2018 Bar Questions and Answers in Political Law


Congress enacted a law to provide Filipinos, especially the poor and the marginalized, access and information to a full range of modern family planning methods, including contraceptives, intrauterine devices, injectibles, non- abortifacient hormonal contraceptives, and family planning products and  supplies, but expressly prohibited abortion. To ensure its objectives, the law  made it mandatory for health providers to provide information on the full range  of modern family planning methods, supplies and services, for schools  to  provide reproductive health education, for non-governmental medical practitioners to render mandatory 48 on hours pro bono reproductive health services as a condition to Philhealth accreditation, and for couples desiring to marry attend a family planning seminar prior to issuance to a marriage license. It also punishes certain acts of refusal to carry out its mandates. The spouses Aguiluz, both Roman Catholics, filed a petition to declare the law as unconstitutional based on, among others, the following grounds:

  • It violates the right to life, since it practically sanctions abortion. Despite express terms prohibiting abortion, petitioners claim that the family planning products and supplies oppose the initiation of life which is fundamental human right, and the sanction of contraceptive use contravenes natural law and as an affront to the dignity of man.
  • It violates the constitutional prohibition against  involuntary servitude because it requires medical practitioners to render 48 hours of pro bono reproductive health services which may be against their will.
  • It violates the Freedom of Religion, since petitioners’ religious beliefs prevent them from using contraceptives, and that any State- sponsored procurement of contraceptives, funded by taxes, violates the guarantee of religious freedom.

Rule on each of the above objections. (2.5% each)


  • The law in question does not sanction abortion even in practical terms. In the case of Imbong v. Ochoa (GR No. 204819, April 8, 2014), the law on its face expressly mentioned that abortion is  not permissible, and this was the determinative factor in making the ruling. In the same case, the Court also found that the RH law was replete with provisions that embody the policy of protecting the unborn from the moment of fertilization.

In addition, the majority of the court believes that the question of when life starts is a scientific and medical issue; hence, the Court refused to make a ruling on this issue.

  • Involuntary servitude denotes compulsion or coercion to do something either through force, threats, intimidation or other means. The accreditation with the PhilHealth, as ruled by the Supreme Court in the case of Imbong v. Ochoa, should  be  viewed as an incentive and not a punishment. These health service providers also enjoy the liberty to choose which kind of health service they wish to provide. Clearly, there is no compulsion, force or threat upon them to render the pro bono services against their will.
  • What is prohibited in the Constitution is the establishment of a state religion. While the establishment clause in the Constitution restricts what the government can do with religion, it also limits what religious sects can or cannot do with the government. They can neither cause the government to adopt their particular doctrine as policy for everyone, nor can they cause the government to restrict other groups. To do so would cause the State to adhere to a particular religion, and thus establish a state religion (Imbong v. Ochoa, GR No. 204819, April 8, 2014).


Agnes was allegedly picked up by a group of military men headed by Gen. Altamirano, and was brought to several military camps where she was interrogated, beaten, mauled, tortured, and threatened with death if she would not confess her membership in the New People’s Army (NPA) and point to the location of the NPA camps. She suffered for several days until she was released after she signed a document saying that she was a surenderee, and was not abducted or harmed by the military. After she was released, alleging that her rights to life, liberty and security had been violated and continued to be  threatened by violation of such rights, she filed with the Supreme Court (the Court) a Petition for the Writs of Amparo and Habeas Corpus with prayers for Temporary Protection Orders, Inspection of Place and Production of Documents and Personal Properties. The case was filed against President Amoyo (who was the President of the Philippines when the abduction, beating, mauling and life threats were committed), General Altamirano, and several military men whom Agnes was able to recognize during her ordeal. The Court, after finding the petition to be in order, issued the writ of amparo and the writ of habeas data and directed the respondents to file a verified return on the writs, and directed the Court of Appeals (CA) to hear the petition. The respondents duly filed their  return on the writs and produced the documents in their possession. After  hearing, the CA ruled that there was no more need to issue the temporary protection orders since the writ of amparo had already been issued, and dismissed the petition against President Amoyo on the ground the he was immune from suit during his incumbency as president. Agnes appealed the CA ruling to the Court. The appeal was lodged after President Amoyo’s terms had ended.

(a) Was the CA correct in saying that the writ of amparo rendered unnecessary the issuance of the temporary protection order? (2.5%)


  • Yes. The writ of amparo is an extraordinary and independent remedy that provides rapid judicial relief, as it partakes of a summary proceeding and requires only substantial evidence to make the appropriate interim and permanent reliefs to the petitioner. It serves both preventive and curative reliefs in addressing extrajudicial abduction and torture. Temporary protection orders are merely intended to assist the Court before it can arrive at a judicious determination of  the  amparo petition. A temporary protection order, being an interim relief, can only be granted before final adjudication on the  amparo case is made. The privilege of the writ of amparo, once granted, already entails the protection of the aggrieved party. Thus, since the writ of amparo was already granted and issued, there is no more need to issue a temporary protection order (Yano v. Sanchez, G.R. No. 186640, Feb. 11, 2010; Rodriguez v. Macapagal-Arroyo, G.R. Nos. 191805 & 193160, Nov. 15, 2011).
  • Will the president’s immunity from suit continue even after his term has ended, considering that the events covered by the petition took place during his terms? (2.5%)


(b) No. The presidential immunity from suit exists only in  concurrence with the President’s incumbency. A non-sitting President cannot claim immunity even if the acts complained of were committed while he was still a sitting President. The reason for this is that if the immunity is not granted while he is in office, he might be spending all his time in attending to  litigations. After his term, he can already attend to them (Estrada v. Desierto, G..R Nos. 146710-15, 146738, April 3, 2001;Rodriguez v. Macapagal-Arroyo, G.R. Nos. 191805 & 193160, Nov. 15, 2011).


What and whose vote is required for the following acts: (2% each)

(a)      the repeal of a tax exemption law;


(a) The Constitution is silent  on  the  voting  requirement  for repealing a tax exemption. However, it could be considered that the voting requirement to grant is also the  voting requirement  to repeal; hence, the required vote is the majority of all the members of Congress.

  • a declaration of the existence of a state of war;


  • Two-thirds of all members of Congress, voting separately (Article VI, Section 23, 1).

(c )     The amendment of a constitutional provisions through a constituent assembly;


  • The proposal for the amendment shall be valid, upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members (Article XVII, Section 1, 1). For the effectivity of the amendment; however,  the vote needed is  the majority of all those who voted (Article XVII, Section 4). [Note: Any of these two answers should be acceptable as the question is not clear on whether it is asking for the voting requirement for the validity of the proposal or the effectivity of the amendment].
  • The resolution of a tie in a presidential election; and


  • A majority of all the members of both Houses of Congress, voting separately (Article VII, Section 4).
  • The extension of the period for the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus?


(e)     The Congress, voting jointly, by a vote of at least a majority of all its Members in regular or special session (Article VII, Section 18).


The Province of Amaya is one of the smallest province in the Philippines with only one legislative district composed of four municipalities: Uno, Dos, Tres and Cuatro.

Andres, a resident and registered voter of Cuatro municipality, ran and was elected as member of Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) of Amaya in the 2010 and 2013 local elections.

While Andres was serving his second term as SP member, a law was enacted re-apportioning the four towns of Amaya into two legislative districts: Uno and Dos comprising the First District, and Tres and Cuatro comprising the Second District.

In the 2016 local elections, Andres ran and was elected as member of the SP of Amaya representing Second district.

Andres seeks your legal advice regarding his intention to run as a member of the SP of Amaya for the Second District in the next local election in 2019. What will you advise Andres? (2.5%)


My advise is for him not to run for SP member, because doing so violates the limitation of three consecutive terms upon local elective officials. In the cases of Latasa v. COMELEC (G.R. 154289, December 10, 2003) and Naval v. COMELEC (G.R. No. 207851, July 8, 2014]), the Court ruled that  the three-term limit applies notwithstanding any reapportionment, renaming, or reclassification of any local government unit. The clear intent of the framers of the Constitution was to limit the term to three consecutive elections to the same position.


State whether or not the following acts are constitutional: (2% each)

(a) A law prescribing as qualifications for  appointment  to  any  court lower than the Supreme Court, Philippine citizenship, whether natural born or naturalized, 35 years of age on the date of appointment, and at least eight years as a member of the Philippine Bar.


  • The law prescribing as a qualification for appointment to any lower court mere Philippine citizenship, whether natural-born or naturalized, would be unconstitutional with respect to appointments to collegiate courts (CA, CTA, Sandiganbayan) because all appointees to these courts must be natural-born citizens (Article VIII, Section 7).
  • A law requiring all candidates for national or local elective offices to be college degree holders;


  • The law requiring all candidates for national or local elective offices to be college degree holders should be considered as unconstitutional with respect to national elective offices, because it is not one of the qualifications specifically required for these offices. The qualifications for these positions under the Constitution are exclusive in character and the Congress would be incompetent to prescribe this requirement as an additional qualification for candidates for national elective office. This additional requirement would, however, be valid with respect to candidates for local elective posts (Social Justice Society v. Dangerous Drugs Board, 570 SCRA 410).

(c )     The    designation   by    the    president   of    an    acting   Associate Commissioner of the Civil Service Commission;


  • Such designation is unconstitutional because the Constitution provides that no person shall be appointed or designated in any of the constitutional commissions in a temporary or acting capacity (Articles IX-B, Section 1(2), IX-C, Section 2 and IX-D, Section 2).
  • The appointment by the President as Deputy Ombudsman of a lawyer who has been engaged in the practice of law for five years; and


  • The appointment can be upheld, because only  the Ombudsman is required under the Constitution to have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years prior to his appointment. (Article XI, Section 8).
  • The nomination by a national party-list of a person who is not one of its bona fide members


(e) The nomination is invalid, because nominees of national parties must be bona fide members of such parties (Atong Paglaum v. Commission on Elections, 694 SCRA 477, G.R. No. 203766, April 2, 2013).


Ang Araw, a multi-sectoral party-list organization duly registered as such with the Commission on Elections (Comelec), was proclaimed as one of the winning party-list groups in the last national elections. Its first nominee, Alejandro, assumed office as the party-list representative.

About one year after Alejandro assumed office, the Interim Central Committee of Ang Araw expelled Alejandro from the party for disloyalty and replaced him with Andoy, its second nominee. Alejandro questioned before the Comelec his expulsion ad replacement by Andoy.

The Comelec considered Alejandro’s petition as an intra-party dispute which it could resolve as an incident of its power to register political parties; it proceeded to uphold the expulsion.

Is the Comelec’s ruling correct? (5%)


Alejandro’s petition should be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. It is the HRET which has jurisdiction over the case, because Alejandro is already a Member of the House of Representatives (Lico v. Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 205505, September 29, 2015).


The 2016 mayorality race in the City of Ardania included Arnaldo and Anacleto as contenders.

Arnaldo filed a petition with the Comelec to cancel Anacleto’s Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) for misrepresenting himself as a Filipno citizen. Arnaldo presented as evidence a copy of Anacleto’s Spanish passport and a certification from the Bureau of Immigration (BI) showing that Anacleto used the same passport several times to travel to and from Manila and Madrid or Barcelona.

In his Comment, Anacleto claimed that, a year prior to filing his CoC, he had complied with all the requirements of R.A. No. 9225 (Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition of Act of 2003) to reacquire his Philippine citizenship by taking an oath of allegiance and executing a sworn renunciation of his Spanish citizenship.  He defended the use of  his Spanish passport subsequent to taking  his oath of allegiance to the Philippines as a practical necessity since he had yet  to obtain his Philippine passport despite reacquiring his Philippine citizenship. Even after he secured his Philippine passport, he said he had to wait for the issuance of a Schengen visa to allow him to travel to Spain to visit his wife and minor children.

(a)      Based on the allegations of the parties, is there sufficient ground to cancel Anacleto’s CoC (2.5%)


  • The sole act of using a foreign passport does not divest Anacleto of his Filipino citizenship which he acquired by repatriation. By representing himself as a Spanish citizen; however, Anacleto voluntarily and effectively reverted to his earlier status as a dual citizen. Such reversion was not retroactive; it took place the instant Anacleto represented himself as a Spanish citizen by using his Spanish passport. He is, thus, disqualified for being a dual citizen, and his CoC should be cancelled (Macquiling v. Comelec, G.R. No. 195649, April 16, 2013).

[Note: The use of the foreign passport amounts to a recantation of the Oath of Renunciation required to qualify one to run for an elective position].

  • In case Anacleto’s CoC is properly cancelled, who should serve as mayor of Ardania City: Arnaldo, who obtained the second highest number votes, or Andrea, the duly-elected Vice Mayor of the City? (2.5%)


(b) The rule on succession would not  apply  if  the  permanent  vacancy was caused by one whose certificate of candidacy was void ab initio. Specifically with respect to dual citizens, their certificates of candidacy are void ab initio, because they possess “a substantive [disqualifying circumstance] . . .  [existing] prior to the filing of their certificate of candidacy. “Legally, they should not even be considered candidates. The votes cast for them should be considered stray and should not be counted.

In cases of vacancies caused by those with void ab initio certificates of candidacy, the person legally entitled to the vacant position would be the candidate who garnered the next highest number of votes among those eligible; in this case, it was Arnaldo (Chua v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 216607, April 5, 2016).


Two petitions for the cancellation of Certification of Candidacy (CoC)/Denial of Due Course were filed with the Comelec against two candidates running as municipal mayors of different towns.

The first petition was against Anselmo. Years, ago, Anselmo was charged and convicted of the crime of rape by final judgment, and was sentenced to suffer the principal penalty of reclusion perpetua  which carried the accessory penalty  of perpetual absolute disqualification. While Anselmo was in prison, the  President commuted his sentenced and he was discharged for prison.

The second petition was against Ambrosio. Ambrosio’s residency was questioned because he was allegedly a “green card holder,” i.e. a permanent resident of the US, as evidenced by a certification to this effect from the US Embassy.

Acting on the recommendation of its Law Department, the Comelec en banc, motu proprio issued two resolutions granting the petitions against Anselmo and Ambrosio.

Both Anselmo and Ambrosio filed separate petitions with the Supreme Court assailing the resolutions cancelling their respective CoCs. Both claimed  that the Comelec en banc acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction because the petition should have first heard and resolved by one of the Comelec’s Division.

Are Anselmo and Ambrosio correct? (5%)


Anselmo is incorrect. The rule is every quasi-judicial  matter must  first be tackled by a division subject to appeal by way of a Motion for Reconsideration to the COMELEC en banc. In Jalosjos v. COMELEC (G.R. No. 205033, June 18, 2013), it was determined that a cancellation on the  basis of perpetual disqualification is a matter that can be taken judicial notice of. When it cancels A CoC on that ground, it  is  acting  in performance of an administrative function and, therefore, the rule in Article XI, Section 3 does not apply.

Ambrosio, on the other hand, is correct that the petition for the cancellation of his CoC should have been first heard and resolved by the Comelec Division. Cancellation proceedings involve the COMELEC’s quasi- judicial functions. The Constitution mandates the COMELEC, in the exercise of its adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers, to hear and  decide cases first by division and, upon motion for reconsideration, by the COMELEC en banc (Bautista v. Comelec, G.R. Nos. 154796-97, October 23, 2003).


In 1990, Agripina migrated to Canada and acquired Canadian citizenship.

In 2008, Agripina retired and returned to the Philippines to permanently reside in her hometown of Angeles, Pampanga. A month after returning to the Philippines, Agripina took her oath of allegiance and executed a sworn renunciation of her Canadian citizenship in accordance with R.A. No. 9225.

In 2009, Agripina filed her certificate of candidacy for Congress for the 2010 elections. Agripina’s political rivals lost no time in causing the filing of various actions to question her candidacy. They questioned her eligibility to run as member of Congress. Since Agripina had to take an oath under RA No. 9225,  it meant that she needed to perform an act to perfect her Philippine citizenship.

They claimed, therefore, that Agripina could not be considered a natural-born citizen. Agripina raised the defense that, having complied with the requirements of RA No. 9225, she had reacquired, and was deemed never to have lost, her Philippine citizenship.

Is Agripina disqualified to run for Congress for failing to meet the citizenship requirement? (2.5%)


Agripina is eligible to run as member of Congress.  Repatriation results in the recovery of a person’s original nationality. This means that a naturalized Filipino who lost his citizenship will be restored to his prior status as a Filipino citizen. If she were originally a natural-born citizen before she lost her Philippine citizenship, she would be restored to her former status as a natural-born Filipino (Bengson III vs. HRET, G.R. No. 142840, May 7, 2001. See also: Parreno v. Commission on Audit, G.R. No. 162224, June 7, 2007, and Tabasa v. Commission on Elections, G.R. Nos. 221697 & 221698-700, March 8, 2016).

RA 9225 makes a distinction between those natural-born Filipinos who became foreign citizens before and after the effectivity of RA No. 9225. For those who were naturalized in a foreign country, they shall be deemed to  have reacquired their Philippine citizenship which was lost pursuant to CA

  • In the case of those who became foreign citizens after RA 9225 took effect, they shall retain Philippine citizenship despite having acquired  foreign citizenship, provided they take the oath of allegiance under the new law.

Considering that petitioner was naturalized as a Canadian citizen  prior to the effectivity of RA 9225, she belongs to the first category of natural-born Filipinos who lost their Philippine citizenship by naturalization in a foreign country, under the first paragraph of Section 3. As the new law allows dual citizenship, she was able to reacquire her Philippine citizenship by taking the required oath of allegiance (See Bengson v. HRET and as affirmed by Poe-Llamanzares v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 221697, March 8, 2016).


Ascertain the constitutionality of the following acts: (2.5% each)

  • An investigation conducted by the Ombudsman against a Commissioner of the Commission on Audit for serious misconduct.


(a) The act is constitutional. Article XI, Section 13(1) of the Constitution expressly gives the Ombudsman the power to investigate on its own or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public official, employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient.

  • A law prohibiting any court, other than the Supreme Court, from issuing a writ of injunction against an investigation being conducted by the Ombudsman.


  • The law is unconstitutional. The power to issue injunctive writs is part of judicial power.  The rules governing the exercise of  this power are within the powers of the Supreme Court to promulgate. The law therefore is an encroachment of the  Court’s rule-making power (Carpio-Morales v CA, GR 217126- 27, 10 Nov 2015).

(c ) A law prohibiting any appeal from the decision or final order of the Ombudsman in an administrative proceeding, except through a petition for review on certiorari filed before the Supreme Court.


  • The law is unconstitutional. In Fabian v. Desierto (G.R. No. 129742, 16 September 1998), the Court invalidated Section 27 of

R.A. No. 6770 insofar as it provided for appeal by certiorari under Rule 45 from the decisions or orders of the Ombudsman in administrative cases. Section 27 of R.A. No. 6770 had the effect, not only of increasing the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court without its advice and concurrence in violation of Section 30, Article VI of the Constitution; it is  also inconsistent with Section 1, Rule 45 of the Rules of Court which provides that a petition for review on certiorari shall apply only to a review of “judgments or final orders of the Court of Appeals, the Sandiganbayan, the Court of Tax Appeals, the Regional Trial Court, or other courts authorized by law.” In the absence of concurrence by the Supreme Court, such a law would be unconstitutional.


Under Section 6 of Article V (on Criminal Jurisdiction) of the Visiting Forces Agreement, (VFA), the custody of a United States (US) personnel who becomes subject to criminal prosecution before a Philippine court shall be with the US military authorities, if the latter so requests. The custody shall begin from the commission of the offense until the completion of all judicial proceedings. When requested, the US military authorities, however, shall make the US personnel available to Philippine authorities for any investigative or judicial proceedings relating to the offense which the person has been charged. In the event that the Philippine judicial proceedings are not completed with one year,  the US shall be relieved of any obligation under Section 6.

The constitutionality of Section 6, Article V of the VFA is challenged on two grounds: (1) it nullifies the exclusive power of the Supreme Court to adopt rules of procedure for all courts in the Philippines; and (2) it violates the equal protection clause to the extent that it allows the transfer of the custody of an accused to a foreign power as providing a different rule of procedure for that accused.

Rule on the challenge. (5%)


The challenge is without merit.

The rule in international law is that foreign armed forces allowed to enter one’s territory are immune from local jurisdiction, except to the extent agreed upon.            As a result, the situation involved is not one in which the power of the Supreme Court to adopt rules of procedure is curtailed or violated, rather, it is one in which, as is normally encountered around the world, the laws (including rules of procedure) of one State do not extend or Apply, except to the extent agreed upon, to subjects of another State due to the recognition of extraterritorial immunity given to such bodies as visiting foreign armed forces.

Nothing in the Constitution prohibits such agreements recognizing immunity from jurisdiction or some aspects of jurisdiction (such as custody), in relation to long-recognized subjects of such immunity, like Heads of State, diplomats and members of the armed forces contingents of a foreign State allowed to enter another State’s territory. The Constitution, on  the  contrary, states that the Philippines adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land (Art. II, Sec. 2).

The equal protection clause is not violated, either, because there is a substantial basis for a different treatment of foreign military armed forces allowed to enter our territory and all other accused (Nicolas v. Romulo, G.R. No. 175888, February 11, 2009).


Section 9 of PD No. 1606, as amended, provides that the Sandiganbayan may adopt internal rules governing all allotment of cases among its divisions, the rotation of justices among them, and other matters relating to the internal operations of the court.

Section 6 of Article IX-A of the Constitution allows each of the Constitutional Commissions “en banc [to] promulgate its own rules concerning pleadings and practice before it or before any of its offices. Such rules however shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights.”

Section 16(3) of Article VI of the Constitution states that “Each House  may determine the rules of its proceedings.” Section 21, Article VI of the Constitution further provides that “[T]he Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries… in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure.”

Finally, Section 3(8) of Article XI of the Constitution declares that “[T]he Congress shall promulgate its rules on impeachment to effectively carry out the purpose of this section.

Are the rules promulgated pursuant to these provisions subject to review and disapproval by the Supreme Court? (5%)


Section 5[5] of Article VIII of the Constitution clearly provides that  the “[R]ules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain effective unless disapproved by the Supreme Court;” accordingly, it  is clear that the Supreme Court may review and reverse the rules of procedure of the Sandiganbayan and the Constitutional Commissions.

With respect to the rules of procedure of Congress in its proceedings, legislative inquiries and on impeachment, while these rules may be generally considered as political questions, when questioned before the courts in a proper case, they would nevertheless be subject to the power of judicial review under the second paragraph of Section 1, Article VIII of the Constitution, which authorizes it to review and annul all acts of any branch or instrumentality of the government which may be tainted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.


PO1 Adrian Andal is known to have taken bribes from apprehended motorists who have violated traffic rules. The National Bureau of Investigation conducted an entrapment operation where PO1 Adrian was caught red-handed demanding and taking PhP500.00 from a motorist who supposedly beat a red light.

After he was apprehended, PO1 Adrian was required to submit a sample of his urine. The drug  test showed that he was positive for dangerous drugs.  Hence, PO1 Adrian was charged with violation of Section 15, Article II of RA No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

PO1 Adrian argues against the admissibility of the urine test results and seeks its exclusion. He claims that the mandatory drug test under RA No. 9165  is a violation of the accused’s right to privacy and against self-incrimination.

Are PO1 Adrian’s contentions correct? (2.5%)


PO1 Adrian is correct that his rights to privacy and against self- incrimination have been violated. The results of the “confirmatory” urine test should therefore be rejected as evidence against him.

It should be noted that RA 9165 allows the conduct of urine tests only for persons arrested for acts prohibited under said law, such as, among others, the manufacturing, sale, use or possession of illegal drugs, and not  for any unlawful act, like extortion, for which PO1 Adrian was arrested (De la Cruz v. People, G.R. No. 200748, July 23, 2014).


Amoroso was charged with treason before a military court martial. He was acquitted.

He was later charged with the same offense before a Regional Trial Court.

He asks that the information be quashed on the ground of double jeopardy.

The prosecution objects, contending that for purpose of double jeopardy,

the military court martial cannot be considered as a “competent court”.

Should the Regional Trial Court grant Amoroso’s motion to quash on the ground of double jeopardy? (2.5%)


Yes, the Motion to Dismiss should be granted.

A defendant, having been acquitted of a crime by a court martial of competent jurisdiction proceeding under lawful authority, cannot be subsequently tried for the same offense in a civil court.

It appearing that the offense charged in the Court Martial and in the Regional Trial Court is the same, that the military court had jurisdiction to try the case and that both courts derive their powers from one sovereignty, the acquittal by the military court should be a bar to Amoroso’s further prosecution for the same offense in the Regional Trial Court (Crisologo v. People, (G.R. No. L-6277, February 26, 1954); Marcos v. Chief of Staff (G.R. No. L-4663, May 30, 1951); Garcia v. Executive Secretary (G.R. 198554, July 30, 2012).


Annika sued the Republic of the Philippines, represented by the Director of the Bureau of Plant Industry, and asked for the revocation of a deed of donation executed by her in favor of said Bureau.  She alleged that, contrary to the terms  of the donation, the donee failed to install lighting facilities and a water system  on the property donated, and to build an office building and parking lot thereon, which should have been constructed and made ready for occupancy on or before the date fixed in the deed of donation.

The Republic invoked state immunity and moved for the dismissal of the case on the ground that it had not consented to be sued. Should the Republic’s motion be granted? (2.5%)


The motion of the Republic should be granted. There appears to be no consent on the part of the State to be sued.

In Section 3, Article XVI of the Constitution it is provided that:

“The State shall not be sued without its consent.”

That no consent was given by the Republic is shown by the fact that  the Bureau or the Government did seem to have complied with the demands of the deed of donation.

Compliance with the state immunity is essential for two reasons:

  1. It is required as a provision of the Constitution; and
  2. Immunity is an essential element of state sovereignty.


Five foreign nationals arrived at the NAIA from Hong Kong. After retrieving their checked-in luggage, they placed all their bags in one pushcart and proceeded to Express Lane 5. They were instructed to place their luggage on the examiner’s table for inspection.

The examiner found brown-colored boxes, similar in size to powdered  milk boxes, underneath the clothes inside the foreigners’ bags. The examiner discovered white crystalline substances inside the boxes that were the inspected and proceeded to bundle all of the boxes by putting masking tape around them. He thereafter handed the boxes over to Bureau of Customs agents. The agents called out the names of the foreigners one by one and ordered them to sign their names on the masking tape placed on the boxes recovered from their respective bags. The contents of the boxes were thereafter subjected to tests which confirmed that the substance was shabu.

Can the shabu found inside the boxes admitted in evidence against the five foreigners for the charge of illegal possession of drugs in violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002? (2.5%)


Yes, shabu obtained in ordinary customs searches such as those done in airport, which is a valid warrantless search, are admissible in evidence (Dela Cruz v. People G.R. 209387, January 11, 2016).


The police served a warrant of arrest on Ariston who was suspected of raping and killing a female high school student. While on the way to the police station, one of the police officers who served the warrant asked Ariston in the local dialect if he really raped and killed the students, and Ariston nodded and said, “Opo.”

Upon arriving at the police station, Ariston saw the City Mayor, whom he approached and asked if they could talk privately. The mayor led Ariston to his office and, while there in conversation with the Mayor, Ariston broke down and admitted that he raped and killed the student. The mayor thereafter opened the door of the room to let the public and media representatives witness Ariston’s confession. In the presence of the Mayor, the police and the media, and in response to questions asked by some members of the media, Ariston sorrowfully confessed his guilt and sought forgiveness for his actions.

Which of these extrajudicial confessions, if any, would you consider as admissible in evidence against Ariston? (5%)


Ariston was already under custodial investigation when he confessed  to the police. It is admitted that the police failed to inform him of his constitutional rights when he was investigated and interrogated. His confession to the police is therefore inadmissible in evidence.

His confession before the mayor, however, is admissible. While it may be true that a mayor has “operational supervision and control” over the  local police and may arguably be deemed a law enforcement officer for purposes of applying Section 12(1) and (3) of Article III of the Constitution, Ariston’s confession to the mayor, as described in the problem, was not  made in response to any interrogation by the latter. In fact, the mayor did not appear as having questioned Ariston at all. No police authority ordered Ariston to talk to the mayor. It was he himself who spontaneously,  freely  and voluntarily sought the mayor for a private meeting. The mayor did not know that he was going to confess his guilt to him. When he talked with the mayor as a confidant and not as a law enforcement officer, his uncounselled confession to the Mayor did not violate his constitutional rights.

His confession to the media can likewise be properly admitted. The confessions were made in response to questions by news reporters, not by the police or any other investigating officer. Statements spontaneously made by suspects to news reporters during televised interviews are deemed voluntary and are admissible in evidence (People v. Andan, G.R. No. 116437, March 3, 1997).


Two police teams monitored the payment of ransom in a kidnapping case.

The bag containing the ransom money was placed inside an unlocked trunk of a car which was parked at the Angola Commercial Center in Mandaluyong City.

The first police team, stationed in an area near where the car was parked, witnessed the retrieval by the kidnappers on the bag from the unlocked trunk.  The kidnappers thereafter boarded their car and proceeded towards the direction of Amorsolo St. in Makati City where the second police team was waiting.

Upon confirmation by radio report from the first police team that the kidnappers were heading towards their direction, the second police team proceeded to conduct surveillance on the car of the kidnappers, eventually saw it enter Ayala Commercial Center in Makati City, and the police team finally blocked it when it slowed down. The members of the second police team approached the vehicle and proceeded to arrest the kidnappers.

Is the warrantless arrest of the kidnappers by the second police team lawful? (5%)


The warrantless arrest is lawful.

There are two requirements before a warrantless arrest can be  effected under Section 5(b), Rule 113, Rules of Court: (1) an offense has just been committed, and (2) the person making the arrest has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed  it.

Both requirements are present in the instant case. The first police team present in the Angola Commercial Center was able to witness the pay-off which effectively consummated the crime of kidnapping. Its team members all saw the kidnappers take the money from the car trunk. Such knowledge was then relayed to the other police officers comprising the second police team stationed in Amorsolo St. where the kidnappers were expected to pass.

It is sufficient for the arresting team that they were monitoring the pay-off for a number of hours long enough for them to be informed as  to who the kidnappers were. This is equivalent to  personal knowledge  based on probable cause (People v. Uyboco, G.R. No. 178039, January 19, 2011).


President Alfredo died during his third year in office. In accordance with the Constitution, Vice President Anastasia succeeded him. President Anastasia then nominated the late President Alfredo’s Executive Secretary, Anna Maria, as her replacement as Vice President. The nomination was confirmed by a majority of all the Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, voting separately.

  • Is Anna Maria’s assumption as Vice President valid? (2.5%)


No, Anna Maria’s assumption is unconstitutional, because only a member of the Senate or House of Representatives may be nominated by a successor-President as Vice President. (Article VII, Section 9).

  • Can Anastasia run as President in the next election? (2.5%)


Yes, Anastacia can still run as President in the next election since she has served for less than four years. Section 4, Article VII provides that “no person who has succeeded as President and has served as such for more than four years shall be qualified for election to the same office at any time.”


Andreas and Aristotle are foreign nationals working with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in its headquarters in Manila. Both were  charged  with criminal acts before the local trial courts.

Andreas was caught importing illegal drugs into the country as part of his “personal effects” and was thus charged with violation of Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. Before the criminal proceedings  could  commence, the President had him deported as an undesirable alien. Aristotle was charged with grave oral defamation for uttering defamatory words against a colleague at work. It his defense, Aristotle claim diplomatic immunity. He presented as proof a communication from the Department of Foreign Affairs stating that, pursuant to the Agreement between the Philippine Government and the ADB, the bank’s officers and staff are immune from legal processes with respect to acts performed by them in their official capacity.

(a)      Can the President’s act of deporting an undesirable alien be subjected to judicial review? (2.5%)


  • The power to deport aliens is an act of State, an act done by or under the authority of the sovereign power. It is a police  measure against undesirable aliens whose continued presence in the country is found to be injurious to the public good and the domestic tranquility of the people (Rosas v. Montor, G.R. No. 204105, October 14, 2015). An act of State is one done by the sovereign power of a country, or by its delegate, within the limits of the power vested in him. An act of State cannot be questioned or made the subject of legal proceedings in a court of law (Black’s Law Dictionary, 4th ed., 44). With particular reference to Political Law, an act of State is an act done by the political departments of the government and not subject to judicial review.
  • Is Aristotle’s claim of diplomatic immunity proper? (2.5%)


(b) The claim of diplomatic immunity is improper. Courts cannot blindly adhere to and take on its face the communication from the DFA that Aristotle is covered by an immunity. The DFA’s determination that a certain person is covered by immunity is only preliminary and has no binding effect on courts. Besides, slandering a person cannot possibly be covered by the immunity agreement because our laws do not allow the commission of a crime, such as defamation, under the guise of official duty. Under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, a diplomatic agent enjoys immunity from criminal jurisdiction of the receiving state except in the case of an action relating to any professional or commercial activity exercised by the diplomatic agent outside his official functions in the receiving state. The commission of a crime is not part of official duty (Liang vs. People, G.R. No. 125865, January 28, 2000).