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A. Constitution: definition, nature and concepts

Political Law

That branch of public law which deals with the organization and operation of the
government organs of the state and defines the relations of the state with the inhabitants of its
territory. (Macariola vs Asuncion 114 SCRA 77)

Scope of Political Law

a. Constitutional Law
b. Administrative Law
c. Law on Public Corporations
d. Law of Public Officers
e. Election Laws

Constitutional Law is that branch of political law which treats of the nature of constitutions,
their establishment, construction and interpretation and the validity of the enactments in
conformity with the fundamental law. It is the study of the maintenance of the proper balance
between the authority as represented by the three inherent powers of the state and the liberty as
guaranteed by the bill of rights. (Isagani Cruz, Consti Law 1, 2000 Ed)


A body of rules and maxims in accordance with which the powers of sovereignty are
habitually exercised. (Cooley)

Political Law vs. Constitutional Law

Constitutional Law treats of the constitution and organic law while Political Law includes not
only the constitution and organic law but also statutory law.

Types of Constitutional Law

In general, there are three (3) different types of constitutional law:

1. The English type

2. The European continental type
3. The American type.

Theoretical Basis of the Constitution- Social Contract Theory

Purpose or Functions of the Constitution

a. To prescribe the permanent framework of a system of government;

b. To assign to the several departments their respective powers and duties; and
c. To establish certain fixed principles on which government is founded.

Types of Constitutions

Constitutions are classified as follows:

(1) written and unwritten, and
(2) rigid and flexible
(3) conventional or unconventional

The Philippine Constitution is both written and rigid (See Art. XVII on the Amendment

Interpretation of the Constitution

1. Verba Legis
2. ratio legis et anima.

3. Ut Magis Valeat Quam Pereat,
B. Parts

a. Constitution of Liberty
b. Constitution of Government
c. Constitution of Sovereignty
d. Constitution of Social Justice

C. Amendments and revisions

Amendment - isolated or piecemeal change in the constitution;

Revision - overhaul or rewriting of the entire constitution

Steps in the amendment / revision process

1. Proposal

a. By Congress upon a vote of of all its members

b. By Constitutional Convention

i. By 2/3 votes of all its members constituting itself as a constituent assembly

ii. By a majority vote of all members of congress submitting to the electorate the
question of whether or not to call a constitutional convention

c. By the people thru initiative (See R.A. 6735 August 4, 1989)


i. People themselves must directly propose the amendments

ii. Petition of at least 12% of the total number of registered voters
iii. 12% must be represented by at least 3% of the registered voter of every
legislative district.

Limitiations on the exercise of amendments through intiative

a. It cannot be exercised more than once every 5 years from the time the
provision or the intiative takes effect.
b. It must not be inconsisitent with the principles of jus cogens;

2. Submission

Doctrine of Proper Submission

3. Ratification

Article XVII, Section 4, Paragraphs 1 & 2 MAJORITY of the votes cast in a


The position of the Constitutional Convention in our system of government

There are three (3) theories on the position of Constitutional Convention vis--vis regular
department of government.

a. Theory of Conventional Sovereignty

b. Convention is inferior to other departments
c. Independent and co-equal to the other departments

JUDICIAL REVIEW OF AMENDMENTS Amendments to the constitution are subject to

judicial review because invariably, the issue will boil down to whether or not the
constitutional provision on amendments and/or revisions had been followed.

D. Self-executing and non-self-executing provisions

As a general rule, the provisions of the Constitution are considered self-executing, and do not
require future legislation for their enforcement.

However, some provisions have already been categorically declared by the Court as non
self-executing. ie. Article 2

E. General provisions

PREAMBLE Does not confer rights nor create or impose duties; Preamble is a source of
light. It is not a source of rights or obligations. It indicates authorship; enumerate primary aims
and aspirations of the framers and serves as an aid in the construction of the constitution

Functions of Preamble

1. It sets down the origin, scope and purpose of the constitution.

2. It enumerates the primary aims and expresses the aspirations of the framers in
drafting the Constitution.
3. Useful as an aid in the construction and interpretation of the text of the Constitution.

The flag of the Philippines shall be red, white, and blue, with a sun and three stars, as
consecrated and honored by the people and recognized by law. (Article XVI, Section 1)

The Congress may, by law, adopt a new name for the country, a national anthem, or a national
seal, which shall all be truly reflective and symbolic of the ideals, history, and traditions of the
people. Such law shall take effect only upon its ratification by the people in a national referendum.
(Article XVI, Section 2)

Armed Forces of the Philippines

The Armed Forces of the Philippines shall be composed of a citizen armed force which shall
undergo military training and serve as may be provided by law. It shall keep a regular force
necessary for the security of the State. (Article XVI, Section 4)

1. All members of the armed forces shall take an oath or affirmation to uphold and defend this
2. The State shall strengthen the patriotic spirit and nationalist consciousness of the military, and
respect for people's rights in the performance of their duty.
3. Professionalism in the armed forces and adequate remuneration and benefits of its members
shall be a prime concern of the State. The armed forces shall be insulated from partisan
4. No member of the military shall engage, directly or indirectly, in any partisan political activity,
except to vote.
5. No member of the armed forces in the active service shall, at any time, be appointed or
designated in any capacity to a civilian position in the Government, including government-
owned or controlled corporations or any of their subsidiaries.
6. Laws on retirement of military officers shall not allow extension of their service.
7. The officers and men of the regular force of the armed forces shall be recruited proportionately
from all provinces and cities as far as practicable.
8. The tour of duty of the Chief of Staff of the armed forces shall not exceed three years.
However, in times of war or other national emergency declared by the Congress, the President
may extend such tour of duty.

(Article XVI, Section 5)

National Police Force

The State shall establish and maintain one police force, which shall be national in scope and civilian
in character, to be administered and controlled by a national police commission. The authority of local
executives over the police units in their jurisdiction shall be provided by law. (Article XVI, Section 6)

Mass Media

The ownership and management of mass media shall be limited to citizens of the Philippines,
or to corporations, cooperatives or associations, wholly-owned and managed by such citizens.

The Congress shall regulate or prohibit monopolies in commercial mass media when the public
interest so requires. No combinations in restraint of trade or unfair competition therein shall be

The advertising industry is impressed with public interest, and shall be regulated by law for the
protection of consumers and the promotion of the general welfare.

Only Filipino citizens or corporations or associations at least seventy per cent of the capital of
which is owned by such citizens shall be allowed to engage in the advertising industry.

The participation of foreign investors in the governing body of entities in such industry shall be
limited to their proportionate share in the capital thereof, and all the executive and managing
officers of such entities must be citizens of the Philippines.

Note : Grandfather Provisions

II. General Considerations

A. National territory

The national territory comprises the Philippine archipelago, with all the islands and waters
embraced therein, and all other territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty or
jurisdiction, consisting of its terrestrial, fluvial, and aerial domains, including its territorial sea, the
seabed, the subsoil, the insular shelves, and other submarine areas. The waters around,
between, and connecting the islands of the archipelago, regardless of their breadth and
dimensions, form part of the internal waters of the Philippines (Article I, 1987 Constitution).

Territories Covered under the Definition of Article I 1987 Constitution

1. Those included in the Treaty Limits

Treaty of Paris (1898)

Treaty between Spain and U.S. concluded at Washington, D.C. on Nov. 7,
1900 which was not defined in the Treaty of Paris, specifically the islands of
Cagayan, Sulu and Sibuto.
U.S. and Great Britain on January 2, 1930 specifically the Turtle and
Mangsee islands.

2. The island of Batanes, which was covered under a general statement in the 1935

3. Those contemplated in the phrase belonging to the Philippines by historic right or

legal title in the 1973 Constitution.

4. All other territories which the Philippines has sovereignty and jurisdiction. This
includes any territory which presently belongs or might in the future belong to the
Philippines through any of the internationally modes of acquiring territory.

U.N Convention on the Law of the Sea, April 30, 1982

Provides for
a) Contiguous zone of 12 Miles [12 Mile Rule] and
b) Two Hundred-Mile Exclusive Economic Zone

Concept of archipelagic waters, territorial sea and internal waters.

i. Archipelagic waters refer to areas enclosed as internal waters by using the baseline method
which had not been previously considered as internal waters. (See Article 53 of UNCLOS)

ii. Territorial sea is an adjacent belt of sea with a breadth of 12 nautical miles measured from
the baselines of a state and over which the state has sovereignty. (Articles 2, 3 of UNCLOS)

iii. Internal waters refer to all waters, landwards from the baseline of the territory.

The Archipelagic Doctrine

It is the principle whereby the body of waters surrounding the islands forms part of the
internal waters of the archipelago. It requires that baselines be drawn by connecting the
appropriate points of the outermost islands to encircle the islands within the archipelago. All
the waters enclosed by the straight baselines are considered as internal water.

a. Elements of Archipelagic Doctrine

1. Definition of internal waters

2. The straight line method of delineating the territorial sea.

b. Straight Baseline Method drawn connecting selected points on the coast without
departing to any appreciable extent from the general direction of the coast. RA 3046
and RA 5446 have drawn straight baselines around the Philippines.
B. State immunity

Doctrine of State Immunity from Suit

The doctrine of state immunity is sometimes derisively called the "royal prerogative of
dishonesty" because of the privilege it grants the state to defeat any legitimate claim
against it by simply invoking its non-suability.

General Rule: The State may not be sued without its consent (Art. XVI, Sec. 3).



When a suit considered as against the State ?

The test to determine whether a suit is against the state is whether or not the
enforcement of the decision, rendered against the officer or agency impleaded
requires an affirmative act from the state, such as an appropriation of an amount
to satisfy judgment.

When can the state be sued?

When the state gives its consent express or implied -

Express consent

In Republic v. Purisima, 78 SCRA 470 the express consent must come from the
state acting through a duly enacted statute. A mere counsel of the government
cannot validly waive the immunity from suit.

Money claims arising from contracts

a. Act No. 3083 which declares that the Government of the Philippines Islands
consents and submits to be sued upon any money claims involving liability arising
from contracts express or implied.

b. This must be correlated with Commonwealth Act No. 327 as amended by PD

1445 which provides that a claim against the government must first be filed with the
Commission on Audit which must act upon it within 60 days. Rejection or inaction on
the claim will authorize the claimant to effect the suit against the state with its


COMMISSION ON AUDIT pursuant to Article IX-A of the 1987 Constitution

Special Laws

a. Quasi delicts committed by special agents under Art. 2180 of the Civil Code;

b. Local Government Units can be sued (RA 7160)

Incorporation of government owned or controlled corporations

Implied Consent

1. When the government enters into business contracts

restrictive application of state immunity

2. When it would be inequitable for the government to claim immunity

3. If the government files a complaint, defendant may file a counterclaim against it

Suability vs. Liability

Scope of Consent: Consent to be sued does not include the consent of the execution of
judgment against it.

Indirect suits against the Government are prohibited. Actions brought indirectly against
the State are prohibited. The rule may not be circumvented by bringing a normal suit against
an officer of the government where the nature of the action is in reality against the State.

C. General principles and state policies


a. Sovereignty of the People and Republicanism

Art II, sec. 1

Art V Suffrage

Manifestations of Republicanism:

1. Ours is a government of laws and not of men

2. Rule of Majority [Plurality in elections]
3. Accountability of Public Officials
4. Bill of Rights
5. Legislature cannot pass irepeallable laws
6. Separation of Powers

Democratic understood as participatory democracy; contemplates instances where

the people would act directly and not through their representatives. (Tolentino vs.
COMELEC, 420 SCRA 438)

Republican a government authority that emanates from the people and is exercised
by representatives chosen by the people.

A republican government is a responsible government whose officials hold and

discharge their position as a PUBLIC TRUST and shall according to the constitution
at all times be accountable to the people.

Principles of Renovation/Revocation

b. Adherence to international Law

Renunciation of War

Art. II, sec. 2 (Incorporation Clause)
Id., sec. 7-8 (Independent foreign policy and Nuclear Free Philippines)
Art XVIII, sec. 4 and 25

Doctrine of Incorporation
Doctrine of Auto-limitation

c. Supremacy of Civilian Authority

Art. II, sec. 3 (Civilian Supremacy)
Art. VII, sec. 18 (Commander-in-chief Clause)
Art. XVII, sec. 5(4)
Art. XVI, sec. 5(1) (AFP provisions)

The AFP is the protector of the people and of the state (Art. II Section 3). This
refers to internal and external aggression. The PNP is not covered by the
same mandate (Manalo vs. Sistoza G.R. No. 107369 August 11, 1999)

d. Government as Protector of the People and People as Defenders

of the State

Art. II, sec. 4

Id. Sec. 5

The government as servant of the people;

The citizens may by law are required to render "personal" (not proxy) military or
civil service.
The Government may call upon the people to defend the State

Compulsory Military or Civil Service; Protection of People and


The prime duty of the Government is to serve and protect the people. The government
may call upon the people to defend that State, in the fulfillment thereof, all citizens may
be required, under the conditions provided by law, to render personal military or civil

Section 4, Article II does not contemplate money or property or their equivalent but
personal service.

Substitutionary service is not allowed because of the equal protection clause.

A citizen cannot invoke exemption from rendering military and civil service on the ground
of religion as this provision is based on the inherent right of every state to existence and

e. Separation of Church in State

Art II sec. 6
Art. III, sec. 5 (Freedom of Religion Clause)

Two (2) aspects:

i. Freedom to Believe (Absolute)
ii. Freedom to Externalize that belief (subject to the police
power of the state)

Art. IX, C, sec. 2(5) [Religious sect cannot be registered as a political party)

Art. VI, sec. 5(2) [No sectoral representative from religious sector]

Art. VI Sec. 29 (2) [Prohibition against appropriation for sectarian benefit]


a. Art VI, sec. 28(3) Churches, parsonages etc. actually, directly

and exclusively used for religious purposes shall be exempt from

b. Art. VI Sec. 29(2) Prohibition against appropriation for sectarian

benefit except salaries of priest assigned to AFOP, penal
institution, government orphanages, and leprosarium.

c. Art XIV, sec. 3(3) Optional religious instructions for public

elementary and high school students

d. Art. XIV Sec. 4(2) Filipino ownership requirements for
educational institutions except those established by religious
groups and mission boards.


a. Independent foreign policy and a nuclear free Philippines

Art. II secs. 7-8

Art. XVIII, secs. 4 and 25

b. A just and dynamic Social order

Art. II, sec. 9

c. The Promotion of social justice .

Art. II sec. 10
Art. XIII, secs.1-2
Art.II, sec.26
Art. VII, sec. 13, par.2

The 1987 Constitution, compared to the 1935 and the 1973 Constitution, contains the
most expanded concept of Social Justice.

The classic definition of Social Justice is found in Calalang vs. Williams, where
Justice Laurel declared as follows:

"Social Justice is 'neither communism, nor despotism, nor atomism, nor anarchy,' but
the humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic forces by the
State so that justice in its rational and objectively secular conception may at
least be approximated. Social justice means the promotion of the welfare of all
the people, the adoption by the Government of measures calculated to insure
economic stability of all the component elements of society, through the maintenance
of a proper economic and social equilibrium in the interrelations of the members of
the community, constitutionally, through the adoption of measures legally
justifiable, or extra-constitutionally, the exercise of powers underlying the
existence of all governments on the time-honored principle of salus populi est
suprema lex."

d. Respect for human dignity and human rights

Art.II, sec. 11
Art. XIII, secs 17-19

Scope of Human Rights:

Those that relates to an individuals social, economic, cultural, political and civil
relations along with what is considered to be his inherent and inalienable rights
encompassing almost all aspects of life.

e. Fundamental equality of women and men

Art. II sec. 14
Art. XIII, sec. 14

f. Promotion of Health & Ecology

Art. II, secs. 15-16

Art. XIV, sec. 2

Oposa vs. Factoran, 224 SCRA 79. The right to a balanced and healthy ecology
carries with it the correlative duty to refrain from impairing the environment. The said
right implies the judicious management of the countrys forests. This right is also the
mandate of the government through DENR. A denial or violation of that right by the
other who has the correlative duty or obligation to respect or protect the same gives

rise to a cause of action. All licenses may thus be revoked or rescinded by executive
action. The right to a balanced and healthful ecology carries with it the correlative
duty to refrain from impairing the environment.

Concept of Writ of Kalikasan



Section 1. Nature of the writ. - The writ is a remedy available to a natural or juridical
person, entity authorized by law, peoples organization, non-governmental organization,
or any public interest group accredited by or registered with any government agency, on
behalf of persons whose constitutional right to a balanced and healthful ecology is
violated, or threatened with violation by an unlawful act or omission of a public official or
employee, or private individual or entity, involving environmental damage of such
magnitude as to prejudice the life, health or property of inhabitants in two or more cities
or provinces.

League of Provinces of the Philippines vs. Department of Environment and

Natural Resources, et al. G.R. No. 175368, April 11, 2013 The Court finds that the
decision of the DENR Secretary was rendered in accordance with the power of
review granted to the DENR Secretary in the resolution of disputes, which is provided
for in Section 24 of R.A. No. 707651 and Section 22 of its Implementing Rules and

g. Priority of education, science, technology, arts, culture and sports (ESTACS)

Students have the constitutional right not only to education but to a quality education,
up to the secondary level, for free. But this is subject to the right of the school to
impose reasonable academic standards, and to make education available only on the
basis of merit.

h. Urban land reform and Housing

Art. XIII, secs. 9-10

i. Reforms in agriculture and other natural resources

Art. II, sec. 21

Art. XIII, secs. 4-8

j. Protection of Labor

Art. II sec. 18
Art. XIII,sec. 3

k. The right of government workers to form unions

Art. III, sec.8
Art. IX, B, sec. 2(5)

l. Independent Peoples organization

Art. II, sec. 23
Art. XIII, secs.15-16

m. The Family as a Basic Autonomous Social Institution

Art. II, sec. 12
Art. XV (The Family)
Art. II, sec. 13
Family Code on marriage as a social institution

The right of parents to rear their children is the only natural right recognized by the
Constitution. (lifted)

n. A self-reliant and independent economic order

Art.II,sec. 19

Id. Sec. 20
Art. XII, Sec. 6 (National Economy and Patrimony)

Concept of distributive justice

o. Communication and Information in National-building

Art. II,sec. 24
Art. XVI,sec. 10-11
Art. XVIII, sec. 23

p. Autonomy of local government

Art. II, sec. 25
Art. X(Local Governments)

q. Recognition of the rights of indigenous cultural communities

Art. II, sec. 22
Art. VI, sec. 5(2)
Art. XII, sec,. 5
Art. XIII, sec. 6
Art. XIV, sec. 17
Art. XVI, sec. 12

r. Honest Public Service and Full Public Disclosure

Art. II, sec. 27
Art. XI, secs.1, 4, 5-6
Art. II,sec. 28
Art.XI,sec. 17
Art. VII, sec. 12
Art. VII, sec. 20
Art. XII, sec. 21
Art. XII, sec. 2, par.5
Art. VI,secs.12 and 20
Art. IX, D,sec. 4
Art. III, sec. 7

Concept of Public Office is a right, authority, or duty created and conferred by

law, by which for a given period either fixed by law or enduring at the pleasure of the
creating power, an individual is invested with some sovereign power of government
exercised by him for the benefit of the public.

Public Office is a Public Trust means that as a representative government, the

officers being mere agents and not rulers of the people, where every officer accepts
office pursuant to the provision of the law, holds the office as a trust of the people he
represents. (Corenejo vs. Gabriel 41 Phil 188)

Impeachment the purpose of which is to remove an impeachable officer and

disqualify him to hold office.

D. Separation of powers


1. To prevent concentration of governmental

authority in one person or a group of persons;
2. And to secure action and forestall over action
and obtain efficiency in government

Blending of Powers
Checks and balances

E. Checks and balances

Under the system of checks and balances, one department is given certain powers by which
it may definitely restrain the others from exceeding constitutional authority. It may object or
resist any encroachment upon its authority, or it may question, if necessary any act or acts
which unlawfully interferes with its sphere of jurisdiction and authority. (Suarez, 2005).

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Each department is given certain powers by which it may definitely restrain the others from
improvident action, thereby maintaining the balance among them and preserving the will of
the sovereign expressed in the Constitution. The Presidents veto power, the power of
Congress to over-ride the veto, the power of impeachment, and the courts power to declare
legislative and executive acts unconstitutional are examples of checks and balances under
the constitution

F. Delegation of powers

By direct constitutional grant

1. Tariff powers to the President

2. Emergency Powers of the President

3. Rule Making Power to the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court shall have the following powers: x x x Promulgate rules concerning
the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice, and procedure
in all courts, the admission to the practice of law, the integrated bar, and legal assistance
to the underprivileged. Such rules shall provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure
for the speedy disposition of cases, shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade, and
shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights. Rules of procedure of special
courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain effective unless disapproved by the
Supreme Court. (Article VIII, Section 5(5))

4. Delegated Powers to Local Governments.

Each local government unit shall have the power to create its own sources of revenues
and to levy taxes, fees, and charges subject to such guidelines and limitations as the
Congress may provide, consistent with the basic policy of local autonomy. Such taxes,
fees and charges shall accrue exclusively to local governments. (Article X., Section V)

5. Rule Making Powers of Constitutional Commissions

The Commission on Elections, Civil Service Commission and the Commission on Audit,
being independent bodies have been granted by the Constitution rule-making powers as
can be gleaned from the following provisions.

Each Commission en banc may promulgate its own rules concerning pleadings and
practice before it or before any of its offices. Such rules however shall not diminish,
increase or modify substantive rights. (Article IX-A, Section 6)

The Commission on Elections shall promulgate its rules of procedure in order to expedite
disposition of election cases, including pre-proclamation controversies. (Article IX-C (m)
Section 3)

The Commission on Audit shall have exclusive authority to define the scope of its audit
and examination, establish the techniques and methods required therefor, and
promulgate accounting and auditing rules and regulations, including those for the
prevention and disallowance of irregular, unnecessary, excessive, extravagant, or
unconscionable expenditures, or uses of government funds and properties. (Article IX-D,
Section 2(2) Likewise, Article XIII, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution empowers the
Commission on Human Rights to adopt its operational guidelines and rules of procedure,
and cite for contempt for violations thereof in accordance with the Rules of Court.

By legislative grant: Delegation of powers to administrative bodies

Subordinate legislation. This involves the power of administrative agencies, granted by

an enabling law, to make implementing rules and regulations. They are tested by their
conformity to the standards set by, and their ability to carry out the legislative intent
contained in the primary law.

With this power, administrative bodies may implement the broad policies laid down in a
statute by filling in the details which the Congress may not have the opportunity or

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competence to provide. This is effected by their promulgation of what are known
supplementary regulations

Test to determine validity:

1. Completeness test
2. Sufficiency Standard Test

G.R. No. 191424 August 7, 2013 ALFEO D. VIVAS vs. THE MONETARY BOARD

Eastern Shipping Lines, Inc. v. Philippine Overseas Employment Administration,

248 Phil 762, 771 (1998)

In Edu v. Ericta, the Court discussed the matter of undue delegation of legislative

delegability of legislative power,

G. Forms of government

Government is that institution or aggregate of institutions by which an independent society

makes and carries out those rules of action which are necessary to enable men to live in a
social state or which are imposed upon the people forming that society by those who possess
the power or authority of prescribing them. Government is the aggregate of authorities which
rule a society. US v Dorr, 2 Phil 332, 339

Effect of Revolutionary Government A revolutionary government is bound by a no

constitution. However, the revolutionary government did not repudiate the Covenant or the
Declaration in the same way it repudiated the Constitution. As the de jure government, the
revolutionary government (Republic vs. Sandiganbayan, GR No. 104768, July 21, 2003)


Constituent (Governmental or mandatory) vs. Ministrant (Proprietary or optional)

o Doctrine of Parens Patriae

Literally parent of the people, the government must act as the guardian of the rights of the
people who may be disadvantaged or suffering from disability or some misfortune.

o De Jure and De Facto Governments

A de jure government has rightful title but no power or control, either because this
has been withdrawn from it or because it has not yet actually entered into the exercise
thereof. A de facto government, on the other hand, is a government of fact, that is, it
actually exercises power or control but without legal title.

The three kinds of de facto government are as follows:

(1) The government that gets possession and control of, or usurps, by force or by
the voice of the majority, the rightful legal govt and maintains itself against the will
of the latter.

(2) That established as an independent government by the inhabitants of a country

who rise in insurrection against the parent state.

(3) That which is established and maintained by military forces who invade and
occupy a territory of the enemy in the course of war, and which is denominated
as a government of paramount force.

The characteristics of this kind of de facto government are:

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(a) Its existence is maintained by active military power within the territories, and
against the rightful authority of an established and lawful governmentt.

(b) During its existence, it must necessarily be obeyed in civil matters by private
citizens who, by acts of obedience rendered in submission to such force, do not
become responsible, as wrongdoers, for those acts, though not warranted by the
laws of the rightful govt.

"Government of the Philippines," defined

Government of the Republic of the Philippines is defined as "the corporate governmental

entity through which the functions of government are exercised throughout the
Philippines, including, save as the contrary appears from the context, the various arms
through which political authority is made effective in the Philippines, whether pertaining to
the autonomous regions, the provincial, city, municipal or barangay subdivisions or
other form of local government." [Administrative Code of 1987, Sec. 2(1).]

III. Legislative Department

A. Legislative Power

Who may exercise legislative power

1. Congress

Article VI Section 1 - The legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of

the Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives,
except to the extent reserved to the people by the provision on initiative and

2. Regional/Local Legislature

Article X., Section V - Each local government unit shall have the power to create
its own sources of revenues and to levy taxes, fees, and charges subject to
such guidelines and limitations as the Congress may provide, consistent with
the basic policy of local autonomy. Such taxes, fees and charges shall accrue
exclusively to local governments.

3. Peoples initiative on statutes (initiative and referendum)

Article VI Section 1 - The legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of

the Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives,
except to the extent reserved to the people by the provision on initiative and

Republic Act No. 6735 August 4, 1989 AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A SYSTEM

Lambino vs. COMELEC- G.R. No. 174153 October 25, 2006 and
consolidated cases Clearly, the framers of the Constitution intended that the
"draft of the proposed constitutional amendment" should be "ready and shown" to
the people "before" they sign such proposal. The framers plainly stated that
"before they sign there is already a draft shown to them." The framers also
"envisioned" that the people should sign on the proposal itself because the
proponents must "prepare that proposal and pass it around for signature."

The essence of amendments "directly proposed by the people through initiative

upon a petition" is that the entire proposal on its face is a petition by the people.
This means two essential elements must be present. First, the people must
author and thus sign the entire proposal. No agent or representative can sign on
their behalf. Second, as an initiative upon a petition, the proposal must be
embodied in a petition

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Combining multiple propositions into one proposal constitutes "logrolling,"
which, if our judicial responsibility is to mean anything, we cannot permit.



Art. VI, Sec. 23 (2) - In times of war or other national emergency, the
Congress may, by law, authorize the President, for a limited period and
subject to such restrictions as it may prescribe, to exercise powers
necessary and proper to carry out a declared national policy. Unless sooner
withdrawn by resolution of the Congress, such powers shall cease upon the
next adjournment thereof.




Natural-Born Natural-Born Natural-Born Citizen Natural-Born Citizen Citizen

Citizen Citizen

Registered Registered Registered Voter Registered Voter Registered Voter

Voter Voter
Able to read Able to read Able to read and write Able to read and write Able to read and write
and write and write

10-yr 2-yr
1-yr residence 1-yr residence 1-residence
residence residence
Sectors bona fide
- - - member for NINETY -
DAYS (90 days)
1. Highly Urbanized Cities
23 yrs old
2. Independent
1. 25 yrs old on election component Cities etc 21
40 yrs old on 35 yrs old on day yrs old
25 yrs old on election day
election day election day 2. Youth Sector: 25-30 3. Sangguniang
yrs old only Panglungsod/Pangbayan
18 yrs old
4. Sangguniang Kabataan
15 yrs to 21 yrs old

1. Senate

Composition - 24 Senators elected at large by qualified voters

Term of Office

Six (6) years. To commence unless otherwise provided by law, at noon on June 30
next following the election. (Art. VI, Sec. 4)

No Senator shall serve for more than 2 consecutive terms, and for this
purpose, no voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall be
considered for the purpose of interrupting the continuity of his service for the full term
for which he was elected. (Art. VI, Sec. 4)

2. House of Representatives

Composition - Not more than 250 Members (*unless otherwise fixed by law) elected from:

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i. Legislative districts (80% of the seats shall be allotted to district representatives.)

The districts are to be determined according to the following rules:

a) The districts are to be apportioned among the provinces, cities, and Metro
Manila. [Sec. 5(1)]

b) The apportionment must be based on the number of inhabitants,

using a uniform and progressive ratio. Within 3 years following the return
of every census, Congress shall make a reapportionment of legislative
districts, based on the standards herein provided (to make it
representative and more responsive to the people). [Sec. 5 (4)]

c) Each legislative district must comprise as far as practicable, contiguous,

compact, and adjacent territory (to avoid gerrymandering, or putting together
of areas where a candidate is strong, even if these are not contiguous). [Sec.
5 (3)]

d) Each city with a population of at least 250,000 must have at least one
representative. [Sec. 5(3)]

e) Each province, regardless of population must have at least one representative.

[Sec. 5(3)]

Term of Office

3 years - to commence (unless otherwise provided by law) at noon of June 30

next following the election. (Art. VI, Sec. 7)

i. Party-list system

The party-list representatives shall constitute 20% of the lower house.

Party-List System (RA 7941). The party-list system is a mechanism of

proportional representation in the election of representatives of the House of
Representatives from national, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations or
coalitions thereof registered with the Commission on Elections.

Party-list representatives Ceiling. The party-list representatives shall constitute

20% of the total number of representatives. The 20% allocation is only a ceiling
not mandatory. It is in adherence to congressional prerogative of attaining
proportional representation, allowing as much as marginalized sectors to be
represented in Congress.


1136781, October 6, 2000

In BANAT vs. COMELEC (G.R. No. 179271, April 2009), the Supreme Court
clarified that what was declared as unconstitutional was the two percent threshold
only in relation to the distribution of the additional seats as found in the
second clause of Section 11(b) of R.A. No. 7941, to wit:

ATONG PAGLAUM, INC. et al. vs. COMELEC G.R. No. 203766, April 2, 2013
Section 5(1), Article VI of the Constitution is crystal-clear that there shall be "a
party-list system of registered national, regional, and sectoral parties or
organizations." The commas after the words "national," and "regional," separate
national and regional parties from sectoral parties. Had the framers of the 1987
Constitution intended national and regional parties to be at the same time sectoral,
they would have stated "national and regional sectoral parties." They did not,
precisely because it was never their intention to make the party-list system
exclusively sectoral.

C. Legislative privileges, inhibitions and disqualifications

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A member of Congress is privileged from arrest while Congress is in session

in all offenses not punishable by more than 6 years imprisonment. It is intended
to ensure representation of the constituents of the member of Congress by
preventing attempts to keep him from attending sessions. However, please note
that Parliamentary Immunity ONLY includes the immunity from arrest, and not
a prohibition in the filing of the suit. The member will be subject to arrest
immediately when congress adjourns.

The privilege is available while the Congress is in session, whether regular

or special and whether or not the legislator is actually attending a session.
Session as here used does not refer to the day-to-day meetings of the
legislature but to the entire period from its initial convening until its final
adjournment. Hence the privilege is not available while Congress is in recess.

Privilege is personal to each member of the legislature, and in order that its
benefits may be availed of, it must be asserted at the proper time and place;
otherwise it will be considered waived.

Elements of the privilege:

Congress must be in session, whether regular or special. It does not matter

where the member of Congress may be found so long as Congress is in
session, freedom from arrest holds;

The crime for which the member is to be arrested is punishable by 6

years of imprisonment or less. "Punishable" refers to the maximum possible
penalty which a penal statute attaches to the offense. It follows too that if the
crime is punishable by 6 years and 1 day of prision mayor or more, the
member can be arrested, even if he is session in the halls of Congress.

G.R. No. 179817 June 27, 2008 ANTONIO F. TRILLANES IV vs. HON. OSCAR
PIMENTEL, SR., et al., the Court categorically held that the doctrine of
condonation does not apply to criminal cases.


Art VI, Sec. 11. xxx 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.

This privilege protects the member concerned from any libel suit that may be filed
against him for a speech made "in" the halls of Congress or in any of its committees.
Speech is not confined to traditional speech but even to the casting of votes, the making
of reports, a debate or discussion, even communicative actions, and any other form of

The speech, however, must be made "in" Congress in the discharge of legislative duty.

Requirements :

a. It is not essential that the Congress be in session when the utterance is made.
What is essential is that the utterance must constitute legislative action.
b. That they must be made in connection with the discharge of official duties.

Jimenez vs. Cabangbang, 17 SCRA 876 Scope of Parliamentary Freedom of Speech

and Debate.-- "Said expression refers to utterances made by Congressmen in the
performance of their official functions, such as speeches delivered, statements made, or
votes cast in the halls of Congress, while the same is in session, as well as bills
introduced in Congress, whether the same is in session or not, and other acts
performed by Congressmen, either in Congress or outside the premises housing its
offices, in the official discharge of their duties as members of Congress and of

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Congressional Committees duly authorized to perform its functions as such, at the
time of the performance of the acts in question."

The provision protects the Member of Congress only from being held liable outside
of Congress ("in any other place"); it does not protect him from liability "inside"
Congress, i.e., from possible disciplinary measures that his peers may impose upon
him. For as mentioned above, his speech may constitute disorderly behavior as in
Osmena v Pendatun (109 Phil 863), and this may be penalized with censure,
suspension for 60 days, or expulsion, the latter two upon concurrence of 2/3 of the


(a) Incompatible vs. Forbidden Office

i. To hold any other office or employment (Incompatible office) in the government,

or any subdivision agency, or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or
controlled corporation or their subsidiaries during his term without forfeiting his seat.

ii. To be appointed to any office (Forbidden office) which may have been created or
the emoluments thereof increased during the term for which he was elected.

(b) Conflict of Interests

i. To be interested financially, directly or indirectly, in any contract with, or in any

franchise or special privilege granted by the Government, or any subdivision, agency
or instrumentality thereof, including any government-owned or controlled corporation,
or its subsidiary, during his term of office.

ii. To intervene in any matter before any office of the Government for his pecuniary
benefit or intervene in any matter before any office of the Government where he
may be called upon to act on account of his office.

(c) Prohibitions on lawyer-legislators

i. To personally appear as counsel before any court of justice or before the Electoral
Tribunals, or quasi-judicial and other administrative bodies.

Duty to Disclose

i. Financial and business interest upon assumption of office

ii. Potential conflict of interest that may arise from filing a proposed legislation of which
they are authors.

The law governing this financial disclosure by public officers and employees is RA
3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Every public officer
shall submit to (a) the Office of the Department Head, or (b) the Office of the President
in case of a head of department or chief of an independent office, the following:

1. A true, detailed, and sworn statement of assets and liability;

2. A statement of the amounts and sources of his income;
3. The amount of personal and family expenses, and
4. The amount of income taxes paid the previous year, on the following occasions:
within 30 years after assuming office
on or before April 15 after the close of the calendar year, and
upon the expiration of their term of office, or upon resignation or separation from


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Article VI Sec. 16(2) A majority of each House shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a

Initiate impeachment proceeding House of Representatives 1/3
Impeach an impeachable officer Senate 2/3
Proposal to amend or revise the
Both houses (Constituent Assembly) 3/4
Both Houses
Constitutional Convention 3/4

Concur in treaties Senate 2/3

Override the veto of the president in
Both houses, voting separately 2/3
the passage of the bill
Both houses, voting separately
Declare the existence of war 2/3
Joint session assembled
Concur in executives power to grant
Both houses Majority

Submit to the electorate the question

Both houses Majority
of calling a constitutional convention

Declare that president is unable to

discharge the powers and duties of Both houses, voting separately 2/3
his office
Revoke or extend the presidents
suspension of the privilege of the writ
Both houses Majority
of Habeas Corpus or proclamation of
martial law
Call a constitutional convention Both houses 2/3
To put the yeas and nays in the
journal [Each House] 1/5

To elect the senate president

Senate 2/3
To elect the speaker of the HRep HoR 2/3
To suspend for at most sixty (60) days
[Each house] 2/3
or expel a member of such house
smaller number may adjourn from day to day and may compel the attendance of absent Members
in such manner, and under such penalties, as such House may provide.

The quorum required to conduct business is a majority (1/2 + 1) of all the members.

But to pass a law, only the votes of the majority of those present in the session, there
being a quorum, are required. This is known as the "shifting majority".

Avelino v Cuenco - The quorum was computed on the number of Senators over whom the
Senate has jurisdiction at the time of session

Rules of Proceedings

o Secs. 16(3) Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its
Members for disorderly behavior, and with the concurrence of two-thirds of all its
Members, suspend or expel a Member. A penalty of suspension, when imposed, shall
not exceed sixty days.

o Sec. 21. The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective
committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly
published rules of procedure. The rights of persons appearing in or affected by
such inquiries shall be respected.

o Each House or its committees may determine the rules of its proceedings. These rules
include the procedure to be followed in "inquiries in aid of legislation."

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o The House may set aside the rules it adopted as it sees fit, because these rules are only
of a temporary nature.

Journal and Congressional Records

(a) The Enrolled Bill Theory

Once a bill has been approved by both houses the bill is enrolled, and this "Enrolled
Copy of the Bill" bears the certification of the Presiding Officer of the house (either
Senate President or Speaker of the House) that this bill as enrolled is the version
passed by each house. The purpose of the certification is to prevent attempts at
smuggling in "riders". The enrolled copy is then sent to the President for his action.

What happens if there is a discrepancy between the enrolled copy of the bill, and any
other copy of the bill? The enrolled bill will prevail Mabanag v Lopez Vito, 78 Phil. 1

In Morales v Subido, the Supreme Court, in upholding the enrolled bill, explained
that its basis is the separation of powers, so that the remedy of an aggrieved party is not a
judicial decree but a legislative amendment or curative legislation.

Note however the case of Astorga v Villegas, upon being informed that the enrolled bill
did not contain the amendment proposed by Senator Tolentino (regarding the powers
of the Vice-Mayor of Manila) when the house bill was raised to the Senate, the
Senate President, withdrew his signature and notified the President of the mistake,
who then likewise withdrew his signature. In short because of the withdrawal, there
was no occasion, then, to apply the enrolled bill theory.

(b) Probative Value of the Journal

The journal is conclusive on the courts as to its contents - US V Pons, 34 Phil. 729 (1916)

(c) Matters Required to be Entered in the Journal

a) Yeas and nays on third and final reading of a bill Art. VI, sec. 26 (2)
b) Veto Message of the President Art. VI, sec. 27 (1))
c) Yeas and nays on the repassing of a bill vetoed by the President Art.VI, sec. 27 (1)
d) Yeas and nays on any question at the request of 1/5 of members present Art.VI, sec.

o A record, on the other hand, contains the verbatim transcript of all proceedings of the
house or its committees. The Constitution is silent as to what the record must contain.

Note however, in Art. XI, Sec. 3(3), the Constitution speaks of the vote of each member of
the House either affirming a favorable or overriding its contrary resolution of the
impeachment complaint to be "recorded."

(d) Journal Entry Rule vs Enrolled Bill Theory

In the Astorga v Villegas by way of obiter dictum, the Supreme Court indicated that the
journal might really prevail over the enrolled bill, since a journal is required by the
Constitution while the enrollment of a bill is just a legislative practice that is not even
mentioned in the Constitution. Further, enrolment does not add to the validity of the bill,
for what makes it valid are the votes of the members.

o This ruling however seem tot contradict the ruling in Morales v Subido that the
enrolled copy prevails over the journal.

o Reconciling these two decisions, as to matters required by the Constitution to

be placed in the journal, the journal is conclusive. But aside from these matters,
any other matter does not enjoy such conclusiveness.

(e) Congressional Record

o Art. VI, Sec. 16 (4) x x x each House shall also keep a Record of its proceedings.


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(a) Regular sessions

Art. VI, Sec. 15. The Congress shall convene once every year on the fourth
Monday of July for its regular session, unless a different date is fixed by law, and
shall continue to be in session for such number of days as it may determine, until
thirty days before the opening of its next regular session, exclusive of Saturdays,
Sundays and legal holidays. xxx

Sec. 16(5) Neither house during the session of the Congress shall, without the
consent of the other house, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than
that in which the two houses shall be sitting. Cruz: "[P]lace" as here used refers not to
the building but to the political unit where the two Houses may be sitting.

(b) Special sessions

a. When the President calls for a special session at any time (Art. VI, Sec. 15)

b. To call a special election due to a vacancy in the offices of President and Vice- President
(Art. VII, Sec. 10) in w/c Congress shall convene at 10 a.m. of the third day after the
vacancy, without need of a call.

c. To decide on the disability of the President because the Cabinet (majority) has
"disputed" his assertion that he is able to dispose his duties and powers. (This takes
place not when the Cabinet first sends a written declaration about the inability of the
President, but after the President has disputed this initial declaration.) (Art. VII, Sec. 11.)
Congress shall convene, if it is not in session, within 48 hours, without need of call.

d. To revoke or extend the Presidential Proclamation of Martial Law or suspension of the

writ of habeas corpus (Art. VII, Sec. 18). Congress, if not in session, shall, within
24 hours following such proclamation or suspension, convene, without need of
a call. In the last three cases, Congress convenes without need of a call. These are
exceptions to the general rule in the 1st case that when Congress is not in session, it
can only meet in special session call by the President.

(c) Joint session

When both houses meet jointly, they generally vote separately.

Voting Separately

i. When Congress, while acting as the canvasser of votes for the President and
Vice President, has to break the tie between two or more candidates for either
position having an equal and the highest number of votes (Art. VII, Sec. 4, par. 5).

ii. When it decides (by 2/3 vote) on the question of the President's inability to
discharge the powers and duties of his office (Art. VII, Sec. 11, par. 4).

iii. Whenever there is a vacancy in the Office of the VP, when it confirms the
nomination of a VP by the President from among the members of Congress; such
person shall assume office upon confirmation by a majority vote of all the
members of both Houses, voting separately (Art. VII, Sec. 9).

iv. When it declares (by 2/3 vote) the existence of a state of war [Art. VI, Sec, 23(1)].

v. When it proposes to amend the Constitution (3/4 vote of the members) [Art.
XVII, Sec. 1(1)].

Voting Jointly

When, there has been a proclamation of Martial law or a suspension of the writ
by the President, and Congress has to decide whether to revoke or to extend
such proclamation or suspension (majority vote of all members, voting jointly) (VII,
Sec. 18).

D. Discipline of members

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Each house may punish it members for "disorderly behavior." What constitutes
"disorderly behavior" is solely within the discretion of the house concerned.

The penalty may consist of (i) censure; or upon a 2/3 vote of all the members of the
house, (ii) suspension, not exceeding 60 days, or (iii) expulsion.

F. Electoral tribunals and the Commission on Appointments

a. Electoral tribunals

Composition. Nine (9) members - three (3) from the SC (to be designated by the CJ) and
six (6) from the respective House.

Independence. The Congress may not regulate the actions of the electoral tribunals even in
procedural matters. The tribunal is an independent constitutional body. (Angara vs Electoral
Commission, 63 Phil 134)

The Electoral Commission is a constitutional creation, invested with the

necessary authority in the performance and execution of the limited and specific
function assigned to it by the Constitution. Though its composition is
constituted by a majority of members of the legislature, it is a body separate
from and independent of the legislature.

The grant of power to the Electoral Commission to judge all contests relating
to the election, returns and qualifications of members of the legislature, is
intended to be complete and unimpaired.

Power. The Electoral Tribunal shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the
election, returns, and qualifications of their respective members. The tribunal has the
power to promulgate rules relating to matters within its jurisdiction, including period of filing
election protests. (Lazatin vs. HET)

Judicial Review of decisions of Electoral Tribunals - Co v. Electoral Tribunal of the

House of Representatives (199 SCRA 692, July, 1991) Judgments of electoral tribunal
are beyond judicial interference save only in the exercise of the Court's so-called
extraordinary jurisdiction, x x x upon a determination that the tribunal's decision or
resolution was rendered without or in excess of its jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of
discretion or upon a clear showing of such arbitrary and improvident use by the Tribunal of
its power as constitutes a denial of due process of law, or upon a demonstration of a very
clear unmitigated ERROR, manifestly constituting such grave abuse of discretion that there
has to be a remedy for such abuse. In the absence of a showing that the HRET has
committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction, the Court cannot
exercise its corrective power.

b. Commission on Appointments

Function (Art. VII, Sec. 16)

The Commission shall confirm or approve nominations made by the President of certain public
officers named by the Constitution or by law:

1. heads of the executive departments

2. ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls
3. officers of the Armed Forces from the rank of colonel or naval captain
4. other officers whose appointments are vested in him in this Constitution:
a. Chairman and members of 3 Constitutional Commissions
b. regular members of the Judicial and Bar Council
c. members of the Regional Consultative council

Sessions and Procedure (Secs. 18 & 19)

The Commission on Appointments shall meet to discharge its powers and functions only while the
Congress is in session. The meeting may be called by (a) the Chairman, or (b) a majority of
all its members.

The Chairman of the Commission does not vote, except to break a tie. The Commission shall act
on all appointments submitted to it within 30 session days of the Congress from their

21 | P a g e
submission. The Commission rules by a majority vote of all its members.

Regular appointment

Regular appointment takes place when the President appoints an officer whose
appoinment requires confirmation by the Commission, while Congress is in session. The officer so
appointed cannot assume office at once. The President must first nominate him to the
Commission. Then, the Commission shall act on all appointments submitted to it within 30
session days of the Congress from their submission (VI, 18). Failure to act within the period is
tantamount to disapproval of the nomination, since the Constitution requires positive action by the
Commission (VV). If the Congress or the Commission itself adjourns without taking any action
on the nomination, again it is deemed disapproved (or bypassed). If the Commission
approves the nomination, the Office of the President makes an "issuance of commission." Only
then can the appointee assume office.

Recess appointment

On the other hand, recess appointment takes when Congress is not in session. (This is also
known as ad-interim appointment, but the latter term is equivocal because it can be used in 2
senses: (i) midnight appointment, which happens when the President makes an appointment
before his term expires, whether or not this is confirmed by the Commission on Appointments,
and (ii) recess appointment, which happens when the President makes appointment while
Congress is in recess, whether or not his term is about to expire.) Unlike regular appointment,
the ad-interim appointment made by the President is complete in itself, and thus effective at
once, even without confirmation. But this appointment has only temporary effect. When
Congress convenes, the Commission would have to act on the ad interim appointment by
confirming it (in which case the appointment becomes permanent) or disapproving it by means of a
positive failure to act on the appointment (in which case the appointment is immediately

The President shall have the power to make appointment during the recess of the Congress,
whether voluntary or compulsory, but such appointments shall be effective only until disapproval by
the Commission on Appointments (which can only be done when Congress is in session (Art. VI,
Sec. 19) or until the next adjournment of the Congress (if the Commission fails to act earlier). (Art.
VII, Sec. 16, par. 2).

G. Powers of Congress

1. Legislative

b. General plenary powers

Art. VI, Sec. 1. The legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the
Philippines, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives, except to the
extent reserved to the people by the provision on initiative and referendum.

c. Legislative inquiries and the oversight functions

The power of inquiry

The Congress power of inquiry is expressly recognized in Section 21 of Article VI of the

Constitution which reads:

SECTION 21. The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its

respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in
accordance with its duly published rules of procedure. The rights of
persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected.

As discussed in Arnault, the power of inquiry, "with process to enforce it," is grounded on
the necessity of information in the legislative process. If the information possessed by
executive officials on the operation of their offices is necessary for wise legislation on that
subject, by parity of reasoning, Congress has the right to that information and the power
to compel the disclosure thereof.


A legislative investigation in aid of legislation and court proceedings has different purposes.
On one hand, courts conduct hearings or like adjudicative procedures to settle, through the

22 | P a g e
application of a law, actual controversies arising between adverse litigants and involving
demandable rights. On the other hand, inquiries in aid of legislation are, inter alia, undertaken
as tools to enable the legislative body to gather information and, thus, legislate wisely and
effectively; and to determine whether there is a need to improve existing laws or enact new or
remedial legislationalbeit the inquiry need not result in any potential legislation. On-going
judicial proceedings do not preclude congressional hearings in aid of legislation (ROMERO
ET AL vs. ESTRADA, G.R. No. 174105, April 2, 2009)

Executive privilege

G.R. No. 169777 April 20, 2006 SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES et al vs. ERMITA et al. and
consolidated cases - The phrase "executive privilege" is not new in this jurisdiction. It has been
used even prior to the promulgation of the 1986 Constitution. Being of American origin, it is best
understood in light of how it has been defined and used in the legal literature of the United States.

Almonte v. Vasquez. 314 Phil. 150 (1995).

The doctrine of executive privilege was recognized by this Court in Almonte v. Vasquez. 314 Phil.
150 (1995). Almonte used the term in reference to the same privilege subject of Nixon.

In Chavez v. PCGG, 360 Phil. 133 (1998). -the Court held that this jurisdiction recognizes the
common law holding that there is a "governmental privilege against public disclosure with
respect to state secrets regarding military, diplomatic and other national security matters."
433 Phil. 506 (2002).The same case held that closed-door Cabinet meetings are also a
recognized limitation on the right to information.

Chavez v. Public Estates Authority, 433 Phil. 506, 534 (2002), the Court ruled that the right to
information does not extend to matters recognized as "privileged information under the
separation of powers," by which the Court meant:

1. Presidential conversations, correspondences, and discussions in closed-door

Cabinet meetings.

2. Information on military and diplomatic secrets and those affecting national security,

3. Information on investigations of crimes by law enforcement agencies before the

prosecution of the accused were exempted from the right to information.

Conclusion - Congress undoubtedly has a right to information from the executive branch
whenever it is sought in aid of legislation. If the executive branch withholds such information on
the ground that it is privileged, it must so assert it and state the reason therefor and why it must
be respected.

In aid of legislation Oversight functions

Who may appear

Any person Department Heads

Who may be summoned

Anyone except the President and No one. Each house may only
SC members request the appearance of
department heads.

Subject Matter

Any matters for purposes of Matters related to the

pending legislation department only

Obligatory force of appearance

Mandatory Discretionary

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d. Congressional Oversight Functions

Congressional Oversight

Embraces all activities undertaken by Congress to enhance its understanding of and

influence over the implementation of legislation it has enacted. It concerns post-
enactment measures undertaken by the same. It includes the following:

a. To monitor bureaucratic compliance with program objectives.

b. To determine whether agencies are properly administered.
c. To eliminate executive waste and dishonesty.
d. To prevent executive usurpation of legislative authority.
e. To assess executive conformity with the congressional perception of public

Makalintal vs. COMELEC, G.R. No. 157013, 2003.

Categories of Congressional Oversight

1. Scrutiny
2. Congressional Investigation
3. Legislative Supervision


Legislative veto is a statutory provision requiring the President or an administrative agency to

present the proposed implementing rules and regulations of a law to Congress which, by itself
or through a committee formed by it, retains a right or power to approve or disapprove
such regulations before they take effect. As such, a legislative veto in the form of a
congressional oversight committee is in the form of an inward-turning delegation designed to
attach a congressional leash (other than through scrutiny and investigation) to an agency to
which Congress has by law initially delegated broad powers (ABAKADA Guro Partylist vs.
Hon. Cesar Purisima, G.R. No. 166715 August 14, 2008)

e. Bicameral conference committee

A bill can be passed jointly or separately. In the latter case, it can be passed
simultaneously (when a bill is taken up by both houses separately but at the same time, or
sequentially (when a bill originates form one house and goes to the other house). If it is
passed separately, the bill approved by one house goes to the other house, which can
amend such bill. Once the other house approves the bill, this is called the other house's
version of the bill.

A Conference Committee is then organized, composed of equal number of members from

the Senate and the House, to make recommendations to the respective chambers
on how to reconcile the two versions of the bill. The respective members are usually
granted blanket authority to negotiate and reconcile the bills. At the end of the process,
the committee comes up
with a "Conference Committee Report", which is then submitted to the respective
chambers for approval.

f. Legislative Process

1. Requirements as to bills

(a) As to titles of bills

o Art. VI, Sec. 26. (1) Every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only
one subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof.

o The purpose is to prevent "log-rolling" or the smuggling in of "riders", that is, items
that are unrelated to the bill itself and would not have been passed had they not
been sneaked into the bill.

(b) Requirements as to certain laws

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Appropriation laws

Art. VII, Sec. 22. The President shall submit to the Congress within thirty
days from the opening of every regular session, as the basis of the general
appropriations bill, a budget of expenditures and sources of financing,
including receipts from existing and proposed revenue measures.

Art. VI, Sec. 24. All appropriations, revenue or tariff bills, bills
authorizing increase of the public debt, bills of local application, and
private bills shall originate exclusively in the House of Representatives,
but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments.

An appropriation bill is one the primary and specific purpose of w/c is to

authorize the release of funds from the public treasury.

A revenue bill is one that levies taxes and raises funds for the govt, while
a tariff bill specifies the rates or duties to be imposed on imported articles.

A bill increasing the public debt is illustrated by one floating

bonds for public subscription redeemable after a certain period.

A bill of local application is one involving purely local or municipal

matters, like a charter of a city.

Private bills are illustrated by a bill granting honorary citizenship to a

distinguished foreigner.

g. Tax laws

Art. VI, Sec. 28.

1. The rule of taxation shall be uniform and equitable. The Congress shall
evolve a progressive system of taxation.
2. The Congress may, by law, authorize the President to fix, within
specified limits, and subject to such limitations and restrictions as it may
impose, tariff rates, import and export quotas, tonnage and wharfage dues,
and other duties or imposts within the framework of the national
development program of the Government.
3. Charitable institutions, churches and parsonages or convents
appurtenant thereto, mosques, non-profit cemeteries, and all lands,
buildings, and improvements, actually, directly, and exclusively used for
religious, charitable, or educational purposes shall be exempt from taxation.
4. No law granting any tax exemption shall be passed without the concurrence
of a majority of all the Members of the Congress.

Art. XIV, Sec. 4

All revenues and assets of non-stock, non-profit educational institutions used

actually, directly, and exclusively for educational purposes shall be exempt from taxes
and duties. Upon the dissolution or cessation of the corporate existence of such
institutions, their assets shall be disposed of in the manner provided by law.

Proprietary educational institutions, including those cooperatively owned, may

likewise be entitled to such exemptions subject to the limitations provided by law
including restrictions on dividends and provisions for reinvestment.

Subject to conditions prescribed by law, all grants, endowments, donations, or

contributions used actually, directly, and exclusively for educational purposes
shall be exempt from tax.

a. Norms of Taxation

The rule of taxation shall be uniform and equitable. The Congress shall
evolve a progressive system of taxation. [Art. VI. Sec. 28(1)]

b. Delegation of Tax Powers

25 | P a g e
As a general rule, the power to tax, being an essential aspect of sovereignty, is
inherently legislative and therefore is nodelegable, unless the Constitution itself allows
the delegation.

However, there are 2 specific exceptions:

1. The Congress, may, by law, authorize the President to fix, within specified limits, and
subject to such limitations and restrictions as it may impose, (i) tariff rates, (ii) import
and export quotas, (iii) tonnage and wharfage dues, and (iv) other duties and
imposts, within the framework of the national development program of the
Government. [id., Sec. 28(2)]

2. Each local government unit shall have the power to create its own sources of
revenues, and to levy taxes, fees, and charges subject to such guidelines and
limitations as the Congress may provide, consistent with the basic policy of local
autonomy. Such taxes, fees, and charges shall accrue exclusively to the local
governments. (Art. X, Sec. 5)

The taxing power may also be exercised by the President as an incident of

the emergency powers that Congress may grant to him, under Art. VI, Sec.

c. Burden of Taxation

Taxation being the source of revenue of government and its very lifeblood,
"no law granting any tax exemption shall be passed without the concurrence of a
majority of all the members of Congress." [Sec. 28(4)]

d. Proceeds of Taxes

All money collected on any tax levied for a special purpose shall be treated as a
special fund and paid out for such purpose only. If the purpose for which a special fund
was created has been fulfilled or abandoned, the balance if any, shall be transferred to
the general funds of the Government. [id., Sec. 29(3))

Local government units shall have a just share, as determined by law, in the
national taxes which shall be automatically released to them. (Art. X, Sec. 6).

e. Taxation of religious and charitable institutions

Charitable institutions, churches and parsonages or convents appurtenant

thereto, mosques, non-profit cemeteries, and "all lands, buildings and improvements,
actually, directly, and exclusively used for religious, charitable, or educational
purposes, shall be exempt from taxation." (Art. VI, Sec. 28(3)]

Abra vs Hernando, 107 SCRA 104 (1981)

YMCA v Collector, 33 Phil 217 (1916)

f. Taxation of Educational Institutions

All lands, buildings, and improvements, actually, directly, and exclusively used
for ... educational purposes shall be exempt from taxation. [Art. VI, Sec. 28(3)]

All revenues and assets of non-stock, non-profit educational institutions used

actually, directly, and exclusively for educational purposes shall be exempt from
taxes and duties... Proprietary educational institutions, including those cooperatively
owned, may likewise be entitled to such exemptions, subject to the limitations
provided by law, including restrictions on dividends and provisions for reinvestment.
[Art. XIV, Sec. 4(3)].

Subject to the conditions prescribed by law, all grants, endowments, donations

or contributions actually, directly, and exclusively for educational purposes shall be
exempt from tax. [Art. XIV, Sec. 4(4)].

2. Limitations on the Legislative Power

26 | P a g e
(a) Substantive limitations

Express substantive limitations:

a) The Bill of Rights

b) Appropriation Laws

Art. VI, Sec. 29. (1) No money shall be paid out of the Treasury except in
pursuance of an appropriation made by law.

Art. VI, Sec. 25. (1) The Congress may not increase the appropriation
recommended by the President for the operation of the Government as
specified in the budget. The form, content, and manner of preparation of the
budget shall be prescribed by law.

Prohibited appropriation to enforce the Separation of Church and State Exception:

When such priest, et. al., is assigned to

(a) the AFP;

(b) any penal institution;
(c) any government orphanage; or
(d) any leprosarium. [Art. VI, Sec. 29(2)]

c) Tax laws
The rule of taxation shall be uniform and equitable. The Congress shall evolve a
progressive system of taxation.

d) Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court

Art. VI, Sec. 30. No law shall be passed increasing the appellate jurisdiction of the
Supreme Court as provided in this Constitution without its advice and concurrence.

e) Title of royalty

Art. VI, Sec. 31. No law granting a title of royalty or nobility shall be enacted.

Implied substantive limitations

Non-delegation of legislative powers

As a general rule, legislative powers cannot be delegated, what can be delegated is the
execution of the laws under acceptable standards limiting discretion of the executive. The
Constitution, however, provides certain specific exemptions. (as previously discussed)

Non-legislative powers

a. Power of Impeachment (as previously discussed)

b. Be judge of the President's physical fitness

o There are 3 ways in which the President may be declared unable to discharge his
functions under this article:

a. Upon his own written declaration

b. Upon the first written declaration by majority of his Cabinet
c. Upon determination by Congress by 2/3 vote of all its members voting
separately, acting on the 2nd written declaration by the Cabinet

o When the President himself transmits to the Senate President and Speaker of the House
his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,
there is no problem. The Vice-President shall discharge such powers and duties as
Acting President, until the President transmit to the Senate President and Speaker a
written declaration that he is no longer unable to discharge his powers and duties.

o The problem arises when a majority of all members of Cabinet transmit to the Senate
President and Speaker their written declaration that the President is unable to
discharge his office. Upon such transmittal, the Vice-President shall "immediately"
assume the office as Acting President.

27 | P a g e
o The President can contest this by transmitting to the Senate President and Speaker
his written declaration that no inability exists. Upon such transmittal, he shall reassume
his office.

o But if the majority of all the members of the Cabinet really believe otherwise, they can
contest this "declaration of non- inability" by again sending a second written declaration
to the Senate President and Speaker, within 5 days from the time the President
transmitted his written declaration of non-inability.

o It is this second cabinet written "declaration of inability" that brings in the Congress as
judge of the President's ability to discharge his office.

o The Vice-President in this second instance does not act as President: the President
having spoken as against his Cabinet, his declaration entitles him to stay until
Congress says otherwise. But if the Cabinet submits the declaration more than 5
days after the President reassumes office, this may be viewed as a new
declaration, and so the Vice-President can immediately act as President.

o Congress must convene (a) within 10 days after receipt of the 2nd written declaration by
the Cabinet, if it is in session, or (b) within 12 days after it is required to assemble
by its respective presiding officer, if it is not in session.

o In a joint session, the Congress shall decide the President's ability. Two-thirds vote by
each house, voting separately, is required to declare the President's inability. In other
words, if 2/3 of each house vote that the President must step down, the Vice-
President shall act as President. But if less than 2/3 of each House vote that the
President is unable, the President shall continue in office.

d. Power with regard to the utilization of natural resources

o Art. XII, Sec. 2. All lands of the public domain, waters, minerals, coal, petroleum, and
other mineral oils, all forces of potential energy, fisheries, forests or timber, wildlife, flora
and fauna, and other natural resources are owned by the State. With the exception of
agricultural lands, all other natural resources shall not be alienated. The exploration,
development, and utilization of natural resources shall be under the full control and
supervision of the State. The State may directly undertake such activities, or it may enter
into co-production, joint venture, or production-sharing agreements with Filipino citizens
or corporations or associations at least sixty per centum of whose capital is owned by
such citizens. Such agreement may be for a period not exceeding twenty-five years,
renewable for not more than twenty-five years, and under such terms and conditions
as may be provided by law. In cases of water rights for irrigation, water supply,
fisheries, or industrial uses other than the development of water power, beneficial
use may be the measure and limit of the grant.

o The State shall protect the nation's marine wealth in its archipelagic waters,
territorial sea, and exclusive economic zone, and reserve its use and enjoyment
exclusively to Filipino citizens.

o The Congress may, by law, allow small-scale utilization of natural resources by

Filipino citizens, as well as cooperative fish farming, with priority to subsistence fishermen
and fishworkers in rivers, lakes, bays, and lagoons.

o The President may enter into agreements with foreign-owned corporations

involving either technical or financial assistance for large-scale exploration, development,
and utilization of minerals, petroleum, and other mineral oils according to the general
terms and conditions provided by law, based on real contributions to the economic growth
and general welfare of the country. In such agreements, the State shall promote
the development and use of local scientific and technical resources.

o The President shall notify the Congress of every contract entered into in
accordance with this provision, within thirty days from its execution.

o The President may enter into agreements with foreign-owned corporations involving
either technical or financial assistance for large-scale exploration, development, and
utilization of minerals, petroleum, and other mineral oils according to the general terms
and conditions provided by law... The President shall notify the Congress of every

28 | P a g e
contract entered into in accordance with this provision, within 30 days from its execution.
(Art. XII, Sec. 2, pars. 4 & 5).


PDAF declared unconstitutional - On the issue of checks and balances, one exercise of
this system is the Presidents item-veto power in an appropriation, revenue or tariff bill which
is meant to increase the chances in favor of the community against the passing of bad laws,
through haste, inadvertence, or design. The President may only veto an item which consists
of a specific appropriation of money and not a general one.

Under the PDAF Article, the amount of P24.7 Billion serves as the collective allocation limit to
be further divided into lump sum amounts given individually to legislators and thereafter are
spent according to their discretion. This kind of appropriation fosters the creation of budget-
within-a-budget which is outside the item-veto power of the President. The President,
contrary to his mandate under the principle of checks and balances, is forced to decide
between (a) accepting the entire P24.79 Billion PDAF allocation without knowing the specific
projects of the legislators, which may or may not be consistent with his national agenda and
(b) rejecting the whole PDAF to the detriment of all other legislators with legitimate projects.



Relates to what:
Pertains to the power to conduct a question
Relates to the power to conduct inquiries in aid of hour

The objective of which is to obtain
The aim of which is to elicit information that may be
information in pursuit of Congress oversight
used for legislation
Nature of attendance:
Attendance is compulsory Attendance is meant to be discretionary
Persons required to attend:
Any person Only Department Heads
Who conducts:
Committees Entire body
Any matter for the purpose of legislation Only matters related to the Department
Grounded on the necessity of information in the Congress merely seeks to be informed on
legislative process (the power of inquiry being co- how department heads are implementing the
extensive with the power to legislate) Statutes which it has issued
Senate of the Philippines, et al., vs. Eduardo Ermita, GR No. 169777, April 20, 2006).

Power to Conduct a Question Hour

(See discussion above)


a) Canvass Presidential Elections

b) Declare the existence of a state of war
c) Delegation of Emergency Powers
d) Give concurrence to treaties and amnesties
e) Propose Constitutional Amendments
f) Confirm Certain Appointments
g) Decide the disability of the President

29 | P a g e
h) Revoke or extend proclamation or suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas
corpus or declaration of martial law
i) Power with regard to utilization of natural resources

IV. Executive Department

A. Privileges, inhibitions and disqualifications

1. Presidential immunity

The doctrine of executive immunity in this jurisdiction emerged as a case law. In the
1910 case of Forbes, etc. vs. Chuoco Tiaco and Crosfield, - "Mr. Justice Johnson
underscored the consequences if the Chief Executive was not granted immunity from
suit, viz "xxx. Action upon important matters of state delayed; the time and substance of
the chief executive spent in wrangling litigation; disrespect engendered for the person of
one of the highest officials of the state and for the office he occupies; a tendency to
unrest and disorder resulting in a way, in distrust as to the integrity of government itself.

Justification for the privilege.

Cited in G.R. No. 146710-15 March 2, 2001 JOSEPH E. ESTRADA, vs. ANIANO

First, the doctrine is rooted in the constitutional tradition of separation of powers and
supported by history.
Second, by reason of public convenience, the grant is to assure the exercise of
presidential duties and functions free from any hindrance or distraction, considering
that the Chief Executive is a job that, aside from requiring all of the office-holder's
time, also demands undivided attention.
Third, on grounds of public policy, it was recognized that the gains from discouraging
official excesses might be more than offset by the losses from diminished zeal
[Agabin, op cit., at 121.].

Extent of Immunity

o Saturnino Bermudez 145 SCRA 160 (1986). Held that 'incumbent Presidents are
immune from suit or from being brought to court during the period of their
incumbency and tenure" but not beyond.


respondent Ombudsman flows to his subordinates (Estrada vs. Arroyo)

2. Presidential privilege

The President shall have an official residence. The salaries of the President and Vice-
President shall be determined by law and shall not be decreased during their tenure. No
increase in said compensation shall take effect until after the expiration of the term of the
incumbent during which such increase was approved. They shall not receive during their
tenure any other emolument from the Government or any other source. (Article VII, Section

B. Powers of the President

1. Executive and administrative powers in general

Executive power is essentially the constitutional duty to implement the laws within the
standards imposed by the legislature. It is exercised by the President.

National Electrification Administration vs. COA, GR No. 143481 February 15, 2002
While Congress is vested with the power to enact laws, the President executes the
laws. The executive power is vested in the President.

Although the 1987 Constitution imposes limitations on the exercise of specific powers of
the President, it maintains intact what is traditionally considered as within the scope of
executive power. Corollarily, the powers of the President cannot be said to be limited only to
the specific power enumerated in the Constitution.

2. Power of appointment

30 | P a g e
a) In general

Appointment may be defined as the selection, by the authority vested with the power, of
an individual who is to exercise the functions of a given office. The power of
appointment is the most eminently executive power, because it is through his
appointees that the President can execute laws. (Isagani Cruz)

The power to appoint is essentially executive in nature (Pimentel, Jr. v. Ermita) and the
limitations on or qualifications in the exercise of this power are strictly construed
(Sarmiento III v. Mison, No. L-79974, December 17, 1987, 156 SCRA 549)

Appointments may be classified into two: first, as to its nature; and second, as to the
manner in which it is made. (See Marohombsar v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 126481,
February 18, 2000, 326 SCRA 62.)

Under the first classification, appointments can either be permanent or temporary

(acting). A basic distinction is that a permanent appointee can only be removed from
office for cause; whereas a temporary appointee can be removed even without hearing or
cause. (Marohombsar v. Alonto, Jr., G.R. No. 93711, February 25, 1991, 194 SCRA 390).

Under the second classification, an appointment can either be regular or ad interim. A

regular appointment is one made while Congress is in session, while an ad interim
appointment is one issued during the recess of Congress.

In strict terms, presidential appointments that require no confirmation from the

Commission on Appointments cannot be properly characterized as either a regular
or an ad interim appointment (See Calderon v. Carale, G.R. No. 91636, April 23, 1992,
208 SCRA 254)

b) Commission on Appointments confirmation

The following appointment requires confirmation of the Commission on Appointments

(Section 16)

a) Heads of Departments-
b) Ambassadors, public ministers, and consuls-
c) Officers of the armed forces from the rank of colonel and naval captain; and
d) other officers whose appointments are vested in him in this Constitution

Appointments with prior recommendation or nomination by the Judicial and Bar Council:
1. Members of the Supreme Court and all lower courts
2. Ombudsman and his five deputies

Do bureau directors need confirmation because this is also appointed by the president?
Sarmiento v Mison, 156 SCRA 547

What about the appointment of the Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights which is
also appointed by the President? Bautista vs. Salonga 172 SCRA 160

Appointments requiring confirmation are of two kinds, (i) regular, if Congress, is in

session, or (ii) during the recess of Congress (because the Commission shall meet only
while Congress is in session [Art. VI, Sec. 19]).

Can the President issue an acting appointment?

Generally, the power to appoint vested in the President includes the power to make
temporary appointments, unless he is otherwise specifically prohibited by the
Constitution or by the law, or where an acting appointment is repugnant to the nature
of the office involved. (Cabiling v. Pabualan, G.R. Nos. L-21764 and L-21765, May
31, 1965, 14 SCRA 274, citing Taada and Carreon, Philippine Political Law, 1961

c) Midnight appointments

31 | P a g e
Sec. 15, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution provides that "Two months immediately
before the next presidential elections and up to the end of his term, a President or Acting
President shall not make appointments, except temporary appointments to executive
positions when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service of endanger
public safety



Is the prohibition under Section 15 Article VII applicable to the members of the
Supreme Court? In G.R. No. 191002 (March 17, 2010 & April 20, 2010) ARTURO M.
MACAPAGAL - ARROYO, and other consolidated cases.

d) Power of removal

There is no express provision in the Constitution granting the President of the Philippines the
power to remove executive officers from their posts. However, he possesses it by implication
from the following:

1. His power to appoint;

2. The constitutional provision vesting the executive power in the President;
3. His function to take care that the laws be faithfully executed;
4. The Presidents control over the administrative department, bureaus, and offices of
the government.

However, note that not all officials appointed by the President are removable by him.
Members of the Supreme Court, the Ombudsman and the Members of the Constitutional
Commissions have fixed tenure and are removable only by impeachment. Judges of inferior
courts are subject to the disciplinary authority of the Supreme Court. In all other cases where
the power of removal is lodged in the President, the same may be exercised only for cause
provided by law and in accordance with the prescribed administrative procedure. The
exceptions are members of the Cabinet and other executive officials whose term of office is
determined at the pleasure of the President

3. Power of control and supervision

Control vs. Supervision

The President has control of all executive departments, bureaus, and offices to lay at rest
petitioner's contention on the matter.

This presidential power of control over the executive branch of government extends over all
executive officers from Cabinet Secretary to the lowliest clerk (The Constitution, A
Commentary. By Fr. Joaquin Bernas, S.J., Vol. II, 2nd Ed. (1988), p. 203-204)

Mondano vs. Silvosa, 97 Phil. 143 (1955). presidential power of control means "the power
of [the President] to alter or modify or nullify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done
in the performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former with that of the
latter." It is said to be at the very "heart of the meaning of Chief Executive." (The Constitution
by Bernas, Supra, at p. 204)

a) Doctrine of qualified political agency

Equally well accepted, as a corollary rule to the control powers of the President, is the
"Doctrine of Qualified Political Agency". As the President cannot be expected to exercise
his control powers all at the same time and in person, he will have to delegate some of them
to his Cabinet members.

De Leon vs. Carpio, 178 SCRA 457 (1989), thru Justice Isagani A. Cruz -Thus, and in short,
"the President's power of control is directly exercised by him over the members of the
Cabinet who, in turn, and by his authority, control the bureaus and other offices under
their respective jurisdictions in the executive department."

b) Executive departments and offices

32 | P a g e
The President shall have control of all the executive departments, bureaus, and offices.
(Article VII, Section 17)

The Cabinet

o The Cabinet is not a constitutional body. It is a mere creation of the President although its
existence is recognized by the Constitution in several articles like Article VII, Section 3(2).

o Members of the Cabinet are bound by the same prohibitions as the President and Vice

o Cabinet members may hold another office provided that:

o There is a specific constitutional provision that allows it. Vice President as a

member of the Cabinet (Article VII, Section 3(2) and the Secretary of Justice as
an ex-officio member of the Judicial and Bar Council (Article VIII, Section 8).

o The other office is necessitated by the primary functions of his position. Ex.
Secretary of Trade & Industry as chairman of the National Development
Corporation; Secretary of Agrarian Reform as chairman of the Land Bank.

o It is allowed by law.

NOTE: If the Vice President is appointed as a Cabinet Secretary, confirmation by the Commission
on Appointments is not required.

c) Local government units

The President shall exercise general supervision over local governments. Art. X,
Sec. 4.

The President shall exercise general supervision over autonomous regions to ensure
that laws are faithfully executed. Art. X, Sec. 16.

Republic Act 7160- Local Government Code

Scope of General Supervision

a. Can the president remove local elective official?

The pertinent portion of Section 60 of the Local Government Code of 1991


Section 60. Grounds for Disciplinary Actions. An elective local official may be
disciplined, suspended, or removed from office on any of the following grounds:

xxx xxx xxx

An elective local official may be removed from office on the grounds

enumerated above by order of the proper court. (Emphasis supplied)

o In G.R. No. 147870 July 31, 2002 RAMIR R. PABLICO vs. ALEJANDRO A.
VILLAPANDO citing Salalima v. Guingona, Jr., the Court en banc categorically ruled
that the Office of the President is without any power to remove elected officials, since the
power is exclusively vested in the proper courts as expressly provided for in the last
paragraph of Section 60 of the Local Government Code. It further invalidated Article 125,
Rule XIX of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Local Government Code of
1991Salalima v. Guingona, Jr., the Court en banc categorically ruled that the Office of the
President is without any power to remove elected officials, since the power is exclusively
vested in the proper courts as expressly provided for in the last paragraph of Section 60
of the Local Government Code. It further invalidated Article 125, Rule XIX of the Rules
and Regulations Implementing the Local Government Code of 1991

4. Military powers

Powers as commander-in-chief

33 | P a g e
As Commander-in-Chief, the President has the following powers:

b. He may call out the armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion
or rebellion;
c. He may suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus; or
d. He may proclaim martial law over the entire Philippines or any part thereof.

o Calling out powers of the president to suppress:

(1) lawless violence
(2) invasion
(3) rebellion

o The President may suspend the priviliege of the writ of habeas corpus or declare
martial law in the following instances:
(1) invasion or rebellion and
(2) public safety requires

o The declaration cannot: (Art. VII, Sec. 18, par. 4)

1. Suspend the operations of the Constitution.

2. Supplant the functioning of the civil courts and the legislative


3. Confer jurisdiction upon military courts and agencies

over civilians, where civil courts are unable to function.

This is the "open court" doctrine which holds that civilians cannot be tried by
military courts if the civil courts are open and functioning. But if the civil courts
are not functioning, then civilians can be tried by the military courts.

4. Automatically suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas


o What is the Role of Congress when the President declares martial law or suspends
the privilege of the writ?

a. When the President proclaims martial law or suspends the privilege of the writ, such
proclamation or suspension shall be effective for a period of 60 days, unless sooner
revoked by the Congress.

b. Upon such proclamation or suspension, Congress shall convene at once. If it is not

in session, it shall convene in accordance with its rules without need of a call
within 24 hours following the proclamation or suspension.

c. Within 48 hours from the proclamation or the suspension, the President shall submit
a report, in person or in writing, to the Congress (meeting in joint session of the
action he has taken).

e. The Congress shall then vote jointly, by an absolute majority. Either:

(i) To revoke such proclamation or suspension.

When it so revokes, the President cannot set aside (or veto) the revocation as he
normally would do in the case of bills. If Congress does not do anything, the
measure will expire anyway in 60 days. So the revocation must be made
before the lapse of 60 days from the date the measure was taken.

(ii) To extend it beyond the 60-day period of its validity.

Congress can only so extend the proclamation or suspension upon the

initiative of the President. The period need not be 60 days; it could be more,
as Congress would determine, based on the persistence of the emergency. If
Congress fails to act before the measure expires, it can no longer extend it until
the President again re-declares the measure.

If Congress extends the measure, but before the period of extension

34 | P a g e
lapses, the requirements for the proclamation or suspension no longer exist,
Congress can lift the extension, since the power to confer implies the power to
take back. If Congress does not review or lift the order, this can be reviewed by
the Supreme Court.

o What is the role of the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court may review, in an appropriate proceeding filled by any citizen,
the sufficiency of the factual basis of (a) the proclamation of martial law or the
suspension of the privilege of the writ, or (b) the extension thereof. It must
promulgate its decision thereon within 30 days from its filing. (Art. VII, Sec. 18 par. 3)

o Four (4) ways for the proclamation or suspension to be lifted:

1. Lifting by the President himself

2. Revocation by Congress
3. Nullification by the Supreme Court
4. Operation of law after the lapse of 60 days

5. Pardoning power


There are certain presidential powers which arise out of exceptional circumstances, and if
exercised, would involve the suspension of fundamental freedoms, or at least call for the
supersedence of executive prerogatives over those exercised by co-equal branches of
government. The declaration of martial law, the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, and the
exercise of the pardoning power, notwithstanding the judicial determination of guilt of the
accused, all fall within this special class that demands the exclusive exercise by the President of
the constitutionally vested power. The list is by no means exclusive, but there must be a showing
that the executive power in question is of similar gravitas and exceptional import. (Angeles vs.
Gaite G.R. No. 176596 March 23, 2011)

LIMITATIONS ON THE EXERCISE (Nachura Outline Reviewer, 2002, pg. 233)

a. Cannot be granted in cases of impeachment owing to its political nature

b. Cannot be granted in cases of violations of election laws without favourable

recommendation from the Commission on Elections (Art. IX-C, Sec. 5)

c. Can be granted only after conviction

d. Cannot be granted in cases of legislative contempt or civil contempt

e. Cannot absolve the convict of civil liability

f. Cannot restore public offices forfeited


1.Commutation reduction or mitigation of the penalty.

2.Amnesty an act of grace concurred in by the legislature, usually extended to groups of persons
who committed political offense which puts into oblivion the offense itself. As a public act, courts
take judicial notice of such.

35 | P a g e
Private act of the President upon which Public act of the President that courts may
there can be no judicial scrutiny. take judicial notice of.

No need for concurrence of Congress. Needs concurrence of Congress.

Acceptance is necessary. No need for distinct acts of acceptance.

Generally granted for common crimes. Addressed to political offenses.

Granted to one only after conviction. Granted to classes of persons guilty of a

political offense, before or after the
institution of criminal proceedings and
sometimes even after conviction.

Looks forward and relieve the offender Looks backward and abolishes and puts into
from the consequences of an offense of oblivion the offense itself, as if no offense
which he has been convicted. was committed.

3.Reprieves withholding of a sentence for an interval of time; a postponement of execution

4.Remission of fines and forfeitures prevents the collection of fines or the confiscation of
forfeited property and it cannot have the effect of returning property which has been vested in
third parties or money ion the public treasury.

5.Pardons act of grace which exempts the individual on whom it is bestowed from the
punishment which the law inflicts for the crime he has committed; Pardon is granted by the
Chief Executive and as such it is a private act which must be pleaded and proved by the person
pardoned, because the courts take no notice thereof

No treaty or international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least two-
thirds of all the Members of the Senate (Art. VII, Sec. 21).


Formal documents, which require Become binding through executive action without the
ratification with the approval of 2/3 of the need of a vote by the Senate or by Congress.

International agreements involving International agreements embodying adjustments of

political issues or changes of national detail carrying out well-established national policies and
policy and those involving international traditions and those involving arrangements of a more
arrangements of a permanent character. or less temporary nature. (ex. Agreements relating to
(ex. Agreement on tax, extradition, postal conventions, tariff rates, most favored nation
alliance) clause)

In Bayan vs. Zamora, the Supreme Court treated the Visiting Forces Agreement as a treaty which
required the concurrence of the Senate. In this respect, as a treaty the Philippines was bound to comply
with it in keeping with the principles of international law. The VFA is an agreement which defines the
treatment of United States troops


a) Borrowing power

Art. VII, Section 20 of the 1987 Constitution

The President may contract or guarantee foreign loans on behalf of the Republic of the
Philippines with the prior concurrence of the Monetary Board, and subject to such limitations as
may be provided by law. The Monetary Board shall, within thirty days from the end of every
quarter of the calendar year, submit to the Congress a complete report of its decision on
applications for loans to be contracted or guaranteed by the Government or government-owned

36 | P a g e
and controlled corporations which would have the effect of increasing the foreign debt, and
containing other matters as may be provided by law.

b) Budgetary Power
Art. VII, Section 22 of the 1987 Constitution

The President shall submit to the Congress, within thirty days from the opening of
every regular session as the basis of the general appropriations bill, a budget of
expenditures and sources of financing, including receipts from existing and proposed
revenue measures.

General Rule: The President may not veto a provision without vetoing the entire bill.

Exceptions: Selective veto is allowed in three kinds of bill:

Appropriation Bills
Revenue Bills
Tariff Bills

The President shall have the power to veto any particular item or items in an
appropriation, revenue, or tariff bill, but the veto shall not affect the item or items
to which he does not object [Article VI, Section 27[2]).


The rule is that what has been delegated, cannot be delegated, or as expressed in a Latin maxim:
potestats delegata non delegari potest. This doctrine is based on the ethical principle that such a
delegated power constitutes not only a right but a duty to be performed by the delegate by the
instrumentality of his own judgment acting immediately upon the matter of legislation and not through the
intervening mind of another. However, the rule admits of several exceptions one of which is delegation of
legislative power to the President in the following cases:

a) Emergency powers (Article VI, Section 23)

b) Certain taxing powers, i.e. tariff rates, import and export quotas, tonnage and wharfage dues,
other duties and imports (Article VI, Section 28 [2])

9. Veto powers

The bill becomes a law in any of the following cases:

1. When the President approves the same and signs it.
2. When Congress by 2/3 votes, overrides the Presidential veto.
If the President does not approve the bill, he shall veto the same and return it to the House
from which it originated.
To override the veto, at least 2/3 of ALL the members of each House must agree to pass the
bill. In such case, the veto is overridden and the bill becomes law without need of
Presidential approval.

Note: The President must decide to approve or veto a bill and communicate his decision to veto within 30
days from the date of the receipt thereof. If he fails to do so, the bill shall become law as if he signed it.

This last rule eliminates the "pocket veto," whereby the President would simply refuse to act on the bill.
Hence, there is NO pocket veto in the Philippines.

3. Upon failure of the President to vote and return with objections, the bill within 30 days upon the
date of receipt (Article VI, Section 27[1]).

General Rule: The President may not veto a provision without vetoing the entire bill.

Exceptions: Selective veto is allowed in three kinds of bill:

1. Appropriation Bills
2. Revenue Bills
3. Tariff Bills


The President disapproves the bill and A Pocket Veto is when the President fails to
returns the same to the house where it sign a bill within the 10 days allowed by the

37 | P a g e
originated, together with his veto Constitution (U.S.A.).
Congress must be in adjournment in order for
a pocket veto to take effect.

If Congress is in session and the president

fails to sign the bill, it becomes law without his

There is no pocket veto in the



If the provision does not relate specifically to particular appropriation, it is an inappropriate provision which
may be treated as an item which may be vetoed by the President without affecting other provisions.

1. No provision or enactment shall be embraced in the general appropriations bill unless it relates
specifically to some particular appropriation therein. Any such provision or enactment shall be limited
in its operation to the appropriation to which it relates (Article VI, Section 25[2]).
2. The President shall have the power to veto any particular item or items in an appropriation, revenue,
or tariff bill, but the veto shall not affect the item or items to which he does not object [Article VI,
Section 27[2]).


The President upon whom executive power is vested, has unstated residual powers which are implied
from the grant of executive power and which are necessary for her to comply with her duties under
the Constitution. The powers of the President are not limited to what are expressly enumerated in the
article on the Executive Department and in scattered provisions of the Constitution. This is so,
notwithstanding the avowed intent of the members of the Constitutional Commission of 1986 to limit
the powers of the President as a reaction to the abuses under the regime of Mr. Marcos, for the result
was a limitation of specific powers of the President particularly those relating to the commander-in-
chief clause, but not a diminution of the general grant of executive (Marcos vs. Manglapus, 177
SCRA 668).


Schwartz defines executive privilege as the power of the Government to withhold information
from the public, the courts, and the Congress.


a) Call Congress to a special session
b) Deport aliens
c) Consent to deputization
d) Discipline his/her deputies


1. Vacancy at the beginning of the term

(a) In case of death or permanent disability of the President-elect:
the Vice President elect shall become President;
(b) If the President-elect fails to qualify:
the Vice-President-elect shall act as President until a President shall have been chosen
and qualified
(c) If a President shall not have been chosen:
the Vice-president-elect shall act as president until a president shall have been chosen and
(d) If no President and Vice President were chosen nor shall have qualified, or both shall have
died or become permanently disabled:
the President of the Senate or, in case of his inability, the Speaker of the House of
Representatives shall act as President until a President or Vice President shall have been
chosen and qualified.
In the event of inability of the officials mentioned, Congress shall, by law, provide for the
manner in which one who is to act as President shall be selected until a President or a Vice
President shall have qualified.

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2. Vacancy During the Term

Four (4) Instances on Presidential Succession (where the President is not merely Acting-
1. Death
2. Permanent Disability
3. Removal from office (The president can only be removed by means of impeachment [Art. XI,
Sec. 2]).
4. Resignation
1. there must be intent to resign
2. it must be coupled with acts of relinquishment



1. By a written declaration made by the President himself as to his inability.
2. By a written declaration by the Cabinet that the President is unable to discharge the functions
of his office.
3. In the event of disagreement between the President and the Cabinet, by a finding of
Congress by 2/3 vote that the President is disabled.



In case of vacancy, the President shall nominate a Vice President from among the members of the
Senate and the House of Representatives who shall assume office upon confirmation by a majority vote
of all the Members of both Houses of Congress voting separately (Art. VII, Sec. 9).



A. Traditional Concept:

The courts are authorized to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally
demandable and enforceable.

B. Expanded Concept:
To determine whether or not there has been grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government.

Art. VIII of the 1987 Constitution

Section 1. The judicial power shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such lower courts as may be
established by law.

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



The Constitution is the supreme law. It was ordained by the people, the ultimate source of all political
authority. It confers limited powers on the national government. x x x If the government consciously or
unconsciously oversteps these limitations there must be some authority competent to hold it in control, to
thwart its unconstitutional attempt, and thus to vindicate and preserve inviolate the will of the people as
expressed in the Constitution. This power the courts exercise. This is the beginning and the end of the
theory of judicial review. (David vs. Arroyo, G.R. NO. 171396, May 3, 2006)


39 | P a g e
Thus, the Court, in exercising its power of judicial review, is not imposing its own will upon a co-equal
body but rather simply making sure that any act of government is done in consonance with the authorities
and rights allocated to it by the Constitution. And, if after said review, the Court finds no constitutional
violations of any sort, then, it has no more authority of proscribing the actions under review. Otherwise,
the Court will not be deterred to pronounce said act as void and unconstitutional. (Biraogo vs. Truth
Commission, G.R. No. 192935, Dec. 7, 2010)


Like almost all powers conferred by the Constitution, the power of judicial review is subject to limitations,
to wit: (1) there must be an actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power; (2) the
person challenging the act must have the standing to question the validity of the subject act or issuance;
otherwise stated, he must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has
sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement; (3) the question of constitutionality
must be raised at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of
the case. (LAMP vs. Secretary of Budget and Management, G.R. No. 164987, April 24, 2012)



General Rule: The issues raised in the case must not be moot and academic, or because of subsequent
developments, have become moot and academic.


1. There is grave violation of the Constitution.

2. The exceptional character of the situation and paramount public interest is involved.
3. When constitutional issue raised requires formulation of controlling principles to guide the bench,
the bar, and the public (symbolic function).
4. The question is capable of repetition and evasive of review



A definite and concrete dispute touching It means a question of policy. It refers to those
on the legal relations of parties having questions which, under the Constitution, are to be
adverse legal interests which may be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity, or
resolved by a court of law through the in regard to which full discretionary authority has been
application of a law (Cutaran vs. DENR, delegated to the Legislature or executive branch of
350 SCRA 697). the Government (Taada v. Cuenco, G.R. No. L-
10520,February 28, 1957).

It is a matter appropriate for court review. The Court does not automatically assume jurisdiction
It pertains to issues which are inherently over actual constitutional cases brought before it even
susceptible of being decided on grounds in instances that are ripe for resolution. The grant of
recognized by law (Integrated Bar of the power is qualified, conditional and subject to limitation
Philippines vs. Hon. Ronaldo B. Zamora, as to whether or not there has been a grave
GR No. 141284, August 15, 2000). abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess
of jurisdiction on the part of the official whose
action is being questioned (Integrated Bar of the
Philippines vs. Hon. Ronaldo B. Zamora, G.R. No.
141284, August 15, 2000).

B. Safeguards of Judicial independence

a. The Supreme Court is a constitutional body; it may not be abolished by legislature.

b. The members of the Supreme Court are removable only by impeachment.
c. The Supreme Court may not be deprived of minimum original and appellate jurisdiction; appellate
jurisdiction may not be increased without its advice and concurrence.
d. The Supreme Court has administrative supervision over all inferior courts and personnel.
e. The Supreme Court has the exclusive power to discipline judges / justices of inferior courts.
f. Members of the Judiciary have security of tenure.
g. The members of the Judiciary may not be designated to any agency performing quasi-judicial or
administrative functions.
h. The Judiciary enjoys fiscal autonomy salaries of judges may not be reduced.
i. The Supreme Court alone may promulgate Rules of Court.
j. The Supreme Court alone may order temporary detail of judges.

40 | P a g e
k. The Supreme Court can appoint all officials and employees of the Judiciary. (Based on the 2002
Outline Reviewer of Jutice Nachura)


The common-law principle of judicial restraint serves the public interest by allowing the political processes
to operate without undue interference. The doctrine of separation of powers calls for each branch of
government to be left alone to discharge its duties as it sees fit. Being one such branch, the judiciary will
neither direct nor restrain executive or legislative action. The legislative and the executive branches are
not allowed to seek its advice on what to do or not to do; thus, judicial inquiry has to be postponed in the
meantime. Before a court may enter the picture, a prerequisite is that something has been accomplished
or performed by either branch. Then it may pass on the validity of what has been done but, then again,
only when properly challenged in an appropriate legal proceeding. (Separate Opinion of Justice Ynares-
Santiago in Francisco vs. HOR, supra)



Natural born citizen of the Natural born citizen of the Citizen of the Philippines
Philippines Philippines

A judge of a lower court or Member of the Philippine Bar Member of the Philippine Bar
engaged in the practice of
law in the Philippines for 15
years or more

Other qualifications as may be Other qualifications as may be

prescribed by the Congress prescribed by the Congress

At least 40 years of age


1. COMPOSITION. The Supreme Court shall be composed of a Chief Justice and fourteen
Associate Justices. It may sit en banc or in its discretion, in division of three, five, or seven
Members. Any vacancy shall be filled within ninety days from the occurrence thereof.


Cases that are Heard En Banc, all others are heard by division:

a. Cases involving the constitutionality of a treaty, international or executive agreement,

executive orders, presidential decrees, proclamations, orders, instructions, ordinances, and
other regulations (Article VIII, Section 4 [2]).
b. Criminal cases in which the appealed decision imposes the death penalty.
c. Cases raising novel questions of law (Firestone Ceramics v. Court of Appeals, 334 SCRA
d. Cases involving ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls (Firestone Ceramics,
e. Cases or matters heard by a division where the required number of votes to decide or resolve
is not met (Article VIII, Section 4 [3]).
f. Cases intended to modify or reverse a doctrine or principle of law laid down by the court in a
decision rendered en banc or in division (Article VIII, Section 4 [3]).
g. Administrative disciplinary cases involving dismissal or judges of lower courts, officer or
employee of the judiciary, disbarment of a lawyer, or order the suspension of them for a
period of more than one (1) year or a fine exceeding P 10,000 or both (Article VIII, Section
h. Actions instituted by citizens to test the validity of a proclamation of martial law or suspension
of the privilege of the writ (Article VIII, Section 18).
i. Election contests for President or Vice President (Article VII, Section 4 [7]).

41 | P a g e
j. Cases assigned to a division which in the opinion of at least three (3) members thereof merit
the attention of the court sitting en banc and are acceptable to a majority of the actual
membership of the court sitting en banc (Firestone Ceramics, supra);
k. All other cases as the court en banc by a majority of its actual membership may deem of
sufficient importance to merit its attention.

2. Procedural rule-making concerns:

a. Protection and enforcement of constitutional rights

b. Pleading, practice and procedure in all courts
c. Admissions to the practice of law
d. The Integrated Bar of the Philippines
e. Legal assistance to the underprivileged

Limitations on rule making power:

1. Provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for speedy disposition of cases
2. Uniform for all courts in the same grade
3. Shall not diminish, increase or modify substantive rights


1. Administrative supervision over all courts and the personnel thereof.

2. Mere division of the SC may discipline a judge of the lower court; the SC is required to decide a case
en banc only when the dismissal of a judge is involved.

Under B.M. 209, administrative cases to be heard by the SC en banc include:

a. Administrative Judges
b. Disbarment of lawyers
c. Suspension for more than one year
d. Fine Exceeding P10, 000 (People vs. Gacott, July 13, 1995)


(Sec. 5, Art. VIII of the 1987 Constitution)

a) Original Jurisdiction:
Cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls
over petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, and habeas corpus
Review of the factual basis for the declaration of martial law or the suspension of the
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus

b) Appellate Jurisdiction
Review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal or certiorari, as the law or the Rules of Court
may provide, final judgments and orders of lower courts in:
a. All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty, international or executive
agreement, law, presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or
regulation is in question.
b. All cases involving the legality of any tax, impost, assessment, or toll, or any penalty
imposed in relation thereto.
c. All cases in which the jurisdiction of any lower court is in issue.
d. All criminal cases in which the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua or higher.
In People vs. Mateo (433 SCRA 640), the Justices were not unanimous in their resolution
as to the guilt or innocence of the appellant, bolstered by the fact that even the Solicitor
General recommended for an acquittal. The Supreme Court REMANDED the case to the
Court of Appeals. The High Court explained that while the Constitution prescribes a
mandatory review for cases meted with reclusion perpetua, an intermediate review was
not proscribed. If only to ensure utmost circumspection before the penalty of death,
reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment is imposed, the Court now deems it wise and
compelling to provide in these cases a review by the Court of Appeals before the case
is elevated to the Supreme Court. Where life and liberty are at stake, all possible
avenues to determine his guilt or innocence must be accorded an accused, and no care
in the evaluation of the facts can ever be overdone. A prior determination by the Court of
Appeals on, particularly, the factual issues, would minimize the possibility of an error of
judgment. If the Court of Appeals should affirm the penalty of death, reclusion perpetua
or life imprisonment, it could then render judgment imposing the corresponding penalty
as the circumstances so warrant, refrain from entering judgment and elevate the entire

42 | P a g e
records of the case to the Supreme Court for its final disposition. This is what is referred
to as the intermediate appellate review.

a. All cases in which only an error or question of law is involved.

d) Electoral Tribunal for Presidential and Vice Presidential Contests Sitting en banc

The Supreme Court, sitting en banc, shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election,
returns, and qualifications of the President or Vice-President, and may promulgate its rules for the
purpose. (Art. VII, Sec. 4 of the 1987 Constitution)


Judicial Privilege, or the right of the Judiciary to confidentiality of certain information,

is implied from Judicial Power. Similarly, Executive Privilege, or the right of the Executive to
confidentiality of certain information, is implied from Executive Power.



Civil Service Commission on Commission on Audit

Commission Elections

Composition 1 Chairman 2 1 Chairman 6 1 Chairman and 2

Commissioners Commissioners Commissioners

Qualifications a. Natural Born Citizens; a. Natural Born Citizens a. Natural Born Citizens

b. at least 35 years at b. at least 35 years at b. at least 35 years at

the time of the the time of the the time of the
appointment appointment appointment

c. With proven capacity c. Holders of College c. CPA or Lawyer with

for public administration Degrees; practiced 10 years;

d. Not candidates for d. Not candidates for

any elective position in d. Not candidates for any elective position in
the election immediately any elective position in the election immediately
preceding the election immediately preceding appointment
appointment preceding appointment

NB: Majority, including

the chairman must be
members of the
Philippine Bar and
practiced law for 10

Appointments Need CA Confirmation Need CA Confirmation Need CA Confirmation;

Members cannot belong
to the same profession

Disqualification Same as President and Same Same

Vice President under
Article VII and members
of Congress under
Article VI -

A. Constitutional Safeguards to ensure independence of commissions

Guarantees of Independence

Constitutionally created and may not be abolished by statutes;

Expressly described as independent;
The powers and functions cannot be reduced by statute;

43 | P a g e
Chairman and members cannot be removed except by impeachment;
Fixed term of office of seven years [subject to the rotational scheme of appointment] and
may not be appointed in a temporary capacity;
Salaries may not be decreased during their continuance in office;
Enjoys fiscal autonomy;
Promulgate their own rules of procedures provided they do not diminish, increase of
modify substantive rights [subject to the disapproval of the Supreme Court];
They may appoint their own officials and employees subject to the provisions of the Civil
Service Law;

B. Powers and Functions of Each Commission

1. The Civil Service Commission

Scope of the Civil Service - Article IX-B, Section 2(1)

All branches, subdivision, instrumentalities and agencies of the government including

GOCC with original charters;

Career vs. Non-Career Service

Career characterized by entrance based on merit and fitness determined as far as

practicable by examinations and based on highly technical qualifications.

1. Policy determining
2. Primarily Confidential
3. Highly Technical

Security of Tenure

General vs. Roco G.R. No. 143366, January 29, 2001The security of tenure of employees
in the career executive service [except first and second level employees] refers only to rank
and not the office or to the position to which they may be appointed.
Two requisites must concur in order that an employee in the career executive service may
attain security of tenure, to wit:
a) CES eligibility; and
b) Appointment to the appropriate CES rank.

NON-Career characterized by entrance other by usual tests and their tenure is limited by
law or coterminous to the appointing authority or subject to his pleasure e.g. Elective officials,
department heads, cabinets etc.

Please note that the CSC is empowered under the Administrative Code of 1987 to declare
positions in the civil service as confidential thus the enumeration of the inclusion in the non-
career service is not an exclusive list Montecilio vs. CSC, GR No. 131954, June 28, 2001.

2. Commission on Elections

Powers and Functions - Article IX-C, Section 2

1. Enforce election laws - Article IX-C, Section 2(1); Id Sec. 10

2. Decide administrative question pertaining elections, except the right to vote.
3. Prosecution election law violators - Article IX-C, Section 2(6)
4. Recommend pardon, parole or suspension of sentence of election law violators. Article
IX-C, Section 5
5. Deputize law enforcement agents, etc
6. Registration of political parties, organization/coalitions and
7. Regulation of public utilities and media of information
8. Decide election contest and cases

Pre-proclamation controversies include

1. Incomplete returns (omission of name or votes)

2. Returns with material defects
3. Returns which appeared to be tampered with falsified or prepared under duress or
containing discrepancies in the votes (with significant effect on the result of election).

44 | P a g e
All Election cases shall be first heard and decided in division, provided that motion for
reconsideration shall be decided en banc.

Cases that must first be heard and decided in division:

1. All election cases, including pre-proclamation contest under its original jurisdiction;
2. Petition to cancel a certificate of candidacy;
3. Cases appealed from the RTC or MTC;
4. Petition for certiorari filed before the commission from decision of the RTC or MTC before
the same may be heard en banc.


Petitions for corrections of manifest error in the tabulation or tallying of votes

Cases of violation of election laws involving the exercise of administrative functions;

3. Commission on Audit

Sec. 2 Powers and Functions

1. The Commission on Audit shall have the power, authority, and duty to examine, audit, and
settle all accounts pertaining to the revenue and receipts of, and expenditures or uses of
funds and property, owned or held in trust by, or pertaining to, the Government, or any of
its subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled
corporations with original charters, and on a post- audit basis:
a. constitutional bodies, commissions and offices that have been granted fiscal
autonomy under this Constitution;
b. autonomous state colleges and universities;
c. other government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries; and
d. such non-governmental entities receiving subsidy or equity, directly or indirectly,
from or through the Government, which are required by law or the granting
institution to submit to such audit as a condition of subsidy or equity. However,
where the internal control system of the audited agencies is inadequate, the
Commission may adopt such measures, including temporary or special pre-audit,
as are necessary and appropriate to correct the deficiencies. It shall keep the
general accounts of the Government and, for such period as may be provided by
law, preserve the vouchers and other supporting papers pertaining thereto.
2. The Commission shall have exclusive authority, subject to the limitations in this Article, to
define the scope of its audit and examination, establish the techniques and methods
required therefor, and promulgate accounting and auditing rules and regulations,
including those for the prevention and disallowance of irregular, unnecessary, excessive,
extravagant, or unconscionable expenditures or uses of government funds and

Section 3. No law shall be passed exempting any entity of the Government or its subsidiaries
in any guise whatever, or any investment of public funds, from the jurisdiction of the
Commission on Audit.

Section 20. The records and books of accounts of the Congress shall be preserved and be
open to the public in accordance with law, and such books shall be audited by the
Commission on Audit which shall publish annually an itemized list of amounts paid to and
expenses for each Member.

C. Prohibited Offices and Interests

No member of a Constitutional Commission shall, during his tenure, hold any other office or
employment. Neither shall he engage in the practice of any profession or in the active management or
control of any business which, in any way, may be affected by the functions of his office, nor shall he be
financially interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract with, or in any franchise or privilege granted by
the Government, any of its subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities, including government-owned or
controlled corporations or their subsidiaries.



Under the 1935 Constitution

1. Philippine Bill of 1902- inhabitants as of the adoption of the Treaty of Paris who continued to
reside in the Philippines as well as their children born subsequent thereto.

45 | P a g e
2. Caram Rule - those born in the Philippines of foreign parents who, before the adoption of the
Constitution had been elected to public office.
3. Those whose fathers were citizens;
4. Those whose mothers are citizens of the Philippines and, upon reaching the age of majority, elect
Philippine citizenship.
5. Those who were naturalized in accordance with law

Under the 1973 Constitution:

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

Under the 1987 Constitution:

1. Those who are citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of this Constitution;
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 the accordance with law. (Article IV, Sec. 1)

Natural born citizens are those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to
perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship. Those who elect Philippine
citizenship in accordance with paragraph (3), Section 1 hereof shall be deemed natural-born
citizens. (Article IV, Sec. 2)
Citizens of the Philippines who marry aliens shall retain their citizenship, unless by their act or
omission they are deemed, under the law to have renounced it. (Article IV, Sec. 4)


1. By Birth
a) Jus Sanguinis (Blood Relationship)
b) Jus Soli (Place of Birth)

2. By Marriage to a foreigner whose laws make automatically make the spouse citizen of his

3. By Naturalization

NATIONALITY - It is membership in any class or form of political community whether monarchical,

autocratic or democratic. It does not necessarily carry with it the exercise of political rights.

C. Naturalization and denaturalization

NATURALIZATION the legal act of adopting an alien and clothing him with the rights that belong to a
natural born citizen, except those rights that specifically reserved by the Constitution to the latter.


1. Administrative naturalization pursuant to R.A. No. 9139

2. Judicial naturalization pursuant to C.A. No. 473, as amended
3. Legislative naturalization in the form of a law enacted by Congress bestowing Philippine citizenship to
an alien. (Edison So vs. Republic of the Philippines, G.R. No. 170603, January 29, 2007)


a) Direct. Citizenship is acquired by the:

1. Individual
2. Special act of legislature
3. Collective change of nationality, e.g. cession or subjugation
4. In some cases, adoption of orphan minors as nationals of the State where they are born
b) Derivative. Citizenship is acquired by the:
1. Wife of naturalized husband
2. Minor children of naturalized person
3. Alien woman upon marriage to a national



46 | P a g e
1. At least 21 years old at the date of hearing of the petition.
2. Must have resided in the Philippines for at least 10 years. This can be reduced to 5 years in any of
the following cases:
a. He was born in the Philippines.
b. He is married to a Filipino woman. An alien woman who marries a Filipino needs only to have her
Alien Certificate of Registration cancelled in an administrative proceeding upon proof of marriage
and that she does not possess any of the disqualifications found in Section 4 of C.A. No. 473.
c. He has held office in government.
d. He made a useful invention or established an industry.
e. He served as a teacher in a private or public school not limited to children of any nationality in any
branch of education or industry for a period of not less than 2 years.
3. Possesses good moral character, believes in the Constitution and has conducted himself in an
irreproachable manner during his stay in the Philippines.
4. Owns real estate in the Philippines worth P5,000.00 or more, or has a lucrative trade, profession or
5. Must be able to speak and write Filipino or English and a principal dialect (as modified by the 1987
Constitution). He must have enrolled his children in a recognized school in the Philippines that
teaches Philippine History, civics and government.

1. Being opposed to organized government.
2. Believing in violence as a means to espouse an idea.
3. A polygamist or believing in such.
4. Convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.
5. Suffering from an incurable contagious disease or from mental anguish.
6. Not mingling socially with Filipinos, nor embracing Filipino culture, ideas and customs.
7. Being the citizen of a country with which the Philippines is at war, during the time of such war.
8. No reciprocity, that is, his own country does not grant the same naturalization to Filipinos.

Effects of Naturalization
1. Confers upon the petitioner all the rights of a Philippine citizen except only those reserved by the
Constitution to natural born citizens.
2. Vests citizenship on the wife if she herself may be lawfully naturalized.

Derivative Effects
1. Minor children born in the Philippines before the naturalization shall be considered citizens of the
2. Minor children born outside the Philippines at the time of parents naturalization shall be considered
Filipino citizens.
3. Minor children born outside the Philippines before the parents naturalization shall be considered
Filipino citizens only during minority, unless he permanently resides in the Philippines.
4. Child born outside the Philippines after the parents naturalization shall be considered Filipino,
provided he registers as such before any Philippine consulate within one year after attaining majority
age and takes his oath of allegiance.



R. A. No. 9139 - Administrative Naturalization Law of 2001

(Not all aliens may avail of this. See Edison So vs. Republic of the Philippines, G.R. No. 170603, January
29, 2007)

1. Aliens who were born in the Philippines and have resided here since birth are qualified to acquire
Philippine citizenship.
2. Must at least be 18 years of age.
3. Must be of good moral character.
4. Must believe in the principles underlying the Constitution.
5. Must have received his primary and secondary education in a public or private school recognized by
the DECS.
6. Must also have a known trade, business, profession or lawful occupation from which he derives
income enough for him and his family.

In Republic vs. Ong (G.R. No. 175430, June 18, 2012), the Supreme Court explained the
meaning of this requirement, to wit:

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Based on jurisprudence, the qualification of some known lucrative trade, profession, or lawful
occupation means not only that the person having the employment gets enough for his ordinary
necessities in life. It must be shown that the employment gives one an income such that there is an
appreciable margin of his income over his expenses as to be able to provide for an adequate support in
the event of unemployment, sickness, or disability to work and thus avoid ones becoming the object of
charity or a public charge. His income should permit him and the members of his family to live with
reasonable comfort, in accordance with the prevailing standard of living, and consistently with the demands
of human dignity, at this stage of our civilization. Lastly, the Court has consistently held that the applicants
qualifications must be determined as of the time of the filing of his petition.

7. Must be able to read, write and speak Filipino or any local dialect.
8. Must have mingled with Filipinos and shown a sincere desire to embrace their customs, traditions
and ideals.

1. Those opposed to the government
2. Polygamists
3. Convicts
4. Those suffering from mental illness or incurable disease.



1. Naturalization certificate is obtained fraudulently.

2. If within 5 years he returns to his native country and establishes a permanent residence there.
3. Petition was made on an invalid declaration of intention.
4. Minor children failed to graduate by the fault of the parent by neglecting them or transferring them to
another school.
5. Applicant is guilty of violating naturalization laws and the anti-dummy law in availing privileges
available only to Filipinos.

Law and jurisprudence even authorize the cancellation of a certificate of naturalization upon
grounds or conditions arising subsequent to the granting of the certificate. (So vs. Republic,
In Limkaichong vs. COMELEC (2009), the Supreme Court ruled that under law and
jurisprudence, it is the State, through its representatives designated by statute, that may
question the illegally or invalidly procured certificate of naturalization in the appropriate
denaturalization proceedings. It is plainly not a matter that may be raised by private persons
in an election case involving the naturalized citizen's descendant.

D. Dual citizenship and dual allegiance

Dual citizenship arises when, as a result of concurrent application of the different laws of two or more
states, a person is simultaneously considered a national by the said states.

Dual allegiance refers to a situation in which a person simultaneously owes, by some positive act,
loyalty to two or more states. It is a result of an individuals volition. It is prohibited and abhorred by the



1.Naturalization in a foreign country (Frivaldo vs. Comelec, 174 SCRA 245).

2.Express renunciation or expatriation.
3.Taking an oath of allegiance to another country upon reaching the age of majority.
4.Accepting a commission and serving in the armed forces of another country, unless there is an
offensive or defensive pact with the country, or it maintains armed forces in RP with RPs consent.
5. Denaturalization.
6. Being found by final judgment to be a deserter of the AFP (Commonwealth Act No. 63).
Expatriation - the voluntary renunciation or abandonment of nationality and allegiance.


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a. The applicant must have lost his original Philippine citizenship by naturalization in a foreign
country or by express renunciation of his citizenship.
b. He must be at least 21 years of age and shall have resided in the Philippines at least 6 months
before he applies for naturalization.
c. He must have conducted himself in a proper and irreproachable manner during the entire period
of his residence, in his relations with the government and with the community in which he is living.
d. He subscribes to an oath declaring his intention to renounce all faith and allegiance to the foreign
authority, state or sovereignty of which he was a citizen or subject.


a) Desertion of the armed forces (C.A. 63, Sec.4)

b) Service in the armed forces of the Allied Forces in World War II (R.A. 965, Sec.1)
c) Service in the Armed Forces of the United States at any other time (R.A. 2630, Sec.1).
d) Marriage of a Filipino woman to an alien (RA 8171, Sec.1).
e) Political and economic necessity.


Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act (RA No. 9225)

Took effect on September 17, 2003.

Natural-born citizens, by reason of their naturalization as citizens of a foreign country are deemed to
have re-acquired Philippine citizenship upon taking an oath of allegiance to the Republic. Natural
born citizens of the Philippines who, after the effectivity of the Act, become citizens of a foreign
country, shall retain their Philippine citizenship upon taking the aforesaid oath. (Sec. 3)

Derivative Citizenship - The unmarried child, whether legitimate, illegitimate or adopted, below 18 years
of age, of those who re-acquire Philippine citizenship upon effectivity of the Act shall be deemed citizens
of the Philippines. (Sec. 4)

Civil and Political Rights and Liabilities - Those who retain or re-acquire Philippine citizenship shall
enjoy full civil and political rights and be subject to all attendant liabilities and responsibilities under
existing laws of the Philippines, subject to following the following conditions:

1. Those intending to exercise their right of suffrage must meet the requirements under Section 1, Article
V of the Constitution, RA No. 9189 (The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003) and other existing
laws; Those seeking elective public office in the Philippines shall meet the qualification for holding
such public office as required by the Constitution and existing laws and, at the time of the filing of the
certificate of candidacy, make a personal and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign citizenship
before any public officer authorized to administer an oath.

2. Those appointed to any public office shall subscribe and swear to an oath of allegiance to the
Republic of the Philippines and its duly constituted authorities prior to their assumption of office:
Provided, That they renounce their oath of allegiance to the country where they took that oath.

3. Those intending to practice their profession in the Philippines shall apply with the proper authority for
a license or permit to engage in such practice.

4. That right to vote or be elected or appointed to any public office in the Philippines cannot be exercised
by, or extended to those who:
a. Are candidates for or are occupying any public office in the country of which they are naturalized
citizens; and/or
b. Are in active service as commissioned or non-commissioned officers in the armed forces of the
country which they are naturalized citizens.(Sec. 5)

NOTE: There is no such thing as a judicial declaration of Philippine Citizenship.


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Natural-Born Natural-Born Natural-Born Citizen
Natural-Born Citizen Citizen Citizen Citizen


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