Legally Yours,  Political Law

Javellana v. Executive Secretary

Javellana v. Executive Secretary

50 SCRA 30; March 31, 1973
Ponente: Concepcion, C.J


On January 20, 1973, Josue Javellana filed a prohibition case to restrain respondents from implementing any of the provisions of the proposed constitution not found in the present constitution. Javellana maintained that the respondents are acting without or in excess of jurisdiction in implementing proposed constitution and that the president is without power to proclaim the ratification of the constitution. Similar actions were filed by Vidal Tan, Gerardo Roxas, among others. Petitioners pray for the nullification of Proclamation 1102 (Citizens Assemblies) and any order, decree, and proclamation which are similar in their objectives.


1.    Is the validity of Proclamation No. 1102 justiciable?
2.    Was the constitution proposed by the 1971 Constitutional Convention ratified validly in compliance with applicable laws?
3.    Was the proposed Constitution acquiesced by the people?
4.    Are the petitioners entitled to relief?
5.    Is the proposed Constitution in force?


Whether a constitutional amendment has been properly adopted according to an existing constitution is a judicial question as it is the absolute duty of the judiciary to determine whether the Constitution has been amended in the manner required by the constitution. The Constitution proposed by the 1971 Convention was not validly ratified in accordance with Article XV section 1 of the 1935 Constitution which provides only one way for ratification (election or plebiscite held in accordance with law and only with qualified voters). Due to the environmental and social conditions in the Philippines (i.e. martial law), the Court cannot honestly say that the people acquiesced to the proposed Constitution. The majority ruled to dismiss the cases as the effectivity of the proposed Constitution is the basic issue posed by the cases which considerations other than judicial are relevant and unavoidable. The new constitution is in force as there are not enough votes to say otherwise.

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