Bar Q and A#17

In accordance with the ruling in Philippine Airlines v. COA, 245 SCRA 39, since the Philippine National Bank is no longer owned by the Government, the Commission on Audit no longer has jurisdiction to audit it as an institution. Under Section 2(2), Article IX-D of the Constitution, it is government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries which are subject to audit by the Commission on Audit. However, in accordance with Section 2(1), Article IX- D of the Constitution, the Commission on Audit can audit the Philippine National Bank with respect to its accounts because the Government still has equity in it.

YES. COA is entitled to the rest of its appropriations even without complying with the DBM policy. That the no report, no release policy may not be validly enforced against offices vested with fiscal autonomy is not disputed. Indeed, such policy cannot be enforced against offices possessing fiscal autonomy without violating Article IX (A), Section 5 of the Constitution which provides: “Sec. 5. The Commission shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. Their approved appropriations shall be automatically and regularly released.” (CSC v. Department of Budget and Management, July 22, 2005)

  1. CIVIL RIGHTS refer to the rights secured by the constitution of any state or country to all its inhabitants and not connected with the organization or administration of POLITICAL RIGHTS consist in the power to participate, directly or indirectly, in the management of the government. CIVIL RIGHTS define the relations of individual amongst themselves while POLITICAL RIGHTS defines the relations of individuals vis-a-vis the state. CIVIL RIGHTS extend protection to all inhabitants of a state, while POLITICAL RIGHTS protect merely its citizens.

Examples of civil rights are the rights against involuntary servitude, religious freedom, the guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures, liberty of abode, the prohibition against imprisonment for debt, the right to travel, equal protection, due process, the right to marry, right to return to this country and right to education.

Examples of political rights are the right of suffrage, the right of assembly, and the right to petition for redress of grievances.

  1. Human rights are broader in scope than civil and political rights including social, economic, and cultural rights, and are inherent in persons from the fact of their humanity. On the other hand, some civil and political rights are not natural rights. They exist because they are protected by a constitution or granted by law. For example, the liberty to enter into contracts is not a human right but is a civil right.

a.) The law in question does not sanction abortion even in practical In the case of Imbong v. Ochoa (GR No. 204819, April 8, 2014), the law on its face expressly mentioned that abortion is not permissible, and this was the determinative factor in making the ruling. In the same case, the Court also found that the RH law was replete with provisions that embody the policy of protecting the unborn from the moment of fertilization. In addition, the majority of the court believes that the question of when life starts is a scientific and medical issue; hence, the Court refused to make a ruling on this issue.

b.) Involuntary servitude denotes compulsion or coercion to do something either through force, threats, intimidation or other means. The accreditation with the PhilHealth, as ruled by the Supreme Court in the case of Imbong v. Ochoa, should be viewed as an incentive and not a punishment. These health service providers also enjoy the liberty to choose which kind of health service they wish to provide. Clearly, there is no compulsion, force or threat upon them to render the pro bono services against their will.

YES, the law is constitutional, it is valid exercise of the State’s police power. Police power concerns government enactments which precisely interfere with personal liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare or the common good and that the means employed are reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose and not unduly oppressive upon individuals.

It cannot be denied that a rice shortage and a dearth of mining engineers are valid concerns that affect the common good and must be addressed by the State. Since the law is limited to public science high schools, it is within the police power of the State to require the graduates whose education it has subsidized to take up agriculture or mining engineering. The law provides for a lawful method geared toward a lawful objective, and as such may be considered to be a reasonable exercise of the State’s police power.