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DOCTRINE OF SEPARATION OF POWERS

Originally suggested by Aristotle in his treatise on Politics, and later on recognized by Marsiglio of Padua, Cromwell, Locke and Montesquieu, the doctrine of
separation enunciates the idea of grouping the powers of government into three classes and of their apportionment among three coordinate departments,
separate from and independent of each other.
This doctrine is being carried out until this modern day that it is now incorporated in the constitutions of many states. Among which is the United States of
America. Kilbourne vs. Thompson, 103 US 168, 190, 25L.ed. 377, ruled:
It operates to maintain the legislative powers to the legislative department, executive powers to the executive department, and those which are judicial in
character to the judiciary. Through this allocation of powers, the person entrusted shall not be permitted to encroach upon the power confided to the others,
but that each shall, by the law of its creation, be limited to the exercise of the powers appropriate to its own department and no other. There must be
independence and equity of the several departments.

In essence, the separation of powers means that the making of the laws belongs to Congress, the execution of the laws is to the executive and the settlement
of controversies rests in the Judiciary. Each is prevented from invading the domain of the others. The purpose of the separation of powers is to prevent
concentration of authority in one department and thereby avoid tyranny.
The separation of powers however should not be interpreted as complete separation and absolute exclusion. The doctrine carries that although the three
branches are not subject to the control by either of the others and each is supreme within its own sphere, they are still equal and coordinate. Equal because
they all derive their powers from the same common sovereign through the constitution. And coordinate because they cannot simply ignore the acts done by
other departments as nugatory and not binding
If there are certain differences, a Bicameral Conference Committee is called to reconcile conflicting provisions of both versions of the Senate and of the
House of Representatives. Conference committee submits report on the reconciled version of the bill, duly approved by both chambers.
"Separation of powers" means that no one person or government agency has the power to do anything entirely on its own. Each branch of the government has "checks and
balances" against the other branches.

The enrolled bill rule is a principle of judicial interpretation of rules of procedure in legislative bodies. Under the doctrine, once a bill passes a legislative body and is signed into
law, the courts assume that all rules of procedure in the enactment process were properly followed.

Arroyo vs. De Venecia G.R. No. 127255, August 14, 1997


Facts: A petition was filed challenging the validity of RA 8240, which amends certain provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code. Petitioners, who are
members of the House of Representatives, charged that there is 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.
The law originated in the House of Representatives. The Senate approved it with certain amendments. A bicameral conference committee was formed to
reconcile the disagreeing provisions of the House and Senate versions of the bill. The bicameral committee submitted its report to the House. During the
interpellations, Rep. Arroyo made an interruption and moved to adjourn for lack of quorum. But after a roll call, the Chair declared the presence of a quorum.
The interpellation then proceeded. After Rep. Arroyos interpellation of the sponsor of the committee report, Majority Leader Albano moved for the approval
and ratification of the conference committee report. The Chair called out for objections to the motion. Then the Chair declared: There being none, approved.
At the same time the Chair was saying this, Rep. Arroyo was asking, What is thatMr. Speaker? The Chair and Rep. Arroyo were talking simultaneously.
Thus, although Rep. Arroyo subsequently objected to the Majority Leaders motion, the approval of the conference committee report had by then already been
declared by the Chair.
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. The enrolled bill was signed into law by President Ramos.
Issue: Whether or not RA 8240 is null and void because it was passed in violation of the rules of the House
Held:
Rules of each House of Congress are hardly permanent in character. 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 number of members has
agreed to a particular measure. But this is subject to qualification. Where the construction to be given to a rule affects person other than members of the
legislative body, the question presented is necessarily judicial in character. Even its validity is open to question in a case where private rights are involved.
In the case, no rights of private individuals are involved but only those of a member who, instead of seeking redress in the House, chose to transfer the
dispute to the Court.
The matter complained of concerns a matter of internal procedure of the House with which the Court should not be concerned. The claim is not that there was

no quorum but only that Rep. Arroyo was effectively prevented from questioning the presence of a quorum. Rep. Arroyos earlier motion to adjourn for lack of
quorum had already been defeated, as the roll call established the existence of a quorum. The question of quorum cannot be raised repeatedly especially
when the quorum is obviously present for the purpose of delaying the business of the House.