Issue whether or not there was proper publication of

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such investigation of the unlawfully seized documents. Issue: Whether or not there was proper publication of the rules as to empower the senate to further proceed with their investigation? Held: No, the Supreme Court mentioned the following: The Senate cannot be allowed to continue with the conduct of the questioned legislative inquiry without duly published rules of procedure, in clear derogation of the constitutional requirement. Section 21, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution explicitly 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." The requisite of publication of the rules is intended to satisfy the basic requirements of due process.Publication is indeed imperative, for it will be the height of injustice to punish or otherwise burden a citizen for the transgression of a law or rule of which he had no notice whatsoever, not even a constructive one.What constitutes publication is set forth in Article 2 of the Civil Code, which provides that "laws shall take effect after 15 days following the completion of their publication either in the Official Gazette, or in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines." Respondents justify their non-observance of the constitutionally mandated publication by arguing that the rules have never been amended since 1995 and, despite that, they are published in booklet form available to anyone for free, and accessible to the public at the Senate’s internet web page. The Court does not agree. The absence of any amendment to the rules cannot justify the Senate’s defiance of the clear and unambiguous language of Section 21, Article VI of the Constitution. The organic law instructs, without more, that the Senate or its committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation only in accordance with duly published rules of procedure, and does not make any distinction whether or not these rules have undergone amendments or revision. The constitutional mandate to publish the said rules prevails over any custom, practice or tradition followed by the Senate. The invocation by the respondents of the provisions of R.A. No. 8792,otherwise known as the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000, to support their claim of valid publication through the internet is all the more incorrect. R.A. 8792 considers an electronic data message or an electronic document as the functional equivalent of a written document only for evidentiary purposes.In other words, the law merely recognizes the admissibility in evidence (for their being the original) of electronic data messages and/or electronic documents.It does not make the internet a medium for publishing laws, rules and regulations. Given this discussion, the respondent Senate Committees, therefore, could not, in violation of the Constitution, use its unpublished rules in the legislative inquiry subject of these consolidated cases. The conduct of inquiries in aid of legislation by the Senate has to be
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  • Spring '16
  • Hall
  • Separation of Powers, President of the United States, United States Congress

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