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BELLO V.

COMELEC

Consolidated Case December 7, 2010

G.R. No. 191998, G.R. No. 192769, G.R. No. 192832

FACTS:

Ang Galing Pinoy Party-List (AGPP) on November 29, 2009, AGPP filed with the Commission on
Elections (COMELEC) its Manifestation of Intent to participate in the May 10, 2010 elections. In order
not to be disqualified, they must prove that the party-list group and the nominees truly belong to the
marginalized and underrepresented sector/s, and to the sectoral party, organization, political party or
coalition they seek to represent.

Mikey Arroyo was one of the party’s nominees. Here arose several questions regarding his
qualification for, he is not only a member of the First Family, but is also (a) an incumbent member of
the House of Representatives.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Arroyo duly represents the marginalized sector he is representing; and

Whether the HRET has jurisdiction over the question of Arroyo’s qualifications as AGPP’s nominee
after his proclamation and assumption to office as a member of the House of Representatives.

HELD:

1. It held, among others, that a Filipino citizen, in order to qualify as a party-list nominee, only
needs to be a bona fide member of the party or organization which he seeks to represent, for at least
ninety (90) days preceding the day of the election, and must likewise be at least twenty-five (25) years
of age on the day of the election. The COMELEC en banc also held that Section 6 of Resolution No.
8807 is ultra vires, since the requirement that a nominee belong to the marginalized and
underrepresented sector he seeks to represent is not found in RA 7941.Thus, it concluded that Arroyo
possessed all the requirements mandated by Section 9 of RA 7941.

2. This issue is far from novel and is an issue previously ruled upon by this Court. The consistent
judicial holding is that the HRET has jurisdiction to pass upon the qualifications of party-list nominees
after their proclamation and assumption of office; they are, for all intents and purposes, "elected
members" of the House of Representatives although the entity directly voted upon was their
party. What is inevitable is that Section 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.

Santiago v Republic, 87 SCRA 294

By clark vincent barcelon - April 25, 2014

Facts: On August 9, 1976, Ildefonso Santiago through his counsel filed an action for revocation of a
Deed of Donation executed by him and his spouse in January of 1971, with the Bureau of Plant
Industry as the Donee, in the Court of First Instance of Zamboanga City. Mr. Santiago alleged that the
Bureau, contrary to the terms of donation, failed to install lighting facilities and water system on the
property and to build an office building and parking lot thereon which should have been constructed
and ready for occupancy on before December7, 1974. That because of the circumstances, Mr.
Santiago concluded that he was exempt from compliance with an explicit constitutional command, as
invoked in the Santos v Santos case, a 1952 decision which is similar. The Court of First Instance
dismissed the action in favor of the respondent on the ground that the state cannot be sued without
its consent, and Santos v Santos case is discernible. The Solicitor General, Estelito P. Mendoza
affirmed the dismissal on ground of constitutional mandate. Ildefonso Santiago filed a petition
for certiorari to the Supreme Court.
Issue: Whether or not the state can be sued without its consent.

Held: The Supreme Court rules, that the constitutional provision shows a waiver. Where there is
consent, a suit may be filed. Consent need not to be express. It can be implied. In this case it must be
emphasized, goes no further than a rule that a donor, with the Republic or any of its agency being a
Donee, is entitle to go to court in case of an alleged breach of the conditions of such donation.

The writ of Certiorari prayed is granted and the order of dismissal of October 20, 1977 is nullified, set
aside and declare to be without force and effect. The Court of First Instance of Zamboanga City,
Branch II, is hereby directed to proceed with this case, observing the procedure set forth in the rules
of court. No cost.

Constitutional Law 1 Digest

Santiago v Republic, 87 SCRA 294

By clark vincent barcelon - April 25, 2014

Facts: On August 9, 1976, Ildefonso Santiago through his counsel filed an action for revocation of a Deed
of Donation executed by him and his spouse in January of 1971, with the Bureau of Plant Industry as the
Donee, in the Court of First Instance of Zamboanga City. Mr. Santiago alleged that the Bureau, contrary
to the terms of donation, failed to install lighting facilities and water system on the property and to build
an office building and parking lot thereon which should have been constructed and ready for occupancy
on before December7, 1974. That because of the circumstances, Mr. Santiago concluded that he was
exempt from compliance with an explicit constitutional command, as invoked in the Santos v
Santos case, a 1952 decision which is similar. The Court of First Instance dismissed the action in favor of
the respondent on the ground that the state cannot be sued without its consent, and Santos v
Santos case is discernible. The Solicitor General, Estelito P. Mendoza affirmed the dismissal on ground of
constitutional mandate. Ildefonso Santiago filed a petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court.

Issue: Whether or not the state can be sued without its consent.
Held: The Supreme Court rules, that the constitutional provision shows a waiver. Where there is
consent, a suit may be filed. Consent need not to be express. It can be implied. In this case it must be
emphasized, goes no further than a rule that a donor, with the Republic or any of its agency being a
Donee, is entitle to go to court in case of an alleged breach of the conditions of such donation.

The writ of Certiorari prayed is granted and the order of dismissal of October 20, 1977 is nullified, set
aside and declare to be without force and effect. The Court of First Instance of Zamboanga City, Branch
II, is hereby directed to proceed with this case, observing the procedure set forth in the rules of court.
No cost.

Constitutional Law 1 Digest

G.R. No. L-59524 February 18, 1985

Facts: The petitioner invokes the constitutionally protected right to life and liberty guaranteed by the
due process clause, alleging that no prima facie case has been established to warrant the filing of an
information for subversion against him. Petitioner asks the Court to prohibit and prevent the
respondents from using the iron arm of the law to harass, oppress, and persecute him, a member of the
democratic opposition in the Philippines.

The case roots backs to the rash of bombings which occurred in the Metro Manila area in the months of
August, September and October of 1980. Victor Burns Lovely, Jr, one of the victims of the bombing,
implicated petitioner Salonga as one of those responsible.

On December 10, 1980, the Judge Advocate General sent the petitioner a “Notice of Preliminary
Investigation” in People v. Benigno Aquino, Jr., et al. (which included petitioner as a co-accused), stating
that “the preliminary investigation of the above-entitled case has been set at 2:30 o’clock p.m. on
December 12, 1980” and that petitioner was given ten (10) days from receipt of the charge sheet and
the supporting evidence within which to file his counter-evidence. The petitioner states that up to the
time martial law was lifted on January 17, 1981, and despite assurance to the contrary, he has not
received any copies of the charges against him nor any copies of the so-called supporting evidence.
The counsel for Salonga was furnished a copy of an amended complaint signed by Gen. Prospero Olivas,
dated 12 March 1981, charging Salonga, along with 39 other accused with the violation of RA 1700, as
amended by PD 885, BP 31 and PD 1736. On 15 October 1981, the counsel for Salonga filed a motion to
dismiss the charges against Salonga for failure of the prosecution to establish a prima facie case against
him. On 2 December 1981, Judge Ernani Cruz Pano (Presiding Judge of the Court of First Instance of
Rizal, Branch XVIII, Quezon City) denied the motion. On 4 January 1982, he (Pano) issued a resolution
ordering the filing of an information for violation of the Revised Anti-Subversion Act, as amended,
against 40 people, including Salonga. The resolutions of the said judge dated 2 December 1981 and 4
January 1982 are the subject of the present petition for certiorari. It is the contention of Salonga that no
prima facie case has been established by the prosecution to justify the filing of an information against
him. He states that to sanction his further prosecution despite the lack of evidence against him would be
to admit that no rule of law exists in the Philippines today.

Issues: 1. Whether the above case still falls under an actual case

2. Whether the above case dropped by the lower court still deserves a decision from the Supreme Court

Held: 1. No. The Court had already deliberated on this case, a consensus on the Court’s judgment had
been arrived at, and a draft ponencia was circulating for concurrences and separate opinions, if any,
when on January 18, 1985, respondent Judge Rodolfo Ortiz granted the motion of respondent City Fiscal
Sergio Apostol to drop the subversion case against the petitioner. Pursuant to instructions of the
Minister of Justice, the prosecution restudied its evidence and decided to seek the exclusion of
petitioner Jovito Salonga as one of the accused in the information filed under the questioned resolution.

The court is constrained by this action of the prosecution and the respondent Judge to withdraw the
draft ponencia from circulating for concurrences and signatures and to place it once again in the Court’s
crowded agenda for further deliberations.

Insofar as the absence of a prima facie case to warrant the filing of subversion charges is concerned, this
decision has been rendered moot and academic by the action of the prosecution.

2. Yes. Despite the SC’s dismissal of the petition due to the case’s moot and academic nature, it has on
several occasions rendered elaborate decisions in similar cases where mootness was clearly apparent.
The Court also has the duty to formulate guiding and controlling constitutional principles, precepts,
doctrines, or rules. It has the symbolic function of educating bench and bar on the extent of protection
given by constitutional guarantees.

In dela Camara vs Enage (41 SCRA 1), the court ruled that:

“The fact that the case is moot and academic should not preclude this Tribunal from setting forth in
language clear and unmistakable, the obligation of fidelity on the part of lower court judges to the
unequivocal command of the Constitution that excessive bail shall not be required.”

In Gonzales v. Marcos (65 SCRA 624) whether or not the Cultural Center of the Philippines could validly
be created through an executive order was mooted by Presidential Decree No. 15, the Center’s new
charter pursuant to the President’s legislative powers under martial law. Nevertheless, the Court
discussed the constitutional mandate on the preservation and development of Filipino culture for
national Identity. (Article XV, Section 9, Paragraph 2 of the Constitution).

In the habeas corpus case of Aquino, Jr., v. Enrile, 59 SCRA 183), the fact that the petition was moot and
academic did not prevent this Court in the exercise of its symbolic function from promulgating one of
the most voluminous decisions ever printed in the Reports.