advised for Congress to interfere with the President’s power as commander-in-chief, it is similarly detrimental for the President to unduly interfere with Congress’s right to conduct legislative inquiries. The impasse did not come to pass in this petition, since petitioners testified anyway despite the presidential prohibition. Yet the Court is aware that with its pronouncement today that the President has the right to require prior consent from members of the armed forces, the clash may soon loom or actualize.The duty falls on the shoulders of the President, as commander-in-chief, to authorize the appearance of the military officers before Congress. Even if the President has earlier disagreed with the notion of officers appearing before the legislature to testify, the Chief Executive is nonetheless obliged to comply with the final orders of the courts.IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR ISSUANCE OF WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS OF CAMILO L. SABIOSabio v. GordonPolitical Law – Inquiry in aid of legislation – public officersOn February 20, 2006, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago introduced Senate Res. No. 455 “directing an inquiry in aid of legislation on the anomalous losses incurred by the Philippines Overseas Telecommunications Corporation (POTC), Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation (PHILCOMSAT), and PHILCOMSAT Holdings Corporation (PHC) due to the alleged improprieties in their operations by their respective Board of Directors.” Pursuant to this, on May 8, 2006, Senator Richard Gordon, wrote Chairman Camilo Sabio of the PCGG inviting him to be one of the resource persons in the public meeting jointly conducted by the Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises and Committee on Public Services. Chairman Sabio declined the invitation because of prior commitment. At the same time, he invoked Section 4(b) of E.O. No. 1 “No member or staff of the Commission shall be required totestify or produce evidence in any judicial, legislative or administrative proceeding concerning matters within its official cognizance.” Apparently, the purpose is to ensure PCGG’s unhampered performance of its task. Gordon’s Subpoenae Ad Testificandum was repeatedly ignored by Sabio hence he threatened Sabio to be cited with contempt.ISSUE: Whether or not Section 4 of EO No. 1 is constitutional.HELD: No. Article VI, Section 21 of the 1987 Constitution grants the power of inquiry not only to the Senate and the House of Representatives, but also to any of their respective committees.Clearly, there is a direct conferral of investigatory powerto the committees and it means that the mechanism which the Houses can take in order to effectively perform its investigative functions are also available to the committees.
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Separation of Powers, President of the United States, United States Congress
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