Senate gr no 234608 q can congress issue a subpoena

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Senate, G.R. No. 234608, July 03, 2018) Q: Can Congress issue a subpoena to compel attendance of Justices of the Court of Appeals in its investigation in-aid of legislation, and cite them in contempt should they refuse to appear? A: NO. Congressional powers cannot be used to deprive the Supreme Court of its Constitutional duty to supervise judges of lower courts in the performance of their official duties. The fact remains that the CA Justices are non-impeachable officers. As such, authority over them primarily belongs to the Supreme Court and to no other. The principle of separation of powers also serves as one of the basic postulates for exempting the Justices, officials and employees of the Judiciary and for excluding the Judiciary's privileged and confidential documents and information from any compulsory processes which very well includes the Congress' power of inquiry in aid of legislation. Such exemption has been jurisprudentially referred to as judicial privilege as implied from the exercise of judicial power expressly vested in one Supreme Court and lower courts created by law. [Agcaoli v. Farinas, GR No. 232395, July 3, 2017] Legislative contempt vis-à-vis pardoning power of the President Legislative contempt is a limitation on the President’s power to pardon by virtue of the doctrine of separation of powers. Question Hour Where the heads of departments may, upon their own initiative, with the consent of the President, or upon the request of either House, as the rules of each House shall provide, appear before and be heard by such House on any matter pertaining to their departments. Written questions shall be submitted to the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the HoR at least 3 days before their scheduled appearance. Interpellations shall not be limited to written questions, but it may cover matters related thereto. When the security of the State or the public interest so requires and the President so states in writing, the appearance shall be conducted in executive session. (1987 Constitution, Art. VI, Sec. 22) Question hour vs. Legislative investigation QUESTION HOUR (SEC. 22, ART. VI) LEGISLATIVE INVESTIGATION (SEC. 21, ART. VI) As to persons who may appear Only a department head Any person As to who conducts the investigation Entire body Committees/Entire Body As to subject matter Matters related to the department only Any matter for the purpose of legislation Oversight power of Congress Embraces all activities undertaken by Congress to enhance its understanding of and influence over the implementation of legislation it has enacted. It concerns post-enactment measures undertaken by Congress. (Opinion of J. Puno, Macalintal v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 157013, July 10, 2003) Scope of the power of oversight 1. Monitor bureaucratic compliance with program objectives; 2. Determine whether agencies are properly administered; 3. Eliminate executive waste and dishonesty; 4. Prevent executive usurpation of legislative authority; and 5. Assess executive conformity with the congressional perception of public interest.

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