Legally Yours,  Political Law

Planas v. COMELEC

Planas v. COMELEC

49 SCRA 105; January 22, 1973
Ponente: Concepcion, C.J.


While the 1971 Constitution Convention was in session on September 21, 1972, the president issued Proclamation No. 1081 placing the Philippines under martial law. On November 29, 1972, the Convention approved its proposed constitution. The next day the president issued PD No. 73 submitting to the people for ratification or rejection the proposed constitution as well as setting the plebiscite for said ratification. On December 7, 1972, Charito Planas filed a petition to enjoin respondents from implemented PD No. 73 because the calling of the plebiscite among others is lodged exclusively in the Congress. On December 17, 1972, the president issued an order temporarily suspending the effects of PD 1081 for the purpose of the free and open debate on the proposed constitution. On December 23, the president announced the postponement of the plebiscite, as such, the Court refrained from deciding the cases. On January 12, the petitioners filed for an “urgent motion” praying that the case be decided “as soon as possible”.


1.    Is the validity of PD 73 justiciable?
2.    Is PD 73 valid?
3.    Does the 1971 Constitutional Convention have the authority to pass the proposed constitution?


The Court may pass upon the constitutionality of PD 73 not only because of a long list of cases decided by the Court but also of subdivision (1) of Section 2, Article VIII of the 1935 Constitution which expressly provides for the authority of the Court to review cases revolving such issue. The validity of the decree itself was declared moot and academic by the Court. The convention is free to postulate any amendment as long as it is not inconsistent with what is known as Jus Cogens.

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