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in Political Law
By Professor Victoria V. Loanzon
with the assistance of Atty. Clemente L. Reyes IV
and Atty. Allan Pamis

ADVISORY: In reading this material, please pay particular attention on cases penned by
Justice Bersamin.

I. Preliminary Considerations

1. What is the concept of the supremacy of the Constitution?
Answer: The Constitution is the fundamental law of the land. A constitution is the body of rules
and maxims in accordance with which the power of sovereignty are habitually exercised.

The supremacy of the Constitution mandates that all enactments of Congress, all issuances
emanating from the executive branch and private contracts must conform to the provisions of
the Constitution in all respects.

In Manila Prince Hotel v. Government Service Insurance System, the Court held:
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.

2. Enumerate the three basic parts of the 1987 Constitution.
Answer: The 1987 Constitution has the following parts:
1. Constitution of Liberty which provides for the Bill of Rights
2. Constitution of Government which provides for the government organization and the
functions of the government bureaucracy.
3. Constitution of Sovereignty which provides for the methods of amendment and revision
of the Constitution.
4. A constitution provides for a framework of government; identifies basic structures of
government and assign their respective powers and duties; and establishes principles
upon which the government is founded and its relationship to its constituents.

3. Enumerate the rules which must be observed in interpreting the Constitution.
Answer: The Court gave the following rules in the interpretation of the Constitution:
1. Verba legis: whenever possible, the words in the Constitution must be given their
ordinary meaning except when technical terms are employed.
2. Ratio legis et anima: the words in the Constitution should be interpreted in accordance
with the intent of the framers.
3. Ut magis valeat quam pereat: the Constitution must be interpreted as a whole.
(Francisco v. House of Representatives, 2003)

II. The State: Sovereignty and Amending the Constitution

1. A majority of the incumbent members of the Senate and the House of Representatives want
to introduce changes in the Constitution. What are the available options by which the
Philippine Constitution can be amended or revised?
Answer: The Constitution maybe amended or revised in the following ways:
(1). Congress, Art. XVII, Sec. 1: By Congress as a constituent assembly upon a vote of of all
its members. The constituent assembly may introduce revisions to the constitution.

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(2). Constitutional Convention, Art. XVII, Sec. 3: By 2/3 vote of all members of Congress call a
constitutional convention or by a majority vote of all its members, submit to the electorate
the question of calling such convention. The constitutional convention may likewise
introduce revisions to the constitution.

PLEASE TAKE NOTE THAT: (1). The Congress has legislative power which is plenary in nature but
the power to amend the Constitution is not included. It is within the constituent power of the
people which has been duly delegated to Congress when it convenes itself as a constituent
assembly. Congress continues to exercise its legislative body even it has already been convened
as a constituent assembly. (Gonzales v. COMELEC (1967))
(2). The Court upheld the power of Congress to enact the implementing details of the
constitutional convention provided the same do not clash with any specific provision of the
Constitution sought to be amended. (Imbong v. COMELEC (1970))

2. Disgruntled by the persistent scheme of the members of Congress to insert pork barrel funds
in the General Appropriations Act, a number of civic minded citizens rallied the electorate to
introduce amendment to the Constitution to address this concern. What is the appropriate
method to introduce such amendment?
Answer: The qualified citizens may resort to Peoples initiative under Section 2 of Art. XVII. Said
section provides: Upon petition of at least 12% of the total number of registered voters, of
which every district must be represented by at least 3% of the voters therein. This may only be
done once every five years.

3 Distinguish between amendment and revision.
Answer: Revision broadly implies a change that alters a basic principle in the constitution, like
altering the principle of separation of powers or the system of checks-and-balances. There is
also revision if the change alters the substantial entirety of the constitution, as when the
change affects substantial provisions of the constitution. On the other hand, amendment
broadly refers to a change that adds, reduces, or deletes without altering the basic principle
involved. Revision generally affects several provisions of the constitution, while amendment
generally affects only the specific provision being amended. (Lambino v. COMELEC, 505 SCRA

4. What are the two steps in the amending process?
Answer: There are two steps in the amendatory process: (1) proposal, and (2) ratification.

5. What are the two tests developed by the Court to determine if a change in the Constitution is
an amendment or a revision?
Answer: The Court has developed the two-part test: the quantitative test and the qualitative
test. The quantitative test asks whether the proposed change is "so extensive in its provisions
as to change directly the 'substantial entirety' of the constitution by the deletion or alteration
of numerous existing provisions." In quantitative test, the Court examines only the number of
provisions affected and does not consider the degree of the change. (Lambino v. COMELEC, 505
SCRA 160)

6. Discuss the manner by which amendments and revisions to the Constitution may be ratified.
Answer: In case of amendments proposed by Congress or a Convention, Art. XVII, Sec. 4,
paragraph 1: Ratification by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite conducted by COMELEC
which shall be held not earlier than 60 days nor 90 days after the approval of the amendment
or revision.
In case of amendments proposed through initiative, Art. XVII, Sec. 4, paragraph 2: Ratification
by a majority of votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not later than 60 days nor later
than 90 days after certification by COMELEC of the sufficiency of the petition.

7. May a party seek judicial intervention in amending the Constitution?
Answer: Yes: The Supreme Court may exercise judicial review over any matter relative to the
process of amending or revising the Constitution. (Lambino v. COMELEC, 505 SCRA 160)

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8. How is sovereignty exercised by the Filipinos?
Answer: The right to suffrage is a manifestation of the exercise of sovereign powers. The
Constitution has also vested in the Filipinos to participate in referendum, plebiscite, the process
of recall at the local government level and enacting laws through peoples initiative.

III. A. The State: The National Territory and UNCLOS

1. What are the elements of a state?
Answer: The elements of a state are: territory, people, sovereignty and government.

2. Enumerate the legal instruments and laws which define the Philippine territory.
Answer: Article I, 1987 Constitution defines the National Territory of the Philippines.
The following subsequent treaties and laws define the national territory as well:
(1). Treaty limits: Treaty of Paris, Art. III
(2). Treaty between Spain and U.S. concluded at Washington on November 7, 1900 and that
between U.S. and Great Britain on January 2, 1930
(3). Method of determining baselines under R.A. No. 3046, June 17, 1961, R.A. No.5446,
September 8, 1968; and R.A. No. 9522( Philippine Archipelagic Baselines Law) , March 10,
2009, using the straight line approach
(4). P.D. No. 1596, June 11, 1978 which delineated other territories over which the
Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction
(5). Two Hundred-Mile Exclusive Economic Zone under P.D. No. 1599, June 11, 1978

3. Petitioner Magallona assailed the constitutionality of R.A. No. 9522 on two principal grounds,
(1) RA 9522 reduces Philippine maritime territory, and logically, the reach of the
Philippine states sovereign power, in violation of Article 1 of the 1987 Constitution,
embodying the terms of the Treaty of Paris and ancillary treaties, and
(2) RA 9522 opens the countrys waters landward of the baselines to maritime passage
by all vessels and aircrafts, undermining Philippine sovereignty and national security,
contravening the countrys nuclear-free policy, and damaging marine resources, in
violation of relevant constitutional provisions. Are the arguments of Petitioner
Magallona tenable?
Answer: No, the arguments of Petitioner Magallona are not tenable. R.A. 9522 is a statutory
tool to demarcate the countrys maritime zones and the extended continental shelf under
UNCLOS III and not to delineate the Philippine territory.
UNCLOS III has nothing to do with the acquisition (or loss) of territory. It is a multilateral treaty
regulating, among others, sea-use rights over maritime zones (i.e., the territorial waters [12
nautical miles from the baselines], contiguous zone [24 nautical miles from the baselines],
exclusive economic zone [200 nautical miles from the baselines]), and continental shelves that
UNCLOS III delimits.
The use of the framework of the Regime of Islands to determine the maritime zones of the
Kalayaan Island Group and the Scarborough Shoal is not inconsistent with the Philippines claim
over the subject territories as well as claims over Sabah.
The provisions of R.A. 9522 are compliant with UNCLOS III and do not violate the rights of the
Philippines over its internal waters.

4. As a signatory of UNCLOS, may the Philippines seek legal relief on its claim as a coastal state
against another signatory to the agreement?
Answer: A party to UNCLOS may avail of three remedies, to wit:
(1). Article 279. Obligation to settle disputes by peaceful means
(2). Article 280. Settlement of disputes by any peaceful means chosen by the parties
(3). Article 286 of UNCLOS provides that subject to Section 3, any dispute concerning the
interpretation or application of this Convention shall, where no settlement has been
reached by recourse to Section1, be submitted at the request of any party to the dispute to
the court or tribunal having jurisdiction under this Section.

The Philippines filed an arbitration case- The Republic of the Philippines v. The Peoples
Republic of China- to challenge Chinas nine-dash line claim in the South China Sea.

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On October 29, 2015, the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that it has jurisdiction on the
Philippines case questioning the legality of Chinas enormous claims in the South China Sea.
The Philippines case is anchored on the 1982 Convention which allows coastal states the right
to manage, explore and exploit areas within its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone.
It also tackles the status of certain maritime features in the South China Sea (which the
Philippines calls the West Philippine Sea) and the maritime entitlements they are capable of
generating, and the lawfulness of certain actions by China in the South China Sea that are
alleged by the Philippines to violate the UNCLOS.
The Philippines said Chinas assertion of having indisputable and historical claims that
extends beyond what is allowed by the UNCLOS infringes on the countrys maritime jurisdiction
and prevents it from exercising its right under the convention.

5. What are the significant pronouncements of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in its July 12,
2016 ruling?
Answer: The Permanent Court of Arbitration "concluded that, as between the Philippines and
China, there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources, in excess of the
rights provided for by the Convention, within the sea areas falling within the '9-dash line.' The
tribunal said that "all of the high-tide features in the Spratly Islands (including, for example, Itu
Aba, Thitu, West York Island, Spratly Island, North-East Cay, South-West Cay) are legally "rocks"
that do not generate an exclusive economic zone or continental shelf."

6. What are the maritime zones of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Seas, April 30, 1982
which are pertinent to the claim of the Philippine government?
Answer: The following provisions of UNCLOS are relevant to the claim of the Philippine
(1). Internal waters of the Philippines consist of waters around, between and connecting
the islands of the Philippine Archipelago, regardless of their breadth and dimensions,
including the waters in bays, rivers and lakes. No right of innocent passage for foreign
vessels exists in the case of internal waters. (Harris, Cases and Materials on International
Law, 5th ed., 1998, p. 407).
(2). Contiguous zone is the zone contiguous to the territorial sea and extends up to twelve
nautical miles from the territorial sea and over which the coastal state may exercise control
necessary to prevent infringement of its customs, fiscal, immigration or sanitary laws and
regulations within the territory or territorial sea. (Article 33 of UNCLOS)
(3). Territorial Sea extends up to twenty-four nautical miles.
(4). Extended Continental Shelf extends up to 150 nautical miles.
(5). Exclusive Economic Zone is the zone extending up to 200 nautical miles from the
baselines of a state over which the coastal state has sovereign rights for the purpose of
exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing its natural resources, whether living or
non-living, of the waters super adjacent to the seabed and of the seabed and subsoil and
with regard to other activities for the economic exploitation and exploration of the zone.
(Articles 56 and 57, UNCLOS)
PLEASE NOTE THAT - Under UNCLOS, however, warships enjoy a right of innocent passage when
a portion of the territorial water of the coastal state is used for international navigation.
Article 42(2) of UNCLOS provides that there shall be no suspension of innocent passage through
straits used for international navigation. The right of the coastal state to suspend the same
requires that the coastal nation must publish the same and without any publication, it cannot
insist to suspend the use of such body of water. A claim that suspension of innocent passage is
necessary for national security may be cited by the coastal state. Upon the other hand, if a war
ship delayed its right of innocence, the same may justified under Article 18(2) of UNCLOS if the
delay was caused by rendering assistance to persons or ship in distress.

PLEASE NOTE THAT - Flag state means a ship has the nationality of the flag of the state it flies,
but there must be a genuine link between the state and the ship. (Article 91, UNCLOS)
Flag of convenience refers to a state with which a vessel is registered for various reasons such
as low or non-existent taxation or low-operating costs although the ship has no genuine link
with that state. (Harris, ibid. p.425)

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7. May a foreign military vessel sail through the territorial waters of the Philippines?
Answer: As a general rule, a foreign military vessel cannot enter the territorial waters of the
Philippines. The rule is not absolute. In a decided case, the Court held that when the US
Embassy in the Philippines requested diplomatic clearance for USS Guardian "to enter and exit
the territorial waters of the Philippines and to arrive at the port of Subic Bay for the purpose of
routine ship replenishment, maintenance, and crew liberty in conformity with the provisions of
the Visiting Forces Agreement, it was covered by the exception to the general rule. (Arigo v.

8. Is the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity considered a political subdivision and therefore a part of
the Philippine territory?
Answer: No. The Bangsamoro Juridical Entity is not a political subdivision within the
contemplation of the Constitution. However, the areas covered under the BJE are part of the
Philippine territory.
BJE is more in the nature of an associative state under public international law and it can
eventually gain statehood. The Court held that no province, city, or municipality, not even the
ARMM, is recognized under our laws as having an associative relationship with the national
government. Indeed, the concept implies powers that go beyond anything ever granted by the
Constitution to any local or regional government. It also implies the recognition of the
associated entity as a state. The Constitution, however, does not contemplate any state in this
jurisdiction other than the Philippine State, much less does it provide for a transitory status that
aims to prepare any part of Philippine territory for independence. (Consolidated Petitions:
Province of Cotabato v. G.R.P., G.R. No. 208566, October 14, 2008)

III. B. The State: People

1. Who are citizens of the Philippines?
Answer: The following are citizens of the Philippines:
1. Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of this
2. Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines;
3. Those born before January 17, 1973, of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine
Citizenship upon reaching the age of majority; and
4. Those who are naturalized in the accordance with law (Section 1, Article IV)

2. How may one become a naturalized Filipino citizen?
Answer: An alien may become a Filipino citizen by:
1. Filing a Petition for Naturalization before the Regional Trial Court under the provisions
of C.A. 143.
2. Filing an application for reacquisition of Philippine citizenship under R.A. 9225.
3. Filing a local bill with Congress for grant of Philippine citizenship.

3. What is the rule on a claim of Philippine citizenship?
Answer: A person claiming Philippine citizenship has the burden of proof to establish such
claim. In the case of In re: Vicente Ching, the Court held that Philippine citizenship can never
be treated like a commodity that can be claimed when needed and suppressed when
convenient. One who is privileged to elect Philippine citizenship has only an inchoate right to
such citizenship. As such, he should avail of the right with fervor, enthusiasm and promptitude.
One must choose Philippine citizenship within a reasonable period which has been construed as
within three years upon reaching the age of majority.

4. May a former Filipino citizen seek to be elected into public office?
Answer: Yes. A former Filipino seeking an elective public office may be a candidate provided
that he has perfected his reacquisition of Filipino citizenship on the day of election. (Frivaldo v.
COMELEC, 257 SCRA 727)

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5. How is Philippine citizenship construed under the Philippine electoral process?
Answer: The right to govern by virtue of a mandate from the people is not absolute. The Court
held that the will of the people as expressed through the ballot cannot cure the vice of
ineligibility, especially if they mistakenly believed, as in this case, that the candidate was
qualified. Obviously, this rule requires strict application when the deficiency is lack of
citizenship. If a person seeks to serve in the Republic of the Philippines, he must owe his total
loyalty to this country only, abjuring and renouncing all fealty and fidelity to any other state.
(Frivaldo v. COMELEC, 257 SCRA 727)

6. May one who has been repatriated as a Filipino citizen and continues to use his foreign
passport still qualify for an elective public position?
Answer: A candidate for a political position who repatriated himself as a Filipino citizen but
who continues to use his American passport is deemed not qualified to run for an elective
position. The passport is indicative of ones citizenship. (Macquiling v. COMELEC, July 2, 2013)

7. Pillos filed a Petition to Deny Course to Cancel the Certificate of Candidacy of Agustin for lack
of residence. In his pleading, Agustin raised as a matter of defense his reacquisition of
Philippine citizenship to establish his claim of residence. Pillos was able to obtain certification
from the Bureau of Immigration that Agustin used his U.S. passport for his travel to Hawaii. Is
Agustin qualified to run as Mayor?
Answer: While Agustin filed a valid CoC, the use of his USA passport after his renunciation of
foreign citizenship rendered him disqualified from continuing as a mayoralty candidate.
(Arsenio Agustin vs. Commission on Elections and Salvador Pillos , G.R. No. 207105, November
10, 2015, Bersamin, J. )

8. What are the best proofs of reacquisition of Philippine citizenship?

Answer: The best proofs are: Affidavit of Renunciation and Oath of Allegiance.
(Arsenio Agustin vs. Commission on Elections and Salvador Pillos, G.R. No. 207105, November
10, 2015, Bersamin, J. )

9. Assume a situation where there is a seeming conflict as to availment of rights of a Filipino

citizen under an international agreement and a Philippine law, which would prevail, the
domestic law or the international agreement?
Answer: In Secretary of Justice v. Judge Lantion (343 SCRA 377), the Court speaking through
Justice Melo, said that the individual citizen is but a speck of particle or molecule vis--vis the
vast and overwhelming powers of government. His only guarantee against oppression and
tyranny are his fundamental liberties under the Bill of Rights which shield him in times of need.
The Court upheld a citizen's basic due process rights against the government's ironclad duties
under a treaty.

10. What is the citizenship of a foundling abandoned on the footsteps of a church in Iloilo?
Answer: As a matter of law, foundlings are as a class, natural-born citizens.
Poe-Llmanzares v. COMELEC (March 8, 2016) found no intent or language permitting
discrimination against foundlings. On the contrary, all three Constitutions guarantee the basic
right to equal protection of the laws. All exhort the State to render social justice. Of special
consideration are several provisions in the present charter: Article II, Section 11 which provides
that the "State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human
rights," Article XIII, Section 1 which mandates Congress to "give highest priority to the
enactment of measures that protect and enhance the right of all the people to human dignity,
reduce social, economic, and political inequalities x x x" and Article XV, Section 3 which requires
the State to defend the "right of children to assistance, including proper care and nutrition, and
special protection from all forms of neglect, abuse, cruelty, exploitation, and other conditions
prejudicial to their development."

11. What is the rule on the treatment of foundlings under domestic adoption laws?
Answer: Domestic laws on adoption also support the principle that foundlings are Filipinos.
These laws do not provide that adoption confers citizenship upon the adoptee. Rather, the
adoptee must be a Filipino in the first place to be adopted. The most basic of such laws is

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Article 15 of the Civil Code which provides that "[l]aws relating to family rights, duties, status,
conditions, legal capacity of persons are binding on citizens of the Philippines even though
living abroad." Adoption deals with status, and a Philippine adoption court will have jurisdiction
only if the adoptee is a Filipino. (Ellis and Ellis v. Republic, 117 Phil. 976 (1963))

III. C. The State and the Concept of State Immunity

1. What is state immunity?
Answer: State immunity is a shield which the state enjoys and may claim in the event a suit is
filed against it. Section 3 of Article XVI provides that the state cannot be sued without its
consent. While the doctrine appears to prohibit only suits against the state without its consent,
it is also applicable to complaints filed against officials of the state for acts allegedly performed
by them in the discharge of their duties. The rule is that if the judgment against such officials
will require the state itself to perform an affirmative act to satisfy the same, such as the
appropriation of the amount needed to pay the damages awarded against them, the suit must
be regarded as against the state.

2. What are the two theories which govern the application of the concept of state immunity?
Answer: There are two conflicting concepts of sovereign immunity, each widely held and firmly
established. According to the classical or absolute theory, a sovereign cannot, without its
consent, be made a respondent in the courts of another sovereign. According to the newer or
restrictive theory, the immunity of the sovereign is recognized only with regard to public acts
or acts jure imperii of a state, but not with regard to private acts or acts jure gestionis. (Holy
See v. Rosario, G.R. No. 101949, 1 December 1994, 238 SCRA 524, 535)

3. Cite instances when the state gives its consent to be sued.
Answer: Manner by which consent is given:
(1). Express consent
(a) General law; or
(b) Special law
(2). Implied consent
(a) When the State commences litigation, it becomes vulnerable to a counterclaim;
(b) State enters into a business contract in the exercise of its proprietary power;
(c) When it would be inequitable for the State to invoke immunity; and
(d) When the state exercises it power of eminent domain.

4. When is a suit against the state?
Answer: When a suit is against the state:
A suit is against the State regardless of who is named the defendant if:
(1). It produces adverse consequences to the public treasury in terms of disbursement of public
funds and loss of government property.
(2). It cannot prosper unless the State has given its consent.

5. When is a suit not against the state?
Answer: When not against the state
A suit is not against the State:
(1) When the purpose of the suit is to compel an officer charged with the duty of making
payments pursuant to an appropriation made by law in favor of the plaintiff to make such
payment, since the suit is intended to compel performance of a ministerial duty;
(2) When from the allegations in the complaint, it is clear that the respondent is a public officer
sued in a private capacity; and
(3) When the action is not in personam with the government as the named defendant, but an
action in rem that does not name the government in particular.

6. Can a private party make a government entity liable on a contract which that private party
executed with another private party?

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Answer: No. Under the principle that the state cannot be sued without its consent, a third party
cannot hold a government entity liable. The government entity is a stranger to the contract
between the two private parties. (Department of Agriculture v. NLRC, 227 SCRA)

7. The University of the Philippines (U.P.) signed a contract with Stern Builders Company
(SBC) for the expansion of Arts and Sciences Building in its Los Banos campus. U.P. failed to
pay the full balance of its obligation to SBC. SBC filed a civil suit against U.P. to collect the
outstanding balance under its contract with U.P. and also asked for award of damages. The trial
court allowed the garnishment of funds of U.P. from its depository bank to cover its
outstanding obligation to SBC as well awards of actual damages of 5,716,729.00, moral
damages of 10,000,000.00 and attorneys fees of 150,000.00 plus 1,500.00 per
appearance. Was the order of garnishment proper?
Answer: No. Trial judges should not immediately issue writs of execution or garnishment
against the Government or any of its subdivisions, agencies and instrumentalities to enforce
money judgments. They should bear in mind that the primary jurisdiction to examine, audit and
settle all claims of any sort due from the Government or any of its subdivisions, agencies and
instrumentalities pertains to the Commission on Audit (COA) pursuant to Presidential Decree
No. 1445 (Government Auditing Code of the Philippines). (University of the Philippines v.
Hon.Dizon and Stern Builders, 679 SCRA 54 (BERSAMIN, J.)

8. What is the primary reason why government funds may not be subject of garnishment and
Answer: The universal rule that where the State gives its consent to be sued by private parties
either by general or special law, it may limit claimants action "only up to the completion of
proceedings anterior to the stage of execution" and that the power of the Courts ends when
the judgment is rendered, since government funds and properties may not be seized under
writs of execution or garnishment to satisfy such judgments, is based on obvious
considerations of public policy. Disbursements of public funds must be covered by the
corresponding appropriation as required by law. The functions and public services rendered by
the State cannot be allowed to be paralyzed or disrupted by the diversion of public funds from
their legitimate and specific objects, as appropriated by law.( Republic v. Villasor, G.R. No. L-
30671, November 28, 1973, 54 SCRA 83, 87)

9. SBC argued that U.P. is precluded from questioning the award of damages since the same has
become final and executory and in keeping the doctrine of immutability of judgment, the same
can no longer be appealed. U.P. appealed the award on equitable grounds since there was no
proper service of the copy of decision on its General Counsel stationed in Diliman campus since
the decision was served in Los Banos campus. As between SBCs and U.P.s legal positions
which would prevail?
Answer: The doctrine of immutability of a final judgment has not been absolute, and has
admitted several exceptions, among them: (a) the correction of clerical errors; (b) the so-called
nunc pro tunc entries that cause no prejudice to any party; (c) void judgments; and (d)
whenever circumstances transpire after the finality of the decision that render its execution
unjust and inequitable.
U.P.s legal argument is covered by the exception of the doctrine immutability of judgment.
Equity jurisdiction aims to do complete justice in cases where a court of law is unable to
adapt its judgments to the special circumstances of a case because of the inflexibility of its
statutory or legal jurisdiction. (University of the Philippines v. Hon. Dizon and Stern Builders
Corporation, 679 SCRA 54 , BERSAMIN, J.)

10. What is the distinction between suability and liability of the state?
Answer: Suability depends on the consent of the state to be sued while liability relies on the
applicable law and the established facts. The circumstance that a state is suable does not
necessarily mean that it is liable; on the other hand, it can never be held liable if it does not first
consent to be sued. Liability is not conceded by the mere fact that the state has allowed itself to
be sued. When the state does waive its sovereign immunity, it is only giving the plaintiff the
chance to prove, if it can, that the defendant is liable. (Municipality of San Fernando, La
Union v. Firme, G.R. No. L-52179, April 8, 1991, 195 SCRA 692, 697 cited in U.P. v. Hon. Dizon)

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11. Can a government counsel be held personally liable for damages through a counterclaim
while defending the interest of the state?
Answer: No. A public officer may not be held liable for the counterclaim by one of the accused
when he performs his duties in good faith. (Chavez v. Sandiganbayan, 193 SCRA 282)

12. May private individuals bring a suit against the Commander of a warship of the United
States of America for its grounding, salvaging and post-salvaging operations which cause and
continue to cause environmental damage to the marine resources of the Philippines in violation
of environmental laws of the country?
Answer: Yes. The Court can relax the procedure rules when the petition raises a matter of
transcendental importance. The Court held that the liberalization of standing first enunciated in
Oposa, insofar as it refers to minors and generations yet unborn, is now enshrined in the Rules
which allows the filing of a citizen suit in environmental cases. The provision on citizen suits in
the Rules collapses the traditional rule on personal and direct interest, on the principle that
humans are stewards of nature. (Bishop Arigo et al v. Scott H. Swift et al.)

13. What is rule on the immunity of foreign states from the jurisdiction of domestic courts?
Answer: In the case of Minucher v. Court of Appeals, the Court expounded on the immunity of
foreign states from the jurisdiction of local courts, as follows:
The precept that a State cannot be sued in the courts of a foreign state is a long-standing rule
of customary international law then closely identified with the personal immunity of a foreign
sovereign from suit and, with the emergence of democratic states, made to attach not just to
the person of the head of state, or his representative, but also distinctly to the state itself in its
sovereign capacity. If the acts giving rise to a suit are those of a foreign government done by
its foreign agent, although not necessarily a diplomatic personage, but acting in his official
capacity, the complaint could be barred by the immunity of the foreign sovereign from suit
without its consent. Suing a representative of a state is believed to be, in effect, suing the state
itself. The proscription is not accorded for the benefit of an individual but for the State, in
whose service he is, under the maxim - par in parem, non habet imperium that all states are
sovereign equals and cannot assert jurisdiction over one another. The implication, in broad
terms, is that if the judgment against an official would require the state itself to perform an
affirmative act to satisfy the award, such as the appropriation of the amount needed to pay the
damages decreed against him, the suit must be regarded as being against the state itself,
although it has not been formally impleaded.

14. Can China National Machinery & Equipment Corp. (CNMEG) claim that it is immune from
suit since it is acting as an agent of the government of China and the contract for the North
Railway Project is covered by an Executive Agreement?
Answer: Absent any certification from the Department of Foreign Affairs, CNMEG is presumed
to be neither a government entity nor an agent of the government of China. Even on the
assumption that it is a government entity, the restrictive application of state immunity is proper
when the proceedings arise out of commercial transactions of the foreign sovereign, its
commercial activities or economic affairs. Stated differently, a State may be said to have
descended to the level of an individual and can thus be deemed to have tacitly given its consent
to be sued only when it enters into business contracts. It does not apply where the contract
relates to the exercise of its sovereign functions. CNMEG is engaged in a proprietary activity.
To be considered an executive agreement, the following three requisites provided under the
Vienna Convention must nevertheless concur: (a) the agreement must be between states; (b)
it must be written; and (c) it must be governed by international law.
CNMEG cannot invoke immunity from suit since the railway project is purely a commercial
undertaking since not all the requisites of an executive agreement are present. (China National
Machinery & Equipment Corp. (Group) v. Santamaria, 665 SCRA 189 (2012))

15. Can an employee of the Asian Development Bank invoke diplomatic immunity as a defense
to dismiss charges of acts of slander by another co-employee?

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Answer: No, an employee of the Asian Development Bank cannot invoke diplomatic immunity
because the grant of such immunity is not absolute and is limited only in relation to ones
official duties.
Section 45 of the Agreement between the Philippines and the Asian Development provides:
Bank, Officers and staff of the Bank including for the purpose of this Article experts and
consultants performing missions for the Bank shall enjoy the following privileges and
x x x immunity from legal process with respect to acts performed by them in their official
capacity except when the Bank waives the immunity.
The immunity mentioned therein is not absolute, but subject to the exception that the acts
covered must be done in "official capacity. Slandering a person could not possibly be covered
by the immunity agreement because Philippine laws do not allow the commission of a crime,
such as defamation, in the name of official duty. (Liang v. People, 323 SCRA 692 (2000) 355
SCRA 125 (2001))

16. Is government bound by the mistakes of lawyers in a land registration case?
Answer: In a decided case, the Court reiterated that [a]s a matter of doctrine, illegal acts of
government agents do not bind the State and the Government is never estopped from
questioning the acts of its officials, more so if they are erroneous, let alone irregular. This
principle applies in land registration cases. Certainly, the State will not be allowed to abdicate
its authority over lands of the public domain just because its agents and officers have been
negligent in the performance of their duties. Under the regalian doctrine, all lands of the
public domain belong to the State, and the State is the source of any asserted right to
ownership in land and charged with the conservation of such patrimony. (Heirs of Reyes v.
Republic, 529 Phil. 510, 520-521 (2006),Land Bank of the Philippines v. Republic, 567 Phil. 427
(2008); Republic v. Lao, 453 Phil. 189 (2003); Spouses Morandarte v. Court of Appeals, 479
Phil. 870 (2004); Spouses Palomo v. Court of Appeals, 334 Phil. and Reyes v. Court of Appeals,
356 Phil. 605, 624 (1998) cited in Republic v. Spouses Benigno, G.R. No. 205492, March 11,

17. Spouses Ramos sued the Air Transportation Office (ATO) for non-payment of the portion
of their property which ATO had been utilizing in Loakan Airport. ATO moved to dismiss the suit
upon the claim that it is immune from suit. Is the claim of ATO proper?
Answer: No. The Court held that ATO is an agency of the government not performing a purely
governmental or sovereign function, but was involved in the management and maintenance of
the Loakan Airport, an activity that was not the exclusive prerogative of the State in its
sovereign capacity. Hence, the ATO had no claim to the States immunity from suit.
Furthermore, the doctrine of state immunity cannot be used as a shield to defeat a valid claim
for compensation arising from the taking without just compensation and without the proper
expropriation proceeding being first resorted to. (AIR TRANSPORTATION OFFICE v. SPOUSES
DAVID AND ELISEA RAMOS, GR No. 159402, February 23, 2011, Bersamin, J.)


1. In the event the Bangsamoro Basic Law is enacted into law, may the Philippine flag be
Answer: Yes but not by mere law but by amendment or revision of the Constitution. The
Philippine flag is specifically described under Section1 of Article XVI of the Constitution.

2. Can the President recommend to Congress to change the countrys name, national anthem
and government seal?
Answer: Yes. The countrys name, national anthem and government seal may be changed by
law provided the same is submitted to the people for ratification. (Art. XVI, Sec. 2).

3. May the President as Commander-in-Chief be held liable for the death of police officers in an
encounter with the National Peoples Army under the principle of command responsibility?

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Answer: No. The principle of command responsibility/ chain of command will only apply when
the President acts as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (Art. XVI, Sec.
4, Art. XVI, Sec. 5, Art. XVIII, Sec. 24). The Philippine National Police is not part of the Armed
Forces of the Philippines.

4. In view of the growth of cable television industry in the country, some foreign-owned
broadcast media would like to engage business in the Philippines and register under Philippine
laws. Is this legally possible?
Answer: No. The Constitution provides that ownership and management of mass media shall be
100% Filipino owned (Art. XVI, Sec. 11(1)).

5. Adorable Advertising Company is a company owned by Mexican nationals. Can it be allowed
to engage in advertising business in the Philippines?
Answer: No. The Constitution provides that ownership of advertising companies shall be 70%
Filipino owned (Art. XVI, Sec. 11(1), Art. XVIII, Sec. 23).

6. Can Congress enact a law which would require the ratification of a treaty signed by the
President and concurred in by two thirds vote of the Senate?
Answer: Yes. Section 25 of Article XVIII of the Constitution provides that a treaty which would
require the establishment of foreign military bases, the presence of foreign military personnel
and installation of equipment of a foreign military power allows Congress to enact the law
which require the ratification of the treaty by a majority vote of the electorate.

7. What is the nature of agricultural land to be covered under the agrarian reform program
within the contemplation of the framers of the Constitution?
Answer: The Constitutional Commission never intended to include lands used for raising
livestock and poultry, and commercial, industrial and residential lands within the coverage of
the Agrarian Reform Program of the Government is already settled.
In Luz Farms v. Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform (192 SCRA 51), the Court
pointed this out: The transcripts of the deliberations of the Constitutional Commission of 1986
on the meaning of the word agricultural clearly show that it was never the intention of the
framers of the Constitution to include livestock and poultry industry in the coverage of the
constitutionally-mandated agrarian reform program of the Government. Thus, a lot inside the
poblacion should be presumed residential, or commercial, or non-agricultural unless there is a
clearly preponderant evidence to show that it is agricultural.

V. GENERAL PRINCIPLES (including Principles of Public International Law) AND STATE POLICIES

1. John Williams is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces participating the Balikatan exercises
under the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). Peeved by the attitude of Pedro Reyes, a Filipino
waiter, in a local bar in Olongapo City, he hit him and Reyes fell on the ground which
accidentally caused his death. Can John Williams be criminally held under Philippine laws?
Answer: Yes. In Nicolas v. Romulo, Daniel Smith was tried and convicted of rape under the
Revised Penal Code. John Williams, a military officer of U.S. government contingent
participating in the Balikatan military exercises must face trial before the Philippine courts for a
crime committed under the Revised Penal Code.

2. What is the nature of the Visiting Forces Agreement?
Answer: The Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) is a treaty. As held in BAYAN (Bagong
Alyansang Makabayan) v. Exec. Sec. Zamora, the VFA was duly concurred in by the Philippine
Senate and has been recognized as a treaty by the United States as attested and certified by the
duly authorized representative of the United States government.
The VFA is an agreement which defines the treatment of United States troops and personnel
visiting the Philippines to promote common security interests between the US and the
Philippines in the region. It provides for the guidelines to govern such visits of military
personnel, and further defines the rights of the United States and the Philippine government in
the matter of criminal jurisdiction, movement of vessel and aircraft, importation and
exportation of equipment, materials and supplies.

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3. Does EDCA suffer from any constitutional infirmity?
Answer: As it is, EDCA is not constitutionally infirm. As an executive agreement, it remains
consistent with existing laws and treaties that it purports to implement. The admission and
presence of U.S. military and civilian personnel in Philippine territory are already allowed under
the VFA, the treaty supposedly being implemented by EDCA. What EDCA has effectively done,
in fact, is merely provide the mechanism to identify the locations in which U.S. personnel may
perform allowed activities pursuant to the VFA. As the implementing agreement, it regulates
and limits the presence of U.S. personnel in the country.
Both EDCA and the Terms of Reference of the VFA authorize the U.S. to perform the following:
(a) participate in training exercises; (b) retain command over their forces; (c) establish
temporary structures in the country; (d) share in the use of their respective resources,
equipment and other assets; and (e) exercise their right to self-defense
The new EDCA would grant American troops, ships and planes rotational access to facilities of
the Armed Forces of the Philippines but not permanent bases which are prohibited under the
Philippine Constitution - with the result of reducing response time should an external threat
from a common adversary crystallize.

4. What are restrictions imposed by the Constitution in the exercise of the diplomatic powers
by the President?
Answer: Although the Chief Executive wields the exclusive authority to conduct foreign
relations, this power must still be exercised within the context and the parameters set by the
Constitution, as well as by existing domestic and international laws. There are constitutional
provisions that restrict or limit the President's prerogative in concluding international
agreements, such as those that involve the following:
a. The policy of freedom from nuclear weapons within Philippine territory;
b. The fixing of tariff rates, import and export quotas, tonnage and wharfage dues, and other
duties or imposts, which must be pursuant to the authority granted by Congress;
c. The grant of any tax exemption, which must be pursuant to a law concurred in by a majority
of all the Members of Congress;
d. The contracting or guaranteeing, on behalf of the Philippines, of foreign loans that must be
previously concurred in by the Monetary Board;
e. The authorization of the presence of foreign military bases, troops, or facilities in the country
must be in the form of a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate; and
f. For agreements that do not fall under paragraph 5, the concurrence of the Senate is required,
should the form of the government chosen be a treaty;

5. May a treaty concurred by the Senate be a subject of ratification by the people?
Answer: Under Section 25 of Article XVIII of the Constitution, an agreement - the subject of
which is the entry of foreign military troops, bases, or facilities - is particularly restricted. The
requirements are that it be in the form of a treaty concurred in by the Senate; that when
Congress so requires, it be ratified by a majority of the votes cast by the people in a national
referendum held for that purpose; and that it be recognized as a treaty by the other contracting

6. If an ambassador of a foreign country is found liable under Philippine laws, how will he be
Answer: The Supreme Court shall exercise original jurisdiction over cases affecting
ambassadors. (Sec.5 (1), Art. VIII). In this particular case, the Supreme Court becomes a trier of
facts and law.

7. Only independent states may become subjects of public international law. Characterize an
independent state.
Answer: The existence of a state is a function of recognition in a community of nations. The
Court said that a state is required in line with Pound's formulation that it be a politically
organized sovereign community independent of outside control bound by penalties of
nationhood, legally supreme within its territory, acting through a government functioning

12 | P a g e

under a regime of law. (Elements of a state: people, territory, government and sovereignty).
(Collector of Internal Revenue v. Campos Rueda, 42 SCRA 23)

8. May citizens belatedly ask that treaty provisions be reviewed covering the Reparations Treaty
between U.S.A. and Japan since the same overlooked the damages they sustained?
Answer: No. Relations between nations may be jus gentium (governed by the law of nations)
and jus inter gentis (agreement between nations). The Court cannot interfere with or question
the wisdom of the conduct of foreign relations by the Executive Department. Accordingly,
we cannot direct the Executive Department, either by writ of certiorari or injunction, to
conduct our foreign relations with Japan in a certain manner.
The Supreme Court adopted ICJs ruling in Barcelona Traction that within the limits prescribed
by international law, a State may exercise diplomatic protection by whatever means and to
whatever extent it thinks fit, for it is its own right that the State is asserting. Should the natural
or legal person on whose behalf it is acting consider that their rights are not adequately
protected, they have no remedy in international law. (VINUYA v. ROMULO, G.R. No. 162230,
12 August 2014, Bersamin)

9. May the President be compelled by the Supreme Court to accede to the request of the
petitioners to demand a public apology from Japan?
Answer: No. The Court concluded that the State is the sole judge to decide whether its
protection will be granted, to what extent it is granted, and when will it cease.
Since the Constitution has entrusted to the Executive Department the conduct of foreign
relations for the Philippines. Whether or not to espouse petitioners' claim against the
Government of Japan is left to the exclusive determination and judgment of the Executive
Department. The Court cannot interfere with or question the wisdom of the conduct of foreign
relations by the Executive Department.
The Court held that a mandatory injunction will not lie since it requires the performance of a
particular act. Hence, it is an extreme remedy to be granted only if the following requisites are
attendant, namely:
(a) The applicant has a clear and unmistakable right, that is, a right in esse;
(b) There is a material and substantial invasion of such right; and
(c) There is an urgent need for the writ to prevent irreparable injury to the applicant; and no
other ordinary, speedy, and adequate remedy exists to prevent the infliction of irreparable
The Court cannot issue a writ requiring the President to act in a specific manner on any matter
affecting the countrys foreign policies. (Vinuya v. Executive Secretary (G.R. No. 162230, April
25, 2010 and August 13, 2014, BERSAMIN, J. penned the decision in the Motion for

10. May the COMELEC deny the petition of Ang Ladlad to participate in the party list system on
moral grounds?
Answer: No, the COMELEC must cite specific provisions under the Party List Law to disqualify
Ang Ladlad from participating under the party-list system. The Constitution likewise guarantees
equal opportunities to public service without discrimination. (Ang Ladlad LGBT Party v.
Commission on Elections, 618 SCRA 32)

11. May Congress infringe on the religious beliefs of individuals in the medical profession as
well as spouses in the enforcement of the Reproductive Health Law?
Answer: No. The enactment of a law which infringes on the religious beliefs of individuals in the
medical profession as well as spouses violates the constitutional principle of separation of
church and the state under Section 6 of Article VI as well as Section 5 of the Bill of Rights.

12. Does the VAWC law violate the equal protection clause?
Answer: The VAWC law is constitutional and does not violate the equal protection clause. The
law is intended to protect the rights of women and children in keeping with Section 12 of
Article II as well as Section 14 of Article XIII. The equal protection clause has the following
(1). the distinction must be substantial;

13 | P a g e

(2). the classification must be germane to the purpose of the law;
(3). the classification must apply not only to existing conditions; and
(4). the classification must apply to all members of the same class. (Garcia v. Hon. Drilon,
699 SCRA 352)

13. Can the Supreme Court still reverse the decision of the trial court affirmed by Court of
Appeals which annulled the marriage of Liberty Albios to Daniel Fringer, an American citizen,
on account of immigration fraud?
Answer: Yes. The Court reversed the finding of the lower courts that the marriage between
Albios and Fringer was contracted in jest. The Court concluded that Albios and Fringer had an
undeniable intention to be bound in order to create the very bond necessary to allow the
respondent to acquire American citizenship. Only a genuine consent to be married would allow
them to further their objective, considering that only a valid marriage can properly support an
application for citizenship. There was, thus, an apparent intention to enter into the actual
marriage status and to create a legal tie, albeit for a limited purpose. Genuine consent was,
therefore, clearly present.
The Constitution safeguards the sanctity of marriage. (Section 12, Article II and Article XV, 1987
Constitution). (Republic v. Albios, G.R. No. 198780, October 16, 2013, Mendoza, J. )

14. Is biotechnology covered by the protection of the Constitution?
Answer: Yes. Biotechnology is a multi-disciplinary field which may be defined as "any
technique that uses living organisms or substances from those organisms to make or modify a
product, to improve plants or animals, or to develop microorganisms for specific uses." Its many
applications include agricultural production, livestock, industrial chemicals and
pharmaceuticals. The Court in the case of International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-
Biotech Applications, Inc. v. Greenpeace Southeast Asia (Philippines)(G.R. No.209271, 8
December 2015) said that genetically modified crops affect the environment in many ways such
as contaminating non-GMO plants, creating super weeds and super pests, harming non-target
species, changing soil microbial and biochemical properties, and threatening biodiversity.
Applying the Precautionary Principle, the Court required the government to install the
necessary protocols to ensure compliance with the constitutional guarantee of the people to
good health and the right to a balanced ecology. (Sections 15 and 16 of Article II, 1987

15. The Department of Agrarian Reform appealed the decision of the Court of Appeals which
ruled that the property of Berenguer located in a poblacion was not covered the
Comprehensive Agrarian Land Reform Law. On the part of Berengeur, he argued the presence
of livestock does not necessarily make his property agricultural in nature. Is a parcel of land
dedicated to livestock raising covered by the Comprehensive Land Reform Law?
Answer: No. The Court held that the Constitutional Commission never intended to include
lands used for raising livestock and poultry, and commercial, industrial and residential lands
within the coverage of the Agrarian Reform Program of the Government. The Court also
concluded that a lot inside the poblacion should be presumed residential, or commercial, or
non-agricultural unless there is a clearly preponderant evidence to show that it is agricultural.
(Department of Agrarian Reform vs. Berenguer, 614 SCRA 499, G.R. No. 154094 March 9,
2010, Bersamin, J.)

16. What is the basis of the implementation of the agrarian reform program?
Answer: Section 4, Article XIII, of the Constitution has mandated the implementation of an
agrarian reform program for the distribution of agricultural lands to landless farmers subject to
the payment of just compensation to the landowners, viz:
Section 4. The Sate shall, by law, undertake an agrarian reform program founded on
the right of farmers and regular farmworkers, who are landless, to own directly or
collectively the lands they till or, in the case of other farmworkers, to receive a just
share of the fruits thereof. To this end, the State shall encourage and undertake the just
distribution of all agricultural lands, subject to such priorities and reasonable retention
limits as the Congress may prescribe, taking into account ecological, developmental, or
equity considerations, and subject to the payment of just compensation. In determining

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retention limits, the State shall respect the rights of small landowners. The State shall
further provide incentives for voluntary land-sharing.(Land Bank of the Philippines vs.
Veronica Nable, G.R. No. 176692, June 27, 2012, Bersamin, J.)

17. What are the factors to be considered in the determination of just compensation under the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program?
Answer: The Congress has required that any determination of just compensation should
consider the following factors, namely: (a) the cost of the acquisition of the land; (b) the current
value of like properties; (c) the nature, actual use and income of the land; (d) the sworn
valuation by the owner; (e) the tax declarations; (f) the assessment made by government
assessors; (g) the social and economic benefits contributed to the property by the farmers and
farmworkers and by the Government; and (h) the fact of the non-payment of any taxes or loans
secured from any government financing institution on the land. (Land Bank of the Philippines
vs. Veronica Nable, G.R. No. 176692, June 27, 2012, Bersamin)

18. What is just compensation?
Answer: Just compensation means the equivalent for the value of the property at the time of
its taking. It means a fair and full equivalent value for the loss sustained. All the facts as to the
condition of the property and its surroundings, its improvements and capabilities should be
considered (Export Processing Zone Authority vs. Dulay 149 SCRA 305 [1987] cited in LBP v.
Nable, supra).

19. Under what circumstances may Petitioner ask the Supreme Court to review the findings of
facts of the Court of Appeals?
Answer: To review the factual findings of the CA only when the Supreme Court has a
compelling reason to do so, such as any of the following:
1. When the factual findings of the CA and the RTC are contradictory;
2. When the findings are grounded entirely on speculation, surmises, or
3. When the inference made by the CA is manifestly mistaken, absurd, or
4. When there is grave abuse of discretion in the appreciation of facts;
5. When the CA, in making its findings, went beyond the issues of the case, and
such findings are contrary to the admissions of both appellant and appellee;
6. When the judgment of the CA is premised on a misapprehension of facts;
7. When the CA fails to notice certain relevant facts that, if properly
considered, will justify a different conclusion;
8. When the findings of fact are themselves conflicting;
9. When the findings of fact are conclusions without citation of the specific
evidence on which they are based; and,
10. When the findings of fact of the CA are premised on the absence of evidence, but
such findings are contradicted by the evidence on record. (cited in Land Bank of the
Philippines vs. Veronica Nable, G.R. No. 176692, June 27, 2012, Bersamin)

20. Several employees of Pinakamasarap Seasoning Company (PINA) participated in an illegal
strike. This prompted PINA to file a complaint to declare them as striking employees and to
have lost their employment status. However, the NLRC ultimately ordered their reinstatement
after finding that they had not abandoned their work by joining the illegal strike. Are the
employees entitled to backwages for the period of the strike upon their reinstatement?
Answer: No. The Court held that conformably with the long honored principle of a fair days
wage for a fair days labor, employees dismissed for joining an illegal strike are not entitled to
backwages for the period of the strike even if they are reinstated by virtue of their being merely
members of the striking union who did not commit any illegal act during the strike. (Escario et
al. vs. National Labor Relations Commission (Third Division), 631 SCRA 261, G.R. No. 160302
September 27, 2010, Bersamin, J.)

21. What is the effect of disallowance of an expenditure under the General Appropriations Act?

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Answer: No money shall be paid out of the Treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation
made by law. A violation of this constitutional edict warrants the disallowance of the payment.
However, the refund of the disallowed payment of a benefit granted by law to a covered
person, agency or office of the Government may be barred by the good faith of the approving
official and of the recipient. (Brenda Nazareth, Regional Director, Department of Science and
Technology Regional OfficeNo. IX vs. Hon. Reynaldo Villar, Hon. Juanito Espino Jr. (CHR
Commissioners) and Dir. Khem Inok, G .R. No. 188635, January 29, 2013, Bersamin, J.)

22. What is the coverage of the Magna Carta for Scientists, Engineers, Researchers, and other
Science and Technology Personnel in the Government?
Answer: Republic Act No. 8439 (R.A. No. 8439), otherwise known as the Magna Carta for
Scientists, Engineers, Researchers, and other Science and Technology Personnel in the
Government provides for certain benefits to covered employees in the use of savings, priority
shall be given to the augmentation of the amount set aside for compensation, bonus,
retirement gratuity, terminal leave, old age pensions of veterans and other personal benefits x
x x. (Brenda Nazareth, Regional Director, Department of Science and Technology Regional
OfficeNo. IX vs. Hon. Reynaldo Villar, Hon. Juanito Espino Jr. (CHR Commissioners) and Dir.
Khem Inok, G .R. No. 188635, January 29, 2013, Bersamin, J.)

23. What is augmentation within the contemplation of R.A. No. 8439?
Answer: Augmentation is a requisite to make payments for benefits under R.A. 8439. This
means that presidential approval is necessary in accordance with the provision of the 1987
Constitution. Therefore, the acts of the agency in using its savings to pay the said benefits
without the said presidential approval are deemed illegal.
R. A. No. 8439 was enacted as a manifestation of the States recognition of science and
technology as an essential component for the attainment of national development and
progress. The law offers a program of human resources development in science and technology
to help realize and maintain a sufficient pool of talent and manpower that will sustain the
initiative for total science and technology mastery. In furtherance of this objective, the law not
only ensures scholarship programs and improved science and engineering education, but also
affords incentives for those pursuing careers in science and technology. Moreover, the salary
scale of science and technology personnel is differentiated by R. A. No. 8439 from the salary
scales of government employees under the existing law.
In the funding of current activities, projects, and programs, the general rule should still be that
the budgetary amount contained in the appropriations bill is the extent Congress will determine
as sufficient for the budgetary allocation for the proponent agency.

24. What is the exception to the rule on augmentation of budget out of savings?
Answer: The only exception is found in Section 25 (5), Article VI of the Constitution, by which
the President, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the heads of Constitutional Commissions are authorized
to transfer appropriations to augment any item in the GAA for their respective offices from the
savings in other items of their respective appropriations.

25. What is the nature of the power of the Commission on Audit (COA) as an independent
constitutional entity?
Answer: The COA is endowed with sufficient latitude to determine, prevent, and disallow the
irregular, unnecessary, excessive, extravagant, or unconscionable expenditures of government
funds. It has the power to ascertain whether public funds were utilized for the purposes for
which they had been intended by law. The "Constitution has made the COA the guardian of
public funds, vesting it with broad powers over all accounts pertaining to government revenue
and expenditures and the uses of public funds and property, including the exclusive authority to
define the scope of its audit and examination, to establish the techniques and methods for such
review, and to promulgate accounting and auditing rules and regulations"

26. What are the two types of due process?
Answer: The two types of due process are: substantial due process and procedural due process.

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27. What are the elements of due process?
Answer: The elements of due process are the right to notice and the right to be heard.

28. What is the essence of due process in administrative proceedings?
Answer: The observance of fairness in the conduct of any investigation is at the very heart of
procedural due process. The essence of due process is to be heard, and, as applied to
administrative proceedings, this means a fair and reasonable opportunity to explain ones side,
or an opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of.
Administrative due process cannot be fully equated with due process in its strict judicial sense,
for in the former a formal or trial-type hearing is not always necessary, and technical rules of
procedure are not strictly applied. (Vivo v. PAGCOR, 709 SCRA 276, G.R. No. 187854
November 12, 2013, Bersamin, J.)

29. How is due process satisfied in administrative cases?
Answer: Due process is satisfied when a person is notified of the charge against him and given
an opportunity to explain or defend himself. In administrative proceedings, the filing of charges
and giving reasonable opportunity for the person so charged to answer the accusations against
him constitute the minimum requirements of due process. (Ledesma v. Court of Appeals, 541
SCRA 444 cited in Vivo vs. PAGCOR)

30. In an administrative proceeding, is a party allowed to seek judicial intervention by praying
for a writ of preliminary injunction to enjoin his dismissal as President of an educational
Answer: Yes, provided that the plaintiff submits evidence establishing:
(a) a present and unmistakable right to be protected;
(b) the acts against which the injunction is directed violate such right; and
(c) a special and paramount necessity for the writ to prevent serious damages
In the absence of a clear legal right, the issuance of the injunctive writ constitutes grave abuse
of discretion and will result to nullification thereof. Where the complainants right is doubtful or
disputed, injunction is not proper. The possibility of irreparable damage sans proof of an actual
existing right is not a ground for a preliminary injunction. (Barayuga v. Adventist University of
the Philippines, 655 SCRA 640, G.R. No. 168008 August 17, 2011, Bersamin, J.)

31. What is considered a ministerial act?

Answer: An act is ministerial if the act should be performed "[under] a given state of facts, in a
prescribed manner, in obedience to the mandate of a legal authority, without regard to or the
exercise of [the tribunal or corporation's] own judgment upon the propriety or impropriety of
the act done." The tribunal, corporation, board, officer, or person must have no choice but to
perform the act specifically enjoined by law. This is opposed to a discretionary act whereby the
officer has the choice to decide how or when to perform the duty. (Cudia v. PMA
SUPERINTENDENT (G.R. No. 211362, February 24, 2015, Peralta, J.)

32. Is a cadet of the Philippine Military Academy entitled to due process in the proceedings
before its Honor Committee?
Answer: Yes, a cadet facing dismissal from the military academy for misconduct has
constitutionally protected private interests to life, liberty, and property. Thus, disciplinary
proceedings conducted by its Honor Committee must be done within the bounds of procedural
due process.
For that reason, the PMA is not immune from the strictures of due process. Where a person's
good name, reputation, honor, or integrity is at stake because of what the government is doing
to him, the minimal requirements of the due process clause must be satisfied.
For that reason, the PMA is not immune from the strictures of due process. Where a person's
good name, reputation, honor, or integrity is at stake because of what the government is doing
to him, the minimal requirements of the due process clause must be satisfied.

33. Is a cadet entitled to counsel during the disciplinary proceedings against him?

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Answer: There is nothing in the 1987 Constitution stating that a party in a non-litigation
proceeding is entitled to be represented by counsel. The assistance of a lawyer, while desirable,
is not indispensable. A party in an administrative inquiry may or may not be assisted by counsel,
irrespective of the nature of the charges and of the respondent's capacity to represent himself,
and no duty rests on such body to furnish the person being investigated with counsel.

34. What is the nature of disciplinary proceedings conducted by the Honor Committee of PMA?
Answer: The proceedings of the Cadet Honor Committee can, for purposes of the Due Process
Clause, be considered a governmental activity.

35. What is the rule governing the institution of action for issuance of writ of sequestration of
assets acquired during the martial law years?
Answer: Section 26, Article XVIII of the Constitution mandates that if no judicial action has been
filed within six (6) months after the ratification of the 1987 Constitution, the writ of
sequestration shall automatically be lifted. (PHILIPPINE OVERSEAS TELECOMMUNICATIONS
174462, February 10, 2016)

36. What is the effect if no action is instituted by the government against parties presumed to
possess assets which have been illegally acquired?
Answer: In the case at bar, there was no judicial action filed against POTC and PHILCOMSAT.
There has never been any appropriate judicial action for reconveyance or recovery ever
instituted by the Republic against POTC and PHILCOMSAT. The government will lose the right to
recover questioned assets of the two companies.

37. What is the effect of an action where only the stockholders of POTC and PHILCOMSAT were
impleaded in an action before the Sandiganbayan?
Answer: Failure to implead POTC and PHILCOMSAT is a violation of the fundamental principle
that a corporation has a legal personality distinct and separate from its stockholders; that, the
filing of a complaint against a stockholder is not ipso facto a complaint against the corporation.
The basic tenets of fair play and principles of justice dictate that a corporation, as a legal entity
distinct and separate from its stockholders, must be impleaded as defendants, giving it the
opportunity to be heard. The failure to properly implead POTC and PHILCOMSAT not only
violates the latters' legal personality, but is repugnant on POTC's and PHILCOMSAT's right to
due process. "[F]ailure to implead these corporations as defendants and merely annexing a list
of such corporations to the complaints is a violation of their right to due process for it would in
effect be disregarding their distinct and separate personality without a hearing." As already
settled, a suit against individual stockholders is not a suit against the corporation.
SANDIGANBAYAN and REPUBLIC (PCGG), G.R. No. 174462, February 10, 2016)

38. What is the constitutional guarantee to due process in judicial proceedings involving ill-
gotten wealth during the martial law years?
Answer: While sequestration is the means to revert the amassed ill-gotten wealth back to the
coffers of the government, there is need to safeguard the protection of property rights from
overzealousness. Sequestration as statutorily and constitutionally recognized is not permanent.
It must be lifted when the law and proven facts warrant, or when the purpose has been


1. What is the prevailing rule for the Court to take cognizance a suit which challenges the
constitutionality of a law or a governmental act?
Answer: T he prevailing rule in constitutional litigation is that no question involving the
constitutionality or validity of a law or governmental act may be heard and decided by the
Court unless there is compliance with the legal requisites for judicial inquiry, namely:
(a) there must be an actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power;

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(b) the person challenging the act must have the standing to question the validity of the
subject act or issuance;
(c) the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest opportunity ; and
(d) the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case. (Belgica v.
Ochoa, Jr., 710 SCRA 1 (2013), Bersamin, J.)

2. What is "the moot and academic principle in the exercise of the power of judicial review?
Answer: "The moot and academic principle is not a magical formula that can automatically
dissuade the Court in resolving a case." The Court will decide cases, otherwise moot, if:
first, there is a grave violation of the Constitution;
second, the exceptional character of the situation and the paramount public interest is
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. (Belgica v. Ochoa, Jr., 710 SCRA 1 (2013), Bersamin, J.)

3. What is the principle of separation of powers?
Answer: The principle of separation of powers refers to the constitutional demarcation of the
three fundamental powers of government. In the celebrated words of Justice Laurel in Angara
v. Electoral Commission, it means that the "Constitution has blocked out with deft strokes and
in bold lines, allotment of power to the executive, the legislative and the judicial departments
of the government. To the legislative branch of government, through Congress, belongs the
power to make laws; to the executive branch of government, through the President, belongs
the power to enforce laws; and to the judicial branch of government, through the Court,
belongs the power to interpret laws.
The principle of separation of powers and its concepts of autonomy and independence stem
from the notion that the powers of government must be divided to avoid concentration of
these powers in any one branch; the division, it is hoped, would avoid any single branch from
lording its power over the other branches or the citizenry. (cited in Belgica v. Ochoa, Jr., 710
SCRA 1 (2013), Bersamin, J.)

4. How is the principle of separation of powers violated?
Answer: Broadly speaking, there is a violation of the separation of powers principle when one
branch of government unduly encroaches on the domain of another. US Supreme Court
decisions instruct that the principle of separation of powers may be violated in two (2) ways:
firstly, "one branch may interfere impermissibly with the others performance of its
constitutionally assigned function"; and "alternatively, the doctrine may be violated when
one branch assumes a function that more properly is entrusted to another. In other words,
there is a violation of the principle when there is impermissible (a) interference with and/or
(b) assumption of another departments functions. (cited in Belgica v. Ochoa, Jr., 710 SCRA 1
(2013), Bersamin, J.)

5. What is the principle of non-delegability of legislative power?
Answer: As an adjunct to the separation of powers principle, legislative power shall be
exclusively exercised by the body to which the Constitution has conferred the same. In
particular, Section 1, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution states that such power shall be vested
in the Congress of the Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and a House of
Representatives, except to the extent reserved to the people by the provision on initiative and
Based on this provision, it is clear that only Congress, acting as a bicameral body, and the
people, through the process of initiative and referendum, may constitutionally wield legislative
power and no other. This premise embodies the principle of non-delegability of legislative
power, and the only recognized exceptions thereto would be:
(a) delegated legislative power to local governments which, by immemorial practice, are
allowed to legislate on purely local matters; and
(b) constitutionally-grafted exceptions such as the authority of the President to, by law,
exercise powers necessary and proper to carry out a declared national policy in times of war or
other national emergency, or fix within specified limits, and subject to such limitations and

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restrictions as Congress may impose, tariff rates, import and export quotas, tonnage and
wharfage dues, and other duties or imposts within the framework of the national development
program of the Government. (Belgica v. Ochoa, Jr., 710 SCRA 1 (2013), Bersamin, J.)

6. What is the nature of the grant of rule-making powers granted to administrative agencies?
Answer: The grant of the rule-making power to administrative agencies is a relaxation of the
principle of separation of powers and is an exception to the non-delegation of legislative
powers. Administrative regulations or "subordinate legislation" calculated to promote the
public interest are necessary because of "the growing complexity of modern life, the
multiplication of the subjects of governmental regulations, and the increased difficulty of
administering the law." (cited in Belgica v. Ochoa, Jr., 710 SCRA 1, Bersamin, J.)

7. What is the item-veto power of the President?
Answer: The fact that the three great powers of government are intended to be kept separate
and distinct does not mean that they are absolutely unrestrained and independent of each
other. The Constitution has also provided for an elaborate system of checks and balances to
secure coordination in the workings of the various departments of the government.
A prime example of a constitutional check and balance would be the Presidents power to veto
an item written into an appropriation, revenue or tariff bill submitted to him by Congress for
approval through a process known as "bill presentment." The Presidents item-veto power is
found in Section 27(2), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution which reads as follows:
Sec. 27. x x x.
x x x x
(2) The President shall have the power to veto any particular item or items in an appropriation,
revenue, or tariff bill, but the veto shall not affect the item or items to which he does not
object. (Belgica v. Ochoa, Jr., 710 SCRA 1, Bersamin, J.)

8. What are the three branches of government?
Answer: Three branches of government: the Legislative Department, the Executive
Department and the Judicial Department. (Araullo vs. Aquino III, 728 SCRA 1, G.R. No. 209569
July 1, 2014, Bersamin, J.)

9. What is judicial supremacy?

Answer: When the Court is called upon to resolve two conflicting claims of the two other
branches of government, the Court is just called upon to apply the relevant law or interpret the
applicable law to the case. (Araullo vs. Aquino III, 728 SCRA 1, G.R. No. 209569 July 1, 2014,
Bersamin, J.)

10. Can the courts resort to judicial legislation?
Answer: No, the courts cannot resort to judicial legislation. The courts cannot enact laws since
this would violate the principle of separation of powers. However, judicial decisions become
part of the law of the law.
General Rule: Only Congress can enact laws.
Exception to the Rule: Congress can delegate law-making powers (ex. local government units)
and rule-making powers (ex. IRR formulated by administrative agencies).

11. Can the Court still take cognizance of the case which questioned the constitutionality of the
DAP program of President Aquino after it was withdrawn and has become moot and
Answer: Mootness is not an excuse for the Court not to take cognizance of the case: The case is
not moot and academic even if the President has terminated the DAP. The fact that huge public
funds have been allocated, disbursed, or utilized by reason or on account of the challenged
executive acts gave rise to an actual controversy that is ripe for adjudication. ( Araullo vs.
Aquino III, 728 SCRA 1, G.R. No. 209569 July 1, 2014, Bersamin, J.)

12. What are the appropriate remedies to challenge the constitutionality of DAP?
Answer: Certiorari, Prohibition, and Mandamus are proper remedies to assail the
constitutionality of DAP. Since certiorari and prohibition are large in scope and the issues

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involved the limitations of the Executives spending power, the said remedies are proper.
(Araullo vs. Aquino III, 728 SCRA 1, G.R. No. 209569 July 1, 2014, Bersamin, J.)

13. What is the effect of Petitioners withdrawal of its application for land registration?
Answer: The Petitioners withdrawal of its application for land registration has rendered the
case moot and academic. A case becomes moot and academic when, by virtue of supervening
events, the conflicting issue that may be resolved by the court ceases to exist. There is no
longer any justiciable controversy that may be resolved by the court. This court refuses to
render advisory opinions and resolve issues that would provide no practical use or value. Thus,
courts generally "decline jurisdiction over such case or dismiss it on ground of mootness."
Moldexs manifestation stating its withdrawal of its application for registration has erased the
conflicting interests that used to be present in this case. Respondent's Manifestation was an
expression of its intent not to act on whatever claim or right it has to the property involved.
Thus, the controversy ended when respondent filed that Manifestation. (REPUBLIC OF THE
PHILIPPINES v. MOLDEX REALTY, INC. G.R. No. 171041, February 10, 2016)

14. Can the Office of the Solicitor General deputize other legal officers of government
departments, bureaus, agencies and offices to assist it in representing the government in
court cases?
Answer: Yes. The power of the OSG to deputize legal officers of government departments,
bureaus, agencies and offices to assist it in representing the government is well settled. The
Administrative Code of 1987 explicitly states that the OSG shall have the power to "deputize
legal officers of government departments, bureaus, agencies and offices to assist the Solicitor
General and appear or represent the Government in cases involving their respective offices,
brought before the courts and exercise supervision and control over such legal officers with
respect to such cases." But it is likewise settled that the OSGs deputized counsel is "no more
than the surrogate of the Solicitor General in any particular proceeding" and the latter
remains the principal counsel entitled to be furnished copies of all court orders, notices, and
AUTHORITY vs. RAYMUNDO VIAJE, ET AL. January 27, 2016, G.R. No.180993)

15. Cite the exceptions to the rule on mootness.
Answer: Exceptions to the rule on moot and academic cases:
(1)There is a grave violation of the Constitution;
(2)The case involved a situation of exceptional character and was of paramount public interest;
(3) When the constitutional issue raised required the formulation of controlling principles to
guide the Bench, the Bar, and the public; and
(4) When the case was capable of repetition yet evading review.

16. Do petitioners have legal standing to sue both as taxpayers and as citizens?
Answer: Legal Standing to Sue as a Taxpayer and as a Citizen:
Considering that the issue involves the expenditure of public funds (as taxpayers) and the case
is of transcendental importance (as citizens), the petitioners do have a legal standing to raise
the issues
before the Court.

17. What is a public expenditure? Is DAP an appropriation?
Answer: A public expenditure must comply with the constitutional requirement. Article VI, Sec.
29 of the Constitution provides [n]o money shall be paid out of the Treasury except in
pursuance of an appropriation made by law.
DAP is not an appropriation. It is a program.

18. What are savings under the General Appropriations Act?
Answer: Savings would include any programmed appropriation in the GAA free from any
obligation or encumbrance, which are: (1) Still available after the completion or final
discontinuance or abandonment of the work, activity or purpose for which the appropriation is

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(2) From appropriations balances arising from unpaid compensation and related costs
pertaining to vacant positions and leaves of absences without pay; and
(3) From appropriations balances realized from the implementation of measures resulting in
improved systems and efficiencies and thus enabled agencies to meet and deliver the required
or planned targets, programs, and services approved in the GAAs at a lesser cost.

19. What are the phases of the Philippine Budget Cycle?
Answer: Philippine Budget Cycle consists of:
(1) Budget Preparation
(2) Budget Legislation
(3) Budget Enforcement
(4) Accountability

20. What is budget augmentation?
Answer: The term augment means to enlarge or increase the allotment for an item in the
GAA wherein the current appropriation for the said item is deficient.

21. Who are the public officers authorized by the Constitution to augment their budget out of
Answer: Public Officers authorized to augment from savings are:
(1). President
(2). Senate President
(3). Speaker of the House
(4). Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; and
(5). Heads of the CSC, COMELEC, and COA. (Sec. 25(5), Art. VI, Constitution)

22. What is the operative fact doctrine?
Answer: A legislative or executive act is presumed to be constitutional such that when it is
declared void for being unconstitutional does not give rise to any right or obligation but it may
produce legal effects prior to being declared as unconstitutional.

23. Will the operative fact doctrine apply to the implementation of DAP?
Answer: Yes. The Court recognized that the result of the DAP and its related issuances could
not be ignored and be undone. The Court also declared that the doctrine of operative fact is not
confined to statutes and rules and regulations. The doctrine can be invoked only in situations
where the nullification of the effects of what used to be a valid law would result in inequity and

24. Does the Department of Justice exercise judicial function in determining probable cause?
Answer: No, the determination of probable cause does not involve any judicial function.
Consistent with the principle of separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution, the Court
deems it a sound judicial policy not to interfere in the conduct of preliminary investigations,
and to allow the Executive Department, through the Department of Justice, exclusively to
determine what constitutes sufficient evidence to establish probable cause for the prosecution
of supposed offenders. (Ampatuan, Jr. vs. De Lima, 695 SCRA 159, G.R. No. 197291 April 3,
2013, Bersamin, J.)

25. Is judicial intervention possible in the conduct of preliminary investigation?
Answer: Yes. By way of exception, however, judicial review may be allowed where it is clearly
established that the public prosecutor committed grave abuse of discretion, that is, when he
has exercised his discretion in an arbitrary, capricious, whimsical or despotic manner by reason
of passion or personal hostility, patent and gross enough as to amount to an evasion of a
positive duty or virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law. (Ampatuan, Jr. vs. De Lima,
695 SCRA 159, G.R. No. 197291 April 3, 2013, Bersamin, J. )

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26. May the Court intervene in the prerogatives reserved by the Constitution to the Executive
Answer: The Constitution has entrusted to the Executive Department the conduct of foreign
relations for the Philippines. Whether or not to espouse petitioners claim against the
Government of Japan is left to the exclusive determination and judgment of the Executive
Department. The Court cannot interfere with or question the wisdom of the conduct of foreign
relation by the Executive Department. ( Motion for Reconsideration, Vinuya vs. Romulo, 732
SCRA 595, G.R. No. 162230 August 12, 2014, Bersamin, J.)

27. What is Qualified Political Agency?
Answer: Qualified Political Agency is also known as the alter ego doctrine. Under this doctrine,
all executive and administrative organizations are adjuncts of the Executive Department, the
heads of the various executive departments are assistants and agents of the Chief Executive,
and, except in cases where the Chief Executive is required by the Constitution or the law to act
in person or the exigencies of the situation demand that he act personally, the multifarious
executive and administrative functions of the Chief Executive are performed by and through the
executive departments, and the acts of the secretaries of such departments, performed and
promulgated in the regular course of business, are, unless disapproved or reprobated by the
Chief Executive, presumptively the acts of the Chief Executive. (Runkle vs. United States [1887],
122 U. S., 543; 30 Law. ed., 1167; 7 Sup. Ct. Rep., 1141; see also U. S. vs. Eliason [1839], 16
Pet., 291; 10 Law. ed., 968; Jones vs. U. S. [1890], 137 U. S., 202; 34 Law. ed., 691; 11 Sup. Ct.,
Rep., 80; Wolsey vs. Chapman [1880], 101 U. S., 755; 25 Law. ed., 915; Wilcox vs. Jackson
[1836], 13 Pet., 498; 10 Law. ed., 264.)

28. Can the doctrine of qualified political agency be invoked by a collegial body?
Answer: The doctrine of qualified political agency could not be extended to the acts of the
Board of Directors of TIDCORP despite some of its members being themselves the appointees
of the President to the Cabinet. Under Section 10 of Presidential Decree No. 1080, as further
amended by Section 6 of Republic Act No. 8494,24 the five ex officio members were the
Secretary of Finance, the Secretary of Trade and Industry, the Governor of the Bangko Sentral
ng Pilipinas, the Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority, and
the Chairman of the Philippine Overseas Construction Board, while the four other members of
the Board were the three from the private sector (at least one of whom should come from the
export community), who were elected by the ex officio members of the Board for a term of not
more than two consecutive years, and the President of TIDCORP who was concurrently the
Vice-Chairman of the Board. Such Cabinet members sat on the Board of Directors of TIDCORP
ex officio, or by reason of their office or function, not because of their direct appointment to
the Board by the President. Evidently, it was the law, not the President, that sat them in the
Board. (Manalang-Demigillo vs. Trade and Investment Development Corporation of the
Philippines (TIDCORP), 692 SCRA 359, G.R. No. 168613 March 5, 2013, Bersamin, J.)


1. May a taxpayer file an action to compel Congress to enact a law making the use of marijuana
for medical reasons legal?
Answer: No. The writ of mandamus will not lie because this violates the principle of separation
of powers. It is discretionary on the part of Congress to consider bills which its judgment will
serve the public. Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual
controversies involving rights that 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 government. (Sec.1, Art. VII). There
is no legally demandable right to compel Congress to make such law.

2. What are the tests of a valid delegation of power?
Answer: The two tests of a valid delegation of powers are: the completeness test and sufficient
standard test.

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3. Is legislative power exclusively vested in Congress?
Answer: No. R.A. No. 6735 provides for Initiative and Referendum for citizens to participate in
law making.

4. What is the principle of bicameralism?
Answer: It is a mechanism for compromising differences between the Senate and the House of
Representatives. By the nature of its function, a Bicameral Conference Committee is capable of
producing unexpected results which sometimes may even go beyond its own mandate.
(Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance)

5. Can a candidate convicted of libel still qualify for an elective position?
Answer: Libel is a crime involving moral turpitude. Moral turpitude is defined as everything
which is done contrary to justice, modesty, or good morals; an act of baseness, vileness or
depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes his fellowmen, or to society in
general. Although not every criminal act involves moral turpitude, the Court is guided by one of
the general rules that crimes mala in se involve moral turpitude while crimes mala prohibita do
not. Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude is a disqualification. Conviction must be
final and executory. (TY-DELGADO v. HRET and PICHAY, G.R. No. 219603, January 26, 2016,
Bersamin, J)

6. Will the Writ of Mandamus lie to unseat a disqualified member of the House of
Answer: Yes. In VELASCO v. BELMONTE, JR. et al. (G.R. No. 211140, January 12, 2016), Writ of
Mandamus may lie to remove an incumbent member of Congress.
The Court based the issuance of the Writ of Mandamus on the following grounds:
1. Cancellation of COC (not a Filipino citizen and a resident of the district); and
2. Infirmity if oath taking (oath taking took place in the residence of the Speaker of the

7. Enumerate the parties which may participate in the party list system.
Answer: The following can participate in the party-list system: national parties, regional parties
and sectoral parties or organizations. (Lokin, Jr. Commission on Elections, 621 SCRA 385, G.R.
Nos. 179431-32, June 22, 2010, Bersamin, J.)

8. What is the rule on election of party-list?

Answer: The party list is the one voted and not the nominee. The accredited party list must
submit five (5) nominees.

9. What are the grounds for substitution of nominees in a party list?
Answer: The following are the grounds for substitution: death of nominee, incapacity of the
nominee and withdrawal of nominee. (Lokin, Jr. Commission on Elections, 621 SCRA 385, G.R.
Nos. 179431-32, June 22, 2010, Bersamin, J.)

10. What are the inviolable parameters to determine the winners in the party-list elections?
Answer: The following are the parameters:
(1). Twenty percent allocation rule;
(2). Two percent threshold vote rule;
(3). Three seat limit rule; and
(4). Proportional representation rule. (BANAT v. COMELEC, 586 SCRA 210)

11. Does Congress have oversight powers and functions of Congress?
Answer: The exercise of oversight powers and functions of Congress is intrinsic in the
constitutional grant of legislative powers and integral to the system of checks and balances.

12. What are the categories of oversight and legislative powers?
Answer: The following are the categories of oversight and legislative powers?

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(1). Legislative scrutiny
(2). Legislative investigation
(3). Legislative supervision

13. Aahon Party List sought to be accredited as a party list. The members of Aahon are males
and females which have different sexual preferences. The COMELEC denied their accreditation
based on biblical passages. Is the denial of COMELEC proper?
Answer: No. In Ang Ladlad v. COMELEC (G. R. No, 190852, April 8, 2010), the Court held that
accreditation is done solely by COMELEC. The Court said that under the countrys system of
laws, every group has the right to promote its agenda and attempt to persuade society of the
validity of its position through normal democratic means. It is in the public square that deeply
held convictions and differing opinions should be distilled and deliberated upon. The OSG
argues that since there has been neither prior restraint nor subsequent punishment imposed
on Ang Ladlad, and its members have not been deprived of their right to voluntarily associate,
then there has been no restriction on their charter or association. The Court said that the moral
objection offered by the COMELEC was not a limitation imposed by law. Thus it held: To the
extent, therefore, that the petitioner has been precluded, because of COMELECs action, from
publicly expressing its views as a political party and participating on an equal basis in the
political process with other equally-qualified party-list candidates, we find that there has,
indeed, been a transgression of petitioners fundamental rights.

BANAT V. COMELEC, 592 SCRA 294: The Constitution provides that Congress shall not have
more than 250 members unless Congress provides otherwise and out of the total number of
incumbent members not more than 20% shall come from the party list. Of the party list
members, each party list shall be entitled to a maximum of three seats.
Paglaum v. COMELEC, 694 SCRA 477 (2013): Sectoral representation need not be limited to
the poor or marginalized group; extent of national membership; performance in party list
election process.
Abang Lingkod v. COMELEC: Proof of track record is not necessary for purposes of
PGBI v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 190529, April 29, 2010. The COMELEC has the power to delist a
party list on two grounds under Section6 (8) of R.A. 7941.
Magdalo v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 190793, June 19, 2012. The registration of political parties does
not involve administrative liability as it is only limited to the evaluation of qualifications for

14. A group of public school teachers instituted an action before the Supreme Court to question
the veracity of the entries to the congressional journal regarding the passage of the law on
grant of additional allowances of public school teachers for poll duty in the forthcoming May
2016 elections. They alleged that the law signed the President reflected a lesser amount that
what has been reported in the media. Will the action of the public school teachers prosper?
Answer: No. The courts may not go behind the legislative journals to contradict their veracity.
U.S. v. Pons, 34 Phil., 729-735 (1916)

Morales v. Subido, 27 SCRA 131 (1969): An omission at the time of enactment, whether
careless or calculated, cannot be judicially supplied however much later wisdom may
recommend the inclusion.
Astorga v. Villegas, 56 SCRA 714 (1974): The Court held that that the enrolled bill theory is
based mainly on "the respect due to coequal and independent departments," which requires
the judicial department "to accept, as having passed Congress, all bills authenticated in the
manner stated." Thus it has also been stated in other cases that if the attestation is absent and
the same is not required for the validity of a statute, the courts may resort to the journals and
other records of Congress for proof of its due enactment.

15. A newly-elected member of the Senate proposed a tax measure which would effectively
reduce the tax impositions on salaried employees. Is the proposal valid?

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Answer: No. All appropriations bill must emanate from the House of Representatives and the
executive branch has no power to transfer one budget for another purpose for which it was
originally intended. (Demetria v. Alba, G. R. No. L-45129, March 6, 1987)
Tax laws (Art. VI, Sec. 28, Art. XIV, Sec. 4(3)). All tax, tariff and other revenue bills must
originate in the House of Representatives but the Senate may introduce amendments.
Demetria v. Alba, G.R. No. L-45129, March 6, 1987: no cross border transfer of funds; all
appropriations bill must emanate from the House of Representatives and the executive branch
has no power to transfer one budget for another purpose for which it was originally intended.
Belgica v. Ochoa, G.R. No. 208493, November 19, 2013: limitations on the power to enact
appropriation bills

16. Two members of the House of Representatives figured in a brawl during the heated
deliberation on the passage of the bill legalizing marijuana. The incident was a subject of media
coverage. Delfin Rosario, a taxpayer, asked the Ethics Committee of the House of
Representatives to discipline two members of Congress. Will his action prosper?
Answer: Yes. Each house may determine the rules of proceedings, punish its Members for
disorderly behavior, and with the concurrence of two-thirds of all its members, suspend or
expel a member. A penalty of suspension, when imposed, shall not exceed sixty days.

17. May the President restrict the attendance of the members of the Cabinet in congressional
Answer: No. This will violate the principle of checks and balances.
Senate of the Philippines v. Ermita, 488 SCRA 1: The President cannot clip the powers of the
legislative branch by restricting the attendance of officers and other officials of the executive
branch from appearing in congressional hearings in the exercise of the constitutionally-
mandated power to conduct inquiries.(referring to Section 21 of Art. VII)
Neri v. Senate Committees. The executive branch may invoke executive privilege in matters
covered by a legislative hearing and may even decline attendance or responding to queries if
the same is not carried out in aid of legislation.

18. May the House of Representatives consider simultaneously several complaints for inclusion
in the Articles of Impeachment?
Answer: Yes.. Congress may look into separate complaints against an impeachable officer and
consider the inclusion of matters raised therein in the adoption of the Articles of Impeachment
to be forwarded to the Senate as the impeachment tribunal. The Court has repeatedly held
that: Impeachment is the most difficult and cumbersome mode of removing a public officer
from office. It is, by nature, a sui generis politico-legal process that signals the need for a
judicious and careful handling as shown by the process required to initiate the proceeding; the
one-year limitation or bar for its initiation; the limited grounds for impeachment; the defined
instrumentality given the power to try impeachment cases; and the number of votes required
for a finding of guilt. (Gutierrez v. House of Representatives, G. R. No. Feb. 15, 2011. See also
Francisco v. House of Representatives, on one year rule)

A majority vote of the members of the Committee on Justice of HOR is necessary for
consideration of its report in a plenary session. (Sec. 3(2), Art. XI)
A vote of at least 1/3 of all members of the HOR is necessary to either affirm a favorable
resolution with the Articles of Impeachment or override its contrary resolution.
A verified complaint or resolution of impeachment filed by 1/3 of all members of the HOR shall
constitute the Articles of Impeachment.
Two thirds vote of all members of the Senate is necessary to convict the impeached public
Gutierrez v. HOR, Feb. 15, 2011: consideration of two complaints as basis
Francisco v. HOR, 415 SCRA 44: initiation of a complaint for impeachment
Chief Justice Corona v. Senate of the Philippines et al., G.R. No.200242, July 17, 2012: The
power of judicial review includes the power of review justiciable issues in impeachment

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1. May the tarsiers of Loboc, Bohol bring an action in court to nullify a service contract executed
by the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources and a 100% owned Japanese company?
Answer: Stirctly speaking, only natural and juridical persons may be allowed to plead. However,
in Resident marine mammals of Tanon Strait joined in and represented herein by human
beings Gloria Estenzo Ramos and Rose-Liza Eisma-Osorio, in their capacity as legal guardians
and as responsible stewards of God's creations v. Secretary Angelo Reyes et al(G.R. No.
180771, April 21, 2015), the Court allowed the resident mammals of Tanon Strait as petitioners
provided that the action is brought in the nature of a citizen suit with natural persons acting as
their legal guardians and as friends for being stewards of creation. Under the Rules of
Procedure in Environmental Cases, a citizen suit is encouraged for the protection of the
environment. This provision liberalizes standing for all cases filed enforcing environmental laws
and collapses the traditional rule on personal and direct interest, on the principle that humans
are stewards of nature. The terminology of the text reflects the doctrine first enunciated in
Oposa v. Factoran, insofar as it refers to minors and generations yet unborn.

2. In the action filed by the stewards of the Bohol tarsiers, can the respondents claim that their
approval of service contract pertaining to oil exploration, which requires presidential approval,
amounts to approval of the president under the doctrine of qualified political agency?
Answer: No. The Court reiterated its ruling in Joson v. Torres. In this case, the Court explained
the concept of the alter ego principle or the doctrine or qualified political agency and its limit
in this wise: Under this doctrine, which recognizes the establishment of a single executive, all
executive and administrative organizations are adjuncts of the Executive Department, the
heads of the various executive departments are assistants and agents of the Chief Executive,
and, except in cases where the Chief Executive is required by the Constitution or law to act in
person or the exigencies of the situation demand that he act personally, the multifarious
executive and administrative functions of the Chief Executive are performed by and through the
executive departments, and the acts of the Secretaries of such departments, performed and
promulgated in the regular course of business, are, unless disapproved or reprobated by the
Chief Executive presumptively the acts of the Chief Executive.
The Court further reiterated: As this Court has held in La Bugal, our Constitution requires that
the President himself be the signatory of service agreements with foreign-owned corporations
involving the exploration, development, and utilization of our minerals, petroleum, and other
mineral oils. This power cannot be taken lightly. xxx it must be shown that the government
agency or subordinate official has been authorized by the President to enter into such service
contract for the government. Otherwise, it should be at least shown that the President
subsequently approved of such contract explicitly. None of these circumstances is evident in
the case at bar.

3. The President granted Mr. Estrada pardon. Mr. Estrada was elected Mayor of Manila. Alicia, a
registered voter of Manila questioned the grant of pardon alleging the text of the pardon
appears to be conditional and therefore, Mr. Estrada is not qualified to hold the post of Mayor.
Is the position of the registered voter tenable?
Answer: No. The 1987 Constitution, specifically Section 19 of Article VII and Section 5 of Article
IX-C, provides that the President of the Philippines possesses the power to grant pardons, along
with other acts of executive clemency, to wit: Section 19. Except in cases of impeachment, or
as otherwise provided in this Constitution, the President may grant reprieves, commutations,
and pardons, and remit fines and forfeitures, after conviction by final judgment. There can be
no other conclusion but to say that the pardon granted to Mr. Estrada was absolute in the
absence of a clear, unequivocal and concrete factual basis upon which to anchor or support the
Presidential intent to grant a limited pardon. He was granted an absolute pardon that fully
restored all his civil and political rights, which naturally includes the right to seek public elective
office, the focal point of this controversy. The wording of the pardon extended to former Mr.
Estrada is complete, unambiguous, and unqualified. (Risos-Vidal v. COMELEC)
Please note that the only instances in which the President may not extend pardon remain to
be in: (1) impeachment cases; (2) cases that have not yet resulted in a final conviction; and (3)
cases involving violations of election laws, rules and regulations in which there was no

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favorable recommendation coming from the COMELEC. Congress cannot in any way delimit the
pardoning powers of the President. Grant of amnesty requires the consent of Congress.

4. Can the President of the Philippines declare a state of war?
Answer: No. The Constitution provides that only Congress may declare the existence of a state
of war. *Note that Congress cannot even declare a state of war but can only recognize its
existence under the Constitution.
Please relate this with the renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy.
The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy: In the field of public
international law, the law of war has two dimensions: justifications to engage in war (jus ad
bellum) and the limits to acceptable wartime conduct (jus in bello or International
Humanitarian Law).
As a humanitarian concern, the laws of war address declarations of war, acceptance of
surrender and the treatment of prisoners of war; military necessity (use of an attack or action
intended to help the military objective and use of proportional and excessive force to endanger
civilians(, along with distinction (careful assessment as to who are combatants and the civilians)
and proportionality( the legal use of force whereby belligerents must make sure that harm
caused to civilians or civilian property is not excessive in relation to the concrete and direct
military advantage anticipated attack anticipated by an attack on military objective; and the
prohibition of certain weapons that may cause unnecessary suffering.
The laws of war should mitigate the consequences of war by:
Shielding both combatants and non-combatants from unnecessary suffering;
Ensuring that certain fundamental human rights of persons who fall into the hands of the
enemy, particularly prisoners of war, the wounded and sick, and civilians, are protected; and
endeavouring that peace is restored.


1. What are the requirements before the Court may exercise the power to check an act of a
coequal branch of government?
Answer: The Courts power to check an act of a coequal branch of government must abide by
the stringent requirements for the exercise of that power under the Constitution. Demetria v.
Alba and Francisco v. House of Representatives cite the "pillars" of the limitations on the
power of judicial review as enunciated in the concurring opinion of U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Brandeis in Ashwander v. Tennessee Valley Authority. Francisco redressed these "pillars"
under the following categories:
1. That there be absolute necessity of deciding a case;
2. That rules of constitutional law shall be formulated only as required by the facts of the case;
3. That judgment may not be sustained on some other ground;
4. That there be actual injury sustained by the party by reason of the operation of the statute;
5. That the parties are not in estoppels; and
6. That the Court upholds the presumption of constitutionality;

2. What are the three functions of judicial review?
Answer: The three functions of Judicial Review are:
(a). Checking when the Court looks into possible abuses of each branch of government
and the review of decisions of lower courts and other tribunals;
(b). Legitimizing when the Court looks into constitutionality of laws and its application;
(c). Symbolic when the Court looks into issues although they have become moot and
academic to help guide the bench, the bard and the public.

3. Under what circumstances may the Court disturb the findings of administrative tribunals and
lower courts?
Answer: Under normal circumstances, S.C. will not disturb the findings of facts of
administrative tribunals and the trial courts. However, S.C. may review findings of facts the
lower courts under recognized exceptions: when the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely
on speculation, surmises or conjectures; when inference made is manifestly mistaken, absurd
or impossible; where there is abuse of discretion; when judgment is based on

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misapprehension of facts, when the findings of facts are conflicting; when the Court of
Appeals, in making its findings, went beyond the issues of the case and the same is contrary
to those of the trial court; when findings of fact are conclusions without citation of specific
evidence on which they are based; when the facts set forth in the petition as well as in the
petitioners main and reply briefs are not disputed by the respondents; and when the findings
of fact of the C.A. are premised on supposed absence of evidence and contradicted by
evidence on record.

4. May lower courts also exercise the power of judicial review?
Answer: Yes, as a general rule, all courts can exercise judicial review.

5. What is the effect of declaration of unconstitutionality of a statute?
Answer: Under Civil Code, Art. 7, a statute is void when declared unconstitutional. All prior acts
prior to the declaration may produce legal effects.

6. What are Moot Questions?
Answer: As a general rule, a matter is moot if further legal proceedings with regard to it can
have no effect, or events have placed it beyond the reach of the law. Normally, courts will defer
to acting on a matter that has become moot and academic. However, where matters of
transcendental importance arise, the Court render a resolution to give guideposts to the bench,
bar and the public if a similar matter should arise in the future.

7. What is Political Question Doctrine?
Answer: In Baker v. Carr, the U.S. Supreme Court explained the political question doctrine in
this wise: "Prominent on the surface of any case held to involve a political question is found:
(1) a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a coordinate political
(2) or a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it;
(3) or the impossibility of deciding without an initial policy determination of a kind clearly for
non-judicial discretion;
(4) or the impossibility of a court's undertaking independent resolution without expressing lack
of the respect due coordinate branches of government;
(5) or an unusual need for unquestioning adherence to a political decision already made;
(6) or the potentiality of embarrassment from multifarious pronouncements by various
departments on one question.
The political question doctrine could be read narrowly or more broadly. Read narrowly, the
political question doctrine should be invoked only when the issue presented to the Court is one
that "has been textually committed to another branch of government." That is, if the framers
of the Constitution made clear their intention that the judiciary not resolve a particular
question of constitutional interpretation, that determination must be respected.
More broadly, the political question doctrine might be invoked when there is a lack of judicially
manageable standards to decide the case on the merits, when judicial intervention might show
insufficient respect for other branches of government, or when a judicial decision might
threaten the integrity of the judicial branch. (Baker v. Carr, 1962)

8. What does the Court approach an issue involving a political question?
Answer: In Marcos et al. v. Manglapus et al.(G.R. No. 88211 September 15, 1989), the Court
said that when political questions are involved, the Constitution limits the determination to
whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction on the part of the official whose action is being questioned. If grave abuse is not
established, the Court will not substitute its judgment for that of the official concerned and
decide a matter which by its nature or by law is for the latter alone to decide.

9. What is locus standi?
Answer: The question of locus standi or legal standing focuses on the determination of whether
those assailing the governmental act have the right of appearance to bring the matter to the
court for adjudication. They must show that they have a personal and substantial interest in the

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case, such that they have sustained or are in immediate danger of sustaining, some direct injury
as a consequence of the enforcement of the challenged governmental act.

10. What is material interest?
Answer: "Interest" in the question involved must be material - an interest that is in issue and
will be affected by the official act - as distinguished from being merely incidental or general.
Clearly, it would be insufficient to show that the law or any governmental act is invalid, and that
petitioners stand to suffer in some indefinite way.
They must show that they have a particular interest in bringing the suit, and that they have
been or are about to be denied some right or privilege to which they are lawfully entitled, or
that they are about to be subjected to some burden or penalty by reason of the act complained
of. The reason why those who challenge the validity of a law or an international agreement are
required to allege the existence of a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy is "to
assure the concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the
court so largely depends for illumination of difficult constitutional questions."

11. What is a taxpayers suit?
Answer: A taxpayer's suit concerns a case in which the official act complained of directly
involves the illegal disbursement of public funds derived from taxation. Here, those challenging
the act must specifically show that they have sufficient interest in preventing the illegal
expenditure of public money, and that they will sustain a direct injury as a result of the
enforcement of the assailed act.

12. When may the legislature be considered a proper party in a case?
Answer: The legal standing of an institution of the Legislature or of any of its Members has
already been recognized by the Court in a number of cases. What is in question here is the
alleged impairment of the constitutional duties and powers granted to, or the impermissible
intrusion upon the domain of, the Legislature or an institution thereof. In the case of suits
initiated by the legislators themselves, the Court has recognized their standing to question the
validity of any official action that they claim infringes the prerogatives, powers, and privileges
vested by the Constitution in their office.


1. Torres questioned the order of dismissal issued by the Civil Service Commission. She alleged
that CSC has no jurisdiction over the employees of the Philippine National Red Cross. Is her
contention tenable?
Answer: No. As ruled by this Court in Liban, et al. v. Gordon, the PNRC, although not a GOCC, is
sui generis in character, thus, requiring this Court to approach controversies involving the PNRC
on a case-to-case basis. As discussed: A closer look at the nature of the PNRC would show that
there is none like it not just in terms of structure, but also in terms of history, public service and
official status accorded to it by the State and the international community. There is merit in
PNRC's contention that its structure is sui generis.
It is in recognition of this sui generis character of the PNRC that R.A. No. 95 has remained valid
and effective from the time of its enactment in March 22, 1947 under the 1935 Constitution
and during the effectivity of the 1973 Constitution and the 1987 Constitution. As correctly
mentioned by Justice Roberto A. Abad, the sui generis character of PNRC requires us to
approach controversies involving the PNRC on a case-to-case basis.
In this particular case, the CA did not err in ruling that the CSC has jurisdiction over the PNRC
because the issue at hand is the enforcement of labor laws and penal statutes, thus, in this
particular matter, the PNRC can be treated as a GOCC. (MARY LOU GETURBOS TORRES v.
CORAZON ALMA G. DE LEON, in her capacity as Secretary General of the Philippine National
Headquarters, G.R. No. 199440, January 8, 2016, Peralta, J.)

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2. Are funds of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines subject to audit?
Answer: Yes. The BSP is a public corporation or a government agency or instrumentality with
juridical personality which does not fall within the Constitutional prohibition in Art. XII, Section
16. Not all corporations, which are not government owned or controlled, are ipso facto to be
considered private corporations as there exists another distinct class of corporations or
chartered institutions which are otherwise known as public corporations. These corporations
are treated by law as agencies or instrumentalities of the government which are not subject to
the tests of ownership or control and economic viability but to different criteria relating to
their public purposes/interests or constitutional policies and objectives and their administrative
relationship to the government or any of its departments or offices. (BOY SCOUTS OF THE
PHILIPPINES v. COA (G.R. No. 177131, 2011)

3. Can a public officer claim reimbursement for personal medical expenses and other travelling
Answer: No. COA may disallow expenses which do not pass the public purpose test (claims
for executive check-up, basic monthly allowances, reimbursement for gasoline allowance, etc.)
Any disbursement of public funds, which includes payment of salaries and benefits to
government employees and officials, must (a) be authorized by law, and (b) serve a public
purpose. As understood in the traditional sense, public purpose or public use means any
purpose or use directly available to the general public as a matter of right. The public servant
has the burden to proof to establish that use of public funds is related to the discharge of his
official functions. (RAMON R. YAP v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT (G.R. No. 158562, 2010)

4. The COA en banc denied the petitioner's request for exclusion from liability involving the
acquisition of several parcels by the RSBC. The COA en banc also denied her motion for
reconsideration. Is there grave abuse of discretion on the part of the COA in rendering its
assailed decision?
Answer: None. The Court finds no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the COA in rendering
its assailed decision, which disregarded the petitioner's defense that she had no knowledge of
the above transaction, or of the two versions of the deed of sale, prior to her post-audit, or that
the payments for the lots were made long before she signed "verified correct" after completing
the post-audit process and finding the supporting documents to be complete, or that she did
not benefit from the transaction in any way.
It is well to be reminded that the exercise by COA of its general audit power is among the
mechanisms of check and balance instituted under the 1987 Constitution on which our
democratic form of government is founded. Article IX-D, Section 2(1) of the 1987 Constitution
provides that the COA has "the power, authority, and duty to examine, audit, and settle all
accounts pertaining to the revenue and receipts of, and expenditures or uses of funds and
property, owned or held in trust by, or pertaining to, the Government, or any of its
subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled
corporations with original charters."

5. Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD) is a government-owned controlled corporation
(GOCC). COA issued Notices of Disallowance for ZCWD's various payments. These covered the
disbursements made during the tenure of then General Manager Juanita L. Bucoy. This included
salary adjustments of the Bucoy. COA said that the Board of Director had no authority to
approve such adjustments. Was COA action proper?
Answer: Yes. ZCWD's contention that, pursuant to Section 23 of P.D. No. 198, as amended by
R.A. No. 9286, the BOD has the discretion to fix the compensation of the GM is misplaced.
As held in Mendoza v. COA, unless specifically exempted by its charter, GOCCs are covered by
the provisions of the Salary Standardization Law (SSL).The salary increase of GM Bucoy,
including the corresponding increase in her monetized leave credits, was properly disallowed
for being in excess of the amounts allowed under the SSL. (ZAMBOANGA CITY WATER
DISTRICT, vs. COMMISSION ON AUDIT, January 26, 2016, G.R. No. 213472)

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6. May the Commission on Elections be compelled, through a writ of mandamus, to enable the
Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail system capability feature for the 2016 Elections?
Answer: Yes. The inaction of the Commission on Elections in utilizing the VVPAT feature of the
vote-counting machines fails to fulfill the duty required under Republic Act No. 8436, as
Article XI(C), Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution empowered the Commission of Elections to
"enforce and administer all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election." One of
the laws that the Commission on Elections must implement is Republic Act No. 8436, as
amended by Republic Act No. 9369, which requires the automated election system to have the
capability of providing a voter-verified paper audit trail. The law is clear. A "voter verified paper
audit trail" requires the following: (a) individual voters can verify whether the machines have
been able to count their votes; and (b) that the verification at minimum should be paper based.
There appears to be no room for further interpretation of a "voter verified paper audit trail."
The paper audit trail cannot be considered the physical ballot, because there may be instances
where the machine may translate the ballot differently, or the voter inadvertently spoils his or
March 08, 2016)

7. The Board of Directors (the Board) of petitioner MNWD passed a resolution granting the
payment of accrued COLA covering the period from 1992 to 1999 in favor of qualified MNWD
personnel. COA disallowed payment of back payment of COLA for failure of MNWD to submit
the documents to support the claim. Was the disallowance proper?
Answer: Yes. The Court finds that the back payment of the COLA to MNWD employees was
rightfully disallowed. Pertinent to the issue is Section 12 of the SSL, which provides that the
consolidation of allowances in the standardized salary as stated in the cited provision is a new
rule in Philippine position classification and compensation system. Integration of employees
benefits is the rule rather than the exception. Therefore, COAs action was proper.
EMMA A. CUYO, v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT, G.R. No. 218072, March 08, 2016)


1. The Sandiganbayan denied the Petition for Bail of JPE because the crime charged against him
is Plunder and the prosecution has indicated that the evidence of guilt is strong. JPE filed a
Petition for Certiorari before the Supreme Court. Will the action filed by JPE before the
Supreme Court prosper?
Answer: Yes, the action will prosper. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be presumed
innocent until the contrary is proved. The presumption of innocence is rooted in the guarantee
of due process, and is safeguarded by the constitutional right to be released on bail; and further
binds the court to wait until after trial to impose any punishment on the accused. (Enrile vs.
Sandiganbayan 767 SCRA 282, G.R. No. 213847, Bersamin, J.)

2. What factors did the Court consider in the grant of bail to JPE?
Answer: The Court considered JPEs social and political standing and his having immediately
surrendered to the authorities upon his being charged in court. His surrender indicates that the
risk of his flight or escape from this jurisdiction is highly unlikely. The fragile state of his health
also presents another compelling justification for his admission to bail. Sadly, the
Sandiganbayan did not recognize all these foregoing factors when it denied the grant of bail to

3. Aside from criminal proceedings, what other circumstance would merit the grant of bail?
Answer: The national commitment to uphold the fundamental human rights as well as value
the worth and dignity of every person has authorized the grant of bail not only to those charged
in criminal proceedings but also to extraditees upon a clear and convincing showing: (1) that
the detainee will not be a flight risk or a danger to the community; and (2) that there exist
special, humanitarian and compelling circumstances.

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Relate this to the Courts rulings in Hongkong SAR v. Hon. Olalia and Munoz and Govt of the
U.S.A. v. Hon. Purruganan and Jimenez

4. Lai filed a Petition before the Supreme Court alleging that he was denied due process
specifically the right to fair trial when Judge Elumba refused to inhibit himself during the trial
despite the fact that he was the prosecuting fiscal when the information was filed. Will Lais
Petition prosper?
Answer: Yes, Lai was denied fair trial.
It is not disputed that the constitutional right to due process of law cannot be denied to any
accused. The Constitution has expressly ordained that "no person shall be deprived of life,
liberty or property without due process of law." An essential part of the right is to be afforded a
just and fair trial before his conviction for any crime. Any violation of the right cannot be
condoned, for the impartiality of the judge who sits on and hears a case, and decides it is an
indispensable requisite of procedural due process. (Lai vs. People, 761 SCRA 156, G.R. No.
175999, Bersamin)

5. What is the rationale behind the need for an impartial judge?
Answer: The Court has repeatedly and consistently demanded 'the cold neutrality of an
impartial judge' as the indispensable imperative of due process. As a judge, Elumba must not
only be impartial but must also appear to be impartial as an added assurance to the parties that
his decision will be just. An accused expects go to a judge who shall give him justice.
The Court said that a judge has both the duty of rendering a just decision and the duty of doing
it in a manner completely free from suspicion as to its fairness and as to his integrity. The law
conclusively presumes that a judge cannot objectively or impartially sit in such a case where
there is a seeming cloud of doubt.

6. Will the disqualification of Judge Elumba automatically result to the acquittal of Lai?
Answer: No, the disqualification does not automatically result to the acquittal of Lai. To restore
the right to fair trial of Lai, the proceedings held against him before Judge Elumba and his
ensuing conviction should be nullified and set aside. However, the case should be remanded to
the RTC for a partial new trial to remove any of the prejudicial consequences of the violation of
the right to due process. The case shall be raffled to a Judge who is not otherwise disqualified
like Judge Elumba under Section 1, Rule 137 of the Rules of Court.

7. Gacal filed an administrative case against Judge Jaime I. Infante to whose court a murder
case was raffled. He accused Infante with gross ignorance of the law, gross incompetence, and
evident partiality. The judge failed to set a hearing before granting bail to the accused and for
releasing him immediately after allowing bail. Will the administrative case filed by Gacal against
Judge Infante prosper?
Answer: Yes, the case will prosper.
Bail hearing is mandatory. Despite the fact that the accused never filed a petition for grant of
bail, due process requires a hearing be held before bail is granted. Judge Infante betrayed his
gross ignorance because the accused is charged with murder, a crime punishable by reclusion
perpetua and is a non-bailable offense. Judge Infante apparently acted as if the requirement for
the bail hearing was a merely minor rule to be dispensed with. (Gacal vs. Hon. Infante, 658
SCRA 535, A.M. No. RTJ- 04-184, Bersamin, J.)

8. What is the purpose of conducting a hearing before bail is granted?
Answer: The Court has in a decided case said that although, in theory, the only function of bail
is to ensure the appearance of the accused at the time set for the arraignment and trial. In
practice, bail serves the further purpose of preventing the release of an accused who may be
dangerous to society or whom the judge may not want to release. Therefore, a hearing upon
notice is mandatory before the grant of bail, whether bail is a matter of right or discretion.

9. May the right against unreasonable search and seizure be waived?

Answer: Yes, the right against unreasonable search and seizure may be waived.
In Esquillo v. People, the Supreme Court affirmed the conviction of Esquillo. The Court held
that Esquillos acts showed she waived her right to question her arrest. The acts included the
fact that she did not question early on her warrantless arrest before her arraignment as well

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as the inadmissibility of evidence acquired on the occasion thereof. She raised these issues for
the first time only on appeal before the appellate court. By such omissions, she is deemed to
have waived any objections on the legality of her arrest. (ESQUILLO v. PEOPLE, G.R. No.
182010, Majority Opinion)

`10. When may law enforcers resort to stop and frisk search and seizure?
Answer: Justice Bersamin in his Dissenting Opinion in Esquillo v. People, reminds us that police
officers must not rely on a single suspicious circumstance. There should be "presence of more
than one seemingly innocent activity, which, taken together, warranted a reasonable inference
of criminal activity. The Constitution prohibits "unreasonable searches and seizures. Certainly,
reliance on only one suspicious circumstance or none at all will not result in a reasonable
Section 2 of the Constitution provides that the right of the people to be secure in their persons,
houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and
for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue
except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under
oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly
describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

11. Is stop and frisk search and seizure allowed in the prosecution of a crime?
Answer: Yes, this is allowed. This is found under Section 5 (a), Rule 113 of Rules on Criminal
For the exception in Section 5 (a), Rule 113 to operate, this Court has ruled that two (2)
elements must be present: (1) the person to be arrested must execute an overt act indicating
that he has just committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit a crime; and (2)
such overt act is done in the presence or within the view of the arresting officer. (Miclat v.
People, G.R. No. 176077, Peralta, J.)

12. Enumerate acceptable instances when a search and seizure may conducted without a
search warrant?
Answer: The general rule is a search may be conducted by law enforcers only on the strength of
a valid search warrant is settled. The same, however, admits of exceptions, viz:
(1) consented searches (malls, schools, hotels);
(2) as an incident to a lawful arrest;
(3) searches of vessels and aircraft for violation of immigration, customs, and drug laws (human
smuggling, smuggling of taxable goods, drugs);
(4) searches of moving vehicles (COMELEC checkpoints, PNP checkpoints, hot pursuit);
(5) searches of automobiles at borders or constructive borders (checkpoints in areas under
Martial Law);
(6) where the prohibited articles are in "plain view;"
(7) searches of buildings and premises to enforce fire, sanitary, and building regulations
(protection of public health and safety); and
(8) "stop and frisk operations (searches conducted at airports and harbors prior to boarding)

13. Under what circumstances may law enforcers invoke the plain view doctrine?
Answer: Objects falling in plain view of an officer who has a right to be in a position to have
that view are subject to seizure even without a search warrant and may be introduced in
evidence. The plain view doctrine applies when the following requisites concur: (a) the law
enforcement officer in search of the evidence has a prior justification for an intrusion or is in
a position from which he can view a particular area; (b) the discovery of evidence in plain
view is inadvertent; (c) it is immediately apparent to the officer that the item he observes
may be evidence of a crime, contraband or otherwise subject to seizure. The law enforcement
officer must lawfully make an initial intrusion or properly be in a position from which he can
particularly view the area. In the course of such lawful intrusion, he came inadvertently across a
piece of evidence incriminating the accused. The object must be open to eye and hand and its
discovery inadvertent. (cited in Miclat v. People, Peralta, J)

14. Dela Cruz was an on-the-job trainee of an inter-island vessel. He frequently travelled,
"coming back and forth taking a vessel. Dela Cruz was at a pier of the Cebu Domestic Port to

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go home to Iloilo. While buying a ticket, he allegedly left his bag on the floor with a porter. It
took him around 15 minutes to purchase a ticket.
Dela Cruz then proceeded to the entrance of the terminal and placed his bag on the x-ray
scanning machine for inspection. The operator of the x-ray machine saw firearms inside Dela
Cruzs bag. Dela Cruz was then arrested and informed of his violation of a crime punishable by
law. He was also informed of his constitutional rights.
Did the petitioner waive his right against unreasonable searches and seizures?
Answer: Yes. In cases involving the waiver of the right against unreasonable searches and
seizures, events must be weighed in its entirety. The trial courts findings show that petitioner
presented his bag for scanning in the x-ray machine. When his bag went through the x-ray
machine and the firearms were detected, he voluntarily submitted his bag for inspection to the
port authorities.
The Constitution safeguards a persons right against unreasonable searches and seizures. A
warrantless search is presumed to be unreasonable. However, this court lays down the
exceptions where warrantless searches are deemed legitimate: (1) warrantless search
incidental to a lawful arrest; (2) seizure in "plain view"; (3) search of a moving vehicle; (4)
consented warrantless search; (5) customs search; (6) stop and frisk; and (7) exigent and
January 11, 2016, G.R. No. 209387)

15. Assuming that there was no waiver, was there a valid search and seizure in this case?
Answer: Yes, there was a valid seizure and seizure. There is a reasonable reduced expectation
of privacy when coming into airports or ports of travel. Persons may lose the protection of the
search and seizure clause by exposure of their persons or property to the public in a manner
reflecting a lack of subjective expectation of privacy, which expectation society is prepared to
recognize as reasonable. Such recognition is implicit in airport security procedures. With
increased concern over airplane hijacking and terrorism has come increased security at the
nations airports. (ERWIN LIBO-ON DELA CRUZ vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, January 11,
2016, G.R. No. 209387)

16. Cite instances where intrusions to privacy were done on the bag of Dela Cruz?
Answer: The first point of intrusion occurred when petitioner presented his bag for inspection
to port personnelthe x-ray machine operator and baggage inspector manning the x-ray
machine station. With regard to searches and seizures, the standard imposed on private
persons is different from that imposed on state agents or authorized government authorities.
The Bill of Rights does not govern relationships between individuals; it cannot be invoked
against the acts of private individuals. The Philippine Ports Authority was subsequently given
police authority through Executive Order No. 513.
The second point of intrusion was when the baggage inspector opened petitioners bag and
called the attention of the port police office The port personnels actions proceed from the
authority and policy to ensure the safety of travelers and vehicles within the port. At this point,
petitioner already submitted himself and his belongings to inspection by placing his bag in the
x-ray scanning machine.
The presentation of petitioners bag for x-ray scanning was voluntary. Petitioner had the choice
of whether to present the bag or not. He had the option not to travel if he did not want his bag
scanned or inspected. X-ray machine scanning and actual inspection upon showing of probable
cause that a crime is being or has been committed are part of reasonable security regulations
to safeguard the passengers passing through ports or terminals.
A third point of intrusion to petitioners right to privacy occurred during petitioners submission
to port security measures. This court should determine whether the requirements for a valid
waiver against unreasonable searches and seizures were met. The Constitution safeguards a
persons right against unreasonable searches and seizures. A warrantless search is presumed to
be unreasonable.

17. What is chain of custody?
Answer: Chain of Custody means the duly recorded authorized movements and custody of
seized drugs or controlled chemicals or plant sources of dangerous drugs or laboratory
equipment of each stage, from the time of seizure/confiscation to receipt in the forensic

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laboratory to safekeeping to presentation in court for destruction. Such record of movements
and custody of seized item shall include the identity and signature of the person who held
temporary custody of the seized item, the date and time when such transfer of custody were
made in the course of safekeeping and use in court as evidence, and the final disposition. (cited
in People v. Climaco, G.R. No. 199403, Carpio, J.)

18. What is the purpose of the chain of custody?
Answer: In Malillin v. People,1[22] the Court explained the importance of the chain of custody:
Prosecutions for illegal possession of prohibited drugs necessitates that the elemental act of
possession of a prohibited substance be established with moral certainty, together with the fact
that the same is not authorized by law. The dangerous drug itself constitutes the very corpus
delicti of the offense and the fact of its existence is vital to a judgment of conviction. Essential
therefore in these cases is that the identity of the prohibited drug be established beyond doubt.
Be that as it may, the mere fact of unauthorized possession will not suffice to create in a
reasonable mind the moral certainty required to sustain a finding of guilt. More than just the
fact of possession, the fact that the substance illegally possessed in the first place is the same
substance offered in court as exhibit must also be established with the same unwavering
exactitude as that requisite to make a finding of guilt. The chain of custody requirement
performs this function in that it ensures that unnecessary doubts concerning the identity of the
evidence are removed.

19. What are the ostensible objectives of resorting to a "stop-and-frisk" practice also known as
Terry Search?
Answer: A stop-and-frisk serves a two-fold interest: (1) the general interest of effective crime
prevention and detection, which underlies the recognition that a police officer may, under
appropriate circumstances and in an appropriate manner, approach a person for purposes of
investigating possible criminal behavior even without probable cause; and (2) the more pressing
interests of safety and self-preservation which permit the police officer to take steps

20. The Constitution has enshrined the family as a basic autonomous social institution under
Sections 12 and 13, Art. II and Art. XV- The Family. May Congress intrude into this basic social
Answer: The Court has recognized that under Art. 52 of the Civil Code, marriage is not a mere
contract but an inviolable social institution. In Imbong v. Ochoa (April 8, 2014), the Supreme
Court upheld the constitutionality of the RH Bill as a valid exercise of police power.

21. What other issues were resolved by the Court in Imbong v. Ochoa?
Answer: The following issues were resolved by the Court:
A. Issue on Right to Privacy: Section 23(a) (2) (i) of the RH Law intrudes into martial privacy
and autonomy and goes against the constitutional safeguards for the family as the basic social
institution. Particularly, Section 3, Article XV of the Constitution mandates the State to defend:
(a) the right of spouses to found a family in accordance with their religious convictions and the
demands of responsible parenthood and (b) the right of families or family associations to
participate in the planning and implementation of policies and programs that affect them. The
RH Law cannot infringe upon this mutual decision-making, and endanger the institutions of
marriage and the family.
B. Issue on violation of Freedom of Religion: The provision which obliges a hospital or medical
practitioner to immediately refer a person seeking health care and services under the law to
another accessible healthcare provider despite their conscientious objections based on
religious or ethical beliefs violate the religious belief and conviction of a conscientious objector.
They are contrary to Section 29(2), Article VI of the Constitution or the Free Exercise Clause,
whose basis is the respect for the inviolability of the human conscience.
C. Issue on violation of Equal Protection Clause: Excluding public health officers from being
conscientious objectors (under Sec. 5.24 of the IRR) also violates the equal protection clause.
There is no perceptible distinction between public health officers and their private

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counterparts. In addition, the freedom to believe is intrinsic in every individual and the
protection of this freedom remains even if he/she is employed in the government.
D. Issue on Right of the State to impose Penalties: Using the compelling state interest test,
there is no compelling state interest to limit the free exercise of conscientious objectors. There
is no immediate danger to the life or health of an individual in the perceived scenario. While
penalties may be imposed by law to ensure compliance to it, a constitutionally-protected right
must prevail over the effective implementation of the law.

22. What are the elements of freedom of religion?
Answer: Freedom of religion includes the right to believe and the right to profess ones belief.

23. What is the non-establishment clause under the constitutional guarantee of freedom of
Answer: The Constitution provides in Article III, Section 5 that "[n]o law shall be made respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." At bottom, what the non-
establishment clause calls for is "government neutrality in religious matters. (Ang Ladlad v. COMELEC)

24. What is benevolent neutrality?
Answer: Benevolent neutrality recognizes that government must pursue its secular goals and interests
but at the same time strive to uphold religious liberty to the greatest extent possible within flexible
constitutional limits. Thus, although the morality contemplated by laws is secular, benevolent neutrality
could allow for accommodation of morality based on religion, provided it does not offend compelling
state interests.

25. Can professors of law claim that their allegations against a justice of the Supreme Court for
plagiarism was protected by free speech?
Answer: No. In a decided case, the Court held that the right to criticize the courts and judicial
officers must be balanced against the equally primordial concern that the independence of the
Judiciary be protected from due influence or interference. In cases where the critics are not
only citizens but members of the Bar, jurisprudence has repeatedly affirmed the authority of
this Court to discipline lawyers whose statements regarding the courts and fellow lawyers,
whether judicial or extrajudicial, have exceeded the limits of fair comment and common
decency. The accusatory and vilifying nature of certain portions of the Statement exceeded the
limits of fair comment and cannot be deemed as protected free speech. (RE: LETTER OF THE UP
SUPREME COURT, A.M. No. 10-10-4- SC, 2010)

26. What is the theory behind freedom of expression?
Answer: T]he theory of freedom of expression involves more than a technique for arriving at
better social judgments through democratic procedures. It comprehends a vision of society, a
faith and a whole way of life. The theory grew out of an age that was awakened and
invigorated by the idea of new society in which man's mind was free, his fate determined by his
own powers of reason, and his prospects of creating a rational and enlightened civilization
virtually unlimited. It is put forward as a prescription for attaining a creative, progressive,
exciting and intellectually robust community. It contemplates a mode of life that, through
encouraging toleration, skepticism, reason and initiative, will allow man to realize his full
potentialities. It spurns the alternative of a society that is tyrannical, conformist, irrational and
stagnant. (THE DIOCESE OF BACOLOD v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 205728, January 21, 2015)

27. What tests are normally applied in cases involving freedom of speech, expression and of the
Answer: The following tests may be applied:
OBrien Test on Content-Neutral Restrictions: Social Weather Station v. COMELEC, 357 SCRA
504 (2001) (simple public disclosure of survey results)
Miller Test on Indecent Speech:Soriano v. Laguardia, 587 SCRA 79 (safeguard community values
and morals)
Roth Test on Obscenity: Gonzales v. Kalaw- Katigbak, 137 SCRA 717 (Movie Classification)

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Clear and Present Danger Test: David v. President Gloria Macapgal Arroyo and Bayan Muna v.
Ermita, and IBP v. Mayor Atienza (Freedom of Assembly)
Please note: A limitation on the freedom of expression may be justified only by a danger of
such substantive character that the state has a right to prevent. Unlike in the "dangerous
tendency" doctrine, the danger must not only be clear but also present. "Present" refers to the
time element; the danger must not only be probable but very likely to be inevitable. The evil
sought to be avoided must be so substantive as to justify a clamp over one's mouth or a
restraint of a writing instrument.

28. May a person who voluntarily surrendered invoke the Miranda rights?
Answer: No. A person may only invoke the protection of Miranda Rights if his liberty is
restrained by law enforcers.
Miranda Rights will apply only if the following elements are present
1. One must be in the custody of law enforcers;
2. One must be under investigation for a commission of an offense; and
3. The information sought is testimonial in nature.

29. What is the exclusionary rule governing an extrajudicial confession?
Answer: Infraction of the rights of an accused during custodial investigation or the so-called
Miranda Rights render inadmissible only the extrajudicial confession or admission made during
such investigation. "The admissibility of other evidence, provided they are relevant to the issue
and is not otherwise excluded by law or rules, is not affected even if obtained or taken in the
course of custodial investigation." (Ho Wai Ping v. People, G.R. No. 176229, October 19, 2011)

30. De Leon was charged with Grave Oral Defamation before the MeTC. Upon arraignment, De
Leon entered a plea of not guilty. The MeTC found De Leon guilty beyond reasonable doubt of
Grave Oral Defamation. The verdict being unacceptable to him, De Leon filed his Notice of
Appeal. The RTC issued the Order directing De Leon to file his appeal memorandum. De Leon,
however, failed to comply. For his failure to file the same, the RTC issued another Order
dismissing his appeal. De Leon then filed a motion for reconsideration, which was granted by
the RTC in its Order. De Leon filed his appeal memorandum and argued, among others, that the
MeTC decision lacked the necessary constitutional and procedural requirements of a valid
Question: Did the Decision of the MeTC fail to include the facts and the law upon which the
decision was based?
Answer: No. There was no breach of the constitutional mandate that decisions must express
clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which they are based. The CA correctly stated
that the MeTC clearly emphasized in its decision, the factual findings, as well as the credibility
and the probative weight of the evidence for the defense vis--vis the evidence of the
prosecution. The MeTC presented both the version of the prosecution and that of the defense.
De Leon was not left in the dark. He was fully aware of the alleged errors of the MeTC. The RTC,
as an appellate court, found no reason to reverse the decision of the MeTC. (ENRIQUE G. DE
Respondents. January 11, 2016, G.R. No. 212623)

31. What is transactional immunity?

Answer: Government may enter into an agreement to grant immunity provided grantee will
become a state witness.
There are two kinds of statutory criminal immunity available to a witness: transactional
immunity and the use-and-derivative-use immunity. Transactional immunity is broader in the
scope of its protection. By its grant, a witness can no longer be prosecuted for any offense
whatsoever arising out of the act or transaction to which the testimony relates. In contrast, by
the grant of use-and-derivative-use immunity, a witness is only assured that his or her
particular testimony and evidence derived from it will not be used against him or her in a
subsequent prosecution. (Tanchanco v. Sandiganbayan, 476 SCRA 202, 2005)

32. If one has been convicted for violation of an ordinance, may be held accountable again
under a national law?

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No. Requisites of Double Jeopardy (Ivler v. San Pedro, G.R. No. 172716, November 17, 2010):
1. Identity of the elements of the crime committed as set forth in the information.
2. Accused has entered his plea.
3. Prosecution and the defense have presented evidence.
4. The court has ruled on the merits.

33. What is the rule on demurrer to evidence?
Answer: In People v. Sandiganbayan, the Supreme Court explained the general rule that the
grant of a demurrer to evidence operates as an acquittal and is, thus, final and unappealable.
The demurrer to evidence in criminal cases is "filed after the prosecution had rested its case,"
and when the same is granted, it calls "for an appreciation of the evidence adduced by the
prosecution and its sufficiency to warrant conviction beyond reasonable doubt, resulting in a
dismissal of the case on the merits, tantamount to an acquittal of the accused. (People v. Dante
Tan G.R. No. 167526, July 26, 2010)

34. What is the extent of the interest of a prvate party in a criminal case?
Answer: It is well-settled that in criminal cases where the offended party is the State, the
interest of the private complainant or the private offended party is limited to the civil liability.
Thus, in the prosecution of the offense, the complainant's role is limited to that of a witness for
the prosecution. If a criminal case is dismissed by the trial court or if there is an acquittal, only
the OSG, and not the private offended party, has the authority to question the order granting
the demurrer to evidence in a criminal case. (Bangayan, Jr., v. Bangayan, G.R. No. 172777,
October 19, 2011)

35. May the state appeal an acquittal?
Answer: It has been consistently held that in criminal cases, the acquittal of the accused or the
dismissal of the case against him can only be appealed by the Solicitor General, acting on behalf
of the State. The private complainant or the offended party may question such acquittal or
dismissal only insofar as the civil liability of the accused is concerned.
The exception where the acquittal may be questioned based on denial of the State's right to
due process can be found in Galman v. Sandiganbayan (1986)
Exception, when invoked: Lejano v. People, G.R. Nos. 176389 and 176864, January 18, 2011:
To reconsider a judgment of acquittal places the accused twice in jeopardy of being punished
for the crime of which he has already been absolved. There is reason for this provision of the
Constitution. In criminal cases, the full power of the State is ranged against the accused.

36. CTRM, an office under the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), held a
meeting in which it resolved to recommend to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo the lifting of
the suspension of the tariff reduction schedule on petrochemicals and certain plastic products,
thereby reducing the Common Effective Preferential Tariff (CEPT) rates on products covered by
Executive Order (E.O.) No. 161 from 7% or 10% to 5% starting July 2005.
May the CTRM be compelled by mandamus to furnish the petitioner with a copy of the minutes
of the meeting based on the constitutional right to information on matters of public concern
and the States policy of full public disclosure?
Answer: No. Section 28 of Article II of the 1987 Constitution provides 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. Section 7 of Article III of the 1987 Constitution:
The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access
to official records, and to documents, and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or
decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be
afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.
In Senate of the Philippines v. Ermita, executive privilege is properly invoked in relation to
specific categories of information, not to categories of persons. What should determine
whether or not information was within the ambit of the exception from the peoples right to
access to information was not the composition of the body, but the nature of the information
sought to be accessed.
In case of conflict, there is a need to strike a balance between the right of the people and the
interest of the Government to be protected. In the case above (Mario Sereno vs CTRM), the

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need to ensure the protection of the privilege of non-disclosure is necessary to allow the free
exchange of ideas among Government officials as well as to guarantee the well-considered
recommendation free from interference of the inquisitive public. (MARIO JOSE E. SERENO,
No. 175210)

37. What are the elements that would allow issuance of Writ of Mandamus under the right to
Answer: Two requisites must concur before the right to information may be compelled by writ
of mandamus.
(1) the information sought must be in relation to matters of public concern or public interest;
(2) it must not be exempt by law from the operation of the constitutional guarantee.

38. Petitioner entered said land without the knowledge or consent of respondents, without
properly initiating expropriation proceedings, and without any compensation to respondents-
landowners. Because of said transmission lines, respondents alleged that they could no longer
use their land as part of a subdivision project as originally intended, which ultimately caused
financial loss to their family.
Respondents filed a complaint against petitioner and its officers with the Regional Trial Court of
Naga City (RTC). Respondents demanded the removal of the power lines and its accessories and
payment of damages, or in the alternative, payment of the fair market value of the affected
areas totaling 26,000 square meters of respondents' land at P800.00 per square meter. The trial
court included inflation rate in the determination of inflation rate.
Did the Court commit an error when it included the inflation rate of the Philippine Peso in
determining the just compensation due to respondents?

Answer: Yes. The formula for determination of just compensation to landowners does not
include the factor for inflation rate, as inflation is properly accounted for through payment of
interest on the amount due to the landowner, and through the award of exemplary damages
and attorney's fees in cases where there was irregularity in the taking of property.

39. Santos owned three (3) parcels of agricultural land devoted to corn. In 1984, the subject
lands were placed under the government's Operation Land Transfer Program. Finding the
valuation unreasonable, Santos filed an action before the trial court.
The RTC directed the LBP to submit a revaluation for Lands 1, 2, and 3 in accordance with the
factors set forth under Republic Act (RA) No. 6657 otherwise known as the "Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Law of 1988. The trial court imposed a 12% on the unpaid just compensation
for Land 3.
Question: Whether the RTC acted with grave abuse of discretion in holding LBP liable for twelve
percent (12%) interest on the unpaid just compensation for Land 3.
Answer: No, the RTC did not act with grave abuse of discretion in holding LBP liable for twelve
percent (12%) interest on the unpaid just compensation for Land 3. With respect to the award
of twelve percent (12%) interest on the unpaid just compensation for Land 3, the Court finds
untenable the LBP's contention that the same was bereft of factual and legal bases, grounded
on its having promptly paid Santos the initial valuation.
Interest is imposed if there is delay in the payment of just compensation to the landowner since
the obligation is deemed to be an effective forbearance on the part of the State. Such interest
shall be pegged at the rate of twelve percent (12%) per annum on the unpaid balance of the just
compensation, reckoned from the time of taking, or the time when the landowner was deprived
of the use and benefit of his property such as when title is transferred to the Republic, or
emancipation patents are issued by the government, until full payment.

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40. What is just compensation?
Answer: Just compensation is defined as the full and fair equivalent of the property taken from
its owner by the expropriator. It has been repeatedly stressed by this Court that the true
measure is not the taker's gain but the owner's loss. The word 'just" is used to modify the
meaning of the word "compensation" to convey the idea that the equivalent to be given for the
property to be taken shall be real, substantial, full, and ample.

41. What is an out-of-court identification/Police Line-Up?
Answer: Out-of-court identification is conducted by the police in various ways. It is done thru
show-ups where the suspect alone is brought face to face with the witness for identification. It
is done thru mug shots where photographs are shown to the witness to identify the suspect. It
is also done thru lineups where a witness identifies the suspect from a group of persons lined up
for the purpose x x x In resolving the admissibility of and relying on out-of-court identification of
suspects, courts have adopted the totality of circumstances test where they consider the
following factors, viz: (1) the witness' opportunity to view the criminal at the time of the crime;
(2) the witness' degree of attention at that time; (3) the accuracy of any prior description given
by the witness; (4) the level of certainty demonstrated by the witness at the identification; (5)
the length of time between the crime and the identification; and (6) the suggestiveness of the
identification procedure.

42. For allegedly stoning, hitting and stabbing Rodolfo M. Lebria (Rodolfo), the petitioners
together with their co-accused, Boyet Ibaez (Boyet) and David Ibaez (David), who have
remained at large, were charged with the crime of frustrated homicide.
During the arraignment, Ronald and Bobot were assisted by Atty. Bibiano Colasito, who was
selected as their counsel de officio only for that occasion. At his arraignment, Emilio appeared
with the assistance of Atty. Antonio Manzano (Atty. Manzano), who was then appointed by the
trial court as counsel de oficio for all the accused. In the pre-trial conference that followed,
Atty. Manzano appeared for the petitioners. Atty. Manzano was informed that the trial for the
presentation of prosecution evidence was set on June 18, 2003.
Petitioners alleged that they were deprived of their right to counsel.
Question: Whether the petitioners were deprived of their constitutionally guaranteed right to
Answer: No. There was no denial of right to counsel as evinced by the fact that the petitioners
were not only assisted by a counsel de oficio during arraignment and pre-trial but more so,
their counsel de oficio actively participated in the proceedings before the trial court including
the direct and cross- examination of the witnesses. Mere opportunity and not actual cross-
examination is the essence of the right to cross-examine.(RONALD IBAEZ, EMILIO IBAEZ,

43. The Prosecutor charged petitioner with Reckless Imprudence Resulting to Multiple Serious
Physical Injuries and Damage to Property
Upon being arraigned, the petitioner, with the assistance of his counsel, pleaded not guilty to
the Information in this case.
Trial ensued. However, after the initial presentation of evidence for the petitioner, he resigned
from his employment and transferred residence. His whereabouts allegedly became unknown
so his new counsel did not present him as a witness.
The RTC rendered its Decision in absentia convicting the petitioner of the crime charged. The
Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction.
Question: Whether or not the RTC and the CA erred in denying the motion for new trial or to
re-open the same in order to allow the petitioner to present evidence on his behalf.
Answer: No. The Court finds that no errors of law or irregularities, prejudicial to the substantial
rights of the petitioner, have been committed during trial.
The holding of trial in absentia is authorized under Section 14(2), Article III of the 1987
Constitution which provides that after arraignment, trial may proceed notwithstanding the
absence of the accused provided that he has been duly notified and arraignment, trial may
proceed notwithstanding the absence of the accused provided that he has been duly notified

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and his failure to appear is unjustifiable. It is established that notices have been served to the
counsel of the petitioner and his failure to inform his counsel of his whereabouts is the reason
for his failure to appear on the scheduled date. Thus, the arguments of the petitioner against
the validity of the proceedings and promulgation of judgment in absentia for being in violation
of the constitutional right to due process are doomed to fail.

44. Cite instances when the freedom of movement may be restricted.
Answer: The following instances illustrate that the freedom of movement may be restricted.
Gudani v. Senga: the power of the President as Commander in Chief was sustained in
restraining officers from testifying before the Senate.
Fr. Roberto P. Reyes v. Gonzalez: Writ of Amparo will not lie to overcome a Hold Departure
Order. The Writ of Amparo was intended to address the intractable problem of extrajudicial
killings and enforced disappearances.
OCA v. Judge Ignacio B. Macarine, A.M. No. MTJ-10-1770, July 18, 2012. The Court may impose
travel restrictions on judges.
Marcos v. Sandiganbayan: humanitarian a persons right to travel is subject to the usual
constraints imposed by the very necessity of safeguarding the system of justice. In such cases,
whether the accused should be permitted to leave the jurisdiction for reasons is a matter of the
courts sound discretion.

Marcos v. COMELEC: the surviving spouse has the right to choose her residence other than the
conjugal home.
Aquino v. COMELEC: a lease contract is not conclusive proof of length of residence to meet the
requirements to run for public office.
Villavicencio v. Lukban: the Mayors order that some 170 individuals be put in custody and be
dispatched to Davao City for work is a valid subject of a writ of habeas corpus. Freedom of
abode is guaranteed for ours is a government of laws and not of men.

45. Lolita is a flight attendant who has exceeded the prescribed weight of the airline company.
Despite repeated warnings, she failed to meet the prescribed weight and was accordingly
dismissed by the airline company. She filed an action before the NLRC for illegal dismissal
because she was denied the equal protection of the law. Will the action prosper?
Answer: No.: The claim of denial of the equal protection clause may only be invoked against the
state. (Ysaregui v. NLRC and PAL)

Other relevant rulings on equal protection clause:
Garcia v. Hon. Drilon et al., G.R. No. 179267, June 25, 2013. R.A. 9262 does not violate the
equal protection clause for the following reasons: the classification rests on substantial
distinctions; the classification is germane to the purpose of the law; and the classification is not
limited to existing conditions only and apply equally to all members.
Biraogo v. The Philippine Truth Commission of 2010 et al., G.R.Nos.192935 and 193036,
December 7, 2010: E.O. is unconstitutional for singling out President Arroyos administration

46. What are the standards of review employed by the Court for constitutionally protected
Answer: The Standards of Review are:
Deferential or Rational Basis Scrutiny which establishes a rational connection to serve
legitimate state interest;
Middle Tier or Intermediate Scrutiny: Challenged classification serves important an
important state interest; and
Strict Judicial Scrutiny: Burden is on the state to prove that classification achieves a
compelling state interest.

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47. As counsel of a complainant, how will ensure that you can obtain a valid search warrant?
The Supreme Court has consistently held that the validity of the issuance of a search warrant
rests upon the following factors: (1) it must be issued upon probable cause; (2) the probable
cause must be determined by the judge himself and not by the applicant or any other person;
(3) in the determination of probable cause, the judge must examine, under oath or affirmation,
the complainant and such witnesses as the latter may produce; and (4) the warrant issued must
particularly describe the place to be searched and persons and things to be seized. (HPS
Software and Communication Corp. and Yap v. PLDT, et al., G.R. No. 170217, 170694,
December 10, 2012)

48. While serving the search warrant, the law enforcers sensed that more unclicensed firearms
were kept in the locked cabinets. They forced open the cabinets and true enough several high
powered firearms were seized but were not covered by the warrant. Can the accused move for
the exclusion of the seizure of the firearms not covered by the search warrant?
Answer: Yes. In People v. Nunez, the Court held that the seizure of items not particularly
described in the search warrant for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972 must be
returned to the accused unless they are illegal and will be destroyed by the state.
UNILAB v. Isip: Plain view doctrine will not apply when the following cannot be proved: prior
intrusion must be legal; officer must discover the incriminating evidence inadvertently; and the
object must be immediately apparent.
Exceptions: search incident to a lawful arrest (in flagrante delicto, hot pursuit and escaped
prisoners), search of moving vehicles, plain view doctrine and airport searches; and all
circumstances set forth in the Rules in Criminal Procedure.


1. One of the salient features of the Constitution is the recognition of the autonomy of local
governments under Section 25 and Art. X. What are the political subdivisions under Section1 of
Article X?
Answer: The following are the territorial and political subdivisions of the Philippines: provinces,
cities, municipalities and barangays as well as the autonomous regions of ARMM and CAR.

2. What are the mandatory requirements to create a local government unit?
Answer: Factors to be considered in the creation of local government unit:
(1). Population to be authenticated by the National Statistics Office (now Philippine
Statistics Authority); population must be actual and certification can only be issued by
the Chief Statistician (Aldaba v. COMELEC, 2010);
(2). Income: Average of two-year of the local government unit to be certified by the
Department of Finance. Note that all treasurers of all local government units are
appointed by the Secretary of Finance.
The share of the local government in the IRA is included in the computation of income.
(Alvarez v. Guingona, 1996)
(3). Land Area: Area must be contiguous except for provinces comprising of islands. The
land area must be authenticated by the Land Management Bureau of the DENR.
(Navarro v. Ermita,2011), where the Court ruled in favor of the constitutionality of
Dinagat as a province despite the fact that it did not meet the prescribed 2,000 square
meter area. It is impossible to achieve the minimum area requirement since the
province of Dinagat is composed of islands and cannot be contiguous.

Rule on creation of local government units and additional congressional districts: a plebiscite
is required in the creation of local government units but not in the creation of additional
congressional districts.
Sema v. COMELEC: The ARMM Legislative Assembly cannot create provinces and the grant of
such power under the ARMM Organic Act is deemed unconstitutional. It is not a valid
delegation of power. The creation of local government units in provinces, cities, municipalities,
and other political subdivision is a congressional/legislative prerogative while the creation of
barangays shall be done by local ordinances in cities and provinces (for component cities and

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municipalities) through the Sangguniang Panglungsod and Sangguniang Panlalawigan as the
case may be.
League of Cities of the Philippines v. COMELEC (2010). In upholding the legality of the creation
of additional 16 cities, the Court held that Congress may apply the revised requirements in a
new law during the pendency of the approval of all the bills creating such new local
government units.

3. How are boundary disputes among local government units resolved?
Answer: Jurisdiction of boundary disputes:
Regional trial courts exercise original jurisdiction over boundary disputes in involving a
MUNICIPALITY and an independent component city.
Sangguniang Panlalawigan exercises original jurisdiction over boundary disputes involving two
municipalities of the same province.
Joint Sangguniang Panlalawigan exercises original jurisdiction over boundary disputes involving
two municipalities of the different provinces.
Sangguniang Panlungsod exercises original jurisdiction over boundary disputes involving two
barangays of the same city.
Joint Sangguniang Panlungsod exercises original jurisdiction over boundary disputes involving
two barangays of two different cities.
The regional trial court exercises APPELLATE jurisdiction over boundary disputes among local
government units.

4. May a barangay order the closure of streets in a private subdivision?
Answer: Yes. In the case of Sun Valley Homeowners Assn., Inc. v. Sanggguniang Barangay of
Sun Valley (July 2011), Petitioner wants the Court to recognize the rights and interests of the
residents of Sun Valley Subdivision but it miserably failed to establish the legal basis, such as its
ownership of the subject roads. Section 21 of the Local Government Code requires the passage
of an ordinance by a local government unit to effect the opening of a local road. The Court held
that the subject provision can have no applicability to the instant case since the subdivision
road lots sought to be opened to decongest traffic in the area - namely Rosemallow and Aster
Streets - have already been donated by the Sun Valley Subdivision to, and the titles thereto
already issued in the name of, the City Government of Paranaque since the year 1964. The
Court also noted that the action of the Petitioner was premature for failure to exhaust
administrative remedies because the issues presented before which could have been resolved
by the Mayors office.
Barangay Sindalan, San Fernando, Pampanga v. C.A. (2007): The Court also held that no public
funds may be used to construct an access road which would benefit solely the residents of a
newly-developed subdivision.
City of Manila v. Chinese Community (1919): A local government may not takeover a property
for expansion of a public street when such property (cemetery) already serves a public purpose.
MMDA v. Bel-Air Village Homeowners Assn., Inc.: MMDA cannot require the opening of
certain streets inside a private subdivision since it cannot make an ordinance because it has no
rule-making powers. The opening of a street is a way of regulating use of property. Therefore,
MMDA cannot also validly exercise police power.
Sanggalang v. IAC (176 SCRA 716): Through the enactment of an ordinance which has
reclassified Jupiter St., Bel Air Village, the local government may allow the use of former
residential lots along the street for commercial purposes.
Albon v. Mayor Fernando: No public funds may be spent for the upgrading of private
subdivision roads unless they are turned over to the local government unit.

5. May a local government unit reclassify the use of land which would violate the provisions of
the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law?
Answer: The local government has authority to reclassify lands but not when such
reclassification violates the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law. The exception to this general
rule is when the local government unit had already reclassified the subject land before the
effectivity of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law.
Buklod ng Magbubukid sa Lupaing Ramos, Inc. v. E.MM. Ramos, Inc. (2011): The ordinance
reclassifying the land in question shall prevail over the opposition of the Petitioner. The Court

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held Section 3(c), Chapter I of the CARL further narrows down the definition of agricultural land
that is subject to CARP to "land devoted to agricultural activity as defined in this Act and not
classified otherwise.
The CARL took effect on June 15, 1988. To be exempt from the CARP, the subject property
should have already been reclassified as residential prior to said date. The ordinance was
enacted prior to the effectivity of CARL.
Davao New Town Development Corp. v. Spouses Espino et al (2013): The Court held that the
subject property had been reclassified as non-agricultural prior to June 15, 1988; hence, they
are no longer covered by R.A. No. 6657.

6. May a zoning ordinance prevail over a restriction in the Transfer Certificate of Title which the
Ayala Alabang Homeowners Association seeks to impose on the property owner?
Answer: No. The annotation at the back of TCT No. 149166 covering the subject property
provides: PE-222/T-134042 - RESTRICTIONS - The property cannot be subdivided for a period
of fifty (50) years from the date of sale. The property shall be used exclusively for the
establishment and maintenance thereon of a preparatory (nursery and kindergarten) school
which may include such installations as an office for school administration, playground and
garage for school vehicles. x x.
The Court held that the above restriction limits the use of the subject property for preparatory
(nursery and kindergarten) school, without regard to the number of classrooms. The Court
affirmed the judgement of the Court of Appeals which ordered the Petitioner to cease and
desist from the operation of the Learning Child School beyond nursery and kindergarten classes
with a maximum of two classrooms with the MODIFICATION that (1) the two-classroom
restriction is deleted, and (2) the current students of the School of the Holy Cross, the Learning
Child School's grade school department, be allowed to finish their elementary studies in said
school up to their graduation in their Grade 7. The enrolment of new students to the grade
school shall no longer be permitted.

7. The local government of Manila enacted an ordinance which granted ABC Corporation to
operate a jai alai in the City of Manila. The newly-elected Mayor refused to grant a business
permit to ABC Corporation on the ground that the ordinance cannot prevail over a Presidential
Decree which required that the grant of franchise to operate jai alai is invested in the Games
and Amusement Board. ABC Corporation asked the Manila RTC to issue a writ of mandamus
ordering the newly-elected Mayor to issue the business permit to ABC Corporation. As judge,
will you issue the writ?
Answer: No. Lim v. Pacquing, 240 SCRA 649: Former Chief Justice Puno in his Dissenting Opinion
in this 1995 case said that the exercise of police power is not without limit. He said that while it
is the prerogative of the State to promote the general welfare of the people thru the use of
police power; on the opposite end is the right of an entity to have its property protected
against unreasonable impairment by the State. Courts accord the State wide latitude in the
exercise of its police power to bring about the greatest good of the greatest number. But when
its purpose is putrefied by private interest, the use of police power becomes a farce and must
be struck down just as every arbitrary exercise of government power should be stamped out.

8. When may the exercise of police power may be questioned?
Answer: In MMDA v. Bel-Air Village Assn. (328 SCRA 836), the Court held that where is there is
no explicit grant of power, a government agency cannot exercise police power. The Court said:
Clearly, the MMDA is not a political unit of government. The power delegated to the MMDA is
that given to the Metro Manila Council to promulgate administrative rules and regulations in
the implementation of the MMDAs functions. There is no grant of authority to enact
ordinances and regulations for the general welfare of the inhabitants of the metropolis.

9. The municipality of Teresa, Rizal enacted an ordinance which sought the expropriation of a
property upon which it will build an evacuation center as part of its Disaster Preparedness
Program. The Sangguniang Panlalawigan disapproved the ordinance. May the municipality still
exercise the power of eminent domain despite the disapproval of its proposed ordinance?
Answer: Yes. The exercise of the power of eminent domain is a power delegated by Congress to
political subdivisions.

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Moday v. C. A. 268 SCRA 586: The Court reiterated the limitations on the power of eminent
domain are that the use must be public, compensation must be made and due process of law
must be observed. The Supreme Court, taking cognizance of such issues as the adequacy of
compensation, necessity of the taking and the public use character or the purpose of the taking,
has ruled that the necessity of exercising eminent domain must be genuine and of a public
character. Government may not capriciously choose what private property should be taken.

10. Iloilo City initiated expropriation proceedings against Spouses Espinosa. During the
pendency of the case, the city government and the property owner agreed to settle the case
through a compromise agreement. The Court approved the compromise agreement between
the parties. Before fully paying for the property, the city government questioned the
compromise agreement arguing that it was not the court which fixed the just compensation. Is
the argument of the city government valid?
Answer: No. A compromise agreement is valid since it has the effect of a ruling on the merit.
The city government is also precluded to question such ruling of the trial court because it
voluntary submitted itself to the jurisdiction of the court. (City of Manila v. Alegar Corporation
et. al. June 25, 2012)

Public Purpose
Housing for the poor: Ortega v. City of Cebu, 602 SCRA 601 (2009)
Taking for a cultural/historical purpose: Manosca v C.A., G.R. No. 106440, January 29, 1996
Taking is not justified when a similar facility within the vicinity already serves the same
purpose: Masikip v. Pasig City, 497 SCRA 391(2006)

Just Compensation
Principal criterion to determine just compensation will be the character and use of the land at
the time of taking: Tinio et al. v. NAPOCOR, G.R. 160923, January 24, 2011
Compensation based on R.A. 6657 is required in the determination of just compensation if the
property is covered by CARP: LBP v. Ferrer et al., G.R. No. 172230, February 2, 2011
Recognition of Fair Market Value will form part of the basis of just compensation: EPZA v.
Estate of Salud Jimenez, et al., G.R. No. 188995, August 24, 2011
Interest rate on just compensation is 6% per annum: Apo Fruits Corp. et al. v LBP, G.R. No. 164,
October 12, 2010

If government does not use the property for an unreasonable period of time for the public
purpose it acquired the property, the property owner can ask for reconveyance of the same.
If there is unreasonable delay (5 years) of payment of just compensation, the property owner
can ask for possession of property until just compensation is fully settled.


1. Whether a barangay official has the power and duty as a public officer for summarily abating
the basketball ring, which she considers as a nuisance? is this an abatement of a nuisance per

Answer: No, an abatement of a public nuisance, the same was done summarily while failing to
follow the proper procedure. Prevailing jurisprudence holds that unless a nuisance is a nuisance
per se, it may not be summarily abated. The power to order the demolition of a nuisance per se
CLUB, INC., January 11, 2016, G.R. No. 188213)

2. Molina was a subject of an administrative investigation for letter entitled Is it True. The
letter maligned the GSIS General Manager Garcia. The respondent sought the dismissal of the
charge on the ground of its being baseless; and requested the conduct of a formal investigation
by an impartial body. He was ever found to have committed grave misconduct and was he given
a 60-day suspension.
The respondent instituted in the Court of Appeals a special civil action for certiorari to

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challenge the legality of the Memorandum which found him guilty of grave misconduct . The CA
promulgated its assailed decision nullifying the Memorandum issued by Garcia. Garcia
appealed the C.A. decision.
Question: Is Molina guilty of grave misconduct?
Answer: No. Misconduct in office, by uniform legal definition, is such misconduct that affects
his performance of his duties as an officer and not such only as affects his character as a private
individual. To warrant removal from office, it must have direct relation to and be connected
with the performance of official duties amounting either to maladministration or willful,
intentional neglect and failure to discharge the duties of the office. Moreover, it is "a
transgression of some established and definite rule of action, more particularly, unlawful
behavior or gross negligence by a public officer." It becomes grave if it "involves any of the
additional elements of corruption, willful intent to violate the law or to disregard established
rules, which must be established by substantial evidence."
The record contains nothing to show that the respondent's act constituted misconduct. The
passing of the letter to Caretero did not equate to any "transgression" or "unlawful behavior,"
for it was an innocuous act that did not breach any standard, norm or rule pertinent to his
office. Neither could it be regarded as "circulation" of the letter inasmuch as the letter was
handed only to a single individual who just happened to be curious about the paper the
respondent was then holding in his hands. (WINSTON F. GARCIA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS
(GSIS) vs. MARIO I. MOLINA, January 11, 2016, G.R. No. 165223

3. Petitioners are all charged as co-conspirators for their respective participations in the
anomalous Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.
The Ombudsman issued the assailed 144-page Joint Resolution dated March 28, 2014 finding
probable cause against, inter alia, Reyes, Janet Napoles, and De Asis of one (1) count of
Plunder, and against Reyes, Janet Napoles, De Asis, and the Napoles siblings for fifteen (15)
counts of violation of Section 3 (e) of RA 3019. Accordingly, separate motions for
reconsideration were timely filed by Reyes, Janet Napoles, the Napoles siblings, and De Asis.
Question: Did the Ombudsman and/or the Sandiganbayan commit any grave abuse of
discretion in rendering the assailed resolutions ultimately finding probable cause against
petitioners for the charges against them.
Answer: No. Once the public prosecutor (or the Ombudsman) determines probable cause and
thus, elevates the case to the trial court (or the Sandiganbayan), a judicial determination of
probable cause is made in order to determine if a warrant of arrest should be issued ordering
the detention of the accused. The Court, in People v. Castillo, delineated the functions and
purposes of a determination of probable cause made by the public prosecutor, on the one
hand, and the trial court, on the other. . (JOHN RAYMUND DE ASIS, v. CONCHITA CARPIO

4. What are the two types of determination of probable cause?
Answer: There are two kinds of determination of probable case: executive and judicial. The
executive determination of probable cause is one made during preliminary investigation. It is a
function that properly pertains to the public prosecutor who is given a broad discretion to
determine whether probable cause exists and to charge those whom he believes to have
committed the crime as defined by law and thus should be held for trial. Otherwise stated, such
official has the quasi- judicial authority to determine whether or not a criminal case must be
filed in court. Whether or not that function has been correctly discharged by the public
prosecutor, i.e., whether or not he has made a correct ascertainment of the existence of
probable cause in a case, is a matter that the trial court itself does not and may not be
compelled to pass upon.
The judicial determination of probable cause, on the other hand, is one made by the judge to
ascertain whether a warrant of arrest should be issued against the accused. The judge must
satisfy himself that based on the evidence submitted, there is necessity for placing the accused
under custody in order not to frustrate the ends of justice. If the judge finds no probable cause,
the judge cannot be forced to issue the arrest warrant. (JOHN RAYMUND DE ASIS, v.

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5. Twelve new positions were created by a local government but no ordinance was enacted to
fund the newly-created positions. Subsequently, the Mayor sought approval of an ordinance
which would allow the persons occupying the newly-appointed positions to draw their salaries.
A taxpayer filed an action against the Mayor before the Office of the Ombudsman. Will the case
Answer: No. Whatever defect there may have been in the approval of unappropriated positions
was cured subsequently by the creation of said position and the revalidation of respondents
appointment. That appointment was ultimately approved by the Civil Service Commission thus
giving it finality. The Court reiterated that elementary is the rule that the findings of fact of the
Office of the Ombudsman are conclusive when supported by substantial evidence and are
accorded due respect and weight, especially when they are affirmed by the CA. It is only when
there is grave abuse of discretion by the Ombudsman that a review of factual findings may aptly
be made. (TOLENTINO v. Mayor LOYOLA et. al. (G.R. No. 153809, 2011).

2013). There is grave abuse of discretion when an act is:
1) done contrary to the Constitution, the law or jurisprudence or
2) executed whimsically, capriciously or arbitrarily, out of malice, ill will or personal bias.

6. Congress enacted the General Appropriations Act (GAA) which included a provision
allowing the President to distribute a lump sum amount to all members of the legislative
branch. The GAA allowed the President to prescribe the criteria for the distribution of such
amounts needed by the members of Congress. Special requirements were allowed at the
congressional district level. May Pedro Reyes and other taxpayers question the constitutionality
of the subject provision of the GAA?
Answer: Yes. The provision violates the principle of checks and balances. This principle in
constitutional law where there is a system-based regulation that allows one branch to limit
actions of another branch in keeping with the doctrine of separation of powers.
(Consolidated Petitions: Belgica et. al. v. Executive Secretary et. al., G.R.No. 208566,
Alcantara et. al. v. Drilon et. al. G.R. No. 208493, and Nepomuceno et. al. v. Pres. Aquino et.
al., G.R. No.209251, Nov. 19, 2013)

7. Is the case subject to judicial review?
Answer: Yes, there is a question raised on the constitutionality of the provision of PDAF in the
General Appropriations Act. This is a justiciable issue.

8. Do the petitioners have legal standing to sue?
Answer: Yes, as taxpayers there are qualified to raise the issue of the constitutionality of PDAF.
As taxpayers they stand to suffer material injury because the funds covered under the General
Appropriations Act come from revenues collected from taxpayers.

9. Was there a violation of the principle of separation of powers?
Answer: Yes, the executive branch encroached upon the power of the legislative branch when
it determined how the PDAF will be distributed. The legislative branch also exercised the power
of implementation when it identified priority projects in their jurisdiction.

10. Was there a violation of the principle of checks and balances in the implementation of the
projects under PDAF?
Answer: Yes, it deprives the President of his item veto power under the constitution Section
27(2), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution because the appropriations are general (lump sum)
instead of being itemized.

11. Was there violation of the principle of non-delegability of legislative power?
Answer: Yes, the legislative branch allowed the executive branch to define the parameters as to
how the PDAF can be availed of by the members of Congress. The Department of Budget and
Management provided for a menu where the funds may be spent.

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12. Was there a violation of the constitutional provision on political dynasty?
Answer: While portions of the PDAF were meant to enhance the continued stay in power of
incumbent politicians, the constitutional provision prohibiting political dynasty, the same is not
self-executing. To date, Congress has not enacted a law to put the provision into effect. Thus,
there is no violation of the constitutional provision.

13. Was there a violation of the principle of local autonomy?
Answer: Yes, when the incumbent members of Congress dictated which projects would be
implemented at the local level without the participation of the local government units, it
violated the essence of local autonomy under Article X of the Constitution.

14. Congress enacted a law which created the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC)
under the supervision of the Secretary of Finance. Without awaiting the appointments of the
Chairman and the four Associate Commissioners of the PCC, the Secretary of Finance published
the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the PCC. Is the act of the Secretary of Finance
Answer: No. The act of the Secretary of Finance violated the principle of separation of powers.
He should have first allowed the President to appoint all the five members of PCC.

15. How law-making power is delegated?
Answer: Congress may validly delegate law-making power by allowing administrative agencies
to formulate suppletory rules (filling in details to ensure enforcement of the law) and
contingent rules (ascertaining the facts to bring the law into operation)

16. The President reorganized the Office of the Press Secretary. In the process some of the
employees were given new assignments. The affected employees questioned the
reorganization arguing that it violated their security of tenure. Is the legal argument of the
affected employees tenable?
Answer: No. EIIB v. Zamora (July 10, 2001). The Court held: It having been duly established
that the President has the authority to carry out reorganization in any branch or agency of the
executive department, what is then left for us to resolve is whether or not the reorganization is
valid. In this jurisdiction, reorganizations have been regarded as valid provided they are
pursued in good faith. Reorganization is carried out in good faith if it is for the purpose of
economy or to make bureaucracy more efficient. Pertinently, Republic Act No. 6656 provides
for the circumstances which may be considered as evidence of bad faith in the removal of civil
service employees made as a result of reorganization, to wit: (a) where there is a significant
increase in the number of positions in the new staffing pattern of the department or agency
concerned; (b) where an office is abolished and another performing substantially the same
functions is created; (c) where incumbents are replaced by those less qualified in terms of
status of appointment, performance and merit; (d) where there is a classification of offices in
the department or agency concerned and the reclassified offices perform substantially the
same functions as the original offices, and (e) where the removal violates the order of

17. Considering that the positions of the Deputy Ombudsman and the Special Prosecutor are
provided in the Constitution. May the President relying solely on his judgment remove them
from office?
Answer: The Court held that the Office of the President has the power to discipline and even
dismiss the overall deputy Ombudsman and the other deputies provided under the Constitution
as well as the Special Prosecutor. The Court said that the Ombudsman is vested with broad
investigative and disciplinary powers. These powers include the scrutiny of all acts of
malfeasance, misfeasance, and nonfeasance of all public officials, including Members of the
Cabinet and key Executive officers, during their tenure. Under Section 12, Article XI of the 1987
Constitution, the Office of the Ombudsman is envisioned to be the protector of the people
against the inept, abusive, and corrupt in the government, to function essentially as a
complaints and action bureau. This constitutional vision of a Philippine Ombudsman practically
intends to make the Ombudsman an authority to directly check and guard against the ills,

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abuses, and excesses of the bureaucracy. As the Ombudsman is expected to be an activist
watchman, the Court has upheld its actions, although not squarely falling under the broad
powers granted it by the Constitution and by R.A. No. 6770, if these actions are reasonably in
line with its official function and consistent with the law and the Constitution. Gonzales III v.
Office of the President at al/ Bareras Sulit v. Ochoa et al (2014)

18. May the President appoint a Justice of the Supreme Court when an election ban is in effect?
Answer: Yes. Midnight appointments: The outgoing President must refrain from filling
vacancies to give the new President opportunity to consider names in the light of his new
policies especially so when he ran on a platform approved by the electorate.( Art. VII, Sec.15)
De Castro v. JBC, G.R. No. 191002, March 17, 2010: This case questioned the power of the
President to appoint the Chief Justice during the prohibitive period. The S.C. held that the
appointment of the members of the judiciary is not covered by the prohibition on midnight
Power of Removal: For appointees who serve at the pleasure of the President, they may also
be removed if there is loss of trust and confidence in them. Other public servants may be
removed for cause provided for by law.

19. May the representative of the Committee of Justice of the Senate and the House of
Representatives simultaneously represent the Congress in the Judicial and Bar Council?
Answer: No. The Congress is entitled only to one representative in the JBC and not one for each
from the House of Representatives and the Senate. (Chavez v. JBC)
Recent rulings related to the JBC:
Villanueva v. JBC (2015): A first level trial court must await a 5-year period before he can be
promoted as RTC judge. The Court sustained the power of the JBC to prescribe rules in the
screening of qualified candidates to the judiciary to ensure that only men of proven
competence, integrity, probity and independence will be appointed to the bench.
Jardeleza vs. Chief Justice Sereno and JBC (2015): Having been denied due process, Jardeleza
should be included in the list of nominees to be appointed as justice of the Supreme Court. An
issue about his integrity was raised in the selection process but Jardeleza was never given the
opportunity to be heard to overturn the allegation against him.

20. With the recently SAF 44 incident, a newly-elected member of the House of Representatives
proposed that Congress amend the Philippine National Police to include for confirmation the
Chief PNP by the Commission on Appointments. Is the proposal valid?
Answer: No. Article VII, Section 16 of the 1987 Constitution reads: "The President shall
nominate and, with the consent of the Commission on Appointments, appoint the heads of the
executive departments, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, or officers of the
armed forces from the rank of colonel or naval captain, and other officers whose appointments
are vested in him in this Constitution. He shall also appoint all other officers of the Government
whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by law, and those whom he may be
authorized by law to appoint. The Congress may, by law, vest the appointment of other officers
lower in rank in the President alone, in the courts, or in the heads of departments, agencies,
commissions, or boards.
Sarmiento v. Mison, 156 SCRA 549 (1987): Appointment of Bureau of Customs Commissioner
does not need confirmation of the Commission on Appointments.
Tatad v. Commission on Appointments, G.R. No. 183171, August 11, 2008: With the
resignation of the nominee, there is no longer an actually justiciable controversy.

21. Gregorio, a police officer, was charged for violation of the VAWC law and an administrative
complaint was likewise filed against him before the Peoples Law Enforcement Board. Can
Gregorio move for the dismissal of the criminal case against him due to the pendency of his
administrative complaint before the PLEB?
Answer: No. In administrative proceedings, procedural due process has been recognized to
include the following: (1) the right to actual or constructive notice of the institution of
proceedings which may affect a respondents legal rights; (2) a real opportunity to be heard
personally or with the assistance of counsel, to present witnesses and evidence in ones favor,
and to defend ones rights; (3) a tribunal vested with competent jurisdiction and so constituted

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as to afford a person charged administratively a reasonable guarantee of honesty as well as
impartiality; and (4) a finding by said tribunal which is supported by substantial evidence
submitted for consideration during the hearing or contained in the records or made known to
the parties affected. (Acuzar v. Jarolan and Apresa PLEB, G.R. No. 177878, April 7, 2010)


1. What is social justice?
Answer: Calalang v. Williams, 70 Phil. 726 (1940). In this case the Court defined social justice in
this wise: Social justice is "neither communism, nor despotism, nor atomism, nor anarchy," but
the humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic forces by the State so
that justice in its rational and objectively secular conception may at least be approximated.
Social justice means the promotion of the welfare of all the people, the adoption by the
Government of measures calculated to insure economic stability of all the competent elements
of society, through the maintenance of a proper economic and social equilibrium in the
interrelations of the members of the community, constitutionally, through the adoption of
measures legally justifiable, or extra-constitutionally, through the exercise of powers underlying
the existence of all governments on the time-honored principle of salus populi est suprema
Note: The precept of social justice is interlinked with the exercise of police power. In the same
case, the Court further said that: Social justice, therefore, must be founded on the recognition
of the necessity of interdependence among divers and diverse units of a society and of the
protection that should be equally and evenly extended to all groups as a combined force in our
social and economic life, consistent with the fundamental and paramount objective of the state
of promoting the health, comfort, and quiet of all persons, and of bringing about the greatest
good to the greatest number.

2. Will the writ of habeas data lie against an academic institution?
Answer: In Viveres and Suzara v. St. Theresas College-Cebu City, the Court held that the writ
of habeas data will not lie since the respondent school is not in the business of collecting data.
The Court upheld the right of the school not to allow its students to graduate for violating the
standing policy of the school on wearing immodest apparel and having their photographs
posted in social media.

3. Does the school have the power to suspend its students?
Answer: In Miriam College v. CA 348SCRA 215, the Court held that the school has the power to
suspend students for use of vulgar language in the schools official organ. The Court upheld the
right of a school to prescribe rules governing discipline of students.
University of San Agustin v. CA 270 SCRA 761: The Court held that their students are governed
by the rules set forth in the student handbook. The failure of students to meet the academic
standards set in the Student Handbook is a ground for disciplinary action.
Ateneo v. Capulong 222 SCRA 643. The Court upheld the authority of the school to suspend
students who were alleged to have participated in a hazing activity which resulted to the death
of one of its students. In this case, the Court took the occasion to say that it is the national
government that shall provide the overall policy on education to meet national goals. The
discipline of students pursuing legal career is a matter which exacts rigid scrutiny.


1. What are the remedies available to disqualify a person from running in an electoral race?
Answer: There are two remedies available under existing laws to prevent a candidate from
running in an electoral race. One is by petition for disqualification, and the other by petition to
deny due course to or to cancel his certificate of candidacy. In Fermin v. Commission on
Elections, the Court has differentiated the two remedies in the following manner: [A] petition
for disqualification, on the one hand, can be premised on Section 12 or 68 of the OEC, or
Section 40 of the LGC. On the other hand, a petition to deny due course to or cancel a CoC can
only be grounded on a statement of a material representation in the said certificate that is

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false. The petitions also have different effects. While a person who is disqualified under Section
68 is merely prohibited to continue as a candidate, the person whose certificate is cancelled or
denied due course under Section 78 is not treated as a candidate at all, as if he/she never filed
a CoC.
Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code states: Section 78. Petition to deny due course to or
cancel a certificate of candidacy. - A verified petition seeking to deny due course or to cancel a
certificate of candidacy may be filed by the person exclusively on the ground that any material
representation contained therein as required under Section 74 hereof is false. The petition may
be filed at any time not later than twenty-five days from the time of the filing of the certificate
of candidacy and shall be decided, after due notice and hearing, not later than fifteen days
before the election. (Arsenio Agustin vs. Commission on Elections and Salvador Pillos , G.R.
No. 207105, November 10, 2015, Bersamin, J. )

2. May a proclaimed candidate in a congressional seat ask the Court to enjoin the election
protest filed against him before the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal?
Answer: No. This violates the doctrine of separation of powers. The doctrine of separation of
powers is a principle of government under which three separate branches of government are
empowered to carry out functions without interference or encroachment from another branch.
Angara v. Electoral Tribunal, 63 Phil. 139, 158 (1936): The Court cannot interfere with an
independent body like the Electoral Tribunal under the principle of separation of powers. It is
premature for the Court to exercise its power of judicial review until after the tribunal has
terminated its proceedings.
How principle is violated: interference and assumption to another branchs functions often
referred to as encroachment

3. When can the House of Representative Electoral Tribunal take jurisdiction over an election
Answer: The HRET may take cognizance of any matter raised by a losing candidate related to
the election, returns and qualifications (ERQ) as soon as the COMELEC proclaims the winning
candidate and the latter shall have taken his oath as a member of the House of
Please take note of the following rulings on the three electoral tribunals enshrined in the
Reyes v. COMELEC and Tan, G.R. No. 207264, June 25, 2013: To be considered a member of
Congress, there must be concurrence of the following requisites: a valid proclamation; a proper
oath; and assumption to duty. Absent any of the foregoing, the COMELEC retains jurisdiction
over said contest.
Duenas v. HRET, 593 SCRA 3166: HRET has the competence to examine questioned ballots; a
resolution signed by the majority of the members is sufficient.
Vinzons-Chato v. HRET and Panotes, G.R. No. 199149, January 22, 2013: digital images are
functional equivalent of the paper ballots
Martinez v. HRET, G.R. No. 189034, January 11, 2010: nuisance candidates; mockery of
election process
Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET): composed of 3 Justices of the Supreme Court to be designated
by the Chief Justice and 6 members of the Senate based on proportional representation; the
Senior Justice acts as the Chairman.
House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET): composed of 3 Justices of the Supreme
Court to be designated by the Chief Justice and 6 members of the House of Representatives
based on proportional representation; the Senior Justice acts as the Chairman.
Jurisdiction of Electoral Contests before the SET and the HRET: All matters pertaining to the
election, returns and qualifications of a member, including issues involving citizenship and
appreciation of ballots.
Pimentel v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 178413, March 13, 2008: Once COMELEC has proclaimed the
winner, it loses jurisdiction on all issues involving the election, returns and qualifications of a
member of the Senate; the losing party must file the protest before the SET.
Legarda v. de Castro: Petitioner can no longer pursue her election protest because she run for
the Senate during the pendency of the case and after having been proclaimed winner in the
senatorial race, she took her oath. To allow her to pursue the case will result to absurdity. She

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cannot be Vice President (executive branch) and be Senator (legislative branch) at the same
time. This will result into incompatibility of offices.
Note: As members of the PET, the justices of the Supreme Court are triers of facts and law
and parties may seek relief to the Supreme Court if they are not satisfied with the findings of
the SET.

4. If members of the Senate and party list members of the House of Representatives are
proclaimed by the COMELEC, what body undertakes the canvass of votes and proclamation of
the President and the Vice President?
Answer: Congress acts as the Board of Canvassers in presidential election.
Pimentel v. Joint Committee of Congress, G.R. No. 163783, June 22, 2004. The Congress is a
continuing body and must fulfil its constitutional mandate to conduct the presidential canvass
of votes even it if is in recess. The Senate shall convene in joint session during any voluntary or
compulsory recess to canvass the votes for President and Vice-President not later than thirty
days after the day of the elections in accordance with Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution.
Lopez v. Senate, G.R. No. 163556, June 8, 2004: Senate is a continuing body only on this matter
and committee hearings and not to consider bills.

5. Can a losing candidate as kagawad of a barangay file an election protest?
Answer: Yes. The Municipal Trial Courts have jurisdiction over election contests involving
elective positions at the barangay level. A party not satisfied with the ruling of the trial court,
may file an appeal before the COMELEC. A division of the COMELEC is assigned to review the
appeal. If parties are not satisfied with the ruling of the Division, they can file an appeal before
COMELEC en banc and parties may ask the Supreme Court en banc to review the decision of the
COMELEC en banc.
Please note that all decisions of the Civil Service Commission, the Commission on Elections and
the Commission on Audit may be reviewed by the Supreme Court en banc.

6. In case of vacancy in the Office of the President, is a special election necessary?
Answer: No. Section 9 of Article VII provides that in such an instance, the President shall
nominate a Vice-President from among the members of the Senate and House of
Representatives who shall assume the office upon confirmation by the majority vote of all
members of both Houses of Congress voting separately.


1. Is the non-submission of the EDCA agreement for concurrence by the Senate violates the
Answer: No. The EDCA need not be submitted to the Senate for concurrence because it is in
the form of a mere executive agreement, not a treaty. Under the Constitution, the President is
empowered to enter into executive agreements on foreign military bases, troops or facilities if
(1) such agreement is not the instrument that allows the entry of such and (2) if it merely aims
to implement an existing law or treaty.
EDCA is in the form of an executive agreement since it merely involves adjustments in detail
in the implementation of the Mutual Defense Treaty and the Visiting Forces Agreement. These
are existing treaties between the Philippines and the U.S. that have already been concurred in
by the Philippine Senate and have thereby met the requirements of the Constitution under Art
XVIII, Sec 25. Because of the status of these prior agreements, EDCA need not be transmitted
to the Senate. (Saguisag vs. Ochoa, Jr. 779 SCRA 241, G.R. No. 212426, G.R. No. 212444
January 12, 2016)

2. The Philippine Constitution has several provisions on respect for human dignity and human
rights (Art. II, Sec. 11, Art. III, Sections 17-19, and Art. XVI, Sec. 5(2)). Is the Philippine
government a signatory to any international agreement on human rights?
Answer: Yes. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a declaration adopted by the
United Nations General Assembly as an offshoot of the aftermath of World War II. The
International Bill of Human Rights consists of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the

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International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional Protocols. In a strict sense, the Declaration is
not treaty but it has been considered as a constitutive document for the purpose of defining
fundamental freedoms and human rights.

3. A number of Filipinos are considered economic migrants. What efforts has the government
done to ensure the protection of Overseas Filipino Workers?
Answer: The Philippines is a signatory to the International Convention on the Protection of the
Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. This instrument is multilateral
treaty governing the protection of migrant workers and families. Concluded on 18 December
1990, the Convention entered into force on 1 July 2003 after the threshold of 20 ratifying States
was reached in March 2003. The Committee on Migrant Workers (CMW) monitors
implementation of the convention, and is one of the seven UN-linked human rights treaty

4. What other rights do Overseas Filipino Workers enjoy?
Answer: In Nicolas-Lewis v. COMELEC, the Court held that the holding of the 2004 elections
had, as the OSG pointed out, indeed rendered the petition moot and academic, but insofar only
as petitioners participation in such political exercise is concerned. The broader and
transcendental issue tendered or subsumed in the petition, i.e., the propriety of allowing duals
to participate and vote as absentee voter in future elections, however, remains unresolved.
Observing the petitioners and the COMELECs respective formulations of the issues, the same
may be reduced into the question of whether or not petitioners and others who might have
meanwhile retained and/or reacquired Philippine citizenship pursuant to R.A. 9225 may vote as
absentee voter under R.A. 9189.The Court resolved the poser in the affirmative. The Court held
that those who retain or re acquire Philippine citizenship under Republic Act No. 9225, the
Citizenship Retention and Re Acquisition Act of 2003, may exercise the right to vote under the
system of absentee voting in Republic Act No. 9189, the Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003
pursuant to Sec 2 of Article V of the Constitution which mandates that Congress shall provide a
system for absentee voting by qualified Filipinos abroad.

5. What is the nature of a tax treaty?
Answer: In negotiating tax treaties, the underlying rationale for reducing the tax rate is that
the Philippines will give up a part of the tax in the expectation that the tax given up for this
particular investment is not taxed by the other country.

6. How is double taxation eliminated in a tax treaty?
Answer: In order to eliminate double taxation, a tax treaty resorts to several methods. First, it
sets out the respective rights to tax of the state of source or situs and of the state of residence
with regard to certain classes of income or capital. The second method for the elimination of
double taxation applies whenever the state of source is given a full or limited right to tax
together with the state of residence. In this case, the treaties make it incumbent upon the
state of residence to allow relief in order to avoid double taxation.
Power of Taxation: rule on taxation: must be uniform and equitable; Congress to evolve a
progressive system of taxation- The Constitution does not really prohibit the imposition of
indirect taxes which, like the VAT, are regressive. What it simply provides is that Congress shall
"evolve a progressive system of taxation." The constitutional provision has been interpreted to
mean simply that "direct taxes are . . . to be preferred [and] as much as possible, indirect taxes
should be minimized." (E. FERNANDO, THE CONSTITUTION OF THE PHILIPPINES 221 (Second ed.
(1977) (Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance, 1995).
YMCA v. Collector of Internal Revenue, 33 Phil. 217(1916): taxpayer has burden of proof to
claim tax exemption
Quezon City v. ABS-CBN, G.R. No. 166408, Oct. 6, 2008: LGUs have power to collect local
franchise tax
Del Mar v. PAGCOR, 346 SCRA 484 (2000): only Congress has the power to grant franchise
Nursery Care Products Corporation v. Treasurer Acevedo: elements of double taxation

Tanada v. Tuvera, 136 SCRA 27(1985): effectivity of laws

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