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  Amores v. HRET, GR No. 189600, June 29, 2010 FACTS Petitioner, Milagros E. Amores, challenges the decision of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (public respondent), which both dismissed her petition for Quo Warranto. Her  petition seeks to ouster Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva, whom she alleged to have assumed office as a representative of the party list organization Citizen’s Battle Against Corruption  (CIBAC) without formal proclamation by the Commission on Elections; to be a disqualified to be a nominee of the youth sector since at the time of his filing of his certificates of nomination and acceptance, he was already 31 years old, which was beyond the age limit of 30 pursuant to Section 9 of Party-List System Act; to have changed his affiliation f  rom CIBAC’s youth sector to its overseas Filipino workers sector was not effected at least 6 months before the May 14, 2007 elections. The public respondent held that age qualification pursuant to Section 9 of RA 7941 only applied to those nominated until 1998, unless the sectoral party exclusively represents the youth which is not CIBAC’s case. Moreover, it held that Section 14 of RA 7941 did not apply as there was no resultant change in the party-list affiliation. After having her motion for reconsideration denied by Resolution No. 09-130, petitioner filed Petitioner for Certoriari contending that the public respondent has created distinctions in the application of Sections 9 and 15 of RA No. 7941 fostering interpretations that go against equal  protection of laws. In addition partial proclamation NBC Resolution 07-60 was not enough basis for Villanueva to assume office on July 10, 2007. ISSUE: Do Sections 9 and 15 of Republic Act No. 7941 apply to Villanueva? HELD: The court has held that Sections 9 and 15 of RA No. 7941 or Partylist System Act, apply to the private respondent. According to Section 9 of RA 7941, a nominee of the youth sector must be at least 25 but not more than 30 years of age on the day of election. When a youth sectoral representative attains the age of 30 during his term, he will be allowed to continue until the expiration of his term. Meanwhile, Section 15 reads “ Change of  Affiliation; Effect. Any elected party-list representative who changes his political party or sectoral affiliation  during his term of office shall forfeit his seat: Provided, That if he changes his political party orsectoral affiliation within six (6) months before an election, he shall not be eligible for nomination as party-list representative under his new  party or organization. (emphasis and underscoring supplied.)” The court has found no textual support for the public respondent’s interpretation that Section 9 is applicable only to those nominated until 1998 and found that Villanueva has changed his affiliation only on March 17, 2007, which was within 6 months before the May 2007 elections.  Therefore the court finds the private respondent not qualified to be a nominee of either the youth sector or the overseas Filipino workers and their families in May 2007 elections. CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION V. THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, G.R. No. 83896, 1991 Feb 22 FACTS: Civil Liberties Union (CLU), petitioner, seeks the declaration of unconstitutionality of Executiver Order No. 284, which was issued by President Cory  Aquino on July 25, 1989. EO No. 284 allows Cabinet members, their undersecretaries and assistant secretaries to hold positions other than their primary positions, which are subject to limitations set therein. According to CLU, the executive order contradicts Section 13 Article VII of the 1987 constitution which reads: “Sec.  13. The President, Vice-President, the Members of the Cabinet, and their deputies or assistants shall not, unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, hold any other office or employment during their tenure. They shall not, during said tenure, directly or indirectly practice any other profession, participate in any business, or be financially interested in any contract with, or in any franchise, or special privilege granted by the Government or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries. They shall strictly avoid conflict of interest in the conduct of their office.”  In addition, CLU affirms that the exceptions are applied only to the Vice President, who may be appointed as a cabinet member according to Sec. 3, Par (2) of Article 7 and to the Secretary of Justice as an ex-officio member of the Judicial and Bar Council by virtue of Se8 (1), Article 8. However, in Opinion 73 series of 1987, Secretary of Just Sedfrey Ordonez declared that exceptions indicated in Section 7, par (2), Article IXB may extend to Section 13 of Article VII. Issue: Does Section 7 of Article IX-B provide an exemption to Article VII, Section 13 of the 1987 Constitution? Held: The court ruled negative as both Constitution provisions has legislative intents to prevent government officials from holding several positions for personal gain, which is considered as a betrayal of public trust. Furthermore, Section 7 Article I-XB is applicable to all elective and appointive public officials and employees while Section 13,  Article VII describes exceptions applicable only to the President, Vice President, Members of the Cabinet, their deputies and their assistants. Therefore the phrase “ unless otherwi se provided in the Constitution” in Section 13 Article VII cannot be interpreted as an exception extending from Section 7 of Article IX-B as this would counter the legislative intents of both provisions.  MACALINTAL V. COMELEC, G.R. No. 157013, July 10 2003 FACTS:  As a taxpayer and as a lawyer, Romulo B. Macalintal filed a petition for Certoriari and prohibition seeking the declaration of certain provision of Republic Act No. 9189 or the Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003 unconstitutional. Issues: 1. Does Section 5(d) of Republic Act No. 9189 violate the residency requirement in Section 1 of Article V of the Constitution? 2. Does Section 18.5 of the same law violate the constitutional mandate that winning candidates for Presidency and Vice-Presidency shall be proclaimed as winners by Congress as described under Section 4 Article VII of the Constitution? 3. Can the congress through the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee, review, revise, amend and approve implementing rules and regulations promulgated by COMELEC without violating its independence as stated Section 1 Article IX-A of the Constitution? HELD: 1. The court ruled negative as Section 5 of RA No. 9189 clearly indicates that an immigrant or a permanent resident who is recognized as such in another country is disqualified from voting. However, those who have declared, through an affidavit, that they will assume physical and permanent residence in the Philippines not later than 3 years from approval of registration, are exceptions to this rule. The execution of such affidavit is interpreted as retention of one’s domicile in the Philippines. (2) The court ruled positive as it was clear under under Section 4 of Article VII of the Constitution that the Congress holds the sole responsibility to proclaim winners for Presidency and Vice-Presidency. COMELEC is only authorized to proclaim the winning candidates only for Senators and Party-list Reps. (3) The court ruled negative. By exercising the power to approve, review, amend and revise the Implementing Rules & Regulations for RA No. 9189, the Congress has gone beyond its scope of constitutional authority and stepped on the independence of COMELEC. NITAFAN vs CIR FACT Petitioners David Nitafan, Wenceslao Polo and Maximo Savellano Jr., who were duly appointed and qualified Judges of the RTC National Capital Judicial region, seeks to prohibit the Commissioner of Internal Revenue and the Financial Officer of the Supreme Court from making any deduction of withholding taxes from their salaries as this would constitute as a decrease from their salaries. Petitioners submit that this contradicts Section 10, Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution.   ISSUE: Does any deduction of withholding tax constitute a diminution of the Justices salaries? HELD The constitution provides that salaries may not be decreased during their continuance in the office. However, as the court has reiterated, the salaries of Judges and Justices are subject to general withholding tax applicable to all income earners. Furthermore, payment of such income tax by the Justices and Judges does not constitute a decrease of their salaries.
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