showing that there
was a violation of a constitutional provision or the rights of private individuals. In
Osmea v. Pendatun, it was held: "At any rate, courts have declared that the rules
adopted by deliberative bodies are subject to revocation, modification or waiver at
the pleasure of the body adopting them. And it has been said that Parliamentary
rules are merely procedural, and with their observance, the courts have no concern.
They may be waived or disregarded by the legislative body. Consequently, mere
failure to conform to parliamentary usage will not invalidate the action (taken by a

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deliberative body) when the requisite number of members have agreed to a
particular measure."
ABAKADA VS PURISIMA 562 SCRA 251 (2008)
ENROLLED BILL THEORY

FACTS: This petition for prohibition1 seeks to prevent respondents from implementing
and enforcing Republic Act (RA) 9335 (Attrition Act of 2005).

RA 9335 was enacted to optimize the revenue-generation capability and collection of


the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC). The law
intends to encourage BIR and BOC officials and employees to exceed their revenue
targets by providing a system of rewards and sanctions through the creation of a
Rewards and Incentives Fund (Fund) and a Revenue Performance Evaluation Board
(Board). It covers all officials and employees of the BIR and the BOC with at least six
months of service, regardless of employment status.
The Fund is sourced from the collection of the BIR and the BOC in excess of their
revenue targets for the year, as determined by the Development Budget and
Coordinating Committee (DBCC). Any incentive or reward is taken from the fund and
allocated to the BIR and the BOC in proportion to their contribution in the excess
collection of the targeted amount of tax revenue.
The Boards in the BIR and the BOC are composed of the Secretary of the Department
of Finance (DOF) or his/her Undersecretary, the Secretary of the Department of
Budget and Management (DBM) or his/her Undersecretary, the Director General of
the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) or his/her Deputy Director
General, the Commissioners of the BIR and the BOC or their Deputy Commissioners,
two representatives from the rank-and-file employees and a representative from the
officials nominated by their recognized organization.
Each Board has the duty to (1) prescribe the rules and guidelines for the allocation,
distribution and release of the Fund; (2) set criteria and procedures for removing from
the service officials and employees whose revenue collection falls short of the target;
(3) terminate personnel in accordance with the criteria adopted by the Board; (4)
prescribe a system for performance evaluation; (5) perform other functions, including
the issuance of rules and regulations and (6) submit an annual report to Congress.
The DOF, DBM, NEDA, BIR, BOC and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) were tasked
to promulgate and issue the implementing rules and regulations of RA 9335, to be
approved by a Joint Congressional Oversight Committee created for such purpose.
Petitioners assail the creation of a congressional oversight committee on the ground
that it violates the doctrine of separation of powers. While the legislative function is
deemed accomplished and completed upon the enactment and approval of the law,
the creation of the congressional oversight committee permits legislative
participation in the implementation and enforcement of the law.

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In their comment, respondents, through the Office of the Solicitor General, argues
that the creation of the congressional oversight committee under the law enhances,
rather than violates, separation of powers. It ensures the fulfillment of the legislative
policy and serves as a check to any over-accumulation of power on the part of the
executive and the implementing agencies.
ISSUE: WON Section 12 of RA 9335 is constitutional.

RULING:
Section 12 of RA 9335 provides:
SEC. 12. Joint Congressional Oversight Committee. There is hereby created a Joint
Congressional Oversight Committee composed of seven Members from the Senate
and seven Members from the House of Representatives. The Members from the
Senate shall be appointed by the Senate President, with at least two senators
representing the minority. The Members from the House of Representatives shall be
appointed by the Speaker with at least two members representing the minority. After
the Oversight Committee will have approved the implementing rules and regulations
(IRR) it shall thereafter become functus officio and therefore cease to exist.
The Joint Congressional Oversight Committee in RA 9335 was created for the purpose
of approving the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) formulated by the DOF,
DBM, NEDA, BIR, BOC and CSC. On May 22, 2006, it approved the said IRR.
The requirement that the implementing rules of a law be subjected to approval by
Congress as a condition for their effectivity violates the cardinal constitutional
principles of bicameralism and the rule on presentment. 52
Section 1, Article VI of the Constitution states:
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. (emphasis supplied)
Legislative power (or the power to propose, enact, amend and repeal laws) 53 is
vested in Congress which consists of two chambers, the Senate and the House of
Representatives. A valid exercise of legislative power requires the act of both
chambers. Corrollarily, it can be exercised neither solely by one of the two chambers
nor by a committee of either or both chambers. Thus, assuming the validity of a
legislative veto, both a single-chamber legislative veto and a congressional
committee legislative veto are invalid.
Additionally, Section 27(1), Article VI of the Constitution provides:
Section 27. (1) Every bill passed by the Congress shall, before it becomes a
law, be presented to the President. If he approves the same, he shall sign it,
otherwise, he shall veto it and return the same with his objections to the House
where it originated, which shall enter the objections at large in its Journal and
proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of all the Members
of such House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the

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objections, to the other House by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if
approved by two-thirds of all the Members of that House, it shall become a law. In all
such cases, the votes of each House shall be determined by yeas or nays, and the
names of the members voting for or against shall be entered in its Journal. The
President shall communicate his veto of any bill to the House where it originated
within thirty days after the date of receipt thereof; otherwise, it shall become a law as
if he had signed it. (emphasis supplied)
Every bill passed by Congress must be presented to the President for approval or
veto. In the absence of presentment to the President, no bill passed by Congress can
become a law. In this sense, law-making under the Constitution is a joint act of the
Legislature and of the Executive. Assuming that legislative veto is a valid legislative
act with the force of law, it cannot take effect without such presentment even if
approved by both chambers of Congress.
In sum, two steps are required before a bill becomes a law. First, it must be
approved by both Houses of Congress. 54 Second, it must be presented to and
approved by the President.55 As summarized by Justice Isagani Cruz56 and Fr. Joaquin
G. Bernas, S.J.57, the following is the procedure for the approval of bills:
A bill is introduced by any member of the House of Representatives or the Senate
except for some measures that must originate only in the former chamber.
The first reading involves only a reading of the number and title of the measure and
its referral by the Senate President or the Speaker to the proper committee for study.
The bill may be "killed" in the committee or it may be recommended for approval,
with or without amendments, sometimes after public hearings are first held thereon.
If there are other bills of the same nature or purpose, they may all be consolidated
into one bill under common authorship or as a committee bill.
Once reported out, the bill shall be calendared for second reading. It is at this stage
that the bill is read in its entirety, scrutinized, debated upon and amended when
desired. The second reading is the most important stage in the passage of a bill.
The bill as approved on second reading is printed in its final form and copies thereof
are distributed at least three days before the third reading. On the third reading, the
members merely register their votes and explain them if they are allowed by the
rules. No further debate is allowed.
Once the bill passes third reading, it is sent to the other chamber, where it will also
undergo the three readings. If there are differences between the versions approved
by the two chambers, a conference committee 58 representing both Houses will draft a
compromise measure that if ratified by the Senate and the House of Representatives
will then be submitted to the President for his consideration.
The bill is enrolled when printed as finally approved by the Congress, thereafter
authenticated with the signatures of the Senate President, the Speaker, and the
Secretaries of their respective chambers59
The Presidents role in law-making.
The final step is submission to the President for approval. Once approved, it takes
effect as law after the required publication.

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Where Congress delegates the formulation of rules to implement the law it has
enacted pursuant to sufficient standards established in the said law, the law must be
complete in all its essential terms and conditions when it leaves the hands of the
legislature. And it may be deemed to have left the hands of the legislature when it
becomes effective because it is only upon effectivity of the statute that legal rights
and obligations become available to those entitled by the language of the statute.
Subject to the indispensable requisite of publication under the due process
clause,61 the determination as to when a law takes effect is wholly the prerogative of
Congress.62 As such, it is only upon its effectivity that a law may be executed and the
executive branch acquires the duties and powers to execute the said law. Before that
point, the role of the executive branch, particularly of the President, is limited to
approving or vetoing the law.
From the moment the law becomes effective, any provision of law that empowers
Congress or any of its members to play any role in the implementation or
enforcement of the law violates the principle of separation of powers and is thus
unconstitutional. Under this principle, a provision that requires Congress or its
members to approve the implementing rules of a law after it has already taken effect
shall be unconstitutional, as is a provision that allows Congress or its members to
overturn any directive or ruling made by the members of the executive branch
charged with the implementation of the law.
Following this rationale, Section 12 of RA 9335 should be struck down as
unconstitutional. While there may be similar provisions of other laws that may be
invalidated for failure to pass this standard, the Court refrains from invalidating them
wholesale but will do so at the proper time when an appropriate case assailing those
provisions is brought before us

US V PONS, 34 PHIL. 729 (1916)


-PROBATIVE VALUE OF THE JOURNAL

Pons was charged with the crime of illegal importation of opium, in violation of Act
2381. Pons via his counsel alleged and offered to prove that the last day of the
special session of the Philippine Legislature for 1914 was the 28 th day of February;
that Act No. 2381, under which Pons must be punished if found guilty, was not
passed or approved on the 28th of February but on March 1 of that year; and that,
therefore, the same is null and void. The validity of the Act is not otherwise
questioned. As it is admitted that the last day of the special session was, under the
Governor-General's proclamation, February 28 and that the appellant is charged with
having violated the provisions of Act No. 2381, the vital question is the date of
adjournment of the Legislature, and this reduces itself to two others, namely,

(1) how that is to be proved, whether by the legislative journals or extraneous


evidence and
(2) whether the court can take judicial notice of the journals.

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While there are no adjudicated cases in this jurisdiction upon the exact question
whether the courts may take judicial notice of the legislative journals, it is well settled
in the United States that such journals may be noticed by the courts in determining
the question whether a particular bill became a law or not. (The State ex rel. Herron
vs. Smith, 44 Ohio, 348, and cases cited therein.) The result is that the law and the
adjudicated cases make it our duty to take judicial notice of the legislative journals of
the special session of the Philippine Legislature of 1914. These journals are not
ambiguous or contradictory as to the actual time of the adjournment. They show,
with absolute certainty, that the Legislature adjourned sine die55 at 12 o'clock
midnight on February 28, 1914.

Counsel for the appellant, in order to establish his contention, must necessarily
depend upon the memory or recollection of witnesses, while the legislative journals
are the acts of the government or sovereign itself. From their very nature and object
the records of the Legislature are as important as those of the judiciary, and to
inquiry into the veracity of the journals of the Philippine Legislature, when they are,
as we have said, clear and explicit, would be to violate both the letter and the spirit
of the organic laws by which the Philippine Government was brought into existence,
to invade a coordinate and independent department of the Government, and to
interfere with the legitimate powers and functions of the Legislature. But counsel in
his argument says that the public knows that the Assembly's clock was stopped on
February 28, 1914, at midnight and left so until the determination of the discussion of
all pending matters. Or, in other words, the hands of the clock were stayed in order to
enable the Assembly to effect an adjournment apparently within the time fixed by the
Governor's proclamation for the expiration of the special session, in direct violation of
the Act of Congress of July 1, 1902. If the clock was, in fact, stopped, as here
suggested, "the resultant evil might be slight as compared with that of altering the
probative force and character of legislative records, and making the proof of
legislative action depend upon uncertain oral evidence, liable to loss by death or
absence, and so imperfect on account of the treachery of memory.

Long, long centuries ago, these considerations of public policy led to the adoption of
the rule giving verity and unimpeachability to legislative records. If that character is
to be taken away for one purpose, it must be taken away for all, and the evidence of
the laws of the state must rest upon a foundation less certain and durable than that
afforded by the law to many contracts between private individuals concerning
comparatively trifling matters."

ASTORGA VS VILLEGAS 56 SCRA 714 (1974)


-JOURNAL ENTRY RULE VS ENROLLED BILL THEORY

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On March 30, 1964 House Bill No. 9266, a bill of local application, was filed in the
House of Representatives. It was there passed on third reading without amendments
on April 21, 1964.
Forthwith the bill was sent to the Senate for its concurrence. It was referred to the
Senate Committee on Provinces and Municipal Governments and Cities headed by
Senator Gerardo M. Roxas. The committee favorably recommended approval with a
minor amendment, suggested by Senator Roxas, that instead of the City Engineer it
be the President Protempore of the Municipal Board who should succeed the Vice-
Mayor in case of the latter's incapacity to act as Mayor.

When the bill was discussed on the floor of the Senate on second reading on May 20,
1964, substantial amendments to Section 1 were introduced by Senator Arturo
Tolentino. Those amendments were approved in totoby the Senate. The amendment
recommended by Senator Roxas does not appear in the journal of the Senate
proceedings as having been acted upon.

On May 21, 1964 the Secretary of the Senate sent a letter to the House of
Representatives that House Bill No. 9266 had been passed by the Senate on May 20,
1964 "with amendments." Attached to the letter was a certification of the
amendment, which was the one recommended by Senator Roxas and not the
Tolentino amendments which were the ones actually approved by the Senate.

The furor over the Act which ensued as a result of the public denunciation mounted
by respondent City Mayor drew immediate reaction from Senator Tolentino, who on
July 5, 1964 issued a press statement that the enrolled copy of House Bill No. 9266
signed into law by the President of the Philippines was a wrong version of the bill
actually passed by the Senate because it did not embody the amendments
introduced by him and approved on the Senate floor.

Respondents' position is that the so-called Republic Act 4065 never became law since
it was not the bill actually passed by the Senate, and that the entries in the journal of
that body and not the enrolled bill itself should be decisive in the resolution of the
issue.

Issue: Whether the "enrolled bill" doctrine or the "journal entry" rule should be
adhered to in this jurisdiction.

The rationale of the enrolled bill theory is set forth in the said case of Field vs. Clark
as follows:

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The signing by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and, by the President of
the Senate, in open session, of an enrolled bill, is an official attestation by the two
houses of such bill as one that has passed Congress. It is a declaration by the two
houses, through their presiding officers, to the President, that a bill, thus attested,
has received, in due form, the sanction of the legislative branch of the government,
and that it is delivered to him in obedience to the constitutional requirement that all
bills which pass Congress shall be presented to him. And when 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 deemed complete and unimpeachable. As
the President has no authority to approve a bill not passed by Congress, an enrolled
Act in the custody of the Secretary of State, and having the official attestations of the
Speaker of the House of Representatives, of the President of the Senate, and of the
President of the United States, carries, on its face, a solemn assurance by the
legislative and executive departments of the government, charged, respectively, with
the duty of enacting and executing the laws, that it was passed by Congress. The
respect due to coequal and independent departments requires the judicial
department to act upon that assurance, and to
accept, as having passed Congress, all bills authenticated in the manner stated;
leaving the courts to determine, when the question properly arises, whether the Act,
so authenticated, is in conformity with the Constitution.

It may be noted that the enrolled bill theory is based mainly on "the respect due to
coequal and independent departments," which requires the judicial department "to
accept, as having passed Congress, all bills authenticated in the manner stated."
Thus it has also been stated in other cases that if the attestation is absent and the
same is not required for the validity of a statute, the courts may resort to the journals
and other records of Congress for proof of its due enactment. This was the logical
conclusion reached in a number of decisions, although they are silent as to whether
the journals may still be resorted to if the attestation of the presiding officers is
present.

Petitioner agrees that the attestation in the bill is not mandatory but argues that the
disclaimer thereof by the Senate President, granting it to have been validly made,
would only mean that there was no attestation at all, but would not affect the validity
of the statute This argument begs the issue. It would limit the court's inquiry to the
presence or absence of the attestation and to the effect of its absence upon the
validity of the statute. The inquiry, however, goes farther.
Absent such attestation as a result of the disclaimer, and consequently there being
no enrolled bill to speak of, what evidence is there to determine whether or not the
bill had been duly enacted? In such a case the entries in the journal should be
consulted.

The journal of the proceedings of each House of Congress is no ordinary record. The
Constitution requires it. While it is true that the journal is not authenticated and is

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subject to the risks of misprinting and other errors, the point is irrelevant in this case.
This Court is merely asked to inquire whether the text of House Bill No. 9266 signed
by the Chief Executive was the same text passed by both Houses of Congress. Under
the specific facts and circumstances of this case, this Court can do this and resort to
the Senate journal for the purpose. The journal discloses that substantial and lengthy
amendments were introduced on the floor and approved by the Senate but were not
incorporated in the printed text sent to the President and signed by him. This Court is
not asked to incorporate such amendments into the alleged law, which admittedly is
a risky
undertaking, but to declare that the bill was not duly enacted and therefore did not
become law. This We do, as indeed both the President of the Senate and the Chief
Executive did, when they withdrew their signatures therein. In the face of the
manifest error committed and subsequently rectified by the President of the Senate
and by the Chief Executive, for this Court to perpetuate that error by disregarding
such rectification and holding that the erroneous bill has become law would be to
sacrifice truth to fiction and bring about mischievous consequences not intended by
the law-making body.

FIELD VS. CLARK


- JOURNAL ENTRY VS ENROLLED BILL THEORY

Facts:
Duties were assessed and collected, according to the rates established by the Tariff
Act of October 1, 1890 on goods imported by the appellant.
The appellant alleged that the enrolled act in Custody of the Secretary of the State is
missing a Section 30 as evidenced by the Congressional record of proceedings,
reports of committees of each house, reports of committees of conference, and other
papers printed by authority of Congress therefore it should not become a law even if
the said enrolled act is signed by the required signatories in the Constitution
(American).
The facts which were presented in support of the contention that the bill never
became a law in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution were three.
1) That in engrossing the bill, a clause known as section 30, relating to a rebate
of taxes on tobacco, which was shown by the journals of both the House of
Representatives and the Senate to have been regularly passed by both
Houses of Congress, was omitted, and that the engrossed act, as attested by
the Vice-President and the Speaker of the House, as approved by the
President and as deposited with the Secretary of State, was not the act which
passed the two Houses of Congress, and was therefore not a statute of the
United States in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
2) That the first five paragraphs of Schedule E, section 1, of the act, providing for
bounties to producers of American sugar (paragraphs 231 to 235) were

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unconstitutional and void, no power to enact legislation of this character
having been vested in Congress by the Constitution.
3) That section 3 of said act was unconstitutional and void in that it delegates to
the President the power of laying taxes and duties, which power, by Sections 1
and 8 of Article I of the Constitution, is vested in Congress.
Issues:
Based on the evidence of the Congressional record of proceedings, reports of
committees of each house, reports of committees of conference, and other papers
printed by authority of Congress, should the act be declared null and void, with
reference to the standard set by the Constitution of passage of a bill into law?
Held:
NO. The enrolled act, authenticated by the signature of the presiding officers of both
House of Representatives and the Senate, is sufficient evidence that it passed
Congress.
In regard to certain matters, the Constitution expressly requires that they shall be
entered on the journal. To what extent the validity of legislative action may be
affected by the failure to have those matters entered on the journal we need not
inquire. No such question is presented for determination. But it is clear that in respect
to the particular mode in which, or with what fullness, shall be kept the proceedings
of either house relating to matters not expressly required to be entered on the
journals; whether bills, orders, resolutions, reports, and amendments shall be entered
at large on the journal, or only referred to and designated by their titles or by
numbers -- these and like matters were left to the discretion of the respective houses
of Congress. Nor does any clause of that instrument either expressly or by necessary
implication prescribe the mode in which the fact of the original passage of a bill by
the House of Representatives and the Senate shall be authenticated or preclude
Congress from adopting any mode to that end which its wisdom suggests. Although
the Constitution does not expressly require bills that have passed Congress to be
attested by the signatures of the presiding officers of the two houses, usage, the
orderly conduct of legislative proceedings, and the rules under which the two bodies
have acted since the organization of the government require that mode of
authentication.
The signing by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and by the President of
the Senate, in open session, of an enrolled bill is an official attestation by the two
houses of such bill as one that has passed Congress. It is a declaration by the two
houses, through their presiding officers, to the President that a bill, thus attested, has
received, in due form, the sanction of the legislative branch of the government and
that it is delivered to him in obedience to the constitutional requirement that all bills
which pass Congress shall be presented to him. And when 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 deemed complete and unimpeachable. As
the President has no authority to approve a bill not passed by Congress, an enrolled
act in the custody of the Secretary of State, and having the official attestations of the
Speaker of the House of Representatives, of the President of the Senate, and of the
President of the United States carries on its face a solemn assurance by the

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legislative and executive departments of the government, charged, respectively, with
the duty of enacting and executing the laws, that it was passed by Congress. The
respect due to coequal and independent departments requires the judicial
department to act upon that assurance, and to accept as having passed Congress all
bills authenticated in the manner stated, leaving the courts to determine, when the
question properly arises, whether the act so authenticated is in conformity with the
Constitution.
It is admitted that an enrolled act thus authenticated is sufficient evidence of itself --
nothing to the contrary appearing upon its face -- that it passed Congress. But the
contention is that it cannot be regarded as a law of the United States if the journal of
either house fails to show that it passed in the precise form in which it was signed by
the presiding officers of the two houses and approved by the President. It is said that
under any other view, it becomes possible for the Speaker of the House of
Representatives and the President of the Senate to impose upon the people as a law
a bill that was never passed by Congress. But this possibility is too remote to be
seriously considered in the present inquiry. It suggests a deliberate conspiracy to
which the presiding officers, the committees on enrolled bills, and the clerks of the
two houses must necessarily be parties, all acting with a common purpose to defeat
an expression of the popular will in the mode prescribed by the Constitution. Judicial
action based upon such a suggestion is forbidden by the respect due to a coordinate
branch of the government. The evils that may result from the recognition of the
principle that an enrolled act in the custody of the Secretary of State, attested by the
signatures of the presiding officers of the two houses of Congress and the approval of
the President, is conclusive evidence that it was passed by Congress according to the
forms of the Constitution would be far less than those that would certainly result from
a rule making the validity of congressional enactments depend upon the manner in
which the journals of the respective houses are kept by the subordinate officers
charged with the duty of keeping them.
The conclusion was that, upon grounds of public policy as well as upon the ancient
and well settled rules of law, a copy of a bill bearing the signatures of the presiding
officers of the two houses of the legislature and the approval of the governor, and
found in the custody of the Secretary of State, was conclusive proof of the enactment
and contents of a statute, and could not be contradicted by the legislative journals or
in any other mode.

GUEVERA VS INOCENTES 16 SCRA 379 (1966)


-REGULAR SESSIONS

FACTS: The petitioner, Onofre Guevara was extended an ad interim appointment as


Undersecretary of Labor by the former Executive on November 18, 1965. Took his
oath of office on November 25th same year. The incumbent Executive issued
Memorandum Circular No. 8 dated January 23, 1966 declaring that all ad interim
appointments made by the former Executive lapsed with the adjournment of the
special session of Congress at about midnight of January 22, 1966. The respondent,
Raoul Inocentes was extended an ad interim appointment for the same position by

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the incumbent Executive on January 23, 1966. Guevara filed before the court an
instant petition for Quo Warranto seeking to be declared person legally entitled to the
said Officer of the Undersecretary of Labor under Art. VII Sec. 10 (4) of the 1935
Constitution. which states that:
The president shall have the power to make appointments during the recess of the
Congress, but such appointments shall be effective only until disapproval by the
Commission on Appointments or until the next adjournment of Congress.
Since there was no Commission on Appointments organized during the special
session which commenced on January 17, 1966, the respondent contended that the
petitioners ad interim appointment as well as other made under similar conditions
must have lapsed when the Congress adjourned its last special session. But the
petitioner stated that (1) the specific provision in the Constitution which states that:
until the next adjournment of Congress means adjournment of a regular session of
Congress and not by a special session and (2) only the Senate adjourned sine die at
midnight of January 22, 1966 and the House of the Representative merely
suspended its session and to be resumed on January 24, 1966 at 10:00 AM. The
petitioner therefore concludes that Congress has been in continuous session without
interruption since January 17.
ISSUE/S:1. Whether or not, the petitioners contention regarding the next
adjournment of Congress specifically provides for regular session only.
2. Whether or not, the petitioners contention that Congress is still in continuous
session?
HELD: 1. NO. The phrase until the next adjournment of Congress does not make
any reference to specific session of Congress, whether regular or special. But a well-
know Latin maxim is statutory construction stated that when the law does not
distinguish we should not distinguish. Ubi lex non distinguit nec nos distinguere
debemus. It is safe to conclude that the authors of the 1935 Constitution used the
word adjournment had in mind either regular or special and not simply the regular
one as the petitioner contended.
2. NO. The mere fact that the Senate adjourned sine die at midnight of January 22,
1966, the House of the Representative is only a part of the Congress and not the
Congress itself. So logically, the adjournment of one of its Houses is considered
adjournment of the Congress as a whole. And the petitioners ad interim appointment
must have been lapsed on January 22, 1966 upon adjournment of the Senate.

Barbers v. COMELEC, 460 SCRA 569 (2005)

On June 2, 2004, the Commission on Elections sitting as the National Board of


Canvassers proclaimed Biazon as the duly elected 12th Senator in the May 10, 2004
National Elections. While failure of elections were declared in some precincts,
COMELEC reasoned that they would not materially affect the results. Barbers, who
ranked next to Biazon, filed a petition before the COMELEC to annul the proclamation.
When this was denied, he raised the issue before the Supreme Court. Does the
Supreme Court have jurisdiction?

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Held: No. The word sole in Sec. 17, Art. VI of the 1987 Constitution underscores the
exclusivity of the Senate Electoral Tribunals (SET) jurisdiction over election contests
relating to members of the Senate. The authority conferred upon the SET is
categorical and complete. It is therefore clear that the Supreme Court has no
jurisdiction to entertain the instant petition. Since Barber contests Biazons
proclamation as the 12 winning senatorial candidate, it is the SET which has
exclusive jurisdiction to act on Barbers complaint

Hernandez vs. HRET 2009

Petitioner filed for candidacy as Representative of the First Legislative District of


the Province of Laguna in the May 14, 2007 elections. In his Certificate of Candidacy
(COC), he indicated his complete/exact address as No. 13 Maharlika St., Villa Toledo
Subdivision, Barangay Balibago, Sta. Rosa City, Laguna (alleged Sta. Rosa
residence).[5]

Private respondent Jesus L. Vicente (private respondent) filed a Petition to Deny Due
Course to and/or Cancel Certificate of Candidacy and Petition for Disqualification
before the Office of the Provincial Election Supervisor of Laguna. This was forwarded
to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and docketed therein as SPA No. 07-046
(PES). Private respondent sought the cancellation of petitioners COC and the
latters disqualification as a candidate on the ground of an alleged material
misrepresentation in his COC regarding his place of residence, because during past
elections, he had declared Pagsanjan, Laguna as his address, and Pagsanjan was
located in the Fourth Legislative District of the Province of Laguna. Private
respondent likewise claimed that petitioner maintained another house in Cabuyao,
Laguna, which was also outside the First District. [

Petitioner filed for candidacy as Representative of the First Legislative District of


the Province of Laguna in the May 14, 2007 elections. In his Certificate of Candidacy
(COC), he indicated his complete/exact address as No. 13 Maharlika St., Villa Toledo
Subdivision, Barangay Balibago, Sta. Rosa City, Laguna (alleged Sta. Rosa
residence).[5]

Private respondent Jesus L. Vicente (private respondent) filed a Petition to Deny Due
Course to and/or Cancel Certificate of Candidacy and Petition for Disqualification
before the Office of the Provincial Election Supervisor of Laguna. This was forwarded
to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and docketed therein as SPA No. 07-046
(PES). Private respondent sought the cancellation of petitioners COC and the
latters disqualification as a candidate on the ground of an alleged material
misrepresentation in his COC regarding his place of residence, because during past
elections, he had declared Pagsanjan, Laguna as his address, and Pagsanjan was
located in the Fourth Legislative District of the Province of Laguna. Private
respondent likewise claimed that petitioner maintained another house in Cabuyao,

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Laguna, which was also outside the First District. [6] The COMELEC (First Division)
dismissed said petition for lack of merit

On July 5, 2007, private respondent filed a petition for quo warranto before the HRET,
docketed as HRET CASE No. 07-034, praying that petitioner be declared ineligible
to hold office as a Member of the House of Representatives representing the First
Legislative District of the Province of Laguna, and that petitioners election and
proclamation be annulled and declared null and void. [9]

Private respondents main ground for the quo warranto petition was that petitioner
lacked the required one-year residency requirement provided under Article VI,
Section 6 of the 1987 Constitution

Held:
The 1987 Constitution explicitly provides under Article VI, Section 17 thereof that the
HRET and the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) shall be the sole judges of all contests
relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of their respective members. The
authority conferred upon the Electoral Tribunal is full, clear and complete. The use of
the word sole emphasizes the exclusivity of the jurisdiction of these Tribunals,
[33]
which is conferred upon the HRET and the SET after elections and the
proclamation of the winning candidates. A candidate who has not been proclaimed
and who has not taken his oath of office cannot be said to be a member of the House
of Representatives. [34]

Thus, private respondent correctly pointed out that a petition for quo warranto is
within the exclusive jurisdiction of the HRET, and cannot be considered forum
shopping even if, as in this case, the COMELEC had already passed upon in
administrative or quasi-judicial proceedings the issue of the qualification of the
Member of the House of Representatives while the latter was still a candidate.

Private respondent concludes from the above that petitioner had no legal basis to
claim that the HRET, when reference to the qualification/s of Members of the House
of Representatives is concerned, is co-equal to the COMELEC, such that the HRET
cannot disregard any ruling of COMELEC respecting the matter of eligibility and
qualification of a member of the House of Representatives. The truth is the other
way around, because the COMELEC is subservient to the HRET when the dispute or
contest at issue refers to the eligibility and/or qualification of a Member of the House
of Representatives. A petition for quo warranto is within the exclusive jurisdiction of
the HRET as sole judge, and cannot be considered forum shopping even if another
body may have passed upon in administrative or quasi-judicial proceedings the issue
of the Members qualification while the Member was still a candidate. There is forum-
shopping only where two cases involve the same parties and the same cause of
action. The two cases here are distinct and dissimilar in their nature and character.

Mendoza vs. Comelc (2009)


Facts:
Petitioner Mendoza and respondent Pagdanganan vied ofr the position of Governor of

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the Province of Bulacan in the May 14, 2007 elections. The petitioner was proclaimed
winning candidate and assumed the office of Governor.
- The respondent seasonably filed an election protest with the COMELEC.
- Revision of ballots involving the protested and counter-protested precincts soon
followed.
- The revision was conducted at COMELECs office in Intamuros.
- Thereafter, both parties submitted their other evidences. The formal offer of
evidences was approved and COMELEC ordered the parties to submit their
memoranda.
- Mendoza and Pagdanganan complied with the order and the case was then
submitted for resolution.
- March 2, 2009: the COMELEC transferred the Bulacan ballot boxes, including those
involved in the provincial election contest, to the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET).
- The petitioner filed to dismiss further proceedings.
- April 29, 2009: The motion filed by petitioner Mendoza was dismissed by COMELEC
2nd Division. According to the latter, COMELEC has plenary powers to find
alternative methods to facilitate the resolution of the election protest; thus, it
concluded that it would continue the proceedings after proper coordination with the
SET.
- The petitioner moved to reconsider the order but still COMELEC 2nd Division denied
the motion on May 26, 2009.
- Allegedly alarmed by information on COMELEC action on the provincial election
contest within the SET premises without notice to him and without his participation,
the petitioners counsel wrote the SET Secretary, Atty. Irene Guevarra, a letter dated
June 10, 2009 to confirm the veracity of the reported conduct of proceedings.
- The Secretary responded that the action was authorized by then Acting Chairman of
the Tribunal, Justice Antonio T. Carpio, upon formal request of the Office of
Commissioner Lucenito N. Tagle.
- The petitioner argues that the proceedings before the COMELEC in election protests
are judicial in nature and character. Thus, the strictures of judicial due process
specifically, (a) opportunity to be heard and (b) that judgment be rendered only after
lawful hearing apply.
- The petitioner claims that without notice to him of the proceedings, the due process
element of the right to have judgment only after lawful hearing is absent.
- Mendoza asserts that an important element of due process is that the judicial body
should have jurisdiction over the property that is the subject matter of the
proceedings (2nd issue).
- Private respondent Pagdanganan argues that the proceeding referred to by
Mendoza was COMELECs decision-making process.
- Public respondent COMELEC further argues that in the absence of a specific rule on
whether it can conduct appreciation of ballots outside its premises or official custody,
the issue boils down to one of discretion the authority of the COMELEC to control as
it deems fit the processes or incidents of a pending election protest.

Issues:
1. Whether or not the COMELEC violated due process by conducting proceedings
without giving due notice to the petitioner.

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2. Whether or not the COMELEC gravely abused its discretion amounting to an excess
of jurisdiction in appreciating ballots which are not in its official custody and are
outside its own premises, authority and control.
Held:
While COMELEC jurisdiction over the Bulacan election contest is not disputed, the
legality of subsequent COMELEC action is assailed for having been undertaken with
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Thus, our
standard of review is grave abuse of discretion, a term that defies exact definition,
but generally refers to capricious or whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent
to lack of jurisdiction.
After due consideration, the Supreme Court held that the petition is bereft of merit.
These are the powers of the COMELEC as mentioned by the 1987 Constitution:
(1) Enforce and administer all laws relative to the conduct of elections.
(2) Be the sole judge of all contests relating to the elections, returns, and
qualifications of all members of the National Assembly and elective provincial and
city officials.
(3) Decide, save those involving the right to vote, administrative questions affecting
elections, including the determination of the number and location of polling places,
the appointment of election officials and inspectors, and the registration of voters.
The appropriate due process standards that apply to the COMELEC are the cardinal
primary rights in administrative proceedings (Ang Tibay Requirements 1-7).
(1) The first of these rights is the right to a hearing, which includes the right of the
party interested or affected to present his own case and submit evidence in support
thereof.
(2) Not only must the party be given an opportunity to present his case and to
adduce evidence tending to establish the rights which he asserts but the tribunal
must consider the evidence presented.
(3) While the duty to deliberate does not impose the obligation to decide right, it
does imply a necessity which cannot be disregarded, namely, that of having
something to support its decision. A decision with absolutely nothing to support it is a
nullity, a place when directly attached.
(4) Not only must there be some evidence to support a finding or conclusion, but the
evidence must be substantial. Substantial evidence is more than a mere scintilla.
It means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to
support a conclusion.
(5) The decision must be rendered on the evidence presented at the hearing, or at
least contained in the record and disclosed to the parties affected.
(6) The Court of Industrial Relations or any of its judges, therefore, must act on its or
his own independent consideration of the law and facts of the controversy, and not
simply accept the views of a subordinate in arriving at a decision.
(7) The Court of Industrial Relations should, in all controversial questions, render its
decision in such a manner that the parties to the proceeding can know the various
issues involved, and the reasons for the decisions rendered. The performance of this
duty is inseparable from the authority conferred upon it.
The first of the enumerated rights pertain to the substantive rights of a party
at hearing stage of the proceedings. The essence of this aspect of due process is to
give an opportunity to explain ones side or an opportunity to seek a reconsideration
of the action or ruling complained of.

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A formal or trial-type hearing is not at all times and in all instances essential;
in the case of COMELEC, Rule 17 of its Rules of Procedure defines the requirements
for a hearing and these serve as the standards in the determination of the presence
or denial of due process.
The second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth aspects of the Ang Tibay requirements are
reinforcements of the right to a hearing and are the inviolable rights applicable at the
deliberative stage, as the decision-maker decides on the evidence presented during
the hearing.
These standards set forth the guiding considerations in deliberating on the
case and are the material and substantial components of decision-making. Briefly,
the tribunal must consider the totality of the evidence presented which must all be
found in the records of the case (i.e., those presented or submitted by the parties);
the conclusion, reached by the decision-maker himself and not by a subordinate,
must be based on substantial evidence.

In the present case, the petitioner invokes both the due process component rights at
the hearing and deliberative stages and alleges that these component rights have all
been violated.
In these proceedings, the petitioner stood head-to-head with the respondent
in an adversarial contest where both sides were given their respective rights to
speak, make their presentations, and controvert each others submission, subject
only to established COMELEC rules of procedures. Under these undisputed facts, both
parties had their day in court, so to speak, and neither one can complain of any
denial of notice or of the right to be heard.
The SC said The COMELEC is under no legal obligation to notify either party
of the steps it is taking in the course of deliberating on the merits of the provincial
election contest. In the context of our standard of review for the petition, we see no
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction committed by
the COMELEC in its deliberation on the Bulacan election contest and the appreciation
of ballots this deliberation entailed.
We state at the outset that the COMELEC did not lose jurisdiction over the
provincial election contest, as the petitioner seems to imply, because of the
transmittal of the provincial ballot boxes and other election materials to the SET. The
Constitution conferred upon the COMELEC jurisdiction over election protests involving
provincial officials. The COMELEC in this case has lawfully acquired jurisdiction over
the subject matter, i.e., the provincial election contest, as well as over the parties.
Since the COMELEC action, taken by its Second Division, is authorized under
the COMELEC Rules of Procedure, the Second Division cannot in any sense be said to
be intruding into the COMELEC en banc rule-making prerogative when the Second
Division chose to undertake ballot appreciation within the SET premises side by side
with the SET revision of ballots. To be exact, the Second Division never laid down any
new rule; it merely acted pursuant to a rule that the COMELEC en banc itself had
previously enacted.

ABAYON PALPARAN VS THE HRET

FACTS: Abayon and Palparan were the duly nominated party list representatives of
AAngat Tayoand Bantay respectively. A quo warranto case was filed before the HRET

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assailing the jurisdiction of HRET over the Party list, and its representatives. HRET
dismissed the proceeding but upheld the jurisdiction over the nominated
representatives who now seeks certiorari before the SC

Issue:W/N HRET has jurisdiction over the question of qualifications of petitioners..

HELD: Affirmative. The HRET dismissed the petitions for quo warranto
filed with it insofar as they sought the disqualifications of Aangat Tayo and Bantay.
Since petitioners Abayon and Palparanwere not elected into office but were chosen
by their respective organizations under their internal
rules, the HRET has no jurisdiction to inquire into and adjudicate their qualifications a
s nominees. Although it is the party-list organization that is voted for in the elections,
it is not the organization that sits as and becomes a member of the House of
Representatives. Section 5,Article VI of the Constitution, identifies who the
members of that House are representatives of districts and party list Once elected,
both the district representatives and the party-list representatives are treated in like
manner. The Party-List System Act itself recognizes party-list nominees as members
of the House of Representatives, a party-list representative is in every sense an
elected member of the House of Representatives. Although the vote cast in a party-
list election is a vote for a party, such vote, in the end,would be a vote for its
nominees, who, in appropriate cases, would eventually sit in the House
of Representatives.Both the Constitution and the Party-List System Act set the
qualifications and grounds for disqualification of party-list nominees. Section 9 of R.A.
7941, echoing the Constitution.It is for the HRET to interpret the meaning of this
particular qualification of a nomineethe need for him or her to be a bona fide
member or a representative of his party-list organizationin the context of the facts
that characterize petitioners Abayon and Palparans relation to Aangat Tayo and
Bantay , respectively, and the marginalized and underrepresented interests that they
presumably embody. By analogy with the cases of district representatives, once the
party or organization of the party-list nominee has been proclaimed and the nominee
has taken his oath and assumed office as member of the House of Representatives,
the COMELECs jurisdiction over election contests relating to his qualifications
ends and the HRETs own jurisdiction begins. The Court holds that respondent HRET
did not gravely abuse its discretion when it dismissed the petitions for quo warranto
against Aangat Tayo party-list and Bantay party-list but upheld its jurisdiction over
the question of the qualifications of petitioners Abayon and Palparan

Layug vs. Comelec (2012)


Facts: On March 31, 2010, petitioner Rolando D. Layug (Layug), in his capacity as a
taxpayer and concerned citizen, filed pro se a Petition to Disqualify 3 (SPA No. 10-
016[DCN]) Buhay Party-List from participating in the May 10, 2010 elections, and
Brother Mike from being its nominee. He argued that Buhay Party-List is a mere
extension of the El Shaddai, which is a religious sect. As such, it is disqualified from
being a party-list under Section 5, Paragraph 2, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution 4, as
well as Section 6, Paragraph 1 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7941 5, otherwise known as
the Party-List System Act. Neither does Brother Mike, who is allegedly a billionaire
real estate businessman and the spiritual leader of El Shaddai, qualify as one who

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belongs to the marginalized and underrepresented sector xxx, as required of party-
list nominees under Section 6 (7) of COMELEC Resolution No. 8807 6, the Rules on
Disqualification Cases Against Nominees of Party-List Groups/Organizations
Participating in the May 10, 2010 Automated National and Local Elections. On June
15, 2010, the COMELEC Second Division issued a Resolution 3 denying the petition for
lack of substantial evidence.
Layug moved for reconsideration of the Resolution dated June 15, 2010 before the
COMELEC En Banc claiming denial of due process for failure of the COMELEC to serve
him, his representatives or counsels a copy of said Resolution. He alleged that it was
only on July 26, 2010, after learning about it in the newspapers, that he personally
secured a copy of the Resolution from the COMELEC.4 His motion for reconsideration,
however, was denied by the COMELEC Second Division in its Order 5 dated August 4,
2010 for being filed out of time.
Held:
The Court not the HRET has jurisdisdiction
Section 17, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution provides that the House of
Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) shall be the sole judge of all contests
relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of its Members. Section 5 (1) of the
same Article identifies who the "members" of the House are:
Sec. 5. (1). The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two
hundred and fifty members, unless otherwise fixed by law, who shall be elected from
legislative districts apportioned among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan
Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on the
basis of a uniform and progressive ratio, and those who, as provided by law, shall be
elected through a party list system of registered national, regional, and sectoral
parties or organizations. (Underscoring added).

Clearly, the members of the House of Representatives are of two kinds: (1) members
who shall be elected from legislative districts; and (2) those who shall be elected
through a party-list system of registered national, regional, and sectoral parties or
organizations.1 In this case, Buhay Party-List was entitled to two seats in the House
that went to its first two nominees, Mariano Michael DM. Velarde, Jr. and William Irwin
C. Tieng. On the other hand, Brother Mike, being the fifth nominee, did not get a seat
and thus had not become a member of the House of Representatives. Indubitably,
the HRET has no jurisdiction over the issue of Brother Mike's qualifications.
Neither does the HRET have jurisdiction over the qualifications of Buhay
Party-List, as it is vested by law, specifically, the Party-List System Act, upon the
COMELEC.Section 6 of said Act states that the COMELEC may motu proprio or upon
verified complaint of any interested party, remove or cancel, after due notice and
hearing, the registration of any national, regional or sectoral party, organization or
coalition xxx. Accordingly, in the case of Abayon vs. HRET,1 We ruled that
the HRET did not gravely abuse its discretion when it dismissed the petitions for quo
warranto against Aangat Tayo party-list and Bantay party-list insofar as they sought
the disqualifications of said party-lists.

Thus, it is the Court, under its power to review decisions, orders, or resolutions of the
COMELEC provided under Section 7, Article IX-A of the 1987 Constitution 2and Section

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1, Rule 37 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure 3 that has jurisdiction to hear the
instant petition.

Jalosjos vs. Comelec (2012)

Facts: In May 2007 Romeo M. Jalosjos, Jr., petitioner in G.R. 192474, ran for Mayor of
Tampilisan, Zamboanga del Norte, and won. While serving as Tampilisan Mayor, he
bought a residential house and lot in Barangay Veterans Village, Ipil, Zamboanga
Sibugay and renovated and furnished the same. In September 2008 he began
occupying the house. On November 28, 2009 Jalosjos filed his Certificate of
Candidacy (COC) for the position of Representative of the Second District of
Zamboanga Sibugay for the May 10, 2010 National Elections. This prompted Erasmo
to file a petition to deny due course to or cancel his COC before the COMELEC,
[7]
claiming that Jalosjos made material misrepresentations in that COC when he
indicated in it that he resided in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. The COMELEC, on June 3,
2010 the En Banc granted Erasmos motion for reconsideration and declared Jalosjos
ineligible to seek election as Representative of the Second District of Zamboanga
Sibugay. It held that Jalosjos did not satisfy the residency requirement since, by
continuing to hold the position of Mayor of Tampilisan, Zamboanga Del Norte, he
should be deemed not to have transferred his residence from that place
to Barangay Veterans Village in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. Jalosjos challenges the
COMELECs finding that he did not meet the residency requirement and its denial of
his right to due process.
Held: While the Constitution vests in the COMELEC the power to decide all questions
affecting elections,[15] such power is not without limitation. It does not extend to
contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of members of the House
of Representatives and the Senate. The Constitution vests the resolution of these
contests solely upon the appropriate Electoral Tribunal of the Senate or the House of
Representatives.[16]

The Court has already settled the question of when the jurisdiction of the COMELEC
ends and when that of the HRET begins. The proclamation of a congressional
candidate following the election divests COMELEC of jurisdiction over disputes
relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of the proclaimed Representative
in favor of the HRET.[17]
The fact is that on election day of 2010 the COMELEC En Banc had as yet to resolve
Erasmos appeal from the Second Divisions dismissal of the disqualification case
against Jalosjos. Thus, there then existed no final judgment deleting Jalosjos name
from the list of candidates for the congressional seat he sought. The last standing
official action in his case before election day was the ruling of the COMELECs Second
Division that allowed his name to stay on that list. Meantime, the COMELEC En Banc
did not issue any order suspending his proclamation pending its final resolution of his
case. With the fact of his proclamation and assumption of office, any issue regarding
his qualification for the same, like his alleged lack of the required residence, was
solely for the HRET to consider and decide.

Here, when the COMELEC En Banc issued its order dated June 3, 2010, Jalosjos had
already been proclaimed on May 13, 2010 as winner in the election. [18] Thus, the

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COMELEC acted without jurisdiction when it still passed upon the issue of his
qualification and declared him ineligible for the office of Representative of the Second
District of Zamboanga Sibugay.

Tanada vs. Cuenco


After the 1955 elections, members of the Senate were chosen. The Senate was
overwhelmingly occupied by the Nacionalista Party. The lone opposition senator was
Lorenzo. Diosdado on the other hand was a senatorial candidate who lost the bid but
was contesting it before the SET. But prior to a decision the SET would have to choose
its members. It is provided that the SET should be composed of 9 members; 3
justices, 3 senators from the majority party and 3 senators from the minority party.
But since there is only one minority senator the other two SET members supposed to
come from the minority were filled in by the NP. Lorenzo assailed this process. So did
Diosdado because he deemed that if the SET would be dominated by NP senators
then he, as a member of the Liberalista will not have any chance in his election
contest. Cuenco et al (members of the NP) averred that the SC cannot take
cognizance of the issue because it is a political question. Cuenco argued that the
power to choose the members of the SET is vested in the Senate alone and the
remedy for Lorenzo and Diosdado is not to raise the issue before judicial courts but
rather to leave it before the bar of public opinion.
Held:
Although the Senate has, under the Constitution, the exclusive power to choose the
Senators who shall form part of the Senate Electoral Tribunal, the fundamental law
has prescribed the manner in which the authority shall be exercised.
Under the Constitution, "the legislative power" is vested exclusively in the Congress
of the Philippines. Yet, this does not detract from the power of the courts to pass
upon the constitutionality of acts of Congress 1 And, since judicial power includes the
authority to inquire into the legality of statutes enacted by the two Houses of
Congress, and approved by the Executive, there can be no reason why the validity of
an act of one of said Houses, like that of any other branch of the Government, may
not be determined in the proper actions. Thus, in the exercise of the so-called
"judicial supremacy", this Court declared that a resolution of the defunct National
Assembly could not bar the exercise of the powers of the former Electoral
Commission under the original Constitution. 2 (Angara vs. Electoral Commission,
supra), and annulled certain acts of the Executive 3 as incompatible with the
fundamental law.
In fact, whenever the conflicting claims of the parties to a litigation cannot properly
be settled without inquiring into the validity of an act of Congress or of either House
thereof, the courts have, not only jurisdiction to pass upon said issue, but, also, the
duty to do so, which cannot be evaded without violating the fundamental law and
paving the way to its eventual destruction.

Abbas vs. SET (1988)


Facts:

On 9 Oct 1987, the Abbas et al filed before the SET an election contest docketed
against 22 candidates of the LABAN coalition who were proclaimed senators-elect in
the May 11, 1987 congressional elections by the COMELEC. The SET was at the time

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composed of three (3) Justices of the Supreme Court and six (6) Senators. Abbas later
on filed for the disqualification of the 6 senator members from partaking in the said
election protest on the ground that all of them are interested parties to said case.
Abbas argue that considerations of public policy and the norms of fair play and due
process imperatively require the mass disqualification sought. To accommodate the
proposed disqualification, Abbas suggested the following amendment: Tribunals
Rules (Section 24) - requiring the concurrence of five (5) members for the adoption
of resolutions of whatever nature - is a proviso that where more than four (4)
members are disqualified, the remaining members shall constitute a quorum, if not
less than three (3) including one (1) Justice, and may adopt resolutions by majority
vote with no abstentions. Obviously tailored to fit the situation created by the petition
for disqualification, this would, in the context of that situation, leave the resolution of
the contest to the only three Members who would remain, all Justices of this Court,
whose disqualification is not sought.
ISSUE: Whether or not Abbas proposal could be given due weight.
HELD: The most fundamental objection to such proposal lies in the plain terms and
intent of the Constitution itself which, in its Article VI, Section 17, creates the Senate
Electoral Tribunal, ordains its composition and defines its jurisdiction and powers.
Sec. 17. The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each have an Electoral
Tribunal which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns,
and qualifications of their respective Members. Each Electoral Tribunal shall be
composed of nine Members, three of whom shall be Justices of the Supreme Court to
be designated by the Chief Justice, and the remaining six shall be Members of the
Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case may be, who shall be chosen on
the basis of proportional representation from the political parties and the parties or
organizations registered under the party-list system represented therein. The senior
Justice in the Electoral Tribunal shall be its Chairman.
It is quite clear that in providing for a SET to be staffed by both Justices of the SC and
Members of the Senate, the Constitution intended that both those judicial and
legislative components commonly share the duty and authority of deciding all
contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of Senators. The
legislative component herein cannot be totally excluded from participation in the
resolution of senatorial election contests, without doing violence to the spirit and
intent of the Constitution. It is not to be misunderstood in saying that no Senator-
Member of the SET may inhibit or disqualify himself from sitting in judgment on any
case before said Tribunal. Every Member of the Tribunal may, as his conscience
dictates, refrain from participating in the resolution of a case where he sincerely feels
that his personal interests or biases would stand in the way of an objective and
impartial judgment. What SC is saying is that in the light of the Constitution, the SET
cannot legally function as such; absent its entire membership of Senators and that no
amendment of its Rules can confer on the three Justices-Members alone the power of
valid adjudication of a senatorial election contest.

Pimentel, Jr. v. HRET, 393 SCRA 231 (2002)

During the May 11, 1998 elections, 14 party-lists representatives from 13


organizations were proclaimed winners. Subsequently, the house of Representatives
constituted the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal and also named 12

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members to represent it in the Commission on Appointments. No one from the party-
list was named to either constitutional body. Petitioner now seeks the inclusion of
party-list representatives to the two bodies arguing that under the Constitution,
party-list representatives should have 1.2 or at least 1 seat in the HRET and 2.4 seats
in the CA based on proportional representation.

Held: Under Sec. 17 and Sec. 18, Art. VI of the Constitution, the House and the
Senate exercise the power to choose who among their members would occupy the
allotted 6 slots of their respective electoral tribunal, as well as the 12 seats in the
Commission on Appointments. Thus, even assuming that party-list representatives
comprise a sufficient number and have agreed to designate common nominees to the
HRET and the CA, their primary recourse rests with the House, not with the Court.
The discretion of the House to choose the members is not absolute, being subject to
the mandatory rule on proportional representation. However, under the doctrine of
separation of powers, the Court will not interfere, absent a clear violation of the
Constitution or grave abuse of discretion. The present petition does not allege that
the House barred party-list representatives from seeking membership in then HRET
or the CA. Under the doctrine of primary jurisdiction, direct recourse to the Supreme
Court is premature.

Codilla vs. Comelec (2002)

Petitioner Eufrocino M. Codilla, Sr. was mayor of Ormoc City, while respondent Ma.
Victoria L. Locsin was the incumbent representative of the 4 th legislative district of
Leyte. Both were candidates in the 14 May 2001 elections for the position of
representative of the 4th legislative district of Leyte.

A registered voter of Kananga, Leyte filed with COMELEC a petition for disqualification
against petitioner alleging that petitioner used the equipments and vehicles owned
by the city government of Ormoc to extract, haul, and distribute gravel and sand to
the residents of Kananga and Matag-ob, Leyte for the purpose of inducing,
influencing or corrupting them to vote for him.

The case was assigned to the COMELECs Second Division, which issued an order
delegating the hearing and reception of evidence on the disqualification case to the
Office of the Regional Director of Region VIII. The same division sent notice to the
petitioner through telegram.

At the time of the elections, the Regional Election Director had yet to hear the case.
Eventually, petitioner was included in the list of candidates and voted for; initial
results showed that petitioner was the winning candidate.

Respondent filed a Most Urgent Motion to Suspend Proclamation of Respondent with


the COMELEC Second Division. A copy was allegedly served on the petitioner by
registered mail but no registry receipt was attached thereto. She also filed a second
motion, a copy of which was sent to petitioner with the corresponding registry
receipt; however, theres no indication when petitioner received the motion.

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The COMELEC Second Division issued an Ex-Parte Order directing the (a) Provincial
Board of Canvassers of Leyte to suspend the proclamation of the petitioner and (b)
the Regional Election Director to speed up the reception of evidence and to forward
immediately the complete records together with its recommendation to the office of
the Clerk of the Commission. At this time, petitioner has yet to be summoned to
answer the petition for disqualification.

Petitioner filed a Motion to Lift Order of Suspension alleging that (a) he did not
receive a copy of the Motion to Suspend his Proclamation, hence he was denied of his
right to rebut and refute the allegations against him; (b) he did not receive a copy of
the summons on the petition for disqualification; and (c) he received the telegraph
order of the COMELEC Second Division suspending his proclamation four days after it
was sent to him. Said motion was not resolved; instead, the COMELEC Second
Division promulgated its Resolution that found the petitioner guilty of indirect
solicitation of votes and ordered his disqualification. The same order declared the
votes cast in favor of the petitioner as stray votes and directed the immediate
proclamation of the candidate who garnered the highest number of votes. As a result,
respondent was declared as having the highest number of votes and she was
proclaimed, took her oath of office, and assumed office as the duly elected
representative of the 4th district of Leyte. A copy of the said Resolution was sent by
fax to petitioners counsel.

The petitioner filed with the COMELEC en banc a Motion for Reconsideration and a
petition for declaration of nullity of proclamation. Said motion was granted and the
COMELEC en banc (a) reversed the resolution of the Second Division and (b) declared
the proclamation of respondent null and void. Respondent did not appeal from this
decision.

Eventually, petitioner was proclaimed the duly-elected representative of the 4 th


district of Leyte. Petitioner took his oath of office before the Executive Judge of the
Ormoc Regional Trial Court. Petitioner wrote a letter-appeal to the House of
Representatives through respondent De Venecia, but no action was taken by the
latter. Hence, this petition.

Issues:

1. WON the proclamation of respondent Locsin is valid.


2. WON the proclamation of respondent Locsin directed the COMELEC en
banc of jurisdiction to review its validity.
3. WON it is the ministerial duty of the public respondents to recognize the
petitioner as the legally elected representative of the 4 th legislative district
of Leyte.

Held:
1. NO. First, the petitioner was denied due process during the entire proceedings
leading to the proclamation of respondent Locsin. The essence of due process is the

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opportunity to be heard. When a party is deprived of that basic fairness, any decision
by any tribunal in prejudice of his rights is void.

Second, the votes cast in favor of the petitioner cannot be considered stray and
respondent cannot be validly proclaimed on that basis.

The order of disqualification is not yet final, hence the votes cast in favor of the
petitioner cannot be considered stray. Considering the timely filing of a motion for
reconsideration, the COMELEC Second Division gravely abused its discretion in
ordering the immediate disqualification of the petitioner and ordering the exclusion of
the votes cast in his favor.

Also, Respondent Lim, as a mere second placer, cannot be proclaimed. It is a settled


doctrine that the candidate who obtains the second highest number of votes may not
be proclaimed winner in case the winning candidate is disqualified. In every election,
the peoples choice is the paramount consideration and their expressed will must at
all times be given effect. When the majority speaks and elects into office a candidate
by giving him the highest number of votes cast in the election for the office, no one
can be declared elected in his place.

2. NO. The petitioner seasonably filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the order of the
Second Division suspending his proclamation and disqualifying him; hence, the
COMELEC en banc was not divested of its jurisdiction to review the validity of the said
Order of the Second Division. The said order was yet enforceable as it has not
attained finality; thus, it cannot be used as the basis for the assumption in office of
the respondent as the duly elected Representative of the 4 th Legislative district of
Leyte. For these reasons, the HRET cannot assume jurisdiction over the matter.

3. YES. If the Law imposes a duty upon a public officer and gives him the right to
decide how or when the duty shall be performed, such duty is discretionary and not
ministerial. The duty is ministerial only when the discharge of the same requires
neither the exercise of official discretion or judgment. In the case, the administration
of oath and the registration of the petitioner in the Roll of Members of the House of
Representatives is no longer a matter of discretion on the part of the public
respondents because of the following reasons: the petitioner garnered the highest
number of votes; the order of the COMELEC Second Division, which ordered the
proclamation of Respondent Locsin was set aside by the COMELEC en banc which
ordered the proclamation of the petitioner; said decision by the COMELEC en banc
was not challenged by the respondent and has become final and executory.

Barbers v. COMELEC, 460 SCRA 569 (2005)

On June 2, 2004, the Commission on Elections sitting as the National Board of


Canvassers proclaimed Biazon as the duly elected 12th Senator in the May 10, 2004
National Elections. While failure of elections were declared in some precincts,
COMELEC reasoned that they would not materially affect the results. Barbers, who
ranked next to Biazon, filed a petition before the COMELEC to annul the proclamation.

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When this was denied, he raised the issue before the Supreme Court. Does the
Supreme Court have jurisdiction?

Held: No. The word sole in Sec. 17, Art. VI of the 1987 Constitution underscores the
exclusivity of the Senate Electoral Tribunals (SET) jurisdiction over election contests
relating to members of the Senate. The authority conferred upon the SET is
categorical and complete. It is therefore clear that the Supreme Court has no
jurisdiction to entertain the instant petition. Since Barber contests Biazons
proclamation as the 12 winning senatorial candidate, it is the SET which has
exclusive jurisdiction to act on Barbers complaint

Hernandez vs. HRET 2009

Petitioner filed for candidacy as Representative of the First Legislative District of


the Province of Laguna in the May 14, 2007 elections. In his Certificate of Candidacy
(COC), he indicated his complete/exact address as No. 13 Maharlika St., Villa Toledo
Subdivision, Barangay Balibago, Sta. Rosa City, Laguna (alleged Sta. Rosa
residence).[5]

Private respondent Jesus L. Vicente (private respondent) filed a Petition to Deny Due
Course to and/or Cancel Certificate of Candidacy and Petition for Disqualification
before the Office of the Provincial Election Supervisor of Laguna. This was forwarded
to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and docketed therein as SPA No. 07-046
(PES). Private respondent sought the cancellation of petitioners COC and the
latters disqualification as a candidate on the ground of an alleged material
misrepresentation in his COC regarding his place of residence, because during past
elections, he had declared Pagsanjan, Laguna as his address, and Pagsanjan was
located in the Fourth Legislative District of the Province of Laguna. Private
respondent likewise claimed that petitioner maintained another house in Cabuyao,
Laguna, which was also outside the First District. [

Petitioner filed for candidacy as Representative of the First Legislative District of


the Province of Laguna in the May 14, 2007 elections. In his Certificate of Candidacy
(COC), he indicated his complete/exact address as No. 13 Maharlika St., Villa Toledo
Subdivision, Barangay Balibago, Sta. Rosa City, Laguna (alleged Sta. Rosa
residence).[5]

Private respondent Jesus L. Vicente (private respondent) filed a Petition to Deny Due
Course to and/or Cancel Certificate of Candidacy and Petition for Disqualification
before the Office of the Provincial Election Supervisor of Laguna. This was forwarded
to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and docketed therein as SPA No. 07-046
(PES). Private respondent sought the cancellation of petitioners COC and the
latters disqualification as a candidate on the ground of an alleged material
misrepresentation in his COC regarding his place of residence, because during past
elections, he had declared Pagsanjan, Laguna as his address, and Pagsanjan was
located in the Fourth Legislative District of the Province of Laguna. Private
respondent likewise claimed that petitioner maintained another house in Cabuyao,

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Laguna, which was also outside the First District. [6] The COMELEC (First Division)
dismissed said petition for lack of merit

On July 5, 2007, private respondent filed a petition for quo warranto before the HRET,
docketed as HRET CASE No. 07-034, praying that petitioner be declared ineligible
to hold office as a Member of the House of Representatives representing the First
Legislative District of the Province of Laguna, and that petitioners election and
proclamation be annulled and declared null and void. [9]

Private respondents main ground for the quo warranto petition was that petitioner
lacked the required one-year residency requirement provided under Article VI,
Section 6 of the 1987 Constitution

Held:
The 1987 Constitution explicitly provides under Article VI, Section 17 thereof that the
HRET and the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) shall be the sole judges of all contests
relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of their respective members. The
authority conferred upon the Electoral Tribunal is full, clear and complete. The use of
the word sole emphasizes the exclusivity of the jurisdiction of these Tribunals,
[33]
which is conferred upon the HRET and the SET after elections and the
proclamation of the winning candidates. A candidate who has not been proclaimed
and who has not taken his oath of office cannot be said to be a member of the House
of Representatives. [34]

Thus, private respondent correctly pointed out that a petition for quo warranto is
within the exclusive jurisdiction of the HRET, and cannot be considered forum
shopping even if, as in this case, the COMELEC had already passed upon in
administrative or quasi-judicial proceedings the issue of the qualification of the
Member of the House of Representatives while the latter was still a candidate.

Private respondent concludes from the above that petitioner had no legal basis to
claim that the HRET, when reference to the qualification/s of Members of the House
of Representatives is concerned, is co-equal to the COMELEC, such that the HRET
cannot disregard any ruling of COMELEC respecting the matter of eligibility and
qualification of a member of the House of Representatives. The truth is the other
way around, because the COMELEC is subservient to the HRET when the dispute or
contest at issue refers to the eligibility and/or qualification of a Member of the House
of Representatives. A petition for quo warranto is within the exclusive jurisdiction of
the HRET as sole judge, and cannot be considered forum shopping even if another
body may have passed upon in administrative or quasi-judicial proceedings the issue
of the Members qualification while the Member was still a candidate. There is forum-
shopping only where two cases involve the same parties and the same cause of
action. The two cases here are distinct and dissimilar in their nature and character.

Mendoza vs. Comelc (2009)


Facts:
Petitioner Mendoza and respondent Pagdanganan vied ofr the position of Governor of

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the Province of Bulacan in the May 14, 2007 elections. The petitioner was proclaimed
winning candidate and assumed the office of Governor.
- The respondent seasonably filed an election protest with the COMELEC.
- Revision of ballots involving the protested and counter-protested precincts soon
followed.
- The revision was conducted at COMELECs office in Intamuros.
- Thereafter, both parties submitted their other evidences. The formal offer of
evidences was approved and COMELEC ordered the parties to submit their
memoranda.
- Mendoza and Pagdanganan complied with the order and the case was then
submitted for resolution.
- March 2, 2009: the COMELEC transferred the Bulacan ballot boxes, including those
involved in the provincial election contest, to the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET).
- The petitioner filed to dismiss further proceedings.
- April 29, 2009: The motion filed by petitioner Mendoza was dismissed by COMELEC
2nd Division. According to the latter, COMELEC has plenary powers to find
alternative methods to facilitate the resolution of the election protest; thus, it
concluded that it would continue the proceedings after proper coordination with the
SET.
- The petitioner moved to reconsider the order but still COMELEC 2nd Division denied
the motion on May 26, 2009.
- Allegedly alarmed by information on COMELEC action on the provincial election
contest within the SET premises without notice to him and without his participation,
the petitioners counsel wrote the SET Secretary, Atty. Irene Guevarra, a letter dated
June 10, 2009 to confirm the veracity of the reported conduct of proceedings.
- The Secretary responded that the action was authorized by then Acting Chairman of
the Tribunal, Justice Antonio T. Carpio, upon formal request of the Office of
Commissioner Lucenito N. Tagle.
- The petitioner argues that the proceedings before the COMELEC in election protests
are judicial in nature and character. Thus, the strictures of judicial due process
specifically, (a) opportunity to be heard and (b) that judgment be rendered only after
lawful hearing apply.
- The petitioner claims that without notice to him of the proceedings, the due process
element of the right to have judgment only after lawful hearing is absent.
- Mendoza asserts that an important element of due process is that the judicial body
should have jurisdiction over the property that is the subject matter of the
proceedings (2nd issue).
- Private respondent Pagdanganan argues that the proceeding referred to by
Mendoza was COMELECs decision-making process.
- Public respondent COMELEC further argues that in the absence of a specific rule on
whether it can conduct appreciation of ballots outside its premises or official custody,
the issue boils down to one of discretion the authority of the COMELEC to control as
it deems fit the processes or incidents of a pending election protest.

Issues:
1. Whether or not the COMELEC violated due process by conducting proceedings
without giving due notice to the petitioner.

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2. Whether or not the COMELEC gravely abused its discretion amounting to an excess
of jurisdiction in appreciating ballots which are not in its official custody and are
outside its own premises, authority and control.
Held:
While COMELEC jurisdiction over the Bulacan election contest is not disputed, the
legality of subsequent COMELEC action is assailed for having been undertaken with
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Thus, our
standard of review is grave abuse of discretion, a term that defies exact definition,
but generally refers to capricious or whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent
to lack of jurisdiction.
After due consideration, the Supreme Court held that the petition is bereft of merit.
These are the powers of the COMELEC as mentioned by the 1987 Constitution:
(1) Enforce and administer all laws relative to the conduct of elections.
(2) Be the sole judge of all contests relating to the elections, returns, and
qualifications of all members of the National Assembly and elective provincial and
city officials.
(3) Decide, save those involving the right to vote, administrative questions affecting
elections, including the determination of the number and location of polling places,
the appointment of election officials and inspectors, and the registration of voters.
The appropriate due process standards that apply to the COMELEC are the cardinal
primary rights in administrative proceedings (Ang Tibay Requirements 1-7).
(1) The first of these rights is the right to a hearing, which includes the right of the
party interested or affected to present his own case and submit evidence in support
thereof.
(2) Not only must the party be given an opportunity to present his case and to
adduce evidence tending to establish the rights which he asserts but the tribunal
must consider the evidence presented.
(3) While the duty to deliberate does not impose the obligation to decide right, it
does imply a necessity which cannot be disregarded, namely, that of having
something to support its decision. A decision with absolutely nothing to support it is a
nullity, a place when directly attached.
(4) Not only must there be some evidence to support a finding or conclusion, but the
evidence must be substantial. Substantial evidence is more than a mere scintilla.
It means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to
support a conclusion.
(5) The decision must be rendered on the evidence presented at the hearing, or at
least contained in the record and disclosed to the parties affected.
(6) The Court of Industrial Relations or any of its judges, therefore, must act on its or
his own independent consideration of the law and facts of the controversy, and not
simply accept the views of a subordinate in arriving at a decision.
(7) The Court of Industrial Relations should, in all controversial questions, render its
decision in such a manner that the parties to the proceeding can know the various
issues involved, and the reasons for the decisions rendered. The performance of this
duty is inseparable from the authority conferred upon it.
The first of the enumerated rights pertain to the substantive rights of a party
at hearing stage of the proceedings. The essence of this aspect of due process is to
give an opportunity to explain ones side or an opportunity to seek a reconsideration
of the action or ruling complained of.

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A formal or trial-type hearing is not at all times and in all instances essential;
in the case of COMELEC, Rule 17 of its Rules of Procedure defines the requirements
for a hearing and these serve as the standards in the determination of the presence
or denial of due process.
The second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth aspects of the Ang Tibay requirements are
reinforcements of the right to a hearing and are the inviolable rights applicable at the
deliberative stage, as the decision-maker decides on the evidence presented during
the hearing.
These standards set forth the guiding considerations in deliberating on the
case and are the material and substantial components of decision-making. Briefly,
the tribunal must consider the totality of the evidence presented which must all be
found in the records of the case (i.e., those presented or submitted by the parties);
the conclusion, reached by the decision-maker himself and not by a subordinate,
must be based on substantial evidence.

In the present case, the petitioner invokes both the due process component rights at
the hearing and deliberative stages and alleges that these component rights have all
been violated.
In these proceedings, the petitioner stood head-to-head with the respondent
in an adversarial contest where both sides were given their respective rights to
speak, make their presentations, and controvert each others submission, subject
only to established COMELEC rules of procedures. Under these undisputed facts, both
parties had their day in court, so to speak, and neither one can complain of any
denial of notice or of the right to be heard.
The SC said The COMELEC is under no legal obligation to notify either party
of the steps it is taking in the course of deliberating on the merits of the provincial
election contest. In the context of our standard of review for the petition, we see no
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction committed by
the COMELEC in its deliberation on the Bulacan election contest and the appreciation
of ballots this deliberation entailed.
We state at the outset that the COMELEC did not lose jurisdiction over the
provincial election contest, as the petitioner seems to imply, because of the
transmittal of the provincial ballot boxes and other election materials to the SET. The
Constitution conferred upon the COMELEC jurisdiction over election protests involving
provincial officials. The COMELEC in this case has lawfully acquired jurisdiction over
the subject matter, i.e., the provincial election contest, as well as over the parties.
Since the COMELEC action, taken by its Second Division, is authorized under
the COMELEC Rules of Procedure, the Second Division cannot in any sense be said to
be intruding into the COMELEC en banc rule-making prerogative when the Second
Division chose to undertake ballot appreciation within the SET premises side by side
with the SET revision of ballots. To be exact, the Second Division never laid down any
new rule; it merely acted pursuant to a rule that the COMELEC en banc itself had
previously enacted.

ABAYON PALPARAN VS THE HRET

FACTS: Abayon and Palparan were the duly nominated party list representatives of
AAngat Tayoand Bantay respectively. A quo warranto case was filed before the HRET

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assailing the jurisdiction of HRET over the Party list, and its representatives. HRET
dismissed the proceeding but upheld the jurisdiction over the nominated
representatives who now seeks certiorari before the SC

Issue:W/N HRET has jurisdiction over the question of qualifications of petitioners..

HELD: Affirmative. The HRET dismissed the petitions for quo warranto
filed with it insofar as they sought the disqualifications of Aangat Tayo and Bantay.
Since petitioners Abayon and Palparanwere not elected into office but were chosen
by their respective organizations under their internal
rules, the HRET has no jurisdiction to inquire into and adjudicate their qualifications a
s nominees. Although it is the party-list organization that is voted for in the elections,
it is not the organization that sits as and becomes a member of the House of
Representatives. Section 5,Article VI of the Constitution, identifies who the
members of that House are representatives of districts and party list Once elected,
both the district representatives and the party-list representatives are treated in like
manner. The Party-List System Act itself recognizes party-list nominees as members
of the House of Representatives, a party-list representative is in every sense an
elected member of the House of Representatives. Although the vote cast in a party-
list election is a vote for a party, such vote, in the end,would be a vote for its
nominees, who, in appropriate cases, would eventually sit in the House
of Representatives.Both the Constitution and the Party-List System Act set the
qualifications and grounds for disqualification of party-list nominees. Section 9 of R.A.
7941, echoing the Constitution.It is for the HRET to interpret the meaning of this
particular qualification of a nomineethe need for him or her to be a bona fide
member or a representative of his party-list organizationin the context of the facts
that characterize petitioners Abayon and Palparans relation to Aangat Tayo and
Bantay , respectively, and the marginalized and underrepresented interests that they
presumably embody. By analogy with the cases of district representatives, once the
party or organization of the party-list nominee has been proclaimed and the nominee
has taken his oath and assumed office as member of the House of Representatives,
the COMELECs jurisdiction over election contests relating to his qualifications
ends and the HRETs own jurisdiction begins. The Court holds that respondent HRET
did not gravely abuse its discretion when it dismissed the petitions for quo warranto
against Aangat Tayo party-list and Bantay party-list but upheld its jurisdiction over
the question of the qualifications of petitioners Abayon and Palparan

Layug vs. Comelec (2012)


Facts: On March 31, 2010, petitioner Rolando D. Layug (Layug), in his capacity as a
taxpayer and concerned citizen, filed pro se a Petition to Disqualify 3 (SPA No. 10-
016[DCN]) Buhay Party-List from participating in the May 10, 2010 elections, and
Brother Mike from being its nominee. He argued that Buhay Party-List is a mere
extension of the El Shaddai, which is a religious sect. As such, it is disqualified from
being a party-list under Section 5, Paragraph 2, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution 4, as
well as Section 6, Paragraph 1 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7941 5, otherwise known as
the Party-List System Act. Neither does Brother Mike, who is allegedly a billionaire
real estate businessman and the spiritual leader of El Shaddai, qualify as one who

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belongs to the marginalized and underrepresented sector xxx, as required of party-
list nominees under Section 6 (7) of COMELEC Resolution No. 8807 6, the Rules on
Disqualification Cases Against Nominees of Party-List Groups/Organizations
Participating in the May 10, 2010 Automated National and Local Elections. On June
15, 2010, the COMELEC Second Division issued a Resolution 3 denying the petition for
lack of substantial evidence.
Layug moved for reconsideration of the Resolution dated June 15, 2010 before the
COMELEC En Banc claiming denial of due process for failure of the COMELEC to serve
him, his representatives or counsels a copy of said Resolution. He alleged that it was
only on July 26, 2010, after learning about it in the newspapers, that he personally
secured a copy of the Resolution from the COMELEC.4 His motion for reconsideration,
however, was denied by the COMELEC Second Division in its Order 5 dated August 4,
2010 for being filed out of time.
Held:
The Court not the HRET has jurisdisdiction
Section 17, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution provides that the House of
Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) shall be the sole judge of all contests
relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of its Members. Section 5 (1) of the
same Article identifies who the "members" of the House are:
Sec. 5. (1). The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two
hundred and fifty members, unless otherwise fixed by law, who shall be elected from
legislative districts apportioned among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan
Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on the
basis of a uniform and progressive ratio, and those who, as provided by law, shall be
elected through a party list system of registered national, regional, and sectoral
parties or organizations. (Underscoring added).

Clearly, the members of the House of Representatives are of two kinds: (1) members
who shall be elected from legislative districts; and (2) those who shall be elected
through a party-list system of registered national, regional, and sectoral parties or
organizations.1 In this case, Buhay Party-List was entitled to two seats in the House
that went to its first two nominees, Mariano Michael DM. Velarde, Jr. and William Irwin
C. Tieng. On the other hand, Brother Mike, being the fifth nominee, did not get a seat
and thus had not become a member of the House of Representatives. Indubitably,
the HRET has no jurisdiction over the issue of Brother Mike's qualifications.
Neither does the HRET have jurisdiction over the qualifications of Buhay
Party-List, as it is vested by law, specifically, the Party-List System Act, upon the
COMELEC.Section 6 of said Act states that the COMELEC may motu proprio or upon
verified complaint of any interested party, remove or cancel, after due notice and
hearing, the registration of any national, regional or sectoral party, organization or
coalition xxx. Accordingly, in the case of Abayon vs. HRET,1 We ruled that
the HRET did not gravely abuse its discretion when it dismissed the petitions for quo
warranto against Aangat Tayo party-list and Bantay party-list insofar as they sought
the disqualifications of said party-lists.

Thus, it is the Court, under its power to review decisions, orders, or resolutions of the
COMELEC provided under Section 7, Article IX-A of the 1987 Constitution 2and Section

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1, Rule 37 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure 3 that has jurisdiction to hear the
instant petition.

Jalosjos vs. Comelec (2012)

Facts: In May 2007 Romeo M. Jalosjos, Jr., petitioner in G.R. 192474, ran for Mayor of
Tampilisan, Zamboanga del Norte, and won. While serving as Tampilisan Mayor, he
bought a residential house and lot in Barangay Veterans Village, Ipil, Zamboanga
Sibugay and renovated and furnished the same. In September 2008 he began
occupying the house. On November 28, 2009 Jalosjos filed his Certificate of
Candidacy (COC) for the position of Representative of the Second District of
Zamboanga Sibugay for the May 10, 2010 National Elections. This prompted Erasmo
to file a petition to deny due course to or cancel his COC before the COMELEC,
[7]
claiming that Jalosjos made material misrepresentations in that COC when he
indicated in it that he resided in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. The COMELEC, on June 3,
2010 the En Banc granted Erasmos motion for reconsideration and declared Jalosjos
ineligible to seek election as Representative of the Second District of Zamboanga
Sibugay. It held that Jalosjos did not satisfy the residency requirement since, by
continuing to hold the position of Mayor of Tampilisan, Zamboanga Del Norte, he
should be deemed not to have transferred his residence from that place
to Barangay Veterans Village in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. Jalosjos challenges the
COMELECs finding that he did not meet the residency requirement and its denial of
his right to due process.
Held: While the Constitution vests in the COMELEC the power to decide all questions
affecting elections,[15] such power is not without limitation. It does not extend to
contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of members of the House
of Representatives and the Senate. The Constitution vests the resolution of these
contests solely upon the appropriate Electoral Tribunal of the Senate or the House of
Representatives.[16]

The Court has already settled the question of when the jurisdiction of the COMELEC
ends and when that of the HRET begins. The proclamation of a congressional
candidate following the election divests COMELEC of jurisdiction over disputes
relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of the proclaimed Representative
in favor of the HRET.[17]
The fact is that on election day of 2010 the COMELEC En Banc had as yet to resolve
Erasmos appeal from the Second Divisions dismissal of the disqualification case
against Jalosjos. Thus, there then existed no final judgment deleting Jalosjos name
from the list of candidates for the congressional seat he sought. The last standing
official action in his case before election day was the ruling of the COMELECs Second
Division that allowed his name to stay on that list. Meantime, the COMELEC En Banc
did not issue any order suspending his proclamation pending its final resolution of his
case. With the fact of his proclamation and assumption of office, any issue regarding
his qualification for the same, like his alleged lack of the required residence, was
solely for the HRET to consider and decide.

Here, when the COMELEC En Banc issued its order dated June 3, 2010, Jalosjos had
already been proclaimed on May 13, 2010 as winner in the election. [18] Thus, the

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COMELEC acted without jurisdiction when it still passed upon the issue of his
qualification and declared him ineligible for the office of Representative of the Second
District of Zamboanga Sibugay.

Tanada vs. Cuenco


After the 1955 elections, members of the Senate were chosen. The Senate was
overwhelmingly occupied by the Nacionalista Party. The lone opposition senator was
Lorenzo. Diosdado on the other hand was a senatorial candidate who lost the bid but
was contesting it before the SET. But prior to a decision the SET would have to choose
its members. It is provided that the SET should be composed of 9 members; 3
justices, 3 senators from the majority party and 3 senators from the minority party.
But since there is only one minority senator the other two SET members supposed to
come from the minority were filled in by the NP. Lorenzo assailed this process. So did
Diosdado because he deemed that if the SET would be dominated by NP senators
then he, as a member of the Liberalista will not have any chance in his election
contest. Cuenco et al (members of the NP) averred that the SC cannot take
cognizance of the issue because it is a political question. Cuenco argued that the
power to choose the members of the SET is vested in the Senate alone and the
remedy for Lorenzo and Diosdado is not to raise the issue before judicial courts but
rather to leave it before the bar of public opinion.
Held:
Although the Senate has, under the Constitution, the exclusive power to choose the
Senators who shall form part of the Senate Electoral Tribunal, the fundamental law
has prescribed the manner in which the authority shall be exercised.
Under the Constitution, "the legislative power" is vested exclusively in the Congress
of the Philippines. Yet, this does not detract from the power of the courts to pass
upon the constitutionality of acts of Congress 1 And, since judicial power includes the
authority to inquire into the legality of statutes enacted by the two Houses of
Congress, and approved by the Executive, there can be no reason why the validity of
an act of one of said Houses, like that of any other branch of the Government, may
not be determined in the proper actions. Thus, in the exercise of the so-called
"judicial supremacy", this Court declared that a resolution of the defunct National
Assembly could not bar the exercise of the powers of the former Electoral
Commission under the original Constitution. 2 (Angara vs. Electoral Commission,
supra), and annulled certain acts of the Executive 3 as incompatible with the
fundamental law.
In fact, whenever the conflicting claims of the parties to a litigation cannot properly
be settled without inquiring into the validity of an act of Congress or of either House
thereof, the courts have, not only jurisdiction to pass upon said issue, but, also, the
duty to do so, which cannot be evaded without violating the fundamental law and
paving the way to its eventual destruction.

Abbas vs. SET (1988)


Facts:

On 9 Oct 1987, the Abbas et al filed before the SET an election contest docketed
against 22 candidates of the LABAN coalition who were proclaimed senators-elect in
the May 11, 1987 congressional elections by the COMELEC. The SET was at the time

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composed of three (3) Justices of the Supreme Court and six (6) Senators. Abbas later
on filed for the disqualification of the 6 senator members from partaking in the said
election protest on the ground that all of them are interested parties to said case.
Abbas argue that considerations of public policy and the norms of fair play and due
process imperatively require the mass disqualification sought. To accommodate the
proposed disqualification, Abbas suggested the following amendment: Tribunals
Rules (Section 24) - requiring the concurrence of five (5) members for the adoption
of resolutions of whatever nature - is a proviso that where more than four (4)
members are disqualified, the remaining members shall constitute a quorum, if not
less than three (3) including one (1) Justice, and may adopt resolutions by majority
vote with no abstentions. Obviously tailored to fit the situation created by the petition
for disqualification, this would, in the context of that situation, leave the resolution of
the contest to the only three Members who would remain, all Justices of this Court,
whose disqualification is not sought.
ISSUE: Whether or not Abbas proposal could be given due weight.
HELD: The most fundamental objection to such proposal lies in the plain terms and
intent of the Constitution itself which, in its Article VI, Section 17, creates the Senate
Electoral Tribunal, ordains its composition and defines its jurisdiction and powers.
Sec. 17. The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each have an Electoral
Tribunal which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns,
and qualifications of their respective Members. Each Electoral Tribunal shall be
composed of nine Members, three of whom shall be Justices of the Supreme Court to
be designated by the Chief Justice, and the remaining six shall be Members of the
Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case may be, who shall be chosen on
the basis of proportional representation from the political parties and the parties or
organizations registered under the party-list system represented therein. The senior
Justice in the Electoral Tribunal shall be its Chairman.
It is quite clear that in providing for a SET to be staffed by both Justices of the SC and
Members of the Senate, the Constitution intended that both those judicial and
legislative components commonly share the duty and authority of deciding all
contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of Senators. The
legislative component herein cannot be totally excluded from participation in the
resolution of senatorial election contests, without doing violence to the spirit and
intent of the Constitution. It is not to be misunderstood in saying that no Senator-
Member of the SET may inhibit or disqualify himself from sitting in judgment on any
case before said Tribunal. Every Member of the Tribunal may, as his conscience
dictates, refrain from participating in the resolution of a case where he sincerely feels
that his personal interests or biases would stand in the way of an objective and
impartial judgment. What SC is saying is that in the light of the Constitution, the SET
cannot legally function as such; absent its entire membership of Senators and that no
amendment of its Rules can confer on the three Justices-Members alone the power of
valid adjudication of a senatorial election contest.

Pimentel, Jr. v. HRET, 393 SCRA 231 (2002)

During the May 11, 1998 elections, 14 party-lists representatives from 13


organizations were proclaimed winners. Subsequently, the house of Representatives
constituted the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal and also named 12

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members to represent it in the Commission on Appointments. No one from the party-
list was named to either constitutional body. Petitioner now seeks the inclusion of
party-list representatives to the two bodies arguing that under the Constitution,
party-list representatives should have 1.2 or at least 1 seat in the HRET and 2.4 seats
in the CA based on proportional representation.

Held: Under Sec. 17 and Sec. 18, Art. VI of the Constitution, the House and the
Senate exercise the power to choose who among their members would occupy the
allotted 6 slots of their respective electoral tribunal, as well as the 12 seats in the
Commission on Appointments. Thus, even assuming that party-list representatives
comprise a sufficient number and have agreed to designate common nominees to the
HRET and the CA, their primary recourse rests with the House, not with the Court.
The discretion of the House to choose the members is not absolute, being subject to
the mandatory rule on proportional representation. However, under the doctrine of
separation of powers, the Court will not interfere, absent a clear violation of the
Constitution or grave abuse of discretion. The present petition does not allege that
the House barred party-list representatives from seeking membership in then HRET
or the CA. Under the doctrine of primary jurisdiction, direct recourse to the Supreme
Court is premature.

Codilla vs. Comelec (2002)

Petitioner Eufrocino M. Codilla, Sr. was mayor of Ormoc City, while respondent Ma.
Victoria L. Locsin was the incumbent representative of the 4 th legislative district of
Leyte. Both were candidates in the 14 May 2001 elections for the position of
representative of the 4th legislative district of Leyte.

A registered voter of Kananga, Leyte filed with COMELEC a petition for disqualification
against petitioner alleging that petitioner used the equipments and vehicles owned
by the city government of Ormoc to extract, haul, and distribute gravel and sand to
the residents of Kananga and Matag-ob, Leyte for the purpose of inducing,
influencing or corrupting them to vote for him.

The case was assigned to the COMELECs Second Division, which issued an order
delegating the hearing and reception of evidence on the disqualification case to the
Office of the Regional Director of Region VIII. The same division sent notice to the
petitioner through telegram.

At the time of the elections, the Regional Election Director had yet to hear the case.
Eventually, petitioner was included in the list of candidates and voted for; initial
results showed that petitioner was the winning candidate.

Respondent filed a Most Urgent Motion to Suspend Proclamation of Respondent with


the COMELEC Second Division. A copy was allegedly served on the petitioner by
registered mail but no registry receipt was attached thereto. She also filed a second
motion, a copy of which was sent to petitioner with the corresponding registry
receipt; however, theres no indication when petitioner received the motion.

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The COMELEC Second Division issued an Ex-Parte Order directing the (a) Provincial
Board of Canvassers of Leyte to suspend the proclamation of the petitioner and (b)
the Regional Election Director to speed up the reception of evidence and to forward
immediately the complete records together with its recommendation to the office of
the Clerk of the Commission. At this time, petitioner has yet to be summoned to
answer the petition for disqualification.

Petitioner filed a Motion to Lift Order of Suspension alleging that (a) he did not
receive a copy of the Motion to Suspend his Proclamation, hence he was denied of his
right to rebut and refute the allegations against him; (b) he did not receive a copy of
the summons on the petition for disqualification; and (c) he received the telegraph
order of the COMELEC Second Division suspending his proclamation four days after it
was sent to him. Said motion was not resolved; instead, the COMELEC Second
Division promulgated its Resolution that found the petitioner guilty of indirect
solicitation of votes and ordered his disqualification. The same order declared the
votes cast in favor of the petitioner as stray votes and directed the immediate
proclamation of the candidate who garnered the highest number of votes. As a result,
respondent was declared as having the highest number of votes and she was
proclaimed, took her oath of office, and assumed office as the duly elected
representative of the 4th district of Leyte. A copy of the said Resolution was sent by
fax to petitioners counsel.

The petitioner filed with the COMELEC en banc a Motion for Reconsideration and a
petition for declaration of nullity of proclamation. Said motion was granted and the
COMELEC en banc (a) reversed the resolution of the Second Division and (b) declared
the proclamation of respondent null and void. Respondent did not appeal from this
decision.

Eventually, petitioner was proclaimed the duly-elected representative of the 4 th


district of Leyte. Petitioner took his oath of office before the Executive Judge of the
Ormoc Regional Trial Court. Petitioner wrote a letter-appeal to the House of
Representatives through respondent De Venecia, but no action was taken by the
latter. Hence, this petition.

Issues:

1. WON the proclamation of respondent Locsin is valid.


2. WON the proclamation of respondent Locsin directed the COMELEC en
banc of jurisdiction to review its validity.
3. WON it is the ministerial duty of the public respondents to recognize the
petitioner as the legally elected representative of the 4 th legislative district
of Leyte.

Held:
1. NO. First, the petitioner was denied due process during the entire proceedings
leading to the proclamation of respondent Locsin. The essence of due process is the

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opportunity to be heard. When a party is deprived of that basic fairness, any decision
by any tribunal in prejudice of his rights is void.

Second, the votes cast in favor of the petitioner cannot be considered stray and
respondent cannot be validly proclaimed on that basis.

The order of disqualification is not yet final, hence the votes cast in favor of the
petitioner cannot be considered stray. Considering the timely filing of a motion for
reconsideration, the COMELEC Second Division gravely abused its discretion in
ordering the immediate disqualification of the petitioner and ordering the exclusion of
the votes cast in his favor.

Also, Respondent Lim, as a mere second placer, cannot be proclaimed. It is a settled


doctrine that the candidate who obtains the second highest number of votes may not
be proclaimed winner in case the winning candidate is disqualified. In every election,
the peoples choice is the paramount consideration and their expressed will must at
all times be given effect. When the majority speaks and elects into office a candidate
by giving him the highest number of votes cast in the election for the office, no one
can be declared elected in his place.

2. NO. The petitioner seasonably filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the order of the
Second Division suspending his proclamation and disqualifying him; hence, the
COMELEC en banc was not divested of its jurisdiction to review the validity of the said
Order of the Second Division. The said order was yet enforceable as it has not
attained finality; thus, it cannot be used as the basis for the assumption in office of
the respondent as the duly elected Representative of the 4 th Legislative district of
Leyte. For these reasons, the HRET cannot assume jurisdiction over the matter.

3. YES. If the Law imposes a duty upon a public officer and gives him the right to
decide how or when the duty shall be performed, such duty is discretionary and not
ministerial. The duty is ministerial only when the discharge of the same requires
neither the exercise of official discretion or judgment. In the case, the administration
of oath and the registration of the petitioner in the Roll of Members of the House of
Representatives is no longer a matter of discretion on the part of the public
respondents because of the following reasons: the petitioner garnered the highest
number of votes; the order of the COMELEC Second Division, which ordered the
proclamation of Respondent Locsin was set aside by the COMELEC en banc which
ordered the proclamation of the petitioner; said decision by the COMELEC en banc
was not challenged by the respondent and has become final and executory.

HON. WALDO FLORES, in his capacity as Senior capacity as Senior Deputy Executive
Secretary in the Office of the President, HON. ARTHUR P. AUTEA, in his capacity as
Deputy Executive Secretary in the Office of the President, and the PRESIDENTIAL
ANTI-GRAFT COMMISSION (PAGC) vs ATTY. ANTONIO MONTEMAYOR

FACTS:
(I sincerely apologize na taas ni, procedural ang case. Please focus
on the Doctrine of Non-delegation of Powers)

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Respondent Atty. Antonio F. Montemayor was appointed by the President as
Regional Director II of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Region IV, in San
Fernando, Pampanga.
On January 30, 2003, the Office of the President received a letter from a
concerned citizen dated January 20, 2003 relating Montemayors ostentatious
lifestyle which is apparently disproportionate to his income as a public official.
The letter was referred to Dario C. Rama, Chairman of the Presidential Anti-
Graft Commission (PAGC) for appropriate action. The Investigating Office of
the PAGC immediately conducted a fact-finding inquiry into the matter and
issued subpoenas duces tecum to the responsible personnel of the BIR and
the Land Transportation Office (LTO). In compliance with the subpoena, BIR
Personnel Division Chief Estelita Datu submitted to the PAGC a copy of
Montemayors appointment papers along with a certified true copy of the
latters Sworn Statement of Assets and Liabilities (SSAL) for the year
2002. Meanwhile, the LTO, through its Records Section Chief, Ms. Arabelle O.
Petilla, furnished the PAGC with a record of vehicles registered to Montemayor,
to wit: a 2001 Ford Expedition, a 1997 Toyota Land Cruiser, and a 1983
Mitsubishi Galant.
During the pendency of the investigation, the Philippine Center for
Investigative Journalism, a media organization which had previously published
an article on the unexplained wealth of certain BIR officials, also submitted to
the PAGC copies of Montemayors SSAL for the years 1999, 2000 and 2001. In
Montemayors 1999 and 2000 SSAL, the PAGC noted that Montemayor
declared his ownership over several motor vehicles, but failed to do the same
in his 2001 SSAL.
On the basis of the said documents, the PAGC issued a Formal Charge against
Montemayor on May 19, 2003 for violation of Section 7 of Republic Act (RA)
No. 3019in relation to Section 8 (A) of RA No. 6713 due to his failure to declare
the 2001 Ford Expedition with a value ranging from 1.7 million to 1.9 million
pesos, and the 1997 Toyota Land Cruiser with an estimated value of 1 million
to 1.2 million pesos in his 2001 and 2002 SSAL. The charge was docketed as
PAGC-ADM-0149-03. On the same date, the PAGC issued an Order directing
Montemayor to file his counter-affidavit or verified answer to the formal
charge against him within ten (10) days from the receipt of the Order.
Montemayor, however, failed to submit his counter-affidavit or verified answer
to the formal charge lodged against him.
On June 4, 2003, during the preliminary conference, Montemayor, through
counsel, moved for the deferment of the administrative proceedings
explaining that he has filed a petition for certiorari before the CA questioning
the PAGCs jurisdiction to conduct the administrative investigation against
him. The PAGC denied Montemayors motion for lack of merit, and instead
gave him until June 9, 2003 to submit his counter-affidavit or verified
answer. Still, no answer was filed.
On June 23, 2003, the CA issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) in CA-
G.R. SP No. 77285 enjoining the PAGC from proceeding with the investigation
for sixty (60) days. On September 12, 2003, shortly after the expiration of the
sixty (60)-day TRO, the PAGC issued a Resolution finding Montemayor

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administratively liable as charged and recommending to the Office of the
President Montemayors dismissal from the service.
On March 23, 2004, the Office of the President, through Deputy Executive
Secretary Arthur P. Autea, issued a Decision adopting in toto the findings and
recommendation of the PAGC.
Montemayor sought reconsideration of the said decision. This time, he argued
that he was denied his right to due process when the PAGC proceeded to
investigate his case notwithstanding the pendency of his petition
for certiorari before the CA, and its subsequent elevation to the Supreme
Court. The motion was eventually denied.
Aggrieved, Montemayor brought the matter to the CA via a petition for
review under Rule 43 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended.
ISSUE:
WHETHER THE PAGC HAS THE AUTHORITY TO RECOMMEND RESPONDENTS
DISMISSAL FROM THE SERVICE;
WHETHER THE ASSUMPTION BY THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN OF ITS
JURISDICTION TO INVESTIGATE RESPONDENT FOR THE SAME OFFENSE
DEPRIVED THE PAGC [WITH ITS JURISDICTION] FROM PROCEEDING WITH ITS
INVESTIGATION.
RULING:
The PAGC was created by virtue of EO No. 12, signed on April 16, 2001 to
speedily address the problem on corruption and abuses committed in the
government, particularly by officials appointed by the President. Under
Section 4 (b) of EO No. 12, the PAGC has the power to investigate and hear
administrative complaints provided (1) that the official to be investigated
must be a presidential appointee in the government or any of its agencies or
instrumentalities, and (2) that the said official must be occupying the position
of assistant regional director, or an equivalent rank, or higher.
Respondent contends that he was deprived of his right to due process when
the PAGC proceeded to investigate him on the basis of an anonymous
complaint in the absence of any documents supporting the complainants
assertions.
Section 4 (c) of EO No. 12 states that the PAGC has the power to give due
course to anonymous complaints against presidential appointees if there
appears on the face of the complaint or based on the supporting documents
attached to the anonymous complaint a probable cause to engender a belief
that the allegations may be true. Respondent also assails the PAGCs decision
to proceed with the investigation process without giving him the opportunity
to present controverting evidence.
We find nothing irregular with the PAGCs decision to proceed with its
investigation notwithstanding the pendency of Montemayors petition
for certiorari before the CA. The filing of a petition for certiorari with the CA
did not divest the PAGC of its jurisdiction validly acquired over the case before
it.
First, it must be remembered that the PAGCs act of issuing the assailed
resolution enjoys the presumption of regularity particularly since it was done
in the performance of its official duties. Mere surmises and conjectures,

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absent any proof whatsoever, will not tilt the balance against the
presumption, if only to provide constancy in the official acts of authorized
government personnel and officials. Simply put, the timing of the issuance of
the assailed PAGC resolution by itself cannot be used to discredit, much less
nullify, what appears on its face to be a regular performance of the PAGCs
duties.
Second, Montemayors argument, as well as the CAs observation that
respondent was not afforded a second opportunity to present controverting
evidence, does not hold water. The essence of due process in administrative
proceedings is an opportunity to explain ones side or an opportunity to seek
reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. So long as the party is
given the opportunity to explain his side, the requirements of due process are
satisfactorily complied with.
Significantly, the records show that the PAGC issued an order informing
Montemayor of the formal charge filed against him and gave him ten (10)
days within which to present a counter-affidavit or verified answer. When the
said period lapsed without respondent asking for an extension, the PAGC gave
Montemayor a fresh ten (10)-day period to file his answer, but the latter chose
to await the decision of the CA in his petition for certiorari. During the
preliminary conference, Montemayor was again informed that he is given a
new ten (10)-day period, or until June 19, 2003 within which to file his
memorandum/position paper as well as supporting evidence with a warning
that if he still fails to do so, the complaint shall be deemed submitted for
resolution on the basis of available documentary evidence on record. Again,
the deadline lapsed without any evidence being presented by Montemayor in
his defense.
We stress that the PAGCs findings and recommendations remain as
recommendations until finally acted upon by the Office of the President.
Montemayor, therefore, had two (2) choices upon the issuance of the PAGC
resolution: to move for a reconsideration thereof, or to ask for another
opportunity before the Office of the President to present his side particularly
since the assailed resolution is merely recommendatory in nature. Having
failed to exercise any of these two (2) options, Montemayor cannot now be
allowed to seek recourse before this Court for the consequences of his own
shortcomings.
o The cases filed against respondent before the Ombudsman were
initiated after the Office of the President decided to dismiss
Montemayor. More importantly, the proceedings before the PAGC were
already finished even prior to the initiation and filing of cases against
him by the Ombudsman. In fact, it was the PAGCs findings and
recommendations which served as the basis in the Office of the
Presidents decision to dismiss Montemayor from government service.
Clearly then, the exercise by the Office of the President of its
concurrent investigatory and prosecutorial power over Montemayor
had already been terminated even before the Ombudsman could take
cognizance over the matter. The Ombudsman, therefore, cannot take
over a task that is already a fait accompli.

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As to the substantive aspect, i.e., whether the PAGCs recommendation to
dismiss Montemayor from government service is supported by substantial
evidence, we find in favor of petitioners.

REVIEW CENTER ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES,


vs.
EXECUTIVE SECRETARYEDUARDO ERMITA

FACTS:

There was a report that handwritten copies of two sets of 2006 Nursing Board
examination were circulated during the examination period among examinees
reviewing at the R.A. Gapuz Review Center and Inress Review Center. The examinees
were provided with a list of 500 questions and answers in two of the examinations
five subjects, particularly Tests III (Psychiatric Nursing) and V (Medical-Surgical
Nursing). The PRC later admitted the leakage and traced it to two Board of Nursing
members. Exam results came out but Court of Appeals restrained the PRC from
proceeding with the oath-taking of the successful examinees.
President GMA ordered for a re-examination and issued EO 566 which
authorized the CHED to supervise the establishment and operation of all review
centers and similar entities in the Philippines. CHED Chairman Puno approved CHED
Memorandum Order No. 49 series of 2006 (Implementing Rules and Regulations).
Review Center Association of the Philippines (petitioner), an organization of
independent review centers, asked the CHED to "amend, if not withdraw" the IRR
arguing, among other things, that giving permits to operate a review center to Higher
Education Institutions (HEIs) or consortia of HEIs and professional organizations will
effectively abolish independent review centers. CHED Chairman Puno however
believed that suspending the implementation of the IRR would be inconsistent with
the mandate of EO 566.
A dialogue between the petitioner and CHED took place. Revised IRR was
approved. Petitioner filed before the CHED a Petition to Clarify/Amend RIRR praying to
exclude independent review center from the coverage of the CHED; to clarify the
meaning of the requirement for existing review centers to tie-up with HEIs; to revise
the rules to make it conform with RA 7722 limiting the CHEDs coverage to public and
private institutions of higher education.
In 2007, then CHED Chairman Neri responded to the petitioner that: to
exclude the operation of independent review centers from the coverage of CHED
would clearly contradict the intention of the said Executive Order No.566; As to the
request to clarify what is meant by tie-up/be integrated with an HEI, tie-up/be
integrated simply means, to be in partner with an HEI.
Petitioner filed a petition for Prohibition and Mandamus before this Court
praying for the annulment of the RIRR, the declaration of EO 566 as invalid and
unconstitutional exercise of legislative power, and the prohibition against CHED from
implementing the RIRR. Motion to intervene filed by other organizations/institutions
were granted by the Court.
On 21 May 2008, CHED issued CHED Memorandum Order No. 21, Series of
2008 (CMO 21, s. 2008) extending the deadline for six months from 27 May 2008 for

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all existing independent review centers to tie-up or be integrated with HEIs in
accordance with the RIRR. On 25 November 2008 Resolution, SC resolved torequire
the parties to observe the status quo prevailing before the issuance of EO 566, the
RIRR, and CMO 21, s.2008.

ISSUES:
1. Whether EO 566 is an unconstitutional exercise by the Executive of legislative
power as it expands theCHEDs jurisdiction; and
2. Whether the RIRR is an invalid exercise of the Executives rule-making power.

HELD:
1. Yes, it expands CHEDs jurisdiction, hence unconstitutional. The scopes of EO
566 and the RIRR clearly expand the CHEDs coverage under RA 7722. The CHEDs
coverage under RA 7722 is limited to public and private institutions of higher
education and degree-granting programs in all public and private post-secondary
educational institutions. EO 566 directed the CHED to formulate a framework for the
regulation of review centers and similar entities. The definition of a review center
under EO 566 shows that it refers to one which offers "a program or course of study
that is intended to refresh and enhance the knowledge or competencies and skills of
reviewees obtained in the formal school setting in preparation for the licensure
examinations" given by the PRC. It does not offer a degree-granting program that
would put it under the jurisdiction of the CHED.

A review course is only intended to "refresh and enhance the knowledge or


competencies and skills of reviewees." Thus, programs given by review centers could
not be considered "programs x x x of higher learning" that would put them under the
jurisdiction of the CHED. "Higher education," is defined as "education beyond the
secondary level or "education provided by a college or university." Further, the
"similar entities" in EO 566 cover centers providing "review or tutorial services" in
areas not covered by licensure examinations given by the PRC, which include,
although not limited to, college entrance examinations, Civil Services examinations,
and tutorial services. These review and tutorial services hardly qualify as programs of
higher learning.

2. Yes, it is invalid. The exercise of the Presidents residual powers under Section
20, Title I of Book III of EO (invoked by theOSG to justify GMAs action) requires
legislation; as the provision clearly states that the exercise of the Presidents other
powers and functions has to be "provided for under the law." There is no law granting
the President the power to amend the functions of the CHED. The President has no
inherent or delegated legislative power to amend the functions of the CHED under RA
7722. The line that delineates Legislative and Executive power is not indistinct.
Legislative power is "the authority, under the Constitution, to make laws, and to alter
and repeal them."

The Constitution, as the will of the people in their original, sovereign and unlimited
capacity, has vested this power in the Congress of the Philippines. Any power,
deemed to be legislative by usage and tradition, is necessarily possessed by
Congress, unless the Constitution has lodged it elsewhere.The President has control

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over the executive department, bureaus and offices. Meaning, he has the authority to
assume directly the functions of the executive department, bureau and office, or
interfere with the discretion of itsofficials. Corollary to the power of control, he is
granted administrative power. Administrative power is concerned with the work of
applying policies and enforcing orders as determined by proper governmental organs.
It enables the President to fix a uniform standard of administrative efficiency and
check the official conduct of his agents. To this end, he can issue administrative
orders, rules and regulations.

An administrative order is an ordinance issued by the President which relates to


specific aspects in the administrative operation of government. It must be in
harmony with the law and should be for the sole purpose of implementing the law
and carrying out the legislative policy. Since EO 566 is an invalid exercise of
legislative power, the RIRR is also an invalid exercise of the CHEDs quasi-legislative
power.

Administrative agencies exercise their quasi-legislative or rule-making power through


the promulgation of rules and regulations. The CHED may only exercise its rule-
making power within the confines of its jurisdiction under RA 7722. But The RIRR
covers review centers and similar entities.

FORT BONIFACIO DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION


vs.
COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE

FACTS:
Before us is respondents Motion for Reconsideration of our Decision dated
April 2, 2009 which granted the consolidated petitions of petitioner Fort Bonifacio
Development Corporation, the dispositive portion of which reads:
WHEREFORE, the petitions are GRANTED. The assailed decisions of the Court of Tax
Appeals and the Court of Appeals are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Respondents are
hereby (1) restrained from collecting from petitioner the amount of P28,413,783.00
representing the transitional input tax credit due it for the fourth quarter of 1996; and
(2) directed to refund to petitioner the amount of P347,741,695.74 paid as output
VAT for the third quarter of 1997 in light of the persisting transitional input tax credit
available to petitioner for the said quarter, or to issue a tax credit corresponding to
such amount. No pronouncement as to costs.
The Motion for Reconsideration raises the following arguments:
1. Section 100 of the Old National Internal Revenue Code (old NIRC), as amended
by Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7716, could not have supplied the distinction between the
treatment of real properties or real estate dealers on the one hand, and the
treatment of transactions involving other commercial goods on the other hand, as
said distinction is found in Section 105 and, subsequently, Revenue Regulations No.
7-95 which defines the input tax creditable to a real estate dealer who becomes
subject to vat for the first time.
2. Section 4.105.1 and paragraph (a) (iii) of the transitory provisions of revenue
regulations no. 7-95 validly limit the 8% transitional input tax to the improvements on
real properties.

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3. Revenue Regulations no. 6-97 did not repeal Revenue Regulations No. 7-95.

ISSUE: Whether or not allowable transitional input tax credit is limited to


improvements on real properties.

HELD: The instant motion for reconsideration lacks merit.


The first VAT law, found in Executive Order (EO) No. 273 [1987], took effect on
January 1, 1988. It amended several provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code
of 1986 (Old NIRC). EO 273 likewise accommodated the potential burdens of the shift
to the VAT system by allowing newly VAT-registered persons to avail of a transitional
input tax credit as provided for in Section 105 of the Old NIRC.
RA 7716 took effect on January 1, 1996. It amended Section 100 of the Old
NIRC by imposing for the first time value-added-tax on sale of real properties. The
amendment reads:
Sec. 100. Value-added-tax on sale of goods or properties. (a) Rate and base of tax.
There shall be levied, assessed and collected on every sale, barter or exchange of
goods or properties, a value-added tax equivalent to 10% of the gross selling price or
gross value in money of the goods, or properties sold, bartered or exchanged, such
tax to be paid by the seller or transferor.(1) The term 'goods or properties' shall mean
all tangible and intangible objects which are capable of pecuniary estimation and
shall include: (A) Real properties held primarily for sale to customers or held for lease
in the ordinary course of trade or business; xxx
The provisions of Section 105 of the NIRC, on the transitional input tax credit,
remain intact despite the enactment of RA 7716. Section 105 however was amended
with the passage of the new National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 (New NIRC), also
officially known as Republic Act (RA) 8424. The provisions on the transitional input
tax credit are now embodied in Section 111(A) of the New NIRC.
The Commissioner of Internal Revenue (CIR) disallowed Fort Bonifacio
Development Corporations (FBDC) presumptive input tax credit arising from the land
inventory on the basis of Revenue Regulation 7-95 (RR 7-95) and Revenue
Memorandum Circular 3-96 (RMC 3-96).
However, in the case of real estate dealers, the basis of the presumptive input
tax shall be the improvements, such as buildings, roads, drainage systems, and other
similar structures, constructed on or after the effectivity of EO 273 (January 1, 1988).
The transitional input tax shall be 8% of the value of the inventory or actual VAT paid,
whichever is higher, which amount may be allowed as tax credit against the output
tax of the VAT-registered person.
In the April 2, 2009 Decision sought to be reconsidered, the Court struck down
Section 4.105-1 of RR 7-95 for being in conflict with the law. It held that the CIR had
no power to limit the meaning and coverage of the term "goods" in Section 105 of
the Old NIRC sans statutory authority or basis and justification to make such
limitation. This it did when it restricted the application of Section 105 in the case of
real estate dealers only to improvements on the real property belonging to their
beginning inventory.
A law must not be read in truncated parts; its provisions must be read in
relation to the whole law. It is the cardinal rule in statutory construction that a
statutes clauses and phrases must not be taken as detached and isolated

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expressions, but the whole and every part thereof must be considered in fixing the
meaning of any of its parts in order to produce a harmonious whole. Every part of the
statute must be interpreted with reference to the context, i.e., that every part of the
statute must be considered together with other parts of the statute and kept
subservient to the general intent of the whole enactment.
In construing a statute, courts have to take the thought conveyed by the
statute as a whole; construe the constituent parts together; ascertain the legislative
intent from the whole act; consider each and every provision thereof in the light of
the general purpose of the statute; and endeavor to make every part effective,
harmonious and sensible.
The statutory definition of the term "goods or properties" leaves no room for
doubt. It states: Sec. 100. Value-added tax on sale of goods or properties. (a) Rate
and base of tax. xxx. (1) The term goods or properties shall mean all tangible and
intangible objects which are capable of pecuniary estimation and shall include: (A)
Real properties held primarily for sale to customers or held for lease in the ordinary
course of trade or business; xxx.
The term "goods or properties" by the unambiguous terms of Section 100
includes "real properties held primarily for sale to costumers or held for lease in the
ordinary course of business." Having been defined in Section 100 of the NIRC, the
term "goods" as used in Section 105 of the same code could not have a different
meaning. Goods, as commonly understood in the business sense, refers to the
product which the VAT-registered person offers for sale to the public. With respect to
real estate dealers, it is the real properties themselves which constitute their
"goods." Such real properties are the operating assets of the real estate dealer.
However, in the case of real estate dealers, the basis of the presumptive input
tax shall be the improvements, such as buildings, roads, drainage systems, and other
similar structures, constructed on or after the effectivity of EO 273 (January 1, 1988).
As mandated by Article 7 of the Civil Code, an administrative rule or regulation
cannot contravene the law on which it is based. RR 7-95 is inconsistent with Section
105 insofar as the definition of the term "goods" is concerned. This is a legislative act
beyond the authority of the CIR and the Secretary of Finance. The rules and
regulations that administrative agencies promulgate, which are the product of a
delegated legislative power to create new and