Succinctly put when the constitution envisioned one

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Succinctly put, when the Constitution envisioned one member of Congress sitting in the JBC, it is sensible to presume that this representation carries with him one full vote. It is also an error for respondents to argue that the President, in effect, has more influence over the JBC simply because all of the regular members of the JBC are his appointees. The principle of checks and balance is still safeguarded because the appointment of all the regular members of the JBC is subject to a stringent process of confirmation by the Commission on Appointment, which is composed of members of Congress. Respondents’ contention that the current irregular composition of the JBC should be accepted, simply because it was only question for the first time through the present action, deserves scant consideration. Well-settled is the rule that acts done in violation of the Constitution no matter how frequent, usual or notorious cannot develop or gain acceptance under the doctrine of estoppel or laches, because once an act is considered as an infringement of the Constitution it is void from the very beginning and cannot be the source of any power or authority. It would not be amiss to point out, however, that as a general rule, an unconstitutional act is not a law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; it affords no protection; it creates no offices; it is inoperative as if it has not been passed at all. This rule, however, is not absolute. Under the doctrine of operative facts , actions previous to the declaration of unconstitutionality are legally recognized. They are not nullified. This is essential in the interest of fair play. Under the circumstances, the Court finds that the exception applicable in this case and holds that notwithstanding its finding of unconstitutionality in the current composition of the JBC, all prior official actions are nonetheless valid. Considering that the Court is duty bound to protect the Constitution which was ratified by the direct action of the Filipino people, it cannot correct what respondent perceive as a mistake in its mandate. Neither can the Court, in the exercise of its power to interpret the spirit of the Constitution, read into the law something that is contrary to its express provisions and justify the same as correcting a perceived inadvertence. To do so would otherwise sanction the Court action of making amendments to the Constitution through a judicial pronouncement, In other words, the Court cannot supply the legislative omission. According to the rule of casus omissus “a case omitted is to be held as intentionally omitted.” “The principle proceeds from a reasonable certainty that a particular person, object or thing has been omitted from a legislative enumeration.” Pursuant to this, “the Court cannot under its power of interpretation supply the omission even though the omission may have resulted from inadvertence or because the case in question was not foresee n or contemplation.” “The Court cannot supply what it thinks the
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  • Winter '15
  • Atty. Ignacio
  • Candide

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