Case Digests

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Salazar, Kristine Kim B. 4-DLM
1. Arturo Tolentino vs Secretary of Finance
FACTS: Tolentino et al is questioning the constitutionality of RA 7716 otherwise known as the Expanded Value Added Tax (EVAT) Law. Tolentino averred that this revenue bill did not exclusively originate from the House of Representatives as required by Section 24, Article 6 of the Constitution. Even though RA 7716 originated as HB 11197 and that it passed the 3 readings in the HoR, the same did not complete the 3 readings in Senate for after the 1st reading it was referred to the Senate Ways & Means Committee thereafter Senate passed its own version known as Senate Bill 1630. Tolentino averred that what Senate could have done is amend HB 11197 by striking out its text and substituting it w/ the text of SB 1630 in that way “the bill remains a House Bill and the Senate version just becomes the text (only the text) of the HB”. Tolentino and co-petitioner Roco [however] even signed the said Senate Bill. ISSUE: Whether or not EVAT originated in the HoR.

HELD: By a 9-6 vote, the SC rejected the challenge, holding that such consolidation was consistent with the power of the Senate to propose or concur with amendments to the version originated in the HoR. What the Constitution simply means, according to the 9 justices, is that the initiative must come from the HoR. Note also that there were several instances before where Senate passed its own version rather than having the HoR version as far as revenue and other such bills are concerned. This practice of amendment by substitution has always been accepted. The proposition of Tolentino concerns a mere matter of form. There is no showing that it would make a significant difference if Senate were to adopt his over what has been done.

2. Kapatiran ng mga Naglilingkod sa Pamahalaan vs. Tan

GR L-81311, 30 June 1988
En Banc, Padilla (J): 12 concur, 2 on leave

FACTS: EO 273 was issued by the President of the Philippines which amended the Revenue Code, adopting the value-added tax (VAT) effective 1 January 1988. Four petitions assailed the validity of the VAT Law fro being beyond the President to enact; for being oppressive, discriminatory, regressive, and violative of the due process and equal protection clauses, among others, of the Constitution. The Integrated Customs Brokers Association particularly contend that it unduly discriminate against customs brokers (Section 103 [r]) as the amended provision of the Tax Code provides that “service performed in the exercise of profession or calling(except custom brokers) subject to occupational tax under the Local Tax Code, and professional services performed by registered general professional partnerships are exempt from VAT.

ISSUE: Whether the E-VAT law discriminates against customs brokers.

HELD: The phrase “except custom brokers” is not meant to discriminate against custom brokers but to avert a potential conflict between Sections 102 and 103 of the Tax Code, as amended. The distinction of the customs brokers from the other professionals who are subject to occupation tax under the Local Tax Code is based upon material differences, in that the activities of customs brokers partake more of a business, rather than a profession and were thus subjected to the percentage tax under Section 174 of the Tax Code prior to its amendment by EO 273. EO 273 abolished the percentage tax and replaced it with the VAT. If the Association did not protest the classification of customs brokers then, there is no reason why it should protest now

3. ABAKADA Guro Party List vs. Ermita
G.R. No. 168056 September 1, 2005

FACTS: Before R.A. No. 9337 took effect, petitioners ABAKADA GURO Party List, et al., filed a petition for prohibition on May 27, 2005 questioning the constitutionality of Sections 4, 5 and 6 of R.A. No. 9337, amending Sections 106, 107 and 108, respectively, of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC). Section 4 imposes a 10%...
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