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1) Read the main decision and resolution in Belgica vs. Ochoa, Jr.

In your
assessment discuss which of the two resolutions of the Court is the
more correct disposition of the controversy subject matter of the case.
Ans.
The subject matter of the case is the constitutionality of Pork Barrel System.
One of the Constitutional requirements before the Court may exercise the power of
judicial review, is there must be an actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of
judicial power. An actual case or controversy is one that involves a conflict of legal
rights, an assertion of opposite legal claims susceptible of judicial resolution; the case
must not be moot or academic or based on extra-legal or other similar considerations
not cognizable by a court of justice. Stated otherwise, it is not the mere existence of a
conflict or controversy that will authorize the exercise by the courts of its power of
review; more importantly, the issue involved must be susceptible of judicial
determination. Excluded from these are questions of policy or wisdom, otherwise
referred to as political questions.
At this case, petitioner calls for the unconstitutionality of the Congressional and
Presidential Pork Barrel system, which is the controversy surrounding the case. The
question is whether the 2013 PDAF Article and all other Congressional Pork Barrel Laws
similar to it are unconstitutional considering that they violate the principles
of/constitutional provisions on (1) separation of powers; (2) non-delegability of
legislative power; (3) checks and balances; (4) accountability; (5) political dynasties;
and (6) local autonomy. The Court discussed here, one by one, the violations of Pork
Barrel System against these Constitutional provisions. Hence, the subject matter of this
case is the constitutionality of the Pork Barrel System, that is without which, the case
wouldve not existed.
2) Read the decision and resolution of Republic VS. Mangotara. Resolve
whether there was a correct appreciation of the pertinent principles
and doctrines applied to the case in connection with jurisdiction.
Ans.
Yes. LANDTRADE, Teofilo, and/or Atty. Cabildo argue that the RTC-Branch 3 had no
jurisidiction to resolve the issues of status, filiation, and heirship in an action for
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quieting of title as said issues should be ventilated and adjudicated only in special
proceedings under Rule 90, Section 1 of the Rules of Court, pursuant to the ruling of
this Court in Agapay case and Yaptinchay case. on the assumption that the RTC-Branch
3 acquired jurisdiction over their persons, LANDTRADE, Teofilo, and/or Atty. Cabildo
maintain that the RTC-Branch 3 erred in the exercise of its jurisdiction by adjudicating
and passing upon the issues on Vidals status, filiation, and heirship in the Quieting of
Title Case. Moreover, LANDTRADE, Teofilo, and/or Atty. Cabildo aver that the resolution
of issues regarding status, filiation, and heirship is not merely a matter of procedure,
but of jurisdiction which cannot be waived by the parties or by the court.
Jurisdiction is not the same as the exercise of jurisdiction. The Court distinguished
between the two, thus: Jurisdiction is not the same as the exercise of jurisdiction. As
distinguished from the exercise of jurisdiction, jurisdiction is the authority to decide a
cause, and not the decision rendered therein. Where there is jurisdiction over the
person and the subject matter, the decision on all other questions arising in the case is
but an exercise of the jurisdiction. Here, the RTC-Branch 3 unmistakably had jurisdiction
over the subject matter and the parties. Jurisdiction over the subject matter or nature
of the action is conferred only by the Constitution or by law. Once vested by law on a
particular court or body, the jurisdiction over the subject matter or nature of the action
cannot be dislodged by anybody other than by the legislature through the enactment of
a law. The power to change the jurisdiction of the courts is a matter of legislative
enactment, which none but the legislature may do. Congress has the sole power to
define, prescribe and apportion the jurisdiction of the courts.[ The RTC has jurisdiction
over an action for quieting of title under the circumstances described in Section 19(2) of
Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended:
SEC. 19. Jurisdiction in civil cases. Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original
jurisdiction:
(2) In all civil actions which involve the title to, or possession of, real property, or any
interest therein, where the assessed value of the property involved exceeds Twenty
thousand pesos (P20,000.00) or, for civil actions in Metro Manila, where such value
exceeds Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) except actions for forcible entry into and
unlawful detainer of lands or buildings, original jurisdiction over which is conferred upon
the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts.
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Records show that the parcels of land subject of Civil Case No. 4452 have a combined
assessed value of P35,398,920.00,[88] undisputedly falling within the jurisdiction of the
RTC-Branch 3.
The RTC-Branch 3 also acquired jurisdiction over the person of Teofilo when he filed his
Answer to the Complaint of Vidal and AZIMUTH; and over the juridical personality of
LANDTRADE when the said corporation was allowed to intervene.
Considering that the RTC-Branch 3 had jurisdiction over the subject matter and parties
in Civil Case No. 4452, then it can rule on all issues in the case, including those on
Vidals status, filiation, and heirship, in exercise of its jurisdiction. Any alleged erroneous
finding by the RTC-Branch 3 concerning Vidals status, filiation, and heirship in Civil Case
No. 4452, is merely an error of judgment subject to the affirmation, modification, or
reversal by the appellate court when appealed.
3) Recent supervening events in the form of press pronouncement by
Senators Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada to the effect that their
cooperation were co-opted by Malacaang for the conviction of
impeached Chied Justice Renato Corono. Resolve whether the
judgment of conviction is a valid judgment in the light of the
supervening event.
Ans.

4) Did the letters of Atty. Estelito Mendoza affected the finality of decision
rendered in the FASAP case? Why or why not?
Ans.
5) In the league of Cities case were the changes in the violation or
disposition of the case an actual instance of flip-flopping? why or
why not?
Ans.
Yes. During the 11th Congress, Congress enacted into law 33 bills converting 33
municipalities into cities. However, Congress did not act on bills converting 24 other
municipalities into cities.
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On 18 November 2008, the Court rendered a decision declaring unconstitutional the 16


Cityhood Laws. The decision became final after the denial of two motions for
reconsideration filed by the 16 municipalities. An Entry of Judgment was made on 21
May 2009. The decision was executed (1) when the Department of Budget and
Management issued LBM (Local Budget Memorandum) No. 61 on 30 June 2009,
providing for the final Internal Revenue Allotment for 2009 due to the reversion of 16
newly created cities to municipalities; and (2) when the Commission on Elections issued
Resolution No. 8670 on 22 September 2009, directing that voters in the 16
municipalities shall vote not as cities but as municipalities in the 10 May 2010 elections.
In addition, fourteen Congressmen, having jurisdiction over the 16 respondent
municipalities, filed House Bill 6303 seeking to amend Section 450 of the Local
Government Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 9009. The proposed amendment
was intended to correct the infirmities in the Cityhood Laws as cited by this Court in its
18 November 2008 Decision.2
Subsequently, the Court rendered three more decisions: (1) 21 December 2009,
declaring the Cityhood Laws constitutional; (2) 24 August 2010, declaring the Cityhood
Laws unconstitutional; and (3) 15 February 2011 declaring the Cityhood Laws
constitutional. Clearly, there were three reversals or flip-flops in this case.
6) Do you think there was an abuse of the legal processes resorted to by
Atty. Abrenice (re: Abrenica vs. Law Firm of Abrenica, etc.)? why or
why not?
No . Abuse of legal process is the use of process to accomplish an unlawful purpose;
causing a summons, writ, warrant, mandate, or any other process to issue from a court
in order to accomplish some purpose not intended by the law. It is the use of legal
process by illegal, malicious, or perverted means.
In US Jurisprudence, to prove the tort of abuse of process, the following elements must
be established: (1) a legal procedure set in motion in proper form, even with probable
cause and ultimate success; (2) the procedure is perverted to accomplish an ulterior
purpose for which it was not designed; and (3) a willful act is perpetrated in the use of
process which is not proper in the regular conduct of the proceeding.[i] The test of
abuse of process is whether a judicial process is used to extort or coerce.[ii] The key to
the tort is the improper use of process after its issuance in order to accomplish a
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purpose for which the process was not designed. Thus, it is the purpose for which the
process is used, once issued, that is important in reaching a conclusion.
Petitioners elevated this case to this Court, because they were allegedly denied due
process when the CA rejected their second attempt at the annulment of the Decision of
the RTC and their Humble Motion for Reconsideration. However, the Supreme Court
denied their petition.
They did not abuse the process because it was not proven that they have unlawful
purpose for filing 2 motions for annulment of judgment rendered by the lower courts. It
is in their faithful belief that they were denied of due process. However, the Sps.
Abrenica committed error by pursuing remedies that are no longer available to them.
These are due to their fault and to their own actions, which is why appeal was
dismissed.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------5. League of Cities of the Philippines vs. COMELEC


Summary of Events:

November 18, 2008 Decision Supreme Court En Banc, by majority vote of 6-5,
struck down the subject 16 Cityhood Laws for violating Section 10, Article X of
the 1987 Constitution and the equal protection clause.

March 31, 2009 decision the SC En Banc, again by majority vote of 7-5, denied
the respondents first motion for reconsideration.

April 28, 2009 decision the SC en banc, by a split vote of 6-6, denied the
respondents 2nd motion for reconsideration. Accordingly, the November 18, 2008
decision became final and executory and was recorded in the Book of Entries of
Judgments on May 21, 2009.

June 2, 2009 resolution -

December 21, 2009 decision the Court en banc, by a vote of 6-4, reversed
the November 18, 2008 decision and declared the constitutionality of
the Cityhood Laws in the decision

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August 24, 2010 resolution the SC en banc, by a vote of 7-6, reinstate the
November

18,

2008

decision

declaring

the

Cityhood

laws

UNCONSTITUTIONAL and set aside the December 21, 2009 decision.

February 15, 2011 decision the SC en banc, reversed the August 24, 2010
ruling and declared the Cityhood Laws CONSTITUTIONAL

QUESTION:
In the League of Cities case were the changes in the violation or
disposition of the case an actual instance of flip-flopping? Why or Why not?
Suggested Answer:
YES. This is an actual instance of flip-flopping of the Supreme Court.
According to Oxford English dictionary, flip-flopping is defined as an abrupt
reversal of policy. In the given case, the constitutionality of the Cityhood
Laws was on question. The Supreme Court En Banc, on its November 18,
2008 decision declared the UNCONSTITUTIONALITY of the assailed law.
Subsequently, motions for reconsideration were filed but the Court, on its
April 28, 2009 resolution, upheld the November 18, 2008 decision. The said
decision became final and executory and was ordered to be recorded in the
Book of Entries of Judgments on May 21, 2009. But after the said judgment
was entered into the Book of Entries and Judgments, the Court for the first
time in its December 21, 2009 decision, reversed its ruling and declared the
Cityhood Laws unconstitutional. However when a motion for reconsideration
was filed, the Court reinstated its November 18, 2008 decision and
reaffirmed Cityhood laws as unconstitutional for the second time on its
August 24, 2010 ruling. But the Court changed its mind for the third time
when it declared that the Cityhood Laws are Constitutional in its February
15, 2011.
In light of the foregoing, it is clear that the manner of the Supreme
Court in deciding the given case is an instance of what they called flipflopping.

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-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------7. Compare and analyze the case of (a) Vinuya vs Executive Secretary; (b) Banda vs
Ermita; and (c) Public Interest Center vs. Roxas as to which of them can be
appropriately considered as a class suit.
Answer:
In the case of Vinuya vs Executive Secretary, petitioners are all members of the
Malaya Lolas, a non-stock, non-profit organization registered with SEC established for
the purpose of providing aid to the victims of rape by Japanese military forces in the
Philippines during WWII. The case was filed against the officials of Executive
Department for refusing to espouse their claims for the crimes against humanity and
war crimes committed against Japan and prayed to compel the respondents to espouse
their claims for official apology and other forms of reparations against Japan before the
International Court of Justice (ICJ) and other international tribunals. In this case, the
petitioners cannot file a class suit against Japan. Under the international law, the
exercise of diplomatic protection is the right of the State. As petitioners argue, the State
has a duty to protest its nationals and act on his/her behalf when rights are injured.
However, in this case, there are no sufficient evidence to establish a general
international obligation for States to exercise diplomatic protection of their own
nationals abroad. While rape, sexual slavery, torture and sexual violence are morally
reprehensible as well as legally prohibited under contemporary international law, since
petitioners do not demand the imputation of individual criminal liability but seek to
recover monetary reparations from the state of Japan, there is no non-derogable duty
to institute proceedings against Japan absent the consent of states, an applicable treaty
regime, or a directive by the Security Council.
Likewise, the case of Banda vs Ermita cannot be properly treated as a class suit. When
Executive Order 378 was promulgated removing the exclusive jurisdiction of the
National Printing Office over the printing services requirements of government agencies
and instrumentalities, petitioners in this case filed a class suit in their own behalf and on
behalf of all their co-employees at the National Printing Office whose security of tenure
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as employees of NPO were alleged to be threatened. The necessary elements of class


suit are:
1. The subject matter of controversy is one of common or general interest to many
persons
2. The parties affected are so numerous that it is impracticable to bring them all to
court
3. The parties bringing the class suit are sufficiently numerous or representative of
the class and can fully protect the interests of all concerned.
Class suit is not proper in this case because there are divergence of opinions and views
among the members of the class sought to be represented, and not all are in favor of
filing the suit. The President of NAPOWA filed an Affidavit of Desistance, there is here
an apparent conflict between petitioners interests. The first element of class suit
mentioned above is not present.
In the case of Public Interest Center vs Roxas, the petitioners, as taxpayers, filed
a complaint against the private respondents for declaration of nullity of the BNPP
contract stating that a package of more than $100 Million will be exchanged for the
dismissal with prejudice of the pending lawsuits, appeals and arbitration between the
Republic and NPC on one hand, and Westinghouse, its affiliates and Burns & Roe, on
the other hand. OSG moved for dismissal of the complaint on the ground that
petitioners were engaged in forum-shopping because their counsel previously filed
cases with causes of action identical thereto. Petitioners assert that a taxpayers suit is
not a class suit, because the first set of cases and the present case do not have identity
of parties since they were not amonf the petitioners in the former, hence, judgment in
one case does not amount to res judicata in the other. However, it was held that a
taxpayers bill is essentially a class bill and can only be filed in the common interest of
all the taxpayers of the municipality. The suits filed by the plaintiffs are brought as a
citizen and taxpayer, besides as an individual, and therefore they are taxpayer class
actions. In class actions, a judgment in favor of or against the parties representing the
general class is, under the doctrine of res judicata, in favor of or against all who are
thus represented applies to litigations instituted by taxpayers. Accordingly, in a suit
brought by citizens and taxpayers to determine a public right or a matter of public
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interest, all citizens and taxpayers are regarded as parties to the proceedings by
representations and are bound by the judgment rendered therein. The dismissal of the
complaint on the ground of forum shopping was held in order.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------4) DID THE LETTERS OF ATTY. ESTELITO MENDOZA AFFECTED THE FINALITY OF THE
DECISION RENDERED IN FASAP CASE? WHY OR WHY NOT?
Yes, the members of the ruling division saw problems which indicated that the ruling
division had no authority to rule on the case.
The Sept. 11 2011 resolution was recalled and case was referred to court en banc for
ruling on the question asked by Mendoza which is the consequence, of course, of a
failure to recall their ruling was for resolution to lapse to finality, after finality, any recall
for lack of jurisdiction of the ruling division might not be understood by the parties and
could lead change to flip flopping against the court
The court en banc ordered the re-raffle to determine the propriety of the Sept. 11, 2011
resolution, given the facts that came to light after the ruling division examination of
records, such recalling was not on the merits and did not constitute the reversal of
substantive issue already decided upon by the court.
It was done to remove any doubt about validity of the ruling division action on the case
and it could be brought to court en banc since it is one of sufficient importance and
involves the interpretation of conflicting provision of IRSC with potential jurisdictional
implication.
Court en banc assumed jurisdiction over the resolution of merits of motion for
reconsideration.
Philippine airlines Inc. Motion to vacate has been rendered moot and academic after a
recall had been made.
---------------------------------------------------------------8. DE CASTRO vs. JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL
Summary of the Case:
Two constitutional provisions are seemingly in conflict.
The first, Section 15, Article VII (Executive Department), provides:
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Section 15. Two months immediately before the next presidential


elections and up to the end of his term, a President or Acting President
shall

not

make

appointments, except

temporary

appointments

to

executive positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public


service or endanger public safety.
The other, Section 4 (1), Article VIII (Judicial Department), states:
Section 4. (1). The Supreme Court shall be composed of a Chief
Justice and fourteen Associate Justices. It may sit en banc or in its
discretion, in division of three, five, or seven Members. Any vacancy shall
be filled within ninety days from the occurrence thereof.
March 17, 2010 Decision - WHEREFORE, the Court:
Dismisses the petitions for certiorari and mandamus in G.R. No. 191002

1.

and G.R. No. 191149, and the petition for mandamus in G.R. No. 191057 for being
premature;
2.

Dismisses the petitions for prohibition in G.R. No. 191032 and G.R. No.

191342 for lack of merit;and


3.

Grants the petition in A.M. No. 10-2-5-SC and, accordingly, directs the

Judicial and Bar Council:


(a) To resume its proceedings for the nomination of candidates to fill the
vacancy to be created by the compulsory retirement of Chief Justice Reynato S.
Puno byMay 17, 2010;
(b) To prepare the short list of nominees for the position of Chief Justice;
(c) To submit to the incumbent President the short list of nominees for
the position of Chief Justice on or before May 17, 2010; and
(d) To continue its proceedings for the nomination of candidates to fill
other vacancies in the Judiciary and submit to the President the short
list of nominees corresponding thereto in accordance with this
decision.
SO ORDERED.
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QUESTION:
Decide whether the ruling made by the Supreme Court in De Castro vs.
Judicial and Bar Council is an acceptable ruling. Why or why not?
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Yes.

The Court in holding that Article VII Section 15 of the 1987

Constitution does not prohibit the President to appoint a Chief Justice and
that its prohibition applies only to the appointment in executive and not to
the judiciary department is an acceptable ruling. Also, the Courts ruling that
Article VIII Section 4(1) stand independently of any other provision is in
accordance with the intent of the framers, thus, an acceptable ruling.
Indeed,

it

is

axiomatic

in

statutory

construction

that

the

ascertainment of the purpose of the enactment is a step in the process of


ascertaining the intent or meaning of the enactment, because the reason for
the enactment must necessarily shed considerable light on the law of the
statute, i.e., the intent; hence, the enactment should be construed with
reference to its intended scope and purpose, and the court should seek to
carry out this purpose rather than to defeat it.
Moreover, the Court in departing from the ruling in Valenzuela is
correct because in our system judicial precedents are not always strictly and
rigidly followed.

A judicial pronouncement in an earlier decision may be

followed as precedent in a subsequent case only when its reasoning and


justification are relevant, and the court in the latter case accepts such
reasoning and justification to be applicable to the case. The application of
the precedent is for the sake of convenience and stability. Moreover, the
Constitution itself recognizes the innate authority of the Court en banc to
modify or reverse a doctrine or principle of law laid down in any decision
rendered en banc or in division. (De Castro vs. JBC April 20,2010)
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-----------------------------------------------------------------------------1. The more correct disposition of the controversy subject matter of the case lies in
the main decision of the Supreme Court in Belgica v. Ochoa. In this case, the
Supreme Court has clearly explained all the requisites of judicial review. It tacitly
proved that the contention of the respondent that the case is moot has no legal
grounds to stand on account that the case falls under the exception of the
mootness doctrine. The Court has tacitly upheld the transcendental importance
of the case which concerns paramount public interest that cannot be ignored by
the Court.
While on the substantive issues, the Court has consistently ruled on the
unconstitutionality of the 2013 PDAF Articles, CDF Articles including the past and
present legal provisions involving the said assailed PDAF system. It therefore
ruled in a logical and detailed manner the UNCONSTITUTIONALITY of the Pork
Barrel System on the following grounds:

Its inherent defects in the rules within which it operates, allowing


legislators to wield, in varying gradations, non-oversight, post-enactment
authority in vital areas of budget execution;

It violated the doctrine of separation of powers insofar as it has conferred


unto legislators the power of appropriation by giving them personal,
discretionary funds from which they are able to fund specific projects
which they themselves determine;

It violates the non- delegability of legislative power in insofar as it has


created a system of budgeting wherein items are not textualized into the
appropriations bill;

it has flouted the prescribed procedure of presentment and, in the


process, denied the President the power to veto items insofar as it has
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diluted the effectiveness of congressional oversight by giving legislators a


stake in the affairs of budget execution;

It has equally impaired public accountability insofar as it has authorized


legislators, who are national officers, to intervene in affairs of purely local
nature, despite the existence of capable local institutions;

It subverted genuine local autonomy in so far as as it has conferred to the


President the power to appropriate funds intended by law for energyrelated purposes only to other purposes he may deem fit as well as other
public funds under the broad classification of "priority infrastructure
development projects.

In view of the foregoing, the Supreme Court has fulfilled its duty under the
Constitution to settle actual case and controversy involving rights which are legally
demandable and to determine whether the there has been a grave abuse of discretion
in any instrumentality of the government. The main decision pertains with the
usurpation of executive function by the legislature in the budget process, while the
resolution involves the usurpation of legislatures prerogative by the executive in the
implementation of the DAP.
In the said resolution, the Supreme Court is inconsistent, in so far as it has
reversed some of its ruling on the basis of the motion for reconsideration of the
respondents. I have nothing against with the Courts way of deciding cases; however,
there are times that the latter gives undue favors with the other department. In other
words, the Supreme Court gives more favor to Executive than Legislature insofar as the
two cases are being compared.

----------------------------------------------------------------3) Recent supervening events in the form of press pronouncement by Senators Bong
Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada to the effect that their cooperation were co-opted by
Malacaang for the conviction of impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona Resolve
whether the judgment of conviction is a valid judgment in the light of the supervening
event.
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-According to Senator Bong Revilla Malacanang particularly the President personally


asked for the conviction of Former Chief Justice Corona in 2012. He said that he was
invited to the Bahay Pangarap at the Malacanang complex for a meeting when Coronas
impeachment trial at the senate was about to conclude.
He explained that the President asked him a favor by voting for the conviction of CJ
Corona because it will be a vital part of their plans.
Moreover Senator Jinggoy Estrada also claims that each Senator who will vote for the
conviction of former CJ Corona will receive an additional P50M in discretionary funds
which was facilitated by then Senate Finance Committee Chairman Senator Franklin
Drilon in a private and confidential letter.
In answering the question whether the judgment of conviction is valid in the light of
the events stated above the answer is still YES.
Unless they can substantiate and provide evidence in support of their claims all they will
have would only be allegations that will have no effect on the validity of the judgment
against former CJ Corona .
Still the impeachment of CJ Corona was achieved thru the proper impeachment
proceedings which was decided by 2/3 of the Senates votes which was 16 but the
results were 20/3 in favor of conviction.

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