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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC

G.R. No. L-23475 April 30, 1974


HERMINIO A. ASTORGA, in his capacity as Vice-Mayor of Manila, petitioner,
vs.
ANTONIO J. VILLEGAS, in his capacity as Mayor of Manila, THE HON., THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, ABELARDO SUBIDO, in
his capacity as Commissioner of Civil Service, EDUARDO QUINTOS, in his capacity as Chief of Police of Manila, MANUEL
CUDIAMAT, in his capacity as City Treasurer of Manila, CITY OF MANILA, JOSE SEMBRANO, FRANCISCO GATMAITAN,
MARTIN ISIDRO, CESAR LUCERO, PADERES TINOCO, LEONARDO FUGOSO, FRANCIS YUSECO, APOLONIO GENER,
AMBROCIO LORENZO, JR., ALFONSO MENDOZA, JR., SERGIO LOYOLA, GERINO TOLENTINO, MARIANO MAGSALIN,
EDUARDO QUINTOS, JR., AVELINO VILLACORTA, PABLO OCAMPO, FELICISIMO CABIGAO, JOSE BRILLANTES, JOSE
VILLANUEVA and MARINA FRANCISCO, in their capacities as members of the Municipal Board,respondents.
Artemio V. Panganiban and Renito V. Saguisag and Crispin D. Baizas and Associates for petitioner.
Paredes Poblador, Cruz and Nazareno and Antonio Barredo for respondent Mayor of Manila.
Romeo L. Kahayon for respondents City Treasurer of Manila, etc., et al.
Office of the Solicitor General Arturo A. Alafriz, Assistant Solicitor General Pacifico P. de Castro, Solicitor Jorge R. Coquia and Solicitor
Ricardo L. Pronove, Jr. for respondents The Executive Secretary and Commissioner of Civil Service.
Fortunato de Leon and Antonio V. Raquiza as amici curiae.

MAKALINTAL, C.J.:p
The present controversy revolves around the passage of House Bill No. 9266, which became Republic Act 4065, "An Act Defining the
Powers, Rights and Duties of the Vice-Mayor of the City of Manila, Further Amending for the Purpose Sections Ten and Eleven of
Republic Act Numbered Four Hundred Nine, as Amended, Otherwise Known as the Revised Charter of the City of Manila."
The facts as set forth in the pleadings appear undisputed:
On March 30, 1964 House Bill No. 9266, a bill of local application, was filed in the House of Representatives. It was there passed on
third reading without amendments on April 21, 1964. Forthwith the bill was sent to the Senate for its concurrence. It was referred to the
Senate Committee on Provinces and Municipal Governments and Cities headed by Senator Gerardo M. Roxas. The committee
favorably recommended approval with a minor amendment, suggested by Senator Roxas, that instead of the City Engineer it be the
President Protempore of the Municipal Board who should succeed the Vice-Mayor in case of the latter's incapacity to act as Mayor.
When the bill was discussed on the floor of the Senate on second reading on May 20, 1964, substantial amendments to Section 1 1 were
introduced by Senator Arturo Tolentino. Those amendments were approved in toto by the Senate. The amendment recommended by
Senator Roxas does not appear in the journal of the Senate proceedings as having been acted upon.
On May 21, 1964 the Secretary of the Senate sent a letter to the House of Representatives that House Bill No. 9266 had been passed
by the Senate on May 20, 1964 "with amendments." Attached to the letter was a certification of the amendment, which was the one
recommended by Senator Roxas and not the Tolentino amendments which were the ones actually approved by the Senate. The House
of Representatives thereafter signified its approval of House Bill No. 9266 as sent back to it, and copies thereof were caused to be
printed. The printed copies were then certified and attested by the Secretary of the House of Representatives, the Speaker of the House
of Representatives, the Secretary of the Senate and the Senate President. On June 16, 1964 the Secretary of the House transmitted
four printed copies of the bill to the President of the Philippines, who affixed his signatures thereto by way of approval on June 18, 1964.
The bill thereupon became Republic Act No. 4065.
The furor over the Act which ensued as a result of the public denunciation mounted by respondent City Mayor drew immediate reaction
from Senator Tolentino, who on July 5, 1964 issued a press statement that the enrolled copy of House Bill No. 9266 signed into law by
the President of the Philippines was a wrong version of the bill actually passed by the Senate because it did not embody the
amendments introduced by him and approved on the Senate floor. As a consequence the Senate President, through the Secretary of the
Senate, addressed a letter dated July 11, 1964 to the President of the Philippines, explaining that the enrolled copy of House Bill No.
9266 signed by the secretaries of both Houses as well as by the presiding officers thereof was not the bill duly approved by Congress
and that he considered his signature on the enrolled bill as invalid and of no effect. A subsequent letter dated July 21, 1964 made the
further clarification that the invalidation by the Senate President of his signature meant that the bill on which his signature appeared had

never been approved by the Senate and therefore the fact that he and the Senate Secretary had signed it did not make the bill a valid
enactment.
On July 31, 1964 the President of the Philippines sent a message to the presiding officers of both Houses of Congress informing them
that in view of the circumstances he was officially withdrawing his signature on House Bill No. 9266 (which had been returned to the
Senate the previous July 3), adding that "it would be untenable and against public policy to convert into law what was not actually
approved by the two Houses of Congress."
Upon the foregoing facts the Mayor of Manila, Antonio Villegas, issued circulars to the department heads and chiefs of offices of the city
government as well as to the owners, operators and/or managers of business establishments in Manila to disregard the provisions of
Republic Act 4065. He likewise issued an order to the Chief of Police to recall five members of the city police force who had been
assigned to the Vice-Mayor presumably under authority of Republic Act 4065.
Reacting to these steps taken by Mayor Villegas, the then Vice-Mayor, Herminio A. Astorga, filed a petition with this Court on September
7, 1964 for "Mandamus, Injunction and/or Prohibition with Preliminary Mandatory and Prohibitory Injunction" to compel respondents
Mayor of Manila, the Executive Secretary, the Commissioner of Civil Service, the Manila Chief of Police, the Manila City Treasurer and
the members of the municipal board to comply with the provisions of Republic Act 4065.
Respondents' position is that the so-called Republic Act 4065 never became law since it was not the bill actually passed by the Senate,
and that the entries in the journal of that body and not the enrolled bill itself should be decisive in the resolution of the issue.
On April 28, 1965, upon motion of respondent Mayor, who was then going abroad on an official trip, this Court issued a restraining order,
without bond, "enjoining the petitioner Vice-Mayor Herminio Astorga from exercising any of the powers of an Acting Mayor purportedly
conferred upon the Vice-Mayor of Manila under the so-called Republic Act 4065 and not otherwise conferred upon said Vice-Mayor
under any other law until further orders from this Court."
The original petitioner, Herminio A. Astorga, has since been succeeded by others as Vice-Mayor of Manila. Attorneys Fortunato de Leon
and Antonio Raquiza, with previous leave of this Court, appeared as amici curiae, and have filed extensive and highly enlightening
memoranda on the issues raised by the parties.
Lengthy arguments, supported by copious citations of authorities, principally decisions of United States Federal and State Courts, have
been submitted on the question of whether the "enrolled bill" doctrine or the "journal entry" rule should be adhered to in this jurisdiction. A
similar question came up before this Court and elicited differing opinions in the case of Mabanag, et al. vs. Lopez Vito, et al. (March 5,
1947), 78 Phil. Reports 1. While the majority of the Court in that case applied the "enrolled bill" doctrine, it cannot be truly said that the
question has been laid to rest and that the decision therein constitutes a binding precedent.
The issue in that case was whether or not a resolution of both Houses of Congress proposing an amendment to the (1935) Constitution
to be appended as an ordinance thereto (the so-called parity rights provision) had been passed by "a vote of three-fourths of all the
members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives" pursuant to Article XV of the Constitution.
The main opinion, delivered by Justice Pedro Tuason and concurred in by Justices Manuel V. Moran, Guillermo F. Pablo and Jose M.
Hontiveros, held that the case involved a political question which was not within the province of the judiciary in view of the principle of
separation of powers in our government. The "enrolled bill" theory was relied upon merely to bolster the ruling on the jurisdictional
question, the reasoning being that "if a political question conclusively binds the judges out of respect to the political departments, a duly
certified law or resolution also binds the judges under the "enrolled bill rule" born of that respect."
Justice Cesar Bengzon wrote a separate opinion, concurred in by Justice Sabino Padilla, holding that the Court had jurisdiction to
resolve the question presented, and affirming categorically that "the enrolled copy of the resolution and the legislative journals are
conclusive upon us," specifically in view of Section 313 of Act 190, as amended by Act No. 2210. This provision in the Rules of Evidence
in the old Code of Civil Procedure appears indeed to be the only statutory basis on which the "enrolled bill" theory rests. It reads:
The proceedings of the Philippine Commission, or of any legislative body that may be provided for in the Philippine
Islands, or of Congress (may be proved) by the journals of those bodies or of either house thereof, or by published
statutes or resolutions, or by copies certified by the clerk or secretary, printed by their order; provided, that in the case
of acts of the Philippine Commission or the Philippine Legislature, when there is in existence a copy signed by the
presiding officers and secretaries of said bodies, it shall be conclusive proof of the provisions of such acts and of the
due enactment thereof.
Congress devised its own system of authenticating bills duly approved by both Houses, namely, by the signatures of their respective
presiding officers and secretaries on the printed copy of the approved bill. 2 It has been held that this procedure is merely a mode of
authentication, 3 to signify to the Chief Executive that the bill being presented to him has been duly approved by Congress and is ready
for his approval or rejection. 4 The function of an attestation is therefore not of approval, because a bill is considered approved after it has
passed both Houses. Even where such attestation is provided for in the Constitution authorities are divided as to whether or not the
signatures are mandatory such that their absence would render the statute invalid. 5 The affirmative view, it is pointed out, would be in
effect giving the presiding officers the power of veto, which in itself is a strong argument to the contrary 6 There is less reason to make
the attestation a requisite for the validity of a bill where the Constitution does not even provide that the presiding officers should sign the
bill before it is submitted to the President.
In one case in the United States, where the (State)Constitution required the presiding officers to sign a bill and this provision was
deemed mandatory, the duly authenticated enrolled bill was considered as conclusive proof of its due enactment. 7 Another case
however, under the same circumstances, held that the enrolled bill was not conclusive evidence.8 But in the case of Field vs. Clark, 9 the

U.S. Supreme Court held that the signatures of the presiding officers on a bill, although not required by the Constitution, is conclusive
evidence of its passage. The authorities in the United States are thus not unanimous on this point.
The rationale of the enrolled bill theory is set forth in the said case of Field vs. Clark as follows:
The signing by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and, by the President of the Senate, in open session, of
an enrolled bill, is an official attestation by the two houses of such bill as one that has passed Congress. It is a
declaration by the two houses, through their presiding officers, to the President, that a bill, thus attested, has received,
in due form, the sanction of the legislative branch of the government, and that it is delivered to him in obedience to the
constitutional requirement that all bills which pass Congress shall be presented to him. And when a bill, thus attested,
receives his approval, and is deposited in the public archives, its authentication as a bill that has passed Congress
should be deemed complete and unimpeachable. As the President has no authority to approve a bill not passed by
Congress, an enrolled Act in the custody of the Secretary of State, and having the official attestations of the Speaker of
the House of Representatives, of the President of the Senate, and of the President of the United States, carries, on its
face, a solemn assurance by the legislative and executive departments of the government, charged, respectively, with
the duty of enacting and executing the laws, that it was passed by Congress. The respect due to coequal and
independent departments requires the judicial department to act upon that assurance, and to accept, as having
passed Congress, all bills authenticated in the manner stated; leaving the courts to determine, when the question
properly arises, whether the Act, so authenticated, is in conformity with the Constitution.
It may be noted that the enrolled bill theory is based mainly on "the respect due to coequal and independent departments," which
requires the judicial department "to accept, as having passed Congress, all bills authenticated in the manner stated." Thus it has also
been stated in other cases that if the attestation is absent and the same is not required for the validity of a statute, the courts may resort
to the journals and other records of Congress for proof of its due enactment. This was the logical conclusion reached in a number of
decisions, 10 although they are silent as to whether the journals may still be resorted to if the attestation of the presiding officers is
present.
The (1935) Constitution is silent as to what shall constitute proof of due enactment of a bill. It does not require the presiding officers to
certify to the same. But the said Constitution does contain the following provisions:
Sec. 10 (4). "Each House shall keep a Journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting
such parts as may in its judgment require secrecy; and the yeas and nays on any question shall, at the request of onefifth of the Members present, be entered in the Journal."
Sec. 21 (2). "No bill shall be passed by either House unless it shall have been printed and copies thereof in its final
form furnished its Members at least three calendar days prior to its passage, except when the President shall have
certified to the necessity of its immediate enactment. Upon the last reading of a bill no amendment thereof shall be
allowed, and the question upon its passage shall be taken immediately thereafter, and the yeas and nays entered on
the Journal."
Petitioner's argument that the attestation of the presiding officers of Congress is conclusive proof of a bill's due enactment, required, it is
said, by the respect due to a co-equal department of the government, 11 is neutralized in this case by the fact that the Senate President
declared his signature on the bill to be invalid and issued a subsequent clarification that the invalidation of his signature meant that the
bill he had signed had never been approved by the Senate. Obviously this declaration should be accorded even greater respect than the
attestation it invalidated, which it did for a reason that is undisputed in fact and indisputable in logic.
As far as Congress itself is concerned, there is nothing sacrosanct in the certification made by the presiding officers. It is merely a mode
of authentication. The lawmaking process in Congress ends when the bill is approved by both Houses, and the certification does not add
to the validity of the bill or cure any defect already present upon its passage. In other words it is the approval by Congress and not the
signatures of the presiding officers that is essential. Thus the (1935) Constitution says that "[e] very bill passed by the Congress shall,

Brown vs. Morris, supra,

before it becomes law, be presented to the President. 12 In


the Supreme Court of
Missouri, interpreting a similar provision in the State Constitution, said that the same "makes it clear that the indispensable step is the
final passage and it follows that if a bill, otherwise fully enacted as a law, is not attested by the presiding officer, of the proof that it has
"passed both houses" will satisfy the constitutional requirement."
Petitioner agrees that the attestation in the bill is not mandatory but argues that the disclaimer thereof by the Senate President, granting
it to have been validly made, would only mean that there was no attestation at all, but would not affect the validity of the statute. Hence,
it is pointed out, Republic Act No. 4065 would remain valid and binding. This argument begs the issue. It would limit the court's inquiry to
the presence or absence of the attestation and to the effect of its absence upon the validity of the statute. The inquiry, however, goes
farther. Absent such attestation as a result of the disclaimer, and consequently there being no enrolled bill to speak of, what evidence is
there to determine whether or not the bill had been duly enacted? In such a case the entries in the journal should be consulted.
The journal of the proceedings of each House of Congress is no ordinary record. The Constitution requires it. While it is true that the
journal is not authenticated and is subject to the risks of misprinting and other errors, the point is irrelevant in this case. This Court is
merely asked to inquire whether the text of House Bill No. 9266 signed by the Chief Executive was the same text passed by both
Houses of Congress. Under the specific facts and circumstances of this case, this Court can do this and resort to the Senate journal for
the purpose. The journal discloses that substantial and lengthy amendments were introduced on the floor and approved by the Senate
but were not incorporated in the printed text sent to the President and signed by him. This Court is not asked to incorporate such
amendments into the alleged law, which admittedly is a risky undertaking, 13 but to declare that the bill was not duly enacted and
therefore did not become law. This We do, as indeed both the President of the Senate and the Chief Executive did, when they withdrew
their signatures therein. In the face of the manifest error committed and subsequently rectified by the President of the Senate and by the

Chief Executive, for this Court to perpetuate that error by disregarding such rectification and holding that the erroneous bill has become
law would be to sacrifice truth to fiction and bring about mischievous consequences not intended by the law-making body.
In view of the foregoing considerations, the petition is denied and the so-called Republic Act No. 4065 entitled "AN ACT DEFINING THE
POWERS, RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF THE VICE-MAYOR OF THE CITY OF MANILA, FURTHER AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE
SECTIONS TEN AND ELEVEN OF REPUBLIC ACT NUMBERED FOUR HUNDRED NINE, AS AMENDED, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS
THE REVISED CHARTER OF THE CITY OF MANILA" is declared not to have been duly enacted and therefore did not become law. The
temporary restraining order dated April 28, 1965 is hereby made permanent. No pronouncement as to costs.
Castro, Teehankee, Antonio, Esguerra, Fernandez, Muoz Palma and Aquino, JJ., concur.
Zaldivar (Chairman), Fernando and Barredo, JJ., took no part.
Makasiar, J., is on leave.

Footnotes
1 Amending Section 10 of R. A. No. 409 defining the powers and duties of the Vice-Mayor.
2 See Rules of the House of Representatives, Rules II (d) and IV(j) and Rules of the Senate; Sections 3(e) and 6(h).
3 Brown vs. Morris, 290 SW 2d 160, 164.
4 Taylor vs. Wilson, 22 NW 119, 120.
5 See Annotations in 95 ALR 273.
6 Brown vs. Morris supra, at pp. 164-165.
7 Hammond vs. Lynch, 151 NW 81, 88.
8 Lynch vs. Hutchinson 76 NE 370.
9 143 U. S. 294, 303; 36 L. ed. 294.
10 Gray vs. Taylor, 113 P 588, 591, affirmed in 227 U. S. 51, 57, 57 L. ed. 413, 416; Pelt vs. Payne, 30 SW 426, 427.
11 Field vs. Clark, supra at p. 303; Mabanag vs. Lopez Vito, 78 Phil. 1, 13; Morales vs. Subido, L-29658, Feb. 27,
1969, 27 SCRA 131, 134.
12 Article VI, Section 20(1). The 1973 Constitution similarly provides in Article VIII, Section 20(1) that "(E)very bill
passed by the National Assembly shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the Prime Minister ... "
13 See, for example, the decisions of this Court in Casco Phil. Chemical Co. vs. Gimenez, L-17931, Feb. 28, 1963, 7
SCRA 347 and Morales vs. Subido, supra.

The Lawphil Project - Arellano Law Foundation

Enrolled Bill
Enrolled Bill
The final copy of a bill or joint resolution that has passed both houses of a legislature and is ready for signature. In legislativepractice, a
bill that has been duly introduced, finally passed by both houses, signed by the proper officers of each, approvedby the governor (or pre
sident), and filed by the Secretary of State.
Under the enrolled bill rule, once an election for the adoption of a statute is held, the procedural method by which the measurewas place
d on the ballot cannot be challenged with a lawsuit since judicial inquiry into legislative procedure is barred as anintrusion into the interna
l affairs of the lawmaking body. In addition, this rule enhances the stability of statutory enactments.Citizens can reasonably rely on the le
gality of filed enactments. As a result, an enrolled bill is the most authoritative source ofstatutory law in a jurisdiction.
West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

CONCURRING AND DISSENTING OPINION


PUNO, J.:
I concur in the result. I do appreciate the fine legal disquisition of Mr. Justice Mendoza to justify the dismissal of the case at
bar. Nevertheless, I have to express my views on the alleged non-justiciability of the issue posed by the petitioner as well as the
applicability of the archaic enroll bill doctrine in light of what I perceive as new wrinkles in our law brought about by the 1987 Constitution
and the winds of changing time.
I
With due respect, I do not agree that the issues posed by the petitioner are non-justiciable. Nor do I agree that we will trivialize the
principle of separation of power if we assume jurisdiction over the case at bar. Even in the United States, the principle of separation of
power is no longer an impregnable impediment against the interposition of judicial power on cases involving breach of rules of procedure
by legislators.
Rightly, the ponencial uses the 1891 case of US v. Ballin,[1] as a window to review the issues before the Court. It is in Ballin where
the US Supreme Court first defined the boundaries of the power of the judiciary to review congressional rules.[2] It held:
xxx
The Constitution, in the same section, provides, that each house may determine the rules of its proceedings. It appears that in pursuance of this
authority the House had, prior to that day, passed this as one of its rules:
Rule XV QUORUM
3. On the demand of any member, or at the suggestion of the Speaker, the names of member, or at the suggestion of the Speaker, the names of
members sufficient to make a quorum in the hall ofthe House who do not vote shall be noted by the clerk and recorded in the journal, and reported to
the Speaker with the names of the members voting, and be counted and announced in determining the presence of a quorum to do business. (House
Journal, 230, Feb. 14, 1890)
The action taken was in direct compliance with this rule. The question, therefore, is as to the validity of this rule, and not what methods the Speaker
may of his own motion resort to for determining the presence of a quorum, nor what matters the Speaker or clerk may of their own volition place upon
the journal. Neither do the advantages or disadvantages, the wisdom or folly, of such a rule present any matters for judicial consideration. With the
courts the question is only one of power. The Constitution empowers each house to determine its rules of proceedings.It may not by its rules
ignore constitutional restraints or violate fundamental rights, and there should be a reasonable relation between the mode or method of
proceedings established by the rule and the result which is sought to be attained. But within these limitations all matters of method are open to
the determination of the House, and it is no impeachment of the rule to say that some other way would be better, more accurate, or even more just. It is
no objection to the validity of a rule that a different one has been prescribed and in force for a length of time. The power to make rules is not one
which ones exercised is exhausted. It is a continuous power, always subject to be exercised by the House, and within the limitations suggested,
absolute and beyond the challenge of any other body or tribunal.
Ballin, clearly confirmed the jurisdiction of courts to pass upon the validity of congressional rules, i.e., whether they are
constitutional. Rule XV was examined by the Court and it was found to satisfy the test: (1) that it did not ignore any constitutional
restraint; (2) it did not violate any fundamental right; and (3) its method has a reasonable relationship with the result sought to be
attained. By examining Rule XV, the Court did not allow its jurisdiction to be defeated by the mere invocation of the principle of
separation of powers.
Ballin was followed in 1932 by the case of US v. Smith.[3] In Smith, the meaning of sections 3 and 4 of Rule XXXVIII of the US
senate was in issue, viz:
xxx
3. When a nomination is confirmed or rejected, any Senator voting in the majority may move for a reconsideration on the same day on which the vote
was taken, or on either of the next two days of actual executive session of the Senate; but if a notification of the confirmation or rejection of a
nomination shall have been sent to the President before the expiration of the time within which a motion to reconsider may be made, the motion to
reconsider shall be accompanied by a motion to request the President to return such notification to the Senate. Any motion to reconsider that vote on a
nomination may be laid on the table without prejudice to the nomination, and shall be a final disposition of such motion.
4. Nominations confirmed or rejected by the Senate shall not be returned by the Secretary to the President until the expiration of the time limited for
making a motion to reconsider the same, or while a motion to reconsider is pending, unless otherwise ordered by the Senate.
It appears that the nomination of Mr. Smith as member of the Federal Power Commission has been confirmed by the US Senate. The
resolution of confirmation was sent to the US President who then signed the appointment of Mr. Smith. The Senate, however,
reconsidered the confirmation of Mr. Smith and requested the President to return its resolution of confirmation. The President refused. A
petition for quo warrnto was filed against Mr. Smith. The Court, speaking thru Mr. Justice Brandeis, assumed jurisdictionover the
dispute relying on Ballin. It exercised jurisdiction although the question primarily at issue relates to the construction of the dispute
relying on Ballin. It exercised jurisdiction although the question primarily at issue relates to the construction of the applicable rules, not

to their constitutionality. Significantly, the Court rejected the Senate interpretation of its own rules even while it held that it must
be accorded the most sympathetic consideration.
xxx
Sixth. To place upon the standing rules of the Senate a construction different from that adopted by the Senate itself when the present case was under
debate is a serious and delicate exercise of judicial power. The Constitution commits to the Senate the power to make its own rule; and it is not the
function of the Court to say that another rule would be better. A rule designed to ensure due deliberation in the performance of the vital function of
advising and consenting to nominations for public office, moreover, should receive from the Court the most sympathetic consideration.But the reasons,
above stated, against the Senates construction seem to us compelling. We are confirmed in the view we have taken by the fact, since the attempted
reconsideration of Smiths confirmation, the Senate itself seems uniformly to have treated the ordering of immediate notification to the President as
tantamount to authorizing him to proceed to perfect the appointment.
Smith, of course, involves the right of a third person and its ruling falls within the test spelled out in Ballin.
Smith was followed by the 1948 case of Christoffel v. United States.[4] Christoffel testified before the Committee on Education and
Labor of the House of Representive.He denied he was a communist and was charged with perjury in a regular court. He adduced
evidence during the trial that the committee had no quorum when the perjurious statement was given. Nonetheless, he was convicted in
view of the judges charge to the members of the jury that to find Christoffel guilty, they had to find beyond a reasonable doubt that
xxx
x x x the defendant Christoffel appeared before a quorum of at least thirteen members of the said Committee, and that at least that number must have
been actually and physically present if such a Committee so met, that is, if thirteen members did meet at the beginning of the afternoon session of
March 1, 1947, and thereafter during the progress of the hearing some of them left temporarily or otherwise and no question was raised as to the lack
of quorum, then the fact that the majority did not remain there would not affect, for the purposes of this case, the existence of that the Committee as a
competent tribunal provided that before the oath was administered and before the testimony of the defendant was given there were present as many as
13 members of that Committee at the beginning of the afternoon session .
Christoffel objected to the charge on the ground that it allowed the jury to assume there was a continuous quorum simply because it was
present at the start of the meeting of the Committee. Under the House rules, a quorum once established is presumed to continue until
the lack of quorum is raised. Again, the court assumed jurisdiction over the case. A majority of the Court, with Mr. Justice Murphy, as
ponente, defined the issue as what rules the House had established and whether they have been followed. It held:
xxx
Congressional practice in the transaction of ordinary legislative business is of course none of our concern, and by the same token the considerations
which may lead Congress as a matter of legislative practice to treat as valid the conduct of its committees do not control the issue before us. The
question is neither what rules Congress may establish for its own governance, not whether presumptions of continuity may protect the validity of its
legislative conduct. The question is rather what rules the House has established and whether they have been followed. It of course has the power
to define what tribunal is competent to exact testimony and the conditions that establish its competency to do so. The heart of this case is that by the
charge that was given it was allowed to assume that the conditions of competency were satisfied even though the basis in fact was not established in
the face of a possible finding that the facts contradicted the assumption.
We are measuring a conviction of crime by the statute which defined it. As a consequence of this conviction, petitioner was sentenced to imprisonment
for a term or two to six years. An essential part of a procedure which can be said fairly to inflict such a punishment is that all the elements of the crime
charged shall be proved beyond reasonable doubt. An element of the crime charged in the instant indictment is the presence of a complete tribunal, and
the trial court proper so instructed the jury. The House insist that to be such a tribunal a committee must consist of quorum, and we agree with the trial
courts charge that to convict, the jury had to be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that there were actually and physically present a majority of the
committee.
Then to charge, however, that such requirement is satisfied by a finding that there was a majority present two or three hours before the defendant
offered his testimony, in the face of evidence indicating the contrary, is to rule as a matter of law that a quorum need to be present when the offense
is committed. This is not only seems to us contrary to the rules and practice of the Congress but denies petitioner a fundamental right. That right is that
he be convicted of crime only on proof of all elements of the crime charged against him. A tribunal that is not competent is no tribunal, and it
unthinkable that such a body can be an instrument of criminal conviction.
The minority complained that the House has adopted the rule and practice that a quorum once established is presumed continue unless
until a point of no quorum is raised. By this decision, the Court , in effect, invalidates the rule x x x. The minority view commanded
only the vote of three (3) justices.
The US Supreme Court pursued the same line in 1963 in deciding the case of Yellin v. United States.[5] Yellin was indicted on five
counts of willfully refusing to answer questions put to him by a sub-committee of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. He
was convicted by the District Court of contempt of Congress on four counts.The conviction was affirmed by the Court of Appeals for the
7th circuit. On certiorari, he assailed his conviction on the ground that the Committee illegally denied his request to be heard in
executive session. He alleged there was a violation of Committee Rule IV which provides that if a majority of Committee or subcommittee, duly appointed as provided by the rules of the House of Representatives, believes that the interrogation of a witness in a
public hearing might endanger national security or unjustly injure his reputation, or the reputation of other individuals, the Committee
shall interrogate such witness in an executive session for the purpose of determining the necessity or admissibility of conducting such
interrogation thereafter in a public hearing. In a 5-4 decision, the Court, speaking thru Mr. Chief Justice Warren, held:
xxx
Yellin should be permitted the same opportunity for judicial review when he discovers at trial that his rights have been violated. This is especially
so when the Committees practice leads witnesses to misplaced reliance upon its rules. When reading a copy of the committees rules, which must

be distributed to every witness under Rule XVII, the witness reasonable expectation is that the Committee actually does what it purports to do, adhere
to its own rules. To foreclose a defense based upon those rules, simply because the witness was deceived by the Committees appearance of regularity,
is not fair. The committee prepared the groundwork for prosecution in Yellins case meticulously. It is not too exacting to require that the
Committee be equally meticulous in obeying its own rules.
It additionally bears stressing that the United States, the judiciary has pruned the political thicket. In the benchmark case
of Baker v. Carr,[6] the US Supreme Court assumed jurisdiction to hear a petition for re-apportiontment of the Tennessee legislature
ruling that the political question doctrine, a tool for maintenance of government order, will not be so applied as to promote only disorder
and that the courts cannot reject as no law suit, a bonafide controversy as to whether some action denominated political exceeds
constitutional authority.
In the Philippine setting, there is a more compelling reason for courts to categorically reject the political question defense when
its interposition will cover up abuse of power. For section 1, Article VIII of our Constitution was intentionally cobbled to empower courts
x x x to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of
any branch or instrumentality of the government. This power is new and was not granted to our courts in the 1935 and 1972
Constitutions. It was not also xeroxed from the US Constitution or any foreign state constitution. The CONCOM granted this enormous
power to our courts in view of our experience under martial law where abusive exercises of state power were shielded from judicial
scrutiny by the misuse of the political question doctrine. Led by the eminent former Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion, the CONCOM
expanded and sharpened the checking powers of the judiciary vis--vis the Executive and the Legislative departments of government. In
cases involving the proclamation of martial law and suspension of the privilege of habeas corpus, it is now beyond dubeity that the
government can no longer invoke the political question defense. Section 18 of Article VII completely eliminated this defense when it
provided:
xxx
The Supreme Court may review, in an appropriate proceeding filed by any citizen, the sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation of martial
law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of the extension thereof, and must promulgate its decision thereon within thirty days from its filing.
A state of martial law does not suspend the operation of the Constitution, nor supplant the functioning of the civil courts or legislative assemblies, nor
authorize the conferment of jurisdiction on military courts and agencies over civilians where civil courts are able to function, nor automatically
suspend the privilege or the writ.
The CONCOM did not only outlaw the use of the political question defense in national security cases. To a great degree,
it diminished its use as a shield to protect other abuses of government by allowing courts to penetrate the shield with the new power to
review acts of any branch or instrumentality of the government x x x to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. In Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance,[7] I posited the following postulates:
xxx
Section 1. The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law.
Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable,
and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or
instrumentality of the Government.
Former Chief Justice Roberto R. Concepcion, the sponsor of this provision in the Constitutional Commission explained the sense and the
reach of judicial power a s follows:
xxx
x x x In other words, the judiciary is the final arbiter on the question whether or not a branch of government or any of its officials has acted without
jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction, or so capriciously as to constitute an abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction. This is not only a
judicial power but a duty to pass judgment on matters of this nature.
This is the background of paragraph 2 of Section 1, which means that the courts cannot hereafter evade the duty to settle matters of this nature,
by claiming that such matters constitute political question.
The Constitution cannot be any clearer. What it granted to this court is not a mere power which it can decline to exercise. Precisely to deter
this disinclination, the Constitution imposed it as a duty of this Court to strike down any act of a branch or instrumentality of government or
any of its officials done with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Rightly or wrongly, the Constitution has
elongated the checking powers of this Court against the other branches of government despite their more democratic character, the President
and the legislators being elected by the people.
It is however, theorized that this provision is nothing new. I beg to disagree for the view misses the significant changes made in our constitutional
canvass to cure the legal deficiencies we discovered during martial law. One of the areas radically change by the framers of the 1987 Constitution is
the imbalance of power between and among the three great branches of our government the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judiciary. To upgrade
the powers of the Judiciary, the Constitutional Commission strengthened some more the independence of courts. Thus, it further protected the security
of tenure of the members of the Judiciary by providing No law shall be passed reorganizing the Judiciary when it undermines the security of tenure of
its Members.It is also guaranteed fiscal autonomy to the Judiciary.
More, it depoliticalized appointments in the judiciary by creating the Judicial and Bar Council which was tasked with screening the list of prospective
appointees to the judiciary. The power of confirming appointments to the judiciary was also taken away from Congress. The President was likewise

given specific time to fill up vacancies in the judiciary ninety (90) days from the occurrence of the vacancy in case of the Supreme Court and ninety
(90) days from the submission of the list of recommendees by the Judicial and Bar Council in case of vacancies in the lower courts. To further insulate
appointments in the judiciary from the virus of politics, the Supreme Court was given the power to appoint all officials and employees of the Judiciary
in accordance with the Civil Service Law. And to make the separation of the judiciary from other branches of government more watertight, it
prohibited members of the judiciary to be x x x designated to any agency performing quasi judicial or administrative functions. While the Constitution
strengthened the sinews of the Supreme Court, it reduced the powers of the two other branches of the government, especially the Executive. Notable
powers of the President clipped by the Constitution is his power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus and to proclaim martial law. The exercise of this
power is now subject to revocation by Congress. Likewise, the sufficiency of the factual basis for the exercise of said power may be reviewed by this
Court in an appropriate proceeding filed by any citizen.
The provision defining judicial power as including the duty of the courts of justice to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government constitutes the capstone of the
efforts of the Constitutional Commission to upgrade the powers of this court vis--vis the other branches of the government. This provision was dictated
by our experience under martial law which taught us that a stronger and more independent judiciary is needed to abort abuses in government. x x x.
xxx
In sum, I submit that in imposing to this Court the duty to annul acts of government committed with grave abuse of discretion, the new Constitution
transformed this Court from passivity to activism. This transformation, dictated by our distinct experience as a nation, is not merely evolutionary but
revolutionary. Under the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions, this Court approached constitutional violations by initially determining what it cannot
do; under the 1987 Constitution, there is a shift in stress this Court is mandated to approach constitutional violations not by finding out what
it should do but what it must do. The Court must discharge this solemn duty by not resuscitating a past that petrifies the present.
I urge my brethren in the Court to give due and serious consideration to this new constitutional provision as the case at bar once more
calls us to define the parameters of our power to review violations of the rules of the House. We will not be true to our trust as the last
bulwark against government abuses if we refuse to exercise this new power or if we wield it with timidity. To be sure, it is this exceeding
timidity to unsheath the judicial sword that has increasingly emboldened other branches of government to denigrate, if not defy, orders of
our courts. In Tolentino,[8] I endorsed the view of former Senator Salonga that this novel provision stretching the latitude of judicial power
is distinctly Filipino and its interpretation should not be depreciated by undue reliance on inapplicable foreign jurisprudence. In resolving
the case at bar, the lessons or our own history should provide us the light and not the experience of foreigners.
II PART I
Again with due respect, I dissent from the majority insofar as it relied on the enrolled bill doctrine to justify the dismissal of the
petition at bar.
An enrolled bill is one which has been duly introduced, finally enacted by both Houses, signed by the proper officers of each House
and approved by the President. [9] It is a declaration by the two Houses, through their presiding officers, to the President that a bill, thus
attested has received in due the sanction of the legislative branch of the government, and that it is delivered to him in obedience to the
constitutional requirement that all bills which pass Congress shall be presented to him.
The enrolled bill originated in England where there is no written Constitution controlling the legislative branch of the government,
and the acts of Parliament, being regarded in their nature as judicial as emanating from the highest tribunal in the land are placed on the
same footing and regarded with the same veneration as the judgment of the courts which cannot be collaterally attacked. [10] In England,
the conclusiveness of the bill was premised on the rationale that an act of parliament thus made is the exercise the highest authority
that this kingdom acknowledges upon earth. And it cannot be altered, amended, dispensed with, suspended or repealed, but in the same
forms and by the same authority of parliament; for it is a maxim in law that requires the same strength to dissolve as to create an
obligation.[11]
Over the years, the enrolled bill theory has undergone important mutations. Some jurisdictions have adopted the modified entry or
affirmative contradiction rule. Under this rule, the presumption in favor of the enrolled bill is not conclusive. The rule concedes
validity to the enrolled bill unless there affirmatively appears in the journals of the legislature a statement that there has not been
compliance with one or more of the constitutional requirements.[12] Other jurisdiction have adopted the Extrinsic Evidence Rule which
holds that an enrolled bill is only prima facie evidence that it has been regularly enacted. The prima facie presumption, however, can be
destroyed by clear satisfactory and convincing evidence that the constitutional requirements enacting a law have been violated. For this
purpose, journals and other extrinsic evidence are allowed to be received. [13] Some limit the use of extrinsic evidence to issues of
fraud or mistakes.[14]
These variants developed after a re-examination of the rationale of the enrolled bill. The modern rationale for the enrolled bill
theory was spelled out in Field v. Clark,[15]viz.:
xxx
The signing by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and, by the President of the Senate, in open session, of an enrolled bill, is an official
attestation by the two houses of such bill as one that has passed Congress. It is a declaration by the two Houses, through their presiding officers, to the
President, that a bill, thus attested, has received, in due form, the sanction of the legislative branch of the government, and that it is delivered to him in
obedience to the constitutional requirement that all bills which pass Congress shall be presented to him. And when a bill, thus attested, receives his
approval, and is deposited in the public archives, its authentication as a bill that has passed Congress should be deemed complete and
unimpeachable. As the President has no authority to approve a bill not passed by Congress, an enrolled Act in the custody of the Secretary of State,
and having the official attestations of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, of the President of the Senate and of the President of the United
States, carries, on its face, a solemn assurance by the legislative and executive departments of the government, charged, respectively, with the duty of
enacting and executing the laws, that it was passed by Congress. The respect due to coequal and independent departments requires the judicial
department to act upon the assurance, to accept, as having passed Congress, all bills authenticated in the manner stated; leaving the courts to
determine, when the question properly arises, whether the Act, so authenticated, is in conformity with the Constitution.

The principle of separation of powers is thus the principal prop of the enrolled bill doctrine. The doctrine is also justified as a rule of
convenience. Supposedly, it avoids difficult questions of evidence.[16] It is also believed that it will prevent the filing of too many cases
which will cast a cloud of uncertainty on laws passed by the legislature. As explained in Ex Pacte Wren [17] if the validity of every act
published as law is to be tested by examining its history, as shown by the journals of the two houses of the legislature, there will be an
amount of litigation, difficulty, and painful uncertainty appalling in its contemplation, and multiplying a hundredfold the alleged uncertainty
of the law. The conclusiveness of the enrolled bill is also justified on the ground that journals and other extrinsic evidence are conducive
to mistake, if not fraud.
These justifications for the enrolled bill theory have been rejected in various jurisdictions in the United States. In his Dissenting
Opinion in Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance, and its companion cases,[18] Mr. Justice Regalado cited some of the leading American
cases which discussed the reason for the withering, if not demise of the enrolled bill theory, viz:
xxx
Even in the land of its source, the so-called conclusive presumption of validity originally attributed to that doctrine has long been revisited
and qualified, if not altogether rejected. On the competency of judicial inquiry, it has been held that (u)nder the enrolled bill rule by which an
enrolled bill is sole expository of its contents and conclusive evidence of its existence and valid enactment, it is nevertheless competent for
courts to inquire as to what prerequisites are fixed by the Constitution of which journals of respective houses of Legislature are required to
furnish the evidence.
In fact, in Gwynn vs. Hardee, etc. et al., the Supreme Court of Florida declared:
(1) While the presumption is that the enrolled bill, as signed by the legislative offices and filed with the secretary of state, is the bill as it
passed, yet this presumption is not conclusive, and when it is shown from the legislative journals that a bill though engrossed and enrolled,
and signed by the legislative officers contains provisions that have not passed both houses, such provisions will be held spurious and not a part
of the law. As was said by Mr. Justice Cockrell in the case of Wade vs. Atlantic Lumber Co., 51 Fla. 628, text 633, 41 So. 72, 73:
This Court is firmly committed to the holding that when the journals speak they control, and against such proof the enrolled bills not conclusive.
More enlightening and apropos to the present controversy is the decision promulgated on May 13, 1980 by the Supreme Court of Kentucky in D & W
Auto Supply, et al. vs. Department of Revenue, et al., pertinent excerpts wherefrom are extensively reproduced hereunder.
x x x In arriving at our decision we must, perforce, reconsider the validity of a long line of decisions of this court which created and nurtured the socalled enrolled bill doctrine.
xxx
[1] Section 46 of the Kentucky Constitution sets out certain procedures that the legislature must follow before a bill can be considered for final
passage. x x x.
xxx
x x x Under the enrolled bill doctrine as it now exists in Kentucky, a court may not look behind such a bill, enrolled and certified by the appropriate
officers, to determine if there are necessary defects.
xxx
x x x In Lafferty, passage of the law in question violated this provision, yet the bill was properly enrolled and approved by the governor. In declining
to look behind the law to determine the propriety of its enactment, the court enunciated three reasons for adopting the enrolled bill rule. First, the
court was reluctant to scrutinize the process of the legislature, an equal branch of government. Second, reasons of convenience prevailed, which
discouraged requiring the legislature to preserve its records and anticipated considerable compels litigation if the court ruled otherwise. Third, the
court acknowledged the poor record-keeping abilities of the General Assembly and expressed a preference for accepting the final bill as enrolled,
rather than opening up the records of the legislature. x x x.
xxx
Nowhere has the rule been adopted without reason, or as a result of judicial whim. There are four historical bases for the doctrine. (1) An enrolled
bill was a record and, as such was not subject to attack at common law. (2) Since the legislature is one of the three branches of government, the courts,
being coequal, must indulge in every presumption that legislative acts are valid. (3) When the rule was originally formulated, record-keeping of the
legislatures was so inadequate that a balancing of equities required that the final act, enrolled bill, be given efficacy. (4) There were theories of
convenience as expressed by the Kentucky court in Lafferty.
The rule is not uninanimous in the several states, however and it has not been without critics. From an examination of cases and treaties, we
can summarize the criticism as follows: (1) Artificial presumptions, especially conclusive ones, are not favored. (2) Such a rule frequently (as
in the present case) produces results which do not accord with facts or constitutional provisions. (3) The rule is conducive to fraud, forgery,
corruption and other wrongdoings. (4) Modern automatic and electronic record-keeping devices now used by legislatures remove one of the
original reasons for the rule. (5) The rule disregards the primary obligation of the courts to seek the truth and to provide a remedy for a
wrong committed by any branch of government. In light of these considerations we are convinced that the time has come to re-examine the
enrolled bill doctrine.

[2] This court is not unmindful of the admonition of the doctrine of stare decisis. The maxim is Stare decisis et non quieta movere, which
simply suggests that we stand by precedents and to disturb settled points of law. Yet this rule is not inflexible, nor is it of such a nature as to
require perpetuation or error or logic. As we stated in Daniels Admr v. Hoofnel, 287 Ky 834, 155 S.W.2d 469, 471-72 (1941).
The force of the rule depends upon the nature of the question to be decided and the extent of the disturbance of rights and practices which a change in
the interpretation of the law or the course of judicial opinions may create. Cogent considerations are whether there is clear error and urgent reasons for
neither justice not wisdon requires a court to go from one doubtful rule to another, and whether or not the evils of the principle that has been followed
will be more injurious than can possibly result from a change.
Certainly, when a theory supporting a rule of law is not grounded on facts, or upon sound logic, or is unjust, or has been discredited by actual
experience, it should be discarded, and with it the rule it supports.
[3] It is clear to us that the major premises of the Lafferty decision, the poor record-keeping of the legislature, has disappeared. Modern equipment and
technology are the rule in recor-keeping by our General Assembly. Tape recorders, electric typewriters, duplicating machines, recording equipment,
printing presses, computers, electronic voting machines, and the like remove all doubts and fears as to the ability of the General Assembly to keep
accurate and readily accessible records.
It is also apparent that the convenience rule is not appropriate in todays modern and developing judicial philosophy. The fact that the
number and complexity of lawsuit may increase is not persuasive if one is mindful that the overriding purpose of our judicial system is to
discover the truth and see that justice is done. The existence of difficulties and complexities should not deter this pursuit and we reject any
doctrine or presumption that so provides.
Lastly, we address the premise that the equality of the various branches of government requires that we shut our eyes to constitutional failing
and other errors of our copartners in government. We simply do not agree. Section 26 of the Kentucky Constitution provides that any law
contrary to the constitution is void. The proper exercise of judicial authority requires us to recognize any law which is unconstitutional and to
declare it void. Without elaborating the point, we believe that under section 228 of the Kentucky Constitution it is our obligation to support the
Constitution of the commonwealth. We are sworn to see that violations of the constitution by any person, corporation, state agency or branch or
government are brought to light and corrected. To countenance an artificial rule of law that silences our voices when confronted with violations
of our constitution is not acceptable to this court.
We believe that a more reasonable rule is the one which Professor Sutherland describes as the extrinsic evidence. x x x. Under this approach
there is a prima facie presumption that an enrolled bill is valid, but such presumption may be overcome by clear, satisfactory and convincing
evidence establishing that constitutional requirements have not been met.
We therefore overrule Lafferty v. Huffman and all other cases following the so-called enrolled bill doctrine, to the extent that there is no
longer a conclusive presumption that an enrolled bill is valid. x x x.
Clearly, the enrolled bill doctrine no longer enjoys its once unassailable respectability in United States. Sutherland reveals that starting in
the 1940s, x x x the tendency seems to be toward the abandonment of the conclusive presumption rule and the adoption of the third rule
leaving only a prima facie presumption of validity which may be attacked by any authoritative source of information.[19]
It is high time we re-examine our preference for the enrolled bill doctrine. It was in the 1947 case of Mabanag v. Lopez Vito,
that this Court, with three (3) justices dissenting, first embraced the rule that a duly authenticated bill or resolution imports absolute
verity and is binding on the courts. In 1963, we firmed up this ruling in Casco Philippine Chemical Co. v. Gimenez,[21] thus:
[20]

xxx
Hence, urea formaldehyde is clearly a finished product which is patently distinct and different from urea and formaldehyde, as separate articles used in
the manufacture of the synthetic resin known as urea formaldehyde. Petitioner contends, however, that the bill approved in Congress contained the
copulative conjunction and between the term urea and formaldehyde and that the members of Congress intended to exempt urea and formaldehyde
separately as essential elements in the manufacture of the synthetic resin glue called urea formaldehyde, not the latte as a finished product, citing in
support of this view the statements made on the floor of the Senate, during the consideration of the bill before said House, by members thereof. But
said individual statements do not necessarily reflect the view of the Senate. Much less do they indicate the intent of the House of Representatives (see
Song Kiat Chocolate Factory vs. Central Bank, 54 Off Gaz. 615; Mayor Motors Inc. vs. Acting Commissioner of Internal Revenue, L-15000 [March
29, 1961]; Manila Jockey Club, Inc. vs. Games and Amusement Board, L-12727 [February 19, 1960]).Furthermore, it is well settled that enrolled bill
which used the term urea formaldehyde instead of urea and formaldehyde conclusive upon the court as regards to the tenor of the measure
passed by Congress and approved by the President (Primicias vs. Paredes, 61 Phil. 118, 120; Mabanag vs. Lopez Vito, 78 Phil. 1; Macias vs.
Comm. on Elections, L-18684, Sept. 14, 1961). If there has been any mistake in the printing of the bill before it was certified by the officers of
Congress and approved by the Executive on which we cannot speculate without jeopardizing the principle of separation of powers and
undermining one of the cornerstones of our democratic system the remedy is by amendment or curative legislation, not by judicial decree.
In the 1969 case of Morales v. Subido,[22] we reiterated our fidelity to the enrolled bill doctrine, viz:
x x x. We cannot go behind the enrolled Act to discover what really happened. The respect due to the other branches of the Government
demands that we act upon the faith and credit of what the officers of the said branches attest to as the official acts of their respective
departments. Otherwise we would be cast in the uneviable and unwanted role of a sleuth trying to determine what actually did happen in the
labyrinth of law-making, with consequent impairment of the integrity of the legislative process. The investigation which the petitioner would
like this Court to make can be better done in Congress. After all, House cleaning the immediate and imperative need for which seems to be
suggested by the petitioner can best be effected by the occupants thereof. Expressed elsewise, this is a matter worthy of the attention not of an
Oliver Wendell Holmes but of a Sherlock Holmes.
Significantly, however, Morales diluted the conclusiveness rule of the enrolled bill doctrine. The ponencia stressed:

By what we have essayed above we are not of course to be understood as holding that in all cases the journals must yield to the enrolled bill. To
be sure there are certain matters which the Constitution expressly requires must be entered on the journal of each house. To what extent the
validity of a legislative act may be affected by a failure to have such matters entered on the journal, is a question which we do not now decide. All we
hold is that with respect to matters not expressly required to be entered on the journal, the enrolled bill prevails in the event of any
discrepancy.
In the 1974 case of Astorga v. Villegas,[23] we further diluted the enrolled bill doctrine when we refused to apply it after the Senate
President declared his signature on the bill was invalid. We ruled:
xxx
Petitioners argument that the attestation of the presiding offices of Congress is conclusive proof of a bills due enactment, required, it is said, by the
respect due to a co-equal department of the government, is neutralized in this case by the fact that the Senate President declared his signature on the
bill to be invalid and issued a subsequent clarification that the invalidation for his signature meant that the bill he had signed had never been approved
by the Senate. Obviously this declaration should be accorded even greater respect than the attestation it invalidated, which it did for a reason that is
undisputed in fact and indisputable in logic.
As far as Congress itself is concerned, there is nothing sacrosant in the certification made by the presiding officers. It is merely a mode of
authentication. The law-making process in Congress ends when the bill is approved by both Houses, and the certification does not add to the
validity of the bill or cure any defect already present upon its passage. In other words it is the approval by Congress and not the signatures of
the presiding officers that is essential. Thus the (1935) Constitution says that [e]very bill passed by the Congress shall, before it becomes law, be
presented to the President. In Brown vs. Morris, supra, the Supreme Court of Missouri, interpreting a similar provision in the State
Constitution, said that the same makes it clear that the indispensable step is the final passage and it follows that if a bill, otherwise fully
enacted as a law, is not attested by the presiding officer, the proof that it has passed both houses will satisfy the constitutional requirement.
Petitioner agrees that the attestation in the bill is not mandatory but argues that the disclaimer thereof by the Senate President, granting it to have been
validly made, would only mean that there was no attestation at all, but would not affect the validity of the statute. Hence, it is pointed out, Republic
Act No. 4065 would remain valid and binding. This argument begs the issued. It would limit the courts inquiry to the presence or absence of the
attestation and to the effect of its absence upon the validity of the statute. The inquiry, however, goes farther. Absent such attestation as a result of the
disclaimer, and consequently there being no enrolled bill to speak of, what evidence is there to determine whether or not the bill had been duly
enacted. In such a case the entries in the journal should be consulted.
The journal of the proceedings of each House of Congress is no ordinary record the Constitution requires it. While it is true that the journal is not
authenticated and subject to the risk of misprinting and the errors, the point is irrelevant in this case. This Court is merely asked to inquire whether the
text of House Bill No. 9266 signed by the Chief Executive wa the same test passed by both Houses of Congress. Under the specific facts and
circumstance of this case, this Court can do this and resort to the Senate journal for the purpose. The journal disclosed that substantial and lengthy
amendments were introduced on the floor and approved by the Senate but were not incorporated in the printed text sent to the President and
signed by him. This Court is not asked to incorporated such amendments into the alleged law, which admittedly is a risky undertaking, but to
declare that the bill was not duly enacted and therefore did not become a law. This We do, as indeed both the President of the Senate and the
Chief Executive did, when they withdrew their signatures therein. In the face of the manifest error committed and subsequently rectified by the
President of the Senate and by the Chief Executive, for this Court to perpetuate that error by disregarding such rectification and holding that the
erroneous bill has become a law would be to sacrifice truth to fiction and bring about mischievous consequences not intended by the law-making body.
In 1993, the enrolled bill doctrine was again used as secondary rationale in the case of Philippine Judges Association v.
Prado,[24] In this case, the judges claimed that the pertinent part of section 35 of R.A. No. 7354 repealing the franking privilege of the
judiciary appeared only in the Conference Committee Report. In rejecting this contention, this Court ruled:
While it is true that a conference committee is the mechanism for compromising differences between the Senate and the House, it is not limited in its
jurisdiction to this question. Its broader function described thus:
A conference committee may deal generally with the subject matter or it may be limited to resolving the precise differences between two houses. Even
where the conference committee is not by rule limited in its jurisdiction, legislative custom severely limits the freedom with which new subject matter
can be inserted into the conference bill. But occasionally a conference committee produces unexpected results, results beyond it mandate. These
excursions occur even where the rules impose strict limitations on conference committee jurisdiction. This is symptomatic of the authoritarian power
of conference committee (Davies, Legislative Law and Process: In a Nutshell, 1986 Ed., p. 81).
It is matter of record that the conference Committee Report on the bill in question was returned to and duly approved by both the Senate and the House
of Representatives. Thereafter, the bill was enrolled with its certification by Senate President Neptali A. Gonzales and Speaker Ramon V. Mitra of the
House of Representatives as having duly passed by both House of Congress. It was then presented to and approved by the President Corazon C.
Aquino on April 3, 1992.
Under the doctrine of separation of powers, the Court may not require beyond the certification of the approval of a bill from the presiding officers of
Congress. Casco Philippine Chemical Co. v. Gimenez laid down the rule that the enrolled bill is conclusive upon the Judiciary (except in matters that
have to be entered in the journals are themselves also binding on the Supreme Court, as we held in the old (but stills valid) case of U.S. vs. Pons,
where we explained the reason thus:
To inquire into the veracity of the journals of the Philippine legislature when they are, as we have said, clear and explicit, would be to violate both the
letter and spirit of the organic laws by which the Philippine Government was brought into existence, to invade a coordinate and independent
department of the Government, and to interfere with the legitimate powers and functions of the Legislature.
Applying these principles, we shall decline to look into the petitioners charges that the amendment was made upon the last reading of the bill that
eventually became R.A. No. 7354 and that copies thereof in its final form were not distributed among the members of each House. Both the enrolled

bill and the legislative journals certify that the measure was duly enacted i.e., in accordance with the Article VI, Sec. 26(2) of the Constitution. We are
bound by such official assurances from a coordinate department of the government, to which we owe, at the very least, a becoming courtesy.
Finally in 1994 came the case of Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance, et al. and its companion cases.[25] Involved in the case was the
constitutionality of R.A. No. 7716, otherwise known as the Expanded Value Added Tax Law. The majority[26] partly relied on the enrolled
bill doctrine in dismissing challenges to the constitutionality of R.A. No. 7716. It held:
xxx
Fourth. Whatever doubts there may be as to the formal validity of Republic Act No. 7716 must be resolved in its favor. Our cases manifest firm
adherence to the rule that an enrolled copy of a bill is conclusive not only of its provisions but also of its due enactment. Not even claims that a
proposed constitutional amendment was invalid because the requisite votes for its approval had not been obtained or that certain provision of a statute
had been smuggled in the printing of the bill have moved or persuaded us to look behind the proceedings of a coequal branch of the
government. There is no reason now to depart from this rule.
No claim is here made that the enrolled bill rule is absolute. In fact in one case we went behind and enrolled bill and consulted the Journal to
determine whether certain provision of a statute had been approved by the Senate in view of the fact the President of the Senate himself, who had
signed the enrolled bill, admitted a mistake and withdrew his signature, so that in effect there was no longer an enrolled bill to consider.
But where allegations that the constitutional procedures for the passage of bills have not been observed have more basis that another allegation that the
Conference Committee surreptitiously inserted provisions into a bill which it had prepared, we should decline the invitation to go behind the enrolled
copy of the bill. To disregard the enrolled bill rule in such cases would be to disregard the respect due to the other two departments of our government.
These case show that we have not blindly accepted the conclusiveness of the enrolled bill. Even in Tolentino, Mr. Justice Mendoza
was cautious enough to hold that no claim is here made that the enrolled bill is absolute. I respectfully submit that it is now time for the
Court to make a definitive pronouncement that we no longer give our unqualified support to the enrolled bill doctrine. There are
compelling reasons for this suggested change in stance. For one, the enrolled bill is appropriate only in England where it originated
because in England there is no written Constitution and the Parliament is supreme. For another, many of the courts in the United States
have broken away from the rigidity and unrealism for the enrolled bill in light of contemporary developments in lawmaking. [27] And more
important, our uncritical adherence to the enrolled bill is inconsistent with our Constitution, laws and rules. In Mabanag,[28] we relied on
section 313 of the Old Code of Civil Procedure as amended by Act no. 2210 as a principal reason in embracing the enrolled bill. This
section, however has long been repealed by our Rules of Court. A half glance at our Rules will show that its section on conclusive
presumption does not carry the conclusive presumption we give to an enrolled bill. But this is not all. The conclusiveness of an
enrolled bill which all too often results in the suppression of truth cannot be justified under the 1987 Constitution. The Preamble of
our Constitution demands that we live not only under a rule of law but also a regime of truth. Our Constitution also adopted a national
policy[29] requiring full public disclosure of all state transactions involving public interest. Any rule which will defeat this policy on
transparency ought to be disfavored. And to implement these policies, this Court was given the power to pry open and to strike down
any act of any branch or instrumentality of government if it amounts to grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction. It is time to bury the enrolled bill for its fiction of conclusiveness shuts off truth in many litigations. We cannot
dispense justice based on fiction for the search for justice is the search for truth. I submit that giving an enrolled bill a
mereprima facie presumption of correctness will facilitate our task of dispensing justice based on truth.
III
In sum, I respectfully submit that the Court has jurisdiction over the petition at bar and the issues posed by petitioner are
justiciable. Nonetheless, I do not find any grave abuse of discretion committed by the public respondents to justify granting said
petition. As the ponencia points out, the petition merely involves the complaints that petitioner was prevented from raising the question of
quorum. The petition does not concern violation of any rule mandated by the Constitution. Nor does it involve the right of a non-member
of the House which requires constitutional protection. The rules on how to question the existence of a quorum are procedural in
character. They are malleable by nature for they were drafted to help the House enact laws. As well stated, these rules are servants, not
masters of the House. Their observance or non-observance is a matter of judgment call on the part of our legislators and it is not the
business of the Court to reverse this judgment when untainted by grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.

[1]

144 US 1 (1891).

[2]

The case involved the validity of a law which allegedly was passed in violation of House Rule XV which provided that members
present in the chamber but not voting would be counted and announced in determining the presence of a quorum to do
business.

[3]

286 US 6 (1932).

[4]

338 US 89 (1948).

[5]

374 US 109 (1963).

[6]

369 US 186 (1962); see also Bond v. Floyd, 385 US 116 (1996).

[7]

235 SCRA 630.

[8]

Supra.

[9]

Blacks Law Dictionary, 4th Rev. ed., p.624.

[10]

Price v. Moundsville, 64 Am St. Rep. 878, 879; 43 W. Virginia 523 [1897].

[11]

Carr v. Coke, 47 Am. St. Rep. 801, 803 [1895]; see also Note on ex rel. Reed v. Jones, 23 L.R.A. 211 [1893]. The rule of
conclusiveness is similar to the common law rule of the inviolability of the Sheriffs return. The Sheriff is considered as an officer
of the King just as a parliamentary act is deemed as a regal act and no official can dispute the Kings word. Dallas, Sutherland
Statutes and Statutory Construction, Vol. 1, 4th ed., pp. 408-418 (1972).

[12]

Sutherland, op cit., p. 410.

[13]

Sutherland, Vol. I, Section 1405 (3rd ed., 1943).

[14]

See e.g., Mogilner v. Metropolitan Plan Communication, 236 Ind. 298, 140 N.E. 2d 220 [1957].

[15]

Op. cit, footnote No. 2.

[16]

50 Am. Jur. Statutes, S. 150 (1938) 4 J. Wigmore Evidence, S. 1350 (3rd. ed. 1940).

[17]

63 Miss 512 (1886).

[18]

Op cit, pp. 729-732 (1994).

[19]

Sutherland, op. cit., pp. 224-225.

[20]

78 Phil 1 (1947).

[21]

7 SCRA 374.

[22]

27 SCRA 131, 134-135.

[23]

56 SCRA 714.

[24]

227 SCRA 703.

[25]

Supra.

[26]

Justices Cruz, Regalado, Davide, Jr., Romero, Bellosillo, and Puno dissented.

[27]

See writers dissenting opinion in Tolentino, supra, p. 818.

[28]

Op cit.

[29]

Section 28 of Article II of the Constitution.

G.R. No. L-23475, April 30, 1974

ASTORGA VS. VILLEGAS


Enrolled Bill Doctrine: As the President has no authority to approve a bill not passed by Congress, an enrolled Act in the
custody of the Secretary of State, and having the official attestations of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, of
the President of the Senate, and of the Chief Executive, carries, on its face, a solemn assurance by the legislative and
executive departments of the government, charged, respectively, with the duty of enacting and executing the laws, that
it was passed by Congress.
Approval of Congress, not signatures of the officers, is essential
When courts may turn to the journal: Absent such attestation as a result of the disclaimer, and consequently there
being no enrolled bill to speak of, the entries in the journal should be consulted.

FACTS:

House Bill No. 9266, a bill of local application, was filed in the House of Representatives and then sent to the Senate for
reading. During discussion at the Senate, Senator Tolentino and Senator Roxas recommended amendments thereto.
Despite the fact that it was the Tolentino amendment that was approved and the Roxas amendment not even appearing
in the journal, when Senate sent its certification of amendment to the House, only the Roxas amendment was included,
not the Tolentino amendment. Nevertheless, the House approved the same. Printed copies were then certified and
attested by the Secretary of the House of Reps, the Speaker, the Secretary of the Senate and the Senate President, and
sent to the President of the Philippines who thereby approved the same. The Bill thus was passed as RA 4065. However,
when the error was discovered, both the Senate President and the Chief Executive withdrew their signatures.

ISSUES:
Whether or not RA 4065 was passed into law
Whether or not the entries in the journal should prevail over the enrolled bill

RULING:

Rationale of the Enrolled Bill Theory

The rationale of the enrolled bill theory is set forth in the said case of Field vs. Clark as follows:

The signing by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and, by the President of the Senate, in open session, of an
enrolled bill, is an official attestation by the two houses of such bill as one that has passed Congress. It is a declaration
by the two houses, through their presiding officers, to the President, that a bill, thus attested, has received, in due form,
the sanction of the legislative branch of the government, and that it is delivered to him in obedience to the
constitutional requirement that all bills which pass Congress shall be presented to him. And when a bill, thus attested,
receives his approval, and is deposited in the public archives, its authentication as a bill that has passed Congress
should be deemed complete and unimpeachable. As the President has no authority to approve a bill not passed by
Congress, an enrolled Act in the custody of the Secretary of State, and having the official attestations of the Speaker of
the House of Representatives, of the President of the Senate, and of the President of the United States, carries, on its
face, a solemn assurance by the legislative and executive departments of the government, charged, respectively, with
the duty of enacting and executing the laws, that it was passed by Congress. The respect due to coequal and
independent departments requires the judicial department to act upon that assurance, and to accept, as having passed
Congress, all bills authenticated in the manner stated; leaving the courts to determine, when the question properly
arises, whether the Act, so authenticated, is in conformity with the Constitution.

It may be noted that the enrolled bill theory is based mainly on "the respect due to coequal and independent
departments," which requires the judicial department "to accept, as having passed Congress, all bills authenticated in
the manner stated." Thus it has also been stated in other cases that if the attestation is absent and the same is not
required for the validity of a statute, the courts may resort to the journals and other records of Congress for proof of its
due enactment. This was the logical conclusion reached in a number of decisions, although they are silent as to
whether the journals may still be resorted to if the attestation of the presiding officers is present.

Approval of Congress, not signatures of the officers, is essential

As far as Congress itself is concerned, there is nothing sacrosanct in the certification made by the presiding officers. It is
merely a mode of authentication. The lawmaking process in Congress ends when the bill is approved by both Houses,
and the certification does not add to the validity of the bill or cure any defect already present upon its passage. In other
words it is the approval by Congress and not the signatures of the presiding officers that is essential.

When courts may turn to the journal

Absent such attestation as a result of the disclaimer, and consequently there being no enrolled bill to speak of, what
evidence is there to determine whether or not the bill had been duly enacted? In such a case the entries in the journal
should be consulted.

The journal of the proceedings of each House of Congress is no ordinary record. The Constitution requires it. While it is
true that the journal is not authenticated and is subject to the risks of misprinting and other errors, the point is

irrelevant in this case. This Court is merely asked to inquire whether the text of House Bill No. 9266 signed by the Chief
Executive was the same text passed by both Houses of Congress. Under the specific facts and circumstances of this
case, this Court can do this and resort to the Senate journal for the purpose. The journal discloses that substantial and
lengthy amendments were introduced on the floor and approved by the Senate but were not incorporated in the printed
text sent to the President and signed by him. This Court is not asked to incorporate such amendments into the alleged
law, which admittedly is a risky undertaking, but to declare that the bill was not duly enacted and therefore did not
become law. This We do, as indeed both the President of the Senate and the Chief Executive did, when they withdrew
their signatures therein. In the face of the manifest error committed and subsequently rectified by the President of the
Senate and by the Chief Executive, for this Court to perpetuate that error by disregarding such rectification and holding
that the erroneous bill has become law would be to sacrifice truth to fiction and bring about mischievous consequences
not intended by the law-making body.

Legislative Process
Preliminary Procedures
Introduction of Bills
Types of Legislation
Bill Referrals
In Committee
Committee Reports
Calendaring for Floor Debates
Conference Committee Action
Final Legislative Action
Summary

Preliminary Procedures
The procedures for introducing legislation and seeing it through committees are similar in both the House of
Representatives and the Senate.
Legislative proposals originate in a number of different ways. Members of the Senate, of course, develop ideas for
legislation. Technical assistance in research and drafting legislative language is available at the Senate Legislative
Technical Affairs Bureau. Special interest groupsbusiness, religious, labor, urban and rural poor, consumers, trade
association, and the likeare other fertile sources of legislation. Constituents, either as individuals or groups, also may
propose legislation. Frequently, a member of the Senate will introduce such a bill by request, whether or not he
supports its purposes.
It must be noted also that much of the needed legislation of the country today considered by Congress originates
from the executive branch. Each year after the President of the Philippines outlines his legislative program in his Stateof-the-Nation Address, executive departments and agencies transmit to the House and the Senate drafts of proposed
legislations to carry out the Presidents program.
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Introduction of Bills
No matter where a legislative proposal originates, it can be introduced only by a member of Congress. In the Senate, a member may introduce any
of several types of bills and resolutions by filing it with the Office of the Secretary.
There is no limit to the number of bills a member may introduce. House and Senate bills may have joint sponsorship and carry several members'
names.
Major legislation is often introduced in both houses in the form of companion (identical) bills, the purpose of which is to speed up the legislative
process by encouraging both chambers to consider the measure simultaneously. Sponsors of companion bills may also hope to dramatize the
importance or urgency of the issue and show broad support for the legislation.
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Types of Legislation

The type of measures that Congress may consider and act upon (in addition to treaties in the Senate) include bills and three kinds of resolutions.
They are:
1. Bills
These are general measures, which if passed upon, may become laws. A bill is prefixed with S., followed by a number assigned the measure based
on the order in which it is introduced. The vast majority of legislative proposalsrecommendations dealing with the economy, increasing penalties for
certain crimes, regulation on commerce and trade, etc., are drafted in the form of bills. They also include budgetary appropriation of the government
and many others. When passed by both chambers in identical form and signed by the President or repassed by Congress over a presidential veto, they
become laws.
2. Joint Resolutions
A joint resolution, like a bill, requires the approval of both houses and the signature of the President. It has the force and effect of a law if
approved. There is no real difference between a bill and a joint resolution. The latter generally is used when dealing with a single item or issue, such as
a continuing or emergency appropriations bill. Joint resolutions are also used for proposing amendments to the Constitution.
3. Concurrent Resolutions
A concurrent resolution is usually designated in the Senate as S. Ct. Res. It is used for matters affecting the operations of both houses and must be
passed in the same form by both of them. However, they are not referred to the President for his signature, and they do not have the force of law.
Concurrent resolutions are used to fix the time of adjournment of a Congress and to express the sense of Congress on an issue.
4. Simple Resolutions
It is usually designated with P. S. Res. A simple resolution deals with matters entirely within the prerogative of one house of Congress, such as
adopting or receiving its own rules. A simple resolution is not considered by the other chamber and is not sent to the President for his signature. Like a
concurrent resolution, it has no effect and force of a law. Simple resolutions are used occasionally to express the opinion of a single house on a current
issue. Oftentimes, it is also used to call for a congressional action on an issue affecting national interest.
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Bill Referrals
Once a measure has been introduced and given a number, it is read and referred to an appropriate committee. It must be noted that during the
reading of the bill, only the title and the author is read on the floor. The Senate President is responsible for referring bills introduced to appropriate
committees.
The jurisdictions of the Standing Committees are spelled out in Rule X, Section 13 of the Rules of the Senate. For example, if a bill involves
matters relating to agriculture, food production and agri-business, it must be referred to the Committee on Agriculture and Food.
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In Committee
The standing committees of the Senate, operating as little legislatures, determine the fate of most proposals. There are committee hearings
scheduled to discuss the bills referred. Committee members and staff frequently are experts in the subjects under their jurisdiction, and it is at the
committee stage that a bill comes under the sharpest scrutiny. If a measure is to be substantially revised, the revision usually occurs at the committee
level.
A committee may dispose of a bill in one of several ways: it may approve, or reject, the legislation with or without amendments; rewrite the bill
entirely; reject it, which essentially kills the bill; report it favorably or without recommendation, which allows the chamber to consider the bill at all. It
must be noted that under Section 29, Rule XI of the Rules of the Senate, if the reports submitted are unfavorable, they shall be transmitted to the
archives of the Senate, unless five Senators shall, in the following session, move for their inclusion in the Calendar for Ordinary Business, in which
case the President shall so order.
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Committee Reports

A committee report describes the purpose and scope of the bill, explains any committee amendments, indicates proposed changes in existing law
and such other materials that are relevant. Moreover, reports are numbered in the order in which they are filed and printed.
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Calendaring for Floor Debates: Consideration of, and Debates on Bills


Under Section 45 of Rule XVI of the Rules of the Senate, the Senate shall have three calendars, to wit:
A Calendar for Ordinary Business," in which shall be included the bills reported out by the committees in the order in which they were received by
the Office of the Secretary; the bills whose consideration has been agreed upon by the Senate without setting the dates on which to effect it; and also
the bills whose consideration has been postponed indefinitely;
A Calendar for Special Orders, in which the bills and resolutions shall be arranged successively and chronologically, according to the order in
which they were assigned for consideration; and
A Calendar for Third Reading, in which shall be included all bills and joint resolutions approved on second reading.
Thus, a bill which has a committee report can be referred to the Calendar for Ordinary Business. It may again be moved to its Special Order of
Business for priority action.
On the other hand, the consideration and debate of bills and resolutions are spelled out in Rule XXV, Section 71 of the Rules of the Senate. It
provides as follows:
Sec. 71. The Senate shall adopt the following procedure in the consideration of bills and joint resolutions:
(a) Second reading of the bill.
(b) Sponsorship by the committee chairman, or by any member designated by the committee.
(c) If a debate ensues, turns for and against the bill shall be taken alternately: Provided, however, That any committee member who fails to enter his
objection or to make of record his dissenting vote after it shall have been included in the Order of Business and read to the Senate in accordance with
the second paragraph of Section 24 hereof, shall not be allowed to speak against the bill during the period of general debate although he may propose
and speak or vote on amendments thereto.
(d) The sponsor of the bill or author of the motion shall have the right to close the debate.
(e) With the debate closed, the consideration of amendments, if any, shall be in order.
(f) After the period of amendments, the voting of the bill on Second Reading.
(g) Bills shall be submitted to final vote by yeas and nays after printed copies thereof in final form have been distributed to the Members at least three
(3) days prior to their passage, except when the President of the Philippines certifies to the necessity of their immediate enactment to meet a public
calamity or emergency, in which case the voting on Third Reading may take place immediately after second reading.
After the bill is approved on Third Reading, it will be submitted to the House of Representatives for consideration. A bill passed by the Senate and
transmitted to the House usually goes to a committee, unless a House bill on the same subject has already been reported out by the appropriate
committee and placed on the calendar.
Under normal procedures, therefore, a bill passed by one chamber and transmitted to the other is referred to the appropriate committee, from which
it must follow the same route to passage as a bill originating from that chamber.
Amendments may be offered at both the committee and floor action stages, and the bill as it emerges from the second chamber may differ
significantly from the version passed by the first. A frequently used procedure when this occurs is for the chamber that acts last to bring up the other
chambers bill and substitute its own version, then retaining only the latters bill number. That numbered bill, containing the Senate and House version,
is then sent to a conference committee to resolve all differences.
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Conference Committee Action


Calling a Conference

Either chamber can request a conference once both have considered the same legislation. Generally, the chamber that approved the legislation first
will disagree to the amendments made by the second body and will make a request that a conference be convened. Sometimes, however, the second
body will ask for a conference immediately after it has passed the legislation, assuming that the other chamber will not accept its amendments.
Selection of Conferees
Under the Rules of the Senate (Rule XII, Section 34), the Senate President shall designate the members of the Senate panel in the conference
committee with the approval of the Senate. The Senate delegation to a conference can range in size from three to a larger number, depending on the
length and complexity of the legislation involved.
Authority of Conferees
The authority given to the Senate conferees theoretically is limited to matters in disagreement between the two chambers. They are not authorized
to delete provisions or language agreed to by both the House and the Senate as to draft entirely new provisions.
In practice, however, the conferees have wide latitude, except where the matters in disagreement are very specific. Moreover, conferees attempt to
reconcile their differences, but generally they try to grant concession only insofar as they remain confident that the chamber they represent will accept
the compromise.
The Conference Report
When the conferees have reached agreement on a bill, the conference committee staff writes a conference report indicating changes made in the
bill and explaining each sides actions.
Once a conference committee completes its works, it can now be submitted to the floor for its approval. Debate on conference reports is highly
privileged and can interrupt most other business.
Approval of the conference report by both houses, along with any amendments on disagreement, constitutes final approval of the bill.
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Final Legislative Action


After both houses have given final approval to a bill, a final copy of the bill, known as the enrolled bill, shall be printed, and certified as correct
by the Secretary of the Senate and the Secretary General of the House of Representatives. After which, it will be signed by the Speaker of the House
and the Senate President.
A bill may become a law, even without the Presidents signature, if the President does not sign a bill within 30 days from receipt in his office. A
bill may also become a law without the Presidents signature if Congress overrides a presidential veto by two-thirds vote.
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Summary
The following is a summary of how a bill becomes a law:
Filing/Calendaring for First Reading
A bill is filed in the Office of the Secretary where it is given a corresponding number and calendared for First Reading.
First Reading
Its title, bill number, and authors name are read on the floor, after which it is referred to the proper committee.
Committee Hearings/Report
Committee conducts hearings and consultation meetings. It then either approves the proposed bill without an amendment, approves it with
changes, or recommends substitution or consolidation with similar bills filed.
Calendaring for Second Reading
The Committee Report with its approved bill version is submitted to the Committee on Rules for calendaring for Second Reading.

Second Reading
Bill author delivers sponsorship speech on the floor. Senators engage in debate, interpellation, turno en contra, and rebuttal to highlight the pros
and cons of the bill. A period of amendments incorporates necessary changes in the bill proposed by the committee or introduced by the Senators
themselves on the floor.
Voting on Second Reading
Senators vote on the second reading version of the bill. If approved, the bill is calendared for third reading.
Voting on Third Reading
Printed copies of the bills final version are distributed to the Senators. This time, only the title of the bill is read on the floor. Nominal voting is
held. If passed, the approved Senate bill is referred to the House of Representatives for concurrence.
At the House of Representatives
The Lower Chamber follows the same procedures (First Reading, Second Reading and Third Reading).
Back to the Senate
If the House-approved version is compatible with that of the Senates, the final versions enrolled form is printed. If there are certain differences, a
Bicameral Conference Committee is called to reconcile conflicting provisions of both versions of the Senate and of the House of Representatives.
Conference committee submits report on the reconciled version of the bill, duly approved by both chambers. The Senate prints the reconciled version
in its enrolled form.
Submission to Malacaang
Final enrolled form is submitted to Malacaang. The President either signs it into law, or vetoes and sends it back to the Senate with veto message.

CASCO Philippine Chemical v Gimenez G.R. No. L-17931. February 28, 1963.
7/28/2010
0 Comments

Facts: The main facts are not disputed. Pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act No. 2609, otherwise known as the Foreign Exchange
Margin Fee Law, the Central Bank of the Philippines issued on July 1, 1959, its Circular No. 95, fixing a uniform margin fee of 25% on
foreign exchange transactions.
Prior thereto, petitioner had sought the refund of the first sum of P33,765.42, relying upon Resolution No. 1529 of the Monetary Board of
said Bank, dated November 3, 1959, declaring that the separate importation of urea and formaldehyde is exempt from said fee. Soon
after the last importation of these products, petitioner made a similar request for refund of the sum of P6,345.72 paid as margin fee
therefor. Although the Central Bank issued the corresponding margin fee vouchers for the refund of said amounts, the Auditor of the
Bank refused to pass in audit and approve said vouchers, upon the ground that the exemption granted by the Monetary Board for
petitioner's separate importations of urea and formaldehyde is not in accord with the provisions of Section 2, paragraph XVIII of Republic
Act No. 2069.
Issue: Whether or not "urea" and "formaldehyde" are exempt by law from the payment of the aforesaid margin fee.
Held: WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby affirmed, with costs against the petitioner. It is so ordered.
Ratio: It is well settled that the enrolled bill which uses the term "urea formaldehyde" instead of "urea and formaldehyde" is
conclusive upon the courts as regards the tenor of the measure passed by Congress and approved by the President.
If there has been any mistake in the printing of the bill before it was certified by the officers of Congress and approved by the Executive
on which we cannot speculate, without jeopardizing the principle of separation of powers and undermining one of the cornerstones of
our democratic system the remedy is by amendment or curative legislation, not by judicial decree.
0 Comments
7 SCRA 347 Political Law Journal Conclusiveness of the Enrolled Bill

Casco Philippine Chemical Co., Inc. (Casco) was engaged in the production of synthetic resin glues used primarily in the production of plywood. The main components of the
said glue are urea and formaldehyde which are both being imported abroad. Pursuant to a Central Bank circular, Casco paid the required margin fee for its imported urea and
formaldehyde. Casco however paid in protest as it maintained that urea and formaldehyde are tax exempt transactions. The Central Bank agreed and it issued vouchers for
refund. The said vouchers were submitted to Pedro Gimenez, the then Auditor General, who denied the tax refund. Gimenez maintained that urea and formaldehyde, as two
separate and distinct components are not tax exempt; that what is tax exempt is urea formaldehyde (the synthetic resin formed by combining urea and formaldehyde).
Gimenez cited the provision of Sec. 2, par 18 of Republic Act No. 2609 which provides:
The margin established by the Monetary Board pursuant to the provision of section one hereof shall not be imposed upon the sale of foreign exchange for the importation of
the following:
xxx

xxx

xxx

XVIII. Urea formaldehyde for the manufacture of plywood and hardboard when imported by and for the exclusive use of end-users.
Casco however averred that the term urea formaldehyde appearing in this provision should be construed as urea and formaldehyde. It further contends that the bill
approved in Congress contained the copulative conjunction and between the terms urea and, formaldehyde, and that the members of Congress intended to exempt urea
and formaldehyde separately as essential elements in the manufacture of the synthetic resin glue called urea formaldehyde, not the latter a finished product, citing in support
of this view the statements made on the floor of the Senate, during the consideration of the bill before said House, by members thereof.
The enrolled bill however used the term urea formaldehyde
ISSUE: Whether or not the term urea formaldehyde should be construed as urea and formaldehyde.
HELD: No. Urea formaldehyde is not a chemical solution. It is the synthetic resin formed as a condensation product from definite proportions of urea and formaldehyde under
certain conditions relating to temperature, acidity, and time of reaction. Urea formaldehyde is clearly a finished product, which is patently distinct and different from
urea and formaldehyde, as separate articles used in the manufacture of the synthetic resin known as urea formaldehyde.
The opinions or statements of any member of Congress during the deliberation of the said law/bill do not represent the entirety of the Congress itself. What is printed in the
enrolled bill would be conclusive upon the courts. The enrolled bill which uses the term urea formaldehyde instead of urea and formaldehyde is conclusive upon
the courts as regards the tenor of the measure passed by Congress and approved by the President. If there has been any mistake in the printing of the bill before it was
certified by the officers of Congress and approved by the Executive on which the SC cannot speculate, without jeopardizing the principle of separation of powers and
undermining one of the cornerstones of our democratic system the remedy is by amendment or curative legislation, not by judicial decree.

Arroyo v De Venecia G.R. No. 127255. August 14, 1997.


7/23/2010
0 Comments

Facts: Petitioners are members of the House of Representatives. They brought this suit against respondents charging violation of the
rules of the House which petitioners claim are "constitutionally mandated" so that their violation is tantamount to a violation of the
Constitution.
In the course of his interpellation, Rep. Arroyo announced that he was going to raise a question on the quorum, although until the end of
his interpellation he never did.
On the same day, the bill was signed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate and certified by
the respective secretaries of both Houses of Congress as having been finally passed by the House of Representatives and by the
Senate on November 21, 1996. The enrolled bill was signed into law by President Fidel V. Ramos on November 22, 1996.
Issue: Whether R.A. No. 8240 is null and void because it was passed in violation of the rules of the House;
Whether the certification of Speaker De Venecia that the law was properly passed is false and spurious;
Whether the Chair, in the process of submitting and certifying the law violated House Rules; and
Whether a certiorari/prohibition will be granted.
Held: After considering the arguments of the parties, the Court finds no ground for holding that Congress committed a grave abuse of
discretion in enacting R.A. No. 8240. This case is therefore dismissed.
Ratio: To disregard the "enrolled bill" rule in such cases would be to disregard the respect due the other two departments of our
government. It would be an unwarranted invasion of the prerogative of a coequal department for this Court either to set aside a
legislative action as void because the Court thinks the House has disregarded its own rules of procedure, or to allow those defeated in
the political arena to seek a rematch in the judicial forum when petitioners can find their remedy in that department itself. The Court has
not been invested with a roving commission to inquire into complaints, real or imagined, of legislative skullduggery. It would be acting in
excess of its power and would itself be guilty of grave abuse of its discretion were it to do so. The suggestion made in a case may
instead appropriately be made here: petitioners can seek the enactment of a new law or the repeal or amendment of R.A. No. 8240. In

the absence of anything to the contrary, the Court must assume that Congress or any House thereof acted in the good faith belief that its
conduct was permitted by its rules, and deference rather than disrespect is due the judgment of that body.
In view of what is essential
Merely internal rules of procedure of the House rather than constitutional requirements for the enactment of a law, i.e., Art. VI, 26-27
are VIOLATED.
First, in Osmea v. Pendatun, it was held: "At any rate, courts have declared that 'the rules adopted by deliberative bodies are subject to
revocation, modification or waiver at the pleasure of the body adopting them.' And it has been said that 'Parliamentary rules are merely
procedural, and with their observance, the courts have no concern. They may be waived or disregarded by the legislative body.'
Consequently, 'mere failure to conform to parliamentary usage will not invalidate the action (taken by a deliberative body) when the
requisite number of members have agreed to a particular measure.'"
Rules are hardly permanent in character. The prevailing view is that they are subject to revocation, modification or waiver at the pleasure
of the body adopting them as they are primarily procedural. Courts ordinarily have no concern with their observance. They may be
waived or disregarded by the legislative body. Consequently, mere failure to conform to them does not have the effect of nullifying
the act taken if the requisite number of members have agreed to a particular measure.
In view of the Courts jurisdiction
This Court's function is merely to check whether or not the governmental branch or agency has gone beyond the constitutional limits of
its jurisdiction, not that it erred or has a different view. In the absence of a showing . . . of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of
jurisdiction, there is no occasion for the Court to exercise its corrective power. . . . It has no power to look into what it thinks is apparent
error. If, then, the established rule is that courts cannot declare an act of the legislature void on account merely of noncompliance with
rules of procedure made by itself, it follows that such a case does not present a situation in which a branch of the government
has "gone beyond the constitutional limits of its jurisdiction".
In view of House Rules
No rule of the House of Representatives has been cited which specifically requires that in cases such as this involving approval of a
conference committee report, the Chair must restate the motion and conduct a viva voce or nominal voting.
Mr. TOLENTINO. The fact that nobody objects means a unanimous action of the House. Insofar as the matter of procedure is
concerned, this has been a precedent since I came here seven years ago, and it has been the procedure in this House that if somebody
objects, then a debate follows and after the debate, then the voting comes in.
Nor does the Constitution require that the yeas and the nays of the Members be taken every time a House has to vote, except only in the
following instances: upon the last and third readings of a bill, at the request of one-fifth of the Members present, and in repassing
a bill over the veto of the President.
In view of grave abuse
Indeed, the phrase "grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction" has a settled meaning in the jurisprudence of
procedure. It means such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment by a tribunal exercising judicial or quasi judicial power as to
amount to lack of power.
In view of the enrolled bill doctrine
Under the enrolled bill doctrine, the signing of H. No. 7198 by the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate and the
certification by the secretaries of both Houses of Congress that it was passed on November 21, 1996 are conclusive of its due
enactment.
This Court quoted from Wigmore on Evidence the following excerpt which embodies good, if old-fashioned democratic theory: Instead
of trusting a faithful Judiciary to check an inefficient Legislature, they should turn to improve the Legislature. The sensible solution is not
to patch and mend casual errors by asking the Judiciary to violate legal principle and to do impossibilities with the Constitution; but to
represent ourselves with competent, careful, and honest legislators, the work of whose hands on the statute-roll may come to reflect
credit upon the name of popular government.
(In view of justiciability according to PUNO, J.)
With due respect, I do not agree that the issues posed by the petitioner are non-justiciable. Nor do I agree that we will trivialize the
principle of separation of power if we assume jurisdiction over the case at bar. Even in the United States, the principle of separation of
power is no longer an impregnable impediment against the interposition of judicial power on cases involving breach of rules of procedure
by legislators.

The Constitution empowers each house to determine its rules of proceedings. It may not by its rules ignore constitutional restraints or
violate fundamental rights, and there should be a reasonable relation between the mode or method of proceedings established by the
rule and the result which is sought to be attained. But within these limitations all matters of method are open to the determination of the
House, and it is no impeachment of the rule to say that some other way would be better, more accurate, or even more just.
0 Comments

Morales v Subido G.R. No. L-29658. February 27, 1969.


7/15/2010
0 Comments

Facts: "In the Senate, the Committee on Government Reorganization, to which House Bill 6951 was referred, reported a substitute
measure. It is to this substitute bill that Section 10 of the Act owes its present form and substance.
"It is be noted that the Rodrigo amendment was in the nature of an addition to the phrase 'who has served the police department of a
city for at least 8 years with the rank of captain and/or higher,' under which the petitionerherein, who is at least a high school graduate
(both parties agree that the petitioner finished the second year of the law course) could possibly qualify. However, somewhere in the
legislative process the phrase ["who has served the police department of a city or"] was dropped and only the Rodrigo amendment
was retained."
The present insistence of the petitioner is that the version of the provision, as amended at the behest of Sen. Rodrigo, was
the version approved by the Senate on third reading, and that when the bill emerged from the conference committee the only
change made in the provision was the insertion of the phrase "or has served as chief of police with exemplary record."
In support of this assertion, the petitioner submitted certified photostatic copies of the different drafts of House Bill 6951 showing the
various changes made. In what purport to be the page proofs of the bill as finally approved by both Houses of Congress.
It is unmistakable up to this point that the phrase, "who has served the police department of a city or," was still part of the
provision, but according to the petitioner the House bill division deleted the entire provision and substituted what now is Section 10 of the
Police Act of 1966, which Section reads:
"Minimum qualification for appointment as Chief of Police Agency. No person may be appointed chief of a city police agency
unless he holds a bachelor's degree from a recognized institution of learning and has served either in the Armed Forces of the
Philippines or the National Bureau of Investigation, or has served as chief of police with exemplary record, or has served in
the police department of any city with rank of captain or its equivalent therein for at least three years; or any high school graduate
who has served as officer in the Armed Forces for at least eight years with the rank of captain and/or higher."
The petitioner also submitted a certified photostatic copy of a memorandum which according to him was signed by an employee in
the Senate bill division, and can be found attached to the page proofs of the bill, explaining the change in Section 10, thus: "Section 10
was recast for clarity. (with the consent of Sen. Ganzon & Congressman Montano)."
Issue: Whetherthe change an employee, as purportedty was a rewriting to suit some stylistic preferences, was in truth an alteration of
meaning.
Held: ACCORDINGLY, the motions for reconsideration are denied.
Ratio: The respect due to the other branches of the Government demands that we act upon the faith and credit of what the officers of
the said branches attest to as the official acts of their respective departments. Otherwise we would be cast in the unenviable and
unwanted role of a sleuth trying to determine what actually did happen in the labyrinth of lawmaking, with consequent impairment of the
integrity of the legislative process.
The investigation which the petitioner would like this Court to make can be better done in Congress. After all, House cleaning the
immediate and imperative need for which seems to be suggested by the petitioner can best be effected by the occupants thereof.
If there has been any mistake in the printing of the bill before it was certified by the officers of Congress and approved by the
Executive on which we cannot speculate, without jeopardizing the principle of separation of powers and undermining one of the
cornerstones of our democratic system the remedy is by amendment or curative legislation, not by judicial decree."
In view of Harwood v Wentworth
What the Justice Harlan said in Harwood v. Wentworth: How much greater is the danger of permitting the validity of a legislative
enactment to be questioned by evidence furnished by the general endorsements made by clerks upon bills previous to their final
passage and enrollment, endorsements usually so expressed as not to be intelligible to any one except those who made them, and
the scope and effect of which cannot in many cases be understood unless supplemented by the recollection of clerks as to what
occurred in the hurry and confusion often attendant upon legislative proceedings."
In view of two foreign landmark cases on enrolled bill doctrine
Both Marshall Field & Co. v. Clark and Harwood v. Wentworth involved claims similar to that made by the petitioner in this case. In
both the claims were rejected.
Thus, in Marshall Field & Co. it was contended that the Tariff Act of October 1, 1890 was a nullity because "it is shown by the
congressional records of proceedings, reports of committees of conference, and other papers printed by authority of Congress, and
having reference to House Bill 9416, that a section of the bill as it finally passed, was not in the bill authenticated by the signatures of the
presiding officers of the respective houses of Congress, and approved by the President."

In rejecting the contention, the United States Supreme Court held that the signing by the Speaker of the House of Representatives
and by the President of the Senate of an enrolled bill is an official attestation by the two houses that such bill is the one that has passed
Congress. And when the bill thus attested is signed by the President and deposited in the archives, its authentication as a bill that has
passed Congress should be deemed complete and unimpeachable.
In Harwood the claim was that an act of the legislature of Arizona "contained, at the time of its final passage, provisions that were
omitted from it without authority of the council or the house, before it was presented to the governor for his approval." The Court
reiterated its ruling in Marshall Field & Co.

In view of Mabanag v Lopez-Vito & CASCO v Gimenez


It was not until 1947 that the question was presented in Mabanag v. Lopez-Vito, and we there held that an enrolled bill "imports
absolute verity and is binding on the courts." This court held itself bound by an authenticated resolution, despite the fact that the vote of
three-fourths of the members of the Congress (as required by the Constitution to approve proposals for constitutional amendments) was
not actually obtained on account of the suspension of some members of the House of Representatives and of the Senate.
Thus in Mabanag the enrolled bill theory was adopted. Whatever doubt there might have been as to the status and force of the theory
in the Philippines, in view of the dissent of three Justices in Mabanag, was finally laid to rest by the unanimous decision in Casco
Philippine Chemical Co. v. Gimenez. Speaking for the Court, the then Justice (now Chief Justice) Concepcion said: "Furthermore, it is
well settled that the enrolled bill which uses the term 'urea formaldehyde' instead of 'urea and formaldehyde' is conclusive upon the
courts as regards the tenor of the measure passed by Congress and approved by the President (Primicias vs. Paredes, 61 Phil., 118,
120; Mabanag vs. Lopez-Vito, 78 Phil., 1; Macias vs. Comm. on Elections, L-18684, September 14, 1961).
0 Comments
Astorga v Villegas G.R. No. L-23475. April 30, 1974.
7/15/2010
0 Comments

Facts: On March 30, 1964 House Bill No. 9266, a bill of local application, was filed in the House of Representatives. It was
there passed on third reading without amendments on April 21, 1964. Forthwith the bill was sent to the Senate for its concurrence. It was
referred to the Senate Committee on Provinces and Municipal Governments and Cities headed by Senator Gerardo M. Roxas.
The committee favorably recommended approval with a minor amendment, suggested by Senator Roxas, that instead of the City
Engineer it be the President Protempore of the Municipal Board who should succeed the Vice-Mayor in case of the latter's incapacity to
act as Mayor.
On July 31, 1964 the President of the Philippines sent a message to the presiding officers of both Houses of Congress informing
them that in view of the circumstances he was officially withdrawing his signature on House Bill No. 9266 (which had been returned
to the Senate the previous July 3), adding that "it would be untenable and against public policy to convert into law what was not actually
approved by the two Houses of Congress."
Upon the foregoing facts the Mayor of Manila, Antonio Villegas, issued circulars to the department heads and chiefs of offices of the
city government as well as to the owners, operators and/or managers of business establishments in Manila to disregard the provisions of
Republic Act 4065. He likewise issued an order to the Chief of Police to recall five members of the city police force who had been
assigned to the Vice-Mayor presumably under authority of Republic Act 4065.

Issue: Whether the so-called RA 4065 became law and that Vice-Mayor Astorga should exercise any of the powers conferred by RA
4065.

Held: In view of the foregoing considerations, the petition is denied and the so-called Republic Act No. 4065 entitled "AN ACT DEFINING
THE POWERS, RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF THE VICE-MAYOR OF THE CITY OF MANILA, FURTHER AMENDING FOR THE
PURPOSE SECTIONS TEN AND ELEVEN OF REPUBLIC ACT NUMBERED FOUR HUNDRED NINE, AS AMENDED, OTHERWISE
KNOWN AS THE REVISED CHARTER OF THE CITY OF MANILA" is declared not to have been duly enacted and therefore did not
become law. The temporary restraining order dated April 28, 1965 is hereby made permanent. No pronouncement as to costs.

Ratio: It may be noted that the enrolled bill theory is based mainly on "the respect due to coequal and independent departments,"
which requires the judicial department "to accept, as having passed Congress, all bills authenticated in the manner stated." Thus it has
also been stated in other cases that if the attestation is absent and the same is not required for the validity of a statute, the
courts may resort to the journals and other records of Congress for proof of its due enactment.

In view of the enrolled bill theory


The "enrolled bill" theory was relied upon merely to bolster the ruling on the jurisdictional question, the reasoning being that "if a
political question conclusively binds the judges out of respect to the political departments, a duly certified law or resolution also
binds the judges under the 'enrolled bill rule' born of that respect."
It is a declaration by the two houses, through their presiding officers, to the President, that a bill, thus attested, has received, in due
form, the sanction of the legislative branch of the government, and that it is delivered to him in obedience to the constitutional
requirement that all bills which pass Congress shall be presented to him. And when a bill, thus attested, receives his approval, and is
deposited in the public archives, its authentication as a bill that has passed Congress should be deemed complete and
unimpeachable.
As the President has no authority to approve a bill not passed by Congress, an enrolled Act in the custody of the Secretary of State,
and having the official attestations of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, of the President of the Senate, and of the President
of the United States, carries, on its face, a solemn assurance by the legislative and executive departments of the government,
charged, respectively, with the duty of enacting and executing the laws, that it was passed by Congress. The respect due to
coequal and independent departments requires the judicial department to act upon that assurance, and to accept, as having passed
Congress, all bills authenticated in the manner stated; leaving the courts to determine, when the question properly arises, whether the
Act, so authenticated, is in conformity with the Constitution."

In view of Sec. 313 Act 190 of Rules of Evidence Code of Civil Procedures
Justice Cesar Bengzon wrote a separate opinion, concurred in by Justice Sabino Padilla, holding that the Court had jurisdiction to
resolve the question presented, and affirming categorically that "the enrolled copy of the resolution and the legislative journals are
conclusive upon us," specifically in view of Section 313 of Act 190, as amended by Act No. 2210. This provision in the Rules of
Evidence in the old Code of Civil Procedure appears indeed to be the only statutory basis on which the "enrolled bill" theory rests. It
reads:
"The proceedings of the Philippine Commission, or of any legislative body that may be provided for in the Philippine Islands, or of
Congress (may be proved) by the journals of those bodies or of either house thereof, or by published statutes or resolutions, or by
copies certified by the clerk or secretary, printed by their order; provided, that in the case of acts of the Philippine Commission or the
Philippine Legislature, when there is in existence a copy signed by the presiding officers and secretaries of said bodies, it shall be
conclusive proof of the provisions of such acts and of the due enactment thereof."

In view of neutralization
By the respect due to a co-equal department of the government, is neutralized in this case by the fact that the Senate President
declared his signature on the bill to be invalid and issued a subsequent clarification that the invalidation of his signature meant
that the bill he had signed had never been approved by the Senate. Obviously this declaration should be accorded even greater
respect than the attestation it invalidated, which it did for a reason that is undisputed in fact and indisputable in logic.

In view of the signatures


The law-making process in Congress ends when the bill is approved by both Houses, and the certification does not add to the validity
of the bill or cure any defect already present upon its passage. In other words it is the approval by Congress and not the signatures of
the presiding officers that is essential. Thus the (1935) Constitution says that "[e]very bill passed by the Congress shall, before it
becomes law, be presented to the President."

In view of the need to inquire through the Journal


The journal of the proceedings of each House of Congress is no ordinary record. The Constitution requires it. While it is true that the
journal is not authenticated and is subject to the risks of misprinting and other errors, the point is irrelevant in this case. This Court is
merely asked to inquire whether the text of House Bill No. 9266 signed by the Chief Executive was the same text passed by both
Houses of Congress. Under the specific facts and circumstances of this case, this Court can do this and resort to the Senate journal for
the purpose. The journal discloses that substantial and lengthy amendments were introduced on the floor and approved by the Senate
but were not incorporated in the printed text sent to the President and signed by him.

http://nonamalum.weebly.com/digests/category/enrolled%20bill%20doctrine

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC
G.R. No. L-17931

February 28, 1963

CASCO PHILIPPINE CHEMICAL CO., INC., petitioner,


vs.
HON. PEDRO GIMENEZ, in his capacity as Auditor General of the Philippines,
and HON. ISMAEL MATHAY, in his capacity as Auditor of the Central Bank, respondents.
Jalandoni & Jamir for petitioner.
Officer of the Solicitor General for respondents.
CONCEPCION, J.:
This is a petition for review of a decision of the Auditor General denying a claim for refund of petitioner Casco Philippine Chemical Co.,
Inc.
The main facts are not disputed. Pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act No. 2609, otherwise known as the Foreign Exchange Margin
Fee Law, the Central Bank of the Philippines issued on July 1, 1959, its Circular No. 95. fixing a uniform margin fee of 25% on foreign
exchange transactions. To supplement the circular, the Bank later promulgated a memorandum establishing the procedure for
applications for exemption from the payment of said fee, as provided in said Republic Act No. 2609. Several times in November and
December 1959, petitioner Casco Philippine Chemical Co., Inc. which is engaged in the manufacture of synthetic resin glues, used in
bonding lumber and veneer by plywood and hardwood producers bought foreign exchange for the importation of urea and
formaldehyde which are the main raw materials in the production of said glues and paid therefor the aforementioned margin fee
aggregating P33,765.42. In May, 1960, petitioner made another purchase of foreign exchange and paid the sum of P6,345.72 as margin
fee therefor.
Prior thereto, petitioner had sought the refund of the first sum of P33,765.42, relying upon Resolution No. 1529 of the Monetary Board of
said Bank, dated November 3, 1959, declaring that the separate importation of urea and formaldehyde is exempt from said fee. Soon
after the last importation of these products, petitioner made a similar request for refund of the sum of P6,345.72 paid as margin fee
therefor. Although the Central Bank issued the corresponding margin fee vouchers for the refund of said amounts, the Auditor of the
Bank refused to pass in audit and approve said vouchers, upon the ground that the exemption granted by the Monetary Board for
petitioner's separate importations of urea and formaldehyde is not in accord with the provisions of section 2, paragraph XVIII of Republic
Act No. 2609. On appeal taken by petitioner, the Auditor General subsequently affirmed said action of the Auditor of the Bank. Hence,
this petition for review.
The only question for determination in this case is whether or not "urea" and "formaldehyde" are exempt by law from the payment of the
aforesaid margin fee. The pertinent portion of Section 2 of Republic Act No. 2609 reads:
The margin established by the Monetary Board pursuant to the provision of section one hereof shall not be imposed upon the
sale of foreign exchange for the importation of the following:.
xxx

xxx

xxx

XVIII. Urea formaldehyde for the manufacture of plywood and hardboard when imported by and for the exclusive use of endusers.
Wherefore, the parties respectfully pray that the foregoing stipulation of facts be admitted and approved by this Honorable
Court, without prejudice to the parties adducing other evidence to prove their case not covered by this stipulation of
facts. 1wph1.t
Petitioner maintains that the term "urea formaldehyde" appearing in this provision should be construed as "urea andformaldehyde"
(emphasis supplied) and that respondents herein, the Auditor General and the Auditor of the Central Bank, have erred in holding
otherwise. In this connection, it should be noted that, whereas "urea" and "formaldehyde" are the principal raw materials in the
manufacture of synthetic resin glues, the National Institute of Science and Technology has expressed, through its Commissioner, the
view that:
Urea formaldehyde is not a chemical solution. It is the synthetic resin formed as a condensation product from definite
proportions of urea and formaldehyde under certain conditions relating to temperature, acidity, and time of reaction. This
produce when applied in water solution and extended with inexpensive fillers constitutes a fairly low cost adhesive for use in the
manufacture of plywood.
Hence, "urea formaldehyde" is clearly a finished product, which is patently distinct and different from urea" and "formaldehyde", as
separate articles used in the manufacture of the synthetic resin known as "urea formaldehyde". Petitioner contends, however, that the bill
approved in Congress contained the copulative conjunction "and" between the terms "urea" and "formaldehyde", and that the members
of Congress intended to exempt "urea" and "formaldehyde" separately as essential elements in the manufacture of the synthetic resin
glue called "urea" formaldehyde", not the latter as a finished product, citing in support of this view the statements made on the floor of
the Senate, during the consideration of the bill before said House, by members thereof. But, said individual statements do not
necessarily reflect the view of the Senate. Much less do they indicate the intent of the House of Representatives (see Song Kiat
Chocolate Factory vs. Central Bank, 54 Off. Gaz., 615; Mayon Motors Inc. vs. Acting Commissioner of Internal Revenue, L-15000 [March
29, 1961]; Manila Jockey Club, Inc. vs. Games & Amusement Board, L-12727 [February 29, 1960]). Furthermore, it is well settled that

the enrolled bill which uses the term "urea formaldehyde" instead of "urea and formaldehyde" is conclusive upon the courts as
regards the tenor of the measure passed by Congress and approved by the President (Primicias vs. Paredes, 61 Phil. 118, 120;
Mabanag vs. Lopez Vito, 78 Phil. 1; Macias vs. Comm. on Elections, L-18684, September 14, 1961). If there has been any mistake in
the printing ofthe bill before it was certified by the officers of Congress and approved by the Executive on which we cannot speculate,
without jeopardizing the principle of separation of powers and undermining one of the cornerstones of our democratic system the
remedy is by amendment or curative legislation, not by judicial decree.
WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby affirmed, with costs against the petitioner. It is so ordered.
Bengzon, C.J., Padilla, Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Reyes, J.B.L., Barrera, Paredes, Dizon, Regala and Makalintal, JJ., concur.

The Lawphil Project - Arellano Law Foundation www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri1963/feb1963/gr_l-17931_1963.html

EN BANC

[G.R. No. 127255. August 14, 1997]

JOKER P. ARROYO, EDCEL C. LAGMAN, JOHN HENRY R. OSMEA, WIGBERTO E. TAADA, and RONALDO B.
ZAMORA, petitioners, vs. JOSE DE VENECIA, RAUL DAZA, RODOLFO ALBANO, THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, THE
SECRETARY OF FINANCE, AND THE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, respondents.
DECISION
MENDOZA, J.:
This is a petition for certiorari and/or prohibition challenging the validity of Republic Act No. 8240, which amends certain provisions
of the National Internal Revenue Code by imposing so-called sin taxes (actually specific taxes) on the manufacture and sale of beer and
cigarettes.
Petitioners are members of the House of Representatives. They brought this suit against respondents Jose de Venecia, Speaker of
the House of Representatives, Deputy Speaker Raul Daza, Majority Leader Rodolfo Albano, the Executive Secretary, the Secretary of
Finance, and the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, charging violation of the rules of the House which petitioners claim are
constitutionally mandated so that their violation is tantamount to a violation of the Constitution.
The law originated in the House of Representatives as H. No. 7198. This bill was approved on third reading on September 12, 1996
and transmitted on September 16, 1996 to the Senate which approved it with certain amendments on third reading on November 17,
1996. A bicameral conference committee was formed to reconcile the disagreeing provisions of the House and Senate versions of the
bill.
The bicameral conference committee submitted its report to the House at 8 a.m. on November 21, 1996. At 11:48 a.m., after a
recess, Rep. Exequiel Javier, chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, proceeded to deliver his sponsorship speech, after which
he was interpellated. Rep. Rogelio Sarmiento was first to interpellate. He was interrupted when Rep. Arroyo moved to adjourn for lack
of quorum. Rep. Antonio Cuenco objected to the motion and asked for a head count. After a roll call, the Chair (Deputy Speaker Raul
Daza) declared the presence of a quorum.[1] Rep. Arroyo appealed the ruling of the Chair, but his motion was defeated when put to a
vote. The interpellation of the sponsor thereafter proceeded.
Petitioner Rep. Joker Arroyo registered to interpellate. He was fourth in the order, following Rep. Rogelio Sarmiento, Rep. Edcel C.
Lagman and Rep. Enrique Garcia. In the course of his interpellation, Rep. Arroyo announced that he was going to raise a question on
the quorum, although until the end of his interpellation he never did. What happened thereafter is shown in the following transcript of the
session on November 21, 1996 of the House of Representatives, as published by Congress in the newspaper issues of December 5 and
6, 1996:
MR. ALBANO. Mr. Speaker, I move that we now approve and ratify the conference committee report.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr. Daza). Any objection to the motion?
MR. ARROYO. What is that, Mr. Speaker?
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr. Daza). There being none, approved.
(Gavel)
MR. ARROYO. No, no, no, wait a minute, Mr. Speaker, I stood up. I want to know what is the question that the Chair asked
the distinguished sponsor.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr. Daza). There was a motion by the Majority Leader for approval of the report, and the Chair
called for the motion.

MR. ARROYO. Objection, I stood up, so I wanted to object.


THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr. Daza). The session is suspended for one minute.
(It was 3:01 p.m.)
(3:40 p.m., the session was resumed)
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr. Daza). The session is resumed.
MR. ALBANO. Mr. Speaker, I move to adjourn until four oclock, Wednesday, next week.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr. Daza). The session is adjourned until four oclock, Wednesday, next week.
(It was 3:40 p.m.)
On the same day, the bill was signed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate and certified
by the respective secretaries of both Houses of Congress as having been finally passed by the House of Representatives and by the
Senate on November 21, 1996. The enrolled bill was signed into law by President Fidel V. Ramos on November 22, 1996.
Petitioners claim that there are actually four different versions of the transcript of this portion of Rep. Arroyos interpellation: (1) the
transcript of audio-sound recording of the proceedings in the session hall immediately after the session adjourned at 3:40 p.m. on
November 21, 1996, which petitioner Rep. Edcel C. Lagman obtained from the operators of the sound system; (2) the transcript of the
proceedings from 3:00 p.m. to 3:40 p.m. of November 21, 1996, as certified by the Chief of the Transcription Division on November 21,
1996, also obtained by Rep. Lagman; (3) the transcript of the proceedings from 3:00 p.m. to 3:40 p.m. of November 21, 1996 as certified
by the Chief of the Transcription Division on November 28, 1996, also obtained by Rep. Lagman; and (4) the published version
abovequoted. According to petitioners, the four versions differ on three points, to wit: (1) in the audio-sound recording the word
approved, which appears on line 13 in the three other versions, cannot be heard; (2) in the transcript certified on November 21, 1996 the
word no on line 17 appears only once, while in the other versions it is repeated three times; and (3) the published version does not
contain the sentence (Y)ou better prepare for a quorum because I will raise the question of the quorum, which appears in the other
versions.
Petitioners allegations are vehemently denied by respondents. However, there is no need to discuss this point as petitioners have
announced that, in order to expedite the resolution of this petition, they admit, without conceding, the correctness of the transcripts relied
upon by the respondents. Petitioners agree that for purposes of this proceedingthe word approved appears in the transcripts.
Only the proceedings of the House of Representatives on the conference committee report on H. No. 7198 are in
question. Petitioners principal argument is that R.A. No.8240 is null and void because it was passed in violation of the rules of the
House; that these rules embody the constitutional mandate in Art. VI, 16(3) that each House may determine the rules of its proceedings
and that, consequently, violation of the House rules is a violation of the Constitution itself. They contend that the certification of Speaker
De Venecia that the law was properly passed is false and spurious.
More specifically, petitioners charge that (1) in violation of Rule VIII, 35 and Rule XVII, 103 of the rules of the House, [2] the Chair, in
submitting the conference committee report to the House, did not call for the yeas or nays, but simply asked for its approval by motion in
order to prevent petitioner Arroyo from questioning the presence of a quorum; (2) in violation of Rule XIX, 112, [3] the Chair deliberately
ignored Rep. Arroyos question, What is that . . . Mr. Speaker? and did not repeat Rep. Albanos motion to approve or ratify; (3) in violation
of Rule XVI, 97,[4] the Chair refused to recognize Rep. Arroyo and instead proceeded to act on Rep. Albanos motion and afterward
declared the report approved; and (4) in violation of Rule XX, 121-122, Rule XXI, 123, and Rule XVIII, 109, [5] the Chair suspended the
session without first ruling on Rep. Arroyos question which, it is alleged, is a point of order or a privileged motion. It is argued that Rep.
Arroyos query should have been resolved upon the resumption of the session on November 28, 1996, because the parliamentary
situation at the time of the adjournment remained upon the resumption of the session.
Petitioners also charge that the session was hastily adjourned at 3:40 p.m. on November 21, 1996 and the bill certified by Speaker
Jose De Venecia to prevent petitioner Rep. Arroyo from formally challenging the existence of a quorum and asking for a reconsideration.
Petitioners urge the Court not to feel bound by the certification of the Speaker of the House that the law had been properly passed,
considering the Courts power under Art. VIII, 1 to pass on claims of grave abuse of discretion by the other departments of the
government, and they ask for a reexamination of Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance,[6] which affirmed the conclusiveness of an enrolled
bill, in view of the changed membership of the Court.
The Solicitor General filed a comment in behalf of all respondents. In addition, respondent De Venecia filed a supplemental
comment. Respondents defense is anchored on the principle of separation of powers and the enrolled bill doctrine. They argue that the
Court is not the proper forum for the enforcement of the rules of the House and that there is no justification for reconsidering the enrolled
bill doctrine. Although the Constitution provides in Art. VI, 16(3) for the adoption by each House of its rules of proceedings, enforcement
of the rules cannot be sought in the courts except insofar as they implement constitutional requirements such as that relating to three
readings on separate days before a bill may be passed. At all events, respondents contend that, in passing the bill which became R.A.
No. 8240, the rules of the House, as well as parliamentary precedents for approval of conference committee reports on mere motion,
were faithfully observed.
In his supplemental comment, respondent De Venecia denies that his certification of H. No. 7198 is false and spurious and
contends that under the journal entry rule, the judicial inquiry sought by the petitioners is barred. Indeed, Journal No. 39 of the House of
Representatives, covering the sessions of November 20 and 21, 1996, shows that On Motion of Mr. Albano, there being no objection, the
Body approved the Conference Committee Report on House Bill No. 7198. [7] This Journal was approved on December 2, 1996 over the
lone objection of petitioner Rep. Lagman.[8]
After considering the arguments of the parties, the Court finds no ground for holding that Congress committed a grave abuse of
discretion in enacting R.A. No. 8240. This case is therefore dismissed.
First. It is clear from the foregoing facts that what is alleged to have been violated in the enactment of R.A. No. 8240 are merely
internal rules of procedure of the House rather than constitutional requirements for the enactment of a law, i.e., Art. VI, 26-27. Petitioners
do not claim that there was no quorum but only that, by some maneuver allegedly in violation of the rules of the House, Rep. Arroyo was
effectively prevented from questioning the presence of a quorum.

Petitioners contend that the House rules were adopted pursuant to the constitutional provision that each House may determine the
rules of its proceedings[9] and that for this reason they are judicially enforceable. To begin with, this contention stands the principle on its
head. In the decided cases,[10] the constitutional provision that each House may determine the rules of its proceedings was invoked by
parties, although not successfully, precisely to support claims of autonomy of the legislative branch to conduct its business free from
interference by courts. Here petitioners cite the provision for the opposite purpose of invoking judicial review.
But the cases, both here and abroad, in varying forms of expression, all deny to the courts the power to inquire into allegations that,
in enacting a law, a House of Congress failed to comply with its own rules, in the absence of showing that there was a violation of a
constitutional provision or the rights of private individuals. In Osmea v. Pendatun,[11]it was held: At any rate, courts have declared that the
rules adopted by deliberative bodies are subject to revocation, modification or waiver at the pleasure of the body adopting them. And it
has been said that Parliamentary rules are merely procedural, and with their observance, the courts have no concern. They may be
waived or disregarded by the legislative body. Consequently, mere failure to conform to parliamentary usage will not invalidate the action
(taken by a deliberative body) when the requisite number of members have agreed to a particular measure.
In United States v. Ballin, Joseph & Co.,[12] the rule was stated thus: The Constitution empowers each house to determine its rules
of proceedings. It may not by its rules ignore constitutional restraints or violate fundamental rights, and there should be a reasonable
relation between the mode or method of proceeding established by the rule and the result which is sought to be attained. But within
these limitations all matters of method are open to the determination of the House, and it is no impeachment of the rule to say that some
other way would be better, more accurate, or even more just. It is no objection to the validity of a rule that a different one has been
prescribed and in force for a length of time. The power to make rules is not one which once exercised is exhausted. It is a continuous
power, always subject to be exercised by the House, and within the limitations suggested, absolute and beyond the challenge of any
other body or tribunal.
In Crawford v. Gilchrist,[13] it was held: The provision that each House shall determine the rules of its proceedings does not restrict
the power given to a mere formulation of standing rules, or to the proceedings of the body in ordinary legislative matters; but in the
absence of constitutional restraints, and when exercised by a majority of a constitutional quorum, such authority extends to a
determination of the propriety and effect of any action as it is taken by the body as it proceeds in the exercise of any power, in the
transaction of any business, or in the performance of any duty conferred upon it by the Constitution.
In State ex rel. City Loan & Savings Co. v. Moore,[14] the Supreme Court of Ohio stated: The provision for reconsideration is no part
of the Constitution and is therefore entirely within the control of the General Assembly. Having made the rule, it should be regarded, but
a failure to regard it is not the subject-matter of judicial inquiry. It has been decided by the courts of last resort of many states, and also
by the United States Supreme Court, that a legislative act will not be declared invalid for noncompliance with rules.
In State v. Savings Bank,[15] the Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut declared itself as follows: The Constitution declares that
each house shall determine the rules of its own proceedings and shall have all powers necessary for a branch of the Legislature of a free
and independent state. Rules of proceedings are the servants of the House and subject to its authority. This authority may be abused,
but when the House has acted in a matter clearly within its power, it would be an unwarranted invasion of the independence of the
legislative department for the court to set aside such action as void because it may think that the House has misconstrued or departed
from its own rules of procedure.
In McDonald v. State,[16] the Wisconsin Supreme Court held: When it appears that an act was so passed, no inquiry will be
permitted to ascertain whether the two houses have or have not complied strictly with their own rules in their procedure upon the bill,
intermediate its introduction and final passage. The presumption is conclusive that they have done so. We think no court has ever
declared an act of the legislature void for non-compliance with the rules of procedure made by itself, or the respective branches thereof,
and which it or they may change or suspend at will. If there are any such adjudications, we decline to follow them.
Schweizer v. Territory[17] is illustrative of the rule in these cases. The 1893 Statutes of Oklahoma provided for three readings on
separate days before a bill may be passed by each house of the legislature, with the proviso that in case of an emergency the house
concerned may, by two-thirds vote, suspend the operation of the rule. Plaintiff was convicted in the district court of violation of a law
punishing gambling. He appealed contending that the gambling statute was not properly passed by the legislature because the
suspension of the rule on three readings had not been approved by the requisite two-thirds vote. Dismissing this contention, the State
Supreme Court of Oklahoma held:
We have no constitutional provision requiring that the legislature should read a bill in any particular manner. It may, then, read or deliberate upon a bill
as it sees fit, either in accordance with its own rules, or in violation thereof, or without making any rules. The provision of section 17 referred to is
merely a statutory provision for the direction of the legislature in its action upon proposed measures. It receives its entire force from legislative
sanction, and it exists only at legislative pleasure. The failure of the legislature to properly weigh and consider an act, its passage through the
legislature in a hasty manner, might be reasons for the governor withholding his signature thereto; but this alone, even though it is shown to be a
violation of a rule which the legislature had made to govern its own proceedings, could be no reason for the courts refusing its enforcement after it was
actually passed by a majority of each branch of the legislature, and duly signed by the governor. The courts cannot declare an act of the legislature
void on account of noncompliance with rules of procedure made by itself to govern its deliberations. McDonald v. State, 80 Wis. 407, 50 N.W. 185; In
re Ryan, 80 Wis. 414, 50 N. W. 187; State v. Brown, 33 S.C. 151, 11 S. E. 641; Railway Co. v. Gill, 54 Ark. 101, 15 S. W. 18.
We conclude this survey with the useful summary of the rulings by former Chief Justice Fernando, commenting on the power of
each House of Congress to determine its rules of proceedings. He wrote:
Rules are hardly permanent in character. The prevailing view is that they are subject to revocation, modification or waiver at the pleasure of the body
adopting them as they are primarily procedural. Courts ordinarily have no concern with their observance. They may be waived or disregarded by the
legislative body. Consequently, mere failure to conform to them does not have the effect of nullifying the act taken if the requisite number of members
have agreed to a particular measure. The above principle is subject, however, to this qualification. Where the construction to be given to a rule affects
persons other than members of the legislative body the question presented is necessarily judicial in character. Even its validity is open to question in a
case where private rights are involved.[18]
In this case no rights of private individuals are involved but only those of a member who, instead of seeking redress in the House,
chose to transfer the dispute to this Court.We have no more power to look into the internal proceedings of a House than members of that
House have to look over our shoulders, as long as no violation of constitutional provisions is shown.

Petitioners must realize that each of the three departments of our government has its separate sphere which the others may not
invade without upsetting the delicate balance on which our constitutional order rests. Due regard for the working of our system of
government, more than mere comity, compels reluctance on our part to enter upon an inquiry into an alleged violation of the rules of the
House. We must accordingly decline the invitation to exercise our power.
Second. Petitioners, quoting former Chief Justice Roberto Concepcions sponsorship in the Constitutional Commission, contend
that under Art. VIII, 1, nothing involving abuse of discretion [by the other branches of the government] amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction is beyond judicial review.[19] Implicit in this statement of the former Chief Justice, however, is an acknowledgment that the
jurisdiction of this Court is subject to the case and controversy requirement of Art. VIII, 5 and, therefore, to the requirement of a
justiciable controversy before courts can adjudicate constitutional questions such as those which arise in the field of foreign
relations. For while Art. VIII, 1 has broadened the scope of judicial inquiry into areas normally left to the political departments to decide,
such as those relating to national security,[20] it has not altogether done away with political questions such as those which arise in the
field of foreign relations. As we have already held, under Art. VIII, 1, this Courts function
is merely [to] check whether or not the governmental branch or agency has gone beyond the constitutional limits of its jurisdiction, not that it erred or
has a different view. In the absence of a showing . . . [of] grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction, there is no occasion for the Court
to exercise its corrective power. . . . It has no power to look into what it thinks is apparent error.[21]
If, then, the established rule is that courts cannot declare an act of the legislature void on account merely of noncompliance with rules of
procedure made by itself, it follows that such a case does not present a situation in which a branch of the government has gone beyond
the constitutional limits of its jurisdiction so as to call for the exercise of our Art.VIII, 1 power.
Third. Petitioners claim that the passage of the law in the House was railroaded. They claim that Rep. Arroyo was still making a
query to the Chair when the latter declared Rep. Albanos motion approved.
What happened is that, after Rep. Arroyos interpellation of the sponsor of the committee report, Majority Leader Rodolfo Albano
moved for the approval and ratification of the conference committee report. The Chair called out for objections to the motion. Then the
Chair declared: There being none, approved. At the same time the Chair was saying this, however, Rep. Arroyo was asking, What is that
. . . Mr. Speaker? The Chair and Rep. Arroyo were talking simultaneously. Thus, although Rep. Arroyo subsequently objected to the
Majority Leaders motion, the approval of the conference committee report had by then already been declared by the Chair, symbolized
by its banging of the gavel.
Petitioners argue that, in accordance with the rules of the House, Rep. Albanos motion for the approval of the conference
committee report should have been stated by the Chair and later the individual votes of the Members should have been taken. They say
that the method used in this case is a legislators nightmare because it suggests unanimity when the fact was that one or some
legislators opposed the report.
No rule of the House of Representatives has been cited which specifically requires that in cases such as this involving approval of
a conference committee report, the Chair must restate the motion and conduct a viva voce or nominal voting. On the other hand, as the
Solicitor General has pointed out, the manner in which the conference committee report on H. No. 7198 was approved was by no means
a unique one. It has basis in legislative practice. It was the way the conference committee report on the bills which became the Local
Government Code of 1991 and the conference committee report on the bills amending the Tariff and Customs Code were approved.
In 1957, the practice was questioned as being contrary to the rules of the House. The point was answered by Majority Leader
Arturo M. Tolentino and his answer became the ruling of the Chair. Mr. Tolentino said:
Mr. Tolentino. The fact that nobody objects means a unanimous action of the House. Insofar as the matter of procedure is concerned, this has been a
precedent since I came here seven years ago, and it has been the procedure in this House that if somebody objects, then a debate follows and after the
debate, then the voting comes in.
....
Mr. Speaker, a point of order was raised by the gentleman from Leyte, and I wonder what his attitude is now on his point of order. I should just like to
state that I believe that we have had a substantial compliance with the Rules. The Rule invoked is not one that refers to statutory or constitutional
requirement, and a substantial compliance, to my mind, is sufficient. When the Chair announces the vote by saying Is there any objection? and nobody
objects, then the Chair announces The bill is approved on second reading. If there was any doubt as to the vote, any motion to divide would have been
proper. So, if that motion is not presented, we assume that the House approves the measure. So I believe there is substantial compliance here, and if
anybody wants a division of the House he can always ask for it, and the Chair can announce how many are in favor and how many are against. [22]
Indeed, it is no impeachment of the method to say that some other way would be better, more accurate and even more just. [23] The
advantages or disadvantages, the wisdom or folly of a method do not present any matter for judicial consideration. [24] In the words of the
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, this Court cannot provide a second opinion on what is the best procedure. Notwithstanding the deference
and esteem that is properly tendered to individual congressional actors, our deference and esteem for the institution as a whole and for
the constitutional command that the institution be allowed to manage its own affairs precludes us from even attempting a diagnosis of
the problem.[25]
Nor does the Constitution require that the yeas and the nays of the Members be taken every time a House has to vote, except only
in the following instances: upon the last and third readings of a bill, [26] at the request of one-fifth of the Members present, [27] and in
repassing a bill over the veto of the President.[28] Indeed, considering the fact that in the approval of the original bill the votes of the
Members by yeas and nays had already been taken, it would have been sheer tedium to repeat the process.
Petitioners claim that they were prevented from seeking reconsideration allegedly as a result of the precipitate suspension and
subsequent adjournment of the session.[29] It would appear, however, that the session was suspended to allow the parties to settle the
problem, because when it resumed at 3:40 p.m. on that day Rep. Arroyo did not say anything anymore. While it is true that the Majority
Leader moved for adjournment until 4 p.m. of Wednesday of the following week, Rep. Arroyo could at least have objected if there was
anything he wanted to say. The fact, however, is that he did not. The Journal of November 21, 1996 of the House shows:

ADJOURNMENT OF SESSION
On motion of Mr. Albano, there being no objection, the Chair declared the session adjourned until four oclock in the afternoon of Wednesday,
November 27, 1996.
It was 3:40 p.m. Thursday, November 21, 1996. (emphasis added)
This Journal was approved on December 2, 1996. Again, no one objected to its approval except Rep. Lagman.
It is thus apparent that petitioners predicament was largely of their own making. Instead of submitting the proper motions for the
House to act upon, petitioners insisted on the pendency of Rep. Arroyos question as an obstacle to the passage of the bill. But Rep.
Arroyos question was not, in form or substance, a point of order or a question of privilege entitled to precedence. [30] And even if Rep.
Arroyos question were so, Rep. Albanos motion to adjourn would have precedence and would have put an end to any further
consideration of the question.[31]
Given this fact, it is difficult to see how it can plausibly be contended that in signing the bill which became R.A. No. 8240,
respondent Speaker of the House be acted with grave abuse of his discretion. Indeed, the phrase grave abuse of discretion amounting
to lack or excess of jurisdiction has a settled meaning in the jurisprudence of procedure. It means such capricious and whimsical
exercise of judgment by a tribunal exercising judicial or quasi judicial power as to amount to lack of power. As Chief Justice Concepcion
himself said in explaining this provision, the power granted to the courts by Art. VIII, 1 extends to cases where a branch of the
government or any of its officials has acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction, or so capriciously as to constitute an abuse of
discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction.[32]
Here, the matter complained of concerns a matter of internal procedure of the House with which the Court should not be
concerned. To repeat, the claim is not that there was no quorum but only that Rep. Arroyo was effectively prevented from questioning the
presence of a quorum. Rep. Arroyos earlier motion to adjourn for lack of quorum had already been defeated, as the roll call established
the existence of a quorum. The question of quorum cannot be raised repeatedly especially when the quorum is obviously present for the
purpose of delaying the business of the House. [33] Rep. Arroyo waived his objection by his continued interpellation of the sponsor for in
so doing he in effect acknowledged the presence of a quorum.[34]
At any rate it is noteworthy that of the 111 members of the House earlier found to be present on November 21, 1996, only the
five, i.e., petitioners in this case, are questioning the manner by which the conference committee report on H. No. 7198 was approved on
that day. No one, except Rep. Arroyo, appears to have objected to the manner by which the report was approved. Rep. John Henry
Osmea did not participate in the bicameral conference committee proceedings. [35] Rep. Lagman and Rep. Zamora objected to the
report[36] but not to the manner it was approved; while it is said that, if voting had been conducted, Rep. Taada would have voted in favor
of the conference committee report.[37]
Fourth. Under the enrolled bill doctrine, the signing of H. No. 7198 by the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate
and the certification by the secretaries of both Houses of Congress that it was passed on November 21, 1996 are conclusive of its due
enactment. Much energy and learning is devoted in the separate opinion of Justice Puno, joined by Justice Davide, to disputing this
doctrine. To be sure, there is no claim either here or in the decision in the EVAT cases [Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance] that the
enrolled bill embodies a conclusive presumption. In one case[38] we went behind an enrolled bill and consulted the Journal to determine
whether certain provisions of a statute had been approved by the Senate.
But, where as here there is no evidence to the contrary, this Court will respect the certification of the presiding officers of both
Houses that a bill has been duly passed.Under this rule, this Court has refused to determine claims that the three-fourths vote needed to
pass a proposed amendment to the Constitution had not been obtained,because a duly authenticated bill or resolution imports absolute
verity and is binding on the courts.[39] This Court quoted from Wigmore on Evidence the following excerpt which embodies good, if oldfashioned, democratic theory:
The truth is that many have been carried away with the righteous desire to check at any cost the misdoings of Legislatures. They have set such store by
the Judiciary for this purpose that they have almost made them a second and higher Legislature. But they aim in the wrong direction. Instead of
trusting a faithful Judiciary to check an inefficient Legislature, they should turn to improve the Legislature. The sensible solution is not to patch and
mend casual errors by asking the Judiciary to violate legal principle and to do impossibilities with the Constitution; but to represent ourselves with
competent, careful, and honest legislators, the work of whose hands on the statute-roll may come to reflect credit upon the name of popular
government.[40]
This Court has refused to even look into allegations that the enrolled bill sent to the President contained provisions which had been
surreptitiously inserted in the conference committee:
[W]here allegations that the constitutional procedures for the passage of bills have not been observed have no more basis than another allegation that
the Conference Committee surreptitiously inserted provisions into a bill which it had prepared, we should decline the invitation to go behind the
enrolled copy of the bill. To disregard the enrolled bill rule in such cases would be to disregard the respect due the other two departments of our
government.[41]
It has refused to look into charges that an amendment was made upon the last reading of a bill in violation of Art. VI, 26(2) of the
Constitution that upon the last reading of a bill, no amendment shall be allowed. [42]
In other cases,[43] this Court has denied claims that the tenor of a bill was otherwise than as certified by the presiding officers of
both Houses of Congress.
The enrolled bill doctrine, as a rule of evidence, is well established. It is cited with approval by text writers here and abroad. [44] The
enrolled bill rule rests on the following considerations:
. . . As the President has no authority to approve a bill not passed by Congress, an enrolled Act in the custody of the Secretary of State, and having the
official attestations of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, of the President of the Senate, and of the President of the United States, carries, on

its face, a solemn assurance by the legislative and executive departments of the government, charged, respectively, with the duty of enacting and
executing the laws, that it was passed by Congress. The respect due to coequal and independent departments requires the judicial department to act
upon that assurance, and to accept, as having passed Congress, all bills authenticated in the manner stated; leaving the court to determine, when the
question properly arises, whether the Act, so authenticated, is in conformity with the Constitution. [45]
To overrule the doctrine now, as the dissent urges, is to repudiate the massive teaching of our cases and overthrow an established
rule of evidence.
Indeed, petitioners have advanced no argument to warrant a departure from the rule, except to say that, with a change in the
membership of the Court, the three new members may be assumed to have an open mind on the question of the enrolled bill
rule. Actually, not three but four (Cruz, Feliciano, Bidin, and Quiason, JJ.) have departed from the Court since our decision in the EVAT
cases and their places have since been taken by four new members (Francisco, Hermosisima, Panganiban, and Torres, JJ.)Petitioners
are thus simply banking on the change in the membership of the Court.
Moreover, as already noted, the due enactment of the law in question is confirmed by the Journal of the House of November 21,
1996 which shows that the conference committee report on H. No. 7198, which became R.A. No. 8240, was approved on that day. The
keeping of the Journal is required by the Constitution. Art. VI, 16(4) provides:
Each House shall keep a Journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may, in its judgment, affect
national security; and the yeas and nays on any question shall, at the request of one-fifth of the Members present, be entered in the Journal.
Each House shall also keep a Record of its proceedings.
The Journal is regarded as conclusive with respect to matters that are required by the Constitution to be recorded therein. [46] With
respect to other matters, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, the Journals have also been accorded conclusive effect. Thus, in
United States v. Pons,[47] this Court spoke of the imperatives of public policy for regarding the Journals as public memorials of the most
permanent character, thus: They should be public, because all are required to conform to them; they should be permanent, that rights
acquired today upon the faith of what has been declared to be law shall not be destroyed tomorrow, or at some remote period of time, by
facts resting only in the memory of individuals. As already noted, the bill which became R.A. No. 8240 is shown in the Journal. Hence its
due enactment has been duly proven.
___________________
It would be an unwarranted invasion of the prerogative of a coequal department for this Court either to set aside a legislative action
as void because the Court thinks the House has disregarded its own rules of procedure, or to allow those defeated in the political arena
to seek a rematch in the judicial forum when petitioners can find their remedy in that department itself. The Court has not been invested
with a roving commission to inquire into complaints, real or imagined, of legislative skullduggery. It would be acting in excess of its power
and would itself be guilty of grave abuse of its discretion were it to do so. The suggestion made in a case[48] may instead appropriately be
made here:petitioners can seek the enactment of a new law or the repeal or amendment of R.A. No. 8240. In the absence of anything to
the contrary, the Court must assume that Congress or any House thereof acted in the good faith belief that its conduct was permitted by
its rules, and deference rather than disrespect is due the judgment of that body.[49]
WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari and prohibition is DISMISSED.
SO ORDERED.
Narvasa, C.J., Padilla, Melo, Kapunan, Francisco, and Hermosisima, Jr., JJ., concur.
Romero, J., has a separate opinion.
Puno, J., has a separate concurring and dissenting opinion.
Davide, Jr., J., joined the concurring and dissenting opinion of Justice Puno.
Vitug, J., has a separate concurring opinion.
Regalado, J., in the result.
Bellosillo, J., took no part due to relationship with parties.
Panganiban, J., took no part. Former counsel of a party.
Torres, Jr., J., on leave during the deliberations.

[1]

Journal No. 39, pp. 66, 68; Rollo, pp. 210, 212; Transcript of November 21, 1996 session, pp. 39-52; Rollo, pp. 368-381; Petition, p. 6,
par. 10; Rollo, p. 8.

[2]

Rule VIII, 35. Voting. Every member present in the session shall vote on every question put unless he inhibits himself on account of
personal pecuniary interest therein.
Rule XVII, 103. Manner of Voting. The Speaker shall rise to put a question saying As many as are in favor of (as the question may be),
say Aye and, after the affirmative vote is counted, As many as are opposed, say Nay ....
[3]

Rule XIX, 112. Reading and Withdrawal of Motions. The Speaker shall state the motion or, if in writing, shall cause it to be read by the
Secretary General before being debated. A motion may be withdrawn any time before its approval.

[4]

Rule XVI, 97. Recognition of Member. When two or more members rise at the same time, the Speaker shall recognize the Member
who is to speak first.

[5]

Rule XX, 121. Definition. Questions of privilege are those affecting the duties, conduct, rights, privileges, dignity, integrity or reputation
of the House or of its members, collectively or individually.

122. Precedence. Subject to the ten-minute rule, questions of privilege shall have precedence over all other questions, except a motion
to adjourn and a point of order.
Rule XXI, 123. Definition and Precedence. A privileged motion pertains to a subject matter which, under the rules, takes precedence
over others.
The order of precedence of privileged motions is determined in each case by the rules.
Rule XVIII, 109. Who May Vote; Procedure; Exceptions. When a bill, report or motion is adopted or lost, a member who voted with the
majority may move for its reconsideration on the same or succeeding session day. The motion shall take precedence over all
other questions, except a motion to adjourn, a question of privilege, and a point of order.
[6]

235 SCRA 630 (1994).

[7]

Rollo, p. 228.

[8]

Id., p. 229.

[9]

Art. VI, 16(3).

[10]

E.g., United States v. Ballin, Joseph & Co., 144 U.S. 1, 36 L.Ed. 321 (1862); Exxon Corp. v. FTC, 589 F.2d 582 (1978); Murray v.
Buchanan, 674 F.2d 14 (1982); Metzenbaum v. Federal Energy Regulatory Comn, 675 F.2d 1282 (1982). See also Osmea v.
Pendatun, 109 Phil. 863 (1960).

[11]

109 Phil. at 870-71. See also EVAT cases [Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance], 235 SCRA 630.

[12]

144 U.S. at 5, 36 L.Ed. at 324-25 (emphasis added).

[13]

64 Fla. 41; 59 So. 963, 968 (1912) (emphasis added).

[14]

124 Ohio St. 256, 177 N.E. 910, 911 (1931) (emphasis added).

[15]

79 Conn. 141, 64 Atl. 5, 9-10 (1906) (emphasis added).

[16]

80 Wis. 407, 50 N.W. 185, 186 (1891) (emphasis added).

[17]

5 Okl. 297, 47 Pac. 1094 (1897) (emphasis added).

[18]

Enrique M. Fernando, Constitution of the Philippines Annotated 188-189 (1977); Pacete v. Secretary of the Commission on
Appointments, 40 SCRA 58 (1971).

[19]

Petition, p. 25, quoting the sponsorship speech of former Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion, chairman of the Committee on Judiciary
of the Constitutional Commission, in 1 Records of the Constitutional Commission 436 (Session of July 10, 1986).

[20]

Gonzales v. Macaraig, 191 SCRA 452 (1990); See Marcos v. Manglapus, 177 SCRA 668, 695 (1989); Lansang v. Garcia, 42 SCRA
448 (1971).

[21]

Co v. Electoral Tribunal of the House of Representatives, 199 SCRA 692,701 (1991); Llamas v. Orbos, 202 SCRA 849, 857 (1991);
Lansang v. Garcia, 42 SCRA at 480-481 (emphasis added).

[22]

4 Cong. Rec. 413-414 (Feb. 15, 1957).

[23]

United States v. Ballin, Joseph & Co., 144 U.S. at 5, 36 L.Ed. at 324-25; State v. Lewis, 186 S.E. 625, 630 (1936).

[24]

United States v. Smith, 286 U.S. 6, 76 L.Ed. 954 (1931).

[25]

Gregg v. Barrett, 771 F.2d 539, 549 (1985).

[26]

Art. VI, 26(2).

[27]

Id., 16(4).

[28]

Id., 27(1).

[29]

Id., p. 17; id., p. 19.

[30]

Inocencio Pareja, Rules of the House of Representatives Commented and Annotated 331 (1963); Reynaldo Fajardo, Principles of
Parliamentary Procedure 157-158, 172-173 (1963).

[31]

Rule XIX, 13.

[32]

1 Records of the Constitutional Commission 436 (Session of July 10, 1986).

[33]

Alice Sturgis, Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, 17 (1950).

[34]

Paul Mason, Manual of Legislative Procedure 335 (1953).

[35]

Conference Committee Report, Rollo, p. 36; Petition, p. 14; Rollo, p. 16.

[36]

Ibid.

[37]

Petition, p. 14; Rollo, p. 16.

[38]

Astorga v. Villegas, 56 SCRA 714 (1974).

[39]

Mabanag v. Lopez Vito, 78 Phil. 1, 12 (1947).

[40]

Id. at 17, quoting 4 John Wigmore, Treatise on the Law on Evidence 1350 at 702 (1940). This excerpt is preserved in the Chadbourne
edition of this locus classicus. See 4 Wigmore on Evidence 1350 at 834 (James H. Chadbourne, ed. 1972).

[41]

EVAT cases [Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance], 235 SCRA at 672. Cf. Morales v. Subido, 27 SCRA 131 (1969).

[42]

Philippine Judges Assn v. Prado, 227 SCRA 703, 710 (1993); Morales v. Subido, 27 SCRA 131.

[43]

Casco Philippine Chemical Co., Inc. v. Gimenez, 7 SCRA 347 (1963); Resins, Inc. v. Auditor General, 25 SCRA 754 (1968).

[44]

4 Wigmore on Evidence 1350 (James H. Chadbourne, ed. 1972); 6 Manuel V. Moran, Comments on the Rules of Court 115 (1980); 7
Vicente J. Francisco, The Revised Rules of Court (Pt. II) 454 (1973).

[45]

Marshall Field & Co. v. Clark, 143 U.S. 649, 672, 36 L.Ed. 294, 303 (1891).

[46]

The following are required to be entered on the Journal: (1) The yeas and nays on the third and final reading of a bill (Art. VI, 26(2));
(2) the yeas and nays on any question, at the request of one-fifth of the members present (Id., 16(4)); (3)
the yeas and nays upon repassing a bill over the Presidents veto (Id., 27(1); and (4) the Presidents objection to a bill which he
has vetoed. (Id.)

[47]

34 Phil. 729, 735 (1916), quoting State ex rel. Herron v. Smith, 44 Ohio 348 (1886).

[48]

Gregg v. Barrett, 771 F.2d 529.

[49]

Metzenbaum v. Federal Energy Regulatory Comn, 675 F.2d 1282.

sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/1997/aug1997/127255.htm

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-29658

February 27, 1969

ENRIQUE V. MORALES, petitioner,


vs.
ABELARDO SUBIDO, as Commissioner of Civil Service, respondent.
RESOLUTION
CASTRO, J.:
The petitioner's motions for reconsideration are directed specifically at the following portion of our decision:
In the Senate, the Committee on Government Reorganization, to which House Bill 6951 was referred, reported a substitute
measure. It is to this substitute bill that section 10 of the Act owes its present form and substance The provision of the substitute
bill reads:
No person may be appointed chief of a city police agency unless he holds a bachelor's degree and has served either
in the Armed Forces of the Philippines or the National Bureau of Investigation or police department of any city and has
held the rank of captain or its equivalent therein for at least three years or any high school graduate who has served
the police department of a city for at least 8 years with the rank of captain and/or higher.
xxx

xxx

xxx

At the behest of Senator Francisco Rodrigo, the phrase "has served as officer in the Armed Forces" was inserted so as to make
the provision read:
No person may be appointed chief of a city police agency unless he holds a bachelor's degree and has served either
in the Armed Forces of the Philippines or the National Bureau of Investigation or police department of any city and has
held the rank of captain or its equivalent therein for at least three years or any high school graduate who has served
the police department of a city or who has served as officer of the Armed Forces for at least 8 years with the rank of
captain and/or higher.
It is to be noted that the Rodrigo amendment was in the nature of an addition to the phrase "who has served the police
department of a city for at least 8 years with the rank of captain and/or higher," under which the petitioner herein, who
is at least a high school graduate (both parties agree that the petitioner finished the second year of the law course)
could possibly qualify. However, somewhere in the legislative process the phrase ["who has served the police
department of a city or"] was dropped and only the Rodrigo amendment was retained.

The present insistence of the petitioner is that the version of the provision, as amended at the behest of Sen. Rodrigo, was the version
approved by the Senate on third reading, and that when the bill emerged from the conference committee the only change made in the
provision was the insertion of the phrase "or has served as chief of police with exemplary record".
In support of this assertion, the petitioner submitted certified photostatic copies of the different drafts of House Bill 6951 showing the
various changes made. In what purport to be the page proofs of the bill as finally approved by both Houses of Congress (annex G), the
following provision appears:
SEC. 10. Minimum qualifications for appointment as Chief of a Police Agency. No person may be appointed chief of a city
police agency unless he holds a bachelor's degree from a recognized institution of learning and has served either the Armed
Forces of the Philippines or has served as chief of police with exemplary record or the National Bureau of Investigation or the
police department of any city and has held the rank of captain or its equivalent therein for at least three years or any high
school graduate who has served the police department of a city or has served as officer in the Armed Forces for at least eight
years from the rank of captain and/or higher.
It is unmistakable up to this point that the phrase, "who has served the police department of a city or was still part of the provision, but
according to the petitioner the House bill division deleted the entire provision and substituted what now is section 10 of the Police Act of
1966, which section reads:
Minimum qualification for appointment as Chief of Police Agency. No person may be appointed chief of a city police agency
unless he holds a bachelor's degree from a recognized institution of learning and has served either in the Armed Forces of the
Philippines or the National Bureau of Investigation, or has served as chief of police with exemplary record, or has served in the
police department of any city with the rank of captain or its equivalent therein for at least three years; or any high school
graduate who has served as officer in the Armed Forces for at least eight years with the rank of captain and/or higher.
The petitioner also submitted a certified photostatic copy of a memorandum which according to him was signed by an employee in the
Senate bill division, and can be found attached to the page proofs of the bill, explaining the change in section 10, thus: .
Section 10 was recast for clarity (with the consent of Sen. Ganzon & Congressman Montano).
It would thus appear that the omission whether deliberate or unintended of the phrase, "who has served the police department of a
city or was made not at any stage of the legislative proceedings but only in the course of the engrossment of the bill, more specifically in
the proofreading thereof; that the change was made not by Congress but only by an employee thereof; and that what purportedly was a
rewriting to suit some stylistic preferences was in truth an alteration of meaning. It is for this reason that the petitioner would have us look
searchingly into the matter.
The petitioner wholly misconceives the function of the judiciary under our system of government. As we observed explicitly in our
decision, the enrolled Act in the office of the legislative secretary of the President of the Philippines shows that section 10 is exactly as it
is in the statute as officially published in slip form by the Bureau of Printing. We cannot go behind the enrolled Act to discover
what really happened. The respect due to the other branches of the Government demands that we act upon the faith and credit of what
the officers of the said branches attest to as the official acts of their respective departments. Otherwise we would be cast in the
unenviable and unwanted role of a sleuth trying to determine what actually did happen in the labyrinth of law-making with consequent
impairment of the integrity of the legislative process. The investigation which the petitioner would like this Court to make can be better
done in Congress. After all, House cleaning the immediate and imperative need for which seems to be suggested by the petitioner
can best be effected by the occupants thereof. Expressed elsewise, this is a matter worthy of the attention not of an Oliver Wendell
Holmes but of a Sherlock Holmes.
What the first Mr. Justice Harlan said in Hardwood v. Wentworth 1 might aptly be said in answer to the petitioner: "If there be danger,
under the principles announced in Field v. Clark, 143 U.S. 649, 671, that the governor and the presiding officers of the two houses of a
territorial legislature may impose upon the people an act that was never passed in the form in which it is preserved in the published
statutes, how much greater is the danger of permitting the validity of a legislative enactment to be questioned by evidence furnished by
the general indorsements made by clerks upon bills previous to their final passage and enrollment, indorsements usually so
expressed as not to be intelligible to any one except those who made them, and the scope and effect of which cannot in many cases be
understood unless supplemented by the recollection of clerks as to what occurred in the hurry and confusion often attendant upon
legislative proceedings." 2
Indeed the course suggested to us by the petitioner would be productive of nothing but mischief.
Both Marshall Field & Co. v. Clark and Harwood v. Wentworth involved claims similar to that made by the petitioner in this case. In both
the claims were rejected. Thus, in Marshall Field & Co. it was contended that the Tariff Act of October 1, 1890 was a nullity because "it is
shown by the congressional records of proceedings, reports of committees of conference, and other papers printed by authority of
Congress, and having reference to House Bill 9416, that a section of the bill as it finally passed, was not in the bill authenticated by the
signatures of the presiding officers of the respective houses of Congress, and approved by the President." 3 In rejecting the contention,
the United States Supreme Court held that the signing by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and by the President of the
Senate of an enrolled bill is an official attestation by the two houses that such bill is the one that has passed Congress. And when the bill
thus attested is signed by the President and deposited in the archives, its authentication as a bill that has passed Congress should be
deemed complete and peachable. 4
In Harwood the claim was that an act of the legislature of Arizona "contained, at the time of it final passage, provisions that were omitted
from it without authority of the council or the house, before it was presented, to the governor for his approval." 5 The Court reiterated its
ruling in Marshall Field & Co.

It is contended, however, that in this jurisdiction the journals of the legislature have been declared conclusive upon the courts, the

United States v. Pons

petitioner citing
. 6 The case cited is inapposite of it does not involve a discrepancy between
an enrolled bill and the journal. Rather the issue tendered was whether evidence could be received to show that, contrary to the entries
of the journals, the legislature did not adjourn at midnight of February 28, 1914 but after, and that "the hands of the clock were stayed in
order to enable the legislature to effect an adjournment apparently within the time fixed by the Governor's proclamation for the expiration
of the special session." In answering in the negative this Court held that if the clock was in fact stopped, "the resultant evil might be slight
as compared with that of altering the probative force and character of legislative records, and making the proof of legislative action
depend upon uncertain oral evidence, liable to loss by death or absence, and so imperfect on account of the treachery of memory." 7 This
Court "passed over the question" whether the enrolled bill was conclusive as to its contents and mode of passage.
It was not until 1947 that the question was presented Mabanao v. Lopez-Vito, 8 and we there held that an enrolled bill "imports absolute
verity and is binding on the courts". This Court held itself bound by an authenticated resolution despite the fact that the vote of threefourths of the members of the Congress (as required by the Constitution to approve proposals for constitutional amendments) was not
actually obtained on account of the suspension of some members of the House of Representative and the Senate.lawphi1.nt
Thus in Mabanag the enrolled bill theory was adopted. Whatever doubt there might have been as to the status and force of the theory in
the Philippines, in view of the dissent of three Justices in Mabanag, 9 was finally laid to rest by the unanimous decision in Casco

Philippine Chemical Co. v. Gimenez.

10

Speaking for the Court, the then Justice (now

Chief Justice) Concepcion said:


Furthermore it is well settled that the enrolled bill which uses the term "urea formaldehyde" instead of "urea and
formaldehyde" is conclusive upon the courts as regards the tenor of the measure passed by Congress and approved by the
President (Primicias vs. Paredes, 61 Phil. 118, 120; Mabanag vs. Lopez Vito, 78 Phil. 1; Macias vs. Comm. on Elections, L18684, September 14, 1961). If there has been any mistake in the printing of the bill before it was certified by the officers of
Congress and approved by the Executive on which we cannot speculate, without jeopardizing the principle of separation of
powers and undermining one of the cornerstones of our democratic system the remedy is by amendment or curative
legislation, not by judicial decree.
By what we have essayed above we are not of course to be understood as holding that in all cases the journals must yield to the
enrolled bill. To be sure there are certain matters which the Constitution 11 expressly requires must be entered on the journal of each
house. To what extent the validity of a legislative act may be affected by a failure to have such matters entered on the journal, is a
question which we do not now decide. 12 All we hold is that with respect to matters not expressly required to be entered on the journal,
the enrolled bill prevails in the event of any discrepancy.
ACCORDINGLY, the motions for reconsideration are denied.
Concepcion, C.J., Reyes, J.B.L., Dizon, Makalintal, Zaldivar, Sanchez, Fernando and Capistrano, JJ., concur.

Footnotes 1162 U.S. 547 (1895).2Id. at 562.3Marshall Field & Co. v. Clark, 143 U. S. 649, 669 (1891).4Accord, Leser v Garnett, 258
U.S.130 (1921).5Supra note 1, at 557-558.634 Phil. 729 (1916).7Id. at 734.878 Philippine 1 (1947).9The decision adopting for this
jurisdiction the enrolled bill theory was 6 to 3, with Tuason, Moran, Hontiveros, Pablo, Bengzon, Padilla, JJ., voting for, and Perfecto,
Briones and Feria, JJ., against.10L-17931, Feb. 28, 1963.11Art. VI secs. 10(4), 20(1), and 21(1).12Cf. e.g., Wikes County Comm'rs v. Color,
180 U.S. 506 (1900).The Lawphil Project - Arellano Law Foundation www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri1969/feb1969/gr_l-29658_1969.html
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-1123

March 5, 1947

ALEJO MABANAG, ET AL., petitioners,


vs.
JOSE LOPEZ VITO, ET AL., respondents.
Alejo

Mabanag,

Jose

O.

Vera,

Jesus

G.

Barrera,

Felixberto

Serrano,

J.

Antonio

Araneta,

Antonio

Secretary of Justice Ozaeta, Solicitor General Taada, and First Assistant Solicitor General Reyes for respondents.

DECISION
TUASON, J.:

Barredo,

and

Jose

W.

Diokno

for

petitioners.

This is a petition for prohibition to prevent the enforcement of a congressional resolution designated Resolution of both houses proposing an amendment to the Constitution of
the Philippines to be appended as an ordinance thereto. The members of the Commission on Elections, the Treasurer of the Philippines, the Auditor General, and the Director
of the Bureau of Printing are made defendants, and the petitioners are eight senators, seventeen representatives, and the presidents of the Democratic Alliance, the Popular
Front and the Philippine Youth Party. The validity of the above-mentioned resolution is attacked as contrary to the Constitution.
The case was heard on the pleadings and stipulation of facts. In our view of the case it is unnecessary to go into the facts at length. We will mention only the facts essential for
the proper understanding of the issues. For this purpose it suffices to say that three of the plaintiff senators and eight of the plaintiff representatives had been proclaimed by a
majority vote of the Commission on Elections as having been elected senators and representatives in the elections held on April 23, 1946. The three senators were suspended
by the Senate shortly after the opening of the first session of Congress following the elections, on account of alleged irregularities in their election. The eight representatives
since their election had not been allowed to sit in the lower House, except to take part in the election of the Speaker, for the same reason, although they had not been formally
suspended. A resolution for their suspension had been introduced in the House of Representatives, but that resolution had not been acted upon definitely by the House when
the present petition was filed.
As a consequence these three senators and eight representatives did not take part in the passage of the questioned resolution, nor was their membership reckoned within
the computation of the necessary three-fourths vote which is required in proposing an amendment to the Constitution. If these members of Congress had been counted, the
affirmative votes in favor of the proposed amendment would have been short of the necessary three-fourths vote in either branch of Congress.
At the threshold we are met with the question of the jurisdiction of this Court. The respondents deny that this Court has jurisdiction, relying on the conclusiveness on the courts
of an enrolled bill or resolution. There is some merit in the petitioners contention that this is confusing jurisdiction, which is a matter of substantive law, with conclusiveness of
an enactment or resolution, which is a matter of evidence and practice. This objection, however, is purely academic. Whatever distinction there is in the juridical sense between
the two concepts, in practice and in their operation they boil down to the same thing. Basically the two notions are synonymous in that both are founded on the regard which the
judiciary accords a co-equal coordinate, and independent departments of the Government. If a political question conclusively binds the judges out of respect to the political
departments, a duly certified law or resolution also binds the judges under the enrolled bill rule born of that respect.
It is a doctrine too well established to need citation of authorities, that political questions are not within the province of the judiciary, except to the extent that power to deal with
such questions has been conferred upon the courts by express constitutional or statutory provision. (16 C.J.S., 431.) This doctrine is predicated on the principle of the
separation of powers, a principle also too well known to require elucidation or citation of authorities. The difficulty lies in determining what matters fall within the meaning of
political question. The term is not susceptible of exact definition, and precedents and authorities are not always in full harmony as to the scope of the restrictions, on this
ground, on the courts to meddle with the actions of the political departments of the government.
But there is one case approaching this in its circumstances: Coleman vs. Miller, a relatively recent decision of the United States Supreme Court reported and annotated in 122
A.L.R., 695. The case, by a majority decision delivered by Mr. Chief Justice Hughes, is authority for the conclusion that the efficacy of ratification by state legislature of a
proposed amendment to the Federal Constitution is a political question and hence not justiciable. The Court further held that the decision by Congress, in its control of the
Secretary of State, of the questions of whether an amendment has been adopted within a reasonable time from the date of submission to the state legislature, is not subject to
review by the court.
If ratification of an amendment is a political question, a proposal which leads to ratification has to be a political question. The two steps complement each other in a scheme
intended to achieve a single objective. It is to be noted that the amendatory process as provided in section 1 of Article XV of the Philippine Constitution consists of (only) two
distinct parts: proposal and ratification. There is no logic in attaching political character to one and withholding that character from the other. Proposal to amend the Constitution
is a highly political function performed by the Congress in its sovereign legislative capacity and committed to its charge by the Constitution itself. The exercise of this power is
even independent of any intervention by the Chief Executive. If on grounds of expediency scrupulous attention of the judiciary be needed to safeguard public interest, there is
less reason for judicial inquiry into the validity of a proposal than into that of a ratification. As the Mississippi Supreme Court has once said:
There is nothing in the nature of the submission which should cause the free exercise of it to be obstructed, or that could render it dangerous to the stability of the government;
because the measure derives all its vital force from the action of the people at the ballot box, and there can never be danger in submitting in an established form, to a free
people, the proposition whether they will change their fundamental law. The means provided for the exercise of their sovereign right of changing their constitution should receive
such a construction as not to trammel the exercise of the right. Difficulties and embarrassments in its exercise are in derogation of the right of free government, which is
inherent in the people; and the best security against tumult and revolution is the free and unobstructed privilege to the people of the State to change their constitution in the
mode prescribed by the instrument. (Green vs. Weller, 32 Miss., 650; note, 10 L.R.A., N.S., 150.)
Mr. Justice Black, in a concurring opinion joined in by Justices Roberts, Frankfurter and Douglas, inMiller vs. Coleman, supra, finds no basis for discriminating between proposal
and ratification. From his forceful opinion we quote the following paragraphs:
The Constitution grant Congress exclusive power to control submission of constitutional amendments. Final determination by Congress that ratification by three-fourths of the
States has taken place is conclusive upon the courts. In the exercise of that power, Congress, of course, is governed by the Constitution. However, whether submission,
intervening procedure or Congressional determination of ratification conforms to the commands of the Constitution, call for decisions by a political department of questions of
a type which this Court has frequently designated political. And decision of a political question by the political department to which the Constitution has committed it
conclusively binds the judges, as well as all other officers, citizens and subjects of . . . government. Proclamation under authority of Congress that an amendment has been
ratified will carry with it a solemn assurance by the Congress that ratification has taken place as the Constitution commands. Upon this assurance a proclaimed amendment
must be accepted as a part of the Constitution, leaving to the judiciary its traditional authority of interpretation. To the extent that the Courts opinion in the present case even
impliedly assumes a power to make judicial interpretation of the exclusive constitutional authority of Congress over submission and ratification of amendments, we are unable to
agree.
The State court below assumed jurisdiction to determine whether the proper procedure is being followed between submission and final adoption. However, it is apparent that
judicial review of or pronouncements upon a supposed limitation of a reasonable time within which Congress may accept ratification; as to whether duly authorized State
officials have proceeded properly in ratifying or voting for ratification; or whether a State may reverse its action once taken upon a proposed amendment; and kindred questions,
are all consistent only with an intimate control over the amending process in the courts. And this must inevitably embarrass the course of amendment by subjecting to judicial
interference matters that we believe were intrusted by the Constitution solely to the political branch of government.
The Court here treats the amending process of the Constitution in some respects as subject to judicial construction, in others as subject to the final authority of the Congress.
There is no disapproval of the conclusion arrived at in Dillon vs. Gloss, that the Constitution impliedly requires that a properly submitted amendment must die unless ratified

within a reasonable time. Nor does the Court now disapprove its prior assumption of power to make such a pronouncement. And it is not made clear that only Congress has
constitutional power to determine if there is any such implication in Article 5 of the Constitution. On the other hand, the Courts opinion declares that Congress has the exclusive
power to decide the political questions of whether as State whose legislature has once acted upon a proposed amendment may subsequently reverse its position, and
whether, in the circumstances of such a case as this, an amendment is dead because an unreasonable time has elapsed. No such division between the political and judicial
branches of the government is made by Article 5 which grants power over the amending of the Constitution to Congress alone. Undivided control of that process has been given
by the Article exclusively and completely to Congress. The process itself is political in its entirely, from submission until an amendment becomes part of the Constitution, and is
not subject to judicial guidance, control or interference at any point.
Mr. Justice Frankfurter, in another concurring opinion to which the other three justices subscribed, arrives at the same conclusion. Though his thesis was the petitioners lack of
standing in court a point which not having been raised by the parties herein we will not decide his reasoning inevitably extends to a consideration of the nature of the
legislative proceeding the legality of which the petitioners in that case assailed. From a different angle he sees the matter as political, saying:
The right of the Kansas senators to be here is rested on recognition by Leser vs. Garnett, 258 U.S., 130; 66 Law. ed., 505; 42 S. Ct., 217, of a voters right to protect his
franchise. The historic source of this doctrine and the reasons for it were explained in Nixon vs. Herndon, 273 U.S., 436, 540; 71 Law. ed., 759, 761; 47 S. Ct., 446. That was an
action for $5,000 damages against the Judges of Elections for refusing to permit the plaintiff to vote at a primary election in Texas. In disposing of the objection that the plaintiff
had no cause of action because the subject matter of the suit was political, Mr. Justice Homes thus spoke for the Court: Of course the petition concerns political action, but it
alleges and seeks to recover for private damage. That private damage may be caused by such political action and may be recovered for in a suit at law hardly has been
doubted for over two hundred years, since Ashby vs. White, 2 Ld. Raym., 938; 92 Eng. Reprint, 126; 1 Eng. Rul. Cas., 521; 3 Ld. Raym., 320; 92 Eng. Reprint, 710, and has
been recognized by this Court. Private damage is the clue to the famous ruling in Ashby vs. White, supra, and determines its scope as well as that of cases in this Court of
which it is the justification. The judgment of Lord Holt is permeated with the conception that a voters franchise is a personal right, assessable in money damages, of which the
exact amount is peculiarly appropriate for the determination of a jury, see Wiley vs. Sinkler, 179 U.S., 58, 65; 45 Law. ed., 84, 88; 21 S. Ct., 17, and for which there is no
remedy outside the law courts. Although this matter relates to the parliament, said Lord Holt, yet it is an injury precedaneous to the parliament, as my Lord Hale said in the
case of Bernardiston vs. Some, 2 Lev., 114, 116; 83 Eng. Reprint, 175. The parliament cannot judge of this injury, nor give damage to the plaintiff for it: they cannot make him a
recompense. (2 Ld. Raym., 938, 958; 92 Eng. Reprint, 126; 1 Eng. Rul. Cas., 521.)
The reasoning of Ashby vs. White and the practice which has followed it leave intra-parliamentary controversies to parliaments and outside the scrutiny of law courts. The
procedures for voting in legislative assemblies who are members, how and when they should vote, what is the requisite number of votes for different phases of legislative
activity, what votes were cast and how they were counted surely are matters that not merely concern political action but are of the very essence of political action, if political
has any connotation at all. Marshall Field & Co. vs. Clark, 143 U.S., 649, 670, et seq.; 36 Law. ed., 294, 302; 12 S. Ct., 495; Leser vs. Garnett, 258 U.S., 130, 137; 66 Law. ed.,
505, 511; 42 S. Ct., 217. In no sense are they matters of private damage. They pertain to legislators not as individuals but as political representatives executing the legislative
process. To open the law courts to such controversies is to have courts sit in judgment on the manifold disputes engendered by procedures for voting in legislative assemblies.
If the doctrine of Ashby vs. White vindicating the private rights of a voting citizen has not been doubted for over two hundred years, it is equally significant that for over two
hundred years Ashby vs. White has not been sought to be put to purposes like the present. In seeking redress here these Kansas senators have wholly misconceived the
functions of this Court. The writ of certiorari to the Kansas Supreme Court should therefore be dismissed.
We share the foregoing views. In our judgment they accord with sound principles of political jurisprudence and represent liberal and advanced thought on the working of
constitutional and popular government as conceived in the fundamental law. Taken as persuasive authorities, they offer enlightening understanding of the spirit of the United
States institutions after which ours are patterned.
But these concurring opinions have more than persuasive value. As will be presently shown, they are the opinions which should operate to adjudicate the questions raised by
the pleadings. To make the point clear, it is necessary, at the risk of unduly lengthening this decision, to make a statement and an analysis of the Coleman vs. Miller case.
Fortunately, the annotation on that case in the American Law Reports, supra, comes to out aid and lightens our labor in this phase of the controversy.
Coleman vs. Miller was an original proceeding in mandamus brought in the Supreme Court of Kansas by twenty-one members of the Senate, including twenty senators who
had voted against a resolution ratifying the Child Labor Amendment, and by three members of the House of Representatives, to compel the Secretary of the Senate to erase in
indorsement on the resolution to the effect that it had been adopted by the Senate and to indorse thereon the words as not passed. They sought to restrain the offices of the
Senate and House of Representatives from signing the resolution, and the Secretary of State of Kansas from authenticating it and delivering it to the Governor.
The background of the petition appears to have been that the Child Labor Amendment was proposed by Congress in June, 1924; that in January, 1925, the legislature of
Kansas adopted a resolution rejecting it and a copy of the resolution was sent to the Secretary of State of the United States; that in January, 1927, a new resolution was
introduced in the Senate of Kansas ratifying the proposed amendment; that there were forty senators, twenty of whom voted for and twenty against the resolution; and that as a
result of the tie, the Lieutenant Governor cast his vote in favor of the resolution.
The power of the Lieutenant Governor to vote was challenged, and the petition set forth prior rejection of the proposed amendment and alleged that in the period from June
1924 to March 1927, the proposed amendment had been rejected by both houses of the legislatures of twenty-six states and had been ratified only in five states, and that by
reason of that rejection and the failure of ratification within a reasonable time, the proposed amendment had lost its vitality.
The Supreme Court of Kansas entertained jurisdiction of all the issues but dismissed the petition on the merits. When the case reached the Supreme Court of the United States
the questions were framed substantially in the following manner:
First, whether the court had jurisdiction; that is, whether the petitioners had standing to seek to have the judgment of the state court reversed; second, whether the Lieutenant
Governor had the right to vote in case of a tie, as he did, it being the contention of the petitioners that in the light of the powers and duties of the Lieutenant Governor and his
relation to the Senate under the state Constitution, as construed by the Supreme Court of the state, the Lieutenant Governor was not a part of the legislature so that under
Article 5 of the Federal Constitution, he could be permitted to have a deciding vote on the ratification of the proposed amendment, when the Senate was equally divided; and
third, the effect of the previous rejection of the amendment and of the lapse of time after its submission.
The first question was decided in the affirmative. The second question, regarding the authority of the Lieutenant Governor to vote, the court avoided, stating: Whether this
contention presents a justiciable controversy, or a question which is political in its nature and hence not justiciable, is a question upon which the Court is equally divided and
therefore the court expresses no opinion upon that point. On the third question, the Court reached the conclusion before referred to, namely, (1) that the efficacy of ratification
by state legislature of a proposed amendment to the Federal Constitution is a political question, within the ultimate power of Congress in the exercise of its control and of the

promulgation of the adoption of amendment, and (2) that the decision by Congress, in its control of the action of the Secretary of State, of the questions whether an amendment
to the Federal Constitution has been adopted within a reasonable time, is not subject to review by the court.
The net result was that the judgment of the Supreme Court of Kansas was affirmed but in the grounds stated in the United States Supreme Courts decision. The nine justices
were aligned in three groups. Justices Roberts, Black, Frankfurter and Douglas opined that the petitioners had no personality to bring the petition and that all the questions
raised are political and non-justiciable Justices Butler and McReynolds opined that all the questions were justiciable; that the Court had jurisdiction of all such questions, and
that the petition should have been granted and the decision of the Supreme Court of Kansas reversed on the ground that the proposal to amend had died of old age. The Chief
Justice, Mr. Justice Stone and Mr. Justice Reed regarded some of the issues as political and non-justiciable, passed by the question of the authority of the Lieutenant Governor
to case a deciding vote, on the ground that the Court was equally divided, and took jurisdiction of the rest of the questions.
The sole common ground between Mr. Justice Butler and Mr. Justice McReynolds, on the one hand and the Chief Justice, Mr. Justice Stone and Mr. Justice Reed, on the other,
was on the question of jurisdiction; on the result to be reached, these two groups were divided. The agreement between Justices Roberts, Black, Frankfurter and Douglas, on
the one hand, and the Chief Justice and Justices Stone and Reed, on the other, was on the result and on that part of the decision which declares certain questions political and
non-justiciable.
As the annotator in American Law Reports observes, therefore going four opinions show interestingly divergent but confusing positions of the Justices on the issues discussed.
It cites an article in 48 Yale Law Journal, 1455, amusingly entitled Sawing a Justice in Half, which, in the light of the divergences in the opinions rendered, aptly queries
whether the proper procedure for the Supreme Court would not have been to reverse the judgment below and direct dismissal of the suit for want of jurisdiction. It says that
these divergencies and line-ups of the justices leave power to dictate the result and the grounds upon which the decision should be rested with the four justices who concurred
in Mr. Justice Blacks opinion. Referring to the failure of the Court to decide the question of the right of the Lieutenant Governor to vote, the article points out that from the
opinions rendered the equally divided court would seem under any circumstances to be an equal division of an odd number of justices, and asks What really did happen? Did
a justice refuse to vote on this issue? And if he did, was it because he could not make up his mind, or is it possible to saw a justice vertically in half during the conference and
have him walk away whole? But speaking in a more serious vein, the commentator says that decision of the issue could not be avoided on grounds of irrelevance, since if the
court had jurisdiction of the case, decision of the issue in favor of the petitioners would have required reversal of the judgment below regardless of the disposal of the other
issues.
From this analysis the conclusion is that the concurring opinions should be considered as laying down the rule of the case.
The respondents other chief reliance is on the contention that a duly authenticated bill or resolution imports absolute verity and is binding on the courts. This is the rule
prevailing in England. In the United States, In point of numbers, the jurisdictions are divided almost equally pro and con the general principle (of these, two or three have
changed from their original position), two or three adopted a special variety of view (as in Illinois), three or four are not clear, and one or two have not yet made their decisions.
(IV Wigmore on Evidence, 3d Edition, 685, footnote.) It is important to bear in mind, in this connection, that the United States Supreme Court is on the side of those which favor
the rule. (Harwood vs. Wentworth, 40 Law. ed., 1069; Lyon vs. Wood, 38 Law. ed., 854; Field vs. Clark, 36 Law. ed., 294.)
If for no other reason than that it conforms to the expressed policy of our law making body, we choose to follow the rule. Section 313 of the old Code of Civil Procedure, as
amended by Act No. 2210, provides: Official documents may be proved as follows: . . . (2) the proceedings of the Philippine Commission, or of any legislative body that may be
provided for in the Philippine Islands, or of Congress, by the journals of those bodies or of either house thereof, or by published statutes or resolutions, or by copies certified by
the clerk or secretary, or printed by their order; Provided, That in the case of Acts of the Philippine Commission or the Philippine Legislature, when there is an existence of a
copy signed by the presiding officers and secretaries of said bodies, it shall be conclusive proof of the provisions of such Acts and of the due enactment thereof.
But there is more than statutory sanction for conclusiveness.
This topic has been the subject of a great number of decisions and commentaries written with evident vehemence. Arguments for and against the rule have been extensive and
exhaustive. It would be presumptuous on our part to pretend to add more, even if we could, to what has already been said. Which such vast mass of cases to guide our
judgment and discretion, our labor is reduced to an intelligent selection and borrowing of materials and arguments under the criterion of adaptability to a sound public policy.
The reasons adduced in support of enrollment as contrasted with those which opposed it are, in our opinion, almost decisive. Some of these reasons are summarized in 50
American Jurisprudence, section 150 as follows:
SEC. 150. Reasons for Conclusiveness. It has been declared that the rule against going behind the enrolled bill is required by the respect due to a coequal and independent
department of the government, and it would be an inquisition into the conduct of the members of the legislature, a very delicate power, the frequent exercise of which must lead
to endless confusion in the administration of the law. The rule is also one of convenience, because courts could not rely on the published session laws, but would be required to
look beyond these to the journals of the legislature and often to any printed bills and amendments which might be found after the adjournment of the legislature. Otherwise,
after relying on the prima facie evidence of the enrolled bills, authenticated as exacted by the Constitution, for years, it might be ascertained from the journals that an act
theretofore enforced had never become a law. In this respect, it has been declared that these is quite enough uncertainty as to what the law is without saying that no one may
be certain that an act of the legislature has become such until the issue has been determined by some court whose decision might not be regarded as conclusive in an action
between the parties.
From other decisions, selected and quoted in IV Wigmore on Evidence, 696, 697, we extract these passages:
I think the rule thus adopted accords with public policy. Indeed, in my estimation, few things would be more mischievous than the introduction of the opposite rule. . . . The rule
contended for is that the Court should look at the journals of the Legislature to ascertain whether the copy of the act attested and filed with the Secretary of State conforms in its
contents with the statements of such journals. This proposition means, if it has any legal value whatever, that, in the event of a material discrepancy between the journal and the
enrolled copy, the former is to be taken as the standard of veracity and the act is to be rejected. This is the test which is to be applied not only to the statutes now before the
Court, but to all statutes; not only to laws which have been recently passed, but to laws the most ancient. To my mind, nothing can be more certain than that the acceptance of
this doctrine by the Court would unsettle the entire statute law of the State. We have before us some evidence of the little reliability of these legislative journals. . . . Can anyone
deny that if the laws of the State are to be tested by a comparison with these journals, so imperfect, so unauthenticated, the stability of all written law will be shaken to its very
foundations? . . . We are to remember the danger, under the prevalence of such a doctrine, to be apprehended from the intentional corruption of evidences of this character. It is
scarcely too much to say that the legal existence of almost every legislative act would be at the mercy of all persons having access to these journals. . . . ([1866], Beasley, C.J.,
inPangborn vs. Young, 32 N.J.L., 29, 34.)

But it is argued that if the authenticated roll is conclusive upon the Courts, then less than a quorum of each House may be the aid of corrupt presiding officers imposed laws
upon the State in defiance of the inhibition of the Constitution. It must be admitted that the consequence stated would be possible. Public authority and political power must of
necessity be confided to officers, who being human may violate the trusts reposed in them. This perhaps cannot be avoided absolutely. But it applies also to all human
agencies. It is not fit that the Judiciary should claim for itself a purity beyond all others; nor has it been able at all times with truth to say that its high places have not been
disgraced. The framers of our government have not constituted it with faculties to supervise coordinate departments and correct or prevent abuses of their authority. It cannot
authenticate a statute; that power does not belong to it; nor can it keep a legislative journal. (1869, Frazer, J., in Evans vs. Brownem 30 Ind., 514, 524.)
Professor Wigmore in his work on Evidence considered a classic, and described by one who himself is a noted jurist, author, and scholar, as a permanent contribution to
American law and having put the matured nineteenth-century law in form to be used in a new era of growth unequivocally identifies himself with those who believe in the
soundness of the rule. The distinguished professor, in answer to the argument of Constitutional necessity, i.e., the impossibility of securing in any other way the enforcement of
constitutional restrictions on legislative action, says:
(1) In the first place, note that it is impossible of consistent application. If, as it is urged, the Judiciary are bound to enforce the constitutional requirements of three readings, a
two-thirds vote, and the like, and if therefore an act must be declared no law which in fact was not read three times or voted upon by two-thirds, this duty is a duty to determine
according to the actual facts of the readings and the votes. Now the journals may not represent the actual facts. That duty cannot allow us to stop with the journals, if it can be
shown beyond doubt that the facts were otherwise than therein represented. The duty to uphold a law which in fact was constitutionally voted upon is quite as strong as the duty
to repudiate an act unconstitutionally voted upon. The Court will be going as far wrong in repudiating an act based on proper votes falsified in the journal as it will be in
upholding an act based on improper votes falsified in the enrollment. This supposed duty, in short, is to see that the constitutional facts did exist; and it cannot stop short with
the journals. Yet, singularly enough, it is unanimously conceded that an examination into facts as provable by the testimony of members present is not allowable. If to support
that it be said that such an inquiry would be too uncertain and impracticable, then it is answered that this concedes the supposed constitutional duty not to be inexorable, after
all; for if the duty to get at the facts is a real and inevitable one, it must be a duty to get at them at any cost; and if it is merely a duty that is limited by policy and practical
convenience, then the argument changes into the second one above, namely, how far it is feasible to push the inquiry with regard to policy and practical convenience; and from
this point of view there can be but one answer.
(2) In the second place, the fact that the scruple of constitutional duty is treated thus inconsistently and pushed only up to a certain point suggests that it perhaps is based on
some fallacious assumption whose defect is exposed only by carrying it to its logical consequences. Such indeed seems to be the case. It rests on the fallacious motion that
every constitutional provision is per se capable of being enforced through the Judiciary and must be safeguarded by the Judiciary because it can be in no other way. Yet there
is certainly a large field of constitutional provision which does not come before the Judiciary for enforcement, and may remain unenforced without any possibility or judicial
remedy. It is not necessary to invoke in illustration such provisions as a clause requiring the Governor to appoint a certain officer, or the Legislature to pass a law for a certain
purpose; here the Constitution may remain unexecuted by the failure of Governor or Legislature to act, and yet the Judiciary cannot safeguard and enforce the constitutional
duty. A clearer illustration may be had by imagining the Constitution to require the Executive to appoint an officer or to call out the militia whenever to the best of his belief a
certain state of facts exists; suppose he appoints or calls out when in truth he has no such belief; can the Judiciary attempt to enforce the Constitution by inquiring into his
belief? Or suppose the Constitution to enjoin on the Legislators to pass a law upon a certain subject whenever in their belief certain conditions exist; can the Judiciary declare
the law void by inquiring and ascertaining that the Legislature, or its majority, did not have such a belief? Or suppose the Constitution commands the Judiciary to decide a case
only after consulting a soothsayer, and in a given case the Judiciary do not consult one; what is to be done?
These instances illustrate a general situation in which the judicial function of applying and enforcing the Constitution ceases to operate. That situation exists where the
Constitution enjoins duties which affect the motives and judgment of a particular independent department of government, Legislature, Executive, and Judiciary. Such duties
are simply beyond enforcement by any other department if the one charged fails to perform them. The Constitution may provide that no legislator shall take a bribe, but an act
would not be treated as void because the majority had been bribed. So far as the Constitution attempts to lay injunctions in matters leading up to and motivating the action of a
department, injunctions must be left to the conscience of that department to obey or disobey. Now the act of the Legislature as a whole is for this purpose of the same nature as
the vote of a single legislator. The Constitution may expressly enjoin each legislator not to vote until he has carefully thought over the matter of legislation; so, too, it may
expressly enjoin the whole Legislature not to act finally until it has three times heard the proposition read aloud. It is for the Legislature alone, in the latter case as well as in the
former, to take notice of this injunction; and it is no more the function of the Judiciary in the one case than in the other to try to keep the Legislature to its duty:
xxx

xxx

xxx

The truth is that many have been carried away with the righteous desire to check at any cost the misdoings of Legislatures. They have set such store by the Judiciary for this
purpose that they have almost made them a second and higher Legislature. But they aim in the wrong direction. Instead of trusting a faithful Judiciary to check an inefficient
Legislature, they should turn to improve the legislature. The sensible solution is not to patch and mend casual errors by asking the Judiciary to violate legal principle and to do
impossibilities with the Constitution; but to represent ourselves with competent, careful, and honest legislators, the work of whose hands on the statute-roll may come to reflect
credit upon the name of popular government. (4 Wigmore on Evidence, 699-702.)
The petitioners contend that the enrolled bill rule has not found acceptance in this jurisdiction, citing the case of United States vs. Pons (34 Phil., 729). It is argued that this
Court examined the journal in that case to find out whether or not the contention of the appellant was right. We think the petitioners are in error.
It will be seen upon examination of section 313 of the Code of Civil Procedure, as amended by Act No. 2210, that, roughly, it provides two methods of proving legislative
proceedings: (1) by the journals, or by published statutes or resolutions, or by copies certified by the clerk or secretary or printed by their order; and (2) in case of acts of the
Legislature, by a copy signed by the presiding officers and secretaries thereof, which shall be conclusive proof of the provisions of such Acts and of the due enactment thereof.
The Court looked into the journals in United States vs. Pons because, in all probability, those were the documents offered in evidence. It does not appear that a duly
authenticated copy of the Act was in existence or was placed before the Court; and it has not been shown that if that had been done, this Court would not have held the copy
conclusive proof of the due enactment of the law. It is to be remembered that the Court expressly stated that it passed over the question of whether the enrolled bill was
conclusive as to its contents and the mode of its passage.
Even if both the journals and an authenticated copy of the Act had been presented, the disposal of the issue by the Court on the basis of the journals does not imply rejection of
the enrollment theory, for, as already stated, the due enactment of a law may be proved in either of the two ways specified in section 313 of Act No. 190 as amended. This
Court found in the journals no signs of irregularity in the passage of the law and did not bother itself with considering the effects of an authenticated copy if one had been
introduced. It did not do what the opponents of the rule of conclusiveness advocate, namely, look into the journals behind the enrolled copy in order to determine the
correctness of the latter, and rule such copy out if the two, the journals and the copy, be found in conflict with each other. No discrepancy appears to have been noted between

the two documents and the court did not say or so much as give to understand that if discrepancy existed it would give greater weight to the journals, disregarding the explicit
provision that duly certified copies shall be conclusive proof of the provisions of such Acts and of the due enactment thereof.
In view of the foregoing consideration, we deem it unnecessary to decide the question of whether the senators and representatives who were ignored in the computation of the
necessary three-fourths vote were members of Congress within the meaning of section 1 of Article XV of the Philippine Constitution.
The petition is DISMISSED without costs.
Moran, C.J., Pablo, and Hontiveros, JJ., concur
Mabanag vs. lopez 78 Phil. 1 Political Law Journal Adoption of the Enrolled Bill Theory
Petitioners include 3 senators and 8 representatives. The three senators were suspended by senate due to election irregularities. The 8 representatives were not allowed to
take their seat in the lower House except in the election of the House Speaker. They argued that some senators and House Reps were not considered in determining the
required vote (of each house) in order to pass the Resolution (proposing amendments to the Constitution) which has been considered as an enrolled bill by then. At the
same time, the votes were already entered into the Journals of the respective House. As a result, the Resolution was passed but it could have been otherwise were they
allowed to vote. If these members of Congress had been counted, the affirmative votes in favor of the proposed amendment would have been short of the necessary threefourths vote in either branch of Congress. Petitioners filed or the prohibition of the furtherance of the said resolution amending the constitution. Respondents argued that the SC
cannot take cognizance of the case because the Court is bound by the conclusiveness of the enrolled bill or resolution.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Court can take cognizance of the issue at bar. Whether or not the said resolution was duly enacted by Congress.
HELD: As far as looking into the Journals is concerned, even if both the journals from each House and an authenticated copy of the Act had been presented, the disposal of the
issue by the Court on the basis of the journals does not imply rejection of the enrollment theory, for, as already stated, the due enactment of a law may be proved in either of the
two ways specified in section 313 of Act No. 190 as amended. The SC found in the journals no signs of irregularity in the passage of the law and did not bother itself with
considering the effects of an authenticated copy if one had been introduced. It did not do what the opponents of the rule of conclusiveness advocate, namely, look into the
journals behind the enrolled copy in order to determine the correctness of the latter, and rule such copy out if the two, the journals and the copy, be found in conflict with each
other. No discrepancy appears to have been noted between the two documents and the court did not say or so much as give to understand that if discrepancy existed it would
give greater weight to the journals, disregarding the explicit provision that duly certified copies shall be conclusive proof of the provisions of such Acts and of the due enactment
thereof.
**Enrolled Bill that which has been duly introduced, finally passed by both houses, signed by the proper officers of each, approved by the president and filed by the secretary
of state.
Section 313 of the old Code of Civil Procedure (Act 190), as amended by Act No. 2210, provides: Official documents may be proved as follows: . . . (2) the proceedings of the
Philippine Commission, or of any legislatives body that may be provided for in the Philippine Islands, or of Congress, by the journals of those bodies or of either house thereof,
or by published statutes or resolutions, or by copies certified by the clerk of secretary, or printed by their order; Provided, That in the case of Acts of the Philippine Commission
or the Philippine Legislature, when there is an existence of a copy signed by the presiding officers and secretaries of said bodies, it shall be conclusive proof of the provisions of
such Acts and of the due enactment thereof.
The SC is bound by the contents of a duly authenticated resolution (enrolled bill) by the legislature. In case of conflict, the contents of an enrolled bill shall prevail
over those of the journals.

U.S. Supreme Court


Field v. Clark, 143 U.S. 649 (1892)
Field v. Clark
Nos. 1052, 1049, 1050
Argued November 30, December 1-2, 1891
Decided February 29, 1892
143 U.S. 649
APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED
STATES FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS

Syllabus
The signing by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and by the President of the Senate, in open session, of an enrolled bill is an official attestation by the
two Houses of such bill as one that has passed Congress, and when the bill thus attested receives the approval of the President and is deposited in the Department
of State according to law, its authentication as a bill that has passed Congress is complete and unimpeachable.
Page 143 U. S. 650
It is not competent to show from the journals of either House of Congress that an act so authenticated, approved and deposited, did not pass in the precise form in
which it was signed by the presiding officers of the two Houses and approved by the President.
Congress cannot, under the Constitution, delegate its legislative power to the President.
The authority conferred upon the President by section 3 of the Act of October 1, 1890, to reduce the revenue and equalize duties on imports, and for other purposes,
26 state, c. 1244, pp. 567, 612, to suspend by proclamation the free introduction of sugar, molasses, coffee, tea and hides when he is satisfied that any country
producing such articles imposes duties or other exactions upon the agricultural or other products of the United States which he may deem to be reciprocally unequal
or unreasonable, is not open to the objection that it unconstitutionally transfers legislative power to the President (FULLER, C.J., and LAMAR, J., dissenting), but
even if it were, it does not follow that other parts of the act imposing duties upon imported articles are inoperative.
The Court does not decide whether the provision in that act respecting bounties upon sugar (schedule E, Sugar, 26 Stat. 583) is or is not constitutional, because it is
plain from the act that these bounties do not constitute a part of the system of customs duties imposed by the act, and it is clear that the parts of the act imposing
such duties would remain in force even if these bounties were held to be unconstitutionally imposed. Unless it be impossible to avoid it, a general revenue statute
should never be declared inoperative in all its parts because a particular part, relating to a distinct subject, may be invalid.
These were suits by importers to obtain a refund of duties claimed to have been illegally exacted on imported merchandise under the Tariff Act approved October 1,
1890, 26 Stat. 567, c. 1244.
Marshall Field & Co. proceeded against John M. Clark, the collector of the port of Chicago, to recover duties paid on woolen dress goods, woolen wearing apparel,
and silk embroideries.
Boyd, Sutton & Co. proceeded against the United States and J. B. Erhardt, collector of the port of New York, to recover duties paid upon an importation of silk and
cotton laces.
H. Herrman, Sternbach & Co, proceeded against the United States to recover duties paid upon colored cotton cloths.
The main issue in all the cases was whether that act, which purports to repeal the previous Tariff Act of March 3, 1883, 22 Stat. 488, c. 121, had itself the force of
law.
https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/143/649/case.html

Field v. Clark (1892)

Edit 0 1

Field (appellant) v. Clark (appellee)


143 U.S. 649 (1892)
US. Supreme Court

Facts:
Duties were assessed and collected, according to the rates established by the Tariff Act of October 1, 1890 on goods imported by the appellant.
The appellant alleged that the enrolled act in Custody of the Secretary of the State is missing a section 30 as evidenced by the Congressional record of proceedings, reports of committees
of each house, reports of committees of conference, and other papers printed by authority of Congress therefore it should not become a law even if the said enrolled act is signed by the
required signatories in the Constitution (American).

Issue:
Based on the evidence of the Congressional record of proceedings, reports of committees of each house, reports of committees of conference, and other papers printed by authority of
Congress, should the act be declared null and void, with reference to the standard set by the Constitution of passage of a bill into law?

Decision
NO.The enrolled act, authenticated by the signature of the presiding officers of both House of Representatives and the Senate, is sufficient evidence that it passed Congress.

Morales vs. subido


Enrique Morales has served as captain in the police department of a city for at least three years but does not possess a bachelors degree. Morales was the chief of detective
bureau of the Manila Police Department and holds the rank of lieutenant colonel. He began his career in 1934 as patrolman and gradually rose to his present position. Upon the
resignation of the former Chief, Morales was designated acting chief of police of Manila and, at the same time, given a provisional appointment to the same position by the
mayor of Manila. Abelardo Subido, Commissioner of Civil Service, approved the designation of Morales as acting chief but rejected his appointment for failure to meet the
minimum educational and civil service eligibility requirements for the said position. Instead, Subido certified other persons as qualified for the post. Subido invoked Section 10
of the Police Act of 1966, which Section reads:
Minimum qualification for appointment as Chief of Police Agency. No person may be appointed chief of a city police agency unless he holds a bachelors degree from a
recognized institution of learning and has served either in the Armed Forces of the Philippines or the National Bureau of Investigation, or has served as chief of police with
exemplary record, or has served in the police department of any city with rank of captain or its equivalent therein for at least three years; or any high school graduate who
has served as officer in the Armed Forces for at least eight years with the rank of captain and/or higher.
Nowhere in the above provision is it provided that a person who has served the police department of a city can be qualified for said office. Morales however argued that
when the said act was being deliberated upon, the approved version was actually the following:
No person may be appointed chief of a city police agency unless he holds a bachelors degree and has served either in the Armed Forces of the Philippines or the National
Bureau of Investigation or police department of any city and has held the rank of captain or its equivalent therein for at least three years or any high school graduate who has
served the police department of a city or who has served as officer of the Armed Forces for at least 8 years with the rank of captain and/or higher.
Morales argued that the above version was the one which was actually approved by Congress but when the bill emerged from the conference committee the only change made
in the provision was the insertion of the phrase or has served as chief of police with exemplary record. Morales went on to support his case by producing copies of
certified photostatic copy of a memorandum which according to him was signed by an employee in the Senate bill division, and can be found attached to the page proofs of the
then bill being deliberated upon.
ISSUE: Whether or not the SC must look upon the history of the bill, thereby inquiring upon the journals, to look searchingly into the matter.
HELD: No. The enrolled Act in the office of the legislative secretary of the President of the Philippines shows that Section 10 is exactly as it is in the statute as officially
published in slip form by the Bureau of Printing. The SC cannot go behind the enrolled Act to discover what really happened. The respect due to the other branches of the
Government demands that the SC act upon the faith and credit of what the officers of the said branches attest to as the official acts of their respective departments. Otherwise
the SC would be cast in the unenviable and unwanted role of a sleuth trying to determine what actually did happen in the labyrinth of lawmaking, with consequent impairment of
the integrity of the legislative process.
The SC is not of course to be understood as holding that in all cases the journals must yield to the enrolled bill. To be sure there are certain matters which the Constitution
expressly requires must be entered on the journal of each house. To what extent the validity of a legislative act may be affected by a failure to have such matters entered on the
journal, is a question which the SC can decide upon but is not currently being confronted in the case at bar hence the SC does not now decide. All the SC holds is that with
respect to matters not expressly required to be entered on the journal, the enrolled bill prevails in the event of any discrepancy. www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri1968/nov1968/gr_l29658_1968.html

www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri1993/nov1993/gr_105371_1993.html-------- pja vs. prado

www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri1963/feb1963/gr_l-17931_1963.html------casco chemical vs. gimenez

www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri1995/oct1995/gr_115455_1995.html------tolentino vs.finance

avelino vs. cuenco


83 Phil. 17 Political Law The Legislative Department Election of Members/Quorum/Adjournment/Minutes
On February 18, 1949, Senator Lorenzo Taada invoked his right to speak on the senate floor to formulate charges against the then Senate President Jose Avelino. He
requested to do so on the next session (Feb. 21, 1949). On the next session day however, Avelino delayed the opening of the session for about two hours. Upon insistent
demand by Taada, Mariano Cuenco, Prospero Sanidad and other Senators, Avelino was forced to open session. He however, together with his allies initiated all dilatory and
delaying tactics to forestall Taada from delivering his piece. Motions being raised by Taada et al were being blocked by Avelino and his allies and they even ruled Taada and

Sanidad, among others, as being out of order. Avelinos camp then moved to adjourn the session due to the disorder. Sanidad however countered and they requested the said
adjournment to be placed in voting. Avelino just banged his gavel and he hurriedly left his chair and he was immediately followed by his followers. Senator Tomas Cabili then
stood up, and asked that it be made of record it was so made that the deliberate abandonment of the Chair by the Avelino, made it incumbent upon Senate President Protempore Melencio Arranz and the remaining members of the Senate to continue the session in order not to paralyze the functions of the Senate. Taada was subsequently
recognized to deliver his speech. Later, Arranz yielded to Sanidads Resolution (No. 68) that Cuenco be elected as the Senate President. This was unanimously approved and
was even recognized by the President of the Philippines the following day. Cuenco took his oath of office thereafter. Avelino then filed a quo warranto proceeding before the SC
to declare him as the rightful Senate President.
ISSUE: Whether or not the SC can take cognizance of the case.
HELD: No. By a vote of 6 to 4, the SC held that they cannot take cognizance of the case. This is in view of the separation of powers, thepolitical nature of the controversy and
the constitutional grant to the Senate of the power to elect its own president, which power should not be interfered with, nor taken over, by the judiciary. The SC should abstain
in this case because the selection of the presiding officer affects only the Senators themselves who are at liberty at any time to choose their officers, change or reinstate them.
Anyway, if, as the petition must imply to be acceptable, the majority of the Senators want petitioner to preside, his remedy lies in the Senate Session Hall not in the Supreme
Court.
Supposed the SC can take cognizance of the case, what will be the resolution?
There is unanimity in the view that the session under Senator Arranz was a continuation of the morning session and that a minority of ten senators (Avelino et al) may not, by
leaving the Hall, prevent the other (Cuenco et al) twelve senators from passing a resolution that met with their unanimous endorsement. The answer might be different had the
resolution been approved only by ten or less.
**Two senators were not present that time. Sen. Soto was in a hospital while Sen. Confesor was in the USA.
Is the rump session (presided by Cuenco) a continuation of the morning session (presided by Avelino)? Are there two sessions in one day? Was there a quorum
constituting such session?
The second session is a continuation of the morning session as evidenced by the minutes entered into the journal. There were 23 senators considered to be in session that
time (including Soto, excluding Confesor). Hence, twelve senators constitute a majority of the Senate of twenty three senators. When the Constitution declares that a majority of
each House shall constitute a quorum, the House does not mean all the members. Even a majority of all the members constitute the House. There is a difference
between a majority of all the members of the House and a majority of the House, the latter requiring less number than the first. Therefore an absolute majority (12) of all the
members of the Senate less one (23), constitutes constitutional majority of the Senate for the purpose of a quorum. Furthermore, even if the twelve did not constitute a quorum,
they could have ordered the arrest of one, at least, of the absent members; if one had been so arrested, there would be no doubt Quorum then, and Senator Cuenco would
have been elected just the same inasmuch as there would be eleven for Cuenco, one against and one abstained.
MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION (filed by Avelino on March 14, 1949)
Avelino and his group (11 senators in all) insist that the SC take cognizance of the case and that they are willing to bind themselves to the decision of the SC whether it be right
or wrong. Avelino contends that there is no constitutional quorum when Cuenco was elected president. There are 24 senators in all. Two are absentee senators; one being
confined and the other abroad but this does not change the number of senators nor does it change the majority which if mathematically construed is + 1; in this case 12 (half
of 24) plus 1 or 13 NOT 12. There being only 12 senators when Cuenco was elected unanimously there was no quorum.
The Supreme Court, by a vote of seven resolved to assume jurisdiction over the case in the light of subsequent events which justify its intervention. The Chief Justice agrees
with the result of the majoritys pronouncement on the quorum upon the ground that, under the peculiar circumstances of the case, the constitutional requirement in that regard
has become a mere formalism, it appearing from the evidence that any new session with a quorum would result in Cuencos election as Senate President, and that the Cuenco
group, taking cue from the dissenting opinions, has been trying to satisfy such formalism by issuing compulsory processes against senators of the Avelino group, but to no avail,
because of the Avelinos persistent efforts to block all avenues to constitutional processes. For this reason, the SC believes that the Cuenco group has done enough to satisfy
the requirements of the Constitution and that the majoritys ruling is in conformity with substantial justice and with the requirements of public interest. Therefore Cuenco has
been legally elected as Senate President and the petition is dismissed.
Justice Feria: (Concurring)
Art. 3 (4) Title VI of the Constitution of 1935 provided that the majority of all the members of the National Assembly constitute a quorum to do business and the fact that said
provision was amended in the Constitution of 1939, so as to read a majority of each House shall constitute a quorum to do business, shows the intention of the framers of the
Constitution to base the majority, not on the number fixed or provided for in the Constitution, but on actual members or incumbents, and this must be limited to
actual members who are not incapacitated to discharge their duties by reason of death, incapacity, or absence from the jurisdiction of the house or for other
causes which make attendance of the member concerned impossible, even through coercive process which each house is empowered to issue to compel its
members to attend the session in order to constitute a quorum. That the amendment was intentional or made for some purpose, and not a mere oversight, or for
considering the use of the words of all the members as unnecessary, is evidenced by the fact that Sec. 5 (5) Title VI of the original Constitution which required concurrence of
two-thirds of the members of the National Assembly to expel a member was amended by Sec. 10 (3) Article VI of the present Constitution, so as to require the concurrence of
two-thirds of all the members of each House. Therefore, as Senator Confesor was in the United States and absent from the jurisdiction of the Senate, the actual members of
the Senate at its session of February 21, 1949, were twenty-three (23) and therefore 12 constituted a majority. www.lawphil.net/judjuris/juri1949/mar1949/gr_l-2821_1949.html

Arroyo vs. de venecia

Facts:

A petition was filed challenging the validity of RA 8240, whichamends certain provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code.

Petitioners, who are members of the House of Representatives, charged that there is violation of the rules of the House which petitioners claim
are constitutionally-mandated so that their violation is tantamount to a violation of the Constitution.
The law originated in the House of Representatives. The Senate approved it with certain amendments. A bicameral conference committee was
formed to reconcile the disagreeing provisions of the House and Senate versions of the bill. The bicameral committee submitted its report to
the House. During the interpellations, Rep. Arroyo made an interruption and moved to adjourn for lack of quorum. But after a roll call, the
Chair declared the presence of a quorum. The interpellation then proceeded. After Rep. Arroyosinterpellation of the sponsor of the committee
report, Majority Leader Albano moved for the approval and ratification of the conference committee report. The Chair called out
for objections to the motion. Then the Chair declared: There being none, approved. At the same time the Chair was saying this, Rep. Arroyo
was asking, What is thatMr. Speaker? The Chair and Rep. Arroyo were talking simultaneously. Thus, although Rep. Arroyo subsequently
objected to the Majority Leaders motion, the approval of the conference committee report had by then already been declared by the Chair.
On the same day, the bill was signed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate and certified by the
respective secretaries of both Houses of Congress. The enrolled bill was signed into law by President Ramos.

Issue: Whether or not RA 8240 is null and void because it was passed in violation of the rules of the House
Held:
Rules of each House of Congress are hardly permanent in character. They are subject to revocation, modification or waiver at the pleasure of
the body adopting them as they are primarily procedural. Courts ordinarily have no concern with their observance. They may be waived or
disregarded by thelegislative body. Consequently, mere failure to conform to them does not have the effect of nullifying the act taken if the
requisite number of members has agreed to a particular measure. But this is subject to qualification. Where the construction to be given to a
rule affects person other than members of the legislative body, the question presented is necessarily judicial in character. Even its validity is
open to question in a case where private rights are involved.
In the case, no rights of private individuals are involved but only those of a member who, instead of seeking redress in the House, chose to
transfer the dispute to the Court.
The matter complained of concerns a matter of internal procedure of the House with which the Court should not be concerned. The claim is not
that there was no quorum but only that Rep. Arroyo was effectively prevented from questioning the presence of a quorum. Rep. Arroyos earlier
motion to adjourn for lack of quorum had already been defeated, as the roll call established the existence of a quorum. The question of quorum
cannot be raised repeatedly especially when the quorum is obviously present for the purpose of delaying the business of the House.

Tolentino v Sec. of Finance


Facts:
House of Rep. filed House Bill 11197 (An Act Restructuring the VAT System to Widen its Tax Base and Enhance its
Admin., Amending for these Purposes)
-

Upon receipt of Senate, Senate filed another bill completely different from that of the House Bill

Senate finished debates on the bill and had the 2nd and 3rd reading of the Bill on the same day

Bill was deliberated upon in the Conference Committee and become enrolled bill which eventually became the
EVAT law.

Procedural Issue:
(1)

WoN RA 7716 originated exclusively from the House of Rep. in accordance with sec 24, art 6 of Consti

(2)

WoN the Senate bill violated the three readings on separate days requirement of the Consti

(3)

WoN RA 7716 violated sec 26(1), art 6 - one subject, one title rule.

NOTE: This case was filed by PAL because before the EVAT Law, they were exempt from taxes. After the passage of
EVAT, they were already included. PAL contended that neither the House or Senate bill provided for the removal of the
exemption from taxes of PAL and that it was inly made after the meeting of the Conference Committee w/c was not
expressed in the title of RA 7166

Held:

(1) YES! Court said that it is not the law which should originate from the House of Rep, but the revenue bill which was
required to originate from the House of Rep. The inititiative must ocme from the Lower House because they are elected
in the district level meaning they are expected to be more sensitive to the needs of the locality.
Also, a bill originating from the Lower House may undergo extensive changes while in the Senate. Senate can introduce
a separate and distinct bill other than the one the Lower House proposed. The Constitution does not prohibit the filing
in the Senate of a substitute bill in anticipation of its receipt of the House bill, so long as action by Senate is withheld
pending the receipt of the House bill.
(2) NO. The Pres. certified that the Senate bill was urgent. Presidential certification dispensed the requirement not
only of printing but also reading the bill in 3 separate days. In fact, the Senate accepted the Pres. certification
(3) No. Court said that the title states that the purpose of the statute is to expand the VAT system and one way of
doing this is to widen its base by withdrawing some of the exemptions granted before. It is also in the power of
Congress to amend, alter, repeal grant of franchises for operation of public utility when the common good so requires.
One subject rule is intended to prevent surprise upon Congress members and inform people of pending legislation. In
the case of PAL, they did not know of their situation not because of any defect in title but because they might have not
noticed its publication until some event calls attention to its existence.