Monday, January 23, 2012

Mock Bar Questions in Political Law

January 28, 2007

1. What are the three principles governing the interpretation of the constitution using the case of Francisco v. House of Representative? Explain each.

First, verba legis, that is, wherever possible, the words used in the Constitution must be given their ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed. One looks to the language of the document itself in search for its meaning. It is to be assumed that the words in which constitutional provisions are couched express the objective sought to be attained. They are to be given their ordinary meaning except where technical terms are employed in which case the significance thus attached to them prevails. As the Constitution is not primarily a lawyer’s document, it being essential for the rule of law to obtain that it should ever be present in the people’s consciousness, its language as much as possible should be understood in the sense they have in common use. What it says according to the text of the provision to be construed compels acceptance and negates the power of the courts to alter it, based on the postulate that the framers and the people mean what they say.

Second, where there is ambiguity, ratio legis est anima. The words of the Constitution should be interpreted in accordance with the intent of its framers. Thus, it has been held that the Court in construing a Constitution should bear in mind the object sought to be accomplished by its adoption, and the evils, if any, sought to be prevented or remedied. A doubtful provision will be examined in the light of the history of the times, and the condition and circumstances under which the Constitution was framed. The object is to ascertain the reason which induced the framers of the Constitution to enact the particular provision and the purpose sought to be accomplished thereby, in order to construe the whole as to make the words consonant to that reason and calculated to effect that purpose.The ascertainment of that intent is but in keeping with the fundamental principle of constitutional construction that the intent of the framers of the organic law and of the people adopting it should be given effect. The primary task in constitutional construction is to ascertain and thereafter assure the realization of the purpose of the framers and of the people in the adoption of the Constitution. It may also be safely assumed that the people in ratifying the Constitution were guided mainly by the explanation offered by the framers

Finally, ut magis valeat quam pereat. The Constitution is to be interpreted as a whole bearing in mind that the framers of the constitution could not have dedicated a provision of our Constitution merely for the benefit of one person without considering that it could also affect others. A provision should function to the full extent of its substance and its terms, not by itself alone, but in conjunction with all other provisions of the Constitution. It is a well-established rule in constitutional construction that no one provision of the Constitution is to be separated from all the others, to be considered alone, but that all the provisions bearing upon a particular subject are to be brought into view and to be so interpreted as to effectuate the great purposes of the instrument. Sections bearing on a particular subject should be considered and interpreted together as to effectuate the whole purpose of the Constitution and one section is not to be allowed to defeat another, if by any reasonable construction, the two can be made to stand together. In other words, the court must harmonize them, if practicable, and must lean in favor of a construction which will render every word operative, rather than one which may make the words idle and nugatory.

2. In accordance with the 1987 constitution,

(A) State the modes by which the constitution can be amended?

(B)In terms of the qualitative and quantitative tests, how is an amendment differentiated from a revision with due reference to the Lambino decision?

ANSWER:

(A) ARTICLE XVII, AMENDMENTS OR REVISIONS

Sec. 1. Any amendment to this Constitution may be proposed by:

(1) The Congress, upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members, or

(2) A constitutional convention.

(3) Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative x x x.

(B) The term “amendment” implies such an addition or change within the lines of the original instrument as will effect an improvement, or better carry out the purpose for which it was framed.

Revision broadly implies a change that alters a basic principle in the constitution, like altering the principle of separation of powers or the system of checks-and-balances. There is also revision if the change alters the substantial entirety of the constitution, as when the change affects substantial provisions of the constitution. On the other hand, amendment broadly refers to a change that adds, reduces, or deletes without altering the basic principle involved. Revision generally affects several provisions of the constitution, while amendment generally affects only the specific provision being amended.

The quantitative test asks whether the proposed change is “so extensive in its provisions as to change directly the ‘substantial entirety’ of the constitution by the deletion or alteration of numerous existing provisions.” The court examines only the number of provisions affected and does not consider the degree of the change.

The qualitative test inquires into the qualitative effects of the proposed change in the constitution. The main inquiry is whether the change will “accomplish such far reaching changes in the nature of our basic governmental plan as to amount to a revision.” Whether there is an alteration in the structure of government is a proper subject of inquiry. Thus, “a change in the nature of [the] basic governmental plan” includes “change in its fundamental framework or the fundamental powers of its Branches.” A change in the nature of the basic governmental plan also includes changes that “jeopardize the traditional form of government and the system of check and balances.”

3. Juan is the school administrator of the ZN Trade School. To evade the violation of nepotism, he asked his section head, Jose to recommend the appointment of his son Julius, as janitor of his office. Jose acceded, and the Civil Service Commission upon the recommendation of Jose, Industrial Arts Section head, approved the appointment.

a. Is the appointment of Julius valid?

b. What if Juan appoints his wife as Teacher II of the same school is the appointment valid?

ANSWER: The appointment of Julius is invalid as it is nepotic. However, the appointment of his wife as a teacher is valid, as an exception to the rules on nepotism.( G.R. No. 111471 September 26, 1994ROGELIO R. DEBULGADO vs. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION) he prohibitory norm against nepotism in the public service is set out in Section 59, Book V of the Revised Administrative Code of 1987 (also known as E.O. No. 292). Section 59 reads as follows:Sec. 59. Nepotism (1) All appointments in the national, provincial, city and municipal governments or in any branch or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations, made in favor of a relative of the appointing or recommending authority, or of the chief of the bureau or office, or of the persons exercising immediate supervision over him, are hereby prohibited.

As used in this Section the word "relative" and members of the family referred to are those related within the third degree either of consanguinity or of affinity.(2) The following are exempted from the operation of the rules on nepotism: (a) persons employed in a confidential capacity, (b) teachers, (c) physicians, and (d) members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines: Provided, however, That in each particular instance full report of such appointment shall be made to the Commission.

The restriction mentioned in subsection (1) shall not be applicable to the case of a member of any family who, after his or her appointment to any position in an office or bureau, contracts marriage with someone in the same office or bureau, in which event the employment or retention therein of both husband and wife may be allowed.(3) In order to give immediate effect to these provisions, cases of previous appointment which are in contravention hereof shall be corrected by transfer and pending such transfer, no promotion or salary increase shall be allowed in favor of the relative or relatives who were appointed in violation of these provisions..Section 6 of Rule XVIII, of the "Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of Executive Order No. 292 and other Pertinent Civil Service Laws," issued on 27 December 1991, implementing, among other things, the above quoted Section 59, provides as follows:Sec. 6. No appointments in the national, provincial, city and municipal government or in any branch or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters shall be made in favor of a relative of the appointing or recommending authority, or of the chief of the bureau or office, or of the persons exercising immediate supervision over the appointee.

Unless otherwise specifically provided by law, as used in this Section, the word "relative" and the members of the family referred to are those related within the third degree either of consanguinity or of affinity. The following are exempted from the operation of the rules on nepotism: (a) persons employed in a confidential capacity; (b) teachers; (c) physicians; (d) members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Provided, however, That in each particular instance full report of such appointment shall be made to the Commission. The restriction mentioned in the first paragraph of this Section shall not be applicable to the case of a member of any family who after his or her appointment to any position in an office or bureau, contracts marriage with someone in the same office or bureau, in which event the employment or retention therein of both husband and wife may be allowed. Cases of previous appointment which are in contravention hereof shall be corrected by transfer, and pending such transfer no promotion or salary increase shall be allowed in favor of the relative or relatives who were appointed in violation of these provisions. (Emphasis supplied)

4. One of the most fundamental rules of international law is pacta sunt servanda, which requires the performance in good faith of treaty obligations. Despite supervening hardships such as conflicts with municipal law or prejudice to the national interests, the parties must comply with their commitments under a treaty and cannot ignore or modify its provisions without the consent of the other signatories. Despite the general requirement of strict enforcement of treaties, states have often justified the non-performance of a treaty obligation, as an exception to the pacta sunt servanda rule. What is this legal principle, which justifies the non-performance of a treaty? What are its limitations?

ANSWER: rebus sic stantibus – justifies the non-performance of a treaty obligation if the conditions with relation to which the parties contracted have changed so materially and so unexpectedly as to create a situation in which the exaction of performance would be unreasonable.

Limitations; 1. It applies only to treaties of indefinite duration 2. The vital change must have been unforeseen or unforeseeable and should not have been caused by the party invoking the doctrine 3.the doctrine must be invoked within a reasonable time 4. it cannot operate retroactively upon the provisions of the treaty already executed prior tot the change in circumstances.

5. Jane and Joe are owners in fee simple of the parcels of land in question, even before the outbreak of World War II. When the Japanese came and occupied the Philippines, the Japanese Imperial Army took these parcels of land and used them for the construction of a railroad line. When the Philippines was liberated from the Japanese Military Occupation, the aforesaid parcels were abandoned and said owners immediately returned to their respective areas and repossessed them.

On September 26, 1947, the Philippine Alien Property Administrator vested in himself pursuant to Vesting Order No. P-386, the aforesaid properties after having found them to be owned or controlled or held by an enemy country. Said properties were to be held, used, administrated, liquidated, sold or otherwise dealt with by the Philippine Alien Property Administrator for the interest and benefit of the United States in accordance with the Philippine Property Act of 1948. Obviously unaware of the implication of Vesting Order No. P-386 and the Philippine Property Act of 1948, Jane & Joe failed to file their notice of claims for the return of their respective properties within the period provided for under the aforesaid Vesting Order. In the middle part of 1954, Manila Railroad Company entered the said parcels of land and re-established its railroad track thereon.

Jane & Joe, who were deprived of said properties by the Manila Railroad Company now file a case for recovery of ownership and possession.

Now be the judge. Would you grant the petition?

ANSWER: No. The Supreme Court held that the Japanese Imperial Army acquired no title over the questioned properties and therefore the same cannot be treated as enemy properties as contemplated in the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917 and cannot be subjected to the Vesting Order of the Philippine Alien Property Administrator.

(.HEIRS OF ANSELMA TUGADI, ET AL. AND MARGARITA PAJIMOLA, ET AL., plaintiffs-appellees, vs. MANILA RAILROAD COMPANY (PNR), ET AL., defendants-appellants. FIRST DIVISION[G.R. No. L-26478-79. July 31, 1975.])

6. Five fishing vessels of Philippine registry were apprehended and seized by the Philippine Navy in the high seas between China and the Philippines. The vessels were carrying highly dutifiable goods from China such as cd’s, amplifiers, cassettes and vcd’s.

The owner of the goods, Chiao Chiong, filed a petition for repliven, objecting the seizure stating that the Philippines has no jurisdiction as the vessels are in the high seas.

Rule on the petition, whether to release the goods in question of not. Reason out your answer.

ANSWER: From the apprehension and seizure of the vessel in question on the high seas beyond the territorial waters of the Philippines, the absence of jurisdiction of Commissioner of Customs is predicated. Such contention of petitioners-appellants is without merit. It is unquestioned that all vessels seized are of Philippine registry. The Revised Penal Code leaves no doubt as to its applicability and enforceability not only within the Philippines, its interior waters and maritime zone, but also outside of its jurisdiction against those committing offense while on a Philippine ship . . . . The principle of law that sustains the validity of such a provision equally supplies a firm foundation for the seizure of the five sailing vessels found thereafter to have violated the applicable provisions of the Revised Administrative Code.Moreover, it is a well settled doctrine of International Law that goes back to Chief Justice Marshall's opinion in Church v. Hubbart, an 1804 decision, that a state has the right to protect itself and its revenues, a right not limited to its own territory but extending to the high seas. In the language of Chief Justice Marshall: "The authority of a nation within its own territory is absolute and exclusive. The seizure of a vessel within the range of its cannon by a foreign force is an invasion of that territory, and is a hostile act which it is its duty to repel. But its power to secure itself from injury may certainly be exercised beyond the limits of its territory."

The question asked in the brief of petitioners-appellants as to whether the seizure of the vessels in question and the cargoes on the high seas and thus beyond the territorial waters of the Philippines was legal must be answered in the affirmative(ASAALI vs. THE COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS EN BANC[G.R. No. L-24170. December 16, 1968.)

7. (A). In extradition proceedings, are prospective extraditees entitled to notice and hearing before warrants for their arrest can be issued?

(B)Equally important, are they entitled to the right to bail and provisional liberty while the extradition proceedings are pending? Reason out your answer in the light of the Mark Jimenez case.

(C)In the same Jimenez case, what are the so-called five postulates of extradition?

ANSWERS: NO. In general, the answer to these two novel questions is "No."

The five postulates are as follows:

1. Extradition Is a Major Instrument for the Suppression of Crime.

2. The Requesting State Will Accord Due Process to the Accused

3. The Proceedings Are Sui Generis

4. Compliance Shall Be in Good Faith.

5. Persons to be extradited are presumed to be flight risks

8. How was immunity from suit invoked/or conveyed in the following cases?

(a) International Catholic Migration Commission v. Calleja, 190 SCRA 130 (1990),

(b) World Health Organization v. Aquino, 48 SCRA 242 (1972)

ANSWER: (A)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.

(B)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.

9. Doria Denoyo is a former president of the Philippines, bent on regaining power, which she lost to President Freddie Fu in an election. Fully convinced that she was cheated, she set out to destabilize the government of Fu by means of series of protest actions. Her plan was to weaken the government and when the situation became ripe for a take-over, to assassinate President Fu.

Paul on the other hand is a believer in human rights and former follower of President Fu. Noting the systematic acts of harassment committed by government agents against farmers protesting the seizure of their lands, laborers complaining of low wages, and students seeking free tuition, he organized groups which held peaceful rallies in front of the presidential palace to express their grievances.

On the eve of the assassination attempt, members of the Presidential Security Group caught Doria’s men. President Fu went on air threatening to prosecute plotters and dissidents of his administration. The next day, the government charged Doria with assassination attempt and Raul with inciting to sedition.

Doria went to the Republic of Congo while Raul who was in the Republic of Namibia attending a lecture on democracy, was advised by his friends to stay in said country.

Both Republics (Congo and Namibia) have conventional extradition treaties with the Philippines.

If the Philippines requests the extradition of Doria and Paul, can said Republics deny the request? Why? Reason out your answer.

ANSWER: The Republic of Congo can refuse to extradite Doria because her offense is a political offense. She was plotting to take over the government and the plan of Doria to assassinate Pres. Fu was part of such plan. However, if the extradition treaty contains an attentat clause, Republic of Congo can extradite Doria, because under said clause the taking of the life or attempt against the life of a head of state or that of the members of his family does not constitute a political offense and is therefore extraditable.

10The Iloilo State College of Fisheries (henceforth ISCOF) through its Pre-qualification, Bids and Awards Committee (henceforth PBAC) caused the publication in the November 25, 26, 28, 1988 issues of the Western Visayas Daily an Invitation to Bid for the construction of the Micro Laboratory Building at ISCOF. The notice announced that the last day for the submission of pre-qualification requirements (PRE C-1) ** was December 2, 1988, and that the bids would be received and opened on December 12, 1988, 3 o'clock in the afternoon. 1

Petitioners Maria Elena Malaga and Josieleen Najarro, respectively doing business under the name of the B.E. Construction and Best Built Construction, submitted their pre-qualification documents at two o'clock in the afternoon of December 2, 1988. Petitioner Jose Occe├▒a submitted his own PRE-C1 on December 5, 1988. All three of them were not allowed to participate in the bidding because their documents were considered late, having been submitted after the cut-off time of ten o'clock in the morning of December 2, 1988.

On December 12, 1988, the petitioners filed a complaint with the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo against the chairman and members of PBAC in their official and personal capacities. The plaintiffs claimed that although they had submitted their PRE-C1 on time, the PBAC refused without just cause to accept them. As a result, they were not included in the list of pre-qualified bidders, could not secure the needed plans and other documents, and were unable to participate in the scheduled bidding.

In their prayer, they sought the resetting of the December 12, 1988 bidding and the acceptance of their PRE-C1 documents. They also asked that if the bidding had already been conducted, the defendants be directed not to award the project pending resolution of their complaint.

On the same date, Judge Lodrigio L. Lebaquin issued a restraining order prohibiting PBAC from conducting the bidding and awarding the project.

On December 16, 1988, the defendants filed a motion to lift the restraining order on the ground that the Court was prohibited from issued restraining orders, preliminary injunctions and preliminary mandatory injunctions by P.D. 1818.

The decree reads pertinently as follows:

Section 1. No Court in the Philippines shall have jurisdiction to issue any restraining order, preliminary injunction, or preliminary infrastructure project, or a mining, fishery, forest or other natural resource development project of the government, or any public utility operated by the government, including among others public utilities for the transport of the goods and commodities, stevedoring and arrastre contracts, to prohibit any person or persons, entity or government official from proceeding with, or continuing the execution or implementation of any such project, or the operation of such public utility, or pursuing any lawful activity necessary for such execution, implementation or operation.

QUESTION: Is the issuance of the TRO by the Judge improper? Explain your answer.

ANSWER: REFER TO [G.R. No. 86695. September 3, 1992.]The TRO issued is improper.

11. Atty. Jose CRUZ was the Chairman of the COMELEC.He met an accident and died. Atty. Maria Diaz, one of the commissioners of the COMELEC was designated by the President of the Philippines as COMELEC Chair to occupy the vacancy. Is the act of the President valid?

ANSWER: Invalid.The president cannot designate,but can only appoint.The purpose there is not to destroy the independence of the COMELEC .(See. G.R. No. 93867 December 18, 1990SIXTO S. BRILLANTES, JR. vs. HAYDEE B. YORAC) “The Constitution provides for many safeguards to the independence of the Commission on Elections, foremost among which is the security of tenure of its members. That guaranty is not available to the respondent as Acting Chairman of the Commission on Elections by designation of the President of the Philippines.” “What is the power of the President of the Philippines to make the challenged designation in view of the status of the Commission on Elections as an independent constitutional body and the specific provision of Article IX-C, Section 1(2) of the Constitution that "(I)n no case shall any Member (of the Commission on Elections) be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity."

12. Upon application of Police Office Labra, and after the judge heard his witnesses, a search warrant was issued on the charge of violation of insurance code, falsification of public documents, and violation of Sec. 3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

The search warrant was issued on January 7, 2004 and was served on Wille Yu in his office on January 20, 2004.The office of Willie Yu, in his presence was searched, and a his cabinet was opened. Several documents were taken from his office by the searching police officers.

You are hired as counsel by Willie Yu.What courses of action will you take to protect his interest?

13. What are the essential parts of a good written constitution? Explain each part.

ANSWER: (1) Constitution of liberty- sets forth the civil and political rights of the citizens and imposing certain limitations on the powers of government as a means of the employment of those rights (2) constitution of government – provisions outlining certain rules relative to administration and defining the electorate (3) constitution of sovereignty – provisions pointing out the mode or procedure for amendments or formal changes to the fundamental law.

14. In the case of Casibang v. Aquino, how did the SC apply the doctrine of justiceable question? What is the definition of a political question as applied in the Casibang case?

ANSWER:” It was held that the electoral protest case involved has remained a justifiable controversy. No political question has ever been interwoven into this case. Nor is there any act of the incumbent President or the Legislative Department to be indirectly reviewed or interfered with if the respondent Judge decides the election protest. The term "political question" connotes what it means in ordinary parlance, namely, a question of policy. It refers to those questions, which under the Constitution, are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity; or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislative or executive branch of the government. It is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom, not legality, of a particular measure"

15. State the two tests for a valid delegation of legislative power, and explain each.

ANSWER: 1.completeness test – the law must be complete in all its essential terms and conditions when it leaves the legislature so that there will nothing be left for the delegate to do when it reaches him except to enforce it. 2.sufficiency standard test- the law must contain sufficient standards intended to map out the boundaries of the delegate’s authority by defining the legislative policy and indicating the circumstances under which it is to pursued and effected in order to prevent a total transference of legislative power from the lawmaking body to the delegate.

16. What is the mandate of the government from the state? What is the test of a good government?

ANSWER: The mandate of the government from the state is to promote the welfare of the people. Accordingly, whatever good is done by the government is attributed to the state but every harm inflicted on the people is imputed not to the state but to the government alone. The main criterion of a good government is the degree to which it tends to increase the sum of good qualities in the governed, collectively and individually, rather than the efficiency of the government itself as an administrative body, although of course, government efficiency is also to be desired.

17. The Judiciary is an independent and co-equal body with the two other main departments of government. What are the safeguards under the constitution to maintain its independence? Give at least five of these safeguards.

ANSWER: 1.The Supreme Court is a constitutional body. It cannot be abolished nor may its membership or the manner of its meetings be changed by mere legislation. 2. The members of the judiciary are not subject to confirmation by the CA 3.The members of the Supreme Court may not be removed except by impeachment 4.The Supreme Court may not be deprived of its original appellate jurisdiction as prescribed in Art. X, sec. 5 of the Constitution. 5.The appellate jurisdiction of the SC may not be increased by law without its advice and concurrence 6.The SC has administrative supervision over all lower courts and their personnel 7.The SC has exclusive power to discipline judges of the lower courts 8.The members of the Supreme Court and all lower courts have security of tenure which canot be undermned by law reorganizing the judiciary.9.They shall not be designated to any agency performing quasi-judicial or administrative functions 10.Their salaries may not be reduced during the continuance in office 11.The judiciary enjoys fiscal autonomy 12.The Supreme Court alone may initiate rules of court.

18. It is provided in Art. VIII, Sec. 14 that “No decision shall be rendered by any court without expressing therein clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based”. State the exceptions to this constitutional provision.

ANSWER:1.This rule is applicable only to a decision, which is described as a judgment rendered after the presentation of proof or on the basis of the stipulation of facts. Mere orders are not covered since they dispose of only incidents of the case, such as postponements of the trial, except a dismissal on the merits.

2. A minute resolution disposing a petition for habeas corpus, certiorari and mandamus is not covered by this provision; or orders of the trial court resolving incidental matters

3. It does not apply to administrative cases decided by the Supreme Court

4. Not also applicable to the decisions of the COMELEC and of the military tribunals which are not courts of justice.

19. Senator Pimentel the chairman of the Blue Ribbon Committee in Senate discovered that the Chief of Staff of the Military committed an anomaly when he bought a piece of land in General Santos City allegedly for military use. The price was allegedly overpriced to 200%. The seller is a certain Atty. Juan Cruz.

a. Senator Pimentel issued a subpoena to the Chief of Staff and to Atty. Cruz to appear before the Blue Ribbon Committee to answer some questions concerning said anomally. Can the two refuse to appear before said committee?

b. Meanwhile, the Ombudsman filed a case before the Sandiganbayan concerning the two persons concerned. Atty. Cruz now refused to appear before the Blue Ribbon Committee. Is he correct?

ANSWER: a. THE two cannot refuse to appear pursuant to the power of the Senate to investigate in aid of legislation. B. In this case Atty. Cruz can refuse to appear as the investigation of the Committee may interfere with the independence of the Sandiganbayan.

(G.R. No. 89914 November 20, 1991 JOSE F.S. BENGZON JR., ET. AL. vs. SENATE BLUE RIBBON COMMITTEE) The 1987 Constitution expressly recognizes the power of both houses of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation. Thus, Section 21, Article VI thereof provides:The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committee 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.

20. The Municipality of Katipunan purchased some farm implements for the use of its farmers. The COA upon investigation found out that the plows purchased by it are overpriced. It also found out that there was an overstaffing and hiring of employees in its agriculture department.

It then disapproved the vouchers for the payment of overpriced farm implements and the release of salaries of overhired employees. Is it within COA’s power to make said disapprovals/disallowance?

ANSWER: It is within COA’s power to disapprove overpriced farm implements, but not to disapprove salaries of overhired employees. Distinctin should be made. In overpriced farm implements, COA can disapprove that pursuant to its powers to dsiapprove/disallow irregular, unnecessary, excessive, extravagant, or unconsciounable expenditures [Art. 1X Sec. 2 (2)] In overhiring of employees however, it cannot do so, without necessarily interfering with the appointment prerogatives of the mayor. Its disallowance of salaries to said employees is interference to the appointing powers of the mayor, who is a part of the independent executive department of the government. The COA HAS NO DISCRETION OR AUTHORITY to disapprove payment on the ground that the aforementioned contract is unwise or that the amount there on is unreasonable (Riel v. Wright 49 Phil. 195; Guevara v. Jimenez, 6 SCRA 813).To question the necessity of an appropriation is clearly beyond the jurisdiction of the COA.

No comments: