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The Court resolves the consolidated petitions for certiorariseparately filed by former President

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) Budget and
Accounts Manager Benigno B. Aguas.
On July 10, 2012, the Ombudsman charged in the Sandiganbayan former President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) and PCSO Budget and Accounts Manager Aguas (and some other
officials of PCSO and Commission on Audit whose charges were later dismissed by the
Sandiganbayan after their respective demurrers to evidence were granted, except for Uriarte and
Valdes who were at large) for conspiracy to commit plunder, as defined by, and penalized under
Section 2 (b) of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7080, as amended by R.A. No. 7659. Thereafter,
accused GMA and Aguas separately filed their respective petitions for bail which were denied by
the Sandiganbayan on the ground that the evidence of guilt against them was strong.
After the Prosecution rested its case, accused GMA and Aguas then separately filed their
demurrers to evidence asserting that the Prosecution did not establish a case for plunder against
them. The same were denied by the Sandiganbayan, holding that there was sufficient evidence to
show that they had conspired to commit plunder. After the respective motions for reconsideration
filed by GMA and Aguas were likewise denied by the Sandiganbayan, they filed their respective
petitions for certiorari.


Yes, the court cannot be deprived of its jurisdiction to correct grave abuse of discretion.
Considering Section 23, Rule 119 of the Rules of Court which provides that the order denying
the motion for leave of court to file demurrer to evidence or the demurrer itself shall not be
reviewable by appeal or by certiorari before judgment. It is not an insuperable obstacle to this
action, however, that the denial of the demurrers to evidence of the petitioners was an
interlocutory order that did not terminate the proceedings, and the proper recourse of the
demurring accused was to go to trial, and that in case of their conviction they may then appeal
the conviction, and assign the denial as among the errors to be reviewed. Indeed, it is doctrinal
that the situations in which the writ of certiorari may issue should not be limited, because to do
so would be to destroy its comprehensiveness and usefulness. So wide is the discretion of the
court that authority does not want to show that certiorari is more discretionary than either
prohibition or mandamus. In the case at bar, the Supreme court can review on certiorari the
Sandiganbayan order denying accuseds demurrer to evidence, because the Court has the
bounden constitutional duty to strike down grave abuse of discretion whenever and wherever it is

Section 1. The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be
established by law. Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies
involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has
been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or
instrumentality of the Government.

1. Judicial power
- Has been defined in jurisprudence as the right to determine actual controversies arising
between adverse litigants, duly instituted in courts of proper jurisdiction.
- It is the authority to settle justiciable controversies or disputes involving rights that are
enforceable and demandable before the courts of justice or the redress of wrongs for violation
of such rights.
- The most important part of litigation, whether civil or criminal, is the process of evaluation of
decisions where supervening events may change the circumstance of the parties and compel
courts to intervene and adjust the rights of the litigants to prevent unfairness.
- An accused who has been convicted by final judgment still possesses collateral rights and
these rights can be claimed in the appropriate courts (a death convict who becomes insane
after his final conviction cannot be executed while in a state of insanity) The suspension of
such a death sentence is undisputably an exercise of judicial power.
2. Intrinsic limit on judicial power
- By the principle of separation of powers courts may neither attempt to assume nor be
compelled to perform non-judicial functions.
- There is no inherent power in the executive or legislature to charge the judiciary with
administrative functions except when reasonably incidental to the fulfillment of judicial
- The general rule is that judicial power is not exercised to address moot questions. A moot
case is one that ceases to present a justiciable controversy by virtue of supervening events, so
that a declaration thereon would be of no practical use or value.
- However, courts will decide cases, otherwise moot and academic, if first, there is a grave
violation of the constitution; second, the exceptional character of the situation and the
paramount public interest is involved; third, when the constitutional issue raised requires
formulation of controlling principles to guide the bench, the bar and the public; and fourth,
the case is capable of repetition yet evading review.
3. Grave abuse of discretion
- Although this addition was introduced because of the frequency with which the SC had
appealed to the political question doctrine during the period of martial law, it is not meant to
do away with the political questions doctrine itself.
- The courts have duty to decide and to redress violations of rights.
- There is a grave abuse of discretion (1) when the act is done contrary to the Constitution, the
law or jurisprudence; (2) when it is executed whimsically, capriciously or arbitrarily out of
malice, ill will or personal bias.
- It is well within the power and jurisdiction of the court to inquire whether the Senate or its
officials committed a violation of the constitution or gravely abuse their discretion in the
exercise of their functions and prerogatives.
4. Advisory Opinions
- The nature of judicial power is also the foundation of the principle, that it is not the function
of the judiciary to give advisory opinions.
5. Declaratory relief (judgment)
- Sec. 1, Rule 64 of the Revised Rules of Court defines an action for declaratory relief as an
action by any person interested under a deed, will, contract or other written instrument, or
whose rights are affected by a statute, ordinance, executive order or regulation to determine
any question of construction or validity arising under the instrument, executive order or
regulation or statute and for a determination of his rights or duties thereunder.
- A petition for declaratory relief must be predicated on the ff requisites: 1) there must be a
justiciable controversy; 2) the controversy must be between persons whose interest are
adverse; 3) the party seeking declaratory relief must have a legal interest in the controversy;
& 4) the issue involved must be ripe for judicial determination. However, the SC does not
entertain original petitions for declaratory relief.
- Declaratory relief: involves real parties with real conflicting legal interests
- Advisory opinion: is a response to a legal issue posed in the abstract advance of any actual
case in which it may be presented.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to define, prescribe, and apportion the jurisdiction of the
various courts but may not deprive the Supreme Court of its jurisdiction over cases enumerated in Section
5 hereof. No law shall be passed reorganizing the Judiciary when it undermines the security of tenure of
its Members.

1. Role of Legislature
- Although judicial power is vested in the judiciary, the proper exercise of such power requires
prior legislative action (1) defining such enforceable and demandable rights and prescribing
remedies for violations of such rights; (2) determining the court with jurisdiction to hear and
decide controversies or disputes arising from legal rights.
- Aside from creating judicially demandable rights, the Congress also creates courts and
determines which court or courts shall have jurisdiction over various types of controversies.
- Section 1 and 2 set down three distinct processes: (1) the vesting of judicial power, (2) the
creation of courts, (3) the definition, prescription and apportionment of jurisdiction.
- Jurisdiction is the authority of a court to exercise judicial power in a specific case and is of
course, a prerequisite of judicial power, which is the totality of powers a court exercises when
it assumes jurisdiction and hears and decides a case.
- The authority to create courts also includes the authority to abolish courts.
- Note: The SC is beyond the power of Congress to reorganize even if only as a temporary
Section 3. The Judiciary shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. Appropriations for the Judiciary may not be
reduced by the legislature below the amount appropriated for the previous year and, after approval, shall
be automatically and regularly released.

1. Fiscal Autonomy
- To assure its dependence
- An amount equivalent to not less than two percent of the national budget shall be
automatically appropriated and regularly released for the judiciary.
- Delegate Monsod: Judiciary should not be exempt from the budgetary process of submitting
and justifying its budget, except that upon approval, it should be automatically and regularly

Section 4. (1) The Supreme Court shall be composed of a Chief Justice and fourteen Associate Justices. It
may sit en banc or in its discretion, in division of three, five, or seven Members. Any vacancy shall be
filled within ninety days from the occurrence thereof.

(2) All cases involving the constitutionality of a treaty, international or executive agreement, or law,
which shall be heard by the Supreme Court en banc, and all other cases which under the Rules of Court
are required to be heard en banc, including those involving the constitutionality, application, or operation
of presidential decrees, proclamations, orders, instructions, ordinances, and other regulations, shall be
decided with the concurrence of a majority of the Members who actually took part in the deliberations on
the issues in the case and voted thereon.

(3) Cases or matters heard by a division shall be decided or resolved with the concurrence of a majority of
the Members who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted thereon, and
in no case without the concurrence of at least three of such Members. When the required number is not
obtained, the case shall be decided en banc: Provided, that no doctrine or principle of law laid down by
the court in a decision rendered en banc or in division may be modified or reversed except by the court
sitting en banc.

1. Composition and Sessions

- SC shall be composed of a Chief Justice and 14 Associate Justices.

- Vacancy shall be filled w/in 90 days from the occurrence thereof

- Cases have to be heard and decided en banc: (1) all cases involving the constitutionality of a
treaty, international or executive agreement, or law; (2) cases involving the constitutionality, application
or operation of presidential decrees, proclamations, orders, instructions, ordinances, and other regulations;
(3) cases heard by a division when the required majority in the division is not obtained; (4) cases where
the SC modifies or reverses a doctrine or principle of law previously laid down either en banc or in
division; (5) administrative cases where the vote is for the dismissal of a judge of a lower court or
otherwise to discipline such a one; and (6) election contests for President or VP.

- When the SC sits en banc, cases are decided by the concurrence of a majority of the Members
who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted thereon. This reflects a
two-fold desire of the Commission: (1) not to allow absence of some members of the SC or their non-
participation in deliberations to delay decisions and (2) to require that only those who thoroughly familiar
with the case participate in the decision.

- The effect of the new rule is that a law or a presidential decree with the force of law can be
declared unconstitutional by as few as 5 votes because a quorum of the court en banc is eight, a majority
of which is only five.

- When the court sits in division, cases can be decided by as few as a minimum of three votes.

- If a case has already been decided by the division and the losing party files a motion for
reconsideration, the failure of the division to resolve the motion because of a tie in the voting does not
leave the case undecided. There is still the decision w/c must stand in view of the failure of the members
of the division to muster the necessary vote for its reconsideration.

Section 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers:

1) Exercise original jurisdiction over cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls,
and over petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, and habeas corpus.

(2) Review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal or certiorari, as the law or the Rules of Court may
provide, final judgments and orders of lower courts in: (a) All cases in which the constitutionality or
validity of any treaty, international or executive agreement, law, presidential decree, proclamation, order,
instruction, ordinance, or regulation is in question. (b) All cases involving the legality of any tax, impost,
assessment, or toll, or any penalty imposed in relation thereto. (c) All cases in which the jurisdiction of
any lower court is in issue. (d) All criminal cases in which the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua or
higher. (e) All cases in which only an error or question of law is involved.

(3) Assign temporarily judges of lower courts to other stations as public interest may require. Such
temporary assignment shall not exceed six months without the consent of the judge concerned.

(4) Order a change of venue or place of trial to avoid a miscarriage of justice.

(5) Promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading,
practice, and procedure in all courts, the admission to the practice of law, the integrated bar, and legal
assistance to the under-privileged. Such rules shall provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the
speedy disposition of cases, shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade, and shall not diminish,
increase, or modify substantive rights. Rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall
remain effective unless disapproved by the Supreme Court.

(6) Appoint all officials and employees of the Judiciary in accordance with the Civil Service Law.

1. Powers of the SC

1. These powers may be classified into (1) the irreducible jurisdiction of the SC and (2) the
auxiliary administrative powers.
2. They include original jurisdiction over cases affecting diplomatic representatives and over
petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, and habeas corpus and appellate
jurisdiction over enumerated types of cases.
3. Sec. 5 par. 3 to 6 and Sec. 6 provide for auxiliary administrative powers. They include the powers
to issue temporary assignments of judges, to order change of venue, to promulgate rules of
procedure and enforcement of constitutional rights, integration of the bar, legal assistance and
admission to the practice of law, to appoint its employees and to have administrative supervision
over all courts.
2. Judicial review
4. The SCs power to declare a treaty, international/executive agreement, law, presidential decree,
proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation unconstitutional.
5. the superiority of the constitution to any official act of government is rooted in the very essence
of modern constitutionalism. It separates the government from sovereignty.
6. Sovereignty belongs to the people and the constitution is the written instrument through which the
people entrust to government a measure of its own sovereignty and no more.
3. Requisites for the exercise of judicial review: Actual case and ripeness
7. 1st requisite for the court to be able exercise the power of judicial review: there must be before
it an actual case calling for the exercise of judicial power.
8. 2nd: that the question must be ripe for adjudication. A constitutional question is ripe for
adjudication when the governmental act being challenged has had a direct adverse effect on the
individual challenging it.
4. Requisites for the exercise of judicial review: Standing
9. Locus standi w/c is an aspect of the case controversy requirement.
10. A person has standing to challenge the governmental act only if he has a personal and substantial
interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its
11. Elements of legal standing: the petitioner must have suffered injury in fact which can be
legal, economic or environmental; the injury must be traceable to the governmental act
challenged; the injury must be redressable by the remedy being sought by petitioner.
12. In public law the rule of real party-in-interest is subordinated to the doctrine of locus standi. The
majority opinion declares that the real issue in this case is not whether the petitioners have locus
standi but whether they are the real parties-in-interest.
5. Standing of legislators, taxpayers and citizens
13. The standing accorded to members of the senate and of the House of Representatives and also to
taxpayers. That members of congress, as a body, have standing to challenge an unconstitutional
act has been recognized.
14. In taxpayers suit, two things must be kept: (1) Open discretion to entertain the same or not. (2)
what is required is that the action being challenged must be the exercise of the spending or taxing
power of Congress.
15. Access to public documents and records is a public right and the real parties in interest are the
people themselves.
6. Other requisites for judicial review
16. Aside from actual case and standing, the other requisite that was pointed out, as a general rule,
the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest opportunity, so that if not raised by
pleadings, ordinarily it may not be raised at the trial and if not raised in the trial court, it will not
be considered on appeal. But we must state that the general rule admits of exceptions. Courts, in
the exercise of sound discretion, may determine the time when a question affecting
constitutionality of a statute should be presented.
17. Another rule is that the court will not touch the issue of unconstitutionality unless it really is
unavoidable or is the very lis mota.
7. Political questions
18. Are those questions which, under the Constitution, are to be decided by the people in their
sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the
legislative or executive branch of the government. (Justice Concepcion)
19. Various kinds of political questions: (1) Textual kind: where there is a found textually
demonstrable commitment of the issue to a political department. (2) Functional type: where there
is a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it, or the impossibility
of deciding w/out an initial policy determination of a kind clearly for non-judicial discretion. (3)
Prudential type: where there is the impossibility of a courts undertaking independent resolution
w/out expressing lack of the respect due coordinate branches of government or an unusual need
for unquestioning adherence to a political decision already made
8. Effect of declaration of unconstitutionality
9. Judicial review by inferior courts
20. Since the power of judicial review flows from judicial power and since inferior courts are
possessed of judicial power, it may fairly be inferred that the power of judicial review is not an
exclusive power of the SC.
21. Moreover, while a declaration of unconstitutionality made by the SC constitutes a precedent
binding on all, a similar decision of an inferior court binds only the parties in the case.
10. Modalities of constitutional interpretation
22. Describing the SC is like discussing the theories of Karl Marx- one has to indulge in half-truths
correcting each other and exaggerations of important truths.
23. SC is not just a court, it is also a political institution.
24. Historical, textual, structural, doctrinal, ethical and prudential approach.
11. Review of death sentences
25. To ensure utmost circumspection before the penalty of death, reclusion perpetua or life
imprisonment is imposed, the rule now is that such cases must be reviewed by the CA before they
are elevated to SC.
26. Although the SC has jurisdiction to review them, the review is not mandatory. Therefore, the
review in this later case may be waived and appeal may be withdrawn.
12. Temporary assignment of Judges
27. The SC alone could effect the temporary transfer of judges. However, temporary transfers could
last no longer than 6 months w/out the consent of the judge concerned.
28. The power to determine by law the residence of judges still belongs to the legislature as part of its
authority to determine additional qualifications of judges of lower courts.
13. Change of venue
29. The courts can by appropriate means do all things necessary to preserve and maintain every
quality needful to make the judiciary an effective institution of government.
30. One of these incidental and inherent powers of courts is that of transferring the trial of cases from
one court to another of equal rank in a neighboring site, whenever the imperative of securing a
fair and impartial trial, or of preventing a miscarriage of justice, so demands.
14. Rules concerning protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice,
and procedure and admission to the Bar
31. it is the SC that rule making authority has been given, rules promulgated by special courts and
quasi-judicial bodies are effective unless disapproved by the SC.
32. The same grant of authority, lays down certain limitations and guidelines: (1) they shall provide a
simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases; (2) they shall be
uniform for all courts of the same grade; (3) they shall not diminish, increase, or modify
substantive rights.
33. Power to admit attorneys to the Bar (p. 1002)
34. Substantive rights: those rights w/c one enjoys under the legal system prior to the disturbance of
normal relations.
15. Congress and the Rules of Court
35. Bar Flunkers Act of 1953
36. The law must be seen not as a rule on the practice of law but as a rule on the conduct of officials
intended to prevent conflict of interest. Moreover, even if it were a rule on the practice of law, it
would be within the inherent legislative power of congress to promulgate.
16. Integration of the Bar
37. Integration of the Philippine Bar: the official unification of the entire lawyer population of the
38. Complete unification is not possible unless it is decreed by an entity with power to do so:
STATE. Bar Integration, therefore, signifies the setting up by Govt authority of a national
organization of the legal profession based on the recognition of the lawyer as an officer of the
39. Purpose of the Integration of the Bar (p. 1009)
17. Appointment of Court officials and employees
40. the courts appointing authority must be exercised in accordance with the Civil Service Law.
41. It should also be recalled that courts may be given authority by Congress to appoint officers lower
in rank.

Section 6. The Supreme Court shall have administrative supervision over all courts and the personnel

1. Administrative supervision of inferior courts

42. A significant innovation towards strengthening the independence of the judiciary.
43. Exclusively vests in the SC administrative supervision over all courts and court personnel, from
the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals down to the lowest municipal trial court clerk. By
virtue of this power, it is only the SC that can oversee the judges and court personnels
compliance with all laws, and take the proper administrative action against them if they commit
any violation thereof. No other branch of government may intrude into this power, without
running afoul of the doctrine of separation of powers.
Section 7. (1) No person shall be appointed Member of the Supreme Court or any lower collegiate court
unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. A Member of the Supreme Court must be at least
forty years of age, and must have been for fifteen years or more, a judge of a lower court or engaged in
the practice of law in the Philippines.

(2) The Congress shall prescribe the qualifications of judges of lower courts, but no person may be
appointed judge thereof unless he is a citizen of the Philippines and a member of the Philippine Bar.

(3) A Member of the Judiciary must be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity, and

1. Qualifications of members of the judiciary

Section 8.

(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.

(2) The regular members of the Council shall be appointed by the President for a term of four years with
the consent of the Commission on Appointments. Of the Members first appointed, the representative of
the Integrated Bar shall serve for four years, the professor of law for three years, the retired Justice for
two years, and the representative of the private sector for one year.

(3) The Clerk of the Supreme Court shall be the Secretary ex officio of the Council and shall keep a
record of its proceedings.

(4) The regular Members of the Council shall receive such emoluments as may be determined by the
Supreme Court. The Supreme Court shall provide in its annual budget the appropriations for the Council.

(5) The Council shall have the principal function of recommending appointees to the Judiciary. It may
exercise such other functions and duties as the Supreme Court may assign to it.

1. The JBC

- Principal function: to recommend to the President appointees to the Judiciary.

Section 9. The Members of the Supreme Court and judges of the lower courts shall be appointed by the
President from a list of at least three nominees prepared by the Judicial and Bar Council for every
vacancy. Such appointments need no confirmation. For the lower courts, the President shall issue the
appointments within ninety days from the submission of the list.

1. Appointment of Justices and Judges

44. If the president is not satisfied with the names in the list, he may ask for another list.
45. It should be noted that what the Constitution authorizes the Pres. To do is to appoint Justices and
judges and not the authority merely to designate a non-member of the SC temporarily to sit as
Justice of the SC.

Section 10. The salary of the Chief Justice and of the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, and of
judges of lower courts, shall be fixed by law. During their continuance in office, their salary shall not be

1. Diminution of Salary
46. The prohibition of the diminution of the salary of Justices and Judges during their continuance in
office is intended as a protection for the independence of the judiciary. Does this, however,
prohibit the imposition of tax on the salary of Justices and judges.

Section 11. The Members of the Supreme Court and judges of lower courts shall hold office during good
behavior until they reach the age of seventy years or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their
office. The Supreme Court en banc shall have the power to discipline judges of lower courts, or order
their dismissal by a vote of a majority of the Members who actually took part in the deliberations on the
issues in the case and voted thereon.

1. Secure of Tenure in the judiciary

47. Since members of the SC are removable only by impeachment, they can be said to have failed to
satisfy the requirement of good behavior only if they are guilty of the offenses which are
constitutional grounds for impeachment.
48. The SCs decision to dismiss him is reached en banc by a vote of a majority of the Members
who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted thereon.
49. The power to determine incapacity is part of the overall administrative power w/c the SC has over
its members and over all members of the judiciary.
50. The power of the SC to discipline judges of inferior courts or to order their dismissal is exclusive.
It may not be vested in any other body nor may congress pass a law that judges of lower courts
are removable only by impeachment
51. The SC, Ocampo vs Secretary of Justice, applied to abolition of courts the principle used relative
to the abolition of civil service positions. Abolition of office is valid when done in good faith and
not for political or personal reasons. Thus, there is no removal from office because a removal
implies that the office exists after the ouster.

Section 12. The Members of the Supreme Court and of other courts established by law shall not be
designated to any agency performing quasi-judicial or administrative functions.

1. Non-judicial assignments
52. the functions involved the regulation and control over the conduct and affairs of individuals for
their own welfare and the promulgation of rules and regulations to better carry out the policy of
the legislature or such as were devolved upon the administrative agency by the organic law of
existence. The functions were deemed covered by the prohibition under section 12.

Section 13. The conclusions of the Supreme Court in any case submitted to it for decision en banc or in
division shall be reached in consultation before the case is assigned to a Member for the writing of the
opinion of the Court. A certification to this effect signed by the Chief Justice shall be issued and a copy
thereof attached to the record of the case and served upon the parties. Any Members who took no part, or
dissented, or abstained from a decision or resolution, must state the reason therefor. The same
requirements shall be observed by all lower collegiate courts.

1. Process of decision making

53. Its purpose is to ensure the implementation of the constitutional requirement that decisions of the
SC and lower collegiate courts, such as the CA, Sandiganbayan and Court of Tax Appeals, are
reached after consultation w/ the members of the court sitting en banc or in division before the
case is assigned to a member thereof for decision writing.
54. The 1987 Constitution added A certification to this effect shall be issued and a copy thereof
attached to the record of the case and served upon the parties.
55. What is the effect of the absence of certification? It would not necessarily mean that the case
submitted for decision had not been reached in consultation before being assigned to one member
for the writing of the opinion of the Court since the regular performance of duty is presumed. The
lack of certification at the end of decision would only serve as evidence of failure to observe
certification requirement and may be basis for holding the official responsible for the omission to
account therefore.
56. Invalidation of decision
57. In addition to requiring the reason for dissents, the 1987 constitution also requires justices who
took no part or abstained from a decision to give an explanation for their inaction; and this is

Section 14. No decision shall be rendered by any court without expressing therein clearly and distinctly
the facts and the law on which it is based. No petition for review or motion for reconsideration of a
decision of the court shall be refused due course or denied without stating the legal basis therefore.

1. Contents of decisions of courts

58. Failure of a lower court judge to follow it would subject him to disciplinary action and failure of a
member of the SC would subject him to impeachment.
2. Petitions for review and motions for reconsideration
59. Deals with the manner of disposing of petitions for review and of motions for reconsideration.
For these, the rule does not require a statement of facts and an accompanying reasoning out of the
applicable law but merely a statement of the legal basis for denying due course.

Section 15.

(1) All cases or matters filed after the effectivity of this Constitution must be decided or resolved within
twenty-four months from date of submission for the Supreme Court, and, unless reduced by the Supreme
Court, twelve months for all lower collegiate courts, and three months for all other lower courts.

(2) A case or matter shall be deemed submitted for decision or resolution upon the filing of the last
pleading, brief, or memorandum required by the Rules of Court or by the court itself.

(3) Upon the expiration of the corresponding period, a certification to this effect signed by the Chief
Justice or the presiding judge shall forthwith be issued and a copy thereof attached to the record of the
case or matter, and served upon the parties. The certification shall state why a decision or resolution has
not been rendered or issued within said period.

(4) Despite the expiration of the applicable mandatory period, the court, without prejudice to such
responsibility as may have been incurred in consequence thereof, shall decide or resolve the case or
matter submitted thereto for determination, without further delay.

1. Period for making decisions

- the basic rule setting down w/in what period decisions must be rendered is found in Sec. 15par.1

- The respective periods are mandatory and failure to comply can subject a SC Justice to
impeachment for culpable violation of the constitution and a lower court justice or judge to disciplinary

- Par 3: to facilitate determination whether the prescribed period has been complied with, par 3
requires certification to that effect from the Chief Justice or from the presiding judge.

- Par. 4: moreover adds that failure to decide the case w/in the reglamentary period does not
decide the case either way.

- failure to do so is considered gross inefficiency and warrants administrative sanctions.

2. Period for decisions under the 1973 Constitution

- Section 16. The Supreme Court shall, within thirty days from the opening of each regular
session of the Congress, submit to the President and the Congress an annual report on the operations and
activities of the Judiciary.

3. Report to the President and to Congress

- Sec. 16: which would allow the Chief Justice to address Congress at the opening of each regular
session, the purpose of this provision is not to subject the Court to the Pres. And to Congress but simply
to enable the judiciary to inform government about its needs.