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012 Angara vs.

Electoral Commission
[G.R. L-45081; July 15, 1936 ]
TOPIC: Judicial Review; Theory and Justification of
Judicial Review
PONENTE: Laurel, J.

AUTHOR: Arthur Archie Tiu
NOTES: (if applicable)


1. In the election of Sept. 17, 1935, Angara (herein petitioner) and Pedro Ynsua, Miguel Castillo, Dionision
Mayor (Respondents) were candidates voted to be members of the national assembly (NA) for the first
district of the Province of Tayabas.
2. On Oct 7, 1935, Angara was proclaimed as member-elect of the NA for the said district. On November 15,
1935, he took his oath of office.
3. On Dec 3, 1935, the NA in session assembled, passed Resolution No. 8 confirming the election of the
members of the National Assembly against whom no protest had thus far been filed.
4. On Dec 8, 1935, Ynsua, filed before the Electoral Commission a Motion of Protest against the election of
Angara. On Dec 9, 1935, the EC adopted a resolution, par. 6 of which fixed said date as the last day for the
filing of protests against the election, returns and qualifications of members of the NA, notwithstanding the
previous confirmation made by the NA.
5. Angara filed a Motion to Dismiss arguing that by virtue of the NA proclamation, Ynsua can no longer
protest (the prescribed period for filing of protests had already ended on December 3, and the respondent
was late in filing his protest because he filed the protest after December 3.).
6. Ynsua calims that there was no constitutional or legal provision which stated that members of the NA
cannot be contested after confirmationof the NA.. EC denied petitioners motion to dismiss. Petitioner then
files a protest to the Supreme Court (SC) questioning ECs jurisdiction over the case. ( Petitioner argues
that, EC could only regulate proceedings, that SC has jurisdiction to pass upon fundamental questions in
the issue since it is an interpretation of the constitution)
7. The Solicitor General (SolGen) argues that EC is a constitutional body which has jurisdiction to try all
contested cases re:elections and said acts is beyond SC. Further, Res #8 did not deprive EC of its
jurisdiction. Since EC acquired jurisdiction over the election protest, the Motion to dismiss filed in EC is
not reviewable by the SC.
ISSUE(S): 1. does the SC has jurisdiction over the ELECOM and the controversy?
2. If it does, then has ELECOM acted within or without jursidiction
HELD: 1. Yes
2. Within Jursidiction
- The SC has jurisdiction over the ELECOM: separation of powers granted by Consti (through separate articles for
each branch) but check and balances maintain coordination among the branches. When there are conflicts between
the boundaries of powers and functions of each branch, the Judiciary has the power to review and resolve these
conflicts through Judicial Review (referred to as Judicial Supremacy). This however is limited to actual cases and
- that judicial supremacy is but the power of judicial review in actual and appropriate cases and controversies, and is
the power and duty to see that no one branch or agency of the government transcends the Constitution, which is the
source of all authority.
- ELECOM acted within its jurisdiction since ELECOM is recognized as an independent quasi-judicial body which
is not an inferior tribunal, or corporation, board, or person, and is granted the powers to be the sole judge of all
contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of members of the NA. The present constitution granted
the ELECOM with all the powers exercised by the legislature relating to the said function of ELECOM, and this
includes the regulation of the rules and procedures of election protests. The confirmation of NA of its members is
not required and does not limit the ELECOM of its power to fix dates for election protest, or else this would
undermine the power and functions of the ELECOM.

Concurring Opinion:
Abad, J. (not relevant to the topic)
- The power vested in the Electoral Commission by the Constitution of judging of all contests relating to the
election, returns, and qualifications of the members of the National Assembly, is judicial in nature. (Thomas vs.
Loney, 134 U.S., 372; 33 Law. ed., 949, 951.) On the other hand, the power to regulate the time in which notice of
a contested election may be given, is legislative in character. (M'Elmoyle vs. Cohen, 13 Pet., 312; 10 Law. ed.,
177; Missouri vs. Illinois, 200 U. S. 496; 50 Law. ed., 572.)

- It has been correctly stated that the government established by the Constitution follows fundamentally the theory
of the separation of powers into legislative, executive, and judicial. Legislative power is vested in the National
Assembly. (Article VI, sec. 1.) In the absence of any clear constitutional provision to the contrary, the power to
regulate the time in which notice of a contested election may be given, must be deemed to be included in the grant
of legislative power to the National Assembly.