Thursday, January 16, 2014


1.                   Constitutional Supremacy is demonstrated by which principle ?  (a) The Supreme Court exercising its power to check other department’s acts (b) No act is valid if it conflicts with the constitution (c) right or wrong the constitution must be upheld (d) the people in their sovereign will can disregard the constitution.
2.                    Which of the following is not descriptive of the state? (a) a community of persons (b) inhabitants render habitual obedience (c) territory is fixed (d) must be composed  of males and females.
3.                   Which of the following describes our territory?(a) archipelago (b) internal waters (c) terrestrial domain (d0 maritime and fluvial domain
4.                   The government is the agency through which  (a) the essence of the state is expressed (b) the  works of the state is performed  (c) the will of the state is realized (d) the people is protected.
5.                   Which of the following is not a characteristic of a state? (a) ideal person (b) exist only in contemplation of law (c) tangible (d) invisible.
6.                   What is the mandate of the government from the state? (a) general welfare  (b) territorial integrity (c) promote the welfare of the people (d) any injury is imputed to the state.
7.                   Which of the following is not a compulsory  function of the state? (a) fixing of legal relations between husband and wife (b) keeping of order (c) punishment  of crime  (d) holding of fiesta.
8.                   Which of the following means “guardian of the rights “ of the people? (a) pater familia (b) par en parem non habet imperium (c) parens patriae  (d) salus populi est suprema lex
9.                    Which of the following describes a de facto government? (a) one with a rightful title but no control  (b) one that actually exercises control but without legal title (c) one that exercises both control and has title (d) one which has no control and no title.
10.                IT is defined as the supreme and uncontrollable power inherent in a state –(a)  government  control(b) people power (c) sovereignty (d) military power
11.               When the Japanese forces invaded the Philippines, what is the effect? (a) the non-political laws are suspended (b) the law on treason is also  suspended (c) sovereignty is changed (d) civil laws remain in effect.
12.               As a general rule (a) the state cannot be sued (b) the state can be sued (c) the state can be sued if it enters into a contract (d) the state may waive immunity.
13.                 An American navy official is assigned in the Philippines. He committed rape. Which of the following is true? (a)he can be prosecuted in our country pursuant to the treaty (b) he cannot be prosecuted because he is immune from suit and he is exercising military functions (c) he cannot be prosecuted because it will offend diplomatic relations with the U.S. (d) he can be prosecuted because he is within Philippine territory.
14.               A Filipino working in a restaurant owned by the U.S. embassy operating in the Philippines which caters exclusively only for U.S. ambassadors and their employees, was dismissed from work without a valid reason. Which of the following statements is true? (a) the Filipino can sue the U.S. embassy for illegal dismissal (b) the Filipino cannot sue since the restaurant is immune from suit (c) the Filipino cannot sue since operating a restaurant in the  case at bar is a sovereign function  (d) The Filipino cannot sue since the U.S. government cannot be sued and it did not give its consent to be sued.
15.               The Philippines government expanded its highway. The private land of Mr. X  was taken. Which of the following is true? (a) Mr. X can file a suit for the recovery of his private land (b) Mr. X  can file a suit for just compensation only (c) The Philippine government cannot be sued  (d) The Philippine government to be sued needs to waive its immunity.
16.               The City of Dipolog held its fiesta and sponsored a drama-musicale night. Due to a tight budget, the stage where the musicale was held collapsed resulting to the death of B. Which of the following is correct? (a) Mr. B cannot file a suit since Dipolog is immune from suit (b) Dipolog can be sued as it is not a state but it cannot be made liable (c) Only the Sangunian can be sued since it is the one who passed the tight budget (d) Dipolog can be sued and can even be made liable  since the holding of a fiesta is not a governmental function.
17.               The Bureau of Customs is operating an arrastre services. In one transaction the goods were lost in transit. The owner of the goods ----(a)can sue the Bureau for damages  since it is engaged in a commercial contract of freightage (b) cannot sue the Bureau since it is immune from suit  as it is performing a governmental function of tax collection (c) can sue the Bureau because it is negligent  (d)cannot sue the Bureau because its immunity from suit is based on its charter that created it.
18.               Which of the following is true regarding the Preamble? (a) it is a source of substantive right such as the right of the people to be told the truth (b) it cannot be a source of rights since it is just plain rhetoric (c) it useful as an aid of interpreting the constitution (d) it cannot be used to interpret the constitution since it merely introduces the authors of the constitution.
19.                The prime duty of the government is  (a) to defend the state (b) to see to it that laws are obeyed (c) to serve and protect the people (d) to make people render military and civic services.
20.               Mr. Lagman is a member of the religious sect which does not allow its members to become soldiers. Which of the following is correct? (a) he can be compelled to render military service during the war (b) he cannot be compelled to render military service since religion is a valid excuse (c) he cannot be compelled to  render military service since it would be tantamount to a prohibited compulsion (d) he can be compelled since the government can call the people to defend the state as may be provided by law and principle of posse commitatus.
21.               The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy. Which statement is correct?(a) the Philippines can declare war against China if it encroaches upon our territory (b) the Philippines may involve in war if attacked by China (c) definitely the Philippines cannot go to war as it is  prohibited in the Constitution (d) The Philippines can go to war provided the Congress votes for it pursuant to the procedure laid in the Constitution.
22.               The Philippines adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land. What is the doctrine enunciated here? (a) doctrine of transformation which states that before a law can take effect there must be an enabling legislation to be passed by congress (b) the doctrine of cooperation which states that we must have comity with all nations (c) the doctrine of incorporation which states that we are bound to obey international law even without legislation (d) the doctrine of amity with all nations which means that we adopt the general international law principles as part of our own system of law.
23.               The Phil congress passed a law which prohibited the importation of rice in order to protect our rice industry. The President however entered into a commercial treaty with Vietnam which allows it to supply us with cheap rice for one year. Which of the following is true? (a) the treaty is unconstitutional since it conflicts with our own law (b) the treaty is valid since we adopt treaties as part of the law of the land (c) the treaty  even if invalid has to be complied with since we cannot afford to lose face in international setting (d) the  President can be sued personally for such an unconstitutional act.
24.               Which is NOT true concerning our nuclear weapons policy? (a) it is a self-executing provision and can be invoked directly as a source of right(b) it is not a self-executing provision s it merely serves as guideline both to the executive and legislative department(c) it must be consistent with our national interest (d) it is pursued in line with our policy of freedom from nuclear weapons in our territory.
25.               What power of the state is used in passing the agrarian reform law? (a) eminent domain only  since private land is taken for public use(b) police power combined with eminent domain (c) police power only since the purpose is to solve an agrarian unrest  (d)  the constitutional  provision which provides that the state shall promote a comprehensive rural development and agrarian reform.
26.               The separation of church and state is inviolable. Which of the following does NOT demonstrate this principle? (a) churches cannot be taxed with their income from its activities such as baptism, deaths etc.(b) the state cannot interfere in the annulment of marriages granted by the canon law of the church (c) the students in public schools cannot be compelled to recite prayers before classes start (d) the church cannot dismiss its priests without following the labor code of the Philippines.
27.               In what way can the president of the Philippines check the Supreme Court? (a) it can initiate the impeachment of a chief justice (b) it can grant amnesty to a convicted rapist (c) it can change the jurisdiction of courts (d) it decides whom to appoint in the Supreme Court.
28.               In what way is separation of powers demonstrated? (a) the supreme court cannot decide political questions (b) the president can fix tariff rates (c) the President can influence the Congress what law must be passed (d) the Congress can decrease the salaries of the justices of the supreme court.
29.               That there is also a blending of the powers of the three departments is demonstrated in (a) the enactment of the general appropriation law where the President prepares the budget (b) grant of pardon which requires the concurrence of congress (c) the Comelec cannot deputize law enforcement agencies  (d) the Supreme Court taking heed of an amnesty granted by the President.
30.               Congressman  X attacked the president in his privilege speech which was already slanderous by calling the President as a corrupt politician. Disappointed over said attack, the president with the support of his partidos in Congress cited X as persona non grata and with the vote prescribed in the Constitution suspended him (X). Which of the following is correct? (a) X can file a suit in the Supreme Court to question his suspension (b) X cannot file  said case because the President is immune from suit (c) the Supreme court can take jurisdiction over said matter using its extraordinary jurisdiction (d) it is within the right of congress to suspend its member and the supreme court cannot interfere without violating the doctrine of separation of powers.
31, Which of the following is a permissible delegation of legislative power? (a) delegation of diplomatic powers to the president (b) delegation of ordinance making to the LGU sanggunians and barangay councils (c) subordinate legislation or residual powers to the Office of the President (d) delegation of emergency powers to the Secretary of National Defense.
32.Which of the following is NOT a condition for the vesture of emergency powers to the president? (a) there must be war in the first place (b) There need not be war provided there is a national emergency (c) the delegation of said emergency powers is not subject to restrictions by Congress since Congress cannot function in times of emergency  (d) it can be exercised for an unlimited time since emergency cannot be limited as it would depend on the circumstances at hand.
33.Which of the following cannot be considered as a national emergency? (a) rebellion (b) epidemic (c) flood (d) constant brown-out
34.Which of the following is NOT considered as a sufficient standard? (a) justice and equity (b) economic equality (c) public welfare (d) simplicity
35.Which case demonstrated an insufficient standard? (a) Ynot v. IAC  (b) Llamas v. Alba (c) People v. Viera  (d) Pelaez v. Governor General
36. Which principle is  our present policy on state immunity? (a) a state is only immune from suit with respect to its sovereignty functions (b) a state is immune with respect to its proprietary functions (c) a state’s immunity is restricted by international law principles (d) a state is always immune from suit from all its activities.
37.Which principle states that a state cannot have dominion over another state as they are equals under international law? (a) par en parem non habet (b) par en habet imperium  (c) par en parem non habetatum (d) par en parem non habet imperium
38. The royal prerogative on dishonesty means that (a) the king can do no wrong (b) that the state is immune from suit absolutely (c) that the state is only immune under some circumstances (d) the immunity of state is rooted in that English principle.
39.What is the latin basis for state immunity? (a) salus populi est supreme lex (b) par en parem non habet imperium (c)  restrictive application of state immunity (d) not based on any formal conception or obsolete theory.
40. Which case demonstrates the principle that the doctrine of  governmental immunity from suit cannot serve as an instrument for perpetrating an injustice on a citizen? (a) Amigable v. Cuenca (b) Ynot v. IAC (c) Santiago v. Republic (d) Ministerio v. City of Cebu.

PART II. ESSAY TYPE(5% each). Answer the questions below the given case. Always provide an explanation for your answer. A mere yes or no answer earns no points.(The problems are taken from the cases posted in the blog).
1.An Ex-president who was ousted from power filed a petition in Court to compel the present government to issue him travel documents for his return to the country. The present government refused to issue and hence barred his return to the country. 
Questions: (a) What possible power  under the constitution can be used by the government to decide on said matter? The government thru the President uses its residual power. The power involved is the President's residual power to protect the general welfare of the people. It is founded on the duty of the President, as steward of the people. To paraphrase Theodore Roosevelt, it is not only the power of the President but also his duty to do anything not forbidden by the Constitution or the laws that the needs of the nation demand [See Corwin, supra, at 153]. It is a power borne by the President's duty to preserve and defend the Constitution. It also may be viewed as a power implicit in the President's duty to take care that the laws are faithfully executed [see Hyman, The American President, where the author advances the view that an allowance of discretionary power is unavoidable in any government and is best lodged in the President].
More particularly, this case calls for the exercise of the President's powers as protector of the peace. Rossiter The American Presidency].The power of the President to keep the peace is not limited merely to exercising the commander-in-chief powers in times of emergency or to leading the State against external and internal threats to its existence. The President is not only clothed with extraordinary powers in times of emergency, but is also tasked with attending to the day-to-day problems of maintaining peace and order and ensuring domestic tranquility in times when no foreign foe appears on the horizon. Wide discretion, within the bounds of law, in fulfilling presidential duties in times of peace is not in any way diminished by the relative want of an emergency specified in the commander-in-chief provision. For in making the President commander-in-chief the enumeration of powers that follow cannot be said to exclude the President's exercising as Commander-in- Chief powers short of the calling of the armed forces, or suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or declaring martial law, in order to keep the peace, and maintain public order and security.
That the President has the power under the Constitution to bar the Marcose's from returning has been recognized by memembers of the Legislature, and is manifested by the Resolution proposed in the House of Representatives and signed by 103 of its members urging the President to allow Mr. Marcos to return to the Philippines "as a genuine unselfish gesture for true national reconciliation and as irrevocable proof of our collective adherence to uncompromising respect for human rights under the Constitution and our laws." [House Resolution No. 1342, Rollo, p. 321.1 The Resolution does not question the President's power to bar the Marcoses from returning to the Philippines, rather, it appeals to the President's sense of compassion to allow a man to come home to die in his country.
What we are saying in effect is that the request or demand of the Marcoses to be allowed to return to the Philippines cannot be considered in the light solely of the constitutional provisions guaranteeing liberty of abode and the right to travel, subject to certain exceptions, or of case law which clearly never contemplated situations even remotely similar to the present one. It must be treated as a matter that is appropriately addressed to those residual unstated powers of the President which are implicit in and correlative to the paramount duty residing in that office to safeguard and protect general welfare. In that context, such request or demand should submit to the exercise of a broader discretion on the part of the President to determine whether it must be granted or denied.”

 (b) Is the power to ban the return of the president a political or justiciable question ? As it concerns itself on the issue of whether the president has abused its power, the issue becomes a justiciable one. “Do petitioners Ferdinand E. Marcos and family have the right to return to the Philippines and reestablish their residence here? This is clearly a justiciable question which this Honorable Court can decide.
Do petitioners Ferdinand E. Marcos and family have their right to return to the Philippines and reestablish their residence here even if their return and residence here will endanger national security and public safety? this is still a justiciable question which this Honorable Court can decide.
Is there danger to national security and public safety if petitioners Ferdinand E. Marcos and family shall return to the Philippines and establish their residence here? This is now a political question which this Honorable Court can not decide for it falls within the exclusive authority and competence of the President of the Philippines. [Memorandum for Respondents, pp. 9-11; Rollo, pp. 297-299.]”

(c)Is the right to return to one’s country specifically guaranteed under the Bill of Rights?  The Right to return is not guaranteed under the Bill of Rights, because it speaks only of the right to travel and abode. “The right to return to one's country is not among the rights specifically guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, which treats only of the liberty of abode and the right to travel, but it is our well-considered view that the right to return may be considered, as a generally accepted principle of international law and, under our Constitution, is part of the law of the land [Art. II, Sec. 2 of the Constitution.] However, it is distinct and separate from the right to travel and enjoys a different protection under the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, i.e., against being "arbitrarily deprived" thereof [Art. 12 (4).]”

(d) Does the President have the power to bar the return of a former president and his family to his own country? Yes, the President in taking general welfare and national security as the basis of its action, has the power to bar the return of the ex-president to our country.

2,The Philippine government through the President and with the support of Congress signed and ratified the country’s membership and support of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement. To the minds of some Oppositors this is bad for the country since global competition to a small country like ours would be very detrimental to the health of our struggling economy. The Govt. cited some provisions of the State Principles which mandates “a trade policy that serves the general welfare and utilizes all forms and arrangements of exchange on the basis of equality ad reciprocity";  and speaks of industries "which are competitive in both domestic and foreign markets" as well as of the protection of "Filipino enterprises against unfair foreign competition and trade practices."
On the other hand, the Oppositors cited that the  Constitution ordains the ideals of economic nationalism (1) by expressing preference in favor of qualified Filipinos "in the grant of rights, privileges and concessions covering the national economy and patrimony" 27 and in the use of "Filipino labor, domestic materials and locally-produced goods"; (2) by mandating the State to "adopt measures that help make them competitive; 28 and (3) by requiring the State to "develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos."
Questions: (a) On the basis of economic nationalism is the president’s act of joining the WTO a justiciable question or a political one?

Answer: In seeking to nullify an act of the Philippine Senate on the ground that it contravenes the Constitution, the petition no doubt raises a justiciable controversy. Where an action of the legislative branch is seriously alleged to have infringed the Constitution, it becomes not only the right but in fact the duty of the judiciary to settle the dispute. "The question thus posed is judicial rather than political. The duty (to adjudicate) remains to assure that the supremacy of the Constitution is upheld." 12 Once a "controversy as to the application or interpretation of a constitutional provision is raised before this Court (as in the instant case), it becomes a legal issue which the Court is bound by constitutional mandate to decide." 13
The jurisdiction of this Court to adjudicate the matters 14 raised in the petition is clearly set out in the 1987 Constitution, 15 as follows:
Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government.
The foregoing text emphasizes the judicial department's duty and power to strike down grave abuse of discretion on the part of any branch or instrumentality of government including Congress. It is an innovation in our political law. 16 As explained by former Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion, 17 "the judiciary is the final arbiter on the question of whether or not a branch of government or any of its officials has acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction or so capriciously as to constitute an abuse of discretion amounting to excess of jurisdiction. This is not only a judicial power but a duty to pass judgment on matters of this nature."
As this Court has repeatedly and firmly emphasized in many cases, 18 it will not shirk, digress from or abandon its sacred duty and authority to uphold the Constitution in matters that involve grave abuse of discretion brought before it in appropriate cases, committed by any officer, agency, instrumentality or department of the government.
As the petition alleges grave abuse of discretion and as there is no other plain, speedy or adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, we have no hesitation at all in holding that this petition should be given due course and the vital questions raised therein ruled upon under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. Indeed, certiorari, prohibition and mandamus are appropriate remedies to raise constitutional issues and to review and/or prohibit/nullify, when proper, acts of legislative and executive officials. On this, we have no equivocation.
We should stress that, in deciding to take jurisdiction over this petition, this Court will not review the wisdom of the decision of the President and the Senate in enlisting the country into the WTO, or pass upon the merits of trade liberalization as a policy espoused by said international body. Neither will it rule on the propriety of the government's economic policy of reducing/removing tariffs, taxes, subsidies, quantitative restrictions, and other import/trade barriers. Rather, it will only exercise its constitutional duty "to determine whether or not there had been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction" on the part of the Senate in ratifying the WTO Agreement and its three annexes.

 (b) Can the “state principles” of economic nationalism under the constitution be invoked as a direct source of a right so as to make the action of the president unconstitutional?
Answer: NO. They cannot be invoked as direct source of rights, as they are merely guiding principles.

(c) Does our constitution adopt an isolationist economic policy? Answer: All told, while the Constitution indeed mandates a bias in favor of Filipino goods, services, labor and enterprises, at the same time, it recognizes the need for business exchange with the rest of the world on the bases of equality and reciprocity and limits protection of Filipino enterprises only against foreign competition and trade practices that are unfair. 32 In other words, the Constitution did not intend to pursue an isolationist policy. It did not shut out foreign investments, goods and services in the development of the Philippine economy. While the Constitution does not encourage the unlimited entry of foreign goods, services and investments into the country, it does not prohibit them either. In fact, it allows an exchange on the basis of equality and reciprocity, frowning only on foreign competition that is unfair.

(d) As a general rule are these ‘STATE PRINCIPLES” self-executing? Is there an exception to this rule? Explain.
Answer: By its very title, Article II of the Constitution is a "declaration of principles and state policies." The counterpart of this article in the 1935 Constitution 21 is called the "basic political creed of the nation" by Dean Vicente Sinco. 22 These principles in Article II are not intended to be self-executing principles ready for enforcement through the courts. 23 They are used by the judiciary as aids or as guides in the exercise of its power of judicial review, and by the legislature in its enactment of laws. As held in the leading case of Kilosbayan, Incorporated vs. Morato, 24 the principles and state policies enumerated in Article II and some sections of Article XII are not "self-executing provisions, the disregard of which can give rise to a cause of action in the courts. They do not embody judicially enforceable constitutional rights but guidelines for legislation."

sample problems

1.       (A)  Is the twenty percent allocation for party-list representatives in Section 5(2), Article VI of the Constitution mandatory or merely a ceiling? (B) Is the three-seat limit in Section 11(b) of RA 7941 constitutional? (C) Is the two percent threshold prescribed in Section 11(b) of RA 7941 to qualify for one seat constitutional?(D) How shall the party-list representative seats be allocated? (E)Does the Constitution prohibit the major political parties from participating in the party-list elections?(F) If not, can the major political parties be barred from participating in the party-list elections?

ANSWER: (A) the filling-up of all available party-list seats is not mandatory. Actual occupancy of the party-list seats depends on the number of participants in the party-list election. If only ten parties participated in the 2007 party-list election, then, despite the availability of 54 seats, the maximum possible number of occupied party-list seats would only be 30 because of the three-seat cap. In such a case, the three-seat cap prevents the mandatory allocation of all the 54 available seats.
(B) The three-seat cap is constitutional. The three-seat cap is intended by the Legislature to prevent any party from dominating the party-list system. There is no violation of the Constitution because the 1987 Constitution does not require absolute proportionality for the party-list system. The well-settled rule is that courts will not question the wisdom of the Legislature as long as it is not violative of the Constitution.
(C) The continued operation of the two percent threshold as it applies to the allocation of the additional seats is now unconstitutional because this threshold mathematically and physically prevents the filling up of the available party-list seats.
(D In determining the allocation of seats for party-list representatives under Section 11 of R.A. No. 7941, the following procedure shall be observed:
1. The parties, organizations, and coalitions shall be ranked from the highest to the lowest based on the number of votes they garnered during the elections.
2. The parties, organizations, and coalitions receiving at least two percent (2%) of the total votes cast for the party-list system shall be entitled to one guaranteed seat each.
3. Those garnering sufficient number of votes, according to the ranking in paragraph 1, shall be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes until all the additional seats are allocated.
4. Each party, organization, or coalition shall be entitled to not more than three (3) seats.
In computing the additional seats, the guaranteed seats shall no longer be included because they have already been allocated, at one seat each, to every two-percenter. Thus, the remaining available seats for allocation as "additional seats" are the maximum seats reserved under the Party List System less the guaranteed seats. Fractional seats are disregarded in the absence of a provision in R.A. No. 7941 allowing for a rounding off of fractional seats.

(E) Neither the Constitution nor R.A. No. 7941 mandates the filling-up of the entire 20% allocation of party-list representatives found in the Constitution. The Constitution, in paragraph 1, Section 5 of Article VI, left the determination of the number of the members of the House of Representatives to Congress: "The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred and fifty members, unless otherwise fixed by law, x x x." The 20% allocation of party-list representatives is merely a ceiling; party-list representatives cannot be more than 20% of the members of the House of Representatives. However, we cannot allow the continued existence of a provision in the law which will systematically prevent the constitutionally allocated 20% party-list representatives from being filled. The three-seat cap, as a limitation to the number of seats that a qualified party-list organization may occupy, remains a valid statutory device that prevents any party from dominating the party-list elections. Seats for party-list representatives shall thus be allocated in accordance with the procedure used in Table 3 above.
However, by a vote of 8-7, the Court decided to continue the ruling in Veterans disallowing major political parties from participating in the party-list elections, directly or indirectly. Those who voted to continue disallowing major political parties from the party-list elections joined Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno in his separate opinion. On the formula to allocate party-list seats, the Court is unanimous in concurring with this ponencia.

2.       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 anomaly. 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. The power of the Congress in the exercise of its investigation in aid of legislation carries with it the power to compel witnesses to testify before it, under pain of legislative contempt if not heeded. (B) For the reason that a case is already filed before the Sandiganbayan, the two may have a reason not to appear anymore, considering that its constitutional right against self-incrimination may be violated.(AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, JR., Petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE JOSE S. MAJADUCON, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of Branch 23, Regional Trial Court, General Santos City, respondent. [G.R. No. 138378. July 29, 2003])

3. Congress passed a law prohibiting the importation of rice. The President of the Philippines enters into a treaty with Vietnam to import rice to the Philippines since there was a shortage of rice due to the recent flood. Mr. X sues the President for violating the law against rice importation. The President justifies her acts by saying that there is a national emergency. Questions:
(a) Is the suit against the President valid?
(b) In case of the conflict between a law and a treaty which should prevail? State the requisites of Judicial Review. Explain each
(c)What is executive power? Where is it lodged? What is residual power? State at least five powers of the president enumerated in the Constitution.

ANSWER: (a) The suit against the President of the Philippines is invalid. He is immune from suit.
(b) The law must prevail. This is in consonance with the ruling of the Supreme Court in the case of Ichong v. Hernandez ;
(c) The requisites of Judicial Review are as follows: (1) there must be an actual case or controversy (2) the constitutional question must be raised at the earliest opportunity (3) it must be determinative of the case (4) It must be raised by the proper party
© Executive power is not defined under the 1987 constitution. Said powers are merely enumerated. Justice Cortez stated that executive power is “more than the sum of the enumerated powers” enumerated under the Constitution. Executive power is lodged in the President of the Philippines. Residual power is one which is not enumerated. Examples of presidential powers include: (1) treaty making (2) Appointing (3) military powers (4) veto powers (5) pardoning powers( See, Marcos v. Manglapus)

3.      On what principles is international law founded? What does Art. II Sec 2 of the Constitution say about international law? What is the practical justification of the doctrine of state immunity? What is its restrictive application? Explain.

ANSWER: International law is founded on the basic principle of PAR IN PAREM NON HABET IMPERIUM, i.e. An equal cannot have dominion over an equal. Art II Section 2 provides that we “adopt the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land. The practical justification of state immunity is that there can be no legal right as against the state which creates the law and for which that right depends. Its restrictive application however states that a state is only immune with respect to its governmental (jure imperii) functions, but not to its proprietary (jure gestiones) functions.

4.      The Department of Agriculture (herein petitioner) and Sultan Security Agency entered into a contract 3 on 01 April 1989 for security services to be provided by the latter to the said governmental entity. Save for the increase in the monthly rate of the guards, the same terms and conditions were also made to apply to another contract, dated 01 May 1990, between the same parties. Pursuant to their arrangements, guards were deployed by Sultan Agency in the various premises of the petitioner.
On 13 September 1990, several guards of the Sultan Security Agency filed a complaint for underpayment of wages, non-payment of 13th month pay, uniform allowances, night shift differential pay, holiday pay and overtime pay, as well as for damages, 4 before the Regional Arbitration Branch X of Cagayan de Oro City, docketed as NLRC Case No. 10-09-00455-90 (or 10-10-00519-90, its original docket number), against the Department of Agriculture and Sultan Security Agency.
Questions: (1) Is the Department of Agriculture suable? (2) Will its assets be made liable through a writ of execution?

ANSWER: (1) IT is suable. The Supreme Court said: “In the instant case, the Department of Agriculture has not pretended to have assumed a capacity apart from its being a governmental entity when it entered into the questioned contract; nor that it could have, in fact, performed any act proprietary in character.
But, be that as it may, the claims of private respondents, i.e. for underpayment of wages, holiday pay, overtime pay and similar other items, arising from the Contract for Service, clearly constitute money claims. Act No. 3083, aforecited, gives the consent of the State to be "sued upon any moneyed claim involving liability arising from contract, express or implied, . . . Pursuant, however, to Commonwealth Act ("C.A.") No. 327, as amended by Presidential Decree ("P.D.") No. 1145, the money claim first be brought to the Commission on Audit. Thus, in Carabao, Inc., vs. Agricultural Productivity Commission, 20 we ruled:
(C)laimants have to prosecute their money claims against the Government under Commonwealth Act 327, stating that Act 3083 stands now merely as the general law waiving the State's immunity from suit, subject to the general limitation expressed in Section 7 thereof that "no execution shall issue upon any judgment rendered by any Court against the Government of the (Philippines), and that the conditions provided in Commonwealth Act 327 for filing money claims against the Government must be strictly observed."
We fail to see any substantial conflict or inconsistency between the provisions of C.A. No. 327 and the Labor Code with respect to money claims against the State. The Labor code, in relation to Act No. 3083, provides the legal basis for the State liability but the prosecution, enforcement or satisfaction thereof must still be pursued in accordance with the rules and procedures laid down in C.A. No. 327, as amended by P.D. 1445.”
(2) Its assets cannot be made liable however. The Supreme Court said: When the state gives its consent to be sued, it does thereby necessarily consent to unrestrained execution against it. tersely put, when the State waives its immunity, all it does, in effect, is to give the other party an opportunity to prove, if it can, that the State has a liability. 21 In Republic vs. Villasor 22 this Court, in nullifying the issuance of an alias writ of execution directed against the funds of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to satisfy a final and executory judgment, has explained, thus —
The universal rule that where the State gives its consent to be sued by private parties either by general or special law, it may limit the claimant's action "only up to the completion of proceedings anterior to the stage of execution" and that the power of the Courts ends when the judgment is rendered, since government funds and properties may not be seized under writs or execution or garnishment to satisfy such judgments, is based on obvious considerations of public policy. Disbursements of public funds must be covered by the correspondent appropriation as required by law. The functions and public services rendered by the State cannot be allowed to be paralyzed or disrupted by the diversion of public funds from their legitimate and specific objects, as appropriated by law. 23

5.On February 2, 1999, the COMELEC en banc appointed petitioner as "Acting Director IV" of the EID.  On February 15, 2000, then Chairperson Harriet O. Demetriou renewed the appointment of petitioner as Director IV of EID in a "Temporary" capacity.  On February 15, 2001, Commissioner Rufino S.B. Javier renewed again the appointment of petitioner to the same position in a "Temporary" capacity.
On March 22, 2001, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo appointed, ad interim, Benipayo as COMELEC Chairman, and Borra and Tuason as COMELEC Commissioners, each for a term of seven years and all expiring on February 2, 2008.  Benipayo took his oath of office and assumed the position of COMELEC Chairman.  Borra and Tuason likewise took their oaths of office and assumed their positions as COMELEC Commissioners.  The Office of the President submitted to the Commission on Appointments on May 22, 2001 the ad interim appointments of Benipayo, Borra and Tuason for confirmation. However, the Commission on Appointments did not act on said appointments.
On June 1, 2001, President Arroyo renewed the ad interim appointments of Benipayo, Borra and Tuason to the same positions and for the same term of seven years, expiring on February 2, 2008. They took their oaths of office for a second time.  The Office of the President transmitted on June 5, 2001 their appointments to the Commission on Appointments for confirmation.
Congress adjourned before the Commission on Appointments could act on their appointments.  Thus, on June 8, 2001, President Macapagal Arroyo renewed again the ad interim appointments of Benipayo, Borra and Tuason to the same positions. The Office of the President submitted their appointments for confirmation to the Commission on Appointments. They took their oaths of office anew.
In his capacity as COMELEC Chairman, Benipayo issued a Memorandum dated April 11, 2001[11] addressed to petitioner as Director IV of the EID and to Cinco as Director III also of the EID, designating Cinco Officer-in-Charge of the EID and reassigning petitioner to the Law Department.  COMELEC EID Commissioner-in-Charge Mehol K. Sadain objected to petitioner’s reassignment in a Memorandum dated April 14, 2001 addressed to the COMELEC en banc. Specifically, Commissioner Sadain questioned Benipayos failure to consult the Commissioner-in-Charge of the EID in the reassignment of petitioner.
On April 16, 2001, petitioner requested Benipayo to reconsider her relief as Director IV of the EID and her reassignment to the Law Department. Petitioner cited Civil Service Commission Memorandum Circular No. 7 dated April 10, 2001, reminding heads of government offices that "transfer and detail of employees are prohibited during the election period beginning January 2 until June 13, 2001." Benipayo denied her request for reconsideration on April 18, 2001, citing COMELEC Resolution No. 3300 dated November 6, 2000, which states in part:
"NOW, THEREFORE, the Commission on Elections by virtue of the powers conferred upon it by the Constitution, the Omnibus Election Code and other election laws, as an exception to the foregoing prohibitions, has RESOLVED, as it is hereby RESOLVED, to appoint, hire new employees or fill new positions and transfer or reassign its personnel, when necessary in the effective performance of its mandated functions during the prohibited period, provided that the changes in the assignment of its field personnel within the thirty-day period before election day shall be effected after due notice and hearing."
Petitioner appealed the denial of her request for reconsideration to the COMELEC en banc in a Memorandum dated April 23, 2001. Petitioner also filed an administrative and criminal complaint with the Law Department against Benipayo, alleging that her reassignment violated Section 261 (h) of the Omnibus Election Code, COMELEC Resolution No. 3258, Civil Service Memorandum Circular No. 07, s. 001, and other pertinent administrative and civil service laws, rules and regulations.
During the pendency of her complaint before the Law Department, petitioner filed the instant petition questioning the appointment and the right to remain in office of Benipayo, Borra and Tuason, as Chairman and Commissioners of the COMELEC, respectively.   Petitioner claims that the ad interim appointments of   Benipayo, Borra and Tuason violate the constitutional provisions on the independence of the COMELEC, as well as on the prohibitions on temporary appointments and reappointments of its Chairman and members.  Petitioner also assails as illegal her removal as Director IV of the EID and her reassignment to the Law Department.    Simultaneously, petitioner challenges the designation of Cinco as Officer-in-Charge of the EID.   Petitioner, moreover, questions the legality of the disbursements made by COMELEC Finance Services Department Officer-in-Charge Gideon C. De Guzman to Benipayo, Borra and Tuason by way of salaries and other emoluments.
In the meantime, on September 6, 2001, President Macapagal Arroyo renewed once again the ad interim appointments of Benipayo as COMELEC Chairman and Borra and Tuason as Commissioners, respectively, for a term of seven years expiring on February 2, 2008. They all took their oaths of office anew.
1. Whether or not the assumption of office by Benipayo, Borra and Tuason on the basis of the ad interim appointments issued by the President amounts to a temporary appointment prohibited by Section 1 (2), Article IX-C of the Constitution;
2. Assuming that the first ad interim appointments and the first assumption of office by Benipayo, Borra and Tuason are legal, whether or not the renewal of their ad interim appointments and subsequent assumption of office to the same positions violate the prohibition on reappointment under Section 1 (2), Article IX-C of the Constitution; 
3. Whether or not Benipayo’s removal of petitioner from her position as Director IV of the EID and her reassignment to the Law Department is illegal and without authority, having been done without the approval of the COMELEC as a collegial body.

Answer: The appointment ad interim is actually a permanent appointment, subject  to the confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. The renewal of the appointment is not violative since it was not yet disapproved by the CA., they were just bypassed. The Comelec Chair’s administrative action on the matter does not need the approval of the COMELEC as a collegial body.

6.What is the function of the Senate Electoral Tribunal and the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal? What is the composition of each?

ANSWER: The electoral tribunal serves as the sole judge of all electoral protests filed by each member. The electoral protests covers “the election, returns and qualification” of said member. Each is composed of 3 justices from the Supreme Court to be designated by the Chief Justice and six members from each house concerned.

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

ANSWER: 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. 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. Finally, ut magis valeat quam pereat. The Constitution is to be interpreted as a whole. (Francisco v. House of Representatives G.R. No. 160261,November 10, 2003)

8.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: NOT VALID. The SC said: “A designation as Acting Chairman is by its very terms essentially temporary and therefore revocable at will.  No cause need be established to justify its revocation.  Assuming its validity, the designation of the respondent as Acting Chairman of the Commission on Elections may be withdrawn by the President of the Philippines at any time and for whatever reason she sees fit.  It is doubtful if the respondent, having accepted such designation, will not be estopped from challenging its withdrawal.
It is true, as the Solicitor General points out, that the respondent cannot be removed at will from her permanent position as Associate Commissioner.  It is no less true, however, that she can be replaced as Acting Chairman, with or without cause, and thus deprived of the powers and perquisites of that temporary position.
The lack of a statutory rule covering the situation at bar is no justification for the President of the Philippines to fill the void by extending the temporary designation in favor of the respondent.  This is still a government of laws and not of men.  The problem allegedly sought to be corrected, if it existed at all, did not call for presidential action.  The situation could have been handled by the members of the Commission on Elections themselves without the participation of the President, however well-meaning.
In the choice of the Acting Chairman, the members of the Commission on Elections would most likely have been guided by the seniority rule as they themselves would have appreciated it.  In any event, that choice and the basis thereof were for them and not the President to make.
The Court has not the slightest doubt that the President of the Philippines was moved only by the best of motives when she issued the challenged designation.  But while conceding her goodwill, we cannot sustain her act because it conflicts with the Constitution.  Hence, even as this Court revoked the designation in the Bautista case, so too must it annul the designation in the case at bar.
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 Commissions on Elections by designation of the President of the Philippines.
WHEREFORE, the designation by the President of the Philippines of respondent Haydee B. Yorac as Acting Chairman of the Commissions on Elections is declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL, and the respondent is hereby ordered to desist from serving as such.  This is without prejudice to the incumbent Associate Commissioners of the Commission on Elections restoring her to the same position if they so desire, or choosing another member in her place, pending the appointment of a permanent Chairman by the President of the Philippines with the consent of the Commission on Appointments.”
(SIXTO S. BRILLANTES, JR., petitioner, vs. HAYDEE B. YORAC, in her capacity as ACTING CHAIR­PERSON of the COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, respondent. EN BANC[G.R. No. 93867.  December 18, 1990]

9. What is stare decisis? Is the Supreme Court bound by said principle?

ANSWER: Stare decisis et non quieta movere.  This principle of adherence to precedents has not lost its luster and continues to guide the bench in keeping with the need to maintain stability in the law. Courts are bound by prior decisions. Thus, once a case has been decided one way, courts have no choice but to resolve subsequent cases involving the same issue in the same manner. In the recent decision of the Supreme Court it was said as follows:
First: Most of the movants contend that the principle of stare decisis is controlling, and accordingly insist that the Court has erred in disobeying or abandoning Valenzuela.[1]

The contention has no basis.

Stare decisis derives its name from the Latin maxim stare decisis et non quieta movere, i.e., to adhere to precedent and not to unsettle things that are settled. It simply means that a principle underlying the decision in one case is deemed of imperative authority, controlling the decisions of like cases in the same court and in lower courts within the same jurisdiction, unless and until the decision in question is reversed or overruled by a court of competent authority. The decisions relied upon as precedents are commonly those of appellate courts, because the decisions of the trial courts may be appealed to higher courts and for that reason are probably not the best evidence of the rules of law laid down. [2]

Judicial decisions assume the same authority as a statute itself and, until authoritatively abandoned, necessarily become, to the extent that they are applicable, the criteria that must control the actuations, not only of those called upon to abide by them, but also of those duty-bound to enforce obedience to them.[3] In a hierarchical judicial system like ours, the decisions of the higher courts bind the lower courts, but the courts of co-ordinate authority do not bind each other. The one highest court does not bind itself, being invested with the innate authority to rule according to its best lights.[4]

The Court, as the highest court of the land, may be guided but is not controlled by precedent. Thus, the Court, especially with a new membership, is not obliged to follow blindly a particular decision that it determines, after re-examination, to call for a rectification.[5] The adherence to precedents is strict and rigid in a common-law setting like the United Kingdom, where judges make law as binding as an Act of Parliament.[6] But ours is not a common-law system; hence, judicial precedents are not always strictly and rigidly followed. A judicial pronouncement in an earlier decision may be followed as a precedent in a subsequent case only when its reasoning and justification are relevant, and the court in the latter case accepts such reasoning and justification to be applicable to the case. The application of the precedent is for the sake of convenience and stability.

For the intervenors to insist that Valenzuela ought not to be disobeyed, or abandoned, or reversed, and that its wisdom should guide, if not control, the Court in this case is, therefore, devoid of rationality and foundation. They seem to conveniently forget that the Constitution itself recognizes the innate authority of the Court en banc to modify or reverse a doctrine or principle of law laid down in any decision rendered en banc or in division.[7]


10.What is a political question? Give at least two examples.

TaƱada and Macapagal v. Cuenco, 103 Phil. 1051, 1067 (1957). In summarizing the definition of the term, "political question," Justice Concepcion wrote: "In short, the term ‘political question’ connotes, in legal parlance, what it means in ordinary parlance, namely, a question of policy. In other words, in the language of Corpus Juris Secundum, 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 Legislature or executive branch of the Government.’ It is concerned with issues dependent upon the wisdom, not legality, of a particular measure."