Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 14

iv.

Lis Mota
1. Judicial Power
a. Requisites of Judicial Inquiry
i. Actual Case or Controversry

Demetria v. Alba 148 SCRA 208

b. Facial challenge
Estrada v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 148560, Nov. 19, 2001

Montesclaros v. Comelec, G.R. No. 152295. July 9, 2002

PACU vs Secretary of Education, 97 Phil. 806 (1955)

2. Effect of Declaration of Unconstitutionality (Doctrine of


Operative Fact)

Gonzales v. Narvasa, G.R. No. 140835. August 14, 2000

League of Cities of the Phiippines v. COMLEC, G.R. No.

Lacson v. Perez, G.R. No. 147780, May 10, 2001

176951, Aug. 24, 2010

Sanlakas v. Executive Secretary, G.R. 159085, February 3,

Chavez v. JBC, G.R. No. 202242, July 17, 2012

2004
Pimentel v. Ermita, G.R. 164978, October 13, 2005

ii. Proper Party


Kilosbayan v. Morato, 246 SCRA 540
Kilosbayan v. Morato (Recon.), GR 118910, Nov. 16, 1995
Ople v. Torres, 293 SCRA 141 (1998)
People v. Vera, 65 Phil. 56
IBP v. Zamora, G.R. No. 141284, August 15, 2000
Bagatsing v. Committee on Privatization, GR 112399, July 14,
1995
Gonzales v. Narvasa, G.R. No. 140835, August 14, 2000

iii. Earliest Opportunity

but no more than 18 years of age. This was approved by the Senate and
House of Representative on 11 March and 13 March 2002 respectively
and signed by the President on 19 March 2002. The petitioners filed
prohibition and mandamus for temporary restraining order seeking the
prevention of postponement of the SK election and reduction of age
requirement on 11 March 2002.
Issue: Whether or not the proposed bill is unconstitutional.

Montesclaros, et al vs. Comelec, et al G.R. No. 152295


2002

July 9,

Facts: Petitioners sought to prevent the postponement of the 2002 SK


election to a later date since doing so may render them unqualified to
vote or be voted for in view of the age limitation set by law for those who
may participate. The SK elections was postponed since it was deemed
"operationally very difficult" to hold both SK and Barangay elections
simultaneously in May 2002. Petitioners also sought to enjoin the
lowering of age for membership in the SK.
Issue: Whether or not there was grave abuse of discretion amounting to
lack or excess of jurisdiction imputable to respondents.
Held: The Court held that, in the present case, there was no actual
controversy requiring the exercise of the power of judicial review.
While seeking to prevent a postponement of the May 6, 2002 SK
elections, petitioners are nevertheless amenable to a resetting of the SK
elections to any date not later than July 15, 2002. RA No. 9164 has reset
the SK elections to July 15, 2002, a date acceptable to petitioners. Under
the same law, Congress merely restored the age requirement in PD No.
684, the original charter of the SK, which fixed the maximum age for
membership in the SK to youths less than 18 years old. Petitioners do
not have a vested right to the permanence of the age requirement under
Section 424 of the Local Government Code of 1991.
RA 9164 which resets and prescribes the qualifications of candidates and
voters for the SK elections was held to be applicable on the July 15 2002
election. Its constitutionality not having been assailed in the first place.
The Court ruled that petitioners had no personal and substantial interest
in maintaining this suit, that the petition presented no actual justiciable
controversy, that petitioners did not cite any provision of law that is
alleged to be unconstitutional, and that there was no grave abuse of
discretion on the part of public respondents.
XXX
Facts: The Local Government Code of 1991 renamed the Kabataang
Barangay to Sangguniang Kabataan and limited its membership to
youths at least 15 but no more than 21 years of age. On 18 February
2002, Antoniette VC Montesclaros demanded from COMELEC that SK
elections be held as scheduled on 6 May 2002. COMELEC Chairman
Alfredo Benipayo wrote to the House of Representatives and the Senate
on 20 February 2002 inquiring on the status of pending bills on SK and
Barangay elections and expressed support to postpone the SK election
on November 2002. On 11 March 2002 the Bicameral Committee
consolidated Senate Bill 2050 and House Bill 4456, resetting the SK
election to 15 July 2002 and lowered the membership age to at least 15

Decision: Petition dismissed for utter lack of merit. This petition presents
no actual justiciable controversy. Petitioners do not cite any provision of
law that is alleged to be unconstitutional. Petitioners perayer to prevent
Congress from enacting into law a proposed bill does not present actual
controversy. A proposed bill is not subject to judicial review because it is
not a law. A proposed bill creates no right and imposes no duty legally
enforceable by the Court. Having no legal effect it violates no
constitutional right or duty. At the time petitioners filed this petition, RA
No. 9164 was not yet enacted into law. After its passage petitioners
failed to assail any provision in RA No. 9164 that could be
unconstitutional.
XXX
Facts: The Commission on Elections, on December 4, 2001 issued
Resolution Nos. 4713 and 4714 to govern the SK elections on May 6,
2002. On February 18, 2002, petitioner Antoniette V.C. Montesclaros sent
a letter to the COMELEC, demanding that the SK elections be held as
scheduled on May 6, 2002. She also urged the COMELEC to respond to
her letter within 10 days upon receipt of the letter, otherwise, she will
seek judicial relief. On the other hand, then COMELEC Chairman Alfredo
L. Benipayo, wrote letters dated 20 February 2002 to the Speaker of the
House and the Senate President about the status of pending bills on the
SK and Barangay elections. In his letters, the COMELEC Chairman
intimated that it was operationally very difficultto hold both elections
simultaneously in May 2002. Instead, he expressed support for the bill of
Senator Franklin Drilon that proposed to hold the Barangay elections in
May 2002 and postpone the SK elections to November 2002.Instead of
receiving a response letter, petitioners received a copy of COMELEC En
Banc Resolution 4763 dated February 5, 2002 recommending to
Congress the postponement of the SK elections to November 2002 but
holding the Barangay elections in May 2002 as scheduled. Eventually, on
March 6, 2002, the Senate and the House of Representatives passed
their respective bills postponing the SK elections. On March 11, 2002, the
Bicameral Conference Committee of the Senate and the House came out
with a Report recommending approval of the reconciled bill consolidating
Senate Bill 2050 and House Bill 4456. The Bicameral Committees
consolidated bill reset the SK and Barangay elections to 15 July 2002 and
lowered the membership age in the SK to at least 15 but not more than
18 years of age. On this same date, Montesclaros filed the petition for
certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with prayer for a temporary
restraining order or preliminary injunction, seeking to prevent the
postponement of the SK elections originally scheduled 6 May 2002 and
also to prevent the reduction of the age requirement for membership in
the SK. The consolidated bill was approved by the Senate and the House
of Representatives and later on signed into law by the President.
Issue: Whether or not there is an actual controversy in the case which
seeks to prevent a postponement of the6 May 2002 SK elections, and
which seeks to prevent Congress from enacting into law a proposed bill
lowering the membership age in the SK.
Ruling: At first, the Court takes judicial notice of the following events that
have transpired since petitioners filed this petition. These are as follows:

1. The May 6, 2002 SK elections and May 13, 2002 Barangay elections
were not held as scheduled.
2. Congress enacted RA No. 9164 which provides that voters and
candidates for the SK elections must be "at least 15 but less than 18
years of age on the day of the election." RA No. 9164 also provides that
there shall be a synchronized SK and Barangay elections on July 15,
2002.
3. The COMELEC promulgated Resolution No. 4846, the rules and
regulations for the conduct of the July15, 2002 synchronized SK and
Barangay elections.
In this case, the court mentioned the requisites which must be complied
with for the Court to exercise its power of judicial review. These are (1)
the existence of an actual and appropriate case or controversy; (2) a
personal and substantial interest of the party raising the constitutional
question; (3) the exercise of judicial review is pleaded at the earliest
opportunity; and (4) the constitutional question is the lis mota of the
case. The Court ruled that in this case there is no actual controversy
requiring the exercise of the power of judicial review. While seeking to
prevent a postponement of SK elections, petitioners are but amenable to
a resetting of the SK elections to any date not later than 15 July 2002,
the date which RA 9164 has reset the SK elections. This only shows that
with respect to the date of the SK elections, there is therefore no actual
controversy requiring judicial intervention. Also, their prayer to prevent
Congress from enacting into law a proposed bill lowering the
membership age in the SK does not present an actual justiciable
controversy. According to the Court, a proposed bill is not subject to
judicial review because it is not a law. A proposed bill creates no right
and imposes no duty legally enforceable by the Court. A proposed bill,
having no legal effect, violates no constitutional right or duty. The Court
has no power to declare a proposed bill constitutional or unconstitutional
because that would be in the nature of rendering an advisory opinion on
a proposed act of Congress. The power of judicial review cannot be
exercised in vacuo.
It also emphasized that there can be no justiciable controversy involving
the constitutionality of a proposed bill. The Court can exercise its power
of judicial review only after a law is enacted, not before. It also noted
that under the separation of powers, the Court can neither restrain
Congress from passing any law nor dictate to Congress the object or
subject of bills that Congress should enact into law. The Court cannot
also direct the COMELEC to allow over-aged voters to vote or be voted
for in an election that is limited under RA No. 9164 to youths at least 15
but less than 18 years old. A law is needed to allow all those who have
turned more than 21 years old on or after May 6, 2002 to participate in
the July 15, 2002 SK elections. Petitioners' remedy is legislation, not
judicial intervention. Regarding petitioners personal and substantial
interest, the Court ruled that petitioners have no such rights or interests
in maintaining the suit. The Court stated that a party must show that he
has been, or is about to be denied some personal right or privilege to
which he is lawfully entitled.
A party must also show that he has a real interest in the suit. By "real
interest" is meant a present substantial interest, as distinguished from a
mere expectancy or future, contingent, subordinate, or inconsequential
interest. In this case, petitioners seek to enforce a right originally
conferred by law on those who were at least 15 but not more than 21
years old. But with the passage of RA No. 9164, this right is limited to
those who on the date of the SK elections are at least 15 but less than 18
years old. The new law restricts membership in the SK to this specific
age group. Not falling within this classification, petitioners have ceased

to be members of the SK and are no longer qualified to participate in the


July 15, 2002 SK elections. Plainly, petitioners no longer have a personal
and substantial interest in the SK elections. The Court had not seen
constitutional issue on this case. At the time petitioners filed their
petition, RA No.9164, which reset the SK elections and reduced the age
requirement for SK membership, was not yet enacted into law and even
after the passage of RA No. 9164, they failed to assail any of its
provisions that could be unconstitutional. The Court however mentioned
the only semblance of a constitutional issue which is the petitioners
claim that SK membership is a "property right within the meaning of the
Constitution. This argument however is bereft of merit. Congress
exercises the power to prescribe the qualifications for SK membership.
One who is no longer qualified because of an amendment in the law
cannot complain of being deprived of a proprietary right to SK
membership. Only those who qualify as SK members can contest, based
on a statutory right, any act disqualifying them from SK membership or
from voting in the SK elections. SK membership is not a property right
protected by the Constitution because it is a mere statutory right
conferred by law. Congress may amend at any time the law to change or
even withdraw the statutory right. The Court also gave emphasis that
public office is not a property right. As the Constitution expressly states,
a" Public office is a public trust." No one has a vested right to any public
office, much less a vested right to an expectancy of holding a public
office. The petition is dismissed.
PACU VS. SEC OF EDUCATION / (G.R. No. L-5279 October 31,
1955)
Facts: The Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities made a
petition that Acts No. 2706 otherwise known as the Act making the
Inspection and Recognition of private schools and colleges obligatory for
the Secretary of Public Instruction and was amended by Act No. 3075
and Commonwealth Act No. 180 be declared unconstitutional on the
grounds that 1) the act deprives the owner of the school and colleges as
well as teachers and parents of liberty and property without due process
of Law; 2) it will also deprive the parents of their Natural Rights and duty
to rear their children for civic efficiency and 3) its provisions conferred on
the Secretary of Education unlimited powers and discretion to prescribe
rules and standards constitute towards unlawful delegation of Legislative
powers.
Section 1 of Act No. 2706
It shall be the duty of the Secretary of Public Instruction to maintain a
general standard of efficiency in all private schools and colleges of the
Philippines so that the same shall furnish adequate instruction to the
public, in accordance with the class and grade of instruction given in
them, and for this purpose said Secretary or his duly authorized
representative shall have authority to advise, inspect, and regulate said
schools and colleges in order to determine the efficiency of instruction
given in the same,
The petitioner also complain that securing a permit to the Secretary of
Education before opening a school is not originally included in the
original Act 2706. And in support to the first proposition of the petitioners
they contended that the Constitution guaranteed the right of a citizen to
own and operate a school and any law requiring previous governmental
approval or permit before such person could exercise the said right On
the other hand, the defendant Legal Representative submitted a
memorandum contending that 1) the matters presented no justiciable
controversy exhibiting unavoidable necessity of deciding the
constitutional question; 2) Petitioners are in estoppels to challenge the
validity of the said act and 3) the Act is constitutionally valid. Thus, the
petition for prohibition was dismissed by the court.

Issue: Whether or not Act No. 2706 as amended by Act no. 3075 and
Commonwealth Act no. 180 is void and unconstitutional.

HELD: No. In the first place, there is no justiciable controversy presented.


PACU did not show that it suffered any injury from the exercise of the
Secretary of Education of such powers granted to him by the said law.

Ruling: The Petitioner suffered no wrong under the terms of law and
needs no relief in the form they seek to obtain. Moreover, there is no
justiciable controversy presented before the court. It is an established
principle that to entitle a private individual immediately in danger of
sustaining a direct injury and it is not sufficient that he has merely
invoke the judicial power to determined the validity of executive and
legislative action he must show that he has sustained common interest
to all members of the public. Furthermore, the power of the courts to
declare a law unconstitutional arises only when the interest of litigant
require the use of judicial authority for their protection against actual
interference. As such, Judicial Power is limited to the decision of actual
cases and controversies and the authority to pass on the validity of
statutes is incidental to the decisions of such cases where conflicting
claims under the constitution and under the legislative act assailed as
contrary to the constitution but it is legitimate only in the last resort and
it must be necessary to determined a real and vital controversy between
litigants. Thus, actions like this are brought for a positive purpose to
obtain actual positive relief and the court does not sit to adjudicate a
mere academic question to satisfy scholarly interest therein. The court
however, finds the defendant position to be sufficiently sustained and
state that the petitioner remedy is to challenge the regulation not to
invalidate the law because it needs no argument to show that abuse by
officials entrusted with the execution of the statute does not per se
demonstrate the unconstitutionality of such statute. On this phase of the
litigation the court conclude that there has been no undue delegation of
legislative power even if the petitioners appended a list of circulars and
memoranda issued by the Department of Education they fail to indicate
which of such official documents was constitutionally objectionable for
being capricious or pain nuisance. Therefore, the court denied the
petition for prohibition.
XXX
The Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities (PACU) assailed
the constitutionality of Act No. 2706 as amended by Act No. 3075 and
Commonwealth Act No. 180. These laws sought to regulate the
ownership of private schools in the country. It is provided by these laws
that a permit should first be secured from the Secretary of Education
before a person may be granted the right to own and operate a private
school. This also gives the Secretary of Education the discretion to
ascertain standards that must be followed by private schools. It also
provides that the Secretary of Education can and may ban certain
textbooks from being used in schools.

Second, the State has the power to regulate, in fact control, the
ownership of schools. The Constitution provides for state control of all
educational institutions even as it enumerates certain fundamental
objectives of all education to wit, the development of moral character,
personal discipline, civic conscience and vocational efficiency, and
instruction in the duties of citizenship. The State control of private
education was intended by the organic law.

PACU contends that the right of a citizen to own and operate a school is
guaranteed by the Constitution, and any law requiring previous
governmental approval or permit before such person could exercise said
right, amounts to censorship of previous restraint, a practice abhorrent
to our system of law and government. PACU also avers that such power
granted to the Secretary of Education is an undue delegation of
legislative power; that there is undue delegation because the law did not
specify the basis or the standard upon which the Secretary must exercise
said discretion; that the power to ban books granted to the Secretary
amounts to censorship.

HELD: The Court dismissed the petition. A citizen acquires standing only
if he can establish that he has suffered some actual or threatened injury
as a result of the allegedly illegal conduct of the government; the injury
is fairly traceable to the challenged action; and the injury is likely to be
redressed by a favorable action. Petitioner has not shown that he has
sustained or is in danger of sustaining any personal injury attributable to
the creation of the PCCR. If at all, it is only Congress, not petitioner,
which can claim any injury in this case since, according to petitioner,
the President has encroached upon the legislatures powers to create a
public office and to propose amendments to the Charter by forming the
PCCR. Petitioner has sustained no direct, or even any indirect, injury.
Neither does he claim that his rights or privileges have been or are in
danger of being violated, nor that he shall be subjected to any penalties
or burdens as a result of the PCCRs activities. Clearly, petitioner has

ISSUE: Whether or not Act No, 2706 as amended is unconstitutional.

Third, the State has the power to ban illegal textbooks or those that are
offensive to Filipino morals. This is still part of the power of control and
regulation by the State over all schools.
XXX
Decision: Petition for prohibition is denied. As a general rule, the
constitutionality of a statute will be passed on only if, and to the extent
that, it is directly and necessarily involved in a justiciable controversy
and is essential to the protection of the rights of the parties concerned.
The power of courts to declare a law unconstitutional arises only when
the interests of litigant require the use of that judicial authority for their
protection against actual interference, a hypothetical threat is
insufficient. Judicial power is limited to the decision of actual cases and
controversies. Mere apprehension that the Secretary of Education might
under the law withdraw the permit of one of petitioners does not
constitute a justiciable controversy.
GONZALES VS. NARVASA G.R. No. 140835, August 14 2000
FACTS: Petitioner Ramon A. Gonzales, in his capacity as a citizen and
taxpayer, filed a petition for prohibition and mandamus filed on
December 9, 1999, assailing the constitutionality of the creation of the
Preparatory Commission on Constitutional Reform (PCCR) and of the
positions of presidential consultants, advisers and assistants. The
Preparatory Commission on Constitutional Reform (PCCR) was created by
President Estrada on November 26, 1998 by virtue of Executive Order
No. 43 (E.O. No. 43) in order to study and recommend proposed
amendments and/or revisions to the 1987 Constitution, and the manner
of implementing the same. Petitioner disputes the constitutionality of
the PCCR based on the grounds that it is a public office which only the
legislature can create by way of a law.
ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioner has a legal standing to assail the
constitutionality of Executive Order No. 43

failed to establish his locus standi so as to enable him to seek judicial


redress as a citizen.
Furthermore, a taxpayer is deemed to have the standing to raise a
constitutional issue when it is established that public funds have been
disbursed in alleged contravention of the law or the Constitution. It is
readily apparent that there is no exercise by Congress of its taxing or
spending power. The PCCR was created by the President by virtue of
E.O. No. 43, as amended by E.O. No. 70. Under section 7 of E.O. No. 43,
the amount of P3 million is appropriated for its operational expenses
to be sourced from the funds of the Office of the President. Being that
case, petitioner must show that he is a real party in interest - that he will
stand to be benefited or injured by the judgment or that he will be
entitled to the avails of the suit. Nowhere in his pleadings does petitioner
presume to make such a representation.
PANFILO LACSON, MICHAEL RAY B. AQUINO and CESAR O.
MANCAO vs . SECRETARYHERNANDO PEREZ, P/DIRECTOR
LEANDRO MENDOZA, and P/SR. SUPT. REYNALDOBERROYA [G.R.
No. 147780. May 10, 2001.]
FACTS: On May 1, 2001, President Macapagal-Arroyo, faced by an armed
mob assaulting and attempting to break into Malacaang, issued
Proclamation No. 38 declaring that there was a state of rebellion in NCR.
She also issued General Order No. 1 directing the AFP and the PNP to
suppress the rebellion. Warrantless arrests of several alleged leaders and
promoters of the "rebellion" followed. Aggrieved, 4 related petitions were
filed before the Court. The case at bar is for prohibition, injunction,
mandamus, and habeas corpus (with an urgent application for the
issuance of temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary
injunction). Petitioners assail the declaration of a state of rebellion by
PGMA and the warrantless arrests allegedly effected by virtue thereof, as
having no basis both in fact and in law. On May 6, 2001, PGMA ordered
the lifting of the declaration of a "state of rebellion" in Metro Manila.
Accordingly, the instant petitions have been rendered moot and
academic. As to petitioners' claim that the proclamation of a "state of
rebellion" is being used by the authorities to justify warrantless arrests,
the Secretary of Justice denies that it has issued a particular order to
arrest specific persons in connection with the "rebellion."
ISSUE: Whether or not there is a valid warrantless arrest against the
petitioners.
HELD: No. In quelling or suppressing the rebellion, the authorities may
only resort to warrantless arrests of persons suspected of rebellion, as
provided under Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court, if the
circumstances so warrant. The warrantless arrest feared by petitioners
is, thus, not based on the declaration of a "state of rebellion." Petitioners'
contention that they are under imminent danger of being arrested
without warrant do not justify their resort to the extraordinary remedies
of mandamus and prohibition, since an individual subjected to
warrantless arrest is not without adequate remedies in the ordinary
course of law. The prayer for prohibition and mandamus is improper at
this time. As regards petitioners' prayer that the hold departure orders
issued against them be declared null and void
ab initio, it is to be noted that petitioners are not directly assailing the
validity of the subject hold departure orders in their petition. They are
not even expressing intention to leave the country in the near future.
The prayer to set aside the same must be made in proper proceedings
initiated for that purpose. Anent petitioners' allegations ex abundante ad
cautelam in support of their application for the issuance of a writ of

habeas corpus, it is manifest that the writ is not called for since its
purpose is to relieve petitioners from unlawful restraint, a matter which
remains speculative up to this very day. Petition is DISMISSED. However,
respondents, consistent and congruent with their undertaking earlier
adverted to, together with their agents, representatives, and all persons
acting for and in their behalf, are hereby enjoined from arresting
petitioners therein without the required judicial warrant for all acts
committed in relation to or in connection with the May 1, 2001 siege of
Malacaang.
Sanlakas vs. Exec Sec (2004)
FACTS: July 27, 2003-Oakwood mutiny -Pres GMA issued Proclamation no
47 declaring a "state of rebellion" & General Order No. 4 directing AFP &
PNP to supress the rebellion. -by evening, soldiers agreed to return to
barracks. GMA, however, did not immediately lift the declaration of a
state of rebellion, only doing so on August 1, 2003 thru Proc NO. 435.
Petitioners:
1. Sanlakas & PM; standing as "petitioners committed to assert, defend,
protect, uphold, and promote the rights, interests, and welfare of the
people, especially the poor and marginalized classes and sectors of
Philippine society. Petitioners are committed to defend and assert human
rights, including political and civil rights, of the citizens freedom of
speech and of expression under Section 4, Article III of the 1987
Constitution, as a vehicle to publicly ventilate their grievances and
legitimate demands and to mobilize public opinion to support the same;
assert that S18, Art7 of the Consti does not require the declaration of
state of rebellion to call out AFP;assert further that there exists no
factual basis for the declaration, mutiny having ceased.
2. SJS; standing as "Filipino citizens, taxpayers, law profs & bar
reviewers"; assert that S18, Art7 of the Consti does not require the
declaration of the state of rebellion, declaration a "constitutional
anomaly" that misleads because "overzealous public officers, acting
pursuant to such proclamation or general order, are liable to violate the
constitutional right of private citizens"; proclamation is a circumvention
of the report requirement under the same S18, Art7, commanding the
President to submit a report to Congress within 48 hours from the
proclamation of martial law; presidential issuances cannot be construed
as an exercise of emergency powers as Congress has not delegated any
such power to the President
3. members of House; standing as citizens and as Members of the House
of Representatives whose rights, powers and functions were allegedly
affected by the declaration of a state of rebellion; the declaration of a
state of rebellion is a "superfluity," and is actually an exercise of
emergency powers, such exercise, it is contended, amounts to a
usurpation of the power of Congress granted by S23 (2), Art6 of the
Constitution
4. Pimentel; standing as Senator; assails the subject presidential
issuances as "an unwarranted, illegal and abusive exercise of a martial
law power that has no basis under the Constitution; petitioner fears that
the declaration of a state of rebellion "opens the door to the
unconstitutional implementation of warrantless arrests" for the crime of
rebellion
Respondents: SolGen; petitions have been rendered moot by the lifitng
of the proclamation; questions standing of petitioners
ISSUES:
1. whether or not petitioners have standing

2. whether or not case has been rendered moot by the lifting of the
proclamation 3. whether or not the proclamation calling the state of
rebellion is proper
RULING: 1. NOT EVERY PETITIONER. only members of the House and Sen
Pimentel have standing. Sanlakas & PM have no standing by analogy
with LDP in Lacson v Perez " petitioner has not demonstrated any
injury to itself which would justify the resort to the Court. Petitioner is a
juridical person not subject to arrest. Thus, it cannot claim to be
threatened by a warrantless arrest. Nor is it alleged that its leaders,
members, and supporters are being threatened with warrantless arrest
and detention for the crime of rebellion." At best they seek for
declaratory relief, which is not in the original jurisdiction of SC. Even
assuming that Sanlakas & PM are "people's organizations" in the
language of Ss15-16, Art13 of the Consti, they are still not endowed with
standing for as in Kilosbayan v Morato "These provisions have not
changed the traditional rule that only real parties in interest or those
with standing, as the case may be, may invoke the judicial power. The
jurisdiction of this Court, even in cases involving constitutional questions,
is limited by the "case and controversy" requirement of S5,Art8. This
requirement lies at the very heart of the judicial function." SJS, though
alleging to be taxpayers, is not endowed with standing since "A taxpayer
may bring suit where the act complained of directly involves the illegal
disbursement of public funds derived from taxation.No such illegal
disbursement is alleged." Court has ruled out the doctrine of
"transcendental importance" regarding constitutional questions in this
particular case. Only members of Congress, who's (?) powers as provided
in the Consti on giving the Pres emergency powers are allegedly being
impaired, can question the legality of the proclamation of the state of
rebellion.
2. YES. As a rule, courts do not adjudicate moot cases, judicial power
being limited to the determination of "actual controversies."
Nevertheless, courts will decide a question, otherwise moot, if it is
"capable of repetition yet evading review."19 The case at bar is one such
case, since prior events (the May 1, 2001 incident when the Pres also
declared a state of rebellion) prove that it can be repeated. 3. YES. S18,
Art 7 grants the President, as Commander-in-Chief, a "sequence" of
"graduated power[s]." From the most to the least benign, these are: the
calling out power, the power to suspend the privilege of the writ of
habeas corpus, and the power to declare martial law. In the exercise of
the latter two powers, the Constitution requires the concurrence of two
conditions, namely, an actual invasion or rebellion, and that public safety
requires the exercise of such power. However, as we observed in
Integrated Bar of the Philippines v. Zamora, "[t]hese conditions are not
required in the exercise of the calling out power. The only criterion is that
'whenever it becomes necessary,' the President may call the armed
forces 'to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or
rebellion.'"Nevertheless, it is equally true that S18, Art7 does not
expressly prohibit the President from declaring a state of rebellion. Note
that the Constitution vests the President not only with Commander-inChief powers but, first and foremost, with Executive powers. The
ponencia then traced the evolution of executive power in the US (Jackson
and the South Carolina situation, Lincoln and teh 'war powers', Cleveland
in In re: Eugene Debs) in an effort to show that "the Commander-in-Chief
powers are broad enough as it is and become more so when taken
together with the provision on executive power and the presidential oath
of office. Thus, the plenitude of the powers of the presidency equips the
occupant with the means to address exigencies or threats which
undermine the very existence of government or the integrity of the
State." This, plus Marcos v Manglapus on residual powers, the Rev Admin

Code S4, Ch2, Bk3 on the executive power of the Pres to declare a
certain status, argue towards the validity of the proclamation. However,
the Court maintains that the declaration is devoid of any legal
significance for being superflous. Also, the mere declaration of a state of
rebellion cannot diminish or violate constitutionally protected rights. if a
state of martial law does not suspend the operation of the Constitution
or automatically suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus,61
then it is with more reason that a simple declaration of a state of
rebellion could not bring about these conditions. Apprehensions that the
military and police authorities may resort to warrantless arrests are
likewise unfounded. In Lacson vs. Perez, supra, majority of the Court held
that "[i]n quelling or suppressing the rebellion, the authorities may only
resort to warrantless arrests of persons suspected of rebellion, as
provided under Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court,63 if the
circumstances so warrant. The warrantless arrest feared by petitioners
is, thus, not based on the declaration of a 'state of rebellion.'"64 In other
words, a person may be subjected to a warrantless arrest for the crime
of rebellion whether or not the President has declared a state of
rebellion, so long as the requisites for a valid warrantless arrest are
present. The argument that the declaration of a state of rebellion
amounts to a declaration of martial law and, therefore, is a
circumvention of the report requirement, is a leap of logic. There is no
illustration that the President has attempted to exercise or has exercised
martial law powers. Finally, Nor by any stretch of the imagination can the
declaration constitute an indirect exercise of emergency powers, which
exercise depends upon a grant of Congress pursuant to S23 (2), Art6 of
the Constitution. The petitions do not cite a specific instance where the
President has attempted to or has exercised powers beyond her powers
as Chief Executive or as Commander-in-Chief. The President, in declaring
a state of rebellion and in calling out the armed forces, was merely
exercising a wedding of her Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief
powers. These are purely executive powers, vested on the President by
S1 & 18, Art7, as opposed to the delegated legislative powers
contemplated by Section 23 (2), Article VI.
PIMENTEL VS. ERMITA
FACTS: While Congress was in session, due to vacancies in the cabinet,
then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) appointed Arthur Yap et al
as secretaries of their respective departments. They were appointed in
an acting capacity only. Senator Aquilino Pimentel together with 7 other
senators filed a complaint against the appointment of Yap et al. Pimentel
averred that GMA cannot make such appointment without the consent of
the Commission on Appointment; that, in accordance with Section 10,
Chapter 2, Book IV of Executive Order No. 292, only the undersecretary
of the respective departments should be designated in an acting
capacity and not anyone else.
On the contrary, then Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita averred that
the president is empowered by Section 16, Article VII of the 1987
Constitution to issue appointments in an acting capacity to department
secretaries without the consent of the Commission on Appointments
even while Congress is in session. Further, EO 292 itself allows the
president to issue temporary designation to an officer in the civil service
provided that the temporary designation shall not exceed one year.
During the pendency of said case, Congress adjourned and GMA issued
ad interim appointments re-appointing those previously appointed in
acting capacity.
ISSUE: Whether or not the appointments made by ex PGMA is valid.

HELD: Yes. The argument raised by Ermita is correct. Further, EO 292


itself provided the safeguard so that such power will not be abused
hence the provision that the temporary designation shall not exceed one
year. In this case, in less than a year after the initial appointments made
by GMA, and when the Congress was in recess, GMA issued the ad
interim appointments this also proves that the president was in good
faith.
It must also be noted that cabinet secretaries are the alter egos of the
president. The choice is the presidents to make and the president
normally appoints those whom he/she can trust. She cannot be
constrained to choose the undersecretary. She has the option to choose.
An alter ego, whether temporary or permanent, holds a position of great
trust and confidence. Congress, in the guise of prescribing qualifications
to an office, cannot impose on the President who her alter ego should be.
The office of a department secretary may become vacant while Congress
is in session. Since a department secretary is the alter ego of the
President, the acting appointee to the office must necessarily have the
Presidents confidence. That person may or may not be the permanent
appointee, but practical reasons may make it expedient that the acting
appointee will also be the permanent appointee.
Anent the issue that GMA appointed outsiders, such is allowed. EO 292
also provides that the president may temporarily designate an officer
already in the government service or any other competent person to
perform the functions of an office in the executive branch. Thus, the
President may even appoint in an acting capacity a person not yet in the
government service, as long as the President deems that person
competent.
XXX
On Petitioners Standing
The Solicitor General states that the present petition is a quo warranto
proceeding because, with the exception of Secretary Ermita, petitioners
effectively seek to oust respondents for unlawfully exercising the powers
of department secretaries. The Solicitor General further states that
petitioners may not claim standing as Senators because no power of the
Commission on Appointments has been infringed upon or violated by the
President. xxx If at all, the Commission on Appointments as a body
(rather than individual members of the Congress) may possess standing
in this case.[10]
Petitioners, on the other hand, state that the Court can exercise its
certiorari jurisdiction over unconstitutional acts of the President.[11]
Petitioners further contend that they possess standing because President
Arroyos appointment of department secretaries in an acting capacity
while Congress is in session impairs the powers of Congress. Petitioners
cite Sanlakas v. Executive Secretary[12] as basis, thus:
To the extent that the powers of Congress are impaired, so is the power
of each member thereof, since his office confers a right to participate in
the exercise of the powers of that institution.
An act of the Executive which injures the institution of Congress causes a
derivative but nonetheless substantial injury, which can be questioned
by a member of Congress. In such a case, any member of Congress can
have a resort to the courts.

Considering the independence of the Commission on Appointments from


Congress, it is error for petitioners to claim standing in the present case
as members of Congress. President Arroyos issuance of acting
appointments while Congress is in session impairs no power of Congress.
Among the petitioners, only the following are members of the
Commission on Appointments of the 13th Congress: Senator Enrile as
Minority Floor Leader, Senator Lacson as Assistant Minority Floor Leader,
and Senator Angara, Senator Ejercito-Estrada, and Senator Osmea as
members.
Thus, on the impairment of the prerogatives of members of the
Commission on Appointments, only Senators Enrile, Lacson, Angara,
Ejercito-Estrada, and Osmea have standing in the present petition. This
is in contrast to Senators Pimentel, Estrada, Lim, and Madrigal, who,
though vigilant in protecting their perceived prerogatives as members of
Congress, possess no standing in the present petition.
XXX
Held: Yes. The power to appoint is essentially executive in nature, and
the legislature may not interfere with the exercise of this executive
power except in those instances when the Constitution expressly allows
it to interfere. Limitations on the executive power to appoint are
construed strictly against the legislature. The scope of the legislatures
interference in the executives power to appoint is limited to the power
to prescribe the qualifications to an appointive office. Congress cannot
appoint a person to an office in the guise of prescribing qualifications to
that office. Neither may Congress impose on the President the duty to
appoint any particular person to an office.
However, even if the Commission on Appointments is composed of
members of Congress, the exercise of its powers is executive and not
legislative. The Commission on Appointments does not legislate when it
exercises its power to give or withhold consent to presidential
appointments.
Petitioners contend that President Arroyo should not have appointed
respondents as acting secretaries because in case of a vacancy in the
Office of a Secretary, it is only an Undersecretary who can be designated
as Acting Secretary.
The essence of an appointment in an acting capacity is its temporary
nature. It is a stop-gap measure intended to fill an office for a limited
time until the appointment of a permanent occupant to the office. In
case of vacancy in an office occupied by an alter ego of the President,
such as the office of a department secretary, the President must
necessarily appoint an alter ego of her choice as acting secretary before
the permanent appointee of her choice could assume office.
Congress, through a law, cannot impose on the President the obligation
to appoint automatically the undersecretary as her temporary alter ego.
An alter ego, whether temporary or permanent, holds a position of great
trust and confidence. Congress, in the guise of prescribing qualifications
to an office, cannot impose on the President who her alter ego should be.
The office of a department secretary may become vacant while Congress
is in session. Since a department secretary is the alter ego of the
President, the acting appointee to the office must necessarily have the
Presidents confidence. Thus, by the very nature of the office of a
department secretary, the President must appoint in an acting capacity a
person of her choice even while Congress is in session. That person may

or may not be the permanent appointee, but practical reasons may make
it expedient that the acting appointee will also be the permanent
appointee.
The law expressly allows the President to make such acting appointment.
Section 17, Chapter 5, Title I, Book III of EO 292 states that [t]he
President may temporarily designate an officer already in the
government service or any other competent person to perform the
functions of an office in the executive branch. Thus, the President may
even appoint in an acting capacity a person not yet in the government
service, as long as the President deems that person competent.
Finally, petitioners claim that the issuance of appointments in an acting
capacity is susceptible to abuse. Petitioners fail to consider that acting
appointments cannot exceed one year as expressly provided in Section
17(3), Chapter 5, Title I, Book III of EO 292. The law has incorporated this
safeguard to prevent abuses, like the use of acting appointments as a
way to circumvent confirmation by the Commission on Appointments.
Ad-interim appointments must be distinguished from appointments in an
acting capacity. Both of them are effective upon acceptance. But adinterim appointments are extended only during a recess of Congress,
whereas acting appointments may be extended any time there is a
vacancy. Moreover ad-interim appointments are submitted to the
Commission on Appointments for confirmation or rejection; acting
appointments are not submitted to the Commission on Appointments.
Acting appointments are a way of temporarily filling important offices
but, if abused, they can also be a way of circumventing the need for
confirmation by the Commission on Appointments.
However, we find no abuse in the present case. The absence of abuse is
readily apparent from President Arroyos issuance of ad interim
appointments to respondents immediately upon the recess of Congress,
way before the lapse of one year.
KILOSBAYAN vs. MANUEL L. MORATO G.R. No. 118910. November
16, 1995.
FACTS: In Jan. 25, 1995, PCSO and PGMC signed an Equipment Lease
Agreement (ELA) wherein PGMC leased online lottery equipment and
accessories to PCSO. (Rental of 4.3% of the gross amount of ticket or at
least P35,000 per terminal annually). 30% of the net receipts is allotted
to charity. Term of lease is for 8 years. PCSO is to employ its own
personnel and responsible for the facilities. Upon the expiration of lease,
PCSO may purchase the equipment for P25 million. Feb. 21, 1995. A
petition was filed to declare ELA invalid because it is the same as the
Contract of Lease Petitioner's Contention: ELA was same to the Contract
of Lease.. It is still violative of PCSO's charter. It is violative of the law
regarding public bidding. It violates Sec. 2(2) of Art. 9-D of the 1987
Constitution. Standing can no longer be questioned because it has
become the law of the case Respondent's reply: ELA is different from the
Contract of Lease. There is no bidding required. The power to determine
if ELA is advantageous is vested in the Board of Directors of PCSO. PCSO
does not have funds. Petitioners seek to further their moral crusade.
Petitioners do not have a legal standing because they were not parties to
the contract
ISSUES: Whether or not the petitioners have standing?
HELD: NO. STARE DECISIS cannot apply. The previous ruling sustaining
the standing of the petitioners is a departure from the settled rulings on

real parties in interest because no constitutional issues were actually


involved. LAW OF THE CASE cannot also apply. Since the present case is
not the same one litigated by theparties before in Kilosbayan vs.
Guingona, Jr., the ruling cannot be in any sense be regarded as the law of
this case. The parties are the same but the cases are not. RULE ON
CONCLUSIVENESS cannot still apply. An issue actually and directly
passed upon and determine in a former suit cannot again be drawn in
question in any future action between the same parties involving a
different cause of action. But the rule does not apply to issues of law at
least when substantially unrelated claims are involved. When the second
proceeding involves an instrument or transaction identical with, but in a
form separable from the one dealt with in the first proceeding, the Court
is free in the second proceeding to make an independent examination of
the legal matters at issue. Since ELA is a different contract, the previous
decision does not preclude determination of the petitioner's standing.
STANDING is a concept in constitutional law and here no constitutional
question is actually involved. The more appropriate issue is whether the
petitioners are REAL PARTIES in INTEREST.
XXX
FACTS: An organization of civic-spirited citizens, taxpayers and members
of Congress questioned the lease of lottery equipment by the Philippine
Charity and Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) on the ground that it was similar
to the same previous contract earlier nullified by the Supreme Court.
ISSUE: Whether or not there is a violation of the Constitution.
HELD: Petitioners have no standing to challenge the validity of the
contract. Legal standing is a special concern in constitutional law,
because in some cases the suits are brought not by parties who have
been personally injured, but by concerned citizens, taxpayers, or voters
who sue in the public interest. It is not an issue in the case, since no
constitutional question is actually involved. Since petitioners are not
parties to the contract or were prejudicial in their rights with respect to
one of the contracting parties who claim to have a right to take part in a
public bidding, they have no interest in the contract as would entitle
them to bring this suit.
XXX
Issue: whether the petitioner has the requisite personality to question
the validity of the contract in this case
Held: Yes. Kilosbayans status as a peoples organization give it the
requisite personality to question the validity of the contract in this
case. The Constitution provides that the State shall respect the
role of independent peoples organizations to enable the people to
pursue and protect, within the democratic framework, their
legitimate and collective interests and aspirations through peaceful
and lawful means, that their right to effective and reasonable
participation at all levels of social, political, and economic decisionmaking shall not be abridged.
These provisions have not changed the traditional rule that only
real parties in interest or those with standing, as the case may
be, may invoke the judicial power. The jurisdiction of the Court,
even in cases involving constitutional questions, is limited by the
case and controversy requirement of Art. VIII, 5. This
requirement lies at the very heart of the judicial function. It is
what differentiates decision-making in the courts from decisionmaking in the political departments of the government and bars
the bringing of suits by just any party.

It is nevertheless insisted that this Court has in the past


accorded standing to taxpayers and concerned citizens in cases
involving paramount public interest. Taxpayers, voters, concerned
citizens and legislators have indeed been allowed to sue but then
only (1) in cases involving constitutional issues and (2) under
certain conditions. Petitioners do not meet these requirements on
standing.
Taxpayers are allowed to sue, for example, where there is a claim
of illegal disbursement of public funds. or where a tax measure is
assailed as unconstitutional. Voters are allowed to question the
validity of election laws because of their obvious interest in the
validity of such laws. Concerned citizens can bring suits if the
constitutional question they raise is of transcendental importance
which must be settled early. Legislators are allowed to sue to
question the validity of any official action which they claim
infringes their prerogatives qua legislators.
Petitioners do not have the same kind of interest that these
various litigants have. Petitioners assert an interest as taxpayers,
but they do not meet the standing requirement for bringing
taxpayers suits as set forth in Dumlao v.Comelec, to wit:
While, concededly, the elections to be held involve the expenditure
of public moneys, nowhere in their Petition do said petitioners
allege that their tax money is being extracted and spent in
violation of specific constitutional protections against abuses of
legislative power or that there is a misapplication of such funds
by respondent COMELEC or that public money is being deflected to
any improper purpose. Neither do petitioners seek to restrain
respondent from wasting public funds through the enforcement of
an invalid or unconstitutional law. Besides, the institution of a
taxpayers suit, per se, is no assurance of judicial review. The
Court is vested with discretion as to whether or not a taxpayers
suit should be entertained.
Petitioners suit does not fall under any of these categories of
taxpayers suits.
Thus, petitioners right to sue as taxpayers cannot be sustained.
Nor as concerned citizens can they bring this suit because no
specific injury suffered by them is alleged. As for the petitioners,
who are members of Congress, their right to sue as legislators
cannot be invoked because they do not complain of any
infringement of their rights as legislators.
OPLE VS TORRES GR NO 127685 23 JULY 1998
Facts: Administrative Order No 308, otherwise known as Adoption of a
National Computerized Identification Reference System was issued by
President Fidel Ramos on 12 December 1996. Senator Blas Ople filed a
petition to invalidate the said order for violating the right to privacy. He
contends that the order must be invalidated on two constitutional
grounds, (1) that it is a usurpation of the power to legislate; and (2) that
it intrudes the citizens right to privacy.
Issue: Whether or not Senator Ople has standing to maintain suit?
Decision: Petitioner, Senator Ople is a distinguished member of the
Senate. As a Senator, petitioner is possessed of the requisite standing to
bring suit raising the issue that the issue of Administrative Order No 308

is a usurpation of legislative power. Oples concern that the Executive


branch not to trespass on the lawmaking domain of Congress is
understandable. The blurring demarcation line between the power of
legislature to make laws and the power of executive to execute laws will
disturb their delicate balance and cannot be allowed.
XX X
As is usual in constitutional litigation, respondents raise the threshold
issues relating to the standing to sue of the petitioner and the
justiciability of the case at bar. More specifically, respondents aver that
petitioner has no legal interest to uphold and that the implementing
rules of A.O. No. 308 have yet to be promulgated.
These submissions do not deserve our sympathetic ear. Petitioner Ople is
a distinguished member of our Senate. As a Senator, petitioner is
possessed of the requisite standing to bring suit raising the issue that
the issuance of A.O. No. 308 is a usurpation of legislative power. 4 As
taxpayer and member of the Government Service Insurance System
(GSIS), petitioner can also impugn the legality of the misalignment of
public funds and the misuse of GSIS funds to implement A.O. No. 308. 5
The ripeness for adjudication of the Petition at bar is not affected by the
fact that the implementing rules of A.O. No. 308 have yet to be
promulgated. Petitioner Ople assails A.O. No. 308 as invalid per se and as
infirmed on its face. His action is not premature for the rules yet to be
promulgated cannot cure its fatal defects. Moreover, the respondents
themselves have started the implementation of A.O. No. 308 without
waiting for the rules. As early as January 19, 1997, respondent Social
Security System (SSS) caused the publication of a notice to bid for the
manufacture of the National Identification (ID) card. 6 Respondent
Executive Secretary Torres has publicly announced that representatives
from the GSIS and the SSS have completed the guidelines for the
national identification system. 7 All signals from the respondents show
their unswerving will to implement A.O. No. 308 and we need not wait for
the formality of the rules to pass judgment on its constitutionality. In this
light, the dissenters insistence that we tighten the rule on standing is not
a commendable stance as its result would be to throttle an important
constitutional principle and a fundamental right.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS VERA G.R. No. L-45685 November 16
1937 En Banc [Non Delegation of Legislative Powers]
FACTS: Cu-Unjieng was convicted of criminal charges by the trial court of
Manila. He filed a motion for reconsideration and four motions for new
trial but all were denied. He then elevated to the Supreme Court of
United States for review, which was also denied. The SC denied the
petition subsequently filed by Cu-Unjieng for a motion for new trial and
thereafter remanded the case to the court of origin for execution of the
judgment. CFI of Manila referred the application for probation of the
Insular Probation Office which recommended denial of the same. Later,
7th branch of CFI Manila set the petition for hearing. The Fiscal filed an
opposition to the granting of probation to Cu Unjieng, alleging, among
other things, that Act No. 4221, assuming that it has not been repealed
by section 2 of Article XV of the Constitution, is nevertheless violative of
section 1, subsection (1), Article III of the Constitution guaranteeing
equal protection of the laws. The private prosecution also filed a
supplementary opposition, elaborating on the alleged unconstitutionality
on Act No. 4221, as an undue delegation of legislative power to the
provincial boards of several provinces (sec. 1, Art. VI, Constitution).
ISSUE: Whether or not there is undue delegation of powers.

RULING: Yes. SC conclude that section 11 of Act No. 4221 constitutes an


improper and unlawful delegation of legislative authority to the
provincial boards and is, for this reason, unconstitutional and void.
The challenged section of Act No. 4221 in section 11 which reads as
follows: "This Act shall apply only in those provinces in which the
respective provincial boards have provided for the salary of a probation
officer at rates not lower than those now provided for provincial fiscals.
Said probation officer shall be appointed by the Secretary of Justice and
shall be subject to the direction of the Probation Office."
The provincial boards of the various provinces are to determine for
themselves, whether the Probation Law shall apply to their provinces or
not at all. The applicability and application of the Probation Act are
entirely placed in the hands of the provincial boards. If the provincial
board does not wish to have the Act applied in its province, all that it has
to do is to decline to appropriate the needed amount for the salary of a
probation officer.
The clear policy of the law, as may be gleaned from a careful
examination of the whole context, is to make the application of the
system dependent entirely upon the affirmative action of the different
provincial boards through appropriation of the salaries for probation
officers at rates not lower than those provided for provincial fiscals.
Without such action on the part of the various boards, no probation
officers would be appointed by the Secretary of Justice to act in the
provinces. The Philippines is divided or subdivided into provinces and it
needs no argument to show that if not one of the provinces and this is
the actual situation now appropriate the necessary fund for the salary
of a probation officer, probation under Act No. 4221 would be illusory.
There can be no probation without a probation officer. Neither can there
be a probation officer without the probation system.
XX X
In 1934, Mariano Cu Unjieng was convicted in a criminal case filed
against him by the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC).
In 1936, he filed for probation. The matter was referred to the Insular
Probation Office which recommended the denial of Cu Unjiengs petition
for probation. A hearing was set by Judge Jose Vera concerning the
petition for probation. The Prosecution opposed the petition. Eventually,
due to delays in the hearing, the Prosecution filed a petition for certiorari
with the Supreme Court alleging that courts like the Court of First
Instance of Manila (which is presided over by Judge Vera) have no
jurisdiction to place accused like Cu Unjieng under probation because
under the law (Act No. 4221 or The Probation Law), probation is only
meant to be applied in provinces with probation officers; that the City of
Manila is not a province, and that Manila, even if construed as a
province, has no designated probation officer hence, a Manila court
cannot grant probation.
Meanwhile, HSBC also filed its own comment on the matter alleging that
Act 4221 is unconstitutional for it violates the constitutional guarantee
on equal protection of the laws. HSBC averred that the said law makes it
the prerogative of provinces whether or nor to apply the probation law
if a province chooses to apply the probation law, then it will appoint a
probation officer, but if it will not, then no probation officer will be
appointed hence, that makes it violative of the equal protection clause.

Further, HSBC averred that the Probation Law is an undue delegation of


power because it gave the option to the provincial board to whether or
not to apply the probation law however, the legislature did not provide
guidelines to be followed by the provincial board.
Further still, HSBC averred that the Probation Law is an encroachment of
the executives power to grant pardon. They say that the legislature, by
providing for a probation law, had in effect encroached upon the
executives power to grant pardon. (Ironically, the Prosecution agreed
with the issues raised by HSBC ironic because their main stance was
the non-applicability of the probation law only in Manila while
recognizing its application in provinces).
For his part, one of the issues raised by Cu Unjieng is that, the
Prosecution, representing the State as well as the People of the
Philippines, cannot question the validity of a law, like Act 4221, which the
State itself created. Further, Cu Unjieng also castigated the fiscal of
Manila who himself had used the Probation Law in the past without
question but is now questioning the validity of the said law (estoppel).
ISSUE:
1. May the State question its own laws?
2. Is Act 4221 constitutional?
HELD:
1. Yes. There is no law which prohibits the State, or its duly authorized
representative, from questioning the validity of a law. Estoppel will also
not lie against the State even if it had been using an invalid law.

2. No, Act 4221 or the [old] Probation Law is unconstitutional.


Violation of the Equal Protection Clause. The contention of HSBC and the
Prosecution is well taken on this note. There is violation of the equal
protection clause. Under Act 4221, provinces were given the option to
apply the law by simply providing for a probation officer. So if a province
decides not to install a probation officer, then the accused within said
province will be unduly deprived of the provisions of the Probation Law.
Undue Delegation of Legislative Power . There is undue delegation of
legislative power. Act 4221 provides that it shall only apply to provinces
where the respective provincial boards have provided for a probation
officer. But nowhere in the law did it state as to what standard (sufficient
standard test) should provincial boards follow in determining whether or
not to apply the probation law in their province. This only creates a
roving commission which will act arbitrarily according to its whims.
Encroachment of Executive Power. Though Act 4221 is unconstitutional,
the Supreme Court recognized the power of Congress to provide for
probation. Probation does not encroach upon the Presidents power to
grant pardon. Probation is not pardon. Probation is within the power of
Congress to fix penalties while pardon is a power of the president to
commute penalties.
XX X
Issue: Whether the People of the Philippines, through the Solicitor
General and Fiscal of the City of Manila, is a proper party in present case.
Decision: The People of the Philippines, represented by the SolicitorGeneral and the Fiscal of the City of Manila, is a proper party in the
present proceedings. The unchallenged rule is that the person who
impugns the validity of a statute must have a personal and substantial
interest in the case. If Act 4221 really violates the constitution, the
People of the Philippines, in whose name the present action is brought,
has a substantial interest in having it set aside. Of greater import than
the damage caused by the illegal expenditure of public funds is the
mortal wound inflicted upon the fundamental law by the enforcement of
an invalid statute. Hence, the well-settled rule that the state can
challenge the validity of its own laws.
XX X
FACTS: Petitioners, People of the Philippines and Hongkong and Shanghai
Banking Corporation (HSBC) are respectively the plaintiff and the
offended party, and Mariano Cu Unjieng is one of the defendants, in the
criminal case. Hon. Jose O. Vera, is the Judge ad interim of the seventh
branch of the Court of First Instance of Manila, who heard the application
of Cu Unjieng for probation. HSBC intervened in the case as private
prosecutor. After a protracted trial, the Court of First Instance rendered a
judgment of conviction sentencing Cu Unjieng to indeterminate penalty
ranging from 4 years and 2 months of prision correccional to 8 years of
prision mayor, to pay the costs and with reservation of civil action to the
offended party, HSBC.
Upon appeal, the court, on 26 March 1935, modified the sentence to an
indeterminate penalty of from 5 years and 6 months of prision
correccional to 7 years, 6 months and 27 days of prision mayor, but
affirmed the judgment in all other respects. Cu Unjieng filed a motion for
reconsideration and four successive motions for new trial which were
denied on 17 December 1935, and final judgment was accordingly
entered on 18 December 1935. Cu Unjieng thereupon sought to have the
case elevated on certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States but
the latter denied the petition for certiorari in November, 1936. The

Supreme Court, on 24 November 1936, denied the petition subsequently


filed by Cu Unjieng for leave to file a second alternative motion for
reconsideration or new trial and thereafter remanded the case to the
court of origin for execution of the judgment.

1. WoN the President's factual determination of the necessity of calling


the armed forces is subject to judicial review.
2. WoN the calling of AFP to assist the PNP in joint visibility patrols violate
the constitutional provisions on civilian supremacy over the military.

ISSUE: Whether or not the People of the Philippines is a proper party in


this case.

RULING:
1. The power of judicial review is set forth in Section 1, Article VIII of the
Constitution, to wit:
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 grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the
part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government.
When questions of constitutional significance are raised, the Court can
exercise its power of judicial review only if the following requisites are
complied with, namely: (1) the existence of an actual and appropriate
case; (2) a personal and substantial interest of the party raising the
constitutional question; (3) the exercise of judicial review is pleaded at
the earliest opportunity; and (4) the constitutional question is the lis
mota of the case.

HELD: YES. The People of the Philippines, represented by the Solicitor


General and the Fiscal of the City of Manila, is a proper party in the
present proceedings. The unchallenged rule is that the person who
impugns the validity of a statute must have a personal and substantial
interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustained, direct
injury as a result of its enforcement. It goes without saying that if Act No.
4221 really violates the constitution, the People of the Philippines, in
whose name the present action is brought, has a substantial interest in
having it set aside. Of greater import than the damage caused by the
illegal expenditure of public funds is the mortal wound inflicted upon the
fundamental law by the enforcement of an invalid statute. Hence, the
well-settled rule that the state can challenge the validity of its own laws.
IBP V. HON. RONALDO B. ZAMORA ET AL. CASE BRIEF SUMMARY
G.R. NO. 141284, AUGUST 15, 2000
FACTS: President Joseph Estrada ordered the deployment of the
Philippine Marines to join the Philippine National Police (PNP) in visibility
patrols around Metro Manila to stem the tide of rising violence and crime.
In response to such order, the PNP through Police Chief Superintendent
Edgar B. Aglipay issued Letter of Intent (LOI) dated 02/2000 which
detailed the joint visibility patrols called Task Force Tulungan. This was
confirmed by a memorandum Pres. Estrada issued dated 24 January
2000. On January 17, 2000, the IBP filed a petition to annul LOI 02/2000
arguing that the deployment of the Marines is unconstitutional and is an
incursion by the military on the civilian functions of government as
embodied in Article II, Sec. 3 and Art. XVI, Sec. 5(4) of the 1987
Constitution.
ISSUE: (1) Does the IBP have legal standing in the case at bar?
(2) Is the presidents factual determination of the necessity of calling the
armed forces subject to judicial review?
(3) Is the calling of the armed forces to assist the PNP in joint visibility
patrols violate constitutional provisions on civilian supremacy over the
military and the civilian character of the PNP?
RULING: In the first issue, the IBP has failed to provide the requisites for
legal standing in the case at bar in that it has failed to conclusively prove
that such deployment would harm the IBP in any way. Its contention that
it is fighting to uphold the rule of law and the constitution is insufficient,
too general and too vague. As to the second issue, the Court disagrees
with the contention of the Solicitor-General that the presidents act is a
political question beyond the authority of the Court to review when the
grant of power is qualified or subject to limitations, the issue becomes
whether the prescribed qualifications have been met, then it becomes a
question of legality and not wisdom, so is not a political question. It is
then subject to the Courts review power. As to the third issue, the
Marines only assist the PNP, the LOI itself provides for this. In fact, the
PNP Chief is the leader of such patrols and in no way places the over-all
authority in the Marines.
Petition is dismissed.
XX X
ISSUE:

2. The deployment of the Marines does not constitute a breach of the


civilian supremacy clause. The calling of the Marines in this case
constitutes permissible use of military assets for civilian law
enforcement. The participation of the Marines in the conduct of joint
visibility patrols is appropriately circumscribed. It is their responsibility to
direct and manage the deployment of the Marines. It is, likewise, their
duty to provide the necessary equipment to the Marines and render
logistical support to these soldiers. In view of the foregoing, it cannot be
properly argued that military authority is supreme over civilian authority.
Moreover, the deployment of the Marines to assist the PNP does not
unmake the civilian character of the police force. Neither does it amount
to an insidious incursion of the military in the task of law enforcement
in violation of Section 5(4), Article XVI of the Constitution.
XX X
The petition has no merit.
First, petitioner failed to sufficiently show that it is in possession of the
requisites of standing to raise the issues in the petition. Second, the
President did not commit grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction nor did he commit a violation of the civilian
supremacy clause of the Constitution.
The power of judicial review is set forth in Section 1, Article VIII of the
Constitution, to wit:
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 grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the
part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government.
When questions of constitutional significance are raised, the Court can
exercise its power of judicial review only if the following requisites are
complied with, namely: (1) the existence of an actual and appropriate
case; (2) a personal and substantial interest of the party raising the
constitutional question; (3) the exercise of judicial review is pleaded at

the earliest opportunity; and (4) the constitutional question is the lis
mota of the case.[12]
The IBP has not sufficiently complied with the requisites of standing in
this case.
Legal standing or locus standi has been defined as a personal and
substantial interest in the case such that the party has sustained or will
sustain direct injury as a result of the governmental act that is being
challenged.[13] The term interest means a material interest, an interest
in issue affected by the decree, as distinguished from mere interest in
the question involved, or a mere incidental interest.[14] The gist of the
question of standing is whether a party alleges such personal stake in
the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness
which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court depends
for illumination of difficult constitutional questions.[15]
In the case at bar, the IBP primarily anchors its standing on its alleged
responsibility to uphold the rule of law and the Constitution. Apart from
this declaration, however, the IBP asserts no other basis in support of its
locus standi. The mere invocation by the IBP of its duty to preserve the
rule of law and nothing more, while undoubtedly true, is not sufficient to
clothe it with standing in this case. This is too general an interest which
is shared by other groups and the whole citizenry. Based on the
standards above-stated, the IBP has failed to present a specific and
substantial interest in the resolution of the case. Its fundamental purpose
which, under Section 2, Rule 139-A of the Rules of Court, is to elevate the
standards of the law profession and to improve the administration of
justice is alien to, and cannot be affected by the deployment of the
Marines. It should also be noted that the interest of the National
President of the IBP who signed the petition, is his alone, absent a formal
board resolution authorizing him to file the present action. To be sure,
members of the BAR, those in the judiciary included, have varying
opinions on the issue. Moreover, the IBP, assuming that it has duly
authorized the National President to file the petition, has not shown any
specific injury which it has suffered or may suffer by virtue of the
questioned governmental act. Indeed, none of its members, whom the
IBP purportedly represents, has sustained any form of injury as a result
of the operation of the joint visibility patrols. Neither is it alleged that any
of its members has been arrested or that their civil liberties have been
violated by the deployment of the Marines. What the IBP projects as
injurious is the supposed militarization of law enforcement which might
threaten Philippine democratic institutions and may cause more harm
than good in the long run. Not only is the presumed injury not personal
in character, it is likewise too vague, highly speculative and uncertain to
satisfy the requirement of standing. Since petitioner has not successfully
established a direct and personal injury as a consequence of the
questioned act, it does not possess the personality to assail the validity
of the deployment of the Marines. This Court, however, does not
categorically rule that the IBP has absolutely no standing to raise
constitutional issues now or in the future. The IBP must, by way of
allegations and proof, satisfy this Court that it has sufficient stake to
obtain judicial resolution of the controversy.
Having stated the foregoing, it must be emphasized that this Court has
the discretion to take cognizance of a suit which does not satisfy the
requirement of legal standing when paramount interest is involved.[16]
In not a few cases, the Court has adopted a liberal attitude on the locus
standi of a petitioner where the petitioner is able to craft an issue of
transcendental significance to the people.[17] Thus, when the issues
raised are of paramount importance to the public, the Court may brush
aside technicalities of procedure.[18] In this case, a reading of the

petition shows that the IBP has advanced constitutional issues which
deserve the attention of this Court in view of their seriousness, novelty
and weight as precedents. Moreover, because peace and order are under
constant threat and lawless violence occurs in increasing tempo,
undoubtedly aggravated by the Mindanao insurgency problem, the legal
controversy raised in the petition almost certainly will not go away. It will
stare us in the face again. It, therefore, behooves the Court to relax the
rules on standing and to resolve the issue now, rather than later.
BAGATSING VS. COMMITTEE
112399, JULY 14, 1995]

ON

PRIVATIZATION

[G.R.

NO.

FACTS: PETRON was originally registered with the Securities and


Exchange Commission (SEC) in 1966 under the corporate name "Esso
Philippines, Inc." .ESSO became a wholly-owned company of the
government under the corporate name PETRON and as a subsidiary of
PNOC.PETRON owns the largest, most modern complex refinery in the
Philippines. It is listed as the No. 1corporation in terms of assets and
income in the Philippines in 1993.
President Corazon C. Aquino promulgated Proclamation No. 50 in the
exercise of her legislative power under the Freedom Constitution. Implicit
in the Proclamation is the need to raise revenue for the Government and
the ideal of leaving business to the private sector by creating the
committee on privatization. The Government can then concentrate on
the delivery of basic services and the performance e of vital public
functions.
The Presidential Cabinet of President Ramos approved the privatization
of PETRON as part of the Energy Sector Action Plan. PNOC Board of
Directors passed is solution authorizing the company to negotiate and
conclude a contract with the consortium of Salomon Brothers of
Hongkong Limited and PCI Capital Corporation for financial advisory
services to be rendered to PETRON. The Petron Privatization Working
Committee (PWC) was thus formed. It finalized a privatization strategy
with 40% of the shares to be sold to a strategic partner and 20% to the
general public The President approved the 40% 40%
20%privatization strategy of PETRON.
The invitation to bid was published in several newspapers of general
circulation, both local and foreign. The PNOC Board of Directors then
passed Resolution No. 866, S. 1993, declaring ARAMCO the winning
bidder. PNOC and ARAMCO signed the Stock Purchase Agreement; the
two companies signed the Shareholders' Agreement. The petition for
prohibition in G.R. No. 112399 sought: (1) to nullify the bidding
conducted for the sale of a block of shares constituting 40% of the
capital stock (40% block) of Petron Corporation (PETRON) and the award
made to Aramco Overseas Company, B.V. (ARAMCO) as the highest
bidder and (2) to stop the sale of said block of shares to ARAMCO. The
petition for prohibition and certiorari in G.R. No. 115994 sought to annul
the sale of the same block of Petron shares subject of the petition in G.R.
No. 112399.
ARAMCO entered a limited appearance to question the jurisdiction over
its person, alleging that it is a foreign company organized under the laws
of the Netherlands, that it is not doing nor licensed to do business in the
Philippines, and that it does not maintain an office or a business address
in and has not appointed a resident agent for the Philippines (Rollo, p.
240).Petitioners however, countered that they filed the action in their
capacity as members of Congress.
ISSUE: WON Petitioners have a locus standi
DECISION: Petition is dismissed.
LOCUS STANDI. In Philippine Constitution Association v. Hon. Salvador
Enriquez, G.R. No. 113105, August 19, 1994, we held that the members

of Congress have the legal standing to question the validity of acts of the
Executive which injures them in their person or the institution of
Congress to which they belong. In the latter case, the acts cause
derivative but nonetheless substantial injury which can be questioned by
members of Congress (Kennedy v. James, 412 F. Supp. 353 [1976]). In
the absence of a claim that the contract in question violated the rights of
petitioners or impermissibly intruded into the domain of the Legislature,
petitioner shave no legal standing to institute the instant action in their
capacity as members of Congress. However, petitioners can bring the
action in their capacity as taxpayers under the doctrine laid down in
Kilosbayan, Inc. v. Guingona, 232 SCRA 110 (1994).Under said ruling,
taxpayers may question contracts entered into by the national
government or government-owned or controlled corporations alleged to
be in contravention of the law. As long as the ruling in Kilosbayan on
locus standi is not reversed, we have no choice but to follow it and
uphold the legal standing of petitioners as taxpayers to institute the
presentaction.
PRIVATIZATION. The only requirement under R.A. No. 7181 in order to
privatize a strategic industry like PETRON is the approval of the
President. In the case of PETRON's privatization, the President gave his
approval not only once but twice. PETRON's privatization is also in line
with and is part of the Philippine Energy Program under R.A. No.
7638.Section 5(b) of the law provides that the Philippine Energy Program
shall include a policy direction towards the privatization of government
agencies related to energy.
BIDDING. On the claim that there was a failed bidding, petitioners
contend that there were only three bidders. One of them, PETRONAS,
submitted a bid lower than the floor price while a second, failed to prequalify.
Under said COA Circular, there is a failure of bidding when: 1) there is
only one offeror; or (2) when all the offers are non-complying or
unacceptable. In the case at bench, there were three offerors: SAUDI
ARAMCO,PETRONAS and WESTMONT. While two offerors were
disqualified, PETRONAS for submitting a bid below the floor price and
WESTMONT for technical reasons, not all the offerors were disqualified.
To constitute a failed bidding under the COA Circular, all the offerors
must be disqualified.
XX X
PETRON questions the locus standi of petitioners to file the action (Rollo,
pp. 479-484). Petitioners however, countered that they filed the action in
their capacity as members of Congress.
In Philippine Constitution Association v. Hon. Salvador Enriquez, G.R. No.
113105, August 19, 1994, we held that the members of Congress have
the legal standing to question the validity of acts of the Executive which
injures them in their person or the institution of Congress to which they
belong. In the latter case, the acts cause derivative but nonetheless
substantial injury which can be questioned by members of Congress
(Kennedy v. James, 412 F. Supp. 353 [1976]). In the absence of a claim
that the contract in question violated the rights of petitioners or
impermissibly intruded into the domain of the Legislature, petitioners
have no legal standing to institute the instant action in their capacity as
members of Congress.
However, petitioners can bring the action in their capacity as taxpayers
under the doctrine laid down in Kilosbayan, Inc. v. Guingona, 232 SCRA
110 (1994). Under said ruling, taxpayers may question contracts entered
into by the national government or government-owned or controlled
corporations alleged to be in contravention of the law. As long as the
ruling in Kilosbayan on locus standi is not reversed, we have no choice

but to follow it and uphold the legal standing of petitioners as taxpayers


to institute the present action.
GONZALES VS. NARVASA G.R. No. 140835, August 14 2000
FACTS: Petitioner Ramon A. Gonzales, in his capacity as a citizen and
taxpayer, filed a petition for prohibition and mandamus filed on
December 9, 1999, assailing the constitutionality of the creation of the
Preparatory Commission on Constitutional Reform (PCCR) and of the
positions of presidential consultants, advisers and assistants. The
Preparatory Commission on Constitutional Reform (PCCR) was created by
President Estrada on November 26, 1998 by virtue of Executive Order
No. 43 (E.O. No. 43) in order to study and recommend proposed
amendments and/or revisions to the 1987 Constitution, and the manner
of implementing the same. Petitioner disputes the constitutionality of
the PCCR based on the grounds that it is a public office which only the
legislature can create by way of a law.
ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioner has a legal standing to assail the
constitutionality of Executive Order No. 43
HELD: The Court dismissed the petition. A citizen acquires standing only
if he can establish that he has suffered some actual or threatened injury
as a result of the allegedly illegal conduct of the government; the injury
is fairly traceable to the challenged action; and the injury is likely to be
redressed by a favorable action. Petitioner has not shown that he has
sustained or is in danger of sustaining any personal injury attributable to
the creation of the PCCR. If at all, it is only Congress, not petitioner,
which can claim any injury in this case since, according to petitioner,
the President has encroached upon the legislatures powers to create a
public office and to propose amendments to the Charter by forming the
PCCR. Petitioner has sustained no direct, or even any indirect, injury.
Neither does he claim that his rights or privileges have been or are in
danger of being violated, nor that he shall be subjected to any penalties
or burdens as a result of the PCCRs activities. Clearly, petitioner has
failed to establish his locus standi so as to enable him to seek judicial
redress as a citizen.
Furthermore, a taxpayer is deemed to have the standing to raise a
constitutional issue when it is established that public funds have been
disbursed in alleged contravention of the law or the Constitution. It is
readily apparent that there is no exercise by Congress of its taxing or
spending power. The PCCR was created by the President by virtue of
E.O. No. 43, as amended by E.O. No. 70. Under section 7 of E.O. No. 43,
the amount of P3 million is appropriated for its operational expenses
to be sourced from the funds of the Office of the President. Being that
case, petitioner must show that he is a real party in interest - that he will
stand to be benefited or injured by the judgment or that he will be
entitled to the avails of the suit. Nowhere in his pleadings does petitioner
presume to make such a representation
XX X
Ratio Decidendi:The Court ruled that the petitioner did not have standing
to bring suit as citizen. Petitioner didnot in fact show what particularized
interest they have to bring the suit. As civic leaders, they stillfall short of
the requirements to maintain action. Their interest in assailing the EO
does notpresent to be of a direct and personal character. Furthermore,
they do not sustain or are inimmediate danger of sustaining some direct
injury as a result of its enforcement.As taxpayers, petitioners cannot
attack the EO. There is no appropriation granted fromCongress but only
an authorization by the president. There being exercise by Congress of
itstaxing and spending power, petitioner cannot be allowed to question

the PCCRs creation. Thepetitioner has failed to show that he is a real


party in interest.With regards to the petitioners request of disclosure to
public information, the Court upheld thatcitizens may invoke before the
courts the right to information. When a mandamus proceedinginvolves
the assertion of a public right, the requirement of personal interest is
satisfied by themere fact that the petitioner is a citizen.The Supreme
Court dismissed the petition with the exception that respondent
ExecutiveSecretary is ordered to furnish petitioner with the information
requested.
XX X
Held: In assailing the constitutionality of EO 43, petitioner asserts his
interest as a citizen and taxpayer.
A citizen acquires standing only if he can establish that he has suffered
some actual or threatened injury as a result of the allegedly illegal
conduct of the government; the injury is fairly traceable to the
challenged action; and the injury is likely to be addressed by a favorable
action. Petitioner has not shown that he has sustained or in danger of
sustaining any personal injury attributable to the creation of the PCCR
and of the positions of presidential consultants, advisers and assistants.
Neither does he claim that his rights or privileges have been or are in
danger of being violated, nor that he shall be subjected to any penalties
or burdens as a result of the issues raised.
In his capacity as a taxpayer, a taxpayer is deemed to have the standing
to raise a constitutional issue when it is established that public funds
have disbursed in alleged contravention of the law or the Constitution.
Thus, payers action is properly brought only when there is an exercise
by Congress of its taxing or spending power. In the creation of PCCR, it is
apparent that there is no exercise by Congress of its taxing or spending
power. The PCCR was created by the President by virtue of EO 43 as
amended by EO 70. The appropriations for the PCCR were authorized by
the President, not by Congress. The funds used for the PCCR were taken
from funds intended for the Office of the President, in the exercise of the
Chief Executives power to transfer funds pursuant to Sec. 25(5) of Art.
VI of the Constitution. As to the creation of the positions of presidential
consultants, advisers and assistants, the petitioner has not alleged the
necessary facts so as to enable the Court to determine if he possesses a
taxpayers interest in this particular issue.
DEMETRIA V. ALBA 148 SCRA 208
Procedure: prohibition with prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction
FACTS
1.) Petitioners filed as concerned citizens of the country, as
members of the National Assembly/Batasan Pambansa representing their
millions of constituents, as parties with general interest common to
all the people of the Philippines, and as taxpayers whose vital
interests may be affected by the outcome of the reliefs
2.) Petitioners assailed the constitutionality of the first paragraph
of Section 44 of Presidential Decree No. 1177, otherwise known as
the Budget Reform Decree of 1977 on the ff. grounds:
- It infringes upon the fundamental law by authorizing the illegal transfer
of public moneys
- It is repugnant to the constitution as it fails to specify the objectives
and purposes for which the proposed transfer of funds are to be made
- It allows the President to override the safeguards, form and procedure
prescribed by the Constitution in approving appropriations
- it amounts to undue delegation of legislative powers on the transfer of
funds by the President and the implementation thereof by the Budget
Minister and the Treasurer are without or in excess of their authority and
jurisdiction

- The threatened and continuing transfer of funds by the president and


the implementation thereof by the budget minister and the treasurer of
the Philippines are without or in excess of their authority and jurisdiction.
3.) Solicitor General, for the public respondents, questioned the
legal standing of petitioners. He further contended that:
-The provision under consideration was enacted pursuant to Section
16(5), Art.VIII of the 1973 Constitution
-Prohibition will not lie from one branch of the government to a
coordinate branch to enjoin the performance of duties within the latters
sphere of responsibility
4.) On February 27, the Court required petitioners to file a Reply to the
Comment. Petitioners stated that as a result of the change in the
administration, there is a need to hold the resolution of the present case
in abeyance.
5.) The Solicitor General filed a rejoinder with a motion to dismiss setting
forth as ground therefore, abrogation of Section 16(5), Art.VIII of the
1973 Constitution by the Freedom Constitution, which has allegedly
rendered the petition moot and academic
ISSUES
1. WON the case is justiciable.
2. WON the Paragraph 1 of Section 44 of Presidential Decree No. 1177 is
unconstitutional.
HELD
1. The case is justiciable. The court cited Ecelio Javier v. COMELEC
where it said that: This Court will not disregard and in effect condone
wrong on the simplistic and tolerant pretext that the case has become
moot and academic. - According to Pascual v Secretary of Public Works,
... taxpayers have sufficient interest in preventing the illegal
expenditures of moneys raised by taxation and may therefore
question the constitutionality of statutes requiring expenditure
of public moneys..As regards taxpayers suit, this Court enjoys that
open discretion to entertain the same or not (Tan v Macapagal).
- Where the legislature or the executive branch acts beyond the
scope of its constitutional powers, it becomes the duty of the
judiciary to declare what the other branches of the government
had assumed to do, as void. This is the essence of judicial power
conferred by the Constitution in one Supreme Court and in such lower
courts as may be established by law.
2. YES. Paragraph 1 of Section 44 of Presidential Decree No.
1177, being repugnant to Section 16(5) Article VIII of the 1973
Constitution is null and void.
- Paragraph 1 of Section 44 provides: The President shall have the
authority to transfer any fund, appropriated for the different
departments, bureaus, offices and agencies of the Executive
Department, which are included in the General Appropriations Act, to
any program, project or activity of any department, bureau, or office
included in the General Appropriations Act or approved after its
enactment.
- Section 16(5) Article VIII reads as follows: No law shall be passed
authorizing any transfer of appropriations, however, the President, the
Prime Minister, the Speaker, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and
the heads of constitutional commissions may by law be authorized to
augment any item in the general appropriations law for their respective
offices from savings in other items of their respective appropriations.
- Prohibition to transfer was explicit and categorical. For flexibility in the
use of public funds, the Constitution provided a leeway in which the
purpose and condition for which funds may be transferred were
specified.
- The constitution allows the enactment of a law authorizing the transfer
of funds for the purpose of augmenting an item from savings in another

item in the appropriation of the government branch or constitutional


body concerned
- Paragraph 1 of Section 44 unduly over-extends the privilege
granted under Section 16(5), and empowers the President to
indiscriminately transfer funds from one department, bureau,
office or agency of the Executive Department, which are included
in the General Appropriations Act, to any program, project or activity of
any department, bureau, or office included in the General Appropriations
Act or approved after its enactment, without regard to whether or
not the funds to be transferred are savings, or whether or not
the transfer is for the purpose of augmenting the item to which
the transfer is to be made.
- It completely disregards the standards set in the fundamental
law, amounting to an undue delegation of legislative power
XX X
Facts: Petitioners assail the constitutionality of the first paragraph of Sec
44 of PD 1177 (Budget Reform Decree of 1977)as concerned citizens,
members of the National Assembly, parties with general interest
common to all people of the Philippines, and as taxpayerson the
primary grounds that Section 44 infringes upon the fundamental law by
authorizing illegal transfer of public moneys, amounting to undue
delegation of legislative powers and allowing the President to override
the safeguards prescribed for approving appropriations.
The Solicitor General, for the public respondents, questioned the legal
standing of the petitioners and held that one branch of the government
cannot be enjoined by another, coordinate branch in its performance of
duties within its sphere of responsibility. It also alleged that the petition
has become moot and academic after the abrogation of Sec 16(5),
Article VIII of the 1973 Constitution by the Freedom Constitution (which
was where the provision under consideration was enacted in pursuant
thereof), which states that No law shall be passed authorizing any
transfer of appropriations, however, the Presidentmay by law be
authorized to augment any item in the general appropriations law for
their respective offices from savings in other items of their respective
appropriations.
Issue:
1. W/N PD 1177 is constitutional
2. W/N the Supreme Court can act upon the assailed executive act
Held:
1. No. Sec 44 of PD 1177 unduly overextends the privilege granted under
Sec16(5) by empowering the President to indiscriminately transfer funds
from one department of the Executive Department to any program of
any department included in the General Appropriations Act, without any
regard as to whether or not the funds to be transferred are actually
savings in the item. It not only disregards the standards set in the
fundamental law, thereby amounting to an undue delegation of
legislative powers, but likewise goes beyond the tenor thereof.
Par. 1 of Sec. 44 puts all safeguards to forestall abuses in the
expenditure of public funds to naught. Such constitutional infirmities
render the provision in question null and void.
2. Yes. Where the legislature or executive acts beyond the scope of its
constitutional powers, it becomes the duty of the judiciary to declare
what the other branches of the government has assumed to do as void,
as part of its constitutionally conferred judicial power. This is not to say
that the judicial power is superior in degree or dignity. In exercising this
high authority, the judges claim no judicial supremacy; they are only the
administrators of the public will.

Petition granted. Par. 1, Sec. 44 OF PD 1177 null and void.


ESTRADA V SANDIGANBAYAN G.R. NO. 148560. NOVEMBER 19,
2001.
Facts: Petitioner Joseph Ejercito Estrada, the highest-ranking official to be
prosecuted under RA 7080 (An Act Defining and Penalizing the Crime of
Plunder), 1 as amended by RA 7659, 2 wishes to impress upon us that
the assailed law is so defectively fashioned that it crosses that thin but
distinct line which divides the valid from the constitutionally infirm. He
therefore makes a stringent call for this Court to subject the Plunder Law
to the crucible of constitutionality mainly because, according to him, (a)
it suffers from the vice of vagueness; (b) it dispenses with the
"reasonable doubt" standard in criminal prosecutions; and, (c) it
abolishes the element of mens rea in crimes already punishable under
The Revised Penal Code, all of which are purportedly clear violations of
the fundamental rights of the accused to due process and to be informed
of the nature and cause of the accusation against him.
That during the period from June, 1998 to January 2001, in the
Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, accused
Joseph Ejercito Estrada, THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE
PHILIPPINES, by himself AND/OR in CONNIVANCE/CONSPIRACY with his
co-accused, WHO ARE MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY, RELATIVES BY AFFINITY
OR CONSANGUINITY, BUSINESS ASSOCIATES, SUBORDINATES AND/OR
OTHER PERSONS, BY TAKING UNDUE ADVANTAGE OF HIS OFFICIAL
POSITION, AUTHORITY, RELATIONSHIP, CONNECTION, OR INFLUENCE, did
then and there willfully, unlawfully and criminally amass, accumulate
and acquire BY HIMSELF DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, ill-gotten wealth in
the aggregate amount or TOTAL VALUE of FOUR BILLION NINETY SEVEN
MILLION EIGHT HUNDRED FOUR THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY
THREE AND SEVENTEEN CENTAVOS (P4,097,804,173.17), more or less,
THEREBY UNJUSTLY ENRICHING HIMSELF OR THEMSELVES AT THE
EXPENSE AND TO THE DAMAGE OF THE FILIPINO PEOPLE AND THE
REPUBLIC OF PHILIPPINES through ANY OR A combination OR A series of
overt OR criminal acts, OR SIMILAR SCHEMES OR MEANS.
RESPECTIVELY OR A TOTAL OF MORE OR LESS ONE BILLION EIGHT
HUNDRED FORTY SEVEN MILLION FIVE HUNDRED SEVENTY EIGHT
THOUSAND
FIFTY
SEVEN
PESOS
AND
FIFTY
CENTAVOS
(P1,847,578,057.50); AND BY COLLECTING OR RECEIVING, DIRECTLY OR
INDIRECTLY, BY HIMSELF AND/OR IN CONNIVANCE WITH JOHN DOES JANE
DOES, COMMISSIONS OR PERCENTAGES BY REASON OF SAID PURCHASES
OF SHARES OF STOCK IN THE AMOUNT OF ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY NINE
MILLION SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS (P189,700,000.00) MORE
OR LESS, FROM THE BELLE CORPORATION WHICH BECAME PART OF THE
DEPOSIT IN THE EQUITABLE BANK UNDER THE ACCOUNT NAME 'JOSE
VELARDE'
Issue: R.A. No. 7080 is unconstitutional on the following grounds:
I. IT VIOLATES THE DUE PROCESS CLAUSE FOR ITS VAGUENESS
II.
IT VIOLATES THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT OF THE ACCUSED TO
KNOW THE NATURE AND CAUSE OF THE ACCUSATION AGAINST HIM
III.
IT VIOLATES THE DUE PROCESS CLAUSE AND THE
CONSTITUTIONAL PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE BY LOWERING THE
QUANTUM OF EVIDENCE NECESSARY FOR PROVING THE COMPONENT
ELEMENTS OF PLUNDER
IV.
IT IS BEYOND THE CONSTITUTIONAL POWER OF THE
LEGISLATURE TO DELIMIT THE REASONABLE DOUBT STANDARD AND TO
ABOLISH THE ELEMENT OF MENS REA IN MALA IN SE CRIMES BY

CONVERTING THESE TO MALA PROHIBITA, IN VIOLATION OF THE DUE


PROCESS CONCEPT OF CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY.
Held: PREMISES CONSIDERED, this Court holds that RA 7080 otherwise
known as the Plunder Law, as amended by RA 7659, is CONSTITUTIONAL.
Consequently, the petition to declare the law unconstitutional is
DISMISSED for lack of merit. SO ORDERED.
Ratio:
In view of vagueness and ambiguity
Congress is not restricted in the form of expression of its will, and its
inability to so define the words employed in a statute will not necessarily
result in the vagueness or ambiguity of the law so long as the legislative
will is clear, or at least, can be gathered from the whole act, which is
distinctly expressed in the Plunder Law. Moreover, it is a well-settled
principle of legal hermeneutics that words of a statute will be interpreted
in their natural, plain and ordinary acceptation and signification, 7 unless
it is evident that the legislature intended a technical or special legal
meaning to those words 8 The intention of the lawmakers who are,
ordinarily, untrained philologists and lexicographers to use statutory
phraseology in such a manner is always presumed. Thus, Webster's New
Collegiate Dictionary contains the following commonly accepted
definition of the words "combination" and "series:"
Combination the result or product of combining; the act or process
of combining. To combine is to bring into such close relationship as to
obscure individual characters.
Series a number of things or events of the same class coming one
after another in spatial and temporal succession.
Verily, had the legislature intended a technical or distinctive meaning
for "combination" and "series," it would have taken greater pains in
specifically providing for it in the law. As for "pattern," we agree with the
observations of the Sandiganbayan 9 that this term is sufficiently defined
in Sec. 4, in relation to Sec. 1, par. (d), and Sec. 2. . . under Sec. 1 (d) of
the law, a 'pattern' consists of at least a combination or series of overt or
criminal acts enumerated in subsections (1) to (6) of Sec. 1 (d).
Secondly, pursuant to Sec. 2 of the law, the pattern of overt or criminal
acts is directed towards a common purpose or goal which is to enable
the public officer to amass, accumulate or acquire ill-gotten wealth. And
thirdly, there must either be an 'overall unlawful scheme' or 'conspiracy'
to achieve said common goal. As commonly understood, the term
'overall unlawful scheme' indicates a 'general plan of action or method'
which the principal accused and public officer and others conniving with
him, follow to achieve the aforesaid common goal. In the alternative, if
there is no such overall scheme or where the schemes or methods used
by multiple accused vary, the overt or criminal acts must form part of a
conspiracy to attain a common goal.
With more reason, the doctrine cannot be invoked where the assailed
statute is clear and free from ambiguity, as in this case. The test in
determining whether a criminal statute is void for uncertainty is whether
the language conveys a sufficiently definite warning as to the proscribed
conduct when measured by common understanding and practice. It
must be stressed, however, that the "vagueness" doctrine merely
requires a reasonable degree of certainty for the statute to be upheld
not absolute precision or mathematical exactitude, as petitioner seems
to suggest.
Hence, it cannot plausibly be contended that the law does not give a
fair warning and sufficient notice of what it seeks to penalize. Under the

circumstances, petitioner's reliance on the "void-for-vagueness" doctrine


is manifestly misplaced. The doctrine has been formulated in various
ways, but is most commonly stated to the effect that a statute
establishing a criminal offense must define the offense with sufficient
definiteness that persons of ordinary intelligence can understand what
conduct is prohibited by the statute.
In view of facial challenge
A facial challenge is allowed to be made to a vague statute and to
one which is overbroad because of possible "chilling effect" upon
protected speech. The theory is that "[w]hen statutes regulate or
proscribe speech and no readily apparent construction suggests itself as
a vehicle for rehabilitating the statutes in a single prosecution, the
transcendent value to all society of constitutionally protected expression
is deemed to justify allowing attacks on overly broad statutes with no
requirement that the person making the attack demonstrate that his own
conduct could not be regulated by a statute drawn with narrow
specificity.'
This rationale does not apply to penal statutes. Criminal statutes have
general in terrorem effect resulting from their very existence, and, if
facial challenge is allowed for this reason alone, the State may well be
prevented from enacting laws against socially harmful conduct. In the
area of criminal law, the law cannot take chances as in the area of free
speech.
In view of due process
On the second issue, petitioner advances the highly stretched theory
that Sec. 4 of the Plunder Law circumvents the immutable obligation of
the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt the predicate acts
constituting the crime of plunder when it requires only proof of a pattern
of overt or criminal acts showing unlawful scheme or conspiracy. The
running fault in this reasoning is obvious even to the simplistic mind. In a
criminal prosecution for plunder, as in all other crimes, the accused
always has in his favor the presumption of innocence which is
guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, and unless the State succeeds in
demonstrating by proof beyond reasonable doubt that culpability lies,
the accused is entitled to an acquittal.
What the prosecution needs to prove beyond reasonable doubt is only
a number of acts sufficient to form a combination or series which would
constitute a pattern and involving an amount of at least P50,000,000.00.
There is no need to prove each and every other act alleged in the
Information to have been committed by the accused in furtherance of
the overall unlawful scheme or conspiracy to amass, accumulate or
acquire ill- gotten wealth.
In view of mens rea
As regards the third issue, again we agree with Justice Mendoza that
plunder is a malum in se which requires proof of criminal intent. Thus, he
says, in his Concurring Opinion . . . Precisely because the constitutive
crimes are mala in se the element of mens rea must be proven in a
prosecution for plunder. It is noteworthy that the amended information
alleges that the crime of plunder was committed "willfully, unlawfully
and criminally." It thus alleges guilty knowledge on the part of petitioner.
[With the government] terribly lacking the money to provide even the
most basic services to its people, any form of misappropriation or
misapplication of government funds translates to an actual threat to the
very existence of government, and in turn, the very survival of the
people it governs over. Viewed in this context, no less heinous are the
effect and repercussions of crimes like qualified bribery, destructive

arson resulting in death, and drug offenses involving government official,


employees or officers, that their perpetrators must not be allowed to
cause further destruction and damage to society. Indeed, it would be
absurd to treat prosecutions for plunder as though they are mere
prosecutions for violations of the Bouncing Check Law (B.P. Blg. 22) or of
an ordinance against jaywalking, without regard to the inherent
wrongness of the acts.
To clinch, petitioner likewise assails the validity of RA 7659, the
amendatory law of RA 7080, on constitutional grounds. Suffice it to say
however that it is now too late in the day for him to resurrect this long
dead issue, the same having been eternally consigned by People v.
Echegaray 38 to the archives of jurisprudential history. The declaration of
this Court therein that RA 7659 is constitutionally valid stands as a
declaration of the State, and becomes, by necessary effect, assimilated
in the Constitution now as an integral part of it.
In view of presumption of innocence
At all events, let me stress that the power to construe law is
essentially judicial. To declare what the law shall be is a legislative
power, but to declare what the law is or has been is judicial. Statutes
enacted by Congress cannot be expected to spell out with mathematical
precision how the law should be interpreted under any and all given
situations. The application of the law will depend on the facts and
circumstances as adduced by evidence which will then be considered,
weighed and evaluated by the courts. Indeed, it is the constitutionally
mandated function of the courts to interpret, construe and apply the law
as would give flesh and blood to the true meaning of legislative
enactments.
A construction should be rejected if it gives to the language used in a
statute a meaning that does not accomplish the purpose for which the
statute was enacted and that tends to defeat the ends that are sought to
be attained by its enactment. Viewed broadly, "plunder involves not just
plain thievery but economic depredation which affects not just private
parties or personal interests but the nation as a whole." Invariably,
plunder partakes of the nature of "a crime against national interest which
must be stopped, and if possible, stopped permanently."
In view of estoppel
Petitioner is not estopped from questioning the constitutionality of
R.A. No. 7080. The case at bar has been subject to controversy
principally due to the personalities involved herein. The fact that one of
petitioner's counsels was a co-sponsor of the Plunder Law and petitioner
himself voted for its passage when he was still a Senator would not in
any put him in estoppel to question its constitutionality. The rule on
estoppel applies to questions of fact, not of law. Moreover, estoppel
should be resorted to only as a means of preventing injustice. To hold
that petitioner is estopped from questioning the validity of R.A. No. 7080
because he had earlier voted for its passage would result in injustice not
only to him, but to all others who may be held liable under this statute.
What is RICO
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act is a United States
federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil
cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal
organization. RICO was enacted by section 901(a) of the Organized
Crime Control Act of 1970 (Pub.L. 91-452, 84 Stat. 922, enacted October
15, 1970). RICO is codified as Chapter 96 of Title 18 of the United States
Code, 18 U.S.C. 19611968. While its intended use was to prosecute

the Mafia as well as others who were actively engaged in organized


crime, its application has been more widespread.
League of Cities v. Comelec
Action:
These are consolidated petitions for prohibition with prayer for the
issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction or temporary restraining
order filed by the League of Cities of the Philippines, City of Iloilo, City of
Calbayog, and Jerry P. Treas assailing the constitutionality of the subject
Cityhood Laws and enjoining the Commission on Elections (COMELEC)
and respondent municipalities from conducting plebiscites pursuant to
the Cityhood Laws.
Fact:
During the 11th Congress, Congress enacted into law 33 bills converting
33 municipalities into cities. However, Congress did not act on bills
converting 24 other municipalities into cities.
During the 12th Congress, Congress enacted into law Republic Act No.
9009 (RA 9009), which took effect on 30 June 2001. RA 9009 amended
Section 450 of the Local Government Code by increasing the annual
income requirement for conversion of a municipality into a city from P20
million to P100 million. The rationale for the amendment was to restrain,
in the words of Senator Aquilino Pimentel, the mad rush of
municipalities to convert into cities solely to secure a larger share in the
Internal Revenue Allotment despite the fact that they are incapable of
fiscal independence.
After the effectivity of RA 9009, the House of Representatives of the 12th
Congress adopted Joint Resolution No. 29, which sought to exempt from
the P100 million income requirement in RA 9009 the 24 municipalities
whose cityhood bills were not approved in the 11th Congress. However,
the 12th Congress ended without the Senate approving Joint Resolution
No. 29.
During the 13th Congress, the House of Representatives re-adopted Joint
Resolution No. 29 as Joint Resolution No. 1 and forwarded it to the
Senate for approval. However, the Senate again failed to approve the
Joint Resolution. Following the advice of Senator Aquilino Pimentel, 16
municipalities filed, through their respective sponsors, individual
cityhood bills. The 16 cityhood bills contained a common provision
exempting all the 16 municipalities from the P100 million income
requirement in RA 9009.
On 22 December 2006, the House of Representatives approved the
cityhood bills. The Senate also approved the cityhood bills in February
2007, except that of Naga, Cebu which was passed on 7 June 2007. The
cityhood bills lapsed into law (Cityhood Laws) on various dates from
March to July 2007 without the Presidents signature.
The Cityhood Laws direct the COMELEC to hold plebiscites to determine
whether the voters in each respondent municipality approve of the
conversion of their municipality into a city.
Petitioners filed the present petitions to declare the Cityhood Laws
unconstitutional for violation of Section 10, Article X of the Constitution,
as well as for violation of the equal protection clause. Petitioners also
lament that the wholesale conversion of municipalities into cities will
reduce the share of existing cities in the Internal Revenue Allotment
because more cities will share the same amount of internal revenue set
aside for all cities under Section 285 of the Local Government Code.

Issue:
The petitions raise the following fundamental issues:
1.Whether the Cityhood Laws violate Section 10, Article X of the
Constitution; and
2.Whether the Cityhood Laws violate the equal protection clause.
Held:
We grant the petitions.
The Cityhood Laws violate Sections 6 and 10, Article X of the
Constitution, and are thus unconstitutional.
First, applying the P100 million income requirement in RA 9009 to the
present case is a prospective, not a retroactive application, because RA
9009 took effect in 2001 while the cityhood bills became law more than
five years later.
Second, the Constitution requires that Congress shall prescribe all the
criteria for the creation of a city in the Local Government Code and not in
any other law, including the Cityhood Laws.
Third, the Cityhood Laws violate Section 6, Article X of the Constitution
because they prevent a fair and just distribution of the national taxes to
local government units.
Fourth, the criteria prescribed in Section 450 of the Local Government
Code, as amended by RA 9009, for converting a municipality into a city
are clear, plain and unambiguous, needing no resort to any statutory
construction.
Fifth, the intent of members of the 11th Congress to exempt certain
municipalities from the coverage of RA 9009 remained an intent and was
never written into Section 450 of the Local Government Code.
Sixth, the deliberations of the 11th or 12th Congress on unapproved bills
or resolutions are not extrinsic aids in interpreting a law passed in the
13th Congress.
Seventh, even if the exemption in the Cityhood Laws were written in
Section 450 of the Local Government Code, the exemption would still be
unconstitutional for violation of the equal protection clause.
Francisco I. Chavez vs. Judicial Bar Council (JBC) GR no. 202242
April 16 2013
Facts: The case is in relation to the process of selecting the nominees for
the vacant seat of Supreme Court Chief Justice following Renato Coronas
departure.
Originally, the members of the Constitutional Commission saw the need
to create a separate, competent and independent body to recommend
nominees to the President. Thus, it conceived of a body representative of
all the stakeholders in the judicial appointment process and called it the
Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).
In particular, Paragraph 1 Section 8, Article VIII of the Constitution states
that (1) A Judicial and Bar Council is hereby created under the
supervision of the Supreme Court composed of the Chief Justice as ex
officio Chairman, the Secretary of Justice, and a representative of the
Congress as ex officio Members, a representative of the Integrated Bar, a
professor of law, a retired Member of the Supreme Court, and a

representative of the private sector. In compliance therewith, Congress,


from the moment of the creation of the JBC, designated one
representative from the Congress to sit in the JBC to act as one of the ex
officio members.
In 1994 however, the composition of the JBC was substantially altered.
Instead of having only seven (7) members, an eighth (8th) member was
added to the JBC as two (2) representatives from Congress began sitting
in the JBC one from the House of Representatives and one from the
Senate, with each having one-half (1/2) of a vote. During the existence of
the case, Senator Francis Joseph G. Escudero and Congressman Niel C.
Tupas, Jr. (respondents) simultaneously sat in JBC as representatives of
the legislature.
It is this practice that petitioner has questioned in this petition.
The respondents claimed that when the JBC was established, the framers
originally envisioned a unicameral legislative body, thereby allocating a
representative of the National Assembly to the JBC. The phrase,
however, was not modified to aptly jive with the change to bicameralism
which was adopted by the Constitutional Commission on July 21, 1986.
The respondents also contend that if the Commissioners were made
aware of the consequence of having a bicameral legislature instead of a
unicameral one, they would have made the corresponding adjustment in
the representation of Congress in the JBC; that if only one house of
Congress gets to be a member of JBC would deprive the other house of
representation, defeating the principle of balance.
The respondents further argue that the allowance of two (2)
representatives of Congress to be members of the JBC does not render
JBCs purpose of providing balance nugatory; that the presence of two
(2) members from Congress will most likely provide balance as against
the other six (6) members who are undeniably presidential appointees
Supreme Court held that it has the power of review the case herein as it
is an object of concern, not just for a nominee to a judicial post, but for
all the citizens who have the right to seek judicial intervention for
rectification of legal blunders.
Issue: Whether the practice of the JBC to perform its functions with eight
(8) members, two (2) of whom are members of Congress, defeats the
letter and spirit of the 1987 Constitution.
Held: No. The current practice of JBC in admitting two members of the
Congress to perform the functions of the JBC is violative of the 1987
Constitution. As such, it is unconstitutional.
One of the primary and basic rules in statutory construction is that where
the words of a statute are clear, plain, and free from ambiguity, it must
be given its literal meaning and applied without attempted
interpretation. It is a well-settled principle of constitutional construction
that the language employed in the Constitution must be given their
ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed. As such,
it can be clearly and unambiguously discerned from Paragraph 1, Section
8, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution that in the phrase, a
representative of Congress, the use of the singular letter a preceding
representative of Congress is unequivocal and leaves no room for any
other construction. It is indicative of what the members of the
Constitutional Commission had in mind, that is, Congress may designate
only one (1) representative to the JBC. Had it been the intention that

more than one (1) representative from the legislature would sit in the
JBC, the Framers could have, in no uncertain terms, so provided.
Moreover, under the maxim noscitur a sociis, where a particular word or
phrase is ambiguous in itself or is equally susceptible of various
meanings, its correct construction may be made clear and specific by
considering the company of words in which it is founded or with which it
is associated. Every meaning to be given to each word or phrase must
be ascertained from the context of the body of the statute since a word
or phrase in a statute is always used in association with other words or
phrases and its meaning may be modified or restricted by the latter.
Applying the foregoing principle to this case, it becomes apparent that
the word Congress used in Article VIII, Section 8(1) of the Constitution
is used in its generic sense. No particular allusion whatsoever is made on
whether the Senate or the House of Representatives is being referred to,
but that, in either case, only a singular representative may be allowed to
sit in the JBC
Considering that the language of the subject constitutional provision is
plain and unambiguous, there is no need to resort extrinsic aids such as
records of the Constitutional Commission. Nevertheless, even if the Court
should proceed to look into the minds of the members of the
Constitutional Commission, it is undeniable from the records thereof that
it was intended that the JBC be composed of seven (7) members only.
The underlying reason leads the Court to conclude that a single vote
may not be divided into half (1/2), between two representatives of
Congress, or among any of the sitting members of the JBC for that
matter.
With the respondents contention that each representative should be
admitted from the Congress and House of Representatives, the Supreme
Court, after the perusal of the records of Constitutional Commission, held
that Congress, in the context of JBC representation, should be
considered as one body. While it is true that there are still differences
between the two houses and that an inter-play between the two houses
is necessary in the realization of the legislative powers conferred to them
by the Constitution, the same cannot be applied in the case of JBC
representation because no liaison between the two houses exists in the
workings of the JBC. No mechanism is required between the Senate and
the House of Representatives in the screening and nomination of judicial
officers. Hence, the term Congress must be taken to mean the entire
legislative department.
The framers of Constitution, in creating JBC, hoped that the private
sector and the three branches of government would have an active role
and equal voice in the selection of the members of the Judiciary.
Therefore, to allow the Legislature to have more quantitative influence in
the JBC by having more than one voice speak, whether with one full vote
or one-half (1/2) a vote each, would negate the principle of equality
among the three branches of government which is enshrined in the
Constitution.
It is clear, therefore, that the Constitution mandates that the JBC be
composed of seven (7) members only. Thus, any inclusion of another
member, whether with one whole vote or half (1/2) of it, goes against
that mandate. Section 8(1), Article VIII of the Constitution, providing
Congress with an equal voice with other members of the JBC in
recommending appointees to the Judiciary is explicit. Any circumvention
of the constitutional mandate should not be countenanced for the
Constitution is the supreme law of the land. The Constitution is the basic
and paramount law to which all other laws must conform and to which all

persons, including the highest officials of the land, must defer.


Constitutional doctrines must remain steadfast no matter what may be
the tides of time. It cannot be simply made to sway and accommodate
the call of situations and much more tailor itself to the whims and
caprices of the government and the people who run it.
Notwithstanding its finding of unconstitutionality in the current
composition of the JBC, all its prior official actions are nonetheless valid.
In the interest of fair play under the doctrine of operative facts, actions
previous to the declaration of unconstitutionality are legally recognized.
They are not nullified.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The current numerical
composition
of
the
Judicial
and
Bar
Council
IS
declared
UNCONSTITUTIONAL. The Judicial and Bar Council is hereby enjoined to
reconstitute itself so that only one ( 1) member of Congress will sit as a
representative in its proceedings, in accordance with Section 8( 1 ),
Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution. This disposition is immediately
executory.
XX X
Facts: The case is a motion for reconsideration filed by the JBC in a prior
decision rendered July 17, 2012 that JBCs action of allowing more than
one member of the congress to represent the JBC to be unconstitutional
Respondent contends that the phrase a representative of congress
refers that both houses of congress should have one representative
each, and that these two houses are permanent and mandatory
components of congress as part of the bicameral system of legislature.
Both houses have their respective powers in performance of their duties.
Art VIII Sec 8 of the constitution provides for the component of the JBC to
be 7 members only with only one representative from congress.

Issue: W/N the JBCs practice of having members from the Senate and
the House of Representatives to be unconstitutional as provided in Art
VIII Sec 8 of the constitution.
Held: The practice is unconstitutional; the court held that the phrase a
representative of congress should be construed as to having only one
representative that would come from either house, not both. That the
framers of the constitution only intended for one seat of the JBC to be
allotted for the legislative. The motion was denied.
XX X
Held:
(1) Yes. The Courts power of judicial review is subject to several
limitations, namely: (a) there must be an actual case or controversy
calling for the exercise of judicial power; (b) the person challenging the
act must have standing to challenge; he must have a personal and
substantial interest in the case, such that he has sustained or will
sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement; (c) the question of
constitutionality must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity; and
(d) the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case.
Generally, a party will be allowed to litigate only when these conditions
sine qua non are present, especially when the constitutionality of an act
by a co-equal branch of government is put in issue.
The Court disagrees with the respondents contention that petitioner lost
his standing to sue because he is not an official nominee for the post of
Chief Justice. While it is true that a personal stake on the case is
imperative to have locus standi, this is not to say that only official
nominees for the post of Chief Justice can come to the Court and
question the JBC composition for being unconstitutional. The JBC likewise
screens and nominates other members of the Judiciary. Albeit heavily
publicized in this regard, the JBCs duty is not at all limited to the
nominations for the highest magistrate in the land. A vast number of

aspirants to judicial posts all over the country may be affected by the
Courts ruling. More importantly, the legality of the very process of
nominations to the positions in the Judiciary is the nucleus of the
controversy. The claim that the composition of the JBC is illegal and
unconstitutional is an object of concern, not just for a nominee to a
judicial post, but for all citizens who have the right to seek judicial
intervention for rectification of legal blunders.
(2) Yes. The word Congress used in Article VIII, Section 8(1) of the
Constitution is used in its generic sense. No particular allusion
whatsoever is made on whether the Senate or the House of
Representatives is being referred to, but that, in either case, only a
singular representative may be allowed to sit in the JBC. The sevenmember composition of the JBC serves a practical purpose, that is, to
provide a solution should there be a stalemate in voting.
It is evident that the definition of Congress as a bicameral body refers
to its primary function in government to legislate. In the passage of
laws, the Constitution is explicit in the distinction of the role of each
house in the process. The same holds true in Congress non-legislative
powers. An inter-play between the two houses is necessary in the
realization of these powers causing a vivid dichotomy that the Court
cannot simply discount. This, however, cannot be said in the case of JBC
representation because no liaison between the two houses exists in the
workings of the JBC. Hence, the term Congress must be taken to mean
the entire legislative department. The Constitution mandates that the
JBC be composed of seven (7) members only.
Notwithstanding its finding of unconstitutionality in the current
composition of the JBC, all its prior official actions are nonetheless valid.
Under the doctrine of operative facts, actions previous to the declaration
of unconstitutionality are legally recognized. They are not nullified.