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The Philippine Judicial

System

PROF. NICO ROBERT R. MARTIN


Professor, Ateneo Law School
Lecturer, UP College of Law - Institute of Government
and Law Reform
Professor, DLSU College of Law
Who Interprets the
Constitution and the Law?
“The judicial power shall
be vested in one Supreme
Court and in such lower
courts as may be
established by law.”

(ART. VIII, SEC. 1, 1987 Constitution)


What is Judicial Power?
“Judicial power is the authority to
settle justiciable controversies or
disputes involving rights that are
enforceable and demandable before
the courts of justice or the redress
of wrongs for violations of such
rights.”

(Lopez v. Roxas, G.R. No. L-25716, 1966)


What is Judicial Power?

“Judicial power includes the duty


of the courts of justice to settle
actual controversies involving rights
which are legally demandable and
enforceable…”

(ART. VIII, Sec. 1, 1987 Constitution)


Where is Judicial Power
Vested?
“The judicial branch of government is
vested, not merely some specified or
limited judicial power, but ‘the’ judicial
power under our political system, and,
accordingly, the entirety or ‘all’ of said
power, except, only, so much as the
Constitution confers upon some other
agency.”
(Lopez v. Roxas, G.R. No. L-25716, 1966)
The Proper exercise of Judicial
authority requires legislative
action:
(1) D e f i n i n g s u c h e n f o r c e a b le a n d
demandable rights and/or prescribing
remedies for violation thereof; and

(2) D e t e r m i n i n g t h e c o u r t w i t h
jurisdiction to hear and decide said
controversies or disputes, in the first
instance and/or on appeal.

(Lopez v. Roxas, G.R. No. L-25716, 1966)


For this reason, the
Constitution ordains that…

“The Congress shall have the power to


define, prescribe, and apportion the
jurisdiction of various courts,”
subject to the limitations set forth in
the same fundamental law.

(ART. VIII, Sec. 2, 1987 Constitution)


Separation and Blending of Powers
of the Three Great Departments
“[T]he Constitution has blocked
out with deft strokes and in bold
lines, the allotment of power to
the executive, the legislative, and
the judicial departments of
government.”

(Angara v. Electoral Commission, G.R. No. 45081,


July 15, 1936)
What is Meant by the Principle
of Separation of Powers?

“Separation of Powers ordains that


each of the three great branches of
government has exclusive cognizance
of and is supreme in matters falling
within its constitutionally allocated
sphere.”

(Defensor-Santiago v. Guingona, G.R. No. 134577, 1998)


From where does this
Principle Emanate?
“The separation of powers is a fundamental
principle in our system of government. It
obtains not through express provision but by
actual division in our Constitution. Each
department of the government has exclusive
cognizance of matters within its
jurisdiction, and is supreme within its own
sphere.”

(Angara v. Electoral Commission, G.R. No. 45081, 1936)


What does the Separation
of Powers seek to achieve?
“The purpose of the principle of
Separation of Powers is to prevent the
concentration of authority in one person
or one group of persons that might lead
to irreparable error or abuse in its
exercise to the detriment of republican
institutions.”

(Co, v. Public Service Commission, G.R. No. 47065,


1940)
How is this Principle given
Life in our Constitution?
The President, under our Constitution is so far
made a check on the legislative power that his
assent is required in the enactment of our laws.

This, however, is subject to the further check


that a bill may become a law notwithstanding
the refusal of the President to approve it, by a
vote of two-thirds, of the members of Congress,
voting separately.

(Angara v. Electoral Commission, G.R. No. 45081, 1936)


How is this Principle given
Life in our Constitution?
On the other hand, Congress operates as a
check on the Executive in the sense that its
co n s e nt, t h ro u g h i t s C o m m i s s i o n o n
A p p o i nt m e nt s, i s n e ce s s ar y i n t h e
appointments of certain officers; and the
concurrence of at least two-thirds of all
the Members of the Senate is essential to the
conclusion of treaties.

(Angara v. Electoral Commission, G.R. No. 45081, 1936)


How is this Principle given
Life in our Constitution?
Further, in its power to determine what
courts other than the Supreme Court shall be
established, to define their jurisdiction and
to appropriate funds for their support,
Congress controls the judicial department
to a certain extent. Congress also exercises
the judicial power of trying impeachments.

(Angara v. Electoral Commission, G.R. No. 45081, 1936)


How is this Principle given
Life in our Constitution?
And the judiciary, in turn, with the Supreme
Court as the final arbiter, effectively checks
the other departments in the exercise of its
power to determine the law, and hence to
declare executive and legislative acts void
if violative of the Constitution.

(Angara v. Electoral Commission, G.R. No. 45081, 1936)


When is this Principle
violated?
“There is a violation of the separation of
powers principle when one branch of
government unduly encroaches on the domain
of another.” In particular, “there is violation of
the principle when there is impermissible (a)
interference with and/or (b) assumption of,
another department’s functions.”

(Belgica v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 208566,


November 19, 2013)
(Republic v. Sereno, G.R. No. 237428, 11 May 2018)
Is the Court’s Authority to Issue a
Writ of Quo Warranto violative of the
Doctrine of Separation of Powers?

“And the role of the courts, through quo


warranto proceedings neatly complements the
traditional separation of powers that come to
bear in our analysis. The courts are entrusted
with the adjudication of the legal status of
persons, the final arbiter of their rights and
obligations under the law.

(Republic v. Sereno, G.R. No. 237428, 11 May 2018)


Is the Court’s Authority to Issue a
Writ of Quo Warranto violative of the
Doctrine of Separation of Powers?

“In the same way that availability of judicial


review over laws does not preclude Congress
from undertaking its own remedial measures
by appropriately amending laws, the viability
of quo warranto in the instant cases do not
preclude Congress from enforcing its own
prerogative…”

(Republic v. Sereno, G.R. No. 237428, 11 May 2018)


May Congress Assume Jurisdiction and
Rule on the Eligibility of Public
Officials Without Violating the Doctrine
of Checks and Balances?

“To authorize Congress to rule on public


officials’ eligibility would disturb the
system of checks and balances as it
would dilute the judicial power of
courts, upon which jurisdiction is
exclusively vested to rule on actions for
quo warranto.”

(Republic v. Sereno, G.R. No. 237428, 11 May 2018)


Quo Warranto vs.
Impeachment
“”[A]n act or omission committed prior
to or at the time of appointment or
election relating to an official’s
qualifications to hold office as to render
such appointment or election invalid is
properly the subject of a quo warrant
petition, provided that the requisites for
the commencement thereof are present.

(Republic v. Sereno, G.R. No. 237428, 11 May 2018)


Quo Warranto vs.
Impeachment
“Contrawise, acts or omissions, even if it relates to
the qualification of integrity, being a continuing
requirement but nonetheless committed during the
incumbency of a validly appointed and/or validly
elected official, cannot be the subject of a quo
warranty proceeding, but of something else, which
may either be impeachment if the public official
concerned is impeachable and the act or omission
constitutes an impeachable offense, or disciplinary,
administrative or criminal action, if otherwise.”
(Republic v. Sereno, G.R. No. 237428, 11 May 2018)
The Power of Expanded Judicial
Review: What is Constitutional or
Unconstitutional
“[A]nd 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.”

-ART. VIII, Sec. 1, 1987 Constitution


What is The Power of
Judicial Review?
“The Constitution is the supreme law. It was ordained
by the people, the ultimate source of all political
authority. It confers limited powers on the national
government. If the government consciously or
unconsciously oversteps these limitations there must
be some authority competent to hold it in control, to
thwart its unconstitutional attempt, and thus to
vindicate and preserve inviolate the will of the people
as expressed in the Constitution. This power the courts
exercise. This is the beginning and the end of the
theory of judicial review.”
(David v. Macapagal-Arroyo, G.R. No. 171396, 3 May 2006)
What is The Power of
Judicial Review?
“It is the power of the courts to test the
validity of executive and legislative acts in
light of their conformity with the
Constitution. This is not an assertion of
superiority by the courts over the other
departments, but merely an expression of the
supremacy of the Constitution.”

(Angara v. Electoral Commission, G.R. No. 45081, July


15, 1936.)
But Why is the Power
Lodged With the Courts?

“The Power is inherent in the Judicial


Department, by virtue of the doctrine of
separation of powers”

(Angara v. Electoral Commission, G.R. No. 45081, July


15, 1936.)
In the Words of U.S. Chief
Justice John Marshall…

“It is emphatically the province


and duty of the judicial
department to say what the law
is.”

(Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch US, 1803)


Does the Power of Judicial Review
Make the Courts Superior to the Two
Other Branches of Government?
“[W]hen the judiciary mediates to
allocate constitutional boundaries, it does
not assert any superiority over the other
departments; it does not in reality nullify
or invalidate an act of the legislature, but
only asserts the solemn and sacred
obligation assigned to it by the
Constitution and to establish for the
parties in an actual controversy the rights
which that instrument secures and
guarantees to them.”
(Angara v. Electoral Commission, G.R. No. 45081, July
15, 1936.)
“This is in truth all that is
involved in what is termed
‘judicial supremacy’ which
properly is the power of judicial
review under the Constitution.”

(Angara v. Electoral Commission, G.R. No. 45081, July


15, 1936.)
When can the Court Exercise
the Power of Judicial Review?
Checking - Invalidating a law or executive act that is
found to be contrary to the Constitution.

Legitimating - Upholding the validity of the law that


results from a mere dismissal of a case challenging the
validity of the law.

Symbolic - To Educate the bench and bar as to the


controlling principles and concepts on matters of grave
importance for the guidance of and restraint upon the
future.

(Salonga v. Cruz Pano, GR. No. L-59524, 1985)


When can the Courts Exercise the Power
of Judicial Review?
“[T]he power of judicial review does not repose
upon the courts a ‘self-starting capacity’. Courts
may exercise such power only when the
following requisites are present: first, there must
be an actual case or controversy; second,
petitioners have to raise a question of
constitutionality; third, the constitutional
question must be raised at the earliest
opportunity; and fourth, the decision of the
constitutional question must be necessary to the
determination of the case itself.”
(David v. Macapagal-Arroyo, G.R. No. 171396, 3 May 2006)
First Requisite:
Ripeness
“An actual case or controversy involves a
conflict of legal rights, an assertion of
opposite legal claims, susceptible of judicial
resolution as distinguished from a
hypothetical or abstract difference or
dispute. There must be a contrariety of legal
rights that can be interpreted and enforced
on the basis of existing law or
jurisprudence.”
(Province of North Cotabato v. GRP, G.R. No. 183591, 14 October 2008)
First Requisite: Ripeness
“Related 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 on the individual
challenging it. For a case to be considered ripe for
adjudication, it is a prerequisite that something had
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 itself as 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.

(Province of North Cotabato v. GRP, G.R. No. 183591, 14 October 2008)


Courts Will Decide A
Case Otherwise Moot If:
1.) There is a grave violation violation of
the Constitution;
2.) Exceptional character of the situation or
paramount public interest is involved;

3.) Constitutional issue required a formulation


of guiding principles for the bench and the bar;

4.) Case is capable of repetition yet evading


review.

(Lagman v. Medialdea, G.R. No. 231658, 5 December 2017)


Second Requisite: Locus Standi
“The Court will exercise its power of judicial review
only if the cases brought before it by a party who has
the legal standing to raise the constitutional or legal
question. ‘Legal standing’ means a personal and
substantial interest in the case such that the party has
sustained or will sustain direct injury as a result of
the governmental act that is being challenged. The term
‘interest’ is material interest, an interest in issue and to
be affected by the decree, as distinguished from mere
interest in the question involved, or a mere incidental
interest. Moreover, the interest of the party-plaintiff
must be personal and not one based on a desire to
vindicate the constitutional right of some third and
unrelated party.”
(Joya v. PCGG, G.R. No. 96541, 24 August 1993)
Locus Standi: Right of appearance
in a court of justice in a given
question
FOR TAXPAYERS - there must be a claim of
illegal disbursement of funds.

VOTERS - Showing of obvious interest of the


validity of the election law in question.

CONCERENED CITIZENS - Showing that the issues


raised are of transcendental importance which
must be settled early.
Locus Standi: Right of appearance
in a court of justice in a given
question

LEGISLATORS - A claim that the official


action being complained of infringes upon
their prerogatives as legislators.
Doctrine of Transcendental
Importance
“In these cases, the imminence and clarity
of the threat to fundamental constitutional
rights outweigh the necessity for prudence.
The doctrine relating to constitutional
issues of transcendental importance
prevents courts from the paralysis of
procedural niceties when clearly faced with
the need for substantial protection.”

(De Lima v. Guerrero, G.R> No. 229871, 10 October 2017)


Third Requisite: Raise a Constitutional
Issue at the Earliest Possible Opportunity
“But even if his submission is valid, petitioner’s
standing is still imperiled by the white elephant in
the petition, i.e., his appearance as counsel for
former President GMA in the election protest filed
by 2004 presidential candidate Fernando Poe, Jr.
before the PET, because judicial inquiry required
that the constitutional question be raised at the
earliest possible opportunity. Such appearance as
counsel before the Tribunal, to our mind, would
have been the first opportunity to challenge the
constitutionality of the Tribunal’s constitution.”
(Macalintal v. PET, G.R. No. 191618, 23 November 2010)
Third Requisite: Raise a Constitutional
Issue at the Earliest Possible Opportunity
“Petitioner is unmistakably estopped from
assailing the jurisdiction of the PET before which
tribunal he had ubiquitously appeared and had
acknowledged its jurisdiction in 2004. His failure
to raise a seasonable constitutional challenge at
that time, coupled with his unconditional
acceptance of the Tribunal’s authority over the
case he was defending, translates to the clear
absence of an indispensable requisite for the
proper invocation of this Court’s power of
judicial review.
(Macalintal v. PET, G.R. No. 191618, 23 November 2010)
Fourth Requisite: Constitutional Question
Must be the Lis Mota of the Case
“Lis mota literally means the cause of the suit or
action. This last requisite of judicial review is
simply an offshoot of the presumption of validity
accorded the executive and legislative acts of our
co-equal branches of the government. Ultimately,
it is rooted in the principle of separation of
powers. Given the presumed validity of an
executive act, the petitioner who claims otherwise
has the burden of showing first that the car
cannot be resolved unless the constitutional
question he raised is determined by the Court.”

(General v. Urro, G.R. No. 191560, 29 March 2011)


Is Everything Subject to the
Power of Judicial Review?

“It is well-settled that political questions


are not within the province of the judiciary,
except to the extent that power to deal with
such questions has been conferred upon the
courts by express constitutional or statutory
provisions.”

(Tanada v. Cuenc0, G.R. No. L-10520, 1957)


What then is a Political
Question?

“Those questions which, under the Constitution,


are to be decided by the people in their
sovereign capacity; or in regard to which full
discretionary authority has been delegated to
the legislature or executive branches of
government.”

(Tanada v. Cuenc0, G.R. No. L-10520, 1957)


Grave Abuse of
Discretion…

(Ocampo v. Enriquez, G.R. No. 225973, 8 November 2016)


(Arroyo v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 220598, 19 July 2016)
When does an act amount to “Grave
Abuse of Discretion Amounting to
Lack or Excess of Jurisdiction?”
“Grave abuse of discretion means such capricious or
whimsical exercise of judgment which is equivalent to
lack of jurisdiction. TO justify the issuance of the writ
of certiorari, the abuse of discretion must be grave, as
when the power is exercised in an arbitrary and
despotic manner by reason of passion or personal
hostility, and the abuse must be so patent and gross as
to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or to a
virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined, or to act
at all, in contemplation of law, as to be equivalent to
having acted without jurisdiction.”
(Arroyo v. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 220598, 19 July 2016)
Why is this so?
“As distinguished from the judicial, the legislative and
executive departments are spoken of as the political
departments of government because in very many cases
their action is necessarily dictated by considerations of
public or political policy. These considerations of public
or political policy of course will not permit the
legislature to violate constitutional provisions, or the
executive to exercise authority not granted him by the
Constitution or by statute, but, within these limits, they
do permit the departments, separately or together, to
recognize that a certain set of facts exists or that a
given status exists, and these determinations, together
with the consequences that flow therefrom, may not be
traversed in the courts.”
(Tanada v. Cuenc0, G.R. No. L-10520, 1957)
Are there limits to the authority
granted by the Constitution and the
laws to the President?
“Truly, the President’s discretion is not
totally unfettered. Discretion is not a
free-spirited stallion that runs and roams
wherever it pleases but is reined in to
keep it from straying. In its classic
formulation, ‘discretion is not unconfined
and vagrant’ but ‘canalized within banks
that keep it from overflowing.’”

(Ocampo v. Enriquez, G.R. No. 225973,


8 November 2016)
What Happens when a Law is
Declared as Unconstitutional?
What is the Effect of a Declaration
of Unconstitutionality?

“It is a well settled rule that 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.”

(Film Development Council v. Colon Heritage Corp.,


G.R. Nos. 203754 and 204418, 2015)
Is this Rule Absolute?
“An exception to this rule, however, is the doctrine
of operative fact, which applies as a matter of equity
and fair play. This doctrine nullifies the effects of
an unconstitutional law or an executive act by
recognising that the existence of a statute prior to a
determination of unconstitutionality is an operative
fact and may have consequences that cannot always
be ignored. It applies when a declaration of
unconstitutionality will impose an undue burden on
those who have relied on the invalid law.”

(Film Development Council v. Colon Heritage Corp.,


G.R. Nos. 203754 and 204418, 2015)
Hierarchy of the Philippine
Judicial System
What is the Doctrine of
Hierarchy of Courts?

“The established policy of strict observance


of the judicial hierarchy of courts, as a rule
requires that recourse must first be made to
the lower-ranked court exercising
concurrent jurisdiction with a higher court.”

(Dio v. Subic Bay Marine Exploratorium, Inc.,


G.R. No. 189532, 2014)
(Diocese of Bacolod v. Comelec, G.R. No. 205728,
2015)
What is the Purpose of
this Doctrine?

“The doctrine that requires respect for


the hierarchy of courts was created by
this court to ensure that every level of
the judiciary performs its designated
roles in an effective and efficient
manner.”

(Diocese of Bacolod v. Comelec, G.R. No. 205728, 2015)


What is the Rationale behind
this Doctrine?
“The strictness of the policy is designed to shield
the Court from having to deal with causes that are
also well within the competence of the lower
courts, and thus leave time to the Court to deal
with the more fundamental and more essential task
that the Constitution has assigned to it. The Court
may act on petitions for the extraordinary writs of
certiorari, prohibition and mandamus only when
absolutely necessary or when serious and important
reasons exist to justify an exception to the policy.”

(Diocese of Bacolod v. Comelec, G.R. No. 205728, 2015)


What is the Rationale behind
this Doctrine?
“The Supreme Court is a court of last resort, and
must so remain if it is to satisfactorily perform
the functions assigned to it by the fundamental
charter and immemorial tradition. It cannot and
should not be burdened with the task of dealing
with causes in the first instance. Its original
jurisdiction to issue the so-called extraordinary
writs should be exercised only where absolutely
necessary or where serious and important reasons
exist therefore.”
(Diocese of Bacolod v. Comelec, G.R. No. 205728 (2015)
The Highest Court of the Land:
The Supreme Court
What is the Composition
of the Supreme Court?

“The Supreme Court shall be composed


of a Chief Justice and fourteen
Associate Justices. It may sit en banc
or in its discretion, in divisions of
three, five, or seven members.”

(ART. VIII, Sec. 4, 1987 Constitution)


What are the Cases that are to be
heard and decided by the En Banc?

All cases involving the constitutionality


of a treaty, international or executive
agreement, or law.

Cases involving the constitutionality,


application, or operation of presidential
d e c r e e s, p r o c l am at i o n s, o r d e r s,
ins tr uct io ns, o r d inance s, and ot her
regulations.

(ART. VIII, Sec. 4, Par. 2, 1987 Constitution)


What are the powers conferred by
the Constitution on the Supreme
Court?

E x e r c i s e o r i g i n al a n d a p p e l l at e
jurisdictions in cases provided for by
ART VIII, Sec. 5, paragraphs one and two.

Electoral tribunal for presidential and


vice-presidential contests sitting en banc.

(ART. VIII, Sec. 5; ART. VII, Sec. 4, 1987 Constitution)


What are the powers conferred by
the Constitution on the Supreme
Court?
Temporary assignments of judges of lower
courts to other stations as public interest
may require. Not to exceed 6 months
w i t h o ut t h e co n s e nt o f t h e j u d g e
concerned.

Order a change of venue or place of trial,


to avoid miscarriage of justice.

(ART. VIII, Sec. 5, paragraphs 3 and 4,


1987 Constitution)
What are the powers conferred by
the Constitution on the Supreme
Court?

Power of appointment over all officials


and emplo yee s of t he ju d iciar y in
accordance with the Civil Service Law.

Power of administrative supervision over


all courts and personnel thereof.

(ART. VIII, Sec. 5, par. 6; Sec. 6,


1987 Constitution)
What are the powers conferred by
the Constitution on the Supreme
Court?
Rule-making power to promulgate rules
concerning protection and enforcement of
constitutional rights; pleading, practice
and procedure in all courts; admission to
the practice of law; Integrated Bar of the
Philippines; and legal assistance to the
underprivileged.

(ART. VIII, Sec. 5, paragraphs 5,


1987 Constitution)
The Expanded Rule-Making Power
Under the 1987 Constitution
SC was given the power to promulgate rules
for t he prote ctio n and enforcem ent of
constitutional rights.

Power to disapprove rules of procedure of


special courts and quasi-judicial bodies.

1987 Constitution took away the power of


Congress to repeal, alter, or supplement rules
concerning pleading practice and procedure.

(Baguio Market Vendors v. Judge Cortes, G.R. No. 165922, 2010)


Examples of special courts and quasi-
judicial bodies whose rules of Procedure
the Supreme Court may invalidate?

Internal Rules of Procedure of the Court of


Appeals.

Revised Internal Rules of the Sandiganbayan.

Rules of Procedure of the Department of


Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board.

National Labor Relations Commission Rules of


Procedure.
Is there any limitation to this
expanded rule-making power?
The rules must provide a simplified and
inexpensive procedure for speedy disposition of
cases.

The rules must be uniform for all courts in the


same grade.

The rules shall not diminish, increase, or


modify substantive rights.

(ART. VIII, Sec. 5, paragraphs 5,


1987 Constitution)
What are the Cases that are to be
heard and decided by the En Banc?

Ca se s heard by a d ivisio n w he n t he
required majority in the division is not
obtained.

Cases where the SC modifies or reverses a


doctrine or principle of law previously laid
down either en banc or division.

(ART. VIII, Sec. 4, Par. 2, 1987 Constitution)


What are the Cases that are to be
heard and decided by the En Banc?

Administrative cases where the vote is for


the dismissal of a judge of a lower court
or otherwise to discipline such a one.

Election contests for President and Vice-


President.

(ART. VII, Sec. 4; ART. VIII, Sec. 11,


1987 Constitution)
How many votes of the justices
are required to decide a case?

When the Supreme Court sits en banc, cases


are decided by the concurrence of a
majority of the members who actually took
part in the deliberations on the issues in the
case and voted thereon, provided that there
is quorum.

(ART. VIII, Secs. 4 and 11, 1987 Constitution)


Is the en banc “superior” to the
divisions?
“Decisions or resolutions of a division is a
decision or resolution of the Supreme Court
itself. The Supreme Court sitting en banc is not
an appellate court vis-a-vis its divisions, and it
exercises no appellate jurisdiction over the latter.
Each division of the Court is considered not a
body inferior to the Court en banc, and sits
veritably as the Court en banc itself.”

(Firestone Ceramics v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No.


127245, June 28, 2000)
Is the en banc “superior” to the
divisions?
“Where the Court en banc entertains a case for its
resolution and disposition, it does so without implying
that the division of origin is incapable of rendering
objective and fair justice. The action of the Court simply
means that the nature of the cases calls for en banc
attention and consideration. It was merely guided by the
well-studied finding and sustainable opinion of the
majority of its actual membership - that, indeed, subject
cases are of sufficient importance meriting the action
and decision of the whole Court.”

(Firestone Ceramics v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No.


127245, June 28, 2000)
Third Level Courts
The Court of Appeals
What is the nature of the
functions of the Court of Appeals?
“The Court of Appeals is primarily designed as an
appellate court that reviews the determination of
facts and law made by the trial courts. It is
collegiate in nature. This nature ensures more
standpoints in the review of the actions of the trial
court. Unlike the trial courts, its writs can have a
nationwide scope. It is competent to determine
facts and, ideally, should act on constitutional
issues that may not necessarily be novel unless
there are factual questions to determine.”

(Diocese of Bacolod v. Comelec, G.R. No. 205728, 2015)


How many Justices and Divisions
does the Court of Appeals have?

The Court of Appeals is composed


of 1 Presi d ing Jus tice and 68
Associate Justices.

It is composed of 23 divisions.

(P.D. 1482; E.O. 864, 33;


R.A. Nos. 52, 1605, 5204, 7902, 8246)
The Sandiganbayan
What is the mandate of the
Sandiganbayan?
“SEC. 5. The Batasang Pambansa shall create a special court, to
be known as the Sandiganbayan, which shall have jurisdiction
over criminal and civil cases involving graft and corrupt
practices and such other offenses committed by public
officers and employees, including those in government-
owned or controlled corporations, in relation to their office
as may be determined by law.”
(ART XIII, Sec. 5, 1973 Constitution)

“SEC. 4. The present anti-graft court known as the Sandiganbayan


shall continue to function and exercise its jurisdiction as now or
hereafter may be provided by law.”

(ART XI, Sec. 5, 1987 Constitution)


How many Justices and Divisions
does the Sandiganbayan have?

The Sandiganbayan is composed of


1 Presiding Justice and 20 Associate
Justices.

It is composed of 7 divisions.

(P.D. 1486, 1606; R.A. Nos. 7975, 8249, 10660)


The Court of Tax Appeals
What is the nature of the functions
of the Court of Tax Appeals?
The CTA is a special court of limited jurisdiction, which has
the same level as that of the Court of Appeals. The CTA has
jurisdiction not only of the decisions, judgments, rulings
or inaction of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, the
Commissioner of Customs, the Secretary of Finance, the
Secretary of Trade and Industry, or the Secretary of
Agriculture, involving the National Internal Revenue Code
and the Tariff and Customs Code on civil matters, but also
matters involving criminal violation and collection of
revenues under the National Internal Revenue Code and
Tariff and Customs Code. The CTA also has jurisdiction over
cases involving local and real property taxes which used to
be with the Regional Trial Court and the Court of Appeals.
(Republic Act Nos. 1125, 9282, and 9503)
How many Justices and
Divisions does the CTA have?

T h e C o u r t o f Ta x A p p e a l s i s
composed of 1 Presiding Justice
and 8 Associate Justices.

It is composed of 3 divisions.

(Republic Act Nos. 1125, 9282, and 9503)


Second Level Courts: The
Regional Trial Courts
As of 30 June 2018, there are
1,352 RTCs nationwide in 13
judicial regions.

Jurisd iction over cases falling under


Sections 19 and 23 of BP 129, as amended
by RA 7691 includes both original and
appellate jurisdictions.
First Level Courts:

Municipal Trial Courts

Metropolitan Trial Courts

Municipal Circuit Trial Courts

Municipal Trial Courts in Cities


As of 30 June 2018 there are 1,255
MTC / METCs / MCTCs / MTCCs
nationwide in 13 judicial regions

Jurisd iction over cases falling under


Sections 32 to 36 of BP 129, as amended by
RA 7691.
What is the nature of the
functions of the trial courts?
“Trial courts do not only determine the
facts from the evaluation of the evidence
presented before them. They are likewise
competent to determine issues of law which
may include the validity of an ordinance,
statute or even an executive issuance in
relation to the Constitution.

(Diocese of Bacolod v. Comelec, G.R. No. 205728 (2015)


What is the nature of the
functions of the trial courts?
“To effectively perform these functions, they
are territorially organised into regions and
then into branches. Their writs generally
reach within those territorial boundaries.
Necessarily, they mostly perform the all-
important task of inferring the facts from
the evidence as these are physically
presented before them.

(Diocese of Bacolod v. Comelec, G.R. No. 205728 (2015)


Philippine Sharia Courts
How many Sharia Courts are
there in the Philippines?

The Philippines has:


5 Sharia District Courts

37 Sharia Circuit Courts

(Presidential Decree 1083)


What is Jurisdiction?

“Jurisdiction is the power with which courts


are invested for administering justice; that is
for hearing and deciding cases. It is the
power and the authority of a court of justice
to hear, try and decide a case.”

(Cosco Philippines Shipping, Inc. v. Kemper Insurance Company,


G.R. No. 179488, April 23, 2012; Zamora v. Court of Appeals, G.R.
No. 78206, March 19,1990.)
Who has the authority to apportion
the jurisdiction of the courts?

“Congress shall have the power to define,


prescribe and apportion the jurisdiction of
the various courts but may not deprive the
Supreme Court of its jurisdiction over
cases enumerated in Section 5, Article
VIII.”

(ART. VIII, Sec. 2, 1987 Constitution)


May the jurisdiction of the
Supreme Court be increased by
Congress?

“No law shall be passed increasing the


appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme
Court as provided in the Constitution
without its advice and concurrence.”

(ART. VI, Sec. 30, 1987 Constitution)


Does the jurisdiction of the Court
end after it renders a decision in
the case before it?

“The power to control the execution of its


decision is an essential aspect of
jurisdiction. It cannot be the subject of
substantial subtraction for our Constitution
vests the entirety of judicial power in one
Supreme Court, and in such lower courts as
may be established by law.”

(Echagaray v. Secretary of Justice, G.R. No. 132601, January


19, 1999)
How do courts render
judgments and decisions?

“No decision shall be rendered by any


court without expressing therein clearly
and distinctly the facts and the law on
which it is based.”

(ART. VIII, Sec. 14, 1987 Constitution)


Does the jurisdiction of the Court end
after it renders a decision in the case
before it?

“A decision that does not conform to the form


and substance required by the Constitution and
the law is void and deemed legally inexistent. To
be valid, decisions should comply with the form,
the procedure and the substantive requirements
laid out in the COnstitution, the Rules of Court
and relevant circulars/orders of the Supreme
Court.”

(Velarde v. Social Justice Society, G.R. No. 159357,


28 April 2004)
The Exercise of Jurisdiction:
The Theories of Judicial
Activism and Judicial
Restraint
Judicial Activism vs. Judicial
Restraint
“[The] pre-eminent prejudice in favor of human
rights induced our constitutional commissioners
to re-examine the balance of power among the
three great branches of government - the
executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. The
re-examination easily revealed that under the then
existing balance of power, the Executive, through
the adept deployment of the commander-in-chief
powers can run roughshod over our human
rights…”

(CJ Reynato S. Puno, A View From the Mountaintop, 2007)


Judicial Activism vs. Judicial
Restraint
“It further revealed that a supine Legislature can
betray the human rights of the people by defaulting
to enact appropriate laws, for there is nothing you
can do when Congress exercises its power to be
powerless. It is for this reason and more, that our
Constitutional Commissioners, deemed it wise to
strengthen the powers of the Judiciary, to give it
more muscular strength in dealing with non-use,
misuse, and abuse of authority in government.”

(CJ Reynato S. Puno, A View From the Mountaintop, 2007)


What is the Concept of
Judicial Restraint?
A t h e o r y o f j u d i c i al i nter p retat i o n t h at
encourages judges to limit the exercise of their
own power in certain cases.

Adherents of judicial restraint warn that under


certain circumstances, the active use of judicial
review has a detrimental effect on the capacity
of the democratic system to function effectively.

(Francisco v. House of Representatives, G.R. No. 160261,


J. Puno, Separate Opinion)
What is the Basis of the
Judicial Restraint?
“As a judicial stance, it is anchored on a heightened
regard for democracy. Deference to the majority rule
constitutes the flagship argument of judicial restraint
which emphasises that in democratic governance,
majority rule is a necessary principle. It nudges the
judge who considers democracy as an intrinsic and
fundamental value to grant that discretion of the
legislature is large and that he cannot correct any act
or enactment that comes before the court solely
because it is believed to be unwise.”

(Francisco v. House of Representatives, G.R. No. 160261,


J. Puno, Separate Opinion)
What is the Concept of
Judicial Activism?
A theory of judicial interpretation which holds
that “the Court’s indispensable role in a system
of government founded on doctrines of
separation of powers and checks and balances
is a legitimator of political claims and a
catalyst for the aggrieved to coalesce and
assert themselves in the democratic process.”

(Francisco v. House of Representatives, G.R. No. 160261,


J. Puno, Separate Opinion)
Judicial Restraint
vs. Judicial Activism:
“Within [a] democratic and republican
framework, both the apostles of judicial
restraint and the disciples of judicial activism
agree that government cannot act beyond the
outer limits demarcated by constitutional
boundaries without becoming subject to
judicial intervention. The issue that splits them
is the location of those limits.
(Francisco v. House of Representatives, G.R. No. 160261,
J. Puno, Separate Opinion)
The Judicial and Bar
Council
“A Judicial and Bar Council is hereby
created under the supervision of the
Supreme Court composed of the Chief
Justice as ex officio Chairman, the
Secretary of Justice, and a representative
of the Congress as ex officio Members, a
representative of the Integrated Bar, a
professor of law, a retired Member of the
Supreme Court, and a representative of the
private sector.”

-ART. VIII, Sec. 18, 1987 Constitution


Does this provision allow more
than one member of Congress to
sit in the JBC?
“The JBC is composed only of seven
members, with Congress allowed only one
Representative.”
“From the enumeration of the membership
of the JBC, it is patent that each category
of members pertained to a single
individual only.”

(Chavez v. JBC, G.R. No. 202242, July 17, 2012)


What is the Ratio for
this Rule?
“The seven-member composition of the
JBC serves a practical purpose, that is, to
provide a solution should there be a
stalemate in voting. This underlying
reason leads the Court to conclude that
a single vote may not be divided into
half (1/2), between two representatives
of Congress, or among any of the sitting
members of the JBC for that matter.”
(Chavez v. JBC, G.R. No. 202242, July 17, 2012)
What are the Powers and
Functions of the JBC?

Recommend appointees to the Judiciary.

Recommend appointees to the Office of


the Ombudsman and his five deputies.

May exercise such other functions as


may be assigned by the Supreme Court

-ART. VIII, Sec. 18, 1987 Constitution


How does the JBC perform
these Functions?
“In JBC proceedings, an aspiring judge or justice
justifies his qualifications for the office when he
presents proof of his scholastic records, work
experience and laudable citations. His goal is to
establish that he is qualified for the office applied for.
The JBC then takes every possible step to verify an
applicant’s track record for the purpose of determining
whether or not he is qualified for the nomination. It
ascertains the factors which entitle an applicant to
become a part of the roster from which the President
appoints.”

(Jardeleza v. Sereno, G.R. No. 213181, August 19, 2014)


What Kind of Power does the
Supreme Court have over the JBC?
“[T]he power of supervision being a power of
oversight does not authorize the holder of the
supervisory power to lay down the rules nor
to modify or replace the rules of its
subordinate. If the rules are, however, not or
improperly observed, then the supervising
authority may order the work be done or
redone but only for the purpose of
conforming to such rules.
(Republic v. Sereno, G.R. No. 237428, 11 May 2018)
What Kind of Power does the
Supreme Court have over the JBC?

“The Court’s supervisory power consists of


seeing to it that the JBC complies with its own
rules and procedures. As when the policies of
the JBC are being attacked, the Court, through
its supervisory authority over the JBC has the
duty to inquire about the matter and ensure
that the JBC is compliant with its own rules.”

(Republic v. Sereno, G.R. No. 237428, 11 May 2018)


What are the Limits to the JBC’s
Authority in the Screening and
Nomination Process?
“[T]he exercise of the JBC’s discretion in the
nomination process is not full as it is limited
by the requirements prescribed by the
Constitution and the laws for every position.
It does not involve a question of policy but
simply a determination, based on facts, of
whether a candidate possesses the requisite
qualifications or not.

(Republic v. Sereno, G.R. No. 237428, 11 May 2018)


The Sereno Court
“No person shall be appointed
Member of the Supreme Court or any
lower collegiate court unless he is a
natural-born citizen of the
Philippines. A member of the Supreme
Court must be at least forty years of
age, and must have been for fifteen
years or more a judge of a lower
court or engaged in the practice of
law in the Philippines.”

(Article VIII, Sec. 7, 1987 Constitution)


“A member of the Judiciary must be
a person of proven competence,
integrity, probity, and independence.”

(Article VIII, Sec. 7, 1987 Constitution)


(Republic v. Sereno, G.R. No. 237428, 11 May 2018)
“The salary of the Chief Justice and
of the Associate Justice of the
Supreme Court, and of judges of
lower courts shall be fixed by law.
During their continuance in office,
their salary shall not be decreased.”

(Article VIII, Sec. 10, 1987 Constitution)


How does the Constitution Guarantee
the Judiciary’s Independence?
“The ruling that ‘the imposition of income tax
upon the salary of judges is a diminution
thereof, and so violates the Constitution’ in
Perfecto v. Meer, as affirmed in Endencia v. David
must be declared discarded. The framers of the
fundamental law, as the alter ego of the people,
have expressed in clear and unmistakable terms
the meaning and import of Section 10, Article
VIII, of the 1987 Constitution that they have
adopted.
(Nitafan v. CIR, G.R. No. 78780, 23 July 1987)
How does the Constitution Guarantee
the Judiciary’s Independence?

“That the ‘no report, no release’ policy may


not be validly enforced against offices vested
with fiscal autonomy is not disputed. Indeed,
such policy cannot be enforced against offices
possessing fiscal autonomy without violating
[the COnstitution].”

(CSC v. DBM, G.R. No. 158791, 22 July 2005)


How does the Constitution Guarantee
the Judiciary’s Independence?
“[T]he ‘automatic release’ of approved annual
appropriations requires the full release of
appropriations without any condition. Thus,
‘no report, no release’ policies cannot be
enforced against institutions with fiscal
autonomy. Neither can a ‘shortfall in revenues’
be considered as valid justification to
withhold the release of approved
appropriations.”
(Mandanas v. Ochoa, G.R. Nos. 199802 and 208488, 3 July 2018)