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Arroyo vs De Venecia 277 SCRA 268 1997 Facts: Petitioners are members of the House of Representatives. They brought this suit against respondents charging violation of the rules of the House which petitioners claim are constitutionally mandated so that their violation instant amount to a violation of the Constitution. In the course of his interpellation, Rep. Arroyo announced that he was going to raise a question on the quorum, although until the end of his interpell
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  Arroyo vs De Venecia277 SCRA 268 1997Facts: Petitioners are members of the House of Representatives. They brought this suit against respondents charging violation ofthe rules of the House which petitioners claim are constitutionally mandated so that their violation instant amount to a violation of the Constitution. In the course of his interpellation, Rep. Arroyo announced that he was going to raise a question on the quorum, although until the end of his interpellation he never did. On the same day, the bill was signed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate and certified by the respective secretaries ofboth Houses of Congress as having been finally passed by the House of Representatives and by the Senate on November21, 1996. The enrolled bill was signed into law by President Fidel V. Ramos on November 22, 1996. Issue: Whether R.A. No. 8240 is null and void because it was passed in violation of the rules of the House;Whether the certification of Speaker De Venecia that the law was properly passed is false and spurious;Whether the Chair, in the process of submitting and certifying the law violated House Rules; andWhether a certiorari/prohibition will be granted. Held:  That after considering the arguments of the parties, the Court finds no ground for holding that Congress committed a grave abuse of discretion in enacting R.A. No. 8240 This case is therefore dismissed. Ratio:  To disregard the enrolled bill rule in such cases would be to disregard the respect due the other two departments of our government. It would be an unwarranted invasion of the prerogative of a coequal department for this Court either to set aside a legislative action as void because the Court thinks the House has disregarded its own rules of procedure, or to allow those defeated in the political arena to seek a rematch in the judicial forum when petitioners can find their remedy in that department itself. The Court has not been invested with a roving commission to inquire into complaints, real or imagined, of legislative skulduggery. It would be acting in excess of its power and would itself be guilty of grave abuse of its discretion were it to do so. The suggestion made in a case may instead appropriately be made here: petitioners can seek the enactment of a new law or the repeal or amendment of R.A. No. 8240. In the absence of anything to the contrary, the Court must assume that Congress or any House thereof acted in the good faith belief that its conduct was permitted by its rules, and deference rather than disrespect is due the judgment of that body. In view of what is essential: Merely internal rules of procedure of the House rather than constitutional requirements for the enactment of a law, i.e., Art.VI, §§26-27 are VIOLATED. First, in Osmeña v. Pendatun, it was held: At any rate, courts have declared that 'the rules adopted by deliberative bodies are subject to revocation, modification or waiver at the pleasure of the body adopting them.' And it has been said that ‘Parliamentary rules are merely procedural, and with their observance, the courts have noconcern. They may be waived or disregarded by the legislative body. Consequently, 'mere failure to conform to parliamentary usage will not invalidate the action (taken by a deliberative body) when the requisite number of members have agreed to a particular measure.' Rules are hardly permanent in character. The prevailing view is that they are subjectto revocation, modification or waiver at the pleasure of the body adopting them as they are primarily procedural. Courts ordinarily have no concern with their observance. They may be waived or disregarded by the legislative body. Consequently, mere failure to conform to them does not have the effect of nullifying the act taken if the requisite numbers of members have agreed to a particular measure. In view of the Courts jurisdiction  This Court's function is merely to check whether or not the governmental branch or agency has gone beyond the constitutional limits of its jurisdiction, not that it erred or has a different view. In the absence of a showing . . . of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction, there is no occasion for the Court to exercise its corrective power. . . . It has no power to look into what it thinks is apparent error. If, then, the established rule is that courts cannot declare an act of the legislature void on account merely of noncompliance with rules of procedure made by itself, it follows that such acase does not present a situation in which a branch of theGovernment has gone beyond the constitutional limits of its jurisdiction In view of House Rules: No rule of the House of Representatives has been cited which specifically requires that in cases such as this involving approval of a conference committee report, the Chair must restate the motion and conduct a viva voce or nominal voting.  Mr TOLENTINO. The fact that nobody objects means a unanimous action of the House. Insofar as the matter of procedureis concerned, this has been a precedent since I came here seven years ago, and it has been the procedure in this House that if somebody objects, then a debate follows and after the debate, then the voting comes inner does the Constitution require that the yeas and the nays of the Members be taken every time a House has to vote, except only in the following instances: upon the last and third readings of a bill, at the request of one-fifth of the Members present, and in re-passing abill over the veto of the President. In view of grave abuse Indeed, the phrase grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction has a settled meaning in the jurisprudence of procedure. It means such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment by a tribunal exercising  judicial orquasi judicial power as to amount to lack of power. In view of the enrolled bill doctrine Under the enrolled bill doctrine, the signing of H. No. 7198 by the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate and the certification by the secretaries of both Houses of Congress that it was passed on November 21, 1996 are conclusive of its due enactment. This Court quoted from Wigmore on Evidence the following excerpt which embodies good, if old-fashioned democratic theory: “Instead of trusting a faithful Judiciary to check an inefficient Legislature, they should turn to improve the Legislature. The sensible solution is not to patch and mend casual errors by asking the Judiciary to violate legal principle and to do impossibilities with the Constitution; but to represent ourselves with competent, careful, and honest legislators, the work of whose hands on the statute-roll may come to reflect credit upon thename of popular government.” (In view of justifiability according to PUNO, J) With due respect, I do not agree that the issues posed byte petitioner are non-justifiable. Nor do I agree that we will trivialize the principle of separation of power if we assume jurisdiction over the case at bar. Even in the United States, the principle of separation of power is no longer an impregnable impediment against the interposition of judicial power on cases involving breach of rules of procedure by legislators. The Constitution empowers each house to determine its rules of proceedings. It may not by its rules ignore constitutional restraints or violate fundamental rights, and there should be reasonable relation between the mode or method of proceedings established by the rule and the result which is sought to be attained. But within these limitations all matters of method are open to the determination of the House, and it is no impeachment of the rule to say that some other way would be better, more accurate, or even more just. Astorga vs Villegas56 SCRA 7141974Facts: On March 30, 1964 House Bill No. 9266, a bill of local application, was filed in the House of Representatives. It was there passed on third reading without amendments on April 21, 1964. Forthwith the bill was sent to the Senate for its concurrence. It was referred to the Senate Committee on Provinces and Municipal Governments and Cities headed by Senator Gerardo M. Roxas. The committee favourably recommended approval with a minor amendment, suggested by Senator Roxas, that instead of the City Engineer it be the President Protempore of the Municipal Board who should succeed the Vice-Mayor in case of the latter’s incapacity to act as Mayor. On July 31, 1964 the President of the Philippinessent a message to the presiding officers of both Houses of Congress informing them that in view of the circumstances he was officially withdrawing his signature on House Bill No.9266 (which had been returned to the Senate the previous July3),adding that it would be untenable and against public policy to convert into law what was not actually approved by the two Houses of Congress”. Upon the foregoing facts the Mayor of Manila, AntonioVillegas, issued circulars to the department heads and chiefs of offices of the city government as well as to the owners, operators and/or managers of business establishments in Manila to disregard the provisions of Republic Act 4065. He likewise issued an order to the Chief of Police to recall five members of the city police force who had been assigned to the Vice-Mayor presumably under authorityof Republic Act 4065.  Issue: Whether the so-called RA 4065 became law and that Vice-Mayor Astorga should exercise any of the powers conferred by RA4065. Held: In view of the foregoing considerations, the petition is denied and the so-called Republic Act No. 4065 entitled AN ACT DEFINING THE POWERS, RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF THE VICE-MAYOR OF THE CITY OF MANILA, FURTHER AMENDING FOR THEPURPOSE SECTIONS TEN AND ELEVEN OF REPUBLIC ACTNUMBERED FOUR HUNDRED NINE, AS AMENDED, OTHERWISEKNOWN AS THE REVISED CHARTER OF THE CITY OF MANILA” is declared not tohave been duly enacted and therefore did not become law. The temporary restraining order dated April 28, 1965 is herebymade permanent. No pronouncement as to costs. Ratio: It may be noted that the enrolled bill theory is based mainly on “the respect due to coequal and independent departments, which requires the judicial department to accept, as having passed Congress, all bills authenticated in the manner stated. Thus it has also been stated in other cases that if the attestation is absent and the same is not required for the validity of a statute, the courts may resort to the journals and other records of Congress for proof of its due enactment. In view of the enrolled bill theory The enrolled bill theory was relied upon merely to bolster the ruling on the jurisdictional question, the reasoning being that “if a political question conclusively binds the judges out of respect to the political departments, a duly certified law or resolution also binds the judges under the 'enrolled bill rule' born of that respect. It is a declaration by the two houses, through their presiding officers, to the President, that a bill, thus attested, has received, in due form, the sanction of the legislative branch of the government, and that it is delivered to him in obedience to the constitutional requirement that all bills which pass Congress shall be presented to him. And when a bill, thus attested, receives his approval, and is deposited in the public archives, its authentication as a bill that has passed Congress should be deemed complete and unimpeachable.As the President has no authority to approve a bill not passed by Congress, an enrolled Act in the custody of the Secretaryof State, and having the official attestations of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, of the President of the Senate, and of the President of the United States, carries, on its face, a solemn assurance by the legislative and executivedepartments of the government, charged, respectively, with the duty of enacting and executing the laws, that it was passed by Congress. The respect due to coequal and independent departments requires the judicial department to act upon that assurance, and to accept, as having passed Congress, all bills authenticated in the manner stated; leaving the courts to determine, when the question properly arises, whether the Act, so authenticated, is in conformity with the Constitution. In view of Sec. 313 Act 190 of Rules of Evidence Code of Civil Procedures Justice Cesar Bengzon wrote a separate opinion, concurred in by Justice Sabino Padilla, holding that the Court had jurisdiction to resolve the question presented, and affirming categorically that the enrolled copy of the resolution and the legislative journals are conclusive upon us, specifically in view of Section 313 of Act 190, as amended by Act No. 2210. This provision in the Rules of Evidence in the old Code of Civil Procedure appears indeed to be the only statutory basis on which the enrolled bill theory rests. It reads: The proceedings of the Philippine Commission, or of any legislativebody that may be provided for in the Philippine Islands, or of Congress (may be proved) by the journals of those bodies or of either house thereof, or by published statutes or resolutions, or by copies certified by the clerk or secretary, printed by their order; provided, that in the case of acts of the Philippine Commission or the Philippine Legislature, when there is in existence 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. In view of neutralization By the respect due to a co-equal department of the government, is neutralized in this case by the fact that the Senate President declared his signature on the bill to be invalid and issued a subsequent clarification that the invalidation of his signature meant that the bill he had signed had never been approved by the Senate. Obviously this declaration should be accorded even greater respect than the attestation it invalidated, which it did for a reason that is undisputed in fact and indisputable in logic. In view of the signatures  The law-making process in Congress ends when the bill is approved by both Houses, and the certification does not add to the validity of the bill or cure any defect already present upon its passage. In other words it is the approval by Congress and not the signatures of the presiding officers that is essential. Thus the (1935) Constitution says that [e]very billpassed by the Congress shall, before it becomes law, be presented to the President. In view of the need to inquire through the Journal The journal of the proceedings of each House of Congress is no ordinary record. The Constitution requires it. While it is true that the journal is not authenticated and is subject to the risks of misprinting and other errors, the point is irrelevant in this case. This Court is merely asked to inquire whether the text of House Bill No. 9266 signed by the Chief Executive was the same text passed by both Houses of Congress. Under the specific facts and circumstances of this case, this Court cando this and resort to the Senate journal for the purpose. The journal discloses that substantial and lengthy amendments were introduced on the floor and approved by the Senate but were not incorporated in the printed text sent to the President and signed by him.
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