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Justiciable and Political Questions

The term "political question" connotes what it means in ordinary parlance, namely, a
question of policy. It refers "to those questions which under the Constitution are to be
decided by the people in their sovereign capacity; or in regard to which full discretionary
authority has been delegated to the legislative or executive branch of the government." It is
concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom, not legality, of a particular measure.
In Casibang v. Aquino,
7
we defined a justiciable issue as follows:
A purely justiciable issue implies a given right, legally demandable and enforceable, an act or
omission violative of such right, and a remedy granted and sanctioned by law, for said
breach of right.
Miranda vs Aguirre
FACTS:
This is a petition for a writ of prohibition with prayer for preliminary injunction assailing the
constitutionality of Republic Act No. 8528, converting the City of Santiago, Isabela from an
independent component city to merely a component city.
On May 5, 1994, RA No. 7720 was signed into a law, which converted the municipality of Santiago,
Isabela, into an independent component city on July 4, 1994, RA No. 7720 was approved by the
people of Santiago in a plebiscite.
On February 14, 1998, RA No. 8528 was enacted and it amended RA No. 7720 that practically
downgraded the City of Santiago from an independent component city to a merely component city.
Petitioners assail the constitutionality of RA No. 8528 for the lack of provision to submit the law for
the approval of the people of Santiago in a proper plebiscite.
Respondents defended the constitutionality of RA No. 8528 saying that the said act merely
reclassified the City of Santiago from an independent component city into a component city. It
allegedly did not involve any creation, division, merger, abolition, or substantial alteration of
boundaries of local government units, therefore, a plebiscite of the people of Santiago is
unnecessary. They also questioned the standing of petitioners to file the petition and argued that the
petition raises a political question over which the Court lacks jurisdiction.
ISSUE/S:
WHETHER OR NOT RA NO. 8528 IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL FOR ITS FAILURE TO SUBMIT IT TO
PROPER PLEBISCITE.
WHETHER OR NOT THE PETITIONERS LACKS STANDING OR PERSONALITY IN FILING THIS
PETITION.
WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE PETITION AT BAR ON THE
GROUND THAT IT INVOLVES A POLITICAL QUESTION.
DECISION:
Petition was GRANTED. RA No. 8528 is declared unconstitutional and the writ of prohibition is
hereby issued commanding the respondents to desist from implementing the said law.
RATIO DECIDENDI:
RA No. 8528 is declared unconstitutional because Sec. 10 of Art. X of the 1987 Constitution clearly
states that: No province, city, municipality, or barangay may be created, divided, merged, abolished,
or its boundary substantially altered, except in accordance with the criteria established in the local
government code and subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political
units directly affected.
That when an amendment of the law involves creation, merger, division, abolition or substantial
alteration of boundaries of local government units, a plebiscite in the political units directly affected is
mandatory.
Petitioners are directly affected in the imple-mentation of RA No. 8528. Petitioner Miranda was the
mayor of Santiago City, Afiado was the President of the Sangguniang Liga, together with 3 other
petitioners were all residents and voters in the City of Santiago. It is their right to be heard in the
conversion of their city thru a plebiscite to be conducted by the COMELEC. Thus, denial of their right
in
RA No. 8528 gives them proper standing to strike down the law as unconstitutional.
Sec. 1 of Art. VIII of the Constitution states that: the judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme
Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law. Judicial power includes the duty of the
courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and
enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting
to
lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instru-mentality of the Government.
That the Supreme Court has the jurisdiction over said petition because it involves not a political
question but a justiciable issue, and of which only the court could decide whether or not a law
passed
by the Congress is unconstitutional.
PUBLIC CORP DIGEST FOR Miranda vs. Aguirre

FACTS: 5 May 1994: RA 7720 converted the municipality of Santiago, Isabela, into an independent
component city. 14 Feb 1998: RA 8528 was enacted, amending RA 7720. It changed the status of
Santiago from an independent component city to a component city. Petitioners assailed the
constitutionality of this RA since it lacked a provision submitting the law for ratification by the people
of Santiago City in a plebiscite. The respondents raised the defense of standing and the political
question doctrine. The Sol Gen argued that the RA merely reclassified Santiago City from an
independent component city to a component city. It allegedly did not involve any creation, merger,
abolition, or substantial alteration of boundaries of local government units.
ISSUE: WON a reclassification of a city from an independent component city to a component city
requires a plebiscite. YES.
RATIO: The wording of the constitution has a common denominator: the material change in the
political and economic rights of the LGU directly affected. The consent of the people is required to
serve as a checking mechanism to any exercise of legislative power. The changes are substantial.
The city mayor will be placed under the administrative supervision of the provincial governor. The
resolutions and ordinances of the city council will have to be reviewed by the Provincial Board of
Isabela. Taxes that will be collected by the city will have to be shared with the province. There would
be a reduction in their
IRA.
When RA 7720 upgraded the status of Santiago City from a municipality to an independent
component
city, it required the approval of its people thru a plebiscite called for that purpose. There is no reason
FACTS: 5 May 1994: RA 7720 converted the municipality of Santiago, Isabela, into an independent
component city. 14 Feb 1998: RA 8528 was enacted, amending RA 7720. It changed the status of
Santiago from an independent component city to a component city. Petitioners assailed the
constitutionality of this RA since it lacked a provision submitting the law for ratification by the people
of Santiago City in a plebiscite. The respondents raised the defense of standing and the political
question doctrine. The Sol Gen argued that the RA merely reclassified Santiago City from an
independent component city to a component city. It allegedly did not involve any creation, merger,
abolition, or substantial alteration of boundaries of local government units.
ISSUE: WON a reclassification of a city from an independent component city to a component city
requires a plebiscite. YES.
RATIO: The wording of the constitution has a common denominator: the material change in the
political and economic rights of the LGU directly affected. The consent of the people is required to
serve as a checking mechanism to any exercise of legislative power. The changes are substantial.
The city mayor will be placed under the administrative supervision of the provincial governor. The
resolutions and ordinances of the city council will have to be reviewed by the Provincial Board of
Isabela. Taxes that will be collected by the city will have to be shared with the province. There would
be a reduction in their IRA.
When RA 7720 upgraded the status of Santiago City from a municipality to an independent
component city, it required the approval of its people thru a plebiscite called for that purpose. There
is no reason why the same should not be done when RA 8528 downgrades the status of their city.
The rules cover all conversions, whether upward or downward so long as they result in a material
change in the LGU directly affected.

Francisco vs. House of Representatives

Facts: On 28 November 2001, the 12th Congress of the House of Representatives adopted and
approved the Rules of Procedure in Impeachment Proceedings, superseding the previous House
Impeachment Rules approved by the 11th Congress. On 22 July 2002, the House of
Representatives adopted a Resolution, which directed the Committee on Justice "to conduct an
investigation, in aid of legislation, on the manner of disbursements and expenditures by the Chief
Justice of the Supreme Court of the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF). On 2 June 2003, former
President Joseph E. Estrada filed an impeachment complaint (first impeachment complaint) against
Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide Jr. and seven Associate Justices of the Supreme Court for "culpable
violation of the Constitution, betrayal of the public trust and other high crimes." The complaint was
endorsed by House Representatives, and was referred to the House Committee on Justice on 5
August 2003 in accordance with Section 3(2) of Article XI of the Constitution. The House Committee
on Justice ruled on 13 October 2003 that the first impeachment complaint was "sufficient in form,"
but voted to dismiss the same on 22 October 2003 for being insufficient in substance. The following
day or on 23 October 2003, the second impeachment complaint was filed with the Secretary General
of the House by House Representatives against Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., founded on the
alleged results of the legislative inquiry initiated by above-mentioned House Resolution. The second
impeachment complaint was accompanied by a "Resolution of Endorsement/Impeachment" signed
by at least 1/3 of all the Members of the House of Representatives. Various petitions for certiorari,
prohibition, and mandamus were filed with the Supreme Court against the House of
Representatives, et. al., most of which petitions contend that the filing of the second impeachment
complaint is unconstitutional as it violates the provision of Section 5 of Article XI of the Constitution
that "[n]o impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within
a period of one year."
Issue: Whether or not the petitions are plainly premature and have no basis in law or in fact, adding
that as of the time of filing of the petitions, no justiciable issue was presented before it.
Held: The courts power of judicial review, like almost all powers conferred by the Constitution, is
subject to several limitations, namely: (1) an actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of
judicial power; (2) the person challenging the act must have standing to challenge; he must have a
personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury
as a result of its enforcement; (3) the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest
possible opportunity; and (4) the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case.
This Court did not heed the call to adopt a hands-off stance as far as the question of the
constitutionality of initiating the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Davide is concerned.
The Court found the existence in full of all the requisite conditions for its exercise of its
constitutionally vested power and duty of the judicial review over an issue whose resolution precisely
called for the construction or interpretation of a provision of the fundamental law of the land. What
lies in here is an issue of a genuine constitutional material which only this Court can properly and
competently address and adjudicate in accordance with the clear-cut allocation of powers under our
system of government.

This Court in the present petitions subjected to judicial scrutiny and resolved on the merits only the
main issue of whether the impeachment proceedings initiated against the Chief Justice transgressed
the constitutionally imposed one-year time bar rule. Beyond this, it did not go about assuming
jurisdiction where it had none, nor indiscriminately turn justiciable issues out of decidedly political
questions. Because it not at all the business of this Court to assert judicial dominance over the other
two great branches of the government.

Political questions are those questions which, under the Constitution, are to be decided by the
people in their sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been
delegated to the Legislature or executive branch of the Government. It is concerned with issues
dependent upon the wisdom, not legality, of a particular measure.

Citing Chief Justice Concepcion, when he became a Constitutional Commissioner: The powers of
government are generally considered divided into three branches: the Legislative, the Executive, and
the Judiciary. Each one is supreme within its own sphere and independent of the others. Because
of that supremacy power to determine whether a given law is valid or not is vested in courts of
justice courts of justice determine the limits of powers of the agencies and offices of the
government as well as those of its officers. The judiciary is the final arbiter on the question whether
or not a branch of government or any of its officials has acted without jurisdiction or in excess of
jurisdiction, or so capriciously as to constitute an abuse of discretion amounting to excess of
jurisdiction or lack of jurisdiction. This is not only a judicial power but also a duty to pass judgment
on matters of this nature a duty which cannot be abdicated by the mere specter of the political law
doctrine.

The determination of a truly political question from a non-justiciable political question lies in
the answer to the question of whether there are constitutionally imposed limits on powers or
functions conferred upon political bodies. If there are, then our courts are duty-bound to
examine whether the branch or instrumentality of the government properly acted within such
limits.

The Court held that it has no jurisdiction over the issue that goes into the merits of the second
impeachment complaint. More importantly, any discussion of this would require this Court to make a
determination of what constitutes an impeachable offense. Such a determination is a purely political
question which the Constitution has left to the sound discretion of the legislation.

Vinuya vs. Romulo

FACTS:
This is an original Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court with an application for
the issuance of a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction against the Office of the Executive
Secretary, the Secretary of the DFA, the Secretary of the DOJ, and the OSG.
Petitioners are all members of the MALAYA LOLAS, a non-stock, non-profit organization registered
with the SEC, established for the purpose of providing aid to the victims of rape by Japanese military
forces in the Philippines during the Second World War.
Petitioners claim that since 1998, they have approached the Executive Department through the DOJ,
DFA, and OSG, requesting assistance in filing a claim against the Japanese officials and military
officers who ordered the establishment of the comfort women stations in the Philippines. But
officials of the Executive Department declined to assist the petitioners, and took the position that the
individual claims of the comfort women for compensation had already been fully satisfied by Japans
compliance with the Peace Treaty between the Philippines and Japan.
Hence, this petition where petitioners pray for this court to (a) declare that respondents committed
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of discretion in refusing to espouse their
claims for the crimes against humanity and war crimes committed against them; and (b) compel the
respondents to espouse their claims for official apology and other forms of reparations against Japan
before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and other international tribunals.
Respondents maintain that all claims of the Philippines and its nationals relative to the war were
dealt with in the San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1951 and the bilateral Reparations Agreement of
1956.
On January 15, 1997, the Asian Womens Fund and the Philippine government signed a
Memorandum of Understanding for medical and welfare support programs for former comfort
women. Over the next five years, these were implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and
Development.
ISSUE:
WON the Executive Department committed grave abuse of discretion in not espousing petitioners
claims for official apology and other forms of reparations against Japan.
RULING:
Petition lacks merit. From a Domestic Law Perspective, the Executive Department has the exclusive
prerogative to determine whether to espouse petitioners claims against Japan.
Political questions refer to those questions which, under the Constitution, are to be decided by the
people in their sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been
delegated to the legislative or executive branch of the government. It is concerned with issues
dependent upon the wisdom, not legality of a particular measure.
One type of case of political questions involves questions of foreign relations. It is well-established
that the conduct of the foreign relations of our government is committed by the Constitution to the
executive and legislativethe politicaldepartments of the government, and the propriety of what
may be done in the exercise of this political power is not subject to judicial inquiry or decision. are
delicate, complex, and involve large elements of prophecy. They are and should be undertaken only
by those directly responsible to the people whose welfare they advance or imperil.
But not all cases implicating foreign relations present political questions, and courts certainly
possess the authority to construe or invalidate treaties and executive agreements. However, the
question whether the Philippine government should espouse claims of its nationals against a foreign
government is a foreign relations matter, the authority for which is demonstrably committed by our
Constitution not to the courts but to the political branches. In this case, the Executive Department
has already decided that it is to the best interest of the country to waive all claims of its nationals for
reparations against Japan in the Treaty of Peace of 1951. The wisdom of such decision is not for the
courts to question.
The President, not Congress, has the better opportunity of knowing the conditions which prevail in
foreign countries, and especially is this true in time of war. He has his confidential sources of
information. He has his agents in the form of diplomatic, consular and other officials.
The Executive Department has determined that taking up petitioners cause would be inimical to our
countrys foreign policy interests, and could disrupt our relations with Japan, thereby creating serious
implications for stability in this region. For the to overturn the Executive Departments determination
would mean an assessment of the foreign policy judgments by a coordinate political branch to which
authority to make that judgment has been constitutionally committed.
From a municipal law perspective, certiorari will not lie. As a general principle, where such an
extraordinary length of time has lapsed between the treatys conclusion and our consideration the
Executive must be given ample discretion to assess the foreign policy considerations of espousing a
claim against Japan, from the standpoint of both the interests of the petitioners and those of the
Republic, and decide on that basis if apologies are sufficient, and whether further steps are
appropriate or necessary.
In the international sphere, traditionally, the only means available for individuals to bring a claim
within the international legal system has been when the individual is able to persuade a government
to bring a claim on the individuals behalf. By taking up the case of one of its subjects and by
resorting to diplomatic action or international judicial proceedings on his behalf, a State is in reality
asserting its own right to ensure, in the person of its subjects, respect for the rules of international
law.
Within the limits prescribed by international law, a State may exercise diplomatic protection by
whatever means and to whatever extent it thinks fit, for it is its own right that the State is asserting.
Should the natural or legal person on whose behalf it is acting consider that their rights are not
adequately protected, they have no remedy in international law. All they can do is resort to national
law, if means are available, with a view to furthering their cause or obtaining redress. All these
questions remain within the province of municipal law and do not affect the position internationally.
Even the invocation of jus cogens norms and erga omnes obligations will not alter this analysis.
Petitioners have not shown that the crimes committed by the Japanese army violated jus cogens
prohibitions at the time the Treaty of Peace was signed, or that the duty to prosecute perpetrators of
international crimes is an erga omnes obligation or has attained the status of jus cogens.
The term erga omnes (Latin: in relation to everyone) in international law has been used as a legal
term describing obligations owed by States towards the community of states as a whole. Essential
distinction should be drawn between the obligations of a State towards the international community
as a whole, and those arising vis--vis another State in the field of diplomatic protection. By their
very nature, the former are the concern of all States. In view of the importance of the rights involved,
all States can be held to have a legal interest in their protection; they are obligations erga omnes.
The term jus cogens (literally, compelling law) refers to norms that command peremptory
authority, superseding conflicting treaties and custom. Jus cogens norms are considered peremptory
in the sense that they are mandatory, do not admit derogation, and can be modified only by general
international norms of equivalent authority
WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby DISMISSED.

La Bugal-BLaan Tribal Association, Inc. v. Victor Ramos
January 27, 2004
Facts
President Corazon Aquino issued Executive Order (EO) 279, as part of her interim legislative power
which authorizes the DENR Secretary to accept, consider and evaluate proposals from foreign-
owned corporations or foreign investors for contracts or agreements involving either technical or
financial assistance for large-scale exploration, development, and utilization of minerals, which, upon
appropriate recommendation of the Secretary, the she may execute with the foreign proponent.
President Fidel Ramos approved RA 7942 known as the Mining Act to "govern the
exploration, development, utilization and processing of all mineral resources. Shortly, after its
effectivity, the President entered into a Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) with
Western Mining Corporation Philippines (WMCP) which is owned by WMC Resources International
Pty., Ltd. (The latter is a wholly owned subsidiary of Western Mining Corporation Holdings Limited, a
publicly listed major Australian mining and exploration company.), covering 99, 387 hectares of land
in South Cotabato, Sultan Kuradat, Davao del Sur and North Cotabato.
Then DENR Secretary Victor O. Ramos issued DENR Administrative Order (DAO) No.
95-23, s. 1995, known as the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the said RA 7942 which was
later repealed by DAO No. 96-40, s. 1996. Counsels for petitioners sent a letter to the DENR
Secretary demanding that the DENR stop the implementation of the said law and its implementing
rules giving the DENR fifteen days from receipt to act thereon. The DENR, however, has yet to
respond or act on petitioners letter.
The petitioners filed the present petition for prohibition and mandamus, with a prayer for
a temporary restraining order alleging that at the time of the filing of the petition, 100 FTAA
applications has already been filed, covering an area of 8.4 million hectares, 64 of the application
are by fully foreign-owned corporations, and at least one by a fully foreign-owned mining company
over offshore areas. They are questioning the effectivity of EO 279 which says that the effectivity of
the said presidential issuance is contrary to what is provided in EO 200 which says laws are effective
after fifteen (15) days following its publication. Given this, the power of that issuance has ceased to
exist because prior to the lapse of the 15-day period Congress has convened making the powers to
legislate by the President ceased to exist. The FTAA issued by the President with WMC, the original
company before it was called WMCP.
They also claim that the DENR Secretary acted without or in excess of jurisdiction on the ground of
the issuance of DAO No. 96-40 regulations of RA 7942, which the latter is unconstitutional for it:
a.) allows fully foreign-owned corporations to explore, develop, utilize and exploit mineral resources
in a manner contrary to Sec. 2, par. 4, Art. XII of the Constitution;
b.) allows the taking of private property without the determination of public use and for just
compensation;
c.) violates Sec. 1, Art. III of the Constitution;
d.) allows enjoyment by foreign citizens as well as fully foreign owned corporations of the nations
marine wealth contrary to Sec. 2, par. 2 of Art. XII of the Constitution;
e.) allows priority to foreign and fully foreign owned corporations in the exploration, development and
utilization of mineral resources contrary to Art. XII of the Constitution;
f.) allows the inequitable sharing of wealth contrary to Sec. 1, par.1. and Sec. 2, par. 4 of Art. XII of
the Constitution. Moreover, in recommending approval of and implementing the FTAA between the
President and WMCP because the same is illegal and unconstitutional.
They pray that the Court issue an order:
a.) permanently enjoining the respondents from acting on any application for FTAAs;
b.) declaring RA 7942 as unconstitutional and null and void;
c.) declaring the IRR contained in DAO 96-40 and all other similar administrative
issuances as unconstitutional and null and void; and
d.) cancelling the FTAA issued to WMCP as unconstitutional, illegal and null and void.
Respondents argued that the EO 279 is constitutional according to the ruling in Miners Association
of the Philippines vs. Factoran. They further argues that the first three requisites to warrant judicial
review in this case are not present such as absence of actual controversy and legal standing of the
petitioners and the question is not raised at the earliest opportunity. On the issue of the
constitutionality of the DAO 96-40, respondents insisted that agreements involving technical or
financial assistance is just another term for service contracts as reflected in the deliberations of the
Constitutional Commission preparing the draft of the 1987 Constitution.
Issues
Procedural Issue
1. Is there a violation on the rule of hierarchy of courts against the petitioners?
Substantive Issue
1. Is the petition a justiciable question given that the petition was raised after two years of the
execution of the FTAA?
2. When did EO 279 become effective, as provided in the presidential issuance itself or as provided
in EO 200?
3. Is RA 7942 constitutional?
4. Is DAO 96-40 valid?
5. Is the WMCP FTAA valid?
Rulings According to the Cited Issues
Procedural Issue
1. Although the Supreme Court has concurrent jurisdiction with the Regional
Trial Courts and the Court of Appeals to issue writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus,
quo warranto, habeas corpus and injunction, such concurrence does not give a party
unrestricted freedom of choice of court forum. It is allowed to directly file the petition in
the Supreme Court where the redress desired cannot be obtained in the appropriate courts or where
exceptional and compelling circumstances justify such invocation as held in People vs. Cuaresma.
The issues raised constitute exceptional and compelling circumstances to justify the direct petition.
The Court has the discretion to take cognizance of a suit which does not satisfy the requirements of
an actual or legal standing when paramount importance to the public interest is involved. Thus, the
Court may brush aside technicalities of procedure.
Substantive Issues
1. The issue is justiciable on the ground that this requisite should not be taken to mean that the
question of constitutionality must be raised immediately after the execution of the state action
complained of. That the question of constitutionality has not been raised before is not a valid reason
for refusing to allow it to be raised later. A contrary rule would mean that a law, otherwise
unconstitutional, would lapse into constitutionality by the mere failure of the proper party to promptly
file a case to challenge the same.
2. Nothing in EO 200 which prevents a law from taking effects on a date other than even
before- the 15-day period after its publication. Where a law provides for its own date of effectivity,
such date prevails over that prescribed by said issuance. It is the very essence of the phrase unless
it is otherwise provided Sec. 1 of EO 200, therefore, applies only when a statute does not provide
for its own date of effectivity. What is mandatory under EO 200 and what due process requires is the
publication of the law for without such notice and publication, there would be no basis for the
application of the maxim ignorantia legis n[eminem] excusat It is clear that EO 279 was published
in the Official Gazette on August 3, 1987. The said effectivity took place after the convening of the
first Congress is irrelevant. At the time President Aquino issued EO 279 on July 25, 1987, she was
still validly exercising legislative powers under the Provisional Constitution. The ruling in Miners
Association of the Philippines is not applicable since the question raised in the said case was the
unconstitutionality of the DAO 57 and 82 which were pursuant to EO 279.
3. As to the third, fourth and last issues, the ruling are consolidated given the relation of
the said issuances. The national patrimony or our natural resources are exclusively reserved for the
Filipino people. No alien must be allowed to enjoy, exploit and develop our natural resources. As a
matter of fact, that principle proceeds from the fact that our natural resources are gifts from God to
the Filipino people and it would be a breach of that special blessing from God if we will allow aliens
to exploit our natural resources.
The phrase management or other forms of assistance in the 1973 Constitution was deleted in the
1987 Constitution, which allows only technical or financial assistance. Casus omisus pro omisso
habendus est. A person, object or thing omitted from an enumeration must be held to have been
omitted intentionally. The management or operation of mining activities by foreign contractors, which
is the primary feature of service contracts, was precisely the evil that the drafters of the
1987 Constitution sought to eradicate. To uphold respondents' theory would reduce the latter to a
mere euphemism for the former and render the change in phraseology meaningless. It is apparent
that service contracts are not allowed in the 1987 Constitution.
There can be little doubt that the WMCP FTAA itself is a service contract. Section 1.3 of the WMCP
FTAA grants WMCP "the exclusive right to explore, exploit, utilize [,] process and dispose of all
Minerals products and by-products thereof that may be produced from the Contract Area." While
WMCP invokes the Agreement on the Promotion and Protection of Investments between the
Philippine and Australian Governments, the annulment of the FTAA would not be a violation of
the principle pacta sunt servanda since the decision forms part of the legal system of the Philippines.
Disposition
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Court hereby declares unconstitutional
and void:
(1) The following provisions of Republic Act No. 7942:
(a) The proviso in Section 3 (aq),
(b) Section 23,
(c) Section 33 to 41,
(d) Section 56,
(e) The second and third paragraphs of Section 81, and
(f) Section 90.
(2) All provisions of Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Administrative Order 96-40, s. 1996 which are not in conformity with this Decision, and
(3) The Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement between the Government of
the Republic of the Philippines and WMC Philippines, Inc


D. Requisites of Judicial Review
1. Actual Case or Controversy
A. Prematurity:

PACU vs. Secretary of Education

FACTS: The Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities made a petition that Acts No. 2706
otherwise known as the Act making the Inspection and Recognition of
privateschools and colleges obligatory for the Secretary of Public Instruction and was amended by
Act No. 3075 and Commonwealth Act No. 180 be declared unconstitutional on the grounds that
1) the act deprives the owner of the school and colleges as well as teachers and parents of liberty
and property without due process of Law; 2) it will also deprive the parents of their Natural Rights
and duty to rear their children for civic efficiency and 3) its provisions conferred on the Secretary of
Education unlimited powers and discretion to prescribe rules and standards constitute towards
unlawful delegation of Legislative powers.
Section 1 of Act No. 2706It shall be the duty of the Secretary of Public Instruction to maintain a
general standard of efficiency in all private schools and colleges of the Philippines so that the same
shall furnish adequate instruction to the public, in accordance with the class and grade of instruction
given in them, and for this purpose said Secretary or his duly authorized representative shall have
authority to advise, inspect, and regulate said schools and colleges in order to determine the
efficiency of instruction given in the same,
The petitioner also complain that securing a permit to the Secretary of Education before opening
a school is not originally included in the original Act 2706. And in support to the first proposition of
the petitioners they contended that the Constitution guaranteed the right of a citizen to own and
operate a school and any law requiring previous governmental approval or permit before such
person could exercise the said right On the other hand, the defendant Legal Representative
submitted
a memorandumcontending that 1) the matters presented no justiciable controversy exhibitingunavoid
able necessity of deciding the constitutional question; 2) Petitioners are inestoppels to challenge the
validity of the said act and 3) the Act is constitutionally valid. Thus, the petition for prohibition was
dismissed by the court.

ISSUE: Whether or not Act No. 2706 as amended by Act no. 3075 and Commonwealth Act no.180
may be declared void and unconstitutional?

RATIO DECIDENTI: The Petitioner suffered no wrong under the terms of law and needs no relief in
the form they seek to obtain. Moreover, there is no justiciable controversy presented
before the court. It is an established principle that to entitle a private individualimmediately in danger
of sustaining a direct injury and it is not sufficient that he has merely invoke the judicial power to
determine the validity of executive and legislative action he must show that he has sustained
common interest to all members of the public. Furthermore, the power of the courts to declare a law
unconstitutional arises only when the interest of litigant require the use of judicial authority for their
protection against actual interference. As such, Judicial Power is limited to the decision of actual
cases and controversies and the authority to pass on the validity of statutes is incidental to the
decisions of such cases where conflicting claims under the constitution and under the legislative act
assailed as contrary to the constitution but it is legitimate only in the last resort and it must be
necessary to determined a real and vital controversy between litigants. Thus, actions like this are
brought for a positive purpose to obtain actual positive relief and the court does not sit to adjudicate
a mere academic question to satisfy scholarly interest therein. The court however, finds the
defendant position to be sufficiently sustained and state that the petitioner remedy is to challenge the
regulation not to invalidate the law because it needs no argument to show that abuse by officials
entrusted with the execution of the statute does not per se demonstrate theunconstitutionality
of such statute. On this phase of the litigation the court conclude
thatthere has been no undue delegation of legislative power even if the petitionersappended a list of
circulars and memoranda issued by the Department of Education they fail to indicate which of such
official documents was constitutionally objectionable for being capricious or pain nuisance.
Therefore, the court denied the petition for prohibition

Mariano vs. Comelec

FACTS:
Juanito Mariano, a resident of Makati, along with residents of Taguig suing as taxpayers, assail
Sections 2, 51 and 52 of R.A. No. 7854 (An Act Converting the Municipality of Makati into a Highly
Urbanized City to be known as the City of Makati). Another petition which contends the
unconstitutionality of R.A. No. 7854 was also filed by John H. Osmena as a senator, taxpayer and
concerned citizen.
ISSUES:
1. Whether Section 2 of R.A. No. 7854 delineated the land areas of the proposed city of Makati
violating sections 7 and 450 of the Local Government Code on specifying metes and bounds
with technical descriptions
2. Whether Section 51, Article X of R.A. No. 7854 collides with Section 8, Article X and
Section 7, Article VI of the Constitution stressing that they new citys acquisition of a new
corporate existence will allow the incumbent mayor to extend his term to more than two
executive terms as allowed by the Constitution
3. Whether the addition of another legislative district in Makati is unconstitutional as the
reapportionment cannot be made by a special law
HELD/RULING:
1. Section 2 of R.A. No. 7854 states that:
Sec. 2. The City of Makati. The Municipality of Makati shall be converted into a highly urbanized
city to be known as the City of Makati, hereinafter referred to as the City, which shall comprise the
present territory of the Municipality of Makati in Metropolitan Manila Area over which it has
jurisdiction bounded on the northeast by Pasig River and beyond by the City of Mandaluyong and
the Municipality of Pasig; on the southeast by the municipalities of Pateros and Taguig; on the
southwest by the City of Pasay and the Municipality of Taguig; and, on the northwest, by the City of
Manila.
Emphasis has been provided in the provision under dispute. Said delineation did not change even
by an inch the land area previously covered by Makati as a municipality. It must be noted that the
requirement of metes and bounds was meant merely as a tool in the establishment of LGUs. It is
not an end in itself.
Furthermore, at the time of consideration or R.A. No. 7854, the territorial dispute between the
municipalities of Makati and Taguig over Fort Bonifacio was under court litigation. Out of becoming
a sense of respect to co-equal department of government, legislators felt that the dispute should be
left to the courts to decide.
1. Section 51 of R.A. No. 7854 provides that:
Sec. 51. Officials of the City of Makati. The represent elective officials of the Municipality of
Makati shall continue as the officials of the City of Makati and shall exercise their powers and
functions until such time that a new election is held and the duly elected officials shall have already
qualified and assume their offices: Provided, The new city will acquire a new corporate existence.
The appointive officials and employees of the City shall likewise continues exercising their functions
and duties and they shall be automatically absorbed by the city government of the City of Makati.
Section 8, Article X and section 7, Article VI of the Constitution provide the following:
Sec. 8. The term of office of elective local officials, except barangay officials, which shall be
determined by law, shall be three years and no such official shall serve for more than three
consecutive terms. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be
considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term for which he was
elected.
xxx xxx xxx
Sec. 7. The Members of the House of Representatives shall be elected for a term of three years
which shall begin, unless otherwise provided by law, at noon on the thirtieth day of June next
following their election.
No Member of the House of Representatives shall serve for more than three consecutive terms.
Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption
in the continuity of his service for the full term for which he was elected.
This challenge on the controversy cannot be entertained as the premise on the issue is on the
occurrence of many contingent events. Considering that these events may or may not happen,
petitioners merely pose a hypothetical issue which has yet to ripen to an actual case or controversy.
Moreover, only Mariano among the petitioners is a resident of Taguig and are not the proper parties
to raise this abstract issue.
1. Section 5(1), Article VI of the Constitution clearly provides that the Congress may be
comprised of not more than two hundred fifty members, unless otherwise provided by
law. As thus worded, the Constitution did not preclude Congress from increasing its
membership by passing a law, other than a general reapportionment of the law.



Monteclaros vs. Comelec

Petitioners: Antoinette Montesclaros, et al Respondents: Comelec, DILG, et al
Ponente: Carpio

Facts: The Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) is a youth organization originally established by Presidential
Decree 684 as the Kabataang Barangay (KB). The KB was composed of all barangay residents who
were less than 18 years old, without specifying the minimum age. The KB was organized to provide
its members with the opportunity to express their views and opinions on issues of transcendental
importance. The Local Government Code of 1991 renamed the KB to SK and limited SK
membership to those youths at least 15 but not more than 21 years of age. The SK remains as a
youth organization in every barangay tasked to initiate programs to enhance the social, political,
economic, cultural, intellectual, moral, spiritual, and physical development of the youth. The SK in
every barangay is composed of a chairperson and 7 members, all elected by the Katipunan ng
Kabataan. The Katipunan ng Kabataan in every barangay is composed of all citizens actually
residing in the barangay for at least 6 months and who meet the membership age requirement. The
first SK elections took place on 4 December 1992. RA 7808 reset the SK elections to the first
Monday of May of 1996 and every three years thereafter. RA 7808mandated the Comelec to
supervise the conduct of the SK elections under rules the Comelec shall promulgate. Accordingly,
the Comelec on 4 December 2001 issued Resolutions 4713 and4714 to govern the SK elections on
6 May 2002. On 18 February 2002, Antoniette V.C.Montesclaros sent a letter to the Comelec,
demanding that the SK elections be held as scheduled on 6 May 2002. Montesclaros also urged the
Comelec to respond to her letter within 10 days upon receipt of the letter, otherwise, she will seek
judicial relief. On 20 February 2002, Alfredo L.Benipayo, then Comelec Chairman, wrote identical
letters to the Speaker of the House and the Senate President about the status of pending bills on
the SK and Barangay elections. In his letters, the Comelec Chairman intimated that it was
operationally very difficult to hold both elections simultaneously in May 2002. Instead, the Comelec
Chairman expressed support for thebill of Senator Franklin Drilon that proposed to hold
the Barangay elections in May 2002 and postpone the SK elections to November 2002. 10
days lapsed without the Comelec responding to the letter of Montesclaros. Subsequently,
Montesclaros, et. al. received a copy of Comelec En Banc Resolution 4763 dated 5 February 2002
recommending to Congress the postponement of the SK elections to November 2002 but holding the
Barangay elections in May 2002 as scheduled. On 6 March 2002, the Senate and the House
of Representatives passed the irrespective bills postponing the SK elections. On 11 March 2002,
the Bicameral Conference Committee of the Senate and the House came out with a Report
recommending approval of the reconciled bill consolidating Senate Bill 2050 and House Bill 4456.
The Bicameral Committees consolidated bill reset the SK and Barangay elections to 15 July 2002
and lowered the membership age in the SK to at least 15 but not more than 18 years of age. On
11 March 2002,Montesclaros filed the petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with prayer
for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction, seeking to prevent the postponement
of the SK elections originally scheduled 6 May 2002, and also to prevent the reduction of the age
requirement for membership in the SK. On 11 March 2002, the Senate approved the Bicameral
Committees consolidated bill and on 13 March 2002, the House of Representatives approved the
same. The President signed the approved bill into law on 19 March 2002.

Issue:
Whether there is actual controversy in the case which seeks to prevent a postponement of the 6 May
2002 SK elections, and which seeks to prevent Congress from enacting into law a proposed bill
lowering the membership age in the SK.

Held:
At the outset, the Court takes judicial notice of the following events that have transpired since
Montesclaros filed the petition: (1) The 6 May 2002 SK elections and 13 May 2002 Barangay
elections were not held as scheduled; (2) Congress enacted RA 9164 which provides that voters and
candidates for the SK elections must be at least 15 but less than 18 years of age on the dayof the
election. RA 9164 also provides that there shall be a synchronized SK and Barangay elections on
15 July 2002. (3) The Comelec promulgated Resolution 4846, the rules and regulations for the
conduct of the 15 July 2002 synchronized SK and Barangay elections. The Courts power of judicial
review may be exercised in constitutional cases only if all the following requisites are complied with,
namely: (1) the existence of an actual and appropriate case or controversy; (2) a personal and
substantial interest of the party raising the constitutional question; (3) the exercise of judicial review
is pleaded at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the constitutional question is the lis mota of the
case. Herein, there is no actual controversy requiring the exercise of the power of judicial review.
While seeking to prevent a postponement of the 6 May 2002 SK elections, Montesclaros, et. al.
are nevertheless amenable to a resetting of the SK elections to any date not later than 15 July 2002.
RA 9164 has reset the SK elections to 15 July 2002, a date acceptable to them. With respect to the
date of the SK elections, there is therefore no actual controversy requiring judicial intervention.
Further, their prayer to prevent Congress from enacting into law a proposed bill lowering the
membership age in the SK does not present an actual justiciable controversy. A proposed bill is not
subject to judicial review because it is not a law. A proposed bill creates no right and imposes no
duty legally enforceable by the Court. A proposed bill, having no legal effect, violates
no constitutional right or duty. The Court has no power to declare a proposed bill constitutional or
unconstitutional because that would be in the nature of rendering an advisory opinion on a proposed
act of Congress. The power of judicial review cannot be exercised in vacuo. The second paragraph
of Section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution states that "Judicial power includes the duty of the courts
of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable
and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the
Government." Thus, there can be no justiciable controversy involving the constitutionality of a
proposed bill. The Court can exercise its power of judicial review only after a law is enacted, not
before. Absent a clear violation of specific constitutional limitations or of constitutional rights
of private parties, the Court cannot exercise its power of judicial review over the internal processes
or procedures of Congress.

B. Mootness

Atlas Fertilizer vs. Sec. DAR

Lacson vs. Perez

FACTS:
On May 1, 2001, President Macapagal-Arroyo, faced by an armed mob assaulting and attempting to
break into Malacaang, issued Proclamation No. 38 declaring that there was a state of rebellion in
NCR. She also issued General Order No. 1 directing the AFP and the PNP to suppress the rebellion.
Warrantless arrests of several alleged leaders and promoters of the "rebellion" followed. Aggrieved,
4 related petitions were filed before the Court. The case at bar is for prohibition, injunction,
mandamus, and habeas corpus (with an urgent application for the issuance of temporary restraining
order and/or writ of preliminary injunction). Petitioners assail the declaration of a state of rebellion by
PGMA and the warrantless arrests allegedly effected by virtue thereof, as having no basis both in
fact and in law. On May 6, 2001, PGMA ordered the lifting of the declaration of a "state of rebellion"
in Metro Manila. Accordingly, the instant petitions have been rendered moot and academic. As to
petitioners claim that the proclamation of a "state of rebellion" is being used by the authorities to
justify warrantless arrests, the Secretary of Justice denies that it has issued a particular order to
arrest specific persons in connection with the "rebellion."
ISSUE:
Whether or not there is a valid warrantless arrest against the petitioners.

HELD:
No. In quelling or suppressing the rebellion, the authorities may only resort to warrantless arrests of
persons suspected of rebellion, as provided under Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court, if the
circumstances so warrant. The warrantless arrest feared by petitioners is, thus, not based on the
declaration of a "state of rebellion." Petitioners' contention that they are under imminent danger
of being arrested without warrant do not justify their resort to the extraordinary remedies of
Mandamus and prohibition, since an individual subjected to warrantless arrest is not without
adequate remedies in the ordinary course of law. The prayer for prohibition and
Mandamus is improper at this time. As regards petitioners' prayer that the hold departure orders
issued against them be declared null and void ab initio, it is to be noted that petitioners are not
directly assailing the validity of the subject hold departure orders in their petition. They are not even
expressing intention to leave the country in the near future. The prayer to set aside the same must
be made in proper proceedings initiated for that purpose. Anent petitioners' allegations
ex abundante ad cautelam in support of their application for the issuance of a writ of
habeas corpus, it is manifest that the writ is not called for since its purpose is to relieve petitioners
from unlawful restraint, a matter which remains speculative up to this very day. Petition is
DISMISSED. However, respondents, consistent and congruent with their undertaking earlier
adverted to, together with their agents, representatives, and all persons acting for and in their behalf,
are hereby enjoined from arresting petitioners therein without the required judicial warrant for all acts
committed in relation to or in connection with the May 1, 2001 siege of Malacaang.

C. Exception to Mootness

SANLAKAS V. Executive Secretary Angelo Reyes, General Narciso Abaya, Dir. Gen.
Hemogenes Ebdane
G.R. No. 159085, 03 February 2004, En Banc (Tinga, J.)

The Constitution does not require the President to declare a state of rebellion to exercise her calling
out power grants.
Section 18, Article VII grants the President, as Commander-in-Chief a sequence of graduated
power[s].
On July 27, 2003, some three hundred junior officers and enlisted men of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines stormed into the Oakwood Premiere apartments in Makati City demanding, among
others, the resignation of the President, the Secretary of Defense and the Chief of the Philippine
National Police.
In the wake of the Oakwood occupation, the President issued Proclamation No. 427 and General
Order No. 4, both declaring a state of rebellion and calling out the Armed Forces to suppress the
rebellion. By the evening of July 27, 2003, the Oakwood occupation had ended. After hours-long
negotiation,
the soldiers agreed to return to barracks. The President, however, did not immediately lift the
declaration of a state of rebellion and did only on August 1, 2003 through Proclamation No. 435
DECLARING THAT THE STATE OF REBELLION HAS CEASED TO EXIST.
This case is a consolidation of the cases filed before the Court that challenge the validity of
Proclamation No. 427 and General order No. 4

ISSUES:
1. Whether or not the Court can adjudicate cases that are moot
2. Whether or not the President has the power to declare a state of rebellion

HELD:
First Issue:
The Court can adjudicate cases that are otherwise moot.
As a rule, courts do not adjudicate moot cases, judicial power being limited to the determination of
actual controversies. Nevertheless, courts will decide a question, otherwise moot, if it is capable of
repetition yet evading review. The case at bar is one such case.
Once before, the President on May 1, 2001 declared a state of rebellion and called upon the AFP
and the PNP to suppress the rebellion through Proclamation No. 38 and General Order No. 1. On
that occasion, an angry and violent mob armed with explosives, firearms, bladed weapons, clubs,
stones and other deadly weapons assaulted and attempted to break into Malacaang. Petitions
were filed before this Court assailing the validity of the Presidents declaration. Five days after such
declaration, however, the
President lifted the same. The mootness of the petitions in Lacson v. Perez and accompanying
cases precluded this Court from addressing the constitutionality of the declaration.
To prevent similar questions from reemerging, we seize this opportunity to finally lay to rest the
validity of the declaration of a state of rebellion in the exercise of the Presidents calling out power,
the mootness of the petitions notwithstanding. RECENT JURISPRUDENCE POLITICAL LAW
Second Issue:
The President, as Chief Executive, can declare a state of rebellion.
The Constitution does not require the President to declare a state of rebellion to exercise her calling
out power grants. Section 18, Article VII grants the President, as Commander-in-Chief, a sequence
of graduated power[s].
From the most to the least benign, these are: the calling out power, the power to suspend the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, and the power to declare martial law. In the exercise of the
latter two powers, the Constitution requires the concurrence of two conditions, namely, an actual
invasion or rebellion, and that public safety requires the exercise of such power. However, as we
observed in Integrated Bar of the Philippines v. Zamora, these conditions are not required in the
exercise of the calling out power.
The only criterion is that whenever it becomes necessary, the President may call the armed forces
to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion.
Nevertheless, it is equally true that Section 18, Article VII does not expressly prohibit the President
from declaring a state of rebellion. Note that the Constitution vests the President not only with
Commander in-Chief powers but, first and foremost, with Executive powers.
Section 1, Article VII of the 1987 Philippine Constitution states: The executive power shall be
vested in the President. As if by exposition, Section 17 of the same Article provides: He shall
ensure that the laws be faithfully executed. The provisions trace their history to the Constitution of
the United States.
The lesson to be learned from the U.S. constitutional history is that the Commander-in-Chief
powers are broad enough as it is and become more so when taken together with the provision on
executive power and the presidential oath of office. Thus, the plenitude of the powers of the
presidency equips the occupant with the means to address exigencies or threats which undermine
the very existence of government or the integrity of the State.
In The Philippine Presidency A Study of Executive Power, Justice Irene R. Cortes, proposed that the
Philippine President was vested with residual power and that this is even greater than that of the
U.S. President. She attributed this distinction to the unitary and highly centralized nature of the
Philippine government. She noted that, There is no counterpart of the several states of the
American union which have reserved
powers under the United States constitution. Justice Cortes conducted her study against the
backdrop of the 1935 Constitution, the framers of which, early on, arrived at a general opinion in
favor of a strong Executive in the Philippines. Since then, reeling from the aftermath of martial law,
our most recent Charter has restricted the Presidents powers as Commander-in-Chief. The same,
however, cannot be said of the Presidents powers as Chief Executive.
The Presidents authority to declare a state of rebellion springs in the main from her powers as chief
executive and, at the same time, draws strength from her Commander-in-Chief powers. Indeed, as
the Solicitor General accurately points out, statutory authority for such a declaration may be found in
Section 4,
Chapter 2 (Ordinance Power), Book III (Office of the President) of the Revised Administrative Code
of 1987, which states:
SEC. 4. Proclamations. Acts of the President fixing a date or declaring a status or condition of
public moment or interest, upon the existence of which the operation of a specific law or regulation
is made to depend, shall be promulgated in proclamations which shall have the force of an executive
order. RECENT JURISPRUDENCE POLITICAL LAW
The foregoing discussion notwithstanding, in calling out the armed forces, a declaration of a state of
rebellion is an utter superfluity. At most, it only gives notice to the nation that such a state exists and
that the armed forces may be called to prevent or suppress it. Perhaps the declaration may wreak
emotional effects upon the perceived enemies of the State, even on the entire nation. But the Courts
mandate is to probe only into the legal consequences of the declaration. The Court finds that such a
declaration is devoid of any legal significance. For all legal intents, the declaration is deemed not
written.

Pimentel vs. Ermita

Facts: President Arroyo issued appointments to respondents as acting secretaries of their respective
departments without the consent of the Commission on Appointments, while Congress is in their
regular session.

Subsequently after the Congress had adjourned, President Arroyo issued ad interim appointments to
respondents as secretaries of the departments to which they were previously appointed in an acting
capacity.

Petitioners senators assailing the constitutionality of the appointments, assert that while Congress is
in session, there can be no appointments, whether regular or acting, to a vacant position of an office
needing confirmation by the Commission on Appointments, without first having obtained its consent.

Respondent secretaries maintain that the President can issue appointments in an acting capacity to
department secretaries without the consent of the Commission on Appointments even while
Congress is in session.

EO 292, which devotes a chapter to the Presidents power of appointment. Sections 16 and 17,
Chapter 5, Title I, Book III of EO 292 read:

SEC. 16. Power of Appointment. The President shall exercise the power to appoint such officials
as provided for in the Constitution and laws.

SEC. 17. Power to Issue Temporary Designation. (1) The President may temporarily designate
an officer already in the government service or any other competent person to perform the functions
of an office in the executive branch, appointment to which is vested in him by law, when: (a) the
officer regularly appointed to the office is unable to perform his duties by reason of illness, absence
or any other cause; or (b) there exists a vacancy[.]

Issue: WON the President can issue appointments in an acting capacity to department secretaries
while Congress is in session.

Held: Yes. The essence of an appointment in an acting capacity is its temporary nature. It is a stop-
gap measure intended to fill an office for a limited time until the appointment of a permanent
occupant to the office. In case of vacancy in an office occupied by an alter ego of the President,
such as the office of a department secretary, the President must necessarily appoint an alter ego of
her choice as acting secretary before the permanent appointee of her choice could assume office.

The office of a department secretary may become vacant while Congress is in session. Since a
department secretary is the alter ego of the President, the acting appointee to the office must
necessarily have the Presidents confidence. Thus, by the very nature of the office of a department
secretary, the President must appoint in an acting capacity a person of her choice even while
Congress is in session.

Ad interim appointments and acting appointments are both effective upon acceptance. But ad-
interim appointments are extended only during a recess of Congress, whereas acting appointments
may be extended any time there is a vacancy. Moreover ad-interim appointments are submitted to
the Commission on Appointments for confirmation or rejection; acting appointments are not
submitted to the Commission on Appointments. Acting appointments are a way of temporarily filling
important offices but, if abused, they can also be a way of circumventing the need for confirmation
by the Commission on Appointments.

The absence of abuse is readily apparent from President Arroyos issuance of ad interim
appointments to respondents immediately upon the recess of Congress, way before the lapse of one
year.



Note: Can Congress impose the automatic appointment of the undersecretary?

Congress, through a law, cannot impose on the President the obligation to appoint automatically the
undersecretary as her temporary alter ego.

The power to appoint is essentially executive in nature, and the legislature may not interfere with the
exercise of this executive power except in those instances when the Constitution expressly allows it
to interfere. Limitations on the executive power to appoint are construed strictly against the
legislature. The scope of the legislatures interference in the executives power to appoint is limited
to the power to prescribe the qualifications to an appointive office. Congress cannot appoint a
person to an office in the guise of prescribing qualifications to that office. Neither may Congress
impose on the President the duty to appoint any particular person to an office.