THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT*Please refer to Art VI of the Philippine Constitution by De Leon for a more comprehensive discussion.Below is merely a summary.What is Legislative Power? - Otherwise known as law-making power or the power to make laws that are legal and binding.Where is Legislative Power lodged? - Legislative Power is lodged in the Congress of the Philippines - The Philippines has a bicameral congressWhat is a bicameral Congress? - It means two-house or two-chamber legislature - The upper house is otherwise known as the House of Senate - The lower house is otherwise as the House of RepresentativesHow many senators comprise the House of Senate? - There are 24 senators elected nationwide - Qualifications: A natural-born citizen of the Philippines At least 35 years of age Able to read and write A registered voter A resident of the Philippines for at least two years before election - Term of office: A term of 6 six years with a possible re-election for two consecutive termsHow many representatives ( congressmen) comprise the House of Representatives?
- There shall be composed of not more than 250 members - Of the 250 members, 20% or 50 shall be allocated for sectoral representation/ party list representatives, the rest of the seats are for district representatives - Qualifications: A natural-born citizen At least 25 years of age Able to read and write A registered voter A resident of a legislative district for at least a year before election - Term of Office: A term of three years with a possible re-election for three consecutive termsDisqualifications of members of Congress - They cannot hold office or employment in another branch of government Example: a senator cannot serve cannot be a cabinet member , a judge , or a member of the armed forces ( incompatible offices ) - They cannot financially be interested in any government contract, franchise or special interest of the government Think of Villar and the C5 controversy - They cannot appear as lawyers before any court, electoral tribunal, or quasi-judicial bodyOfficers of Congress - Senate president - Speaker of the House - They are elected by a majority vote of the members of their respective houses
Congressional Immunity - Any member of congress can speak freely to the house without fear of being questioned or held liable for his statements ( immune from libel suit); this is otherwise known as privilege of free speech - Any member also enjoys freedom from arrest during session except for crimes involving at least 6 years imprisonmentPowers and Duties of Congress 1. To make laws and pass resolutions 2. To approve annual budget of the government 3. To ratify treaties with other states 4. To declare war 5. To expose or investigate matters of public interest about the work of government ( investigation in aid of legislation ) 6. To decide cases of impeachment involving the president, supreme court justices, members of Constitutional Commission and Tanodbayan 7. To propose amendments to the constitution or to call for a constitutional convention 8. To certify, authenticate and canvass vote of the president and vice-president; in case of tie, to decide the winner by a majority vote of all members of congress 9. To cancel or extend a martial law declaration by the president 10. Through an electoral Tribunal, decide cases of electoral protest involving its members 11. Through a commission on appointments, to approve appointment made by the presidentPLEASE ANSWER THE PROBLEM BELOW:Lady Gaga, a 26 year old born of Filipino father and a New Yorker mother, came home from CaliforniaNovember 2009 to join the senatorial elections scheduled May 2010. Her qualifications was questionedby Michael V. on the grounds that she is not a Filipino citizen. She countered by saying she is a dual
citizen, therefore a Filipino citizen. COMELEC having adjudicatory power related to electioncontroversies, decided in favour of Lady Gaga and consequently she emerged the winner but notwithout contestation. Michael V. protested on the grounds of cheating and brought the matter beforethe COMELEC. (1) Is Lady Gaga eligible to run in the senatorial elections? Why/Why not? (2) If you are COMELEC, would you try/adjudicate the election protest lodged by Michael V.? Why/ Why not?