2019 Political


  1. Define the following terms:
    (a) Jus cogens (2%)
    (b) Principle of double criminality (2%)
    (c) Act of State doctrine (2%)
    (d) Precautionary principle (2%)

    Suggested Answers:

    (a) "The term `Jus Cogens' means the `compelling law.'" Corollary, "a Jus Cogens norm holds the highest hierarchical position among all other customary norms and principles." As a result, Jus Cogens norms are deemed "peremptory and non-derogable." When applied to international crimes, "Jus Cogens crimes have been deemed so fundamental to the existence of a just international legal order that states cannot derogate from them, even by agreement."(Bayan Muna vs. Romulo G.R. No. 159618 February 01, 2011

    (b) Under the double criminality rule, the extraditable offense must be criminal under the laws of both the requesting and the requested states". This simply means that the requested state comes under no obligation to surrender the person if its laws do not regard the conduct covered by the request for extradition as criminal. (Government Of Hongkong vs. Muñoz G.R. No. 207342 August 16, 2016)

    (c) Every sovereign state is bound to respect the independence of every other state, and the courts of one country will not sit in judgment on the acts of the government of another, done within its territory. Redress of grievances by reason of such acts must be obtained through the means open to be availed of by sovereign powers as between themselves. The act of state doctrine is one of the methods by which States prevent their national courts from deciding disputes which relate to the internal affairs of another State, the other two being immunity and non-justiciability. It is an avoidance technique that is directly related to a State's obligation to respect the independence and equality of other States by not requiring them to submit to adjudication in a national court or to settlement of their disputes without their consent. It requires the forum court to exercise restraint in the adjudication of disputes relating to legislative or other governmental acts which a foreign State has performed within its territorial limits. (PCGG vs. Sandiganbayan G.R. No. 124772 August 14, 2007)

    (d) Precautionary principle states that when human activities may lead to threats of serious and irreversible damage to the environment that is scientifically plausible but uncertain, actions shall be taken to avoid or diminish that threat. (Section 4, paragraph (f), A.M. No. 09-6-8-SC)

  2. Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), what are the rights of the Philippines within the following areas:
    (a) Contiguous zone (2%)
    (b) Exclusive economic zone (2%)

    Suggested Answers:

    (a) In a zone contiguous to its territorial sea, described as the contiguous zone, the coastal State may exercise the control necessary to: (a) prevent infringement of its customs, fiscal, immigration or sanitary laws and regulations within its territory or territorial sea; (b) punish infringement of the above laws and regulations committed within its territory or territorial sea (Article 33, UNCLOS

    (b) In the exclusive economic zone, the coastal State has: (a) sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing the natural resources, whether living or non-living, of the waters superjacent to the seabed and of the seabed and its subsoil, and with regard to other activities for the economic exploitation and exploration of the zone, such as the production of energy from the water, currents and winds; (b) jurisdiction as provided for in the relevant provisions of this Convention with regard to: (i) the establishment and use of artificial islands, installations and structures; (ii) marine scientific research; (iii) the protection and preservation of the marine environment; (c) other rights and duties provided for in this Convention (Article 56, UNCLOS)

  3. The Humanitarian Services Society (HSS), an international non-government organization, assisted the displaced families of Tribe X who had to flee their home country in order to escape the systematic persecution conducted against them by their countrys ruling regime based on their cultural and religious beliefs. Fearing for their lives, some of these displaced families, with the help of HSS, were able to sail out into the sea on a boat which eventually landed in Palawan. The Philippine Coast Guard intended to push back the boat with 15 passengers.

    An affiliate of HSS in the Philippines intervened on behalf these displaced families, claiming that they are refugees under international law and hence, should not be expelled from our territory.

    May the displaced families of Tribe X be considered "refugees" under international law? Explain. (3%)

    Suggested Answers:

    Yes, they are considered refugees under international law. A refugee is someone who is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion. (1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees)

    In this instance, Tribe X is escaping persecution from their country's ruling regime due to their cultural and religious beliefs. Hence they are refugees based on the definition. 

  4. Mrs. W supplies the Philippine National Police (PNP) with uniforms every year. Last month, he and two (2) other officers of the PNP conspired to execute a "ghost purchase", covered by five (5) checks amounting to 200,000.00 each, or a total of 1,000,000.00. An investigating committee within the PNP, which was constituted to look into it, invited Mrs. W, among others, for an inquiry regarding the anomalous transaction. Mrs. W accepted the invitation but during the committee hearing, she stated that she will not answer any question unless she be provided with the assistance of a counsel. The PNP officials denied her request; hence, she no longer participated in the investigation.

    (a) What is a custodial investigation? Under the 1987 Constitution, what are the rights of a person during custodial investigation? (3%)
    (b) Was the PNPs denial of Mrs. Ws request violative of her right to counsel in the proceedings conducted before the PNP? Explain.(2%)

    Suggested Answers:

    (a) Custodial investigation commences when a person is taken into custody and is singled out as a suspect in the commission of a crime under investigation and the police officers begin to ask questions on the suspect's participation therein and which tend to elicit an admission. (People vs. Rosauro G.R. No. 221424 July 19, 2017

    Any person under investigation for the commission of an offense shall have the right to be informed of his right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel preferably of his own choice. If the person cannot afford the services of counsel, he must be provided with one. These rights cannot be waived except in writing and in the presence of counsel. No torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which vitiate the free will shall be used against him. Secret detention places, solitary, incommunicado, or other similar forms of detention are prohibited. Any confession or admission obtained in violation of this or Section 17 hereof shall be inadmissible in evidence against him. (Article 12, 1987 Constitution)

    (b) No, there was no violation of her right to counsel as she was not yet singled out as a suspect. Being a general inquiry, her rights under custodial investigation did not yet arise hence there was no violation of her right to counsel.

  5. At about 5:30 A.M. of September 15, 2019 Police Senior Inspector Officer A of the Manila Police District Station received a text message from an unidentified civilian informer that one Mr. Z would be meeting up later that morning with two (2) potential sellers of drugs at a nearby restaurant. As such, Officer A decided to hang around the said place immediately.

    At about 9:15 A.M., two (2) male passengers. Named A and Y, who were each carrying a traveling bag, alighted from a bus in front of the restaurant. A transport barker, serving as a lookout for Officer A, signaled to the latter that X and Y were "suspicious-looking."

    As the two were about to enter the restaurant, Officer A stopped them and asked about the contents of their bags. Dissatisfied with their response that the bags contained only clothes, Officer A proceeded to search the bags and found packs of shabu therein. Thus, X and Y were arrested, and the drugs were seized from them. According to Officer A, a warrantless search was validly made pursuant to the stop and frisk rule; hence, the consequent seizure of the drugs was likewise valid.

    (a) What is the stop and frisk rule? (2.5%)
    (b) Was the stop and frisk rule validly invoked by Officer A? If not, what is the effect on the drugs seized as evidence? Explain. (2.5%)

    Suggested Answers:

    (a) A "stop and frisk" search is defined in People v. Chua as "the act of a police officer to stop a citizen on the street, interrogate him, and pat him for weapon(s) or contraband." Thus, the allowable scope of a "stop and frisk" search is limited to a "protective search of outer clothing for weapons." (Veridiano vs. People G.R. No. 200370 June 07, 2017

    (b) No, it was not validly invoked. Law enforcers do not have unbridled discretion in conducting "stop and frisk" searches. While probable cause is not required, a "stop and frisk" search cannot be validated on the basis of a suspicion or hunch. Law enforcers must have a genuine reason to believe, based on their experience and the particular circumstances of each case, that criminal activity may be afoot. Reliance on one (1) suspicious activity alone, or none at all, cannot produce a reasonable search. (Veridiano vs. People G.R. No. 200370 June 07, 2017)

    In this instance, the mere fact that the passengers were "suspicious-looking" does not serve as a general reason. Hence because the search was invalid, the evidence is inadmissible in evidence. 

  6. A committee of the Senate invited Mr. X and Mr. Y, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Secretary of Energy, respectively, as resource speakers for an inquiry in aid legislation. Mr. X refused to attend, arguing that the Senate, not its committee, has the power to compel attendance. Meanwhile, Mr. Y attended the committee hearing but upon being asked about discussions made during a closed-door cabinet meeting, he refused to answer invoking executive privilege. The committee members insisted that Mr. Y answer the question pursuant to the right of Congress to information from the executive branch.

    (a) Based on his argument, is Mr. Xs non-appearance permissible? Explain. (2.5%)
    (b) Is Mr. Ys refusal to answer based on executive privilege valid? Explain. (2.5%)

    Suggested Answers:

    (a) No, Mr. X's non-appearance is not permissible. Section 21. The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure. The rights of persons appearing in, or affected by, such inquiries shall be respected. (Article VI, Section 21, 1987 Constitution

    (b) No, Mr. Y's refusal is not valid. Congress undoubtedly has a right to information from the executive branch whenever it is sought in aid of legislation. If the executive branch withholds such information on the ground that it is privileged, it must so assert it and state the reason therefor and why it must be respected. (Senate vs. Ermita G.R. No. 169777 April 20, 2006) In this case, Mr. Y has not given any reason behind the invocation of executive privilege. Hence it is not valid. 

  7. The continuing threat to the security of the State in various parts of the country prompted the National Security Adviser of the President to adopt a "Comprehensive National Security Strategy (CNSS)" with the following components:

    Component 1: During a state of emergency, the President, in the exercise of his power of general supervision, may delegate to the heads of local government units (LGUs), through an administrative issuance, the power to call-out the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for a more effective and immediate response to the ground situation; and Component 2: In declaring Martial Law, the President, in a preemptive action and without waiting for the recommendation of the Secretary of National Defense and the AFP, may rely upon any intelligence information he may have gathered through other sources.

    Disturbed by the strategys supposed infirmities, a concerned citizens organization raised the constitutionality of the two (2) components of the CNSS before the Supreme Court.

    (a) Is component 1 of the CNSS constitutional? Explain. (2.5%)
    (b) Is component 2 of the CNSS constitutional? Explain. (2.5%)

    Suggested Answers:

    (a) No, it is unconstitutional to delegate his calling out power. It is only the President, as Executive, who is authorized to exercise emergency powers as provided under Section 23, Article VI, of the Constitution, as well as what became known as the calling-out powers under Section 7, Article VII thereof (Kulayan vs. Tan G.R. No. 187298 July 03, 2012)

    (b) Yes, it is constitutional. A plain reading of Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution shows that the President's power to declare martial law is not subject to any condition except for the requirements of actual invasion or rebellion and that public safety requires it. (Lagman vs. Medialdea G.R. No. 231658 July 04, 2017)

    In this instance, there is no requirement for a recommendation from any person such as a secretary.

  8. Mayor X and his City Administrator, Y, are political buddies who assumed their respective offices in 2010. Sometime in January 2012, Y proposed to Mayor X the entry into a 5,000,000.00 loan agreement with ABC Foundation, a non-stock and non-profit organization in which the two had a long-standing personal involvement. The loan agreement was duly executed in the same year but was never authorized and approved by the Sangguniang Panlungsod. It was further found that the same constituted a fraudulent scheme to defraud the City Government.

    Meanwhile. Mayor X won another term during the May 2013 Elections and Y continued on as his City Administrator. A year after, or in May 2014, administrative charges for grave misconduct, serious dishonesty, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service were filed against them before the Office of the Ombudsman. In defense, Mayor X argued that his subsequent reelection in May 2013 absolved him from any administrative liability for any alleged anomalous activity during his first term in office.

    Y raised the same defense of condonation, having been retained by Mayor X as City Administrator for a second term. On December 10, 2015, the Ombudsman rendered its ruling in the case, finding both Mayor X and Y administratively liable. Citing the Supreme Courts Decision in Carpio-Morales v. Court of Appeals (G.R. Nos. 217126-27), which was initially promulgated on November 10, 2015, the Ombudsman rejected their defense of condonation. With the motions for reconsideration of Mayor X and Y having been denied by the Ombudsman on March 10, 2016, they elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals.

    (a) Did the Ombudsman err in not giving credence to the defense of condonation as raised by Mayor X? Explain. (2%)
    (b) How about Y? Can he validly invoke the condonation doctrine to absolve him of the charge? Explain. (3%)

    Suggested Answers:

    (a) Yes, it erred as the condonation doctrine was still applicable at the time. It should, however, be clarified that this Court's abandonment of the condonation doctrine should be prospective in application for the reason that judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution, until reversed, shall form part of the legal system of the Philippines. (Carpio Morales vs. Court of Appeals G.R. Nos. 217126-27 November 10, 2015

    (b) No, the condonation doctrine cannot be applied as Y is an appointive official being a city administrator. The Court, citing Civil Service Commission v. Sojor, also clarified that the condonation doctrine would not apply to appointive officials since, as to them, there is no sovereign will to disenfranchise. (Carpio Morales vs. CA G.R. Nos. 217126-27 November 10, 2015

  9. The unabated rise of criminality and the reported identification of delinquent children loitering in the wee hours of the night prompted City Z to implement a curfew ordinance. Minors unaccompanied or unsupervised on the streets by their parents or guardians between 10:00 P.M. to 5:00 A.M. may be apprehended by law enforcers subject to certain exclusive exceptions. These exceptions are: 1. minors running lawful errands, such as buying of medicines, using of telecommunications facilities for emergency purposes and the like; 2. night school students; and 3. Minors working at night.

    Minors apprehended for violation of the curfew ordinance shall be required to undergo counseling, accompanied by their parents/guardians.

    (a) Does the curfew ordinance violative the primary right and duty of parents to rear their children? Explain. (2.5%)
    (b) Does the curfew ordinance infringe any of the minors fundamental rights? Explain. (2.5%)

    Suggested Answers:

    (a) While parents have the primary role in child-rearing, it should be stressed that "when actions concerning the child have a relation to the public welfare or the well-being of the child, the [S]tate may act to promote these legitimate interests." Thus, "[i]n cases in which harm to the physical or mental health of the child or to public safety, peace, order, or welfare is demonstrated, these legitimate state interests may override the parents' qualified right to control the upbringing of their children." (SPARK vs. Quezon City G.R. No. 225442 August 08, 2017

    Yes, it violates their rights as jurisprudence has ruled similar ordinances to be invalid. This Court observes that these two ordinances are not narrowly drawn in that their exceptions are inadequate and therefore, run the risk of overly restricting the minors' fundamental freedoms. To be fair, both ordinances protect the rights to education, to gainful employment, and to travel at night from school or work. However, even with those safeguards, the Navotas Ordinance and, to a greater extent, the Manila Ordinance still do not account for the reasonable exercise of the minors' rights of association, free exercise of religion, rights to peaceably assemble, and of free expression, among others. (Spark vs. Quezon City G.R. No. 225442 August 08, 2017)

  10. An Information for Estafa was filed against the accused, Mr. D. During the course of the trial, Mr. D filed a motion to dismiss for failure to prosecute the case for a reasonable length of time. Opposing the motion, the prosecution argued that its failure to present its witnesses was due to circumstances beyond its control. Eventually, the trial court dismissed the case with finality on the ground that Mr. Ds right to speedy trial was violated.

    A month after, the same criminal case for Estafa was refilled against Mr. D, prompting him to file a motion to dismiss invoking his right against double jeopardy. The prosecution opposed the motion, arguing that the first criminal case for Estafa was dismissed with the express consent of the accused as it was, in fact, upon his own motion. Moreover, it was already able to secure the commitments of its witnesses to appear; hence, it would be prejudicial for the State if the case were to be dismissed without trial.

    (a) For double jeopardy to attach, what requisites must exist? (2%)
    (b) Rule on Mr. Ds present motion. (3%)

    Suggested Answers:

    (a) For double jeopardy to attach, the following elements must concur: (1) a valid information sufficient in form and substance to sustain a conviction of the crime charged; (2) a court of competent jurisdiction; (3) the accused has been arraigned and had pleaded; and (4) the accused was convicted or acquitted or the case was dismissed without his express consent. (People vs. Alejandro G.R. No. 223099 January 11, 2018

    (b) Yes, it should be granted as there is an exception to the rule on express consent. On the last element, the rule is that a dismissal with the express consent or upon motion of the accused does not result in double jeopardy. However, this rule is subject to two exceptions, namely, if the dismissal is based on insufficiency of evidence or on the denial of the right to speedy trial. (Philippine Savings vs. Bermoy G.R. No. 151912 September 26, 2005

  11. Atty. G ran for Governor of the Province of Pampanga, while his close friend, Atty. M, ran for Mayor of the Municipality of Guagua, Pampanga. They both won convincingly. Eventually, the losing candidates timely filed election protests. The losing gubernatorial candidate, Mr. A, filed his protest before the Regional Trial Court of Pampanga (RTC), whereas the losing mayoralty candidate, Mr. B, filed his protest before the Municipal Trial Court of Guagua, Pampanga (MTC).

    (a) What are the term limits for the positions of Atty. G and Atty. M? (1%)
    (b) Does the RTC have jurisdiction over the case filed by Mr. A? Explain. (2%)
    (c) Does the MTC have jurisdiction over the case filed by Mr. B? Explain. (2%)

    Suggested Answers:

    (a) The term of office of all local elective officials elected after the effectivity of this Code shall be three (3) years, starting from noon of June 30, 1992 or such date as may be provided for by law, except that of elective barangay officials. No local elective official shall serve for more than three (3) consecutive terms in the same position. (Section 43, Local Government Code of 1991)  

    (b) No, being a governor, the jurisdiction properly belongs to COMELEC. Section 250. Election contests for Batasang Pambansa, regional, provincial and city offices. - A sworn petition contesting the election of any Member of the Batasang Pambansa or any regional, provincial or city official shall be filed with the Commission by any candidate who has duly filed a certificate of candidacy and has been voted for the same office, within ten days after the proclamation of the results of the election. (Election Code)

    (c) No, being a municipal mayor, the jurisdiction properly belongs to the RTC. Section 251. Election contests for municipal offices. - A sworn petition contesting the election of a municipal officer shall be filed with the proper regional trial court by any candidate who has duly filed a certificate of candidacy and has been voted for the same office, within ten days after proclamation of the results of the election. (Election Code)

  12. W, the incumbent Congressman of the Province of Albay, decided to run for Governor. He filed his certificate of candidacy (CoC) for Governor without resigning from his post and continued exercising his duties as Congressman, such as attending plenary sessions and committee hearings in the House of Representatives.

    One of Ws fiercest critics, X, claimed that W should not be dispensing the functions of a Congressman since he is deemed ipso facto resigned as such upon his filing of a CoC for Governor of Albay.

    (a) Is Xs argument correct? Explain. (2.5%)
    (b) Assuming that W is instead, an incumbent Undersecretary of the Department of National Defense, what is the effect of the filing of his CoC for the position of Governor of Albay to said post? Explain. (2.5%)

    Suggested Answers:

    (a) No, X's argument is not correct as he is a congressmen which is an elective official hence not ipso facto resigned. As Section 14 repealed Section 67 (i.e., the deemed-resigned provision in respect of elected officials) of the Omnibus Election Code, elected officials are no longer considered Ipso Facto resigned from their respective offices upon their filing of certificates of candidacy. (Quinto vs. Comelec G.R. No. 189698 February 22, 2010

    (b) Yes, W is an undersecretary which is an appointive official, his filing of candidacy would mean he automatically resigns from his position upon filing. In contrast, since Section 66 was not repealed, the limitation on appointive officials continues to be operative - they are deemed resigned when they file their certificates of candidacy. (Quinto vs. Comelec G.R. No. 189698 February 22, 2010

  13. Who are the impeachable officers under the 1987 Constitution? Briefly explain the process of impeaching them thereunder. (5%)

    Suggested Answers:

    Section 2. The President, the Vice-President, the Members of the Supreme Court, the Members of the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman may be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust. All other public officers and employees may be removed from office as provided by law, but not by impeachment.

    Section 3.

    1. The House of Representatives shall have the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment.

    2. A verified complaint for impeachment may be filed by any Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution or endorsement by any Member thereof, which shall be included in the Order of Business within ten session days, and referred to the proper Committee within three session days thereafter. The Committee, after hearing, and by a majority vote of all its Members, shall submit its report to the House within sixty session days from such referral, together with the corresponding resolution. The resolution shall be calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from receipt thereof.

    3. A vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be necessary either to affirm a favorable resolution with the Articles of Impeachment of the Committee, or override its contrary resolution. The vote of each Member shall be recorded.

    4. In case the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by at least one-third of all the Members of the House, the same shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment, and trial by the Senate shall forthwith proceed.

    5. No impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year.

    6. The Senate shall have the sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment. When sitting for that purpose, the Senators shall be on oath or affirmation. When the President of the Philippines is on trial, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall preside, but shall not vote. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate.

    7. Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than removal from office and disqualification to hold any office under the Republic of the Philippines, but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to prosecution, trial, and punishment, according to law.

    8. The Congress shall promulgate its rules on impeachment to effectively carry out the purpose of this section.

    (Article XII, 1987 Constitution

  14. A proposal to change a provision of the 1987 Constitution has been put forth as follows:

    Original Text: "The Philippines is a democratic and republican State. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them"

    Proposed text: "The Philippines is a democratic and socialist State. Sovereignty resides in the party and all government authority emanates from it."

    (a) Is this an amendment or revision? Explain. (2.5%)
    (b) Briefly explain the process to revise the 1987 Constitution. (2.5%)

    Suggested Answers:

    (a) This is a revision as the shift from republican to socialist state substantially alters a basic principle of the Constitution. 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. (Lambino vs. Comelec G.R. No. 174153 October 25, 2006

    (b) ARTICLE XVII AMENDMENTS OR REVISIONS Section 1. Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution may be proposed by:
    The Congress, upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members; or a constitutional convention.

    Section 2. Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a petition of at least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum of the registered voters therein. No amendment under this section shall be authorized within five years following the ratification of this Constitution nor oftener than once every five years thereafter. The Congress shall provide for the implementation of the exercise of this right.

    Section 3. The Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of all its Members, call a constitutional convention, or by a majority vote of all its Members, submit to the electorate the question of calling such a convention.

    Section 4.Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution under Section 1 hereof shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not earlier than sixty days nor later than ninety days after the approval of such amendment or revision. Any amendment under Section 2 hereof shall be valid when ratified by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite which shall be held not earlier than sixty days nor later than ninety days after the certification by the Commission on Elections of the sufficiency of the petition. (1987 Constitution)

  15. R was elected as Municipal Councilor for three (3) consecutive terms. Before the end of the third term, Vice Mayor S died, rendering his post vacant. Since R was the highest-ranking Municipal Councilor, he assumed the office of the Vice Mayor. One of his constituents, T, assailed Rs assumption of office, arguing that elections should have been conducted to fill in the vacancy following the death of Vice Mayor S.

    (a) Is T's contention correct? Explain. (2.5%)
    (b) Assuming that R validly assumed Ss post, at the end of Rs term as Vice Mayor, may he run, once more, for the position of Municipal Councilor? Or, is he prescribed to do so under the Local Government Code? Explain. (2.5%)

    Suggested Answers:

    (a) Section 44. Permanent Vacancies in the Offices of the Governor, Vice-Governor, Mayor, and Vice-Mayor. - If a permanent vacancy occurs in the office of the governor or mayor, the vice-governor or vice-mayor concerned shall become the governor or mayor. If a permanent vacancy occurs in the offices of the governor, vice-governor, mayor, or vice-mayor, the highest ranking sanggunian member or, in case of his permanent inability, the second highest ranking sanggunian member, shall become the governor, vice-governor, mayor or vice-mayor, as the case may be. (Local Government Code

    (b) Yes, he may run again as the Supreme Court has ruled similarly in jurisprudence. The Court ruled that Montebon's assumption of office as vice-mayor in January 2004 was an interruption of his continuity of service as councilor. The Court emphasized that succession in local government office is by operation of law and as such, it is an involuntary severance from office. Since the law no less allowed Montebon to vacate his post as councilor in order to assume office as vice- mayor, his occupation of the higher office cannot, without more, be deemed as a voluntary renunciation of his position as councilor. (Abundo vs. Comelec G.R. No. 201716 January 08, 2013

  16. Under the 1987 Constitution, to whom does each duty/power/privilege/prohibition/disqualification apply:

    (a) The authority to keep the general accounts of the Government and for such period provided by law, preserve the vouchers and other supporting documents pertaining thereto. (1%)
    (b) The power to allow small-scale utilization of natural resources by Filipino citizens, as well as cooperative fish farming, with priority to subsistence fishermen and fishworkers in rivers, lakes, bays, and lagoons. (1%)
    (c) The authority to provide for the standardization of compensation of government officials and employees. (1%)
    (d) The sole power to declare the existence of state of war. (1%)
    (e) The power to ratify treaties and international agreements. (1%)

    Suggested Answers:

    (a) Commission on Audit. It shall keep the general accounts of the Government and, for such period as may be provided by law, preserve the vouchers and other supporting papers pertaining thereto. (Article IX-D, 1987 Constitution)  

    (b) The Congress may, by law, allow small-scale utilization of natural resources by Filipino citizens, as well as cooperative fish farming, with priority to subsistence fishermen and fish workers in rivers, lakes, bays, and lagoons. (Article XII, 1987 Constitution)

    (c) The Congress shall provide for the standardization of compensation of government officials and employees, including those in government-owned or controlled corporations with original charters, taking into account the nature of the responsibilities pertaining to, and the qualifications required for, their positions. (Article IX-B, 1987 Constitution)

    (d) The Congress, by a vote of two-thirds of both Houses in joint session assembled, voting separately, shall have the sole power to declare the existence of a state of war. (Article VI, 1987 Constitution)

    (e) It should be emphasized that under our Constitution, the power to ratify is vested in the President, subject to the concurrence of the Senate. The role of the Senate, however, is limited only to giving or withholding its consent, or concurrence, to the ratification. Hence, it is within the authority of the President to refuse to submit a treaty to the Senate or, having secured its consent for its ratification, refuse to ratify it. (Pimentel vs. Executive Secretary G.R. No. 158088 July 06, 2005

  17. In 2014, Congress enacted an appropriation law containing a provision that gives individual legislators the discretion to determine, post-enactment, how much funds would go to a specific project or beneficiary which they themselves also determine. Consequently, disbursements were made in the interim pursuant thereto.

    Eventually, Mr. Z filed a petition questioning the constitutionality of the statutory provision on the grounds that it violates the separation of powers principle.

    On the other hand, certain Congressman argued that there was nothing wrong with the provision because, after all, the power to appropriate belongs to Congress.

    (a) Rule on the arguments of the parties. (2.5%)
    (b) Assuming that the provision is declared unconstitutional, should the disbursements made pursuant thereto be returned in light of the doctrine of operative fact? Explain. (2.5%)

    Suggested Answers:

    (a) I would rule that such delegation to individual legislators is unconstitutional based on Supreme Court Jurisprudence. In the cases at bar, the Court observes that the 2013 PDAF Article, insofar as it confers post-enactment identification authority to individual legislators, violates the principle of non-delegability since said legislators are effectively allowed to individually exercise the power of appropriation, which as settled in Philconsa is lodged in Congress (Belgica vs. Ochoa G.R. No. 208566 November 19, 2013

    (b) No, it should be not be returned as based on the operative fact doctrine, the disbursements should still be enforced. The operative fact doctrine exhorts the recognition that until the judiciary, in an appropriate case, declares the invalidity of a certain legislative or executive act, such act is presumed constitutional and thus, entitled to obedience and respect and should be properly enforced and complied with. (Belgica vs. Ochoa G.R. No. 208566 November 19, 2013

  18. A was appointed by the President as a Commissioner of the Commission on Election (COMELEC) while Congress was not in session. Pending confirmation of his appointment by the Commission on Appointments, A started to perform his official functions in the COMELEC, such as attending en banc sessions, hearing election protests, signing Resolutions, issuing Orders, and appearing before Congress during budget hearings.

    Atty. B questioned before the Supreme Court the exercise of official functions by A, stating that his ad interim appointment is not a permanent appointment but a temporary one pending confirmation by the Commission on Appointments, and thus, prohibited under Article IX-C of the 1987 Constitution which states that "[i]n no case shall any Member [of the COMELEC] be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity."

    (a) Is Atty. Bs contention correct? Explain. (2.5%)
    (b) If the Commission on Appointments by-passed the confirmation of A, can he still be reappointed by the President? Explain. (2.5%)

    Suggested Answers:

    (a) No, Atty. B is wrong as it is not a temporary appointment. An ad interim appointment is a permanent appointment because it takes effect immediately and can no longer be withdrawn by the President once the appointee has qualified into office. The fact that it is subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments does not alter its permanent character. The Constitution itself makes an ad interim appointment permanent in character by making it effective until disapproved by the Commission on Appointments or until the next adjournment of Congress. (Matibag vs. Benipayo G.R. No. 149036 April 02, 2002)

    (b) Yes, he may still be reappointed based on Supreme Court Jurisprudence. An ad interim appointment that is by-passed because of lack of time or failure of the Commission on Appointments to organize is another matter. A by-passed appointment is one that has not been finally acted upon on the merits by the Commission on Appointments at the close of the session of Congress. There is no final decision by the Commission on Appointments to give or withhold its consent to the appointment as required by the Constitution. Absent such decision, the President is free to renew the ad interim appointment of a by-passed appointee. (Matibag vs. Benipayo G.R. No. 149036 April 02, 2002)

  19. Candidate X, a naturalized Filipino citizen, ran for Congressman for the Lone District of Batanes. After a close electoral contest, he won by a slim margin of 500 votes. His sole opponent, Y, filed an election protest before the Commission on Election (COMELEC), claiming that X should be disqualified to run for said position because he is not a natural-born citizen. While the case was pending, X was proclaimed by the Provincial Election Supervisor of Batanes as the duly elected Congressman of the province.

    (a) Distinguish between natural-born and naturalized citizen under the 1987 Constitution (2%)
    (b) Is X qualified to run for Congress? Explain. (1%)
    (c) Did Xs proclamation divest the COMELEC of its jurisdiction to decide the case and vest the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) jurisdiction to hear the case? Explain. (2%)

    Suggested Answers:

    (a) Section 2. Natural-born citizens are those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship. Those who elect Philippine citizenship in accordance with paragraph (3), Section 1 hereof shall be deemed natural-born citizens. (Article IV, 1987 Constitution

    (b) Section 6. No person shall be a Member of the House of Representatives unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines and, on the day of the election, is at least twenty-five years of age, able to read and write, and, except the party-list representatives, a registered voter in the district in which he shall be elected, and a resident thereof for a period of not less than one year immediately preceding the day of the election. (Article VI, 1987 Constitution)

    (c) No, HRET does not yet have jurisdiction. The Court has invariably held that once a winning candidate has been proclaimed, taken his oath, and assumed office as a Member of the House of Representatives, the COMELEC's jurisdiction over election contests relating to his election, returns, and qualifications ends, and the HRET's own jurisdiction begins. (Vinzons-chato vs. Comelec G.R. No. 172131 April 02, 2007) In this instance, X has not yet assumed office so HRET still does not have jurisdiction over the case. 

  20. H, a naturalized American citizen who later became a dual citizen under Republic Act No. 9225 (the Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act), decided to run for Congress and thus, filed a certificate of candidacy (CoC). A citizen argued that H is ineligible for the position because of his status as a dual citizen. H responded that his act of filing a CoC amounted to his renunciation of foreign citizenship, rendering him eligible for the position.

    (a) Was H's filing of a CoC sufficient to renounce foreign citizenship? Explain. (2.5%)
    (b) Assuming that H is a dual citizen because his parents are Filipino citizens and he was born in California, USA, was filing of a CoC sufficient to renounce his foreign citizenship? Explain. (2.5%)

    Suggested Answers:

    (a) No, the mere filing is insufficient based on jurisprudence which provided that a personal renunciation is required for natural born citizens naturalized abroad who now seek to file a certificate of candidacy. Congress enacted RA 9225 allowing natural-born citizens of the Philippines who have lost their Philippine citizenship by reason of their naturalization abroad to reacquire Philippine citizenship and to enjoy full civil and political rights upon compliance with the requirements of the law. They may now run for public office in the Philippines provided that they: (1) meet the qualifications for holding such public office as required by the Constitution and existing laws; and, (2) make a personal and sworn renunciation of any and all foreign citizenships before any public officer authorized to administer an oath prior to or at the time of filing of their CoC. (Arnado vs. Comelec G.R. No. 210164 August 18, 2015

    (b) Yes, it is sufficient as H's status was involuntary. Dual citizenship is involuntary and arises when, as a result of the concurrent application of the different laws of two or more states, a person is simultaneously considered a national by the said states. Thus, like any other natural-born Filipino, it is enough for a person with dual citizenship who seeks public office to file his certificate of candidacy and swear to the oath of allegiance contained therein. (Cordora vs. Comelec G.R. No. 176947 February 19, 2009

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