G.R. No. L-29658 – 26 SCRA 150 – Political Law – The Legislative Department – Powers of Congress – Lawmaking Power – Legislative Process – Journal vs Enrolled Bill
Enrique Morales has served as captain in the police department of a city for at least three years but does not possess a bachelor’s degree. Morales was the chief of the detective bureau of the Manila Police Department and holds the rank of lieutenant colonel. He began his career in 1934 as patrolman and gradually rose to his present position. Upon the resignation of the former Chief, Morales was designated acting chief of police of Manila and, at the same time, given a provisional appointment to the same position by the mayor of Manila. Abelardo Subido, Commissioner of Civil Service, approved the designation of Morales as acting chief but rejected his appointment for “failure to meet the minimum educational and civil service eligibility requirements for the said position.” Instead, Subido certified other persons as qualified for the post. Subido invoked Section 10 of the Police Act of 1966, which Section reads:
Minimum qualification for appointment as Chief of Police Agency. – No person may be appointed chief of a city police agency unless he holds a bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution of learning and has served either in the Armed Forces of the Philippines or the National Bureau of Investigation, or has served as chief of police with exemplary record, or has served in the police department of any city with rank of captain or its equivalent therein for at least three years; or any high school graduate who has served as officer in the Armed Forces for at least eight years with the rank of captain and/or higher.
Nowhere in the above provision is it provided that a person “who has served the police department of a city” can be qualified for said office. Morales however argued that when the said act was being deliberated upon, the approved version was actually the following:
No person may be appointed chief of a city police agency unless he holds a bachelor’s degree and has served either in the Armed Forces of the Philippines or the National Bureau of Investigation or police department of any city and has held the rank of captain or its equivalent therein for at least three years or any high school graduate who has served the police department of a city or who has served as officer of the Armed Forces for at least 8 years with the rank of captain and/or higher.
Morales argued that the above version was the one which was actually approved by Congress but when the bill emerged from the conference committee the only change made in the provision was the insertion of the phrase “or has served as chief of police with exemplary record.” Morales went on to support his case by producing copies of certified photostatic copy of a memorandum which according to him was signed by an employee in the Senate bill division, and can be found attached to the page proofs of the then bill being deliberated upon.
ISSUE: Whether or not the SC must look upon the history of the bill, thereby inquiring upon the journals, to look searchingly into the matter.
HELD: No. The enrolled Act in the office of the legislative secretary of the President of the Philippines shows that Section 10 is exactly as it is in the statute as officially published in slip form by the Bureau of Printing. The SC cannot go behind the enrolled Act to discover what really happened. The respect due to the other branches of the Government demands that the SC act upon the faith and credit of what the officers of the said branches attest to as the official acts of their respective departments. Otherwise the SC would be cast in the unenviable and unwanted role of a sleuth trying to determine what actually did happen in the labyrinth of lawmaking, with consequent impairment of the integrity of the legislative process.
The SC is not of course to be understood as holding that in all cases the journals must yield to the enrolled bill. To be sure there are certain matters which the Constitution expressly requires must be entered on the journal of each house. To what extent the validity of a legislative act may be affected by a failure to have such matters entered on the journal, is a question which the SC can decide upon but is not currently being confronted in the case at bar hence the SC does not now decide. All the SC holds is that with respect to matters not expressly required to be entered on the journal, the enrolled bill prevails in the event of any discrepancy.