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SUGGESTED ANSWERS

TO BAR EXAMINATION
IN

POLITICAL LAW
ARRANGED BY TOPIC

(1987 – 2006)
Edited and Arranged by:
Atty. Janette Laggui-Icao and
Atty. Alex Andrew P. Icao
(Silliman University College of Law)
July 26, 2005

Updated by:
Romualdo L. Señeris II, LLB.
April 19, 2007

From the ANSWERS TO BAR EXAMINATION QUESTIONS


in POLITICAL LAW by the
UP LAW COMPLEX and
PHILIPPINE ASSOCIATION OF LAW SCHOOLS

BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 1


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The Authors

BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 2


TABLE OF CONTENTS
1987 CONSTITUTION OF THE PHILIPPINES ................................................................... 14
Phil Con 87; New Features (1991)..................................................................................... 14
Phil Con 87; People Power (1987)..................................................................................... 14
Phil Con 87; People Power (2000)..................................................................................... 15
Phil Con 87; People Power (2003)..................................................................................... 15
Nature of the Constitution: Constitutional Supremacy (2004) ....................................... 15
Government Presidential Form vs. Parliamentary Form (Q6-2006)............................. 15
ARTICLE I National Territory........................................................................................... 16
Archipelagic Doctrine (1989)............................................................................................... 16
Contiguous Zone vs. Exclusive Economic Zone (2004)................................................. 16
Exclusive Economic Zone; Rights of the Coastal State (1994)..................................... 16
Exclusive Economic Zone; Rights of the Coastal State (Q1-2005) .............................. 17
Flag State vs. Flag of Convenience (2004) ...................................................................... 17
Territory & Government (1996)........................................................................................... 17
Territorial Sea vs. Internal Waters (2004)......................................................................... 17
ARTICLE II Declaration of Principles and State Policies.......................................... 18
Armed Forces; Servant of the People (2003)................................................................... 18
Doctrine of Incorporation; Constitutional Law (1997)...................................................... 18
Doctrine of Incorporation; Pacta Sunt Servanda (2000)................................................. 18
Freedom from Nuclear Weapons; Foreign Military Bases (1988)................................. 18
Philippine Flag (Q4-2006).................................................................................................... 19
Principle of Civilian Supremacy (Q6-2006)....................................................................... 19
State Immunity from Suit (1991)......................................................................................... 19
State Immunity from Suit (1996)......................................................................................... 20
State Immunity from Suit (1989)........................................................................................ 20
State Immunity from Suit (1994)......................................................................................... 21
State Immunity from Suit (1992)......................................................................................... 21
State Immunity from Suit (1999)......................................................................................... 22
State Immunity from Suit (1999)......................................................................................... 22
State Immunity from Suit (1987)......................................................................................... 22
State Immunity vs. Waiver of Immunity (1997) ................................................................ 22
State Immunity from Suit (1993)......................................................................................... 23
State Principles & Policies (1994) ...................................................................................... 23
Transparency; Matters of Public Interest (1989).............................................................. 24
Transparency; Matters of Public Interest (2000).............................................................. 25
ARTICLE III Bill of Rights ................................................................................................... 25
Bill of Attainder (1987).......................................................................................................... 25
Bill of Attainder (1990).......................................................................................................... 26
Custodial Investigation; Extrajudicial Confession (2001) ............................................... 26
Custodial Investigation; Extrajudicial Confession; Police Line-Up (1994) ................... 26
Custodial Investigation; Police Line-Up (1997) ................................................................ 27
Custodial Investigation; Right to Counsel (1988) ............................................................ 27
Custodial Investigation; Right to Counsel (1993) ............................................................ 27
Custodial Investigation; Right to Counsel (2000) ............................................................ 28
Custodial Investigation; Right to Counsel; Receipt of Property Seized (2002)........... 28
Custodial Investigation; Rights (1990)............................................................................... 29
Custodial Investigation; Rights (1993)............................................................................... 29
Custodial Investigation; Rights (1996)............................................................................... 30
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 3
Double Jeopardy (1988) ...................................................................................................... 30
Double Jeopardy (1993) ...................................................................................................... 31
Double Jeopardy (1997) ...................................................................................................... 31
Double Jeopardy (1999) ...................................................................................................... 32
Double Jeopardy (1999) ...................................................................................................... 32
Double Jeopardy (2000) ...................................................................................................... 32
Double Jeopardy (2001) ...................................................................................................... 32
Double Jeopardy (2002) ...................................................................................................... 33
Double Jeopardy; Requisites (1999) ................................................................................. 33
Due Process; Absence of Denial (1999)........................................................................... 33
Due Process; Deportation (1994)....................................................................................... 34
Due Process; Forfeiture Proceedings (1993)................................................................... 35
Due Process; Media Coverage during Hearing (1996)................................................... 35
Due Process; Meeting vs. Hearing (1999)........................................................................ 35
Due Process; Notice by Publication (1988) ...................................................................... 35
Due Process; Permit to Carry Firearm Outside Residence (Q6-2006) ........................ 36
Due Process; PPA-Pilots (2001) ........................................................................................ 36
Due Process; Procedural vs. Substantive (1999)............................................................ 37
Due Process; Provisional Order (1991) ............................................................................ 37
Due Process; Public School Teachers (2002) ................................................................. 37
Due Process; Radio Station (1987) ................................................................................... 38
Due Process; Represented by a Non-Lawyer (1988) ..................................................... 38
Due Process; Substantive (2003) ...................................................................................... 38
Due Process; Suspension of Driver's License (1992)..................................................... 38
Due Process; Urgent Public Need (1987)......................................................................... 39
Eminent Domain; Garnishment (1994).............................................................................. 39
Eminent Domain; Garnishment (1998).............................................................................. 40
Eminent Domain; immunity from suit (2001) .................................................................... 40
Eminent Domain; Indirect Public Benefit (1990) .............................................................. 40
Eminent Domain; Just Compensation (1988) .................................................................. 40
Eminent Domain; Just Compensation (1989) .................................................................. 41
Eminent Domain; Just Compensation (1998) .................................................................. 41
Eminent Domain; Legal Interest (1993) ............................................................................ 41
Eminent Domain; Non-observance of the policy of "all or none" (2000)...................... 42
Eminent Domain; Power to Exercise (2005) .................................................................... 42
Eminent Domain; Public Use (1987).................................................................................. 42
Eminent Domain; Socialized Housing (1996)................................................................... 43
Eminent Domain; Writ of Possession (1993).................................................................... 43
Equal Protection; Alien Employment (1989)..................................................................... 44
Equal Protection; Invidious Discrimination (1987)........................................................... 44
Equal Protection; Invidious Discrimination (1987)........................................................... 45
Equal Protection; Police Power (2000).............................................................................. 45
Equal Protection; Right to Education (1994) .................................................................... 45
Equal Protection; Subsidiary Imprisonment (1989)......................................................... 45
Freedom of Expression; Censorship (2003)..................................................................... 46
Freedom of Expression; Prior Restraint (1988) ............................................................... 46
Freedom of Religion; Convicted Prisoners (1989) .......................................................... 46
Freedom of Religion; Flag Salute (1997) .......................................................................... 47
Freedom of Religion; Flag Salute (2003) .......................................................................... 48
Freedom of Religion; Non-Establishment Clause (1988)............................................... 48
Freedom of Religion; Non-Establishment Clause (1992)............................................... 48
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 4
Freedom of Religion; Non-Establishment Clause (1997)............................................... 49
Freedom of Speech; Ban on Tobacco AD (1992) ........................................................... 49
Freedom of the Press; Actual Malice (2004) .................................................................... 50
Freedom of the Press; Wartime Censorship (1987)........................................................ 50
Impairment Clause; Basic Human Rights (1992) ............................................................ 51
Involuntary Servitude (1993)............................................................................................... 51
Liberty of Abode; Limitations (1998) .................................................................................. 51
Liberty of Abode; Temporary (1996).................................................................................. 52
Non-Imprisonment for Non-Payment of Debt (1993) ...................................................... 52
Police Power; Abatement of Nuisance (2004) ................................................................. 52
Police Power; Ban on Tobacco AD (1992) ....................................................................... 52
Police Power; Zoning Ordinance vs. Non-Impairment of Contracts (1989) ................ 53
Police Power; Zoning Ordinance vs. Non-Impairment of Contracts (2001) ................ 53
Privacy of Communication (2001) ...................................................................................... 53
Privacy of Correspondence (1998) .................................................................................... 54
Privacy of Correspondence; Jail (1989) ............................................................................ 54
Right to Assembly; Permit Application; Freedom Parks (Q2-2006).............................. 54
Right to Assembly; Permit Requirements (1992) ........................................................... 55
Right to Assembly; Public Teachers (2000) ..................................................................... 55
Right to Assembly; Public Teachers (2002) ..................................................................... 56
Right to Travel; Order of Arrest (1991).............................................................................. 56
Rights of the Accused; Counsel of his Choice (Q8-2005).............................................. 56
Rights of the Accused; Presumption of Innocence vs. Presumption of Theft (2004) 57
Rights of the Accused; Right to Bail (1993)...................................................................... 57
Rights of the Accused; Right to Bail; Capital Offense (Q4-2006) ................................. 58
Rights of the Accused; Right to Bail; Deportation Case (1989) .................................... 58
Rights of the Accused; Right to Bail; Matter of Right or a Matter of Discretion (Q7-
2005)....................................................................................................................................... 58
Rights of the Accused; Right to Speedy Trial (2000) ...................................................... 59
Rights of the Accused; Self-Incrimination (1988) ............................................................ 59
Rights of the Accused; Self-Incrimination (1990) ............................................................ 59
Rights of the Accused; Self-Incrimination (1992) ............................................................ 60
Rights of the Accused; Self-Incrimination (2000) ............................................................ 60
Rights of the Accused; Self-Incrimination (Q7-2006)...................................................... 61
Searches and Seizure; Private Individuals (Q8-2005)................................................... 61
Searches and Seizures; Aliens (2001) .............................................................................. 61
Searches and Seizures; Breathalyzer Test (1992).......................................................... 62
Searches and Seizures; Immediate Control (1987) ........................................................ 62
Searches and Seizures; Incidental to Valid Search (1990) ........................................... 62
Searches and Seizures; Place of Search (2001)............................................................. 63
Searches and Seizures; search made by a private citizen (1993)................................ 63
Searches and Seizures; search made by a private citizen (2002)................................ 64
Searches and Seizures; Valid Warrantless Search (2000)............................................ 64
Searches and Seizures; Visual Search (1992) ................................................................ 65
Searches and Seizures; Waiver of Consent (1989) ........................................................ 65
Searches and Seizures; Warrantless Arrests (1993)...................................................... 66
Searches and Seizures; Warrants of Arrest (1991) ........................................................ 66
ARTICLE IV Citizenship ..................................................................................................... 66
Action for Cancellation; Prescription & Effect of Death (1994)...................................... 66
Citizenship; Elected Official (1993) .................................................................................... 67
Dual Allegiance vs. Dual Citizenship (1987) .................................................................... 67
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 5
Dual Allegiance vs. Dual Citizenship (1988) .................................................................... 68
Dual Citizenship (1994)........................................................................................................ 68
Effect of Marriage; Filipino (1989)..................................................................................... 69
Effect of Oath of Allegiance (2004) .................................................................................... 69
Effect of Repatriation (1999) ............................................................................................... 70
Effect of Repatriation (2002) ............................................................................................... 70
Effect of Repatriation (2003) ............................................................................................... 70
Effects of Marriages (1999)................................................................................................. 70
Effects of Philippine Bill of 1902 (2001) ............................................................................ 71
Elected Official (1992).......................................................................................................... 71
Electing Philippine Citizenship (Q8-2006) ........................................................................ 71
Electing Philippine Citizenship; When Proper (Q8-2006)............................................... 72
Natural Born Filipino (1989) ................................................................................................ 72
Natural Born Filipino (1998) ................................................................................................ 72
Natural-Born Filipino(1993) ................................................................................................. 73
Naturalization; Cancellation of Citizenship (1998)........................................................... 73
Residency Requirements; Elective Official (Q9-2005).................................................... 73
Status; Illegitimate Child (1990).......................................................................................... 74
Status; Illegitimate Child; Dual Citizenship (1996) .......................................................... 74
Status; Legitimate Child (2003) .......................................................................................... 74
Ways of Reacquiring Citizenship (2000)........................................................................... 75
ARTICLE VI Legislative Department .............................................................................. 75
Appropriation of Public Funds (1988) ................................................................................ 75
Appropriation of Public Funds; Debt Servicing (1992).................................................... 75
Appropriation of Public Funds; Public Purposes (1988)................................................. 75
Commission on Appointments (2002) ............................................................................... 76
Delegation of Powers (2002) .............................................................................................. 76
Delegation of Powers; (Q6-2005)....................................................................................... 76
Delegation of Powers; Completeness Test; Sufficient Standard Test (Q6-2005) ...... 77
Discipline; Modes of Removal (1993)............................................................................... 77
Discipline; Suspension of a Member of the Congress (2002) ....................................... 77
Elected Official; De Facto Officer (2004) .......................................................................... 78
Electoral Tribunal; HRET Members’ Right & Responsibilities (2002) .......................... 78
Electoral Tribunal; Senate; Jurisdiction (1990) ................................................................ 79
Foreign Affairs; Role of House of Rep (1996) .................................................................. 79
Foreign Affairs; Role of Senate (1994).............................................................................. 79
Investigations in Aid of Legislation (1992) ........................................................................ 79
Law Making; Process & Publication (1993) ...................................................................... 80
Law-Making; Appropriation Bill (1996) .............................................................................. 80
Law-Making; Appropriation Law; Automatic Renewal & Power of Augmentation
(1998)...................................................................................................................................... 80
Law-Making; Appropriation Law; Rider Provision (2001) ............................................... 81
Law-Making; Foreign Affairs; Treaties (1996) .................................................................. 81
Law-Making; Overriding the Presidential Veto (1991) .................................................... 81
Law-Making; Passage of a Law (1988)............................................................................. 82
Legislative Power; Pres. Aquino’s Time (1990) ............................................................... 82
Legislative Powers (1989) ................................................................................................... 82
Loans Extended to Members of Congress (1991)........................................................... 82
Multi-Party System (1999)................................................................................................... 83
Non-Legislative Powers (1988) .......................................................................................... 83
Non-Legislative Powers; Emergency Powers; Requisites (1997)................................. 83
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 6
Prohibitions and Inhibitions of Public Office (2004)......................................................... 83
Qualifications; Congressmen (1988) ................................................................................. 84
Qualifications; Congressmen; (1993) ................................................................................ 84
Qualifications; Congressmen; (1999) ................................................................................ 85
Separation of Powers (1988) .............................................................................................. 85
Separation of Powers (2003) .............................................................................................. 85
Three-Term Limit: Congressmen (1996)........................................................................... 86
Three-Term Limit; Congressmen (2001)........................................................................... 86
ARTICLE VII Executive Department ................................................................................ 86
Appointing Power; Acting vs. Permanent Appointment (2003) ..................................... 86
Appointing Power; ad interim appointments (1991) ........................................................ 86
Appointing Power; Ad Interim Appointments (1994) ....................................................... 87
Appointing Power; Appointments Requiring Confirmation; RA 6975-Unconstitutional
(2002)...................................................................................................................................... 87
Appointing Power; Categories of Officials (1999)............................................................ 88
Appointing Power; Kinds of Appointments (1994)........................................................... 88
Appointing Power; Limitations on Presidential Appointments (1997)........................... 89
Appointing Powers; Ad Interim Appointments (Q4-2005) .............................................. 90
Cabinet Members; limitation on accepting additional duties (1996) ............................. 90
Calling-out Power; President (Q1-2006) ........................................................................... 91
Declaration; State of Calamity; Legal Effects (Q1-2005)................................................ 91
Declaration; State of National Emergency (Q1-2006) .................................................... 91
Enter into Contract or Guarantee Foreign Loans (1994)................................................ 91
Enter into Contract or Guarantee Foreign Loans (1999)................................................ 92
Enter into Executive Agreements (2003) .......................................................................... 92
Impose Tariff Rates, Import and Export Quotas (1999).................................................. 92
Martial Law & Suspension of Writ of Habeas Corpus (1987) ........................................ 92
Martial Law; Limitations (2000).......................................................................................... 93
Martial Law; Sufficiency of the Factual Basis (Q3-2006)................................................ 94
Pardoning Power; Amnesty (1993) .................................................................................... 95
Pardoning Power; Amnesty (1995) .................................................................................... 95
Pardoning Power; Breach of Condition; Revocation (Q5-2005).................................... 95
Pardoning Power; Exec Clemency; Pardon (1995)......................................................... 95
Pardoning Power; Executive Clemency (1997) ............................................................... 96
Pardoning Power; Executive Clemency (1999) ............................................................... 96
Pardoning Power; Kinds (1988).......................................................................................... 96
Pardoning Power; Pardon, Conditional (1997) ................................................................ 97
President; Participation; Legislative Process (1996)....................................................... 97
Presidential Immunity from Suit (1997) ............................................................................. 97
Prohibition Against Multiple Positions & Additional Compensation (2002) ................. 97
Prohibition against Multiple Positions by Gov’t Officials (1987) .................................... 98
Suspension of Writ of Habeas Corpus (1997).................................................................. 99
ARTICLE VIII Judicial Department .................................................................................... 99
Cases to be Heard En Banc; Supreme Court (1999)...................................................... 99
Contempt Powers (1996)..................................................................................................... 99
Finality of Void Judgments (1993)...................................................................................... 99
Fiscal Autonomy (1999)..................................................................................................... 100
Function; Continuing Constitutional Convention (2000) ............................................... 100
Issuance of Restraining Orders and Injunctions (1992) ............................................... 100
Judicial & Bar Council (1988)............................................................................................ 101
Judicial & Bar Council (1999)............................................................................................ 101
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 7
Judicial Department; Writ of Amparo (1991) .................................................................. 101
Judicial Independence; Safeguard (2000) ...................................................................... 101
Judicial Power (1989)......................................................................................................... 102
Judicial Power (1992)......................................................................................................... 102
Judicial Power (1998)......................................................................................................... 103
Judicial Power; Scope (1994) ........................................................................................... 103
Judicial Review; Locus Standi (1992).............................................................................. 104
Judicial Review; Requisites (1994) .................................................................................. 104
Jurisdiction of HLURB (1993) ........................................................................................... 104
Mandatory Period For Deciding Cases (1989)............................................................... 105
Political Question (1995).................................................................................................... 105
Political Question Doctrine (1997).................................................................................... 105
Political Question: Separation of Powers (2004) ........................................................... 106
Political Question; To Settle Actual Controversies (2004) ........................................... 106
Political Questions (1988).................................................................................................. 106
Pro Hac Vice Cases (1999)............................................................................................... 107
Removal of Lower Court Judges (1993) ......................................................................... 107
Review Executive Acts (1996) .......................................................................................... 107
Supervision; Courts & its Personnel (Q5-2005)............................................................. 108
Taxpayer's Suit; Locus Standi (1995).............................................................................. 108
Term of Office; Justices (1996) ........................................................................................ 108
Votes required for declaring a law unconstitutional (1996) .......................................... 109
ARTICLE IX Constitutional Commissions .................................................................. 109
Rotational Scheme (1999)................................................................................................. 109
Constitutional Commissions & Council (Q7-2006) ........................................................ 109
ARTICLE IX Civil Service Commission........................................................................ 109
Career Service; Characteristics (1999) ........................................................................... 109
Civil Service Commission vs. COA (2004) ..................................................................... 109
Function of CSC (1994) ..................................................................................................... 110
GOCCs Without Original Charter vs. GOCCs With Original Charter (1998)............. 110
Jurisdiction over the GOCCs (1999)................................................................................ 111
Jurisdiction over the GOCCs (2003)................................................................................ 111
Modes of Removal from Office (1993) ............................................................................ 111
Receiving of Indirect Compensation (1997) ................................................................... 111
Security of Tenure (1988).................................................................................................. 112
Security of Tenure (Q5-2005) ........................................................................................... 112
Security of Tenure; Meaning (1999) ................................................................................ 113
ARTICLE IX COMELEC .................................................................................................... 113
Electoral Tribunal; Functions & Composition (Q5-2006) .............................................. 113
Fair Election; Equal Space & Time in Media (1989) ..................................................... 113
Grant of Pardon in Election Offenses (1991) ................................................................. 114
Judicial Review of Decisions (2001) ................................................................................ 114
Removal from Office; Commissioners (1998) ................................................................ 114
Right to Vote; Jurisdiction (2001) ..................................................................................... 114
Election Laws ........................................................................................................................ 114
2nd Placer Rule (2003)..................................................................................................... 114
2nd Placer Rule (1990) ...................................................................................................... 115
2nd Placer Rule; in Quo Warranto Cases (1992) .......................................................... 115
2nd Placer Rule; Rule of Succession (1996) ................................................................ 115
Appreciation of Ballots (1994)........................................................................................... 116
Disqualification; Grounds (1991) ...................................................................................... 116
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 8
Disualifications (1999)........................................................................................................ 116
Effect of Filing of Certificate of Candidacy; Appointive Officer vs Elective Officer
(2002).................................................................................................................................... 116
Effect of Filing of Certificate of Candidacy; Fair Election Act (2003).......................... 117
Election Offenses; Conspiracy to Bribe Voters (1991) ................................................. 117
Election Protest (1990) ...................................................................................................... 117
Election Protest vs. Quo Warranto (2001) ...................................................................... 118
Election Protest vs. Quo Warranto (Q5-2006) ............................................................... 118
Election Protest; Jurisdiction (1996) ................................................................................ 118
Expiration of term bars service thereof (2000)............................................................... 118
Petition to Declare Failure of Elections; Requisites & Effects (1995)......................... 118
Pre-Proclamation Contest (1987)..................................................................................... 119
Pre-Proclamation Contest (1988)..................................................................................... 119
Pre-Proclamation Contest vs. Election Contests (1997) .............................................. 120
Pre-Proclamation Contest; Proper Issues (1996).......................................................... 121
Process; Illiterate Voters (1987) ....................................................................................... 121
Process; Principle of Idem Sonans (1994) ..................................................................... 121
Process; Stray Ballot (1994) ............................................................................................. 121
Recall (2002) ....................................................................................................................... 122
Three-Term Limit Rule (2001) .......................................................................................... 122
Three-Term Limit; from Municipality to Newly-Created City (Q9-2005).................... 122
Vacancy; Effect of Vice-Mayor Acting As Mayor (2002)............................................... 123
Vacancy; Rule of Succession (1995)............................................................................... 123
Vacancy; SB; Rule on Succession (2002) ...................................................................... 124
ARTICLE IX Commission on Audit ............................................................................... 124
COA; Jurisdiction (2001).................................................................................................... 124
COA; Money Claims (1998) .............................................................................................. 124
ARTICLE X Local Government ..................................................................................... 125
Appointment of Budget Officer; control vs supervision (1999) .................................... 125
Boundary Dispute Resolution; LGU; RTC’s Jurisdiction (Q10-2005)........................ 126
Boundary Dispute Settlement; Authority; Jurisdiction (1999) ...................................... 126
Creation of New Local Government Units; Plebiscite Requirement (2004) .............. 126
De Facto Public Corporations; Effect (2004).................................................................. 126
Devolution of Power (1999)............................................................................................... 126
Franchise; prior approval of LGU necessary (1988) ..................................................... 126
Law fixing the terms of local elective officials (Q4-2006) ............................................. 127
Ordinance; Use & Lease of Properties; Public Use (1997).......................................... 127
Ordinance; Validity; Closure or Lease of Properties for Public Use (2003) .............. 127
Ordinance; Validity; Compensation; Tortuous Act of an Employee (1994) ............... 127
Ordinance; Validity; Local Taxation vs. Special Assessment (1987) ......................... 128
Ordinance; Validity; Preventing Immorality (1987) ........................................................ 128
Ordinance; Validity; Utilization & Development; National Wealth (1991) .................. 128
Ordinances; Validity; Amending Nat’l Laws (1988) ....................................................... 128
Ordinances; Validity; Gambling Prohibition (1995)........................................................ 129
Ordinances; Validity; Limitation of Penalties (1991) ..................................................... 129
Ordinances; Veto Power (1996) ....................................................................................... 129
Police Power; LLDA (1995)............................................................................................... 130
Power to Issue Subpoena & Cite For Contempt (1993) ............................................... 130
Power; Eminent Domain; LGU; Right to Exercise (Q10-2005).................................... 131
Powers of Barangay Assembly (2003) ............................................................................ 131
Powers; Liga ng mga Barangay (2003)........................................................................... 131
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 9
Requisites; Contracts Involving LGU (1991) .................................................................. 131
Requisites; Contracts involving LGU (1995) .................................................................. 132
Taxation; GOCC Liability For Real Estate Tax (1999).................................................. 132
Taxation; Sources of Revenue (1999)............................................................................. 132
Withdrawal of Public Property from Public Use (1990)................................................. 132
ARTICLE XI Accountability of Public Officers........................................................... 133
Abandonment of Office (2000).......................................................................................... 133
Discipline; Clemency; Doctrine of Condonation (2000) ................................................ 133
Discipline; Effect of Pardon Granted in Favor of Public Officers (1999) .................... 134
Discipline; Preventive Suspension & Appeal; entitlement to salary pendente (2001)
............................................................................................................................................... 134
Discipline; Preventive Suspension (1990) ...................................................................... 134
Discipline; Preventive Suspension (2002) ...................................................................... 135
Elective and Appointive Officials: disciplinary authority (2004) ................................... 135
Elective Public Officer; De Facto Officer (2000) ............................................................ 135
Elective Public Officers; De Facto Officer; effects (2004) ............................................ 136
Graft and Corruption; Prescription of Crime (2002) ...................................................... 136
Impeachment; Cronyism (2000) ....................................................................................... 137
Impeachment; Grounds (1999)......................................................................................... 137
Impeachment; Nature; Grounds; PD 1606 (1988)......................................................... 137
Law of Public Officers; Next-in-Rank Rule (1994)......................................................... 137
Liability For Damages in Performance of Official Functions (1990) ........................... 138
Local Elective Officials; Limitations On Additional Duties (1995) ............................... 139
Ombudsman: Power to Suspend; Preventive Suspension (2004) ............................. 139
Ombudsman; Power to Investigate (2003) ..................................................................... 139
Ombudsman; Power to Suspend; Preventive Suspension (1996) ............................. 140
Power to Issue Subpoena; validity of delegation (1989) .............................................. 140
Prohibition On Elective Officer to Hold Public Office (2002)........................................ 140
Public Office; Public Trust (1998)..................................................................................... 140
Retirement Benefits (1996) ............................................................................................... 141
ARTICLE XII National Economy and Patrimony......................................................... 142
Acquisition and Lease of Public Lands (1998)............................................................... 142
Acquisition of Lands (1987)............................................................................................... 142
Acquisition of Lands (2000)............................................................................................... 143
Acquisition of Lands by Hereditary Succession (2002) ................................................ 143
Acquisition of Lands; Citizenship issue (1989) .............................................................. 143
Acquisition of Lands; Citizenship issue (1994) .............................................................. 144
Acquisition of Lands; Citizenship issue (1995) .............................................................. 144
Acquisition of Lands; Prohibition; acquisition of private lands by aliens (1994) ....... 145
Citizenship Requirement in Management of Advertising Industry (1989) ................. 145
Engagement in Business & Exercise of Profession (1987).......................................... 145
Exploration and Development of Minerals (1994) ......................................................... 146
Expropriation of Public Utilities (1992) ............................................................................ 146
Lease of Private Agricultural Lands (2001) .................................................................... 146
National Economy & Patrimony; Constitutional Prohibition (2004)............................. 147
National Patrimony; definition (1999) .............................................................................. 147
Nationalized Activities (1994)............................................................................................ 147
Ownership Requirement of Mass Media (1989) ............................................................ 148
Chinese citizens; engaging in retail trade (Q4-2006).................................................... 148
Exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources (Q4-2006) ............... 148
ARTICLE XIII Social Justice and Human Rights ......................................................... 148
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 10
Agrarian Reform Law; Coverage (1992) ......................................................................... 148
Commission on Human Rights; Power to investigate (1992) ...................................... 149
Commission on Human Rights; Power to issue TRO (1997) ...................................... 149
Commission on Human Rights; Power to issue TRO (2001) ...................................... 149
Commission on Human Rights; Power; Limitations (Q4-2005)................................... 150
Labor; Right to Self-Organization (1988) ........................................................................ 151
Labor; Right to Strike (1988)............................................................................................. 151
Labor; Right to Strike (1993)............................................................................................. 151
Social Justice under the Present Constitution (1995)................................................... 152
Women (2000)..................................................................................................................... 152
ARTICLE XIV Education, Science and Technology, Arts ......................................... 153
Education; Academic Freedom (1987)............................................................................ 153
Education; Academic Freedom (1989)............................................................................ 153
Education; Academic Freedom (1993)............................................................................ 153
Education; Academic Freedom; Extent (1999) .............................................................. 154
Education; Alien Enrollees & Donors (1999) .................................................................. 154
Education; Duties of State in Re Education (1999)....................................................... 154
Education; Flag Salute (1987) .......................................................................................... 155
Education; Right to Choose Profession (2000).............................................................. 155
Education; Right to Quality Education (2003) ................................................................ 156
Education; Teaching of Religion (1999) .......................................................................... 156
Education; Validity of Academic Requirements (1994) ................................................ 156
ARTICLE XVI General Provisions .................................................................................. 156
General Provisions; Local Dialect (1987)........................................................................ 156
AFP; limitation on accepting additional duties (1996)................................................... 157
ARTICLE XVII Amendments or Revisions .................................................................... 157
People’s Initiative (2004) ................................................................................................... 157
Amendments and Revisions; Modes (1997) .................................................................. 157
REFERENDUM vs. INITIATIVE (Q1-2005) .................................................................... 157
ARTICLE XVIII Transitory Provisions.............................................................................. 158
Transitory Provisions; Foreign Military Bases (1996) ................................................... 158
Transitory Provisions; Foreign Military Bases (1988) ................................................... 158
PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW ........................................................................................ 158
Basic Principles in Public Int’l Law (1991) ...................................................................... 158
Constitutive Theory vs. Declaratory Theory (2004)....................................................... 160
Contiguous Zone vs. Exclusive Economic Zone (2004).............................................. 160
Diplomatic Immunity (2000) .............................................................................................. 160
Diplomatic Immunity (2001) .............................................................................................. 160
Diplomatic Immunity (2003) .............................................................................................. 161
Diplomatic Immunity (2004) .............................................................................................. 161
Diplomatic Immunity; Ambassador (Q3-2005) ............................................................... 162
Diplomatic Immunity; Ambassadors (1990).................................................................... 162
Diplomatic Immunity; Coverage (Q3-2005) .................................................................... 163
Diplomatic Immunity; Diplomatic Envoy and Consular Officers (1995)...................... 164
Diplomatic Immunity; Diplomatic Envoy and Consular Officers (1997)...................... 165
Exclusive Economic Zone (2000)..................................................................................... 165
Executive Agreements; Binding Effect (2003)................................................................ 165
Extradition vs. Deportation (1993).................................................................................... 166
Extradition; Doctrine of Specialty (1993)......................................................................... 166
Extradition; Effectivity of treaty (1996)............................................................................. 166
Extradition; Grounds (2002) .............................................................................................. 167
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 11
Extradition; Retroactive Application (Q2-2005).............................................................. 167
Flag State vs. Flag of Convenience (2004) .................................................................. 168
Genocide (1988) ................................................................................................................. 168
Human Rights (1999) ......................................................................................................... 168
Human Rights; Civil and Political Rights (1992) ............................................................ 168
Human Rights; Civil and Political Rights (1996) ............................................................ 169
Int’l Court of Justice; Jurisdiction Over States................................................................ 170
Int’l Court of Justice; Jurisdiction Over States (1994)................................................... 170
Int’l Court of Justice; Limitations On Jurisdiction (1999) .............................................. 170
Int’l Court of Justice; Parties; Pleadings and Oral Argument (1994) .......................... 170
International Convention; Law of the Sea (2004) .......................................................... 171
International Court of Justice (Q9-2006)......................................................................... 171
International Law vs. Municipal Law; Territorial Principle; International Crimes (Q2-
2005)..................................................................................................................................... 171
Mandates and Trust Territories (2003)............................................................................ 172
Municipal Law vs. International Law (2003) ................................................................... 173
Neutrality of States (1988)................................................................................................. 173
Outer Space; Jurisdiction (2003)...................................................................................... 174
Principle of Auto-Limitation (Q10-2006) .......................................................................... 174
Reciprocity v. Principle of Auto-Limitation (Q10-2006)................................................. 174
Recognition of States; De Facto vs. De Jure Recognition (1998) .............................. 174
Reparations Agreement; Validity (1992) ......................................................................... 175
Right to Innocent Passage (1999).................................................................................... 175
Right to Transit and Innocent Passage (2004) .............................................................. 176
Rights and Obligation under UN Charter (1991)............................................................ 176
Sources of International Law; Primary & Subsidiary Sources (2003) ........................ 177
Sovereign Immunity of States; Absolute vs. Restrictive (1998) .................................. 177
Sovereignty of States; Natural Use of Territory (1989)................................................. 178
Sovereignty; Definition; Nature (Q10-2006) ................................................................... 178
State Liabilities (1995)........................................................................................................ 179
State Sovereignty; Effective Occupation; Terra Nullius (2000) ................................... 179
Stateless Persons; Effects; Status; Rights (1995)......................................................... 179
Territorial Sea vs. Internal Waters (2004)....................................................................... 180
Use of Force; Exceptions (2003)...................................................................................... 180
Use of Force; Principle of Non-Intervention (1994)....................................................... 181
Use of Force; Right of Self-defense (2002) .................................................................... 182
Use of Force; Self-Defense; Waging War (1998) .......................................................... 182
Use of Force; When allowed (1988) ................................................................................ 183
War; Combatants/ Prisoners of War vs. Mercenaries (1993) ...................................... 183
Wilson doctrine vs. Estrada doctrine (2004)................................................................... 184
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW....................................................................................................... 184
Admin Law; Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies (1991)....................................... 184
Admin Law; Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies (2000)....................................... 184
Admin Law; Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies vs Doctrine of Primary
Jurisdiction (1996) .............................................................................................................. 185
Admin Law; Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies; Exceptions (1991) ................. 185
Admin Law; Judicial Review of Administrative Action (2001) ...................................... 186
Admin Law; Judicial Review of Administrative Decisions (1988)................................ 186
Admin Law; Meaning of “Government of the Philippines” (1997) ............................... 187
Admin Law; Power of the President to Reorganize Administrative Structure (2003)
............................................................................................................................................... 187
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 12
Admin Law; Rules and Regulations; Due Process (2000) ........................................... 187
Government Agency vs. Government Instrumentality (Q7-2005)............................... 188
Quasi-Judicial Body or Agency (Q5-2006) ..................................................................... 188

BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 13


1987 CONSTITUTION OF THE 7. The Supreme Court is empowered to adopt
rules for the protection and enforcement of
PHILIPPINES constitutional rights.
Phil Con 87; New Features (1991)
8. Art. II. Sec. 11 commits the State to a policy
No 1: How is the Bill of Rights strengthened in which places value on the dignity of every
the 1987 Constitution? human person and guarantees full respect
SUGGESTED ANSWER: for human rights.
There are several ways in which the Bill of 9. A Commission on Human Rights is created.
Rights is strengthened in the 1987 Constitution. 10. Under Article XVI. Sec. 5(2) the State is
1. New rights are given explicit recognition mandated to promote respect for the
such as, the prohibition against detention by people's rights among the members of the
reason of political beliefs and aspirations. military in the performance of their duty.
The waiver of Miranda rights is now
required to be made in writing with the Phil Con 87; People Power (1987)
assistance of counsel. The use of solitary,
incommunicado and secret detention places No. XVIII: The framers of the 1987 Constitution
is prohibited, while the existence of and the people who ratified it made sure that
substandard and inadequate penal facilities provisions institutionalizing people power were
is made the concern of legislation. incorporated in the fundamental law, Briefly
discuss at least two such provisions.
2. There is also recognition of the right of
expression, an express prohibition against SUGGESTED ANSWER:
the use of torture, a mandate to the State to Art. VI, Sec. 1, while vesting in Congress the
provide compensation and rehabilitation for legislative power, nonetheless states that such
victims of torture and their families. conferment of power shall be subject to the
3. Some rights have been expanded. For reservation made in favor of the people by
instance, free access to courts now provisions on initiatives and referendum. For
includes access to quasi-judicial bodies and this purpose, Congress is required, as early as
to adequate legal assistance. possible, to provide for a system of initiative of
referendum whereby the people can directly
4. The requirements for interfering with some propose and enact laws or approve or reject an
rights have been made more strict. For act or law or part thereof passed by the
instance, only judges can now issue search Congress or the legislative bodies after the
warrants or warrants of arrest. There must registration of a petition therefor, signed by at
be a law authorizing the Executive least 10% of the total number of registered
Department to interfere with the privacy of voters, of which every legislative district must
communication, the liberty of abode, and be represented by at least 3% of the registered
the right to travel before these rights may voters. (Id., sec. 32) The Constitution also
be impaired or curtailed. provides that through initiative, upon a petition
5. The Constitution now provides that the of at least 12% of the total numbers of
suspension of the privilege of the writ of registered voters, of which every legislative
habeas corpus does not suspend the right district must be represented by at least 3% of
to bail, thus resolving a doctrinal dispute of the registered voters therein, amendments to
long standing. the Constitution may be directly proposed by
the people.
6. The suspension of the privilege of the writ
of habeas corpus and the proclamation of Art, XIII, sec. 15 states that the state shall
martial law have been limited to sixty (60) respect the role of independent people's
days and are now subject to the power of organization to enable them to pursue and
Congress to revoke. In addition, the protect, within the democratic framework, their
Supreme Court is given the jurisdiction, legitimate and collective interests and
upon the petition of any citizen to determine aspirations through peaceful lawful means. For
the sufficiency of the factual basis of the this purpose, the Constitution guarantees to
suspension of the privilege of the writ of such organizations the right to participate at all
habeas corpus and the proclamation of levels of social, political and economic decision-
martial law. making and the state is required to validate the

BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 14


establishment of adequate mechanism for this Article XIII, Section 16 of the 1987 Constitution
purpose. (Id., sec, 16) provides that the right of the people and their
organizations to participate at all levels of
social, political, and economic decision-making
Phil Con 87; People Power (2000)
shall not be abridged and that the State shall,
No IX. Is the concept of People Power by law, facilitate the establishment of adequate
recognized in the Constitution? Discuss briefly. consultation mechanisms.
(3%)
Article XVII, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution
SUGGESTED ANSWER: provides that subject to the enactment of an
Yes, the concept of People Power is recognized implementing law, the people may directly
in the Constitution. propose amendments to the Constitution
Under Section 32. Article VI of the Constitution, through initiative.
through initiative and referendum, the people
can directly propose and enact laws or approve
Nature of the Constitution: Constitutional
or reject any act or law or part thereof passed
Supremacy (2004)
by the Congress or local legislative body after
(10-a) BNN Republic has a defense treaty with
the registration of a petition therefor signed by
EVA Federation. According to the Republic's
at least ten per centum of the total number of
Secretary of Defense, the treaty allows
registered voters, of which every legislative
temporary basing of friendly foreign troops in
district must be represented by at least three
case of training exercises for the war on
per centum of the registered voters thereof.
terrorism. The Majority Leader of the Senate
Under Section 16, Article XIII of the
contends that whether temporary or not, the
Constitution, the right of the people and their
basing of foreign troops however friendly is
organizations to effective and reasonable
prohibited by the Constitution of BNN which
participation at all levels of social, political and
provides that, "No foreign military bases shall
economic decision-making shall not be
be allowed in BNN territory."
abridged. The State shall, by law facilitate the
In case there is indeed an irreconcilable conflict
establishment of adequate consultation
between a provision of the treaty and a
mechanisms.
provision of the Constitution, in a jurisdiction
Under Section 2. Article XVII of the
and legal system like ours, which should
Constitution, the people may directly propose
prevail: the provision of the treaty or of the
amendments to the Constitution through
Constitution? Why? Explain with reasons,
initiative upon a petition of at least twelve per
briefly. (5%)
centum of the total number of registered voters,
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
of which every legislative district must be
In case of conflict between a provision of a
represented by at least three per centum of the
treaty and a provision of the Constitution, the
registered voters therein.
provision of the Constitution should prevail.
Section 5(2)(a), Article VIII of the 1987
Phil Con 87; People Power (2003)
Constitution authorizes the nullification of a
No I - Is "people power" recognized by the treaty when it conflicts with the Constitution.
1987 Constitution? Explain fully. (Gonzales v. Hechanova, 9 SCRA 230 [1963]).
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Government Presidential Form vs. Parlia-
"People power" is recognized in the mentary Form (Q6-2006)
Constitution. 1. a) What is the principal identifying feature
of a presidential form of government? Explain.
Article III, Section 4 of the 1987 Constitution
(2.5%)
guarantees the right of the people peaceable to
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
assemble and petition the government for
The principal identifying feature of a presidential
redress of grievances.
form of government is embodied in the
Article VI, Section 32 of the 1987 Constitution separation of powers doctrine. Each
requires Congress to pass a law allowing the department of government exercises powers
people to directly propose and enact laws granted to it by the Constitution and may not
through initiative and to approve or reject any control, interfere with or encroach upon the acts
act or law or part of it passed by Congress or a done within the constitutional competence of
local legislative body. the others. However, the Constitution also gives
each department certain powers by which it
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 15
may definitely restrain the others from prevent infringement of its customs, fiscal,
improvident action, thereby maintaining a immigration or sanitary laws and regulations
system of checks and balances among them, within its territory or territorial sea. (Article 33 of
thus, preserving the will of the sovereign the Convention on the Law of the Sea.)
expressed in the Constitution.
The EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE is a zone
b) What are the essential characteristics of a extending up to 200 nautical miles from the
parliamentary form of government? (2.5%) baselines of a state over which the coastal state
SUGGESTED ANSWER: has sovereign rights for the purpose of
The essential characteristics of a parliamentary exploring and exploiting, conserving and
form of government are: the fusion of the managing the natural resources, whether living
legislative and executive branches in or nonliving, of the waters superjacent to the
parliament; the prime minister, who is the head seabed and of the seabed and subsoil, and with
of government, and the members of the regard to other activities for the economic
cabinet, are chosen from among the members exploitation and exploration of the zone.
of parliament and as such are accountable to (Articles 56 and 57 of the Convention on the
the latter; and the prime minister may be Law of the Sea.)
removed from office by a vote of loss of
confidence of parliament. There may be a head Exclusive Economic Zone; Rights of the
of state who may or may not be elected. Coastal State (1994)
No. 11: In the desire to improve the fishing
ARTICLE I National Territory methods of the fishermen, the Bureau of
Archipelagic Doctrine (1989) Fisheries, with the approval of the President,
No. 20: What do you understand by the entered into a memorandum of agreement to
archipelagic doctrine? Is this reflected in the allow Thai fishermen to fish within 200 miles
1987 Constitution? from the Philippine sea coasts on the condition
SUGGESTED ANSWER: that Filipino fishermen be allowed to use Thai
The ARCHIPELAGIC DOCTRINE emphasizes fishing equipment and vessels, and to learn
the unity of land and waters by defining an modern technology in fishing and canning.
archipelago either as a group of islands
surrounded by waters or a body of waters 1) Is the agreement valid?
studded with islands. For this purpose, it SUGGESTED ANSWER:
requires that baselines be drawn by connecting 1) No. the President cannot authorize the
the appropriate points of the "outermost islands Bureau of Fisheries to enter into a
to encircle the islands within the archipelago. memorandum of agreement allowing Thai
The waters on the landward side of the fishermen to fish within the exclusive economic
baselines regardless of breadth or dimensions zone of the Philippines, because the
are merely internal waters. Constitution reserves to Filipino citizens the use
and enjoyment of the exclusive economic zone
Yes, the archipelagic doctrine is reflected in the of the Philippines.
1987 Constitution. Article I, Section 1 provides
that the national territory of the Philippines Section 2. Article XII of the Constitution
includes the Philippine archipelago, with all the provides: “The State shall protect the nation's
islands and waters embraced therein; and the marine part in its archipelagic waters, territorial
waters around, between, and connecting the sea, and exclusive economic zone, and reserve
islands of the archipelago, regardless of their its use and enjoyment to Filipino citizens."
breadth and dimensions, form part of the Section 7, Article XIII of the Constitution
internal waters of the Philippines. provides: "The State shall protect the rights of
subsistence fishermen, especially of local
Contiguous Zone vs. Exclusive Economic communities, to the preferential use of the
Zone (2004) communal marine and fishing resources, both
(2-a-2) Distinguish: The contiguous zone and inland and offshore. It shall provide support to
the exclusive economic zone. such fishermen through appropriate technology
SUGGESTED ANSWER: and research, adequate financial, production,
CONTIGUOUS ZONE is a zone contiguous to and marketing assistance, and other services.
the territorial sea and extends up to 12 nautical The State shall also protect, develop, and
miles from the territorial sea and over which the conserve such resources. The protection shall
coastal state may exercise control necessary to extend to offshore fishing grounds of
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 16
subsistence fishermen against foreign intrusion. such as low or non-existent taxation or low
Fishworkers shall receive a just share from their operating costs although the ship has no
labor in the utilization of marine and fishing genuine link with that state. (Harris, Cases and
resources. Materials on International Law, 5th ed., 1998, p. 425.)

Exclusive Economic Zone; Rights of the Territory & Government (1996)


Coastal State (Q1-2005) No. 8: A law was passed dividing the
(c) Enumerate the rights of the coastal state Philippines into three regions (Luzon, Visayas,
in the exclusive economic zone. (3%) and Mindanao), each constituting an
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: independent state except on matters of foreign
In the EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE, the relations, national defense and national
coastal State has sovereign rights for the taxation, which are vested in the Central
purpose of exploring and exploiting, conserving government. Is the law valid? Explain.
and managing the natural resources, whether SUGGESTED ANSWER:
living or non-living, of the waters superjacent to The law dividing the Philippines into three
the seabed and of the seabed and its subsoil, regions, each constituting an independent state
and with regard to other activities for the and vesting in a central government matters of
economic exploitation and exploration of the foreign relations, national defense, and national
zone, such as the production of energy from the taxation, is unconstitutional.
water, currents and winds in an area not
extending more than 200 nautical miles beyond First, it violates Article I, which guarantees the
the baseline from which the territorial sea is integrity of the national territory of the
measured. Other rights include the production Philippines because it divided the Philippines
of energy from the water, currents and winds, into three states.
the establishment and use of artificial islands,
installations and structures, marine scientific Second, it violates Section 1, Article II of the
research and the protection and preservation of Constitution, which provides for the
the marine environment. (Art. 56, U.N. establishment of democratic and republic
Convention on the Law of the Sea) States by replacing it with three States
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: organized as a confederation.
SOVEREIGN RIGHTS — for the purpose of
exploring and exploiting, conserving and Third, it violates Section 22, Article II of the
managing the natural resources, whether living Constitution, which, while recognizing and
or non-living, of the seabed and subsoil and the promoting the rights of indigenous cultural
superjacent waters, and with regard to other communities, provides for national unity and
activities such as the production of energy from development.
the water, currents and winds in an area not
extending more than 200 nautical miles beyond Fourth, it violates Section 15, Article X of the
the baseline from which the territorial sea is Constitution, which, provides for autonomous
measured. (See Art. 56, UNCLOS) regions in Muslim Mindanao and in the
Jurisdiction, inter alia, with regard to: Cordilleras within the framework of national
(1) the establishment and use of artificial sovereignty as well as territorial integrity of the
islands, installations and structures; Republic of the Philippines.
(2) marine scientific research; and
(3) the protection and preservation of the Fifth, it violates the sovereignty of the Republic
marine environment. of the Philippines.

Flag State vs. Flag of Convenience (2004) Territorial Sea vs. Internal Waters (2004)
(2-a-3) Distinguish: The flag state and the flag (2-a-1) Distinguish: The territorial sea and the
of convenience. internal waters of the Philippines.
SUGGESTED ANSWER: SUGGESTED ANSWER:
FLAG STATE means a ship has the nationality TERRITORIAL SEA is an adjacent belt of sea
of the flag of the state it flies, but there must be with a breadth of 12 nautical miles measured
a genuine link between the state and the ship. from the baselines of a state and over which the
(Article 91 of the Convention on the Law of the Sea.) state has sovereignty. (Articles 2 and 3 of the
Convention on the Law of the Sea.) Ship of all
FLAG OF CONVENIENCE refers to a state with states enjoy the right of innocent passage
which a vessel is registered for various reasons

BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 17


through the territorial sea. (Article 14 of the No. 1; What do you understand by the "Doctrine
Convention on the Law of the Sea.) of Incorporation" in Constitutional Law?
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Under Section 1, Article I of the 1987 The DOCTRINE OF INCORPORATION means
Constitution, the INTERNAL WATERS of the that the rules of International law form part of
Philippines consist of the waters around, the law of the land and no legislative action is
between and connecting the islands of the required to make them applicable to a country.
Philippine Archipelago, regardless of their The Philippines follows this doctrine, because
breadth and dimensions, including the waters in Section 2. Article II of the Constitution states
bays, rivers and lakes. No right of innocent that the Philippines adopts the generally
passage for foreign vessels exists in the case of accepted principles of international law as part
internal waters. (Harris, Cases and Materials on of the law of the land.
International Law, 5th ed., 1998, p. 407.)
Internal waters are the waters on the landward Doctrine of Incorporation; Pacta Sunt
side of baselines from which the breadth of the Servanda (2000)
territorial sea is calculated. (Brownlie, Principles No X. The Philippines has become a member of
of Public International Law, 4th ed., 1990, p. 120.) the World Trade Organization (WTO) and
resultantly agreed that it "shall ensure the
conformity of its laws, regulations and
ARTICLE II Declaration of administrative procedures with its obligations as
provided in the annexed Agreements." This is
Principles and State Policies assailed as unconstitutional because this
undertaking unduly limits, restricts and impairs
Armed Forces; Servant of the People (2003) Philippine sovereignty and means among
No I - Article II. Section 3, of the 1987 others that Congress could not pass legislation
Constitution expresses, in part, that the "Armed that will be good for our national interest and
Forces of the Philippines is the protector of the general welfare if such legislation will not
people and (of) the State." Describe briefly what conform with the WTO Agreements. Refute this
this provision means. Is the Philippine National argument. (5%)
Police covered by the same mandate? SUGGESTED ANSWER:
FIRST ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: According to Tanada v. Angara, 272 SCRA 18
Article II, Section 3 of the 1987 Constitution (1997), the sovereignty of the Philippines is
means that the Armed Forces of the Philippines subject to restriction by its membership in the
should not serve the interest of the President family of nations and the limitations imposed of
but of the people and should not commit treaty limitations. Section 2. Article II of the
abuses against the people. (Record of the Constitution adopts the generally accepted
Constitutional Commission, Vol. V, p. 133.) This principles of international law as part of the law
provision is specifically addressed to the Armed of the land. One of such principles is pacta sunt
Forces of the Philippines and not to the servanda. The Constitution did not envision a
Philippine National Police, because the latter is hermit-like isolation of the country from the rest
separate and distinct from the former. (Record of the world.
of the Constitutional Commission, Vol. V, p. 296;
Manalo v. Sistoza. 312 SCR A 239 [1999].) Freedom from Nuclear Weapons; Foreign
SECOND ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: Military Bases (1988)
Article II, Section 3 of the 1987 Constitution can No. 22: The Secretary of Justice had recently
be interpreted to mean that the Armed Forces ruled that the President may negotiate for a
of the Philippines can be a legitimate instrument modification or extension of military bases
for the overthrow of the civilian government if it agreement with the United States regardless of
has ceased to be the servant of the people. the "no nukes" provisions in the 1987
(Bernas, The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines: Constitution. The President forthwith
A Commentary, 2003 ed., p. 66.) This provision announced that she finds the same opinion
does not apply to the Philippine National Police, "acceptable" and will adopt it. The Senators on
because it is separate and distinct from the the other hand, led by the Senate President,
Armed Forces of the Philippines. (Record of the are skeptical, and had even warned that no
Constitutional Commission, Vol. V, p. 296, Manalo v.
Sistoza. 312 SCRA 239 [1999].) treaty or international agreement may go into
effect without the concurrence of two-thirds of
Doctrine of Incorporation; Constitutional all members of the Senate.
Law (1997)
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 18
A former senator had said, "it is completely the flag must be recognized by law, it implies
wrong, if not erroneous," and "is an amendment that certain aspects of the flag are subject to
of the Constitution by misinterpretation." Some change through legislative action.
members of the Lower House agree with
Secretary Ordonez, while others lament the Principle of Civilian Supremacy (Q6-2006)
latter's opinion as "questionable, unfortunate, 2. What Constitutional provisions institutionalize
and without any basis at all." the principle of civilian supremacy? (2.5%)
Do you or do you not agree with the SUGGESTED ANSWER:
aforementioned ruling of the Department of The following constitutional provisions
Justice? Why? institutionalize the principle of civilian
SUGGESTED ANSWER: supremacy:
No. The Constitution provides that if foreign a. Civilian authority is at all times supreme
military bases, troops or facilities are to be over the military. [Article II, Section 3]
allowed after the expiration of the present b. The installation of the President, the
Philippine-American Military Bases Agreement highest civilian authority, as the
in 1991, it must be "under a treaty duly Commander-in-Chief of the military. [Ar-
concurred in by the Senate and, when the ticle VII, Section 18]
Congress so requires, ratified by a majority of c. The requirement that members of the
the votes cast by the people in a national AFP swear to uphold and defend the
referendum." (Art. XVIII, sec. 25) A mere Constitution, which is the fundamental law
agreement, therefore, not a treaty, without the of the civil government. [Article XVI,
concurrence of at least 2/3 of all the members Section 5(1)]
of the Senate will not be valid (Art. VII, sec. 21, d. The requirement that members of the
Art. XVIII, sec. 4). With respect to the provision AFP shall have respect for people's rights
allowing nuclear weapons within the bases, the in the performance of their duty. [Article
Constitution appears to ban such weapons from XVI, Section 5(2)]
the Philippine territory. It declares as a state e. Professionalism in the armed forces.
policy that "the Philippines, consistent with the [Article XVI, Section 5(3)]
national interest, adopts and pursues a policy of f. Insulation of the AFP from partisan
freedom from nuclear weapons in its territory." politics. [Article XVI, Section 5(3)]
(Art, II, sec. 8) However, the deliberations of the g. Prohibition against the appointment of an
Constitutional Commission would seem to AFP member in the active service to a
indicate that this provision of the Constitution is civilian position. [Article XVI, Section 5(4)]
"not something absolute nor 100 percent h. Compulsory retirement of officers without
without exception." It may therefore be that extension of service. [Article XVI, Section
circumstances may justify a provision on 5(5)]
nuclear weapons. i. Requirement of proportional recruitment
from all provinces and cities, so as to
Philippine Flag (Q4-2006) avoid any regional clique from forming
State whether or not the law is constitutional. within the AFP. [Article XVI, Section 5(7)]
Explain briefly. j. A 3-year limitation on the tour of duty of
1. A law changing the design of the the Chief of Staff, which although
Philippine flag. (2%) extendible in case of emergency by the
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: President, depends on Congressional
The law is invalid considering that under Article declaration of emergency. [Article XVI,
XVI, Section 1 of the 1987 Constitution, the flag Section 5(6)]
of the Philippines shall be red, white, and blue, The establishment of a police force that is not
with a sun and three stars, as consecrated and only civilian in character but also under the local
honored by the people and recognized by law. executives. [Article XVI, Section 5(7)]
Since the Constitution itself prescribes the
design, it can only be changed by constitutional State Immunity from Suit (1991)
amendment. No. 13; In February 1990, the Ministry of the
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: Army. Republic of Indonesia, invited bids for the
The law is valid, provided that the new design supply of 500,000 pairs of combat boots for the
does not change the elements and color use of the Indonesian Army. The Marikina Shoe
scheme of the flag as stated in the Constitution, Corporation, a Philippine corporation, which has
and the flag is consecrated and honored by the no branch office and no assets in Indonesia,
people. Since the Constitution itself states that submitted a bid to supply 500,000 pairs of
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 19
combat boots at U.S. $30 per pair delivered in Consent to the exercise of jurisdiction of a
Jakarta on or before 30 October 1990. The foreign court does not include waiver of the
contract was awarded by the Ministry of the separate immunity from execution. (Brownlie,
Army to Marikina Shoe Corporation and was Principles of Public International Law, 4th ed., p.
signed by the parties in Jakarta. Marikina Shoe 344.) Thus, in Dexter vs. Carpenter vs. Kunglig
Corporation was able to deliver only 200,000 Jarnvagsstyrelsen, 43 Fed 705, it was held the
pairs of combat boots in Jakarta by 30 October consent to be sued does not give consent to the
1990 and it received payment for 100,000 pairs attachment of the property of a sovereign
or a total of U.S. $3,000,000.00. The Ministry of government.
the Army promised to pay for the other 100,000
pairs already delivered as soon as the State Immunity from Suit (1996)
remaining 300,000 pairs of combat boots are No. 6; The Republic of the Balau (formerly
delivered, at which time the said 300,000 pairs Palau Islands) opened and operated in Manila
will also be paid for. Marikina Shoe Corporation an office engaged in trading Balau products
failed to deliver any more combat boots. with Philippine products. In one transaction,
the local buyer complained that the Balau
On 1 June 1991, the Republic of Indonesia filed goods delivered to him were substandard and
an action before the Regional Trial Court of he sued the Republic of Balau, before the
Pasig. Rizal, to compel Marikina Shoe Regional Trial Court of Pasig, for damages.
Corporation to perform the balance of its a) How can the Republic of Balau invoke its
obligations under the contract and for damages. sovereign immunity? Explain.
In its Answer, Marikina Shoe Corporation sets b) Will such defense of sovereign immunity
up a counterclaim for U.S. $3,000,000.00 prosper? Explain.
representing the payment for the 100,000 pairs SUGGESTED ANSWER:
of combat boots already delivered but unpaid. A) The Republic of Balau can invoke its
Indonesia moved to dismiss the counterclaim, sovereign Immunity by filing a motion to dismiss
asserting that it is entitled to sovereign in accordance with Section l(a), Rule 16 of the
Immunity from suit. The trial court denied the Rules of Court on the ground that the court has
motion to dismiss and issued two writs of no jurisdiction over its person.
garnishment upon Indonesian Government
funds deposited in the Philippine National Bank According to the Holy See vs. Rosario, 238
and Far East Bank. Indonesia went to the Court SCRA 524, in Public International Law, when a
of Appeals on a petition for certiorari under Rule State wishes to plead sovereign immunity in a
65 of the Rules of Court. foreign court, it requests the Foreign Office of
How would the Court of Appeals decide the the State where it is being sued to convey to
case? the court that it is entitled to immunity. In the
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Philippines, the practice is for the foreign
The Court of Appeals should dismiss the government to first secure an executive
petition insofar as it seeks to annul the order endorsement of its claim of sovereign immunity.
denying the motion of the Government of In some cases, the defense of sovereign
Indonesia to dismiss the counterclaim. The immunity is submitted directly to the local court
counterclaim in this case is a compulsory by the foreign government through counsel by
counterclaim since it arises from the same filing a motion to dismiss on the ground that the
contract involved in the complaint. As such it court has no Jurisdiction over its person.
must be set up otherwise it will be barred.
Above all, as held in Froilan vs. Pan Oriental b) No, the defense of sovereign Immunity will
Shipping Co., 95 Phil. 905, by filing a complaint, not prosper. The sale of Balau products is a
the state of Indonesia waived its immunity from contract involving a commercial activity. In
suit. It is not right that it can sue in the courts United States vs. Ruiz, 136SCRA487 and
but it cannot be sued. The defendant therefore United States vs. Guinto, 182 SCRA 644, it was
acquires the right to set up a compulsory stated that a foreign State cannot invoke
counterclaim against it. Immunity from suit if it enters into a commercial
contract. The Philippines adheres to
However, the Court of Appeals should grant the RESTRICTIVE SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY.
petition of the Indonesian government insofar
as it sought to annul the garnishment of the State Immunity from Suit (1989)
funds of Indonesia which were deposited in the No. 13: A property owner filed an action directly
Philippine National Bank and Far East Bank. in court against the Republic of the Philippines
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 20
seeking payment for a parcel of land which the SUGGESTED ANSWER:
national government utilized for a road widening 1) Yes, the Municipality of Calumpit is liable for
project. the negligence of its driver Johnny. Under
(1) Can the government invoke the doctrine of Section 24 of the Local Government Code, local
non-suitability of the state? government units are not exempt from liability
(2) In connection with the preceding question, for death or injury to persons or damage to
can the property owner garnish public property.
funds to satisfy his claim for payment? ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
Explain your answers. No, the municipality is not liable for the
SUGGESTED ANSWER: negligence of Johnny, the prevailing rule in the
(1) No, the government cannot invoke the law of municipal corporations is that a
doctrine of state of immunity from suit. As held municipality is not liable for the torts committed
in Ministerio vs. Court of First Instance of Cebu, by its regular employees in the discharge of
40 SCRA 464, when the government governmental functions. The municipality is
expropriates property for public use without answerable only when it is acting in a
paying just compensation, it cannot invoke its proprietary capacity.
immunity from the suit. Otherwise, the right
guaranteed in Section 9, Article III of the 1987 In the case at bar, Johnny was a regular
Constitution that private property shall not be employee of the Municipality of Calumpit as
taken for public use without just compensation driver of its dump truck; he committed a tortious
will be rendered nugatory. act while discharging a governmental function
for the municipality, ie., driving recklessly the
(2) No, the owner cannot garnish public funds said truck loaded with sand for the repair of
to satisfy his claim for payment, Section 7 of Act municipal streets. Undoubtedly then, Johnny as
No. 3083 prohibits execution upon any driver of the dump truck was performing a duty
judgment against the government. As held in or task pertaining to his office. The construction
Republic vs. Palacio, 23 SCRA 899, even if the or maintenance of public streets are admittedly
government may be sued, it does not follow that governmental activities. At the time of the
its properties may be seized under execution. accident, Johnny was engaged in the discharge
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: of governmental functions.
(2) No, funds of the government on deposit in
the bank cannot be garnished for two reasons: Hence, the death of the two passengers of the
1. Under Art. II, Sec. 29 (1) public funds jeepney -tragic and deplorable though it may be
cannot be spent except in pursuance of an - imposed on the municipality no duty to pay
appropriation made by law, and monetary compensation, as held in Municipality
2. essential public services will be impaired if of San. Fernando v. Firme, 195 SCRA 692.
funds of the government were subject to
execution, (Commissioner of Public State Immunity from Suit (1992)
Highways vs. San Diego, 31 SCRA 616 No. 9: The Northern Luzon Irrigation Authority
(1970)). The remedy of the prevailing party (NLIA) was established by a legislative charter
is to have the judgment credit in his favor to strengthen the irrigation systems that supply
included in the general appropriations law water to farms and commercial growers in the
for the next year. area. While the NLIA is able to generate
revenues through its operations, it receives an
State Immunity from Suit (1994) annual appropriation from Congress. The NLIA
No. 6; Johnny was employed as a driver by the is authorized to "exercise all the powers of a
Municipality of Calumpit, Bulacan. While driving corporation under the Corporation Code."
recklessly a municipal dump truck with its load
of sand for the repair of municipal streets, Due to a miscalculation by some of its
Johnny hit a jeepney. Two passengers of the employees, there was a massive irrigation
jeepney were killed. overflow causing a flash flood in Barrio Zanjera.
A child drowned in the incident and his parents
The Sangguniang Bayan passed an ordinance now file suit against The NLIA for damages.
appropriating P300,000 as compensation for
the heirs of the victims. May the NLIA validly invoke the immunity of the
1) Is the municipality liable for the negligence State from suit? Discuss thoroughly.
of Johnny? SUGGESTED ANSWER:
2) Is the municipal ordinance valid?
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 21
No, the Northern Luzon Irrigation Authority may economic conditions of those engaged in the
not invoke the immunity of the State from suit, tobacco industry.
because, as held in Fontanilla vs. Maliaman,
179 SCRA 685 and 194 SCRA 486, irrigation is State Immunity from Suit (1987)
a proprietary function. Besides, the Northern (a) "X" filed a case against the Republic of the
Luzon Irrigation Authority has a juridical Philippines for damages caused his yacht,
personality separate and distinct from the which was rammed by a navy vessel.
government, a suit against it is not a suit (b) "X" also sued in another case the
against the State. Since the waiver of the Secretary of Public Works and the
immunity from suit is without qualification, as Republic of the Philippines for payment of
held in Rayo vs. Court of First Instance of the compensation of the value of his land,
Bulacan, 110 SCRA 456, the waiver includes which was used as part of the tarmac of
an action based on a quasi-delict. the Cebu International Airport, without prior
expropriation proceedings.
State Immunity from Suit (1999)
A. 1.) What do you understand by state The Solicitor General moved to dismiss the two
immunity from suit? Explain. (2%) cases invoking state immunity from suit Decide.
2.) How may consent of the state to be SUGGESTED ANSWER:
sued be given? Explain. (2%) (a) The government cannot be sued for
SUGGESTED ANSWER: damages considering that the agency which
1.) STATE IMMUNITY FROM SUIT means caused the damages was the Philippine Navy.
that the State cannot be sued without its Under Art. 2180 of the Civil Code, the state
consent. A corollary of such principle is that consents to be sued for a quasi-delict only
properties used by the State in the performance when the damage is caused by its special
of its governmental functions cannot be subject agents. Hence, the Solicitor General's motion
to judicial execution. should be granted and the suit brought by "X"
be dismissed.
2.) Consent of the State to be sued may be
made expressly as in the case of a specific, (b) But the government CANNOT INVOKE the
express provision of law as waiver of State state's immunity from suit. As held in Ministerio
immunity from suit is not inferred lightly (e.g. C.A. v. Court of First Instance. 40 SCRA 464 (1971),
327 as amended by PD 1445} or impliedly as when which also involved the taking of private
the State engages in proprietary functions (U.S. property without the benefit of expropriation
v. Ruiz, U.S. v. Guinto) or when it files a suit in proceeding, "The doctrine of governmental
which case the adverse party may file a immunity from suit cannot serve as an
counterclaim (Froilan v. Pan Oriental Shipping) or instrument for perpetrating an injustice on a
when the doctrine would in effect be used to citizen. . . . When the government takes any
perpetuate an injustice (Amigable v. Cuenca, 43 property for public use, which is conditional
SCRA 360). upon the payment of just compensation, to be
judicially ascertained, it makes manifest that it
State Immunity from Suit (1999) submits to the jurisdiction of the court." The
No VI - B. The employees of the Philippine Solicitor General's motion to dismiss should,
Tobacco Administration (PTA) sued to recover therefore, be denied.
overtime pay. In resisting such claim, the PTA
theorized that it is performing governmental State Immunity vs. Waiver of Immunity
functions. Decide and explain. (2%) (1997)
SUGGESTED ANSWER: No, 6: It is said that "waiver of immunity by the
As held in Philippine Virginia Tobacco State does not mean a concession of its
Administration v. Court of Industrial Relations, liability". What are the implications of this
65 SCRA 416, the Philippine Tobacco phrase?
Administration is not liable for overtime pay, SUGGESTED ANSWER:
since it is performing governmental functions. The phrase that waiver of immunity by the State
Among its purposes are to promote the does not mean a concession of liability means
effective merchandising of tobacco so that that by consenting to be sued, the State does
those engaged in the tobacco industry will have not necessarily admit it is liable. As stated in
economic security, to stabilize the price of Philippine Rock Industries, Inc. vs. Board of
tobacco, and to improve the living and Liquidators, 180 SCRA 171, in such a case the
State is merely giving the plaintiff a chance to
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 22
prove that the State is liable but the State
retains the right to raise all lawful defenses. c) Section 1, Article XVII of the Constitution
provides: "The FLAG OF THE PHILIPPINES
State Immunity from Suit (1993) shall be red, white, and blue, with a sun and
No 19: Devi is the owner of a piece of land. three stars, as consecrated and honored by the
Without prior expropriation or negotiated sale, people and recognized by law."
the national government used a portion thereof
for the widening of the national highway. Devi Section 2, Article XVI of the Constitution states:
filed a money claim with the Commission on The Congress may by law, adopt a new name
Audit which was denied. Left with no other for the country, a national anthem, or a national
recourse, Devi filed a complaint for recovery of seal, which shall all be truly reflective and
property and/or damages against the Secretary symbolic of the ideals, history, and traditions of
of Public Works and Highways and the the people. Such law shall take effect only upon
Republic of the Philippines, The defendant its ratification by the people in a national
moved for dismissal of the complaint referendum."
contending that the government cannot be sued
without its consent. The RTC dismissed the d) Section 22, Article II of the Constitution
complaint. On appeal, how would you decide provides: The State recognizes and promotes
the case. the rights of INDIGENOUS CULTURAL
SUGGESTED ANSWER: COMMUNITIES within the framework of
The order dismissing the complaint should be national unity and development."
reversed. In Ministerio v. Court of First Instance
of Cebu, 40 SCRA 464, it was held that when Section 5, Article XII of the Constitution reads:
the government takes property from a private The State, subject to the provisions of this
landowner without prior expropriation or Constitution and national development policies
negotiated sale, the landowner may maintain a and programs, shall protect the rights of
suit against the government without violating indigenous cultural communities to their
the doctrine of government Immunity from suit. ancestral lands to ensure their economic, social
The government should be deemed to have and cultural well-being.
waived impliedly its immunity from suit.
Otherwise, the constitutional guarantee that The Congress may provide for the applicability
private property shall not be taken for public of customary laws governing property rights or
use without just compensation will be rendered relations in determining the ownership and
nugatory. extent of the ancestral domains."

State Principles & Policies (1994) Section 6, Art. XIII of the Constitution provides:
No. 1; What is the state policy on: The State shall apply the principles of
a) working women? AGRARIAN REFORM or stewardship,
b) ecology? whenever applicable in accordance with law, in
c) the symbols of statehood? the disposition or utilization of other natural
d) cultural minorities? resources, including lands of the public domain
e) science and technology? under lease or concession suitable to
agriculture, subject to prior rights, homestead
SUGGESTED ANSWER: rights of small settlers, and the rights of
a) Section 14, Article XIII of the Constitution indigenous communities to their ancestral
provides: "The State shall protect WORKING lands.
WOMEN by providing safe and healthful
working conditions, taking into account their The State may resettle landless farmers and
maternal functions, and such facilities and farm workers in its own agricultural estates
opportunities that will enhance their welfare and which shall be distributed to them in the manner
enable them to realize their full potential in the provided by law."
service of the nation."
Section 17. Article XIV of the Constitution
b) Section 16, Article II of the Constitution states: "The State shall recognize, respect and
provides: The State shall protect and advance protect the rights of indigenous cultural
the right of the people and their posterity to a communities to preserve and develop their
balanced and healthful ECOLOGY in accord cultures, traditions, and institutions. It shall
with the rhythm and harmony of nature."
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 23
consider these rights in the formulation of Section 12, Article XIV of the Constitution
national plans and policies." reads: The State shall regulate the transfer and
promote the adaptation of technology from all
e) Section 17, Article II of the Constitution sources for the national benefit. It shall
provides: "The State shall give priority to encourage widest participation of private
EDUCATION, SCIENCE and TECHNOLOGY, groups, local governments, and community-
ARTS, CULTURE, and SPORTS to foster based organizations in the generation and
patriotism and nationalism, accelerate social utilization of science and technology."
progress, and promote total human liberation
and development." NOTE: It is suggested that if an examinee gave a substantive
answer without giving the exact provisions of the Constitution,
then he should be given full credit. Further, one provision
Section 14, Article XII of the Constitution reads quoted/discussed by the examinee should be sufficient for him
in part: "The sustained development of a to be given full credit.
reservoir of NATIONAL TALENTS consisting of
Filipino scientists, entrepreneurs, professionals, Transparency; Matters of Public Interest
managers, high-level technical manpower and (1989)
skilled workers and craftsmen shall be No. 3: Does the 1987 Constitution provide for a
promoted by the State, The State shall policy of transparency in matters of public
encourage appropriate technology and regulate interest? Explain.
Its transfer for the national benefit. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Yes, the 1987 Constitution provides for a policy
Sub-section 2, Section 3. Article XIV of the of transparency in matters of public interest.
Constitution states: "They (EDUCATIONAL Section 28, Article II of the 1987 Constitution
INSTITUTIONS) shall inculcate patriotism and provides:
nationalism, foster love of humanity, respect for 1. "Subject to reasonable conditions
human rights, appreciation of the role of prescribed by law, the State adopts and
national heroes in the historical development of implements a policy of full disclosure of all
the country, teach the rights and duties of its transactions involving public interest,"
citizenship, strengthen ethical and spiritual
values, develop moral character and personal 2. Section 7, Article III of the 1987 Constitution
discipline, encourage critical and creative states: "The right of the people to
thinking, broaden scientific and technological information on matters of public concern
knowledge, and promote vocational efficiency." shall be recognized, Access to official
records, and to documents, and papers
Section 10. Article XIV of the Constitution pertaining to official acts, transactions, or
declares: "SCIENCE and TECHNOLOGY are decisions, as well as to government
essential for national development and research data used as basis for policy
progress. The State shall give priority to development, shall be afforded the citizen,
research and development, invention, subject to such limitations as may be
innovation, and their utilization; and to science provided by law."
and technology education, training, services. It
shall support indigenous, appropriate, and self- 3. Section 20, Article VI of the 1987
reliant scientific and cultural capabilities, and Constitution reads: "The records and books
their application to the country's productive of account of the Congress shall be
systems and national life." preserved and be open to the public in
accordance with law, and such books shall
Section 11, Article XIV of the Constitution be audited by the Commission on Audit
provides: "The Congress may provide for which shall publish annually an itemized list
incentives, including TAX DEDUCTIONS, to of amounts paid to and expenses incurred
encourage private participation in programs of for each member."
basic and applied scientific research.
Scholarships, grants-in-aid or other forms of 4. Under Section 17, Article XI of the 1987
Incentives shall be provided to deserving Constitution, the sworn statement of assets,
science students, researchers, scientists, liabilities and net worth of the President, the
investors, technologists, and specially gifted Vice-President, the Members of the
citizens." Cabinet, the Congress, the Supreme Court,
the Constitutional Commission and other
constitutional offices, and officers of the

BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 24


armed forces with general or flag rank filed
upon their assumption of office shall be 5. "A public officer or employee shall, upon
disclosed to the public in the manner assumption of office, and as often as thereafter
provided by law. may be required by law, submit a declaration
under oath of his assets, liabilities, and net
5. Section 21, Article XII of the Constitution worth. In the case of the President, the Vice
declares: "Information on foreign loans President, the Members of the Cabinet, the
obtained or guaranteed by the government Congress, the Supreme Court, the
shall be made available to the public." Constitutional Commissions and other
constitutional offices, and officers of the armed
6. As held in Valmonte vs. Belmonte, G.R. No. forces with general or flag rank, the declaration
74930, Feb. 13, 1989, these provisions on shall be disclosed to the public in the manner
public disclosures are intended to enhance provided by law." (Section 17, Article XI)
the role of the citizenry in governmental
decision-making as well as in checking 6. "Information on foreign loans obtained or
abuse in government. guaranteed by the Government shall be made
available to the public." (Section 21 Article XII)
Transparency; Matters of Public Interest As explained In Valmonte v. Belmonte,
(2000) 170 SCRA 256 (1989), the purpose of
No V. State at least three constitutional the policy is to protect the people from
provisions reflecting the State policy on abuse of governmental power. If access
transparency in matters of public interest. What to information of public concern is
is the purpose of said policy? (5%) denied, the postulate "public office is a
SUGGESTED ANSWER: public trust" would be mere empty
The following are the constitutional provisions words.
reflecting the State policy on transparency in {Note: The examinee should be given
matters of public interest: full credit if he gives any three of the
1. "Subject to reasonable conditions above-mentioned provisions.}
prescribed by law, the State adopts and
Implements a policy of full public disclosure of ARTICLE III Bill of Rights
all its transactions involving public interest."
(Section 28, Article II)
Bill of Attainder (1987)
No. XI: Congress passed a law relating to
2. The right of the people to information on
officials and employees who had served in the
matters of public concern shall be recognized.
Government for the period from September 21,
Access to official records, and to documents,
1972 up to February 25, 1986.
and papers pertaining to official acts,
(a) One provision of the law declared all
transactions, or decisions, as well as to
officials from the rank of assistant head of
government research data used as basis for
a department, bureau, office or agency
policy development, shall be afforded to citizen,
"Unfit" for continued service in the
subject to such limitations as may be provided
government and declared their respective
by law." (Section 7, Article III)
positions vacant.
(b) Another provision required all the other
3. The records and books of accounts of the
officials and employees to take an oath of
Congress shall be preserved and be open to
loyalty to the flag and government as a
the public in accordance with law, and such
condition for their continued employment.
books shall be audited by the Commission on
Are the two provisions valid? Why?
Audit which shall publish annually an itemized
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
list of amounts paid to and expenses incurred
(a) The law is a bill of attainder by which
for each Member." (Section 20. Article VI)
Congress, by assuming judicial magistracy, in
effect declares all officials and employees
4. The Office of the Ombudsman shall have
during martial law (September 21, 1972-
the following powers, functions, and duties:
February 25, 1986) as disloyal and, on this
XXX XXX
basis, removes some while subjecting others to
(6) Publicize matters covered by its
a loyalty test.
investigation when circumstances so
warrant and with due prudence,"
With respect to the provision declaring positions
(Section 12, Article XI)
vacant, even the power to reorganize can not
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 25
be invoked because under the Freedom
Constitution such power can be exercised only Custodial Investigation; Extrajudicial
by the President and only up to February 25, Confession (2001)
1987. Since the law under question was No IX - Rafael, Carlos and Joseph were
presumably passed after February 25, 1987 accused of murder before the Regional Trial
and by Congress, it is unconstitutional. Court of Manila. Accused Joseph turned state
witness against his co-accused Rafael and
(b) With respect to the provision requiring the Carlos, and was accordingly discharged from
loyalty test, loyalty as a general rule is a the information. Among the evidence presented
relevant consideration in assessing employees' by the prosecution was an extrajudicial
fitness. However, the requirement in this case is confession made by Joseph during the
not a general requirement but singles out custodial Investigation, implicating Rafael and
"martial law" employees and therefore is Carlos who, he said, together with him
administered in a discriminatory manner. (Joseph), committed the crime. The
Loyalty, therefore, while a relevant extrajudicial confession was executed without
consideration in other circumstances, is being the assistance of counsel.
employed in this case for an unconstitutional
purpose. Accused Rafael and Carlos vehemently
objected on the ground that said extrajudicial
Bill of Attainder (1990) confession was inadmissible in evidence
No. 1; Executive Orders Nos. 1 and 2 issued by against them.
President Corazon C. Aquino created the
Presidential Commission on Good Government Rule on whether the said extrajudicial
(PCGG) and empowered it to sequester any confession is admissible in evidence or not.
property shown prima facie to be ill-gotten (5%)
wealth of the late President Marcos, his FIRST ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
relatives and cronies. Executive Order No. 14 According to People vs. Balisteros, 237 SCRA
vests on the Sandiganbayan jurisdiction to try 499 (1994), the confession is admissible. Under
hidden wealth cases. On April 14, 1986, after Section 12, Article III of the Constitution, the
an investigation, the PCGG sequestered the confession is inadmissible only against the one
assets of X Corporation, Inc. who confessed. Only the one whose rights were
(1) X Corporation, Inc. claimed that President violated can raise the objection as his right is
Aquino, as President, could not lawfully personal.
issue Executive Orders Nos. 1, 2 and 14, SECOND ALTERNATIVE ANSWER;
which have the force of law, on the ground According to People us. Jara, 144 SCRA
that legislation is a function of Congress. 516(1986), the confession is inadmissible. If it is
Decide. inadmissible against the one who confessed,
(2) Said corporation also questioned the with more reason it should be inadmissible
validity of the three executive orders on the against others.
ground that they are bills of attainder and,
therefore, unconstitutional. Decide. Custodial Investigation; Extrajudicial
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Confession; Police Line-Up (1994)
(1) Executive Orders Nos. 1, 2 and 14 were No. 10: An information for parricide was filed
issued in 1986. At that time President Corazon against Danny. After the NBI found an
Aquino exercised legislative power .... eyewitness to the commission of the crime.
Danny was placed in a police line-up where he
(2) Executive Orders Nos. 1, 2 and 14 are not was identified as the one who shot the victim.
bills of attainder. A bill of attainder is a After the line-up, Danny made a confession to a
legislative act which inflicts punishment without newspaper reporter who interviewed him.
judicial trial. Accordingly, it was held in Bataan 1) Can Danny claim that his identification by
Shipyards and Engineering company. Inc. v. the eyewitness be excluded on the ground
Presidential Commission on Good Government, that the line-up was made without benefit
that Executive Orders Nos. 1, 2 and 14 are not of his counsel?
bills of attainder, because they do not inflict any 2) Can Danny claim that his confession be
punishment. On the contrary, they expressly excluded on the ground that he was not
provide that any judgment that the property afforded his "Miranda" rights?
sequestered is ill-gotten wealth is to be made SUGGESTED ANSWER:
by a court (the Sandiganbayan) only after trial.
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 26
1) No, the identification of Danny, a private valid under Section 5(b).Rule 113 of the Rules
person, by an eyewitness during the line-up on Criminal Procedure. According to People vs.
cannot be excluded in evidence. In accordance Lamsing, 248 SCRA 471, the right to counsel
with the ruling in People vs. Hatton, 210 SCRA does not extend to police line-ups, because
1, the accused is not entitled to be assisted by they are not part of custodial investigations.
counsel during a police line-up, because it is However, according to People vs. Macan 238
not part of custodial investigation. SCRA 306, after the start of custodial
investigation, if the accused was not assisted
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER; by counsel, any identification of the accused in
Yes, in United States v. Wade, 338 U.S. 218 a police line-up is inadmissible.
(1967) and Gilbert v. California, 338 U.S. 263
(1967). it was held that on the basis of the Custodial Investigation; Right to Counsel
Sixth, rather than the Fifth Amendment (1988)
(equivalent to Art. III, Sec. 14 (2) rather than No. 15: Armando Salamanca, a notorious police
Sec. 12(1)), the police line-up is such a critical character, came under custodial investigation
stage that it carries "potential substantial for a robbery in Caloocan City. From the outset,
prejudice" for which reason the accused is the police officers informed him of his right to
entitled to the assistance of Counsel. remain silent, and also his right to have a
counsel of his choice, if he could afford one or if
2) No. Danny cannot ask that his confession to not, the government would provide him with
a newspaper reporter should be excluded in such counsel.
evidence. As held in People vs. Bernardo, 220
SCRA 31, such an admission was not made He thanked the police investigators, and
during a custodial interrogation but a voluntary declared that he fully understands the rights
statement made to the media. enumerated to him, but that, he is voluntarily
waiving them. Claiming that he sincerely
Custodial Investigation; Police Line-Up desires to atone for his misdeeds, he gave a
(1997) written statement on his participation in the
No. 10: A, while on board a passenger jeep one crime under investigation.
night, was held up by a group of three
teenagers who forcibly divested her of her In the course of the trial of the criminal case for
watch, necklace and wallet containing P100.00. the same robbery, the written admission of
That done, the trio jumped off the passenger Salamanca which he gave during the custodial
jeep and fled. B, the jeep driver, and A investigation, was presented as the only
complained to the police to whom they gave evidence of his guilt. If you were his counsel,
description of the culprits. According to the jeep what would you do? Explain your answer.
driver, he would be able to identify the culprits if SUGGESTED ANSWER:
presented to him. Next morning A and B were I would object to it on the ground that the waiver
summoned to the police station where five of the rights to silence and to counsel is void,
persons were lined up before them for having been made without the presence of
identification. A and B positively identified C counsel. (Art. III, sec. 12(1); People v. Galit,
and D as the culprits. After preliminary 135 SCRA 465 (1980). The waiver must also be
investigation. C and D and one John Doe were in writing, although this requirement might
charged with robbery in an information filed possibly have been complied with in this case
against them in court. C and D set up, in by embodying the waiver in the written
defense, the illegality of their apprehension, confession. It should also be noted that under
arrest and confinement based on the Rule 134, sec. 3, even if the extrajudicial
identification made of them by A and B at a confession is valid, it is not a sufficient ground
police line-up at which they were not assisted for conviction if it is not corroborated by
by counsel. How would you resolve the issues evidence of corpus delicti.
raised by C and D?
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Custodial Investigation; Right to Counsel
The arguments of the accused are untenable. (1993)
As held in People vs. Acot, 232 SCRA 406, the No. 17; In his extrajudicial confession executed
warrantless arrest of accused robbers before the police authorities, Jose Walangtakot
Immediately after their commission of the crime admitted killing his girlfriend in a fit of jealousy.
by police officers sent to look for them on the This admission was made after the following
basis of the information related by the victims is answer and question to wit:
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 27
T - Ikaw ay may karapatan pa rin kumuha ng SUGGESTED ANSWER:
serbisyo ng isang abogado para makatulong The confession of Ramos is not admissible,
mo sa imbestigasyong ito at kung wala kang
since the counsel assigned to him did not
makuha, ikaw ay aming bibigyan ng libreng
abogado, ano ngayon ang iyong masasabi?" advise him of his rights. The fact that his
"S - Nandiyan naman po si Fiscal (point to confession was taken before the effectivity of
Assistant Fiscal Aniceto Malaputo) kaya hindi the 1987 Constitution is of no moment. Even
ko na kinakailanganang abogado." prior to the effectivity of the 1987 Constitution,
the Supreme Court already laid down strict
During the trial. Jose Walangtakot repudiated rules on waiver of the rights during investigation
his confession contending that it was made in the case of People v. Galit, 135 SCRA 465
without the assistance of counsel and therefore (1985).
Inadmissible in evidence. Decide.
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Custodial Investigation; Right to Counsel;
The confession of Jose Walangtakot is Receipt of Property Seized (2002)
inadmissible in evidence. The warning given to No VIII. One day a passenger bus conductor
him is insufficient in accordance with the ruling found a man's handbag left in the bus. When
in People v. Duero, 104 SCRA 379, he should the conductor opened the bag, he found inside
have been warned also that he has the right to a catling card with the owner's name (Dante
remain silent and that any statement he makes Galang) and address, a few hundred peso bills,
may be used as evidence against him. Besides, and a small plastic bag containing a white
under Art. III, Sec. 12(1) of the Constitution, the powdery substance. He brought the powdery
counsel assisting a person being investigated substance to the National Bureau of
must be independent. Assistant Fiscal Aniceto Investigation for laboratory examination and it
Malaputo could not assist Jose Walangtakot. As was determined to be methamphetamine
held in People v. Viduya, 189 SCRA 403, his hydrochloride or shabu, a prohibited drug.
function is to prosecute criminal cases. To allow Dante Galang was subsequently traced and
him to act as defense counsel during custodial found and brought to the NBI Office where he
investigations would render nugatory the admitted ownership of the handbag and its
constitutional rights of the accused during contents. In the course of the interrogation by
custodial investigation. What the Constitution NBI agents, and without the presence and
requires is a counsel who will effectively assistance of counsel, Galang was made to
undertake the defense of his client without any sign a receipt for the plastic bag and its shabu
conflict of interest. The answer of Jose contents. Galang was charged with illegal
Walangtakot indicates that he did not fully possession of prohibited drugs and was
understand his rights. Hence, it cannot be said convicted.
that he knowingly and intelligently waived those On appeal he contends that -
rights. A. The plastic bag and its contents are
inadmissible in evidence being the product
Custodial Investigation; Right to Counsel of an illegal search and seizure; (3%) and
(2000) B. The receipt he signed is also inadmissible
No XI. On October 1, 1985, Ramos was as his rights under custodial investigation
arrested by a security guard because he were not observed. (2%)
appeared to be "suspicious" and brought to a Decide the case with reasons.
police precinct where in the course of the SUGGESTED ANSWER:
investigation he admitted he was the killer in an A. It is admissible...
unsolved homicide committed a week earlier. B. The receipt which Galang signed without
The proceedings of his investigation were put in the assistance of counsel is not admissible in
writing and dated October 1, 1985, and the only evidence. As held in People v. Castro, 274
participation of counsel assigned to him was his SCRA 115 {1997), since the receipt is a
mere presence and signature on the statement. document admitting the offense charged,
The admissibility of the statement of Ramos Galang should have been assisted by counsel
was placed in issue but the prosecution claims as required by Article III, Section 11 of the
that the confession was taken on October 1, Constitution.
1985 and the 1987 Constitution providing for
the right to counsel of choice and opportunity to Custodial Investigation; Police Line-up
retain, took effect only on February 2, 1987 and (1993)
cannot be given retroactive effect. Rule on this. No. 9: Johann learned that the police were
(3%) looking for him in connection with the rape of an
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 28
18-year old girl, a neighbor. He went to the Boulevard, which is also owned by X.
police station a week later and presented May they lawfully seize the said
himself to the desk sergeant. Coincidentally, the unlicensed firearms? Explain your
rape victim was in the premises executing an answer.
extrajudicial statement. Johann, along with six SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(6) other suspects, were placed in a police line- (1) Yes, the police operatives may lawfully
up and the girl pointed to him as the rapist. seize the cocaine, ....
Johann was arrested and locked up in a cell.
Johann was charged with rape in court but prior (2) No, X cannot successfully challenge the
to arraignment invoked his right to preliminary legality of the search simply because the peace
investigation. This was denied by the judge, officers did not inform him about his right to
and thus, trial proceeded. After the prosecution remain silent and his right to counsel. Section
presented several witnesses, Johann through 12(1), Article III of the 1987 Constitution
counsel, invoked the right to bail and filed a provides:
motion therefor, which was denied outright by "Any person under investigation for the
the Judge. Johann now files a petition for commission of an offense shall have the
certiorari before the Court of Appeals arguing right to be informed of his right to
that: remain silent and to have competent
2) He should have been informed of his right and independent counsel preferably of
to be represented by counsel prior to his his own choice."
identification via the police line up. Decide.
SUGGESTED ANSWER: As held in People v. Dy, 158 SCRA 111. for this
2} Pursuant to the decision in People us. provision to apply, a suspect must be under
Castmillo. 213. SCRA 777, Johann need not be investigation. There was no investigation
informed of his right to counsel prior to his involved in this case.
identification during the police line-up. The
police line-up is not part of custodial (3) The unlicensed firearms stored at 12 Shaw
investigation, since Johann was not being Boulevard may lawfully be seized ...
questioned but was merely being asked to
exhibit his body for identification by a witness. Custodial Investigation; Rights (1993)
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER No. 4: Larry was an overnight guest in a motel.
It may be argued that in United States vs. After he checked out the following day, the
Wade. 388 U.S. 218 (1967) and Gilbert vs. chambermaid found an attache case which she
California. 388 U.S. 263 (1967) It was held that surmised was left behind by Larry. She turned it
on the basis of the Sixth, rather than the Fifth over to the manager who, to determine the
Amendment (equivalent to Art. III. sec. 14 (2) name and address of the owner, opened the
rather than sec. 12 (1)), the police lineup is attache case and saw packages which had a
such a "critical stage" that it carries "potential peculiar smell and upon squeezing felt like
substantial prejudice" for which reason the dried leaves. His curiosity aroused, the
accused is entitled to the assistance of counsel. manager made an opening on one of the
packages and took several grams of the
Custodial Investigation; Rights (1990) contents thereof. He took the packages to the
No. 9; Some police operatives, acting under a NBI, and in the presence of agents, opened the
lawfully issued warrant for the purpose of packages, the contents of which upon
searching for firearms in the House of X located laboratory examination, turned out to be
at No. 10 Shaw Boulevard, Pasig, Metro marijuana flowering tops, Larry was
Manila, found, instead of firearms, ten subsequently found, brought to the NBI Office
kilograms of cocaine. where he admitted ownership of the attache
(1) May the said police operatives lawfully case and the packages. He was made to sign a
seize the cocaine? Explain your answer. receipt for the packages. Larry was charged in
(2) May X successfully challenge the legality court for possession of prohibited drugs. He
of the search on the ground that the was convicted. On appeal, he now poses the
peace officers did not inform him about following issues:
his right to remain silent and his right to 1) The packages are inadmissible in evidence
counsel? Explain your answer. being the product of an illegal search and
(3) Suppose the peace officers were able to seizure;
find unlicensed firearms in the house in
an adjacent lot, that is. No, 12 Shaw
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 29
2) Neither is the receipt he signed admissible, passing motor vehicles. A 19-year old boy, who
his rights under custodial investigation not finished fifth grade, while driving, was stopped
having been observed. Decide. by the authorities at the checkpoint. Without
SUGGESTED ANSWER: any objection from him, his car was inspected,
On the assumption that the issues were timely and the search yielded marijuana leaves hidden
raised the answers are as follows: in the trunk compartment of the car. The
1) The packages are admissible in evidence. ... prohibited drug was promptly seized, and the
boy was brought to the police station for
2) The receipt is not admissible in evidence. questioning.
According to the ruling in People vs. Mirantes, (1) Was the search without warrant legal?
209 SCRA 179, such receipt is in effect an (2) Before interrogation, the policeman on duty
extrajudicial confession of the commission of an informed the boy in English that he does "have
offense. Hence, if it was signed without the a right to remain silent and the right to counsel."
assistance of counsel, in accordance with However, there was no counsel available as it
Section 12(3), Article IV of the Constitution, it is was midnight. He declared orally that he did not
inadmissible in evidence. [People v. Duhan, need any lawyer as he was innocent, since he
142 SCRA 100 (1986)]. was only bringing the marijuana leaves to his
employer in Quezon City and was not a drug
Custodial Investigation; Rights (1996) user. He was charged with illegal possession of
No. 3: 1) A, who was arrested as a suspect in a prohibited drugs. Is his waiver of the right to
murder case was not represented by counsel counsel valid?
during the "question and answer" stage. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
However, before he was asked to sign his (1) No, the search was not valid, because there
statements to the police investigator, the latter was no probable cause ....
provided A with a counsel, who happened to be
at the police station. After conferring with A, the (2) No, the waiver of the right to counsel is not
counsel told the police investigator that A was valid, since it was not reduced in writing and
ready to sign the statements. made in the presence of counsel. Under
Section 12(1), Article III of the 1987 Constitution
Can the statements of A be presented in court to be valid, the waiver must be made in writing
as his confession? Explain. and in the presence of counsel.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
1) No, the statements of A cannot be presented Double Jeopardy (1988)
in court as his confession. He was not assisted No. 21: The Filipino seamen detained at Kota
by counsel during the actual questioning. There Kinabalu, allegedly fishing in Malaysian
is no showing that the lawyer who belatedly territorial waters, had been acquitted, after trial,
conferred with him fully explained to him the by the sessions court in the same city. They
nature and consequences of his confession. In could not be released and returned to the
People vs. Compil 244 SCRA 135, the Philippines, because the prosecution had
Supreme Court held that the accused must be appealed the judgment of acquittal to the
assisted by counsel during the actual Supreme Court of Malaysia.
questioning and the belated assistance of
counsel before he signed the confession does Assume the situations had been reversed and a
not cure the defect. Malaysian had been apprehended in Shasi,
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: Sulu, for an alleged offense, charged before the
Yes, the statements of A can be presented in Regional Trial Court and after trial acquitted.
court as his confession. As held in People vs.
Rous, 242 SCRA 732, even if the accused was May the Provincial Fiscal of Sulu appeal such
not assisted by counsel during the questioning, judgment of acquittal to the Supreme Court, like
his confession is admissible if he was able to what the Malaysians did in the case of the
consult a lawyer before he signed. Filipino fishermen at Kota Kinabalu? Explain
your answer.
Custodial Investigation; Rights (1989) SUGGESTED ANSWER:
No. 7: Pursuing reports that great quantities of No, because it would place the accused in
prohibited drugs are being smuggled at double jeopardy, contrary to Art. III, sec. 21 of
nighttime through the shores of Cavite, the our Constitution. PD No. 1599 prohibits any
Southern Luzon Command set up checkpoints person not a citizen to explore or exploit any of
at the end of the Cavite coastal road to search the resources of the exclusive economic zone
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 30
and makes violation of the prohibition a crime crime falling under the chapter on criminal
punishable by a fine of P2,000.00 to negligence, while abandonment of one's victim
P100,000.00 and/or imprisonment of not less is a crime falling under the chapter on crimes
than 6 months nor more than 10 years. If aliens against security. The former is committed by
are arrested for fishing within this zone but for means of culpa, while the latter is committed by
some reason are acquitted, the decision against means of dolo. Failure to help one's victim is
them cannot be appealed to the Court of not an offense by itself nor an element of
Appeals because that would place them in reckless imprudence. It merely Increases the
double jeopardy. This is so well established that penalty by one degree.
the Supreme Court turned down many pleas for
re-examination of the doctrine first announced Double Jeopardy (1997)
in Kepner v. United States. 11 Phil. 669 (1904). No. 2: The Sangguniang Panlungsod of Manila
The doctrine is said to be part and parcel not approved an ordinance (No. 1000) prohibiting
only of settled jurisprudence but also of the operation in the streets within the city limits
constitutional law. Nor does it matter that the of taxicab units over eight years old (from year
accused are aliens. This guarantee has been of manufacture). The imposable penalty for
applied even to aliens without thought of their violation thereof is a fine of P4,000.00 or
citizenship. (See e.g., People v. Ang Chio Kio, 95 Phil. 475 imprisonment for one year upon the erring
(1954) (Chinese previously convicted of murder); People v. operator. Thereafter and while the city
Pomeroy, 97 Phil 927 (1955) ( American previously convicted
of rebellion with murder, arson and robbery). ordinance was already in effect. Congress
enacted a law (Republic Act No. 500)
Double Jeopardy (1993) prohibiting the operation in the streets of cities
No. 13: A Pajero driven by Joe sideswiped a throughout the country of taxicab units beyond
motorcycle driven by Nelson resulting in ten years old. The imposable penalty for
damage to the motorcycle and injuries to violation thereof is the same as in Ordinance
Nelson. Joe sped on without giving assistance No. 1000. A, an owner/operator of a taxicab unit
to Nelson. The Fiscal filed two informations operating in the City of Manila, was charged
against Joe, to wit: (1) reckless imprudence with violation of the city ordinance. Upon
resulting in damage to property with physical arraignment, he pleaded not guilty; whereupon,
injuries under Art. 365, RPC, before the RTC; trial was set five days thereafter. For failure of
and (2) abandonment of one's victim under par. the witnesses to appear at the trial, the City
2 Art 275, before the MTC. Court dismissed the case against A. The City
Prosecutor of Manila forthwith filed another
Joe was arraigned, tried and convicted for information in the same court charging A with
abandonment of one's victim in the MTC. He violation of Republic Act No. 500 for operating
appealed to the RTC. It was only a year later the taxicab unit subject of the information in the
that he was arraigned in the reckless first case. The accused moved to dismiss the
imprudence charge before the RTC. He second case against him invoking double
pleaded not guilty. Jeopardy.

Subsequently, the RTC affirmed the decision of How would you rule on A's motion if you were
the MTC relative to the abandonment of one's the Judge?
victim charge. Joe filed a petition for review SUGGESTED ANSWER:
before the Court of Appeals, invoking his right If I were the judge, I would grant the motion.
to double Jeopardy, contending that the The dismissal of the first case for failure of the
prosecution for abandonment under Art. 275 of witnesses to appear terminated the first
the Revised Penal Code is a bar to the jeopardy. As held in Caes vs. Intermediate
prosecution for negligence under Article 365 of Appellate Court, 179 SCRA 54, the dismissal of
the same Code. Decide. a case for failure of the witnesses for the
SUGGESTED ANSWER: prosecution to appear constitutes an acquittal.
Joe cannot claim that his conviction for The acquittal of A for violation of Ordinance No.
abandoning his victim in violation of Article 275 1000 bars his prosecution for violation of
of the Revised Penal Code is a bar to his Republic Act No. 500. Under Section 21, Article
prosecution for negligence under Article 365 of in of the Constitution, if an act is punished by a
the Revised Penal Code. As held in Lamera v. law and an ordinance, conviction or acquittal
Court of Appeals, 198 SCRA 186, there is no under either bars another prosecution for the
double jeopardy, because these two offenses same act.
are not identical. Reckless imprudence is a ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 31
If I were the judge, I would deny the motion. the offended party. How would you resolve
The dismissal of the first case is void and does Gerald's contentions? Explain. (4%)
not give rise to double jeopardy. The dismissal SUGGESTED ANSWER:
of the first case is arbitrary and denied the Geralde cannot invoke double jeopardy.
prosecution due process of law. The trial was According to Perez v. Court of Appeals, 168
set five days after the arraignment. There was SCRA 236, there is no identity between
no sufficient time to subpoena the witnesses consented abduction and qualified seduction.
and this was the first time the witnesses failed
to appear. As held in People vs. Declaro 170 CONSENTED ABDUCTION requires that the
SCRA 142, the dismissal of a case for failure of taking away of the offended party must be with
the witnesses to appear at the initial hearing is her consent, after solicitation or cajolery from
arbitrary and void and does not give rise to the offender, and the taking away of the
double jeopardy. offended party must be with lewd designs. On
the other hand, QUALIFIED SEDUCTION
Double Jeopardy (1999) requires that the crime be committed by abuse
A. Discuss the right of every accused against of authority, confidence or relationship and the
double jeopardy? (2%) offender had sexual intercourse with the
SUGGESTED ANSWER: woman.
According to Melo v. People, 85 Phil. 766, the
rule of double jeopardy means that when a The delay in filing the second case does not
person was charged with an offense and the constitute pardon, according to Article 344 of
case was terminated by acquittal or conviction the Revised Penal Code, to be valid the pardon
or in any other manner without his consent, he of the offender by the offended party must be
cannot again be charged with the same or expressly given.
identical offense.
Double Jeopardy (2000)
Double Jeopardy (1999) No XV. Charged by Francisco with libel, Pablo
C. On October 21, 1986, 17 year old Virginia was arraigned on January 3, 2000, Pre-trial was
Sagrado brought a complaint against Martin dispensed with and continuous trial was set for
Geralde for consented abduction. With the March 7, 8 and 9, 2000. On the first setting, the
accused pleading not guilty upon arraignment, prosecution moved for its postponement and
trial ensued. After trial, a judgment of cancellation of the other settings because its
conviction was rendered against Geralde. principal and probably only witness, the private
When the case was appealed to it, the Court of complainant Francisco, suddenly had to go
Appeals reversed the judgment of the Trial abroad to fulfill a professional commitment. The
Court, ratiocinating and ruling as follows: "This judge instead dismissed the case for failure to
is not to say that the appellant did nothing prosecute.
wrong...she was seduced by the appellant with b) Would the reversal of the trial court's
promises (of marriage) just to accomplish his assailed dismissal of the case place the
lewd designs." Years later, Virginia brought accused in double jeopardy? (3%)
another complaint for Qualified Seduction. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Geralde presented a Motion to Quash on the b) Since the postponement of the case would
ground of double jeopardy, which motion and not violate the right of the accused to speedy
his subsequent motion for reconsideration were trial, the precipitate dismissal of the case is
denied: Question: May Geralde validly invoke void. The reversal of the dismissal will not
double jeopardy in questioning the institution of place the accused in double Jeopardy.
the case for Qualified Seduction? He placed ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
reliance principally on the "same evidence" b) Since the dismissal of the case is valid, its
test to support his stance. He asserted that reversal will place the accused in double
the offenses with which he was charged arose jeopardy.
from the same set of facts. Furthermore, he
averted that the complaint for Qualified Double Jeopardy (2001)
Seduction is barred by waiver and estoppel on No X - For the death of Joey, Erning was
the part of the complainant, she having opted to charged with the crime of homicide before the
consider the case as consented abduction. Regional Trial Court of Valenzuela. He was
Finally, he argued that her delay of more than arraigned. Due to numerous postponements of
eight (8) years before filing the second case the scheduled hearings at the instance of the
against him constituted pardon on the part of prosecution, particularly based on the ground of
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 32
unavailability of prosecution witnesses who an ordinance, conviction or acquittal under
could not be found or located, the criminal case either shall constitute a bar to another
was pending trial for a period of seven years. prosecution for the same act. In this case, the
Upon motion of accused Erning who invoked same act is involved in the two cases. The
his right to speedy trial, the court dismissed the reckless imprudence which resulted in physical
case. injuries arose from the same act of driving
under the influence of liquor. In Yap v. Lutero,
Eventually, the prosecution witnesses surfaced, G.R. No. L-12669, April 30, 1959, the Supreme
and a criminal case for homicide, involving the Court held that an accused who was acquitted
same incident was filed anew against Erning. of driving recklessly in violation of an ordinance
Accused Erning moved for dismissal of the could not be prosecuted for damage to property
case on the ground of double jeopardy. The through reckless imprudence because the two
prosecution objected, submitting the reason charges were based on the same act. In People
that it was not able to present the said v, Relova, 148 SCRA 292 (1987), it was held
witnesses earlier because the latter went into that when there is identity in the act punished
hiding out of fear. Resolve the motion. (5%) by a law and an ordinance, conviction or
SUGGESTED ANSWER: acquittal under either shall bar prosecution
The motion should be granted. As held in Caes under the other.
us. Intermediate Appellate Court, 179 SCRA 54 SECOND ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
(1989), the dismissal of a criminal case There is no double jeopardy because the act
predicated on the right of the accused to a penalized under the Revised Penal Code is
speedy trial amounts to an acquittal for failure different from the act penalized by the
of the prosecution to prove his guilt and bars his ordinance of Makati City. The Revised Penal
subsequent prosecution for the same offense. Code penalizes reckless imprudence resulting
in physical injuries, while the ordinance of
Double Jeopardy (2002) Makati City penalizes driving under the
No IX. A Tamaraw FX driven by Asiong influence of liquor.
Cascasero, who was drunk, sideswiped a
pedestrian along EDSA in Makati City, resulting Double Jeopardy; Requisites (1999)
in physical injuries to the latter. The public B. What are the requisites of double jeopardy?
prosecutor filed two separate informations (2%)
against Cascasero, the first for reckless SUGGESTED ANSWER:
imprudence resulting in physical injuries under As held in Cuison v. Court of Appeals, 289
the Revised Penal Code, and the second for SCRA 159, for a claim of double jeopardy to
violation of an ordinance of Makati City prosper, the following requisites must concur:
prohibiting and penalizing driving under the (1) a first jeopardy has attached;
influence of liquor. (2) the first jeopardy was validly terminated; and
Cascasero was arraigned, tried and convicted (3) the second is for the same offense.
for reckless imprudence resulting in physical
injuries under the Revised Penal Code. With A first jeopardy attaches:
regard to the second case (i.e., violation of the 1. upon a valid complaint or information;
city ordinance), upon being arraigned, he filed a 2. before a competent court;
motion to quash the information invoking his 3. after arraignment;
right against double jeopardy. He contended 4. a valid entry of plea; and
that, under Art. III, Section 21 of the 5. the dismissal or termination of the case
Constitution, if an act is punished by a law and without the express consent of the accused.
an ordinance, conviction or acquittal under
either shall constitute a bar to another Due Process; Absence of Denial (1999)
prosecution for the same act He argued that the No VIII - B. On April 6, 1963, Police Officer
two criminal charges against him stemmed from Mario Gatdula was charged by the Mayor with
the same act of driving allegedly under the Grave Misconduct and Violation of Law before
influence of liquor which caused the accident. the Municipal Board. The Board investigated
Was there double jeopardy? Explain your Gatdula but before the case could be decided,
answer (5%) the City charter was approved. The City Fiscal,
FIRST ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: citing Section 30 of the city charter, asserted
Yes, there is double jeopardy. Under the that he was authorized thereunder to
second sentence of Article III, Section 21 of the investigate city officers and employees. The
Constitution, if an act is punished by a law and case against Gatdula was then forwarded to
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 33
him, and a re-investigation was conducted. The received the evidence, in violation of the "He
office of the Fiscal subsequently recommended who decides must hear" rule. Is he correct?
dismissal. On January 11, 1966, the City Mayor 2) On the ground that there was a violation of
returned the records of the case to the City due process because the complainants, the
Fiscal for the submission of an appropriate prosecutor and the hearing officers were all
resolution but no resolution was submitted. On subordinates of the BID Commissioners who
March 3, 1968, the City Fiscal transmitted the rendered the deportation decision. Is he
records to the City Mayor recommending that correct?
final action thereon be made by the City Board SUGGESTED ANSWER:
of Investigators (CBI). Although the CBI did 1) No, Stevie is not correct. As held in Adamson
not conduct an investigation, the records show A Adamson, Inc. vs. Amores, 152 SCRA 237,
that both the Municipal Board and the Fiscal's administrative due process does not require
Office exhaustively heard the case with both that the actual taking of testimony or the
parties afforded ample opportunity to adduce presentation of evidence before the same
their evidence and argue their cause. The officer who will decide the case.
Police Commission found Gatdula guilty on the
basis of the records forwarded by the CBI. In American Tobacco Co. v. Director of Patents,
Gatdula challenged the adverse decision of the 67 SCRA 287, the Supreme Court has ruled
Police Commission theorizing that he was that so long as the actual decision on the merits
deprived of due process. Questions: Is the of the cases is made by the officer authorized
Police Commission bound by the findings of the by law to decide, the power to hold a hearing on
City Fiscal? Is Gatdula's protestation of lack or the basis of which his decision will be made can
non-observance of due process well-grounded? be delegated and is not offensive to due
Explain your answers. (4%) process. The Court noted that: "As long as a
SUGGESTED ANSWER: party is not deprived of his right to present his
The Police Commission is not bound by the own case and submit evidence in support
findings of the City Fiscal. In Mangubat v. de thereof, and the decision is supported by the
Castro, 163 SCRA 608, it was held that the evidence in the record, there is no question that
Police Commission is not prohibited from the requirements of due process and fair trial
making its own findings on the basis of its own are fully met. In short, there is no abrogation of
evaluation of the records. Likewise, the responsibility on the part of the officer
protestation of lack of due process is not well- concerned as the actual decision remains with
grounded, since the hearings before the and is made by said officer. It is, however,
Municipal Board and the City Fiscal offered required that to give the substance of a hearing,
Gatdula the chance to be heard. There is no which is for the purpose of making
denial of due process if the decision was determinations upon evidence the officer who
rendered on the basis of evidence contained in makes the determinations must consider and
the record and disclosed to the parties affected. appraise the evidence which justifies them.

Due Process; Deportation (1994) 2) No, Stevie was not denied due process
No. 9: A complaint was filed by Intelligence simply because the complainants, the
agents of the Bureau of Immigration and prosecutor, and the hearing officers were all
Deportation (BID) against Stevie, a German subordinates of the Commissioner of the
national, for his deportation as an undesirable Bureau of Immigration and Deportation. In
alien. The Immigration Commissioner directed accordance with the ruling in Erianger &
the Special Board of Inquiry to conduct an Galinger, Inc. vs. Court of Industrial Relations,
Investigation. At the said Investigation, a lawyer 110 Phil. 470, the findings of the subordinates
from the Legal Department of the BID are not conclusive upon the Commissioners,
presented as witnesses the three Intelligence who have the discretion to accept or reject
agents who filed the complaint. On the basis of them. What is important is that Stevie was not
the findings, report and recommendation of the deprived of his right to present his own case
Board of Special Inquiry, the BID and submit evidence in support thereof, the
Commissioners unanimously voted for Stevie's decision is supported by substantial evidence,
deportation. Stevie's lawyer questioned the and the commissioners acted on their own
deportation order independent consideration of the law and facts
1) On the ground that Stevie was denied due of the case, and did not simply accept the views
process because the BID Commissioners who of their subordinates in arriving at a decision.
rendered the decision were not the ones who
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 34
Due Process; Forfeiture Proceedings (1993) the proceedings, and in the last analysis to
No. 14: The S/S "Masoy" of Panamanian avoid a miscarriage of justice.
registry, while moored at the South Harbor, was
found to have contraband goods on board. The Due Process; Meeting vs. Hearing (1999)
Customs Team found out that the vessel did not No VIII - C. On November 7, 1990, nine
have the required ship's permit and shipping lawyers of the Legal Department of Y Bank who
documents. The vessel and its cargo were held were all under Fred Torre, sent a complaint to
and a warrant of Seizure and Detention was management accusing Torre of abusive
issued after due investigation. In the course of conduct and mismanagement. Furnished with
the forfeiture proceedings, the ship captain and a copy of the complaint, Torre denied the
the ship's resident agent executed sworn charges. Two days later, the lawyers and
statements before the Custom legal officer Torre were called to a conference in the office
admitting that contraband cargo were found of the Board Chairman to give their respective
aboard the vessel. The shipping lines object to sides of the controversy. However, no
the admission of the statements as evidence agreement was reached thereat. Bank Director
contending that during their execution, the Romulo Moret was tasked to look further into
captain and the shipping agent were not the matter. He met with the lawyers together
assisted by counsel, in violation of due process. with Torre several times but to no avail. Moret
Decide. then submitted a report sustaining the charges
SUGGESTED ANSWER: of the lawyers. The Board Chairman wrote
The admission of the statements of the captain Torre to inform him that the bank had chosen
and the shipping agent as evidence did not the compassionate option of "waiting" for
violate due process even if they were not Torre's resignation. Torre was asked, without
assisted by counsel. In Feeder International being dismissed, to turn over the documents of
Line, Pts. Ltd. v. Court of Appeals, 197 SCRA all cases handled by him to another official of
842, It was held that the assistance of counsel the bank but Torre refused to resign and
is not indispensable to due process in forfeiture requested for a "full hearing". Days later, he
proceedings since such proceedings are not reiterated his request for a "full hearing",
criminal in nature. claiming that he had been "constructively
dismissed". Moret assured Torre that he is "free
Moreover, the strict rules of evidence and to remain in the employ of the bank" even if he
procedure will not apply in administrative has no particular work assignment. After
proceedings like seizure and forfeiture another request for a "full hearing" was ignored,
proceedings. What is important is that the Torre filed a complaint with the arbitration
parties are afforded the opportunity to be heard branch of NLRC for illegal dismissal. Reacting
and the decision of the administrative authority thereto, the bank terminated the services of
is based on substantial evidence. Torre. Questions: (a) Was Torre "constructively
dismissed" before he filed his complaint? (b)
Due Process; Media Coverage during Given the multiple meetings held among the
Hearing (1996) bank officials, the lawyers and Torre, is it
No 2: At the trial of a rape case where the correct for him to say that he was not given an
victim-complainant was a well known opportunity to be heard? Explain your answers.
personality while the accused was a popular (4%)
movie star, a TV station was allowed by the trial SUGGESTED ANSWER:
judge to televise the entire proceedings like the a) Torre was constructively dismissed, as held
O.J. Simpson trial. The accused objected to the in Equitable Banking Corporation v. National
TV coverage and petitioned the Supreme Court Labor Relations Commission, 273 SCRA 352.
to prohibit the said coverage. Allowing an employee to report for work without
As the Supreme Court, how would you rule on being assigned any work constitutes
the petition? Explain. constructive dismissal.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The Supreme Court should grant the petition. In b) Torre is correct in saying that he was not
its Resolution dated October 22, 1991, the given the chance to be heard. The meetings in
Supreme Court prohibited live radio and the nature of consultations and conferences
television coverage of court proceedings to cannot be considered as valid substitutes for
protect the right of the parties to due process, the proper observance of notice and hearing.
to prevent the distraction of the participants in
Due Process; Notice by Publication (1988)
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 35
No. 9: Macabebe, Pampanga has several No, it is not a property right under the due
barrios along the Pampanga river. To service process clause of the Constitution. Just like
the needs of their residentst the municipality ordinary licenses in other regulated fields, it
has been operating a ferry service at the same may be revoked any time. It does not confer an
river, for a number of years already. absolute right, but only a personal privilege,
subject to restrictions. A licensee takes his
Sometime in 1987, the municipality was served license subject to such conditions as the
a copy of an order from the Land Tansportation Legislature sees fit to impose, and may be
Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), revoked at its pleasure without depriving the
granting a certificate of public convenience to licensee of any property (Chavez v. Romulo,
Mr. Ricardo Macapinlac, a resident of G.R. No. 157036, June 9, 2004).
Macabebe, to operate ferry service across the
same river and between the same barrios being Due Process; PPA-Pilots (2001)
serviced presently by the municipality's ferry No XIII - The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA)
boats. A check of the records of the application General Manager issued an administrative
of Macapinlac shows that the application was order to the effect that all existing regular
filed some months before, set for hearing, and appointments to harbor pilot positions shall
notices of such hearing were published in two remain valid only up to December 31 of the
newspapers of general circulation in the town of current year and that henceforth all
Macabebe, and in the province of Pampanga. appointments to harbor pilot positions shall be
The municipality had never been directly served only for a term of one year from date of
a copy of that notice of hearing nor had the effectivity, subject to yearly renewal or
Sangguniang Bayan been requested by cancellation by the PPA after conduct of a rigid
Macapinlac for any operate. The municipality evaluation of performance. Pilotage as a
immediately filed a motion for reconsideration profession may be practiced only by duly
with the LTFRB which was denied. It went to licensed individuals, who have to pass five
the Supreme Court on a petition for certiorari to government professional examinations.
nullify the order granting a certificate of public
convenience to Macapinlac on two grounds: The Harbor Pilot Association challenged the
1. Denial of due process to the municipality; validity of said administrative order arguing that
2. For failure of Macapinlac to secure approval it violated the harbor pilots' right to exercise
of the Sangguniang Bayan for him to their profession and their right to due process of
operate a ferry service in Macabebe, law and that the said administrative order was
Resolve the two points in the petition with issued without prior notice and hearing. The
reasons. PPA countered that the administrative order
SUGGESTED ANSWER: was valid as it was issued in the exercise of its
The petition for certiorari should be granted, administrative control and supervision over
1. As a party directly affected by the operation harbor pilots under PPA's legislative charter,
of the ferry service, the Municipality of and that in issuing the order as a rule or
Macabebe, Pampanga was entitled to be regulation, it was performing its executive or
directly notified by the LTFRB of its legislative, and not a quasi-Judicial function.
proceedings relative to Macapinlac's
application, even if the Municipality had not Due process of law is classified into two kinds,
notified the LTFRB of the existence of the namely, procedural due process and
municipal ferry service. Notice by publication substantive due process of law. Was there, or,
was not enough. (Municipality of Echague v. was there no violation of the harbor pilots' right
Abellera, 146 SCRA 180 (1986)). to exercise their profession and their right to
due process of law? (5%)
2. Where a ferry operation lies entirely within SUGGESTED ANSWER:
the municipality, the prior approval of the The right of the harbor pilots to due process
Municipal government is necessary. .... was violated. Am held in Corona vs. United
Harbor Pilots Association of the Philippines,
Due Process; Permit to Carry Firearm 283 SCRA 31 (1997) pilotage as a profession is
Outside Residence (Q6-2006) a property right protected by the guarantee of
3. Does a Permit to Carry Firearm Outside due process. The pre-evaluation cancellation of
Residence (PTCFOR) constitute a property the licenses of the harbor pilots every year is
right protected by the Constitution? (2.5%) unreasonable and violated their right to
SUGGESTED ANSWER: substantive due process. The renewal is
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 36
dependent on the evaluation after the licenses issued after appropriate notice and hearing to
have been cancelled. The issuance of the affected parties. The ruling in Philippine
administrative order also violated procedural Communications Satellite Corporation vs.
due process, since no prior public hearing was Alcuaz, 180 SCRA 218, to the effect that an
conducted. As hold in Commissioner of Internal order provisionally reducing the rates which a
Revenue vs. Court of Appeals, 261 SCRA 237 public utility could charge, could be issued
(1998), when a regulation is being issued under without previous notice and hearing, cannot
the quasi-legislative authority of an apply.
administrative agency, the requirements of
notice, hearing and publication must be Due Process; Public School Teachers (2002)
observed. No X - Ten public school teachers of Caloocan
City left their classrooms to join a strike, which
Due Process; Procedural vs. Substantive lasted for one month, to ask for teachers'
(1999) benefits.
No VIII - A. Give examples of acts of the state
which infringe the due process clause: The Department of Education, Culture and
1. in its substantive aspect and (1%) Sports charged them administratively, for which
2. in its procedural aspect? (1%) reason they were required to answer and
SUGGESTED ANSWER: formally investigated by a committee composed
1.) A law violates substantive due process of the Division Superintendent of Schools as
when it is unreasonable or unduly oppressive. Chairman, the Division Supervisor as member
For example, Presidential Decree No. 1717, and a teacher, as another member. On the
which cancelled all the mortgages and liens of a basis of the evidence adduced at the formal
debtor, was considered unconstitutional for investigation which amply established their
being oppressive. Likewise, as stated in guilt, the Director rendered a decision meting
Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators out to them the penalty of removal from office.
Association, Inc. v. City Mayor of Manila, 20 The decision was affirmed by the DECS
SCRA 849, a law which is vague so that men of Secretary and the Civil Service Commission.
common intelligence must guess at its meaning
and differ as to its application violates On appeal, they reiterated the arguments they
substantive due process. As held in Tanada v. raised before the administrative bodies, namely:
Tuvera, 146 SCRA 446, due process requires (b) They were deprived of due process of law
that the law be published. as the Investigating Committee was improperly
constituted because it did not include a teacher
2.) In State Prosecutors v. Muro, 236 SCRA in representation of the teachers' organization
505, it was held that the dismissal of a case as required by the Magna Carta for Public
without the benefit of a hearing and without any School Teachers (R.A. No. 4670, Sec. 9).
notice to the prosecution violated due process. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Likewise, as held in People v. Court of Appeals, The teachers were deprived of due process of
262 SCRA 452, the lack of impartiality of the law. Under Section 9 of the Magna Carta for
judge who will decide a case violates Public School Teachers, one of the members of
procedural due process. the committee must be a teacher who is a
representative of the local, or in its absence,
Due Process; Provisional Order (1991) any existing provincial or national organization
No 7 - On 29 July 1991. the Energy Regulatory of teachers. According to Fabella v. Court of
Board (ERB), in response to public clamor, Appeals, 283 SCRA 256 (1997), to be
issued a resolution approving and adopting a considered the authorized representative of
schedule for bringing down the prices of such organization, the teacher must be chosen
petroleum products over a period of one (1) by the organization itself and not by the
year starting 15 August 1991, over the objection Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports.
of the oil companies which claim that the period Since in administrative proceedings, due
covered is too long to prejudge and foresee. Is process requires that the tribunal be vested with
the resolution valid? jurisdiction and be so constituted as to afford a
SUGGESTED ANSWER: person charged administratively a reasonable
No, the resolution is invalid, since the Energy guarantee of impartiality, if the teacher who is a
Regulatory Board issued the resolution without member of the committee was not appointed in
a hearing. The resolution here is not a accordance with the law, any proceeding before
provisional order and therefore it can only be
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 37
it is tainted with deprivation of procedural due defense presented in his behalf will be
process. inadequate considering the legal requisite and
skill needed in court proceedings. There would
Due Process; Radio Station (1987) certainly be a denial of due process. (Delgado
No. XIV: In the morning of August 28, 1987, v. Court of Appeals, 145 SCRA 357 (1986)).
during the height of the fighting at Channel 4
and Camelot Hotel, the military closed Radio Due Process; Substantive (2003)
Station XX, which was excitedly reporting the 2003 No XII - The municipal council of the
successes of the rebels and movements municipality of Guagua, Pampanga, passed an
towards Manila and troops friendly to the ordinance penalizing any person or entity
rebels. The reports were correct and factual. On engaged in the business of selling tickets to
October 6, 1987, after normalcy had returned movies or other public exhibitions, games or
and the Government had full control of the performances which would charge children
situation, the National Telecommunications between 7 and 12 years of age the full price of
Commission, without notice and hearing, but admission tickets instead of only one-half of the
merely on the basis of the report of the military, amount thereof. Would you hold the ordinance
cancelled the franchise of station XX. a valid exercise of legislative power by the
Discuss the legality of: municipality? Why?
(b) The cancellation of the franchise of the SUGGESTED ANSWER:
station on October 6, 1987. The ordinance is void. As held in Balacuit v.
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Court of First Instance of Agusan del Norte. 163
The cancellation of the franchise of the station SCRA 182 [1988], the ordinance is
on October 6, 1987, without prior notice and unreasonable. It deprives the sellers of the
hearing, is void. As held in Eastern tickets of their property without due process. A
Broadcasting Corp. (DYRE) v. Dans, 137 SCRA ticket is a property right and may be sold for
647 (1985), the cardinal primary requirements such price as the owner of it can obtain. There
in administrative proceedings (one of which is is nothing pernicious in charging children the
that the parties must first be heard) as laid same price as adults.
down in Ang Tibay v. CIR, 69 Phil. 635 (1940)
must be observed in closing a radio station Due Process; Suspension of Driver's
because radio broadcasts are a form of License (1992)
constitutionally-protected expression. No, 3; Congress is considering a law against
drunken driving. Under the legislation, police
Due Process; Represented by a Non-Lawyer authorities may ask any driver to take a
(1988) "breathalyzer test", wherein the driver exhales
No. 5: Norberto Malasmas was accused of several times into a device which can determine
estafa before the Regional Trial Court of whether he has been driving under the
Manila. After the trial, he was found guilty. On influence of alcohol. The results of the test can
appeal, his conviction was affirmed by the Court be used, in any legal proceeding against him.
of Appeals. After the records of his case had Furthermore, declaring that the issuance of a
been remanded to the Regional Trial Court for driver's license gives rise only to a privilege to
execution, and after the latter Court had set the drive motor vehicles on public roads, the law
date for the promulgation of judgment, the provides that a driver who refuses to take the
accused filed a motion with the Court of test shall be automatically subject to a 90-day
Appeals to set aside the entry of judgment, and suspension of his driver's license,
to remand the case to the Regional Trial Court
for new trial on the ground that he had just Cite two [2] possible constitutional objections to
discovered that "Atty. Leonilo Maporma" whom this law. Resolve the objections and explain
he had chosen and who had acted as his whether any such infirmities can be cured.
counsel before the trial court and the Court of SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Appeals, is not a lawyer. Resolved the motion Possible objections to the law are that requiring
of the accused with reasons. a driver to take the breathalyzer test will violate
SUGGESTED ANSWER: his right against self-incrimination, that
The motion should be granted and the entry of providing for the suspension of his driver's
judgment should be set aside. An accused is license without any hearing violates due
entitled to be heard by himself or counsel. (Art. process, and that the proposed law will violate
III, sec. 14(2)). Unless he is represented by an the right against unreasonable searches and
attorney, there is a great danger that any seizures, because it allows police authorities to
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 38
require a drive to take the breathalyzer test Electric Light Co, v. PSC, 10 SCRA 46 (1964) it
even if there is no probable cause was held that a rate order, which applies
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: exclusively to a particular party and is
Requiring a driver to take a breathalyzer test predicated on a finding of fact, partakes of the
does not violate his right against self- nature of a quasi judicial, rather than legislative,
incrimination, because he is not being function.
compelled to give testimonial evidence. He is
merely being asked to submit to a physical test. The first order, granting a provisional rate
This is not covered by the constitutional increase without hearing, is valid if justified by
guarantee against self-incrimination. Thus, in URGENT PUBLIC NEED, such as increase in
South Dakota vs. Neville, 459 U.S. 553, it was the cost of fuel. The power of the Public Service
held for this reason that requiring a driver to Commission to grant such increase was upheld
take a blood-alcohol test is valid. in several cases. (Silva v. Ocampo, 90 Phil. 777
(1952); Halili v. PSC, 92 Phil. 1036(1953))
As held in Mackey vs. Afontrya 443 U.S. 1,
because of compelling government interest in The second order requiring the company to pay
safety along the streets, the license of a driver unpaid supervisory fees under the Public
who refuses to take the breathalyzer test may Service Act cannot be sustained. The company
be suspended immediately pending a post- has a right to be heard, before it may be
suspension hearing, but there must be a ordered to pay. (Ang Tibay v. CIR, 69 Phil. 635
provision for a post-suspension hearing. Thus, (1940))
to save the proposed law from The third order can be justified. The fact that
unconstitutionally on the ground of denial of due the TRB has allowed a provisional rate increase
process, it should provide for an immediate does not bind it to make the order permanent if
hearing upon suspension of the driver's license. the evidence later submitted does not justify
The proposed law violates the right against increase but, on the contrary, warrants the
unreasonable searches and seizures. It will reduction of rates.
authorize police authorities to stop any driver
and ask him to take the breathalyzer test even Eminent Domain; Garnishment (1994)
in the absence of a probable cause. No. 14: The Municipality of Antipolo, Rizal,
expropriated the property of Juan Reyes for use
Due Process; Urgent Public Need (1987) as a public market. The Municipal Council
No. II: The Manila Transportation Company appropriated Pl,000,000.00 for the purchase of
applied for upward adjustment of its rates the lot but the Regional Trial Court, on the basis
before the Transportation Regulatory Board. of the evidence, fixed the value at
Pending the petition, the TRB, without previous P2,000,000.00.
hearing, granted a general nationwide 1) What legal action can Juan Reyes take to
provisional increase of rates. In another Order, collect the balance?
TRB required the company to pay the unpaid 2) Can Juan Reyes ask the Regional Trial
supervisory fees collectible under the Public Court to garnish the Municipality's account
Service Law. After due notice and hearing, on with the Land Bank?
the basis of the evidence presented by Manila SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Transportation Company and the Oppositors, 1) To collect the balance of Judgment, as
TRB issued an Order reducing the rates applied stated in Tan Toco vs. Municipal Counsel of
for by one-fourth. Iloilo, 49 Phil. 52, Juan Reyes may levy on
patrimonial properties of the Municipality of
Characterize the powers exercised by the TRB Antipolo. If it has no patrimonial properties, in
in this case and determine whether under the accordance with the Municipality of Makati vs.
present constitutional system the Court of Appeals, 190 SCRA 206, the remedy
Transportation Regulatory Board can be validly of Juan Reyes is to file a petition for mandamus
conferred the powers exercised by it in issuing to compel the Municipality of Antipolo to
the Orders given above. Explain. appropriate the necessary funds to satisfy the
SUGGESTED ANSWER: judgment.
The orders in this case involve the exercise of
judicial function by an administrative agency, 2) Pursuant to the ruling in Pasay City
and therefore, as a general rule, the cardinal Government vs. Court of First Instance of
primary rights enumerated in Ang Tibay v. CIR, Manila, 132 SCRA 156, since the Municipality
69 Phil. 635 (1940) must be observed. In Vigart of Antipolo has appropriated P1,000,000 to pay
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 39
for the lot, its bank account may be garnished (2) As the judge, rule on the said objections.
but up to this amount only. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(1) As counsel for C Company, I will argue that
Eminent Domain; Garnishment (1998) the taking of the property is not for a public use
No VI - 2, If the City of Cebu has money in and that the ordinance cannot fix the
bank, can it be garnished? [2%] compensation to be paid C Company, because
SUGGESTED ANSWER: this is a judicial question that is for the courts to
2. No, the money of the City of Cebu in the decide.
bank cannot be garnished if it came from public
funds. As held in Municipality of Makati vs. (2) As judge, I will sustain the contention that
Court of Appeals, 190 SCRA 206, 212, public the taking of the property of C Company to
funds are exempted from garnishment. operate the commercial center established
within it to finance a housing project for city
Eminent Domain; immunity from suit (2001) employees is not for a public use but for a
No III - The Republic of the Philippines, through private purpose. As the Court indicated in a
the Department of Public Works and Highways dictum in Manotok. v. National Housing
(DPWH), constructed a new highway linking Authority, 150 SCRA 89, that the expropriation
Metro Manila and Quezon province, and which of a commercial center so that the profits
major thoroughfare traversed the land owned derived from its operation can be used for
by Mang Pandoy. The government neither filed housing projects is a taking for a private
any expropriation proceedings nor paid any purpose.
compensation to Mang Pandoy for the land thus
taken and used as a public road. I will also sustain the contention that the
ordinance, even though it fixes the
Mang Pandoy filed a suit against the compensation for the land on the basis of the
government to compel payment for the value of prevailing land value cannot really displace
his land. The DPWH filed a motion to dismiss judicial determination of the price for the simple
the case on the ground that the State is reason that many factors, some of them
immune from suit. Mang Pandoy filed an supervening, cannot possibly be considered by
opposition. the legislature at the time of enacting the
Resolve the motion. (5%) ordinance. There is greater reason for nullifying
SUGGESTED ANSWER: the use of the cost of construction in the
The motion to dismiss should be denied. As ordinance as basis for compensation for the
held in Amigable v. Cuenca, 43 SCRA 300 improvements. The fair market value of the
(1972), when the Government expropriates improvements may not be equal to the cost of
private property without paying compensation, it construction. The original cost of construction
is deemed to have waived its immunity from may be lower than the fair market value, since
suit. Otherwise, the constitutional guarantee the cost of construction at the time of
that private property shall not be taken for expropriation may have increased.
public use without payment of just ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
compensation will be rendered nugatory. The taking of the commercial center is justified
by the concept of indirect public benefit since its
Eminent Domain; Indirect Public Benefit operation is intended for the development of the
(1990) vacant portion for socialized housing, which is
No. 2: The City of Cebu passed an ordinance clearly a public purpose.
proclaiming the expropriation of a ten (10)
hectare property of C Company, which property Eminent Domain; Just Compensation (1988)
is already a developed commercial center. The No. 8: Mr. Roland Rivera is the owner of four
City proposed to operate the commercial center lots sought to be expropriated by the Export
in order to finance a housing project for city Processing Zone Authority for the expansion of
employees in the vacant portion of the said the export processing zone at Baguio City. The
property. The ordinance fixed the price of the same parcels of land had been valued by the
land and the value of the improvements to be Assessor at P120.00 per square meter, while
paid C Company on the basis of the prevailing Mr. Rivera had previously fixed the market
land value and cost of construction. value of the same at P100 per square meter.
(1) As counsel for C Company, give two The Regional Trial Court decided for
constitutional objections to the validity of expropriation and ordered the payment to Mr.
the ordinance. Rivera at the rate of P100 a square meter
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 40
pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 1533, wrong. Secondly, the determination of just
providing that in determining just compensation compensation in expropriation cases is a
for private property acquired through eminent judicial function. Since under Section 9, Article
domain proceedings, the compensation to be III of the 1987 Constitution private property shall
paid shall not exceed the value declared by the not be taken for public use without just
owner or determined by the Assessor, pursuant compensation, no law can mandate that its
to the Real Property Tax Code, whichever value determination as to the just compensation shall
is lower, prior to the recommendation or prevail over the findings of the court.
decision of the appropriate government office to
acquire the property. Eminent Domain; Just Compensation (1998)
No VI. The City of Cebu expropriated the
Mr. Rivera appealed, insisting that just property of Carlos Topico for use as a municipal
compensation for his property should be parking lot. The Sangguniang Panlungsod
determined by Commissioners who could appropriated P10 million for this purpose but
evaluate all evidence on the real value of the the Regional Trial Court fixed the compensation
property, at the time of its taking by the for the taking of the land at P15 million.
government. He maintains that the lower court 1. What legal remedy, if any, does Carlos
erred in relying on Presidential Decree No, Topico have to recover the balance of P5
1533, which he claims is unconstitutional. million for the taking of his land? [3%]
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
How would you decide the appeal? Explain 1. The remedy of Carlos Toplco is to levy on
your answer. the patrimonial properties of the City of Cebu. In
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Municipality of Paoay vs Manaois, 86 Phil 629.
The decision of the lower court should be 632, the Supreme Court held:
reversed. In EPZA v, Dulay, 149 SCRA 305 "Property, however, which is patrimonial
(1987) the Supreme Court declared PD No. and which is held by a municipality in its
1533 to be an unconstitutional encroachment proprietary capacity as treated by the
on the prerogatives of the judiciary. It was great weight of authority as the private
explained that although a court would asset of the town and may be levied upon
technically have the power to determine the just and sold under an ordinary execution."
compensation for property under the Decree,
the court's task would be relegated to simply If the City of Cebu does not have patrimonial
stating the lower value of the property as properties, the remedy of Carlos Topico is to file
declared either by the owner or by the a petition for mandamus to compel it to
assessor. Just compensation means the value appropriate money to satisfy the Judgment. In
of the property at the time of the taking. It Municipality Makati vs. Court of Appeals, 190
means a fair and full equivalent for the loss SCRA 206, 213. the Supreme Court said:
sustained. To determine it requires "Where a municipality falls or refuses,
consideration of the condition of the property without justifiable reason, to effect
payment of a final money judgment
and its surrounding, its improvements and
rendered against it, the claimant may
capabilities.
avail of the remedy of mandamus in order
to compel the enactment and approval of
Eminent Domain; Just Compensation (1989) the necessary appropriation ordinance,
No, 6: A law provides that in the event of and the corresponding disbursement of
expropriation, the amount to be paid to a municipal funds therefor."
landowner as compensation shall be either the
sworn valuation made by the owner or the ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
official assessment thereof, whichever is lower. 1. He can file the money claim with the
Can the landowner successfully challenge the Commission on Audit.
law in court? Discuss briefly your answer.
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Eminent Domain; Legal Interest (1993)
Yes, the landowner can successfully challenge No, 5: In expropriation proceedings:
the law in court. According to the decision in 1) What legal interest should be used in the
Export Processing Zone Authority vs. Dulay, computation of interest on just compensation?
149 SCRA 305, such a law is unconstitutional. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
First of all, it violates due process, because it As held in National Power Corporation vs.
denies to the landowner the opportunity to Angas. 208 SCRA 542, in accordance with
prove that the valuation in the tax declaration is Article 2209 of the Civil Code, the legal interest
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 41
should be SIX per cent (6%) a year. Central be other available lots in Santa for a sports
Bank Circular No. 416, which increased the center.
legal interest to twelve percent (12%) a year is
not applicable to the expropriation of property Nonetheless, the Municipality of Santa, through
and is limited to loans, since its issuance is its Mayor, filed a complaint for eminent domain.
based on Presidential Decree No, 116, which Christina opposed this on the following
amended the Usury Law. grounds:
1. the Municipality of Santa has no power to
Eminent Domain; Non-observance of the expropriate;
policy of "all or none" (2000) 2. Resolution No. 1 has been voided since the
No VIII. Madlangbayan is the owner of a 500 Sangguniang Panlalawigan disapproved it
square meter lot which was the birthplace of the for being arbitrary; and
founder of a religious sect who admittedly 3. the Municipality of Santa has other and
played an important role in Philippine history better lots for that purpose.
and culture. The National Historical Resolve the case with reasons. (5%)
Commission (NHC) passed a resolution
declaring it a national landmark and on its SUGGESTED ANSWERS:
recommendation the lot was subjected to a) Under Section 19 of R.A. No. 7160, the
expropriation proceedings. This was opposed power of eminent domain is explicitly
by Madlangbayan on the following grounds: a) granted to the municipality, but must be
that the lot is not a vast tract; b) that those to be exercised through an ordinance rather than
benefited by the expropriation would only be the through a resolution. (Municipality
members of the religious sect of its founder, ofParanaque v. V.M. Realty Corp., G.R. No.
and c) that the NHC has not initiated the 127820, July 20, 1998)
expropriation of birthplaces of other more
deserving historical personalities. Resolve the b) The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Ilocos
opposition raised by Madlangbayan. (5%) Sur was without the authority to disapprove
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Resolution No. 1 as the municipality clearly
The arguments of Madlangbayan are not has the power to exercise the right of
meritorious. According to Manosca v. Court of eminent domain and its Sangguniang
Appeals, 252 SCRA 412 (1996), the power of Bayan the capacity to promulgate said
eminent domain is not confined to expropriation resolution. The only ground upon which a
of vast tracts of the land. The expropriation of provincial board may declare any municipal
the lot to preserve it as the birthplace of the resolution, ordinance or order invalid is
founder of the religious sect because of his role when such resolution, ordinance or order is
in Philippine history and culture is for a public beyond the powers conferred upon the
purpose, because public use is no longer council or president making the same. Such
restricted to the traditional concept. The fact is not the situation in this case. (Moday v.
that the expropriation will benefit the members Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 107916,
of the religious sect is merely incidental. The February 20, 1997)
fact that other birthplaces have not been
expropriated is likewise not a valid basis for c) The question of whether there is genuine
opposing the expropriation. As held in J.M. necessity for the expropriation of Christina's
Tuason and Company, Inc. v. Land Tenure lot or whether the municipality has other
Administration, 31 SCRA 413 (1970), the and better lots for the purpose is a matter
expropriating authority is not required to adhere that will have to be resolved by the Court
to the policy of "all or none". upon presentation of evidence by the
parties to the case.
Eminent Domain; Power to Exercise (2005)
(10-2) The Sangguniang Bayan of the Eminent Domain; Public Use (1987)
Municipality of Santa, Ilocos Sur passed No. XVI: In January 1984, Pasay City filed
Resolution No. 1 authorizing its Mayor to initiate expropriation proceedings against several
a petition for the expropriation of a lot owned by landowners for the construction of an aqueduct
Christina as site for its municipal sports center. for flood control in a barangay. Clearly, only the
This was approved by the Mayor. However, the residents of that barangay would be benefited
Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Ilocos Sur by the project.
disapproved the Resolution as there might still As compensation, the city offered to pay only
the amount declared by the owners in their tax
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 42
declarations, which amount was lower than the expropriation is to use the land as a relocation
assessed value as determined by the assessor. site for 200 families squatting along the Pasig
The landowners oppose the expropriation on river.
the grounds that: a) Can the owner of the property oppose the
(a) the same is not for public use; and expropriation on the ground that only 200
(b) assuming it is for public use, the out of the more than 10,000 squatter
compensation must be based on the families in Pasig City will benefit from the
evidence presented in court and not, as expropriation? Explain.
provided in presidential decrees prescribing b) Can the Department of Agrarian Reform
payment of the value stated in the owner's require the City of Pasig to first secure
tax declarations or the value determined by authority from said Department before
the assessor, whichever is lower. converting the use of the land from
agricultural to housing? Explain.
If you were judge, how would you rule on the SUGGESTED ANSWER:
issue? Why? a) No, the owner of the property cannot oppose
SUGGESTED ANSWER: the expropriation on the ground that only 200
(a) The contention that the taking of private out of more than 10,000 squatter families in
property for the purpose of constructing an Pasig City will benefit from the expropriation. As
aqueduct for flood control is not for public use" held in Philippine Columbian Association vs.
is untenable- The idea that "PUBLIC USE" Pants, 228 SCRA 668, the acquisition of private
means exclusively use by the public has been property for socialized housing is for public use
discarded. As long as the purpose of the taking and the fact that only a few and not everyone
is public, the exercise of power of eminent will benefit from the expropriation does not
domain is justifiable. Whatever may be detract from the nature of the public use.
beneficially employed for the general welfare
satisfies the requirement of public use. (Heirs of b) No, the Department of Agrarian Reform
Juancho Ardona v. Reyes, 123 SCR A 220 (1983)) cannot require Pasig City to first secure
authority from it before converting the use of the
(b) But the contention that the Presidential land from agricultural to residential. According
Decrees providing that in determining just to Province of Camarines Sur vs. Court of
compensation the value stated by the owner in Appeals, 222 SCRA 173, there is no provision
his tax declaration or that determined by the in the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law
assessor, whichever is lower, in which subjects the expropriation of agricultural
unconstitutional is correct. In EPZA v. Dulay. lands by local government units to the control of
G.R. No. 59603, April 29, 1987, it was held that the Department of Agrarian Reform and to
this method prescribed for ascertaining just require approval from the Department of
compensation constitutes an impermissible Agrarian Reform will mean that it is not the local
encroachment on the prerogatives of courts. It government unit but the Department of Agrarian
tends to render courts inutile in a matter which, Reform who will determine whether or not the
under the Constitution, is reserved to them for expropriation is for a public use.
final determination. For although under the
decrees the courts still have the power to Eminent Domain; Writ of Possession (1993)
determine just compensation, their task is No, 5: In expropriation proceedings: Can the
reduced to simply determining the lower value judge validly withhold issuance of the writ of
of the property as declared either by the owner possession until full payment of the final value
or by the assessor. "JUST COMPENSATION" of the expropriated property?
means the value of the property at the time of SUGGESTED ANSWER:
the taking. Its determination requires that all No, the judge cannot validly withhold the
facts as to the condition of the property and its issuance of the writ of possession until full
surroundings and its improvements and payment of the final value of the expropriated
capabilities must be considered, and this can property. As held in National Power Corporation
only be done in a judicial proceeding. vs. Jocson, 206 SCRA 520. it is the rninisterial
duty of the Judge to issue the writ of
Eminent Domain; Socialized Housing (1996) possession upon deposit of the provisional
No. 4 - The City of Pasig initiated expropriation value of the expropriated property with the
proceedings on a one-hectare lot which is part National or Provincial Treasurer.
of a ten-hectare parcel of land devoted to the ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
growing of vegetables. The purpose of the

BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 43


(per Dondee) in Republic vs. Gingoyon, GR Marina feels very aggrieved over the denial and
no. 166429, Dec. 19, 2005, the SC held that RA has come to you for advice. She wants to know:
8974 now requires full payment before the (1) Whether the Board of Examiners had any
State may exercise proprietary rights in an plausible or legal basis for rejecting her
expropriation proceeding and making the application in 1986. Explain briefly.
previous ruling obiter dictum. (2) Whether the 1987 Constitution guarantees
her the right to admission to take the
Equal Protection; Alien Employment (1989) coming January 1988 marine officers
No 18: An ordinance of the City of Manila examinations. Explain and cite relevant
requires every alien desiring to obtain provisions.
employment of whatever kind, including casual SUGGESTED ANSWER:
and part-time employment, in the city to secure (a) The disqualification of females from the
an employment permit from the City Mayor and practice of marine profession constitutes as
to pay a work permit fee of P500. Is the invidious discrimination condemned by the
ordinance valid? Equal Protection Clause of that Constitution
SUGGESTED ANSWER: (Art. IV, Sec. 1) In the United States, under a
No, the ordinance is not valid. In Villegas vs. similar provision, while earlier decisions of the
Hiu Chiong Tsai Pao Ho, 86 SCRA 270, it was Supreme Court upheld the validity of a statute
held that such an ordinance violates equal prohibiting women from bartending unless she
protection. It failed to consider the valid was the wife or daughter of a male owner
substantial differences among the aliens (Goesart v. Cleary, 335 U.S. 464 (1948) and denying
required to pay the fee. The same among it to women the right to practice law (Bradwell v.
being collected from every employed alien, State, 83 U.S. (16 Wall) 130 (1873), recent decisions
whether he is casual or permanent, part-time or have invalidated statutes or regulations
full-time. The ordinance also violates due providing for differential treatment of females
process, because it does not contain any based on nothing stereotypical and inaccurate
standard to guide the mayor in the exercise of generalizations. The Court held that
the power granted to him by the ordinance. "classification based on sex, like classifications
Thus, it confers upon him unrestricted power to based upon race, alienage, or national origin,
allow or prevent an activity which is lawful per are inherently suspect, and must therefore be
se. subjected to strict judicial scrutiny." Accordingly,
the Court invalidated a statute permitting a male
Equal Protection; Invidious Discrimination serviceman to claim his spouse as a dependent
(1987) to obtain increased quarter allowance,
No. VI: Marina Neptunia, daughter of a sea regardless of whether the wife is actually
captain and sister to four marine officers dependent on him, while denying the same right
decided as a child to follow in her father's to a servicewoman unless her husband was in
footsteps. In her growing up years she was as fact dependent on her for over one half of his
much at home on board a boat as she was in support. (Frontierro v Richardson, 411 U.S. 687
the family home by the sea. In time she earned (1973); Accord Craig, v. Boren, 429 U.S. 190 (1976)
a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine (providing for sale of beer to males under 21
Transportation, major in Navigation and and to females under 18); Reed v. Reed. 404
Seamanship. She served her apprenticeship for U.S. 71 (1971) (preference given to men over
a year in a merchant marine vessel registered women for appointment as administrators of
for foreign trade and another year on a estates invalid).
merchant marine vessel registered for
coastwise trade. But to become a full-fledged (b) In addition to the Equal Protection Clause,
marine officer she had to pass the appropriate the 1987 Constitution now requires the State to
board examinations before she could get her "ensure the fundamental equality before the law
professional license and registration. She of women and men" (Art II, Sec. 14) and to
applied in January 1986 to take examination for provide them with "such facilities and
marine officers but her application was rejected opportunities that will enhance their welfare and
for the reason that the law Regulating the enable them to realize their full potential in the
Practice of Marine Profession in the Philippines service of the nation." (Art. XIII, Sec. 14). These
(Pres. Dec. No. 97 (1973) ) specifically provisions put in serious doubt the validity of
prescribes that "No person shall be qualified for PD 97 limiting the practice of marine profession
examination as marine officer unless he is: to males.

BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 44


Equal Protection; Invidious Discrimination professions, the medical profession directly
(1987) affects the lives of the people.
No. 10: "X", a son of a rich family, applied for
enrolment with the San Carlos Seminary in Equal Protection; Right to Education (1994)
Mandaluyong, Metro Manila. Because he had No. 12; The Department of Education, Culture
been previously expelled from another and Sports Issued a circular disqualifying
seminary for scholastic deficiency, the Rector of anyone who fails for the fourth time in the
San Carlos Seminary denied the application National Entrance Tests from admission to a
without giving any grounds for the denial. After College of Dentistry. X who was thus
"X" was refused admission, the Rector admitted disqualified, questions the constitutionality of
another applicant, who is the son of a poor the circular.
farmer who was also academically deficient. 1) Did the circular deprive her of her
(a) Prepare a short argument citing rules, laws, constitutional right to education?
or constitutional provisions in support of "X's" 2) Did the circular violate the equal protection
motion for reconsideration of the denial of his clause of the Constitution?
application. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
SUGGESTED ANSWER: 1) No, because it is a permissive limitation to
The refusal of the seminary to admit "X" right to education, as it is intended to ensure
constitutes invidious discrimination, violative of that only those who are qualified to be dentists
the Equal Protection Clause (Art. III, Sec. 1) of are admitted for enrollment....
the Constitution. The fact, that the other
applicant is the son of a poor farmer does not 2) No, the circular did not violate the equal
make the discrimination any less invidious since protection clause of the Constitution. There is a
the other applicant is also academically substantial distinction between dentistry
deficient. The reverse discrimination practiced students and other students. The dental
by the seminary cannot be justified because profession directly affects the lives and health
unlike the race problem in America, poverty is of people. Other professions do not involve the
not a condition of inferiority needing redress. same delicate responsibility and need not be
similarly treated. This is in accordance with the
Equal Protection; Police Power (2000) ruling in Department of Education, Culture and
No IV. Undaunted by his three failures in the Sports vs. San Diego, 180 SCRA 533.
National Medical Admission Test (NMAT), Cruz
applied to take it again but he was refused Equal Protection; Subsidiary Imprisonment
because of an order of the Department of (1989)
Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) No. 4: "X" was sentenced to a penalty of 1 year
disallowing flunkers from taking the test a fourth and 5 months of prision correctional and to pay
time. Cruz filed suit assailing this rule raising a fine of P8,000.00, with subsidiary
the constitutional grounds of accessible quality imprisonment in case of solvency. After serving
education, academic freedom and equal his prison term, "X" asked the Director of
protection. The government opposes this, Prisons whether he could already be released.
upholding the constitutionality of the rule on the "X" was asked to pay the fine of P5,000.00 and
ground of exercise of police power. Decide the he said he could not afford it, being an indigent.
case discussing the grounds raised. (5%) The Director informed him he has to serve an
SUGGESTED ANSWER: additional prison term at the rate of one day per
As held in Department of Education, Culture eight pesos in accordance with Article 39 of the
and Sports v. San Diego,180 SCRA 533 (1989), Revised Penal Code, The lawyer of "X" filed a
the rule is a valid exercise of police power to petition for habeas corpus contending that the
ensure that those admitted to the medical further incarceration of his client for unpaid
profession are qualified. The arguments of Cruz fines violates the equal protection clause of the
are not meritorious. The right to quality Constitution. Decide.
education and academic freedom are not SUGGESTED ANSWER:
absolute. Under Section 5(3), Article XIV of the (1) The petition should be granted, because
Constitution, the right to choose a profession is Article 39 of the Revised Penal Code is
subject to fair, reasonable and equitable unconstitutional. In Tate vs. Short, 401 U.S.
admission and academic requirements. The 395, the United States Supreme Court held that
rule does not violate equal protection. There is imposition of subsidiary imprisonment upon a
a substantial distinction between medical convict who is too poor to pay a fine violates
students and other students. Unlike other equal protection, because economic status
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 45
cannot serve as a valid basis for distinguishing Communications. What would you do regarding
the duration of the imprisonment between a that ban on the sale of blocked time? Explain
convict who is able to pay the fine and a convict your answer.
who is unable to pay it. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
I would challenge its validity in court on the
(2) On the other hand, in United States ex rel. ground that it constitutes a prior restraint on
Privitera vs. Kross, 239 F Supp 118, it was held freedom of expression. Such a limitation is valid
that the imposition of subsidiary imprisonment only in exceptional cases, such as where the
for inability to pay a fine does not violate equal purpose is to prevent actual obstruction to
protection, because the punishment should be recruitment of service or the sailing dates of
tailored to fit the individual, and equal protection transports or the number and location of troops,
does not compel the eradication of every or for the purpose of enforcing the primary
disadvantage caused by indigence. The requirements of decency or the security of
decision was affirmed by the United States community life. (Near v. Minnesota, 283 U.S,
Circuit Court of Appeals in 345 F2d 533, and 697 (1931)). Attacks on the government, on the
the United States Supreme Court denied the other hand, cannot justify prior restraints. For as
petition for certiorari in 382 U.S. 911. This has been pointed out, "the interest of society
ruling was adopted by the Illinois Supreme and the maintenance of good government
Court in People vs. Williams, 31 ALR3d 920. demand a full discussion of public affairs.
Complete liberty to comment on the conduct of
Freedom of Expression; Censorship (2003) public men is a scalpel in the case of free
No IX - May the COMELEC (COMELEC) speech. The sharp incision of its probe relieves
prohibit the posting of decals and stickers on the abscesses of officialdom. Men in public life
"mobile" places, public or private, such as on a may suffer under a hostile and an unjust
private vehicle, and limit their location only to accusation; the wound can be assuaged with
the authorized posting areas that the the balm of a clear conscience," (United States
COMELEC itself fixes? Explain. v Bustos, 37 Phil. 741 (1918)).
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
According to Adiong v. COMELEC. 207 SCRA The parties adversely affected may also
712 [1992], the prohibition is unconstitutional. It disregard the regulation as being on its face
curtails the freedom of expression of individuals void. As has been held, "any system of prior
who wish to express their preference for a restraints of expression comes to the court
candidate by posting decals and stickers on bearing a heavy presumption against its
their cars and to convince others to agree with constitutional validity," and the government
them. It is also overbroad, because it "thus carries a heavy burden of showing
encompasses private property and constitutes justification for the imposition of such a
deprivation of property without due process of restraint." (New York Times Co. v. United
law. Ownership of property includes the right to States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971)).
use. The prohibition is censorship, which
cannot be justified. The usual presumption of validity that inheres in
legislation is reversed in the case of laws
Freedom of Expression; Prior Restraint imposing prior restraint on freedom of
(1988) expression.
No. 16: The Secretary of Transportation and
Communications has warned radio station Freedom of Religion; Convicted Prisoners
operators against selling blocked time, on the (1989)
claim that the time covered thereby are often No. 5: "X" is serving his prison sentence in
used by those buying them to attack the Muntinlupa. He belongs to a religious sect that
present administration. Assume that the prohibits the eating of meat. He asked the
department implements this warning and orders Director of Prisons that he be served with
owners and operators of radio stations not to meatless diet. The Director refused and "X"
sell blocked time to interested parties without sued the Director for damages for violating his
prior clearance from the Department of religious freedom. Decide.
Transportation and Communications. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Yes, the Director of Prison is liable under Article
You are approached by an interested party 32 of the Civil Code for violating the religious
affected adversely by that order of the freedom of "X". According to the decision of the
Secretary of Transportation and United States Supreme Court in the case of
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 46
O'Lone vs. Estate of Shabazz, 107 S. Ct. 2400, of action. The right to act on one's religious
convicted prisoners retain their right to free belief is not absolute and is subject to police
exercise of religion. At the same time, lawful power for the protection of the general welfare.
incarceration brings about necessary limitations Hence the tapes may be required to be
of many privileges and rights justified by the reviewed prior to airing.
considerations underlying the penal system. In
considering the appropriate balance between In Iglesia ni Cristo vs. Court of Appeals, 259
these two factors, reasonableness should be SCRA 529, 544, the Supreme Court held:
the test. Accommodation to religious freedom "We thus reject petitioner's postulate that Its
can be made if it will not involve sacrificing the religious program is per se beyond review by
interests of security and it will have no impact the respondent Board. Its public broadcast
on the allocation of the resources of the on TV of its religious program brings it out of
penitentiary. In this case, providing "X" with a the bosom of internal belief. Television is a
meatless diet will not create a security problem medium that reaches even the eyes and ears
or unduly increase the cost of food being of children. The Court reiterates the rule that
served to the prisoners. In fact, in the case of O' the exercise of religions freedom can be
Lone vs. Estate of Shabazz, it was noted that regulated by the State when it will bring
the Moslem prisoners were being given a about the CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER
different meal whenever pork would be served. of some substantive evil which the State is
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: duty bound to prevent, i.e., serious detriment
The suit should be dismissed. The Free to the mere overriding Interest of public
Exercise Clause of the Constitution is health, public morals, or public welfare."
essentially a restraint on governmental
interference with the right of individuals to However, the Movie and Television Review and
worship as they please. It is not a mandate to Classification Board cannot ban the tapes on
the state to take positive, affirmative action to the ground that they attacked other religions. In
enable the individual to enjoy his freedom. It Iglesia ni Cristo vs. Court of Appeals,. 259
would have been different had the Director of SCRA 529, 547, the Supreme Court held:
Prisons prohibited meatless diets in the penal "Even a side glance at Section 3 of PD No.
institution. 1986 will reveal that it is not among the
grounds to justify an order prohibiting the
Freedom of Religion; Limitations (1998) broadcast of petitioner's television program."
No XV. - A religious organization has a weekly
television program. The program presents and Moreover, the broadcasts do not give rise to
propagates its religious, doctrines, and a clear and present danger of a substantive
compares their practices with those of other evil. In the case of Iglesia ni Cristo vs. Court
religions. of Appeals, 259 SCRA 529, 549:

As the Movie and Television Review and "Prior restraint on speech, including the
Classification Board (MTRCB) found as religious speech, cannot be justified by
offensive several episodes of the program hypothetical fears but only by the showing of
which attacked other religions, the MTRCB a substantive and imminent evil which has
required the organization to submit its tapes for taken the reality already on the ground."
review prior to airing.
Freedom of Religion; Flag Salute (1997)
The religious organization brought the case to No. 12: Section 28. Title VI, Chapter 9, of the
court on the ground that the action of the Administrative Code of 1987 requires all
MTRCB suppresses its freedom of speech and educational institutions to observe a simple and
interferes with its right to free exercise of dignified flag ceremony, including the playing or
religion. Decide. [5%] singing of the Philippine National Anthem,
SUGGESTED ANSWER: pursuant to rules to be promulgated by the
The religious organization cannot invoke Secretary of Education. Culture and Sports,
freedom of speech and freedom of religion as The refusal of a teacher, student or pupil to
grounds for refusing to submit the tapes to the attend or participate in the flag ceremony is a
Movie and Television Review and Classification ground for dismissal after due investigation.
Board for review prior to airing. When the The Secretary of Education Culture and Sports
religious organization started presenting its issued a memorandum implementing said
program over television, it went into the realm provision of law. As ordered, the flag ceremony
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 47
would be held on Mondays at 7:30 a.m. during discretionary funds. Recently, however, the
class days. A group of teachers, students and Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed a resolution
pupils requested the Secretary that they be appropriating P100,000 as a special
exempted from attending the flag ceremony on discretionary fund of the Governor to be spent
the ground that attendance thereto was against by him in leading a pilgrimage of his
their religious belief. The Secretary denied the provincemates to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Islam's
request. The teachers, students and pupils holiest city.
concerned went to Court to have the
memorandum circular declared null and void. Philconsa, on constitutional grounds, has filed
Decide the case. suit to nullify the resolution of the Sangguniang
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Panlalawigan giving the special discretionary
The teachers and the students should be fund to the Governor for the stated purpose.
exempted from the flag ceremony. As held in How would you decide the case? Give your
Ebralinag vs. Division Superintendent of reasons.
Schools of Cebu, 251 SCRA 569. to compel SUGGESTED ANSWER:
them to participate in the flag ceremony will The resolution is unconstitutional First, it
violate their freedom of religion. Freedom of violates art. VI, sec. 29(2) of the Constitution
religion cannot be impaired except upon the which prohibits the appropriation of public
showing of a clear and present danger of a money or property, directly or indirectly, for the
substantive evil which the State has a right to use, benefit or support of any system of
prevent. The refusal of the teachers and the religion, and, second, it contravenes art. VI,
students to participate in the flag ceremony sec, 25(6) which limits the appropriation of
does not pose a clear and present danger. discretionary funds only for public purposes.
The use of discretionary funds for purely
Freedom of Religion; Flag Salute (2003) religious purpose is thus unconstitutional, and
No III - Children who are members of a religious the fact that the disbursement is made by
sect have been expelled from their respective resolution of a local legislative body and not by
public schools for refusing, on account of their Congress does not make it any less offensive to
religious beliefs, to take part in the flag the Constitution. Above all, the resolution
ceremony which includes playing by a band or constitutes a clear violation of the Non-
singing the national anthem, saluting the establishment Clause (art. III, sec. 5) of the
Philippine flag and reciting the patriotic pledge. Constitution.
The students and their parents assail the
expulsion on the ground that the school Freedom of Religion; Non-Establishment
authorities have acted in violation of their right Clause (1992)
to free public education, freedom of speech, No. 10: Recognizing the value of education in
and religious freedom and worship. Decide the making the Philippine labor market attractive to
case. foreign investment, the Department of
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Education, Culture and Sports offers subsidies
The students cannot be expelled from school. to accredited colleges and universities in order
As held in Ebralinag v. The Division to promote quality tertiary education. The DECS
Superintendent of Schools of Cebu. 219 SCRA grants a subsidy to a Catholic school which
256 [1993], to compel students to take part in requires its students to take at least 3 hours a
the flag ceremony when it is against their week of religious instruction.
religious beliefs will violate their religious a) Is the subsidy permissible? Explain,
freedom. Their expulsion also violates the duty b) Presuming that you answer in the negative,
of the State under Article XIV, Section 1 of the would it make a difference if the subsidy
Constitution to protect and promote the right of were given solely in the form of laboratory
all citizens to quality education and make such equipment in chemistry and physics?
education accessible to all. c) Presume, on the other hand, that the
subsidy is given in the form of scholarship
Freedom of Religion; Non-Establishment vouchers given directly to the student and
Clause (1988) which the student can use for paying tuition
No. 7: - Tawi-Tawi is a predominantly Moslem in any accredited school of his choice,
province. The Governor, the Vice-Governor, whether religious or non-sectarian. Will
and members of its Sang-guniang Panlalawigan your answer be different?
are all Moslems. Its budget provides the SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Governor with a certain amount as his
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 48
a) No, the subsidy is not permissible. It will Was the Commission on Audit correct in
foster religion, since the school gives religious disallowing the vouchers in question?
instructions to its students. Besides, it will SUGGESTED ANSWER:
violate the prohibition in Section 29[2J, Article Yes, the Commission on Audit was correct in
VI of the Constitution against the use of public disallowing the expenditures. Section 29(2),
funds to aid religion. In Lemon vs Kurtzman. Article VI of the Constitution prohibits the
403 U.S. 602, it was held that financial expenditure of public funds for the use, benefit,
assistance to a sectarian school violates the or support of any priest. The only exception is
prohibition against the establishment of religion when the priest is assigned to the armed forces,
if it fosters an excessive government or to any penal institution or government
entanglement with religion. Since the school orphanage or leprosarium. The sending of a
requires its students to take at least three hours priest to minister to the spiritual needs of
a week of religious instructions, to ensure that overseas contract workers does not fall within
the financial assistance will not be used for the scope of any of the exceptions.
religious purposes, the government will have to
conduct a continuing surveillance. This involves Freedom of Speech; Ban on Tobacco AD
excessive entanglement with religion. (1992)
No. 1: Congress passes a law prohibiting
b) If the assistance would be in the form of television stations from airing any commercial
laboratory equipment in chemistry and physics, advertisement which promotes tobacco or in
it will be valid. The purpose of the assistance is any way glamorizes the consumption of
secular, i.e., the improvement of the quality of tobacco products.
tertiary education. Any benefit to religion is
merely incidental. Since the equipment can This legislation was passed in response to
only be used for a secular purpose, it is findings by the Department of Health about the
religiously neutral. As held in Tilton vs. alarming rise in lung diseases in the country.
Richardson, 403 U.S. 672, it will not involve The World Health Organization has also
excessive government entanglement with reported that U.S. tobacco companies have-
religion, for the use of the equipment will not shifted marketing efforts to the Third World due
require surveillance. to dwindling sales in the health-conscious
American market.
c) In general, the giving of scholarship
vouchers to students is valid. Section Cowboy Levy's, a Jeans company, recently
2(3), Article XIV of the Constitution released an advertisement featuring model
requires the State to establish a system of Richard Burgos wearing Levy's jackets and
subsidies to deserving students in both public jeans and holding a pack of Marlboro
and private schools. However, the law is vague cigarettes.
and over-broad. Under it, a student who wants
to study for the priesthood can apply for the The Asian Broadcasting Network (ABN), a
subsidy and use it for his studies. This will privately owned television station, refuses to air
involve using public funds to aid religion. the advertisement in compliance with the law.
a) Assume that such refusal abridges the
Freedom of Religion; Non-Establishment freedom of speech. Does the constitutional
Clause (1997) prohibition against the abridgement of the
No. 4: Upon request of a group of overseas freedom of speech apply to acts done by
contract workers in Brunei, Rev. Father Juan de ABN, a private corporation? Explain.
la Cruz, a Roman Catholic priest, was sent to b) May Cowboy Levy's, a private corporation,
that country by the President of the Philippines invoke the free speech guarantee in its
to minister to their spiritual needs. The travel favor? Explain.
expenses, per diems, clothing allowance and c) Regardless of your answers above, decide
monthly stipend of P5,000 were ordered the constitutionality of the law in question.
charged against the President's discretionary SUGGESTED ANSWER:
fund. Upon post audit of the vouchers therefor, a) The constitutional prohibition against the
the Commission on Audit refused approval freedom of speech does not apply to ABN, a
thereof claiming that the expenditures were in private corporation. As stated in Hudgens vs.
violation of the Constitution. National Labor Relations Board, 424 U.S. 507,
the constitutional guarantee of freedom of
speech is a guarantee only against
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 49
abridgement by the government. It does not knowledge that it was false or with reckless
therefore apply against private parties. disregard of whether it was false or not (Borja v.
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: Court of Appeals, 301 SCRA 1 /1999). Since
Since ABN has a franchise, it may be there is no proof that the report was published
considered an agent of the government by with knowledge that it is false or with reckless
complying with the law and refusing to air the disregard of whether it was false or not, the
advertisement, it aligned itself with the defendants are not liable for damage.
government. Thus it rendered itself liable for a
lawsuit which is based on abridgement of the SECOND ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
freedom of speech. Under Article 32 of the Civil Since Senator XX is a public person and the
Code, even private parties may be liable for questioned imputation is directed against him in
damages for impairment of the freedom of his public capacity, in this case actual malice
speech. means the statement was made with
knowledge that it was false or with reckless
b) Cowboy Levy's may invoke the disregard of whether it was false or not (Borjal
constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech v. Court of Appeals, 301 SCRA 1 /1999]). Since
in its favor. In First National Bank of Boston vs. it is a matter of public knowledge that there is
Bellotti, 435 U.S. 765, it was ruled that this no YY Street in Makati, the publication was
guarantee extends to corporations. In Virginia made with reckless disregard of whether or not
State Board of Pharmacy vs. Virginia Citizens it is false. The defendants may be held liable for
Consumer Council Inc., 425 U.S. 748, it was held damages.
that this right extends to commercial
advertisements. In Ayer Productions Pty, Ltd. vs. Freedom of the Press; Wartime Censorship
Capulong, 160 SCRA 861, the Supreme Court held (1987)
that even if the production of a film is a No. XIV: In the morning of August 28, 1987,
commercial activity that is expected to yield during the height of -the fighting at Channel 4
profits, it is covered by the guarantee of and Camelot Hotel, the military closed Radio
freedom of speech. Station XX, which was excitedly reporting the
successes of the rebels and movements
c) The law is constitutional. It is a valid towards Manila and troops friendly to the
exercise of police power, .... rebels. The reports were correct and factual. On
October 6, 1987, after normalcy had returned
Freedom of the Press; Actual Malice (2004) and the Government had full control of the
(5-a) The STAR, a national daily newspaper, situation, the National Telecommunications
carried an exclusive report stating that Senator Commission, without notice and hearing, but
XX received a house and lot located at YY merely on the basis of the report of the military,
Street, Makati, in consideration for his vote cancelled the franchise of station XX.
cutting cigarette taxes by 50%. The Senator Discuss the legality of:
sued the STAR, its reporter, editor and (a) The action taken against the station on
publisher for libel, claiming the report was August 28, 1987;
completely false and malicious. According to (b) The cancellation of the franchise of the
the Senator, there is no YY Street in Makati, station on October 6, 1987.
and the tax cut was only 20%. He claimed one SUGGESTED ANSWER:
million pesos in damages. The defendants (a) The closing down of Radio Station XX
denied "actual malice," claiming privileged during the fighting is permissible. With respect
communication and absolute freedom of the news media, wartime censorship has been
press to report on public officials and matters of upheld on the ground that "when a nation is at
public concern. If there was any error, the war many things that might be said in time of
STAR said it would publish the correction peace are such a hindrance to its efforts that
promptly. Is there "actual malice" in STAR'S their utterance will not be endured so long as
reportage? How is "actual malice" defined? Are men fight and that no Court could regard them
the defendants liable for damages? (5%) as protected by any constitutional right." The
security of community life may be protected
FIRST ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: against incitements to acts of violence and the
Since Senator XX is a public person and the overthrow by force of orderly government.
questioned imputation is directed against him in (Near v. Minnesota, 283 U.S. 697 (1931),
his public capacity, in this case actual malice quoting Justice Holme's opinion in Schenck v.
means the statement was made with United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919); New York
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 50
Times v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971) ) does not entail enforcement of the stipulation
With greater reason then may censorship in not to marry and not to have a baby. It is limited
times of emergency be justified in the case of to a refund of a portion of the promotion
broadcast media since their freedom is expenses incurred by Solidaridad Films.
somewhat lesser in scope. The impact of the
vibrant speech, as Justice Gutierrez said, is Involuntary Servitude (1993)
forceful and immediate. Unlike readers of the No. 16; - Joy, an RTC stenographer, retired at
printed work, a radio audience has lesser the age of 65. She left unfinished the
opportunity to cogitate, analyze and reject the transcription of her notes in a criminal case
utterance. (Eastern Broadcasting Corp (DYRE) which was on appeal. The Court of Appeals
v, Dans, 137 SCRA 647 (1985) ). In FCC v. ordered Joy to transcribe her notes. She
Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726 (1978), it refused to comply with the order reasoning that
was held that "of all forms of communication, it she was no longer in the government service.
is broadcasting which has received the most The CA declared Joy in contempt of court and
limited First Amendment Protection." she was incarcerated. Joy filed a petition for
habeas corpus arguing that her incarceration is
Impairment Clause; Basic Human Rights tantamount to illegal detention and to require
(1992) her to work sans compensation would be
No. 2: Sheila, an actress, signed a two-year involuntary servitude. Decide.
contract with Solidaridad Films, The film SUGGESTED ANSWER:
company undertook to promote her career and Joy can be incarcerated for contempt of court
to feature her as the leading lady in at least four for refusing to transcribe her stenographic
movies. In turn, Sheila promised that, for the notes. As held In Adoracion v. Gatmaitan, 64
duration of the contract, she shall not get SCRA 132, her incarceration does not
married or have a baby; otherwise, she shall be constitute illegal detention. It is lawful, because
liable to refund to the film company a portion of it is the consequence of her disobedience of the
its promotion expenses. court order. Neither can she claim that to
a) Does this contract impair, or impinge upon, require her to work without compensation is
any constitutionally protected liberty of tantamount to involuntary servitude. Since
Sheila? Explain. courts have the Inherent power to Issue such
b) If Solidaridad Films tries to enforce this orders as are necessary for the administration
contract judicially, will this constitutionally of Justice, the Court of Appeals may order her
protected liberty prevail? Explain. to transcribe her stenographic notes even if she
SUGGESTED ANSWER: is no longer In the government service.
a) Yes, the contract impairs the right of Sheila
to marry and to procreate. The case of Loving Liberty of Abode; Limitations (1998)
vs. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 and Zablocki vs. No VIII - Juan Casanova contracted Hansen's
Redhail 434 U.S. 374 recognized the right to disease (leprosy) with open lesions. A law
marry is a basic civil right. Likewise, the case requires that lepers be isolated upon petition of
of Skinner vs Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535 the City Health Officer. The wife of Juan
recognized that the right to procreate is a basic Casanova wrote a letter to the City Health
civil right. These rights are part of the liberty Officer to have her formerly philandering
protected by the due process clause in Section husband confined in some isolated leprosarium.
1. Article 1 of the Constitution. Juan Casanova challenged the constitutionality
of the law as violating his liberty of abode. Will
b) Yes, the constitutionally protected liberty of the suit prosper? [5%]
Sheila will prevail, because it involves basic SUGGESTED ANSWER:
human rights. The waiver of these basic No, the suit will not prosper. Section 6, Article III
human rights is void. What Solidaridad Films of the Constitution provides:
is seeking to recover are promotion expenses. "The liberty of abode and of changing
These involve property rights. As held in the same within the limits prescribed by
Philippine Blooming Mills Employees law shall not be impaired except upon
Organization vs. Philippine Blooming Mills, Inc., lawful order of the court."
51 SCRA 189, civil rights are superior to
property rights. The liberty of abode is subject to the police
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER; power of the State. Requiring the segregation of
The waiver of the right to marry and the right to lepers is a valid exercise of police power. In
procreate is valid. Enforcement of the contract
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 51
Lorenzo us. Director of Health. 50 Phil 595, a valid exercise of police power. (See also
598, the Supreme Court held: People vs. Nitafan, 207 SCRA 730)
"Judicial notice will be taken of the fact that
leprosy is commonly believed to be an Police Power; Abatement of Nuisance (2004)
infectious disease tending to cause one (9-b) The City of San Rafael passed an
afflicted with it to be shunned and excluded ordinance authorizing the City Mayor, assisted
from society, and that compulsory by the police, to remove all advertising signs
segregation of lepers as a means of displayed or exposed to public view in the main
preventing the spread of the disease is city street, for being offensive to sight or
supported by high scientific authority." otherwise a nuisance. AM, whose advertising
agency owns and rents out many of the
Liberty of Abode; Temporary (1996) billboards ordered removed by the City Mayor,
No 2: The military commander-in charge of the claims that the City should pay for the
operation against rebel groups directed the destroyed billboards at their current market
inhabitants of the island which would be the value since the City has appropriated them for
target of attack by government forces to the public purpose of city beautification. The
evacuate the area and offered the residents Mayor refuses to pay, so AM is suing the City
temporary military hamlet. and the Mayor for damages arising from the
taking of his property without due process nor
Can the military commander force the residents just compensation. Will AM prosper? Reason
to transfer their places of abode without a court briefly. (5%)
order? Explain. FIRST ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
SUGGESTED ANSWER: The suit of AM will not prosper. The removal of
No, the military commander cannot compel the the billboards is not an exercise of the power of
residents to transfer their places of abode eminent domain but of police power (Churchill
without a court order. Under Section 6, Article v. Rafferty, 32 Phil. 580 [19150- The abatement
III of the Constitution, a lawful order of the court of a nuisance in the exercise of police power
is required before the liberty of abode and of does not constitute taking of property and does
changing the same can be impaired. not entitle the owner of the property involved to
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER; compensation. (Association of Small
Yes, the military commander can compel the Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. v. Secretary
residents to transfer their places of abode of Agrarian Reform, 175 SCRA 343 [1989]).
without a court order. If there is no reasonable
time to get a court order and the change of SECOND ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
abode is merely temporary, because of the The removal of the billboards for the purpose of
exigency, this exercise of police power may be beautification permanently deprived AM of the
justified. right to use his property and amounts to its
taking. Consequently, he should be paid just
Non-Imprisonment for Non-Payment of Debt compensation. (People v. Fajardo, 104 Phil. 443
(1993) 11958]).
No 12: Sec. 13 of PD 115 (Trust Receipts Law)
provides that when the entrustee in a trust Police Power; Ban on Tobacco AD (1992)
receipt agreement fails to deliver the proceeds No. 1: Congress passes a law prohibiting
of the sale or to return the goods if not sold to television stations from airing any commercial
the entrustee-bank, the entrustee is liable for advertisement which promotes tobacco or in
estafa under the RPC. Does this provision not any way glamorizes the consumption of
violate the constitutional right against tobacco products.
imprisonment for non-payment of a debt?
Explain. This legislation was passed in response to
SUGGESTED ANSWER: findings by the Department of Health about the
No, Section 13 of Presidential Decree No. 115 alarming rise in lung diseases in the country.
does not violate the constitutional right against The World Health Organization has also
imprisonment for non-payment of a debt. As reported that U.S. tobacco companies have-
held in Lee vs. Rodil, 175 SCRA 100, the shifted marketing efforts to the Third World due
criminal liability arises from the violation of the to dwindling sales in the health-conscious
trust receipt, which is separate and distinct from American market,
the loan secured by it. Penalizing such an act is

BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 52


Cowboy Levy's, a Jeans company, recently of the ordinance is a valid exercise of police
released an advertisement featuring model power. It is hazardous to health and comfort to
Richard Burgos wearing Levy's jackets and use the lot for residential purposes, since a
jeans and holding a pack of Marlboro highway crosses the subdivision and the area
cigarettes. has become commercial.

The Asian Broadcasting Network (ABN), a Police Power; Zoning Ordinance vs. Non-
privately owned television station, refuses to air Impairment of Contracts (2001)
the advertisement in compliance with the law. No XVIII In the deeds of sale to, and in the land
Decide the constitutionality of the law in titles of homeowners of a residential subdivision
question. in Pasig City, there are restrictions annotated
SUGGESTED ANSWER: therein to the effect that only residential houses
The law is constitutional. It is a valid exercise or structures may be built or constructed on the
of police power, because smoking is harmful to lots. However, the City Council of Pasig
health. In Posadas de Puerto Rico Associates enacted an ordinance amending the existing
vs. Tourism Company of Puerto Rico, 478 U.S. zoning ordinance by changing the zone
328, it was ruled that a law prohibiting certain classification in that place from purely
types of advertisements is valid if it was residential to commercial.
adopted in the interest of the health, safety,
and welfare of the people. In Capital "A", a lot owner, sold his lot to a banking firm
Broadcasting Company us. Mitchell 333 F Supp and the latter started constructing a commercial
582, a law making it unlawful to advertise building on the lot to house a bank inside the
cigarettes on any medium of electronic subdivision. The subdivision owner and the
communication was upheld. The United homeowners' association filed a case in court to
States Supreme Court summarily sustained stop the construction of the building for banking
this ruling in Capita! Broadcasting Company us, business purposes and to respect the
Acting Attorney General 405 U.S. 1000. The restrictions embodied in the deed of sale by the
law in question was enacted on the basis of the subdivision developer to the lot owners, as well
legislative finding that there is a need to protect as the annotation in the titles.
public health, because smoking causes lung
diseases. Cowboy Levy's has not overthrown If you were the Judge, how would you resolve
this finding. the case? (5%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Police Power; Zoning Ordinance vs. Non- If I were the judge, I would dismiss the case. As
Impairment of Contracts (1989) held in Ortigas and Company Limited
No. 12: Pedro bought a parcel of land from Partnership vs. FEATI Bank and Trust
Smart Corporation, a realty firm engaged in Company. 94 SCRA 633 (1979), the zoning
developing and selling lots to the public. One of ordinance is a valid exercise of police power
the restrictions in the deed of sale which was and prevails over the contractual stipulation
annotated in the title is that the lot shall be used restricting the use of the lot to residential
by the buyer exclusively for residential purposes.
purposes. A main highway having been
constructed across the subdivision, the area Privacy of Communication (2001)
became commercial in nature. The municipality No XII - "A" has a telephone line with an
later passed a zoning ordinance declaring the extension. One day, "A" was talking to "B" over
area as a commercial bank building on his lot. the telephone. "A" conspired with his friend "C",
Smart Corporation went to court to stop the who was at the end of the extension line
construction as violative of the building listening to "A's" telephone conversation with
restrictions imposed by it. The corporation "B" in order to overhear and tape-record the
contends that the zoning ordinance cannot conversation wherein "B" confidentially
nullify the contractual obligation assumed by admitted that with evident premeditation, he (B)
the buyer. Decide the case. killed "D" for having cheated him in their
SUGGESTED ANSWER: business partnership. "B" was not aware that
The case must be dismissed. As held in Ortigas the telephone conversation was being tape-
and Company, Limited Partnership vs. FEATIi recorded.
Bank and Trust Company, 94 SCRA 533, such
a restriction in the contract cannot prevail over
the zoning ordinance, because the enactment
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 53
In the criminal case against "B" for murder, is moved for its return on the ground that it
the tape-recorded conversation containing his violates the right of "X" against unlawful search
admission admissible in evidence? Why? (5%) and seizure. Decide.
SUGGESTED ANSWER: SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The tape-recorded conversation is not The objection of the lawyer must be sustained,
admissible in evidence. As held in Salcedo- Section 3(1), Article IV of the 1987 Constitution
Ortanez vs. Court of Appeals, 235 SCRA 111 provides:
(1994). Republic Act No. 4200 makes the tape- "The privacy of communication and
recording of a telephone conversation done correspondence shall be inviolable except
without the authorization of all the parties to the upon lawful order of the court, or when public
conversation, inadmissible in evidence. In safety or order requires otherwise as
addition, the taping of the conversation violated prescribed by law."
the guarantee of privacy of communications
enunciated in Section 3, Article III of the There was no court order which authorized the
Constitution. warden to read the letter of "X". Neither is there
any law specifically authorizing the Bureau of
Privacy of Correspondence (1998) Prisons to read the letter of "X", Under Section
No VII. - The police had suspicions that Juan 3(1), Article III of the 1987 Constitution, to
Samson, member of the subversive New interfere with any correspondence when there
Proletarian Army, was using the mail for is no court order, there must be a law
propaganda purposes in gaining new adherents authorizing it in the interest of public safety or
to its cause. The Chief of Police of Bantolan, order.
Lanao del Sur ordered the Postmaster of the
town to intercept and open all mail addressed to The ruling of the United States Supreme Court
and coming from Juan Samson in the interest of in the case of Stroud vs. United States, 251
the national security. Was the order of the Chief U.S. 15 is not applicable here, because Section
of Police valid? (5%) 3(1), Article III of the 1987 Constitution has no
SUGGESTED ANSWER: counterpart in the American Constitution.
No, the order of the Chief of Police is not valid, Hence, in accordance with Section 3(2), Article
because there is no law which authorizes him to III of the 1987 Constitution, the letter is
order the Postmaster to open the letters inadmissible in evidence.
addressed to and coming from Juan Samson.
An official in the Executive Department cannot ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
interfere with the privacy of correspondence The objection of the lawyer must be overruled.
and communication in the absence of a law In Hudson vs. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517, it was held
authorizing him to do so or a lawful order of the that the constitutional prohibition against illegal
court. Section 3(1), Article III of the Constitution searches and seizures does not extend to the
provides: confines of the prison. In Stroud vs. United
"The privacy of communication and States, 251 U.S. 15, the United States Supreme
correspondence shall be inviolable Court held that letters voluntarily written by a
except upon lawful order of the court, or prisoner and examined by the warden which
when public safety or order requires contained incriminatory statements were
otherwise as prescribed by law." admissible in evidence. Their inspection by the
prison authorities did not violate the
Privacy of Correspondence; Jail (1989) constitutional prohibition against illegal
No. 8: While serving sentence in Muntinlupa for searches and seizures. This is an established
the crime of theft, "X" stabbed dead one of his practice reasonably designed to promote
guards, "X" was charged with murder. During discipline within the penitentiary.
his trial, the prosecution introduced as evidence
a letter written in prison by "X" to his wife Right to Assembly; Permit Application;
tending to establish that the crime of murder Freedom Parks (Q2-2006)
was the result of premeditation. The letter was The Samahan ng mga Mahihirap (SM) filed with
written voluntarily. In the course of inspection, it the Office of the City Mayor of Manila an
was opened and read by a warden pursuant to application for permit to hold a rally on Mendiola
the rules of discipline of the Bureau of Prisons Street on September 5, 2006 from 10:00 a.m. to
and considering its contents, the letter was 3:00 p.m. to protest the political killings of
turned over to the prosecutor. The lawyer of "X" journalists. However, the City Mayor denied
objected to the presentation of the letter and their application on the ground that a rally at the

BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 54


time and place applied for will block the traffic in SUGGESTED ANSWER:
the San Miguel and Quiapo Districts. He The arrests are unlawful. What is prohibited and
suggested the Liwasang Bonifacio, which has penalized under Sec. 13 (a) and 14 (a) of B.P.
been designated a Freedom Park, as venue for Big 880 is "the holding of any public assembly
the rally. as defined in this Act by any leader or organizer
without having first secured that written permit
1. Does the SM have a remedy to contest where a permit is required from the office
the denial of its application for a permit? concerned x x x Provided, however, that no
(2.5%) person can be punished or held criminally liable
SUGGESTED ANSWER: for participating in or attending an otherwise
Yes, SM has a remedy. Under B.P. Big. 880 peaceful assembly."
(The Public Assembly Act of 1985), in the event
of denial of the application for a permit, the Thus, only the leader or organizer of the rally
applicant may contest the decision in an without a permit may be arrested without a
appropriate court of law. The court must decide warrant while the members may not be
within twenty-four (24) hours from the date of arrested, as they can not be punished or held
filing of the case. Said decision may be criminally liable for attending the rally. However,
appealed to the appropriate court within forty- under Section 12 thereof, when the public
eight (48) hours after receipt of the same. In all assembly is held without a permit where a
cases, any decision may be appealed to the permit is required, the said public assembly
Supreme Court (Bayan Muna v. Ermita, G.R. may be peacefully dispersed.
No. 169838, April 25, 2006).
Right to Assembly; Permit Requirements
2. Does the availability of a Freedom Park (1992)
justify the denial of SM's application for a No. 4: Olympia Academy, a private university,
permit? (2.5%) issued a student regulation for maintaining
SUGGESTED ANSWER: order in the school campus and to ensure that
No, the availability of a freedom park does not academic activities shall be conducted
justify the denial of the permit. It does imply that effectively.
no permits are required for activities in freedom
parks. Under B.P. Big. 880, the denial may be Henceforth, every student organization
justified only if there is clear and convincing intending to hold any symposium, convocation,
evidence that the public assembly will create a rally or any assembly within school property
clear and present danger to public order, public and involving at least 20 people must file, for
safety, public convenience, public morals or the prior approval of the Dean of Students, an
public health (Bayan Muna v. Ermita, G.R. No. Application setting forth the time, place,
169838, April 25, 2006). expected size of the group, and the subject-
matter and purpose of the assembly.
3. Is the requirement to apply for a permit to
hold a rally a prior restraint on freedom of The League of Nationalist Students questions
speech and assembly? (2.5%) the validity of the new regulation. Resolve.
SUGGESTED ANSWER: SUGGESTED ANSWER:
No, the requirement for a permit to hold a rally The regulation is valid. As held In Rarnento us.
is not a prior restraint on freedom of speech Mal-abanan, 129 SCRA 359, if an assembly will
and assembly. The Supreme Court has held be held by students in school premises, permit
that the permit requirement is valid, referring to must be sought from the school authorities, who
it as regulation of the time, place, and manner are devoid of the power to deny such request
of holding public assemblies, but not the arbitrarily or unreasonably. In granting such
content of the speech itself. Thus, there is no permit, there may be conditions as to the time
prior restraint, since the content of the speech and place of the assembly to avoid disruption of
is not relevant to the regulation (Bayan Muna v. classes or stoppage of work of the non-
Ermita, G.R. No. 169838, April 25, 2006). academic personnel.

4. Assuming that despite the denial of SM's Right to Assembly; Public Teachers (2000)
application for a permit, its members hold No XII - Public school teachers staged for days
a rally, prompting the police to arrest mass actions at the Department of Education,
them. Are the arrests without judicial Culture and Sports to press for the immediate
warrants lawful? (2.5%) grant of their demand for additional pay. The
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 55
DECS Secretary issued to them a notice of the (a) Their strike was an exercise of their
illegality of their unauthorized action, ordered constitutional right to peaceful assembly and to
them to immediately return to work, and warned petition the government for redress of
them of imposable sanctions. They ignored this grievances.
and continued with their mass action. The SUGGESTED ANSWER:
DECS Secretary issued orders for their (a) According to De la Cruz v. Court of
preventive suspension without pay and charged Appeals, 305 SCRA 303 (1999), the argument
the teachers with gross misconduct and gross of the teachers that they were merely exercising
neglect of duty for unauthorized abandonment their constitutional right to peaceful assembly
of teaching posts and absences without leave. and to petition the government for redress of
a) Are employees in the public sector allowed grievance cannot be sustained, because such
to form unions? To strike? Why? (3%) rights must be exercised within reasonable
b) The teachers claim that their right to limits. When such rights were exercised on
peaceably assemble and petition the regular school days instead of during the free
government for redress of grievances has time of the teachers, the teachers committed
been curtailed. Are they correct? Why? acts prejudicial to the best interests of the
(2%) service.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
a) Section 8, Article III of the Constitution allows Right to Travel; Order of Arrest (1991)
employees in the public sector to form unions. No. 6: Mr. Esteban Krony, a Filipino citizen, is
However, they cannot go on strike. As arrested for the crime of smuggling. He posts
explained in Social Security System Employees bail for his release. Subsequently, he jumps bail
Association v. Court of Appeals. 175 SCRA 686 and is about to leave the country when the
[1989], the terms and conditions of their Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) cancels
employment are fixed by law. Employees in his passport. He sues the DFA, claiming
the public sector cannot strike to secure violation of his freedom to travel, citing the new
concessions from their employer. provision in the Bill of Rights of the 1987
Constitution, to wit: "Neither shall the right to
b. The teachers cannot claim that their right to travel be impaired except in the interest of
peaceably assemble and petition for the national security, public safety, or public health,
redress of grievances has been curtailed. as may be provided by law. Decide the case.
According to Bangalisan v. Court of Appeals. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
276 SCRA 619 (1997), they can exercise this The case should be dismissed. Any person
right without stoppage of classes. under an order of arrest is under restraint and
therefore he can not claim the right to travel. If
Right to Assembly; Public Teachers (2002) he is admitted to bail his freedom of movement
No X - Ten public school teachers of Caloocan is confined within the country. Therefore, if he
City left their classrooms to join a strike, which subsequently jumps bail, he cannot demand
lasted for one month, to ask for teachers' passport which in effect will facilitate his escape
benefits. from the country; he is in fact liable to be
arrested anytime. Indeed, the right to travel
The Department of Education, Culture and under the Constitution presupposes that the
Sports charged them administratively, for which individual is under no restraint such as that
reason they were required to answer and which would follow from the fact that one has a
formally investigated by a committee composed pending criminal case and has been placed
of the Division Superintendent of Schools as under arrest.
Chairman, the Division Supervisor as member
and a teacher, as another member. On the Rights of the Accused; Counsel of his
basis of the evidence adduced at the formal Choice (Q8-2005)
investigation which amply established their (1) Mariano was arrested by the NBI as a
guilt, the Director rendered a decision meting suspect in the shopping mall bombings.
out to them the penalty of removal from office. Advised of his rights, Mariano asked for the
The decision was affirmed by the DECS assistance of his relative, Atty. Santos. The
Secretary and the Civil Service Commission. NBI noticed that Atty. Santos was
On appeal, they reiterated the arguments they inexperienced, incompetent and inattentive.
raised before the administrative bodies, namely: Deeming him unsuited to protect the rights
of Mariano, the NBI dismissed Atty. Santos.
Appointed in his place was Atty. Barroso, a
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 56
bar topnotcher who was in the premises once the prosecution shows there was
visiting a relative. Atty. Barroso ably compliance with the constitutional requirement
assisted Mariano when the latter gave a on pre-interrogation advisories, a confession is
statement. However, Mariano assailed the presumed to be voluntary and the declarant
investigation claiming that he was deprived bears the burden of proving that his confession
of counsel of his choice. is involuntary and untrue. A confession is
admissible until the accused successfully
Was the NBI correct in dismissing Atty. proves that it was given as a result of violence,
Santos and appointing Atty. Barroso in his intimidation, threat or promise of reward or
stead? Is Mariano's statement, made with leniency which are not present in this case.
the assistance of Atty. Barroso, admissible Accordingly, the statement is admissible.
in evidence? (5%) (People v. Jerez, G.R. No. 114385, January 29, 1998)

ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: Rights of the Accused; Presumption of


The NBI was not correct in dismissing Atty. Innocence vs. Presumption of Theft (2004)
Santos and appointing Atty. Barroso in his (5-b) OZ lost five head of cattle which he
stead. Article III, Section 12(1) of the 1987 reported to the police as stolen from his barn.
Constitution requires that a person under He requested several neighbors, including RR,
investigation for the commission of an offense for help in looking for the missing animals. After
shall have no less than "competent and an extensive search, the police found two head
independent counsel preferably of his own in RR's farm. RR could not explain to the police
choice " This is meant to stress the primacy how they got hidden in a remote area of his
accorded to the voluntariness of the choice farm. Insisting on his innocence, RR consulted
under the uniquely stressful conditions of a a lawyer who told him he has a right to be
custodial investigation' Thus, the lawyer called presumed innocent under the Bill of Rights. But
to be present during such investigation should there is another presumption of theft arising
be as far as reasonably possible, the choice of from his unexplained possession of stolen
the individual undergoing questioning. The cattle— under the penal law.
appointment of Atty. Barroso is questionable Are the two presumptions capable of
because he was visiting a relative working in reconciliation In this case? If so, how can they
the NBI and thus his independence is doubtful. be reconciled? If not, which should prevail?
Lawyers engaged by the police, whatever (5%)
testimonials are given as proof of their probity SUGGESTED ANSWER:
and supposed independence, are generally The two presumptions can be reconciled. The
suspect, as in many areas, the relationship presumption of innocence stands until the
between lawyers and law enforcement contrary is proved. It may be overcome by a
authorities can be symbiotic. Considering that contrary presumption founded upon human
Mariano was deprived of counsel of his own experience. The presumption that RR is the one
choice, the statement is inadmissible in who stole the cattle of OZ is logical, since he
evidence. (People v. Januario, G.R. No. 98252, was found in possession of the stolen cattle.
February 7, 1997) RR can prove his innocence by presenting
evidence to rebut the presumption. The burden
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: of evidence is shifted to RR, because how he
The NBI was correct in dismissing Atty. Santos came into possession of the cattle is peculiarly
as he was incompetent. The 1987 Constitution within his knowledge. (Dizon-Pamintuan v.
requires counsel to be competent and People, 234 SCRA 63 (1994)).
independent. Atty. Barroso, being a bar
topnotcher ably assisted Mariano and there is Rights of the Accused; Right to Bail (1993)
no showing that his having a relative in the NBI No. 9: Johann learned that the police were
affected his independence. Moreover, the looking for him in connection with the rape of an
accused has the final choice of counsel as he 18-year old girl, a neighbor. He went to the
may reject the one chosen for him and ask for police station a week later and presented
another. A lawyer provided by the investigators himself to the desk sergeant. Coincidentally. the
is deemed engaged by the accused where he rape victim was in the premises executing an
raises no objection against the lawyer during extrajudicial statement. Johann, along with six
the course of the investigation, and the accused (6) other suspects, were placed in a police line-
thereafter subscribes to the truth of his up and the girl pointed to him as the rapist.
statement before the swearing officer. Thus, Johann was arrested and locked up in a cell.

BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 57


Johann was charged with rape in court but prior No. 15: May an alien invoke the constitutional
to arraignment invoked his right to preliminary right to bail during the pendency of deportation
investigation. This was denied by the judge, proceedings?
and thus, trial proceeded. After the prosecution SUGGESTED ANSWER:
presented several witnesses, Johann through No. an alien may not invoke the constitutional
counsel, invoked the right to ball and filed a right to bail during the pendency of deportation
motion therefor, which was denied outright by proceedings. In Harvey vs Santiago, 162 SCRA
the Judge. Johann now files a petition for 840, it was held that the constitutional
certiorari before the Court of Appeals arguing guarantee to bail may not be invoked in
that: deportation proceedings, because they do not
3) He is entitled to bail as a matter of right, partake of the nature of a criminal action.
thus the Judge should not have denied his
motion to fix ball outright. Decide. Rights of the Accused; Right to Bail; Matter
SUGGESTED ANSWER: of Right or a Matter of Discretion (Q7-2005)
3) In accordance with Art. III. sec. 13 of the a) State with reason(s) whether bail is a matter
Constitution, Johann may be denied bail if the of right or a matter of discretion in the
evidence of his guilt is strong considering that following cases: (4%)
the crime with which he is charged is a) The imposable penalty for the crime
punishable by reclusion perpetua. It is thus not charged is reclusion perpetua and the
a matter of right for him to be released on bail in accused is a minor;
such case. The court must first make a
determination of the strength of the evidence on SUGGESTED ANSWER:
the basis of evidence already presented by the If the accused is a minor where the imposable
prosecution, unless it desires to present some penalty for the crime charged is reclusion
more, and give the accused the opportunity to perpetua, bail would be a matter of right. Under
present countervailing evidence. If having done Article 68 of the Revised Penal Code, when the
this the court finds the evidence not to be offender is a minor under eighteen years of
strong, then it becomes the right of Johann to age, he is entitled to a penalty, depending on
be admitted to bail. The error of the trial court his age, lower by one or two degrees than that
lies in outrightly denying the motion for bail of prescribed by law for the crime committed. The
Johann. Constitution withholds the guaranty of bail from
one who is accused of a capital offense where
Rights of the Accused; Right to Bail; Capital the evidence of guilt is strong. The obvious
Offense (Q4-2006) reason is that one who faces a probable death
State whether or not the law is constitutional. sentence has a particularly strong temptation to
Explain briefly. flee. This reason does not hold where the
2. A law denying persons charged with accused has been established without objection
crimes punishable by reclusion perpetua to be a minor who by law cannot be sentenced
or death the right to bail. (2%) to death. (Bravo v. Borja, G.R. No. L-65228,
SUGGESTED ANSWER: February 18, 1985)
The law is invalid as it contravenes
Section 13, Article III of the 1987 b) The imposable penalty for the crime
Constitution which provides that "all charged is life imprisonment and the
persons, except those charged with accused is a minor;
offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua
when evidence of guilt is strong, shall, ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
before conviction, be bailable by sufficient If the accused is a minor and the imposable
sureties, or be released on recognizance penalty for the crime charged is life
as may be provided by law." The accused imprisonment, bail would not be a matter of
may not be deprived of his constitutional right. In the instant case, assuming that
right to bail even if charged with a capital evidence of guilt strong, bail shall be denied as
offense where the evidence of guilt is not the privileged mitigating circumstance of
strong. minority is not available for violation of special
laws penalized by life imprisonment.
Rights of the Accused; Right to Bail;
Deportation Case (1989) ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
Although the Constitution mentions only
reclusion perpetua, Rule 114 of the Rules of
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 58
Court adds life imprisonment, and therefore, private complainant, the judge properly
applying the PRO REO DOCTRINE, bail would dismissed the case for failure to prosecute.
still be a matter of right, since it is favorable to
the accused. Rights of the Accused; Self-Incrimination
(1988)
c) The accused has been convicted of No. 3: Dr. Juan Sto. Tomas is a practicing
homicide on a charge of murder and dentist in Marikina, Metro Manila. He was
sentenced to suffer an indeterminate charged with immorality before the Board of
penalty of from eight (8) years and one (1) Dentistry by a lady patient, who claims that Dr.
day of prision mayor, as minimum, to twelve Sto. Tomas took liberties with her person and
(12) years and four (4) months of reclusion kissed her while she was under the treatment at
temporal, as maximum. the latter's clinic.

SUGGESTED ANSWER: At the initial hearing of the administrative


If the accused has been convicted of homicide complaint, the complainant's counsel called the
on a charge of murder and sentenced to suffer respondent as his first witness. The respondent
imprisonment of from 8 to 12 years, bail is a through counsel, objected vigorously, claiming
matter of discretion. Under Rule 114, Sec. 5, his constitutional right to be exempt from being
par. 1 of the Rules of Court, if the decision of a witness against himself. The Board noted the
the trial court convicting the accused changed objection, but ruled that in the next scheduled
the nature of the offense from non-bailable to hearing, a month and a half later, the
bailable, the application for bail may be filed respondent would be called to testify as a
and acted upon by the appellate court. witness, as the right he claims is not available
Admission to bail is discretionary. in administrative investigations, but only in
criminal prosecutions.
Rights of the Accused; Right to Speedy Trial
(2000) Dr. Sto. Tomas is decided not to testify. As his
No XV. Charged by Francisco with libel, Pablo lawyer, what would you do? Why?
was arraigned on January 3, 2000, Pre-trial was SUGGESTED ANSWER:
dispensed with and continuous trial was set for I will file a petition for prohibition with prayer for
March 7, 8 and 9, 2000. On the first setting, the preliminary injunction with the Regional Trial
prosecution moved for its postponement and Court. The privilege against self incrimination is
cancellation of the other settings because its available not only in judicial proceedings but
principal and probably only witness, the private also in administrative investigations. In Pascual
complainant Francisco, suddenly had to go v. Board of Medical Examiners, 28 SCRA 344
abroad to fulfill a professional commitment. The (1969), it was held that the revocation of a
judge instead dismissed the case for failure to license as a medical practitioner can be an
prosecute. even greater deprivation than mere forfeiture of
a) Would the grant of the motion for property. In some aspects it is similar to
postponement have violated the accused's right criminal proceedings and, therefore, the
to speedy trial? (2%) respondent can not be made to testify as a
SUGGESTED ANSWER: witness for the complainant.
The grant of the motion for postponement
would not have violated the right of the accused Rights of the Accused; Self-Incrimination
to speedy trial. As held In People v. Leviste, (1990)
255 SCRA 238 (1996). since the motion for No. 4: The privilege of self-incrimination must
postponement was the first one requested, the be timely invoked, otherwise it is deemed
need for the offended party to attend to a waived.
professional commitment is a valid reason, no 1. In a CIVIL CASE, the plaintiff called the
substantial right of the accused would be defendant a hostile witness and
prejudiced, and the prosecution should be announced that the defendant would be
afforded a fair opportunity to prosecute its case, asked incriminating questions in the direct
the motion should be granted. examination. When should the defendant
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: invoke the privilege against self-
Since continuous trial of cases is required and incrimination?
since the date of the initial hearing was set 2. In a CRIMINAL CASE, the prosecution
upon agreement of all parties, including the called the accused to the witness stand as
the first witness in view of certain facts
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 59
admitted by the accused at the pre-trial. Cite two [2] possible constitutional objections to
When should the accused invoke the this law. Resolve the objections and explain
privilege against self-incrimination? whether any such infirmities can be cured.
3. In an administrative case for malpractice SUGGESTED ANSWER:
and the cancellation of license to practice Possible objections to the law are that requiring
medicine filed against C, the complainant a driver to take the breathalyzer test will violate
called C to the witness stand. When his right against self-incrimination, that
should C invoke the privilege against self- providing for the suspension of his driver's
incrimination? license without any hearing violates due
Explain your answers to the three questions. process, and that the proposed law will violate
SUGGESTED ANSWER: the right against unreasonable searches and
(1) As held in Bagadiong v, De Guzman, 94 seizures, because it allows police authorities to
SCRA 906, the defendant should take the require a drive to take the breathalyzer test
witness stand and object when a question even if there is no probable cause.
calling for an incriminating question is
propounded. Unlike in proceedings which are Requiring a driver to take a BREATHALYZER
criminal in character in which the accused can TEST does not violate his right against self-
refuse to testify, the defendant must wait until a incrimination, because he is not being
question calling for an incriminatory answer is compelled to give testimonial evidence. He is
actually asked. (Suarez v. Tongco, 2 SCRA 71) merely being asked to submit to a physical test.
This is not covered by the constitutional
(2) As held in Chavez v. Court of Appeals, 24 guarantee against self-incrimination. Thus, in
SCRA 663, in a criminal case the accused may South Dakota vs. Neville, 459 U.S. 553, it was
altogether refuse to take the witness and refuse held for this reason that requiring a driver to
to answer any question, because the purpose take a blood-alcohol test is valid.
of calling him as a witness for the prosecution
has no other purpose but to incriminate him. As held in Mackey vs. Afontrya 443 U.S. 1,
because of compelling government interest in
(3) As in a criminal case, C can refuse to take safety along the streets, the license of a driver
the witness stand and refuse to answer any who refuses to take the breathalyzer test may
question. In Pascual v. Board of Medical be suspended immediately pending a post-
Examiners, 28 SCRA 344, it was held that an suspension hearing, but there must be a
administrative case for malpractice and provision for a post-suspension hearing. Thus,
cancellation of the license to practice medicine to save the proposed law from
is penal in character, because an unfavorable unconstitutionally on the ground of denial of due
decision would result in the revocation of the process, it should provide for an immediate
license of the respondent to practice medicine. hearing upon suspension of the driver's license.
Consequently, he can refuse to take the The proposed law violates the right against
witness stand. unreasonable searches and seizures. It will
authorize police authorities to stop any driver
Rights of the Accused; Self-Incrimination and ask him to take the breathalyzer test even
(1992) in the absence of a probable cause.
No, 3; Congress is considering a law against
drunken driving. Under the legislation, police Rights of the Accused; Self-Incrimination
authorities may ask any driver to take a (2000)
"breathalyzer test", wherein the driver exhales No XI. b) A man was shot and killed and his
several times into a device which can determine killer fled. Moments after the shooting, an
whether he has been driving under the eyewitness described to the police that the
influence of alcohol. The results of the test can slayer wore white pants, a shirt with floral
be used, in any legal proceeding against him. design, had boots and was about 70 kilos and
Furthermore, declaring that the issuance of a 1.65 meters. Borja, who fit the description
driver's license gives rise only to a privilege to given, was seen nearby. He was taken into
drive motor vehicles on public roads, the law custody and brought to the police precinct
provides that a driver who refuses to take the where his pants, shirt and boots were forcibly
test shall be automatically subject to a 90-day taken and he was weighed, measured,
suspension of his driver's license, photographed, fingerprinted and subjected to
paraffin testing. At his trial, Borja objected to
the admission in evidence of the apparel, his
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 60
height and weight, his photographs, fingerprints proof. One day, Emilio broke open the desk
comparison and the results of the paraffin test, of Alvin and discovered a letter wherein
asserting that these were taken in violation of Randy thanked Alvin for having passed on
his right against self-incrimination. Rule on the to him vital trade secrets of Emilio.
objection. (2%) Enclosed in the letter was a check for
SUGGESTED ANSWER: P50,000.00 drawn against the account of
b) The objection of Borja is not tenable. As held Randy and payable to Alvin. Emilio then
in People v. Paynor, 261 SCRA 615 (1996), the dismissed Alvin from his employment.
rights guaranteed by Section 12, Article in of Emilio's proof of Alvin's perfidy are the said
the Constitution applies only against testimonial letter and check which are objected to as
evidence. An accused may be compelled to be inadmissible for having been obtained
photographed or measured, his garments may through an illegal search. Alvin filed a suit
be removed, and his body may be examined. assailing his dismissal.
Rule on the admissibility of the letter and
Rights of the Accused; Self-Incrimination check. (5%)
(Q7-2006)
Select the best answer and explain. ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
1. An accused's right against self-incrimination As held in People v. Marti (G.R. No. 81561,
is violated in the following cases: (5%) January 18, 1991), the constitution, in laying
a. When he is ordered by the trial court to down the principles of the government and
undergo a paraffin test to prove he is guilty fundamental liberties of the people, does not
of murder; govern relationships between individuals. Thus,
b. When he is compelled to produce his if the search is made at the behest or initiative
bankbooks to be used as evidence against of the proprietor of a private establishment for
his father charged with plunder; its own and private purposes and without the
c. When he is ordered to produce a sample of intervention of police authorities, the right
his handwriting to be used as evidence that against unreasonable search and seizure
he is the author of a letter wherein he cannot be invoked for only the act of private
agreed to kill the victim; individuals, not the law enforcers, is involved. In
d. When the president of a corporation is sub- sum, the protection against unreasonable
poenaed to produce certain documents as searches and seizures cannot be extended to
proofs he is guilty of illegal recruitment. acts committed by PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS so
as to bring it within the ambit of alleged unlawful
SUGGESTED ANSWER: intrusion by the government. Accordingly, the
The best answer is c) when he is ordered to letter and check are admissible in evidence.
produce a sample of his handwriting to be used (Waterous Drug Corp. v. NLRC, G.R. No.
as evidence that he is the author of a letter 113271, October 16, 1997)
wherein he agreed to kill the victim. Under
Article HI, Section 17 of the 1987 Constitution, ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
"no person shall be compelled to be a witness The letter is inadmissible in evidence. The
against himself." Since the provision prohibits constitutional injunction declaring the privacy of
compulsory testimonial incrimination, it does not communication and correspondence to be
matter whether the testimony is taken by oral or inviolable is no less applicable simply because
written means as either way it involves the USE it is the employer who is the party against
OF INTELLECTUAL FACULTIES. The purpose whom the constitutional provision is to be
of the privilege is to avoid and prohibit thereby enforced. The only exception to the prohibition
the repetition and recurrence of compelling a in the Constitution is if there is a lawful order
person, in a criminal or any other case, to from the court or when public safety or order
furnish the missing evidence necessary for his requires otherwise, as prescribed by law. Any
conviction (Bermudez v. Castillo, Per Rec. No. violation of this provision renders the evidence
714-A, July 26, 1937; Beltran v. Samson, G.R. obtained inadmissible for any purpose in any
No. 32025, September 23,1929). proceeding. (Zulueta v. Court of Appeals, G.R.
No. 107383, February 20, 1996)
Searches and Seizure; Private Individuals
(Q8-2005) Searches and Seizures; Aliens (2001)
(2) Emilio had long suspected that Alvin, his No IV - A is an alien. State whether, in the
employee, had been passing trade secrets Philippines, he: Is entitled to the right against
to his competitor, Randy, but he had no
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 61
illegal searches and seizures and against illegal to save the proposed law from
arrests. (2%) unconstitutionally on the ground of denial of due
SUGGESTED ANSWER: process, it should provide for an immediate
Aliens are entitled to the right against illegal hearing upon suspension of the driver's license.
searches and seizures and illegal arrests. As The proposed law violates the right against
applied in People v. Chua Ho San, 307 SCRA unreasonable searches and seizures. It will
432 (1999), these rights are available to all authorize police authorities to stop any driver
persons, including aliens. and ask him to take the breathalyzer test even
in the absence of a probable cause.
Searches and Seizures; Breathalyzer Test
(1992) Searches and Seizures; Immediate Control
No, 3; Congress is considering a law against (1987)
drunken driving. Under the legislation, police No. III: "X" a Constabulary Officer, was arrested
authorities may ask any driver to take a pursuant to a lawful court order in Baguio City
"breathalyzer test", wherein the driver exhales for murder. He was brought to Manila where a
several times into a device which can determine warrantless search was conducted in his official
whether he has been driving under the quarters at Camp Crame, The search team
influence of alcohol. The results of the test can found and seized the murder weapon in a
be used, in any legal proceeding against him. drawer of "X". Can "X" claim that the search
Furthermore, declaring that the issuance of a and seizure were illegal and move for exclusion
driver's license gives rise only to a privilege to from evidence of the weapon seized? Explain.
drive motor vehicles on public roads, the law SUGGESTED ANSWER:
provides that a driver who refuses to take the Yes, "X" can do so. The warrantless search
test shall be automatically subject to a 90-day cannot be justified as an incident of a valid
suspension of his driver's license, arrest, because considerable time had elapsed
Cite two [2] possible constitutional objections to after his arrest in Baguio before the search of
this law. Resolve the objections and explain his quarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City was
whether any such infirmities can be cured. made, and because the distance between the
SUGGESTED ANSWER: place of arrest and the place of search negates
Possible objections to the law are that requiring any claim that the place searched is within his
a driver to take the breathalyzer test will violate "immediate control" so as to justify the
his right against self-incrimination, that apprehension that he might destroy or conceal
providing for the suspension of his driver's evidence of crime before a warrant can be
license without any hearing violates due obtained. (Chimel v. California, 395 U.S. 752
process, and that the proposed law will violate (1969) ) in Nolasco v. Cruz Pano, 147 SCRA
the right against unreasonable searches and 509 (1987), the Supreme Court reconsidered its
seizures, because it allows police authorities to previous decision holding that a warrantless
require a drive to take the breathalyzer test search, made after 30 minutes from the time of
even if there is no probable cause arrest, and, in a place several blocks away from
the place of arrest, was valid. It held that a
Requiring a driver to take a breathalyzer test warrantless search is limited to the search of
does not violate his right against self- the person of the arrestee at the time and
incrimination, because he is not being incident to his arrest and for dangerous
compelled to give testimonial evidence. He is weapons or anything which may be used as
merely being asked to submit to a physical test. proof of the offense. A contrary rule would
This is not covered by the constitutional justify the police in procuring a warrant of arrest
guarantee against self-incrimination. Thus, in and, by virtue thereof, not only arrest the
South Dakota vs. Neville, 459 U.S. 553, it was person but also search his dwelling. A warrant
held for this reason that requiring a driver to requires that all facts as to the condition of the
take a blood-alcohol test is valid. property and its surroundings and its
improvements and capabilities must be
As held in Mackey vs. Afontrya 443 U.S. 1, considered, and this can only be done in a
because of compelling government interest in judicial proceeding.
safety along the streets, the license of a driver
who refuses to take the breathalyzer test may Searches and Seizures; Incidental to Valid
be suspended immediately pending a post- Search (1990)
suspension hearing, but there must be a No. 9; Some police operatives, acting under a
provision for a post-suspension hearing. Thus, lawfully issued warrant for the purpose of
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 62
searching for firearms in the House of X located ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
at No. 10 Shaw Boulevard, Pasig, Metro In accordance with the rulings in Uy Keytin v,
Manila, found, instead of firearms, ten Villareal, 42 Phil. 886 and People v. Sy Juco,
kilograms of cocaine. 64 Phil. 667, the unlicensed firearms found in
(1) May the said police operatives lawfully the house at 12 Shaw Boulevard may not be
seize the cocaine? Explain your answer. lawfully seized, since they were not included in
(2) May X successfully challenge the legality the description of the articles to be seized by
of the search on the ground that the virtue of the search warrant. The search
peace officers did not inform him about warrant described the articles to be seized as
his right to remain silent and his right to firearms in the house of X located at 10 Shaw
counsel? Explain your answer. Boulevard.
(3) Suppose the peace officers were able to
find unlicensed firearms in the house in Searches and Seizures; Place of Search
an adjacent lot, that is. No, 12 Shaw (2001)
Boulevard, which is also owned by X. No XI - Armed with a search and seizure
May they lawfully seize the said warrant, a team of policemen led by Inspector
unlicensed firearms? Explain your Trias entered a compound and searched the
answer. house described therein as No. 17 Speaker
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Perez St., Sta. Mesa Heights, Quezon City,
(1) Yes, the police operatives may lawfully owned by Mr. Ernani Pelets, for a reported
seize the cocaine, because it is an item whose cache of firearms and ammunition. However,
possession is prohibited by law, it was in plain upon thorough search of the house, the police
view and it was only inadvertently discovered in found nothing.
the course of a lawful search. The possession
of cocaine is prohibited by Section 8 of the Then, acting on a hunch, the policemen
Dangerous Drugs Act. As held in Magoncia v. proceeded to a smaller house inside the same
Palacio, 80 Phil. 770, an article whose compound with address at No. 17-A Speaker
possession is prohibited by law may be seized Perez St., entered it, and conducted a search
without the need of any search warrant if it was therein over the objection of Mr. Pelets who
discovered during a lawful search. The happened to be the same owner of the first
additional requirement laid down in Roan v. house. There, the police found the unlicensed
Gonzales, 145 SCRA 687 that the discovery of firearms and ammunition they were looking for.
the article must have been made inadvertently As a result. Mr. Ernani Pelets was criminally
was also satisfied in this case. charged in court with Illegal possession of
firearms and ammunition as penalized under
(2) No, X cannot successfully challenge the P.D. 1866, as amended by RA. 8294. At the
legality of the search simply because the peace trial, he vehemently objected to the
officers did not inform him about his right to presentation of the evidence against him for
remain silent and his right to counsel. Section being inadmissible. Is Mr. Emani Pelet's
12(1), Article III of the 1987 Constitution contention valid or not? Why? (5%)
provides: "Any person under investigation for SUGGESTED ANSWER:
the commission of an offense shall have the The contention of Ernani Pelet is valid. As held
right to be informed of his right to remain silent in People vs. Court of Appeals, 291SCRA 400
and to have competent and independent (1993), if the place searched is different from
counsel preferably of his own choice." that stated in the search warrant, the evidence
As held in People v. Dy, 158 SCRA 111. for seized is inadmissible. The policeman cannot
this provision to apply, a suspect must be modify the place to be searched as set out in
under investigation. There was no the search warrant.
investigation involved in this case.
Searches and Seizures; search made by a
(3) The unlicensed firearms stored at 12 Shaw private citizen (1993)
Boulevard may lawfully be seized since their No. 4: Larry was an overnight guest in a motel.
possession is illegal. As held in Magoncia a After he checked out the following day, the
Palacio, 80 Phil. 770, when an individual chambermaid found an attache case which she
possesses contraband (unlicensed firearms surmised was left behind by Larry. She turned it
belong to this category), he is committing a over to the manager who, to determine the
crime and he can be arrested without a warrant name and address of the owner, opened the
and the contraband can be seized. attache case and saw packages which had a
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 63
peculiar smell and upon squeezing felt like possession of prohibited drugs and was
dried leaves. His curiosity aroused, the convicted.
manager made an opening on one of the On appeal he contends that -
packages and took several grams of the (1) The plastic bag and its contents are
contents thereof. He took the packages to the inadmissible in evidence being the product
NBI, and in the presence of agents, opened the of an illegal search and seizure; (3%) and
packages, the contents of which upon (2) The receipt he signed is also inadmissible
laboratory examination, turned out to be as his rights under custodial investigation
marijuana flowering tops, Larry was were not observed. (2%)
subsequently found, brought to the NBI Office Decide the case with reasons.
where he admitted ownership of the attache SUGGESTED ANSWER:
case and the packages. He was made to sign a A. The plastic bag and its contents are
receipt for the packages. Larry was charged in admissible in evidence, since it was not the
court for possession of prohibited drugs. He National Bureau of Investigation but the bus
was convicted. On appeal, he now poses the conductor who opened the bag and brought it to
following issues: the National Bureau of Investigation. As held
1) The packages are inadmissible in evidence In People v. Marti, 193 SCRA 57 (1991), the
being the product of an illegal search and constitutional right against unreasonable search
seizure; . and seizure is a restraint upon the government.
2) Neither is the receipt he signed admissible, It does not apply so as to require exclusion of
his rights under custodial investigation not evidence which came into the possession of the
having been observed. Decide. Government through a search made by a
SUGGESTED ANSWER: private citizen.
On the assumption that the issues were timely B. It is inadmissible....
raised the answers are as follows:
1) The packages are admissible in evidence. Searches and Seizures; Valid Warrantless
The one who opened the packages was the Search (2000)
manager of the motel without any interference a) Crack officers of the Anti-Narcotics Unit
of the agents of the National Bureau of were assigned on surveillance of the environs
Investigation. As held in People vs. Marti, 193 of a cemetery where the sale and use of
SCRA 57, the constitutional right against dangerous drugs are rampant. A man with
unreasonable searches and seizures refers to reddish and glassy eyes was walking unsteadily
unwarranted intrusion by the government and moving towards them but veered away when he
does not operate as a restraint upon private sensed the presence of policemen. They
individuals. approached him, introduced themselves as
2) The receipt is not admissible in evidence. ... police officers and asked him what he had
clenched in his hand. As he kept mum, the
Searches and Seizures; search made by a policemen pried his hand open and found a
private citizen (2002) sachet of shabu, a dangerous drug. Accordingly
No VIII. One day a passenger bus conductor charged in court, the accused objected to the
found a man's handbag left in the bus. When admission in evidence of the dangerous drug
the conductor opened the bag, he found inside because it was the result of an illegal search
a catling card with the owner's name (Dante and seizure. Rule on the objection. (3%)
Galang) and address, a few hundred peso bills, b) What are the instances when warrantless
and a small plastic bag containing a white searches may be effected? (2%)
powdery substance. He brought the powdery SUGGESTED ANSWER:
substance to the National Bureau of a) The objection is not tenable. In
Investigation for laboratory examination and it accordance with Manalili v. Court of Appeals,
was determined to be methamphetamine 280 SCRA 400 (1997). since the accused had
hydrochloride or shabu, a prohibited drug. red eyes and was walking unsteadily and the
Dante Galang was subsequently traced and place is a known hang-out of drug addicts, the
found and brought to the NBI Office where he police officers had sufficient reason to stop the
admitted ownership of the handbag and its accused and to frisk him. Since shabu was
contents. In the course of the interrogation by actually found during the investigation, it could
NBI agents, and without the presence and be seized without the need for a search
assistance of counsel, Galang was made to warrant.
sign a receipt for the plastic bag and its shabu
contents. Galang was charged with illegal
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 64
b) A warrantless search may be effected in were found after a more extensive search of the
the following cases: various compartments of the car. As held in
a) Searches incidental to a lawful arrest: Valmonte vs. De Villa, 185 SCRA 665, for such
b) Searches of moving vehicles; a search to be valid, there must be a probable
c) Searches of prohibited articles in plain view: cause. In this case, there was no probable
d) Enforcement of customs law; cause, as there was nothing to indicate that
e) Consented searches; Antonio had prohibited drugs inside the
f) Stop and frisk (People v. Monaco, 285 compartments of his car.
SCRA 703 [1998]);
g) Routine searches at borders and ports of Searches and Seizures; Waiver of Consent
entry (United States v. Ramsey, 431 U.S. (1989)
606 [1977]); and No. 7: Pursuing reports that great quantities of
h) Searches of businesses in the exercise of prohibited drugs are being smuggled at
visitorial powers to enforce police nighttime through the shores of Cavite, the
regulations (New York v. Burger, 482 U.S. Southern Luzon Command set up checkpoints
691 (1987]). at the end of the Cavite coastal road to search
passing motor vehicles. A 19-year old boy, who
Searches and Seizures; Visual Search (1992) finished fifth grade, while driving, was stopped
No. 5: During the recent elections, checkpoints by the authorities at the checkpoint. Without
were set up to enforce the election period ban any objection from him, his car was inspected,
on firearms. and the search yielded marijuana leaves hidden
in the trunk compartment of the car. The
During one such routine search one night, while prohibited drug was promptly seized, and the
looking through an open window with a boy was brought to the police station for
flashlight, the police saw firearms at the questioning. Was the search without warrant
backseat of a car partially covered by papers legal?
and clothes. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Antonio, owner and driver of the car in question, No, the search was not valid, because there
was charged for violation of the firearms was no probable cause for conducting the
ban. Are the firearms admissible in search. As held in Almeda Sanchez vs. United
evidence against him? Explain. States, 413 U.S. 266, while a moving vehicle
If, upon further inspection by the police, can be searched without a warrant, there must
prohibited drugs were found inside the still be probable cause. In the case in question,
various compartments of Antonio's car, there was nothing to indicate that marijuana
can the drugs be used in evidence leaves were hidden in the trunk of the car. The
against Antonio if he is prosecuted for mere fact that the boy did not object to the
possession of prohibited drugs? Explain. inspection of the car does not constitute
SUGGESTED ANSWER: consent to the search. As ruled in People vs.
a) Yes, the firearms are admissible in Burgos, 144 SCRA 1, the failure to object to a
evidence, because they were validly seized. In warrantless search does not constitute consent,
Valmonte vs. De Villa, 178 SCRA 211 and 185 especially in the light of the fact.
SCRA 665, the Supreme Court held that ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
checkpoints may be set up to maintain peace Yes. The requirement of probable cause differs
and order for the benefit of the public and from case to case. In this one, since the
checkpoints are a security measure against police agents are confronted with large-scale
unauthorized firearms. Since the search which smuggling of prohibited drugs, existence of
resulted in the discovery of the firearms was which is of public knowledge, they can set up
limited to a visual search of the car, it was checkpoints at strategic places, in the same
reasonable. Because of the ban on firearms, way that of in a neighborhood a child is
the possession of the firearms was prohibited. kidnapped, it is lawful to search cars and
Since they were found in plain view in the vehicles leaving the neighborhood or village:
course of a lawful search, in accordance with This situation is also similar to warrantless
the decision in Magancia vs. Palacio, 80 Phil. searches of moving vehicles in customs area,
770, they are admissible in evidence. which searches have been upheld. (Papa vs.
Mago, 22 SCRA 857 (1968). The rule is based
b) No, the drugs cannot be used in evidence on practical necessity.
against Antonio if he is prosecuted for
possession of prohibited drugs. The drugs
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 65
Searches and Seizures; Warrantless Arrests equipment. The warrant particularly describes
(1993) the electronic equipment and specifies the
No. 9: Johann learned that the police were provisions of the Tariff and Customs Code
looking for him in connection with the rape of an which were violated by the importation.
18-year old girl, a neighbor. He went to the
police station a week later and presented The warrant was served and implemented in
himself to the desk sergeant. Coincidentally. the the afternoon of 2 January 1988 by Customs
rape victim was in the premises executing an policemen who then seized the described
extrajudicial statement. Johann, along with six equipment. The inventory of the seized articles
(6) other suspects, were placed in a police line- was signed by the Secretary of the Tikasan
up and the girl pointed to him as the rapist. Corporation. The following day, a hearing
Johann was arrested and locked up in a cell. officer in the Office of the Collector of Customs
Johann was charged with rape in court but prior conducted a hearing on the confiscation of the
to arraignment invoked his right to preliminary equipment.
investigation. This was denied by the judge,
and thus, trial proceeded. After the prosecution Two days thereafter, the corporation filed with
presented several witnesses, Johann through the Supreme Court a petition for certiorari,
counsel, invoked the right to bail and filed a prohibition and mandamus to set aside the
motion therefor, which was denied outright by warrant, enjoin the Collector and his agents
the Judge. Johann now files a petition for from further proceeding with the forfeiture
certiorari before the Court of Appeals arguing hearing and to secure the return of the
that: His arrest was not in accordance with law. confiscated equipment, alleging therein that the
Decide. warrant issued is null and void for the reason
SUGGESTED ANSWER: that, pursuant to Section 2 of Article III of the
Yes, the warrantless arrest of Johann was not 1987 Constitution, only a judge may issue a
in accordance with law. As held in Go v. Court search warrant. In his comment to the petition,
of Appeals, 206 SCRA 138, his case does not the Collector of Customs, through the Office of
fall under the Instances in Rule 113, sec. 5 (a) the Solicitor General, contends that he is
of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure authorized under the Tariff and Custom Code to
authorizing warrantless arrests. It cannot be order the seizure of the equipment whose
considered a valid warrantless arrest because duties and taxes were not paid and that the
Johann did not commit a crime in the presence corporation did not exhaust administrative
of the police officers, since they were not remedies. Should the petition be granted?
present when Johann had allegedly raped his Decide.
neighbor. Neither can It be considered an arrest SUGGESTED ANSWER:
under Rule 113 sec. 5 (b) which allows an The petition should not be granted. Under Secs.
arrest without a warrant to be made when a 2205 and 2208 of the Tariff and Customs Code,
crime has in fact just been committed and the customs officials are authorized to enter any
person making the arrest has personal warehouse, not used as dwelling, for the
knowledge offsets indicating that the person to purpose of seizing any article which is subject
be arrested committed it. Since Johann was to forfeiture. For this purpose they need no
arrested a week after the alleged rape, it cannot warrant issued by a court. As stated in Viduya
be deemed to be a crime which "has just been vs. Berdiago, 73 SCRA 553. for centuries the
committed". Nor did the police officers who seizure of goods by customs officials to enforce
arrested him have personal knowledge of facts the customs laws without need of a search
indicating that Johann raped his neighbor. warrant has been recognized.

Searches and Seizures; Warrants of Arrest ARTICLE IV Citizenship


(1991) Action for Cancellation; Prescription &
No. 8: On the basis of a verified report and Effect of Death (1994)
confidential information that various electronic No. 7: - Enzo, a Chinese national, was granted
equipment, which were illegally imported into Philippine citizenship in a decision rendered by
the Philippines, were found in the bodega of the the Court of First Instance of Pampanga on
Tikasan Corporation located at 1002 Binakayan January 10, 1956. He took his oath of office on
St., Cebu City, the Collector of Customs of June 5, 1959. In 1970, the Solicitor General
Cebu issued, in the morning of 2 January 1988, filed a petition to cancel his citizenship on the
a Warrant of Seizure and Detention against the ground that in July 1969 the Court of Tax
corporation for the seizure of the electronic Appeals found that Enzo had cheated the
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 66
government of income taxes for the years 1956 (2) Whether or not Ferdie's act of filing his
to 1959. Said decision of the Tax Court was certificate of candidacy constitutes waiver of
affirmed by the Supreme Court in 1969. his status as a permanent resident of the
Between 1960 and 1970, Enzo had acquired United States.
substantial real property In the Philippines, SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(1) Has the action for cancellation of Enzo's 1) According to the ruling in Coast vs. Court of
citizenship prescribed? Appeals, 191 SCRA 229, a green card is proof
(2) Can Enzo ask for the denial of the petition that the holder is a permanent resident of the
on the ground that he had availed of the United States, for it identifies the holder as a
Tax Amnesty for his tax liabilities? resident of the United States and states that the
(3) What is the effect on the petition for holder is entitled to reside permanently and
cancellation of Enzo's citizenship if Enzo work in the United States.
died during the pendency of the hearing on
said petition? 2) The filing of a certificate of candidacy does
SUGGESTED ANSWER: not constitute a waiver of the status of the
1) No, the action has not prescribed. As held in holder of a green card as a permanent resident
Republic vs. Li Yao, 214 SCRA 748, a of the United States. As held in Coast vs. Court
certificate of naturalizalion may be cancelled at of Appeals, 191 SCRA229, the waiver should
any time if it was fraudulently obtained by be manifested by an act independent of and
misleading the court regarding the moral prior to the filing of his certificate of candidacy.
character of the petitioner.
Dual Allegiance vs. Dual Citizenship (1987)
2) No, Enzo cannot ask for the denial of the No. VIII: "A" was born in 1951 in the United
petition for the cancellation of his certificate of States of a Chinese father and a Filipina
naturalization on the ground that he had availed mother. Under Chinese laws, "A's" mother
of the tax amnesty. In accordance with the automatically became a Chinese national by
ruling in Republic vs. Li Yao, 224 SCRA 748, her marriage.
the tax amnesty merely removed all the civil,
criminal and administrative liabilities of Enzo. It In 1973, upon reaching the age of majority, "A"
did not obliterate his lack of good moral elected to acquire Philippine citizenship.
character and irreproachable conduct. However, "A" continued to reside in California
3) On the assumption that he left a family, the and to carry an American passport. He also
death of Enzo does not render the petition for paid allegiance to the Taipei government. In the
the cancellation of his certificate of 1987 Philippine National elections, he was
naturalization moot. As held in Republic vs. Li elected Senator. His opponent moved to
Yao, 224 SCRA 748, the outcome of the case disqualify him on the grounds:
will affect his wife and children. a) That he was not a natural born citizen; and
b) That he had "dual allegiance" not only to
Citizenship; Elected Official (1993) the United States but also to the Republic of
No. 7: Ferdie immigrated to the United States in China.
the 1980s. Thereafter, he visited his hometown, Decide.
Makahoy, every other year during town fiestas. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
In January 1993. Ferdie came home and filed The electoral contest must be dismissed.
his certificate of candidacy for Mayor of (a) "A" is a natural born citizen. Art. IV, Sec. 2
Makahoy. He won in the elections. Joe, the of the 1987 Constitution provides that "those
defeated candidate, learned that Ferdie is a who elect Philippine citizenship in accordance
greencard holder which on its face identifies with paragraph (3), Sec. 1 hereof shall be
Ferdie as a "resident alien" and on the back deemed natural born citizens." The purpose of
thereof is clearly printed: this provision is to equalize the status of those
"Person identified by this card is entitled to who elected Philippine citizenship before and
reside permanently and work in the United those who did so after January 17, 1973 when
States." Joe filed a case to disqualify Ferdie the previous Constitution took effect.
from assuming the mayorship of Maka-hoy.
Questions: (b) The "DUAL ALLEGIANCE" declared
(1) Whether or not a green card is proof that inimical to national interest in Art. IV, Sec. 5
the holder is a permanent resident of the refers to the dual allegiance of some such as
United States. naturalized Filipino citizens (mostly Chinese)
who maintain allegiance to Nationalist China as
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 67
shown in some cases by their membership in of the Philippines (Art. IV, sec. 1(3)). Under Art.
the legislative Yuan after their naturalization as IV, sec, 2 he is also deemed a natural-born
citizens of the Philippines. The prohibition does citizen.
not apply in situations brought about by dual
citizenship, such as the one involved in the 2. The Constitution requires, among other
problem. Indeed, a Filipino woman can have things, that a candidate for member of the
dual allegiance resulting from her marriage to a House of Representatives must be at least 25
foreigner under Sec. 4, so long as she does not years of age "on the day of the election." (Art.
do or omit to do an act amounting to VI, sec. 6). As Brown was born on May 15,
renunciation under Commonwealth Act. No. 1962, he did not become 25 years old until May
63, Sec. 1(2). Under this law, express 15, 1987. Hence on May 11, 1987, when the
renunciation is different from an act of election was held, he was 4 days short of the
allegiance to a foreign power as a ground for required age.
loss of Philippine citizenship. Moreover, what
constitutes "dual allegiance" inimical to national 3. The Constitution provides that those who
interest is and what the sanctions for such dual seek either to change their citizenship or to
allegiance will be, will still have to be defined by acquire the status of an immigrant of another
law pending adoption of such legislation, country "during their tenure" shall be dealt with
objection based on dual allegiance will be by law (Art. XI, sec. 17). The provision cannot
premature. apply to Brown for the following reasons: First,
Brown is in addition an American citizen and
Dual Allegiance vs. Dual Citizenship (1988) thus has a dual citizenship which is allowed by
No. 13: Robert Brown was born in Hawaii on the Constitution. (Cf. Art. IV, sec. 4), Second,
May 15, 1962, of an American father and a Brown did not seek to acquire the status of an
Filipina mother. On May 16, 1983 while holding immigrant, but is an American by birth under
an American passport, he registered as a the principle of jus soli obtaining in the United
Filipino with the Philippine Consulate at States. Third, he did not seek to change his
Honolulu, Hawaii. In September, 1983 he status during his tenure as a public officer.
returned to the Philippines, and took up Fourth, the provision of Art. XI, sec. 17 is not
residence at Boac, Marinduque, hometown of self-executing but requires an implementing
his mother. He registered as a voter, voted, and law. Fifth, but above all, the House Electoral
even participated as a leader of one of the Tribunal has no jurisdiction to decide this
candidates in that district in the 1984 Batasan question since it does not concern the
elections. In the elections of 1987, he ran for qualification of a member-elect.
Congressman, and won. His sole opponent is
now questioning his qualifications and is trying Dual Citizenship (1994)
to oust him on two basic claims: No. 8: In 1989, Zeny Reyes married Ben Tulog,
(1) He is not a natural born Filipino citizen, but a national of the State of Kongo. Under the laws
is in fact, an American, born in Hawaii, an of Kongo, an alien woman marrying a Kongo
integral portion of the U.S.A., who holds an national automatically acquires Kongo
American passport; citizenship. After her marriage, Zeny resided in
(2) He did not meet the age requirement; and Kongo and acquired a Kongo passport. In 1991,
(3) He has a "green card" from the U.S. Zeny returned to the Philippines to run for
Government. Governor of Sorsogon.
(1) Was Zeny qualified to run for Governor?
Assume that you are a member of the House (2) Suppose instead of entering politics. Zeny
Electoral Tribunal where the petition for Brown's just got herself elected as vice-president of
ouster is pending. How would you decide the the Philippine Bulletin, a local newspaper.
three issues raised against him? Was she qualified to hold that position?
SUGGESTED ANSWER: SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The first and third grounds have no merit. But 1) Under Section 4, Article IV of the
the second is well taken and, therefore, Brown Constitution. Zeny retained her Filipino
should be disqualified. citizenship. Since she also became a citizen of
1. Robert Brown is a natural born citizen of the Kongo, she possesses dual citizenship.
Philippines. A person born of a Filipino mother Pursuant to Section 40 (d) of the Local
and an alien father before January 17, 1973, Government Code, she is disqualified to run for
who thereafter upon reaching the age of governor. In addition, if Zeny returned to the
majority elect Philippine citizenship, is a citizen Philippines, less than a year immediately before
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 68
the day of the election, Zeny is not qualified to not qualify to participate in the management of
run for Governor of Sorsogon. Under Section the Bulletin as Vice-President thereof.
39(a) of the Local Government Code, a
candidate for governor must be a resident in the Effect of Marriage; Filipino (1989)
province where he intends to run at least one No, 2: (1) Lily Teh arrived in Manila on one of
(1) year immediately preceding the day of the her regular tours to the Philippines from Taipeh.
election. By residing in Kongo upon her She met Peter Go, a naturalized Filipino citizen.
marriage in 1989, Zeny abandoned her After a whirlwind courtship, Lily and Peter were
residence in the Philippines. married at the San Agustin Church. A week
This is in accordance with the decision in Caasi after the wedding, Lily Teh petitioned in
vs. Court of Appeals, 191 SCRA 229. administrative proceedings before immigration
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: authorities to declare her a Filipino citizen
No. Zeny was not qualified to run for Governor. stating that she had none of the
Under the Constitution, "citizens of the disqualifications provided in the Revised
Philippines who marry aliens shall retain their Naturalization Law. The jilted Filipino girlfriend
citizenship, unless by their act or omission they of Peter Go opposed the petition claiming that
are deemed, under the law to have renounced Lily Teh was still a minor who had not even
it." (Sec. 4, Art. IV, Constitution). Her residing in celebrated her 21st birthday, who never resided
Kongo and acquiring a Kongo passport are in the Philippines except during her one-week
indicative of her renunciation of Philippine visit as tourist from Taipeh during the Chinese
citizenship, which is a ground for loss of her New Year, who spoke only Chinese, and who
citizenship which she was supposed to have had radical ideas liked advocating unification of
retained. When she ran for Governor of Taiwan with mainland China. Lily Teh, however,
Sorsogon, Zeny was no longer a Philippine swore that she was renouncing her Chinese
citizen and, hence, was disqualified for said allegiance and while she knew no Filipino
position. customs and traditions as yet, she evinced a
sincere desire to learn and embrace them.
2) Although under Section 11(1), Article XVI of Would Lily Teh succeed in becoming a Filipino
the Constitution, mass media must be wholly citizen through her marriage to Peter Go?
owned by Filipino citizens and under Section 2 Explain.
of the Anti-Dummy Law aliens may not SUGGESTED ANSWER:
intervene in the management of any Yes, Lily Teh ipso facto became a Philippine
nationalized business activity. Zeny may be citizen upon her marriage to Peter Go, who is a
elected vice president of the Philippine Bulletin, Philippine citizen, provided she possesses none
because she has remained a Filipino citizen. of the disqualifications laid down in Section 4 of
Under Section 4, Article IV of the Constitution, the Revised Naturalization Law. According to to
Filipino citizens who marry aliens retains their the ruling in Moy Ya Lim Yao vs. Commissioner
citizenship unless by their act or omission they of Immigration, 41 SCRA 292, an alien woman
are deemed, under the law, to have renounced who marries a Filipino husband ipso facto
it. The acts or omission which will result in loss becomes a Filipino citizen without having to
of citizenship are enumerated in possess any of the qualifications prescribed in
Commonwealth Act No, 63. Zeny is not guilty of Section 2 of the Revised Naturalization Law
any of them. As held in Kawakita vs. United provided she possesses none of the
States, 343 U.S. 717, a person who possesses disqualifications set forth in Section 4 of the
dual citizenship like Zeny may exercise rights of same law. All of the grounds invoked by the
citizenship in both countries and the use of a former girlfriend of Peter Go for opposing the
passport pertaining to one country does not petition of Lily Teh, except for the last one, are
result in loss of citizenship in the other country. qualifications, which Lily Teh need not possess.
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: The fact that Lily Teh is advocating the
Neither, was Zeny qualified to hold the position unification of Taiwan with mainland China is not
of vice-president of Philippine Bulletin. Under a ground for disqualification under Section 4 of
the Constitution, "the ownership and the Revised Naturalization Law.
management of mass media shall be limited to
citizens, of the Philippines, or to corporation, Effect of Oath of Allegiance (2004)
cooperatives or associations wholly owned and (4-a) TCA, a Filipina medical technologist, left
managed by such citizens" (Section XI [1], Art. in 1975 to work in ZOZ State. In 1988 she
XVI), Being a non-Philippine citizen, Zeny can married ODH, a citizen of ZOZ. Pursuant to
ZOZ's law, by taking an oath of allegiance, she
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 69
acquired her husband's citizenship. ODH died Effect of Repatriation (2002)
in 2001, leaving her financially secured. She No I - A was born in the Philippines of Filipino
returned home in 2002, and sought elective parents. When martial law was declared in the
office in 2004 by running for Mayor of APP, her Philippines on September 21, 1972, he went to
hometown. Her opponent sought to have her the United States and was naturalized as an
disqualified because of her ZOZ citizenship. American citizen. After the EDSA Revolution,
She replied that although she acquired ZOZ's he came home to the Philippines and later on
citizenship because of marriage, she did not reacquired Philippine citizenship by repatriation.
lose her Filipino citizenship. Both her parents, Suppose in the May 2004 elections he is
she said, are Filipino citizens. Is TCA qualified elected Member of the House of
to run for Mayor? (5%) Representatives and a case is filed seeking his
disqualification on the ground that he is not a
SUGGESTED ANSWER: natural-born citizen of the Philippines, how
On the assumption that TCA took an oath of should the case against him be decided?
allegiance to ZOZ to acquire the citizenship of Explain your answer. (5%)
her husband, she is not qualified to run for SUGGESTED ANSWER:
mayor. She did not become a citizen of ZOZ The case should be decided in favor of A. As
merely by virtue of her marriage, she also took held In Bengson v. House of Representatives
an oath of allegiance to ZOZ. By this act, she Electoral Tribunal, 357 SCRA 545 (2001),
lost her Philippine citizenship. (Section 1 [3], repatriation results in the recovery of the
Commonwealth Act No. 63.) original nationality. Since A was a natural-born
Filipino citizen before he became a naturalized
Effect of Repatriation (1999) American citizen, he was restored to his former
No III - B. Julio Hortal was born of Filipino status as a natural-born Filipino when he
parents. Upon reaching the age of majority, he repatriated.
became a naturalized citizen in another country.
Later, he reacquired Philippine citizenship. Effect of Repatriation (2003)
Could Hortal regain his status as natural born No IV - Juan Cruz was born of Filipino parents
Filipino citizen? Would your answer be the in 1960 in Pampanga. In 1985, he enlisted in
same whether he reacquires his Filipino- the U.S. Marine Corps and took an oath of
citizenship by repatriation or by act of allegiance to the United States of America. In
Congress? Explain. (3%) 1990, he was naturalized as an American
FIRST ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: citizen. In 1994, he was repatriated under
Julian Mortal can regain his status as a natural Republic Act No. 2430. During the 1998
born citizen by repatriating. Since repatriation National Elections, he ran for and was elected
involves restoration of a person to citizenship representative of the First District of Pampanga
previously lost by expatriation and Julian Mortal where he resided since his repatriation. Was he
was previously a natural born citizen, in case he qualified to run for the position? Explain.
repatriates he will be restored to his status as a SUGGESTED ANSWER:
natural born citizen. If he reacquired his Cruz was qualified to run as representative of
citizenship by an act of Congress, Julian Hortal the First District of Pampanga. Since his
will not be a natural born citizen, since he parents were Filipino citizens, he was a natural-
reacquired his citizenship by legislative born citizen. Although he became a
naturalization. naturalized American citizen, under the ruling in
Bengson v. House of Representatives Electoral
SECOND ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: Tribunal. 357 SCRA 545 [2001], by virtue of his
Julian Hortal cannot regain his status as a repatriation, Cruz was restored to his original
natural born citizen by repatriating. He had to status as a natural-born Filipino citizen.
perform an act to acquire his citizenship, i.e.,
repatriation. Under Section 2, Article IV of the Effects of Marriages (1999)
Constitution, natural born citizens are those No III- What are the effects of marriages of:
who are citizens from birth without having to 1. a citizen to an alien; (1%)
perform an act to acquire or perfect their 2. an alien to a citizen; on their spouses and
citizenship. If he reacquired his citizenship by children? Discuss. (1%)
an act of Congress, Julian Hortal will not be a SUGGESTED ANSWER:
natural born citizen since he reacquired his 1.) According to Section 4, Article IV of the
citizenship by legislative naturalization. Constitution, Filipino citizens who marry aliens
retain their citizenship, unless by their act or
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 70
omission they are deemed, under the law, to
have renounced it. Elected Official (1992)
No. 16: Edwin Nicasio, born in the Philippines
2) According to Mo Ya Lim Yao v. of Filipino parents and raised in the province of
Commissioner of Immigration, 41 SCRA 292, Nueva Ecija, ran for Governor of his home
under Section 15 of the Revised Naturalization province. He won and he was sworn into office.
Law, a foreign woman who marries a Filipino It was recently revealed, however, that Nicasio
citizen becomes a Filipino citizen provided she is a naturalized American citizen.
possesses none of the disqualifications for a) Does he still possess Philippine citizenship?
naturalization. A foreign man who marries a b) If the second-placer in the gubernatorial
Filipino citizen does not acquire Philippine elections files a quo warranto suit against
citizenship. However, under Section 3 of the Nicasio and he is found to be disqualified
Revised Naturalization Act, in such a case the from office, can the second-placer be sworn
residence requirement for naturalization will be into office as governor?
reduced from ten (10) to five (5) years. Under c) If, instead, Nicasio had been born (of the
Section 1(2), Article IV of the Constitution, the same set of parents) in the United States
children of an alien and a Filipino citizen are and he thereby acquired American
citizens of the Philippines. citizenship by birth, would your answer be
different?
Effects of Philippine Bill of 1902 (2001) SUGGESTED ANSWER:
No I - From mainland China where he was born a) No, Nicasio no longer possesses Philippine
of Chinese parents, Mr Nya Tsa Chan migrated citizenship. As held in Frivaldo vs. COMELEC,
to the Philippines in 1894. As of April 11, 1899, 174 SCRA 245, by becoming a naturalized
he was already a permanent resident of the American citizen, Nicasio lost his Philippine
Philippine Islands and continued to reside in citizenship. Under Section 1(1) of
this country until his death. During his lifetime Commonwealth Act No. 63, Philippine
and when he was already in the Philippines, Mr. citizenship is lost by naturalization in a foreign
Nya Tsa Chan married Charing, a Filipina, with country,
whom he begot one son, Hap Chan, who was
born on October 18. 1897. Hap Chan got b) 2nd placer can’t be sworn to office...
married also to Nimfa, a Filipina, and one of
their children was Lacqui Chan who was born c) If Nicasio was born in the United States, he
on September 27, 1936. Lacqui Chan finished would still be a citizen of the Philippines, since
the course Bachelor of Science in Commerce his parents are Filipinos. Under Section 1(2),
and eventually engaged in business. those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of
the Philippines are citizens of the Philippines.
In the May 1989 election, Lacqui Chan ran for Nicasio would possess dual citizenship, since
and was elected Representative under American Law persons born in the United
(Congressman). His rival candidate, Ramon States are American citizens. As held in Aznor
Deloria, filed a quo warranto or disqualification vs. COMELEC. 185 SCRA 703, a person who
case against him on the ground that he was not possesses both Philippine and American
a Filipino citizen. It was pointed out in particular, citizenship is still a Filipino and does not lose
that Lacqui Chan did not elect Philippine his Philippine citizenship unless he renounces
citizenship upon reaching the age of 21. it.

Decide whether Mr. Lacqui Chan suffers from a Electing Philippine Citizenship (Q8-2006)
disqualification or not. (5%) 1. Atty. Emily Go, a legitimate daughter of a
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Chinese father and a Filipino mother, was
Lacqui Chan is a Filipino citizen and need not born in 1945. At 21, she elected
elect Philippine citizenship. His father, Hap Philippine citizenship and studied law.
Chan, was a Spanish subject, was residing in She passed the bar examinations and
the Philippines on April 11, 1899, and continued engaged in private practice for many
to reside in the Philippines. In accordance with years. The Judicial and Bar Council
Section 4 of the Philippine Bill of 1902, he was nominated her as a candidate for the
a Filipino citizen. Hence, in accordance with position of Associate Justice of the
Section 1(3} of the 1935 Constitution, Lacqui Supreme Court. But her nomination is
Chan is a natural born Filipino citizen, since his being contested by Atty. Juris Castillo,
father was a Filipino citizen. also an aspirant to the position. She
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 71
claims that Atty. Emily Go is not a natural- No, 2: (2) A child was born to a Japanese father
born citizen, hence, not qualified to be and a Filipina mother. Would he be eligible to
appointed to the Supreme Court. Is this run for the position of Member of the House of
contention correct? (5%) Representatives upon reaching twenty-five
SUGGESTED ANSWER: years of age?
The contention is not correct. Under Article IV, SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Section 1(3) of the 1987 Constitution, it is The child can run for the House of
provided that those born before January 17, Representatives provided upon reaching the
1973 of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine age of majority he elected Philippine
Citizenship upon reaching the age of majority citizenship. Under Section 6, Article VI of the
are Filipino citizens. Atty. Emily Go was born of 1987 Constitution, to qualify to be a member of
a Filipino mother in 1945 and elected the House of Representatives, one must be a
citizenship upon reaching the age of 21. She is natural-born Philippine citizen. According to
a natural born Filipino citizen as provided by Section 1 (3), Article IV of the 1987
Article IV, Section 2 of the Constitution — "x x x Constitution, children born before January 17,
those who elect Philippine citizenship in 1973 of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine
accordance with paragraph (3), Section 1 citizenship upon reaching the age of majority
hereof shall be deemed natural-born citizens." are Philippine citizens.
Hence she is qualified to be appointed to the
Supreme Court. Section 2, Article IV of the 1987 Constitution
provides: "Those who elect Philippine
Electing Philippine Citizenship; When citizenship in accordance with paragraph (3),
Proper (Q8-2006) Section 1 hereof shall be deemed natural-born
2. Atty. Richard Chua was born in 1964. He citizens." On the other hand, if the child was
is a legitimate son of a Chinese father born after January 17, 1973, he would be
and a Filipino mother. His father became considered a natural born citizen without need
a naturalized Filipino citizen when Atty. of election pursuant to Art. IV, Sec. 1(2).
Chua was still a minor. Eventually, he
studied law and was allowed by the Natural Born Filipino (1998)
Supreme Court to take the bar No IV - Andres Ang was born of a Chinese
examinations, subject to his submission father and a Filipino mother in Sorsogon,
to the Supreme Court proof of his Sorsogon. On January 20, 1973, in 1988, his
Philippine citizenship. Although he never father was naturalized as a Filipino citizen. On
complied with such requirement, Atty. May 11, 1998, Andres Ang was elected
Chua practiced law for many years until Representative of the First District of Sorsogon.
one Noel Eugenio filed with the Supreme Juan Bonto who received the second highest
Court a complaint for disbarment against number of votes, filed a petition for Quo
him on the ground that he is not a Filipino Warranto against Ang. The petition was filed
citizen. He then filed with the Bureau of with the House of Representative Electoral
Immigration an affidavit electing Tribunal (HRET). Bonto contends that Ang is
Philippine citizenship. Noel contested it not a natural born citizen of the Philippines and
claiming it was filed many years after therefore is disqualified to be a member of the
Atty. Chua reached the age of majority. House.
Will Atty. Chua be disbarred? Explain.
(5%) The HRET ruled in favor of Ang. Bonto filed a
SUGGESTED ANSWER: petition for certiorari in the Supreme Court. The
No, Atty. Chua will not be disbarred. Atty. Chua following issues are raised:
is already a Filipino citizen and there was no (1) Whether the case is justiciable considering
need for him to file the affidavit electing Filipino that Article VI. Section 17 of the
citizenship. An election of Philippine citizenship Constitution declares the HRET to be the
presupposes that the person electing is an "sole Judge" of all contests relating to the
alien. His father, however, already became a election returns and disqualifications of
Filipino citizen when Atty. Chua was still a members of the House of Representatives.
minor and thus, he was already a Filipino be- [5%]
fore the age of majority (Co v. HRET, G.R. Nos. (2) Whether Ang is a natural bom citizen of the
92191-92, July 30,1991). Philippines. |5%]
How should this case be decided?
Natural Born Filipino (1989) SUGGESTED ANSWER:
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 72
1. The case is justiciable. (grave abuse of with Section 2, Article IV of the Constitution,
discretion)... which reads:
2. Andres Ang should be considered a natural Those who elect Philippine citizenship in
born citizen of the Philippines. He was born of a accordance with paragraph (3), Section 1
Filipino mother on January 20, 1973. This hereof shall be deemed natural born citizens."
was after the effectivity of the 1973 Constitution
on January 17, 1973. Under Section (1), Article 2) Ernest is not under-aged. (minimum 25 yrs
III of the 1973 Constitution, those whose fathers old)....
or mothers are citizens of the Philippines are
citizens of the Philippines. Andres Ang Naturalization; Cancellation of Citizenship
remained a citizen of the Philippines after the (1998)
effectivity of the 1987 Constitution. Section 1, No X. - Lim Tong Biao, a Chinese citizen
Article IV of the 1987 Constitution provides: applied for and was granted Philippine
"The following are citizens of the Philippines: citizenship by the court. He took his oath as
"(l) Those who are citizens of the Philippines at citizen of the Philippines to July 1963, in 1975,
the time of the adoption of this Constitution;" the Office of the Solicitor General filed a petition
to cancel his Philippine citizenship for the
Natural-Born Filipino(1993) reason that in August 1963, the Court of Tax
No. 1: In 1964, Ruffa, a Filipina domestic helper Appeals found him guilty of tax evasion for
working in Hongkong, went to Taipei for a deliberately understating his income taxes for
vacation, where she met Cheng Sio Pao, whom the years 1959-1961.
she married. Under Chinese Law, Ruffa (1) Could Lim Tong Biao raise the defense of
automatically became a Chinese citizen. The prescription of the action for cancellation of
couple resided in Hongkong, where on May 9, his Filipino citizenship? [3%]
1965, Ruffa gave birth to a boy named Ernest. (2) Supposing Lim Tong Biao had availed of
Upon reaching the age of majority, Ernest the Tax Amnesty of the government for his
elected Philippine citizenship. After the EDSA tax liabilities, would this constitute a valid
Revolution, Ernest decided to live permanently defense to the cancellation of his Filipino
in the Philippines, where he prospered as a citizenship? [2%]
businessman. During the May 11, 1993 SUGGESTED ANSWER:
election, Ernest ran and won as a 1. No, Lim Tong Biao cannot raise the
congressman. His opponent, noting Ernest's defense of prescription. As held in Republic us.
Chinese ancestry, filed a petition to disqualify Go Bon Lee, 1 SCRA 1166, 1170, a decision
the latter on the following grounds; (1) Ernest granting citizenship is not res judicata and the
Cheng is not a natural born Filipino; and (2) he right of the government to ask for the
is under-aged. Decide. cancellation of a certificate cancellation is not
SUGGESTED ANSWER: barred by the lapse of time.
1) Ernest cannot be disqualified. Section 1,
Article IV of the Constitution provides: "The 2. The fact that Lim Tong Biao availed of the
following are citizens of the Philippines; tax amnesty is not a valid defense to the
XXX XXX XXX cancellation of his Filipino citizenship. In
"(3) Those born before January 17, 1973, of Republic vs. Li Yao, 214 SCRA 748, 754, the
Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine Supreme Court held:
citizenship upon reaching the age of majority;" "In other words, the tax amnesty does not
Ernest could elect Philippine citizenship since have the effect of obliterating his lack of good
he was born before January 17, 1973 and his moral character and irreproachable conduct
mother is a Filipino. As stated in the cases of which are grounds for denaturalization,"
Torres vs. Tan Chim, 69 Phil. 518 and Cu vs.
Republic, 83 Phil. 473, for this provision to Residency Requirements; Elective Official
apply, the mother need not be a Filipino citizen (Q9-2005)
at the time she gave birth to the child in (1) In the May 8,1995 elections for local
question. It is sufficient that she was a Filipino officials whose terms were to commence
citizen at the time of her marriage. Otherwise, on June 30, 1995, Ricky filed on March
the number of persons who would be benefited 20, 1995 his certificate of candidacy for
by the foregoing provision would be limited. the Office of Governor of Laguna. He
won, but his qualifications as an elected
Having elected Philippine citizenship, Ernest is official was questioned. It is admitted that
a natural-born Filipino citizen in accordance
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 73
he is a repatriated Filipino citizen and a Status; Illegitimate Child; Dual Citizenship
resident of the Province of Laguna. (1996)
To be qualified for the office to which a No. 8: 2) X was born in the United States of a
local official has been elected, when at Filipino father and a Mexican mother. He
the latest should he be: (5%) returned to the Philippines when he was twenty-
six years of age, carrying an American passport
(a) A Filipino Citizen? Explain. and he was registered as an alien with the
Bureau of Immigration.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The citizenship requirement is to be possessed Was X qualified to run for membership in the
by an elective official at the latest as of the time House of Representatives in the 1995
he is proclaimed and at the start of the term of elections? Explain.
office to which he has been elected. Section 39 SUGGESTED ANSWER:
of the Local Government Code, which Whether or not X was qualified to run for
enumerates the qualifications of elective local membership in the House of Representatives in
government officials, does not specify any the 1995 election depends on the
particular date or time when the candidate must circumstances.
possess citizenship. (Frivaldo v. COMELEC,
G.R. No. 120295, June 28,1996) If X was an Illegitimate child, he is not qualified
to run for the House of Representatives.
(b) A resident of the locality? Explain. According to the case of in re Mallare, 59 SCRA
45, an illegitimate child follows the citizenship of
SUGGESTED ANSWER: the mother. Since the mother of X is a Mexican,
Under Section 39 of the Local Government he will be a Mexican citizen if he is an
Code, an individual must possess the residency illegitimate child, even if his father is a Filipino.
requirement in the locality where he intends to
run at least one year immediately preceding the If X is a legitimate child, he is a Filipino citizen.
day of election. Under Section 2(2), Article IV of the
Constitution, those whose fathers are citizens of
Status; Illegitimate Child (1990) the Philippines are Filipino citizens. Since X
No. 3: Y was elected Senator in the May 1987 was born in the United States, which follows jus
national elections. He was born out of wedlock soli, X is also an American citizen. In
in 1949 of an American father and a naturalized accordance with Aznar vs. Commission, on
Filipina mother. Y never elected Philippine Elections, 185 SCRA 703, the mere fact a
citizenship upon reaching the age of majority. person with dual citizenship registered as an
(1) Before what body should T, the losing alien with the Commission on Immigration and
candidate, question the election of Y? Deportation does not necessarily mean that he
State the reasons for your answer. is renouncing his Philippine citizenship.
(2) Is Y a Filipino citizen? Explain your Likewise, the mere fact that X used an
answer. American passport did not result in the loss of
SUGGESTED ANSWER: his Philippine citizenship. As held in Kawakita
(1) T, the losing candidate, should question the vs. Untied States, 343 U.S. 717, since a person
election of Y before the Senate Electoral with dual citizenship has the rights of citizenship
Tribunal, .... in both countries, the use of a passport issued
by one country is not inconsistent with his
(2) Yes, Y is a Filipino citizen. More than that he citizenship in the other country.
is a natural born citizen of the Philippines ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
qualified to become a Senator. Since Y is an If X has taken an oath of allegiance to the U.S.
illegitimate child of a Filipino mother, he follows he will be deemed to have renounced his
the citizenship of his mother. He need not elect Philippine citizenship. Consequently, he is
Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of disqualified to run for the House of
majority as held In re Mallare. 59 SCRA 45. In Representatives.
Osias v. Antonino, Electoral Case No. 11,
August 6, 1971, the Senate Electoral Tribunal Status; Legitimate Child (2003)
held that the illegitimate child of an alien father No IV - Miguel Sin was born a year ago in
and a Filipino mother is a Filipino citizen and is China to a Chinese father and a Filipino mother
qualified to be a Senator. His parents met in Shanghai where they were

BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 74


lawfully married just two years ago. Is Miguel of public funds by PAGCOR, not being made
Sin a Filipino citizen? pursuant to an appropriation made by law,
SUGGESTED ANSWER: violates the Constitution.
Miguel Sin is a Filipino citizen because he is the
legitimate child of a Filipino mother. Under Appropriation of Public Funds; Debt
Article IV, Section 4 of the 1987 Constitution, Servicing (1992)
his mother retained her Philippine citizenship No 13: Explain how the automatic appropriation
despite her marriage to an alien husband, and of public funds for debt servicing can be
according to Article IV, Section 1(2) of the 1987 reconciled with Article VI, Section 29(1) of the
Constitution, children born of a Filipino mother Constitution. Said provision says that "no
are Filipino citizens. money shall be paid out of the Treasury except
in pursuance of an appropriation made by law".
Ways of Reacquiring Citizenship (2000) SUGGESTED ANSWER:
No XVIII. - Cruz, a Filipino by birth, became an As stated in Guingona vs. Carague, 196 SCRA
American citizen. In his old age he has returned 221, the presidential decrees providing for the
to the country and wants to become a Filipino appropriation of funds to pay the public debt do
again. As his lawyer, enumerate the ways by not violate Section 29(1), Article VI of the
which citizenship may be reacquired. (2%) Constitution. They provide for a continuing
SUGGESTED ANSWER: appropriation, there is no constitutional
Cruz may reacquire Philippine citizenship in the prohibition against this. The presidential
following ways: decrees appropriate as much money as is
1. By naturalization; needed to pay the principal, interest, taxes and
2. By repatriation pursuant to Republic Act No. other normal banking charges on the loan.
8171; and Although no specific amounts are mentioned,
3. By direct act of Congress (Section 2 of the amounts are certain because they can be
Commonwealth Act No. 63). computed from the books of the National
Treasury.
ARTICLE VI Legislative
Appropriation of Public Funds; Public
Department Purposes (1988)
No. 7: - Tawi-Tawi is a predominantly Moslem
Appropriation of Public Funds (1988) province. The Governor, the Vice-Governor,
No. 6: - Metropolitan newspapers have reported and members of its Sangguniang Panlalawigan
that the Philippine Games and Amusement are all Moslems. Its budget provides the
Corporation (PAGCOR) gives hefty Governor with a certain amount as his
contributions to Malacanang, to fund "socio- discretionary funds. Recently, however, the
economic and civic projects" of the President, Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed a resolution
The reports add that for 1988 alone, some six appropriating P100,000 as a special
hundred million (P600M) pesos have already discretionary fund of the Governor, to. be spent
been earmarked for remittance to the Office of by him in leading a pilgrimage of his
the President. PAGCOR had also been provincemates to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Islam's
reported to have funded, as coordinated by a holiest city.
Congressman from Mindanao, special projects
of quite a number of members of the House of Philconsa, on constitutional grounds, has filed
Representatives. suit to nullify the resolution of the Sangguniang
Panlalawigan giving the special discretionary
Assuming that money earned by PAGCOR from fund to the Governor for the stated purpose.
its operations are public funds, are such How would you decide the case? Give your
contributions to Malacañang and to certain reasons.
Congressmen and their expenditure as SUGGESTED ANSWER:
reported, legal? Cite constitutional or decisional The resolution is unconstitutional First, it
rules in support of your answer. violates art. VI, sec. 29(2) of the Constitution
SUGGESTED ANSWER: which prohibits the appropriation of public
The contributions made to Malacañang and to money or property, directly or indirectly, for the
certain congressmen are Illegal. Under art. VI, use, benefit or support of any system of
sec. 29(1) no money can be paid out of the religion, and, second, it contravenes art. VI,
Treasury except in pursuance of an sec, 25(6) which limits the appropriation of
appropriation made by law. The disbursement discretionary funds only for public purposes.
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 75
The use of discretionary funds for purely Commission on Appointments, Otherwise, the
religious purpose is thus unconstitutional, and Commission on Appointments will have to be
the fact that the disbursement is made by reorganized as often as votes shift from one
resolution of a local legislative body and not by side to another in the House of
Congress does not make it any less offensive to Representatives.
the Constitution. Above all, the resolution
constitutes a clear violation of the Non- Delegation of Powers (2002)
establishment Clause (art. III, sec. 5) of the No XVII. - Suppose that Congress passed a law
Constitution. creating a Department of Human Habitat and
authorizing the Department Secretary to
Commission on Appointments (2002) promulgate implementing rules and regulations.
No III - Suppose there are 202 members in the Suppose further that the law declared that
House of Representatives. Of this number, 185 violation of the implementing rules and
belong to the Progressive Party of the regulations so issued would be punishable as a
Philippines or PPP, while 17 belong to the crime and authorized the Department Secretary
Citizens Party or CP. How would you answer to prescribe the penalty for such violation. If the
the following questions regarding the law defines certain acts as violations of the law
representation of the House in the Commission and makes them punishable, for example, with
on Appointments? imprisonment of three (3) years or a fine in the
A. A How many seats would the PPP be amount of P10,000.00, or both such
entitled to have in the Commission on imprisonment and fine, in the discretion of the
Appointments? Explain your answer fully. court, can it be provided in the implementing
(5%) rules and regulations promulgated by the
B. Suppose 15 of the CP representatives, while Department Secretary that their violation will
maintaining their party affiliation, entered also be subject to the same penalties as those
into a political alliance with the PPP in order provided in the law itself? Explain your answer
to form the "Rainbow Coalition'' in the fully. (5%)
House. What effect, if any, would this have SUGGESTED ANSWER:
on the right of the CP to have a seat or seats The rules and regulations promulgated by the
in the Commission on Appointments? Secretary of Human Habitat cannot provide that
Explain your answer fully. (5%) the penalties for their violation will be the same
SUGGESTED ANSWER: as the penalties for the violation of the law. As
A. The 185 members of the Progressive Party held in United States v. Barrias, 11 Phil. 327
of the Philippines represent 91.58 per cent of (1908), the fixing of the penalty for criminal
the 202 members of the House of offenses involves the exercise of legislative
Representatives. In accordance with Article power and cannot be delegated. The law itself
VI, Section 18 of the Constitution, it is entitled to must prescribe the penalty.
have ten of the twelve seats in the Commission
on Appointments. Although the 185 members of Delegation of Powers; (Q6-2005)
Progressive Party of the Philippines represent (2) Section 32 of Republic Act No. 4670 (The
10.98 seats in the Commission on Magna Carta for Public School Teachers)
Appointments, under the ruling in Guingona v. reads:
Gonzales, 214 SCRA 789 (1992), a fractional Sec. 32. Penal Provision. — A person who
membership cannot be rounded off to full shall willfully interfere with, restrain or coerce
membership because it will result in over- any teacher in the exercise of his rights
representation of that political party and under- guaranteed by this Act or who shall in any
representation of the other political parties. other manner commit any act to defeat any of
the provisions of this Act shall, upon
B. The political alliance formed by the 15 conviction, be punished by a fine of not less
members of the Citizens Party with the than one hundred pesos nor more than one
Progressive Party of the Philippines will not thousand pesos, or by imprisonment, in the
result in the diminution of the number of seats discretion of the court.
in the Commission on Appointments to which
the Citizens Party is entitled. As held in Is the proviso granting the court the authority to
Cunanan v. Tan, 5 SCRA 1 (1962), a temporary impose a penalty or imprisonment in its
alliance between the members of one political discretion constitutional? Explain briefly. (4%)
party and another political party does not SUGGESTED ANSWER:
authorize a change in the membership of the
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 76
The proviso is unconstitutional. Section 32 of when it reaches him except to enforce it. (See
R.A. No. 4670 provides for an indeterminable ITS v. Ang Tang Ho, G.R. No. L-17122,
period of imprisonment, with neither a minimum February 27, 1922)
nor a maximum duration having been set by the
legislative authority. The courts are thus given SUFFICIENT STANDARD TEST. A sufficient
wide latitude of discretion to fix the term of standard is intended to map out the boundaries
imprisonment, without even the benefit of any of the delegate's authority by defining the
sufficient standard, such that the duration legislative policy and indicating the
thereof may range, in the words of respondent circumstances under which it is to be pursued
judge, from one minute to the life span of the and effected; intended to prevent a total
accused. This cannot be allowed. It vests in the transference of legislative power from the
courts a power and a duty essentially legislative legislature to the delegate. The standard is
in nature and which, as applied to this case, usually indicated in the law delegating
does violence to the rules on separation of legislative power. (See Ynot u. Intermediate
powers as well as the non-delegability of Appellate Court, G.R. No. 74457, March 20,
legislative powers. (People v. Judge Dacuycuy, 1987)
G.R. No. L-45127, May 5, 1989)
Discipline; Modes of Removal (1993)
Delegation of Powers; Completeness Test; No. 11: - How may the following be removed
Sufficient Standard Test (Q6-2005) from office:
(1) The two accepted tests to determine 1) Senators & Congressmen
whether or not there is a valid delegation of 2) Judges of lower courts
legislative power are the Completeness 3) Officers and employees in the Civil Service
Test and the Sufficient Standard Test. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Explain each. (4%) 1) In accordance with Art. III, section 16(3), of
the Constitution, Senators and Congressmen
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: may be removed by their EXPULSION for
Under the COMPLETENESS TEST, a law must disorderly behavior, with the concurrence of at
be complete in all its terms and provisions when least two-thirds of all the members of the House
it leaves the legislature that nothing is left to the to which they belong. In addition, they may also
judgment of the delegate. The legislature does be removed in consequence of an election
not abdicate its functions when it describes contest filed with the Senate or House of
what job must be done, who is to do it, and Representatives Electoral Tribunal.
what is the scope of his authority. However, a
delegation of power to make the laws which 2) As to Judges, Art. VIII, sec. 11 of the
necessarily involves a discretion as to what it Constitution, ....
shall be may not constitutionally be done. (Edu
v. Ericta, G.R. No. L-32096, October 24, 1970) 3) As to Civil Service Employees, Art. IX-B.
Sec. 2(3) of the Constitution....
Under the SUFFICIENCY OF STANDARDS
TEST, the statute must not only define a Discipline; Suspension of a Member of the
fundamental legislative policy, mark its limits Congress (2002)
and boundaries, and specify the public agency No II. - Simeon Valera was formerly a Provincial
to exercise the legislative power. It must also Governor who ran and won as a Member of the
indicate the circumstances under which the House of Representatives for the Second
legislative command is to be effected. To avoid Congressional District of lloilo. For violation of
the taint of unlawful delegation, there must be a Section 3 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt
standard, which implies at the very least that Practices Act (R.A. No.3019), as amended,
the legislature itself determines matters of allegedly committed when he was still a
principle and lays down fundamental policy. Provincial Governor, a criminal complaint was
(Free Telephone Workers Union v. Minister of filed against him before the Office of the
Labor, G.R. No. L-58184, October 30, 1981) Ombudsman for which, upon a finding of
probable cause, a criminal case was filed with
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: the Sandiganbayan. During the course of trial,
COMPLETENESS TEST. The law must be the Sandiganbayan issued an order of
complete in all its essential terms and preventive suspension for 90 days against him.
conditions when it leaves the legislature so that
there will be nothing left for the delegate to do
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 77
Representative Valera questioned the validity of was a de facto officer while he was in
the Sandiganbayan order on the ground that, possession of the office. To allow AVE to collect
under Article VI, Section 16(3) of the the salaries and allowances will result in making
Constitution, he can be suspended only by the the government pay a second time. (Mechem,
House of Representatives and that the criminal A Treatise on the Law of Public Offices and
case against him did not arise from his Public Officers, [1890] pp. 222-223.)
actuations as a member of the House of
Representatives. Is Representative Valera's BART is not required to refund to the
contention correct? Why? (5%) government the salaries and allowances he
SUGGESTED ANSWER: received. As a de facto officer, he is entitled to
The contention of Representative Valera is not the salaries and allowances because he
correct As held in Santiago v. Sandiganbayan, rendered services during his incumbency.
356 SCRA 636, the suspension contemplated (Rodriguez v. Tan, 91 Phil. 724 [1952])
in Article VI, Section 16(3) of the Constitution is
a punishment that is imposed by the Senate or The bills which BART alone authored and were
House of Representatives upon an erring approved by the House of Representatives are
member, it is distinct from the suspension under valid because he was a de facto officer during
Section 13 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt his incumbency. The acts of a de facto officer
Practices Act, which is not a penalty but a are valid insofar as the public is concerned.
preventive measure. Since Section 13 of the (People v. Garcia, 313 SCRA 279 [1999]).
Anti-Graft and Corruption Practices Act does
not state that the public officer must be Electoral Tribunal; HRET Members’ Right &
suspended only in the office where he is Responsibilities (2002)
alleged to have committed the acts which he No IV. In an election case, the House of
has been charged, it applies to any office which Representatives Electoral Tribunal rendered a
he may be holding. decision upholding the election protest of
protestant A, a member of the Freedom Party,
Elected Official; De Facto Officer (2004) against protestee B, a member of the Federal
(10-b) AVE ran for Congressman of QU Party. The deciding vote in favor of A was cast
province. However, his opponent, BART, was by Representative X, a member of the Federal
the one proclaimed and seated as the winner of Party .
the election by the COMELEC. AVE filed
seasonably a protest before HRET (House of For having voted against his party mate,
Representatives Electoral Tribunal). After two Representative X was removed by Resolution
years, HRET reversed the COMELEC's of the House of Representatives, at the
decision and AVE was proclaimed finally as the instance of his party (the Federal Party), from
duly elected Congressman. Thus, he had only membership in the HRET. Representative X
one year to serve in Congress. protested his removal on the ground that he
voted on the basis of the evidence presented
Can AVE collect salaries and allowances from and contended that he had security of tenure as
the government for the first two years of his a HRET Member and that he cannot be
term as Congressman? removed except for a valid cause.

Should BART refund to the government the With whose contention do you agree, that of the
salaries and allowances he had received as Federal Party or that of Representative X?
Congressman? Why? (5%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
What will happen to the bills that BART alone I agree with the contention of Representative X.
authored and were approved by the House of As held In Bondoc v. Pineda, 201 SCRA 792
Representatives while he was seated as (1991), the members of the House of
Congressman? Reason and explain briefly. Representatives Electoral Tribunal are entitled
(5%) to security of tenure like members of the
judiciary. Membership in it may not be
SUGGESTED ANSWER: terminated except for a just cause. Disloyalty to
AVE cannot collect salaries and allowances party is not a valid ground for the expulsion of a
from the government for the first two years of member of the House of Representatives
his term, because in the meanwhile BART Electoral Tribunal. Its members must discharge
collected the salaries and allowances. BART their functions with impartiality and
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 78
independence from the political party to which agreement must be concurred in by at least
they belong. two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate.

Electoral Tribunal; Senate; Jurisdiction Section 4, Article XVIII of the Constitution


(1990) provides: "All existing treaties or international
No. 3: Y was elected Senator in the May 1987 agreements which have not been ratified shall
national elections. He was born out of wedlock not be renewed or extended without the
in 1949 of an American father and a naturalized concurrence of at least two-thirds of all the
Filipina mother. Y never elected Philippine Members of the Senate.”
citizenship upon reaching the age of majority.
Before what body should T, the losing Investigations in Aid of Legislation (1992)
candidate, question the election of Y? No. 8: A case was filed before the
State the reasons for your answer. Sandiganbayan regarding a questionable
Is Y a Filipino citizen? Explain your answer. government transaction. In the course of the
SUGGESTED ANSWER: proceedings, newspapers linked the name of
(1) T, the losing candidate, should question the Senator J. de Leon to the scandal.
election of Y before the Senate Electoral
Tribunal, because the issue involved is the Senator de Leon took the floor of the Senate to
qualification of Y to be a Senator. Section 17, speak on a "matter of personal privilege" to
Article VI of the 1987 Constitution provides that. vindicate his honor against those "baseless and
The Senate and the House of Representatives malicious" allegations. The matter was referred
shall each-have an Electoral Tribunal which to the Committee on Accountability of Public
shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to Officers, which proceeded to conduct a
the election, returns, and qualifications of their legislative inquiry. The Committee asked Mr.
respective Members." Vince Ledesma, a businessman linked to the
transaction and now a respondent before the
(2) Yes, Y is a natural born Filipino citizen. .... Sandiganbayan, to appear and to testify before
the Committee.
Foreign Affairs; Role of House of Rep (1996)
No. 7: 5) Can the House of Representatives Mr Ledesma refuses to appear and file suit
take active part in the conduct of foreign before the Supreme Court to challenge the
relations, particularly in entering into treaties legality of the proceedings before the
and international agreements? Explain. Committee. He also asks whether the
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Committee had the power to require him to
No, the House of Representatives cannot take testify.
active part in the conduct of foreign relations,
particularly in entering into treaties and Identify the issues Involved and resolve them.
international agreements. As held in United SUGGESTED ANSWER:
States vs. Curtiss-Wright Export Corporation, The issues involved in this case are the
299 U.S. 304, the President alone is the following:
representative of the nation in the conduct of 1. Whether or not the Supreme Court has
foreign affairs. Although the Senate has the jurisdiction to entertain the case;
power to concur in treaties, the President alone 2. Whether or not the Committee on
negotiates treaties and Congress is powerless Accountability of Public Officers has the
to intrude into this. However, if the matter power to investigate a matter which is
involves a treaty or an executive agreement, involved in a case pending in court; and
the House of Representatives may pass a 3. Whether or not the petitioner can invoke his
resolution expressing its views on the matter. right against self-incrimination.

Foreign Affairs; Role of Senate (1994) All these Issues were resolved in the case of
No. 13: 1) Under the Constitution, what is the Bengzon vs. Senate Blue Ribbon Committee,
role of the Senate in the conduct of foreign 203 SCRA 767.
affairs?
SUGGESTED ANSWER: The Supreme Court has jurisdiction over the
The Senate plays a role in the conduct of case (determination of grave abuse of
foreign affairs, because of the requirement in discretion)....
Section 21, Article VII of the Constitution that to
be valid and effective a treaty or international
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 79
The Committee on Accountability of Public measure if the appropriation of public funds is
Officers has no power to investigate the not its principal purpose and the appropriation
scandal. (no judicial functions)... is only incidental to some other objective.

The petitioner can invoke his right against self- Law-Making; Appropriation Law; Automatic
incrimination, because this right is available in Renewal & Power of Augmentation (1998)
all proceedings. Since the petitioner is a No XI. - Suppose the President submits a
respondent in the case pending before the budget which does not contain provisions for
Sandiganbayan, he may refuse to testify. CDF (Countrywide Development Funds),
popularly known as the pork barrel, and
Law Making; Process & Publication (1993) because of this Congress does not pass the
No. 2; Ernest Cheng, a businessman, has no budget.
knowledge of legislative procedure. Cheng 1. Will that mean paralization of government
retains you as his legal adviser and asks operations in the next fiscal year for lack of an
enlightenment on the following matters: appropriation law? (2%)
(1) When does a bill become a law even
without the signature of the President? 2. Suppose in the same budget, there is a
(2) When does the law take effect? special provision in the appropriations for the
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Armed Forces authorizing the Chief of Staff,
1) Under Section 27(1), Article VI of the AFP, subject to the approval of the Secretary of
Constitution, a bill becomes a law even without National Defense, to use savings in the
the signature of the President if he vetoed it but appropriations provided thereto to cover up
his veto was overriden by two-thirds vote of all whatever financial losses suffered by the AFP
the members of both the Senate and the House Retirement and Separation Benefits System
of Representatives and If the President failed to (RSBS) in the last five (5) years due to alleged
communicate his veto to the House from which bad business judgment. Would you question
the bill originated, within thirty days after the the constitutionality validity of the special
date of receipt of the bill by the President. provision? [3%]
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
2) As held in Tanada vs. Tuvera, 146 SCRA 1. No, the failure of Congress to pass the
446, a law must be published as a condition for budget will not paralyze the operations of the
its effectivity and in accordance with Article 2 of Government.
the Civil Code, it shall take effect fifteen days Section 25(7), Article VI of the Constitution
following the completion of its publication in the provides: "If, by the end of any fiscal year, the
Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general Congress shall have failed to pass the
circulation unless it is otherwise provided. general appropriations bill for the ensuing
(Executive Order No. 292, Revised fiscal year, the general appropriations law for
Administrative Code of 1989) the preceding fiscal year shall be deemed
reenacted and shall remain in force and effect
Law-Making; Appropriation Bill (1996) until the general appropriations bill is passed
No 5: Are the following bills filed in Congress by the Congress.
constitutional?
A bill originating from the Senate which SUGGESTED ANSWER:
provides for the creation of the Public Utility 2. Yes, the provision authorizing the Chief of
Commission to regulate public service Staff, with the approval of the Secretary of
companies and appropriating the initial funds National Defense, to use savings to cover the
needed to establish the same. Explain. losses suffered by the AFP Retirement and
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Separation Benefits System is unconstitutional.
A bill providing for the creation of the Public
Utility Commission to regulate public service Section 25(5], Article VI of the Constitution
companies and appropriating funds needed to provides:
establish it may originate from the Senate. It is "No law shall be passed authorizing any
not an appropriation bill, because the transfer of appropriations; however, the
appropriation of public funds is not the principal President, the President of the Senate, the
purpose of the bill. In Association of Small Speaker of the House of Representatives, the
Landowners of the Philippines, Inc. vs. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the
Secretary of Agrarian Reform 175 SCRA 343, it heads of Constitutional Commissions may, by
was held that a law is not an appropriate law, be authorized to augment any item in the
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 80
general appropriation law for their respective entered into by the President. The bill contains
offices from savings in other Items of their the guidelines to be followed by the commission
respective appropriations." In the discharge of its functions. Explain.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
In Philippine Constitution vs Enriquez, 235 A bill creating a joint legislative-executive
SCRA 506, 544, the Supreme Court held that a commission to give, on behalf of the Senate, its
provision in the General Appropriation Act advice, consent and concurrence to treaties
authorizing the Chief of Staff to use savings to entered into by the President. The Senate
augment the funds of the AFP Retirement and cannot delegate this function to such a
Separation Benefits Systems was commission, because under Section 21, Article
unconstitutional. "While Section 25(5) allows as VII of the Constitution, the concurrence of at
an exception the realignment of savings to least two-thirds of the Senate itself is required
augment items in the general appropriations for the ratification of treaties.
law for the executive branch, such right must
and can be exercised only by the President Law-Making; Overriding the Presidential
pursuant to a specific law." Veto (1991)
No. 2: The President signs into law the
Law-Making; Appropriation Law; Rider Appropriations Act passed by Congress but she
Provision (2001) vetoes separate items therein, among which is
No VII - Suppose that the forthcoming General a provision stating that the President may not
Appropriations Law for Year 2002, in the portion increase an item of appropriation by transfer of
pertaining to the Department of Education, savings from other items.
Culture and Sports, will contain a provision to
the effect that the Reserve Officers Training The House of Representatives chooses not to
Course (ROTC) in all colleges and universities override this veto. The Senate, however,
is hereby abolished, and in lieu thereof all male proceeds to consider two options: (1) to
college students shall be required to plant ten override the veto and (2) to challenge the
(10) trees every year for two (2) years in areas constitutionality of the veto before the Supreme
to be designated by the Department of Court.
Environment and Natural Resources in a) Is option (1) viable? If so. what is the vote
coordination with the Department of Education, required to override the veto?
Culture and Sports and the local government b) Is option (2) viable? If not. why not? If
unit concerned. It further provides that the same viable, how should the Court decide the
provision shall be incorporated In future case?
General appropriations Acts. There is no SUGGESTED ANSWER:
specific item of appropriation of funds for the (a) Option 1 is not viable in as much as the
purpose.Comment on the constitutionality of House of Representatives, from which the
said provision. (5%) Appropriations Act originated and to which the
SUGGESTED ANSWER: President must have returned the law, is
The provision is unconstitutional, because it is a unwilling to override the presidential veto. There
rider. Section 25(2), Article VI of the is, therefore, no basis for the Senate to even
Constitution provides, "No provision or consider the possibility of overriding the
enactment shall be embraced in the general President's veto. Under the Constitution the
appropriations bill unless it relates specifically vote of two-third of all the members of the
to some particular appropriation therein." The House of Representatives and the Senate,
abolition of the Reserve Officers Training voting separately, will be needed to override the
Course involves a policy matter. As held in presidential veto.
Philippine Constitution Association vs.
Enriquez, 235 SCRA 506 (1994), this cannot be (b) It is not feasible to question the
incorporated in the General Appropriations Act constitutionality of the veto before the Supreme
but must be embodied in a separate law. Court. In Gonzales vs. Macaraig, 191 SCRA
152, the Supreme Court upheld the
Law-Making; Foreign Affairs; Treaties (1996) constitutionality of a similar veto. Under Article
No 5: Are the following bills filed in Congress VI, Sec. 27(2) of the Constitution, a distinct and
constitutional? severable part of the General Appropriations
2) A bill creating a joint legislative-executive act may be the subject of a separate veto.
commission to give, on behalf of the Senate, its Moreover, the vetoed provision does not relate
advice, consent and concurrence to treaties to any particular appropriation and is more an
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 81
expression of a congressional policy in respect (1) The contention of X Corporation should be
of augmentation from savings than a budgetary rejected. Executive Orders Nos. 1, 2 and 14
provision. It is therefore an inappropriate were issued in 1986. At that time President
provision and it should be treated as an item for Corazon Aquino exercised legislative power
purposes of the veto power of the President. Section 1, Article II of the Provisional
Constitution established by Proclamation No, 3,
The Supreme Court should uphold the validity provided:
of the veto in the event the question is brought "Until a legislature is elected and convened
before it. under a new constitution, the President shall
continue to exercise legislative power."
Law-Making; Passage of a Law (1988)
No. 12: - 2. A bill upon filing by a Senator or a Likewise, Section 6, Article XVIII of the 1987
Member of the House of Representatives goes Constitution reads:
through specified steps before it leaves the The incumbent President shall continue to
House of Representatives or the Senate, as the exercise legislative power until the first
case may be. After leaving the legislature, Congress is convened."
please name the three methods by which said
bill may become a law. In the case of Kapatiran ng mga Naglilingkod sa
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Pama-halaan ng Pilipinas. Inc. v. Tan, 163
A bill passed by Congress may become a law in SCRA 371. the Supreme Court ruled that the
any of the following cases: Provisional Constitution and the 1987
If it is signed into law by the President. (Art. VI, Constitution, both recognized the power of the
sec. 27(1)). president to exercise legislative powers until the
first Congress created under the 1987
If it is re-passed over the President's veto by Constitution was convened on July 27, 1987.
the vote of two thirds of all the members of (2) Executive Orders Nos. 1, 2 and 14 are not
the House of Representatives and of the bills of attainder. ....
Senate. (Id.)
Legislative Powers (1989)
If the President fails to veto it within thirty days No. 14: An existing law grants government
after receipt thereof and communicate the employees the option to retire upon reaching
veto to the House from which it originated, the age of 57 years and completion of at least
(Id.) 30 years of total government service. As a fiscal
retrenchment measure, the Office of the
Legislative Power; Pres. Aquino’s Time President later issued a Memorandum Circular
(1990) requiring physical incapacity as an additional
No. 1; - Executive Orders Nos. 1 and 2 issued condition for optional retirement age of 65
by President Corazon C. Aquino created the years. A government employee, whose
Presidential Commission on Good Government application for optional retirement was denied
(PCGG) and empowered it to sequester any because he was below 65 years of age and
property shown prima facie to be ill-gotten was not physically incapacitated, filed an action
wealth of the late President Marcos, his in court questioning the disapproval of his
relatives and cronies. Executive Order No. 14 application claiming that the Memorandum
vests on the Sandiganbayan jurisdiction to try Circular is void. Is the contention of the
hidden wealth cases. On April 14, 1986, after employee correct? Explain.
an investigation, the PCGG sequestered the SUGGESTED ANSWER:
assets of X Corporation, Inc. Yes, the contention of the employee is correct.
X Corporation, Inc. claimed that President In Marasigan vs. Cruz, 150 SCR A 1, it was
Aquino, as President, could not lawfully held that such a memorandum circular is void.
issue Executive Orders Nos. 1, 2 and 14, By introducing physical capacity as an
which have the force of law, on the ground additional condition for optional retirement, the
that legislation is a function of Congress. memorandum circular tried to amend the law.
Decide. Such a power is lodged with the legislative
Said corporation also questioned the validity of branch and not with the executive branch.
the three executive orders on the ground
that they are bills of attainder and, Loans Extended to Members of Congress
therefore, unconstitutional. Decide. (1991)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 82
No. 9: A. After 2 February 1987, the Philippine (1) To act as national board of canvassers for
National Bank (PNB) grants a loan to President and Vice President. (Art. VII, sec. 4).
Congressman X. Is the loan violative of the
Constitution? (2) To decide whether the President is
temporarily disabled in the event he
Suppose the loan had instead been granted reassumes his office after the Cabinet, by a
before 2 February 1987, but was outstanding majority of vote of its members, declared
on that date with a remaining balance on the that he is unable to discharge the powers
principal in the amount of P50,000.00, can the and duties of his office and now within five
PNB validly give Congressman X an extension days insists that the President is really
of time after said date to settle the obligation? unable to discharge the powers and duties
SUGGESTED ANSWER: of the presidency. (Art. VII, sec. 11)
A. Whether or not the loan is violative of the
1987 Constitution depends upon its purpose. If (3) To concur in the grant of amnesty by the
it was obtained for a business purpose, it is President. (Art. VII, sec. 19),
violative of the Constitution. If it was obtained
for some other purpose, e.g., for housing. It is (4) To initiate through the House of
not violative of the Constitution because under Representatives and, through the Senate,
Section 16, Article XI. Members of Congress to try all cases of impeachment against the
are prohibited from obtaining loans from President, Vice President, the Members of
government-owned banks only if it is for a the Supreme Court, the Members of the
business purpose. Constitutional Commissions and the
Ombudsman, for culpable violation of the
If the loan was granted before the effectivity of Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and
the Constitution on February 2, 1987, the corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of
Philippine National Bank cannot extend its public trust. (Art. XI, secs. 2-3).
maturity after February 2, 1987, if the loan was
obtained for a business purpose. In such a case (5) To act as a constituent assembly for the
the extension is a financial accommodation revision or amendment of the Constitution.
which is also prohibited by the Constitution. (Art. XVII).

Multi-Party System (1999) Non-Legislative Powers; Emergency


No XIV - Discuss the merits and demerits of the Powers; Requisites (1997)
multi-party system. (2%) No. 11: During a period of national emergency.
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Congress may grant emergency powers to the
A multi-party system provides voters with a President, State the conditions under which
greater choice of candidates, ideas, and such vesture is allowed.
platforms instead of limiting their choice to two SUGGESTED ANSWER:
parties, whose ideas may be sterile. It also Under Section 23(2), Article VI of the
leaves room for deserving candidates who are Constitution. Congress may grant the President
not acceptable to those who control the two emergency powers subject to the following
dominant parties to seek public office. conditions:
(1) There is a war or other national emergency:
On the other hand, a multi-party system may (2) The grant of emergency powers must be for
make it difficult to obtain a stable and workable a limited period;
majority, since probably no party will get a (3) The grant of emergency powers is subject
majority. Likewise, the opposition will be to such restrictions as Congress may
weakened if there are several minority parties. prescribe; and
(4) The emergency powers must be exercised
Non-Legislative Powers (1988) to carry out a declared national policy.
No. 12: Legislative powers had been vested by
the Constitution in the Congress of the Prohibitions and Inhibitions of Public Office
Philippines. In addition, the Constitution also (2004)
granted the lawmaking body, non-legislative (3-a) JAR faces a dilemma: should he accept a
powers. Kindly name five of the latter. Cabinet appointment now or run later for
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Senator? Having succeeded in law practice as
Congress has the following non-legislative well as prospered in private business where he
powers: and his wife have substantial investments, he
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 83
now contemplates public service but without Assume that you are a member of the House
losing the flexibility to engage in corporate Electoral Tribunal where the petition for Brown's
affairs or participate in professional activities ouster is pending. How would you decide the
within ethical bounds. three issues raised against him?
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Taking into account the prohibitions and The first and third grounds have no merit. But
inhibitions of public office whether as Senator or the second is well taken and, therefore, Brown
Secretary, he turns to you for advice to resolve should be disqualified.
his dilemma. What is your advice? Explain 1. Robert Brown is a natural born citizen of the
briefly. (5%) Philippines. A person born of a Filipino mother
SUGGESTED ANSWER: and an alien father before January 17, 1973,
I shall advise JAR to run for SENATOR. As a who thereafter upon reaching the age of
Senator, he can retain his investments in his majority elect Philippine citizenship, is a citizen
business, although he must make a full of the Philippines (Art. IV, sec. 1(3)). Under Art.
disclosure of his business and financial IV, sec, 2 he is also deemed a natural-born
interests and notify the Senate of a potential citizen.
conflict of interest if he authors a bill. (Section
12, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution.) He can 2. The Constitution requires, among other
continue practicing law, but he cannot things, that a candidate for member of the
personally appear as counsel before any court House of Representatives must be at least 25
of justice, the Electoral Tribunals, or quasi- years of age "on the day of the election." (Art.
judicial and other administrative bodies. VI, sec. 6). As Brown was born on May 15,
(Section 14, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution.) 1962, he did not become 25 years old until May
15, 1987. Hence on May 11, 1987, when the
As a member of the Cabinet, JAR cannot election was held, he was 4 days short of the
directly or indirectly practice law or participate in required age.
any business. He will have to divest himself of
his investments in his business. (Section 13, 3. The Constitution provides that those who
Article VII of the 1987 Constitution.) In fact, the seek either to change their citizenship or to
Constitutional prohibition imposed on members acquire the status of an immigrant of another
of the Cabinet covers both public and private country "during their tenure" shall be dealt with
office or employment. (Civil Liberties Union v. by law (Art. XI, sec. 17). The provision cannot
Executive Secretary, 194 SCRA 317) apply to Brown for the following reasons: First,
Brown is in addition an American citizen and
Qualifications; Congressmen (1988) thus has a dual citizenship which is allowed by
No. 13: - Robert Brown was born in Hawaii on the Constitution. (Cf. Art. IV, sec. 4), Second,
May 15, 1962, of an American father and a Brown did not seek to acquire the status of an
Filipina mother. On May 16, 1983 while holding immigrant, but is an American by birth under
an American passport, he registered as a the principle of jus soli obtaining in the United
Filipino with the Philippine Consulate at States. Third, he did not seek to change his
Honolulu, Hawaii. In September, 1983 he status during his tenure as a public officer.
returned to the Philippines, and took up Fourth, the provision of Art. XI, sec. 17 is not
residence at Boac, Marinduque, hometown of self-executing but requires an implementing
his mother. He registered as a voter, voted, and law. Fifth, but above all, the House Electoral
even participated as a leader of one of the Tribunal has no jurisdiction to decide this
candidates in that district in the 1984 Batasan question since it does not concern the
elections. In the elections of 1987, he ran for qualification of a member-elect.
Congressman, and won. His sole opponent is
now questioning his qualifications and is trying Qualifications; Congressmen; (1993)
to oust him on two basic claims: No. 1: In 1964. Ruffa, a Filipina domestic helper
He is not a natural born Filipino citizen, but is in working in Hongkong, went to Taipei for a
fact, an American, born in Hawaii, an vacation, where she met Cheng Sio Pao. whom
integral portion of the U.S.A., who holds an she married. Under Chinese Law, Ruffa
American passport; automatically became a Chinese citizen. The
He did not meet the age requirement; and couple resided in Hongkong, where on May 9,
He has a "green card" from the U.S. 1965, Ruffa gave birth to a boy named Ernest.
Government. Upon reaching the age of majority, Ernest
elected Philippine citizenship. After the EDSA
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 84
Revolution, Ernest decided to live permanently Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of
in the Philippines, where he prospered as a majority to be considered a natural born citizen
businessman. During the May 11, 1993 and qualified to run for Congress. Republic Act
election, Ernest ran and won as a No. 6809 reduced the majority age to eighteen
congressman. His opponent, noting Ernest's (18) years. Cuenco v. Secretary of Justice, 5
Chinese ancestry, filed a petition to disqualify SCRA 108 recognized three (3) years from
the latter on the following grounds; (1) Ernest reaching the age of majority as the reasonable
Cheng is not a natural bom Filipino; and (2) he period for electing Philippine citizenship. Since
is underaged. Decide. Republic Act No. 6809 took effect in 1989 and
SUGGESTED ANSWER: there is no showing that Victor Ahmad elected
1) Ernest cannot be disqualified..... Philippine citizenship within three (3) years from
the time he reached the age of majority on
2) Ernest is not under-aged. Having been born December 16, 199C, he is not qualified to run
on May 9, 1965, he was over twenty-five years for Congress.
old on the date of the May 11, 1993 election.
(Election was held on May 11, 1992). Section 6, If he consulted me on December 16, 1991, I
Article VI of the Constitution, requires would inform him that he should elect Philippine
congressmen to be at least twenty-five years of citizenship so that he can be considered a
age on the day of the election. natural born citizen.

Qualifications; Congressmen; (1999) Separation of Powers (1988)


No III - C. Victor Ahmad was born on December No. 25: Can any other department or agency of
16, 1972 of a Filipino mother and an alien the Government review a decision of the
father. Under the law of his father's country, his Supreme Court? Why or why not?
mother did not acquire his father's citizenship. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Victor consults you on December 21, 1993 and No. The Supreme Court is the highest arbiter of
informs you of his intention to run for Congress legal questions. (Javier v. Comelec, 144 SCRA
in the 1995 elections. Is he qualified to run? 194 (1986)) To allow review of its decision by
What advice would you give him? Would your the other departments of government would
answer be the same if he had seen and upset the classic pattern of separation of
consulted you on December 16, 1991 and powers and destroy the balance between the
informed you of his desire to run for Congress judiciary and the other departments of
in the 1992 elections? Discuss your answer. government. As the Justices said in their
(3%) answer to the complaint for impeachment in the
FIRST ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: Committee on Justice of the House of
C. No, Victor Ahmad is not qualified to run Representatives, "Just as it is completely
for Congress in the 1995 elections. Under unacceptable to file charges against the
Section 6, Article VI of the Constitution, a individual members of Congress for the laws
member of the House of Representatives must enacted by them upon the argument that these
be at least twenty-five (25) years of age on the laws are violative of the Constitution, or are a
day of the election. Since he will be less than betrayal of public trust, or are unjust. So too,
twenty-five (25) years of age in 1995, Victor should it be equally impermissible to make the
Ahmad is not qualified to run. individual members of the Supreme Court
accountable for the court's decisions or rulings.
Under Section 2, Article IV of the Constitution,
to be deemed a natural-born citizen, Victor Separation of Powers (2003)
Ahmad must elect Philippine citizenship upon No II - A group of losing litigants in a case
reaching the age of majority. I shall advise him decided by the Supreme Court filed a complaint
to elect Philippine citizenship, if he has not yet before the Ombudsman charging the Justices
done so, and to wait until the 1998 elections. with knowingly and deliberately rendering an
unjust decision in utter violation of the penal
My answer will be the same if he consulted me laws of the land. Can the Ombudsman validly
in 1991 and informed me of his desire to run in take cognizance of the case? Explain.
the 1992 elections. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
No, the Ombudsman cannot entertain the
SECOND ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: complaint. As stated in the case of In re:
C. Under Section 2, Article IV of the Laureta. 148 SCRA 382 [1987], pursuant to the
Constitution, Victor Ahmad must have elected principle of separation of powers, the
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 85
correctness of the decisions of the Supreme Representatives for a third term. This term
Court as final arbiter of all justiciable disputes is should be included in the computation of the
conclusive upon all other departments of the term limits, even if "A" did not serve for a full
government; the Ombudsman has no power to term. (Record of the Constitutional
review the decisions of the Supreme Court by Commission, Vol. n, p. 592.) He remained a
entertaining a complaint against the Justices of Member of the House of Representatives even
the Supreme Court for knowingly rendering an if he was suspended.
unjust decision.
SECOND ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
Article XI, Section 1 of the 1987 Constitution ARTICLE VII Executive
provides that public officers must at all times be
accountable to the people. Section 22 of the Department
Ombudsman Act provides that the Office of the
Ombudsman has the power to investigate any Appointing Power; Acting vs. Permanent
serious misconduct allegedly committed by Appointment (2003)
officials removable by impeachment for the No V - What is the nature of an "acting
purpose of filing a verified complaint for appointment" to a government office? Does
impeachment if warranted. The Ombudsman such an appointment give the appointee the
can entertain the complaint for this purpose. right to claim that the appointment will, in time,
ripen into a permanent one? Explain.
Three-Term Limit: Congressmen (1996) SUGGESTED ANSWER:
No. 13: - X, a member of the House of According to Sevilla v. Court of Appeals. 209
Representatives, was serving his third SCRA 637 [1992], an acting appointment is
consecutive term in the House. In June 1996 merely temporary. As held in Marohombsar v.
he was appointed Secretary of National Alonto, 194 SCRA 390 [1991], a temporary
Defense. appointment cannot become a permanent
Can he run for election to the Senate in the appointment, unless a new appointment which
1998 elections? Explain. is permanent is made. This holds true unless
SUGGESTED ANSWER: the acting appointment was made because of a
Yes, X can run for the Senate in the 1988 temporary vacancy. In such a case, the
election. Under Section 7, Article X of the temporary appointee holds office until the
Constitution, having served for three assumption of office by the permanent
consecutive terms as Member of the House of appointee.
Representatives. X is only prohibited from
running for the same position. Appointing Power; ad interim appointments
(1991)
Three-Term Limit; Congressmen (2001) No. 3: - On 3 May 1992, while Congress is on a
No V - During his third term, "A", a Member of short recess for the elections, the president
the House of Representatives, was suspended appoints Renato de Silva to the rank of General
from office for a period of 60 days by his (4-star) in the Armed Forces. She also
colleagues upon a vote of two-thirds of all the designates him as Chief of Staff of the AFP. He
Members of the House. In the next succeeding immediately takes his oath and assumes that
election, he filed his certificate of candidacy for office, with the rank of 4-star General of the
the same position. "B", the opposing candidate, AFP.
filed an action for disqualification of "A" on the
ground that the latter's, candidacy violated When Congress resumes its session on 17 May
Section 7. Article VI of the Constitution which 1992, the Commission on Appointments
provides that no Member of the House of informs the Office of the President that it has
Representatives shall serve for more than three received from her office only the appointment of
consecutive terms. "A" answered that he was De Silva to the rank of 4-star General and that
not barred from running again for that position unless his appointment to the Office of the
because his service was interrupted by his 60- Chief of Staff of the AFP is also submitted, the
day suspension which was involuntary. Commission will not act on the matter.
Can 'A', legally continue with his candidacy or is
he already barred? Why? (5%) The President maintains that she has submitted
SUGGESTED ANSWER: to the Commission all that the Constitution calls
"A" cannot legally continue with his candidacy. for.
He was elected as Member of the House of (a) Who is correct?

BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 86


(b) Did Gen. de Silva violate the Constitution in SUGGESTED ANSWER:
immediately assuming office prior to a 1) A is senior to B. In accordance with the
confirmation of his appointment? ruling in Summers vs. Ozaeta. 81 Phil. 754, the
(c) Are the appointment and designation valid? ad interim appointment extended to A is
SUGGESTED ANSWER: permanent and is effective upon his acceptance
(a) The President is correct. Under Presidential although it is subject to confirmation by the
Decree No. 360, the grade of four-star general Commission on Appointments.
is conferred only upon the Chief of Staff.
Hence, the appointment of Renato de Silva as a 2) If Congress adjourned without the
four-star general must be deemed to carry with appointments of A and B having been
it his appointment as Chief of Staff of the AFP, confirmed by the Commission on Appointments,
A cannot return to his old position. As held in
(b) Gen. Renato de Silva did not violate the Summers vs. Qzaeta, 81 Phil. 754, by
Constitution when he immediately assumed accepting an ad interim appointment to a new
office before the confirmation of his position, A waived his right to hold his old
appointment, since his appointment was an ad position. On the other hand, since B did not
interim appointment. Under Article VI I, Sec. 16 assume the new position, he retained his old
of the Constitution, such appointment is position.
immediately effective and is subject only to
disapproval by the Commission on Appointing Power; Appointments Requiring
Appointments or as a result of the next Confirmation; RA 6975-Unconstitutional
adjournment of the Congress. (2002)
No V - On December 13, 1990, the President
(c) The appointment and designation of Gen. signed into law Republic Act No. 6975
de Silva are valid for reasons given above. (subsequently amended by RA No. 8551)
However, from another point of view they are creating the Department of Interior and Local
not valid because they were made within the Government. Sections 26 and 31 of the law
period of the ban for making appointments. provide that senior officers of the Philippine
Under Article VII, Sec. 15 the President is National Police (PNP), from Senior
prohibited from making appointments within the Superintendent, Chief Superintendent, Deputy
period of two (2) months preceding the election Director General to Director General or Chief of
for President and Vice President. The PNP shall, among others, be appointed by the
appointment in this case will be made on May President subject to confirmation by the
3, 1992 which is just 8 days away from the Commission on Appointments.
election for President and Vice President on
May 11, 1992. For this reason the appointment In 1991 the President promoted Chief
and designation of Gen. de Silva are after all Superintendent Roberto Matapang and Senior
invalid. Superintendent Conrado Mahigpit to the
[Note: May 3, 1991 and May 17, 1992 are positions of Director and Chief Superintendent
Sundays. However the Committee finds no of the PNP, respectively. Their appointments
relevance in the fact that these are holidays
were in a permanent capacity. Without
and therefore decided to ignore this fact.]
undergoing confirmation by the Commission on
Appointing Power; Ad Interim Appointments Appointments, Matapang and Mahigpit took
(1994) their oath of office and assumed their
No. 16; In December 1988, while Congress was respective positions. Thereafter, the
in recess, A was extended an ad interim Department of Budget and Management
appointment as Brigadier General of the authorized disbursements for their salaries and
Philippine Army, in February 1989. When other emoluments.
Congress was in session, B was nominated as
Brigadier General of the Philippine Army. B's Juan Bantay filed a taxpayer's suit questioning
nomination was confirmed on August 5, 1989 the legality of the appointments and
while A's appointment was confirmed on disbursements made. Bantay argues that the
September 5, 1989. appointments are invalid inasmuch as the same
Who is deemed more senior of the two, A or B? have not been confirmed by the Commission on
Suppose Congress adjourned without the Appointments, as required under Sections 26
Commission on Appointments acting on and 31 of R.A. No. 6975.
both appointments, can A and B retain their
original ranks of colonel?
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 87
Determine with reasons the legality of the confirmation by the Commission on
appointments and the disbursements for Appointments are
salaries by discussing the constitutional validity the head of executive departments,
of Sections 26 and 31 of R.A. No. 6975. (5%) ambassadors,
SUGGESTED ANSWER: other public ministers and consuls,
The appointments of Matapang and Mahigpit officers of the armed forces from the rank of
are valid even if they were not confirmed by the colonel or naval captain,
Commission on Appointments, because they and other officials whose appointments are
are not among the public officials whose vested in the President by the Constitution.
appointments are required to be confirmed by
the first sentence of Article VII, Section 16 of Appointing Power; Kinds of Appointments
the Constitution. According to Manalo v. (1994)
Sistoza, 312 SCRA 239 (1999), Sections 26 When is an appointment in the civil service
and 31 of Republic Act 6975 are permanent?
unconstitutional, because Congress cannot by Distinguish between an "appointment in an
law expand the list of public officials required to acting capacity" extended by a Department
be confirmed by the Commission on Secretary from an ad interim appointment
Appointments. Since the appointments of extended by the President.
Matapang and Mahigpit are valid, the Distinguish between a provisional and a
disbursements of their salaries and emoluments temporary appointment.
are valid. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
1) Under Section 25(a) of the Civil Service
Appointing Power; Categories of Officials Decree, an appointment in the civil service is
(1999) PERMANENT when issued to a person who
A. 1.) What are the six categories of meets all the requirements for the position to
officials who are subject to the appointing which he is being appointed, including the
power of the President? (2%) appropriate eligibility prescribed, in accordance
with the provisions of law, rules and standards
2.) Name the category or categories of promulgated in pursuance thereof.
officials whose appointments need confirmation
by the Commission on Appointments? (2%) 2) An appointment in an ACTING CAPACITY
extended by a Department Secretary is not
SUGGESTED ANSWER: permanent but temporary. Hence, the
Under Section 16, Article VII of the Constitution, Department Secretary may terminate the
the six categories of officials who are subject to services of the appointee at any time. On the
the appointing power of the President are the other hand, an AD INTERIM APPOINTMENT
following: extended by the President is an appointment
1. Head of executive departments; which is subject to confirmation by the
2. Ambassadors, other public ministers and Commission on Appointments and was made
consuls; during the recess of Congress. As held in
3. Officers of the armed forces from the rank Summers vs. Qzaeta, 81 Phil. 754, an ad
of colonel or naval captain; interim appointment is permanent.
4. Other officers whose appointments are
vested in him by the Constitution; 3) In Section 24 (d) of the Civil Service Act of
5. All other officers of the government whose 1959, a TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT is one
appointments are not otherwise provided by issued to a person to a position needed only for
law; and a limited period not exceeding six months.
6. Those whom he may be authorized by law Under Section 25(b) of the Civil Service
to appoint. (Cruz, Philippine Political Law, Decree, a temporary appointment is one issued
1998 ed., pp. 204-205) to a person who meets all the requirements for
(It is suggested that if the examinee followed the the position to which he is being appointed
classification in Sarmiento v. Mison, 156 SCRA 549
and named only four categories, because he except the appropriate civil service eligibility
combined the first three categories into one, he be because of the absence of appropriate eligibles
given full credit.) and it is necessary in the public Interest to fill
the vacancy.
2.) According to Sarmiento v. Mison, 156 SCRA
549, the only officers whose appointments need On the other hand. Section 24(e) of the Civil
Service Act of 1959 defined a PROVISIONAL
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 88
APPOINTMENT as one Issued upon the prior to be finished in not more than six months but
authorization of the Civil Service Commission in because the interest of the service requires that
accordance with its provisions and the rules certain work be done by a regular employee,
and standards promulgated in pursuance only that no one with appropriate eligibility can
thereto to a person who has not qualified in an be appointed to it. Hence, any other eligible
appropriate examination but who otherwise may be appointed to do such work in the
meets the requirements for appointment to a meantime that a suitable eligible does not
regular position in the competitive service, qualify for the position.
whenever a vacancy occurs and the filling
thereof is necessary in the interest of the To be more precise, a provisional appointment
service and there is no appropriate register of may be extended only to a person who has not
eligibles at the time of appointment. qualified in an appropriate examination but who
otherwise meets the requirements for
Provisional appointments in general have appointment to a regular position in the
already been abolished by Republic Act 6040. competitive service, meaning one who must
However, it still applies with regard to teachers any way be a civil service eligible.
under the Magna Carta for Public School
Teachers. In the case of a temporary appointment, all that
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: the law enjoins is that "preference in filling such
The case of Regis vs. Osmena, 197 SCRA 308, position be given to persons on appropriate
laid down the distinction between a provisional eligible lists." Merely giving preference
and a temporary appointment. presupposes that even a non-eligible may be
appointed. Under the law, even if the appointee
A PROVISIONAL APPOINTMENT is extended has the required civil service eligibility, his
to a person who has not qualified in an appointment is still temporary simply because
appropriate examination but who otherwise such is the nature of the work to be done.
meets the requirements for appointment to a NOTE: Since provisional appointments have
regular position in the competitive service already been abolished examinees should be
given full credit for whatever answer they may
whenever a vacancy occurs and the filling
or may not give.
thereof is necessary in the interest of the
service and there is no appropriate register of Appointing Power; Limitations on
eligible at the time of the appointment. On the Presidential Appointments (1997)
other hand, a TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT No. 7: A month before a forthcoming election,
given to a non-civil service eligible is without a "A" one of the incumbent Commissioners of the
definite tenure and is dependent on the COMELEC, died while in office and "B", another
pleasure of the appointing power. Commissioner, suffered a severe stroke. In
view of the proximity of the elections and to
A provisional appointment is good only until avoid paralyzation in the COMELEC, the
replacement by a civil service eligible and in no President who was not running for any office,
case beyond 30 days from date of receipt by appointed Commissioner C of the Commission
the appointing officer of the certificate of on Audit, who was not a lawyer but a certified
eligibility. (Sec. 24 [c|. Republic Act 2260). public accountant by profession, ad interim
Commissioner to succeed Commissioner A and
A provisional appointment contemplates a designated by way of a temporary measure.
different situation from that of a temporary Associate Justice D of the Court of Appeals as
appointment. Whereas a temporary acting Associate Commissioner during the
appointment is designed to fill a position absence of Commissioner B.
needed only for a limited period not exceeding
six (6) months, a provisional appointment, on Did the President do the right thing in extending
the other hand, is intended for the contingency such ad interim appointment in favor of
that "a vacancy occurs and the filling thereof is Commissioner C and designating Justice D
necessary in the interest of the service and acting Commissioner of the COMELEC?
there is no appropriate register of eligibles at SUGGESTED ANSWER:
the time of the appointment." No. The President was wrong in extending an
ad interim appointment in favor of
In other words, the reason for extending a Commissioner C. In Summers vs. Ozaeta, 81
provisional appointment is not because there is Phil. 754, it was held that an ad interim
an occasional work to be done and is expected appointment is a permanent appointment.
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 89
Under Section 15, Article VII of the Constitution, adjournment of Congress. A temporary or
within two months immediately before the next acting appointee does not enjoy any security of
presidential elections and up to the end of his tenure, no matter how briefly. (Matibag v.
term, the President cannot make permanent Benipayo, G.R. No. 149036, April 2, 2002)
appointments. ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
The designation of Justice D as acting An ad interim appointment is a permanent
Associate Commissioner is also invalid. Section appointment and does not violate Section 1(2),
1(2). Article IX-C of the Constitution prohibits Article IX-C of the Constitution. (Pamantasan
the designation of any Commissioner of the ng Lungsod ng Maynila v. IAC, G.R. No. L-
COMELEC in a temporary or acting capacity. 65439, November 13,1985)
Section 12, Article VIII of the Constitution
prohibits the designation of any member of the (b) Assuming the legality of the first ad
Judiciary to any agency performing quasi- interim appointment and assumption of
judicial or administrative functions. office by Santos, were his second ad
interim appointment and subsequent
Appointing Powers; Ad Interim assumption of office to the same
Appointments (Q4-2005) position violations of the prohibition on
(1) In March 2001, while Congress was reappointment under Section 1(2),
adjourned, the President appointed Santos Article IX-C of the Constitution?
as Chairman of the COMELEC. Santos SUGGESTED ANSWER:
immediately took his oath and assumed No, the second ad interim appointment and
office. While his appointment was promptly subsequent assumption of office does not
submitted to the Commission on violate the Constitution. The prohibition on
Appointments for confirmation, it was not reappointment in Section 1(2), Article IX-C of
acted upon and Congress again adjourned. the Constitution does not apply to by-passed ad
In June 2001, the President extended a interim appointments. It can be revived by a
second ad interim appointment to Santos new ad interim appointment because there is
for the same position with the same term, no final disapproval under Section 16, Article
and this appointment was again submitted VII of the Constitution, and such new
to the Commission on Appointments for appointment will not result in the appointee
confirmation. Santos took his oath anew serving beyond the fixed term of seven years.
and performed the functions of his office. The phrase "without reappointment" applies
only to one who has been appointed by the
Reyes, a political rival, filed a suit assailing President and confirmed by the Commission on
certain orders issued by Santos. He also Appointments, whether or not such person
questioned the validity of Santos' completes his term of office. To hold otherwise
appointment. Resolve the following issues: will lead to absurdities and negate the
(5%) President's power to make ad interim
appointments. (Matibag v. Benipayo, G.R. No.
(a) Does Santos' assumption of office on 149036, April 2, 2002)
the basis of the ad interim appointments
issued by the President amount to a Cabinet Members; limitation on accepting
temporary appointment which is additional duties (1996)
prohibited by Section 1(2), Article IX-C 1996 No. 7: Can the Secretary of Finance be
of the Constitution? elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: the San Miguel Corporation? Explain.
No, Santos' appointment does not amount to a SUGGESTED ANSWER:
temporary appointment. An ad interim No, the Secretary of Finance cannot be elected
appointment is a permanent appointment Chairman of the Board of Directors of the San
because it takes effect immediately and can no Miguel Corporation. Under Section 13, Article
longer be withdrawn by the President once the VII of the Constitution, members of the Cabinet
appointee has qualified into office. The fact that cannot hold any other office or employment
it is subject to confirmation by the Commission during their tenure unless it is otherwise
on Appointments does not alter its permanent provided in the Constitution. They shall not
character. The Constitution itself makes an ad also during said tenure participate in any
interim appointment permanent in character by business or be financially interested in any
making it effective until disapproved by the contract with, or in any franchise, or special
Commission on Appointments or until the next privilege granted by the Government or any
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 90
subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, 7. A crime committed during the state of
including government-owned or controlled calamity will be considered aggravated
corporations or their subsidiaries. They shall under Art. 14, par. 7 of the Revised Penal
strictly avoid conflict of interest in the conduct of Code.
their office.
Declaration; State of National Emergency
Calling-out Power; President (Q1-2006) (Q1-2006)
1. What do you mean by the "Calling-out 2. On February 24, 2006, President Gloria
Power" of the President under Section 18, Macapagal-Arroyo issued Proclamation
Article VII of the Constitution? (5%) No. 1017 declaring a state of national
SUGGESTED ANSWER: emergency. Is this Proclamation constitu-
Under Article VII, Sec. 18 of the 1987 tional? Explain. (2.5%)
Constitution, whenever it becomes necessary, SUGGESTED ANSWER:
the President, as Commander-in-Chief, may The proclamation is constitutional insofar as it
call out the armed forces to aid him in constitutes a call by the President for the AFP
preventing or suppressing lawless violence, to prevent or suppress lawless violence as this
invasion or rebellion (David v. Arroyo, G.R. No. is sustained by Section 18, Article VII of the
171396, May 3, 2006). Constitution.

Declaration; State of Calamity; Legal Effects However, PP 1017's provisions giving the
(Q1-2005) President express or implied power (1) to issue
(b) To give the much needed help to the decrees; (2) to direct the AFP to enforce
Province of Aurora which was devastated by obedience to all laws even those not related to
typhoons and torrential rains, the President lawless violence as well as decrees
declared it in a "state of calamity." Give at least promulgated by the President; and (3) to
four (4) legal effects of such declaration. (4%) impose standards on media or any form of prior
SUGGESTED ANSWER: restraint on the press, are ultra vires and
Declaration of a state of calamity produces, unconstitutional. Likewise, under Section 17,
inter alia, these legal effects within the Province Article XII of the Constitution, the President, in
of Aurora — the absence of legislation, cannot take over
1. Automatic Price Control — under R.A. No. privately-owned public utilities and businesses
7581, The Price Act; affected with the public interest (David v.
2. Authorization for the importation of rice Arroyo, G.R. No. 171396, May 3, 2006).
under R.A. No. 8178, The Agricultural
Tarrification Act; 3. During the effectivity of this Proclamation,
3. Automatic appropriation under R.A. No. Gener, Lito and Bong were arrested by
7160 is available for unforeseen the police for acts of terrorism. Is the
expenditures arising from the occurrence of arrest legal? Explain. (2.5%)
calamities in areas declared to be in a state SUGGESTED ANSWER:
of calamity; The arrest, apparently done without a valid
4. Local government units may enact a warrant, is illegal. However, a warrantless
supplemental budget for supplies and arrest would be valid if those accused are
materials or payment of services to prevent caught committing crimes en flagrante delicto.
danger to or loss of life or property, under On the other hand, if the arrest is made
R.A. No. 7160; pursuant to a valid warrant, then it is lawful. The
5. Entitlement to hazard allowance for Public term "acts of terrorism" has not been legally
Health Workers (under R.A. No. 7305, defined and made punishable by Congress. No
Magna Carta for Public Health Workers), law has been enacted to guide the law
who shall be compensated hazard enforcement agents, and eventually the courts,
allowances equivalent to at least twenty-five to determine the limits in making arrests for the
percent (25%) of the monthly basic salary of commission of said acts of terrorism (David v.
health workers receiving salary grade 19 Arroyo, G.R. No. 171396, May 3, 2006).
and below, and five percent (5%) for health Enter into Contract or Guarantee Foreign
workers with salary grade 20 and above; Loans (1994)
6. Entitlement to hazard allowance for science No. 13: The President of the Philippines
and technological personnel of the authorized the Secretary of Public Works and
government under R.A. No. 8439; and Highways to negotiate and sign a loan
agreement with the German Government for
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 91
the construction of a dam. The Senate, by a No I - What are the limitations/restrictions
resolution, asked that the agreement be provided by the Constitution on the power of
submitted to it for ratification. The Secretary of Congress to authorize the President to fix tariff
Foreign Affairs advised the Secretary of Public rates, import and export quotas, tonnage and
Works and Highways not to comply with the wharfage dues. Explain. (2%)
request of the Senate. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
2) Is the President bound to submit the According to Section 28(2), Article VI of the
agreement to the Senate for ratification? Constitution, Congress may, by law, authorize
SUGGESTED ANSWER: the President to fix within specified limits, and
No, the President is not bound to submit the subject to such limitations and restrictions it
agreement to the Senate for ratification. Under may impose, tariff rates, import and export
Section 20, Article VII of the Constitution, only quotas, tonnage and wharfage dues and other
the prior concurrence of the Monetary Board is duties or imposts within the framework of the
required for the President to contract foreign national development program of the
loans on behalf of the Republic of the Government.
Philippines.
Martial Law & Suspension of Writ of Habeas
Enter into Contract or Guarantee Foreign Corpus (1987)
Loans (1999) No. XVII: One of the features of the government
No I - What are the restrictions prescribed by established under the 1987 Constitution is the
the Constitution on the power of the President restoration of the principle of checks and
to contract or guarantee foreign loans on behalf balances. This is especially noteworthy in the
of the Republic of the Philippines? Explain. Commander-in-Chief powers of the President
(2%) which substantially affects what was styled
SUGGESTED ANSWER: under the past dispensation as the "calibrated
Under Section 20, Article VII of the Constitution, response" to national emergencies,
the power of the President to contract or (a) Discuss fully the provisions of the 1987
guarantee loans on behalf of the Republic of Constitution, giving the scope, limits and the
the Philippines is subject to the prior role of the principle of checks and balances on
concurrence of the Monetary Board and subject the President's exercise of the power:
to such limitations as may be prescribed by law. To suspend the privilege of the writ of
habeas corpus
Enter into Executive Agreements (2003) Proclamation of martial law.
No XX - An Executive Agreement was executed
between the Philippines and a neighboring (b) Considering the pressing problems of
State. The Senate of the Philippines took it insurgency, rebel activities, liberation
upon itself to procure a certified true copy of the movements and terrorist violence, which in your
Executive Agreement and, after deliberating on considered opinion among the options available
it, declared, by a unanimous vote, that the to the President as Commander-in-Chief would
agreement was both unwise and against the be the most effective in meeting the
best interest of the country. Is the Executive emergencies by the nation? Explain.
Agreement binding (a) from the standpoint of SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Philippine law and (b) from the standpoint of (a) The President's power to suspend the
international law? Explain privilege of the writ of habeas corpus and to
SUGGESTED ANSWER: proclaim martial law is subject to several
(a) From the standpoint of Philippine law, the checks by Congress and by the Supreme
Executive Agreement is binding. According to Court. The President is required to report to
Commissioner of Customs v. Eastern Sea Congress within 48 hours his action in declaring
Trading. 3 SCRA 351 [1961], the President can martial law or suspending the privilege of the
enter into an Executive Agreement without the writ, and Congress is in turn required to
necessity of concurrence by the Senate. convene, if it is not in session, within 24 hours
following the proclamation of martial law or the
(b) The Executive Agreement is also binding suspension of the privilege without need of any
from the standpoint of international law... call, in accordance with its rules. The
proclamation of martial law or suspension of the
Impose Tariff Rates, Import and Export writ is effective for 60 days only, but Congress
Quotas (1999) can cut short its effectivity by revoking the
proclamation by the vote of at least a majority of
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 92
all its members, voting, jointly. Any extension of movements, and terrorism is to simply call out
the proclamation of martial law or suspension of the armed forces for the following reasons:
the writ can only be granted by Congress which 1) the exigencies to be met are not solely
will determine also the period of such those caused by invasion or rebellion but
extension. terrorism and other crimes.
2) Suspension of the privilege will only be for
On the other hand, the Supreme Court a limited period and then the period of
exercises a check on Executive action in the retention is limited to 3 days which may not
form of judicial review at the instance of any really be effective. On the other hand,
citizen. The Constitution embodies in this public criticism of the action may only
respect the ruling in Garcia v. Lansang, 42 erode the President's authority.
SCRA 448 (1971) that the Court can determine 3) There is practically little difference, as far
the sufficiency of the factual basis of the as the ability of the President to meet an
proclamation of martial law or the suspension of emergency is concerned, between option
the privilege or the extension thereof not for the 1, on the other hand, the options 2 and 3.
purpose of supplanting the judgment of the
President but to determine whether the latter The President may well take comfort in the
did not act arbitrarily. Indeed, Art. VIII, Sec. 1 following thought: "Government of limited power
imposes upon the courts the duty of need not be anemic government. Assurance
determining whether or not there has been that rights are secure tends to diminish fear and
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or jealousy of strong government, and, by making
excess of jurisdiction on the part of the other us feel safe to live under it makes for its better
branches of the government, in this case, the support." (West Vs. State Brd. of Educ. v.
President. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943))

The President cannot, by means of the Martial Law; Limitations (2000)


proclamation of martial law, suspend the No XVII. Declaring a rebellion, hostile groups
Constitution or supplant the courts and the have opened and maintained armed conflicts
legislature. Neither can he authorize the trial of on the Islands of Sulu and Basilan.
civilians by military tribunals so long as courts a) To quell this, can the President place under
are open and functioning, thus overruling the martial law the islands of Sulu and Basilan?
case of Aquino v. Military Commission No. 2, 63 Give your reasons? (3%)
SCRA 546 (1975). His proclamation of martial b) What are the constitutional safeguards on
law does not carry with it the suspension of the the exercise of the President's power to
writ of habeas corpus, so that the decision on proclaim martial law? (2%)
Aquino v. Ponce Enrile, 59 SCRA 183 (1973) is SUGGESTED ANSWER:
now overruled. Nor does the suspension of the a) If public safety requires it, the President
writ deprive courts of their power to admit can place Sulu and Basilan under martial law
persons to bail, where proper. The Constitution since there is an actual rebellion. Under Section
thus overrules the cases of Garcia-Padilla v. 18, Article VII of the Constitution, the President
Ponce Enrile, 121 SCRA 472 (1983) and can place any part of the Philippines under
Morales v. Ponce Enrile. 121 SCRA 538 (1983). martial law in case of rebellion, when public
safety requires it.
(b) The President has three options: (1) TO
CALL OUT the armed forces to prevent or b) The following are the constitutional
suppress lawless violence, invasion or safeguards on the exercise of the power of the
rebellion; (2) TO SUSPEND the privilege of the President to proclaim martial law:
writ of habeas corpus or (3) TO PROCLAIM a) There must be actual invasion or rebellion;
martial law. The last two options can be b) The duration of the proclamation shall not
resorted to only in cases of invasion or rebellion exceed sixty days:
when public safety requires either the c) Within forty-eight hours, the President shall
supension of the privilege or the proclamation report his action to Congress. If Congress
of martial law. is not in session, it must convene within
twenty-four hours;
It is submitted that the most effective means of d) Congress may by majority vote of all its
meeting the current emergency which is members voting Jointly revoke the
brought about by rebellion, liberation proclamation, and the President cannot set
aside the revocation;
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 93
e) By the same vote and in the same manner, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas
upon Initiative of the President, Congress corpus and the power to impose martial law
may extend the proclamation If the invasion involve the curtailment and suppression of
or rebellion continues and public safety certain basic civil rights and individual
requires the extension; freedoms, and thus necessitate safeguards by
f) The Supreme Court may review the factual Congress and review by the Supreme Court
sufficiency of the proclamation, and the (IBP v. Zamora, G.R. No. 141284, August 15,
Supreme Court must decide the case within 2000).
thirty days from the time it was filed;
g) Martial law does not automatically suspend 3. The Solicitor General argues that, in any
the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or event, the determination of whether the
the operation of the Constitution. rebellion poses danger to public safety
h) It does not supplant the functioning of the involves a question of fact and the
civil courts and of Congress. Military courts Supreme Court is not a trier of facts. What
have no Jurisdiction over civilians where should be the ruling of the Court? (2.5%)
civil courts are able to function. (Cruz, SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Philippine Political Law, 1995 ed., pp. 213- Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of
214.) justice to settle actual controversies involving
rights which are legally demandable and
Martial Law; Sufficiency of the Factual Basis enforceable, and to determine whether or not
(Q3-2006) there has been a grave abuse of discretion
The President issued a Proclamation No. 1018 amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on
placing the Philippines under Martial Law on the the part of any branch or instrumentality of the
ground that a rebellion staged by lawless Government (Art. Vin, Sec. 1, par. 2,1987
elements is endangering the public safety. Constitution). When the grant of power is
Pursuant to the Proclamation, suspected rebels qualified, conditional or subject to limitations,
were arrested and detained and military the issue of whether the prescribed
tribunals were set up to try them. Robert dela qualifications or conditions have been met or
Cruz, a citizen, filed with the Supreme Court a the limitations respected, is justiciable — the
petition questioning the validity of Proclamation problem being one of legality or validity, not its
No. 1018. wisdom.
1. Does Robert have a standing to challenge
Proclamation No. 1018? Explain. (2.5%) Article VII, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution
SUGGESTED ANSWER: specifically grants the Supreme Court the
Yes, Robert has standing. Under Article VIII, power to review, in an appropriate proceeding
Section 17 of the 1987 Constitution, the filed by any citizen, the sufficiency of the factual
Supreme Court may review, in an appropriate basis of the proclamation of martial law. Thus,
proceeding filed by any citizen, the sufficiency in the matter of such declaration, two conditions
of the factual basis of the proclamation of must concur: (1) there must be an actual
martial law. As citizen therefore, Robert may file invasion or rebellion; and (2) public safety must
the petition questioning Proclamation No. 1018. require it. The Supreme Court cannot renege
on its constitutional duty to determine whether
2. In the same suit, the Solicitor General or not the said factual conditions exist (IBP v.
contends that under the Constitution, the Zamora, G.R. No. 141284, August 15, 2000).
President as Commander-in-Chief,
determines whether the exigency has 4. Finally, the Solicitor General maintains
arisen requiring the exercise of his power that the President reported to Congress
to declare Martial Law and that his such proclamation of Martial Law, but
determination is conclusive upon the Congress did not revoke the proclamation.
courts. How should the Supreme Court What is the effect of the inaction of
rule? (2.5%) Congress on the suit brought by Robert to
SUGGESTED ANSWER: the Supreme Court? (2.5%)
The Supreme Court should rule that his deter- SUGGESTED ANSWER:
mination is not conclusive upon the courts. The The inaction of Congress has no effect on the
1987 Constitution allows a citizen, in an suit brought by Robert to the Supreme Court as
appropriate proceeding, to file a petition Article VIII, Section 18 provides for checks on
questioning the sufficiency of the factual basis the President's power to declare martial law to
of said proclamation. Moreover, the power to be exercised separately by Congress and the
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 94
Supreme Court. Under said provision, the
duration of martial law shall not exceed sixty 4. No, the accused cannot avail of the benefits
days but Congress has the power to revoke the of amnesty if he continues to profess his
proclamation or extend the period. On the other innocence. In Vera vs. People, 7 SCRA 152.
hand, the Supreme Court has the power to since amnesty presupposes the commission of
review the said proclamation and promulgate its a crime. It is inconsistent for an accused to
decision thereon within thirty days from its filing seek forgiveness for something which he claims
(Article VIII, Section 18). he has not committed.

Pardoning Power; Amnesty (1993) Pardoning Power; Breach of Condition;


No 20: - The National Unification Commission Revocation (Q5-2005)
has recommended the grant of absolute and (1) Bruno still had several years to serve on his
unconditional amnesty to all rebels. There is the sentence when he was conditionally
view that it is not necessary for the rebels to pardoned by the President. Among the
admit the commission of the crime charged, it conditions imposed was that he would "not
being enough that the offense falls within the again violate any of the penal laws of the
scope of the amnesty proclamation following Philippines." Bruno accepted all of the
the doctrine laid down in Barrioquinto vs. conditions and was released. Shortly
Fernandez, 82 Phil. 642. In other words, thereafter, Bruno was charged with 2
admission of guilt is not a condition sine qua counts of estafa. He was then incarcerated
non for the availment of amnesty. Is this to serve the i expired portion of his
correct? Explain. sentence following the revocation by the
SUGGESTED ANSWER: President of the pardon.
The view that it is not necessary for rebels to
admit the commission of the crime charged in Bruno's family filed a petition for habeas
order to avail themselves of the benefits of corpus, alleging that it was error to have
amnesty is not correct. As stated in Vera v. him recommitted as the charges were false,
People, 7 SCRA 156, the doctrine laid down in in fact, half of them were already dismissed.
Borrioquinto vs. Fernandez, 82 Phil. 642 has Resolve the petition with reasons. (4%)
been overturned. Amnesty presupposes the SUGGESTED ANSWER:
commission of a crime. It is inconsistent for The petition should not be given due course.
someone to seek for forgiveness for a crime The grant of pardon and the determination of
which he denies having committed. (People vs. the terms and conditions of a conditional
Pasilan, 14 SCRA 694). pardon are PURELY EXECUTIVE ACTS which
are not subject to judicial scrutiny. The
Pardoning Power; Amnesty (1995) acceptance thereof by the convict or prisoner
No. 5: Lucas, a ranking member of the NDF, carried with it the authority or power of the
was captured by policemen while about to Executive to determine whether a condition or
board a passenger bus bound for Sorsogon. conditions of the pardon has or have been
Charged with rebellion he pleaded not guilty violated. Where the President opts to revoke
when arraigned. Before trial he was granted the conditional pardon given, no judicial
absolute pardon by the President to allow him pronouncement of guilt of a subsequent crime
to participate in the peace talks between the is necessary, much less conviction therefor by
government and the communist rebels. final judgment of a court, in order that a convict
may be recommended for the violation of his
3. Instead of a pardon, may the President grant conditional pardon. The determination of the
the accused amnesty if favorably recommended occurrence of a breach of a condition of a
by the National Amnesty Commission? Explain. pardon, and the proper consequences of such
breach, is a purely executive act, not subject to
4. May the accused avail of the benefits of judicial scrutiny. (Torres v. Gonzales, G.R. No.
amnesty despite the fact the he continued to 76872, July 23, 1987)
profess innocence? Explain.
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Pardoning Power; Exec Clemency; Pardon
3. The President may grant the accused (1995)
amnesty. According to Barrioquinto vs. No. 5: Lucas, a ranking member of the NDF,
Fernandez, 82 Phil. 642, Amnesty may be was captured by policemen while about to
granted before or after the institution of the board a passenger bus bound for Sorsogon.
criminal prosecution. Charged with rebellion he pleaded not guilty
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 95
when arraigned. Before trial he was granted in criminal cases, it would have been
absolute pardon by the President to allow him unnecessary to exclude impeachment cases
to participate in the peace talks between the from this scope. If the President can grant
government and the communist rebels. pardons in criminal cases, with more reason he
(1) Is the pardon of the President valid? can grant executive clemency in administrative
Explain. cases, which are less serious.
(2) Assuming that the pardon is valid, can
Lucas reject it? Explain. Pardoning Power; Executive Clemency
SUGGESTED ANSWER: (1999)
1. The pardon is not valid. Under Section 19, A. What are the constitutional limitations on the
Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, pardon may pardoning power of the President? (2%)
be granted only after conviction by final
Judgment. B. Distinguish between pardon and amnesty.
2. Yes, Lucas can reject the pardon As held in (2%)
United States vs. Wilson, 7 Pet. 150 and SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Burdick vs. United States, 274 U.S. 480. A. The following are the limitations on the
acceptance is essential to complete the pardon pardoning power of the President.
and the pardon may be rejected by the person 1) It cannot be granted in cases of
to whom it is tendered, for it may inflict impeachment;
consequences of greater disgrace than those 2) Reprieves, commutations, pardon, and
from which it purports to relieve. remission of fines and forfeitures can be
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: granted only after conviction by final
No, Lucas cannot reject the pardon. According judgment.
to Biddle vs. Perovich, 274 U.S. 480, 3) The favorable recommendation of the
acceptance is not necessary, for the grant of COMELEC is required for violation of
pardon involves a determination by the election laws, rules and regulations.
President that public welfare will be better
served by inflicting less than what the judgment B. According to Barrioquinto v. Fernandez, 82
fixed. Phil. 642, the following are the distinctions
between pardon and amnesty.
Pardoning Power; Executive Clemency 1. Pardon is a private act and must be
(1997) pleaded and proved by the person
No. 15; Governor A was charged pardoned; while amnesty is a public act of
administratively with oppression and was which courts take judicial notice;
placed under preventive suspension from office 2. Pardon does not require the concurrence of
during the pendency of his case. Found guilty of Congress, while amnesty requires the
the charge, the President suspended him from concurrence of Congress;
office for ninety days. Later, the President 3. Pardon is granted to individuals, while
granted him clemency by reducing the period of amnesty is granted to classes of persons or
his suspension to the period he has already communities;
served. The Vice Governor questioned the 4. Pardon may be granted for any offense,
validity of the exercise of executive clemency while amnesty is granted for political
on the ground that it could be granted only in offenses;
criminal, not administrative, cases. 5. Pardon is granted after final conviction,
How should the question be resolved? while amnesty may be granted at any time;
SUGGESTED ANSWER: and
The argument of the Vice Governor should be 6. Pardon looks forward and relieves the
rejected. As held in Llamas vs. Orbos, 202 offender from the consequences of his
SCRA 844. the power of executive clemency offense, while amnesty looks backward and
extends to administrative cases. In granting the the person granted it stands before the law
power of executive clemency upon the as though he had committed no offense.
President, Section 19, Article VII of the
Constitution does not distinguish between Pardoning Power; Kinds (1988)
criminal and administrative cases. Section 19, No. 24: The first paragraph of Section 19 of
Article VII of the Constitution excludes Article VII of the Constitution providing for the
impeachment cases, which are not criminal pardoning power of the President, mentions
cases, from the scope of the power of executive reprieve, commutation, and pardon. Please
clemency. If this power may be exercised only
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 96
define the three of them, and differentiate one No. 7: Can the President take active part in the
from the others. legislative process? Explain.
SUGGESTED ANSWER: SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The terms were defined and distinguished from Yes, The President can take active part in the
one another in People v. Vera, 65 Phil. 56, 111- legislative process to the extent allowed by the
112 (1930), as follows: Constitution. He can address Congress at any
(1) REPRIEVE is a postponement of the time to propose the enactment of certain laws.
execution of a sentence to a day certain, He recommends the general appropriations bill.
(2) COMMUTATION is a remission of a part of He can call a special session of Congress at
the punishment, a substitution of less any time. He can certify to the necessity of the
penalty for the one originally imposed. immediate enactment of a bill to meet a public
(3) A PARDON, on the other hand, is an act of calamity or emergency. He can veto a bill.
grace, proceeding from the power entrusted
with the execution of the laws which Presidential Immunity from Suit (1997)
exempts the individual on whom it is No. 13: Upon complaint of the incumbent
bestowed from the punishment the law President of the Republic, "A" was charged with
inflicts for a crime he has committed. libel before the Regional Trial Court. "A" moved
to dismiss the information on the ground that
Pardoning Power; Pardon, Conditional the Court had no jurisdiction over the offense
(1997) charged because the President, being immune
No. 16; A while serving imprisonment for estafa. from suit, should also be disqualified from filing
upon recommendation of the Board of Pardons a case against "A" in court.
and Parole, was granted pardon by the Resolve the motion.
President on condition that he should not again SUGGESTED ANSWER:
violate any penal law of the land. Later, the The motion should be denied according to
Board of Pardons and Parole recommended to Soliven us. Makasiar, 167 SCRA 393, the
the President the cancellation of the pardon immunity of the President from suit is personal
granted him because A had been charged with to the President. It may be invoked by the
estafa on 20 counts and was convicted of the President only and not by any other person.
offense charged although he took an appeal
therefrom which was still pending. As Prohibition Against Multiple Positions &
recommended, the President canceled the Additional Compensation (2002)
pardon he had granted to A. A was thus No VI. M is the Secretary of the Department of
arrested and imprisoned to serve the balance of Finance. He is also an ex-officio member of the
his sentence in the first case. A claimed in his Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng
petition for habeas corpus filed in court that his Pilipinas from which he receives an additional
detention was illegal because he had not yet compensation for every Board meeting
been convicted by final judgment and was not attended.
given a chance to be heard before he was
recommitted to prison. N, a taxpayer, filed a suit in court to declare
Is A's argument valid? Secretary M's membership in the Monetary
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Board and his receipt of additional
The argument of A is not valid. As held in compensation illegal and in violation of the
Torres vs. Gonzales. 152 SCRA 272 a judicial Constitution. N invoked Article VII, Section 13 of
pronouncement that a convict who was granted the Constitution which provides that the
a pardon subject to the condition that he should President, Vice-President, the Members of the
not again violate any penal law is not necessary Cabinet, and their deputies or assistants shall
before he can be declared to have violated the not, unless otherwise provided in the
condition of his pardon. Moreover, a hearing is Constitution, hold any other office or
not necessary before A can be recommitted to employment during their tenure. N also cited
prison. By accepting the conditional pardon, A, Article IX-B, Section 8 of the Constitution, which
agreed that the determination by the President provides that no elective or appointive public
that he violated the condition of his pardon shall officer or employee shall receive additional,
be conclusive upon him and an order for his double, or indirect compensation, unless
arrest should at once issue. specifically authorized by law.
If you were the judge, how would you decide
President; Participation; Legislative Process the following:
(1996)
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 97
a) the issue regarding the holding of multiple as Secretary of Trade and Industry. The
positions? (3%) provision of Art, VII, Sec, 13, prohibiting
b) the issue on the payment of additional or Cabinet members from holding any other office
double compensation?(2%) or employment, is subject to the exceptions in
Explain your answers fully. Art. IX, B, Sec. 7.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(a) If I were the judge, I would uphold the b. Dean Sinco believes that members of
validity of the designation of Secretary M as ex Congress cannot be members of the Board of
officio member of the Monetary Board, As Regents of the University of the Philippines
stated in Civil Liberties Union v. Executive under the Incompatibility Clause of the 1935
Secretary, 194 SCRA 317 (1991), the Constitution which is similar to the provision of
prohibition against the holding of multiple Art. VI, Sec. 13 of the present Constitution.
positions by Cabinet Members in Article VII, Under this view, the membership of the
Section 13 of the Constitution does not apply to Chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade
positions occupied in an ex officio capacity as and Industry in the Export Control Board cannot
provided by law and as required by the primary be sustained. (Sinco, Philippine Political Law
functions of their office. 136 (llth Ed. 1962).

(b) If I were the Judge, I would rule that Moreover, since the apparent justification for
Secretary M cannot receive any additional the membership of the Chairman of the Senate
compensation. As stated in Civil Liberties Committee is to aid him in his legislative
Union v. Executive Secretary, 194 SCRA 317 functions, this purpose can easily be achieved
(1991), a Cabinet Member holding an ex-officio through legislative investigations under Art. VI,
position has no right to receive additional Sec.21.
compensation, for his services in that position
are already paid for by the compensation On the other hand, Dean Cortes appears to
attached to his principal office. suggest a contrary view, noting that after the
decision in Government of the Philippine
Prohibition against Multiple Positions by Islands v. Springer 50 Phil. 259 (1927), in
Gov’t Officials (1987) validating the law designating the Senate
No. I: Assume that a law has been passed President and Speaker as members of the
creating the Export Control Board composed of: Board of Control of government corporations,
a. The Secretary of Trade and Industry as no other decision has been rendered. On the
Chairman and as Members: contrary, laws have been enacted, making
b. The Chairman of the Senate Committee members of Congress members of various
on Trade and Industry boards.
c. An Associate Justice of the Supreme
Court designated by the Chief Justice Indeed, the membership of the Chairman of the
d. The Commissioner of Customs, and Senate Committee on Trade and Industry may
e. The President of the Philippine Chamber be upheld as being in aid of his legislative
of Commerce and Industry, functions since what is prohibited by Art. VI,
Sec. 13 is the acceptance of an incompatible
The National Constitutional Association of the office or employment in the government.
Philippines has filed suit to challenge the (Cortes, Philippine Presidency, pp. 111-
constitutionality of the law. 112(1966))

Determine whether the membership of each of (c) The designation of an Associate Justice of
the above in the Board can be upheld. Cite the Supreme Court cannot be sustained being
relevant constitutional provisions. the imposition on the members of the Court, of
SUGGESTED ANSWER: non-judicial duties, contrary to the principle of
a. The chairmanship of the Secretary of Trade separation of powers. It is judicial power and
and Industry in the Board can be upheld on the judicial power only which the Supreme Court
basis of Art. IX, B, Sec. 7, which allows and its members may exercise. (Art VIII. Sec. 1;
appointive officials to hold other offices if Manila Electric Co. v. Pasay Trans. Co., 57
allowed by law (such as the law in this case Phil. 600 (1932))
creating the Export Control Board) or justified
by the primary functions of their offices. The (d) The Commissioner of Customs may be
functions of the Board is related to his functions made member of the Board for the same
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 98
reason in the case of the Secretary of Trade (4) Cases heard by a division when the
and Industry, under Art. IX, B, Sec. 7. required majority is not obtained;
(5) Cases where a doctrine or principle of
(e) The membership of the President of the
law previously laid down will be
Philippine Chamber of Commerce may also be
modified or reversed;
upheld on the ground that Congress has the
power to prescribe qualifications for the office. (6) Administrative cases against judges
when the penalty is dismissal; and
Suspension of Writ of Habeas Corpus (1997)
(7) Election contests for President or Vice-
(a) When may the privilege of the writ of
President.
habeas corpus be suspended?
(b) If validly declared, what would be the full
consequences of such suspension? Contempt Powers (1996)
SUGGESTED ANSWER: No. 3: 2) On the first day of the trial of a rape-
(a) Under Section 16, Article VII of the murder case where the victim was a popular TV
Constitution, the privilege of the writ of habeas star, over a hundred of her fans rallied at the
corpus may be suspended when there is an entrance of the courthouse, each carrying a
invasion or rebellion and public safety requires placard demanding the conviction of the
it. accused and the imposition of the death penalty
(b) According to Section 18, Article VII of the on him. The rally was peaceful and did not
Constitution, the suspension of the privilege of disturb the proceedings of the case.
the writ of habeas corpus shall apply only to a) Can the trial court order the dispersal of the
persons judicially charged with rebellion or rallyists under pain of being punished for
offenses Inherent to or directly connected with contempt of court, if they fail to do so? Explain.
invasion. Any person arrested or detained b) If instead of a rally, the fans of the victim
should be judicially charged within three days. wrote letters to the newspaper editors
Otherwise, he should be released. Moreover, demanding the conviction of the accused, can
under Section 13. Article III of the Constitution, the trial court punish them for contempt?
the right to bail shall not be impaired even when Explain.
the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is SUGGESTED ANSWER:
suspended. 2. a) Yes, the trial court can order the dispersal
of the rally under pain of being cited for
contempt. The purpose of the rally is to attempt
ARTICLE VIII Judicial to influence the administration of Justice. As
stated in People vs. Flores, 239 SCRA 83, any
Department conduct by any party which tends to directly or
indirectly Impede, obstruct or degrade the
Cases to be Heard En Banc; Supreme Court administration of justice is subject to the
(1999) contempt powers of the court.
No XI - Enumerate the cases required by the
Constitution to be heard en banc by the b) No, the trial court cannot punish for contempt
Supreme Court? (2%) the fans of the victim who wrote letters to the
SUGGESTED ANSWER: newspaper editors asking for the conviction of
The following are the cases required by the the accused. Since the letters were not
Constitution to be heard en banc by the addressed to the Judge and the publication of
Supreme Court: the letters occurred outside the court, the fans
cannot be punished in the absence of a clear
(1) Cases involving the constitutionality of a
and present danger to the administration of
treaty, international or executive
Justice. In Cabansag vs. Fernandez, 102 Phil
agreement, or law;
152, it was held that a party who wrote to the
(2) Cases which under the Rules of Court Presidential Complaints and Action Committee
are required to be heard en banc. to complain about the delay in the disposition of
his case could not be punished for contempt in
(3) Cases involving the constitutionality,
the absence of a clear and present danger to
application, or operation of presidential
the fair administration of Justice.
decrees, proclamations, orders,
instructions, ordinances, and other
Finality of Void Judgments (1993)
regulations;

BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 99


No. 8; The ABC Realty, Inc, filed a complaint plans of the government and allocate and
against Rico for the collection of unpaid disburse such sums as may be provided by law
installments on a subdivision lot purchased by or prescribed by it in the course of the
the latter, Rico failed to file an answer, was discharge of its functions.
declared in default; and after reception of
plaintiffs evidence ex parte, judgment was Function; Continuing Constitutional
rendered against him. The decision became Convention (2000)
final, and upon motion by ABC Realty, the No I. -- One Senator remarked that the
judge issued a writ of execution. Supreme Court is a continuing Constitutional
Convention. Do you agree? Explain. (2%)
Rico now files a motion to quash the writ and to SUGGESTED ANSWER:
vacate the Judgment contending that it is the I do not agree that the Supreme Court is a
Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board continuing Constitutional Convention. The
(HLURB) which is vested with original and criticism is based on the assumption that in
exclusive Jurisdiction over cases involving the exercising its power of judicial review the
real estate business. Rico prays for the Supreme Court Is not merely interpreting the
dismissal of the complaint and for the nullity of Constitution but is trying to remake the
the decision. The realty firm opposes the Government on the basis of the personal
motion arguing that under BP 129, RTCs have predilections of the Members of the Supreme
exclusive and original jurisdiction over cases in Court, this is a power that properly belongs to
which the amount of controversy exceeds the people and their elected representatives.
P20,000.00. Answer the following queries:
1) Who has jurisdiction over the collection suit? The Supreme Court cannot decide cases
2) The RTC decision, having become final and merely on the basis of the letter of the
executory, can it still be vacated? Constitution. It has to interpret the Constitution
SUGGESTED ANSWER: to give effect to the intent of its framers and of
1} The HLURB the people adopting it. In Interpreting the
2) Yes, the decision of the Regional Trial Court Constitution, the Supreme Court has to adopt it
can still be vacated, even if it has become final to the ever-changing circumstances of society.
and executory. Since the Regional Trial Court When the Supreme Court strikes down an act
had no jurisdiction over the case, the decision is of the Legislative or the Executive Department,
void. it is merely discharging its duty under the
Constitution to determine conflicting claims of
Fiscal Autonomy (1999) authority.
No XI - What do you understand by the ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
mandate of the Constitution that the judiciary To a certain extent, the Supreme Court is a
shall enjoy fiscal autonomy? Cite the continuing Constitutional Convention. When a
constitutional provisions calculated to bring case is brought in court involving a
about the realization of the said constitutional constitutional issue. It becomes necessary to
mandate. (2%) interpret the Constitution, Since the Supreme
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Court is supreme within its own sphere, its
Under Section 3, Article VIII of the Constitution, interpretation of the Constitution will form part of
the fiscal autonomy of the Judiciary means that the law of the land.
appropriations for the Judiciary may not be
reduced by the legislature below the amount Issuance of Restraining Orders and
appropriated for the previous year and, after Injunctions (1992)
approval, shall be automatically and regularly No. 7: Congress is considering new measures
released. to encourage foreign corporations to bring their
investments to the Philippines. Congress has
In Bengzon v. Drilon, 208 SCRA 133, the found that foreign investments are deterred by
Supreme Court explained that fiscal autonomy the uncertain investment climate in the
contemplates a guarantee of full flexibility to Philippines. One source of such uncertainty is
allocate and utilize resources with the wisdom the heightened judicial intervention in
and dispatch that the needs require. It investment matters.
recognizes the power and authority to deny,
assess and collect fees, fix rates of One such measure provides that "no court or
compensation not exceeding the highest rates administrative agency shall issue any
authorized by law for compensation and pay restraining order or injunction against the
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 100
Central Bank" in the Bank's exercise of its 2. The Secretary of Justice as ex officio
regulatory power over specific foreign exchange member;
transactions. 3. A representative of Congress as ex officio
member;
Would this be a valid measure? Explain. 4. A representative of the Integrated Bar;
SUGGESTED ANSWER: 5. A professor of law;
Yes, the measure is valid. In Mantruste 6. A retired Justice of the Supreme Court; and
Systems, Inc. vs. Court of Appeals, 179 SCRA 7. A representative of the private sector.
136, the Supreme Court held that a law (Section 8 (1), Article VIII of the
prohibiting the issuance of an injunction is valid, Constitution)
because under Section 2, Article VIII of the The term of office of the regular members is
Constitution, the jurisdiction of the courts may four (4) years. (Section 8(2), Article VIII of the
be defined by law. Constitution)
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
Since under Sections 1 and 5(2), Article VIII of Judicial Department; Writ of Amparo (1991)
the Constitution, the courts are given the power No 1: What is a Constitutional writ of Amparo
of Judicial review, the measure is void, Such and what is the basis for such a remedy under
power must be preserved. The issuance of the Constitution?
restraining orders and Injunctions is in aid of the SUGGESTED ANSWER:
power of judicial review. The writ of Amparo in Mexican law is an
extraordinary remedy whereby an interested
Judicial & Bar Council (1988) party may seek the invalidation of any
No. 11: A novel feature of the present executive, legislative or judicial act deemed in
Constitution is the Judicial and Bar Council. violation of a fundamental right. The adoption of
Please state: such a remedy in the Philippines may be based
1. Its principal function; on Article VIII, Sec. 5(5) of the Constitution,
2. Its composition; and which empowers the Supreme Court to
3. Who supervises it, and takes care of its promulgate rules concerning the protection and
appropriations? enforcement of constitutional rights.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
1. The Judicial and Bar Council has the Judicial Independence; Safeguard (2000)
principal function of recommending appointees No I. Name at least three constitutional
to the Judiciary. It may exercise such other safeguards to maintain judicial independence.
functions and duties as the Supreme Court may (3%)
assign to it. (Art. VIII, sec. 8(5)). SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The following are the constitutional safeguards
2. The JBC is composed of the Chief Justice to maintain judicial independence:
as ex officio Chairman, the Secretary of Justice
(1) The Supreme Court is a constitutional
and a representative of the Congress as ex
body and cannot be abolished by mere
officio Members, a representative of the
legislation.
Integrated Bar, a professor of law, a retired
Member of the Supreme Court, and a (2) The members of the Supreme Court
representative of the private sector. (Art. VIII, cannot be removed except by
sec. 8(1)). impeachment.
(3) The Supreme Court cannot be deprived
3, The Supreme Court supervises the JBC and
of its minimum jurisdiction prescribed in
provides in the annual budget of the Court the
Section 5, Article X of the Constitution.
appropriations of the JBC. (Art. VIII, sec. 8(4)).
(4) The appellate jurisdiction of the
Judicial & Bar Council (1999) Supreme Court cannot be increased by
No XI - What is the composition of the Judicial law without its advice and concurrence.
and Bar Council and the term of office of its
(5) Appointees to the Judiciary are
regular members? (2%)
nominated by the Judicial and Bar
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Council and are not subject to
The Judicial and Bar Council is composed of
confirmation by the Commission on
the following:
Appointments.
1. The Chief Justice as ex officio chairman;

BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 101


(6) The Supreme Court has administrative Senator de Leon took the floor of the Senate to
supervision over all lower courts and speak on a "matter of personal privilege" to
their personnel. vindicate his honor against those "baseless and
malicious" allegations. The matter was referred
(7) The Supreme Court has exclusive
to the Committee on Accountability of Public
power to discipline Judges of lower
Officers, which proceeded to conduct a
courts.
legislative inquiry. The Committee asked Mr.
(8) The Members of the Judiciary have Vince Ledesma, a businessman linked to the
security of tenure, which cannot be transaction and now a respondent before the
undermined by a law reorganizing the Sandiganbayan, to appear and to testify before
Judiciary. the Committee.
(9) Members of the Judiciary cannot be
Mr Ledesma refuses to appear and file suit
designated to any agency performing
before the Supreme Court to challenge the
quasi-Judicial or administrative
legality of the proceedings before the
functions.
Committee. He also asks whether the
(10) The salaries of Members of the Committee had the power to require him to
Judiciary cannot be decreased during testify.
their continuance in office. Identify the issues Involved and resolve them.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(11) The Judiciary has fiscal autonomy.
The issues involved in this case are the
(12) The Supreme Court has exclusive following:
power to promulgate rules of pleading, 1. Whether or not the Supreme Court has
practice and procedure. jurisdiction to entertain the case;
2. Whether or not the Committee on
(13) Only the Supreme Court can
Accountability of Public Officers has the
temporarily assign judges to other
power to investigate a matter which is
stations.
involved in a case pending in court; and
(14) It is the Supreme Court who appoints all 3. Whether or not the petitioner can invoke
officials and employees of the Judiciary. his right against self-incrimination.
(Cruz, Philippine Political Law, 1995 ed.
(pp. 229-31.) All these Issues were resolved in the case of
Bengzon vs. Senate Blue Ribbon Committee,
203 SCRA 767.
Judicial Power (1989)
No. 10: Where is judicial power vested? What The Supreme Court has jurisdiction over the
are included in such power? case, because it involves the question of
SUGGESTED ANSWER: whether or not the Committee on Accountability
According to Section 1, Article VIII of the 1987 of Public Officers has the power to conduct the
Constitution, judicial power is vested in one investigation. Under Section 1, Article VIII of the
Supreme Court and in such lower courts as Constitution, judicial power includes the duty of
may be established by law. It includes the duty the courts to determine whether or not any
of the courts of justice to settle actual branch of the government is acting with grave
controversies involving rights which are legally of abuse of discretion amounting to lack of
demandable and enforceable, and to determine jurisdiction.
whether or not there has been a grave abuse of The Committee on Accountability of Public
discretion amounting to lack or excess of Officers has no power to investigate the
jurisdiction on the part of any branch or scandal. Since the scandal is involved in a case
instrumentality of the Government. pending in court, the investigation will encroach
upon the exclusive domain of the court. To
Judicial Power (1992) allow the investigation will create the possibility
No. 8: A case was filed before the of conflicting judgments between the committee
Sandiganbayan regarding a questionable and the court. If the decision of the committee
government transaction. In the course of the were reached before that of the court, it might
proceedings, newspapers linked the name of influence the judgment of the court.
Senator J. de Leon to the scandal.
The petitioner can invoke his right against self-
incrimination, ...
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 102
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on
Judicial Power (1998) the part of any branch or instrumentality of the
IV. Andres Ang was born of a Chinese father Government. As held in Marcos us. Manglapus,
and a Filipino mother in Sorsogon, Sorsogon. 177 SCRA 668. this provision limits resort to the
on January 20, 1973. In 1988. his father was political question doctrine and broadens the
naturalizedas a Filipino citizen. On May scope of juridical inquiry into areas which the
11,1998. Andres Ang was elected courts under the 1935 and the 1973
Representative of the First District of Sorsogon. Constitutions would normally have left to the
Juan Bonto who received the second highest political departments to decide.
number of votes, filed a petition for Quo ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
Warranto against Ang. The petition was filed Under the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions, there
with the House of Representative Electoral was no provision defining the scope of judicial
Tribunal (HRET). Bonto contends that Ang is power as vested in the judiciary. While these
not a natural born citizen of the Philippines and Constitutions, both provided for vesture of
therefore is disqualified to be a member of the judicial power "in one Supreme Court and in
House. such inferior courts as may be established by
law," they were silent as to the scope of such
The HRET ruled in favor of Ang. Bonto filed a power.
petition for certiorari in the Supreme Court. The
following issues are raised: The 1987 Constitution, on the other hand, re-
1. Whether the case is justiciable considering wrote the provisions on the vesture of judicial
that Article VI. Section 17 of the power originally appearing in the 1935 and
Constitution declares the HRET to be the 1973 Constitutions, as follows:
"sole Judge" of all contests relating to the "The judicial power shall be vested in one
election returns and disqualifications of Supreme Court and in such lower courts as
members of the House of may be established by law.
Representatives. [5%]
2. Whether Ang is a natural bom citizen of "Judicial power includes the duty of the
the Philippines. |5%] courts of justice to settle actual controversies
How should this case be decided? Involving rights which are legally demandable
SUGGESTED ANSWER: and enforceable, and to determine whether
1. The case is justiciable. As stated In or not there has been a grave abuse of
Lazatin vs. House Electoral Tribunal 168 SCRA discretion amounting to lack or excess of
391, 404, since judicial power includes the duty Jurisdiction on the part of any branch or
to determine whether or not there has been a instrumentality of the Government." (Sec. 1.
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or Art. VIII)
excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch
or instrumentality of the Government, the The second paragraph of the cited provision
Supreme Court has the power to review the was not found in the 1935 and 1973
decisions of the House of Representatives Constitution, it contains a new definition of
Electoral Tribunal in case of grave Abuse of judicial power particularly the scope thereof.
discretion on its part. The first portion thereof represents the
2. Andres Ang should be considered a natural traditional concept of Judicial power, involving
born citizen of the Philippines. .... the settlement of conflicting rights as by law,
which presumably was implicit in the 1935 and
Judicial Power; Scope (1994) 1973 Constitutions. The second (latter) portion
No. 2: 1} What is the difference, if any. between of the definition represents a broadening of the
the scope of Judicial power under the 1987 scope of judicial power or, in the language of
Constitution on one hand, and the 1935 and the Supreme Court, conferment of "expanded
1973 Constitutions on the other? Jurisdiction" on the Judiciary (Daza v. Singson,
SUGGESTED ANSWER: 180 SCRA 496) to enable the courts to review
The scope of judicial power under the 1987 the exercise of discretion by the political
Constitution is broader than its scope under the departments of government. This new
1935 and 1973 Constitution because of the prerogative of the judiciary as now recognized
second paragraph of Section 1, Article VIII of under the 1987 Constitution was not
the 1987 Constitution, which states that it constitutionally permissible under the 1935 and
includes the duty to determine whether or not 1973 Charters.
there has been a grave abuse of discretion
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 103
Judicial Review; Locus Standi (1992) the power plant, because no public funds will be
No. 6: The Philippine Environmentalists' spent for its operation. As held in Gonzales vs.
Organization for Nature, a duly recognized non- Marcos, 65 SCRA 624, a taxpayer has no
governmental organization, intends to file suit to standing to file a case if no expenditure of
enjoin the Philippine Government from public funds is involved.
allocating funds to operate a power plant at
Mount Tuba In a southern island. They claim Since no member or officer of the Philippine
that there was no consultation with the Environmentalists' Organization belongs to the
Indigenous cultural community which will be affected indigenous community, none of the
displaced from ancestral lands essential to their rights of the Philippine Environmentalists'
livelihood and indispensable to their religious Organization and of its officers and members
practices. are affected. In accordance with the ruling in
a. The organization is based in Makati. All its National Economic Protectionism Association
officers live and work in Makati. Not one of its vs. Ongpin, 171 SCRA 657, the organization
officers or members belong to the affected has no standing to file the case.
indigenous cultural community. Do they have
the standing in this dispute? Explain. Judicial Review; Requisites (1994)
No. 2: 2) Assume that the constitutional
b. Would your answer be different if the question raised in a petition before the
Philippine Power Corporation, a private Supreme Court is the Iis mota of the case, give
company, were to operate the plant? Explain. at least two other requirements before the Court
SUGGESTED ANSWER: will exercise its power of judicial review?
a) Under Section 5, Article XII of the SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Constitution, the State should protect the rights 2) According to Macasiano vs. National
of cultural Indigenous communities to their Housing Authority, 224 SCRA 236, in addition
ancestral lands to ensure their well-being. to the requirement that the constitutional
Under Section 17, Article XIV of the question raised be the lis mota of the case, the
Constitution, the State should protect the rights following requisites must be present for the
of indigenous cultural communities to preserve exercise of the power of judicial review:
and develop this cultures, traditions, and
1. There must be an actual case or
institutions and should consider these rights in
controversy involving a conflict of legal
the formulation of national plans and policies.
rights susceptible of Judicial determination;
The government violated these provisions,
because it decided to operate the power plant 2. The constitutional question must be raised
without consulting the indigenous cultural by the proper party; and
community and the operation of the power plant
3. The constitutional question must be raised
will result in its displacement.
at the earliest opportunity.

If the projected lawsuit will be based on Jurisdiction of HLURB (1993)


violation of the rights of the indigenous cultural No. 8; The ABC Realty, Inc, filed a complaint
communities, the Philippine Environmentalists against Rico for the collection of unpaid
Organization will have no standing to file the installments on a subdivision lot purchased by
case. None of its officers and members belong the latter, Rico failed to file an answer, was
to the indigenous cultural community. None of declared in default; and after reception of
their rights are affected. plaintiffs evidence ex parte, judgment was
rendered against him. The decision became
If the lawsuit will seek to enjoin the use of public final, and upon motion by ABC Realty, the
funds to operate the power plant, the Philippine judge issued a writ of execution.
Environmentalists' Organization can file a
taxpayer's suit. As held in Maceda us. Rico now files a motion to quash the writ and to
Macaraig, 197 SCRA 771, a taxpayer has vacate the Judgment contending that it is the
standing to question the illegal expenditure of Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board
public funds. (HLURB) which is vested with original and
exclusive Jurisdiction over cases involving the
b) The Philippine Environmentalists real estate business. Rico prays for the
Organization will have no standing to file the dismissal of the complaint and for the nullity of
case if it is a private company that will operate the decision. The realty firm opposes the
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 104
motion arguing that under BP 129, RTCs have within three months (Art. X, Sec. 11). In
exclusive and original jurisdiction over cases in Marcelino vs. Cruz, 121 SCRA 51 (1983) it was
which the amount of controversy exceeds held that the periods prescribed are only
P20,000.00. Answer the following queries: directory, not mandatory.
(1) Who has jurisdiction over the collection
suit? Political Question (1995)
(2) The RTC decision, having become final and No. 13: Judicial power as defined in Sec. 1, 2nd
executory, can it still be vacated? par., Art. VIII, 1987 Constitution, now "includes
SUGGESTED ANSWER: the duty of the Courts of Justice to settle actual
1} As held in Estate Developers and Investors controversies involving rights which are legally
Corporation vs. Court of Appeals, 213 SCRA demandable and enforceable, and to determine
353, pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 1344, whether or not there has been a grave abuse of
it is the Housing and Land Use Regulatory discretion amounting to lack of excess of
Board which has jurisdiction over the claim of a jurisdiction on the part of any branch or
developer against a buyer for the payment of instrumentality of the Government. "This
the balance of the purchase price of a lot. The definition is said to have expanded the power of
jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court over the judiciary to include political questions
cases in which the amount of controversy formerly beyond its jurisdiction.
exceeds P20,000.00 exists only in all cases (1) Do you agree with such as interpretation of
where the case does not otherwise fall within the constitutional definition of judicial power
the exclusive jurisdiction of any other court, that would authorize the courts to review
tribunal, person or body exercising Judicial or and, if warranted, reverse the exercise of
quasi-judicial functions, discretion by the political departments
(executive and legislative) of the
2) Yes, because it is void.... government, including the Constitutional
Commissions? Discuss fully,
Mandatory Period For Deciding Cases (1989) (2) In your opinion, how should such definition
No. 10: (2) Despite the lapse of 4 months from be construed so as not to erode
the time that the trial was terminated and the considerably or disregard entirely the
case submitted for decision, the trial court failed existing "political question" doctrine?
to decide the case. The defense counsel moved Discuss fully.
to dismiss the case on the ground that after the SUGGESTED ANSWER:
lapse of 90 days, the court had lost jurisdiction 1. Yes, the second paragraph of Section 1,
to decide the case. Should the motion be Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution has
granted? expanded the power of the Judiciary to include
SUGGESTED ANSWER: political questions. This was not found in the
No, the motion should not be granted. Section 1935 and the 1973 Constitution, Precisely, the
15 (4), Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution framers of the 1987 constitution intended to
provides: widen the scope of judicial review.
"Despite the expiration of the applicable
mandatory period, the court, without prejudice 2. As pointed out in Marcos vs. Manglapus, 177
to such responsibility as may have been SCRA 668, so as not to disregard entirely the
incurred in consequence thereof, shall decide political question doctrine, the extent of judicial
or resolve the case or matter submitted review when political questions are involved
thereto for determination, without further should be limited to a determination of whether
delay." or not there has been a grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of
Thus, the failure of the trial court to decide the jurisdiction on the part of the official whose act
case within ninety days did not oust it of is being questioned. If grave abuse of discretion
jurisdiction to decide the case. is not shown, the courts should not substitute
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: their judgment for that of the official concerned
The 1973 Constitution provided for certain and decide a matter which by its nature or by
consequences on the decisions of courts in law is for the latter alone to decide.
case of the failure of the Supreme Court and
other inferior collegiate courts to decide cases Political Question Doctrine (1997)
within prescribed periods. But it did not provide No. 5; To what extent, if at all, has the 1987
for consequences on the decisions of trial Constitution affected the "political question
courts as a result of their failure to decide cases doctrine"?
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 105
SUGGESTED ANSWER: The assault of a fellow Senator constitutes
Section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution has disorderly behavior.
expanded the scope of judicial power by
including the duty of the courts of Justice to Political Question; To Settle Actual
settle actual controversies involving rights Controversies (2004)
which are legally demandable and enforceable, (a) The 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions
and to determine whether or not there has been commonly provide that "Judicial power shall be
a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower
or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any courts as may be established by law."
branch or instrumentality of the Government. In
Marcos vs. Manglapus, 177 SCRA 668, the What is the effect of the addition in the 1987
Supreme Court stated that because of this Constitution of the following provision: "Judicial
courts of justice may decide political questions power includes the duty of the courts of justice
if there was grave abuse of discretion to settle actual controversies involving rights
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on which are legally demandable and enforceable,
the part of the official whose action is being and to determine whether or not there has been
questioned. grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch
Political Question: Separation of Powers or instrumentality of the government"? Discuss
(2004) briefly, citing at least one illustrative case. (5%)
(b) SDO was elected Congressman. Before SUGGESTED ANSWER:
the end of his first year in office, he inflicted The effect of the second paragraph of Section
physical injuries on a colleague, ET, in the 1, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution is to limit
course of a heated debate. Charges were filed resort to the political question doctrine and to
in court against him as well as in the House broaden the scope of judicial inquiry into areas
Ethics Committee. Later, the House of which the Judiciary, under the previous
Representatives, dividing along party lines, Constitutions, would have left to the political
voted to expel him. Claiming that his expulsion departments to decide. If a political question is
was railroaded and tainted by bribery, he filed a involved, the Judiciary can determine whether
petition seeking a declaration by the Supreme or not the official whose action is being
Court that the House gravely abused its questioned acted with grave abuse of discretion
discretion and violated the Constitution. He amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction
prayed that his expulsion be annulled and that (Marcos v. Manglapus, 177 SCRA 668 [1989]);
he should be restored by the Speaker to his (Daza v. Singson, 180 SCRA 496 [1989]).
position as Congressman. Is SDO's petition Thus, although the House of Representatives
before the Supreme Court justiciable? Cite Electoral Tribunal has exclusive jurisdiction to
pertinent issues for consideration. (5%) decide election contests involving members of
the House of Representatives, the Supreme
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Court nullified the removal of one of its
While under Section 1, Article VIII of the 1987 members for voting in favor of the protestant,
Constitution the Supreme Court may inquire who belonged to a different party. (Bondoc v.
whether or not the decision to expel SDO is Pineda, 201 SCRA 792 [1991]).
tainted with grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, the Political Questions (1988)
petition should be dismissed. In Alejandrino v. No. 23: In accordance with the opinion of the
Quezon (46 Phil. 83 [1924]), the Supreme Court Secretary of Justice, and believing that it would
held that it could not compel the Senate to be good for the country, the President enters
reinstate a Senator who assaulted another into an agreement with the Americans for an
Senator and was suspended for disorderly extension for another five (5) years of their stay
behavior, because it could not compel a at their military bases in the Philippines, in
separate and co-equal department to take any consideration of:
particular action. In Osmeña v. Pendatun (109 (1) A yearly rental of one billion U.S. dollars,
Phil. 863 [1960]), it was held that the Supreme payable to the Philippine government in
Court could not interfere with the suspension of advance;
a Congressman for disorderly behavior, (2) An undertaking on the part of the American
because the House of Representatives is the government to implement immediately the
judge of what constitutes disorderly behavior. mini-Marshall plan for the country involving

BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 106


ten billion U.S. dollars in aids and No. 11: How may the following be removed
concessional loans; and from office:
(3) An undertaking to help persuade American 1) Senators & Congressmen
banks to condone interests and other 2) Judges of lower courts
charges on the country's out-standing 3) Officers and employees in the Civil Service
loans. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
1) As to Sen & Cong, Art. III, section 16(3), of
In return, the President agreed to allow the Constitution, ...
American nuclear vessels to stay for short visits 2) Under Art. VIII, sec. 11 of the Constitution,
at Subic, and in case of vital military need, to Judges of lower courts may be removed by
store nuclear weapons at Subic and at Clark dismissal by the Supreme by a vote of a
Field. A vital military need comes, under the majority of the Members who actually took part
agreement, when the sealanes from the in the deliberation on the issues in the case and
Persian Gulf to the Pacific, are threatened by voted thereon.
hostile military forces. 3) As to Civ Service Empl, Art. IX-B. Sec. 2(3)
of the Constitution, ...
The Nuclear Free Philippine Coalition comes to
you for advice on how they could legally Review Executive Acts (1996)
prevent the same agreement entered into by No. 10: 1) X, a clerk of court of the Regional
the President with the US government from Trial Court of Manila, was found guilty of being
going into effect. What would you advise them absent without official leave for 90 days and
to do? Give your reasons. considered dismissed from service by the
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Supreme Court. He appealed to the President
If the Agreement is not in the form of a treaty, it for executive clemency. Acting on the appeal,
is not likely to be submitted to the Senate for the Executive Secretary, by order of the
ratification as required in Art. VII, sec. 21. It President commuted the penalty to a
may not, therefore, be opposed in that branch suspension of six months.
of the government. Nor is judicial review a) Can the Supreme Court review the
feasible at this stage because there is no correctness of the action of the President in
justiciable controversy. While Art. VIII, sec. 1, commuting the penalty imposed on X?
par. 2 states that judicial power includes the Explain.
duty of court of justice to "determine whether or b) Was the action of the President
not there has been a grave abuse of discretion constitutional and valid? Explain.
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on SUGGESTED ANSWER:
the part of any branch or instrumentality of the 1. a) Yes, the Supreme Court can review the
government," it is clear that this provision does correctness of the action of the President In
not do away with the political question doctrine. commuting the penalty imposed on X. By doing
It was inserted in the Constitution to prevent so, the Supreme Court is not deciding a political
courts from making use of the doctrine to avoid question. The Supreme Court is not reviewing
what otherwise are justiciable controversies, the wisdom of the commutation of the penalty.
albeit involving the Executive Branch of the What it is deciding is whether or not the
government during the martial law period. On President has the power to commute the
the other hand, at this stage, no justiciable penalty of X, As stated in Daza vs. Singson.
controversy can be framed to justify judicial 180 SCRA 496, it is within the scope of Judicial
review, I would, therefore, advice the Nuclear power to pass upon the validity of the actions of
Free Philippine Coalition to resort to the media the other departments of the Government.
to launch a campaign against the Agreement.
b) The commutation by the President of the
Pro Hac Vice Cases (1999) penalty imposed by the Supreme Court upon X
No XI What does if mean when a Supreme is unconstitutional. Section 6. Article VIII of the
Court Justice concurs in a decision pro hac Constitution vests the Supreme Court with the
vice? (2%) power of administrative supervision over all
SUGGESTED ANSWER: courts and their personnel. In Garcia vs. De la
When a decision is pro hac vice, it means the Pena, 229 SCRA 766, it was held that no other
ruling will apply to this particular case only. branch of the Government may intrude into this
exclusive power of the Supreme Court.
Removal of Lower Court Judges (1993)

BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 107


Supervision; Courts & its Personnel (Q5- 1. No, the court cannot take cognizance of the
2005) case. As held in Joya vs. Presidential
(2) Pedro Masipag filed with the Ombudsman a Commission on Good Government, 225 SCRA
complaint against RTC Judge Jose 569, since the petitioners were not the legal
Palacpac with violation of Article 204 of the owners of paintings and antique silverware,
Revised Penal Code for knowingly they had no standing to question their
rendering an unjust judgment in Criminal disposition. Besides, the paintings and the
Case No. 617. Judge Palacpac filed a antique silverware did not constitute important
motion with the Ombudsman to refer the cultural properties or national cultural treasures,
complaint to the Supreme Court to as they had no exceptional historical and
determine whether an administrative aspect cultural significance to the Philippines.
was involved in the said case. The
Ombudsman denied the motion on the 2. According to Joya us. Presidential
ground that no administrative case against Commission on Good Government, 225 SCRA
Judge Palacpac relative to the decision in 568. for a taxpayer's suit to prosper, four
Criminal Case No. 617 was filed and requisites must be considered:
pending in his office. (1) the question must be raised by the proper
State with reasons whether the party;
Ombudsman's ruling is correct. (4%) (2) there must be an actual controversy;
(3) the question must be raised at the earliest
SUGGESTED ANSWER: possible opportunity; and
The Ombudsman's ruling is not correct. Under (4) the decision on the constitutional or legal
Section 6, Article VIII of the Constitution, it is question must be necessary to the
the Supreme Court which is vested with determination of the case.
exclusive administrative supervision over all
courts and its personnel. Prescinding from this In order that a taxpayer may have standing to
premise, the Ombudsman cannot determine for challenge the legality of an official act of the
itself and by itself whether a criminal complaint government, the act being questioned must
against a judge, or court employee, involves an involve a disbursement of public funds upon the
administrative matter. The Ombudsman is duty theory that the expenditure of public funds for
bound to have all cases against judges and an unconstitutional act is a misapplication of
court personnel filed before it, referred to the such funds, which may be enjoined at the
Supreme Court for determination as to whether instance of a taxpayer.
an administrative aspect is involved therein.
(Judge Jose Caoibes v. Ombudsman, G.R. No. Term of Office; Justices (1996)
132177, July 19, 2001) No. 9: A, an associate justice of the Supreme
Taxpayer's Suit; Locus Standi (1995) Court reached the age of seventy on July 1,
No. 12: When the Marcos administration was 1996. There was a case calendared for
toppled by the revolutionary government, the deliberation on that day where the vote of A
Marcoses left behind several Old Masters' was crucial. Can A hold over the position and
paintings and antique silverware said to have participate in the deliberation of the case on
been acquired by them as personal gifts. July 1, 1996? Explain.
Negotiations were then made with Ellen Layne SUGGESTED ANSWER:
of London for their disposition and sale at public No. A cannot hold over his position as
auction. Later, the government entered into a Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and
"Consignment Agreement" allowing Ellen Layne participate in the deliberations of the case on
of London to auction off the subject art pieces. July 1, 1996. Under Section 11, Article VIII of
Upon learning of the intended sale, well-known the Constitution, Members of the Supreme
artists, patrons and guardians of the arts of the Court hold office until they reach the age of
Philippines filed a petition in court to enjoin the seventy years or become incapacitated to
sale and disposition of the valued items discharge their duties. Constitutional officers
asserting that their cultural significance must be whose terms are fixed by the Constitution have
preserved for the benefit of the Filipino people. no right to hold over their positions until their
(1) Can the court take cognizance of the successors shall have been appointed and
case? Explain. qualified unless otherwise provided in the
(2) What are the requisites for a taxpayer's suit Constitution. (Mechem, A Treaties on the Law
to prosper? of Public Offices and Officers, p. 258.)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 108
Votes required for declaring a law
unconstitutional (1996) ARTICLE IX Civil Service
No. 7: Can five members of the Supreme Court
declare a municipal ordinance unconstitutional? Commission
Explain.
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Career Service; Characteristics (1999)
Yes. five Members of the Supreme Court sitting No IX - What characterizes the career service
en-banc can declare a municipal ordinance and what are included in the career service?
unconstitutional. Under Section 4(2). Article VIII (2%)
of the Constitution, a municipal ordinance can SUGGESTED ANSWER:
be declared unconstitutional with the According to Section 7, Chapter 2, Title I, Book
concurrence of a majority of the Members of the V of the Administrative Code of 1987, the
Supreme Court who actually took part in the career service is characterized by
deliberation on the issues in the case and voted (1) Entrance based on merit and fitness to be
thereon. If only eight Members of the Supreme determined as far as practicable by
Court actually took part in deciding the case, competitive examination or based on highly
there will still be a quorum. Five Members will technical qualifications;
constitute a majority of those who actually took (2) opportunity for advancement to higher
part in deciding the case. career positions; and
(3) security of tenure.

The career service includes:


ARTICLE IX Constitutional (1) OPEN CAREER POSITIONS for
Commissions appointment to which prior qualifications in
Rotational Scheme (1999) an appropriate examination is required;
No XIII - What are the requisites for the (2) CLOSED CAREER POSITIONS which are
effective operation of the so-called "Rotational scientific or highly technical in nature;
Scheme" for Constitutional Commissions? (3) Positions in the CAREER EXECUTIVE
(2%) SERVICE;
SUGGESTED ANSWER: (4) Career officers other than those in the
As held in Republic v. Imperial, 96 Phil. 770, for career executive service, who are
the effective operation of the rotational scheme appointed by the President;
of the Constitutional Commission, the first (5) Commissioned officers and enlisted men of
Commissioner should start on a common date the Armed Forces;
and any vacancy before the expiration of the (6) Personnel of government - owned or
term should be filled only for the unexpired controlled corporations, whether performing
balance of the term. governmental or proprietary functions, who
do not fall under the non-career service;
Constitutional Commissions & Council (Q7- and
2006) (7) Permanent laborers, whether skilled,
2. The legislature may abolish this body: (5%) semiskilled, or unskilled.
a. Commission on Appointments
b. Ombudsman Civil Service Commission vs. COA (2004)
c. Judicial and Bar Council (9-a) Former Governor PP of ADS Province
d. Court of Tax Appeals had dismissed several employees to scale
e. Commission on Audit down the operations of his Office. The
employees complained to the Merit Systems
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Protection Board, which ruled that the Civil
The legislature may abolish the d) COURT OF Service rules were violated when the
TAX APPEALS since it is merely a creation of employees were dismissed. The Civil Service
law unlike the Commission on Appointments, Commission (CSC) affirmed the MSPB
Ombudsman, Judicial and Bar Council and decision, and ordered ADS to reinstate the
Commission on Audit which are all constitu- employees with full backwages. ADS did not
tional creations. Thus, the latter agencies may appeal and the order became final.
only be abolished by way of an amendment or
revision of the Constitution. Instead of complying immediately, BOP, the
incumbent Governor of ADS, referred the
matter to the Commission on Audit (COA),
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 109
which ruled that the amounts due are the 1. The rule prohibiting the appointment to
personal liabilities of the former Governor who certain government positions, of the spouse
dismissed the employees in bad faith. Thus, and relatives of the President within the
ADS refused to pay. The final CSC decision, fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity.
however, did not find the former Governor in [2%]
bad faith. The former Governor was likewise not
2. The rule making it incompatible for
heard on the question of his liability.
members of Congress to hold offices or
employment in the government. [2%]
Is ADS' refusal justified? Can COA disallow the
payment of backwages by ADS to the 3. The rule prohibiting members of the
dismissed employees due under a final CSC Constitutional Commissions, during their
decision? Decide and reason briefly. (5%) tenure, to be financially interested in any
contract with or any franchise or privilege
SUGGESTED ANSWER: granted by the government, [2%]
A. The refusal of ADS is not justified, and the
4. The rule providing for post audit by the
Commission on Audit cannot disallow the
COA of certain government agencies. [2%]
payment of backwages by ADS to the
dismissed employee. The Commission on 5. The rule requiring Congress to provide for
Audit cannot make a ruling that it is the former the standardization of compensation of
governor who should be personally liable, since government officials and employees. [2%]
the former governor was not given the
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
opportunity to be heard. In addition, the
Commission on Audit cannot set aside a final 1. Section 13. Article VII of the Constitution,
decision of the Civil Service Commission. The which prohibits the President from
payment of backwages to illegally dismissed appointing his spouse and relatives within
government employee is not an irregular, the fourth degree of consanguinity or
unnecessary, excessive, extravagant or affinity does not distinguish between
unconscionable expenditure. (Uy v. government corporations with original
Commission on Audit, 328 SCRA 607 [2000]). charters and their subsidiaries, because
the prohibition applies to both.
Function of CSC (1994) 2. Section 13, Article VII of the Constitution,
No. 15 - 2) Can the Civil Service Commission which prohibits Members of Congress from
revoke an appointment by the appointing power holding any other office during their term
and direct the appointment of an individual of its without forfeiting their seat, does not
choice? distinguish between government
SUGGESTED ANSWER: corporations with original charters and their
According to the ruling in Medalla vs. Sto. subsidiaries, because the prohibition applies
Tomas, 208 SCRA 351, the Civil Service to both.
Commission cannot dictate to the appointing
power whom to appoint. Its function is limited 3. Section 2, Article IX-A of the Constitution,
to determining whether or not the appointee which prohibits Members of the
meets the minimum qualification requirements Constitutional Commissions from being
prescribed for the position. Otherwise, it would financially interested in any contract with or
be encroaching upon the discretion of the any franchise or privilege granted by the
appointing power. Government, does not distinguish between
government corporations with original
GOCCs Without Original Charter vs. GOCCs charters and their subsidiaries, because the
With Original Charter (1998) prohibition applies to both.
No II.-- The Constitution distinguishes between 4. Section 2(1), Article IX-D of the Constitution
two types of owned and/or controlled which provides for post audit by the
corporations: those with original charters and Commission on audit of government
those which are subsidiaries of such corporations, does not distinguish between
corporations. In which of the following rule/rules government corporations with original
is such a distinction made? Consider each of charters and their subsidiaries, because the
the following items and explain briefly your provision applies to both.
answer, citing pertinent provisions of the
Constitution. 5. Section 5, Article IX-B of the Constitution,
which provides for the standardization of the
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 110
compensation of government officials and memorandum-order, directs the corporation to
employees, distinguishes between comply with Civil Service Rules in the
government corporations and their appointment of all of its officers and employees.
subsidiaries, for the provision applies only to The memorandum-order of the CSC is assailed
government corporations with original by the corporation, as well as by its officers and
charters. employees, before the court. How should the
case be resolved?
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Jurisdiction over the GOCCs (1999)
The memorandum-order of the Civil Service
No IX - Luzviminda Marfel, joined by eleven
Commission should be declared void. As held
other retrenched employees, filed a complaint
in Gamogamo v. PNOC Shipping and Transit
with the Department of Labor and Employment
Corporation. 381 SCRA 742 (2002). under
(DOLE) for unpaid retrenchment or separation
Article IX-B, Section 2(1) of the 1987
pay, underpayment of wages and non-payment
Constitution government-owned or controlled
of emergency cost of living allowance. The
corporations organized under the Corporation
complaint was filed against Food Terminal, Inc.
Code are not covered by the Civil Service Law
Food Terminal Inc. moved to dismiss on the
but by the Labor Code, because only
ground of lack of jurisdiction, theorizing that it is
government-owned or controlled corporations
a government-owned and controlled corporation
with original charters are covered by the Civil
and its employees are governed by the Civil
Service.
Service Law and not by the Labor Code.
Marfel opposed the motion to dismiss,
Modes of Removal from Office (1993)
contending that although Food Terminal, Inc. is
No. 11: How may the following be removed
a corporation owned and controlled by the
from office:
government earlier created and organized
1) Senators & Congressmen
under the general corporation law as "The
2) Judges of lower courts
Greater Manila Food Terminal, Inc.", it has still
3) Officers and employees in the Civil Service
the marks of a private corporation: it directly
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
hires its employees without seeking approval
1) Senators, Cong., Art. III, section 16(3), of the
from the Civil Service Commission and its
Constitution, ...
personnel are covered by the Social Security
System and not the Government Service
2) Judges, Art. VIII, sec. 11 of the Constitution,
Insurance System, The question posed in the
petition for certiorari at bar is whether or not a
3) Under Art. IX-B. Sec. 2(3) of the Constitution,
labor law claim against a government-owned or
officers and employees in the Civil Service may
controlled corporation like the Food Terminal,
only be removed for cause as provided by law
Inc. falls within the jurisdiction of the
and after observance of due process.
Department of Labor and Employment or the
Civil Service Commission? Decide and
Their removal must be effected by the
ratiocinate. (4%)
appropriate disciplinary authority in accordance
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
with Ch. 7 secs. 47-48 of Book V of the
The claim of the retrenched employees falls
Administrative Code of 1987 and the Civil
under the jurisdiction of the National Labor
Service Rules and Regulations.
Relations Commission and not under the
jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission. As
Receiving of Indirect Compensation (1997)
held in Lumanta v. National Labor Relations
No. 18; A, while an incumbent Governor of his
Commission, 170 SCRA 79, since Food
province, was invited by the Government of
Terminal, Inc. was organized under the
Cambodia as its official guest. While there, the
Corporation Law and was not created by a
sovereign king awarded Governor A with a
special law in accordance with Section 2(1),
decoration of honor and gifted him with a gold
Article IX-B of the Constitution, it is not covered
ring of insignificant monetary value, both of
by the civil service.
which he accepted.
Jurisdiction over the GOCCs (2003)
Was Governor A's acceptance of the decoration
No VII - A corporation, a holder of a certificate
and gift violative of the Constitution?
of registration issued by the Securities and
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Exchange Commission, is owned and
Yes, it violated Section 8, Article IX-B of the
controlled by the Republic of the Philippines.
Constitution. For his acceptance of the
The Civil Service Commission (CSC), in a
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 111
decoration of honor and the gold ring from the abolition of offices) as distinguished from the
Government of Cambodia to be valid, Governor reorganization of personnel which is what is
A should first obtain the consent of Congress. referred to therein as "the reorganization
pursuant to Proclamation No. 3 dated March
Security of Tenure (1988) 25, 1986." For the power of the government to
No. 10: Exercising power he claims had been terminate the employment of elective and
granted him by the Executive Order on the appointive officials pursuant to Art. III, sec. 2 of
reorganization of the government, the Proclamation No. 3 (otherwise known as the
Commissioner of Customs summarily Provisional Constitution), through the
dismissed two hundred sixty-five officials and appointment or designation of their successors
employees of the Bureau of Customs. Most of has been repeatedly held to have ended on
the ousted employees appealed to the Civil February 2, 1987, when the new Constitution
Service Commission claiming their ouster took effect. (De Leon v. Esguerra, 153 SCRA
illegal. The Civil Service Commission, after 602 (1987); Reyes v. Ferrer G.R. No. 77801,
hearing, later ordered the Commissioner of Dec. 11, 1987; Osias v. Ferrer, G.R, No. 77049,
Customs to reinstate most of those dismissed. March 28, 1988), Moreover, such replacement
Instead of following the order of the Civil of incumbents can only be for cause as
Service Commission, Commissioner Mison prescribed by Executive Order No. 17, dated
intends to bring for review before the Supreme May 28, 1986. Since the summary dismissals in
Court, the same decision of the Commission. question are not for cause, the removal of the
Bureau of Customs officials violates art. IX, B,
1. If you were the counsel for the sec, 2(3) of the Constitution.
Commissioner of Customs, how would you
justify his dismissal of customs officials and Security of Tenure (Q5-2005)
employees? (3) Ricardo was elected Dean of the College of
2. If on the other hand, you were a counsel for Education in a State University for a term of
the dismissed officials and employees, how five (5) years unless sooner terminated.
would you sustain the order of the Civil Service Many were not pleased with his
Commission reinstating most of them? State performance. To appease those critical of
your reasons. him, the President created a new position,
SUGGESTED ANSWER: that of Special Assistant to the President
1. I would invoke the resolution in Jose v. with the rank of Dean, without reduction in
Arroyo, G.R. No. 78435, Aug. 11, 1987, in salary, and appointed Ricardo to said
which the Supreme Court held that under Art. position in the interest of the service.
XVIII, sec, 16 of the Constitution, career service Contemporaneously, the University
employees may be removed "not for cause but President appointed Santos as Acting Dean
as a result of the reorganization pursuant to in place of Ricardo. (5%)
Proclamation No. 3 dated March 25, 1986 and
the reorganization following the ratification of (a) Does the phrase "unless sooner
this Constitution." By virtue of this provision, it terminated" mean that the position of
was held that the reorganization of the Bureau Ricardo is terminable at will?
of Customs under Executive Order No, 127 ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
may continue even after the ratification of the No, the term "unless sooner terminated" could
Constitution, and career service employees not mean that his position is terminable at will.
may be separated from the service without Security of tenure means that dismissal should
cause as a result of such reorganization. only be for cause, as provided by law and not
otherwise. (Palmera v. CSC, G.R. No. 110168,
2. I would argue that art. XVIII, sec. 16 does August 4, 1994)
not really authorize the removal of career
service employees but simply provides for the ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
payment of separation, retirement, and other No, his position is not terminable at will.
benefits accruing to them under the applicable Ricardo's contract of employment has a fixed
laws. The reference to career service term of five years. It is not an appointment in an
employees separated "as a result of the acting capacity or as officer-in-charge. A
reorganization following the ratification of this college dean appointed with a term cannot be
Constitution" is only to those separated as a separated without cause. Ricardo, with a
result of reorganization of the structure and definite term of employment, may not thus be
functions of government (e.g., as a result of
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 112
removed except for cause. (Sta. Maria v. Each Electoral Tribunal shall be composed of
Lopez, G.R. No. L-30773, February 18,1970) NINE Members, three of whom shall be
Justices of the Supreme Court to be designated
(b) Was Ricardo removed from his by the Chief Justice, and the remaining six shall
position as Dean of the College of be Members of the Senate or the House of
Education or merely transferred to the Representatives, as the case may be, who shall
position of Special Assistant to the be chosen on the basis of proportional
President? Explain. representation from the political parties and the
SUGGESTED ANSWER: parties or organizations registered under the
Ricardo was removed from his position as party-list system represented therein. The
dean. Having an appointment with a fixed term, senior Justice in the Electoral Tribunal shall be
he cannot, without his consent, be transferred its Chairman (Article VI, Section 17,1987
before the end of his term. He cannot be asked Constitution).
to give up his post nor appointed as dean of
another college, much less transferred to Fair Election; Equal Space & Time in Media
another position even if it be dignified with a (1989)
dean's rank. More than this, the transfer was a No. 16: A COMELEC (COMELEC) resolution
demotion because deanship in a university, provides that political parties supporting a
being an academic position which requires common set of candidates shall be allowed to
learning, ability and scholarship, is more purchase jointly air time and the aggregate
exalted than that of a special assistant who amount of advertising space purchased for
merely assists the President, as the title campaign purposes shall not exceed that
indicates. The special assistant does not make allotted to other political parties or groups that
authoritative decisions unlike the dean who nominated only one set of candidates. The
does so in his own name and responsibility. resolution is challenged as a violation of the
The position of dean is created by law, while freedom of speech and of the press. Is the
the special assistant is not so provided by law; resolution constitutionally defensible? Explain.
it was a creation of the university president. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(Sta. Maria v. Lopez, G.R. No. L-30773, Yes, the resolution is constitutionally defensible.
February 18, 1970) Under Section 4, Article IX-C of the 1987
Constitution, during the election period the
Security of Tenure; Meaning (1999) COMELEC may supervise or regulate the
No IX - -What is the meaning and guarantee of media of communication or information to
security of tenure? (2%) ensure equal opportunity, time, and space
SUGGESTED ANSWER: among candidates with the objective of holding
According to Palmera v. Civil Service free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible
Commission, 235 SCRA 87, SECURITY OF elections. To allow candidates which are
TENURE means that no officer or employee in supported by more than one political party to
the Civil Service shall be suspended or purchase more air time and advertising space
dismissed except for cause as provided by law than candidates supported by one political party
and after due process. only will deprive the latter of equal time and
space in the media.
ARTICLE IX COMELEC ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
No. Although the expenditure limitation applies
Electoral Tribunal; Functions & Composition
only to the purchase of air time, thus leaving
(Q5-2006)
political parties free to spend for other forms of
1. What is the function of the Senate Electoral
campaign, the limitation nonetheless results in
Tribunal and the House of Representatives
a direct and substantial reduction of the quantity
Electoral Tribunal? (2.5%)
of political speech by restricting the number of
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
issues that can be discussed, the depth of their
Under Article VI, Section 17 of the 1987
discussion and the size of the audience that
Constitution, the Senate and House of
can be reached, through the broadcast media.
Representatives Electoral Tribunals shall be the
Since the purpose of the Free Speech Clause is
sole judge of all contests relating to the
to promote the widest possible dissemination of
election, returns, and qualifications of their
information, and the reality is that to do this
respective Members.
requires the expenditure of money, a limitation
on expenditure for this purpose cannot be
2. What is the composition of each? (2.5%)
justified, not even for the purpose of equalizing
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 113
the opportunity of political candidates. This is Court, from the decision of the COMELEC First
the ruling in Buckley vs. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 Division? If yes. Why? If not what procedural
(1976), which invalidated a law limiting the step must he undertake first? ( 5%)
expenditures of candidates for campaigning in SUGGESTED ANSWER:
the United States. In the Philippines, a provision "A" cannot file a petition for certiorari with the
of the Tañada-Singson Law, limiting the period Supreme Court. As held in Mastura vs.
for campaigning, was nearly invalidated on this COMELEC, 285 SCRA 493 (1998), the
same principle, except that the majority of court Supreme Court cannot review the decisions or
lacked one more vote to make their decision resolutions of a division of the COMELEC. "A"
effective. (See Gonzalez vs. Comelec, 27 should first file a motion for reconsideration with
SCRA 835 (1969). the COMELEC en banc.

Grant of Pardon in Election Offenses (1991) Removal from Office; Commissioners (1998)
No. 11 - In connection with the May 1987 No IX. - Suppose a Commissioner of the
Congressional elections, Luis Millanes was COMELEC is charged before the
prosecuted for and convicted of an election Sandiganbayan for allegedly tolerating violation
offense and was sentenced to suffer of the election laws against proliferation of
imprisonment for six years. The court did not prohibited billboards and election propaganda
impose the additional penalty of disqualification with the end in view of removing him from
to hold public office and of deprivation of the office. Will the action prosper? [5%]
right of suffrage as provided for in Section 164 SUGGESTED ANSWER:
of the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines No, the action will not prosper. Under Section 8,
(B.P. Blg. 881). Article XI of the Constitution, the
Commissioners of the COMELEC are
In April 1991, the President granted him removable by IMPEACHMENT. As held in the
absolute pardon on the basis of a strong case of In re Gonzales. 160 SCRA 771, 774-
recommendation of the Board of Pardons and 775, a public officer who is removable by
Parole. impeachment cannot be charged before the
Sandiganbayan with an offense which carries
Then for the election in May 1992, Luis Millanes with it the penalty of removal from office unless
files his certificate of candidacy for the office of he is first impeached. Otherwise, he will be
Mayor in his municipality. removed from office by a method other than
Impeachment.
(a) What is the effect of the failure of the court
to impose the additional penalty? Right to Vote; Jurisdiction (2001)
(b) Is the pardon valid? No II - Let us suppose that Congress enacted a
SUGGESTED ANSWER: law which amended the Omnibus Election Code
(a) No need to expressly impose – they are (particularly Sections 138, 139, 142, 143) by
accessory penalties. vesting , in the COMELEC the jurisdiction over
inclusion and exclusion cases filed by voters,
(b) The pardon is void, since Luis Millanes was instead of in the courts (MTC, then RTC).
convicted for the commission of an election Is the law valid or not, and why? (5%)
offense and his pardon was not made upon the SUGGESTED ANSWER:
recommendation of the COMELEC. Under The law granting the COMELEC jurisdiction
Article IX, C, Sec. 5 of the Constitution, no over inclusion and exclusion cases is
pardon for violation of an election law may be unconstitutional. Under Section 2(3), Article IX-
granted without the favorable recommendation C of the Constitution, the COMELEC cannot
of the COMELEC decide the right to vote, which refers to the
inclusion and exclusion of voters. Under
Judicial Review of Decisions (2001) Section 2(6), Article IX-C of the Constitution, it
No XVI - In an election protest involving the can only file petitions in court for inclusion or
position of Governor of the Province of Laguna exclusion of voters.
between "A", the protestee, and "B", the
protestant, the First Division of the COMELEC Election Laws
rendered a decision upholding B's protest 2nd Placer Rule (2003)
No VIII - In the municipal mayoralty elections in
Can "A" file a petition for certiorari with the 1980, the candidate who obtained the highest
Supreme Court under Rule 65 of the Rules of number of votes was subsequently declared to
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 114
be disqualified as a candidate and so ineligible b) If the second-placer in the gubematorial
for the office to which he was elected. Would elections files a quo warranto suit against
this fact entitle a competing candidate who Nicasio and he is found to be disqualified
obtained the second highest number of votes to from office, can the second-placer be sworn
ask and to be proclaimed the winner of the into office as governor?
elective office? Reasons. c) If, instead, Nicasio had been born (of the
SUGGESTED ANSWER: same set of parents) in the United States
According to Trinidad v. COMELEC. 315 SCRA and he thereby acquired American
175 [1999], if the candidate who obtained the citizenship by birth, would your answer be
highest number of votes is disqualified, the different?
candidate who obtained the second highest SUGGESTED ANSWER:
number of votes cannot be proclaimed the a) No, Nicasio no longer possesses Philippine
winner. Since he was not the choice of the citizenship. ...
people, he cannot claim any right to the office.
b) In accordance with the ruling in Abella us.
2nd Placer Rule (1990) COMELEC, 201 SCRA 253, the second placer
No. 7: A filed a protest with the House Electoral cannot be sworn to office, because he lost the
Tribunal questioning the election of B as election. To be entitled to the office, he must
Member of the House of Representatives in the have garnered the majority or plurality of the
1987 national elections on the ground that B is votes.
not a resident of the district the latter is
representing. While the case was pending. B c) Yes because he will be a dual citizen ...
accepted an ad-interim appointment as
Secretary of the Department of Justice. 2nd Placer Rule; Rule of Succession (1996)
No. 13: 1) A and B were the only candidates
(1) May A continue with his election protest in for mayor of Bigaa, Bulacan in the May 1995
order to determine the real winner in the said local elections. A obtained 10,000 votes as
elections? State your reason. against 3,000 votes for B. In the same
(2) Can A, who got the second highest number elections, X got the highest number of votes
of votes in the elections, ask that he be among the candidates for the Sangguniang
proclaimed elected in place of B? Explain your Bayan of the same town. A died the day before
answer. his proclamation.
SUGGESTED ANSWER: a) Who should the Board of Canvassers
(1) No, A may not continue with his protest. .... proclaim as elected mayor, A, B or X?
Explain,
(2) No, A cannot ask that he be proclaimed b) Who is entitled to discharge the functions of
elected in place of B. The votes cast for B the office of the mayor, B or X? Explain.
were not invalid votes. Hence, A garnered only SUGGESTED ANSWER:
the second highest number of votes. Only the In accordance with Benito vs. COMELEC, 235
candidate who obtained the majority or plurality SCRA 436, it is A who should be proclaimed as
of the votes is entitled to be proclaimed elected. winner, because he was the one who obtained
On this ground, it was held in Labo v. the highest number of votes for the position of
COMELEC, 176 SCRA 1, that the fact that the mayor, but a notation should be made that he
candidate who obtained the highest number of died for the purpose of applying the rule on
votes is not eligible does not entitle the succession to office. B cannot be proclaimed,
candidate who obtained the second highest because the death of the candidate who
number of votes to be proclaimed the winner. obtained the highest number of votes does not
entitle the candidate who obtained the next
2nd Placer Rule; in Quo Warranto Cases highest number of votes to be proclaimed the
(1992) winner, since he was not the choice of the
No. 16: Edwin Nicasio, born in the Philippines electorate. X is not entitled to be proclaimed
of Filipino parents and raised in the province of elected as mayor, because he ran for the
Nueva Ecija, ran for Governor of his home Sangguniang Bayan.
province. He won and he was sworn into office.
It was recently revealed, however, that Nicasio Neither B nor X is entitled to discharge the
is a naturalized American citizen. functions of the office of mayor. B is not entitled
a) Does he still possess Philippine citizenship? to discharge the office of mayor, since he was
defeated in the election. X is not entitled to
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 115
discharge the office of mayor. Under Section 44 and he receives the winning number of votes,
of the Local Government Code, it is the vice the hearing on the question of disqualification
mayor who should succeed in case of should continue. Upon motion of the
permanent vacancy in the office of the mayor. It complainant or any intervenor, the court or the
is only when the position of the vice mayor is COMELEC may order the suspension of the
also vacant that the member of the proclamation of the winning candidate if the
Sangguniang Bayan who obtained the highest evidence of his guilt is strong.
number of votes will succeed to the office of
mayor. Disualifications (1999)
No V - A.2. Under the Local Government
Appreciation of Ballots (1994) Code, name four persons who are disqualified
No. 3; If a candidate for town mayor is an from running for any elective position. (2%)
engineer by profession, should votes for him SUGGESTED ANSWER:
with the prefix "Engineer" be invalidated as A2.) Under Section 40 of the Local Government
"marked ballots"? Code, the following are disqualified from
SUGGESTED ANSWER: running for any local elective position:
3) No, a ballot in which the name of a 1) Those sentenced by final judgment for an
candidate for town mayor who is an engineer offense involving moral turpitude or for an
which is prefixed with "engineer" should not be offense punishable by one (1) year or more
invalidated as a marked ballot. Under Rule No. of imprisonment, within two (2) years after
12 of the rules for the appreciation of ballots, serving sentence;
ballots which contain such prefixes are valid. 2) Those removed from office as a result of an
administrative case;
Disqualification; Grounds (1991) 3) Those convicted by final judgment for
No. 11 - In connection with the May 1987 violating the oath of allegiance to the
Congressional elections, Luis Millanes was Republic of the Philippines;
prosecuted for and convicted of an election 4) Those with dual citizenship;
offense and was sentenced to suffer 5) Fugitives from justice in criminal or non-
imprisonment for six years. The court did not political cases here or abroad;
impose the additional penalty of disqualification 6) Permanent residents in a foreign country or
to hold public office and of deprivation of the those who have acquired the right to reside
right of suffrage as provided for in Section 164 abroad and continue to avail of the same
of the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines right after the effectivity of the Local
(B.P. Blg. 881). Government Code; and
7) The insane or feeble-minded.
In April 1991, the President granted him
absolute pardon on the basis of a strong Effect of Filing of Certificate of Candidacy;
recommendation of the Board of Pardons and Appointive Officer vs Elective Officer (2002)
Parole. No XIII. A, a City Legal Officer, and B, a City
Then for the election in May 1992, Luis Millanes Vice-Mayor, filed certificates of candidacy for
files his certificate of candidacy for the office of the position of City Mayor in the May 14, 2001
Mayor in his municipality. elections.
(c) Is a petition to disqualify Millanes viable? a) Was A ipso facto considered resigned and,
(d) What are the effects of a petition to if so, effective on what date? (2%)
disqualify? b) Was B ipso facto considered resigned and,
SUGGESTED ANSWER: if so, effective on what date? (3%)
(c) In accordance with Sec. 68 of the Omnibus In both cases, state the reason or reasons for
Election Code, Luis Millanes may be your answer.
disqualified from running for mayor as he was SUGGESTED ANSWER:
convicted of an election offense. A) A was considered ipso facto resigned upon
the filing of his certificate of candidacy, because
(d) Under Sec. 6 of the Electoral Reforms Law, being a City Legal Officer, he is an appointive
any candidate who has been declared by final official. Section 66 of the Omnibus Election
judgment to be disqualified shall not be voted Code provides that any person holding a public
for, and votes cast for him shall not be counted. appointive office shall be considered ipso facto
resigned upon the filing of his certificate of
If before the election he is not declared by final candidacy.
judgment to be disqualified and he is voted for
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 116
B) B is not considered ipso facto resigned. (b) The answer is the same if Pedro Reyes is a
Section 67 of the Omnibus Election Code Congressman of Quezon City, because the
considers any elective official ipso facto repeal of Section 67 of the Omnibus Election
resigned from office upon his filing of a Code covers both elective national and local
certificate of candidacy for any office other than officials.
the one he is holding except for President and
Vice-President, was repealed by the Fair Election Offenses; Conspiracy to Bribe
Election Act Voters (1991)
No. 12: Discuss the disputable presumptions
Effect of Filing of Certificate of Candidacy; (a) of conspiracy to bribe voters and (b) of the
Fair Election Act (2003) involvement of a candidate and of his principal
No X - (a) Pedro Reyes is an incumbent Vice- campaign managers in such conspiracy.
Mayor of Quezon City. He intends to run in the SUGGESTED ANSWER:
regular elections for the position of City Mayor (a) Under Sec, 28 of the Electoral Reforms
of Quezon City whose incumbent mayor would Law proof that at least one voter in different
have fully served three consecutive terms by precincts representing at least twenty per cent
2004. Would Pedro Reyes have to give up his of the total precincts in any municipality, city or
position as Vice-Mayor- province was offered, promised or given
(1) Once he files his certificate of money, valuable consideration or other
candidacy; or expenditure by the relatives, leader or
(2) When the campaign period starts; or sympathizer of a candidate for the purpose of
(3) Once and if he is proclaimed winner in promoting the candidacy of such candidate,
the election; or gives rise to a disputable presumption of
(4) Upon his assumption to the elective conspiracy to bribe voters.
office; or
(5) None of the above. (b) Under Sec. 28 if the proof affects at least
Choose the correct answer 20% of the precincts of the municipality, city or
province to which the public office aspired for
(b) If Pedro Reyes were, instead, an incumbent by the favored candidate relates, this shall
Congressman of Quezon City, who intends to constitute a disputable presumption of the
seek the mayoralty post in Quezon City, would involvement of the candidate and of his
your choice of answer in no.(1) above be the principal campaign managers in each of the
same? If not, which would be your choice? municipalities concerned, in the conspiracy.

SUGGESTED ANSWER: Election Protest (1990)


(a) The correct answer is (5). Section 14 of the No. 7: A filed a protest with the House Electoral
Fair Election Act repealed Section 67 of the Tribunal questioning the election of B as
Omnibus Election Code, which provided that Member of the House of Representatives in the
any elected official, whether national or local, 1987 national elections on the ground that B is
who runs for any office other than the one he is not a resident of the district the latter is
holding in a permanent capacity, except for representing. While the case was pending. B
President and Vice President, shall be accepted an ad-interim appointment as
considered ipso facto resigned from his office Secretary of the Department of Justice.
upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy. (1) May A continue with his election protest in
Section 14 of the Fair Election Act likewise order to determine the real winner in the said
rendered ineffective the first proviso in the third elections? State your reason.
paragraph of Section 11 of Republic Act No. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
8436. (1) No, A may not continue with his protest.
There is no dispute as to who was the winner in
Consequently, Pedro Reyes can run for Mayor the election, as it is not disputed that it was B
without giving up his position as Vice-Mayor. He who obtained the majority. The purpose of the
will have to give up his position as Vice-Mayor protest is simply to seek the removal of B from
upon expiration of his term as Vice-Mayor on office on the ground that he is ineligible.
June 30, 2004. However, B forfeited his claim to the position of
(Note: The question did not ask the examinee congressman by accepting an ad interim
to explain the reason for his choice and the appointment as Secretary of Justice, the protest
general instructions requires such discussion
against him has become moot. Nothing will be
only to a "yes" or "no" answer.)
gained by resolving it. In the case of Purisima v.
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 117
Solis, 43 SCRA 123, it was held that where a a) the barangay?
protestant in an election case accepted his b) the municipality?
appointment as judge, he abandoned his claim c) the province?
to the public office involved in the protest. d) the city?
Hence, the protest must be dismissed for e) the House of Representatives?
having become moot. Similarly, in Perez v SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Provincial Board of Nueva Ecija, 113 SCRA 1) In accordance with Section 2(2), Article IX-C
187, it was held that the claim of a petitioner to of the Constitution an election protest involving
an appointive office had become moot, because the elective position enumerated below should
the petitioner had forfeited his claim to the office be filed in the following courts or tribunals:
by filing a certificate of candidacy for mayor. a) Barangay - Metropolitan Trial Court,
Municipal Circuit Trial Court, or
Election Protest vs. Quo Warranto (2001) Municipal Trial Court
No XVII - Under the Omnibus Election Code b) Municipality - Regional Trial Court
(B.P. 881, as amended), briefly differentiate an c) Province - COMELEC
election protest from a quo warranto case, as to d) City - COMELEC
who can file the case and the respective e) Under Section 17. Article VI of the
grounds therefor. (5%) Constitution, an election protest
SUGGESTED ANSWER; involving the position of Member of the
An ELECTION PROTEST maybe filed by a House of Representatives shall be filed
losing candidate for the same office for which in the House of Representatives
the winner filed his certificate of candidacy. A Electoral Tribunal.
QUO WARRANTO CASE may be filed by any
voter who is a registered voter in the Expiration of term bars service thereof
constituency where the winning candidate (2000)
sought to be disqualified ran for office. No XVI. In the elections of May 1992, Cruz and
Santos were the candidates for the office of
In an election contest, the issues are: (a) who Municipal Mayor, the term of which was to
received the majority or plurality of the votes expire on June 30, 1995. Finding that he won
which were legally cast and (b) whether there by a margin of 20 votes, the Municipal Board of
were irregularities in the conduct of the election Canvassers proclaimed Cruz as the duly
which affected its results. elected Mayor. Santos filed an election protest
before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) which
In a quo warranto case, the issue is whether the decided that it was Santos who had the plurality
candidate who was proclaimed elected should of 30 votes and proclaimed him the winner. On
be disqualified because of ineligibility or motion made, the RTC granted execution
disloyalty to the Philippines. pending the appeal of Cruz to the COMELEC
(Comelec) and on this basis. Santos assumed
Election Protest vs. Quo Warranto (Q5-2006) office and served as Municipal Mayor. In time,
Differentiate an election protest from an action the Comelec reversed the ruling of the RTC and
for quo warranto. (2.5%) instead ruled that Cruz won by a margin of 40
SUGGESTED ANSWER: votes and proclaimed him the duly elected
An ELECTION PROTEST is a proceeding Municipal Mayor.
whereby a losing candidate for a particular a) It is now beyond June 30, 1995. Can
position contests the results of the election on Cruz still hold office for the portion of the term
grounds of fraud, terrorism, irregularities or he has failed to serve? Why? (3%)
illegal acts committed before, during or after the SUGGESTED ANSWER;
casting and counting of votes. On the other a) As held in Malaluan v. COMELEC, 254
hand, a PETITION FOR QUO WARRANTO is SCRA 397 (1996). Cruz can no longer hold
filed by any registered voter to contest the office for the portion of the term he failed to
election of any candidate on grounds of serve since his term has expired.
ineligibility or disloyalty to the Republic of the
Philippines. Petition to Declare Failure of Elections;
Requisites & Effects (1995)
Election Protest; Jurisdiction (1996) No. 6: Due to violence and terrorism attending
No, 14: 1) As counsel for the protestant, where the casting of votes in a municipality in Lanao
will you file an election protest involving a del Sur during the last 8 May 1995 elections, it
contested elective position in: became impossible to hold therein free, orderly
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 118
and honest elections. Several candidates for prevented from casting their votes. The
municipal positions withdrew from the race. COMELEC dismissed the pre-proclamation
One candidate for Mayor petitioned the contest on the ground that all the returns
COMELEC for the postponement of the appear complete and untampered.
elections and the holding of special elections
after the causes of such postponement or Determine if the COMELEC decided correctly
failure of elections shall have ceased. and if "B" has any recourse for contesting "A's"
election.
1. How many votes of the COMELEC SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Commissioners may be cast to grant the The COMELEC correctly dismissed "B's" PRE-
petition? Explain. PROCLAMATION CONTEST. Such a contest is
limited to claims that the election returns are
2. A person who was not a candidate at the incomplete or that they contain material defects
time of the postponement of the elections or that they have been tampered with, falsified
decided to run for an elective position and filed or prepared under duress or that they contain
a certificate of candidacy prior to the special discrepancies in the votes credited to the
elections. May his certificate of candidacy be candidates, the difference of which affects the
accepted? Explain. result of the election. (Omnibus Election Code,
sees. 243, 234-236)
3. Suppose he ran as a substitute for a
candidate who previously withdrew his On the other hand, the question whether or not
candidacy, will your answer be the same? there was terrorism, vote buying and other
Explain. irregularities in the elections cannot be the
SUGGESTED ANSWER: subject of a pre-proclamation contest but must
1. According to Section 7, Article IX-A of the be raised in a regular election protest. (Sanchez
1987 Constitution, the COMELEC shall decide v. COMELEC, GR. No. 78461; Ponce Enrile v.
by a MAJORITY VOTE of all its members any COMELEC, G.R. Nos. 79146 & 79212, Aug. 12,
case or matter brought before it In Cua vs. 1987; Abes v. COMELEC, 21 SCRA 1252
COMELEC, 156 SCRA582, the Supreme Court (1967) ) Since the basis of "B's" petition is that
stated that a two-to-one decision rendered by a his followers had been bought while others had
Division of the COMELEC and a three-to-two been prevented from casting their ballots, his
decision rendered by the COMELEC en banc remedy is to file an election contest and this
was valid where only five members took part in should be brought in the House or Senate
deciding the case. Electoral Tribunal which, under Art. VI, Sec. 17,
is the sole judge of the election, returns and
2. No, his certificate of candidacy cannot be qualifications of members of each House of
accepted. Under Section 75 of the Omnibus Congress.
Election Code, as a rule in cases of
postponement or failure of election no Pre-Proclamation Contest (1988)
additional certificate of candidacy shall be No. 18: In election law, what is a pre-
accepted. proclamation controversy? Where may it be
litigated with finality? After the ultimate winner
3. No, the answer will be different. Under has been duly proclaimed, does the loser still
Section 75 of the Omnibus Election Code, an have any remedy to the end than he may finally
additional certificate of candidacy may be obtain the position he aspired for in the
accepted in cases of postponement or failure of election? Explain.
election if there was a substitution of SUGGESTED ANSWER:
candidates; but the substitute must belong to A PRE-PROCLAMATION CONTROVERSY
and must be endorsed by the same party. refers to any question pertaining to or affecting
the proceedings of the board of canvassers
Pre-Proclamation Contest (1987) which may be raised by any candidate or by
No. VII: "A" and "B" were candidates for any registered political party or coalition of
representatives in the 1987 National Elections, political parties before the board or directly with
"B" filed a pre-proclamation contest with the the COMELEC, or any matter raised under
COMELEC on the ground that rampant vote secs. 233-236 of the Omnibus Election Code in
buying and terrorism accompanied the relation to the preparation, transmission,
elections. Particulars were supplied of "B's" receipt, custody or appreciation of the election
followers bought-off and other followers returns. (Omnibus Election Code, sec, 241).
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 119
prejudice to the filing of an election protest.
The COMELEC has exclusive jurisdiction of all However, the proceedings may continue when
pre-proclamation controversies. (Id., sec. 241) on the basis of the evidence presented so far,
Its decisions become executory after the lapse the COMELEC or the Supreme Court
of 5 days from receipt by the losing party of the determines that the petition appears to be
decision, unless restrained by the Supreme meritorious. (Section 16, Republic Act No.
Court. (Id., sec. 246) 7166)

A loser may still bring an election contest (B) ELECTION CONTESTS


concerning the election, returns, and An election protest is initiated by filing a protest
qualifications of the candidate proclaimed. In containing the following allegations:
the case of elective barangay officials, the 1. The protestant is a candidate who duly filed
contest may be filed with the municipal trial a certificate of candidacy and was voted for in
courts; in the case of elective municipal the election:
officials, in the Regional Trial Court; in the case 2. The protestee has been proclaimed; and
of elective provincial and city officials, in the 3. The date of the proclamation, (Miro vs.
COMELEC (Art. IX, C, sec. 2(2)); in the case of COMELEC, 121 SCRA 466)
Senators or Congressmen, in the Senate or
House Electoral Tribunals (Art. VI, sec. 17); and The following have jurisdiction over election
in the case of the President and Vice President, contests:
in the Presidential Electoral Tribunal. (Art. VII, a) Barangay officials - Inferior Court;
sec. 4). b) Municipal officials - Regional Trial
Court;
Pre-Proclamation Contest vs. Election c) Regional, provincial, and city officials -
Contests (1997) COMELEC (Section 2(2), Art. IX-C of
No, 17: State how (a) pre-proclamation the Constitution);
controversies, on the one hand, and (b) election d) Congressman - House of
protests, on the other, are initiated, heard and Representatives Electoral Tribunal.
finally resolved. e) Senators - Senate Electoral Tribunal.
SUGGESTED ANSWER: (Section 1. Article VI of the
(A) PRE-PROCLAMATION CONTROVERSIES Constitution);
a) Questions affecting the composition or f) President and Vice President -
proceedings of the board of canvassers Supreme Court (Section 4, Article VII of
may be initiated in the board of the Constitution).
canvassers or directly with the
COMELEC. The decision of the inferior court in election
b) Questions involving the election returns contests involving barangay officials and of the
and the certificates of canvass shall be Regional Trial Court in election contests
brought in the first instance before the involving municipal officials are appealable to
board of canvassers only, (Section 17, the COMELEC. (Section 2(2). Article IX-C of
Republic Act No, 2166.) the Constitution.) The decision of the
c) The board of canvassers should rule on COMELEC may be brought to the Supreme
the objections summarily. (Section 20, Court on certiorari on questions of law. (Rivera
Republic Act No. 7166.) vs. COMELEC, 199 SCRA 178)
d) Any party adversely affected may
appeal to the COMELEC. (Section 20. The decision of the COMELEC in election
Republic Act No. 7166.) contests involving regional, provincial and city
e) The decision of the Commission on officials may be brought to the Supreme Court
Election may be brought to the on certiorari (Section 7, Article IX-A and Section
Supreme Court on certiorari by the 2(2), Article IX-C of the Constitution.)
aggrieved party, (Section 7, Article IX-A
of the Constitution.) The decisions of the Senate Electoral Tribunal
and of the House of Representatives Electoral
All pre-proclamation controversies pending Tribunal may be elevated to the Supreme Court
before the COMELEC shall be deemed on certiorari if there was grave abuse of
terminated at the beginning of the term of the discretion. (Lazatin vs COMELEC 168 SCRA
office involved and the rulings of the board of 391)
canvassers shall be deemed affirmed, without
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 120
Pre-Proclamation Contest; Proper Issues prepare the affidavit in accordance with the
(1996) data supplied by the applicant. (Id., sec. 127)
No, 14: 2) Give three issues that can be
properly raised and brought in a pre- Process; Principle of Idem Sonans (1994)
proclamation contest. No. 3; 1) What is your understanding of the
SUGGESTED ANSWER: principle of idem sonans as applied in the
2) According to Section 243 of the Omnibus Election Law?
Election Code, the following issues can be SUGGESTED ANSWER:
properly raised. 1) Under Rule No. 7 of the rules for the
1. The composition or proceedings of the appreciation of ballots in Section 211 of the
board of canvassers are illegal; Omnibus Election Code, the idem sonans rule
2. The canvassed election returns are means that a name or surname incorrectly
incomplete, contain material defects, written which, when read, has a sound similar
approved to be tampered with, or contain to the name or surname of a candidate when
discrepancy in the same returns or in other correctly written shall be counted in his favor.
authenticated copies; ALTERNATIVE ANSWERS:
3. The election returns were prepared under a) Idem sonans literally means the same or
duress, threats, coercion, or intimidation, or similar sound. This principle is made manifest in
they are obviously manufactured or not one of the rules for the appreciation of ballots
authentic; and embodied in the Omnibus Election Code (Sec.
4. Substitute or fraudulent returns in 211, BP 881) stating that "A name or surname
controverted polling places were incorrectly written which when read, has a
canvassed, the results of which materially sound similar to the name or surname of a
affected the standing of the aggrieved candidate when correctly written shall be
candidate or candidates. counted in his favor. Thus, if the name as
spelled in the ballot, though different from the
However, according to Section 15 of the correct spelling thereof, conveys to the ears
Synchronized Election Law no pre-proclamation when pronounced according to the commonly
cases shall be allowed on matters relating to accepted methods, a sound practically Identical
the preparation, transmission, receipt, custody with the sound of the correct name as
and appreciation of the election returns or the commonly pronounced, the name thus given is
certificates of canvass with respect to the a sufficient designation of the person referred
positions of President, Vice-President, Senator to. The question whether one name is idem
and Member of the House of Representatives. sonans with another is not a question of
No pre-proclamation case are allowed in the spelling but of pronunciation. (Mandac v.
case of barangay elections. Samonte, 49 Phil. 284). Its application is
aimed at realizing the objective of every
Process; Illiterate Voters (1987) election which is to obtain the expression of the
No. XII: "A", while of legal age and of sound voters will.
mind, is illiterate. He has asked your advice on
how he can vote in the coming election for his b) The term means sounding the same or
brother, who is running for mayor. This will be nearly alike. The rule is based on the Idea that
the first time "A" will vote and he has never the misspelling of a name or lack of skill in
registered as a voter before. What advice will writing should not be taken as a ground for
you give him on the procedure he needs to rejecting the votes apparently intended for a
follow in order to be able to vote? candidate, so long as the intention of the voter
SUGGESTED ANSWER: appears to be clear. The Supreme Court has
The Constitution provides that until Congress ruled that the principle of idem sonans is
shall have provided otherwise, illiterate and liberally construed. Corpuz v. Ibay, 84 Phil. 184
disabled voters shall be allowed to vote under (1949).
existing laws and regulations (Art, V, Sec. 2). It
is necessary for any qualified voter to register in Process; Stray Ballot (1994)
order to vote. (Omnibus Election Code, Sec. No. 3; 2) What is a "stray ballot"?
115) In the case of illiterate and disabled voters, SUGGESTED ANSWER:
their voter's affidavit may be prepared by any 2) Under Rule No. 19 of the rules for the
relative within the fourth civil degree of appreciation of ballots in Section 211 of the
consanguinity or affinity or by any member of Omnibus Election Code, stray ballot is one cast
the board of election inspectors who shall in favor of a person who has not filed a
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 121
certificate of candidacy or in favor of a Decide whether the disqualification case will
candidate for an office for which he did not prosper or not. (5%)
present himself. Although the Code does not SUGGESTED ANSWER:
provide for stray ballot, it is presumed that stray The disqualification case should be dismissed.
ballot refers to stray vote. As held in Borja vs. COMELEC, 295 SCRA157
(1996), in computing the three-term limitation
Recall (2002) imposed upon elective local officials, only the
No XVI. Suppose the people of a province want term for which he was elected to should be
to recall the provincial governor before the end considered. The term which he served as a
of his three-year term of office, result of succession should not be included. It is
A. On what ground or grounds can the not enough that the official has served three
provincial governor be recalled? (1%) consecutive terms. He must have been elected
B. How will the recall be initiated? (2%) to the same position three consecutive times.
C. When will the recall of an elective local
official be considered effective? {2%} Three-Term Limit; from Municipality to
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Newly-Created City (Q9-2005)
In accordance with Section 69 of the Local 2. Manuel was elected Mayor of the
Government Code, the Governor can be Municipality of Tuba in the elections of 1992,
recalled for LOSS OF CONFIDENCE. 1995 and 1998. He fully served his first two
terms, and during his third term, the muni-
Under Section 70 of the Local Government cipality was converted into the component City
Code, the recall may be initiated by a resolution of Tuba. The said charter provided for a hold-
adopted by a majority of all the members of the over and so without interregnum Manuel went
preparatory recall assembly, which consists of on to serve as the Mayor of the City of Tuba.
all the mayors, the vice-mayors, and the
sangguniang members of the municipalities and In the 2001 elections, Manuel filed his
component cities, or by a written petition signed certificate of candidacy for City Mayor. He
by at least twenty-five per cent (25%) of the disclosed, though, that he had already served
total number of registered voters in the for three consecutive terms as elected Mayor
province. when Tuba was still a municipality. He also
stated in his certificate of candidacy that he is
According to Section 72 of the Local running for the position of Mayor for the first
Government Code, the recall of an elective time now that Tuba is a city.
local official shall take effect upon the election
and proclamation of a successor in the person Reyes, an adversary, ran against Manuel and
of the candidate receiving the highest number petitioned that he be disqualified because he
of votes cast during the election on recall. had already served for three consecutive terms
as Mayor. The petition was not timely acted
Three-Term Limit Rule (2001) upon, and Manuel was proclaimed the winner
No XIX - In the May 1992 elections, Manuel with 20,000 votes over the 10,000 votes
Manalo and Segundo Parate were elected as received by Reyes as the only other candidate.
Mayor and Vice Mayor, respectively. Upon the It was only after Manuel took his oath and
death of Manalo as incumbent municipal mayor, assumed office that the COMELEC ruled that
Vice Mayor Segundo Parate succeeded as he was disqualified for having ran and served
mayor and served for the remaining portion of for three consecutive terms. (5%)
the term of office. In the May 1995 election,
Segundo Parate ran for and won as mayor and (a) As lawyer of Manuel, present the
then served for the full term. In the May 1998 possible arguments to prevent his
elections, Parate ran for reelection as Mayor disqualification and removal.
and won again. In the May 2001 election,
Segundo Parate filed his certificate of SUGGESTED ANSWER:
candidacy for the same position of mayor, but As lawyer of Manuel, I would argue that he
his rival mayoralty candidate sought his should not be disqualified and removed
disqualification alleging violation of the three- because he was a three-term mayor of the
term limit for local elective officials provided for municipality of Tuba, and, with its conversion to
in the Constitution and in the Local Government a component city, the latter has a totally
Code. separate and different corporate personality
from that of the municipality. Moreover, as a
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 122
rule, in a representative democracy, the people particular election. The permanent vacancy in
should be allowed freely to choose those who the contested office should be filled by
will govern them. Having won the elections, the succession. (Labo v. COMELEC, G.R. No.
choice of the people should be respected. 105111, July 3,1992)

(b) How would you rule on whether or not ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:


Manuel is eligible to run as Mayor of Reyes could not be proclaimed as winner
the newly-created City of Tuba because he did not win the election. To allow
immediately after having already the defeated candidate to take over the
served for three (3) consecutive terms Mayoralty despite his rejection by the electorate
as Mayor of the Municipality of Tuba? is to disenfranchise the electorate without any
fault on their part and to undermine the
SUGGESTED ANSWER: importance and meaning of democracy and the
Manuel is not eligible to run as mayor of the city people's right to elect officials of their choice.
of Tuba. The 1987 Constitution specifically (Benito v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 106053, August
included an exception to the people's freedom 17, 1994)
to choose those who will govern them in order
to avoid the evil of a single person
accumulating excessive power over a particular Vacancy; Effect of Vice-Mayor Acting As
territorial jurisdiction as a result of a prolonged Mayor (2002)
stay in the same office. To allow Manuel to vie No XIV. Suppose A, a Municipal Mayor, went
for the position of city mayor after having on a sick leave to undergo medical treatment
served for three consecutive terms as a for a period of four (4) months. During that time
municipal mayor would obviously defeat the A. Will B, the Municipal Vice-Mayor, be
very intent of the framers when they wrote this performing executive functions? Why? (2%)
exception. Should he be allowed another three B. Will B at the same time be also performing
consecutive terms as mayor of the City of Tuba, legislative functions as presiding officer of
Manuel would then be possibly holding office as the Sangguniang Bayan? Why? (3%)
chief executive over the same territorial SUGGESTED ANSWER:
jurisdiction and inhabitants for a total of A. Since the Municipal Mayor is temporarily
eighteen consecutive years. This is the very incapacitated to perform his duties, in
scenario sought to be avoided by the accordance with Section 46(a) of the Local
Constitution, if not abhorred by it. (Latasa v. Government Code, the Municipal Vice-Mayor
COMELEC, G.R. No. 154829, December 10, shall exercise his powers and perform his
2003) duties and functions. The Municipal Vice-Mayor
will be performing executive functions, because
(c) Assuming that Manuel is not an the functions of the Municipal Mayor are
eligible candidate, rebut Reyes' claim executive.
that he should be proclaimed as
winner having received the next higher B. The Municipal Vice-Mayor cannot continue
number of votes. as presiding officer of the Sangguniang Bayan
while he is acting Municipal Mayor. In
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: accordance with Gamboa v. Aguirre, 310 SCRA
Reyes cannot be proclaimed winner for 867 (1999), under the Local Government Code,
receiving the second highest number of votes. the Vice-Municipal Mayor was deprived of the
The Supreme Court has consistently ruled that power to preside over the Sangguniang Bayan
the fact that a plurality or a majority of the votes and is no longer a member of it. The temporary
are cast for an ineligible candidate at a popular vacancy in the office of the Municipal Mayor
election, or that a candidate is later declared to creates a corresponding temporary vacancy in
be disqualified to hold office, does not entitle the Office of the Municipal Vice-Mayor when he
the candidate who garnered the second highest acts as Municipal Mayor. This constitutes
number of votes to be declared elected. The inability on his part to preside over the sessions
same merely results in making the winning of the Sangguniang Bayan.
candidate's election a nullity. In the present
case, 10,000 votes were cast for private Vacancy; Rule of Succession (1995)
respondent Reyes as against the 20,000 votes No. 7: The Vice Mayor of a municipality filed his
cast for petitioner Manuel. The second placer is certificate of candidacy for the same office in
obviously not the choice of the people in this the last elections. The Municipal Mayor was
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 123
also running for re-election. Both were official SUGGESTED ANSWER:
candidates of the same political party. After the As held in Farinas v. Barba, 256 SCRA 396
last day for the filing of certificates of candidacy, (1996), neither of the appointments is valid.
the Mayor died. Under these facts - Under Section 45 of the Local Government
a) Can the Vice Mayor succeed to the office of Code, in case of a permanent vacancy in the
Mayor pursuant to the provisions of the Sangguniang Bayan created by the cessation in
Local Government Code? Explain. office of a member who does not belong to any
b) Assuming that the Vice Mayor succeeds to political party, the Governor shall appoint a
the position of Mayor after the incumbent qualified person recommended by the
died, which position is now different from Sangguniang Bayan. Since A was not
the one for which he has filed his certificate recommended by the Sangguniang Bayan, his
of candidacy, can he still continue to run as appointment by the Governor is not valid. Since
Vice Mayor? Explain. B was not appointed by the Governor but by the
c) Is there any legal impediment to the Vice Municipal Mayor, his appointment is also not
Mayor to replace the re-electionist Mayor valid.
who died? Explain,
SUGGESTED ANSWER: ARTICLE IX Commission on
Yes, the vice mayor can succeed to the office of
mayor. Under Section 44 of the Local Audit
Government Code, he stands next in line to the COA; Jurisdiction (2001)
office of mayor in case of a permanent vacancy No VIII - The Philippine National Bank was then
in it. His filing of a Certificate of Candidacy for one of the leading government-owned banks
Mayor did not automatically result to his being and it was under the audit jurisdiction of the
considered resigned (Sec. 67, Omnibus Commission on Audit (COA). A few years ago,
Election Code). it was privatized.

Yes, the vice mayor can continue to run as vice What is the effect, if any, of the privatization of
mayor. At the time that he filed his certificate of PNB on the audit Jurisdiction of the COA? (5%)
candidacy, the vice mayor ran for the same SUGGESTED ANSWER:
office he was holding. In determining whether In accordance with the ruling in Philippine
a candidate is running for a position other than Airlines vs. Commission on Audit, 245 SCRA
the one he is holding in a permanent capacity 39,(1995), since the Philippine National Bank is
and should be considered resigned, it is the no longer owned by the Government, the
office he was holding at the time he filed his Commission on Audit no longer has jurisdiction
certificate of candidacy should be considered. to audit it as an institution. Under Section 2(2),
There is no legal impediment to the vice mayor Article IX-D of the Constitution, it is
running as mayor to replace the vice mayor government-owned or controlled corporations
who died under Section 77 of the Omnibus and their subsidiaries which are subject to audit
Election Code, if a candidate dies after the last by the Commission on Audit. However, in
day for filing certificates of candidacy, he may accordance with Section 2(1), Article IX-D of
be replaced by a person belonging to his the Constitution, the Commission on Audit can
political party. However, it is required that he audit the Philippine National Bank with respect
should first withdraw his Certificate of to its accounts because the Government still
Candidacy for Vice-Mayor and file a new has equity in it.
Certificate of Candidacy for Mayor.
COA; Money Claims (1998)
Vacancy; SB; Rule on Succession (2002) No I. - The Department of National Defense
No XV. A vacancy occurred in the sangguniang entered into a contract with Raintree
bayan of a municipality when X, a member, Corporation for the supply of ponchos to the
died. X did not belong to any political party. Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP),
stipulating that, in the event of breach, action
To fill up the vacancy, the provincial governor may be filed in the proper courts in Manila.
appointed A upon the recommendation of the
sangguniang panlalawigan. On the other hand, Suppose the AFP fails to pay for delivered
for the same vacancy, the municipal mayor ponchos, where must Raintree Corporation file
appointed B upon the recommendation of the its claim? Why? [ 10%]
sangguniang bayan. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Which of these appointments is valid? (5%) Raintree Corporation must file its claim with the
Commission on Audit, Under Section 2(1) IX-D
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 124
of the Constitution, the Commission on Audit
has the authority to settle all accounts
pertaining to expenditure of public funds. ARTICLE X Local Government
Raintree Corporation cannot file a case in court. Appointment of Budget Officer; control vs
The Republic of the Philippines did not waive its supervision (1999)
immunity from suit when it entered into the No V - D. On May 17, 1988, the position of
contract with Raintree Corporation for the Provincial Budget Officer of Province X became
supply of ponchos for the use of the Armed vacant. Pedro Castahon, governor of the
Forces of the Philippines. The contract involves province, pursuant to Sec. 1 of E.O. No. 112,
the defense of the Philippines and therefore submitted the names of three nominees for the
relates to a sovereign function. aforesaid position to the Department of Budget
Management (DBM), one of whom was that of
In United States vs. Ruiz, 136 SCRA 487, Marta Mahonhon. A month later, Castahon
492, the Supreme Court held; "The informed the DBM that Mahonhon had
restrictive application of State immunity is assumed the office of PBO and requested that
proper only when the proceedings arise out she be extended the appropriate appointment.
of commercial transactions of the foreign The DBM Secretary appointed Josefa Kalayon
sovereign. Its commercial activities or instead. Castahon protested the appointment of
economic affairs. Stated differently, a State Kalayon insisting that it is he who had the right
may be said to have descended to the level to choose the PBO by submitting the names of
of an individual and can thus be deemed to his three nominees and Kalayon was not one of
have tacitly given its consent to be sued them. The DBM countered that none of the
only when it enters into business contracts. governor's nominees have the necessary
It does not apply where the contract relates qualifications for the position. Specifically,
to the exercise of its sovereign functions. In Mahonhon lacked the five-year experience in
this case the projects are an integral part of budgeting. Hence, the DBM was left with no
the naval base which is devoted to the alternative but to name one who possesses all
defense of both the United States and the the requisite qualifications in the person of
Philippines, indisputably a function of the Kalayon. It cited Section 6.0 of the DBM Local
government of the highest order; they are Budget Circular No. 31 which states, "The DBM
not utilized for nor dedicated to commercial reserves the right to fill up any existing vacancy
or business purposes." where none of the nominees of the local chief
executive meet the prescribed requirements."
The provision for venue in the contract does not (a) Was the DBM's appointment valid? (2%)
constitute a waiver of the State Immunity from (b) What can you say regarding the above-
suit, because the express waiver of this quoted Section 6.0 of DBM's Local Budget
immunity can only be made by a statute. Circular No. 31? Explain your answers. (2%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
In Republic us. Purisima 78 SCRA 470, D. (a) Under Section 1 of Executive Order No.
474, the Supreme Court ruled: "Apparently 112, the Provincial Budget Officer must be
respondent Judge was misled by the terms recommended by the Governor. Since Josefa
of the contract between the private Kalayon was not recommended by the
respondent, plaintiff in his sala and Governor, her appointment is not valid. As held
defendant Rice and Corn Administration in San Juan v. Civil Service Commission, 196
which, according to him, anticipated the SCRA 69, if the person recommended by the
case of a breach of contract between the Governor is not qualified, what the Secretary of
parties and the suits that may thereafter Budget and Management should do is to ask
arise. The consent, to be effective though, him to recommend someone who is eligible.
must come from the State acting through a
duly enacted statute as pointed out by (b) DBM Local Budget Circular No. 31 is not
Justice Bengzon in Mobil." valid, since it is inconsistent with Executive
Order No. 112, which requires that the
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: appointee for Provincial Budget Officer be
In accordance with the doctrine of exhaustion of recommended by the Governor. (Under the
administrative remedies, Raintree Corporation Local Government Code, it is now the local
should first file a claim with the Commission on chief executive who is empowered to appoint
Audit. If the claim is denied, it should file a the budget officer).
petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court.
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 125
Boundary Dispute Resolution; LGU; RTC’s A plebiscite is necessary, because this is
Jurisdiction (Q10-2005) required for the creation of a new municipality.
1 - There was a boundary dispute between (Section 10, Article X of the 1987 Constitution.)
Duenas, a municipality, and Passi, an The voters of both Madako and Masigla should
independent component city, both of the same participate in the plebiscite, because both are
province. State how the two local government directly affected by the creation of Masigla. The
units should settle their boundary dispute. (5%) territory of Madako will be reduced. (Tan v.
SUGGESTED ANSWER: COMELEC, 142 SCRA 727 [1986).
Boundary disputes between local government
units should, as much as possible, be settled De Facto Public Corporations; Effect (2004)
amicably. After efforts at settlement fail, then NO. VII - MADAKO is a municipality composed
the dispute may be brought to the appropriate of 80 barangays, 30 west of Madako River and
Regional Trial Court in the said province. Since 50 east thereof. The 30 western barangays,
the Local Government Code is silent as to what feeling left out of economic initiatives, wish to
body has exclusive jurisdiction over the constitute themselves into a new and separate
settlement of boundary disputes between a town to be called Masigla. A law is passed
municipality and an independent component creating Masigla and a plebiscite is made in
city of the same province, the Regional Trial favor of the law.
Courts have general jurisdiction to adjudicate
the said controversy. (Mun. of Kananga v. B. Suppose that one year after Masigla was
Madrona, G.R. No. 141375, April 30, 2003) constituted as a municipality, the law creating it
is voided because of defects. Would that
Boundary Dispute Settlement; Authority; invalidate the acts of the municipality and/or its
Jurisdiction (1999) municipal officers? Explain briefly. (5%)
No V - C. What body or bodies are vested by SUGGESTED ANSWER:
law with the authority to settle disputes Although the municipality cannot be considered
involving: as a de facto corporation, because there is no
(1) two or more towns within the same valid law under which it was created, the acts of
province; (1%) the municipality and of its officers will not be
(2) two or more highly urbanized cities. (1%) invalidated, because the existence of the law
SUGGESTED ANSWER: creating it is an operative fact before it was
1.) Under Section 118(b) of the Local declared unconstitutional. Hence, the previous
Government Code, boundary disputes involving acts of the municipality and its officers should
two or more municipalities within the same be given effect as a matter of fairness and
province shall be settled by the sangguniang justice. (Municipality ofMalabang v. Benito, 27
panlalawigan concerned. SCRA 533 [1969]

2.) Under Section 118(d) of the Local Devolution of Power (1999)


Government Code, boundary disputes involving Define devolution with respect to local
two or more highly urbanized cities shall be government units.
settled by the sangguniang panlungsod of the SUGGESTED ANSWER:
parties. Section 17(e) of the Local Government Code
defines devolution as the act by which the
Creation of New Local Government Units; National Government confers power and
Plebiscite Requirement (2004) authority upon the various local government
NO. VII - MADAKO is a municipality composed units to perform specific functions and
of 80 barangays, 30 west of Madako River and responsibilities.
50 east thereof. The 30 western barangays,
feeling left out of economic initiatives, wish to Franchise; prior approval of LGU necessary
constitute themselves into a new and separate (1988)
town to be called Masigla. No. 9: Macabebe, Pampanga has several
barrios along the Pampanga river. To service
A. Granting that Masigla’s proponents the needs of their residents the municipality has
succeed to secure a law in their favor, would a been operating a ferry service at the same river,
plebiscite be necessary or not? If it is for a number of years already.
necessary, who should vote or participate in the
plebiscite? Discuss briefly. (5%) Sometime in 1987, the municipality was served
SUGGESTED ANSWER: a copy of an order from the Land Tansportation
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 126
Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), goes against the aforesaid constitutional
granting a certificate of public convenience to requirement of three year terms for local
Mr. Ricardo Macapinlac, a resident of officials except for barangay officials.
Macabebe, to operate ferry service across the
same river and between the same barrios being Ordinance; Use & Lease of Properties;
serviced presently by the municipality's ferry Public Use (1997)
boats. A check of the records of the application No. 9: Due to over-crowding in the public
of Macapinlac shows that the application was market in Paco, Manila, the City Council passed
filed some months before, set for hearing, and an ordinance allowing the lease to vendors of
notices of such hearing were published in two parts of the streets where the public market is
newspapers of general circulation in the town of located, provided that the lessees pay to the
Macabebe, and in the province of Pampanga. city government a fee of P50 per square meter
The municipality had never been directly served of the area occupied by the lessees. The
a copy of that notice of hearing nor had the residents in the area complained to the Mayor
Sangguniang Bayan been requested by that the lease of the public streets would cause
Macapinlac for any operate. The municipality serious traffic problems to them. The Mayor
immediately filed a motion for reconsideration cancelled the lease and ordered the removal of
with the LTFRB which was denied. It the went the stalls constructed on the streets.
to the Supreme Court on a petition for certiorari Was the act of the Mayor legal?
to nullify the order granting a certificate of public SUGGESTED ANSWER:
convenience to Macapinlac on two grounds: The cancellation of the lease and the removal
(1) Denial of due process to the municipality; of the stalls are valid. As held in Macasiano vs.
and Diokno, 212 SCRA 464, the lease of public
(2) For failure of Macapinlac to secure approval streets is void, since they are reserved for
of the Sangguniang Bayan for him to public use and are outside the commerce of
operate a ferry service in Macabebe, man.
Resolve the two points in the petition with
reasons. Ordinance; Validity; Closure or Lease of
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Properties for Public Use (2003)
The petition for certiorari should be granted, No XI - An aggrieved resident of the City of
1. As a party directly affected by the operation Manila filed mandamus proceedings against the
of the ferry service, the Municipality of city mayor and the city engineer to compel
Macabebe, Pampanga was entitled to be these officials to remove the market stalls from
directly notified by the LTFRB .... certain city streets which they had designated
as flea markets. Portions of the said city streets
2. It has been held that where a ferry were leased or licensed by the respondent
operation lies entirely within the municipality, officials to market stallholders by virtue of a city
the prior approval of the Municipal government ordinance. Decide the dispute.
is necessary. Once approved, the operator FIRST ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
must then apply with the LTFRB for a certificate The petition should be granted. In accordance
of public convenience and shall be subject to with Macasiano v. Diokno. 212 SCRA 464
LTFRB supervision, (Municipality of Echague v. [1992], since public streets are properties for
Abellera, supra). public use and are outside the commerce of
man, the City Mayor and the City Engineer
Law fixing the terms of local elective cannot lease or license portions of the city
officials (Q4-2006) streets to market stallholders.
State whether or not the law is constitutional. SECOND ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
Explain briefly. The petition should be denied. Under Section
3. A law fixing the terms of local elective 21(d)of the Local Government Code, a city may
officials, other than barangay officials, to 6 by ordinance temporarily close a street so that
years. (2%) a flea market may be established.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The law is invalid. Under Article X, Section 8 of Ordinance; Validity; Compensation;
the 1987 Constitution, "the term of office of Tortuous Act of an Employee (1994)
elective local officials, except barangay officials, No. 6; Johnny was employed as a driver by the
which shall be determined by law, shall be three Municipality of Calumpit, Bulacan. While driving
years and no such official shall serve for more recklessly a municipal dump truck with its load
than three consecutive terms." The law clearly of sand for the repair of municipal streets,
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 127
Johnny hit a jeepney. Two passengers of the be charged to property owners benefited by
jeepney were killed. public works, because the essential difference
between a tax and such assessment is
The Sangguniang Bayan passed an ordinance precisely that the latter is based wholly on
appropriating P300,000 as compensation for benefits received.
the heirs of the victims.
1) Is the municipality liable for the negligence However, if the ordinance levies a tax on all
of Johnny? business establishments located outside the
2) Is the municipal ordinance valid? private subdivision, then it is objectionable on
the ground that it appropriate private funds for a
SUGGESTED ANSWER: public purpose. (Pascual v. Secretary of Public
2) The ordinance appropriating P300,000.00 for Works, supra)
the heirs of the victims of Johnny is void. This
amounts to appropriating public funds for a Ordinance; Validity; Preventing Immorality
private purpose. Under Section 335 of the Local (1987)
Government Code, no public money shall be (c) An ordinance prohibiting barbershop
appropriated for private purposes. operators from rendering massage service to
their customers in a separate room.
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER; SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Upon the foregoing considerations, the (c) The ordinance is valid. In Velasco v,
municipal ordinance is null and void for being Villegas, 120 SCRA 658 (1983) such ordinance
ultra vires. The municipality not being liable to was upheld on the ground that it is a means of
pay compensation to the heirs of the victims, enabling the City of Manila to collect a fee for
the ordinance is utterly devoid of legal basis. It operating massage clinics and of preventing
would in fact constitute an illegal use or immorality which might be committed by
expenditure of public funds which is a criminal allowing the construction of separate rooms in
offense. What is more, the ordinance does not barber shops.
meet one of the requisites for validity of
municipal ordinances, ie., that it must be in Ordinance; Validity; Utilization &
consonance with certain well-established and Development; National Wealth (1991)
basic principles of a substantive nature, to wit: it No. 5; The province of Palawan passes an
does not contravene the Constitution or the law, ordinance requiring all owners/operators of
it is not unfair or oppressive. It is not partial or fishing vessels that fish in waters surrounding
discriminatory. It is consistent with public policy, the province to invest ten percent (10%) of their
and it is not unreasonable. net profits from operations therein in any
enterprise located in Palawan.
Ordinance; Validity; Local Taxation vs.
Special Assessment (1987) NARCO Fishing Corp., a Filipino corporation
1987 No. V: State whether or not the following with head office in Navotas, Metro Manila,
city ordinances are valid and give reasons in challenges the ordinance as unconstitutional.
support of your answers: Decide the case.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(b) An ordinance on business establishments to The ordinance is invalid. The ordinance was
raise funds for the construction and apparently enacted pursuant to Article X, Sec. 7
maintenance of roads in private subdivisions, of the Constitution, which entitles local
which roads are open for use by segments of governments to an equitable share in the
the public who may have business inside the proceeds of the utilization and development of
subdivision. the national wealth within their respective
SUGGESTED ANSWER: areas. However, this should be made pursuant
(b) The ordinance is valid. The charge on the to law. A law is needed to implement this
business establishments is not a tax but a provision and a local government cannot
SPECIAL ASSESSMENT. Hence, the holding constitute itself unto a law. In the absence of a
in Pascual v. Secretary of Public Works, 110 law the ordinance in question is invalid.
Phil. 331 (1960), that public funds cannot be
appropriated for the construction of roads in a Ordinances; Validity; Amending Nat’l Laws
private subdivision, does not apply. As held in (1988)
Apostolic Prefect v. City Treasurer of Baguio, No. 4: Jose Y. Sabater is a real estate
71 Phil. 547 (1941), special assessments may developer. He acquires raw lands and converts
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 128
them into subdivisions. After acquiring a lot of power of Tacloban City to suppress gambling
around 15 hectares in Cabanatuan City, he and prohibited games of chance excludes of
caused the preparation of a subdivision plan for chance permitted by law. Implied repeals are
the property. Before he was able to submit the not favored. (Basco v. PAGCOR)
subdivision plan to the Bureau of Lands and/or
Land Registration Commission for verification Ordinances; Validity; Limitation of Penalties
and/or approval, he was informed that he must (1991)
first present the plan to the City Engineer who No. 10: The municipality of Alcoy, Cebu,
would determine whether the zoning ordinance passed Ordinance No. 10, series of 1991,
of the Cabanatuan City had been observed. He requiring owners, administrators, or tenants of
was surprised when he was asked to pay the buildings and premises to keep and maintain
city government a service fee of P0.30 per them in sanitary condition, and should they fail
square meter of land, covered by his to do so, cause them to be cleared and kept in
subdivision plan. He was even more surprised sanitary condition and the cost thereof to be
when informed that a fine of P200.00 and/or assessed against the owner, administrator or
imprisonment for not exceeding six months or tenant, as the case may be, which cost shall
both, have been fixed in the ordinance as constitute a lien against the property. It further
penalty for violation thereof. Believing that the penalizes violation thereof with a fine not
city ordinance is illegal, he filed suit to nullify the exceeding One Thousand Pesos (P1,000.00) or
same. imprisonment for one (1) year at the discretion
Decide the case with reasons. of the court. Is the ordinance valid?
SUGGESTED ANSWER: SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The ordinance is null and void. In Villacorta v. The ordinance is valid insofar as it requires
Bernardo, 143 SCRA 480 (1986) the Supreme owners, administrators, or tenants of buildings
Court held that a municipal ordinance cannot and premises to keep and maintain them in
amend a national law in the guise of sanitary condition and provides that should they
implementing it. In this case, the requirement fail to do so, the municipality shall cause them
actually conflicts with sec. 44 of Act No. 496 to be cleaned and the cost shall be assessed
because the latter does not require subdivision against the owner, administrator, or tenant and
plans to be submitted to the City Engineer shall be a lien against the property. This is
before they can be submitted for approval to, expressly authorized by Sec. 149(kk) of the
and verification by, the Land Registration Local Government Code.
Commission and/or the Bureau of Lands.
However, the penalty for the violation of the
Ordinances; Validity; Gambling Prohibition ordinance is invalid, because it is excessive.
(1995) The penalty in this case is a fine not exceeding
No. 4: 2. PAGCOR decided to operate a casino P1,000 or imprisonment for one year, in the
in Tacloban City under authority of P.D. No. discretion of the court. Under Sec. 149 (c) of
1869. It leased a portion of a building belonging the Local Government Code, however, the
to Ellen McGuire renovated and equipped it in penalty for the violation of a municipal
preparation for its inauguration. The ordinance can not exceed a fine of P1,000.00
Sangguniang Panlungsod of Tacloban City or Imprisonment for six months, or both at the
enacted an ordinance prohibiting the operation discretion of the court.
of casinos in the City and providing penalty for
its violation. Ellen McGuire and PAGCOR Ordinances; Veto Power (1996)
assailed the validity of the ordinance in court. (1) How does the local legislative assembly
How would you resolve the issue? Discuss fully. override the veto by the local chief
SUGGESTED ANSWER: executive of an ordinance?
The ordinance should be declared invalid. As (2) On what grounds can a local chief
held in Magtajas vs. Pryce Properties executive veto an ordinance?
Corporation. Inc., 234 SCRA 255. such an (3) How can an ordinance vetoed by a local
ordinance contravenes Presidential Decree No. chief executive become a law without it
1869, which authorizes the Philippine being overridden by the local legislative
Amusement and Gaming Corporation to assembly?
operate casinos within the territorial Jurisdiction SUGGESTED ANSWER:
of the Philippines, because it prevents the said (1) Under Sections 54 (a) and 55 (c) of the
corporation from exercising the power conferred Local Government Code, the local
on it to operate a casino in Tacloban City. The legislative assembly can override the veto
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 129
of the local chief executive by two-thirds Lake Development Authority vs. Court of
vote of all its members. Appeals, 231 SCRA 292, under Republic Act
No, 4850, the Laguna Lake Development
(2) Under Section 55[a] of the Local Authority is mandated to promote the
Government Code, the local chief executive development of the Laguna Lake area,
may veto an ordinance on the ground that it including the surrounding Province of Rizal,
is ULTRA VIRES or PREJUDICIAL TO THE with due regard to the prevention of pollution.
PUBLIC WELFARE. The Laguna Lake Development Authority is
mandated to pass upon and approve or
(3) Pursuant to Section 54(b) of the Local disapprove all projects proposed by local
Government Code, an ordinance vetoed by government offices within the region.
the local chief executive shall be deemed
approved if he does not communicate his 2. Yes, the Laguna Lake Development
veto to the local legislative assembly within Authority can justify its order. Since it has been
15 days in the case of a province and 10 authorized by Executive Order No. 927 to make
days in the case of a city or a municipality. orders requiring the discontinuance of pollution,
Likewise, if the veto by the local executive its power to issue the order can be inferred from
has been overridden by the local legislative this. Otherwise, it will be a toothless agency.
assembly, a second veto will be void. Under Moreover, the Laguna Lake Development
Section 55(c) of the Local Government Authority is specifically authorized under its
Code, the local chief executive may veto an Charter to issue cease and desist orders.
ordinance only once.
Power to Issue Subpoena & Cite For
Police Power; LLDA (1995) Contempt (1993)
No. 9: The Municipality of Binangonan, Rizal, No 6: Mayor Alfredo Lim closed the funhouses
passed a resolution authorizing the operation of in the Ermita district suspected of being fronts
an open garbage dumpsite in a 9- hectare land for prostitution. To determine the feasibility of
in the Reyes Estate within the Municipality's putting up a legalized red light district, the city
territorial limits. Some concerned residents of council conducted an inquiry and invited
Binangonan filed a complaint with the Laguna operators of the closed funhouses to get their
Lake Development Authority (LLDA) to stop the views. No one honored the Invitation. The city
operation of the dumpsite due to its harmful council issued subpoenas to compel the
effects on the health of the residents. The LLDA attendance of the operators but which were
conducted an on-site investigation, monitoring, completely disregarded. The council declared
testing and water sampling and found that the the operators guilty of contempt and issued
dumpsite would contaminate Laguna de Bay warrants for their arrest.
and the surrounding areas of the Municipality.
The LLDA also discovered that no The operators come to you for legal advice,
environmental clearance was secured by the asking the following questions:
Municipality from the Department of (1) Is the council empowered to issue
Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) subpoenas to compel their attendance?
and the LLDA as required by law. The LLDA (2) Does the council have the power to cite for
therefore issued to the Binangonan municipal contempt?
government a cease and desist order to stop SUGGESTED ANSWER:
the operation of the dumpsite. The Municipality (1) The city council is not empowered to issue
of Binangonan filed a case to annul the order subpoenas to compel the attendance of the
issued by the LLDA. operators of the fun-houses In the Ermita
(1) Can the Municipality of Binangonan invoke district. There is no provision in the
police power to prevent its residents and Constitution, the Local Government Code,
the LLDA from interfering with the operation or any law expressly granting local
of the dumpsite by the Municipality? legislative bodies the power to subpoena
Explain. witnesses. As held in Negros Oriental II
(2) Can the LLDA justify its order by asserting Electric Cooperative, Inc. vs. Sangguniang
that the health of the residents will be Panlungsod of Dumaguete, 155 SCRA 421,
adversely affected. Explain. such power cannot be implied from the
SUGGESTED ANSWER: grant of delegated legislated power. Such
1. No, the Municipality of Binangonan cannot power is Judicial. To allow local legislative
invoke its police power. According to Laguna bodies to exercise such power without
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 130
express statutory basis would violate the of Appeals, G.R. No. 107916, February 20,
doctrine of separation of powers. 1997)

(2) The city council does not have the power to The question of whether there is genuine
cite for contempt. There is likewise no necessity for the expropriation of Christina's lot
provision in the Constitution, the Local or whether the municipality has other and better
Government Code, or any other laws lots for the purpose is a matter that will have to
granting local legislative bodies the power be resolved by the Court upon presentation of
to cite for contempt. Such power cannot be evidence by the parties to the case.
deemed implied in the delegation of
legislative power to local legislative bodies, Powers of Barangay Assembly (2003)
for the existence of such power poses a Can a Barangay Assembly exercise any police
potential derogation of individual rights. power?
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Power; Eminent Domain; LGU; Right to No, the Barangay Assembly cannot exercise
Exercise (Q10-2005) any police power. Under Section 398 of the
The Sangguniang Bayan of the Municipality of Local Government Code, it can only
Santa, Ilocos Sur passed Resolution No. 1 recommend to the Sangguniang Barangay the
authorizing its Mayor to initiate a petition for the adoption of measures for the welfare of the
expropriation of a lot owned by Christina as site barangay and decide on the adoption of an
for its municipal sports center. This was initiative.
approved by the Mayor. However, the
Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Ilocos Sur Powers; Liga ng mga Barangay (2003)
disapproved the Resolution as there might still Can the Liga ng mga Barangay exercise
be other available lots in Santa for a sports legislative powers?
center. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The Liga ng Mga Barangay cannot exercise
Nonetheless, the Municipality of Santa, through legislative powers. As stated in Bito-Onon v.
its Mayor, filed a complaint for eminent domain. Fernandez. 350 SCRA 732 [2001], it is not a
Christina opposed this on the following local government unit and its primary purpose is
grounds: (a) the Municipality of Santa has no to determine representation of the mga in the
power to expropriate; (b) Resolution No. 1 has sanggunians; to ventilate, articulate, and
been voided since the Sangguniang crystallize issues affecting barangay
Panlalawigan disapproved it for being arbitrary; government administration; and to secure
and (c) the Municipality of Santa has other and solutions for them through proper and legal
better lots for that purpose. means.
Resolve the case with reasons. (5%)
Requisites; Contracts Involving LGU (1991)
SUGGESTED ANSWER: The Municipality of Sibonga, Cebu, wishes to
Under Section 19 of R.A. No. 7160, the power enter into a contract involving expenditure of
of eminent domain is explicitly granted to the public funds. What are the legal requisites
municipality, but must be exercised through an therefor?
ordinance rather than through a resolution. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(Municipality ofParanaque v. V.M. Realty Corp., The following are the legal requisites for the
G.R. No. 127820, July 20, 1998) validity of a contract to be entered into by the
Municipality of Sibonga, which involves the
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Ilocos Sur expenditure of public funds:
was without the authority to disapprove (1) The contract must be within the power of
Resolution No. 1 as the municipality clearly has the municipality;
the power to exercise the right of eminent (2) The contract must be entered into by the
domain and its Sangguniang Bayan the proper officer, i.e., the mayor, upon
capacity to promulgate said resolution. The only resolution of the Sangguniang Bayan
ground upon which a provincial board may pursuant to Section 142 of the Local
declare any municipal resolution, ordinance or Government Code;
order invalid is when such resolution, ordinance (3) In accordance with Sec. 606 of the Revised
or order is beyond the powers conferred upon Administrative Code, there must be an
the council or president making the same. Such appropriation of the public funds; and in
is not the situation in this case. (Moday v. Court accordance with Sec. 607, there must be a
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 131
certificate of availability of funds issued by not liable for real estate tax on the property
the municipal treasurer; and belonging to the government which it occupy.
(4) The contract must conform with the formal However, Section 234 of the Local Government
requisites of written contracts prescribed by Code subsequently withdrew the exemption
law. from real property taxes of government-owned
or controlled corporations. If I were the Judge,
Requisites; Contracts involving LGU (1995) I would hold the National Development
No. 4: 1. What are the conditions under which a Company liable for real estate taxes.
local executive may enter into a contract in
behalf of his government unit? Taxation; Sources of Revenue (1999)
SUGGESTED ANSWER: No V - Under the Constitution, what are the
1. The following are the conditions under which three main sources of revenues of local
a local executive may enter into a contract in government units? (2%)
behalf of the government until: SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(1) The local government unit must have the The following are the main sources of revenues
power to enter into the particular contract; of local government units under the
(2) Pursuant to Section 22(c) of the Local Constitution:
Government Code, there must be a prior 1. Taxes, fees, and charges. (Section 5, Article
authorization by the sangguniang X)
concerned, and a legible copy of the 2. Share in the national taxes. (Section 6,
contract shall be posted at a conspicuous Article X)
place in the provincial capitol or the city, 3. Share in the proceeds of the utilizations and
municipal or barangay hall. development of the national wealth within
(3) In accordance with Sections 46 and 47, their areas. (Section 7, Article X}
Chapter 8, Subtitle B. Book V of the 1987
Administrative Code, if the contract Involves Withdrawal of Public Property from Public
the expenditure of public funds, there must Use (1990)
be an appropriation therefore and a No. 8: XYZ, a corporation organized under the
certificate of availability of funds by the laws of Hongkong, with 100% foreign equity,
treasurer of the local government unit. obtained from the Securities and Exchange
(4) The contract must conform with the formal Commission a license to operate a prawn
requisites of written contracts prescribed by hatchery project on a piece of land leased from
law. the City of Dagupan. The land was formerly a
(5) Pursuant to Section 2068 of the Revised park and plaza belonging to the City and was
Administrative Code, if a province is a party converted by the City to derive much needed
to a contract conveying title to real property, funds.
the contract must be approved by the (1) May the City of Dagupan lawfully convert
President. Under Section 2196 of the the park to prawn ponds and lease the same?
Revised Administrative Code, if a Explain your answer.
municipality is a party to a contract (2) May the City of Dagupan and XYZ
conveying real property or any Interest in it corporation validly enter into the lease contract
or creating a lien upon it, the contract must for the prawn ponds? Answer with reasons.
be approved by the provincial governor. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(1) Yes, the City of Dagupan may lawfully
Taxation; GOCC Liability For Real Estate convert the park into prawn ponds and lease
Tax (1999) them. A city may close a park and plaza and
No VI - C. The Province of X required the once the property has been withdrawn from
National Development Company to pay real public use, it falls within the commerce of man
estate taxes on the land being occupied by and may be leased. Section 10 of the Local
NDC and the latter argued that since it is a Government Code provides:
government-owned corporation, its properties "A local government unit may likewise,
are exempt from real estate taxes. If you were through its head acting pursuant to a
the Judge, how would you decide the case? resolution of its sanggunian and in
Reason out. (2%) accordance with existing law and the
SUGGESTED ANSWER: provisions of this Code, close any
In National Development Company v. Cebu barangay, municipal, city or provincial
City, 215 SCRA 382, the Supreme Court held road, street, alley park or square. No
that the National Development Company was such way or place or any part thereof
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 132
shall be closed without indemnifying Alcantara cannot reassume office as member of
any person prejudiced thereby. A the Sangguniang Bayan. As held in
property thus withdrawn from public use Sangguniang Bayan of San Andres v. Court of
may be used or conveyed for any Appeals, 284 SCRA 276 (1998), Alcantara
purpose for which other real property should be deemed to have abandoned his
belonging to the local unit concerned position as member of the Sangguniang Bayan.
might be lawfully used or conveyed." His intention to abandon his position is shown
by his failure to perform his function as member
In Favis v. City Baguio, 27 SCRA 1060, it was of the Sangguniang Bayan, his failure to collect
held that the City of Baguio could close a street the salary for the position, his failure to object to
and lease it since it had become patrimonial the appointment of his replacement, and his
property. Likewise, in Cebu Oxygen and failure to initiate any act to reassume his post
Acetylene Company, Inc. a Berceles, 66 SCRA after the reorganization of the Sangguniang
481, it was held that the City of Cebu could Bayan was voided.
close a street and sell it thereafter.
Alcantara effected his intention by his letter of
(2) Since the City of Dagupan has the power to resignation, his assumption of office as member
convert the park into prawn ponds it can also of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, his
lease it to XYZ even though XYZ is a 100%- discharge of his duties as its member, and his
foreign corporation. The operation of a prawn receipt of the salary for such post.
hatchery does not involve exploitation of natural
resources within the meaning of Sections 2 and Alcantara cannot be deemed to have lost his
3, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution. office as member of the Sangguniang Bayan by
(Secretary of Justice, Op. No. 3, s. 1988) Since resignation. Under Section 82 of the Local
the portion of the park had been withdrawn from Government Code, the resignation should be
public use, it could be disposed for any lawful submitted to the Sangguniang Bayan. He
purpose including leasing it to a foreign submitted it to the Mayor instead, and the
corporation. resignation was not accepted.

Discipline; Clemency; Doctrine of


ARTICLE XI Accountability of Condonation (2000)
No VI. A provincial governor duly elected to
Public Officers office was charged with disloyalty and
suspended from office pending the outcome of
Abandonment of Office (2000) the formal investigation of the charges against
No VII. Alcantara was elected barangay him. The Secretary of Interior and Local
chairman and later president of the Association Governments found him guilty as charged and
of Barangay Councils in his municipality. In that removed him from office. He filed a petition
capacity, he was appointed by the President as before the Supreme Court questioning his
member of the Sangguniang Bayan of his removal. While the case was pending before
municipality. Later, the Secretary of Interior and the Supreme Court, he filed his certificate of
Local Governments appointed Alcantara as candidacy for the position of Governor and won,
member of the Sanggunlang Panlalawigan of and was proclaimed Governor. He claims his
their province to meet a reorganizational reelection to the position of Governor has
contingency, and Mendoza took his place in the rendered the pending administrative case
Sangguniang Bayan. Alcantara then wrote a against him moot and academic. Is he correct?
letter of resignation from the Sangguniang Explain. (5%)
Bayan addressed to the Mayor of the SUGGESTED ANSWER:
municipality, ceased functioning as member Yes, the re-election of the governor has
thereof and assumed office and performed his rendered the pending administrative case
functions as member of the Sanggunlang against him moot. As explained in Aguinaldo v.
Panlalawigan. Later, the reorganization of the Santos, 212 SCRA 768 (1992), a local elective
Sangguniang Panlalawigan and the official cannot be removed from office for
appointment of Mendoza were voided. Can misconduct committed during his previous term,
Alcantara reassume office as member of the because each term is separate and the people
Sangguniang Bayan or has he lost it because of by re-electing him are deemed to have forgiven
resignation? abandonment? Explain. (5%) his misconduct.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:

BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 133


Discipline; Effect of Pardon Granted in b) Can he claim salary for the period that his
Favor of Public Officers (1999) case was pending appeal? Why? (2%)
No IV - C. A City Assistant Treasurer was SUGGESTED ANSWER;
convicted of Estafa through falsification of
a) Alfonso Beit cannot claim any
public document. While serving sentence, he
salary for the period of his preventive
was granted absolute pardon by the President.
suspension during the pendency of the
1. Assuming that the position of Assistant City investigation. As held in Gloria vs. Court of
Treasurer has remained vacant, would he Appeals, 306 SCRA 287 (1997), under Section
be entitled to a reinstatement without the 52 of the Civil Service Law, the provision for
need of a new appointment? Explain. (2%) payment of salaries during the period of
preventive suspension during the pendency of
2. If later the same position becomes vacant,
the investigation has been deleted. The
could he reapply and be reappointed?
preventive suspension was not a penalty. Its
Explain. (2%)
imposition was lawful, since it was authorized
SUGGESTED ANSWER: by law.
C. 1.) As held in Monsanto v. Factoran, b) If the penalty was modified
170 SCRA 190, pardon merely frees the because Alfonso Beit was exonerated of the
individual from all the penalties and legal charge that was the basis for the decision
disabilities imposed upon him because of his ordering his dismissal, he is entitled to back
conviction. It does not restore him to the public wages, otherwise, this would be tantamount to
office relinquished by reason of the conviction. punishing him after exoneration from the charge
which caused his dismissal. [Gloria vs. Court of
FIRST ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
Appeals, 3O6 SCRA 287 (1997)]. If he was
2.) The Assistant City Treasurer can reprimanded for the same charge which was
reapply and be appointed to the position, since the basis of the decision ordering his dismissal,
the pardon removed the disqualification to hold Alfonso Belt is not entitled to back wages,
public office. because he was found guilty, and the penalty
was merely commuted. (Dela Cruz vs. Court of
SECOND ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
Appeals, 305 SCRA 303 (1998)].
2.) The Assistant City Treasurer cannot
reapply and be appointed to the position, Under
Article 36 of the Revised Penal Code, a pardon Discipline; Preventive Suspension (1990)
does not restore the right to hold public office
No. 6: In 1986, F, then the officer-in-charge of
unless such right be expressly restored by the
Botolan, Zambales, was accused of having
pardon;
violated the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices
Act before the Sandiganbayan. Before he could
be arrainged, he was elected Governor of
Discipline; Preventive Suspension &
Zambales, After his arraignment, he was put
Appeal; entitlement to salary pendente
under preventive suspension by the
(2001)
Sandiganbayan "for the duration of the trial".
No XV - Alfonso Beit, a supply officer in the
(1) Can F successfully challenge the
Department of Science and Technology
legality of his preventive suspension on the
(DOST), was charged administratively. Pending
ground that the criminal case against him
investigation, he was preventively suspended
involved acts committed during his term as
for 90 days. The DOST Secretary found him
officer-in-charge and not during his term as
guilty and meted him the penalty of removal
Governor?
from office. He appealed to the Civil Service
Commission (CSC). In the meantime, the (2) Can F validly object to the
decision was executed pending appeal. The aforestated duration of his suspension?
CSC rendered a decision which modified the
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
appealed decision by imposing only a penalty of
reprimand, and which decision became final. (1) No, F cannot successfully challenge the
legality of his preventive suspension on the
a) Can Alfonso Belt claim salary for the period
ground that the criminal case against him
that his case was pending investigation? Why?
involve acts committed during his term as OIC
(3%)
and not during his term as governor because
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 134
suspension from office under Republic Act 3019 Section 13 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt
refers to any office that the respondent is Practices Act, which is not a penalty but a
presently holding and not necessarily to the one preventive measure. Since Section 13 of the
which he hold when he committed the crime Anti-Graft and Corruption Practices Act does
with which he is charged. This was the ruling in not state that the public officer must be
Deloso v. Sandiganbayan 173 SCRA 409. suspended only in the office where he is
alleged to have committed the acts which he
(2) Yes, F can validly object to the duration of
has been charged, it applies to any office which
the suspension. In Deloso u. Sandiganbayan,
he may be holding.
173 SCRA 409, it was held that the imposition
of preventive suspension for an indefinite period Elective and Appointive Officials:
of time is unreasonable and violates the right of disciplinary authority (2004)
the accused to due process. The people who 2004 (3-b) CTD, a Commissioner of the
elected the governor to office would be National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC),
deprived of his services for an indefinite period, sports a No. 10 car plate. A disgruntled litigant
and his right to hold office would be nullified. filed a complaint against him for violation of the
Moreover, since under Section 42 of the Civil Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act before the
Service Decree the duration of preventive Ombudsman. CTD now seeks to enjoin the
suspension should be limited to ninety (90) Ombudsman in a petition for prohibition,
days, equal protection demands that the alleging that he could be investigated only by
duration of preventive suspension under the the Supreme Court under its power of
Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act he also supervision granted in the Constitution. He
limited to ninety (90) days. contends that under the law creating the NLRC,
he has the rank of a Justice of the Court of
Discipline; Preventive Suspension (2002)
Appeals, and entitled to the corresponding
No II. Simeon Valera was formerly a Provincial privileges. Hence, the OMB has no jurisdiction
Governor who ran and won as a Member of the over the complaint against him.
House of Representatives for the Second Should CTD's petition be granted or dismissed?
Congressional District of lloilo. For violation of Reason briefly. (5%)
Section 3 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt
Practices Act (R.A. No.3019), as amended, SUGGESTED ANSWER:
allegedly committed when he was still a The petition of CTD should be dismissed.
Provincial Governor, a criminal complaint was Section 21 of the Ombudsman Act vests the
filed against him before the Office of the Office of the Ombudsman with disciplinary
Ombudsman for which, upon a finding of authority over all elective and appointive
probable cause, a criminal case was filed with officials of the government, except officials who
the Sandiganbayan. During the course of trial, may be removed only by impeachment,
the Sandiganbayan issued an order of Members of Congress, and the Judiciary. While
preventive suspension for 90 days against him. CTD has the rank of a Justice of the Court of
Appeals, he does not belong to the Judiciary
Representative Valera questioned the
but to the Executive Department. This simply
validity of the Sandiganbayan order on the
means that he has the same compensation and
ground that, under Article VI , Section 16(3) of
privileges as a Justice of the Court of Appeals.
the Constitution, he can be suspended only by
If the Supreme Court were to investigate CTD,
the House of Representatives and that the
it would be performing a non-judicial function.
criminal case against him did not arise from his
This will violate the principle of separation of
actuations as a member of the House of
powers. (Noblejas v. Teehankee, 23 SCRA 405
Representatives.
[1968])
Is Representative Valera's contention correct?
Why? (5%) Elective Public Officer; De Facto Officer
SUGGESTED ANSWER: (2000)

The contention of Representative Valera is not No XVI. In the elections of May 1992, Cruz and
correct As held in Santiago v. Sandiganbayan, Santos were the candidates for the office of
356 SCRA 636, the suspension contemplated Municipal Mayor, the term of which was to
in Article VI, Section 16(3) of the Constitution is expire on June 30, 1995. Finding that he won
a punishment that is imposed by the Senate or by a margin of 20 votes, the Municipal Board of
House of Representatives upon an erring Canvassers proclaimed Cruz as the duly
member, it is distinct from the suspension under elected Mayor. Santos filed an election protest
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 135
before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) which B. AVE cannot collect salaries and allowances
decided that it was Santos who had the plurality from the government for the first two years of
of 30 votes and proclaimed him the winner. On his term, because in the meanwhile BART
motion made, the RTC granted execution collected the salaries and allowances. BART
pending the appeal of Cruz to the COMELEC was a de facto officer while he was in
(Comelec) and on this basis. Santos assumed possession of the office. To allow AVE to collect
office and served as Municipal Mayor. In time, the salaries and allowances will result in making
the Comelec reversed the ruling of the RTC and the government pay a second time. (Mechem,
instead ruled that Cruz won by a margin of 40 A Treatise on the Law of Public Offices and
votes and proclaimed him the duly elected Public Officers, [1890] pp. 222-223.)
Municipal Mayor.
BART is not required to refund to the
a) It is now beyond June 30, 1995.
government the salaries and allowances he
Can Cruz still hold office for the portion of the
received. As a de facto officer, he is entitled to
term he has failed to serve? Why? (3%)
the salaries and allowances because he
b) Was Santos a usurper and should rendered services during his incumbency.
he pay back what he has received while holding (Rodriguez v. Tan, 91 Phil. 724 119520.
the office as Municipal Mayor? Why? (2%)
The bills which BART alone authored and were
SUGGESTED ANSWER;
approved by the House of Representatives are
a) Cruz can no longer hold office for the valid because he was a de facto officer during
portion of the term he failed to serve since his his incumbency. The acts of a de facto officer
term has expired. are valid insofar as the public is concerned.
(People v. Garcia, 313 SCRA 279 [19990.
b) Santos was not a usurper. He was a
de facto officer, since he had a color of election
to the office of Municipal Mayor by virtue of the
Graft and Corruption; Prescription of Crime
decision in the election protest. Hence, he is
(2002)
entitled to the emoluments of the office.
No XII. Suppose a public officer has committed
a violation of Section 3 (b) and (c) of the Anti-
Elective Public Officers; De Facto Officer; Graft and Corrupt Practices Act {RA No, 3019),
effects (2004) as amended, by receiving monetary and other
material considerations for contracts entered
X-B. AVE ran for Congressman of QU
into by him in behalf of the government and in
province. However, his opponent, BART, was
connection with other transactions, as a result
the one proclaimed and seated as the winner of
of which he has amassed illegally acquired
the election by the COMELEC. AVE filed
wealth.
seasonably a protest before HRET (House of
Representatives Electoral Tribunal). After two (a) Does the criminal offense
years, HRET reversed the COMELEC’s committed prescribe? (2%)
decision and AVE was proclaimed finally as the
(b) Does the right of the government to
duly elected Congressman. Thus, he had only
recover the illegally acquired wealth prescribe?
one year to serve in Congress.
(3%)
Can AVE collect salaries and
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
allowances from the government for the first
two years of his term as Congressman? (a) A violation of Section 3(b) and (c) of the
Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act prescribes.
Should BART refund to the government
As held in Presidential Ad-Hoc Fact-Finding
the salaries and allowances he had received as
Committee on Behest Loans v. Desierto, 317
Congressman?
SCRA 272 (1999), Article XI, Section 15 of the
What will happen to the bills that BART Constitution does not apply to criminal cases for
alone authored and were approved by the violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices
House of Representatives while he was seated Act
as Congressman? Reason and explain briefly.
(b) Article XI, Section 15 of the Constitution
(5%)
provides that the right of the State to recover
SUGGESTED ANSWER: properties unlawfully acquired by public officials
or employees, or from them or from their
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 136
nominees or transferees, shall not be barred by SUGGESTED ANSWER:
prescription.
1. Impeachment is a method by which persons
holding government positions of high
authority, prestige, and dignity and with
Impeachment; Cronyism (2000)
definite tenure may be removed from office for
No II. Is cronyism a legal ground for the causes closely related to their conduct as public
impeachment of the President? Explain. (5%) officials, (V.G. SINCO, PHILIPPINE POLITICAL
LAW 373 (llth ed. 1962)).
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The grounds for impeachment are culpable
Yes, cronyism is a legal ground for the
violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery,
impeachment of the President. Under Section
graft and corruption, other high crimes and
2, Article XI of the Constitution, betrayal of
betrayal of public trust. (Art. XI, sec. 2).
public trust is one of the grounds for
Impeachment. This refers to violation of the The officials removable by impeachment
oath of office and includes cronyism which are the President, Vice President, the
involves unduly favoring a crony to the Members of the Supreme Court, Members of
prejudice of public interest, (Record of the the Constitutional Commissions and the
Constitutional Commission, Vol. II, p. 272) Ombudsman. (Id.)
Impeachment; Grounds (1999)
No XV - What are the grounds for 2. PD No. 1606, sec. 1, in so far as it provides
impeachment. Explain. (2%) for the removal of the members of the
Sandiganbayan only by impeachment must be
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
deemed to have been rendered inoperative by
Under Section 2, Article XI of the Constitution, the new Constitution which provides that with
the grounds for impeachment are the exception of the officials there mentioned,
1. Culpable violation of the Constitution - "All other public officers and employees may be
means intentional violation of the removed from office as provided by law, but not
Constitution and not violations committed by impeachment." Moreover, under Art. VIII,
in good faith. sec, 11, the power to remove lower court
2. Treason - the same meaning as in the judges is vested in the Supreme Court en banc
Revised Penal Code which, by the vote of a majority of the members
3. Bribery - the same meaning as in the who actually take part in the deliberation on the
Revised Penal Code issues in the case and vote thereon, can
dismiss lower court judges.
4. Graft and Corruption - refers to
prohibited acts enumerated in the Anti-
Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Law of Public Officers; Next-in-Rank Rule
5. other High Crimes - refer to offenses that (1994)
strike at the very life or orderly working of
the government. No. 15 Pedro Cruz, the City Engineer of
6. and Betrayal of Public Trust - refers to Baguio, retired. To fill the vacant position, the
any violation of the oath of office. (Cruz, City Mayor appointed Jose Reyes, a civil
Philippine Political Law, 1998 ed., pp. engineer who formerly worked under Cruz but
336-337; Bernas, The 1987 Constitution had been assigned to the Office of the Mayor
of the Philippines: A Commentary, 1996 for the past five years.
ed., pp. 991-992) Vicente Estrada, the Assistant City
Engineer filed a protest with the Civil Service
Impeachment; Nature; Grounds; PD 1606 Commission claiming that being the officer next
(1988) in rank he should have been appointed as City
No. 14: 1. What is impeachment, what are the Engineer.
grounds therefor, and who are the high officials 1) Who has a better right to be appointed to the
removable thereby? contested position?
2. Presidential Decree No. 1606 SUGGESTED ANSWER:
provides that Justices of the Sandiganbayan
may be removed only by impeachment. Is this 1) On the assumption that Jose Reyes
Presidential Decree still valid? Why? possesses the minimum qualification
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 137
requirements prescribed by law for the position, (1) No, X cannot recover damages from the
the appointment extended to him is valid. Secretary of Public Works. The Secretary of
Consequently, he has a better right than Public Works ordered the demolition of the
Vicente Estrada. fishpond in the performance of his official
duties. He did not act in bad faith or with gross
The claim of Estrada that being the
negligence. He issued the order only after due
officer next in rank he should have been
investigation. In Mabutol v. Pascual, 124 SCRA
appointed as City Engineer is not meritorious. It
876, it was held that the members of the Ad
is a settled rule that the appointing authority is
Hoc Committee created to implement
not limited to promotion in filling up vacancies
Presidential Decree No. 296 and Letter of
but may choose to fill them by the appointment
Instruction No, 19, which ordered the demolition
of persons with civil service eligibility
of structures obstructing public waterways,
appropriate to the position. Even if a vacancy
could' not be sued for damages although they
were to be filled by promotion, the concept of
ordered the demolition of a building that
"next in rank" does not import any mandatory
encroached upon a creek, because the public
requirement that the person next in rank must
officers concerned did not act in bad faith.
be appointed to the vacancy. What the civil
service law provides is that if a vacancy is filled (2) No, the libel suit will not prosper. The
by promotion, the person holding the position report submitted by the Secretary of Public
next in rank thereto "shall be considered for Works to the President constitutes privileged
promotion." Espanol v. Civil Service communication, as it was sent in the
Commission 206 SCRA 715, performance of official duty.
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER; Article 354 of the Revised Penal Code
provides;
Neither Jose Reyes nor Vicente Estrada has a
better right to be appointed City Engineer. As "Every defamatory imputation is
held in Barrozo vs. Civil Service Commission, presumed to be malicious, even if it be true, if
198 SCRA 487, the appointing authority is not no good intention and justifiable motive for
required to appoint the one next-in-rank to fill a making it is shown, except in the following
vacancy. He is allowed to fill it also by the cases:
transfer of an employee who possesses civil
1. A private communication made by
service eligibility.
any person to another in the performance of
Liability For Damages in Performance of any legal, moral or social duty;"
Official Functions (1990)
In Deano v. Godinez, 12 SCRA 483, it
No. 10: The Secretary of Public Works, after an was held that a report sent by a public official to
investigation, ordered the demolition of the his superior is privileged communication,
fishpond of X as a nuisance per se on the because its submission is pursuant to the
ground that it encroached on navigable rivers performance of a legal duty.
and impeded the use of the rivers. The
Besides, in sending his report, the
Secretary submitted to the President of the
Secretary of Public Works acted in the
Philippines a report of said investigation, which
discharge of his official duties. Hence, he was
report contained clearly libelous matters
acting in behalf of the Republic of the
adversely affecting the reputation of X, a well-
Philippines and within the scope of his authority
known civic and religious leader in the
According to the ruling in Sanders v. Veridiano,
community.
162 SCRA 88, a suit brought against a public
The Supreme Court later found that the rivers official for writing a letter which is alleged to be
were man-made and were constructed on libelous but which was written while he was
private property owned by X. acting as agent of the government and within
the scope of his authority is actually a suit
(1) May X recover damages from the Secretary
against the State without its consent.
of Public Works for the cost involved in
rebuilding the fishponds and for lost profits? ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
State your reason.
The question does not specify how the libel was
(2) Suppose X files a libel suit against the committed. If the libelous statement was not
Secretary of Public Works. Will the said libel relevant to the report on the alleged illegal
suit prosper? Explain your answer. encroachment of the river, the fact that it was
made in the course of an official report does not
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 138
immunize the Secretary of Public Works from Ombudsman: Power to Suspend; Preventive
liability for libel. Suspension (2004)
(6) Director WOW failed the lifestyle check
conducted by the Ombudsman's Office
Local Elective Officials; Limitations On because WOWs assets were grossly
Additional Duties (1995) disproportionate to his salary and allowances.
Moreover, some assets were not included in his
No. 10: A City Mayor in Metro Manila was
Statement of Assets and Liabilities. He was
designated as Member of the Local Amnesty
charged of graft and corrupt practices and
Board (LAB) as allowed under the Rules and
pending the completion of investigations, he
Regulations Implementing Amnesty
was suspended from office for six months.
Proclamation Nos. 347 and 348. as amended
by Proclamation No. 377. The LAB is entrusted
A. Aggrieved, WOW petitioned the Court of
with the functions of receiving and processing
Appeals to annul the preventive suspension
applications for amnesty and recommending to
order on the ground that the Ombudsman
the National Amnesty Commission approval or
could only recommend but not impose the
denial of the applications. The term of the
suspension. Moreover, according to WOW,
Commission and, necessarily, the Local
the suspension was imposed without any
Amnesty Boards under it expires upon the
notice or hearing, in violation of due
completion of its assigned tasks as may be
process. Is the petitioner's contention
determined by the President.
meritorious? Discuss briefly. (5%)
May the City Mayor accept his
designation without forfeiting his elective SUGGESTED ANSWER:
position in the light of the provision of Sec. 7, The contention of Director WOW is not
1st par. Art. IX-B of the 1987 Constitution which meritorious. The suspension meted out to him
pertinently states that "[N]o elective official shall is preventive and not punitive. Section 24 of
be eligible for appointment or designation in any Republic Act No. 6770 grants the Ombudsman
capacity to any public office or position during the power to impose preventive suspension up
his tenure?" Discuss fully, to six months. Preventive suspension maybe
imposed without any notice or hearing. It is
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
merely a preliminary step in an administrative
No, the City Mayor may not accept his investigation and is not the final determination
designation without forfeiting his elective of the guilt of the officer concerned. (Garcia v.
positions. As stated in Flores vs. Drilon 223 Mojica, 314 SCRA 207 [1999]).
SCRA 568, it is the intention of Section 7,
Article X-B of the 1987 Constitution that local B. For his part, the Ombudsman moved to
elective officials should devote their full time to dismiss WOWs petition. According to the
their constituents. While second paragraph of Ombudsman the evidence of guilt of WOW
Section 7, Article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution is strong, and petitioner failed to exhaust
allows appointive officials to hold other offices administrative remedies. WOW admitted he
when allowed by law or by the primary functions filed no motion for reconsideration, but only
of their positions, no such exception is made in because the order suspending him was
the first paragraph, which deals with elective immediately executory. Should the motion
officials. It is the Intention of the 1987 to dismiss be granted or not? Discuss
Constitution to be more stringent with elective briefly. (5%)
local officials.
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: SUGGESTED ANSWER:
B. The motion to dismiss should be denied.
Yes, he may accept such designation Since the suspension of Director WOW was
without forfeiting his mayorship. The immediately executory, he would have suffered
Constitutional provision being cited irreparable injury had he tried to exhaust
contemplates a "public office or position". It is administrative remedies before filing a petition
believed that the Local Amnesty Board is not in court (University of the Philippines Board of
such an office since it is merely an ad hoc body. Regents v. Rasul, 200 SCRA 685 [19910-
Besides, it is believed that its functions are not Besides, the question involved is purely legal.
"sovereign" in character which is one of the (Azarcon v. Bunagan, 399 SCRA 365 [2003]).
elements of a public office.
Ombudsman; Power to Investigate (2003)
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 139
No II A group of losing litigants in a case his authority. Congress intended to empower
decided by the Supreme Court filed a complaint the Ombudsman to suspend all officers, even if
before the Ombudsman charging the Justices they are employed in other offices in the
with knowingly and deliberately rendering an Government. The words "subordinate" and "in
unjust decision in utter violation of the penal his bureau" do not appear in the grant of such
laws of the land. Can the Ombudsman validly power to the Ombudsman.
take cognizance of the case? Explain.
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Power to Issue Subpoena; validity of
delegation (1989)
No, the Ombudsman cannot entertain the
complaint. As stated in the case of In re: No. 17: Assume that under the charter of the
Laureta. 148 SCRA 382 [1987], pursuant to the City of Manila, the City Mayor has the power to
principle of separation of powers, the investigate city officials and employees
correctness of the decisions of the Supreme appointed by him and in connection therewith,
Court as final arbiter of all justiciable disputes is administer oath, take testimony and issue
conclusive upon all other departments of the subpoenas. The mayor issued an executive
government; the Ombudsman has no power to order creating a committee, chaired by "X", to
review the decisions of the Supreme Court by investigate anomalies involving licensed
entertaining a complaint against the Justices of inspectors of the License Inspection Division of
the Supreme Court for knowingly rendering an the Office of the City Treasurer, In the course of
unjust decision. its investigation, "X" subpoenaed "Y", a private
citizen working as bookkeeper of Asia
SECOND ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: Hardware. "Y" refused to appear contending
Article XI, Section 1 of the 1987 Constitution that the Committee of "X" has no power to issue
provides that public officers must at all times be subpoenas. Decide.
accountable to the people. Section 22 of the SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Ombudsman Act provides that the Office of the
Ombudsman has the power to investigate any Yes, the committee has no power to issue
serious misconduct allegedly committed by subpoenas according to Carmelo vs, Ramos, 6
officials removable by impeachment for the SCRA 836. In creating the committee, the
purpose of filing a verified complaint for mayor did not grant it the power to issue
impeachment if warranted. The Ombudsman subpoenas. Besides, the mayor cannot
can entertain the complaint for this purpose. delegate his power to issue subpoenas.
Prohibition On Elective Officer to Hold
Ombudsman; Power to Suspend; Preventive Public Office (2002)
Suspension (1996)
No VII. X was elected provincial governor for a
No. 10: 2) An administrative complaint for term of three years. He was subsequently
violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices appointed by the President of the Philippines
Act against X was filed with the Ombudsman. serving at her pleasure, as concurrent
Immediately after taking cognizance of the case Presidential Assistant for Political Affairs in the
and the affidavits submitted to him, the Office of the President, without additional
Ombudsman ordered the preventive compensation.
suspension of X pending preliminary
Is X's appointment valid? (5%)
investigation. X questioned the suspension
order, contending that the Ombudsman can SUGGESTED ANSWER:
only suspend preventively subordinate
The appointment of X is not valid, because the
employees in his own office.
position of Presidential Assistant for Political
Is X correct? Explain. Affairs is a public office. Article IX-B Section 7
of the Constitution provides that no elective
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
official shall be eligible for appointment or
No, X is not correct. As held in Buenaseda vs. designation in any capacity to any public office
Flavier, 226 SCRA 645. under Section 24 of or position during his tenure. As held in Flores
Republic Act No. 6770, the Ombudsman can v. Drilon, 223 SCRA 568 (1993), since an
place under preventive suspension any officer elective official is ineligible for an appointive
under his disciplinary authority pending an position, his appointment is not valid.
investigation. The moment a complaint is filed
Public Office; Public Trust (1998)
with the Ombudsman, the respondent is under
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 140
No V. - Suppose Congress passed a law to incrimination seeks to prevent is the conviction
Implement the Constitutional principle that a of the witness on the basis of testimony elicited
public office is a public trust, by providing as from him. The rule is satisfied when he is
follows: granted immunity.
"No employee of the Civil Service shall ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
be excused from attending and testifying or
1. In accordance with Evangelista vs. Jarencio,
from producing books, records,
68 SCRA 99, 107-108, If Ong is being cited
correspondence, documents or other evidence
merely as a witness, he may not refuse to
in any administrative investigation concerning
answer. However, if the question tends to
the office in which he is employed on the
violate his right against self-incrimination, he
ground that his testimony or the evidence
may object to it. On the other hand, under the
required of him may tend to incriminate him or
ruling in Chavez vs. Court of Appeals, 24 SCRA
subject him to a penalty or forfeiture; but his
663, 680, If he is a respondent, Ong may refuse
testimony or any evidence produced by him
to answer any question because of his right
shall not be used against him in criminal
against self-incrimination.
prosecution based on the transaction, matter or
thing concerning which is compelled, after SUGGESTED ANSWER:
invoking his privilege against self-incrimination,
2. No Ong cannot argue that the Civil
to testify or produce evidence. Provided,
Service Commission inferred his guilt from his
however, that such individual so testifying shall
refusal to answer. He was not dismissed
not be exempt from prosecution and
because of his involvement in the leakage in
punishment for perjury committed in so
the medical examination but for his refusal to
testifying nor shall he be exempt from demotion
answer. This is a violation of the law. He could
or removal from office. Any employee who
be compelled to answer the question on pain of
refuses to testify or produce any documents
being dismissed in case of his refusal, because
under this Act shall be dismissed from the
he was granted Immunity.
service,"
In Lefkowitz vs. Turley. 414 U.S. 70, 84,
Suppose further, that Ong, a member of
the United States Supreme Court held:
the Professional Regulatory Board, is required
to answer questions in an investigation "Furthermore, the accomodation
regarding a LEAKAGE in a medical between the interest of the State and the Fifth
examination. Amendment requires that the State have means
at its disposal to secure testimony if immunity is
1. Can Ong refuse to answer questions on the
supplied and testimony is still refused. This is
ground that he would incriminate himself? [4%]
recognized by the power of courts to compel
2. Suppose he refuses to answer, and for that testimony, after a grant of immunity, by use of
reason, is dismissed from the service, can he civil contempt and coerced imprisonment.
pausibly argue that the Civil Service Shilitani v. United States, 384 US 364. 16 L Ed
Commission has inferred his guilt from his 2d 622. 86 5 Ct 1531 (1966). Also, given
refusal to answer in violation of the adequate immunity the State may plainly insist
Constitution? |3%] that employees either answer questions under
oath about the performance of their job or suffer
3. Suppose, on the other hand, he answers the
the loss of employment."
question and on the basis of his answers, he is
found guilty and is dismissed. Can he plausibly SUGGESTED ANSWER:
assert that his dismissal is based on coerced
3. Jes Ong can argue that his dismissal
confession? I3%]
was based on coerced confession. In Garrity
SUGGESTED ANSWER: vs. New Jersey, 385 U.S. 493, 500, the United
States Supreme Court held: "We now hold the
1. No, Ong cannot refuse to answer the
protection of the individual under the Fourteenth
question on the ground that he would
Amendment against coerced statements
incriminate himself, since the law grants him
prohibits use in subsequent criminal
immunity and prohibits the use against him in a
proceedings of statements obtained under
criminal prosecution of the testimony or
threat of removal from office, and that it extends
evidence produced by him. As stated by the
to all, whether they are policemen or other
United States Supreme Court in Brown vs.
members of the body politic."
Walker. 161 U.S. 591, 597, what the
constitutional prohibition against self- Retirement Benefits (1996)
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 141
No. 9: 2) A, an employee of the National 1. I disagree. Under Section 7, Article
Treasurer, retired on January 10, 1996. Before XII of the Constitution, a corporation or
she could collect her retirement benefits, the association which is sixty percent owned by
National Treasurer discovered that A had been Filipino citizens can acquire private land,
negligent in the encashment of falsified treasury because it can lease public land and can
warrants. It appears, however, that A had therefore hold public land. However, it cannot
received all money and property clearances acquire public land. Under Section 3, Article XII
from the National Treasurer before her of the Constitution, private corporations and
retirement. associations can only lease and cannot acquire
public land.
Can the National Treasurer withhold
the retirement of A pending determination of her Under Section 8, Article XII of the
negligence in the encashment of the falsified Constitution, a natural-born Filipino citizen who
treasury warrants? Explain. lost his Philippine citizenship may acquire
private land only and cannot acquire public
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
land.
2) In accordance with Tantuico vs.
2. I disagree. The mere fact that a
Domingo, 230 SCRA 391 and Cruz us.
corporation is religious does not entitle it to own
Tantuico, 166 SCRA 670, the National
public land. As held In Register of Deeds vs.
Treasurer cannot withhold the payment of the
Ung Siu Si Temple, 97 Phil. 58, 61, land tenure
retirement benefits of A pending determination
is not indispensable to the free exercise and
of her liability for negligence in the encashment
enjoyment of religious profession of worship.
of the falsified treasury warrants, because her
The religious corporation can own private land
retirement benefits are exempt from execution.
only if it is at least sixty per cent owned by
Filipino citizens.
3. I disagree. Under Section 1 of
ARTICLE XII National Economy Presidential Decree No. 471, corporations and
associations owned by aliens are allowed to
and Patrimony lease private lands up to twenty-five years,
renewable for another period of twenty-five
Acquisition and Lease of Public Lands years upon agreement of the lessor and the
(1998) lessee. Hence, even if the religious corporation
is owned by aliens, it can lease private lands.
Express your agreement or disagreement with
any of the following statements. Begin your 4. I disagree. For a corporation' to
answer with the statement: "I AGREE" or qualify to acquire private lands in the
"DISAGREE" as the case may be. Philippines, under Section 7, Article Xn of the
Constitution in relation to Section 2, Article XII
1. Anyone, whether Individual, of the Constitution, only sixty per cent (60%) of
corporation or association, qualified to acquire the corporation is required to be owned by
private lands is also qualified to acquire public Filipino citizens for it to qualify to acquire private
lands in the Philippines. [2%] lands.
2. A religious corporation is qualified t 5. I agree. A foreign corporation can
o have lands in the Philippines on which it may lease private lands only and cannot lease public
build Its church and make other improvements land. Under Section 2, Article XII of the
provided these are actually, directly and Constitution, the exploration, development and
exclusively used for religious purposes. [2%] utilization of public lands may be undertaken
3. A religious corporation cannot through co-production. Joint venture or
lease private lands In the Philippines. [2%] production-sharing agreements only with
Filipino citizen or corporations or associations
4. A religious corporation can acquire which are at least sixty per cent owned by
private lands in the Philippines provided all its Filipino citizen.
members are citizens of the Philippines. [2%]
5. A foreign corporation can only
lease private lands in the Philippines. [2%] Acquisition of Lands (1987)
SUGGESTED ANSWER: No. XV: On March 1, 1987, "ABC" Corporation,
a company engaged in the export trade, applied
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 142
for judicial confirmation of its title over ten accident without leaving a last will and
hectares of timber lands. The company bought testament.
the land from "X" who in turn inherited it from
Now, X brought suit to recover the land on the
his father "Y". The latter had been in open,
ground that B, being an alien, was not qualified
notorious, public and continued possession of
to buy the land when B and A jointly bought the
the land since 1925. On what valid grounds can
land from him and that, upon the death of C, the
you, as Solicitor General, oppose the
land was inherited by his parents but B cannot
application?
legally acquire and/or inherit it.
ANSWER:
How should the case be decided? If X filed the
As Solicitor General, I can oppose the suit against C when the latter was still alive,
application for confirmation of title on the would your answer be the same? Why? (5%)
ground that under Art. XII, Sec. 3 timber lands
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
cannot be alienated. The ruling in Director of
Lands v. IAC, 146 SCRA 509 (1986), and X cannot recover the land whether from C or A
Director of Lands v, Bengzon, No. 54045, July and B. Under Article IV, Section 1 (2) of the
28, 1987, reiterated in Director of Lands v. Constitution, C is a Filipino citizen since his
Manila Electric Co., G.R, No. 57461, Sept. 11, father is a Filipino. When A and B donated the
1987, to the effect that a corporation is entitled land to C, it became property of a Filipino
to the confirmation of imperfect title to lands citizen. As held in Halili v. Court of Appeals, 287
acquired by it from private individuals who have SCRA 465 (1998), the sale of land to an alien
possessed the same for 30 years, under bona can no longer be annulled if it has been
fide claim of ownership, for the reason that such conveyed to a Filipino citizen. Since C left no
persons are presumed to have performed all will and his parents are his heirs, in accordance
conditions essential to a government grant and, with Article XII, Section 7 of the Constitution, B
therefore, are entitled to the issuance of a can acquire the land by hereditary succession.
certificate of title, applies only to agricultural
lands.
Acquisition of Lands; Citizenship issue
(1989)
Acquisition of Lands (2000)
No. 1: Maria, a natural-born Filipino citizen,
No XVIII. - a) Andy Lim, an ethnic Chinese, went to the United States in 1965 to work as a
became a naturalized Filipino in 1935. But later nurse. With her savings, she bought a parcel of
he lost his Filipino citizenship when he became land consisting of 1,000 square meters in a
a citizen of Canada in 1971. Wanting the best residential subdivision in Metro Manila. She had
of both worlds, he bought, in 1987, a residential the said property titled in her name in 1970. In
lot in Forbes Park and a commercial lot in July, 1972, Maria acquired American citizenship
Binondo. Are these sales valid? Why? (3%) by naturalization. Two months later, she
married her Canadian boyfriend.
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(1) Can Maria validly sell this parcel of land to
No, the sales are not valid. Under Section 8,
the younger sister of her husband who is also a
Article XII of the Constitution, only a natural-
Canadian citizen?
born citizen of the Philippines who lost his
Philippine citizenship may acquire private land. (2) Supposing Maria's husband dies and she
Since Andy Lim was a former naturalized decides to reside in the Philippines
Filipino citizen, he is not qualified to acquire permanently, can Maria buy the parcel of land
private lands. consisting of 400 square meters neighboring
her own?
ANSWER:
Acquisition of Lands by Hereditary
Succession (2002) (1) No, Maria cannot validly sell the parcel of
land to the younger sister of her husband who
No XI. - A, a Filipino citizen, and his wife B, a
is a Canadian citizen. Under Section 7, Article
Japanese national, bought a five-hectare
XII of the 1987 Constitution, as a general rule,
agricultural land from X, a Filipino citizen. The
aliens cannot acquire private land since
couple later executed a deed of donation over
pursuant to Section 2, in relation to Section 3,
the same land in favor of their only child C. A
Article XII, of the 1987 Constitution they are not
year later, however, C died in vehicular
qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 143
domain. Under Section 7, Article XII of the 1987 Section 7, Article XII of the Constitution against
Constitution, an alien can acquire public land by the acquisition of private lands by aliens.
hereditary succession. Under Section 8, Article
2) Because of the naturalization of Peter Co
XII of the 1987 Constitution, a natural-born
as a Filipino citizen, he can exercise the option
Philippine citizen who lost his Philippine
to purchase the land. In accordance with the
citizenship may be a transferee of private land.
ruling in Yap vs. Grageda, 121 SCRA 244.
The younger sister of the husband of Maria is
since he is qualified to own land, the policy to
not acquiring the private land by hereditary
preserve lands for Filipinos will be achieved.
succession but by sale. Neither is she a former
natural-born Philippine citizen who lost her
Philippine citizenship. Consequently, neither of
Acquisition of Lands; Citizenship issue
the exceptions found in the above-mentioned
(1995)
provisions is applicable to her.
No 11; In June 1978 spouses Joel and Michelle
purchased a parcel of land. Lot No. 143,
(2) No, Maria cannot buy the adjoining parcel of Cadastral Survey No. 38-D, with an area of 600
land. Under Section 2 of Batas Pambansa Blg. square meters for their residence in Cainta,
185, a natural-born Philippine citizen who lost Rizal, from Cecille who by herself and her
his Philippine citizenship, may acquire only up predecessor-in-interest had been in open,
to 1,000 square meters of private urban land. public, peaceful, continuous and exclusive
Since Maria has previously acquired a parcel of possession of the property under a bona fide
land with an area of 1,000 square meters, she claim of ownership long before 12 June 1945.
can no longer purchase any additional parcel of At the time of purchase, the spouses Joel and
urban land. Michelle were then natural born Filipino
citizens.
Alternative Answer:
In February 1987 the spouses filed an
Yes, she can acquire the adjacent land which
application for registration of their title before
has an area of 400 square meters since the law
the proper court. This time however Joel and
limits acquisition of lands to 1,000 square
Michelle were no longer Filipino citizens. The
meters after the loss of Philippine citizenship.
government opposed their application for
registration alleging that they have not acquired
proprietary rights over the subject lot because
Acquisition of Lands; Citizenship issue
of their subsequent acquisition of Canadian
(1994)
citizenship, and that unregistered lands are
No. 17: A and B leased their residential land presumed to be public lands under the principle
consisting of one thousand (1,000) square that lands of whatever classification belong to
meters to Peter Co, a Chinese citizen, for a the State under the Regalian doctrine, hence,
period of fifty (50) years. In 1992, before the they still pertain to the State.
term of the lease expired. Co asked A and B to
How will you resolve the issues raised
convey the land to him as the contract gave him
by the applicants and the oppositor? Discuss
the option to purchase said land if he became a
fully.
naturalized Filipino citizen. Co took his oath as
a Filipino citizen in 1991. ANSWER:
1) Was the contract of lease for a period of The argument of the government that
fifty (50) years valid considering that the lessee unregistered lands are presumed to be public
was an alien? lands is utterly unmeritorious. As held in
Republic vs. Court of Appeals. 235 SCRA 562,
2) What is the effect of the naturalization of
in accordance with Section 48 of the Public
Peter Co as a Filipino citizen on the validity of
Land Act, since the predecessors-in- interest of
the option to purchase given him?
Joel and Michelle had been in open, public,
ANSWER: peaceful, continuous and exclusive possession
of the land under a bona fide claim of
1) As held in Philippine Banking Corporation
ownership long before June 12. 1945, their
vs. Lui She. 21 SCRA 52, the lease of a parcel
predecessors- in-interest had acquired the land,
of land with an option to buy to an alien is a
because they were conclusively presumed to
virtual transfer of ownership to the alien and
have performed all conditions essential to a
falls within the scope of the prohibition in
government grant. The land ceased to be a part
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 144
of the public domain. It is alienable and 2) The Deed of Sale cannot be
disposable land. Joel and Michelle acquired the annulled. As held in Cheesman vs. Intermediate
rights of their predecessors-in-interest by virtue Appellate Court, 193 SCRA 93. to accord to
of the sale to them. John Smith, an alien, the right to have a
decisive vote as to the disposition of the land
Joel and Michelle can have the land registered
would permit an indirect controversion of the
in their names. They were natural-born Filipino
constitutional prohibition against the acquisition
citizens at the time of their acquisition of the
of private lands by aliens.
land. In any event they were Filipino citizens at
the time of their acquisition of the land. Their
becoming Canadian citizens subsequently is
Citizenship Requirement in Management of
immaterial. Article XII, Sec. 8 of the 1987
Advertising Industry (1989)
Constitution presupposes that they purchased
the land after they lost Filipino citizenship. It No. 11: (2) May a foreigner who owns
does not apply in this case at all. substantial stockholdings in a corporation
engaged in the advertising industry sit as a
treasurer of said corporation? Cite the
Acquisition of Lands; Prohibition; constitutional provision in point.
acquisition of private lands by aliens (1994)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
No.18; John Smith, a US national, was married
Section 11(1), Article XVI of the 1987
to Petra de Jesus, a Filipino citizen, on June 5,
Constitution provides;
1980. Two (2) years later, Petra purchased a
parcel of residential land from Jose Cruz using (2) No, a foreigner who owns shares of stock in
her own funds. The Deed of Sale states that the a corporation engaged in the advertising
land was sold to "Petra married to John Smith" industry cannot serve as treasurer in the
and was registered as such. With the corporation, for a treasurer is an executive or
knowledge of John Smith, Petra administered managing officer.
the land, leasing parts thereof to several
Section 11(2), Article XVI of the 1987
individuals. Three (3) years later, Petra, without
Constitution provides:
the knowledge of John Smith, sold the land to
David Perez. Upon learning of the transaction, "The participation of foreign investors in
John Smith filed a case to annul the Deed of the governing body of entities in such
Sale. Citing Art. 160 of the Civil Code, he industry shall be limited to their
argued that said sale was without his consent, proportionate share in the capital
the property being conjugal as it was purchased thereof, and all the executive and
at the time he was married to Petra. He managing officers of such entities must
presented the Deed of Sale executed by Petra be citizens of the Philippines."
stating that she is married to John Smith. He
wants to recover at least his conjugal share. Engagement in Business & Exercise of
Profession (1987)
1) Is John Smith entitled to his
conjugal share? No. IX: The Philippine entered into a Treaty of
Friendship, Comity and Commerce with
2) May the Deed of Sale executed by
Indonesia with the following provisions:
Petra In favor of David Perez be annulled?
(1 ) The nationals of each contracting
ANSWER:
State admitted to the practice of law in said
1) No, John Smith is not entitled to his State, to practice law without taking the bar
conjugal share in the land. Firstly, since it was examinations in the other contracting State.
acquired with the personal funds of Petra de
(2) The nationals of each contracting
Jesus, in accordance with the ruling in Mirasol
State to engage in retail trade business in the
vs. Lim, 59 Phil. 701, the presumption that the
territory of the other contracting State.
property is conjugal has been rebutted.
Secondly, a declaration that John Smith is Is the treaty valid?
entitled to a conjugal share in the land will
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
violate the prohibition against the conveyance
of private lands to aliens embodied in Section 7, The treaty is valid.
Article XII of the Constitution.
(1) Art. XII, Sec. 14 provides that the practice
of all professions in the Philippines shall be
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 145
limited to Filipino citizens, save in cases corporation involving technical and financial
prescribed by law. Here the treaty has the force assistance for the exploration and exploitation
of law. of minerals, but there should be no Joint
venture. Section 2, Article XII of the Constitution
(2) Art. XII. Sec. 10 provides that Congress
authorizes the President to enter into
shall reserve to citizens of the Philippines or to
agreements with foreign-owned corporations
corporations or associations at least 60% of the
involving technical or financial assistance for
capital of which is owned by such citizens
the exploration, development, and utilization of
certain areas of investment. There can be no
minerals. However, the same provision states
question then as to the validity of the
the joint venture for the exploration,
Nationalization of Retail Trade Law, the
development and utilization of natural resources
constitutionality of which was sustained in
may be undertaken only with Filipino citizens, or
Ichong v. Hernandez, 101 Phil. 1155 (1957)
corporations or associations at least sixty per
even in the absence of a similar express grant
cent of whose capital is owned by Filipino
of power to Congress under the 1935
citizen.
Constitution. Although Congress can repeal or
amend such law, it may not be amended by a
treaty in view of Art. XII, Sec. 22 which declares
Expropriation of Public Utilities (1992)
acts of circumvent or negate any provisions of
this Art. XII to be inimical to national interest No. 11 - The Philippine Commodities Office
and subject the offenders to criminal and civil (PCO), a government agency, wishes to
sanctions. For then the Retail Trade establish a direct computer and fax linkup with
Nationalization Law becomes part of Art. XII, trading centers in the United States. The
having been passed pursuant to the mandate in advanced technology of a private company,
Sec. 10. Philippine Pacific Telecommunications, is
necessary for that purpose but negotiations
However, it may also be plausibly argued that a
between the parties have failed. The Republic,
treaty may amend a prior law and treaty of
in behalf of the PCO, files suit to compel the
friendship, comity and commerce with
telecommunications company to execute a
Indonesia may be deemed to have created an
contract with PCO for PCO's access and use of
exception in the Nationalization of Retail Trade
the company's facilities.
Law in favor of Indonesian citizen.
Decide. If the case will not prosper, what
Exploration and Development of Minerals alternative will you propose to the Republic?
(1994)
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
No. 11: In the desire to improve the fishing
The action will not prosper. As held in Republic
methods of the fishermen, the Bureau of
of the Philippines vs. Philippine Long Distance
Fisheries, with the approval of the President,
Telephone Company, 26 SCRA 620, parties
entered into a memorandum of agreement to
cannot be compelled to enter into a contract.
allow Thai fishermen to fish within 200 miles
However, since under Section 18, Article XII of
from the Philippine sea coasts on the condition
the Constitution, the State may expropriate
that Filipino fishermen be allowed to use Thai
public utilities, the Republic of the Philippines
fishing equipment and vessels, and to learn
may compel the Philippine Pacific
modern technology in fishing and canning.
Telecommunications to allow access to its
1) Is the agreement valid? facilities. If the Republic of the Philippines can
take title to the facilities of Philippine Pacific
2) Suppose the agreement is for a joint
Telecommunications by its power of
venture on the same area with a Thai oil
expropriation, there is no reason why it cannot
corporation for the exploration and exploitation
use such power to impose only a burden upon
of minerals with the Thai corporation providing
Philippine Pacific Telecommunication without
technical and financial assistance. Is the
loss of title.
agreement valid?
ANSWER; Lease of Private Agricultural Lands (2001)
1) No. Only Filipinos may fish in exclusive No IV - A is an alien. State whether, in the
economic zone... Philippines, he:
2) The President can enter into a a) Can be a lessee of a private agricultural
memorandum of agreement with a Thai oil land, (3%)
BAR Q&A (as arranged by Topics) – POLITICAL LAW (1987-2006) 146
SUGGESTED ANSWER; According to Manila Prince Ho