MIdTERM EXAMINATION IN POLITICAL LAW 2009
September 19, 2009 2pm
INSTRUCTIONS: Read the questions below carefully. Answer responsibly. Do not state your personal opinion on the matter. Do not answer with just a “yes” or “no”. Always support your answer with reason and legal basis.
1. The President of the Philippines issued Administrative Order (AO) No. 372, which
(1)requires local government units to reduce their expenditures by 25 percent of their authorized regular appropriations for non-personal services; and
(2) which withholds a portion of their internal revenue allotments.
State whether these suffer a constitutional infirmity.
(1) is valid as it is merely a presidential advisory. (2) is Invalid since the LGU’s are not under the control of the president but only subject to her supervision. AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL JR., petitioner, vs. Hon. ALEXANDER AGUIRRE in his capacity as Executive Secretary, Hon. EMILIA BONCODIN in her capacity as Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management, respondents.ROBERTO PAGDANGANAN, intervenor. [G.R. No. 132988. July 19, 2000] “While the wordings of Section 1 of AO 372 have a rather commanding tone, and while we agree with petitioner that the requirements of Section 284 of the Local Government Code have not been satisfied, we are prepared to accept the solicitor general's assurance that the directive to "identify and implement measures x x x that will reduce total expenditures x x x by at least 25% of authorized regular appropriation" is merely advisory in character, and does not constitute a mandatory or binding order that interferes with local autonomy. The language used, while authoritative, does not amount to a command that emanates from a boss to a subaltern.
Rather, the provision is merely an advisory to prevail upon local executives to recognize the need for fiscal restraint in a period of economic difficulty. Indeed, all concerned would do well to heed the President's call to unity, solidarity and teamwork to help alleviate the crisis. It is understood, however, that no legal sanction may be imposed upon LGUs and their officials who do not follow such advice. It is in this light that we sustain the solicitor general's contention in regard to Section 1.
Withholding a Part of LGUs' IRA
Section 4 of AO 372 cannot, however, be upheld. A basic feature of local fiscal autonomy is the automatic release of the shares of LGUs in the national internal revenue. This is mandated by no less than the Constitution. The Local Government Code specifies further that the release shall be made directly to the LGU concerned within five (5) days after every quarter of the year and "shall not be subject to any lien or holdback that may be imposed by the national government for whatever purpose." As a rule, the term "shall" is a word of command that must be given a compulsory meaning. The provision is, therefore, imperative.
Section 4 of AO 372, however, orders the withholding, effective January 1, 1998, of 10 percent of the LGUs' IRA "pending the assessment and evaluation by the Development Budget Coordinating Committee of the emerging fiscal situation" in the country. Such withholding clearly contravenes the Constitution and the law. Although temporary, it is equivalent to a holdback, which means "something held back or withheld, often temporarily." Hence, the "temporary" nature of the retention by the national government does not matter. Any retention is prohibited.
In sum, while Section 1 of AO 372 may be upheld as an advisory effected in times of national crisis, Section 4 thereof has no color of validity at all. The latter provision effectively encroaches on the fiscal autonomy of local governments. Concededly, the President was well-intentioned in issuing his Order to withhold the LGUs’ IRA, but the rule of law requires that even the best intentions must be carried out within the parameters of the Constitution and the law. Verily, laudable purposes must be carried out by legal methods.”
2. Alexander Albofera, a municipal treasurer was convicted of murder by the Regional Trial Court on July 20, 1981. On appeal, the judgment was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. While the case was pending appeal before the Supreme Court, the President of the Philippines on January 2, 1987.upon recommendation of the National Amnesty Commission granted him absolute pardon. (a) Is the grant of pardon, under the said circumstances valid? (b) Is he entitled to be reinstated to his government position? (c) Is the payment of fine and civil liability extinguished ?
(a) the grant is valid. Take note that the grant was done before the effectivity date of the 1987 constitution. Under the old constitution, the pardon may be granted BEFORE or AFTER conviction. Asked to comment, the Solicitor General manifested that accused-appellants were, indeed, granted absolute pardon by the President on January 29, 1987 and that by virtue thereof their criminal liability is totally extinguished but not their civil liability.
Absolute pardon having been granted to accused-appellants prior to the effectivity of the 1987 Constitution on February 2, 1987, when there was as yet no requirement that pardon may be extended only after conviction by final judgment, the pardon granted by the President on January 29, 1987, was, therefore, valid, binding and effective. Accused-appellants' criminal liability is thereby extinguished but their civil liability remains.
"A pardon shall in no case exempt the culprit from the payment of the civil indemnity imposed upon him by the sentence" (Article 36, Revised Penal Code).PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. ALEXANDER ALBOFERA, AND ROMEO LAWI-AN, accused-appellants
(b) No. the grant of pardon does not give the right o reinstatement.He has to reapply for the position ( Monsanto v. Factoran) Stated differently, the pardon granted to petitioner has resulted in removing her disqualification from holding public employment but it cannot go beyond that. To regain her former post as assistant city treasurer, she must reapply and undergo the usual procedure required for a new appointment.
Finally, petitioner has sought exemption from the payment of the civil indemnity imposed upon her by the sentence. The Court cannot oblige her. Civil liability arising from crime is governed by the Revised Penal Code. It subsists notwithstanding service of sentence, or for any reason the sentence is not served by pardon, amnesty or commutation of sentence. Petitioner's civil liability may only be extinguished by the same causes recognized in the Civil Code, namely: payment, loss of the thing due, remission of the debt, merger of the rights of creditor and debtor, compensation and novation.
(c) only the payment of fine is “extinguished” in the sense that it is suspended, HOWEVER, the payment of civil liability subsists. What is only suspended is the criminal liability, and fine is a criminal liability.
3. Petitioner was a Supervising Lineman in the Region IV Station of the Bureau of Telecommunications in Lucena City. On 1 April 1975, petitioner was summarily dismissed from the service on the ground of dishonesty in accordance with the decision of the then Ministry of Public Works, Transportation and Communications in Adm. Case No. 975 for the loss of several telegraph poles which were located at the Sariaya-Lucena City and Mauban-Sampaloc, Quezon, telecom lines. Petitioner did not appeal from the decision.
Based on the same facts obtaining in the administrative action, a criminal case for qualified theft was filed against petitioner with the then Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial Court) of Quezon. On 23 January 1980, the trial court rendered its decision acquitting petitioner of the offense charged.
Consequently, petitioner sought reinstatement to his former position in view of his acquittal in the criminal case. In an indorsement dated 7 April 1980, petitioner's request to be reinstated was denied by the Bureau of Telecommunications. Hence, petitioner pleaded to the President of the Philippines for executive clemency.
On 26 August 1981, acting on the favorable indorsements of the then Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the Civil Service Commission, Deputy Presidential Executive Assistant Joaquin T. Venus, Jr., by authority of the President, per Resolution No. O.P. 1800, granted executive clemency to petitioner.
Questions: (a) Does the grant of executive clemency restore petitioner to his previous office? (b) Will it allow him to be entitled to back wages counted from the time of his dismissal?
(a) considering that the petitioner was acquitted in the criminal case and he was given executive clemency, then he must be reinstated. He is also entitled to backwages, his innocence so considered. VICENTE GARCIA, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE CHAIRMAN, COMMISSION ON AUDIT, THE HONORABLE MINISTER, LAND TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS, THE REGIONAL DIRECTOR, TELECOM REGIONAL OFFICE NO. IV, respondents. FIRST DIVISION [G.R. No. 75025. September 14, 1993] “Time and again this Court has unfolded the effects of a pardon upon the individual to whom it is granted. In Monsanto v. Factoran, we have firmly established the general rule that while a pardon has generally been regarded as blotting out the existence of guilt so that in the eyes of the law the offender is as innocent as though he never committed the offense, it does not operate for all purposes. The very essence of a pardon is forgiveness or remission of guilt and not forgetfulness. It does not erase the fact of the commission of the crime and the conviction thereof. Pardon frees the individual from all the penalties and legal disabilities and restores to him all his civil rights. Unless expressly grounded on the person's innocence, it cannot bring back lost reputation for honesty, integrity and fair dealing. The pardoned offender regains his eligibility for appointment to public office which was forfeited by reason of the conviction of the offense. But since pardon does not generally result in automatic reinstatement because the offender has to apply for reappointment, he is not entitled to back wages.
But, stated otherwise, if the pardon is based on the innocence of the individual, it affirms this innocence and makes him a new man and as innocent as if he had not been found guilty of the offense charged. When a person is given pardon because he did not truly commit the offense, the pardon relieves the party from all punitive consequences of his criminal act, thereby restoring to him his clean name, good reputation and unstained character prior to the finding of guilt.
In the case at bar, petitioner was found administratively liable for dishonesty and consequently dismissed from the service. However, he was later acquitted by the trial court of the charge of qualified theft based on the very same acts for which he was dismissed. The acquittal of petitioner by the trial court was founded not on lack of proof beyond reasonable doubt but on the fact that petitioner did not commit the offense imputed to him. Aside from finding him innocent of the charge, the trial court commended petitioner for his concern and dedication as a public servant. Verily, petitioner's innocence is the primary reason behind the grant of executive clemency to him, bolstered by the favorable recommendations for his reinstatement by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the Civil Service Commission.
The bestowal of executive clemency on petitioner in effect completely obliterated the adverse effects of the administrative decision which found him guilty of dishonesty and ordered his separation from the service. This can be inferred from the executive clemency itself exculpating petitioner from the administrative charge and thereby directing his reinstatement, which is rendered automatic by the grant of the pardon. This signifies that petitioner need no longer apply to be reinstated to his former employment; he is restored to his office ipso facto upon the issuance of the clemency.
Petitioner's automatic reinstatement to the government service entitles him to back wages. This is meant to afford relief to petitioner who is innocent from the start and to make reparation for what he has suffered as a result of his unjust dismissal from the service. To rule otherwise would defeat the very intention of the executive clemency, i.e., to give justice to petitioner. Moreover, the right to back wages is afforded to those who have been illegally dismissed and were thus ordered reinstated or to those otherwise acquitted of the charges against them. There is no doubt that petitioner's case falls within the situations aforementioned to entitle him to back wages.
Further, it is worthy to note that the dismissal of petitioner was not the result of any criminal conviction that carried with it forfeiture of the right to hold public office, but is the direct consequence of an administrative decision of a branch of the Executive Department over which the President, as its head, has the power of control. The President's control has been defined to mean "the power of an officer to alter or modify or nullify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former for the latter.” In pardoning petitioner and ordering his reinstatement, the Chief Executive exercised his power of control and set aside the decision of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. The clemency nullified the dismissal of petitioner and relieved him from administrative liability. The separation of the petitioner from the service being null and void, he is thus entitled to back wages.
After having been declared innocent of the crime of qualified theft, which also served as basis for the administrative charge, petitioner should not be considered to have left his office for all legal purposes, so that he is entitled to all the rights and privileges that accrued to him by virtue of the office held, including back wages.
Established jurisprudence fixes recovery of back wages to a period of five (5) years to be paid an illegally dismissed government employee who has been ordered reinstated. The cases heretofore decided by this Court show that petitioners therein were employees of local governments who were removed from office by their local officials. The reasons given for their removal were abolition of office or position, reduction of work force, or lack of funds on the part of the local governments concerned, which reasons were found by this Court to be either devoid of factual basis or not sufficiently proven, otherwise, their dismissal would have been valid and justified. In contrast, the case before us is different, involving as it does circumstances that impel us to deviate from the general rule previously laid down on the recovery of back wages for five (5) years. Petitioner's reinstatement in the instant case which was ordered pursuant to a grant of executive clemency was effected not because of lack of sufficient proof of his commission of the offense but that, more importantly, he did not commit the offense charged. Verily, law, equity and justice dictate that petitioner be afforded compassion for the embarrassment, humiliation and, above all, injustice caused to him and his family by his unfounded dismissal. This Court cannot help surmising the painful stigma that must have caused petitioner, the incursion on his dignity and reputation, for having been adjudged, albeit wrongfully, a dishonest man, and worse, a thief. Consequently, this Court finds it fair and just to award petitioner full back wages from 1 April 1975 when he was illegally dismissed, to 12 March 1984 when he was reinstated. The payment shall be without deduction or qualification.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The decision of respondent Commission on Audit dated 23 July 1985 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE, and a new one entered ordering public respondents, the Chairman of the Commission on Audit, the Minister (now Secretary) of Land Transportation and Communications, the Regional Director of Telecom Regional Office No. IV, or whoever may be sitting in office in their stead, to pay the full amount of petitioner's back salaries from 1 April 1975 to 12 March 1984 based on his latest salary scale.”
4. Does the President of the Philippines have the power to grant executive clemency in administrative cases? Is such grant considered a political question beyond judicial review? What is the limitation of said power if there be any? Explain and cite your case.
(a)Yes, the president has the power to grant executive clemency in ADMINISTRATIVE CONVICTIONS. It is still subject to judicial review, and limited to be granted within her executive department only, (See Llamas v. Orbos)RODOLFO D. LLAMAS, petitioner, vs. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OSCAR ORBOS and MARIANO UN OCAMPO III, respondents. EN BANC [G.R. No. 99031. October 15, 1991]
In criminal cases, the quantum of evidence required to convict an individual is proof beyond reasonable doubt, but the Constitution grants to the President the power to pardon the act done by the proved criminal and in the process exempts him from punishment therefor. On the other hand, in administrative cases, the quantum of evidence required is mere substantial evidence to support a decision, not to mention that as to the admissibility of evidence, administrative bodies are not bound by the technical and rigid rules of admissibility prescribed in criminal cases. It will therefore be unjust and unfair for those found guilty administratively of some charge if the same effects of pardon or executive clemency cannot be extended to them, even in the sense of modifying a decision to subserve the interest of the public. (p. 34, Comment of public respondent)
Of equal importance are the following provisions of Executive Order No. 292, otherwise known as the Administrative Code of 1987, Section I, Book III of which provides:
"SECTION 1. Power of Control. - The President shall have control of all the executive departments, bureaus, and offices. He shall ensure that the laws be faithfully executed."
"SECTION 38. - Definition of Administrative Relationships. - Unless otherwise expressly stated in the Code or in other laws defining the special relationships of particular agencies, administrative relationships shall be categorized and defined as follows:
"(1) Supervision and Control. - Supervision and control shall include authority to act directly whenever a specific function is entrusted by law or regulation to a subordinate; direct the performance of duty; restrain the commission of acts; review, approve, reverse or modify acts and decisions of subordinate officials or units; determine priorities in the execution of plans and programs. Unless a different meaning is explicitly provided in the specific law governing the relationship of particular agencies the word "control" shall encompass supervision and control as defined in this paragraph. xxx" (emphasis supplied)
The disciplinary authority to investigate, suspend, and remove provincial or city officials devolves at the first instance on the Department of Interior and Local Government (Secs. 61 and 65, B.P. Blg. 337) and ultimately on the President (Sec. 66). Implicit in this authority, however, is the "supervision and control" power of the President to reduce, if circumstances so warrant, the imposable penalty or to modify the suspension or removal order, even "in the sense" of granting executive clemency. "Control," within the meaning of the Constitution, is the power to substitute one's own judgment for that of a subordinate. Under the doctrine of Qualified Political Agency, the different executive departments are mere adjuncts of the President. Their acts are presumptively the acts of the President until countermanded or reprobated by her (Villena v. Secretary, 67 Phil. 451; Free Telephone Workers Union vs. Minister of Labor and Employment, 108 SCRA 757 ). Relying upon this view, it is urged by the Solicitor General that in the present case, the President, in the exercise of her power of supervision and control over all executive departments, may substitute her decision for that of her subordinate, most especially where the basis therefor would be to serve the greater public interest. It is clearly within the power of the President not only to grant "executive clemency" but also to reverse or modify a ruling issued by a subordinate against an erring public official, where a reconsideration of the facts alleged would support the same. It is in this sense that the alleged executive clemency was granted, after adducing reasons that subserve the public interest. - "the relative success of ... livelihood loan program." (pp. 39-40, Comment of public respondent)
(b) Besides, under the 1987 Constitution, the Supreme Court has been conferred an "expanded jurisdiction" to review the decisions of the other branches and agencies of the government to determine whether or not they have acted within the bounds of the Constitution (See Art. VIII, Sec. 1, Constitution). "Yet, in the exercise thereof, the Court is to merely check whether or not the governmental branch or agency has gone beyond the constitutional limits of its jurisdiction, not that it erred or has a different view" (Co vs. Electoral Tribunal of the House of Representatives & Ong, G.R. Nos. 92191-92 and Balanquit vs. Electoral Tribunal of the House of Representatives & Ong, G.R. Nos. 92202-03, July 30, 1991).
In the case at bar, the nature of the question for determination is not purely political. Here, we are called upon to decide whether under the Constitution the President may grant executive clemency in administrative cases. We must not overlook the fact that the exercise by the President of her power of executive clemency is subject to constitutional limitations. We will merely check whether the particular measure in question has been in accordance with law. In so doing, We will not concern ourselves with the reasons or motives which actuated the President as such is clearly beyond our power of judicial review.
©We wish to stress however that when we say the President can grant executive clemency in administrative cases, We refer only to all administrative cases in the Executive branch, not in the Judicial or Legislative branches of the government.
“Noteworthy is the fact that on March 1, 1991, respondent governor filed a motion for reconsideration and the same may be regarded as implicitly resolved, not only because of its withdrawal but also because of the executive clemency which in effect reduced the penalty, conformably with the power of "control."
On petitioner's argument that private respondent's motion for reconsideration has abated the running of the reglementary period for finality of judgment in O.P. Case No. 4480 (that is, there being no final judgment to speak of, the pardon granted was premature and of no effect), We reiterate the doctrine that upon acceptance of a presidential pardon, the grantee is deemed to have waived any appeal which he may have filed. Thus, it was held that:
"The commutation of the penalty is impressed with legal significance. That is an exercise of executive clemency embraced in the pardoning power. According to the Constitution: 'The President may except in cases of impeachment, grant reprieves, commutations and pardons, remit fines and forfeitures and, with the concurrence of the Batasang Pambansa, grant amnesty.' Once granted, it is binding and effective. It serves to put an end to this appeal." (Mansanto v. Factoran, Jr., G.R. No. 78239, 170 SCRA 190, 196). (See also Peo v. Crisola, 129 SCRA 13)
Consequently, respondent governor's acceptance of the presidential pardon "serves to put an end" to the motion for reconsideration and renders the subject decision final, that of the period already served.
Finally, petitioner's argument that his constitutional rights to due process were violated is unmeritorious. Pardon has been defined as "the private, though official, act of the executive magistrate, delivered to the individual for whose benefit it is intended and not communicated officially to the court. xxx." (Bernas, The Constitution of the Philippines, Vol. II, First Ed. 1988, pp. 239-240, citing U.S. v. Wilson, 7 Pet. 150 [U.S. 1833]). Thus, assuming that petitioner was not notified of the subject pardon, it is only because said notice is unnecessary. Besides, petitioner's claim that respondent governor has not begun to serve sentence is belied by his very own factual allegations in his petition, more particularly that he served as Acting Governor of Tarlac effective from the date he took his Oath of Office on February 28, 1991 up to the time respondent governor re-assumed the governorship of Tarlac on May 21, 1991 (par. 30, petition). It is, therefore, error to say that private respondent did not serve any portion of the 90-day suspension meted upon him.
We fail to see any grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or in excess of jurisdiction committed by public respondent.
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered: (1) DECLARING that the President did not act arbitrarily or with abuse, much less grave abuse of discretion in issuing the May 15, 1991 Resolution granting on the grounds mentioned therein, executive clemency to respondent governor and that, accordingly, the same is not unconstitutional (without prejudice to criminal proceedings which have been filed or may be filed against respondent governor), and (2) DENYING the rest of the prayers in the the petition for being unmeritorious, moot and academic. No costs.”
5. Congressman Nonoy delivered a privilege speech charging the Intercontinental Universal Bank (IUB) with the sale of unregistered foreign securities, in violation of R.A. 8799. He then filed, and the House of Representatives unanimously approved, a Resolution directing the House Committee on Good Government (HCGG) to conduct an inquiry on the matter, in aid of legislation, in order to prevent the recurrence of any similar fraudulent activity.
The HCGG immediately scheduled a hearing and invited the responsible officials of IUB, the Chairman and Commissioners of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). On the date set for the hearing, only the SEC Commissioners appeared, prompting Congressman Nonoy to move for the issuance of the appropriate subpoena ad testificandum to compel the attendance of the invited resource persons.
The IUB officials filed suit to prohibit HCGG from proceeding with the inquiry and to quash the subpoena, raising the following arguments:
[a] The subject of the legislative investigation is also the subject of criminal and civil actions pending before the courts and the prosecutor's office; thus, the legislative inquiry would preempt judicial action; (3%) and
[b] Compelling the IUB officials, who are also respondents in the criminal and civil cases in court, to testify at the inquiry would violate their constitutional right against self-incrimination. (3%)
Are the foregoing arguments tenable? Reasons.
[c] May the Governor of the BSP validly invoke executive privilege and, thus, refuse to attend the legislative inquiry? Why or why not? (3%)
(A) Tenable. The pending cases before the courts will be affected, as any statement given by them before the legislative body can be used against them. This therefore violates the independence between the two co-equal bodies.
(b) Tenable. Their right against self-incrimination will be violated. They in effect may be testifying against themselves.
©No tenable. The executive privilege applies only to STATEMENTS not persons. Hence the Governor shall be compelled to appear, subject to his right to raise the defense that the answers to the questions are considered privileged communications.
6. (a)What is executive power? (b) Is it defined under the 1987 constitution? (c)Enumerate some of the powers of the president as elucidated in the Marcos v. Manglapus case.
(a) Executive power is the power to enforce and execute the laws. It is not defined under the 1987 constitution which only states that Executive power lies in the President. However, these powers are enumerated in the 1987 constitution. In Marcos case, it is defined as “more than the sum of the enumerated powers of the president under the Constitution. Such powers include appointment, diplomatic, military powers, pardon etc.
7. Luis Santos files his certificate of candidacy as president of the Philippines for the 2010 elections.(1) He is required to submit a certification from the Dangerous Drugs Board that he is “drug free”. (2) He is also required to submit a birth certificate to show that he is at least forty years of age. (3) He is also made to execute an affidavit to prove that he is a natural-born Filipino citizen.
Are these requirements valid?
Except for the certification that he is drug-free, the rest are valid. This was ruled in the case of Pimentel v. COMELEC.
8. Answer TRUE if the statement is true, or FALSE if the statement is false. Explain your answer in not more than two (2) sentences. (5%)
[a] A bill originating from the senatemaking "changing the name of Dipolog City into Dipag city" is constitutional.
[b] Under the archipelago doctrine, the waters around, between, and connecting the islands of the archipelago form part of the territorial sea of the archipelagic state.
[c] A law that makes military service for women merely voluntary is constitutional.
[d] A law fixing the passing grade in the Bar examinations at 70%, with no grade lower than 40% in any subject, is constitutional.
[e] A law passed by the House of Repsentatives making the study of law of law from four into five years is not unconstitutional.
(a) True. This is a bill of local application, hence it must originate exclusively from the House of Representatives.
(b) False. The constitution says, “internal waters” Territorial say extends only about 200 miles from the shore.To note the territorial sea only extend up to 12nautical miles from the low water mark or in case of archipelagic states from the baselines.
© False. “all citizens may be required, under conditions provided by law, to render, personal,MILITARY, or civil service. (Article II, Sec. 4)
(d) False. Only the Supreme Court can promulgate rules concerning the practice of law and the admission to the bar.
(e) False. Same reason as (d)
9. True or false. Explain your answer.
(a) a Justice of the Court of Appeals can be sued under the Revised Penal Code for “rendering an unjust decision”
(b) after June 30, 2010 Gloria Arroyo maybe charged before the court for graft and corruption
© a judge of the municipal trial court has no jurisdiction to declare a law unconstitutional
(d) the president of the Philippines cannot be sued
(e) the Chief Justice can be the chairman of the Judicial and Bar Council without violating the Constitution
(a) False. Only judges not justices (i.e. a court of appeals justice) are covered by the provisions of the Revised Penal Code. (See borromeo case) In Re: Wenceslao Laureta, supra.
"Respondents should know that the provisions of Article 204 of the Revised Penal Code as to 'rendering knowingly unjust judgment,' refer to an individual judge who does so 'in any case submitted to him for decision' and even then, it is not the prosecutor who would pass judgment on the ‘unjustness' of the decision rendered by him but the proper appellate court with jurisdiction to review the same, either the Court of Appeals and/or the Supreme Court. Respondents should likewise know that said penal article has no application to the members of a collegiate court such as this Court or its Divisions who reach their conclusions in consultation and accordingly render their collective judgment after due deliberation. It also follows, consequently, that a charge of violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act on the ground that such a collective decision is ‘unjust' cannot prosper.
* * * *
To subject to the threat and ordeal of investigation and prosecution, a judge, more so a member of the Supreme Court for official acts done by him in good faith and in the regular exercise of official duty and judicial functions is to subvert and undermine that very independence of the judiciary, and subordinate the judiciary to the executive. 'For it is a general principle of the highest importance to the proper administration of justice that a judicial officer in exercising the authority vested in him, shall be free-to act upon his own convictions, without apprehension of personal consequences to himself. Liability to answer to everyone who might feel himself aggrieved by the action of the judge would be inconsistent with the possession of this freedom, and would destroy that independence without which no judiciary can be either respectable or useful.' (Bradley vs. Fisher, 80 U.S. 335)
*** *** ***
To allow litigants to go beyond the Court's resolution and claim that the members acted 'with deliberate bad faith' and rendered an 'unjust resolution' in disregard or violation of the duty of their high office to act upon their own independent consideration and judgment of the matter at hand would be to destroy the authenticity, integrity and conclusiveness of such collegiate acts and resolutions and to disregard utterly the presumption of regular performance of official duty. To allow such collateral attack would destroy the separation of powers and undermine the role of the Supreme Court as the final arbiter of all justiciable disputes.
Dissatisfied litigants and/or their counsels cannot without violating the separation of powers mandated by the Constitution relitigate in another forum the final judgment of this Court on legal issues submitted by them and their adversaries for final determination to and by the Supreme Court and which fall within the judicial power to determine and adjudicate exclusively vested by the Constitution in the Supreme Court and in such inferior courts as may be established by law."
This is true, too, as regards judgments, otherwise appealable, which have become final and executory. Such judgments, being no longer reviewable by higher tribunals, are certainly not reviewable by any other body or authority.
(b) True, She is no longer immune from suit as she is no longer the sitting president.Immunity applies only to the sitting president, i.e. only during her term of office.
© True, The president is immune from suit.
(d) True, as expressly provided in the Constitution.
10. State whether the following statement is WRONG or Correct.
(a) The Sangguniang Panglungsod can cite a person for legislative contempt if he does not appear before it for investigation
(b) the Governor of the Province cannot make appointments a month before the end of his term
© a priest cannot be taxed for the donations received by him from abroad
(d) Congress can send a person to prison if he does not appear during investigations in aid of legislation
(e) Judicial power lies only in the Supreme Court
(a) WRONG. Legislative contempt applies only to Congress not to local legislative bodies
(b) CORRECT. Midnight appointment is only prohibited to the President of the Philippines not to local execs.
(c) WRONG. The exemption applies only to real property tax, not to donor’s tax or income tax.
(d) Correct. This is in exercise of the power of legislative contempt in investigations in aid of legislation
(e) WRONG. It also lies in all other courts established by law.
END OF THE EXAMINATION
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