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POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 1 of 65

WHAT IS WRIT OF CONTRA HOMO SACER? WHO SHALL INITIATE AND PROSECTUTE ALL CASES OF
IMPEACHMENT?
It is a writ that prevents the execution of a class of
persons who have no right at all before the law, or - The House of Representatives (Sec. 3 (1),
those persons deprived of protection normally afforded Article 11, 1987 Constitution)
by law to ordinary citizens.
WHO SHALL TRY AND DECIDE THE IMPEACHMENT
Homo sacer in Roman times are class of persons with CASE?
no rights before the law, deprived of protection
normally afforded by law to ordinary citizens, thus, - The Senate (Sec. 3 (6), Art. 11, 1987
marked for execution anytime and anywhere. Constitution).

See: Letter-Petition filed by the lawyers of the Center The senate shall not be acting as legislative
for International Law (Center-Law) Philippines before body but rather as an impeachment court.
the Supreme Court. Said letter aimed for the Supreme
WHO SHALL PRESIDE THE IMPEACHMENT FILED
Court to promulgate rules on criminal procedure
AGAINST THE PRESIDENT?
pursuant to its rule-making power to help prevent the
disturbing emergence of a class of people who, harking - The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
back to ancient Roman times, are no more than homo (Sec. 3 (6), Art. 11, 1987 Constitution).
sacer, or beings reduced to mere biological existence,
denied of all rights, marked for execution anytime and WHO SHALL PRESIDE THE IMPEACHMENT FILED
anywhere. AGAINST THE VICE-PRESIDENT?

EPISTOLARY JURISDICTION - The Senate President (As per rules of the


Senate)
Q: Do the marine mammals together with humans have
legal standing to file a suit in the enforcement of WERE FORMER PRESIDENT ESTRADA AND CHIEF
environmental law? JUSTICE CORONA BOTH IMPEACHED?

A: In one case decided by the Supreme Court, it was Yes, they were both impeached. In the case of Estrada,
held that the need to give the Resident Marine he was impeached but not found guilty. In the case of
Mammals legal standing has been eliminated by our Corona, he was likewise impeached and found guilty.
Rules, which allow any Filipino citizen, as a steward of
QUESTION: GINA LOPEZ WAS APPOINTED BY
nature, to bring a suit to enforce our environmental
PRESIDENT DUTERTE AS SECRETARY OF THE DENR, IF
laws. After all, they were joined by humans. The
THE COMMISSION ON APPOINTMENT REJECTED OR
Stewards, having shown in their petition that there may
DISAPPROVED HER APPOINTMENT, MAY SHE STILL BE
be possible violations of laws concerning the habitat of
RE-APPOINTED BY THE PRESIDENT? HOW ABOUT IF
the Resident Marine Mammals, are therefore declared
SHE WAS MERELY BY-PASSED?
to possess the legal standing to file this petition.
(Resident Marine Mammals vs. Secretary of DENR, GR Once Gina is rejected or disapproved by the
No. 181572) Commission on Appointment, the President can no
longer re-appoint her since the rejection or disapproval
WHO ARE THE IMPEACHABLE OFFICERS?
of the Commission on Appointment has an effect of a
1. President judgment on the merits.
2. Vice-President
If however, she was merely by-passed, the President
3. Members of the Supreme of Court
may still re-appoint her since the act of the Commission
4. Members of the Constitutional Commission;
bypassing her is not a judgment on the merits.
and
5. Ombudsman MATIBAG v. BENIPAYO

All other public officers and employees may be Ad interim appointment is a permanent appointment
removed from office as provided by law, but not by by the president because it takes effect immediately
impeachment. and can no longer be withdrawn by the President once
the appointee has been qualified into Office. The fact
WHAT ARE THE GROUNDS FOR IMPEACHMENT?
that it is subject to confirmation by the CA does not
1. Culpable violation of the Constitution alter its permanent character.
2. Treason
A disapproved ad interim appointment cannot be
3. Bribery
revived by another ad interim appointment because the
4. Graft and corruption
disapproval is final under Section 16, Article VII of the
5. Other high crimes; and
Constitution, and not because a reappointment is
6. Betrayal of public trust
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 2 of 65

prohibited under Section 1 (2), Article IX-C of the Moreover, the AFP has issued regulations which listed
Constitution. A by-passed ad interim appointment can therein the persons disqualified to have their remains
be revived by a new ad interim appointment because interred in the LNMB. The late President Marcos had
there is no final disapproval under Section 16, Article not been dishonorably separated or discharged from
VII of the Constitution, and such new appointment will military service, or convicted by final judgment of any
not result in the appointee serving beyond the fixed offense involving moral turpitude. Thus, none of the
term of seven years. disqualifications can apply to the late President Marcos.

QUESTION: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AD SELF-EXECUTING AND NON-SELF EXECUTING


INTERIM APPOINTMENTS FROM APPOINTMENTS IN PROVISIONS
AN ACTING CAPACITY?
General rule: All provisions of the Constitution are self-
The two appointments are both effective upon executing. “Unless the contrary is clearly intended, the
acceptance. But ad-interim appointments are extended provisions of the Constitution should be considered
only during recess of Congress, where as acting self-executing.”
appointments may be extended any time there is
vacancy. Moreover, ad-interim appointments are Exception: Statements of general principles, such as
submitted to the Commission on Appointments for those in Art. 2 of the 1987 Constitution are usually not
confirmation or rejection, acting appointments are not self-executing.
submitted to the Commission on Appointments. Acting
AMENDMENT VS. REVISION
appointments are a way of temporarily filling important
offices but, if abused, they can also be a way of  Revision broadly implies a change that alters a
circumventing the need for confirmation by the basic principle in the Constitution, while
Commission on Appointments. (Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J., amendment broadly refers to a change that
The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines: adds, reduces, deletes, without altering the
A Commentary 772) (1996) basic principle involved.
 There is also revision if the change alters the
QUESTION: RECENTLY, A GROUP OF PERSONS FILED A
substantial entirety of the Constitution.
SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT
 Revision generally affects several provisions of
QUESTIONING PRESIDENT DUTERTE IN AUTHORIZING
the Constitution while amendment generally
THE INTERMENT OF THE REMAINS OF THE LATE
affects only the specific provision being
PRESIDENT MARCOS IN THE LIBINGAN NG MGA BAYANI
amended. (Lambino vs. Comelec)
(LNMB). IF YOU WERE A JUDGE AND THE SAID PETITION
WAS RAFFLED IN YOUR SALA, HOW WILL YOU DECIDE STEPS IN THE AMENDATORY PROCESS:
THE PETITION?
1. Proposal by: (Sections 1-3, Article XVII)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:  Congress: by a vote of ¾ of all its
members. (constituent assembly)
I will dismiss the Petition. The decision of President
 Constitutional Convention, which
Duterte allowing the interment of the remains of the
may be called into existence either
late President Marcos involves a political question. It is
by:
a question arising from the principle of separation of
o 2/3 vote of all the members
powers, where the Judicial Branch cannot decide
of Congress; or
questions in regard to which, full discretionary
o If such vote is not obtained,
authority has been delegated to the President, unless
by a majority vote of all the
otherwise proven that the President has gravely abused
members of Congress with
his discretion amounting to lack or excess of
the question of whether or
jurisdiction.
not to call a Convention to
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: (Concurring Opinion of Justice be resolved by the people in
Lucas Bersamin in the Marcos Burial) a plebiscite.
 People, through the power of
I will dismiss the petition. The Supreme Court has held initiative:
that President Duterte’s decision to have the remains of Requisites:
Marcos interred (buried) at the LNMB involves a o A petition of at least 12% of
political question which courts should not interfere. the total number of
Besides, the character of the LMNB as the resting place registered voters, of which
for the war dead and other military personnel under every legislative district must
the care and control of the AFP has placed the LNMB be represented by at least
under the control of the President. Plainly enough, the 3% of the registered voters
President thereby exercised such control through the therein.
AFP Chief of Staff.
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 3 of 65

People’s initiative applies only to an I. There is a grave violation


amendment, not a revision of the of the Constitution.
Constitution, inasmuch as the II. There is an exceptional
Constitution itself limits initiative to character of the
amendments. situation and paramount
public interest is
2. By ratification: involved.
Constituent assembly: ratification by a III. The Constitutional issues
majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite. raised require
Constitutional Convention: ratification by formulation of
majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite. controlling principles to
guide the bench, the
JUDICIAL REVIEW
bar, and the public.
Angara vs. Electoral Commission, 63 Phil. 139 IV. The case is capable of
 The power of the courts to test the validity of repetition yet evading
executive and legislative acts in light of their review. (David vs.
conformity with the Constitution. Macapagal-Arroyo, G.R.
 This is not an assertion of superiority by the No. 171396)
courts over the departments but merely an
expression of the supremacy of the 2. The Constitutional question must be raised by
Constitution. the proper party:

JUDICIAL POWER - A proper party is one who has sustained


or is in imminent danger of sustaining an
 Judicial power includes the duty of the courts injury as a result of the act complained of.
of justice to settle actual controversies (IBP vs. Zamora)
involving rights which are legally demandable
and enforceable, and to determine whether or LOCUS STANDI
not there has been grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on Refers to a party’s personal and substantial
the part of any branch or instrumentality of interest in a case, arising from the direct injury
the Government. (Sec 1, Art. VIII) it has sustained or will sustain as a result of the
challenged governmental action. Unless a
REQUISITES OF JUDICIAL REVIEW person’s constitutional rights are adversely
affected by a statute or governmental action,
1. There must be an Actual case or controversy: he has no legal standing to challenge the
- A conflict of legal rights, an assertion of statute or governmental action. (CREBA vs.
opposite legal claims which can be Energy Regulatory Commission)
resolved on the basis of existing law and
jurisprudence. (Guingona vs. CA, G.R. No. Direct injury test – a person who impugns
125532) validity of a statute must have a personal
o The actual controversy must exist and substantial interest in the case such
at all stages of the review, not that he has sustained or will sustain direct
merely at the time the complaint injury as a result. (People vs. Vera, 65 Phil.
is filed. (John Hay People’s 56)
Alternative Coalition vs. Lim, G.R.
No. 119775) In David V. Macapagal-Arroyo, the Supreme
o The issues raised in the case must Court summarized its earlier rulings and
not be moot and academic. declared that petitioner may be accorded
(Province of Batangas vs. Romulo, standing to sue provided that the following
G.R. No. 152774) requirements are met:

 INSTANCES WHERE THE a) The case involves constitutional issues;


COURT ALLOWED THE b) For taxpayers, there must be a claim of
JUDICIAL REVIEW EVEN IF illegal disbursement of public funds or
THE ACTUAL CASE IS that the tax measure is unconstitutional
ALREADY MOOT AND (the prevailing doctrine is that taxpayers
ACADEMIC: may question contracts entered into by
the national government or by
government owned or controlled
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 4 of 65

corporations allegedly in contravention of the determination of the case itself; and in


law; every case, except when there is estoppel, it
c) For registered voters, there must be a can be raised at any stage if it involves the
showing of obvious interest in the validity jurisdiction of the court. (People vs. Vera)
of the election law in question;
d) For concerned citizens, there must be a 4. The constitutional issue must be the lis mota
showing that the issues raised are of of the case or the very main issue of the
transcendental importance which must controversy.
be settled early; and - No way by which the entire controversy
e) For legislators, there must be a claim that be resolved unless the Court first resolves
the official action complained of infringes the constitutional issue raised.
their prerogatives as legislators.
EFFECTS OF DECLARATION OF UNCONSTITUTIONALITY
FACIAL CHALLENGE
Orthodox view
General Rule:
A party can question the validity of a An unconstitutional act is not a law; it confers
statute only if, as applied to him, it is no rights; it imposes no duties; it affords no
unconstitutional. protection; it creates no office; it is
Exception: inoperative, as if it had not been passed at all.
The only time a facial challenge to a
Modern View
statute is allowed is when it operates in
the area of freedom of expression, Courts simply refuse to recognize the law and
freedom of religion, or other fundamental determine the rights of the parties as if the
freedoms. It does not apply to penal statute had no existence.
laws/statutes.
DOCTRINE OF PARENS PATRIAE
OVERBREADTH DOCTRINE
Literally, parent of the people. As such, the
A kind of facial challenge which permits a
Government may act as guardian of the rights of people
party to challenge the validity of a statute
who may be disadvantaged or suffering from some
even though, as applied to him, it is not
disability or misfortune.
unconstitutional, but it might be if applied
to others not before the Court whose
activities are constitutionally protected. NATIONAL TERRITORY

VOID-FOR-VAGUENESS What comprises National Territory?


This doctrine holds that a law is facially
The National Territory comprises Philippine Archipelago
invalid if men of common intelligence
and all other territories over which the Philippines has
must necessarily guess its meaning and
sovereignty or jurisdiction. (Art. 1, 1987 Constitution)
differ as to its application. It is said that a
litigant may challenge a statute on its face Is Spratly’s island (Kalayaan Island) part of the
only if it is vague in all its possible Philippine Archipelago?
applications.
No. Spratly’s island is outside the Philippine archipelago
3. The Constitutional question must be raised at and even outside the exclusive economic zone of the
the earliest possible opportunity: Philippines.

In Matibag vs. Benipayo, it was held that the Is it part of the National Territory?
earliest opportunity to raise a constitutional
Yes, the Philippines has sovereignty over the Spratly’s
issue is to raise it in the pleadings before a
island. Under the Constitution, the national territory
competent court that can resolve the same,
includes all other territories over which the Philippines
such that, if not raised in the pleadings, it
has sovereignty or jurisdiction.
cannot be considered at the trial and, if not
considered in the trial, it cannot be considered
on appeal.

However, in criminal cases, the question can


be raised at any time at the discretion of the
court. In Civil cases, the question can be raised
at any stage of the proceedings if necessary for
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 5 of 65

COMPONENTS OF A TERRITORY OF STATES What is the Right of Arrival Under Stress:

It is an arrival of a foreign vessel at a port of another


State on account of a (1) lack of provisions or supplies;
(2) well-founded fear of seizure; (3) by reason of
TERRESTRIAL OR MARITIME OR AERIAL DOMAIN accident of the sea disabling it to navigate.
LAND DOMAIN FLUVIAL
DOMAIN It is unlawful when any of the following circumstances
occurred:

1. Lack of provisions due to negligence to carry


according to usage and customs
INTERNAL WATERS 2. Risk of enemy not well known or manifest
3. Defect of vessel due to improper repair
4. Malice, negligence, lack of foresight or skill of
captain.

TERRITORIAL CONTIGUOUS EXCLUSIVE MODES OF ACQUISITION OR DIMMINUTION OF LAND


SEA (12 ZONE (24 ECONOMIC TERRITORY IN INTERNATIONAL LAW:
nautical nautical miles ZONE or
miles from from the CONTINENTAL 1. Discovery and occupation of a territory
the shore) shore) SHELF (200 which is terra nullius; terra (land) nullius
nautical miles (belonging to no one)
from the
What is the doctrine of effective
shore)
occupation?

Under this doctrine, discovery alone is not


THE STATE HAS enough to acquire land territory. It merely
EXCLUSIVE RIGHT gives the discoverer an inchoate right over
THE STATE HAS TO EXPLOIT
THE STATE HAS JURISDICTION TO
the territory. For title to finally vest in the
RESOURCES BOTH
SOVEREIGNTY OVER ENFORCE CUSTOMS, LIVING AND NON-
discoverer, the discovery must be
ITS TERRITORIAL SEA FISCAL, LIVING OVER THE followed within a reasonable time by
IMMIGRATION, AND SEABED, THE effective occupation over the territory.
SANITARY RULES SUBSOIL, AND
OTHER SUBMARINE 2. Cession (Treaty);
AREAS.
Example: Treaty of Paris
3. Prescription; and
4. Accretion

HIGH SEAs
What are the examples of internal waters?
Beyond the Economic zone of a state or the 200
- Lakes, Rivers, Canals, Ports, and Harbors. nautical miles from the shore of a State is the high seas
which is considered as res communes not susceptible of
DOCTRINE OF RIGHT OF INNOCENT PASSAGE appropriation of any state.

It is the continuous and uninterrupted passage of a QUESTION: CHINA CREATED ARTIFICIAL ISLANDS IN
foreign vessel into the territorial sea of another state THE SOUTH CHINA SEA WHICH IS BEYOND THEIR
without however entering the internal waters of the ECONOMIC ZONE TO THE EXCLUSION OF OTHER
said state. STATES. CAN CHINA CLAIM OWNERSHIP OVER THE
SAID SEA?
Question: May a foreign vessel enter into the Manila
bay invoking the Right of Innocent Passage? No. Since the high seas is res communes not susceptible
of appropriation of any state, the only option of China is
Answer: No. The right of innocent of passage may be to exercise the freedom of the high seas which is
invoked only when a foreign vessel is passing through limited to (1) freedom of navigation over flight; (2)
the territorial sea of a State. Since Manila bay is internal fishing; (3) Mining; (4) Freedom to do scientific
water which form part of the land domain of a State, research; and (5) laying down of underwater cables.
the foreign vessel is not allowed to enter thereto.
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 6 of 65

QUESTION: WHO HAS JURISDICTION OVER A VESSEL BAR QUESTION (2006)


SAILING IN THE HIGH SEAs?
Congress passed Republic Act No. 7711 to comply with
Answer: Only the flag State may exercise jurisdiction the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
over a vessel sailing in the high seas.
In a petition filed with the Supreme Court, Anak Ti
Flag State is a state whose nationality the vessel Ilocos, an association of Ilocano professionals, argued
carries. The nationality is determined by its registration. that Republic Act No. 7711 discarded the definition of
the Philippine territory under the Treaty of Paris and in
FLAGS OF CONVENIENCE related treaties; excluded the Kalayaan Islands and the
Scarborough Shoals from the Philippine Archipelagic
Is a practice whereby a vessel is registered in a country
baselines; and converted internal waters into
other than that of the vessel’s own nationality. This
archipelagic waters.
practice is not allowed in the international law.
Is the petition meritorious? (6%)
EXCEPTION TO THE RULE THAT ONLY A FLAG STATE
HAS JURISDICTION OVER A VESSEL SAILING IN THE SUGGESTED ANSWER:
HIGH SEAs: (any State may assume jurisdiction over a
vessel sailing in the high seas) No, the petition is not meritorious. UNCLOS has nothing
to do with the acquisition (or loss) of territory. It merely
1. If the vessel is a Pirate ship; regulates sea-use rights over maritime zones,
2. If the vessel is engaged in the slave trade; contiguous zones, exclusive economic zones, and
3. If the vessel is sailing without any flag at all or continental shelves which it delimits. The Kalayaan
it is sailing under false flag or refused to show Islands and the Scarborough Shoals are located at an
its flag when required to do so; appreciable distance from the nearest shoreline of the
4. If the vessel is engaged in unauthorized Philippine archipelago. A straight baseline loped around
broadcast; and them from the nearest baseline will violate Article 47(3)
5. Doctrine of Hot Pursuit. and Article 47(2) of the UNCLOS III. Whether the bodies
of water lying landward of the baselines of the
DOCTRINE OF HOT PURSUIT
Philippines are internal waters or archipelagic waters,
This doctrine presupposes that a foreign vessel entered the Philippines retains jurisdiction over them
the internal waters, the territorial sea or the contiguous (Magallona vs. Ermita, 655 SCRA 476).
zone of another state and the latter has a reasonable
QUESTION: ARE FOREIGN VESSELS ALLOWED TO PASS
ground to believe that the foreign vessel has committed
THROUGH THE SEA IN BETWEEN LUZON AND VISAYAS?
violation of its laws in which case the state may pursue
the foreign vessel even if the latter already reached the No. The sea in between Luzon and visayas is considered
high seas. However, the pursuit once commenced, must internal waters of the Philippines. However, under the
be continuous and uninterrupted. UNCLOS, an archipelagic state like the Philippines, they
are mandated to designate between the islands of the
AERIAL DOMAIN
archipelago an archipelagic sea lane where the foreign
A state has absolute jurisdiction over its aerial domain. vessels may pass through but subject to the regulations
and control of the Archipelagic States.
Thus, a foreign aircraft may not pass through the aerial
domain of a state even if invoking the right of innocent DOCTRINE OF SOVEREIGN EQUALITY OF ALL STATES
passage. (SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY FROM SUIT)

Beyond the aerial domain is the outer space which is It is a concept in which every sovereign state possesses
res communes not susceptible of appropriation by any the same legal rights as any other sovereign states in
state. international law. Thus, every state prevents one state
from being sued in the courts of another state without
ARCHIPELAGO DOCTRINE the consent of the first state. Likewise, this means that
no other state can question the legality of official acts
The waters around, between and connecting the
of another state.
islands of the archipelago, regardless of their breadth
and dimensions, form part of the internal waters of the QUESTION: Professor Merlin Magallona et al.
Philippines. Under Article 49 (1) of the UNCLOS, these questioned the validity of RA 9522 as they contend,
waters do not form part of the territorial sea but are among others, that the law decreased the national
described as archipelagic waters. territory of the Philippines hence the law is
unconstitutional. Thus, the classification of the
Kalayaan Island Group (KIG), as well as the Scarborough
Shoal (panatag shoal) (bajo de masinloc), as a “regime
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 7 of 65

of islands” pursuant to UNCLOS results in the loss of a on June 6, 2014. Under the EDCA, the PH shall provide
large maritime area but also prejudices the livelihood of the US forces the access and use of portions of PH
subsistence fishermen, is the contention of Magallona, territory, which are called Agreed Locations. Aside from
et al. tenable? the right to access and to use the Agreed Locations, the
US may undertake the following types of activities
ANSWER: within the Agreed Locations: security cooperation
exercises; joint and combined training activities;
No. The Supreme Court emphasized that RA 9522, or
humanitarian and disaster relief activities; and such
UNCLOS, itself is not a means to acquire, or lose,
other activities that as may be agreed upon by the
territory. The treaty and the baseline law has nothing to
parties.
do with the acquisition, enlargement, or diminution of
the Philippine territory. What controls when it comes to Mainly, petitioners posit that the use of executive
acquisition or loss of territory is the international law agreement as medium of agreement with US violated
principle on occupation, accretion, cession and the constitutional requirement of Art XVIII, Sec 25 since
prescription and NOT the execution of multilateral the EDCA involves foreign military bases, troops and
treaties on the regulations of sea-use rights or enacting facilities whose entry into the country should be
statutes to comply with the treaty’s terms to delimit covered by a treaty concurred in by the Senate. The
maritime zones and continental shelves. Senate, through Senate Resolution 105, also expressed
The law did not decrease the demarcation of our its position that EDCA needs congressional ratification.
territory. In fact it increased it. Under the old law
Issue 1: W/N the petitions as “citizen’s suit” satisfy the
amended by RA 9522 (RA 3046), we adhered with the
requirements of legal standing in assailing the
rectangular lines enclosing the Philippines. The area
constitutionality of EDCA
that it covered was 440,994 square nautical miles (sq.
na. mi.). But under 9522, and with the inclusion of the No. In assailing the constitutionality of a governmental
exclusive economic zone, the extent of our maritime act, petitioners suing as citizens may dodge the
was increased to 586,210 sq. na. mi. requirement of having to establish a direct and
personal interest if they show that the act affects a
public right. But here, aside from general statements
that the petitions involve the protection of a public
right, and that their constitutional rights as citizens
WHAT IS AN ACT OF NAKED POLITICAL
would be violated, the petitioners failed to make
AGGRANDIZEMENT?
any specific assertion of a particular public right that
It is an act of the politicians enlarging or expanding would be violated by the enforcement of EDCA. For
their power or status. their failure to do so, the present petitions cannot be
considered by the Court as citizens’ suits that would
QUESTION: DOES THE PHILIPPINES HAS LEGITIMATE
justify a disregard of the aforementioned requirements.
CLAIM OVER SABAH?

SUGGESTED ANSWER: Issue 2: W/N the petitioners have legal standing as


“taxpayers”
Yes, the Philippines has claim over Sabah. The deed
entered into by the Sultan of Sulu with the British No. Petitioners cannot sue as taxpayers because EDCA
company was a mere lease and not a cession. Lease is is neither meant to be a tax measure, nor is it directed
not one of the grounds in acquiring ownership over a at the disbursement of public funds.
territory. When the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu ceded all
A taxpayer’s suit concerns a case in which the official
rights, title, and dominion to the Republic of the
act complained of directly involves the illegal
Philipipines, the latter had acquired sovereignty over
disbursement of public funds derived from
the said territory, and thus, forms part of the National
taxation. Here, those challenging the act must
territory of the Philippines.
specifically show that they have sufficient interest in
preventing the illegal expenditure of public money, and
that they will sustain a direct injury as a result of the
Saguisag vs Executive Secretary Ochoa enforcement of the assailed act. Applying that principle
Case Digest: GR 212426 Jan 12, 2016 to this case, they must establish that EDCA involves the
exercise by Congress of its taxing or spending
Facts:
powers. A reading of the EDCA, however, would show
Petitioners, as citizens, taxpayers and former that there has been neither an appropriation nor an
legislators, questioned before the SC the authorization of disbursement.
constitutionality of EDCA (Enhanced Defense
Issue 3: W/N the petitions qualify as “legislator’s suit”
Cooperation Agreement), an agreement entered into
by the executive department with the US and ratified
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 8 of 65

No. The power to concur in a treaty or an international No. The EDCA is entirely a new treaty, separate and
agreement is an institutional prerogative granted by the distinct from the VFA and the MDT. Whether the stay of
Constitution to the Senate. In a legislator’s suit, the the foreign troops in the country is permanent
injured party would be the Senate as an institution or or temporary is immaterial because the Constitution
any of its incumbent members, as it is the Senate’s does not distinguish. The EDCA clearly involves the
constitutional function that is allegedly being entry of foreign military bases, troops or facilities in the
violated. Here, none of the petitioners, who are former country. Hence, the absence of Senate concurrence to
senators, have the legal standing to maintain the suit. the agreement makes it an invalid treaty.

Issue 4: W/N the SC may exercise its Power of Judicial DOCTRINE OF INCORPORATION
Review over the case
The generally accepted principles of international law
Yes. Although petitioners lack legal standing, they raise automatically form part of the law of the land without
matters of transcendental importance which justify requiring enabling act from the legislative body.
setting aside the rule on procedural technicalities. The
challenge raised here is rooted in the very Constitution ROYAL PREROGATIVE OF DISHONESTY
itself, particularly Art XVIII, Sec 25 thereof, which
There can be no legal right as against the authority that
provides for a stricter mechanism required before any
makes the laws on which the right depends.
foreign military bases, troops or facilities may be
allowed in the country. Such is of paramount public STATE IMMUNITY FROM SUIT
interest that the Court is behooved to determine
whether there was grave abuse of discretion on the ARIGO VS. SWIFT
part of the Executive Department.
The waiver of State immunity under VFA pertains only
Brion Dissent to criminal jurisdiction and not to special civil actions
such as writ of kalikasan. In fact, it can be inferred from
Yes, but on a different line of reasoning. The petitioners Section 17, Rule 7 of the Rules that a criminal case
satisfied the requirement of legal standing in asserting against a person charged with a violation of
that a public right has been violated through environmental law is to be filed separately.
the commission of an act with grave abuse of
discretion. The court may exercise its power of judicial General rule: the State may not be sued without its
review over the act of the Executive Department in not consent.
submitting the EDCA agreement for Senate
Exception:
concurrence not because of the transcendental
importance of the issue, but because the petitioners 1. Express consent (only by the Congress)
satisfy the requirements in invoking the court’s a. General law – Act no. 3083
expanded jurisdiction. b. Special law – Art. 2180 Civil code
2. Implied consent (E-P-I-C)
Issue 5: W/N the non-submission of the EDCA
a. When the State Commences
agreement for concurrence by the Senate violates the
litigation, it becomes vulnerable to a
Constitution
counterclaim;
No. The EDCA need not be submitted to the Senate for b. State enters into a business contract
concurrence because it is in the form of a mere or when it is exercising in its
executive agreement, not a treaty. Under the Proprietary functions; (OLD RULE)
Constitution, the President is empowered to enter into
executive agreements on foreign military bases, troops NEW RULE: USA vs. RUIZ
or facilities if (1) such agreement is not the instrument
that allows the entry of such and (2) if it merely aims to When the state enters into a business
implement an existing law or treaty. contract, one must distinguish
between sovereign and governmental
EDCA is in the form of an executive agreement since it acts (jure imperii) from private,
merely involves “adjustments in detail” in the commercial, and proprietary acts
implementation of the MTD and the VFA. These are (jure gestiones).
existing treaties between the Philippines and the U.S.
that have already been concurred in by the Philippine DOCTRINE OF RESTRICTIVE STATE
Senate and have thereby met the requirements of the IMMUNITY
Constitution under Art XVIII, Sec 25. Because of the
status of these prior agreements, EDCA need not be The restrictive application of state
transmitted to the Senate. immunity is proper only when the
proceedings arise out of commercial
De Castro Dissent
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 9 of 65

transactions of the foreign sovereign, performing duties or tasks pertaining to his


its commercial activities or economic office.
affairs. Stated differently, a State may
be said to have descended to the level IN THE MATTER OF EXECUTION TO SATISFY THE
of an individual and can thus be JUDGMENT AGAINST THE STATE
deemed to have tacitly given to its
Q: Can a person garnish/levy the government
consent to be sued only when it
funds/property of the government to satisfy the
enters into business contracts. It does
judgment?
not apply where the contract relates
to the exercise of its sovereign A: No. Because it will be contrary to public policy. When
functions. it comes to the execution to satisfy the judgment, one
cannot garnish/levy government funds/property; such
c. When it is used as a tool to act will require another waiver from the government.
perpetrate Injustice; and
d. In Expropriation cases (Power of Q: What will be the remedy of the person to execute
Eminent domain). the judgment in his favor?

SUABLITY v. LIABILITY A: The remedy is to make representation before the


congress to appropriate an amount to satisfy the
Suability is a matter of State waiving its immunity from judgment. If however, the Congress does not
suit; on the other hand the state does not automatically appropriate an amount, the remedy would be
admits Liability, the state merely gives the plaintiff the Mandamus. (See Municipality of Makati vs.
chance to prove, if it can, that the defendant is liable. Intermediate appellate court)
The state may raise possible legal defenses in order to
avoid liability. SUITS AGAINST PUBLIC OFFICIALS

MUNICIPALITY OF SAN FERNANDO v. FIRME General rule: The doctrine of immunity from suit
applies to complaint filed against public officials in the
1. Municipal corporations, like provinces and performance of their duties. The official is merely acting
cities, are agencies of the State when they are as an agent of the State.
engaged in governmental functions and
therefore should enjoy the sovereign immunity Exception:
from suit. Nevertheless, they are subject to
1. When the Official was sued in his official capacity for
suit even in the performance of such functions
acts that are unlawful and injuries to the rights of
because their charter provided that they can
others;
sue and be sued.
2. Municipal corporations are suable because 2. When public officials were sued in their personal
their charters grant them the competence to capacity.
sue and be sued. Nevertheless, they are
generally not liable for torts committed by LAW ON PUBLIC OFFICERS
them in the discharge of governmental
functions and can be held answerable only if it What are the characteristics of a public office?
can be shown that they were acting in
1. Public office is a public trust, not a privilege
a proprietary capacity. In permitting such
2. Public office may not be inherited
entities to be sued, the State merely gives the
3. Public office is outside the commerce of men
claimant the right to show that the defendant
4. Public office is not a property
was not acting in its governmental capacity
when the injury was committed or that the What is the difference between abolition of an Office
case comes under the exceptions recognized and Removal of an Office?
by law. Failing this, the claimant cannot
recover. Abolition of an office refers to the office itself being
abolished, while the later refers to the officer being
In this case, the driver of the dump truck of the removed from an Office.
municipality insists that "he was on his way to
Prohibitions imposed under the Constitution against
the Naguilian river to get a load of sand and
the holding of 2 or more positions
gravel for the repair of San Fernando's
municipal streets." In the absence of any A. Members of Congress shall not:
evidence to the contrary, the regularity of the 1. Appear as counsel before any court, electoral
performance of official duty is presumed. tribunal, or quasi-judicial and other administrative
Hence, the driver of the dump truck was bodies;
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 10 of 65

2. Be interested in any contract with, or in any of salaries only reprimand, the


franchise, or special privilege granted by the suspension pending
Government, or any subdivision, agency or appeal becomes illegal
and he is entitled to back
instrumentality thereof, including GOCCs, or its
salary corresponding to
subsidiary;
the period of suspension
3. Intervene in any matter before any office of the
Government for his pecuniary benefit or where he may
be called upon to act on account of his office. Q: Is a public officer entitled to backwages during his
suspension pending appeal when the result of the
B. The President, Vice President, Members of the decision from such appeal does not amount to
Cabinet, and their deputies or assistants, unless complete exoneration but carries with it a certain
otherwise allowed by the Constitution, shall not: number of days of suspension?
1. Directly or indirectly practice any other profession;
2. Participate in any business, or be financially A: No. Although entitled to reinstatement, he is not
interested in any contract with, or in any franchise, or entitled to back wages during such suspension pending
special privilege granted by the Government, or any appeal. Only one who is completely exonerated or
subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, merely reprimanded is entitled to such back wages.
including GOCCs, or its subdivisions; shall avoid conflict (Sec. of Education, etc. v. CA. G.R. No. 128559, October
of interest in the conduct of their office. 4, 2000)

Conditions before an employee may be entitled to


C. Members of the Constitutional Commission shall not:
back salaries
1. Hold any other office or employment or engage in
1) The employee must be found innocent of the charges
the practice of any profession or in the active
and 2) His suspension must be unjustified (Civil Service
management or control of any business that may be
Commission v. Cruz GR No. 187858, August 9,2011)
affected by the functions of his office;
2. Be financially interested, directly or indirectly, in any De jure officer
contract with, or in any franchise, or special privilege
granted by the Government, or any subdivision, A de jure officer is one who is in all respects legally
agencies or instrumentalities including GOCCs, or their appointed or elected and qualified to exercise the
subsidiaries. These shall also apply to the Ombudsman office.
and his deputies during his term.
De facto officer

A de facto officer is one who assumed office under the


Doctrine of Ratification
color of a known appointment or election but which
It provides that, although the acts of a public officer appointment or election is void for reasons that the
may not be binding on the State because he has officer was not eligible, or that th ere was want of
exercised his powers defectively, his acts may be power in the electing body, or that there was some
ratified. other defect or irregularity in its exercise, wherein such
ineligibility, want of power, or defect being unknown to
The doctrine does not apply where: 1. There is a want the public.
of power in the public officer to perform the original
act. 2. An act which was absolutely void at the time it De jure Officer De facto Officer
was done. 3. If the principal himself could not lawfully Has lawful title to the Has possession and
have done the act, or 4. If it could not have lawfully office performs the duties under
a colorable title without
been done by anyone.
being technically qualified
in all points of law to act
Preventive suspension pending investigation v.
Holding of office rests on Holding of office rests on
Preventing suspension pending appeal right reputation
Pending Investigation Pending appeal
Officer cannot be Officer may be ousted in a
Not a penalty but only a Punitive in character removed through a direct direct proceeding against
means of enabling the proceeding (quo him.
disciplinary authority an warranto).
unhampered investigation
After the lapse of 90 days, If exonerated, he should
the law provides that he be reinstated with full pay Effects of the acts of de facto officers
be automatically for the period of
reinstated suspension 1. The lawful acts, so far as the rights of third persons
During such preventive If during the appeal he
are concerned are, if done within the scope and by the
suspension, the employee remains suspended and
is not entitled to payment the penalty imposed is
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 11 of 65

apparent authority of the office, are considered valid As to the Second Issue, the SC still ruled thatthe remedy
and binding. of Binay, Jr. – the filing of petition for certiorari
pursuant to Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, to assail the
2. The de facto officer cannot benefit from his own Ombudsman’s preventive suspension order – was valid,
status because public policy demands that unlawful citing the cases of Office of the Ombudsman v.
assumption of public office be discouraged. Capulong, G.R.No. 201643, 12 March 2014, and Dagan
v.Office of the Ombudsman, G.R. No. 184083, 19
NOTE: The general rule is that a de facto officer cannot
November 2013. It’s just sad that the sorry end of
claim salary and other compensations for services
Second Paragraph of Sec. 14, RA 6770 came as
rendered by him as such. However, the officer may
collateral damage in this case. The SC justified its taking
retain salaries collected by him for services rendered in
up this issue on its own motion, or ex mero motu, which
good faith when there is no de jure officer claiming the
it canrightfully do, since it is, after all, the SC.
office.
As to the third issue, the SC ruled that Congress’
3. The de facto officer is subject to the same liabilities
passing of the First Paragraph of Sec. 14, RA 6770,
imposed on the de jure officer in the discharge of
which prohibits the issuance of an injunction, is an
official duties, in addition to whatever special damages
encroachment of the SC’s rule-making authority. An
may be due from him because of his unlawful
injunction, after all, is merely a provisional and auxiliary
assumption of office.
relief to preserve rights in esse. However, the SC noted
CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES v. CA, BINAY, 2015 that it has not consented to this as it has not issued
rules of procedure through an administrative circular.
Five (5) issues were discussed in this case, namely: Thus, pending deliberation, the SC declared the First
1. Whether the Petition filed before the SC, without Paragraph of Sec. 14, RA 6770, as ineffective, “until it is
resorting to the filing of a motion for reconsideration,
adopted as part of the rules of procedure through an
was the Ombudsman’s plain, speedy, and adequate
remedy; administrative circular duly issued therefor.”
2. Whether the Court of Appeals (“CA”) has subject
The Fourth Issue is where the condonation doctrine
matter jurisdiction over the subject matter of the
petition; was taken up. To go right at it, the SC abandoned the
3. Whether the CA has subject matter jurisdiction to issue condonation doctrine, but ruled that the CA did not act
a Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”) and/or a Writ of in excess of jurisdiction in issuing the WPI, as it did so
Preliminary Injunction (“WPI”) enjoining the based on good case law, considering that the
implementation of the preventive suspension issued by abandonment is prospective in nature.
Ombudsman against Binay, Jr.;
4. Whether the CA acted in grave abuse of its discretion in The Fifth and Final Issue on whether the order to
issuing said TRO and WPI; and
comment directed to the Ombudsman was illegal, was
5. Whether the CA’s directive for the Ombudsman to
comment on Binay, Jr.’s petition for contempt was refused to be resolved on the ground there are no
improper or illegal. contempt proceedings yet. It is the claim of the
Ombudsman that since she was an impeachable officer,
In dispensing the First Issue, the SC ruled that the she could be subjected to contempt. However, no due
Ombudsman’s petition falls under the exceptions that a course has been given to the contempt action, thus, the
prior motion for reconsideration must be filed, citing Ombudsman’s claim was premature.
the case of Republic v. Bayao, G.R. No. 179492, 5 June
2013, which held as follows: (a) where the order is a DOCTRINE OF CONDONATION
patent nullity, as where the court a quo has no
jurisdiction; (b) where the questions raised in the Reyes v. Comelec
certiorari proceedings have been duly raised and If a public official is not removed before his term of
passed upon by the lower court, or are the same as office expires, he can no longer be removed if he is
those raised and passed upon in the lower court; (c) thereafter reelected for another term. Removal cannot
where there is an urgent necessity for the resolution extend beyond the term during which the alleged
of the question and any further delay would prejudice misconduct was committed. The doctrine of
the interests of the Government or of the petitioner or condonation is a limited empowerment of the
the subject matter of the action is perishable; (d) electorate over the accountabilities of their elective
where, under the circumstances, a motion for local officials. It is limited because it does not cover
reconsideration would be useless; (e) where petitioner criminal accountabilities. It is a legal fiction grounded
was deprived of due process and there is extreme upon a presumed knowledge of all the activities and
urgency for relief; (f) where, in a criminal case, relief behavior of the elective local official. It is presumed
from an order of arrest is urgent and the granting of that when the electorate exercised their right to
such relief by the trial court is improbable; (g) where choose, they were all aware of “all” the misconducts of
the proceedings in the lower court are a nullity for lack the public official.
of due process; (h) where the proceedings were ex
parte or in which the petitioner had no opportunity to Pascual v Hon. Provincial Board of Nueva Ecija
object; and (i) where the issue raised is one purely of “The Court should never remove a public officer for acts
law or where public interest is involved. done prior to his present term of office. To do
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 12 of 65

otherwise would be to deprive the people of their right A preventive suspension may be justified. Its
to elect their officers. When the people have elected a continuance, however, for an unreasonable length of
man to office, it must be assumed that they did this time raises a due process question. For even if
with the knowledge of his life and character, and that thereafter he were acquitted, in the meanwhile his
they disregarded or forgave his fault or misconduct, if right to hold office had been nullified. Clearly, there
he had been guilty of any. It is not for the court, by would be in such a case an injustice suffered by
reason of such fault or misconduct, to practically him. Nor is he the only victim. There is injustice
overrule the will of the people.” inflicted likewise on the people of Lianga. They were
deprived of the services of the man they had elected to
Aguinaldo v. Santos, G.R. No. 94115, August 21, 1992 serve as mayor. In that sense, to paraphrase Justice
Cardozo, the protracted continuance of this preventive
The rule that public official cannot be removed for suspension had outrun the bounds of reason and
administrative misconduct committed during a prior resulted in sheer oppression. A denial of due process is
term, since his re-election to office operates as a thus quite manifest. It is to avoid such an
condonation of the officer’s previous misconduct to the unconstitutional application that the order of
extent of cutting off the right to remove him suspension should be lifted.
therefore, has no application to pending criminal
cases against petitioner for the acts he may have Section 24, RA 6770
committed during a failed coup.
Section 24. Preventives Suspension. — The
Fabian v. Desierto Ombudsman or his Deputy may preventively suspend
Section 27 of RA 6770 cannot validly authorize an any officer or employee under his authority pending an
appeal to the SC from decisions of the Office of the investigation, if in his judgment the evidence of guilt is
Ombudsman in administrative disciplinary cases. strong, and (a) the charge against such officer or
Section 30, Article VI of the Constitution is clear when it employee involves dishonesty, oppression or grave
states that the appellate jurisdiction of the SC misconduct or neglect in the performance of duty; (b)
contemplated therein is to be exercised over “final the charges would warrant removal from the service; or
judgments and orders of lower courts,” that is, the (c) the respondent's continued stay in office may
courts composing the integrated judicial system. It does prejudice the case filed against him.
not include the quasi-judicial bodies or agencies.
Appeals from judgments and final orders of quasi- The preventive suspension shall continue until the case
judicial agencies are now required to be brought to the is terminated by the Office of the Ombudsman but not
Court of Appeals on a verified petition for review, more than six (6) months, without pay, except when
under the requirements and conditions in Rule 43 of the delay in the disposition of the case by the Office of
the Rules of Court which was precisely formulated and the Ombudsman is due to the fault, negligence or
adopted to provide for a uniform rule of appellate petition of the respondent, in which case the period of
procedure for quasi-judicial agencies. such delay shall not be counted in computing the
period of suspension herein provided.
Civil Service v. Dacoycoy
Q: ACE ran as congressman of Cagayan Province. His
Q: Who may take an appeal from an adverse decision of
opponent, Mark, however, was the one proclaimed as
the appellate court in an administrative civil service
disciplinary case? the winner by the COMELEC. ACE filed seasonably a
A: There is no question that respondent Dacoycoy may protest before the HRET. After two years, the HRET
appeal to the Court of Appeals from the decision of reversed the COMELEC’s decision and ACE was
the Civil Service Commission adverse to him. He was proclaimed finally as the duly elected Congressman.
the respondent official meted out the penalty of Thus, he had only one year to serve in Congress.
dismissal from the service.
1. Can ACE collect salaries and allowances from the
Yabut v. Ombudsman government for the first two years of his term as
Congressman?
A preventive suspension decreed by the Ombudsman 2. Should Mark refund to the government the salaries
by virtue of his authority under Section 21 of Republic and allowances he had received as Congressman?
Act No. 6770, in relation to Section 9 of Administrative 3. What will happen to the bills that Mark alone
Order No. 07, is not meant to be a penalty but a means authored and were approved by the HoR while he was
taken to insure the proper and impartial conduct of an seated as Congressman? Reason and explain briefly.
investigation. The SC has ruled in a number of times
before, that a preventive suspension may be ordered A:
even before the charges are heard, as well as before 1. ACE cannot collect salaries and allowances from the
the official concerned is given an opportunity to prove government for the first two years of his term, because
his innocence, being merely a measure that is precisely in the meanwhile Mark collected the salaries and
designed in order not to hamper the normal course of allowances. Mark was a de facto officer while he was in
an investigation through the use of influence and possession of the office. To allow ACE to collect the
authority. salaries and allowances will result in making the
government pay a second time.
Layno v. Sandiganbayan
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 13 of 65

2. Mark is not required to refund to the government FLORES V DRILON


the salaries and allowances he received. As a de facto
officer, he is entitled to the salaries and allowances FACTS: Petitioners, taxpayers and employees of U.S
because he rendered services during his incumbency. facilities at Subic, challenge the constitutionality of Sec.
13 (d) of the Bases Conversion and Development Act of
3. The bills which Mark alone authored and were
1992 which directs the President to appoint a
approved by the House of Representatives are valid professional manager as administrator of the
because he was a de facto officer during his SBMA…provided that “for the 1st year of its operations,
incumbency. The acts of a de facto officer are valid the mayor of Olongapo City (Richard Gordon) shall be
insofar as the public is concerned. (Rodriguez v. Tan, appointed as the chairman and the CEO of the Subic
G.R. No. L-3913, August 7, 1952) Authority.”

Recovery of the salary received by a de facto officer ISSUES: (1) Whether the proviso violates the
constitutional proscription against appointment or
during a wrongful tenure
designation of elective officials to other government
As a rule, the rightful incumbent of the public office posts. (2) Whether or not the SBMA posts are merely ex
may recover from a de facto officer the salaries officio to the position of Mayor of Olongapo City and
received by the latter during the time of the latter's thus an excepted circumstance. (3) Whether or not the
wrongful tenure even though he entered into the office Constitutional provision allowing an elective official to
in good faith and under a colorable title. The de facto receive double compensation (Sec. 8, Art. IX-B) would
be useless if no elective official may be appointed to
officer takes the salaries at his risks and must therefore
another post. (4) Whether there is legislative
account to the de jure officer for the amounts he
encroachment on the appointing authority of the
received. However, where there is no de jure officer, a President. (5) Whether Mayor Gordon may retain any
de facto officer shall be entitled to the salaries and and all per diems, allowances and other emoluments
emoluments accruing during the period when he which he may have received pursuant to his
actually discharged the duties. (Monroy v. CA, G.R. No. appointment.
L-23258, July 1, 1967)
HELD: (1) YES, Sec. 7 of Art. IX-B of the Constitution
Provides: No elective official shall be eligible for
NOTE: In Monroy v. CA, the Supreme Court said that
appointment or designation in any capacity to any
the Rodriguez ruling cannot be applied for the absence public office or position during his tenure. Unless
of factual and legal similarities. otherwise allowed by law or by the primary functions of
his position, no appointive official shall hold any other
office or employment in the Government or any
QUO WARRANTO UNDER QUO WARRANTO IN subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof,
RULE 66 ELECTORAL PROCEEDINGS including government-owned or
controlled corporations or their subsidiaries. The
Issue is legality of the Issue is eligibility of the subject proviso directs the President to appoint an
occupancy of the office by person elected elective official i.e. the Mayor of Olongapo City, to
virtue of a legal other government post (as Chairman and CEO of
appointment SBMA). This is precisely what the Constitution prohibits.
It seeks to prevent a situation where a local
Grounds: usurpation, Grounds: ineligibility or elective official will work for his appointment in an
forfeiture, or illegal disqualification to hold executive position in government, and thus neglect his
association (Sec. 1, Rule the office (Sec. 253, constitutents.
66, Rules of Court) Omnibus Election Code)
Presupposes that the Petition must be filed (2) NO, Congress did not contemplate making the
respondent is already within 10 days from the SBMA posts as automatically attached to the Office of
actually holding office and proclamation of the the Mayor without need of appointment. The phrase
action must be candidate. “shall be appointed” unquestionably shows the intent
commenced within 1 year to make the SBMA posts appointive and not
from cause of ouster or merely adjunct to the post of Mayor of Olongapo City.
from the time the right of
petitioner to hold office (3) NO, Sec. 8 does not affect the constitutionality of
arose. the subject proviso. In any case, the Vice-President for
Petitioner is person Petitioner may be any example, an elective official who may be appointed to a
entitled to office voter even if he is not cabinet post, may receive the
entitled to the office. compensation attached to the cabinet position if
Person adjudged entitled Actual or compensatory specifically authorized by law.
to the office may bring a damages are recoverable
separate action against in quo warranto (4) YES, although Section 13(d) itself vests in the
the respondent to recover proceedings under the President the power to appoint the Chairman of SBMA,
damages. (Sec. 11, Rule Omnibus Election Code. he really has no choice but to appoint the Mayor of
66, Rules of Court) Olongapo City. The power of choice is the heart of the
power to appoint. Appointment involves an exercise of
discretion of whom to appoint. Hence, when Congress
clothes the President with the power to appoint an
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 14 of 65

officer, it cannot at the same time limit the choice of WHAT IS A HOT-TUB HEARING?
the President to only one candidate. Such enactment
effectively eliminates the discretion of the appointing It is a process of whereby the Court Justices seat in a
power to choose and constitutes an irregular restriction panel and asks expert witnesses from both sides of the
on the power of appointment. While it may be viewed parties for the purpose of having expert testimonies
that the proviso merely sets the qualifications of the
coming from the both sides.
officer during the first year of operations of SBMA, i.e.,
he must be the Mayor of Olongapo City, it is manifestly EXPLAIN PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE
an abuse of congressional authority to prescribe
qualifications where only one, and no other, can The Precautionary Principle is a tool for making better
qualify. Since the ineligibility of an elective official for
health and environmental decisions. It aims to prevent
appointment remains all throughout his tenure or
during his incumbency, he may however resign first harm from the outset rather than manage it after the
from his elective post to cast off the constitutionally- fact. In common language, this means “better safe than
attached disqualification before he may be considered sorry.”
fit for appointment. Consequently, as long as he is an
incumbent, an elective official remains ineligible for CARTAGENA PROTOCOL ON BIO-SAFETY, 2000
appointment to another public office.
“In accordance with the precautionary approach the
(5) YES, as incumbent elective official, Gordon is objective of this Protocol is to contribute in ensuring an
ineligible for appointment to the position of Chairman adequate level of protection in the field of the safe
and CEO of SBMA; hence, his appointment thereto transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms
cannot be sustained. He however remains Mayor of
resulting from modern biotechnology that may have
Olongapo City, and his acts as SBMA official are not
necessarily null and void; he may be considered a de adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use
facto officer, and in accordance with jurisprudence, is of biological diversity, taking into account risks to
entitled to such benefits. human health, and specifically focusing on trans-
boundary movements.”

OPOSA v. FACTORAN QUESTION: WHEN DOES LIFE BEGINS?

Petitioner-minors assert that they represent their Life begins at fertilization. (Imbong v. Ochoa)
generation as well as generations to come. The
Supreme Court ruled that they can, for themselves, for Article II, Section 12 of the Constitution states: “The
others of their generation, and for the succeeding State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall
generation, file a class suit. Their personality to sue in protect and strengthen the family as a basic
behalf of succeeding generations is based on the autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect
concept of intergenerational responsibility insofar as the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from
the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is conception.”
concerned. Such a right considers the “rhythm and
In its plain and ordinary meaning (a canon in statutory
harmony of nature” which indispensably include, inter
construction), the traditional meaning of “conception”
alia, the judicious disposition, utilization, management,
according to reputable dictionaries cited by
renewal and conservation of the country’s forest,
the ponente is that life begins at fertilization. Medical
mineral, land, waters, fisheries, wildlife, offshore areas
sources also support the view that conception begins at
and other natural resources to the end that their
fertilization.
exploration, development, and utilization be equitably
accessible to the present as well as the future DOCTRINE OF SEPARATION OF POWERS
generations.
In essence, the separation of powers means
INTERNATIONAL SERVICE FOR THE ACQUISITION OF that the making of the laws belongs to Congress,
AGRI-BIOTECH APPLICATIONS, et al. vs. GREENPEACE the execution of the laws is to the executive and the
SOUTHEAST ASIA settlement of controversies rests in the Judiciary. Each
is prevented from invading the domain of the others.
Greenpeace Southeast Asia filed a petition before the
The purpose of the separation of powers is to prevent
SC to issue a writ of kalikasan against the production of
concentration of authority in one department and
BT Talong. The SC issued a writ of kalikasan and
thereby avoid tyranny.
referred the case to the CA. The CA ruled that the
Greenpeace possesses legal standing, the case is not PRINCIPLE OF CHECKS AND BALANCES
yet moot and academic since it is capable of repetition
yet evading review, the alleged non-compliance with Under the system of checks and balances, one
environmental and local government laws present department is given certain powers by which it may
justiciable controversies for resolution by the court. definitely restrain the others from exceeding
constitutional authority. It may object or resist any
encroachment upon its authority, or it may question, if
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 15 of 65

necessary any act or acts which unlawfully interferes wisdom of the political branches of the government but
with its sphere of jurisdiction and authority. (Suarez, rather a legal one which the Constitution itself has
2005) commanded the Court to act upon.
 The 1987 Constitution expanded the concept
BELGICA v. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OCHOA (PDAF
of judicial power such that the Supreme Court has the
CASE)
power to determine whether there has been grave
ISSUE/S: abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality
PROCEDURAL ISSUES: on the part of the government.
(c) Petitioners have legal standing to Sue
Whether or not (a) the issues raised in the consolidated
petitions involve an actual and justiciable  Petitioners have legal standing by virtue of
controversy, (b) the issues raised are matters of policy being taxpayers and citizens of the Philippines.
not subject to judicial review, (c) petitioners have legal  As taxpayers, they are bound to suffer from
standing to sue, (d) previous decisions of the Court bar the unconstitutional usage of public funds.
the re-litigation of the constitutionality of the Pork  As citizens, the issues they have raised are
Barrel system. matters of transcendental importance, of overreaching
significance to society, or of paramount public interest.
SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES:

Whether or not the 2013 PDAF Article and all other


Congressional Pork Barrel laws are unconstitutional for (d) The Petition is not barred by previous cases
violating the constitutional provisions on (a) separation  The present case is not barred by the ruling
of powers, (b) non-delegability of legislative in Philconsa vs. Enriquez [1] because the Philconsa case
power, (c) checks and was a limited response to a separation of powers
balances, (d) accountability, (e) political problem, specifically on the propriety of conferring
dynasties, (f) local autonomy. post-enactment identification authority to Members of
Congress.
RULING
 On the contrary, the present cases involve a
PROCEDURAL ISSUES
more holistic examination of (a) the inter-relation
(a) There is an actual and justiciable controversy
between the CDF and the PDAF Articles with each
 There exists an actual and justiciable
other, and (b) the inter-relation of post-enactment
controversy in the cases. The requirement of
measures contained within a particular CDF or PDAF
contrariety of legal rights is satisfied by the antagonistic
article, including not only those related to the area of
positions of the parties regarding the constitutionality
project identification but also to the areas of fund
of the pork barrel system.
release and realignment.
 The case is ripe for adjudication since the
 Moreover, the Philconsa case was riddled with
challenged funds and the laws allowing for their
inherent constitutional inconsistencies considering that
utilization are currently existing and operational and
the authority to identify projects is an aspect of
thereby posing an immediate or threatened injury to
appropriation and the power of appropriation is a form
petitioners.
of legislative power thereby lodged in Congress. This
 The case is not moot as the proposed reforms power cannot be exercised by individual members of
on the PDAF and the abolition thereof does not actually Congress and the authority to appropriate cannot be
terminate the controversy on the matter. The exercised after the GAA has already been passed.
President does not have constitutional authority to
 The case of Lawyers Against Monopoly and
nullify or annul the legal existence of the PDAF.
Poverty vs. Secretary of Budget and
 The “moot and academic principle” cannot Management[2] does not also bar judgment on the
stop the Court from deciding the case considering present case because it was dismissed on a procedural
that: (a) petitioners allege grave violation of the technicality and hence no controlling doctrine was
constitution, (b) the constitutionality of the pork barrel rendered.
system presents a situation of exceptional character
and is a matter of paramount public interest, (c) there is
SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES ON CONGRESSIONAL PORK
a practical need for a definitive ruling on the system’s
BARREL
constitutionality to guide the bench, the bar and the
public, and (d) the preparation and passage of the
(a) The separation of powers between the
national budget is an annual occurrence.
Executive and the Legislative Departments has been
violated.
(b) Political Question Doctrine is Inapplicable  The post-enactment measures including
 The intrinsic constitutionality of the “Pork project identification, fund release, and fund
Barrel System” is not an issue dependent upon the
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 16 of 65

realignment are not related to functions of rejecting the whole PDAF to the detriment of all other
congressional oversight and, hence, allow legislators to legislators with legitimate projects.
intervene and/or assume duties that properly belong to  In fact, even without its post-enactment
the sphere of budget execution, which belongs to the legislative identification feature, the 2013 PDAF Article
executive department. would remain constitutionally flawed since it would
 Legislators have been, in one form or another, then operate as a prohibited form of lump-sum
authorized to participate in the various appropriation. This is because the appropriation law
operational aspects of budgeting, including ―the leaves the actual amounts and purposes of the
evaluation of work and financial plans for individual appropriation for further determination and, therefore,
activities and the ― regulation and release of funds in does not readily indicate a discernible item which may
violation of the separation of powers principle. be subject to the President‘s power of item veto.
 Any provision of law that empowers Congress (d) The Congressional Pork Barrel partially
or any of its members to play any role in the prevents accountability as Congress is incapable of
implementation or enforcement of the law violates the checking itself or its members.
principle of separation of powers and is thus  The fact that individual legislators are given
unconstitutional. post-enactment roles in the implementation of the
 That the said authority to identify projects is budget makes it difficult for them to become
treated as merely recommendatory in nature does not disinterested observers when scrutinizing, investigating
alter its unconstitutional tenor since the prohibition or monitoring the implementation of the appropriation
covers any role in the implementation or enforcement law.
of the law.  The conduct of oversight would be tainted as
 Respondents also failed to prove that the role said legislators, who are vested with post-enactment
of the legislators is only recommendatory in authority, would, in effect, be checking on activities in
nature. They even admitted that the identification of which they themselves participate.
the legislator constitutes a mandatory requirement  The concept of post-enactment authorization
before the PDAF can be tapped as a funding source. violates Section 14, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution,
which prohibits members of Congress to intervene in
(b)The principle of non-delegability of legislative any matter before any office of the Government,
powers has been violated because it renders them susceptible to taking undue
 The 2013 PDAF Article, insofar as it confers advantage of their own office.
post-enactment identification authority to individual  The Court, however, cannot completely agree
legislators, violates the principle of non-delegability that the same post-enactment authority and/or the
since said legislators are effectively allowed to individual legislator‘s control of his PDAF per se would
individually exercise the power of appropriation, which allow him to perpetuate himself in office.
– as settled in Philconsa – is lodged in Congress as a  The use of his PDAF for re-election purposes is
body. Therefore, since the same is delegated by the a matter which must be analyzed based on particular
Constitution to the Congress, it cannot be further facts and on a case-to-case basis.
delegated to the members of the Congress.

(e) The constitutional provision regarding


(c) Checks and balances political dynasties is not self-executing.
 Under the 2013 PDAF Article, the amount of  Section 26, Article II of the 1987 Constitution,
P24.79 Billion only appears as a collective allocation which provides that the state shall prohibit political
limit since the said amount would be further divided dynasties as may be defined by law, is not a self-
among individual legislators who would then receive executing provision.
personal lump-sum allocations and could, after the GAA
 Since there appears to be no standing law
is passed, effectively appropriate PDAF funds based on
which crystallizes the policy on political dynasties for
their own discretion.
enforcement, the Court must defer from ruling on this
 This kind of lump-sum/post-enactment issue.
legislative identification budgeting system fosters the
creation of a ―budget within a budget which subverts
(f) The Congressional Pork Barrel violates
the prescribed procedure of presentment and
constitutional principles on local autonomy
consequently impairs the President‘s power of item
 The Congressional Pork Barrel goes against the
veto.
constitutional principles on local autonomy since it
 It forces the President to decide between (a) allows district representatives, who are national
accepting the entire PDAF allocation without knowing officers, to substitute their judgments in utilizing public
the specific projects of the legislators, which may or funds for local development.
may not be consistent with his national agenda and (b)
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 17 of 65

 The gauge of PDAF and CDF allocation/division (b) Section 8 of PD No. 910 and Section 12 of PD
is based solely on the fact of office, without taking into No. 1869 constitutes undue delegation of legislation
account the specific interests and peculiarities of the powers.
district the legislator represents.  The phrase “and for such other purposes as
 The allocation/division limits are clearly not may be hereafter directed by the President” under
based on genuine parameters of equality, wherein Section 8 of PD 910 constitutes an undue delegation of
economic or geographic indicators have been taken legislative power insofar as it does not lay down a
into consideration. sufficient standard to adequately determine the limits
of the President‘s authority with respect to the purpose
 This concept of legislator control underlying
for which the Malampaya Funds may be used.
the CDF and PDAF conflicts with the functions of the
various Local Development Councils (“LDCs”) which are  This phrase gives the President wide latitude
already legally mandated to―assist the to use the Malampaya Funds for any other purpose he
corresponding sanggunian in setting the direction of may direct and, in effect, allows him to unilaterally
economic and social development, and coordinating appropriate public funds beyond the purview of the
development efforts within its territorial jurisdiction. law.

 Considering that LDCs are instrumentalities  This notwithstanding, it must be underscored


whose functions are essentially geared towards that the rest of Section 8, insofar as it allows for the use
managing local affairs, their programs, policies and of the Malampaya Funds ―to finance energy resource
resolutions should not be overridden nor duplicated by development and exploitation programs and projects of
individual legislators, who are national officers that the government, remains legally effective and
have no law-making authority except only when acting subsisting.
as a body.  Section 12 of PD No. 1869 constitutes an
SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES ON PRESIDENTIAL PORK undue delegation of legislative powers because it lies
BARREL independently unfettered by any sufficient standard of
the delegating law.
(a) Section 8 of PD No. 910 and Section 12 of PD  The law does not supply a definition of
No. 1869 are valid appropriation laws. “priority infrastructure development projects” and
 For an appropriation law to be valid under hence, leaves the President without any guideline to
Section 29 (1), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution, which construe the same.
provides that “No money shall be paid out of the  The delimitation of a project as one of
Treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation made “infrastructure” is too broad of a classification since the
by law”, it is enough that (a) the provision of law sets said term could pertain to any kind of facility.
apart a determinate or determinable amount of money
and(b) allocates the same for a particular public
purpose. PRINCIPLE OF NON-DELEGATION OF POWERS

 Section 8 of PD 910 is a valid appropriation law (What has been delegated cannot be further delegated)
because it set apart a determinable amount: a Special
Fund comprised of ― all fees, revenues, and receipts of General Rule: What has been delegated cannot be
the [Energy Development] Board from any and all further delegated.
sources. Exceptions: PERMISSIBLE DELEGATION OF POWERS (P
 It also specified a public purpose: energy E T A L)
resource development and exploitation programs and 1. Delegation to the People through plebiscite
projects of the government and for such other and Referendum
purposes as may be hereafter directed by the 2. Delegation of Emergency powers to the
President. president
 Section 12 of PD No. 1869 is also a valid 3. Delegation of Tariff/Taxing powers to the
appropriation law because it set apart a determinable president
amount: [a]fter deducting five (5%) percent as 4. Delegation to Administrative bodies or
Franchise Tax, the Fifty (50%) percent share of the agencies of power of subordinate legislation
Government in the aggregate gross earnings of 5. Delegation of power to Local governments
[PAGCOR], or 60%[,] if the aggregate gross earnings be
less thanP150,000,000.00. QUESTION: MAY PRESIDENT DUTERTE VALIDLY
 It also specified a public purpose: priority EXERCISE EMERGENCY POWERS MOTU PROPRIO?
infrastructure development projects and x x x the
Answer: NO. Emergency power of the president is a
restoration of damaged or destroyed facilities due to
mere delegated power which needs an enabling law to
calamities, as may be directed and authorized by the
be enacted by the Congress. Thus, without a law
Office of the President of the Philippines.
enacted by the Congress authorizing the President to
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 18 of 65

exercise emergency powers, it cannot be validly peace, good order, comfort, and convenience of the
exercised by President Duterte motu proprio. local government units and its constituents, and for the
protection of their property.
REQUISITES FOR CONGRESS TO VALIDLY DELEGATE
EMERGENCY POWERS TO THE PRESIDENT: MOSQUEDA, et al v. PILIPINO BANANA GROWERS AND
CORPORATION
1. There must be a war or other national
emergency; Section 16 Local Government Code comprehends two
2. The delegation must be in limited branches of delegated powers, namely: the general
period; legislative power and the police power proper.
3. It must be subject to such restrictions General legislative power refers to the power delegated
as Congress may prescribe; by Congress to the local legislative body, or the
4. It must always be in pursuant to Sangguniang Panlungsod in the case of Davao City, 105
national policy. to enable the local legislative body to enact ordinances
and make regulations. This power is limited in that the
Q: WHAT IF LATER CONGRESS REVOKED OR enacted ordinances must not be repugnant to law, and
WITHDRAW THE DELEGATED EMERGENCY POWERS TO the power must be exercised to effectuate and
THE PRESIDENT, IS ANOTHER LAW REQUIRED TO discharge the powers and duties legally conferred to
WITHDRAW SUCH POWER? the local legislative body. The police power proper, on
the other hand,. authorizes the local government unit
A: No. Another law is not required by the Congress if
to enact ordinances necessary and proper for the
sooner they withdraw or revoke such power, a mere
health and safety, prosperity, morals, peace, good
resolution will suffice.
order, comfort, and convenience of the local
POWER OF SUBORDINATE LEGISLATION OF government unit and its constituents, and for the
ADMINISTRATIVE BODIES protection of their property.

What is delegated to the administrative bodies is not There are two different types of taking that can be
the law-making power but the rule-making power, identified. A "possessory" taking occurs when the
limited to (a) filling up the details of the law or (b) government confiscates or physically occupies
ascertaining facts to bring the law into actual operation. property. A "regulatory" taking occurs when the
government's regulation leaves no reasonable
TESTS FOR VALID DELEGATION economically viable use of the property.

1. COMPLETENESS TEST – the law must be complete in Q: An ordinance banning aerial spraying as an
all its terms and conditions when it leaves the agricultural practice was enacted by the local
legislature such that when it reaches the delegate the government of Davao City invoking their police power.
only thing he will have to do is enforce it Representatives from the Pilipino Banana Growers and
Corporation filed a petition before the RTC of DAVAO
2. SUFFICIENT STANDARD TEST – there must be
City challenging the constitutionality of the said
adequate guidelines or limitations in the law to map
Ordinance alleging therein that the ordinance
out the boundaries of the delegate's authority and
exemplified the unreasonable exercise of police power;
prevent the delegation from running riot.
violated the equal protection clause amounting to
Both tests are intended to prevent a total transference confiscation of property without due process of law. If
of legislative authority to the delegate or undue you were the RTC judge, how will you resolve the issues
influence, who is not allowed to step into the shoes of posited by the representatives of Pilipino Banana
the legislature and exercise a power essentially Growers and Corporation?
legislative.
IS THE LEGISLATIVE POWER EXCLUSIVELY VESTED IN
Q: DO THE LOCAL GOVERNMENTS HAVE INHERENT THE CONGRESS?
POWERS?
No. The 1987 Constitution reserved the legislative
No. Since only the State has the inherent powers. The power to the people through initiative and referendum.
powers can be exercised by the local governments are
BICAMERAL CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
those powers that have been delegated to them by the
Congress. It is a mechanism used to reconcile or compromise
certain differences or conflicting provisions of both
Q: CAN THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT EXERCISE POLICE
versions of the Senate and the House of
POWER?
Representatives.
Yes. The Congress has delegated police power to the
local government units to enact ordinances necessary
and proper for the health, safety, morals, prosperity,
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 19 of 65

Q: FROM THE BICAMERAL COMMITTEE, WHERE SB. No. 1630 likewise did not violate the
WOULD THE BILL GO? IS THE BILL AUTOMATICALLY Constitution. Having been certified as urgent by
TRANSFERRED TO THE PRESIDENT FOR SIGNATURE? the President, it need not meet the requirement
not only of printing but also of reading the bill on
A: No. From the bicameral conference committee, the separate days.
bill will have to descend back to the both houses of
congress. It will now be subject to votation of both Question: A law (RA 9054) was passed amending
houses, and if the yeas prevail over the nays, it will be ARMM’s Organic Act and vesting it with power to
then signed by the senate president and the house create provinces, municipalities, cities and barangays.
speaker where the same will be transmitted to the Pursuant to this law, the ARMM Regional Assembly
president for signature. Conversely, if ever the nays created Shariff Kabunsuan (Muslim Mindanao
prevail over yeas, the bill is not automatically killed but Autonomy Act 201) which comprised of the
a new bicameral conference committee is convened municipalities of the 1st district of Maguindanao with
until they have come up with an acceptable proposals. the exception of Cotabato City.

See: Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance A. Is RA 9054 creating Shariff


Kabunsuan Constitutional or
WHAT ARE THE BILLS ORIGINATED FROM THE HOUSE not?
OF REPRESENTATIVES? – A P R I L B. Is the creation of Shariff
kabunsuan entitled to one
1. Appropriation bills
representative in the House
2. Private bills
of Representatives?
3. Revenue or tariff bills
4. Bills authorizing Increase of the public Answer:
debt
5. Bills of Local application (A) RA 9054 is unconstitutional. Only Congress can
 Here, the Senate may propose or create provinces and cities because the creation of
concur with amendments. provinces and cities necessarily includes the creation of
legislative districts, a power only Congress can exercise
Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance under the Constitution. The ARMM Regional Assembly
cannot create a province without a legislative district
Facts: The value-added tax (VAT) is levied on the
because the Constitution mandates that every province
sale, barter or exchange of goods and properties
shall have a legislative district.
as well as on the sale or exchange of services. RA
7716 seeks to widen the tax base of the existing (B) No. The ARMM Regional Assembly cannot enact a
VAT system and enhance its administration by law creating a national office like the office of a district
amending the National Internal Revenue Code. representative of Congress because the legislative
There are various suits challenging the powers of the ARMM Regional Assembly operate only
constitutionality of RA 7716 on various grounds. within its territorial jurisdiction as provided in the
One contention is that RA 7716 did not originate Constitution.
exclusively in the House of Representatives as
required by Art. VI, Sec. 24 of the Constitution, See: Sema vs. COMELEC
because it is in fact the result of the consolidation
of 2 distinct bills, H. No. 11197 and S. No. 1630. PARTY-LIST SYSTEM
There is also a contention that S. No. 1630 did not
Veterans Federation Party v. COMELEC
pass 3 readings as required by the Constitution.
[G.R. No. 136781. October 6, 2000]

ISSUE
Facts:
Whether or not RA 7716 violated Art. VI, Section COMELEC proclaimed 14 party-list representatives from
24 and Art. VI, Section 26(2) of the Constitution. 13 parties which obtained at least 2% of the total
number of votes cast for the party-list system as
HELD members of the House of Representatives. Upon
petition for respondents, who were party-list
RA 7716 did not violate the Constitution. The
organizations, it proclaimed 38 additional party-list
phrase “originate exclusively” refers to the
representatives although they obtained less than 2% of
revenue bill and not to the revenue law. It is
the total number of votes cast for the party-list system
sufficient that the House of Representatives
on the ground that under the Constitution, it is
initiated the passage of the bill which may
mandatory that at least 20% of the members of the
undergo extensive changes in the Senate. After
House of Representatives come from the party-list
all, the Constitution provides that the Senate may
representatives.
propose or concur with amendments.
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 20 of 65

Issue: General rule: Political parties can participate in party-


Is the twenty percent allocation for party-list list elections provided they register under the party-list
representatives mentioned in Section 5 (2), Article VI of system and do not field candidates in legislative district
the Constitution, mandatory or is it merely a ceiling? In elections.
other words, should the twenty percent allocation for
party-list solons be filled up completely and all the Exception: A political party, whether major or not, that
time? fields candidates in legislative district elections can
participate in party-list elections only through its
Held: sectoral wing that can separately register under the
It is not mandatory. It merely provides a ceiling for the party-list system. The sectoral wing is by itself an
party-list seats in the House of Representatives. The independent sectoral party, and is linked to a political
Constitution vested Congress with the broad power to party through a coalition.
define and prescribe the mechanics of the party-list
Example: Liberal Party (LP), as a national party, may not
system of representatives. In the exercise of its
participate in the party-election if they filled candidates
constitutional prerogative, Congress deemed it
in the election. However, they may still participate in
necessary to require parties participating in the system
the party-list elections through their sectoral wing, like
to obtain at least 2% of the total votes cast for the party
the youth sector of the LP, the women sector of the LP,
list system to be entitled to a party-list seat. Congress
provided that they are registered in the COMELEC as
wanted to ensure that only those parties having a
independent sectoral party and is linked to the LP
sufficient number of constituents deserving of
through a coalition.
representation are actually represented in Congress.
A majority of the members of sectoral parties or
 For every 4 district
organizations that represent the “marginalized and
representatives, there should be
underrepresented” must belong to the “marginalized
1 party-list. (4:1).
and underrepresented” sector they represent. Similarly,
 Fractional representation is not
a majority of the members of sectoral parties or
allowed.
organizations that lack “well-defined political
THESE ARE THE PARTIES THAT MAY PARTICIPATE IN constituencies” must belong to the sector they
THE PARTY-LIST ELECTIONS (ATOM PAGLAOM CASE) represent. The nominees of sectoral parties or
organizations that represent the “marginalized and
underrepresented,” or that represent those who lack
NATIONAL REGIONAL SECTORAL “well-defined political constituencies,” either must
PARTIES OR PARTIES OR PARTIES OR belong to their respective sectors, or must have a track
ORGANIZATIONS ORGANIZATIONS ORGANIZATIONS 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.

National, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations


shall not be disqualified if some of their nominees are
Those that belong to Those that lack well-
disqualified, provided that they have at least one
marginalized or defined political
nominee who remains qualified.
underrepresented sectors constituencies
 Religious sectors shall not be allowed to be
registered as political parties (Sec. 2 (5), Art. 6,
Consti)
Labor, peasant, fisherfolk,
Professionals, women,  Religious denominations and sects may not be
Indigenous cultural
youth, elderly registered as political parties. (Sec 2 (5), Art. 18
communities, veterans,
Consti)
OFWs, urban poor
 The prohibition is on any religious organization
registering as a political party, not as to pries
running as a candidate. (Ang bagong bayani vs.
Three different groups may participate in the party-list COMELEC)
system: (a) national parties or organizations,  The party or organization must not be an
(b) regional parties or organizations, and (c) sectoral adjunct of, or a project organized or an entity
parties or organizations. funded or assisted by, the government. (Ang
bagong bayani vs. COMELEC)
National parties or organizations and regional parties or
organizations do not need to organize along sectoral ANG LADLAD v. COMELEC
lines and do not need to represent any “marginalized
The Supreme Court granted the petition and
and underrepresented” sector.
set aside the resolutions of the COMELEC. It also
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 21 of 65

directed the COMELEC to grant petitioner’s application granting an exemption as a special privilege cannot be
for party-list accreditation. extended beyond the ordinary meaning of its terms. It
The enumeration of marginalized and under- may not be extended by intendment, implication or
represented sectors is not exclusive. The crucial equitable considerations.
element is not whether a sector is specifically
enumerated, but whether a particular organization The accused-appellant has not given any reason why he
complies with the requirements of the Constitution and should be exempted from the operation of Sec. 11, Art.
RA 7941. Ang Ladlad has sufficiently demonstrated its VI of the Constitution. The members of Congress
compliance with the legal requirements for cannot compel absent members to attend sessions if
accreditation. Nowhere in the records has the the reason for the absence is a legitimate one. The
respondent ever found/ruled that Ang Ladlad is not confinement of a Congressman charged with a crime
qualified to register as a party-list organization under punishable by imprisonment of more than six years is
any of the requisites under RA 7941. not merely authorized by law, it has constitutional
Our Constitution provides in Article III, Section foundations. To allow accused-appellant to attend
5 that “no law shall be made respecting an congressional sessions and committee meetings for 5
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free days or more in a week will virtually make him a free
exercise thereof.” At bottom, what our non- man with all the privileges appurtenant to his position.
establishment clause calls for is “government neutrality Such an aberrant situation not only elevates accused-
in religious matters. Clearly, “governmental reliance on appellant’s status to that of a special class, it also would
religious justification is inconsistent with this policy of be a mockery of the purposes of the correction system.
neutrality.”
Q: Congressman Jalosjos was convicted by the RTC of
Laws of general application should apply with
the crime of Statutory rape, but he was able to appeal
equal force to LGBTs and they deserve to participate in
seasonably. During the pendency of the appeal, should
the party-list system on the same basis as other
he be still allowed to post bail?
marginalized and under-represented sectors.
The principle of non-discrimination requires
A: No. Bail is a matter of right before conviction. On the
the laws of general application relating to elections be
other hand, bail is a matter of discretion upon a
applied to all persons, regardless of sexual orientation.
conviction by the RTC of an offense not punishable by
death, reclusion perpetua, or life imprisonment. Here,
Jalosjos was already convicted by the RTC of the crime
PRIVILEGED ARREST OF THE MEMBERS OF THE
of Statutory rape which is punishable by reclusion
CONGRESS
perpetua disqualifying him to apply for bail as a matter
of right. Likewise, he cannot avail bail as a matter of
PEOPLE v. JALOSJOS
discretion since the penalty of statutory rape is
Feb. 3, 2000
reclusion perpetua.
Facts: The accused-appellant, Romeo Jalosjos, is a full-
 In the MTC, the right of bail is always a matter
fledged member of Congress who is confined at the
of right since the crimes punishable therein are
national penitentiary while his conviction for statutory
less than 6 years.
rape and acts of lasciviousness is pending appeal. The
accused-appellant filed a motion asking that he be
PROHIBITION AGAINST HOLDING OF DUAL OR
allowed to fully discharge the duties of a Congressman,
MULTIPLE OFFICES APPLY AS WELL TO TEMPORARY
including attendance at legislative sessions and
DESIGNATIONS
committee meetings despite his having been convicted
in the first instance of a non-bailable offense on the Funa vs Agra
basis of popular sovereignty and the need for his Case Digest GR 191644 Feb 19 2013
constituents to be represented
Facts:
Issue: Whether or not accused-appellant should be
allowed to discharge mandate as member of House of Agra was then the Government Corporate Counsel
Representatives when Pres Arroyo designated him as the Acting Solicitor
General in place of former Sol Gen Devanadera, who
Held: Election is the expression of the sovereign power has been appointed as the Secretary of Justice. Again,
of the people. However, inspite of its importance, the Agra was designated as the Acting Secretary in place of
privileges and rights arising from having been elected Secretary Devanadera when the latter resigned. Agra
may be enlarged or restricted by law. then relinquished his position as Corporate Counsel and
continued to perform the duties of an Acting Solicitor
The immunity from arrest or detention of Senators and General.
members of the House of Representatives arises from a
provision of the Constitution. The privilege has always Funa, a concerned citizen, questioned his appointment.
been granted in a restrictive sense. The provision Agra argued that his concurrent designations were
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 22 of 65

merely in a temporary capacity. Even assuming that he decrees that the OSG is independent and autonomous.
was holding multiple offices at the same time, his With the enactment of RA 9417, the Solicitor General is
designation as an Acting Sol Gen is merely akin to now vested with a cabinet rank, and has the same
a hold-over, so that he never received salaries and qualifications for appointment, rank, prerogatives,
emoluments for being the Acting Sol Gen when he was allowances, benefits and privileges as those of Presiding
appointed as the Acting Secretary of Justice. Judges of the Court of Appeals.

Issue 1: W/N Agra’s designation as Acting Secretary of FREEDOM OF SPEECH OF THE MEMBERS OF THE
Justice is valid CONGRESS

No. The designation of Agra as Acting Secretary of OSMEÑA v. PENDATUN


Justice concurrently with his position of Acting Solicitor
General violates the constitutional prohibition In June 1960, Congressman Sergio Osmeña, Jr.
under Article VII, Section 13 of the 1987 Constitution. delivered a speech entitled “A Message to Garcia”. In
the said speech, he disparaged then President Carlos
It is immaterial that Agra’s designation was in an acting Garcia and his administration. Subsequently, House
or temporary capacity. Section 13 plainly indicates that Resolution No. 59 was passed by the lower house in
the intent of the Framers of the Constitution is to order to investigate the charges made by Osmeña
impose a stricter prohibition on the President and the during his speech and that if his allegations were found
Cabinet Members in so far as holding other offices or to be baseless and malicious, he may be subjected to
employments in the Government or in GOCCs is disciplinary actions by the lower house.
concerned. The prohibition against dual or multiple
Osmeña then questioned the validity of the said
offices being held by one official must be construed as
resolution before the Supreme Court. Osmeña avers
to apply to all appointments or designations, whether
that the resolution violates his parliamentary immunity
permanent or temporary, because the objective of
for speeches delivered in Congress. Congressman
Section 13 is to prevent the concentration of powers in
Salipada Pendatun filed an answer where he averred
the Executive Department officials, specifically the
that the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction over the
President, the Vice-President, the Cabinet Members
matter and Congress has the power to discipline its
and their deputies and assistants.
members.
Issue 2: W/N Agra may concurrently hold the positions ISSUE: Whether or not Osmeña’s immunity has been
by virtue of the “hold-over principle” violated?

No. Agra’s designation as the Acting Secretary of Justice HELD:


was not in an ex officio capacity, by which he would No. Section 15, Article VI of the 1935 Constitution
have been validly authorized to concurrently hold the enshrines parliamentary immunity upon members of
two positions due to the holding of one office being the the legislature which is a fundamental privilege
consequence of holding the other. cherished in every parliament in a democratic world. It
guarantees the legislator complete freedom of
Being included in the stricter prohibition embodied in
expression without fear of being made responsible in
Section 13, Agra cannot liberally apply in his favor the
criminal or civil actions before the courts or any other
broad exceptions provided in Article IX-B, Sec 7 (2) of
forum outside the Hall of Congress. However, it does
the Constitution to justify his designation as Acting
not protect him from responsibility before the
Secretary of Justice concurrently with his designation as
legislative body whenever his words and conduct are
Acting Solicitor General, or vice versa. It is not sufficient
considered disorderly or unbecoming of a member
for Agra to show that his holding of the other office was
therein.
“allowed by law or the primary functions of his
position.” To claim the exemption of his concurrent Sec. 11, Article 6 (1987 Constitution)
designations from the coverage of the stricter
A senator or member of the House of Representatives
prohibition under Section 13, he needed to establish
shall, in all offenses punishable by not more than six
that his concurrent designation was expressly
years imprisonment, be privileged from arrest while the
allowed by the Constitution.
Congress is in session. No member shall be questioned
Issue 3: W/N the offices of the Solicitor General and nor be held liable in any other place for any speech or
Secretary of Justice is in an ex officio capacity in debate in the Congress or in any committee thereof.
relation to the other Q: Congressman X delivered his privileged speech in the
Congress, in the course of his speech, he maligned Y, a
No. The powers and functions of the Solicitor General
private individual. Y subsequently filed a complaint
are neither required by the primary functions nor
against Congressman X. The latter invoked his freedom
included in the powers of the DOJ, and vice versa. The
of speech. Can Congressman X invoke freedom of
OSG, while attached to the DOJ, is not a constituent of
speech? If yes, what would be the remedy of Y?
the latter, as in fact, the Administrative Code of 1987
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 23 of 65

A: Yes. Congressman X may not be held liable since he  The senior justice shall be automatically be the
is protected by his privileged speech enshrined under chairman.
the Constitution. Thus, the remedy of Y is to file an  The electoral tribunal shall be the sole judge of
action against Congressman X for disorderly behavior all contests relating to the election, returns,
before the House Ethics Committee. and qualifications of their respective
Members.
INCOMPATIBLE OFFICE
 There will be no appeal in the decision of the
No legislator is allowed to hold office or positions in any electoral tribunal since the latter shall be the
government agency including government-owned or sole judge to decide all contest relating to the
controlled corporations without forfeiting his seat in election, returns, and qualifications of their
the Congress. Meaning, a member of the Congress is respective members. The remedy therefore
not prevented from accepting other government posts will be special civil action for certiorari under
as long as he forfeits his seat as a legislator. What is not Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.
allowed is the simultaneous holding of a government
office and the seat in the Congress. The purpose is to BONDOC v. PINEDA
prevent owing loyalty to another branch of the These electoral tribunal in Congress, although attached
government, to the detriment of the independence of in the Congress, they are a body separate and
the legislature and the doctrine of the separation of independent from that of the Congress.
powers. Forfeiture of the seat is automatic. Thus for
example, a congressman who was appointed as POWERS OF THE CONGRESS
secretary of the Department of Budget and (Legislative power)
Management is deemed to have automatically forfeited
his seat in the House of Representatives when he took CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT FUNCTIONS
his oath as secretary for DBM. No resolution is Macalintal v. COMELEC (Justice Puno)
necessary to declare his legislative post as vacant.
The power of oversight embraces all activities
FORBIDDEN OFFICE
undertaken by Congress to enhance its understanding
No members of the Congress shall be appointed to any of and influence over the implementation of legislation
office in the government that has been crated or the it has enacted. This means that the work of Congress
emoluments thereof have been increased during his does not end upon the enactment of the law. Congress
term. The purpose is to prevent public trafficking in has a continuing interest to see to it that the law
public office. Some legislators who do not opt to run enacted has properly implemented.
again in the public office might create or improve
lucrative government positions and in combination with 3 categories of Congressional Oversight Functions:
the President, arrange that they be appointed in those
positions, all at the expense of public good. 1. Legislative Scrutiny – implies a lesser intensity and
continuity of attention to administrative
The appointment however to the forbidden office is not operations. Its primary purpose is to determine
allowed only during the term for which a certain economy and efficiency of the operation of government
legislator was elected, when such office was created or activities. In the exercise of legislative scrutiny,
its emolument thereof. After such term, and even if the Congress may request information and report from the
legislator is re-elected, the disqualification no longer other branches of government. It can give
applies and he may therefore be appointed to the recommendations or pass resolutions for consideration
office. of the agency involved.
2. Congressional Investigation – the power of the
COMPOSITION OF THE COMMISSION ON congress to conduct investigation in aid of its legislation
APPOINTMENT under Sec. 21, Article VI.
3. Legislative Supervision – power of the Congress to
Senate President – ex officio chairman
exercise legislative veto. However, this legislative veto
12 Senators and 12 members of the Congress
was later on declared unconstitutional in the case of
 The Commission shall meet only when the
abakada-guro party list v. Purisima
Congress is in session.

QUESTION HOUR v. INQUIRIES IN AID OF LEGISLATION


ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL IN THE CONGRESS
1. Senate electoral tribunal
Inquiries in aid of legislation
2. House of Representative electoral tribunal
The Senate or the House of Representatives may
 Each electoral tribunal shall be composed of:
conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with
3 Justices of SC
its duly published rules of procedure. The rights of
6 members of the House of Representatives or
persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall
Senate. (a total of 9 members)
be respected (Sec. 21, Art. 6, Consti)
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 24 of 65

A legislative body cannot legislate wisely or effectively PORK BARREL SYSTEM


in the absence of information respecting the conditions
which the legislation is intended to affect or change.
(Senate v. Ermita) LUMP-SUM DISCRETIONARY FUND

Legislative Contempt
It is the inherent right of the Senate to impose penalty CONGRESSIONAL PRESIDENTIAL
in carrying out their duty to conduct inquiry in aid of PORK BARREL PORK BARREL
legislation. But it must be herein established that a
witness who refuses to answer a query by the
Committee may be detained during the term of the
PDAF
members imposing said penalty but the detention SOURCES:
should not be too long as to violate the witness’ right to
due process of law. (Arnault v. Nazareno) 1. Malampaya
200Million-
SENATORS fund
Question Hour 2. Presidential
The heads of departments may upon their own 70Million- Social fund
intiative, with the consent of the President, or upon the CONGRESSMEN (PAGCOR)
request of either House, as the rules of each House
shall provide, appear before and be heard by such
House on any matter pertaining to their departments.
(Sec. 22, Art. 6, Consti)
Reasons why PDAF was declared unconstitutional:
5. In Question hour, the attendance is
discretionary. On the other hand, the 1. Violation of the Separation of powers
attendance is mandatory in cases when - As a rule, the budgeting power lies in
Congress is conducting in aid of legislation. Congress. It regulates the release of funds
6. In Question hour, the objective of which is to (power of the purse). The executive, on
obtain information in pursuit of Congress’ the other hand, implements the laws –
this includes the GAA to which the PDAF is
oversight function. The aim of Congress in aid
a part of. Only the executive may
of legislation is to elicit information that may
implement the law but under the pork
be used for legislation.
barrel system, what’s happening was that,
7. In Question hour, the executive officials may
after the GAA, itself a law, was enacted,
invoke executive privilege. On the other hand,
the legislators themselves dictate as to
the executive officials may not invoke
which projects their PDAF funds should be
executive privilege. (Senate v. Ermita)
allocated to – a clear act of implementing
the law they enacted. Thus, a violation of
Bengzon v. SBRC
the principle of separation of powers.
The power of both houses of Congress to conduct 2. Violation of non-delegation of powers
inquiries in aid of legislation is not, therefore, absolute - As a rule, the Constitution vests legislative
or unlimited. Its exercise is circumscribed by the afore- power in Congress alone. (The
quoted provision of the Constitution. Thus, as provided Constitution does grant the people
therein, the investigation must be “in aid of legislation legislative power but only insofar as the
in accordance with its duly published rules of processes of referendum and initiative are
procedure” and that “the rights of persons appearing in concerned). That being, legislative power
or affected by such inquiries shall be respected.” It cannot be delegated by Congress for it
follows then that the rights of persons under the Bill of cannot delegate further that which was
Rights must be respected, including the right to due delegated to it by the Constitution.
process and the right not to be compelled to testify 3. Violation of the principle of Checks and balances (It
against one’s self. denied the President’s item veto or selective veto)
- Under Section 27 (2), Article 6 of the 1987
Constitution, the President shall have the
power to veto any item or items in an
Appropriation, revenue, or tariff bill. Thus,
since PDAF is an approp riation bill,
it encroach upon the power o/f the
President to exercise his selective veto.
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 25 of 65

- One feature in the principle of checks and POWER OF AUGMENTATION


balances is the power of the president to Who may exercise this power?
veto items in the GAA which he may deem 1. President
to be inappropriate. But this power is 2. Senate President
already being undermined because of the 3. Speaker of the House of Representatives
fact that once the GAA is approved, the 4. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
legislator can now identify the project to 5. Heads of the Constitutional Commissions
which he will appropriate his PDAF. Under
such system, how can the president veto What are the requisites to validly exercise this power?
the appropriation made by the legislator if
the appropriation is made after the 1. There must be a law authorizing the
approval of the GAA – again, “Congress augmentation
cannot choose a mode of budgeting which 2. It must come from the savings in their
effectively renders the constitutionally- respective departments
given power of the President useless.” 3. There must be no cross-border transfer.
4. It subverted local autonomy
- As a rule, the local governments have the Question:
power to manage their local affairs. The DEPED implemented the K-12 program. However,
Through their Local Development Councils the DEPED lacks the enough budget to implement the
(LDCs), the LGUs can develop their own same. Thus, the Secretary of DEPED went to the
programs and policies concerning their President to seek funds to properly implement k-12. In
localities. But with the PDAF, particularly return, the President augmented the funds of the DENR
on the part of the members of the House to fund the K-12 program. Was there a cross-border
of Representatives, what’s happening is transfer?
that a congressman can either bypass or
duplicate a project by the LDC and later on Answer:
claim it as his own. This is an instance No. Since the funds augmented came from DENR which
where the national government (note, a belongs to the same executive department.
congressman is a national officer) meddles
with the affairs of the local government – EXECUTIVE IMPOUNDMENT
and this is contrary to the State policy It refers to the President’s power to refuse to spend
embodied in the Constitution on local appropriations or to retain or deduct appropriations for
autonomy. It’s good if that’s all that is whatever reason.
happening under the pork barrel system
but worse, the PDAF becomes more of a ARAULLO v. PRESIDENT AQUINO (Justice Bersamin)
personal fund on the part of legislators.
1. Whether or not the DAP realignments/transfers are
 PRESIDENTIAL PORK BARREL was likewise constitutional.
declared unconstitutional: The phrase “and for - The transfers made through the DAP were
such other purposes as may be hereafter unconstitutional. It is true that the President (and
directed by the President” under Section 8 of even the heads of the other branches of the
government) is allowed by the Constitution to
PD 910 constitutes an undue delegation of
make realignment of funds; however, such transfer
legislative power insofar as it does not lay or realignment should only be made “within their
down a sufficient standard to adequately respective offices”. Thus, no cross-border
determine the limits of the President‘s transfers/augmentations may be allowed. But
authority with respect to the purpose for under the DAP, this was violated because funds
which the Malampaya Funds may be used. appropriated by the GAA for the Executive were
being transferred to the Legislative and other non-
Executive agencies.
- The law creating the Malampaya funds
- Further, transfers “within their respective offices”
shall be used by the president for energy also contemplate realignment of funds to an
related purposes and other purposes he existing project in the GAA. Under the DAP, even
may deemed fit. Does it have standards? though some projects were within the Executive,
No. The term “other purposes he may these projects are non-existent insofar as the GAA
deem fit” was an undue delegation to the is concerned because no funds were appropriated
President since it does have no standards to them in the GAA. Although some of these
projects may be legitimate, they are still non-
at all; the term is very broad where the
existent under the GAA because they were not
President may use the funds even in his provided for by the GAA. As such, transfer to such
personal transactions. projects is unconstitutional and is without legal
basis.
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 26 of 65

nullification are still deemed valid on the theory that


2. Whether or not the Doctrine of Operative Fact is judicial nullification is a contingent or unforeseen
applicable. event.
- The Doctrine of Operative Fact, which recognizes The policy behind the operative fact doctrine is
the legal effects of an act prior to it being declared consistent with the idea that regardless of the
as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, is nullification of certain acts and practices under the DAP
applicable. The DAP has definitely helped stimulate and/or NBC No. 541, it does not operate to impute bad
the economy. It has funded numerous projects. If faith to authors, proponents and implementors who
the Executive is ordered to reverse all actions continue to enjoy the presumption of innocence and
under the DAP, then it may cause more harm than regularity in the performance of official functions and
good. The DAP effects can no longer be undone. duties. Good faith is presumed, whereas bad faith
The beneficiaries of the DAP cannot be asked to requires the existence of facts. To hold otherwise
return what they received especially so that they would send a chilling effect to all public officers
relied on the validity of the DAP. However, the whether of minimal or significant discretion, the result
Doctrine of Operative Fact may not be applicable to of which would be a dangerous paralysis of
the authors, implementers, and proponents of the bureaucratic activity.
DAP if it is so found in the appropriate tribunals
(civil, criminal, or administrative) that they have Question: A law was passed by the Congress increasing
not acted in good faith. the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
Senator Mitumara questioned the Constitutionality of
3. On the issue of what are “savings” the said law arguing that it is a violation of the
separation of the powers of the government. (1) Is
- These DAP transfers are not “savings” contrary to Senator Mitumara correct? (2) Assuming that the
what was being declared by the Executive. Under
Supreme Court gives its advice and concurred with the
the definition of “savings” in the GAA, savings only
occur, among other instances, when there is an said law; will your answer be the same?
excess in the funding of a certain project once it is
completed, finally discontinued, or finally Answer: (1) Yes. The law passed by the Congress is
abandoned. The GAA does not refer to “savings” as unconstitutional. The Constitution provides that no law
funds withdrawn from a slow moving project. Thus, shall be passed increasing the appellate jurisdiction of
since the statutory definition of savings was not the Supreme Court without its advice and concurrence.
complied with under the DAP, there is no basis at
(2) No. The Constitution allows the passage of a law
all for the transfers. Further, savings should only
be declared at the end of the fiscal year. But under increasing the appellate jurisdiction of the
the DAP, funds are already being withdrawn from Supreme Court provided that the latter gives its
certain projects in the middle of the year and then advice and concurrence.
being declared as “savings” by the Executive
particularly by the DBM. NON-LEGISLATIVE POWERS OF THE CONGRESS:

DOCTRINE OF OPERATIVE FACT 1. Impeachment cases, the House of Representatives


Acts done pursuant to a law which was subsequently shall initiate the same and acts as a prosecutor
declared unconstitutional remain valid, but not when body, on the other hand, Senate shall sit as an
the acts are done after the declaration of Impeachment Court.
unconstitutionality. 2. Congress may propose amendment or Revision of
the Constitution; in such case, the Congress shall
Q: Since the DAP was declared unconstitutional, what convene as a Constituent Assembly.
will happen to the projects funded by the DAP? Should 3. The Congress shall canvass the election for
the projects funded by the DAP destroyed? president and vice president. In such case, the
Congress shall act as National Board of Canvasser.
A: No. Applying the Doctrine of Operative Fact, the
projects funded by the DAP should not be destroyed
since at the time the projects were funded, it comes EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT
with a presumption that it is constitutional. Thus, the
projects remain valid. DOCTRINE OF QUALIFIED POLITICAL AGENCY
(Alter ego of the President)
The issue on whether or not the Doctrine of Operative
Fact is applicable to the authors of the DAP (Motion The members of the cabinet shall be deemed the alter
for Reconsideration, Araullo vs. Aquino) ego of the President. Thus, their acts performed and
promulgated in the regular course of business are
The mere nullification of an act has no bearing presumptively the acts of the Chief Executive.
on individual liability precisely because the doctrine
primarily seeks to ensure that acts performed prior to
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 27 of 65

REASON: 1. The president himself shall enter the


Since the President is a busy man, he is not expected to agreement
exercise the totality of his power of control all the time. 2. The agreement must be according to
He is not expected to exercise all his powers in person. the general terms and conditions
He is expected to delegate some of them to men of his provided by law
confidence, particularly to members of his Cabinet. 3. The President shall notify the
Congress of every contract entered
EXCEPTIONS:
into in accordance with Sec. 2, Art. 12,
(1) In cases wherein the Chief Executive is required by 1987 Consti)
the Constitution or by the law to act in person; or (2)
FAITHFUL EXECUTION CLAUSE
the exigencies of the situation demand that he act
The president as chief executive, he shall ensure that
personally, the multifarious executive and
the laws are faithfully executed.
administrative functions of the Chief Executive are
performed by and through the executive departments.
PRESIDENTIAL IMMUNITY FROM SUIT
(Resident Marine Mammals vs. Secretary Reyes)
The immunity applies only to Domestic law, it does not
Question: A service contract No. 46 was agreed by apply to international law. With the creation of
Secretary Rokaya of Energy Department and the International Criminal Court, the President’s immunity
MAMANTIYADUN, a Japanese corporation, which from suit cannot be applied.
allowed the exploration, development, and exploitation Officers whose appointments will require confirmation
of petroleum resources within the Tañon Strait, a by the Commission on Appointments:
narrow passage of water between the islands of Negros 1. Heads of Executive Department
and Cebu. A group of persons (Takuleng gang) 2. Ambassadors, other public ministers,
questioned the constitutionality of the said agreement and consults
specifically Sec. 2, Art. 12 of the Constitution, according 3. Officers of the armed forces from the
to them only the President may enter into an rank of colonel or naval captain
agreement involving either technical or financial 4. Other officers whose appointments
assistance for large-scale exploration, development, are vested in him in this Constitution.
and utilizations of minerals within the country. In his
defense, Secretary Rokaya averred that as a cabinet MANALO vs. SISTOZA
secretary, she is deemed to be an alter ego of the
The Philippine National Police is separate and distinct
president so that her acts performed and promulgated from the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The police
in the regular course of business are presumptively the force is different from and independent of the armed
acts of the President, unless disapproved by the forces and the ranks in the military are not similar to
President. Is Secretary Rokaya correct? those in the Philippine National Police. Thus, directors
and chief superintendents of the PNP, such as the
Answer: No. Since it is the Constitution itself requires herein respondent police officers, do not fall under the
first category of presidential appointees requiring the
that the President himself be the signatory of service
confirmation by the Commission on Appointments.
agreements with foreign-owned corporations involving
the exploration, development, and utilization of our APPOINTING POWER OF THE PRESIDENT
minerals, petroleum, and other mineral oils. Thus, the
alter ego principle is not applicable in cases wherein the Persons who are required to be confirmed by the
Chief Executive is required by the Constitution or by the Commission on Appeal once appointed by the
law to act in person or the exigencies of the situation President:
demand that he act personally. (See: Resident Marine 1. Heads of the executive department
Mammals vs. Secretary Reyes) 2. Ambassadors, other public ministers, and
consuls
DOCTRINE OF CONSTITUTIONAL SUPREMACY 3. Officers of the armed forces from the rank of
colonel or naval captain
Under the doctrine of constitutional supremacy, if a law
4. Other officers whose appointments are vested
or contract violates any norm of the constitution that
in him in this Constitution. (Chairman and
law or contract whether promulgated by the legislative
commissioners of the three Constitutional
or by the executive branch or entered into by private
Commissions and the regular members of the
persons for private purposes is null and void and
Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).
without any force and effect.

What are the conditions/requisites before the Composition of JBC


Philippines may enter service contract into foreign 1. Chief justice (ex-officio chairman)
corporations involving exploration, development, and 2. Representative of the Congress (ex-officio
utilizations of minerals, and other mineral oils? members)
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 28 of 65

3. Secretary of Justice (ex-officio members) vacancy in the Supreme Court or to other appointments
4. A representative of the Integrate bar (regular to the Judiciary. (De Castro v. JBC, Appointment of Chief
member) Justice Corona)
5. A professor of law (regular member)
6. A retired member of the Supreme Court POWER OF CONTROL OF THE PRESIDENT
(regular member)
The president shall have control of all the executive
7. A representative of the private sector (regular
departments, bureaus and offices. He shall ensure that
member)
the laws be faithfully executed. (Sec. 17, Article 7, 1987
 The 4 regular members of the JBC
Constitution)
shall be appointed by the president for the
terms of 4 years and their appointment shall
“Control” includes authority to act directly whenever a
require confirmation by the CA.
specific function is entrusted by law or regulation to a
 The appointment of justices and
subordinate; direct the performance of duty; restrain
judge no longer required to be confirmed by
the commission of acts; review, revise, reverse, modify
the CA.
or affirm acts and decisions of subordinate officials or
units.
AD-INTERIM APPOINTMENT
- An appointment made by the President
Thus, the President may direct all executive
when the Congress is in recess or not in
departments, bureaus and offices to perform a duty, to
session.
restrain the commission of acts, or to review revise,
- The Commission on Appointment shall sit
reverse, modify or affirm their acts and decisions.
only when the Congress is in session. If
there would be vacancy in the executive
The President has no power of control over the LGUs,
departments which is ought to be filled
he has only general supervision which is to oversee that
immediately, the President may be
their powers and functions are exercised in accordance
precluded from filling the position and
with law.
that’s why ad-interim appointment was
embodied in the Constitution, to allow the
POWERS OF THE PRESIDENT under Section 18 of
president to appoint even when the
Article VII
Congress is not in session.
1. Calling-out power
2. Martial law power
AD-INTERIM v. REGULAR APPOINTMENT
3. Power to suspend the privilege of the writ of
habeas corpus
- The appointee in the ad-interim is
effective immediately. Thus, the
Grounds of the Calling-out power of the President
appointee may assume office
1. Lawless violence
immediately. On the other hand, regular
2. Invasion
appointment does not take effect
3. Rebellion
immediately. Thus, the appointee shall
have to wait for the confirmation of the
Grounds to declare martial law or suspend the privilege
CA before he can assume office.
of the writ of habeas corpus
1. Invasion; or
AD-INTERIM v. APPOINTMENTS IN AN ACTING
2. Rebellion, when public safety requires it.
CAPACITY (see page 1)

Q: A bomb exploded in the Davao City where many


MIDNIGHT APPOINTMENTS (see Section 15, Article 7,
people died and injured. President Duterte later
1987 Constitution)
proclaimed Martial law since there is lawless violence.
General rule: Two months immediately before the next
Is the proclamation of Martial law valid?
presidential elections and up to the end of his term, a
President or Acting President shall not make
A: No. Lawless violence is not one of the grounds
appointments.
allowed by law in order for the President validly
declares martial law. For him to declare martial law,
Exception: there can be temporary appointments to
there must be invasion or rebellion, and public safety
executive positions when continued vacancies therein
requires it. Thus, since there is no rebellion or invasion
will prejudice public service or endanger public safety.
involved, President Duterte cannot validly declare
martial law.
Is Midnight appointment also applicable in the
judiciary department?
Q: IS POWER OF THE PRESIDENT TO DECLARE MARTIAL
No. Prohibition under Section 15, Article VII, 1987
OR SUSPEND THE PRIVILEGE OF THE WRIT OF HABEAS
Constitution does not apply to appointments to fill a
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 29 of 65

CORPUS SUBJECT TO JUDICIAL REVIEW OR POLITICAL privilege of writ of habeas corpus. Thus, since the
QUESTIONS? Congress believed that there is no need to convene as
A: It is subject to judicial review. Under the they validly agree with the proclamation of martial
Constitution, the Supreme Court may review, in an law, there will be no grave abuse of discretion on its
appropriate proceeding filed by any citizen, the part.
sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation of
martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the PARDONING POWER (see Section 19, Article 7, 1987
writ or the extension thereof. (Section 18 (3), Article 17 Constitution)
1987 Constitution; Lansang v. Garcia)
The powers of the President under Section 19
Q: IS THE CALLING-OUT POWER OF THE PRESIDENT of Article 7 of the 1987 Constitution:
POLITICAL QUESTION OR SUBJECT TO JUDICIAL 1. Reprieves – the power to suspend the
REVIEW? execution of a death convict. Note: not
applicable anymore, death penalty is
IBP v. ZAMORA suspended.
The calling-out power of the President is a political 2. Commutation – lowering the penalty
question not subject to judicial review since the 3. Pardons
President is exercising his exclusive power to call-out 4. Remit fines and forfeiture
his power as commander-in-chief of the armed forces. 5. Amnesty
It is a question in regard to which full discretionary The president may grant amnesty to an
authority has been delegated by the Constitution to the accused whose conviction has not yet attained finality,
President as the sole commander-in-chief of the armed but with the concurrence of the majority vote of all the
forces. members of the Congress. However, conviction by
finality is not a requirement.
Limitations of the Martial law
Q: A was convicted by the RTC for the crime of murder
1. The President may raise the ground of invasion A was able to appeal seasonably. During the pendency
or rebellion only, when public safety requires of the appeal, is A allowed to be given amnesty? How
it; about a pardon, is A allowed to be given pardon?
2. The proclamation of martial law or the
suspension of the privilege of the writ of A:
habeas corpus shall not exceed 60 days; 1. Yes, since the conviction by finality is not a
3. Within 48 hours from proclamation of the requirement before an accused be granted
martial law, the President shall submit a report amnesty. Under Constitution, the president
in person or in writing to the Congress. may grant amnesty to an accused whose
conviction has not yet attained finality, but
Jamar Kulayan, et al. v. Gov. Abdusakur Tan with the concurrence of the majority vote of
The calling-out powers contemplated under the all the members of the Congress.
Constitution is exclusive to the President. An exercise 2. No, an accused whose conviction is pending
by another official, even if he is the local chief appeal cannot be given pardon since the
executive, is ultra vires, and may not be justified by the conviction by finality is a requirement before
invocation of Section 465 of the Local Government one may be given pardon.
Code.
Is a pardon official act of the president? How about
Q: In a martial law declared by the President, the amnesty?
Congress did not convene jointly because of the - Amnesty is an official act of the president.
thinking that the declaration of martial law is valid Thus, it becomes a matter of judicial
and that there is no need for them to convene. A notice. Pardon is a private act of the
group of lawyers came to the SC urging the latter to president. Thus, it is not a matter of
compel the Congress to convene in a joint session to judicial notice. One who has been granted
review the President’s martial law proclamation in pardon has the burden of proving that he
Mindanao arguing that the act of the Congress in not has been granted the same.
convening jointly gravely abused their discretion. Is MONSANTO v. FACTORAN
the contention correct? Facts:

Suggested Answer: The Sandiganbayan convicted petitioner Salvacion A.


No. The contention is not correct. The duty of the Monsanto (then assistant treasurer of Calbayog City) of
Congress to convene jointly and vote is limited to the crime of estafa through falsification of public
instances where Congress intends to revoke or extend documents. She was sentenced to jail and to indemnify
any proclamation of martial law or suspension of the the government in the sum of P4, 892.50. The SC
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 30 of 65

affirmed the decision. She then filed a motion for conviction thereof. It does not wash out the moral
reconsideration but while said motion was pending, she stain. It involves forgiveness and not forgetfulness.
was extended by then President Marcos absolute
pardon which she accepted (at that time, the rule was A pardon looks to the future. It is not retrospective. It
that clemency could be given even before conviction). makes no amends for the past. It affords no relief for
By reason of said pardon, petitioner wrote the Calbayog what has been suffered by the offender. It does not
City treasurer requesting that she be restored to her impose upon the government any obligation to make
former post as assistant city treasurer since the same reparation for what has been suffered. “Since the
was still vacant. Her letter was referred to the Minister offense has been established by judicial proceedings,
of Finance who ruled that she may be reinstated to her that which has been done or suffered while they were
position without the necessity of a new appointment in force is presumed to have been rightfully done and
not earlier than the date she was extended the justly suffered, and no satisfaction for it can be
absolute pardon. required.” This would explain why petitioner, though
pardoned, cannot be entitled to receive back pay for
Petitioner wrote the Ministry stressing that the full lost earnings and benefits.
pardon bestowed on her has wiped out the crime which
implies that her service in the government has never 2. The pardon granted to petitioner has resulted in
been interrupted and therefore the date of her removing her disqualification from holding public
reinstatement should correspond to the date of her employment but it cannot go beyond that. To regain
preventive suspension; that she is entitled to back pay her former post as assistant city treasurer, she must re-
for the entire period of her suspension; and that she apply and undergo the usual procedure required for a
should not be required to pay the proportionate share new appointment.
of the amount of P4, 892.50
3. Civil liability arising from crime is governed by the
The Ministry referred the issue to the Office of the Revised Penal Code. It subsists notwithstanding service
President. Deputy Executive Secretary Factoran denied of sentence, or for any reason the sentence is not
Monsanto’s request averring that Monsanto must first served by pardon, amnesty or commutation of
seek appointment and that the pardon does not sentence. Petitioner's civil liability may only be
reinstate her former position. extinguished by the same causes recognized in the Civil
Code, namely: payment, loss of the thing due,
Issues: remission of the debt, merger of the rights of creditor
and debtor, compensation and novation.
1. Is Monsanto entitled to back pay?

2. Is a public officer, who has been granted an absolute INSTANCES WHERE THE PRESIDENT MAY NOT GRANT
pardon by the Chief Executive, entitled to PARDON
reinstatement to her former position without need of a (1) impeachment cases; (2) cases that have not yet
new appointment? resulted in a final conviction; and (3) cases involving
violations of election laws, rules and regulations in
3. May petitioner be exempt from the payment of the which there was no favorable recommendation coming
civil indemnity imposed upon her by the sentence? from the COMELEC.

Held: ALICIA RISOS-VIDAL v. COMELEC (Pardon granted


Joseph Estrada)
1. Pardon is defined as "an act of grace, proceeding - “whereas” clauses do not form part of the
from the power entrusted with the execution of the statute, because strictly speaking, they are
laws, which exempts the individual, on whom it is not part of the operative language of the
bestowed, from the punishment the law inflicts for a statute. Thus, not an integral part of the
crime he has committed. It is the private, though decree of the pardon, and therefore, does
official act of the executive magistrate, delivered to the not by itself alone operate to make the
individual for whose benefit it is intended, and not pardon conditional or to make its
communicated officially to the Court. effectivity contingent upon the fulfillment
of the aforementioned commitment nor
While a pardon has generally been regarded as blotting to limit the scope of the pardon.
out the existence of guilt so that in the eye of the law - A pardon shall not work the restoration of
the offender is as innocent as though he never the right to hold public office, or the right
committed the offense, it does not operate for all of suffrage, unless such rights are
purposes. The very essence of a pardon is forgiveness expressly restored by the terms of the
or remission of guilt. Pardon implies guilt. It does not pardon.
erase the fact of the commission of the crime and the
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 31 of 65

- Former President Estrada was granted an  Such agreement is considered as treaty. Since
absolute pardon that fully restored all his it is the President himself considered the same
civil and political rights, which naturally as a treaty. (Bayan v. Zamora)
includes the right to seek public elective
office, the focal point of this controversy. REQUISITES BEFORE FOREIGN MILITARY BASES SHALL
The wording of the pardon extended to BE ALLOWED IN THE PHILIPPINES:
former president Estrada is complete, 1. There must be a treaty duly concurred by the
unambiguous, and unqualified. Thus, it Senate;
was not a mere conditional but an 2. When the Congress so requires;
absolute pardon. 3. The other contracting State should recognize
the same as treaty. (Section 25, Article 18,
1987 Constitution)
AMNESTY v. PARDON
1. In amnesty, the grantee is an individual. In ENHANCED DEFENSE COOPERATION AGREEMENT
pardon, the grantee may be a class of persons. (EDCA) (Saguisag v. Executive Secretary Ochoa) See
2. In amnesty, concurrence by majority vote of pages 6-7.
the members of Congress is required. Such
concurrence does not require in pardon. Under the EDCA, the PH shall provide the US forces the
3. In amnesty, it is an official act of the president access and use of portions of PH territory, which are
and thus, has an effect of judicial notice. In called Agreed Locations. Aside from the right to access
pardon, it is a private act of the president and and to use the Agreed Locations, the US may undertake
thus, one has the burden of proving that he the following types of activities within the Agreed
has been grated the same. Locations: security cooperation exercises; joint and
4. In amnesty, it abolishes the offense. While in combined training activities; humanitarian and disaster
pardon, it relieves the offender from the relief activities; and such other activities that as may be
consequences of the offense. agreed upon by the parties.
5. In amnesty, conviction of the accused by final
judgment is not a requirement. In pardon, Here, the signatories were not the heads of the States.
before an accused be given pardon, he must On behalf of the Philippine government, the Defense
first be convicted with final judgment. Secretary signed the same. On behalf of the US, the US
ambassador on the Philippines signed the same. The
BORROWING POWER two heads of the States merely witnessed the signing of
Limitations: the agreement.
1. The president may contract foreign loans on
behalf of the Republic of the Philippines with Issue: W/N the non-submission of the EDCA agreement
the concurrence of the Monetary Board; for concurrence by the Senate violates the Constitution
2. Subject to such limitations as may be provided
No. The EDCA need not be submitted to the Senate for
by law.
concurrence because it is in the form of a mere
TREATY-MAKING POWER
executive agreement, not a treaty. Under the
No treaty or international agreement shall be valid and
Constitution, the President is empowered to enter into
effective unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of all
executive agreements on foreign military bases, troops
the members of the Senate. (Section 21, Article 7.
or facilities if (1) such agreement is not the instrument
Constitution)
that allows the entry of such and (2) if it merely aims to
implement an existing law or treaty.
In our jurisdiction, the power to ratify is
vested in the President and not, as commonly believed, BUDGETARY POWER
in the legislature. The role of the Senate is limited only
to giving or withholding its consent, or concurrence, to Although the power of appropriation belongs to the
the ratification. Congress, the President prepares the budget through
A mere executive agreement does not require the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
concurrence of the Senate. (Section 22, Article 7, 1987 Constitution.)
Under international law, an executive
Q: The DBM proposed a budget for the Department of
agreement is as binding as a treaty. (Bayan v. Zamora;
Education (DEPED). Thereafter, the Congress found that
Pimentel v. Executive Secretary)
the budget is too small for the DEPED to exercise its
function taking into consideration that education
VISITING FORCES AGREEMENT (VFA)
should be given priority specially the implementation of
 It is an agreement allowing American forces to
the k-12 program. The Congress thereafter increased
conduct joint-military exercises here together
the proposal made by the DBM. Was the act of the
with the armed forces of the Philippines.
Congress increasing the proposed budget valid?
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 32 of 65

A: No. Under the Constitution, the Congress may not Example of (2) political question:
increase the appropriations recommended by the The Calling-out power of the President, as the
President for the operation of the Government as commander-in-chief of the AFP. The Constitution has
specified in the budget. Thus, the act of the Congress delegated to the President the power to call-out the
increasing the proposed budget is invalid. (Section 25 power as commander-in-chief. Thus, the president has
(1), Article 6, 1987 Constitution) the full discretionary authority to call such power.

IBP v. Zamora (2000)


JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT The SC upheld deployment of the Marines. Calling out
armed forces is discretionary power solely vested in the
Q: Is judicial power vested only in the SC? President’s wisdom but the matter may be reviewed by
the Court to see whether or not there was grave abuse
A: No. The Constitution says that the judicial power
of discretion.
shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower
courts as may be established by law.
REQUISITES FOR VALID EXERCISE OF JUDICIAL REVIEW:
(See, Page 3.)
DOCTRINE OF PRIMARY JURISDICTION
This doctrine holds that if a case is such that its
Q: May the Courts of Justice render advisory opinions?
determination requires the expertise, specialized
A: The Courts may not render advisory opinions, since
training and knowledge of an administrative body, relief
there is no yet actual controversy to be resolved.
must first be obtained in an administrative proceeding
before resort to the courts is had even if the matter
Q: May the International Courts of Justice render
may well be within their proper jurisdiction.
advisory opinions?
EXPLAIN JUDICIAL POWER
A: Yes. Under the United Nation’s Charter and under its
Judicial power includes (1) the duty of the courts of
own statute, it has two functions. (1) to render advisory
justice to settle actual controversies involving rights
opinions to the general assembly, the security council
which are legally demandable and enforceable
and other organs of the United Nations, (2) to resolve
(traditional concept of judicial review), and (2) to
contentious cases. Evidently, the International Courts of
determine whether or not there has been a grave
Justice may render advisory opinions.
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality
RULE-MAKING POWER
of the Government (Expanded power of judicial review).
The Supreme Court shall have the power to promulgate
Thus, it is not a mere power but a duty imposed by the
rules concerning the protection and enforcement of
Constitution. (See: Section 1, Article 8, 1987
constitutional rights, pleading, practice, and procedure
Constitution)
in all courts, the admission to the practice of law, the
Integrate bar, and legal assistance to the
How is the political question doctrine adversely
underprivileged. (Section 5. (5), Article 8 of the
affected by the expanded power of judicial review?
Constitution)

Despite the issue appears to be a political question,


GSIS v. Heirs of Caballero
once it is shown or determined that there has been a
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of The Supreme Court has now the sole authority to
jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice and
of the Government, the Court may enter jurisdiction procedure in all courts.
through its expanded power of judicial review.
NOTE: The Congress shall prescribe the qualifications of
WHAT ARE POLITICAL QUESTIONS? judges of lower courts, but no person may be
Tañada v. Cuenco appointed judge thereof unless he is a citizen of the
In ordinary parlance, it is a question of policy. It refers Philippines and a member of the Philippine Bar.
to those (1) questions which, under the Constitution, (Section 6 (2), Article 8, Constitution)
are to be decided by the people in their sovereign
capacity; or (2) questions in regard to which full PRINCIPLE OF JUDICIAL RESTRAINT
discretionary authority has been delegated to the Theory of judicial interpretation that encourages judges
executive or legislative branch of the government. to limit the exercise of their own power.
In terms of legislative acts, the principle of judicial
Example of (1) political question: restraint means that every intendment of the law must
In recall election, it is a question to be decided by the be adjudged by the courts in favor of its
people in their sovereign capacity through initiation of constitutionality, invalidity being a measure of last
a recall election on the ground of loss of confidence. resort. In construing therefore the provisions of a
statute, courts must first ascertain whether an
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 33 of 65

interpretation is fairly possible to sidestep the question The possible extraditee must show upon a clear and
of constitutionality. convincing evidence that:
1. He will not be a flight risk or a danger to the
SC AS PRESUDEBTUAK ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL community,
The Supreme Court, sitting en banc, shall be the sole 2. There exist special, humanitarian and compelling
judge of all contest relating to the election, returns, and circumstances. (Government of Hongkong v. Judge
qualifications of the President or Vice-President, and Olalia)
may promulgate its rules for the purpose.
Does an extraditee have a right of access to the
Q: During the impeachment proceedings against the SC evidence against him?
Chief Justice, the House Impeachment Panel, through It depends. During the executive phase of an
letters, asked for the examination of records and the extradition proceeding, an extraditee does not have the
issuance of certified true copies of the rollos and the right of access to evidence in the hands of the
Agenda and Minutes of Deliberations of specific SC- government. But during the judicial phase he has.
decided cases. Also, the same panel requested for the
attendance of court officials including judges, justices,
and employees as witnesses under subpoenas. May WHAT IS AN ATTENTANT CLAUSE?
judges, justices, and Court officials and employees It is a provision/stipulation in extradition treaty which
testify in an impeachment proceeding against a provides that a murder or assassination of a head of
Member of the Court on confidential matters learned in State or any member of his immediate family will not
their official capacity? be considered as political offense, thus, extraditable.
A: No. Members of the Court may not be compelled to
testify in the impeachment proceedings against the POLICE POWER
Chief Justice or other Members of the Court about Requisites for a valid exercise of police power
information acquired in the performance of their 1. Lawful subject – The interests of the public generally,
official adjudicatory functions and duties; otherwise, as distinguished from those of a particular class, require
their disclosure of confidential matters learned in their the exercise of the police power
official capacity violates judicial privilege as it pertains
to the exercise of the constitutional mandate of 2. Lawful means – The means employed are reasonably
adjudication. necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose and
not unduly oppressive upon individuals. (NTC v.
XPN: If the intent only is for them to identify or certify Philippine Veterans Bank, 192 SCRA 257)
the genuineness of documents within their control that
are not confidential and privileged, their presence in Police power rests upon public necessity and upon the
the Impeachment Court may be excused. right of the State and of the public to self-protection.
For this reason, its scope expands and contracts with
EXTRADITION CASES
the changing needs. (Churchill v. Rafferty, 32 Phil. 580,
602-603, 1915)
Extradition
Generally, police power extends to all the great public
The right of a foreign power, created by treaty, to
needs. Its particular aspects, however, are the
demand the surrender of one accused or convicted of a
following: 1. Public health 2. Public morals 3. Public
crime within its territorial jurisdiction, and the
safety 4. Public welfare
correlative duty of the other State to surrender

POWER OF EMINENT DOMAIN


No notice requirement
Power of the state to forcibly acquire the needed
Prior to the issuance of the warrant, the judge must not
property in order to devote it to the intended public
inform or notify the potential extraditee of the
use, upon payment of just compensation.
pendency of the petition, lest the latter be given the
opportunity to escape and frustrate the proceedings.
Conditions for the exercise of the power of eminent
The foregoing procedure will “best serve the ends of
domain
justice” in extradition cases.
1. Taking of private property 2. For public use 3. Just
compensation 4. Observance of due process
NOTE: An extraditee does not have the right to notice
and hearing during the evaluation stage of an
Requisites for a valid taking (PMAPO)
extradition proceeding. The nature of the right being
1. The expropriator must enter a Private property
claimed is nebulous and the degree of prejudice an
2. Entry must be for more than a Momentary period
extraditee allegedly suffers is weak. (US v. Purganan,
3. Entry must be under warrant or color of legal
G.R. No. 148571, September 24, 2002)
Authority 4. Property must be devoted to Public use or
otherwise informally appropriated or injuriously
Requisites for granting bail in extradition cases:
affected
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 34 of 65

5. Utilization of property must be in such a way as to


Oust the owner and deprive him of beneficial POWER OF TAXATION
enjoyment of the property (Republic v. vda. De Process by which the government, through its
Castellvi, G.R. No. L-20620, Aug. 15, 1974) legislative branch, imposes and collects revenues to
defray the necessary expenses of the government, and
Expansive concept of “Public Use” to be able to carry out, in particular, any and all
The requisite of public use does not necessarily mean projects that are supposed to be for the common good.
“use by the public at large.” Whatever may be Simply put, taxation is the method by which these
beneficially employed for the general welfare satisfies contributions are exacted.
the requirement. Moreover, that only few people The power to tax includes the power to destroy only if
benefit from the expropriation does not diminish its it is used as a valid implement of the police power in
public-use character because the notion of public use discouraging and in effect, ultimately prohibiting
now includes the broader notion of indirect public certain things or enterprises inimical to public welfare.
benefit or advantage. (Manosca v. CA, G.R. 166440, Jan. But where the power to tax is used solely for the
29, 1996). purpose of raising revenues, the modern view is that it
cannot be allowed to confiscate or destroy. If this is
Does filing an action for payment of just compensation sought to be done, the tax may be successfully attacked
prescribes? as an inordinate and unconstitutional exercise of the
No. The right to recover just compensation is enshrined discretion that is usually vested exclusively in the
in no less than Bill of Rights, which states in clear and legislature in ascertaining the amount of tax.
categorical language that private property shall not be
taken for public use without just compensation. Thus NOTE: Except only in the case of poll (community)
constitutional mandate cannot be defeated by a mere taxes, non-payment of a tax may be the subject of
statutory prescription. criminal prosecution and punishment. The accused
cannot invoke the prohibition against imprisonment for
Q: An ordinance of Quezon City requires memorial park debt as taxes are not considered debts.
operators to set aside at least 6% of their cemetery for
charity burial of deceased persons who are paupers and Can taxes be subject to off-setting or compensation?
residents of Quezon City. The same ordinance also No. Taxes cannot be subject to compensation for the
imposes fine or imprisonment and revocation of permit simple reason that the government and the taxpayer
to operate in case of violation. Is this a valid exercise of are not creditors and debtors of each other. Debts are
police power? due to the Government in its corporate capacity, while
A: No. It constitutes taking of property without just taxes are due to the Government in its sovereign
compensation. The power to regulate does not include capacity.
the power to prohibit. The power to regulate does not BILL OF RIGHTS
include the power to confiscate. The ordinance in
question not only confiscates but also prohibits the Yrasegui v. PAL
operation of a memorial park cemetery, because under Bill of rights cannot be invoked against private
Sec. 13 of said ordinance, 'Violation of the provision individuals. In the absence of governmental
thereof is punishable with a fine and/or imprisonment interference, the liberties guaranteed by the
and that upon conviction thereof the permit to operate Constitution cannot be invoked. Put differently, the Bill
and maintain a private cemetery shall be revoked or of Rights is not meant to be invoked against acts of
cancelled’. The confiscatory clause and the penal private individuals.
provision in effect deter one from operating a memorial
park cemetery. Moreover, instead of building or Zulueta v. CA
maintaining a public cemetery for this purpose, the city Where the husband invoked his right to privacy of
passes the burden to private cemeteries. (City communication and correspondence against a private
Government of Quezon City v. Ericta, G.R. No. L-34915, individual, his wife, who had forcibly taken from his
Jun. 24, 1983) cabinet and presented as evidence against him
documents and private correspondence, the Supreme
NPC v. Maria Mendoza San Pedro, G.R. No. 170945 Court held these papers inadmissible in evidence,
Sept. 26, 200 upholding the husband’s right to privacy.
There can be expropriation in the right of way
easement. Expropriation is not limited to the DUE PROCESS
acquisition of real property with a corresponding
transfer of title or possession – the right of way Article 3, Section 1, 1987 Constitution
easement resulting in a restriction of limitation on No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property
property right over the land traversed by transmission without due process of law, nor shall any person be
lines also falls within the ambit of the term denied the equal protection of the laws.
expropriation.
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 35 of 65

Q: A complaint was filed against respondent Camille EQUAL PROTECTION


Gonzales, then Chief Librarian, Catalog Division, of the All persons or things similarly situated should be
National Library for dishonesty, grave misconduct, and treated alike, both as to rights conferred and
conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. responsibilities imposed. It guarantees equality, not
The DECS investigating committee was created to identity of rights.
inquire into the charges against Gonzales. Is she
entitled to be informed of the findings and Requisite for valid classification
recommendations of the investigating committee? People v. Cayat
A: No. It must be stressed that the disputed The classification must:
investigation report is an internal communication 1. Rest on substantial distinctions
between the DECS Secretary and the investigation 2. Be germane to the purpose of the law
committee, and it is not generally intended for the 3. Not be limited to existing conditions only
perusal of respondent or any other person for that 4. Apply equally to all members of the same class
matter, except the DECS Secretary. She is entitled only
to the administrative decision based on substantial International School Alliance v. Quisumbing (2000)
evidence made of record, and a reasonable opportunity A group of local hired teachers working at the
to meet the charges and the evidence presented International School of Manila claim that the fact that
against her during the hearing of the investigation they are paid less than their foreign hired counterparts
committee. (Pefianco v. Moral) violates equal protection. The SC agreed, not on the
ground that local hires and foreign hires should be
Effect of Waiver/Estoppel treated similarly, in fact holding that the foreign hired
Due process is satisfied when the parties are afforded a teachers were part of a different bargaining unit, but
fair and reasonable opportunity to explain their because it upheld the principle of “equal pay for equal
respective sides of the controversy. Thus, when the work” as enshrined in the International Covenant on
party seeking due process was in fact given several Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
opportunities to be heard and air his side, but it is by
his own fault or choice he squanders these chances, Demore v. Kim
then his cry for due process must fail. The legislature may not validly classify the citizens of
the State on the basis of their origin, race, or parentage.
WHAT IS VOID FOR VAGUENESS DOCTRINE? But the difference in status between citizens and aliens
(see page 4) constitutes a basis for reasonable classification in the
exercise of police power.
Ang Tibay v. CIR (1940) Tests in determining compliance with the equal
Ang Tibay laid off workers belonging to the NLU. NLU protection clause:
protested this alleged unfair labor practice to the CIR, 1. Rational Basis Test – the traditional test, which
which ruled in its favor despite the lack of evidence. requires “only that government must not
The SC in the instant case remanded the case to the CIR impose differences in treatment except upon
for a new trial, finding that the NLU may have been some reasonable differentiation fairly related
deprived of some primary rights when it tried to prove to the object of regulation.” Simply put, it
its case before the CIR. This case is considered to have merely demands that the classification in the
codified the 7 elements of Administrative Due Process, statute reasonably relates to the legislative
namely: 1. Hearing 2. Tribunal must have considered purpose.
evidence presented. 3. Decision must find support in 2. Intermediate scrutiny test – it requires that the
evidence. 4. Evidence must be substantial. 5. Decision classification must serve an important
must be rendered based on evidence presented at the governmental objective and is substantially
hearing. 6. Administrative agency must act on its own related to the achievement of such objective.
opinion on the law and facts of the controversy, and 7. A classification based on sex is the best
The decision must be made in such a manner that the established example of an intermediate level
parties know the issues involved and the reasons of review.
behind the decision made. 3. Strict scrutiny test – refers to the standard for
White Light Corporation v. City of Manila, supra. determining the quality and the amount of
The prohibition against quick-time stays in hotels is governmental interest brought to justify the
unconstitutional, being violative of due process and the regulation of fundamental freedoms. It is used
right to privacy. While upholding morals is a valid state today to test the validity of laws dealing with
purpose, there are other purposes for renting a hotel the regulation of speech gender, or race as
for less than 5 hours. As an unreasonable means well as other fundamental rights as expansion
towards a valid end, the ordinance is unconstitutional from its earlier applications to equal
and void. 3. Constitutional and statutory due process 4. protection.
Hierarchy of rights 4. Balancing of Interest/Equality Test/Intensified
Means Test – test which does not look solely
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 36 of 65

into the government’s purpose in classifying ruled that the warrants, being general warrants, were
persons or things nor into the existence of an void.
overriding or compelling government interest
so great to justify limitations of fundamental Does “reliable information” satisfy the “personal
rights but closely scrutinizes the relationship knowledge” requirement?
between the classification and the purpose,
No. The long-standing rule in this jurisdiction, applied
based on spectrum of standards, by gauging
with a great degree of consistency, is that “reliable
the extent to which constitutionally
information” alone is not sufficient to justify a
guaranteed rights depend upon the affected
warrantless arrest under section 5 (a) of Rule 113. The
individual’s interest.
rule requires, in addition, that the accused perform
some overt act that would indicate that he has
Quinto v. COMELEC (G.R. No. 189698, 2010)
committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to
The petitioners were appointed officials who
commit an offense.
intended to run in the elections. Prior to the
elections, COMELEC issued Resolution No. 8678 Instances of a valid warrantless search
pursuant to Section 13 of R.A. 9369, which
amended Section 11 of R.A. 8436. The third 1. Visual search is made of moving vehicles at
paragraph of Section 13 provided that all persons checkpoints
holding a public appointive office would be 2. Search incidental to a lawful arrest
considered ipso facto resigned from office upon 3. Search of passengers made in airports
filing of his certificate of candidacy. The petitioners 4. Plain view doctrine
argued that this provision violated equal 5. Stop and frisk
protection. Although initially the Court agreed with 6. Valid waiver
them, upon MR it ruled that the provision and the 7. Customs search
COMELEC Resolution were valid. 8. Exigent and emergency circumstances
RIGHT AGAINST UNREASONABLE SEARCHES AND
Plain View Doctrine
SEIZURES
Under the plain view doctrine, objects falling in the
Article 3, Section 2, 1987 Constitution “plain view” of an officer, who has a right to be in the
The right of the people to be secure in their position to have that view, are subject to seizure and
persons, houses, papers, and effects against may be presented as evidence.
unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever
nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and Requisites of plain view:
no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue
except upon probable cause to be determined 1. The law enforcement officer in search of the
personally by the judge after examination under evidence has a prior justification for an
oath or affirmation of the complainant and the intrusion or is in a position from which he can
witnesses he may produce, and particularly view a particular area
describing the place to be searched and persons or 2. The discovery of the evidence in plain view is
things to be seized. inadvertent
3. It is immediately apparent to the officer that
Salazar v. Achacoso (1990) the item he observes mat be evidence of a
crime, contraband, or otherwise subject to
Petitioner was charged with illegal recruitment. Law seizure.
enforcers went to her residence where it was
discovered that she was operating a dance studio.
Documents and other personal property were seized.

The warrant was not issued by a judge, but by the


Stop-and-frisk search
Secretary of Labor; and, assuming that the Secretary of
Labor is authorized to issue warrants, the same is Malacat v. CA
invalid for being “general”.
Limited protective search of outer clothing for weapons
Stonehill v. Diokno (1967) is valid. Probable cause is not required but a genuine
reason must exist in light of a police officer’s experience
42 search warrants were issued, ordering police officers
and surrounding conditions to warrant the belief that
to search for documents, articles, etc., which could be
the person detained has weapons concealed.
used to violate the laws. The evidence found via the
searches led to convictions for violations of Custom Manalili v. CA (1997)
Laws, Tax Laws, and the Revised Penal Codes. The SC
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 37 of 65

Manalili was charged with Illegal Possession of Pollo v. David


marijuana. He was arrested after being stopped and
frisked, because he had reddish eyes and was walking in A search by a government employer of an employee’s
a swaying manner. He was convicted. Ruling on the office is justified at inception when there are
validity of his arrest due to “stop-and-frisk,” the SC reasonable grounds for suspecting that it will turn up
upheld the arrest. When dealing with a rapidly evidence that the employee is guilty of work-related
unfolding and potentially criminal situation where there misconduct.
is no time to secure an arrest or a search warrant,
Q: Does an officer charged with a crime in connection
policemen should employ limited, flexible responses —
with his office have a reasonable expectation of privacy
like "stop-and-frisk" — which are graduated in relation
in his office and computer files?
to the amount of information they possess, the lawmen
being ever vigilant to respect and not to violate or to A: No. Government agencies, in their capacity as
treat cavalierly the citizen's constitutional rights against employers, rather than law enforcers, could validly
unreasonable arrest, search and seizure. conduct search and seizure in the governmental
workplace without meeting the “probable cause” or
Checkpoints
warrant requirement for search and seizure. Moreover,
Valmonte vs. De villa he failed to prove that he had an actual (subjective)
expectation of privacy either in his office or
Not all searches and seizures are prohibited. Between government-issued computer which contained his
the inherent right of the state to protect its existence personal files. (Pollo v. David)
and promote public welfare and an individual's right
against a warrantless search which is Q: While sleeping in his room, Rex was arrested by
however reasonably conducted, the former should virtue of a warrant of arrest and he was dragged out of
prevail. the room. Thereafter, some police officers ransacked
the locked cabinet inside the room where they found a
A checkpoint is akin to a stop-and-frisk situation whose firearm and ammunition. Are the warrantless search
object is either to determine the identity of suspicious and seizure of the firearm and ammunition justified as
individuals or to maintain the status quo momentarily an incident to a lawful arrest?
while the police officers seek to obtain more
information. A: No. The scope of the warrantless search is not
without limitations. A valid arrest allows the seizure of
People v. Vinecario evidence or dangerous weapons either on the person of
the one arrested or within the area of his immediate
As a rule, motorists and their vehicles passing through control. The purpose of the exception is to protect the
checkpoints may only be subjected to a routine arresting officer from being harmed by the person
inspection, vehicles may be stopped and extensively arrested, who might be armed with a concealed
searched when there is probable cause which justifies a weapon, and to prevent the latter from destroying
reasonable belief among those at the checkpoints that evidence with reach. In this case, search was made in
either the motorist is a law offender or the contents of the locked cabinet which cannot be said to have been
the vehicle are or have been instruments of some within Valeroso’s immediate control. Thus, the search
offense. exceeded the bounds of what may be considered as an
incident to a lawful arrest. (Valeroso v. CA)
Q: Jamie was a lady frisker whose duty is to frisk
departing passengers, employees, and crew and check INSTANCES OF A VALID WARRANTLESS ARREST
for weapons, bombs, prohibited drugs, contraband
goods, and explosives. When she frisked Rozanne, a
boarding passenger, she felt something hard on 1. In flagrante delicto – the person to be arrested
Rozanne’s abdominal area which was later found to be has either committed, is actually committing,
3 packs of shabu. Can Rozanne Dela Cruz invoke a or is about to commit an offense in the
violation of the search and seizure clause? presence of the arresting officer.
2. Hot pursuit – When a n offense has in fact just
A: No. Persons may lose the protection of the search been committed and the arresting officer has
and seizure clause by exposure of their persons or probable cause to believe, based on personal
property to the public in a manner reflecting a lack of knowledge of the facts and circumstances
subjective expectation of privacy, which expectation indicating, that the person to be arrested has
society is prepared to recognize as reasonable. Such committed it.
recognition is implicit in airport security procedures. 3. Escaped Prisoner or Detainee – when the
With increased concern over airplane hijacking and person to be arrested is a prisoner who has
terrorism has come increased security at the nation’s escaped from a penal establishment or place
airport. (People v. Leila Johnson) where he is serving final judgment or
temporarily confined while his case is pending,
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 38 of 65

or has escaped whole being transferred form A law requiring mandatory drug testing for students of
one confinement to another. secondary and tertiary schools is not unconstitutional.
4. Waiver – When the right is waived by the It is within the prerogative of educational institutions to
person arrested, provided he knew such right require, as a condition for admission, compliance with
and knowingly decided not to invoke it. reasonable school rules and regulations and policies.
5. Continuing Offenses – a peace officer can
validly conduct a warrantless arrest in crimes A law requiring mandatory drug testing for officers and
of rebellion, subversion, conspiracy or employees of public and private offices is not
proposal to commit such crimes, and crimes of unconstitutional.
offenses committed in furtherance thereof.
However, mandatory drug testing for persons charged
Note: An application for or admission to bail shall not before the prosecutor’s office with criminal offenses
bar the accused from challenging the validity of his punishable with 6 years and 1 day imprisonment would
arrest or the legality of the warrant issued therefore, or violate a person’s right to privacy guaranteed under
from assailing the regularity or questioning the absence Section 2, Article 3 of the 1987 Constitution. Worse still,
of a preliminary investigation of the charge against him, the accused persons are veritably forced to incriminate
provided that he raises them before entering his plea. themselves.

Q: SPO2 Luigi Morales and PO2 Yael Padilla received RIGHT TO PRIVACY IN COMMUNICATION AND
information that Neil Banzon was about to deliver CORRESPONDECE
drugs at the Thunder Bird Resort in Angeles City. When
General rule: Right to privacy of communication and
Neil Banzon arrived at the resort, he was carrying a
correspondence is inviolable.
sealed zest-o juice box. The police men hurriedly
accosted him and introduced themselves as police Exception:
officers. When SPO2 Morales peeked in to the contents
of the zest-o box, he saw that it contained a crystalline 1. By lawful order of the court; 2. When public
substance. He instantly confiscated the said box. Neil safety or order requires otherwise as
was then found guilty of illegal possession of shabu. prescribed by law.
Was the search lawful?
Alejano v. Cabuay, et al.
A: NO. Neither the in flagrante delicto nor the stop and AS TO RIGHT TO PRIVACY OF COMMUNICATION: The
frisk principle is applicable to justify the warrantless letters alleged to have been read by the ISAFP
arrest and consequent search and seizure made by the authorities were not confidential letters between the
police operatives on accused-appellant. In inflagrante detainees and their lawyers. The petitioner who
delicto arrests, the accused is apprehended at the very received the letters from detainees Trillanes and
moment he is committing or attempting to commit or Maestrecampo was merely acting as the detainees’
has just committed an offense in the presence of the personal courier and not as their counsel when he
arresting officer. Emphasis should be laid on the fact received the letters for mailing. In the present case,
that the law requires that the search be incidental to a since the letters were not confidential communication
lawful arrest. Therefore, it is beyond cavil that a lawful between the detainees and their lawyers, the officials
arrest must precede the search of a person and his of the ISAFP Detention Center could read the letters. If
belongings. the letters are marked confidential communication
between the detainees and their lawyers, the detention
People v. Sucro officials should not read the letters but only open the
envelopes for inspection in the presence of the
When a police officer sees the offense, although at a
detainees.
distance, or hears the disturbances created thereby,
and proceeds at once to the scene thereof, he may As long as the letters are not confidential
effect an arrest without a warrant. There is nothing communication between the detainee and his lawyer,
unlawful about the arrest considering its compliance the detention officials may read them. But if the letters
with the requirements of a warrantless arrest. Thus, the are marked confidential communication between
fruits obtained from such lawful arrest are admissible in detainee and the lawyer, the officer must not read
evidence. them but only inspect them in the presence of
detainees. A law is not needed before an executive
ADMINISTRATIVE ARREST
officer may intrude into the rights of privacy of a
There is an administrative arrest when there is an arrest detainee or a prisoner. Bu the very fact of their
as an incident to a deportation proceeding. detention, they have diminished expectations of
privacy rights.
SJS v. DDB
Ayer Productions v. Capulong
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 39 of 65

Q: Ayer productions wanted to produce a mini-series In this day and age, video surveillance cameras are
about the EDS Revolution. Juan Ponce Enrile did not installed practically everywhere for the protection and
approve the project and said that no reference to him safety of everyone. The installation of these cameras,
or his family should be made. The filmmakers acceded however, should not cover places where there is
to his demand, the script was changed and they reasonable expectation of privacy, unless the consent
proceeded to film the movie. Enrile filed a complaint of the individual, whose right to privacy would be
with TRO alleging that the production without his affected, was obtained. Nor should these cameras be
consent constitutes a violation of his right to privacy. used to pry into privacy of another’s residence or
Ayer countered that the injunction is curtailment of the business office as it would be no different from
right of free expression. Is the right to privacy absolute? eavesdropping, which is a crime under RA No. 4200 or
the Anti-Wiretapping Law.
A: No. The right of privacy or “the right to be let alone,”
like the right of free expression, is not an absolute right. ANTI-WIRE TAPPING ACT (RA 4200)
A limited intrusion into a person’s privacy has long been
regarded as permissible where that person is a public Prohibited Acts under RA 4200
figure and the information sought to be elicited from 1. To tap any wire or cable, or by using any other
him or to be published about him constitute of a public device or arrangement, to secretly overhear,
character. Succinctly put, the right of privacy cannot be intercept, or record such communication or
invoked to resist publication and dissemination of spoken word by using a device commonly
matters of public interest. The interest sought to be known as a Dictaphone or dictagraph or
protected by the right of privacy is the right to be free detectaphone or walkie-talkie or tape
from unwarranted publicity, from the wrongful recorder, or however otherwise described by
publicizing of the private affairs and activities of an any person, not being authorized by all the
individual which are outside the realm of legitimate parties to any private communication or
public concern. spoken word.
2. To knowingly possess any tape record, wire
Disini v. Secretary of Justice (2014) record, disc record, or any other such record,
Q: Under the Cybercrime law, cybersex is the willful or copies thereof, of any communication or
engagement, maintenance, control, or operation, spoken word secured either before or after the
directly or indirectly, of any lascivious exhibition of effective date of this Act in the manner
sexual organs or sexual activity, with the aid of a prohibited by this law; or
computer system, for favor or consideration. 3. To replay the same for any other person or
Petitioners expressed their fear that private persons; or
communications of sexual character between 4. To communicate the contents thereof, either
consenting adults, which are not regarded as crimes verbally or in writing; or
under the penal code, would now be regarded as 5. To furnish transcriptions thereof, whether
crimes when done “for favor” in cyberspace. Is the complete or partial, to any other person.
argument of the petitioners valid?
NOTE: Anti-wiretapping act only protects letters,
A: No. The deliberations of the Bicameral Committee messages, telephone calls, telegrams and the like.
on Congress show a lack of intent to penalize a private
showing between and among two private persons Ramirez v. CA (1995)
although that may be a form of obscenity to some. The The nature of the conversations is immaterial to a
understanding of those who drew up the cybercrime violation of the statute; the substance of the same need
law is that the element of “engaging in a business” is not be specifically alleged in the information. The mere
necessary to constitute the crime of illegal cybersex. allegation that an individual made a secret recording of
a private communication by means of a tape recorder
Vivares v. St. Theresa’s College (2014) would suffice to constitute an offense under Section 1
Before one can have an expectation of privacy in his or of RA 4200. The phrase “private communication” in
her Online Social Network activity, it is first necessary Section 1 of RA 4200 is broad enough to include verbal
that said user, manifest the intention to keep certain or non-verbal, written or expressive communications of
posts private, through the employment of measures to “meanings or thoughts” which are likely to include the
prevent access thereto or to limit its visibility. Thus, a emotionally-charged exchange between petitioner and
Facebook user who opts to make use of a privacy tool private respondent, in the privacy of the latter’s office.
to grant or deny access to his or her post or profile
detail should not be denied the informational privacy Q: DOJ Secretary Raul Gonzales warned the reporters
right which necessarily accompanies said choice. who had copies of the compact disc (CD) and those
broadcasting or publishing its contents could be held
Spouses Hing v. Choachuy (2013) liable under the Anti-wiretapping act. Secretary
Gonzales also ordered the NBI to go after media
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 40 of 65

organizations “found to have caused the spread, the effect, Sec. 4(c)(4) above merely affirms that online
playing and the printing of the contents of a tape” of an defamation constitutes “similar means” for committing
alleged wiretapped conversation involving the libel. Furthermore, the United Nations Human Rights
President about fixing votes in 2004 national elections. Committee did not actually enjoin the Philippines to
Can the DOJ Secretary use the Anti-Wiretapping Act as decriminalize libel. It simply suggested that defamation
a regulatory measure to prohibit the media from laws be crafted with care to ensure that they do not
publishing the contents of the CD? stifle freedom of expression. Free speech is not
absolute. It is subject to certain restrictions, as may be
A: No. The court ruled that not every violation of a law necessary and as may be provided by law.
will justify straitjacketing the exercise of freedom of
speech and of the press. There are laws of great Q: Nestor posted on Facebook that Juan Dela Cruz, a
significance but their violation, by itself and without married person, has an illicit affair with Maria. Dexter
more, cannot support suppression of free speech and liked this post and commented: “Yes! This is true! What
free press. In fine, violation of law is just a factor, a vital an immoral thing to do?!” This post was likewise liked
one to be sure, which should be weighed in adjudging by 23 people. Juan Dela Cruz filed a case for online libel
whether to restrain freedom of speech and of the against Nestor, Dexter and 23 other people who liked
press. (Francisco Chavez v. Raul M. Gonzales, 2008) the post using as his basis Sec. 5 of the Cybercrime law
which penalizes any person who willfully abets or aids
WRIT OF HABEAS DATA in the commission of any of the offenses enumerated in
A remedy available to any person whose right to the said law. Is this provision of the law constitutional?
privacy in life, life, liberty or security is violated or
threatened by an unlawful act or omission of a public A: No. The terms “aiding or abetting” constitute broad
official or employee or of a private individual or entity sweep that generates chilling effect on those who
engaged in the gathering, collecting or storing of data express themselves through cyberspace posts,
or information regarding the person, family, home and comments, and other messages. Its vagueness raises
correspondence of the aggrieved party. apprehension on the part of internet users because of
its obvious chilling effect on the freedom of expression,
When writ of Habeas data is not applicable especially since the crime of aiding or abetting ensnares
A writ of habeas data may not be issued to protect all the actors in the cyberspace front in a fuzzy way.
purely property and commercial concerns nor when the The terms “aiding or abetting” constitute broad sweep
grounds invoked in support of the petitions therefore that generates chilling effect on those who express
are vague or doubtful. themselves through cyberspace posts, comments, and
other messages. Hence, Sec. 5 of the cybercrime law
In cases of extralegal killings and enforced that punishes “aiding or abetting” libel on the
disappearances, the petition may be filed by: cyberspace is a nullity. But Nestor, the author, is still
1. Any member of the immediate family of the liable for the defamatory words he posted.
aggrieved party, namely: the spouse, children,
and parents; or MIRIAM COLLEGE FOUNDATION v. CA
2. Any ascendant, descendant or collateral The school cannot suspend or expel a student solely on
relative of the aggrieved party within the the basis of the articles he has written except when
fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, such article materially disrupts class work or involves
in default of those mentioned in the preceding substantial disorder r invasion of rights of others.
paragraph.
DOCTRINE OF FAIR COMMENT
FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION General rule: Every discreditable public imputation is
Sec. 4, Article 3, 1987 Constitution false because every man is presumed innocent, thus,
No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of every false imputation is deemed malicious, hence,
speech, of expression, or of the press, or of the right of actionable.
the people peaceably to assemble and petition the Exception: When the discreditable imputation is
government for redress of grievances. directed against a public person in his public capacity,
such is not necessarily actionable.
DISINI v. SECRETARY OF JUSTICE (2014) NOTE: For it to be actionable, it must be shown that
Q: Are the provisions of the Revised Penal Code on Libel either there is a false allegation of fact or comment
and the provision of the Cyber Crime Law on cyber libel based on a false supposition.
constitutional? Exception to the Exception: If the comment is an
A: Yes. Libel is not a constitutionally protected speech expression of opinion, based on established facts, it is
and that the government has an obligation to protect immaterial whether the opinion happens to be
private individuals from defamation. Indeed, cyber libel mistaken, as long as it might reasonably inferred from
is actually not a new crime since Art. 353, in relation to facts.
Art. 355 of the penal code, already punishes it. In
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 41 of 65

Q: A national daily newspaper carried an exclusive restriction determines the test by which the
report stating that Senator Ryan Christopher received a challenged act is assailed with.
house and lot located at YY Street, Makati, in  There is presumption of unconstitutionality.
consideration for his vote to cut cigarette taxes by 50%.  Clear and present danger test is applicable.
The Senator sued the newspaper, its reporter, editor Secretary of Justice v. Estrada (2001)
and publisher for libel, claiming the report was Live Media Coverage of Court Proceedings
completely false and malicious. According to the
Senator, there is no YY Street in Makati, and the tax cut Considering the prejudice it poses to the defendant’s
was only 20%. He claimed one million pesos in right to due process as well as to the fair and orderly
damages. The defendants denied "actual malice," administration of justice and considering further that
claiming privileged communication and absolute the freedom of the press and the right of the people to
freedom of the press to report on public officials and information may be served and satisfied by less
matters of public concern. If there was any error, the distracting, degrading and prejudicial means, live radio
newspaper said it would publish the correction and television coverage of court proceedings shall not
promptly. Are the defendants liable for damages? be allowed. Video footages of court hearings for news
purposes shall be restricted and limited to shots of the
A: No. Since Senator Ryan Christopher is a public courtroom, the judicial officers, the parties and their
person and the questioned imputation is directed counsel taken prior to the commencement of official
against him in his public capacity, in this case actual proceedings. No video shots or photographs shall be
malice means the statement was made with knowledge permitted during the trial proper.
that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it
was false or not. Since there is no proof that the report An accused has a right to a public trial but it is right that
was published with knowledge that it is false or with belongs to him, more than anyone else, where his life
reckless disregard of whether it was false or not, the or liberty can be held critically in balance. A public trial
defendants are not liable for damages. (Borjal v. CA, aims to ensure that he is fairly dealt with and would not
G.R. No. 126466, Jan. 14, 1999) be unjustly condemned and that his rights are not
compromised in secret conclaves of long ago. A public
Q: Erika Ong penned several articles in Malaya trial is not synonymous with publicized trial, it only
newspaper regarding alleged bribery incidents in the implies that the court doors must be open to those who
Supreme Court and characterizing the justices as wish to come, sit in the available seats, conduct
“thieves” and “a basket of rotten apples”. The Court En themselves with proper decorum and observe the trial
Banc required Erika to explain why no sanction should process.
be imposed on her for indirect contempt of court. Did
the order of the Court violate freedom of the press? Q: Can an offensive and obscene language uttered in a
prime-time television broadcast which was easily
A: No. While freedom of speech, of expression and of accessible to the children be reasonably curtailed and
the press are at the core of civil liberties and have to be validly restrained?
protected at all costs for the sake of democracy, these
freedoms are not absolute. For, if left unbridled, they A: Yes. In Soriano v. MTRCB, G.R. No. 165636, Apr. 29,
have the tendency to be abused and can translate to 2009, the Court, applying the balancing of interest
licenses, which could lead to disorder and anarchy. doctrine, ruled that the government’s interest to
Erika crossed the line, as hers are baseless scurrilous protect and promote the interests and welfare of the
attacks which demonstrate nothing but an abuse of children adequately buttresses the reasonable
press freedom. They leave no redeeming value in curtailment and valid restraint on petitioner’s prayer to
furtherance of freedom of the press. They do nothing continue as program host of Ang Dating Daan during
but damage the integrity of the High Court, undermine the suspension period. Soriano’s offensive and obscene
the faith and confidence of the people in the judiciary, language uttered on primetime television broadcast,
and threaten the doctrine of judicial independence. (In without doubt, was easily accessible to the children.
Re: Allegations Contained in the Columns of Mr. His statements could have exposed children to a
Amado P. Macasaet, A.M. No. 07-09-13-SC, Aug. 8, language that is unacceptable in everyday use. As such,
2008) the welfare of children and the State’s mandate to
CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER TEST protect and care for them, as parens patriae, constitute
Whether the words are used in such circumstances and a substantial and compelling government interest in
are of such a nature as to create a clear and present regulating Soriano’s utterances in TV broadcast.
danger that they will bring about the substantive evils
that Congress has a right to prevent. Content-neutral regulation
Merely concerned with the incidents of the speech, or
Content-based Restraint one that merely controls time, place or manner, and
 The restriction is based on the subject matter under well-defined standards. This has no presumption
of the utterance or speech. The cast of the of unconstitutionality.
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 42 of 65

Heckler’s Veto Maximum Tolerance


Occurs when an acting party's right to freedom of The highest degree of restraint that the military, police
speech is curtailed or restricted by the government in and other peace keeping authorities shall observe
order to prevent a reacting party's behavior. during a public assembly or in dispersal of the same.

The best known case involving the heckler's veto is IBP v. Atienza
probably Feiner v. New York, handed down by the
In modifying the permit outright, respondent gravely
Supreme Court in 1951. Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson,
abused his discretion when he did not immediately
writing for the majority, held that police officers acted
inform the IBP who should have been heard first on the
within their power in arresting a speaker if the arrest
matter of perceived imminent and grave danger of a
was "motivated solely by a proper concern for the
substantive evil that may warrant the changing of the
preservation of order and protection of the general
venue. Respondent failed to indicate how he had
welfare." 340 U.S. 315.
arrived at modifying the terms of the permit against the
standard of clear and present danger which is an
FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY AND PETITION
indispensable condition to such modification.
The right to assembly is not subject to prior restraint. It
may not be conditioned upon the prior issuance of a NON-ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE
permit or authorization from government authorities.
The right, however, must be exercised in such a way as Art. III, Sec. 5 “No law shall be made respecting an
will not prejudice the public welfare. establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof.”
Note: Before one can use a public place, one must first NOTE: The non- establishment clause means that the
obtain prior permit from the proper authorities. state should adopt a “position of neutrality” when it
Permits are not required for designated freedom parks, comes to religious matters. (Political Law Reviewer,
universities, and private places. Suarez ,p. 252 citing CJ Fernando, 2011)

Evangelista v. Earnshaw Right to believe is absolute. However, right to act on


The mayor revoked permits he already granted because one’s belief is subject to regulation. Where the
the group Communist Part of the Philippines, was found individual externalizes his beliefs in acts or omissions
by the fiscal to be an illegal association. When the that affect the public and the rights of others, his
intention and effect of the act is seditious, the freedom to do so becomes subject to the authority of
constitutional guaranties of freedom of speech and the State. The inherent police power can be exercised
press and of assembly and petition must yield to to prevent religious practices inimical (which will cause
punitive measures designed to maintain the prestige of damage) to society.
constituted authority, the supremacy of the
Constitution and the laws, and the existence of the The Diocese of Bacolod v. COMELEC (2015)
State.
Q: The petitioners Diocese of Bacolod, et al. posted 2
Q: Exec. Sec. Pat Alampay issued a policy via press tarpaulins within a private compound housing the San
release. The policy pertains to the strict Sebastian Cathedral of Bacolod. One tarp contained the
implementation of BP 880 also known as the Public message “ibasura RH Law” while the other tarp
Assembly Act of 1985. It provides for the strict contained the words “Team Buhay” and “Team Patay”,
enforcement of “no permit, no rally policy”, and arrest classifying the electoral candidates according to their
of all persons violating the laws of the land, and vote on the adoption of the RH Law. The COMELEC
dispersal of unlawful mass actions. Is BP Blg. 880 issued an order and letter ordering the immediate
unconstitutional on the ground that it violates the removal of the tarpaulin, otherwise it will be
constitutionality guaranteed right to peaceful constrained to file and election offense against the
assembly? petitioners. Petitioners contend that the order to
remove the tarps constitutes an infringement on
A: No. BP 880 is constitutional. It does not curtail or freedom of speech and violates the separation of
unduly restrict the freedom. It merely regulates the use church and state.
of public places as to the time, place and manner of a. Did the order violate the
assemblies. Far from being insidious, “maximum separation of church and
tolerance” is for the benefit of the rallyists, not the State?
government. The delegation to the mayors of the b. Did the Order violate
power to issue rally “permits” is valid because it is petitioner’s rights to
subject to the constitutionally sound “clear and present freedom of expression?
danger” standard. (Bayan Karapatan v. Eduardo Ermita, A:
et al., G.R. No. 169838, April 25, 2006)
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 43 of 65

a. No. The tarpaulin and its message are not A: Yes. Angel’s conjugal arrangement cannot be
religious speech. Article 3, Section 5 of the penalized as she has made out a case for exemption
1987 Constitution has two aspects: First, non- from the law based on her fundamental right to
establishment clauses; second, the free freedom of religion. The Court recognizes that State
exercise and enjoyment of religious profession interests must be upheld in order that freedoms –
and worship. The second aspect is the issue in including religious freedom – may be enjoyed. In the
this case. Clearly, not all acts done by those area of religious exercise as a preferred freedom,
who are priests, bishops, ustadz. Imams, or however, man stands accountable to an authority
any religious make such act immune from any higher than the State, and so the State interest sought
secular regulation. to be upheld must be so compelling that its violation
will erode (destroy) the very fabric of the State that will
b. Yes. The COMELEC is incorrect in assuming also protect the freedom. In the absence of a showing
that the tarps are election propaganda. While that such State interest exists, man must be allowed to
the tarpaulin may influence the success or subscribe to the Infinite. Furthermore, our Constitution
failure of the named candidates and political adheres to the benevolent neutrality approach that
parties, this does not necessarily mean it is gives room for accommodation of religious exercises as
election propaganda. The tarpaulin was not required by the Free Exercise Clause. The benevolent
paid for or posted “in return for consideration” neutrality doctrine allows accommodation of morality
by any candidate, political party, or party-list based on religion, provided it does not offend
group. compelling state interests. (Estrada v. Escritor)

Every citizen’s expression with political Ang Ladlad LGBT Party v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 190582,
consequences enjoys a high degree of Apr. 8, 2010
protection. The preferred freedom of It was grave violation of the non-establishment clause
expression calls all the more for the utmost for the COMELEC to utilize the Bible and the Qur’an to
respect when what may be curtailed is the justify the exclusion of Ang Ladlad. Our Constitution
dissemination of information to make more provides in Art. III, Sec. 5 that “no law shall be made
meaningful the equally vital right of suffrage. respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting
Speech with political consequences is at the the free exercise thereof.” At bottom, what our non-
core of the freedom of expression and must be establishment clause calls for is government neutrality
protected by this court. in religious matters. Clearly, governmental reliance on
religious justification is inconsistent with this policy of
General rule: No public money or property shall be neutrality.
appropriated, applied, paid, or employed, indirectly or
directly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, Dominador Taruc, et al. v. Bishop Perfirio Dela Cruz
church, denomination, sectarian institution, or system The church and the state are separate and distinct from
of religion, or of any priest, preacher, minister, or other each other. Said matter involving the
religious teacher. expulsion/excommunication of members of the
Exception: When they were assigned to army, penal Philippine Independent Church should be left to the
institutions, government orphanage, and leprosarium. discretion of the officials of said religious institution in
line with the doctrine that the court should not
Q: Angel, a court interpreter, is living with a man not interfere on doctrinal and disciplinary differences.
her husband. Ben filed an administrative case against
Angel as he believes that she is committing an immoral Conscientious Objector Test
act that tarnishes the image of the court, thus she An individual who has claimed the right to refuse to
should not be allowed to remain employed therein as it perform military service on the grounds of freedom of
might appear that the court condones her act. Angel thought, conscience, and/or religion.
admitted that she has been living with CA without the
benefit of marriage for twenty years and that they have Requisites:
a son. But as a member of the religious sect known as 1. The person is opposed to war in any form
the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower and 2. He must show that this opposition is based
Bible Tract Society, their conjugal arrangement is in upon religious training and belief
conformity with their religious beliefs. In fact, after ten 3. He must show that this objection is sincere.
years of living together, she executed on July 28, 1991 a
“Declaration of Pledging Faithfulness. Should Angel’s Q: Shery, Julia, Paula, Joanne, Lisette and Angela were
right to religious freedom carve out an exception from minor school children and member of the sect,
the prevailing jurisprudence on illicit relations for which Jehovah’s Witnesses. They were expelled from their
government employees are held administratively classes by various public school authorities for refusing
liable? to salute the flag, sing the national anthem and recite
the “Panatang Makabayan” required by RA 1265.
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 44 of 65

According to them, the basic assumption in their public safety, or public health, as may be provided by
universal refusal to salute the flags of the countries in law.
which they are found is that such a salute constitutes
an act of religious devotion forbidden by God's law and WATCH-LIST AND HOLD DEPARTURE ORDERS
that their freedom of religion is grossly violated. On the Watch-list Order
other hand, the public authorities claimed that the
freedom of religious belief guaranteed by the Order issued to prevent an individual from travelling. It
Constitution does not mean exception from non- may be issued by the Secretary of Justice motu proprio
discriminatory laws like the saluting of flag and the or upon request.
singing of the national anthem. To allow otherwise
The Secretary of Justice may likewise issue a WLO
would disrupt school discipline and demoralize the
against any person, either on his own, or upon the
teachings of civic consciousness and duties of
request of any government agency, including
citizenship. Is the expulsion justified?
commissions, task forces or similar entities created by
the Office of the President, pursuant to the "Anti-
A: No. Religious freedom is a fundamental right of
Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003" (R.A. No. 9208)
highest priority. The two- fold aspect of right to
and/or in connection with any investigation being
religious worship is: 1.) Freedom to believe which is an
conducted by it, or in the interest of national security,
absolute act within the realm of thought. 2.) Freedom
public safety or public health. (Sec. 2, DOJ Circ. 41,
to act on one’s belief regulated and translated to
s.2010)
external acts. The only limitation to religious freedom is
the existence of grave and present danger to public NOTE: WLO is available for (a) criminal cases pending
safety, morals, health and interests where State has before lower courts, or even for (b) cases still under
right to prevent. The expulsion of the petitioners from preliminary investigation.
the school is not justified.
A WLO is good for sixty (60) days. (Sec. 4, DOJ Circ. 41,
LIBERTY OF ABODE AND FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT and s.2010)
Rights guaranteed under Sec. 6 of the Bill of Rights:
Hold Departure Order (HDO)
1. Freedom to choose and change one’s place of
abode; and An order issued to prevent an individual from travelling.
2. Freedom to travel within the country and It may be issued by the Secretary of Justice motu
outside. proprio or upon request.

Q: The military commander in charge of the operation The Secretary may likewise issue an HDO against any
against rebel groups directed the inhabitants if the person, either on his own, or upon the request by the
island which would be the target of attack by the Head of a Department of the Government, the head or
government forces to evacuate the area and offered a constitutional body or commission, the Chief Justice
the residents temporary military hamlet. Can the of the Supreme Court for the Judiciary, the Senate
military commander force the residents to transfer President or the House Speaker for the Legislature,
their places of abode without a court order? when the adverse party is the Government or any of its
agencies or instrumentalities, or in the interest of
A: No. The military commander cannot do so without a national security, public safety or public health.” (Sec.
court order. Under Section 6 of the Bill of Rights, a 1, DOJ Circ. 41, s.2010)
lawful order of the court is required before the liberty
of abode and of changing the same can be impaired. NOTE: A Hold Departure Order can be issued against (a)
an accused in criminal cases under the jurisdiction of
Right to Travel the Regional Trial Courts and even (b) against aliens
Right of a person to go where he pleases without whose presence is required either as respondents or as
interference from anyone. witnesses.

A HDO is valid for five (5) years from issuance.


Limitations:
1. Interest of national security NOTE: A watch-list order doesn’t totally bar a person
2. Public safety from travelling. A person listed in the watch-list order
3. Public health must obtain a clearance to be able to travel. In contrast,
a hold-departure order totally prevents a person from
NOTE: With respect to the right to travel, it is settled travelling.
that only a court may issue a hold departure order
against an individual addressed to the Bureau of MARCOS v. MANGLAPUS
Immigration and Deportation. However, administrative
The right to return to one’s country is not among the
authorities, such as passport-officers, may likewise
rights specifically guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, which
curtail such right in the interest of national security,
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 45 of 65

treats only of the liberty of abode and the right to concern found in the Bill of Rights. The right to
travel. Nevertheless, the right to return may be information guarantees the right of the people to
considered as a generally accepted principle of demand information, while Section 28 recognizes the
International law, and under the Constitution, is part of duty of officialdom to give information even if nobody
the law of the land. However, it is distinct and separate demands. The policy of public disclosure establishes a
from the right to travel and enjoys a different concrete ethical principle for the conduct of public
protection under the Intl. Covenant of Civil and Political affairs in a genuinely open democracy, with the
Rights. people‘s right to know as the centerpiece.

RIGHT TO INFORMATION ON MATTERS OF PUBLIC POWER OF EXPROPRIATION


CONCERN
CANORECO v. CA
It pertains to access to official records, documents and
papers pertaining to official acts, transactions or The acquisition of an easement of a right-of-way falls
decisions, as well as to government research date used within the purview of the power of eminent domain.
as basis for policy development. Thus, the government cannot acquire an easement of a
right-of-way without payment f just compensation.
NOTE: The right only affords access to records,
documents and papers, which means the opportunity CONTRACT CLAUSE
to inspect and copy them at his expense. The exercise is
The law impairs the obligation of contracts if
also subject to reasonable regulations to protect the
integrity of public records and to minimize disruption of 1. It changes the terms and conditions of a legal
government operations. contract either as to the time or mode of performance
2. It imposes new conditions or dispenses with those
EXCEPTIONS:
expressed if it authorizes for its satisfaction something
1. National security matters different from that provided in its terms
2. Trade secrets and banking transactions
NOTE: Mere technical change which does not change
3. Criminal matters
the substance of the contract, and which still leaves an
4. Other confidential information
efficacious remedy for enforcement does NOT impair
HIDALGO v. REYES the obligation of contracts. A valid exercise of police
power is superior to obligation of contracts.
The right to information on matters of public concern is
a constitutional right. However, such is not absolute. Non-impairment clause cannot be invoked if there is
Under the Constitution, access is subject to limitations neither public interest involved nor a law that supports
as may be provided by law. Therefore, a law may the claim. It can only be invoked if it is against the
exempt certain types of information from public government or when the government intervenes in
scrutiny such as national security. The privilege against contract between the parties. (Pacific Wide Realty and
disclosure is recognized with respect to state secrets Development Corp. v Puerto Azul Land, Inc., G.R. No.
bearing on the military, diplomatic and similar matters. 180893, Nov 25, 2009)
Since intestate proceedings do not contain any military
CUSTODIAL INVESTIGATION
or diplomatic secrets which will be disclosed by its
production, it is an error on the part of the judge to Section 12, Article 3, 1987 Constitution:
deny O’jay’s motion.
(1) Any person under investigation for the commission
PROVINCE OF NORTH COTABATO v. REPUBLIC OF THE of an offense shall have the right to be informed of
PHILIPPINES his rights to remain silent and to have competent
and independent counsel preferably of his own
The MOA-AD subject of the present cases is of public
choice. If the person cannot afford the services of
concern, involving as it does the sovereignty and
counsel, he must be provided with one. These
territorial integrity of the State, which directly affects
rights cannot be waived except in writing and in
the lives of the public at large. Intended as a ―splendid
the presence of counsel.
symmetry to the right to information under the Bill of
Rights is the policy of public disclosure under Section RIGHTS OF THE SUSPECT (NOT ACCUSED)
28, Article II of the Constitution which provides that
subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law, the Miranda rights
State adopts and implements a policy of full public
These are the rights to which a person under custodial
disclosure of all its transactions involving public
investigation is entitled. These rights are:
interest. Moreover, the policy of full public disclosure
enunciated in above-quoted Section 28 complements 1. Right to remain silent
the right of access to information on matters of public
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 46 of 65

2. Right to competent and independent counsel, Appellant was convicted of robbery with homicide.
preferably of his own choice He executed a written confession as a result of a
3. Right to be reminded that if he cannot afford the custodial investigation. The issue is whether such is
services of counsel, he would be provided with one valid.
4. Right to be informed of his rights Held:
5. Right against torture, force, violence, threat, The extrajudicial confession was invalid. The
intimidation or any other means which vitiate the free perfunctory reading of the Miranda rights is inadequate
will 6. Right against secret detention places, solitary, to transmit information to the suspect. Also, Art III, Sec.
incommunicado, or similar forms of detention 7. Right 12 (1) requires an independent and competent
to have confessions or admissions obtained in violation counsel of the suspect’s choice. Atty. de los Reyes was
of these rights considered inadmissible in evidence not an independent counsel being the PC Captain and
(Miranda v Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 1966) Station Commander. As held in P v Bandula, the
independent counsel cannot be a special prosecutor,
NOTE: Even if the person consents to answer questions private or public prosecutor, municipal attorney or
without the assistance of counsel, the moment he asks counsel of the police whose interest is adverse to the
for a lawyer at any point in the investigation, the accused.
interrogation must cease until an attorney is present.
While there is evidence to the homicide consisting of
The purpose of providing counsel to a person under
the corpus delicti, there is no evidence of the robbery
custodial investigation is to curb the police-state
except the confession. The lack of objection of
practice of extracting a confession that leads appellant
appellant to the introduction of the constitutionally
to make self-incriminating statements. (People v.
proscribed evidence did not satisfy the burden of proof
Rapeza, G.R. 169431, April 3, 2007)
which rested on the prosecution.
MIRANDA RIGHTS SHALL NOT BE APPLICABLE TO THE
RIGHTS OF THE ACCUSED
FOLLOWING INSTANCES:
1. Due process
1. During a police line-up, unless admissions or
2. 2. Be presumed innocent
confessions are being elicited from the suspect
3. Be heard by himself and counsel
2. During administrative investigations
4. Be informed of the nature and cause of the
3. Confessions made by an accused at the time
accusation against him
he voluntarily surrendered to the police or
5. A speedy, impartial and public trial
outside the context of a formal investigation
6. Meet the witnesses face to face
4. Statements made to a private person
7. Have compulsory process to secure the
5. Forensic investigations
attendance of witnesses and production of
People v. Cabiles evidence on his behalf
8. Against double jeopardy
A spontaneous statement made by a person is not a 9. Bail
violation of custodial investigation. It was not elicited
through questioning by the authorities. Thus, one who Q: Pakauteg, Talad, and Tatalung were arrested by
spontaneously admits his guilt will be used as evidence Marangit, a police officer, for possession of marijuana
against him. and shabu. They were later brought to Camp Mawlad
and were subjected to a drug-dependency test and
People v. Andan
were asked to give a sample of their urine to which
A confession given to the mayor may be admitted in they complied. Their urine samples all tested positive
evidence if such confession by the suspect was given to for shabu. Talad and Tatalung voluntary submitted
the mayor as a confidant and not as a law enforcement themselves for treatment, rehabilitation and
officer. In such a case, the uncounseled confession did confinement. On the other hand, Pakauteg pleaded not
not violate the suspect’s constitutional rights. What the guilty and argued that the urine sample is inadmissible
constitution bars is the compulsory disclosure of in evidence because he had no counsel during the
incriminating facts or confessions. custodial investigation when it was taken. In effect, it is
an uncounselled extra-judicial confession and a
People v. Lauga violation of Constitution. Is pakauteg correct?

A barangay bantaybayan is considered a public officer A: No. The urine sample is admissible in evidence. The
and any extrajudicial confession made to him without right to counsel begins from the time a person is taken
the assistance of counsel is inadmissible in evidence as into custody and placed under investigation for the
provided for under Sec. 12, Article 3, 1987 Constitution. commission of crime. Such right is guaranteed by the
Constitution and cannot be waived except in writing
People v. Obrero
and in the presence of counsel. What the Constitution
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 47 of 65

prohibits is the use of physical or moral compulsion to the police would now propound questions. Thus, in
extort communication from the accused, but not an People v. Dagpin, G.R. No. 149560, June 10, 2004,
inclusion of his body in evidence, when it may be where three eyewitnesses identified the accused at the
material to ascertain physical attributes determinable police station as the person who shot the victim at the
by simple observation and not to unearth undisclosed scene of the crime, the accused cannot claim that he
facts. (Gutang v. People of the Philippines) was deprived of his constitutional rights even if he was
without counsel at the time, because he was not yet
Under R.A. 7438, “custodial investigation” shall include then under custodial investigation.
the practice of issuing an “invitation” to a person who is
investigated in connection with an offense he is RIGHT TO BAIL
suspected to have committed, without prejudice to the Bail
liability of the “inviting” officer for any violation of law. The security given for the release of a person in custody
Thus, in People v. Del Rosario, G.R. No. 127755, April of law, furnished by him or a bondsman, conditioned
14, 1999, it was held that from the time Del Rosario upon his appearance before any court as required.
was “invited” for questioning at the house of the (Sec.1, Rule 114, Rules of Court)
barangay captain, he was already under effective
custodial investigation. Because he was not apprised Teehankee v. Rovira
nor made aware thereof by the investigating officers, The right to bail may is available from the very moment
and because the prosecution failed to establish that Del of arrest (which may be before or after the filing of
Rosario had waived his right to remain silent, his verbal formal charges in court) up to the time of conviction by
admissions were inadmissible against him. In People v. final judgment (which means after appeal). No charge
Ordono, G.R. No. 132154, June 29, 2000, the Supreme need be filed formally before one can file for bail, so
Court held that custodial investigation began when the long as one is under arrest.
accused Ordono and Medina voluntarily went to the
Santol Police Station to confess, and the investigating Section 13, Bill of Rights
officer started asking questions to elicit information All persons, except those charge with offenses
from them. In People v. Lugod, G.R. No. 136253, punishable by reclusion perpetua when evidence of
February 21, 2001, it was held that the accused should guilt is strong, shall, before conviction, be bailable by
have been entitled to the Miranda rights, because even sufficient sureties, or be released on recognizance as
assuming that he was not yet under interrogation at the may be provided by law. The right to bail shall not be
time he was brought to the police station, his impaired even when the privilege of the writ of habeas
confession was elicited by a police officer who corpus is suspended.
promised to help him if he told the truth. Furthermore,
when he allegedly pointed out the body of the victim, Rule 114, Rules of Court
the atmosphere was highly intimidating and not
conducive to a spontaneous response as the whole In the MTC, Bail is always a matter of right before or
police force and nearly 100 townspeople escorted him after conviction. (See, Section 4)
there. Not having the benefit of counsel and not having
been informed of his rights, the confession is Instances when bail is a matter of right or of discretion
inadmissible. In People v. Pasudag, G.R. No. 128822, Bail as a matter of right
May 4, 2001, when the accused was brought to the a. Before or after conviction by the metropolitan and
station and made to sign the confiscation (of the municipal trial courts, and
marijuana) report, he was already under custodial b. Before conviction by the RTC of an offense not
investigation. punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life
imprisonment (Sec. 4, Rule 114).
Police Line-up. A police line-up is not considered a part c. Before final conviction by all children in conflict with
of any custodial inquest, because it is conducted before the law for an offense not punishable by reclusion
that stage of investigation is reached [People v. Bravo, perpetua or life imprisonment.
G.R. No. 135562, November 22, 1999], People v.
Amestuzo, G.R. No. 104383, July 12, 2001, reiterates Bail as a matter of discretion
this rule, because in a police line-up, the process has a. Upon conviction by the RTC of an offense not
not yet shifted from the investigatory to the accusatory punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life
stage, and it is usually the witness or the complainant imprisonment
who is interrogated and who gives a statement in the b. Regardless of the stage of the criminal prosecution, a
course of the line-up. In People v. Piedad, G.R. No. person charged with a capital offense, or an offense
131923, December 5, 2002, it was held that the right to punishable by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment,
counsel accrues only after an investigation ceases to be when evidence of guilt is not strong (Sec. 7, Rule 114);
a general inquiry into an unsolved crime and and
commences an interrogation aimed at a particular c. A child in conflict with the law charged with an
subject who has been taken into custody and to whom offense punishable by death, reclusion perpetua or life
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 48 of 65

imprisonment when evidence of guilt is not strong (Sec. 1. In all cases, whether bail is a matter of right
28, A.M. No. 02-118-SC). or of discretion, notify the prosecutor of the
hearing of the application for bail or require
him to submit his recommendation (Section
Grounds for denial of bail
18, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court, as
If the penalty imposed by the trial court is amended);
imprisonment exceeding six (6) years, the accused shall
be denied bail, or his bail shall be cancelled upon a 2. Where bail is a matter of discretion, conduct
showing by the prosecution, with notice to the accused, a hearing of the application for bail regardless
of the following or other similar circumstances: of whether or not the prosecution refuses to
a. That he is a recidivist, quasi-recidivist, or habitual present evidence to show that the guilt of the
delinquent, or has committed the crime aggravated by accused is strong for the purpose of enabling
the court to exercise its sound discretion;
the circumstance of reiteration;
(Section 7 and 8, supra)
b. That he has previously escaped from legal
confinement, evaded sentence, or violated the 3. Decide whether the guilt of the accused is
conditions of his bail without valid justification; strong based on the summary of evidence of
c. That he committed the offense while under the prosecution;
probation, parole, or conditional pardon;
d. That the circumstances of his case indicate the 4. If the guilt of the accused is not strong,
probability of flight if released on bail; or discharge the accused upon the approval of
the bail bond (Section 19, supra) Otherwise
e. That there is undue risk that he may commit another
petition should be denied.
crime during the pendency of the appeal.
ENRILE v. SANDIGANBAYAN (2015)
Government of Hong Kong v. Olalia
The right to bail is available to an alien during the Facts:
pendency of deportation proceedings provided that Year 2014, Sen. Enrile was charged with plunder before
potential extradite must prove by clear and convincing the Sandiganbayan for their alleged involvement in the
proof that he is not a flight risk and will abide with all diversion and misuse of appropriation under the PDAF.
orders and processes of the extradition court. When his warrant was issued, Sen. Enrile voluntarily
surrendered to the CIDG and was later confined and
detained at the PNP General Hospital, he then filed a
Baylon v, Judge Sison motion to fix bail where he argued that:
A hearing on the motion for bail must be conducted by
the judge to determine whether or not the evidence of 1. He should be allowed to post bail as a matter of
guilt is strong. right;
2. Although charged with plunder his penalty would
Q: In bail application, if the prosecutor interposes no only be reclusion temporal considering that there
are two mitigating circumstances, his voluntary
objection to the accused charged with capital offense,
surrender and that he is already at the age of 90;
may the judge grant the application without court
3. That he is not a flight risk and his medical condition
hearing? must be seriously considered.
A: No. Judges are required to conduct hearings if the
accused is being charged with a capital offense. The Sandiganbayan however, denied his motion on the
Absence of objection from the prosecution is never a grounds that:
basis for the grant of bail in such cases, for the judge
has no right to presume that the prosecutor knows 1. He is charged with a capital offense;
2. That it is premature for the Court to fix the amount
what he is doing on a ccount of familiarity with the
of his bail because the prosecution have not yet
case. (Joselito v. Narciso v Flor Marle Sta. RomanaCruz, presented its evidences.
G.R. No. 134504, March 17, 2000) Sen. Enrile then filed a certiorari before the Supreme
Court.
Cortes v. Judge Catral
Whether bail is a matter of right or of discretion, Issue:
reasonable notice of hearing is required to be given the Whether or not the Sandiganbayan acted with grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
prosecutor, or at least he must be asked for his
jurisdiction for denying his motion to fix bail?
recommendation, because in fixing the amount of bail,
the judge is required to take into account a number of Ruling:
factors. Yes, the Supreme Court held that the Sandiganbayan
arbitrarily ignored the objective of bail and
In resolving bail applications of the accused who is unwarrantedly disregarded Sen. Enrile’s fragile health
charged with a capital offense, or an offense punishable and advanced age. Bail is a matter right and is
by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, the trial safeguarded by the constitution, its purpose is to
judge is expected to comply with the following ensure the personal appearance of the accused during
guidelines, to wit: trial or whenever the court requires and at the same
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 49 of 65

time recognizing the guarantee of due process which is Adoracion G. Angeles, A.M. No. 06-9-545-RTC, Jan. 31,
the presumption of his innocence until proven guilty. 2008)
The Supreme Court further explained that Bail for the
provisional liberty of the accused, regardless of the
VARIANCE DOCTRINE
crime charged should be allowed independently of the
merits charged, provided his continued incarceration is In spite of the difference between the crime that was
injurious to his health and endangers his life. Hence, charged and that which was eventually proved, the
the Sandiganbayan failed to observe that if Sen. Enrile accused may still be convicted of whatever offense that
be granted the right to bail it will enable him to have his was proved even if not specifically set out in the
medical condition be properly addressed and attended, information provided it is necessarily included in the
which will then enable him to attend trial therefore crime charged. (Teves v. Sandiganbayan)
achieving the true purpose of bail.

NOTE: The denial of the right to speedy trial is a ground


Q: Manolet was arrested for child abuse. She filed a
for acquittal.
petition for application of bail. The court granted her
The right to speedy trial [Sec. 14 (2)] particularly refers
application with a condition that the approval of the
to criminal prosecutions which are at the trial stage,
bail bonds shall be made only after her arraignment. Is
while the right to speedy disposition of cases (Sec. 16)
the court’s order valid?
applies to all cases before judicial, quasi-judicial or
A: No. The grant of bail should not be conditioned upon
administrative bodies.
prior arraignment of the accused. In cases where bail is
authorized, bail should be granted before arraignment,
Writ of Habeas Corpus
otherwise the accused will be precluded from filing a
Is a writ directed to the person detaining another
motion to quash which is to be done before
commanding him to produce the body of the detainee
arraignment. If the information is quashed and the case
at a designated time and place, and to show the cause
is dismissed, there would be no need for the
of his detention.
arraignment of the accused. (Lavides v. Court of
Appeals, G.R. No. 129670, February 1, 2000)
Q: One morning, Michael, Estrelita’s husband, was
abducted by a group of people. Someone gave a tip
EQUIPOISE RULE
that he saw Michael at CIDG at Camp Crame, being
When the evidence of both sides is equally balance, the
questioned for the death of Nida Blanca. Michael is
constitutional presumption of innocence should tilt the
reported to be detained in Camp Crame. In view
scales in favor of the accused. (Corpuz v. People)
thereof, Estrelita then filed a petition for habeas corpus
in the RTC, requesting to produce the body of Michael.
PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE
Will the petition prosper?
Q: The RTC QC rendered a decision convicting Judge
Bueno of violation of R.A. 7610. The criminal cases are
A: No. The Court held that the grant of relief in a
now on appeal before the Court of Appeals.
habeas corpus proceeding is not predicated on the
Meanwhile, Senior State Prosecutor Guinto (SSP
disappearance of a person, but on his illegal detention.
Guinto) suggested the immediate suspension of Bueno.
It may not be used as a means of obtaining evidence on
SSP Guinto posited that since Judge Bueno stands
the whereabouts of a person, or as a means of finding
convicted of two counts of child abuse, her moral
out who has specifically abducted or caused the
qualification as a judge is in question. Judge Bueno
disappearance of a certain person. When forcible taking
manifested that she still enjoys the presumption of
and disappearance – not arrest and detention – have
innocence since the criminal cases are on appeal. Does
been alleged, the proper remedy is not habeas corpus
she still enjoy the presumption of innocence if the
proceedings, but criminal investigation and
judgment convicting her is on appeal?
proceedings. (Martinez v. Mendoza 499 SCRA 234,
A: Yes. Judge Bueno still enjoys the constitutional
2006)
presumption of innocence. Since her conviction of the
crime of child abuse is currently on appeal before the
Writ of Amparo
CA, the same has not yet attained finality. As such, she
A remedy available to any person whose right to life,
still enjoys the constitutional presumption of
liberty, and security has been violated or is threatened
innocence. It must be remembered that the existence
with violation by an unlawful act or omission of a public
of a presumption indicating the guilt of the accused
official or employee, or of a private individual or entity.
does not in itself destroy the constitutional
The writ covers extralegal killings and enforced
presumption of innocence unless the inculpating
disappearances or threats thereof. (Rule on Writ of
presumption, together with all the evidence, or the lack
Amparo)
of any evidence or explanation, proves the accused’s
guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Until the accused’s
Extralegal killings
guilt is shown in this manner, the presumption of
Killings committed without due process of law, i.e.,
innocence continues. (Re: Conviction of Judge
without legal safeguards or judicial proceedings.
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 50 of 65

Enforced disappearance Nonetheless, the circumstances of their


An arrest, detention or abduction of a person by a abduction, detention, torture and escape reasonably
government official or organized groups or private support a conclusion that there is an apparent threat
individuals acting with the direct or indirect that they will again be abducted, tortured, and this
acquiescence of the government. It is further time, even executed. These constitute threats to their
characterized by the refusal of the State to disclose the liberty, security, and life, actionable through a petition
fate or whereabouts of the person concerned or a for a Writ of Amparo. (Sec. of National Defense and AFP
refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty which Chief of Staff v. Manalo, G.R. No. 180906, Oct. 7, 2008)
places such persons outside the protection of law.
Writ of Kalikasan
Q: Engr. Peregrina disappeared one day and his wife A remedy available to a natural or juridical person,
filed a petition for the Writ of Amparo with the CA entity authorized by law, people’s organization,
directed against the PNP, claiming that the nongovernmental organization, or any public interest
“unexplained uncooperative behavior” of the group accredited by or registered with any government
respondents request for help and their failure and agency, on behalf of persons whose constitutional right
refusal to extend assistance in locating the to a balanced and healthful ecology is violated, or
whereabouts of Peregrina were indicative of their threatened with violation by an unlawful act or
actual physical possession and custody of the missing omission of a public official or employee, or private
engineer.” The PNP was held responsible for the individual or entity, involving environmental damage of
“enforced disappearance” of Engr. Peregrina. Is this such magnitude as to prejudice the life, health or
valid? property of inhabitants in two or more cities or
provinces. (A.M. No. 09-6-8-SC)
A: Yes. The government in general, through the PNP
and the PNP-CIDG, and in particular, the Chiefs of these Nature of the writ of kalikasan
organizations together with Col. Kasim, should be held The Writ of kalikasan is an extraordinary remedy which
fully accountable for the enforced disappearance of may be issued depending on the magnitude of the
Peregrina. Given their mandates, the PNP and the PNP- environmental damage. The environmental damage
CIDG officials and members were the ones who were must be one which prejudices the life, health or
remiss in their duties when the government completely property of inhabitants in two or more cities or
failed to exercise extraordinary diligence that the provinces, or that which transcends political and
Amparo rule requires. (Razon v. Tagitis, G.R. No. territorial boundaries. It is also a remedy which
182498, Dec. 3, 2009) enforces the right to information by compelling the
government or a private entity to produce information
Q: Almarius and Aaron were abducted by the CAFGU. regarding the environment that is within their custody.
They were taken to various military camps, put in
chains and tortured. While detained, they were INCRIMINATION CLAUSE
threatened that if they escape, they and their families Basis
would be killed. While in captivity they met April, Mela, No person shall be compelled to be a witness against
and Sol who were also prisoners then eventually, himself. (Sec. 17, Art. III of the Constitution)
Almarius and Aaron were able to escape. NOTE: This constitutional privilege has been defined as
Presently, Almarius and Aaron are now in protective a protection against testimonial compulsion, but this
custody under private individuals. Almarius and Aaron has since been extended to any evidence
then filed a petition for the issuance of the Writ of “communicative in nature” acquired under
Amparo, implicating several officers of the military as circumstances of duress (People v. Olvis, G.R. No.
their abductors. They allege that their cause of action 71092, Sept. 30, 1987)
consists in the threat to their right to life and liberty,
and a violation of their right to security. Considering the Q: Fiscal Jessa Bernardo petitioned the lower court to
fact that they have already escaped, will the petition order Art to appear before the former to take dictation
still prosper? in Art’s own handwriting to determine whether or not it
A: Yes. While Almarius and Aaron were detained, they was Art who wrote certain documents supposed to be
were threatened that if they escaped, their families, falsified. The lower court granted the petition of the
including them, would be killed. In time, they were fiscal. Art refused what the fiscal demanded and sought
able to escape. The condition of the threat to be killed refuge in the constitutional provision of his right against
has come to pass. It should be stressed that they are selfincrimination. Is Art’s contention valid?
now free from captivity not because they were released
by virtue of a lawful order or voluntarily freed by their A: Yes. Under Sec. 17, Art. III of the 1987 Constitution,
abductors. It ought to be recalled that towards the end “no person shall be compelled to be a witness
of their ordeal their captors even told them that they against himself.” Since the provision prohibits
were still deciding whether they should be executed. compulsory testimonial incrimination, it does not
matter whether the testimony is taken by oral or
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 51 of 65

written. Writing is not purely a mechanical act because It is not available to juridical persons as “it would be a
it requires the application of intelligence and attention. strange anomaly to hold that a state having chartered a
The purpose of the privilege is to avoid and prohibit corporation to make use of certain franchises, could
thereby the repetition and recurrence of compelling not, in the exercise of sovereignty, inquire how these
a person, in a criminal or any other case, to franchises had been employed, and whether they have
furnish the missing evidence necessary for his been abused, and demand the production of the
conviction. (Bermudez v. Castillo, July 26, 1937; Beltran corporate books and papers for that purpose.” (Bataan
v. Samson, G.R. No. 32025, Sept. 23, 1929) Shipyard and Engineering Corporation v. PCG, GR. No.
75885, May 27, 1987)
US v. TAN TENG
IMMUNITY STATUTES
The court held that the taking of a substance from his
body was not a violation of the said right. He was Use-and-derivative-use Immunity
neither compelled to make any admissions or to A witness is only assured that his or her particular
answer any questions. The substance was taken from testimony and evidence derived form it will not be used
his body without his objection and was examined by against him or her in a subsequent prosecution.
competent medical authority. The prohibition of self-
Transactional Community
incrimination in the Bill of Rights is a prohibition of the
A witness can no longer be prosecuted for any offense
use of physical or moral compulsion to extort
whatsoever arising out of the act or transaction.
communications from him, and not an exclusion of his
body as evidence, when it may be material. It would be
EXCESSIVE FINES AND CRUEL AND INHUMAN
the same as if the offender apprehended was a thief
PUNISHMENTS
and the object stolen by him may be used as evidence
against him.
A penalty is cruel and inhuman if it involves torture or
lingering suffering (example: being drawn and
NOTE: The main purpose of this constitutional provision
quartered)
is to prohibit testimonial compulsion by oral
examination in order to extort unwilling confessions
A penalty is degrading if it exposes a person to public
from prisoners implicating them in the commission of a
humiliation (example: being tarred and feathered, then
crime. (Harris v. Coats)
paraded throughout town)

Q: During custodial investigation, Jez was asked to sign


RIGHT AGAINST DOUBLE JEOPARDY
letters without the assistance of the counsel. The
letters were admitted in evidence and Jez was
No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment
convicted. On appeal, Jez’s counsel Zenia argued that
for the same offense. If an act is punished by a law and
the signing of Jez’s and her co-accused’s names was not
an ordinance, conviction or acquittal under either shall
a mere mechanical act but one which required the use
constitute a bar to another prosecution for the same
of intelligence and therefore constitutes self-
act
incrimination. Is there a violation of the accused’s right
against self-incrimination?
Requisites
1. Valid complaint or information
A: None. The purpose for securing the signature of
NOTE: Double jeopardy does not attach in preliminary
petitioner on the envelopes was merely to authenticate
investigation.
the envelopes as the ones seized from him. Moreover,
2. Filed before a competent court
when the signatures of the accused were affixed, such
3. To which the defendant had pleaded
signatures were actually evidence of admission
4. Defendant was previously acquitted or convicted, or
obtained from the petitioner and his co-accused under
the case dismissed or otherwise terminated without his
circumstances constituting custodial investigation.
express consent
Under the Constitution, among the rights of a person
under custodial investigation is the right to have
NOTE: Consent of the accused to the dismissal cannot
competent and independent counsel preferably of his
be implied or presumed; it must be expressed as to
own choice and if the person cannot afford the services
have no doubt as to the accused’s conformity. (Caes v.
of a counsel, that he must be provided with one. It is on
Intermediate Appellate Court, 179 SCRA 54)
this ground that the letters with the signature of the
accused could be rejected (Marcelo v. Sandiganbayan,
Q: Hans, a writer in Q Magazine, published an article
G.R.No. 109242, January 26, 1999).
about Carlo’s illicit affairs with other women. The
magazine also happened to have a website where the
Inapplicability of the right against self-incrimination to
same article was published. Carlo then filed a libel case
juridical persons
against Hans both under the Revised Penal Code and
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 52 of 65

the Cybercrime Law. Is there a violation of the


proscription against double jeopardy? Q: Upon arraignment, Arwin pleaded not guilty to the
charge of serious physical injuries. Days later, the victim
A: Yes. There should be no question that if the died. Hence, the Fiscal moved for the amendment of
published material on print, said to be libelous, is again the information so as to charge the accused with the
posted online or vice versa, that identical material crime of homicide. The accused objected on the ground
cannot be the subject of two separate libels. The two that he had been put in jeopardy of being convicted of
offenses, one, a violation of Art. 353 of the Revised the crime of serious physical injuries; and that another
Penal Code and the other a violation of Sec. 4(c)(4) of prosecution for homicide for the same act under the
R.A. 10175 involve essentially the same elements and amended information would constitute double
are in fact one and the same offense. Online libel under jeopardy. If you were the judge, how would you resolve
Sec. 4(c)(4) is not a new crime but is one already the motion? Explain. (1984 BAR QUESTION, Political
punished under the Art. 353. Sec. 4(c)(4) merely Law Reviewer, Suarez, 2011).
establishes the computer system as another means of
publication. Charging the offender under both laws A: There is no double jeopardy and the motion of the
would be a blatant violation of the proscription against accused should be therefore be denied. His plea was
double jeopardy. (Disini v. Secretary of Justice, G.R. only with respect to the charge of physical injuries but
No. 203335, Feb. 11, 2014) not with respect to the crime of homicide.

Jason Ivler y Aguilar v. Hon. Maria Rowena Modesto Q: After a long and protracted trial, the accused
involved in the murder of then Senator Benigno S.
The doctrine that reckless imprudence under Art. 365 is Aquino were acquitted by an independent commission
a single quasi-offense by itself and not merely a means whose members were appointed by then President
to commit other crimes such that conviction or Ferdinand E. Marcos. After the EDSA People Power
acquittal of such quasi-offense bars subsequent Revolution, a commission was appointed by then
prosecution for the same quasi-offense, regardless of President Corazon C. Aquino, recommended the re-
its various resulting acts. Reason and precedent both opening of the Galman-Aquino murder case. Was there
coincide in that once convicted or acquitted of a double jeopardy?
specific act of reckless imprudence, the accused may A: No. There was no double jeopardy, the proceedings
not be prosecuted again for that same act. For the that took place before was a sham and a mock trial
essence of the quasi offense of criminal negligence which resulted in the denial of the State’s right to due
under Art. 365 of the Revised Penal Code lies in the process. (Galman v. Sandiganbayan, GR. No. 72670,
execution of an imprudent or negligent act that, if Sept. 12, 1986)
intentionally done, would be punishable as a felony. EX-POST FACTO LAW
The law penalizes thus the negligent or careless act, not Kinds of ex post facto law
the result thereof. The gravity of the consequence is It can be a law that: 1. Makes an act, which was
only taken into account to determine the penalty, it innocent when done, criminal and punishes such action
does not qualify the substance of the offense. And, as 2. Aggravates a crime or makes it greater than when it
the careless act is single, whether the injurious result was committed 3. Changes the punishment and inflicts
should affect one person or several persons, the a greater punishment than the law annexed to the
offense (criminal negligence) remains one and the crime when it was committed 4. Alters the legal rules of
same, and cannot be split into different crimes and evidence and receives less or different testimony than
prosecutions. the law required at the time of the commission of the
offense in order to convict the defendant 5. Assumes to
Q: Allan was charged with a criminal case in the court. regulate civil rights and remedies only. In effect
He was arraigned and he pleaded not guilty. Later the imposes penalty or deprivation of a right for something
prosecution moved to dismiss the case. The counsel for which when done was lawful 6. Deprives a person
the accused wrote “No Objection” at the bottom of the accused of a crime of some lawful protection to which
prosecutor’s motion. The court granted the motion and he has become entitled, such as the protection of a
dismissed the case against Allan. A year after Allan was former conviction or acquittal, or a proclamation of
charged for the same case. May Allan invoke the right amnesty
against double jeopardy?
A: No. The act of Allan’s counsel in writing “No Bill of attainder
Objection” constituted an express consent to the A legislative act that inflicts punishment without trial,
termination within the meaning of Sec. 9 of Rule 117 its essence being the substitution of legislative fiat for a
Rules of Court. He could not thereafter revoke that judicial determination of guilt.(People v. Ferrer)
conformity since the court had already acted upon it by
dismissing the case. Allan was bound by his counsel’s NOTE: It is only when a statute applies either to a
consent to the dismissal. (People v. Pilpa, G.R. No. L- named individuals or easily ascertainable members of a
30250, Sept. 22, 1977) group in such a way as to inflict punishment on them
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 53 of 65

without a judicial trial that it becomes a bill of disqualified from running for any elective local position.
attainder. Should Wilfreda be disqualified from holding public
Office?
CITIZENSHIP
A: No. Clearly, in including Section 5 in Article 4 oon
Sec.1 The following are citizens of the Philippines: citizenship, the concern of the Constitutional
(1) Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the Commission was not with dual citizens per se buy with
time of the adoption of this Constitution naturalized citizens who maintain their allegiance to
a. Those who are citizens under the Treaty of Paris; their countries of origin even after their naturalization.
b. Those declared citizens by judicial declaration Thus, the phrase “dual citizenship” in R.A. No. 7160,
applying the jus soli principle, before Tio Tam v. section 40 (D) and in RA No. 7854, Section 20 must be
Republic, 25 Apr. 1957, G.R. No. L-9602. c. Those understood as referring to “dual allegiance.” (Mercado
who are naturalized in accordance with law. (Act v. Manzano, 1999)
2927) d. Those who are citizens under the 1935
Constitution. e. Those who are citizens under the Grace Poe vs COMELEC
1973 Constitution. (Case Digest: GR 221697, GR 221698-700 March 8,
(2) Those whose fathers or others are citizens of the 2016)
Philippines
(3) Those born before January 17, 1973, of Filipino Facts:
mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon
In her COC for presidency for the May 2016 elections,
reaching the age of majority; and
Grace Poe declared that she is a natural-born citizen
(4) Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.
and that her residence in the Philippines up to the day
before 9 May 2016 would be 10 years and 11 months
Sec. 2. Natural-born citizens are those who are citizens
counted from 24 May 2005.
of the Philippines from birth without having to perform
any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship. May 24, 2005 was the day she came to the Philippines
Those who elect Philippine citizenship in accordance after deciding to stay in the PH for good. Before that
with paragraph (3), Section 1 hereof shall be deemed however, and even afterwards, she has been going to
natural-born citizens. and fro between US and Philippines. She was born in
1968, found as newborn infant in Iloilo, and was legally
Modes of acquiring citizenship adopted. She immigrated to the US in 1991 and was
1. By birth naturalized as American citizen in 2001. On July 18,
a. Jus sanguinis – acquisition of citizenship on 2006, the BI granted her petition declaring that she had
the basis of blood relationship. reacquired her Filipino citizenship under RA 9225. She
b. Jus soli – acquisition of citizenship on the registered as a voter and obtained a new Philippine
basis of the place of birth. passport. In 2010, before assuming her post as an
2. By naturalization – the legal act of adopting an alien appointed chairperson of the MTRCB, she
and clothing him with the privilege of a native-born renounced her American citizenship to satisfy the RA
citizen. 9225 requirement. From then on, she stopped using
3. By marriage her American passport.

NOTE: Jus sanguinis and naturalization are the modes Petitions were filed before the COMELEC to deny or
followed in the Philippines. cancel her candidacy on the ground particularly, among
others, that she cannot be considered a natural-born
Naturalization Filipino citizen since she cannot prove that her
Act of formally adopting a foreigner into the political biological parents or either of them were Filipinos. The
body of a nation by clothing him or her with the COMELEC en banc cancelled her candidacy on the
privileges of a citizen. ground that she is in want of citizenship and residence
requirements, and that she committed material
Q: Wilfreda, a Fil-Am citizen, born in USA with Filipino misrepresentations in her COC.
parents, wishes to run as Mayor in City of Manila. She
On certiorari, the SC reversed the ruling and held (9-6
was able to exercise such right periodically. She also
votes) that Poe is qualified as a candidate for
spent majority of her lifetime here in the Philippines.
Presidency. Three justices, however, abstained to vote
She successfully made her oath of allegiance as well,
on the natural-born citizenship issue.
electing Philippine citizenship. The people of Manila
loved her so much, that she was able to garner the Issue 1: W/N the COMELEC has jurisdiction to rule on
highest votes the moment she ran for public officer. the issue of qualifications of candidates (Read Dissent)
However, one of her adversaries challenged her
citizenship and invoked Section 40 paragraph (d) of the Held:
Local Government Code stating that “dual citizens” are
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 54 of 65

No. Article IX-C, Sec 2 of the Constitution provides for the general principles of international law. Although
the powers and functions of the COMELEC, and the Philippines is not a signatory to some of these
deciding on the qualifications or lack thereof of a treaties, it adheres to the customary rule to presume
candidate is not one among them. foundlings as having born of the country in which the
foundling is found.
In contrast, the Constitution provides that only the SET
and HRET tribunals have sole jurisdiction over the Issue 3: W/N Grace Poe satisfies the 10-year residency
election contests, returns, and qualifications of their requirement
respective members, whereas over the President and
Vice President, only the SC en banc has sole Held:
jurisdiction. As for the qualifications of candidates for
Yes. Grace Poe satisfied the requirements of animus
such positions, the Constitution is silent. There is
manendi coupled with animus revertendi in acquiring a
simply no authorized proceeding in determining
new domicile.
the ineligibility of candidates before elections. Such
lack of provision cannot be supplied by a mere rule, and Grace Poe’s domicile had been timely changed as of
for the COMELEC to assimilate grounds May 24, 2005, and not on July 18, 2006 when her
for ineligibility into grounds for disqualification in Rule application under RA 9225 was approved by the
25 in its rules of procedures would be contrary to the BI. COMELEC’s reliance on cases which decree that an
intent of the Constitution. alien’s stay in the country cannot be counted unless she
acquires a permanent resident visa or reacquires her
Hence, the COMELEC committed grave abuse of
Filipino citizenship is without merit. Such cases are
discretion when it decided on the qualification issue of
different from the circumstances in this case, in which
Grace as a candidate in the same case for cancellation
Grace Poe presented an overwhelming evidence of her
of her COC.
actual stay and intent to abandon permanently her
Issue 2: W/N Grace Poe-Llamanzares is a natural-born domicile in the US. Coupled with her eventual
Filipino citizen (Read Dissent) application to reacquire Philippine citizenship and her
family’s actual continuous stay in the Philippines over
Held: the years, it is clear that when Grace Poe returned on
May 24, 2005, it was for good.
Yes, Grace Poe might be and is considerably a natural-
born Filipino. For that, she satisfies one of the Issue 4: W/N the Grace Poe’s candidacy should be
constitutional requirements that only natural-born denied or cancelled for committing material
Filipinos may run for presidency. misrepresentations in her COC

First, there is a high probability that Grace Poe’s Held:


parents are Filipinos. Her physical features are typical
of Filipinos. The fact that she was abandoned as an No. The COMELEC cannot cancel her COC on the
infant in a municipality where the population of the ground that she misrepresented facts as to her
Philippines is overwhelmingly Filipinos such that there citizenship and residency because such facts refer to
would be more than 99% chance that a child born in grounds for ineligibility in which the COMELEC has no
such province is a Filipino is also a circumstantial jurisdiction to decide upon. Only when there is a prior
evidence of her parents’ nationality. That probability authority finding that a candidate is suffering from a
and the evidence on which it is based are admissible disqualification provided by law or the Constitution that
under Rule 128, Section 4 of the Revised Rules on the COMELEC may deny due course or cancel her
Evidence. To assume otherwise is to accept the absurd, candidacy on ground of false representations regarding
if not the virtually impossible, as the norm. her qualifications.

Second, by votes of 7-5, the SC pronounced that In this case, by authority of the Supreme Court Grace
foundlings are as a class, natural-born citizens. This is Poe is now pronounced qualified as a candidate for the
based on the finding that the deliberations of the 1934 presidency. Hence, there cannot be any false
Constitutional Convention show that the framers representations in her COC regarding her citizenship
intended foundlings to be covered by the and residency.
enumeration. While the 1935 Constitution’s
Dissenting opinion of Justice Brion on whether Grace
enumeration is silent as to foundlings, there is no
Poe is a natural-born citizen:
restrictive language which would definitely exclude
Grace Poe is NOT a Natural-born Filipino Citizen:
foundlings either. Because of silence and ambiguity in
the enumeration with respect to foundlings, the SC felt 1. There is no Philippine law automatically conferring
the need to examine the intent of the framers. Philippine citizenship to a foundling at birth. Even if
there were, such a law would only result in the
Third, that foundlings are automatically conferred with
natural-born citizenship is supported by treaties and
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 55 of 65

foundling being a naturalized Filipino citizen, not a namely: the right of every human being to a nationality,
natural-born Filipino citizen. and the State’s obligations to avoid statelessness and to
facilitate the naturalization of foundlings.
2. Second, there is no legal presumption in favor of
Philippine citizenship, whether natural-born or Power of the Ombudsman to directly dismiss a public
naturalized. Citizenship must be established as a matter officer
of fact and any doubt is resolved against the person Under Sec. 13(3) of Art. XI, the Ombudsman can only
claiming Philippine citizenship. recommend to the officer concerned the removal of a
public officer or employee found to be administratively
3. Third, the letter and intent of the 1935 Constitution liable. (Tapiador v. Office of the Ombudsman, G.R. No.
clearly excluded foundlings from being considered 129124. March 15, 2002) Be that as it may, the refusal,
natural-born Filipino citizens. The Constitution adopts without just cause, of any officer to comply with such
the jus sanguinis principle, and identifies natural-born an order of the Ombudsman to penalize erring officer
Filipino citizens as only those whose fathers or mothers or employee is a ground for disciplinary action. Thus,
are Filipino citizens. Petitioner failed to prove that there is a strong indication that the Ombudsman’s
either her father or mother is a Filipino citizen. recommendation is not merely advisory in nature but
actually mandatory within the bounds of law. This
4. Fourth, there is no treaty, customary international
should not be interpreted as usurpation of the
law or a general principle of international law granting
Ombudsman of the authority of the head of office or
automatically Philippine citizenship to a foundling at
any officer concerned. It has long been settled that the
birth. Petitioner failed to prove that there is such a
power of the Ombudsman to investigate and prosecute
customary international law. At best, there exists a
any illegal act or omission of any public official is not an
presumption that a foundling is domiciled, and born, in
exclusive authority, but a shared or concurrent
the country where the foundling is found.
authority in respect of the offense charged. (Ledesma v.
5. Fifth, even assuming that there is a customary CA, GR 161629, 29 July 2005
international law presuming that a foundling is a citizen
of the country where the foundling is found, or is born Q: For three consecutive terms, Conrad was elected as
to parents possessing the nationality of that country, a Punong Barangay. During his third term, he ran for
such presumption cannot prevail over our Constitution Municipal Councilor. He won and later assumed office
since customary international law has the status merely and served the full term. After serving his term as
of municipal statutory law. This means that customary Municipal Councilor, he filed his COC for the position of
international law is inferior to the Constitution, and Punong Barangay. His opponent filed a Petition for
must yield to the Constitution in case of conflict. Since Disqualification on the ground that he had already
the Constitution adopts the jus sanguinis principle, and served the three-term limit for the position of PB.
identifies natural-born Filipino citizens as only those Should Conrad be disqualified?
whose fathers or mothers are Filipino citizens, then
petitioner must prove that either her father or mother A: YES. Conrad was serving his third term as PB when
is a Filipino citizen for her to be considered a natural- he ran for Municipal Councilor and, upon winning,
born Filipino citizen. Any international law which assumed the position, thus, voluntarily relinquishing his
contravenes the jus sanguinis principle in the office as PB. There was a voluntary renunciation of
Constitution must of course be rejected. office and not one by operation of law. Under Sec. 8of
Article 10 of the Constitution, voluntary renunciation of
6. Sixth, petitioner failed to discharge her burden to the office for any length of time shall not be considered
prove that she is a natural-born Filipino citizen. Being a as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the
foundling, she admitted that she does not know her full term for which he was elected.
biological parents, and therefore she cannot trace
blood relation to a Filipino father or mother. Without Q: Ryan Cristopher was elected City Councilor for three
credible and convincing evidence that petitioner’s consecutive terms. During his last term, the
biological father or mother is a Filipino citizen, Sandiganbayan preventively suspended him for 90 days
petitioner cannot be considered a natural-born Filipino in relation with a criminal case he then faced. The
citizen. Court, however, subsequently lifted the suspension
order, hence he resumed performing his functions and
7. Seventh, a foundling has to perform an act, that is,
finished his term. He filed his COC for the same
prove his or her status as a foundling, to acquire
position. April sought to deny due course to Ryan
Philippine citizenship. This being so, a foundling can
Cristopher’s COC on the ground that he had been
only be deemed a naturalized Filipino citizen because
elected and he served for three terms. Is preventive
the foundling has to perform an act to acquire
suspension considered an interruption of the three-
Philippine citizenship. Since there is no Philippine law
term limit rule?
specifically governing the citizenship of foundlings, their
citizenship is addressed by customary international law,
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 56 of 65

A: NO. The intent of the three-term limit rule demands reappointment of Sol as corporate Secretary, on the
that preventive suspension should not be considered an ground that the position is a permanent, career
interruption that allows an elective official’s stay in position and not primarily confidential.
office beyond three terms. A preventive suspension May the courts determine the proper classification of a
cannot simply be a term interruption because the position in government? Is the position of corporate
suspended official continues to stay in the office secretary in a GOCC primarily confidential in nature?
although he is barred from exercising his functions and
prerogatives of the office within the suspension period. A: The courts may determine the proper classification
The best indicator of the suspended official’s continuity of a position in government. A strict reading of the law
in office is the absence of a permanent replacement (EO 292) reveals that primarily confidential positions
and the lack of authority to appoint one since no fall under the non-career service. The tenure of a
vacancy exists (Aldovino v. COMELEC, 2009) confidential employee is coterminous with that of the
appointing authority, or is at the latter’s pleasure.
Abundo v. COMELEC, 2013 However, the confidential employee may be appointed
The conversion of a municipality into a city does not or remain in the position even beyond the compulsory
constitute an interruption of incumbent official’s retirement age of 65 years.
continuity of service. Henry did involuntarily relinquish
his office as municipal mayor since the said office has ADMINISTRATIVE LAW
been deemed abolished due to the conversion.
However, the very instant he vacated his office as Non-applicability of notice and hearing in the issuance
municipal mayor, he also assumed office as city mayor. of an administrative rule or regulation
The elective officials of the Municipality of Digos General rule: An administrative body need not comply
continued to exercise their powers and functions until with the requirements of notice and hearing, in the
elections were held for the new city officials. True, the performance of its executive or legislative functions,
new city acquired a new corporate existence separate such as issuing rules and regulations. (Corona v. United
and distinct from that of the municipality. This does not Harbor Pilots Association of the Philippines)
mean, however, that for the purpose of applying the
subject Constitutional provision, the office of the Exception: The legislature itself requires it and
municipal mayor would now be construed as a different mandates that the regulation shall be based on certain
local government post as that of the office of the city facts as determined at an appropriate investigation.
mayor.
Doctrine of Subordinate Legislation
Instance where a transfer may be considered violative The power of Administrative Agencies to promulgate
of employee’s security of tenure rules and regulations on matters within their own
When the transfer is a preliminary step toward his specialization.
removal, or a scheme to lure him away from his
permanent position, or when it is designed to indirectly Law on Nepotism
terminate his service, or force his resignation. Such a The law (Sec 59 Nepotism, (1) ) defines nepotism as all
transfer would in effect circumvent the provision that appointments to the national, provincial, city and
safeguards the tenure of office of those who are in the municipal governments or in any branch or
Civil Service. (CSC v. PACHEO, G.R. No. 178021, January instrumentality thereof, including government owned
25, 2012) or controlled corporations, made in favor of a relative
NOTE: Acceptance of a temporary appointment or of the
assignment without reservation or upon one’s own 1.Appointing or 2. recommending authority, or of the
volition is deemed waiver of security of tenure. 3. chief of the bureau or office, or of
(Palmera v. Civil Service Commission, G.R. No. 110168, 4. the persons exercising immediate supervision over
August 4, 1994) him.
The word "relative" and members of the family referred
Q: Sol was first employed as private secretary in the to are those related within the third degree either of
GSIS in1960 on a “confidential” status. In 1962, Sol was consanguinity or of affinity.
promoted to Tabulating Equipment Operator with Exceptions:
“permanent” status. In 1986, she was appointed 1. Persons employed in confidential capacity
corporate secretary of the Board of Trustees (BOT) of 2. Teachers
the corporation. In 2001, she opted for early 3. Physicians
retirement. In 2002, Sol, who was 64 years old at the 4. Members of the AFP; and
time, was reappointed by GSIS President (with approval 5. a member of any family who, after his or her
of BOT) as corporate secretary. The BOT classified her appointment to any position in an office or
appointment as “confidential in nature and the tenure f bureau, contracts marriage with someone in
office is at the pleasure of the Board.” On October 10, the same office or bureau, in which event the
2002, CSC issued a resolution invalidating the
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 57 of 65

employment or retention therein of both Here, the decision removing a person from office
husband and wife may be allowed. should have attained finality before the prohibition
under Sec. 40 (b) of the LGC may apply.
NOTE: if the prohibition on law of nepotism involves
appointment to the LGUs, apply Section 79 of the LGC. Marquez v. COMELEC
(within 4th civil degree)
"Fugitive from justice" includes not only those who flee
after conviction to avoid punishment but likewise those
Laurel v. Civil Service Commission who, after being charged flee to avoid prosecution. This
definition truly finds support from jurisprudence and it
This Court held that the appointment or designation as may be so conceded as expressing the general and
Acting Provincial Administrator was violative of the ordinary connotation of the term.
prohibition against nepotism, then embodied in Section
49, P.D. No. 807. Moreover, the Court emphatically Article 73 of the Rules and Regulations Implementing
agreed with the Civil Service Commission the Local Government Code of 1991, to the extent that
that "although what was extended to Benjamin was it confines the term "fugitive from justice" to refer only
merely a designation and not an appointment, . . . the to a person (the fugitive) "who has been convicted by
prohibitive mantle on nepotism would include final judgment" is an inordinate and undue
designation, because what cannot be done directly, circumscription of the law.
cannot be done indirectly:"
Rodriguez v. COMELEC
Debulgado v. Civil Service Commission
The Supreme Court reiterated that a “fugitive from
The conclusion we reach is that Section 59, Book V, E.O. justice” includes not only those who flee after
No. 292 means exactly what it says in plain and conviction to avoid punishment but likewise who, being
ordinary language: it refers to "all appointments" charged, flee to avoid prosecution. The definition thus
whether original or promotional in nature. The public
indicates that the intent to evade is the compelling
policy embodied in Section 59 is clearly fundamental in
importance, and the Court has neither authority nor factor that animates one’s flight from a particular
inclination to dilute that important public policy by jurisdiction. And obviously, there can only be intent to
introducing a qualification here or a distinction there. evade prosecution or punishment when there is
knowledge by the fleeing subject of an already
It follows that the promotional appointment of instituted indictment or of a promulgated judgment of
petitioner Victoria by her husband, petitioner Mayor, conviction.
falls within the prohibited class of appointments: the
prohibited relationship between the appointing
authority (petitioner Mayor) and the appointee (wife
Victoria) existed at the time the promotional ELECTION LAWS
appointment was issued. It is scarcely necessary to add Stages:
that the reasons which may have moved petitioner BEFORE ELECTION
Mayor to issue the prohibited appointment are, as a a. Registration of voters
matter of law, not relevant in this connection.
Macalintal v. Comelec
Sec. 13, Article 7, Constitution
The Spouse and relatives by consanguinity or affinity There can be no absentee voting if the absentee voters
within the fourth civil degree of the President shall not are required to physically reside in the Philippines
during his tenure be appointed as Members of the within the period required for non-absentee voters.
Constitutional Commissions, or the Office of the Further, as understood in election laws, domicile and
Ombudsman, or as Secretaries, Undersecretaries, resident are interchangeably used. Hence, one is a
chairmen, or heads of bureaus or offices, including resident of his domicile (insofar as an election law is
government-owned or controlled corporations and concerned). The domicile is the place where one has
their subsidiaries. the intention to return to. Thus, an immigrant who
executes an affidavit stating his intent to return to the
Lingating v. Comelec Philippines is considered a resident of the Philippines
for purposes of being qualified as a voter (absentee
The filing of motion for reconsideration by Sulong
voter to be exact). If the immigrant does not execute
prevented the decision of Sangguniang Panlalawigan
the affidavit then he is not qualified as an absentee
from becoming final. There is thus no decision finding
voter.
Sulong guilty to speak of. Neither can the succession of
the then vice-mayor of Lapuyan, Vicente Imbing, to the
What is Election Campaign or Partisan Political
office of mayor be considered proof that the decision in
Activity?
AC No. 12-91 had become final because it appears to
Refers to an act designed to promote the election or
have been made pursuant to Sec 68 [16] of the Local
defeat of a particular candidate or candidates to a
Government Code, which makes decisions in
public office.
administrative cases immediately executor
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 58 of 65

NOTE: GR: The Commission, provincial election Miranda v. Abaya


supervisor, election registrar or officer designated by
Under the express provisions of Section 77 of the Code,
the Commission or board of election inspectors shall
not just any person, but only an official candidate of a
have the ministerial duty to receive and acknowledge registered or accredited political party may be
receipt of the certificate of candidacy. (Sec. 76, substituted. In Bautista vs. Comelec (G.R. No. 133840,
Omnibus Election Code) November 13, 1998) this Court explicitly ruled that a
EXP: 1. Nuisance candidates, 2. Petition to cancelled certificate does not give rise to a valid
deny due course or to cancel a COC, and 3. Filing of a candidacy (p.13).
disqualification case on any of the grounds enumerated A person without a valid certificate of candidacy
in Sec. 68, OEC. cannot be considered a candidate in much the same
way as any person who has not filed any certificate of
NOTE: No person shall be eligible for any elective public candidacy at all can not, by any stretch of the
imagination, be a candidate at all.
office unless he files a sworn certificate of candidacy
within the period fixed herein. A person who has filed a The law clearly provides:
certificate of candidacy may, prior to the election,
withdraw the same by submitting to the office SEC. 73. Certificate of candidacy No person shall be
concerned a written declaration under oath. (Sec. 73, eligible for any elective public office unless he files a
sworn certificate of candidacy within the period fixed
Omnibus Election Code)
herein.

Monsale v. Nico By its express language, the foregoing provision of law


is absolutely mandatory. It is but logical to say that any
In the present case the protestant withdrew his person who attempts to run for an elective office but
certificate of candidacy on October 10, 1947, and does not file a certificate of candidacy, is not a
requested the Commission on Elections that it "be candidate at all. No amount of votes would catapult
considered as though it has never been filed at all." him into office. In Gador vs. Comelec (95 SCRA 431
[1980]), the Court held that a certificate of candidacy
There is no question as to the right of a candidate to
filed beyond the period fixed by law is void, and the
withdraw or annul his own certificate of candidacy, person who filed it is not, in law, a candidate. Much in
there being no legal prohibition against such the same manner as a person who filed no certificate of
withdrawal. Therefore, on October 10, or thirty-one candidacy at all and a person who filed it out of time, a
days before the election, the protestant ceased to be a person whose certificate of candidacy is cancelled or
candidate by his own voluntary act, and as a matter of denied due course is no candidate at all. No amount of
votes should entitle him to the elective office aspired
fact the boards of election inspectors of the
for.
municipality of Miagao were duly notified of his
withdrawal. His letter to the Commission on Elections
DOCTRINE OF REJECTION OF 2ND PLACER
dated November 6, 1947, which he subscribed and
swore to before a notary public on November 1, Q — Rev. Nardo B. Cayat filed his certificate of
whereby he withdrew his withdrawal of his certificate candidacy for Mayor of Buguias, Benguet for the May
of candidacy, can only be considered as a new 2004 elections. Thomas Palileng, another candidate for
certificate of candidacy which, having been filed only Mayor filed a petition to annul/nullify his certificate of
four days before the election, could not legally be candidacy and/or to disqualify on the ground that Cayat
has been convicted of a crime involving moral
accepted under the law, which expressly provides that
turpitude. Twenty three days before the election,
such certificate should be filed at least sixty days before Cayat’s disqualification became final and executory. He,
the election. however won and was proclaimed and assumed office.
Palileng filed an electoral protest contending that Cayat
NOTE: Any person holding a public appointive office or was ineligible to run for mayor. The Vice-Mayor
position including active members of the Armed Forces intervened and contended that he should succeed
of the Philippines, and officers and employees in Cayat in case he is disqualified because Palileng was
only a second placer, hence, he cannot be declared as
government-owned or controlled corporations, shall be
the winner. Is the contention of the Vice-Mayor
considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon the correct? Why?
filing of his certificate of candidacy, (Sec. 66, Omnibus
Election Code) ANS: No, because there was no second placer, hence,
Palileng should be proclaimed as the winner on the
PNOC-EDC v. NLRC following grounds:
First, the COMELEC’s Resolution of 12 April 2004
Sec. 66 applies to officers and employees in
cancelling Cayat’s certificate of candidacy due to
government-owned or controlled corporations, even disqualification became final and executory on 17 April
those organized under the general laws on 2004 when Cayat failed to pay the prescribed filing fee.
incorporation and therefore not having an original or Thus, Palileng was the only candidate for Mayor of
legislative charter, and even if they do not fall under Buguias, Benguet in the 10 May 2004 elections.
the Civil Service Law but under the Labor Code. Twenty-three days before the election day, Cayat was
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 59 of 65

already disqualified by final judgment to run for Mayor Fr.Nardo Cayat and Thomas Palileng are the only
in the 10 May 2004 elections. As the only candidate, mayoralty candidates for the May 2004 elections in
Palileng was not a second placer. On the contrary, Buguias Benguet. Palileng filed a petition for
Palileng was the sole and only placer, second to none.
cancellation of the COC of Cayat on the ground of
The doctrine on the rejection of the second placer,
which triggers the rule on succession, does not apply in misrepresentation. Palileng argues that Cayat
the present case because Palileng is not a second-placer misrepresents himself when he declared in his COC that
but the only placer. Consequently, Palileng’s he is eligible to run as mayor when in fact he is not
proclamation as Mayor of Buguias, Benguet is beyond because he is serving probation after being convicted
question. for the offense of acts of lasciviousness. Comelec,
granted the petition of Palileng and Cayat filed a
Second, there are specific requirements for the
motion for reconsideration. Such, MR was denied
application of the doctrine on the rejection of the
second placer. The doctrine will apply in Bayacsan’s because Cayat failed to pay the filing fee and hence, it
favor, regardless of his intervention in the present case, was declared final and executory. Despite this decision,
if two conditions concur: (1) the decision on Cayat’s Cayat was still proclaimed as the winner and Palileng
disqualification remained pending on election day, 10 filed a petition for annulment of proclamation. Comelec
May 2004, resulting in the presence of two mayoralty declared Palileng as the duly elected mayor and Feliseo
candidates for Buguias, Benguet in the elections; and Bayacsan as the duly elected vice mayor. Bayacsan
(2) the decision on Cayat’s disqualification became final
argues that he should be declared as mayor because of
only after the elections. (Cayat v. COMELEC, April 27,
2007). the doctrine of rejection of second placer.

ISSUE: WON the rejection of second placer doctrine is


REMEDIES BEFORE ELECTION
applicable.
Disqualification cases before election
HELD: The doctrine cannot be applied in this case
1. Nuisance candidates because the disqualification of Cayat became final and
2. Petition to deny due course or to cancel a COC, executory before the elections and hence, there is only
and one candidate to speak of. The law expressly declares
3. Filing of a disqualification case on any of the that a candidate disqualified by final judgment before
grounds enumerated in Sec. 68, OEC. an election cannot be voted for, and votes cast for him
shall not be counted. As such, Palileng is the only
NOTE: In section 68, OEC, the candidate is qualified to candidate and the duly elected mayor. The doctrine will
run, hence, if later on disqualified, substitution is apply in Bayacsan’s favor, regardless of his intervention
proper. In Section 69, OEC, a nuisance candidate is not in the present case, if two conditions concur: (1) the
allowed to be substituted since at the first place he decision on Cayat’s disqualification remained pending
does not qualify to be a candidate. In Section 78, OEC, a on election day, 10 May 2004, resulting in the presence
person whose candidacy was cancelled due to material of two mayoralty candidates for Buguias, Benguet in
misrepresentation is considered as a disqualified the elections; and (2) the decision on Cayat’s
candidate in the first place, thus substitution as to him disqualification became final only after the elections.
is not proper.
NOTE: The HRET’s jurisdiction of all contests relation to
elections, returns, and qualifications of members of
Section 6, RA 6646
congress begins only after a candidate has become a
Effect of Disqualification Case. - Any candidate who has
member of the House of Representatives. Althout
been declared by final judgment to be disqualified shall
Imelda Marcos won as congresswoman, she has not yet
not be voted for, and the votes cast for him shall not be
been proclaimed and thus, she is not yet considered as
counted. If for any reason a candidate is not declared
member of the congress. (Imelda Marcos-Romualdez v.
by final judgment before an election to be disqualified
Comelec)
and he is voted for and receives the winning number of
votes in such election, the Court or Commission shall Once a candidate has been proclaimed, taken is oath,
continue with the trial and hearing of the action, and assumed office in the House of Representatives,
inquiry, or protest and, upon motion of the COMELEC’s jurisdiction ends and HRET’s jurisdiction
complainant or any intervenor, may during the begins.
pendency thereof order the suspension of the
proclamation of such candidate whenever the evidence DURING ELECTION
of his guilt is strong.
Instances where a failure of election may be declared
CAYAT V. COMELEC G.R. No. 163776 April 24, 2007
1. The election in any polling place has not been
held on the date fixed on account of force
FACTS:
majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud, or other
analogous causes;
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 60 of 65

2. The election in any polling place had been transmission, receipt, custody and appreciation of
suspended before the hour fixed by law for the election returns. (Sec. 241, BP 881 OEC)
closing of the voting on account of force
majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud, or other It shall be heard summarily by the COMELEC. Its
analogous causes; and decision shall be executory after 5 days from receipt by
3. After the voting and during the preparation the losing party, unless contrary orders from the SC.
and transmission of the election returns or
POST-ELECTION DISPUTES
canvass thereof such election results in failure
to elect on account of force majeure, violence, They are disputes which arise or are instituted after
fraud or analogous causes. (Banaga Jr. vs proclamation of winning candidates and which issues
Comelec, G.R. No. 134696, July 31, 2000) pertain to the casting and counting of votes (Election
Protests), or to the eligibility or disloyalty of the
NOTE: There is a failure to elect when nobody can be
winning candidates (Quo warranto).
declared as winner because the will of the majority has
been defiled and cannot be ascertained. Nature of an election contest

Power to declare a failure of election It is a special summary proceeding the object of which
is to expedite the settlement of controversies between
The COMELEC has the power to declare a failure of
candidates as to who received the majority of legal
election and this can be exercised motu proprio or
votes.
upon verified petition. (Loong v. COMELEC, G.R. Nos.
107814-15, May 16, 1996) Where election protests can be filed

NOTE: The hearing is summary in nature and the 1. COMELEC – sole judge of all contests relating to
COMELEC may delegate to its lawyers the power to elections, returns, and qualifications of all elective
hear the case and to receive evidence. (Ibid.) regional, provincial and city officials. (reviewable by SC
under Rule 64 using Rule 65.)
Q: Is low turn-out of voters enough basis to grant a
2. Presidential Electoral Tribunal – President and Vice
petition to declare a failure of election?
President
A: No. All the law requires is that a winning candidate 3. SET – Senator
must be elected by a plurality of valid votes, regardless 4. HRET – representative
of the actual number of ballots cast. Thus, even if less 5. RTC – over contests for municipal officials which may
than 25% of the electorate in the questioned precincts be appealed to COMELEC 6. MeTC or MTC – for
cast their votes, the same must still be respected. barangay officials which may be appealed to COMELEC
(Mitmug v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 106270-73, February
10, 1994) ELECTION PROTEST v. QUO WARRANTO
1. Both remedies are post-proclamation of
REYES v. RTC of Oriental Mindoro candidates
2. In the former, the issue is “who really won the
Conformably to these provisions of the Constitution all election?”, while the latter is “is the winning
election cases, including pre-proclamation candidate really qualified?”
controversies, must be decided by the COMELEC in 3. In the former, only the candidate himself may
division. Should a party be dissatisfied with the file an election protest. On the other hand, in
decision, he may file a motion for reconsideration quo warranto, it may be filed by any registered
before the COMELEC en banc. It is, therefore, the voter
decision, order or ruling of the COMELEC en banc that, 4. In the former, if the protested candidate is
in accordance with Art. IX, A, §7, "may be brought to removed, the one protesting shall be
the Supreme Court on certiorari." proclaimed as the winner. Conversely, once
the winner declared disqualified, he will be
NOTE: If what is involved is a mere Interlocutory Order
removed from office.
issued by the COMELEC, the aggrieved party may go
directly to the SC by way of certiorari under Rule 65.
LABO v. COMELEC
PRE-PROCLAMATION CONTROVERSIES Lardizabal on the other hand cannot assert, through the
quo warranto proceeding, that he should be declared
They refer to any question pertaining to or affecting the the mayor by reason of Labo’s disqualification because
proceedings of the board of canvassers, and the Lardizabal obtained the second highest number of vote.
preparation, transmission, receipt, custody and It would be extremely repugnant to the basic concept
appreciation of election returns which may be raised by of the constitutionally guaranteed right to suffrage if a
any candidate or by any registered political party or candidate who has not acquired the majority or
coalition of political parties before the board or directly plurality of votes is proclaimed a winner and imposed
with the COMELEC in relation to the preparation, as the representative of a constituency, the majority of
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 61 of 65

which have positively declared through their ballots shall be determined from the time he made it his
that they do not choose him. Sound policy dictates that domicile of choice and it shall not retroact to the time
public elective offices are filled by those who have of his birth. (Japson v. COMELEC, G.R .No. 180088,
received the highest number of votes cast in the January 19, 2009)
election for that office, and it is a fundamental idea in
all republican forms of government that no one can be ER EJERCITO v. COMELEC, 2014
declared elected and no measure can be declared
The rule on succession provided for in Sec. 44 of RA
carried unless he or it receives a majority or plurality of
7160 or the Local Government Code applies in this case
the legal votes cast in the election.
because what occurred here after his disqualification is
a permanent vacancy in the position. What is involved
Q: Should the Vice-mayor succeed the Mayor if latter
in this case is the commission of an election offense
be disqualified because it was later found that he is
(overspending) provided for in Sec. 68 of OEC which, in
ineligible to run for the position?
effect, disqualifies the candidate from holding Office.
Here, the candidate possesses all the qualifications and
A: No. The candidate for the same position who
none of the disqualifications to run for the office.
garnered the next highest vote shall be proclaimed as
Therefore, he is a valid candidate.
the winner. Technically, such candidate is the first-
placer for the reason that a void COC cannot produce
any legal effect and therefore, an ineligible candidate is
not considered a candidate at all. (Maquiling v. Q: Maratay Buntal, a dual citizen, run as Mayor of the
COMELEC, 2013) Municipality of Balindong and won. Mapiyay Buntal,
another mayoralty candidate filed a petition to
Q: What if the Mayor was disqualified because of an disqualify Maratay Buntal on the ground that the latter
election offense under Sec. 68 of the OEC? Who will continued to use his US passport. However, according
succeed? to Maratay Buntal, the COMELEC must uphold the
sovereign will of the people of Balindong who
A: Vice Mayor. The effect of the Mayor’s expressed, thru their ballots, their overwhelming
disqualification is a permanent vacancy in the position. support for him as a mayor considering that he
Under Sec. 44 of the LGC, in case of permanent vacancy garnered 8, 500 votes while his opponent garnered only
in the position of Mayor, the Vice Mayor will succeed. 1,200 votes. Rule on Maratay Buntals contention.

MAQUILING v. COMELEC A: Maratay Buntal’s contention is not correct. While it


is true that petitioner won the elections, took his oath
and began to discharge his functions, his victory cannot
The old doctrine was that the vice mayor shall succeed
cure the defect of his candidacy. Garnering the most
the disqualified winning candidate, not the candidate number of votes does not validate the election of a
for the same position who had received the next disqualified candidate because the application of the
highest vote. In recent cases, SC ruled that a void CoC constitutional and statutory provisions on
cannot produce any legal effect. Thus, the votes cast in disqualification is not a matter of popularity. Thus, in
favor of the ineligible candidate are not considered at one case decided by the SC, it was held that election
victory cannot be used as a magic formula to bypass
all in determining the winner of an election. Knowledge
election eligibility requirements; otherwise, certain
by the electorate of a candidate’s disqualification is not provisions of laws pertaining to elections will become
necessary before a qualified candidate who placed toothless.
second to a disqualified one can be proclaimed as the
ARNADO v. COMELEC, 2015
winner. The second-placer in the vote count is actually
the first-placer among the qualified candidates. In Maquiling, this Court emphasized that popular vote
Furthermore, that the disqualified candidate has does not cure the ineligibility of a candidate. Thus,
while in this case Arnado won by landslide majority
already been proclaimed and has assumed office is of
during the 2013 elections, garnering 84% of the total
no moment. The subsequent disqualification based on a votes cast, the same “cannot override the
substantive ground that existed prior to the filing of the constitutional and statutory requirements for
CoC voids not only the CoC but also the proclamation. qualifications and disqualifications.” In Velasco v.
Comelec, this Court pronounced that election victory
Effect of reacquisition of Philippine citizenship as to cannot be used as a magic formula to bypass election
the domicile/residence requirement for running as a eligibility requirements; otherwise, certain provisions of
mayoralty candidate laws pertaining to elections will become toothless. One
of which is Section 39 of the Local Government Code of
Under RA 9225, it has no automatic impact or effect on 1991, which specifies the basic positive qualifications of
a candidate’s residence/domicile. He merely has an local government officials. If in Velasco the Court ruled
that popular vote cannot override the required
option to again establish his domicile in the
qualifications under Section 39, a fortiori, there is no
municipality, which place shall become his new reason why the Court should not follow the same policy
domicile of choice. The length of his residence therein when it comes to disqualifications enumerated under
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 62 of 65

Section 40 of the same law. After all, “[t]he voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age
qualifications set out in [Section 39] are roughly half of on the day of the election, and a resident of the
the requirements for election to local public offices. The Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding
other half is contained in the succeeding section which
such election." The term "natural-born citizens," is
lays down the circumstances that disqualify local
candidates.” defined to include "those who are citizens of the
Philippines from birth without having to perform any
Disqualifications under Sec. 68, OEC
act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship."
1. Given money or other material consideration Herein, the date, month and year of birth of FPJ
to influence, induce or corrupt the voters or appeared to be 20 August 1939 during the regime of
public officials performing electoral functions the 1935 Constitution. Through its history, four modes
2. Committed acts of terrorism to enhance his of acquiring citizenship - naturalization, jus soli, res
candidacy judicata and jus sanguinis – had been in vogue. Only
3. Spent in his election campaign an amount in two, i.e., jus soli and jus sanguinis, could qualify a
excess of that allowed by this code person to being a “natural-born” citizen of the
4. Solicited, received or made any contribution Philippines. Jus soli, per Roa vs. Collector of Customs
prohibited under Sections 89, 95, 96, 97 and (1912), did not last long. With the adoption of the 1935
104. Constitution and the reversal of Roa in Tan Chong vs.
Secretary of Labor (1947), jus sanguinis or blood
MERCADO v. MANZANO relationship would now become the primary basis of
citizenship by birth. Considering the reservations made
Dual citizenship arises when a person whose parents by the parties on the veracity of some of the entries on
are citizens of a state that follows jus saguinis and was the birth certificate of FPJ and the marriage certificate
born in a state that follows jus soli, hence, resulting to a of his parents, the only conclusions that could be drawn
concurrent application of different two laws or more. with some degree of certainty from the documents
On the other hand, dual allegiance is a situation where would be that (1) The parents of FPJ were Allan F. Poe
a person simultaneously owes loyalty to two or more and Bessie Kelley; (2) FPJ was born to them on 20
states. In this case, Respondent, though dual citizen, his August 1939; (3) Allan F. Poe and Bessie Kelley were
act of filing a certificate of candidacy tantamount to his married to each other on 16 September, 1940; (4) The
election of Phil. citizenship – meaning he forswears father of Allan F. Poe was Lorenzo Poe; and (5) At the
allegiance to the other country and thereby terminating time of his death on 11 September 1954, Lorenzo Poe
their status as dual. The Court stressed that was 84 years old. The marriage certificate of Allan F.
participating in the election is an express renunciation Poe and Bessie Kelley, the birth certificate of FPJ, and
of American citizenship. the death certificate of Lorenzo Pou are documents of
public record in the custody of a public officer. The
AZNAR v. COMELEC documents have been submitted in evidence by both
contending parties during the proceedings before the
FACTS: In the case at bar, petitioner challenged
COMELEC. But while the totality of the evidence may
respondent’s right to hold public office on the ground
not establish conclusively that FPJ is a natural-born
that the latter was an alien. Respondent maintains that
citizen of the Philippines, the evidence on hand still
he is a son of a Filipino, was a holder of a valid
would preponderate in his favor enough to hold that he
subsisting passport, a continuous resident of the
cannot be held guilty of having made a material
Philippines and a registered voter since 1965. He was,
misrepresentation in his certificate of candidacy in
however, also a holder of an alien registration
violation of Section 78, in relation to Section 74, of the
certificate.
Omnibus Election Code. Fornier has utterly failed to
ISSUE: Whether or not respondent is an alien. substantiate his case before the Court, notwithstanding
the ample opportunity given to the parties to present
HELD: No, because by virtue of his being a son of a their position and evidence, and to prove whether or
Filipino, it is presumed that he was a Filipino and not there has been material misrepresentation, which,
remained Filipino until proof could be shown that he as so ruled in Romualdez-Marcos vs. COMELEC, must
had renounced or lost his Philippine citizenship. In not only be material, but also deliberate and willful.
addition, possession of an alien registration certificate
unaccompanied by proof of performance of acts
whereby Philippine citizenship had been lost is not LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE
adequate proof of loss of citizenship.
Section 8. Article 10, Constitution
TECSON v. COMELEC, 2004 The term of office of elective local officials, except
barangay officials, which shall be determined by law,
Section 2, Article VII, of the 1987 Constitution expresses
shall be three years and no such official shall serve for
that "No person may be elected President unless he is a
more than three consecutive terms. Voluntary
natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered
renunciation of the office for any length of time shall
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 63 of 65

not be considered as an interruption in the continuity COMELEC of jurisdiction to continue hearing the case
of his service for the full term for which he was elected. and to resolve it on the merits. (Sunga vs. Comelec)

Borja v. Comelec Socrates v. COMELEC


Jose T. Capco, Jr. was elected as Vice-Mayor of Pateros After three consecutive terms,
on January 18, 1988 for a term ending on June 30, an elective official cannot immediate re-election for a
1992. On September 2, 1989, he became Mayor, by fourth term, The prohibited election refers to the next
operation of law, upon the death of the incumbent, regular election for a fourth term. The prohibited
Cesar Borja. Thereafter, Capco was elected and served election refers to the next regular election for the same
as Mayor for two more terms, from 1992 to 1998. On office following the same office following the third
March 27, 1998, Capco filed a Certificate of Candidacy consecutive term. Any subsequent election, like
for Mayor of Pateros in the May 11, 1998 a recall election, is no longer covered by the
elections. Petitioner Benjamin U. Borja, Jr., who was prohibition for two reasons: 1) A subsequent election
also a candidate for mayor, sought Capco’s like a recall election, is no longer an immediate
disqualification on the ground that Capco would have reelection after the three consecutive terms; and 2) The
already served as Mayor for 3 consecutive terms by intervening period constitutes an involuntary
June 30, 1998; hence, he would be ineligible to serve interruption in the continuity of service.
for another term. The Second Division of the Comelec
declared Capco disqualified but the Comelec en banc Mendoza v. COMELEC
reversed the decision and declared Capco eligible
to run for mayor. Capco was subsequently voted and A winner who dislodges in a recall election an
proclaimed as mayor. incumbent elective local official merely serves the
Issue: balance of the latter's term of office; it is not a full
Whether or not a vice-mayor who succeeds to the three-year term. Thus, he may run for the 4th time.
office of mayor by operation of law and serves the Aldovino VS COMELEC
remainder of the term is considered to have served a
FACTS: Lucena City councilor Wilfredo F. Asilo was
term in that office for the purpose of the three-term
elected to the said office for three consecutive terms:
limit.
1998-2001, 2001-2004, and 2004-2007. In September
Held:
2005, during his third term of office, the Sandiganbayan
No. The term limit for elective local officials must be
issued an order of 90-day preventive suspension
taken to refer to the right to be elected as well as the
against him in relation to a criminal case. The said
right to serve the same elective position. Consequently,
suspension order was subsequently lifted by the Court,
it is not enough that an individual has served three
and Asilo resumed the performance of the functions of
consecutive terms in an elective local office, he must
his office. Asilo then filed his certificate of candidacy for
also have been elected to the same position for the
the same position in 2007. His disqualification was
same number of times before the disqualification can
sought by herein petitioners on the ground that he had
apply. Capco was qualified to run again as mayor in the
been elected and had served for three consecutive
next election because he was not elected to the office
terms, in violation of the three-term Constitutional
of mayor in the first term but simply found himself
limit.
thrust into it by operation of law. Neither had he served
the full term because he only continued the service, ISSUE: WON the suspensive condition interrupts the
interrupted by the death, of the deceased mayor. The three-term limitation rule of COMELEC?
vice-mayor’s assumption of the mayorship in the event
of the vacancy is more a matter of chance than of RULING: NO. The preventive suspension of public
design. Hence, his service in that office should not be officials does not interrupt their term for purposes of
counted in the application of any term limit. the three-term limit rule under the Constitution and the
Local Government Code (RA 7160). The candidacy of
Lonzanida v. COMELEC Lucena City Councilor Wilfredo F. Asilo for a fourth term
There are 2 conditions before the disqualification under in the 2007 elections was in contravention of the three-
Sec. 8, Article 10 of the Constitution may apply: term limit rule of Art. X, sec. 8 of the Constitution since
1. That the official concerned has been elected his 2004-2007 term was not interrupted by the
for three consecutive terms in the same local preventive suspension imposed on him, the SC granted
government post and the petition of Simon B. Aldovino, Danilo B. Faller, and
2. That he has fully served three consecutive Ferdinand N. Talabong seeking Asilo’s disqualification.
terms. “Preventive suspension, by its nature, does not involve
an effective interruption of service within a term and
NOTE: The proclamation or the assumption of office of should therefore not be a reason to avoid the three-
a candidate against whom a petition for disqualification term limitation,” held the Court. It noted that
is pending before the COMELEC does not divest the preventive suspension can pose as a threat “more
potent” than the voluntary renunciation that the
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 64 of 65

Constitution itself disallows to evade the three-term that Senate Bill No. 2159 proposes; and RA 9009 would
limit as it is easier to undertake and merely requires an not have any retroactive effect insofar as the cityhood
easily fabricated administrative charge that can be bills are concerned. The conversion of a municipality
dismissed soon after a preventive suspension has been into a city will only affect its status as a political unit,
imposed. but not its property as such, it added. The Court held
that the favorable treatment accorded the sixteen
LEAGUE OF CITIES v. COMELEC municipalities by the cityhood laws rests on substantial
distinction.
During the 11th Congress, 57 bills seeking the
The Court stressed that respondent LGUs were
conversion of municipalities into component cities were
qualified cityhood applicants before the enactment of
filed before the House of Representatives. However,
RA 9009. To impose on them the much higher income
Congress acted only on 33 bills. It did not act on bills
requirement after what they have gone through would
converting 24 other municipalities into cities. During
appear to be indeed unfair. “Thus, the imperatives of
the 12thCongress, R.A. No. 9009 became effective
fairness dictate that they should be given a legal
revising Section 450 of the Local Government Code. It
remedy by which they should be allowed to prove that
increased the income requirement to qualify for
they have all the necessary qualifications for city status
conversion into a city from P20 million annual income
using the criteria set forth under the LGC of 1991 prior
to P100 million locally-generated income. In the
to its amendment by RA 9009. (GR No. 176951, League
13th Congress, 16 of the 24 municipalities filed, through
of Cities of the Philippines v. COMELEC; GR No. 177499,
their respective sponsors, individual cityhood bills. Each
League of Cities of the Philippines v. COMELEC; GR No.
of the cityhood bills contained a common
178056, League of Cities of the Philippines v. COMELEC,
provisionexempting the particular municipality from
December 21, 2009) NOTE: TheNovember 18, 2008
the 100 million income requirement imposed by R.A.
ruling already became final and executory and was
No. 9009. Are the cityhood laws converting 16
recorded in the SC’s Book of Entries of Judgments on
municipalities into cities constitutional?
May 21, 2009.)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
August 24, 2010 Ruling
November 18, 2008 Ruling
No. The SC (voting 7-6) granted the motions for
No. The SC (voting 6-5) ruled that the exemptions in the reconsideration of the League of Cities of the
City Laws is unconstitutional because sec. 10, Art. X of Philippines (LCP), et al. and reinstated its November 18,
the Constitution requires that such exemption must be 2008 decision declaring unconstitutional the Cityhood
written into the LGC and not into any other laws. “The Laws or Republic Acts (RAs) converting 16
Cityhood Laws violate sec. 6, Art. X of the Constitution municipalities into cities. “Undeniably, the 6-6 vote did
because they prevent a fair and just distribution of the not overrule the prior majority en banc Decision of 18
national taxes to local government units.” “The criteria, November 2008, as well as the prior majority en
as prescribed in sec. 450 of the LGC, must be strictly bancResolution of 31 March 2009 denying
followed because such criteria prescribed by law, are reconsideration. The tie-vote on the second motion for
material in determining the “just share” of local reconsideration is not the same as a tie-vote on the
government units (LGUs) in national taxes.” (League of main decision where there is no prior decision,” the
Cities of the Philippines v. Comelec GR No. 176951, Court said. In the latest resolution, the Court reiterated
November 18, 2008) its November 18, 2008 ruling that the Cityhood Laws
violate sec. 10, Art. X of the Constitution which
March 31, 2009 Ruling expressly provides that “no city…shall be
created…except in accordance with the criteria
No. The SC denied the first Motion for Reconsideration.
established in the local government code.” It stressed
7-5 vote.
that while all the criteria for the creation of cities must
April 28, 2009 Ruling be embodied exclusively in the Local Government Code,
the assailed Cityhood Laws provided an exemption
No. The SC En Banc, by a split vote (6-6), denied a from the increased income requirement for the
second motion for reconsideration. creation of cities under sec. 450 of the LGC. “The
unconstitutionality of the Cityhood Laws lies in the fact
December 21, 2009 Ruling that Congress provided an exemption contrary to the
express language of the Constitution….Congress
Yes. The SC (voting 6-4) reversed its November 18, 2008
exceeded and abused its law-making power, rendering
decision and declared as constitutional the Cityhood
the challenged Cityhood Laws void for being violative of
Laws or Republic Acts (RAs) converting 16
the Constitution,” the Court held.
municipalities into cities. It said that based on Congress’
deliberations and clear legislative intent was that the The Court further held that “limiting the exemption
then pending cityhood bills would be outside the pale only to the 16 municipalities violates the requirement
of the minimum income requirement of PhP100 million
POLITICAL LAW NOTES page 65 of 65

that the classification must apply to all similarly the bills were also unanimously approved. The acts of
situated. Municipalities with the same income as the 16 both Chambers of Congress show that the exemption
respondent municipalities cannot convert into cities, clauses ultimately incorporated in the Cityhood Laws
while the 16 respondent municipalities can. Clearly, as are but the express articulations of the clear legislative
worded the exemption provision found in the Cityhood intent to exempt the respondents, without exception,
Laws, even if it were written in Section 450 of the Local from the coverage of RA No. 9009. Thereby, RA 9009,
Government Code, would still be unconstitutional for and, by necessity, the LCG, were amended, not by
violation of the equal protection clause.” (GR No. repeal but by way of the express exemptions being
176951,League of Cities of the Philippines v. Comelec; embodied in the exemption clauses.”
GR No. 177499, League of Cities of the Philippines v.
Comelec; GR No. 178056, League of Cities of the The Court held that the imposition of the income
Philippines v. Comelec, August 24, 2010) requirement of P100 million from local sources under
RA 9009 was arbitrary. “While the Constitution
February 15, 2011 Ruling mandates that the creation of local government units
must comply with the criteria laid down in the LGC, it
Yes, the laws are constitutional. The February 15, 2011 cannot be justified to insist that the Constitution must
resolution is the fourth ruling since the High Court first have to yield to every amendment to the LGC despite
resolved the Cityhood case in 2008. such amendment imminently producing effects
contrary to the original thrusts of the LGC to promote
April 12, 2011 Ruling
autonomy, decentralization, countryside development,
Yes! It’s final. The 16 Cityhood Laws are constitutional. and the concomitant national growth.”(GR No.
“We should not ever lose sight of the fact that the 16 176951, League of City of the Philippines v. COMELEC;
cities covered by the Cityhood Laws not only had GR No. 177499, League of City of the Philippines v.
conversion bills pending during the 11th Congress, but COMELEC: GR No. 178056, League of City of the
have also complied with the requirements of the [Local Philippines v. COMELEC, April 12, 2011)
Government Code] LGC prescribed prior to its
amendment by RA No. 9009. Congress undeniably gave
these cities all the considerations that justice and fair
play demanded. Hence, this Court should do no less by
stamping its imprimatur to the clear and unmistakable
legislative intent and by duly recognizing the certain
collective wisdom of Congress,” the SC said.

The Court stressed that Congress clearly intended that


the local government units covered by the Cityhood
Laws be exempted from the coverage of RA 9009,
which imposes a higher income requirement of PhP100
million for the creation of cities.

“The Court reiterated that while RA 9009 was being


deliberated upon, the Congress was well aware of the
pendency of conversion bills of several municipalities,
including those covered by the Cityhood Laws. It
pointed out that RA 9009 took effect on June 30, 2001,
when the 12th Congress was incipient. By reason of the
clear legislative intent to exempt the municipalities
covered by the conversion bills pending during the 11th
Congress, the House of Representatives adopted Joint
Resolution No. 29 entitled Joint Resolution to Exempt
Certain Municipalities Embodied in Bills Filed in
Congress before June 30, 2001 from the coverage of
Republic Act No. 9009. However, the Senate failed to
act on the said Joint Resolution. Even so, the House
readopted Joint Resolution No. 29 as Joint Resolution
No. 1 during the 12th Congress, and forwarded the
same for approval to the Senate, which again failed to
prove it. Eventually, the conversion bills of respondents
were individually filed in the Lower House and
fellesters.blogspot.com were all unanimously and
favorably voted upon. When forwarded to the Senate,