Bar Q and A #5

The elements of a valid petition for a people’s initiative are the following:

  1. At least twelve percent (12%) of the registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three percent (3%) of the registered voters in it, should directly sign the entire proposal; and

  2. The draft of the proposed amendment must be embodied in the (Lambino v. COMELEC, 505 SCRA 160, 2006)

However, as of the present, there is no enabling law for an initiative to propose amendments on the Constitution.

a.) No. Article VI, Section 21 of the 1987 Constitution specifically provides that “the Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure.”

b.) YES, Mr. Y’s refusal is valid. The privilege includes   “presidential conversations, correspondences, or discussions during closed-door Cabinet meetings." The intention of the President to prevent leakage of information to the public is crystal clear because the discussions were made in a “closed-door meeting.” (Sereno v. Committee on Trade and Related Matters, G.R. No. 175210, February 01, 2016)

a.) The establishment of Philippine Funds, Inc. is valid. It was created to enable the speedy disbursements of donations for calamities and disasters, Public purpose is no longer restricted to traditional government functions. (Petitioner-Organization v. Executive Secretary, G.R. Nos, 147036-37 & 147811, April 10, 2012, 269 SCRA 49)

b.) Congress cannot exempt the foreign grants from the jurisdiction of the Commission on Audit.    Its jurisdiction extends to all government-owned or controlled corporations, including those funded by donations through the Government. (Art IX-D, Sec. 3 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution; and Petitioner Corporation v. Executive Secretary, G.R. Nos. 147036-37 & 147811, April 10, 2012, 269 SCRA 49)

 

a,) The Constitution is silent on the voting requirement for repealing a tax exemption. However, it could be considered that the voting requirement to grant is also the voting requirement to repeal; hence, the required vote is the majority of all the members of Congress.

b.) Two-thirds of all members of Congress, voting separately (Article VI, Section 23(1))

c.) The proposal for the amendment shall be valid, upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members (Article XVII, Section 1, 1). For the effectivity of the amendment; however, the vote needed is the majority of all those who voted  (Article  XVII, Section 4)

NOTE: Any of these two answers should be acceptable as the question is not clear on whether it is asking for the voting requirement for the validity of the proposal or the effectivity of the amendment.

d.) A majority of all the members of both Houses of Congress, voting separately. (Article VII, Section 4)

e.) The Congress, voting jointly, by a vote of at least a majority of all its Members in regular or special session. (Article VII, Section 18)

The proposal were not validly adopted, because the ten (10) Senators who voted in favor of the proposed amendments constituted less than three-fourths of all the Members of theSenate. Although Section 1, Article XVII of the Constitution did not expressly provide that the Senate and the House ofRepresentatives must vote separately, when the Legislature consist of two (2) houses, the determination of one house is to be submitted to the separate determination of the other house. (Miller v.Mardo, 2 SCRA 898, 1961)

1.) a.)The twenty percent allocation - the combined number of all party-list congressmen shall not exceed twenty percent of the total membership of the House of Representatives, including those elected under the party list;

b.)The two percent threshold - only those parties garnering a minimum of two percent of the total valid votes cast for the party-list system are “qualified” to have a seat in the House of Representatives;

c.)The three-seat limit - each qualified party, regardless of the number of votes it actually obtained, is entitled to a maximum of three seats; that is, one ‘qualifying’ and two additional seats;

2.) a.) The party-list congressmen should not exceed twenty per cent of the total membership of the House of Representatives, because this is the maximum number of party-list congressmen (1987 , Art. VI, sec 5[3]; Veterans Foundation Party v. COMELEC, 342 SCRA 244, 2000)

 

b.)Under Section 11 (b) of Republic Act 7941, only the parties which received at least two per cent of the total votes cast for the party- list are entitled to have a seat in the House of To have meaningful representation, the elected party-list representative must have the mandate of a sufficient number of people. (Veterans Federation Party v. COMELEC, supra.)

 

c.) Section 11(b) of Republic Act 7941 allows qualified parties to have a maximum of three (3) seats in the House of Representatives so that no single group will dominate the party-list (Veterans Federation Party v. COMELEC, supra.)

 

d.) Additional seats to which a qualified party is entitled are determined by the proportion of the total number of votes it obtained in relation to the total number of votes obtained by the party with the highest number of votes, to maintain proportional This is because while representation in the party-list system is proportional, a party is entitled to a maximum of three seats regardless of the number of votes it actually obtained. (Veterans Federation Party v. COMELEC, supra.)