Political Law

Kilusang Mayo Uno vs The Director-General

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G.R. No. 167798 – G.R. No. 167930 – 487 SCRA 623 – Political Law – Constitutional Law – The Executive Department – Powers of the President – Control Power – National ID system vs Streamline ID system

This case is consolidated with Consolidated with Bayan Muna vs Ermita

In 2005, Executive Order No. 420 was passed. This law sought to harmonize and streamline the country’s ID system. Kilusang Mayo Uno, Bayan Muna, and other concerned groups sought to enjoin the Director-General (of the National Economic and Development Authority) from implementing the EO because they allege that the said EO is unconstitutional for it infringes upon the right to privacy of the people and that the same is a usurpation of legislative power by the president.

ISSUE: Whether or not the said EO is unconstitutional.

HELD: No. Section 1 of EO 420 directs these government entities to adopt a unified multi-purpose ID system.  Thus, all government entities that issue IDs as part of their functions under existing laws are required to adopt a uniform data collection and format for their IDs.

Section 1 of EO 420 enumerates the purposes of the uniform data collection and format. The President may by executive or administrative order direct the government entities under the Executive Department to adopt a uniform ID data collection and format.  Sec 17, Article 7 of the 1987 Constitution provides that the President shall have control of all executive departments, bureaus and offices.  The same Section also mandates the President to ensure that the laws be faithfully executed.  Certainly, under this constitutional power of control the President can direct all government entities, in the exercise of their functions under existing laws, to adopt a uniform ID data collection and ID format to achieve savings, efficiency, reliability, compatibility, and convenience to the public.

The President’s constitutional power of control is self-executing and does not need any implementing legislation. Of course, the President’s power of control is limited to the Executive Branch of government and does not extend to the Judiciary or to the independent constitutional commissions.  Thus, EO 420 does not apply to the Judiciary, or to the COMELEC which under existing laws is also authorized to issue voter’s ID cards. This only shows that EO 420 does not establish a national ID system because legislation is needed to establish a single ID system that is compulsory for all branches of government.

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