Legally Yours,  Political Law

Imbong v. COMELEC

Imbong v.COMELEC

G.R. No. L-32432; G.R. No. L-32443; September 11, 1970
Ponente: Makasiar, J.

FACTS:

Manuel Imbong and Raul Gonzales, filing separate cases and both interested in running as candidates for delegates to the Constitutional Convention, question the constitutionality of R.A. No. 6132, claiming that it prejudices their rights as such candidates. On March 16, 1967, the Congress, acting as a Constituent Assembly, passed Res. No. 2 which called for a Constitutional Convention which shall have two delegates from each representative district. On June 17, 1969, the Congress passed Resolution No. 4 amending Resolution No. 2 by providing that the convention shall be composed of 320 delegates with at least two delegates from each representative district. On August 24, 1970, the Congress, acting as a legislative body, enacted R.A. 6132, implementing Res Nos. 2 and 4 and expressly repealing R.A 4914 which previously implemented Res. No. 2. Gonzales assails the validity of Sections 2, 4, 5, and par. 1 of 8(a), and the entire law, while Imbong questions the constitutionality of par. 1 of Sec. 8(a) of said R.A. 6132.

ISSUES:

1.    Does the Congress have the right to call for a constitutional convention and set the parameters of such convention?
2.    Are the provisions of R.A. 6132 constitutional?

HELD:

1.    The Congress has authority to call a constitutional convention as the constituent assembly. The Congress also has the authority to enact implementing details, contained in Res. Nos. 2 and 4 and R.A. 6132, since such details are within the competence of the Congress in the exercise of its legislative power.

2.    The provisions are constitutional. Sec. 4 of R.A. 6132 is merely an application with Sec. 2 of Art. XII of the Constitution and does not constitute a denial of due process or equal protection of the law. Sec. 2 also merely obeyed the intent of the Congress in Res. Nos. 2 and 4 regarding the apportionment of delegates. The challenged disqualification of an elected delegate from running for any public office in Sec. 5 is a valid limitation as it is reasonable and not arbitrary. Lastly, par. 1 of Sec. 8(a) which is both contested by the petitioners is still valid as the restriction contained in the section is so narrow that basic constitutional rights remain substantially intact and inviolate thus the limitation is a valid infringement of the constitutional guarantees invoked by the petitioners.

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