Biraogo vs Truth Commission.doc - EN BANC LOUIS BAROK C BIRAOGO Petitioner G.R No 192935 versus THE PHILIPPINE TRUTH COMMISSION OF 2010 Respondent x-x

Biraogo vs Truth Commission.doc - EN BANC LOUIS BAROK C...

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EN BANC LOUIS BAROK C. BIRAOGO, Petitioner, - versus - THE PHILIPPINE TRUTH COMMISSION OF 2010, Respondent. x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - x REP. EDCEL C. LAGMAN, REP. RODOLFO B. ALBANO, JR., REP. SIMEON A. DATUMANONG, and REP. ORLANDO B. FUA, SR., Petitioners, - versus - EXECUTIVE SECRETARY PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR. and DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT SECRETARY FLORENCIO B. ABAD, Respondents. G.R. No. 192935 G.R. No. 193036 Present: CORONA, C.J., CARPIO, CARPIO MORALES, VELASCO, JR., NACHURA, LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, BRION, PERALTA, BERSAMIN, DEL CASTILLO, ABAD, VILLARAMA, JR., PEREZ, MENDOZA, and SERENO, JJ. Promulgated: December 7, 2010 x -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- x D E C I S I O N MENDOZA, J.: When the judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries, it does not assert any superiority over the other departments; it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature, but only asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and to establish for the parties in
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an actual controversy the rights which that instrument secures and guarantees to them. --- Justice Jose P. Laurel [1] The role of the Constitution cannot be overlooked. It is through the Constitution that the fundamental powers of government are established, limited and defined, and by which these powers are distributed among the several departments. [2] The Constitution is the basic and paramount law to which all other laws must conform and to which all persons, including the highest officials of the land, must defer. [3] Constitutional doctrines must remain steadfast no matter what may be the tides of time. It cannot be simply made to sway and accommodate the call of situations and much more tailor itself to the whims and caprices of government and the people who run it. [4] For consideration before the Court are two consolidated cases [5] both of which essentially assail the validity and constitutionality of Executive Order No. 1, dated July 30, 2010, entitled Creating the Philippine Truth Commission of 2010. The first case is G.R. No. 192935, a special civil action for prohibition instituted by petitioner Louis Biraogo (Biraogo) in his capacity as a citizen and taxpayer. Biraogo assails Executive Order No. 1 for being violative of the legislative power of Congress under Section 1, Article VI of the Constitution [6] as it usurps the constitutional authority of the legislature to create a public office and to appropriate funds therefor. [7] The second case, G.R. No. 193036, is a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition filed by petitioners Edcel C. Lagman, Rodolfo B. Albano Jr., Simeon A. Datumanong, and Orlando B. Fua, Sr. (petitioners- legislators) as incumbent members of the House of Representatives. The genesis of the foregoing cases can be traced to the events prior to the historic May 2010 elections, when then Senator Benigno Simeon Aquino III declared his staunch condemnation of graft and corruption with his slogan, Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap. The Filipino people, convinced of his sincerity and of his ability to carry out this noble objective, catapulted the good senator to the presidency.
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