Cases Until Executive

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  US v Ang Tang Ho 43 Phil. 1  –  Political Law  –  Delegation of Power  –  Administrative Bodies In July 1919, the Philippine Legislature (during special session) passed and approved Act No. 2868 entitled An Act Penalizing the Monopoly and Hoarding of Rice, Palay and Corn. The said act, under extraordinary circumstances, authorizes the Governor General (GG) to issue the necessary Rules and Regulations in regulating the distribution of such products. Pursuant to this Act, in August 1919, the GG issued Executive Order No. 53 which was published on August 20, 1919. The said EO fixed the price at which rice should be sold. On the other hand, Ang Tang Ho, a rice dealer, sold a ganta of rice to Pedro Trinidad at the price of eighty centavos. The said amount was way higher than that prescribed by the EO. The sale was done on the 6th of August 1919. On August 8, 1919, he was charged for violation of the said EO. He was found guilty as charged and was sentenced to 5 months imprisonment plus a P500.00 fine. He appealed the sentence countering that there is an undue delegation of power to the Governor General. ISSUE: Whether or not there is undue delegation to the Governor General. HELD: First of, Ang Tang Ho’s conviction must be reversed because he committed the act prio r to the publication of the EO. Hence, he cannot be ex post facto charged of the crime. Further, one cannot be convicted of a violation of a law or of an order issued pursuant to the law when both the law and the order fail to set up an ascertainable standard of guilt. Anent the issue of undue delegation, the said Act wholly fails to provide definitely and clearly what the standard policy should contain, so that it could be put in use as a uniform policy required to take the place of all others without the determination of the insurance commissioner in respect to matters involving the exercise of a legislative discretion that could not be delegated, and without which the act could not possibly be put in use. The law must be complete in all its terms and provisions when it leaves the legislative branch of the government and nothing must be left to the judgment of the electors or other appointee or delegate of the legislature, so that, in form and substance, it is a law in all its details in presenti, but which may be left to take effect in future, if necessary, upon the ascertainment of any prescribed fact or event. Mabanag v Lopez Vito 78 Phil 1 Petitioners include 3 senators and 8 representatives. The three senators were suspended by senate due to election irregularities. The 8 representatives were not allowed to take their seat in the lower House except in the election of the House Speaker. They argued that some senators and House Reps were not considered in determining the required ¾ vote (of each house) in order to pass the Resolution (proposing amendments to the Constitution)  –  which has been considered as an enrolled bill by then. At the same time, the votes were already entered into the Journals of the respective House. As a result, the Resolution was passed but it could have been otherwise were they allowed to vote. If these members of Congress had been counted, the affirmative votes in favor of the proposed amendment would have been short of the necessary three-fourths vote in either branch of Congress. Petitioners filed or the prohibition of the furtherance of the said resolution amending the constitution. Respondents argued that the SC cannot take cognizance of the case because the Court is bound by the conclusiveness of the enrolled bill or resolution. ISSUE: Whether or not the Court can take cognizance of the issue at bar. Whether or not the said resolution was duly enacted by Congress. HELD: As far as looking into the Journals is concerned, even if both the journals from each House and an authenticated copy of the Act had been presented, the disposal of the issue by the Court on the basis of the journals does not imply rejection of the enrollment theory, for, as already stated, the due enactment of a law may be proved in either of the two ways specified in section 313 of Act No. 190 as amended. The SC found in the journals no signs of irregularity in the passage of the law and did not bother itself  with considering the effects of an authenticated copy if one had been introduced. It did not do what the opponents of the rule of conclusiveness advocate, namely, look into the journals behind the enrolled copy in order to determine the correctness of the latter, and rule such copy out if the two, the journals and the copy, be found in conflict with each other. No discrepancy appears to have been noted between the two documents and the court did not say or so much as give to understand that if discrepancy existed it would give greater weight to the journals, disregarding the explicit provision that duly certified copies “shall be conclusive proof of the provisions of such Acts and of the due enactment thereof.”  **Enrolled Bill  –  that which has been duly introduced, finally passed by both houses, signed by the proper officers of each, approved by the president and filed by the secretary of state. Section 313 of the old Code of Civil Procedure (Act 190), as amended by Act No. 2210, provides: “Official documents may be proved as follows: . . . (2) the proceedings of the Philippine Commission, or of any legislatives body that may be provided for in the Philippine Islands, or of Congress, by the journals of those bodies or of either house thereof, or by published statutes or resolutions, or by copies certified by the clerk of secretary, or printed by their order; Provided, That in the case of Acts of the Philippine Commission or the Philippine Legislature, when there is an existence of a copy signed by the presiding officers and secretaries of said bodies, it shall be conclusive proof of the provisions of such Acts and of the due enactment thereof.”  The SC is bound by the contents of a duly authenticated resolution (enrolled bill) by the legislature. In case of conflict, the contents of an enrolled bill shall prevail over those of the journals. CASCO v GIMENEZ G.R. No. L-17931 February 28, 1963 Casco Philippine Chemical Co., Inc. was engaged in the production of synthetic resin glues used primarily in the production of plywood. The main components of the said glue are urea and formaldehyde which are both being imported abroad. Pursuant to RA 2609 (Foreign Exchange Margin Fee Law), the Central Bank of the Philippines issued on July 1, 1959, its Circular No. 95, fixing a uniform margin fee of 25% on foreign exchange transactions. To supplement the circular, the Bank later promulgated a memorandum establishing the procedure for applications for exemption from the payment of said fee, as provided in same law. In compliance, Casco paid the fees but later moved for reimbursement as Casco maintained that urea and formaldehyde are exempted from such fees. The CBP issued the vouchers for refund (pursuant to Resolution 1529 of the CBP) but the bank’s auditor refused to honor the vouchers since he maintained that this is in contrast to the provision of Sec 2, par 18 of RA 2609 which provides: “The margin established by the Monetary Board pursuant to the provision of section one hereof shall not be imposed upon the sale of foreign exchange for the importation of the following: xxx xxx xxx “XVIII. Urea formaldehyde for the manufacture of plywood and hardboard when imported by and for the exclusive use of end- users.”   The Auditor General, Gimenez, affirmed the ruling of CBP’s auditor. Casco maintains that the term “urea formaldehyde” appearing in this provision should be construed as “urea and formaldehyde” He further contends that the bill approved in Congress contained the copulative conjunction “and” between the terms “urea” and, “formaldehyde”, and that the members of Congress intended to exempt “urea” and “formaldehyde” separately as essential elements in the manufacture of the synthetic resin glue called “urea formaldehyde”, not the latter a finished product, citing in support of this view the statements made on the floor of the Senate, during the consideration of the bill before said House, by members thereof. ISSUE: Whether or not the term “urea formaldehyde” should be construed as “urea and formaldehyde”.    HELD: Urea formaldehyde is not a chemical solution. It is the synthetic resin formed as a condensation product from definite proportions of urea and formaldehyde under certain conditions relating to temperature, acidity, and time of reaction. This produce when applied in water solution and extended with inexpensive fillers constitutes a fairly low cost adhesive for use in the manufacture of plywood. “Urea formaldehyde” is clearly a finished product, which is patently distinct and different from “urea” and “formaldehyde”, as separate articles used in the manufacture of the synthetic resin known as “urea formaldehyde” The opinions of any member of Congress does not represent the entirety of the Congress itself. What is printed in the enrolled bill would be conclusive upon the courts. It is well settled that the enrolled bill —  which us es the term “urea formaldehyde” instead of “urea and formaldehyde” —  is conclusive upon the courts as regards the tenor of the measure passed by Congress and approved by the President. If there has been any mistake in the printing of the bill before it was certified by the officers of Congress and approved by the Executive —  on which the SC cannot speculate, without  jeopardizing the principle of separation of powers and undermining one of the cornerstones of our democratic system —  the remedy is by amendment or curative legislation, not by judicial decree. Bengzon v senate blue ribbon committee 203 SCRA 767 It was alleged that Benjamin “Kokoy” Romualdez and his wife together with the Marcoses  unlawfully and unjustly enriched themselves at the expense of the Filipino people. That they obtained with the help of the Bengzon Law Office and Ricardo Lopa  –   Cory’s brother in law, among others, control over some of the biggest business enterprises in the country including MERALCO, PCI Bank, Shell Philippines and Benguet Consolidated Mining Corporation. Senator Juan Ponce Enrile subsequently delivered a privilege speech alleging that Lopa took over various government owned corporations which is in violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Contained in the speech is a motion to investigate on the matter. The motion was referred to the Committee on Accountability of Public Officers or the Blue Ribbon Committee. After committee hearing, Lopa refused to testify before the committee for it may unduly prejudice a pending civil case against him. Bengzon likewise refused invoking his right to due process. Lopa however sent a letter to Enrile categorically denying his allegations and that his allegations are baseless and malicious. Enrile subsequently took advantage of the Senate’s privilege hour upon which he insisted to have an inquiry regarding the matter. The SBRC rejected Lopa’s and Bengzon’s plea.  Claiming that the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee is poised to subpoena them and require their attendance and testimony in proceedings before the Committee, in excess of its jurisdiction and legislative purpose, in clear and blatant disregard of their constitutional rights, and to their grave and irreparable damage, prejudice and injury, and that there is no appeal nor any other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, Bengzon et al filed a petition for prohibition with a prayer for temporary restraining order and/or injunctive relief against the SBRC. ISSUE: Whether or not the inquiry sought by the SBRC be granted. HELD: No, the inquiry cannot be given due course. The speech of Enrile contained no suggestion of contemplated legislation; he merely called upon the Senate to look into a possible violation of Sec. 5 of RA No. 3019, otherwise known as “The Anti - Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.” In other words, the purpose of the inquiry to be conducted by the Blue Ribbon Committee was to find out whether or not the relatives of Cory, particularly Lopa, had violated the law in connection with the alleged sale of the 36 or 39 corporations belonging to Kokoy to the Lopa Group. There appears to be, therefore, no intended legislation involved. Hence, the contemplated inquiry by the SBRC is not re ally “in aid of legislation” because it is not related to a purpose within the jurisdiction of Congress, since the aim of the investigation is to find out whether or not the relatives of the President or Mr. Ricardo Lopa had violated Section 5 of RA No. 30 19, the “Anti - Graft and Corrupt Practices Act”, a matter that appears more within  the province of the courts rather than of the legislature. Besides, the Court may take judicial notice that Mr. Ricardo Lopa died during the pendency of this case. Garcia V Mata G.R. No. L-33713 Facts: Garcia was a reserve officer on active duty who was reversed to inactive status. He filed an action for mandamus to compel the DND and AFP to reinstate him to active service and readjust his rank and pay emoluments. Garcia claims that his reversion to inactive status is violation of RA 1600 which prohibits the reversion of officers with at least 10 years of service. On the other hand, the AFP and DND contend that the said provision of RA 1600 has no relevance or pertinence to the budget in question or to any appropriation item therein. (RA 1600 was an appropriation law for 1956-57). Issue: Whether RA 1600 is valid? Does it contain rider in an appropriation bill? Held: The incongruity and irrelevancy are already evident. Section 11 of RA 1600 fails to disclose the relevance to any appropriation item. RA 1600 is an appropriation law for the operation of government while Section 11 refers to a fundamental governmental policy of calling to active duty and the reversion of inactive statute of reserve officers in the AFP. Hence it was A NON-APPROPRIATION ITEM INSERTED IN AN APPROPRIATION MEASURE, in violation of the constitutional prohibition against RIDERS to the general appropriation act. It was indeed a new and completely unrelated provision attached to the GAA. It also violates the rule on one-bill, one subject. The subject to be considered must be expressed in the title of the act. When an act contains provisions which are clearly not embraced in the subject of the act, as expressed in the title, such provisions are void, inoperative and without effect. SECTION 11 is unconstitutional. Garcia cannot compel the AFP to reinstate him. Demetria v Alba 148 scra 208 Demetrio Demetria et al as taxpayers and members of the Batasan Pambansa sought to prohibit Manuel Alba, then Minister of the Budget, from disbursing funds pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 1177 or the Budget Reform Decree of 1977. Demetria assailed the constitutionality of paragraph 1, Section 44 of the said PD. This Section provides that: “The President shall have the authority to transfer any fund, appropriated for the different departments, bureaus, offices and agencies of the Executive Department, which are included in the General Appropriations Act, to any program, project or activity of any department, bureau, or office included in the General Appropriations Act or approved after its enactment.”  Demetria averred that this is unconstitutional for it violates the 1973 Constitution. ISSUE: Whether or not Paragraph 1, Section 44, of PD 1177 is constitutional. HELD: No. The Constitution provides that no law shall be passed authorizing any transfer of appropriations, however, the President, the Prime Minister, the Speaker, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the heads of constitutional commissions may by law be authorized to augment any
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