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Tobias v. Abalos 239 SCRA 106


Complainants, invoking their right as taxpayers and as residents of Mandaluyong,

filed a petition questioning the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 7675, otherwise known
as "An Act Converting the Municipality of Mandaluyong into a Highly Urbanized City to be
known as the City of Mandaluyong." Before the enactment of the law, Mandaluyong and
San Juan belonged to the same legislative district.

The petitioners contended that the act is unconstitutional for violation of three
provisions of the constitution. First, it violates the one subject one bill rule. The bill
provides for the conversion of Mandaluyong to HUC as well as the division of
congressional district of San Juan and Mandaluyong into two separate district. Second, it
also violate Section 5 of Article VI of the Constitution, which provides that the House of
Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred and fifty members,
unless otherwise fixed by law. The division of San Juan and Mandaluyong into separate
congressional districts increased the members of the House of Representative beyond
that provided by the Constitution. Third, Section 5 of Article VI also provides that within
three years following the return of every census, the Congress shall make a
reapportionment of legislative districts based on the standard provided in Section 5.
Petitioners stated that the division was not made pursuant to any census showing that
the minimum population requirement was attained.


Whether or not R.A. No. 7675 is unconstitutional.


No. Contrary to petitioners' assertion, the creation of a separate congressional

district for Mandaluyong is not a subject separate and distinct from the subject of its
conversion into a highly urbanized city but is a natural and logical consequence of its
conversion into a highly urbanized city. Verily, the title of R.A. No. 7675, "An Act
Converting the Municipality of Mandaluyong Into a Highly Urbanized City of
Mandaluyong" necessarily includes and contemplates the subject treated under Section
49 regarding the creation of a separate congressional district for Mandaluyong.

The Supreme Court ruled that the contentions are devoid of merit. With regards to
the first contention of one subject one bill rule, the creation of a separate congressional
district for Mandaluyong is not a separate and distinct subject from its conversion into a
HUC but is a natural and logical consequence. In addition, a liberal construction of the
"one title-one subject" rule has been invariably adopted by this court so as not to cripple
or impede legislation.

The second contention that the law violates the present limit of the number of
representatives, the provision of the section itself show that the 250 limit is not absolute.
The Constitution clearly provides that the House of Representatives shall be composed
of not more than 250 members, "unless otherwise provided by law”. Therefore, the
increase in congressional representation mandated by R.A. No. 7675 is not

Veterans Federation Party vs. COMELEC October 6, 2000

On May 11, 1998, the first election for party-list representation was held simultaneously
with the national elections. A total of 123 parties, organizations and coalitions
participated. The Comelec en banc proclaimed 13 party-list representatives from 12
parties and organizations which obtained at least two percent of the total number of votes
cast for the party-list system. COMELEC enbanc also determined that COCOFED was
entitled to one party-list seat for having garnered an equivalent of 2.04% of the total votes
cast for the part-list system. PAG-ASA filed with the Comelec a "Petition to Proclaim the
Full Number of Party-List Representatives provided by the Constitution." It alleged that
the filling up of the twenty percent membership of party-list representatives in the House
of Representatives, as provided under the Constitution, was mandatory. It further claimed
that the literal application of the two percent vote requirement and the three-seat limit
under RA 7941 would defeat this constitutional provision, for only 25 nominees would be
declared winners, short of the 52 party-list representatives who should actually sit in the
House. Thereafter, other party-list organizations filed their respective Motions for
Intervention, seeking the same relief as that sought by PAG-ASA on substantially the
same grounds. Comelec Second Division promulgated the present assailed
Resolution granting PAG-ASA's Petition. It held that "at all times, the total number of
congressional9 seats must be filled up by eighty (80%) percent district representatives
and twenty (20%) percent party-list representatives." In allocating the 52 seats, it
disregarded the two percent-vote requirement prescribed under Section 11 (b) of RA

(1) Is the Twenty Percent Constitutional Allocation mandatory?
(2) Are the two percent threshold requirement and the three-seat limit provided in Section
11 (b) of RA 7941 constitutional?
(3) If the answer to Issue 2 is in the affirmative, how should the additional seats of a
qualified party be determined?

(1) The Twenty Percent Allocation is only a mere ceiling. The Constitution simply states
that "[t]he party-list representatives shall constitute twenty per centum of the total number
of representatives including those under the party-list." The Constitution explicitly sets
down only the percentage of the total membership in the House of Representatives
reserved for party-list representatives. (2) Consistent with the Constitutional
Commission's pronouncements, Congress set the seat-limit to three for each qualified
party, organization or coalition. "Qualified" means having hurdled the two percent vote
threshold. Such three-seat limit ensures the entry of various interest-representations into
the legislature; thus, no single group, no matter how large its membership, would
dominate the party-list seats, if not the entire House. (3) The initial step is to rank all the
participating parties, organizations and coalitions from the highest to the lowest based on
the number of votes they each received. Then the ratio for each party is computed by
dividing its votes by the total votes cast for all the parties participating in the system. All
parties with at least two percent of the total votes are guaranteed one seat each. Only
these parties shall be considered in the computation of additional seats. The second step
is to determine the number of seats the first party is entitled to, in order to be able to
compute that for the other parties. The third step is to solve for the number of additional
seats that the other qualified parties are entitled to, based on proportional representation.

Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party v. Comelec, June 26, 2001


Petitioners challenged the Comelec’s Omnibus Resolution No. 3785, which

approved the participation of 154 organizations and parties, including those herein
impleaded, in the 2001 party-list elections. Petitioners sought the disqualification of
private respondents, arguing mainly that the party-list system was intended to benefit the
marginalized and underrepresented; not the mainstream political parties, the non-
marginalized or overrepresented. Unsatisfied with the pace by which Comelec acted on
their petition, petitioners elevated the issue to the Supreme Court.


Whether or not political parties may participate in the party list elections.


Political Parties -- even the major ones -- may participate in the party-list elections
subject to the requirements laid down in the Constitution and RA 7941, which is the
statutory law pertinent to the Party List System.

Under the Constitution and RA 7941, private respondents cannot be disqualified

from the party-list elections, merely on the ground that they are political parties. Section
5, Article VI of the Constitution provides that members of the House of Representative
may “be elected through a party-list system of registered national, regional, and sectoral
parties or organizations”. It is however, incumbent upon the COMELEC to determine
proportional representation of the marginalized and underrepresented”, the criteria for
participation in relation to the cause of the party list applicants so as to avoid desecration
of the noble purpose of the party-list system.

BANAT v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 179271, April 21, 2009

Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency (BANAT) filed before the
National Board of Canvassers(NBC) a petition to proclaim the full number of party list
representatives provided by the Constitution. However, the recommendation of the head of the
legal group of COMELEC’s national board of canvassers to declare the petition moot and
academic was approved by the COMELEC en banc. BANAT filed for petition for certiorari and
mandamus assailing the resolution of COMELEC to their petition to proclaim the full number of
party list representatives provided by the Constitution.
The COMELEC, sitting as the NBC, promulgated a resolution proclaiming thirteen (13) parties as
winners in the party-list elections in May 2007. The COMELEC announced that, upon completion
of the canvass of the party-list results, it would determine the total number of seats of each winning
party, organization, or coalition in accordance with Veterans Federation Party v. COMELEC
Bayan Muna, Abono, and Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment Through Action, Cooperation and
Harmony Towards Educational Reforms (A Teacher) asked the COMELEC, acting as NBC, to
reconsider its decision to use the Veterans formula. COMELEC denied the consideration.
Bayan Muna, Abono, and A Teacher filed for certiorari with mandamus and prohibition assailing
the resolution of the COMELEC in its decision to use the Veterans formula.

1. Whether or not the twenty percent allocation for party-list representatives in Section 5(2),
Article VI of the Constitution mandatory or merely a ceiling
2. Whether or not the three-seat limit in Section 11(b) of RA 7941 is constitutional
3. Whether or not the two percent threshold prescribed in Section 11(b) of RA 7941 to qualify for
one seat is constitutional
4. How shall the party-list representatives be allocated?

1. The 20% allocation of party-list representatives is merely a ceiling; party-list representatives

cannot be more than 20% of the members of the House of Representatives.
2. Yes, it is constitutional. The three-seat cap, as a limitation to the number of seats that a
qualified party-list organization may occupy, remains a valid statutory device that prevents any
party from dominating the party-list elections.
3. The second clause of Section 11(b) of R. A. 7941 “those garnering more than two percent (2%)
of the votes shall be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes” is
unconstitutional. The two percent threshold only in relation to the distribution of the additional
seats presents an unwarranted obstacle to the full implementation of Section 5(2), Article VI of
the Constitution and prevents the attainment of "the broadest possible representation of party,
sectoral or group interests in the House of Representatives."
4. In determining the allocation of seats for party-list representatives under Section 11 of R.A.
No. 7941, the following procedure shall be observed:
1. The parties, organizations, and coalitions shall be ranked from the highest to the lowest based
on the number of votes they garnered during the elections.
2. The parties, organizations, and coalitions receiving at least two percent (2%) of the total votes
cast for the party-list system shall be entitled to one guaranteed seat each.
3. Those garnering sufficient number of votes, according to the ranking in paragraph 1, shall be
entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes until all the additional seats
are allocated.
4. Each party, organization, or coalition shall be entitled to not more than three (3) seats.

Sen. Benigno Aquino v. Commission on Elections, April, 7, 2010

Petitioners Benigno Aquino III and Mayor Jesse Robredo contended R.A. No.
9716 which originated from House Bill No. 4264 that was signed by President Gloria
Macapagal Arroyo on October 12, 2009. The said law created an additional legislative
district for the Province of Camarines Sur.
Petitioners also add that R.A. 9716 runs afoul of the explicit constitutional standard
that requires a minimum population of 250,000 for the creation of a legislative district. The
petioners rely on Section 5(3), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution as basis. They, the
petitioners, claim that the reconfiguration by R.A. No. 9716 of the first and second districts
of Camarines Sur is unconstitutional, because the proposed first district will end up with
a population of less than 250,000 or only 173,383.
The respondents, through the Office of the Solicitor General, seek the dismissal of
the present petition based on procedural and substantive grounds. On procedural matters
the petitioners were said guilty of two (2) fatal defects: 1) they committed error in choosing
to assail the constitutionality of R.A. No. 9716 via the remedy of Certiorari and Prohibition
under rule 65 of the Rules of Court; 2) the petitioners have no locus standi to question
the constitutionality of R.A. No. 9716. And on substantive matters, the respondendts calls
attention to an apparent distinction between cities and provinces drawn by Section 5(3),
Article VI of the 1987 Constitution.
The court focused more on the arguments on their content and substance, that the
issue of overreaching signifance to society is much more important.
Whether or not a population of 250,00 is an indipensable constitutional
requirement for the creation of a new legislative district in a province.
We deny the petition. There is no specific provision in the Constitution that fixes a
250,000 minimum population that must compose a legislative district. Our ruling is that
population is not the only factor but is just one of several other factors in the composition
of the additional district.

Based on the Local Government Code, the requirement of population is not an

indispensable requirement, but is merely an alternative addition to the indispensable
income requirement.

Rai Sandra Sema v. Commission on Elections, July 16, 2008


The Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution apportioned two legislative

districts for the Province of Maguindanao. The first legislative district consists of Cotabato
City and eight municipalities. Maguindanao forms part of the Autonomous Region in
Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), created under its Organic Act, Republic Act No. 6734 (RA
6734), as amended by Republic Act No. 9054 (RA 9054). Although under the Ordinance,
Cotabato City forms part of Maguindanao’s first legislative district, it is not part of the
ARMM but of Region XII, having voted against its inclusion in the ARMM in the plebiscite
held in November 1989.

On 28 August 2006, the ARMM’s legislature, the ARMM Regional Assembly,

exercising its power to create provinces under Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054,5 enacted
Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act No. 201 (MMA Act 201) creating the Province of Shariff
Kabunsuan composed of the eight municipalities in the first district of Maguindanao.

Later, three new municipalities were carved out of the original nine municipalities
constituting Shariff Kabunsuan, bringing its total number of municipalities to 11. Thus,
what was left of Maguindanao were the municipalities constituting its second legislative
district. Cotabato City, although part of Maguindanao’s first legislative district, is not part
of the Province of Maguindanao. The voters of Maguindanao ratified Shariff Kabunsuan’s
creation in a plebiscite held on 29 October 2006.

On 10 May 2007, the COMELEC issued Resolution No. 7902, subject of these
petitions, amending Resolution No. 07-0407 by renaming the legislative district in
question as "Shariff Kabunsuan Province with Cotabato City (formerly First District of
Maguindanao with Cotabato City).

Sema who was a candidate in May 2007 elections for Representative of “Shariff
Kabunsuan with Cotabato City” prayed for the nullification of resolution and exclusion
from canvassing of votes in cast in Cotabato City for that office. Sema contended that
Shariff Kabunsuan is entitled to 1 representative in Congress.


Whether or not Sec. 19, Art.6 of RA 9054 delegating to ARMM Regional Assembly
the power to create provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays is constitutional.


The petitions have no merit. The Court rule that (1) Section 19, Article VI of RA
9054 is unconstitutional insofar as it grants to the ARMM Regional Assembly the power
to create provinces and cities; (2) MMA Act 201 creating the Province of Shariff
Kabunsuan is void; and (3) COMELEC Resolution No. 7902 is valid.

COMELEC en banc v. AKB etal., April 23, 2013


This is the consolidation of cases filed against The Commission on Election which
constitutes 54 Petitions for Certiorari and Petitions for Certiorari and Prohibition filed by
52 party-list groups and organizations assailing the Resolutions issued by the COMELEC
disqualifying them from participating in the 13 May 2013 party-list elections, either by
denial of their petitions for registration under the party-list system, or cancellation of their
registration and accreditation as party-list organizations.

Pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act No. 7941 (R.A. No. 7941) and
COMELEC Resolution Nos. 9366 and 9531, approximately 280 groups and organizations
registered and showed their desire to participate in the 13 May 2013 party-list elections.

The COMELEC disqualified AKB, Atong Paglaum, ARAL, ARC, UNIMAD, 1BRO-
KABAGIS, 1-UTAK, SENIOR CITIZENS from participating in the said elections. However,
these groups were able to secure a mandatory injunction from this Court, directing the
COMELEC to include the names of these 39 petitioners in the printing of the official ballot
for the 13 May 2013 party-list elections. Petitioners prayed for the issuance of a temporary
restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction. This Court issued Status Quo Ante
Orders in all petitions. This Decision governs only the 54 consolidated petitions that were
granted Status Quo Ante Orders.


Whether or not the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to

lack or excess of jurisdiction in disqualifying petitioners from participating in the elections.


No. The COMELEC merely followed the guidelines set in the cases of Ang Bagong
Bayani and BANAT. However, the Supreme Court remanded the cases back to the
COMELEC as the Supreme Court now provides for new guidelines which abandoned
some principles established in the two afore stated cases. The COMELEC must use the
following parameters: Three different groups may participate in the party-list system: (1)
national parties or organizations, (2) regional parties or organizations, and (3) sectoral
parties or organizations.

In the BANAT case, major political parties are disallowed, as has always been the
practice, from participating in the party-list elections. But, since there’s really no
constitutional prohibition nor a statutory prohibition, major political parties can now
participate in the party-list system provided that they do so through their bona fide sectoral
wing.The Supreme Court also emphasized that the party-list system is not reserved for
the “marginalized and underrepresented” or for parties who lack “well-defined political
constituencies”. It is also for national or regional parties. It is also for small ideology-based
and cause-oriented parties who lack “well-defined political constituencies”.

R.A. No. 7941 does not require national and regional parties or organizations to
represent the "marginalized and underrepresented" sectors. To require all national and
regional parties under the party-list system to represent the "marginalized and
underrepresented" is to deprive and exclude, by judicial fiat, ideology-based and cause-
oriented parties from the party-list system.

Romualdez-Marcos v. Comelec 248 SCRA 300

Petitioner Imelda Romualdez-Marcos filed her Certificate of Candidacy for the
position of Representative of the First District of Leyte with the Provincial Election
Supervisor on March 8, 1995 providing information in Item No. 8 of Certificate of
Candidacy declaring her residency in Leyte to be seven months. On March 23, 1995,
private respondent Cirilo Roy Montejo, the incumbent Representative of the First District
of Leyte and a candidate for the same position, filed a "Petition for Cancellation and
Disqualification"5 with the Commission on Elections alleging that petitioner did not meet
the constitutional requirement for residency. In his petition, private respondent contended
that Mrs. Marcos lacked the Constitution's one year residency requirement for candidates
for the House of Representatives on the evidence of declarations made by her in Voter
Registration Record 94-No. 33497726 and in her Certificate of Candidacy. He prayed that
"an order be issued declaring (petitioner) disqualified and cancelling the certificate of
candidacy." On March 29, 1995, petitioner filed an Amended/Corrected Certificate of
Candidacy, changing the entry "seven" months to "since childhood" in item no. 8 of the
amended certificate.
On May 11, 1995, the COMELEC issued a Resolution allowing petitioner’s
proclamation showing that she obtained the highest number of votes in the congressional
elections in the First District of Leyte. The COMELEC reversed itself and issued a second
Resolution directing that the proclamation of petitioner be suspended in the event that
she obtains the highest number of votes. In a Supplemental Petition dated 25 May 1995,
Marcos claimed that she was the overwhelming winner of the elections based on the
canvass completed by the Provincial Board of Canvassers.
Whether or not Imelda Marcos was a resident of the First District of Leyte to satisfy
the one year residency requirement to be eligible in running as representative.
Yes. The court is in favour of a conclusion supporting petitioner’s claim of legal
residence or domicile in the First District of Leyte. Residence is synonymous with domicile
which reveals a tendency or mistake the concept of domicile for actual residence, a
conception not intended for the purpose of determining a candidate’s qualifications for the
election to the House of Representatives as required by the 1987 Constitution.
An individual does not lose her domicile even if she has lived and maintained
residences in different places. In the case at bench, the evidence adduced by Motejo
lacks the degree of persuasiveness as required to convince the court that an
abandonment of domicile of origin in favour of a domicile of choice indeed incurred. It
cannot be correctly argued that Marcos lost her domicile of origin by operation of law as
a result of her marriage to the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos.
It can be concluded that the facts supporting its proposition that petitioner was
ineligible to run for the position of Representative of the First District of Leyte, the
COMELEC was obviously referring to petitioner’s various places of (actual) residence,
not her domicile.
Having determined that Marcos possessed the necessary residence qualifications
to run for a seat in the House of Representatives in the First District of Leyte, the
COMELEC’s questioned resolutions dated April 24, May 7, May11, and May 25 are set
aside. Provincial Board of Canvassers is directed to proclaim Marcos as the duly elected
Representative of the First District of Leyte.

Aquino v. Comelec 248 SCRA 400

Petitioner Agapito A. Aquino filed his Certificate of Candidacy for the position of
Representative for the new Second Legislative District of Makati City on March 20, 1995.
In his certificate of candidacy, the petitioner stated that he was a resident of the
aforementioned district for 10 months. On April 24, 1995, Respondents Move Makati, a
duly registered political party, and Mateo Bedon, Chairman of the LAKAS-NUCD-UMDP
of Barangay Cembo, Makati City, filed a petition to disqualify Agapito A. Aquino on the
ground that the latter lacked the residence qualification as a candidate for congressman
which, under Section 6, Art. VI of the 1987 Constitution, should be for a period not less
than one year immediately preceding the May 8, 1995 elections. A day after said petition
for disqualification was filed, petitioner filed another certificate of candidacy amending the
certificate. This time, petitioner stated in Item 8 of his certificate that he had resided in the
constituency where he sought to be elected for one year and thirteen days. Aquino was
allowed to run on the May 8 elections and won the said elections. On May 10, 1995,
private respondents Move Makati and Bedon filed an Urgent Motion Ad Cautelum to
Suspend Proclamation of petitioner. On May 15, 1995, COMELEC en banc issued an
Order suspending petitioner's proclamation. Aquino then filed a Petition of Certiorari
assailing the suspension orders.
Whether or not COMELEC's finding of non-compliance with the residency
requirement mandated by Section 6, Art. VI of the 1987 Constitution of against the
petitioner is valid.
COMELEC's finding of non-compliance with the residency requirement mandated
by Section 6, Art. VI of the 1987 Constitution against the petitioner is valid. The Supreme
Court agrees with COMELEC's contention that in order that petitioner could qualify as a
candidate for Representative of the Second District of Makati City the latter "must prove
that he has established not just residence but domicile of choice. “Petitioner in his
Certificate of Candidacy for the May 11, 1992 elections, indicated not only that he was a
resident of San Jose, Concepcion, Tarlac in 1992 but that he was a resident of the same
for 52 years immediately preceding that election. At the time, his certificate indicated that
he was also a registered voter of the same district. His birth certificate places Concepcion,
Tarlac as the birthplace of both of his parents Benigno and Aurora. Thus, from data
furnished by petitioner himself to the COMELEC at various times during his political
career, what stands consistently clear and unassailable is that this domicile of origin of
record up to the time of filing of his most recent certificate of candidacy for the 1995
elections was Concepcion, Tarlac.” While property ownership is not and should never be
an indicia of the right to vote or to be voted upon, the fact that petitioner himself claims
that he has other residences in Metro Manila coupled with the short length of time he
claims to be a resident of the condominium unit in Makati (and the fact, of his stated
domicile in Tarlac) "indicate that the sole purpose of (petitioner) in transferring his physical
residence" is not to acquire new residence or domicile "but only to qualify as a candidate
for Representative of the Second District of Makati City." Petitioner’s assertion that he
has transferred his domicile from Tarlac to Makati is a bare assertion which is hardly
supported by the facts in the case at bench. Domicile of origin is not easily lost. To
successfully effect a change of domicile, petitioner must prove an actual removal or an
actual change of domicile; a bona fide intention of abandoning the former place of
residence and establishing a new one and definite acts which correspond with the
purpose. The petition was therefore dismissed.

Co v. HRET 199 SCRA 692


Petitioners Sixto Balinquit and Antonio Co filed a petition for certiorari asking the
HRET to reverse and set aside its decision with regards to the case of private respondent,
Filipino-Chinese, Jose Ong Jr. Petitioners questioned HRET’s decision declaring private
respondent as a natural born citizen and a resident of Laoang, Northern Samar.
Petitioners, together private respondent vied for the position of representative in the
second legislative district of Northern Samar. Respondent Ong was proclaimed the duly
elected representative of the said district.

Petitioners filed election protests against the private respondent premised on the
following grounds:

1) Jose Ong, Jr. is not a natural born Citizen;

2) Jose Ong, Jr. is not a resident of the second district of Northern Samar


Whether or not Jose Ong Jr was a natural born citizen.

Whether or not Jose Ong Jr. was a resident of Laoang Northern Samar.


Article IV of the Philippine constitution provides the requisites in order for one to
be considered as a natural born citizen of the country.

SECTION 1, the following are citizens of the Philippines:

1) Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of the
2) Those whose fathers or mothers are citizens of the Philippines;
3) Those born before January 17, 1973, of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine
citizenship upon reaching the age of majority; and
4) Those who are naturalized in accordance with law.

SECTION 2, Natural-born Citizens are those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth
without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their citizenship. Those who elect
Philippine citizenship in accordance with paragraph 3 hereof shall be deemed natural-
born citizens.

The Court interprets Section 1, Paragraph 3 above as applying not only to those
who elect Philippine citizenship after February 2, 1987 but also to those who, having been
born of Filipino mothers, elected citizenship before that date. Records clearly showed
that Ong was born to a natural born Filipino mother.

With regards to the private respondent’s residence, the domicile of origin of the
private respondent, which was the domicile of his parents, is fixed at Laoang, Samar.
Contrary to the petitioners' imputation, Jose Ong, Jr. never abandoned said domicile; it
remained fixed therein even up to the present.

Petition was dismissed; the court reaffirms HRET’s decision, Jose Ong. Jr is a
natural born Filipno and a resident of Laoang, Northern Samar.

Dimaporo v. Mitra 202 SCRA 779

Mohammad Ali Dimaporo an elected Representative of Lanao del Sur in 1987
decided to file a certificate of candidacy to run for Governor of Autonomous Region of
Muslim Mindanao in the year 1990.
Speaker of the House Hon. Mitra removed Dimaporo’s name in the roll of members
in the House of Representatives, when he decided to run for another position, pursuant
to section 67 article IX of Batasang Pambansa Blg. 881.
When Dimaporo lost the election he then wrote and later petitioned to resume
duties as the representative of Lanao Del Sur, arguing that cutting his term short is
unconstitutional, stating merely filing a certificate of candidacy did not constitute
renunciation of his position as Congressman as he still did not hold a official position as
Is the filing of certificate of candidacy can be considered as “voluntary
renunciation” under Section 7 paragraph 2 Article VI of the Constitution?
Yes, Section 67 article IX of B.P Blg.881 that considers the filing of certificate of
candidacy as resignation from previous office, is actually a mode of voluntary renunciation
stated in par. 2 Section 7 Article VI of the constitution.
Furthermore, court added that it was a mere shortening of “tenure” meaning the
number of years in actual service not the cutting of “term” which is fixed number of years
for the position. This is to uphold public trust, and encourage officials to finish their terms
in public office.

Jimenez v. Cabangbang 17 SCRA 876

This is a civil action for the plaintiffs Colonel. Nicanor Jimenez for damages against
a libelous letter of defendant Hon. Bartolome Cabangbang a member of the House of
Representatives. The said letter was published in several Newspapers of general
Defendant claims that the letter is not libelous and is a “Privileged communication”
in a session of Congress therefore he is not liable for any damages, as stated in section
11, article VI of the constitution.
Can the letter be considered as a “privileged communication”?
No, the letter was revealed in November 14, 1958, when the Congress was
presumed to be not in session when the defendant caused the publication of the letter.
The phrase “any speech or debate in the Congress” in Section 15, Article VI of the
constitution refers to utterances made by Congressmen in the performance of their official
functions within a session, so the letter of the defendant is absolutely not privileged.
Petition is dismissed.

People v. Jalosjos 324 SCRA 689


Accused-appellant Romeo G. Jalosjos is a Congressman confined at the national

penitentiary while his conviction for statutory rape on two counts and acts of
lasciviousness on six counts is pending appeal. He filed a motion asking that he be
allowed to fully discharge the duties of a Congressman, including attendance at legislative
sessions and committee meetings despite his having been convicted in the first instance
of a non-bailable offense.
Jalosjos argued that the sovereign electorate of the First District of Zamboanga
del Norte chose him as their representative in Congress, and therefore, as a covenant
with his constituents made through the intervention of the State, he has the duty to
perform the functions of a Congressman. Such, according to him, cannot be defeated by
insuperable procedural restraints arising from pending criminal cases.


Whether or not a Congressman may be exempt from statutes and rules which
apply to validly incarcerated persons in order to perform his functions as a member of


No. In spite the importance of election as the expression of the sovereign power
of the people, the privileges and rights arising from having been elected may be enlarged
or restricted by law. All top officials of Government—executive, legislative and judicial are
subject to the majesty of law. Privilege has to be granted by law, not inferred from the
duties of a position.
The Constitutional provision granting an immunity from arrest or detention of
Senators, members of the House of Representatives as a special privilege cannot be
extended beyond the ordinary meaning of its terms. The exemption applies only to civil
arrests because of the broad coverage of felony and breach of the peace.
To protect the public, a congressman like the accused-appellant, convicted under
Title Eleven of the Revised Penal Code could not claim parliamentary immunity from
arrest. He was subject to the same general laws governing all persons still to be tried or
whose convictions were pending appeal, x x x For offenses punishable by more than six
years imprisonment, there was no immunity from arrest.
Moreover, election to the position of Congressman is not a reasonable
classification in criminal law enforcement. The functions and duties of the office are not
substantial distinctions which lift him from the class of prisoners interrupted in their
freedom and restricted in liberty of movement. Lawful arrest and confinement are
germane to the purposes of the law and apply to all those belonging to the same class.

Antero Pobre v. Sen. Mirriam Defensor-Santiago, Aug. 25, 2009


In his sworn letter/complaint, Antero J. Pobre invited the Court’s attention to

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s speech delivered on the Senate floor. To
Pobre, the statements reflected a total disrespect on the part of the speaker
towards then Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban and the other members of the
Court and constituted direct contempt of court. Accordingly, Pobre asks that
disbarment proceedings or other disciplinary actions be taken against the lady
senator. In her comment on the complaint dated April 25, 2007, Senator Santiago,
through counsel, does not deny making the statements. She, however, explained
that those statements were covered by the constitutional provision on
parliamentary immunity, being part of a speech she delivered in the discharge of
her duty as member of Congress or its committee.


Whether or not Miriam Defensor-Santiago can be disbarred or subjected to

disciplinary action by the Court for her questioned speech.


The immunity Senator Santiago claims is rooted primarily on the provision of

Article VI, Section 11 of the Constitution, which provides: “A Senator or Member
of the House of Representative shall, in all offenses punishable by not more than
six years imprisonment, be privileged from arrest while the Congress is in
session. No member shall be questioned nor be held liable in any other place for
any speech or debate in the Congress or in any committee thereof.”

The Court is aware of the need and has in fact been in the forefront in upholding
the institution of parliamentary immunity and promotion of free speech. Neither
has the Court lost sight of the importance of the legislative and oversight
functions of the Congress that enable this representative body to look diligently
into every affair of government, investigate and denounce anomalies, and talk
about how the country and its citizens are being served. Courts do not interfere
with the legislature or its members in the manner they perform their functions in
the legislative floor or in committee rooms. Any claim of an unworthy purpose or
of the falsity and mala fides of the statement uttered by the member of the
Congress does not destroy the privilege. The disciplinary authority of the
assembly and the voters, not the courts, can properly discourage or correct such
abuses committed in the name of parliamentary immunity. For these reasons, the
plea of Senator Santiago for the dismissal of the complaint for disbarment or
disciplinary action is well taken. Indeed, her privilege speech is not actionable
criminally or in a disciplinary proceeding under the Rules of Court.

Bengzon v. Drilon 208 SCRA 133, 143-145

The petitioners are retired Justices of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals
who are currently receiving monthly pensions under Republic Act No. 910 as amended
by Republic Act No. 1797.
On June 21, 1957, R.A No. 910 which provides retirement pensions for Justices of
the Supreme Court and of the Court of Appeals was amended by Sec. 3-A of R.A 1797,
which provides that the adjustment of the pension of retired justices and officers and
enlisted members of the AFP. However, President Marcos issued Presidential Decree
644 authorizing the adjustment of the pension of the retired Justices of the Supreme
Court, Court of Appeals, Chairman and members of the Constitutional Commissions and
the officers and enlisted members of the Armed Forces to the prevailing rates of salaries.
Upon realizing the discrimination and unfairness of the said decree, Congress
approved a bill entitled House Bill No. 16297 which seeks the reenactment of the repealed
provisions of Republic Act No. 1797 and Republic Act No. 3595. President Aquino,
however vetoed the said bill on the ground that according to her "it would erode the very
foundation of the Government's collective effort to adhere faithfully to and enforce strictly
the policy on standardization of compensation as articulated in Republic Act No. 6758
known as Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989." She further said that
"the Government should not grant distinct privileges to select group of officials whose
retirement benefits under existing laws already enjoy preferential treatment over those of
the vast majority of our civil service servants."
Whether or not the veto of the President of certain provisions in the GAA of FY
1992 relating to the payment of the adjusted pensions of retired Justices is constitutional
or valid.
The Constitution provides that the fiscal autonomy enjoyed by the Judiciary,
Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman contemplates a guarantee on full
flexibility to allocate and utilize their resources with the wisdom and dispatch that their
needs require. They must have the independence and flexibility needed in the discharge
of their constitutional duties. The imposition of restrictions and constraints on the manner
the independent constitutional offices allocate and utilize the funds appropriated for their
operations is anathema to fiscal autonomy and violative not only of the express mandate
of the Constitution but especially as regards the Supreme Court, of the independence
and separation of powers.
In the instant case, the vetoed provisions which relate to the use of savings for
augmenting items for the payment of the pension differentials, among others, are clearly
in consonance with the above stated pronouncements of the Court. The veto impairs the
power of the Chief Justice to augment other items in the Judiciary's appropriation, in
contravention of the constitutional provision on "fiscal autonomy."

Puyat v. De Guzman 113 SCRA 31

After an election for the Directors of the International Pipe Industries Corporation
(IPI) was held, one group, the respondent Acero group, instituted at the SEC quo warranto
proceedings, questioning the election. Justice Estanislao Fernandez, then a member of
the Interim Batasang Pambansa, entered his appearance as counsel for respondent
Acero to which the petitioner, Puyat group, objected on Constitutional ground that no
Assemblyman could “appear as counsel before any administrative body,” and SEC was
an administrative body. Assemblyman Fernandez did not continue his appearance for
respondent Acero.
Assemblyman Fernandez had purchased 10 shares of IPI for P200.00 upon
request of respondent Acero. Following the notarization of Assemblyman Fernandez’
purchase, he filed a motion for intervention in the SEC case as the owner of 10 IPI shares
alleging legal interest in the matter in litigation. The SEC granted leave to intervene on
the basis of Fernandez’ ownership of the said 10 shares.
Whether or not Assemblyman Fernandez, as a then stockholder of IPI, may
intervene in the SEC Case without violating Section 11, Art. VIII of the Constitution ( now
Section 14, Article VI of 1987 Constitution).
No, Assemblyman Fernandez cannot be said to be appearing as counsel. His
appearance could theoretically be for the protection of his ownership of 10 shares of IPI
in respect of the matter in litigation.
The prohibition is contained in Section 11, Article VIII of the Constitution (now
Section 14, Art. VI of 1987 Constitution) To believe the avowed purpose, that is, to enable
him eventually to vote and to be elected as Director in the event of an unfavorable
outcome of the SEC Case would be pure naivete. A ruling upholding the "intervention"
would make the constitutional provision ineffective. All an Assemblyman need do, if he
wants to influence an administrative body is to acquire a minimal participation in the
"interest" of the client and then "intervene" in the proceedings. That which the Constitution
directly prohibits may not be done by indirection or by a general legislative act which is
intended to accomplish the objects specifically or impliedly prohibited.

Santiago v. Guingona 298 SCRA 756


The Senate, presided by Sen. John Henry R. Osmeña, convened on July 27, 1998
for the first regular session of the eleventh Congress for the election of officers. Senator
Francisco S. Tatad and Senator Marcelo B. Fernan were nominated for the position of
Senate President. By vote of 20 to 2, Senator Fernan was declared President of the

With the agreement of Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, Senator Tatad

established, he was assuming the position of minority leader. He explained that those
who had voted for Senator Fernan comprised the majority while those who voted for him,
belonged to the minority. During the discussion, Senator Juan M. Flavier also manifested
that the senators belonging to the LAKAS-NUCD-UMDP with seven members, had
chosen Senator Teofisto T. Guingona, Jr. as minority leader.

On July 30, 1998, the majority leader, received a letter from the seven members
of the LAKAS-NUCD-UMDP, stating that they had elected Senator Guingona as minority
leader. The Senate President then recognized Senator Guingona as minority leader of
the Senate. The following day, Senators Santiago and Tatad filed before the Supreme
Court a petition for quo warranto alleging that Senator Guingona has been usurping,
unlawfully holding and exercising the position of Senate minority leader, which according
to them, rightfully belongs to Senator Tatad.


Whether or not there was an actual violation of the Constitution?


No. The Constitution is explicit on the manner of electing a Senate President and
a House Speaker, it is, however, dead silent on the manner of selecting the other officers
in both chambers of Congress. The method of choosing who will be such other officers is
merely a derivative of the exercise of the prerogative conferred by Section 16 Article VI
of the constitution. Therefore, such method must be prescribed by the Senate itself, not
by the Supreme Court.

The Rules of the Senate do not provide for the positions of majority and minority
leaders. Neither is there an open clause providing specifically for such offices and
prescribing the manner of creating them or of choosing the holders thereof, at any rate,
such offices, by tradition and long practice, are actually extant. But, in the absence of
constitutional or statutory guidelines or specific rules, this Court is devoid of any basis
upon which to determine the legality of the acts of the Senate relative thereto. On grounds
of respect for the basic concept of separation of powers, courts may not intervene in the
internal affairs of the legislature that it is not within the province of courts to direct
Congress how to do its work.

To agree to the interpretation of petitioners would practically amount to judicial

legislation, a clear breach of the constitutional doctrine of separation of powers. If for this
argument alone, the petition would easily fail. In the end, the petition is hereby dismissed

Osmeña v. Pendatun, supra


In June 1960, Congressman Sergio Osmeña, Jr. delivered a speech entitled “A

Message to Garcia”. In the said speech, he disparaged then President Carlos Garcia and
his administration. Subsequently, House Resolution No. 59 was passed by the lower
house in order to investigate the charges made by Osmeña during his speech and that if
his allegations were found to be baseless and malicious, he may be subjected to
disciplinary actions by the lower house. Osmeña then questioned the validity of the said
resolution before the Supreme Court. Osmeña avers that the resolution violates his
parliamentary immunity for speeches delivered in Congress. Congressman Salipada
Pendatun filed an answer where he averred that the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction
over the matter and Congress has the power to discipline its members.


Whether or not Osmeña’s immunity has been violated?


No. Section 15, Article VI of the 1935 Constitution enshrines parliamentary

immunity upon members of the legislature which is a fundamental privilege cherished in
every parliament in a democratic world. It guarantees the legislator complete freedom of
expression without fear of being made responsible in criminal or civil actions before the
courts or any other forum outside the Hall of Congress. However, it does not protect him
from responsibility before the legislative body whenever his words and conduct are
considered disorderly or unbecoming of a member therein. Therefore, Osmeña’s petition
is dismissed.

Paredes v. Sandiganbayan, January 28, 1997

On January 21, 1976, Paredes, Jr., Provincial Attorney of Agusan del Sur, applied
for a free patent for a land, Lot No. 3097 and was favorably granted upon by the Land
Inspector. Eight years later, Lot No. 3097 had been designated and reserved as a school
site. On June 27, 1984, Resolution No. 40 was passed to recover the said land from
Attorney Paredes. A perjury charge, Civil Case No. 512 was filed against Attorney
Paredes, Jr. by the Republic in the Regional Trial Court. On October 28, 1986, a former
vice-mayor filed with the Tanodbayan a criminal complaint and was referred to Fiscal
Brocoy for preliminary investigation, charging Attorney Paredes with having violated
Section 3(a) of the Anti-Graft & Corrupt Practices Act (R.A. 3019) because he allegedly
used his office as Provincial Attorney to influence, persuade, and induce the Land
Inspector to favorably indorse his free patent application. Fiscal Brocoy issued summons
to Attorney Paredes, Jr. however, the summons did not reach Attorney Paredes.
Nevertheless, Fiscal Brocoy proceeded to conduct the preliminary examination of the
complainant and his witnesses. Fiscal issued a resolution finding a prima facie case of
violation of Section 3(a) of R.A. 3019. Attorney Paredes filed a motion for reconsideration
of the resolution but was denied. On 1988, Attorney Paredes was elected governor of
Agusan del Sur. The RTC rendered a decision annulling Governor Paredes’ Free Patent
and restoring the land to public domain. On August 28, 1988, an information was filed
against Governor Paredes in the Sandiganbayan and a warrant for his arrest with fixing
bail. He refused to post bail in “protest against the injustice to him as Governor”. A petition
for habeas corpus was filed by his wife against the Sandiganbayan alleging that the
warrant for her husband’s arrest was void because the preliminary investigation was void,
and, that the crime charged in the information against him had already prescribed. On the
other hand, the Ombudsman argued that the Sandiganbayan was improperly made
respondent in this case because it does not have custody of Governor Paredes.

1. Whether or not the absence of a preliminary investigation affects the court's
jurisdiction over the case.

No. A remedy is that if there is no preliminary investigation and the defendant,
before entering his plea, calls the attention of the court to the absence of a preliminary
investigation, the court, instead of dismissing the information, should conduct such
investigation, order the fiscal to conduct it or remand the case to the inferior court so
that the preliminary investigation may be conducted. Moreover, whether the crime may
still be prosecuted and penalized should be determined in the criminal case not in a
special proceeding of habeas corpus..

U.S. v. Pons 34 PHIL 729

Juan Pons and Gabino Beliso were trading partners. On April 5, 1914, the steamer
Lopez y Lopez arrived in Manila from Spain and it contained 25 barrels of wine. The said
barrels of wine were delivered to Beliso. Beliso subsequently delivered 5barrels to Pons’
house. On the other hand, the customs authorities noticed that the said 25 barrels listed
as wine on record were not delivered to any listed merchant( Beliso not being one). And
so the customs officers conducted an investigation thereby discovering that the 25 barrels
of wine actually contained tins of opium. Since the act of trading and dealing opium is
against Act No. 2381, Pons and Beliso were charged for illegally and fraudulently
importing and introducing such contraband material to the Philippines. Pons appealed the
sentence arguing that Act 2381 was approved while the Philippine Commission
(Congress) was not in session. He said that his witnesses claim that the said law was
passed/approved on 01 March 1914 while the special session of the Commission was
adjourned at12MN on February 28, 1914. Since this is the case, Act 2381 should be null
and void.
Whether or not the SC must go beyond the recitals of the Journals to determine if
Act 2381 was indeed made a law on February 28, 1914.
The SC looked into the Journals to ascertain the date of adjournment but the SC
refused to go beyond the recitals in the legislative Journals. The said Journals are
conclusive on the Court and to inquire into the veracity of the journals of
the Philippine Legislature, when they are, as the SC have said, clear and explicit,
would be to violate both the letter and the spirit of the organic laws by which the Philippine
Government was brought into existence, to invade a coordinate and independent
department of the Government, and to interfere with the legitimate powers and functions
of the Legislature. Pons’ witnesses cannot be given due weight against the
conclusiveness of the Journals which is an act of the legislature. The journals say that the
Legislature adjourned at 12 midnight on February 28, 1914. This settles the question, and
the court did not err in declining to go beyond these journals. The SC passed upon the
conclusiveness of the enrolled bill in this particular case.

Casco Philippine Chemical Co. v. Gimenez 7 SCRA 347

Petitioner Casco Philippine Chemical Co., Inc., which is engaged in the
manufacture of synthetic resin glues, used in bonding lumber and veneer by plywood and
hardwood producers, bought foreign exchange for the importation of urea and
formaldehyde, which are the main raw materials in the production of said glues several
times in November and December 1959, and paid therefor the aforementioned margin
fee aggregating P33,765.42. In May, 1960, petitioner made another purchase of foreign
exchange and paid the sum of P6,345.72 as margin fee therefor. Prior thereto, petitioner
had sought the refund of the first sum and second sum relying upon Resolution No. 1529
of the Monetary Board of said Bank, dated November 3, 1959, declaring that the separate
importation of urea and formaldehyde is exempt from said fee. The Auditor of the Bank,
respondent Pedro Gimenez refused to pass in audit and approve said vouchers, upon the
ground that the exemption granted by the Monetary Board for petitioner's separate
importations of urea and formaldehyde is not in accord with the provisions of section 2,
paragraph XVIII of Republic Act No. 2609.
Whether or not "urea" and "formaldehyde" are exempt by law from the payment of
the aforesaid margin fee.
No, "urea" and "formaldehyde" are not exempt by law from the payment of the
aforesaid margin fee. "urea formaldehyde" is clearly a finished product, which is patently
distinct and different from “urea” and "formaldehyde", as separate articles used in the
manufacture of the synthetic resin known as "urea formaldehyde". Petitioner contends,
however, that the bill approved in Congress contained the copulative conjunction "and"
between the terms "urea" and "formaldehyde", and that the members of Congress
intended to exempt "urea" and "formaldehyde" separately as essential elements in the
manufacture of the synthetic resin glue called "urea" formaldehyde", not the latter as a
finished product, citing in support of this view the statements made on the floor of the
Senate, during the consideration of the bill before said House, by members thereof. But,
said individual statements do not necessarily reflect the view of the Senate. Much less do
they indicate the intent of the House of Representatives.

Arroyo v. De Venecia 277 SCRA 268

Petitioners are members of the House of Representatives. They brought this suit
against respondents Jose de Venecia, Speaker of the House of Representatives,
Deputy Speaker Raul Daza, Majority Leader Rodolfo Albano, the Executive Secretary,
the Secretary of Finance, and the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, charging violation
of the rules of the House which petitioners claim are "constitutionally mandated" so that
their violation is tantamount to a violation of the Constitution.

Rep. Arroyo moved to adjourn for lack of quorum. Rep. Antonio Cuenco objected
to the motion and asked for a head count. After a roll call, the Chair (Deputy Speaker
Raul Daza) declared the presence of a quorum. Rep. Arroyo appealed the ruling of the
Chair, but his motion was defeated when put to a vote. The interpellation of the sponsor
thereafter proceeded.

On the same day, the bill was signed by the Speaker of the House of
Representatives and the President of the Senate and certified by the respective
secretaries of both Houses of Congress as having been finally passed by the House of
Representatives and by the Senate on November 21, 1996. The enrolled bill was signed
into law by President Fidel V. Ramos on November 22, 1996.

Whether or not, R.A. No. 8240 is null and void because it was pass in violation of
the rules of the House.

The Supreme Court finds no ground for holding that congress committed grave
abuse of discretion in enacting Republic Act 8240. It is clear from the facts of the case
that what is alleged to have been violated in the enactment of R.A. 8240 are merely
internal rules of procedure of the House rather than the constitutional requirement for
the enactment of a law, that is, Article VI, Section 26-27 of the 1987 Constitution,
pertaining to the existence of the quorum.

Moreover, under the enrolled bill doctrine, the signing of House No. 7198 by
speaker of the House and President of the Senate and certification by secretaries of
both Houses of Congress that it was passed on November 21, 1996 are conclusive of
its due enactment. In view of the foregoing, the petition for certiorari and prohibition is

Lazatin v. HRET 168 SCRA 391


During the canvassing of votes, Private respondent Lorenzo Timbol objected to the
inclusion of certain election returns. But since the Municipal Board of Canvassers did not rule on
his objections, he brought his case to the Commission on Elections. On May 19, 1987, the
COMELEC ordered the Provincial Board of Canvassers to suspend the proclamation of the
winning candidate for the first district of Pampanga. However, on May 26, 1987, the COMELEC
ordered the Provincial Board of Canvassers to proceed with the canvassing of votes and to
proclaim the winner. On May 27, 1987, petitioner was proclaimed as Congressman-elect. Private
respondent thus filed in the COMELEC a petition to declare petitioners proclamation void ab initio.
Later, private respondent also filed a petition to prohibit petitioner from assuming office. The
COMELEC failed to act on the second petition so petitioner was able to assume office on June
30, 1987. On September 15, 1987, the COMELEC declared petitioner's proclamation void ab
initio. Court set aside the COMELEC's revocation of petitioner's proclamation. On February 8,
1988, private respondent filed in the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal.
Petitioner argued that the private respondent’s protest had been filed late citing Sec 250 of the
Omnibus Election Code. However the HRET filed that the protest had been filed on time in
accordance with Sec 9 of the HRET Rules.


Whether or not the House of Representative Electoral Tribunal has jurisdiction over the case?


Yes, the court ruled that the petitioner’s reliance on Sec 250 of the Omnibus Election Code
is misplaced. The COMELEC’s exclusive original jurisdiction over all contests relating to the
elections, returns and qualifications of all elective regional, provincial and city officials and
appellate jurisdiction over contests relating to the election of municipal and barangay officials [Art.
IX(C), Sec. 2(2)]. expressly makes the Electoral Tribunals of the Senate and the House of
Representatives the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications
of their respective Members [Art. VI, Sec. 17]. The power of the HRET, as the sole judge of all
contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of the Members of the House of
Representatives, to promulgate rules and regulations relative to matters within its jurisdiction,
including the period for filing election protests before it, is beyond dispute. Its rule-making power
necessarily flows from the general power granted it by the Constitution. This is the import of the
ruling in the landmark case of Angara v. Electoral Commission
It is a settled rule of construction that where a general power is conferred or duly enjoined,
every particular power necessary for the exercise of the one or the performance of the other is
also conferred (Cooley, Constitutional Limitations, eighth ed., vol. 1, pp. 138, 139). In the absence
of any further constitutional provision relating to the procedure to be followed in filing protests
before the Electoral Commission, therefore, the incidental power to promulgate such rules
necessary for the proper exercise of its exclusive power to judge all contests relating to the
election, returns and qualifications of members of the National Assembly, must be deemed by
necessary implication to have been lodged also in the Electoral Commission.
The inescapable conclusion from the foregoing is that it is well within the power of the
HRET to prescribe the period within which protests may be filed before it. This is founded not only
on historical precedents and jurisprudence but, more importantly, on the clear language of the
Constitution itself. Consequently, private respondent's election protest having been filed within
the period prescribed by the HRET, the latter cannot be charged with lack of jurisdiction to hear
the case.

Bondoc v. Pineda 201 SCRA 792


In the local and congressional elections held on May 11, 1987, Marciano Pineda of the
LDP and Emigdio Bondoc of the NP were candidates for the position of Representative for the
Fourth District of Pampanga. Pineda was proclaimed winner. Bondoc filed a protest in the House
of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET), which is composed of 9 members, 3 of whom are
Justices of the SC and the remaining 6 are members of the House of Representatives (5 members
belong to the LDP and 1 member is from the NP). Thereafter, a decision had been reached in
which Bondoc won over Pineda. Congressman Camasura of the LDP voted with the SC Justices
and Congressman Cerilles of the NP to proclaim Bondoc the winner of the contest.

On the eve of the promulgation of the Bondoc decision, Congressman Camasura received
a letter informing him that he was already expelled from the LDP for allegedly helping to organize
the Partido Pilipino of Eduardo Cojuangco and for allegedly inviting LDP members in Davao Del
Sur to join said political party. On the day of the promulgation of the decision, the Chairman of
HRET received a letter informing the Tribunal that on the basis of the letter from the LDP, the
House of Representatives decided to withdraw the nomination and rescind the election of
Congressman Camasura to the HRET.


May the House of Representatives, at the request of the dominant political party therein,
change that party's representation in the House Electoral Tribunal to thwart the promulgation of a
decision freely reached by the tribunal in an election contest pending therein?


No. As judges, the members of the tribunal must be non-partisan. They must discharge
their functions with complete detachment, impartiality and independence even independence
from the political party to which they belong. Section 17 of the 1987 Constitution and Section 11
of the 1935 Constitution underscores the exclusive jurisdiction of the House Electoral Tribunal as
judge of contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of the members of the House
of Representatives (Robles vs. House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal, G.R. No. 86647,
February 5, 1990). The tribunal was created to function as a nonpartisan court although two-thirds
of its members are politicians. It is a non-political body in a sea of politicians. Hence, disloyalty to
party and breach of party discipline are not valid grounds for the expulsion of a member of the
tribunal. In expelling Congressman Camasura from the HRET for having cast a “conscience vote”
in favor of Bondoc, based strictly on the result of the examination and appreciation of the ballots
and the recount of the votes by the tribunal, the House of Representatives committed a grave
abuse of discretion, an injustice and a violation of the Constitution. Its resolution of expulsion
against Congressman Camasura is, therefore, null and void.

Chavez v. Comelec 211 SCRA 315


Pimentel v. HRET 393 SCRA 227


On 3 March 1995, the Party-List System Act took effect. This sought to promote
the proportional representation in the election of representatives to the House of
Representatives through a Party-list system in pursuant of Sec. 2 of R.A. 7941.

On 11 May 1998, in accordance with the Party-List System Act, national elections
were held which included, for the first time, the election through popular vote. Proclaimed
winners were 14 party-list representatives from 13 organizations, including APEC, ABA,
COOP-NATCCO, AKBAYAN, and ABANSE. Subsequently, the House constituted its
HRET and CA contingent by electing its representatives to these two constitutional
bodies. From available records, it does not appear that after the May 11, 1998 elections
the party-list groups in the House nominated any of their representatives to the HRET or
the CA. As of the date of filing of the instant petitions, the House contingents to the HRET
and the CA were composed solely of district representatives belonging to the different
political parties.

On January 18, 2000, Senator Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. wrote two letters
addressed to then Senate President Blas F. Ople, as Chairman of the CA, and to
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Jose A. R. Melo (now retired), as Chairman of
the HRET. The letters requested Senate President Ople and Justice Melo to cause the
restructuring of the CA and the HRET, respectively, to include party-list representatives
to conform to Sections 17 and 18, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution.

On February 2, 2000, petitioners filed with this Court their Petitions for Prohibition,
Mandamus and Preliminary Injunction (with Prayer for Temporary Restraining Order)
against the HRET, its Chairman and Members,12 and against the CA, its Chairman and
Members.13 Petitioners contend that, under the Constitution and the Party-List System
Act, party-list representatives should have 1.2 or at least 1 seat in the HRET, 14 and 2.4
seats in the CA.15Petitioners charge that respondents committed grave abuse of
discretion in refusing to act positively on the letter of Senator Pimentel. In its Resolution
of February 8, 2000,16 the Court en banc directed the consolidation of G.R. No. 141490
with G.R. No. 141489.


Whether the present composition of the House Electoral Tribunal violates the
constitutional requirement of proportional representation because there are no party-list
representatives in the HRET.


No. The Constitution expressly grants to the House of Representatives the

prerogative, within constitutionally defined limits, to choose from among its district and
party-list representatives those who may occupy the seats allotted to the House in the
HRET and the CA. Section 18, Article VI of the Constitution explicitly confers on the
Senate and on the House the authority to elect among their members those who would
fill the 12 seats for Senators and 12 seats for House members in the Commission on
Appointments. Under Section 17, Article VI of the Constitution, each chamber of
Congress exercises the power to choose, within constitutionally defined limits, who
among their members would occupy the allotted 6 seats of each chamber’s respective
electoral tribunal.

Rep. Jovito Palparan, Jr. v. HRET, Feb. 11, 2010


Shortly after the elections and after the victory of Jovito Palparan Jr as the
representative of Partylist Bantay, respondent Lesaca and the others with him filed with
respondent HRET a petition for quo warranto against Bantay and its nominee, petitioner
Palparan, in HRET Case 07-040. Lesaca and the others alleged that Palparan was
ineligible to sit in the House of Representatives as party-list nominee because he did not
belong to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors that Bantay represented,
namely, the victims of communist rebels, Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Units
(CAFGUs), former rebels, and security guards. Lesaca and the others said that Palparan
committed gross human rights violations against marginalized and underrepresented
sectors and organizations.


Whether or not Palparan is eligible to represent Bantay in Congress


The court upheld the following provisions:

Sec. 9. Qualification of Party-List Nominees. – No person shall be nominated as

party-list representative unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered
voter, a resident of the Philippines for a period of not less than one (1) year immediately
preceding the day of the election, able to read and write, bona fide member of the party
or organization which he seeks to represent for at least ninety (90) days preceding the
day of the election, and is at least twenty-five (25) years of age on the day of the

In case of a nominee of the youth sector, he must at least be twenty-five (25) but
not more than thirty (30) years of age on the day of the election. Any youth sectoral
representative who attains the age of thirty (30) during his term shall be allowed to
continue until the expiration of his term.
In the cases before the Court, those who challenged the qualifications of
petitioners Abayon and Palparan claim that the two do not belong to the marginalized and
underrepresented sectors that they ought to represent. The Party-List System Act
provides that a nominee must be a "bona fide member of the party or organization which
he seeks to represent.
It is for the HRET to interpret the meaning of this particular qualification of a
nominee—the need for him or her to be a bona fide member or a representative of his
party-list organization—in the context of the facts that characterize petitioners Abayon
and Palparan’s relation to Aangat Tayo and Bantay, respectively, and the marginalized
and underrepresented interests that they presumably embody.

Walden F. Bello v. COMELEC, Dec. 7, 2010

On November 29, 2009, AGPP filed with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) its
Manifestation of Intent to Participate in the May 10, 2010 elections. Subsequently, on
March 23, 2010, AGPP filed its Certificate of Nomination together with the Certificates of
Acceptance of its nominees. COMELEC issued Resolution No. 8807 which prescribed
the rules of procedure applicable to petitions to disqualify a party-list nominee for
purposes of the May 10, 2010 elections. In order not to be disqualified, they must prove
that the party-list group and the nominees truly belong to the marginalized and
underrepresented sector/s, and to the sectoral party, organization, political party or
coalition they seek to represent. Mikey Arroyo was one of the party’s nominees. Here
arose several questions regarding his qualification for, he is not only a member of the
First Family, but is also (a) an incumbent member of the House of Representatives.

Two (2) separate petitions for quo warranto were filed with the House of Representatives
Electoral Tribunal (HRET) questioning Arroyo’s eligibility as AGPP’s representative in the
House of Representatives. On September 7, 2010, the HRET took cognizance of the
petitions by issuing a Summons directing Arroyo to file his Answer to the two petitions.


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


Yes. The consistent judicial holding is that the HRET has jurisdiction to pass upon the
qualifications of party-list nominees after their proclamation and assumption of office; they
are, for all intents and purposes, "elected members" of the House of Representatives
although the entity directly voted upon was their party.

In the present case, it is not disputed that Arroyo, AGPP’s first nominee, has already been
proclaimed and taken his oath of office as a Member of the House of Representatives.
We take judicial notice, too, of the filing of two (2) petitions for quo warranto against
Arroyo, now pending before the HRET. Thus, following the lead of Abayon and Perez, we
hold that the Court has no jurisdiction over the present petitions and that the HRET now
has the exclusive original jurisdiction to hear and rule upon Arroyo’s qualifications as a
Member of the House of Representatives.

Daza v. Singson 180 SCRA 496

The House of representative proportionally apportioned its 12 seats in the
Commission on Appointments among several political parties represented in that
chamber in accordance with Article VI, Section 18, of the Constitution. On the basis of
this development, the House of Representatives revised its representation in the
Commission on Appointments by withdrawing the seat occupied by the herein petitioner,
Raul A. Daza and giving this to the newly-formed LDP. Consequently, the chamber
elected a new set of representatives consisting of the original members except the herein
petitioner and including therein respondent Luis C. Singson as the additional member
from the LDP.
In connection therewith, petitioner came to Supreme Court to challenge his
removal from the Commission on Appointments and the assumption of his seat by the
respondent. Acting initially on his petition for prohibition and injunction with preliminary
injunction, Supreme Court issued a Temporary restraining Order that same day to prevent
both the petitioner and the respondent from serving in the Commission on Appointments.
Petitioner contended that he cannot be removed from the Commission on
Appointments because his election thereto is permanent. He claimed that the
reorganization of the House representation in the said body is not based on a permanent
political realignment because the LDP is not duly registered political party and has not yet
attained political stability.
Whether or not the realignment will validly change the composition of the
Commission on Appointments.
Yes. The core of this controversy is Article VI, Section 18, of the Constitution,
wherein, the Court holds that the respondent has been validly elected as a member of the
Commission on Appointments and is entitled to assume his seat in that body pursuant to
the provision of the aforementioned law.
The House of Representatives has the authority to change its representation in the
Commission on Appointments to reflect at any time the changes that may transpire in the
political alignments of its membership. It is understood that such changes must be
permanent and do not include the temporary alliances or factional divisions not involving
severance of political loyalties or formal disaffiliation and permanent shifts of allegiance
from one political party to another.
The clear constitutional intent behind Section 18, Article VI, of the 1987 Constitution, is to
give the right of representation in the Commission on Appointment only to political parties
who are duly registered with the COMELEC. In this case, LDP was granted its registration
as a political party by the COMELEC.

Coseteng v. Mitra 187 SCRA 377

When Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) was organized it formed the new
majority in the House of Reps. The 80% of the membership of the House then belonged
to LDP. The next largest party in the Coalesced Majority was the Liberal Party (LP).
Kilusan ng Bagong Lipunan (KBL) was the principal opposition party. Thus, the House
representation in the Commission on Appointments (CA) had to be reorganized. CA then
composed of 11 members from the LDP, 1 from LP and another from KBL. Petitioner
Rep. Coseteng, lone member of the Kababaihan Para sa Inang Bayan (KAIBA) party in
the House, contested the validity of their election to the CA on the theory that their election
was violative of the constitutional mandate of proportional representation. She also
argues that the members representing the political parties must be nominated and elected
by their respective political parties. She alleges further that she is qualified to sit in the CA
having the support of 9 other house reps of the minority.
Is the election to the CA violative of Art VI, Sec 18?
No. The validity of the election of the newly elected members of the CA—11 from
LDP and 1 from the minority—is unassailable. There is no doubt that the apportionment
of the House membership in the CA was done on the basis of proportional representation
of the political parties. LDP represented 80% of the House, and was thus entitled to 80%
of the 12 members of the CA (or 10 of 12 members). The remaining 2 seats were given
to the next largest party in the Coalesced Majority and the KBL as the principal opposition
party. There is also no merit in Coseteng’s contention that the House members in the CA
should have been nominated and elected by their respective political parties. It is provided
in Art VI, sec 18 that they be elected by the House (not by their party). And even assuming
arguendo that KAIBA be considered as an opposition party, being its lone member, she
represents less than 1% of the House membership. She cannot be entitled to a seat in
the CA; having the support of 9 other house representatives is inconsequential.

Guingona v. Gonzales 214 SCRA 789; MR 219 SCRA 326

As a result of national elections on May 1992, the Senate was composed by the following
by parties: LDP – IS, NPC– 5, Lakas–
3. Applying the mathematical formula agreed by parties they are entitled to twelve seats.
On the organization of the Senate, Majority Floor Leader Romulo nominated eight
senators for Commission on Appointments. Senator Guingona objected on the
nomination of Osmeña. Petitioner Guingona filed a petition for the issuance of a writ of
prohibition to prohibit the recognition of Senators Romulo and Tañada as the member of
the CA as it is a violation of the rule of proportional representation.
Whether or not the Constitution requires the election and presence of 12 senators in the
No. Constitution does not require the election and presence of twelve (12) senators in
order that the Commission may function. Wherefore, the Court declare the election of
Senator Alberto Romulo and Senator Wigberto Tañada as members of the Commission
on Appointments as null and void for being in violation of the rule on proportional
representation under Section 18 of Article VI of the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines.
Accordingly, a writ of prohibition is hereby issued ordering the said respondents Senator
Romulo and Senator Tañada to desist from assuming, occupying and discharging the
functions of members of the Commission on Appointments; and ordering the respondents
Senate President Neptali Gonzales, in his capacity as ex-officio Chairman of the
Commission on Appointments, to desist from recognizing the membership of the
respondent Senators and from allowing and permitting them from sitting and participating
as members of said Commission.