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Morales v subido 26 SCRA 150 Political Law

The Legislative Department Journals vs


Enrolled Bill

No person may be appointed chief of a


city police agency unless he holds a
bachelors degree and has served
either in the Armed Forces of the
Philippines or the National Bureau of
Investigation or police department of
any city and has held the rank of
captain or its equivalent therein for at
least three years or any high school
graduate who has served the police
department of a city or who has served
as officer of the Armed Forces for at
least 8 years with the rank of captain
and/or higher.

Enrique Morales has served as captain in the


police department of a city for at least three
years but does not possess a bachelors
degree. Morales was the chief of detective
bureau of the Manila Police Department and
holds the rank of lieutenant colonel. He began
his career in 1934 as patrolman and gradually
rose to his present position. Upon the
resignation of the former Chief, Morales was
designated acting chief of police of Manila and,
at the same time, given a provisional
appointment to the same position by the
mayor
of
Manila.
Abelardo
Subido,
Commissioner of Civil Service, approved the
designation of Morales as acting chief but
rejected his appointment for failure to meet
the minimum educational and civil service
eligibility requirements for the said position.
Instead, Subido certified other persons as
qualified for the post. Subido invoked Section
10 of the Police Act of 1966, which Section
reads:

Morales argued that the above version was the


one which was actually approved by Congress
but when the bill emerged from the conference
committee the only change made in the
provision was the insertion of the phrase or
has served as chief of police with exemplary
record. Morales went on to support his case by
producing copies of certified photostatic copy
of a memorandum which according to him was
signed by an employee in the Senate bill
division, and can be found attached to the
page proofs of the then bill being deliberated
upon.

Minimum qualification for appointment


as Chief of Police Agency. No person
may be appointed chief of a city police
agency unless he holds a bachelors
degree from a recognized institution of
learning and has served either in the
Armed Forces of the Philippines or the
National Bureau of Investigation, or has
served as chief of police with
exemplary record, or has served in the
police department of any city with rank
of captain or its equivalent therein for
at least three years; or any high school
graduate who has served as officer in
the Armed Forces for at least eight
years with the rank of captain and/or
higher.

ISSUE: Whether or not the SC must look upon


the history of the bill, thereby inquiring upon
the journals, to look searchingly into the
matter.

HELD: No. The enrolled Act in the office of the


legislative secretary of the President of the
Philippines shows that Section 10 is exactly as
it is in the statute as officially published in slip
form by the Bureau of Printing. The SC cannot
go behind the enrolled Act to discover what
really happened. The respect due to the other
branches of the Government demands that the
SC act upon the faith and credit of what the
officers of the said branches attest to as the
official acts of their respective departments.
Otherwise the SC would be cast in the
unenviable and unwanted role of a sleuth
trying to determine what actually did happen in
the labyrinth of lawmaking, with consequent
impairment of the integrity of the legislative
process.

Nowhere in the above provision is it provided


that a person who has served the police
department of a city can be qualified for
said office. Morales however argued that when
the said act was being deliberated upon, the
approved version was actually the following:

The SC is not of course to be understood as


holding that in all cases the journals must yield
to the enrolled bill. To be sure there are certain
matters which the Constitution expressly
requires must be entered on the journal of each
house. To what extent the validity of a
legislative act may be affected by a failure to
have such matters entered on the journal, is a
question which the SC can decide upon but is
not currently being confronted in the case at
bar hence the SC does not now decide. All the
SC holds is that with respect to matters not
expressly required to be entered on the journal,
the enrolled bill prevails in the event of any
discrepancy.

Astorga v Villegas 1

Astorga maintains that the RA is still valid and


binding and that the withdrawal of the
concerned signatures does not invalidate the
statute. Astorga further maintains that the
attestation of the presiding officers of Congress
is conclusive proof of a bills due enactment.

56 SCRA 714 Political Law The Legislative


Department Journal;When to be Consulted

In 1964, Antonio Villegas (then Mayor of


Manila) issued circulars to the department
heads and chiefs of offices of the city
government as well as to the owners, operators
and/or managers of business establishments in
Manila to disregard the provisions of Republic
Act No. 4065. He likewise issued an order to
the Chief of Police to recall five members of the
city police force who had been assigned to
then Vice-Mayor Herminio Astorga (assigned
under authority of RA 4065).

ISSUE: Whether or not RA 4065 was validly


enacted.

HELD: No. The journal of the proceedings of


each House of Congress is no ordinary record.
The Constitution requires it. While it is true that
the journal is not authenticated and is subject
to the risks of misprinting and other errors, the
journal can be looked upon in this case. The SC
is merely asked to inquire whether the text of
House Bill No. 9266 signed by the President
was the same text passed by both Houses of
Congress. Under the specific facts and
circumstances of this case, the SC can do this
and resort to the Senate journal for the
purpose. The journal discloses that substantial
and lengthy amendments were introduced on
the floor and approved by the Senate but were
not incorporated in the printed text sent to the
President and signed by him. Note however
that the SC is not asked to incorporate such
amendments into the alleged law but only to
declare that the bill was not duly enacted and
therefore did not become law. As done by both
the President of the Senate and the Chief
Executive, when they withdrew their signatures
therein, the SC also declares that the bill
intended to be as it is supposed to be was
never made into law. To perpetuate that error
by disregarding such rectification and holding
that the erroneous bill has become law would
be to sacrifice truth to fiction and bring about
mischievous consequences not intended by the
law-making body.

Astorga reacted against the steps carried out


by Villegas. He then filed a petition for
Mandamus, Injunction and/or Prohibition with
Preliminary
Mandatory
and
Prohibitory
Injunction to compel Villegas et al and the
members of the municipal board to comply
with the provisions of RA 4065 (filed with the
SC). In his defense, Villegas denied recognition
of RA 4065 (An Act Defining the Powers, Rights
and Duties of the Vice-Mayor of the City of
Manila) because the said law was considered to
have never been enacted. When the this said
law passed the 3rd reading in the lower
house as House Bill No. 9266, it was sent to the
Senate which referred it to the Committee on
Provinces and Municipal Governments and
Cities headed by then Senator Roxas. Some
minor amendments were made before the bill
was referred back to the Senate floor for
deliberations. During such deliberations, Sen.
Tolentino made significant amendments which
were subsequently approved by the Senate.
The bill was then sent back to the lower house
and was thereafter approved by the latter. The
bill was sent to the President for approval and
it became RA 4065. It was later found out
however that the copy signed by the Senate
President, sent to the lower house for approval
and sent to the President for signing was the
wrong version. It was in fact the version that
had no amendments thereto. It was not the
version as amended by Tolentino and as validly
approved by the Senate. Due to this fact, the
Senate president and the President of the
Philippines withdrew and invalidated their
signatures that they affixed on the said law.

Astorga v Villegas 2 G.R. No. L-23475, April 30,


1974

ISSUES:
Whether or not RA 4065 was passed into law
Whether or not the entries in the journal should
prevail over the enrolled bill

Enrolled Bill Doctrine: As the President has no


authority to approve a bill not passed by
Congress, an enrolled Act in the custody of the
Secretary of State, and having the official
attestations of the Speaker of the House of
Representatives, of the President of the Senate,
and of the Chief Executive, carries, on its face,
a solemn assurance by the legislative and
executive departments of the government,
charged, respectively, with the duty of
enacting and executing the laws, that it was
passed by Congress.

RULING:

Rationale of the Enrolled Bill Theory

The rationale of the enrolled bill theory is set


forth in the said case of Field vs. Clark as
follows:

Approval of Congress, not signatures of the


officers, is essential
When courts may turn to the journal: Absent
such attestation as a result of the disclaimer,
and consequently there being no enrolled bill
to speak of, the entries in the journal should be
consulted.

The signing by the Speaker of the House of


Representatives, and, by the President of the
Senate, in open session, of an enrolled bill, is
an official attestation by the two houses of
such bill as one that has passed Congress. It is
a declaration by the two houses, through their
presiding officers, to the President, that a bill,
thus attested, has received, in due form, the
sanction of the legislative branch of the
government, and that it is delivered to him in
obedience to the constitutional requirement
that all bills which pass Congress shall be
presented to him. And when a bill, thus
attested, receives his approval, and is
deposited
in
the
public
archives,
its
authentication as a bill that has passed
Congress should be deemed complete and
unimpeachable. As the President has no
authority to approve a bill not passed by
Congress, an enrolled Act in the custody of the
Secretary of State, and having the official
attestations of the Speaker of the House of
Representatives, of the President of the Senate,
and of the President of the United States,
carries, on its face, a solemn assurance by the
legislative and executive departments of the
government, charged, respectively, with the
duty of enacting and executing the laws, that it
was passed by Congress. The respect due to
coequal and independent departments requires
the judicial department to act upon that
assurance, and to accept, as having passed
Congress, all bills authenticated in the manner
stated; leaving the courts to determine, when
the question properly arises, whether the Act,
so authenticated, is in conformity with the
Constitution.

FACTS:

House Bill No. 9266, a bill of local application,


was filed in the House of Representatives and
then sent to the Senate for reading. During
discussion at the Senate, Senator Tolentino and
Senator Roxas recommended amendments
thereto. Despite the fact that it was the
Tolentino amendment that was approved and
the Roxas amendment not even appearing in
the journal, when Senate sent its certification
of amendment to the House, only the Roxas
amendment was included, not the Tolentino
amendment.
Nevertheless,
the
House
approved the same. Printed copies were then
certified and attested by the Secretary of the
House of Reps, the Speaker, the Secretary of
the Senate and the Senate President, and sent
to the President of the Philippines who thereby
approved the same. The Bill thus was passed
as RA 4065. However, when the error was
discovered, both the Senate President and the
Chief Executive withdrew their signatures.

Houses of Congress. Under the specific facts


and circumstances of this case, this Court can
do this and resort to the Senate journal for the
purpose. The journal discloses that substantial
and lengthy amendments were introduced on
the floor and approved by the Senate but were
not incorporated in the printed text sent to the
President and signed by him. This Court is not
asked to incorporate such amendments into
the alleged law, which admittedly is a risky
undertaking, but to declare that the bill was
not duly enacted and therefore did not become
law. This We do, as indeed both the President
of the Senate and the Chief Executive did,
when they withdrew their signatures therein. In
the face of the manifest error committed and
subsequently rectified by the President of the
Senate and by the Chief Executive, for this
Court to perpetuate that error by disregarding
such rectification and holding that the
erroneous bill has become law would be to
sacrifice truth to fiction and bring about
mischievous consequences not intended by the
law-making body

It may be noted that the enrolled bill theory is


based mainly on "the respect due to coequal
and independent departments," which requires
the judicial department "to accept, as having
passed Congress, all bills authenticated in the
manner stated." Thus it has also been stated in
other cases that if the attestation is absent and
the same is not required for the validity of a
statute, the courts may resort to the journals
and other records of Congress for proof of its
due enactment. This was the logical conclusion
reached in a number of decisions, although
they are silent as to whether the journals may
still be resorted to if the attestation of the
presiding officers is present.

Approval of Congress, not signatures of the


officers, is essential

As far as Congress itself is concerned, there is


nothing sacrosanct in the certification made by
the presiding officers. It is merely a mode of
authentication. The lawmaking process in
Congress ends when the bill is approved by
both Houses, and the certification does not add
to the validity of the bill or cure any defect
already present upon its passage. In other
words it is the approval by Congress and not
the signatures of the presiding officers that is
essential.

When courts may turn to the journal

Absent such attestation as a result of the


disclaimer, and consequently there being no
enrolled bill to speak of, what evidence is there
to determine whether or not the bill had been
duly enacted? In such a case the entries in the
journal should be consulted.

The journal of the proceedings of each House


of Congress is no ordinary record. The
Constitution requires it. While it is true that the
journal is not authenticated and is subject to
the risks of misprinting and other errors, the
point is irrelevant in this case. This Court is
merely asked to inquire whether the text of
House Bill No. 9266 signed by the Chief
Executive was the same text passed by both

Arroyo v De Venecia

in excess of its power and would itself be guilty


of grave abuse of its discretion were it to do so.
The suggestion made in a case may instead
appropriately be made here: petitioners can
seek the enactment of a new law or the repeal
or amendment of R.A. No. 8240. In the absence
of anything to the contrary, the Court must
assume that Congress or any House thereof
acted in the good faith belief that its conduct
was permitted by its rules, and deference
rather than disrespect is due the judgment of
that body.

Facts:
Petitioners are members of the House
of Representatives.
They brought
this
suit against respondents 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. In the course of his interpellation,
Rep. Arroyo announced that he was going to
raise a question on the quorum, although until
the end of his interpellation he never did. 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.

In view of what is essential:


Merely internal rules of procedure of the House
rather than constitutional requirements for the
enactment of a law, i.e., Art.VI, 26-27 are
VIOLATED .First, in Osmea v. Pendatun, it was
held: "At any rate, courts have declared that
'the rules adopted by deliberative bodies are
subject to revocation, modification or waiver
at the pleasure of the body adopting them.'
And it has been said that' Parliamentary rules
are merely procedural, and with their
observance, the courts have no concern. They
may be waived or disregarded by the
legislative body.' Consequently, 'mere failure
to conform to parliamentary usage will not
invalidate the action (taken by a deliberative
body) when the requisite number of members
have agreed to a particular measure.' "Rules
are hardly permanent in character. The
prevailing view is that they are subject to
revocation, modification or waiver at the
pleasure of the body adopting them as they are
primarily procedural. Courts ordinarily have no
concern with their observance. They may be
waived or disregarded by the legislative
body. Consequently, mere failure to conform
to them does not have the effect of
nullifying the act taken if the requisite
numbers of members have agreed to a
particular measure.

Issue:
Whether R.A. No. 8240 is null and void because
it was passed in violation of the rules of the
House; Whether the certification of Speaker De
Venecia that the law was properly passed is
false and spurious; Whether the Chair, in the
process of submitting and certifying the law
violated House Rules; and Whether a
certiorari/prohibition will be granted.
Held:
That after considering the arguments of the
parties, the Court finds no ground for holding
that Congress committed a grave abuse of
discretion in enacting R.A. No. 8240 This case
is therefore dismissed.
Ratio:
To disregard the "enrolled bill" rule in
such cases would be to disregard the respect
due the other two departments of our
government. It would be an unwarranted
invasion of the prerogative of a coequal
department for this Court either to set aside a
legislative action as void because the Court
thinks the House has disregarded its own rules
of procedure, or to allow those defeated in the
political arena to seek a rematch in the judicial
forum when petitioners can find their remedy
in that department itself. The Court has not
been invested with a roving commission to
inquire into complaints, real or imagined,
of legislative skulduggery. It would be acting

In view of the Courts jurisdiction


This Court's function is merely to check
whether or not the governmental branch or
agency has gone beyond the constitutional
limits of its jurisdiction, not that it erred or
has a different view. In the absence of a
showing . . . of grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack of jurisdiction, there is
no occasion for the Court to exercise its
corrective power. . . . It has no power to look
into what it thinks is apparent error. If, then,

the established rule is that courts cannot


declare an act of the legislature void on
account merely of noncompliance with rules
of procedure made by itself, it follows that
such a case does not present a situation
in which a branch of the government has
"gone beyond the constitutional limits
of its jurisdiction"

certification by the secretaries of both Houses


of Congress that it was passed on November
21,
1996
are conclusive
of
its
due
enactment. This Court quoted from Wigmore
on Evidence
the following
excerpt
which
embodies good, if old-fashioned democratic
theory: Instead of trusting a faithful Judiciary
to check an inefficient Legislature, they should
turn to improve the Legislature. The sensible
solution is not to patch and mend casual errors
by asking the Judiciary to violate legal principle
and to do impossibilities with the Constitution;
but to represent ourselves with competent,
careful, and honest legislators, the work
of whose hands on the statute-roll may come
to reflect credit upon the name of popular
government.

In view of House Rules:


No rule of the House of Representatives has
been cited which specifically requires that
in cases such as this involving approval of
a conference committee report, the Chair must
restate the motion and conduct a viva voce or
nominal voting. Mr. TOLENTINO. The fact that
nobody objects means a unanimous action of
the House. Insofar as the matter of procedure
is concerned, this has been a precedent since I
came here seven years ago, and it has been
the procedure in this House that if somebody
objects, then a debate follows and after the
debate, then the voting comes in. Nor does the
Constitution require that the yeas and the nays
of the Members be taken every time a House
has to vote, except only in the following
instances: upon the last and third readings
of a bill, at the request of one-fifth of the
Members present, and in re-passing a bill
over the veto of the President.

(In view
PUNO, J)

of

justifiability

according

to

With due respect, I do not agree that the


issues posed by the petitioner are nonjustifiable
. Nor do I agree that we will trivialize the
principle of separation of power if we
assume jurisdiction over the case at bar. Even
in the United States, the principle of separation
of power is no longer an impregnable
impediment against the interposition of judicial
power on cases involving breach of rules of
procedure
by legislators. The
Constitution
empowers each house to determine its rules
of proceedings. It may not by its rules ignore
constitutional restraints or violate fundamental
rights, and there should be a reasonable
relation between the mode or method
of proceedings established by the rule and the
result which is sought to be attained. But within
these limitations all matters of method are
open to the determination of the House, and it
is no impeachment of the rule to say that some
other way would be better, more accurate, or
even more just.

In view of grave abuse


Indeed, the phrase "grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction" has
a settled meaning in the jurisprudence of
procedure. It means such capricious and
whimsical exercise of judgment by a tribunal
exercising judicial or quasi judicial power as
to amount to lack of power.

In view of the enrolled bill doctrine


Under the enrolled bill doctrine, the signing of
H. No. 7198 by the Speaker of the House and
the President of the Senate and the