2019 BAR EXAMINATION
POLITICAL LAW

– Part II –

B.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 (1%)

(c) Does the MTC have jurisdiction over the case filed by Mr. B? Explain (1%)

B.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 W’s 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 X’s 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%)

B.13.

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

B.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 a revision? (2.5%)

(b) Briefly explain the process to revise the 1987 Constitution. (2.5%)

B.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 R’s 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 S’s post, at the end of R’s term as Vice Mayor, may he run, once more, for the position of Municipal Councilor? Or is he proscribed to do so under the Local Government Code? Explain. (2.5%)

B.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 a state of war. (1%)

(e) The power to ratify treaties and international agreements. (1%)

B.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 ground that it violates the separation of powers principle. On the other hand, certain Congressmen 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%)

B.18.

          A was appointed by the President as a Commissioner of the Commission on Elections (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. B’s 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%)

B.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 Elections (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 citizens under the 1987 Constitution. (2%)
(b) Is X qualified to run for Congress? Explain. (1%)
(c) Did X’s 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%)

B.20.

          H, a naturalized American citizen who later became a dual citizen under Republic Act No. 9225 (the Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act), decide 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 his filing of a CoC sufficient to renounce his foreign citizenship? Explain. (2.5%)

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