Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 5

15. Isidro Lico v. COMELEC (G.R. No.

205505, September 29, 2015)

Party-List System; A party-list nominee must have been, among others, a bona fide member of the party or organization for at least ninety (90) days
preceding the day of the election.—In the present case, the Petition for petitioner Lico’s expulsion from the House of Representatives is anchored on
his expulsion from Ating Koop, which necessarily affects his title as member of Congress. A party-list nominee must have been, among others, a bona
fide member of the party or organization for at least ninety (90) days preceding the day of the election. Needless to say, bona fide membership in the
party-list group is a continuing qualification. We have ruled that qualifications for public office, whether elective or not, are continuing requirements.
They must be possessed not only at the time of appointment or election, or of assumption of office, but during the officer’s entire tenure.

16. Abang Lingkod Party-List v. COMELEC (G.R. No. 206952, October 22, 2013)

Party-List System; Track Record; 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.”—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. 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.”

Evidence showing a track record in representing the marginalized and underrepresented sectors is only required from nominees of sectoral parties or
organizations that represent the marginalized and underrepresented who do not factually belong to the sector represented by their party or
organization.—Contrary to the COMELEC’s claim, sectoral parties or organizations, such as ABANG LINGKOD, are no longer required to adduce
evidence showing their track record, i.e. proof of activities that they have undertaken to further the cause of the sector they represent. Indeed, it is
enough that their principal advocacy pertains to the special interest and concerns of their sector. Otherwise stated, it is sufficient that the ideals
represented by the sectoral organizations are geared towards the cause of the sector/s, which they represent.

There is no logic in treating sectoral organizations differently from national and regional parties or organizations as regards their bid for registration
under the party-list system.— The “varying track record requirement” suggested by the dissent would unnecessarily put a premium on groups intending
to register as national and regional parties or organizations as against those intending to register as sectoral organizations. The imposition of an
additional burden on sectoral organizations, i.e., submission of their track record, would be unjust as it deters the marginalized and underrepresented
sectors from organizing themselves under the party-list system.

There exists no reason to further require groups seeking registration under the party-list system to submit evidence showing their track record.—There
exists no reason to further require groups seeking registration under the party-list system to submit evidence showing their track record. Pursuant to
Atong Paglaum, not all groups are required to represent the marginalized and underrepresented sectors and, accordingly, there is no longer any incentive
in merely feigning representation of the marginalized and underrepresented sectors. For purposes of registration under the party--list system, it is
enough that the principal advocacy of sectoral organizations pertains to the sector/s they represent.

Considering that track record is no longer a requirement, a group’s misrepresentation as to its track record cannot be used as a ground to deny or cancel
its registration — it is no longer material to its qualification under the party-list system.— In this case, ABANG LINGKOD’s submission of digitally
altered photographs cannot be considered material to its qualification as a party-list group. Section 6 of R.A. No. 7941, in part, reads: Sec. 6. Refusal
and/or Cancellation of Registration.—The COMELEC may, motu propio or upon verified complaint of any interested party, refuse or cancel, after due
notice and hearing, the registration of any national, regional or sectoral party, organization or coalition on any of the following grounds: xxxx (6) It
declares untruthful statements in its petition.

Declaration of an untruthful statement in a petition for registration, or in any other document pertinent to the registration and/or accreditation under the
party-list system, as a ground for the refusal or cancellation of registration under Section 6(6) of R.A. No. 7941, is akin to material misrepresentation
in the certificate of candidacy filed by an individual candidate under Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code.— Both provisions disallow prospective
candidates from participating in an election for declaring false statements in their eligibility requirements. Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code
reads: Sec. 78. A verified petition seeking to deny due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy may be filed by any person exclusively on the
ground that any material misrepresentation contained therein as required under Section 74 hereof is false.

In order to justify the cancellation or refusal of registration of a group, there must be a deliberate attempt to mislead, misinform, or hide a fact, which
would otherwise render the group disqualified from participating in the party-list elections.—A declaration of an untruthful statement in a petition for
registration under Section 6(6) of R.A. No. 7941, in order to be a ground for the refusal and/or cancellation of registration under the party-list system,
must pertain to the qualification of the party, organization or coalition under the party-list system. The digitally altered photographs of activities
submitted by ABANG LINGKOD to prove its continuing qualification under R.A. No. 7941 only pertain to its track record, which, as already discussed,
is no longer a requirement under the new parameters laid down in Atong Paglaum. Simply put, they do not affect the qualification of ABANG
LINGKOD as a party-list group and, hence, could not be used as a ground to cancel its registration under the party-list system.

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.—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.

17. Dr. Hans Señeres v. COMELEC (G.R. No. 178678, April 16, 2009)

Election Law; Election Contests; Electoral Tribunals; 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 elections relating to the election, returns, and qualifications ends, and the HRET’s own
jurisdiction begins.—The HRET’s sole and exclusive jurisdiction over contests relative to the election, returns and qualifications of the members of
the House of Representatives “begins only after a candidate has become a member of the House of Representatives.”

Party-List System; Where the right of the nominees as party-list representatives had been recognized and declared by a Resolution of the COMELEC
and the nominees had taken their oath and already assumed their offices in the House of Representatives, the proper recourse would have been to file
a petition for quo warranto before the HRET within ten (10) days from receipt of the Resolution and not a petition for certiorari before the Supreme
Court.—Without a doubt, at the time Señeres filed this petition before this Court on July 23, 2007, the right of the nominees as party-list representatives
had been recognized and declared in the July 19, 2007 Resolution and the nominees had taken their oath and already assumed their offices in the House
of Representatives. Since Señeres failed to file a petition for quo warranto before the HRET declaring the validity of Robles’ Certificate of Nomination,
said Resolution of the COMELEC has already become final and executory.
It is irrelevant who among a party-list organization’s officials sign the Certificate of Nomination, as long as the signatory was so authorized by said
organization.—The nomination of Velarde, Coscolluela, Tieng, Monsod, and Villarama to the 2007 party-list elections was, in the final analysis, an
act of the National Council of BUHAY. Robles’ role in the nominating process was limited to signing, on behalf of BUHAY, and submitting the party’s
Certificate of Nomination to the COMELEC. The act of nominating BUHAY’s representatives was veritably a direct and official act of the National
Council of BUHAY and not Robles.’ Be that as it may, it is irrelevant who among BUHAY’s officials signs the Certificate of Nomination, as long as
the signatory was so authorized by BUHAY. The alleged disqualification of Robles as nominating officer is indeed a non-issue and does not affect the
act of the National Council of nominating Velarde and others. Hence, the Certificate of Nomination, albeit signed by Robles, is still the product of a
valid and legal act of the National Council of BUHAY. Robles’ connection with LRTA could not really be considered as a factor invalidating the
nomination process.

Hold-Over Doctrine; As a general rule, officers and directors of a corporation hold over after the expiration of their terms until such time as their
successors are elected or appointed.— As a general rule, officers and directors of a corporation hold over after the expiration of their terms until such
time as their successors are elected or appointed. Sec. 23 of the Corporation Code contains a provision to this effect, thus: Section 23. The board of
directors or trustees.—Unless otherwise provided in this Code, the corporate powers of all corporations formed under this Code shall be exercised, all
business conducted and all property of such corporations controlled and held by the board of directors or trustees to be elected from among the holders
of stocks, or where there is no stock, from among the members of the corporation, who shall hold office for one (1) year until their successors are
elected and qualified. The holdover doctrine has, to be sure, a purpose which is at once legal as it is practical. It accords validity to what would otherwise
be deemed as dubious corporate acts and gives continuity to a corporate enterprise in its relation to outsiders.

18.1. Regina Reyes v. COMELEC (G.R. No. 207264, June 25, 2013)

Election Law; House of Representative; House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET); Jurisdiction; As held in Marcos v. COMELEC, 248
SCRA 300 (1995), the HRET does not have jurisdiction over a candidate who is not a member of the House of Representatives.― As to the HRET’s
supposed assumption of jurisdiction over the issue of petitioner’s qualifications after the May 8, 1995 elections, suffice it to say that HRET’s jurisdiction
as the sole judge of all contests relating to the elections, returns and qualifications of members of Congress begins only after a candidate has become a
member of the House of Representatives. Petitioner not being a member of the House of Representatives, it is obvious that the HRET at this point has
no jurisdiction over the question.

To be considered a Member of the House of Representatives, there must be a concurrence of the following requisites:(1) a valid proclamation, (2) a
proper oath, and (3) assumption of office.―It is then clear that to be considered a Member of the House of Representatives, there must be a concurrence
of the following requisites: (1) a valid proclamation, (2) a proper oath, and (3) assumption of office. Indeed, in some cases, this Court has made the
pronouncement that once a proclamation has been made, COMELEC’s jurisdiction is already lost and, thus, its jurisdiction over contests relating to
elections, returns, and qualifications ends, and the HRET’s own jurisdiction begins. However, it must be noted that in these cases, the doctrinal
pronouncement was made in the context of a proclaimed candidate who had not only taken an oath of office, but who had also assumed office.

COMELEC; Jurisdiction; The petitioner cannot be considered a Member of the House of Representatives because, primarily, she has not yet assumed
office; The term of office of a Member of the House of Representatives begins only “at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following their election.”
Thus, until such time, the Commission on Elections retains jurisdiction. ― In her attempt to comply with the second requirement, petitioner attached
a purported Oath of Office taken before Hon. Feliciano Belmonte Jr. on 5 June 2013. However, this is not the oath of office which confers membership
to the House of Representatives. Section 6, Rule II (Membership) of the Rules of the House of Representatives provides: Section 6. Oath or Affirmation
of Members. —Members shall take their oath or affirmation either collectively or individually before the Speaker in open session. Consequently, before
there is a valid or official taking of the oath it must be made (1) before the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and (2) in open session. Here,
although she made the oath before Speaker Belmonte, there is no indication that it was made during plenary or in open session and, thus, it remains
unclear whether the required oath of office was indeed complied with. More importantly, we cannot disregard a fact basic in this controversy — that
before the proclamation of petitioner on 18 May 2013, the COMELEC had already finally disposed of the issue of petitioner’s lack of Filipino
citizenship and residency. After 14 May 2013, there was, before the COMELEC, no longer any pending case on petitioner’s qualifications to run for
the position of Member of the House of Representative.

18.2. Regina Reyes v. COMELEC (G.R. No. 207264, October 22, 2013)

Certificates of Candidacy; Cancellation of Certificate of Candidacy; The special action before the COMELEC which was a Petition to Cancel Certificate
of Candidacy was a summary proceeding or one “heard summarily.”― The nature of the proceedings is best indicated by the COMELEC Rule on
Special Actions, Rule 23, Section 4 of which states that the Commission may designate any of its officials who are members of the Philippine Bar to
hear the case and to receive evidence. COMELEC Rule 17 further provides in Section 3 that when the proceedings are authorized to be summary, in
lieu of oral testimonies, the parties may, after due notice, be required to submit their position paper together with affidavits, counter-affidavits and other
documentary evidence; x x x and that “[t]his provision shall likewise apply to cases where the hearing and reception of evidence are delegated by the
Commission or the Division to any of its officials x x x.”

Election Law; Certificates of Candidacy; COMELEC; 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.―It may need pointing out that there is no conflict
between the COMELEC and the HRET insofar as the petitioner’s being a Representative of Marinduque is concerned. 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.

House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET); 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. ―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.

19. Lord Allan Velasco v. Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. (G.R. No. 211140, January 12, 2016)

Remedial Law; Special Civil Actions; Quo Warranto; A petition for quo warranto is a proceeding to determine the right of a person to the use or
exercise of a franchise or office and to oust the holder from its enjoyment, if his claim is not well-founded, or if he has forfeited his right to enjoy the
privilege.— Where the action is filed by a private person, he must prove that he is entitled to the controverted position; otherwise, respondent has a
right to the undisturbed possession of the office. In this case, (i) the final and executory resolutions of this Court in G.R. No. 207264; (ii) the final and
executory resolutions of the COMELEC in SPA No. 13-053 (DC) cancelling Reyes’s Certificate of Candidacy; and (iii) the final and executory
resolution of the COMELEC in SPC No. 13-010 declaring null and void the proclamation of Reyes and proclaiming Velasco as the winning candidate
for the position of Representative for the Lone District of the Province of Marinduque — it cannot be claimed that the present petition is one for the
determination of the right of Velasco to the claimed office. To be sure, what is prayed for herein is merely the enforcement of clear legal duties and not
to try disputed title. That the respondents make it appear so will not convert this petition to one for quo warranto.

Mandamus; A petition for mandamus will prosper if it is shown that the subject thereof is a ministerial act or duty, and not purely discretionary on the
part of the board, officer or person, and that the petitioner has a well-defined, clear and certain right to warrant the grant thereof.—Section 3, Rule 65
of the Rules of Court, as amended, provides that any person may file a verified petition for mandamus “when any tribunal, corporation, board, officer
or person unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust, or station, or
unlawfully excludes another from the use and enjoyment of a right or office to which such other is entitled, and there is no other plain, speedy and
adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.” A petition for mandamus will prosper if it is shown that the subject thereof is a ministerial act or duty,
and not purely discretionary on the part of the board, officer or person, and that the petitioner has a well-defined, clear and certain right to warrant the
grant thereof.

“Ministerial Act” and “Discretionary Act,” Distinguished. —The difference between a ministerial and discretionary act has long been established. A
purely ministerial act or duty is one which an officer or tribunal performs in a given state of facts, in a prescribed manner, in obedience to the mandate
of a legal authority, without regard to or the exercise of his own judgment upon the propriety or impropriety of the act done. If the law imposes a duty
upon a public officer and gives him the right to decide how or when the duty shall be performed, such duty is discretionary and not ministerial. The
duty is ministerial only when the discharge of the same requires neither the exercise of official discretion or judgment.

20. Wigberto Tañada, Jr. v. HRET (G.R. No. 217012, March 1, 2016)

Cancellation of Certificate of Candidacy; Nuisance Candidates; It is not enough for Wigberto to have Alvin John’s Certificate of Candidacy (CoC)
cancelled, because the effect of such cancellation only leads to stray votes. Alvin John must also be declared a nuisance candidate, because only then
will Alvin John’s votes be credited to Wigberto.—The HRET did not commit any grave abuse of discretion in declaring that it has no jurisdiction to
determine whether Alvin John was a nuisance candidate. If Wigberto timely filed a petition before this Court within the period allotted for special
actions and questioned Alvin John’s nuisance candidacy, then it is proper for this Court to assume jurisdiction and rule on the matter. As things stand,
the COMELEC En Banc’s ruling on Alvin John’s nuisance candidacy had long become final and executory. Wigberto’s petition challenging Alvin
John’s nuisance candidacy filed before the HRET, and now before this Court, is a mere afterthought. It was only after Angelina was proclaimed a
winner that Wigberto renewed his zeal in pursuing Alvin John’s alleged nuisance candidacy. Alvin John must also be declared a nuisance candidate,
because only then will Alvin John’s votes be credited to Wigberto.

21. Harlin Abayon v. HRET (G.R. No. 222236 & 223032, May 3, 2016)

Election Law; Election Protests; An Election Protest proposes to oust the winning candidate from office. It is strictly a contest between the defeated
and the winning candidates, based on the grounds of electoral frauds or irregularities. It aims to determine who between them has actually obtained the
majority of the legal votes cast and, therefore, entitled to hold the office.

House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal; Jurisdiction; The Constitution no less, grants the HRET with exclusive jurisdiction to decide all election
contests involving the members of the House of Representatives, which necessarily includes those which raise the issue of fraud, terrorism or other
irregularities committed before, during or after the elections.—The Court agrees that the power of the HRET to annul elections differ from the power
granted to the COMELEC to declare failure of elections. To deprive the HRET the prerogative to annul elections would undermine its constitutional
fiat to decide election contests. The phrase “election, returns and qualifications” should be interpreted in its totality as referring to all matters affecting
the validity of the contestee’s title. Consequently, the annulment of election results is but a power concomitant to the HRET’s constitutional mandate
to determine the validity of the contestee’s title.

The HRET, as the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of members of the House of Representatives, may annul
election results if in its determination, fraud, terrorism or other electoral irregularities existed to warrant the annulment.—The power granted to the
HRET by the Constitution is intended to be as complete and unimpaired as if it had remained originally in the legislature. Because in doing so, it is
merely exercising its constitutional duty to ascertain who among the candidates received the majority of the valid votes cast.

The passage of RA No. 7166 cannot deprive the HRET of its incidental power to annul elections in the exercise of its sole and exclusive authority
conferred by no less than the Constitution. — It must be remembered that the COMELEC exercises quasi-judicial, quasi-legislative and administrative
functions. In Bedol v. COMELEC, 606 SCRA 554 (2009), the Court expounded, to wit: 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 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. The quasi-judicial or administrative adjudicatory power is the power to hear and
determine questions of fact to which the legislative policy is to apply, and to decide in accordance with the standards laid down by the law itself in
enforcing and administering the same law.

Commission on Elections; Jurisdiction; RA No. 7166 was enacted to empower the COMELEC to be most effective in the performance of its sacred
duty of ensuring the conduct of honest and free elections. —The COMELEC exercises its quasi-judicial function when it decides election contests not
otherwise reserved to other electoral tribunals by the Constitution. The COMELEC, however, does not exercise its quasi-judicial functions when it
declares a failure of elections pursuant to R.A. No. 7166. Further, a closer perusal of Section 6 of the Omnibus Election Code readily reveals that it is
more in line with the COMELEC’s administrative function of ensuring that elections are free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible, and not its quasi-
judicial function to adjudicate election contests. The said provision reads: Sec. 6. Failure of elections.—If, on account of force majeure, violence,
terrorism, fraud or other analogous causes the election in any polling place has not been held on the date fixed, or had been suspended before the hour
fixed by law for the closing of the voting, or after the voting and during the preparation and the transmission of the election returns or in the custody
or canvass thereof, such election results in a failure to elect, and in any of such cases the failure or suspension of election would affect the result of the
election, the Commission shall, on the basis of a verified petition by any interested party and after due notice and hearing, call for the holding or
continuation of the election not held, suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect on a date reasonably close to the date of the election not held,
suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect but not later than thirty days after the cessation of the cause of such postponement or suspension of the
election or failure to elect.

House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal; Failure of Elections; Annulment of Elections; There is no overlap of jurisdiction because when the
COMELEC declares a failure of elections on the ground of violence, intimidation, terrorism or other irregularities, it does so in its administrative
capacity. In contrast, when electoral tribunals annul elections under the same grounds, they do so in the performance of their quasi-judicial functions.
—The difference between the annulment of elections by electoral tribunals and the declaration of failure of elections by the COMELEC cannot be
gainsaid. First, the former is an incident of the judicial function of electoral tribunals while the latter is in the exercise of the COMELEC’s administrative
function. Second, electoral tribunals only annul the election results connected with the election contest before it whereas the declaration of failure of
elections by the COMELEC relates to the entire election in the concerned precinct or political unit. As such, in annulling elections, the HRET does so
only to determine who among the candidates garnered a majority of the legal votes cast. The COMELEC, on the other hand, declares a failure of
elections with the objective of holding or continuing the elections, which were not held or were suspended, or if there was one, resulted in a failure to
elect. When COMELEC declares a failure of elections, special elections will have to be conducted.

22. Rep. Teddy Baguilat, Jr. v. Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez (G.R. No. 227757, July 25, 2017)

Political Law; Speaker of the House of Representatives; The Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be elected by a majority vote of its entire
membership. Said provision also states that the House of Representatives may decide to have officers other than the Speaker, and that the method and
manner as to how these officers are chosen is something within its sole control. — In the case of Defensor-Santiago v. Guingona, Jr., 298 SCRA 756
(1998), which involved a dispute on the rightful Senate Minority Leader during the 11th Congress (1998-2001), this Court observed that “while the
Constitution is explicit on the manner of electing x x x [a Speaker of the House of Representative,] it is, however, dead silent on the manner of selecting
the other officers of the Lower House. All that the Charter says is that ‘each House shall choose such other officers as it may deem necessary.’ As such,
the method of choosing who will be such other officers is merely a derivative of the exercise of the prerogative conferred by the aforequoted
constitutional provision. Therefore, such method must be prescribed by the House of Representatives itself, not by the Court.”

Same; Section 16(3), Article VI of the Constitution vests in the House of Representatives the sole authority to, inter alia, “determine the rules of its
proceedings.” These “legislative rules, unlike statutory laws, do not have the imprints of permanence and obligatoriness during their effectivity. In fact,
they ‘are subject to revocation, modification or waiver at the pleasure of the body adopting them.’”— Being merely matters of procedure, their
observance are of no concern to the courts, for said rules may be waived or disregarded by the legislative body at will, upon the concurrence of a
majority of the House of Representatives.” Hence, as a general rule, “this Court has no authority to interfere and unilaterally intrude into that exclusive
realm, without running afoul of Constitutional principles that it is bound to protect and uphold x x x. Constitutional respect and a becoming regard for
the sovereign acts of a coequal branch prevents the Court from prying into the internal workings of the House of Representatives.”

By and large, this case concerns an internal matter of a co-equal, political branch of government which, absent any showing of grave abuse of discretion,
cannot be judicially interfered with.— To rule otherwise would not only embroil this Court in the realm of politics, but also lead to its own breach of
the separation of powers doctrine. Verily, “it would be an unwarranted invasion of the prerogative of a co-equal department for this Court either to set
aside a legislative action as void only because it thinks the House has disregarded its own rules of procedure, or to allow those defeated in the political
arena to seek a rematch in the judicial forum when petitioners can find their remedy in that department itself.”

23. Antero Pobre v. Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago (A.C. No. 7399, August 25, 2009)

Administrative Law; Conduct Unbecoming a Public Official; Generally speaking, a lawyer holding a government office may not be disciplined as a
member of the Bar for misconduct committed while in the discharge of official duties, unless said misconduct also constitutes a violation of his/her
oath as a lawyer.—The lady senator belongs to the legal profession bound by the exacting injunction of a strict Code. Society has entrusted that
profession with the administration of the law and dispensation of justice.

Code of Professional Responsibility; Public Officers; When the Code of Professional Responsibility or the Rules of Court speaks of “conduct” or
“misconduct,” the reference is not confined to one’s behavior exhibited in connection with the performance of lawyer’s professional duties, but also
covers any misconduct, which—albeit unrelated to the actual practice of their profession—would show them to be unfit for the office and unworthy of
the privileges which their license and the law invest in them.—Lawyers may be disciplined even for any conduct committed in their private capacity,
as long as their misconduct reflects their want of probity or good demeanor, a good character being an essential qualification for the admission to the
practice of law and for continuance of such privilege.

It is imperative on our part to re-instill in Senator/Atty. Santiago her duty to respect courts of justice, especially this Tribunal, and remind her anew that
the parliamentary non-accountability thus granted to members of Congress is not to protect them against prosecutions for their own benefit, but to
enable them, as the people’s representatives, to perform the functions of their office without fear of being made responsible before the courts or other
forums outside the congressional hall.—We, however, would be remiss in our duty if we let the Senator’s offensive and disrespectful language that
definitely tended to denigrate the institution pass by. It is intended to protect members of Congress against government pressure and intimidation aimed
at influencing the decision-making prerogatives of Congress and its members.

24. Antonio Trillanes v. Hon. Evangeline Castillo-Marigomen (G.R. No. 223451, March 14, 2018)

Petitioner's statements in media interviews are not covered by the parliamentary speech or debate" privilege. Petitioner admits that he uttered the
questioned statements, describing private respondent as former VP Binay's "front" or "dummy" in connection with the so-called Hacienda Binay, in
response to media interviews during gaps and breaks in plenary and committee hearings in the Senate. With Jimenez as our guidepost, it is evident that
petitioner's remarks fall outside the privilege of speech or debate under Section 11, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. The statements were clearly
not part of any speech delivered in the Senate or any of its committees. They were also not spoken in the course of any debate in said fora. It cannot
likewise be successfully contended that they were made in the official discharge or performance of petitioner's duties as a Senator, as the remarks were
not part of or integral to the legislative process

In Jimenez, a civil action for damages was filed against a member of the House of Representatives for the publication, in several newspapers of general
circulation, of an open letter to the President which spoke of operational plans of some ambitious officers of the AFP involving a "massive political
build-up" of then Secretary of National Defense Jesus Vargas to prepare him to become a presidential candidate, a coup d'etat, and a speech from
General Arellano challenging Congress' authority and integrity to rally members of the AFP behind him and to gain civilian support. The letter alluded
to the plaintiffs, who were members of the AFP, to be under the control of the unnamed "planners," "probably belonging to the Vargas-Arellano clique,"
and possibly "unwitting tools" of the plans. Holding that the open letter did not fall under the privilege of speech or debate under the Constitution, the
Court declared: The publication involved in this case does not belong to this category. According to the complaint, it was an open letter to the President
when Congress presumably was not in session, and defendant caused said letter to be published in several newspapers of general circulation in the
Philippines. It is obvious that, in thus causing the communication to be so published, he was not performing his official duty, either as a member of
Congress or as officer or any Committee thereof.

Albeit rendered in reference to the 1935 constitutional grant of parliamentary immunity, the Jimenez pronouncement on what constitutes privileged
speech or debate in Congress still applies. The same privilege of "speech or debate" was granted under the 1973 and 1987 Philippine Constitutions,
with the latter Charters specifying that the immunity extended to lawmakers' speeches or debates in any committee of the legislature. This is clear from
the "speech or debate" clauses in the parliamentary immunity provisions of the 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions which respectively provide:

25.1. Dante Liban v. Richard Gordon (G.R. No. 175352, July 15, 2009)

Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC); Public Officers; Constitutional Law; The Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) Chairman is not an official
or employee of the Executive branch since his appointment does not fall under Section 16, Article VII of the Constitution; Not being a government
official or employee, the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) Chairman, as such, does not hold a government office or employment.—The President
does not appoint the Chairman of the PNRC. Neither does the head of any department, agency, commission or board appoint the PNRC Chairman.
This leads us to the obvious conclusion that the PNRC Chairman is not an official or employee of the Philippine Government. Not being a government
official or employee, the PNRC Chairman, as such, does not hold a government office or employment.

Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) is not government-owned but privately owned.— The vast majority of the thousands of PNRC members are
private individuals, including students. Under the PNRC Charter, those who contribute to the annual fund campaign of the PNRC are entitled to
membership in the PNRC for one year. Thus, any one between 6 and 65 years of age can be a PNRC member for one year upon contributing P35,
P100, P300, P500 or P1,000 for the year. Even foreigners, whether residents or not, can be members of the PNRC.

25.2. Dante Liban v. Richard Gordon (G.R. No. 175352, January 18, 2011)

Corporation Law; Philippine National Red Cross; A closer look at the nature of the PNRC would show that there is none like it not just in terms of
structure, but also in terms of history, public service and official status.—The passage of several laws relating to the PNRC’s corporate existence
notwithstanding the effectivity of the constitutional proscription on the creation of private corporations by law, is a recognition that the PNRC is not
strictly in the nature of a private corporation contemplated by the aforesaid constitutional ban. There is merit in PNRC’s contention that its structure is
sui generis.

The sui generis character of PNRC requires us to approach controversies involving the PNRC on a case-to-case basis.—Although it is neither a
subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of the government, nor a government-owned or controlled corporation or a subsidiary thereof, as succinctly
explained in the Decision of July 15, 2009, so much so that respondent, under the Decision, was correctly allowed to hold his position as Chairman
thereof concurrently while he served as a Senator, such a conclusion does not ipso facto imply that the PNRC is a “private corporation” within the
contemplation of the provision of the Constitution, that must be organized under the Corporation Code.

CARPIO, J., Dissenting Opinion:

View that the PNRC cannot claim that it is sui generis just because it is a private organization performing certain public or governmental functions.—
All private charitable organizations are doing public service or activities that also constitute governmental functions. Hence, the PNRC cannot claim
that it is sui generis just because it is a private organization performing certain public or governmental functions. That the PNRC is rendering public
service does not exempt it from the constitutional prohibition against the creation of a private corporation through a special law since the PNRC is,
admittedly, still a private organization. The express prohibition against the creation of private corporations by special charter under Section 16, Article
XII of the 1987 Constitution cannot be disregarded just because a private corporation claims to be sui generis. The constitutional prohibition admits of
no exception.

View that the PNRC could either choose to remain unincorporated or it could incorporate under the Corporation Code.—The PNRC could either choose
to remain unincorporated or it could adopt its own articles of incorporation and by-laws and incorporate under the Corporation Code and register with
the Securities and Exchange Commission if it wants to be a private corporation.