Election Laws Cases

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1. Cayetano v. Monsod, 201 SCRA 210

FACTS: Monsod was nominated by President Aquino as Chairman of the Comelec. The Commission on Appointments confirmed the appointment despite Cayetano's objection, based on Monsod's alleged lack of the required qualification of 10 year law practice. Cayetano filed this certiorari and prohibition.

ISSUE: Whether or not Monsod has been engaged in the practice of law for 10 years 

RULING: YES. The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases or litigation in court. It embraces the preparation of pleadings and other papers incident to actions and special proceedings, the management of such actions and proceedings on behalf of clients, and other works where the work done involves the determination of the trained legal mind of the legal effect of facts and conditions (PLA vs. Agrava.)

The records of the 1986 constitutional commission show that the interpretation of the term practice of law was liberal as to consider lawyers employed in the Commission of Audit as engaged in the practice of law provided that they use their legal knowledge or talent in their respective work. The court also cited an article in the January 11, 1989 issue of the Business Star, that lawyers nowadays have their own specialized fields such as tax lawyers, prosecutors, etc., that because of the demands of their specialization, lawyers engage in other works or functions to meet them. These days, for example, most corporation lawyers are involved in management policy formulation. Therefore, Monsod, who passed the bar in 1960, worked with the World Bank Group from 1963-1970, then worked for an investment bank till 1986, became member of the CONCOM in 1986, and also became a member of the Davide Commission in 1990, can be considered to have been engaged in the practice of law as lawyer-economist, lawyer-manager, lawyer-entrepreneur, etc.

2. 18 December 1990
G.R. No. 93867
FACTS:

The petitioner is challenging the designation by the President of Associate Commissioner Yorac as Acting Chairman of the COMELEC, in place of Chariman Davide.  The petitioner argues that the choice of the Acting Chairman is an internal matter to the COMELEC.  It is also averred that the designation done by the President of the Philippines violates the independence of the COMELEC.

ISSUE:

Whether the designation done by the President of the Philippines violates Article IX-A, Section 1 of the Constitution.

RULING:

Article IX-A, Section 1 of the Constitution expressly describes all the Constitutional Commissions as “independent.”  Although essentially executive in nature, they are not under the control of the President of the Philippines in the discharge of their respective functions.  Its decisions, orders and rulings are subject only to review on certiorari by the Court as provided by the Constitution in Article IX-A, Section 7.  The choice of temporary chairman in the absence of the regular chairman comes under that discretion.  That discretion cannot be exercised for it, even with its consent, by the President.   The designation by the President of respondent Yorac as Acting Chairman of the COMELEC is declared unconstitutiona

2. Sixto Brillantes, Jr. vs. Haydee B. Yorac[G.R. No. 93867. December 18, 1990.] FACTS: Respondent, as Associate COMELEC Chairman, was appointed by the President as Chairmanthereof, replacing former Chairman Hilario Davide; the former chairman was appointed to thefact-finding commission regarding the December 1989 Coup d etat. Petitioner moved for herremoval, stating that her appointment was contrary to Article IX-C, Section 1(2) of the 1987Constitution, where "(I)n no case shall any Member (of the Commission on Elections) beappointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity."Issue: Is respondents appointment as Chairman in the case at bar unconstitutional.Ruling: Yes. Article IX-A Section 1 of the Constitution expressly provides for the independence of theConstitutional...
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