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Political Law
ACADEMIC FREEDOM

Academic freedom of schools includes autonomy to
decide terms and conditions of employment.
Q A teacher was dismissed because of failure to comply
with the certain requirements like submission of final test
questions to his program coordinator for checking or
comment; noncompliance with the standard format
(multiple choice) of final questions and failure to encode
modular grade reports required by the school. She was
dismissed. Is the dismissal proper? Why?

Answer: Yes, because of the academic freedom of the
school. It is the prerogative of the school to set high
standards of efficiency for its teachers since quality
education is a mandate of the Constitution. As long as the
standards fixed are reasonable and not arbitrary, courts
are not at liberty to set them aside. Schools cannot be
required to adopt standards which barely satisfy criteria
set for government recognition. The same academic
freedom grants the school the autonomy to decide for
itself the terms and conditions for hiring its teacher,
subject of course to the overarching limitations under the
Labor Code. The authority to hire is likewise covered and
protected by its management prerogative the right of an
employer to regulate all aspects of employment, such as
hiring, the freedom to prescribe work assignments,
working methods, process to be followed, regulation
regarding transfer of employees, supervision of their work,
lay-off and discipline, and dismissal and recall of workers.

Political Law
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW

Doctrine of primary jurisdiction.
Q A resolution was issued by Samar II Electric
Cooperative, Inc. (SAMELCO II) Board of Directors
removing a certain Setudo, Jr. as a member of the Board
of Directors. A petition for prohibition was filed with the
RTC. Is the petition proper? Why?

Answer: No, because the National Electrification
Administration has jurisdiction, under the doctrine of
primary jurisdiction. The NEA has the power of supervision
and control over electric cooperatives under Secs. 5 & 7.
PD No. 1645, hence, the resolution removing the Director
within the power of NEA to review. The RTC has no
jurisdiction (Samar II Electric Cooperative, Inc. v. Setudo,
Jr., G.R. No. 173840, April 25, 2012, Peralta, J).
The doctrine of primary jurisdiction applies where
a claim is originally cognizable in the courts and comes
into play whenever enforcement of the claim requires the
resolution of issues which, under a regulatory scheme,
has been placed within the special competence of an
administrative agency. (Baguna v. Sps. Aggabao, et al.,
G.R. No. 18487, August 15, 2011). In such a case, the
court in which the claim is sought to be enforced may
suspend the judicial process pending referral of such
issues to the administrative body for its view or, if the
parties would not be unfairly disadvantaged, dismiss the
case without prejudice. (Baguna v. Sps. Aggabao, et al.,
supra.).
Action for damages against a school for refusal to
release transcript of records is within the jurisdiction of the
regular courts.

Exhaustion of administrative remedy to CHED, not
necessary.
Q A school refused to release the transcript of records of
a student. The school contended that the student failed to
enroll during the second semester of the school year
2000-2001, hence, the school contended that the
complaint failed to state a cause of no action, hence, a
motion to dismiss was filed. It was further contended that
there was failure to exhaust administrative remedy to
CHED. Rule on the contention.

Answer: The contention is not correct as the action
essentially is one for mandamus and damages. The
doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies requires
that where a remedy before an administrative agency is
provided, the administrative agency concerned must be
given the opportunity to decide a matter within its
jurisdiction before an action is brought before the


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courts. Failure to exhaust administrative remedies is a
ground for dismissal of the action.
The doctrine of exhaustion of administrative
remedies admits of numerous exceptions, one of which is
where the issues are purely legal and well within the
jurisdiction of the trial court. Petitioners liability if any
for damages will have to be decided by the courts, since
any judgment inevitably calls for the application and the
interpretation of the Civil Code. As such, exhaustion of
administrative remedies may be dispensed with. As held
in Regino v. Pangasinan Colleges of Science and
Technology:
x x x exhaustion of administrative remedies is applicable
when there is competence on the part of the administrative
body to act upon the matter complained of. Administrative
agencies are not courts; x x x neither are they part of the
judicial system, or deemed judicial tribunals.
Specifically, the CHED does not have the power
to award damages. Hence, petitioner could not have
commenced her case before the Commission. (485 Phil.
446 (2004); UST, et al. v. Danes Sanchez, G.R. No.
165569, July 29, 2010).

Political Law
ARTICLE II Declaration of Principles and State Policies

Constitution mandates self-reliant economy, but does not
impose police of monopoly.
Q Petitioners questioned the constitutionality of RA 8762
otherwise known as Retail Trade Liberalization Act of
2000 which expressly repealed RA 1180 which absolutely
prohibited foreign nationals from engaging in the retail
trade business. The new law allows them to do so. They
contended that R.A. 8762 violated the mandate of the
1987 Constitution for the State to develop a self-reliant
and independent national economy effectively controlled
by Filipinos and provisions of the Constitution, that the
State shall promote a just and dynamic social order that
will ensure the prosperity and independence of the nation
and free the people from poverty through policies that
provide adequate social services, promote full
employment, a rising standard of living, and an improved
quality of life for all. Rule on the contention. Explain.
Answer: The contention of the petitioners is not correct. As
explained inTaada v. Angara, 358 Phil. 546 (1997), the
provisions of Article II of the 1987 Constitution, the
declarations of principles and state policies, are not self-
executing. There must be laws to implement the same.
Legislative failure to pursue such policies cannot give rise
to a cause of action in the courts.
The 1987 Constitution does not rule out the entry
of foreign investments, goods, and services. While it does
not encourage their unlimited entry into the country, it
does not prohibit them either. In fact, it allows an
exchange on the basis of equality and reciprocity, frowning
only on foreign competition that is unfair. The key, as in
all economies in the world, is to strike a balance between
protecting local businesses and allowing the entry of
foreign investments and services.
More importantly, Section 10, Article XII of the
1987 Constitution gives Congress the discretion to reserve
to Filipinos certain areas of investments upon the
recommendation of the NEDA and when the national
interest requires. Thus, Congress can determine what
policy to pass and when to pass it depending on the
economic exigencies. It can enact laws allowing the entry
of foreigners into certain industries not reserved by the
Constitution to Filipino citizens. In this case, Congress
has decided to open certain areas of the retail trade
business to foreign investments instead of reserving them
exclusively to Filipino citizens. The NEDA has not
opposed such policy. (Rep. Espina, et al. v. Hon. Ronaldo
Zamora, Jr., G.R. No. 143855, September 21, 2010).

Political Law
ARTICLE III BILL OF RIGHTS

Due Process and Equal Protection Notice sufficient in due
process.
Q A person who was subjected to administrative charge
requested for a formal investigation, but the PAGC denied
it, hence, he claimed that his right to due process was
violated. Is the contention correct? Explain.

Answer: No. Due process, as a constitutional precept,
does not always and in all situations require a trial-type


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proceeding. It is satisfied when a person is notified of the
charge against him and given an opportunity to explain or
defend himself. In administrative proceedings, the filing of
charges and giving reasonable opportunity for the person
so charged to answer the accusations against him
constitute the minimum requirements of due process.
More often, this opportunity is conferred through written
pleadings that the parties submit to present their charges
and defenses. (Cabalit v. COA, Region VII, G.R. Nos.
180236, 180341 & 180362, January 17, 2012; Office of
the Ombudsman v. Galicia, G.R. No. 167711, October 10,
2008, 568 SCRA 327). But as long as a party is given the
opportunity to defend his or her interests in due
course,said party is not denied due process. (Cayago v.
Lina, G.R. No. 149539, January 19, 2005, 449 SCRA 29;
Dr. Fernando Melendres v. PAGC, G.R. No. 163859,
August 15, 2012).

Due process applies to the power to tax; equal protection
clause.
Q Petitioner assailed the validity of the imposition of
minimum corporate income tax (MCIT) on corporations
and creditable withholding tax (CWT) on sales of real
properties classified as ordinary assets. He argued that
the MCIT violates the due process clause because it
levies income tax even if there is no realized gain. He
asserted that the enumerated provisions of the subject
revenue regulations violate the due process clause
because, like the MCIT, the government collects income
tax even when the net income has not yet been
determined. Is the contention correct? Why?

Answer: No, because the CWT is creditable against the
tax due from the seller of the property at the end of the
taxable year. The seller will be able to claim a tax refund
if its net income is less than the taxes withheld. Nothing
is taken that is not due so there is no confiscation of
property repugnant to the constitutional guarantee of due
process. More importantly, the due process requirement
applies to the power to tax. The CWT does not impose
new taxes nor does it increase taxes. It relates entirely to
the method and time of payment. (Chamber of Real Estate
and Builders Association, Inc. vs. The Honorable
Executive Secretary, et. Al., G.R. No. 160756, March 9,
2010).

Q The notice to an employee who was being terminated
merely stated that he was being dropped from the rolls. It
did not specify the factual and legal reasons for
terminating the services of the employee. He process.
Rule on the contention. Explain.

Answer: The contention is correct. This is a violation of
due process since it strikes at its essence. The opportunity
to be heard, or the opportunity to adequately and
intelligently mount a defense made against him was
violated. He was completely left in the dark why his
services were being summarily terminated. (LBP v. Paden,
G.R. No. 157607, July 7, 2009).

Q Petitioners questioned E.O. No. 1 dated July 30, 2010,
Creating the Philippine Truth Commission as violative of
the equal protection clause as it merely focused on the
alleged corrupt acts of former Pres. Macapagal. It does
not encompass all acts of prior administrations where the
same magnitude of controversies and anomalies were
reported. It merely singled the previous administration.
The OSG contended that the previous administration is
not the only initial subject of the investigation. Even
assuming that it will confine its proceedings to officials of
the previous administration, there is no violation of the
equal protection clause for the segregation of the
transactions of public officers during the previous
administration as possible subjects of investigation is a
valid classification based on substantial distinctions and
germane to the evils sought to be corrected. This is so
because of the widespread reports of large scale graft and
corruption in the previous administration which have
eroded public confidence in public institutions. The
investigation will deter others from committing the evils of
the previous administration. Whose contention is correct?
Why?

Answer: Petitioners contention is correct, since the E.O
singles out the previous administration. The equal
protection of the laws is embraced in the concept of due


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process, as every unfair discrimination offends the
requirements of justice and fair play. It has been embodied
in a separate clause, however, to provide for a more
specific guaranty against any form of undue favoritism or
hostility from the government. Arbitrariness in general may
be challenged on the basis of the due process clause. But
if the particular act assailed partakes of an unwarranted
partiality or prejudice, the sharper weapon to cut it down is
the equal protection clause. (Biraogo v. Phil. Truth
Commission, G.R. No. 192935; Lagman, et al. v.
Executive Secretary, et al., G.R. No. 193036, December 7,
2010, Mendoza, J).

Q The equal protection clause allows classification.
When is classification valid? Explain.

Answer: For a classification to meet the requirements of
constitutionality, it must include or embrace all persons
who naturally belong to the class. The classification will
be regarded as invalid if all the members of the class are
not similarly treated, both as to rights conferred and
obligations imposed. It is not necessary that the
classification be made with absolute symmetry, in the
sense that the members of the class should possess the
same characteristics in equal degree. Substantial
similarity will suffice; and as long as this is achieved, all
those covered by the classification are to be treated
equally. The mere fact that an individual belonging to a
class differs from the other members, as long as that class
is substantially distinguishable from all others, does not
justify the non-application of the law to him. (Biraogo v.
Phil. Truth Commission, G.R. No. 192935; Lagman, et al.
v. Executive Secretary, et al., G.R. No. 193036, December
7, 2010).

Q A, a judge filed his certificate of candidacy in 2013
elections but he lost. Informed of his act, the SC issued an
order that he cannot return to work after the elections, as
he is deemed resigned. He filed a MR contending that the
deemed resigned provision of appointive officials when
they file the certificate of candidacy violative of the equal
protection clause. Is his contention correct? Why?

Answer: No. Substantial distinctions clearly exist between
elective officials and appointive officials. The former
occupy their office by virtue of the mandate of the
electorate. They are elected to an office for a definite term
and may be removed therefrom only upon stringent
conditions. On the other hand, appointive officials hold
their office by virtue of their designation thereto by an
appointing authority. Some appointive officials hold their
office in a permanent capacity and are entitled to security
of tenure while others serve at the pleasure of the
appointing authority.
Another substantial distinction between the two
sets of officials is that appointive officials, as officers and
employees in the civil service, are strictly prohibited from
engaging in any partisan political activity or take(sic) part
in any election except to vote. Elective officials, or officers
or employees holding political offices, are obviously
expressly allowed to take part in political and electoral
activities. (Quinto, et al. v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 189698,
February 22, 2010).

Q State the governmental interests that are served by
the deemed resigned provision under the Election Law.
Explain.

Answer: The deemed-resigned provisions substantially
serve governmental interests (i.e., (i) efficient civil service
faithful to the government and the people rather than to
party; (ii) avoidance of the appearance of political justice
as to policy; (iii) avoidance of the danger of a powerful
political machine; and (iv) ensuring that employees
achieve advancement on their merits and that they be free
from both coercion and the prospect of favor from political
activity. These are interests that are important enough to
outweigh the non-fundamental right of appointive officials
and employees to seek elective office. (Quinto, et al. v.
COMELEC, G.R. No. 189698, February 22, 2010).








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Political Law
ARTICLE IX Constitutional Commissions

Elections Residence and domicile once again interpreted.
Q Arsenio Noble was born in Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro
City. He claimed to have chosen Kinoguitan, Misamis
Oriental as his new domicile contending that he has voted
there three (3) times; he is married to Bernadith Go, a
resident therein; that he paid his water bills therein and
proved that he is an owner of a property there. He sought
to be elected for mayor in Kinoguitan. Is he qualified?
Why?

Answer: No. While voting gives rise to a strong
presumption of residence, it is not conclusive evidence
thereof. (Domino v. COMELEC, 369 Phil. 798 (1999).
In Perez v. Commission on Elections, 375 SCRA 1106
(1999) it was held that a persons registration as voter in
one district is not proof that he is not domiciled in another
district. The registration of a voter in a place other than his
residence of origin is not sufficient to consider him to have
abandoned or lost his residence. (Faypon v. Quirino, 96
Phil. 294 (1954). To establish a new domicile of choice,
personal presence in the place must be coupled with
conduct indicative of that intention. It requires not only
such bodily presence in that place but also a declared and
probable intent to make it ones fixed and permanent place
of abode. (Pundaodaya v. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No.
179313, September 17, 2009).

Premature campaigning; its nature.
Q Rosalinda Penera filed her certificate of candidacy but
she was charged with premature campaigning since there
was a motorcade that immediately took place in the
locality after the filing of her certificate of candidacy. No
speeches were however made, instead, there was only
marching music in the background and a grandstanding
for the purpose of raising the hands of the candidates in
the motorcade. Is she disqualified to run for mayor
considering that she conducted premature campaigning?
Explain.

Answer: No, because at the time of the motorcade, she
was not yet a candidate. The mere filing of her certificate
of candidacy did not make her a candidate because she
can only be considered a candidate at the start of the
campaign period for which she filed her certificate of
candidacy. (Sec. 13(3), RA 9369). The unlawful acts or
omission applicable to a candidate shall take effect only
upon the start of the aforesaid campaign period. (Sec. 13).
Hence, the election offenses may be committed by a
candidate only upon the start of the campaign period.
Before the start of the campaign period, such election
offenses cannot be committed. (Rosalinda Penera v.
COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 181613, November 25, 2009
citing Lanot v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 164858, November
16, 2006, 507 SCRA 114).

Proclaimed candidate was the loser; remedy is to annul
proclamation.
Q Records show that petitioner was declared the
12
th
winning candidate based on SOVPs containing
mathematical and clerical errors, instead of private
respondent. A petition for correction of manifest error and
annulment of the proclamation was filed. It was contended
that protest is the appropriate remedy. Is the contention
correct? Why?

Answer: Yes. As a rule, It is very clear that the proclaimed
candidate was the loser, hence, the petition to amend and
annul was proper. The remedy of the losing party is an
election protest after his opponent has already been
proclaimed as winning candidate, but such recourse is on
the assumption, however, that there has been a valid
proclamation. Where a proclamation is null and void, the
proclamation is no proclamation at all and the proclaimed
candidates assumption of office cannot deprive the
COMELEC of the power to declare such nullity and annul
the proclamation. (Torres v. COMELEC, 337 Phil. 270
(1997); Duremdes v. COMELEC, G.R. Nos. 86362-63,
October 27, 1989, 178 SCRA 746 and Aguam v.
COMELEC, 132 Phil. 353 (1968); Taguiam v. COMELEC,
et al., G.R. No. 184801, July 30, 2009).




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Cayat principle not applied.
Q Nardo Velasco, a Filipino citizen acquired American
citizenship. Later on he became a dual citizen. He applied
for registration as a voter but his application was denied,
hence, he filed his petition for inclusion as voter with the
MTC which granted the petition. The RTC on appeal
reversed the order, hence, he appealed to the CA but the
latter dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction. In the
meantime, he filed his certificate of candidacy for Mayor,
hence, Panlaqui filed a petition to deny due course to
and/or cancel his COC based on gross misrepresentation
as to his residency, hence, disqualified to vote. He won in
the elections and took his oath. Finding material
misrepresentations, the COMELEC nullified his
proclamation hence, Panlaqui moved for proclamation.
Can he, as second placer, be proclaimed as the winner?
Why?

Answer: No. Since the disqualification of Velasco had not
yet become final and executory before the elections, the
COMELEC properly applied the rule on succession. Cayat
v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 163776, April 24, 2007, 522
SCRA 23 does not apply because Cayat was disqualified
in a final and executory judgment before the elections. As
the only candidate Palileng, who numerically lost in the
elections, he was not a second placer. On the contrary,
Palileng was the sole and only placer, second to none.
The doctrine in the rejection of the second placer which
triggers the rule on succession does not apply. (Panlaqui
vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 188671, February 24,
2010).

Political Law
ARTICLE VI Legislative Department Composition of the
JBC.

Q Atty. Francisco Chavez questioned the
constitutionality of the practice of Congress of sending two
(2) representatives to the JBC with full separate votes
when the Constitution provides for only one (1)
representative. The petitioner contended that the framers
of the Constitution envisioned only seven (7) members but
the practice is different as there are now (8) members.
Furthermore, he contended that the JBC cannot conduct
valid proceedings as its composition is illegal and
unconstitutional. The OSG contended that there are two
(2) houses of the Congress, the Senate and the House of
Representatives. The House without the Senate, is not the
Congress. Bicamerlism, as the system of choice by the
Framers, requires that both houses exercise their
respective powers in the performance of its mandated duty
which is to legislate. Thus, when Section 8(1), Article VIII
of the Constitution speaks of a representative from
Congress, it should mean one representative each from
both Houses which comprise the entire Congress.
It was contended by the petitioner that the use of the
singular letter a preceding representative of Congress is
unequivocal and leaves no room for any other
construction. It is indicative that the Constitutional
Commission had in mind that Congress may designate
only one (1) representative to the JBC. Is the contention
correct? Explain.

Answer: Yes. Constitution is very clear. The Constitution
provides for seven (7) members of the JBC including a
representative of the Congress.
A Judicial & Bar Council is hereby created under
the supervision of the Supreme Court composed of the
Chief Justice as ex officio Chairman, the Secretary of
Justice, and a representative of the Congress as ex officio
members, a representative of the Integrated Bar; a
professor of law, a retired Member of the Supreme Court
and a representative of the private sector. (Art. VIII, Sec.
8 of the Constitution).
The use of the singular letter a preceding
representative of Congress is unequivocal and leaves no
room for any other construction. It is indicative of what the
members of the Constitutional Commission had in mind,
that is, Congress may designate only one (1)
representative to the JBC. Had it been the intention that
more than one (1) representative from the legislature
would sit in the JBC, the Framers could have, in no
uncertain terms, so provided. (Francisco Chavez v. JBC,
et al., G.R. No. 202242, July 17, 2012).
The word Congress used in Article VIII, Section
8(1) of the Constitution is used in its generic sense. No


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particular allusion whatsoever is made on whether the
Senate or the House of Representatives is being referred
to, but that, in either case, only a singular representative
may be allowed to sit in the JBC. The foregoing
declaration is but sensible, since, as pointed out by an
esteemed former member of the Court and consultant of
the JBC in his memorandum, from the enumeration of the
membership of the JBC, it is patent that each category of
members pertained to a single individual only.
Indeed, the spirit and reason of the statute may
be passed upon where a literal meaning would lead to
absurdity, contradiction, injustice, or defeat the clear
purpose of the lawmakers. Not any of these instances,
however, is present in the case at bench. Considering that
the language of the subject constitutional provision is plain
and unambiguous, there is no need to resort extrinsic aids
such as records of the Constitutional Commission.
(Francisco Chavez v. JBC, et al., G.R. No. 202242, July
17, 2012).

Bicameral nature of Congress; effect.
Q The respondents insisted that owing to the bicameral
nature of Congress, the word Congress in Section 8(1),
Article VIII of the Constitution should be read as including
both the Senate and the House of Representatives. They
theorized that it was so worded because at the time the
said provision was being drafted, the Framers initially
intended a unicameral form of Congress. Then, when the
Constitutional Commission eventually adopted a bicameral
form of Congress, the Framers, through oversight, failed to
amend Article VIII, Section 8 of the Constitution. Is the
contention correct? Why?

Answer: No. Congress in the context of JBC
representation, should be considered as one body. It is
evidence that the definition of Congress as a bicameral
body refers to its primary function in government to
legislate. (Sec. 27(1), Art. VI, Constitution). In the passage
of laws, the Constitution is explicit in the distinction of the
role of each house in the process. The same holds true in
Congress non-legislative powers such as inter alia, the
power of appropriation, (Sec. 24, Art. VI, Constitution), the
declaration of an existence of a state of war, (Sec. 23(1),
Art. VI, Constitution), canvassing of electoral returns for
the President and Vice-President, (Sec. 4, Art. VII,
Constitution), and impeachment (Sec. 3(1), Art. II,
Constitution). In the exercise of these powers, the
Constitution employs precise language in laying down the
roles which a particular house plays, regardless of
whether the two houses consummate an official act by
voting jointly or separately. An inter-play between the two
houses is necessary in the realization of these powers
causing a vivid dichotomy that the Court cannot simply
discount. Verily, each house is constitutionally granted
with powers and functions peculiar to its nature and with
keen consideration to 1) its relationship with the other
chamber; and 2) in consonance with the principle of
checks and balances, to the other branches of
government.
This, however, cannot be said in the case of JBC
representation because no liaison between the two
houses exists in the workings of the JBC. No mechanism
is required between the Senate and the House of
Representatives in the screening and nomination of
judicial officers. Hence, the term Congress must be
taken to mean the entire legislative department. A fortiori,
a pretext of oversight cannot prevail over the more
pragmatic scheme which the Constitution laid with
firmness, that is, that the JBC has a seat for a single
representative of Congress, as one of the coequal
branches of government. (Francisco Chavez v. JBC, et al.,
G.R. No. 202242, July 17, 2012).

Parliamentary Immunity; rationale for privilege.
Q A complaint for disbarment was filed against Senator
Santiago based on her speech delivered in the Senate
after she was not considered in her application for the
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. She uttered the
following:
I am not angry. I am irate. I am homicidal. I am
suicidal. I am humiliated, debased, degraded. And I am
not only that, I feel like throwing up to be living my middle
years in a country of this nature. I am nauseated. I spit on
the face of Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban and his
cohorts in the Supreme Court, I am no longer interested in
the position of Chief Justice if I was to be surrounded by


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idiots. I would rather be in another environment but not in
the Supreme Court of idiots.
To Pobre, the foregoing statements reflected a
total disrespect on the part of the speaker
towards then Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban and the
other members of the Court and constituted direct
contempt of court. He asked that disbarment proceedings
or other disciplinary actions be taken against the lady
senator.
In her comment, Senator Santiago, through
counsel, explained that those statements were covered by
the constitutional provision on parliamentary immunity.
The purpose of her speech, according to her, was to bring
out in the open controversial anomalies in governance
with a view to future remedial legislation. Is the contention
correct? Explain.

Answer: Yes. The immunity Senator Santiago claimed is
rooted primarily on the provision of Article VI, Section 11
of the Constitution, which provides: A Senator or Member
of the House of Representatives shall, in all offenses
punishable by not more than six years imprisonment, be
privileged from arrest while the Congress is in
session. No member shall be questioned nor be held
liable in any other place for any speech or debate in the
Congress or in any committee thereof. Explaining the
import of parliamentary immunity, in Osmea, Jr. v.
Pendatun, it was ruled that our Constitution enshrines
parliamentary immunity which is a fundamental privilege
cherished in every legislative assembly of the democratic
world. As old as the English Parliament, its purpose is to
enable and encourage a representative of the public to
discharge his public trust with firmness and success for it
is indispensably necessary that he should enjoy the fullest
liberty of speech and that he should be protected from
resentment of every one, however, powerful, to whom the
exercise of that liberty may occasion offense. (Antero
Pobre vs. Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, A.C. No. 7399,
August 25, 2009).

Q Danilo Ramon Fernandez filed his certificate of
candidacy for representative of the First District of Laguna.
In his certificate of candidacy, he stated that he is a
resident of Villa Toledo Subdivision, Barangay Balibago,
Sta. Rosa, Laguna. A petition to deny due course to his
certificate of candidacy was filed before the COMELEC,
Laguna alleging material misrepresentation as in the past
elections, he declared Pagsanjan, Laguna as his address.
He likewise maintains a house outside of the First District,
particularly in Cabuyao, Laguna. He was proclaimed as
the duly elected Representative of the First District of
Laguna. A petition for quo warranto was filed with the
HRET praying that he be declared ineligible to hold the
position since he lacked the one-year residence
requirement. At the hearing, witnesses were presented
that he is not from Sta. Rosa; that he was not oftenly seen
in Villa Toledo Subdivision. He presented evidence,
however, that he is a resident of said places, testified to by
some witnesses; a certification by the President of the
Homeowners Association and that he bought a property at
Bel-Air Sta. Rosa, Laguna and presented a lease contract
over a house being rented by his family. The lessor was
presented too, to testify that he is a resident of Sta. Rosa.
The HRET declared him ineligible as he lacked the
required residence. Before the SC he contended that the
COMELEC has already passed upon his qualification,
thus, the HRET should have dismissed the case. Is the
contention correct? Explain.

Answer: Yes. Article VI, Section 17 provides that the
HRET and the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) shall be
the sole judge of all contests relating to the election,
returns, and qualifications of their respective members.
The authority conferred upon the Electoral Tribunal is full,
clear and complete. The use of the word sole emphasizes
the exclusivity of the jurisdiction of these Tribunals, (Co v.
HRET, G.R. No. 92191-92, July 30, 1991, 199 SCRA
692), which is conferred upon the HRET and the SET after
elections and the proclamation of the winning candidates.
A candidate who has not been proclaimed and who has
not taken his oath of office cannot be said to be a member
of the House of Representatives. (Co v. HRET).
A petition for quo warranto is within the exclusive
jurisdiction of the HRET, and cannot be considered forum
shopping even if the COMELEC had already passed upon
in administrative or quasi-judicial proceedings the issue of


Page 9


the qualification of the Member of the House of
Representatives while the latter was still a candidate.
(Rep. Danilo Ramon Fernandez v. HRET, et al., G.R. No.
187478, December 21, 2009).

Political Law
ARTICLE VII EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT

Creation of Phil. Truth Commission not justified by power
of control.

Q The petitioners questioned EO No. 1 creating the Phil.
Truth Commission contending that it is a public office and
not merely an adjunct body of the Office of the President.
Thus, in order that the President may create a public office
he must be empowered by the Constitution, a statute or an
authorization vested in him by law. Such power cannot be
presumed since there is no provision in the Constitution or
any specific law that authorizes the President to create a
truth commission. It was contended that Section 31 of the
Administrative Code of 1987, granting the President the
continuing authority to reorganize his office, cannot serve
as basis for the creation of a truth commission considering
the aforesaid provision merely uses verbs such as
reorganize, transfer, consolidate, merge, and
abolish. Insofar as it vests in the President the plenary
power to reorganize the Office of the President to the
extent of creating a public office, Section 31 is inconsistent
with the principle of separation of powers enshrined in the
Constitution and must be deemed repealed upon the
effectivity thereof. Whose contention is correct? Explain.

Answer: The petitioners contention is correct. To say that
the PTC is borne out of a restructuring of the Office of the
President is a misplaced supposition, even in the plainest
meaning attributable to the term restructure an
alteration of an existing structure. Evidently, the PTC
was not part of the structure of the Office of the President
prior to the enactment of Executive Order No. 1.
The creation of the PTC is not justified by the
Presidents power of control. Control is essentially the
power to alter or modify or nullify or set aside what a
subordinate officer had done in the performance of his
duties and to substitute the judgment of the former with
that of the latter. (The Veterans Federation of the
Philippines v. Reyes, G. R. No. 155027, February 28,
2006, 483 SCRA 526, 564; DOTC v. Mabalot, 428 Phil.
154, 164-165 (2002); Mondano v. Silvosa, 97 Phil. 143
(1955)).
Clearly, the power of control is entirely different
from the power to create public offices. The former is
inherent in the Executive, while the latter finds basis from
either a valid delegation from Congress, or his inherent
duty to faithfully execute the laws. (Biraogo v. Phil. Truth
Commission, G.R. No. 192935; Lagman, et al. V.
Executive Secretary, et al., G.R. No. 193036, December 7,
2010, Mendoza, J).

Nature of the power to deport; Act of State; subject to
judicial review.
Q The respondent was sought to be deported for
violation of Section 37(a)4 of CA No. 613 otherwise known
as the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940. It was alleged
that he was convicted and/or sentenced for Uniform
Controlled Substance Act in connection with his being a
Drug Trafficker and/or Courier of prohibited drugs in the
State of Washington, United States of America, thus,
making him an undesirable alien and/or a public burden in
violation of Section 37(4) [sic] of the Philippine Immigration
Act of 1940, as amended.
The Board of Commissioners ordered his
deportation after trial. The DOJ on appeal affirmed the
order. By way of a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition he
the CA which reversed the ruling of the DOJ holding that
there was no valid and legal ground for the deportation of
respondent since there was no violation of Section
37(a)(4) of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940, as
amended, because respondent was not convicted or
sentenced for a violation of the law on prohibited drugs
since the U.S. Court dismissed the case for violation of the
Uniform Controlled Substances Act in the State of
Washington, USA filed against respondent. Before the SC,
it was contended that the Bureau of Immigration has the
exclusive authority to decide whether a foreigner may be
deported and such proceedings are beyond judicial
review. Is the contention correct? Why?


Page 10


Answer: No. It is beyond cavil that the BI has the exclusive
authority and jurisdiction to try and hear cases against an
alleged alien, and that the BOC has jurisdiction over
deportation proceedings. Nonetheless, Article VIII, Section
1 of the Constitution has vested power of judicial review in
the Supreme Court and the lower courts such as the CA,
as established by law.
Although the courts are without power to directly
decide matters over which full discretionary authority has
been delegated to the legislative or executive branch of
the government and are not empowered to execute
absolutely their own judgment from that of Congress or of
the President, (Tatad vs. Secretary of the Department of
Energy, G.R. No. 124360, November 5, 1997, 281 SCRA
330, 347; Ledesma vs. CA, G.R. No. 113216, September
5, 1997, 278 SCRA 656, 681; Taada vs. Angara, G.R.
No. 118295, May 2, 1997, 272 SCRA 18, 48-49), the
Court may look into and resolve questions of whether or
not such judgment has been made with grave abuse of
discretion, when the act of the legislative or executive
department is contrary to the Constitution, the law or
jurisprudence, or when executed whimsically, capriciously
or arbitrarily out of malice, ill will or personal bias.
(Republic vs. Garcia, G.R. No. 167741, July 12, 2007, 527
SCRA 495, 502; Information Technology Foundation of
the Philippines vs. Commission on Elections, G.R. No.
159139, January 13, 2004, 419 SCRA 141, 148; Domingo
vs. Scheer, 466 Phil. 235 (2004); House of Sara Lee vs.
Rey, 500 SCRA 419 (2006); Secretary of Justice, et al. vs.
Christopher Roruga, G.R. No. 166199, April 24, 2009).

Political Law
ARTICLE VIII Judiciary Department

Power of judicial review; requisites.

Like almost all powers conferred by the Constitution, the
power of judicial review is subject to limitations, to wit: (1)
there must be an actual case or controversy calling for the
exercise of judicial power; (2) the person challenging the
act must have the standing to question the validity of the
subject act or issuance; otherwise stated, he must have a
personal and substantial interest in the case such that he
has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its
enforcement; (3) the question of constitutionality must be
raised at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the issue of
constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case.
(Senate of the Phil. v. Ermita, G.R. No. 169777, April 20,
2006, 488 SCRA 1).
An aspect of the case-or-controversy
requirement is the requisite of ripeness. In the United
States, courts are centrally concerned with whether a case
involves uncertain contingent future events that may not
occur as anticipated, or indeed may not occur at all.
Another concern is the evaluation of the twofold aspect of
ripeness: first, the fitness of the issues for judicial decision;
and second, the hardship to the parties entailed by
withholding court consideration. In our jurisdiction, the
issue of ripeness is generally treated in terms of actual
injury to the plaintiff. Hence, a question is ripe for
adjudication when the act being challenged has had a
direct adverse effect on the individual challenging it.
(Lozano v. Nograles, G.R. Nos. 187883 and 187910, June
16, 2009, 589 SCRA 356, citing Guingona, Jr. v. Court of
Appeals, 354 Phil. 415).
In this case, the petitioner contested the
implementation of an alleged unconstitutional statute, as
citizens and taxpayers. According to LAMP, the practice
ofdirect allocation and release of funds to the Members of
Congress and the authority given to them to propose and
select projects is the core of the laws flawed execution
resulting in a serious constitutional transgression involving
the expenditure of public funds. Undeniably, as taxpayers,
LAMP would somehow be adversely affected by this. A
finding of unconstitutionality would necessarily be
tantamount to a misapplication of public funds which, in
turn, cause injury or hardship to taxpayers. This affords
ripeness to the present controversy.
Further, the allegations in the petition do not aim
to obtain sheer legal opinion in the nature of advice
concerning legislative or executive action. The possibility
of constitutional violations in the implementation of PDAF
surely involves the interplay of legal rights susceptible of
judicial resolution. For LAMP, this is the right to recover
public funds possibly misapplied by no less than the
Members of Congress. Hence, without prejudice to other


Page 11


recourse against erring public officials, allegations of
illegal expenditure of public funds reflect a concrete injury
that may have been committed by other branches of
government before the court intervenes. The possibility
that this injury was indeed committed cannot be
discounted. The petition complains of illegal disbursement
of public funds derived from taxation and this is sufficient
reason to say that there indeed exists a definite, concrete,
real or substantial controversy before the Court.
Anent locus standi, the rule is that the person
who impugns the validity of a statute must have a personal
and substantial interest in the case such that he has
sustained, or will sustained, direct injury as a result of its
enforcement. (People v. Vera, 65 Phil. 56 (1937). The gist
of the question of standing is whether a party alleges
such a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy
as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens
the presentation of issues upon which the court so largely
depends for illumination of difficult constitutional
questions. (Navarro v. Ermita, G.R. No. 180050, April 12,
2011, 648 SCRA 400). In public suits, the plaintiff,
representing the general public, asserts a public right in
assailing an allegedly illegal official action. The plaintiff
may be a person who is affected no differently from any
other person, and could be suing as a stranger, or as a
citizen or taxpayer. (David v. MacapagalArroyo, G.R.
Nos. 171396, 171409, 171485, 171483, 171400, 171489
and 171424, May 3, 2006, 489 SCRA 160). Thus,
taxpayers have been allowed to sue where there is a claim
that public funds are illegally disbursed or that public
money is being deflected to any improper purpose, or that
public funds are wasted through the enforcement of an
invalid or unconstitutional law. (Public Interest Center, Inc.
v. Honorable Vicente Q. Roxas, in his capacity as
Presiding Judge, RTC of Quezon City, Branch 227, G.R.
No. 125509, January 31, 2007, 513 SCRA 457, 470) Of
greater import than the damage caused by the illegal
expenditure of public funds is the mortal wound inflicted
upon the fundamental law by the enforcement of an invalid
statute. (People v. Vera, 65 Phil. 56 (1937).
Here, the sufficient interest preventing the illegal
expenditure of money raised by taxation required in
taxpayers suits is established. Thus, in the claim that
PDAF funds have been illegally disbursed and wasted
through the enforcement of an invalid or unconstitutional
law, LAMP should be allowed to sue. The case of Pascual
v. Secretary of Public Works, 110 Phil. 331 (1960), is
authority in support of the petitioner:
In the determination of the degree of interest
essential to give the requisite standing to attack the
constitutionality of a statute, the general rule is that not
only persons individually affected, but also taxpayers have
sufficient interest in preventing the illegal expenditures of
moneys raised by taxation and may therefore question the
constitutionality of statutes requiring expenditure of public
moneys. (11 Am. Jur. 761) (Lawyers Against Monopoly &
Poverty (LAMP), et al., G.R. No. 164987, April 24, 2012).

Q What are the requisites of the judicial review? Explain.

Answer: They are: (1) there must be an actual case or
controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power; (2)
the person challenging the act must have the standing to
question the validity of the subject act or issuance;
otherwise stated, he must have a personal and substantial
interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will
sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement; (3) the
question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest
opportunity; and (4) the issue of constitutionality must be
the very lis mota of the case. (Senate v. Ermita, 488
SCRA 1 (2006); Francisco v. House of Representatives,
460 Phil. 830 (2003); Biraogo v. Phil. Truth Commission,
G.R. No. 192935; Lagman, et al. v. Executive Secretary,
et al., G.R. No. 193036, December 7, 2010).

Q The SC in its July 5, 2009 decision declared RA 95
creating the PNRC unconstitutional. PNRC intervened and
filed a Motion for Reconsideration contending that in the
original case, the issue of unconstitutionality of RA 95 was
not raised, hence, the SC should not have ruled on it. Is
the contention correct? Why?

Answer: Yes. The Court will not touch the issue of
unconstitutionality unless it is the very lis mota. It is a well-
established rule that a court should not pass upon a
constitutional question and decide a law to be


Page 12


unconstitutional or invalid, unless such question is raised
by the parties and that when it is raise, if the record also
presents some other ground upon which the court rest its
judgment, that course will be adopted and the
constitutional question will be left for consideration until
such question will be unavoidable. (G.R. No. 162243,
November 29, 2006, 508 SCRA 498 citing Sotto v.
COMELEC, 76 Phil. 516 (1946); Alvarez v. PICOP
resources, Inc.).

Q Atty. Romulo B. Makalintal questioned the constitution
of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) as an illegal
and unauthorized progeny of Section 4, Article VIII of the
Constitution which provides that the SC, sitting en banc,
shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the
election, returns and qualifications of the President or
Vice-President and may promulgate its rules for the
purpose. He contended that the creation of the PET
violates the Constitution as the SC created a body
separate and distinct from it. Is the contention correct?
Why?

Answer: No. The PET is not a separate and distinct entity
from the SC, although it has functions peculiar only to it. It
was constituted in implementation of Section 4, Article VIII
of the Constitution and it faithfully complies, not unlawfully
defies the constitutional directive. It is a legitimate progeny
of the Constitutional provision composed of the members
of the SC, sitting en banc. The constitutional intent is to
bestow independence to the SC as the PET to undertake
the Herculean task of deciding election protests involving
presidential and vice-presidential candidates. The
conferment of additional jurisdiction to the SC, with the
duty characterized as an awesome task, includes the
means necessary to carry it into effect under the doctrine
of necessary implication. The abstraction of the PET from
the explicit grant of power to the SC, given the abundant
experience, is not unwarranted.
The Constitution grants authority to the Supreme
Court sitting en banc. Although the method by which the
Supreme Court exercises this authority is not specified in
the provision, the grant of power does not contain any
limitation on the Supreme Courts exercise thereof. The
Supreme Courtsmethod of deciding presidential and vice-
presidential election contests, through the PET, is actually
a derivative of the exercise of the prerogative conferred by
the aforequoted constitutional provision. Thus, the
subsequent directive in the provision for the Supreme
Court to promulgate its rules for the purpose.
The conferment of full authority to the Supreme
Court, as a PET, is equivalent to the full authority
conferred upon the electoral tribunals of the Senate and
the House of Representatives, i.e., the Senate Electoral
Tribunal (SET) and the House of Representatives
Electoral Tribunal (HRET), which we have affirmed on
numerous occasions. (Makalintal v. PET, G.R. No.
191618, November 23, 2010 and June 7, 2011).

Q It was contended that the creation of the PET violates
Section 12, Article VIII of the Constitution prohibiting the
designation of members of the judiciary to any agency
performing quasi-judicial or administrative functions. Is the
contention correct? Why?

Answer: No, because the resolution of electoral contests is
essentially an exercise of judicial power whether exercised
by the COMELE, HRET, SET or the MTC or RTC. In fact
their decisions are subject to judicial review via a petition
for certiorari if there is a showing of grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
The traditional grant of judicial power is found in
Section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution which provides
that the power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and
in such lower courts as may be established by law.
Judicial power was expanded to include 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. The power was expanded, but it remained
absolute.
If the contention of the petitioner were logical,
then the SET and HRET members who are Justices of the
SC would violate the constitutional proscription because of
the explicit constitutional empowerment found in Section


Page 13


2(2), Article IX-C (for the COMELEC) and Section 17,
Article VI (for the Senate and House Electoral Tribunals)
of the Constitution.
Besides, when the COMELEC, the HRET, and
the SET decide election contests, their decisions are still
subject to judicial review via a petition forcertiorari filed
by the proper party if there is a showing that the decision
was rendered with grave abuse of discretion tantamount to
lack or excess of jurisdiction. (Makalintal v. PET, supra.).

Political Law
ARTICLE XII - General Provisions

Filipinization provision of the Constitution; meaning and
purpose.
Q What is the meaning and purpose of the Filipinization
of public utilities? Explain.

Answer: The Filipinization provision in the 1987
Constitution is one of the products of the spirit of
nationalism which gripped the 1935 Constitutional
Convention. (Luzon Stevedoring Corp. v. Anti-Dummy
Board, 46 SCRA 474 (1972). The 1987 Constitution
provides for the Filipinization of public utilities by requiring
that any form of authorization for the operation of public
utilities should be granted only to citizens of the
Philippines or to corporations or associations organized
under the laws of the Philippines at least sixty per centum
of whose capital is owned by such citizens. The provision
is an express recognition of the sensitive and vital position
of public utilities both in the national economy and for
national security. The evident purpose of the citizenship
requirement is to prevent aliens from assuming control of
public utilities, which may be inimical to the national
interest. This specific provision explicitly reserves to
Filipino citizens control of public utilities, pursuant to an
overriding economic goal of the 1987 Constitution: to
conserve and develop our patrimony and ensure a self-
reliant and independent national economy effectively
controlled by Filipinos.
Any citizen or juridical entity desiring to operate a
public utility must therefore meet the minimum nationality
requirement prescribed in Section 11, Article XII of the
Constitution. Hence, for a corporation to be granted
authority to operate a public utility, at least 60 percent of
its capital must be owned by Filipino citizens. (Gamboa
v. Teves, et al., G.R. No. 176579, June 28, 2011).

Franchises cannot be exclusive, otherwise, void.
Q Tawag Multi-Purpose Cooperative (TMPC) is a duly
registered cooperative organized to provide domestic
water services in Barangay Tawag, La Trinidad, Benguet.
It applied for a certificate of public convenience with the
National Water Resources Board to operate and maintain
a waterworks system, but La Trinidad Water District
opposed contending that it has an exclusive franchise as a
local water utility created under PD 198. The application
was approved where the NWRB held that the exclusive
franchise is not valid and unconstitutional. On appeal to
the RTC, it held that the exclusive franchise is valid. Is the
ruling correct? Why?

Answer: No, because exclusive franchise is void and
unconstitutional. Article XII, Section 11 of the Constitution
prohibits that exclusive nature or character of a franchise
when it says nor shall such franchise x x be exclusive in
character. There is no exception. Section 47 of PD 198
which states that no franchise shall be granted to any
other person or agency unless and except to the extent
that the board of directors consents thereto is patently
unconstitutional. In case of conflict between the
Constitution and a statute, the Constitution always prevails
because the Constitution is the basic Law to which all laws
must conform to. The duty of the Court is to uphold the
Constitution and to declare void all laws that do not
conform to it. (Tawag Multi-Purpose Cooperative v. La
Trinidad Water District, G.R. No. 166471, March 22, 2011,
Carpio, J).

Political Law
BILL OF RIGHTS

Compensation to be paid; basis; instance of an inverse
condemnation proceedings.
Q In 1970, Napocor constructed high-tension
transmission lines to implement the DavaoManat 138 KV


Page 14


Transmission Line Project traversing over a parcel of land
belonging to the respondents. When they demanded for
payment, as they were not compensated for the value of
the land, Napocor contended that their claim for just
compensation has already prescribed pursuant to Sec. 3(i)
of RA 6395 as amended by PD 380, 395, 758, 938, 1360
& 1443 prescribing a 5-year period to file any action. Is the
contention correct? Why?

Answer: No. The right to recover just compensation is
enshrined in no less than our Bill of Rights, which states in
clear and categorical language that [p]rivate property
shall not be taken for public use without just
compensation. (Art. III, Sec. 9, Constitution). This
constitutional mandate cannot be defeated by statutory
prescription. (Napocor v. Heirs of Sangkay, G.R. No.
165828, August 24, 2011). Thus, it has been ruled that the
prescriptive period under Section 3 (i) of R.A. No. 6395
does not extend to an action to recover just compensation.
(Napocor v. Sangkay). It would be a confiscatory act on
the part of the government to take the property of
respondent spouses for a public purpose and deprive
them of their right to just compensation, solely because
they failed to institute inverse condemnation proceedings
within five years from the time the transmission lines were
constructed. To begin with, it was not the duty of
respondent spouses to demand for just compensation.
Rather, it was the duty of NAPOCOR to institute eminent
domain proceedings before occupying their property. In
the normal course of events, before the expropriating
power enters a private property, it must first file an action
for eminent domain (Rule 67, Sec. 1, Rules of Court) and
deposit with the authorized government depositary an
amount equivalent to the assessed value of the property.
(Sec. 2, Rule 67). Due to its omission, however,
respondents were constrained to file inverse
condemnation proceedings to demand the payment of just
compensation before the trial court. NAPOCOR cannot
invoke the statutory prescriptive period to defeat
respondent spouses constitutional right to just
compensation. (National Power Corporation v. Sps.
Saludares, G.R. No. 189127, April 25, 2012).

Political Law
CITIZENSHIP

Naturalization laws are strictly construed, burden lies in
the petitioner to prove qualifications.
Q Kerry Lao Ong filed a petition for naturalization
alleging that he was born in Cebu City of Chinese parents
on March 4, 1958. He alleged that he took his elementary
and high school education at the Sacred Heart for Boys in
Cebu City where social studies, Pilipino, religion and the
Philippine Constitution were taught. He obtained a degree
of Bachelor Arts in Management at the Ateneo de Manila
in 1978. In 1981, he got married with a Chinese and have
four (4) children. He has been engaged in business since
1989 with an average annual income of P150,000.00. He
alleged his various residence; has socialized with Filipinos
and with sound physical and mental health.
After trial, the court granted the petition, but the
Republic appealed alleging that he failed to prove that he
possessed a known lucrature trade, possession and
occupation. The CA ruled that there was an appreciable
margin of his income over the expenses as to be able to
provide for his family. The Republic contended otherwise,
considering that he has four (4) children, all studying in
exclusive school. Is the contention of the Republic
correct? Why?

Answer: Yes. Naturalization proceedings are imbued with
the highest public interest.
Naturalization laws should be rigidly enforced
and strictly construed in favor of the government and
against the applicant. The burden of proof rests upon the
applicant to show full and complete compliance with the
requirements of law.
Under the law, one of the qualifications for a
person to become a Filipino citizen by naturalizarion is that
he must own real estate in the Philippines worth not less
than five thousand pesos, Philippine currency, or must
have some known lucrative trade, profession or lawful
occupation. (Sec. 2, Revised Naturalization Law (RA 473).
Based on jurisprudence, the qualification of
some known lucrative trade, profession, or lawful
occupation means not only that the person having the


Page 15


employment gets enough for his ordinary necessities in
life. It must be shown that the employment gives one an
income such that there is an appreciable margin of his
income over his expenses as to be able to provide for an
adequate support in the event of unemployment, sickness,
or disability to work and thus avoid ones becoming the
object of charity or a public charge. (Chua Kian Lai v.
Republic, 158 Phil. 44 (1974); In the Matter of the Petition
of Tiong v. Republic, supra; In the Matter of the Petition of
Ban Uan, supra; Chiao v. Republic, 154 Phil. 8 (1974);
Watt v. Republic, 150-B Phil. 610 (1972). His income
should permit him and the members of his family to live
with reasonable comfort, in accordance with the prevailing
standard of living, and consistently with the demands of
human dignity, at this stage of our civilization. (In the
Matter of the Petition of Ban Uan, 154 Phil. 552 (1974); In
the Matter of the Petition of Tiong v. Republic, 157 Phil.
107 (1974); Tan v. Republic, 121 Phil. 643 (1965); Rep. v.
Kerry Lao Ong, G.R. No. 175430, June 18, 2012).

Political Law
CIVIL SERVICE LAW

President has only the power of supervision, not control.
Q The Province of Negros Occidental passed Resolution
720-A allocating health care and insurance benefits to its
employees. It was disallowed by the COA contending that
it violated AO 103 as it was done without approval of the
President. Is the COA correct? Why?

Answer: No, because the requirement of prior approval by
the President applies only to departments, bureaus,
offices and government-owned and controlled
corporations under the Executive branch. Being an LGU,
petitioner is merely under the Presidents general
supervision (Sec. 4, Article X of the Constitution). The
Presidents power of general supervision means the power
of a superior officer to see to it that subordinates perform
their functions according to law. (De Villa v. City of
Bacolod, G.R. no. 80744, September 20, 1990, 189 SCRA
736). This is distinguished from the Presidents power of
control which is the power to alter or modify or set aside
what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of
his duties and to substitute the judgment of the President
over that of the subordinate officer. (Bito-Onon v. Judge
Fernandez, 403 Phil. 693 (2001). The power of control
gives the President the power to revise or reverse the acts
or decisions of a subordinate officer involving the exercise
of discretion. (Province of Negros Occidental v. The
Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 182574, September 28,
2010).

Political Law
ELECTION

Votes of nuisance candidate is counted for the legitimate
candidate.
Q If the name of a nuisance candidate whose certificate
of candidacy was still included or printed in the official
ballot on election day, should the votes cast for such
nuisance candidate be considered stray or counted in
favor of the bona fide candidate? Explain.
Answer: It is counted in favor of the bona fide candidate
because the votes cast could have been intended only for
the legitimate candidate. The possibility of confusion in
names of candidates if the name of the nuisance
candidate remained on the ballots on election day, cannot
be discounted or eliminated even under the automated
voting system especially considering that voters
mistakenly shaded the oval beside the name of the
nuisance candidate instead of the bona fide candidate
they intended to vote for could no longer ask for
replacement ballots to correct the same. (Dela Cruz v.
COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 192221, November 13, 2012,
Villarama, J).

3-term limit; Mayor did not serve the 3-term limit when he
was deprived of the right to occupy position although
finally proclaimed winners.
Q Mayor Abundo was elected Mayor in the local
elections of Viga, Catanduanes in 2011, 2004, 2007 and
served as Mayor. However, in the 2004 elections, Torres
was proclaimed as the winner, but after the protest was
decided Abundo was finally proclaimed as the winner,
hence, he served as Mayor starting May 9, 2006 until the
end of the 2004-2007 term on June 30, 2007 or for a


Page 16


period of one year and one month. In the 2010 local
elections, he again filed his certificate of candidacy. The
opponent filed a petition for disqualification because he
was running for a fourth term, violating of the 3-term limit
rule. Is the contention correct? Why?

Answer: No, because he did not serve the full term in the
2004-2007 elections, when he was initially deprived of title
to, and was veritably disallowed to serve and occupy an
office to which he, after due proceedings, was eventually
declared to have been the rightful choice of the electorate.
Article X, Sec. 8 of the Constitution and Sec. 43(b) of RA
7160, or the Local Government Code provide that no local
elective official shall serve for more than three (3)
consecutive terms in the same position. The 3-term limit
has two (2) basic requirements, thus:
(1) That the official concerned has been elected
for three consecutive terms in the same local government
post; and
(2) That he has fully served three consecutive
terms. (Lonzanida v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 135150, July
28, 1999, 311 SCRA 602).
Abundo could not have served for a full term in
2004-2007 because the opponent was proclaimed as the
winner, hence, Abundo was termporarily unable to
discharge his functions as mayor during the pendency of
the election protest. The declaration of being the winner in
an election protest grants the local elected official the right
to serve the unexpired portion of the term but while was
declared the winner for the 2004-2007 term, his full term
has been substantially reduced by the actual service by
his opponent. Hence, there was involuntary interruption in
the term of Abundo and cannot be considered to have
served the full 2004-2007 term. (Mayor Abelardo Abundo,
Jr. v. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 201716, January 8,
2013).







Political Law
EMINENT DOMAIN

For compensation to be just it must not only be full, but it
should like be not delayed.
Q The government took a property under the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform program of the
government but there was no payment for twelve (12)
years. State the effect of the delay in the payment?
Explain.

Answer: There was no more just compensation. Section 9,
Article III of the 1987 Constitution expresses the
constitutional rule on eminent domain Private property
shall not be taken for public use without just
compensation. While confirming the States inherent
power and right to take private property for public use, this
provision at the same time lays down the limitation in the
exercise of this power. When it takes property pursuant to
its inherent right and power, the State has the
corresponding obligation to pay the owner just
compensation for the property taken. For compensation to
be considered just, it must not only be full and fair
equivalent of the property taken; it must also be paid to the
landowner without delay.
Inevitably, if the government falters or is seen to
be faltering through lack of good faith in implementing the
needed reforms, including any hesitation in paying the
landowners just compensation, this reform program and its
objectives would suffer major setbacks. That the
governments agrarian reform program and its success are
matters of public interest, to our mind, cannot be disputed
as the program seeks to remedy long existing ad
widespread social justice and economic problems. (Apo
Fruits Corp. v. LBP, et al., G.R. No. 164195, April 5, 2011,
Brion, J.).

Q RA No. 8874 otherwise known as An Act to Facilitate
Site or Location for National Government Infrastructure
Project and for Other Purposes provides for guidelines for
expropriation proceedings. To attain the objective of the
government to facilitate infrastructure projects, what are


Page 17


the requirements for authorizing immediate entry in
expropriation proceedings involving real property? Explain.

Answer: The requirements for authorizing immediate entry
in expropriation proceedings involving real property are:
(1) the filing of a complaint for expropriation sufficient in
form and substance; (2) due notice to the defendant; (3)
payment of an amount equivalent to 100% of the value of
the property based on the current relevant zonal valuation
of the BIR including payment of the value of the
improvements and/or structures if any, or if no such
valuation is available and in cases of utmost urgency, the
payment of the proffered value of the property to be
seized; and (4) presentation to the court of a certificate of
availability of funds from the proper officials.
Upon compliance with the requirements, a
complainant in an expropriation case is entitled to a writ of
possession as a matter of right, and it becomes the
ministerial duty of the trial court to forthwith issue the writ
of possession. No hearing is required, and the court
exercises neither its discretion nor its judgment in
determining the amount of the provisional value of the
properties to be expropriated, as the legislature has fixed
the amount under Section 4 of Republic Act No. 8974.
(Rep. v. Far East Ent. Inc., et al., G.R. No. 176487, August
25, 2009 citing Capitol Steel Corp. v. PHIVIDEC Industrial
Authority, G.R. No. 169453, December 6, 2006, 510
SCRA 590).

Political Law
IMPEACHMENT

Power of the House of Representatives to promulgate
rules of impeachment.
Q On July 22, 2010, Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel, et al.,
filed an impeachment complaint against Ombudsman
Merceditas Gutierrez. Renato Reyes, Jr, et al., likewise
filed an impeachment complaint against her on August 3,
2010. On August 11, 2010, the House of Representatives
simultaneously referred the two complaints to the
Committee on Justice which found the complaints
sufficient in form on September 1, 2010. On August 3,
2010, the House provisionally adopted the Impeachment
Rules of the 14
th
Congress and on September 2, 2010, the
Rules on Impeachment Proceedings of the 15
th
Congress
was published. On September 7, 2010, the Committee
found both complaints of culpable violation of the
Constitution and betrayal of public trust to be sufficient in
substance. She filed a petition for injunction with the SC
contending that she was deprived of due process since
the Impeachment Rules was published only on September
2, 2010 a day after public respondent ruled on the
sufficiency in form of the complaints. She tacked her
contention on Sec. 3(8), Article XI of the Constitution
which directs that Congress shall promulgate its rules on
impeachment to effectively carry out the purpose of this
section. The respondent contended that promulgation
refers to publication of the rules in any medium of
information. As basis for her contention she invoked Neri
v. Senate Committee on Accountability of Officers and
Investigation, G.R. No. 180643, March 25, 2008, 549
SCRA 77 and 564 SCRA 152 (2008) which held that the
Constitution categorically requires publication of the rules
of procedure in legislative inquiries. The respondent
contended that the Impeachment Rules is intended merely
to enable Congress to effectively carry out the purposes of
Sec. 3(8) of Article XI of the Constitution. Rule on the
contention. Explain.

Answer: The contention is not correct. The Constitution
merely uses the word promulgate which means to publish
or to announce officially (Blacks Law Dictionary).
The Constitution does not restrict promulgation to
publication, hence, the former should be understood to
have been used in its general sense. It is within the
discretion of Congress to determine on how to promulgate
its Impeachment Rules, in much the same way that the
Judiciary is permitted to determine that to promulgate a
decision means to deliver the decision to the clerk of court
for filing and publication.
Publication in the Official Gazette or a newspaper
of general circulation is but one avenue for Congress to
make known its rules. Jurisprudence emphatically
teaches that in the absence of constitutional or statutory
guidelines or specific rules, this Court is devoid of any
basis upon which to determine the legality of the acts of


Page 18


the Senate relative thereto. On grounds of respect for the
basic concept of separation of powers, courts may not
intervene in the internal affairs of the legislature; it is not
within the province of courts to direct Congress how to do
its work. Where no specific, operable norms and
standards are shown to exist, then the legislature must be
given a real and effective opportunity to fashion and
promulgate as well as to implement them, before the
courts may intervene. (Sen. Santiago v. Sen. Guingona,
Jr., 359 Phil. 276 (1998)).
Had the Constitution intended to have the
Impeachment Rules published, it could have stated so as
categorically as it did in the case of the rules of procedure
in legislative inquiries, per Neri. (Gutierrez v. The House of
Representatives Committee on Justice, et al., G.R. No.
193459, February 15, 2011).

Q She contended that the filing of the second complaint
violated Sec. 3(5) Article XI of the Constitution which
provides that No impeachment proceedings shall be
initiated against the same official more than once within a
period of one year. She reckoned the 1-year ban from
the filing of the first complaint on July 22, 2010 or before
the opening of the sessions on July 26, 2010. She
contended that no impeachment complaint can be
accepted and referred within that period.
On the other hand, public respondent contended
that the initiation starts with the filing of the impeachment
complaint and ends with the referral to the Committee,
following Francisco, but venture to alternatively proffer that
the initiation ends somewhere between the conclusion of
the Committee Report and the transmittal of the Articles of
Impeachment to the Senate. Is her contention correct?
Explain.

Answer: No. The term initiate means to file the complaint
and take initial action on it. The initiation starts with the
filing of the complaint which must be accompanied with an
action to set the complaint moving. It refers to the filing of
the impeachment complaint coupled with Congress taking
initial action of said complaint. The initial action taken by
the House on the complaint is the referral of the complaint
to the Committee on Justice. (Francisco v. House of
Representatives, et al., 460 Phil. 830 (2003). What ends
the initiation is the referral to the Committee on Justice.
Once an impeachment complaint has been initiated,
another impeachment complaint may not be filed against
the same official within a one year period. (Gutierrez v.
The House of Representatives Committee on Justice, et
al., G.R. No. 193459, February 15, 2011).

Political Law
LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

Doctrine of condonation does not apply to appointive.
Q Petitioners were appointed by X, a duly elected
mayor. During his incumbency, he was administratively
changed, but he was re-elected. The charges against
petitioners continued, hence, they filed a motion to dismiss
contending that the doctrine of condonation to
coterminous appointive officials who were administratively
charged along with re-elected official/appointing authority
with infractions allegedly committed during their preceding
term should apply to them. Is the contention correct?
Why?

Answer: No. Election expresses the sovereign will of the
people. Under the principle of vox populi est suprema
lex, the re-election of a public official may, indeed,
supersede a pending administrative case. The same
cannot be said of a re-appointment to a non-career
position. There is no sovereign will of the people to speak
of when the BOR re-appointed respondent Sojor to the
post of university president. (Atty. Vicente Salumbides, et
al. v. Office of the Ombudsman, et al., G.R. No. 180917,
April 23, 2010 citing CSC v. Sojor, 554 SCRA 160 (2008)).

Q Is not the non-application of the doctrine of
condonation to appointed officials violative of the equal
protection clause? Why?

Answer: No. The non-application of the condonation
doctrine to appointive officials does not violate the right to
equal protection of the law. The electorates condonation
of the previous administrative infractions of the re-elected
official cannot be extended to that of the reappointed


Page 19


coterminous employees, the underlying basis of the rule
being to uphold the will of the people expressed through
the ballot. In other words, there is neither subversion of
the sovereign will nor disenfranchisement of the electorate
to speak of, in the case of reappointed coterminous
employees.
It is the will of the populace, not the whim of one
person who happens to be the appointing authority, that
could extinguish an administrative liability. Since
petitioners hold appointive positions, they cannot claim the
mandate of the electorate. The people cannot be charged
with the presumption of full knowledge of the life and
character of each and every probable appointee of the
elective official ahead of the latters actual reelection.
The unwarranted expansion of the doctrine would
set a dangerous precedent as it would, provide civil
servants, particularly local government employees, with
blanket immunity from administrative liability that would
spawn and breed abuse in the bureaucracy. (Salumbides
v. Office of the Ombudsman, G.R. No. 180917, April 23,
2010).

3-term limit.
Q Marino Morales was elected Mayor of Mabalacat,
Pampanga in 1995, 1998, 2001, 2004 and 2007 local
elections. He was, however disqualified in the 2004
elections because of the 3term limit. While his
proclamation in the 1998-2001 election was declared void,
it was done after serving the term or on July 4, 2001. On
May 7, 2007, the SC promulgated a decision disqualifying
him. He vacated the position, the next day, the Vice-Mayor
assumed office from May 17, 2007 to June 30, 2007. It
was contended that he was not qualified to run in the 2007
local elections, otherwise, he would be serving a 5
th
term.
Is the contention correct? Why?

Answer: No. It is true that he occupied the position of
mayor in the following periods: 19951998; 1998-2001;
2001-2004; 2004-2007 but because of his disqualification
he was not duly elected mayor for the 2004-2007 term.
Neither did Morales hold the position of mayor of
Mabalacat for the full term. Morales cannot be deemed to
have served the full term of 2004-2007 because he was
ordered to vacate his post before the expiration of the
term. Morales occupancy of the position of mayor of
Mabalacat from 1 July 2004 to 16 May 2007 cannot be
counted as a term for purposes of computing the three-
term limit. Indeed, the period from 17 May 2007 to 30 June
2007 served as a gap for purposes of the three-term limit
rule. Thus, the present 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2010 term
is effectively Morales first term for purposes of the three-
term limit rule. (Dizon v. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No.
182088, January 30, 2009).

Q It was alleged that Morales was able to serve his
fourth term as mayor through lengthy litigations. In other
words, he was violating the rule on three-term limit with
impunity by the sheer length of litigation and profit from it
even more by raising the technicalities arising therefrom.
Is the contention correct? Why?

Answer: No. The respondents harp on the delay in
resolving the election protest between petitioner and his
then opponent which took roughly about three years and
resultantly extended the petitioners incumbency in an
office to which he was not lawfully elected. Such delay
cannot be imputed to him because there was no proof that
the delay was due to any political maneuvering on his part
to prolong his stay in office. Moreover, protestant, was not
without legal recourse to move for the early resolution of
the election protest while it was pending before the
regional trial court or to file a motion for the execution of
the regional trial courts decision declaring the position of
mayor vacant and ordering the vice-mayor to assume
office while the appeal was pending with the COMELEC.
Such delay which is not shown to have been intentionally
sought by the petitioner to prolong his stay in office cannot
serve as basis to bar his right to be elected and to serve
his chosen local government post in the succeeding
mayoral election. (Dizon v. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No.
182088, January 30, 2009).

Q Nicasio Bolos ran for Punong Barangay in Dauis,
Bohol in the 1994, 1997 and 2002 barangay elections and
won. Petitioner contended that he is qualified to run for the
position of Punong Barangay in the October 29, 2007


Page 20


Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections since he
did not serve continuously three consecutive terms. He
admitted that in the 1994, 1997 and 2002 Barangay
elections, while serving his third term as Punong
Barangay, he ran as Municipal Councilor of Dauis, Bohol,
and won. On July 1, 2004, he assumed office and,
consequently, left his post as Punong Barangay by
operation of law. He averred that he served the full term
as member of the Sangguniang Bayan until June 30,
2007. On October 29, 2007, he filed his Certificate of
Candidacy for Punong Barangay and won. The
COMELEC issued an order disqualifying him as a
candidate for Punong Barangay since he did not complete
his third term by operation of law. He contended that he is
qualified. Is his contention correct? Why?

Answer: No. 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.
It is undisputed that petitioner was elected
as PunongBarangay for three consecutive terms,
satisfying the first condition for disqualification.
Petitioner was serving his third term as Punong
Barangay when he ran forSangguniang Bayan member
and, upon winning, assumed the position ofSangguniang
Bayan member, thus, voluntarily relinquishing his office
asPunong Barangay which is deemed to be voluntary
renunciation of said office.

Q Mayor Abundo was elected Mayor in the local
elections of Viga, Catanduanes in 2011, 2004, 2007 and
served as Mayor. However, in the 2004 elections, Torres
was proclaimed as the winner, but after the protest was
decided Abundo was finally proclaimed as the winner,
hence, he served as Mayor starting May 9, 2006 until the
end of the 2004-2007 term on June 30, 2007 or for a
period of one year and one month. In the 2010 local
elections, he again filed his certificate of candidacy. The
opponent filed a petition for disqualification because he
was running for a fourth term, violating of the 3-term limit
rule. Is the contention correct? Why?

Answer: No, because he did not serve the full term in the
2004-2007 elections, when he was initially deprived of title
to, and was veritably disallowed to serve and occupy an
office to which he, after due proceedings, was eventually
declared to have been the rightful choice of the electorate.
Article X, Sec. 8 of the Constitution and Sec. 43(b) of RA
7160, or the Local Government Code provide that no local
elective official shall serve for more than three (3)
consecutive terms in the same position. The 3-term limit
has two (2) basic requirements, thus:
(1) That the official concerned has been elected for
three consecutive terms in the same local government
post; and
(2) That he has fully served three consecutive terms.
(Lonzanida v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 135150, July 28,
1999, 311 SCRA 602).
Abundo could not have served for a full term in
2004-2007 because the opponent was proclaimed as the
winner, hence, Abundo was termporarily unable to
discharge his functions as mayor during the pendency of
the election protest. The declaration of being the winner in
an election protest grants the local elected official the right
to serve the unexpired portion of the term but while was
declared the winner for the 2004-2007 term, his full term
has been substantially reduced by the actual service by
his opponent. Hence, there was involuntary interruption in
the term of Abundo and cannot be considered to have
served the full 2004-2007 term. (Mayor Abelardo Abundo,
Jr. v. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 201716, January 8,
2013).

Q Wilfredo Asilo was elected councilor in Lucena City for
three (3) terms, but he was suspended for 90 days by the
SB on his third term. In the 2007 elections, he filed his
certificate of candidacy for councilor but there ws a petition
to deny due course to his certificate of candidacy alleging
that he was running for a fourth term. The COMELEC
ruled in favor of Asilo and denied the petition to deny due
course holding that the preventive suspension was an
effective interruption of his term because it rendered him


Page 21


unable to provide complete service for the full term, hence,
such term should not be counted for the purpose for the
three-term limit rule. Is the ruling correct? Explain.

Answer: No, because he has already served three (3)
terms as councilor.
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. (Sec. 8,
Art. 10, Constitution).
The constitutional provision fixes the term of a local
elective office and limits an elective officials stay in office
to no more than three consecutive terms. This provision
refers to a term as a period of time three years
during which an official has title to office and can serve.
In Appari v. Court of Appeals, it was ruled that:

The word term in a legal sense means a fixed and
definite period of time which the law describes that an
officer may hold an office. According to Mechem, the term
of office is the period during which an office may be
held. Upon expiration of the officers term, unless he is
authorized by law to holdover, his rights, duties and
authority as a public officer must ipso facto cease. In the
law of public officers, the most and natural frequent
method by which a public officer ceases to be such is by
the expiration of the terms for which he was elected or
appointed. (G.R. No. L-30057, January 31, 1984, 127
SCRA 231; Simon Aldovino, Jr., et al. v. COMELEC, et al.,
G.R. No. 184836, December 23, 2009, Brion, J).

Q State the reason why a preventively suspended
elective public officer cannot run for a fourth term. Explain.

Answer: To allow a preventively suspended elective
official to run for a fourth and prohibited term is to close
our eyes to this reality and to allow a constitutional
violation through sophistry by equating the temporary
inability to discharge the functions of office with the
interruption of term that the constitutional provision
contemplates. To be sure, many reasons exist, voluntary
or involuntary some of them personal and some of them
by operation of law that may temporarily prevent an
elective office holder from exercising the functions of his
office in the way that preventive suspension does. A
serious extended illness, inability through force majeure,
or the enforcement of a suspension as a penalty, to cite
some involuntary examples, may prevent an office holder
from exercising the functions of his office for a time without
forfeiting title to office. Preventive suspension is no
different because it disrupts actual delivery of service for a
time within a term. Adopting such interruption of actual
service as the standard to determine effective interruption
of term under the three-term rule raises at least the
possibility of confusion in implementing this rule, given the
many modes and occasions when actual service may be
interrupted in the course of serving a term of office. The
standard may reduce the enforcement of the three-term
limit rule to a case-to-case and possibly see-sawing
determination of what an effective interruption is. (Simon
Aldovino, Jr., et al. v. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 184836,
December 23, 2009, Brion, J).

Criterion in creating a local government unit.
Q In the February 10, 2010 decision of the SC, it
declared RA 9355 creating the province of Dinagat
unconstitutional for failure to comply with the requirements
of population and land area. It further declared as void
Article 9(2) of the LGC-IRR stating that the land area
requirement shall not apply where the proposed province
is composed of one (1) or more islands. Under the law, a
province must comprise of at least 2,000 square
kilometres, but the province does not meet the
requirement, hence, a motion for reconsideration seeking
the exemptions application was filed with the SC
contending that while the Local Government Code allows
the creation of a city or municipality even if the areas are
not contiguous, such does not exist in the creation of a
province. Is the MR proper? Why?

Answer: Yes. When the local government unit to be
created consists of one (1) or more islands, it is exempt


Page 22


from the land area requirement as expressly provided in
Section 442 and Section 450 of the LGC if the local
government unit to be created is a municipality or a
component city, respectively. This exemption is absent in
the enumeration of the requisites for the creation of a
province under Section 461 of the LGC, although it is
expressly stated under Article 9(2) of the LGC-IRR.
There appears neither rhyme nor reason why this
exemption should apply to cities and municipalities, but
not to provinces. In fact, considering the physical
configuration of the Philippine archipelago, there is a
greater likelihood that islands or group of islands would
form part of the land area of a newly-created province than
in most cities or municipalities. It is, therefore, logical to
infer that the genuine legislative policy decision was
expressed in Section 442 (for municipalities) and Section
450 (for component cities) of the LGC, but was
inadvertently omitted in Section 461 (for provinces). Thus,
when the exemption was expressly provided in Article 9(2)
of the LGC-IRR, the inclusion was intended to correct the
congressional oversight in Section 461 of the LGC and
to reflect the true legislative intent. It would, then, be in
order for the Court to uphold the validity of Article 9(2) of
the LGC-IRR. (Navarro, et al. V. Executive Secretary
Ermita, G.R. No. 180050, April 12, 2011).

Q What is the reason for the above interpretation of the
law? Explain.

Answer: The interpretation has to be so because of the
basic policy consideration underpinning the principle of
local autonomy.
Consistent with the declared policy to provide
local government units genuine and meaningful local
autonomy, contiguity and minimum land area
requirements for prospective local government units
should be liberally construed in order to achieve the
desired results. The strict interpretation could prove to be
counter-productive, if not outright absurd, awkward, and
impractical. Picture an intended province that consists of
several municipalities and component cities which, in
themselves, also consist of islands. The component cities
and municipalities which consist of islands are exempt
from the minimum land area requirement, pursuant to
Sections 450 and 442, respectively, of the LGC. Yet, the
province would be made to comply with the minimum land
area criterion of 2,000 square kilometers, even if it
consists of several islands. This would mean that
Congress has opted to assign a distinctive preference to
create a province with contiguous land area over one
composed of islands and negate the greater imperative
of development of self-reliant communities, rural progress,
and the delivery of basic services to the
constituency. This preferential option would prove more
difficult and burdensome if the 2,000-square-kilometer
territory of a province is scattered because the islands are
separated by bodies of water, as compared to one with a
contiguous land mass.
A very restrictive construction could trench on the
equal protection clause, as it actually defeats the purpose
of local autonomy and decentralization as enshrined in the
Constitution. Hence, the land area requirement should be
read together with territorial contiguity. (Navarro, et al. v.
Executive Secretary Ermita, G.R. No. 180050, April 12,
2011).

Zoning power of LGUs is intended to increase local
autonomy.
Q Resolution No. 29-A of the Municipality of Dasmarias
dated July 9, 1972 approved the subdivision of certain
properties for residential purposes from agricultural.
Petitioners Buklod ng Magbubukid sa Lupaing Ramos, Inc.
and the DAR sought to include the same under the
coverage of the CARP Law contending that the LGU has
no power to reclassify the land; only the national
legislature can do it. Is the contention correct? Why?

Answer: No, because a parcel of land reclassified for non-
agricultural uses prior to June 15, 1988 shall no longer be
considered agricultural land under the CARP.
When city and municipal boards and councils
approved an ordinance delineating an area or district in
their cities or municipalities as residential, commercial or
industrial zone, pursuant to the power granted to them
under, they were, at the same time, reclassifying any
agricultural lands within the zone for non-agricultural use;


Page 23


hence, ensuring the implementation of and compliance
with their zoning ordinances. The logic and practicality
behind such a presumption is more evident when
considering the approval by local legislative bodies of
subdivision ordinances and regulations. The approval by
city and municipal boards and councils of an application
for subdivision through an ordinance should already be
understood to include approval of the reclassification of
the land, covered by said application, from agricultural to
the intended nonagricultural use. Otherwise, the approval
of the subdivision application would serve no practical
effect; for as long as the property covered by the
application remains classified as agricultural, it could not
be subdivided and developed for non-agricultural use.
A liberal interpretation of the zoning power of city and
municipal boards and councils, as to include the power to
accordingly reclassify the lands within the zones, would be
in accord with the avowed legislative intent behind the
Local Autonomy Act of 1959, which was to increase the
autonomy of local governments. (Buklod nang
Magbubukid sa Lupaing Ramos, Inc. v. E.M. Ramos, Inc.,
G.R. No. 131481; DAR v. E.M. Ramos, Inc., G.R. No.
131624, March 16, 2011).

Renunciation of Filipino citizenship must be under oath.
Q Teodora Sobejana-Condon, a Filipino citizenship
acquired Australian citizenship. In 2006, she filed a
renunciation of Australian citizenship but it was not under
oath contrary to the mandate of Section 5(2) of RA 9225.
Then, she filed her certificate of candidacy and was
elected. Is she qualified to run for public office? Explain.

Answer: No. The requirement that the renunciation of her
foreign citizenship must be under oath is mandatory.
The language of Section 5(2) is free from any
ambiguity. In Lopez v. COMELEC, we declared its
categorical and single meaning: a Filipino American or any
dual citizen cannot run for any elective public position in
the Philippines unless he or she personally swears to a
renunciation of all foreign citizenship at the time of filing
the certificate of candidacy. We also expounded on the
form of the renunciation and held that to be valid, the
renunciation must be contained in an affidavit duly
executed before an officer of the law who is authorized to
administer an oath stating in clear and unequivocal terms
that affiant is renouncing all foreign citizenship.
The foreign citizenship must be formally rejected
through an affidavit duly sworn before an officer
authorized to administer oath. (Teodora Sobejana-Condon
v. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 198742, August 10, 2012,
Reyes, J, citing De Guzman v. COMELEC, G.R. No.
180048, June 19, 2009, 590 SCRA 149).

Q What is the effect of her winning in the election?
Explain.

Answer: The fact that she won the elections can not cure
the defect of her candidacy. Garnering the most number of
votes does not validate the election of a disqualified
candidate because the application of the constitutional and
statutory provisions on disqualification is not a matter of
popularity. (Lopez v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 182701, July
23, 2008, 559 SCRA 696; Teodora Sobejana-Condon v.
COMELEC, et al., supra.).

Candidate convicted of robbery is disqualified to run;
petition for cancellation of COC is the remedy.
Q Dominador Jalosjos, Jr. filed his certificate of
candidacy for Mayor of the City of Dapitan, Zamboanga
del Sur for the 2010 elections. His opponent Agapito
Cardino filed a petition to deny due course and cancel his
COC due to a false material misrepresentation in his
certificate when he declared under oath that he was
eligible when he has been convicted of the crime of
robbery and sentenced to prison mayor by the RTC.
Jalosjos contended that he was granted probation where
the COMELEC found out that the certificate of compliance
with the requirement was fraudulently issued. He has not
yet served his sentence. The penalty of prision mayor
carries with it perpetual special disqualification to hold
public office. Is the COMELECs ruling correct? Why?

Answer: Yes. The COMELEC properly cancelled Jalosjos
certificate of candidacy. A void certificate of candidacy on
the ground of ineligibility that exited at the time of the filing


Page 24


of the certificate of candidacy can never give rise to a valid
candidacy, and much less to valid votes.
Jalosjos certificate of candidacy was cancelled
because he was ineligible from the start to run for Mayor.
Whether his certificate of candidacy is cancelled before or
after the election is immaterial because the cancellation on
such ground means he was never a valid candidate from
the very beginning, his certificate of candidacy being void
ab initio. Jalosjos ineligibility existed on the day he filed
his certificate of candidacy, and the cancellation of his
certificate of candidacy retroacted to the day he filed it.
Thus, Cardino ran unopposed. There was only one
qualified candidate for Mayor in the May 2010 elections
Cardino who received the highest number of votes.
Section 74 requires the candidate to state under oath in
his certificate of candidacy that he is eligible for said
office. A candidate is eligible if he has a right to run for
the public office. If a candidate is not actually eligible
because he is barred by final judgment in a criminal case
from running for public office, and he still states under oath
in his certificate of candidacy that he is eligible to run for
public office, then the candidate clearly makes a false
material representation that is a ground for a petition
under Section 78. (Jalosjos, Jr. v. COMELEC, et al., G.R.
No. 193237; Cardino v. Jalosjos, et al., G.R. No. 193237,
October 9, 2012).

Vice-Mayor is included in computing the quorum.
Q Petitioners alleged that Atty. Rex Rojos appointment
as Sangguniang Panlungsod Secretary is void. They
maintained that respondents irrevocable resignation as
aSangguniang Panlungsod member was not deemed
accepted during the regular session of the Sangguniang
Panlungsodof La Carlota City, Negros Occidental for lack
of quorum. Consequently, respondent was still an
incumbent regular Sangguniang Panlungsod member
when then Vice Mayor Jalandoon appointed him as
Sangguniang Panlungsod Secretary on 18 March 2004,
which contravenes Section 7, Article IX-B of the
Constitution.
They contended that the vice-mayor, as presiding
officer of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, should not be
counted in determining whether a quorum exists.
Excluding the vice-mayor, there were only six (6) out of
the twelve (12) members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod
who were present on 17 March 2004. Since the required
majority of seven (7) was not reached to constitute a
quorum, then no business could have validly been
transacted on that day including the acceptance of
respondents irrevocable resignation.
On the other hand, Atty. Rojo maintained that the
Sangguniang Panlungsod consists of the presiding officer,
ten (10) regular members, and two (2) ex-officio members,
or a total of thirteen (13) members, hence there was a
quorum as the Vice-Mayor should be included in the
computation of the quorum. Whose contention is correct?
Explain.
Answer: The contention of Atty. Rojo is correct. The Vice-
Mayor is a member of the Sanggunian, hence, he should
be included in the computation of the quorum.
RA 7160 clearly states that the Sangguniang
Panlungsod shall be composed of the city vicemayor as
presiding officer, the regular sanggunian members, the
president of the city chapter of the liga ng mga barangay,
the president of the panlungsod na pederasyon ng mga
sangguniang kabataan, and the sectoral representatives,
as members. Blacks Law Dictionary defines composed
of as formed of or consisting of. As the presiding
officer, the vice-mayor can vote only to break a tie. In
effect, the presiding officer votes when it matters the most,
that is, to break a deadlock in the votes. Clearly, the
vicemayor, as presiding officer, is a member of the
Sangguniang Panlungsod considering that he is mandated
under Section 49 of RA 7160 to vote to break a tie. To
construe otherwise would create an anomalous and
absurd situation where the presiding officer who votes to
break a tie during a Sanggunian session is not considered
a member of the Sanggunian. (La Carlota City, Negros
Occidental, etc. v. Atty. Rex Rojo, G.R. No. 181367, April
24, 2012, Carpio, J).








Page 25


Political Law

POLICE POWER
Q There was a deed of restriction on the property of a
homeowner that it can be used for educational purposes
up to nursery only. Subsequently, the City of Muntinlupa
passed an ordinance re-classifying the area as
institutional, hence, the owner expanded the school. The
neighborhood objected, hence, the suit. Which shall
prevail, the restriction in the title or the ordinance? Explain.

Answer: The ordinance as it is an exercise of police
power. As early as Ortigas & Co. Ltd. Partnership v. Feati
Bank & Trust Co., 183 Phil. 176 (1979), the SC upheld the
validity of an ordinance declaring the residential area in
Mandaluyong as industrial and commercial zone as it was
passed in the exercise of police power.
Since the motives behind the passage of the
questioned resolution is reasonable, and it being a
legitime response to a felt public need, not whimsical or
oppressive, the non-impairment of contracts clause of the
Constitution will not bar the municipalitys exercise of
police power. (Learning Child, Inc., et al. v. Ayala Alabang
Village Asso., et al., G.R. No. 134269, and other
companion cases, July 7, 2010).

Political Law

PUBLIC OFFICERS
Q Calixto Cataquiz, then General Manager of the
Laguna Lake Development Authority was charged with
violation of the Anti-Graft Law. The case was dismissed. In
the meantime an administrative case was filed seeking his
removal. He contended that because of the dismissal of
the criminal case, there was no more basis to hold him
administratively liable. Is his contention correct? Why?

Answer: No. It is a basic rule in administrative law that
public officials are under a three-fold responsibility for a
violation of their duty or for a wrongful act or omission,
such that they may be held civilly, criminally and
administratively liable for the same act. (Tecson v. SB,
376 Phil. 191 (1999)). Obviously, administrative liability is
separate and distinct from penal and civil liability. (Veloso
v. SB, 187 SCRA 504, (1990)).
The distinct and independent nature of one
proceeding from the other can be attributed to the
following: first, the difference in the quantum of evidence
required and, correlatively, the procedure observed and
sanctions imposed; and second, the principle that a single
act may offend against two or more distinct and related
provisions of law, or that the same act may give rise to
criminal as well as administrative liability. (People v. SB,
G.R. No. 164577, July 5, 2010, 623 SCRA 147, citing
People v. Paredes, G.R. No. 169534, July 30, 2007, 528
SCRA 577; Office of the Pres. v. Calixto Cataquiz, G.R.
No. 183445, September 14, 2011).

Political Law
SEARCHES AND SEIZURES

Arrest in flagrante delicto, no need for warrant; objects
searched are admissible in evidence.
Q When the police got a call from a concerned citizen
that an illegal drug trade was being conducted in a place,
they responded and saw a man examining a transparent
plastic sachet containing shabu powder by flicking the
same. They arrested him. When charged with violation of
the law, he contended that he was not doing anything at
the time of his arrest, hence, the subsequent search upon
his person was illegal, hence, the alleged illegal drugs
recovered from him cannot be used against him,
otherwise, it would violate his constitutional rights against
unreasonable searches and seizures. Is his contention
correct? Why?

Answer: No, because he was arrested in flagrante
delicto as he was then committing a crime, violation of the
Dangerous Drugs Act, within the view of the police
officers. At the time of his arrest, the police officers were
actively performing their duties, since they were following
up a tip that there was an illegal drug trade being
conducted in the area. This fact, coupled with the overt
acts of petitioner, formed sufficient basis on the part of the
police officers to believe that a crime was actually being
committed. Thus, his case falls within the exception to the


Page 26


rule requiring a warrant before effecting an
arrest. Consequently, the results of the ensuing search
and seizure were admissible in evidence to prove
petitioners guilt of the offense charged. (Stephen Sy v.
People, G.R. No. 182178, August 15, 2011, Peralta, J,).

Obscene language is an unprotected speech.
Q An order suspending the program of Soriano was
issued due to certain utterances he made in his television
show, Ang Dating Daan. He uttered the following:
Lehitimong anak ng demonyo; sinungaling. Gago ka
talaga Michael, masahol ka pa sa putang babae o di ba.
Yung putang babae ang gumagana lang doon yung ibaba,
(dito) kay Michael ang gumagana ang itaas, o di ba! O,
masahol pa sa putang babae yan. Sabi ng lola ko masahol
pa sa putang babae yan. Sobra ang kasinungalingan ng
mga demonyong ito. x x x He contended that the MTRCB
denied him his right to the equal protection of the law,
arguing that, owing to the preventive suspension order, he
was unable to answer the criticisms coming from the INC
ministers. Is his contention correct? Why?

Answer: No. His position does not persuade. The equal
protection clause demands that all persons subject to
legislation should be treated alike, under like
circumstances and conditions both in the privileges
conferred and liabilities imposed. It guards against undue
favor and individual privilege as well as hostile
discrimination. (Ichong vs. Hernandez, 101 Phil. 1155
(1957). Surely, he cannot, place himself in the same
shoes as the INC ministers, who, for one, are not facing
administrative complaints before the MTRCB. For another,
he offered no proof that the said ministers, in their TV
programs, used language similar to that which he used in
his own, necessitating the MTRCBs disciplinary action. If
the immediate result of the preventive suspension order is
that petitioner remains temporarily gagged and is unable
to answer his critics, this does not become a deprivation of
the equal protection guarantee. Such suspension is not an
indication of oppressive inequality. (Eliseo Soriano v.
Laguardia, et al., G.R. No. 164785; Soriano v. MTRCB, et
al., G.R. No. 165636, April 29, 2009).

Q He contended that what he uttered was religious
speech, adding that words like putang babae were said
in the exercise of his religious freedom. Rule on the
contention. Explain.

Answer: The argument has no merit. There is nothing in
his statements expressing any particular religious belief,
nothing furthering his avowed evangelical mission. The
fact that he came out with his statements in a televised
bible exposition program does not automatically accord
them the character of a religious discourse. Plain and
simple insults directed at another person cannot be
elevated to the status of religious speech. He was only
moved by anger and the need to seek retribution, not by
any religious conviction. His claim, assuming its veracity,
that some INC ministers distorted his statements does not
convert the foul language used in retaliation as religious
speech. It cannot be accepted that petitioner made his
statements in defense of his reputation and religion, as
they constitute no intelligible defense or refutation of the
alleged lies being spread by a rival religious group. They
simply illustrate that he had descended to the level of
name-calling and foul-language discourse. He could have
chosen to contradict and disprove his detractors, but opted
for the low road. (Soriano v. Laguardia, et al., supra.).

Q Is there a distinction between regulation or restriction
of protected speech that is content-based and that which
is content-neutral?

Answer: Yes. A content-based restraint is aimed at the
contents or idea of the expression, whereas a content-
neutral restraint intends to regulate the time, place, and
manner of the expression under well-defined standards
tailored to serve a compelling state interest, without
restraint on the message of the expression. Courts subject
content-based restraint to strict scrutiny. (Chavez vs.
Gonzales, 545 SCRA 441 (2008); Soriano v. Laguardia, et
al., supra.).





Page 27


Q He asserted that his utterances must present a clear
and present danger of bringing about a substantive evil
the State has the right and duty to prevent and such
danger must be grave and imminent. Is the contention
correct? Why?

Answer: No. His invocation of the clear and present
danger doctrine, arguably the most permissive of speech
tests, would not avail him any relief, for the application of
said test is uncalled for under the premises. The doctrine,
first formulated by Justice Holmes, accords protection for
utterances so that the printed or spoken words may not be
subject to prior restraint or subsequent punishment unless
its expression creates a clear and present danger of
bringing about a substantial evil which the government has
the power to prohibit. (16A AM. Jur. 2d Constitutional Law
Sec. 493; Schenck vs. U.S. 249 U.S. 47). Under the
doctrine, freedom of speech and of press is susceptible of
restriction when and only when necessary to prevent
grave and immediate danger to interests which the
government may lawfully protect. As it were, said doctrine
evolved in the context of prosecutions for rebellion and
other crimes involving the overthrow of government. It was
originally designed to determine the latitude which should
be given to speech that espouses anti-government action,
or to have serious and substantial deleterious
consequences on the security and public order of the
community. (Gonzales vs. COMELEC, 27 SCRA 835
(1969). The clear and present danger rule has been
applied to this jurisdiction. As a standard of limitation on
free speech and press, however, the clear and present
danger test is not a magic incantation that wipes out all
problems and does away with analysis and judgment in
the testing of the legitimacy of claims to free speech and
which compels a court to release a defendant from liability
the moment the doctrine is invoked, absent proof of
imminent catastrophic disaster. (Zaldivar vs. Gonzales,
170 SCRA 1 (1989). As observed in Eastern Broadcasting
Corporation, the clear and present danger test does not
lend itself to a simplistic and all embracing interpretation
applicable to all utterances in all forums. (137 SCRA 628
(1985);Soriano v. Laguardia, et al., supra.).

Political Law
TAXATION

Q Cooperatives, under RA 6938 as amended by RA
9520 enjoy preferential tax treatment. The members of the
coop were being made to pay taxes. They protested as
they should likewise be exempted. The BIR contended
otherwise, hence, they filed a petition contending that the
tax preferential treatment include the members. If you
were the Court, how would you decide? Explain.

Answer: I would rule in favour of the members of the
cooperative. Under Article 2 of RA 6938, as amended by
RA 9520, it is a declared policy of the State to foster the
creation and growth of cooperatives as a practical vehicle
for promoting self-reliance and harnessing people power
towards the attainment of economic development and
social justice. Thus, to encourage the formation of
cooperatives and to create an atmosphere conducive to
their growth and development, the State extends all forms
of assistance to them, one of which is providing
cooperatives a preferential tax treatment.
Cooperatives, including their members, deserve
a preferential tax treatment because of the vital role they
play in the attainment of economic development and social
justice. Thus, although taxes are the lifeblood of the
government, the States power to tax must give way to
foster the creation and growth of cooperatives. To borrow
the words of Justice Isagani A. Cruz: The power of
taxation, while indispensable, is not absolute and may be
subordinated to the demands of social justice.
(Dumaguete Credit Cooperative v. Com. Of Internal
Revenue, G.R. No. 182722, January 22, 2010; Rep. v.
Judge Peralta, 234 Phil. 40 (1987).