Political Law

Eulogio Rodriguez vs Vicente Gella

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G.R. No. L-6266 – 92 Phil. 603 – Political Law – Basic Concepts – Elements of a State – Government – Branches of the Government – Separation of Powers – Second Emergency Powers Cases – Lawmaking power is lodged in the legislature

Eulogio Rodriguez et al seek to invalidate Executive Orders 545 and 546 issued in 1952, the first appropriating the sum of P37,850,500 for urgent and essential public works, and the second setting aside the sum of P11,367,600 for relief in the provinces and cities visited by typhoons, floods, droughts, earthquakes, volcanic action and other calamities. They sought to have Vicente Gella, then National Treasurer, be enjoined from releasing funds pursuant to said EOs. These EO’s were pursuant to Commonwealth Act 671. Note that prior to Araneta vs Dinglasan, Congress passed House Bill 727 intending to revoke CA 671 but the same was vetoed by the President due to the Korean War and his perception that war is still subsisting as a fact. Note also that CA 671 was already declared inoperative by the Supreme Court in the same case of Araneta vs Dinglasan.

ISSUE: Whether or not the EO’s are valid.

HELD: No. As similarly decided in the Araneta case, the EOs issued in pursuant to CA 671 shall be rendered ineffective. The president did not invoke any actual emergencies or calamities emanating from the last world war for which CA 671 has been intended. Without such invocation, the veto of the president cannot be of merit for the emergency he feared cannot be attributed to the war contemplated in CA 671. Even if the president vetoed the repealing bill the intent of Congress must be given due weight. For it would be absurd to contend otherwise. For “while Congress might delegate its power by a simple majority, it might not be able to recall them except by two-third vote. In other words, it would be easier for Congress to delegate its powers than to take them back. This is not right and is not, and ought not to be the law.”  Act No. 671 may be likened to an ordinary contract of agency, whereby the consent of the agent is necessary only in the sense that he cannot be compelled to accept the trust, in the same way that the principal cannot be forced to keep the relation in eternity or at the will of the agent. Neither can it be suggested that the agency created under the Act is coupled with interest.

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