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Case 16 Daza v Singson

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Daza v Singson
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  CASE # 16 DAZA V SINGSON FACTS  In accordance with Article VI, Section 18  the House of Representatives proportionally apportioned its twelve seats in the Commission on Appointments among the several political parties represented in that chamber. Petitioner Raul Daza  challenged his removal from the CoA and the assumption of his seat by Luis C. Singson . Daza  was among those chosen   as a representative of the Liberal Party(LP) . The LDP was reorganized a year later which resulted in a political realignment in the HR. Twenty four members of the LP  formally resigned from that party and joined the LDP.  On the basis of this development, the HR revised its representation in the CoA  withdrawing the seat occupied by the petitioner and giving this to the newly-formed LDP. Then, the chamber elected a new set of representatives consisting of the srcinal members except the petitioner and including therein respondent Luis C. Singson as the additional member from the LDP. Acting initially on Daza’s   petition for prohibition and injunction  with preliminary injunction, the court issued a temporary restraining order that same day to prevent both the petitioner and the respondent from serving in the Commission on Appointments. ISSUE /s: 1.   WON the case at bar is political in nature and contrary to the jurisdiction of the  Judiciary. 2. WON Daza can be removed from the CoA because the reorganization of the House representation in the said body is not based on a permanent political realignment because the LDP is not a duly registered political party and has not yet attained political stability HELD: 1.   Does the situation present a “political question”?   Political question 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 ” The question is justiciable. The issue is one of legality not of wisdom. The ascertainment of the manner of forming the Commission on Appointments is distinct from the discretion of the parties to designate their representatives. And even if the question were political in nature, it would still come under the expanded power of review in Article VIII, Section 1, which includes the authority to determine whether grave abuse of  discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction has been committed by any branch or instrumentality of the government. 2. If the petitioner's argument were to be pursued, the 157 members of the LDP in the House of Representatives would have to be denied representation in the CoA and, for that matter, also the Electoral Tribunal. The independents also cannot be represented because they belong to no political party. That would virtually leave the Liberal Party only with all of its seventeen members to claim all the twelve seats of the HR in the CoA and the six legislative seats in the House Electoral Tribunal. As for the other condition that the party must survive in a general congressional election, the LDP has doubtless also passed that test, if only vicariously. It may even be said that as it now commands the biggest following in the House of Representatives, the party has not only survived but in fact prevailed. The Constitution requires proportional representation of the parties in both houses of Congress. Nowhere, however, does the Constitution require that the party must be a registered party. (Moreover, in the course of the litigation, the Commission on Elections affirmed the registration of the LDP as a political party.) The sense of the Constitution is that the membership in the Commission on Appointments must always reflect political alignments in Congress and must therefore adjust to changes . It is understood that such changes in party affiliation must be permanent and not merely temporary alliances or factional divisions not involving severance of political loyalties or formal disaffiliation and permanent shifts of allegiance from one political party to another DISPOSITION WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED. The temporary restraining order dated January 13, 1989, is LIFTED. The Court holds that the respondent has been validly elected as a member of the Commission on Appointments and is entitled to assume his seat in that body pursuant to Article VI, Section 18, of the Constitution. No pronouncement as to costs.

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Jul 23, 2017
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