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DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE

Republic of the Philippines MR. ARROYO. No, no, no, wait a minute, Mr. Speaker, I stood up. I want to know what is the question that the
SUPREME COURT Chair asked the distinguished sponsor.
Manila

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr. Daza). The session is suspended for one minute.
EN BANC

(It was 3:01 p.m.)

(3:40 p.m., the session was resumed)


G.R. No. 127255 August 14, 1997

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr. Daza). The session is resumed.


JOKER P. ARROYO, EDCEL C. LAGMAN, JOHN HENRY R. OSMEÑA, WIGBERTO E. TAÑADA, AND
RONALDO B. ZAMORA, petitioner,
vs. MR. ALBANO. Mr. Speaker, I move to adjourn until four o'clock, Wednesday, next week.
JOSE DE VENECIA, RAUL DAZA, RODOLFO ALBANO, THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, THE SECRETARY OF
FINANCE, AND THE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, respondents.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr. Daza). The session is adjourned until four o'clock, Wednesday, next week.
(It was 3:40 p.m.)

On the same day, the bill was signed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the
MENDOZA, J.: Senate and certified by the respective secretaries of both Houses of Congress as having been finally passed by
the House of Representatives and by the Senate on November 21, 1996. The enrolled bill was signed into law
by President Fidel V. Ramos on November 22, 1996.
This is a petition for certiorari and/or prohibition challenging the validity of Republic Act No. 8240, which
amends certain provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code by imposing so-called "sin taxes" (actually
specific taxes) on the manufacture and sale of beer and cigarettes. Petitioners claim that there are actually four different version of the transcript of this portion of Rep. Arroyo's
interpellation: (1) the transcript of audio-sound recording of the proceedings in the session hall immediately
after the session adjourned at 3:40 p.m. on November 21, 1996, which petitioner Rep. Edcel C. Lagman
Petitioners are members of the House of Representatives. They brought this suit against respondents Jose de obtained from he operators of the sound system; (2) the transcript of the proceedings from 3:00 p.m. to 3:40
Venecia, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Deputy Speaker Raul Daza, Majority Leader Rodolfo Albano, p.m. of November 21, 1996, as certified by the Chief of the Transcription Division on November 21, 1996, also
the Executive Secretary, the Secretary of Finance, and the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, charging obtained by Rep. Lagman; (3) the transcript of the proceedings from 3:00 p.m. to 3:40 p.m. of November 21,
violation of the rules of the House which petitioners claim are "constitutionally mandated" so that their 1996 as certified by the Chief of the Transcription Division on November 28, 1996, also obtained by Rep.
violation is tantamount to a violation of the Constitution. Lagman; and (4) the published version abovequoted. According to petitioners, the four versions differ on three
points, to wit: (1) in the audio-sound recording the word "approved," which appears on line 13 in the three
other versions, cannot be heard; (2) in the transcript certified on November 21, 1996 the world "no" on line 17
The law originated in the House of Representatives as H. No. 7198. This bill was approved on third reading on appears only once, while in the other versions it is repeated three times; and (3) the published version does not
September 12, 1996 and transmitted on September 16, 1996 to the Senate which approved it with certain contain the sentence "(Y)ou better prepare for a quorum because I will raise the question of the quorum,"
amendments on third reading on November 17, 1996. A bicameral conference committee was formed to which appears in the other versions.
reconcile the disagreeing provisions of the House and Senate versions of the bill.

Petitioners' allegations are vehemently denied by respondents. However, there is no need to discuss this point
The bicameral conference committee submitted its report to the House at 8 a.m. on November 21, 1996. At as petitioners have announced that, in order to expedite the resolution of this petition, they admit, without
11:48 a.m., after a recess, Rep. Exequiel Javier, chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, proceeded to conceding, the correctness of the transcripts relied upon by the respondents. Petitioners agree that for
deliver his sponsorship speech, after which he was interpellate. Rep. Rogelio Sarmiento was first to interpellate. purposes of this proceeding the word "approved" appears in the transcripts.
He was interrupted when Rep. Arroyo moved to adjourn for lack of quorum. Rep. Antonio Cuenco objected to
the motion and asked for a head count. After a roll call, the Chair (Deputy Speaker Raul Daza) declared the
presence of a quorum. 1 Rep. Arroyo appealed the ruling of the Chair, but his motion was defeated when put to Only the proceedings of the House of Representatives on the conference committee report on H. No. 7198 are
a vote. The interpellation of the sponsor thereafter proceeded. in question. Petitioners' principal argument is that R.A. No. 8240 is null and void because it was passed in
violation of the rules of the House; that these rules embody the "constitutional mandate" in Art. VI, §16(3) that
"each House may determine the rules of its proceedings" and that, consequently, violation of the House rules is
Petitioner Rep. Joker Arroyo registered to interpellate. He was fourth in the order, following Rep. Rogelio a violation of the Constitution itself. They contend that the certification of Speaker De Venecia that the law was
Sarmiento, Rep. Edcel C. Lagman and Rep. Enrique Garcia. In the course of his interpellation, Rep. Arroyo properly passed is false and spurious.
announced that he was going to raise a question on the quorum, although until the end of his interpellation he
never did. What happened thereafter is shown in the following transcript of the session on November 21, 1996
of the House of Representatives, as published by Congress in the newspaper issues of December 5 and 6, More specifically, petitioners charge that (1) in violation of Rule VIII, §35 and Rule XVII, §103 of the rules of the
1996: House, 2 the Chair, in submitting the conference committee report to the House, did not call for the years or
nays, but simply asked for its approval by motion in order to prevent petitioner Arroyo from questioning the
presence of a quorum; (2) in violation of Rule XIX, §112, 3 the Chair deliberately ignored Rep. Arroyo's question,
MR. ALBANO. MR. Speaker, I move that we now approved and ratify the conference committee report. "What is that . . . Mr. Speaker?" and did not repeat Rep. Albano's motion to approve or ratify; (3) in violation of
Rule XVI, §97, 4 the Chair refused to recognize Rep. Arroyo and instead proceeded to act on Rep. Albano's
motion and afterward declared the report approved; and (4) in violation of Rule XX, §§121-122, Rule XXI, §123,
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr. Daza). Any objection to the motion? and Rule XVIII, §109, 5 the Chair suspended the session without first ruling on Rep. Arroyo's question which, it is
alleged, is a point of order or a privileged motion. It is argued that Rep. Arroyo's query should have been
resolved upon the resumption of the session on November 28, 1996, because the parliamentary situation at
MR. ARROYO. What is that, Mr. Speaker? the time of the adjournment remained upon the resumption of the session.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr. Daza). There being none, approved. Petitioners also charge that the session was hastily adjourned at 3:40 p.m. on November 21, 1996 and the bill
certified by Speaker Jose De Venecia to prevent petitioner Rep. Arroyo from formally challenging the existence
of a quorum and asking for a reconsideration.
(Gavel)
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
Petitioners urge the Court not to feel bound by the certification of the Speaker of the House that the law had In State ex rel. City Loan & Savings Co. v. Moore, 14 the Supreme Court of Ohio stated: "The provision for
been properly passed, considering the Court's power under Art. VIII, §1 to pass on claims of grave abuse of reconsideration is no part of the Constitution and is therefore entirely within the control of the General
discretion by the other departments of the government, and they ask for a reexamination of Tolentino v. Assembly. Having made the rule, it should be regarded, but a failure to regard it is not the subject-matter of
Secretary of Finance, 6 which affirmed the conclusiveness of an enrolled bill, in view of the changed judicial inquiry. It has been decided by the courts of last resort of many states, and also by the United States
membership of the Court. Supreme Court, that a legislative act will not be declared invalid for noncompliance with rules."

The Solicitor General filed a comment in behalf of all respondents. In addition, respondent De Venecia filed a In State v. Savings Bank, 15 the Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut declared itself as follows: "The
supplemental comment. Respondents' defense is anchored on the principle of separation of powers and the Constitution declares that each house shall determine the rules of its own proceedings and shall have all
enrolled bill doctrine. They argue that the Court is not the proper forum for the enforcement of the rules of the powers necessary for a branch of the Legislature of a free and independent state. Rules of proceedings are the
House and that there is no justification for reconsidering the enrolled bill doctrine. Although the Constitution servants of the House and subject to its authority. This authority may be abused, but when the House has
provides in Art. VI, §16(3) for the adoption by each House of its rules of proceedings, enforcement of the rules acted in a matter clearly within its power, it would be an unwarranted invasion of the independence of the
cannot be sought in the courts except insofar as they implement constitutional requirements such as that legislative department for the court to set aside such action as void because it may think that the House has
relating to three readings on separate days before a bill may be passed. At all events, respondents contend misconstrued or departed from its own rules of procedure."
that, in passing the bill which became R.A. No. 8240, the rules of the House, as well as parliamentary
precedents for approval of conference committee reports on mere motion, were faithfully observed.
In McDonald v. State, 16 the Wisconsin Supreme Court held: "When it appears that an act was so passed, no
inquiry will be permitted to ascertain whether the two houses have or have not complied strictly with their own
In his supplemental comment, respondent De Venecia denies that his certification of H. No. 7198 is false and rules in their procedure upon the bill, intermediate its introduction and final passage. The presumption is
spurious and contends that under the journal entry rule, the judicial inquiry sought by the petitioners is barred. conclusive that they have done so. We think no court has ever declared an act of the legislature void for non-
Indeed, Journal No. 39 of the House of Representatives, covering the sessions of November 20 and 21, 1996, compliance with the rules of procedure made by itself , or the respective branches thereof, and which it or they
shows that "On Motion of Mr. Albano, there being no objection, the Body approved the Conference Committee may change or suspend at will. If there are any such adjudications, we decline to follow them."
Report on House Bill No. 7198." 7 This Journal was approved on December 2, 1996 over the lone objection of
petitioner Rep. Lagman. 8
Schweizer v. Territory 17 is illustrative of the rule in these cases. The 1893 Statutes of Oklahoma provided for
three readings on separate days before a bill may be passed by each house of the legislature, with the proviso
After considering the arguments of the parties, the Court finds no ground for holding that Congress committed that in case of an emergency the house concerned may, by two-thirds vote, suspend the operation of the rule.
a grave abuse of discretion in enacting R.A. No. 8240. This case is therefore dismissed. Plaintiff was convicted in the district court of violation of a law punishing gambling. He appealed contending
that the gambling statute was not properly passed by the legislature because the suspension of the rule on
three readings had not been approved by the requisite two-thirds vote. Dismissing this contention, the State
First. It is clear from the foregoing facts that what is alleged to have been violated in the enactment of R.A. No. Supreme Court of Oklahoma held:
8240 are merely internal rules of procedure of the House rather than constitutional requirements for the
enactment of a law, i.e., Art. VI, §§26-27. Petitioners do not claim that there was no quorum but only that, by
some maneuver allegedly in violation of the rules of the House, Rep. Arroyo was effectively prevented from We have no constitutional provision requiring that the legislature should read a bill in any particular manner. It
questioning the presence of a quorum. may, then, read or deliberate upon a bill as it sees fit. either in accordance with its own rules, or in violation
thereof, or without making any rules. The provision of section 17 referred to is merely a statutory provision for
the direction of the legislature in its action upon proposed measures. It receives its entire force from legislative
Petitioners contend that the House rules were adopted pursuant to the constitutional provision that "each sanction, and it exists only at legislative pleasure. The failure of the legislature to properly weigh and consider
House may determine the rules of its proceedings" 9 and that for this reason they are judicially enforceable. To an act, its passage through the legislature in a hasty manner, might be reasons for the governor withholding
begin with, this contention stands the principle on its head. In the decided cases, 10 the constitutional provision his signature thereto; but this alone, even though it is shown to be a violation of a rule which the legislature
that "each House may determine the rules of its proceedings" was invoked by parties, although not had made to govern its own proceedings, could be no reason for the court's refusing its enforcement after it
successfully, precisely to support claims of autonomy of the legislative branch to conduct its business free from was actually passed by a majority of each branch of the legislature, and duly signed by the governor. The
interference by courts. Here petitioners cite the provision for the opposite purpose of invoking judicial review. courts cannot declare an act of the legislature void on account of noncompliance with rules of procedure made
by itself to govern its deliberations. McDonald v. State, 80 Wis. 407, 50 N.W. 185; In re Ryan, 80 Wis. 414, 50
N.W. 187; State v. Brown, 33 S.C. 151, 11 S.E. 641; Railway Co. v. Gill, 54 Ark. 101, 15 S.W. 18.
But the cases, both here and abroad, in varying forms of expression, all deny to the courts the power to inquire
into allegations that, in enacting a law, a House of Congress failed to comply with its own rules, in the absence
of showing that there was a violation of a constitutional provision or the rights of private individuals. In Osmeña We conclude this survey with the useful summary of the rulings by former Chief Justice Fernando, commenting
v. Pendatun, 11 it was held: "At any rate, courts have declared that 'the rules adopted by deliberative bodies are on the power of each House of Congress to determine its rules of proceedings. He wrote:
subject to revocation, modification or waiver at the pleasure of the body adopting them.' And it has been said
that 'Parliamentary rules are merely procedural, and with their observance, the courts have no concern. They
may be waived or disregarded by the legislative body.' Consequently, 'mere failure to conform to Rules are hardly permanent in character. The prevailing view is that they are subject to revocation,
parliamentary usage will not invalidate the action (taken by a deliberative body) when the requisite number of modification or waiver at the pleasure of the body adopting them as they are primarily procedural. Courts
members have agreed to a particular measure.'" ordinary have no concern with their observance. They may be waived or disregarded by the legislative body.
Consequently, mere failure to conform to them does not have the effect of nullifying the act taken if the
requisite number of members have agreed to a particular measure. The above principle is subject, however, to
In United States v. Ballin, Joseph & Co., 12 the rules was stated thus: "The Constitution empowers each house to this qualification. Where the construction to be given to a rule affects person other than members of the
determine its rules of proceedings. It may not by its rules ignore constitutional restraints or violate legislative body the question presented is necessarily judicial in character. Even its validity is open to question
fundamental rights, and there should be a reasonable relation between the mode or method of proceeding in a case where private rights are involved. 18
established by the rule and the result which is sought to be attained. But within these limitations all matters of
method are open to the determination of the House, and it is no impeachment of the rule to say that some
other way would be better, more accurate, or even more just. It is no objection to the validity of a rule that a In this case no rights of private individuals are involved but only those of a member who, instead of seeking
different one has been prescribed and in force for a length of time. The power to make rules is not one which redress in the House, chose to transfer the dispute to this Court. We have no more power to look into the
once exercised is exhausted. It is a continuous power, always subject to be exercised by the House, and within internal proceedings of a House than members of that House have to look over our shoulders, as long as no
the limitations suggested, absolute and beyond the challenge of any other body or tribunal." violation of constitutional provisions is shown.

In Crawford v. Gilchrist, 13 it was held: "The provision that each House shall determine the rules of its Petitioners must realize that each of the three departments of our government has its separate sphere which
proceedings does not restrict the power given to a mere formulation of standing rules, or to the proceedings of the others may not invade without upsetting the delicate balance on which our constitutional order rests. Due
the body in ordinary legislative matters; but in the absence of constitutional restraints, and when exercised by regard for the working of our system of government, more than mere comity, compels reluctance on our part
a majority of a constitutional quorum, such authority extends to a determination of the propriety and effect of to enter upon an inquiry into an alleged violation of the rules of the House. We must accordingly decline the
any action as it is taken by the body as it proceeds in the exercise of any power, in the transaction of any invitation to exercise our power.
business, or in the performance of any duty conferred upon it by the Constitution."
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
Second. Petitioners, quoting former Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion's sponsorship in the Constitutional Indeed, it is no impeachment of the method to say that some other way would be better, more accurate and
Commission, contend that under Art. VIII, §1, "nothing involving abuse of discretion [by the other branches of even more just. 23 The advantages or disadvantages, the wisdom or folly of a method do not present any
the government] amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction is beyond judicial review." 19 Implicit in this matter for judicial consideration. 24 In the words of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, "this Court cannot provide
statement of the former Chief Justice, however, is an acknowledgment that the jurisdiction of this Court is a second opinion on what is the best procedure. Notwithstanding the deference and esteem that is properly
subject to the case and controversy requirement of Art. VIII. §5 and, therefore, to the requirement of a tendered to individual congressional actors, our deference and esteem for the institution as a whole and for the
justiciable controversy before courts can adjudicate constitutional questions such as those which arise in the constitutional command that the institution be allowed to manage its own affairs precludes us from even
field of foreign relations. For while Art. VIII, §1 has broadened the scope of judicial inquiry into areas normally attempting a diagnosis of the problem." 25
left to the political departments to decide, such as those relating to national security, 20 it has not altogether
done away with political questions such as those which arise in the field of foreign relations. As we have
already held, under Art. VIII, §1, this Court's function Nor does the Constitution require that the yeas and the nays of
the Members be taken every time a House has to vote, except only in the following instances; upon the last
and third readings of a bill, 26 at the request of one-fifth of the Members present, 27 and in repassing a bill over
is merely [to] check whether or not the governmental branch or agency has gone beyond the constitutional the veto of the President. 28 Indeed, considering the fact that in the approval of the original bill the votes of the
limits of its jurisdiction, not that it erred or has a different view. In the absence of a showing . . . [of] grave members by yeas and nays had already been taken, it would have been sheer tedium to repeat the process.
abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction, there is no occasion for the Court to exercise its corrective
power. . . . It has no power to look into what it thinks is apparent error. 21
Petitioners claim that they were prevented from seeking reconsideration allegedly as a result of the precipitate
suspension and subsequent adjournment of the session. 29 It would appear, however, that the session was
If, then, the established rule is that courts cannot declare an act of the legislature void on account merely of suspended to allow the parties to settle the problem, because when it resumed at 3:40 p.m. on that day Rep.
noncompliance with rules of procedure made by itself, it follows that such a case does not present a situation Arroyo did not say anything anymore. While it is true that the Majority Leader moved for adjournment until 4
in which a branch of the government has "gone beyond the constitutional limits of its jurisdiction" so as to call p.m. of Wednesday of the following week, Rep. Arroyo could at least have objected if there was anything he
for the exercise of our Art. VIII. §1 power. wanted to say. The fact, however, is that he did not. The Journal of November 21, 1996 of the House shows.

Third. Petitioners claim that the passage of the law in the House was "railroaded." They claim that Rep. Arroyo ADJOURNMENT OF SESSION
was still making a query to the Chair when the latter declared Rep. Albano's motion approved.

On motion of Mr. Albano, there being no objection, the Chair declared the session adjourned until four o'clock in
What happened is that, after Rep. Arroyo's interpellation of the sponsor of the committee report, Majority the afternoon of Wednesday, November 27, 1996.
Leader Rodolfo Albano moved for the approval and ratification of the conference committee report. The Chair
called out for objections to the motion. Then the Chair declared: "There being none, approved." At the same
time the Chair was saying this, however, Rep. Arroyo was asking, "What is that . . . Mr. Speaker?" The Chair and It was 3:40 p.m. Thursday, November 21, 1996. (emphasis added)
Rep. Arroyo were talking simultaneously. Thus, although Rep. Arroyo subsequently objected to the Majority
Leader's motion, the approval of the conference committee report had by then already been declared by the
Chair, symbolized by its banging of the gavel. This Journal was approved on December 3, 1996. Again, no one objected to its approval except Rep. Lagman.

Petitioners argue that, in accordance with the rules of the House, Rep. Albano's motion for the approval of the It is thus apparent that petitioners' predicament was largely of their own making. Instead of submitting the
conference committee report should have been stated by the Chair and later the individual votes of the proper motions for the House to act upon, petitioners insisted on the pendency of Rep. Arroyo's question as an
members should have been taken. They say that the method used in this case is a legislator's nightmare obstacle to the passage of the bill. But Rep. Arroyo's question was not, in form or substance, a point of order or
because it suggests unanimity when the fact was that one or some legislators opposed the report. a question of privilege entitled to precedence. 30 And even if Rep. Arroyo's question were so, Rep. Albano's
motion to adjourn would have precedence and would have put an end to any further consideration of the
question. 31
No rule of the House of Representative has been cited which specifically requires that in case such as this
involving approval of a conference committee report, the Chair must restate the motion and conduct a viva
voce or nominal voting. On the other hand, as the Solicitor General has pointed out, the manner in which the Given this fact, it is difficult to see how it can plausibly be contended that in signing the bill which became R.A.
conference committee report on H. No. 7198 was approval was by no means a unique one. It has basis in No. 8240, respondent Speaker of the House be acted with grave abuse of his discretion. Indeed, the phrase
legislative practice. It was the way the conference committee report on the bills which became the Local "grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction" has a settled meaning in the
Government Code of 1991 and the conference committee report on the bills amending the Tariff and Customs jurisprudence of procedure. It means such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment by a tribunal
Code were approved. exercising judicial or quasi judicial power as to amount to lack of power. As Chief Justice Concepcion himself
said in explaining this provision, the power granted to the courts by Art. VIII. §1 extends to cases where "a
branch of the government or any of its officials has acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction, or so
In 1957, the practice was questioned as being contrary to the rules of the House. The point was answered by capriciously as to constitute an abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction." 32
Majority Leader Arturo M. Tolentino and his answer became the ruling of the Chair Mr. Tolentino said:

Here, the matter complained of concerns a matter of internal procedure of the House with which the Court
Mr. TOLENTINO. The fact that nobody objects means a unanimous action of the House. Insofar as the matter of should not he concerned. To repeat, the claim is not that there was no quorum but only that Rep. Arroyo was
procedure is concerned, this has been a precedent since I came here seven years ago, and it has been the effectively prevented from questioning the presence of a quorum. Rep. Arroyo's earlier motion to adjourn for
procedure in this House that if somebody objects, then a debate follows and after the debate, then the voting lack of quorum had already been defeated, as the roll call established the existence of a quorum. The question
comes in. of quorum cannot be raised repeatedly — especially when the quorum is obviously present — for the purpose
of delaying the business of the House. 33 Rep. Arroyo waived his objection by his continued interpellation of the
sponsor for in so doing he in effect acknowledged the presence of a quorum. 34
xxx xxx xxx

At any rate it is noteworthy that of the 111 members of the House earlier found to be present on November 21,
Mr. Speaker, a point of order was raised by the gentleman from Leyte, and I wonder what his attitude is nor on 1996, only the five, i.e., petitioners in this case, are questioning the manner by which the conference
his point of order. I should just like to state that I believe that we have had a substantial compliance with the committee report on H. No. 7198 was approved on that day. No one, except Rep. Arroyo, appears to have
Rules. The Rule invoked is not one that refers to statutory or constitutional requirement, and a substantial objected to the manner by which the report was approved. Rep. John Henry Osmeña did not participate in the
compliance, to my mind, is sufficient. When the Chair announces the vote by saying "Is there any objection?" bicameral conference committee proceedings. 35 Rep. Lagman and Rep. Zamora objected to the report 36 but
and nobody objects, then the Chair announces "The bill is approved on second reading." If there was any doubt not to the manner it was approved; while it is said that, if voting had been conducted. Rep. Tañada would have
as to the vote, any motion to divide would have been proper. So, if that motion is not presented, we assume voted in favor of the conference committee report. 37
that the House approves the measure. So I believe there is substantial compliance here, and if anybody wants
a division of the House he can always ask for it, and the Chair can announce how many are in favor and how
many are against. 22 Fourth. Under the enrolled bill doctrine, the signing of H. No. 7198 by the Speaker of the House and the
President of the Senate and the certification by the secretaries of both Houses of Congress that it was passed
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
on November 21, 1996 are conclusive of its due enactment. Much energy and learning is devoted in the Each House shall keep a Journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such
separate opinion of Justice Puno, joined by Justice Davide, to disputing this doctrine. To be sure, there is no parts as may, in its judgment, affect national security; and the yeas and nays on any question shall, at the
claim either here or in the decision in the EVAT cases [Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance] that the enrolled bill request of one-fifth of the Members present, be entered in the Journal.
embodies a conclusive presumption. In one case 38 we "went behind" an enrolled bill and consulted the Journal
to determine whether certain provisions of a statute had been approved by the Senate.
Each House shall also keep a Record of its proceedings.

But, where as here there is no evidence to the contrary, this Court will respect the certification of the presiding
officers of both Houses that a bill has been duly passed. Under this rule, this Court has refused to determine The Journal is regarded as conclusive with respect to matters that are required by the Constitution to be
claims that the three-fourths vote needed to pass a proposed amendment to the Constitution had not been recorded therein. 46 With respect to other matters, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, the Journals
obtained, because "a duly authenticated bill or resolution imports absolute verify and is binding on the courts." have also been accorded conclusive effect. Thus, in United States v. Pons, 47 this Court spoke of the
39
This Court quoted from Wigmore on Evidence the following excerpt which embodies good, if old-fashioned, imperatives of public policy for regarding the Journals as "public memorials of the most permanent character,"
democratic theory: thus: "They should be public, because all are required to conform to them; they should be permanent, that
rights acquired today upon the faith of what has been declared to be law shall not be destroyed tomorrow, or
at some remote period of time, by facts resting only in the memory of individuals." As already noted, the bill
The truth is that many have been carried away with the righteous desire to check at any cost the misdoings of which became R.A. No. 8240 is shown in the Journal. Hence its due enactment has been duly proven.
Legislatures. They have set such store by the Judiciary for this purpose that they have almost made them a
second and higher Legislature. But they aim in the wrong direction. Instead of trusting a faithful Judiciary to
check an inefficient Legislature, they should turn to improve the Legislature. The sensible solution is not to It would be an unwarranted invasion of the prerogative of a coequal department for this Court either to set
patch and mend casual errors by asking the Judiciary to violate legal principle and to do impossibilities with the aside a legislative action as void because the Court thinks the House has disregarded its own rules of
Constitution; but to represent ourselves with competent, careful, and honest legislators, the work of whose procedure, or to allow those defeated in the political arena to seek a rematch in the judicial forum when
hands on the statute-roll may come to reflect credit upon the name of popular government. 40 petitioners can find their remedy in that department itself. The Court has not been invested with a roving
commission to inquire into complaints, real or imagined, of legislative skullduggery. It would be acting in
excess of its power and would itself be guilty of grave abuse of its discretion were it to do so. The suggestion
This Court has refused to even look into allegations that the enrolled bill sent to the President contained made in a case 48 may instead appropriately be made here: petitioners can seek the enactment of a new law or
provisions which had been "surreptitiously" inserted in the conference committee: the repeal or amendment of R.A. No. 8240. In the absence of anything to the contrary, the Court must assume
that Congress or any House thereof acted in the good faith belief that its conduct was permitted by its rules,
and deference rather than disrespect is due the judgment of that body. 49
[W]here allegations that the constitutional procedures for the passage of bills have not been observed have no
more basis than another allegation that the Conference Committee "surreptitiously" inserted provisions into a
bill which it had prepared, we should decline the invitation to go behind the enrolled copy of the bill. To WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari and prohibition is DISMISSED.
disregard the "enrolled bill" rule in such cases would be to disregard the respect due the other two
departments of our government. 41
SO ORDERED.

It has refused to look into charges that an amendment was made upon the last reading of a bill in violation of
Art. VI. §26(2) of the Constitution that "upon the last reading of a bill, no amendment shall be allowed." 42 Narvasa, C.J., Padilla, Melo, Kapunan, Francisco and Hermosisima, Jr., JJ., concur.

In other cases, 43 this Court has denied claims that the tenor of a bill was otherwise than as certified by the Regalado, J., concurs in the result.
presiding officers of both Houses of Congress.

Bellosillo and Panganiban, JJ., took no part.


The enrolled bill doctrine, as a rule of evidence, is well established. It is cited with approval by text writers here
and abroad. 44 The enrolled bill rule rests on the following considerations:
Torres, Jr., J., is on leave.

. . . As the President has no authority to approve a bill not passed by Congress, an enrolled Act in the custody
of the Secretary of State, and having the official attestations of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, of
the President of the Senate, and of the President of the United States, carries, on its face, a solemn assurance
by the legislative and executive departments of the government, charged, respectively, with the duty of
enacting and executing the laws, that it was passed by Congress. The respect due to coequal and independent Separate Opinions
departments requires the judicial department to act upon that assurance, and to accept, as having passed
Congress, all bills authenticated in the manner stated; leaving the court to determine, when the question
properly arises, whether the Act, so authenticated, is in conformity with the Constitution. 45

To overrule the doctrine now, as the dissent urges, is to repudiate the massive teaching of our cases and VITUG, J., concurring:
overthrow an established rule of evidence.

When the 1987 Constitution has embodied, in its circumscription of judicial power under Section 1, Article VIII,
Indeed, petitioners have advanced no argument to warrant a departure from the rule, except to say that, with of the Constitution, the determination of whether or not there is grave abuse of discretion on the part of any
a change in the membership of the Court, the three new members may be assumed to have an open mind on branch or instrumentality of government, the Supreme Court, upon which that great burden has been imposed,
the question of the enrolled bill rule Actually, not three but four (Cruz, Feliciano, Bidin, and Quiason, JJ.) have could not have been thought of as likewise being thereby tasked with the awesome responsibility of overseeing
departed from the Court since our decision in the EVAT cases and their places have since been taken by four the entire bureaucracy. The term grave abuse of discretion has long been understood in our jurisprudence as,
new members (Francisco, Hermosisima, Panganiban, and Torres, JJ.) Petitioners are thus simply banking on the and confined to, a capricious and whimsical or despotic exercise of judgment as amounting to lack or excess of
change in the membership of the Court. jurisdiction.

Moreover, as already noted, the due enactment of the law in question is confirmed by the Journal of the House I see nothing of that sort in the case at bar. Absent a clear case of grave abuse of discretion, like the patent
of November 21, 1996 which shows that the conference committee report on H. No. 7198, which became R.A. disregard of a Constitutional proscription, I would respect the judgment of Congress under whose province the
No. 8740, was approved on that day. The keeping of the Journal is required by the Constitution, Art. VI, §16(4) specific responsibility falls and the authority to act is vested. To do otherwise would be an unwarranted
provides: intrusion into the internal affairs of a co-equal, independent and coordinate branch of government. At no time,
it would seem to me, has it been intended by the framers of the fundamental law to cause a substantial
deviation, let alone departure, from the time-honored and accepted principle of separation, but balanced,
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
powers of the three branches of government. There is, of course, a basic variant between the old rule and the of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the
new Charter on the understanding of the term "judicial power." Now, the Court is under mandate to assume Government." We are also guided by the principle that a court may interfere with the internal procedures of its
jurisdiction over, and to undertake judicial inquiry into, what may even be deemed to be political questions coordinate branch only to uphold the Constitution. 5
provided, however, that grave abuse of discretion — the sole test of justiciability on purely political issues — is
shown to have attended the contested act.
I differed, however, from the majority insofar as that principle was applied. In this respect, I showed that the
introduction of several provisions in the Bicameral Conference Committee Report did not only violate the
All taken, I most humbly reiterate my separate opinion in Tolentino vs. Secretary of Finance and companion pertinent House and Senate Rules defining the limited power of the conference committee but that the
cases (G.R. No. 115455, etc., 235 SCRA 630) and vote to deny the instant petition. Constitutional proscription against any amendment upon the last reading of a bill was likewise breached.
Hence, in view of these lapses, I thought that judicial review would have been proper in order to uphold the
Constitution. This the majority, however, disregarded invoking the same principle which should have justified
ROMERO, J., separate opinion: the Court in questioning the actuations of the legislative branch.

In filing this separate opinion for the dismissal of the instant petition, I am not backtracking from the dissent At this juncture, I wish to reiterate my continuing adherence to the aforesaid reasons I cited in the Tolentino
which I expressed in Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance. 1 I am somewhat bothered that if I do not elaborate, the dissent. At the same time, I realize that the arguments I raised in my dissent would not hold true in the instant
vote which I cast today might be wrongly construed as an implied abandonment of, and inconsistent with, my petition.
firm stance in Tolentino.

For one thing, unlike in Tolentino, the rules of the House of Representatives allegedly violated by respondents
The landmark case of Tolentino, just like the one under consideration, involved a similar challenge to the in the instant petition are purely internal rules designed for the orderly conduct of the House's business. They
constitutionality of a significant tax measure namely, Republic Act No. 7716, otherwise known as the Expanded have no direct or reasonable nexus to the requirements and proscriptions of the Constitution in the passage of
Value-Added Tax (EVAT) Law. There, a number of issues, both substantive and procedural, were posed by a bill which would otherwise warrant the Court's intervention. Likewise, the petitioners are not in any way
petitioners, each of which was discussed by the majority opinion of Mr. Justice Vicente V. Mendoza who, complaining that substantial alterations have been introduced in Republic Act No. 8240. The thrust of
incidentally, is also the ponente of instant decision. At any rate, it is worth noting that I did not entirely petitioners' arguments in attacking the validity of the law is merely with respect to the fact that Rep. Joker
disagree with each and every argument of the opinion, most especially those touching upon substantive issues. Arroyo was effectively prevented from invoking the question of quorum and not that the substance thereof
My main objection in Tolentino, it will be recalled, focused instead on what I perceived was a substantial breach offends constitutional standards. This being the case, I do not now feel called upon to invoke my previous
and disregard by the Legislature of vital constitutional requirements ordaining the procedures to be followed in argument that the enrolled bill theory should not be conclusive as regards "substantive changes in a bill
the passage of a bill which, in my opinion, the majority seemed to have cavalierly put to rest by hiding under introduced towards the end of its tortuous trip through Congress," when it is palpably unwarranted under the
the cloak of the enrolled bill theory 2 and the precept that the Court is not the proper forum for the circumstances of instant petition.
enforcement of internal legislative rules allegedly violated. 3 To me, the position then taken by the majority
exhibited blind adherence to otherwise sound principles of law which did not, however, fit the facts as
presented before the Court. Hence, I objected, not so much because I found these principles unwise or PUNO, J., concurring and dissenting:
obsolete, but rather because they were applied, or misapplied, to a case which I believe did not call for their
application.
I concur in the result. I do appreciate the fine legal disquisition of Mr. Justice Mendoza to justify the dismissal of
the case at bar. Nevertheless, I have to express my views on the alleged non-justiciability of the issue posed by
When I differed from the majority opinion which applied the enrolled bill theory, I was very careful to the petitioner as well as the applicability of the archaic enroll bill doctrine in light of what I perceive as new
emphasize that reliance thereon is not to be discontinued but that its application must be limited to minor wrinkles in our law brought about by the 1987 Constitution and the winds of changing time.
matters relating more to form and factual issues which do not materially alter the essence and substance of
the law itself. Thus:
I

As applied to the instant petition, the issue posed is whether or not the procedural irregularities that attended
the passage of House Bill No. 11197 and Senate Bill No. 1630, outside of the reading and printing requirements With due respect, I do not agree that the issues posed by the petitioner are non-justiciable. Nor do I agree that
which were exempted by the Presidential certification, may no longer be impugned, having been "saved" by we will trivialize the principle of separation of power if we assume jurisdiction over the case at bar. Even in the
the conclusiveness on us of the enrolled bill. I see no cogent reason why we cannot continue to place reliance United States, the principle of separation of power is no longer an impregnable impediment against the
on the enrolled bill, but only with respect to matters pertaining to the procedure followed in the enactment of interposition of judicial power on cases involving breach of rules of procedure by legislators.
bills in Congress and their subsequent engrossment, printing errors, omission of words and phrases and similar
relatively minor matters relating more to form and factual issues which do not materially alter the essence and
substance of the law itself . Rightly, the ponencia uses the 1891 case of US v. Ballin, 1 as a window to view the issues before the Court. It is
in Ballin where the US Supreme Court first defined the boundaries of the power of the judiciary to review
congressional rules. 2 It held:
Certainly, courts cannot claim greater ability to judge procedural legitimacy, since constitutional rules on
legislative procedure are easily mastered. Procedural disputes are over facts — whether or not the bill had
enough votes, or three readings, or whatever — not over the meaning of the constitution. Legislators, as xxx xxx xxx
eyewitnesses, are in a better position than a court to rule on the facts. The argument is also made that
legislatures would be offended if courts examined legislative procedure.
The Constitution, in the same section, provides, that "each house may determine the rules of its proceedings."
It appears that in pursuance of this authority the House had, prior to that day, passed this as one of its rules:
Such a rationale, however, cannot conceivably apply to substantive changes in a bill introduced towards the
end of its tortuous trip through Congress, catching both legislators and the public unawares and altering the
same beyond recognition even by its sponsors. Rule XV

4
This issue I wish to address forthwith. 3. On the demand of any member, or at the suggestion of the Speaker, the names of members sufficient to
make a quorum in the hall of the House who do not vote shall be noted by the clerk and recorded in the
journal, and reported to the Speaker with the names of the members voting, and be counted and announced in
As regards the principle that the Court is not the proper forum for the enforcement of internal legislative rules, determining the presence of a quorum to do business. (House Journal, 230, Feb. 14, 1890)
both the majority and I were actually of one mind such that I was quick to qualify the extent of the Court's
review power in respect of internal procedures in this wise:
The action taken was in direct compliance with this rule. The question, therefore, is as to the validity of this
rule, and not what methods the Speaker may of his own motion resort to for determining the presence of a
I wish to consider this issue in light of Article VIII, Sec. 1 of the Constitution which provides that "(j)udicial quorum, nor what matters the Speaker or clerk may of their own volition place upon the journal. Neither do the
power includes the duty of the courts of justice . . . to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse advantages or disadvantages, the wisdom or folly, of such a rule present any matters for judicial consideration.
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
With the courts the question is only one of power. The Constitution empowers each house to determine its . . . the defendant Christoffel appeared before a quorum of at least thirteen members of the said Committee,
rules of proceedings. It may not by its rules ignore constitutional restraints or violate fundamental rights, and and that "at least that number must have been actually and physically present . . . If such a Committee so met,
there should be a reasonable relation between the mode or method of proceedings established by the rule and that is, if thirteen members did meet at the beginning of the afternoon session of March 1, 1947, and
the result which is sought to be attained. But within these limitations all matters of method are open to the thereafter during the progress of the hearing some of them left temporarily or otherwise and no question was
determination of the House, and it is no impeachment of the rule to say that some other way would be better, raised as to the lack of a quorum, then the fact that the majority did not remain there would not affect, for the
more accurate, or even more just. It is no objection to the validity of a rule that a different one has been purposes of this case, the existence of that Committee as a competent tribunal provided that before the oath
prescribed and in force for a length of time. The power to make rules is not one which once exercised is was administered and before the testimony of the defendant was given there were present as many as 13
exhausted. It is a continuous power, always subject to be exercised by the House, and within the limitations members of that Committee at the beginning of the afternoon session . . . .
suggested, absolute and beyond the challenge of any other body or tribunal.

Christoffel objected to the charge on the ground that it allowed the jury to assume there was a continuous
Ballin, clearly confirmed the jurisdiction of courts to pass upon the validity of congressional rules, i.e., whether quorum simply because it was present at the start of the meeting of the Committee. Under the House rules, a
they are constitutional. Rule XV was examined by the Court and it was found to satisfy the test: (1) that it did quorum once established is presumed to continue until the lack of quorum is raised. Again, the court assumed
not ignore any constitutional restraint; (2) it did not violate any fundamental right; and (3) its method has a jurisdiction over the case. A majority of the Court, with Mr. Justice Murphy, as ponente, defined the issue as
reasonable relationship with the result sought to be attained. By examining Rule XV, the Court did not allow its "what rules the House had established and whether they have been followed." It held:
jurisdiction to be defeated by the mere invocation of the principle of separation of powers.

xxx xxx xxx


3
Ballin was followed in 1932 by the case of US v. Smith. In Smith, the meaning of sections 3 and 4 of Rule
XXXVIII of the US Senate was in issue, viz:
Congressional practice in the transaction of ordinary legislative business is of course none of our concern, and
by the same token the considerations which may lead Congress as a matter of legislative practice to treat as
xxx xxx xxx valid the conduct of its committees do not control the issue before us. The question is neither what rules
Congress may establish for its own governance, nor whether presumptions of continuity may protect the
validity of its legislative conduct. The question is rather what rules the House has established and whether they
3. When a nomination is confirmed or rejected, any Senator voting in the majority may move for a have been followed. It of course has the power to define what tribunal is competent to exact testimony and the
reconsideration on the same day on which the vote was taken, or on either of the next two days of actual conditions that establish its competency to do so. The heart of this case is that by the charge that was given it
executive session of the Senate; but if a notification of the confirmation or rejection of a nomination shall have the jury was allowed to assume that the conditions of competency were satisfied even though the basis in fact
been sent to the President before the expiration of the time within which a motion to reconsider may be made, was not established and in face of a possible finding that the facts contradicted the assumption.
the motion to reconsider shall be accompanied by a motion to request the President to return such notification
to the Senate. Any motion to reconsider the vote on a nomination may be laid on the table without prejudice to
the nomination, and shall be a final disposition of such motion. We are measuring a conviction of crime by the statute which defined it. As a consequence of this conviction,
petitioner was sentenced to imprisonment for a term of from two to six years. An essential part of a procedure
which can be said fairly to inflict such a punishment is that all the elements of the crime charged shall be
4. Nominations confirmed or rejected by the Senate shall not be returned by the Secretary to the President proved beyond a reasonable doubt. An element of the crime charged in the instant indictment is the presence
until the expiration of the time limited for making a motion to reconsider the same, or while a motion to of a competent tribunal, and the trial court properly so instructed the jury. The House insists that to be such a
reconsider is pending, unless otherwise ordered by the Senate. tribunal a committee must consist of a quorum, and we agree with the trial court's charge that to convict, the
jury had to be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that there were "actually and physically present" a majority
of the committee.
It appears that the nomination of Mr. Smith as member of the Federal Power Commission has been confirmed
by the US Senate. The resolution of confirmation was sent to the US President who then signed the
appointment of Mr. Smith. The Senate, however, reconsidered the confirmation of Mr. Smith and requested the Then to charge, however, that such requirement is satisfied by a finding that there was a majority present two
President to return its resolution of confirmation. The President refused. A petition for quo warranto was filed or three hours before the defendant offered his testimony, in the face of evidence indicating the contrary, is to
against Mr. Smith. The Court, speaking thru Mr. Justice Brandeis, assumed jurisdiction over the dispute relying rule as a matter of law that a quorum need not be present when the offense is committed. This not only seems
on Ballin. It exercised jurisdiction although "the question primarily at issue relates to the construction of the to us contrary to the rules and practice of the Congress but denies petitioner a fundamental right. That right is
applicable rules, not to their constitutionality." Significantly, the Court rejected the Senate interpretation of its that he be convicted of crime only on proof of all the elements of the crime charged against him. A tribunal
own rules even while it held that it must be accorded the most sympathetic consideration. that is not competent is no tribunal, and it is unthinkable that such a body can be the instrument of criminal
conviction.

xxx xxx xxx


The minority complained that the "House has adopted the rule and practice that a quorum once established is
presumed to continue unless and until a point of no quorum is raised. By this decision, the Court, in effect,
Sixth. To place upon the standing rules of the Senate a construction different from that adopted by the Senate invalidates that rule . . . ." The minority view commanded only the vote of three (3) justices.
itself when the present case was under debate is a serious and delicate exercise of judicial power. The
Constitution commits to the Senate the power to make its own rules; and it is not the function of the Court to
say that another rule would be better. A rule designed to ensure due deliberation in the performance of the The US Supreme Court pursued the same line in 1963 in deciding the case of Yellin v. United States. 5 Yellin
vital function of advising and consenting to nominations for public office, moreover, should receive from the was indicted on five counts of willfully refusing to answer questions put to him by a sub-committee of the
Court the most sympathetic consideration. But the reasons, above stated, against the Senate's construction House Committee on Un-American Activities. He was convicted by the District Court of contempt of Congress
seem to us compelling. We are confirmed in the view we have taken by the fact, since the attempted on four counts. The conviction was affirmed by the Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. On certiorari, he
reconsideration of Smith's confirmation, the Senate itself seems uniformly to have treated the ordering of assailed his conviction on the ground that the Committee illegally denied his request to be heard in executive
immediate notification to the President as tantamount to authorizing him to proceed to perfect the session. He alleged there was a violation of Committee Rule IV which provides that "if a majority of the
appointment. Committee or sub-committee, duly appointed as provided by the rules of the House of Representatives,
believes that the interrogation of a witness in a public hearing might endanger national security or unjustly
injure his reputation, or the reputation of other individuals, the Committee shall interrogate such witness in an
Smith, of course, involves the right of a third person and its ruling falls within the test spelled out in Ballin. executive session for the purpose of determining the necessity or admissibility of conducting such interrogation
thereafter in a public hearing." in a 5-4 decision, the Court, speaking thru Mr. Chief Justice Warren, held:

Smith was followed by the 1948 case of Christoffel v. United States. 4 Christoffel testified before the Committee
on Education and Labor of the House of Representatives. He denied he was a communist and was charged with xxx xxx xxx
perjury in the regular court. He adduced evidence during the trial that the committee had no quorum when the
perjurious statement was given. Nonetheless, he was convicted in view of the judge's charge to the members
of the jury that to find Christoffel guilty, they had to find beyond a reasonable doubt that — Yellin should be permitted the same opportunity for judicial review when he discovers at trial that his rights
have been violated. This is especially so when the Committee's practice leads witnesses to misplaced reliance
upon its rules. When reading a copy of the Committee's rules, which must be distributed to every witness
xxx xxx xxx under Rule XVII, the witness' reasonable expectation is that the Committee actually does what it purports to
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
do, adhere to its own rules. To foreclose a defense based upon those rules, simply because the witness was This is the background of paragraph 2 of Section 1, which means that the courts cannot hereafter evade the
deceived by the Committee's appearance of regularity, is not fair. The Committee prepared the groundwork for duty to settle matters of this nature, by claiming that such matters constitute political question.
prosecution in Yellin's case meticulously. It is not too exacting to require that the Committee be equally
meticulous in obeying its own rules.
The Constitution cannot be any clearer. What it granted to this Court is not a mere power which it can decline
to exercise. Precisely to deter this disinclination, the Constitution imposed it as a duty of this Court to strike
It additionally bears stressing that in the United States, the judiciary has pruned the "political thicket." In the down any act of a branch or instrumentality of government or any of its officials done with grave abuse of
benchmark case of Baker v. Carr, 6 the US Supreme Court assumed jurisdiction to hear a petition for re- discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Rightly or wrongly, the Constitution has elongated the
apportionment of the Tennessee legislature ruling that "the political question doctrine, a tool for maintenance checking powers of this Court against the other branches of government despite their more democratic
of government order, will not be so applied as to promote only disorder" and that "the courts cannot reject as character, the President and the legislators being elected by the people.
'no law suit,' a bona fide controversy as to whether some action denominated 'political' exceeds constitutional
authority."
It is, however, theorized that this provision is nothing new. I beg to disagree for the view misses the significant
changes made in our constitutional canvass to cure the legal deficiencies we discovered during martial law.
In the Philippine setting, there is a more compelling reason for courts to categorically reject the political One of the areas radically changed by the framers of the 1987 Constitution is the imbalance of power between
question defense when its interposition will cover up abuse of power. For section 1, Article VIII of our and among the three great branches of our government — the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary. To
Constitution was intentionally cobbled to empower courts ". . . to determine whether or not there has been a upgrade the powers of the Judiciary, the Constitutional Commission strengthened some more the
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or independence of courts. Thus, it further protected the security of tenure of the members of the Judiciary by
instrumentality of the government." This power is new and was not granted to our courts in the 1935 and 1972 providing "No law shall be passed reorganizing the Judiciary when it undermines the security of tenure of its
Constitutions. It was not also xeroxed from the US Constitution or any foreign state constitution. The CONCOM Members." It also guaranteed fiscal autonomy to the Judiciary.
granted this enormous power to our courts in view of our experience under martial law where abusive
exercises of state power were shielded from judicial scrutiny by the misuse of the political question doctrine.
Led by the eminent former Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion, the CONCOM expanded and sharpened the More, it depoliticalized appointments in the judiciary by creating the Judicial and Bar Council which was tasked
checking powers of the judiciary vis-a-vis the Executive and the Legislative departments of government. In with screening the list of prospective appointees to the judiciary. The power of confirming appointments to the
cases involving the proclamation of martial law and suspension of the privilege of habeas corpus, it is now judiciary was also taken away from Congress. The President was likewise given a specific time to fill up
beyond dubiety that the government can no longer invoke the political question defense. Section 18 of Article vacancies in the judiciary — ninety (90) days from the occurrence of the vacancy in case of the Supreme Court
VII completely eliminated this defense when it provided: and ninety (90) days from the submission of the list of recommendees by the Judicial and Bar Council in case of
vacancies in the lower courts. To further insulate appointments in the judiciary from the virus of politics, the
Supreme Court was given the power to "appoint all officials and employees of the Judiciary in accordance with
xxx xxx xxx the Civil Service Law." And to make the separation of the judiciary from the other branches of government
more watertight, it prohibited members of the judiciary to be ". . . designated to any agency performing quasi
judicial or administrative functions." While the Constitution strengthened the sinews of the Supreme Court, it
The Supreme Court may review, in an appropriate proceeding filed by any citizen, the sufficiency of the factual reduced the powers of the two other branches of government, especially the Executive. Notable of the powers
basis of the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ or the extension thereof, of the President clipped by the Constitution is his power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus and to proclaim
and must promulgate its decision thereon within thirty days from its filing. martial law. The exercise of this power is now subject to revocation by Congress. Likewise, the sufficiency of
the factual basis for the exercise of said power may be reviewed by this Court in an appropriate proceeding
filed by any citizen.
A state of martial law does not suspend the operation of the Constitution, nor supplant the functioning of the
civil courts or legislative assemblies, nor authorize the conferment of jurisdiction on military courts and
agencies over civilians where civil courts are able to function, nor automatically suspend the privilege of the The provision defining judicial power as including the "duty of the courts of justice . . . to determine whether or
writ. not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any
branch or instrumentality of the Government" constitutes the capstone of the efforts of the Constitutional
Commission to upgrade the powers of this court vis-a-vis the other branches of government. This provision
The CONCOM did not only outlaw the use of the political question defense in national security cases. To a great was dictated by our experience under martial law which taught us that a stronger and more independent
degree, it diminished its use as a shield to protect other abuses of government by allowing courts to penetrate judiciary is needed to abort abuses in government. . . .
the shield with the new power to review acts of any branch or instrumentality of the government ". . . to
determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction." In Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance, 7 I posited the following postulates: xxx xxx xxx

xxx xxx xxx In sum, I submit that in imposing to this Court the duty to annul acts of government committed with grave
abuse of discretion, the new Constitution transformed this Court from passivity to activism. This
transformation, dictated by our distinct experience as a nation, is not merely evolutionary but revolutionary.
Sec. 1. The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established Under the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions, this Court approached constitutional violations by initially determining
by law. what it cannot do; under the 1987 Constitution, there is a shift in stress — this Court is mandated to approach
constitutional violations not by finding out what it should not do but what it must do. The Court must discharge
this solemn duty by not resuscitating a past that petrifies the present.
Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are
legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the I urge my brethren in the Court to give due and serious consideration to this new constitutional provision as the
Government. case at bar once more calls us to define the parameters of our power to review violations of the rules of the
House. We will not be true to our trust as the last bulwark against government abuses if we refuse to exercise
this new power or if we wield it with timidity. To be sure, it is this exceeding timidity to unsheath the judicial
Former Chief Justice Roberto R. Concepcion, the sponsor of this provision in the Constitutional Commission sword that has increasingly emboldened other branches of government to denigrate, if not defy, orders of our
explained the sense and the reach of judicial power as follows: courts. In Tolentino, 8 I endorsed the view of former Senator Salonga that this novel provision stretching the
latitude of judicial power is distinctly Filipino and its interpretation should not be depreciated by undue reliance
on inapplicable foreign jurisprudence. In resolving the case at bar, the lessons of our own history should
xxx xxx xxx provide us the light and not the experience of foreigners.

. . . In other words, the judiciary is the final arbiter on the question of whether or not a branch of government or II
any of its officials has acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction, or so capriciously as to constitute
an abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction. This is not only a judicial power but a duty to pass
judgment on matters of this nature. Again with due respect, I dissent from the majority insofar as it relied on the enrolled bill doctrine to justify the
dismissal of the petition at bar.
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
An enrolled bill is one which has been duly introduced, finally enacted by both Houses, signed by the proper as to what prerequisites are fixed by the Constitution of which journals of respective houses of Legislature are
officers of each House and approved by the President. 9 It is a declaration by the two Houses, through their required to furnish the evidence.
presiding officers, to the President that a bill, thus attested, has received in due the sanction of the legislative
branch of the government, and that it is delivered to him in obedience to the constitutional requirement that all
bills which pass Congress shall be presented to him. In fact, in Gwynn vs. Hardee, etc., et al., the Supreme Court of Florida declared

The enrolled bill originated in England where there is no written Constitution controlling the legislative branch (1) While the presumption is that the enrolled bill, as signed by the legislative offices and filed with the
of the government, and the acts of Parliament, being regarded in their nature as judicial — as emanating from secretary of state, is the bill as it passed, yet this presumption is not conclusive, and when it is shown from the
the highest tribunal in the land — are placed on the same footing and regarded with the same veneration as legislative journals that a bill though engrossed and enrolled, and signed by the legislative officers, contains
the judgment of the courts which cannot be collaterally attacked. 10 In England, the conclusiveness of the bill provisions that have not passed both houses, such provisions will be held spurious and not a part of the law. As
was premised on the rationale that "an ad of parliament thus made is the exercise of the highest authority that was said by Mr. Justice Cockrell in the case of Wade vs. Atlantic Lumber Co., 51 Fla. 628, text 633, 41 So. 72,
this kingdom acknowledges upon earth. And it cannot be altered, amended, dispensed with, suspended or 73:
repealed, but in the same forms and by the same authority of parliament; for it is a maxim in law that it
requires the same strength to dissolve as to create an obligation. 11
This Court is firmly committed to the holding that when the journals speak they control, and against such proof
the enrolled bill is not conclusive.
Over the years, the enrolled bill theory has undergone important mutations. Some jurisdictions have adopted
the modified entry or affirmative contradiction rule. Under this rule, the presumption in favor of the enrolled bill
is not conclusive. The rule concedes validity to the enrolled bill unless there affirmatively appears in the More enlightening and apropos to the present controversy is the decision promulgated on May 13, 1980 by the
journals of the legislature a statement that there has not been compliance with one or more of the Supreme Court of Kentucky in D & W Auto Supply, et al. vs. Department of Revenue, et al., pertinent excerpts
constitutional requirements. 12 Other jurisdictions have adopted the Extrinsic Evidence Rule which holds that an wherefrom are extensively reproduced hereunder.
enrolled bill is only prima facie evidence that it has been regularly enacted. The prima facie presumption,
however, can be destroyed by clear, satisfactory and convincing evidence that the constitutional requirements
in enacting a law have been violated. For this purpose, journals and other extrinsic evidence are allowed to be . . . In arriving at our decision we must, perforce, reconsider the validity of a long line of decisions of this court
received. 13 Some limit the use of extrinsic evidence to issues of fraud or mistakes. 14 which created and nurtured the so-called "enrolled bill" doctrine.

These variants developed after a re-examination of the rationale of the enrolled bill. The modern rationale for xxx xxx xxx
the enrolled bill theory was spelled out in Field v. Clark, 15 viz.:

[1] Section 46 of the Kentucky Constitution sets out certain procedures that the legislature must follow before a
xxx xxx xxx bill can be considered for final passage. . . .

The signing by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and, by the President of the Senate, in open xxx xxx xxx
session, of an enrolled bill, is an official attestation by the two houses of such bill as one that has passed
Congress. It is a declaration by the two Houses, through their presiding officers, to the President, that a bill,
thus attested, has received, in due form, the sanction of the legislative branch of the government, and that it is . . . Under the enrolled bill doctrine as it now exists in Kentucky, a court may not look behind such a bill,
delivered to him in obedience to the constitutional requirement that all bills which pass Congress shall be enrolled and certified by the appropriate officers, to determine if there are any defects.
presented to him. And when a bill, thus attested, receives his approval, and is deposited in the public archives,
its authentication as a bill that has passed Congress should be deemed complete and unimpeachable. As the
President has no authority to approve a bill not passed by Congress, an enrolled Act in the custody of the xxx xxx xxx
Secretary of State, and having the official attestations of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, of the
President of the Senate, and of the President of the United States, carries, on its face, a solemn assurance by
the legislative and executive departments of the government, charged, respectively, with the duty of enacting . . . In Lafferty, passage of the law in question violated this provision, yet the bill was properly enrolled and
and executing the laws, that it was passed by Congress. The respect due to coequal and independent approved by the governor. In declining to look behind the law to determine the propriety of its enactment, the
departments requires the judicial department to act upon the assurance, and to accept, as having passed court enunciated three reasons for adopting the enrolled bill rule. First, the court was reluctant to scrutinize the
Congress, all bills authenticated in the manner stated; leaving the courts to determine, when the question processes of the legislature, an equal branch of government. Second, reasons of convenience prevailed, which
properly arises, whether the Act, so authenticated, is in conformity with the Constitution. discouraged requiring the legislature to preserve its records and anticipated considerable complex litigation if
the court ruled otherwise. Third, the court acknowledged the poor record-keeping abilities of the General
Assembly and expressed a preference for accepting the final bill as enrolled, rather than opening up the
The principle of separation of powers is thus the principal prop of the enrolled bill doctrine. The doctrine is also records of the legislature. . . .
justified as a rule of convenience. Supposedly, it avoids difficult questions of evidence. 16 It is also believed that
it will prevent the filing of too many cases which will cast a cloud of uncertainty on laws passed by the
legislature. As explained in Ex Pacte Wren 17 "if the validity of every act published as law is to be tested by xxx xxx xxx
examining its history, as shown by the journals of the two houses of the legislature, there will be an amount of
litigation, difficulty, and painful uncertainty appalling in its contemplation, and multiplying a hundredfold the
alleged uncertainty of the law." The conclusiveness of the enrolled bill is also justified on the ground that Nowhere has the rule been adopted without reason, or as a result of judicial whim. There are four historical
journals and other extrinsic evidence are conducive to mistake, if not fraud. bases for the doctrine. (1) An enrolled bill was a "record" and, as such, was not subject to attack at common
law. (2) Since the legislature is one of the three branches of government, the courts, being coequal, must
indulge in every presumption that legislative acts are valid. (3) When the rule was originally formulated,
These justifications for the enrolled bill theory have been rejected in various jurisdictions in the United States. record-keeping of the legislatures was so inadequate that a balancing of equities required that the final act, the
In his Dissenting Opinion in Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance, and its companion cases, 18 Mr. Justice Regalado enrolled bill, be given efficacy. (4) There were theories of convenience as expressed by the Kentucky court in
cited some of the leading American cases which discussed the reasons for the withering, if not demise of the Lafferty.
enrolled bill theory, viz:

The rule is not unanimous in the several states, however and it has not been without its critics. From an
xxx xxx xxx examination of cases and treaties, we can summarize the criticism as follows: (1) Artificial presumptions,
especially conclusive ones, are not favored. (2) Such a rule frequently (as in the present case) produces results
which do not accord with facts or constitutional provisions. (3) The rule is conducive to fraud, forgery,
Even in the land of its source, the so-called conclusive presumption of validity originally attributed to that corruption and other wrongdoings. (4) Modern automatic and electronic record-keeping devices now used by
doctrine has long been revisited and qualified, if not altogether rejected. On the competency of judicial inquiry, legislatures remove one of the original reasons for the rule. (5) The rule disregards the primary obligation of
it has been held that "(u)nder the "enrolled bill rule" by which an enrolled bill is sole expository of its contents the courts to seek the truth and to provide a remedy for a wrong committed by any branch of government. In
and conclusive evidence of its existence and valid enactment, it is nevertheless competent for courts to inquire light of these considerations, we are convinced that the time has come to re-examine the enrolled bill doctrine.
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
[2] This court is not unmindful of the admonition of the doctrine of stare decisis. The maxim is "Stare decisis et thereof. But said individual statements do not necessarily reflect the view of the Senate. Much less do they
non quieta movere," which simply suggests that we stand by precedents and to disturb settled points of law. indicate the intent of the House of Representatives (see Song Kiat Chocolate Factory vs. Central Bank, 54 Off
Yet, this rule is not inflexible, nor is it of such a nature as to require perpetuation of error or logic. As we stated Gaz. 615; Mayor Motors Inc. vs. Acting Commissioner of Internal Revenue, L-15000 [March 29, 1961]; Manila
in Daniel's Adm'r v. Hoofnel, 287 Ky 834, 155 S.W.2d 469, 471-72 (1941). Jockey Club, Inc. vs. Games and Amusement Board, L-12727 [February 19, 1960]). Furthermore, it is well
settled that enrolled bill — which uses the term "urea formaldehyde" instead of "urea and formaldehyde" —
conclusive upon the courts as regards the tenor of the measure passed by Congress and approved by the
The force of the rule depends upon the nature of the question to be decided and the extent of the disturbance President (Primicias vs. Paredes, 61 Phil. 118, 120; Mabanag vs. Lopez Vito, 78 Phil. 1; Macias vs. Comm. on
of rights and practices which a change in the interpretation of the law or the course of judicial opinions may Elections, L-18684, Sept. 14, 1961). If there has been any mistake in the printing of the bill before it was
create. Cogent considerations are whether there is clear error and urgent reasons "for neither justice nor certified by the officers of Congress and approved by the Executive — on which we cannot speculate without
wisdom requires a court to go from one doubtful rule to another," and whether or not the evils of the principle jeopardizing the principle of separation of powers and undermining one of the cornerstones of our democratic
that has been followed will be more injurious than can possibly result from a change. system — the remedy is by amendment or curative legislation, not by judicial decree.

22
Certainly, when a theory supporting a rule of law is not grounded on facts, or upon sound logic, or is unjust, or In the 1969 case of Morales v. Subido, we reiterated our fidelity to the enrolled bill doctrine, viz:
has been discredited by actual experience, it should be discarded, and with it the rule it supports.

. . . . We cannot go behind the enrolled Act to discover what really happened. The respect due to the other
[3] It is clear to us that the major premise of the Lafferty decision, the poor record-keeping of the legislature, branches of the Government demands that we act upon the faith and credit of what the officers of the said
has disappeared. Modern equipment and technology are the rule in record-keeping by our General Assembly. branches attest to as the official acts of their respective departments. Otherwise we would be cast in the
Tape recorders, electric typewriters, duplicating machines, recording equipment, printing presses, computers, unenviable and unwanted role of a sleuth trying to determine what actually did happen in the labyrinth of law-
electronic voting machines, and the like remove all doubts and fears as to the ability of the General Assembly making, with consequent impairment of the integrity of the legislative process. The investigation which the
to keep accurate and readily accessible records. petitioner would like this Court to make can be better done in Congress. After all, House cleaning — the
immediate and imperative need for which seems to be suggested by the petitioner — can best be effected by
the occupants thereof. Expressed elsewise, this is a matter worthy of the attention not of an Oliver Wendell
It is also apparent that the "convenience" rule is not appropriate in today's modern and developing judicial Holmes but of a Sherlock Holmes.
philosophy. The fact that the number and complexity of lawsuits may increase is not persuasive if one is
mindful that the overriding purpose of our judicial system is to discover the truth and see that justice is done.
The existence of difficulties and complexities should not deter this pursuit and we reject any doctrine or Significantly, however, Morales diluted the conclusiveness rule of the enrolled bill doctrine. The ponencia
presumption that so provides. stressed:

Lastly, we address the premise that the equality of the various branches of government requires that we shut By what we have essayed above we are not of course to be understood as holding that in all cases the journals
our eyes to constitutional failing and other errors of our copartners in government. We simply do not agree. must yield to the enrolled bill. To be sure there are certain matters which the Constitution expressly requires
Section 26 of the Kentucky Constitution provides that any law contrary to the constitution is "void." The proper must be entered on the journal of each house. To what extent the validity of a legislative act may be affected
exercise of judicial authority requires us to recognize any law which is unconstitutional and to declare it void. by a failure to have such matters entered on the journal, is a question which we do not now decide. All we hold
Without elaborating the point, we believe that under section 228 of the Kentucky Constitution it is our is that with respect to matters not expressly required to be entered on the journal, the enrolled bill prevails in
obligation to "support . . . the Constitution of the commonwealth." We are sworn to see that violations of the the event of any discrepancy.
constitution — by any person, corporation, state agency or branch or government — are brought to light and
corrected. To countenance an artificial rule of law that silences our voices when confronted with violations of
our constitution is not acceptable to this court. In the 1974 case of Astorga v. Villegas, 23 we further diluted the enrolled bill doctrine when we refused to apply
it after the Senate President declared his signature on the bill as invalid. We ruled:

We believe that a more reasonable rule is the one which Professor Sutherland describes as the "extrinsic
evidence." . . . . Under this approach there is a prima facie presumption that an enrolled bill is valid, but such xxx xxx xxx
presumption may be overcome by clear, satisfactory and convincing evidence establishing that constitutional
requirements have not been met.
Petitioner's argument that the attestation of the presiding offices of Congress is conclusive proof of a bill's due
enactment, required, it is said, by the respect due to a co-equal department of the government, is neutralized
We therefore overrule Lafferty v. Huffman and all other cases following the so-called enrolled bill doctrine, to in this case by the fact that the Senate President declared his signature on the bill to be invalid and issued a
the extent that there is no longer a conclusive presumption that an enrolled bill is valid. . . . subsequent clarification that the invalidation for his signature meant that the bill he had signed had never been
approved by the Senate. Obviously this declaration should be accorded even greater respect than the
attestation it invalidated, which it did for a reason that is undisputed in fact and indisputable in logic.
Clearly, the enrolled bill doctrine no longer enjoys its once unassailable respectability in United States.
Sutherland reveals that starting in the 1940's,
". . . the tendency seems to be toward the abandonment of the conclusive presumption rule and the adoption As far as Congress itself is concerned, there is nothing sacrosanct in the certification made by the presiding
of the third rule leaving only a prima facie presumption of validity which may be attacked by any authoritative officers. It is merely a mode of authentication. The law-making process in Congress ends when the bill is
source of information." 19 approved by both Houses, and the certification does not add to the validity of the bill or cure any defect
already present upon its passage. In other words it is the approval by Congress and not the signatures of the
presiding officers that is essential. Thus the (1935) Constitution says that "[e]very bill passed by the Congress
It is high time we re-examine our preference for the enrolled bill doctrine. It was in the 1947 case of Mabanag shall, before it becomes law, be presented to the President." In Brown vs. Morris, supra, the Supreme Court of
v. Lopez Vito, 20 that this Court, with three (3) justices dissenting, first embraced the rule that a duly Missouri, interpreting a similar provision in the State Constitution, said that the same "makes it clear that the
authenticated bill or resolution imports absolute verity and is binding on the courts. In 1963, we firmed up this indispensable step is the final passage and it follows that if a bill, otherwise fully enacted as a law, is not
ruling in Casco Philippine Chemical Co. v. Gimenez, 21 thus: attested by the presiding officer, the proof that it has 'passed both houses' will satisfy the constitutional
requirement.

xxx xxx xxx


Petitioner agrees that the attestation in the bill is not mandatory but argues that the disclaimer thereof by the
Senate President, granting it to have been validly made, would only mean that there was no attestation at all,
Hence, "urea formaldehyde" is clearly a finished product which is patently distinct and different from "urea" but would not affect the validity of the statute. Hence, it is pointed out, Republic Act No. 4065 would remain
and "formaldehyde," as separate articles used in the manufacture of the synthetic resin known as "urea valid and binding. This argument begs the issue. It would limit the court's inquiry to the presence or absence of
formaldehyde." Petitioner contends, however, that the bill approved in Congress contained the copulative the attestation and to the effect of its absence upon the validity of the statute. The inquiry, however, goes
conjunction "and" between the term "urea" and "formaldehyde," and that the members of Congress intended farther. Absent such attestation as a result of the disclaimer, and consequently there being no enrolled bill to
to exempt "urea" and "formaldehyde" separately as essential elements in the manufacture of the synthetic speak of, what evidence is there to determine whether or not the bill had been duly enacted. In such a case the
resin glue called "urea formaldehyde," not the latter as a finished product, citing in support of this view the entries in the journal should be consulted.
statements made on the floor of the Senate, during the consideration of the bill before said House, by members
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
The journal of the proceedings of each House of Congress is no ordinary record. The Constitution requires it. its provisions but also of its due enactment. Not even claims that a proposed constitutional amendment was
While it is true that the journal is not authenticated and is subject to the risk of misprinting and other errors, invalid because the requisite votes for its approval had not been obtained or that certain provisions of a statute
the point is irrelevant in this case. This Court is merely asked to inquire whether the text of House Bill No. 9266 had been "smuggled" in the printing of the bill have moved or persuaded us to look behind the proceedings of
signed by the Chief Executive was the same text passed by both Houses of Congress. Under the specific facts a coequal branch of the government. There is no reason now to depart from this rule.
and circumstances of this case, this Court can do this and resort to the Senate journal for the purpose. The
journal discloses that substantial and lengthy amendments were introduced on the floor and approved by the
Senate but were not incorporated in the printed text sent to the President and signed by him. This Court is not No claim is here made that the "enrolled bill" rule is absolute. In fact in one case we "went behind" an enrolled
asked to incorporate such amendments into the alleged law, which admittedly is a risky undertaking, but to bill and consulted the Journal to determine whether certain provisions of a statute had been approved by the
declare that the bill was not duly enacted and therefore did not become law. This We do, as indeed both the Senate in view of the fad that the President of the Senate himself, who had signed the enrolled bill, admitted a
President of the Senate and the Chief Executive did, when they withdrew their signatures therein. In the face of mistake and withdrew his signature, so that in effect there was no longer an enrolled bill to consider.
the manifest error committed and subsequently rectified by the President of the Senate and by the Chief
Executive, for this Court to perpetuate that error by disregarding such rectification and holding that the
erroneous bill has become law would be to sacrifice truth to fiction and bring about mischievous consequences But where allegations that the constitutional procedures for the passage of bills have not been observed have
not intended by the law-making body. no more basis than another allegation that the Conference Committee "surreptitiously" inserted provisions into
a bill which it had prepared, we should decline the invitation to go behind the enrolled copy of the bill. To
disregard the "enrolled bill" rule in such cases would be to disregard the respect due the other two
In 1993, the enrolled bill doctrine was again used as a secondary rationale in the case of Philippine Judges departments of our government.
Association v. Prado, 24 In this case, the judges claimed that the pertinent part of section 35 of R.A. No. 7354
repealing the franking privilege of the judiciary appeared only in the Conference Committee Report. In rejecting
this contention, this Court ruled: These cases show that we have not blindly accepted the conclusiveness of the enrolled bill. Even in Tolentino,
Mr. Justice Mendoza was cautious enough to hold that "no claim is here made that the enrolled bill is absolute."
I respectfully submit that it is now time for the Court to make a definitive pronouncement that we no longer
While it is true that a conference committee is the mechanism for compromising differences between the give our unqualified support to the enrolled bill doctrine. There are compelling reasons for this suggested
Senate and the House, it is not limited in its jurisdiction to this question. Its broader function is described thus: change in stance. For one, the enrolled bill is appropriate only in England where it originated because in
England there is no written Constitution and the Parliament is supreme. For another, many of the courts in the
United States have broken away from the rigidity and unrealism of the enrolled bill in light of contemporary
A conference committee may deal generally with the subject matter or it may be limited to resolving the developments in lawmaking. 27 And more important, our uncritical adherence to the enrolled bill is inconsistent
precise differences between the two houses. Even where the conference committee is not by rule limited in its with our Constitution, laws and rules. In Mabanag, 28 we relied on section 313 of the Old Code of Civil Procedure
jurisdiction, legislative custom severely limits the freedom with which new subject matter can be inserted into as amended by Act No. 2210 as a principal reason in embracing the enrolled bill. This section, however has
the conference bill. But occasionally a conference committee produces unexpected results, results beyond its long been repealed by our Rules of Court. A half glance at our Rules will show that its section on conclusive
mandate. These excursions occur even where the rules impose strict limitations on conference committee presumption does not carry the conclusive presumption we give to an enrolled bill. But this is not all. The
jurisdiction. This is symptomatic of the authoritarian power of conference committee (Davies, Legislative Law conclusiveness of an enrolled bill which all too often results in the suppression of truth cannot be justified
and Process: In a Nutshell, 1986 Ed., p. 81). under the 1987 Constitution. The Preamble of our Constitution demands that we live not only under a rule of
law but also under a regime of truth. Our Constitution also adopted a national policy 29 requiring full public
disclosure of all state transactions involving public interest. Any rule which will defeat this policy on
It is a matter of record that the Conference Committee Report on the bill in question was returned to and duly transparency ought to be disfavored. And to implement these policies, this Court was given the power to pry
approved by both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Thereafter, the bill was enrolled with its open and to strike down any act of any branch or instrumentality of government if it amounts to grave abuse of
certification by Senate President Neptali A. Gonzales and Speaker Ramon V. Mitra of the House of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. It is time to bury the enrolled bill for its fiction of
Representatives as having been duly passed by both Houses of Congress. It was then presented to and conclusiveness shuts off truth in many litigations. We cannot dispense justice based on fiction for the search
approved by President Corazon C. Aquino on April 3, 1992. for justice is the search for truth. I submit that giving an enrolled bill a mere prima facie presumption of
correctness will facilitate our task of dispensing justice based on truth.

Under the doctrine of separation of powers, the Court may not inquire beyond the certification of the approval
of a bill from the presiding officers of Congress. Casco Philippine Chemical Co. v. Gimenez laid down the rule III
that the enrolled bill is conclusive upon the Judiciary (except in matters that have to be entered in the journals
like the yeas and nays on the final reading of the bill). The journals are themselves also binding on the
Supreme Court, as we held in the old (but stills valid) case of U.S. vs. Pens, where we explained the reason In sum, I respectfully submit that the Court has jurisdiction over the petition at bar and that issues posed by
thus: petitioner are justiciable. Nonetheless, I do not find any grave abuse of discretion committed by the public
respondents to justify granting said petition. As the ponencia points out, the petition merely involves the
complaint that petitioner was prevented from raising the question of quorum. The petition does not concern
To inquire into the veracity of the journals of the Philippine legislature when they are, as we have said, clear violation of any rule mandated by the Constitution. Nor does it involve the right of a non-member of the House
and explicit, would be to violate both the letter and spirit of the organic laws by which the Philippine which requires constitutional protection. The rules on how to question the existence of a quorum are
Government was brought into existence, to invade a coordinate and independent department of the procedural in character. They are malleable by nature for they were drafted to help the House enact laws. As
Government, and to interfere with the legitimate powers and functions of the Legislature. well stated, these rules are servants, not masters of the House. Their observance or non-observance is a
matter of judgment call on the part of our legislators and it is not the business of the Court to reverse this
judgment when untainted by grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
Applying these principles, we shall decline to look into the petitioners' charges that an amendment was made
upon the last reading of the bill that eventually became R.A. No. 7354 and that copies thereof in its final form
were not distributed among the members of each House. Both the enrolled bill and the legislative journals Davide, Jr., J., concurs.
certify that the measure was duly enacted i.e., in accordance with the Article VI, Sec. 26(2) of the Constitution.
We are bound by such official assurances from a coordinate department of the government, to which we owe,
at the very least, a becoming courtesy.

Finally in 1994 came the case of Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance, et al and its companion cases. 25 Involved in Separate Opinions
the case was the constitutionality of R.A. No. 7716, otherwise known as the Expanded Value Added Tax Law.
The majority 26 partly relied on the enrolled bill doctrine in dismissing challenges to the constitutionality of R.A.
No. 7716. It held: VITUG, J., concurring:

xxx xxx xxx When the 1987 Constitution has embodied, in its circumscription of judicial power under Section 1, Article VIII,
of the Constitution, the determination of whether or not there is grave abuse of discretion on the part of any
branch or instrumentality of government, the Supreme Court, upon which that great burden has been imposed,
Fourth. Whatever doubts there may be as to the formal validity of Republic Act No. 7716 must be resolved in could not have been thought of as likewise being thereby tasked with the awesome responsibility of overseeing
its favor. Our cases manifest firm adherence to the rule that an enrolled copy of a bill is conclusive not only of the entire bureaucracy. The term grave abuse of discretion has long been understood in our jurisprudence as,
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
4
and confined to, a capricious and whimsical or despotic exercise of judgment as amounting to lack or excess of This issue I wish to address forthwith.
jurisdiction.

As regards the principle that the Court is not the proper forum for the enforcement of internal legislative rules,
I see nothing of that sort in the case at bar. Absent a clear case of grave abuse of discretion, like the patent both the majority and I were actually of one mind such that I was quick to qualify the extent of the Court's
disregard of a Constitutional proscription, I would respect the judgment of Congress under whose province the review power in respect of internal procedures in this wise:
specific responsibility falls and the authority to act is vested. To do otherwise would be an unwarranted
intrusion into the internal affairs of a co-equal, independent and coordinate branch of government. At no time,
it would seem to me, has it been intended by the framers of the fundamental law to cause a substantial I wish to consider this issue in light of Article VIII, Sec. 1 of the Constitution which provides that "(j)udicial
deviation, let alone departure, from the time-honored and accepted principle of separation, but balanced, power includes the duty of the courts of justice . . . to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse
powers of the three branches of government. There is, of course, a basic variant between the old rule and the of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the
new Charter on the understanding of the term "judicial power." Now, the Court is under mandate to assume Government." We are also guided by the principle that a court may interfere with the internal procedures of its
jurisdiction over, and to undertake judicial inquiry into, what may even be deemed to be political questions coordinate branch only to uphold the Constitution. 5
provided, however, that grave abuse of discretion — the sole test of justiciability on purely political issues — is
shown to have attended the contested act.
I differed, however, from the majority insofar as that principle was applied. In this respect, I showed that the
introduction of several provisions in the Bicameral Conference Committee Report did not only violate the
All taken, I most humbly reiterate my separate opinion in Tolentino vs. Secretary of Finance and companion pertinent House and Senate Rules defining the limited power of the conference committee but that the
cases (G.R. No. 115455, etc., 235 SCRA 630) and vote to deny the instant petition. Constitutional proscription against any amendment upon the last reading of a bill was likewise breached.
Hence, in view of these lapses, I thought that judicial review would have been proper in order to uphold the
Constitution. This the majority, however, disregarded invoking the same principle which should have justified
ROMERO, J., separate opinion: the Court in questioning the actuations of the legislative branch.

In filing this separate opinion for the dismissal of the instant petition, I am not backtracking from the dissent At this juncture, I wish to reiterate my continuing adherence to the aforesaid reasons I cited in the Tolentino
which I expressed in Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance. 1 I am somewhat bothered that if I do not elaborate, the dissent. At the same time, I realize that the arguments I raised in my dissent would not hold true in the instant
vote which I cast today might be wrongly construed as an implied abandonment of, and inconsistent with, my petition.
firm stance in Tolentino.

For one thing, unlike in Tolentino, the rules of the House of Representatives allegedly violated by respondents
The landmark case of Tolentino, just like the one under consideration, involved a similar challenge to the in the instant petition are purely internal rules designed for the orderly conduct of the House's business. They
constitutionality of a significant tax measure namely, Republic Act No. 7716, otherwise known as the Expanded have no direct or reasonable nexus to the requirements and proscriptions of the Constitution in the passage of
Value-Added Tax (EVAT) Law. There, a number of issues, both substantive and procedural, were posed by a bill which would otherwise warrant the Court's intervention. Likewise, the petitioners are not in any way
petitioners, each of which was discussed by the majority opinion of Mr. Justice Vicente V. Mendoza who, complaining that substantial alterations have been introduced in Republic Act No. 8240. The thrust of
incidentally, is also the ponente of instant decision. At any rate, it is worth noting that I did not entirely petitioners' arguments in attacking the validity of the law is merely with respect to the fact that Rep. Joker
disagree with each and every argument of the opinion, most especially those touching upon substantive issues. Arroyo was effectively prevented from invoking the question of quorum and not that the substance thereof
My main objection in Tolentino, it will be recalled, focused instead on what I perceived was a substantial breach offends constitutional standards. This being the case, I do not now feel called upon to invoke my previous
and disregard by the Legislature of vital constitutional requirements ordaining the procedures to be followed in argument that the enrolled bill theory should not be conclusive as regards "substantive changes in a bill
the passage of a bill which, in my opinion, the majority seemed to have cavalierly put to rest by hiding under introduced towards the end of its tortuous trip through Congress," when it is palpably unwarranted under the
the cloak of the enrolled bill theory 2 and the precept that the Court is not the proper forum for the circumstances of instant petition.
enforcement of internal legislative rules allegedly violated. 3 To me, the position then taken by the majority
exhibited blind adherence to otherwise sound principles of law which did not, however, fit the facts as
presented before the Court. Hence, I objected, not so much because I found these principles unwise or PUNO, J., concurring and dissenting:
obsolete, but rather because they were applied, or misapplied, to a case which I believe did not call for their
application.
I concur in the result. I do appreciate the fine legal disquisition of Mr. Justice Mendoza to justify the dismissal of
the case at bar. Nevertheless, I have to express my views on the alleged non-justiciability of the issue posed by
When I differed from the majority opinion which applied the enrolled bill theory, I was very careful to the petitioner as well as the applicability of the archaic enroll bill doctrine in light of what I perceive as new
emphasize that reliance thereon is not to be discontinued but that its application must be limited to minor wrinkles in our law brought about by the 1987 Constitution and the winds of changing time.
matters relating more to form and factual issues which do not materially alter the essence and substance of
the law itself. Thus:
I

As applied to the instant petition, the issue posed is whether or not the procedural irregularities that attended
the passage of House Bill No. 11197 and Senate Bill No. 1630, outside of the reading and printing requirements With due respect, I do not agree that the issues posed by the petitioner are non-justiciable. Nor do I agree that
which were exempted by the Presidential certification, may no longer be impugned, having been "saved" by we will trivialize the principle of separation of power if we assume jurisdiction over the case at bar. Even in the
the conclusiveness on us of the enrolled bill. I see no cogent reason why we cannot continue to place reliance United States, the principle of separation of power is no longer an impregnable impediment against the
on the enrolled bill, but only with respect to matters pertaining to the procedure followed in the enactment of interposition of judicial power on cases involving breach of rules of procedure by legislators.
bills in Congress and their subsequent engrossment, printing errors, omission of words and phrases and similar
relatively minor matters relating more to form and factual issues which do not materially alter the essence and
substance of the law itself . Rightly, the ponencia uses the 1891 case of US v. Ballin, 1 as a window to view the issues before the Court. It is
in Ballin where the US Supreme Court first defined the boundaries of the power of the judiciary to review
congressional rules. 2 It held:
Certainly, courts cannot claim greater ability to judge procedural legitimacy, since constitutional rules on
legislative procedure are easily mastered. Procedural disputes are over facts — whether or not the bill had
enough votes, or three readings, or whatever — not over the meaning of the constitution. Legislators, as xxx xxx xxx
eyewitnesses, are in a better position than a court to rule on the facts. The argument is also made that
legislatures would be offended if courts examined legislative procedure.
The Constitution, in the same section, provides, that "each house may determine the rules of its proceedings."
It appears that in pursuance of this authority the House had, prior to that day, passed this as one of its rules:
Such a rationale, however, cannot conceivably apply to substantive changes in a bill introduced towards the
end of its tortuous trip through Congress, catching both legislators and the public unawares and altering the
same beyond recognition even by its sponsors. Rule XV
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
3. On the demand of any member, or at the suggestion of the Speaker, the names of members sufficient to Smith was followed by the 1948 case of Christoffel v. United States. 4 Christoffel testified before the Committee
make a quorum in the hall of the House who do not vote shall be noted by the clerk and recorded in the on Education and Labor of the House of Representatives. He denied he was a communist and was charged with
journal, and reported to the Speaker with the names of the members voting, and be counted and announced in perjury in the regular court. He adduced evidence during the trial that the committee had no quorum when the
determining the presence of a quorum to do business. (House Journal, 230, Feb. 14, 1890) perjurious statement was given. Nonetheless, he was convicted in view of the judge's charge to the members
of the jury that to find Christoffel guilty, they had to find beyond a reasonable doubt that —

The action taken was in direct compliance with this rule. The question, therefore, is as to the validity of this
rule, and not what methods the Speaker may of his own motion resort to for determining the presence of a xxx xxx xxx
quorum, nor what matters the Speaker or clerk may of their own volition place upon the journal. Neither do the
advantages or disadvantages, the wisdom or folly, of such a rule present any matters for judicial consideration.
With the courts the question is only one of power. The Constitution empowers each house to determine its . . . the defendant Christoffel appeared before a quorum of at least thirteen members of the said Committee,
rules of proceedings. It may not by its rules ignore constitutional restraints or violate fundamental rights, and and that "at least that number must have been actually and physically present . . . If such a Committee so met,
there should be a reasonable relation between the mode or method of proceedings established by the rule and that is, if thirteen members did meet at the beginning of the afternoon session of March 1, 1947, and
the result which is sought to be attained. But within these limitations all matters of method are open to the thereafter during the progress of the hearing some of them left temporarily or otherwise and no question was
determination of the House, and it is no impeachment of the rule to say that some other way would be better, raised as to the lack of a quorum, then the fact that the majority did not remain there would not affect, for the
more accurate, or even more just. It is no objection to the validity of a rule that a different one has been purposes of this case, the existence of that Committee as a competent tribunal provided that before the oath
prescribed and in force for a length of time. The power to make rules is not one which once exercised is was administered and before the testimony of the defendant was given there were present as many as 13
exhausted. It is a continuous power, always subject to be exercised by the House, and within the limitations members of that Committee at the beginning of the afternoon session . . . .
suggested, absolute and beyond the challenge of any other body or tribunal.

Christoffel objected to the charge on the ground that it allowed the jury to assume there was a continuous
Ballin, clearly confirmed the jurisdiction of courts to pass upon the validity of congressional rules, i.e., whether quorum simply because it was present at the start of the meeting of the Committee. Under the House rules, a
they are constitutional. Rule XV was examined by the Court and it was found to satisfy the test: (1) that it did quorum once established is presumed to continue until the lack of quorum is raised. Again, the court assumed
not ignore any constitutional restraint; (2) it did not violate any fundamental right; and (3) its method has a jurisdiction over the case. A majority of the Court, with Mr. Justice Murphy, as ponente, defined the issue as
reasonable relationship with the result sought to be attained. By examining Rule XV, the Court did not allow its "what rules the House had established and whether they have been followed." It held:
jurisdiction to be defeated by the mere invocation of the principle of separation of powers.

xxx xxx xxx


3
Ballin was followed in 1932 by the case of US v. Smith. In Smith, the meaning of sections 3 and 4 of Rule
XXXVIII of the US Senate was in issue, viz:
Congressional practice in the transaction of ordinary legislative business is of course none of our concern, and
by the same token the considerations which may lead Congress as a matter of legislative practice to treat as
xxx xxx xxx valid the conduct of its committees do not control the issue before us. The question is neither what rules
Congress may establish for its own governance, nor whether presumptions of continuity may protect the
validity of its legislative conduct. The question is rather what rules the House has established and whether they
3. When a nomination is confirmed or rejected, any Senator voting in the majority may move for a have been followed. It of course has the power to define what tribunal is competent to exact testimony and the
reconsideration on the same day on which the vote was taken, or on either of the next two days of actual conditions that establish its competency to do so. The heart of this case is that by the charge that was given it
executive session of the Senate; but if a notification of the confirmation or rejection of a nomination shall have the jury was allowed to assume that the conditions of competency were satisfied even though the basis in fact
been sent to the President before the expiration of the time within which a motion to reconsider may be made, was not established and in face of a possible finding that the facts contradicted the assumption.
the motion to reconsider shall be accompanied by a motion to request the President to return such notification
to the Senate. Any motion to reconsider the vote on a nomination may be laid on the table without prejudice to
the nomination, and shall be a final disposition of such motion. We are measuring a conviction of crime by the statute which defined it. As a consequence of this conviction,
petitioner was sentenced to imprisonment for a term of from two to six years. An essential part of a procedure
which can be said fairly to inflict such a punishment is that all the elements of the crime charged shall be
4. Nominations confirmed or rejected by the Senate shall not be returned by the Secretary to the President proved beyond a reasonable doubt. An element of the crime charged in the instant indictment is the presence
until the expiration of the time limited for making a motion to reconsider the same, or while a motion to of a competent tribunal, and the trial court properly so instructed the jury. The House insists that to be such a
reconsider is pending, unless otherwise ordered by the Senate. tribunal a committee must consist of a quorum, and we agree with the trial court's charge that to convict, the
jury had to be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that there were "actually and physically present" a majority
of the committee.
It appears that the nomination of Mr. Smith as member of the Federal Power Commission has been confirmed
by the US Senate. The resolution of confirmation was sent to the US President who then signed the
appointment of Mr. Smith. The Senate, however, reconsidered the confirmation of Mr. Smith and requested the Then to charge, however, that such requirement is satisfied by a finding that there was a majority present two
President to return its resolution of confirmation. The President refused. A petition for quo warranto was filed or three hours before the defendant offered his testimony, in the face of evidence indicating the contrary, is to
against Mr. Smith. The Court, speaking thru Mr. Justice Brandeis, assumed jurisdiction over the dispute relying rule as a matter of law that a quorum need not be present when the offense is committed. This not only seems
on Ballin. It exercised jurisdiction although "the question primarily at issue relates to the construction of the to us contrary to the rules and practice of the Congress but denies petitioner a fundamental right. That right is
applicable rules, not to their constitutionality." Significantly, the Court rejected the Senate interpretation of its that he be convicted of crime only on proof of all the elements of the crime charged against him. A tribunal
own rules even while it held that it must be accorded the most sympathetic consideration. that is not competent is no tribunal, and it is unthinkable that such a body can be the instrument of criminal
conviction.

xxx xxx xxx


The minority complained that the "House has adopted the rule and practice that a quorum once established is
presumed to continue unless and until a point of no quorum is raised. By this decision, the Court, in effect,
Sixth. To place upon the standing rules of the Senate a construction different from that adopted by the Senate invalidates that rule . . . ." The minority view commanded only the vote of three (3) justices.
itself when the present case was under debate is a serious and delicate exercise of judicial power. The
Constitution commits to the Senate the power to make its own rules; and it is not the function of the Court to
say that another rule would be better. A rule designed to ensure due deliberation in the performance of the The US Supreme Court pursued the same line in 1963 in deciding the case of Yellin v. United States. 5 Yellin
vital function of advising and consenting to nominations for public office, moreover, should receive from the was indicted on five counts of willfully refusing to answer questions put to him by a sub-committee of the
Court the most sympathetic consideration. But the reasons, above stated, against the Senate's construction House Committee on Un-American Activities. He was convicted by the District Court of contempt of Congress
seem to us compelling. We are confirmed in the view we have taken by the fact, since the attempted on four counts. The conviction was affirmed by the Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. On certiorari, he
reconsideration of Smith's confirmation, the Senate itself seems uniformly to have treated the ordering of assailed his conviction on the ground that the Committee illegally denied his request to be heard in executive
immediate notification to the President as tantamount to authorizing him to proceed to perfect the session. He alleged there was a violation of Committee Rule IV which provides that "if a majority of the
appointment. Committee or sub-committee, duly appointed as provided by the rules of the House of Representatives,
believes that the interrogation of a witness in a public hearing might endanger national security or unjustly
injure his reputation, or the reputation of other individuals, the Committee shall interrogate such witness in an
Smith, of course, involves the right of a third person and its ruling falls within the test spelled out in Ballin.
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
executive session for the purpose of determining the necessity or admissibility of conducting such interrogation Former Chief Justice Roberto R. Concepcion, the sponsor of this provision in the Constitutional Commission
thereafter in a public hearing." in a 5-4 decision, the Court, speaking thru Mr. Chief Justice Warren, held: explained the sense and the reach of judicial power as follows:

xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx

Yellin should be permitted the same opportunity for judicial review when he discovers at trial that his rights . . . In other words, the judiciary is the final arbiter on the question of whether or not a branch of government or
have been violated. This is especially so when the Committee's practice leads witnesses to misplaced reliance any of its officials has acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction, or so capriciously as to constitute
upon its rules. When reading a copy of the Committee's rules, which must be distributed to every witness an abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction. This is not only a judicial power but a duty to pass
under Rule XVII, the witness' reasonable expectation is that the Committee actually does what it purports to judgment on matters of this nature.
do, adhere to its own rules. To foreclose a defense based upon those rules, simply because the witness was
deceived by the Committee's appearance of regularity, is not fair. The Committee prepared the groundwork for
prosecution in Yellin's case meticulously. It is not too exacting to require that the Committee be equally This is the background of paragraph 2 of Section 1, which means that the courts cannot hereafter evade the
meticulous in obeying its own rules. duty to settle matters of this nature, by claiming that such matters constitute political question.

It additionally bears stressing that in the United States, the judiciary has pruned the "political thicket." In the The Constitution cannot be any clearer. What it granted to this Court is not a mere power which it can decline
benchmark case of Baker v. Carr, 6 the US Supreme Court assumed jurisdiction to hear a petition for re- to exercise. Precisely to deter this disinclination, the Constitution imposed it as a duty of this Court to strike
apportionment of the Tennessee legislature ruling that "the political question doctrine, a tool for maintenance down any act of a branch or instrumentality of government or any of its officials done with grave abuse of
of government order, will not be so applied as to promote only disorder" and that "the courts cannot reject as discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Rightly or wrongly, the Constitution has elongated the
'no law suit,' a bona fide controversy as to whether some action denominated 'political' exceeds constitutional checking powers of this Court against the other branches of government despite their more democratic
authority." character, the President and the legislators being elected by the people.

In the Philippine setting, there is a more compelling reason for courts to categorically reject the political It is, however, theorized that this provision is nothing new. I beg to disagree for the view misses the significant
question defense when its interposition will cover up abuse of power. For section 1, Article VIII of our changes made in our constitutional canvass to cure the legal deficiencies we discovered during martial law.
Constitution was intentionally cobbled to empower courts ". . . to determine whether or not there has been a One of the areas radically changed by the framers of the 1987 Constitution is the imbalance of power between
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or and among the three great branches of our government — the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary. To
instrumentality of the government." This power is new and was not granted to our courts in the 1935 and 1972 upgrade the powers of the Judiciary, the Constitutional Commission strengthened some more the
Constitutions. It was not also xeroxed from the US Constitution or any foreign state constitution. The CONCOM independence of courts. Thus, it further protected the security of tenure of the members of the Judiciary by
granted this enormous power to our courts in view of our experience under martial law where abusive providing "No law shall be passed reorganizing the Judiciary when it undermines the security of tenure of its
exercises of state power were shielded from judicial scrutiny by the misuse of the political question doctrine. Members." It also guaranteed fiscal autonomy to the Judiciary.
Led by the eminent former Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion, the CONCOM expanded and sharpened the
checking powers of the judiciary vis-a-vis the Executive and the Legislative departments of government. In
cases involving the proclamation of martial law and suspension of the privilege of habeas corpus, it is now More, it depoliticalized appointments in the judiciary by creating the Judicial and Bar Council which was tasked
beyond dubiety that the government can no longer invoke the political question defense. Section 18 of Article with screening the list of prospective appointees to the judiciary. The power of confirming appointments to the
VII completely eliminated this defense when it provided: judiciary was also taken away from Congress. The President was likewise given a specific time to fill up
vacancies in the judiciary — ninety (90) days from the occurrence of the vacancy in case of the Supreme Court
and ninety (90) days from the submission of the list of recommendees by the Judicial and Bar Council in case of
xxx xxx xxx vacancies in the lower courts. To further insulate appointments in the judiciary from the virus of politics, the
Supreme Court was given the power to "appoint all officials and employees of the Judiciary in accordance with
the Civil Service Law." And to make the separation of the judiciary from the other branches of government
The Supreme Court may review, in an appropriate proceeding filed by any citizen, the sufficiency of the factual more watertight, it prohibited members of the judiciary to be ". . . designated to any agency performing quasi
basis of the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ or the extension thereof, judicial or administrative functions." While the Constitution strengthened the sinews of the Supreme Court, it
and must promulgate its decision thereon within thirty days from its filing. reduced the powers of the two other branches of government, especially the Executive. Notable of the powers
of the President clipped by the Constitution is his power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus and to proclaim
martial law. The exercise of this power is now subject to revocation by Congress. Likewise, the sufficiency of
A state of martial law does not suspend the operation of the Constitution, nor supplant the functioning of the the factual basis for the exercise of said power may be reviewed by this Court in an appropriate proceeding
civil courts or legislative assemblies, nor authorize the conferment of jurisdiction on military courts and filed by any citizen.
agencies over civilians where civil courts are able to function, nor automatically suspend the privilege of the
writ.
The provision defining judicial power as including the "duty of the courts of justice . . . to determine whether or
not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any
The CONCOM did not only outlaw the use of the political question defense in national security cases. To a great branch or instrumentality of the Government" constitutes the capstone of the efforts of the Constitutional
degree, it diminished its use as a shield to protect other abuses of government by allowing courts to penetrate Commission to upgrade the powers of this court vis-a-vis the other branches of government. This provision
the shield with the new power to review acts of any branch or instrumentality of the government ". . . to was dictated by our experience under martial law which taught us that a stronger and more independent
determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of judiciary is needed to abort abuses in government. . . .
jurisdiction." In Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance, 7 I posited the following postulates:

xxx xxx xxx


xxx xxx xxx

In sum, I submit that in imposing to this Court the duty to annul acts of government committed with grave
Sec. 1. The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established abuse of discretion, the new Constitution transformed this Court from passivity to activism. This
by law. transformation, dictated by our distinct experience as a nation, is not merely evolutionary but revolutionary.
Under the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions, this Court approached constitutional violations by initially determining
what it cannot do; under the 1987 Constitution, there is a shift in stress — this Court is mandated to approach
Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are constitutional violations not by finding out what it should not do but what it must do. The Court must discharge
legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of this solemn duty by not resuscitating a past that petrifies the present.
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the
Government.
I urge my brethren in the Court to give due and serious consideration to this new constitutional provision as the
case at bar once more calls us to define the parameters of our power to review violations of the rules of the
House. We will not be true to our trust as the last bulwark against government abuses if we refuse to exercise
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
this new power or if we wield it with timidity. To be sure, it is this exceeding timidity to unsheath the judicial These justifications for the enrolled bill theory have been rejected in various jurisdictions in the United States.
sword that has increasingly emboldened other branches of government to denigrate, if not defy, orders of our In his Dissenting Opinion in Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance, and its companion cases, 18 Mr. Justice Regalado
courts. In Tolentino, 8 I endorsed the view of former Senator Salonga that this novel provision stretching the cited some of the leading American cases which discussed the reasons for the withering, if not demise of the
latitude of judicial power is distinctly Filipino and its interpretation should not be depreciated by undue reliance enrolled bill theory, viz:
on inapplicable foreign jurisprudence. In resolving the case at bar, the lessons of our own history should
provide us the light and not the experience of foreigners.
xxx xxx xxx

II
Even in the land of its source, the so-called conclusive presumption of validity originally attributed to that
doctrine has long been revisited and qualified, if not altogether rejected. On the competency of judicial inquiry,
Again with due respect, I dissent from the majority insofar as it relied on the enrolled bill doctrine to justify the it has been held that "(u)nder the "enrolled bill rule" by which an enrolled bill is sole expository of its contents
dismissal of the petition at bar. and conclusive evidence of its existence and valid enactment, it is nevertheless competent for courts to inquire
as to what prerequisites are fixed by the Constitution of which journals of respective houses of Legislature are
required to furnish the evidence.
An enrolled bill is one which has been duly introduced, finally enacted by both Houses, signed by the proper
officers of each House and approved by the President. 9 It is a declaration by the two Houses, through their
presiding officers, to the President that a bill, thus attested, has received in due the sanction of the legislative In fact, in Gwynn vs. Hardee, etc., et al., the Supreme Court of Florida declared
branch of the government, and that it is delivered to him in obedience to the constitutional requirement that all
bills which pass Congress shall be presented to him.
(1) While the presumption is that the enrolled bill, as signed by the legislative offices and filed with the
secretary of state, is the bill as it passed, yet this presumption is not conclusive, and when it is shown from the
The enrolled bill originated in England where there is no written Constitution controlling the legislative branch legislative journals that a bill though engrossed and enrolled, and signed by the legislative officers, contains
of the government, and the acts of Parliament, being regarded in their nature as judicial — as emanating from provisions that have not passed both houses, such provisions will be held spurious and not a part of the law. As
the highest tribunal in the land — are placed on the same footing and regarded with the same veneration as was said by Mr. Justice Cockrell in the case of Wade vs. Atlantic Lumber Co., 51 Fla. 628, text 633, 41 So. 72,
the judgment of the courts which cannot be collaterally attacked. 10 In England, the conclusiveness of the bill 73:
was premised on the rationale that "an ad of parliament thus made is the exercise of the highest authority that
this kingdom acknowledges upon earth. And it cannot be altered, amended, dispensed with, suspended or
repealed, but in the same forms and by the same authority of parliament; for it is a maxim in law that it This Court is firmly committed to the holding that when the journals speak they control, and against such proof
requires the same strength to dissolve as to create an obligation. 11 the enrolled bill is not conclusive.

Over the years, the enrolled bill theory has undergone important mutations. Some jurisdictions have adopted More enlightening and apropos to the present controversy is the decision promulgated on May 13, 1980 by the
the modified entry or affirmative contradiction rule. Under this rule, the presumption in favor of the enrolled bill Supreme Court of Kentucky in D & W Auto Supply, et al. vs. Department of Revenue, et al., pertinent excerpts
is not conclusive. The rule concedes validity to the enrolled bill unless there affirmatively appears in the wherefrom are extensively reproduced hereunder.
journals of the legislature a statement that there has not been compliance with one or more of the
constitutional requirements. 12 Other jurisdictions have adopted the Extrinsic Evidence Rule which holds that an
enrolled bill is only prima facie evidence that it has been regularly enacted. The prima facie presumption, . . . In arriving at our decision we must, perforce, reconsider the validity of a long line of decisions of this court
however, can be destroyed by clear, satisfactory and convincing evidence that the constitutional requirements which created and nurtured the so-called "enrolled bill" doctrine.
in enacting a law have been violated. For this purpose, journals and other extrinsic evidence are allowed to be
received. 13 Some limit the use of extrinsic evidence to issues of fraud or mistakes. 14
xxx xxx xxx

These variants developed after a re-examination of the rationale of the enrolled bill. The modern rationale for
the enrolled bill theory was spelled out in Field v. Clark, 15 viz.: [1] Section 46 of the Kentucky Constitution sets out certain procedures that the legislature must follow before a
bill can be considered for final passage. . . .

xxx xxx xxx


xxx xxx xxx

The signing by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and, by the President of the Senate, in open
session, of an enrolled bill, is an official attestation by the two houses of such bill as one that has passed . . . Under the enrolled bill doctrine as it now exists in Kentucky, a court may not look behind such a bill,
Congress. It is a declaration by the two Houses, through their presiding officers, to the President, that a bill, enrolled and certified by the appropriate officers, to determine if there are any defects.
thus attested, has received, in due form, the sanction of the legislative branch of the government, and that it is
delivered to him in obedience to the constitutional requirement that all bills which pass Congress shall be
presented to him. And when a bill, thus attested, receives his approval, and is deposited in the public archives, xxx xxx xxx
its authentication as a bill that has passed Congress should be deemed complete and unimpeachable. As the
President has no authority to approve a bill not passed by Congress, an enrolled Act in the custody of the
Secretary of State, and having the official attestations of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, of the . . . In Lafferty, passage of the law in question violated this provision, yet the bill was properly enrolled and
President of the Senate, and of the President of the United States, carries, on its face, a solemn assurance by approved by the governor. In declining to look behind the law to determine the propriety of its enactment, the
the legislative and executive departments of the government, charged, respectively, with the duty of enacting court enunciated three reasons for adopting the enrolled bill rule. First, the court was reluctant to scrutinize the
and executing the laws, that it was passed by Congress. The respect due to coequal and independent processes of the legislature, an equal branch of government. Second, reasons of convenience prevailed, which
departments requires the judicial department to act upon the assurance, and to accept, as having passed discouraged requiring the legislature to preserve its records and anticipated considerable complex litigation if
Congress, all bills authenticated in the manner stated; leaving the courts to determine, when the question the court ruled otherwise. Third, the court acknowledged the poor record-keeping abilities of the General
properly arises, whether the Act, so authenticated, is in conformity with the Constitution. Assembly and expressed a preference for accepting the final bill as enrolled, rather than opening up the
records of the legislature. . . .

The principle of separation of powers is thus the principal prop of the enrolled bill doctrine. The doctrine is also
justified as a rule of convenience. Supposedly, it avoids difficult questions of evidence. 16 It is also believed that xxx xxx xxx
it will prevent the filing of too many cases which will cast a cloud of uncertainty on laws passed by the
legislature. As explained in Ex Pacte Wren 17 "if the validity of every act published as law is to be tested by
examining its history, as shown by the journals of the two houses of the legislature, there will be an amount of Nowhere has the rule been adopted without reason, or as a result of judicial whim. There are four historical
litigation, difficulty, and painful uncertainty appalling in its contemplation, and multiplying a hundredfold the bases for the doctrine. (1) An enrolled bill was a "record" and, as such, was not subject to attack at common
alleged uncertainty of the law." The conclusiveness of the enrolled bill is also justified on the ground that law. (2) Since the legislature is one of the three branches of government, the courts, being coequal, must
journals and other extrinsic evidence are conducive to mistake, if not fraud. indulge in every presumption that legislative acts are valid. (3) When the rule was originally formulated,
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
record-keeping of the legislatures was so inadequate that a balancing of equities required that the final act, the It is high time we re-examine our preference for the enrolled bill doctrine. It was in the 1947 case of Mabanag
enrolled bill, be given efficacy. (4) There were theories of convenience as expressed by the Kentucky court in v. Lopez Vito, 20 that this Court, with three (3) justices dissenting, first embraced the rule that a duly
Lafferty. authenticated bill or resolution imports absolute verity and is binding on the courts. In 1963, we firmed up this
ruling in Casco Philippine Chemical Co. v. Gimenez, 21 thus:

The rule is not unanimous in the several states, however and it has not been without its critics. From an
examination of cases and treaties, we can summarize the criticism as follows: (1) Artificial presumptions, xxx xxx xxx
especially conclusive ones, are not favored. (2) Such a rule frequently (as in the present case) produces results
which do not accord with facts or constitutional provisions. (3) The rule is conducive to fraud, forgery,
corruption and other wrongdoings. (4) Modern automatic and electronic record-keeping devices now used by Hence, "urea formaldehyde" is clearly a finished product which is patently distinct and different from "urea"
legislatures remove one of the original reasons for the rule. (5) The rule disregards the primary obligation of and "formaldehyde," as separate articles used in the manufacture of the synthetic resin known as "urea
the courts to seek the truth and to provide a remedy for a wrong committed by any branch of government. In formaldehyde." Petitioner contends, however, that the bill approved in Congress contained the copulative
light of these considerations, we are convinced that the time has come to re-examine the enrolled bill doctrine. conjunction "and" between the term "urea" and "formaldehyde," and that the members of Congress intended
to exempt "urea" and "formaldehyde" separately as essential elements in the manufacture of the synthetic
resin glue called "urea formaldehyde," not the latter as a finished product, citing in support of this view the
[2] This court is not unmindful of the admonition of the doctrine of stare decisis. The maxim is "Stare decisis et statements made on the floor of the Senate, during the consideration of the bill before said House, by members
non quieta movere," which simply suggests that we stand by precedents and to disturb settled points of law. thereof. But said individual statements do not necessarily reflect the view of the Senate. Much less do they
Yet, this rule is not inflexible, nor is it of such a nature as to require perpetuation of error or logic. As we stated indicate the intent of the House of Representatives (see Song Kiat Chocolate Factory vs. Central Bank, 54 Off
in Daniel's Adm'r v. Hoofnel, 287 Ky 834, 155 S.W.2d 469, 471-72 (1941). Gaz. 615; Mayor Motors Inc. vs. Acting Commissioner of Internal Revenue, L-15000 [March 29, 1961]; Manila
Jockey Club, Inc. vs. Games and Amusement Board, L-12727 [February 19, 1960]). Furthermore, it is well
settled that enrolled bill — which uses the term "urea formaldehyde" instead of "urea and formaldehyde" —
The force of the rule depends upon the nature of the question to be decided and the extent of the disturbance conclusive upon the courts as regards the tenor of the measure passed by Congress and approved by the
of rights and practices which a change in the interpretation of the law or the course of judicial opinions may President (Primicias vs. Paredes, 61 Phil. 118, 120; Mabanag vs. Lopez Vito, 78 Phil. 1; Macias vs. Comm. on
create. Cogent considerations are whether there is clear error and urgent reasons "for neither justice nor Elections, L-18684, Sept. 14, 1961). If there has been any mistake in the printing of the bill before it was
wisdom requires a court to go from one doubtful rule to another," and whether or not the evils of the principle certified by the officers of Congress and approved by the Executive — on which we cannot speculate without
that has been followed will be more injurious than can possibly result from a change. jeopardizing the principle of separation of powers and undermining one of the cornerstones of our democratic
system — the remedy is by amendment or curative legislation, not by judicial decree.

Certainly, when a theory supporting a rule of law is not grounded on facts, or upon sound logic, or is unjust, or
22
has been discredited by actual experience, it should be discarded, and with it the rule it supports. In the 1969 case of Morales v. Subido, we reiterated our fidelity to the enrolled bill doctrine, viz:

[3] It is clear to us that the major premise of the Lafferty decision, the poor record-keeping of the legislature, . . . . We cannot go behind the enrolled Act to discover what really happened. The respect due to the other
has disappeared. Modern equipment and technology are the rule in record-keeping by our General Assembly. branches of the Government demands that we act upon the faith and credit of what the officers of the said
Tape recorders, electric typewriters, duplicating machines, recording equipment, printing presses, computers, branches attest to as the official acts of their respective departments. Otherwise we would be cast in the
electronic voting machines, and the like remove all doubts and fears as to the ability of the General Assembly unenviable and unwanted role of a sleuth trying to determine what actually did happen in the labyrinth of law-
to keep accurate and readily accessible records. making, with consequent impairment of the integrity of the legislative process. The investigation which the
petitioner would like this Court to make can be better done in Congress. After all, House cleaning — the
immediate and imperative need for which seems to be suggested by the petitioner — can best be effected by
It is also apparent that the "convenience" rule is not appropriate in today's modern and developing judicial the occupants thereof. Expressed elsewise, this is a matter worthy of the attention not of an Oliver Wendell
philosophy. The fact that the number and complexity of lawsuits may increase is not persuasive if one is Holmes but of a Sherlock Holmes.
mindful that the overriding purpose of our judicial system is to discover the truth and see that justice is done.
The existence of difficulties and complexities should not deter this pursuit and we reject any doctrine or
presumption that so provides. Significantly, however, Morales diluted the conclusiveness rule of the enrolled bill doctrine. The ponencia
stressed:

Lastly, we address the premise that the equality of the various branches of government requires that we shut
our eyes to constitutional failing and other errors of our copartners in government. We simply do not agree. By what we have essayed above we are not of course to be understood as holding that in all cases the journals
Section 26 of the Kentucky Constitution provides that any law contrary to the constitution is "void." The proper must yield to the enrolled bill. To be sure there are certain matters which the Constitution expressly requires
exercise of judicial authority requires us to recognize any law which is unconstitutional and to declare it void. must be entered on the journal of each house. To what extent the validity of a legislative act may be affected
Without elaborating the point, we believe that under section 228 of the Kentucky Constitution it is our by a failure to have such matters entered on the journal, is a question which we do not now decide. All we hold
obligation to "support . . . the Constitution of the commonwealth." We are sworn to see that violations of the is that with respect to matters not expressly required to be entered on the journal, the enrolled bill prevails in
constitution — by any person, corporation, state agency or branch or government — are brought to light and the event of any discrepancy.
corrected. To countenance an artificial rule of law that silences our voices when confronted with violations of
our constitution is not acceptable to this court.
In the 1974 case of Astorga v. Villegas, 23 we further diluted the enrolled bill doctrine when we refused to apply
it after the Senate President declared his signature on the bill as invalid. We ruled:
We believe that a more reasonable rule is the one which Professor Sutherland describes as the "extrinsic
evidence." . . . . Under this approach there is a prima facie presumption that an enrolled bill is valid, but such
presumption may be overcome by clear, satisfactory and convincing evidence establishing that constitutional xxx xxx xxx
requirements have not been met.

Petitioner's argument that the attestation of the presiding offices of Congress is conclusive proof of a bill's due
We therefore overrule Lafferty v. Huffman and all other cases following the so-called enrolled bill doctrine, to enactment, required, it is said, by the respect due to a co-equal department of the government, is neutralized
the extent that there is no longer a conclusive presumption that an enrolled bill is valid. . . . in this case by the fact that the Senate President declared his signature on the bill to be invalid and issued a
subsequent clarification that the invalidation for his signature meant that the bill he had signed had never been
approved by the Senate. Obviously this declaration should be accorded even greater respect than the
Clearly, the enrolled bill doctrine no longer enjoys its once unassailable respectability in United States. attestation it invalidated, which it did for a reason that is undisputed in fact and indisputable in logic.
Sutherland reveals that starting in the 1940's,
". . . the tendency seems to be toward the abandonment of the conclusive presumption rule and the adoption
of the third rule leaving only a prima facie presumption of validity which may be attacked by any authoritative As far as Congress itself is concerned, there is nothing sacrosanct in the certification made by the presiding
source of information." 19 officers. It is merely a mode of authentication. The law-making process in Congress ends when the bill is
approved by both Houses, and the certification does not add to the validity of the bill or cure any defect
already present upon its passage. In other words it is the approval by Congress and not the signatures of the
presiding officers that is essential. Thus the (1935) Constitution says that "[e]very bill passed by the Congress
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
shall, before it becomes law, be presented to the President." In Brown vs. Morris, supra, the Supreme Court of were not distributed among the members of each House. Both the enrolled bill and the legislative journals
Missouri, interpreting a similar provision in the State Constitution, said that the same "makes it clear that the certify that the measure was duly enacted i.e., in accordance with the Article VI, Sec. 26(2) of the Constitution.
indispensable step is the final passage and it follows that if a bill, otherwise fully enacted as a law, is not We are bound by such official assurances from a coordinate department of the government, to which we owe,
attested by the presiding officer, the proof that it has 'passed both houses' will satisfy the constitutional at the very least, a becoming courtesy.
requirement.

Finally in 1994 came the case of Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance, et al and its companion cases. 25 Involved in
Petitioner agrees that the attestation in the bill is not mandatory but argues that the disclaimer thereof by the the case was the constitutionality of R.A. No. 7716, otherwise known as the Expanded Value Added Tax Law.
Senate President, granting it to have been validly made, would only mean that there was no attestation at all, The majority 26 partly relied on the enrolled bill doctrine in dismissing challenges to the constitutionality of R.A.
but would not affect the validity of the statute. Hence, it is pointed out, Republic Act No. 4065 would remain No. 7716. It held:
valid and binding. This argument begs the issue. It would limit the court's inquiry to the presence or absence of
the attestation and to the effect of its absence upon the validity of the statute. The inquiry, however, goes
farther. Absent such attestation as a result of the disclaimer, and consequently there being no enrolled bill to xxx xxx xxx
speak of, what evidence is there to determine whether or not the bill had been duly enacted. In such a case the
entries in the journal should be consulted.
Fourth. Whatever doubts there may be as to the formal validity of Republic Act No. 7716 must be resolved in
its favor. Our cases manifest firm adherence to the rule that an enrolled copy of a bill is conclusive not only of
The journal of the proceedings of each House of Congress is no ordinary record. The Constitution requires it. its provisions but also of its due enactment. Not even claims that a proposed constitutional amendment was
While it is true that the journal is not authenticated and is subject to the risk of misprinting and other errors, invalid because the requisite votes for its approval had not been obtained or that certain provisions of a statute
the point is irrelevant in this case. This Court is merely asked to inquire whether the text of House Bill No. 9266 had been "smuggled" in the printing of the bill have moved or persuaded us to look behind the proceedings of
signed by the Chief Executive was the same text passed by both Houses of Congress. Under the specific facts a coequal branch of the government. There is no reason now to depart from this rule.
and circumstances of this case, this Court can do this and resort to the Senate journal for the purpose. The
journal discloses that substantial and lengthy amendments were introduced on the floor and approved by the
Senate but were not incorporated in the printed text sent to the President and signed by him. This Court is not No claim is here made that the "enrolled bill" rule is absolute. In fact in one case we "went behind" an enrolled
asked to incorporate such amendments into the alleged law, which admittedly is a risky undertaking, but to bill and consulted the Journal to determine whether certain provisions of a statute had been approved by the
declare that the bill was not duly enacted and therefore did not become law. This We do, as indeed both the Senate in view of the fad that the President of the Senate himself, who had signed the enrolled bill, admitted a
President of the Senate and the Chief Executive did, when they withdrew their signatures therein. In the face of mistake and withdrew his signature, so that in effect there was no longer an enrolled bill to consider.
the manifest error committed and subsequently rectified by the President of the Senate and by the Chief
Executive, for this Court to perpetuate that error by disregarding such rectification and holding that the
erroneous bill has become law would be to sacrifice truth to fiction and bring about mischievous consequences But where allegations that the constitutional procedures for the passage of bills have not been observed have
not intended by the law-making body. no more basis than another allegation that the Conference Committee "surreptitiously" inserted provisions into
a bill which it had prepared, we should decline the invitation to go behind the enrolled copy of the bill. To
disregard the "enrolled bill" rule in such cases would be to disregard the respect due the other two
In 1993, the enrolled bill doctrine was again used as a secondary rationale in the case of Philippine Judges departments of our government.
Association v. Prado, 24 In this case, the judges claimed that the pertinent part of section 35 of R.A. No. 7354
repealing the franking privilege of the judiciary appeared only in the Conference Committee Report. In rejecting
this contention, this Court ruled: These cases show that we have not blindly accepted the conclusiveness of the enrolled bill. Even in Tolentino,
Mr. Justice Mendoza was cautious enough to hold that "no claim is here made that the enrolled bill is absolute."
I respectfully submit that it is now time for the Court to make a definitive pronouncement that we no longer
While it is true that a conference committee is the mechanism for compromising differences between the give our unqualified support to the enrolled bill doctrine. There are compelling reasons for this suggested
Senate and the House, it is not limited in its jurisdiction to this question. Its broader function is described thus: change in stance. For one, the enrolled bill is appropriate only in England where it originated because in
England there is no written Constitution and the Parliament is supreme. For another, many of the courts in the
United States have broken away from the rigidity and unrealism of the enrolled bill in light of contemporary
A conference committee may deal generally with the subject matter or it may be limited to resolving the developments in lawmaking. 27 And more important, our uncritical adherence to the enrolled bill is inconsistent
precise differences between the two houses. Even where the conference committee is not by rule limited in its with our Constitution, laws and rules. In Mabanag, 28 we relied on section 313 of the Old Code of Civil Procedure
jurisdiction, legislative custom severely limits the freedom with which new subject matter can be inserted into as amended by Act No. 2210 as a principal reason in embracing the enrolled bill. This section, however has
the conference bill. But occasionally a conference committee produces unexpected results, results beyond its long been repealed by our Rules of Court. A half glance at our Rules will show that its section on conclusive
mandate. These excursions occur even where the rules impose strict limitations on conference committee presumption does not carry the conclusive presumption we give to an enrolled bill. But this is not all. The
jurisdiction. This is symptomatic of the authoritarian power of conference committee (Davies, Legislative Law conclusiveness of an enrolled bill which all too often results in the suppression of truth cannot be justified
and Process: In a Nutshell, 1986 Ed., p. 81). under the 1987 Constitution. The Preamble of our Constitution demands that we live not only under a rule of
law but also under a regime of truth. Our Constitution also adopted a national policy 29 requiring full public
disclosure of all state transactions involving public interest. Any rule which will defeat this policy on
It is a matter of record that the Conference Committee Report on the bill in question was returned to and duly transparency ought to be disfavored. And to implement these policies, this Court was given the power to pry
approved by both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Thereafter, the bill was enrolled with its open and to strike down any act of any branch or instrumentality of government if it amounts to grave abuse of
certification by Senate President Neptali A. Gonzales and Speaker Ramon V. Mitra of the House of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. It is time to bury the enrolled bill for its fiction of
Representatives as having been duly passed by both Houses of Congress. It was then presented to and conclusiveness shuts off truth in many litigations. We cannot dispense justice based on fiction for the search
approved by President Corazon C. Aquino on April 3, 1992. for justice is the search for truth. I submit that giving an enrolled bill a mere prima facie presumption of
correctness will facilitate our task of dispensing justice based on truth.

Under the doctrine of separation of powers, the Court may not inquire beyond the certification of the approval
of a bill from the presiding officers of Congress. Casco Philippine Chemical Co. v. Gimenez laid down the rule III
that the enrolled bill is conclusive upon the Judiciary (except in matters that have to be entered in the journals
like the yeas and nays on the final reading of the bill). The journals are themselves also binding on the
Supreme Court, as we held in the old (but stills valid) case of U.S. vs. Pens, where we explained the reason In sum, I respectfully submit that the Court has jurisdiction over the petition at bar and that issues posed by
thus: petitioner are justiciable. Nonetheless, I do not find any grave abuse of discretion committed by the public
respondents to justify granting said petition. As the ponencia points out, the petition merely involves the
complaint that petitioner was prevented from raising the question of quorum. The petition does not concern
To inquire into the veracity of the journals of the Philippine legislature when they are, as we have said, clear violation of any rule mandated by the Constitution. Nor does it involve the right of a non-member of the House
and explicit, would be to violate both the letter and spirit of the organic laws by which the Philippine which requires constitutional protection. The rules on how to question the existence of a quorum are
Government was brought into existence, to invade a coordinate and independent department of the procedural in character. They are malleable by nature for they were drafted to help the House enact laws. As
Government, and to interfere with the legitimate powers and functions of the Legislature. well stated, these rules are servants, not masters of the House. Their observance or non-observance is a
matter of judgment call on the part of our legislators and it is not the business of the Court to reverse this
judgment when untainted by grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
Applying these principles, we shall decline to look into the petitioners' charges that an amendment was made
upon the last reading of the bill that eventually became R.A. No. 7354 and that copies thereof in its final form
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
Davide, Jr., J., concurs. The casus belli is a resolution adopted by the Philippine Senate composed of the respondent Senators, on
February 5, 1924, depriving Senator Alejandrino of all the prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments of his office
for the period of one year from the first of January, 1924. The resolution reads as follows:

Resolved: That the Honorable Jose Alejandrino, Senator for the Twelfth District, be, as he is hereby
declared guilty of disorderly conduct and flagrant violation of the privileges of the Senate for having
treacherously assaulted the Honorable Vicente de Vera, Senator for the Sixth District on the occasion
of the debate regarding the credentials of said Mr. Alejandrino;

Resolved, further: That the Honorable Jose Alejandrino be, as he is hereby, deprived of all of his
prerogatives, privileges and emoluments as such Senator during one year from the first of January,
nineteen hundred and twenty-four;

And, resolved, lastly: That the said Honorable Jose Alejandrino, being a Senator appointed by the
Governor-General of these Islands, a copy of this resolution be furnished said Governor-General for
his information.

The burden of petitioner's complaint is that the resolution above quoted is unconstitutional and entirely of no
effect, for five reasons. He prays the court: (1) To issue a preliminary injunction against the respondents
enjoining them from executing the resolution; (2) to declare the aforesaid resolution of the Senate null and void;
and (3) as a consequence of the foregoing, to issue a final writ of mandamus and injunction against the
respondents ordering them to recognize the rights of the petitioner to exercise his office as Senator and that he
enjoy all of his prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments, and prohibiting them from preventing the petitioner
from exercising the rights of his office, and from carrying the order of suspension, into effect. By special
appearance, the Attorney-General, in representation of the respondents, has objected to the jurisdiction of the
court, and later, by demurrer, has pressed the same point.

In order that an obvious angle to the case may not subsequently embarrass us, we desire first of all to say that
looking through the form of the action to the substance, this is, in effect, a suit instituted by one member of the
Philippine Senate against the Philippine Senate and certain of its official employees. May the Supreme Court of
the Philippines Islands by mandamus and injunction annul the suspension of Senator Alejandrino and compel the
Philippine Senate to reinstate him in his official position? Without, therefore, at this time discussing any of the
other interesting questions which have been raised and argued, we proceed at once to resolve the issue here
suggested.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT There are certain basic principles which lie at the foundation of the Government of the Philippine Islands, which
Manila are familiar to students of public law. It is here only necessary to recall that under our system of government,
each of the three departments is distinct and not directly subject to the control of another department. The
power to control is the power to abrogate and the power to abrogate is the power to usurp. Each department
EN BANC may, nevertheless, indirectly restrain the others.

G.R. No. 22041 September 11, 1924 It is peculiarly the duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, to enforce the Constitution, and to decide whether
the proper constitutional sphere of a department has been transcended. The courts must determine the validity
of legislative enactments as well as the legality of all private and official acts. To this extent, do the courts
JOSE ALEJANDRINO, petitioner, restrain the other departments.
vs.
MANUEL L. QUEZON, ET AL., respondents.
With these sound premises in mind, we are not at all surprised to find the general rule of mandamus to be, that
the writ will not lie from one branch of the government to a coordinate branch, for the very obvious reason that
Araneta & Zaragoza for petitioner. neither is inferior to the other. Mandamus will not lie against the legislative body, its members, or its officers, to
Attorney-General Villa-Real for respondents. compel the performance of duties purely legislative in their character which therefore pertain to their legislative,
functions and over which they have exclusive control. The courts cannot dictate action in this respect without a
gross usurpation of power. So it has been held that there where a member has been expelled by the legislative
MALCOLM, J.: body, the courts have no power, irrespective of whether the expulsion was right or wrong, to issue a mandate to
compel his reinstatement. (Code of Civil Procedure, secs. 222, 515; 18 R. C. L., 186, 187; Cooley, Constitutional
Limitations, 190; French vs. Senate [1905], 146 Cal., 604; Hiss vs. Bartlett [1855], 69 Mass., 468; Ex parte Echols
The petitioner in this original proceeding in mandamus and injunction is Jose Alejandrino, a Senator appointed by [1886], 39 Ala., 698; State vs. Bolte [1889], 151 Mo., 362; De Diego vs. House of Delegates [1904], 5 Porto Rico,
the Governor-General to represent the Twelfth Senatorial District. The respondents are Manuel L. Quezon, 235; Greenwood Cemetery Land Co. vs. Routt [1892], 17 Colo., 156; State ex rel. Cranmer vs. Thorson [1896],
President of the Philippine Senate; Isabelo de los Reyes, Santiago Fonacier, Alejo Mabanag, Bernabe de Guzman, 33 L. R. A., 582; People ex rel. Billings vs. Bissell [1857], 19 Ill., 229; People ex rel. Bruce vs. Dunne [1913], 258
Ramon Fernandez, Emiliano T. Tirona, Antero Soriano, Juan B. Alegre, Vicente de Vera, Jose Ma. Arroyo, Francisco Ill., 441; People ex rel. La Chicote vs. Best [1907], 187 N. Y., 1; Abueva vs. Wood [1924], 45 Phil., 612.)
Enage, Tomas Gomez, Sergio Osmeña, Celestino Rodriguez, Francisco Soriano, Jose A. Clarin, Hadji Butu,
Espiridion Guanco, Hermenegildo Villanueva, Jose Hontiveros, Teodoro Sandiko, and Santiago Lucero, all
members of the Philippine Senate; Faustino Aguilar, Secretary of the Philippine Senate; Bernabe Bustamante, The authorities which support the doctrines above announced are numerous and instructive. They are found
Sergeant-at-arms of the Philippine Senate, and Francisco Dayaw, Paymaster of the Philippine Senate. among the decisions of our own court, of the United States Supreme Court, and of other jurisdictions. If some of
these cases relate to the chief executive rather than to the legislature, it is only necessary to explain that the
same rules which govern the relations of the court to the chief executive likewise govern the relations of the
courts to the legislature.
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
The controlling case in this jurisdiction on the subject is Severino vs. Governor-General and Provincial Board of unconstitutional law, are in like manner acting within their proper province, because they are only
Occidental Negros ([1910], 16 Phil., 366). This was an original application made in this court praying for a writ of applying that which is law to the controversies in which they are called upon to give judgment. It is
mandamus to the Governor-General to compel him to call a special election as provided by law. The Attorney- mainly by means of these checks and balances that the officers of the several departments are kept
General demurred to the petition on the ground of lack of jurisdiction, and the court, after an elaborate within their jurisdiction, and if they are disregarded in any case, and power is usurped or abused, the
discussion, reached the conclusion that "we have no jurisdiction to interfere with the Governor-General of these remedy is by impeachment, and not by another department of the government attempting to correct
Islands, as the head of the executive department, in the performance of any of his official acts." The demurrer the wrong by asserting a superior authority over that which by the constitution is its equal.
was accordingly sustained and the complaint dismissed. It is noted that in this decision reliance was placed on
the cases of Mississippi vs. Johnson and Ord ([1867], 4 Wall., 475, and Sutherland vs. Governor ([1874], 29 Mich.,
320), which we will now proceed to notice. It has long been a maxim in this country that the Legislature cannot dictate to the courts what their
judgments shall be, or set aside or alter such judgments after they have been rendered. If it could,
constitutional liberty would cease to exist; and if the Legislature could in like manner override
State of Mississippi vs. Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, supra, concerned a bill praying the executive action also, the government would become only a despotism under popular forms. On the
United States, Supreme Court to enjoin and restrain Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, and E. O. C. other hand it would be readily cancelled that no court can compel the Legislature to make or to
Ord, General Commanding in the District of Mississippi and Arkansas from executing certain Acts of Congress. refrain from making laws, or to meet or adjourn at its command, or to take any action whatsoever,
Mr. Chief Justice Chase delivering the opinion of the court said the single point which required consideration was though the duty to take it be made ever so clear by the constitution or the laws. In these cases the
this: Can the President be restrained by injunction from carrying into effect an Act of Congress alleged to be exemption of the one department from the control of the other is not only implied in the framework
unconstitutional? He continued: of government, but is indispensably necessary if any useful apportionment of power is to exist.

The Congress is the Legislative Department of the Government; the President is the Executive xxx xxx xxx
Department. Neither can be restrained in its action by the Judicial Department; though the acts of
both, when performed, are, in proper cases, subject to its cognizance.
It is not attempted to be disguised on the part of the relators that any other course than that which
leaves the head of the executive department to act independently in the discharge of his duties
The impropriety of such interference will be clearly seen upon consideration of its possible might possibly lead to unseemly conflicts, if not to something worse, should the courts undertake to
consequences. enforce their mandates and the executive refuse to obey. . . . And while we should concede, if
jurisdiction was plainly vested in us, the inability to enforce our judgment would be no sufficient
reason for failing to pronounce it, especially against an officer who would be presumed ready and
Suppose the bill filed and the injunction prayed for allowed. If the President refuse obedience, it is anxious in all cases to render obedience to the law, yet in a case where jurisdiction is involved in
needless to observe that the court is without power to enforce its process. If, on the other hand, the doubt it is not consistent with the dignity of the court to pronounce judgments which may be
President complies with the order of the court and refuses to execute the Acts of Congress, is it not disregarded with impunity, nor with that of the executive to place him in position where, in a matter
clear that a collision may occur between the Executive and Legislative Departments of the within his own province, he must act contrary to his judgment, or strand convicted of a disregard of
Government? May not the House of Representatives impeach the President for such refusal? And in the laws.
that case could this court interfere in behalf of the President, thus endangered by compliance with
its mandate, and restrain by injunction the Senate of the United States from sitting as a court of
impeachment? Would the strange spectacle be offered to the public wonder of an attempt by this We only take space to notice on more case, which concerns specifically the right of the judiciary to control by
court to arrest proceedings in that court? mandamus the action of the legislature. French vs. Senate of the State of California, supra, was an original
proceeding in mandamus brought by the petitioners who were duly elected senators of the state to compel the
Senate of California to admit them as members thereof. It was alleged that the petitioners had been expelled
These questions answer themselves. without hearing or opportunity for defense. The writ was denied, Mr. Justice Shaw delivering the opinion of the
court, saying:

xxx xxx xxx


Even if we should give these allegations their fullest force in favor of the pleader, they do not make a
case justifying the interposition of this court. Under our form of government the judicial department
We are fully satisfied that this court has no jurisdiction of a bill to enjoin the President in the has no power to revise even the most arbitrary and unfair action of the legislative department, or of
performance of his official duties; and that no such bill ought to be received by us. their house thereof, taken in pursuance of the power committed exclusively to that department by
the constitution. . . .

It has been suggested that the bill contains a prayer that, if the relief sought cannot be had against
Andrew Johnson, as President, it may be granted against Andrew Johnson, as a citizen of Tennessee. There can be noted as specific corroborative authority, State vs. Bolte, supra, Abueva vs. Wood, supra, and
But it is plain that relief as against the execution of an Act of Congress by Andrew Johnson, is relief Commonwealth of Massachusetts vs. Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury ([1923], 262 U. S., 447), the latest
against its execution by the President. . . . expression of opinion by the United States Supreme Court. The record discloses that it was the firm opinion of
the late Chief Justice that the court should not assume jurisdiction of the proceedings.

Sutherland vs. Governor of Michigan, supra, well known to the legal fraternity on account of being written by
Judge Cooley, related to an application for mandamus to the Governor to compel him to perform a duty imposed So as to be perfectly fair to the petitioner, it is but proper to state that the principles laid down in some of the
upon him by statute. Judge Cooley, in part, said: preceding authorities have been the subject of adverse criticism. It is said that the fallacy of the argument lies in
the statement that the three departments of the government are independent of each other. "They are
independent in so far as they proceed within their legitimate province and perform the duties that the law
. . . Our government is on whose powers have been carefully apportioned between three distinct requires; yet it has never been held that the executive was the sole judge of what duties the law imposes upon
departments, which emanate alike from the people, have their powers alike limited and defined by him, or the manner in which duties shall be exercised. The final arbiter in cases of dispute is the judiciary, and to
the constitution, are of equal dignity, and within their respective spheres of action equally this extent at least the executive department may be said to be dependent upon and subordinate to the
independent. judiciary. . . . It is not the office of the person to whom the writ of mandamus is directed, but the nature of the
thing to be done, by which the propriety of issuing a mandamus is to be determined." (2 Bailey on Mandamus,
pp. 926-927.) But these were arguments which should have been presented years ago in this court, and which
xxx xxx xxx when recently presented by counsel in his argument for the petitioner in the case of Perfecto vs. Wood, R. G. No.
20867, 1 met with no favorable response from the court. It is now too late to go back and revise previous
decisions and overturn them; in fact this would be not only impracticable but impossible since at least two
It is true that neither of the departments can operate in all respects independently of the others, and decision of the United States Supreme Court seem to us to be controlling.
that what are called the checks and balances of government constitute each a restraint upon the
rest. . . . But in each of these cases the action of the department which controls, modifies, or in any
manner influences that of another, is had strictly within its own sphere, and for that reason gives no No court has ever held and we apprehend no court will ever hold that it possesses the power to direct the Chief
occasion for conflict, controversy or jealousy. The Legislature in prescribing rules for the courts, is Executive or the Legislature or a branch thereof to take any particular action. If a court should ever be so rash as
acting within its proper province in making laws, while the courts, in declining to enforce an
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
to thus trench on the domain of either of the other departments, it will be the end of popular government as we jaunty knight, who passes down the halls of legislation and of administration giving heed to those who have
know it in democracies. grievances against the Legislature and the Chief Executive.

It is intimated rather faintly that, conceding all that is said with reference to the right of the Supreme Court to We rule that neither the Philippine Legislature nor a branch thereof can be directly controlled in the exercise of
issue mandamus directed to the Philippine Senate, yet we would be justified in having our mandate run not their legislative powers by any judicial process. The court accordingly lacks jurisdiction to consider the petition
against the Philippine Senate or against the President of the Philippine Senate and his fellow Senators but and the demurrer must be sustained. As it is unlikely that the petition could be amended to state a cause of
against the secretary, the sergeant-at-arms, and the disbursing officer of the Senate. But this begs the question. action, it must be dismissed without costs. Such is the judgment of the court. So ordered.
If we have no authority to control the Philippine Senate, we have no authority to control the actions of
subordinate employees acting under the direction of the Senate. The secretary, sergeant-at-arms, and
disbursing officer of the Senate are mere agents of the Senate who cannot act independently of the will of that Street, Villamor and Romualdez, JJ., concur.
body. Should the Court do as requested, we might have the spectable presented of the court ordering the
secretary, the sergeant-at-arms, and the disbursing officer of the Philippine Senate to do one thing, and the
Philippine Senate ordering them to do another thing. The writ of mandamus should not be granted unless it
clearly appears that the person to whom it is directed has the absolute power to execute it. (Turnbull vs.
Giddings [1893], 95 Mich., 314; Abueva vs. Wood, supra.)
Separate Opinions

The question of jurisdiction is invariably one of perplexing difficulty. On the one hand, no consideration of policy
or convenience should induce this court to exercise a power that does not belong to it. On the other hand, no AVANCEÑA, J., concurring:
consideration of policy or convenience should induce this court to surrender a power which it is its duty to
exercise. But certainly mandamus should never issue from this court where it will not prove to be effectual and
beneficial. It should not be awarded where it will create discord and confusion. It should not be awarded where I agree with the dispositive part and the grounds and considerations set forth in the decision about the want of
mischievous consequences are likely to follow. Judgment should not be pronounced which might possibly lead to jurisdiction of this court to review the proceeding of the Senate. But this court having no jurisdiction, the
unseemly conflicts or which might be disregarded with impunity. This court should offer no means by a decision insinuation contained in the decision that proceeding of the Senate was illegal seems to me unnecessary and
for any possible collision between it as the highest court in the Philippines and the Philippine Senate as a branch improper.
of a coordinate department, or between the Court and the Chief Executive or the Chief Executive and the
Legislature.
JOHNSON, J., dissenting:

On the merits of the controversy, we will only say this: The Organic Act authorizes the Governor-General of the
Philippine Islands to appoint two senators and nine representatives to represent the non-Christian regions in the Among the important questions presented by the petition and demurrer in the present case, three may be
Philippine Legislature. These senators and representatives "hold office until removed by the Governor-General." mentioned:
(Organic Act, secs. 16, 17.) They may not be removed by the Philippine Legislature. However, to the Senate and
the House of Representatives, respectively, is granted the power to "punish its members for disorderly behavior,
and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel an elective member." (Organic Act, sec. 18.) Either House may First. Is the resolution in question legal or illegal?
thus punish an appointive member for disorderly behavior. Neither House may expel an appointive member for
any reason. As to whether the power to "suspend" is then included in the power to "punish," a power granted to
the two Houses of the Legislature by the Constitution, or in the power to "remove," a power granted to the Second. Has the Supreme Court jurisdiction even to consider its legality?
Governor-General by the Constitution, it would appear that neither is the correct hypothesis. The Constitution
has purposely withheld from the two Houses of the Legislature and the Governor-General alike the power to
suspend an appointive member of the Legislature. Third. Can the Supreme Court grant the remedy prayed for?

It is noteworthy that the Congress of the United States has not in all its long history suspended a member. And FIRST. Legality of the resolution
the reason is obvious. Punishment by way of reprimand or fine vindicates the outraged dignity of the House
without depriving the constituency of representation; expulsion, when permissible, likewise vindicates the honor
of the legislative body while giving to the constituency an opportunity to elect anew; but suspension deprives The Supreme Court is unanimous in its opinion that the resolution, by which Jose Alejandrino was deprived of "all
the electoral district of representation without that district being afforded any means by which to fill the his prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments for the period of one year" as an appointed senator, is an expulsion
vacancy. By suspension, the seat remains filed but the occupant is silenced. Suspension for one year is or removal of him as such senator and therefore illegal and ultra vires for the reason that the power of expulsion
equivalent to qualified expulsion or removal. or removal of an appointed senator is vested exclusively in the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands.
(Section 17 of the Jones Law — Act of Congress of August 29, 1916 — Public Laws, vol. 12 p. 243.)

It is beyond the power of any branch of the Government of the Philippine Islands to exercise its functions in any
other way than that prescribed by the Organic Law or by local laws which conform to the Organic Law. This was, By reason of the unanimous opinion upon that question, it becomes unnecessary further to discuss it except to
in effect, our holding in the comparatively recent case of Concepcion vs. Paredes ([1921], 42 Phil., 599), when give the particular reasons which induced my opinion. Said section 17 provides that: "Senators and
we had under particular consideration a legislative attempt to deprive the Chief Executive of his constitutional representatives appointed by the Governor-General shall hold office until removed by the Governor-General."
power of appointment. What was there announced is equally applicable to the instant proceedings. Section 18 provides, among other things, that "each house may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish
its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel an elective member." The
petitioner is an appointive member of the Senate.
While what has just been said may be unnecessary for a correct decision, it is inserted so that the vital question
argued with so much ability may not pass entirely unnoticed, and so that there may be at least an indication of
the attitude of the court as a restraining force, with respect to the checks and balances of government. The It will be noted from the two quotations just given, that the power to expel a member of either branch of the
Supreme Court, out of respect for the Upper House of a coordinate branch of the government, takes no Legislature, by the Legislature, is limited to "elective members," while the power "to punish members for
affirmative action. But the perfection of the entire system suggests the thought that no action should be taken disorderly behavior" applies to all members whether elective or appointive. In view of the fact that neither
elsewhere which would constitute, or even seem to constitute, disregard for the Constitution. branch of the Legislature can expel an appointive member, can either branch deprive such a member of all his
"prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments for the period of one year" under the power "to punish for disorderly
behavior"? It will be noted that the law contains no definition of the "punishment" which may be imposed for
Conceding therefore that the power of the Senate to punish its members for disorderly behavior does not disorderly behavior. Considering, however, that neither branch has the right to expel an appointive member,
authorize it to suspend on appointive member from the exercise of his office for one year, conceding what has certainly no one will contend that the punishment imposed for disorderly behavior may amount to an expulsion.
been so well stated by the learned counsel for the petitioner, conceding all this and more, yet the writ prayed for If the punishment amounts to an expulsion then certainly the Legislature has exceeded its authority and has
cannot issue, for the all-conclusive reason that the Supreme Court does not possess the power of coercion to encroached upon the power of the executive, for the reason that the power to expel belongs to the Governor-
make the Philippine Senate take any particular action. If it be said that this conclusion leaves the petitioner General.
without a remedy, the answer is that the judiciary is not the repository of all wisdom and all power. It would
hardly be becoming for the judiciary to assume the role of either a credulous inquisitor, a querulous censor, or a
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
We have, then, the question squarely presented, whether or not a resolution of the Senate of the Philippine annoyance, or impediment whatever to the orderly and dignified procedure of any session of the Senate; that
Islands which deprives an appointed senator of all his "prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments for the period said "misbehavior" did not interfere in any manner whatever with the honor, dignity, and efficiency, nor with the
of one year" amounts to an expulsion. If it does, then the resolution is illegal, null, and void, and beyond the orderly proceedings of the Senate; that the petitioner did not know, at the time of the alleged "misbehavior,"
powers of the legislative department of the Government and an unwarranted exercise of the powers which that he had been admitted as a member of the Philippine Senate. The question of his admission as a senator had
belong to the Governor-General. been under discussion for weeks theretofore.

The said resolution not only deprives the petitioner of all his "prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments for the Paragraph 2 of section 5 of the Constitution of the United States provides that "each house may determined the
period of one year" but also deprives the people of his district, composed of about one million persons, of any rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds,
representation or participation in the legislative, affairs of the government for a period of one year, — a right expel a member." That provision of the Constitution of the United States is exactly the language used in section
which is guaranteed to them under the constitution. Such a result was certainly not contemplated by the 18 of the Jones Law, with the only difference that the phrase "expel a member" in the Constitution is changed in
provisions of the Jones Law. Certainly the framers of the constitution of the Philippine Islands never dreamed the Jones Law to "expel and elective member." That provision of the Constitution of the United States has been
that when the Legislature of the Philippine Islands was given the power to "punish" its members for misbehavior, enforced for a period of about one hundred forty years. It will be noted that said provision of the Constitution of
that such a power would ever be used as a guise for "expelling" an appointive member. the United States contains two provisions: (a) to punish and (b) to expel.

The power to punish for misbehavior was intended purely as a disciplinary measure. When a member of the An examination of the long history of the Congress of the United States has been made for the purpose of
Legislature is removed either by the Governor-General or by the Legislature, a vacancy exists, and the law gives ascertaining how that august body has interpreted its powers under said provisions. First, it may be said that the
the Governor-General the right to appoint, and the people of the district the right to fill the vacancy by election, Congress of the United States is perhaps as dignified a legislative body as that of any of the states or territories
so that the people may again, under either case, be represented. A "suspension" of a member, however, does of the United States. Its records have been searched upon the question of its power to punish and remove its
not create a vacancy, and the people of the district are without a representative and the Governor-General members, and no case has been found — and it is believed there are none — where Congress, under its power to
cannot appoint one and the people cannot elect one during the period of suspension. They are without punish, has attempted to deprive a member of all his rights, prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments for
representation during that period. They are, for the period of suspension, taxed without representation. If a anytime whatever, although many cases of removal have been found under that power to remove. The power to
member, under the power to punish, can be suspended for one year, for the same reason he may be suspended punish for disorderly behavior has never been exercised further than to impose a mere reprimand. We regard
for ten or more years, thus depriving the Governor-General of his right under the law, and the people of the the fact that the Congress of the United States has never exercised its power, to punish for disorderly behavior,
district, of a representative, and without a remedy in the premises. by depriving a member of all of his rights, prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments, as strong proof that it did
not believe that its power to punish justified an order or resolution depriving a member of all of his rights,
prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments. Many cases might be cited showing misbehavior of much more
If the power "to punish for disorderly behavior" includes the power to suspend or to deprive a member of all his serious character than that charged against the petitioner and where a reprimand only was imposed.
rights, and if the suspension is in effect a removal, then an appointed member may be removed, under the
power to punish, by a mere majority, while the law requires a two-thirds majority to remove an elective member.
In other words, if under the power to "punish," any member of the Legislature, including an appointive member, SECOND. Jurisdiction to consider question.
may be in effect removed, then an elective member may be removed by a majority vote only thus encroaching
upon the power of the executive department of the government, as well as violating the powers conferred upon
the Legislature, because the Legislature cannot remove an elective member except by two-thirds majority. Whether or not the courts will take jurisdiction of any action whatever to interfere with, direct or control the
action of either the executive or legislative departments of the government, is a question which has been
presented to the courts many times since the leading case of Marbury vs. Madison was decided ([1803], 1
It is strenuously argued by the respondent that the resolution depriving the petitioner "of all his prerogatives, Cranch, [U. S.]., 137). In hundreds of cases which have come before the courts since that time, the decisions
privileges, and emoluments for the period of one year" is not a removal from his office but a mere suspension. have been about equally divided. One line of decisions indicates that the courts will never take jurisdiction to
The resolution does not use the word "suspend" but does use the word "deprive." It provides that the petitioner control, order, or direct either the executive or legislative departments of the government to perform or not to
is "deprived" of all his prerogatives, etc., for a period of one year. If that word means anything it means that all perform any particular act expressly imposed upon or confined to them either by the organic act or by statute.
of the prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments of the petitioner and the citizens whom he represents have (Mississippi vs. Johnson and Ord, 4 Wall. [U. S.], 475; Sutherland vs. Governor, 29 Mich., 320; Hawkins vs.
been taken from him and them. His prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments constitute his right to be a Governor, 1 Ark., 570; People vs. Bissell, 19 Ill., 229; State vs. Governor, 22 La. Ann., 1; Rice vs. Governor, 27
member of the Senate under his appointment, his right to represent the people of his district, and his right to Minn., 1; Vicksburg & Co. vs. Governor, 61 Miss., 102.)
exercise all the duties and to assume all the responsibilities pertaining to his office. His emoluments constitute
his right to receive his salary and the benefits pertaining to his office as a senator. If a value can be placed upon
his prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments, and if he has been deprived of them, then it must follow that they The other line of decisions hold that the courts will take jurisdiction to control, order and direct both the
have been removed from him, or that he has been removed from them. At any rate, the resolution has executive and legislative departments of the government to do and to perform what are generally termed purely
separated the petitioner and the people whom he represents and deprived them of all of their prerogatives, ministerial duties imposed by either the organic act or by statute. (Tennessee & Railway Co. vs. Governor, 36
privileges, and emoluments for the period of one year; and, for all intents and purposes, he and the people Ala., 371; Middleton vs. Governor, 30 Cal., 596; State vs. Governor, 72 Ind., 567; State vs. Governor, 5 Ohio
whom he represents, have been deprived of their prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments, and in effect, have State, 528.)
been removed from any participation in the legislative affairs of the government.

It is here confidently asserted that a careful study of the first line of decisions will show, that each case might
A great many cases have been studied on the question of removal and suspension, and we are confident in the have been decided upon the ground that the duty, the performance of which was sought to be coerced, was one
assertion that the power to punish does not include the power to remove or suspend. A suspension from an which was either a discretionary or official duty of the respondent, and that the doctrine relied upon, as
office or a deprivation of the rights of an officer of all his prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments, is in effect a announced in said cases, was purely obiter dicta; that each of the first line of cases might have been decided
deprivation or a removal from office for the time mentioned in the order of suspension. It has been held that a upon the ground that the performance of the particular acts was entirely within the discretion or official duty of
suspension from office for an indefinite time and lasting for a period of six months, lost its temporary character, the respondent and a question confided solely to them.
ceased to be a suspension, and in effect became a removal from such office. It was held, in the case of State vs.
Chamber of Commerce, that the suspension of a member was a qualified expulsion, and that whether it was
called a suspension or expulsion or removal, it in effect disfranchised the person suspended. In the case of From an examination of all of the cases upon the question before us, the following rule of law is accepted as the
Metsker vs. Nelly, it was held that a suspension or a deprivation for either a definite or indefinite period is in general rule:
effect a removal. In the case of Gregory vs. New York, it was held that the power to remove an officer or punish
him does not include the power to suspend him temporarily from his office. A mere suspension would not create
a vacancy, and the anomalous and unfortunate condition would exist of an office, — an officer, — but no "That the executive, legislative, and judicial departments of the government are distinct and independent, and
vacancy, and of no one whose right and duty it was to execute the office. In the case of Commonwealth vs. neither is responsible to the other for the performance of its duties, and neither can enforce the performance of
Barry, it was decided that to punish an officer for "disorderly behavior" such misbehavior must be such as affects the duties of the other." Exceptions or modifications of this general rule will be noted later.
the performance of his duties or the legal or ordinary procedure of the body of which he is a member, and not
disorderly behavior which affects his character as a private individual.
After a careful study of all the cases on the subject, we are of the opinion that a fair summary of the power of
the courts in the premises may be stated under two heads as follows:
In this connection it may be noted that the alleged "misbehavior" on the part of the petitioner was committed
outside of the legislative halls and at a time when there was no session of the Senate; that said alleged
"misbehavior" did not take place in or near the Senate chamber, nor cause any disorder, disturbance,
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
First. That the courts have jurisdiction to examine acts "actually" taken by the executive or legislative R. A., [N. S.], 744; Sanders vs. Commonwealth, 111 Am. State Rep., 219; State vs. Miller, 87 Ohio State, 12;
departments of the government when such acts affect the rights, privileges, property, or lives of individuals. Miller vs. Johnson, 15 L. R. A., 524.)

Second. That the courts will not take jurisdiction to order, coerce, or enjoin any act or acts of either the The right and power of the courts to declare whether enactments of the legislature exceed the constitutional
executive or legislative departments of the government upon any question or questions, the performance of limitations and are invalid, has always been considered a grave responsibility as well as a solemn duty, and its
which is confided by law to said departments. The courts will not take jurisdiction until some positive "action" is exercise is, at all times, a matter of much delicacy, for, apart from the necessity of avoiding conflicts between
taken by the other coordinate departments of the government. coordinate branches of the government, it is often difficult to determine whether such enactments are within the
powers granted to or possessed by the legislature. It has also been said that the power of the courts to nullify
acts of the legislature, as being in violation of the constitution, is one of the highest functions and authorities of
With reference to the first proposition, we desire to say that, while the courts hesitate, and rightfully so, to the courts. (Nichol vs. Ames, 173 U. S., 509; People vs. Henning Co., 260 Ill., 554; Edwards vs. Lesueur, 31 L. R.
inquire into the legality of the acts of the executive or legislative departments of government, yet they are A., 815.)
without discretion in the premises in cases where it is alleged that a person is illegally deprived of his life,
liberty, or property by said departments. The law makes no distinction with reference to the person or persons,
or departments or bureaus who are responsible for the illegal and unlawful deprivation of the right of individuals The courts have no jurisdiction in matters of a purely political nature which have been confided to the executive
in the state. The mere fact that such alleged illegal deprivation of life, liberty or property is caused by the chief or legislative department of the government, nor the power to interfere with the duties of either of said
executive or the legislative department of the government, in the face of mandatory provisions of the law, is no departments, unless under special circumstances and when it becomes necessary for the protection of the
sufficient excuse or justification for a refusal on the part of the courts to take jurisdiction for the purpose of rights, the life and the property of the individuals of the state. (In re Sawyer, 124 U. S., 200; Luther vs. Borden, 7
inquiring into such alleged illegal deprivation and to make pronouncement thereon. Under the system of checks Howard [U. S.], 1; Mississippi vs. Johnson and Ord, 4 Wall. [U. S.], 475.)
and balances, by virtue of the existence of the different departments of the government, in the Government of
the United States and its territories, it becomes the legal and bounded duty of the courts to inquire into the
legality, when called upon so to do, of the acts of either of the other departments of the government and to The jurisdiction of the courts over the acts of either of the other departments is limited to cases where the acts
make pronouncements thereon. (Barcelon vs. Baker and Thompson, 5 Phil., 87; Forbes vs. Chuoco Tiaco and of such departments tend to deprive the citizens of their rights, liberties, and property. To assume jurisdiction to
Crossfield, 16 Phil., 534 [228 U. S., 549]; In re McCulloch Dick, 38 Phil., 41, 211 224; Borromeo vs. Mariano, 41 control the exercise of purely political rights, would be to invade the domain of the other departments of the
Phil., 322; U. S. vs. Joson, 26 Phil., 1, 65; U. S. vs. Ten Yu, 24 Phil., 1, 10; Case vs. Board of Health and Heiser, 24 government. (Fletcher vs. Tutle, 151 Ill., 41.)
Phil., 250, 276; U. S. vs. Gomez Jesus, 31 Phil., 218.)

We do not desire to be understood, however, as holding that even political rights are not a matter of judicial
There is no more sacred duty of the courts, when a case is presented to them in which the life, liberty, or solicitude and protection and that the appropriate judicial tribunal will not, in a proper case, give a prompt and
property of the citizens of the state are involved, than that of maintaining, unimpaired, those securities for the efficient protection to citizens. (Muskrat vs. United States, 219 U. S., 346.)
personal rights of the individuals of the state which have been guaranteed to them by the organic law of the
land and which have received for ages the sanction of the jurists and the statesmen of the civilized nations of
the world. In such cases no narrow or illiberal construction should be given to the language of the fundamental In the case of Burnham vs. Morrissey (14 Gray [Mass.], 226), Mr. Justice Hoar, later a United States Senator, said:
law of the state. (Ex parte Lang, 85 U. S., 163.) "The house of representatives is not the final judge of its own powers and privileges in cases in which the rights
and liberties of the subject are concerned; but the legality of its action may be examined and determined by this
court. . . . Especially is it competent and proper for this court to consider whether its (legislature's) proceedings
Since the Constitution of the Philippine Islands is intended for the observance of the judiciary as well as the other are in conformity with the constitution and laws, because, living under a written constitution no branch or
departments of the government, and the judges are sworn to support its provisions, they are not liberty to department of the department is supreme; and it is the province and duty of the judicial department to
overlook or disregard its command, and therefore when it is clear that a statute or resolution of the Legislature determine, in cases regularly brought before them, whether the powers of any branch of the government and
transgresses the authority vested by the Constitution in the Legislature, it is the duty of the courts to declare the even those of the legislature in the enactment of laws (or resolutions), have been exercised in conformity with
acts or resolutions unconstitutional, and from that duty the courts cannot shrink without violating their oath of the constitution; and if they have not been, to treat their acts as null and void.
office. (United States vs. Fisher, 2 Cranch [U. S.], 396; Darmouth College vs. Woodward, 4 Wheaton [U. S.], 518;
Green vs. Biddle, 8 Wheaton [U. S.], 1.)
The house of representatives has the power, under the constitution, to imprison for contempt; but
this power is limited to cases expressly provided for by the constitution, or to cases where the power
The duty of the courts to declare a law or resolution unconstitutional, in a proper case, cannot be declined and is necessarily implied from those constitutional functions and duties, to the proper performance of
must be performed in accordance with the deliberate judgment of the court. (Pollock vs. Farmer's Loan & Trust which it is essential. . . .
Co., 157 U. S., 429.) Since the question as to the constitutionality of a statute or resolution of the legislature is a
judicial matter, the courts will not decline to exercise jurisdiction upon the mere suggestion that some action
might be taken by the political agencies of the government in disregard of the judgment of the court. The doctrine of the omnipotence of either the executive or legislative department of government has long since
(McPherson vs. Blacker, 146 U. S., 869.) been denied, and has no place under the American flag.

The doctrine of the all omnipotent power of the legislature as recognized by the Government of England, does Of course, when a discretionary power is conferred, with the right to act or not to act, and when the discretion is
not prevail in the United States, and every law or resolution adopted by the legislative department of the honestly exercised and not abused, then the official or department is relieved from personal responsibility; but
government must conform to the constitution. When a statute or a resolution of the legislative department when action is taken, and an individual of the state is thereby deprived, illegally, of his life, liberty or property,
exceeds the jurisdiction and powers of the legislature, it is null and void. his remedy to be restored to his rights is properly submitted to the courts. In every case where the courts are
called upon to exercise their original jurisdiction to question the illegality of action already taken by the
legislative or executive department of the government, they will not do so upon a mere formal or colorable
The principle which permits courts to pronounce an act or resolution of the legislature null and void, because it showing either as to the parties or subject-matter. The courts will look through the form to the real character or
conflicts with the provisions of the constitution, is a doctrine so well established under constitutional substance of the alleged illegal act. (Wisconsin vs. Insurance Co., 127 U. S., 265; Louisiana vs. Texas, 176 U. S.,
governments that it seems really unnecessary to discuss it here. It has been declared in many cases that the 1; Oklahoma vs. Railway Co., 220 U. S., 277.)
power of the court to make pronouncements upon the legality of acts or resolutions of the legislative
department, is the strongest barrier ever devised against the tyrannies of political assemblies. The right to
construe the constitution and to apply it to particular laws or resolution of the legislature must necessarily be A statute or a resolution of the legislative department of the government which deprives a citizen of the rights
lodged in some department of the government to insure that practical sanction to its mandates which are guaranteed to him by the Organic Law of the land is null and void. (Harrison vs. Railway Co., 232 U. S., 318;
essential for the preservation of their validity and force and the perpetuation of stable and orderly government. Terral vs. Burke & Co., 257 U. S., 529.)
The duty of the court to maintain the constitution as the fundamental law of the state and to permit no one to
transgress its provisions, is imperative. Whenever a statute is in violation of the fundamental law, it is the sworn
duty of the courts so to adjudge. Any other course would lead to the destruction of the fundamental law of the Decision of the highest courts, without number, may be cited in support of the rule "that all governmental
state. It has been said by eminent jurists and authorities that the judiciary should protect the rights of the people officers, departments or agencies are subject to judicial restraint when they act in excess of their authority
with great care and jealousy, not only because it is its sworn duty, but also because in times of great popular either statutory or constitutional, by virtue of which citizens are deprived of their rights." (Osborn vs. U. S. Bank,
excitement the courts are the last resort. (Gardner vs. Stephens, 2 Am. Rep., 700; State vs. Peel Splint Co., 17 L. 9 Wheaton [U. S.], 739; Board of Liquidation vs. McComb, 92 U. S., 531; United States vs. Lee, 106 U. S., 196;
R. A., 385; Rathbone vs. Wirth, 34 L. R. A., 408; Wells vs. Mo. Railway Co., 15 L. R. A., 847; State vs. Butler, 24 L. Virginia Cases, 114 U. S., 311; Regan vs. Farmers & Co., 154 U. S., 362; Smith vs. Ames, 169 U. S., 466; Ex parte
Young, 209 U. S., 123; Philadelphia Co. vs. Stimson, 223 U. S., 605.)
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
CHECKS AND BALANCES Referring to the second "Summary of the Powers of the Courts" above, it may be said that in this jurisdiction the
doctrine is now well established, that, until the executive or legislative department has taken some steps or has
acted upon some question, the courts will neither undertake to compel action nor to restrain action in said
The three great departments of the government — the executive, legislative, and judicial — were created for the departments. It is only when said departments have acted and their acts detrimentally affect the interest of the
purpose of "checks and balances." Under the Organic Law of the Philippine Islands the executive power of the citizen, that the courts will inquire into the legality or constitutionality of such acts. (Barcelon vs. Baker and
states is conferred upon the Governor-General. The legislative power is vested in the Senate and House of Thompson, 5 Phil., 87; Forbes vs. Chuoco Tiaco and Crossfield, 16 Phil., 534; Borromeo vs. Mariano, 41 Phil., 322;
Representatives. The judicial power is vested in the courts. The three great branches of the government are Perfecto vs. Wood, R. G. No. 208671; Abueva vs. Wood, 45 Phil., 612.)
separate and distinct, but are coequal and coordinate. Their powers have been carefully apportioned. The
legislature makes the laws, the courts construe them and adjudge as to the rights of persons to life, liberty, and
property thereunder, while the executive department executes the laws and the judgments of the courts. Each The judicial department of the government will not attempt to intervene or control or direct or command any
department, in its own sphere, is in a sense independent. Each operates as a check or restraint upon the other. action whatever upon any subject which has been specifically confided by law to the other departments, until
The Acts of the legislative department have to be presented to the executive department for its approval. The they have taken some action which tends to and does establish some theory or policy contrary to the organic
executive department may disapprove the Acts of the legislature if in its judgment they are not in conformity law of the land, or has deprived some citizen of his life, liberty, property, or privilege granted to him by the
with the organic law of the state or if in their enforcement they might work a hardship upon the people. The organic law. Under such facts, the judicial department is, under the law, bound to take jurisdiction and to make
judicial department is authorized to construe and interpret the Acts of the legislature. The judicial department is pronouncements thereon. In such cases it becomes the legal and bounden duty of the courts to inquire into the
authorized to determine the validity of the Acts of the legislature under the constitution. The executive legality or illegality of the acts of the other departments of the government and to declare what the law is and
department may also set aside the judgments of the judicial department and modify the action of the courts by what the rights of the parties are. When such a case is presented to the courts, its responsibility to the people of
the interposition of its pardoning power. The legislative department may also recall, modify, or annul decisions of the state, under the law, demands that a thorough investigation of the facts be made and of the rights of the
the courts if in its judgment the interpretation given to a law by the courts is not in harmony with the general parties under the law, and to make a pronouncement, without reference to the fact whether or not the court
policy of the state, by the enactment of a new law or by an amendment of the old, giving its such a nondisputed have the proper machinery for the purpose of enforcing their conclusions and judgments.
meaning and interpretation as to clearly wipe out the decisions of the judicial department.

The following are among the cases holding that the courts will not intervene for the purpose of compelling or
Thus, we have the checks and balances known under the American form of government. But in every case in directing any action on the part of the executive or legislative departments of the government with reference to
which one department controls, modifies, or influences the action of another, it acts strictly within its own any duty or obligation specifically confided to said departments:
sphere, thus giving no occasion for conflict and thus preserving the purpose of the original scheme of a division
of powers among the three great coordinate branches of government, each operating as a restraint upon the
other, but still in harmony. First. Acts of the Executive Department of the Government —

By the use of the power of veto and or pardoning, the executive department may annul and set aside absolutely (a) Severino vs. Governor-General and Provincial Board of Occidental Negros, 16 Phil., 366;
the action of both the legislative and judicial departments. The legislative department may, by adopting a new (b) Abueva vs. Wood, 45 Phil., 612;
law or by amendment or by passing a law over the veto of the executive department, annul, recall, and set aside (c) Sutherland vs. Governor, 29 Mich., 320;
the action of both the executive and judicial departments. But it must be observed that when the judicial (d) Hawkins vs. Governor, 1 Ark., 570;
department inquires into an act of either the executive or legislative departments for the purpose or determining (e) People vs. Bissell, 19 Ill., 229.
the legality of such acts, it is not because it desires to impose its own opinions upon such departments nor to Second. Acts of the Legislative Department of the Government —
examine into the wisdom or advisability of a particular act or statute, but simply because said departments have
acted in a way which is forbidden by the fundamental law of the land and because the will of the people, as
declared in such fundamental law, is paramount and must be obeyed even by the legislative and executive Abueva vs. Wood, 45 Phil., 612.
departments. In pronouncing a statute of the legislature illegal or an act of the executive department beyond its
powers, the courts are simply interpreting the meaning, force and application o the fundamental law of the
state. In view of the foregoing arguments and citation of authorities and inasmuch as the petitioner alleges that by an
act or resolution of the Senate of the Philippine Islands he has been deprived of his prerogatives, privileges, and
emoluments for a period of one year, which have been granted to him by the organic law of the land, through
If the doctrine that the different departments — executive, legislative and judicial — are absolutely independent the officers and employees of the Senate, we are of the opinion, and so decide, that under such allegations the
and one can never interfere to control or restrain, modify or annul, the action of the other, then the very purpose court is not only justified, but authorized and compelled under the duties and powers conferred upon it, to take
of the organization of the three departments for "checks and balances" would be defeated. (Case vs. Board of jurisdiction of the petition for the purpose of examining into the question whether or not the petitioner has been
Health and Heiser, 24 Phil., 250; U. S. vs. Joson, 26 Phil., 1, 64; U. S. vs. Gomez Jesus, 31 Phil., 218, 225, 228; deprived of any rights granted to him under the Constitution of the Philippine Islands.
Tajanlangit vs. Peñaranda, 37 Phil., 155; Central Capiz vs. Ramirez, 40 Phil., 883, 899; Severino vs. Governor-
General and Provincial Board of Occidental Negros, 16 Phil., 366; U. S. vs. Bull., 15 Phil., 7; Borromeo vs.
Mariano, 41 Phil., 322; Concepcion vs. Paredes, 42 Phil., 599; Marbury vs. Madison, 1 Cranch [U. S.], 137, 152, Are the facts stated in the petition and admitted by the demurrer sufficient to constitute a cause of action, and
170, 172.) do they justify the court in taking jurisdiction of the case?

The following are among the leading cases in which the courts have taken jurisdiction for the purpose of The petitioner alleges that he is a Senator of the Philippine Islands legally appointed by the Governor-General
determining the legality or illegality of acts, or orders or resolutions of the executive and legislative under the provisions of section 16 of the Jones Law; that by virtue of said appointment he is given all the rights
departments: of a senator, with all the prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments thereunto belonging; that he has, as such
senator, the right to continue to serve the people of his district; that he has the right to be and act as a member
of the Senate until removed by the Governor-General; that he has been deprived of the right to act as a senator
First. Acts of the Executive Department of the Government — and has been removed as such senator by the respondents and thereby deprived of a right conferred upon him
by law and of all of the rights, prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments belonging to him as a citizen of the
Philippine Islands and as a member of the Senate; that the citizens of his district have been deprived of their
(a) Barcelon vs. Baker and Thompson (5 Phil., 87), where the action of the Governor-General was right to be represented and to participate in the affairs of their government; that unless the said resolution of the
pronounced legal; Senate be pronounced illegal, null, and void, he will be unable to exercise the rights of a citizen and a senator
(b) Forbes vs. Chuoco Tiaco and Crossfield (16 Phil., 534; 228 U. S., 549) where the action of the and to enjoy the prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments to him rightfully belonging; that by becoming a
Governor-General was pronounced legal; member of the Senate he has not lost his rights as a citizen; that he is still entitled to be protected in all of his
(c) In re McCulloch Dick (38 Phil., 41, 62, 63, 109, 211, 244), where the action of the Governor- rights and privileges as a citizen under the law; that the punishment imposed by said resolution is one created
General was pronounced legal; after the alleged grounds for suspension had occurred; that the punishment imposed is quasi-criminal; that no
(d) Borromeo vs. Mariano (41 Phil., 322), where the action of the Governor-General was pronounced punishment for his acts had been prescribed as is expressly provided under the substantive law of the Philippine
illegal. Islands; that the punishment provided for in said resolution of the 5th day of February, 1924, was ex post facto
Second. Acts of the Legislative Department of the Government — and is illegal and void under section 3 of the Organic Law, in that his acts were pronounced to be illegal by said
(a) Concepcion vs. Paredes (42 Phil., 599), where the act of the legislative department was resolution long after they had been committed; that the respondents were without authority of law to remove
pronounced illegal; him as a member of the Senate; that the Governor-General only has the authority to remove him; that the
(b) Kilbourn vs. Thompson (103 U. S., 168, 181, 199), where the act of the one branch of the alleged acts for which he has been suspended were not committed in or near the Senate chamber; that they in
Congress of the United States was held illegal. no way tended to or did interfere with the orderly procedure of the Senate and therefore cannot be regarded as
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
"disorderly behavior;" that the Senate has no right or authority to suspend or remove one of its members for If that is the law in the Philippines it sanctions a tyranny which has no existence in the monarchies of Europe nor
disorderly behavior unless and until such disorderly behavior tends to and does interfere with, hamper or impede in any other government which has a just claim to a well-regulated liberty and the protection of the personal
the legal and orderly procedure of the body; that while it requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate to expel its rights, privileges, life, and property of the individual.
elective members, he has been removed, contrary to law, by the Senate, when the Governor-General is the only
authority who can remove him; that if the Senate can remove him under the power to punish, then an appointive
member can be removed by a majority vote, while it requires a two-thirds majority vote to remove an elective Can it be said that the judicial department of the government can intervene in a petition for the writ of habeas
member; and, for all of the foregoing reasons, the petitioner and the people of his district have been deprived of corpus to relieve a citizen who has been imprisoned, illegally, and cannot take jurisdiction in proper proceedings
their rights, privileges, prerogatives, and emoluments by an actual act or resolution of the Senate, which is to consider the question whether or not he has been deprived of his property even though such deprivation has
contrary to law, and that he is entitled to have a pronouncement of his rights made by the courts and to be been brought about by an illegal act or resolution of the Legislature, or by an order of the executive department
restored to his rights, prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments of which he has been so illegally deprived. of the government? Here again we are of the opinion that the question contains its own answer to the average
citizen.

The Constitution of the Philippine Islands, the Organic Act (Jones Law) provides: "That no law shall be enacted
which deprives any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law, or deny to person therein the We cannot give our assent to the doctrine that the Senate or House of Representatives is the final judge of its
equal protection of the laws." That provision of law is equally binding upon each department of government. own powers and privileges, without restraint, especially in cases in which the rights, privileges, emoluments,
"Due process of law" cannot be used as a cloak for depriving a citizen of his rights when the procedure is based property, and liberties of a citizen are concerned. The legality of their action may always be examined and
upon a illegal or unconstitutional act or resolution. determined by the courts. Especially are the courts competent, and it is proper for them to consider whether the
proceedings of the legislative department of the government are in conformity with the laws and the
constitution of the land, because, living under a written constitution, no branch or department of the government
Under the American form of government, the executive, legislative, and judicial departments are coequal and is supreme; and it is not only the province, but the sworn duty, of the judicial department, to determine in cases
co-important. But it does not follow that the judiciary, the constitutional duty of which is to declare and interpret regularly brought before it, whether the powers of any branch of the government, even those of the legislature
the supreme law of the land, has not the power to declare a law or a resolution, passed by the legislature or in the enactment of laws or resolutions, have been exercised in conformity with the organic law of the land, if
either of its branches, unconstitutional. The will of the people, as expressed in their constitution, is the they have not, to treat such acts or resolutions as null and void.
paramount law and controls every and each department of the government. The judiciary, under its powers to
interpret the constitution and the laws, has the duty and the right to declare what the will of the people is, as
expressed in the fundamental law of the land. Hence, where the acts of the executive or legislative departments All of the foregoing arguments are intended to apply only to cases in which some action has been taken, which
violate the will of the people as expressed in the organic law of the land, it is the sworn duty of the judiciary to illegally deprives a citizen of his rights, privileges, prerogatives, and emoluments. Nothing herein is intended to
interpret and to declare that the will of the people and the right of a citizen has been violated and transgressed. modify in the slightest degree the decisions heretofore announced in the cases of Severino vs. Governor-General
and Provincial Board of Occidental Negros, Perfecto vs. Wood, and Abueva vs. Wood, above cited. In those cases
the courts were called upon to require one or both of the other two coordinate departments to act in a particular
While the imposition of a disciplinary measure by the legislature or either branch thereof upon one of its way upon questions which were specially confided to those departments, while in the present case the courts
members for an offense committed against its dignity may be regarded as a matter of internal concern only of are called upon to decide whether or not the action which the legislative department of the government has
that body, over which the other departments may not exercise jurisdiction by virtue of the separation taken is legal and in conformity with the powers conferred by the organic law of the land. A wide distinction must
established by the fundamental law, it does not follow that the legislature, in imposing disciplinary measure, has be made between requiring a particular act to be done and a pronouncement upon the legality of that act after it
not or may not overstep its own powers as limited or defined by the Organic Law. The legislative department of is performed. The courts will not require the legislative department of the government to adopt a particular law,
the government cannot, under the guise of a resolution imposing disciplinary measure, transgress the but they are authorized and empowered, and it is their sworn duty to pronounce a statute null and void after
constitution, and when it does, its acts cease to be a mere internal concern. Even the members of the legislature adoption if the same is found to be contrary to the provisions of the organic law of the land and beyond the
have their rights under the constitution. They have not lost the fundamental rights to their life, liberty, and powers of the legislative department. This doctrine is amply exemplified in the thousands of cases which have
privileges as citizens by becoming members of the legislative department of the government. been brought before the courts in petitions for habeas corpus where the petitioner alleged that he has been
imprisoned under an unconstitutional law and in many, many cases where men have been deprived of their
rights and property by an illegal and unconstitutional act adopted by the legislature. In the first class of cases
The argument of the respondents leads to the conclusion that under their power to punish they may impose any mentioned, the courts will never interfere in this jurisdiction to direct or coerce action, while in the second class
punishment which their wish, whim, prejudice, or caprice may dictate. That contention will hardly withstand the of cases the courts should always take jurisdiction for the purpose of determining and making pronouncements
scrutiny of modern civilization. upon the legality and constitutionality of acts actually taken.

The respondents defend upon the ground that they are absolutely immune from judicial inquiry; that the courts In view of the facts and the law, we are compelled to decide that we are justified, authorized, and, under our
have no power or authority to inquire into the acts of the executive or legislative branches of the government, oath of office, compelled to take jurisdiction of the petition for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not the
however clear it may be made to appear that such departments do not possess the power or authority petitioner has been deprived, illegally, of a right guaranteed to him under the Constitution and laws of the
exercised. The fact is evidently overlooked by them that the provision of the Jones Law above quoted is as Philippine Islands. In exercising the high authority conferred upon us to pronounce valid or invalid a particular
binding upon them as it is upon any department, bureau, or person in the government. The provisions of the resolution or statute of the legislature, we are only the administrators of the public will as expressed in the
Jones Law, for the security of the rights of the citizen, stand in the same connection and upon the same ground fundamental law of the land. If an act of the legislature is to be held illegal by the courts, it is not because the
as they do in regard to his liberty and his property. It cannot be denied that both were intended to be enforced judges have any control over the legislature, but because the particular statute or resolution is forbidden by the
by the judicial department of the government. As has been said, the writ of habeas corpus has been often used fundamental law of the land, and because the will of the people, as declared in such fundamental law, is
to defend the liberty of the citizen, and even his life, against the exercise of unlawful authority on the part of the paramount and must be obeyed by every citizen, even the Legislature. In pronouncing a statute or resolution
executive and legislative branches of the government. illegal, we are simply interpreting the meaning, force, and application of the fundamental law of the state. If a
particular resolution or statute of the legislature is within its constitutional power, it will be sustained, whether
the courts agree or not in the wisdom of its enactment. If the resolution or statute covers a subject not
No man, individual, department, bureau, or officer in the Philippine Islands, under the Jones Law, is so high that authorized by the fundamental law of the land, then the courts are not only authorized but are compelled and
he is above the law. No officer of the law may set that law at defiance with impunity. All officers of the justified in pronouncing the same illegal and void, no matter how wise or beneficient such resolution or statute
government, from the highest to the lowest, are creatures of the law, and are bound to obey it. The Philippine may seem to be. The courts will not measure their opinion with the opinion of the legislative department, as
Government is a government by law and not a government by the whim or caprice of any individual or expressed in the resolution or statute, upon the question of the wisdom, justice, and advisability of a particular
department. It (the law) is the only supreme power in our system of government; and every man who, by law, but the wisdom, justice, and advisability of a particular law must be tested by the provisions of the
accepting an office by appointment or election, participates in its function, is only the more strongly bound to fundamental law of the state. It is the sworn duty of the judicial department of the government to determine the
that supremacy (the law) and to observe the limitations which it imposes upon the exercise of the authority limits, under the law and the constitution, of the authority of both the executive and legislative departments.
which it (the law) gives. Courts of justice are established, not only to decide upon the controverted rights of the
citizens as against each other, but also upon rights and controversies between them and the government, and
the dockets of the courts are not without cases containing controversies of the latter class. THIRD. May the Supreme Court grant the remedy prayed for?

Shall it be said, in the face of the provisions of the Jones Law, and of the acknowledged right of the judicial In the Government of the Philippine Islands no man is so high that he is above the law. All the officers of the
department of the government to decide in proper cases, that statutes which have been passed by both government, from the highest to the lowest, are creatures of the law and are bound to obey it. It cannot be said,
branches of the Legislature and approved by the Governor-General are illegal and unconstitutional, and that said in view of the acknowledge right of the judicial department of the government to pass upon the constitutionality
department cannot give a remedy when the citizen has been deprived of his life or property without lawful of statutes or resolutions of the legislative department, that the courts cannot give a remedy to a citizen of the
authority and without due compensation, simply because the executive or legislative department has ordered it? state when he has been illegally deprived of his life, his property, or his liberty by force, or by virtue of an
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
unconstitutional act or resolution of the legislative department. A contrary conclusion would sanction a tyranny Before entering upon a more extended discussion of the issues in the case, it may be well to emphasize that
under the American flag, which has no existence even in the monarchies nor in any other government which has there is here no question as to the power of the Philippine Senate to punish its members for disorderly behavior.
a just claim to a stable government, a well-regulated liberty, and the protection of the personal rights of That is conceded. But I contend that the court may intervene to prevent the execution of the penalty imposed if
individuals. Every department, every officer of the government, and every individual, are equally bound by the such penalty transcends the domain of the Legislature and encroaches upon that of the Chief Executive in direct
mandatory provisions of the fundamental law. When a citizen under the American flag has been deprived of his violation of the Organic Act. I shall also maintain that the assertion in the majority opinion to the effect that this,
life, his liberty, or his property by an illegal statute or resolution, the official or department so depriving him in substance, is an action against the Senate as a body, is erroneous.
cannot say to the courts: "Stop here, for the reason that I (we) have acted as a representative of a different
department of the government."
The fundamental error into which the court has fallen is that it has failed to note the distinction between acts
within the province of a department and those outside thereof; it confuses entire absence of power with the
A pronouncement, by the highest tribunal of justice in the Philippine Islands, that the resolution is ultra vires, alleged improper exercise of legitimate powers. This distinction is obvious and very important. Where a power or
illegal, and void, we confidently believe, will be sufficient to cause an immediate revocation of the same, and the duty has been entrusted to the Chief Executive by the Organic Act, this court will not, under the rule laid down in
adoption of a further order to the effect that all persons affected by it will be restored to their rights. We are the case of Severino vs. Governor-General and Provincial Board of Occidental Negros (16 Phil., 366), attempt to
confident in that belief, because we cannot believe that the resolution was adopted out of a spirit of malice, control or direct the exercise by him of that power or duty; he is presumed to be the best judge of the time and
hatred, or revenge, but in the full belief that the law permitted it as a disciplinary measure. We cannot believe the manner of its exercise. For the same reason, the court will not undertake to direct the exercise of the
that the honorable senators who took part in its adoption intended to deprive any of the citizens of their county discretional powers of the legislative department within its legitimate sphere. But it must necessarily be
of the constitutional right. We are confident that the honorable senators recognize, as fully as the courts do, that otherwise where either department steps outside of its province and arrogates to itself any of the constitutional
the constitution is the supreme law of the land and is equally binding upon them as it is upon every citizen, high powers of the other. The doctrine of non-interference by the judiciary with the other departments of the
or low, and upon every branch, bureau, or department of the government. We are sure that the respondents will government rests primarily on the ground that each department is presumed to possess special qualifications
be among the very first to openly criticize and vigorously denounce any person, entity, or department within the and opportunities for the exercise of the powers entrusted to it by the constitution. It follows that the doctrine
Philippine Islands, who should be guilty of the slightest disregard or disobedience to the mandates of the does not apply to cases where a department goes beyond its legitimate sphere. This is, indeed, the first time any
constitution — the law of the people. court has ever held that in such cases there may be no judicial interference. (Bailey on Mandamus, p. 926.)

The majority opinion decides that the petitioner and the people whom he represents have been illegally That the court has overlooked this distinction is very apparent from the fact that in all of the cases cited in
deprived of their rights, but that he and they are without a remedy — damnum absque injuria. To that doctrine support of its conclusion, the acts complained of were within the province of the respondents and that in none of
we cannot give our assent. them is there any question of the encroachment by one department upon the domain of another. It is very true
that in some of the cases dicta are to be found which, taken by themselves alone and without reference to the
context, may, at first sight, lead to the inference that the separation of the various departments of the
The nightmare which runs through the majority opinion concerning the impossibility of the execution of a government is so complete that the courts, under no circumstances, will review any act of the Legislature or the
judgment, is hardly justified in a stable and well-organized government, among a people who love peace and Executive, irrespective of its character, but when the cases where such dicta occur are closely examined, this
good order, who despise disobedience to law and disloyalty to the constituted authorities. The history of the impression disappears and it becomes obvious that the dicta have no reference to acts of clear usurpation of
Filipino people shows that they love peace, good order, and will, with a spirit of alacrity, obey the law when they powers.
once understand what the law is. We rest in the confident faith that spirit still controls in the Philippine Islands.
The remedy prayed for should be granted in a modified form.
Five of the cases cited relate to judicial review of the exercise of the legislative powers. In the first of these
cases, Hiss vs. Bartlett ([1853], 69 Mass., 468), a habeas corpus proceeding, it was held that the House of
RESUME Representatives of Massachusetts had the implied power to expel a member and that the reasons for the
expulsion, and the question whether a member was duly heard before being expelled, could not be inquired into
by the courts.
1. The Organic Law (Jones Law) prohibits the removal of an appointive senator by the Legislature.
2. The said resolution has the effect of a removal of an appointive senator.
3. The resolution, therefore, is invalid, illegal, and void, according to the unanimous opinion of the court. French vs. Senate ([1905], 146 Cal., 604), was a proceeding in mandamus. The Constitution of the State of
California expressly gives either house of the Legislature authority to expel members by a two-thirds majority
4. The legislative power and procedure of the Senate must be exercised in conformity with the Organic Law.
vote. The petitioners had been so expelled from the Senate but alleged that it had been done without due
5. The courts have jurisdiction to inquire into the legality or constitutionality of a law or resolution of the process of law and therefore asked that the Senate be compelled to again admit them as members. The court
legislative department, whenever a citizen alleges that he has been deprived of his rights under such law or denied the writ holding that the judicial department had no power "to revise even the most arbitrary and unfair
resolution. action of the legislative department, or of either house thereof, taken in pursuance of the power committed
6. The courts of the Philippine Islands have jurisdiction to determine the constitutionality of acts or resolutions or exclusively to that department by the Constitution."
procedure of the Senate.
7. The petition and demurrer present the question of the constitutionality of said resolution, as well as the
State vs. Bolte ([1899], 151 Mo., 362), was a suit for a writ of mandamus to compel the presiding officer and the
constitutional power of the Senate to adopt it.
secretary of the State Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives and its chief clerk, to take the
8. The Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands, having jurisdiction, its decree or order should afford relief from necessary steps to complete the enactment of a certain bill, it being alleged that it had already passed both
the effect of said illegal resolution. houses by a majority vote. The petition was resisted on the ground that the presiding officer of the Senate had
Therefore, the enforcement of the said illegal and void resolution should be enjoined. ruled that the bill did not pass the Senate and that the court had no jurisdiction to review the ruling. The court
OSTRAND, J., dissenting: held that the duty the performance of which it was sought to enforce was one strictly within the line of the duties
of the presiding officer of the Senate and was not merely ministerial. The writ was therefore denied.

With much of what is said in the majority opinion I am in entire accord. I agree that the Senate in suspending the
petitioner, declaring his pay forfeited and depriving his senatorial district of the representation granted by the The case of Ex-parte Echols ({[1886], 89 Ala., 698), was a petition by one of the members of the State
Organic Act, exceeds its powers and jurisdiction. I also concede that the courts will not, by mandamus or other Legislature for a writ of mandamus to the Speaker of the House of Representatives to compel him to send a
writs, attempt to control the exercise by the other departments of the government of discretional or executive certain bill to the Senate. The Speaker ruled that the bill had not passed the house with the requisite majority of
powers or duties conferred upon them by the constitution or by constitutional statutes. I further concede that the votes and therefore refused to certify it to the Senate. The petition was denied, the court stating that it would
courts will not interfere with acts of another department when such acts are of a purely political and non- not "interfere with either of the coordinate departments of the government in the legitimate exercise of their
justiciable character. jurisdiction and powers."

But when the court holds, as it in effects does in this case, that because the respondents are members of officers There is, as far as I can see, absolutely nothing in these cases which can have any direct bearing on the present
of another department the courts have no power to restrain or prohibit them from carrying into effect an case. In two of them the question before the court was the alleged abuse of constitutional powers resting in the
unconstitutional and therefore void act of that department, an act wholly outside of its province, and which Legislature; the other three were actions to compel the performance of duties entrusted by law to the
deprives a citizen of rights and privileges to which he, by law, is entitled, I find myself unable to follow its Legislature or its officers and which were not merely ministerial. In all of them the Legislature operated within its
reasoning or to yield my assent to its conclusions. own domain.
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
The other cases cited to the same point in the majority opinion are actions directed against chief executives. The officer, that it is so because this superior judgment, discretion, and sense of responsibility were
two most favorable to the majority of the court are Mississippi vs. Johnson and Ord (4 Wall., 475) and Sutherland confided in for a more accurate, faithful, and discreet performance than could be relied upon if the
vs. Governor (29 Mich., 320). The facts of the first case are stated in the majority opinion and need not be duty were devolved upon an officer chosen for inferior duties. And if we concede that cases may be
restated here. But the portions quoted from the decision in that case should be read in connection with the pointed out in which it is manifest that the governor is left to no discretion, the present is certainly
following quotation from the same decision, which I think forms its real basis: not among them, for here, by law, he is required to judge, on a personal inspection of the work, and
must give his certificate on his own judgment, and not on that of any other person, officer, or
department.
The single point which requires consideration is this: Can the President be restrained by injunction
from carrying into effect an Act of Congress alleged to be unconstitutional?
We are not disposed, however, in the present case, to attempt on any grounds to distinguish it from
other cases of executive duty with a view to lay down a narrow rule which, while disposing of this
It is assumed by the counsel of the State of Mississippi, that the President, in the execution of the motion, may leave the grave question it presents to be presented again and again in other cases
Reconstruction Acts, is required to perform a mere ministerial duty. In this assumption there is, we which the ingenuity of counsel may be able to distinguish in some minor particulars from the one
think, a confounding of the terms `ministerial' and `executive,' which are by no means equivalent in before us. If a broad general principle underlies all these cases, and requires the same decision in all,
import. it would scarcely be respectful to the governor, or consistent with our own sense of duty, that we
should seek to avoid its application and strive to decide each in succession upon some narrow and
perhaps technical point peculiar to the special case, if such might be discovered.
A ministerial duty, the performance of which may, in proper cases, be required of the head of the
department, by judicial process, is one in respect to which nothing is left to discretion. It is a simple,
definite duty, arising under conditions admitted or proved to exist, and imposed by law. And that there is such a broad general principle seems to us very plain. Our government is one
whose powers have been carefully apportioned among three distinct departments, which emanate
alike from the people, have their powers alike limited and defined by the constitution, are of equal
xxx xxx xxx dignity, and within their respective spheres of action equally independent. One makes the laws,
another applies the laws in contested cases, while the other must see that the laws are executed.
This division is accepted as a necessity in all free governments, and the very apportionment of
Very different is the duty of the President in the exercise of the power to see that the laws are power to one department is understood to be a prohibition of its exercise by either of the others. The
faithfully executed, and among these laws the Acts named in the bill. By the first of these Acts he is executive is forbidden to exercise judicial power by the same implication which forbids the courts to
required to assign generals to command in the several military districts, and to detail sufficient take upon themselves his duties.
military force to enable such officers to discharge their duties under the law. By the supplementary
Act, other duties are imposed on the several commanding generals, and these duties must
necessarily be performed under the supervision of the President as Commander-in-Chief. The duty It is true that neither of the departments can operate in all respects independently of the others, and
thus imposed on the President is in no just sense ministerial. It is purely executive and political. that what are called the checks and balances of government constitute each a restraint upon the
rest. The legislature prescribes rules of action for the courts, and in many particulars may increase or
diminish their jurisdiction; it also, in many cases, may prescribe rules for executive action, and
Considering the language here quoted, it is difficult to regard the first paragraph of the quotation from the same impose duties upon, or take powers from the governor; while in turn the governor may veto
decision in the majority opinion as anything but dictum. In any event, if it is to be taken as authority for the legislative acts, and the courts may declare them void where they conflict with the constitution,
proposition that the United States Supreme Court may prevent officers or members of Congress from carrying notwithstanding, after having been passed by the legislature, they have received the governor's
into effect an unconstitutional resolution, it is definitely overruled by the decision in the case of Kilbourn vs. approval. But in each of these cases the action of the department which controls, modifies, or in any
Thompson (103 U. S., 168), in which the court held that an action would lie against the Speaker and other manner influences that of another, is had strictly within its own sphere, and for that reason gives no
officers of the House of Representatives of Congress for attempting to carry into effect an unconstitutional occasion for conflict, controversy, or jealousy. The legislature in prescribing rules for the courts, is
resolution of the house committing Kilbourn to prison for contempt. The court further held that "the House of acting within its proper province in making laws, while the courts, in declining to enforce an
Representatives (of Congress) is not the final judge of its own power and privileges in cases in which the rights unconstitutional law, are in like manner acting within their proper province, because they are only
and liberties of the subject are concerned, but the legality of its action may be examined and determined by this applying that which is law to the controversies in which they are called upon to give judgment. It is
court." mainly by means of these checks and balances that the officers of the several departments are kept
within their jurisdiction, and if they are disregarded in any case, and power is usurped or abused, the
remedy is by impeachment, and not by another department of the government attempting to correct
The case of Sutherland vs. Governor, supra, is the leading case in favor of the view that all official acts of the the wrong by asserting a superior authority over that which by the constitution is its equal.
chief executive of a State are executive as distinguished from ministerial and therefore not subject to judicial
review. The case represents the extreme limit to which courts have gone in that direction and its soundness has
been questioned by most authorities on the subject, but because of the high reputation of the writer of the It has long been a maxim in this country that the legislature cannot dictate to the courts what their
decision, Judge Cooley, it is, nevertheless, entitled to consideration. judgments shall be, or set aside or alter such judgments after they have been rendered. If it could,
constitutional liberty would cease to exist; and if the legislature could in like manner override
executive action also, the government would become only a despotism under popular forms. On the
The case was a petition for a writ of mandamus to compel the Governor of Michigan to issue a certificate of the other hand it would be readily conceded that no court can compel the legislature to make or to
completion of the construction of the Portage Lake and Lake Superior Ship Canal. The statutes required the refrain from making laws, or to meet or adjourn at its command, or to take any action whatsoever,
governor to issue the certificate when he should be satisfied that the work had been done in conformity with the though the duty to take it be made ever so clear by the constitution or the laws. In these cases the
law. The duty devolving upon the governor was therefore clearly discretional and this was recognized by the exemption of the one department from the control of the other is not only implied in the framework
court, but Judge Cooley preferred to plant the decision on additional and broader grounds, which may best be of government, but is indispensably necessary in any useful apportionment of power is to exist.
stated in the language of the court:

In view of the fact that the duty to be performed was discretional and therefore, by the concensus of judicial
. . . There is no very clear and palpable line of distinction between those duties of the governor which opinion, not subject to judicial review, the extensive discussion of other grounds for the decision lays it open to
are political and those which are to be considered ministerial merely; and if we should undertake to the same criticism as that frequently voiced in regard to Chief Justice Marshall's dissertation in the case of
draw one, and to declare that in all cases falling on one side the line the governor was subject to Murbury vs. Madison (1 Cranch, 137); namely, that it was unnecessary to the decision of the case and therefore
judicial process, and in all falling on the other he was independent of it, we should open the doors to in the nature of obiter dicta. It may also be noted that the courts of last resort in the States of Alabama,
an endless train of litigation, and the cases would be numerous in which neither the governor nor the California, Colorado, Kansas, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Wyoming have
parties would be able to determine whether his conclusion was, under the law, to be final, and the allowed writs of mandamus to the governors of their States for the performance of ministerial duties, without
courts would be appealed to by every dissatisfied party to subject a coordinate department of the bringing about any of the serious consequences predicted in Sutherland vs. Governor, supra. These States seem
government to their jurisdiction. However desirable a power in the judiciary to interfere in such cases to have fared fully as well as the States of Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan,
might seem from the standpoint of interested parties, it is manifest that harmony of action between Minnesotta, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, and Texas which, together with the
the executive and judicial departments would be directly threatened, and that the exercise of such Philippine Islands, have adopted the opposite view.
power could only be justified on most imperative reasons. Moreover, it is not customary in our
republican government to confer upon the governor duties merely ministerial, and in the
performance of which he is to be left to no discretion whatever; and the presumption in all cases But taking the decision in Sutherland vs. Governor, supra, at its full face value, I am unable to see that it is
must be, where a duty is devolved upon the chief executive of the State rather than upon an inferior determinative of the present case. I readily concede that under the decisions of this court all acts of the chief
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
executive within the limits of his jurisdiction are executive acts involving a measure of discretion and may not be denied the petition on the same grounds as those stated in the Severino case. Three justices concurred in the
reviewed by the courts. It may also be conceded that no court can compel the legislature as such to make or result on the ground that the case had then become a moot case.
refrain from making laws, or to meet or adjourn at its command, or "to take any action whatsoever though the
duty to take it be made ever so clear by the constitution or the laws." But that does not mean that the courts
may not restrain officers and individual members of the legislature from carrying into effect an unconstitutional The doctrine laid down in Forbes vs. Chuoco Tiaco and Crossfield, supra, was followed in the case of In re
resolution transcending the limits of the legislative department and encroaching upon another. If that is beyond McCulloch Dick.
the power of the courts, what will then become of the checks and balances of which Judge Cooley speaks and
which are regarded fully as essential a feature of our system of government as that of departmental distribution
of powers? The case of Abueva vs. Wood (45 Phil., 612), was a petition for a writ of mandamus to compel the Governor-
General, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Insular Auditor, the
Executive Secretary of the Independence Committee and the Secretary of the same Committee to permit the
Time forbids a full discussion of other decisions of courts in the United States which adhere to the doctrine that petitioners to examine all vouchers and documents in connection with disbursements and payments made from
the judiciary will not interfere with the acts of the chief executive within the limits of his jurisdiction. It is the fund of the Independent Commission. The petition was denied, the court stating:
sufficient to say that they all relate to acts within the domain of the executive and that none of them has any
direct application to the present case.
. . . It may be asserted as a principle founded upon the clearest legal reasoning that the legislature
or legislative officers, in so far as concerns their purely legislative functions, are beyond the control
But we are given to understand that by reason of its own previous decisions this court stands committed to the of the courts by the writ of mandamus. The legislative department, being a coordinate and
doctrine that it has no power to interfere with any act of the other coordinate departments of the government independent branch of the government, its action within its own sphere cannot be revised or
whether they transcend the limits of their jurisdiction or not. controlled by mandamus by the judicial department, without a gross usurpation of power upon the
part of the latter. When the legislative department of the government imposes upon its officers the
performance of certain duties which are not prohibited by the organic law of the land, the
A brief analysis of the decisions of this court upon the subject will show that this is a misapprehension. performance, the nonperformance, or the manner of the performance is under the direct control of
the legislature, and such officers are not subject to the direction of the courts. . . .

The first of these decisions is that in the case of Barcelon vs. Baker and Thompson (5 Phil., 87), a petition for a
writ of habeas corpus. Section 5 of the Act of Congress of July 1, 1902, conferred on the Governor-General the The case of Concepcion vs. Paredes (42 Phil., 599), was a petition for a writ of prohibition commanding the
power to suspend the writ whenever the public safety might require it in cases of rebellion, insurrection, or respondent Secretary of Justice to desist from carrying into effect the provisions of Act No. 2941 requiring the
invasion, and the case involved the question as to whether the courts may inquire into the legality of an order of Judges of the Courts of First Instance to draw lots every five years for exchange of districts. The court held that
the Governor-General suspending the privilege of the writ. The court held that "whenever a statute gives the Act constituted an encroachment by the Legislature upon the Governor-General's power of appointment and
discretionary power to a person to be exercised by him upon his own opinion on certain facts, such statute was therefore unconstitutional. The writ was granted.
constitutes him the sole and exclusive judge of the existence of those facts;" and that when the Governor-
General, "with the approval of the Philippine Commission declares that a state of rebellion, insurrection, or
invasion exists, this declaration or conclusion is conclusive against the judicial department of the government." What is there in these cases which can serve as authority for the theory that the courts may not interfere with
The writ was therefore denied. the execution of acts beyond the jurisdiction of the department sought to be restrained? Absolutely nothing. The
rather broad dictum in the case of Severino vs. Governor-General and Provincial Board of Occidental Negros,
supra, that the courts of the Philippine Islands have no jurisdiction to interfere with the head of the executive
The leading case of Severino vs. Governor-General and Provincial Board of Occidental Negros (16 Phil., 366), was department in the performance of any of his official acts, must be considered in connection with the context and
a petition for a writ of mandamus to compel the Governor-General to call a special election for the purpose of is clearly limited to acts within the limits of his jurisdiction.
electing a municipal president of the town of Silay, Occidental Negros, and to restrain the provincial board of
Occidental Negros from appointing a municipal president during the pendency of the action. By statute, the duty
of calling a special election devolves upon the Governor-General and the principal question presented for In Abueva vs. Wood, supra, the doctrine of noninterference with the Legislature is carefully limited to "actions
consideration was whether the court had power to compel the Governor-General to immediately perform such within its own sphere" and "duties not prohibited by the organic law of the land."
duty. The court denied the writ holding that "where a duty is devolved upon the Governor-General of the
Philippine Islands, rather that upon an inferior officer, it will be presumed to have been done because his
superior judgment, discretion, and sense of responsibility were confined in for a more accurate, faithful, and In the present case we are not dealing with an act of political and nonjusticiable character, nor is there a
discreet performance than could be relied upon if the duty were put upon an officer chosen for inferior duties," question of interference with the exercise of discretionary powers of duties resting in the Legislature under the
and that the court would not undertake to direct or control the exercise of such duty. Incidentally, the court also Organic Act. We are simply called upon to prevent the carrying into effect of unconstitutional and therefore, in a
stated that "the powers, duties, and responsibilities of the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands are far legal sense, nonexistent parts of a resolution of one of the branches of the Legislature which, if executed, will
more comprehensive than those of State governors of the United States;" and laid down the rule that "the courts result in an encroachment upon the domain of another department and deprive the petitioner of rights and
of the Philippine Islands have no jurisdiction to interfere, by means of a writ of mandamus or injunction, with the privileges to which he is by law entitled. There is no question as to the power of the Senate to punish its
Governor-General as the head of the executive department in the performance of any of his official acts." members for disorderly behavior, but it must be insisted that the penalty shall not constitute a usurpation of the
powers of another department of the government in violation of the Organic Act. It is agreed that as long as the
penalty does not expressly or impliedly violate that Act, the courts will not interfere.
In the case of Forbes vs. Chuoco Tiaco and Crossfield (16 Phil., 534), the facts may be briefly stated as follows:

That the resolution is unconstitutional and void cannot be seriously questioned and is conceded in the majority
The Governor-General deported certain Chinese persons from Manila to Amoy, China. The deportees opinion, but in order to bring the issue into clear relief, it may be well to briefly state the reasons why it must be
subsequently returned to Manila and brought an action in the Court of First Instance against the Governor- so held:
General and certain police officials for damages, alleging that the deportation was unlawful. The defendants
thereupon filed a petition in this court for a writ of prohibition commanding the Judge of the Court of First
Instance to refrain from assuming jurisdiction in the case brought by the deportees, the petitioners alleging that The Senate exercises delegated powers, all of which are derived from the Organic Act. That Act provides for
"the power to deport foreign subjects of the Chinese Empire is a privative one of the Governor-General and is not twenty-two senators to be elected by the people and for two other senators to be appointed by the Governor-
subject to judicial review." This court granted the writ holding that "the Governor-General, acting in his political General. In the language of the Act, the appointive senators "shall hold office until removed by the Governor-
and executive capacity, is invested with plenary power to deport obnoxious aliens whose continued presence in General." The Act further provides that "The Senate and House of Representatives, respectively, shall be the sole
the territory is found by him to be injurious to the public interest, and in the absence of express or prescribed judges of the elections, returns and qualifications of their elective member." It will be observed that no power to
rules as to the method of deporting or expelling them, he may use such methods as his official judgment and expel or remove appointive members is conferred on the houses of the Legislature, nor can such power be
good conscience may dictate;" that he could not be held liable in damages for the exercise of such power and inferred or implied from the statute, in view of the fact that it is expressly placed in the hands of the Governor-
that the courts would not interfere. General. The Act does not limit or qualify the term "remove" and it therefore includes both temporary and
permanent removals.

Case R. G. No. 20867, Perfecto vs. Wood (not published in the reports) involved exactly the same principles as
Severino vs. Governor-General and Provincial Board of Occidental Negros, supra, except that the special election An examination of the Senate resolution in question shows that in effect it provides for a complete temporary
was to be called for the purpose of filing a vacancy in the Senate. The majority decision, signed by four justices, removal of the petitioner. It does not merely exclude him from the floor of the Senate Chamber, but he is also
"deprived of all his prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments as such senator," for the period of one year. As far
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
as he is concerned, his removal from office for that period could not be made more complete. In attempting to The decision of the court in the present case enjoys the distinction of being without a precedent and of resting
exercise the power of such removal, the Senate clearly arrogated to itself powers which it does not possess and on no sound legal prejudice of which I am aware. The arguments advanced in its support are excuses and not
which, under the Organic Act, rest in the Chief Executive. Its resolution to that effect is consequent reasons. If carried to its logical conclusion, it may have far-reaching and serious consequences. If one branch of
unconstitutional and void. As is the case with an unconstitutional statute, it has, in the eyes of the law, never the government may with impunity, and with freedom from judicial intervention, freely usurp the powers of
existed. another branch, it may eventually lead either to anarchy or to tyranny. A wrong has been committed for which
there is no other remedy but that there sought by the petitioner, yet the court refuses to take jurisdiction on the
strength of alleged precedents which, as we have seen, in reality have no bearing whatever upon the issues of
We are therefore confronted with the facts that the petitioner is a duly appointed senate; that he, as a matter of the case. It is hardly necessary to say that when men are deliberately denied redress for wrongs, the temptation
law, is not and never has been removed or suspended from office; that he, therefore, as such senate always has is strong for them to take the law into their own hands and there is perhaps no more fruitful source of popular
been, and still is, entitled to all the prerogative, privileges, and emoluments of his office; and that, nevertheless, unrest and disturbance.
certain officers and members of the Senate, without any legal authority whatever, deprive him of such
prerogatives, privileges, and emoluments, including his salary. The Senate has nothing to do with the
appointment of an appointive senator and is not, as in the case of elective members, the judge of his I regret to see the decision find a place in our jurisprudence and can only hope that it will not be followed by this
qualifications; when duly appointed, the officers of the Senate are legally bound to recognize him as a senator; court in the future.
they have no discretion in the matter and their duties in regard thereto are purely ministerial.

The demurrer to the petition should be overruled.


In the circumstances, upon what legal principles is this court precluded from granting the petitioner the relief he
demands? Why cannot, for instance, members of the Committee on Accounts and the Paymaster of the Senate
be directed to cause to be paid to the petitioner the salary fixed by law? Footnotes

1
Other courts have not hesitated to use the writ of mandamus to compel performance of similar duties by officers Promulgated January 25, 1924, not reported.
of the legislature. In Ex parte Pickett (24 Ala., 91), the writ was issued to the Speaker of the House of
Representatives to compel him to certify to the Comptroller of Public Accounts the amount to which the
petitioner was entitled as a member of the House for mileage and per diem compensation. In State vs. Elder (31
Neb., 169), the writ was issued to compel the Speaker to open and publish returns of the general election. In
State vs. Moffitt (5 Ohio, 350), mandamus was held to lie to the Speaker of the House to compel him to certify
the election and appointment of officers. In Wolfe vs. McCaull (76 Va., 87), the writ was issued to compel the
Keeper of the Rolls of the House of Delegates to print and publish a bill passed by the Legislature and upon
request to furnish a copy thereof properly certified. (See also Kilbourn vs. Thompson, 103 U. S., 168; State vs.
Gilchrist, 64 Fla., 41; People vs. Marton, 156 N. Y., 136.) As stated as the outset, it is erroneously asserted in the
majority opinion that this action is, in substance, a suit against the Senate as a body. This might be true if the
act complained of was an act within the jurisdiction of the Senate, but such is not the case here. A practical
illustration may, perhaps, make the point clear. Let us suppose that a majority of the members of the Senate
should agree to commit a crime against another member and should pass a senatorial resolution to that effect.
Would that, in anything but form, constitute a senatorial act? And suppose the same members should proceed to
carry the resolution into effect, would not an action lie against such members and could that, in substance, be
regarded as an action against the Senate? The questions answer themselves, and though in the present case the
illegal act does not constitute a crime, the analogy is, nevertheless obvious; the distinction is one without a
difference. As has already been pointed out, the United States Supreme Court has held that an action may, at
the instances of the injured party, be maintained against the presiding officer, as well as other officers, of one of
the houses of Congress for the execution of an unconstitutional resolution. In the same case it is also intimated
that the action will lie against all members who take direct part in the execution of such a resolution. (Kilbourn
vs. Thompson, supra.)

It may further be noted that though the prayer in the petition in this case does not expressly so state, the body
of the petition shows sufficiently that the remedy to be applied may not be the same in regard to all of the
defendants. The allegations seem broad enough to cover both mandamus and prohibition and the petition is not
demurred to on that ground. It is also possible that if evidence were permitted some of the defendants might be
absolved from the complaint.

It has been suggested that to entertain an action against a coordinate department of the government would be
an unwarranted assertion of superiority on our part. I fail to see the validity of this observation. This is not a
question of departmental superiority or inferiority. This court asserts no superiority for itself; it only maintains
the superiority of the law to which all of us must yield obedience. The pronouncements of the court are simply
the voice of the law as understood by the court and are not personal matters. Even if this action were brought
against a coordinate department as a body — which it is not — the court would still be in duty bound to apply
the law of the land to the case and do its best to enforce that law irrespective of the rank or importance of the
parties.

In the course of the argument of the case it was intimated that if the writ prayed for were issued its enforcement
might be the cause of disturbance and strife. The suggestion is almost an insult to the intelligence and
patriotism of the defendants and I feel sure that the fear thus expressed is entirely without foundation. At least
there has been no trouble of that kind in other jurisdictions where writs have issued to officers or members of
the legislature. If courts perform their duties with firmless, rectitude and moderation, regardless of personal or
political considerations, their decisions will be respected and their orders and writs generally obeyed. It is usually Republic of the Philippines
when courts fail in these respects, and thus prove unfaithful to their trust, that their orders are disregarded and SUPREME COURT
trouble ensues. Manila
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
EN BANC In support of his request, Congressman Osmeña alleged; first, the Resolution violated his constitutional absolute
parliamentary immunity for speeches delivered in the House; second, his words constituted no actionable
conduct; and third, after his allegedly objectionable speech and words, the House took up other business, and
G.R. No. L-17144 October 28, 1960 Rule XVII, sec. 7 of the Rules of House provides that if other business has intervened after the member had
uttered obnoxious words in debate, he shall not be held to answer therefor nor be subject to censure by the
House.
SERGIO OSMEÑA, JR., petitioner,
vs.
SALIPADA K. PENDATUN, LEON Z. GUINTO, JR., VICENTE L. PERALTA, FAUSTINO TOBIA, LORENZO G. Although some members of the court expressed doubts of petitioner's cause of action and the Court's
TEVES, JOPSE J. ROY, FAUSTINO DUGENIO, ANTONIO Y. DE PIO, BENJAMIN T. LIGOT, PEDRO G. jurisdiction, the majority decided to hear the matter further, and required respondents to answer, without issuing
TRONO, FELIPE ABRIGO, FELIPE S. ABELEDA, TECLA SAN ANDRES ZIGA, ANGEL B. FERNADEZ, and any preliminary injunction. Evidently aware of such circumstance with its implications, and pressed for time in
EUGENIO S. BALTAO, in their capacity as members of the Special Committee created by House view of the imminent adjournment of the legislative session, the special committee continued to perform its talk,
Resolution No. 59, respondents. and after giving Congressman Osmeña a chance to defend himself, submitted its reports on July 18, 1960,
finding said congressman guilty of serious disorderly behaviour; and acting on such report, the House approved
on the same day—before closing its session—House Resolution No. 175, declaring him guilty as recommended,
Antonio Y. de Pio in his own behalf. and suspending him from office for fifteen months.
F. S. Abeleda, A. b. Fernandez. E. S. Baltao and Tecla San Andres Ziga in their own behalf.
C. T. Villareal and R. D. Bagatsing as amici curiae.
Thereafter, on July 19, 1960, the respondents (with the exception of Congressmen De Pio, Abeleda, San Andres
Ziga, Fernandez and Balatao)1 filed their answer, challenged the jurisdiction of this Court to entertain the
BENGZON, J.: petition, defended the power of Congress to discipline its members with suspension, upheld a House Resolution
No. 175 and then invited attention to the fact that Congress having ended its session on July 18, 1960, the
Committee—whose members are the sole respondents—had thereby ceased to exist.
On July 14, 1960, Congressman Sergio Osmeña, Jr., submitted to this Court a verified petition for "declaratory
relief, certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction" against Congressman Salapida K. Pendatun and
fourteen other congressmen in their capacity as members of the Special Committee created by House Resolution There is no question that Congressman Osmeña, in a privilege speech delivered before the House, made the
No. 59. He asked for annulment of such Resolution on the ground of infringenment of his parliamentary serious imputations of bribery against the President which are quoted in Resolution No. 59 and that he refused to
immunity; he also asked, principally, that said members of the special committee be enjoined from proceeding in produce before the House Committee created for the purpose, evidence to substantiate such imputations. There
accordance with it, particularly the portion authorizing them to require him to substantiate his charges against is also no question that for having made the imputations and for failing to produce evidence in support thereof,
the President with the admonition that if he failed to do so, he must show cause why the House should not he was, by resolution of the House, suspended from office for a period of fifteen months for serious disorderly
punish him. behaviour.

The petition attached a copy of House Resolution No. 59, the pertinent portions of which reads as follows: Resolution No. 175 states in part:

WHEREAS, on the 23rd day of June, 1960 , the Honorable Sergio Osmeña, Jr., Member of the House WHEREAS, the Special Committee created under and by virtue of Resolution No. 59, adopted on July
of Representatives from the Second District of the province of Cebu, took the floor of this chamber 8, 1960, found Representative Sergio Osmeña, Jr., guilty of serious disorderly behaviour for making
on the one hour privilege to deliver a speech, entitled 'A Message to Garcia; without basis in truth and in fact, scurrilous, malicious, reckless and irresponsible charges against
the President of the Philippines in his privilege speech of June 23, 1960; and

WHEREAS, in the course of said speech, the Congressman from the Second District of Cebu stated
the following:. WHEREAS, the said charges are so vile in character that they affronted and degraded the dignity of
the House of Representative: Now, Therefore, be it

xxx xxx xxx


RESOLVED by the House of Representatives. That Representative Sergio Osmeña, Jr., be, as he
hereby is, declared guilty of serious disorderly behaviour; and . . .
The people, Mr. President, have been hearing of ugly reports that under your unpopular
administration the free things they used to get from the government are now for sale at premium
prices. They say that even pardons are for sale, and that regardless of the gravity or seriousness of a As previously stated, Osmeña contended in his petition that: (1) the Constitution gave him complete
criminal case, the culprit can always be bailed out forever from jail as long as he can come across parliamentary immunity, and so, for words spoken in the House, he ought not to be questioned; (20 that his
with a handsome dole. I am afraid, such an anomalous situation would reflect badly on the kind of speech constituted no disorderly behaviour for which he could be punished; and (3) supposing he could be
justice that your administration is dispensing. . . . . questioned and discipline therefor, the House had lost the power to do so because it had taken up other business
before approving House Resolution No. 59. Now, he takes the additional position (4) that the House has no
power, under the Constitution, to suspend one of its members.
WHEREAS, the charges of the gentleman from the Second District of Cebu, if made maliciously or
recklessly and without basis in truth and in fact, would constitute a serious assault upon the dignity
and prestige of the Office of 37 3 the President, which is the one visible symbol of the sovereignty of Section 15, Article VI of our Constitution provides that "for any speech or debate" in Congress, the Senators or
the Filipino people, and would expose said office to contempt and disrepute; . . . . Members of the House of Representative "shall not be questioned in any other place." This section was taken or
is a copy of sec. 6, clause 1 of Art. 1 of the Constitution of the United States. In that country, the provision has
always been understood to mean that although exempt from prosecution or civil actions for their words uttered
Resolved by the House of Representative, that a special committee of fifteen Members to be in Congress, the members of Congress may, nevertheless, be questioned in Congress itself. Observe that "they
appointed by the Speaker be, and the same hereby is, created to investigate the truth of the charges shall not be questioned in any other place" than Congress.
against the President of the Philippines made by Honorable Sergio Osmeña, Jr., in his privilege
speech of June 223, 1960, and for such purpose it is authorized to summon Honorable Sergio
Osmeña, jr., to appear before it to substantiate his charges, as well as to issue subpoena and/or Furthermore, the Rules of the House which petitioner himself has invoked (Rule XVII, sec. 7), recognize the
subpoena duces tecum to require the attendance of witnesses and/or the production of pertinent House's power to hold a member responsible "for words spoken in debate."
papers before it, and if Honorable Sergio Osmeña, Jr., fails to do so to require him to show cause why
he should not be punished by the House. The special committee shall submit to the House a report
of its findings and recommendations before the adjournment of the present special session of the Our Constitution enshrines parliamentary immunity which is a fundamental privilege cherished in every
Congress of the Philippines. legislative assembly of the democratic world. As old as the English Parliament, its purpose "is to enable and
encourage a representative of the public to discharge his public trust with firmness and success" for "it is
indispensably necessary that he should enjoy the fullest liberty of speech, and that he should be protected from
the resentment of every one, however powerful, to whom exercise of that liberty may occasion offense."2 Such
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
immunity has come to this country from the practices of Parliamentary as construed and applied by the Court, demands in such situation a prudent refusal to interfere. Each department, it has been said, had exclusive
Congress of the United States. Its extent and application remain no longer in doubt in so far as related to the cognizance of matters within its jurisdiction and is supreme within its own sphere. (Angara vs. Electoral
question before us. It guarantees the legislator complete freedom of expression without fear of being made Commission, 63 Phil., 139.)
responsible in criminal or civil actions before the courts or any other forum outside of the Congressional Hall. But
is does not protect him from responsibility before the legislative body itself whenever his words and conduct are
considered by the latter disorderly or unbecoming a member thereof. In the United States Congress, SEC. 200. Judicial Interference with Legislature. — The principle is well established that the courts
Congressman Fernando Wood of New York was censured for using the following language on the floor of the will not assume a jurisdiction in any case amount to an interference by the judicial department with
House: "A monstrosity, a measure the most infamous of the many infamous acts of the infamous Congress." the legislature since each department is equally independent within the power conferred upon it by
(Hinds' Precedents, Vol. 2,. pp. 798-799). Two other congressmen were censured for employing insulting words the Constitution. . . . .
during debate. (2 Hinds' Precedents, 799-801). In one case, a member of Congress was summoned to testify on
a statement made by him in debate, but invoked his parliamentary privilege. The Committee rejected his plea.
(3 Hinds' Precedents 123-124.) The general rule has been applied in other cases to cause the courts to refuse to intervene in what
are exclusively legislative functions. Thus, where the stated Senate is given the power to example a
member, the court will not review its action or revise even a most arbitrary or unfair decision. (11
For unparliamentary conduct, members of Parliament or of Congress have been, or could be censured, Am. Jur., Const. Law, sec. p. 902.) [Emphasis Ours.].
committed to prison3, even expelled by the votes of their colleagues. The appendix to this decision amply attest
to the consensus of informed opinion regarding the practice and the traditional power of legislative assemblies
to take disciplinary action against its members, including imprisonment, suspension or expulsion. It mentions The above statement of American law merely abridged the landmark case of Clifford vs. French.7 In 1905,
one instance of suspension of a legislator in a foreign country. several senators who had been expelled by the State Senate of California for having taken a bribe, filed
mandamus proceeding to compel reinstatement, alleging the Senate had given them no hearing, nor a chance to
make defense, besides falsity of the charges of bribery. The Supreme Court of California declined to interfere ,
And to cite a local illustration, the Philippine Senate, in April 1949, suspended a senator for one year. explaining in orthodox juristic language:

Needless to add, the Rules of Philippine House of Representatives provide that the parliamentary practices of the Under our form of government, the judicial department has no power to revise even the most
Congress of the United States shall apply in a supplementary manner to its proceedings. arbitrary and unfair action of the legislative department, or of either house thereof, taking in
pursuance of the power committed exclusively to that department by the Constitution. It has been
held by high authority that, even in the absence of an express provision conferring the power, every
This brings up the third point of petitioner: the House may no longer take action against me, he argues, because legislative body in which is vested the general legislative power of the state has the implied power
after my speech, and before approving Resolution No. 59, it had taken up other business. Respondents answer to expel a member for any cause which it may deem sufficient. In Hiss. vs. Barlett, 3 Gray 473, 63
that Resolution No. 59 was unanimously approved by the House, that such approval amounted to a suspension Am. Dec. 768, the supreme court of Mass. says, in substance, that this power is inherent in every
of the House Rules, which according to standard parliamentary practice may done by unanimous consent. legislative body; that it is necessary to the to enable the body 'to perform its high functions, and is
necessary to the safety of the state;' 'That it is a power of self-protection, and that the legislative
body must necessarily be the sole judge of the exigency which may justify and require its exercise. '.
Granted, counters the petitioner, that the House may suspended the operation of its Rules, it may not, however, . . There is no provision authority courts to control, direct, supervise, or forbid the exercise by either
affect past acts or renew its rights to take action which had already lapsed. house of the power to expel a member. These powers are functions of the legislative department
and therefore, in the exercise of the power this committed to it, the senate is supreme. An attempt
by this court to direct or control the legislature, or either house thereof, in the exercise of the power,
The situation might thus be compared to laws4 extending the period of limitation of actions and making them would be an attempt to exercise legislative functions, which it is expressly forbidden to do.
applicable to actions that had lapsed. The Supreme Court of the United States has upheld such laws as against
the contention that they impaired vested rights in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment (Campbell vs. Holt,
115 U. S. 620). The states hold divergent views. At any rate, court are subject to revocation modification or We have underscored in the above quotation those lines which in our opinion emphasize the principles
waiver at the pleasure of the body adopting them."5 And it has been said that "Parliamentary rules are merely controlling this litigation. Although referring to expulsion, they may as well be applied to other disciplinary
procedural, and with their observancem, the courts have no concern. They may be waived or disregarded by the action. Their gist as applied to the case at bar: the House has exclusive power; the courts have no jurisdiction to
legislative body." Consequently, "mere failure to conform to parliamentary usage will not invalidate the action interfere.
(taken by a deliberative body) when the requisited number of members have agreed to a particular measure."6

Our refusal to intervene might impress some readers as subconscious hesitation due to discovery of
The following is quoted from a reported decision of the Supreme court of Tennessee: impermissible course of action in the legislative chamber. Nothing of that sort: we merely refuse to disregard the
allocation of constitutional functions which it is our special duty to maintain. Indeed, in the interest of comity, we
feel bound to state that in a conscientious survey of governing principles and/or episodic illustrations, we found
The rule here invoked is one of parliamentary procedure, and it is uniformly held that it is within the the House of Representatives of the United States taking the position upon at least two occasions, that personal
power of all deliberative bodies to abolish, modify, or waive their own rules of procedure, adopted for attacks upon the Chief Executive constitute unparliamentary conduct or breach of orders.8 And in several
the orderly con duct of business, and as security against hasty action. (Bennet vs. New Bedford, 110 instances, it took action against offenders, even after other business had been considered.9
Mass, 433; Holt vs. Somerville, 127 Mass. 408, 411; City of Sadalia vs. Scott, 104 Mo. App. 595, 78 S.
W. 276; Ex parte Mayor, etc., of Albany, 23 Wend. [N. Y.] 277, 280; Wheelock vs. City of Lowell, 196
Mass. 220, 230. 81 N. e. 977, 124 Am. St. Rep. 543, 12 Ann. Cas. 1109; City of Corinth vs. Sharp, 107 Petitioner's principal argument against the House's power to suspend is the Alejandrino precedent. In 1924,
Miss. 696, 65 So. 888; McGraw vs. Whitson, 69 Iowa, 348, 28 N. W. 632; Tuell vs. Meacham Senator Alejandrino was, by resolution of Senate, suspended from office for 12 months because he had
Contracting Co. 145 Ky. 181, 186, 140 S. W. Ann. Cas. 1913B, 802.) [Takenfrom the case of assaulted another member of the that Body or certain phrases the latter had uttered in the course of a debate.
Rutherford vs. City of Nashville, 78 south Western Reporter, p. 584.] The Senator applied to this Court for reinstatement, challenging the validity of the resolution. Although this Court
held that in view of the separation of powers, it had no jurisdiction to compel the Senate to reinstate petitioner,
it nevertheless went on to say the Senate had no power to adopt the resolution because suspension for 12
It may be noted in this connection, that in the case of Congressman Stanbery of Ohio, who insulted the Speaker, months amounted to removal, and the Jones Law (under which the Senate was then functioning) gave the
for which Act a resolution of censure was presented, the House approved the resolution, despite the argument Senate no power to remove an appointive member, like Senator Alejandrino. The Jones Law specifically provided
that other business had intervened after the objectionable remarks. (2 Hinds' Precedents pp. 799-800.) that "each house may punish its members for disorderly behaviour, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds
votes, expel an elective member (sec. 18). Note particularly the word "elective."

On the question whether delivery of speeches attacking the Chief Executive constitutes disorderly conduct for
which Osmeña may be discipline, many arguments pro and con have been advanced. We believe, however, that The Jones Law, it mist be observed, empowered the Governor General to appoint "without consent of the Senate
the House is the judge of what constitutes disorderly behaviour, not only because the Constitution has conferred and without restriction as to residence senators . . . who will, in his opinion, best represent the Twelfth District."
jurisdiction upon it, but also because the matter depends mainly on factual circumstances of which the House Alejandrino was one appointive Senator.
knows best but which can not be depicted in black and white for presentation to, and adjudication by the Courts.
For one thing, if this Court assumed the power to determine whether Osmeña conduct constituted disorderly
behaviour, it would thereby have assumed appellate jurisdiction, which the Constitution never intended to confer It is true, the opinion in that case contained an obiter dictum that "suspension deprives the electoral district of
upon a coordinate branch of the Government. The theory of separation of powers fastidiously observed by this representation without that district being afforded any means by which to fill that vacancy." But that remark
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
should be understood to refer particularly to the appointive senator who was then the affected party and who Now, it is not disputed that after Congressman Osmeña had delivered his speech and before the House adopted,
was by the same Jones Law charged with the duty to represent the Twelfth District and maybe the view of the fifteen days later, the resolution (No. 59) creating the respondent Committee and empowering it to investigate
Government of the United States or of the Governor-General, who had appointed him. and recommend proper action in the case, the House had acted on other matters and debated them. That being
the case, the Congressman, even before the resolution was adopted, had ceased to be answerable for the words
uttered by him in his privilege speech. By the express wording of the Rules, he was no longer subject to censure
It must be observed, however, that at that time the Legislature had only those power which were granted to it by or disciplinary action by the House. Hence, the resolution, in so far as it attempts to divest him of the immunity
the Jones Law10; whereas now the Congress has the full legislative powers and preprogatives of a sovereign so acquired and subject him to discipline and punishment, when he was previously not so subject, violates the
nation, except as restricted by the Constitution. In other words, in the Alejandrino case, the Court reached the constitutional inhibition against ex post facto legislation, and Resolution Nos. 59 and 175 are legally obnoxious
conclusion that the Jones Law did not give the Senate the power it then exercised—the power of suspension for and invalid on that score. The rule is well established that a law which deprives an accused person of any
one year. Whereas now, as we find, the Congress has the inherent legislative prerogative of suspension11 which substantial right or immunity possessed by him before its passage is ex post facto as to prior offenses (Cor. Jur.
the Constitution did not impair. In fact, as already pointed out, the Philippine Senate suspended a Senator for 12 vol. 16-A, section 144, p. 153; People vs. Mc Donnell, 11 Fed. Supp. 1015; People vs. Talklington, 47 Pac. 2d 368;
months in 1949. U. S. vs. Garfinkel, 69 F. Supp. 849).

The Legislative power of the Philippine Congress is plenary, subject only to such limitations are found The foregoing also answer the contention that since the immunity was but an effect of section 7 of House Rule
in the Republic's Constitution. So that any power deemed to be legislative by usage or tradition, is XVII, the House could, at any time, remove it by amending those Rules, and Resolutions Nos. 59 and 175
necessarily possessed by the Philippine Congress, unless the Constitution provides otherwise. (Vera effected such an amendment by implication. the right of the House to amend its Rules does not carry with it the
vs. Avelino, 77 Phil., 192, 212 .) right to retroactive divest the petitioner of an immunity he had already acquired. The Bill of Rights is against it.

In any event, petitioner's argument as to the deprivation of the district's representation can not be more It is contended that as the liability for his speech attached when the Congressman delivered it, the subsequent
weightly in the matter of suspension than in the case of imprisonment of a legislator; yet deliberative bodies action of the House only affected the procedure for dealing with that liability. But whatever liability Congressman
have the power in proper cases, to commit one of their members to jail.12 Sergio Osmeña, Jr. then incurred was extinguished when the House thereafter considered other business; and
this extinction is a substantive right that can not be subsequently torn away to his disadvantage. On an
analogous issue, this Court, in People vs. Parel, 44 Phil., 437 has ruled:
Now come questions of procedure and jurisdiction. the petition intended to prevent the Special Committee from
acting tin pursuance of House Resolution No. 59. Because no preliminary injunction had been issued, the
Committee performed its task, reported to the House, and the latter approved the suspension order. The House In regards to the point that the subject of prescription of penalties and of penal actions pertains to
had closed it session, and the Committee has ceased to exist as such. It would seem, therefore, the case should remedial and not substantive law, it is to be observed that in the Spanish legal system, provisions for
be dismissed for having become moot or academic.13 Of course, there is nothing to prevent petitioner from filing limitation or prescription of actions are invariably classified as substantive and not as remedial law;
new pleadings to include all members of the House as respondents, ask for reinstatement and thereby to we thus find the provisions for the prescription of criminal actions in the Penal Code and not in the
present a justiciable cause. Most probable outcome of such reformed suit, however, will be a pronouncement of 'Ley de Enjuiciamiento Criminal.' This is in reality a more logical law. In criminal cases prescription is
lack of jurisdiction, as in Vera vs. Avelino14 and Alejandrino vs. Qeuaon.15 not, strictly speaking, a matter of procedure; it bars or cuts off the right to punish the crime and
consequently, goes directly to the substance of the action. . . . (Emphasis supplied.).

At any rate, having perceived suitable solutions to the important questions of political law, the Court thought it
proper to express at this time its conclusions on such issues as were deemed relevant and decisive. I see no substantial difference, from the standpoint of the constitutional prohibition against ex post facto laws,
that the objectionable measures happen to be House Resolutions and not statutes. In so far as the position of
petitioner Osmeña is concerned, the essential point is that he is being subjected to a punishment to which he
ACCORDINGLY, the petition has to be, and is hereby dismissed. So ordered. was formerly not amenable. And while he was only meted out a suspension of privileges that suspension is as
much a penalty as imprisonment or a fine, which the House could have inflicted upon him had it been so minded.
Such punitive action is violative of the spirit, if not of the letter, of the constitutional provision against ex post
Paras, C. J., Bautista Angelo, Concepcion, Barrera, Gutierrez David, Paredes, and Dizon, JJ., concur. facto legislation. Nor is it material that the punishment was inflicted in the exercise of disciplinary power. "The
ex post facto effect of a law," the Federal Supreme Court has ruled, "can not be evaded by giving civil form to
that which is essentially criminal" (Burgess vs. Salmon, 97 L. Ed. [U. S.] 1104, 1106; Cummings vs. MIssouri, 18
L. Ed. 276).

Separate Opinions The plain purpose of the immunity provided by the House rules is to protect the freedom of action of its
members and to relieve them from the fear of disciplinary action taken upon second thought, as a result of
political convenience, vindictiveness, or pressures. it is unrealistic to overlook that, without the immunity so
REYES, J. B. L., J., dissenting: provided, no member of Congress can remain free from the haunting fear that his most innocuous expressions
may at any time afterwards place him in jeopardy of punishment whenever a majority, however transient, should
feel that the shifting sands of political expediency so demand. A rule designed to assure that members of the
I concur with the majority that the petition filed by Congressman Osmeña, Jr. does not make out a case either for House of the House may freely act as their conscience and sense of duty should dictate complements the
declaratory judgment or certiorari, since this Court has no original jurisdiction over declaratory judgment parliamentary immunity from outside pressure enshrined in our Constitution, and is certainly deserving of liberal
proceedings, and certiorari is available only against bodies exercising judicial or quasi-judicial powers. The interpretation and application.
respondent committee, being merely fact finding, was not properly subject to certiorari.

The various precedents, cited in the majority opinion, as instances of disciplinary taken notwithstanding
I submit, however, that Congressman Osmeña was entitled to invoke the Court's jurisdiction on his petition for a intervening business, are not truly applicable. Of the five instances cited by Deschkler (in his edition of
writ of prohibition against the committee, in so far as House Resolution No. 59 (and its sequel, Resolution No. Jefferson's Manual), the case of Congressman Watson of Georgia involved also printed disparaging remarks by
175) constituted an unlawful attempt to divest him of an immunity from censure or punishment, an immunity the respondent (III Hinds' Precedents, sec. 2637), so that the debate immunity rule afforded no defense; that of
vested under the very Rules of the House of Representatives. Congressmen Weaver and Sparks was one of censure for actual disorderly conduct (II Hinds, sec. 1657); while
the cases of Congressmen Stanbery of Ohio, Alex Long of Ohio, and of Lovell Rousseau of Kentucky (II Hinds,
sec. 1248, 1252 and 1655) were decided under Rule 62 of the U. s. House of Representatives as it stood before
House Rule XVII, on Decorum and Debates, in its section V, provides as follows: the 1880 amendments, and was differently worded. Thus, in the Rousseau case, the ruling of Speaker Colfax was
to the following effect (II Hinds' Precedents, page 1131):

If it is requested that a Member be called to order for words spoken in debate, the Member making
such request shall indicate the words excepted to, and they shall be taken down in writing by the This sixty-second rule is divided in the middle a semicolon, and the Chair asks the attention of the
Secretary and read aloud to the House; but the Member who uttered them shall not be held to gentleman from Iowa (Mr. Wilson) top the language of that rule, as it settles the whole question:
answer, nor be subject to the censure of the House therefor, if further debate or other business has
intervened.
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
62. If a Member be called to order for words spoken in debate, the person calling him to be order . . . but the Member who uttered them shall not be held to answer, nor be subject to the censure of
shall repeat the words excerpted to — the House therefor, if further debate or other business has intervened. (Rule XVII, Sec. 7, Rules,
House of Representatives.)

That is, the "calling to order" is "excepting" to words spoken in debate "and they shall be taken done
in writing at the Clerk's table; and no Member shall be held to answer, or be subject to the censure of Congressman Osmeña delivered the speech in question on June 23, 1960. It was only on July 8, or 15 days after
the House, for words spoken, or other business has intervened, after the words spoken, and before June 23, 1060 when the House created the committee that would investigated him. For fully 15 days the House
exception to them shall have been taken. took up other matters. All that was done, while the speech was being delivered, was to have certains portions
thereof deleted. I hold that pursuant to its own Rules the House may no longer punish Congressman Osmeña for
the delivered fifteen days before.
The first part of this rule declares that "calling to order" is "excepting to words spoken in debate."
the second part of the rule declares that a Member shall not be held subject to censure for words
spoken in debate if other business has intervened after the words have been spoken and before The fact that no action was promptly taken to punish Congressman Osmeña immediately after its delivery,
"exception" to them has been taken. Exception to the words of the gentleman from Iowa (Mr. except to have some part of the speech deleted, show that the members of the House did not consider
Grinnell) was taken by the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Harding), the gentleman from Massachusetts Osmeña's speech a disorderly conduct. The idea to punish Congressman Osmeña, which came 15 days after,
(Mr. Banks), the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Rosseau), and also by the Speaker of the House, as was, therefore, an afterthought. It is, therefore, clear that Congressman Osmeña is being made to answer for an
the records of the Congressional Globe will show. The distinction is obvious between the two parts of act, after the time during which he could be punished therefor had lapsed.
the rule. In the first part it speaks of a Member excepting to language of another and having the
words taken down. In the last part of the rule it says he shall not be censured thereafter unless
exception to his words were taken; but it omits to add as an condition that words must also have The majority opinion holds that the House can amend its rules any time. We do not dispute this principle, but we
been taken down. The substantial point, indeed the only point, required in the latter part of the rule hold that the House may not do so in utter disregard of the fundamental principle of law that an amendment
is, that exception to the objectionable words must have taken. takes place only after its approval, or, as in this case, to the extent of punishing an offense after the time to
punishing an had elapsed. Since the rule, that a member can be punished only before other proceedings have
intervened, was in force at the time Congressman Osmeña delivered his speech, the House may not ignore said
The difference between the Rules as invoked in these cases and the Rules of our House of Representatives is rule. It is said in the majority opinion that the rule limiting the period for imposition of a penalty for a speech to
easily apparent. As Rule 62 of the United States House of Representatives stood before 1880, all that was the day it was made, is merely one of procedure. With due respect to the majority, we do not think that it is
required to preserve the disciplinary power of the Hose was that exception should have been taken to the merely a rule of procedure; we believe it actually is a limitation of the time in which the House may take punitive
remarks on the floor before further debate or other business intervened. Under the rules of the Philippines House action against an offending member; it is alienation (in reference to time) on the liability to punishment. As Mr.
of Representatives, however, the immunity becomes absolute if other debate or business has taken place before Justice J.B.L., Reyes points out, the rule is substantive, not merely a procedural principle, and may not be ignored
the motion for censure is made, whether or not exceptions or point of order have been made to the remarks when invoked.
complained of at the time they were uttered.

If this Government of laws and not of men, then the House should observe its own rule and not violate it by
While it is clear that the parliamentary immunity established in Article VI, section 15 of our Constitution does not punishing a member after the period for indictment and punishment had already passed. Not because the
bar the members being questioned and disciplined by Congress itself fro remarks made on the floor, that subject of the Philippic is no less than the Chief Magistrate of the nation should the rule of the House be ignored
disciplinary power does not, as I have noted, include the right to retroactively amend the rules so as to divest a by itself. It is true that our Government is based on the principle of separation of powers between the three
member of an immunity already gained. And if Courts can shield an ordinary citizen from the effects of ex post branches thereof. I also agree to the corollary proposition that this Court should not interfere with the legislature
facto legislation, I see no reason why a member of Congress should be deprived of the same protection. Surely in the manner it performs its functions; but I also hold that the Court cannot abandon its duty to pronounce what
membership in the Legislature does not mean forfeiture of the liberties enjoyed by the individual citizen. the law is when any of its (the House) members, or any humble citizen, invokes the law.

The Constitution empowers each house to determine its rules of proceedings. If may not by its rules Congressman Osmeña had invoked the protection of a rule of the House. I believe it is our bounden duty to state
ignore constitutional restraint or violate fundamental rights and there should be a reasonable what the rule being invoked by him is, to point out the fact that the rule is being violated in meting out
relation between the mode or method of proceeding established by the rule and the result which is punishment for his speech; we should not shirk our responsibility to declare his rights under the rule simply on
sought to be attained. But within these limitation all matters of method are open to the the board excuse of separation of powers. Even the legislature may not ignore the rule it has promulgated for
determination of the House, and it is no impeachment of the rule to say that some other way would the government of the conduct of its members, and the fact that a coordinate branches of the Government is
be better, more accurate or even more just. (U. S. vs. Ballin, Joseph & Co., 36 Law Ed., 324-325.) involved, should not deter us from performing our duty. We may not possess the power to enforce our opinion if
the House chooses to disregard the same. In such case the members thereof stand before the bar of public
opinion to answer for their act in ignoring what they themselves have approved as their norm of conduct.
Court will not interfere with the action of the state senate in reconsideration its vote on a resolution
submitting an amendment to the Constitution, where its action was in compliance with its own rules,
and there was no constitutional provision to the contrary. (Crawford vs. Gilchrist, 64 Fla. 41, 59 So. Let it be clearly understood that the writer of this dissent personally believe that vitreous attacks against the
963) (Emphasis supplied.). Chief Executive, or any official or citizen for that matter, should be condemned. But where the Rules,
promulgated by the House itself, fix the period during which punishment may be meted out, said Rules should
be enforced regardless of who may be prejudicated thereby. Only in that way may the supermacy of the law be
Finally, that this Court possesses no power to direct or compel the Legislature to act in any specified manner, maintained.
should not deter it from recognizing and declaring the unconstitutionality and nullify of the questioned
resolutions and of all action that has been disbanded after the case was filed, the basic issues remain so
important as to require adjudication by this Court.

Footnotes

1
LABRADOR, J., dissenting: These, except Congressman Abeleda, share the views of petitioner.

2
I fully concur in the above dissent Mr. Justice J. B. L. Reyes, Reyes, and I venture to add: Tenney vs. Brandhove, 341 U. S. 367.

3
Within a constitutional government and in a regime which purports to be one of law, where law is supreme, even Kilbourn vs. Thompson, 103 U. S. 189; Hiss. vs. Barlett & Gray. 468, 63 Am. Dec. 768, 770.
the Congress in the exercise of the power conferred upon it to discipline its members, must follow the rules and
regulation that it had itself promulgated for its guidance and for that of its members. The rules in force at the
4
time Congressman Osmeña delivered the speech declared by the House to constitutes a disorderly conduct Rules of the House not the force of law, but they are merely in the nature of by-laws prescribed for
provides: the orderly and convenient conduct of their own proceedings. (67 Corpus Juris Secundum, p. 870)
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
5
Corpus Juris Secumdum, p. 870. his Memorandum, dated 26 April 1991, the Ombudsman directed the OSP to file the appropriate informations
against petitioner. On 13 May 1991, OSP submitted to the Ombudsman the informations for clearance;
approved, forthwith, three informations were filed on even date.
6
South Georgia Power vs. Bauman, 169 Ga. 649; 151 s. w. 515.

In Criminal Case No. 16698 filed before the Sandiganbayan, petitioner was indicted thusly:
7
146 Cal. 604; 69 L. R. A. 556.

"That on or about October 17, 1988, or sometime prior or subsequent thereto, in Manila, Philippines
8
Canno's Precedents (1936) par. 2497) William Willet, Jr. of New York); par. 2498 (Louis v. Mc and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, accused MIRIAM DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO, a public
Fadden of Pensylvania). officer, being then the Commissioner of the Commission on Immigration and Deportation, with
evident bad faith and manifest partiality in the exercise of her official functions, did then and there
willfully, unlawfully and criminally approve the application for legalization for the stay of the
9
Constitution, Jefferson's Manual and the House of Representative by Louis Deschler (1955) p. 382. following aliens: Jhamtani Shalini Narendra, Ting Siok Hun, Ching Suat Liong Ting, Cu Kui Pein Uy, Cu
Kui Pwe Uy, Hong Shao Guan, Hong Xiao Yuan, Xu Li Xuan, Qui Ming Xia Ong, Wu Sui Xin Qiui, Wu
Hong Guan Qui @ Betty Go, Wu Hong Ru Qui @ Mary Go Xu @ Yin Yin Kua, Hong Shao Hua Xu, Hong
10
the Jones Law placed "in the hands of the people of the Philippines as large a control of their Shao Wei Xu, Lu Shing Qing, Lu Shi Tian, Lu Se Chong, Shi Qing Yu, Xu Angun @ Xu An Cin, Xu
domestic affairs as can be given them, without in the meantime impairing the rights of sovereignty Pinting, Wang Xiu Jin, Cai Pian Pian, Cai Wen Xu, Cai Min Min, Cai Ping Ping, Choi Kin Kwok @
by the people of the United States." (Preamble) Bernardo Suarez, Yen Liang Ju @ Jeslyn Gan, Cai Yan Nan, Yen Ling Chien @ Chrismayne Gan, So
Chen Yueh-O, Cai Ya Rong, who arrived in the Philippines after January 1, 1984 in violation of
Executive Order No. 324 dated April 13, 1988 which prohibits the legalization of said disqualified
11
Apart from the view that power to remove includes the power to suspend asan incident. (Burnap aliens knowing fully well that said aliens are disqualified thereby giving unwarranted benefits to said
vs. U. s. 252, U. S. 512, 64 L. Ed. 693, 695.) This view is distinguishable from Hebron vs. Reyes, 104 aliens whose stay in the Philippines was unlawfully legalized by said accused." 1
Phil., 175.(See Gregory vs. Mayor, 21 N. E. 120) But we need not explain this now. Enough to rely on
congressional inherent power.
Two other criminal cases, one for violation of the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 46 and the other for libel,
were filed with the Regional Trial Court of Manila, docketed, respectively, No. 91-94555 and No. 91-94897.
12
See appendix par. VII, Cushing.

Pursuant to the information filed with the Sandiganbayan, Presiding Justice Francis E. Garchitorena issued an
13
This, apart from doubts on (a) our jurisdiction to entertain original petitions for declaratory order for the arrest of petitioner, fixing the bail at Fifteen Thousand (P15,000.00) Pesos. Petitioner posted a cash
judgments, and (b) availability of certiorari or prohibition against respondents who are not exercising bail without need for physical appearance as she was then recuperating from injuries sustained in a vehicular
judicial or ministerial functions (Rule 67, sec. 1 and 2). accident. The Sandiganbayan granted her provisional liberty until 05 June 1991 or until her physical condition
would warrant her physical appearance in court. Upon manifestation by the Ombudsman, however, that
petitioner was able to come unaided to his office on 20 May 1991, Sandiganbayan issued an order setting the
14
See supra. arraignment on 27 May 1991.

15
Phil., 83. Meanwhile, petitioner moved for the cancellation of her cash bond and prayed that she be allowed provisional
liberty upon a recognizance.

On 24 May 1991, petitioner filed, concurrently, a Petition for Certiorari with prohibition and Preliminary Injunction
before the Court, docketed G.R. No. 99289-90, seeking to enjoin the Sandiganbayan from proceeding with
Republic of the Philippines Criminal Case No. 16698 and a motion before the Sandiganbayan to meanwhile defer her arraignment. The
SUPREME COURT Court taking cognizance of the petition issued a temporary restraining order.
Manila

The Sandiganbayan, thus informed, issued an order deferring petitioner's arraignment and the consideration of
EN BANC her motion to cancel the cash bond until further advice from the Court.

G.R. No. 128055 April 18, 2001 On 13 January 1992, the Court rendered its decision dismissing the petition and lifting the temporary restraining
order. The subsequent motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner proved unavailing.

MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO, petitioner,


vs. On 06 July 1992, in the wake of media reports announcing petitioner's intention to accept a fellowship from the
SANDIGANBAYAN, FRANCIS E. GARCHITORENA, JOSE S. BALAJADIA AND MINITA V. CHICO-NAZARIO, John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the Sandiganbayan issued an order to enjoin
AS PRESIDING JUSTICE AND MEMBERS OF THE FIRST DIVISION, respondents. petitioner from leaving the country.

VITUG, J.: On 15 October 1992, petitioner moved to inhibit Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Garchitorena from the case
and to defer her arraignment pending action on her motion to inhibit. On 09 November 1992, her motion was
denied by the Sandiganbayan. The following day, she filed anew a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with
The Court is called upon to review the act of the Sandiganbayan, and how far it can go, in ordering the urgent Prayer for Preliminary Injunction with the Court, docketed G.R. No. 99289-90. At the same time, petitioner
preventive suspension of petitioner, Mme. Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, in connection with pending in filed a motion for bill of particulars with the Sandiganbayan asseverating that the names of the aliens whose
criminal cases filed against her for alleged violation of Republic Act No. 3019, as amended, otherwise known as applications she purportedly approved and thereby supposedly extended undue advantage were conspicuously
the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. omitted in the complaint.

The instant case arose from complaints filed by a group of employees of the Commission of Immigration and The Court, in its resolution of 12 November 1992, directed the Sandiganbayan to reset petitioner's arraignment
Deportation (CID) against petitioner, then CID Commissioner, for alleged violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt not later than five days from receipt of notice thereof.
Practices Act. The investigating panel, that took over the case from investigator Gualberto dela Llana after
having been constituted by the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon upon petitioner's request, came up with a
resolution which it referred, for approval, to the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) and the Ombudsman. In
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
On 07 December 1992, the OSP and the Ombudsman filed with the Sandiganbayan a motion to admit thirty-two "SECTION 13. Suspension and loss of benefits. — Any incumbent public officer against whom any
amended informations. Petitioner moved for the dismissal of the 32 informations. The court, in its 11th March criminal prosecution under a valid information under this Act or under Title 7, Book II of the Revised
1993 resolution, denied her motion to dismiss the said informations and directed her to post bail on the criminal Penal Code or for any offense involving fraud upon government or public funds or property whether
cases, docketed Criminal Case No. 18371-18402, filed against her. as a simple or as a complex offense and in whatever stage of execution and mode of participation, is
pending in court, shall be suspended from office. Should he be convicted by final judgment, he shall
lose all retirement or gratuity benefits under any law, but if he is acquitted, he shall be entitled to
Unrelenting, petitioner, once again came to this Court via a Petition for Certiorari, docketed G.R. No. 109266, reinstatement and to the salaries and benefits which he failed to receive during suspension, unless
assailing the 03rd March 1993 resolution of the Sandiganbayan which resolved not to disqualify its Presiding in the meantime administrative proceedings have been filed against him.
Justice, as well as its 14th March 1993 resolution admitting the 32 Amended Informations, and seeking the
nullification thereof.
"In the event that such convicted officer, who may have already been separated from the service,
has already received such benefits he shall be liable to restitute the same to the Government. (As
Initially, the Court issued a temporary restraining order directing Presiding Justice Garchitorena to cease and amended by BP Blg. 195, March 16, 1982)."
desist from sitting in the case, as well as from enforcing the 11th March 1993 resolution ordering petitioner to
post bail bonds for the 32 amended informations, and from proceedings with her arraignment on 12 April 1993
3
until the matter of his disqualification would have been resolved by the Court. In the relatively recent case of Segovia vs. Sandiganbayan, the Court reiterated:

On 02 December 1993, the Court, in its decision in G.R. 109266, directed the OSP and Ombudsman to "The validity of Section 13, R.A. 3019, as amended — treating of the suspension pendente lite of an
consolidate the 32 amended informations. Conformably therewith, all the 32 informations were consolidated into accused public officer — may no longer be put at issue, having been repeatedly upheld by this Court.
one information under Criminal Case No. 16698.

"xxx xxx xxx


Petitioner, then filed with the Sandiganbayan a Motion to "Redetermine Probable Cause" and to dismiss or quash
said information. Pending the resolution of this incident, the prosecution filed on 31 July 1995 with the
Sandiganbayan a motion to issue an order suspending petitioner. "The provision of suspension pendente lite applies to all persons indicted upon a valid information
under the Act, whether they be appointive or elective officials; or permanent or temporary
employees, or pertaining to the career or non-career service." 4
On 03 August 1995, the Sandiganbayan resolved to allow the testimony of one Rodolfo Pedellaga (Pedellaga).
The presentation was scheduled on 15 September 1995.
It would appear, indeed, to be a ministerial duty of the court to issue an order of suspension upon determination
of the validity of the information filed before it. Once the information is found to be sufficient in form and
In the interim, the Sandiganbayan directed petitioner to file her opposition to the 31st July 1995 motion of the substance, the court is bound to issue an order of suspension as a matter of course, and there seems to be "no
prosecution within fifteen (15) days from receipt thereof. ifs and buts about it." 5 Explaining the nature of the preventive suspension, the Court in the case of Bayot vs.
Sandiganbayan 6 observed:

On 18 August 1995, petitioner submitted to the Sandiganbayan a motion for reconsideration of its 03rd August
1995 order which would allow the testimony of Pedellaga. The incident, later denied by the Sandiganbayan, was "x x x . It is not a penalty because it is not imposed as a result of judicial proceedings. In fact, if
elevated to the Court via a Petition for Review on Certiorari, entitled "Miriam Defensor-Santiago vs. acquitted, the official concerned shall be entitled to reinstatement and to the salaries and benefits
Sandiganbayan," docketed G.R. No. 123792. which he failed to receive during suspension." 7

On 22 August 1995, petitioner filed her opposition to the motion of the prosecution to suspend her. On 25 In issuing the preventive suspension of petitioner, the Sandiganbayan merely adhered to the clear and
January 1996, the Sandiganbayan resolved: unequivocal mandate of the law, as well as the jurisprudence in which the Court has, more than once, upheld
Sandiganbayan's authority to decree the suspension of public officials and employees indicted before it.

"WHEREFORE, for all the foregoing, the Court hereby grants the motion under consideration and
hereby suspends the accused Miriam Defensor-Santiago from her position as Senator of the Republic Section 13 of Republic Act No. 3019 does not state that the public officer concerned must be suspended only in
of the Philippines and from any other government position she may be holding at present or the office where he is alleged to have committed the acts with which he has been charged. Thus, it has been
hereafter. Her suspension shall be for ninety (90) days only and shall take effect immediately upon held that the use of the word "office" would indicate that it applies to any office which the officer charged may
notice. be holding, and not only the particular office under which he stands accused. 8

"Let a copy of this Resolution be furnished to the Hon. Ernesto Maceda, Senate President, Senate of En passant, while the imposition of suspension is not automatic or self-operative as the validity of the
the Philippines, Executive House, Taft Ave., Manila, through the Hon. Secretary of the Senate, for the information must be determined in a pre-suspension hearing, there is no hard and fast rule as to the conduct
implementation of the suspension herein ordered. The Secretary of the Senate shall inform this Court thereof. It has been said that —
of the action taken thereon within five (5) days from receipt hereof.

"'x x x . No specific rules need be laid down for such pre-suspension hearing. Suffice it to state that
"The said official shall likewise inform this Court of the actual date of implementation of the the accused should be given a fair and adequate opportunity to challenge the VALIDITY OF THE
suspension order as well as the expiry of the ninetieth day thereof so that the same may be lifted at CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS against him e.g. that he has not been afforded the right of due preliminary
that time." 2 investigation; that the acts for which he stands charged do not constitute a violation of the
provisions of Republic Act 3019 or the bribery provisions of the Revised Penal Code which would
warrant his mandatory suspension from office under section 13 of the Act; or he may present a
Hence, the instant recourse. The petition assails the authority of the Sandiganbayan to decree a ninety-day motion to quash the information on any of the grounds provided for in Rule 117 of the Rules of Court
preventive suspension of Mme. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, a Senator of the Republic of the Philippines, from any x x x .'
government position, and furnishing a copy thereof to the Senate of the Philippines for the implementation of the
suspension order.
"xxx xxx xxx

The authority of the Sandiganbayan to order the preventive suspension of an incumbent public official charged
with violation of the provisions of Republic Act No. 3019 has both legal and jurisprudential support. Section 13 of "Likewise, he is accorded the right to challenge the propriety of his prosecution on the ground that
the statute provides: the acts for which he is charged do not constitute a violation of Rep. Act 3019, or of the provisions on
bribery of the Revised Penal Code, and the right to present a motion to quash the information on any
other grounds provided in Rule 117 of the Rules of court.
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
"However, a challenge to the validity of the criminal proceedings on the ground that the acts for "The foregoing allegations of fact constitute the elements of the offense defined in Section 3 (e) of
which the accused is charged do not constitute a violation of the provisions of Rep. Act 3019, or of R.A. No. 3019." 16
the provisions on bribery of the revised Penal Code, should be treated only in the same manner as a
challenge to the criminal proceeding by way of a motion to quash on the ground provided in
Paragraph (a), Section 2 of Rule 117 of the Rules of Court, i.e., that the facts charged do not The pronouncement, upholding the validity of the information filed against petitioner, behooved Sandiganbayan
constitute an offense. In other words, a resolution of the challenge to the validity of the criminal to discharge its mandated duty to forthwith issue the order of preventive suspension.
proceeding, on such ground, should be limited to an inquiry whether the facts alleged in the
information, if hypothetically admitted, constitute the elements of an offense punishable under Rep.
Act 3019 or the provisions on bribery of the Revised Penal Code." 9 The order of suspension prescribed by Republic Act No. 3019 is distinct from the power of Congress to discipline
its own ranks under the Constitution which provides that each —

The law does not require that the guilt of the accused must be established in a presuspension proceeding before
trial on the merits proceeds. Neither does it contemplate a proceeding to determine (1) the strength of the "x x x . house may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly
evidence of culpability against him, (2) the gravity of the offense charged, or (3) whether or not his continuance behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all its Members, suspend or expel a Member. A
in office could influence the witnesses or pose a threat to the safety and integrity of the records and other penalty of suspension, when imposed, shall not exceed sixty days." 17
evidence before the court could have a valid basis in decreeing preventive suspension pending the trial of the
case. All it secures to the accused is adequate opportunity to challenge the validity or regularity of the
proceedings against him, such as, that he has not been afforded the right to due preliminary investigation, that The suspension contemplated in the above constitutional provision is a punitive measure that is imposed upon
the acts imputed to him do not constitute a specific crime warranting his mandatory suspension from office determination by the Senate or the House of Representatives, as the case may be, upon an erring member.
under Section 13 of Republic Act No. 3019, or that the information is subject to quashal on any of the grounds Thus, in its resolution in the case of Ceferino Paredes, Jr. vs. Sandiganbayan, et al., 18 the Court affirmed the
set out in Section 3, Rule 117, of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure. 10 order of suspension of Congressman Paredes by the Sandiganbayan, despite his protestations on the
encroachment by the court on the prerogatives of Congress. The Court ruled:

The instant petition is not the first time that an incident relating to petitioner's case before the Sandiganbayan
has been brought to this Court. In previous occasions, the Court has been called upon to resolve several other "x x x . Petitioner's invocation of Section 16 (3), Article VI of the Constitution — which deals with the
matters on the subject. Thus: (1) In Santiago vs. Vasquez, 11 petitioner sought to enjoin the Sandiganbayan from power of each House of Congress inter alia to 'punish its Members for disorderly behavior,' and
proceeding with Criminal Case No. 16698 for violation of Republic Act No. 3019; (2) in Santiago vs. Vasquez, 12 'suspend or expel a Member' by a vote of two-thirds of all its Members subject to the qualification
petitioner sought the nullification of the hold departure order issued by the Sandiganbayan via a "Motion to that the penalty of suspension, when imposed, should not exceed sixty days — is unavailing, as it
Restrain the Sandiganbayan from Enforcing its Hold Departure Order with Prayer for Issuance of a Temporary appears to be quite distinct from the suspension spoken of in Section 13 of RA 3019, which is not a
Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction, with Motion to set Pending Incident for Hearing; (3) in Santiago penalty but a preliminary, preventive measure, prescinding from the fact that the latter is not being
vs. Garchitorena, 13 petitioner sought the nullification of the resolution, dated 03 March 1993, in Criminal Case imposed on petitioner for misbehavior as a Member of the House of Representatives."
No. 16698 of the Sandiganbayan (First Division) and to declare Presiding Justice Garchitorena disqualified from
acting in said criminal case, and the resolution, dated 14 March 1993, which deemed as "filed" the 32 amended
informations against her; and (4) in Miriam Defensor Santiago vs. Sandiganbayan, 14 petitioner assailed the The doctrine of separation of powers by itself may not be deemed to have effectively excluded members of
denial by the Sandiganbayan of her motion for reconsideration from its 03rd August 1995 order allowing the Congress from Republic Act No. 3019 nor from its sanctions. The maxim simply recognizes each of the three co-
testimony of Pedellaga. In one of these cases, 15 the Court declared: equal and independent, albeit coordinate, branches of the government — the Legislative, the Executive and the
Judiciary — has exclusive prerogatives and cognizance within its own sphere of influence and effectively
prevents one branch from unduly intruding into the internal affairs of either branch.
"We note that petitioner had previously filed two petitions before us involving Criminal Case No.
16698 (G.R. Nos. 99289-99290; G.R. No. 107598). Petitioner has not explained why she failed to
raise the issue of the delay in the preliminary investigation and the filing of the information against Parenthetically, it might be well to elaborate a bit. Section 1, Article VIII, of the 1987 Constitution, empowers the
her in those petitions. A piece-meal presentation of issues, like the splitting of causes of action, is Court to act not only in the settlement of "actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable
self-defeating. and enforceable," but also in the determination of "whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government. The
provision allowing the Court to look into any possible grave abuse of discretion committed by any government
"Petitioner next claims that the Amended informations did not charge any offense punishable under instrumentality has evidently been couched in general terms in order to make it malleable to judicial
Section 3 (e) of RA. No. 3019 because the official acts complained therein were authorized under interpretation in the light of any emerging milieu. In its normal concept, the term has been said to imply an
Executive Order No. 324 and that the Board of Commissioners of the Bureau of Investigation arbitrary, despotic, capricious or whimsical exercise of judgment amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
adopted the policy of approving applications for legalization of spouses and unmarried, minor When the question, however, pertains to an affair internal to either of Congress or the Executive, the Court
children of "qualified aliens" even though they had arrived in the Philippines after December 31, subscribes to the view 19 that unless an infringement of any specific Constitutional proscription thereby inheres
1983. She concludes that the Sandiganbayan erred in not granting her motion to quash the the Court should not deign substitute its own judgment over that of any of the other two branches of
informations (Rollo, pp. 25-31). government. It is an impairment or a clear disregard of a specific constitutional precept or provision that can
unbolt the steel door for Judicial intervention. If any part of the Constitution is not, or ceases to be, responsive to
contemporary needs, it is the people, not the Court, who must promptly react in the manner prescribed by the
"In a motion to quash, the accused the accused admits hypothetically the allegations of fact in the Charter itself.
information (People vs. Supnad, 7 SCRA 603 [1963]). Therefore, petitioner admitted hypothetically in
her motion that:
Republic Act No. 3019 does not exclude from its coverage the members of Congress and that, therefore, the
Sandiganbayan did not err in thus decreeing the assailed preventive suspension order.
(1) She was a public officer,

Attention might be called to the fact that Criminal Case No. 16698 has been decided by the First Division of the
(2) She approved the application for legalization of the stay of aliens, who arrived in the Sandiganbayan on 06 December 1999, acquitting herein petitioner. The Court, nevertheless, deems it
Philippines after January 1, 1984; appropriate to render this decision for future guidance on the significant issue raised by petitioner.

(3) Those aliens were disqualified; WHEREFORE, the instant petition for certiorari is DISMISSED. No costs.

(4) She was cognizant of such fact; and SO ORDERED.

(5) She acted in 'evident bad faith and manifest partiality in the execution of her official Davide, Jr., C .J ., Bellosillo, Melo, Puno, Kapunan, Mendoza, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Pardo, Buena, Gonzaga-
functions.' Reyes, Ynares-Santiago, De Leon, Jr. and Sandoval-Gutierrez, JJ ., concur.89.
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
paragraph XVIII of Republic Act No. 2609. On appeal taken by petitioner, the Auditor General subsequently
affirmed said action of the Auditor of the Bank. Hence, this petition for review.

The only question for determination in this case is whether or not "urea" and "formaldehyde" are exempt by law
from the payment of the aforesaid margin fee. The pertinent portion of Section 2 of Republic Act No. 2609 reads:

The margin established by the Monetary Board pursuant to the provision of section one hereof shall
not be imposed upon the sale of foreign exchange for the importation of the following:.

xxx xxx xxx

XVIII. Urea formaldehyde for the manufacture of plywood and hardboard when imported by and for
the exclusive use of end-users.

Wherefore, the parties respectfully pray that the foregoing stipulation of facts be admitted and
approved by this Honorable Court, without prejudice to the parties adducing other evidence to prove
their case not covered by this stipulation of facts. 1äwphï1.ñët

Petitioner maintains that the term "urea formaldehyde" appearing in this provision should be construed as "urea
and formaldehyde" (emphasis supplied) and that respondents herein, the Auditor General and the Auditor of the
Republic of the Philippines Central Bank, have erred in holding otherwise. In this connection, it should be noted that, whereas "urea" and
SUPREME COURT "formaldehyde" are the principal raw materials in the manufacture of synthetic resin glues, the National Institute
Manila of Science and Technology has expressed, through its Commissioner, the view that:

EN BANC Urea formaldehyde is not a chemical solution. It is the synthetic resin formed as a condensation
product from definite proportions of urea and formaldehyde under certain conditions relating to
temperature, acidity, and time of reaction. This produce when applied in water solution and
G.R. No. L-17931 February 28, 1963 extended with inexpensive fillers constitutes a fairly low cost adhesive for use in the manufacture of
plywood.

CASCO PHILIPPINE CHEMICAL CO., INC., petitioner,


vs. Hence, "urea formaldehyde" is clearly a finished product, which is patently distinct and different from urea" and
HON. PEDRO GIMENEZ, in his capacity as Auditor General of the Philippines, "formaldehyde", as separate articles used in the manufacture of the synthetic resin known as "urea
and HON. ISMAEL MATHAY, in his capacity as Auditor of the Central Bank, respondents. formaldehyde". Petitioner contends, however, that the bill approved in Congress contained the copulative
conjunction "and" between the terms "urea" and "formaldehyde", and that the members of Congress intended to
exempt "urea" and "formaldehyde" separately as essential elements in the manufacture of the synthetic resin
Jalandoni & Jamir for petitioner. glue called "urea" formaldehyde", not the latter as a finished product, citing in support of this view the
Officer of the Solicitor General for respondents. statements made on the floor of the Senate, during the consideration of the bill before said House, by members
thereof. But, said individual statements do not necessarily reflect the view of the Senate. Much less do they
indicate the intent of the House of Representatives (see Song Kiat Chocolate Factory vs. Central Bank, 54 Off.
CONCEPCION, J.: Gaz., 615; Mayon Motors Inc. vs. Acting Commissioner of Internal Revenue, L-15000 [March 29, 1961]; Manila
Jockey Club, Inc. vs. Games & Amusement Board, L-12727 [February 29, 1960]). Furthermore, it is well settled
that the enrolled bill — which uses the term "urea formaldehyde" instead of "urea and formaldehyde" — is
This is a petition for review of a decision of the Auditor General denying a claim for refund of petitioner Casco conclusive upon the courts as regards the tenor of the measure passed by Congress and approved by the
Philippine Chemical Co., Inc. President (Primicias vs. Paredes, 61 Phil. 118, 120; Mabanag vs. Lopez Vito, 78 Phil. 1; Macias vs. Comm. on
Elections, L-18684, September 14, 1961). If there has been any mistake in the printing ofthe bill before it was
certified by the officers of Congress and approved by the Executive — on which we cannot speculate, without
The main facts are not disputed. Pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act No. 2609, otherwise known as the jeopardizing the principle of separation of powers and undermining one of the cornerstones of our democratic
Foreign Exchange Margin Fee Law, the Central Bank of the Philippines issued on July 1, 1959, its Circular No. 95. system — the remedy is by amendment or curative legislation, not by judicial decree.
fixing a uniform margin fee of 25% on foreign exchange transactions. To supplement the circular, the Bank later
promulgated a memorandum establishing the procedure for applications for exemption from the payment of said
fee, as provided in said Republic Act No. 2609. Several times in November and December 1959, petitioner Casco WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby affirmed, with costs against the petitioner. It is so ordered.
Philippine Chemical Co., Inc. — which is engaged in the manufacture of synthetic resin glues, used in bonding
lumber and veneer by plywood and hardwood producers — bought foreign exchange for the importation of urea
and formaldehyde — which are the main raw materials in the production of said glues — and paid therefor the Bengzon, C.J., Padilla, Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Reyes, J.B.L., Barrera, Paredes, Dizon, Regala and Makalintal,
aforementioned margin fee aggregating P33,765.42. In May, 1960, petitioner made another purchase of foreign JJ., concur.
exchange and paid the sum of P6,345.72 as margin fee therefor.

Prior thereto, petitioner had sought the refund of the first sum of P33,765.42, relying upon Resolution No. 1529
of the Monetary Board of said Bank, dated November 3, 1959, declaring that the separate importation of urea
and formaldehyde is exempt from said fee. Soon after the last importation of these products, petitioner made a
similar request for refund of the sum of P6,345.72 paid as margin fee therefor. Although the Central Bank issued
the corresponding margin fee vouchers for the refund of said amounts, the Auditor of the Bank refused to pass in
audit and approve said vouchers, upon the ground that the exemption granted by the Monetary Board for
petitioner's separate importations of urea and formaldehyde is not in accord with the provisions of section 2,
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
The contentions for reversal are numerous (twenty-five assignments of error) and are greatly multiplied by their
reiteration in a somewhat changed form of statement under the many propositions embraced in the elaborate
printed brief, but their essence, when correctly understood, are these: The court erred (a) in denying this
appellant's motion, dated May 6, 1915, and reproduced on July 27, 1915, and (b) in finding that the legal
evidence of record establishes the guilt of the appellant, Juan Pons, beyond a reasonable doubt.

In his motion above mentioned, counsel alleged and offered to prove that the last day of the special session of
the Philippine Legislature for 1914 was the 28th day of February; that Act No. 2381, under which Pons must be
punished if found guilty, was not passed or approved on the 28th of February but on March 1 of that year; and
that, therefore, the same is null and void. The validity of the Act is not otherwise questioned. As it is admitted
that the last day of the special session was, under the Governor-General's proclamation, February 28 and that
the appellant is charged with having violated the provisions of Act No. 2381, the vital question is the date of
adjournment of the Legislature, and this reduces itself to two others, namely, (1) how that is to be proved,
whether by the legislative journals or extraneous evidence and (2) whether the court can take judicial notice of
the journals. These questions will be considered in the reversed order.

Act No. 1679 provides that the Secretary of the Commission shall perform the duties which would properly be
required of the Recorder of the Commission under the existing law. And rules 15 and 16 of the Legislative
Procedure of the Philippine Commission provides, among other things, "that the proceedings of the Commission
shall be briefly and accurately stated on the journal," and that it shall be the duty of the Secretary "to keep a
correct journal of the proceedings of the Commission." On page 793 of volume 7 of the Commission Journal for
the ordinary and special sessions of the Third Philippine Legislature, the following appears:
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila The Journal for Saturday, February 28, 1914, was approved. Adjournment sine die of the Commission
as a Chamber of the Philippine Legislature. The hour of midnight having arrived, on motion of
Commissioner Palma, the Commission, as a Chamber of the Philippine Legislature, adjourned sine
EN BANC die.

G.R. No. L-11530 August 12, 1916 The Act of Congress, approved July 1, 1902, provides, among other things, in section 7, that the Philippine
Assembly "shall keep in journal of its proceedings, which shall be published . . . ." In obedience to this mandate,
the journal of the Assembly's proceedings for the sessions of 1914 was duly published and it appears therein
THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee, (vol. 9, p. 1029), that the Assembly adjourned sine die at 12 o'clock midnight on February 28, 1914.
vs.
JUAN PONS, defendant-appellant.
Section 275 of the Code of Civil Procedure provides that the existence of the "official acts of the legislative,
executive, and judicial departments of the United States and of the Philippine Islands ... shall be judicially
Jose Varela y Calderon for appellant. recognized by the court without the introduction of proof; but the court may receive evidence upon any of the
Attorney-General Avanceña for appellee. subjects in this section states, when it shall find it necessary for its own information, and may resort for its aid to
appropriate books, documents, or evidence." And section 313 [as amended by sec. 1 of Act No. 2210], of the
same Code also provides that:
TRENT, J.:

Official documents may be proved as follows: . . . .


The information in this case reads:

(2) The proceedings of the Philippine Commission, or of any legislative body that may be provided
The undersigned charges Gabino Beliso, Juan Pons, and Jacinto Lasarte with the crime of illegal for the Philippine Islands, or of Congress, by the journals of those bodies or of either house thereof,
importation of opium, committed as follows: or by published statutes or resolutions, or by copies certified by the clerk or secretary or printed by
their order: Provided, That in the case of Acts of the Philippine Commission or the Philippine
Legislature when there is in existence a copy signed by the presiding officers and the secretaries of
That on or about the 10th day of April, 1915, the said accused, conspiring together and plotting said bodies, it shall be conclusive proof of the provisions of such Act and of the due enactment
among themselves, did, knowingly, willfully, unlawfully, feloniously and fraudulently, bring from a thereof.
foreign country, to wit, that of Spain, on board the steamer Lopez y Lopez, and import and introduce
into the city of Manila, Philippine Islands, and within the jurisdiction of the court, 520 tins containing
125 kilograms of opium of the value of P62,400, Philippine currency; and that, then and there, the While there are no adjudicated cases in this jurisdiction upon the exact question whether the courts may take
said accused, also conspiring together and plotting among themselves, did receive and conceal the judicial notice of the legislative journals, it is well settled in the United States that such journals may be noticed
said quantity of opium and aided each other in the transportation, receipt and concealment of the by the courts in determining the question whether a particular bill became a law or not. (The State ex rel. Herron
same after the said opium had been imported, knowing that said drug had been unlawfully brought, vs. Smith, 44 Ohio, 348, and cases cited therein.) The result is that the law and the adjudicated cases make it
imported and illegally introduced into the Philippine Islands from a foreign country; an act committed our duty to take judicial notice of the legislative journals of the special session of the Philippine Legislature of
in violation of law." 1914. These journals are not ambiguous or contradictory as to the actual time of the adjournment. They show,
with absolute certainty, that the Legislature adjourned sine die at 12 o'clock midnight on February 28, 1914.

On motion of counsel Juan Pons and Gabino Beliso were tried separately. (Jacinto Lasarte had not yet been
arrested.) Each were found guilty of the crime charged and sentenced accordingly, the former to be confined in Passing over the question whether the printed Act (No. 2381), published by authority of law, is conclusive
Bilibid Prison for the period of two years, to pay a fine of P1,000, to suffer the corresponding subsidiary evidence as to the date when it was passed, we will inquire whether the courts may go behind the legislative
imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to the payment of one-half of the costs. The same penalties were journals for the purpose of determining the date of adjournment when such journals are clear and explicit. From
imposed upon the latter, except that he was sentenced to pay a fine of P3,000. Both appealed. Beliso later the foregoing it is clear that this investigation belongs entirely to that branch of legal science which embraces
withdrew his appeal and the judgment as to him has become final. and illustrates the laws of evidence. On the one hand, it is maintained that the Legislature did not, as we have
indicated, adjourn at midnight on February 28, 1914, but on March 1st, and that this allegation or alleged fact
may be established by extraneous evidence; while, on the other hand, it is urged that the contents of the
legislative journals are conclusive evidence as to the date of adjournment. In order to understand these
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
opposing positions, it is necessary to consider the nature and character of the evidence thus involved. Evidence were identified by the registry and entry numbers as well as by the serial numbers. The five barrels were empty,
is understood to be that which proves or disproves "any matter in question or to influence the belief respecting the staves having been sprung and the iron hoops removed. Five empty tins, each corresponding in size to the
it," and "conclusive evidence is that which establishes the fact, as in the instance of conclusive presumptions." heads of the five barrels, were found on the floor nearby. The customs officers noticed several baskets of lime
(Bouvier's Law Dictionary, vol. 1, p. 701 et seq.) Counsel for the appellant, in order to establish his contention, scattered about the basement of the house and on further search they found 77 tins of opium in one of these
must necessarily depend upon the memory or recollection of witnesses, while the legislative journals are the baskets. There was no one in the house when this search was made, but some clothing was discovered which
acts of the Government or sovereign itself. From their very nature and object the records of the Legislature are bore the initials "J. P." It then became important to the customs agents to ascertain the owner and occupant of
as important as those of the judiciary, and to inquiry into the veracity of the journals of the Philippine house No. 144 on Calle General Solano where the five barrels were delivered. The owner was found, upon
Legislature, when they are, as we have said, clear and explicit, would be to violate both the letter and the spirit investigation, to be Mariano Limjap, and from the latter's agent it was learned that the house was rented by one
of the organic laws by which the Philippine Government was brought into existence, to invade a coordinate and F. C. Garcia. When the lease of the house was produced by the agent of the owner, the agents saw that the
independent department of the Government, and to interfere with the legitimate powers and functions of the same was signed "F. C. Garcia, by Juan Pons." After discovering these facts they returned to the house of Beliso
Legislature. But counsel in his argument says that the public knows that the Assembly's clock was stopped on and selected three of the twenty barrels and ordered them returned to the customhouse. Upon opening these
February 28, 1914, at midnight and left so until the determination of the discussion of all pending matters. Or, in three barrels each was found to contain a large tin fitted into the head of the barrel with wooden cleats and
other words, the hands of the clock were stayed in order to enable the Assembly to effect an adjournment securely nailed. Each large tin contained 75 small tins of opium. A comparison of the large tins taken out of the
apparently within the time fixed by the Governor's proclamation for the expiration of the special session, in three barrels with the empty ones found at 144 Calle General Solano show, says the trial court, "that they were
direct violation of the Act of Congress of July 1, 1902. If the clock was, in fact, stopped, as here suggested, "the in every way identical in size, form, etc."
resultant evil might be slight as compared with that of altering the probative force and character of legislative
records, and making the proof of legislative action depend upon uncertain oral evidence, liable to loss by death
or absence, and so imperfect on account of the treachery of memory. Long, long centuries ago, these While the customs officers were still at the office and warehouse of Beliso on the morning of April 10, Pons,
considerations of public policy led to the adoption of the rule giving verity and unimpeachability to legislative apparently unaware that anything unusual was going on, arrived there and was placed under arrest, and taken
records. If that character is to be taken away for one purpose, it must be taken away for all, and the evidence of to the office of Captain Hawkins, chief of the customs secret service, and according to Hawkins, voluntarily
the laws of the state must rest upon a foundation less certain and durable than that afforded by the law to many confessed his participation in the smuggling of the opium. He maintained, however, that the 77 tins of opium
contracts between private individuals concerning comparatively trifling matters." (Capito vs. Topping, W. Va., 22 found at 144 Calle General Solano represented the entire importation. Pons, being at the customhouse under
L. R. A. [N. S.], 1089.) Upon the same point the court, in the State ex rel. Herron vs. Smith (44 Ohio, 348), arrest at the time the three barrels were opened and the customs officers appearing to be no doubt as to which
decided in 1886, said: end of the barrels contained the opium, Pons showed the officers how to open the barrels and pointed out that
the end of the barrel, which had the impression of a bottle stamped in the wood, contained the opium. On seeing
the 195 tins of opium taken from the three barrels, Pons further stated that he had delivered some 250 tins of
Counsel have exhibited unusual industry in looking up the various cases upon this question; and, out opium of this shipment to a Chinaman at 7.30 a. m. on the morning of April 10, following the instructions given
of a multitude of citations, not one is found in which any court has assumed to go beyond the him by Beliso. On being further questioned, Pons stated that he and Beliso had been partners in several opium
proceedings of the legislature, as recorded in the journals required to be kept in each of its transactions; that the house at No. 144 Calle General Solano had been leased by him at the suggestion of Beliso
branches, on the question whether a law has been adopted. And if reasons for the limitation upon for the purpose of handling the prohibited drug; and that he and Beliso had shared the profits of a previous
judicial inquiry in such matters have not generally been stated, in doubtless arises from the fact that importation of opium. Sese testified that he had delivered a previous shipment to 144 Calle General Solano. The
they are apparent. Imperative reasons of public policy require that the authenticity of laws should customs agents then went with Pons to his house and found in his yard several large tin receptacles, in every
rest upon public memorials of the most permanent character. They should be public, because all are way similar to those found at 144 Calle General Solano and those taken from the barrels at the customhouse. At
required to conform to them; they should be permanent, that right acquired to-day upon the faith of first Pons stated that F. C. Garcia was a tobacco merchant traveling in the between the Provinces of Isabela and
what has been declared to be law shall not be destroyed to-morrow, or at some remote period of Cagayan, and later he retracted this statement and admitted that Garcia was a fictitious person. But during the
time, by facts resting only in the memory of individuals. trial of this case in the court below Pons testified that Garcia was a wine merchant and a resident of Spain, and
that Garcia had written him a letter directing him to rent a house for him (Garcia) and retain it until the arrival in
the Philippine Islands of Garcia. According to Pons this letter arrived on the same steamer which brought the 25
In the case from which this last quotation is taken, the court cited numerous decisions of the various states in barrels of "wine," but that he had destroyed it because he feared that it would compromise him. On being asked
the American Union in support of the rule therein laid down, and we have been unable to find a single case of a during the trial why he insisted, in purchasing wine from Beliso, in receiving a part of the wine which had just
later date where the rule has been in the least changed or modified when the legislative journals cover the point. arrived on the Lopez y Lopez, answered, "Naturally because F. C. Garcia told me in this letter that this opium
As the Constitution of the Philippine Government is modeled after those of the Federal Government and the was coming in barrels of wine sent to Beliso by a man the name of Jacinto Lasarte, and that is the reason I
various states, we do not hesitate to follow the courts in that country in the matter now before us. The journals wanted to get these barrels of wine."
say that the Legislature adjourned at 12 midnight on February 28, 1914. This settles the question, and the court
did not err in declining to go behind these journals.
The foregoing are substantially the fats found by the trial court and these fats establish the guilt of the appellant
beyond any question of a doubt, notwithstanding his feeble attempt to show that the opium as shipped to him
On or about the 5th or 6th of April, 1915, the Spanish mail steamer Lopez y Lopez arrived at Manila from Spain, from Spain by a childhood fried named Garcia. The appellant took a direct part in this huge smuggling
bringing, among other cargo, twenty-five barrels which were manifested as "wine" and consigned to Jacinto transaction and profited thereby. The penalty imposed by the trial court is in accordance with la and the
Lasarte. Gabino Beliso had been, prior to the arrival of this cargo, engaged in the business of a wine merchant, decisions of this court in similar cases.
with an office and warehouse located at 203 Calle San Anton in this city. The shipper's invoice and bill of lading
for the twenty-five barrels were delivered to Gregorio Cansipit, a customs broker, by Beliso. These documents
were indorsed as follows: "Deliver to Don Gabino Beliso" and signed "Jacinto Lasarte." Cansipit conducted the For the foregoing reasons, the judgment appealed from is affirmed, with costs. So ordered.
negotiations incident to the release of the merchandise from the customhouse and the twenty-five barrels were
delivered in due course to the warehouse of Beliso at the aforementioned street and number. Beliso signed the
paper acknowledging delivery. Shortly thereafter the custom authorities, having noticed that shipments of Torres, Johnson, Moreland, and Araullo, JJ., concur.
merchandise manifested as "wine" had been arriving in Manila from Spain, consigned to persons whose names
were not listed as merchants, and having some doubt as to the nature of the merchandise so consigned,
instituted an investigation and traced on the 10th of April, 1915, the twenty-five barrels to Beliso's warehouse,
being aided by the customs registry number of the shipment, the entry number, and the serial number of each
barrel. It was found that the twenty-five barrels began to arrive on bull carts at Beliso's warehouse about 11
o'clock on the morning of April 9. Before the merchandise arrived at that place, the appellant, Juan Pons, went to
Beliso's warehouse and joined Beliso in the latter's office, where the two engaged in conversation. Pons then left
and shortly thereafter several of the barrels arrived and were unloaded in Beliso's bodega. He called one of his
employees, Cornelius Sese, and directed him to go out and get a bull cart. This Sese did and returned with the
vehicle. Beliso then carefully selected five barrels out of the shipment of twenty-five and told Sese to load these
five on the cart and to deliver them to Juan Pons at No. 144 Calle General Solano. This order was complied with
by Sese and the barrels delivered to Pons at the place designated. Pursuing their investigation, which started on
the 10th, the customs secret service agents entered Beliso's bodega on that date before the office was opened
and awaited the arrival of Beliso. Sese was found in the bodega and placed under arrest. The agents then
proceeded to separate the recent shipment from the other merchandise stored in the warehouse, identifying the
barrels by the customs registry and entry numbers. Only twenty of the twenty-five barrels could be found on
Beliso's premises. Upon being questioned or interrogated, Sese informed the customs agents that the five
missing barrels had been delivered by him to Pons at 144 Calle General Solano by order of Beliso. The agents,
accompanied by Sese, proceeded to 144 Calle General Solano and here found the five missing barrels, which
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
while for the Senate the corresponding appropriation items appear to be:

1. The President of the Senate . . . . . . . . P 16,000.00

2. Twenty-three Senators at P7,200 . . . . 165,600.00.

Thus showing that the 1965-1966 Budget (R.A. No. 4642) implemented the increase in salary of the Speaker and
members of the House of Representatives set by Republic Act 4134, approved just the preceding year 1964.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT The petitioners contend that such implementation is violative of Article VI, Section 14, of the Constitution, as
Manila amended in 1940, that provides as follows:

EN BANC SEC. 14. The Senators and the Members of the House of Representatives shall, unless otherwise
provided by law, receive an annual compensation of seven thousand two hundred pesos each,
including per diems and other emoluments or allowances, and exclusive only of traveling expenses
G.R. No. L-25554 October 4, 1966 to and from their respective districts in the case of Members of the House of Representatives, and to
and from their places of residence in the case of Senators, when attending sessions of the Congress.
No increase in said compensation shall take effect until after the expiration of the full term of all the
PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION ASSOCIATION, INC., petitioner, Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives approving such, increase. Until
vs. otherwise provided by law, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of
ISMAEL MATHAY and JOSE VELASCO, respondents. Representatives shall each receive an annual compensation of sixteen thousand pesos. (Emphasis
supplied)

Roman Ozaeta and Felixberto Serrano for petitioner.


Office of the Solicitor General for respondents. The reason given being that the term of the eight senators elected in 1963, and who took part in the approval of
Republic Act No. 4134, will expire only on December 30, 1969; while the term of the members of the House who
participated in the approval of said Act expired on December 30, 1965.
REYES, J.B.L., J.:

From the record we also glean that upon receipt of a written protest from petitioners (Petition, Annex "A"), along
The Philippine Constitution Association, a non-stock, non-profit association duly incorporated and organized the lines summarized above, the then Auditor General requested the Solicitor General to secure a judicial
under the laws of the Philippines, and whose members are Filipino citizens and taxpayers, has filed in this Court construction of the law involved (Annex "B"); but the Solicitor General evaded the issue by suggesting that an
a suit against the former Acting Auditor General of the Philippines and Jose Velasco, Auditor of the Congress of opinion on the matter be sought from the Secretary of Justice (Annex "C", Petition). Conformably to the
the Philippines, duly assigned thereto by the Auditor General as his representative, seeking to permanently suggestion, the former Acting Auditor General endorsed the PHILCONSA letter to the Secretary of Justice on
enjoin the aforesaid officials from authorizing or passing in audit the payment of the increased salaries November 26, 1965; but on or before January, 1966, and before the Justice Secretary could act, respondent
authorized by Republic Act No. 4134 (approved June 10, 1964) to the Speaker and members of the House of Aguiluz, as former Acting Auditor General, directed his representative in Congress, respondent Velasco, to pass
Representatives before December 30, 1969. Subsequently, Ismael Mathay, present Auditor General, was in audit and approve the payment of the increased salaries within the limits of the Appropriation Act in force;
substituted for Amable M. Aguiluz, former Acting Auditor General. hence the filing of the present action.

Section 1, paragraph 1, of Republic Act No. 4134 provided, inter alia, that the annual salary of the President of The answer of respondents pleads first the alleged lack of personality of petitioners to institute the action, for
the Senate and of the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be P40,000.00 each; that of the Senators lack of showing of injury; and that the Speaker and Members of the House should be joined parties defendant.
and members of the House of Representatives, P32,000.00 each (thereby increasing their present compensation On the merits, the answer alleges that the protested action is in conformity with the Constitutional provisions,
of P16,000.00 and P7,200.00 per annum for the Presiding officers and members, respectively, as set in the insofar as present members of the Lower House are concerned, for they were elected in 1965, subsequent to the
Constitution). The section expressly provided that "the salary increases herein fixed shall take effect in passage of Republic Act 4134. Their stand, in short, is that the expiration of the term of the members of the
accordance with the provisions of the Constitution". Section 7 of the same Act provides "that the salary increase House of Representatives who approved the increase suffices to make the higher compensation effective for
of the President of the Senate and of the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall take effect on the them, regardless of the term of the members of the Senate.
effectivity of the salary increase of Congressmen and Senators.

The procedural points raised by respondent, through the Solicitor General, as their counsel, need not give pause.
The Appropriation Act (Budget) for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1965, to June 30, 1966 (Republic Act No. 4642) As taxpayers, the petitioners may bring an action to restrain officials from wasting public funds through the
contained the following items for the House of Representatives: enforcement of an invalid or unconstitutional law (Cf. PHILCONSA vs. Gimenez, L-23326, December 18, 1965;
Tayabas vs. Perez, 56 Phil. 257; Pascual vs. Secretary of Public Works L-10405, December 29, 1960; Pelaez vs.
Auditor General, L-23825, December 24, 1965; Iloilo Palay & Corn Planters Association vs. Feliciano, L-24022,
SPEAKER March 3, 1965). Moreover, as stated in 52 Am. Jur., page 5:

1. The Speaker of the House of Representatives at P16,000 from July 1 to December 29, The rule that a taxpayer can not, in his individual capacity as such, sue to enjoin an unlawful
1965 expenditure or waste of state funds is the minority doctrine.
and P40,000 from December 30, 1965 to June 30, 1966 . . . P29,129.00

On the alleged non-joinder of the members of the Lower House of Congress as parties defendants, suffice it to
MEMBERS say that since the acts sought to be enjoined were the respondents' passing in audit and the approval of the
payment of the Representatives' increased salaries, and not the collection or receipt thereof, only respondent
auditors were indispensable or proper parties defendant to this action.
2. One hundred three Members of the House of Representatives at P7,200 from July 1 to
December 29, 1965
and P32,000 from December 30, 1965 to June 30, 1966 2,032,866.00 These preliminary questions out of the way, we now proceed to the main issue: Does Section 14, Art. VI, of the
Constitution require that not only the term of all the members of the House but also that of all the Senators who
approved the increase must have fully expired before the increase becomes effective? Or, on the contrary, as
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
respondents contend, does it allow the payment of the increased compensation to the members of the House of The Solicitor General argues on behalf of the respondents that if the framers of the 1940 amendments to the
Representatives who were elected after the expiration of the term of those House members who approved the Constitution had intended to require the expiration of the terms not only of the Representatives but also of the
increase, regardless of the non-expiration of the terms of office of the Senators who, likewise, participated in the Senators who approved the increase, they would have just used the expression "term of all the members of the
approval of the increase? Congress" instead of specifying "all the members of the Senate and of the House". This is a distinction without a
difference, since the Senate and the House together constitute the Congress or Legislature. We think that the
reason for specifying the component chambers was rather the desire to emphasize the transition from a
It is admitted that the purpose of the provision is to place "a legal bar to the legislators yielding to the natural unicameral to a bicameral legislature as a result of the 1940 amendments to the Constitution.
temptation to increase their salaries. Not that the power to provide for higher compensation is lacking, but with
the length of time that has to elapse before an increase becomes effective, there is a deterrent factor to any
such measure unless the need for it is clearly felt" (Tañada & Fernando, Constitution of the Philippines, Vol. 2, p. It is also contended that there is significance in the use of the words "of the" before "House" in the provision
867). being considered, and in the use of the phrase "of the Senate and of the House" when it could have employed
the shorter expression "of the Senate and the House". It was grammatically correct to refer to "the members of
the Senate and (the members) of the House", because the members of the Senate are not members of the
Significantly, in establishing what might be termed a waiting period before the increased compensation for House. To speak of "members of the Senate and the House" would imply that the members of the Senate also
legislators becomes fully effective, the constitutional provision refers to "all the members of the Senate and of held membership in the House.
the House of Representatives" in the same sentence, as a single unit, without distinction or separation between
them. This unitary treatment is emphasized by the fact that the provision speaks of the "expiration of the full
term" of the Senators and Representatives that approved the measure, using the singular form, and not the The argument that if the intention was to require that the term of office of the Senators, as well as that of the
plural, despite the difference in the terms of office (six years for Senators and four for Representatives thereby Representatives, must all expire the Constitution would have spoken of the "terms" (in the plural) "of the
rendering more evident the intent to consider both houses for the purpose as indivisible components of one members of the Senate and of the House", instead of using "term" in the singular (as the Constitution does in
single Legislature. The use of the word "term" in the singular, when combined with the following phrase "all the section 14 of Article VI), has been already considered. As previously observed, the use of the singular form
members of the Senate and of the House", underscores that in the application of Article VI, Section 14, the "term" precisely emphasizes that in the provision in question the Constitution envisaged both legislative
fundamental consideration is that the terms of office of all members of the Legislature that enacted the measure chambers as one single unit, and this conclusion is reinforced by the expression employed, "until the expiration
(whether Senators or Representatives) must have expired before the increase in compensation can become of the full term of ALL the members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives approving such increase".
operative. Such disregard of the separate houses, in favor of the whole, accords in turn with the fact that the
enactment of laws rests on the shoulders of the entire Legislative body; responsibility therefor is not
apportionable between the two chambers. It is finally urged that to require the expiration of the full term of the Senators before the effectivity of the
increased compensation would subject the present members of the House of Representatives to the same
restrictions as under the Constitution prior to its amendment. It may well be wondered whether this was not, in
It is also highly relevant, in the Court's opinion, to note that, as reported by Aruego (Framing of the Constitution, fact, the design of the framers of the 1940 constitutional amendments. For under either the original limitation or
Vol. 1, p. 296, et. seq.), the committee on legislative power in the Constitutional Convention of 1934, before it the present one, as amended, as maximum delay of six (6) years and a minimum of four (4) is necessary before
was decided that the Legislature should be bicameral in form, initially recommended that the increase in the an increase of legislators' compensation can take effect.
compensation of legislators should not take effect until the expiration of the term of office of all members of the
Legislature that approved the increase. The report of the committee read as follows:
If that increase were approved in the session immediately following an election, two assemblymen's terms, of 3
years each, had to elapse under the former limitation in order that the increase could become operative,
The Senator and Representatives shall receive for their services an annual compensation of four because the original Constitution required that the new emolument should operate only after expiration of the
thousand pesos including per diems and other emoluments or allowances and exclusive of travelling term of assemblymen elected subsequently to those who approved it (Art. VI, sec. 5), and an assemblyman's
expenses to and from their respective residences when attending sessions of the National term was then 3 years only. Under the Constitution, as amended, the same interval obtains, since Senators hold
Legislature, unless otherwise fixed by law: Provided, That no increase in this yearly compensation office for six (6) years.
shall take effect until after the expiration of the terms of office of all the Members of the Legislature
that approved such increase. (Emphasis supplied) .
On the other hand, if the increase of compensation were approved by the legislature on its last session just prior
to an election, the delay is reduced to four (4) years under the original restriction, because to the last year of the
The spirit of this restrictive proviso, modified to suit the final choice of a unicameral legislature, was carried over term of the approving assemblymen the full 3-year term of their successors must be added. Once again an
and made more rigid in the first draft of the constitutional provision, which read: identical period must elapse under the 1940 amendment: because one-third of the Senators are elected every
two years, so that just before a given election four of the approving Senators' full six-year term still remain to
run.
Provided, That any increase in said compensation shall not take effect until after the expiration of the term of
office of the Members of the National Assembly who may be elected subsequent to the approval of such
increase. (Aruego, 1, p. 297) To illustrate: if under the original Constitution the assemblymen elected in, say, 1935 were to approve an
increase of pay in the 1936 sessions, the new pay would not be effective until after the expiration of the term of
the succeeding assemblymen elected in 1938; i.e., the increase would not be payable until December 30, 1941,
As recorded by the Committee on Style, and as finally approved and enacted, Article VI, section 5, of the six years after 1935. Under the present Constitution, if the higher pay were approved in 1964 with the
Constitution of the Commonwealth, provided that: participation of Senators elected in 1963, the same would not be collectible until December 30, 1969, since the
said Senators' term would expire on the latter date.

No increase in said compensation shall take effect until after the expiration of the full term of the Members of
the National Assembly elected subsequent to the approval of such increase. But if the assemblymen elected in 1935 (under the original Constitution) were to approve the increase in
compensation, not in 1936 but in 1938 (the last of their 3-year term), the new compensation would still operate
on December 30, 1941, four years later, since the term of assemblymen elected in November of 1938
Finally, with the return to bicameralism in the 1940 amendments to our fundamental law, the limitation assumed (subsequent to the approval of the increase) would end in December 30,1941.
its present form:

Again, under the present Constitution, if the increase is approved in the 1965 sessions immediately preceding
No increase in said compensation shall take effect until after the expiration of the full term of all the Members of the elections in November of that year, the higher compensation would be operative only on December 30,
the Senate and of the House of Representatives approving such increase. 1969, also four years later, because the most recently elected members of the Senate would then be Senators
chosen by the electors in November of 1963, and their term would not expire until December 30, 1969.

It is apparent that throughout its changes of phraseology the plain spirit of the restriction has not been altered.
From the first proposal of the committee on the legislative power of the 1934 Convention down to the present, This coincidence of minimum and maximum delays under the original and the amended constitution can not be
the intendment of the clause has been to require expiration of the full term of all members of the Legislature just due to accident, and is proof that the intent and spirit of the Constitutional restriction on Congressional
that approved the higher compensation, whether the Legislature be unicameral or bicameral, in order to salaries has been maintained unaltered. But whether designed or not, it shows how unfounded is the argument
circumvent, as far as possible, the influence of self-interest in its adoption. that by requiring members of the present House to await the expiration of the term of the Senators, who
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
concurred in approving the increase in compensation, they are placed in a worse position than under the the House of Representatives approving the increase. In specifying "the expiration of the full term of all the
Constitution as originally written. Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives approving such increase", the Constitution leaves
no doubt that until after the condition is met as to the Senate, no increase in the compensation laid down for
Senators and Representatives shall take effect.
The reason for the minimum interval of four years is plainly to discourage the approval of increases of
compensation just before an election by legislators who can anticipate their reelection with more or less
accuracy. This salutary precaution should not be nullified by resorting to technical and involved interpretation of It is also contended by respondents that the Constitution in using "term" instead of "terms" shows the clear
the constitutional mandate. intention to consider the "term" of the Senators independently from that of the Representatives. The contention
is untenable. The provision clearly uses "term" in the general sense. For, otherwise, even in referring to
members of the Senate alone, it should have used "terms" since the Senators had originally different terms of
In resume, the Court agrees with petitioners that the increased compensation provided by Republic Act No. 4134 office (two, four and six years), as provided for in Section 3 of Article VI of the Constitution, a provision
is not operative until December 30, 1969, when the full term of all members of the Senate and House that contemporaneous with the one involved herein. Yet just the same, the Constitution uses the would "term"
approved it on June 20, 1964 will have expired. Consequently, appropriation for such increased compensation (singular) to cover all these different terms of office.
may not be disbursed until December 30, 1969. In so far as Republic Act No. 4642 (1965-1966 Appropriation Act)
authorizes the disbursement of the increased compensation prior to the date aforesaid, it also violates the
Constitution and must be held null and void. I am of the opinion therefore that no other course is open to the Supreme Court in this case but to apply the
provision of the Constitution restricting the increase of salaries of Senators and Representatives by subjecting it
to a period of waiting. To forestall the view that the Supreme Court thereby offends equity, because the other
In view of the foregoing, the writ of prohibition prayed for is hereby granted, and the items of the Appropriation Constitutional officers — including the members of said Court — are already receiving their increased salaries
Act for the fiscal year 1965-1966 (Republic Act No. 4642) purporting to authorize the disbursement of the under Republic Act No. 4134, suffice it to bear in mind that it was within the hands of the legislators themselves
increased compensation to members of the Senate and the House of Representatives even prior to December if they had so desired, to have provided that the salary increases of the aforesaid other Constitution officers take
30, 1969 are declared void, as violative of Article VI, section 14, of the Constitution of the Republic of the effect at the same time as their own. In other words, if they had thought it would be inequitable to grant salary
Philippines; and the respondents, the Auditor General and the Auditor of the Congress of the Philippines, are increases to others before they could receive their own salary increase — an argument which, I am glad to note,
prohibited and enjoined from approving and passing in audit any disbursements of the increased compensation has not been advanced — they could have easily provided that the salary increases therein given be effective
authorized by Republic Act No. 4134 for Senators and members of the House of Representatives, before December 30, 1969, as in their case.
December 30, 1969. No costs.

I consequently reiterate my concurrence.


We concur in the foregoing opinion and in the concurring opinions of Justices Bengzon, Zaldivar and Castro.

Concepcion, C.J., Barrera, Dizon, Regala, Makalintal and Sanchez, JJ., concur.

ZALDIVAR, J., concurring:

During the third regular session of the Fifth Congress of the Republic of the Philippines House Bill No. 6190 was
Separate Opinions approved, and this bill was signed into law on June 20, 1964 by the President of the Philippines and became
Republic Act No. 4134.

BENGZON, J.P., J., concurring:


Section 1, paragraph A of Republic Act 4134 provides, among others, that the annual salary of the President of
the Senate and of the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be forty thousand pesos, and that of the
Fully concurring with the ponencia of Justice J.B.L. Reyes, I should like only to mention a few thoughts related to Senators and Members of the House of Representatives shall be thirty-two thousand pesos each. The paragraph
some points contained therein. ends with this sentence: "The salary increases herein fixed shall take effect in accordance with the provisions of
the Constitution."

As stated in the majority opinion, it is argued by respondents that if it was intended that the increase should
take effect at the same time, the provision of the Constitution could have been phrased as follows: The pertinent provision of the Constitution as far as the effectivity of any law increasing the compensation of the
Senators and Members of the House of Representatives is concerned reads as follows:

No increase in said compensation shall take effect until after the expiration of the full term of all the
Members of the Congress approving such increase. . . . No increase in said compensation shall take effect until after the expiration of the full term of all
the Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives approving such increase. . . . (Article
VI, Section 14 of the Constitution)
They maintain that in specifying "the Senate" and "the House" instead of just using the words "the Congress" the
body obviously considered that inasmuch as the terms of the Representatives and Senators under the legislature
provided for, would not necessarily coincide, the effective date of the increased salary of the Representatives Inasmuch as House Bill No. 6190 was passed during the third regular session of the Fifth Congress of the
could also be different from that of the Senators. Philippines, in 1964, said bill was approved by the House of Representatives whose members were elected in the
elections of November, 1961 and whose term of office would expire on December 29, 1965; and by the Senate
whose membership was composed of: eight Senators who were elected in November, 1959 and whose term
The fact that "Congress" is not used in the provision in question, in my opinion, is rather an argument for the would expire on December 29, 1965; eight Senators who were elected in November, 1961 and whose term
petitioner herein. "Congress" is not used, obviously because after every four years the Congress is dissolved. On would expire on December 29, 1967; and eight Senators who were elected in November, 1963 whose term
the other hand, the term of a member of the Senate, being six years, goes beyond the duration of one Congress would expire on December 29, 1969.
and extends to that of the next Congress. In other words, while the term of the members of the House of
Representatives coincides with the lifetime of the Congress, the term of a member of the Senate goes beyond
the existence of one Congress. Mr. Justice J.B.L. Reyes, writing the opinion of the Court in the case now before Us, interpreting the effectivity
clause in paragraph A, Section 1 of Republic Act 4134 in relation to the pertinent provision of Article VI, Section
14, of the Constitution, herein-above quoted, says that the increased compensation provided by Republic Act
The Constitution, instead, uses (1) "Senate" and "House of Representatives" and (2) adds "all" before "the 4134 for the Senators and Members of the House of Representatives will not take effect until December 30,
Members", clearly intending that no increase in the compensation therein provided for shall take effect until 1969. I concur with this opinion because it will not be until December 29, 1969 when the full term of all the
after the expiration of the term of the most junior among the members of the Senate at the time the increase Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives that approved the increase in 1964 would expire.
was approved. Precisely, therefore, because the Constitution speaks of "Senate" and "House of Representatives" And I also agree with the opinion that in so far as Republic Act No. 4642 (Appropriation Law for the fiscal year
instead of "Congress", the prohibition against effectivity continues even after the end of the Congress which 1965-1966) authorizes the disbursement of the increased compensation for the Members of the House of
approved the measure and, which amounts to the same thing, even after the end of the term of the members of Representatives prior to December 30, 1960 violates the Constitution and must be held null and void..
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
My opinion in this regard is based upon a personal knowledge of how the constitutional proviso, Article VI, been organized with the election of its President, determine by lot which of the elected Senators shall belong to
Section 14 of the Constitution, which is now in question, became a part of our present Constitution. It was the the group who shall serve six years, which to the group who shall serve for four years, and which to the group
Second National Assembly which amended our original Constitution. I was a humble Member of the Second which shall serve for two years." (Section 9, Com. Act No. 666)
National Assembly, representing the province of Antique.

When the matter regarding the compensation of the members of both chambers came up for the deliberation,
The three important amendments that were incorporated in our Constitution by the Second National Assembly in there were proposals that the Senators be given more compensation than the Members of the House of
1940 were the provisions regarding (1) the establishment of a bicameral legislature composed of a House of Representatives, and a number of proposals were presented regarding the amount of compensation that would
Representatives and a Senate, to take the place of the then existing unicameral legislature known as the be paid to the Senators or to the Representatives, as the case may be. This matter was the subject of long
National Assembly; (2) the change in the term of the office of the President of the Philippines, and the Vice- discussions. It was finally agreed that the amount of compensation for the Senators and for the Members of the
President, which formerly was for a period of six years, to that of four years, with the proviso that no person shall House of Representatives be the same, and it was fixed at P7,200.00 per annum each, including per diems and
serve as President for more than eight consecutive years; and (3) the creation of the Commission on Elections. other emoluments, exclusive only of travelling expenses in going to and returning from the sessions. There was
an increase of P2,200.00 over the P5,000.00 per annum that the Members of the National Assembly were
receiving at the time. It is thus seen that in the matter of compensation the sense of the Members of the Second
It is regrettable that the deliberations of the Second National Assembly on the 1940 amendments to the National Assembly who amended the Constitution in 1940 was to provide for an equal compensation for the
Constitution were mostly done in caucuses behind closed doors, and the discussions were not recorded. It was Members of the Senate and to the Members of the House of Representatives.
during the first special sessions of the Second National Assembly in September, 1939 when discussions on
proposed amendments to the Constitution were held. It was only after the propose amendments had been
approved in caucuses when the amendments were embodied in a resolution and submitted to the National When the matter regarding the increase in the compensation of the Senators and of the Representatives came
Assembly in open session. The amendments as approved in caucuses were embodied in Resolution No. 38 and up for consideration, there was unanimity among the Assemblymen in support of the idea that members of the
adopted on September 15, 1939. However, during the second regular sessions in 1940 Resolution No. 38 was Congress of the Philippines may approve a law increasing their compensation, but that no Member of the House
amended by Resolution No. 73 which was adopted on April 11, 1940. That is how the amendments came to be of Representatives or of the Senate that approved the law increasing the compensation should receive the
known as the 1940 Amendments. Those amendments were approved in a plebiscite that was held on June 18, increased compensation during their term of office when the increase was approved. I remember that the
1940. question as to when the increase of compensation as approved by the Members of the Congress of the
Philippines should take effect was the subject of a prolonged and heated discussion. Many Members of the
National Assembly wanted to continue with the provision of Article VI, Section 5 of the original Constitution that
I still have vivid recollections of the important points brought up during the deliberations in caucus over "No increase in said compensation shall take effect until after the expiration of the full term of the Members of
proposed amendments and of the agreements arrived at. I remember too the influences that worked, and the the National Assembly elected subsequent to the approval of such increase." I have taken note that no less than
pressures that were brought to bear upon the Assemblymen, in the efforts to bring about agreements on very eighteen members of the Second National Assembly in 1940 were members of the 1934 constitutional
controversial matters and thus secure the insertion of the desired amendments to the Constitution. The convention that drafted the original Constitution, and it was this group of Assemblymen that were zealous in
discussions on the proposed amendments affecting the legislative branch of the government were specially of maintaining the idea that one full term of a member of the legislature subsequent to the approval of the increase
interest to us then because we were in some way personally affected, as most of us were interested in running in compensation should be made to lapse before the increase shall take effect. But this idea could not be
for reelection. insisted upon because while that was feasible in the case of Members of the National Assembly which was a
unicameral body, that idea could not be adopted in a bicameral body where the term of office of the members of
one chamber was not the same as that of the members of the other chamber. I recall that it was finally agreed
It is not my purpose here to impose on anyone my recollections of matters that were brought up during our to simply adopt the constitutional precept that no Senator or Member of the House of Representatives may
caucuses then, but I only wish to emphasize the fact that my concurring opinion in the decision of the case now receive any increase in compensation, as approved by the House and the Senate of a particular Congress, before
before Us has for its basis my honest and best recollections of what had transpired, or what had been expressed, the expiration of the term of all the members of the House of Representatives and of the Senate that approved
during the caucuses held by the Members of the Second National Assembly in the deliberations which later the increase. Inasmuch as the term of the Members of the House of Representatives is shorter than that of the
brought about the 1940 amendments. Senators, it was understood that the expiration of the term of the Members of the Senate that approved the
increase should be awaited before the increase in compensation would take effect. As finally worded by the
Committee on Style of the Assembly, and that Committee on Style was headed by the illustrious and
I distinctly remember that the proposed amendment to change the legislature from unicameral to that of indefatigable Assemblyman Gregorio Perfecto, who later became a worthy member of this Court, that
bicameral, just as the proposal to change the term of office of the President from six years without reelection to constitutional precept which became part of Section 14, Article VI of the amended Constitution was worded as
that of four years with one reelection, at first met very strong oppositon by a considerable group of follows:
Assemblymen. But somehow the opposition was finally subdued, so to say. In the case of the legislature, the
basic idea of having two chambers of the legislature — one chamber serving as a check to the other — was
accepted. It was then considered as a wise idea to have the Senate as the upper chamber, to be composed of No increase in said compensation shall take effect until after the expiration of the full term of all the
members who would be elected at large, and it was expected that those who would be elected to the Senate Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives approving such increase.
would be men of national prestige; prestigious because of their known integrity, in their record and experience
as a public servant, or in their prominence as a successful member of his profession. It was even said, then, that
the Senate would be a training ground for future Presidents of the nation. And so, when it was agreed that a It should be noted that the above-quoted portion of Section 14, Article VI of the Constitution talks of the
bicameral legislature would be provided in the Constitution, the next matter that had to be considered was the "expiration of the full term of all the Members" then followed by the words "of the Senate and of the House of
tenure of office of the members of each of the two chambers of the legislature. As far as the terms of the Representatives approving such increase." This proviso contemplates not the Representatives or the Senators
members of the lower chamber, to be known as the House of Representatives, there was no disagreement over who voted in favor of the increase, but the Senate and the House of Representatives as a body that approved
the idea that their term be for a period of four years, to coincide with the term of the President. But as far as the the increase. And so, because the understanding of the amending Assemblymen was that the effectiveness of
term of office of the members of the upper chamber, to be known as the Senate, there was at first a divergence the increase should take place after the expiration of the term of the Senators with the longest term among the
of opinion. There was a group that supported the idea that the term of the members of the upper chamber be Members of the Senate that approved the increase the constitutional proviso was so worded "shall take effect
four years, similar to that of the House of Representatives, so that in the national elections that would take place until after the full term of all the members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives approving such
every four years there would be elections for President, Vice-President, and all the members of the Congress of increase." It will be noted that this Section 14 starts with using the words "Senators and Members of the House
the Philippines. However, there was a very strong advocacy on the part of top political leaders at that time that of Representatives" in referring to the compensation to be received by each. They are considered individually.
the Senate should be made a continuing body, such that the complete membership of that chamber should not But in the matter of determining the time when the increase is to take effect they are considered as collective by
be elected during the national elections that would take place every four years. the use of the phrase "all the Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives approving such
increase." The use of the word all includes every Member of the Senate and of the House of Representatives,
regardless of whether or not he or she voted affirmatively for the increase. It is the House and the Senate that
Finally, it was agreed that the members of the Senate, which was decided to be composed of twenty-four, would approved the increase. And so because the effectiveness of the increase depends on the expiration of the term
have a term of six years, one-third of which number would be elected every two years. The idea of having of all the members of both chambers it stands to reason that all the members of the two chambers were taken
elections of one-third of the membership of the Senate was adjusted to the situation that in between two into consideration, and because when the increase was approved by the Senate and the House of
national elections there were the elections for local officials. The question regarding the term of office of the Representatives there were members of the Senate whose term of office was longer than that of some other
Members of the first Senate to be elected under the Constitution as amended was settled by inserting a proviso Members of the Senate and of the Members of the House of Representatives it is the term of the Senators which
that the first senators elected should, in the manner provided by law, be divided equally into three groups: the was the longest that should first expire before the increase should take effect. That is how I understood then that
senators of the first group to serve for a term of six years, those of the second group to serve for a term of four portion of Section 14, Article VI of the Constitution, and I sincerely believe that that was also how most if not all
years, and those of the third group for a term of two years (Article VI, Section 3). And for the purposes of the first of my colleagues understood it.
elections under the amended Constitution Commonwealth Act No. 666 was enacted by the National Assembly
providing, as far as the first Senate was concerned, that "The Senate shall, within ten days after it shall have
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
The question precisely was raised whether under that constitutional proviso, as above-quoted, the Members of been elected for a term of four years, and a Senate that is composed of Members who had each been elected for
the House of Representatives who are elected during the elections subsequent to the approval of the increase by a term of six years, although at different elections, as provided in the Constitution.
the Congress of the Philippines could receive the increased compensation inasmuch as the term of those
Members of the House that had approved the increase had already expired. I remember that it was the
understanding of the Members of the National Assembly that those members of the House of Representatives We make the Third Congress of the Republic of the Philippines as an example. This Congress covered the period
who would be elected subsequent to the approval of such increase could not immediately receive the increased of four years from January, 1954 to December, 1957, inclusive. During the first two years (or two regular
compensation as approved during the preceding Congress; and neither could the eight Senators who would be sessions) this Congress was composed of the House of Representatives whose members were elected in the
elected along with those Representatives in the same elections. To allow those newly elected Representatives elections of November, 1953 and whose term would expire on December 29, 1957; and twenty-four senators:
and Senators to receive the increased compensation would give rise to a situation whereby the Members of the eight who were elected in November, 1953 whose term would expire on December 29, 1959; eight who were
House of Representatives and eight Senators would be receiving a compensation higher than that received by at elected in November, 1951 and whose term would expire on December 29, 1957; and eight who were elected in
least sixteen Members of the Senate, including the President of the Senate, as the case might happen. That November, 1949 and whose term would expire on December 29, 1955.
would be inconsistent with the basic idea adopted by the Members of the National Assembly that the
compensation of the Members of the House of Representatives and those of the Senate should be the same; and
it is only logical that when we say that the compensation of the Members of the House and of the Members of If a law increasing the salary is passed, say in the first regular session of the Third Congress in May, 1954, then
the Senate is the same, that compensation should be the same not only in amount but also at the same time the increase provided for in this law would take effect on December 30, 1959. Why? Because that law was
within their respective terms of office. approved by the House of Representatives (the term of whose members ended on December 29, 1957) and by a
Senate at least eight of whose members were elected in November, 1953 and whose term of office would expire
on December 29, 1959. That means that the members of the House of Representatives who were elected in the
It was envisaged by the Members of the National Assembly that the salary increase, under the constitutional elections of November, 1957 (many of whom may be members of the Third Congress who voted for the law in
proviso now in question, would become effective after the lapse of two years, or four years, as the case may be, May, 1954) would have to wait for two years before they could receive the increased compensation. In other
after the commencement of the term of office of those Members of the House of Representatives that are words, beginning December 30, 1959, the Members of the House of Representatives and all the Members of the
elected in the elections subsequent to the approval of the increase. In the case of the lapse of four years, which Senate (those elected in the 1955, 1957 and 1959 elections) would all be uniformly getting the increased salary.
we have just stated, it would mean that it would be the Members of the House of Representatives who would be
elected in the second elections subsequent to the approval of the increase who would receive the increased
compensation. 3. Let us take the third situation. We still use the Third Congress of the Republic of the Philippines as an
example. Let us suppose that the law increasing the compensation was passed in the third regular session of the
Third Congress in May, 1956. This time the Third Congress is composed of the same members of the House of
As I have stated, it was the sense of the Members of the Second National Assembly that approved the Representatives who were elected in November, 1953, but the Senate has a different composition. The Senate
constitutional amendment in 1940 that the increase in the compensation for Members of the House of would already be composed of eight new Senators who were elected during the elections of November, 1955
Representatives and of the Senate would take effect only until after the expiration of the full term of the and whose term of office would expire on December 29, 1961, the remaining eight Senators elected in 1953 and
senators who were Members of the Senate that approved the increase. It is my recollection that the main idea of eight Senators who were elected in 1951. If the law increasing the compensation is passed during the regular
the Members of the National Assembly in adopting the proviso in question was to maintain the equality of the session of 1956 this law would be approved by the House of Representatives and by the Senate that had eight
compensation of the Members of the House of Representatives and of the Senate at all times. new members whose term would expire on December 29, 1961. Since the term of these new eight Senators
would expire on December 29, 1961, then the increased compensation would take effect on December 30, 1961.

Three situations were anticipated to happen by the amending Assemblymen under the constitutional proviso in
question: In November, 1957 there were elections and a new House of Representatives was then elected, and the term of
office of the members of the new House would expire on December 29, 1961. Likewise, a new set of eight
Senators were elected whose term would expire on December 29, 1963. Those Members of the House of
1. This is the first situation. Let us take the case of the First Congress of the Philippines which was elected in Representatives who were elected in November, 1957, among whom perhaps were Representatives who voted
November, 1941 already under the Constitution as amended in 1940. This Congress was composed of a House of for the increase during the 1956 sessions, would not enjoy the increased compensation because their term
Representatives whose members were elected for a term of 4 years, to expire on December 29, 1945; and of a would expire on December 29, 1961 — the very same date of the termination of the term of the eight Senators
Senate composed of eight Senators with a term of 6 years to expire on December 29, 1947; eight senators with who were elected in 1955 and who were Members of the Senate that approved the increase during the session
a term of 4 years to expire on December 29, 1945, and eight senators with a term of 2 years to expire on of 1956. In this case the increased compensation would be received by the Members of the House of
December 29, 1943. Representatives who were elected in the elections of November, 1961, along with the Senators who were
elected in November, 1961 and the remaining Senators who were elected in 1959 and 1957. They would all be
receiving the same compensation and at the same time while they are in office during the term for which they
If a law increasing the compensation of Members of Congress was passed during the sessions of 1942, supposing were elected.
that there was no war, the increase would take effect on December 30, 1947, after the expiration of the term of
the eight senators who were elected in the elections in November, 1941 who served for a term of six years. The
term of the eight senators who were elected in 1941 and who would have served for only two years would have As far as the House of Representatives is concerned, the situation as portrayed in this third case is the same
expired on December 29, 1943; and the term of the eight senators who would have served for four years would situation as that which was contemplated by the framers of the original Constitution of 1935 when it was
have expired on December 29, 1945. The term (4 years) of the Representatives who were elected in November, provided in the Constitution as adopted that the increase in salary should not take effect "until after the
1941 would also have expired on December 29, 1945. But in November, 1943 elections for eight senators who expiration of the full term of the Members of the National Assembly elected subsequent to the approval of such
would serve for a regular term of 6 years would have taken place; and likewise elections for a full House of increase." In the example we have given, the increase in salaries of the Members of the House of
Representatives and for another set of senators to serve for a full term of six years would have taken place in Representatives which was approved by the Members of the House in the third regular session of the Third
November, 1945. If the war did not upset the national affairs a new Congress would have convened in January, Congress did not take effect until after the expiration of the full term of the Members of the House who were
1946, already composed of a House of Representatives and a Senate whose members would all have been elected subsequent to the approval of such increase.
elected for a term of six years each.

The case now before Us is similar to Case No. 3 that we have portrayed above. Republic Act 4134 was approved
So, on December 30, 1947 when the increase in the compensation would take effect, the increased during the regular session of the Fifth Congress of the Republic of the Philippines in May, 1964 and signed into
compensation would be uniformly enjoyed by all members of Congress (Senators and Representatives alike) — law by the President on June 20, 1964. As I have stated earlier, the increase provided in this law was approved
those Senators who were elected in the 1943, 1945 and 1947 elections, and by the Members of the House of by the House of Representatives whose members were elected in November, 1961, and whose term of office
Representatives who were elected in the 1945 elections. Under that situation, the Members of the House of expired on December 29, 1965; and by the Senate composed of eight Senators who were elected in November,
Representatives who were elected in 1945 would have waited for two years before they could receive the 1963 whose term would expire on December 29, 1969, eight Senators who were elected in November, 1961
increased compensation that was approved in the 1942 sessions of Congress. And this is so, because it is on whose term would expire on December 29, 1967, and eight Senators who were elected in November, 1959
December 29, 1947, when the six-year term of the eight Senators who were Members of the Senate that whose term had expired on December 29, 1965. Inasmuch as the increase would take effect at the expiration of
approved the increased compensation in 1942 (along with the then existing House of Representatives) had the term of the Senators who were elected in November, 1963 — which is on December 29, 1969 — the
expired. Members of the present House of Representatives cannot receive this increased compensation during their
present term of office. It will be the Members of the House of Representatives who will be elected in November,
1969, along with the Senators elected in 1965, 1967 and 1969, who will receive this increased compensation.
2. Now let us take the second situation. Let us take the case of a Congress that is normally constituted. When I They will then all be receiving the same compensation during the time that they are in office.
say "normally constituted" I mean a Congress composed of a House of Representatives whose members had
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
I have endeavored to make a discourse of facts as I know them, because I sincerely believe that the There is, to be sure, a specific rule of interpretation that would allow "or" to be interchanged with "and," in which
interpretation embodied in the opinion penned by my esteemed colleague, Mr. Justice J.B.L. Reyes, of the event a negation of the concept of joinder would ensue. But this is the exception rather than the general rule.
pertinent provision of Article VI, Section 14 of our Constitution is in consonance with the facts and circumstances The exception is resorted to only when a literal interpretation would pervert the plain intention of the writer or
as I remember them, and as I know them. As I have stated at the early part of this concurring opinion, it is not draftsman as gleaned from the overall context of the writing and/or from external factors. This does not obtain in
my purpose to impose on anyone my recollection of what transpired, or of what had been discussed about, or of the provision under discussion. Indeed, a departure from the general rule and a resort to the exception would
what had been agreed upon, by the Members of the Second National Assembly during the deliberations which pervert section 14 of article VI. Note the parity of compensation of the senators and the members of the House
brought about the 1940 amendments to our Constitution. My perception and my memory are as frail as those of of Representatives. If the expiration of the full term of the members of the Senate would be considered as
any other human being, and I may have incurred myself in error. It just happened that the facts and the separable from the expiration of the full term of the members of the House of Representatives, despite the
circumstances that I have herein narrated, as I remember them, have engendered in my mind an opinion, nay a conjunction "and," then the result would be to allow members of the House of Representatives to enjoy the
conviction, which dovetails with the opinion of my illustrious colleague that has penned the opinion for the increase in compensation ahead of the senators, thereby producing a disparity of compensation. Furthermore, if
majority of the Court in this case. the framers of the provision were concerned with the realities of the term of office of the senators and that of
the representatives, more than with the reality of the parity of compensation, then they should have staggered
the effectivity of entitlement to the increased salary and allowed the first group of senators elected after the
approval of the increase to enjoy such increase.

CASTRO J., concurring: The prohibition or limitation may be stated elsewise: "The full terms of all the members of the Senate and of the
House of Representatives approving such increase must first expire before an increase in compensation can take
effect." Would the literal meaning of the provision still be in doubt?
Republic Act 4134, increasing the salary of all the members of Congress, was approved on June 20, 1964. In the
light of the constitutional prohibition or station embodied in section 14 of article VI of the Constitution, when
does such increase in salary take effect? Shall effectivity be this year 1966 for the members of the House of The framers of the constitutional provision under discussion certainly were not wanting of competent legal
Representatives, considering that the full term of the members thereof who participated in the approval of the stylists. With such more reason, then, must they be regarded as having achieved a unity of intention, statement
salary increase has expired? Even if the full terms of all the members of the Senate, as composed in 1964, have and meaning. These experienced stylists could have so easily phrased the provision differently to conform to a
not expired? Or shall effectivity be only on December 30, 1969, after the expiration of the full term of the different intention. For example, it could have been: ". . . until after the expiration of the full term of all the
senators elected in 1963? . members of the Senate or of the House of Representatives approving such increase, as the case may be." But
this was not done, and we cannot deviate from what able stylists have plainly stated in plain language.

I fully adhere to and support the position taken by my esteemed brethren, Justices J.B.L. Reyes, Jose P. Bengzon
and Calixto Zaldivar. Their thorough going treatment of the issue effectively exploits logical, historical and Concepcion, C.J., Barrera, Dizon, Regala, Makalintal and Sanchez, JJ., concur.
empirical considerations leading quite inevitably to the firm conclusion that the salary increase provided for by
Congress in 1964 can take effect, for any and all members of Congress, only after the expiration of the full term
of the senators elected in 1963, that is to say, only after December 29, 1969.

There is, however, a vital aspect of the problem that, in my view, requires not only projection but emphasis as
well. This is the language of the pertinent constitutional prohibition or limitation which by itself forcefully
compels the very conclusion arrived at by the majority of the Court.

We cannot overemphasize the essential role of language. It is one of the distinctive qualities of man, especially
of modern thinking man. Man does feel and analyze his intellectual and material experiences; but more than this
he has the ability to articulate, and through articulation he manages synthesis and brings forth the creation and
evolution of culture, literature, science and law. In the process, the unceasing effort is to say what is meant and
to mean what is said.

How, then, is the constitutional prohibition or limitation on congressional salary increases stated? "No increase in
said compensation shall take effect until after the expiration of the full term of all the members of the Senate
and of the House of Representatives approving such increase." This statement has a literal message of striking
clarity. The phrase "No increase in said compensation shall take effect" establishes the character of the provision
as a prohibition or limitation, as can be seen from the unqualified words "no increase". The words "until after the
expiration of the full term" impart the period of time during which the prohibition or limitation operates, after
which period the increase in compensation can take effect. Whose full term must first expire before the increase
can take effect? It is the full term "of the members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives approving
such increase." The immediate as well as lasting impact of these words is that what must first expire is the full
term of the members of both houses of Congress approving the increase. It cannot be the full term of the
members of either house, nor yet the full term of the members of the Senate or that of the members of the
House of Representatives.

The key word is the particle "and". "And" is a conjunction pertinently defined as meaning "together with," "joined
with" (Funk and Wagnalls New Standard Dictionary of the English Language, p. 105); "along or together with," Republic of the Philippines
"added to or linked to," used to conjoin word with word, phrase with phrase, clause with clause (Webster's New SUPREME COURT
International Dictionary, p. 98). The word "and" does not mean "or"; it is a conjunction used to denote a joinder Manila
or union, "binding together relating the one to the other" (See 3 Words and Phrases, 569-571.).

FIRST DIVISION
As understood from the common and usual meaning of the conjunction "and," the expiration of the full term of
all the members of the Senate is inseparable from the expiration of the full term of all the members of the House
of Representatives. From the perspective of semantics, it is undeniably perceived that those who framed the
constitutional provision, when they utilized the word "and," stated what they meant and meant what they stated.

G.R. No. L-34676 April 30, 1974


DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
BENJAMIN T. LIGOT, petitioner, adverse decision on ex-Congressman Singson's claim for retirement gratuity as computed on the basis of the
vs. salary increase of P32,000.00 per annum for members of Congress under Republic Act No. 4134.
ISMAEL MATHAY, Auditor General and JOSE V. VELASCO, Auditor, Congress of the Philippines,
respondents.
Petitioner's request for reconsideration was denied in due course on January 20, 1972, by the Auditor General
through respondent Auditor who further advised petitioner and furnished him with copy of the 2nd indorsement
Maximo A. Savellano, Jr. for petitioner. of June 29, 1971, of the Office of the President, dismissing the appeal of Congressman Singson from the Auditor
General's adverse decision disallowing the claim for retirement gratuity, computed on a salary basis of
P32,000.00 per annum.
Office of the Solicitor General, for respondent.

Hence the present petition for review by way of appeal from the adverse decision of the Auditor General.

The thrust of petitioner's appeal is that his claim for retirement gratuity computed on the basis of the increased
TEEHANKEE, J.:p salary of P32,000.00 per annum for members of Congress (which was not applied to him during his incumbency
which ended December 30, 1969, while the Court held in Philconsa vs. Mathay that such increases would
become operative only for members of Congress elected to serve therein commencing December 30, 1969)
The Court dismisses the petition for review and thereby affirms the Auditor-General's decision that petitioner as should not have been disallowed, because at the time of his retirement, the increased salary for members of
a Congressman whose term of office expired on December 30, 1969 and qualified for retirement benefits by Congress "as provided by law" (under Republic Act 4134) was already P32,000.00 per annum.
virtue of a minimum of twenty years of government service is entitled to a retirement gratuity based on the
salary actually received by him as a member of Congress of P7,200.00 per annum. To grant petitioner's
contention that the retirement gratuity of members of Congress; such as himself whose terms expired on Petitioner's contention is untenable for the following reasons:
December 30, 1969 should be computed on the basis of an increased salary of P32,000.00 per annum under
Republic Act 4134 which could only by operative with incoming members of Congress whose terms of office
would commence on December 30, 1969, by virtue of the Constitutional mandate that such salary increases 1. Since the salary increase to P32,000.00 per annum for members of Congress under Republic Act 4134 could
could take effect only upon the expiration of the full term of all members of Congress that approved on June 20, be operative only from December 30, 1969 for incoming members of Congress when the full term of all members
1964 such increased salary, (since petitioner and other outgoing members of Congress were constitutionally of Congress (House and Senate) that approved the increase (such as petitioner) will have expired, by virtue of
prohibited from receiving such salary increase during their term of office) would be a subtle way of going around the constitutional mandate of Article VI, section 14 of the 1935 Constitution, it is self-evident that the "rate of
the constitutional prohibition and increasing in effect their compensation during their term of office and of doing pay as provided by law" for members of Congress retiring on December 30, 1969 such as petitioner must
indirectly what could not be done directly. necessarily be P7,200.00 per annum, the compensation they received "as provided by law" and the Constitution
during their term of office.

Petitioner served as a member of the House of Representatives of the Congress of the Philippines for three
consecutive four-year terms covering a twelve-year span from December 30, 1957 to December 30, 1969. 2. To grant retirement gratuity to members of Congress whose terms expired on December 30, 1969 computed
on the basis of an increased salary of P32,000.00 per annum (which they were prohibited by the Constitution
from receiving during their term of office) would be to pay them prohibited emoluments which in effect increase
During his second term in office (1961-1965), Republic Act No. 4134 "fixing the salaries of constitutional officials the salary beyond that which they were permitted by the Constitution to receive during their incumbency. As
and certain other officials of the national government" was enacted into law and under section 7 thereof took stressed by the Auditor General in his decision in the similar case of petitioner's colleague, ex-Congressman
effect on July 1, 1964. The salaries of members of Congress (senators and congressman) were increased under Singson, "(S)uch a scheme would contravene the Constitution for it would lead to the same prohibited result by
said Act from P7,200.00 to P32,000.00 per annum, but the Act expressly provided that said increases "shall take enabling administrative authorities to do indirectly what can not be done directly." 3
effect in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution." (section 1)

The Auditor-General further aptly observed that "(I)t should not escape notice that during his entire tenure as
Petitioner was re-elected to a third term (December 30, 1965 to December 30, 1969) but was held not entitled to Congressman (Dec. 30, 1965 to December 30, 1969) comprising the last four years of his government service,
the salary increase of P32,000.00 during such third term by virtue of this Court's unanimous decision in the herein claimant-retiree was unable to receive the increased salary of P32,000.00 per annum for Members of
Philconsa vs. Mathay 1 "that the increased compensation provided by Republic Act No. 4134 is not operative until Congress precisely because of the ,constitutional ban. To allow him now to collect such amount in the guise of
December 30, 1969 when the full term of all members of the Senate and House that approved it on June 20, retirement gratuity defies logic. Nor does it stand to reason that while he could not legally receive such rate as
1964 will have expired" by virtue of the constitutional mandate in Section 14, Article VI of the 1935 Constitution salary while still in the service, he would now be allowed to enjoy it thereafter by virtue of his retirement." 4
which provides that "No increase in said compensation shall take effect until after the expiration of the full term
of all the members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives approving such increase."
3. Petitioner's contention that since the increased salary of P32,000.00 per annum was already operative when
his retirement took effect on December 30, 1969, his retirement gratuity should be based on such increased
Petitioner lost his bid for a consecutive fourth term in the 1969 elections and his term having expired on salary cannot be sustained as far as he and other members of Congress similarly situated whose term of office
December 30, 1969, filed a claim for retirement under Commonwealth Act 186, section 12 (c) as amended by ended on December 30, 1969 are concerned for the simple reason that a retirement gratuity or benefit is a form
Republic Act 4968 which provided for retirement gratuity of any official or employee, appointive or elective, with of compensation within the purview of the Constitutional provision limiting their compensation and "other
a total of at least twenty years of service, the last three years of which are continuous on the basis therein emoluments" to their salary as provided by law.
provided "in case of employees based on the highest rate received and in case of elected officials on the rates of
pay as provided by law." 2
This was the clear teaching of Philconsa vs. Jimenez. 5 In striking down Republic Act No. 3836 as null and void
insofar as it referred to the retirement of members of Congress and the elected officials thereof for being
On May 8, 1970, the House of Representatives issued a treasury warrant in the sum of P122,429.86 in violative of the Constitution, this Court held that "it is evident that retirement benefit is a form or another
petitioner's favor as his retirement gratuity, using the increased salary of P32,000.00 per annum of members of species of emolument, because it is a part of compensation for services of one possessing any office" and that
Congress which he never received during his incumbency and which under this Court's above-quoted decision in "Republic Act No. 3836 provides for an increase in the emoluments of Senators and Members of the House of
Philconsa vs. Mathay could become operative only on December 30, 1969 with the expiration of the full terms of Representatives, to take effect upon the approval of said Act, which was on June 22, 1963. Retirement benefits
all members of Congress that approved on June 20, 1964 such increased salary. were immediately available thereunder, without awaiting the expiration of the full term of all the Members of the
Senate and the House of Representatives approving such increase. Such provision clearly runs counter to the
prohibition in Article VI, section 14 of the Constitution." 6
Respondent Velasco as Congress Auditor did not sign the warrant, however, pending resolution by the Auditor
General of a similar claim filed by former Representative Melanio T. Singson, whose term as Congressman
likewise expired on December 30, 1969. It is thus correctly submitted by the Solicitor General that "(T)o allow petitioner a retirement gratuity computed
on the basis of P32,000.00 per annum would be a subtle way of increasing his compensation during his term of
office and of achieving indirectly what he could not obtain directly."
On July 22, 1970, respondent auditor Velasco formally requested petitioner to return the warrant and its
supporting papers for a recomputation of his retirement claim, enclosing therewith copy of the Auditor General's
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
4. The other ancillary contentions of petitioner in pressing his claim were amply refuted by the Office of the YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:
President in dismissing the appeal in the similar case of ex-Congressman Singson and therefore likewise serve to
show the untenability of petitioner's stand in this appeal, mutatis mutandis, as follows:
The accused-appellant, Romeo F. Jaloslos is a full-pledged member of Congress who is now confined at the
national penitentiary while his conviction for statutory rape on two counts and acts of lasciviousness on six
It is evident, therefore, that the increased compensation of P32,000 is the rate of pay counts1 is pending appeal. The accused-appellant filed this motion asking that he be allowed to fully discharge
prescribed by Republic Act No. 4134 for Mr. Singson's successor in office, while Mr. the duties of a Congressman, including attendance at legislative sessions and committee meetings despite his
Singson and his colleagues of the same term are limited to the annual compensation of having been convicted in the first instance of a non-bailable offense.
P7,200 fixed in the Constitution. To compute his retirement gratuity at the rate of
P32,000 per annum after the expiration of his term of office would effectively give him
the benefits of increased compensation to which he was not entitled during his term, The issue raised is one of the first impression.
thereby violating the constitutional prohibition against increased compensation of
legislators during their term of office (Sec. 14, Art. VI, Const.) which was presumably in
the mind of Congress when it stated in Republic Act No. 4134 that "the salary increases Does membership in Congress exempt an accused from statutes and rules which apply to validly incarcerated
herein fixed shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. persons in general? In answering the query, we are called upon to balance relevant and conflicting factors in the
judicial interpretation of legislative privilege in the context of penal law.

xxx xxx xxx


The accused-appellant's "Motion To Be Allowed To Discharge Mandate As Member of House of Representatives"
was filed on the grounds that —
Neither an argument of logic nor a judicial pronouncement supports the proposition that,
as Mr. Singson's retirement legally started simultaneously with the beginning of the term
of his successor and the effective rate of pay of his successor and all incoming members 1. Accused-appellant's reelection being an expression of popular will cannot be rendered inutile by
of Congress was already the new rate of P32,000 per annum, it is this new rate of pay any ruling, giving priority to any right or interest — not even the police power of the State.
that should be made the basis in computing his retirement gratuity. Suffice it to say that
P7,200 per annum is Mr. Singson's authorized compensation during his term of office
and, therefore, the rate of pay prescribed by law for him on his retirement, while P32,000 2. To deprive the electorate of their elected representative amounts to taxation without
per annum is the allowable compensation of incoming members of Congress during their representation.
term and, hence, the rate of pay prescribed by law for them on their retirement. There is,
then, no basis for equating a constitutionally prohibited compensation for Mr. Singson
with a statutory prescribed rate of pay for his successor in computing his retirement 3. To bar accused-appellant from performing his duties amounts to his suspension/removal and
gratuity. mocks the renewed mandates entrusted to him by the people.

It is likewise contended by Mr. Singson that the new rate of pay (P32,000) authorized 4. The electorate of the First District of Zamboanga del Norte wants their voice to be heard.
him Republic Act No. 4134 would be used in the instant case, not to compensate him for
services during the constitutionally prohibited period, but would simply serve as basis for
computing his retirement gratuity for services rendered by him not only as a member of 5. A precedent-setting U.S. ruling allowed a detained lawmaker to attend sessions of the U.S.
Congress but in other branches of the government as well. The foregoing contention Congress.
carries its own refutation. Retirement benefit is compensation for services rendered
(PHILCONSA VS. GIMENEZ, supra). Since Mr. Singson applied for retirement as an
"elected official," it is evident that he seeks compensation not only for services rendered 6. The House treats accused-appellant as a bona fide member thereof and urges a co-equal branch
in other branches of the Government but also for his services as member of Congress of government to respect its mandate.
using P32,000, an amount prohibited for him but allowed for his successor, in the
computation of his retirement gratuity." 7
7. The concept of temporary detention does not necessarily curtail the duty of accused-appellant to
discharge his mandate.
ACCORDINGLY, the petition is hereby dismissed. No costs.

8. Accused-appellant has always complied with the conditions/restrictions when allowed to leave jail.
Makalintal, C.J., Castro, Esguerra and Muñoz Palma, JJ., concur.

The primary argument of the movant is the "mandate of sovereign will." He states that the sovereign electorate
Makasiar, J., is on leave. of the First District of Zamboanga del Norte chose him as their representative in Congress. Having been re-
elected by his constituents, he has the duty to perform the functions of a Congressman. He calls this a covenant
with his constituents made possible by the intervention of the State. He adds that it cannot be defeated by
Republic of the Philippines insuperable procedural restraints arising from pending criminal cases.
SUPREME COURT
Manila
True, election is the expression of the sovereign power of the people. In the exercise of suffrage, a free people
expects to achieve the continuity of government and the perpetuation of its benefits. However, inspite of its
EN BANC importance, the privileges and rights arising from having been elected may be enlarged or restricted by law. Our
first task is to ascertain the applicable law.

G.R. No. 132875-76 February 3, 2000


We start with the incontestable proposition that all top officials of Government-executive, legislative, and judicial
are subject to the majesty of law. There is an unfortunate misimpression in the public mind that election or
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, appointment to high government office, by itself, frees the official from the common restraints of general law.
vs. Privilege has to be granted by law, not inferred from the duties of a position. In fact, the higher the rank, the
ROMEO G. JALOSJOS, accused-appellant. greater is the requirement of obedience rather than exemption.

RESOLUTION The immunity from arrest or detention of Senators and members of the House of Representatives, the latter
customarily addressed as Congressmen, arises from a provision of the Constitution. The history of the provision
shows that privilege has always been granted in a restrictive sense. The provision granting an exemption as a
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
special privilege cannot be extended beyond the ordinary meaning of its terms. It may not be extended by One rationale behind confinement, whether pending appeal or after final conviction, is public self-defense.
intendment, implication or equitable considerations. Society must protect itself. It also serves as an example and warning to others.

The 1935 Constitution provided in its Article VI on the Legislative Department. A person charged with crime is taken into custody for purposes of the administration of justice. As stated in
United States v. Gustilo,3 it is the injury to the public which State action in criminal law seeks to redress. It is not
the injury to the complainant. After conviction in the Regional Trial Court, the accused may be denied bail and
Sec 15. The Senators and Members of the House of Representatives shall in all cases except treason, thus subjected to incarceration if there is risk of his absconding.4
felony, and breach of the peace be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the sessions of
Congress, and in going to and returning from the same, . . .
The accused-appellant states that the plea of the electorate which voted him into office cannot be supplanted by
unfounded fears that he might escape eventual punishment if permitted to perform congressional duties outside
Because of the broad coverage of felony and breach of the peace, the exemption applied only to civil arrests. A his regular place of confinement.
congressman like the accused-appellant, convicted under Title Eleven of the Revised Penal Code could not claim
parliamentary immunity from arrest. He was subject to the same general laws governing all persons still to be
tried or whose convictions were pending appeal. It will be recalled that when a warrant for accused-appellant's arrest was issued, he fled and evaded capture
despite a call from his colleagues in the House of Representatives for him to attend the sessions and to
surrender voluntarily to the authorities. Ironically, it is now the same body whose call he initially spurned which
The 1973 Constitution broadened the privilege of immunity as follows: accused-appellant is invoking to justify his present motion. This can not be countenanced because, to reiterate,
aside from its being contrary to well-defined Constitutional restrains, it would be a mockery of the aims of the
State's penal system.
Art. VIII, Sec. 9. A Member of the Batasang Pambansa shall, in all offenses punishable by not more
than six years imprisonment, be privileged from arrest during his attendance at its sessions and in
going to and returning from the same. Accused-appellant argues that on several occasions the Regional Trial Court of Makati granted several motions
to temporarily leave his cell at the Makati City Jail, for official or medical reasons, to wit:

For offenses punishable by more than six years imprisonment, there was no immunity from arrest. The
restrictive interpretation of immunity and intent to confine it within carefully defined parameters is illustrated by a) to attend hearings of the House Committee on Ethics held at the Batasan Complex, Quezon City,
the concluding portion of the provision, to wit: on the issue of whether to expel/suspend him from the House of Representatives;

. . . but the Batasang Pambansa shall surrender the member involved the custody of the law within b) to undergo dental examination and treatment at the clinic of his dentist in Makati City;
twenty four hours after its adjournment for a recess or for its next session, otherwise such privilege
shall cease upon its failure to do so.
c) to undergo a thorough medical check-up at the Makati Medical Center, Makati City;

The present Constitution adheres to the same restrictive rule minus the obligation of Congress to surrender the
subject Congressman to the custody of the law. The requirement that he should be attending sessions or d) to register as a voter at his hometown in Dapitan City. In this case, accused-appellant commuted
committee meetings has also been removed. For relatively minor offenses, it is enough that Congress is in by chartered plane and private vehicle.
session.

He also calls attention to various instances, after his transfer at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City, when
The accused-appellant argues that a member of Congress' function to attend sessions is underscored by Section he was likewise allowed/permitted to leave the prison premises, to wit.
16 (2), Article VI of the Constitution which states that —

a) to join "living-out" prisoners on "work-volunteer program" for the purpose of 1) establishing a


(2) A majority of each House shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may mahogany seedling bank and 2) planting mahogany trees, at the NBP reservation. For this purpose,
adjourn from day to day and may compel the attendance of absent Members in such manner, and he was assigned one guard and allowed to use his own vehicle and driver in going to and from the
under such penalties, as such House may provide. project area and his place of confinement.

However, the accused-appellant has not given any reason why he should be exempted from the operation of b) to continue with his dental treatment at the clinic of his dentist in Makati City.
Section 11, Article VI of the Constitution. The members of Congress cannot compel absent members to attend
sessions if the reason for the absence is a legitimate one. The confinement of a Congressman charged with a
crime punishable by imprisonment of more than six months is not merely authorized by law, it has constitutional c) to be confined at the Makati Medical Center in Makati City for his heart condition.
foundations.

There is no showing that the above privileges are peculiar to him or to a member of Congress. Emergency or
Accused-appellant's reliance on the ruling in Aguinaldo v. Santos2, which states, inter alia, that — compelling temporary leaves from imprisonment are allowed to all prisoners, at the discretion of the authorities
or upon court orders.

The Court should never remove a public officer for acts done prior to his present term of office. To do
otherwise would be to deprive the people of their right to elect their officers. When a people have What the accused-appellant seeks is not of an emergency nature. Allowing accused-appellant to attend
elected a man to office, it must be assumed that they did this with the knowledge of his life and congressional sessions and committee meeting for five (5) days or more in a week will virtually make him free
character, and that they disregarded or forgave his fault or misconduct, if he had been guilty of any. man with all the privilege appurtenant to his position. Such an aberrant situation not only elevates accused-
It is not for the Court, by reason of such fault or misconduct, to practically overrule the will of the appellant's status to that of a special class, it also would be a mockery of the purposes of the correction system.
people. Of particular relevance in this regard are the following observations of the Court in Martinez v. Morfe:5

will not extricate him from his predicament. It can be readily seen in the above-quoted ruling that the Aguinaldo The above conclusion reached by this Court is bolstered and fortified by policy considerations. There
case involves the administrative removal of a public officer for acts done prior to his present term of office. It is, to be sure, a full recognition of the necessity to have members of Congress, and likewise
does not apply to imprisonment arising from the enforcement of criminal law. Moreover, in the same way that delegates to the Constitutional Convention, entitled to the utmost freedom to enable them to
preventive suspension is not removal, confinement pending appeal is not removal. He remains a congressman discharge their vital responsibilities, bowing to no other force except the dictates of their conscience
unless expelled by Congress or, otherwise, disqualified. of their conscience. Necessarily the utmost latitude in free speech should be accorded them. When it
comes to freedom from arrest, however, it would amount to the creation of a privileged class,
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
without justification in reason, if notwithstanding their liability for a criminal offense, they would be The Court cannot validate badges of inequality. The necessities imposed by public welfare may justify exercise
considered immune during their attendance in Congress and in going to and returning from the of government authority to regulate even if thereby certain groups may plausibly assert that their interests are
same. There is likely to be no dissent from the proposition that a legislator or a delegate can perform disregarded.9
his functions efficiently and well, without the need for any transgression of the criminal law. Should
such an unfortunate event come to pass, he is to be treated like any other citizen considering that
there is a strong public interest in seeing to it that crime should not go unpunished. To the fear that We, therefore, find that election to the position of Congressman is not a reasonable classification in criminal law
may be expressed that the prosecuting arm of the government might unjustly go after legislators enforcement. The functions and duties of the office are not substantial distinctions which lift him from the class
belonging to the minority, it suffices to answer that precisely all the safeguards thrown around an of prisoners interrupted in their freedom and restricted in liberty of movement. Lawful arrest and confinement
accused by the Constitution, solicitous of the rights of an individual, would constitute an obstacle to are germane to the purposes of the law and apply to all those belonging to the same class.10
such an attempt at abuse of power. The presumption of course is that the judiciary would remain
independent. It is trite to say that in each and every manifestation of judicial endeavor, such a virtue
is of the essence. Imprisonment is the restraint of a man's personal liberty; coercion exercised upon a person to prevent the free
exercise of his power of
locomotion.11
The accused-appellant avers that his constituents in the First District of Zamboanga del Norte want their voices
to be heard and that since he is treated as bona fide member of the House of Representatives, the latter urges a
co-equal branch of government to respect his mandate. He also claims that the concept of temporary detention More explicitly, "imprisonment" in its general sense, is the restraint of one's liberty. As a punishment, it is
does not necessarily curtail his duty to discharge his mandate and that he has always complied with the restraint by judgment of a court or lawful tribunal, and is personal to the accused.12 The term refers to the
conditions/restrictions when he is allowed to leave jail. restraint on the personal liberty of another; any prevention of his movements from place to place, or of his free
action according to his own pleasure and will.13 Imprisonment is the detention of another against his will
depriving him of his power of locomotion14 and it "[is] something more than mere loss of freedom. It includes the
We remain unpersuaded.1âwphi1.nêt notion of restraint within limits defined by wall or any exterior barrier."15

No less than accused-appellant himself admits that like any other member of the House of Representatives "[h]e It can be seen from the foregoing that incarceration, by its nature, changes an individual's status in society.16
is provided with a congressional office situated at Room N-214, North Wing Building, House of Representatives Prison officials have the difficult and often thankless job of preserving the security in a potentially explosive
Complex, Batasan Hills, Quezon City, manned by a full complement of staff paid for by Congress. Through [an] setting, as well as of attempting to provide rehabilitation that prepares inmates for re-entry into the social
inter-department coordination, he is also provided with an office at the Administration Building, New Bilibid mainstream. Necessarily, both these demands require the curtailment and elimination of certain rights.17
Prison, Muntinlupa City, where he attends to his constituents." Accused-appellant further admits that while under
detention, he has filed several bills and resolutions. It also appears that he has been receiving his salaries and
other monetary benefits. Succinctly stated, accused-appellant has been discharging his mandate as a member of Premises considered, we are constrained to rule against the accused-appellant's claim that re-election to public
the House of Representative consistent with the restraints upon one who is presently under detention. Being a office gives priority to any other right or interest, including the police power of the State.
detainee, accused-appellant should not even have been allowed by the prison authorities at the National
Penitentiary to perform these acts.
WHEREFORE, the instant motion is hereby DENIED.

When the voters of his district elected the accused-appellant to Congress, they did so with full awareness of the
limitations on his freedom of action. They did so with the knowledge that he could achieve only such legislative SO ORDERED.
results which he could accomplish within the confines of prison. To give a more drastic illustration, if voters elect
a person with full knowledge that he suffering from a terminal illness, they do so knowing that at any time, he
may no longer serve his full term in office. Kapunan, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Purisima, Pardo Buena and De Leon, Jr., JJ., concur.
Davide, Jr., C.J., and also in separate opinion of Justice Reyes.
Bellosillo, J., I concur in the main and separate opinion.
In the ultimate analysis, the issue before us boils down to a question of constitutional equal protection. Melo, J., I join the majority as well as the separate opinion.
Puno, J., I concur with the main and separate opinion.
Vitug, J., I concur in both the ponencia and the separate opinion.
The Constitution guarantees: ". . . nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of laws."6 This simply Mendoza, J., I concur in this as well as in the separate opinion of Justice Gonzaga-Reyes.
means that all persons similarly situated shall be treated alike both in rights enjoyed and responsibilities Gonzaga-Reyes, J., See separate concurring opinion.
imposed.7 The organs of government may not show any undue favoritism or hostility to any person. Neither
partiality not prejudice shall be displayed.

Does being an elective official result in a substantial distinction that allows different treatment? Is being a
Congressman a substantial differentiation which removes the accused-appellant as a prisoner from the same Separate Opinions
class as all persons validly confined under law?

GONZAGA-REYES, J., concurring opinion;


The performance of legitimate and even essential duties by public officers has never been an excuse to free a
person validly in prison. The duties imposed by the "mandate of the people" are multifarious. The accused-
appellant asserts that the duty to legislative ranks highest in the hierarchy of government. The accused- For resolution in this case is a motion filed by accused-appellant Romeo G. Jalosjos, who has been convicted by
appellant is only one of 250 members of the House of Representatives, not to mention the 24 members of the the trial court of two counts of statutory rape and six counts of acts of lasciviousness, which judgment is
Senate, charged with the duties of legislation. Congress continues to function well in the physical absence of one currently pending appeal before this Court. As a member of the House of Representatives, accused-appellant
or a few of its members. Depending on the exigency of Government that has to be addressed, the President or claims that his constituents are deprived of representation by reason of his incarceration pending appeal of the
the Supreme Court can also be deemed the highest for that particular duty. The importance of a function judgment of conviction and that he should therefore be allowed to discharge his legislative functions, including
depends on the need to its exercise. The duty of a mother to nurse her infant is most compelling under the law attendance of legislative sessions and committee meetings.
of nature. A doctor with unique skills has the duty to save the lives of those with a particular affliction. An
elective governor has to serve provincial constituents. A police officer must maintain peace and order. Never has
the call of a particular duty lifted a prisoner into a different classification from those others who are validly I concur in the ponencia of my colleague Madame Justice Consuelo Ynares-Santiago in holding that accused-
restrained by law. appellant's motion is bereft of any legal merit.

A strict scrutiny of classifications is essential lest wittingly or otherwise, insidious discriminations are made in The Bill of Rights provides —
favor of or against groups or types of individuals.8
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
All persons, except those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when evidence of above stated rationale for legislative immunity, a liberal construction of the constitutional privilege is not in
guilt is strong, shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, or be released on order.
recognizance as may be provided by law. The right to bail shall not be impaired even when the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. Excessive bail shall not be required.1 (emphasis
supplied) It should also be mentioned that, under the factual circumstances of this case, the applicability of this privilege
from arrest to accused-appellant is already moot and academic. The constitutional provision contemplates that
stage of the criminal process at which personal jurisdiction is sought to be acquired over the accused by means
This constitutional provision denying the right to bail for offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua when the of his arrest. Accused-appellant is no longer at the point of merely being arrested. As a matter of fact, he has
evidence of guilt is strong is reiterated in Rule 114 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure, viz — already been arrested, tried and convicted by the trial court.

Sec. 7. Capital offense or an offense punishable by reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment, not Accused-appellant's contention that his re-election constitutes a renewal of his mandate and that such an
bailable. — No person charged with a capital offense, or an offense punishable by reclusion perpetua expression of the popular will should not be rendered inutile by even the police power of the State is hollow. In
or life imprisonment, when evidence of guilt is strong, shall be admitted to bail regardless of the Aguinaldo v. Comelec,11 Aguinaldo v. Santos12 and in Salalima v. Guingona13 we laid down the doctrine that a
stage of the criminal prosecution. public official cannot be removed for administrative misconduct committed during a prior term, since his re-
election to office operates as a condonation of the officer's previous misconduct to the extent of cutting off the
right to remove therefor. This doctrine of forgiveness or condonation cannot apply to criminal acts which the re-
The trial court found accused-appellant guilty of the crime of statutory rape, which is punishable by reclusion elected official may have committed during his previous term.14 The administrative liability of a public officer is
perpetua. In People v. Divina2 we held that the trial court's judgment of conviction imports that the evidence of separate and distinct from his penal liability.1âwphi1.nêt
guilt of the crime charged is strong. Unquestionably, the continued incarceration of accused-appellant is a valid
and constitutionally mandated curtailment of his rights to provisional liberty pending appeal of his conviction.
Penal laws are obligatory upon all who live or sojourn in Philippine territory. Since the Constitution itself provides
for the immunities from the general application of our criminal laws which a Senator or Member of the House of
Neither may the constitutional provision granting immunity from arrest to legislators provide legal justification Representatives may enjoy, it follows that any expansion of such immunities must similarly be based upon an
for accused-appellant's motion. The Constitution states that — express constitutional grant.

A Senator of Member of the House of Representatives shall, in all offenses punishable by not more I vote to deny the motion.
than six years imprisonment, be privileged from arrest while the Congress is in session. No Member
shall be questioned nor be held liable in any other place for any speech or debate in the Congress or
in any committee thereof.3
Footnotes
1
RTC Decision, pp. 54-55.
2
I agree with the ponencia that to allow accused-appellant to attend legislative sessions would constitute an 212 SCRA 768, at 773 [1992].
3
unjustified broadening of the privilege from the arrest bestowed by the Constitution upon members of Congress. 19 Phil, 208, 212.
4
Neither the legislative history of this provision nor the general principles of official immunity support an Cubillo v. City Warden, 97 SCRA 771 [1980].
5
expanded interpretation of such privilege. 44 SCRA 37 [1972].
6
Art. III, Sec. 1.
7
Ichong v. Hernandez, 101 Phil. 1155.
Unlike the present Constitution, the 1935 Constitution4 limited the privilege from arrests to "all cases except 8
Skinuer v. Oklahoma, 315 US 535.
9
treason, felony, and breach of the peace." This provision was taken from the Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916, See Fernando, Constitution of the Philippines, 2nd Edition, p. 548.
10
which was in turn based upon the American Constitution. In accordance with American precedents, the word See Felwa v. Salas, 18 SCRA 606 [1966]; Ichong v. Hernandez, 101 Phil. 1155: Dumlao v.
"treason, felony and breach of the peace" have been construed to include all indictable offenses.5 Thus, under Commission on Elections, 95 SCRA 392 [1980]; Ceniza v. Commission on Elections, 96 SCRA 763
the 1935 Constitution the freedom from arrest only encompassed civil arrest. (1980); People v. Cayat, 68 Phil. 12.
11
Black's Law Dictionary, Special Deluxe 5th Ed., p. 681.
12
20 Words And Phrases, Permanent Ed., p. 466, citing US v. Safeway Stores [Tex.] C.C.C.A. Kan.
Under the 19736 and the 1987 Constitution, the privilege was broadened to include arrests for crimes punishable 140F 2d 834, 839 and US v. Mitchell, 163 F. 1014, 1016 at p. 470.
13
by imprisonment of six years or less. Despite the expansion of the privilege, the rationale for granting members Ibid, p. 470, citing Pine v. Okzewski, 170 A. 825, 827, 112 N.J.L. 429.
14
of Congress immunity from arrest remained the same — to ensure that they are not prevented from performing Id., p. 472, citing US v. Benner, 24 Fed. Gas. 1084, 1087.
their legislative duties.7 In fact, the 1986 Constitutional Commission rejected the proposal of one of its members 15
Id., citing Bird v. Jones, 4 N.Y. Leg. Obs. 158, 159.
16
to expand the scope of the parliamentary immunity to include searches because, unlike arrest, it was not Sheldon, Krantz, 1088 Supplement. The Law of Correction and Prisoners' Rights, 3rd Ed., p. 121.
17
demonstrated that the conduct of searches would prevent members of Congress from discharging their Ibid.
legislative functions.8 GONZAGA-REYES, J., concurring opinion;
1
1987 Constitution, Art. III, sec. 13.
2
221 SCRA 209 (1993).
3
It is a well-established principle that official immunity is a necessary adjunct to the vigorous and effective Art. VI, sec. 11.
4
performance of official functions. Members of Congress in particular, who are called upon to exercise their Art. VI, sec. 15. — The Senators and Members of the House of Representatives shall in all cases
discretion and judgment in enacting laws responsive to the needs of the people, would certainly be impeded in except treasons, felony, and breach of the peace, be privileged from the arrest during their
the exercise of their legislative functions if every dissatisfied person could compel them to vindicate the wisdom attendance at the sessions of the Congress, and in going to and returning from the same; and for
of their enactments in an action for damages or question their official acts before the courts.9 any speech and debate therein, they shall not be questioned in any other place.
5
Martinez v. Morfe, 44 SCRA 22 (1972), citing Williamson v. United States, 207 U.S. 425.
6
Art. VIII, sec. 9. — A member of the Batasang Pambansa shall, in all offenses punishable by not
It was never the intention of the framers of the 1973 and 1987 Constitutions to shield a member of Congress more than six years imprisonment, be privilege from arrest during his attendance at its sessions, and
from the consequences of his wrongdoing. Thus, despite the widening of its scope to include criminal offenses, in going to and returning from the same; but the Batasang Pambansa shall surrender the member
the privilege from arrest is still circumscribed by the nature or the gravity of the offenses of which the accused is involved to the custody of the law within twenty-four hours after its adjournment for a recess or for
charged. Hence, the commission of serious crimes, i.e., crimes punishable by afflictive penalties or with capital its next session, otherwise such privilege shall cease upon its failure to do so. A member shall not be
punishment, does not fall within the scope of the constitutional privilege. A member of Congress could only questioned nor held liable in any other place for any speech or debate in the Batasan or in any
invoke the immunity from arrest for relatively minor offenses, punishable at most by correctional penalties. As committee thereof.
enunciated in Martinez v. Morfe,10 "when it comes to freedom from arrest, it would amount to the creation of a 7
1987 Constitution, II RECORD 90.
8
privileged class, without justification in reason, if notwithstanding their liability for a criminal offense, they would Ibid., 178-185.
9
be considered immune during their attendance in Congress and in going to and returning from the same" Mechem, F.R., A Treatise on the Law of Public Offices and Officers (1890), 431.
10
Supra.
11
Res., G.R. Nos. 105128-30, May 14, 1992.
12
The accused-appellant, having been convicted of statutory rape which is punishable by reclusion perpetua, an 212 SCRA 768 (1992).
13
afflictive penalty, is obviously not entitled to the privilege of parliamentary immunity and, proceeding from the 257 SCRA 55 (1996).
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
14
Salalima v. Guingona, id. The Senators and Members of the House of Representatives shall in all cases except treason, felony,
and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the sessions of the
Congress, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate therein, they
shall not be questioned in any other place. (Article VI, Section 15.)

The determination of the first issue depends on whether or not the aforementioned publication falls within the
purview of the phrase "speech or debate therein" — that is to say, in Congress — used in this provision.

Said expression refers to utterances made by Congressmen in the performance of their official functions, such as
speeches delivered, statements made, or votes cast in the halls of Congress, while the same is in session, as
well as bills introduced in Congress, whether the same is in session or not, and other acts performed by
Congressmen, either in Congress or outside the premises housing its offices, in the official discharge of their
duties as members of Congress and of Congressional Committees duly authorized to perform its functions as
such, at the time of the performance of the acts in question.1

The publication involved in this case does not belong to this category. According to the complaint herein, it was
an open letter to the President of the Philippines, dated November 14, 1958, when Congress presumably was not
in session, and defendant caused said letter to be published in several newspapers of general circulation in the
Philippines, on or about said date. It is obvious that, in thus causing the communication to be so published, he
was not performing his official duty, either as a member of Congress or as officer or any Committee thereof.
Hence, contrary to the finding made by His Honor, the trial Judge, said communication is not absolutely
privileged.

Was it libelous, insofar as the plaintiffs herein are concerned? Addressed to the President, the communication
began with the following paragraph:

In the light of the recent developments which however unfortunate had nevertheless involved the
Armed Forces of the Philippines and the unfair attacks against the duly elected members of Congress
of engaging in intriguing and rumor-mongering, allow me, Your Excellency, to address this open
letter to focus public attention to certain vital information which, under the present circumstances, I
feel it my solemn duty to our people to expose.1äwphï1.ñët
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT It has come to my attention that there have been allegedly three operational plans under serious
Manila study by some ambitious AFP officers, with the aid of some civilian political strategists.

EN BANC Then, it describes the "allegedly three (3) operational plans" referred to in the second paragraph. The first plan
is said to be "an insidious plan or a massive political build-up" of then Secretary of National Defense, Jesus
Vargas, by propagandizing and glamorizing him in such a way as to "be prepared to become a candidate for
G.R. No. L-15905 August 3, 1966 President in 1961". To this end, the "planners" are said to "have adopted the sales-talk that Secretary Vargas is
'Communists' Public Enemy No. 1 in the Philippines." Moreover, the P4,000,000.00 "intelligence and
psychological warfare funds" of the Department of National Defense, and the "Peace and Amelioration Fund" —
NICANOR T. JIMENEZ, ET AL., plaintiffs and appellants, the letter says — are "available to adequately finance a political campaign". It further adds:
vs.
BARTOLOME CABANGBANG, defendant and appellee.
It is reported that the "Planners" have under their control the following: (1) Col. Nicanor Jimenez of
NICA, (2) Lt. Col. Jose Lukban of NBI, (3) Capt. Carlos Albert (PN) of G-2 AFP, (4) Col. Fidel Llamas of
Liwag and Vivo and S. Artiaga, Jr. for plaintiffs and appellants. MIS (5) Lt. Col. Jose Regala of the Psychological Warfare Office, DND, and (6) Major Jose Reyna of the
Jose S. Zafra and Associates and V. M. Fortich Zerda for defendant and appellee. Public information Office, DND. To insure this control, the "Planners" purportedly sent Lt. Col. Job
Mayo, Chief of MIS to Europe to study and while Mayo was in Europe, he was relieved by Col. Fidel
Llamas. They also sent Lt. Col. Deogracias Caballero, Chief of Psychological Warfare Office, DND, to
CONCEPCION, C.J.: USA to study and while Caballero was in USA, he was relieved by Lt. Col. Jose Regala. The "Planners"
wanted to relieve Lt. Col. Ramon Galvezon, Chief of CIS (PC) but failed. Hence, Galvezon is
considered a missing link in the intelligence network. It is, of course, possible that the offices
This is an ordinary civil action, originally instituted in the Court of First Instance of Rizal, for the recovery, by mentioned above are unwitting tools of the plan of which they may have absolutely no knowledge.
plaintiffs Nicanor T. Jimenez, Carlos J. Albert and Jose L. Lukban, of several sums of money, by way of damages (Emphasis ours.)
for the publication of an allegedly libelous letter of defendant Bartolome Cabangbang. Upon being summoned,
the latter moved to dismiss the complaint upon the ground that the letter in question is not libelous, and that,
even if were, said letter is a privileged communication. This motion having been granted by the lower court, Among the means said to be used to carry out the plan the letter lists, under the heading "other operational
plaintiffs interposed the present appeal from the corresponding order of dismissal. technique the following:

The issues before us are: (1) whether the publication in question is a privileged communication; and, if not, (2) (a) Continuous speaking engagements all over the Philippines for Secretary Vargas to talk on
whether it is libelous or not. "Communism" and Apologetics on civilian supremacy over the military;

The first issue stems from the fact that, at the time of said publication, defendant was a member of the House of (b) Articles in magazines, news releases, and hundreds of letters — "typed in two (2) typewriters
Representatives and Chairman of its Committee on National Defense, and that pursuant to the Constitution: only" — to Editors of magazines and newspapers, extolling Secretary Vargas as the "hero of
democracy in 1951, 1953, 1955 and 1957 elections";
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
(c) Radio announcements extolling Vargas and criticizing the administration;

(d) Virtual assumption by Vargas of the functions of the Chief of Staff and an attempt to pack key
positions in several branches of the Armed Forces with men belonging to his clique;

(e) Insidious propaganda and rumors spread in such a way as to give the impression that they reflect
the feeling of the people or the opposition parties, to undermine the administration.

Plan No. II is said to be a "coup d'etat", in connection with which the "planners" had gone no further than the
planning stage, although the plan "seems to be held in abeyance and subject to future developments".

Plan No. III is characterized as a modification of Plan No. I, by trying to assuage the President and the public with
a loyalty parade, in connection with which Gen. Arellano delivered a speech challenging the authority and
integrity of Congress, in an effort to rally the officers and men of the AFP behind him, and gain popular and
civilian support.

The letter in question recommended.: (1) that Secretary Vargas be asked to resign; (2) that the Armed Forces be
divorced absolutely from politics; (3) that the Secretary of National Defense be a civilian, not a professional
military man; (4) that no Congressman be appointed to said office; (5) that Gen. Arellano be asked to resign or
retire; (6) that the present chiefs of the various intelligence agencies in the Armed Forces including the chiefs of
the NICA, NBI, and other intelligence agencies mentioned elsewhere in the letter, be reassigned, considering that
"they were handpicked by Secretary Vargas and Gen. Arellano", and that, "most probably, they belong to the Republic of the Philippines
Vargas-Arellano clique"; (7) that all military personnel now serving civilian offices be returned to the AFP, except SUPREME COURT
those holding positions by provision of law; (8) that the Regular Division of the AFP stationed in Laur, Nueva Manila
Ecija, be dispersed by batallion strength to the various stand-by or training divisions throughout the country; and
(9) that Vargas and Arellano should disqualify themselves from holding or undertaking an investigation of the
planned coup d'etat". EN BANC

We are satisfied that the letter in question is not sufficient to support plaintiffs' action for damages. Although the G.R. No. L-68159 March 18, 1985
letter says that plaintiffs are under the control of the unnamed persons therein alluded to as "planners", and
that, having been handpicked by Secretary Vargas and Gen. Arellano, plaintiffs "probably belong to the Vargas-
Arellano clique", it should be noted that defendant, likewise, added that "it is of course possible" that plaintiffs HOMOBONO ADAZA, petitioner,
"are unwitting tools of the plan of which they may have absolutely no knowledge". In other words, the very vs.
document upon which plaintiffs' action is based explicitly indicates that they might be absolutely unaware of the FERNANDO PACANA, JR., respondent
alleged operational plans, and that they may be merely unwitting tools of the planners. We do not think that this
statement is derogatory to the plaintiffs, to the point of entitling them to recover damages, considering that they
are officers of our Armed Forces, that as such they are by law, under the control of the Secretary of National ESCOLIN, J.:
Defense and the Chief of Staff, and that the letter in question seems to suggest that the group therein described
as "planners" include these two (2) high ranking officers.
The issues posed for determination in this petition for prohibition with prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction
and/or restraining order are: [1] whether or not a provincial governor who was elected and had qualified as a
It is true that the complaint alleges that the open letter in question was written by the defendant, knowing that it Mambabatas Pambansa [MP] can exercise and discharge the functions of both offices simultaneously; and [2]
is false and with the intent to impeach plaintiffs' reputation, to expose them to public hatred, contempt, dishonor whether or not a vice-governor who ran for the position of Mambabatas Pambansa, but lost, can continue serving
and ridicule, and to alienate them from their associates, but these allegations are mere conclusions which are as vice-governor and subsequently succeed to the office of governor if the said office is vacated.
inconsistent with the contents of said letter and can not prevail over the same, it being the very basis of the
complaint. Then too, when plaintiffs allege in their complaint that said communication is false, they could not
have possibly meant that they were aware of the alleged plan to stage a coup d'etat or that they were knowingly The factual background of the present controversy is as follows:
tools of the "planners". Again, the aforementioned passage in the defendant's letter clearly implies that plaintiffs
were not among the "planners" of said coup d'etat, for, otherwise, they could not be "tools", much less,
unwittingly on their part, of said "planners". Petitioner Homobono A. Adaza was elected governor of the province of Misamis Oriental in the January 30, 1980
elections. He took his oath of office and started discharging his duties as provincial governor on March 3, 1980.
Elected vice-governor for said province in the same elections was respondent Fernando Pacana, Jr., who likewise
Wherefore, the order appealed from is hereby affirmed. It is so ordered. qualified for and assumed said office on March 3, 1980. Under the law, their respective terms of office would
expire on March 3, 1986.
Reyes, J.B.L., Barrera, Dizon, Regala, Makalintal, Bengzon, J.P., Zaldivar, Sanchez and Castro, JJ., concur.
On March 27, 1984, respondent Pacana filed his certificate of candidacy for the May 14, 1984 Batasan Pambansa
elections; petitioner Adaza followed suit on April 27, 1984. In the ensuing elections, petitioner won by placing
Footnotes first among the candidates, while respondent lost.

1
Vera vs. Avelino, 77 Phil. 192; Tenney vs. Brandhove, 341 U.S. 367; Coffin vs. Coffin, 4 Mass 1. Petitioner took his oath of office as Mambabatas Pambansa on July 19, 1984 1
and since then he has discharged
the functions of said office.

On July 23, 1984, respondent took his oath of office as governor of Misamis Oriental before President Ferdinand
E. Marcos, 2 and started to perform the duties of governor on July 25, 1984.
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
Claiming to be the lawful occupant of the governor's office, petitioner has brought this petition to exclude MR. SAN JUAN. Because they are members of the Sanggunians, Mr. Speaker. They are
respondent therefrom. He argues that he was elected to said office for a term of six years, that he remains to be covered by the provision on members of sanggunian. [Record of Proceedings, February
the governor of the province until his term expires on March 3, 1986 as provided by law, and that within the 20, 1984, p. 92, Rollo]
context of the parliamentary system, as in France, Great Britain and New Zealand, a local elective official can
hold the position to which he had been elected and simultaneously be an elected member of Parliament.
Thus, when respondent reassumed the position of vice-governor after the Batas Pambansa elections, he was
acting within the law. His succession to the governorship was equally legal and valid, the same being in
Petitioner further contends that respondent Pacana should be considered to have abandoned or resigned from accordance with Section 204[2] [a] of the same Local Government Code, which reads as follows:
the position of vice-governor when he filed his certificate of candidacy for the 1984 Batas Pambansa elections;
and since respondent had reverted to the status of a mere private citizen after he lost in the Batas Pambansa
elections, he could no longer continue to serve as vice-governor, much less assume the office of governor. SECTION 204. Powers, Duties and Privileges:

1. The constitutional prohibition against a member of the Batasan Pambansa from holding any other office or 1] x x x
employment in the government during his tenure is clear and unambiguous. Section 10, Article VIII of the 1973
Constitution provides as follows:
2] He shall:

Section 10 A member of the National Assembly [now Batasan Pambansa shall not hold
any other office or employment in the government or any subdivision, agency or a] Assume the office of the governor for the unexpired term of the latter in the cases
instrumentality thereof, including government owned or controlled corporations, during provided for in Section 48, paragraph 1 6 of this Code;
his tenure, except that of prime minister or member of the cabinet. ...

WHEREFORE, the instant petition is hereby dismissed. No costs.


The language used in the above-cited section is plain, certain and free from ambiguity. The only exceptions
mentioned therein are the offices of prime minister and cabinet member. The wisdom or expediency of the said
provision is a matter which is not within the province of the Court to determine. SO ORDERED.

A public office is a public trust. 3 It is created for the interest and the benefit of the people. As such, a holder Teehankee, Makasiar, Aquino, Concepcion Jr., Melencio-Herrera, Plana, Relova, Gutierrez, Jr., De la Fuente,
thereof "is subject to such regulations and conditions as the law may impose" and "he cannot complain of any Cuevas and Alampay, JJ., concur.
restrictions which public policy may dictate on his holding of more than one office." 4 It is therefore of no avail to
petitioner that the system of government in other states allows a local elective official to act as an elected
member of the parliament at the same time. The dictate of the people in whom legal sovereignty lies is explicit. Fernando, C.J., and Abad Santos, J., took no part.
It provides no exceptions save the two offices specifically cited in the above-quoted constitutional provision.
Thus, while it may be said that within the purely parliamentary system of government no incompatibility exists in
the nature of the two offices under consideration, as incompatibility is understood in common law, the Footnotes
incompatibility herein present is one created by no less than the constitution itself. In the case at bar, there is no 1 Exh. "7", Resp., p. 89, Rollo.
question that petitioner has taken his oath of office as an elected Mambabatas Pambansa and has been 2 Exh. "8", Resp., p. 90, Rollo.
discharging his duties as such. In the light of the oft-mentioned constitutional provision, this fact operated to 3 Sec. 1, Art. XIII, 1973 Constitution.
vacate his former post and he cannot now continue to occupy the same, nor attempt to discharge its functions. 4 42 Am. Jur. 926.
5 Sec. 204. Powers, Duties and Privileges:
1] The vice-governor shall be an ex-officio member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan
2. The second proposition advanced by petitioner is that respondent Pacana, as a mere private citizen, had no with all the rights, duties and privileges of any member thereof;
right to assume the governorship left vacant by petitioner's election to the Batasan Pambansa. He maintains that Section 205. Composition:
respondent should be considered as having abandoned or resigned from the vice-governorship when he filed his 1] xxx
certificate of candidacy for the Batas Pambansa elections. The point pressed runs afoul of Batas Pambansa Blg. 2] The Sangguniang Panlalawigan shall be composed of the governor, vice-governor,
697, the law governing the election of members of the Batasan Pambansa on May 14, 1984, Section 13[2] of elective members of said sanggunians, and the president of the Katipunang
which specifically provides that "governors, mayors, members of the various sangguniang or barangay officials Panlalawigan, etc. ...
shall, upon filing a certificate of candidacy, be considered on forced leave of absence from office." Indubitably, 6 Section 48, par. 1, BP Blg. 337 reads:
respondent falls within the coverage of this provision, considering that at the time he filed his certificate of Sec. 48. Permanent Vacancy in the Office of the Governor, City or Municipal Mayor — [1]
candidacy for the 1984 Batasan Pambansa election he was a member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan as In case a permanent vacancy arises when a governor, city or municipal mayor refuses to
provided in Sections 204 and 205 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 337, 5 otherwise known as the Local Government assume office, fails to qualify; dies, or is removed from office, voluntarily resigns or is
Code. The reason the position of vice-governor was not included in Section 13[2] of BP Blg. 697 is explained by otherwise permanently incapacitated to discharge the functions of his office, the vice-
the following interchange between Assemblymen San Juan and Davide during the deliberations on said governor, city or municipal vice-mayor, as the case may be, shall assume the office for
legislation: the unexpired term of the former.

MR. DAVIDE. If I was able to get correctly the proposed amendment it would cover only
governors and members of the different sanggunians? Mayor, governors?

MR. SAN JUAN. Governors, mayors, members of the various sanggunian or barangay
officials. A vice-governor is a member of the Sanggunian Panlalawigan.

MR. DAVIDE. All. Why don't we instead use the word, "Local officials?

MR. SAN JUAN. Well, Mr. Speaker, your humble representation ...

MR. DAVIDE. And, secondly, why don't we include the vice-governor, the vice-mayors?
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
c) May 25-31, 1979. The Puyat Group claims that at conferences of the parties with respondent SEC
Commissioner de Guzman, Justice Estanislao A. Fernandez, then a member of the Interim Batasang Pambansa,
orally entered his appearance as counsel for respondent Acero to which the Puyat Group objected on
Constitutional grounds. Section 11, Article VIII, of the 1973 Constitution, then in force, provided that no
Assemblyman could "appear as counsel before ... any administrative body", and SEC was an administrative
body. Incidentally, the same prohibition was maintained by the April 7, 1981 plebiscite. The cited Constitutional
prohibition being clear, Assemblyman Fernandez did not continue his appearance for respondent Acero.

d) May 31, 1979. When the SEC Case was called, it turned out that:

(i) On May 15, 1979, Assemblyman Estanislao A. Fernandez had purchased from Augusto
A. Morales ten (10) shares of stock of IPI for P200.00 upon request of respondent Acero
to qualify him to run for election as a Director.

(ii) The deed of sale, however, was notarized only on May 30, 1979 and was sought to be
registered on said date.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila (iii) On May 31, 1979, the day following the notarization of Assemblyman Fernandez'
purchase, the latter had filed an Urgent Motion for Intervention in the SEC Case as the
owner of ten (10) IPI shares alleging legal interest in the matter in litigation.
EN BANC

e) July 17, 1979. The SEC granted leave to intervene on the basis of Atty. Fernandez' ownership of the said ten
G.R. No. L-51122 March 25, 1982 shares. 1 It is this Order allowing intervention that precipitated the instant petition for certiorari and Prohibition
with Preliminary Injunction.
EUGENIO J. PUYAT, ERWIN L. CHIONGBIAN, EDGARDO P. REYES, ANTONIO G. PUYAT, JAIME R.
BLANCO, RAFAEL R. RECTO and REYNALDO L. LARDIZABAL, petitioners, f) July 3, 1979. Edgardo P. Reyes instituted a case before the Court of First Instance of Rizal (Pasig), Branch XXI,
vs. against N.V. Verenigde Bueinzenfabrieken Excelsior — De Maas and respondent Eustaquio T. C. Acero and
HON. SIXTO T. J. DE GUZMAN, JR., as Associate Commissioner of the Securities & Exchange others, to annul the sale of Excelsior's shares in the IPI to respondent Acero (CC No. 33739). In that case,
Commission, EUSTAQUIO T. C. ACERO, R. G. VILDZIUS, ENRIQUE M. BELO, MANUEL G. ABELLO, Assemblyman Fernandez appeared as counsel for defendant Excelsior In L-51928, we ruled that Assemblyman
SERVILLANO DOLINA, JUANITO MERCADO and ESTANISLAO A. FERNANDEZ, respondents. Fernandez could not appear as counsel in a case originally filed with a Court of First Instance as in such situation
the Court would be one "without appellate jurisdiction."

On September 4, 1979, the Court en banc issued a temporary Restraining Order enjoining respondent SEC
Associate Commissioner from allowing the participation as an intervenor, of respondent Assemblyman Estanislao
MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.: Fernandez at the proceedings in the SEC Case.

This suit for certiorari and Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction is poised against the Order of respondent The Solicitor General, in his Comment for respondent Commissioner, supports the stand of the latter in allowing
Associate Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) granting Assemblyman Estanislao A. intervention. The Court en banc, on November 6, 1979, resolved to consider the Comment as an Answer to the
Fernandez leave to intervene in SEC Case No. 1747. Petition.

A question of novel import is in issue. For its resolution, the following dates and allegations are being given and The issue which will be resolved is whether or not Assemblyman Fernandez, as a then stockholder of IPI may
made: intervene in the SEC Case without violating Section 11, Article VIII of the Constitution, which, as amended, now
reads:
a) May 14,1979. An election for the eleven Directors of the International Pipe Industries Corporation (IPI) a
private corporation, was held. Those in charge ruled that the following were elected as Directors: SEC. 11.

Eugenio J. Puyat Eustaquio T.C. Acero No Member of the Batasang Pambansa shall appear as counsel before any court without
Erwin L. Chiongbian R. G. Vildzius appellate jurisdiction.
Edgardo P. Reyes Enrique M. Belo
Antonio G. Puyat Servillano Dolina
Jaime R. Blanco Juanito Mercado before any court in any civil case wherein the Government, or any subdivision, agency,
Rafael R. Recto or instrumentality thereof is the adverse party,

Those named on the left list may be called the Puyat Group; those on the right, the Acero Group. Thus, the Puyat or in any criminal case wherein any officer or employee of the Government is accused of
Group would be in control of the Board and of the management of IPI. an offense committed in relation to his office,

b) May 25, 1979. The Acero Group instituted at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) quo warranto or before any administrative body.
proceedings, docketed as Case No. 1747 (the SEC Case), questioning the election of May 14, 1979. The Acero
Group claimed that the stockholders' votes were not properly counted.
Neither shall he, directly or indirectly be interested financially in any contract with, or in
any franchise or special privilege granted by the Government, or any subdivision, agency
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
or instrumentality thereof, including any government-owned or controlled corporation, Barredo, J., I reserve my vote.
during his term of office.

Footnotes
He shall not accept employment to intervene in any cause or matter where he may be
called to act on account of his office. (Emphasis supplied)
1 p. 23, Rollo.

What really has to be resolved is whether or not, in intervening in the SEC Case, Assemblyman Fernandez is, in
effect, appearing as counsel, albeit indirectly, before an administrative body in contravention of the 2 p. 6, Ibid.
Constitutional provision.

3 Am. Digest, 2d Dicennial Ed., Vol. 5, citing Atkinson vs. Board, etc., 108 P. 1046.
Ordinarily, by virtue of the Motion for Intervention, Assemblyman Fernandez cannot be said to be appearing as
counsel. Ostensibly, he is not appearing on behalf of another, although he is joining the cause of the private
respondents. His appearance could theoretically be for the protection of his ownership of ten (10) shares of IPI in Republic of the Philippines
respect of the matter in litigation and not for the protection of the petitioners nor respondents who have their SUPREME COURT
respective capable and respected counsel. Manila

However, certain salient circumstances militate against the intervention of Assemblyman Fernandez in the SEC EN BANC
Case. He had acquired a mere P200.00 worth of stock in IPI, representing ten shares out of 262,843 outstanding
shares. He acquired them "after the fact" that is, on May 30, 1979, after the contested election of Directors on
May 14, 1979, after the quo warranto suit had been filed on May 25, 1979 before SEC and one day before the G.R. No. 83767 October 27, 1988
scheduled hearing of the case before the SEC on May 31, 1979. And what is more, before he moved to intervene,
he had signified his intention to appear as counsel for respondent Eustaquio T. C. Acero, 2 but which was
objected to by petitioners. Realizing, perhaps, the validity of the objection, he decided, instead, to "intervene" on FIRDAUSI SMAIL ABBAS, HOMOBONO A. ADAZA, ALEJANDRO D. ALMENDRAS, ABUL KAHYR D.
the ground of legal interest in the matter under litigation. And it maybe noted that in the case filed before the ALONTO, JUAN PONCE ENRILE, RENE G. ESPINA, WILSON P. GAMBOA, ROILO S. GOLEZ, ROMEO G.
Rizal Court of First Instance (L-51928), he appeared as counsel for defendant Excelsior, co-defendant of JALOSJOS EVA R. ESTRADA-KALAW, WENCESLAO R. LAGUMBAY, VICENTE P. MAGSAYSAY, JEREMIAS
respondent Acero therein. U. MONTEMAYOR, BLAS F. OPLE, RAFAEL P. PALMARES, ZOSIMO JESUS M. PAREDES, JR., VICENTE G.
PUYAT, EDITH N. RABAT, ISIDRO S. RODRIGUEZ, FRANCISCO S. TATAD, LORENZO G. TEVES, ARTURO
M. TOLENTINO, and FERNANDO R. VELOSO, petitioners,
Under those facts and circumstances, we are constrained to find that there has been an indirect "appearance as vs.
counsel before ... an administrative body" and, in our opinion, that is a circumvention of the Constitutional THE SENATE ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL, respondent.
prohibition. The "intervention" was an afterthought to enable him to appear actively in the proceedings in some
other capacity. To believe the avowed purpose, that is, to enable him eventually to vote and to be elected as
Director in the event of an unfavorable outcome of the SEC Case would be pure naivete. He would still appear as
counsel indirectly.

GANCAYCO, J.:
A ruling upholding the "intervention" would make the constitutional provision ineffective. All an Assemblyman
need do, if he wants to influence an administrative body is to acquire a minimal participation in the "interest" of
the client and then "intervene" in the proceedings. That which the Constitution directly prohibits may not be This is a Special Civil Action for certiorari to nullify and set aside the Resolutions of the Senate Electoral Tribunal
done by indirection or by a general legislative act which is intended to accomplish the objects specifically or dated February 12, 1988 and May 27, 1988, denying, respectively, the petitioners' Motion for Disqualification or
impliedly prohibited. 3 Inhibition and their Motion for Reconsideration thereafter filed.

In brief, we hold that the intervention of Assemblyman Fernandez in SEC. No. 1747 falls within the ambit of the On October 9, 1987, the petitioners filed before the respondent Tribunal an election contest docketed as SET
prohibition contained in Section 11, Article VIII of the Constitution. Case No. 002-87 against 22 candidates of the LABAN coalition who were proclaimed senators-elect in the May
11, 1987 congressional elections by the Commission on Elections. The respondent Tribunal was at the time
composed of three (3) Justices of the Supreme Court and six (6) Senators, namely: Senior Associate Justice Pedro
Our resolution of this case should not be construed as, absent the question of the constitutional prohibition L. Yap (Chairman). Associate Justices Andres R. Narvasa and Hugo E. Gutierrez, Jr., and Senators Joseph E.
against members of the Batasan, allowing any stockholder, or any number of stockholders, in a corporation to Estrada, Neptali A. Gonzales, Teofisto T. Guingona, Jose Lina, Jr., Mamintal A.J. Tamano and Victor S. Ziga.
intervene in any controversy before the SEC relating to intra-corporate matters. A resolution of that question is
not necessary in this case.
On November 17, 1987, the petitioners, with the exception of Senator Estrada but including Senator Juan Ponce
Enrile (who had been designated Member of the Tribunal replacing Senator Estrada, the latter having affiliated
WHEREFORE, respondent Commissioner's Order granting Atty. Estanislao A. Fernandez leave to intervene in SEC with the Liberal Party and resigned as the Opposition's representative in the Tribunal) filed with the respondent
Case No. 1747 is hereby reversed and set aside. The temporary Restraining Order heretofore issued is hereby Tribunal a Motion for Disqualification or Inhibition of the Senators-Members thereof from the hearing and
made permanent. resolution of SET Case No. 002-87 on the ground that all of them are interested parties to said case, as
respondents therein. Before that, Senator Rene A.V. Saguisag, one of the respondents in the same case, had
filed a Petition to Recuse and later a Supplemental Petition to Recuse the same Senators-Members of the
No costs. Tribunal on essentially the same ground. Senator Vicente T. Paterno, another respondent in the same contest,
thereafter filed his comments on both the petitions to recuse and the motion for disqualification or inhibition.
Memoranda on the subject were also filed and oral arguments were heard by the respondent Tribunal, with the
SO ORDERED. latter afterwards issuing the Resolutions now complained of.

Fernando, C.J., Teehankee, Makasiar, Concepcion, Jr., Fernandez, Guerrero, Abad Santos, De Castro, Ericta, Plana Senator Juan Ponce Enrile in the meantime had voluntarily inhibited himself from participating in the hearings
and Escolin, JJ., concur. and deliberations of the respondent tribunal in both SET Case No. 00287 and SET Case No. 001-87, the latter
being another contest filed by Augusto's Sanchez against him and Senator Santanina T. Rasul as alternative
respondents, citing his personal involvement as a party in the two cases.
Aquino, J., took no part.
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
The petitioners, in essence, argue that considerations of public policy and the norms of fair play and due process saying is that in the light of the Constitution, the Senate Electoral Tribunal cannot legally function as such,
imperatively require the mass disqualification sought and that the doctrine of necessity which they perceive to absent its entire membership of Senators and that no amendment of its Rules can confer on the three Justices-
be the foundation petition of the questioned Resolutions does not rule out a solution both practicable and Members alone the power of valid adjudication of a senatorial election contest.
constitutionally unobjectionable, namely; the amendment of the respondent Tribunal's Rules of procedure so as
to permit the contest being decided by only three Members of the Tribunal.
The charge that the respondent Tribunal gravely abused its discretion in its disposition of the incidents referred
to must therefore fail. In the circumstances, it acted well within law and principle in dismissing the petition for
The proposed amendment to the Tribunal's Rules (Section 24)—requiring the concurrence of five (5) members disqualification or inhibition filed by herein petitioners. The instant petition for certiorari is DISMISSED for lack of
for the adoption of resolutions of whatever nature is a proviso that where more than four (4) members are merit.
disqualified, the remaining members shall constitute a quorum, if not less than three (3) including one (1)
Justice, and may adopt resolutions by majority vote with no abstentions. Obviously tailored to fit the situation
created by the petition for disqualification, this would, in the context of that situation, leave the resolution of the SO ORDERED.
contest to the only three Members who would remain, all Justices of this Court, whose disqualification is not
sought.
Fernandez, C.J., Melencio-Herrera, Cruz, Padilla, Bidin, Sarmiento, Cortes, Griño-Aquino, Medialdea and Regalado
JJ., concur.
We do not agree with petitioners' thesis that the suggested device is neither unfeasible nor repugnant to the
Constitution. We opine that in fact the most fundamental objection to such proposal lies in the plain terms and
intent of the Constitution itself which, in its Article VI, Section 17, creates the Senate Electoral Tribunal, ordains Narvasa, Gutierrez, Jr. and Paras, JJ., took no part.
its composition and defines its jurisdiction and powers.

Sec. 17. The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each have an Electoral Separate Opinions
Tribunal which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and
qualifications of their respective Members. Each Electoral Tribunal shall be composed of FELICIANO, J.:, concurring:
nine Members, three of whom shall be Justices of the Supreme Court to be designated by I quite agree with what Mr. Justice Gancayco has written into his opinion for the Court. I would merely like to
the Chief Justice, and the remaining six shall be Members of the Senate or the House of carry forward however slightly the analysis found in the penultimate paragraph of his opinion.
Representatives, as the case may be, who shall be chosen on the basis of proportional
representation from the political parties and the parties or organizations registered
under the party-list system represented therein. The senior Justice in the Electoral Should any three (3) Senator-Members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal voluntarily inhibit or disqualify
Tribunal hall be its Chairman. themselves from participating in the proceedings in SET Case No. 002-87, a Tribunal would result that would be
balanced between the three (3) Justice-Members and the three (3) Senator-Members and still constitute more
than a bare quorum. In such a Tribunal, both the considerations of public policy and fair play raised by
It seems quite clear to us that in thus providing for a Tribunal to be staffed by both Justices of the Supreme Court petitioners and the constitutional intent above noted concerning the mixed "judicial" and "legislative"
and Members of the Senate, the Constitution intended that both those "judicial' and 'legislative' components composition of the Electoral Tribunals would appear to be substantially met and served. This denouement,
commonly share the duty and authority of deciding all contests relating to the election, returns and however, must be voluntarily reached and not compelled by certiorari.
qualifications of Senators. The respondent Tribunal correctly stated one part of this proposition when it held that
said provision "... is a clear expression of an intent that all (such) contests ... shall be resolved by a panel or body
in which their (the Senators') peers in that Chamber are represented." 1 The other part, of course, is that the Separate Opinions
constitutional provision just as clearly mandates the participation in the same process of decision of a
representative or representatives of the Supreme Court.
FELICIANO, J.:, concurring:

Said intent is even more clearly signalled by the fact that the proportion of Senators to Justices in the prescribed
membership of the Senate Electoral Tribunal is 2 to 1-an unmistakable indication that the "legislative I quite agree with what Mr. Justice Gancayco has written into his opinion for the Court. I would merely like to
component" cannot be totally excluded from participation in the resolution of senatorial election contests, carry forward however slightly the analysis found in the penultimate paragraph of his opinion.
without doing violence to the spirit and intent of the Constitution.

Should any three (3) Senator-Members of the Senate Electoral Tribunal voluntarily inhibit or disqualify
Where, as here, a situation is created which precludes the substitution of any Senator sitting in the Tribunal by themselves from participating in the proceedings in SET Case No. 002-87, a Tribunal would result that would be
any of his other colleagues in the Senate without inviting the same objections to the substitute's competence, balanced between the three (3) Justice-Members and the three (3) Senator-Members and still constitute more
the proposed mass disqualification, if sanctioned and ordered, would leave the Tribunal no alternative but to than a bare quorum. In such a Tribunal, both the considerations of public policy and fair play raised by
abandon a duty that no other court or body can perform, but which it cannot lawfully discharge if shorn of the petitioners and the constitutional intent above noted concerning the mixed "judicial" and "legislative"
participation of its entire membership of Senators. composition of the Electoral Tribunals would appear to be substantially met and served. This denouement,
however, must be voluntarily reached and not compelled by certiorari.

To our mind, this is the overriding consideration—that the Tribunal be not prevented from discharging a duty
which it alone has the power to perform, the performance of which is in the highest public interest as evidenced Footnotes
by its being expressly imposed by no less than the fundamental law.

1 Page 2, Resolution of public respondent Tribunal of May 27, 1988; p. 25, Rollo.
It is aptly noted in the first of the questioned Resolutions that the framers of the Constitution could not have
been unaware of the possibility of an election contest that would involve all 24 Senators-elect, six of whom
would inevitably have to sit in judgment thereon. Indeed, such possibility might surface again in the wake of the
1992 elections when once more, but for the last time, all 24 seats in the Senate will be at stake. Yet the
Constitution provides no scheme or mode for settling such unusual situations or for the substitution of Senators
designated to the Tribunal whose disqualification may be sought. Litigants in such situations must simply place
their trust and hopes of vindication in the fairness and sense of justice of the Members of the Tribunal. Justices
and Senators, singly and collectively.

Let us not be misunderstood as saying that no Senator-Member of the Senate Electoral Tribunal may inhibit or
disqualify himself from sitting in judgment on any case before said Tribunal. Every Member of the Tribunal may,
as his conscience dictates, refrain from participating in the resolution of a case where he sincerely feels that his
personal interests or biases would stand in the way of an objective and impartial judgment. What we are merely
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
That duty is a part of the judicial power vested in the courts by an express grant under Section 1, Article VIII of
the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines which defines judicial power as both authority and duty of the courts 'to
settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine
whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part
of any branch or instrumentality of the Government."

The power and duty of the courts to nullify in appropriate cases, the actions of the executive and legislative
branches of the Government, does not mean that the courts are superior to the President and the Legislature. It
does mean though that the judiciary may not shirk "the irksome task" of inquiring into the constitutionality and
legality of legislative or executive action when a justiciable controversy is brought before the courts by someone
Republic of the Philippines who has been aggrieved or prejudiced by such action, as in this case. It is —
SUPREME COURT
Manila
a plain exercise of the judicial power, that power vested in courts to enable them to
administer justice according to law. ... It is simply a necessary concomitant of the power
EN BANC to hear and dispose of a case or controversy properly before the court, to the
determination of which must be brought the test and measure of the law. (Vera vs.
Avelino, 77 Phil. 192, 203.)
G.R. No. 97710 September 26, 1991

In the local and congressional elections held on May 11, 1987, Marciano M. Pineda of the Laban ng
DR. EMIGDIO A. BONDOC, petitioner, Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) and Dr. Emigdio A. Bondoc of the Nacionalista Party (NP) were rival candidates for
vs. the position of Representative for the Fourth District of the province of Pampanga. Each received the following
REPRESENTATIVES MARCIANO M. PINEDA, MAGDALENO M. PALACOL, COL. JUANITO G. CAMASURA, votes in the canvass made by the Provincial Board of Canvassers of Pampanga:
JR., or any other representative who may be appointed vice representative Juanita G. Camasura, Jr.,
and THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTORAL TRIBUNAL, respondents.
Marciano M. Pineda.................... 31,700 votes

Estelito P. Mendoza, Romulo C. Felixmera and Horacio S.J. Apostol for petitioner.
Emigdio A. Bondoc..................... 28,400 votes

Nicanor S. Bautista for respondent Marciano M. Pineda.


Difference...................................... 3,300 votes

Benedicto R. Palacol for respondent M.M. Palacol.


On May 19, 1987, Pineda was proclaimed winner in the election. In due time, Bondoc filed a protest (HRET Case
No. 25) in the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal ( for short) which is composed of nine (9) members,
three of whom are Justices of the Supreme Court and the remaining six are members of the House of
Representatives chosen on the basis of proportional representation from the political parties and the parties or
organizations registered under the party-list system represented therein (Sec. 17, Art. VI, 1987 Constitution) as
GRIO-AQUIÑO, J.:p follows:

This case involves a question of power. May the House of Representatives, at the request of the dominant
political party therein, change that party's representation in the House Electoral Tribunal to thwart the AMEURFINA M. HERRERA Chairman
promulgation of a decision freely reached by the tribunal in an election contest pending therein? May the
Supreme Court review and annul that action of the House? Associate Justice

Even the Supreme Court of the United States over a century ago, in Marbury vs. Madison, 2 L. ed. 60 (1803), had Supreme Court
hesitated to embark upon a legal investigation of the acts of the other two branches of the Government, finding
it "peculiarly irksome as well as delicate" because it could be considered by some as "an attempt to intrude" into ISAGANI A. CRUZ Member
the affairs of the other two and to intermeddle with their prerogatives.

Associate Justice
In the past, the Supreme Court, as head of the third and weakest branch of our Government, was all too willing
to avoid a political confrontation with the other two branches by burying its head ostrich-like in the sands of the Supreme Court
"political question" doctrine, the accepted meaning of which is that 'where the matter involved is left to a
decision by the people acting in their sovereign capacity or to the sole determination by either or both the
legislative or executive branch of the government, it is beyond judicial cognizance. Thus it was that in suits FLORENTINO P. FELICIANO Member
where the party proceeded against was either the President or Congress, or any of its branches for that matter,
the courts refused to act." (Aquino vs. Ponce Enrile, 59 SCRA 183, 196.) Associate Justice

In time, however, the duty of the courts to look into the constitutionality and validity of legislative or executive Supreme Court
action, especially when private rights are affected came to be recognized. As we pointed out in the celebrated
Aquino case, a showing that plenary power is granted either department of government may not be an obstacle HONORATO Y. AQUINO Member
to judicial inquiry, for the improvident exercise or the abuse thereof may give rise to a justiciable controversy.
Since "a constitutional grant of authority is not usually unrestricted, limitations being provided for as to what
may be done and how it is to be accomplished, necessarily then, it becomes the responsibility of the courts to Congressman
ascertain whether the two coordinate branches have adhered to the mandate of the fundamental law. The
question thus posed is judicial rather than political. The duty remains to assure that the supremacy of the 1st District
Constitution is upheld" (Aquino vs. Ponce Enrile, 59 SCRA 183, 196).
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
On March 5, 1991, the HRET issued a Notice of Promulgation of Decision on March 14, 1991 at 2:30 P.M. in HRET
Benguet LDP Case No. 25. A copy of the notice was received by Bondoc's counsel on March 6, 1991.

DAVID A. PONCE DE LEON Member


On March 13, 1991, the eve of the promulgation of the Bondoc decision, Congressman Cojuangco informed
Congressman Camasura by letter 2 that on February 28, 1991 yet, the LDP Davao del Sur Chapter at Digos,
Congressman Davao del Sur, by Resolution No. 03-91 had already expelled him and Congressman Benjamin Bautista from the
LDP for having allegedly helped to organize the Partido Pilipino of Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco, and for
1st District Palawan allegedly having invited LDP members in Davao del Sur to join said political party; and that as those acts are
"not only inimical uncalled for, unethical and immoral, but also a complete betrayal to (sic) the cause and
objectives, and loyalty to LDP," in a meeting on March 12, 1991, the LDP Executive Committee unanimously
LDP confirmed the expulsions. 3

SIMEON E. GARCIA, JR. Member


At the same time, Congressman Cojuangco notified Speaker Ramon V. Mitra about the ouster of the two
congressmen from the LDP, and asked the House of Representatives, through the Speaker, to take note of it
Congressman 'especially in matters where party membership is a prerequisite. 4

2nd District Nueva Ecija


At 9:45 in the morning of March 4, 1991, the Chairman of the Tribunal, Mme. Justice Armeurfina M. Herrera,
received the following letter dated March 13, 1991, from the Office of the Secretary General of the House of
LDP Representatives, informing the Tribunal that on the basis of the letter from the LDP, the House of
Representatives, during its plenary session on March 13, 1991, decided to withdraw the nomination and rescind
JUANITO G. CAMASURA, JR. Member the election of Congressman Camasura, Jr. to the House of Electoral Tribunal. The letter reads as follows:

Congressman 13 March 1991

1st District Davao del Sur


Honorable Justice Ameurfina Melencio-Herrera Chairman

LDP
House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal Constitution Hills Quezon City
JOSE E. CALINGASAN Member

Dear Honorable Justice Melencio-Herrera:


Congressman

4th District Batangas I have the honor to notify the House of Electoral Tribunal of the decision of the House of
Representatives during its plenary session on 13 March 1991, to withdraw the
nomination and to rescind the election of the Honorable Juanito G. Camasura, Jr. to the
LDP House Electoral Tribunal on the basis of an LDP communication which is self-explanatory
and copies of which are hereto attached.
ANTONIO H. CERILLES Member

Thank you.
Congressman

2nd District Zamboanga del Sur For the Secretary-General

(formerly GAD, now NP) (SGD.) Josefina D. Azarcon Officer-in-charge Operations Department (p. 10, Rollo.)
After the revision of the ballots, the presentation of evidence, and submission of memoranda, Bondoc's protest
was submitted for decision in July, 1989.
Justices Herrera, Cruz, and Feliciano promptly apprised the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme
Court in writing, of this "distressing development' and asked to be relieved from their assignments in the HRET
because —
By October 1990, a decision had been reached in which Bondoc won over Pineda by a margin of twenty-three
(23) votes. At that point, the LDP members in the Tribunal insisted on a reappreciation and recount of the ballots
cast in some precincts, thereby delaying by at least four (4) months the finalization of the decision in the case.
By the above action (of the House) the promulgation of the decision of the Tribunal in the electoral protest
entitled "Bondoc v. Pineda" (HRET Case No. 25), previously scheduled for 14 March 1991, is sought to be
aborted (See the Consolidated Bank and Trust Corporation v. Hon. Intermediate Appellate Court, G.R. No.
The reexamination and re-appreciation of the ballots resulted in increasing Bondoc's lead over Pineda to 107
73777-78 promulgated 12 September 1990). Even if there were no legal impediment to its promulgation,
votes. Congressman Camasura voted with the Supreme Court Justices and Congressman Cerilles to proclaim
the decision which was reached on a 5 to 4 vote may now be confidently expected to be overturned on a
Bondoc the winner of the contest.
motion for reconsideration by the party-litigant which would have been defeated.

Moved by candor and honesty, Congressman Camasura revealed on March 4, 1991, to his 'Chief," Congressman
The decision in Bondoc v. Pineda was ready as early as October 1990 with a margin of 23 votes in favor of
Jose S. Cojuangco, Jr., LDP Secretary General, not only the final tally in the Bondoc case but also that he voted
protestant Bondoc. Because some members of the Tribunal requested re-appreciation of some ballots, the
for Bondoc "consistent with truth and justice and self- respect," and to honor a "gentlemen's agreement" among
finalization of the decision had to be deferred by at least 4 months.
the members of the HRET that they would "abide by the result of the appreciation of the contested ballot 1
Congressman Camasura's revelation stirred a hornets' nest in the LDP which went into a flurry of plotting
appropriate moves to neutralize the pro-Bondoc majority in the Tribunal.
With the re-appreciation completed, the decision, now with a margin of 107 votes in favor of protestant
Bondoc, and concurred in by Justices Ameurfina A. Melencio-Herrera, Isagani A. Cruz and Florentino P.
Feliciano, and Congressmen Juanita G. Camasura and Antonio H. Cerilles, is set for promulgation on 14
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
March 1991, with Congressmen Honorato Y. Aquino, David A. Ponce de Leon Simeon E. Garcia, Jr. and Jose The Tribunal further Noted that Congressmen Aquino, Ponce de Leon, Garcia, Jr., and Calingasan also
E. Calingasan, dissenting. manifested a similar intention. (p. 37, Rollo.)

Congressman Casamura's vote in the Bondoc v. Pineda case was, in our view, a conscience vote, for which On March 19, 1991, this Court, after deliberating on the request for relief of Justices Herrera, Cruz and Feliciano,
he earned the respect of the Tribunal but also the loss of the confidence of the leader of his party. resolved to direct them to return to their duties in the Tribunal. The Court observed that:

Under the above circumstances an untenable situation has come about. It is extremely difficult to continue ... in view of the sensitive constitutional functions of the Electoral Tribunals as the 'sole judge' of all
with membership in the Tribunal and for the Tribunal to preserve it. 8 integrity and credibility as a contests relationship to the election, returns and qualifications of the members of Congress, all members
constitutional body charged with a judicial task. It is clear to us that the unseating of an incumbent of these bodies are appropriately guided only by purely legal considerations in the decision of the cases
member of Congress is being prevented at all costs. We believe that the Tribunal should not be hampered before them and that in the contemplation of the Constitution the members-legislators, thereof, upon
in the performance of its constitutional function by factors which have nothing to do with the merits of the assumption of their duties therein, sit in the Tribunal no longer as representatives of their respective
cases before it. political parties but as impartial judges. The view was also submitted that, to further bolster the
independence of the Tribunals, the term of office of every member thereof should be considered co-
extensive with the corresponding legislative term and may not be legally terminated except only by death,
In this connection, our own experience teaches that the provision for proportional representation in the resignation, permanent disability, or removal for valid cause, not including political disloyalty.
Tribunal found in Article VI, Section 17 of the 1987 Constitution, should be amended to provide instead for
a return to the composition mandated in the 1935 Constitution, that is: three (3) members chosen by the
House or Senate upon nomination of the party having the largest number of votes and three (3) of the ACCORDINGLY, the Court Resolved: a) to DECLINE the request of justices Herrera, Cruz, and Feliciano to be
party having the second largest number of votes: and a judicial component consisting of three (3) justices relieved from their membership in the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal and instead to DIRECT
from the Supreme Court. Thereby, no party or coalition of parties can dominate the legislative component them to resume their duties therein: b) to EXPRESS its concern over the intrusion of non-judicial factors in
in the Tribunal. the proceedings of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal, which performs functions purely
judicial in character despite the inclusion of legislators in its membership; and c) to NOTE the view that the
term of all the members of the Electoral Tribunals, including those from the legislature, is co-extensive
In the alternative, the Senate Electoral Tribunal could perhaps sit as the sole judge of all contests relating with the corresponding legislative term and cannot be terminated at will but only for valid legal cause, and
to the election, returns and qualifications of members of the House of Representatives. Similarly, the to REQUIRE the Justices-members of the Tribunal to submit the issue to the said Tribunal in the first
House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal could sit as the sole judge of all such contests involving instance.
members of the Senate. In this way, there should be lesser chances of non-judicial elements playing a
decisive role in the resolution of election contests.
Paras J. filed this separate concurring opinion: 'I concur, but I wish to add that Rep. Camasura should be
allowed to cast his original vote in favor of protestant Bondoc, otherwise a political and judicial travesty
We suggest that there should also be a provision in the Constitution that upon designation to membership will take place.' Melencio-Herrera, Cruz and Feliciano, JJ., took no part. Gancayco, J., is on leave.
in the Electoral Tribunal, those so designated should divest themselves of affiliation with their respective
political parties, to insure their independence and objectivity as they sit in Tribunal deliberations.
On March 21, 1991, a petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus was filed by Dr. Emigdio A. Bondoc
against Representatives Marciano M. Pineda, Magdaleno M. Palacol, Juanita G. Camasura, Jr., or any other
There are only three (3) remaining cases for decision by the Tribunal. Bondoc should have been representative who may be appointed Vice Representative Juanita G. Camasura, Jr., and the House of
promulgated today, 14 March 1991. Cabrera v. Apacible (HRET Case No. 21) is scheduled for promulgation Representatives Electoral Tribunal, praying this Court to:
on 31 March 1991 and Lucman v. Dimaporo (HRET Case No. 45), after the Holy Week recess.

1. Annul the decision of the House of Representatives of March 13, 1991, 'to withdraw the nomination and
But political factors are blocking the accomplishment of the constitutionally mandated task of the Tribunal to rescind the nomination of Representative Juanita G. Camasura, Jr. to the House of Representatives
well ahead of the completion of the present congressional term. Electoral Tribunal;"

Under these circumstances, we are compelled to ask to be relieved from the chairmanship and 2. Issue a wilt of prohibition restraining respondent Palacol or whomsoever may be designated in place of
membership in the Tribunal. respondent Camasura from assuming, occupying and discharging functions as a member of the House of
Representatives Electoral Tribunal;

xxx xxx xxx


3. Issue a writ of mandamus ordering respondent Camasura to immediately reassume and discharge his
functions as a member of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal; and
At the open session of the HRET in the afternoon of the same day, the Tribunal issued Resolution No. 91-0018
cancelling the promulgation of the decision in HRET Case No. 25. The resolution reads:
4. Grant such other relief as may be just and equitable.

In view of the formal notice the Tribunal has received at 9:45 tills morning from the House of
Representatives that at its plenary session held on March 13, 1991, it had voted to withdraw the Upon receipt of the petition, the Court, without giving it due course, required the respondents to comment 5 on
nomination and rescind the election of Congressman Camasura to the House of Representatives the petition within ten days from notice and to enjoin the HRET 'from reorganizing and allowing participation in
Electoral Tribunal,' the Tribunal Resolved to cancel the promulgation of its Decision in Bondoc vs. its proceedings of Honorable Magdaleno M. Palacol or whoever is designated to replace Honorable Juanita G.
Pineda (HRET Case No. 25) scheduled for this afternoon. This is because, without Congressman Camasura in said House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal, until the issue of the withdrawal of the nomination
Camasura's vote, the decision lacks the concurrence of five members as required by Section 24 of the and rescission of the election of said Congressman Camasura as member of the HRET by the House of
Rules of the Tribunal and, therefore, cannot be validly promulgated. Representatives is resolved by this Court, or until otherwise ordered by the Court." (p. 39, Rollo.)

The Tribunal noted that the three (3) Justices-members of the Supreme Court, being of the opinion that Congressman Juanito G. Camasura, Jr. did not oppose the petition.
this development undermines the independence of the Tribunal and derails the orderly adjudication of
electoral cases, they have asked the Chief Justice, in a letter of even date, for their relief from
membership in the Tribunal. Congressman Marciano M. Pineda's plea for the dismissal of the petition is centered on Congress' being the sole
authority that nominates and elects from its members. Upon recommendation by the political parties therein,
those who are to sit in the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (and in the Commission on Appointments
The Tribunal further Noted that Congressman Cerilles also manifested his intention to resign as a as well), hence, it allegedly has the sole power to remove any of them whenever the ratio in the representation
member of the Tribunal. of the political parties in the House or Senate is materially changed on account of death, incapacity, removal or
expulsion from the political party; 6 that a Tribunal member's term of office is not co-extensive with his
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
legislative term, 7 for if a member of the Tribunal who changes his party affiliation is not removed from the The 1973 Constitution did not provide for an electoral tribunal in the Batasang Pambansa.
Tribunal, the constitutional provision mandating representation based on political affiliation would be completely
nullified; 8 and that the expulsion of Congressman Camasura from the LDP, is "purely a party affair" of the LDP 9
and the decision to rescind his membership in the House Electoral Tribunal is the sole prerogative of the House- The use of the word "sole" in both Section 17 of the 1987 Constitution and Section 11 of the 1935 Constitution
of-Representative Representatives, hence, it is a purely political question beyond the reach of judicial review. 10 underscores the exclusive jurisdiction of the House Electoral Tribunal as judge of contests relating to the
election, returns and qualifications of the members of the House of Representatives (Robles vs. House of
Representatives Electoral Tribunal, G.R. No. 86647, February 5, 1990). The tribunal was created to function as a
In his comment, respondent Congressman Magdaleno M. Palacol alleged that the petitioner has no cause of nonpartisan court although two-thirds of its members are politicians. It is a non-political body in a sea of
action against him because he has not yet been nominated by the LDP for membership in the HRET. 11 Moreover, politicians. What this Court had earlier said about the Electoral Commission applies as well to the electoral
the petition failed to implead the House of Representatives as an indispensable party for it was the House, not tribunals of the Senate and House of Representatives:
the HRET that withdrew and rescinded Congressman Camasura's membership in the HRET. 12

The purpose of the constitutional convention creating the Electoral Commission was to
The Solicitor General, as counsel for the Tribunal, argued in a similar vein; that the inclusion of the HETH as a provide an independent and impartial tribunal for the determination of contests to
party respondent is erroneous because the petition states no cause of action against the Tribunal. The petitioner legislative office, devoid of partisan consideration, and to transfer to that tribunal all the
does not question any act or order of the HRET in violation of his rights. What he assails is the act of the House powers previously exercised by the legislature in matters pertaining to contested
of Representatives of withdrawing the nomination, and rescinding the election, of Congressman Juanita nito elections of its members.
Camasura as a member of the HRET. 13

The power granted to the electoral Commission to judge contests relating to the election
Replying to the Solicitor General's Manifestation, the petitioner argued that while the Tribunal indeed had and qualification of members of the National Assembly is intended to be as complete and
nothing to do with the assailed decision of the House of Representatives, it acknowledged that decision by unimpaired as if it had remained in the legislature.
cancelling the promulgation of its decision in HRET Case No. 25 to his (Bondoc's) prejudice. 14 Hence, although
the Tribunal may not be an indispensable party, it is a necessary party to the suit, to assure that complete relief
is accorded to the petitioner for "in the ultimate, the Tribunal would have to acknowledge, give recognition, and The Electoral Tribunals of the Senate and the House were created by the Constitution as
implement the Supreme Court's decision as to whether the relief of respondent Congressman Camasura from special tribunals to be the sole judge of all contests relating to election returns and
the Office of the Electoral Tribunal is valid." 15 qualifications of members of the legislative houses, and, as such, are independent bodies
which must be permitted to select their own employees, and to supervise and control
them, without any legislative interference. (Suanes vs. Chief Accountant of the Senate,
In his reply to Congressman Palacol's Comment, the petitioner explained that Congressman Palacol was 81 Phil. 818.)
impleaded as one of the respondents in this case because after the House of Representatives had announced
the termination of Congressman Camasura's membership in the HETH several newspapers of general circulation
reported that the House of Representatives would nominate and elect Congressman Palacol to take To be able to exercise exclusive jurisdiction, the House Electoral Tribunal must be independent. Its jurisdiction to
Congressman Camasura's seat in the Tribunal. 16 hear and decide congressional election contests is not to be shared by it with the Legislature nor with the Courts.

Now, is the House of Representatives empowered by the Constitution to do that, i.e., to interfere with the The Electoral Commission is a body separate from and independent of the legislature
disposition of an election contest in the House Electoral Tribunal through the ruse of "reorganizing" the and though not a power in the tripartite scheme of government, it is to all intents and
representation in the tribunal of the majority party? purposes, when acting within the limits of its authority, an independent organ; while
composed of a majority of members of the legislature it is a body separate from and
independent of the legislature.
Section 17, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution supplies the answer to that question. It provides:

xxx xxx xxx


Section 17. The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each have an Electoral
Tribunal which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and
qualifications of their respective members, Each Electoral Tribunal shall be composed of The Electoral Commission, a constitutional organ created for the specific purpose of
nine Members, three of whom shall be Justices of the Supreme Court to be designated by determining contests relating to election returns and qualifications of members of the
the Chief Justice, and the remaining six shall be Members of the Senate or House of National Assembly may not be interfered with by the judiciary when and while acting
Representatives, as the case may be, who shall be chosen on the basis of proportional within the limits of its authority, but the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over the Electoral
representation from the political parties and the parties or organizations registered Commission for the purpose of determining the character, scope and extent of the
under the party list system represented therein. The senior Justice in the Electoral constitutional grant to the commission as sole judge of all contests relating to the
Tribunal shall be its Chairman. election and qualifications of the members of the National Assembly. (Angara vs.
Electoral Commission, 63 Phil. 139.)

Section 17 reechoes Section 11, Article VI of the 1935 Constitution, except the provision on the representation of
the main political parties in the tribunal which is now based on proportional representation from all the political The independence of the electoral tribunal was preserved undiminished in the 1987 Constitution as the following
parties, instead of equal representation of three members from each of the first and second largest political exchanges on the subject between Commissioners Maambong and Azcuna in the 1986 Constitutional
aggrupations in the Legislature. The 1935 constitutional provision reads as follows: Commission, attest:

Sec. 11. The Senate and the House of Representatives shall have an Electoral Tribunal MR. MAAMBONG. Thank you.
which shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and
qualifications of their respective Members. Each Electoral Tribunal shall be composed of
nine Members, three of whom shall be Justices of the Supreme Court to be designated by My questions will be very basic so we can go as fast as we can. In the case of the electoral tribunal, either
the Chief Justice, and the remaining six shall be Members of the Senate or of the House of the House or of the Senate, is it correct to say that these tribunals are constitutional creations? I will
of Representatives, as the case may be, who shall be chosen by each House, three upon distinguish these with the case of the Tanodbayan and the Sandiganbayan which are created by mandate
nomination of the party having the largest number of votes and three of the party having of the Constitution but they are not constitutional creations. Is that a good distinction?
the second largest member of votes therein. The senior Justice in each Electoral Tribunal
shall be its Chairman. (1 935 Constitution of the Philippines.)
MR. AZCUNA. That is an excellent statement.

Under the above provision, the Justices held the deciding votes, aid it was impossible for any political party to
control the voting in the tribunal. MR. MAAMBONG. Could we, therefore, say that either the Senate Electoral Tribunal or the House Electoral
Tribunal is a constitutional body.?
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
MR. AZCUNA. It is, Madam President. The independence of the House Electoral Tribunal so zealously guarded by the framers of our Constitution,
would, however, by a myth and its proceedings a farce if the House of Representatives, or the majority party
therein, may shuffle and manipulate the political (as distinguished from the judicial) component of the electoral
MR. MAAMBONG. If it is a constitutional body, is it then subject to constitutional restrictions? tribunal, to serve the interests of the party in power.

MR. AZCUNA It would be subject to constitutional restrictions intended for that body. The resolution of the House of Representatives removing Congressman Camasura from the House Electoral
Tribunal for disloyalty to the LDP, because he cast his vote in favor of the Nacionalista Party's candidate, Bondoc,
is a clear impairment of the constitutional prerogative of the House Electoral Tribunal to be the sole judge of the
MR. MAAMBONG. I see. But I want to find out if the ruling in the case of Vera vs. Avelino, 77 Phil. 192, will election contest between Pineda and Bondoc.
still be applicable to the present bodies we are creating since it ruled that the electoral tribunals are not
separate departments of the government. Would that ruling still be valid?
To sanction such interference by the House of Representatives in the work of the House Electoral Tribunal would
reduce the tribunal to a mere tool for the aggrandizement of the party in power (LDP) which the three justices of
MR. AZCUNA. Yes, they are not separate departments because the separate departments are the the Supreme Court and the lone NP member would be powerless to stop. A minority party candidate may as well
legislative, the executive and the judiciary; but they are constitutional bodies. abandon all hope at the threshold of the tribunal.

MR. MAAMBONG. Although they are not separate departments of government, I would like to know again if Disloyalty to party is not a valid cause for termination of membership in the HRET. —
the ruling in Angara vs. Electoral Commission, 53 Phil. 139, would still be applicable to the present bodies
we are deciding on, when the Supreme court said that these electoral tribunals are independent from
Congress, devoid of partisan influence or consideration and, therefore, Congress has no power to regulate As judges, the members of the tribunal must be non-partisan. They must discharge their functions with complete
proceedings of these electoral tribunals. detachment, impartiality, and independence even independence from the political party to which they belong.
Hence, "disloyalty to party" and "breach of party discipline," are not valid grounds for the expulsion of a member
of the tribunal. In expelling Congressman Camasura from the HRET for having cast a conscience vote" in favor of
MR. AZCUNA. I think that is correct. They are independent although they are not a separate branch of Bondoc, based strictly on the result of the examination and appreciation of the ballots and the recount of the
government. votes by the tribunal, the House of Representatives committed a grave abuse of discretion, an injustice, and a
violation of the Constitution. Its resolution of expulsion against Congressman Camasura is, therefore, null and
void.
MR. MAAMBONG. There is a statement that in all parliaments of the world, the invariable rule is to leave
unto themselves the determination of controversies with respect to the election and qualifications of their
members, and precisely they have this Committee on Privileges which takes care of this particular Expulsion of Congressman Camasura violates his right to security of tenure. —
controversy.

Another reason for the nullity of the expulsion resolution of the House of Representatives is that it violates
Would the Gentleman say that the creation of electoral tribunals is an exception to this rule because Congressman Camasura's right to security of tenure. Members of the HRET as "sole judge" of congressional
apparently we have an independent electoral tribunal? election contests, are entitled to security of tenure just as members of the judiciary enjoy security of tenure
under our Constitution (Sec. 2, Art. VIII, 1987 Constitution). Therefore, membership in the House Electoral
Tribunal may not be terminated except for a just cause, such as, the expiration of the member's congressional
MR. AZCUNA. To the extent that the electoral tribunals are independent, but the Gentleman will notice that term of office, his death, permanent disability, resignation from the political party he represents in the tribunal,
the wordings say: 'The Senate and the House of Representatives shall each have an Electoral Tribunal. 'It formal affiliation with another political party, or removal for other valid cause. A member may not be expelled by
is still the Senate Electoral Tribunal and the House Electoral Tribunal. So, technically, it is the tribunal of the House of Representatives for "party disloyalty" short of proof that he has formally affiliated with another
the House and tribunal of the Senate although they are independent. political group. As the records of this case fail to show that Congressman Camasura has become a registered
member of another political party, his expulsion from the LDP and from the HRET was not for a valid cause,
hence, it violated his right to security of tenure.
MR. MAAMBONG. But both of them, as we have agreed on, are independent from both bodies?

There is nothing to the argument of respondent Pineda that members of the House Electoral Tribunal are not
MR. AZCUNA. That is correct. entitled to security of tenure because, as a matter of fact, two Supreme Court Justices in the Tribunal were
changed before the end of the congressional term, namely: Chief Justice Marcelo B. Fernan who, upon his
elevation to the office of Chief Justice, was replaced by Justice Florentino P. Feliciano, and the latter, who was
MR. MAAMBONG. This is the bottom line of my question. How can we say that these bodies are temporarily replaced by Justice Emilio A. Gancayco, when he (J. Feliciano) took a leave of absence to deliver a
independent when we still have six politicians sitting in both tribunals? lecture in Yale University. It should be stressed, however, that those changes in the judicial composition to the
HRET had no political implications at all unlike the present attempt to remove Congressman Camasura. No
coercion was applied on Chief Justice Fernan to resign from the tribunal, nor on Justice Feliciano to go on a leave
MR. AZCUNA. Politicians can be independent, Madam President. of absence. They acted on their own free will, for valid reasons, and with no covert design to derail the
disposition of a pending case in the HRET.

MR. MAAMBONG. Madam President, when we discussed a portion of this in the Committee on the
Executive, there was a comment by Chief Justice Concepcion-Commissioner Concepcion-that there seems The case of Congressman Camasura is different. He was expelled from, and by, the LDP to punish him for "party
to be some incongruity in these electoral tribunals, considering that politicians still sit in the tribunals in disloyalty" after he had revealed to the Secretary-General of the party how he voted in the Bondoc case. The
spite of the fact that in the ruling in the case of Sanidad vs. Vera, Senate Electoral tribunal Case No. 1, purpose of the expulsion of Congressman Camasura was to nullify his vote in the Bondoc case so that the HRET's
they are supposed to act in accordance with law and justice with complete detachment from an political decision may not be promulgated, and so that the way could be cleared for the LDP to nominate a replacement
considerations. That is why I am asking now for the record how we could achieve such detachment when for Congressman Camasura in the Tribunal. That stratagem of the LDP and the House of Representatives is
there are six politicians sitting there. clearly aimed to substitute Congressman Camasura's vote and, in effect, to change the judgment of the HRET in
the Bondoc case.

MR. AZCUNA. The same reason that the Gentleman, while chosen on behalf of the opposition, has, with
sterling competence, shown independence in the proceedings of this Commission. I think we can also trust The judicial power of this Court has been invoked by Bondoc for the protection of his rights against the strong
that the members of the tribunals will be independent. (pp. 111-112, Journal, Tuesday, July 22, 1986, arm of the majority party in the House of Representatives. The Court cannot be deaf to his plea for relief, nor
Emphasis supplied.) indifferent to his charge that the House of Representatives had acted with grave abuse of discretion in removing
Congressman Camasura from the House Electoral Tribunal. He calls upon the Court, as guardian of the
Constitution, to exercise its judicial power and discharge its duty to protect his rights as the party aggrieved by
Resolution of the House of Representatives violates the independence of the HRET. — the action of the House. The Court must perform its duty under the Constitution "even when the violator be the
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
highest official of the land or the Government itself" (Concurring opinion of J. Antonio Barredo in Aquino vs. department. That department alone, to the exclusion of the others, has both right and duty to exercise it free
Ponce-Enrile, 59 SCRA 183, 207). from any encroachment or interference of whomsoever. 4

Since the expulsion of Congressman Camasura from the House Electoral Tribunal by the House of This principle or doctrine of separation of powers is enforced by the judiciary through the exercise of its power of
Representatives was not for a lawful and valid cause, but to unjustly interfere with the tribunal's disposition of judicial review and prudent refusal to assume jurisdiction over cases involving political questions. 5
the Bondoc case and to deprive Bondoc of the fruits of the Tribunal's decision in his favor, the action of the
House of Representatives is clearly violative of the constitutional mandate (Sec. 17, Art. VI, 1987 Constitution)
which created the House Electoral Tribunal to be the "sole judge" of the election contest between Pineda and In the case at bar, one notes that the dispute emerged when the House of Representatives withdrew and rended
Bondoc. We, therefore, declare null and void the resolution dated March 13, 1991 of the House of the nomination of Congressman Juanito J. Camasura, Jr. to the House Electoral Tribunal. This act was, it seems,
Representatives withdrawing the nomination, and rescinding the election, of Congressman Camasura as a precipitated by a letter of Congressman Jose S. Cojuangco, Jr. informing the Speaker of the House of
member of the House Electoral Tribunal. The petitioner, Dr. Emigdio Bondoc, is entitled to the reliefs he prays for Representatives of the expulsion of Congressman Juanito J. Camasura, Jr. from the LDP for having allegedly
in this case. helped to organize the Partido Pilipino of Mr. Eduardo Cojuangco, Jr. and for allegedly having invited other LDP
members to join the said political party. As a result of this letter, the nomination of Camasura to the House
Electoral Tribunal was withdrawn at a plenary session of the House of Representatives and the House Electoral
WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus is granted. The decision of the House of Tribunal was informed of such action of the House.
Representatives withdrawing the nomination and rescinding the election of Congressman Juanita G. Camasura,
Jr. as a member of the House Electoral Tribunal is hereby declared null and void ab initio for being violative of
the Constitution, and Congressman Juanita G. Camasura, Jr. is ordered reinstated to his position as a member of Petitioner assails the propriety of said action of the House of Representatives as it is, he alleges, but a employ to
the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal. The HRET Resolution No. 91-0018 dated March 14, 1991, thwart the promulgation of a decision in the electoral protest lodged by him (petitioner Bondoc) against
cancelling the promulgation of the decision in HRET Case No. 25 ("Dr. Emigdio Bondoc vs. Marciano A. Pineda") Marciano M. Pineda, a member of the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP), and which decision would be
is also set aside. Considering the unconscionable delay incurred in the promulgation of that decision to the favorable to him (Bontoc). Petitioner contends that not only does the action of the House of Representatives
prejudice of the speedy resolution of electoral cases, the Court, in the exercise of its equity jurisdiction, and in violate the independence of the House Electoral Tribunal but that it also violates the security of tenure of
the interest of justice, hereby declares the said decision DULY PROMULGATED, effective upon service of copies Congressman Camasura, Jr. in said electoral tribunal.
thereof on the parties, to be done immediately by the Tribunal. Costs against respondent Marciano A. Pineda.

Congressman (respondent) Pineda, on the other hand, submits that the House of Representatives has the sole
SO ORDERED. authority to nominate and select from among its members who are to sit in the House Electoral Tribunal, upon
Narvasa, Paras, Bidin, Medialdea, Regalado and Davide, Jr., JJ., concur. recommendation of the political parties therein, hence, it also has the sole power to remove any of them from
Gutierrez, Jr., J., concurs as certified to by the Chief Justice. the electoral tribunal whenever the ratio in the representation of the political parties in the House is materially
Fernan, C.J., Melencio-Herrera, Cruz and Feliciano, JJ., took no part. changed on account of death, incapacity, removal or expulsion of a House member from a political party. A
Tribunal member's term of office in said electoral tribunal is not, Congressman Pineda argues, co-extensive with
his legislative term. Were that the fact, the constitutional provision mandating representation in the electoral
Separate Opinions tribunal based on political affiliation may be completely nullified in the event that a member of the Tribunal
changes party affiliation.

PADILLA, J., dissenting:


As provided for in the Constitution, there are nine (9) members of the House Electoral Tribunal. Three (3) of the
members of the tribunal are Justices of the Supreme Court as designated by the Chief Justice of the Supreme
Can the Supreme Court review and annul an act of the House of Representatives, assuming that said act were Court. The remaining six (6) members come from the members of the House chosen on the basis of proportional
politically motivated, but well within the constitutional parameters of its authority? representation from the political parties and the parties or organizations registered under the partylist system. 6
The House of Representatives has the power to nominate the members of the House Electoral Tribunal
(representing the House) provided, of course, that the proportional representation of parties is maintained.
The majority would postulate that the Court is empowered to do so on the strength of the second paragraph,
Section 1 of Art. VIII of the 1987 Constitution which reads:
Can the House of Representatives withdraw the nomination extended to a member of the electoral tribunal
(representing the House of Representatives) after the majority party in the House has expelled him from its
Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies ranks? I believe it can. The power to appoint or designate a member of the House of Representatives to be a
involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine member of the House Electoral Tribunal must, to my mind, necessarily include the power to remove said
whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess member. A withdrawal of the nomination of a member of the Tribunal where such withdrawal will maintain the
of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government. proportional representation of the political parties, mandated by the Constitution, must be recognized and
respected, no matter how politically motivated it might be. Constitutional law, it is said, is concerned with power
not with policy, wisdom or expediency. 7 The question that must be asked in testing the validity of such
The majority would even go as far as annul the action of the House of Representatives in withdrawing and legislative act is, does the House of Representatives have the power to do what it has done and not whether the
rescinding its nomination to the House Electoral Tribunal of Congressman Juanito J. Camasura, Jr. and order House of Representatives should have done what it has done.
Camasura's reinstatement to said Tribunal. I regret I cannot join the majority's posture which, I believe, is
violative of the almost sacramental doctrine of separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution. It is for this
reason that I register my dissent. Corollary to the above is, can the Judiciary question a legislative act done within the constitutional authority to
the legislature? I believe not, in the same way that, for instance, the House cannot question the act of the Chief
Justice, should he deem it proper to change the Justices who sit as members of the House Electoral Tribunal.
A fundamental principle in our constitutional system is that the powers of government are distributed among Matters such as who will be designated or nominated as members of the electoral tribunal, how they should vote
three (3) great departments: legislative, executive and judicial. Each of these departments is separate from, yet — surely are matters that not merely concern political action as far as members of the House are concerned, but
coordinate and co-equal with the others each one deriving its authority directly from the fundamental law. 1 As are the very essence of political action, if political life has any connotation at all. To open courts of justice to
Mr. Justice Moreland summarized, "the three departments are not only coordinate, they are co-equal and co- such political controversies would have courts sit in judgment over the manifold disputes engendered by political
important. While interdependent, in the sense that each is unable to perform its functions fully and adequately manuevers and skirmishes. This would drag the courts into the political arena which in the long run could
without the other, they are nevertheless in many senses independent of each other. That is to say, one undermine and destroy their independence.
department may not control or even interfere with another in the exercise of its particular functions. 2 (Emphasis
supplied)
The judicial department, in my opinion, has no power to review even the most arbitrary and unfair action of the
legislative department, taken in the exercise of power committed exclusively to it by the Constitution. 8 It is not
The completeness of their separation and mutual independence does not, however, extend to the point that within the province of this Court to supervise legislation or oversee legislative acts as to keep them within the
those in authority in one department can ignore and treat the acts of those in authority in the others, done bounds of propriety, fairness and common sense. Such acts, like the one at bar, are exclusively of legislative
pursuant to the authority vested in them, as nugatory and not binding in every other department. 3 In other concern. 9 To hold otherwise would be to invalidate the principle of separation of powers. As Judge Learned Hand
words, one department must not encroach upon nor interfere with acts done within the constitutional so aptly observed, "one cannot find among the powers granted to courts any authority to pass upon the validity
competence of the other where full discretionary authority has been delegated by the Constitution to said of the decisions of another 'Department' as to the scope of that 'Department's' powers. Indeed, it is to be
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
understood that the three (3), Departments' were separate and co-equal, each being, as it were, a Leibnizian The majority would even go as far as annul the action of the House of Representatives in withdrawing and
monad, looking up to the Heaven of the Electorate, but without any mutual dependence. What could be better rescinding its nomination to the House Electoral Tribunal of Congressman Juanito J. Camasura, Jr. and order
evidence of complete dependence than to subject the validity of the decision of one 'Department' as to its Camasura's reinstatement to said Tribunal. I regret I cannot join the majority's posture which, I believe, is
authority on a given occasion to review and reversal by another? Such a doctrine makes supreme the violative of the almost sacramental doctrine of separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution. It is for this
Department that has the last word. " 10 (Emphasis supplied) reason that I register my dissent.

The Court should not lose sight of the fact that "sometimes the division of power tacitly accepted by society runs A fundamental principle in our constitutional system is that the powers of government are distributed among
counter to its own Ideology and to the constitutional commandments. This may be because the society is still three (3) great departments: legislative, executive and judicial. Each of these departments is separate from, yet
unsure of what the best division of power would be and so temporarily accepts the existing one, or because the coordinate and co-equal with the others each one deriving its authority directly from the fundamental law. 1 As
society has vacated its decisionmaking function and special interest groups have stepped in to fill the vacuum. Mr. Justice Moreland summarized, "the three departments are not only coordinate, they are co-equal and co-
In either case, the Court can neither validate a clearly unconstitutional distribution, and thereby subject its role important. While interdependent, in the sense that each is unable to perform its functions fully and adequately
as guardian to claims of fraud, nor invalidate a functioning system with an order which would be ignored. To do without the other, they are nevertheless in many senses independent of each other. That is to say, one
either would be to sacrifice the popular prestige which is the Court's primarily source of power." 11 department may not control or even interfere with another in the exercise of its particular functions. 2 (Emphasis
supplied)

Even assuming that the act of the House of Representatives in withdrawing and rescinding the nomination of
Congressman Camasura, Jr. as a member of the House Electoral Tribunal is politically motivated, precipitated as The completeness of their separation and mutual independence does not, however, extend to the point that
it is by the knowledge of how Camasura, Jr. is to vote in one of the electoral protests before said Tribunal, this, to those in authority in one department can ignore and treat the acts of those in authority in the others, done
me, is not sufficient reason to invalidate said act of the House of Representatives, since it is done within the pursuant to the authority vested in them, as nugatory and not binding in every other department. 3 In other
limits of its constitutional power. Besides, what other act of the House (or Senate) is there that is not politically words, one department must not encroach upon nor interfere with acts done within the constitutional
motivated? After all, that branch of government is a political branch and necessarily or pragmatically all of its competence of the other where full discretionary authority has been delegated by the Constitution to said
acts are and will always be politically motivated. department. That department alone, to the exclusion of the others, has both right and duty to exercise it free
from any encroachment or interference of whomsoever. 4

The environmental facts of this case do not, in my considered opinion, bring it within the Court's power to strike
down the legislative act in question, it is the people of this nation — not this court — who should ultimately This principle or doctrine of separation of powers is enforced by the judiciary through the exercise of its power of
judge the act when they cast their ballots. The Court cannot arrogate unto itself the power to institute what it judicial review and prudent refusal to assume jurisdiction over cases involving political questions. 5
perceives to be political reforms, for in the last analysis on which all else depend, the vitality of a political system
would be greatly weakened by reliance on the judiciary for any and all political reforms and, in time, a
complacent body politic will result. It is the responsibility of the people and none other, to remain ever vigilant In the case at bar, one notes that the dispute emerged when the House of Representatives withdrew and rended
about their government to the end that they can continue to live under a regime of justice, liberty and the nomination of Congressman Juanito J. Camasura, Jr. to the House Electoral Tribunal. This act was, it seems,
democracy. To leave this task to the Court, would in the long run be inimical to and destructive of democratic precipitated by a letter of Congressman Jose S. Cojuangco, Jr. informing the Speaker of the House of
government itself Representatives of the expulsion of Congressman Juanito J. Camasura, Jr. from the LDP for having allegedly
helped to organize the Partido Pilipino of Mr. Eduardo Cojuangco, Jr. and for allegedly having invited other LDP
members to join the said political party. As a result of this letter, the nomination of Camasura to the House
ACCORDINGLY, I vote to DISMISS the petition. Electoral Tribunal was withdrawn at a plenary session of the House of Representatives and the House Electoral
Tribunal was informed of such action of the House.

SARMIENTO, J., disssenting:


Petitioner assails the propriety of said action of the House of Representatives as it is, he alleges, but a employ to
thwart the promulgation of a decision in the electoral protest lodged by him (petitioner Bondoc) against
Like my distinguished colleague Justice Teodoro Padilla, I too am unable to agree with the majority. I believe that Marciano M. Pineda, a member of the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP), and which decision would be
the questions as Justice Padilla raised it — can the Court annul an act of Congress, revamping its House Electoral favorable to him (Bontoc). Petitioner contends that not only does the action of the House of Representatives
Tribunal? — is a political question and a question in which the Court can not intervene. violate the independence of the House Electoral Tribunal but that it also violates the security of tenure of
Congressman Camasura, Jr. in said electoral tribunal.

It is true that under the Charter, the jurisdiction of this Court includes the power to strike down excesses of any
agency of Government, but the Charter did not alter or discard the principle principle of separation of powers. Congressman (respondent) Pineda, on the other hand, submits that the House of Representatives has the sole
authority to nominate and select from among its members who are to sit in the House Electoral Tribunal, upon
recommendation of the political parties therein, hence, it also has the sole power to remove any of them from
Evidently, Congressman Camasura's ouster from the Tribunal was a result of political maneuvers within the the electoral tribunal whenever the ratio in the representation of the political parties in the House is materially
lower house. This Court, however, is above politics and Justices should be the last persons to get involved in the changed on account of death, incapacity, removal or expulsion of a House member from a political party. A
"dirty" world of politics. If they do, they risk their independence. Tribunal member's term of office in said electoral tribunal is not, Congressman Pineda argues, co-extensive with
his legislative term. Were that the fact, the constitutional provision mandating representation in the electoral
tribunal based on political affiliation may be completely nullified in the event that a member of the Tribunal
Separate Opinions changes party affiliation.

PADILLA, J., dissenting: As provided for in the Constitution, there are nine (9) members of the House Electoral Tribunal. Three (3) of the
members of the tribunal are Justices of the Supreme Court as designated by the Chief Justice of the Supreme
Court. The remaining six (6) members come from the members of the House chosen on the basis of proportional
Can the Supreme Court review and annul an act of the House of Representatives, assuming that said act were representation from the political parties and the parties or organizations registered under the partylist system. 6
politically motivated, but well within the constitutional parameters of its authority? The House of Representatives has the power to nominate the members of the House Electoral Tribunal
(representing the House) provided, of course, that the proportional representation of parties is maintained.

The majority would postulate that the Court is empowered to do so on the strength of the second paragraph,
Section 1 of Art. VIII of the 1987 Constitution which reads: Can the House of Representatives withdraw the nomination extended to a member of the electoral tribunal
(representing the House of Representatives) after the majority party in the House has expelled him from its
ranks? I believe it can. The power to appoint or designate a member of the House of Representatives to be a
Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies member of the House Electoral Tribunal must, to my mind, necessarily include the power to remove said
involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine member. A withdrawal of the nomination of a member of the Tribunal where such withdrawal will maintain the
whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess proportional representation of the political parties, mandated by the Constitution, must be recognized and
of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government. respected, no matter how politically motivated it might be. Constitutional law, it is said, is concerned with power
not with policy, wisdom or expediency. 7 The question that must be asked in testing the validity of such
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
legislative act is, does the House of Representatives have the power to do what it has done and not whether the Evidently, Congressman Camasura's ouster from the Tribunal was a result of political maneuvers within the
House of Representatives should have done what it has done. lower house. This Court, however, is above politics and Justices should be the last persons to get involved in the
"dirty" world of politics. If they do, they risk their independence.

Corollary to the above is, can the Judiciary question a legislative act done within the constitutional authority to
the legislature? I believe not, in the same way that, for instance, the House cannot question the act of the Chief Footnotes
Justice, should he deem it proper to change the Justices who sit as members of the House Electoral Tribunal. 1 Annex B, p. 29, Rollo.
Matters such as who will be designated or nominated as members of the electoral tribunal, how they should vote 2 Annex D, p. 34, Rollo.
— surely are matters that not merely concern political action as far as members of the House are concerned, but 3 Resolution No. 03-91 p. 35, Rollo.
are the very essence of political action, if political life has any connotation at all. To open courts of justice to 4 Annex D-2 p. 36, Rollo.
such political controversies would have courts sit in judgment over the manifold disputes engendered by political 5 The comments of the respondents were later treated as their answer ers to the petition
manuevers and skirmishes. This would drag the courts into the political arena which in the long run could to which the Court gave due course.
undermine and destroy their independence. 6 p. 53, Rollo.
7 p. 93, Rollo.
8 p. 94, Rollo.
The judicial department, in my opinion, has no power to review even the most arbitrary and unfair action of the 9 p. 111, Rollo.
legislative department, taken in the exercise of power committed exclusively to it by the Constitution. 8 It is not 10 p. 99, Rollo.
within the province of this Court to supervise legislation or oversee legislative acts as to keep them within the 11 p. 127, Rollo.
bounds of propriety, fairness and common sense. Such acts, like the one at bar, are exclusively of legislative 12 p. 130, Rollo.
concern. 9 To hold otherwise would be to invalidate the principle of separation of powers. As Judge Learned Hand 13 p. 142, Rollo.
so aptly observed, "one cannot find among the powers granted to courts any authority to pass upon the validity 14 p. 150, Rollo.
of the decisions of another 'Department' as to the scope of that 'Department's' powers. Indeed, it is to be 15 5 p. 152, Rollo.
understood that the three (3), Departments' were separate and co-equal, each being, as it were, a Leibnizian 16 p. 157, Rollo.
monad, looking up to the Heaven of the Electorate, but without any mutual dependence. What could be better Padilla, J.:
evidence of complete dependence than to subject the validity of the decision of one 'Department' as to its 1 People vs. Vera, 65 Phil. 56.
authority on a given occasion to review and reversal by another? Such a doctrine makes supreme the 2 Province of Tarlac vs. Gale, 26 Phil. 338, 349.
Department that has the last word. " 10 (Emphasis supplied) 3 Kilbourn vs. Thomson, 103 US 168, 25 L. ed. 177; Abueva vs. Wood, 45 Phil. 612.
4 Mr. Justice Concepcion in Tanada, et al. vs. Mariano Jesus Cuenco, et al., G.R. No. L-
10520, 28 February 1957.
The Court should not lose sight of the fact that "sometimes the division of power tacitly accepted by society runs 5 Neptali Gonzales, Philippine Political Law, 1966 ed., p. 102.
counter to its own Ideology and to the constitutional commandments. This may be because the society is still 6 Section 17, Article VI, 1987 Constitution.
unsure of what the best division of power would be and so temporarily accepts the existing one, or because the 7 Bautista vs. Salonga, G.R. No. 86439, 13 April 1989, 172 SCRA 182.
society has vacated its decisionmaking function and special interest groups have stepped in to fill the vacuum. 8 Vera v. Avelino, 77 Phil. 192.
In either case, the Court can neither validate a clearly unconstitutional distribution, and thereby subject its role 9 People v. Carlos, 78 Phil. 535.
as guardian to claims of fraud, nor invalidate a functioning system with an order which would be ignored. To do 10 delivered on occasion of the Oliver Wendell Homes Lecture of 1958 and published in
either would be to sacrifice the popular prestige which is the Court's primarily source of power." 11 LEARNED HAND, The Bill of Rights 4 (1958).
11 Philippines Strum, "The Supreme Court and Political Questions" a study in judicial
evasion, 1974 ed., p. 103.
Even assuming that the act of the House of Representatives in withdrawing and rescinding the nomination of
Congressman Camasura, Jr. as a member of the House Electoral Tribunal is politically motivated, precipitated as
it is by the knowledge of how Camasura, Jr. is to vote in one of the electoral protests before said Tribunal, this, to
me, is not sufficient reason to invalidate said act of the House of Representatives, since it is done within the
limits of its constitutional power. Besides, what other act of the House (or Senate) is there that is not politically
motivated? After all, that branch of government is a political branch and necessarily or pragmatically all of its
acts are and will always be politically motivated.

Republic of the Philippines


The environmental facts of this case do not, in my considered opinion, bring it within the Court's power to strike SUPREME COURT
down the legislative act in question, it is the people of this nation — not this court — who should ultimately Manila
judge the act when they cast their ballots. The Court cannot arrogate unto itself the power to institute what it
perceives to be political reforms, for in the last analysis on which all else depend, the vitality of a political system
would be greatly weakened by reliance on the judiciary for any and all political reforms and, in time, a EN BANC
complacent body politic will result. It is the responsibility of the people and none other, to remain ever vigilant
about their government to the end that they can continue to live under a regime of justice, liberty and
democracy. To leave this task to the Court, would in the long run be inimical to and destructive of democratic G.R. No. 150605 December 10, 2002
government itself

EUFROCINO M. CODILLA, SR., petitioner,


ACCORDINGLY, I vote to DISMISS the petition. vs.
HON. JOSE DE VENECIA, ROBERTO P. NAZARENO, in their official capacities as Speaker
and Secretary-General of the House of Representatives, respectively,
SARMIENTO, J., disssenting: and MA. VICTORIA L. LOCSIN, respondents.

Like my distinguished colleague Justice Teodoro Padilla, I too am unable to agree with the majority. I believe that DECISION
the questions as Justice Padilla raised it — can the Court annul an act of Congress, revamping its House Electoral
Tribunal? — is a political question and a question in which the Court can not intervene.
PUNO, J.:

It is true that under the Charter, the jurisdiction of this Court includes the power to strike down excesses of any
agency of Government, but the Charter did not alter or discard the principle principle of separation of powers. In a democracy, the first self-evident principle is that he who has been rejected by the people cannot represent
the people. Respondent Ma. Victoria L. Locsin lost to petitioner Eufrocino M. Codilla, Sr. by 17,903 votes in the
May 14, 2001 elections as Representative of the 4th legislative district of Leyte. The most sophisticated legal
alchemy cannot justify her insistence that she should continue governing the people of Leyte against their will.
The enforcement of the sovereign will of the people is not subject to the discretion of any official of the land.
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
This is a Petition for Mandamus and Quo Warranto directed against respondents Speaker Jose De Venecia and On May 25, 2001, petitioner filed a Motion to Lift Order of Suspension,23 alleging that (a) he did not receive
Secretary-General Roberto P. Nazareno of the House of Representatives to compel them to implement the a copy of the Motion to Suspend his Proclamation and hence, was denied the right to rebut and refute the
decision of the Commission on Elections en banc by (a) administering the oath of office to petitioner as the duly- allegations in the Motion; (b) that he did not receive a copy of the summons on the petition for disqualification
elected Representative of the 4th legislative district of Leyte, and (b) registering the name of the petitioner in and after personally obtaining a copy of the petition, filed the requisite answer only on May 24, 2001; and (c)
the Roll of Members of the House of Representatives, and against respondent Ma. Victoria L. Locsin for usurping, that he received the telegraph Order of the COMELEC Second Division suspending his proclamation only on May
intruding into, and unlawfully holding and exercising the said public office on the basis of a void proclamation. 22, 2001. He attached documentary evidence in support of his Motion to Lift the Suspension of his proclamation,
and requested the setting of a hearing on his Motion.24

The facts are uncontroverted. Petitioner and respondent Locsin were candidates for the position of
Representative of the 4th legislative district of Leyte during the May 14, 2001 elections. At that time, petitioner On May 30, 2001, an oral argument was conducted on the petitioner's Motion and the parties were ordered to
was the Mayor of Ormoc City while respondent Locsin was the sitting Representative of the 4th legislative district submit their respective memoranda.25 On June 4, 2001, petitioner submitted his Memorandum26 in support of his
of Leyte. On May 8, 2001, one Josephine de la Cruz, a registered voter of Kananga, Leyte, filed directly with the Motion assailing the suspension of his proclamation on the grounds that: (a) he was not afforded due process;
COMELEC main office a Petition for Disqualification1 against the petitioner for indirectly soliciting votes from the (b) the order has no legal and factual basis; and (c) evidence of his guilt is patently inexistent for the purpose of
registered voters of Kananga and Matag-ob, Leyte, in violation of Section 68 (a) of the Omnibus Election Code. It suspending his proclamation. He prayed that his proclamation as winning congressional candidate be
was alleged that the petitioner used the equipments and vehicles owned by the City Government of Ormoc to expediently made, even while the disqualification case against him continue upon due notice and hearing. He
extract, haul and distribute gravel and sand to the residents of Kananga and Matag-ob, Leyte, for the purpose of attached the following additional evidence in his Memorandum: (a) Copy of certification issued by PNP Senior
inducing, influencing or corrupting them to vote for him. Attached to the petition are the (a) Affidavits of Basilio Inspector Benjamin T. Gorre;27 (b) Certification issued by Elena S. Aviles, City Budget Officer;28 (c) Copy of
Bates,2 Danilo D. Maglasang,3 Cesar A. Laurente;4 (b) Joint Affidavit of Agripino C. Alferez and Rogelio T. Salvera;5 certification issued by Wilfredo A. Fiel, City Engineer of Ormoc;29 (d) Joint Affidavit of Antonio Patenio and Pepito
(c) Extract Records from the Police Blotter executed by Police Superintendent Elson G. Pecho;6 and (d) Restituto;30 and (e) Affidavits of Demetrio Brion,31 Igmedio Rita32 and Gerardo Monteza.33 Respondent Locsin's
Photographs showing government dump trucks, haulers and surfacers and portions of public roads allegedly memorandum also contained additional affidavits of his witnesses.34
filled-in and surfaced through the intercession of the respondent.7 The case was docketed as SPA No. 01-208 and
assigned to the COMELEC's Second Division.
Petitioner's Motion to Lift the Order of Suspension, however, was not resolved. Instead, on June 14,
2001, the COMELEC Second Division promulgated its Resolution35 in SPA No. 01-208 which found the
On May 10, 2001, the COMELEC Second Division issued an Order delegating the hearing and reception of petitioner guilty of indirect solicitation of votes and ordered his disqualification. It directed the "immediate
evidence on the disqualification case to the Office of the Regional Director of Region VIII.8 On May 11, 2001, the proclamation of the candidate who garnered the highest number of votes xxx." A copy of said
COMELEC Second Division sent a telegram informing the petitioner that a disqualification case was filed against Resolution was sent by fax to the counsel of petitioner in Cebu City in the afternoon of the following day.36
him and that the petition was remanded to the Regional Election Director for investigation.9

By virtue of the said Resolution, the votes cast for petitioner, totaling 71,350, were declared stray even
At the time of the elections on May 14, 2001, the Regional Election Director had yet to hear the before said Resolution could gain finality. On June 15, 2001, respondent Locsin was proclaimed as the duly
disqualification case. Consequently, petitioner was included in the list of candidates for district representative elected Representative of the 4th legislative district of Leyte by the Provincial Board of Canvassers of Leyte. It
and was voted for. The initial results showed that petitioner was the winning candidate. issued a Certificate of Canvass of Votes and Proclamation of the Winning Candidates for Member of the House of
Representatives stating that "MA. VICTORIA LARRAZABAL LOCSIN obtained a total of FIFTY THREE THOUSAND
FOUR HUNDRED FORTY SEVEN (53,447) votes representing the highest number of votes legally cast in the
On May 16, 2001, before the counting could be finished, respondent Locsin joined as intervenor in SPA No. 128 legislative district for said office."37 Respondent Locsin took her oath of office on June 18, 2001 and
and filed a "Most Urgent Motion to Suspend Proclamation of Respondent [herein petitioner]" with the assumed office on June 30, 2001.
COMELEC Second Division.10 Respondent Locsin alleged that "the evidence on record against respondent is very
strong and unless rebutted remains." She urged the Commission to set the hearing of the disqualification case
and prayed for the suspension of the proclamation of the respondent "so as not to render the present On June 20, 2001, petitioner seasonably filed with the COMELEC en banc a Motion for
disqualification case moot and academic." A copy of the Motion was allegedly served on petitioner by Reconsideration38 from the June 14, 2001 Resolution of the COMELEC Second Division which ordered his
registered mail but no registry receipt was attached thereto.11 disqualification, as well as an Addendum to the Motion for Reconsideration.39 Petitioner alleged in his Motion for
Reconsideration that the COMELEC Second Division erred: (1) in disqualifying petitioner on the basis solely of
the dubious declaration of the witnesses for respondent Locsin; (2) in adopting in toto the allegations of the
On May 18, 2001, respondent Locsin filed a "Second Most Urgent Motion to Suspend Proclamation of witnesses for respondent Locsin; and (3) in promulgating the resolution in violation of its own rules of procedure
Respondent" stating "there is clear and convincing evidence showing that the respondent is undoubtedly guilty and in directing therein the immediate proclamation of the second highest 'vote getter.' Respondent Locsin and
of the charges against him and this remains unrebutted by the respondent." A copy of the Motion was sent to her co-petitioner in SPA No. 01-208 filed a joint Opposition to the Motion for Reconsideration.40
the petitioner and the corresponding registry receipt was attached to the pleading.12 The records, however, do
not show the date the petitioner received the motion.
On June 21, 2001, petitioner filed with the COMELEC en banc a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of
Proclamation,41 docketed as SPC No. 01-324, assailing the validity of the proclamation of respondent Locsin
13
On the same day, May 18, 2001, the COMELEC Second Division issued an Ex-Parte Order directing the who garnered only the second highest number of votes. Respondent Locsin filed her Answer alleging that:
Provincial Board of Canvassers of Leyte to suspend the proclamation of petitioner in case he obtains the highest (1) the Commission lost jurisdiction to hear and decide the case because of the proclamation of Locsin and that
number of votes by reason of "the seriousness of the allegations in the petition for disqualification."14 It also any question on the "election, returns, and qualification" of Locsin can only be taken cognizance of by the House
directed the Regional Election Director to speed up the reception of evidence and to forward immediately the of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET); (2) the case should be filed and heard in the first instance by a
complete records together with its recommendation to the Office of the Clerk of the Commission.15 As a result, Division of the Commission and not directly by the Commission en banc; and (3) the proclamation of Locsin was
petitioner was not proclaimed as winner even though the final election results showed that he garnered 71,350 valid because she received the highest number of valid votes cast, the votes of Codilla being stray.
votes as against respondent Locsin's 53,447 votes.16

On June 28, 2001, petitioner filed an Urgent Manifestation42 stating that he was deprived of a fair hearing on
At the time that the COMELEC Second Division issued its Order suspending his proclamation, the petitioner has the disqualification case because while the documentary evidence adduced in his Memorandum was in
yet to be summoned to answer the petition for disqualification. Neither has said petition been set for hearing. It support of his Motion for the lifting of the suspension of his proclamation, the COMELEC Second
was only on May 24, 2001 that petitioner was able to file an Answer to the petition for his disqualification with Division instead ruled on the main disqualification case. In consonance with his prayer that a full-dress
the Regional Election Director, alleging that: (a) he has not received the summons together with the copy of the hearing be conducted on the disqualification case, he submitted Affidavits of additional witnesses43 which he
petition; (b) he became aware of the matter only by virtue of the telegram sent by the COMELEC Second Division claims would refute and substantially belie the allegations of petitioner's/intervenor's witnesses. A Reply,44
informing him that a petition was filed against him and that the Regional Election Director was directed to Rejoinder45 and Sur-Rejoinder46 were respectively filed by the parties. Consequently, the motion for
investigate and receive evidence therewith; and (c) he obtained a copy of the petition from the COMELEC reconsideration in SPA No. 01-208 and the petition for declaration of nullity in SPC No. 01-324 were submitted for
Regional Office No. 8 at his own instance.17 Petitioner further alleged that the maintenance, repair and resolution.
rehabilitation of barangay roads in the municipalities of Matag-ob and Kananga were undertaken without his
authority, participation or directive as City Mayor of Ormoc. He attached in his Answer the following: (a) Affidavit
of Alex B. Borinaga;18 (b) Copy of the Excerpt from the Minutes of the Regular Session of Barangay Monterico;19 From the records, it appears that initially, a "Resolution" penned by Commissioner Rufino S.B. Javier, dated July
(c) Affidavit of Wilfredo A. Fiel;20 (d) Supplemental Affidavit of Wilfredo A. Fiel;21 and (e) Affidavit of Arnel Y. 24, 2001, was submitted to the Office of the Chairman, dismissing the petition for declaration of nullity for lack
Padayao.22 of jurisdiction and denying the motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner Codilla.47 Commissioners Florentino
A. Tuason, Jr. and Resurreccion Z. Borra submitted their respective dissenting opinions48 to the Javier resolution.
It bears emphasis that Commissioner Tuason, Jr. was the ponente of the Resolution of the COMELEC Second
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
Division which ordered the disqualification of petitioner but after considering the additional evidence presented (b) to lift the order of suspension of proclamation of petitioner Codilla, issued by the Commission
by the latter, he concluded that the totality of the evidence was clearly in petitioner's favor. Equally worth (Second Division) on May 18, 2001, in SPA No. 01-208, having been issued without hearing and
mentioning is the fact that Commissioner Ralph C. Lantion, who was the Presiding Commissioner of the Second without any finding that the evidence of guilt of petitioner Codilla is strong and, thus, null and void;
Division, also dissented and voted to grant Codilla's motion for reconsideration on the ground that "[T]he people
of Leyte have spoken and I respect the electorate's will. x x x." 49
(c) to nullify the order contained in the Resolution of the Commission (Second Division) promulgated
on June 14, 2001, in SPA No. 01-208, for "(t)he immediate proclamation of the candidate who
On August 29, 2001, then COMELEC Chairman Alfredo L. Benipayo issued a "Vote and Opinion and Summary of garnered the highest number of votes, to the exclusion of respondent" and the concurrent order for
Votes" reversing the resolution of the Second Division and declaring the proclamation of respondent "the provincial Board of Canvasser (sic) of Leyte to immediately reconvene and thereafter proclaim
Locsin as null and void. The dispositive portion reads: forthwith the candidate who obtained the highest number of votes counting out the Respondent" the
same being violative of election laws, established jurisprudence, and resolutions of the Commission;

"JUDGMENT
(d) to nullify the ruling contained in the Resolution of the Commission (Second Division) promulgated
on June 14, 2001, in SPA No. 01-208, that the votes of respondent Codilla are "considered stray and
WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing considerations, I concur with Commissioner Resurreccion Z. Borra, invalid" said ruling being issued on the basis of an inapplicable decision, and contrary to established
Commissioner Florentino A. Tuason, Jr. and Commissioner Ralph C. Lantion, in SPA No. 01-208, to GRANT the jurisprudence;
motion for reconsideration and to REVERSE the resolution of the Commission (Second Division) promulgated on
June 1, 2001, disqualifying Codilla; and subsequently, in SPC No. 01-324, to GRANT the petition of Eufrocino M.
Codilla, Sr., and declare as null and void the proclamation of losing candidate Locsin. (e) to order the provincial Board of Canvassers of Leyte, upon the finality of this resolution, to
reconvene and proclaim petitioner Codilla as the winning candidate for Representative of the Fourth
legislative district of Leyte he (sic) having garnered the highest number of votes in the elections for
Accordingly: the position; and

1. On the Motion for Reconsideration of the disqualification resolution against Codilla, promulgated (f) to order respondent Locsin, upon the finality of this resolution, to vacate the office of
by the Commission (Second Division) on June 14, 2001 (SPA No. 01-208), I vote: Representative of the House of Representatives representing the Fourth Legislative district of Leyte
and, for this purpose, to inform the House of Representatives through the Honorable Speaker of this
resolution for its attention and guidance.
(a) to GRANT the Motion for Reconsideration of respondent-movant Eufrocino M. Codilla, Sr., and
to REVERSE the Resolution of the Commission (Second Division) promulgated on June 14, 2001,
for insufficiency of evidence; Summary of Votes

(b) to lift the order of suspension of proclamation of petitioner Codilla, issued by the Commission Considering the FOUR (4) VOTES of the Chairman and Commissioners Resurreccion Z. Borra, Florentino A.
(Second Division) on May 18, 2001, having been issued without hearing and without any finding Tuason, Jr., and Ralph C. Lantion, to grant the Motion for Reconsideration of Codilla and reverse the
that the evidence of guilt of petitioner Codilla is strong and, thus, null and void; disqualification Resolution of the Commission (Second Division) in SPA No. 01-208, promulgated on June 14,
2001, and as an inevitable consequence, in voting to grant the petition for declaration of nullity of the
proclamation of Ma. Victoria L. Locsin in SPC No. 01-324, the verdict/opinion of the Chairman and the three (3)
(c) to nullify the order contained in the Resolution of the Commission (Second Division) Commissioners taken together now stands, as it is, the MAJORITY DECISION of the Commission En Banc in both
promulgated on June 14, 2001, for "(t)he immediate proclamation of the candidate who garnered cases; and the "Resolution" submitted by three (3) Commissioners, namely, Commissioner Rufino S.B. Javier,
the highest number of votes, to the exclusion of respondent" and the concurrent order for "the Commissioner Luzviminda G. Tancangco, and Commissioner Mehol K. Sadain, is considered, as it is, the
Provincial Board of Canvasser (sic) of Leyte to immediately reconvene and thereafter proclaim MINORITY DECISION of the Commission En Banc in both cases.
forthwith the candidate who obtained the highest number of votes counting out the Respondent"
the same being violative of election laws, established jurisprudence, and resolutions of the
Commission; The MAJORTIY DECISION was arrived at after proper consultation with those who joined the majority. The
Chairman and the three (3) Commissioners comprising the majority decided that no one will be assigned to write
a Majority Decision. Instead, each one will write his own separate opinion. Commissioners Borra, Tuason, Jr. and
(d) to nullify the ruling contained in the Resolution of the Commission (Second Division) the undersigned Chairman submitted separate opinions. Commissioner Lantion wrote an explanation on his
promulgated o June 14, 2001, that the votes of respondent Codilla are "considered stray and vote."50
invalid" said ruling being issued on the basis of an inapplicable decision, and contrary to
established jurisprudence;
The aforequoted judgment was adopted in a "Vote of Adoption" signed by Commissioners Ralph C. Lantion,
Resurreccion Z. Borra and Florentino A. Tuason, Jr.51
(e) to order the Provincial Board of Canvassers of Leyte, upon the finality of this resolution, to
reconvene and proclaim petitioner Codilla as the winning candidate for Representative of the
Fourth Legislative district of Leyte to comply with its ministerial duty to proclaim the candidate Respondent Locsin did not appeal from this decision annulling her proclamation. Instead, she filed a
who garnered the highest number of votes in the elections for that position; and "Comment and Manifestation"52 with the COMELEC en banc questioning the procedure and the manner by which
the decision was issued. In addition, respondent Locsin requested and was issued an opinion by House of
Representatives Executive Director and Chief Legal Counsel Leonardo B. Palicte III declaring that the COMELEC
(f) to order intervenor-oppositor Locsin, upon the finality of this resolution, to vacate the office of has no jurisdiction to nullify the proclamation of respondent Locsin after she had taken her oath and assumed
Representative of the House of Representatives representing the Fourth legislative district of office since it is the HRET which is the sole judge of election, returns and qualifications of Members of the
Leyte and, for this purpose, to inform the House of Representatives through the Honorable House.53 Relying on this opinion, respondent Locsin submitted a written privileged speech to the House during its
Speaker of this resolution for its attention and guidance; and regular session on September 4, 2001, where she declared that she will not only disregard but will openly defy
and disobey the COMELEC en banc resolution ordering her to vacate her position.54

2. On the petition for Declaration of Nullity of proclamation of respondent Ma. Victoria L. Locsin (SPC No. 01-
324), I vote: On September 6, 2001, the COMELEC en banc issued an Order55 constituting the members of the Provincial
Board of Canvassers of Leyte to implement the aforesaid decision. It likewise ordered the Board to reconvene
and "proclaim the candidate who obtained the highest number of votes in the district, as the duly-elected
(a) to GRANT the petition of Eufrocino M. Codilla, Sr., and declare as null and void the proclamation Representative of the Fourth Legislative district of Leyte, and accordingly issue a Certificate of Canvass and
of losing candidate Locsin, the proclamation being violative of election laws, established Proclamation of Winning Candidate for Member of the House of Representatives x x x, based on the
jurisprudence, and resolutions of the Commission on Elections; city/municipal certificates of canvass submitted beforehand to the previous Provincial Board of Canvassers of
Leyte x x x."
DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE DIANNE ROSALES MANRIQUE
On September 12, 2001, petitioner Codilla was proclaimed by the Provincial Board of Canvassers as the Respondent Locsin, in her Comment,66 alleged that the Supreme Court has no original jurisdiction over an action
duly-elected Representative of the 4th legislative district of Leyte, having obtained a total of 71,350 for quo warranto involving a member of the House of Representatives for under Section 17, Article VI of the
votes representing the highest number of votes cast in the district.56 On the same day, petitioner took his oath of Constitution it is the HRET which is the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and
office before Executive Judge Fortunito L. Madrona of the Regional Trial Court of Ormoc City.57 qualifications of Members of the House of Representatives. She likewise asserts that this Court cannot issue the
writ of mandamus against a co-equal legislative department without grossly violating the principle of separation
of powers. She contends that the act of recognizing who should be seated as a bona fide member of the House
On September 14, 2001, petitioner wrote the House of Representatives, thru respondent Speaker De Venecia, of Representatives is not a ministerial function but a legislative prerogative, the performance of which cannot be
informing the House of the August 29, 2001 COMELEC en banc resolution annulling the proclamation of compelled by mandamus. Moreover, the prayer for a writ of mandamus cannot be directed against the Speaker
respondent Locsin, and proclaiming him as the duly-elected Representative of the 4th legislative district of and Secretary-General because they do not have the authority to enforce and implement the resolution of the
Leyte.58 Petitioner also served notice that "I am assuming the duties and responsibilities as Representative of the COMELEC.
fourth legislative district of Leyte to which position I have been lawfully elected and proclaimed. On behalf of my
constituents, I therefore expect that all rights and privileges intended for the position of Representative of the
fourth legislative district of Leyte be accorded to me, including all physical facilities and staff support." On the Additionally, respondent Locsin urges that the resolution of the COMELEC en banc is null and void for lack of
basis of this letter, a Memorandum59 dated October 8, 2001 was issued by Legal Affairs Deputy Secretary- jurisdiction. First, it should have dismissed the case pending before it after her proclamation and after she had
General Gaudencio A. Mendoza, Jr., for Speaker De Venecia, stating that "there is no legal obstacle to complying taken her oath of office. Jurisdiction then was vested in the HRET to unseat and remove a Member of the House
with the duly promulgated – and now final and executory – COMELEC Decision of August 29, 2001 x x x." of Representatives. Second, the petition for declaration of nullity is clearly a pre-proclamation controversy and
the COMELEC en