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1987 Constitution

Preamble

The Filipino people in "imploring the aid of Almighty God" manifested their
spirituality innate in our nature and consciousness as a people, shaped by tradition and
historical experience. As this is embodied in the preamble, it means that the State
recognizes with respect the influence of religion in so far as it instills into the mind
the purest principles of morality. Moreover, in recognition of the contributions of
religion to society, the 1935, 1973 and 1987 constitutions contain benevolent and
accommodating provisions towards religions such as tax exemption of church
property, salary of religious officers in government institutions, and optional religious
instructions in public schools.
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc., April 8, 2014

Art. I

Purpose of baselines laws.

Baselines laws such as RA 9522 are enacted by UNCLOS III States parties to mark
out specific basepoints along their coasts from which baselines are drawn, either
straight or contoured, to serve as geographic starting points to measure the breadth of
the maritime zones and continental shelf. . . . Thus, baselines laws are nothing but
statutory mechanisms for UNCLOS III States parties to delimit with precision the
extent of their maritime zones and continental shelves. In turn, this gives notice to the
rest of the international community of the scope of the maritime space and submarine
areas within which States parties exercise treaty-based rights, namely, the exercise of
sovereignty over territorial waters (Article 2), the jurisdiction to enforce customs,
fiscal, immigration, and sanitation laws in the contiguous zone (Article 33), and the
right to exploit the living and non-living resources in the exclusive economic zone
(Article 56) and continental shelf (Article 77).
Merlin M. Magallona, et al. vs. Eduardo Ermita, et al., G.R. No. 187167, August 16,
2011

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UNCLOS III does not govern territorial claims to land features.

UNCLOS III and its ancillary baselines laws play no role in the acquisition,
enlargement or, as petitioners claim, diminution of territory. Under traditional
international law typology, States acquire (or conversely, lose) territory through
occupation, accretion, cession and prescription, not by executing multilateral treaties
on the regulations of sea-use rights or enacting statutes to comply with the treaty's
terms to delimit maritime zones and continental shelves. Territorial claims to land
features are outside UNCLOS III, and are instead governed by the rules on general
international law.
Merlin M. Magallona, et al. vs. Eduardo Ermita, et al., G.R. No. 187167, August 16,
2011

RA 9522 increased the country's total maritime space.

RA 9522, by optimizing the location of basepoints, increased the Philippines' total


maritime space (covering its internal waters, territorial sea and exclusive economic
zone) by 145,216 square nautical miles . . . Thus, . . . the reach of the exclusive
economic zone drawn under RA 9522 even extends way beyond the waters covered by
the rectangular demarcation under the Treaty of Paris. Of course, where there are
overlapping exclusive economic zones of opposite or adjacent States, there will have
to be a delineation of maritime boundaries in accordance with UNCLOS III.
Merlin M. Magallona, et al. vs. Eduardo Ermita, et al., G.R. No. 187167, August 16,
2011

Reason for classifying the Kalayaan Island Group and Scarborough Shoal as
"Regimes of Islands"

Far from surrendering the Philippines' claim over the KIG and the Scarborough
Shoal, Congress' decision to classify the KIG and the Scarborough Shoal as
"'Regime[s] of Islands' under the Republic of the Philippines consistent with Article
121" of UNCLOS III manifests the Philippine State's responsible observance of its
pacta sunt servanda obligation under UNCLOS III. Under Article 121 of UNCLOS
III, any "naturally formed area of land, surrounded by water, which is above water at
high tide," such as portions of the KIG, qualifies under the category of "regime of
islands," whose islands generate their own applicable maritime zones.

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Merlin M. Magallona, et al. vs. Eduardo Ermita, et al., G.R. No. 187167, August 16,
2011

The Philippines exercises sovereignty over "internal waters" or "archipelagic


waters"

Whether referred to as Philippine "internal waters" under Article I of the


Constitution or as "archipelagic waters" under UNCLOS III (Article 49 [1]), the
Philippines exercises sovereignty over the body of water lying landward of the
baselines, including the air space over it and the submarine areas underneath.
Merlin M. Magallona, et al. vs. Eduardo Ermita, et al., G.R. No. 187167, August 16,
2011

Grant of innocent passage rights in accordance with customary international law.

The fact of sovereignty, however, does not preclude the operation of municipal and
international law norms subjecting the territorial sea or archipelagic waters to
necessary, if not marginal, burdens in the interest of maintaining unimpeded,
expeditious international navigation, consistent with the international law principle of
freedom of navigation. . . . In the absence of municipal legislation, international law
norms, now codified in UNCLOS III, operate to grant innocent passage rights over the
territorial sea or archipelagic waters, subject to the treaty's limitations and conditions
for their exercise. Significantly, the right of innocent passage is a customary
international law, thus automatically incorporated in the corpus of Philippine law. No
modern State can validly invoke its sovereignty to absolutely forbid innocent passage
that is exercised in accordance with customary international law without risking
retaliatory measures from the international community.
Merlin M. Magallona, et al. vs. Eduardo Ermita, et al., G.R. No. 187167, August 16,
2011

Benefits of archipelagic waters

The fact that for archipelagic States, their archipelagic waters are subject to both
the right of innocent passage and sea lanes passage does not place them in lesser
footing vis-à-vis continental coastal States which are subject, in their territorial sea, to
the right of innocent passage and the right of transit passage through international
straits. The imposition of these passage rights through archipelagic waters under
UNCLOS III was a concession by archipelagic States, in exchange for their right to
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claim all the waters landward of their baselines, regardless of their depth or distance
from the coast, as archipelagic waters subject to their territorial sovereignty. More
importantly, the recognition of archipelagic States' archipelago and the waters
enclosed by their baselines as one cohesive entity prevents the treatment of their
islands as separate islands under UNCLOS III. Separate islands generate their own
maritime zones, placing the waters between islands separated by more than 24
nautical miles beyond the States' territorial sovereignty, subjecting these waters to the
rights of other States under UNCLOS III.
Merlin M. Magallona, et al. vs. Eduardo Ermita, et al., G.R. No. 187167, August 16,
2011

Art. II, Sec. 1

Specific evils require specific treatments, not through overly broad measures that
unduly restrict guaranteed freedoms of the citizenry. After all, sovereignty resides in
the people, and all governmental power emanates from them.
Eleazar P. Quinto, et al. vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 189698, December 1, 2009

Art. II, Sec. 2

Under the 1987 Constitution, international law can become part of the sphere of
domestic law either by transformation or incorporation. The transformation method
requires that an international law be transformed into a domestic law through a
constitutional mechanism such as local legislation. The incorporation method applies
when, by mere constitutional declaration, international law is deemed to have the
force of domestic law.
Avelino I. Razon, Jr., et al. vs. Mary Jean B. Tagitis, G.R. No. 182498, December 3,
2009

Pharmaceutical and Health Care Association of the Philippines v. Duque III, G.R. No.
173034, October 9, 2007

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[G]enerally accepted principles of international law, by virtue of the incorporation
clause of the Constitution, form part of the laws of the land even if they do not derive
from treaty obligations. The classical formulation in international law sees those
customary rules accepted as binding result from the combination [of] two elements:
the established, widespread, and consistent practice on the part of States; and a
psychological element known as the opinion juris sive necessitates (opinion as to law
or necessity). Implicit in the latter element is a belief that the practice in question is
rendered obligatory by the existence of a rule of law requiring it.
Lourdes D. Rubrico, et al. vs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, et al., G.R. No. 183871,
February 18, 2010

Avelino I. Razon, Jr., et al. vs. Mary Jean B. Tagitis, G.R. No. 182498, December 3,
2009

Art. II, Sec. 6

The Framers, however, felt the need to put up a strong barrier so that the State
would not encroach into the affairs of the church, and vice-versa. The principle of
separation of Church and State was, thus, enshrined in Article II, Section 6 of the
1987 Constitution, . . .

Verily, the principle of separation of Church and State is based on mutual respect.
Generally, the State cannot meddle in the internal affairs of the church, much less
question its faith and dogmas or dictate upon it. It cannot favor one religion and
discriminate against another. On the other hand, the church cannot impose its beliefs
and convictions on the State and the rest of the citizenry. It cannot demand that the
nation follow its beliefs, even if it sincerely believes that they are good for the
country.
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc., April 8, 2014

Consistent with the principle that not any one religion should ever be preferred
over another, the Constitution in the above-cited provision utilizes the term "church"
in its generic sense, which refers to a temple, a mosque, an iglesia, or any other house
of God which metaphorically symbolizes a religious organization. Thus, the "Church"
means the religious congregations collectively.
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc., April 8, 2014

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In the same breath that the establishment clause restricts what the government can
do with religion, it also limits what religious sects can or cannot do with the
government. They can neither cause the government to adopt their particular doctrines
as policy for everyone, nor can they not cause the government to restrict other groups.
To do so, in simple terms, would cause the State to adhere to a particular religion and,
thus, establishing a state religion. . . . Indeed, the State is not precluded to pursue its
legitimate secular objectives without being dictated upon by the policies of any one
religion. One cannot refuse to pay his taxes simply because it will cloud his
conscience. The demarcation line between Church and State demands that one render
unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc., April 8, 2014

Art. II, Sec. 9

People of the Phil. vs. Evangeline S. Siton, et al., G.R. No. 169364, September 18,
2009

Art. II, Sec. 10

Dumaguete Cathedral Credit Cooperative vs. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, G.R.


No. 182722, January 22, 2010

Art. II, Sec. 12

Sections 40, 41 and 42 of the Civil Code do not provide at all a definition of death.
Moreover, while the Civil Code expressly provides that civil personality may be
extinguished by death, it does not explicitly state that only those who have acquired
juridical personality could die.

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Death has been defined as the cessation of life. Life is not synonymous with civil
personality. One need not acquire civil personality first before he/she could die. Even
a child inside the womb already has life. No less than the Constitution recognizes the
life of the unborn from conception, that the State must protect equally with the life of
the mother. If the unborn already has life, then the cessation thereof even prior to the
child being delivered, qualifies as death.
Continental Steel Mfg. Corp. vs. Allan S. Montaño, et al., G.R. No. 182836, October 13,
2009

Textually, the Constitution affords protection to the unborn from conception. This
is undisputable because before conception, there is no unborn to speak of. For said
reason, it is no surprise that the Constitution is mute as to any proscription prior to
conception or when life begins. The problem has arisen because, amazingly, there are
quarters who have conveniently disregarded the scientific fact that conception is
reckoned from fertilization. They are waving the view that life begins at implantation.
Hence, the issue of when life begins.
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc. April 8, 2014

Records of the Constitutional Convention also shed light on the intention of the
Framers regarding the term "conception" used in Section 12, Article II of the
Constitution. From their deliberations, it clearly refers to the moment of
"fertilization."
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc. April 8, 2014

From the deliberations . . . , it is apparent that the Framers of the Constitution


emphasized that the State shall provide equal protection to both the mother and the
unborn child from the earliest opportunity of life, that is, upon fertilization or upon
the union of the male sperm and the female ovum. It is also apparent is that the
Framers of the Constitution intended that to prohibit Congress from enacting
measures that would allow it determine when life begins.
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc. April 8, 2014

Equally apparent, however, is that the Framers of the Constitution did not intend to
ban all contraceptives for being unconstitutional. . . . [C]ontraceptives that kill or
destroy the fertilized ovum should be deemed an abortive and thus prohibited.
Conversely, contraceptives that actually prevent the union of the male sperm and the
female ovum, and those that similarly take action prior to fertilization should be

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deemed non-abortive, and thus, constitutionally permissible.
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc. April 8, 2014

In all, whether it be taken from a plain meaning, or understood under medical


parlance, and more importantly, following the intention of the Framers of the
Constitution, the undeniable conclusion is that a zygote is a human organism and that
the life of a new human being commences at a scientifically well-defined moment of
conception, that is, upon fertilization.
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc. April 8, 2014

[T]he Court cannot subscribe to the theory advocated by Hon. Lagman that life
begins at implantation. . . . This theory of implantation as the beginning of life is
devoid of any legal or scientific mooring. It does not pertain to the beginning of life
but to the viability of the fetus. The fertilized ovum/zygote is not an inanimate object
— it is a living human being complete with DNA and 46 chromosomes.
Implantation has been conceptualized only for convenience by those who had
population control in mind. To adopt it would constitute textual infidelity not only to
the RH Law but also to the Constitution. . . . If such theory would be accepted, it
would unnervingly legitimize the utilization of any drug or device that would prevent
the implantation of the fetus at the uterine wall. It would be provocative and further
aggravate religious-based divisiveness. It would legally permit what the Constitution
proscribes — abortion and abortifacients.
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc. April 8, 2014

The clear and unequivocal intent of the Framers of the 1987 Constitution in
protecting the life of the unborn from conception was to prevent the Legislature from
enacting a measure legalizing abortion. It was so clear that even the Court cannot
interpret it otherwise. This intent of the Framers was captured in the record of the
proceedings of the 1986 Constitutional Commission. Commissioner Bernardo
Villegas, the principal proponent of the protection of the unborn from conception,
explained:

The intention . . . is to make sure that there would be no


pro-abortion laws ever passed by Congress or any pro-abortion decision
passed by the Supreme Court.

A reading of the RH Law would show that it is in line with this intent and actually
proscribes abortion. While the Court has opted not to make any determination, at this

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stage, when life begins, it finds that the RH Law itself clearly mandates that
protection be afforded from the moment of fertilization. As pointed out by Justice
Carpio, the RH Law is replete with provisions that embody the policy of the law to
protect to the fertilized ovum and that it should be afforded safe travel to the uterus
for implantation.
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc. April 8, 2014

[T]he RH Law recognizes that abortion is a crime under Article 256 of the Revised
Penal Code, which penalizes the destruction or expulsion of the fertilized ovum.
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc. April 8, 2014

[T]he Court finds that the RH Law, consistent with the Constitution, recognizes
that the fertilized ovum already has life and that the State has a bounden duty to
protect it. The conclusion becomes clear because the RH Law, first, prohibits any
drug or device that induces abortion (first kind), which, as discussed exhaustively
above, refers to that which induces the killing or the destruction of the fertilized
ovum, and, second, prohibits any drug or device the fertilized ovum to reach and be
implanted in the mother's womb (third kind).
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc. April 8, 2014

By expressly declaring that any drug or device that prevents the fertilized ovum to
reach and be implanted in the mother's womb is an abortifacient (third kind), the RH
Law does not intend to mean at all that life only begins only at implantation, as Hon.
Lagman suggests. It also does not declare either that protection will only be given
upon implantation, as the petitioners likewise suggest. Rather, it recognizes that:
one, there is a need to protect the fertilized ovum which already has life, and two,
the fertilized ovum must be protected the moment it becomes existent — all the
way until it reaches and implants in the mother's womb. After all, if life is only
recognized and afforded protection from the moment the fertilized ovum implants —
there is nothing to prevent any drug or device from killing or destroying the fertilized
ovum prior to implantation.

From the foregoing, the Court finds that inasmuch as it affords protection to the
fertilized ovum, the RH Law does not sanction abortion. To repeat, it is the Court's
position that life begins at fertilization, not at implantation. When a fertilized ovum is
implanted in the uterine wall, its viability is sustained but that instance of implantation
is not the point of beginning of life. It started earlier. And as defined by the RH Law,
any drug or device that induces abortion, that is, which kills or destroys the
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fertilized ovum or prevents the fertilized ovum to reach and be implanted in the
mother's womb, is an abortifacient.
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc. April 8, 2014

The legislative intent in the enactment of the RH Law in this regard is to leave
intact the provisions of R.A. No. 4729. There is no intention at all to do away with it.
It is still a good law and its requirements are still in to be complied with. Thus, the
Court agrees with the observation of respondent Lagman that the effectivity of the RH
Law will not lead to the unmitigated proliferation of contraceptives since the sale,
distribution and dispensation of contraceptive drugs and devices will still require the
prescription of a licensed physician. With R.A. No. 4729 in place, there exists
adequate safeguards to ensure the public that only contraceptives that are safe
are made available to the public.
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc. April 8, 2014

Art. II, Sec. 15

Contrary to the respondent's notion, however, these provisions [Section 15, Article
II; Sections 11, 12 and 13, Article XIII; and Section 9, Article XVI of the
Constitution] are self-executing. Unless the provisions clearly express the contrary,
the provisions of the Constitution should be considered self-executory. There is no
need for legislation to implement these self-executing provisions. In Manila Prince
Hotel v. GSIS, it was stated:

. . . Hence, unless it is expressly provided that a legislative act is


necessary to enforce a constitutional mandate, the presumption now is that
all provisions of the constitution are self-executing. If the constitutional
provisions are treated as requiring legislation instead of self-executing,
the legislature would have the power to ignore and practically nullify the
mandate of the fundamental law. This can be cataclysmic. That is why the
prevailing view is, as it has always been, that —

. . . in case of doubt, the Constitution should be considered


self-executing rather than non-self-executing. . . . Unless the contrary is
clearly intended, the provisions of the Constitution should be considered
self-executing, as a contrary rule would give the legislature discretion to
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determine when, or whether, they shall be effective. These provisions
would be subordinated to the will of the lawmaking body, which could make
them entirely meaningless by simply refusing to pass the needed
implementing statute. (Emphases supplied)

Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc. April 8, 2014, citing
Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS, 335 Phil. 82 (1997)

Art. II, Sec. 27

Making false accusations and sowing intrigues are acts unbecoming of a public
servant. They run against the principles of public service envisioned by the 1987
Constitution and by the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials &
Employees (Republic Act No. 6713). These acts divert the attention of public
employees and the courts from their more important tasks, and result in undue wastage
of government resources; they cannot be tolerated if we are to demand the highest
degree of excellence and professionalism among public employees, and if we are to
preserve the integrity and dignity of our courts.
Pacifico Capuchino vs. Maripi A. Apolonio, et al., A.M. No. P-04-1771, September 5,
2011

Art. II, Sec. 28

Sec. 28, Art. II compels the State and its agencies to fully disclose "all of its
transactions involving public interest." Thus, the government agencies, without need
of demand from anyone, must bring into public view all the steps and negotiations
leading to the consummation of the transaction and the contents of the perfected
contract. Such information must pertain to "definite propositions of the government",
meaning official recommendations or final positions reached on the different matters
subject of negotiation. The government agency, however, need not disclose
"intra-agency or inter-agency recommendations or communications during the stage
when common assertions are still in the process of being formulated or are in the
exploratory stage." The limitation also covers privileged communication like
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information on military and diplomatic secrets; information affecting national
security; information on investigations of crimes by law enforcement agencies before
the prosecution of the accused; information on foreign relations, intelligence, and
other classified information.

The other aspect of the people's right to know apart from the duty to disclose is the
duty to allow access to information on matters of public concern under Sec. 7, Art. III
of the Constitution. The gateway to information opens to the public the following: (1)
official records; (2) documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or
decisions; and (3) government research data used as a basis for policy development.
Francisco I. Chavez vs. National Housing Authority, et al., G.R. No. 164527, August 15,
2007

Thus, the duty to disclose information should be differentiated from the duty to
permit access to information. There is no need to demand from the government
agency disclosure of information as this is mandatory under the Constitution; failing
that, legal remedies are available. On the other hand, the interested party must first
request or even demand that he be allowed access to documents and papers in the
particular agency. A request or demand is required; otherwise, the government office
or agency will not know of the desire of the interested party to gain access to such
papers and what papers are needed. The duty to disclose covers only transactions
involving public interest, while the duty to allow access has a broader scope of
information which embraces not only transactions involving public interest, but any
matter contained in official communications and public documents of the government
agency.
Francisco I. Chavez vs. National Housing Authority, et al., G.R. No. 164527, August 15,
2007

The people's constitutional right to information is intertwined with the


government's constitutional duty of full public disclosure of all transactions involving
public interest. For every right of the people, there is a corresponding duty on the part
of those who govern to protect and respect that right.
Teofisto Guingona, Jr., et al. vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 191846, May 6, 2010

In determining whether or not a particular information is of public concern, there is


no rigid test which can be applied. "Public concern" like "public interest" is a term
that eludes exact definition. Both terms embrace a broad spectrum of subjects which
the public may want to know, either because such matters directly affect their lives, or

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simply because such matters naturally arouse the interest of an ordinary citizen. In the
final analysis, it is for the courts to determine in a case by case basis whether the
matter at issue is of interest or importance, as it relates to or affects the public.
Teofisto Guingona, Jr., et al. vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 191846, May 6, 2010

Valentin L. Legaspi vs. Civil Service Commission, G.R. No. 72119, May 29, 1987

Thus, while the manner of examining public records may be subject to reasonable
regulation by the government agency in custody thereof, the duty to disclose the
information of public concern, and to afford access to public records cannot be
discretionary on the part of said agencies. Certainly, its performance cannot be made
contingent upon the discretion of such agencies. Otherwise, the enjoyment of the
constitutional right may be rendered nugatory by any whimsical exercise of agency
discretion. The constitutional duty, not being discretionary, its performance may be
compelled by a writ of mandamus in a proper case.
Teofisto Guingona, Jr., et al. vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 191846, May 6, 2010

Valentin L. Legaspi vs. Civil Service Commission, G.R. No. 72119, May 29, 1987

Art. III - Bill of Rights

Because a warrantless search is in derogation of a constitutional right, peace


officers who conduct it cannot invoke regularity in the performance of official
functions.
Jerry C. Valeroso vs. Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. No. 164815, September 3, 2009

The constitutional limitations on the exercise of the state's powers are found in
Article III of the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights, which
guarantees against the taking of life, property, or liberty without due process under
Section 1 is generally a limitation on the state's powers in relation to the rights of its
citizens. The right to due process is meant to protect ordinary citizens against arbitrary
government action, but not from acts committed by private individuals or entities. In
the latter case, the specific statutes that provide reliefs from such private acts apply.
The right to due process guards against unwarranted encroachment by the state into
the fundamental rights of its citizens and cannot be invoked in private controversies

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involving private parties.

Although political parties play an important role in our democratic set-up as an


intermediary between the state and its citizens, it is still a private organization, not a
state instrument. The discipline of members by a political party does not involve the
right to life, liberty or property within the meaning of the due process clause. An
individual has no vested right, as against the state, to be accepted or to prevent his
removal by a political party. The only rights, if any, that party members may have, in
relation to other party members, correspond to those that may have been freely agreed
upon among themselves through their charter, which is a contract among the party
members. Members whose rights under their charter may have been violated have
recourse to courts of law for the enforcement of those rights, but not as a due process
issue against the government or any of its agencies.

But even when recourse to courts of law may be made, courts will ordinarily not
interfere in membership and disciplinary matters within a political party. A political
party is free to conduct its internal affairs, pursuant to its constitutionally-protected
right to free association. In Sinaca v. Mula, the Court said that judicial restraint in
internal party matters serves the public interest by allowing the political processes to
operate without undue interference. It is also consistent with the state policy of
allowing a free and open party system to evolve, according to the free choice of the
people.
Jose L. Atienza, et al. vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 188920, February 16, 2010

Art. III, Sec. 1

Due process, as a constitutional precept, does not always and in all situations
require a trial-type proceeding. It is satisfied when a person is notified of the charge
against him and given an opportunity to explain or defend himself. In administrative
proceedings, the filing of charges and giving reasonable opportunity for the person so
charged to answer the accusations against him constitute the minimum requirements
of due process. More often, this opportunity is conferred through written pleadings
that the parties submit to present their charges and defenses. But as long as a party is
given the opportunity to defend his or her interests in due course, said party is not
denied due process.

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Fernando A. Melendres vs. Presidential Anti-Graft Commission, et al., G.R. No.
163859, August 15, 2012

The equal protection guarantee exists to prevent undue favor or privilege. It is


intended to eliminate discrimination and oppression based on inequality. Recognizing
the existence of real differences among men, it does not demand absolute equality. It
merely requires that all persons under like circumstances and conditions shall be
treated alike both as to privileges conferred and liabilities enforced.
Jose Miguel T. Arroyo vs. DOJ, et al., G.R. Nos. 199082, 199085 & 199118, September
18, 2012

Ben's right to life, liberty and security is firmly settled as the parties do not dispute
his identity as the same person summoned and questioned at petitioners' security
office on the night of March 31, 2008. Such uncontroverted fact ipso facto established
Ben's inherent and constitutionally enshrined right to life, liberty and security. Article
6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights recognizes every human
being's inherent right to life, while Article 9 thereof ordains that everyone has the
right to liberty and security. The right to life must be protected by law while the right
to liberty and security cannot be impaired except on grounds provided by and in
accordance with law. This overarching command against deprivation of life, liberty
and security without due process of law is also embodied in our fundamental law.
Edgardo Navia, et al. vs. Virginia Pardico, G.R. No. 184467, June 19, 2012

With the enactment of RA No. 9851, the Rule on the Writ of Amparo is now a
procedural law anchored, not only on the constitutional rights to the rights to life,
liberty and security, but on a concrete statutory definition as well of what an 'enforced
or involuntary disappearance' is." Therefore, A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC's reference to
enforced disappearances should be construed to mean the enforced or involuntary
disappearance of persons contemplated in Section 3 (g) of RA No. 9851. Meaning, in
probing enforced disappearance cases, courts should read A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC in
relation to RA No. 9851.
Edgardo Navia, et al. vs. Virginia Pardico, G.R. No. 184467, June 19, 2012 citing the
Separate Opinion of Justice Arturo D. Brion in Rubrico v. Macapagal-Arroyo, G.R. No.
183871, February 18, 2010

From the statutory definition of enforced disappearance, thus, we can derive the
following elements that constitute it:

(a) that there be an arrest, detention, abduction or any form of deprivation of


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liberty;

(b) that it be carried out by, or with the authorization, support or acquiescence
of, the State or a political organization;

(c) that it be followed by the State or political organization's refusal to


acknowledge or give information on the fate or whereabouts of the person
subject of the amparo petition; and,

(d) that the intention for such refusal is to remove subject person from the
protection of the law for a prolonged period of time.

As thus dissected, it is now clear that for the protective writ of amparo to issue,
allegation and proof that the persons subject thereof are missing are not enough. It
must also be shown and proved by substantial evidence that the disappearance was
carried out by, or with the authorization, support or acquiescence of, the State or a
political organization, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the same or give
information on the fate or whereabouts of said missing persons, with the intention of
removing them from the protection of the law for a prolonged period of time. Simply
put, the petitioner in an amparo case has the burden of proving by substantial evidence
the indispensable element of government participation.
Edgardo Navia, et al. vs. Virginia Pardico, G.R. No. 184467, June 19, 2012

But lest it be overlooked, in an amparo petition, proof of disappearance alone is not


enough. It is likewise essential to establish that such disappearance was carried out
with the direct or indirect authorization, support or acquiescence of the government.
We are aware that under Section 1 of A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC a writ of amparo may lie
against a private individual or entity. But even if the person sought to be held
accountable or responsible in an amparo petition is a private individual or entity, still,
government involvement in the disappearance remains an indispensable element.
Here, petitioners are mere security guards at Grand Royale Subdivision in Brgy.
Lugam, Malolos City and their principal, the Asian Land, is a private entity. They do
not work for the government and nothing has been presented that would link or
connect them to some covert police, military or governmental operation. . . .To fall
within the ambit of A.M. No. 07-9-12-SC in relation to RA No. 9851, the
disappearance must be attended by some governmental involvement. This hallmark of
State participation differentiates an enforced disappearance case from an ordinary case
of a missing person.

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Edgardo Navia, et al. vs. Virginia Pardico, G.R. No. 184467, June 19, 2012

The rights of parties in administrative proceedings are not violated as long as the
constitutional requirement of due process has been satisfied.
Solid Homes, Inc. vs. Evelina Laserna, et al., G.R. No. 166051, April 8, 2008

As a matter of settled legal principle, the fundamental right of equal protection


does not require absolute equality. It is enough that all persons or things similarly
situated should be treated alike, both as to rights or privileges conferred and
responsibilities or obligations imposed. The equal protection clause does not preclude
the state from recognizing and acting upon factual differences between individuals
and classes. It recognizes that inherent in the right to legislate is the right to classify,
necessarily implying that the equality guaranteed is not violated by a legislation based
on reasonable classification. Classification, to be reasonable, must (1) rest on
substantial distinctions; (2) be germane to the purpose of the law; (3) not be limited to
existing conditions only; and (4) apply equally to all members of the same class.
League of Cities of the Phil., et al. vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. Nos. 176951, 177499 &
178056, December 21, 2009

There is no question that the "essence of due process is a hearing before conviction
and before an impartial and disinterested tribunal" but due process as a constitutional
precept does not, always and in all situations, require a trial-type proceeding. The
essence of due process is to be found in the reasonable opportunity to be heard and
submit any evidence one may have in support of one's defense. "To be heard" does not
only mean verbal arguments in court; one may be heard also through pleadings.
Where opportunity to be heard, either through oral arguments or pleadings, is
accorded, there is no denial of procedural due process.
Ramon B. Formantes vs. Duncan Pharmaceuticals, Phil., Inc., G.R. No. 170661,
December 4, 2009

In order that there can be valid classification so that a discriminatory governmental


act may pass the constitutional norm of equal protection, it is necessary that the four
(4) requisites of valid classification be complied with, namely: (1) It must be based
upon substantial distinctions; (2) It must be germane to the purposes of the law; (3) It
must not be limited to existing conditions only; and (4) It must apply equally to all
members of the class.

The first requirement means that there must be real and substantial differences

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between the classes treated differently…. Nevertheless, the classification would still
be invalid if it does not comply with the second requirement — if it is not germane to
the purpose of the law…. The third requirement means that the classification must be
enforced not only for the present but as long as the problem sought to be corrected
continues to exist. And, under the last requirement, the classification would be
regarded as invalid if all the members of the class are not treated similarly, both as to
rights conferred and obligations imposed.
Eleazar P. Quinto, et al. vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 189698, December 1, 2009

[T]he differential treatment of persons holding appointive offices as opposed to


those holding elective ones is not germane to the purposes of the law…. Indeed,
whether one holds an appointive office or an elective one, the evils sought to be
prevented by the measure remain.
Eleazar P. Quinto, et al. vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 189698, December 1, 2009

The equal protection clause means that "no person or class of persons shall be
deprived of the same protection of laws which is enjoyed by other persons or other
classes in the same place and in like circumstances." The guaranty of the equal
protection of the laws is not violated by a legislation based on a reasonable
classification. The equal protection clause, therefore, does not preclude classification
of individuals who may be accorded different treatment under the law as long as the
classification is reasonable and not arbitrary.
NAPOCOR vs. Pinatubo Commercial, G.R. No. 176006, March 26, 2010

The equal protection clause under the Constitution means that "no person or class
of persons shall be deprived of the same protection of laws which is enjoyed by other
persons or other classes in the same place and in like circumstances." Stated
differently, all persons belonging to the same class shall be taxed alike. It follows that
the guaranty of the equal protection of the laws is not violated by legislation based on
a reasonable classification. Classification, to be valid, must (1) rest on substantial
distinctions; (2) be germane to the purpose of the law; (3) not be limited to existing
conditions only and (4) apply equally to all members of the same class.

The taxing power has the authority to make reasonable classifications for purposes
of taxation. Inequalities which result from a singling out of one particular class for
taxation, or exemption, infringe no constitutional limitation. The real estate industry
is, by itself, a class and can be validly treated differently from other business

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enterprises.
Chamber of Real Estate and Builders' Associations, Inc. vs. Alberto Romulo, et al., G.R.
No. 160756, March 9, 2010

[T]he equal protection clause does not require the universal application of the laws
to all persons or things without distinction. What it simply requires is equality among
equals as determined according to a valid classification. The test developed by
jurisprudence here and yonder is that of reasonableness, which has four requisites:

(1) The classification rests on substantial distinctions;

(2) It is germane to the purposes of the law;

(3) It is not limited to existing conditions only; and

(4) It applies equally to all members of the same class.


Eleazar P. Quinto, et al. vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 189698, February 22, 2010

The equal protection clause is directed principally against undue favor and
individual or class privilege. It is not intended to prohibit legislation which is limited
to the object to which it is directed or by the territory in which it is to operate. It does
not require absolute equality, but merely that all persons be treated alike under like
conditions both as to privileges conferred and liabilities imposed. Equal protection
permits of reasonable classification. We have ruled that one class may be treated
differently from another where the groupings are based on reasonable and real
distinctions. If classification is germane to the purpose of the law, concerns all
members of the class, and applies equally to present and future conditions, the
classification does not violate the equal protection guarantee.
Goldenway Merchandising Corp. vs. Equitable PCI Bank, G.R. No. 195540, March 13,
2013

Compelling the respondents to construct their fence in accordance with the assailed
ordinance [limiting the height of fences to one meter] is, thus, a clear encroachment
on their right to property, which necessarily includes their right to decide how best to
protect their property. It also appears that requiring the exposure of their property via
a see-thru fence is violative of their right to privacy, considering that the residence of
the Benedictine nuns is also located within the property. The right to privacy has long
been considered a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution that must be
protected from intrusion or constraint. The right to privacy is essentially the right to be
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let alone, as governmental powers should stop short of certain intrusions into the
personal life of its citizens. It is inherent in the concept of liberty, enshrined in the Bill
of Rights (Article III) in Sections 1, 2, 3 (1), 6, 8, and 17, Article III of the 1987
Constitution.
Ma. Lourdes C. Fernando, et al. vs. St. Scholastica's College, et al., G.R. No. 161107,
March 12, 2013

Art. III, Sec. 2

Under the Constitution, the people are guaranteed the right to be secure in their
persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of
whatever nature and for any purpose, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall
issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after
examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may
produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things
to be seized.
People of the Phil. vs. Evangeline S. Siton, et al., G.R. No. 169364, September 18,
2009

One of the most protected rights of every person is the right against unreasonable
searches and seizures. The fundamental law mandates that these must be carried out
only on the strength of a judicial warrant, otherwise evidence secured therefrom is
deemed tainted. In the language of the fundamental law, it is inadmissible in evidence
for any purpose in any proceeding.
Gregorio Amante, et al. vs. Bibiano Serwelas, G.R. No. 143572, September 30, 2005

People vs. Ruben G. Montilla, G.R. No. 123872, January 30, 1998

The power to issue search warrants is exclusively vested with the trial judges in the
exercise of their judicial function. As such, the power to quash the same also rests
solely with them. After the judge has issued a warrant, he is not precluded to
subsequently quash the same, if he finds upon reevaluation of the evidence that no
probable cause exists.
Manly Sportswear Mfg., Inc. vs. Dadodette Ent., et al., G.R. No. 165306, September 20,
2005

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As a general rule, the procurement of a warrant is required before a law enforcer
can validly search or seize the person, house, papers, or effects of any individual.
Jerry C. Valeroso vs. Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. No. 164815, September 3, 2009

People vs. Adoracion Sevilla, G.R. No. 124077, September 5, 2000

There exists a constitutional safeguard against unreasonable searches and seizures,


which refers to the immunity of one's person from interference by the government,
included in which is his residence, his papers and other possessions.

The Constitution, however, does not provide a blanket prohibition against all
searches and seizures, rather the fundamental protection accorded by the search and
seizure clause is that between persons and the police, there must stand the protective
authority of a magistrate clothed with the power to issue or refuse such search
warrant. Yet, the responsibilities of the magistrate do not end with the granting of the
warrant, but extends to the custody of the articles seized. In exercising custody over
these articles, the property rights of the owner should be balanced with the social need
to preserve evidence, which will be used in the prosecution of a case.
Caterpillar, Inc. vs. Manolo P. Samson, G.R. No. 164605, October 27, 2006

Oscar Villanueva vs. Jose R. Querubin, G.R. No. L-26177, December 27, 1972

People vs. Agpanga K. Libnao, G.R. No. 136860, January 20, 2003

The following are the well-recognized instances where searches and seizures are
allowed even without a valid warrant:

1. Warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest;

2. [Seizure] of evidence in "plain view". The elements are: a) a prior valid


intrusion based on the valid warrantless arrest in which the police are
legally present in the pursuit of their official duties; b) the evidence was
inadvertently discovered by the police who have the right to be where
they are; c) the evidence must be immediately apparent; and d) "plain
view" justified mere seizure of evidence without further search;

3. Search of a moving vehicle. Highly regulated by the government, the


vehicle's inherent mobility reduces expectation of privacy especially
when its transit in public thoroughfares furnishes a highly reasonable
suspicion amounting to probable cause that the occupant committed a
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criminal activity;

4. Consented warrantless search;

5. Customs search;

6. Stop and Frisk;

7. Exigent and emergency circumstances.

8. Search of vessels and aircraft; [and]

9. Inspection of buildings and other premises for the enforcement of fire,


sanitary and building regulations.

In the exceptional instances where a warrant is not necessary to effect a valid


search or seizure, what constitutes a reasonable or unreasonable search or seizure is
purely a judicial question, determinable from the uniqueness of the circumstances
involved, including the purpose of the search or seizure, the presence or absence of
probable cause, the manner in which the search and seizure was made, the place or
thing searched, and the character of the articles procured.
Jerry C. Valeroso vs. Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. No. 164815, September 3, 2009

Abraham C. Miclat, Jr. vs. People of the Phil., G.R. No. 176077, August 31, 2011

Objects falling in plain view of an officer who has a right to be in a position to


have that view are subject to seizure even without a search warrant and may be
introduced in evidence. The "plain view" doctrine applies when the following
requisites concur: (a) the law enforcement officer in search of the evidence has a prior
justification for an intrusion or is in a position from which he can view a particular
area; (b) the discovery of evidence in plain view is inadvertent; (c) it is immediately
apparent to the officer that the item he observes may be evidence of a crime,
contraband or otherwise subject to seizure. The law enforcement officer must lawfully
make an initial intrusion or properly be in a position from which he can particularly
view the area. In the course of such lawful intrusion, he came inadvertently across a
piece of evidence incriminating the accused. The object must be open to eye and hand
and its discovery inadvertent.
Abraham C. Miclat, Jr. vs. People of the Phil., G.R. No. 176077, August 31, 2011, citing
People v. Lagman, G.R. No. 168695, December 8, 2008

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A genuine reason must exist, in light of the police officer's experience and
surrounding conditions, to warrant the belief that the person who manifests unusual
suspicious conduct has weapons or contraband concealed about him. Such a
"stop-and-frisk" practice serves a dual purpose: (1) the general interest of effective
crime prevention and detection, which underlies the recognition that a police
officer may, under appropriate circumstances and in an appropriate manner,
approach a person for purposes of investigating possible criminal behavior even
without probable cause; and (2) the more pressing interest of safety and
self-preservation which permit the police officer to take steps to assure himself that
the person with whom he deals is not armed with a deadly weapon that could
unexpectedly and fatally be used against the police officer.
Susan R. Esquillo vs. People of the Phil., G.R. No. 182010, August 25, 2010

While the rule ["stop and frisk" rule] normally applies when a police officer
observes suspicious or unusual conduct, which may lead him to believe that a criminal
act may be afoot, the stop and frisk is merely a limited protective search of outer
clothing for weapons.
Rodel O. Luz vs. People of the Phil., G.R. No. 197788, February 29, 2012

Interpreting the words "personal determination," we said … that it does not thereby
mean that judges are obliged to conduct the personal examination of the complainant
and his witnesses themselves. To require thus would be to unduly laden them with
preliminary examinations and investigations of criminal complaints instead of
concentrating on hearing and deciding cases filed before them. Rather, what is
emphasized merely is the exclusive and personal responsibility of the issuing judge to
satisfy himself as to the existence of probable cause. To this end, he may: (a)
personally evaluate the report and the supporting documents submitted by the
prosecutor regarding the existence of probable cause and, on the basis thereof, issue a
warrant of arrest; or (b) if on the basis thereof he finds no probable cause, disregard
the prosecutor's report and require the submission of supporting affidavits of
witnesses to aid him in determining its existence. What he is never allowed to do is to
follow blindly the prosecutor's bare certification as to the existence of probable cause.
Much more is required by the constitutional provision. Judges have to go over the
report, the affidavits, the transcript of stenographic notes if any, and other documents
supporting the prosecutor's certification. Although the extent of the judge's personal
examination depends on the circumstances of each case, to be sure, he cannot just rely
on the bare certification alone but must go beyond it. This is because the warrant of

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arrest issues not on the strength of the certification standing alone but because of the
records which sustain it. He should even call for the complainant and the witnesses to
answer the court's probing questions when the circumstances warrant.
Teodoro C. Borlongan, Jr., et al. vs. Magdaleno M. Peña, et al., G.R. No. 143591, May
5, 2010

Maximo V. Soliven vs. Ramon P. Makasiar, G.R. No. 82585, November 14, 1988

What the law requires as personal determination on the part of a judge is that he
should not rely solely on the report of the investigating prosecutor. This means that the
judge should consider not only the report of the investigating prosecutor but also the
affidavit and the documentary evidence of the parties, the counter-affidavit of the
accused and his witnesses, as well as the transcript of stenographic notes taken during
the preliminary investigation, if any, submitted to the court by the investigating
prosecutor upon the filing of the Information.
People of the Phil. vs. Joseph V. Grey, et al., G.R. No. 180109, July 26, 2010

A settled exception to the right guaranteed by [Article III, Section 2 of the 1987
Constitution] is that of an arrest made during the commission of a crime, which does
not require a previously issued warrant. Such warrantless arrest is considered
reasonable and valid under Section 5 (a), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules on Criminal
Procedure. For the exception in Section 5 (a), Rule 113 to operate, this Court has ruled
that two (2) elements must be present: (1) the person to be arrested must execute an
overt act indicating that he has just committed, is actually committing, or is attempting
to commit a crime; and (2) such overt act is done in the presence or within the view of
the arresting officer.
Abraham C. Miclat, Jr. vs. People of the Phil., G.R. No. 176077, August 31, 2011

Consent to a search is not to be lightly inferred, but shown by clear and convincing
evidence. It must be voluntary in order to validate an otherwise illegal search; that is,
the consent must be unequivocal, specific, intelligently given and uncontaminated by
any duress or coercion. . . . Whether consent to the search was in fact voluntary is a
question of fact to be determined from the totality of all the circumstances. Relevant
to this determination are the following characteristics of the person giving consent and
the environment in which consent is given: (1) the age of the defendant; (2) whether
the defendant was in a public or a secluded location; (3) whether the defendant
objected to the search or passively looked on; (4) the education and intelligence of the
defendant; (5) the presence of coercive police procedures; (6) the defendant's belief

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that no incriminating evidence would be found; (7) the nature of the police
questioning; (8) the environment in which the questioning took place; and (9) the
possibly vulnerable subjective state of the person consenting. It is the State that has
the burden of proving, by clear and positive testimony, that the necessary consent was
obtained, and was freely and voluntarily given.
Rodel O. Luz vs. People of the Phil., G.R. No. 197788, February 29, 2012

Art. III, Sec. 3 (2)

While [petitioner] may have failed to object to the illegality of his arrest at the
earliest opportunity, a waiver of an illegal warrantless arrest does not, however, mean
a waiver of the inadmissibility of evidence seized during the illegal warrantless arrest.
The Constitution guarantees the right of the people to be secure in their persons,
houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. Any evidence
obtained in violation of said right shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any
proceeding. While the power to search and seize may at times be necessary to the
public welfare, still it must be exercised and the law implemented without
contravening the constitutional rights of citizens, for the enforcement of no statute is
of sufficient importance to justify indifference to the basic principles of government.
Rodel O. Luz vs. People of the Phil., G.R. No. 197788, February 29, 2012

The subject items seized during the illegal arrest are inadmissible. The drugs are
the very corpus delicti of the crime of illegal possession of dangerous drugs. Thus,
their inadmissibility precludes conviction and calls for the acquittal of the accused.
Rodel O. Luz vs. People of the Phil., G.R. No. 197788, February 29, 2012

Art. III, Sec. 4

Freedom of circulation refers to the unhampered distribution of newspapers and


other media among customers and among the general public. It may be interfered with
in several ways. The most important of these is censorship. Other ways include
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requiring a permit or license for the distribution of media and penalizing
dissemination of copies made without it; and requiring the payment of a fee or tax,
imposed either on the publisher or on the distributor, with the intent to limit or restrict
circulation. These modes of interfering with the freedom to circulate have been
constantly stricken down as unreasonable limitations on press freedom. Thus,
imposing a license tax measured by gross receipts for the privilege of engaging in the
business of advertising in any newspaper, or charging license fees for the privilege of
selling religious books are impermissible restraints on the freedom of expression.
Francisco Chavez vs. Raul M. Gonzales, G.R. No. 168338, February 15, 2008

Enshrined in Section 4, Article III of the Bill of Rights of the 1987 Constitution, it
states, "No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of
the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government
for redress of grievances."

But not all speech is protected. "The right of free speech is not absolute at all times
and under all circumstances. There are certain well-defined and narrowly limited
classes of speech, the prevention and punishment of which has never been thought to
raise any Constitutional problem. These include the lewd and obscene, the profane,
the libelous, and the insulting or 'fighting' words — those which by their very
utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. It has been
well observed that such utterances are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and
are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived
from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality."
Phil. Journalists, Inc., et al. vs. Francis Thoenen, G.R. No. 143372, December 13, 2005

It is noteworthy to point out that the right to run for public office touches on two
fundamental freedoms, those of expression and of association.
Eliseo F. Soriano vs. Ma. Consoliza P. Laguardia, et al., G.R. Nos. 164785 & 165636,
March 15, 2010

Eleazar P. Quinto, et al. vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 189698, December 1, 2009

It should be stressed that intellectual liberty occupies a place inferior to none in the
hierarchy of human values. The mind must be free to think what it wills, whether in
the secular or religious sphere, to give expression to its beliefs by oral discourse or
through the media and, thus, seek other candid views in occasions or gatherings or in
more permanent aggrupation. Embraced in such concept then are freedom of religion,

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freedom of speech, of the press, assembly and petition, and freedom of association.
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc., April 8, 2014

Art. III, Sec. 5

Dominador L. Taruc vs. Porfirio B. de la Cruz, et al., G.R. No. 144801, March 10, 2005

[T]he constitutional assurance of religious freedom provides two guarantees: the


Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause.

The establishment clause "principally prohibits the State from sponsoring any
religion or favoring any religion as against other religions. It mandates a strict
neutrality in affairs among religious groups." Essentially, it prohibits the
establishment of a state religion and the use of public resources for the support or
prohibition of a religion.

On the other hand, the basis of the free exercise clause is the respect for the
inviolability of the human conscience. Under this part of religious freedom guarantee,
the State is prohibited from unduly interfering with the outside manifestations of one's
belief and faith.
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc., April 8, 2014

In the same breath that the establishment clause restricts what the government can
do with religion, it also limits what religious sects can or cannot do with the
government. They can neither cause the government to adopt their particular doctrines
as policy for everyone, nor can they not cause the government to restrict other groups.
To do so, in simple terms, would cause the State to adhere to a particular religion and,
thus, establishing a state religion. . . . Indeed, the State is not precluded to pursue its
legitimate secular objectives without being dictated upon by the policies of any one
religion. One cannot refuse to pay his taxes simply because it will cloud his
conscience. The demarcation line between Church and State demands that one render
unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc., April 8, 2014

Corollary to the guarantee of free exercise of one's religion is the principle that the

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guarantee of religious freedom is comprised of two parts: the freedom to believe, and
the freedom to act on one's belief. The first part is absolute. As explained in Gerona v.
Secretary of Education:

The realm of belief and creed is infinite and limitless bounded


only by one's imagination and thought. So is the freedom of belief,
including religious belief, limitless and without bounds. One may believe
in most anything, however strange, bizarre and unreasonable the same may
appear to others, even heretical when weighed in the scales of orthodoxy or
doctrinal standards. But between the freedom of belief and the exercise of said
belief, there is quite a stretch of road to travel.

The second part however, is limited and subject to the awesome power of the State
and can be enjoyed only with proper regard to the rights of others. It is "subject to
regulation where the belief is translated into external acts that affect the public
welfare."
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc., April 8, 2014, citing
Gerona v. Secretary of Education, 106 Phil. 2 (1959)

Thus, in case of conflict between the free exercise clause and the State, the Court
adheres to the doctrine of benevolent neutrality. This has been clearly decided by
the Court in Estrada v. Escritor, (Escritor) where it was stated "that benevolent
neutrality-accommodation, whether mandatory or permissive, is the spirit, intent and
framework underlying the Philippine Constitution." In the same case, it was further
explained that"

The benevolent neutrality theory believes that with respect to these


governmental actions, accommodation of religion may be allowed, not to
promote the government's favored form of religion, but to allow individuals
and groups to exercise their religion without hindrance. "The purpose of
accommodation is to remove a burden on, or facilitate the exercise of, a
person's or institution's religion." "What is sought under the theory of
accommodation is not a declaration of unconstitutionality of a facially neutral
law, but an exemption from its application or its 'burdensome effect,' whether
by the legislature or the courts."

Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc., April 8, 2014, citing
Estrada v. Escritor, 525 Phil. 110 (2006)

In ascertaining the limits of the exercise of religious freedom, the compelling state
interest test is proper. Underlying the compelling state interest test is the notion that

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free exercise is a fundamental right and that laws burdening it should be subject to
strict scrutiny.
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc., April 8, 2014

[T]he guarantee of religious freedom is necessarily intertwined with the right to


free speech, it being an externalization of one's thought and conscience. This in turn
includes the right to be silent. With the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom
follows the protection that should be afforded to individuals in communicating their
beliefs to others as well as the protection for simply being silent. The Bill of Rights
guarantees the liberty of the individual to utter what is in his mind and the liberty not
to utter what is not in his mind. While the RH Law seeks to provide freedom of choice
through informed consent, freedom of choice guarantees the liberty of the religious
conscience and prohibits any degree of compulsion or burden, whether direct or
indirect, in the practice of one's religion.
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc., April 8, 2014

In case of conflict between the religious beliefs and moral convictions of


individuals, on one hand, and the interest of the State, on the other, to provide access
and information on reproductive health products, services, procedures and methods to
enable the people to determine the timing, number and spacing of the birth of their
children, the Court is of the strong view that the religious freedom of health providers,
whether public or private, should be accorded primacy. Accordingly, a conscientious
objector should be exempt from compliance with the mandates of the RH Law. If he
would be compelled to act contrary to his religious belief and conviction, it would be
violative of "the principle of non-coercion" enshrined in the constitutional right to free
exercise of religion.
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc., April 8, 2014

Only the prevention of an immediate and grave danger to the security and welfare
of the community can justify the infringement of religious freedom. If the government
fails to show the seriousness and immediacy of the threat, State intrusion is
constitutionally unacceptable.
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc., April 8, 2014

All this notwithstanding, the Court properly recognizes a valid exception set forth
in the law. While generally healthcare service providers cannot be forced to render
reproductive health care procedures if doing it would contravene their religious

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beliefs, an exception must be made in life-threatening cases that require the
performance of emergency procedures. In these situations, the right to life of the
mother should be given preference, considering that a referral by a medical
practitioner would amount to a denial of service, resulting to unnecessarily placing the
life of a mother in grave danger.
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc., April 8, 2014

In a conflict situation between the life of the mother and the life of a child, the
doctor is morally obliged always to try to save both lives. If, however, it is impossible,
the resulting death to one should not be deliberate. . . . Accordingly, if it is necessary
to save the life of a mother, procedures endangering the life of the child may be
resorted to even if is against the religious sentiments of the medical practitioner.
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc., April 8, 2014

Art. III, Sec. 7

The right of the people to information on matters of public concern is recognized


under Sec. 7, Art. III of the 1987 Constitution and is subject to such limitations as may
be provided by law. Thus, while access to official records may not be prohibited, it
certainly may be regulated. The regulation may come either from statutory law and
from the inherent power of an officer to control his office and the records under his
custody and to exercise some discretion as to the manner in which persons desiring to
inspect, examine, or copy the record may exercise their rights. The Municipal
Treasurer in the case at bar exercised this discretion by requiring petitioners to pay for
the cost of reproduction of Tax Ordinance No. 88-11-36. Such a requirement is
reasonable under the circumstances considering that the ordinance is quite voluminous
consisting of more than a hundred pages.
Teodoro Berdin, et al. vs. Eufracio A. Mascariñas, et al., G.R. No. 135928, July 6, 2007

Section 7, Article III of the 1987 Constitution grants the "right of the people to
information on matters of public concern." Personal matters are exempt or outside the
coverage of the people's right to information on matters of public concern. The data
treated as "strictly confidential" under EO 420 being private matters and not matters
of public concern, these data cannot be released to the public or the press.

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Kilusang Mayo Uno, et al. vs. Director-General, et al., G.R. Nos. 167798 & 167930,
April 19, 2006

In determining whether . . . a particular information is of public concern there is no


rigid test which can be applied. "Public concern" like "public interest" is a term that
eludes exact definition. Both terms embrace a broad spectrum of subjects which the
public may want to know, either because these directly affect their lives, or simply
because such matters naturally arouse the interest of an ordinary citizen. In the final
analysis, it is for the courts to determine on a case by case basis whether the matter at
issue is of interest or importance, as it relates to or affects the public.
Hazel Ma. C. Antolin vs. Abelardo T. Domondon, et al., G.R. Nos. 165036 & 175705,
July 5, 2010, citing Legaspi v. Civil Service Commission, 234 Phil. 521, 535 (1987)

Like all constitutional guarantees, however, the right to information, with its
companion right of access to official records, is not absolute. While providing
guaranty for that right, the Constitution also provides that the people's right to know is
limited to "matters of public concern" and is further subject to such limitations as may
be provided by law. Jurisprudence has provided the following limitations to that right:
(1) national security matters and intelligence information; (2) trade secrets and
banking transactions; (3) criminal matters; and (4) other confidential information such
as confidential or classified information officially known to public officers and
employees by reason of their office and not made available to the public as well as
diplomatic correspondence, closed door Cabinet meetings and executive sessions of
either house of Congress, and the internal deliberations of the Supreme Court. This
could only mean that while no prohibition could stand against access to official
records, such as the SALN, the same is undoubtedly subject to regulation.
Re: Request for Copy of 2008 SALN, et al., A.M. Nos. 09-8-6-SC & 09-8-07-CA, June
13, 2012

The Court finds no cogent reason to deny the public access to the SALN, PDS and
CV of the Justices of the Court and other magistrates of the Judiciary subject, of
course, to the limitations and prohibitions provided in R.A. No. 6713, its
implementing rules and regulations, and in the guidelines set forth in the decretal
portion. The Court notes the valid concerns of the other magistrates regarding the
possible illicit motives of some individuals in their requests for access to such
personal information and their publication. However, custodians of public documents
must not concern themselves with the motives, reasons and objects of the persons
seeking access to the records. The moral or material injury which their misuse might
inflict on others is the requestor's responsibility and lookout. Any publication is made
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subject to the consequences of the law. While public officers in the custody or control
of public records have the discretion to regulate the manner in which records may be
inspected, examined or copied by interested persons, such discretion does not carry
with it the authority to prohibit access, inspection, examination, or copying of the
records. After all, public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must,
at all times, be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility,
integrity, loyalty, and efficiency, act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest
lives.
Re: Request for Copy of 2008 SALN, et al., A.M. Nos. 09-8-6-SC & 09-8-07-CA, June
13, 2012

Thus, in order to give meaning to the constitutional right of the people to have
access to information on matters of public concern, the Court laid down the guidelines
to be observed for requests made. Thus:

1. All requests for copies of statements of assets and liabilities of any Justice
or Judge shall be filed with the Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court or with the
Court Administrator, as the case may be (Section 8 [A][2], R.A. 6713), and shall
state the purpose of the request.

2. The independence of the Judiciary is constitutionally as important as the


right to information which is subject to the limitations provided by law. Under
specific circumstances, the need for fair and just adjudication of litigations may
require a court to be wary of deceptive requests for information which shall
otherwise be freely available. Where the request is directly or indirectly traced to
a litigant, lawyer, or interested party in a case pending before the court, or where
the court is reasonably certain that a disputed matter will come before it under
circumstances from which it may, also reasonably, be assumed that the request is
not made in good faith and for a legitimate purpose, but to fish for information
and, with the implicit threat of its disclosure, to influence a decision or to warn
the court of the unpleasant consequences of an adverse judgment, the request
may be denied.

3. Where a decision has just been rendered by a court against the person
making the request and the request for information appears to be a "fishing
expedition" intended to harass or get back at the Judge, the request may be
denied.

4. In the few areas where there is extortion by rebel elements or where the

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nature of their work exposes Judges to assaults against their personal safety, the
request shall not only be denied but should be immediately reported to the
military.

5. The reason for the denial shall be given in all cases.


Re: Request for Copy of 2008 SALN, et al., A.M. Nos. 09-8-6-SC & 09-8-07-CA, June
13, 2012 citing Re: Request of Jose M. Alejandrino, Resolution dated May 2, 1989

Art. III, Sec. 8

Whether one party would coalesce or work together in partnership, or in close


collaboration with another party for purposes of an electoral exercise, is a matter that
the law as a rule does not and cannot regulate. This is a part of the freedom of choice
derived from the freedom of individuals constituting the political parties to choose
their elected leaders, as well as from the concepts of democracy and sovereignty
enshrined in our Constitution. This is a freedom, too, that cannot but be related to
individuals' associational rights under the Bill of Rights.
Liberal Party vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 191771, May 6, 2010

It is noteworthy to point out that the right to run for public office touches on two
fundamental freedoms, those of expression and of association.
Eleazar P. Quinto, et al. vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 189698, December 1, 2009

Art. III, Sec. 9

Air Transportation Office, et al. vs. Apolonio Gopuco, Jr., G.R. No. 158563, June 30,
2005

The action to recover just compensation from the State or its expropriating agency
differs from the action for damages. The former, also known as inverse condemnation,
has the objective to recover the value of property taken in fact by the governmental
defendant, even though no formal exercise of the power of eminent domain has been
attempted by the taking agency. Just compensation is the full and fair equivalent of the
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property taken from its owner by the expropriator. The measure is not the taker's gain,
but the owner's loss. The word just is used to intensify the meaning of the word
compensation in order to convey the idea that the equivalent to be rendered for the
property to be taken shall be real, substantial, full, and ample. On the other hand, the
latter action seeks to vindicate a legal wrong through damages, which may be actual,
moral, nominal, temperate, liquidated, or exemplary. When a right is exercised in a
manner not conformable with the norms enshrined in Article 19 and like provisions on
human relations in the Civil Code, and the exercise results to the damage of another, a
legal wrong is committed and the wrongdoer is held responsible.

The two actions are radically different in nature and purpose. The action to recover
just compensation is based on the Constitution while the action for damages is
predicated on statutory enactments. Indeed, the former arises from the exercise by the
State of its power of eminent domain against private property for public use, but the
latter emanates from the transgression of a right. The fact that the owner rather than
the expropriator brings the former does not change the essential nature of the suit as
an inverse condemnation, for the suit is not based on tort, but on the constitutional
prohibition against the taking of property without just compensation. It would very
well be contrary to the clear language of the Constitution to bar the recovery of just
compensation for private property taken for a public use solely on the basis of
statutory prescription.
NPC vs. Heirs of Macabangkit Sangkay, G.R. No. 165828, August 24, 2011

Indeed, expropriation is not limited to the acquisition of real property with a


corresponding transfer of title or possession. The right-of-way easement resulting in a
restriction or limitation on property rights over the land traversed by transmission
lines also falls within the ambit of the term expropriation.
National Power Corp. vs. Omar G. Maruhom, et al., G.R. No. 183297, December 23,
2009

The taking of property under CARL is an exercise by the State of the power of
eminent domain. A basic limitation on the State's power of eminent domain is the
constitutional directive that private property shall not be taken for public use without
just compensation. Just compensation refers to the sum equivalent to the market value
of the property, broadly described to be the price fixed by the seller in open market in
the usual and ordinary course of legal action and competition, or the fair value of the
property as between one who receives and one who desires to sell. It is fixed at the
time of the actual taking by the State. Thus, if property is taken for public use before

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compensation is deposited with the court having jurisdiction over the case, the final
compensation must include interests on its just value, to be computed from the time
the property is taken up to the time when compensation is actually paid or deposited
with the court.
Apo Fruits Corp., et al. vs. Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. No. 164195, December 4, 2009

It is well settled that the taking of private property by the Government's power of
eminent domain is subject to two mandatory requirements: (1) that it is for a particular
public purpose; and (2) that just compensation be paid to the property owner. These
requirements partake of the nature of implied conditions that should be complied with
to enable the condemnor to keep the property expropriated.

More particularly, with respect to the element of public use, the expropriator should
commit to use the property pursuant to the purpose stated in the petition for
expropriation filed, failing which, it should file another petition for the new purpose.
If not, it is then incumbent upon the expropriator to return the said property to its
private owner, if the latter desires to reacquire the same. Otherwise, the judgment of
expropriation suffers an intrinsic flaw, as it would lack one indispensable element for
the proper exercise of the power of eminent domain, namely, the particular public
purpose for which the property will be devoted. Accordingly, the private property
owner would be denied due process of law, and the judgment would violate the
property owner's right to justice, fairness, and equity.

In light of these premises, we now expressly hold that the taking of private
property, consequent to the Government's exercise of its power of eminent domain, is
always subject to the condition that the property be devoted to the specific public
purpose for which it was taken. Corollarily, if this particular purpose or intent is not
initiated or not at all pursued, and is peremptorily abandoned, then the former owners,
if they so desire, may seek the reversion of the property, subject to the return of the
amount of just compensation received. In such a case, the exercise of the power of
eminent domain has become improper for lack of the required factual justification.
Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority, et al. vs. Bernardo L. Lozada, Sr., et al.,
G.R. No. 176625, February 25, 2010

Where the owner agrees voluntarily to the taking of his property by the government
for public use, he thereby waives his right to the institution of a formal expropriation
proceeding covering such property. Further, the failure for a long time of the owner to
question the lack of expropriation proceedings covering a property that the

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government had taken constitutes a waiver of his right to gain back possession.
Republic of the Phil. vs. Primo Mendoza, et al., G.R. No. 185091, August 9, 2010, citing
Eusebio v. Luis, G.R. No. 162474, October 13, 2009

The determination of "just compensation" in eminent domain cases is a judicial


function. The executive department or the legislature may make the initial
determinations but when a party claims a violation of the guarantee in the Bill of
Rights that private property may not be taken for public use without just
compensation, no statute, decree, or executive order can mandate that its own
determination shall prevail over the court's findings. Much less can the courts be
precluded from looking into the "just-ness" of the decreed compensation.
Heirs of Mateo Pidacan, et al. vs. Air Transportation Office, G.R. No. 186192, August
25, 2010, citing Export Processing Zone Authority vs. Judge Dulay, 233 Phil. 313, 326
(1987)

The power of eminent domain is not an unlimited power. Section 9, Article III of
the 1987 Constitution sets down the essential limitations upon this inherent right of
the State to take private property, namely: (a) that the taking must be for a public
purpose; and (b) that just compensation must be paid to the owner. The State must
first establish that the exercise of eminent domain is for a public purpose, which, here,
is already settled. What remains to be determined is the just compensation.
EPZA vs. Jose Pulido, et al., G.R. No. 188995, August 24, 2011

Compensation cannot be just to the owner in the case of property that is


immediately taken unless there is prompt payment, considering that the owner thereby
immediately suffers not only the loss of his property but also the loss of its fruits or
income. Thus, in addition, the owner is entitled to legal interest from the time of the
taking of the property until the actual payment in order to place the owner in a
position as good as, but not better than, the position he was in before the taking
occurred.
EPZA vs. Jose Pulido, et al., G.R. No. 188995, August 24, 2011, citing Apo Fruits Corp.
vs. Land Bank, G.R. No. 164195, October 12, 2010

Granting rentals is legally and factually bereft of justification, in light of the taking
of the land being already justly compensated. Conformably with the ruling in Manila
International Airport Authority v. Rodriguez (G.R. No. 161836, February 28, 2006) in
which the award of interest was held to render the grant of back rentals unwarranted,
we delete the award of back rentals and in its place prescribe interest of 12% interest

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per annum from November 21, 1997, the date of the filing of the complaint, until the
full liability is paid by NPC. The imposition of interest of 12% interest per annum
follows a long line of pertinent jurisprudence, whereby the Court has fixed the rate of
interest on just compensation at 12% per annum whenever the expropriator has not
immediately paid just compensation.
NPC vs. Heirs of Macabangkit Sangkay, G.R. No. 165828, August 24, 2011

The right to recover just compensation is enshrined in no less than our Bill of
Rights, which states in clear and categorical language that "[p]rivate property shall not
be taken for public use without just compensation." This constitutional mandate
cannot be defeated by statutory prescription. Thus, we have ruled that the prescriptive
period under Section 3 (i) of R.A. No. 6395 does not extend to an action to recover
just compensation. It would be a confiscatory act on the part of the government to take
the property of respondent spouses for a public purpose and deprive them of their
right to just compensation, solely because they failed to institute inverse
condemnation proceedings within five years from the time the transmission lines were
constructed. To begin with, it was not the duty of respondent spouses to demand for
just compensation. Rather, it was the duty of NAPOCOR to institute eminent domain
proceedings before occupying their property. In the normal course of events, before
the expropriating power enters a private property, it must first file an action for
eminent domain and deposit with the authorized government depositary an amount
equivalent to the assessed value of the property. Due to its omission, however,
respondents were constrained to file inverse condemnation proceedings to demand the
payment of just compensation before the trial court. We therefore rule that
NAPOCOR cannot invoke the statutory prescriptive period to defeat respondent
spouses' constitutional right to just compensation.
NAPOCOR vs. Sps. Bernardo and Mindaluz Saludares, G.R. No. 189127, April 25,
2012

It is a settled rule that neither the acquisition of title nor the total destruction of
value is essential to taking. In fact, it is usually in cases where the title remains with
the private owner that inquiry should be made to determine whether the impairment of
a property is merely regulated or amounts to a compensable taking.

Ma. Lourdes C. Fernando, et al. vs. St. Scholastica's College, et al., G.R. No. 161107,
March 12, 2013

We have ruled that Section 3A of R.A. No. 6395, as amended, is not binding upon
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this Court. "[T]he determination of just compensation in eminent domain cases is a
judicial function and . . . any valuation for just compensation laid down in the statutes
may serve only as a guiding principle or one of the factors in determining just
compensation but it may not substitute the court's own judgment as to what amount
should be awarded and how to arrive at such amount."
NAPOCOR vs. Sps. Bernardo and Mindaluz Saludares, G.R. No. 189127, April 25,
2012 citing National Power Corporation vs. Tuazon, G.R. No. 193023, 29 June 2011

The reckoning value of just compensation is that prevailing at the time of the filing
of the inverse condemnation proceedings for the following reason:

[c]ompensation that is reckoned on the market value prevailing at the time


either when NPC entered . . . would not be just, for it would compound the
gross unfairness already caused to the owners by NPC's entering without the
intention of formally expropriating the land . . . . NPC's entry denied
elementary due process of law to the owners since then until the owners
commenced the inverse condemnation proceedings. The Court is more
concerned with the necessity to prevent NPC from unjustly profiting from its
deliberate acts of denying due process of law to the owners. As a measure of
simple justice and ordinary fairness to them, therefore, reckoning just
compensation on the value at the time the owners commenced these inverse
condemnation proceedings is entirely warranted.

Indeed, respondent spouses would be deprived of their right to just compensation if


the value of the property is pegged back to its value in the 1970s. To reiterate,
NAPOCOR should have instituted eminent domain proceedings before it occupied
respondent spouses' property. Because it failed to comply with this duty, respondent
spouses were constrained to file the instant Complaint for just compensation before
the trial court. From the 1970s until the present, they were deprived of just
compensation, while NAPOCOR continuously burdened their property with its
transmission lines. This Court cannot allow petitioner to profit from its failure to
comply with the mandate of the law. We therefore rule that, to adequately compensate
respondent spouses from the decades of burden on their property, NAPOCOR should
be made to pay the value of the property at the time of the filing of the instant
Complaint when respondent spouses made a judicial demand for just compensation.
NAPOCOR vs. Sps. Bernardo and Mindaluz Saludares, G.R. No. 189127, April 25,
2012 citing National Power Corporation v. Heirs of Macabangkit Sangkay, G.R. No.
165828, August 24, 2011

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Art. III, Sec. 10

The purpose of the non-impairment clause of the Constitution is to safeguard the


integrity of contracts against unwarranted interference by the State. As a rule,
contracts should not be tampered with by subsequent laws that would change or
modify the rights and obligations of the parties. Impairment is anything that
diminishes the efficacy of the contract. There is an impairment if a subsequent law
changes the terms of a contract between the parties, imposes new conditions,
dispenses with those agreed upon or withdraws remedies for the enforcement of the
rights of the parties.
Goldenway Merchandising Corp. vs. Equitable PCI Bank, G.R. No. 195540, March 13,
2013

The freedom to contract is not absolute; all contracts and all rights are subject to
the police power of the State and not only may regulations which affect them be
established by the State, but all such regulations must be subject to change from time
to time, as the general well-being of the community may require, or as the
circumstances may change, or as experience may demonstrate the necessity. Settled is
the rule that the non-impairment clause of the Constitution must yield to the loftier
purposes targeted by the Government. The right granted by this provision must submit
to the demands and necessities of the State's power of regulation. Such authority to
regulate businesses extends to the banking industry which, as this Court has time and
again emphasized, is undeniably imbued with public interest.
Goldenway Merchandising Corp. vs. Equitable PCI Bank, G.R. No. 195540, March 13,
2013

Businesses affecting the public interest, such as the operation of public utilities and
those involving the exploitation of natural resources, are mandated by law to acquire
licenses. This is so in order that the State can regulate their operations and thereby
protect the public interest. Thus, while these licenses come in the form of
"agreements", e.g., "Timber License Agreements", they cannot be considered
contracts under the non-impairment clause.
Heherson Alvarez vs. PICOP Resources, G.R. Nos. 162243, 164516 & 171875,
December 3, 2009

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Art. III, Sec. 11

Re: Petition for Recognition of the Exemption of the GSIS from Payment of Legal Fees,
A.M. No. 08-2-01-0, February 11, 2010

Art. III, Sec. 12

Section 12, Article III of the 1987 Constitution assuring an accused of counsel of
his choice pertains specifically to a person under investigation. Even if we were to
extend the choice of a counsel to an accused in a criminal prosecution, the matter of
the accused getting a lawyer of his preference cannot be so absolute and arbitrary as
would make the choice of counsel refer exclusively to the predilection of the accused.

Withal, the word "preferably" under Section 12(1), Article 3 of the 1987
Constitution does not convey the message that the choice of a lawyer by a person
under investigation is exclusive as to preclude other equally competent and
independent attorneys from handling his defense. If the rule were otherwise, then, the
tempo of a custodial investigation, will be solely in the hands of the accused who can
impede, nay, obstruct the progress of the interrogation by simply selecting a lawyer,
who for one reason or another, is not available to protect his interest. This absurd
scenario could not have been contemplated by the framers of the charter.
Ruben S. Sia, et al. vs. People of the Phil., et al., G.R. No. 159659, October 16, 2006

Baltazar D. Amion vs. Roberto S. Chiongson, A.M. No. RTJ-97-1371, January 22, 1999

The "investigation" under the above-quoted provision refers to a "custodial"


investigation where a suspect has already been taken into police custody and the
investigating officers begin to ask questions to elicit information and confessions or
admissions from the suspect. Succinctly stated, custodial investigation refers to the
critical pre-trial stage when the investigation ceases to be a general inquiry into an
unsolved crime but has begun to focus on a particular person as a suspect.
People of the Phil. vs. Jose Ting Lan Uy, Jr., et al., G.R. No. 157399, November 17,
2005

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Section 12 of Article III of the 1987 Constitution, also known as the Bill of Rights,
pertains to the rights of persons accused of committing a crime. In particular, the right
to counsel is present when one is under custodial investigation for the commission of
an offense. It does not apply to a person who is entering into a private or civil contract
or agreement. The defense of "uncounselled confession" cannot be used to invalidate
such an agreement, even by analogy. We cannot countenance such a skewed
interpretation of the Bill of Rights.
Ireneo Uy vs. Phela Trading Co., G.R. No. 152900, February 11, 2005

Jurisprudence provides that extrajudicial confessions are presumed to be voluntary.


The condition for this presumption, however, is that the prosecution is able to show
that the constitutional requirements safeguarding an accused's rights during custodial
investigation have been strictly complied with, especially when the extrajudicial
confession has been denounced. The rationale for this requirement is to allay any fear
that the person being investigated would succumb to coercion while in the unfamiliar
or intimidating environment that is inherent in custodial investigations. Therefore,
even if the confession may appear to have been given voluntarily since the confessant
did not file charges against his alleged intimidators for maltreatment, the failure to
properly inform a suspect of his rights during a custodial investigation renders the
confession valueless and inadmissible.
People of the Phil. vs. Benjamin S. Sayaboc, et al., G.R. No. 147201, January 15, 2004

[B]arangay-based volunteer organizations in the nature of watch groups, as in the


case of the "bantay bayan," are recognized by the local government unit to perform
functions relating to the preservation of peace and order at the barangay level. Thus,
without ruling on the legality of the actions taken by [the "bantay bayan"], and the
specific scope of duties and responsibilities delegated to a "bantay bayan," particularly
on the authority to conduct a custodial investigation, any inquiry he makes has the
color of a state-related function and objective insofar as the entitlement of a suspect to
his constitutional rights provided for under Article III, Section 12 of the Constitution,
otherwise known as the Miranda Rights, is concerned.
People of the Phil. vs. Antonio P. Lauga, G.R. No. 186228, March 15, 2010

Art. III, Sec. 12 (1) – Miranda Doctrine / Galit-Morales Doctrine

The tainted confession obtained in violation of Section 12 (1), Article III of the

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Constitution is inadmissible in evidence against the accused.
Lolita Y. Eugenio vs. People of the Phil., G.R. No. 168163, March 26, 2008

The "preference in the choice of counsel" pertains more aptly and specifically to a
person under investigation rather than an accused in a criminal prosecution. And even
if we are to extend the application of the concept of "preference in the choice of
counsel" to an accused in a criminal prosecution, such preferential discretion is not
absolute as would enable him to choose a particular counsel to the exclusion of others
equally capable.

The choice of counsel by the accused in a criminal prosecution is not a plenary one.
If the chosen counsel deliberately makes himself scarce, the court is not precluded
from appointing a de oficio counsel whom it considers competent and independent to
enable the trial to proceed until the counsel of choice enters his appearance.
Otherwise, the pace of a criminal prosecution will be entirely dictated by the accused
to the detriment of the eventual resolution of the case.

Neither is there a violation of appellants' right to counsel just because the trial court
did not grant their request for suspension of the hearing pending their search for new
counsel. An application for a continuance in order to secure the services of counsel is
ordinarily addressed to the discretion of the court, and the denial thereof is not
ordinarily an infringement of the accused's right to counsel. The right of the accused
to select his own counsel must be exercised in a reasonable time and in a reasonable
manner.
People of the Phil. vs. Jerry F. Rapeza, G.R. No. 169431, April 4, 2007

People of the Phil. vs. Francisco Juan Larrañaga, et al., G.R. Nos. 138874-75, February
3, 2004

In People v. Sunga, (447 Phil. 776 (2003)) we held that "the right to counsel
applies in certain pretrial proceedings that can be deemed 'critical stages' in the
criminal process. The preliminary investigation can be no different from the
in-custody interrogations by the police, for a suspect who takes part in a preliminary
investigation will be subjected to no less than the State's processes, oftentimes
intimidating and relentless, of pursuing those who might be liable for criminal
prosecution." In said case, Sunga made an uncounselled admission before the police.
He later acknowledged the same admission before the judge in a preliminary
investigation. Sunga was thrust into the preliminary investigation and while he did
have a counsel, for the latter's lack of vigilance and commitment to Sunga's rights, he
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was virtually denied his right to counsel. Thus, the uncounselled admission was held
inadmissible. In the instant case, the extrajudicial confession is inadmissible against
Bokingco because he was not assisted at all by counsel during the time his confession
was taken before a judge.
People of the Phil. vs. Michael Bokingo, et al., G.R. No. 187536, August 10, 2011

The right to counsel is deemed to have arisen at the precise moment custodial
investigation begins and being made to stand in a police line-up is not the starting
point or a part of custodial investigation. . . . Custodial investigation starts when the
police investigation is no longer a general inquiry into an unsolved crime but has
begun to focus on a particular suspect taken into custody by the police who starts the
interrogation and propounds questions to the person to elicit incriminating statements.
Police line-up is not part of the custodial investigation; hence, the right to counsel
guaranteed by the Constitution cannot yet be invoked at this stage.
People of the Phil. vs. Arturo O. Lara, G.R. No. 199877, August 13, 2012

Art. III, Sec. 13

After conviction by the trial court, the presumption of innocence terminates and,
accordingly, the constitutional right to bail ends. From then on, the grant of bail is
subject to judicial discretion. At the risk of being repetitious, such discretion must be
exercised with grave caution and only for strong reasons. Considering that the accused
was in fact convicted by the trial court, allowance of bail pending appeal should be
guided by a stringent-standards approach. This judicial disposition finds strong
support in the history and evolution of the rules on bail and the language of Section 5,
Rule 114 of the Rules of Court. It is likewise consistent with the trial court's initial
determination that the accused should be in prison. Furthermore, letting the accused
out on bail despite his conviction may destroy the deterrent effect of our criminal
laws. This is especially germane to bail pending appeal because long delays often
separate sentencing in the trial court and appellate review. In addition, at the
post-conviction stage, the accused faces a certain prison sentence and thus may be
more likely to flee regardless of bail bonds or other release conditions. Finally,
permitting bail too freely in spite of conviction invites frivolous and time-wasting
appeals which will make a mockery of our criminal justice system and court

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processes.
Jose Antonio Leviste vs. Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. No. 189122, March 17, 2010

Art. III, Sec. 14 (2)

The fugitives' escape is deemed a waiver of their right to be present at their trial.

The escape should have been considered a waiver of their right to be present at
their trial, and the inability of the court to notify them of the subsequent hearings did
not prevent it from continuing with their trial. They were deemed to have received
notice. The same fact of their escape made their failure to appear unjustified because
they have, by escaping, placed themselves beyond the pale and protection of the law.
This being so, then pursuant to Gimenez v. Nazareno, the trial against the fugitives,
just like those of the others, should have been brought to its ultimate conclusion.
Thereafter, the trial court had the duty to rule on the evidence presented by the
prosecution against all the accused and to render its judgment accordingly. It should
not wait for the fugitives' re-appearance or re-arrest. They were deemed to have
waived their right to present evidence on their own behalf and to confront and
cross-examine the witnesses who testified against them.
Carmelo C. Bernardo vs. People of the Phil., et al., G.R. No. 166980, April 3, 2007

People of the Phil. vs. Jose R. Hernandez, et al., G.R. Nos. 154218 & 154372, August
28, 2006

Mary Helen Estrada vs. People of the Phil., G.R. No. 162371, August 25, 2005

Law and jurisprudence demand proof beyond reasonable doubt before any person
may be deprived of his life, liberty, or even property. Enshrined in the Bill of Rights is
the right of the petitioner to be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved, and to
overcome the presumption, nothing but proof beyond reasonable doubt must be
established by the prosecution. The constitutional presumption of innocence requires
courts to take "a more than casual consideration" of every circumstances or doubt
proving the innocence of petitioner.
People of the Phil. vs. Norman Sitco, et al., G.R. No. 178202, May 14, 2010

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Rolito Rabanal v. People, G.R. No. 160858, February 28, 2006

Art. III, Sec. 16

Right to speedy trial extends to all parties in all cases

The constitutional right to a "speedy disposition of cases" is not limited to the


accused in criminal proceedings but extends to all parties in all cases, including civil
and administrative cases, and in all proceedings, including judicial and quasi-judicial
hearings. Hence, under the Constitution, any party to a case may demand expeditious
action on all officials who are tasked with the administration of justice.
Wilfredo G. Roquero vs. Chancellor of UP-Manila, et al., G.R. No. 181851, March 9,
2010

Central Cement Corp. vs. Mines Adjudication Board, et al., G.R. No. 173562, January
22, 2008

People of the Phil. vs. Jose R. Hernandez, et al., G.R. Nos. 154218 & 154372, August
28, 2006

Jose P. Lopez, Jr. vs. Office of the Ombudsman, G.R. No. 140529, September 6, 2001

Four factors to determine whether a defendant is deprived of his right to speedy


trial

A balancing test necessarily compels courts to approach speedy trial cases on an ad


hoc basis. We can do little more than identify some of the factors which courts should
assess in determining whether a particular defendant has been deprived of his right.
Though some might express them in different ways, we identify four such factors:
Length of delay, the reason for the delay, the defendant's assertion of his right, and
prejudice to the defendant.
Zenon R. Perez vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 164763, February 12, 2008

Section 16, Article III of the 1987 Constitution is reinforced by Section 3 (f), Rule
112 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, as amended, which requires that "the
investigating officer shall resolve the case within ten (10) days from the conclusion of

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the investigation." To ensure a speedy trial of all criminal cases before the
Sandiganbayan, Regional Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial Court and Municipal Circuit
Trial Court, Republic Act No. 8493 (The Speedy Trial Act of 1998) was enacted on
February 4, 1998. To implement its provisions, the Court issued SC Circular No.
38-98 dated September 15, 1998 setting a time limit for arraignment and pre-trial for
thirty (30) days from the date the court acquires jurisdiction over the person of the
accused.

The earliest rulings of the Court on speedy trial were rendered in Conde v. Judge of
First Instance, Conde v. Rivera, et al., and People v. Castañeda. These cases held that
accused persons are guaranteed a speedy trial by the Bill of Rights and that such right
is denied when an accused person, through the vacillation and procrastination of
prosecuting officers, is forced to wait many months for trial. Specifically in
Castañeda, the Court called on courts to be the last to set an example of delay and
oppression in the administration of justice and it is the moral and legal obligation of
the courts to see to it that the criminal proceedings against the accused come to an end
and that they be immediately discharged from the custody of the law.
People of the Phil. vs. Emiliano Anonas, G.R. No. 156847, January 31, 2007

The right to a speedy disposition of a case, like the right to a speedy trial, is deemed
violated only when the proceedings are attended by vexatious, capricious, and
oppressive delays; or when unjustified postponements of the trial are asked for and
secured; or even without cause or justifiable motive, a long period of time is
allowed to elapse without the party having his case tried. Equally applicable is the
balancing test used to determine whether a defendant has been denied his right to a
speedy trial, or a speedy disposition of a case for that matter, in which the conduct of
both the prosecution and the defendant is weighed, and such factors as the length of
the delay, the reasons for such delay, the assertion or failure to assert such right by the
accused, and the prejudice caused by the delay. The concept of a speedy disposition is
a relative term and must necessarily be a flexible concept.

Hence, the doctrinal rule is that in the determination of whether that right has been
violated, the factors that may be considered and balanced are as follows: (1) the length
of delay; (2) the reasons for the delay; (3) the assertion or failure to assert such right
by the accused; and (4) the prejudice caused by the delay.
Wilfredo G. Roquero vs. Chancellor of UP-Manila, et al., G.R. No. 181851, March 9,
2010

The Constitutional guarantee against unreasonable delay in the disposition of cases


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was intended to stem the tide of disenchantment among the people in the
administration of justice by our judicial and quasi-judicial tribunals. The adjudication
of cases must not only be done in an orderly manner that is in accord with the
established rules of procedure but must also be promptly decided to better serve the
ends of justice. Excessive delay in the disposition of cases renders the rights of the
people guaranteed by the Constitution and by various legislations inutile.
Wilfredo G. Roquero vs. Chancellor of UP-Manila, et al., G.R. No. 181851, March 9,
2010

The constitutional right to speedy disposition of cases is not limited to the accused
in criminal proceedings but extends to all parties in all cases, including civil and
administrative cases, and in all proceedings, including judicial and quasi-judicial
hearings. Any party to a case has the right to demand on all officials tasked with the
administration of justice to expedite its disposition. Society has a particular interest in
bringing swift prosecutions, and the society's representatives are the ones who should
protect that interest.
Jose Miguel T. Arroyo vs. DOJ, et al., G.R. Nos. 199082, 199085 & 199118, September
18, 2012

Art. III, Sec. 17

Right Against Self-Incrimination

The right against self-incrimination is accorded to every person who gives


evidence, whether voluntary or under compulsion of subpoena, in any civil, criminal
or administrative proceeding. The right is not to be compelled to be a witness against
himself. It secures to a witness, whether he be a party or not, the right to refuse to
answer any particular incriminatory question, i.e., one the answer to which has a
tendency to incriminate him for some crime. However, the right can be claimed only
when the specific question, incriminatory in character, is actually put to the witness. It
cannot be claimed at any other time. It does not give a witness the right to disregard a
subpoena, decline to appear before the court at the time appointed, or to refuse to
testify altogether. The witness receiving a subpoena must obey it, appear as required,
take the stand, be sworn and answer questions. It is only when a particular question is
addressed to which may incriminate himself for some offense that he may refuse to
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answer on the strength of the constitutional guaranty.
Alfredo P. Rosete, et al. vs. Juliano Lim, et al., G.R. No. 136051, June 8, 2006

People vs. Ayson, G.R. No. 85215, July 7, 1989

Art. III, Sec. 21

Right Against Double Jeopardy

Basic is the rule that no person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the
same offense. It is a constitutional guarantee repeated in Section 7 of Rule 117 of the
Rules of Court. A judgment of acquittal cannot be reopened, absent a grave abuse of
discretion or a denial of due process to the State.
People of the Phil. vs. Sandiganbayan, et al., G.R. No. 152532, August 16, 2005

A verdict of acquittal is immediately final and a reexamination of the merits of


such acquittal, even in the appellate courts, will put the accused in jeopardy for the
same offense. The finality-of-acquittal doctrine has several avowed purposes.
Primarily, it prevents the State from using its criminal processes as an instrument of
harassment to wear out the accused by a multitude of cases with accumulated trials. It
also serves the additional purpose of precluding the State, following an acquittal, from
successively retrying the defendant in the hope of securing a conviction. And finally,
it prevents the State, following conviction, from retrying the defendant again in the
hope of securing a greater penalty.
People of the Phil. vs. Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. No. 159261, February 21, 2007

People vs. Wilfredo Dela Torre, G.R. Nos. 137953-58, April 11, 2002

People vs. Danilo F. Serrano, Sr., G.R. No. 135451, September 30, 1999

There is simply no double jeopardy when the subsequent information charges


another and different offense, although arising from the same act or set of acts.
Prosecution for the same act is not prohibited. What is forbidden is the prosecution for
the same offense.
Isabelo A. Braza vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 195032, February 20, 2013

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This constitutionally mandated right is procedurally buttressed by Section 17 of
Rule 117 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. To substantiate a claim for
double jeopardy, the accused has the burden of demonstrating the following
requisites: (1) a first jeopardy must have attached prior to the second; (2) the first
jeopardy must have been validly terminated; and (3) the second jeopardy must be for
the same offense as in the first. As to the first requisite, the first jeopardy attaches only
(a) after a valid indictment; (b) before a competent court; (c) after arraignment, (d)
when a valid plea has been entered; and (e) when the accused was acquitted or
convicted, or the case was dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express
consent. The test for the third element is whether one offense is identical with the
other or is an attempt to commit it or a frustration thereof; or whether the second
offense includes or is necessarily included in the offense charged in the first
information.
Isabelo A. Braza vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 195032, February 20, 2013

Art. IV, Sec. 2

We are guided by this evolvement from election of Philippine citizenship upon


reaching the age of majority under the 1935 Philippine Constitution to dispensing
with the election requirement under the 1973 Philippine Constitution to express
classification of these children as natural-born citizens under the 1987 Constitution
towards the conclusion that the omission of the 1941 statutory requirement of
registration of the documents of election should not result in the obliteration of the
right to Philippine citizenship. Having a Filipino mother is permanent. It is the basis
of the right of the petitioners to elect Philippine citizenship. Petitioners elected
Philippine citizenship in form and substance. The failure to register the election in the
civil registry should not defeat the election and resultingly negate the permanent fact
that they have a Filipino mother. The lacking requirements may still be complied with
subject to the imposition of appropriate administrative penalties, if any.
Balgamelo Cabiling Ma, et al. vs. Alipio F. Fernandez, Jr., et al., G.R. No. 183133, July
26, 2010

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Art. IV, Sec. 3

Repatriation is not a matter of right, but it is a privilege granted by the State. This is
mandated by the 1987 Constitution under Section 3, Article IV, which provides that
citizenship may be lost or reacquired in the manner provided by law. The State has the
power to prescribe by law the qualifications, procedure, and requirements for
repatriation. It has the power to determine if an applicant for repatriation meets the
requirements of the law for it is an inherent power of the State to choose who will be
its citizens, and who can reacquire citizenship once it is lost. If the applicant, like
petitioner Tabasa, fails to comply with said requirements, the State is justified in
rejecting the petition for repatriation.
Joevanie Arellano Tabasa vs. Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. No. 125793, August 29,
2006

Citizenship is not a matter of convenience. It is a badge of identity that comes


with attendant civil and political rights accorded by the state to its citizens. It likewise
demands the concomitant duty to maintain allegiance to one's flag and country. While
those who acquire dual citizenship by choice are afforded the right of suffrage, those
who seek election or appointment to public office are required to renounce their
foreign citizenship to be deserving of the public trust. Holding public office demands
full and undivided allegiance to the Republic and to no other.

We therefore hold that Arnado, by using his US passport after renouncing his
American citizenship, has recanted the same Oath of Renunciation he took. Section 40
(d) of the Local Government Code applies to his situation. He is disqualified not only
from holding the public office but even from becoming a candidate in the May 2010
elections.
Casan Macode Maquiling vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 195649, April 16, 2013

Art. IV, Sec. 5

Section 5, Article IV of the Constitution is a declaration of a policy and it is not a


self-executing provision. The legislature still has to enact the law on dual allegiance.
In Sections 2 and 3 of Rep. Act No. 9225, the framers were not concerned with dual
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citizenship per se, but with the status of naturalized citizens who maintain their
allegiance to their countries of origin even after their naturalization. Congress was
given a mandate to draft a law that would set specific parameters of what really
constitutes dual allegiance. Until this is done, it would be premature for the judicial
department, including this Court, to rule on issues pertaining to dual allegiance.
Hector Gumangan Calilung vs. Simeon Datumanong, G.R. No. 160869, May 11, 2007

Art. V, Sec. 1

Preserving the sanctity of the right of suffrage ensures that the State derives its
power from the consent of the governed. The paramount importance of this right is
also a function of the State policy of people empowerment articulated in the
constitutional declaration that sovereignty resides in the people and all government
authority emanates from them, bolstered by the recognition of the vital role of the
youth in nation-building and directive to the State to encourage their involvement in
public and civic affairs. It is against this backdrop that Congress mandated a system of
continuing voter registration in Section 8 of RA 8189. . . . By the above provision
[Section 8 of RA 8189], Congress itself has determined that the period of 120 days
before a regular election and 90 days before a special election is enough time for the
COMELEC to make ALL the necessary preparations with respect to the coming
elections including: (1) completion of project precincts, which is necessary for the
proper allocation of official ballots, election returns and other election forms and
paraphernalia; (2) constitution of the Board of Election Inspectors, including the
determination of the precincts to which they shall be assigned; (3) finalizing the
Computerized Voters List; (4) supervision of the campaign period; and (5)
preparation, bidding, printing and distribution of Voter's Information Sheet. Such
determination of Congress is well within the ambit of its legislative power, which this
Court is bound to respect. And the COMELEC's rule-making power should be
exercised in accordance with the prevailing law.
Kabataan Party-List Representative Raymond V. Palatino, et al. vs. Commission on
Elections, et al., G.R. No. 189868, December 15, 2009

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Art. V, Sec. 2

Sanctity of the Ballot


H. Harry L. Roque, Jr., et al. vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 188456, September 10,
2009

Art. VI, Sec. 1

"Curative statutes are enacted to cure defects in a prior law or to validate legal
proceedings which would otherwise be void for want of conformity with certain legal
requirements. They are intended to supply defects, abridge superfluities and curb
certain evils. They are intended to enable persons to carry into effect that which they
have designed or intended, but has failed of expected legal consequence by reason of
some statutory disability or irregularity in their own action. They make valid that
which, before the enactment of the statute was invalid. Their purpose is to give
validity to acts done that would have been invalid under existing laws, as if existing
laws have been complied with. Curative statutes, therefore, by their very essence, are
retroactive."
Ma. Lourdes C. Fernando, et al. vs. St. Scholastica's College, et al., G.R. No. 161107,
March 12, 2013

Art. VI, Sec. 5

Clearly, the members of the House of Representatives are of two kinds: "members .
. . who shall be elected from legislative districts" and "those who . . . shall be elected
through party-list system of registered national, regional, and sectoral parties or
organizations." This means that, from the Constitution's point of view, it is the
party-list representatives who are "elected" into office, not their parties or
organizations. These representatives are elected, however, through that peculiar
party-list system that the Constitution authorized and that Congress by law established
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where the voters cast their votes for the organizations or parties to which such
party-list representatives belong.

Once elected, both the district representatives and the party-list representatives are
treated in like manner. They have the same deliberative rights, salaries, and
emoluments. They can participate in the making of laws that will directly benefit their
legislative districts or sectors. They are also subject to the same term limitation of
three years for a maximum of three consecutive terms.
Daryl Grace J. Abayon vs. HRET, et al., G.R. Nos. 189466 & 189506, February 11,
2010

Art. VI, Sec. 5 (2)

In determining who may participate in the coming 13 May 2013 and subsequent
party-list elections, the COMELEC shall adhere to the following parameters:

1. Three different groups may participate in the party-list system:


(1) national parties or organizations, (2) regional parties or organizations, and
(3) sectoral parties or organizations.

2. National parties or organizations and regional parties or


organizations do not need to organize along sectoral lines and do not need to
represent any "marginalized and underrepresented" sector.

3. Political parties can participate in party-list elections provided


they register under the party-list system and do not field candidates in
legislative district elections. A political party, whether major or not, that fields
candidates in legislative district elections can participate in party-list elections
only through its sectoral wing that can separately register under the party-list
system. The sectoral wing is by itself an independent sectoral party, and is
linked to a political party through a coalition.

4. Sectoral parties or organizations may either be "marginalized and


underrepresented" or lacking in "well-defined political constituencies." It is
enough that their principal advocacy pertains to the special interest and
concerns of their sector. The sectors that are "marginalized and
underrepresented" include labor, peasant, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous
cultural communities, handicapped, veterans, and overseas workers. The
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sectors that lack "well-defined political constituencies" include professionals,
the elderly, women, and the youth.

5. A majority of the members of sectoral parties or organizations


that represent the "marginalized and underrepresented" must belong to the
"marginalized and underrepresented" sector they represent. Similarly, a
majority of the members of sectoral parties or organizations that lack
"well-defined political constituencies" must belong to the sector they
represent. The nominees of sectoral parties or organizations that represent the
"marginalized and underrepresented," or that represent those who lack
"well-defined political constituencies," either must belong to their respective
sectors, or must have a track record of advocacy for their respective sectors.
The nominees of national and regional parties or organizations must be
bona-fide members of such parties or organizations.

6. National, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations shall not


be disqualified if some of their nominees are disqualified, provided that they
have at least one nominee who remains qualified.

Atong Paglaum, Inc. v. COMELEC, G.R. Nos. 203766, 203818-19, 203922, etc., April 2,
2013

Not every misrepresentation committed by national, regional, and sectoral groups


or organizations would merit the denial or cancellation of their registration under the
party-list system. The misrepresentation must relate to their qualification as a
party-list group.
Abang Lingkod v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 206952, October 22, 2013

Indeed, the disqualification of one or some of the nominees of a party-list group


should not automatically result in the disqualification of the group. Otherwise it would
accord the nominees the same significance, which the law holds for the party-list
groups; it is still the fact that the party-list group satisfied the qualifications of the law
that is material to consider. The disqualification of the nominees must simply be
regarded as failure to qualify for an office or position. It should not, in any way,
blemish the qualifications of the party-list group itself with defect. The party-list
group must be treated as separate and distinct from its nominees such that
qualifications of the latter must not be considered part and parcel of the qualifications
of the former.
Abang Lingkod v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 206952, October 22, 2013

To stress, in Atong Paglaum, the Court pointed out that "[t]he nominees of sectoral
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parties or organizations that represent the 'marginalized and underrepresented,' or that
represent those who lack 'well-defined political constituencies,' either must belong to
their respective sectors, or must have a track record of advocacy for their
respective sectors. Stated otherwise, the nominee of a party-list groups may either be:
first, one who actually belongs to the sector which the party-list group represents, in
which case the track record requirement does not apply; or second, one who does not
actually belong to the sector which the party-list group represents but has a track
record showing the nominee's active participation in activities aimed at uplifting the
cause of the sector which the group represents."
Abang Lingkod v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 206952, October 22, 2013, citing Atong
Paglaum, Inc. v. COMELEC, G.R. Nos. 203766, 203818-19, 203922, etc., April 2, 2013

Track record is not the same as the submission or presentation of "constitution,


by-laws, platform of government, list of officers, coalition agreement, and other
relevant information as may be required by the COMELEC," which are but mere
pieces of documentary evidence intended to establish that the group exists and is a
going concern. The said documentary evidence presents an abstract of the ideals that
national, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations seek to achieve. This is not
merely a matter of semantics; the delineation of what constitutes a track record has
certain consequences in a group's bid for registration under the party-list system.
Under Section 5 of R.A. No. 7941, groups intending to register under the party-list
system are not required to submit evidence of their track record; they are merely
required to attach to their verified petitions their "constitution, by-laws, platform of
government, list of officers, coalition agreement, and other relevant information as
may be required by the COMELEC."
Abang Lingkod v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 206952, October 22, 2013

Art. VI, Sec. 5 (3)

The second sentence of Section 5 (3), Article VI of the Constitution, succinctly


provides: "Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand, or each
province, shall have at least one representative."

The provision draws a plain and clear distinction between the entitlement of a city
to a district on one hand, and the entitlement of a province to a district on the other.
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For while a province is entitled to at least a representative, with nothing mentioned
about population, a city must first meet a population minimum of 250,000 in order to
be similarly entitled.

The use by the subject provision of a comma to separate the phrase "each city with
a population of at least two hundred fifty thousand" from the phrase "or each
province" point to no other conclusion than that the 250,000 minimum population is
only required for a city, but not for a province.

Plainly read, Section 5 (3) of the Constitution requires a 250,000 minimum


population only for a city to be entitled to a representative, but not so for a
province.
Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III, et al. vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 189793, April 7,
2010

The Mariano case limited the application of the 250,000 minimum population
requirement for cities only to its initial legislative district. In other words, while
Section 5 (3), Article VI of the Constitution requires a city to have a minimum
population of 250,000 to be entitled to a representative, it does not have to increase its
population by another 250,000 to be entitled to an additional district.

There is no reason why the Mariano case, which involves the creation of an
additional district within a city, should not be applied to additional districts in
provinces. Indeed, if an additional legislative district created within a city is not
required to represent a population of at least 250,000 in order to be valid, neither
should such be needed for an additional district in a province, considering moreover
that a province is entitled to an initial seat by the mere fact of its creation and
regardless of its population.
Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III, et al. vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 189793, April 7,
2010

Victorino B. Aldaba, et al. vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 188078, January 25, 2010

Juanito Mariano, Jr. vs. COMELEC, G.R. Nos. 118577 & 118627, March 7, 1995

Art. VI, Sec. 6

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[T]here is nothing in the residency requirement for candidates that prohibits them
from owning property and exercising their rights of ownership thereto in other places
aside from the address they had indicated as their place of residence in their COC.
Danilo Ramon S. Fernandez vs. House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal, et al.,
G.R. No. 187478, December 21, 2009

Although it is true that the latest acquired abode is not necessarily the domicile of
choice of a candidate, there is nothing in the Constitution or our election laws which
require a congressional candidate to sell a previously acquired home in one district
and buy a new one in the place where he seeks to run in order to qualify for a
congressional seat in that other district. . . . Certainly, the Constitution does not
require a congressional candidate to be a property owner in the district where he seeks
to run but only that he resides in that district for at least a year prior to election day.
To use ownership of property in the district as the determinative indicium of
permanence of domicile or residence implies that only the landed can establish
compliance with the residency requirement. This Court would be, in effect, imposing
a property requirement to the right to hold public office, which property requirement
would be unconstitutional.
Danilo Ramon S. Fernandez vs. House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal, et al.,
G.R. No. 187478, December 21, 2009

Art. VI, Sec. 12

Congress' Power of Inquiry


J. Ermin Ernest Louie R. Miguel vs. Richard Gordon, et al., G.R. Nos. 174340, 174318
& 174177, October 17, 2006

Art. VI, Sec. 17

The word "sole" in Section 17, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and Rule 12 of
the Revised Rules of the Senate Electoral Tribunal ("SET") underscores the
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exclusivity of the SET's jurisdiction over election contests relating to members of the
Senate. The authority conferred upon the SET is categorical and complete. It is
therefore clear that this Court has no jurisdiction to entertain the instant petition.
Robert Z. Barbers vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 165691, June 22, 2005

The HRET has sole and exclusive jurisdiction over all contests relative to the
election, returns, and qualifications of members of the House of Representatives.
Thus, once a winning candidate has been proclaimed, taken his oath, and assumed
office as a Member of the House of Representatives, COMELEC's jurisdiction over
election contests relating to his election, returns, and qualifications ends, and the
HRET's own jurisdiction begins.
Georgidi B. Aggabao vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 163756, January 26, 2005

The 1987 Constitution explicitly provides under Article VI, Section 17 thereof that
the HRET and the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) shall be the sole judges of all
contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of their respective
members. The authority conferred upon the Electoral Tribunal is full, clear and
complete. The use of the word sole emphasizes the exclusivity of the jurisdiction of
these Tribunals, which is conferred upon the HRET and the SET after elections and
the proclamation of the winning candidates. A candidate who has not been proclaimed
and who has not taken his oath of office cannot be said to be a member of the House
of Representatives.
Danilo Ramon S. Fernandez vs. House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal, et al.,
G.R. No. 187478, December 21, 2009

[S]ection 17, Article VI of the Constitution provides that the HRET shall be the
sole judge of all contests relating to, among other things, the qualifications of the
Members of the House of Representatives. Since, as pointed out above, party-list
nominees are "elected members" of the House of Representatives no less than the
district representatives are, the HRET has jurisdiction to hear and pass upon their
qualifications. By analogy with the cases of district representatives, once the party or
organization of the party-list nominee has been proclaimed and the nominee has taken
his oath and assumed office as member of the House of Representatives, the
COMELEC's jurisdiction over election contests relating to his qualifications ends and
the HRET's own jurisdiction begins.
Daryl Grace J. Abayon vs. HRET, et al., G.R. Nos. 189466 & 189506, February 11,
2010

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Well-settled is the principle that the judgments of the HRET are beyond judicial
interference. The only instance where this Court may intervene in the exercise of its
so-called extraordinary jurisdiction is upon a determination that the decision or
resolution of the HRET was rendered without or in excess of its jurisdiction, or with
grave abuse of discretion or upon a clear showing of such arbitrary and improvident
use of its power to constitute a denial of due process of law, or upon a demonstration
of a very clear unmitigated error, manifestly constituting such grave abuse of
discretion that there has to be a remedy for such abuse.
Renald F. Vilando vs. HRET, et al., G.R. Nos. 192147 & 192149, August 23, 2011

True, the HRET has jurisdiction over quo warranto petitions, specifically over
cases challenging ineligibility on the ground of lack of citizenship. No less than the
1987 Constitution vests the HRET the authority to be the sole judge of all contests
relating to the election, returns and qualifications of its Members. This constitutional
power is likewise echoed in the 2004 Rules of the HRET. . . . Time and again, this
Court has acknowledged this sole and exclusive jurisdiction of the HRET. The power
granted to HRET by the Constitution is intended to be as complete and unimpaired as
if it had remained originally in the legislature. Such power is regarded as full, clear
and complete and excludes the exercise of any authority on the part of this Court that
would in any wise restrict it or curtail it or even affect the same. Such power of the
HRET, no matter how complete and exclusive, does not carry with it the authority to
delve into the legality of the judgment of naturalization in the pursuit of disqualifying
Limkaichong. To rule otherwise would operate as a collateral attack on the citizenship
of the father which, as already stated, is not permissible.
Renald F. Vilando vs. HRET, et al., G.R. Nos. 192147 & 192149, August 23, 2011

That the HRET is the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and
qualifications of the Members of the House of Representatives is a written
constitutional provision. It is, however unavailable to petitioner because she is NOT a
Member of the House at present. The COMELEC never ordered her proclamation as
the rightful winner in the election for such membership. Indeed, the action for
cancellation of petitioner's certificate of candidacy, the decision in which is the
indispensable determinant of the right of petitioner to proclamation, was correctly
lodged in the COMELEC, was completely and fully litigated in the COMELEC and
was finally decided by the COMELEC. On and after 14 May 2013, there was nothing
left for the COMELEC to do to decide the case. The decision sealed the proceedings
in the COMELEC regarding petitioner's ineligibility as a candidate for Representative

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of Marinduque. The decision erected the bar to petitioner's proclamation. The bar
remained when no restraining order was obtained by petitioner from the Supreme
Court within five days from 14 May 2013.
Reyes v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 207264, October 22, 2013

The COMELEC covers the matter of petitioner's certificate of candidacy, and its
due course or its cancellation, which are the pivotal conclusions that determines who
can be legally proclaimed. The matter can go to the Supreme Court but not as a
continuation of the proceedings in the COMELEC, which has in fact ended, but on an
original action before the Court grounded on more than mere error of judgment but on
error of jurisdiction for grave abuse of discretion. At and after the COMELEC En
Banc decision, there is no longer any certificate cancellation matter than can go to the
HRET. In that sense, the HRET's constitutional authority opens, over the qualification
of its MEMBER, who becomes so only upon a duly and legally based proclamation,
the first and unavoidable step towards such membership. The HRET jurisdiction over
the qualification of the Member of the House of Representatives is original and
exclusive, and as such, proceeds de novo unhampered by the proceedings in the
COMELEC which, as just stated has been terminated. The HRET proceedings is a
regular, not summary, proceeding. It will determine who should be the Member of the
House. It must be made clear though, at the risk of repetitiveness, that no hiatus
occurs in the representation of Marinduque in the House because there is such a
representative who shall sit as the HRET proceedings are had till termination. Such
representative is the duly proclaimed winner resulting from the terminated case of
cancellation of certificate of candidacy of petitioner. The petitioner is not, cannot, be
that representative. And this, all in all, is the crux of the dispute between the parties:
who shall sit in the House in representation of Marinduque, while there is yet no
HRET decision on the qualifications of the Member.
Reyes v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 207264, October 22, 2013

Art. VI, Sec. 18

Commission on Appointments vs. Celso M. Paler, G.R. No. 172623, March 3, 2010

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Art. VI, Secs. 21 and 22

While Sections 21 and 22 are closely related and complementary to each other, they
should not be considered as pertaining to the same power of Congress. Section 21
relates to the power to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation, its aim is to elicit
information that may be used for legislation, while Section 22 pertains to the power to
conduct a question hour, the objective of which is to obtain information in pursuit of
Congress' oversight function. Simply stated, while both powers allow Congress or any
of its committees to conduct inquiry, their objectives are different.

The oversight function of Congress may be facilitated by compulsory process only


to the extent that it is performed in pursuit of legislation.
Romulo L. Neri vs. Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and
Investigations, et al., G.R. No. 180643, March 25, 2008

Art. VI, Sec. 24

Under the Constitution, the power of appropriation is vested in the Legislature,


subject to the requirement that appropriation bills originate exclusively in the House
of Representatives with the option of the Senate to propose or concur with
amendments. While the budgetary process commences from the proposal submitted by
the President to Congress, it is the latter which concludes the exercise by crafting an
appropriation act it may deem beneficial to the nation, based on its own judgment,
wisdom and purposes. Like any other piece of legislation, the appropriation act may
then be susceptible to objection from the branch tasked to implement it, by way of a
Presidential veto. Thereafter, budget execution comes under the domain of the
Executive branch which deals with the operational aspects of the cycle including the
allocation and release of funds earmarked for various projects. Simply put, from the
regulation of fund releases, the implementation of payment schedules and up to the
actual spending of the funds specified in the law, the Executive takes the wheel. "The
DBM lays down the guidelines for the disbursement of the fund. The Members of
Congress are then requested by the President to recommend projects and programs
which may be funded from the PDAF. The list submitted by the Members of Congress
is endorsed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives to the DBM, which
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reviews and determines whether such list of projects submitted are consistent with the
guidelines and the priorities set by the Executive." This demonstrates the power given
to the President to execute appropriation laws and therefore, to exercise the spending
per se of the budget.
Lawyers against Monopoly and Poverty vs. Secretary of Budget and Management, et
al., G.R. No. 164987, April 24, 2012

Art. VI, Sec. 25 (2) and Sec. 26 (1)

The rationale against inserting a rider in an appropriations bill under the specific
appropriation clause embodied in Section 25 (2), Article VI of the Constitution is
similar to that of the "one subject in the title" clause provided in Section 26 (1) also of
Article VI, which directs that every provision in a bill must be germane or has some
reasonable relation to the subject matter as expressed in the title thereof. The unity of
the subject matter of a bill is mandatory in order to prevent hodge-podge or log-rolling
legislation, to avoid surprise or fraud upon the legislature, and to fairly appraise the
people of the subjects of legislation that are being considered.

An appropriations bill, however, covers a broader range of subject matter and


therefore includes more details compared to an ordinary bill. As a matter of fact, the
title of an appropriations bill cannot be any broader as it is since it is not feasible to
come out with a title that embraces all the details included in an appropriations bill.
This is not to sanction, however, the insertion of provisions or clauses which do not
have any relation to appropriations found therein. Thus, Section 25 (2), Article VI lays
down a germaneness standard akin to that prescribed in Section 26 (1).

Compliance with the requirement under Section 25 (2), Article VI of the


Constitution is mandatory. However, the rule should not be construed so strictly as to
tie the hands of Congress in providing budgetary policies in the appropriations bill.

The subsection simply requires that all the provisions in a general appropriations
bill are either appropriation items or non-appropriation items which relate specifically
to appropriation items. Thus, provisions or clauses that do not directly appropriate
funds are deemed appurtenant in a general appropriations bill when they specify
certain conditions and restrictions in the manner by which the funds to which they

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relate have to be spent.
Nestor G. Atitiw, et al. vs. Ronaldo B. Zamora, et al., G.R. No. 143374 September 30,
2005

Art. VI, Sec. 26(1)

The rationale against inserting a rider in an appropriations bill under the specific
appropriation clause embodied in Section 25 (2), Article VI of the Constitution is
similar to that of the "one subject in the title" clause provided in Section 26 (1) also of
Article VI, which directs that every provision in a bill must be germane or has some
reasonable relation to the subject matter as expressed in the title thereof. The unity of
the subject matter of a bill is mandatory in order to prevent hodge-podge or log-rolling
legislation, to avoid surprise or fraud upon the legislature, and to fairly appraise the
people of the subjects of legislation that are being considered.

An appropriations bill, however, covers a broader range of subject matter and


therefore includes more details compared to an ordinary bill. As a matter of fact, the
title of an appropriations bill cannot be any broader as it is since it is not feasible to
come out with a title that embraces all the details included in an appropriations bill.
This is not to sanction, however, the insertion of provisions or clauses which do not
have any relation to appropriations found therein. Thus, Section 25 (2), Article VI lays
down a germaneness standard akin to that prescribed in Section 26 (1).

Compliance with the requirement under Section 25 (2), Article VI of the


Constitution is mandatory. However, the rule should not be construed so strictly as to
tie the hands of Congress in providing budgetary policies in the appropriations bill.

The subsection simply requires that all the provisions in a general appropriations
bill are either appropriation items or non-appropriation items which relate specifically
to appropriation items. Thus, provisions or clauses that do not directly appropriate
funds are deemed appurtenant in a general appropriations bill when they specify
certain conditions and restrictions in the manner by which the funds to which they
relate have to be spent.

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Nestor G. Atitiw, et al. vs. Ronaldo B. Zamora, et al., G.R. No. 143374 September 30,
2005

The one subject/one title rule expresses the principle that the title of a law must not
be "so uncertain that the average person reading it would not be informed of the
purpose of the enactment or put on inquiry as to its contents, or which is misleading,
either in referring to or indicating one subject where another or different one is really
embraced in the act, or in omitting any expression or indication of the real subject or
scope of the act." Considering the close intimacy between "reproductive health" and
"responsible parenthood" which bears to the attainment of the goal of achieving
"sustainable human development" as stated under its terms, the Court finds no reason
to believe that Congress intentionally sought to deceive the public as to the contents of
the assailed legislation.
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc. April 8, 2014

Art. VI, Sec. 26(2)

The "no-amendment rule" refers only to the procedure to be followed by each


house of Congress with regard to bills initiated in each of said respective houses,
before said bill is transmitted to the other house for its concurrence or amendment.
Verily, to construe said provision in a way as to proscribe any further changes to a bill
after one house has voted on it would lead to absurdity as this would mean that the
other house of Congress would be deprived of its constitutional power to amend or
introduce changes to said bill. Thus, Art. VI, Sec. 26 (2) of the Constitution cannot be
taken to mean that the introduction by the Bicameral Conference Committee of
amendments and modifications to disagreeing provisions in bills that have been acted
upon by both houses of Congress is prohibited.
ABAKADA GURO Party List, et al. vs. Eduardo Ermita, et al., G.R. Nos. 168056,
168207, 168461, 168463 & 168730, September 1, 2005

Art. VI, Sec. 28 (3)

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The Constitution exempts charitable institutions only from real property taxes. In
the NIRC, Congress decided to extend the exemption to income taxes. However, the
way Congress crafted Section 30 (E) of the NIRC is materially different from Section
28 (3), Article VI of the Constitution. Section 30 (E) of the NIRC defines the
corporation or association that is exempt from income tax. On the other hand, Section
28 (3), Article VI of the Constitution does not define a charitable institution, but
requires that the institution "actually, directly and exclusively" use the property for a
charitable purpose.
CIR vs. St. Luke's Medical Center, Inc., G.R. Nos. 195909 & 195960, September 26,
2012

[A] charitable institution is not ipso facto tax exempt. To be exempt from real
property taxes, Section 28 (3), Article VI of the Constitution requires that a charitable
institution use the property "actually, directly and exclusively" for charitable purposes.
To be exempt from income taxes, Section 30 (E) of the NIRC requires that a
charitable institution must be "organized and operated exclusively" for charitable
purposes. Likewise, to be exempt from income taxes, Section 30 (G) of the NIRC
requires that the institution be "operated exclusively" for social welfare.
CIR vs. St. Luke's Medical Center, Inc., G.R. Nos. 195909 & 195960, September 26,
2012

Art. VI, Sec. 29

The power to appropriate money from the General Funds of the Government
belongs exclusively to the Legislature. Any act in violation of this iron-clad rule is
unconstitutional. Reinforcing this Constitutional mandate, Sections 84 and 85 of PD
1445 require that before a government agency can enter into a contract involving the
expenditure of government funds, there must be an appropriation law for such
expenditure…
Strategic Alliance Development Corp. vs. Radstock Securities Limited, et al., G.R. Nos.
178158 & 180428, December 4, 2009

Under the Constitution, the power of appropriation is vested in the Legislature,


subject to the requirement that appropriation bills originate exclusively in the House
of Representatives with the option of the Senate to propose or concur with
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amendments. While the budgetary process commences from the proposal submitted by
the President to Congress, it is the latter which concludes the exercise by crafting an
appropriation act it may deem beneficial to the nation, based on its own judgment,
wisdom and purposes. Like any other piece of legislation, the appropriation act may
then be susceptible to objection from the branch tasked to implement it, by way of a
Presidential veto. Thereafter, budget execution comes under the domain of the
Executive branch which deals with the operational aspects of the cycle including the
allocation and release of funds earmarked for various projects. Simply put, from the
regulation of fund releases, the implementation of payment schedules and up to the
actual spending of the funds specified in the law, the Executive takes the wheel. "The
DBM lays down the guidelines for the disbursement of the fund. The Members of
Congress are then requested by the President to recommend projects and programs
which may be funded from the PDAF. The list submitted by the Members of Congress
is endorsed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives to the DBM, which
reviews and determines whether such list of projects submitted are consistent with the
guidelines and the priorities set by the Executive." This demonstrates the power given
to the President to execute appropriation laws and therefore, to exercise the spending
per se of the budget.
Lawyers against Monopoly and Poverty vs. Secretary of Budget and Management, et
al., G.R. No. 164987, April 24, 2012

[A]ny property acquired by means of the coconut levy funds, such as the subject
UCPB shares, should be treated as public funds or public property, subject to the
burdens and restrictions attached by law to such property. COCOFED v. Republic
(G.R. Nos. 177857-58 & 178193, January 24, 2012), delved into such limitations,
thusly:

We have ruled time and again that taxes are imposed only for a public
purpose. "They cannot be used for purely private purposes or for the exclusive
benefit of private persons." When a law imposes taxes or levies from the
public, with the intent to give undue benefit or advantage to private persons,
or the promotion of private enterprises, that law cannot be said to satisfy the
requirement of public purpose. . . .

Clearly, to hold therefore, even by law, that the revenues received from
the imposition of the coconut levies be used purely for private purposes to be
owned by private individuals in their private capacity and for their benefit,
would contravene the rationale behind the imposition of taxes or levies. HSaCcE

Needless to stress, courts do not, as they cannot, allow by judicial fiat


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the conversion of special funds into a private fund for the benefit of private
individuals. In the same vein, We cannot subscribe to the idea of what appears
to be an indirect — if not exactly direct — conversion of special funds into
private funds, i.e., by using special funds to purchase shares of stocks, which
in turn would be distributed for free to private individuals. Even if these
private individuals belong to, or are a part of the coconut industry, the free
distribution of shares of stocks purchased with special public funds to them,
nevertheless cannot be justified.

As the coconut levy funds partake of the nature of taxes and can only be used for
public purpose, and importantly, for the purpose for which it was exacted, i.e., the
development, rehabilitation and stabilization of the coconut industry, they cannot be
used to benefit — whether directly or indirectly — private individuals, be it by way of
a commission, or as the subject Agreement interestingly words it, compensation.
Consequently, Cojuangco cannot stand to benefit by receiving, in his private capacity,
7.22% of the FUB shares without violating the constitutional caveat that public funds
can only be used for public purpose.
Eduardo M. Cojuangco, Jr. vs. Republic of the Phil., G.R. No. 180705, November 27,
2012

[T]axes are imposed only for a public purpose. They must, therefore, be used for
the benefit of the public and not for the exclusive profit or gain of private persons.
Otherwise, grave injustice is inflicted not only upon the Government but most
especially upon the citizenry — the taxpayers — to whom We owe a great deal of
accountability.
Eduardo M. Cojuangco, Jr. vs. Republic of the Phil., G.R. No. 180705, November 27,
2012

Art. VII, Sec. 1

In Canonizado v. Aguirre, [the Supreme Court] held that reorganization "involves


the reduction of personnel, consolidation of offices, or abolition thereof by reason of
economy or redundancy of functions." It alters the existing structure of government
offices or units therein, including the lines of control, authority and responsibility
between them. While the power to abolish an office is generally lodged with the
legislature, the authority of the President to reorganize the executive branch, which
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may include such abolition, is permissible under our present laws . . .

The general rule has always been that the power to abolish a public office is lodged
with the legislature. This proceeds from the legal precept that the power to create
includes the power to destroy. A public office is either created by the Constitution, by
statute, or by authority of law. Thus, except where the office was created by the
Constitution itself, it may be abolished by the same legislature that brought it into
existence.

The exception, however, is that as far as bureaus, agencies or offices in the


executive department are concerned, the President's power of control may justify him
to inactivate the functions of a particular office, or certain laws may grant him the
broad authority to carry out reorganization measures.

The President's power to reorganize the executive branch is also an exercise of his
residual powers under Section 20, Title I, Book III of E.O. No. 292 which grants the
President broad organization powers to implement reorganization measures. . . .
MEWAP, et al. vs. Alberto Romulo, et al., G.R. No. 160093, July 31, 2007

Alexis C. Canonizado vs. Alexander P. Aguirre, G.R. No. 133132, January 25, 2000

Art. VII, Sec. 4

Section 4 (3), Article VII requires the regular elections to be held on the second
Monday of May, letting the elections fall on May 8, at the earliest, or May 14, at the
latest. If the regular presidential elections are held on May 8, the period of the
prohibition is 115 days. If such elections are held on May 14, the period of the
prohibition is 109 days. Either period of the prohibition is longer than the full
mandatory 90-day period to fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court. The result is that
there are at least 19 occasions (i.e., the difference between the shortest possible
period of the ban of 109 days and the 90-day mandatory period for appointments) in
which the outgoing President would be in no position to comply with the
constitutional duty to fill up a vacancy in the Supreme Court. It is safe to assume that
the framers of the Constitution could not have intended such an absurdity. In fact, in
their deliberations on the mandatory period for the appointment of Supreme Court
Justices under Section 4 (1), Article VIII, the framers neither discussed, nor
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mentioned, nor referred to the ban against midnight appointments under Section 15,
Article VII, or its effects on the 90-day period, or vice versa. They did not need to,
because they never intended Section 15, Article VII to apply to a vacancy in the
Supreme Court, or in any of the lower courts.
Arturo M. De Castro vs. JBC, et al., G.R. Nos. 191002, 191032, 191057, A.M. No.
10-2-5-SC, G.R. Nos. 191149, 191342 & 191420, March 17, 2010

Art. VII, Sec. 13

Public Interest Center Inc., et al. vs. Magdangal B. Elma, et al., G.R. No. 138965, March
5, 2007

Public Interest Center Inc., et al. vs. Magdangal B. Elma, et al., G.R. No. 138965, June
30, 2006

The prohibition against holding dual or multiple offices or employment under


Section 13, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution was held inapplicable to posts
occupied by the Executive officials specified therein, without additional compensation
in an ex-officio capacity as provided by law and as required by the primary functions
of said office. The reason is that these posts do not comprise "any other office" within
the contemplation of the constitutional prohibition but are properly an imposition of
additional duties and functions on said officials.
Dennis A. B. Funa vs. Eduardo R. Ermita, et al., G.R. No. 184740, February 11, 2010

The disqualification laid down in Section 13, Article VII is aimed at preventing the
concentration of powers in the Executive Department officials, specifically the
President, Vice-President, Members of the Cabinet and their deputies and assistants.
Dennis A. B. Funa vs. Eduardo R. Ermita, et al., G.R. No. 184740, February 11, 2010

Art. VII, Sec. 14

Section 14 speaks of the power of the succeeding President to revoke appointments


made by an Acting President, and evidently refers only to appointments in the
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Executive Department. It has no application to appointments in the Judiciary, because
temporary or acting appointments can only undermine the independence of the
Judiciary due to their being revocable at will. The letter and spirit of the Constitution
safeguard that independence. Also, there is no law in the books that authorizes the
revocation of appointments in the Judiciary. Prior to their mandatory retirement or
resignation, judges of the first and second level courts and the Justices of the third
level courts may only be removed for cause, but the Members of the Supreme Court
may be removed only by impeachment.
Arturo M. de Castro vs. JBC, et al., G.R. Nos. 191002, 191032, 191057, A.M. No.
10-2-5-SC, G.R. Nos. 191149, 191342 & 191420, March 17, 2010

Art. VII, Sec. 15

Given the background and rationale for the prohibition in Section 15, Article VII,
we have no doubt that the Constitutional Commission confined the prohibition to
appointments made in the Executive Department. The framers did not need to extend
the prohibition to appointments in the Judiciary, because their establishment of the
JBC and their subjecting the nomination and screening of candidates for judicial
positions to the unhurried and deliberate prior process of the JBC ensured that there
would no longer be midnight appointments to the Judiciary. If midnight appointments
in the mold of Aytona were made in haste and with irregularities, or made by an
outgoing Chief Executive in the last days of his administration out of a desire to
subvert the policies of the incoming President or for partisanship, the appointments to
the Judiciary made after the establishment of the JBC would not be suffering from
such defects because of the JBC's prior processing of candidates. Indeed, it is
axiomatic in statutory construction that the ascertainment of the purpose of the
enactment is a step in the process of ascertaining the intent or meaning of the
enactment, because the reason for the enactment must necessarily shed considerable
light on "the law of the statute," i.e., the intent; hence, the enactment should be
construed with reference to its intended scope and purpose, and the court should seek
to carry out this purpose rather than to defeat it.
Arturo M. de Castro vs. JBC, et al., G.R. Nos. 191002, 191032, 191057, A.M. No.
10-2-5-SC, G.R. Nos. 191149, 191342 & 191420, March 17, 2010

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Art. VII, Sec. 16

Under Section 16, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, the President appoints three
groups of officers. The first group refers to the heads of the Executive departments,
ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, officers of the armed forces from the
rank of colonel or naval captain, and other officers whose appointments are vested in
the President by the Constitution. The second group refers to those whom the
President may be authorized by law to appoint. The third group refers to all other
officers of the Government whose appointments are not otherwise provided by law.

Under the same Section 16, there is a fourth group of lower-ranked officers whose
appointments Congress may by law vest in the heads of departments, agencies,
commissions, or boards. The present case involves the interpretation of Section 16,
Article VII of the 1987 Constitution with respect to the appointment of this fourth
group of officers.

The President appoints the first group of officers with the consent of the
Commission on Appointments. The President appoints the second and third groups of
officers without the consent of the Commission on Appointments. The President
appoints the third group of officers if the law is silent on who is the appointing power,
or if the law authorizing the head of a department, agency, commission, or board to
appoint is declared unconstitutional. . . .
Armita B. Rufino, et al. vs. Baltazar N. Endriga, et al., G.R. Nos. 139554 & 139565, July
21, 2006

Section 16 covers only the presidential appointments that require confirmation by


the Commission on Appointments. Thereby, the Constitutional Commission restored
the requirement of confirmation by the Commission on Appointments after the
requirement was removed from the 1973 Constitution. Yet, because of Section 9 of
Article VIII, the restored requirement did not include appointments to the Judiciary.
Arturo M. de Castro vs. JBC, et al., G.R. Nos. 191002, 191032, 191057, A.M. No.
10-2-5-SC, G.R. Nos. 191149, 191342 & 191420, March 17, 2010

Where the Constitution or, for that matter, a statute, has fixed the term of office of
a public official, the appointing authority is without authority to specify in the
appointment a term shorter or longer than what the law provides. If the vacancy calls
for a full seven-year appointment, the President is without discretion to extend a
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promotional appointment for more or for less than seven (7) years. There is no in
between. He or she cannot split terms. It is not within the power of the appointing
authority to override the positive provision of the Constitution which dictates that the
term of office of members of constitutional bodies shall be seven (7) years. A contrary
reasoning "would make the term of office to depend upon the pleasure or caprice of
the [appointing authority] and not upon the will [of the framers of the Constitution] of
the legislature as expressed in plain and undoubted language in the law."
Dennis A. B. Funa vs. Reynaldo A. Villar, G.R. No. 192791, April 24, 2012

Art. VII, Sec. 17

In Canonizado v. Aguirre, [the Supreme Court] held that reorganization "involves


the reduction of personnel, consolidation of offices, or abolition thereof by reason of
economy or redundancy of functions." It alters the existing structure of government
offices or units therein, including the lines of control, authority and responsibility
between them. While the power to abolish an office is generally lodged with the
legislature, the authority of the President to reorganize the executive branch, which
may include such abolition, is permissible under our present laws, viz.:

The general rule has always been that the power to abolish a public office is lodged
with the legislature. This proceeds from the legal precept that the power to create
includes the power to destroy. A public office is either created by the Constitution, by
statute, or by authority of law. Thus, except where the office was created by the
Constitution itself, it may be abolished by the same legislature that brought it into
existence.

The exception, however, is that as far as bureaus, agencies or offices in the


executive department are concerned, the President's power of control may justify him
to inactivate the functions of a particular office, or certain laws may grant him the
broad authority to carry out reorganization measures.

The President's power to reorganize the executive branch is also an exercise of his
residual powers under Section 20, Title I, Book III of E.O. No. 292 which grants the
President broad organization powers to implement reorganization measures. . . .
MEWAP, et al. vs. Alberto Romulo, et al., G.R. No. 160093, July 31, 2007

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Alexis C. Canonizado vs. Alexander P. Aguirre, G.R. No. 133132, January 25, 2000

The presidential power of control over the Executive branch of government extends
to all executive employees from the Department Secretary to the lowliest clerk. This
constitutional power of the President is self-executing and does not require any
implementing law. Congress cannot limit or curtail the President's power of control
over the Executive branch.
Armita B. Rufino, et al. vs. Baltazar N. Endriga, et al., G.R. Nos. 139554 & 139565, July
21, 2006

National Electrification Administration vs. COA, G.R. No. 143481, February 15, 2002

Since the President exercises control over "all the executive departments, bureaus,
and offices," the President necessarily exercises control over the CCP which is an
office in the Executive branch. In mandating that the President "shall have control of
all executive . . . offices," Section 17, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution does not
exempt any executive office — one performing executive functions outside of the
independent constitutional bodies — from the President's power of control. There is
no dispute that the CCP performs executive, and not legislative, judicial, or
quasi-judicial functions.
Armita B. Rufino, et al. vs. Baltazar N. Endriga, et al., G.R. Nos. 139554 & 139565, July
21, 2006

Art. VII, Sec. 18

It is clearly to the President that the Constitution entrusts the determination of the
need for calling out the armed forces to prevent and suppress lawless violence. Unless
it is shown that such determination was attended by grave abuse of discretion, the
Court will accord respect to the President's judgment.
Datu Zaldy Uy Ampatuan, et al. vs. Ronaldo Puno, et al., G.R. No. 190259, June 7,
2011

The President, as Commander-in-Chief has a vast intelligence network to gather


information, some of which may be classified as highly confidential or affecting the
security of the state. In the exercise of the power to call, on-the-spot decisions may be
imperatively necessary in emergency situations to avert great loss of human lives and
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mass destruction of property. Indeed, the decision to call out the military to prevent or
suppress lawless violence must be done swiftly and decisively if it were to have any
effect at all. . .
Datu Zaldy Uy Ampatuan, et al. vs. Ronaldo Puno, et al., G.R. No. 190259, June 7,
2011, citing Integrated Bar of the Philippines v. Hon. Zamora, 392 Phil. 618, 635 (2000)

Art. VII, Sec. 21

Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., et al. vs. Office of the Executive Secretary, et al., G.R. No.
158088, July 6, 2005

Art. VIII, Sec. 1

Like almost all powers conferred by the Constitution, the power of judicial review
is subject to limitations, to wit: (1) there must be an actual case or controversy calling
for the exercise of judicial power; (2) the person challenging the act must have the
standing to question the validity of the subject act or issuance; otherwise stated, he
must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or
will sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement; (3) the question of
constitutionality must be raised at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the issue of
constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case.
Lawyers against Monopoly and Poverty vs. Secretary of Budget and Management, et
al., G.R. No. 164987, April 24, 2012

[T]he exercise by this Court of judicial power is limited to the determination and
resolution of actual cases and controversies. The Court, in this case, finds that an
actual case or controversy exists between the petitioners and the COMELEC, the body
charged with the enforcement and administration of all election laws. Petitioners have
alleged in a precise manner that they would engage in the very acts that would trigger
the enforcement of the provision — they would file their CoCs and run in the 2010
elections. Given that the assailed provision provides for ipso facto resignation upon
the filing of the CoC, it cannot be said that it presents only a speculative or

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hypothetical obstacle to petitioners' candidacy.
Victorino B. Aldaba, et al. vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 188078, March 15, 2010

Eleazar P. Quinto, et al. vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 189698, December 1, 2009

There is no question that a litigation should be disallowed immediately if it


involves a person without any interest at stake, for it would be futile and meaningless
to still proceed and render a judgment where there is no actual controversy to be
thereby determined. Courts of law in our judicial system are not allowed to delve on
academic issues or to render advisory opinions. They only resolve actual
controversies, for that is what they are authorized to do by the Fundamental Law
itself, which forthrightly ordains that the judicial power is wielded only to settle actual
controversies involving rights that are legally demandable and enforceable.
Stronghold Insurance Co., Inc. vs. Tomas Cuenca, et al., G.R. No. 173297, March 6,
2013

An aspect of the "case-or-controversy" requirement is the requisite of "ripeness." In


the United States, courts are centrally concerned with whether a case involves
uncertain contingent future events that may not occur as anticipated, or indeed may
not occur at all. Another concern is the evaluation of the twofold aspect of ripeness:
first, the fitness of the issues for judicial decision; and second, the hardship to the
parties entailed by withholding court consideration. In our jurisdiction, the issue of
ripeness is generally treated in terms of actual injury to the plaintiff. Hence, a question
is ripe for adjudication when the act being challenged has had a direct adverse effect
on the individual challenging it.
Lawyers against Monopoly and Poverty vs. Secretary of Budget and Management, et
al., G.R. No. 164987, April 24, 2012

A first step in considering whether a criminal complaint (and its attendant


compulsory processes) is within the authority of the Ombudsman to entertain (and to
issue), is to consider the nature of the powers of the Supreme Court. This Court, by
constitutional design, is supreme in its task of adjudication; judicial power is vested
solely in the Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be established by law.
Judicial power includes the duty of the courts, not only to settle actual controversies,
but to determine whether grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction had been committed in any branch or instrumentality of government. As a
rule, all decisions and determinations in the exercise of judicial power ultimately go to
and stop at the Supreme Court whose judgment is final. This constitutional scheme
cannot be thwarted or subverted through a criminal complaint that, under the guise of
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imputing a misdeed on the Court and its Members, seeks to revive and re-litigate
matters that have long been laid to rest by the Court. Effectively, such criminal
complaint is a collateral attack on a judgment of this Court that, by constitutional
mandate, is final and already beyond question.
Re: Subpoena Duces Tecum of Acting Director Aleu A. Amante, PIAB-C, Office of the
Ombudsman, A.M. No. 10-1-13-SC, March 2, 2010

The powers of government are generally divided into three branches: the
Legislative, the Executive and the Judiciary. Each branch is supreme within its own
sphere being independent from one another and it is this supremacy which enables the
courts to determine whether a law is constitutional or unconstitutional. The Judiciary
is the final arbiter on the question of whether or not a branch of government or 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.
Lawyers against Monopoly and Poverty vs. Secretary of Budget and Management, et
al., G.R. No. 164987, April 24, 2012

In the same manner, Section 5 (1), Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution grants
power to the Supreme Court, in the exercise of its original jurisdiction, to issue writs
of certiorari, prohibition and mandamus. With respect to the Court of Appeals,
Section 9 (1) of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 (BP 129) gives the appellate court, also in
the exercise of its original jurisdiction, the power to issue, among others, a writ of
certiorari, whether or not in aid of its appellate jurisdiction. As to Regional Trial
Courts, the power to issue a writ of certiorari, in the exercise of their original
jurisdiction, is provided under Section 21 of BP 129.

The foregoing notwithstanding, while there is no express grant of such power, with
respect to the CTA, Section 1, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution provides,
nonetheless, that judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such
lower courts as may be established by law and that judicial power includes the duty of
the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally
demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part
of any branch or instrumentality of the Government.

On the strength of the above constitutional provisions, it can be fairly interpreted


that the power of the CTA includes that of determining whether or not there has been
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grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of the
RTC in issuing an interlocutory order in cases falling within the exclusive appellate
jurisdiction of the tax court. It, thus, follows that the CTA, by constitutional mandate,
is vested with jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari in these cases.
City of Manila v. Grecia-Cuerdo, G.R. No. 175723, February 4, 2014

In this connection, it bears adding that while the scope of judicial power of review
may be limited, the Constitution makes no distinction as to the kind of legislation that
may be subject to judicial scrutiny, be it in the form of social legislation or otherwise.
The reason is simple and goes back to the earlier point. The Court may pass upon the
constitutionality of acts of the legislative and the executive branches, since its duty is
not to review their collective wisdom but, rather, to make sure that they have acted in
consonance with their respective authorities and rights as mandated of them by the
Constitution. If after said review, the Court finds no constitutional violations of any
sort, then, it has no more authority of proscribing the actions under review. 90 This is
in line with Article VIII, Section 1 . . .
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc., April 8, 2014

An actual case or controversy means an existing case or controversy that is


appropriate or ripe for determination, not conjectural or anticipatory, lest the decision
of the court would amount to an advisory opinion. The rule is that courts do not sit to
adjudicate mere academic questions to satisfy scholarly interest, however
intellectually challenging. The controversy must be justiciable — definite and
concrete, touching on the legal relations of parties having adverse legal interests. In
other words, the pleadings must show an active antagonistic assertion of a legal right,
on the one hand, and a denial thereof, on the other; that is, it must concern a real,
tangible and not merely a theoretical question or issue. There ought to be an actual
and substantial controversy admitting of specific relief through a decree conclusive in
nature, as distinguished from an opinion advising what the law would be upon a
hypothetical state of facts.
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc., April 8, 2014

Corollary to the requirement of an actual case or controversy is the requirement of


ripeness. A question is ripe for adjudication when the act being challenged has had a
direct adverse effect an the individual challenging it. For a case to be considered ripe
for adjudication, it is a prerequisite that something has then been accomplished or
performed by either branch before a court may come into the picture, and the
petitioner must allege the existence of an immediate or threatened injury to himself as
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a result of the challenged action. He must show that he has sustained or is
immediately in danger of sustaining some direct injury as a result of the act
complained of.
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc., April 8, 2014

In this jurisdiction, the application of doctrines originating from the U.S. has been
generally maintained, albeit with some modifications. While this Court has withheld
the application of facial challenges to strictly penal statutes, it has expanded its scope
to cover statutes not only regulating free speech, but also those involving religious
freedom, and other fundamental rights. The underlying reason for this modification
is simple. For unlike its counterpart in the U.S., this Court, under its expanded
jurisdiction, is mandated by the Fundamental Law not only to settle actual
controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, but also
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. Verily, the framers of Our Constitution
envisioned a proactive Judiciary, ever vigilant with its duty to maintain the supremacy
of the Constitution.
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc., April 8, 2014

Art. VIII, Sec. 4 (1)

[T]he usage in Section 4 (1), Article VIII of the word shall — an imperative,
operating to impose a duty that may be enforced — should not be disregarded.
Thereby, Sections 4 (1) imposes on the President the imperative duty to make an
appointment of a Member of the Supreme Court within 90 days from the occurrence
of the vacancy. The failure by the President to do so will be a clear disobedience to
the Constitution.

The 90-day limitation fixed in Section 4 (1), Article VIII for the President to fill the
vacancy in the Supreme Court was undoubtedly a special provision to establish a
definite mandate for the President as the appointing power, and cannot be defeated by
mere judicial interpretation in Valenzuela to the effect that Section 15, Article VII
prevailed because it was "couched in stronger negative language." Such interpretation
even turned out to be conjectural, in light of the records of the Constitutional
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Commission's deliberations on Section 4 (1), Article VIII.
Arturo M. de Castro vs. JBC, et al., G.R. Nos. 191002, 191032, 191057, A.M. No.
10-2-5-SC, G.R. Nos. 191149, 191342 & 191420, March 17, 2010

Art. VIII, Sec. 4 (3)

Re: Subpoena Duces Tecum of Acting Director Aleu A. Amante, PIAB-C, Office of the
Ombudsman, A.M. No. 10-1-13-SC, March 2, 2010

Phil. Health Care Providers, Inc. vs. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, G.R. No.
167330, September 18, 2009

[S]ection 4, sub-paragraph (3), Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution explicitly


provides that no doctrine or principle of law laid down by the Supreme Court en banc
or its Divisions may be modified or reversed except by the Court sitting en banc.
Reasons of public policy, judicial orderliness, economy, judicial time, and interests of
litigants, as well as the peace and order of society, all require that stability be accorded
the solemn and final judgments of the courts or tribunals of competent jurisdiction.
There can be no question that such reasons apply with greater force to final judgments
of the highest Court of the land.
City Government of Tagaytay vs. Eleuterio F. Guerrero, et al., G.R. Nos. 140743 &
140745; & 141451-52, September 17, 2009

Art. VIII, Sec. 5

Powers of the Supreme Court


Republic of the Phil., et al. vs. Henrick F. Gingoyon, et al., G.R. No. 166429 December
19, 2005

Section 5 (5) of the 1987 Constitution empowers the Supreme Court to promulgate
rules concerning pleading, practice and procedure in all courts. The limitations to this
rule-making power are the following: the rules must (a) provide a simplified and

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inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases; (b) be uniform for all
courts of the same grade and (c) not diminish, increase or modify substantive rights.
As long as these limits are met, the argument used by petitioners that the Supreme
Court, through A.O. Nos. 113-95 and 104-96, transgressed on Congress' sole power to
legislate, cannot be sustained.
Andrea Tan, et al. vs. Bausch & Lomb, Inc., G.R. No. 148420, December 15, 2005

Art. VIII, Sec. 5 (1)

But this Court's jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo
warranto, and habeas corpus, while concurrent with that of the regional trial courts
and the Court of Appeals, does not give litigants unrestrained freedom of choice of
forum from which to seek such relief. It has long been established that this Court will
not entertain direct resort to it unless the redress desired cannot be obtained in the
appropriate courts, or where exceptional and compelling circumstances justify
availment of a remedy within and call for the exercise of our primary jurisdiction.
Romeo P. Gerochi, et al. vs. DOE, et al., G.R. No. 159796, July 17, 2007

Art. VIII, Sec. 5 (2) (a)

While it is true that the issue of constitutionality must be raised at the first
opportunity, this Court, in the exercise of sound discretion, can take cognizance of the
constitutional issues raised by the parties in accordance with Section 5 (2) (a), Article
VIII of the 1987 Constitution.
Sergio I. Carbonilla, et al. vs. Board of Airlines Representatives, G.R. Nos. 193247 &
194276, September 14, 2011

When an administrative regulation is attacked for being unconstitutional or invalid,


a party may raise its unconstitutionality or invalidity on every occasion that the
regulation is being enforced. For the Court to exercise its power of judicial review, the
party assailing the regulation must show that the question of constitutionality has been
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raised at the earliest opportunity. This requisite should not be taken to mean that the
question of constitutionality must be raised immediately after the execution of the
state action complained of. That the question of constitutionality has not been raised
before is not a valid reason for refusing to allow it to be raised later. A contrary rule
would mean that a law, otherwise unconstitutional, would lapse into constitutionality
by the mere failure of the proper party to promptly file a case to challenge the same.
Sergio I. Carbonilla, et al. vs. Board of Airlines Representatives, G.R. Nos. 193247 &
194276, September 14, 2011 citing Moldex Realty, Inc. v. Housing and Land Use
Regulatory Board, G.R. No. 149719, 21 June 2007

In determining whether or not a statute is unconstitutional, the Court does not lose
sight of the presumption of validity accorded to statutory acts of Congress. . . .

Every statute is presumed valid. The presumption is that the legislature


intended to enact a valid, sensible and just law and one which operates no
further than may be necessary to effectuate the specific purpose of the law.
Every presumption should be indulged in favor of the constitutionality and the
burden of proof is on the party alleging that there is a clear and unequivocal
breach of the Constitution.

Lawyers against Monopoly and Poverty vs. Secretary of Budget and Management, et
al., G.R. No. 164987, April 24, 2012 citing Fariñas vs. The Executive Secretary, 463
Phil. 179, 197 (2003)

To justify the nullification of the law or its implementation, there must be a clear
and unequivocal, not a doubtful, breach of the Constitution. In case of doubt in the
sufficiency of proof establishing unconstitutionality, the Court must sustain legislation
because "to invalidate [a law] based on . . . baseless supposition is an affront to the
wisdom not only of the legislature that passed it but also of the executive which
approved it." This presumption of constitutionality can be overcome only by the
clearest showing that there was indeed an infraction of the Constitution, and only
when such a conclusion is reached by the required majority may the Court pronounce,
in the discharge of the duty it cannot escape, that the challenged act must be struck
down.
Lawyers against Monopoly and Poverty vs. Secretary of Budget and Management, et
al., G.R. No. 164987, April 24, 2012

While the Court is not unaware of the yoke caused by graft and corruption, the
evils propagated by a piece of valid legislation cannot be used as a tool to overstep
constitutional limits and arbitrarily annul acts of Congress. Again, "all presumptions
are indulged in favor of constitutionality; one who attacks a statute, alleging
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unconstitutionality must prove its invalidity beyond a reasonable doubt; that a law
may work hardship does not render it unconstitutional; that if any reasonable basis
may be conceived which supports the statute, it will be upheld, and the challenger
must negate all possible bases; that the courts are not concerned with the wisdom,
justice, policy, or expediency of a statute; and that a liberal interpretation of the
constitution in favor of the constitutionality of legislation should be adopted."
Lawyers against Monopoly and Poverty vs. Secretary of Budget and Management, et
al., G.R. No. 164987, April 24, 2012

Art. VIII, Sec. 5 (5)

Even without the benefit of directly applicable substantive laws on extra-judicial


killings and enforced disappearances, however, the Supreme Court is not powerless to
act under its own constitutional mandate to promulgate "rules concerning the
protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice and procedure
in all courts", since extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, by their nature
and purpose, constitute State or private party violation of the constitutional rights of
individuals to life, liberty and security. Although the Court's power is strictly
procedural and as such does not diminish, increase or modify substantive rights, the
legal protection that the Court can provide can be very meaningful through the
procedures it sets in addressing extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.
The Court, through its procedural rules, can set the procedural standards and thereby
directly compel the public authorities to act on actual or threatened violations of
constitutional rights. To state the obvious, judicial intervention can make a difference
— even if only procedurally — in a situation when the very same investigating public
authorities may have had a hand in the threatened or actual violations of constitutional
rights.
Avelino I. Razon, Jr., et al. vs. Mary Jean B. Tagitis, G.R. No. 182498, December 3,
2009

The absence of a specific penal law, however, is not a stumbling block for action
from this Court, as heretofore mentioned; underlying every enforced disappearance is
a violation of the constitutional rights to life, liberty and security that the Supreme
Court is mandated by the Constitution to protect through its rule-making powers.

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Avelino I. Razon, Jr., et al. vs. Mary Jean B. Tagitis, G.R. No. 182498, December 3,
2009

Until the 1987 Constitution took effect, our two previous constitutions textualized a
power sharing scheme between the legislature and this Court in the enactment of
judicial rules. Thus, both the 1935 and the 1973 Constitutions vested on the Supreme
Court the "power to promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure in
all courts, and the admission to the practice of law." However, these constitutions also
granted to the legislature the concurrent power to "repeal, alter or supplement" such
rules.

The 1987 Constitution textually altered the power-sharing scheme under the
previous charters by deleting in Section 5 (5) of Article VIII Congress' subsidiary and
corrective power. This glaring and fundamental omission led the Court to observe in
Echegaray v. Secretary of Justice that this Court's power to promulgate judicial rules
"is no longer shared by this Court with Congress"…
Baguio Market Vendors Multi-Purpose Cooperative vs. Iluminada Cabato-Cortes, G.R.
No. 165922, February 26, 2010

The power to promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice and procedure in all
courts is a traditional power of this Court. It necessarily includes the power to address
all questions arising from or connected to the implementation of the said rules.

The Rules of Court was promulgated in the exercise of the Court's rule-making
power. It is essentially procedural in nature as it does not create, diminish, increase or
modify substantive rights. Corollarily, Rule 141 is basically procedural. It does not
create or take away a right but simply operates as a means to implement an existing
right. In particular, it functions to regulate the procedure of exercising a right of action
and enforcing a cause of action. In particular, it pertains to the procedural requirement
of paying the prescribed legal fees in the filing of a pleading or any application that
initiates an action or proceeding.

Clearly, therefore, the payment of legal fees under Rule 141 of the Rules of Court
is an integral part of the rules promulgated by this Court pursuant to its rule-making
power under Section 5 (5), Article VIII of the Constitution. In particular, it is part of
the rules concerning pleading, practice and procedure in courts. Indeed, payment of
legal (or docket) fees is a jurisdictional requirement. It is not simply the filing of the
complaint or appropriate initiatory pleading but the payment of the prescribed docket
fee that vests a trial court with jurisdiction over the subject-matter or nature of the

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action. Appellate docket and other lawful fees are required to be paid within the same
period for taking an appeal. Payment of docket fees in full within the prescribed
period is mandatory for the perfection of an appeal. Without such payment, the
appellate court does not acquire jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action and
the decision sought to be appealed from becomes final and executory.
Re: Petition for Recognition of the Exemption of the GSIS from Payment of Legal Fees,
A.M. No. 08-2-01-0, February 11, 2010

Parenthetically, Article VIII Section 5 (5) of the Constitution recognizes the


disciplinary authority of the Court over the members of the Bar to be merely
incidental to the Court's exclusive power to admit applicants to the practice of law.
Reinforcing the implementation of this constitutional authority is Section 27, Rule 138
of the Rules of Court which expressly states that a member of the bar may be
disbarred or suspended from his office as attorney by the Supreme Court for, among
others, any deceit, grossly immoral conduct, or violation of the oath that he is required
to take before admission to the practice of law.
Maelotisea S. Garrido vs. Angel E. Garrido, et al., A.C. No. 6593, February 4, 2010

Art. VIII, Sec. 6

Section 6, Article VIII of the 1987 Philippine Constitution (Constitution)


exclusively vests in the Court administrative supervision over all courts and court
personnel. As such, it oversees the court personnel's compliance with all laws and
takes the proper administrative action against them for any violation thereof. As an
adjunct thereto, it keeps in its custody records pertaining to the administrative cases of
retiring court personnel.

In view of the foregoing, the Court rules that the subject provision — which
requires retiring government employees to secure a prior clearance of
pendency/non-pendency of administrative case/s from, among others, the CSC —
should not be made to apply to employees of the Judiciary. To deem it otherwise
would disregard the Court's constitutionally-enshrined power of administrative
supervision over its personnel. Besides, retiring court personnel are already required
to secure a prior clearance of the pendency/non-pendency of administrative case/s
from the Court which makes the CSC clearance a superfluous and non-expeditious
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requirement contrary to the declared state policy of RA 10154.

To further clarify the matter, the same principles dictate that a prior clearance of
pendency/non-pendency of administrative case/s from the Office of the President
(albeit some court personnel are presidential appointees, e.g., Supreme Court Justices)
or the Office of the Ombudsman should not equally apply to retiring court personnel.
Verily, the administrative supervision of court personnel and all affairs related thereto
fall within the exclusive province of the Judiciary.
Re: Request for Guidance on Section 7, Rule III of R.A. No. 10154, A.M. No.
13-09-08-SC, October 1, 2013

Art. VIII, Sec. 9

The provision clearly refers to an appointee coming into the Supreme Court from
the outside, that is, a non-member of the Court aspiring to become one. It speaks of
candidates for the Supreme Court, not of those who are already members or sitting
justices of the Court, all of whom have previously been vetted by the JBC.
Arturo M. De Castro vs. JBC, et al., G.R. Nos. 191002, 191032, 191057, A.M. No.
10-2-5-SC, G.R. Nos. 191149, 191342 & 191420, March 17, 2010

Art. VIII, Sec. 11

Section 11, Article VIII of the Constitution states that judges shall hold office
during good behavior until they reach the age of 70 years or become incapacitated to
discharge the duties of their office. Thus, Judge Soriano was automatically retired
from service effective 25 July 2006, and he could no longer exercise on that day the
functions and duties of his office, including the authority to decide and promulgate
cases.
OCA v. Soriano, A.M. No. MTJ-07-1683, September 11, 2013

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Art. VIII, Sec. 13

Section 13, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution imposes an identical requirement
on the members of this Court and all lower collegiate courts. By intent of the
Constitution's framers, as reflected in the language of the text, this requirement is
mandatory. Owing to the exact identity of the two provisions' phrasing of the
requirement in question, Section 1, Rule 18 (which, in all probability, was lifted from
Section 13, Article VIII), must be of mandatory nature itself.
Artemio Pedragoza vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 169885, July 25, 2006

Art. VIII, Sec. 14

Jimmy Areno, Jr. vs. Skycable PCC-Baguio, G.R. No. 180302, February 5, 2010

The purpose of Article VIII, Section 14 of the Constitution is to inform the person
reading the decision, especially the parties, of how it was reached by the court after a
consideration of the pertinent facts and an examination of the applicable laws. The
losing party is entitled to know why he lost, so he may appeal to a higher court, if
permitted, if he believes that the decision should be reversed. A decision that does not
clearly and distinctly state the facts and the law on which it is based leaves the parties
in the dark as to how it was reached and is especially prejudicial to the losing party,
who is unable to pinpoint the possible errors of the court for review by a higher
tribunal. Thus, a decision is adequate if a party desiring to appeal therefrom can assign
errors to it.
Roberto Albaña, et al. vs. Pio Jude S. Belo, et al., G.R. No. 158734, October 2, 2009

People of the Phil. vs. Sandiganbayan (4th Div.), et al., G.R. Nos. 153952-71, August
23, 2010

The constitutional requirement under the first paragraph of Section 14, Article VIII
of the Constitution that the facts and the law on which the judgment is based must be
expressed clearly and distinctly applies only to decisions, not to minute resolutions. A
minute resolution is signed only by the clerk of court by authority of the justices,
unlike a decision. It does not require the certification of the Chief Justice. Moreover,

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unlike decisions, minute resolutions are not published in the Philippine Reports.
Phil. Health Care Providers, Inc. vs. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, G.R. No.
167330, September 18, 2009

The constitutional mandate that, "no decision shall be rendered by any court
without expressing therein clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is
based," does not preclude the validity of "memorandum decisions", which adopt by
reference the findings of fact and conclusions of law contained in the decisions of
inferior tribunals. In fact, in Yao v. Court of Appeals, this Court has sanctioned the use
of "memorandum decisions", a specie of succinctly written decisions by appellate
courts in accordance with the provisions of Section 40, B.P. Blg. 129, as amended, on
the grounds of expediency, practicality, convenience and docket status of our courts.
This Court likewise declared that "memorandum decisions" comply with the
constitutional mandate.
Solid Homes, Inc. vs. Evelina Laserna, et al., G.R. No. 166051, April 8, 2008

Section 14, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution need not apply to decisions
rendered in administrative proceedings. Said section applies only to decisions
rendered in judicial proceedings. In fact, Article VIII is titled "Judiciary", and all of its
provisions have particular concern only with respect to the judicial branch of
government. Certainly, it would be error to hold or even imply that decisions of
executive departments or administrative agencies are obliged to meet the requirements
under Section 14, Article VIII.
Solid Homes, Inc. vs. Evelina Laserna, et al., G.R. No. 166051, April 8, 2008

When a court bases its decision on two or more grounds, each is as authoritative as
the other and neither is obiter dictum.
Heherson Alvarez vs. PICOP Resources, G.R. Nos. 162243, 164516 & 171875,
December 3, 2009

Art. VIII, Sec. 15

Section 15, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution mandates lower courts to decide
or resolve cases or matters for decision or final resolution within three (3) months

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from date of submission. Failure to decide cases within the 90-day reglementary
period may warrant imposition of administrative sanctions on the erring judge.
Re: Cases Submitted for Decision Before Hon. Meliton G. Emuslan, A.M. No.
RTJ-10-2226, March 22, 2010

Heavy workload per se is not an excuse in not observing the reglementary period of
deciding cases. An appointment to the Judiciary is an honor burdened with a heavy
responsibility. When respondent accepted the appointment, he also accepted the heavy
workload that comes with it.
Re: Request of Judge Salvador M. Ibarreta, Jr., A.M. No. 07-1-05-RTC, August 23,
2010

Undue delay in the disposition of cases and motions erodes the faith and
confidence of the people in the judiciary and unnecessarily blemishes its stature. No
less than the Constitution mandates that lower courts must dispose of their cases
promptly and decide them within three months from the filing of the last pleading,
brief or memorandum required by the Rules of Court or by the court concerned. In
addition, a judge's delay in resolving, within the prescribed period, pending motions
and incidents constitutes a violation of Rule 3.05 of the Code of Judicial Conduct
requiring judges to dispose of court business promptly. There should be no more
doubt that undue inaction on judicial concerns is not just undesirable but more so
detestable, especially now when our all-out effort is directed towards minimizing, if
not totally eradicating, the perennial problem of congestion and delay long plaguing
our courts. The requirement that cases be decided within the reglementary period is
designed to prevent delay in the administration of justice, for obviously, justice
delayed is justice denied. An unwarranted slow down in the disposition of cases
erodes the faith and confidence of our people in the judiciary, lowers its standards and
brings it into disrepute.
Lucia O. Magtibay vs. Cader P. Indar, A.M. No. RTJ-11-2271, September 24, 2012

Art. VIII, Sec. 15 (1)

Article VIII, Section 15 (1) of the 1987 Constitution mandates lower court judges
to decide a case within the reglementary period of 90 days. The Code of Judicial
Conduct under Rule 3.05 of Canon 3 likewise enunciates that judges should
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administer justice without delay and directs every judge to dispose of the court's
business promptly within the period prescribed by law. Rules prescribing the time
within which certain acts must be done are indispensable to prevent needless delays in
the orderly and speedy disposition of cases. Thus, the 90-day period is mandatory.
Re: Cases Submitted for Decision Before Hon. Teresito A. Andoy, A.M. No.
09-9-163-MTC, May 6, 2010

Request of Judge Niño A. Batingana for Extension of Time to Decide Civil Cases, A.M.
No. 05-8-463-RTC, February 17, 2010

Request of Judge Niño A. Batingana for Extension of Time to Decide Criminal Case,
A.M. No. 08-2-107-RTC, February 1, 2010

Ramon C. Gonzales vs. Amelita G. Tolentino, A.M. No. CA-10-49-J, January 28, 2010

Under the 1987 Constitution, trial judges are mandated to decide and resolve cases
within 90 days from submission for decision or resolution. Corollary to this
constitutional mandate, Section 5, Canon 6 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct for
the Philippine Judiciary requires judges to perform all judicial duties efficiently,
fairly, and with reasonable promptness. The mandate to promptly dispose of cases or
matters also applies to motions or interlocutory matters or incidents pending before
the magistrate. Unreasonable delay of a judge in resolving a pending incident is a
violation of the norms of judicial conduct and constitutes gross inefficiency that
warrants the imposition of an administrative sanction against the defaulting
magistrate.
OCA vs. Fernando G. Fuentes III, A.M. Nos. RTJ-13-2342 & RTJ-12-2318, March 6,
2013

The Court has consistently impressed upon judges the need to decide cases
promptly and expeditiously under the time-honored precept that justice delayed is
justice denied. Every judge should decide cases with dispatch and should be careful,
punctual, and observant in the performance of his functions for delay in the
disposition of cases erodes the faith and confidence of our people in the judiciary,
lowers its standards and brings it into disrepute. Failure to decide a case within the
reglementary period is not excusable and constitutes gross inefficiency warranting the
imposition of administrative sanctions on the defaulting judge.
Office of the Court Administrator vs. Rosabella M. Tormis, et al., A.M. No.
MTJ-12-1817, March 12, 2013

The honor and integrity of the judicial system is measured not only by the fairness

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and correctness of decisions rendered, but also by the efficiency with which disputes
are resolved. The delay in deciding a case within the reglementary period constitutes a
violation of Section 5, Canon 6 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct which mandates
judges to perform all judicial duties, including the delivery of reserved decisions,
efficiently, fairly and with promptness. Judge Tormis is thus liable for gross
inefficiency for his failure to decide cases within the reglementary period.
Office of the Court Administrator vs. Rosabella M. Tormis, et al., A.M. No.
MTJ-12-1817, March 12, 2013

Art. VIII, Sec. 15 (2)

To fix the time when a case pending before a court is to be considered as submitted
for decision, the Court has issued Administrative Circular No. 28 dated July 3, 1989,
whose third paragraph provides:

A case is considered submitted for decision upon the admission of the


evidence of the parties at the termination of the trial. The ninety (90)-day
period for deciding the case shall commence to run from submission of the
case for decision without memoranda; in case the court requires or allows its
filing, the case shall be considered submitted for decision upon the filing of
the last memorandum or upon the expiration of the period to do so, whichever
is earlier. Lack of transcript of stenographic notes shall not be a valid reason
to interrupt or suspend the period for deciding the case unless the case was
previously heard by another judge not the deciding judge in which case the
latter shall have the full period of ninety (90) days for the completion of the
transcripts within which to decide the same.

The time when a case or other matter is deemed submitted for decision or
resolution by a judge is, therefore, settled and well defined. There is no longer any
excuse for not complying with the canons mandating efficiency and promptness in the
resolution of cases and other matters pending in the courts. Hence, all judges should
be mindful of the duty to decide promptly, knowing that the public's faith and
confidence in the Judiciary are no less at stake if they should ignore such duty. They
must always be aware that upon each time a delay occurs in the disposition of cases,
their stature as judicial officers and the respect for their position diminish. The
reputation of the entire Judiciary, of which they are among the pillars, is also thereby

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undeservedly tarnished.
Arturo Juanito T. Maturan vs. Lizabeth Gutierrez-Torres, A.M. OCA IPI No.
04-1606-MTJ, September 19, 2012

Art. IX-A, Sec. 1

Section 1, Article IX-A of the 1987 Constitution expressly describes all the
Constitutional Commissions as independent. Although essentially executive in nature,
they are not under the control of the President of the Philippines in the discharge of
their respective functions. The Constitution envisions a truly independent Comelec
committed to ensure free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections and to serve
as the guardian of the people's sacred right of suffrage — the citizenry's vital weapon
in effecting a peaceful change of government and in achieving and promoting political
stability.
Jose Miguel T. Arroyo vs. DOJ, et al., G.R. Nos. 199082, 199085 & 199118, September
18, 2012

Art. IX, Sec. 2

Alvin B. Garcia vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 170256, January 25, 2010

Art. IX-A, Sec. 6

The powers and functions of the COMELEC, conferred upon it by the 1987
Constitution and the Omnibus Election Code, may be classified into administrative,
quasi-legislative, and quasi-judicial. The quasi-judicial power of the COMELEC
embraces the power to resolve controversies arising from the enforcement of election
laws, and to be the sole judge of all pre-proclamation controversies; and of all contests
relating to the elections, returns, and qualifications. Its quasi-legislative power refers
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to the issuance of rules and regulations to implement the election laws and to exercise
such legislative functions as may expressly be delegated to it by Congress. Its
administrative function refers to the enforcement and administration of election laws.
In the exercise of such power, the Constitution (Section 6, Article IX-A) and the
Omnibus Election Code (Section 52 [c]) authorize the COMELEC to issue rules and
regulations to implement the provisions of the 1987 Constitution and the Omnibus
Election Code.
Lintang Bedol vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 179830, December 3, 2009

[A]s the constitutional body granted with the broad power of enforcing and
administering all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election, plebiscite,
initiative, referendum and recall, and tasked to ensure free, orderly, honest, peaceful,
and credible elections, the Comelec has the authority to determine how best to
perform such constitutional mandate. Pursuant to this authority, the Comelec issues
various resolutions prior to every local or national elections setting forth the
guidelines to be observed in the conduct of the elections. This shows that every
election is distinct and requires different guidelines in order to ensure that the rules
are updated to respond to existing circumstances.
Jose Miguel T. Arroyo vs. DOJ, et al., G.R. Nos. 199082, 199085 & 199118, September
18, 2012

Art. IX-A, Sec. 7

The Court rules that a resolution or decision of the COMELEC is considered


complete and validly rendered or issued when there is concurrence by the required
majority of the Commissioners.
Abdusakur M. Tan, et al. vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. Nos. 166143-47 & 166891,
November 20, 2006

Art. IX-B, Sec. 2

National Electrification Administration vs. Civil Service Commission, et al., G.R. No.
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149497, January 25, 2010

Art. IX-B, Sec. 2 (1)

Civil Service Commission vs. Fatima A. Macud, G.R. No. 177531, September 10, 2009

To comply with Section 1 (c), Rule III of CSC Memorandum Circular No. 40, s.
1998, TIDCORP must conform with the circulars on position classification issued by
the DBM. Section 7 of its charter, however, expressly exempts TIDCORP from
existing laws on position classification, among others. . . . This reference of RA 6758
in Section 7 means that TIDCORP cannot simply disregard RA 6758 but must take its
principles into account in providing for its own position classifications. This
requirement, to be sure, does not run counter to Section 2(1), Article IX-B of the
Constitution which provides that "the civil service embraces all branches,
subdivisions, instrumentalities, and agencies of the Government, including
government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters." The CSC shall
still enforce position classifications at TIDCORP, but must do this under the terms
that TIDCORP has itself established, based on the principles of RA 6758.
TIDCORP vs. CSC, G.R. No. 182249, March 5, 2013

The phrase "to endeavor" means to "to devote serious and sustained effort" and "to
make an effort to do." It is synonymous with the words to strive, to struggle and to
seek. The use of "to endeavor" in the context of Section 7 of RA 8494 means that
despite TIDCORP's exemption from laws involving compensation, position
classification and qualification standards, it should still strive to conform as closely as
possible with the principles and modes provided in RA 6758. The phrase "as closely
as possible," which qualifies TIDCORP's duty "to endeavor to conform," recognizes
that the law allows TIDCORP to deviate from RA 6758, but it should still try to hew
closely with its principles and modes. Had the intent of Congress been to require
TIDCORP to fully, exactly and strictly comply with RA 6758, it would have so stated
in unequivocal terms. Instead, the mandate it gave TIDCORP was to endeavor to
conform to the principles and modes of RA 6758, and not to the entirety of this law.
These inter-relationships render it clear, as a plain reading of Section 7 of RA 8494
itself would confirm, that TIDCORP is exempt from existing laws on compensation,
position classification and qualification standards, including compliance with Section

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1 (c), Rule III of CSC Memorandum Circular No. 40, s. 1998.
TIDCORP vs. CSC, G.R. No. 182249, March 5, 2013

Art. IX-B, Sec. 2 (2)

Section 2 (2), Article IX-B of the Constitution provides that appointment to


positions in the civil service, which are policy-determining, highly technical, or
primarily confidential (classified as third level positions), are exempt from the
requirement that they be made based on merit or fitness to be determined, as far as
practicable, by competitive examinations. These kinds of positions are
non-competitive. Merit and fitness for the same are determined by other than
competitive examinations.
Re: Eden T. Candelaria, A.M. No. 07-6-6-SC, February 26, 2010

A position that is primarily confidential in nature is defined as follows:

. . . . These positions [policy-determining, primarily confidential and


highly technical positions], involve the highest degree of confidence, or are
closely bound up with and dependent on other positions to which they are
subordinate, or are temporary in nature. It may truly be said that the good
of the service itself demands that appointments coming under this category be
terminable at the will of the officer that makes them.

xxx xxx xxx

Every appointment implies confidence, but much more than ordinary


confidence is reposed in the occupant of a position that is primarily
confidential. The latter phrase denotes not only confidence in the aptitude
of the appointee for the duties of the office but primarily close intimacy
which insures freedom of [discussion, delegation and reporting] without
embarrassment or freedom from misgivings of betrayals of personal trust
or confidential matters of state. . . .

CSC vs. Pililla Water District, G.R. No. 190147, March 5, 2013

A position is considered to be primarily confidential when there is a primarily close


intimacy between the appointing authority and the appointee, which ensures the
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highest degree of trust and unfettered communication and discussion on the most
confidential of matters. Moreover, in classifying a position as primarily confidential,
its functions must not be routinary, ordinary and day to day in character. A position is
not necessarily confidential though the one in office may sometimes hold confidential
matters or documents.
CSC vs. Pililla Water District, G.R. No. 190147, March 5, 2013

We stress that a primarily confidential position is characterized by the close


proximity of the positions of the appointer and appointee as well as the high degree of
trust and confidence inherent in their relationship. The tenure of a confidential
employee is coterminous with that of the appointing authority, or is at the latter's
pleasure. However, the confidential employee may be appointed or remain in the
position even beyond the compulsory retirement age of 65 years.
CSC vs. Pililla Water District, G.R. No. 190147, March 5, 2013

Among those positions judicially determined as primarily confidential positions are


the following: Chief Legal Counsel of the Philippine National Bank; Confidential
Agent of the Office of the Auditor, GSIS; Secretary of the Sangguniang Bayan;
Secretary to the City Mayor; Senior Security and Security Guard in the Office of the
Vice Mayor; Secretary to the Board of a government corporation; City Legal Counsel,
City Legal Officer or City Attorney; Provincial Attorney; Private Secretary; and Board
Secretary II of the Philippine State College of Aeronautics. The Court in these
instances focused on the nature of the functions of the office characterized by such
"close intimacy" between the appointee and appointing power which insures freedom
of intercourse without embarrassment or freedom from misgivings of betrayals of
personal trust or confidential matters of state.
CSC vs. Pililla Water District, G.R. No. 190147, March 5, 2013

Art. IX-B, Sec. 2 (3)

Respondent's first administrative offense should not benefit him. By the express
terms of Section 52, Rule IV of the Uniform Rules, the commission of an
administrative offense classified as a serious offense (like dishonesty) is punishable
by dismissal from the service even for the first time. In other words, the clear

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language of Section 52, Rule IV does not consider a first-time offender as a mitigating
circumstance. Likewise, under statutory construction principles, a special provision
prevails over a general provision. Section 53, Rule IV of the Uniform Rules, a general
provision relating to the appreciation of mitigating, aggravating or alternative
circumstances, must thus yield to the provision of Section 52, Rule IV of the Uniform
Rules which expressly provides for the penalty of dismissal even for the first
commission of the offense.

We reject as mitigating circumstances the respondent's admission of his culpability


and the restitution of the amount. As pointed out by the CSC, the respondent made use
of the complainant's money in 2001 while the restitution was made only in 2003,
during the pendency of the administrative case against him. Under the circumstances,
the restitution was half-hearted and was certainly neither purely voluntary nor made
because of the exercise of good conscience; it was triggered, more than anything else,
by his fear of possible administrative penalties. The admission of guilt and the
restitution effected were clearly mere afterthoughts made two (2) years after the
commission of the offense and after the administrative complaint against him was
filed.
Francisco T. Duque III vs. Florentino Veloso, G.R. No. 196201, June 19, 2012

It is established that no officer or employee in the Civil Service shall be removed or


suspended except for cause provided by law. However, this admits of exceptions for it
is likewise settled that the right to security of tenure is not available to those
employees whose appointments are contractual and coterminous in nature. Since the
position of General Manager of a water district remains a primarily confidential
position whose term still expires upon loss of trust and confidence by the BOD
provided that prior notice and due hearing are observed, it cannot therefore be said
that the phrase "shall not be removed except for cause and after due process"
converted such position into a permanent appointment. Significantly, loss of
confidence may be predicated on other causes for removal provided in the civil
service rules and other existing laws.
CSC vs. Pililla Water District, G.R. No. 190147, March 5, 2013

Art. IX-B, Sec. 2 (4)

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The intent of both Congress and the framers of our Constitution to limit the
participation of civil service officers and employees in partisan political activities is
too plain to be mistaken.

But Section 2 (4), Article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution and the implementing
statutes apply only to civil servants holding apolitical offices. Stated differently, the
constitutional ban does not cover elected officials, notwithstanding the fact that
"[t]he civil service embraces all branches, subdivisions, instrumentalities, and
agencies of the Government, including government-owned or controlled corporations
with original charters." This is because elected public officials, by the very nature of
their office, engage in partisan political activities almost all year round, even outside
of the campaign period. Political partisanship is the inevitable essence of a political
office, elective positions included.

The prohibition notwithstanding, civil service officers and employees are allowed
to vote, as well as express their views on political issues, or mention the names of
certain candidates for public office whom they support.
Eleazar P. Quinto, et al. vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 189698, February 22, 2010

Art. IX-B, Sec. 3

National Electrification Administration vs. Civil Service Commission, et al., G.R. No.
149497, January 25, 2010

Where an administrative case involves the alleged fraudulent procurement of an


eligibility or qualification for employment in the civil service, it is but proper that the
CSC would have jurisdiction over the case for it is in the best position to determine if
there has been a violation of civil service rules and regulations.
Civil Service Commission vs. Fatima A. Macud, G.R. No. 177531, September 10, 2009

The CSC, being the central agency mandated to "prescribe, amend, and enforce
rules and regulations for carrying into effect the provisions of the Civil Service Law
and other pertinent laws," has the power to interpret its own rules and any phrase
contained in them, with its interpretation being accorded great weight and ordinarily
controls the construction of the courts. However, courts will not hesitate to set aside

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such executive interpretation when it is clearly erroneous, or when there is no
ambiguity in the rule, or when the language or words used are clear and plain or
readily understandable to any ordinary reader. This case falls within the exceptions.
Russel Ulysses I. Nieves vs. Jocelyn LB. Blanco, G.R. No. 190422, June 19, 2012

The language of the Revised Rules on Reassignment is plain and unambiguous.


The reassignment of an employee with a station-specific place of work indicated in
their respective appointments is allowed provided that it would not exceed a
maximum period of one year. On the other hand, the reassignment of an employee
whose appointment is not station-specific has no definite period unless otherwise
revoked or recalled by the Head of the Agency, the CSC or a competent court.
Nevertheless, if the employee without a station-specific place of work is reassigned
outside the geographical location of his/her present place of work, then the following
rules apply: first, if the reassignment is with the consent of the employee concerned,
then the period of the same shall have no limit; second, if the reassignment is without
the consent of the employee concerned, then the same should not exceed the
maximum period of one year.

To stress, the Revised Rules on Reassignment has defined, albeit ostensively, what
constitutes a "reassignment outside geographical location". It states that
"[r]eassignment outside geographical location may be from one [r]egional [o]ffice . . .
to another [regional office] or from the [regional office] to the [c]entral [o]ffice . . .
and vice-versa. A perusal of the foregoing would show that the Revised Rules on
Reassignment has clearly confined the coverage of the phrase "reassignment outside
geographical location" to the following: (1) reassignment from one provincial office
to another; (2) reassignment from the regional office to the central office; and (3)
reassignment from the central office to the regional office. . . . It is true that the use of
the word "may" ordinarily operates to confer discretion. However, this term may be
construed, as it is in this case clearly intended to be, in a mandatory and restrictive
sense. The said provision used the word "may" to emphasize that a "reassignment
outside geographical location" is restricted only to either reassignment from one
regional office to another regional office or a reassignment from the central office to a
regional office and vice-versa.
Russel Ulysses I. Nieves vs. Jocelyn LB. Blanco, G.R. No. 190422, June 19, 2012

The 1987 Constitution created the CSC as the central personnel agency of the
government mandated to establish a career service and promote morale, efficiency,
integrity, responsiveness, progressiveness, and courtesy in the civil service. It is a
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constitutionally created administrative agency that possesses executive, quasi-judicial
and quasi-legislative or rule-making powers. While not explicitly stated, the CSC's
rule-making power is subsumed under its designation as the government's "central
personnel agency" in Section 3, Article IX-B of the 1987 Constitution. The original
draft of Section 3 empowered the CSC to "promulgate and enforce policies on
personnel actions, classify positions, prescribe conditions of employment except as to
compensation and other monetary benefits which shall be provided by law." This,
however, was deleted during the constitutional commission's deliberations because it
was redundant to the CSC's nature as an administrative agency. . .
TIDCORP vs. CSC, G.R. No. 182249, March 5, 2013

Art. IX-B, Sec. 7

Dennis A. B. Funa vs. Eduardo R. Ermita, et al., G.R. No. 184740, February 11, 2010

Art. IX-B, Sec. 8

National Electrification Administration vs. Civil Service Commission, et al., G.R. No.
149497, January 25, 2010

Benguet State University vs. Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 169637, June 8, 2007

Art. IX-C, Sec. 2

The powers and functions of the COMELEC, conferred upon it by the 1987
Constitution and the Omnibus Election Code, may be classified into administrative,
quasi-legislative, and quasi-judicial. The quasi-judicial power of the COMELEC
embraces the power to resolve controversies arising from the enforcement of election
laws, and to be the sole judge of all pre-proclamation controversies; and of all contests
relating to the elections, returns, and qualifications. Its quasi-legislative power refers
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to the issuance of rules and regulations to implement the election laws and to exercise
such legislative functions as may expressly be delegated to it by Congress. Its
administrative function refers to the enforcement and administration of election laws.
In the exercise of such power, the Constitution (Section 6, Article IX-A) and the
Omnibus Election Code (Section 52 [c]) authorize the COMELEC to issue rules and
regulations to implement the provisions of the 1987 Constitution and the Omnibus
Election Code.
Lintang Bedol vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 179830, December 3, 2009

[T]o withhold from the COMELEC the power to punish individuals who refuse to
appear during a fact-finding investigation, despite a previous notice and order to
attend, would render nugatory the COMELEC's investigative power, which is an
essential incident to its constitutional mandate to secure the conduct of honest and
credible elections.
Lintang Bedol vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 179830, December 3, 2009

[T]he COMELEC's powers and functions under Section 2, Article IX-C of the
Constitution, "include the ascertainment of the identity of the political party and its
legitimate officers responsible for its acts." The Court also declared in another case
that the COMELEC's power to register political parties necessarily involved the
determination of the persons who must act on its behalf. Thus, the COMELEC may
resolve an intra-party leadership dispute, in a proper case brought before it, as an
incident of its power to register political parties.
Jose L. Atienza, et al. vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 188920, February 16, 2010

The grant to the Comelec of the power to investigate and prosecute election
offenses as an adjunct to the enforcement and administration of all election laws is
intended to enable the Comelec to effectively insure to the people the free, orderly,
and honest conduct of elections. The failure of the Comelec to exercise this power
could result in the frustration of the true will of the people and make a mere idle
ceremony of the sacred right and duty of every qualified citizen to vote.
Jose Miguel T. Arroyo vs. DOJ, et al., G.R. Nos. 199082, 199085 & 199118, September
18, 2012

We herein take the opportunity to reiterate the well-established principle that the
rule that factual findings of administrative bodies will not be disturbed by the courts
of justice except when there is absolutely no evidence or no substantial evidence in
support of such findings should be applied with greater force when it concerns the
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COMELEC, as the framers of the Constitution intended to place the COMELEC —
created and explicitly made independent by the Constitution itself — on a level higher
than statutory administrative organs. The COMELEC has broad powers to ascertain
the true results of the election by means available to it. For the attainment of that end,
it is not strictly bound by the rules of evidence.
Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 206987, September
10, 2013

As empowered by law, the COMELEC may motu proprio cancel, after due notice
and hearing, the registration of any party-list organization if it violates or fails to
comply with laws, rules or regulations relating to elections.
Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 206987, September
10, 2013

Art. IX-C, Sec. 2 (1)

Ma. Salvacion Buac, et al. vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 155855, January 26, 2004

The Constitution, however, grants the COMELEC the power to "[e]nforce and
administer all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election, plebiscite,
initiative, referendum and recall." The COMELEC has "exclusive charge of the
enforcement and administration of all laws relative to the conduct of elections for the
purpose of ensuring free, orderly and honest elections." The text and intent of Section
2 (1) of Article IX (C) is to give COMELEC "all the necessary and incidental powers
for it to achieve the objective of holding free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible
elections." . . .

The tight time frame in the enactment, signing into law, and effectivity of R.A. No.
10360 on 5 February 2013, coupled with the subsequent conduct of the National and
Local Elections on 13 May 2013 as mandated by the Constitution, rendered
impossible the holding of a plebiscite for the creation of the province of Davao
Occidental on or before 6 April 2013 as scheduled in R.A. No. 10360. We also take
judicial notice of the COMELEC's burden in the accreditation and registration of
candidates for the Party-List Elections. The logistic and financial impossibility of
holding a plebiscite so close to the National and Local Elections is unforeseen and
unexpected, a cause analogous to force majeure and administrative mishaps covered
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in Section 5 of B.P. Blg. 881. The COMELEC is justified, and did not act with grave
abuse of discretion, in postponing the holding of the plebiscite for the creation of the
province of Davao Occidental to 28 October 2013 to synchronize it with the Barangay
Elections.
Cagas v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 209185, October 25, 2013

The prohibition on conducting special elections after thirty days from the cessation
of the cause of the failure of elections is not absolute. It is directory, not mandatory,
and the COMELEC possesses residual power to conduct special elections even
beyond the deadline prescribed by law. The deadline in Section 6 cannot defeat the
right of suffrage of the people as guaranteed by the Constitution. The COMELEC
erroneously perceived that the deadline in Section 6 is absolute. The COMELEC has
broad power or authority to fix other dates for special elections to enable the people to
exercise their right of suffrage. The COMELEC may fix other dates for the conduct of
special elections when the same cannot be reasonably held within the period
prescribed by law.
Cagas v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 209185, October 25, 2013, citing Sambarani v.
COMELEC, 481 Phil. 661 (2004)

In election law, the right of suffrage should prevail over mere scheduling mishaps
in holding elections or plebiscites. Indeed, Cagas' insistence that only Congress can
cure the alleged legal infirmity in the date of holding the plebiscite for the creation of
the Province of Davao Occidental fails in light of the absence of abuse of discretion of
the COMELEC. Finally, this Court finds it unacceptable to utilize more of our
taxpayers' time and money by preventing the COMELEC from holding the plebiscite
as now scheduled.
Cagas v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 209185, October 25, 2013

Art. IX-C, Sec. 2 (2)

This Court recognizes the COMELEC's appellate jurisdiction over petitions for
certiorari against all acts or omissions of courts in election cases. Indeed, in the recent
case of Galang v. Geronimo (G.R. No. 192793, February 22, 2011) the Court had the
opportunity to rule that a petition for certiorari questioning an interlocutory order of a

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trial court in an electoral protest was within the appellate jurisdiction of the
COMELEC. To quote the relevant portion of that decision: . . . Since it is the
COMELEC which has jurisdiction to take cognizance of an appeal from the decision
of the regional trial court in election contests involving elective municipal officials,
then it is also the COMELEC which has jurisdiction to issue a writ of certiorari in aid
of its appellate jurisdiction. . . . Although Galang involved a petition for certiorari
involving an interlocutory order of a regional trial court in a municipal election
contest, the rationale for the above ruling applies to an interlocutory order issued by a
municipal trial court in a barangay election case. Under Rule 14, Section 8 of A.M.
No. 07-4-15-SC, decisions of municipal trial courts in election contests involving
barangay officials are appealed to the COMELEC. Following the Galang doctrine, it
is the COMELEC which has jurisdiction over petitions for certiorari involving acts of
the municipal trial courts in such election contests.
Ceriaco Bulilis vs. Victorino Nuez, et al., G.R. No. 195953, August 9, 2011

Art. IX-C, Sec. 2 (5)

Resolution No. 8646, however, is simply a listing of electoral activities and


deadlines for the May 10, 2010 elections; it is not in any way a resolution aimed at
establishing distinctions among "political parties, organizations, and coalitions." In the
absence of any note, explanation or reason why the deadline only mentions political
parties, the term "political parties" should be understood in its generic sense that
covers political organizations and political coalitions as well. To rule otherwise is to
introduce, through a COMELEC deadline-setting resolution, a meaning or intent into
Section 2 (5), Article IX-C, which was not clearly intended by the Constitution or by
the COMELEC Rules; Resolution No. 8646 would effectively differentiate between
political parties, on the one hand, and political organizations and coalitions, on the
other. In fact, no substantial distinction exists among these entities germane to the act
of registration that would justify creating distinctions among them in terms of
deadlines. Such distinctions in the deadlines for the registration of political
organizations and coalitions, if allowed, may even wreak havoc on the procedural
orderliness of elections by allowing these registrations to introduce late and confusing
signals to the electorate, not to mention their possible adverse effects on election
systems and procedures. This, the en banc very well knows, and their lack of
unanimity on the disputed point of timeliness shows how unusual the majority's
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reading has been.
Liberal Party vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 191771, May 6, 2010

The determination of who is the rightful representative of a political party or the


legitimate nominee of a party-list group lies with the COMELEC, as part and parcel of
its constitutional task of registering political parties, organizations and coalitions
under Section 2 (5), Article IX (C) of the 1987 Constitution.
Agapay ng Indigenous Peoples Rights Alliance vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 204591,
April 16, 2013

Art. IX-C, Sec. 2 (6)

Although it belongs to the executive department, as the agency tasked to investigate


crimes, prosecute offenders, and administer the correctional system, the DOJ is
likewise not barred from acting jointly with the Comelec. It must be emphasized that
the DOJ and the Comelec exercise concurrent jurisdiction in conducting preliminary
investigation of election offenses. The doctrine of concurrent jurisdiction means equal
jurisdiction to deal with the same subject matter. Contrary to the contention of the
petitioners, there is no prohibition on simultaneous exercise of power between two
coordinate bodies. What is prohibited is the situation where one files a complaint
against a respondent initially with one office (such as the Comelec) for preliminary
investigation which was immediately acted upon by said office and the re-filing of
substantially the same complaint with another office (such as the DOJ). The
subsequent assumption of jurisdiction by the second office over the cases filed will
not be allowed. Indeed, it is a settled rule that the body or agency that first takes
cognizance of the complaint shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of the others.
Jose Miguel T. Arroyo vs. DOJ, et al., G.R. Nos. 199082, 199085 & 199118, September
18, 2012

Prior to the amendment of Section 265 of the Omnibus Election Code, the Comelec
had the exclusive authority to investigate and prosecute election offenses. In the
discharge of this exclusive power, the Comelec was given the right to avail and, in
fact, availed of the assistance of other prosecuting arms of the government such as the
prosecutors of the DOJ. By virtue of this continuing authority, the state prosecutors
and the provincial or city prosecutors were authorized to receive the complaint for
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election offense and delegate the conduct of investigation to any of their assistants.
The investigating prosecutor, in turn, would make a recommendation either to dismiss
the complaint or to file the information. This recommendation is subject to the
approval of the state, provincial or city prosecutor, who himself may file the
information with the proper court if he finds sufficient cause to do so, subject,
however, to the accused's right to appeal to the Comelec. Moreover, during the past
national and local elections, the Comelec issued Resolutions requesting the Secretary
of Justice to assign prosecutors as members of Special Task Forces to assist the
Comelec in the investigation and prosecution of election offenses. These Special Task
Forces were created because of the need for additional lawyers to handle the
investigation and prosecution of election offenses. Clearly, the Comelec recognizes
the need to delegate to the prosecutors the power to conduct preliminary investigation.
Otherwise, the prompt resolution of alleged election offenses will not be attained.
This delegation of power, otherwise known as deputation, has long been recognized
and, in fact, been utilized as an effective means of disposing of various election
offense cases. Apparently, as mere deputies, the prosecutors played a vital role in the
conduct of preliminary investigation, in the resolution of complaints filed before
them, and in the filing of the informations with the proper court.
Jose Miguel T. Arroyo vs. DOJ, et al., G.R. Nos. 199082, 199085 & 199118, September
18, 2012

[T]he grant of exclusive power to investigate and prosecute cases of election


offenses to the Comelec was not by virtue of the Constitution but by the Omnibus
Election Code which was eventually amended by Section 43 of R.A. 9369. Thus, the
DOJ now conducts preliminary investigation of election offenses concurrently with
the Comelec and no longer as mere deputies. If the prosecutors had been allowed to
conduct preliminary investigation and file the necessary information by virtue only of
a delegated authority, they now have better grounds to perform such function by virtue
of the statutory grant of authority. If deputation was justified because of lack of funds
and legal officers to ensure prompt and fair investigation and prosecution of election
offenses, the same justification should be cited to justify the grant to the other
prosecuting arms of the government of such concurrent jurisdiction.
Jose Miguel T. Arroyo vs. DOJ, et al., G.R. Nos. 199082, 199085 & 199118, September
18, 2012

The text and intent of the constitutional provision granting the Comelec the
authority to investigate and prosecute election offenses is to give the Comelec all the
necessary and incidental powers for it to achieve the objective of holding free, orderly,

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honest, peaceful, and credible elections. The Comelec should be allowed considerable
latitude in devising means and methods that will insure the accomplishment of the
great objective for which it was created. We may not agree fully with its choice of
means, but unless these are clearly illegal or constitute gross abuse of discretion, this
Court should not interfere. Thus, Comelec Resolution No. 9266, approving the
creation of the Joint Committee and Fact-Finding Team, should be viewed not as an
abdication of the constitutional body's independence but as a means to fulfill its duty
of ensuring the prompt investigation and prosecution of election offenses as an
adjunct of its mandate of ensuring a free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible
elections.
Jose Miguel T. Arroyo vs. DOJ, et al., G.R. Nos. 199082, 199085 & 199118, September
18, 2012

Art. IX-C, Sec. 3

Mahid M. Mutilan vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 171248, April 2, 2007

The Constitution clearly mandates that pre-proclamation controversies must be first


heard and decided by a division of the COMELEC, and then by the en banc if a
motion for reconsideration were filed. This Court has consistently ruled that the
requirement of hearing and decision of election cases, including pre-proclamation
controversies, at the first instance by a division of the COMELEC, and not by it as a
whole, is mandatory and jurisdictional. The constitutional provision yields to no other
interpretation other than what its plain meaning presents.
Antenor A. Arbonida vs. Commission on Elections, et al., G.R. No. 167137, March 14,
2007

The appropriate due process standards that apply to the COMELEC, as an


administrative or quasi-judicial tribunal, are those outlined in the seminal case of Ang
Tibay v. Court of Industrial Relations, quoted below:

(1) The first of these rights is the right to a hearing, which includes the right
of the party interested or affected to present his own case and submit evidence in
support thereof.

(2) Not only must the party be given an opportunity to present his case and to
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adduce evidence tending to establish the rights which he asserts but the tribunal must
consider the evidence presented.

(3) While the duty to deliberate does not impose the obligation to decide
right, it does imply a necessity which cannot be disregarded, namely, that of having
something to support its decision. A decision with absolutely nothing to support it is a
nullity, a place when directly attached.

(4) Not only must there be some evidence to support a finding or conclusion,
but the evidence must be "substantial". "Substantial evidence is more than a mere
scintilla. It means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as
adequate to support a conclusion".

(5) The decision must be rendered on the evidence presented at the hearing,
or at least contained in the record and disclosed to the parties affected.

(6) The Court of Industrial Relations or any of its judges, therefore, must act
on its or his own independent consideration of the law and facts of the controversy,
and not simply accept the views of a subordinate in arriving at a decision.

(7) The Court of Industrial Relations should, in all controversial questions,


render its decision in such a manner that the parties to the proceeding can know the
various issues involved, and the reasons for the decisions rendered. The performance
of this duty is inseparable from the authority conferred upon it.

These are now commonly referred to as cardinal primary rights in administrative


proceedings.
Joselito R. Mendoza vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 188308, October 15, 2009

The first of the enumerated rights pertain to the substantive rights of a party at
hearing stage of the proceedings. The essence of this aspect of due process, we have
consistently held, is simply the opportunity to be heard, or as applied to administrative
proceedings, an opportunity to explain one's side or an opportunity to seek a
reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. A formal or trial-type hearing is
not at all times and in all instances essential; in the case of COMELEC, Rule 17 of its
Rules of Procedure defines the requirements for a hearing and these serve as the
standards in the determination of the presence or denial of due process.

The second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth aspects of the Ang Tibay requirements are
reinforcements of the right to a hearing and are the inviolable rights applicable at the
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deliberative stage, as the decision-maker decides on the evidence presented during the
hearing. These standards set forth the guiding considerations in deliberating on the
case and are the material and substantial components of decision-making. Briefly, the
tribunal must consider the totality of the evidence presented which must all be found
in the records of the case (i.e., those presented or submitted by the parties); the
conclusion, reached by the decision-maker himself and not by a subordinate, must be
based on substantial evidence.

Finally, the last requirement, relating to the form and substance of the decision of a
quasi-judicial body, further complements the hearing and decision-making due
process rights and is similar in substance to the constitutional requirement that a
decision of a court must state distinctly the facts and the law upon which it is based.
As a component of the rule of fairness that underlies due process, this is the "duty to
give reason" to enable the affected person to understand how the rule of fairness has
been administered in his case, to expose the reason to public scrutiny and criticism,
and to ensure that the decision will be thought through by the decision-maker.
Joselito R. Mendoza vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 188308, October 15, 2009

The COMELEC, in the exercise of its quasi-judicial functions, is bound to follow


the provision set forth in Section 3, Article IX-C of the 1987 Constitution, which
reads:

Sec. 3. The Commission on Elections may sit en banc or in two


divisions, and shall promulgate its rules of procedure in order to expedite
disposition of election cases, including pre-proclamation controversies. All
such election cases shall be heard and decided in division, provided that
motions for reconsideration of decisions shall be decided by the
Commission en banc.

It therefore follows that when the COMELEC is exercising its quasi-judicial


powers such as in the present case, the Commission is constitutionally mandated to
decide the case first in division, and en banc only upon motion for reconsideration.

Indeed, it is a basic doctrine in procedural law that the jurisdiction of a court or an


agency exercising quasi-judicial functions (such as the COMELEC) over the
subject-matter of an action is conferred only by the Constitution or by law.
Jurisdiction cannot be fixed by the agreement of the parties; it cannot be acquired
through, or waived, enlarged or diminished by, any act or omission of the parties.
Neither can it be conferred by the acquiescence of the court, more particularly so in

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election cases where the interest involved transcends those of the contending parties.
Sandra Y. Eriguel vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 190526, February 26, 2010

It is easily evident in the second sentence of Section 3 of Article IX (C) that all
election cases before the COMELEC are passed upon in one integrated procedure that
consists of a hearing and a decision "in division" and when necessitated by a motion
for reconsideration, a decision "by the Commission En Banc."
Joselito R. Mendoza vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 191084, March 25, 2010

What is included in the phrase "all such election cases" may be seen in Section 2
(2) of Article IX (C) of the Constitution. . . .

Section 2 (2) read in relation to Section 3 shows that however the jurisdiction of the
COMELEC is involved, either in the exercise of "exclusive original jurisdiction" or an
"appellate jurisdiction," the COMELEC will act on the case in one whole and single
process: to repeat, in division, and if impelled by a motion for reconsideration, en
banc.
Joselito R. Mendoza vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 191084, March 25, 2010

Art. IX-D, Sec. 1 (2)

At once clear from a perusal of the aforequoted provision [Sec. 1 (2), Art. IX (D)
of the Constitution] are the defined restricting features in the matter of the
composition of COA and the appointment of its members (commissioners and
chairman) designed to safeguard the independence and impartiality of the commission
as a body and that of its individual members. These are, first, the rotational plan or the
staggering term in the commission membership, such that the appointment of
commission members subsequent to the original set appointed after the effectivity of
the 1987 Constitution shall occur every two years; second, the maximum but a fixed
term-limit of seven (7) years for all commission members whose appointments came
about by reason of the expiration of term save the aforementioned first set of
appointees and those made to fill up vacancies resulting from certain causes; third, the
prohibition against reappointment of commission members who served the full term
of seven years or of members first appointed under the Constitution who served their

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respective terms of office; fourth, the limitation of the term of a member to the
unexpired portion of the term of the predecessor; and fifth, the proscription against
temporary appointment or designation.
Dennis A. B. Funa vs. Reynaldo A. Villar, G.R. No. 192791, April 24, 2012

[The term] "reappointment" refers to a movement to one and the same office.
Necessarily, a movement to a different position within the commission (from
Commissioner to Chairman) would constitute an appointment, or a second
appointment, to be precise, but not reappointment. . . . To reiterate, the word
"reappointment" means a second appointment to one and the same office; and Sec. 1
(2), Art. IX (D) of the 1987 Constitution and similar provisions do not peremptorily
prohibit the promotional appointment of a commissioner to chairman, provided the
new appointee's tenure in both capacities does not exceed seven (7) years in all.
Dennis A. B. Funa vs. Reynaldo A. Villar, G.R. No. 192791, April 24, 2012

The first sentence is unequivocal enough. The COA Chairman shall be appointed
by the President for a term of seven years, and if he has served the full term, then he
can no longer be reappointed or extended another appointment. In the same vein, a
Commissioner who was appointed for a term of seven years who likewise served the
full term is barred from being reappointed. In short, once the Chairman or
Commissioner shall have served the full term of seven years, then he can no longer be
reappointed to either the position of Chairman or Commissioner. The obvious intent
of the framers is to prevent the president from "dominating" the Commission by
allowing him to appoint an additional or two more commissioners.

The same purpose obtains in the second sentence of Sec. 1 (2). The Constitutional
Convention barred reappointment to be extended to commissioner-members first
appointed under the 1987 Constitution to prevent the President from controlling the
commission. Thus, the first Chairman appointed under the 1987 Constitution who
served the full term of seven years can no longer be extended a reappointment.
Neither can the Commissioners first appointed for the terms of five years and three
years be eligible for reappointment. This is the plain meaning attached to the second
sentence of Sec. 1 (2), Article IX (D).

On the other hand, the provision, on its face, does not prohibit a promotional
appointment from commissioner to chairman as long as the commissioner has not
served the full term of seven years, further qualified by the third sentence of Sec. 1
(2), Article IX (D) that "the appointment to any vacancy shall be only for the

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unexpired portion of the term of the predecessor." In addition, such promotional
appointment to the position of Chairman must conform to the rotational plan or the
staggering of terms in the commission membership such that the aggregate of the
service of the Commissioner in said position and the term to which he will be
appointed to the position of Chairman must not exceed seven years so as not to disrupt
the rotational system in the commission prescribed by Sec. 1 (2), Art. IX (D).

In conclusion, there is nothing in Sec. 1 (2), Article IX (D) that explicitly precludes
a promotional appointment from Commissioner to Chairman, provided it is made
under the aforestated circumstances or conditions.
Dennis A. B. Funa vs. Reynaldo A. Villar, G.R. No. 192791, April 24, 2012

The terms of office and appointments of the first set of commissioners, or the
seven, five and three-year termers referred to in Sec. 1 (2), Art. IX (D) of the
Constitution, had already expired. Hence, their respective terms of office find
relevancy for the most part only in understanding the operation of the rotational plan. .
. . The Court described how the smooth functioning of the rotational system
contemplated in said and like provisions covering the two other independent
commissions is achieved thru the staggering of terms:

. . . [T]he terms of the first Chairmen and Commissioners of the


Constitutional Commissions under the 1987 Constitution must start on a
common date [February 02, 1987, when the 1987 Constitution was ratified]
irrespective of the variations in the dates of appointments and qualifications
of the appointees in order that the expiration of the first terms of seven, five
and three years should lead to the regular recurrence of the two-year
interval between the expiration of the terms.

. . . In case of a belated appointment, the interval between the start


of the terms and the actual appointment shall be counted against the
appointee.

Dennis A. B. Funa vs. Reynaldo A. Villar, G.R. No. 192791, April 24, 2012 citing
Gaminde vs. Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 140335, December 13, 2000

The Court wrote of two conditions, "both indispensable to [the] workability"


of the rotational plan. These conditions may be described as follows: (a) that the terms
of the first batch of commissioners should start on a common date; and (b) that any
vacancy due to death, resignation or disability before the expiration of the term
should be filled only for the unexpired balance of the term. Otherwise, Imperial
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continued, "the regularity of the intervals between appointments would be destroyed."
There appears to be near unanimity as to the purpose/s of the rotational system, as
originally conceived, i.e., to place in the commission a new appointee at a fixed
interval (every two years presently), thus preventing a four-year administration
appointing more than one permanent and regular commissioner, or to borrow from
Commissioner Monsod of the 1986 CONCOM, "to prevent one person (the President
of the Philippines) from dominating the commissions." It has been declared too that
the rotational plan ensures continuity in, and, as indicated earlier, secure the
independence of, the commissions as a body.

Dennis A. B. Funa vs. Reynaldo A. Villar, G.R. No. 192791, April 24, 2012 citing
Republic v. Imperial, 96 Phil. 770 (1955)

An appointment to any vacancy in COA, which arose from an expiration of a term,


after the first chairman and commissioners appointed under the 1987 Constitution
have bowed out, shall, by express constitutional fiat, be for a term of seven (7) years,
save when the appointment is to fill up a vacancy for the corresponding unserved term
of an outgoing member. In that case, the appointment shall only be for the unexpired
portion of the departing commissioner's term of office. There can only be an
unexpired portion when, as a direct result of his demise, disability, resignation or
impeachment, as the case may be, a sitting member is unable to complete his term of
office. To repeat, should the vacancy arise out of the expiration of the term of the
incumbent, then there is technically no unexpired portion to speak of. The vacancy is
for a new and complete seven-year term and, ergo, the appointment thereto shall in all
instances be for a maximum seven (7) years.
Dennis A. B. Funa vs. Reynaldo A. Villar, G.R. No. 192791, April 24, 2012

Sec. 1 (2), Art. IX (D) of the 1987 Constitution prohibits the "reappointment" of a
member of COA after his appointment for seven (7) years. . . . [In] a case involving
the promotion of then COMELEC Commissioner De Vera to the position of
chairman, then Chief Justice Manuel Moran called attention to the fact that the
prohibition against "reappointment" comes as a continuation of the requirement that
the commissioners — referring to members of the COMELEC under the 1935
Constitution — shall hold office for a term of nine (9) years. This sentence
formulation imports, notes Chief Justice Moran, that reappointment is not an absolute
prohibition.
Dennis A. B. Funa vs. Reynaldo A. Villar, G.R. No. 192791, April 24, 2012 citing
Nacionalista Party v. De Vera, No. L-3474, December 7, 1949

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The adverted system of regular rotation or the staggering of appointments and
terms in the membership for all three constitutional commissions, namely the COA,
Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and Civil Service Commission (CSC) found
in the 1987 Constitution was patterned after the amended 1935 Constitution for the
appointment of the members of COMELEC with this difference: the 1935 version
entailed a regular interval of vacancy every three (3) years, instead of the present two
(2) years and there was no express provision on appointment to any vacancy being
limited to the unexpired portion of the his predecessor's term.
Dennis A. B. Funa vs. Reynaldo A. Villar, G.R. No. 192791, April 24, 2012

[A] COA commissioner . . . who serves for a period less than seven (7) years
cannot be appointed as chairman when such position became vacant as a result of the
expiration of the 7-year term of the predecessor . . . . Such appointment to a full term
is not valid and constitutional, as the appointee will be allowed to serve more than
seven (7) years under the constitutional ban. On the other hand, a commissioner who
resigned before serving his 7-year term can be extended an appointment to the
position of chairman for the unexpired period of the term of the latter, provided the
aggregate of the period he served as commissioner and the period he will serve as
chairman will not exceed seven (7) years. This situation will only obtain when the
chairman leaves the office by reason of death, disability, resignation or impeachment.
Dennis A. B. Funa vs. Reynaldo A. Villar, G.R. No. 192791, April 24, 2012

[T]he Court restates its ruling on Sec. 1 (2), Art. IX (D) of the Constitution, viz.:

1. The appointment of members of any of the three constitutional


commissions, after the expiration of the uneven terms of office of the first set
of commissioners, shall always be for a fixed term of seven (7) years; an
appointment for a lesser period is void and unconstitutional.

The appointing authority cannot validly shorten the full term of seven
(7) years in case of the expiration of the term as this will result in the
distortion of the rotational system prescribed by the Constitution.

2. Appointments to vacancies resulting from certain causes (death,


resignation, disability or impeachment) shall only be for the unexpired portion
of the term of the predecessor, but such appointments cannot be less than the
unexpired portion as this will likewise disrupt the staggering of terms laid
down under Sec. 1 (2), Art. IX (D).

3. Members of the Commission, e.g., COA, COMELEC or CSC,


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who were appointed for a full term of seven years and who served the entire
period, are barred from reappointment to any position in the Commission.
Corollarily, the first appointees in the Commission under the Constitution are
also covered by the prohibition against reappointment.

4. A commissioner who resigns after serving in the Commission for


less than seven years is eligible for an appointment to the position of
Chairman for the unexpired portion of the term of the departing chairman.
Such appointment is not covered by the ban on reappointment, provided that
the aggregate period of the length of service as commissioner and the
unexpired period of the term of the predecessor will not exceed seven (7)
years and provided further that the vacancy in the position of Chairman
resulted from death, resignation, disability or removal by impeachment. The
Court clarifies that "reappointment" found in Sec. 1 (2), Art. IX (D) means a
movement to one and the same office (Commissioner to Commissioner or
Chairman to Chairman). On the other hand, an appointment involving a
movement to a different position or office (Commissioner to Chairman)
would constitute a new appointment and, hence, not, in the strict legal sense, a
reappointment barred under the Constitution.

5. Any member of the Commission cannot be appointed or


designated in a temporary or acting capacity.

Dennis A. B. Funa vs. Reynaldo A. Villar, G.R. No. 192791, April 24, 2012

Art. IX-D, Sec. 2(1)

The jurisdiction of the COA over money claims against the government does not
include the power to rule on the constitutionality or validity of laws. The 1987
Constitution vests the power of judicial review or the power to declare
unconstitutional a law, treaty, international or executive agreement, presidential
decree, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation in this Court and in all Regional
Trial Courts. Petitioner's money claim essentially involved the constitutionality of
Section 27 of PD 1638, as amended. Hence, the COA did not commit grave abuse of
discretion in dismissing petitioner's money claim.
Salvador Parreño vs. Commission on Audit, et al., G.R. No. 162224, June 7, 2007

The COA's audit jurisdiction extends to government-owned or controlled


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corporations incorporated under the Corporation Code. Thus, the COA must apply the
Government Auditing Code in the audit and examination of the accounts of such
government-owned or controlled corporations even though incorporated under the
Corporation Code. This means that Section 20 (1), Chapter IV, Subtitle B, Title I,
Book V of the Administrative Code of 1987 on the power to compromise, which
superseded Section 36 of the Government Auditing Code, applies to the present case
in determining PNCC's power to compromise.
Strategic Alliance Development Corp. vs. Radstock Securities Limited, et al., G.R. Nos.
178158 & 180428, December 4, 2009

The COA is endowed with enough latitude to determine, prevent and disallow
irregular, unnecessary, excessive, extravagant or unconscionable expenditures of
government funds. It has the power to ascertain whether public funds were utilized for
the purpose for which they had been intended.
Andres Sanchez, et al. vs. Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 127545, April 23, 2008

Art. IX-D , Sec. 2 (1) (d)

Section 2 (1) (d) of Article IX-D of the 1987 Constitution must be read in
conjunction with Article 222 of the Revised Penal Code. . . Absent a law or
contractual obligation requiring an accounting, the COA does not have the authority to
audit the accounts of non-governmental entities receiving subsidy or equity from the
government. In the same manner, non-governmental entities receiving subsidy or
equity from the government are not obliged to render an accounting to the COA if no
law or contract requires them to do so.
Florencio B. Campomanes vs. People of the Phil., G.R. No. 161950, December 19,
2006

Art. X, Sec. 1

To reiterate, Article X of the Constitution, entitled "Local Government," clearly

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shows the intention of the Constitution to classify autonomous regions, such as the
ARMM, as local governments. . . . The inclusion of autonomous regions in the
enumeration of political subdivisions of the State under the heading "Local
Government" indicates quite clearly the constitutional intent to consider autonomous
regions as one of the forms of local governments. That the Constitution mentions only
the "national government" and the "local governments," and does not make a
distinction between the "local government" and the "regional government," is
particularly revealing, betraying as it does the intention of the framers of the
Constitution to consider the autonomous regions not as separate forms of government,
but as political units which, while having more powers and attributes than other local
government units, still remain under the category of local governments. Since
autonomous regions are classified as local governments, it follows that elections held
in autonomous regions are also considered as local elections.
Michael Abas Kida, et al. vs. Senate of the Phil., et al., G.R. Nos. 196271, 196305,
197221, 197280, 197282, 197392 & 197454, February 28, 2012

Art. X, Sec. 2

As a general rule, an unconstitutional act is not a law; it confers no rights; it


imposes no duties; it affords no protection; it creates no office; it is inoperative as if it
has not been passed at all. The general rule is supported by Article 7 of the Civil
Code. The doctrine of operative fact serves as an exception to the aforementioned
general rule.
Claudio S. Yap vs. Thenamaris Ship's Management, et al., G.R. No. 179532, May 30,
2011

The doctrine of operative fact, as an exception to the general rule, only applies as a
matter of equity and fair play. It nullifies the effects of an unconstitutional law by
recognizing that the existence of a statute prior to a determination of
unconstitutionality is an operative fact and may have consequences which cannot
always be ignored. The past cannot always be erased by a new judicial declaration.

The doctrine is applicable when a declaration of unconstitutionality will impose an


undue burden on those who have relied on the invalid law. Thus, it was applied to a
criminal case when a declaration of unconstitutionality would put the accused in

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double jeopardy or would put in limbo the acts done by a municipality in reliance
upon a law creating it.
Claudio S. Yap vs. Thenamaris Ship's Management, et al., G.R. No. 179532, May 30,
2011, citing Planters Products, Inc. v. Fertiphil Corp., G.R. No. 166006, March 14, 2008

Art. X, Sec. 4 and Sec. 16

Although the Philippines is a unitary State, the present Constitution (as in the past)
accommodates within the system the operation of local government units with
enhanced administrative autonomy and autonomous regions with limited political
autonomy. Subject to the President's power of general supervision and exercising
delegated powers, these units and regions operate much like the national government,
with their own executive and legislative branches, financed by locally generated and
nationally allocated funds disbursed through budgetary ordinances passed by their
local legislative councils. The DBM's submission tinkers with this design by making
provisions in national budgetary laws automatically incorporated in local budgetary
ordinances, thus reducing local legislative councils — from the provinces down to the
barangays — and the legislative assembly of the Autonomous Region in Muslim
Mindanao, to mere extensions of Congress. Although novel, the theory is anathema to
the present vertical structure of Philippine government and to any notion of local
autonomy which the Constitution mandates.
DBM vs. Olivia D. Leones, G.R. No. 169726, March 18, 2010

Art. X, Sec. 5

City Government of Quezon City, et al. vs. Bayantel, Inc., G.R. No. 162015, March 6,
2006

Section 5, Article X of the 1987 Constitution provides that "[e]ach local


government unit shall have the power to create its own sources of revenues and to
levy taxes, fees, and charges subject to such guidelines and limitations as the Congress
may provide, consistent with the basic policy of local autonomy. Such taxes, fees, and
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charges shall accrue exclusively to the local government." The Local Government
Code supplements the Constitution with Sections 151 and 186.
Cagayan Electric Power and Light Co., Inc. vs. City of Cagayan de Oro, G.R. No.
191761, November 14, 2012

Art. X, Sec. 8

Requisites for the application of the three-term limit for elective local government
officials.

For the three-term limit for elective local government officials to apply, two
conditions or requisites must concur, to wit: (1) that the official concerned has been
elected for three (3) consecutive terms in the same local government post, and (2) that
he has fully served three (3) consecutive terms.
Francis G. Ong vs. Joseph Stanley Alegre, et al., G.R. Nos. 163295 & 163354, January
23, 2006

"Interruption" of a term is one that involves no less than the involuntary loss of title
to office.

The "interruption" of a term exempting an elective official from the three-term


limit rule is one that involves no less than the involuntary loss of title to office. The
elective official must have involuntarily left his office for a length of time, however
short, for an effective interruption to occur. This has to be the case if the thrust of
Section 8, Article X and its strict intent are to be faithfully served, i.e., to limit an
elective official's continuous stay in office to no more than three consecutive terms,
using "voluntary renunciation" as an example and standard of what does not constitute
an interruption.
Simon B. Aldovino vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 184836, December 23, 2009

"Voluntary renunciation" does not speak of the temporary "cessation of the


exercise of power or authority".

Section 8, Article X — both by structure and substance — fixes an elective


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official's term of office and limits his stay in office to three consecutive terms as an
inflexible rule that is stressed, no less, by citing voluntary renunciation as an example
of a circumvention. The provision should be read in the context of interruption of
term, not in the context of interrupting the full continuity of the exercise of the powers
of the elective position. The "voluntary renunciation" it speaks of refers only to the
elective official's voluntary relinquishment of office and loss of title to this office. It
does not speak of the temporary "cessation of the exercise of power or authority" that
may occur for various reasons, with preventive suspension being only one of them.
Simon B. Aldovino vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 184836, December 23, 2009

The best indicator of the suspended official's continuity in office is the absence of a
permanent replacement.

Strict adherence to the intent of the three-term limit rule demands that preventive
suspension should not be considered an interruption that allows an elective official's
stay in office beyond three terms. A preventive suspension cannot simply be a term
interruption because the suspended official continues to stay in office although he is
barred from exercising the functions and prerogatives of the office within the
suspension period. The best indicator of the suspended official's continuity in office is
the absence of a permanent replacement and the lack of the authority to appoint one
since no vacancy exists.
Simon B. Aldovino vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 184836, December 23, 2009

As worded, the constitutional provision fixes the term of a local elective office and
limits an elective official's stay in office to no more than three consecutive terms. This
is the first branch of the rule embodied in Section 8, Article X.

The "limitation" under this first branch of the provision is expressed in the
negative — "no such official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms." This
formulation — no more than three consecutive terms — is a clear command
suggesting the existence of an inflexible rule. While it gives no exact indication of
what to "serve. . . three consecutive terms" exactly connotes, the meaning is clear —
reference is to the term, not to the service that a public official may render. In other
words, the limitation refers to the term.

The second branch relates to the provision's express initiative to prevent any
circumvention of the limitation through voluntary severance of ties with the public
office; it expressly states that voluntary renunciation of office "shall not be considered
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as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term for which he was
elected." This declaration complements the term limitation mandated by the first
branch.

A notable feature of the second branch is that it does not textually state that
voluntary renunciation is the only actual interruption of service that does not affect
"continuity of service for a full term" for purposes of the three-term limit rule. It is a
pure declaratory statement of what does not serve as an interruption of service for a
full term, but the phrase "voluntary renunciation," by itself, is not without significance
in determining constitutional intent.

The word "renunciation" carries the dictionary meaning of abandonment. To


renounce is to give up, abandon, decline, or resign. It is an act that emanates from its
author, as contrasted to an act that operates from the outside. Read with the definition
of a "term" in mind, renunciation, as mentioned under the second branch of the
constitutional provision, cannot but mean an act that results in cutting short the term,
i.e., the loss of title to office. The descriptive word "voluntary" linked together with
"renunciation" signifies an act of surrender based on the surenderee's own freely
exercised will; in other words, a loss of title to office by conscious choice. In the
context of the three-term limit rule, such loss of title is not considered an interruption
because it is presumed to be purposely sought to avoid the application of the term
limitation.
Simon B. Aldovino vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 184836, December 23, 2009

[T]he "interruption" of a term exempting an elective official from the three-term


limit rule is one that involves no less than the involuntary loss of title to office. The
elective official must have involuntarily left his office for a length of time, however
short, for an effective interruption to occur. This has to be the case if the thrust of
Section 8, Article X and its strict intent are to be faithfully served, i.e., to limit an
elective official's continuous stay in office to no more than three consecutive terms,
using "voluntary renunciation" as an example and standard of what does not constitute
an interruption.

Thus, based on this standard, loss of office by operation of law, being involuntary,
is an effective interruption of service within a term, as we held in Montebon. On the
other hand, temporary inability or disqualification to exercise the functions of an
elective post, even if involuntary, should not be considered an effective interruption of
a term because it does not involve the loss of title to office or at least an effective
break from holding office; the office holder, while retaining title, is simply barred
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from exercising the functions of his office for a reason provided by law.

An interruption occurs when the term is broken because the office holder lost the
right to hold on to his office, and cannot be equated with the failure to render service.
The latter occurs during an office holder's term when he retains title to the office but
cannot exercise his functions for reasons established by law. Of course, the term
"failure to serve" cannot be used once the right to office is lost; without the right to
hold office or to serve, then no service can be rendered so that none is really lost.
Simon B. Aldovino vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 184836, December 23, 2009

The Constitution does not specify a date as to when plebiscites should be held. This
is in contrast with its provisions for the election of members of the legislature in
Section 8, Article VI and of the President and Vice-President in Section 4, Article VII.
The Constitution recognizes that the power to fix the date of elections is legislative in
nature, which is shown by the exceptions in previously mentioned Constitutional
provisions, as well as in the election of local government officials.
Cagas v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 209185, October 25, 2013

Art. X, Sec. 10

The 1987 Constitution, more than any of our previous Constitutions, gave more
reality to the sovereignty of our people for it was borne out of the people power in the
1986 EDSA revolution. Its Section 10, Article X addressed the undesirable practice in
the past whereby local government units were created, abolished, merged or divided
on the basis of the vagaries of politics and not of the welfare of the people. Thus, the
consent of the people of the local government unit directly affected was required to
serve as a checking mechanism to any exercise of legislative power creating, dividing,
abolishing, merging or altering the boundaries of local government units. It is one
instance where the people in their sovereign capacity decide on a matter that affects
them — direct democracy of the people as opposed to democracy thru people's
representatives. This plebiscite requirement is also in accord with the philosophy of
the Constitution granting more autonomy to local government units.
Municipality of Nueva Era, Ilocos Norte vs. Municipality of Marcos, Ilocos Norte, G.R.
No. 169435, February 27, 2008

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The conduct of a plebiscite is necessary for the creation of a province. . . . Section
10, Article X of the Constitution emphasizes the direct exercise by the people of their
sovereignty. After the legislative branch's enactment of a law to create, divide, merge
or alter the boundaries of a local government unit or units, the people in the local
government unit or units directly affected vote in a plebiscite to register their approval
or disapproval of the change.
Cagas v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 209185, October 25, 2013

As the law-making branch of the government, indeed, it was the Legislature that
imposed the criteria for the creation of a province as contained in Section 461 of the
Local Government Code. No law has yet been passed amending Section 461 of the
Local Government Code, so only the criteria stated therein are the bases for the
creation of a province. The Constitution clearly mandates that the criteria in the Local
Government Code must be followed in the creation of a province; hence, any
derogation of or deviation from the criteria prescribed in the Local Government Code
violates Section 10, Article X of the Constitution.
Rodolfo G. Navarro, et al. vs. Eduardo Ermita, et al., G.R. No. 180050, May 12, 2010

[T]he LGC-amending RA 9009, no less, intended the LGUs covered by the


cityhood laws to be exempt from the PhP100 million income criterion. In other words,
the cityhood laws, which merely carried out the intent of RA 9009, adhered, in the
final analysis, to the "criteria established in the Local Government Code," pursuant to
Sec. 10, Art. X of the 1987 Constitution.
League of Cities of the Phil., et al. vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. Nos. 176951, 177499 &
178056, December 21, 2009

The Constitution clearly mandates that the creation of local government units must
follow the criteria established in the Local Government Code. Any derogation of or
deviation from the criteria prescribed in the Local Government Code violates Sec. 10,
Art. X of the Constitution.
Rodolfo G. Navarro, et al. vs. Eduardo Ermita, et al., G.R. No. 180050, February 10,
2010

The Cityhood Laws, all enacted after the effectivity of RA 9009, explicitly exempt
respondent municipalities from the increased income requirement in Section 450 of
the Local Government Code, as amended by RA 9009. Such exemption clearly
violates Section 10, Article X of the Constitution and is thus patently

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unconstitutional. To be valid, such exemption must be written in the Local
Government Code and not in any other law, including the Cityhood Laws.
League of Cities of the Phil., et al. vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. Nos. 176951, 177499 and
178056, August 24, 2010

Art. X, Sec. 15 and Sec. 18

Nestor G. Atitiw, et al. vs. Ronaldo B. Zamora, et al., G.R. No. 143374,September 30,
2005

Art. XI, Sec. 1

Office of the Court Administrator vs. Jocelyn G. Caballero, A.M. No. P-05-2064, March
2, 2010

Gloria G. Hallasgo vs. Commission on Audit, et al., G.R. No. 171340, September 11,
2009

Public office is not property but a "public trust or agency." While their right to due
process may be relied upon by public officials to protect their security of tenure
which, in a limited sense, is analogous to property, such fundamental right to security
of tenure cannot be invoked against a preventive suspension order which is a
preventive measure, not imposed as a penalty. An order of preventive suspension is
not a demonstration of a public official's guilt, which can be pronounced only after a
trial on the merits.
Liberato M. Carabeo vs. Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. Nos. 178000 and 178003,
December 4, 2009

Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must at all times be
accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty,
and efficiency, act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives. Corollary to this
heavy burden, however, is the right of public officials to be protected from unfounded
suits.
Paulino M. Alecha, et al. vs. Elmer Ben V. Pasion, et al., G.R. No. 164506, January 19,
Copyright 2014 CD Technologies Asia, Inc. and Accesslaw, Inc. Philippine Law Encyclopedia First Release 2014 123
2010

Prejudice to the service is not only through wrongful disbursement of public funds
or loss of public property. Greater damage comes with the public's perception of
corruption and incompetence in the government. Thus, the Constitution stresses that a
public office is a public trust and public officers must at all times be accountable to
the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency, act
with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives. These constitutionally-enshrined
principles, oft-repeated in our case law, are not mere rhetorical flourishes or idealistic
sentiments. They should be taken as working standards by all in the public service.
Francisco T. Duque III vs. Florentino Veloso, G.R. No. 196201, June 19, 2012

The principle of social justice cannot be properly applied in the respondent's case to
shield him from the full consequences of his dishonesty. . . The policy of social justice
is not intended to countenance wrongdoing simply because it is committed by the
underprivileged. At best it may mitigate the penalty but it certainly will not condone
the offense. Compassion for the poor is an imperative of every humane society but
only when the recipient is not a rascal claiming an undeserved privilege. Social justice
cannot be permitted to be [the] refuge of scoundrels any more than can equity be an
impediment to the punishment of the guilty. Those who invoke social justice may do
so only if their hands are clean and their motives blameless and not simply because
they happen to be poor. This great policy of our Constitution is not meant for the
protection of those who have proved they are not worthy of it, like the workers who
have tainted the cause of labor with the blemishes of their own character.
Francisco T. Duque III vs. Florentino Veloso, G.R. No. 196201, June 19, 2012 citing
PLDT vs. NLRC, 247 Phil. 641 (1988)

Art. XI, Sec. 2

Office of the Ombudsman vs. Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. No. 146486, March 4, 2005

[U]nder these rulings, a criminal complaint for violation of Section 3 (e) of RA


3019, based on the legal correctness of the official acts of Justices of the Supreme
Court, cannot prosper and should not be entertained. This is not to say that Members
of the Court are absolutely immune from suit during their term, for they are not. The
Constitution provides that the appropriate recourse against them is to seek their
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removal from office if they are guilty of culpable violation of the Constitution,
treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust.
Only after removal can they be criminally proceeded against for their transgressions.
While in office and thereafter, and for their official acts that do not constitute
impeachable offenses, recourses against them and their liabilities therefor, are as
defined in the above rulings.
Re: Subpoena Duces Tecum of Acting Director Aleu A. Amante, PIAB-C, Office of the
Ombudsman, A.M. No. 10-1-13-SC, March 2, 2010

The presidential immunity from suit remains preserved under our system of
government, albeit not expressly reserved in the present constitution.
Lourdes D. Rubrico, et al. vs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, et al., G.R. No. 183871,
February 18, 2010

Art. XI, Sec. 4

However, while it is the Ombudsman who has the full discretion to determine
whether or not a criminal case should be filed in the Sandiganbayan, once the case has
been filed with said court, it is the Sandiganbayan, and no longer the Ombudsman,
which has full control of the case so much so that the Information may not be
dismissed without the approval of said court. Further, it does not matter whether such
filing of a motion to dismiss by the prosecution is done before or after the arraignment
of the accused or that the motion was filed after a reinvestigation
City Government of Tuguegarao vs. Randolph S. Ting, G.R. Nos. 192435-36,
September 14, 2011

A private complainant in a criminal case before the Sandiganbayan is allowed to


appeal only the civil aspect of the criminal case after its dismissal by said court. While
petitioner's name [Robert P. Guzman] was included in the caption of the cases as
private complainant during the preliminary investigation and re-investigation
proceedings in the Office of the Ombudsman, he is not the offended party or private
complainant in the main case. As evident from a reading of the informations, it is the
City of Tuguegarao which suffered damage as a consequence of the subject purchase
of lands by the respondent and hence is the private complainant in the main case.

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City Government of Tuguegarao vs. Randolph S. Ting, G.R. Nos. 192435-36,
September 14, 2011

Art. XI, Sec. 12

Angelita de Guzman vs. Emilio A. Gonzalez III, et al., G.R. No. 158104, March 26, 2010

Article XI Section 12 of the 1987 Constitution, on the jurisdiction of the


Ombudsman (the government's prosecutory arm against persons charged with graft
and corruption), includes officers and employees of government-owned or -controlled
corporations, likewise without any distinction.
People of the Phil. vs. Sandiganbayan, et al., G.R. Nos. 147706-07, February 16, 2005

Section 4 (c) of P.D. No. 1606, as amended, clearly provides that "In all cases
elevated to the Sandiganbayan and from the Sandiganbayan to the Supreme Court, the
Office of the Ombudsman, through its special prosecutor, shall represent the People of
the Philippines, except in cases filed pursuant to Executive Order Nos. 1, 2, 14 and
14-A, issued in 1986."
City Government of Tuguegarao vs. Randolph S. Ting, G.R. Nos. 192435-36,
September 14, 2011

Art. XI, Sec. 13

Angelita de Guzman vs. Emilio A. Gonzalez III, et al., G.R. No. 158104, March 26, 2010

Edgardo V. Estarija vs. Edward F. Ranada, et al., G.R. No. 159314, June 26, 2006

It is settled that the Office of the Ombudsman has the sole power to investigate and
prosecute on its own or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public
officer or employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal,
unjust, improper or inefficient. The power to withdraw the Information already filed is
a mere adjunct or consequence of the Ombudsman's overall power to prosecute.
City Government of Tuguegarao vs. Randolph S. Ting, G.R. Nos. 192435-36,
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September 14, 2011

The conclusion reached by the Court in Ledesma is clear: the Ombudsman has been
statutorily granted the right to impose administrative penalties on erring public
officials. That the Constitution merely indicated a "recommendatory" power in the
text of Section 13 (3), Article XI of the Constitution did not deprive Congress of its
plenary legislative power to vest the Ombudsman powers beyond those stated.
Office of the Ombudsman vs. Nellie R. Apolonio, G.R. No. 165132, March 7, 2012 citing
Ledesma vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 161629, July 29, 2005

That the refusal, without just cause, of any officer to comply with such an order of
the Ombudsman to penalize an erring officer or employee is a ground for disciplinary
action, is a strong indication that the Ombudsman's "recommendation" is not merely
advisory in nature but is actually mandatory within the bounds of law. This should not
be interpreted as usurpation by the Ombudsman of the authority of the head of office
or any officer concerned. It has long been settled that the power of the Ombudsman to
investigate and prosecute any illegal act or omission of any public official is not an
exclusive authority but a shared or concurrent authority in respect of the offense
charged. By stating therefore that the Ombudsman "recommends" the action to be
taken against an erring officer or employee, the provisions in the Constitution and in
RA 6770 intended that the implementation of the order be coursed through the proper
officer…
Office of the Ombudsman vs. Nellie R. Apolonio, G.R. No. 165132, March 7, 2012 citing
Ledesma vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 161629, July 29, 2005

[T]he framers of our Constitution intended to create a stronger and more effective
Ombudsman, independent and beyond the reach of political influences and vested
with powers that are not merely persuasive in character. The Constitutional
Commission left to Congress to empower the Ombudsman with prosecutorial
functions which it did when RA 6770 was enacted.
Office of the Ombudsman vs. Nellie R. Apolonio, G.R. No. 165132, March 7, 2012 citing
Ledesma vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 161629, July 29, 2005

Clearly, the Philippine Ombudsman departs from the classical Ombudsman model
whose function is merely to receive and process the people's complaints against
corrupt and abusive government personnel. The Philippine Ombudsman, as protector
of the people, is armed with the power to prosecute erring public officers and
employees, giving him an active role in the enforcement of laws on anti-graft and
corrupt practices and such other offenses that may be committed by such officers and
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employees. The legislature has vested him with broad powers to enable him to
implement his own actions. . .
Office of the Ombudsman vs. Nellie R. Apolonio, G.R. No. 165132, March 7, 2012 citing
Ledesma vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 161629, July 29, 2005

The provisions in R.A. No. 6770 taken together reveal the manifest intent of the
lawmakers to bestow on the Office of the Ombudsman full administrative disciplinary
authority. These provisions cover the entire gamut of administrative adjudication
which entails the authority to, inter alia, receive complaints, conduct investigations,
hold hearings in accordance with its rules of procedure, summon witnesses and
require the production of documents, place under preventive suspension public
officers and employees pending an investigation, determine the appropriate penalty
imposable on erring public officers or employees as warranted by the evidence, and,
necessarily, impose the said penalty. Thus, it is settled that the Office of the
Ombudsman can directly impose administrative sanctions.
Office of the Ombudsman vs. Nellie R. Apolonio, G.R. No. 165132, March 7, 2012 citing
Cabalit v. Commission on Audit-Region VII, G.R. Nos. 180236, 180341, & 180342,
January 17, 2012

The Court defined misconduct as "a transgression of some established and definite
rule of action, more particularly, unlawful behavior or gross negligence by a public
officer." We further stated that misconduct becomes grave if it "involves any of the
additional elements of corruption, willful intent to violate the law or to disregard
established rules, which must be established by substantial evidence." Otherwise, the
misconduct is only simple. Therefore, "[a] person charged with grave misconduct may
be held liable for simple misconduct if the misconduct does not involve any of the
additional elements to qualify the misconduct as grave."
Office of the Ombudsman vs. Nellie R. Apolonio, G.R. No. 165132, March 7, 2012 citing
Civil Service Commission v. Ledesma, G.R. No. 154521, September 30, 2005

Misconduct in office has been authoritatively defined by Justice Tuazon in Lacson


v. Lopez in these words: "Misconduct in office has a definite and well-understood
legal meaning. By uniform legal definition, it is a misconduct such as affects his
performance of his duties as an officer and not such only as affects his character as a
private individual. In such cases, it has been said at all times, it is necessary to
separate the character of the man from the character of the officer . . . . It is settled that
misconduct, misfeasance, or malfeasance warranting removal from office of an officer
must have direct relation to and be connected with the performance of official duties
amounting either to maladministration or willful, intentional neglect and failure to
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discharge the duties of the office . . . . Therefore, if a nexus between the public
official's acts and functions is established, such act is properly referred to as
misconduct.
Office of the Ombudsman vs. Nellie R. Apolonio, G.R. No. 165132, March 7, 2012

Indeed, the power of the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate extends to all
kinds of malfeasance, misfeasance, and non-feasance that have been committed
during his tenure of office by any officer or employee of the Government, or of any
subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or
controlled corporations. The Office of the Ombudsman also has the power to act on
all complaints relating, but not limited, to acts or omissions that (1) are contrary to law
or regulation; (2) are unreasonable, unfair, oppressive or discriminatory; (3) are
inconsistent with the general course of an agency's functions, though in accordance
with law; (4) proceed from a mistake of law or an arbitrary ascertainment of facts; (5)
are in the exercise of discretionary powers but for an improper purpose; or (6) are
otherwise irregular, immoral or devoid of justification. At the same time, the Office of
the Ombudsman, in the exercise of its administrative disciplinary authority, can
impose the penalty of removal, suspension, demotion, fine, censure, or prosecution of
a public officer or employee found to be at fault. The exercise of all such powers is
well founded on the Constitution and on Republic Act No. 6770.
Office of the Ombudsman vs. Samson de Leon, G.R. No. 154083, February 27, 2013

[The Office of the Ombudsman's] authority does not end with a recommendation to
punish, but goes farther as to directly impose the appropriate sanctions on the erring
public officials and employees, like removal, suspension, demotion, fine, censure, or
criminal prosecution; and characterizing such imposition of sanctions to be not merely
advisory or recommendatory but actually mandatory, to wit:

In fine, the manifest intent of the lawmakers was to bestow on the


Office of the Ombudsman full administrative disciplinary authority in accord
with the constitutional deliberations. Unlike the Ombudsman-like agencies of
the past the powers of which extend to no more than making findings of fact
and recommendations, and the Ombudsman or Tanodbayan under the 1973
Constitution who may file and prosecute criminal, civil or administrative
cases against public officials and employees only in cases of failure of justice,
the Ombudsman under the 1987 Constitution and R.A. No. 6770 is intended
to play a more active role in the enforcement of laws on anti-graft and corrupt
practices and other offenses committed by public officers and employees. The
Ombudsman is to be an "activist watchman," not merely a passive one. He is
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vested with broad powers to enable him to implement his own actions.

Office of the Ombudsman vs. Samson de Leon, G.R. No. 154083, February 27, 2013
citing Office of the Ombudsman v. Masing, G.R. No. 165416, G.R. No. 165584, and
G.R. No. 165731, January 22, 2008

The State is not without remedy against . . . any public official who committed
violations while in office, but had already resigned or retired therefrom. Under the
'threefold liability rule,' the wrongful acts or omissions of a public officer may give
rise to civil, criminal and administrative liability. Even if the Ombudsman may no
longer file an administrative case against a public official who has already resigned or
retired, the Ombudsman may still file criminal and civil cases to vindicate [the public
official]'s alleged transgressions.
Re: Missing Exhibits and Court Properties in RTC, Branch 4, Panabo City, Davao del
Norte, A.M. No. 10-2-41-RTC, February 27, 2013

Gross neglect of duty or gross negligence "refers to negligence characterized by the


want of even slight care, or by acting or omitting to act in a situation where there is a
duty to act, not inadvertently but wilfully and intentionally, with a conscious
indifference to the consequences, insofar as other persons may be affected. It is the
omission of that care that even inattentive and thoughtless men never fail to give to
their own property." It denotes a flagrant and culpable refusal or unwillingness of a
person to perform a duty. In cases involving public officials, gross negligence occurs
when a breach of duty is flagrant and palpable.

In contrast, simple neglect of duty means the failure of an employee or official to


give proper attention to a task expected of him or her, signifying a "disregard of a duty
resulting from carelessness or indifference."
Office of the Ombudsman vs. Samson de Leon, G.R. No. 154083, February 27, 2013

Art. XI, Sec. 15

In Presidential Ad Hoc Committee v. Hon. Desierto, the Court held that the
imprescriptibility of the right of the State to recover ill-gotten wealth applies only to
civil actions for recovery of ill-gotten wealth, and not to criminal cases. In other
words, the prosecution of offenses arising from, relating or incident to, or involving

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ill-gotten wealth contemplated in the above-mentioned provision of the Constitution
may be barred by prescription.
Presidential Ad Hoc Fact-Finding Committee on Behest Loans vs. Aniano Desierto, et
al., G.R. No. 135687, July 24, 2007

Presidential Ad Hoc Committee vs. Anaiano A. Desierto, G.R. No. 130140, October 25,
1999

Art. XI, Sec. 17

Thus, while "public concern" like "public interest" eludes exact definition and has
been said to embrace a broad spectrum of subjects which the public may want to
know, either because such matters directly affect their lives, or simply because such
matters naturally arouse the interest of an ordinary citizen, the Constitution itself,
under Section 17, Article XI, has classified the information disclosed in the SALN as
a matter of public concern and interest. In other words, a "duty to disclose" sprang
from the "right to know." Both of constitutional origin, the former is a command
while the latter is a permission. Hence, the duty on the part of members of the
government to disclose their SALNs to the public in the manner provided by law. . .
This Constitutional duty is echoed and particularized in a statutory creation of
Congress: Republic Act No. 6713, also known as "Code of Conduct and Ethical
Standards for Public Officials and Employees". . .
Re: Request for Copy of 2008 SALN, et al., A.M. Nos. 09-8-6-SC & 09-8-07-CA, June
13, 2012

Art. XI, Sec. 18

An oath is a solemn declaration, accompanied by a swearing to God or a revered


person or thing, that one's statement is true or that one will be bound to a promise. The
person making the oath implicitly invites punishment if the statement is untrue or the
promise is broken. The legal effect of an oath is to subject the person to penalties for
perjury if the testimony is false. Indeed, the solemn promise, and the risk of

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punishment attached to an oath ensures truthfulness to the prospective public officer's
abandonment of his adopted state and promise of absolute allegiance and loyalty to
the Republic of the Philippines. To hold the oath to be a mere pro forma requirement
is to say that it is only for ceremonial purposes; it would also accommodate a mere
qualified or temporary allegiance from government officers when the Constitution and
the legislature clearly demand otherwise.
Teodora Sobejana-Condon vs. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 198742, August 10, 2012

Art. XII, Sec. 2

Apex Mining Co., Inc. vs. Southeast Mindanao Gold Mining Corp., et al., G.R. Nos.
152613 & 152628, 152619-20 & 152870-71, June 23, 2006

La Bugal B'laan Tribal Association, et al. vs. Ramos, et al., G.R. No. 127882, February
1, 2005

Under Section 2, Article XII of the Constitution, which embodies the Regalian
doctrine, all lands of the public domain belong to the State — the source of any
asserted right to ownership of land. All lands not appearing to be clearly of private
dominion presumptively belong to the State. Accordingly, public lands not shown to
have been reclassified or released as alienable and disposable agricultural land or
alienated to a private person by the State remain part of the inalienable public domain.
Incontrovertible evidence must be presented to establish that the land subject of the
application is alienable or disposable.
DCD Construction, Inc. vs. Republic of the Phil., G.R. No. 179978, August 31, 2011

Under the Regalian doctrine which is embodied in Section 2, Article XII of the
1987 Constitution, all lands of the public domain belong to the State, which is the
source of any asserted right to ownership of land. All lands not appearing to be clearly
within private ownership are presumed to belong to the State. Unless public land is
shown to have been reclassified or alienated to a private person by the State, it
remains part of the inalienable public domain. To overcome this presumption,
incontrovertible evidence must be established that the land subject of the application
is alienable or disposable. To prove that the land subject of an application for
registration is alienable, an applicant must establish the existence of a positive act of
the government such as a presidential proclamation or an executive order; an
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administrative action; investigation reports of Bureau of Lands investigators; and a
legislative act or a statute. The applicant may also secure a certification from the
Government that the lands applied for are alienable and disposable.
Ramon Aranda vs. Republic of the Phil., G.R. No. 172331, August 24, 2011

The 1987 Constitution specifically declares that all lands of the public domain,
waters, fisheries and other natural resources belong to the State. Included here are
fishponds, which may not be alienated but only leased. Possession thereof, no matter
how long, cannot ripen into ownership.
Jose Menchavez, et al. vs. Florentino Teves Jr., G.R. No. 153201, January 26, 2005

IFMAs (Integrated Forest Management Agreements) are production-sharing


agreements concerning the development and utilization of natural resources. As such,
these agreements "may be for a period not exceeding twenty-five years, renewable for
not more than twenty-five years, and under such terms and conditions as may be
provided by law". Any superior "contract" requiring the State to issue TLAs and
IFMAs whenever they expire clearly circumvents Section 2, Article XII of the
Constitution, which provides for the only permissible schemes wherein the full control
and supervision of the State are not derogated: co-production, joint venture, or
production-sharing agreements within the time limit of twenty-five years, renewable
for another twenty-five years.
Heherson Alvarez vs. PICOP Resources, G.R. Nos. 162243, 164516 & 171875,
December 3, 2009

Forest lands cannot be alienated in favor of private entities. Granting to private


entities, via a contract, a permanent, irrevocable, and exclusive possession of and right
over forest lands is tantamount to granting ownership thereof.
Heherson Alvarez vs. PICOP Resources, G.R. Nos. 162243, 164516 & 171875,
December 3, 2009

The 1987 Constitution retained the Regalian doctrine. The first sentence of Section
2, Article XII states: "All lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal,
petroleum, and other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries, forests or
timber, wildlife, flora and fauna, and other natural resources are owned by the State."

Like the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions before it, the 1987 Constitution, in the
second sentence of the same provision, prohibits the alienation of natural resources,
except agricultural lands.
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The third sentence of the same paragraph is new: "The exploration, development
and utilization of natural resources shall be under the full control and supervision of
the State." The constitutional policy of the State's "full control and supervision" over
natural resources proceeds from the concept of jura regalia, as well as the recognition
of the importance of the country's natural resources, not only for national economic
development, but also for its security and national defense. Under this provision, the
State assumes "a more dynamic role" in the exploration, development and utilization
of natural resources.

Conspicuously absent in Section 2 is the provision in the 1935 and 1973


Constitutions authorizing the State to grant licenses, concessions, or leases for the
exploration, exploitation, development, or utilization of natural resources. By such
omission, the utilization of inalienable lands of public domain through "license,
concession or lease" is no longer allowed under the 1987 Constitution.

Having omitted the provision on the concession system, Section 2 proceeded to


introduce "unfamiliar language":

The State may directly undertake such activities or it may enter into co-production,
joint venture, or production-sharing agreements with Filipino citizens, or corporations
or associations at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens.

Consonant with the State's "full supervision and control" over natural resources,
Section 2 offers the State two "options." One, the State may directly undertake these
activities itself; or two, it may enter into co-production, joint venture, or
production-sharing agreements with Filipino citizens, or entities at least 60% of whose
capital is owned by such citizens.

A third option is found in the third paragraph of the same section:

The Congress may, by law, allow small-scale utilization of natural resources by


Filipino citizens, as well as cooperative fish farming, with priority to subsistence
fishermen and fish-workers in rivers, lakes, bays, and lagoons.

While the second and third options are limited only to Filipino citizens or, in the
case of the former, to corporations or associations at least 60% of the capital of which
is owned by Filipinos, a fourth allows the participation of foreign-owned corporations.
The fourth and fifth paragraphs of Section 2 provide:

The President may enter into agreements with foreign-owned corporations involving
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either technical or financial assistance for large-scale exploration, development, and
utilization of minerals, petroleum, and other mineral oils according to the general
terms and conditions provided by law, based on real contributions to the economic
growth and general welfare of the country. In such agreements, the State shall
promote the development and use of local scientific and technical resources.

The President shall notify the Congress of every contract entered into in accordance
with this provision, within thirty days from its execution.

Although Section 2 sanctions the participation of foreign-owned corporations in the


exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources, it imposes certain
limitations or conditions to agreements with such corporations.

First, the parties to FTAAs. Only the President, in behalf of the State, may enter
into these agreements, and only with corporations. By contrast, under the 1973
Constitution, a Filipino citizen, corporation or association may enter into a service
contract with a "foreign person or entity."

Second, the size of the activities: only large-scale exploration, development, and
utilization is allowed. The term "large-scale usually refers to very capital-intensive
activities."

Third, the natural resources subject of the activities is restricted to minerals,


petroleum and other mineral oils, the intent being to limit service contracts to those
areas where Filipino capital may not be sufficient.

Fourth, consistency with the provisions of statute. The agreements must be in


accordance with the terms and conditions provided by law.

Fifth, Section 2 prescribes certain standards for entering into such agreements. The
agreements must be based on real contributions to economic growth and general
welfare of the country.

Sixth, the agreements must contain rudimentary stipulations for the promotion of
the development and use of local scientific and technical resources.

Seventh, the notification requirement. The President shall notify Congress of every
financial or technical assistance agreement entered into within thirty days from its
execution.

Finally, the scope of the agreements. While the 1973 Constitution referred to

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"service contracts for financial, technical, management, or other forms of assistance"
the 1987 Constitution provides for "agreements . . . involving either financial or
technical assistance." It bears noting that the phrases "service contracts" and
"management or other forms of assistance" in the earlier constitution have been
omitted.
La Bugal-B'laan Tribal Assn., Inc., et al. vs. Victor O. Ramos, et al., G.R. No. 127882,
January 27, 2004

Miners Association of the Philippines, Inc. vs. Factoran, Jr., G.R. No. 98332, January
16, 1995

All projects relating to the exploration, development and utilization of natural


resources are projects of the State. While the State may enter into co-production, joint
venture, or production-sharing agreements with Filipino citizens, or corporations or
associations at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by these citizens, such
as PICOP, the projects nevertheless remain as State projects and can never be purely
private endeavors. Also, despite entering into co-production, joint venture, or
production-sharing agreements, the State remains in full control and supervision over
such projects.
Heherson Alvarez vs. PICOP Resources, G.R. Nos. 162243, 164516 & 171875,
December 3, 2009

The power to issue licenses springs from the State's police power, known as "the
most essential, insistent and least limitable of powers, extending as it does to all the
great public needs". Businesses affecting the public interest, such as the operation of
public utilities and those involving the exploitation of natural resources, are mandated
by law to acquire licenses. This is so in order that the State can regulate their
operations and thereby protect the public interest.
Heherson Alvarez vs. PICOP Resources, G.R. Nos. 162243, 164516 & 171875,
December 3, 2009

Exceptions are never presumed and should be convincingly proven. Section 2 of


the Investment Incentives Act cannot be read as exempting investors from the
Constitutional provisions (1) prohibiting private ownership of forest lands; (2)
providing for the complete control and supervision by the State of exploitation
activities; or (3) limiting exploitation agreements to twenty-five years, renewable for
another twenty-five years.
Heherson Alvarez vs. PICOP Resources, G.R. Nos. 162243, 164516 & 171875,
December 3, 2009

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Reclaimed lands such as the subject lands in issue are reserved lands for public use.
They are properties of public dominion. The ownership of such lands remains with the
State unless they are withdrawn by law or presidential proclamation from public use.

Under Section 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution, the foreshore


and submerged areas of Manila Bay are part of the "lands of the public
domain, waters . . . and other natural resources" and consequently "owned by
the State." As such, foreshore and submerged areas "shall not be alienated,"
unless they are classified as "agricultural lands" of the public domain. The
mere reclamation of these areas by PEA does not convert these inalienable
natural resources of the State into alienable or disposable lands of the public
domain. There must be a law or presidential proclamation officially
classifying these reclaimed lands as alienable or disposable and open to
disposition or concession. Moreover, these reclaimed lands cannot be
classified as alienable or disposable if the law has reserved them for some
public or quasi-public use.

Republic of the Phil. vs. City of Parañaque, G.R. No. 191109, July 18, 2012

As the rule now stands, an applicant must prove that the land subject of an
application for registration is alienable and disposable by establishing the existence of
a positive act of the government such as a presidential proclamation or an executive
order; an administrative action; investigation reports of Bureau of Lands investigators;
and a legislative act or a statute. The applicant may also secure a certification from the
government that the land claimed to have been possessed for the required number of
years is alienable and disposable. . . . [M]ere notations appearing in survey plans are
inadequate proof of the covered properties' alienable and disposable character. . . . The
present rule on the matter then requires that an application for original registration be
accompanied by: (1) CENRO or PENRO Certification; and (2) a copy of the original
classification approved by the DENR Secretary and certified as a true copy by the
legal custodian of the official records.
Republic of the Phil. vs. Marlon Medida, G.R. No. 195097, August 13, 2012

[T]he alienability and disposability of land are not among the matters that can be
established by mere admissions, or even the agreement of parties. The law and
jurisprudence provide stringent requirements to prove such fact. Our Constitution, no
less, embodies the Regalian doctrine that all lands of the public domain belong to the
State, which is the source of any asserted right to ownership of land. The courts are
then empowered, as we are duty-bound, to ensure that such ownership of the State is
duly protected by the proper observance by parties of the rules and requirements on
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land registration.
Republic of the Phil. vs. Marlon Medida, G.R. No. 195097, August 13, 2012

Art. XII, Sec. 3

It is basic that an assignor or seller cannot assign or sell something he does not own
at the time the ownership, or the rights to the ownership, are to be transferred to the
assignee or buyer. Radstock cannot own the rights to ownership of any land in the
Philippines because Radstock cannot lawfully own the land itself. Otherwise, there
will be a blatant circumvention of the Constitution, which prohibits a foreign private
corporation from owning land in the Philippines. In addition, Radstock cannot transfer
the rights to ownership of land in the Philippines if it cannot own the land itself.
Strategic Alliance Development Corp. vs. Radstock Securities Limited, et al., G.R. Nos.
178158 & 180428, December 4, 2009

It is basic that an assignor or seller cannot assign or sell something he does not own
at the time the ownership, or the rights to the ownership, are to be transferred to the
assignee or buyer.
Strategic Alliance Development Corp. vs. Radstock Securities Limited, et al., G.R. Nos.
178158 & 180428, December 4, 2009

Art. XII, Sec. 4

Jurisprudence has recognized the policy of multiple land use in our laws towards
the end that the country's precious natural resources may be rationally explored,
developed, utilized and conserved. It has been held that forest reserves or reservations
can at the same time be open to mining operations, provided a prior written clearance
by the government agency having jurisdiction over such reservation is obtained. In
other words mineral lands can exist within forest reservations. These two terms are
not antithetical.
Apex Mining Co., Inc. vs. Southeast Mindanao Gold Mining Corp., et al., G.R. Nos.
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152613, 152628, 162619-20 & 162870-71, November 20, 2009

Art. XII, Sec. 7

The capacity to acquire private land is made dependent upon the capacity to acquire
or hold lands of the public domain. Private land may be transferred or conveyed only
to individuals or entities "qualified to acquire lands of the public domain." The 1987
Constitution reserved the right to participate in the disposition, exploitation,
development and utilization of lands of the public domain for Filipino citizens or
corporations at least 60 percent of the capital of which is owned by Filipinos. Aliens,
whether individuals or corporations, have been disqualified from acquiring public
lands; hence, they have also been disqualified from acquiring private lands.
Jacobus Bernhard Hulst vs. PR Builders, Inc., G.R. No. 156364, September 3, 2007

Aliens, whether individuals or corporations, are disqualified from acquiring lands


of the public domain. Hence, they are also disqualified from acquiring private lands.
The primary purpose of the constitutional provision is the conservation of the national
patrimony.
Elena Buenaventura Muller vs. Helmut Muller, G.R. No. 149615, August 29, 2006

Ong Ching Po v. Court of Appeals, G.R. Nos. 113472-73, December 20, 1994

[T]he prohibition in the Constitution applies only to ownership of land. It does not
extend to immovable or real property as defined under Article 415 of the Civil Code.
Otherwise, we would have a strange situation where the ownership of immovable
property such as trees, plants and growing fruit attached to the land would be limited
to Filipinos and Filipino corporations only.
J.G. Summit Holdings, Inc. vs. Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. No. 124293, January 31,
2005

[I]t is the Constitution itself which demarcates the rights of citizens and
non-citizens in owning Philippine land. To be sure, the constitutional ban against
foreigners applies only to ownership of Philippine land and not to the improvements
built thereon. . . . Needless to state, the purpose of the prohibition is to conserve the
national patrimony and it is this policy which the Court is duty-bound to protect.

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Willem Beumer vs. Avelina Amores, G.R. No. 195670, December 3, 2012

Art. XII, Sec. 15

Dumaguete Cathedral Credit Cooperative vs. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, G.R.


No. 182722, January 22, 2010

Art. XII, Sec. 16

[T]he government-owned or controlled corporations created through special charters


are those that meet the two conditions prescribed in Section 16, Article XII of the
Constitution. The first condition is that the government-owned or controlled
corporation must be established for the common good. The second condition is that
the government-owned or controlled corporation must meet the test of economic
viability. Section 16, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution provides:

SEC. 16. The Congress shall not, except by general law, provide
for the formation, organization, or regulation of private corporations.
Government-owned or controlled corporations may be created or
established by special charters in the interest of the common good and
subject to the test of economic viability. (Emphasis and underscoring
supplied)

The Constitution expressly authorizes the legislature to create "government-owned


or controlled corporations" through special charters only if these entities are required
to meet the twin conditions of common good and economic viability. In other words,
Congress has no power to create government-owned or controlled corporations
with special charters unless they are made to comply with the two conditions of
common good and economic viability. The test of economic viability applies only to
government-owned or controlled corporations that perform economic or commercial
activities and need to compete in the market place. Being essentially economic
vehicles of the State for the common good — meaning for economic development
purposes — these government-owned or controlled corporations with special charters

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are usually organized as stock corporations just like ordinary private corporations.

In contrast, government instrumentalities vested with corporate powers and


performing governmental or public functions need not meet the test of economic
viability. These instrumentalities perform essential public services for the common
good, services that every modern State must provide its citizens. These
instrumentalities need not be economically viable since the government may even
subsidize their entire operations. These instrumentalities are not the
"government-owned or controlled corporations" referred to in Section 16, Article XII
of the 1987 Constitution.

Thus, the Constitution imposes no limitation when the legislature creates


government instrumentalities vested with corporate powers but performing essential
governmental or public functions. Congress has plenary authority to create
government instrumentalities vested with corporate powers provided these
instrumentalities perform essential government functions or public services.
However, when the legislature creates through special charters corporations that
perform economic or commercial activities, such entities — known as
"government-owned or controlled corporations" — must meet the test of economic
viability because they compete in the market place.
MIAA vs. Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. No. 155650, July 20, 2006

The fundamental provision above authorizes Congress to create GOCCs through


special charters on two conditions: 1) the GOCC must be established for the common
good; and 2) the GOCC must meet the test of economic viability.

The twin requirement of common good and economic viability was lengthily
discussed in the case of Manila International Airport Authority v. Court of Appeals
(G.R. No. 155650, July 20, 2006):

The test of economic viability applies only to government-owned or


controlled corporations that perform economic or commercial activities and
need to compete in the market place. Being essentially economic vehicles of
the State for the common good — meaning for economic development
purposes — these government-owned or controlled corporations with special
charters are usually organized as stock corporations just like ordinary private
corporations. In contrast, government instrumentalities vested with corporate
powers and performing governmental or public functions need not meet the
test of economic viability. These instrumentalities perform essential public
services for the common good, services that every modern State must provide
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its citizens. These instrumentalities need not be economically viable since the
government may even subsidize their entire operations. These
instrumentalities are not the "government-owned or controlled corporations"
referred to in Section 16, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution. . . . Clearly, the
test of economic viability does not apply to government entities vested with
corporate powers and performing essential public services.

Republic of the Phil. vs. City of Parañaque, G.R. No. 191109, July 18, 2012

Art. XII, Sec. 17

Section 17, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution grants the State in times of
national emergency the right to temporarily take over the operation of any business
affected with public interest. This right is an exercise of police power which is one of
the inherent powers of the State.

Police power has been defined as the "state authority to enact legislation that may
interfere with personal liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare." It
consists of two essential elements. First, it is an imposition of restraint upon liberty or
property. Second, the power is exercised for the benefit of the common good. Its
definition in elastic terms underscores its all-encompassing and comprehensive
embrace. It is and still is the "most essential, insistent, and illimitable" of the State's
powers. It is familiar knowledge that unlike the power of eminent domain, police
power is exercised without provision for just compensation for its paramount
consideration is public welfare.

It is also settled that public interest on the occasion of a national emergency is the
primary consideration when the government decides to temporarily take over or direct
the operation of a public utility or a business affected with public interest. The nature
and extent of the emergency is the measure of the duration of the takeover as well as
the terms thereof. It is the State that prescribes such reasonable terms which will guide
the implementation of the temporary takeover as dictated by the exigencies of the
time. As we ruled in our Decision, this power of the State can not be negated by any
party nor should its exercise be a source of obligation for the State.
Demosthenes P. Agan, Jr., et al. vs. PIATCO, et al., G.R. No. 155001, 155547 &
155661, January 21, 2004

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Art. XII, Sec. 19

Section 19, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution mandates that the State prohibit or
regulate monopolies when public interest so requires. Monopolies are not per se
prohibited. Given its susceptibility to abuse, however, the State has the bounden duty
to regulate monopolies to protect public interest. Such regulation may be called for,
especially in sensitive areas such as the operation of the country's premier
international airport, considering the public interest at stake.
Demosthenes P. Agan, Jr., et al. vs. PIATCO, et al., G.R. No. 155001, 155547 &
155661, January 21, 2004

[R]estraint of trade or occupation embraces acts, contracts, agreements or


combinations which restrict competition or obstruct due course of trade.
Avon Cosmetics, Inc., et al. vs. Leticia H. Luna, G.R. No. 153674, December 20, 2006

Art. XIII, Sec. 2

Dumaguete Cathedral Credit Cooperative vs. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, G.R.


No. 182722, January 22, 2010

Art. XIII, Sec. 3

In accordance with the avowed policy of the State to give maximum aid and full
protection to labor, the Court has applied the Labor Code concept of permanent total
disability to Filipino seafarers, it holding that the notion of disability is intimately
related to the worker's capacity to earn, what is compensated being not his injury or
illness but his inability to work resulting in the impairment of his earning capacity;
hence, disability should be understood less on its medical significance but more on the

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loss of earning capacity.
Rizaldy M. Quitoriano vs. Jebsens Maritime, Inc., et al., G.R. No. 179868, January 21,
2010

It is a well-settled rule that labor laws do not authorize interference with the
employer's judgment in the conduct of its business. The Labor Code and its
implementing rules do not vest managerial authority in the labor arbiters or in the
different divisions of the National Labor Relations Commission or in the courts. The
hiring, firing, transfer, demotion, and promotion of employees have been traditionally
identified as a management prerogative subject to limitations found in the law, a
collective bargaining agreement, or in general principles of fair play and justice. This
is a function associated with the employer's inherent right to control and manage
effectively its enterprise. Even as the law is solicitous of the welfare of employees, it
must also protect the right of an employer to exercise what are clearly management
prerogatives. The free will of management to conduct its own business affairs to
achieve its purpose cannot be denied. Accordingly, this Court has recognized and
affirmed the prerogative of management to implement a job evaluation program or a
re-organization for as long as it is not contrary to law, morals or public policy.
SCA Hygiene Products Corp. Employees Association-FFW vs. SCA Hygiene Products
Corp., G.R. No. 182877, August 9, 2010

The general policy of labor law is to discourage interference with an employer's


judgment in the conduct of his business. Even as the law is solicitous of the welfare of
the employees, it must also protect the right of an employer to exercise what are
clearly management prerogatives. As long as the company's exercise of judgment is in
good faith to advance its interest and not for the purpose of defeating or
circumventing the rights of employees under the laws or valid agreements, such
exercise will be upheld. Neither does labor law authorize the substitution of judgment
of the employer in the conduct of his business, unless it is shown to be contrary to
law, morals, or public policy. The only condition is that the exercise of management
prerogatives should not be done in bad faith or with abuse of discretion.
Radio Phil. Network, Inc., et al. vs. Ruth F. Yap, et al., G.R. No. 187713, August 1, 2012

Under the security of tenure guarantee, a worker can only be terminated from his
employment for cause and after due process. For a valid termination by the employer:
(1) the dismissal must be for a valid cause as provided in Article 282, or for any of the
authorized causes under Articles 283 and 284 of the Labor Code; and (2) the
employee must be afforded an opportunity to be heard and to defend himself. A just
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and valid cause for an employee's dismissal must be supported by substantial
evidence, and before the employee can be dismissed, he must be given notice and an
adequate opportunity to be heard. In the process, the employer bears the burden of
proving that the dismissal of an employee was for a valid cause. Its failure to
discharge this burden renders the dismissal unjustified and, therefore, illegal.
Wensha Spa Center, Inc., et al. vs. Loreta T. Yung, G.R. No. 185122, August 16, 2010

To recapitulate, it bears to reiterate the general rule under Department Order No.
33, Series of 1996 and Memorandum Circular No. 55, Series of 1996, that it is the
company-designated physician who determines the fitness or disability of a seafarer
who suffered or is suffering from an injury or illness. However, considering the
unanimity of the findings not only of petitioner's independent physicians here in the
Philippines, but also those who were consulted abroad by petitioner's employer, that
petitioner is indeed not fit for duty as a seafarer by reason of the injury he sustained
during his fall, the instant case should be considered as an exception to the general
rule abovestated.

The Court has applied the Labor Code concept of disability to Filipino seafarers in
keeping with the avowed policy of the State to give maximum aid and full protection
to labor, it holding that the notion of disability is intimately related to the worker's
capacity to earn, what is compensated being not his injury or illness but his inability to
work resulting in the impairment of his earning capacity, hence, disability should be
understood less on its medical significance but more on the loss of earning capacity.

To be sure, the POEA-SEC for Seamen was designed primarily for the protection
and benefit of Filipino seamen in the pursuit of their employment on board
ocean-going vessels. Its provisions must be construed and applied fairly, reasonably
and liberally in their favor. Only then can its beneficent provisions be fully carried
into effect.
Ramon G. Nazareno vs. Maersk Filipinas Crewing, Inc., et al., G.R. No. 168703,
February 26, 2013

The Court has held that management is free to regulate, according to its own
discretion and judgment, all aspects of employment, including hiring, work
assignments, working methods, time, place, and manner of work, processes to be
followed, supervision of workers, working regulations, transfer of employees, work
supervision, lay-off of workers, and discipline, dismissal and recall of workers. The
exercise of management prerogative, however, is not absolute as it must be exercised

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in good faith and with due regard to the rights of labor.
Royal Plant Workers Union vs. Coca-Cola Bottlers Phil., Inc.-Cebu Plant, G.R. No.
198783, April 15, 2013

Art. XIII, Sec. 4

Section 4, Article XIII of the 1987 Constitution mandates that the redistribution of
agricultural lands shall be subject to the payment of just compensation. The
deliberations of the 1986 Constitutional Commission on this subject reveal that just
compensation should not do violence to the Bill of Rights, but should also not make
an insurmountable obstacle to a successful agrarian reform program. Hence, the
landowner's right to just compensation should be balanced with agrarian reform.
LBP vs. Domingo Soriano, et al., G.R. Nos. 180772 and 180776, May 6, 2010

This provision expressly provides that the taking of land for use in the
government's agrarian reform program is conditioned on the payment of just
compensation. Nothing in the wording of this provision even remotely suggests that
the just compensation required from the taking of land for the agrarian reform
program should be treated any differently from the just compensation required in any
other case of expropriation.
Apo Fruits Corp., et al. vs. LBP, G.R. No. 164195, April 5, 2011

Hacienda Luisita, Inc. vs. Presidential Agrarian Reform Council, et al., G.R. No. 171101,
April 24, 2012

When the State exercises its inherent power of eminent domain, the Constitution
imposes the corresponding obligation to compensate the landowner for the
expropriated property. This principle is embodied in Section 9, Article III of the
Constitution, which provides: "Private property shall not be taken for public use
without just compensation." When the State exercises the power of eminent domain in
the implementation of its agrarian reform program, the constitutional provision which
governs is Section 4, Article XIII of the Constitution . . .
LBP vs. Honeycomb Farms Corp., G.R. No. 169903, February 29, 2012

Notably, this provision also imposes upon the State the obligation of paying the
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landowner compensation for the land taken, even if it is for the government's agrarian
reform purposes. Specifically, the provision makes use of the phrase "just
compensation," the same phrase used in Section 9, Article III of the Constitution.
LBP vs. Honeycomb Farms Corp., G.R. No. 169903, February 29, 2012

Art. XIII, Sec. 11

The state policy in creating a national health insurance program is to grant


discounted medical coverage to all citizens, with priority to the needs of the
underprivileged, sick, elderly, disabled, women and children, and free medical care to
paupers.
Philippine Health Insurance Corp. vs. Chinese General Hospital, et al., G.R. No.
163123, April 15, 2005

Art. XIV, Sec. 1

The constitutional mandate to protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality
education at all levels is directed to the State and not to the school.
PTA of St. Mathew Christian Academy, et al. vs. Metrobank, G.R. No. 176518, March 2,
2010

Art. XIV, Sec. 5 (2)

Article XIV, Section 5 (2) of the Constitution mandates "that academic freedom
shall be enjoyed in all institutions of higher learning." Academic freedom did not go
beyond the concept of freedom of intellectual inquiry, which includes the freedom of
professionally qualified persons to inquire, discover, publish and teach the truth as
they see it in the field of their competence subject to no control or authority except of
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rational methods by which truths and conclusions are sought and established in these
disciplines. It also pertains to the right of the school or college to decide for itself, its
aims and objectives, and how best to attain them — the grant being given to
institutions of higher learning — free from outside coercion or interference save
possibly when the overriding public welfare calls for some restraint.
PTA of St. Mathew Christian Academy, et al. vs. Metrobank, G.R. No. 176518, March 2,
2010

Art. XV, Sec. 3

Section 3, Art. XV of the Constitution espouses that the State shall defend the
"right of the spouses to found a family." One person cannot found a family. The right,
therefore, is shared by both spouses. In the same Section 3, their right "to participate
in the planning and implementation of policies and programs that affect them" is
equally recognized.

The RH Law cannot be allowed to infringe upon this mutual decision-making. By


giving absolute authority to the spouse who would undergo a procedure, and barring
the other spouse from participating in the decision would drive a wedge between the
husband and wife, possibly result in bitter animosity, and endanger the marriage and
the family, all for the sake of reducing the population. This would be a marked
departure from the policy of the State to protect marriage as an inviolable social
institution.

Decision-making involving a reproductive health procedure is a private matter


which belongs to the couple, not just one of them. Any decision they would reach
would affect their future as a family because the size of the family or the number of
their children significantly matters. The decision whether or not to undergo the
procedure belongs exclusively to, and shared by, both spouses as one cohesive unit as
they chart their own destiny. It is a constitutionally guaranteed private right.
Unless it prejudices the State, which has not shown any compelling interest, the State
should see to it that they chart their destiny together as one family.
Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc., April 8, 2014

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Art. XVI, Sec. 3

The doctrine of state immunity applies to complaints filed against state officials for
acts performed in the discharge of their duties.

While the doctrine of state immunity appears to prohibit only suits against the state
without its consent, it is also applicable to complaints filed against officials of the
state for acts allegedly performed by them in the discharge of their duties. The suit is
regarded as one against the state where satisfaction of the judgment against the
officials will require the state itself to perform a positive act, such as the appropriation
of the amount necessary to pay the damages awarded against them.

However, the rule does not apply where the public official is charged in his official
capacity for acts that are unauthorized or unlawful and injurious to the rights of
others. Neither does it apply where the public official is clearly being sued not in his
official capacity but in his personal capacity, although the acts complained of may
have been committed while he occupied a public position.
DOH, et al. vs. Phil. Pharmawealth, Inc., G.R. No. 169304, March 13, 2007

Shauf vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 90314, November 27, 1990

United States of America vs. Reyes, G.R. No. 79253, March 1, 1993

Sanders vs. Veridiano II, G.R. No. L-46930, June 10, 1988

Unauthorized acts of government officials are not acts of the State.

Inasmuch as the State authorizes only legal acts by its officers, unauthorized acts of
government officials or officers are not acts of the State, and an action against the
officials or officers by one whose rights have been invaded or violated by such acts,
for the protection of his rights, is not a suit against the State within the rule of
immunity of the State from suit. In the same tenor, it has been said that an action at
law or suit in equity against a State officer or the director of a State department on the
ground that, while claiming to act for the State, he violates or invades the personal and
property rights of the plaintiff, under an unconstitutional act or under an assumption
of authority which he does not have, is not a suit against the State within the
constitutional provision that the State may not be sued without its consent.
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Director of the Bureau of Telecommunications, et al. vs. Jose A. Aligaen, et al., G.R.
No. L-31135, May 29, 1970

The doctrine is available to foreign states.

The principle of state immunity from suit, whether a local state or a foreign state, is
reflected in Section 3, Article XVI of the Constitution, which states that "the State
may not be sued without its consent." Who or what consists of "the State"? For one,
the doctrine is available to foreign States insofar as they are sought to be sued in the
courts of the local State, necessary as it is to avoid "unduly vexing the peace of
nations."
Deutsche Gesellschaft Für Technische Zusammenarbeit, et al. vs. Court of Appeals, et
al., G.R. No. 152318, April 16, 2009

Tests of state suability

The general rule spelled out in Section 3, Article XVI of the Constitution is that the
state and its political subdivisions may not be sued without their consent. Otherwise
put, they are open to suit but only when they consent to it. Consent is implied when
the government enters into a business contract, as it then descends to the level of the
other contracting party; or it may be embodied in a general or special law such as that
found in Book I, Title I, Chapter 2, Section 22 of the Local Government Code of
1991, which vests local government units with certain corporate powers — one of
them is the power to sue and be sued.

Be that as it may, a difference lies between suability and liability. As held in City of
Caloocan v. Allarde, where the suability of the state is conceded and by which
liability is ascertained judicially, the state is at liberty to determine for itself whether
to satisfy the judgment or not. Execution may not issue upon such judgment, because
statutes waiving non-suability do not authorize the seizure of property to satisfy
judgments recovered from the action. These statutes only convey an implication that
the legislature will recognize such judgment as final and make provisions for its full
satisfaction. Thus, where consent to be sued is given by general or special law, the
implication thereof is limited only to the resultant verdict on the action before
execution of the judgment.
Municipality of Hagonoy, Bulacan, et al. vs. Simeon P. Dumdum, Jr., et al., G.R. No.
168289, March 22, 2010

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Where suit is filed not against the government itself or its officials but against one
of its entities, it must be ascertained whether or not the State, as the principal that may
ultimately be held liable, has given its consent to be sued. This ascertainment will
depend in the first instance on whether the government agency impleaded is
incorporated or unincorporated. An incorporated agency has a charter of its own that
invests it with a separate juridical personality. If the agency is incorporated, the test of
its suability is found in its charter. The simple rule is that it is suable if its charter says
so, and this is true regardless of the functions it is performing. Municipal
corporations, for example, like provinces and cities, are agencies of the State when
they are engaged in governmental functions and therefore should enjoy the sovereign
immunity from suit. Nevertheless, they are subject to suit even in the performance of
such functions because their charter provides that they can sue and be sued. (I. Cruz,
Philippine Political Law (2002 ed.)
Deutsche Gesellschaft Für Technische Zusammenarbeit, et al. vs. Court of Appeals, et
al., G.R. No. 152318, April 16, 2009

Art. XVI, Sec. 9

Contrary to the respondent's notion, however, these provisions [Section 15, Article
II; Sections 11, 12 and 13, Article XIII; and Section 9, Article XVI of the
Constitution] are self-executing. Unless the provisions clearly express the contrary,
the provisions of the Constitution should be considered self-executory. There is no
need for legislation to implement these self-executing provisions. In Manila Prince
Hotel v. GSIS, it was stated:

. . . Hence, unless it is expressly provided that a legislative act is


necessary to enforce a constitutional mandate, the presumption now is that
all provisions of the constitution are self-executing. If the constitutional
provisions are treated as requiring legislation instead of self-executing,
the legislature would have the power to ignore and practically nullify the
mandate of the fundamental law. This can be cataclysmic. That is why the
prevailing view is, as it has always been, that —

. . . in case of doubt, the Constitution should be considered


self-executing rather than non-self-executing. . . . Unless the contrary is
clearly intended, the provisions of the Constitution should be considered
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self-executing, as a contrary rule would give the legislature discretion to
determine when, or whether, they shall be effective. These provisions
would be subordinated to the will of the lawmaking body, which could make
them entirely meaningless by simply refusing to pass the needed
implementing statute. (Emphases supplied)

Spouses Imbong v. Ochoa, Jr., G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, etc. April 8, 2014, citing
Manila Prince Hotel v. GSIS, 335 Phil. 82 (1997)

Art. XVIII

The Court was unanimous in holding that the Constitution mandates the
synchronization of national and local elections. While the Constitution does not
expressly instruct Congress to synchronize the national and local elections, the
intention can be inferred from the following provisions [Sections 1, 2 and 5] of the
Transitory Provisions (Article XVIII) of the Constitution . . . The framers of the
Constitution could not have expressed their objective more clearly — there was to be
a single election in 1992 for all elective officials — from the President down to the
municipal officials. Significantly, the framers were even willing to temporarily
lengthen or shorten the terms of elective officials in order to meet this objective,
highlighting the importance of this constitutional mandate.
Michael Abas Kida, et al. vs. Senate of the Phil., et al., G.R. Nos. 196271, 196305,
197221, 197280, 197282, 197392 & 197454, February 28, 2012

That the ARMM elections were not expressly mentioned in the Transitory
Provisions of the Constitution on synchronization cannot be interpreted to mean that
the ARMM elections are not covered by the constitutional mandate of
synchronization. We have to consider that the ARMM, as we now know it, had not yet
been officially organized at the time the Constitution was enacted and ratified by the
people. Keeping in mind that a constitution is not intended to provide merely for the
exigencies of a few years but is to endure through generations for as long as it remains
unaltered by the people as ultimate sovereign, a constitution should be construed in
the light of what actually is a continuing instrument to govern not only the present but
also the unfolding events of the indefinite future. Although the principles embodied in
a constitution remain fixed and unchanged from the time of its adoption, a constitution
must be construed as a dynamic process intended to stand for a great length of time, to

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be progressive and not static.
Michael Abas Kida, et al. vs. Senate of the Phil., et al., G.R. Nos. 196271, 196305,
197221, 197280, 197282, 197392 & 197454, February 28, 2012

Art. XVIII, Sec. 26

YKR Corp., et al. vs. Sandiganbayan, et al., G.R. No. 162079, March 18, 2010

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