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Statutory Construction Case Digest

Case: Ocampo vs. Enriquez

Facts​:
Secretary of Defense, Delfin, issued a memo for the public respondent, Ernesto Enriquez and Ricardo
Visayas, regarding the interment of Pres. Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Subsequently, AFP Enriquez issued a directive to the PH Army for the funeral honours and service to
the late president.

Group of petitioners then filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition before the Supreme Court to
stop the directives and memorandum

Issues:

Procedural

1. W/n the president Duterte’s determination to have the remain of Marcos interred in the
LBNMB poses justiciable controversy.
2. W/n the petitioners have locus stands about the case
3. W/n the petitioners violated the doctrines of exhaustion of administrative remedies and
hierarchy of court.
4. W/n the issuance and implementation of the assailed memorandum and directive violated the
Constitution.

Ruling:

1. No.President Rodrigo Duterte’s determination of national policy is a political question and not
in the ambit of judicial review.
2. They have no legal standing because they failed to show that they suffered and will suffer a
direct or personal injury because of this action.
3. Yes. They failed to seek for reconsideration to the Secretary of the National Defense and the
case should be filed first in the Regional Trial Court.
4. No.
Substantitve Issues:

1. W/n the respondents committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess or lack of
jurisdiction in issuance of the memo and directives.
2. W/n such issuance is in violation of the Constitution and laws.
3. W/n historical facts nullified the status of Pres. Marcos as a soldier and former president of
the PH.

Ruling:

1. There is no grave abuse of discretion, it is in accordance with the Constitution and existing
laws of the PH.
2. There is no violation. The president acted in accordance with the existing laws and
jurisprudence.
3. Marcos was not convicted with final judgement

Statutory Construction:

Note:
The SC used the ejusdem genesis,in determining the nature or purpose of the LNMB.

1. As per the P.D 208, provides a general provision stating that national shrine is intended only
to eminent leader of the nation in which through PD no.105, LBNM was not expressly
enumerated as one.
2. a) Art II and Art XI Sec 1, in which the petitioners are invoking that has been violated is not
self executory. It is not ready for reinforcement of the court.

b)The necessary implication of the president being the Commander in Chief gives him the
power to take “necessary and proper steps” to carry out his mission.

c) RA 10368 - a law intended to recognise the heroism and sacrifices of the victim of Martial
Law. The SC said, the law is not violated as it does not prohibit such action under this law. It
would be undue to extend the law beyond what it actually contemplates. The court cannot
read law that is not simply not there.
Oposa v. Factoran

Facts:

-Oposa representing every Filipino citizen, filed a petition against Factoran, secretary of DENR during
their time. P​etition for the right of the Filipinos to a balanced and healthful ecology​ which
highlighted the ​concepts of “inter-generational responsibility.”
-The complaint was instituted as ​“tax payer’s class suit.”
-​Minors ​included by representing their generation as well as generations yet unborn.
-Oposa presented numbers of facts which proved the detrimental consequences of deforestation. These
also served as ​cause of action.
-With the facts presented by Oposa, they hoped that the judgement be rendered, ordering defendant:
1. To cancel all existing ​Timber License Agreement(TLA) ​in the country
2. Cease and desist from receiving, accepting, processing, renewing or opposing new timber lincense
agreements.

Concept of Parens Patriae ​- According to Oposa, they were ​entitled​ to the protection by the state in
its capacity as the Parens Patriae. And that the defendant’s refusal to cancel the TLAs was
contradictory to constitutional policy of the state.

-On June 22, 1990, ​Factoran filed a motion to dismiss​ the complaint based on two(2) grounds:
1.The plaintiffs had no ​cause of action against him
2.The issue raised was a political question which pertained to legislative or executive branch.

-Petitioners maintained that:


1.The complaint showed unmistakable cause of action.
2. The motion was dilatory
3.The action presents a justiciable question as it involved Factoran’s abuse of discretion.

-Petitions were both ​dismissed in RTC and C.A.

-According to their ruling,​ they cannot help but agree with Factoran on:
1.Oposa failed to allege in their complaint a specific legal right violated by Factoran.
2. That it is a political question.
3. Cancellation of TLAs, cannot be done without due process of law.

-After being dismissed, ​Oposa filed instant special civil action for certiorari​ before the Supreme
Court.

-Oposa maintained that the petition states


1. a ​cause of action​ based on ​articles 19, 20, 21 of the civil code​(Human Relations), ​Sec. 4 of E.O
no. 192​ creating DENR, ​Sec. 3 of P.D. No. 1151​(Philippine Environmental Policy), ​Sec. 16, Art. II
of the 1987 Consti​(right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology), ​concept of generational
genocide​, ​concept of man’s inalienable right to self preservation and self- perpetuation
embodied in natural law​ and on the​ respondent’s correlative obligation per sec. 4 of E.O no. 192​,
to safe guard the people’s right to a healthful environment.
2. Factoran alleged ​grave abuse of discretion​ in granting TLA’s to cover more areas for logging than
what is available ​raises a juridical question
3. TLAs are not contracts and if they are contracts, they may still be revoked by the state when the
public interest so requires.

-Respondents argued the ruling of the R.T.C and C.A.

Issues:

1.Whether or not Oposa had locus standi or legal standing on the case.
2.Whether or not Oposa successfully provided a cause of action.
3. Whether or not the non- Impairment of Conracts possible?

Ruling:
1.Yes, Oposa had legal standing. That ​it was a valid class suit​, Minors as petitioners is a special or
novel element and although representing the generations yet unborn, SC ruled that they can sue based
on the ​concept of intergenerational responsibility​ as the right to a balanced and healthful ecology
was concerned.
2. That the right of the petitioners to a balanced and healthful ecology was the DENR’s duty, under its
mandate and by virtue of its powers and functions under E.O. no. 192. And denial or violation of this
right by the DENR who has the duty to respect or protect, gives rise to a cause of action.
3. No, non-impairment of contracts not possible. It would give undue or unwarranted advantage to
timber license holders

JM Tuason Co v. Land Tenure Administration

Facts:
Republic Act No. 2616 was enacted without executive approval which provides for the expropriation
of the Tatalon Estate in Quezon City which is owned by the J.M. Tuason and Company, Inc. et al. The
said estate has a total area of about 109 hectares and are covered by Transfer Certificates of Title
Number 42774 and 49235 under the name of the petitioner.
-On Nov 1960, the Executive Secretary directed the Land Tenure Administration (LTA) to institute
the expropriation of the Tatalon Estate.
-Immediately, the petitioners filed for a special action for prohibition with preliminary injunction
against the respondents praying that R.A. No. 2616 is unconstitutional to which the lower court
granted
-On Feb 18 1970, the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the lower court that led the Solicitor
General filed for a motion for reconsideration - invoking his rights to due process & equal protection
of the law
-On June 15, 1970, the motion for reconsideration is deemed ripe for judicial determination as the
petitioner submitted a rejoinder.

Issue:
Whether or not R.A. No. 2616 is unconstitutional for the reason that the petitioner’s rights of due
process and equal protection of law have been violated.

Ruling:
No. R.A. No. 2616 is not unconstitutional on the following grounds:
1. For the purpose of obtaining a judicial declaration of nullity, it is enough if the
respondents/defendants named be the government officials. Thus, the insistence on making the
Executive Secretary as a party lacks support in law.
2. The Congress is given the constitutional power to authorize an expropriation of lands that are to be
subdivided into small lots and conveyed at cost to individuals. The said power had been validated by
the construction of the Constitution wherein the power is left to the legislative will to determine what
lands may be expropriated for them to be subdivided for resale to those in need of them. Further, in
one of the proceedings of the constitutional convention, Delegate Cuaderno mentioned that it is their
purpose, through the drafting of the constitution, to insure domestic tranquility and provide for the
well-being of the people. Thus, they must not fail to prohibit the ownership of large estate - to make it
the duty of the government to break up existing large estates and for these to be acquired via purchase
or expropriation.
3. There is an inexorable need for the Constitution to have the capacity to grow and to be adaptable to
changing social and economic conditions, thus the court agrees with the dissenting opinion of Justice
J.B.L. Reyes in the case of Baylosis who mentioned that the Constitution gives importance in
expropriating lands and limiting private landholdings for the reason that he focused on the principle of
Social Justice which is enshrined in the Constitution.
4. There are the explicit requirements of the provisions of eminent domain in the constitution which
are (1) payment of just compensation which means the equivalent for the value of the property at the
time of its taking and (2) that the taking be for public use.
5. The equal protection guaranty was unsuccessfully proven.

Statutory Construction
The primary task in construing the construction of the constitution is ascertaining then
assuring the purpose of the framers in the adoption of the Constitution. It is necessary to look into the
language of the document itself and the language should be understood in the sense that they have in
common use. Also, it is assumed to be one of the virtues of a written constitution that it suffices to
govern the life of the people not only at the time of its framing, but far into the indefinite future, thus
our Constitution should not be construed narrowly to yield fixed and rigid answers, but as impressed
with the necessary attributes of flexibility and accommodation to enable them to meet adequately
whatever problems the future has in store.
CLU v Executive Secretary

Facts:
Ignacio Lacsina, Luis Mauricio, Antonio Quintos, and Juan David (​petitioners​) field a case
seeking the unconstitutionality of Executive Order No. 284 (E.O. 284) that was issued on July 25,
1987 by then President Corazon Aquino. E.O. 284 allowed members of the Cabinet, and
undersecretary or assistant secretary or other appointive officials of the Executive Department (staff)
to hold other government offices or positions in addition to their current positions.

Issue

Whether or not the EO 284 is constitutional

Ruling

The E.O. is unconstitutional because by restricting officers to hold not more than two (2) positions, it
is actually allowing them to hold more than one (1) position. Section 13, Article VII of the 1987
Constitution explicitly prohibits the president, the vice president, and members of the Cabinet their
staff to hold not more than 1 position in the government with Sec. 3 (2) and Art., VIII Sec. 8 as its
ONLY exception. While the respondents argue that by virtue Sec. 7(2), Art. IX-B of the Constitution
allows appointed officials to hold more than 1 office as an exception to the general rule provided by
Section 13, Article VII. The Court ruled in the negative because of the doctrine of Constitutional
Construction – the constitution must be read and understood as a whole and no provision from another
section or article from the same Constitution may defeat the other and must be presumed to have been
made to stand together.
Nitafan vs CIR

Facts
Petitioners sought to prohibit the Commissioner of Internal Revenue from making any deduction of
withholding taxes from their salary. The petitioners argued that Section 10, Article 8 of the 1987
Constitution mandates that ‘during their continuance in office, their salary shall not be decreased’ and
thus, any tax withheld from their emoluments or compensation as judicial officers constitutes a
decrease or diminution of their salaries.

Issue:
Whether or not the Commissioner of Internal Revenue can deduct withholding taxes from the salary
of the judicial officers.

Ruling:
Yes, the CIR can deduct taxes from the salary of judicial officers. In June 4 1987, the Court en banc
already reaffirmed the directive of the Chief of Justice to continue the deduction of withholding taxes
from judicial officers. This should have resolved the question but the Court deemed that it will best to
settle the legal issue in this case.
In the 1935 Constitution, the provision said that “... (The members of the Supreme Court and all
judges of inferior courts) shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by law, which shall not be
diminished during their continuance in office . . ."
In the 1973 Constitution, the provision in question stated that “The salary of the Chief of Justice and
of the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, and of judges of inferior courts shall be fixed by law,
which shall not be ​decreased​ during their continuance in office…”
The 1987 Constitution did not contain a similar provision and instead had this provision: “The salary
of the Chief Justice and of the Associate Justices 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.” Thus,
the petitioners claimed that the intent of the framers was to revert to the original concept.
One of the Commissioners proposed that the term “diminished” should be changed to “decreased” so
as to “give substance to equality among the three branches in the government.”
In summary, withholding taxes can be deducted from the salary of judicial officers because it will
“give substance to equality among the three branches of Government.”

Statutory Construction

The primary task in constitutional construction is to ascertain and thereafter assure the realization of
the framers and of the people in the adoption of the Constitution.
Integrated Bar of the Philippines v. Zamora

Facts:
Under Sec. 18, Art VII of the Constitution, the commander in chief of the AFP, Pres. Estrada, directed
the AFP chief of staff and PNP Chief to coordinate with each other for the proper deployment and
utilization of the Marines for suppressing violence in Metro Manila.

In response to such order, the PNP through Police Chief Superintendent Edgar B. Aglipay issued a
Letter of Intent which detailed the joint visibility patrols called ​Task Force Tulungan.

The president declared that it will be temporary and for a reasonable period only, until such time when
the situation shall be improved. The IBP seeks to nullify the order on constitutional grounds.

Issues:
1.Whether or not petitioner has legal standing.

2. Whether or not the President’s determination of necessity of calling the AFP is subject to judicial
review.

3. Whether or not the calling of AFP to assist the PNP in joint visibility patrols violates the
constitutional provisions on civilian supremacy over the military and civilian character of the PNP.

Ruling

1. Legal standing or ​locus standi ​has been defined as 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.

In the case at bar, the IBP primarily anchors its standing on its alleged responsibility to uphold the
rule of law and the Constitution. The mere invocation by the IBP of its duty to preserve the rule of law
and nothing more, while undoubtedly true, is not sufficient to clothe it with standing in this case. This
is too general an interest which is shared by other groups and the whole citizenry. Its fundamental
purpose which, under Section 2, Rule 139-A of the Rules of Court, is to elevate the standards of the
law profession and to improve the administration of justice, and cannot be affected by the deployment
of the Marines.

2. The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be
established by law.

Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights
which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been grave
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or
instrumentality of the Government.

When questions of constitutional significance are raised, the Court can exercise its power of judicial
review only if the following requisites are complied with, namely: (1) the existence of an actual and
appropriate case; (2) a personal and substantial interest of the party raising the constitutional question;
(3) the exercise of judicial review is pleaded at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the constitutional
question is the ​lis mota ​of the case.

3. The deployment of the Marines does not constitute a breach of the civilian supremacy clause. The
calling of the Marines in this case constitutes permissible use of military assets for civilian law
enforcement. The participation of the Marines in the conduct of joint visibility patrols is appropriately
circumscribed. It is, likewise, their duty to provide the necessary equipment to the Marines and render
logistical support to these soldiers. In view of the foregoing, it cannot be properly argued that military
authority is supreme over civilian authority. Moreover, the deployment of the Marines to assist the
PNP does not unmake the civilian character of the police force. Neither does it amount to an
“insidious incursion” of the military in the task of law enforcement in violation of Section 5(4),
Article XVI of the Constitution.

Statutory Construction

Expressio unius est exclusio alterius. ​Where the terms are expressly limited to certain matters, it may
not, by interpretation or construction, be extended to other matters.
Poe Llamanzares v. Comelec

Facts
The petitioner was found abandoned as a newborn infant in the Parish Church of Jaro, Iloilo
by certain Edgardo Militar. When the petitioner was 5 years old, celebrity spouses Ronald Allan
Kelley Poe (a.k.a. Fenando Poe, Jr.) and Jesusa Sonora Poe (a.k.a. Susan Roces) filed a petition for
her adoption with the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of San Juan City. Subsequently, the only trial
court granted their petition and ordered that petitioner's name be changed from "Mary Grace
Natividad Contreras Militar" to "Mary Grace Natividad Sonora Poe."

When she reached the age 18, she became a registered voter with the local COMELEC Office
in San Juan, City. However, in 1988, the petitioner decided to continue her studies and went to the US
where she earned a degree. In 1991, she married in the US and on October 18, 2001, she became a
naturalized American Citizen. However, due to his father’s health, she came back on 2004 and on
2006, she took her Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines pursuant to Republic Act
(R.A.) No. 9225 or the Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003. Under the same Act,
she filed with the Bureau of Immigration (BI) a sworn petition to reacquire Philippine citizenship
together with petitions for derivative citizenship on behalf of her three minor children on 10 July
2006. On July 18, 2006, the petitioner reacquired her Philippine Citizenship while her children were
considered as citizens of the Philippines. On December 9, 2011, the U.S. Vice Consul issued to
petitioner a "Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States" effective 21 October 2010. On 15
October 2015, petitioner filed her COC for the Presidency for the May 2016 Elections. In her COC,
the petitioner declared that she is a natural-born citizen and that her residence in the Philippines up to
the day before 9 May 2016 would be ten (10) years and eleven (11) months counted from 24 May
2005. However, her filing of COC triggered filing of several COMELEC cases against her because of
her citizenship.

There are two consolidated petitions filed in this case, G.R. No. 221697 and G.R.
221698-700. In ​G.R. 221697​, it is argued by the complainant, Elamparo that the petitioner committed
material misrepresentation when she stated in her COC that she is a natural-born Filipino citizen and
that she is a resident of the Philippines for at least ten (10) years and eleven (11) months up to the day
before the 9 May 2016 Elections. The complainant also argued that the petitioner cannot be
considered as a natural-born Filipino on account of the fact that she was a foundling and she is not a
natural-born citizen due to the fact that she became a naturalized American citizen. According to the
complainant, natural-born citizenship must be continuous from birth. The COMELEC Second
Division, cancelled the COC of the petitioner.

In G.R. ​221698-700​, the complainants, Francisco S. Tatad, Antonio P. Contreras and Amado
D. Valdez alleges that the petitioner lacks the requisite residency and citizenship to qualify her for the
Presidency. Tatad theorized that since the Philippines adheres to the principle of jus sanguinis,
persons of unknown parentage, particularly foundlings, cannot be considered natural-born Filipino
citizens since blood relationship is determinative of natural-born status. They also invoked the rule of
statutory construction that what is not included is excluded. He averred that the fact that foundlings
were not expressly included in the categories of citizens in the 1935 Constitution is indicative of the
framers' intent to exclude them. Therefore, the burden lies on the petitioner to prove that she is a
natural-born citizen. The COMELEC First Division concluded that she is not qualified for the elective
position of President of the Republic of the Philippines. The petitioner then filed a motion for
reconsideration seeking a reversal of the COMELEC First Division's Resolution.

Issues

Whether or not Mary Grace Natividad S. Poe Llamanzares is eligible to run for president in the 2016
Presidential Elections due to her being:
(1) a foundling
(2) a former naturalized American Citizen

Ruling:

Yes​, the court ruled that the petitioner, Mary Grace Natividad S. Poe is eligible to run for president in
the 2016 Presidential Elections.
1. The court ruled that there is more than sufficient to prove that the petitioner is a Filipino-born
citizen. The presumptions regarding paternity is neither unaccepted or unknown in Philippine
Laws and there are laws regarding Paternity and Affiliation in the Family Code. While the
1935 Constitution is silent regarding foundlings as natural born citizen, they are, without a
doubt, as a class, natural-born as there is no restrictive language in the constitution that
excludes foundlings. It was also pointed out in the 1934 Constitutional Convention that the
framers intended foundlings to be included in the “natural-born citizens.” This inclusion was
carried over from 1935 Constitution to 1973 Constitution and 1987 Constitution. It was also
clear that in the rules of international law, that foundlings follow the nationality of the place
they were found.
2. Even though the petitioner became a Naturalized Citizen, when she returned on May 25,
2005, she presented voluminous evidence that she left her U.S. domicile and relocated to the
Philippines permanently. She and her family also reacquired their Philippine Citizenship and
the continued stay from May 25, 2005 shows that they intended to stay here for good, It is of
no question that the petitioner is ineligible to run due to her being a former naturalized
american citizen and the misrepresentation of her years of stay since it is clearly shown in the
evidences that the petitioner completely abandoned their U.S Citizenship and that they
returned here on May 25, 2005.
Therefore, the petitioner is without any doubt qualified to run for president in the May 2016 local and
national elections.

Statutory Construction
Jurisprudence has established three principles of constitutional construction:
1. verba legis non est recedendum — from the words of the statute there should be no departure;
2. when there is ambiguity, ratio legis est anima — the words of the Constitution should be
interpreted based on the intent of the framers;
3. ut magis valeat quam pereat — the Constitution must be interpreted as a whole.

If, however, the plain meaning of the word is not found to be clear, resort to other aids is
available. In the same case of Civil Liberties Union v. Executive Secretary, the Court expounded:
While it is permissible in this jurisdiction to consult the debates and proceedings of the constitutional
convention in order to arrive at the reason and purpose of the resulting Constitution, resort thereto
may be had only when other guides fail as said resort thereto may be had only when other guides
fail as said proceedings are powerless to vary the terms of the Constitution when the proceedings are
powerless to vary the terms of the Constitution when the meaning is clear. Debates in the
constitutional convention "are of value as meaning is clear. Debates in the constitutional convention"
are of value as showing the views of the individual members , and as indicating the
showing the views of the individual members , and as indicating the reasons for their
votes , but they give us no light as to the views of the reasons for their votes , but they give
us no light as to the views of the large majority who did not talk large majority who did not
talk , much less of the mass of our fellow citizens whose votes at the polls gave that instrument the
force of fundamental law. We think it safer to construe the constitution from what appears upon its
face." The proper interpretation therefore depends more on how it was understood by the people
adopting it than in the framers's understanding thereof.
Ynot vs Intermediate Court of Appeal

Facts
-In 1980, late Pres. Marcos issued the said e.o in the exercise of his legislative authority under
amendment no. 6​.
-According to amendment no. 6, it was provided that whenever ​in​ ​his judgment ​there existed a grave
emergency or a threat or imminence thereof or whenever legislature failed or was unable to act
adequeately on any matter, he could, in order to meet the exigency, issue deccrees that were to have a
force and effect of law.
-In January 13, 1984, Ynot transported six carabaos from Masbate to Iloilo. Carabaos were
confiscated by the police for the violation of ​E.O no. 626
-E.O no. 626 stated that no carabao or carabeef be transfered in one province to another.
- Ynot filed a ​petition for review on certiorari​ before the Supreme court after the courts (RTC of
iloilo and the C.A) ruled that the confiscation of carabaos and the bonds( 12,000 fee) be sustained and
after their decline on ruling over the constitutionality of E.O 626-A.
-According to Ynot, the E.O 626-A was unconstitutional. This was because an outright confiscation of
the carabaos and the immediate imposition of penalties was a ​violation of Ynot’s right to be heard
by a competent court or right to due process.
- Ynot also ​challenged the improper exercise of legislative power by the former president​ under
Amendment no. 6 of the 1973 constitution.
- On declining of the lower courts in ruling over the constitutionality of the said E.O, the Supreme
Court stated that they can. And emphasized such by stating, “If there be a clear showing of their
invalidity, and the need to declare them so, then, ‘will be the time to make the hammer fall, and
heavily,’” quoting Justice Laurel.

Issues
W/n the EO626 is unconstitutional

Ruling

-Yes, Executive Order no. 626-A was unconstitutional. According to the S.C., rather than called E.O,
it should have been a presidential decree because it promulgated a new law rather than merely
implementing an existing law. Another is that, it was issued not for the purpose of taking care that the
laws were faithfully executed but in the exercise of his legislative authority. The phrase “in his
judgment” provided in amendment no. 6, lead to a protracted discussion not really necessary at this
time. That is to say that the E.O was issued though there was no exigency showed to justify the use of
such power.
-Yes, there was an improper exercise of police power or an improper exercise of legislative power by
the former president under amendment no. 6.
-The supreme court marked the questionable manner of the disposition of the confiscated property
based on the phrase “may see fit” of the Director of Animal Industry in the distribution of the
confiscated properties. Such phrase tho it may seem generous but it is also dangerous because it may
lead to abuse and corruption.
- Therefore, there was an improper exercise of police power because the said E.O, which lead to a
violation of due process and the right to be heard, is unnecessary and oppressive.

Statutory Construction

- That in constructing laws, it shall not impair rights such as the right to be heard.
De Castro v. Judicial and Bar Council
Facts:
Chief Justice Puno is resigning on May 17, 2010
- Dec 22, 2009, Congressman Matias V. Defensor requested the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) to
immediately begin the process for nominations for the office of Chief Justice.
- Jan 18, 2010, in meeting en banc, JBC passed a resolution wherein they agreed to start the process
for nominating - publish the opening for applications, accept comments about them, and prepare a
shortlist of candidates.
- Jan 20, 2010, announcement of opening of application for the position of CJ.
- Feb 13, 2010, JBC announced the “unofficial” candidates whom the public should file their
comments on before Feb 22, 2010

Issues:
Whether or not the petitioners (intervenors) have locus standi?
GR No. 191002:
(1) Does the JBC have the power and authority to resolve the constitutional question on whether the
incumbent president can appoint a chief Justice during the election ban period?
(2) Does the incumbent president have the power and authority to appoint during the election ban the
successor of CJ when he vacates the position?
GR No. 191032:
Is the power to appoint the CJ vested in SC?
GR No. 191057:
(1) Is the prohibition under Sec 15, Art 7 of the Consti applicable only to Exec Dep positions?
(2) Assuming (1) is applicable to the Judicial dep too, are the appointments exempted due to public
interest or demands for public service?
(3) Do the JBC have the authority to decide whether they can include and submit the names of
nominees who manifested interest?
AM No. 10-2-5-SC:
(1) Does Sec 15, Art 7 of the Consti apply to appointments under Sec 9, Art 8 of the Consti?
(2) May the president appoint for the Judiciary, including for CJ when he retires on May 17, after
March 10, 2010?
GR No. 191149:
Can JBC withhold the submission of the short list to president?
GR No. 191342:
(1) Can JBC submit the short list to president without violating the Constitution and jurisprudence
(Aytona v Castillo) regarding midnight appointments by the president 2 months preceding the next
presidential elections until the end of his/her term?
(2) Is any act by the JBC, including the vetting of CJ candidates, constitutionally invalid?

Ruling
I.​ ​Locus Standi:
All petitioners have demonstrated adequate interest in the outcome of the controversy as to vest them
with Locus Standi. Also, the issues stated are of transcendental importance
II. Justiciability
The ripeness of the controversy for judicial determination may not be doubted because JBC has
started the proceedings for selecting of nominee, regardless if JBC has yet to decide which authority
(incumbent president or the next) to submit the short list. Also, there is a perceived threat to a
constitutional interest which is sufficient to be a basis for the ripeness for judicial determination.
III. Prohibition under Sec 15, Art 8 does not apply to appointments to fill vacancy in the SC or
in any positions in the Judiciary or in any positions in the Judiciary
Incumbent President can appoint the successor of CJ upon his retirement on May 17, 2010 because:
(1) Art 7 is for the Executive Dept while Art. 8 is for the Judicial Dept - a true recognition of the
principle of separation of powers. Had the framers intended to extend the prohibition in Sec 15, Art 7
to the SC members under Sec 4 (1), Art 8, they could have explicitly done so. Further, records of the
Constitutional Commission disclosed the intent of the framers - Filing of a vacancy in the SC within a
period of 90 days was a true mandate of the president.
(2) Sec 15, Art 7 (to eliminate midnight appointments from being made by the outgoing president to
fully avoid vote buying and votes for partisan considerations) does not also apply to all other
appointments in the Judiciary because the exception only allows temporary appointments to executive
positions when continued vacancies will prejudice pubic service or endanger public safety. With that,
the framers did not need to extend the prohibition to Judiciary due to the establishment of JBC and its
nomination and screening process for judiciary candidates which is meant to remove midnight
appointments.
(3) Senior Associate Justice Regalado confirmed the non-applicability of Sec 15, Art 7 to Judiciary
appointments
(4) Sections 14, 15, & 16 of Art 7 are of the same character regarding the president’s power to appoint
only in the executive dep.
(5) Valenzuela ruling, wherein Sec 15, Art 7 extends to Judiciary appointments, is reversed because it
disregarded the intent of the Consti in ensuring independence among government branches.
(6) The framers of the Consti never intended Sec 15, Art 7 to apply to a vacancy in the SC, or in any
lower courts because they never discussed the ban against midnight appointments
VI. The Judiciary Act of 1948
The court does not agree with the basis on the Judiciary Act of 1948 for the reason that Sections 4 (1)
and 9 of Art 7 are incongruent with it as JBC prepares a short list of candidates, to be submitted and
appointed by the president, and the appointment is never in an acting capacity alone. There may only
be the application of the Judiciary Act if and only if the new CJ is not yet appointed and the
incumbent CJ is unable to perform his duties and powers, thus the appointment of an acting CJ.
V. Writ of Mandamus does not lie against the JBC
The 90-day period under Sections 4 (1) and 9, Art 8 are mandated and directed at the president leading
to the JBC having to start the process of selecting candidates before CJ officially vacates his post.
Also, the JBC should submit the list before the 90-day period starts otherwise it will commit an
unlawful neglect of duty for it constitutes an unjustified delay in performing its duty.
VI. Writ of prohibition does not lie against the JBC
GR No. 191032 and 191342 are devoid of merit

Statutory Construction
Generally, court should avoid conflict in any provisions of the statute through harmonizing every part
so that each shall be effective because they were inserted for a definite reason. Reading provisions
should be understood in a way that they intended to be consistent with each other, an example is (4) of
Ruling III. Also, the ascertainment of the purpose of the enactment is a step in the process of
ascertaining the intent of the enactment
De Leon v. Esguerra

On May 17, 1982, Alfredo De Leon (​petitioner)​ was elected as the Barangay Captain of Barangay
Dolores, Taytay, Rizal in the Barangay Election. On February 9 1987, petitioner received a
Memorandum anetated on December 1986 but signed by OIC Governor Esguerra (​respondent​) on
February 9, 1987 designating another as a Barangay Captain of Barangay Dolores instead of De Leon
“by authority of the Minister of Local Government”. De Leon prayed that the memoranda be declared
null and void and the respondent be prohibited from taking over their position of Barangay Captain
and Councilmen through an appointment by Esguerra pursuant to the Barangay Election Act fixing
their term of office to six (6) years but Esguerra argues that Sec. 2, Article III of the Freedom
Constitution allows them to designate and appoint their successors if such appointment is made
within a period of one (1) year from February 25, 1986 and that the Barangay Election Act be
repealed due to its inconsistency with the Freedom Constitution.

Issues

Whether or not the memoranda are valid.

Ruling

No. While the date of the issuance of the memoranda is within the period of 1 year from provided
timeframe of the Freedom Constitution, the respondents cannot rely on that provision because when
the 1987 Constitution was ratified by the people on February 2, 1987, it took effect immediately and
has superseded all previous Constitutions. Since the newly ratified Constitution did not retain the
provisions that were brought up by the respondents, such provision is deemed to have no legal force
and effect.
Case: Sereno vs. Republic of the Philippines

Facts:

Invoking the court’s original jurisdiction under Section 5(1) Article VIII of the Constitution in relation
to the civil action under Rule 66 of the Rule of Court, through the Office of the Solicitor General, filed
a petition for writ of quo warrant to declare as void the appointment of the Chief Justice Maria
Lourdes Sereno.

The respondents started her public service as a member of the faculty from November 1986, to June
2006- spanning for almost 20 years.

On the year 2003 - 2006, she was also hired as the government counsel on its two international
arbitration case.

Despite being a professor for 20 years, the respondents failed to submit its SALN from 1999-2006.

On 2010, she was appointed as the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by President Benigno
Aquino.

On 2012, when the position of the Chief Justice was vacant, the JBC opened its nomination and
released list of pertinent documents needed for the application. One of which is the list of SALN. The
respondents failed to provide her SALN but instead wrote a letter to the JBC. Then after, was declared
and appointed as Chief Justice.

On 2017, an impeachment complaint was filed against for her inculpable violation of the Constitution,
high crimes and betrayal of public trust. The complaint also alleged that the respondent failed to
declare truthfully her SALN.

Subsequently, the republic initiated to file a writ of quo warranto as a remedy to question the
validity of respondent’s appointment. The Republic contends that respondent's failure to submit her
SALNs as required by the JBC disquali​ ​es her, at the outset, from being a candidate for the
position of Chief Justice. Lacking her SALNs, respondent has not proven her integrity which is a
requirement under the Constitution. The Republic thus concludes that since respondent is
ineligible for the position of Chief Justice for lack of proven integrity, she has no right to hold
o​ ​ce and may therefore be ousted via quo warranto.

Issues:

1. Whether the Court can assume jurisdiction and give due course to the instant petition for quo
warranto against respondent who is an impeachable officer and against whom an
impeachment complaint has already been led with the House of Representatives;
2. Whether the petition is outrightly dismissible on the ground of prescription;
3. Whether respondent is eligible for the position of Chief Justice:
a. Whether the determination of a candidate's eligibility for nomination is the sole and
exclusive function of the JBC and whether such determination, partakes of the character of a
political question outside the Court's supervisory and review powers;

b. Whether respondent failed to file her SALNs as mandated by the Constitution and
required by the law and its implementing rules and regulations; and if so, whether the failure
to file SALNs voids the nomination and appointment of respondent as Chief Justice;

c. Whether respondent failed to comply with the submission of SALNs as required by the
JBC; and if so, whether the failure to submit SALNs to the JBC voids the nomination and
appointment of respondent as Chief Justice;

4. Whether respondent is a de jure or de facto officer.

Ruling

1. Yes. The Republic has established that the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over an
action of quo warranto and that the case has transcendental importance. The origin, nature and
purpose of quo warranto and impeachment are materially different.
2. No. Th prescription is not applicable to the government suing a public wrong. The republic
act accordingly as prescription does not lie against the State. ( Art 1108 of the Civil Code)
3.

a. The court has the incident of its powers of supervisory to ensure that the JBC is faithfully
executing its task and duties as the Constitution requires it. This include the power of the
Court to inquire into the process leading the nomination of the Chief Justice.
b. Yes. The respondent failed to comply with the submission of SALN. SALN is a constitutional
requirement and cannot be waived. Making the respondent ineligible to be nominated to begin
with.
c. The respondent clearly violated the haw when she failed to file her SALN. The respondent
falsely state material facts, failure to comply with the physical act of filing and committed
dishonesty

4. The respondent is de facto judge removable through quo warranto for the violation of the rules set
forth by the JBC tantamount to the lack of integrity as a judge.

Statutory Construction

1. Under Section 2, Article XI of the Constitution, the president, vice president, member of the
Constitutional Commission and member of the supreme court​ may​ be removed from office on
impeachment…

The term “may is indicative of a mere possibility, an opportunity and an option. In other words, there
are alternative mode in effecting the removal of the highest official mention above aside from
impeachment.

2. Under Section 7, Article XIII (3) A member of the judiciary must be proven competence,
integrity, probity and independece.

Integrity- excerpt from the transcript of the Constitutional Commission was presented. Insertion of
such qualification is to strengthen the moral fiber of our judiciary. In some decided cases, failure to
comply in the filing of SALN violates the Constitution, and the one who violate the Constitution
cannot be rightfully claim a man with integrity.