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SENATE OF PHILIPPINES v. EDUARDO R. ERMITA

This case has been cited 34 times or more.

2015-04-07
REYES, J.
In compliance with the Court's Resolution[6] dated April 22, 2014, the JBC[7] and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG)[8] separately submitted their Comments. Summing up the arguments of the JBC and the OSG, they essentially stated that the petition is procedurally infirm and that the assailed policy does not violate the equal protection and due process clauses. They posited that: (1) the writ of certiorari and prohibition cannot issue to prevent the JBC from performing its principal function under the Constitution to recommend appointees to the Judiciary because the JBC is not a tribunal exercising judicial or quasi-judicial function; (2) the remedy of mandamus and declaratory relief will not lie because the petitioner has no clear legal right that needs to be protected; (3) the equal protection clause is not violated because the classification of lower court judges who have served at least five years and those who have served less than five years is valid as it is performance and experience based; and (4) there is no violation of due process as the policy is merely internal in nature.
2013-03-05
BERSAMIN, J.
Under the circumstances, when the members of the Board of Directors effected the assailed 2002 reorganization, they were acting as the responsible members of the Board of Directors of TIDCORP constituted pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 1080, as amended by Republic Act No. 8494, not as the alter egos of the President. We cannot stretch the application of a doctrine that already delegates an enormous amount of power. Also, it is settled that the delegation of power is not to be lightly inferred.[25]
2012-07-17
MENDOZA, J.
The Courts' power of judicial review, like almost all other powers conferred by the Constitution, is subject to several limitations, namely: (1) there must be an actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power; (2) the person challenging the act must have "standing" to challenge; he must have a personal and substantial interest in the case, such that he has sustained or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement; (3) the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest possible opportunity; and (4) the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case.[27] Generally, a party will be allowed to litigate only when these conditions sine qua non are present, especially when the constitutionality of an act by a co-equal branch of government is put in issue.
2012-04-24
MENDOZA, J.
Like almost all powers conferred by the Constitution, the power of judicial review is subject to limitations, to wit: (1) there must be an actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power; (2) the person challenging the act must have the standing to question the validity of the subject act or issuance; otherwise stated, he must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement; (3) the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case.[16]
2010-12-07
MENDOZA, J.
Like almost all powers conferred by the Constitution, the power of judicial review is subject to limitations, to wit: (1) there must be an actual case or controversy calling for the exercise of judicial power; (2) the person challenging the act must have the standing to question the validity of the subject act or issuance; otherwise stated, he must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its enforcement; (3) the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest opportunity; and (4) the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis mota of the case.[19]
2010-07-08
BRION, J.
The Court, through Associate Justice Florentino P. Feliciano (now retired), provided the following instructive guides as determinants in determining whether a matter is of transcendental importance: (1) the character of the funds or other assets involved in the case; (2) the presence of a clear case of disregard of a constitutional or statutory prohibition by the public respondent agency or instrumentality of the government; and (3) the lack of any other party with a more direct and specific interest in the questions being raised.[25]
2010-07-08
BRION, J.
In the present case, the petitioner alleges that the constitutionality and legality of the assailed provision are of "immense importance to the public"[33] and are a "recipe for financial ruin of the affected parties."[34]  Moreover, it maintains that its petition raises transcendental and weighty issues that would merit the Honorable Court's exercise of original jurisdiction.[35]  To support its position, it cites the cases of the Senate of the Philippines v. Ermita[36] and Ople v. Torres.[37]
2009-11-20
CHICO-NAZARIO, J.
In fact, this Court, when it rendered the Decision it merely recognized that the questioned proclamation came from a co-equal branch of government, which entitled it to a strong presumption of constitutionality.[37] The presumption of its constitutionality stands inasmuch as the parties in the instant cases did not question its validity, much less present any evidence to prove that the same is unconstitutional. This is in line with the precept that administrative issuances have the force and effect of law and that they benefit from the same presumption of validity and constitutionality enjoyed by statutes.[38]
2008-09-04
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.
Respondent Committees ardently argue that the Court's declaration that presidential communications are presumptively privileged reverses the "presumption" laid down in Senate v. Ermita[11] that "inclines heavily against executive secrecy and in favor of disclosure." Respondent Committees then claim that the Court erred in relying on the doctrine in Nixon.
2008-09-04
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.
For its part, the Office of the Solicitor General maintains that: (1) there is no categorical pronouncement from the Court that the assailed Orders were issued by respondent Committees pursuant to their oversight function; hence, there is no reason for them "to make much" of the distinction between Sections 21 and 22, Article VI of the Constitution; (2) presidential communications enjoy a presumptive privilege against disclosure as earlier held in Almonte v. Vasquez[9] and Chavez v. Public Estates Authority (PEA)[10]; (3) the communications elicited by the three (3) questions are covered by executive privilege, because all the elements of the presidential communications privilege are present; (4) the subpoena ad testificandum issued by respondent Committees to petitioner is fatally defective under existing law and jurisprudence; (5) the failure of the present Senate to publish its Rules renders the same void; and (6) respondent Committees arbitrarily issued the contempt order.
2008-07-16
CARPIO MORALES, J.
It is well-established in jurisprudence that neither the right to information nor the policy of full public disclosure is absolute, there being matters which, albeit of public concern or public interest, are recognized as privileged in nature. The types of information which may be considered privileged have been elucidated in Almonte v. Vasquez,[17] Chavez v. PCGG,[18] Chavez v. Public Estate's Authority,[19] and most recently in Senate v. Ermita[20] where the Court reaffirmed the validity of the doctrine of executive privilege in this jurisdiction and dwelt on its scope.
2008-07-16
CARPIO MORALES, J.
The privilege is an exemption to Congress' power of inquiry.[59] So long as Congress itself finds no cause to enforce such power, there is no strict necessity to assert the privilege. In this light, respondents' failure to invoke the privilege during the House Committee investigations did not amount to a waiver thereof.
2008-07-16
CARPIO MORALES, J.
In Senate v. Ermita,[115] the Court defined"executive privilege" as the right of the President and high-level executive branch officials to withhold information from Congress, the courts, and the public.
2008-07-16
CARPIO MORALES, J.
E.O 464 is concerned only with the demands of Congress for the appearance of executive officials in the hearings conducted by it, and not with the demands of citizens for information pursuant to their right to information on matters of public concern.[261] (emphasis supplied)
2008-07-16
CARPIO MORALES, J.
In sum, transparency and opacity are not either-or propositions in the conduct of international trade agreement negotiations. The degree of confidentiality necessary in a particular negotiation is a point in a continuum where complete disclosure and absolute secrecy are on opposite ends.[309] In assigning this fulcrum point, it is my humble view that the Court should balance the need for secrecy of the Executive and the demand for information by the legislature or the public. The balancing act in every case safeguards against disclosure of information prejudicial to the public interest and upholds the fundamental principle enunciated in Senate v. Ermita[310] -- that a claim of executive privilege "may be valid or not depending on the ground invoked to justify it and the context in which it is made."[311]
2008-03-25
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.
among others, the case of Senate v. Ermita[17] when they are invited to legislative inquiries in aid of legislation.
2008-03-25
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.
At the outset, a glimpse at the landmark case of Senate v. Ermita[18]becomes imperative. Senate draws in bold strokes the distinction between the legislative and oversight powers of the Congress, as embodied
2008-03-25
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.
More recently, this Court decided the 2006 case Senate of the Philippines v. Ermita.[110] At issue in this case was the constitutionality of Executive Order (EO) No. 464, "Ensuring Observance of the Principle of Separation of Powers, Adherence to the Rule on Executive Privilege and Respect for the Rights of Public Officials Appearing in Legislative Inquiries in Aid of Legislation under the Constitution, and for Other Purposes." The presidential issuance was handed down at a time when the Philippine Senate was conducting investigations on the alleged overpricing of the North Rail Project; and the alleged fraud in the 2004 national elections, exposed through the much-publicized taped conversation allegedly between President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Commission on Elections Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano.
2008-03-25
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.
From the above discussion on the meaning and scope of executive privilege, both in the United States and in this jurisdiction, a clear principle emerges. Executive privilege, whether asserted against Congress, the courts, or the public, is recognized only in relation to certain types of information of a sensitive character. While executive privilege is a constitutional concept, a claim thereof may be valid or not depending on the ground invoked to justify it and the context in which it is made. Noticeably absent is any recognition that executive officials are exempt from the duty to disclose information by the mere fact of being executive officials. Indeed, the extraordinary character of the exemptions indicates that the presumption inclines heavily against executive secrecy and in favor of disclosure.[177] (emphasis supplied)
2008-03-25
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.
The statement in Senate v. Ermita that the "extraordinary character of the exemptions indicates that the presumption inclines heavily against executive secrecy and in favor of disclosure"[182] must therefore be read to mean that there is a general disfavor of government privileges as held in In Re Subpoena for Nixon, especially considering the bias of the 1987 Philippine Constitution towards full public disclosure and transparency in government. In fine, Senate v. Ermita recognized the Presidential communications privilege in U.S. v. Nixon and the qualified presumptive status that the U.S. High Court gave that privilege. Thus, respondent Senate Committees' argument that the burden is on petitioner to overcome a presumption against executive privilege cannot be sustained.
2008-03-25
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.
At the outset, a glimpse at the landmark case of Senate v. Ermita[18]becomes imperative. Senate draws in bold strokes the distinction between the legislative and oversight powers of the Congress, as embodied
2008-03-25
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.
On September 26, 2007, petitioner testified before respondent Committees for eleven (11) hours. He disclosed that then Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Chairman Benjamin Abalos offered him P200 Million in exchange for his approval of the NBN Project. He further narrated that he informed President Arroyo about the bribery attempt and that she instructed him not to accept the bribe. However, when probed further on what they discussed about the NBN Project, petitioner refused to answer, invoking "executive privilege". In particular, he refused to answer the questions on (a) whether or not President Arroyo followed up the NBN Project,[6] (b) whether or not she directed him to prioritize it,[7] and (c) whether or not she directed him to approve.[8]
2007-08-29
CARPIO MORALES, J.
Moreover, MDOI raises no issue of transcendental importance to justify a relaxation of the rule on legal standing. To be accorded standing on the ground of transcendental importance, Senate of the Philippines v. Ermita[17] requires that the following elements must be established: (1) the public character of the funds or other assets involved in the case, (2) the presence of a clear case of disregard of a constitutional or statutory prohibition by the public respondent agency or instrumentality of government, and (3) the lack of any other party with a more direct and specific interest in raising the questions being raised. The presence of these elements MDOI failed to establish, much less allege.
2006-11-16
CARPIO, J.
Nor is there merit to petitioner's claim that the Court should relax the standing requirement because of the "transcendental importance" of the issues the petition raises. As an exception to the standing requirement, the transcendental importance of the issues raised relates to the merits of the petition.[5] Thus, the party invoking it must show, among others, the presence of a clear disregard of a constitutional or statutory prohibition.[6] Petitioner has not shown such clear constitutional or statutory violation.
2006-10-17
SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ, J.
It can be said that the Congress' power of inquiry has gained more solid existence and expansive construal.  The Court's high  regard  to  such power is rendered more evident in Senate v. Ermita,[21] where it categorically ruled that  "the power of inquiry is broad enough to cover officials of the executive branch."  Verily, the Court reinforced the doctrine in Arnault that "the operation of government, being a legitimate subject for legislation,  is a proper subject for investigation" and  that "the power of inquiry is co-extensive with the power to legislate."
2006-08-15
TINGA, J.
On the very day of the hearing, 28 September 2005, President Gloria-Macapagal-Arroyo issued Executive Order No. 464 (E.O. 464). The OSG notes that the E.O. "enjoined officials of the executive department including the military establishment from appearing in any legislative inquiry without her approval."[10] This Court subsequently ruled on the constitutionality of the said executive order in Senate v. Ermita.[11] The relevance of E.O. 464 and Senate to the present petition shall be discussed forthwith.