Sunteți pe pagina 1din 14

G.R. No.

L-58289 July 24, 1982



Petition filed by the Honorable Valentino L. Legaspi, incumbent member of the interim Batasang
Pambansa, praying that this Court declare Presidential Decree 1840 “granting tax amnesty and filing
of statement of assets and liabilities and some other purposes” unconstitutional.

This PD was issued under Amendment no. 6 of the constitution that was proclaimed in full force and
effect as of October 27, 1976 which states that the president, in grave emergency or threat, or
whenever the BP or the regular National Assembly fails or is unable to act adequately on any matter,
he can issue the necessary decrees, orders, LOI, in order to meet the exigency, and which will form
part of the land.

This was promulgated despite the constitution saying “ The legislative power will be vested in a BP
and the president may only grant amnesty with concurrence of the BP

Legaspi claimed that Amendment No. 6 is not one of the powers granted the President by the
Constitution as amended in the plebiscite of April 7, 1981 in sec. 16 art 7 of the 1973 consti and that
such re-confirmation of existing powers did not mean to include the President’s legislative powers
under Amendment No. 6

Whether the 1973 Constitution as amended by Plebiscite-Referendum of 1976, retained the same
amendments, more particularly Amendment No. 6, after it was again amended in the Plebiscite held on
April 7, 1981?


No, it is maintained that "Amendment No. 6 is rendered inoperable, deleted and/or repealed by the
amendments of April 7, 1981".

He says the term incumbent president mentioned here could only refer to president Marcos.

After the April 7 amendments there exists no longer "a President (Prime Minister)" but "A President"
and "A Prime Minister." They are now two different offices which cannot be held by a single person
— not a transitory one but a regular one provided for and governed by the main provisions of the
newly amended Constitution. Subsequent events accept the reality that we are no longer governed
by the transitory provisions of the Constitution. (Pp. 27-28, Record.)

He also says that leg power is granted to a president (prime minister) and not either! This is in conflict now since the
2 positions are now separated
Is Amendment No. 6 of the 1973 Constitution as approved in 1976 reproduced or unaffected by the
April 7, 1981 amendment? Or, is it considered repealed by Omission?

Legaspi also questions question no. 1 in the ballot for the plebiscite which does not submit that the pres will enjoy
leg powers

The Constitutional provisions of the Presidency do not restate the provisions of Amendment No. 6
which grants the President (Prime Minister) limited powers to legislate. This is tantamount to a
withdrawal or deletion of such grant.

The 1976 amendments are amendments to the transitory provisions of the Constitution and that the
office of the President or the Prime Minister is concerned they have ceased to be governed by the
transitory provisions but under the newly amended Constitution.

After mature study and deliberation and considering the peculiar circumstances that dictated the
formulation of Amendment No. 6, the Court's conclusion is, that Assemblyman-Petitioners posture
lacks, to say the least, sufficient merit.

Legaspi’s petition lacks merit!! Dismissed and no costs.

Constitutional provisions are to be interpreted not only on the basis of current events, but also on the basis of the
historical background of their enactment

Constitutional law is not simply the literal application of the words of the Charter. The ancient and
familiar rule of constitutional construction that has consistently maintained its intrinsic and
transcendental worth is that the meaning and understanding conveyed by the language, albeit plain,
of any of its provisions do not only portray the influence of current events and developments but
likewise the inescapable imperative considerations rooted in the historical background and
environment at the time of its adoption and thereby caused their being written as part and parcel

True enough Article VIII, Sec. 1 of the Philippine Constitution as amended in 1981 explicitly ordains
that "(T)he legislative power shall be vested in a Batasang Pambansa". Section 2, however, readily
reveals that the Batasang Pambansa contemplated in that Section 1 is the regular assembly
(formerly referred to as National Assembly, now as Batasang Pambansa — evidently to indigenize
the nomenclature, which, incidentally should have been done also with the Pangulo and Pangunang
Ministro), to be elected in May 1984, per Sec. 5(1) of the same Article. We must keep in mind that at
least for the present and until 1984, what can be properly discussed here are only the legislative
powers of the interim Batasang Pambansa as such. as a matter of fact, the BP now is still the same
interim assembly contemplated by amendment no. 2 to the 1973 consti transitory provisions

Examining closely, the only change in amendment no. 2 consisted of the non-inclusion of the “incumbent president”
as a member of the assembly in order to separate the presidency from the regular legislative body to establish a
modified form of parliamentary suited for our political condition  evident that the reference to amendment no.
2 was not intended to convert/upgrade present existing assembly into the regular BP  still interim!

Since it is still interim, this follows that its legislative authority cannot be more exclusive now after 1981
amendments than when it was originally created in 1976 there can be no question that at the same time with the
creation of the interim Batasan, Amendment No. 6 came into force and effect. And Amendment No. 6 mandates in
unequivocal and unambiguous terms the grant of concurrent legislative authority to an official (the President
[Prime Minister]) who is not in the Batasan itself.

Ration d’tre of amendment no. 6

Contrary to the imputations of petitioner, this amendment is not rooted in the authoritarian, much less dictatorial
tendencies or inclinations of anyone.

Such hue of a one-man authoritarianism it somehow connotes is there only because it is so dictated by paramount
considerations that are needed in order to safeguard the very existence and integrity of the nation and all that it
stands for.

Perhaps the truism -- almost a dogma -- well recognized by constitutionalists and political scientists of all persuasions
as a convenient pragmatic rule for survival of nations, namely, that in an emergency, the best form of government
is a dictatorship, might have been in the mind of those who formulate it, but it is quite obvious, as will be explained
anon, that other fundamental factors must have been taken into account in order precisely to minimize the rigors
and generally feared oppressiveness of a dictatorship in an unrestricted martial regime

Note that the power amendment no. 6 vests upon the president (prime minister) can only be exercised when in (1)
his judgement there exists a grave emergency and threat thereof, and (2) whenever the interm BP or the regular NA
fails to act adequately on any matter  obviously It is a power that the consti confers to him in times of crises and
emergencies note that both 1935 and 1987 constis intended to operate this ratio during perilous situations like
war, insurrection, rebellion, invasion

Within the 4 corners of the consti there were 4 constitutionally designed ways of coping with abnormal situations in
the country: emergency powers delegated by the assembly, calling out powers, suspension of the privilege of the
writ of HC, and martial lawso why need amendment no. 6?

People hate martial law!!  marcos is aware of this but he was also aware that something was needed for
national security  amendment no. 6 was born!

the central idea that emerged was that martial law may be earlier lifted, but to safeguard our country and people
against any abrupt dangerous situation which would warrant the exercise of some authoritarian powers,
amendment no. 6 must be constitutionally allowed

designed to make it practically unnecessary to proclaim martial law, except in instances of actual surface warfare
or rebellious activities or very sophisticated subversive actions that cannot be adequately met without martial
law itself.

the purpose of Amendment No. 6 is that the Philippines be henceforth spared of martial law unless manifest
extreme situations should ever demand it.

Critics say amendment no. 6 and martial law the same (a dog with another collar) WRONG

o Amendment no. 6 is a more restrained way of conferring law-making authority to the executive
during emergency  limited, restricted, subject to conditions, and temporary
o Obviously the simplest remedy  least violence to constitutional processes
o Should matters really go out of hand  martial law

Legaspi maintains that said amendments vested extraordinary legislative powers on the President (Prime Minister)
and on nobody else, and since there is no one who is President (Prime Minister) under our present governmental
set-up pursuant to 1981 amendments, no one in the existing government can exercise said powers  if we go solely
by rules of literature: puwede pa

o the Constitution is not merely a literal document to be always read according to the plain and ordinary
signification of its words
o Elements and factors radiating from political and economic developments of the situation prevailing at
the time of the inclusion of any particular provision thereof or amendment thereto  only in light of
these that the real implications of such elements and factors that the real essence and significance of
the words of the consti provision can be comprehended
o the literal reference to “the President (Prime Minister)” in Amendment No. 6 was the intention to
make such reference descriptive of the person on whom is vested the totality of the executive power
under the system of government established thereby.
o Also, the amendment does not speak of the “incumbent President” only, but of the President, meaning
to include all future presidents  power isn’t for marcos alone!

 the fact that Amendment No. 6 was not in any way or sense mentioned in the amendments submitted to the
people for ratification in 1981 and there being nothing in the latter intrinsically inconsistent with the former, it
is safe to conclude that it would be deceiving the people themselves and depriving them of something they had
decided in 1976 to be part of the fundamental law of the land to now eliminate the power conferred by them
upon the Executive of sharing legislative authority with the Batasan on appropriate occasions of emergency and

All the above premises taken into account. Our considered conclusion and judgment is that
Amendment No. 6 of October 1976 of the Constitution of 1973 has not been in anyway altered or
modified, much less repealed by the constitutional amendments of 1981.

WHEREFORE, the petition is dismissed. No costs.

Garcia-Padilla v. Enrile
121 SCRA 472
The case is an application for the issuance of the writ of habeas corpus on behalf of 14 detainees. Sabino
Padilla and 8 others out of the 14 detainees were then having a conference in the dining room at Dr.
Parong’s residence. Prior thereto, all the 14 detainees were under surveillance as they were then
identified as members of the Communist Party of the Philippines. engaging in subversive activities. They
were arrested and later transferred to a facility only the PCs know, hence, the present petition of
Josefina, mother of Sabina, for writ of habeas corpus.

Whether or not the arrests done to the present detainees are valid

The suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus raises a political, not a judicial, question and
that the right to bail cannot be invoked during such a period. PD 1836 and LOI 1211 have vested,
assuming a law is necessary, in the President the power of preventive arrest incident to the suspension
of the privilege of the writ. In addition, however, it should be noted that the PCO has been replaced by
Preventive Detention Action (PDA) pursuant to PD 1877. As provided for in the said decree, a PDA
constitutes an authority to arrest and preventively detain persons committing the aforementioned
crimes, for a period of one year, with the cause or causes of their arrest subjected to review by the
President or the by the Review Committee created for the purpose.
G.R. No. L-32743 February 15, 1974


Concepcion, Victorino, Sanchez and Associates for petitioners.
Jose G. Ricardo for respondent Ricardo Cipriano.

In this petition for certiorari, petitioners seek the review and nullification of two orders of the Court of First
Instance of Rizal, Branch XV, the first, dated August 4, 1970 sustaining private respondent Ricardo
Cipriano's motion to dismiss "on the authority of Republic Act 6126", and the second, dated October 16,
1970, denying the motion for reconsideration of the first order. The question before Us involves the
retroactive application of the provisions of Republic Act 6126, otherwise known as the Rental Law.

The plaintiffs were the owners of the property in question, leased to the defendants since 1952. In
January, 1969, the lease was converted to a month-to-month basis, and the plaintiffs increased the rent
to P30.00 a month. The defendant has remained in possession of the property up to the present. Since
January 1969 the defendant has not paid rental at the present monthly rate. A formal notice to vacate,
dated March 22, 1969, was sent by registered mail to, and received by, defendant.

On July 7, 1970, Judge Vivencio Ruiz of the Court of First Instance of Rizal issued an order giving private
respondent herein seven days within which to file his motion to dismiss. Subsequently, on July 13, 1970,
respondent moved to dismiss petitioner's complaint, invoking the prohibitory provision of Republic Act
6126, entitled "An Act To Regulate Rentals of Dwelling Units or of Land On Which Another's Dwelling Is
Located For One Year And Penalizing Violations Thereof; which states that there should be no increase
of rent during a one year period starting from March 30, 1970, where the rent does not exceed
P300.00.However, the increase of rent happened a year before the enactment of the statute.

Petitioners opposed the motion to dismiss but respondent Judge issued an order on August 4, 1970,
which reads:

On the Authority of Republic Act 6126, this Court hereby sustains the Motion for
Dismissal filed by the defendant through counsel, dated July 13, 1970.

A motion for reconsideration of said order was likewise denied by respondent Judge. Hence this petition.

Whether or not R.A. 6126 will have retroactive effect at the case at bar.


For convenience We reproduce the pertinent provisions of law in question:

Section 1. No lessor of a dwelling unit or of land on which another's dwelling is located

shall, during the period of one year from March 31, 1970, increase the monthly rental
agreed upon between the lessor and the lessee prior to the approval of this Act when
said rental does not exceed three hundred pesos (P300.00) a month.

Section 6. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

Approved June 17, 1970.

It is the contention of respondent which was upheld by the trial court that the case at bar is covered by the
aforecited law. We rule, otherwise. Established and undisputed is the fact that the increase in the rental of
the lot involved was effected in January, 1969,1 while the law in question took effect on June 17, 1970, or
after a period of one year and a half after the increase in rentals had been effected.

Private respondent, however, puts forward the argument that there was no perfected contract covering
the increased rate of rentals and conversion thereof into monthly payments of P30.00 effective January
1969, as he did not give his consent thereto.

Likewise the claim of private respondent that the act is remedial and may, therefore, be given retroactive
effect is untenable. A close study of the provisions discloses that far from being remedial, the statute
affects substantive rights and hence a strict and prospective construction thereof is in order. Article 4 of
the New Civil Code ordains that laws shall have no retroactive effect unless the contrary is provided and
that where the law is clear, Our duty is equally plain. We must apply it to the facts as found. 2 The law
being a "temporary measure designed to meet a temporary situation",3 it had a limited period of operation
as in fact it was so worded in clear and unequivocal language that "No lessor of a dwelling unit or land ...
shall, during the period of one year from March 31, 1970, increase the monthly rental agreed upon
between the lessor and lessee prior to the approval of this Act.

Hence the provision against the increase in monthly rental was effective only from March 1970 up to March
1971. Outside and beyond that period the law did not by the express mandate of the Act itself, operate. The
said law did not, by express terms, purport to give retroactive effect.

We therefore rule that R.A. No. 6126 is not applicable at the case at bar. As the language of the law is clear
and unambiguous, it must be held to mean what it plainly says. It must be given its literal interpretation. The
principle of verba legis or the plain meaning rule was applied.

WHEREFORE, the assailed orders of August 4 and October 16, 1970, are hereby nullified and set aside.
The court a quo shall proceed with the prompt disposition of Civil Case No. 338-M (12285) on the merits
in accordance with Republic Act 6031 if applicable, otherwise under the prevailing procedure prescribed
by the Rules of Court.

Costs against respondent.

G.R. No. L-44113 March 31, 1977
Solicitor General Estelito P. Mendoza, Assistant Guillermo C. Nakar, Jr. and Solicitor Celia Lipana-Reyes
for petitioner.
Hon Judge Mericia B. Palma for and in her own behalf.

The Court resolves the sole issue of conflict of jurisdiction between the City Court of Naga (presided by
respondent judge) and the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts for Camarines Sur and Cities of Naga
and Iriga over criminal cases where the accused is 16 but under 21 years of age and rules that the
issuance of the Child and Youth Welfare Code (PD 603) which includes such accused within the definition
of youthful offenders (over 9 years but under 21 years at the time of the commission of the offense)
did not transfer jurisdiction over such cases from the regular courts (the City Court in this case) to the
Juvenile Courts.


Respondent-accused Romulo Intia y Morada, 17 years of age, was charged by the Naga City fiscal's
office with vagrancy (Article 202, paragraph 2 of the Revised Penal Code) in respondent judge's court.

In an Order, respondent judge dismissed the case on the ground that her court "has no jurisdiction to
continue to take further cognizance of this case" without prejudice to the refiling thereof in the Juvenile

The prosecution shares the view of the Camarines Sur Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court presided
by Judge Ma. Rosario Quetulio-Losa that jurisdiction over 16-year olds up to under 21 years remains with
the regular courts and has not been by implication transferred to the Juvenile Court. Hence, the petition at

Whether or not the issuance of PD 603 transferred the case of the accused from regular courts to the
Juvenile Court?

The Juvenile and Domestic Relations court expressly confers upon it as a special and limited jurisdiction
over criminal cases wherein the accused is under 16 years old at the time of the filing the case.

The subsequent issuance of P. D. 603 known as the Child and Youth Welfare Code which took effect on
June 11, 1975 and defines in Article 189 a youthful offender as "one who is over nine years but under
twenty-one years of age at the time of the commission of the offense" did not by such definition transfer
jurisdiction over criminal cases involving accused who are 16 years and below 21 years of age from the
regular courts 2 to the Juvenile Court, as opined by respondent judge.

The Child and Youth Welfare Code (P.D. 603) concerning the welfare of the child and youth throughout
the country is a general law while R.A. 6591 which defined and confer jurisdiction on the Juvenile and
Domestic Relations Court for Camarines Sur is a special law 3 classifying expressly that it can try in
criminal cases involving offenders below the age of majority only those accused who are under 16 years
of age at the time of the filing of the case.

A general law cannot repeal a special law by mere implication. The repeal must be express and specific.
Furthermore, the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court of Camarines Sur is a court of special and
limited jurisdiction and the enlargement or conferment of additional jurisdiction on said court to include
accused persons who are 16 years and under 21 years of age must positively appear in express terms.

It is quite patent that the mere definition in a single article of the Child and Youth Welfare Code (P. D.
603, Article 189) of youthful offenders (over 9 and under 21 years of age) did not withdraw from the
regular courts their jurisdiction to try accused persons who are 16 but below 21 years of age and transfer
the same to the Juvenile Courts whose criminal jurisdiction is expressly limited to those where the
accused is under 16 years of age.

If it were the intent and purpose of P.D. 603 to remove from the City Court the jurisdiction over youthful
accused who are 16 but below 21 years of age and transfer the same to the Juvenile Court, it would have
expressly so provided for repeal of the corresponding provision as when it repealed the Civil Code
provisions on Adoption in Article 26 thereof. 4

The cited codal articles, it may be stressed, adequately provide as in Article 192 that the courts in general
shall suspend sentence instead of pronouncing a judgment of conviction and commit the youthful offender
"to the custody or care of the Department of Social Welfare, or to any training institution operated by the
government, or duly licensed agencies or any other responsible person, until he shall have reached
twenty-one years of age or, for a shorter period as the court may deem proper, after considering the
reports and recommendations of the Department of Social Welfare or the agency or responsible individual
under whose care he has been committed."

ACCORDINGLY, the dismissal orders of respondent judge dated March 6, 1976 and April 1, 1976 are set
aside. The case filed with respondent judge's court is ordered reinstated for prompt trial and
determination on the merits. In the public interest 6 this decision resolving the jurisdictional conflict shall
be immediately executory upon promulgation.
G.R. No. L-1276 April 30, 1948
ROSARIO VALERA, assisted by her husband, Juan Valera, petitioner,
MARIANO TUASON, Jr., Justice of the Peace of Lagayan, Abra, MANUEL TULLAS ET AL., respondents-
THE PROVINCIAL FISCAL, intervenor-appellee.
Marcelino N. Sayo for petitioner-appellant.
Etelboldo Valera for respondents-appellees Tullas et al.
The justice of the peace in his own behalf.

This is an appeal from a decision of the Court of First Instance of Abra dismissing a petition for certiorari.


A complaint for forcible entry was filed in the justice of the peace of court of Lagayan over which Judge
Federico Paredes presided. Finding himself disqualified by reason of relationship to one of the parties, to
try the case, Judge Paredes transferred it to the justice of the peace of La Paz, the nearest municipality to
Lagayan. The latter justice of the peace, over the objection of the attorney for the defendants, proceeded
with the trial, after which he gave judgment for the plaintiff and returned of the case with his decision to
the justice of the peace of Lagayan.

In the meantime, a new justice of the peace had been appointed for Lagayan — Mariano B. Tuason, one
of the respondents in the petition for certiorari. After the case was received in the court of the justice of
the peace of Lagayan, the defendants moved for a new trial impeaching the jurisdiction of the justice of
the peace of La Paz. The new justice of the peace of Lagayan found the challenge well founded, declared
the judgment null and void, and ordered the case reset for hearing before him.

The Lagayan justice's ground for unvalidating the decision of the justice of the peace of La Paz is that
"the designation of another justice of the peace to hear, try and decide a given case, when the justice
having jurisdiction to hear, try and decide the same disqualifies himself, is not in law given to the
disqualifying justice but 'to the judge of the district' who 'shall designate the nearest justice of the peace.'
(Section 211, Rev. Adm. Code)."

The annulment by the newly-appointed justice of the peace of Lagayan of the proceedings before the
justice of the peace of La Paz and the latter's decision was sustained on appeal by Honorable Patricio
Ceniza, Judge of the Court of First Instance, but on a different ground. Judge Ceniza does not agree that
section 211 of the Revised Code of Civil Procedure (Act No. 190.) He is of the opinion that it is the new
Rules of Court which have abrogated the last-named section.

In every case, whether civil or criminal, of disqualification of a justice of the peace upon any ground
mentioned in section eight of this Act, the regular justice shall notify the auxilliary, who shall thereupon
appear and try the cause, unless he shall be likewise disqualified or otherwise disabled, in which event
the cause shall be transferred to the nearest justice of the peace of the province who is not disqualified.

Section 211 of the Revised Administrative Code provides:

Auxilliary justice — Qualifications and duties. — The auxilliary justice of the peace shall have the
same qualifications and be subject to the same restrictions as the regular justice, and shall
perform the duties of said office during any vacancy therein or in case of the absence of the
regular justice from the municipality, or of his disability or disqualification, or in case of his death
or resignation until the appointment and qualification of his successor, or in any cause whose
immediate trial the regular justice shall certify to be specially urgent and which he is unable to try
by reason of actual engagement in another trial.
In case there is no auxilliary justice of the peace to perform the duties of the regular justice in the
cases above-mentioned, the judge of the district shall designate the nearest justice of the peace
of the province to act as justice of the peace in such municipality, town, or place, in which case
the justice of the peace so designated and seventy-five per centum of the salary of the justice of
the peace whom he may substitute.

One of the well-established rules of statutory construction enjoins that endeavor should be made to
harmonize the provisions of a law or two laws so that each shall be effective. In order that one law may
operate to repeal another law, the two laws must actually be inconsistent. The former must be so
repugnant as to be irreconciliable with the latter act. (U.S. vs. Palacios, 33 Phil., 208.) Merely because a
later enactment may relate to the same subject matter as that of an earlier statute is not of itself sufficient
to cause an implied repeal of the latter, since the new law may be cumulative or a continuation of the old
one. (Statutory Construction, Crawford, p. 634.)

The above-quoted provisions can stand together. By a fair and reasonable construction, section 73 of the
Code of Civil Procedure, as amended, may be said to apply to disqualifications under section 8 of that
Act, and section 211 of the Revised Administrative Code to disqualifications or disabilities not embraced
in the Code of Civil Procedure.

From another angle the presumption against repeal is stronger. A special law is not regarded as having
been amended or repealed by a general law unless the intent to repeal or alter is manifest. Generalia
specialibus non derogant. And if this is true although the terms of the general act are broad enough to
include the matter in the special statute. (Manila Railroad Company vs. Rafferty, 40 Phil., 224.) At any
rate, in the event the harmony between provisions of this type in the same law or in two laws is
impossible, the specific provision controls unless the statute, considered in its entirely, indicates a
contrary intention upon the part of the legislature. granting then that the two laws can not be reconciled, in
so far as they are inconsistent with each other, section 73 of the Code of Civil Procedure, being a specific
law, should prevail over, or considered as an exemption to, section 211 of the Administrative Code, which
is a provision of general character. a general law is one which embraces a class of subjects or places and
does not omit any subject or place naturally belonging to such class, while a special act is one which
relates to particular persons or things of a class. (Statutory Construction, Crawford, p. 2645.)

But the history of the two laws gives positive indication that they were designed to complement each
other. This history reveals that the two enactments have different origins, one independent of the other,
and have been intended to operate side by side. This intent is apparent from the fact that, in their
respective process of evolution, they, at one time, in Act No. 1627, met and were lodged in the adjoining
sections — 7 and 8 — each maintaining a separate and independent identity; and while, later, section 7
of Act No. 1627 was amended by section 3 of Act No. 1741, section 8 was given a different direction by
being amended by another law, section 1 of Act 1888. We further note that the final section of the
Administrative Code expressly repealed section 7 of Act 1627 and the entire Act 1741 but made no
reference whatever tom section 1 of Act 1888. The purpose to keep both laws in force and subsisting can
find no clearer proof than this unless it be an express declaration of intention.

For the reasons stated in the preceding paragraphs Judge Ceniza's opinion that the Rules of court have
replaced and absorbed section 73 of the Code of Civil Procedure is clearly erroneous. It may be said that
there is less reason to hold that this section has been impliedly repealed by the Rules of Court than that it
has been abrogated by section 211 of the Revised Administrative Code; for authority of a judge to try a
case is a matter of substantive law, not embraced by the purposes and scope of the Rules of Court,
which concern "pleading, practice admission and procedure in all courts of the Philippines, and the
admission to the practice of law therein." (Introductory section of the Rules of Court.)

Wherefore, the appealed decision is reversed with costs against the appellee.
G.R. No. L-28089 October 25, 1967
BARA LIDASAN, petitioner,
Suntay for petitioner.
Barrios and Fule for respondent.

The question initially presented to the Commission on Elections,1 is this: Is Republic Act 4790, which is
entitled "An Act Creating the Municipality of Dianaton in the Province of Lanao del Sur", but which
includes barrios located in another province — Cotabato — to be spared from attack planted upon the
constitutional mandate that "No bill which may be enacted into law shall embrace more than one subject
which shall be expressed in the title of the bill"? Comelec's answer is in the affirmative. Offshoot is the
present original petition for certiorari and prohibition.


On June 18, 1966, the Chief Executive signed into law House Bill 1247, known as Republic Act 4790,
now in dispute.

RA 4790, which is entitled "An Act Creating the Municipality of Dianaton in the Province of Lanao del
Sur," was passed. Lidasan came to know later on that barrios Togaig and Madalum just mentioned are
within the municipality of Buldon, Province of Cotabato, and that Bayanga, Langkong, Sarakan, Kat-bo,
Digakapan, Magabo, Tabangao, Tiongko, Colodan, and Kabamakawan are parts and parcel of another
municipality, the municipality of Parang, also in the Province of Cotabato and not of Lanao del Sur.

Pursuant to this law, COMELEC proceeded to establish precints for voter registration in the said territories
of Dianaton. This triggered the present original action for certiorari and prohibition by Bara Lidasan, a
resident and taxpayer of the detached portion of Parang, Cotabato, and a qualified voter for the 1967
elections. He prays that Republic Act 4790 be declared unconstitutional; and that Comelec's
resolutions of August 15, 1967 and September 20, 1967 implementing the same for electoral purposes,
be nullified because it did not clearly indicate in its title that it in creating Dianaton, it would be including in
the territory thereof barrios from Cotabato.

Is RA 4790, which created Dianaton but which includes barrios located in another province - Cotabato - to
be spared from attack planted upon the constitutional mandate that "No bill which may be enacted into law
shall embrace more than one subject which shall be expressed in the title of the bill?


1.Petitioner relies upon the constitutional requirement aforestated, that "[n]o bill which may be enacted
into law shall embrace more than one subject which shall be expressed in the title of the bill." 2

It may be well to state, right at the outset, that the constitutional provision contains dual limitations upon
legislative power. First. Congress is to refrain from conglomeration, under one statute, of heterogeneous
subjects. Second. The title of the bill is to be couched in a language sufficient to notify the legislators and
the public and those concerned of the import of the single subject thereof.

Of relevance here is the second directive. The subject of the statute must be "expressed in the title" of the
bill. This constitutional requirement "breathes the spirit of command."3 Compliance is imperative, given
the fact that the Constitution does not exact of Congress the obligation to read during its deliberations the
entire text of the bill.
The title — "An Act Creating the Municipality of Dianaton, in the Province of Lanao del Sur"8 — projects
the impression that solely the province of Lanao del Sur is affected by the creation of Dianaton. Not the
slightest intimation is there that communities in the adjacent province of Cotabato are incorporated in this
new Lanao del Sur town. The phrase "in the Province of Lanao del Sur," read without subtlety or
contortion, makes the title misleading, deceptive. For, the known fact is that the legislation has a two-
pronged purpose combined in one statute: (1) it creates the municipality of Dianaton purportedly from
twenty-one barrios in the towns of Butig and Balabagan, both in the province of Lanao del Sur; and (2) it
also dismembers two municipalities in Cotabato, a province different from Lanao del Sur.

The baneful effect of the defective title here presented is not so difficult to perceive. Such title did not
inform the members of Congress as to the full impact of the law; it did not apprise the people in the towns
of Buldon and Parang in Cotabato and in the province of Cotabato itself that part of their territory is being
taken away from their towns and province and added to the adjacent Province of Lanao del Sur; it kept
the public in the dark as to what towns and provinces were actually affected by the bill. These are the
pressures which heavily weigh against the constitutionality of Republic Act 4790.

We rule that Republic Act 4790 is null and void.

2. Suggestion was made that Republic Act 4790 may still be salvaged with reference to the nine barrios in
the municipalities of Butig and Balabagan in Lanao del Sur, with the mere nullification of the portion
thereof which took away the twelve barrios in the municipalities of Buldon and Parang in the other
province of Cotabato. The reasoning advocated is that the limited title of the Act still covers those barrios
actually in the province of Lanao del Sur.

In substantially similar language, the same exception is recognized in the jurisprudence of this Court,

The general rule is that where part of a statute is void, as repugnant to the Organic Law, while
another part is valid, the valid portion if separable from the invalid, may stand and be enforced.
But in order to do this, the valid portion must be so far independent of the invalid portion that it is
fair to presume that the Legislature would have enacted it by itself if they had supposed that they
could not constitutionally enact the other. . . Enough must remain to make a complete, intelligible,
and valid statute, which carries out the legislative intent. . . . The language used in the invalid part
of the statute can have no legal force or efficacy for any purpose whatever, and what remains
must express the legislative will independently of the void part, since the court has no power to
legislate, . . . .12

Republic Act 4790 is thus indivisible, and it is accordingly null and void in its totality. 14

3. There remains for consideration the issue raised by respondent, namely, that petitioner has no
substantial legal interest adversely affected by the implementation of Republic Act 4790. Stated
differently, respondent's pose is that petitioner is not the real party in interest.

Here the validity of a statute is challenged on the ground that it violates the constitutional requirement that
the subject of the bill be expressed in its title. Capacity to sue, therefore, hinges on whether petitioner's
substantial rights or interests are impaired by lack of notification in the title that the barrio in Parang,
Cotabato, where he is residing has been transferred to a different provincial hegemony.

The right of every citizen, taxpayer and voter of a community affected by legislation creating a town to
ascertain that the law so created is not dismembering his place of residence "in accordance with the
Constitution" is recognized in this jurisdiction.15

Petitioner is a qualified voter. He expects to vote in the 1967 elections. His right to vote in his own barrio
before it was annexed to a new town is affected. He may not want, as is the case here, to vote in a town
different from his actual residence. He may not desire to be considered a part of hitherto different
communities which are fanned into the new town; he may prefer to remain in the place where he is and
as it was constituted, and continue to enjoy the rights and benefits he acquired therein. He may not even
know the candidates of the new town; he may express a lack of desire to vote for anyone of them; he may
feel that his vote should be cast for the officials in the town before dismemberment. Since by
constitutional direction the purpose of a bill must be shown in its title for the benefit, amongst others, of
the community affected thereby,16 it stands to reason to say that when the constitutional right to vote on
the part of any citizen of that community is affected, he may become a suitor to challenge the
constitutionality of the Act as passed by Congress.

For the reasons given, we vote to declare Republic Act 4790 null and void, and to prohibit respondent
Commission from implementing the same for electoral purposes.

No costs allowed. So ordered.

Concepcion, C.J., Reyes, J.B.L., Dizon, Makalintal, Bengzon, J.P., Zaldivar, Castro and Angeles,
JJ., concur.

G.R. No. L-24806 February 13, 1926

JULIO AGCAOILI, Plaintiff-Appellant, vs. ALBERTO SUGUITAN, Defendant-Appellee.

The appellant in his own behalf.

The appellee in his own behalf.

This action was commenced in the Court of First Instance of the Province of Ilocos Norte. Its purpose was
to obtain the extraordinary legal writ of quo warranto. The petition was denied by the trial court and the
plaintiff appealed.

chanrobles vi rt ual law li bra ry

Julio Agcaoili was appointed as justice of the peace of the municipality of Laoag, Ilocos Norte by Francis
Harrison on March 25, 1916, with authority to have and hold the said office with all the powers, privileges,
and emoluments thereinto of right appertaining into him, subject to the conditions prescribed by law.

On the 17th day of March, 1923, the Philippine Legislature, composed of the Senate and House of
Representatives, adopted Act No. 3107, which was " an Act to amend and repeal certain provisions of the
Administrative Code relative to the judiciary in order to reorganize the latter; increasing the number of
judges for certain judicial districts; increasing the salaries of judges of Courts of First Instance; vesting the
Secretary of Justice with authority to detail a district judge temporarily to a district or province other than
his own; regulating the salaries of justices of the peace; abolishing the municipal court and justice of the
peace court of the City of Manila and creating in lieu thereof a municipal court with three branches;
regulating the salaries of clerks of court and other subordinate employees of Courts of First Instance, and
for other purposes.

On the 9th day of April, 1923, Luis Torres, the Undersecretary of Justice sent a letter to Julio Agcaoili,
through the Judge of the Court of First Instance of the Third Judicial District, of the Province of Ilocos Sur;
saying that he should cease to be a justice because he is now over 65 years old. Justice Agcaoili filled a
protest through a letter addressed to the undersecretary to which he asserted that he will not cease from
the office because he was appointed as justice of peace before the enactment of Act 3107, and he has
the right to hold office during good behaviour. Agcaoili filed protest at Provincial Fiscal of Ilocos Norte. He
waited for a reply but nothing came. So, he filed for a petition for writ of quo warranto in the CFI of the
Province of Ilocos Norte.

Whether or not Sec. 216 of Act 190 is applicable to the petitioner with regard to his petition for quo

No, Article 190 provides remedies for the usurpation of office and franchise. Section 216 provides
“Nothing herein contained shall authorize an action against a corporation for forfeiture of charter, unless
the same be commenced within five years after the act complained of was done or committed; nor shall
an action be brought against an officer to be ousted from his office unless within one year after the cause
of such ouster, or the right to hold the office, arose.” The Supreme Court held that this provision is
applicable only to private officials. Hence, it has no applicability to the petitioner, who is a justice of the
peace. The second point the court made is with regard to the rules of Statutory Construction, given that
the said provision is applicable to public officials, the sentence after the word “committed;” should not be
treated as a separate thought from the preceding phrase. In the end, the court ruled that the petitioner
remain in office.

StatCon maxim: A semicolon is a mark of grammatical punctuation, in the English language, to indicate a
separation in the relation of the thought, a degree greater than that expressed by a comma, and what
follows that semicolon must have relation to the same matter which precedes it. A semicolon is not used
for the purpose of introducing a new idea. A semicolon is used for the purpose of continuing the
expression of a thought, a degree greater than that expressed by a mere comma. It is never used for the
purpose of introducing a new idea. The comma and semicolon are both used for the same purpose,
namely, to divide sentences and parts of the sentences, the only difference being that the semicolon
makes the division a little more pronounced than the comma.