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POLITICAL LAW PART I

DEFINITIONS & CONCEPTS


1. Define: a. Political Lawis that branch of public law which deals with the organization and
operations of the governmental organs of the State and defines the relations of the State with
the inhabitants of its territory. (PEOPLE VS. PERFECTO, 43 Phil. 887)

b. Constitutional Law

c. Constitution

d. Administrative Law

e. Law of Public Officers

f. Law on Public Corporations

g. Election Law

h. Distinction between Political Law and Constitutional Law

2. Read: MACARIOLA VS. JUDGE ASUNCION, 114 SCRA 77

The provision in the Code of Commerce which prohibits judges, justices, etc., (public officers)
from engaging in business within the territorial jurisdiction of their courts is political in nature and
therefore, said provision was deemed abrogated when there was a change of sovereignty from
Spain to the United States at the turn of the century. Political laws are deemed abrogated if
there is a change of sovereignty and unless re-enacted under the new sovereign, the same is
without force and effect.

3. The Supremacy of the Constitution


Read: 1. MUTUC VS. COMELEC, 36 SCRA 228
2. MANILA PRINCE HOTEL VS. GSIS, 267 SCRA 408

A constitution is a system of fundamental laws for the governance and administration of a


nation. It is supreme, imperious, absolute and unalterable except by the authority from which it
emanates. It has been defined as the fundamental and paramount law of the nation. It
prescribes the permanent framework of a system of government, assigns to the different
departments their respective powers and duties, and establishes certain fixed principles on
which government is founded. The fundamental conception in other words is that it is a supreme
law to which all other laws must conform and in accordance with which all private rights must
be determined and all public authority administered.

Under the doctrine of constitutional supremacy, if a law or contract violates any norm of the
constitution that law or contract whether promulgated by the legislative or by the executive
branch or entered into by private persons for private purposes is null and void and without any
force and effect. Thus, since the Constitution is the fundamental, paramount and supreme law
of the nation, it is deemed written in every statute and contract.

Admittedly, some constitutions are merely declarations of policies and principles. Their provisions
command the legislature to enact laws and carry out the purposes of the framers who merely
establish an outline of government providing for the different departments of the governmental
machinery and securing certain fundamental and inalienable rights of citizens. A provision
which lays down a general principle, such as those found in Art. II of the 1987 Constitution, is
usually not self-executing. But a provision, which is complete in itself and becomes operative
without the aid of supplementary or enabling legislation, or that which supplies sufficient rule by
means of which the right it grants may be enjoyed or protected, is self-executing. Thus a
constitutional provision is self-executing if the nature and extent of the right conferred and the
liability imposed are fixed by the constitution itself, so that they can be determined by an
examination and construction of its terms, and there is no language indicating that the subject is
referred to the legislature for action.

4. Kinds of Constitution

a) written or unwritten

b) rigid and flexible

c) cumulative or conventional

5. AMENDMENT OR REVISION OF THE CONSTITUTION (Art. XVII)


Section 1. Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution may be proposed by:

[1] The Congress upon a vote of of all its Members; or

[2] A constitutional Convention.

Section 2. Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people
through initiative upon a petition of at least 12% of the total number of registered voters, of
which every legislative district must be represented by at least 3% of the registered voter therein.
No amendment under this Section shall be authorized within five (5) years following the
ratification of this Constitution nor oftener than once every five years thereafter.

The Congress shall provide for the implementation of the exercise of this right.

Section 3. The Congress, by a vote of 2/3 of all its members, cal a constitutional convention, or
by a majority vote of all its Members, submit to the electorate the question of calling such a
convention.
Section 4. Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution under Section 1 hereof shall be
valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not earlier
than sixty days nor later than ninety days after the approval of such amendment or revision.

Any amendment under Section 2 hereof shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes
cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not later than ninety days after the certification by the
COMELEC of the sufficiency of the petition.

NOTE: Amendments to, or revision of the Constitution is VALID only when approved by a majority
of the votes cast during the plebiscite, not by the votes of the Members of Congress.

2. Read: R.A. 6735

Requisites for a valid peoples initiative to amend the Constitution; distinctions between
amendment and revision.

RAUL L. LAMBINO and ERICO B. AUMENTADO , together with 6,327,952 registered voters vs. THE
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, G.R. No. 174153, October 25, 2006, 505 SCRA 160
Carpio, J.
Facts:

Petitioners filed a Petition for Initiative and Referendum with the COMELEC to amend the 1987
Philippine Constitution, particularly Articles VI and VII to replace the present Presidential-
Bicameral system of government to Parliamentary-Unicameral system using Section 2, Art. XVII of
the Constitution. Petitioners claim that their petition was signed by 6,327,952 million voters all over
the country and the same constitutes over 12% of all the registered voters in the entire country
and that more than 3% of the registered voters in every legislative district signed the same in
accordance with Section 2, Art. XVII of the Constitution. The petition to change the Constitution
involves sections 1-7 of Article VI; Sections 1-4 of Article VII and an Article XVII entitled Transitory
Provisions. The petitioners prayed with the COMELEC that after due publication of their Petition,
the COMELEC should submit the following proposition in a plebiscite for the voters ratification:

DO YOU APPROVE THE AMENDMENT OF ARTICLES VI AND VII OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION,
CHANGING THE FORM OF GOVERNMENT FROM THE PRESIDENTIAL BICAMERAL TO A
UNICAMERAL-PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM, AND PROVIDING ARTICLE XVIII AS TRANSITORY
PROVISIONS FOR THE ORDERLY SHIFT FROM ONE SYSTEM TO THE OTHER?

The COMELEC dismissed the petition citing SANTIAGO VS. COMELEC, 270 SCRA 106 where it was
held that:

RA 6735 intended to include the System of Initiative on Amendments to the Constitution, but is,
unfortunately, Inadequate to cover that system under Section 2, Art. XVII of the Constitution. x x x
.
The foregoing brings us to the conclusion that RA 6735 is incomplete, inadequate or wanting in
essential terms and conditions insofar as initiative on amendments to the Constitution is
concerned. Its lacunae on this substantive matter are fatal and cannot be cured by
empowering the COMELEC to promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to
carry the purposes of this act.

Considering the said dismissal, petitioners elevated the matter to the Supreme Court on
Certiorari and Mandamus alleging rave abuse of discretion and to set aside the COMELEC
Decision and to compel the latter to give due course to their initiative petition.

The Issues:

1. WHETHER THE LAMBINO GROUPS PETITION COMPLIES WITH SECTION 2, ARTICLE XVII OF
THE CONSTITUTION ON AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION THROUGH PEOPLES INITIATIVE;

2. WHETHER THE COURT SHOULD REVISIT ITS RULING IN DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO VS. COMELEC,
DECLARING THAT RA NO. 6735 INCOMPLETE, INADEQUATE OR WANTING IN ESSENTIAL TERMS
AND CONDITIONS TO IMPLEMENT THE INITIATIVE CLAUSE ON PROPOSALS TO AMEND THE
CONSTITUTION; and

3. WHETHER THE COMELEC COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN DENYING DUE


COURSE TO THE LAMBINO GROUPS PETITION.

H E L D:

There is no merit to the petition.

The Lambino group miserably failed to comply with the basic requirements of the Constitution for
conducting a peoples initiative. Thus, there is even no need to revisit Santiago, as the present
petition warrants dismissal based alone on the Lambino Groups glaring failure to comply with
the basic requirements of the Constitution. As such, there is likewise no grave abuse of discretion
on the part of the COMELEC.

Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution is the governing constitutional provision that allows a
peoples initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution. This Section provides:

Section 2. Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be DIRECTLY PROPOSED BY THE


PEOPLE through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve per centum (12%) of the total
number of registered voters of which every legislative district must be represented by at least
three per centum (3%) of the registered voters therein.

The deliberations of the Constitutional Convention vividly explain the meaning of the
amendment directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition. Thus:
MR. RODRIGO: Let us look at the mechanics. Let us say some voters want to propose a
constitutional amendment. IS THE DRAFT OF THE PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
READY TO BE SHOWN TO THE PEOPLE WHEN THEY ARE ASKED TO SIGN?
MR. SUAREZ. That can be reasonably assumed, Madam President.
MR. RODRIGO: What does the sponsor mean? The draft is ready and shown to them before they
sign? Now, who prepares the draft?
MR. SUAREZ: The people themselves, Madam PresidentAs it is envisioned, any Filipino can
prepare that proposal and pass it around for signature.

Clearly, the framers of the Constitution intended that the draft of the proposed constitutional
amendment should be ready and shown to the people before they sign such proposal.
The framers plainly stated that before they sign there is already a draft shown to them. The
framers also envisioned that the people should sign on the proposal itself because the
proponents must prepare the proposal and pass it around for signature.

The essence of amendments directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a
petition IS THAT THE ENTIRE PROPOSAL ON ITS FACE IS A PETITION BY THE PEOPLE. This means two
(2) essential elements must be present:

1. The people must author and must sign the entire proposal. No agent or representative
can sign for and on their behalf;

2. As an initiative upon a petition, THE PROPOSAL MUST BE EMBODIED IN A PETITION.

These essential elements are present only if the full text of the proposed amendments is first
shown to the people who will express their assent by signing such complete proposal in a
petition. Thus, an amendment is DIRECTLY PROPOSED BY THE PEOPLE THROUGH INITIATIVE UPON
A PETIITON ONLY IF THE PEOPLE SIGN ON A PETITION THAT OCNTAINS THE FULL TEXT OF THE
PROPOSED AMENDMENTS.

The petitioners bear the burden of proving that they complied with the constitutional
requirements in gathering the signaturesthat the petition contained, or incorporated by
attachment, the full text of the proposed amendments.

The Lambino Group did not attach to their present petition a copy of the document containing
the proposed amendments and as such, the people signed initiative petition without knowing
the actual amendments proposed in the said initiative. Instead , the alleged 6.3 million
people who signed the petition had to rely the representations of Atty. Lambino. Clearly, Atty.
Lambino and his group deceived the 6.3 million signatories, and even the entire nation.

2. A peoples initiative to change the Constitution applies only to an amendment of the


Constitution and not to its revision. In contrast, Congress and a Constitutional Convention can
propose both amendments and revisions to the Constitution. This is clear under Section 1 of Art.
XVII of the Constitution.

Where the intent and language of the Constitution under Section 2 of Art. XVIII clearly withhold
from the people the power to propose revisions to the Constitution, the people cannot propose
revisions even as they are empowered to propose amendments. The two are distinguished as
follows:

Revision is the alterations of the different portions of the entire document [Constitution]. It may
result in the rewriting whether the whole constitution, or the greater portion of it, or perhaps some
of its important provisions. But whatever results the revision may produce, the factor that
characterizes it as an act of revision is the original intention and plan authorized to be carried
out. That intention and plan must contemplate a consideration of all the provisions of the
Constitution to determine which one should be altered or suppressed or whether the whole
document should be replaced with an entirely new one.
Amendment of the Constitution, on the other hand, envisages a change or only a few specific
provisions. The intention of an act to amend is not to consider the advisability of changing the
entire constitution or of considering that possibility. The intention rather is to improve specific
parts of the existing constitution or to add to it provisions deemed essential on account of
changed conditions or to suppress portions of it that seem obsolete, or dangerous, or misleading
in their effect.

MIRIAM DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO, et al. Vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 127325, March 19, 1997 & June 10,
1997

RA 6735 intended to include the System of Initiative on Amendments to the Constitution, but is,
unfortunately, Inadequate to cover that system. Section 2 Art. XVII is not self-executory and
unless Congress provides for its implementation , it would remain in the cold niche of the
Constitution. RA 6735 in all its 23 sections mentions the word Constitution only in section 2 and
Section 3 as compared to the initiative on statutes and local legislation. The foregoing brings
us to the conclusion that RA 6735 is incomplete, inadequate or wanting in essential terms and
conditions insofar as initiative on amendments to the Constitution is concerned. Its lacunae on
this substantive matter are fatal and cannot be cured by empowering the COMELEC to
promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry the purposes of this act.

Enumerate the steps to be followed and the requisites to be met in order that the people may
proposed the amendments, repeal, amend or enact a law or provision of the Constitution.

3. What are the different modes of amending the constitution? Distinguish Revision from
amendment of the Constitution.
Revision is the alterations of the different portions of the entire document [Constitution]. It may
result in the rewriting whether the whole constitution, or the greater portion of it, or perhaps some
of its important provisions. But whatever results the revision may produce, the factor that
characterizes it as an act of revision is the original intention and plan authorized to be carried
out. That intention and plan must contemplate a consideration of all the provisions of the
Constitution to determine which one should be altered or suppressed or whether the whole
document should be replaced with an entirely new one.
Amendment of the Constitution, on the other hand, envisages a change or only a few specific
provisions. The intention of an act to amend is not to consider the advisability of changing the
entire constitution or of considering that possibility. The intention rather is to improve specific
parts of the existing constitution or to add to it provisions deemed essential on account of
changed conditions or to suppress portions of it that seem obsolete, or dangerous, or misleading
in their effect. (SINCO, Vicente, PHILIPPINE POLITICAL LAW)
4. Read: a) MABANAG vs. LOPEZ VITO, 78 Phil. 1
b) GONZALES vs. COMELEC, 21 SCRA 774
There is no prohibition for Congress to propose amendments to the Constitution and
at the same time call for the convening of a Constitutional Convention to amend the
Constitution. The word or in the provision Congress, upon a vote of of all its members; OR
[2] A constitutional Convention under Section 1, Art. XVII also means AND.
c) TOLENTINO vs. COMELEC, 41 SCRA 702
Doctrine of Proper Submission means all the proposed amendments to the Constitution
shall be presented to the people for the ratification or rejection at the same time, not
piecemeal.
d) SANIDAD vs. COMELEC, 73 SCRA 333
e) ALMARIO vs. ALBA, 127 SCRA 69
If the question regarding the proposed amendment to the Constitution deals with its
necessity, expediency or wisdom, the same is political in nature and beyond the power of the
courts to decide.
f) MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO VS. COMELEC, 270 ACRA 106

POLITICAL LAW PART II


PREAMBLE
1. Purpose and Effect of a Preamble.

WE, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of Almighty God, in order to build a just and
humane society and establish a Government that shall embody our ideals and aspirations,
promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and
our posterity the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime
of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace, do ordain and promulgate this Constitution.

2. AGLIPAY VS. RUIZ, 64 Phil. 201


It is almost trite to say now that in this country we enjoy both religious and civil freedom. All the
officers of the Government, from the highest to the lowest, in taking their oath to support and
defend the constitution, bind themselves to recognize and respect the constitutional guarantee
of religious freedom, with its inherent limitations and recognized implications. It should be stated
that what is guaranteed by our Constitution is religious liberty, not mere religious toleration.

Religious freedom, however, as a constitutional mandate is not inhibition of profound reverence


for religion and is not denial of its influence in human affairs. Religion as a profession of faith to
an active power that binds and elevates man to his Creator is recognized. And, in so far as it
instills into the minds the purest principles of morality, its influence is deeply felt and highly
appreciated. When the Filipino people, in the preamble of their Constitution, implored the aid
of Divine Providence, in order to establish a government that shall embody their ideals, conserve
and develop the patrimony of the nation, promote the general welfare, and secure to
themselves and their posterity the blessings of independence under a regime of justice, liberty
and democracy, they thereby manifested reliance upon Him who guides the destinies of men
and nations. The elevating influence of religion in human society is recognized here as
elsewhere. In fact, certain general concessions are indiscriminately accorded to religious sects
and denominations

ARTICLE I THE NATIONAL TERRITORY


Section 1. The national territory comprises the Philippine Archipelago, with all the islands and
waters embraced therein, and all other territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty or
jurisdiction, consisting of its terrestrial, fluvial, and aerial domains, including its territorial sea, the
seabed, the subsoil, the insular shelves, and other submarine areas. The waters around, between
and connecting the islands of the archipelago, regardless of their breadth and dimensions, form
part of the internal waters of the Philippines.

1. What is the most significant change in this Article, compared with those of the 1935 and 1973
Constitutions?

2. What is the archipelago theory or archipelagic doctrine?

3. Methods used in fixing the baseline from which the territorial belt is measured:

a. The normal baseline method

b. The straight baseline method

4. Read: The Law of the Sea: Its major implications to the Philippines, by Justice Jorge R. Coquia,
p. 31, Philippine Law Gazette, Vol. 8, No.1.

5. R.A. 3046
R.A. 5446

6. Definitions:

a. Territorial sea

b. Internal or inland waters

c. high seas or international seas

d. sea-bed

e. sub-soil

f. Insular shelves

g. other submarine areas

7. Reason and effect of having an Article on the National Territory.

8. Read:

1) Presidential Decree No. 1596 June 11, 1978 (Making the Kalayaan Island Group
[Freedomland] as part of the Philippine Territory)

2) Presidential Decree No. 1599 June 11, 1978 (Declaring the Exclusive Economic Zone of the
Philippines which is 200 nautical miles from its baseline)

DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES & STATE POLICIES


Section 1. The Philippines is a democratic and republican State. Sovereignty resides in the
people and all government authority emanates from them.

a. The basic principles underlying the 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions.

b.Manifestations of a republican state.

c. Define state

COLLECTOR VS. CAMPOS RUEDA, 42 SCRA 23

d. Elements of a state. Define each:

1. people

2. territory
3. sovereignty

4. government

e. Different meanings of the word people as used in the constitution:

1. as inhabitants (Art. XIII, Sec. 1; Art. III, Sec. 2);

2. as citizens (Preamble; Art. II, Sec. 1 & 4; Art. III, Sec. 7);

3. as voters (Art. VII, Sec. 4)

f. Presidential & parliamentary forms of government

Read:

1. FREE TELEPHONE WORKERS UNION VS. OPLE, 108 SCRA 757

The government of the Philippines under the 1973 Constitution is essentially presidential with
parliamentary features.

2. LEGASPI VS. SEC. OF FINANCE, 115 SCRA 418

The form of government is essentially parliamentary with presidential features.

g. Two-fold function of the government

Read:

1)BACANI VS. NACOCO, 100 Phil. 468 (Ministrant [merely directory] and Constituent
[Mandatory] Functions)
2) ACCFA VS. CUGCO, 30 SCRA 649

Due to complexities of the changing society, the two-fold function of the government as
classified by President Wilson is no longer relevant.

h. Parents Patriae

Read:

1) GOVT. VS. MONTE DE PIEDAD, 35 Phil 738


2) CABANAS VS. PILAPIO, 58 SCRA 94

i. De jure govt.? De facto govt.?


Read:

1. AQUINO VS. COMELEC, 62 SCRA 275 (on the de jure aspect)


2. In Re: SATURNINO BERMUDEZ, 145 SCRA 160

A government formed as a result of a peoples revolution, is considered de jure if it is already


accepted by the family of nations or other countries like the United States, Great Britain,
Germany, Japan, and others.

3. Estrada vs. Macapagal & Desierto, infra.

j. The three (3) kinds of de facto government?

Read: CO KIM CHAM VS. VALDEZ TAN KEH, 75 Phil. 113

There are several kinds of de facto governments.

a. The first, or government de facto in a proper legal sense, is that government that gets
possession and control of, or usurps, by force or by the voice of the majority, the rightful legal
governments and maintains itself against the will of the latter, such as the government of
England under the Commonwealth, first by Parliament and later by Cromwell as Protector.

b. The second is that which is established and maintained by military forces who invade
and occupy a territory of the enemy in the course of war, and which is denominated a
government of paramount force, as the cases of Castine, in Maine, which was reduced to British
possession in the war of 1812, and Tampico, Mexico, occupied during the war with Mexico, by
the troops of the United States.

c. And the third is that established as an independent government by the inhabitants of a


country who rise in insurrection against the parent state of such as the government of the
Southern Confederacy in revolt not concerned in the present case with the first kind, but only
with the second and third kinds of de facto governments.

But there is another description of government, called also by publicists a government de


facto, but which might, perhaps, be more aptly denominated a government of paramount
force. Its distinguishing characteristics are

(1), that its existence is maintained by active military power with the territories, and against the
rightful authority of an established and lawful government; and

(2), that while it exists it necessarily be obeyed in civil matters by private citizens who, by acts of
obedience rendered in submission to such force, do not become responsible, or wrongdoers, for
those acts, though not warranted by the laws of the rightful government.
On the other hand, laws of a political nature or affecting political relations, such as, among
others, the right of assembly, the right to bear arms, the freedom of the press, and the right to
travel freely in the territory occupied, are considered as suspended or in abeyance during the
military occupation. Although the local and civil administration of justice is suspended as a
matter of course as soon as a country is militarily occupied, it is not usual for the invader to take
the whole administration into his own hands. In practice, the local ordinary tribunals are
authorized to continue administering justice; and judges and other judicial officers are kept in
their posts if they accept the authority of the belligerent occupant or are required to continue in
their positions under the supervision of the military or civil authorities appointed, by the
Commander in Chief of the occupant. These principles and practice have the sanction of all
publicists who have considered the subject, and have been asserted by the Supreme Court and
applied by the President of the United States.

The doctrine upon this subject is thus summed up by Halleck, in his work on International Law
(Vol. 2, p. 444): The right of one belligerent to occupy and govern the territory of the enemy
while in its military possession, is one of the incidents of war, and flows directly from the right to
conquer. We, therefore, do not look to the Constitution or political institutions of the conqueror,
for authority to establish a government for the territory of the enemy in his possession, during its
military occupation, nor for the rules by which the powers of such government are regulated
and limited. Such authority and such rules are derived directly from the laws war, as established
by the usage of the of the world, and confirmed by the writings of publicists and decisions of
courts in fine, from the law of nations. . . . The municipal laws of a conquered territory, or the
laws which regulate private rights, continue in force during military occupation, excepts so far as
they are suspended or changed by the acts of conqueror. . . . He, nevertheless, has all the
powers of a de facto government, and can at his pleasure either change the existing laws or
make new ones.

The governments by the Philippine Executive Commission and the Republic of the Philippines
during the Japanese military occupation being de facto governments, it necessarily follows that
the judicial acts and proceedings of the courts of justice of those governments, which are not of
a political complexion, were good and valid, and, by virtue of the well-known principle of
postliminy (postliminium) in international law, remained good and valid after the liberation or
reoccupation of the Philippines by the American and Filipino forces under the leadership of
General Douglas MacArthur. According to that well-known principle in international law, the
fact that a territory which has been occupied by an enemy comes again into the power of its
legitimate government of sovereignty, does not, except in a very few cases, wipe out the
effects of acts done by an invader, which for one reason or another it is within his competence
to do. Thus judicial acts done under his control, when they are not of a political complexion,
administrative acts so done, to the extent that they take effect during the continuance of his
control, and the various acts done during the same time by private persons under the sanction
of municipal law, remain good. Were it otherwise, the whole social life of a community would be
paralyzed by an invasion; and as between the state and the individuals the evil would be
scarcely less, it would be hard for example that payment of taxes made under duress should be
ignored, and it would be contrary to the general interest that the sentences passed upon
criminals should be annulled by the disappearance of the intrusive government . (Hall,
International Law, 7th ed., p. 518.) And when the occupation and the abandonment have been
each an incident of the same war as in the present case, postliminy applies, even though the
occupant has acted as conqueror and for the time substituted his own sovereignty as the
Japanese intended to do apparently in granting independence to the Philippines and
establishing the so-called Republic of the Philippines. (Taylor, International Law, p. 615.)

l. Sovereignty:

1. legal

2. political

m. The doctrine of sovereignty as auto-limitation?

Read:

1. REAGAN VS. COMMISIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, 30 SCRA 968


By the Agreement, it should be noted, the Philippine Government merely consents that the
United States exercise jurisdiction in certain cases. The consent was given purely as a matter of
comity, courtesy, or expediency. The Philippine Government has not abdicated its sovereignty
over the bases as part of the Philippine territory or divested itself completely of jurisdiction over
offenses committed therein. Under the terms of the treaty, the United States Government has
prior or preferential but not exclusive jurisdiction of such offenses. The Philippine Government
retains not only jurisdictional rights not granted, but also all such ceded rights as the United
States Military authorities for reasons of their own decline to make use of. The first proposition is
implied from the fact of Philippine sovereignty over the bases; the second from the express
provisions of the treaty. Nothing is better settled than that the Philippines being independent
and sovereign, its authority may be exercised over its entire domain. There is no portion thereof
that is beyond its power. Within its limits, its decrees are supreme, its commands paramount. Its
laws govern therein, and everyone to whom it applies must submit to its terms. That is the extent
of its jurisdiction, both territorial and personal. Necessarily, likewise, it has to be exclusive. If it were
not thus, there is a diminution of sovereignty. Then came this paragraph dealing with the
principle of auto-limitation: It is to be admitted any state may, by its consent, express or implied,
submit to a restriction of its sovereign rights. There may thus be a curtailment of what otherwise is
a power plenary in character. That is the concept of sovereignty as auto-limitation, which, in the
succinct language of Jellinek, is the property of a state-force due to which it has the exclusive
capacity of legal self-determination and self-restriction. A state then, if it chooses to, may
refrain from the exercise of what otherwise is illimitable competence. The opinion was at pains
to point out though that even then, there is at the most diminution of jurisdictional rights, not its
disappearance.
2. PEOPLE VS. GOZO, 53 SCRA 476
3. COMMISSIONER VS. ROBERTSON, 143 SCRA 397
2. Section 2. The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national police, adopts the
generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land and adheres to
the policy of peace, equality, justice, freedom, cooperation, and amity among all nations.

a. difference between aggressive & defensive war

b. Read:

1) MEJOFF VS. DIRECTOR OF PRISONS, 90 Phil. 70

The Philippines adopts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights since it is a generally accepted
principle of international law. As such, it should be applied to illegal aliens like the petitioner so
that it would be a violation of the said international law to detain him for an unreasonable
length of time since no vessel from his country is willing to take him.

The meaning of reasonable time depends upon the circumstances, specially the difficulties of
obtaining a passport, the availability of transportation, the diplomatic arrangements concerned
and the efforts displayed to send the deportee away. Considering that this Government desires
to expel the alien, and does not relish keeping him at the peoples expense, we must presume it
is making efforts to carry out the decree of exclusion by the highest officer of the land. On top of
this presumption assurances were made during the oral argument that the Government is really
trying to expedite the expulsion of this petitioner. On the other hand, the record fails to show
how long he has been under confinement since the last time he was apprehended. Neither
does he indicate neglected opportunities to send him abroad. And unless it is shown that the
deportee is being indefinitely imprisoned under the pretense of awaiting a chance for
deportation 3 or unless the Government admits that it can not deport him or unless the
detainee is being held for too long a period our courts will not interfere.

2) KURODA VS. JALANDONI, 83 Phil 171

Petitioner argues that respondent Military Commission has no Jurisdiction to try petitioner for acts
committed in violation of the Hague Convention on Rules and Regulations covering Land
Warfare and the Geneva Convention because the Philippines is not a signatory to the first and
signed the second only in 1947. It cannot be denied that the rules and regulation of the Hague
and Geneva conventions form, part of and are wholly based on the generally accepted
principals of international law. In facts these rules and principles were accepted by the two
belligerent nation the United State and Japan who were signatories to the two Convention,
Such rule and principles therefore form part of the law of our nation even if the Philippines was
not a signatory to the conventions embodying them for our Constitution has been deliberately
general and extensive in its scope and is not confined to the recognition of rule and principle of
international law as continued inn treaties to which our government may have been or shall be
a signatory.

Furthermore when the crimes charged against petitioner were allegedly committed the
Philippines was under the sovereignty of United States and thus we were equally bound together
with the United States and with Japan to the right and obligation contained in the treaties
between the belligerent countries. These rights and obligation were not erased by our
assumption of full sovereignty. If at all our emergency as a free state entitles us to enforce the
right on our own of trying and punishing those who committed crimes against crimes against our
people. In this connection it is well to remember what we have said in the case of Laurel vs. Misa
(76 Phil., 372):

3) SALONGA VS. HERMOSO, 97 SCRA 121

4) AGUSTIN VS. EDU, 88 SCRA 195

The Geneva Convention on Road Signs and Signals, is also considered part of the law of the
Philippines since the same is a generally accepted principle of international law in accordance
with the Incorporation clause of the Constitution.

5) REYES VS. BAGATSING,125 SCRA 553

Respondent Mayor posed the issue of the applicability of Ordinance No. 7295 of the City of
Manila prohibiting the holding or staging of rallies or demonstrations within a radius of five
hundred (500) feet from any foreign mission or chancery and for other purposes. It is to be
admitted that it finds support In the previously quoted Article 22 of the Vienna Convention on
Diplomatic Relations. There was no showing, however, that the distance between the chancery
and the embassy gate is less than 500 feet. Even if it could be shown that such a condition is
satisfied. it does not follow that respondent Mayor could legally act the way he did. The validity
of his denial of the permit sought could still be challenged. It could be argued that a case of
unconstitutional application of such ordinance to the exercise of the right of peaceable
assembly presents itself. As in this case there was no proof that the distance is less than 500 feet,
the need to pass on that issue was obviated, Should it come, then the qualification and
observation of Justices Makasiar and Plana certainly cannot be summarily brushed aside. The
high estate accorded the rights to free speech and peaceable assembly demands nothing less.

Without saying that the Ordinance is obnoxious per se to the constitution, it cannot be validly
invoked whenever its application would collide with a constitutionally guaranteed right such as
freedom of assembly and/or expression, as in the case at bar, regardless of whether the
chancery of any foreign embassy is beyond or within 500 feet from the situs of the rally or
demonstration.

3. Section 3. Civilian authority is, at all times supreme over the military. The armed forces of the
Philippines is the protector of the people and the State. Its goal is to secure the sovereignty of the
State and the integrity of the national territory.

See also:

Art. VII, Sec. 18

Art. XVI, Sec. 5 (2)

Art. XVI, Sec. 5 (4)

4. Section 4. The prime duty of the government is to serve and protect the people. The
Government may call upon the people to defend the State and in the fulfillment thereof, all
citizens may be required, under conditions provided by law, to render personal and military
service.

Read:

1. PEOPLE VS. LAGMAN, 66 Phil. 13


The appellants argument that he does not want to join the armed forces because he does
not want to kill or be killed and that he has no military inclination is not acceptable because it
is his obligation to join the armed forces in connection with the defense of the State provision
of the Constitution.
2. PEOPLE VS. MANAYAO, 78 Phil. 721
3. PD1706, August 8, 1980
4. Exec. Order No. 264
5. Section 5. The maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty, and property,
and the promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of
the blessings of democracy.
6. Section 6. The separation of church and State shall be inviolable.

Read:

1) PAMIL VS. TELERON, 86 SCRA 413


2) GERMAN VS. BARANGAN, 135 SCRA 514

(NOTE: Read the dissenting opinions in both cases)

3) Other provisions:
Other provisions on church & state:

1. ART. III, Sec. 5. No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or


prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and
worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. NO RELIGIOUS TEST SHALL
BE REQUIRED FOR THE EXERCISE OF CIVIL OR POLITICAL RIGHTS.
2. ART. VI, Sec. 28 (3). Charitable institutions, churches, mosques, non-profit
cemeteriesactually, directly and exclusively used for religious, charitable, or educational
purposes shall be exempt from taxation.
3. ART. VI, Sec. 29 .(2). No public money or property shall be appropriated, applied, paid,
for the benefit, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church,
denomination or religion, except when such priest, minister.. is assigned to the armed forces, or
to any penal institution, or government orphanage or leprosarium.

4. ART. IX, C, 2(5). Religious denominations and sects shall not be registeredas political
parties. (NOTE: Religious organizations are also prohibited ion connection with sectoral
representatives under Art. VI)

5. ART. XIV, Sec. 3(3). At the option in writing by parents, religion shall be allowed to be
taught to their children in elementary and high schools within the regular class hours by
instructors designated or approved by religious authorities to which said children belong, without
additional cost to the government.

7. Sections 7. The State shall pursue an independent foreign policy. In its relations with
other states the paramount consideration shall be national sovereignty, territorial integrity,
national interest, and the right to self-determination,
8. Section 8. The Philippines, consistent with the national interest, adopts and pursues a
policy of freedom from nuclear weapons in its territory.

1. meaning of nuclear-free Philippines;

2. Art. XVIII, Secs. 4 & 25

9. Sections 9. The State shall promote a just and dynamic social order that will ensure the
prosperity and independence of the nation and free the people from poverty through policies
that provide adequate social services, promote full employment, a rising standard of living, and
an improved quality of life for all..
10. The state shall promote social justice in all phases of national development.
11. The state values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for
human rights.

a. Read together with entire provisions of Article XIII


12. 9. Section 12. The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and
strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of
the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The natural and primary right and duty
of parents in the rearing of the youth for civil efficiency and the development of moral
character shall receive the support the support of the government.

NOTE: Father Bernas opines that this provision does not take a stand on divorce. As such, a
Divorce Law to be passed by Congress may or may not be unconstitutional. But definitely, a law
allowing abortion , other than therapeutic, is unconstitutional.

1. Read together with the entire provisions of Article XV.

2. Read:

a) GINSBERG VS. NEW YORK, 390 US 629 (1969)

A law prohibiting the sale of girlie magazines [bold?) is constitutional and does not violate the
above provision. This is so because parents could buy said magazines for their children if they
believe the same is already suitable to the understanding of their child. This is in accordance
with this provision which states that the parents have the natural and primary right in rearing
their child for civic efficiency

b) MEYER VS. NEBRASKA, 260 US 260 (1922)

c) PIERCE VS. SOCIETY OF SISTERS, 268 US 510 (1925)

A law requiring small kids to be enrolled in public schools only is unconstitutional since it interferes
with the right of parents in rearing their children. They have the right to choose which school is
best suited for the development of their children without interference from the State.

d) PACU VS. SECRETARY OF EDUCATION, 97 Phil. 806

e) CABANAS VS. PILAPIL, 58 SCRA 94

10. Section 13. The State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building and shall
promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well being. It shall
inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their involvement in public
and civic affairs.

Read:

1) PD 684

2) PD 935
3) PD 1102

4) PD 603; see the objectives of the law

11. Sections 14. The State recognizes the role of women in nation building, and shall ensure
the fundamental equality before the law of men and women.
12. Section 15. The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and
instill health consciousness among them.
13. Section 16. The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced
and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.
14. Section 17. The State shall give priority to education, science and technology, arts,
culture, and sports to foster patriotism and nationalism, accelerate social progress, and promote
human liberation and development.

1) Read together with Article XIV

Read :

VILLEGAS VS. SUBIDO, 109 SCRA 1

OPOSA VS. FACTORAN, July 30, 1993;

In a broader sense, this petition bears upon the right of Filipinos to a balanced and healthful
ecology which the petitioners dramatically associate with the twin concepts of inter-
generational responsibility and inter-generational justice. Specifically, it touches on the issue
of whether the said petitioners have a cause of action to prevent the misappropriation or
impairment of Philippine rainforests and arrest the unabated hemorrhage of the countrys vital
life support systems and continued rape of Mother Earth.

The minors-petitioners have the personality to sue since the case deals with the timber licensing
agreements entered into by the government which if not stopped would be prejudicial to their
future. This is so because the DENR holds in trust for the benefit of plaintiff minors and
succeeding generations the natural resources of the country. The subject matter of the
complaint is of common and general interest not just to several, but to all citizens of the
Philippines. Consequently, since the parties are so numerous, it, becomes impracticable, if not
totally impossible, to bring all of them before the court. We likewise declare that the plaintiffs
therein are numerous and representative enough to ensure the full protection of all concerned
interests. Hence, all the requisites for the filing of a valid class suit under Section 12, Rule 3 of the
Revised Rules of Court are present both in the said civil case and in the instant petition, the latter
being but an incident to the former.

Their personality to sue in behalf of the succeeding generations can only be based on the
concept of intergenerational responsibility insofar as the right to a balanced and healthful
ecology is concerned. Such a right, as hereinafter expounded, considers the rhythm and
harmony of nature. Nature means the created world in its entirety. 9 Such rhythm and harmony
indispensably include, inter alia, the judicious disposition, utilization, management, renewal and
conservation of the countrys forest, mineral, land, waters, fisheries, wildlife, off-shore areas and
other natural resources to the end that their exploration, development and utilization be
equitably accessible to the present as well as future generations. Needless to say, every
generation has a responsibility to the next to preserve that rhythm and harmony for the full
enjoyment of a balanced and healthful ecology. Put a little differently, the minors assertion of
their right to a sound environment constitutes, at the same time, the performance of their
obligation to ensure the protection of that right for the generations to come.

The complaint focuses on one specific fundamental legal right the right to a balanced and
healthful ecology which, for the first time in our nations constitutional history, is solemnly
incorporated in the fundamental law. Section 16, Article II of the 1987 Constitution explicitly
provides:

Sec. 16. The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and
healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.

This right unites with the right to health which is provided for in the preceding section of the same
article:

Sec. 15. The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health
consciousness among them.

While the right to a balanced and healthful ecology is to be found under the Declaration of
Principles and State Policies and not under the Bill of Rights, it does not follow that it is less
important than any of the civil and political rights enumerated in the latter. Such a right belongs
to a different category of rights altogether for it concerns nothing less than self-preservation and
self-perpetuation aptly and fittingly stressed by the petitioners the advancement of which may
even be said to predate all governments and constitutions. As a matter of fact, these basic
rights need not even be written in the Constitution for they are assumed to exist from the
inception of humankind. If they are now explicitly mentioned in the fundamental charter, it is
because of the well-founded fear of its framers that unless the rights to a balanced and healthful
ecology and to health are mandated as state policies by the Constitution itself, thereby
highlighting their continuing importance and imposing upon the state a solemn obligation to
preserve the first and protect and advance the second, the day would not be too far when all
else would be lost not only for the present generation, but also for those to come generations
which stand to inherit nothing but parched earth incapable of sustaining life.

The right to a balanced and healthful ecology carries with it the correlative duty to refrain from
impairing the environment.
As a matter of logic, by finding petitioners cause of action as anchored on a legal right
comprised in the constitutional statements above noted, the Court is in effect saying that
Section 15 (and Section 16) of Article II of the Constitution are self-executing and judicially
enforceable even in their present form. The implications of this doctrine will have to be explored
in future cases; those implications are too large and far-reaching in nature even to be hinted at
here.

13. Section 18. The State affirms labor as a primary social economic force. It shall protect the
rights of workers and promote their welfare.

1) Read together with Section 3, Article XIII, 1987 Constitution.

2) Compare it with Section 9, Article II, 1973 Constitution.

3) Read:

a. VICTORIANO VS. ELIZALDE POPE WORKERS UNION, 59 SCRA 54

The right to religion prevails over contractual or legal rights. As such, an Iglesia Ni Kristo member
may refuse to join a Union and despite the fact that there is a closed shop agreement in the
establishment where he was employed, his employment could not be validly terminated for his
non-membership in the majority union therein.

13. Section 19. The State shall develop a self-reliant and independent national economy
effectively controlled by Filipinos.

See Art. XII

14. Section 20. The State recognizes the indispensable role of the private sector, encourages
private enterprise, and provides incentives to needed investments.

a. Do we practice the free enterprise system in the Philippines or is it the welfare state concept?
Distinguish the two.

b. Read: ACCFA VS. CUGCO, 30 SCRA 649 (Note: Read the separate opinion of former Chief
Justice ENRIQUE FERNANDO only)

The Philippines never practiced the free enterprise system. It is the welfare-state concept which
is being followed as shown by the constitutional provision on agrarian reform, housing,
protection to labor (NOTE, however, that the 1987 Constitution have provisions which provide
for free enterprise)

PHILIPPINE COCONUT DESICCATORS VS. PHILIPPINE COCONUT AUTHORITY, 286 SCRA 109
Mendoza, J.
The Philippine Constitutions, starting from the 1935 document, HAVE REPUDIATED laissez faire (or
the doctrine of free enterprise) as an economic principle, and although the present Constitution
enshrines free enterprise as a policy, it nevertheless reserves to the government the power to
intervene whenever necessary to promote the general welfare.

As such, free enterprise does not call for the removal of protective regulations for the benefit
of the general public. This is so because under Art. XII, Sections 6 and 9, it is very clear that
the government reserves the power to intervene whenever necessary to promote the general
welfare and when the public interest so requires.

15. Section 21. The State shall promote comprehensive rural development and agrarian reform.

a. Read together with Secs. 4-10, Article XIII of the 1987 Constitution

b. Read PD 27 as to the extent of land reform under the MARCOS regime

c. Read RA 3844 & 6389, as amended THE CODE OF AGRARIAN REFORMS OF THE PHILIPPINES
(Read the policy of the state on this matter)

d .Read the COMPREHENSIVE AGRARIAN REFORM PROGRAM LAW, RA No. 6657 as signed into
law by the President on June 7, 1988.

e. Read:

Association of Small Landowners vs. Hon. Secretary of Agrarian Reform, July 14, 1989

16. Sections 22. The State recognizes and promotes the right of indigenous cultural communities
within the framework of national unity and development.

To be discussed later with Art. X, Secs. 15- 21.

Other provisions on indigenous cultural communities:

1. Art. VI, Sec. 5(2)

2. Art. X, Secs. 15 21

3. Art. XII, Sec. 5

4. Art. XIII, Sec. 6

5. Art. XIV, Sec. 17

6. Art. XVI, Sec. 12


17. Section 23. The State shall encourage non-governmental, community based, or sectoral
organizations that promote the welfare of the nation.
17-a. Section 24. The State recognizes the vital role of communication and information in nation-
building.
18. Section 25. The State shall ensure the autonomy of local governments.
a. Define autonomy

b. See Art. X

Read the 1991 New Local Government Code and enumerate its provisions evidencing
autonomy to local government units.

19. Section 26. The State guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and
prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.
20. Section 27. The State shall maintain honesty and integrity in the public service and take
positive and effective measures against graft and corruption.

To be discussed under Article XI.

a. Please see RA 3019, The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, as amended by RA 3047, PD 77
and BP 195..
b. PD 749, July 18, 1975, which grants immunity from prosecution to givers of bribes and other
gifts and to their accomplices in bribery other than graft cases against public officers.
c. RA 1379. Forfeiture in favor of the State any property found to have been illegally acquired by
a public officer or employee.
21. Section 28. Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law, the State adopts and
implements a policy of public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest.

Power of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation; Public disclosure of government


transactions

CAMILO L. SABIO vs. GORDON, G.R. No. 174340, October 17, 2006, 504 SCRA 704
Sandoval-Gutierrez, J.
The Facts:
On February 20, 2006, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago introduced Philippine Senate Resolution
No. 455 (Senate Res. No. 455),[1][4] directing an inquiry in aid of legislation on the anomalous
losses incurred by the Philippines Overseas Telecommunications Corporation (POTC), Philippine
Communications Satellite Corporation (PHILCOMSAT), and PHILCOMSAT Holdings Corporation
(PHC) due to the alleged improprieties in their operations by their respective Board of
Directors. The pertinent portions of the Resolution read:
WHEREAS, in the last quarter of 2005, the representation and entertainment expense of the PHC
skyrocketed to P4.3 million, as compared to the previous years mere P106 thousand;
WHEREAS, some board members established wholly owned PHC subsidiary called
Telecommunications Center, Inc. (TCI), where PHC funds are allegedly siphoned; in 18 months,
over P73 million had been allegedly advanced to TCI without any accountability report given to
PHC and PHILCOMSAT;

WHEREAS, the Philippine Star, in its 12 February 2002 issue reported that the executive committee
of Philcomsat has precipitately released P265 million and granted P125 million loan to a relative
of an executive committee member; to date there have been no payments given, subjecting
the company to an estimated interest income loss of P11.25 million in 2004;
WHEREFORE, be it resolved that the proper Senate Committee shall conduct an inquiry in aid of
legislation, on the anomalous losses incurred by the Philippine Overseas Telecommunications
Corporation (POTC), Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation (PHILCOMSAT), and
Philcomsat Holdings Corporations (PHC) due to the alleged improprieties in the operations by
their respective board of directors.
On May 8, 2006, Chief of Staff Rio C. Inocencio, under the authority of Senator Richard J.
Gordon, wrote Chairman Camilo L. Sabio of the PCGG, one of the herein petitioners, inviting him
to be one of the resource persons in the public meeting jointly conducted by the Committee on
Government Corporations and Public Enterprises and Committee on Public Services. The
purpose of the public meeting was to deliberate on Senate Res. No. 455.[2][6]
On May 9, 2006, Chairman Sabio declined the invitation because of prior commitment.[3][7] At
the same time, he invoked Section 4(b) of E.O. No. 1 earlier quoted.
On August 10, 2006, Senator Gordon issued a Subpoena Ad Testificandum,[4][8] approved by
Senate President Manuel Villar, requiring Chairman Sabio and PCGG Commissioners Ricardo
Abcede, Nicasio Conti, Tereso Javier and Narciso Nario to appear in the public hearing
scheduled on August 23, 2006 and testify on what they know relative to the matters specified in
Senate Res. No. 455. All were disregarded by the petitioners.

On September 12, 2006, at around 10:45 a.m., Major General Balajadia arrested Chairman Sabio
in his office at IRC Building, No. 82 EDSA, Mandaluyong City and brought him to the Senate
premises where he was detained.

Hence, Chairman Sabio filed with the Supreme Court a petition for habeas corpus against the
Senate Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises and Committee on
Public Services, their Chairmen, Senators Richard Gordon and Joker P. Arroyo and
Members. The case was docketed as G.R. No. 174340.
Chairman Sabio, Commissioners Abcede, Conti, Nario, and Javier; and the PCGGs nominees
Andal and Jalandoni alleged: first, respondent Senate Committees disregarded Section 4(b) of
E.O. No. 1 without any justifiable reason; second, the inquiries conducted by respondent Senate
Committees are not in aid of legislation; third, the inquiries were conducted in the absence of
duly published Senate Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of
Legislation;and fourth, respondent Senate Committees are not vested with the power of
contempt.
In their Consolidated Comment, the above-named respondents countered: first, the issues
raised in the petitions involve political questions over which this Court has no
jurisdiction; second, Section 4(b) has been repealed by the Constitution; third, respondent
Senate Committees are vested with contempt power; fourth, Senates Rules of Procedure
Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation have been duly published; fifth, respondents have not
violated any civil right of the individual petitioners, such as their (a) right to privacy; and (b) right
against self-incrimination; and sixth, the inquiry does not constitute undue encroachment into
justiciable controversies.
I S S U E:
Is Section 4(b) of E.O. No. 1 repealed by the 1987 Constitution? Is its implementation wherein the
petitioners are exempt from appearing in investigations involving their transactions violates
Section 28, Art. II of the Constitution?

Section 4(b) of E.O. No.1, which limits the power of legislative inquiry by exempting all PCGG
members or staff from testifying in any judicial, legislative or administrative proceeding provides:

No member or staff of the Commission shall be required to testify or produce evidence in any
judicial, legislative or administrative proceeding concerning matters within its official
cognizance.
The Congress power of inquiry has been recognized in foreign jurisdictions long before it
reached our shores through McGrain v. Daugherty,[5][15] cited in Arnault v. Nazareno.[6][16] In
those earlier days, American courts considered the power of inquiry as inherent in the power to
legislate.
In Arnault, the Supreme Court adhered to a similar theory. Citing McGrain, it recognized that
the power of inquiry is an essential and appropriate auxiliary to the legislative function, thus:
Although there is no provision in the Constitution expressly investing either House of Congress
with power to make investigations and exact testimony to the end that it may exercise its
legislative functions advisedly and effectively, such power is so far incidental to the legislative
function as to be implied. In other words, the power of inquiry with process to enforce it is an
essential and appropriate auxiliary to the legislative function. A legislative body cannot legislate
wisely or effectively in the absence of information respecting the conditions which the legislation
is intended to affect or change; and where the legislation body does not itself possess the
requisite information which is not infrequently true recourse must be had to others who
possess it.

Certainly, a mere provision of law cannot pose a limitation to the broad power of Congress, in
the absence of any constitutional basis.

Furthermore, Section 4(b) is also inconsistent with Article XI, Section 1 of the Constitution stating
that: Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must at all times be
accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and
efficiency, act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives.
The provision presupposes that since an incumbent of a public office is invested with certain
powers and charged with certain duties pertinent to sovereignty, the powers so delegated to
the officer are held in trust for the people and are to be exercised in behalf of the
government or of all citizens who may need the intervention of the officers. Such trust extends to
all matters within the range of duties pertaining to the office. In other words, public officers are
but the servants of the people, and not their rulers.[7][24]
Section 4(b), being in the nature of an immunity, is inconsistent with the principle of public
accountability. It places the PCGG members and staff beyond the reach of courts, Congress
and other administrative bodies. Instead of encouraging public accountability, the same
provision only institutionalizes irresponsibility and non-accountability. In Presidential Commission
on Good Government v. Pea,[8][25] Justice Florentino P. Feliciano characterized as obiter the
portion of the majority opinion barring, on the basis of Sections 4(a) and (b) of E.O. No. 1, a civil
case for damages filed against the PCGG and its Commissioners. He eloquently opined:
The above underscored portions are, it is respectfully submitted, clearly obiter. It is important to
make clear that the Court is not here interpreting, much less upholding as valid and
constitutional, the literal terms of Section 4 (a), (b) of Executive Order No.1. If Section 4 (a) were
given its literal import as immunizing the PCGG or any member thereof from civil liability for
anything done or omitted in the discharge of the task contemplated by this Order, the
constitutionality of Section 4 (a) would, in my submission, be open to most serious doubt. For so
viewed, Section 4 (a) would institutionalize the irresponsibility and non-accountability of
members and staff of the PCGG, a notion that is clearly repugnant to both the 1973 and 1987
Constitution and a privileged status not claimed by any other official of the Republic under the
1987 Constitution. x x x.

x x x

It would seem constitutionally offensive to suppose that a member or staff member of the PCGG
could not be required to testify before the Sandiganbayan or that such members were
exempted from complying with orders of this Court.

Said provision of EO No. 1 violates Section 28, Art. II of the Constitution which mandates that
Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by law, the State adopts and implements a policy
of full public disclosure of all its transactions involving public interest.

Read together with Section 7, Article III and Sec. 20, Art. VI of the 1987 Constitution.