Bar Q & A, Political Law

2010 Bar Exam Questions and Suggested Answers in POLITICAL LAW by the UP Law Center

PART I

I

The dictatorial regime of President A of the Republic of Gordon was toppled by a combined force led by Gen. Abe, former royal guards and the secessionist Gordon People’s Army. The new government constituted a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to look into the serious crimes committed under President A’s regime. After the hearings, the Commission recommended that an amnesty law be passed to cover even those involved in mass killings of members of indigenous groups who opposed President A. International human rights groups argued that the proposed amnesty law is contrary to international law. Decide with reasons. (4%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The proposed amnesty law is contrary to international law. The mass killings of members of indigenous groups constitute genocide under Article II(a), Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The proposed amnesty law is against international law because it is incompatible with, or in violation of the international obligation under Article IV of this Convention that “Persons committing genocide… shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.”

“The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish.”  

II

Compare and contrast the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court and International Court of Justice. (3%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice pertains to international responsibility in the concept of civil liability, while that of the International Criminal Court pertains to criminal liability.

While States are the subject of law in international responsibility under the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, the criminal liability within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court pertains to individual natural person. (Article 34(i) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice; Articles 25 and 27 of the Statute of the International Criminal Court.)

III

A,      A British photojournalist, was covering the violent protests of the Thai Red-Shirts Movement in Bangkok, Despite warnings given by the Thai Prime Minister to foreigners, specially journalists, A moved around the Thai capital. In the course of his coverage, he was killed with a stray bullet which was later identified as having come from the ranks of the Red-Shirts. The wife of A sought relief from Thai authorities but was refused assistance.

  1. Is there state responsibility on the part of Thailand? (2%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER

There is no state responsibility on the part of Thailand. The wrongful act in question is an act of private individuals and not of an organ of the government or a state official. Hence, it is not attributable to Thailand as its wrongful act for the purpose of state responsibility.

  1. What is the appropriate remedy available to the victim’s family under international law? (3%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER

The appropriate remedy available to the family of A is to seek diplomatic protection from Great Britain to press a claim for reparation. (Brownlie, Principles of Public International Law, 7th ed., pp. 460 and 477-478.) However, in order that the claim will be allowable under customary international law, the family of A must first exhaust the legal remedies available in Thailand. (Brownlie, Principles of Public International Law, 7th ed. p.492.)

IV

Choose the statement which appropriately completes the opening phrase!”

State which resorts to retorsion in international law

A. must ensure that all states consent to its act.

B. cannot curtail migration from the offending state.

C. can expel the nationals of the offending state.

D. should apply proportionate response within appreciable limit.

E. None of the above.

Explain your answer. (2%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The correct answer is letter “D”.

A State which resorts to retorsion in international law should apply proportionate response within appreciable limit. Retorsion is merely retallation for discourteous, unkind, unfair or unfriendly acts by acts of the same or similar kind. (Oppenheim’s International Law, Vol. II, 7 ed., p. 134.)

V

Congresswoman A is a co-owner of an industrial estate in Sta. Rosa, Laguna which she had declared in her Statement of Assets and Liabilities. A member of her political party authored a bill which would provide a 5-year development plan for all industrial estates in the Southern Tagalog Region to attract investors. The plan included an appropriation of 2 billion pesos for construction of roads around the estates. When the bill finally became law, a civil society watchdog questioned the constitutionality of the law as it obviously benefitted Congresswoman A’s industrial estate. Decide with reasons. (3%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The law is constitutional. Section 12, Article VI of the Constitution does not prohibit the enactment of a law which will benefit the business interests of a member of the Senate or the House of Representatives. It only requires that if the member of Congress whose business interests will be benefited by the law is the one who will file the bill, he should notify the House concerned of the potential conflict of interest.

VI

The “Poverty Alleviation and Assistance Act was passed to enhance the capacity of the most marginalized families nationwide. A financial assistance scheme called “conditional cash transfers” was initially funded 500 million pesos by Congress. One of the provisions of the law gave the Joint-Congressional Oversight Committee authority to screen the list of beneficiary families initially determined by the Secretary of Department of Social Welfare and Development pursuant to the Department implementing rules. Mang Pandoy, a resident of Smokey Mountain in Tondo, questioned the authority of the Committee.

  1. Does Mang Pandoy have legal standing to question the law? (2%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

On the assumption that Mang Pandoy is a beneficiary of the financial legal assistance, he has legal standing to question the law. He may be prejudiced by the improper screening of the beneficiary families. (Province of Batangas v. Romulo, 492 SCRA 736 (2004). Besides, since the implementation of the law will require the expenditure of public funds, as a taxpayer Mang Pandoy has legal standing to question the law. (Cruzv. Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, 347 SCRA 128 [2000].)

  1. Is the grant of authority to the Oversight Committee to screen beneficiaries constitutional? (3%)

Decide with reasons.

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The grant of authority to the Oversight Committee to screen beneficiaries is unconstitutional. It violates the principle of separation of powers. By being involved in the implementation of the law, the Oversight Committee will be exercising executive power. (Abakada Guro Party List . Puristma, 562 SCRA 251 [2008].)

 

VII

True or False.

  1. A proclamation of a state of emergency is sufficient to allow the President to take over any public utility. (0.5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER

The statement that a proclamation of emergency is sufficient to allow the President to take over any public utility is false. Since it is an aspect of emergency powers, in accordance with Section 23(2), Article VI of the Constitution, there must be a law delegating such power to the President. (David J. Macapagal-Arroyo, 489 SCRA 160 [2006].)

  1. A treaty which provides tax exemption needs no concurrence by a majority of all the Members of the Congress. (0.5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER

The statement that a treaty which provides tax exemption needs no concurrence by a majority of all the Members of Congress is true. It is only a law, not a treaty, granting a tax exemption which requires the concurrence of a majority of all the Members of Congress. (Section 28(4), Article VI of the Constitution.) Without respect to its lawful substantive content, a treaty, to be valid and effective, requires concurrence by at least two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate. (Sec. 24, Art. VII of the Constitution).

VIII

Distinguish “presidential communications privilege from “deliberative process privilege.” (3%)

 

 

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

Presidential communications privilege applies to decision-making of the President. The deliberative process privilege applies to decision-making of executive officials. Unlike the deliberative process privilege,” “the presidential communications privilege” applies to documents in their entirety and covers final and post decisional matters, as well as pre-deliberative ones. The deliberative process privilege includes advisory opinions, recommendations and deliberations comprising part of a process by which governmental decisions and policies are formulated. (Nerd v. Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations, 549 SCRA 77 [2008].)

IX

The League of Filipino Political Scientists (LFPS) organized an international conference on the human rights situation in Myanmar at the Central Luzon State University (CLSU). An exiled Myanmar professor Sung Kui, critical of the military government in Myanmar, was invited as keynote speaker. The Secretary of Foreign Affairs informed the President of the regional and national security implications of having Prof. Kui address the conference. The President thereupon instructed the immigration authorities to prevent the entry of Prof. Kui into Philippine territory. The chancellor of CLSU argued that the instruction violates the Constitution. Decide with reasons. (4%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The argument of the chancellor of Central Luzon State University is not valid. Since an alien has no right to enter the Philppines, preventing Prof. Sing Kui from entering the Philippines is not a violation of his rights. (Lee and Quigley, Consular Law and Practice, 34 ed., p. 220.) Since the President has the power of control over foreign relations, he has the power to ban aliens from entering the Philippines. (United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corporation, 299 U.S. 304 [1936].)

X

A, the wife of an alleged victim of enforced disappearance, applied for the issuance of a Writ of Amparo before a Regional Trial Court in Tarlac. Upon motion of A, the court issued inspection and production orders addressed to the AFP Chief of Staff to allow entry at Carp Aquino and permit the copying of relevant documents, including the list of detainees, if any. Accompanied by court-designated Commission on Human Rights (CHR) lawyers, A took photographs of a suspected isolation cell where her husband was allegedly seen being held for three days and tortured before he finally disappeared. The CHR lawyers requested one Lt. Valdez for a photocopy of the master plan of Camp Aquino and to confirm in writing that he had custody of the master plan. Lt. Valdez objected on the ground that it may violate his right against self-incrimination. Decide with reasons. (4%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The objection of Lt. Valdez is not valid. The right against self-incrimination refers to testimonial evidence and does not apply to the production of a photocopy ofthe master plan of Camp Aquino, because it is a public record. He cannot object to the request for him to confirm his custody of the master plan, because he is the public officer who had custody of it. (Almonte v. Vasquez, 244 SCRA 286 [19951.)

XI

Which statement best completes the following phrase: (1%)

“Freedom from torture is a night

  1. subject to derogation when national security is threatened.”
  2. confined only during custodial investigation.”
  3. which is non-derogable both during peacetime and in a situation of armed conflict.”
  4. both (a) and (b)
  5. none of the above.

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The correct answer is letter “C”.

Freedom from torture is non-derogable both during peacetime and in a situation of armed conflict. Under Article 4 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the State Parties may take measures in derogation of their obligations under this Covenant in time of public emergency. But this derogation clause does not apply to prohibition against torture, pursuant to Article 4/2) of the Covenant. Hence, no derogation may be made in regard to torture.

XII

A witnessed two hooded men with baseball bats enter the house of their next door neighbor B. After a few seconds, he heard B shouting, *Huwag Pilo babayaran kita agad.” Then A saw the two hooded men hitting B until the latter fell lifeless. The assailants escaped using a yellow motorcycle with a fireball sticker on it toward the direction of an exclusive village nearby. A reported the incident to P01 Nuval. The following day, PO1 Nuval saw the motorcycle parked in the garage of a house at Sta. Ines Street inside the exclusive village. He inquired with the caretaker as to who owned the motorcycle. The caretaker named the brothers Pilo and Ramon Maradona who were then outside the country. PO1 Nuval insisted on getting inside the garage. Out of fear, the caretaker allowed him. POI Nuval took 2 ski masks and 2 bats beside the motorcycle. Was the search valid? What about the seizure? Decide with reasons. (4%)

 

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The warrantless search and the seizure was not valid. It was not made as an incident to a lawful warrantless arrest. (People v. Baula, 344 SCRA 663 [2000].) The caretaker had no authority to waive the right of the brothers Pilo and Ramon Maradona to waive their right against an unreasonable search and seizure. (People v. Damaso, 212 SCRA 547 [1992].) The warrantless seizure of the ski masks and bats cannot be justified under the plain view doctrine, because they were seized after an invalid intrusion into the house. (People v. Bolasa, 321 SCRA 459 [1999].)

XIII

True or False.

  1. A valid and definite offer to buy a property is a prerequisite to expropriation initiated by a local government unit. (0.5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

  1. The statement that a valid and definite offer to buy a property is a pre-requirement to expropriation initiated by a local government is true. (Section 19, Local Government Code.)
  2. Re-classification of land by a local government unit may be done through a resolution. (0.5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The statement that a local government unit may reclassify land through a resolution is false. Under Section 2 of the Local Government Code, the enactment of an ordinance is required. (Department of Agrarian Reform v. Polo Coconut Plantation Company, Inc., 564 SCRA 78 [2008].)                      

  1. Boundary disputes between and among municipalities in the same province may be filed immediately with the Regional Trial Court. (0.5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The statement that boundary disputes between and among municipalities in the same province may be filed immediately with the Regional Trial Court is false. Under Section 118 of the Local Government Code, they should be referred for settlement to the sangguniang panlalawigan. (Municipality of Sta. Fev. Municipality of Artao, 533 SCRA 586 [2007].)

  1. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority is authorized to confiscate a driver’s license in the enforcement of traffic regulations. (0.5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The statement that the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority is authorized to confiscate a driver’s license in the enforcement of traffic regulations is false. Since Republic Act No. 7924 does not grant the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority the authority to enact ordinances, the grant to it by Section 5(f) of Republic Act No. 7924 of the power to confiscate drivers’ licenses without the need of any other law is an unauthorized exercise of police power. (Metropolitan Manila Development Authority v. Garin, 456 SCRA 176 [2005].)

XIV

ABC operates an industrial waste processing plant within Laoag City. Occasionally, whenever fluid substances are released through a nearby creek, obnoxious odor is emitted causing dizziness among residents in Barangay La Paz. On complaint of the Punong Barangay, the City Mayor wrote ABC demanding that it abate the nuisance. This was ignored. An invitation to attend a hearing called by the Sangguniang Panlungsod was also declined by the president of ABC. The city government thereupon issued a ceax and desist order to stop the operations of the plant, prompting ABC to file a petition for injunction before the Regional Trial Court, arguing that the city government did not have any power to abate the alleged nuisance. Decide with reasons. (3%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The city government has no power to stop the operations of the plant. Since its operations is not a nuisance per se, the city government cannot abate it extrajudicially. A suit must be filed in court. (AC Enterprises, Inc. v. Frabelle Properties Corporation, 506 SCRA 625 [2006].)

XV

True or False

  1. A person who occupies an office that is defectively created is a de facto officer. (0.5%)

FIRST ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:

The statement that a person who occupies an office that is defectively created is a de facto officer is false. For him to be a de facto officer, the office must be validly created. (Tuanda v. Sandiganbayan, 249 SCRA 342 [1995].)

SECOND ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:

The statement that a person who oceupies in office that is defectively created is a de facto officer is true. The person appointed or elected pursuant to an unconstitutional law is a de facto officer, before the law is declared to be such. (State v. Caroll, 38 Conn. [1871].)

  1. The rule on nepotism does not apply to designations made in favor of a relative of the authority making a designation. (0.5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The statement that the rule on nepotism does not apply to designations made in favor of a relative of the authority making the designation is false. Designation accomplishes the same purpose as appointment. (Laurel v. Civil Service Commission, 203 SCRA 195 [1991].)

  1. A discretionary duty of a public officer is never delegable. (0.5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The statement that a discretionary duty of a public officer can never be delegated is false. It can be delegated if the delegation is authorized (Mechem, A Treatise on the Law of Public Offices and officers, p. 368.)

  1. Acquisition of civil service eligibility during tenure of a temporary appointee does not automatically translate to a permanent appointment. (0.5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The statement that the acquisition of civil service eligibility during the tenure of a temporary appointee does not automatically translate to a permanent appointment is true. A new appointment which is permanent is necessary. (Province of Camarines Sur v. Court of Appeals, 246 SCRA 281[1995].)  

 

 

 

XVI

Rudy Domingo, 38 years old, natural-born Filipino and a resident of the Philippines since birth, is a Manila-based entrepreneur who runs KABAKA, a coalition of peoples’ organizations from fisherfolk communities. KABAKA’S operations consist of empowering fisherfolk leaders through livelihood projects and trainings on good governance. The Dutch Foundation for Global Initiatives, a private organization registered in The Netherlands, receives a huge subsidy from the Dutch Foreign Ministry, which, in turn is allocated worldwide to the Foundation’s partners like KABAKA. Rudy seeks to register KABAKA as a party-list with himself as a nominee of the coalition. Will KABAKA and Rudy be qualified as a party-list and a nominee, respectively? Decide with reasons. (4%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

KABAKA and Rudy are not qualified as a party list and as nominee, respectively, since KABAKA is receiving a subsidy from the Dutch Foreign Ministry. Under Section 2(5), Article LX-C of the Constitution, a political party which is supported by any foreign government cannot be registered with the Commission on Elections.

XVII

During his campaign sortie in Barangay Salamanca, Mayor Galicia was arrested at a PNP checkpoint for carrying high-powered firearms in his car. He was charged and convicted for violation of the COMELEC gun ban. He did not appeal his conviction and instead applied for executive clemency. Acting on the favorable recommendation of the Board of Pardons and Parole, the President granted him pardon. Is he eligible to run again for an elective position? Explain briefly. (5%)

 

 

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

Mayor Galicia can run again for an elective office but not immediately. Under Section 40 of the Local Government Code, he cannot run for an elective local office within two (2) years after serving sentence. Under Section 12 of the Omnibus Election Code, he can run for an elective national office after the expiration of five (5) years from his service of sentence. The pardon granted to him is not valid. The offense involved a violation of the Omnibus Election Code and the pardon was granted without the favorable recommendation of the Commission on Elections. (Section 5, Article IX-C of the Constitution.)

XVIII

The House Committee on Appropriations conducted an inquiry in aid of legislation into alleged irregular and anomalous disbursements of the Countrywide Development Fund (CDF) and Congressional Initiative Allocation (CIA) of Congressmen as exposed by X, a Division Chief of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). Implicated in the questionable disbursements are high officials of the Palace. The House Committee summoned X and the DBM Secretary to appear and testify. X refused to appear, while the Secretary appeared but refused to testify invoking executive privilege.

  1. May X be compelled to appear and testify? If yes, what sanction may be imposed on him? (2%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

X may be compelled to appear and testify. Only the President or the Executive Secretary by order of the President can invoke executive privilege. (Senate of the Philippines v. Ermita, 488 SCRA 13 [2006].) He can be cited for contempt and ordered to be arrested. (De la Paz v. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, 579 SCRA 521 [2009].)

  1. Is the Budget Secretary shielded by executive privilege from responding to the inquiries of the House Committee? Explain briefly. If the answer is no, is there any sanction that may be imposed upon him? (3%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The Secretary of Budget and Management is not shielded by executive privilege from responding to the inquires of the House Committee on Appropriations, because the inquiry is in aid of legislation and neither the President nor the Executive Secretary by order of the President invoked executive privilege. (Senate of the Philippines v. Ermita, 488 SCRA 1 [2006].) For refusing to testify, he may be cited for contempt and ordered to be arrested. (De la Paz v. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, 519 SCRA 521 [2009].)

XIX

To instill religious awareness in the students of Dona Trinidad High School, a public school in Bulacan, the ParentTeacher’s Association of the school contributed funds for the construction of a grotto and a chapel where ecumenical religious services and seminars are being held after school hours. The use of the school grounds for these purposes was questioned by a parent who does not belong to any religious group. As his complaint was not addressed by the school officials, he filed an administrative complaint against the principal before the DECS. Is the principal liable? Explain briefly. (5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The principal is liable. Although the grotto and the chapel can be used by different religious sects without discrimination, the land occupied by the grotto and the chapel will be permanently devoted to religious use without being required to pay rent. This violates the prohibition against the establishment of religion enshrined in Section 5 of the Bill of Rights. (Opinion No. 12 of the Secretary of Justice dated February 2, 1979.) Although religion is allowed to be taught in public elementary and high schools, it should be without additional cost to the government. (Section 3(3), Article XIV of the Constitution.)

XX

Define/explain the following:

  1. Doctrine of operative facts (1%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The doctrine of operative facts means that before a law was declared unconstitutional, its actual existence must be taken into account and whatever was done while the law was in operation should be recognized as valid. (Rieta v. People, 436 SCRA 273 [2004].)

  1. De facto municipal corporation (1%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

A de facto municipal corporation is one so defectively created as not to be a de jure corporation but is nevertheless the result of a bona fide attempt to incorporate under existing statutory authority, coupled with the exercise of corporate powers, and recognized by the courts as such on the ground of public policy in all proceedings except a direct attack by the state questioning its corporate existence. (Angeles, Restatement of the Law on Local Governments, p. 23.)

 

 

 

  1. Municipal corporation by estoppel (1%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

A municipal corporation by estoppel is a corporation which is so defectively formed as not to be a de facto corporation but is considered a corporation in relation to someone who dealt with it and acquiesced in its exercise of its corporate functions or entered into a contract with it. (Martin, Public Corporations, 1985 ed.. p. 20.)

  1. Doctrine of necessary implication (1%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The doctrine of necessary implication means that every statute is understood by implication to contain all such provisions as may be necessary to effectuate its object and purpose, or to make effective rights, powers, privileges or jurisdiction which it grants, including all such collateral and subsidiary consequences as may be fairly and logically inferred from its terms. (Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines, Inc. v. Secretary of Labor, 312 SCRA 104 [1999].)

  1. Principle of holdover (1%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The principle of holdover means that in the absence of an express or implied constitutional or statutory provision to the contrary, an officer is entitled to hold his office until his successor is appointed or chosen and has been qualified. (Topacio Nueno v. Angeles, 76 Phil. 12 [1946].)

XXI

The Sangguniang Panlungsod of Pasay City passed an ordinance requiring all disco pub owners to have all their hospitality girls tested for the AIDS virus. Both disco pub owners and the hospitality girls assailed the validity of the ordinance for being violative of their constitutional rights to privacy and to freely choose a calling or business. Is the ordinance valid? Explain. (5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The ordinance is a valid exercise of police power. The right to privacy yields to certain paramount rights of the public and defers to the exercise of police power. The ordinance is not prohibiting the disco pub owners and the hospitality girls from pursuing their calling or business but is merely regulating it. (Social Justice Society u. Dangerous Drugs Board, 570 SCRA 410 [2008].) The ordinance is a valid exercise of police power, because its purpose is to safeguard public health. (Beltran vs. Secretary of Health, 476 SCRA 168 [2005].)

XXII

Governor Diy was serving his third term when he lost his governorship in a recall election.

  1. Who shall succeed Governor Diy in his office as Governor? (1%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The candidate who received the highest number of votes in the recall will succeed Governor Diy. (Section 72 of the Local Government Code.)

  1. Can Governor Diy run again as governor in the next election? (2%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

Governor Diy can run again as governor. He did not fully serve his third term, because he lost in the recall election. His third term should not be included in computing the three-term limit. [Lorzardav. Cornission on Elections, 311 SCRA 602 [1999).)

  1. Can Governor Diy refuse to run in the recall election and instead resign from his position as governor? (2%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

Governor Diy cannot refuse to run in the recall election. He is automatically considered as a duly registered candidate. (Section 71, Local Government Code.) He is not allowed to resign. (Section 73, Local Government Code.)

XXIII

A was a career Ambassador when he accepted an ad interim appointment as Cabinet Member. The Commission on Appointments bypassed his ad interim appointment, however, and he was not re-appointed. Can he re-assume his position as career Ambassador? (5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The career Ambassador cannot re-assume his position as career Ambassador. His ad interim appointment as Cabinet Member was a permanent appointment. (Summers us. Ozaeta, 81 Phil 754 (1948).) He abandoned his position as Ambassador when he accepted his appointment as Cabinet Member because as Cabinet Member, he could not hold any other office during his tenure. (Section 13, Article VII, Constitution.)

 

XXIV

Compare and contrast “overbreadth doctrine” from “void-for-vagueness” doctrine. (5%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

While the overbreadth doctrine decrees that a governmental purpose may not be achieved by means in a statute which sweep unnecessary broadly and thereby invades the area of protected freedom a statute is void for vagueness when it forbids or requires the doing of an act in terms so vague that men of common intelligence cannot necessarily guess at its meaning and differ is to its application. (Estrada v. Sandiganbayan, 369 SCRA 394 [2001].)

XXV

  1. What is the rotational scheme of appointments in the COMELEC? (2%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The rotational scheme of appointments in the Commission on Elections refers to the scheme in which there is a regular recurrence of a two-year interval between the expiration of terms of the Chairman and the Commissioners. (Gaminde vs. Commission on Audit, 347 SCRA 655 (2000).)

  1. What are the two conditions for its workability? (2%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The two (2) conditions for the workability of the rotational scheme of appointments are the following: (1) the terms of the first Chairman and Commissioners should start on a common date, irrespective of variation of dates of their appointments and qualifications, and (2) any vacancy due to the death, resignation or disability before expiration of the term should be filled only for the unexpired balance of the term. (Gaminde v. Commission on Audit, 347 SCRA 655 (2000).)

  1. To what other constitutional offices does the rotational scheme of appointments apply? (2%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

The rotational scheme of appointments applies also to the Judicial and Bar Council, the Civil Service Commission, and the Commission on Audit. (Section 9(2), Article VIII, Section 1(2), Article IX-B and Section 1(2), Article IX-D of the Constitution.)

XXVI

Distinguish between “pocket veto” and “item veto.” (2%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

A pocket veto is when the President is considered to have rejected a bill submitted to him for his approval when Congress adjourns during the period given to the President to approve or reject a bill.

On the other hand, an item veto, or partial veto, is the power of a President to nullify or cancel specific provisions of a bill, usually a budget appropriations bill, without vetoing the entire legislative package.

 

XXVII

What is the concept of association under international law? (2%)

SUGGESTED ANSWER:

An association is formed when two states of unequal power voluntarily establish durable links. The associate delegates certain responsibilities to the other, the principal, while maintaining its status as a state. It is an association between sovereigns. The associated state arrangement has usually been used as a transitional device of former colonies on their way to full independence. (Province of North Cotabato v. Government of the Republic ofthe Philippines Peace Panel on Ancestral Domain, 568 SCRA 402 [2008]-)

Association, under international law. is a formal arrangement between a non-self-governing territory and an independent State whereby such territory becomes an associated State with internal self-government, but the independent state is responsible for foreign relations and defense.

For an association to be lawful, it must comply with the general conditions prescribed in UN General Assembly Resolution 1541(XV) of 14 December 160: (1) the population must consent to the association; and (2) the association must promote the development and wellbeing of the dependent state (the non-self-governing territory). Association is subject to UN approval.

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