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In Re: Production of Court Records and Documents and the Attendance of Court officials

and employees as witnesses under the subpoenas of February 10, 2012 and the various letters
for the Impeachment Prosecution Panel dated January 19 and 25, 2012.
[SC Resolution dated February 14, 2012)

WARNING: This digest is super long in particular with the ruling, but every word is
indispensable to the factual milieu of this case. Sorry but I did my best.


During the impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Corona, the list of proposed
witnesses included Justices of the Supreme Court, and Court officials and employees who will
testify on matters, many of which are, internal to the Court. Letters were sent to the SC asking
for the examination of records, and the issuance of certified true copies of the rollos and the
Agenda and Minutes of the Deliberations of various cases decided by the SC for purposes of the
Impeachment Complaint. Subpoena Ad Testificandum et Duces Tecum and Subpoena Ad
Testificandum were also issued against Clerks of Court of the SC.

ISSUE: Whether the letters and subpoenas issued by Prosecution Impeachment Panel should
be favored.

IT DEPENDS. The right to information, by its very nature and by the Constitutions
own terms, is not absolute. Section 11, Rule 136 of the Rules of Court grants access to court
records to any person, subject to payment of fees and compliance with rules; it is not necessary
that the request be made by a party to the case. This is limited by the need to preserve and
protect the integrity of main adjudicative function of the Court and the Judiciary.
Based on the INTERNAL RULES OF THE SUPREME COURT (IRSC) which is applicable
to judges and justices and court officials and employees:

(1) the result of the raffle of
available to the parties and
their counsels (Rule 7, Section
3 of the IRSC)
The cases involve bar matters,
administrative cases and
criminal cases involving
the penalty of life
(2) actions taken in
each case in the Courts
agenda, which are noted by
the Chief Justice or
the Division Chairman
only after the official release
(once the envelope containing
its final copy, addressed to
the parties, has been
transmitted to the process
server for personal service or
to the mailing section of the
Judicial Records Office) of the
resolution embodying the
Court action
may that action be made
available to the public
(3) the deliberations of the
Members in court sessions
on cases and matters
pending before it
traditionally recognized as
communication; a.k.a.
deliberative process

No. 3 above as a privilege can also be raised by other branches of government and is
understood to extend to documents and other communications which are part of or are related
to the deliberative process.
The deliberative process privilege protects from disclosure documents reflecting
advisory opinions, recommendations and deliberations that are component parts of the process
for formulating governmental decisions and policies. Obviously, the privilege may also be
claimed by other court officials and employees when asked to act on these documents and other
To qualify for protection under the deliberative process privilege, the agency must show
that the document is both (1) predecisional (or they were made in the attempt to reach a final
conclusion) and (2) deliberative (or disclosure of the information would discourage candid discussion
within the agency).
These privileges, incidentally, belong to the Judiciary and are for the Supreme Court (as
the representative and entity speaking for the Judiciary), and not for the individual justice,
judge, or court official or employees to waive. Thus, every proposed waiver must be referred
to the Supreme Court for its consideration and approval.
Additionally, two other grounds may be cited for denying access to court records, as
well as preventing members of the bench, from being subjected to compulsory process: (1) the
disqualification by reason of privileged communication and (2) the pendency of an action or
Under existing laws, neither the Impeachment Court nor the Senate has the power to
grant immunity from criminal prosecution for revealing confidential information.
In Senate of the Philippines v. Exec. Sec. Ermita: Unlike the Presidency, judicial power is
vested in a collegial body; hence, each member thereof is exempt (from compulsory process of
other departments) on the basis not only of separation of powers but also on the fiscal
autonomy and the constitutional independence of the judiciary.
To state the rule differently, Justices of the Court cannot be compelled to testify on
matters relating to the internal deliberations and actions of the Court, in the exercise of their
adjudicatory functions and duties. This is to be differentiated from a situation where the
testimony is on a matter which is external to their adjudicatory functions and duties (e.g. a
justice may testify as to the bribery as ground for the impeachment case of another justice since
bribery is not part of adjudicatory function).
Witnesses need not be summoned to testify on matters of public record (required by law
to keep or which it is compelled to keep in the discharge of duties imposed by law). Based on
Section 44, Rule 130: Entries in public or official books or records may be proved by the
production of the books or records themselves or by a copy certified by the legal keeper thereof.
These records, however, may be presented and marked in evidence only where they are not
excluded by reasons of privilege and the other reasons discussed above. The reasons for this
rule are necessity (difficulty in requiring attendance as it will hamper government operations)
and trustworthiness (presumption of regularity of performance of official duty).


In sum, Philippine law (such as Article 229 of the Revised Penal Code, Section 3 (k) of
Republic Act No. 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act), rules and jurisprudence
prohibit the disclosure of confidential or privileged information under well-defined rules. At
the most basic level and subject to the principle of comity/inter-departmental courtesy,
Members of the Court, and Court officials and employees may not be compelled to testify on
matters that are part of the internal deliberations and actions of the Court in the exercise of their
Adjudicatory functions and duties, while testimony on matters external to their adjudicatory
functions and duties may be compelled by compulsory processes.

To summarize these rules, the following are privileged documents or communications,
and are not subject to disclosure:
(1) Court actions such as the result of the raffle of cases and the actions taken by the Court on
each case included in the agenda of the Courts session on acts done material to pending
cases, except where a party litigant requests information on the result of the raffle of the
case, pursuant to Rule 7, Section 3 of the IRSC;
(2) Court deliberations or the deliberations of the Members in court sessions on cases and
matters pending before the Court;
(3) Court records which are predecisional and deliberative in nature, in particular,
documents and other communications which are part of or related to the deliberative
process, i.e., notes, drafts, research papers, internal discussions, internal memoranda,
records of internal deliberations, and similar papers.
(4) Confidential Information secured by justices, judges, court officials and employees in the
course of their official functions, mentioned in (2) and (3) above, are privileged even
after their term of office.
(5) Records of cases that are still pending for decision are privileged materials that cannot be
disclosed, except only for pleadings, orders and resolutions that have been made
available by the court to the general public.

Article VI: The Legislative Department

Section 1. Legislative Power; Non-Delegation

Issues on Delegation of Legislative Power

Complete in itself

Pacific Steam v. LLDA
[G.R. No. 165299, December 18, 2009, 608 SCRA 442]

Petitioner Pacific Steam Laundry, Inc. (PSL) is a company engaged in the business of
laundry services. By not meeting the wastewater standard, Laguna Lake Development
Authority (LLDA) penalized PSL to pay P1,000.00 per day computed from the date of
inspection and a fine of P5,000.00 per year. LLDA then filed a case against PSL for not being
able to correct its violation but subsequently dismissed when it finally was able to comply with
the standard. However, LLDA is demanding for the payment of penalty computed from the
date of inspection to the date of the latest request for reinspection. PSL contends that if
LLDA is deemed to have implied power to impose penalties, then LLDA will have unfettered
discretion to determine for itself the penalties it may impose, which will amount to undue
delegation of legislative power

ISSUE: Whether the grant of implied power to LLDA to impose penalties violate the rule on
non-delegation of legislative powers .

NO. The LLDA has the power to impose fines in the exercise of its function as a
regulatory and quasi-judicial body with respect to pollution cases in the Laguna Lake region.
The executive branch only implements the statute through issuance of PD 984 and EO 927
directing LLDA. The implied powers of LLDA to impose penalties is not restricted in the very
first place in view of Sec. 4 of EO 927. The P1,000 penalty per day is in accordance with the
amount of penalty prescribed under PD 984. Imposing penalties in line with its implied power
does not equate to enacting laws since the law is already present. (NOTE: The decision did not
delve much on the said issue.)

Filling in the details

Pichay v. Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary (authority to reorganize and appropriate
funds for this purpose)
[677 SCRA 408 G.R. No. 196425 July 24, 2012]

President Benigno Simeon Aquino III issued Executive Order No. 13 abolishing the
Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) and transferring its functions to the Office of the
Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs (ODESLA), more particularly to its newly-
established Investigative and Adjudicatory Division (IAD).
Respondent Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima filed before the IAD-ODESLA a
complaint affidavit for grave misconduct against petitioner Prospero A. Pichay, Jr., Chairman of
the Board of Trustees of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), as well as the
incumbent members of the LWUA Board of Trustees which arose from the purchase by the
LWUA shares of stock of Express Savings Bank, Inc.
Petitioner now questions the constitutionality of EO No. 13.

ISSUE #1: Whether EO No. 13 is unconstitutional.

NO. The said abolition and transfer are properly within the prerogative of the President
under his continuing "delegated legislative authority to reorganize" his own office pursuant to
E.O. 292 otherwise known as the Administrative Code of 1987. The law grants this "to achieve
simplicity, economy and efficiency.
Under Section 31 (1) of EO 292, the President can reorganize the Office of the President
Proper (this is defined in Section 22 of EO 292) by abolishing, consolidating or merging units, or
by transferring functions from one unit to another. In contrast, under Section 31 (2) and (3) of
EO 292, the President's power to reorganize offices outside the Office of the President Proper
but still within the Office of the President is limited to merely transferring functions or agencies
from the Office of the President to Departments or Agencies, and vice versa.
When the PAGC was created under E.O. 12, it was composed of a Chairman and two (2)
Commissioners who held the ranks of Presidential Assistant II and I, respectively, and was
placed directly "under the Office of the President." On the other hand, the ODESLA, to which
the functions of the PAGC have now been transferred, is an office within the Office of the
President Proper.

Since both of these offices belong to the Office of the President Proper, the
reorganization by way of abolishing the PAGC and transferring its functions to the ODESLA is
allowable under Section 31 (1) of E.O. 292.
ISSUE #2: Whether the President went beyond the authority granted by E.O. 292 for him to
reorganize the executive department since his issuance of E.O. 13 did not merely involve the
abolition of an office but the creation of one as well.
NO. The abolition of the PAGC did not require the creation of a new, additional and
distinct office as the duties and functions that pertained to the defunct anti-graft body were
simply transferred to the ODESLA, which is an existing office within the Office of the President
Proper. The reorganization required no more than a mere alteration of the administrative
structure of the ODESLA through the establishment of a third division the Investigative and
Adjudicatory Division through which ODESLA could take on the additional functions it has
been tasked to discharge under E.O. 13.
ISSUE #3: Whether there is usurpation of the legislative power to appropriate public funds
since the operational funds of the IAD-ODESLA will be taken from the appropriation of the
Office of the President.
NO. The express recognition under Section 78 of R.A. 9970 or the General
Appropriations Act of 2010 of the Presidents authority to "direct changes in the organizational
units or key positions in any department or agency" recognizes the extent of the Presidents
power to reorganize the executive offices and agencies under him, which is, "even to the extent
of modifying and realigning appropriations for that purpose." He is likewise given
constitutional authority to augment any item in the General Appropriations Law using the
savings in other items of the appropriation for his office. In fact, he is explicitly allowed by law
to transfer any fund appropriated for the different departments, bureaus, offices and agencies of
the Executive Department which is included in the General Appropriations Act, to any
program, project or activity of any department, bureau or office included in the General
Appropriations Act or approved after its enactment.
Thus, while there may be no specific amount earmarked for the IAD-ODESLA from the
total amount appropriated by Congress in the annual budget for the Office of the President, the
necessary funds for the IAD-ODESLA may be properly sourced from the President's own office
budget without committing any illegal appropriation.

Arroyo v. DOJ (collaboration of two committees)
[681 SCRA 181 G.R. No. 199082 July 23, 2013]

The Comelec and the DOJ issued Joint Order No. 001-2011 creating and constituting a
Joint Committee and Fact-Finding Team (referred to as Joint Panel) on the 2004 and 2007
National Elections electoral fraud and manipulation cases. The Joint Committee was mandated
to conduct the necessary preliminary investigation on the basis of the evidence gathered and the
charges recommended by the Fact-Finding Team.
The Joint Committee promulgated a Joint Resolution which was later indorsed to the
Comelec. The Comelec en banc issued a Resolution approving and adopting the Joint
Resolution subject to modifications. The Comelec resolved, among others, that an information
for electoral sabotage be filed against petitioners.
Petitioners questions the constitutionality of the Joint Committee on the ground that
Comelec has the exclusive power to investigate and prosecute cases of violations of election
laws under the BP 881 or the Omnibus Election Code. The SC already declared the
constitutionality of the Joint-Committee and its proceedings. Hence, this two separate MRs.

ISSUE: Whether the Comelec has the exclusive power to investigate and prosecute cases of
violations of election laws.

NO. Under the present law (Section 43 of RA 9369 amending BP 881), the Comelec and
other prosecuting arms of the government, such as the DOJ, now exercise concurrent
jurisdiction in the investigation and prosecution of election offenses.
There is no prohibition on simultaneous exercise of power between two coordinate
bodies. What is prohibited is the situation where one files a complaint against a respondent
initially with one office (such as the Comelec) for preliminary investigation which was
immediately acted upon by said office and the re-filing of substantially the same complaint with
another office (such as the DOJ). The body or agency that first takes cognizance of the
complaint shall exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of the others.
There is no conflict since the preliminary investigation was conducted by only one
investigative body. The Joint Committee is necessary in this case given the magnitude of the
crimes allegedly committed by petitioners. The joint preliminary investigation also serves to
maximize the resources and manpower of both the Comelec and the DOJ for the prompt
disposition of the cases. Moreover, the Comelec and the DOJ nevertheless included a provision
in the assailed Joint Order whereby the resolutions of the Joint Committee finding probable
cause for election offenses shall still be approved by the Comelec in accordance with the
Comelec Rules of Procedure upholding the independence of Comelec.

Undue Delegation

[GR 178193 January 24, 2012]

Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) purchased 72.2% (7.22% belongs to Cojuangco, Jr.
and 64.98% to PCA for the benefit of the farmers) of FUBs (later became UCPB) outstanding
capital stock. The PCA appropriated, out of its own fund, an amount for the purchase of the
said 72.2% equity, albeit it would later reimburse itself from the coconut levy fund. Thus, Pres.
Marcos issued P.D. No. 755 directing, as earlier narrated, PCA to use the coco levy funds to
acquire a commercial bank to provide coco farmers with readily available credit facilities at
preferential rate, and PCA to distribute, for free, the bank shares to coconut farmers.
The UCPB shares were originally registered in the name of PCA and were distributed in
the individual names of the coconut farmers in accordance with PD 755 and the IRR that PCA
issued. However, undistributed shares resulted prompting PCA to pass resolutions to
distribute the undistributed shares to (a) farmers who were already recipients thereof and (b)
qualified farmers to be identified by COCOFED after a national census. In the advent of the
EDSA Revolution, the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) filed a
sequestration suit in the Sandiganbayan which declared that the 64.98% sequestered Farmers
UCPB shares, plus other shares paid by PCA are conclusively owned by the Republic on the
ground that PD 755 is unconstituional.

ISSUE: Whether Section 1 of PD No. 755 constitutes an undue delegation of legislative power
insofar as it authorizes the PCA to promulgate rules and regulations governing the distribution
of the UCPB shares to the farmers.

YES. Two tests determine the validity of delegation of legislative power: (1) the
completeness test and (2) the sufficient standard test.
In the instant case, the requisite standards or criteria are absent in P.D. No. 755. As may
be noted, the decree authorizes the PCA to distribute to coconut farmers, for free, the shares of
stocks of UCPB. Yet, the decree does not even state who are to be considered as coconut
farmers. The definition of a coconut farmer and the basis as to the number of shares a farmer is
entitled to receive for free are important variables to be determined by law and cannot be left
to the discretion of the implementing agency.
P.D. No. 755 did not provide for any guideline, standard, condition or restriction by
which the said shares shall be distributed to the coconut farmers that would ensure that the
same will be undertaken to accelerate the growth and development of the coconut industry
pursuant to its national policy.
Being unconstitutional, there is no need to discuss whether the UCPB shares are ill-
gotten wealth.

Executive Misapplication

Mere Directive

Dagan v. PRC (Philippine Racing Commission)
[578 SCRA 585 G.R. No. 175220 February 12, 2009]


The controversy stemmed from a directive issued by the Philippine Racing Commission
(Philracom) directing the Manila Jockey Club, Inc. (MJCI) and Philippine Racing Club, Inc.
(PRCI) to immediately come up with their respective Clubs House Rule to address Equine
Infectious Anemia (EIA) problem and to rid their facilities of horses infected with EIA. Sadi
directive was pursuant to Administrative Order No. 5 by the Department of Agriculture.
In compliance with the directive, MJCI and PRCI ordered the owners of racehorses
stable in their establishments to submit the horses to blood sampling and administration of the
Coggins Test to determine whether they are afflicted with the EIA virus. Philracom issued
copies of the guidelines for the monitoring and eradication of EIA.
Petitioners who are horse owners in the clubs refused to comply with the directives and
aver that the Philracom guidelines are ultra vires in that the sanctions imposed for refusing to
submit to medical examination are summary eviction from the stables or arbitrary banning of
participation in the races, notwithstanding the penalties prescribed in the contract of lease.

ISSUE #1: Whether Philracom had unconstitutionally delegated its rule-making power to PRCI
and MJCI in issuing the directive for them to come up with club rules.

NO. Clearly, there is a proper legislative delegation of rule-making power to Philracom.
Clearly too, for its part Philracom has exercised its rule-making power in a proper and
reasonable manner. More specifically, its discretion to rid the facilities of MJCI and PRCI of
horses afflicted with EIA is aimed at preserving the security and integrity of horse races.
As correctly proferred by MJCI, its duty is not derived from the delegated authority of
Philracom but arises from the franchise granted to them by Congress.
The validity of an administrative issuance, such as the assailed guidelines, hinges on
compliance with the following requisites:
1. Its promulgation must be authorized by the legislature;
2. It must be promulgated in accordance with the prescribed procedure;
3. It must be within the scope of the authority given by the legislature;
4. It must be reasonable.
There is no delegation of power to speak of between Philracom, as the delegator and
MJCI and PRCI as delegates. The Philracom directive is merely instructive in character.
Philracom had instructed PRCI and MJCI to "immediately come up with Clubs House Rule to
address the problem and rid their facilities of horses infected with EIA." PRCI and MJCI
followed-up when they ordered the racehorse owners to submit blood samples and subject their
race horses to blood testing. Compliance with the Philracoms directive is part of the mandate of
ISSUE #2: Whether Philracoms guidelines have no force and effect for lack of publication and
failure to file copies with the University of the Philippines (UP) Law Center as required by law.
NO. As a rule, the issuance of rules and regulations in the exercise of an administrative
agency of its quasi-legislative power does not require notice and hearing. In Abella, Jr. v. Civil
Service Commission, this Court had the occasion to rule that prior notice and hearing are not
essential to the validity of rules or regulations issued in the exercise of quasi-legislative powers
since there is no determination of past events or facts that have to be established or ascertained.
While it is conceded that the guidelines were issued a month after Philracoms directive,
this circumstance does not render the directive nor the guidelines void. The directives validity
and effectivity are not dependent on any supplemental guidelines. Philracom has every right to
issue directives to MJCI and PRCI with respect to the conduct of horse racing, with or without
implementing guidelines.
Section 5. Composition of the House of Representatives; Apportionment; Party List

Ang Ladlad v. COMELEC
[GR 190582 April 8, 2010]

Ang Ladlad is an organization composed of men and women who identify themselves as
lesbians, gays, bisexuals, or trans-gendered individuals (LGBTs). It applied registration with the
COMELEC which dismissed it on moral grounds for it tolerates immorality which offends religious
beliefs. Also, the COMELEC denied Ang Ladlads application for registration on the ground that the
LGBT sector is neither enumerated in the Constitution and RA 7941, nor is it associated with or related
to any of the sectors in the enumeration. Ang Ladlad argued that the denial of accreditation, insofar as it
justified the exclusion by using religious dogma, violated the constitutional guarantees against the
establishment of religion.

ISSUE: Whether COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion.

YES. In Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party v. Commission on Elections, the enumeration of
marginalized and under-represented sectors is not exclusive. The crucial element is not whether a
sector is specifically enumerated, but whether a particular organization complies with the requirements
of the Constitution and RA 7941.
Moral disapproval, without more, is not a sufficient governmental interest to justify exclusion of
homosexuals from participation in the party-list system. The denial of Ang Ladlads registration on
purely moral grounds amounts more to a statement of dislike and disapproval of homosexuals, rather
than a tool to further any substantial public interest.
No law exists to criminalize homosexual behavior or expressions or parties about homosexual

LAYUG V. COMELEC (jurisdiction of COMELEC over determination of party-list
[666 SCRA 321 G.R. No. 192984 February 28, 2012]

Petitioner Rolando D. Layug (Layug), in his capacity as a taxpayer and concerned
citizen, filed a Petition to Disqualify Buhay Party-List from participating in the May 10, 2010
elections, and Brother Mike from being its nominee.
He argued that Buhay Party-List is a mere extension of the El Shaddai, which is a
religious sect. As such, it is disqualified from being a party-list under Section 5, Paragraph 2,
Article VI of the 1987 Constitution,

as well as Section 6, Paragraph 1 of RA No. 7941, otherwise
known as the Party-List System Act. Neither does Brother Mike, who is allegedly a billionaire
real estate businessman and the spiritual leader of El Shaddai, qualify as one who belongs to
the marginalized and underrepresented sector xxx, as required of party-list nominees under
Section 6 (7) of COMELEC Resolution No. 8807.
COMELEC denied the petition and, there being no motion for reconsideration filed
within the reglementary period, said Resolution was declared final and executory. MR having
been denied; hence, this petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 where respondents assail the
jurisdiction of the Court arguing that, with the proclamation of Buhay Party-List on July 30,
2010 and the assumption into office of its representatives, Mariano Michael DM. Velarde, Jr. and
William Irwin C. Tieng, it is now the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) that
has the sole and exclusive jurisdiction over questions relating to their qualifications..

ISSUE: Whether the HRET has jurisdiction. (THIS CASE DID NOT MAKE IN ISSUE THE

NO. Section 5 (1) of the same Article identifies who the "members" of the House are: (1)
members who shall be elected from legislative districts; and (2) those who shall be elected
through a party-list system of registered national, regional, and sectoral parties or
In this case, Buhay Party-List was entitled to two seats in the House that went to its first
two nominees, Mariano Michael DM. Velarde, Jr. and William Irwin C. Tieng. On the other
hand, Brother Mike, being the fifth nominee, did not get a seat and thus had not become a
member of the House of Representatives. Indubitably, the HRET has no jurisdiction over the
issue of Brother Mike's qualifications.
Neither does the HRET have jurisdiction over the qualifications of Buhay Party-List, as
it is vested by law, specifically, the Party-List System Act, upon the COMELEC.
Thus, it is the Court, under its power to review decisions, orders, or resolutions of the
COMELEC provided under Section 7, Article IX-A of the 1987 Constitution

and Section 1, Rule
37 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure that has jurisdiction to hear the instant petition.

Rules on Apportionment

Aquino v. COMELEC. GR 189793, April 7, 2010 (par. 3 and 4) THIS CASE HAD BEEN