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Possible Questions in Political and Public International Law

by Victoria V. Loanzon
with the assistance of Atty. Ramon Conducto III

PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS AND BASIC CONCEPTS


Question: What comprises the Philippine territory?
Answer: The Philippine 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. Magallona v. Ermita (G.R. 187167,
Aug.16, 2011)

Question: What are the archipelagic waters of the Philippines?


Answer: The waters around, between, and connecting the islands of the
Philippines, regardless of their breadth and dimensions, are its
archipelagic waters. They also form the country’s internal waters.

Question: Is the Kalayaan Island Group part of Philippine Archipelago?


Answer: No. It is not part of the enumeration. The Kalayaan Island
Group is not a part of the Philippine archipelago but it is a part of our
national territory. It belongs to the 2nd part of the composition of the
national territory […All other territories over which the Philippines has
sovereignty or jurisdiction].
Also, it is too far to be included within the archipelagic lines encircling
the internal waters of
Philippine Archipelago. However, the Kalayaan Island Group is part of
the Philippine territory because it was discovered by a Filipino seaman in
the name of Cloma who later renounced his claim over it in favor of the
Republic of the Philippines. Subsequently, then Pres. Marcos issued a
Presidential Decree constituting Kalayaan Island Group as part of the
Philippine territory and sending some of our armed forces to protect
said island and maintain our sovereignty over it.

Question: Is R.A. 9522 constitutional?


Answer: Yes, R.A. 9522 is a statutory tool to demarcate the country’s
maritime zones and the extended continental shelf under UNCLOS III
and not to delineate the Philippine territory.
UNCLOS III has nothing to do with the acquisition (or loss) of territory. It
is a multilateral treaty regulating, among others, sea-use rights over
maritime zones and continental shelves that UNCLOS III delimits.
(Magallona v. Ermita, G.R. 187167, Aug.16, 2011)

Question: What are maritime zones of the Philippines recognized under


UNCLOS?
Answer: The maritime zones recognized under UNCLOS are:
(1). Internal waters of the Philippines consist of waters around, between
and connecting the islands of the Philippine Archipelago, regardless of
their breadth and dimensions, including the waters in bays, rivers and
lakes. No right of innocent passage for foreign vessels exists in the case
of internal waters. (Harris, Cases and Materials on International Law, 5th
ed., 1998, p. 407).
(2). Territorial Sea extends up to twelve nautical miles.
(3). Contiguous zone is the zone contiguous to the territorial sea and
extends up to twenty four nautical miles from the territorial sea and over
which the coastal state may exercise control necessary to prevent
infringement of its customs, fiscal, immigration or sanitary laws and
regulations within the territory or territorial sea. (Article 33 of UNCLOS
(4). Exclusive Economic Zone is the zone extending up to 200 nautical
miles from the baselines of a state over which the coastal state has
sovereign rights for the purpose and over which the coastal state may
exercise control necessary to prevent infringement of its customs, fiscal,
immigration or sanitary laws and regulations within the territory or
territorial sea. (Article 33 of UNCLOS)
(5). Extended Continental Shelf extends up to 150 nautical miles after
the EEZ.

Government of the Philippines v. People’s Republic of China


Question: The Government of the Philippines instituted an action
against China before the Permanent Court of Arbitration raising, among
others, the sovereignty of the Philippines over Scarborough Shoal
dispute. Will claim of the Philippines prosper?
Answer: The tribunal ruled on the following: First, Mischief reef, second
Thomas shoal and Subi reef are low tide elevations that do not generate
entitlement to any maritime regime and are not feature that are capable

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of appropriation by occupation. Second, Scarborough Shoal is a rock
based on Article 121 of the UNCLOS. It is not capable of human
habitation. While it can sustain economic life, it is obtained from the
waters surrounding the feature not the feature itself. Third, China has
violated its obligations under the convention to protect and preserve
marine environment by harmful fishing and harvesting of endangered
species by Chinese fishing vessel, and construction activities on seven
reefs which caused devastating and long lasting damage to the marine
environment. Fourth, China has unlawfully prevented Filipino fishermen
from engaging traditional fishing at Scarborough Shore. This is however
without prejudice to the question of sovereignty over Scarborough Shoal
Note: Right of Innocent Passage: Right of Innocent Passage is a term
of international maritime law referring to a ship's right to enter and pass
through a coastal state's territorial waters so long as it is not prejudicial
to the peace, good order or security of the coastal state.
Freedom of Navigation: Freedom of navigation (FON) is a principle of
customary international law that ships flying the flag of any sovereign
state shall not suffer interference from other states, apart from the
exceptions provided for in international law.
Freedom of Overflight: Freedom of overflight means that foreign
aircraft are granted the right to fly through the EEZ without any
unnecessary delay and shall not carry out activities unrelated to the
flyover.
Transit Passage under UNCLOS: Transit passage is a concept of the
Law of the Sea, which allows a vessel or aircraft the freedom of
navigation or overflight solely for the purpose of continuous and
expeditious transit of a strait between one part of the high seas or
exclusive economic zone and another.

Question: What is the right of archipelagic sea lanes passage?


Answer: It is the right of foreign ships and aircraft to have continuous,
expeditious and unobstructed
passage in sea lanes and air routes through or over the archipelagic
waters and the adjacent territorial
sea of the archipelagic state, “in transit between one part of the high
seas or an exclusive economic
zone.” All ships and aircraft are entitled to the right of archipelagic sea
lanes passage. (Magallona,
2005; Article 53[1] in relation with Article 53[3], UNCLOS)

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Funa v. MECO: Recognition of a Government
Question: The aftermath of the Chinese civil war left the country of
China with two (2) governments in a stalemate espousing competing
assertions of sovereignty. On one hand is the communist People’s
Republic of China (PROC) which controls the mainland territories, and
on the other hand is the nationalist Republic of China (ROC) which
controls the island of Taiwan.
A number of countries including the Philippines adhered to a policy of
"One China”, recognizing only PROC. Can a country like the Philippines
still continue to have a relationship with Taiwan based on a “people to
people” basis?
Answer: Yes, the Philippines has maintained a relationship with Taiwan
based on a “people to people” basis. Despite ending their diplomatic
ties, the people of Taiwan and of the Philippines maintained an unofficial
relationship facilitated by the offices of the Taipei Economic and Cultural
Office, for the former, and the Manila Economic and Cultural Office, for
the latter.

Power of Judicial Review


Question: The MECO became the corporate entity "entrusted" by the
Philippine government with the responsibility of fostering "friendly" and
"unofficial" relations with the people of Taiwan.
At present, it is the MECO, among others, that oversees the rights and
interests of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Taiwan. For this,
MECO collects “verification fees.” A petition was filed to subject the
“verification fees” to audit.COA moved to dismiss the case on the ground
that it has initiated its own audit.
May the Supreme Court still take cognizance of the case?
Answer: Yes, the Court may invoke its symbolic function. An allegation
as serious as a violation of a constitutional or legal duty by COA,
coupled with the pressing public interest in the resolution of all related
issues, prompts the Court to pursue a definitive ruling thereon, if not for
the proper guidance of the government or agency concerned, then for
the formulation of controlling principles for the education of the bench,
bar and the public in general.

Administrative Law: Instrumentality of the National Government


Question: MECO was "entrusted” by the government with the "delicate”
and " precarious” responsibility of pursuing "unofficial" relation with the

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people of a foreign land whose government the Philippines is bound not
to recognize. Is MECO an instrumentality of the national government?
Answer: No, MECO is not an instrumentality of the national government.
It is neither a government-owned and controlled corporation because it
has been organized under the Securities and Exchange Corporation.
From its over-reaching corporate objectives, its special duty and
authority to exercise certain consular functions, up to the oversight by
the executive department over its operations—all the while maintaining
its legal status as a non-governmental entity—the MECO is, for all
intents and purposes, sui generis.

Constitutional Commissions: Audit Powers of COA


Question: Are “verification fees” collected by MECO subject to audit?
Answer: Yes, “verification fees” collected by MECO on behalf of the
Department of Labor and Employment related to the deployment of
OFWs as well as “consular fees” it collects on behalf of the Department
of Foreign Affairs are all subject to audit.

Military Service: Mandatory Personal Civil or Military Service


(People v. Zosa)
Question: What is the nature of the Philippine Military Academy as an
institution?
Answer: The PMA is an instrumentality of the national government. It is
the primary training and educational institution of the AFP and can
impose its standards upon its cadets. The PMA has regulatory authority
to administratively terminate cadets despite the absence of statutory
authority.

Right to Counsel in Administrative Proceedings


Question: Is right to counsel available to Cudia in the proceedings of the
Cadet Honor Committee?
Answer: The proceedings of the Cadet Honor Committee can, for
purposes of the Due Process Clause, be considered a governmental
activity. However, there is nothing in the 1987 Constitution stating that a
party in a non-litigation proceeding is entitled to be represented by
counsel.

Note: Carbonell v. CSC: The right to counsel is not always imperative in


administrative investigations because such inquiries are conducted
merely to determine whether there are facts that merit the imposition of

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disciplinary measures against erring public officers and employees, with
the purpose of maintaining the dignity of government service
Melendres v. Presidential Anti-Graft Commission: Due process, as a
constitutional precept, does not always and in all situations require a
trial-type proceeding. It is satisfied when a person is notified of the
charge against him and given an opportunity to explain or defend
himself. In administrative proceedings, the filing of charges and giving
reasonable opportunity for the person so charged to answer the
accusations against him constitute the minimum requirements of due
process.

Equality between Men and Women


Question: What is the state policy on equality of women and women?
Answer: Section 14 of Article II provides: “The State recognizes the role
of women in nation-building, and shall ensure the fundamental equality
before the law of women and men.”

Question: Does equality between men and women allow same sex
marriages?
Answer: No, equality between men and women does not allow same
sex marriages because there is yet no law which implements it. (Falcis
Petition)

Note: Silverio Ruling: Petitioner pleads that "[t]he unfortunates are also
entitled to a life of happiness, contentment and [the] realization of their
dreams." No argument about that. The Court recognizes that there are
people whose preferences and orientation do not fit neatly into the
commonly recognized parameters of social convention and that, at least
for them, life is indeed an ordeal. However, the remedies petitioner
seeks involve questions of public policy to be addressed solely by the
legislature, not by the courts.

Cagandahan Ruling: Respondent is the one who has to live with his
intersex anatomy. To him belongs the human right to the pursuit of
happiness and of health. Thus, to him should belong the primordial
choice of what courses of action to take along the path of his sexual
development and maturation. In the absence of evidence that
respondent is an "incompetent” and in the absence of evidence to show
that classifying respondent as a male will harm other members of society
who are equally entitled to protection under the law, the Court affirms as

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valid and justified the respondent’s position and his personal judgment of
being a male.

RTC’s Power of Judicial Review includes the Power to Review the


Constitutionality of a Law
Question: May the regional trial court review the constitutionality of the
VAWC law?
ANSWER: Yes, the regional trial court may in the exercise of its general
discretion review the constitutionality of the VAWC law. (Garcia v. Hon.
Drilon)
Due Process
Question: Does the issuance of the Temporary Protection Order violate
the due process clause without observing the 3-day notice rule?
Answer: No, the issuance of the Temporary Protection Order does not
violate the due process clause without observing the 3-day notice rule. A
protection order is an order issued to prevent further acts of violence
against women and their children, their family or household members,
and to grant other necessary reliefs.
Its purpose is to safeguard the offended parties from further harm,
minimize any disruption in their daily life and facilitate the opportunity
and ability to regain control of their life.
The court is even authorized to issue ex parte a TPO after raffle but
before notice and hearing when the life, limb or property of the victim is
in jeopardy and there is reasonable ground to believe that the order is
necessary to protect the victim from the immediate and imminent danger
of VAWC or to prevent such violence, which is about to recur.

Note: Vivas (Euro Credit Savings Bank) v. Monetary Board: “Close now,
Ask Later:” Due process does not necessarily require a prior hearing; a
hearing or an opportunity to be heard may be subsequent to the closure.
One can just imagine the dire consequences of a prior hearing: bank
runs would be the order of the day, resulting in panic and hysteria. In the
process, fortunes may be wiped out and disillusionment will run the
gamut of the entire banking community. To address the growing
concerns in the banking industry, the legislature has sufficiently
empowered the MB to effectively monitor and supervise banks and
financial institutions.

Delegation of Powers
Question: What are the factors in the determination of valid delegation
of power?
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Answer: The factors in the determination of valid delegation of power
are:
1. Completeness test: The law sets forth the policy to be executed,
carried out, or implemented by the delegate such that there is
nothing left for the delegate to do but to enforce the law;
2. Sufficient standard test: The standard is sufficient if it defines
legislative policy, marks its limits, maps out its boundaries and
specifies the public agency to apply it. It indicates the circumstances
under which the legislative command is to be affected.

Question: Does the issuance of the Barangay Protection Order a


delegation of judicial power?
Answer: The issuance of the Barangay Protection Order is not a
delegation of judicial power.
The BPO issued by the Punong Barangay or, in his unavailability, by any
available Barangay Kagawad, merely orders the perpetrator to desist
from (a) causing physical harm to the woman or her child; and (2)
threatening to cause the woman or her child physical harm. Such
function is, thus, purely executive in nature, in pursuance of his duty to
"enforce all laws and ordinances," and to "maintain public order in the
barangay.“ (Garcia v. Drilon)

Equal Protection Clause


Question: Does VAWC law violate the equal protection clause? Why?
Answer: VAWC law does not violate the equal protection clause. It
meets the following requisites for valid
classification:
1. classification should be based on substantial distinctions which make
for real differences;
2. that it must be germane to the purpose of the law;
3. that it must not be limited to existing conditions only; and
4. that it must apply equally to each member of the class. (Garcia v. Hon.
Drilon, G.R. No. 179267, June 25, 2013, Perlas-Bernabe)

Right to Life
Question: What are the two cornerstone principles of the national
population program?
Answer: The two cornerstone principles of the national population
program are the principle of anti-abortion and the principle of anti-
coercion. (Imbong v. Ochoa, G.R. No. 204819, April 8, 2014)

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Question: What is the right to life?
Answer: The right to life, being grounded on natural law, is inherent
and, therefore, not a creation of, or dependent upon a particular law,
custom, or belief. It precedes and transcends any authority or the laws of
men. Section 1 of Article II provides that no person shall be deprived of
his life, liberty or property without due process of law.

Question: When does life begin?


Answer: In conformity with the verba legis rule in the interpretation of
the Constitution, the traditional meaning of the word "conception" which,
as described and defined by all reliable and reputable sources, means
that life begins at fertilization.

Separation of Church and State


Question: What is the principle of separation of church and state?
Answer: The principle of separation of Church and State is based on
mutual respect. Generally, the State cannot meddle in the internal
affairs of the church, much less question its faith and dogmas or dictate
upon it. It cannot favor one religion and discriminate against another.
On the other hand, the church cannot impose its beliefs and convictions
on the State and the rest of the citizenry. It cannot demand that the
nation follow its beliefs, even if it sincerely believes that they are good
for the country.

Lemon Test: Separation of Church and State


In Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971), Petitioner challenged the
was Pennsylvania's Nonpublic Elementary and Secondary Education Act
for violating the Establishment Clause The act allowed the
Superintendent of Public Schools to reimburse private schools
(mostly Catholic) for the salaries of teachers who taught in these private
these schools.

Question: What is the Lemon Test?


Answer: Lemon test refers to the process of determining as to when a
law has the effect of establishing religion.

Question: What is the three-part test enunciated in Lemon v. Kurtzman?

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Answer: Three-part test enunciated in Lemon v. Kurtzman includes:
1. The statute must have a secular legislative purpose. (Also known as
the Purpose Prong)
2. The principal or primary effect of the statute must neither advance nor
inhibit religion. (Also known as the Effect Prong)
3. The statute must not result in an "excessive government
entanglement" with religion. (Also known as the Entanglement Prong)

Freedom of Religion
Question: What are the guarantees under religious freedom?
Answer: The constitutional assurance of religious freedom provides two
guarantees: the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause.

Question: Distinguish between the Establishment Clause and the Free


Exercise Clause.
Answer: The establishment clause "principally prohibits the State from
sponsoring any religion or favoring any religion as against other
religions. It mandates a strict neutrality in affairs among religious
groups."
Essentially, it prohibits the establishment of a state religion and the use
of public resources for the support or prohibition of a religion.
On the other hand, the basis of the free exercise clause is the respect
for the inviolability of the human conscience. Under this part of religious
freedom guarantee, the State is prohibited from unduly interfering with
the outside manifestations of one's belief and faith.

Question: What is the benevolent neutrality theory?


Answer: The benevolent neutrality theory believes that with respect to
these governmental actions, accommodation of religion may be allowed,
not to promote the government's favored form of religion, but to allow
individuals and groups to exercise their religion without hindrance.

Question: What is the conscientious objector's right to religious


freedom?
Answer: A conscientious objector’s right is where one side of the
individual’s conscience coaxes him into obedience to the law and the
abandonment of his religious beliefs, while the other entices him to a
clean conscience yet under the pain of penalty.

Principle of non-Coercion
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Question: How is the principle of non-coercion applied to ensure free
exercise clause?
Answer: In case of conflict between the religious beliefs and moral
convictions of individuals, on one hand, and the interest of the State, on
the other, to provide access and information on reproductive health
products, services, procedures and methods to enable the people to
determine the timing, number and spacing of the birth of their children,
the Court is of the strong view that the religious freedom of health
providers, whether public or private, should be accorded primacy.

Principle of Double Effect


Question: What is the Principle of Double Effect?
Answer: The Principle of Double-Effect is a situation wherein intentional
harm on the life of either the mother of the child is never justified to bring
about a "good" effect. In a conflict situation between the life of the child
and the life of the mother, the doctor is morally obliged always to try to
save both lives. However, he can act in favor of one (not necessarily the
mother) when it is medically impossible to save both, provided that no
direct harm is intended to the other. If the above principles are observed,
the loss of the child's life or the mother's life is not intentional and,
therefore, unavoidable. Hence, the doctor would not be guilty of abortion
or murder. The mother is never pitted against the child because both
their lives are equally valuable.
Right to Privacy/ Family as an autonomous unit of society
Question: What is the right to privacy of spouses under the RH law?
Answer: Decision-making involving a reproductive health procedure is
a private matter which belongs to the couple, not just one of them. The
right to chart their own destiny together falls within the protected zone of
marital privacy and such state intervention would encroach into the
zones of spousal privacy guaranteed by the Constitution.
To insist on a rule that interferes with the right of parents to exercise
parental control over their minor-child or the right of the spouses to
mutually decide on matters which very well affect the very purpose of
marriage, that is, the establishment of conjugal and family life, would
result in the violation of one's privacy with respect to his family.

SEPARATION OF POWERS

Question: Discuss the Principle of Separation of Powers.

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Answer: The principle of separation of powers refers to the
constitutional demarcation of the three fundamental powers of
government. In the celebrated words of Justice Laurel in Angara v.
Electoral Commission, it means that the “Constitution has blocked out
with deft strokes and in bold lines, allotment of power to the executive,
the legislative and the judicial departments of the government.”
To the legislative branch of government, through Congress, belongs the
power to make laws; to the executive branch of government, through the
President, belongs the power to enforce laws; and to the judicial branch
of government, through the Court, belongs the power to interpret laws.
The principle of separation of powers and its concepts of autonomy and
independence stem from the notion that the powers of government must
be divided to avoid concentration of these powers in any one branch; the
division, it is hoped, would avoid any single branch from lording its power
over the other branches or the citizenry. To achieve this purpose, the
divided power must be wielded by co-equal branches of government that
are equally capable of independent action in exercising their respective
mandates. Lack of independence would result in the inability of one
branch of government to check the arbitrary or self-interest assertions of
another or others.

Question: How is the principle of separation of powers violated?


Answer: Broadly speaking, there is a violation of the separation of
powers principle when one branch of government unduly encroaches on
the domain of another. US Supreme Court decisions instruct that the
principle of separation of powers may be violated in two (2) ways: firstly,
“one branch may interfere impermissibly with the other’s performance of
its constitutionally assigned function”; and “alternatively, the doctrine
may be violated when one branch assumes a function that more
properly is entrusted to another.” In other words, there is a violation of
the principle when there is impermissible (a) interference with and/or (b)
assumption of another department‘s functions (Belgica v Ochoa G.R.
Nos. 208566, 208493 & 209251, November 19, 2013).

Question: Does the Pork Barrel System violate the Principle of


Separation of Powers? Explain.
Answer: Yes, the enforcement of the national budget, as primarily
contained in the GAA, is indisputably a function both constitutionally
assigned and properly entrusted to the Executive branch of government.

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At its core, legislators – may it be through project lists, prior
consultations, or program menus – have been consistently accorded
post-enactment authority to identify the projects they desire to be funded
through various Congressional Pork Barrel allocations.
Aside from the area of project identification, legislators have also been
accorded post-enactment authority in the areas of fund release and
realignment.
Clearly, these post-enactment measures are not related to functions of
congressional oversight and, hence, allow legislators to intervene and/or
assume duties that properly belong to the sphere of budget execution.
Indeed, by virtue of the foregoing, legislators have been, in one form or
another, authorized to participate in “the various operational aspects of
budgeting”.
The Court declared the 2013 PDAF Article as well as all other provisions
of law which similarly allow legislators to wield any form of post-
enactment authority in the implementation or enforcement of the budget,
unrelated to congressional oversight, as violative of the separation of
powers principle and thus unconstitutional (Belgica v Ochoa G.R. Nos.
208566, 208493 & 209251, November 19, 2013).

Checks and balances

Question: What is the Principle of Checks and Balances? Give an


example written in our Constitution.
Answer: The fact that the three great powers of government are
intended to be kept separate and distinct does not mean that they are
absolutely unrestrained and independent of each other. The Constitution
has also provided for an elaborate system of checks and balances to
secure coordination in the workings of the various departments of the
government.
A prime example of a constitutional check and balance would be the
President’s power to veto an item written into an appropriation, revenue
or tariff bill submitted to him by Congress for approval through a process
known as "bill presentment." The President‘s item-veto power is found in
Section 27(2), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution (Belgica v Ochoa G.R.
Nos. 208566, 208493 & 209251, November 19, 2013).

Question: What is Congressional Oversight? What are the limitations


thereto?

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Answer: It is a mechanism of checks and balances that the Constitution
itself allows. But it must be made clear that Congress’ role must be
confined to mere oversight. Any post-enactment-measure allowing
legislator participation beyond oversight is bereft of any constitutional
basis and hence, tantamount to impermissible interference and/or
assumption of executive functions. As the Court ruled in Abakada:
“Any post-enactment congressional measure should be limited to
scrutiny and investigation. In particular, congressional oversight
must be confined to the following:
(1) scrutiny based primarily on Congress’ power of appropriation
and the budget hearings conducted in connection with it, its power
to ask heads of departments to appear before and be heard by
either of its Houses on any matter pertaining to their departments
and its power of confirmation; and
(2) investigation and monitoring of the implementation of laws
pursuant to the power of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of
legislation (Belgica v Ochoa G.R. Nos. 208566, 208493 & 209251,
November 19, 2013).

Question: How does the Pork Barrel System violate the Principle of
Checks and Balances?
Answer: Under the 2013 PDAF Article, the amount of ₱24.79 Billion
only appears as a collective allocation limit and could, after the GAA is
passed, effectively appropriate PDAF funds based on their own
discretion. As these intermediate appropriations are made by legislators
only after the GAA is passed and hence, outside of the law, it
necessarily means that the actual items of PDAF appropriation would not
have been written into the General Appropriations Bill and thus
effectuated without veto consideration. This kind of lump-sum/post-
enactment legislative identification budgeting system fosters the creation
of a “budget within a budget" which subverts the prescribed procedure of
presentment and consequently impairs the President’s power of item
veto.
The above-described system forces the President to decide between (a)
accepting the entire ₱24.79 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 (Belgica v Ochoa
G.R. Nos. 208566, 208493 & 209251, November 19, 2013).

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DELEGATION OF POWERS
Question: What is the Principle of Non-delegability of Legislative
Power? What are the exceptions thereto?
Answer: As an adjunct to the separation of powers principle, legislative
power shall be exclusively exercised by the body to which the
Constitution has conferred the same. The only recognized exceptions
thereto would be: (a) delegated legislative power to local governments
which, by immemorial practice, are allowed to legislate on purely local
matters; and (b) constitutionally-grafted exceptions such as the authority
of the President to, by law, exercise powers necessary and proper to
carry out a declared national policy in times of war or other national
emergency, or fix within specified limits, and subject to such limitations
and restrictions as Congress 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.
[Belgica v Ochoa G.R. Nos. 208566, 208493 & 209251, November 19,
2013].

Question: What are the two tests to ensure that the legislative
guidelines for delegated rule-making are adequate? Elaborate.
Answer: The first test is called the “completeness test.” Case law states
that a law is complete when it sets forth therein the policy to be
executed, carried out, or implemented by the delegate. On the other
hand, the second test is called the “sufficient standard test.”
Jurisprudence holds that a law lays down a sufficient standard when it
provides adequate guidelines or limitations in the law to map out the
boundaries of the delegate‘s authority and prevent the delegation from
running riot. To be sufficient, the standard must specify the limits of the
delegate’s authority, announce the legislative policy, and identify the
conditions under which it is to be implemented (Belgica v Ochoa G.R.
Nos. 208566, 208493 & 209251, November 19, 2013).

Question: Does Section 8 of PD 810 (Malampaya Fund Law) or


otherwise known as the Presidential Pork Barrel violate the Principle of
Non-delegability of Legislative Power? Explain.
Answer: Yes, the phrase “and for such other purposes as may be
hereafter directed by the President” under Section 8 of PD 910
constitutes an undue delegation of legislative power insofar as it does

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not lay down a sufficient standard to adequately determine the limits of
the President‘s authority with respect to the purpose for which the
Malampaya Funds may be used. As it reads, the said phrase gives the
President wide latitude to use the Malampaya Funds for any other
purpose he may direct and, in effect, allows him to unilaterally
appropriate public funds beyond the purview of the law. (Belgica v
Ochoa G.R. Nos. 208566, 208493 & 209251, November 19, 2013)

Question: How does the Pork Barrel System violate the Principle of
Non-delegability of Legislative Power?
Answer: Insofar as it confers post-enactment identification authority to
individual legislators, it violates the principle of non-delegability since
said legislators are effectively allowed to individually exercise the power
of appropriation, which is lodged in Congress (Belgica v Ochoa G.R.
Nos. 208566, 208493 & 209251, November 19, 2013)

STATE IMMUNITY
Question: What are the elements of a state?
Answer: The elements of a state are: people, territory, sovereignty and
government.

Question: What are the two concepts which govern the concept of
sovereign immunity?
Answer: There are two conflicting concepts of sovereign immunity, each
widely held and firmly established. According to the classical or absolute
theory, a sovereign cannot, without its consent, be made a respondent in
the courts of another sovereign. According to the newer or restrictive
theory, the immunity of the sovereign is recognized only with regard to
public acts or acts jure imperii of a state, but not with regard to private
acts or acts jure gestionis (United States of America v. Ruiz, 136 SCRA
487 [1987]; Coquia and Defensor-Santiago, Public International Law 194
[1984]).

Question: Cite examples to determine if an act is considered as jure


gestionis or jure imperii.
Answer: Some states passed legislation to serve as guidelines for the
executive or judicial determination when an act may be considered
as jure gestionis. The restrictive theory came about because of the entry
of sovereign states into purely commercial activities remotely connected
with the discharge of governmental functions.

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The Supreme Court has considered the following transactions by a
foreign state with private parties as acts jure imperii: (1) the lease by a
foreign government of apartment buildings for use of its military officers
(Syquia v. Lopez, 84 Phil. 312 [1949]; (2) the conduct of public bidding
for the repair of a wharf at a United States Naval Station (United States
of America v. Ruiz, supra.); and (3) the change of employment status of
base employees (Sanders v. Veridiano, 162 SCRA 88 [1988]).
On the other hand, the Court has considered the following transactions
by a foreign state with private parties as acts jure gestionis: (1) the hiring
of a cook in the recreation center, consisting of three restaurants, a
cafeteria, a bakery, a store, and a coffee and pastry shop at the John
Hay Air Station in Baguio City, to cater to American servicemen and the
general public (United States of America v. Rodrigo, 182 SCRA 644
[1990]); and (2) the bidding for the operation of barber shops in Clark Air
Base in Angeles City (United States of America v. Guinto, 182 SCRA
644 [1990]).
The operation of the restaurants and other facilities open to the general
public is undoubtedly for profit as a commercial and not a governmental
activity. By entering into the employment contract with the cook in the
discharge of its proprietary function, the United States government
impliedly divested itself of its sovereign immunity from suit.
Certainly, the mere entering into a contract by a foreign state with a
private party cannot be the ultimate test. Such an act can only be the
start of the inquiry. The logical question is whether the foreign state is
engaged in the activity in the regular course of business. If the foreign
state is not engaged regularly in a business or trade, the particular act or
transaction must then be tested by its nature. If the act is in pursuit of a
sovereign activity, or an incident thereof, then it is an act jure imperii,
especially when it is not undertaken for gain or profit.

Diplomatic Immunity
Question: A parcel of land was donated to the Holy See by the
Archbishop of Manila. The property was intended to serve as the official
residence of the Papal Nuncio to the Philippines. With the presence of
numerous informal settlers, the Holy See decided to dispose of it. The
Holy See and Provident Real Properties, Inc. (“Provident) executed a
Deed of Conditional Sale over a parcel of land in Pasay City. The Holy
See did not pursue the transaction with Provident. Instead, it executed a
Deed of Absolute Sale over the same property with Trinity Resort
Development Corporation (“Trinity”). Provident instituted an action

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against the Holy See. The Holy moved for dismissal of the case claiming
that the Department of Foreign Affairs has been recognized as an entity
immune from suit. The trial court ruled in favor of Provident. The Holy
See filed a Petition for Certiorari before the Supreme Court.
Can the Department of Foreign Affairs intervene in the proceedings
before the Supreme Court to support the claim of the Holy See?
Answer: Yes, the Department of Foreign Affairs can intervene in the
case. In Public International Law, when a state or international agency
wishes to plead sovereign or diplomatic immunity in a foreign court, it
requests the Foreign Office of the state where it is sued to convey to the
court that said defendant is entitled to immunity.
In the Philippines, the practice is for the foreign government or the
international organization to first secure an executive endorsement of its
claim of sovereign or diplomatic immunity. But how the Philippine
Foreign Office conveys its endorsement to the courts varies.
In International Catholic Migration Commission v. Calleja, 190 SCRA
130 (1990), the Secretary of Foreign Affairs just sent a letter directly to
the Secretary of Labor and Employment, informing the latter that the
respondent-employer could not be sued because it enjoyed diplomatic
immunity. In World Health Organization v. Aquino, 48 SCRA 242 (1972),
the Secretary of Foreign Affairs sent the trial court a telegram to that
effect. In Baer v. Tizon, 57 SCRA 1 (1974), the U.S. Embassy asked the
Secretary of Foreign Affairs to request the Solicitor General to make, in
behalf of the Commander of the United States Naval Base at Olongapo
City, Zambales, a "suggestion" to respondent Judge. The Solicitor
General embodied the "suggestion" in a Manifestation and Memorandum
as amicus curiae.

Question: Is the claim of the Holy See tenable? Justify your answer.
Answer: Yes, the claim of the Holy See is tenable. The Holy See
exercises sovereignty over the Vatican City in Rome, Italy, and is
represented in the Philippines by the Papal Nuncio. The Vatican City fits
into none of the established categories of states, and the attribution to it
of "sovereignty" must be made in a sense different from that in which it is
applied to other states (Fenwick, International Law 124-125 [1948];
Cruz, International Law 37 [1991]). In a community of national states, the
Vatican City represents an entity organized not for political but for
ecclesiastical purposes and international objects. Despite its size and
object, the Vatican City has an independent government of its own, with
the Pope, who is also head of the Roman Catholic Church, as the Holy

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See or Head of State, in conformity with its traditions, and the demands
of its mission in the world. Indeed, the world-wide interests and activities
of the Vatican City are such as to make it in a sense an "international
state" (Fenwick, supra., 125; Kelsen, Principles of International Law 160
[1956]). The Republic of the Philippines has accorded the Holy See the
status of a foreign sovereign. The Holy See, through its Ambassador,
the Papal Nuncio, has had diplomatic representations with the Philippine
government since 1957 (Rollo, p. 87). This appears to be the universal
practice in international relations.

Question: What is the nature of the transaction concluded by the Holy


See with Trinity?
Answer: The donation covering the subject parcel of land was made not
for commercial purpose, but for the use of petitioner to construct thereon
the official place of residence of the Papal Nuncio. The right of a foreign
sovereign to acquire property, real or personal, in a receiving state,
necessary for the creation and maintenance of its diplomatic mission, is
recognized in the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations
(Arts. 20-22). This treaty was concurred in by the Philippine Senate and
entered into force in the Philippines on November 15, 1965. In Article
31(a) of the Convention, a diplomatic envoy is granted immunity from the
civil and administrative jurisdiction of the receiving state over any real
action relating to private immovable property situated in the territory of
the receiving state which the envoy holds on behalf of the sending state
for the purposes of the mission. If this immunity is provided for a
diplomatic envoy, with all the more reason should immunity be
recognized as regards the sovereign itself, which in this case is the Holy
See. The decision to transfer the property and the subsequent disposal
thereof are likewise clothed with a governmental character. The Holy
See did not sell the subject property for profit or gain. It merely wanted to
dispose of the same because the squatters living thereon made it almost
impossible for petitioner to use it for the purpose of the donation.

Question: What is auto limitation in international law?


Answer: A State may, by its express or implied consent, submit to a
restriction of its sovereign rights. There may thus be a curtailment of
what otherwise is a power plenary in character. (Reagan v. CIR, 1969)

Question: When is a suit against the State?


Answer: A suit is against the state in the following cases:

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1. The judgment will result in financial liability upon the State;
2. The action involves property in which the State claims interest,
such as ownership or possession;
3. The decision will interfere with public administration or compel or
prohibit performance of a political act;
4. A suit against a public officer who acted in behalf of the
government and within the scope of his authority.

Question: What will indicate that the state waived its consent to be
sued?
Answer: The consent of the State to be sued may be given expressly or
impliedly. There is an express consent when there is a law expressly
granting authority to sue the State or any of its agencies.
There is implied consent when:
1. The State enters into a private contract, unless the contract is
merely incidental to the performance of a governmental function
(Santos v. Santos, 1952);
2. The State enters into an operation that is essentially a business
operation, unless the business operation is merely incidental to the
performance of a governmental function, as for instance, arrastre
service. (Mobil Philippines v. Customs Arrastre Service, 1966); and
3. The State sues a private party, unless the suit is instituted only to
resist a claim. (Lim v. Brownell, 1960)

Question: U.P. executed a contract with Stern Builders Company but


failed to pay the full balance due on the contract. Stern Builders
Company sued U.P. and the trial court ordered U.P. liable for damages
and ordered the garnishment of its funds.: May U.P. be sued for non-
payment of obligation?
Answer: A distinction should first be made between suability and
liability. "Suability depends on the consent of the state to be sued,
liability on the applicable law and the established facts. The
circumstance that a state is suable does not necessarily mean that it is
liable; on the other hand, it can never be held liable if it does not first
consent to be sued. Liability is not conceded by the mere fact that the
state has allowed itself to be sued. When the state does waive its
sovereign immunity, it is only giving the plaintiff the chance to prove, if it
can, that the defendant is liable.

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Question: May the trial court order the garnishment of funds of U.P. to
cover the balance of its obligation and the award of damages?
Answer: The RTC had no authority to direct the immediate withdrawal of
any portion of the garnished funds from the depository banks of the UP.
By eschewing utmost caution, prudence and judiciousness in dealing
with the execution and garnishment, and by authorizing the withdrawal
of the garnished funds of the UP, the RTC acted beyond its jurisdiction,
and all its orders and issuances thereon were void and of no legal effect,
specifically: (a) to withdraw the deposited garnished amount; (b) to
release the garnished amount to Stern Builders; (c) the sheriff’s report of
January 17, 2007 manifesting the full satisfaction of the writ of execution;
and (d) the order denying the UP’s motion for the redeposit of the
withdrawn amount. Such orders and issuances should be struck down
without exception.

Question: What is the remedy of the party in the event government is


adjudged liable for a monetary obligation?
Answer: It is settled jurisprudence that upon determination of State
liability, the prosecution, enforcement or satisfaction thereof must still be
pursued in accordance with the rules and procedures laid down in P.D.
No. 1445, otherwise known as the Government Auditing Code of the
Philippines (Department of Agriculture v. NLRC, 227 SCRA 693, 701-02
1993 citing Republic vs. Villasor, 54 SCRA 84 1973). All money claims
against the Government must first be filed with the Commission on Audit
which must act upon it within sixty days. Rejection of the claim will
authorize the claimant to elevate the matter to the Supreme Court
on certiorari and in effect, sue the State thereby (P.D. 1445, Sections
49-50).

Question: What is the responsibility of a contractor or supplier under


P.D. No. 1445?
Answer: The contractor/supplier must ensure that:
1. there is an appropriation made by law to cover the contract; and
2. there is a certification of availability of funds to cover the contract.

Legislative Branch
Question: How is legislative power exercised under the Constitution?
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Answer: Under the Constitution, legislative power may be exercised by:
1. Congress. Legislative power is vested in Congress, which consists
of a Senate and a House of Representatives. (Sec. 1, Art. VI,
Constitution)
2. Local legislative bodies. Local legislative power is vested in the
Sangguniang Panlalawigan for the province; the Sangguniang
Panlungsod for the city; the Sangguniang Bayan for the
municipality; and the Sangguniang Barangay for the barangay.
(Sec. 48, LGC)
3. People’s initiatives on statutes. Legislative power is reserved to the
people by the provision on initiative and referendum. (Sec. 1, Art.
VI, Constitution)
4. Emergency legislative power of the President. (Sec. 23, Art. VI,
Constitution)

Question: What are the legislative powers of the Congress?


Answer: Congress has the power to propose, enact, amend and repeal
laws.

Question: What is the Doctrine of Necessary Implication?


Answer: Every statute is understood by implication to contain all such
provisions as may be necessary to effectuate its object and purpose, or
to make effective rights, powers, privileges or jurisdiction which it grants,
including such collateral and subsidiary consequences as may be fairly
and logically inferred from its terms.

Question: May Congress provide that the law granting the rights to
OFWs may only be amended or repealed by a 2/3 vote by all members
of both Houses of Congress must be obtained to repeal or amend any of
its provisions?
Answer: No, because such voting requirement is not enshrined in the
Constitution and directly curtails the power of Congress to enact and
repeal laws.

Question: Andres Santos was born in Singapore on April 20, 1986 of


Filipino parents and returned to the Philippines in 2016. Can he run for
the Senate in 2022?
Answer: Yes, Andres Santos can run for the Senate because he is
considered a natural-born Filipino since his parents were Filipinos at the
time of his birth. He also meets the age requirement because he will be
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36 years old on the day of election and he has resided in the Philippines
for more than two years.

Question: Crispin and Bernardo are brothers. Bernardo is presently a 3-


term congressional district representative from Quezon City while Crispin
is a 3-term Governor of Romblon. For the forthcoming elections in 2022,
brothers Crispin and Bernardo will switch political seats, can Crispin run
for the congressional district of Romblon?
Answer: No, Crispin cannot qualify as a congressional district
representative of Quezon City because he will not meet the one-year
residence in Quezon City since his term as Governor will end on June
30, 2022.

Question: What are constitutional guidelines in the apportionment


of legislative districts?
Answer: The rules of apportionment of legislative districts
prescribed under the Constitution are:
1. Apportionment of legislative districts must be by law which could
be through a:
a. General Apportionment Law; or
b. Special Law
2. Proportional representation based on number of inhabitants:
a. Each city with a population of at least 250,000 shall have at
least one representative.
b. Each province, irrespective of the number of inhabitants,
shall have at least one representative.
3. Each legislative district shall comprise, as far as practicable,
contiguous, compact, and adjacent territory
4. Re-apportionment by Congress within three years after the return
of each census

Question: Will reapportionment create a province?

Answer: No, reapportionment will not create a province.


Reapportionment will only create a congressional district.

Question: Enumerate who may participate in the party list system.


Answer: The three different parties or organizations which may
participate in the party-list system are:
1. Registered national political party;
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2. Registered regional party ; or
3. Sectoral organization

Question: What are the parameters in the representation of party list


members?
Answer: Base on the Court’s decision in BANAT v. COMELEC, the
allocation seats of party list members must observe the following
parameters:
1. First, the twenty percent allocation — the combined number
of all party-list congressmen shall not exceed twenty percent of the
total membership of the House of Representatives, including those
elected under the party list;
2. Second, the two percent threshold — only those parties garnering
a minimum of two percent of the total valid votes cast for the party-
list system are "qualified" to have a seat in the House of
Representatives;
3. Third, the three-seat limit — each qualified party, regardless of the
number of votes it actually obtained, is entitled to a maximum of
three seats; that is, one "qualifying" and two additional seats;
4. Fourth, proportional representation— the additional seats which a
qualified party is entitled to shall be computed "in proportion to
their total number of votes.
Note: How to compute the additional seats –
The remaining available seats for allocation as "additional seats" are the
maximum seats reserved under the Party List System less the
guaranteed seats. The percentage of votes garnered by each party-list
candidate is arrived at by dividing the number of votes garnered by each
party by the total number of votes cast for party-list candidates. There
are two steps in the second round of seat allocation. First, the
percentage is multiplied by the remaining available seats which is the
difference between the maximum seats reserved under the Party-List
System and the guaranteed seats of the two-percenters. The whole
integer of the product of the percentage and of the remaining available
seats corresponds to a party’s share in the remaining available seats.
Second, a party-list is assigned one seat to each of the parties next in
rank until all available seats are completely distributed. We distributed all
of the remaining seats in the second round of seat allocation. Finally,
apply the three-seat cap to determine the number of seats each qualified
party-list candidate is entitled.

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Question: The party list law allows substitution only when: (a) the
nominee dies; (b) the nominee withdraws in writing his nomination; or (c)
the nominee becomes incapacitated. May COMELEC provide for
another ground to allow a party list to substitute a nominee?
Answer: No, this will violate the principle on delegation of powers.
To be valid, therefore, the administrative IRRs must comply with the
following requisites to be valid:
1. Its promulgation must be authorized by the Legislature;
2. It must be within the scope of the authority given by the
Legislature;
3. It must be promulgated in accordance with the prescribed
procedure; and
4. It must be reasonable.
The Legislature deprived the party-list organization of the right to change
its nominees or to alter the order of nominees once the list is submitted
to the COMELEC, except when: (a) the nominee dies; (b) the nominee
withdraws in writing his nomination; or (c) the nominee becomes
incapacitated. By providing another ground for substitution, COMELEC’s
resolution allowing another nominee to take the place of Lokin is
considered ultra vires. (Lokin v. COMELEC)

Question: Must the party list members be limited to the poor members
of society?
Answer: No, the party-list system is intended to democratize political
power by giving political parties that cannot win in legislative district
elections a chance to win seats in the House of Representatives.50 The
voter elects two representatives in the House of Representatives: one for
his or her legislative district, and another for his or her party-list group or
organization of choice. To require all national and regional parties under
the party-list system to represent the "marginalized and
underrepresented" is to deprive and exclude, by judicial fiat, ideology-
based and cause-oriented parties from the party-list system. It is
sufficient that the political party consists of citizens who advocate the
same ideology or platform, or the same governance principles and
policies, regardless of their economic status as citizens. The
nominees of the sectoral party either must belong to the sector, or must
have a track record of advocacy for the sector represented. (Atong
Paglaum v. COMELEC)

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Question: What are the limitations on revenue, appropriations, and tariff
measures?
Answer: The limitations on revenue, appropriations, and tariff measures
are:
1. Appropriations must be for a public purpose.
2. The appropriation must be by law.
3. Cannot appropriate public funds or property, directly or indirectly,
in favor of
a. Any sect, church, denomination, or sectarian institution or
system of religion or
b. Any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or
dignitary as such.
Exception: If the priest etc. is assigned to:
i. The Armed Forces;
ii. Any penal institution;
iii. Government orphanage;
iv. Leprosarium.
Government is not prohibited from appropriating money for a valid
secular purpose, even if it incidentally benefits a religion.

Question: Can Congressman Jalosjos be allowed to attend to his


congressional duties after he was convicted of the crimes of two counts
of Statutory Rape and six counts of Acts of Lasciviousness?
Answer: Congressman Jalosjos cannot be allowed to attend to his
congressional duties after he was convicted of the crimes of two counts
of Statutory Rape and six counts of Acts of Lasciviousness. He must
suffer the penalty imposed by the court as he is not covered by any
immunity nor is there a legal basis for granting liberty to a convicted
felon. The crimes he committed are punishable by more than six years
so he cannot even invoke freedom from arrest. (People v. Jalosjos)

Question: Senator Trillanes was elected senator while he was


undergoing court martial proceedings and criminal prosecution for coup
d etat. He asked the trial court to allow him to attend to his duties as a
member of the Senate outside the confines of the military barracks. He
distinguished his situation from Cong. Jalosjos who was already
convicted. Will the petition of Sen. Trillanes prosper?
Answer: The petition of Senator Trillanes will not prosper. It is
impractical to draw a line between convicted prisoners and pre-trial
detainees for the purpose of maintaining jail security; and while pre-trial

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detainees do not forfeit their constitutional rights upon confinement, the
fact of their detention makes their rights more limited than those of the
public. Allowing accused-appellant to attend congressional sessions and
committee meetings for five (5) days or more in a week will virtually
make him a free man with all the privileges appurtenant to his position.
Such an aberrant situation not only elevates accused-appellant’s status
to that of a special class, it also would be a mockery of the purposes of
the correction system. (Trillanes v. Hon. Pimentel, Sr.)

Question: Mr. Antero Pobre filed an administrative complaint against


Senator Miriam Santiago who in her privilege speech called the
Supreme Court as a court of idiots. Will the administrative complaint
prosper?
Answer: Mr. Antero Pobre’s administrative complaint against Senator
Miriam Santiago will not prosper. While, she called the Supreme Court
as a court of idiots in her privilege speech, she protected by
parliamentary immunity. Section 11 of Article VI of the Constitution
provides:
“A Senator or Member of the House of Representatives shall, in all
offenses punishable by not more than six years imprisonment, be
privileged from arrest while the Congress is in session. 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. ”
Question: What is the coverage of parliamentary immunity?
Answer: Parliamentary immunity covers speeches, utterances and debates
made during the plenary sessions and in committee hearings. 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 Congressional
Committees duly authorized to perform its functions as such, at the time
of the performance of the acts in question. (Jimenez v. Cabangbang)
Question: Can Senator A be suspended for verbally abusing a witness
in a committee hearing?
Answer: Senator A is covered by parliamentary immunity. Section 11 of
Artcile VI of the Constitution provides: “A Senator or Member of the
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House of Representatives shall, in all offenses punishable by not more
than six years imprisonment, be privileged from arrest while the
Congress is in session. 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.”

Question: May the Senate compel a witness to appear before it? May it
cite a witness in contempt during a congressional inquiry?
Answer: Yes, the Senate may cite a witness in contempt during a
congressional inquiry. If the subject of investigation before the
committee is within the range of legitimate legislative inquiry and the
proposed testimony of the witness called relates to that subject,
obedience, to its process may be enforced by the committee by
imprisonment. (Sullivan vs. Hill, 73 W. Va., 49; 79 S.E., 670; 40 Ann.
Cas. [1916 B.], 1115.)

Question: May the Senate detain for an indefinite period a person cited
in contempt?
Answer: No, the Senate may not detain for an indefinite period a
person cited in contempt. While the contempt order issued against
petitioner simply stated that he would be arrested and detained until
such time that he gives his true testimony, or otherwise purges himself of
the contempt. It does not provide any definite and concrete period of
detention. Neither does the Senate Rules specify a precise period of
detention when a person is cited in contempt.
The Court finds that there is a genuine necessity to place a limitation on
the period of imprisonment that may be imposed by the Senate pursuant
to its inherent power of contempt during inquiries in aid of legislation.
Section 21, Article VI of the Constitution states that Congress, in
conducting inquiries in aid of legislation, must respect the rights of
persons appearing in or affected therein. Under Arnault, however, a
witness or resource speaker cited in contempt by the Senate may be
detained indefinitely due to its characteristic as a continuing body. The
said witness may be detained for a day, a month, a year, or even for a
lifetime depending on the desire of the perpetual Senate. Certainly, in
that case, the rights of persons appearing before or affected by the
legislative inquiry are in jeopardy. The constitutional right to liberty that
every citizen enjoys certainly cannot be respected when they are
detained for an indefinite period of time without due process of law.

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Question: What instances will merit the release of a detained witness
cited in contempt by the Senate?
Answer: The Court finds that the period of imprisonment under the
inherent power of contempt by the Senate during inquiries in aid of
legislation should only last until the termination of the legislative inquiry
under which the said power is invoked; and the Senate adjourns.

Question: Enumerate the legislative inhibitions and disqualifications for


members of Congress.
Answer: The legislative inhibitions and disqualifications for members of
Congress.
1. May not hold any other office or employment in the government
during his term without forfeiting his seat. (Art. VI, Sec. 13) The
provision refers to an incompatible office. Forfeiture of the seat in
Congress shall be automatic upon the member’s assumption of
such office deemed incompatible.
2. May not be appointed to any office created or whose emoluments
were increased during the term for which he was elected. (Art. VI,
Sec. 13) The provision refers to a forbidden office. He cannot
validly take the office even if he is willing to give up his seat.
3. Shall not be financially interested, directly or indirectly, in any
contract with, or franchise or special privilege granted by the
government during his term of office. (Art. VI, Sec. 14)
4. Shall not intervene in any matter before any office of the
government when it is for his pecuniary benefit or where he may
be called upon to act on account of his office. (Art. VI, Sec. 14)
5. Cannot personally appear as counsel before any court, electoral
tribunal, quasi-judicial and administrative bodies during his term of
office. (Art. VI, Sec. 14)

Question: Gordon is an incumbent senator and is also the Chairman of


the Philippine National Red Cross. A quo warranto proceeding was
filed against him to vacate his seat. Will the challenge prosper?
Answer: No, the challenge will not prosper. An incumbent Senator may
be elected Chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross without
forfeiting his seat in the Senate because it is not a private corporation
within the contemplation of Sec. 14, Art. XII of the Constitution. It is a sui
generis corporation. Its function is to assist the state in complying with its
obligations under the Geneva Convention. (Liban v. Gordon, 2011)

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Question: Incumbent Senator Cayetano was appointed Secretary of
Foreign Affairs. Can he still keep his seat seat?
Answer: No, he cannot because this is an incompatible office. An
incompatible office is any office that, if held by a member of Congress,
would result to the forfeiture of his seat in Congress.

Question: During her 2nd and last term, Senator Bamby sponsored and
voted for the approval of a new office. After ending her term, she was
appointed to this office. Is the appointment of Senator Bamby valid?
Answer: The appointment of Senator Bamby is not valid. The
Constitution prohibits that the holding what is known as forbidden office.
The prohibition includes offices which have been created or the
emoluments of which were increased while the legislator was a member
of Congress. The Member of Congress cannot occupy the office even if
he or she is willing to give up his/her seat.

Question: Can the Senate compel attendance of individuals to


congressional inquiry when there is no pending bill under consideration
by the chamber?
Answer: No, the Senate cannot compel attendance of individuals to
congressional inquiry when there is no pending bill under consideration
by the chamber. Section 21 of Article VI of the Constitution provides:
“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.”

Question: What is Question Hour?


Answer: Question Hour is a proceeding in Congress which may be
initiated either by the Congress or the Executive Branch. Section 22 of
Article VI of the Constitution provides:
“ The heads of departments may, upon their own initiative, with the
consent of the President, or upon the request of either House, as
the rules of each House shall provide, appear before and be heard
by such House on any matter pertaining to their departments.
Written questions shall be submitted to the President of the Senate
or the Speaker of the House of Representatives at least three days
before their scheduled appearance. Interpellations shall not be
limited to written questions, but may cover matters related thereto.
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When the security of the State or the public interest so requires
and the President so states in writing, the appearance shall be
conducted in executive session. ”

Question: Define quorum.


Answer: Quorum is the required number of members necessary to
conduct plenary business of Congress. The majority of each House shall
constitute a quorum. In computing a quorum, members who are outside
the coercive jurisdiction of the House are not included.
“Majority” refers to the number of members within the “jurisdiction” of the
Congress. There is a difference between a majority of “all members of
the House” and a majority of “the House”, the latter requires less number
than the former. Therefore, an absolute majority of all members of the
Senate less one constitutes constitutional majority of the Senate for the
purpose of the quorum. (Avelino v. Cuenco)

Question: What is the Doctrine of Shifting Majority?


Answer: For each House of Congress to pass a bill, only the votes of
the majority of those present in the session, there being a quorum, is
required.
Exceptions to Doctrine of Shifting Majority:
1. Votes where requirement is based on “ALL THE MEMBERS OF
CONGRESS” – requirement is based on the entire composition of
a House of Congress (in its entirety), regardless of the number of
Members present or absent.
2. Other special cases
Shifting Majority:
Action Vote Senate and Basis
Required
House of
(Out of all Representatives
Members)

Override 2/3 Separately (House Art. VI, Sec.


presidential veto where bill 27(1)
originated votes
first)

Grant of tax Majority (Silent) Art. VI, Sec.

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exemptions 27(4)

Elect President in Majority Separately Art. VII, Sec.


case of tie 4(5)

Confirm Majority Separately Art. VII, Sec. 9


appointment of VP

Revoke or extend Majority Jointly Art. VII, Sec.


(a) martial law; or 18
(b) suspension of
writ of habeas
corpus

Confirm amnesty Majority (Silent) Art. VII, Sec.


grant 19

Submit question of Majority (Silent) Art. XVII, Sec.


calling a 3
Constitutional
Convention to the Prevailing view:
electorate By default, houses
vote separately
because
Congress is
bicameral

Call for 2/3 Art. XVII, Sec.


Constitutional 3
Convention

Propose 3/4 Art. XVII, Sec.


amendments as 1(1)
Constituent
Assembly

Special Cases:
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Action Vote Required Senate and Basis

(Out of all House of


Members) Representatives

Determine 2/3 Separately Art. VII, Sec.


President’s 11(4)
disability

Declaring a 2/3 Separately, Art. VI, Sec.


State of War 23(1)
but in joint
session

Question: Upon convening the 17th Congress, Rep. Alvarez was elected
Speaker of the House; while Reps. Baguilat and Suarez came as
second and third-placers for the speakership respectively. As the House
minority convened, they elected Rep. Suarez as the Minority Floor
Leader for the 17th Congress. Rep. Baguilat protested arguing, among
others, that there is a long-standing practice in the House of
Representatives that the second-placer in the election of the Speaker
would automatically become the Minority Floor Leader. As such, Rep.
Suarez’s election as Minority Floor Leader contravenes Article VI,
Section 16(1) of the 1987 Constitution. Are Rep. Baguilat’s contentions
correct?
Answer: No, under Article VI, Section 16(1), the Speaker of the House
of Representatives shall be elected by a majority vote of its entire
membership. Said provision also states that the House of
Representatives may decide to have officers other than the Speaker,
and that the method and manner as to how these officers are chosen is
something within its sole control. In the case of Defensor-Santiago v.
Guingona, which involved a dispute on the rightful Senate Minority
Leader during the 11th Congress (1998-2001), this Court observed that
“[w]hile the Constitution is explicit on the manner of electing x x x [a
Speaker of the House of Representative,] it is, however, dead silent on
the manner of selecting the other officers [of the Lower House]. All that
the Charter says is that ‘[e]ach House shall choose such other officers
as it may deem necessary.’ [As such], the method of choosing who will
be such other officers is merely a derivative of the exercise of the
prerogative conferred by the aforequoted constitutional provision.
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Therefore, such method must be prescribed by the [House of
Representatives] itself, not by [the] Court.” (Baguilat v Alvarez, G.R. No.
227757, July 25, 2017)

Discipline of members
Question: May the Ombudsman discipline a member of Congress?
Answer: No, the Ombudsman may not discipline a member of
Congress. Each house may punish its members for disorderly behavior,
and with the concurrence of 2/3 of ALL its members, with either a
suspension which shall not exceed 60 days; or expulsion. The
suspension contemplated in the Constitution is different from the
suspension prescribed in the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (RA
3019). The former is punitive in nature while the latter is preventive.
(Defensor-Santiago v. Sandiganbayan)
Congress may impose other disciplinary measures such as:
1. Deletion from the record of remarks which would bring dishonor to
the body
2. Fine
3. Imprisonment
4. Censure

Note: Alejandrino v. Quezon: Only the Senate can define


“disorderly behavior.
Osmena v. Pendatun: A writ of mandamus will not lie to lift the order
of suspension of a member of the House of Representatives.

Question: What are the issues which the SET and HRET resolve in an
election contest?
Answer: The issues which the SET and HRET resolve in an election
contest are: election, returns and qualifications.

Question: Who are parties to an election contest?


Answer: The parties to an election contest are the losing candidate
known as the protestant and the proclaimed candidate known as the
prostestee.

Question: When may the SET or HRET take cognizance of a case?


Answer: The SET or HRET take cognizance of a case when the
following are met:
1. Valid proclamation
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2. Valid oath-taking
3. Assumption of office (Ongsiako-Reyes v. HRET)

Question: May HRET invalidate the seats of proclaimed party list


members on the allegation that the party list represents a religious
sector?
Answer: No, HRET may not invalidate the seats of proclaimed party list
members on the allegation that the party list represents a religious
sector. The COMELEC is the only tribunal which has jurisdiction over the
registration of party list members. (ABC v. COMELE)

Question: May HRET resolve the issue of citizenship in an election


contest?
Answer: Yes, citizenship being an essential qualification is an issue
which can be resolved in an election case filed before the HRET.

Question: May the Supreme Court issue a Writ of Mandamus for the
Speaker of the House to remove from the Roll of Members of the House
of Representatives a member adjudged by the COMELEC and affirmed
by the Court to be not a Filipino citizen?
Answer: Yes, the Supreme Court may issue a Writ of Mandamus for
the Speaker of the House to remove from the Roll of Members of the
House of Representatives a member adjudged by the COMELEC and
affirmed by the Court to be not a Filipino citizen. (Velasco v. Speaker
Belmonte)

Question: May LDP Political Party remove its representative in the


HRET on the ground of disloyalty for having cast a vote against a
member of a party which has an alliance with it?
Answer: No, as a political party, LDP cannot remove its representative
in the HRET on the ground of disloyalty for having cast a vote against a
member of a party which has an alliance with it. A representative must
serve his full term of three years. The removal of a member of the HRET
is not within the jurisdiction of the political body. It is independent
tribunal. (Bondoc v. Pineda)

Question: Upon what grounds may a member of the HRET be


reomoved?
Answer: Members of the HRET as "sole judge" of congressional
election contests, are entitled to security of tenure just as members of

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the judiciary enjoy security of tenure under our Constitution (Sec. 2, Art.
VIII, 1987 Constitution). Therefore, membership in the House Electoral
Tribunal may not be terminated except for a just cause, such as, the
expiration of the member's congressional term of office, his death,
permanent disability, resignation from the political party he represents in
the tribunal, formal affiliation with another political party, or removal for
other valid cause.
Note: The use of the word "sole" in both Section 17 of the 1987
Constitution and Section 11 of the 1935 Constitution underscores
the exclusive jurisdiction of the House Electoral Tribunal as judge of
contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications of the
members of the House of Representatives (Robles vs. House of
Representatives Electoral Tribunal, G.R. No. 86647, February 5, 1990).
The tribunal was created to function as a nonpartisan court although
two-thirds of its members are politicians. It is a non-political body in a
sea of politicians.
As judges, the members of the tribunal must be non-partisan. They must
discharge their functions with complete detachment, impartiality, and
independence even independence from the political party to which they
belong. Hence, "disloyalty to party" and "breach of party discipline," are
not valid grounds for the expulsion of a member of the tribunal. In
expelling Congressman Camasura from the HRET for having cast a
conscience vote" in favor of Bondoc, based strictly on the result of the
examination and appreciation of the ballots and the recount of the votes
by the tribunal, the House of Representatives committed a grave abuse
of discretion, an injustice, and a violation of the Constitution. Its
resolution of expulsion against Congressman Camasura is, therefore,
null and void. (Bondoc v. Pineda)

Question: The Senate conducted an investigation as to the anomalous


losses incurred by PHILCOMSAT, wherein the government has equity
interests. After due proceedings, the Senate found overwhelming
mismanagement of PHILCOMSAT. On the other hand, the respondents
in the said investigation questioned the haste with which the Senate
approved its findings as embodied in Committee Report No. 312. Should
the Committee Report be nullified for being hastily approved?
Answer: No, Article VI, Section 21 of the Constitution states that:
“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

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persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be
respected.”
In the case of In the Matter of the Petition for Habeas Corpus of Camilo
L. Sabio, the Court explained that such conferral of the legislative power
of inquiry upon any committee of Congress must carry with it all powers
necessary and proper for its effective discharge. In this case, the Senate
Committees cannot be said to have acted with grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack or in excess of jurisdiction when it submitted
Committee Resolution No. 312, given its constitutional mandate to
conduct legislative inquiries. Nor can the respondent Senate be faulted
for doing so on the very same day that the assailed resolution was
submitted. The wide latitude given to Congress with respect to these
legislative inquiries has long been settled, otherwise, Article VI, Section
21 would be rendered pointless (Philcomsat v Senate, GR No. 180308
June 19, 2012).
.
Question: What is a bicameral conference committee?
Answer: A bicameral conference committee is a committee composed
of members from each house which is formed to settle, reconcile or
thresh out differences on any provision of the bill. The bicameral
conference committee makes recommendations to the houses on how to
reconcile conflicting provisions/versions between the bills.

Question: May the Senate version of the General Appropriations Act


prevail over that of the House of the Representatives after reconciling
conflicting provisions during a bicameral conference committee meeting?
Answer: Yes, the Senate version of the General Appropriations Act
may prevail over that of the House of the Representatives after
reconciling conflicting provisions during a bicameral conference
committee meeting. (Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance)

Question: How is presidential veto exercised?


Answer: If the President does not approve of a bill, he shall veto the
same and return it with his objections to the house from which it
originated.
General Rule: As a general rule, partial veto is invalid.
However, the following exceptions are allowed:
1. Veto of particular items of an appropriation, tariff or revenue bill
(Bengzon v. Drilon, 1992)

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2. Doctrine of inappropriate provisions (Gonzales v. Macaraig, 1990);
an inappropriate provision is a provision in an appropriations bill
which may be one of the following:
a. One which does not relate specifically to some particular
item of appropriation or which extends in its operation
beyond an item of appropriation, or,
b. One which is unconstitutional, or,
c. One which is intended to amend other laws (PHILCONSA v.
Enriquez, 1994)

Question: May Congress override a presidential veto?


Answer: Congress may override a presidential veto. 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 becomes a law without
need of presidential approval.

Question: In line with the Presidential Line-Item Veto power, what


characteristic/s must an item of appropriation have?
Answer: An item of appropriation must be an item characterized by
singular correspondence – meaning an allocation of a specified singular
amount for a specified singular purpose, otherwise known as a “line-
item.” This treatment not only allows the item to be consistent with its
definition as a “specific appropriation of money” but also ensures that the
President may discernibly veto the same (Belgica v Ochoa G.R. Nos.
208566, 208493 & 209251, November 19, 2013).
.
Question: In line with the Presidential Line-Item Veto power, what
characteristic/s must the special purpose and discretionary funds have?
Answer: Anent special purpose funds, it must be added that Section
25(4), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution requires that the "special
appropriations bill shall specify the purpose for which it is intended, and
shall be supported by funds actually available as certified by the National
Treasurer, or to be raised by a corresponding revenue proposal therein."
Meanwhile, with respect to discretionary funds, Section 25(6), Article VI
of the 1987 Constitution requires that said funds “shall be disbursed only
for public purposes to be supported by appropriate vouchers and subject
to such guidelines as may be prescribed by law.” (Belgica v Ochoa G.R.
Nos. 208566, 208493 & 209251, November 19, 2013).

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Question: Does the 2013 PDAF Article or the Pork Barrel System curtail
the Presidential Line-Item Veto Power? Explain.
Answer: Yes, the 2013 PDAF Article is an appropriation which merely
provide for a singular lump-sum amount to be tapped as a source of
funding for multiple purposes. Since such appropriation type
necessitates the further determination of both the actual amount to be
expended and the actual purpose of the appropriation which must still be
chosen from the multiple purposes stated in the law, it cannot be said
that the appropriation law already indicates a “specific appropriation of
money” and hence, without a proper line-item which the President may
veto. As a practical result, the President would then be faced with the
predicament of either vetoing the entire appropriation if he finds some of
its purposes wasteful or undesirable, or approving the entire
appropriation so as not to hinder some of its legitimate purposes
(Belgica v Ochoa G.R. Nos. 208566, 208493 & 209251, November 19,
2013).

Question: Is augmentation of appropriation or budget allowed out of


savings?
Answer: Augmentation of appropriation or budget is allowed out of
savings. However, Section 25(5) limits this privilege only to the following
public officers:
1. President
2. Senate President
3. Speaker of the House
4. Chief Justice of the Philippines
5. Heads of the Constitutional Commissions

Question: Can the President declare savings of all line departments of


the executive branch without violating the rule on augmentation?
Answer: The President cannot declare savings of all line departments of
the executive branch without violating the rule on augmentation. This is
a clear violation of the separation of powers because the President
effectively amended the General Appropriations Act. (Demtrai v. Alba
and Araullo v. President Aquino)

Question: May the President provide financial assistance to the


Commission on Audit to allow the COA to improve its operational
competence?

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Answer: The President may not provide financial assistance to the
Commission on Audit to allow the COA to improve its operational
competence. This violates the fiscal autonomy of COA as well its
independence as the watchdog of government funds.

Question: May the President provide financial assistance to the


Commission on Audit to allow the COA to improve its operational
competence?
Answer: The President may not provide financial assistance to the
Commission on Audit to allow the COA to improve its operational
competence. This violates the fiscal autonomy of COA as well its
independence as the watchdog of government funds. (Araullo v.
President Aquino)
Question: What are the grounds for impeachment?
Answer: The grounds for impeachment are:
1. Culpable violation of the Constitution
2. Treason
3. Bribery
4. Graft and corruption
5. Other high crimes
6. Betrayal of public trust
Note: Impeachment initiated is initiated in the following manner:
1. Through a verified complaint filed by a member of the House of
Representatives;
2. Through a verified complaint of a citizen supported by a resolution
of indorsement of a member of the House of Representatives; or
3. Verified complaint filed by at least one-third (1/3) of the members
of the House of Representatives. (Gutierrez v. House of
Representatives Committee on Justice, 2011)

Question: May the Solicitor General file a quo warranto proceeding


against a public officer while the House of Representatives is still
determining the grounds for his/her impeachment?
Answer: Yes, the Solicitor General may file a quo warranto proceeding
against a public officer while the House of Representatives is still
determining the grounds for his/her impeachment. An act or omission
committed prior to or at the time of appointment or election relating to an
official's qualifications to hold office as to render such appointment or
election invalid is properly the subject of quo warranto petition, provided
that the requisites for the commencement thereof are present.

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Contrariwise, acts or omissions, even if it relates to the qualification of
integrity, being continuing requirement but nonetheless committed
during the incumbency of validly appointed and/or validly elected official,
cannot be the subject of quo warranto proceeding, but of something
else, which may either be impeachment if the public official concerned is
impeachable and the act or omission constitutes an impeachable
offense, or disciplinary, administrative or criminal action, if otherwise.
Moreover, the Court's quo warranto jurisdiction over impeachable
officers finds basis in Par. 7, Sec. 4, Art. VII of the Constitution which
designates it as the sole judge of the qualifications of the President and
Vice-President, both of whom are impeachable officers. With this
authority, the remedy of quo warranto was provided in the rules of the
Court sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) (Republic v.
Sereno, 2018).
Question: Cite some non-legislative functions of Congress.
Answer: The other non-legislative powers of Congress are:
Canvassing of Votes
Electoral Tribunals
Commission on Appointments
Check on the Commander-in-Chief Powers of the President
Concurrence in Treaties
Concurrence in Grant of Amnesty

Question: What is the composition of the Commission on


Appointments?
Answer: The Commission on Appointments is composed of:
1. Senate President as ex-officio chairman (shall not vote except in
case of a tie)
2. Twelve (12) Senators
3. Twelve (12) Members of the HOR
The provision of Section 18 on proportional representation is mandatory
in character and does not leave any discretion to the majority party in the
Senate to disobey or disregard the rule on proportional representation.
By requiring a proportional representation in the Commission on
Appointments, Section 18 in effect works as a check on the majority
party in the Senate and helps to maintain the balance of power. No party
can claim more than what it is entitled to under such rule. (Guingona v.
Gonzales, 1993)

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Question: Enumerate the public officers who are subject to the
confirmation of the Commission on Appointments.
Answer: The Commission on Appointments shall confirm the
appointments made by the President with respect to the following
positions:
1. Heads of Executive departments (except if it is the Vice-President
who is appointed to a cabinet position, as this needs no
confirmation);
2. Ambassadors, other public ministers or consuls;
3. Officers of the AFP from the rank of Colonel or Naval Captain;
4. Other officers whose appointments are vested in him by the
Constitution: all members of the Commission on Civil Service,
Commission on Appointments and the Commission on Audit
Note: Marbury v. Madison: The appointee must accept his appointment
after receipt of commission.
Matibag v. Benipayo: An ad interim appointment is in the nature of a
permanent appointment and is issued by the President when Congress
is in recess.
Executive Branch
Question: Can COMELEC deny due course the Certificate of Candidacy
of a person seeking to become President of the Philippines after a clear
showing that the aspirant does not have the capacity to launch a
nationwide campaign?
Answer: Yes, COMELEC can deny due course the Certificate of
Candidacy of a person seeking to become President of the Philippines
after a clear showing that the aspirant does not have the capacity to
launch a nationwide campaign. It is essential that one who seeks the
mandate of the people must also show seriousness of purpose to serve
them. The lack of the machinery of a candidate impels that his Certificate
of Candidacy be voided.

Question: May the COMELEC resolve the questions related to the


qualifications of a presidential candidate?
Answer: No, the COMELEC cannot resolve the questions related to the
qualifications of a presidential candidate. Only the Presidential Electoral
Tribunal is sole judge of issues related to election, returns and
qualifications in an election contest.

Question: What are the two basic powers of the President?

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Answer: The President has exercises control over the executive branch
and he exercises supervision over the local governments.
Question: What is included in the power to execute?
Answer: Under the Faithful Execution Clause, the President has the
power to take "necessary and proper steps" to carry into execution the
law. The mandate is self-executory by virtue of its being inherently
executive in nature and is intimately related to the other executive
functions. It is best construed as an imposed obligation, not a separate
grant of power. The provision simply underscores the rule of law and,
corollarily, the cardinal principle that the President is not above the laws
but is obliged to obey and execute them. (Ocampo v. Enriquez)

Question: Is President Duterte bound by the terms of agreement which


the Marcos Family executed with President Ramos relative to the burial
of the remains of the late President?
Answer: President Duterte is not bound by the terms of agreement
which the Marcos Family executed with President Ramos relative to the
burial of the remains of the late President. It is within the discretion of
President Duterte to allow the burial of President Marcos in Libinigan Ng
Mga Bayani.
The Court held that there is no clear constitutional or legal basis to hold
that there was a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess
of jurisdiction which would justify the Court to interpose its authority to
check and override an act entrusted to the judgment of another branch.
Truly, the President's discretion is not totally unfettered. "Discretion is
not a freespirited stallion that runs and roams wherever it pleases but is
reined in to keep it from straying. In its classic formulation, 'discretion is
not unconfined and vagrant' but 'canalized within banks that keep it from
overflowing.”
At bar, President Duterte, through the public respondents, acted within
the bounds of the law and jurisprudence. Notwithstanding the call of
human rights advocates, the Court must uphold what is legal and just.
And that is not to deny Marcos of his rightful place at the LNMB. For
even the Framers of the Constitution intend that full respect for human
rights is available at any stage of a person's development, from the time
he or she becomes a person to the time he or she leaves this earth.
Question: Enumerate the limitations imposed upon the President when
making appointments.
Answer: The following are the limitations which have been imposed by
the President when making appointments:
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1. The President may not appoint his spouse and relatives by
consanguinity and affinity within the fourth civil degree during his
term as members of the Constitutional Commissions, Office of the
Ombudsman, or as secretaries, undersecretaries, chairmen, or
heads of bureaus or offices, including government owned and
controlled corporations and their subsidiaries. (Sec. 13, Art. VII)
2. The President or acting President cannot exercise the power of
appointment two months before the next presidential elections and
up to the end of his term, except temporary appointments to
executive positions when continued vacancies therein will
prejudice public service or endanger public safety. (Sec. 15, Art.
VII)
3. Appointment in the Judiciary shall be made upon recommendation
of the Judicial and Bar Council. (Sec. 8, Art. VII)
4. Appointments extended by the Acting President shall remain
effective, unless revoked by the elected President within ninety
days from his assumption. (Sec. 14, Art. VII)

Question: May the President appoint a member of the Supreme Court


during the election ban period without violating the midnight appointment
rule?
Answer: The framers of the Constitution did not extend the prohibition to
appointments to the Judiciary, because the establishment of the JBC
and subjecting the nomination and screening for judicial positions to the
unhurried and deliberative prior process of the JBC ensure that there
would no longer be midnight appointments to the Judiciary. (De Castro v.
Judicial and Bar Council [JBC])

Question: Does the power of appoint include the power to remove?


Answer: Under the doctrine of necessary implication, the power to
appoint carries with it the power to remove. As a general rule, therefore,
all officers appointed by the President are also removable by him. The
exception to this is when the law expressly provides otherwise—that is,
when the power to remove is expressly vested in an office or authority
other than the appointing power. In some cases, the Constitution
expressly separates the power to remove from the power of the
President’s power to appoint.

Question: May the members of the Board of Directors of Trade and


Investment Development Corporation of the Philippines invoke qualified

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political agency when three of its members obtained their seats through
the election of the ex-officio members and not by the President?
Answer: This is an incorrect invocation of the qualified political agency
doctrine. While some members of the Board of Directors were indeed
cabinet members, they became members of the Board of Directors not
because of their appointment but due to their designation by law. Thus,
they implemented the new organizational plan, not as alter egos of the
President but as members of the Board of Directors pursuant to law.
(Manalang-Demigillo v. Trade and Investment Development Corporation
of the Philippines, 2012)

Question: Does the President need Congress to declare a state of war


or national emergency before he can exercise his powers as
Commander-in-Chief?
Answer: No, the President does not need Congress to declare a state of
war or national emergency before he can exercise his powers as
Commander-in-Chief. The power of the President to declare a state of
rebellion is based on the power of the President as Chief Executive and
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Thus, it is
not necessary for the President to declare a state of rebellion before
calling out the Armed Forces. The proclamation only serves to give
notice that such a state exists and that the Armed Forces may be called
upon to suppress it. (Sanlakas v. Executive Secretary, 2004)
In a proclamation of a state of national emergency, the President is
already calling out the Armed Forces of the Philippines to suppress not
only rebellion but also lawless violence. (David v. Macapagal-Arroyo)

Question: What are included in the Commander-in-Chief powers of the


President?
Answer: the Commander-in-Chief powers of the President include:
1. The power to call out the armed forces to suppress lawless violence,
invasion or rebellion;
2. In case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, he
may, for a period not exceeding sixty days, suspend the privilege of the
writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under
martial law.
Question: May Congress and the Supreme Court exercise its
constitutional powers to check on the exercise of the Commander-in-
Chief powers of the President?
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Answer: Yes, the other two branches of government may exercise its
constitutional powers to check on the exercise of the Commander-in-
Chief powers of the President.
The following constitutional safeguards must be observed:
1. There must be actual invasion or rebellion;
2. The duration of the proclamation shall not exceed sixty (60) days;
3. Within 48 hours, the President shall report his action to Congress.
If Congress is not in session, it must convene within 24 hours;
a. Congress may, by majority vote of all its members voting
jointly, revoke the proclamation, and the President cannot set
aside the revocation;
b. By the same vote and in the same manner, upon initiative of
the President, Congress may extend the proclamation if the
invasion or rebellion continues and public safety requires the
extension;
c. The Supreme Court may review the factual sufficiency of the
proclamation, and the SC must decide the case within 30
days form the time it was filed;
d. Martial law does not automatically suspend the privilege of
the writ of habeas corpus or the operation of the Constitution.
It does not supplant functioning of the civil courts and of
Congress. Military courts have no jurisdiction over civilians
where civil courts are able to function.

Question: Does the declaration of martial law suspend the operation of


the Constitution and which will allow the President to effect warrantless
searches and warrantless arrests?
Answer: A state of martial law does not suspend the operation of the
Constitution, nor supplant the functioning of the civil courts or legislative
assemblies, nor authorize the conferment of jurisdiction on military
courts and agencies over civilians where civil courts are able to function,
nor automatically suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.
Thus, the President may not issue any orders for warrantless searches
and warrantless arrests.

Question: What are the acts of clemency extended by the


President?
Answer: Except in cases of impeachment, or as otherwise provided in
this Constitution, the President may grant reprieves, commutations, and

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pardons, and remit fines and forfeitures, after conviction by final
judgment.

Question: Are the acts of clemency extended by the President limited to


criminal cases?
Answer: No, presidential pardon includes administrative cases.
However, the power of the President to grant executive clemency in
administrative cases refers only to administrative cases in the executive
branch and not in the judicial or legislative branches of the government.
(Llamas v. Executive Secretary, 1991)

Question: Can a judge who was dismissed by the Supreme Court seek
presidential pardon to reinstate him to his post?
Answer: No, the power of executive clemency cannot extend to
administrative cases in the Judiciary because it will violate the principle
of separation of powers and impair the power of the Supreme Court
under Section 6, Article VIII of the Constitution of administrative
supervision over all courts. (Petition for Judicial Clemency of Romillo,
1997)

Question: Enumerate the limitations of the pardoning powers of the


President.

Answer: The following are the limitations on the pardoning powers of


the President:
1. Pardon can be given only after final judgment;
2. Pardon cannot be granted in impeachment cases;
3. Amnesty requires the concurrence of a majority of all members of
Congress;
4. Pardon, amnesty, parole and suspension of sentence involving
election offenses require the favorable recommendation of the
COMELEC.

Question: Will the grant of pardon automatically reinstate a public officer


to his original post?
Answer: No, there must be a separate pardon for the disqualification. A
pardoned official cannot claim back a position which was forfeited by
virtue of conviction in the criminal case. To insist on automatic
reinstatement because of a mistaken notion that the pardon virtually
acquitted one from the offense would be grossly untenable. A pardon,
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albeit full and plenary, cannot preclude the appointing power from
refusing appointment to anyone deemed to be of bad character, a poor
moral risk, or who is unsuitable by reason of the pardoned conviction.
(Monsanto v. Factoran, Jr., 1989

Question: Will the pardon granted by President Arroyo upon former


President Estrada allow him to run as President and subsequently as
Mayor of Manila.
Answer: Yes, the pardon granted by President Arroyo upon former
President Estrada was absolute. The pardon restored President Estrada
to his full civil and political rights. This allowed him to run as President
and subsequently as Mayor of Manila. (Risos-Vidal v. COMELEC and
Pormento v. Estrada)

Question: Discuss the rules of succession.


A: In case of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or
resignation of the President, the Vice-President shall become the
President to serve the unexpired term.
In case of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation
of both the President and Vice-President, the President of the Senate or,
in case of his inability, the Speaker of the House of Representatives,
shall then act as President until the President or Vice-President shall
have been elected and qualified.
The Congress shall, by law, provide who shall serve as President in
case of death, permanent disability, or resignation of the Acting
President. He shall serve until the President or the Vice-President shall
have been elected and qualified, and be subject to the same restrictions
of powers and disqualifications as the Acting President.
Whenever there is a vacancy in the Office of the Vice-President during
the term for which he was elected, 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 the Congress, voting
separately.

Question: May the Chief Justice of the Philippines serve as Acting


President of the Philippines?

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Answer: While Congress shall, by law, provide who shall serve as
President in case of death, permanent disability, or resignation of the
Acting President. And such Acting President shall serve until the
President or the Vice-President shall have been elected and qualified,
and be subject to the same restrictions of powers and disqualifications
as the Acting President, it is submitted that the Chief Justice cannot
serve as Acting President of the Philippines. This law will violate the
principle of separation of powers.

Question: Define judicial power.


Answer: Judicial power is 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 a lack or excess of jurisdiction on the
part of any branch or instrumentality of the Government (Sec 1(2), Art.
VIII, Constitution)

Question: Define the power of judicial review


Answer: Power of judicial is the power of the courts to test the validity of
executive and legislative acts in light of their conformity with the
Constitution. (Angara v. Electoral Commission, 1936)
The Court exercises its power of judicial review to settle actual
controversies either in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction as the
final arbiter of all controversies or on matters when it exercises its
original jurisdiction as mandated by the Constitution.

Question: Enumerate the requisites for Court to exercise its power of


judicial review.
Answer: the requisites for Court to exercise its power of judicial review
are:
(1) There must be an actual case or controversy;
(2) Question must be raised by the proper party;
(3) Raised at the earliest possible opportunity; and
(4) Decision on the question must be determinative of the case itself.
(Dumlao v. COMELEC, 1980)

Question: What is the expanded power of judicial review?


Answer: The expanded power of judicial review, or certiorari jurisdiction,
is the power of the courts to determine whether or not there has been a

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grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on
the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government.
The Court may likewise exercise its symbolic or instructional jurisdiction
on matters that have become moot and academic when –
(1) There is a grave violation of the Constitution;
(2) The exceptional character of the situation and the paramount public
interest is involved;
(3) When the constitutional issue raised requires formulation of controlling
principles to guide the bench, the bar and the public; and
(4) The case is capable of repetition yet evading review.

Question: What is the political question doctrine?


Answer: A political question refers to those issues which under the
Constitution are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity,
or regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the
legislative or executive branch of the government. (Baker v. Carr)
Question: How does one qualify to have a legal standing to sue as a
taxpayer, as a citizen, as a registered voter or as a lawmaker?
Answer: Legal standing is defined as the capacity to sue. The following
guidelines must be observed:
(1) For taxpayers: There is a claim of illegal disbursement of public
funds or the tax measure is unconstitutional;
(2) For voters: There is a showing of obvious interest in the validity of
the election law in question;
(3) For concerned citizens: There is a showing that the issues are of
transcendental importance, which must be settled early;
(4) For lawmakers: There must be a claim that the official action
complained of infringes upon their prerogatives as legislators. (David
v. Arroyo, 2006)

Question: What is the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court sitting en banc?


Answer: The Supreme Court sitting en banc:
1. 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);
2. Shall decide on all cases:
a. involving the constitutionality of a treaty, international or
executive agreement, or law; (Art. VIII, Sec, Par. 2);
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b. which under the rules of court are required to be heard en
banc, including those involving the constitutionality, application,
or operation of presidential decrees, proclamations, orders,
instructions, ordinances, and other regulations, and shall be
decided with the concurrence of a majority of the members who
actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case
and voted thereon. (Art. VIII, Sec. 4, Par. 2);
3. Heard by a division when the required number (concurrence of a
majority of the members who actually took part in the deliberations
on the issues in the case and voted thereon), is not obtained. (Art.
VIII, Sec. 4, Par. 3);
4. Which modify or reverse doctrines and principles of law laid down
by the court in a decision rendered en banc or in division. (Art. VIII,
Sec. 4, Par. 3); and
5. Involving the discipline or dismissal of judges of lower courts or
order their dismissal by a vote of a majority of the members who
actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and
voted thereon. (Art. VIII, Sec. 11)

Question: When may the Supreme Court exercise its original


jurisdiction?
Answer: The following fall under the original jurisdiction of the Supreme
Court: cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls,
and over petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto,
and habeas corpus.
Question: When may the Court exercise its appellate jurisdiction?
Answer: The Supreme Court may 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:
1. 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
2. All cases involving the legality of any tax, impost, assessment, or
toll, or any penalty imposed in relation thereto
3. All cases in which the jurisdiction of any lower court is in issue

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4. All criminal cases in which the penalty imposed is reclusion
perpetua or higher
5. All cases in which only an error or question of law is involved

Question: Is the operative fact doctrine applicable to executive acts?


Answer: Yes, the operative fact doctrine also applies to executive acts
subsequently declared as invalid. A decision made by the president or
the administrative agencies has to be complied with because it has the
force and effect of law. (Araullo v. President Aquino)

Constitutional Commissions
Question: Cite the constitutional safeguards to ensure independence of
the CSC, COMELEC and COA.
Answer:
1. They are constitutionally created; may not be abolished by a
statute;
2. Each is conferred certain powers and functions which cannot be
reduced by statute;
3. Each expressly described as independent;
4. Chairmen and members are given fairly long term of office for
seven (7) years;
5. Chairmen and members cannot be removed except by
impeachment;
6. Chairmen and members may not be reappointed or appointed in
an acting capacity;
7. Salaries of chairmen and members are relatively high and may not
be decreased during continuance in office;
8. Commissions enjoy fiscal autonomy;
9. Each commission may promulgate its own procedural rules;
10. Chairmen and members are subject to certain disqualifications
calculated to strengthen their integrity; and
11. Commissions may appoint their own officials and employees in
accordance with Civil Service Law.
Question: What are the prohibited offices and interests of a Member of a
Constitutional Commission?
Answer: No member of a Constitutional Commission shall, during his tenure:
(1) Hold any other office or employment;
(2) Engage in the practice of any profession;

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(3) Engage in the active management and control of any business which in
any way may be affected by the functions of his office; and
(4) 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 include GOCCs (Sec 2, Art. IX-A,
Const.)
Question: Explain the rules of procedure regarding review of final
orders, resolutions and decisions rendered in the exercise of quasi-
judicial functions.
Answer: The rules of procedure regarding review of final orders,
resolutions and decisions rendered in the exercise of quasi-judicial
functions are:
(1) Decisions, orders, or rulings of the Commissions in the exercise of
their quasi-judicial functions may be reviewed by the Supreme Court
(2) The mode for review is a petition for certiorari under Rule 64 (if by
COA or COMELEC), not Rule 65
(3) In case of the CSC, the proper mode is through Rule 43, which is
to be filed before the CA.

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Address: Kapatiran Kaunlaran Foundation, Inc. (KKFI) 54
Unit 911-C P. Paredes Street, Sampaloc, Manila (Beside UST near Morayta Street)
* www.villasislawcenter.com / www.facebook.com/villasislawcenter / www.remediallawdoctrines.blogspot.com /
villasislawcenter@gmail.com / mvplawoffice@gmail.com
Tel. No. (02) 241-4830 / Cel. Nos. (0949) 343-6092; (0922) 898-8626