the Agreement and prays that it be struck down as unconstitutional, or at least declared as without force and effect. ISSUE:  Did respondents abuse their discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in concluding the RP-US Non Surrender Agreement in contravention of the Rome Statute?  Is the agreement valid, binding and effective without the concurrence by at least 2/3 of all the members of the Senate? HELD:The Agreement does not contravene or undermine, nor does it differ from, the Rome Statute. Far from going against each other, one complements the other. As a matter of fact, the principle of complementarity underpins the creation of the ICC. According to Art. 1 of the Statute, the jurisdiction of the ICC is to “be complementary to national criminal jurisdictions [of the signatory states].” the Rome Statute expressly recognizes the primary jurisdiction of states, like the RP, over serious crimes committed within their respective borders, the complementary jurisdiction of the ICC coming into play only when the signatory states are unwilling or unable to prosecute. Also, under international law, there is a considerable difference between a State-Party and a signatory to a treaty. Under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, a signatory state is only obliged to refrain from acts which would defeat the object and purpose of a treaty. The Philippines is only a signatory to the Rome Statute and not a State-Party for lack of ratification by the Senate. Thus, it is only obliged to refrain from acts which would defeat the object and purpose of the Rome Statute. Any argument obliging the Philippines to follow any provision in the treaty would be premature. And even assuming that the Philippines is a State-Party, the Rome Statute still recognizes the primacy of international agreements entered into between States, even when one of the States is not a State-Party to the Rome Statute.
The right of the Executive to enter into binding agreements without the necessity of subsequent Congressional approval has been confirmed by long usage. From the earliest days of our history, we have entered executive agreements covering such subjects as commercial and consular relations, most favored-nation rights, patent rights, trademark and copyright protection, postal and navigation arrangements and the settlement of claims. The validity of these has never been seriously questioned by our courts. Executive agreements may be validly entered into without such concurrence. As the President wields vast powers and influence, her conduct in the external affairs of the nation is, as Bayan would put it, “executive altogether.” The right of the President to enter into or ratify binding executive agreements has been confirmed by long practice.DISMISSED. EMILIO A. GONZALES III v. OFFICE OF PRESIDENT OF PHILIPPINES, GR No. 196231, 2014-01- 28 Facts: In the challenged Decision, the Court upheld the constitutionality of Section 8(2) of RA No. 6770 and ruled that the President has disciplinary jurisdiction over a Deputy Ombudsman and a Special
Prosecutor. The Court, however, reversed the OP ruling that: (i)... found Gonzales guilty of Gross Neglect of Duty and Grave Misconduct constituting betrayal of public trust; and (ii) imposed on him the penalty of dismissal. Sulit, who had not then been dismissed and who simply sought to restrain the disciplinary proceedings against her, solely questioned the jurisdiction of the OP to subject her to disciplinary proceedings. The Court affirmed the continuation of the proceedings against her... after upholding the constitutionality of Section 8(2) of RA No. 6770. In view of the Court's ruling, the OP filed the present motion for reconsideration through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG). In April 2005, the Office of the Ombudsman charged Major General Carlos F. Garcia and several others, before the Sandiganbayan, with plunder and money laundering. On May 7, 2007, Garcia filed an Urgent Petition for Bail which the prosecution opposed. The Sandiganbayan denied Garcia's urgent petition for bail on January 7, 2010, in view of the strength of the prosecution's evidence against Garcia. Issues: Gonzales posited in his petition that the OP has no administrative disciplinary jurisdiction over a Deputy Ombudsman. Under Section 21 of RA No. 6770, it is the Ombudsman who exercises administrative disciplinary jurisdiction over the Deputy Ombudsman. On the merits, Gonzales argued that his office received the draft order from GIPO Garcia on April 27, 2010. On May 6, 2010, he completed his review of the draft, approved it, and transmitted it to the Office of the Ombudsman for final approval. Since the draft... order on Mendoza's motion for reconsideration had to undergo different levels of preparation, review and approval, the period it took to resolve the motion could not be unjustified, since he himself acted on the draft order only within nine (9) calendars days from his receipt of... the order.
Ruling: On motion for reconsideration and further reflection, the Court votes to grant Gonzales' petition and to declare Section 8(2) of RA No. 6770 unconstitutional with respect to the Office of the Ombudsman. a. The Philippine Ombudsman Under Section 12, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution, the Office of the Ombudsman is envisioned to be the "protector of the people" against the inept, abusive, and corrupt in the Government, to function essentially as a complaints and action bureau. This constitutional vision of a Philippine Ombudsman practically intends to make the Ombudsman an authority to directly check and guard against the ills, abuses and excesses of the bureaucracy. Pursuant to Section 13(8), Article XI of the 1987 Constitution, Congress enacted RA No. 6770 to enable it to further realize the vision of the Constitution. Section 21 of RA No. 6770 provides: Section 21. Official Subject to Disciplinary Authority; Exceptions. The Office of the Ombudsman shall have disciplinary authority over all elective and appointive officials of the Government and its subdivisions, instrumentalities and agencies, including Members of the Cabinet, local government, government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries, except over officials who may be removed only by impeachment or over Members of Congress, and the Judiciary.
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The Ombudsman's broad investigative and disciplinary powers include all acts of malfeasance, misfeasance, and nonfeasance of all public officials, including Members of the Cabinet and key Executive officers, during their tenure. Given the scope of its disciplinary authority, the Office of the Ombudsman is a very powerful government constitutional agency that is considered "a notch above other grievance-handling investigative bodies." It has powers, both constitutional... and statutory, that are commensurate with its daunting task of enforcing accountability of public officers.... b. "Independence" of constitutional bodies... vis-a-vis the Ombudsman's independence Notably, the independence enjoyed by the Office of the Ombudsman and by the Constitutional Commissions shares certain characteristics they do not owe their existence to any act of Congress, but are created by the Constitution itself; additionally, they all enjoy fiscal... autonomy. In general terms, the framers of the Constitution intended that these "independent" bodies be insulated from political pressure to the extent that the absence of "independence" would result in the impairment of their core functions. the deliberations of the 1987 Constitution on the Commission on Audit highlighted the... developments in the past Constitutions geared towards insulating the Commission on Audit from political pressure. The kind of independence enjoyed by the Office of the Ombudsman certainly cannot be inferior but is similar in degree and kind to the independence similarly guaranteed by the Constitution to the Constitutional Commissions since all these offices fill the political... interstices of a republican democracy that are crucial to its existence and proper functioning. c. Section 8(2) of RA No. 6770 vesting... disciplinary authority in the President... over the Deputy Ombudsman violates... the independence of the Office of the Ombudsman and is thus... unconstitutional... we rule that subjecting the Deputy Ombudsman to discipline and removal by the President, whose own alter egos and officials in the Executive Department are subject to the Ombudsman's disciplinary authority, cannot but seriously place at risk the... independence of the Office of the Ombudsman itself. The Office of the Ombudsman, by express constitutional mandate, includes its key officials, all of them tasked to support the Ombudsman in carrying out her mandate. Unfortunately, intrusion upon the... constitutionally-granted independence is what Section 8(2) of RA No. 6770 exactly did. By so doing, the law directly collided not only with the independence that the Constitution guarantees to the Office of the Ombudsman, but inevitably with the principle of checks and... balances that the creation of an Ombudsman office seeks to revitalize What is true for the Ombudsman must be equally and necessarily true for her Deputies who act as agents of the Ombudsman in the performance of their duties. The Ombudsman can hardly be expected to place her complete trust in her subordinate officials who are not as... independent as she is, if only because they are subject to pressures and controls external to her Office. This need for complete trust is true in an ideal setting and truer still in a young democracy like the Philippines where graft and corruption is still a major problem... for the government. For these reasons, Section 8(2) of RA No. 6770 (providing that the President may remove a Deputy Ombudsman) should be declared void. he statements made by Commissioner Monsod emphasized a very logical principle: the Executive power to remove and discipline key officials of the Office of the Ombudsman, or to exercise any power over them, would result in an absurd situation wherein the Office of the Ombudsman is given the duty to adjudicate on the integrity and competence of the very persons who can remove or suspend its members.
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