Josue Javellana vs Executive Secretary

G.R. No. L-36142 – 50 SCRA 30 – Political law – Constitutional Law – The Judiciary – Judicial Review; Political Question – Validity of the 1973 Constitution – Restriction to Judicial Power

In 1973, President Ferdinand Marcos ordered the immediate implementation of the new 1973 Constitution. Josue Javellana, a Filipino and a registered voter sought to enjoin the Executive Secretary and other cabinet secretaries from implementing the 1973 constitution. Javellana averred that the 1973 constitution is void because the same was initiated by the president. He argued that the President is without power to proclaim the ratification by the Filipino people of the proposed constitution. Further, the election held to ratify such constitution is not a free election there being intimidation and fraud.

ISSUE: Whether or not the SC must give due course to the petition.

HELD: The SC ruled that they cannot rule upon the case at bar. Majority of the SC justices expressed the view that they were concluded by the ascertainment made by the president of the Philippines, in the exercise of his political prerogatives. Further, there being no competent evidence to show such fraud and intimidation during the election, it is to be assumed that the people had acquiesced in or accepted the 1973 Constitution. The question of the validity of the 1973 Constitution is a political question which was left to the people in their sovereign capacity to answer. Their ratification of the same had shown such acquiescence.

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Note: This case is dubbed as the Ratification Cases. This case essentially decreed that the Marcos Dictatorship was valid. Marcos was ousted in 1986.