Pre-Bar Quizzer in Political Law – Part I: Constitution of Government 51-60

51. May the President make temporary appointments involving the members of the Cabinet while Congress in  session or not in session? Distinguish ad interim appointment and appointment in an acting capacity.

Yes provided the temporary appointments of cabinet members do not exceed one (1) year. (SEN. AQUILINO PIMENTEL, et al., vs. EXEC. SECRETARY EDUARDO ERMITA, et al., 472 SCRA 587)

1.     The temporary appointments are valid. The power to appoint is essentially executive in nature and the legislature may not interfere with the exercise of this executive power except in those instances when the Constitution expressly allows it to interfere. The essence of an appointment in an acting capacity is its temporary nature. It is a stop-gap measure intended to fill an office for a limited time until the appointment of a permanent occupant to the office. In case of vacancy in an office occupied by an alter ego of the President, such as the office of a department secretary, the President must necessarily appoint an alter ego of her choice as acting secretary before the permanent appointee of her choice could assume office. Congress, through a law cannot impose on the President the obligation of automatically appointing the Undersecretary as her alter ego. He must be of the President’s confidence and provided that the temporary appointment does not exceed one (1) year.

There is a need to distinguish ad interim appointments and appointments in an acting capacity. While both are effective upon acceptance, ad interim appointments are extended only during the recess of Congress, whereas acting appointments may be extended any time that there is a vacancy. Moreover, ad interim appointments are submitted to the Commission on Appointments for confirmation or rejection; acting appointments are not submitted to the Commission on appointments. Acting appointments are a way of temporarily circumventing the need of confirmation by the Commission on Appointments.


52. What is the “take care power” of the President of the Philippines?

It is the power of the President under Section 17, Art. VII which provides that The President shall have control of all the executive departments , bureaus and offices. He shall ensure that the laws be faithfully  executed.


53. What is the power of control of the President. Distinguish it from power of supervision.

“Control” has been defined as “the power of an officer to alter or modify or nullify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former for test of the latter.”  “Supervision” on the other hand means “overseeing or the power or authority of an officer to see that subordinate officers perform their duties. (MONDANO VS. SILVOSA)


54. May the President validly require all officers and employees under the executive department to  maintain ID systems and have ID cards?

Yes in accordance with her power of control under Section 17, Art. VII of the Constitution. (KILUSANG MAYO UNO VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO ERMITA, ET AL., April 19, 2006 & June 20, 2006) But not for a national ID system which includes civilians  as held in Ople vs. Torres, supra.


55. What is the doctrine of qualified political agency?

It simply means that “the President is not expected to perform in person an the multifarious executive and administrative functions. The Office of the Executive Secretary is an auxillary unit which assists the President. Under our constitutional set-up, the Executive Secretary acts for and in behalf of the President: and by authority of the President, he has undisputed jurisdiction to affirm, modify, or even reverse any order of the Secretary of Natural Resources and other Cabinet Secretaries. Where the Executive Secretary acts “by authority of the President” his decision is that of the President. (Lacson-Magallanes Co., Inc. vs. Pano, 21 SCRA 895).


56. What are the differences between the power of the President to declare martial law or suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus under the 1987 Constitution and the previous Constitutions?

Under the 1987 Philippine Constitution, such acts of the President may be reviewed not only by the Supreme Court but also the Congress of the Philippines. Previously, such would be considered “political question” which is beyond the review powers of the courts. Likewise, there is a definite period for the said suspension unlike before  and more importantly, the grounds are only invasion and rebellion WHEN THE PUBLIC SAFETY REQUIRES IT. The Supreme Court may review, in an appropriate proceeding filed by any citizen, the  sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation of martial law or suspension of the privilege of the writ or the extension thereof, and  must promulgate its decision  thereon within 30 days from its filing.

A state of martial law does not suspend the operation of the Constitution, nor supplant the functioning of the civil courts or legislative assemblies, nor authorize the conferment of jurisdiction on military courts and agencies over civilians where civil courts are able to function, nor automatically suspend the privilege of the writ.

The suspension of the privilege of the writ shall apply only to persons judicially charged for rebellion or offenses inherent in or directly connected with invasion.

During the suspension of the privilege of the writ, any person thus arrested or detained shall be judicially charged within 3 days, otherwise, he shall be released.


57. May the President under the 1987 Constitution  validly issue decrees   after  declaring a state of national emergency. May she direct the take over of business affected with national interest by reason of the “emergency” which she herself proclaimed?

 In the case of PROF. RANDOLF S. DAVID,  et Al  VS. GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO,    AS PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF, et al., G.R. No. 171396, May 3, 2006, it was held that in declaring a state of national emergency, President Arroyo did not only rely on Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution, a provision calling on the AFP to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion.  She also relied on Section 17, Article XII, a provision on the State’s extraordinary power to take over privately-owned public utility and business affected with public interest.  The Supreme  Court ruled that the assailed PP 1017 is unconstitutional insofar as it grants President Arroyo the authority to promulgate “decrees.”  Legislative power is peculiarly within the province of the Legislature.  Section 1, Article VI categorically states that “[t]he legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives.”  To be sure, neither Martial Law nor a state of rebellion nor a state of emergency can justify President Arroyo’s exercise of legislative power by issuing decrees.

Likewise,  the exercise of emergency powers, such as the taking over of privately owned public utility or business affected with public interest, is also unconstitutional.     This requires a delegation from Congress.





58. What are the requisites of judicial review?

Courts may exercise  the power of judicial review only when the following requisites are present: first, there must be an actual case or controversy; second, petitioners have to raise a question of unconstitutionality; third, the constitutional question must be raised at the earliest opportunity; and fourth, the decision of the constitutional question must be necessary to the determination of the case itself.


59. When may the courts still validly decide moot and academic cases?


A moot and academic case is one that ceases to present a justiciable controversy by virtue of supervening events,[1] so that a declaration thereon would be of no practical use or value. Generally, courts decline jurisdiction over such case[2] or dismiss it on ground of mootness.  The “moot and academic” principle is not a magical formula that can automatically dissuade the courts in resolving a case.  Courts will decide cases, otherwise moot and academic, if:

first, there is a grave violation of the Constitution (Province of Batangas vs. Romulo, .R. No. 152774, May 27, 2004, 429 SCRA 736).

second, the exceptional character of the situation and the paramount public interest is involved (Lacson vs. Perez, G.R. No. 147780, May 10, 2001, 357 SCRA 756);

 third, when constitutional issue raised requires formulation of controlling principles to guide the bench, the bar, and the public (Province of Batangas vs. Romulo); and

fourth, the case is capable of repetition yet evading review (Albaña v. Commission on  Elections, G.R. No. 163302, July 23, 2004, 435 SCRA 98, Acop v. Guingona, Jr., G.R. No. 134855, July 2, 2002, 383 SCRA 577, Sanlakas v. Executive Secretary,      G.R. No. 159085, February 3, 2004, 421 SCRA 656. )


          60. Define locus standi.

          Locus standi is defined as “a right of appearance in a court of justice on a given question.”[3]   In private suits, standing is governed by the “real-parties-in interest” rule as contained in Section 2, Rule 3 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended. It provides that “every action must be prosecuted or defended in the name of the real party in interest.”  Accordingly, the “real-party-in interest” is “the party who stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit or the party entitled to the avails of the suit.[4] Succinctly put, the plaintiff’s standing is based on his own right to the relief sought.

[1]           Province of Batangas v. Romulo, G.R. No. 152774, May 27, 2004, 429 SCRA 736.

[2]           Royal Cargo Corporation v. Civil Aeronautics Board, G.R. Nos. 103055-56, January 26, 2004, 421 SCRA 21; Vda. De Dabao v. Court of Appeals, supra.

[3]           Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th Ed. 1991, p. 941.

[4]           Salonga v. Warner Barnes & Co., 88 Phil. 125 (1951).



Pre-Bar Quizzer in Political Law (Doctrinal Rulings, Requisites and Definitions) July, 2008 by Atty. Larry D. Gacayan

College of Law, University of the Cordilleras

Baguio City


About Magz

First of all, I am not a lawyer. I'm a graduate of AB Political Science and went to the College of Law but stopped going to law school for some reasons. I'm a passionate teacher who has been teaching English to speakers of other languages and a person who likes writing and blogging. I lost some important files and software when my computer broke down so the reason I created this website is to preserve the notes, reviewers and digests I collected when I was at the law school and at the same time, I want to help out law students who do not have enough time to go and read books in the library.

Posted on June 22, 2011, in Political Law and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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