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A priority thrust of the Administration is the change of the form of government from unitary to
federal. The change can be effected only through constitutional amendment or revision.

(a) What are the methods of amending the Constitution? Explain briefly each method.

Under Article XVII of the 1987 Constitution there are three ways to propose
amendments. The first is by Congress through a vote of 3/4 of all its members. By 3/4
vote, it is understood to be 3/4 of the Senate and 3/4 of the House of
Representatives. Generally, Congress has both constituent and legislative powers.
Their constituent powers include the power to formulate a constitution or propose
amendments or revisions and to ratify the same. Legislative power refers to the power
to pass, repeal or amend ordinary laws or statutes. In amending the Constitution, the
Congress will be exercising their constituent powers.

The second method of proposal is through a constitutional convention. The

Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of all its Members, call a constitutional
convention, or by a majority vote of all its Members, submit to the electorate the
question of calling such a convention.

The last method of proposal is made by the people through initiative. This is done
through a petition of at least twelve per centum of the total number of registered
voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per
centum of the registered voters therein. However, no amendment shall be
authorized within five years following the ratification of the Constitution nor oftener
than once every five years thereafter.

Congress was also tasked to provide for the implementation of the exercise of this
right and they did just that by enacting Republic Act 6735 entitled, “An Act Providing
for a System of Initiative and Referendum”. Proposed amendments shall be valid
when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not
earlier than sixty days nor later than ninety days after the approval of such
amendment or revision.

(b) Cite at least three provisions of the Constitution that need to be amended or revised
to effect the change from unitary to federal, and briefly explain why? (3%)

The 1987 Constitutional provisions that should be amended to effect the change from
unitary to federal are: "The Philippines is a........ and Republican State, sovereignty resides
in the people and all government authorities emanates from them"; "The Legislative
Department shall be composed of the House of Senate and the House of
Representatives"; "Executive powers shall be vested to the President"; There shall be a
local government as may provided by law"; The congress may by law authorized the
President subject to such limitation and restriction to impose tariff rates, export and
import quota; tonnage and wharfage, etc. within the framework of the national
development of the government".

There are many reasons why the present Constitution should be amended or revised.
First, it is too lengthy and, to borrow a legalese, it has the prolixity of a code.
Constitutions, in modern concept, should be like a bikini – brief enough to cover the
fundamentals and broad enough to provide for any possible contingencies. Or, in more
understandable terms, it should be brief in form and broad in meaning or substance. It
should be written in simple and understandable terms that it could be understood by a
simpleton. Why? The reason is simple – a Constitution is written not for scholars or lawyers,
it is for the citizens of the country. For now, the ordinary citizens of this country do not
even know what the Constitution is all about, much less their rights as embodied in the
document. So that the citizens will know the Constitution, it should be short in form, in
simple language and to the point.


Under the doctrine of immunity from suit, the State cannot be sued without its consent. How may
the consent be given by the State? Explain your answer. (3%)

Court is not persuaded even as it is cognizant of the doctrine that "(t)he state may not be sued
without its consent," for as the Court has so stressed in Department of Agriculture vs. NLRC, the
rule - "x x x is not really absolute for it does not say that the state may not be sued under any
circumstance. On the contrary, as correctly phrased, the doctrine only conveys, 'the state may
not be sued without its consent'; its clear import then is that the State may at times be sued. The
States' consent may be given either expressly or impliedly. Express consent may be made
through a general law or a special law. In this jurisdiction, the general law waiving the immunity
of the state from suit is found in Act. No. 3083, where the Philippine government 'consents and
submits to be sued upon any money claim involving liability arising from contract, express or
implied, which could serve as a basis of civil actions between private parties.' Implied consent,
on the other, is conceded when the State itself commences limitation, thus opening itself to a
counter-claim, or when it enters into a contract."


The doctrine of immunity from suit in favor of the State extends to public officials in the
performance of their official duties. May such officials be sued nonetheless to prevent or to undo
their oppressive or illegal acts, or to compel them to act? Explain your answer. (3%)

Yes. it is not the public official per se but his performance in line with his duty which is being
compelled or prevented thru petition for mandamus or prohibition.

"The suability of a government official depends on whether the official concerned was acting
within his official or jurisdictional capacity, and whether the acts done in the performance of
official functions will result in a charge or financial liability against the government."45 Otherwise
stated, "public officials can be held personally accountable for acts claimed to have been
performed in connection with official duties where they have acted ultra vires or where there is
showing of bad faith."46 Moreover, "[t]he rule is that if the judgment against such officials will
require the state itself to perform an affirmative act to satisfy the same, such as the
appropriation of the amount needed to pay the damages awarded against them, the suit must
be regarded as against the state


Do government-owned or -controlled corporations also enjoy the immunity of the State from
suit? Explain your answer. (3%)

Government-owned or -controlled corp does not enjoy immunity for suit. These corporations are
not government entities. they are mere instruments of the State to carry out their task may it be
for the welfare of the people or to do business.


State A and State B, two sovereign states, enter into a 10-year mutual defense treaty. After five
years, State A finds that the more progressive State B did not go to the aid of State A when it was
threatened by its strong neighbor State C. State B reasoned that it had to be prudent and
deliberate in reacting to State C because of their existing trade treaties.

(a) May State A now unilaterally withdraw from its mutual defense treaty with State B?
Explain your answer. (2.5%)

No, State A cannot unilaterally withdraw from its treaty obligations. Under the principle of
"Pacta Sunt Servanda", States who entered in treaty must comply with its obligation in
good faith. The economic relation between State B and State C was immaterial with
respect to the obligations of State A imposed under said treaty, and thus cannot be
considered an impossibility to comply of either the contracting states making such
insufficient ground to unilaterally withdraw from it.

(b) What is the difference between the principles of pacta sunt servanda and rebus sic
stantibus in international law? (2.5%)

Pacta sunt servanda as generally accepted principle of international law, requires

compliance of treaty obligations of signatory states in good faith irrespective of
constrains in its enforcement, while rebus sic stantibus demands the unitary withdrawal or
severance in the enforcement of state's treaty obligations, when impossibility to comply

(c) Are the principles of pacta sunt servanda and rebus sic stantibus relevant in the
treaty relations between State A and State B? What about in the treaty relations
between State B and State C? Explain your answer. (2.5%)



What is the pardoning power of the President under Art. VIII, Sec. 19 of the Constitution?

Is the exercise of the power absolute? (4%)

It should be article 7 section 19. Pardoning power is the power of the president granted by
constitution, which include pardon, commutation, amnesty, reprieve, only after conviction by
final judgement.

The power is not absolute. the presidential grant of reprieves, commutations, and pardons, and
remittance of fines and forfeitures, is subject to the following qualifications:

Such pardoning power does not extend to and cannot cover cases of impeachment.

No pardon, amnesty, parole or suspension of sentence for violation of election laws, rules and
regulations shall be granted by the president without the favorable recommendation of the
Commission on Elections.


Distinguish pardon from amnesty. (4%)

Pardon is given to private person, while amnesty is given to military and other political offenders;
pardon need not consent given by congress, while in amnesty is needed, absolute pardon
regain political rights


(a) What is the right of legation, and how is it undertaken between states? Explain your
answer. (2%)

A. Also known as the right of diplomatic intercourse, this refers to the right of the State to
send and receive diplomatic missions, which enables States to carry on friendly
intercourse. It is not a natural or inherent right, but exists only by common consent. No
legal liability is incurred by the State for refusing to send or receive diplomatic
representatives. Governed by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961).

(b) Under this right, may a country like Malaysia insist that the Philippines establishes a
consulate in Sabah to look after the welfare of the Filipino migrants in the area? Explain
your answer. (2%)
No. Malaysia cannot insist as it is not a natural or inherent right. Philippines should give its
consent.No legal liab. is incurred by refusing to send or receive diplomatic rep.



The President appoints the Vice President as his Administration's Housing Czar, a position that
requires the appointee to sit in the Cabinet. Although the appointment of the members of the
Cabinet requires confirmation by the Commission on Appointment (CA), the Office of the
President does not submit the appointment to the CA. May the Vice President validly sit in the
Cabinet? (2.5%)

Yes. Art. VII,sec.3(2) provides that The Vice-President may be appointed as a Member of the
Cabinet. Such appointment requires no confirmation.


The Executive Department has accumulated substantial savings from its appropriations. Needing
₱3,000,000.00 for the conduct of a plebiscite for the creation of a new city but has no funds
appropriated soon by the Congress for the purpose, the COMELEC requests the President to
transfer funds from the savings of the Executive Department in order to avoid a delay in the
holding of the plebiscite.

May the President validly exercise his power under the 1987 Constitution to transfer funds from
the savings of the Executive Department, and make a cross-border transfer of ₱3,000,000.00 to
the COMELEC by way of augmentation? Is your answer the same if the transfer is treated as aid
to the COMELEC? Explain your answer. (4%)

No, The President may not because theConstitution, which provides that No law shall be passed
authorizing any transfer of appropriations.


Give the limitations on the power of the Congress to enact the General Appropriations Act?
Explain your answer. (5%)

Congress cannot increase the appropriation recommended by the President for the operation
of the government as specified in the budget.

The General Appropriations Acts for those years contained similar limitations on the power of the
president. The 1989 law said:

Section 55. Prohibition Against the Restoration or Increase of Recommended Appropriations

Disapproved and/or Reduced by Congress: No item of appropriation recommended by the
President . . . which has been disapproved or reduced in this Act shall be restored or increased
by the use of appropriations authorized for other purposes by augmentation. An item of
appropriation for any purpose recommended by the President in the Budget shall be deemed
to have been disapproved by Congress if no corresponding appropriation for the specific
purpose is provided in this act.


A bank acquired a large tract of land as the highest bidder in the foreclosure sale of the
mortgaged assets of its borrower. It appears that the land has been originally registered under
the Torrens system in 1922 pursuant to the provisions of the Philippine Bill of 1902, the organic act
of the Philippine Islands as a colony of the USA. Sec. 21 of the Philippine Bill of 1902 provided
that "all valuable mineral deposits in public lands in the Philippine Islands, both surveyed and
unsurveyed, are hereby declared to be free and open to exploration, occupation and
purchase, and the land in which they are found to occupation and purchase, by citizens of the
United States, or of said Islands." Sec. 27 of the law declared that a holder of the mineral claim so
located was entitled to all the minerals that lie within his claim, but he could not mine outside
the boundary lines of his claim.

The 1935 Constitution expressly prohibited the alienation of natural resources except agricultural
lands. Sec. 2, Art. XII of the 1987 Constitution contains a similar prohibition, and proclaims that 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. This provision enunciates the Regalian Doctrine.

May the Government, on the basis of the Regalian Doctrine enunciated in the constitutional
provisions, deny the bank its right as owner to the mineral resources underneath the surface of its
property as recognized under the Philippine Bill of 1902? Explain your answer. (5%)

atok big wedge mining co. v. ca?



Ambassador Robert of State Alpha committed a very serious crime while he headed his foreign
mission in the Philippines. Is he subject to arrest by Philippine authorities? Explain your answer.


Extradition is the process pursuant to a treaty between two State parties for the surrender by the
requested State to the custody of the requesting State of a fugitive criminal residing in the
former. However, extradition depends on the application of two principles - the principle of
specialty and the dual criminality principle. Explain these principles. (4%)

The rule of speciality (or specialty), which prohibits a Requesting State from trying an extradited
individual for an offense other than the one for which he was extradited, is a standard provision
included in U.S. bilateral extradition treaties, including the six under consideration. The Malaysia
Treaty (art. 13) contains exceptions to the rule of specialty that are designed to allow a
Requesting State some latitude in prosecuting offenders for crimes other than those for which
they had been specifically extradited.

The dual criminality clause means, for example, that an offense is not extraditable if in the United
States it constitutes a crime punishable by imprisonment of more than one year, but is not a
crime in the treaty partner or is a crime punishable by a prison term of less than one year. In
earlier extradition treaties the definition of extraditable offenses consisted of a list of specific
categories of crimes. This categorizing of crimes has resulted in problems when a specific crime,
for example drug dealing, is not on the list, and is therefore not extraditable. The result has been
that as additional offenses become punishable under the laws of both treaty partners the
extradition treaties between them need to be renegotiated or supplemented. A dual criminality
clause obviates the need to renegotiate or supplement a treaty when it becomes necessary to
broaden the definition of extraditable offenses.


The President signs an agreement with his counterpart in another country involving reciprocity in
the treatment of each country's nationals residing in the other's territory. However, he does not
submit the agreement to the Senate for concurrence.

Sec. 21, Art. VII of the Constitution provides that no treaty or international agreement shall be
valid and effective without such concurrence.

Is the agreement signed by the President effective despite the lack of Senate concurrence?
Explain your answer. (4%)
Yes. It is an executive agreement which needs no concurrence of the Senate, not a treaty or
international agreement as provided in Sec. 21, Art. VII of the Constitution. No treaty or
international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of
all the Members of the Senate.



Under the enrolled bill doctrine, the signing of a bill by both the Speaker of the House of
Representatives and the President of the Senate and the certification by the secretaries of both
Houses of Congress that the bill was passed on a certain date are conclusive on the bill's due
enactment. Assuming there is a conflict between the enrolled bill and the legislative journal, to
the effect that the enrolled bill signed by the Senate President and eventually approved by the
President turned out to be different from what the Senate actually passed as reflected in the
legislative journal.

(a) May the Senate President disregard the enrolled bill doctrine and consider his
signature as invalid and of no effect? (2.5%)

Yes. As far as Congress itself is concerned, there is nothing sacrosanct in the

certification made by the presiding officers. It is merely a mode of authentication.
The lawmaking process in Congress ends when the bill is approved by both Houses,
and the certification does not add to the validity of the bill or cure any defect
already present upon its passage. In other words it is the approval by Congress and
not the signatures of the presiding officers that is essential.

(b) May the President thereafter withdraw his signature? Explain your answer. (2.5%)

but to declare that the bill was not duly enacted and therefore did not become law.
This We do, as indeed both the President of the Senate and the Chief Executive did,
when they withdrew their signatures therein. In the face of the manifest error
committed and subsequently rectified by the President of the Senate and by the
Chief Executive, for this Court to perpetuate that error by disregarding such
rectification and holding that the erroneous bill has become law would be to
sacrifice truth to fiction and bring about mischievous consequences not intended by
the law-making body.


Sec. 26(2), Art. VI of the Constitution provides that no bill passed by either House of Congress
shall become a law unless it has passed three readings on separate days and printed copies of it
in its final form have been distributed to the Members of the House three days before its

Is there an exception to the provision? Explain your answer. (3%)

When the president certifies to the necessity of the bill to meet a calamity or emergency. In this
case, the bill can be passed without three separate readings.


Sec. 17, Art. VI of the Constitution establishes an Electoral Tribunal for each of the Houses of
Congress, and makes each Electoral Tribunal "the sole judge of all contests relating to the
election, returns, and qualifications of their respective Members." On the other hand, Sec. 2(1), C
(Commission on Elections), Art. IX of the Constitution grants to the COMELEC the power to
enforce and administer all laws and regulations "relative to the conduct of an election,
plebiscite, initiative, referendum, and recall."

Considering that there is no concurrence of jurisdiction between the Electoral Tribunals and the
COMELEC, state when the jurisdiction of the Electoral Tribunals begins, and the COMELEC's
jurisdiction ends. Explain your answer. (4%)
The Jurisdiction of the PET commence, when elected official take an oath, then jurisdiction of
the comelec ends the moment such elected official has already perform his official function


The Congress establishes by law Philippine Funds, Inc., a private corporation, to receive foreign
donations coming from abroad during national and local calamities and disasters, and to
enable the unhampered and speedy disbursements of the donations through the mere action
of its Board of Directors. Thereby, delays in the release of the donated funds occasioned by the
stringent rules of procurement would be avoided. Also, the releases would not come under the
jurisdiction of the Commission on Audit (COA).

(a) Is the law establishing Philippine Funds, Inc. constitutional? Explain your answer. (3%)

Unconstitutional meaning it does not conform with the constitutional provision

(b) Can the Congress pass the law that would exempt the foreign grants from the
jurisdiction of the COA? Explain your answer. (3%)

No, congress can not do that without transgressing the provision of the constitution


Command responsibility pertains to the responsibility of commanders for crimes committed by

subordinate members of the armed forces or other persons subject to their control in
international wars or domestic conflicts. The doctrine has now found application in civil actions
for human rights abuses, and in proceedings seeking the privilege of the writ of amparo.

(a) What are the elements to be established in order to hold the superior or commander
liable under the doctrine of command responsibility? (4%)

To hold someone liable under the doctrine of command responsibility, the following
elements must obtain:

a. the existence of a superior-subordinate relationship between the

accused as superior and the perpetrator of the crime as his subordinate;

b. the superior knew or had reason to know that the crime was about to be
or had been committed; and

c. the superior failed to take the necessary and reasonable measures to

prevent the criminal acts or punish the perpetrators thereof.[84]

The president, being the commander-in-chief of all armed forces,[85] necessarily

possesses control over the military that qualifies him as a superior within the purview of
the command responsibility doctrine.

(b) May the doctrine of command responsibility apply to the President for the abuses of
the armed forces (AFP and PNP) given his unique role as the commander-in-chief of all
the armed forces? Explain your answer. (4%)

Pursuant to the doctrine of command and responsibility, the president as commander-in-

chief of the AFP, can be held liable for affront against the petitioner’s life, liberty or
security as long as substantial evidence exists shows that he or she exhibited involvement
in or can be imputed with knowledge of the violations, or had failed to exercise
necessary and reasonable diligence in conducting necessary investigation under the

To fulfill a campaign promise to the poor folk in a far-flung area in Mindanao, the President
requested his friend, Pastor Roy, to devote his ministry to them. The President would pay Pastor
Roy a monthly stipend of ₱50,000.00 from his discretionary fund, and would also erect a modest
house of worship in the locality in an area of the latter's choice.

Does the President thereby violate any provisions of the Constitution? Explain your answer. (3%)

yes, he violated art VI sec 25 (6), and sec 29 (2) of the Consti



According to Sec. 3, Art. VIII of the Constitution, the Judiciary shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. What
does the term fiscal autonomy signify? Explain your answer. (3%)

Fiscal autonomy refers to the independence of a branch of government to utilize the funds
allocated to it in order to attain its governmental objective.


May a complaint for disbarment against the Ombudsman prosper during her incumbency?
Explain your answer. (3%)

No. In Ombudsman v. Court of Appeals and Mojica decided by the SC's second division in 2005,
the High Court said: "the Ombudsman or his deputies must first be removed from office via
impeachment before they may be held to answer for any wrong or misbehavior which may be
proven against them in disbarment proceedings."


Sec. 3, Art. XI of the Constitution states that "[n]o impeachment proceedings shall be initiated
against the same official more than once within a period of one year."

What constitutes initiation of impeachment proceedings under the provision? (3%)

Sec. 2. Mode of Initiating Impeachment. – Impeachment shall be initiated only by a verified

complaint for impeachment filed by any Member of the House of Representatives or by any
citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof or by a verified complaint or
resolution of impeachment filed by at least one-third (1/3) of all the Members of the House.

In fact, former President Estrada was impeached with this provision and the 1999 House Rules
were already in effect in 1999.

However, the 1999 House Rules were superseded and replaced by the Rules on Impeachment
Proceedings, 12th Congress, 2001-2004 promulgated by the House of Representatives in 2001
(the "2001 House Rules"). The relevant provision now reads:

Section 16. Impeachment Proceedings Deemed Initiated. –In cases where a Member of the
House files a verified complaint of impeachment or a citizen files a verified complaint that is
endorsed by a member of the House through a resolution of endorsement against an
impeachable officer, impeachment proceedings against such official are deemed initiated on
the day the Committee on Justice finds that the verified complaint and/or resolution against
such official, as the case may be, is sufficient in substance or on the date the House votes to
overturn or affirm the finding of said Committee that the verified complaint and/or resolution, as
the case may be, is not sufficient in substance.

In cases where a verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed or endorsed, as the

case may be, by at least one-third (1/3) of the Members of the House, impeachment
proceedings are deemed initiated at the time of the filing of such verified complaint or
resolution of impeachment with the Secretary General.