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Friday, October 16, 2009

2009 Philippine Bar Exam: Political Law Part I


PART I

I
TRUE or FALSE. Answer TRUE if the statement is true, or FALSE if the statement is false. Explain your answer in not more than two (2) sentences. (5%)

[a] A law making “Bayan Ko” the new national anthem of the Philippines, in lieu of “Lupang Hinirang,” is constitutional.

[b] Under the archipelago doctrine, the waters around, between, and connecting the islands of the archipelago form part of the territorial sea of the archipelagic state.

[c] A law that makes military service for women merely voluntary is constitutional.

[d] A law fixing the passing grade in the Bar examinations at 70%, with no grade lower than 40% in any subject, is constitutional.

[e] An educational institution 100% foreign-owned may be validly established in the Philippines.

II
Despite lingering questions about his Filipino citizenship and his one-year residence in the district, Gabriel filed his certificate of candidacy for congressman before the deadline set by law. His opponent, Vito, hires you as lawyer to contest Gabriel’s candidacy.
[a] Before election day, what action or actions will you institute against Gabriel, and before which court, commission or tribunal will you file such action/s? Reasons. (2%)

[b] If, during the pendency of such action/s but before election day, Gabriel withdraws his certificate of candidacy, can he be substituted as candidate? If so, by whom and why? If not, why
not? (2%)

[c] If the action/s instituted should be dismissed with finality before the election, and Gabriel assumes office after being proclaimed the winner in the election, can the issue of his candidacy and/or citizenship and residence still be questioned? If so, what action or actions may be filed and where? If not, why not? (2%)
III
The Municipality of Bulalakaw, Leyte, passed Ordinance No. 1234, authorizing the expropriation of two parcels of land situated in the poblacion as the site of a freedom park, and appropriating the funds needed therefor. Upon review, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Leyte disapproved the ordinance because the municipality has an existing freedom park which, though smaller in size, is still suitable for the purpose, and to pursue expropriation would be needless expenditure of the people’s money. Is the disapproval of the ordinance correct? Explain your answer. (2%)
IV
The Municipality of Pinatukdao is sued for damages arising from injuries sustained by a pedestrian who was hit by a glass pane that fell from a dilapidated window frame of the municipal hall. The municipality files a motion to dismiss the complaint, invoking state immunity from suit. Resolve the motion with reasons. (3%)

V
To address the pervasive problem of gambling, Congress is considering the following options: (1) prohibit all forms of gambling; (2) allow gambling only on Sundays; (3) allow gambling only in government-owned casinos; and (4) remove all prohibitions against gambling but impose a tax equivalent to 30% on all winnings.

[a] If Congress chooses the first option and passes the corresponding law absolutely prohibiting all forms of gambling, can the law be validly attacked on the ground that it is an invalid exercise of police power? Explain your answer. (2%)

[b] If Congress chooses the last option and passes the corresponding law imposing a 30% tax on all winnings and prizes won from gambling, would the law comply with the constitutional limitations on the exercise of the power of taxation? Explain your answer. (2%)

VI
In a criminal prosecution for murder, the prosecution presented, as witness, an employee of the Manila Hotel who produced in court a videotape recording showing the heated exchange between the accused and the victim that took place at the lobby of the hotel barely 30 minutes before the killing. The accused objects to the admission of the videotape recording on the ground that it was taken without his knowledge or consent, in violation of his right to privacy and the Anti-Wire Tapping law. Resolve the objection with reasons. (3%)

VII
Crack agents of the Manila Police Anti-Narcotics Unit were on surveillance of a cemetery where the sale and use of prohibited drugs were rumored to be rampant. The team saw a man with reddish and glassy eyes walking unsteadily towards them, but he immediately veered away upon seeing the policemen. The team approached the man, introduced themselves as peace officers, then asked what he had in his clenched fist. Because the man refused to answer, a policeman pried the fist open and saw a plastic sachet filled with crystalline substance. The team then took the man into
custody and submitted the contents of the sachet to forensic examination. The crystalline substance in the sachet turned out to be shabu. The man was accordingly charged in court. During the trial, the accused:

[a] challenged the validity of his arrest; (2%) and
[b] objected to the admission in evidence of the prohibited drug, claiming that it was obtained in an illegal search and seizure. (2%) Decide with reasons.

VIII
Congressman Nonoy delivered a privilege speech charging the Intercontinental Universal Bank (IUB) with the sale of unregistered foreign securities, in violation of R.A. 8799. He then filed, and the House of Representatives unanimously approved, a Resolution directing the House Committee on Good Government (HCGG) to conduct an inquiry on the matter, in aid of legislation, in order to prevent the recurrence of any similar fraudulent activity. The HCGG immediately scheduled a hearing and invited the responsible officials of IUB, the Chairman and Commissioners of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). On the date set for the hearing, only the SEC Commissioners appeared, prompting Congressman Nonoy to move for the issuance of the appropriate subpoena ad testificandum to compel the attendance of the invited resource persons. The IUB officials filed suit to prohibit HCGG from proceeding with the inquiry and to quash the subpoena, raising the following arguments:

[a] The subject of the legislative investigation is also the subject of criminal and civil actions pending before the courts and the prosecutor’s office; thus, the legislative inquiry would preempt
judicial action; (3%) and

[b] Compelling the IUB officials, who are also respondents in the criminal and civil cases in court, to testify at the inquiry would violate their constitutional right against self-incrimination. (3%)
Are the foregoing arguments tenable? Reasons.

[c] May the Governor of the BSP validly invoke executive privilege and, thus, refuse to attend the legislative inquiry? Why or why not? (3%)

IX
Warlito, a natural-born Filipino, took up permanent residence in the United States, and eventually acquired American citizenship. He then married Shirley, an American, and sired three children. In
August 2009, Warlito decided to visit the Philippines with his wife and children: Johnny, 23 years of age; Warlito, Jr., 20; and Luisa, 17. While in the Philippines, a friend informed him that he could
reacquire Philippine citizenship without necessarily losing U.S. nationality. Thus, he took the oath of allegiance required under R.A. 9225.
[a] Having reacquired Philippine citizenship, is Warlito a natural-born or a naturalized Filipino citizen today? Explain your answer. (3%)

[b] With Warlito having regained Philippine citizenship, will Shirley also become a Filipino citizen? If so, why? If not, what would be the most speedy procedure for Shirley to acquire Philippine citizenship? Explain. (3%)

[c] Do the children --- Johnny, Warlito Jr., and Luisa --- become Filipino citizens with their father’s reacquisition of Philippine citizenship? Explain your answer. (3%)

X
Maximino, an employee of the Department of Education, is administratively charged with dishonesty and gross misconduct. During the formal investigation of the charges, the Secretary of
Education preventively suspended him for a period of sixty (60) days. On the 60th day of the preventive suspension, the Secretary rendered a verdict, finding Maximino guilty, and ordered his
immediate dismissal from the service. Maximino appealed to the Civil Service Commission (CSC), which affirmed the Secretary’s decision. Maximino then elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals (CA). The CA reversed the CSC decision, exonerating Maximino. The Secretary of Education then petitions the Supreme Court (SC) for the review of the CA decision.

[a] Is the Secretary of Education a proper party to seek the review of the CA decision exonerating Maximino? Reasons. (2%)

[b] If the SC affirms the CA decision, is Maximino entitled to recover back salaries corresponding to the entire period he was out of the service? Explain your answer. (3%)

*** END OF PART I ***

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